Sahara India Pariwar
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|Privately held company|
|Subrata Roy (Chairman)|
IT services and outsourcing
Sahara India Pariwar is an Indian conglomerate headquartered in Lucknow, India. The group operates business sectors like finance, infrastructure & housing, media & entertainment, health care, education, hospitality and information technology. The group has been a major promoter of sports in India and was the title sponsor of the Indian national cricket team, Indian national hockey team and many other sports.
Sahara India Pariwar was founded by Subrata Roy. In 2004, Sahara group was termed by the Time magazine as ‘the second largest employer in India' after the Indian Railways. The group operates more than 5,000 establishments spread across pan India with the employee strength around 1.4 million under the Sahara India umbrella.
Sahara India Real Estate Company and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation, subsidiaries of the conglomerate, buy and develop land for residential housing projects across India. The company has projects in Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Kochi, Coimbatore, Gurgaon and Pune. Sahara has a collaboration with Turner Construction, an American building company, in some of its projects.
Sahara owns several professional sports teams in India in a variety of sports. In badminton, it owns the Awadhe Warriors of Lucknow, one of the eight teams in the Indian Badminton League'. It owned the Pune Warriors India, a franchise cricket team that played in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The company launched the Sahara Warriors Polo Team in 2012. From 2005 to 2014 Calcutta Football League is also sponsored by Sahara. In July 2012, Sahara India Praiser picked up the Lucknow franchise of the Hockey India League, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards. It was also the sponsor of the Bangladesh Cricket Team from 2012 to 2015.
Media and entertainment
The group owns the national Hindi news channel Samay and 36 city specific regional news channels Sahara Samay. It also owns Sahara One, a general entertainment channel; Filmy, a Hindi movie channel; and Firangi, an entertainment channel. Sahara Samay received the "Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award" in 2008 for its network newsroom technology.
The group owns publishes and sells one magazine in English, seven editions of the Hindi daily newspaper Rashtriya Sahara, nine editions of Urdu Daily Newspaper Roznama Rashtriya Sahara and one International Urdu Weekly, Aalmi Sahara.
Sahara had produced, marketed, and distributed Hindi and other regional language films. Well known films produced by the company include Bewafaa, Page 3, Sarkar, No Entry, and Wanted. In September 2010, the company was in talks to acquire MGM Studios, but the deal collapsed. Sahara is willing to try again to take over MGM.
Sahara owned a controlling stake in New York City's Plaza Hotel and Dream Downtown Hotel, New York. Sahara entered into an agreement to sell the Plaza Hotel to Shahal M. Khan and Kamran Hakim for $600 million in May 2018.
In India, the group owns the "Sahara Star" hotel near Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Sahara has interests in insurance and asset management. Sahara India Life Insurance Company Ltd. (SILICL) is a life insurance company in the private sector Sahara Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd. manages 16 equity and debt mutual funds. Sahara Banking & Financial Services Fund has been adjudged the Best Performing Banking Sector Fund over a three-year performance by the international agency "Lippers" in 2012.
On 13 August 2012, Sahara India announced the opening of their retail FMCG business named 'Q shop' (Quality shop) with an initial investment of Rs. 30 billion. Sahara also announced hiring 600,000 sales personnel and 3000 customer care executives. At its launch, Subrata Roy said that Sahara had been planning for this venture for the last two years and was opening 'Q shops' in major cities across the country to provide adulteration-free consumer merchandise including processed food and beverages to buyers. The group said it would set up 305 warehouses in 285 cities in a phased manner.
The group owns a hospital in Lucknow. This hospital became operational in February 2009 and is currently operating with approximately 350 beds, including 120 bed Critical Care Infrastructure which is expandable to 554 beds.
Under the name "Sahara Next", the company offers information technology consulting services in banking, finance, media and entertainment, chemicals and CRM.
Subrata Roy has been planning to foray into online education in India, which is targeted at small towns and villages. He has put in place a team which consists of members from top universities and colleges across India and abroad. The route map of the program has been prepared, and 14,000 hours of lectures have been prepared for this. The group also announced on 1 July 2018, that it is entering into new businesses which are at different levels of development, and will be launched one after another in the year.
