Dr. Vijay Mallya (born December 20, 1955) is a Bangalore-based billionaire businessman and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha since 2002) from India. He is the son of a famous industrialist Vittal Mallya and is the chairman of the United Beverages Group. Mallya has started a domestic airline in India called Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Airlines is the first Indian company to purchase an Airbus A-380. It connects Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. While initially, it was an airline with a single class, called Kingfisher, recently the airline has decided to introduce first class service as well. He took over as chairman of the UB Group in 1983. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over sixty companies with an annual turnover which has increased by 439% to US$1.2 billion in 1998-1999 despite the frequent devaluation of currencies in many developing countries, including India, where the group largely operates. The focal business areas of the group encompass alcoholic beverages, life sciences, engineering, agriculture and chemicals, information technology and leisure. He entered politics in 2000 and became the president of Janata Party, a breakaway faction of the original Janata Dal party. His party contested for around twenty seats during the Karnataka State legislative election. He campaigned vigorously through the media, but his party failed to make any impact and couldn't win even a single seat. Following the party's failure in the elections, it has been largely ignored by the media. The Janata Party was originally headed by Subramaniam Swamy. Vijay Mallya is renowned for his lavish spending. His social gatherings have been attended by prominent politicians as well as other businessmen and have been much spoken of in the media. The flamboyant businessman owns 26 homes around the world and is called the Richard Branson of India. Other expensive assets include a stud farm comprising over 250 race horses, 200 classic vintage cars, a castle in the United Kingdom and several yachts and private jets. Mallya owns a sprawling home on Bangalore's Vittal Mallya Road (named after his father); there is also a Vijay Mallya Road in Bangalore.
Mallya has won trophies in professional car racing circuits and is a keen yachtsman and aviator. He is involved in a variety of sport by way of personal participation as well as promotion of sport and cultural activities by steering various sponsorships (particularly football and golf). He is a member of the East Bengal Club. He has also won numerous trophies in horse racing including several prestigious Derbies.