Set in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi is a sprawling plot of land that houses verdant gardens and four identical structures, which together make the beautiful Jindal House. This striking steel-grey abode is the destination for our meeting with Abhyuday Jindal — son of Ratan and Deepika Jindal and grandson of steel magnate OP Jindal — and his wife, Srishti. As industrialists of long-standing renown, whose matriarch Savitri Jindal was named India’s richest woman in 2021, this family is no stranger to the limelight. Yet, humility of character and bearing is this young couple’s strongest suit.
This could be a testament to Abhyuday’s upbringing in a large and happy joint family. Or it could simply be the fact that they are comfortable with themselves, as evident from the unusual location chosen for our chat — their 2-year-old daughter’s nursery. As she happily chatters in the background, the adoring father revels in being close to his little one on his day off work. There’s no denying that as the Managing Director of Jindal Stainless, Abhyuday bears many responsibilities on his young shoulders, but he never lets them come in the way of spending quality time with his family.
“Children are so special, and they grow up so fast. It’s so important to spend as much time as you can with them. Just make sure you’re around and available to them. My daughter was born just before the pandemic, so the silver lining of this difficult period was being able to spend quality time with her in her early years, which helped us really bond,” he says with a smile.
Clearly on the same page, Srishti chimes in: “Parenthood is a complete game-changer. It’s the most remarkable thing ever, and it just transformed us; we love it! We work our schedules, our holidays and our entire life around our child.”
Adoring parents they may be, but they were two before they became three. As teenagers in college, Srishti and Abhyuday met over a decade ago at a mutual friend’s party. For him, it was “love at first sight”, while for her, it was the development of a strong friendship that led to a fruitful and loving partnership once they returned from university abroad. Having been married for over six years and together for 10, their strong bond is evident in their affectionate banter and ease around each other.
“I’m quite reserved, but Srishti has taught me how important it is to communicate with each other and be expressive about our needs. She has pushed me to be open, and I believe this honesty has made our bond stronger and our marriage fun and exciting. I compliment her on her ability to do that,” shares Abhyuday with candour.
Srishti credits her husband with being her biggest cheerleader, which, according to her, is the sure shot recipe for a successful marriage. “Abu is very disciplined, simple, straightforward, ethical and hardworking. So it’s very easy to be his cheerleader. But I really appreciate that he also supports me in everything I want to do. He’s always encouraging me to pursue my passion, which is so nice,” she shares.
Joining the family business may have been an obvious choice for this maths and economics graduate of Emory University, yet Srishti chose to carve her own path by launching Swift Media International, a prominent travel media, research, branding and events company. Declaring that creativity and social causes excite her the most, the young entrepreneur is also set to launch her passion project later this year — The Terrene will be a digital media company that will produce audio and video content on important social issues and the arts.
“I always wanted to create a content platform that was more socially driven by using new formats like podcasts. I hope my platform will help with the creation and distribution of content that encourages meaningful human connection and inclusivity. We will be supporting young creatives and giving out scholarships, among other measures, to help showcase their work,” she says earnestly.
Srishti’s creative spirit especially peeks through in her recently refurbished home, the interiors of which she undertook to change herself, picking each piece and lovingly placing it to make the space her own. The final result is a breathable, comfortable and airy abode replete with marbled floors, elegant furniture, chic art, pleasant greenery and plenty of natural light. She names a pensive Jogen Chowdhury gifted by her mother, a (rare) cheerful Arpita Singh gifted by her mother-in-law and a Rameshwar Broota, which was the first important piece she bought for herself, as her favourite works of art on display.
However, pride of place is given to a massive gold sculpture by Peruvian artist Aldo Chapparo, whom she discovered at the India Art Fair a few years ago. Not only does this striking piece command one’s attention immediately, it’s also a flagbearer of the family business, having been set in stainless steel.
If you ask Abhyuday, this material means much more than just business. He shares, “Stainless steel is connected with every aspect of our lives. Everything we see and touch — things like utensils, railings, façades — are all made with stainless steel. Since Indians don’t know much about this material, I’m attempting to raise awareness.”
“I’m also trying to make Jindal Stainless one of the best places to work. I’m proud to say we are very progressive in our human resources policies. We are pro-employees and pro-communication. I’m also focussing on technology development and making the digital switch. The latest and perhaps most important focus for us is on Environmental Social Governance. Our country is committed to zero carbon emissions by 2070. As an industry that’s heavy on carbon emissions, it’s a key focus of mine to reduce this by adopting more green energy.”
Apart from being disciplined and passionate about their work, Srishti and Abhyuday also devote an equal amount of time and energy to worthy philanthropic causes. Where the former is involved in women’s causes such as sponsoring the education and overseeing the personal development of underprivileged women in Uttarakhand, as well as supervising self- help groups to empower women in villages around Jindal factories, the latter is committed to uplifting the community at large in this area. This includes working on the Krishi Unnati Project, which teaches farmers about the best agricultural practices based on research. It also includes upskilling of convicts in jail, with the intent of helping them once they are released. As a company CSR initiative, Abhyuday also runs a 580-bed hospital in Hisar, Haryana, and oversees an integrated healthcare initiative that conducts regular camps in Hisar and Jajpur, Odisha.
When they do take time off from their packed schedules, Srishti and Abhyuday enjoy travelling together, scheduling at least three family vacations every year to shut off from the demands of the world. Their most recent trip was to the Amalfi Coast in Italy after a family wedding, but the pandemic gave them time to explore the beauty of India, too. Srishti mentions a recent trip to Nainital, her mother’s hometown, the highlight of which was visiting the Naina Devi temple as a family.
Their delight in being with each other is endearing and refreshing to observe in an increasingly jaded world. Abhyuday succinctly explains, “We like being in our own world. We are both very private, and that’s why we get along very well. Neither of us feels the need to be seen everywhere. We know we’re comfortable with each other and enjoy that comfort.”
Photography: Abhishek Khandelwal; Creative Direction & Styling: Amber Tikari; Hair & Makeup: Rachna
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s August 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!