Sahara India Pariwar Head Subrata Roy Passes Away In Mumbai Aged 75
Lucknow, November 14 (TNA) Uttar Pradesh lost one of its most well-known faces late on Tuesday as eminent businessman and head of the multi-crore Sahara India Pariwar, Subrata Roy Sahara passed away after a prolonged battle with blood cancer. The end came at the Kokilaben hospital in Mumbai where he was undergoing treatment for the past some time.
Rising from humble background to being the head of the biggest group of employees in the private sector, Roy rose to dizzying heights in his chequered career. Roy's journey began with his education in mechanical engineering from the Government Technical Institute in Gorakhpur.
He ventured into business in Gorakhpur before taking over Sahara Finance, a struggling chit-fund company, in 1976. By 1978, he had transformed it into Sahara India Pariwar, which would grow to become one of India's largest conglomerates.
Under Roy's leadership, Sahara expanded into numerous businesses. The group launched the Hindi language newspaper Rashtriya Sahara in 1992, initiated the ambitious Aamby Valley City project near Pune in the late 1990s, and entered the television space with Sahara TV, later renamed Sahara One. In the 2000s, Sahara made international headlines with the acquisition of iconic properties such as London's Grosvenor House Hotel and New York City's Plaza Hotel.
Sahara India Pariwar was once hailed by Time magazine as the second-largest employer in India after Indian Railways, boasting a workforce of around 1.2 million people. The group claimed to have more than 9 crore investors, representing a significant portion of Indian households.
Despite his business successes, Roy faced legal challenges. In 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered his 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, with Roy spending time in Tihar Jail and eventually being released on parole. The case revolved around SEBI's demand for Sahara to refund billions to investors, with the Supreme Court setting up a "Sahara-Sebi refund account" for this purpose.