Subrata Roy
Subrata Roy

Guwahati: Sahara Group founder and chairman Subrata Roy passed away at the age of 75 in Mumbai on Tuesday night.

Roy had been undergoing treatment for a prolonged illness at a local private hospital for an extended period.

The mortal remains of Sahara Group Chairman Roy will be brought to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday for the last rites.

Born in Bihar’s Araria in 1948, Roy’s rags-to-riches story started with the inception of Sahara India Pariwar in 1978.

Starting with a capital of only Rs. 2,000, the company has traversed a long way to become a frontrunner in entrepreneurship, the company says on its website.

Roy’s family later moved from Bihar to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Subsequently, Roy shifted to Lucknow in the 1990s and made the city the headquarters of his group.

Sahara Group founder and chairman is survived by his wife Swapna Roy and two sons, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy, who live abroad.

According to the company statement, he passed away at 10.30 pm due to cardiorespiratory arrest following an extended battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes.

He was hospitalized at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute (KDAH) following a decline in health.

“It is with profound sadness that Sahara India Pariwar informs the demise of our Hon’ble ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara. Saharasri ji an inspirational leader and visionary, passed away on 14th November 2023 at 10.30 pm due to cardiorespiratory arrest following an extended battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes,” Sahara India Pariwar said in a statement.

“His loss will be deeply felt by the entire Sahara India Pariwar. Saharasri ji was a guiding force, a mentor, and a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege to work alongside him,” the group said.

However, Sahara Group faced a magnitude of problems over funds in a case that has now come to be known as the “Sahara chit fund scam.”

In 2012, what began with the Supreme Court ruling as illegal an investor scheme by Sahara further grew into a much larger controversy with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Himachal Pradesh High Court asking the Enforcement Directorate to look into alleged money laundering by the Lucknow-based group.

Thereafter, for years, Sahara fought the cases in court until it was told to refund depositors.

Roy was arrested in 2014 on the orders of the Supreme Court after he failed to appear before it in a contempt case arising out of a non-refund of more than Rs. 20,000 crore to investors by two of his companies.

The group was eventually asked to deposit an estimated Rs. 24,000 crore with Sebi for a further refund to investors, though the group always maintained it amounted to “double payment” as it had already refunded more than 95 per cent of investors directly.

Sahara Group went on to own landmark global properties, including New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s iconic Grosvenor House.

Under Roy’s leadership, Sahara also sponsored the Indian cricket and hockey teams and owned a Formula One racing team.

The weddings of his two sons around two decades ago are still amongst the biggest parties ever seen in the country.

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