Raj, Tony and Harpal Matharu and family
The Matharu brothers – Raj, 59, Tony, 56, and Harpal, 60 – are as low-key as they are successful. Sidestepping the public hoopla often associated with building billion-pound empires, they have grown the 17-strong chain of Grange Hotels. All but one, in Berkshire, occupies a prime London location, created by converting offices into contemporary boltholes. Theirs has “always been a measured, considered approach”, according to director Tony, the most public-facing of the three, who has been responsible for courting celebrities including actress Gillian Anderson for his Indian Ocean Disaster Relief charity. When they started in the trade in 1980, “I hadn’t even stayed in a hotel, as far as I can recall,” Tony has said. The Matharus can now choose from about 2,000 rooms of their own, mostly in four and five-star hotels.
Their flagship, the 460-room Grange St Paul’s, boasts a modern facade in Portland stone, in keeping with the nearby cathedral. It also has a female-friendly wing targeted at businesswomen, with rooms serviced by female staff, added security, backlit mirrors and extra-long hairdryer cables. In 2015-16 profits tripled to £49.7m on £130.4m turnover at their company Globalgrange, and its accounts state the land and buildings have a net value of £986.5m. We add £30m for other wealth.