Lucknow-based Sahara Group’s founder, Subrata Roy, breathed his last at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute (KDAH) in Mumbai on Tuesday. At the age of 75, he leaves behind his wife Swapna Roy and sons, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy.
Born on June 10, 1948, in Araria, Bihar, Subrata Roy was a trailblazer in the world of Indian business and chose to be recognized as the “managing worker” while referring to his group as a “pariwar” (family). At its peak, the Sahara Group employed an estimated 1.2 million workers, reflecting Roy’s vision of inclusive growth.
As a first-generation entrepreneur, Roy established a diverse business empire that expanded into various industries such as finance, real estate, aviation, media, health, and hospitality. Notably, his group sponsored the Indian cricket team for an impressive 11 years, solidifying his influence across different realms.
However, in later years, Subrata Roy’s reputation was marred by legal controversies. In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered his detention for failing to appear in court regarding a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Sebi had demanded the group to refund billions of investors’ money. Consequently, Roy spent over two years in Tihar jail before being released on parole in May 2016. Recently, the Supreme Court established a “Sahara-Sebi refund account” to facilitate the repayment process.
The Sahara India Pariwar released a statement expressing their sorrow over the loss of their esteemed leader, Subrata Roy Sahara. It revealed that his demise on November 14, 2023, at 10.30pm, was a result of cardiorespiratory arrest following a prolonged battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes. Sahara India Pariwar further added that details regarding the last rites would be shared in due course.
Subrata Roy’s journey as an entrepreneur began in Gorakhpur, where he took charge of a small chit fund company in 1976. Within a span of two years, he turned it around, establishing the foundation of Sahara India Pariwar. By the turn of the century, his conglomerate had become one of the largest in the country.
Roy’s legacy extends beyond the business realm. Aside from initiating a newspaper and TV channels, he undertook ambitious projects such as the Aamby Valley City between Pune and Mumbai in the 1990s. His acquisitions included prestigious properties like London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Moreover, he co-owned the Force India F1 team with Vijay Mallya before eventually acquiring it and renaming it Sahara Force India.
The Sahara Group’s statement aptly describes Subrata Roy as “a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege to work alongside him.” His visionary spirit and unwavering determination have left an indelible mark on the Indian business landscape.
What is the Sahara Group?
The Sahara Group is a prominent business conglomerate founded by Subrata Roy, with diverse interests in sectors such as finance, real estate, aviation, media, health, and hospitality.
How long was Subrata Roy associated with the Indian cricket team?
The Sahara Group sponsored the Indian cricket team for an impressive 11 years.
What led to Subrata Roy’s legal troubles?
Subrata Roy’s legal troubles arose from a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) regarding the refund of investors’ money. His failure to appear in court resulted in his detention and subsequent imprisonment.
What were some notable acquisitions made by Subrata Roy?
Subrata Roy acquired prestigious properties such as London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and New York City’s Plaza Hotel, showcasing his global reach and ambition.
What is Sahara Force India?
Sahara Force India was an Indian Formula 1 team co-owned by Subrata Roy and Vijay Mallya. After acquiring the team, Roy renamed it Sahara Force India.