Subrata Roy, Chief of Sahara Group, Died at 75

Subrata Roy, Chief of Sahara Group, died Tuesday of cardiorespiratory arrest following an extended illness at a private Mumbai hospital after succumbing to cardiorespiratory arrest at 75 years of age.

Roy was at the centre of an unprecedented business empire spanning retail, real estate, and financial services, which generated significant controversy. He faced many regulatory and legal battles with group companies in which they were accused by other groups of bypassing regulation with Ponzi schemes – allegations which they vehemently deny.

The company reported that Mr Ambani was admitted to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in Mumbai after his health had worsened significantly on Sunday.

On Tuesday at 10.30 pm, he died due to cardiorespiratory collapse due to long-standing complications from metastatic cancer, hypertension and diabetes.

Sahara India Pariwar released a statement mourning Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara’s passing as Honorable Managing Workers and Chairman.

Sahara India Pariwar released a statement honouring Roy as an inspirational visionary and leader, noting his loss will be felt across its organization. Saharasri Ji was an invaluable mentor and inspiration to all those privileged enough to work alongside him; we pledge our dedication to continuing his visionary legacy within the company.

Roy had become famous for transforming Sahara Group into a multibillion-dollar enterprise, serving as one of the nation’s primary employers.

It was well known that he had many close contacts in both Bollywood and politics.

After writing one of America’s rags-to-riches stories, Roy became one of the country’s best-known success stories. He then expanded his business in various sectors such as finance, housing and manufacturing, aviation and media – becoming an internationally acclaimed brand name.

His company went on to acquire iconic properties all around the globe, such as New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s Grosvenor House.

Sahara, under his leadership, also owned and sponsored Indian cricket and hockey teams and a Formula One race team.

Twenty years later, their weddings were held in Lucknow. He resided there.

Sebi, India’s stock market regulator, directed two Sahara Group entities not to raise funds via equity markets or by issuing securities directly to the public. Roy was also forbidden from making direct contact with members of the people to raise money.

In 2014, Roy was arrested by order of the Supreme Court for failing to appear for court proceedings related to the non-refund of over Rs 20 billion from investors by his two companies.

Later, his bail was lifted, yet the challenges for his businesses continued.

In 2007-08, two Sahara Group companies – Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation – raised money through an OFCD debenture.

In June 2011, the regulator ordered both groups to refund investors with Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures money they collected and any interest earned.

In 2012, the Supreme Court issued an order to refund deposits made by investors with 15 per cent interest added as compensation.

Sebi eventually asked Sahara to deposit approximately Rs 24,000 crore as additional refunds to investors. However, the group claimed this as a double payment as they had already returned over 95% directly.

Roy famously sent 100 truckloads worth of documents to Sebi as proof of repayment, creating an unusual storage crisis at the regulator.

As Roy was brought before the Supreme Court wearing his trademark waistcoat and tie, an individual from Gwalior also threw ink onto his face while calling him a thief.

Sahara Group stated earlier that its business has always been built by channelling human capital across India and providing employment and work to those right where they lived.

Sahara provides food and shelter to over 14 lakh people living in rural and urban communities across India. Indian Railways holds second place as far as total human capital goes.

“Sahara could have used this sum of money to create additional employment and contribute more toward strengthening its nation and economy”, according to its statement.

Subrata Roy: 7 Things You Should Know About This Man

  1. Subrata Roy was named by India Today Magazine as one of India’s top business people in 2012 due to his rising popularity.
  2. Time magazine listed the Sahara Group in 2004 as “the second largest employer in India” based on its 1.2 million employees. Indian Railways held the top spot in India.
  3. Subrata Roy created a massive retail, real estate, and financial services business empire. But tragedy struck in 2011 when the SEBI ordered Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. (SIRECL) & Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd. (SHICL) to refund money collected from investors via certain bonds called Optionally Fully Convertible Bonds. (OFCDs). These bonds were later found to be illegal.
  4. After months of legal battles in 2012, the Supreme Court confirmed Sebi’s decision asking Subrata Roy’s two companies to refund money collected from investors, with 15% interest, i.e. Rs24,000 crore.
  5. The Supreme Court detained Subrata Roy in 2014 after he failed to appear before the court to fight SEBI. Subrata Roy received bail later.
  6. A man from Gwalior inked Subrata Roy on March 14, 2014, when the Sahara Group’s chief was brought before the Supreme Court.
  7. According to Reuters’ report, Sahara once owned the Grosvenor House and Plaza Hotel in New York. Subrata Roy co-owned the former Force India Formula One Team.



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