|Subrata Roy Sahara|
10 June 1948 |
Araria, Bihar, India
|Occupation||Founder and Chairman of the Sahara India Pariwar|
|Years active||1978 – present|
|Known for||Owner of Grosvenor House, Aamby Valley City, Plaza Hotel, Dream Downtown Hotel|
Subrata Roy Sahara (born 10 June 1948) is an Indian businessman and the founder and chairman of the Sahara India Pariwar, an Indian conglomerate with diversified ownership interests that includes 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. In 2014, Sahara was briefly jailed and then released on bail for contempt of court in a case involving alleged money laundering by the Sahara Group.
Subrata Roy was born in Araria in Bihar, India 1948 to Sudhir Chandra Roy and Srimati Chhabi Roy. He studied at Holy Child School in Kolkata and later studied diploma in mechanical engineering from Government Technical Institute, Gorakhpur. Roy started his first business in Gorakhpur.
Roy joined Sahara Finance, a struggling company, in 1978, that ran a chit fund 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) that accept deposits of very low amounts.
In 1990s, Roy moved to Lucknow which became the base of his empire. His Sahara City project covering 170 acres was launched in 1990s. 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).
In 2010, Sahara purchased the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and 2012 the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City. In 2013, Sahara made a bid for Oakley Court Hotel, in Windsor, but was not successful.
Sahara claims to have a workforce of more than a million, including salaried employees and field workers. In 2013, 121,653 of its employees gathered in Lucknow to sing the India's national anthem, setting a world record
Sahara is said to have 29.6 million investors. This represents about 8.5% of all the households in India. Sahara collected sums as small as Rs. 20 rupees a day from people like rickshaw pullers, dhobis and tire repairmen. Agents working on commission promise to return an agreed-upon amount after a specified period
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.
Awards and honors
Subrata Roy Sahara has received an honorary doctorate in business leadership from the University of East London (2013).
He also received the Business Icon of the Year award at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London in 2011. 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.http://www.indiantelevisionacademy.com/site/awards_hhita_details_new.php?year=2007 He has been also awarded with honorary degree of D. Litt. by Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Darbhanga. Moreover, he has been featured regularly in the India Today (India’s leading magazine) list of 50 Most Powerful People of India, since 2003.
Roy has propounded the corporate philosophy of ‘Collective Materialism’, 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.
- "Maan, Samman, Atmasamman"
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 its 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. 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. 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.  As he has failed to appear in court during the ongoing legal battle, Mr. Roy has been in custody in a Delhi jail since March 4, 2014 and has been rejected his bail plea 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.
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- Sahara chief, money all safe and well, Amrit Dhillon, 11 June 2005, South China Morning Post
- RBI eases pressure on Sahara, Peerless, Sugata Ghosh, TNN 18 May 2005
- Subrata Roy, Sahara chief, has friends across political, glamour spectrum, Manmohan Rai, ET Bureau, 1 March 2014
- Subrata Roy's 'Sahara City' Stands on Scandalous Base, Shobhit Kalra, 7 Jul 2013
- Sahara India launches 3 news weeklies PTI 11 May 2003
- Sale of Plaza Hotel had to happen, Steve Cuozzo, 18 November 2013
- Indian Conglomerate Buys New York’s Plaza Hotel, NEHA THIRANI, AUGUST 1, 2012
- The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor – SOLD!
- Sahara India under PF Department's scanner; company asked to submit all employee details, Vikas Dhoot, ET Bureau 12 Jan 2013
- Over one lakh Sahara employees break world record for largest group to sing national anthem By MAIL TODAY REPORTER, 7 May 2013
- Sahara’s phantom investors: Why Subrata Roy’s numbers don’t add up, R Jagannathan 1 March 2014
- India Shadow Banker Fights to Keep Empire Built on Poor, Anto Antony and Bhuma Shrivastava, 2 December 2013
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- The quirks and eccentricities of 'Saharasri' Subrata Roy, Jency Jacob, 1 March 2014
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- "Subrata Roy Sahara surrenders before Police in Lucknow". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Roy, Subrata. "Profile of Subrata Roy". Profile. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "SC grants conditional bail to Sahara chief Subrata Roy". http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- Supreme Court again rejects Sahara chief Roy's bail plea