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NRI family of 110-members still residing under onr roof in Hong Kong mansion
for four generations

Hong Kong, Oct. 03, 2005

It is hard to believe that NRI (Non-Resident Indian) family of 110-members, owner of global billion dollar empire business- still residing under onr roof in Hong Kong mansion for four generations.

According to PTI, Fortunately, there are no space constraints. Dr Harikrishin Harilela, OBE, and his family reside in a 100,000 sq ft mansion at Kowloon Tong in Hong Kong.

"It sounds like a lot of people," Harilela, the family patriarch, said. "But we are never complete in this house because people are away at different times. The girls marry, kids go away for school. So, we run this place like a hotel." Having originally included 18 bedrooms, the main house now has six apartments with 40 bedrooms between them. Each flat measures about 2,500 sq ft -- an impressive tally for Hong Kong, one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The mansion, which took three years to plan and one year to build, came about because of a promise made to Hari`s mother -- that he and his brothers would always live together.

"As we were together in poverty, we should not separate in wealth," says Hari.

Harilela and his six brothers started off as impoverished food and sundries vendors during the second World War, living together with their wives in a one-bedroom apartment on Peking Road in Kowloon.

Now, the Harilela holdings encompass hotels all over the world, from Holiday Inns in Asia to the W in Sydney and the Sheraton in Belgravia. The company also has a seat on the Hong Kong stock exchange and investments in food, travel and health care.

The Harilela apartments are divided among five brothers and one sister. At the back of the property, there is an annexe, with about 30 bedrooms for other family members.

The clan now has enough space for the next 20 years, says Hari. The basement of the mansion has a subterranean garage that holds 30 cars, with seven drivers on staff. The annexe holds another 25 cars.

Like many wealthy homeowners, the Harilelas have a gym, sauna, pool, jacuzzi and a bar. They also have walk-in freezers; wine caves and pantries; laundry and dry cleaning, fur storage, a massage room with a masseuse and an in-house tailor who does alterations and makes the family`s saris.

Hari and his wife entertain twice a week, and a family friend wrote in a diaspora magazine that "dinner with the Harilela family in the privacy of their home is truly an experience."

"You never know who you`re going to meet -- statesmen and women from various countries, film or TV stars, sports figures and friends from all walks of life," he said.

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