Unfazed by the Maldives controversy, Chennai-based Mohan Mutha group has said it will go ahead with the construction of the $30 million all-vegan ‘wellness resort’ in the island country. businessline had reported on August 17, 2023, that the Mutha group, which is into trading and construction, would build a vegan, no-alcohol resort in one of the Maldivian islands, to cater to the growing vegan clientele.  

Suresh Mutha, Executive Director, Mohan Mutha Exports Pvt Ltd, had told businesline then that the project awaited “one final approval” from the Maldives government. The debt for the project was also to come from a Maldivian bank. 

When asked today if the group intended to go ahead with the project, Mutha said, “yes, very much”. 

Muthas are Jains—therefore, vegetarians—from Rajasthan. The Mohan Mutha group had its genesis in 1942 when the founder, Mohanlal Mutha, migrated to Chennai and started a trading business. After the business was split among Mutha and his six brothers, the Mohan Mutha group started an import-export business, bringing them closer to Maldives. Today, its turnover is about Rs 1,000 crore. 

As a backward integration of the import-export business, the group got into logistics and today owns 15 tugs and barges, which are deployed to carry cargo between India and Maldives.  

With its close connection with the Maldives, getting into the hospitality industry in the Indian Ocean archipelago was a natural extension. However, there was a problem — Mutha’s religious sentiments would not allow the group to serve non-vegetarian foods and alcohol.  

However, in recent years, with the winds of veganism sweeping across the world, the group saw an opportunity to set up a resort where only vegetarian or vegan foods would be served.