Sahara Group founder Subrata Roy passes away | 5 things to know about him | Latest News India
Subrata Roy, the founder of Sahara Group, passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday night at the age of 74 after battling a prolonged illness. He was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute on Sunday and succumbed to cardiorespiratory arrest due to complications stemming from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes. He is survived by his wife, son, and brother.
Here are the five things to know about him:
- Subrata Roy Sahara was born on June 10, 1948, in Bihar’s Araria, and pursued mechanical engineering at the Government Technical Institute in Gorakhpur. His entrepreneurial journey began in Gorakhpur, where he initiated his business endeavours. He later took charge of Sahara Finance, originally a chit-fund company in 1976. By 1978, he successfully transformed it into Sahara India Pariwar, a prominent conglomerate in India.
- Subrata Roy managed to expand the empire encompassing diverse sectors like finance, real estate, media, and hospitality. Sahara India Pariwar oversaw numerous ventures including Aamby Valley City, Sahara Movie Studios, Air Sahara, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, and Filmy, among others. The conglomerate ventured into finance, real estate, infrastructure, housing, media, entertainment, tourism, and hospitality. Their projects ranged from housing developments to organising large-scale events.
- The Sahara group made its foray into media with Rashtriya Sahara, a Hindi newspaper launched in 1992. Later, they expanded their presence in the television industry with Sahara TV, subsequently rebranded as Sahara One.
- Awards and Recognitions: Subrata Roy garnered accolades such as the Businessmen of the Year Award and the Best Industrialist Award in 2002. He was honoured with the Vishisht Rashtriya Udaan Samman in 2010 by a leading publication, Vocational Award for Excellence in 2010 by Rotary International, Karmaveer Samman in 1995, Udyam Shree in 1994, Baba-E-Rozgar Award in 1992, and the National Citizen Award in 2001. In 2012, he was recognised as one of India’s 10 most influential businessmen by India Today magazine.
- In 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered Subrata Roy’s detention for failing to appear in court in connection with a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This led to a prolonged legal battle, which resulted in him spending time in Tihar Jail. He was eventually released on parole.
What was the SEBI’s case against the Sahara Group?
In 2011, SEBI directed Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) to reimburse funds acquired from investors via Optionally Fully Convertible Bonds (OFCDs), deeming the raising of funds by the firms as a violation of regulatory norms.
After a prolonged series of appeals and counter-appeals, the Supreme Court, on August 31, 2012, upheld SEBI’s mandate, instructing the two companies to refund the collected funds to investors along with a 15 per cent interest. Subsequently, Sahara was instructed to deposit an estimated ₹24,000 crore with SEBI for further reimbursement to investors, despite the group’s assertion that it had already directly refunded over 95 per cent of the investors’ funds, considering it as “double payment”.
Regarding an incident involving Roy, a man from Gwalior once labelled him a thief and splattered ink on his face as he was escorted to the Supreme Court, donning his signature waistcoat and tie, amidst chaotic scenes.
Roy faced arrest in 2014 following his failure to appear in the apex court for a contempt case arising from the non-reimbursement of ₹20,000 crore to investors by two of his companies. Despite being granted bail later, his businesses continued to face ongoing challenges.
(With PTI inputs)