Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy passes away at 75

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  • The founder of Sahara India Parivar passed away due to cardiorespiratory arrest following a prolonged illness. 
  • 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 endeavors. 
  • Subrata Roy managed to expand the empire encompassing diverse sectors like finance, real estate, media, and hospitality. Sahara India Pariwar oversaw numerous ventures. 
  • 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. 
  • 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). 

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. Roy is survived by his wife Swapna Roy and two sons, Sushanto Roy, and Seemanto Roy.

Born in Bihar’s Araria in 1948, he made a modest start with a capital of only Rs 2,000 to build Sahara India. Eventually, he shifted to Lucknow in the 1990s and made the city the headquarters of his group. The company was once hailed by Time magazine as the second-largest employer in India after Indian Railways.

Over the years, the company grew and Roy became known for hosting film stars at events and having “friends” across political parties. He was known to share deep ties with Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party.

Under Roy’s leadership, Sahara expanded into numerous businesses. It launched the Hindi language newspaper Rashtriya Sahara, initiated the Aamby Valley City project near Pune, and entered the television space with Sahara TV. In the 2000s, Sahara acquired iconic properties such as London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

However, soon Sahara faced a host of issues over funds in the “Sahara chit fund scam”. The market regulator SEBI moved against him. It was alleged that the company had collected over Rs 24,000 crore from three crore individuals.

Roy was sent to jail on March 4, 2014, for not paying an outstanding amount of Rs 10,000 crore. According to a media outlet, the court stated that would not be released until he brought in Rs 5,000 crore in cash and Rs 5,000 crore by way of bank guarantee. In 2013, Sahara sent 127 trucks containing 31,669 cartons of over three crore application forms and two crore redemption vouchers to the SEBI office. He was jailed for He stayed in jail for over two years and was out on parole in 2016.

Calling him an inspirational leader and visionary, the company statement said, “his loss will be deeply felt by the entire Sahara India Parivar. Sahara Sri ji was a guiding force, a mentor, and a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege to work alongside him”.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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