Dr Richie Nanda: 'I guarded Michael Jackson for four days. I didn't sleep at all'

YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN: The chairman of Shield Group and Topsgrup India will still step in and break up a fight if one kicks off.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 27 Mar 2015

My father was in the Indian army and left to become a Bollywood actor. He opened a restaurant and a security business, but his heart lay in movies. He made four or five but they didn't do well.

My dad's got nine siblings, my mum's got nine siblings. My father's downfall came from his own extended family. Things went bad in the business and dad was a softie at heart. He had a stroke.

I joined the security business at the age of 22. We still had two or three family members and I sacked all of them. That was a big challenge for me, because mum and dad were very sensitive.

People used to look down on security and say they were all bad boys. I was a breath of fresh air, because I didn't do anything wrong. We've never had an ad campaign. It's all word of mouth.

I've done everything, whether it's dressing up as a beggar to track people down or being a bodyguard. I'm a kung fu black belt. I still do guarding and if a fight breaks out, I just jump in and separate people. It's in my fabric.

I impounded this politician's car in Bombay - legally. He sends 40 guys to fire guns in my office - I wasn't there. He booked a whole restaurant for a meeting with me and had 70 of his goons. The first thing he does is stick a gun in my mouth. To cut a long story short, he paid up and got the car back.

Michael Jackson was always my hero. He was a very vulnerable, innocent person and very gullible. I was guarding him for four days. I didn't sleep at all.

After we acquired Shield we had a lot of issues. These guys were slightly older and more into golf. I was 34, 35 and growth-focused. So I bought them out. Indians are more tenacious.

I had to be in London to protect my wealth and I couldn't handle the corruption in India any more. London is very sane; Bombay is a madhouse. Also, I've got three daughters and I still think India is quite sexist.

My elder two daughters are both studying management. I've said they can only get into the business if they're interested and deserving.

My friends tell me that I'm so humble. It's not because I'm trying to downplay my wealth. That's my nature.

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