Subrata Roy

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Subrata Roy
Subrata Roy Sahara.jpg
Born (1948-06-10) 10 June 1948 (age 66)
Araria, Bihar, India
Residence Lucknow
Nationality Indian
Other names Saharasri
Ethnicity Bengali
Occupation Founder and Chairman of the Sahara India
Years active 1978 – present
Home town Lucknow
Spouse(s) Swapna Roy
Children 2

Subrata Roy (Bengali: সুব্রত রায়, Hindi: सुब्रत रॉय, Urdu: صُبراته رائى‎) (born 10 June 1948) is an Indian businessman and the founder and chairman of the Sahara India, an Indian conglomerate with diversified ownership interests that include London's Grosvenor House, New York's Plaza Hotel, Aamby Valley City and Force India. Roy founded the company in 1978.

He was named among the 10 Most Powerful People of India in 2012 by India Today. In 2004, the group was termed by the Time magazine as ‘the second largest employer in India' after the Indian Railways.

Early life[edit]

Subrata Roy was born in Araria in Bihar, India 1948[1] to Sudhir Chandra Roy and Srimati Chhabi Roy.[2][3] He studied at Holy Child School in Kolkata and later studied mechanical engineering from Government Technical Institute, Gorakhpur.[4] Roy started his first business in Gorakhpur.[5][6]

Business career[edit]

Main article: Sahara India Pariwar

Roy joined Sahara Finance, a struggling company, in 1978,[7][8] that ran a chit fund[9] and took it over. He changed its financial model. Sahara is said to have used the financial model of much older Peerless Group. They are termed residuary non-banking companies (RNBCs)[10] that accept deposits of very low amounts.

In 1990s, Roy moved to Lucknow which became the base of his empire.[11] His Sahara City project covering 170 acres was launched in 1990s.[12] From there, it went on to become the largest conglomerate of India with a diversified range of business interests. The company now has interests in real estate, media, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, and hospitality.

The Hindi newspaper Rashtriya Sahara was started in 1992. In late 1990s, the ambitious Aamby Valley City project near Pune was initiated. In 2000, Sahara TV was launched which was later renamed Sahara One. In 2003, Sahara started three weeklies: Sahara Time (English), Sahara Samay (Hindi) and Sahara Aalmi (Urdu).[13]

In 2010, Sahara purchased the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel in London,[14] and 2012 the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City.[15] In 2013, Sahara made a bid for Oakley Court Hotel, in Windsor, but was not successful.[16]

Sahara claims to have a workforce of more than a million, including salaried employees and field workers.[17] In 2013, 121,653 of its employees gathered in Lucknow to sing the India's national anthem, setting a world record[18]

Sahara is said to have 29.6 million investors, representing about 8.5% of all households in India.[19]

Humanitarian efforts[edit]

In 2013, Sahara contributed to the relief efforts in flood hit Uttarakhand region wherein one lakh bottles of drinking water, juice bottles and food packets along with candles and match boxes were said to provided by them. There were 25 medical health unit vans equipped with doctors and free medicines made available and It was said by the group that, they will contribute to the rehabilitation programme by constructing 10,000 pre-fabricated houses.[20]

Awards and honors[edit]

Subrata Roy received an honorary doctorate in business leadership from the University of East London (2013).[21]

He also received the Business Icon of the Year award at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London in 2011.[22] He has been the ITA – TV Icon of the Year 2007. He has received the Global Leadership Award in 2004. He received Businessmen of the Year Award in 2002, the Best Industrialist Award in 2002, Vishisht Rashtriya Udaan Samman (2010) by a daily from India’s top most publication house, Vocational Award for Excellence (2010) by Rotary International, Karmaveer Samman (1995), Udyam Shree (1994), Baba-E-Rozgar Award (1992) and the National Citizen Award in 2001. He was awarded a general jury award by the Indian Television Academy Awards. He has been also awarded with honorary degree of D. Litt. by Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Darbhanga.[23] Moreover, he has been featured regularly in the India Today list of 50 Most Powerful People of India, since 2003.

In 2012, Roy was named among the 10 most influential businessmen in India by the news magazine India Today.[24]

In 2004, Sahara India was termed by Time magazine as "the second largest employer in India" after Indian Railways.[25]

Work philosophy[edit]

Roy has propounded the corporate philosophy of ‘Collective Materialism’,[26] that advocates collective growth through collective sharing and caring.

He has written two books.