The group owned an airline, Air Sahara, which it sold to Jet Airways in 2007.
The team went into administration in mid 2018 and was later sold and renamed Racing Point Force India F1 Team.
The group runs a school in Pune, the International School Aamby – Aamby Valley.
Being a largely unlisted company Sahara India Parivar's activities have in recent times come under criticism. This includes allegations of unknown sources of capital, favourable treatment by political parties.
On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India had issues warrants to summon Subrata Roy, Managing Worker, Chairman and founder of Sahara India Pariwar, on a litigation on the Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures issued by the two companies of Sahara India Pariwar to which Securities and Exchange Board of India had claimed its jurisdiction and objected on why Sahara has not taken permission from it. Sahara has claimed that the said bonds are hybrid product, thus does not come under the jurisdiction of SEBI, instead is governed by Registrar of Companies (ROC) under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, from which the two companies of Sahara has already taken permission and submitted the red herring prospectus with ROC before issuing the bonds.
SEBI in return ordered Sahara's two companies to stop issuing the said bonds and return money to investors. Sahara contested the case in various courts which eventually came to Supreme Court of India. On June 14, 2012, (during the final hearing of the case), the group had provided details of its financials up to April 30, 2012. While the court reserved its order, Sahara claims that it has already paid to 95% of the investors and discharged its OFCD liability to the tune of Rs. 23500 crores and only around Rs. 2260.69 crores are left against which Sahara has already deposited more than Rs. 12,000 crore which has with interest swelled to Rs. 16000 Crore. By August 31, 2012 the date of Supreme Court order, the group repaid majority of its OFCD investors between May the last date of hearing and by August 30, 2012 the final order. Since these repayments have not been taken into consideration, Sahara maintains that any money paid now will obviously mean a double payment towards one liability.
It is also been reported that Sahara has paid Rs 725.97 crore as TDS (tax deducted at source) to the Income Tax Departments on the interest which along with investment was repaid to 95 percent of the investors, between 2009-10 and 2012-13. The income tax authorities had found that the beneficiary investors were existent and accordingly confirmed the repayments made in those particular years. One of Sahara’s arguments in the apex court revolves around the fact that if one government body has found investors, why can't the other.
The case itself comprises big numbers such as collection of over Rs 24,000 crore from three crore individuals, while once in 2013 Sahara sent 127 trucks containing 31,669 cartons full of over three crore application forms and two crore redemption vouchers to Sebi office. Apparently, this had resulted into a huge traffic jam on outskirts of Mumbai, where the regulator is headquartered. SEBI on the other hand because the trucks reached after office hours SEBI rejected the second batch of files, which as per Sahara contained 25% of the investor information.
Furthermore, the market regulator SEBI advertised four times in more than 144 newspapers to ask the investors of Sahara to refund the money. And since August 2012 Sebi has only refunded Rs. 64 crore to the investors while it has Rs. 16000 crore from Sahara. On October 2014, a shocking revelation was made when only around 4,600 investors in two Sahara group companies had come forward to claim refunds from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which had asked those who had purchased bonds issued by the entities to claim their money. This gave a valid point to Sahara's argument before courts that it had repaid most of the investors who had come forward to claim the investment which they had made in bonds issued by two group companies.
Reports also suggested that between the time that SEBI first initiated the inquiry four years ago and Roy’s eventual detention and it is to note that till today there is not a single charge against him, there has not been a single instance of an investor in either of the two Sahara firms under watch actually filing a police complaint or going to court..
He was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on 26 March 2014 on the condition that he would deposit the huge bail amount of Rs 10,000 crore. Subrata was eventually taken into judicial custody and sent to Tihar jail, along with two other Sahara directors, on 4 March 2014 for failing to deposit Rs 10,000 crore with SEBI. In Tihar jail, Subrata unsuccessfully tried to sell some of his hotel properties to raise Rs 10,000 crore for his bail bond. He remained in Tihar jail for more than two years, and was released on parole in May 2016 to attend the last rites of his deceased mother.
