Ravi Uppal Wiki, Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More

Ravi Uppal

Ravi Uppal is an Indian businessman who was arrested in Dubai on 13 December 2023, due to his connection with the Mahadev online betting app. He possesses extensive business experience, having worked for more than 40 years in engineering, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors both in India and abroad. He held significant roles such as Managing Director and Group CEO at Jindal Steel and Power Limited Group, Whole-time Director on the L&T Group Board, and MD and CEO (Power) at L&T. Additionally, he had various positions in the ABB Group, including President of Global Markets. Notably, he played a crucial role as the Founding Managing Director of Volvo in India. With a diverse background, Uppal has spent over 15 years working in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South East Asia. He also launched a new venture, SISCOL, concentrating on steel-based civil and industrial infrastructure projects in India. He actively participates in various industry forums such as CII, FICCI, AIMA, and academic institutions. Additionally, he has a strong interest in contributing to social and community development in India. He has served on the boards of numerous companies in India and Europe, including BAE in the UK, Actis Private Equity in the UK, Riverina Bio Energy in Australia, Page Industries, Srei Finance, and Suzlon in India. Additionally, he has been a part of the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.


Ravi Uppal was born in 1952 (age 71 years; as of 2023) in New Delhi. His hometown is Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. He pursued Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi in 1973. In 1975, he took admission to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. Later, he pursued an Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School, USA. He was born into an upper-middle-class family. [1]TCIL

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 7″

Hair Colour: Grey

Eye Colour: Black

Ravi Uppal


Parents & Siblings

There is not much information about his parents and siblings.

Wife & Children

Ravi is married to Geeta. Together, they have a son, Neel and a daughter, Nidhi.


After finishing his school education, he enrolled at IIT. During his studies, he expressed a desire to go to the US and even secured admission to Stanford. However, his plans changed when a relative who was a professor at Berkeley passed away. This event worried his parents, and they advised Uppal against going abroad. He then pursued the next suitable choice and enrolled at IIM, Ahmedabad. In 1975, he secured a job through campus placement at BHEL. Following his stint at BHEL, he received a job offer from Libya. However, he was also selected for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), creating a dilemma about which opportunity to pursue. Ultimately, he opted for the Libyan position due to the attractive salary offered. The assignment in Libya was a collaborative effort between the governments of India and Libya. After two years, he moved to Europe and was surprised by the varying living standards. After working there for a while, he changed jobs at Siemens and relocated to Germany. Later, he moved to Czechoslovakia. In 1981, he became a technical coordinator for significant projects at ASEA in Vastera, Stockholm. In 1982, while working in Sweden, he performed excellently, but when he expressed his desire to relocate to Iraq, his boss mentioned that the Iraqis might not accept an Indian boss, which he found deeply humiliating. It shocked him that his rejection was based on his skin colour rather than his skills. In 1983, he became a resident manager in Qatar. After a few years, he was given responsibility for both Kuwait and Qatar. Many years later, when he assumed the role of the head of global markets and became a member of the ABB executive committee in Zurich, his former boss at ASEA now reported to him. At 38 years old, he returned to India from Sweden. In India, he took on the roles of head and chairman of corporate planning at ABB.

Ravi Uppal as the vice chairman and managing director of ABB

Ravi Uppal as the vice chairman and managing director of ABB

Later, he assumed the position of executive vice president, overseeing the business segment. He led the power transmission department and was later assigned additional responsibilities for Industrial Electronics and Systems. While heading Industrial Electronics, he had a conversation with the global head, Indra Nooyi, questioning why the Indian team wasn’t invited to the annual strategic planning meeting. She explained that India was not in the Top 10 list. Upon returning, he shared Nooyi’s response with his team, motivating them to work hard to secure an invitation. Within two years, they made it to the Top 10 and received an invitation to the meeting. During his tenure at ABB, his supervisor Percy Barvenik recommended Ravi for a position at Volvo. Volvo was in search of someone to oversee operations in India, familiar with the Swedish approach. Although surprised, Ravi had no alternative as his boss requested him to join the other company. At the age of 44, he assumed the role of Managing Director at Volvo India. He initiated a school for bus and truck drivers. When the president of Volvo Buses visited, Ravi played a role in translating his speech into Hindi. While translating, one of the drivers mentioned that it was the first time he had been in a classroom where someone provided him with a chair. While employed at Volvo, Jorgen Centremen from ABB contacted him in 2000 and extended an invitation to rejoin the company. Centremen mentioned that he could choose his salary but would need to double the turnover within three years. In an interview, Uppal mentioned that he informed the president of Volvo about his intention to join ABB in India. The president agreed, and Uppal was given the responsibility of overseeing the branches in India and China. In 2009, General Electric’s John Flannery invited him for lunch. During their meeting at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, they discussed ABB’s growth during Ravi’s tenure. Ravi suggested empowering the country head for improved results. He recommended that John Flannery take charge of everything. Within 15 days, Flannery was appointed in charge, and he expressed gratitude to Ravi via a message. According to Ravi, ABB hired him because they wanted someone familiar with the conditions in countries like India, as most others working there were Europeans. Within five years, ABB India’s revenue surged from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 8,000 crore. They implemented various initiatives, such as creating an office without cabins and allowing anyone to approach anyone. Ravi himself would sit with other employees in the hall.

Ravi Uppal at his office

Ravi Uppal at his office

After spending several years working abroad, he decided to return home to take care of his family. During this period, AM Naik, the chairman of L&T, approached him to join the company. He collaborated with Mitsubishi to establish the boiler and turbine. Upon meeting the Japanese workers, he observed that they were well-dressed, whereas the Indian workers were in chappals, t-shirts, and torn pyjamas.

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • Knight of the Royal Order of the Polar Star Award
  • Marketing Award of the Institute of Marketing Management
  • India’s Best of the Best title awarded by the Smart Manager magazine


Uppal, one of the creators of the Mahadev online betting app, was detained by the Dubai immigration department on 13 December 2023. This action followed a red corner notice (RCN) issued by Interpol at the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED was investigating allegations of money laundering, approximately Rs. 5,000 crore, linked to the Mahadev online betting app. In October 2023, the ED had submitted a charge sheet for money laundering against Uppal and Chandrakar in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. According to ED officials statement, they said,

He was detained last week and ED officials are in touch with authorities concerned. An initial probe has revealed that Uppal has obtained a passport of the country Vanuatu, so now extradition proceedings will start in the coming months and that procedure will take time.”


  • In an interview, he shared an experience from a trip to Germany where the engineer who picked him up handed him a file to read during the 50-minute drive from the airport to the hotel. According to Uppal, this experience highlighted the Germans’ highly efficient way of working.
  • In an interview, he mentioned that his closest friend is Balasubramaniam, a classmate from IIT who went on to become the President of the World Bank for the Asia Pacific region.
  • In his younger days, he found inspiration in individuals like V Krishnamurthy, Percy Barvenik, and Azim Premji.
  • In Sweden, he took up hobbies of playing squash and skiing.


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