  • "Shanti, Sukh: Santushti" 1994, Essays on peace of mind and happy living.[27]
  • "Maan, Samman, Atmasamman"[28]

Arrest and imprisonment[edit]

On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered the arrest of Subrata Roy for failing to appear before it in connection with the Rs. 24,000 crore deposits his company has not refunded to investors. He was eventually arrested on 28 February 2014 by Uttar Pradesh police on Supreme Court's warrant, in a dispute with Market Regulator - SEBI.[29] In a statement after the arrest, his lawyer said Mr. Roy's 92-year-old mother was in poor health and needed "her eldest son" by her side, and hence he failed to appear at the court.[30] As he has failed to appear in court during the ongoing legal battle, Mr. Roy has been in custody in the Tihar Jail, Delhi, since 4 March 2014 and his bail plea has been rejected by the Supreme Court of India. Sahara was allowed to sell a part of its assets in India to raise part of the money in question.[31] He was granted interim bail by Supreme Court of India for the same on 26 March 2014 on condition of depositing Rs 10,000 crore with the market regulator Sebi.[32] His deposit of 10,000 crore has not been made and Roy is still in jail.[33] As of August 2014, Roy is trying to sell some of his hotel properties to raise enough money.[34]


  1. ^ "Sahara India Pariwar". Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  2. ^ "India's Sahara Group". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  3. ^ বাঙ্গালীর বিত্ত সাধনা সাহারার ইতিকথা, (Bangalir Vitta Sadhana: Saharar Itikatha), Mani Shankar Mukherjee, 2003
  4. ^ "Subroto Roy Biography". 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Subrata Roy". 2003-07-10. Retrieved 2004-07-11. 
  6. ^ "Sahara India". 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Owner of Pune Warriors runs Sahara India Pariwar as managing worker". THE AUSTRALIAN. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  8. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara". Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  9. ^ Sahara chief, money all safe and well, Amrit Dhillon, 11 June 2005, South China Morning Post
  10. ^ RBI eases pressure on Sahara, Peerless, Sugata Ghosh, TNN 18 May 2005
  11. ^ Subrata Roy, Sahara chief, has friends across political, glamour spectrum, Manmohan Rai, ET Bureau, 1 March 2014
  12. ^ Subrata Roy's 'Sahara City' Stands on Scandalous Base, Shobhit Kalra, 7 Jul 2013
  13. ^ Sahara India launches 3 news weeklies PTI 11 May 2003
  14. ^ Sale of Plaza Hotel had to happen, Steve Cuozzo, 18 November 2013
  15. ^ Indian Conglomerate Buys New York’s Plaza Hotel, NEHA THIRANI, AUGUST 1, 2012
  16. ^ The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor – SOLD!
  17. ^ Sahara India under PF Department's scanner; company asked to submit all employee details, Vikas Dhoot, ET Bureau 12 Jan 2013
  18. ^ Over one lakh Sahara employees break world record for largest group to sing national anthem By MAIL TODAY REPORTER, 7 May 2013
  19. ^ Sahara’s phantom investors: Why Subrata Roy’s numbers don’t add up, R Jagannathan 1 March 2014
  20. ^ "Sahara joins Uttarakhand relief work - The Times of India". Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  21. ^ "UK university confers honorary doctorate on Subrata Roy". 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  22. ^ "Grand lounch of Powerbrand". 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  23. ^ "Mithila varsity confers D Litt on Subrata Roy - Times Of India". 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  24. ^ "High and Mighty-2012". Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  25. ^ Perry, Alex (2004-12-06). "A Tale of Two Indias". TIME. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  26. ^ "Wearing Nationalism On His Sleeve". Business Standard. 2002-09-18. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  27. ^ The quirks and eccentricities of 'Saharasri' Subrata Roy, Jency Jacob, 1 March 2014
  28. ^ Subrata Roy: Confident of swimming the troubled waters, AMRITA NAIR-GHASWALLA, 8 September 2012
  29. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara surrenders before Police in Lucknow". IANS. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  30. ^ Roy, Subrata. "Profile of Subrata Roy". Profile. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  31. ^ Supreme Court again rejects Sahara chief Roy's bail plea
  32. ^ "SC grants conditional bail to Sahara chief Subrata Roy". Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  33. ^ "Supreme Court again rejects Sahara chief Roy's bail plea". Reuters. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "From Tihar jail, Sahara chief Subrata Roy tries to sell the New York Plaza". Times of India. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 

External links[edit]