The founder of Sahara India Pariwar, Subrata Roy, died at the age of 75 on November 14, 2023. Roy, who was born in Araria, Bihar, on June 10, 1948, occupied a prominent position in the Indian business arena. He had successfully built an extensive conglomerate that encompassed diverse sectors such as finance, real estate, media, and hospitality.
Roy commenced his professional trajectory by completing his mechanical engineering studies at the Government Technical Institute in Gorakhpur. He engaged in entrepreneurial activities in Gorakhpur prior to assuming control of Sahara Finance, an ailing chit fund organization, in 1976. He had converted it into Sahara India Pariwar by 1978; it subsequently expanded to become one of the most prominent conglomerates in India.
Under the direction of Roy, Sahara grew into a multitude of enterprises. The organization introduced the Hindi-language publication Rashtriya Sahara in 1992, commenced the ambitious Aamby Valley City venture in the late 1990s in proximity to Pune, and entered the television industry with Sahara TV, which was subsequently rebranded as Sahara One. During the 2000s, Sahara garnered significant global attention through its acquisition of renowned establishments, including the Plaza Hotel in New York City and the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The Sahara in India At one point, Time magazine ranked Pariwar as the second-largest employer in India, trailing only the Indian Railways, with an estimated 1.2 million employees. The organization asserted that it had over 9 crore investors, which accounted for a substantial proportion of Indian households.
In spite of his fortunes in business, Roy encountered legal obstacles. Detention was mandated by the Supreme Court of India in 2014 on account of his non-appearance in court concerning a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). As a consequence, an extended legal dispute ensued, during which Roy was confined to Tihar Jail before being granted parole. The Supreme Court established a “Sahara-Sebi refund account” in response to SEBI’s formal request that Sahara reimburse investors billions of dollars.
His legal issues did not detract from Roy’s significant contributions to the business world. The University of East London bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate in business leadership, and the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London named him Business Icon of the Year. Among his many other awards and distinctions. Additionally, India Today frequently included him on its list of the most influential individuals in India.
Roy, in his later years, pursued forward-thinking endeavors, including Sahara Evols, an enterprise that provided an assortment of electric vehicles, and intended to enter the online education industry with Edunguru, with a specific focus on small towns and villages.
Subrata Roy’s existence was characterized by noteworthy accomplishments as well as significant controversies. His passing brings to mind a man who was once one of India’s most significant industrialists and whose business empire had an impact on millions of people there. In the midst of the Sahara Group’s mourning over its founder, Subrata Roy’s visionary drive and enterprising nature will leave an enduring imprint.