A Mumbai business empire that lost its heir in Istanbul, courtesy of ISIS

Pedestrians walk past a hoarding put up in memory of deceased Indian businessman and film producer Abis Rizvi ahead of his funeral in Mumbai on January 4, 2017. (AFP)

The ISIS attack on a popular night club in Istanbul on the New Year’s Eve cut short a promising career in Bollywood and, possibly more relevantly, has potentially caused the collapse of a business empire that had become legendary in the suburbs of Mumbai.

Among those killed in the attack was 49-year-old Bollywood producer and entrepreneur, Abis Rizvi, who was holidaying in Turkey with friends.

Rizvi was the son of a leading property tycoon, Akhtar Hassan Rizvi, who made his name developing reclamation properties in Mumbai’s Bandra neighborhood. Akhtar Hassan Rizvi was also a former member of the Indian parliament and is a well-known educationist in Mumbai.

Akhtar Hassan Rizvi’s has been a classic rags-to-riches story and he runs several educational institutions in Mumbai. Coming to the city as a migrant worker he built a construction empire and later also branched into the education sector.

Akhtar Hassan Rizvi had two sons one of whom, Saqib Rizvi, died of cancer few years ago. His only surviving son Abis Rizvi has now met his fate in Istanbul.

Bollywood producer

Abis Rizvi’s death has also left the Bollywood film industry in shock with many leading actors and filmmakers expressing their sadness. Abis was producer and co-writer of the film Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans, which was released in 2014. He also founded the production company Abis Rizvi Films.

Abis’s second production was He-Man, a documentary following India’s only professional body-builder, while his third film, T for Taj Mahal, is in production and was slated for release in March.

Family tragedy

Dubai resident, Sayed Askari Akhtar, has known and worked in the family business. He spoke to Abis days before his death.

“I worked with his father years ago and recently spoke to both the father and son. Abis invited me to discuss some stuff and I told him I would do so after returning from Dubai. That wasn’t meant to be,” Akhtar told Al-Arabiya.

According to Akhtar, the family has been left devastated by the tragedy. “The man [Akhtar Hassan Rizvi] who built the empire with his own hands, is now set to bury his only surviving son,” he said.

Abis Rizvi is survived by his wife and son, besides his ageing parents.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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