Like I said in this post, there's a tangled web of financial dealings surrounding the newfound wealth of Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family.
Gurinder Singh is the current guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, an India-based spiritual organization I used to be a member of.
Theologically, he is considered to be "god in human form."
Financially, his family has become one of the richest in India, thanks to gifting of Religare stock by several relatives (and RSSB initiates), Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. Another post of mine describes the money connections between Religare and the guru.
Religare is a company that Malvinder and Shivinder Singh invested heavily in after selling their stake in Ranbaxy, a pharmaceutical company. So the money gifted to the guru and his family is rooted in previous Ranbaxy holdings.
Wikipedia describes the involvement of Malvinder Singh with Ranbaxy:
Malvinder Mohan Singh is a former Chairman and CEO of Ranbaxy Laboratories, an Indian unit of Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo, who resigned in 2009 after Ranbaxy posted losses and after Daiichi Sankyo decided to get more actively involved in the newly acquired Indian unit. He is the grandson of Bhai Mohan Singh, the founder of Ranbaxy. He and his brother Shivinder Singh, who in 1999 upon the death of their father inherited their family's 33.5% stake in Ranbaxy, are among the twenty richest Indians.
...Malvinder Singh's tenure as CEO of Ranbaxy starting in 2006 is controversial. Corporate culture of fraud continued unchecked under his tenure. In November 2006, Malvinder Singh led a delegation to FDA headquarters to try to reverse the decision to accept new drug applications from Ranbaxy.
This attempt failed as FDA asked Ranbaxy to turn over audits done by its outside consultant, Parexel, which the company was claiming were confidential. The meeting ended in a standoff. Soon thereafter Mr. Singh decided to cash in. On June 11, 2008, Singh stunned the Indian business world by announcing that he and his brother were selling their 34% stake in Ranbaxy to the Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo for $2 billion.
That phrase, "corporate culture of fraud," is much elaborated on in a lengthy May 15, 2013 CNN Money story, Dirty Medicine: The epic inside story story of long-term criminal fraud at Ranbaxy, the Indian drug company that makes generic Lipitor for millions of Americans.
What Thakur unearthed over the next months would form some of the most devastating allegations ever made about the conduct of a drug company. His information would lead Ranbaxy into a multiyear regulatory battle with the FDA, and into the crosshairs of a Justice Department investigation that, almost nine years later, has finally come to a resolution.
On May 13, Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud, failing to report that its drugs didn't meet specifications, and making intentionally false statements to the government. Ranbaxy agreed to pay $500 million in fines, forfeitures, and penalties -- the most ever levied against a generic-drug company.
As noted in the Wikipedia article, Malvinder Singh (the guru's nephew, I'm pretty sure) became CEO of Ranbaxy in 2006. Another CNN Money story says:
Ranbaxy has been grappling with quality issues for years. In 2008, the Food & Drug Administration took a highly unusual step, barring the importation of 30 drugs from two of Ranbaxy's plants in India. The FDA slapped the company with what's called an "Application Integrity Policy," halting the review of new drug applications from one of the company's Indian facilities until Ranbaxy proved its truthfulness.
Which, of course, it wasn't able to do. Ranbaxy was permeated by sleazy corporate policies aimed at making more money by avoiding drug safety and testing requirements. The details are laid out in Dirty Medicine.
I find this Ranbaxy story fascinating for several reasons. As noted before, my involvement with Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) began in the days of a previous guru, Charan Singh, who was scrupulous about not mixing spirituality with money-making.
So far as I know, Charan Singh lived completely off of his own earnings, never mixing up his RSSB gurudom and personal financial dealings. Gurinder Singh, the current guru, operates much differently.
In a previous post I quoted an Indian blogger who referred to Gurinder Singh's early involvement with Ranbaxy :
For instance, the patriarch of the Radha Soami sect headquartered at Beas (he is also called the Beas Sant or the saint of Beas) is reported to have played his role in the succession drama at Ranbaxy after the death of then CEO and promoter Parvinder Singh in 1999.
I readily admit that few large corporations are ethically impeccable.
Making lots of money usually requires cutting some moral corners. But traditionally Indian spiritual leaders have stood apart from this "dark side" of modern culture, pointing to a way of living that elevates direct experience of divinity above material concerns/desires.
In that light, here's another excerpt from the Dirty Medicine story:
In January 2006, Malvinder Singh, the founder's grandson, succeeded Brian Tempest as Ranbaxy's managing director and CEO. At 33, with an MBA from Duke University, Singh was brash and competitive. The Indian business press dubbed him the Pharaoh of Pharma, and hailed him as an "out-of-the-box decision-maker."
Others viewed Singh as petulant and immature. "I want profit!" he would yell in meetings, two former employees recall. Among the staff, he was known for being preoccupied with his ranking on the Forbes list of India's 40 richest people. When he and his brother Shivinder fell from No. 9 in 2004 to No. 19 in 2005, despite $1.6 billion in assets, Singh seemed to blame the decline on a lack of employee loyalty, a former employee recalls.
Shows that even if "god in human form" is your uncle, enlightenment and detachment from worldly concerns can be far away.