Minal Modi: The Late Wife of Lalit Modi and a Businesswoman

Minal Modi was the wife of Lalit Modi, an Indian businessman and the former commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL). She was also a successful entrepreneur, who had interests in various sectors, such as fashion, cosmetics, beverages, and sports. She died of cancer in 2018, at the age of 64. In this article, we will explore her life, career, family, and legacy.

Early Life and Education Minal Modi

Minal Modi was born as Minal Aswani on 9 September 1954 in Nigeria, Africa. She belonged to a wealthy and influential Sindhi-Indian family, as her father, Pesu Aswani, was a renowned businessman in Nigeria, and her mother, Indra Aswani, was a homemaker. She had a younger sister, Priya Aswani, who is an alumnus of the prestigious Inchbald School of Design in London1.

Minal Modi completed her schooling from Nigeria and then moved to London for higher education. She graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in economics and political science in 1976.

First Marriage and Divorce

Minal Modi married Jack Sagrani, a Saudi Arabia-based businessman, in 1977. They had a daughter, Karima, who was born in London in 1978. However, their marriage soon hit a rough patch, as Jack Sagrani was arrested and jailed for seven months in Saudi Arabia for his involvement in a scam. Minal Modi decided to separate from him and moved to Delhi, India, with her daughter in 19882.

Second Marriage and Relationship with Lalit Modi

Minal Modi became friends with Bina Modi, the mother of Lalit Modi, who was a young and aspiring businessman. She started visiting the Modi residence frequently and developed a close bond with Lalit Modi. Despite the age gap of 10 years and the opposition from their families, they decided to get married. They tied the knot on 17 October 1991 in a lavish ceremony in Delhi3.

Minal Modi and Lalit Modi moved to Mumbai, where they tried their luck in various businesses, but faced many failures. They then shifted to Rajasthan, where they met the then Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who allegedly helped them gain influence and power in the state. Lalit Modi became the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He also launched the IPL in 2008, which became a huge success and made him one of the most powerful and influential figures in the cricket world.

Minal Modi supported and stood by her husband in his endeavors and achievements. She also became a successful and diversified businesswoman herself, with interests in various sectors, such as fashion, cosmetics, beverages, and sports. She was the founder and director of Minal Modi Cosmetics Pvt Ltd, which manufactured and marketed beauty products under the brand name ‘Minal’. She was also the co-owner of the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, along with her husband and other partners.

Controversies and Exile

Minal Modi and Lalit Modi’s fairy-tale life came to an end in 2010, when Lalit Modi was suspended and later removed from his post as the IPL commissioner, following allegations of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, match-fixing, and betting. He was also banned for life from any involvement in cricket by the BCCI. He faced multiple charges and investigations by various agencies and authorities in India. He fled to London, where he sought asylum and continued to fight his legal battles.

Minal Modi accompanied her husband to London and remained loyal to him. She also faced some legal troubles, as her assets and accounts were frozen by the authorities. She also suffered from cancer and underwent treatment in London. She died on 10 December 2018, after battling the disease for years. She was cremated in London and her ashes were immersed in the Ganges river in Haridwar, India.

Family and Legacy

Minal Modi is survived by her husband, Lalit Modi, and her two children, Karima and Ruchir. Karima is married to Gaurav Burman of the Dabur group, and Ruchir is a businessman and a cricket administrator, who unsuccessfully contested for the RCA presidency in 2017. Minal Modi also had a step-daughter, Aliya, from Lalit Modi’s previous marriage.

Minal Modi is remembered as a loving wife, a caring mother, a successful entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. She supported various causes and initiatives, such as education, health, environment, and women empowerment. She was also a friend and mentor to many celebrities and personalities, such as Sushmita Sen, Shobhaa De, and Raveena Tandon. She was a woman of substance, who lived a life of glamour, grace, and courage.

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Written by 365PodCast

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