On 1st July 2018, the group revealed that majority of Rs 20,000 crore of Sahara's money (including the interest) which is with SEBI will be refunded back to Sahara India as the group had already made majority of the payments to its investors. The group also stated that SEBI will be directed to start the verification of the documents of Sahara’s investors, which are already provided to them by Sahara India Pariwar. Despite the double payment for single liability, Sahara India has been continuously depositing money of around Rs 20,000 crore (including interest earned) in Sahara-Sebi account.
The Sahara Welfare Foundation, the social development unit of Sahara India Pariwar, runs social welfare projects. The company assisted the families of Indian soldiers killed in the Kargil war with a commitment of 500 million (USD 10.65 million )  The company claims to have assisted families whose homes were damaged in the 2006 Gujarat earthquake. Other welfare activities include water purification systems and education resource systems in Indian villages.
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 be 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 program by constructing 10,000 pre-fabricated houses.
Guinness World records
- Sahara holds the record for the most people singing a national anthem simultaneously. 121,653 employees of the company sang India's national anthem on 6 May 2013 in Lucknow, India.
- Sahara India Pariwar's Sahara Q Shop entered into the Guinness World Records when it opened record 315 outlets in 10 states of India, all at once on 1 April 2013.
- India, Sahara. "Sahara India Pariwar:: Commitment - World's Largest Family". www.sahara.in.
- "India Cricket News: Sahara Group mulls sponsorship re-bid for Indian team". ESPN Cricinfo. 8 December 2013.
- "Owner of Pune Warriors runs Sahara India Pariwar as managing worker". THE AUSTRALIAN. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Subrata Roy Sahara". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Tamal, Bandyopadhyay (June 2014). Sahara: The Untold Story (1 ed.). Delhi, India: Jaico Publishers. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- Sahara Group enters real estate, The Economic Times, 5 February 2008
- THE GOOD LIFE, INDIA TODAY, 15 February 2008
- Sahara launches construction JV with Turner, rel="nofollow",REUTERS, 9 February 2012
- Sahara buys IBL's Lucknow franchise, The Times of India, 16 July 2013
- 2 New IPL Team, The Times of India, 22 March 2010
- "Sahara India Pariwar launches Polo team Sahara Warriors". 22 November 2012.
- "Sahara to own hockey franchise". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 July 2012.
- "Sahara set to become Bangladesh sponsor". IBNLive. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- Samay bags international honour, The Economic Times, 6 April 2005
- Sahara plans three weekly newspapers, Rediff.com, 1 February 2003
- Sahara One Motion Pictures – a banner in the right direction, IndiaGlitz.com,5 September 2006
- Indian Congolomerate In Talks About MGM Bid, Reuters, 18 September 2010
- Sahara Says MGM Studio Creditors Reject $2 Billion Bid, Google, 24 September 2010
- Sahara Still Committed to Finalizing MGM Bid, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 September 2010
- "Sahara checks into iconic New York hotel". Hindustan Times. 31 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 January 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Sahara buys UK hotel for Rs 3,275cr, The Times of India, 31 December 2010
- "Deal Is Reached to Sell the Plaza Hotel". 3 May 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- "LIPPER FUND AWARDS 2012 INDIA WINNERS LIST, "cafemutual.com"" (PDF).
- Sahara enters retail, to launch 800 'Q' Shops, Business Today, 16 August 2012
- Sahara in Rs. 3,000-cr ‘Q Shop’ retail foray, Hindustan Times, 13 August 2012
- Ahadion, Ayat (June 5, 2017). "Sahara Q shop makes it to the Guinness World Records" (Press release). Good Herald. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
- Nawabi Entry in Healthcare, Express Healthcare, 1 April 2009
- "Sahara confident of getting out of financial constraints by FY19". Deccan Chronicle.
- "Sahara Group takes 42.5% stake in Force India Formula One team". The Guardian. London: The Guardian. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "Sahara buys 42% stake in Mallya's Force India F1 team". The Times of India. The Times Group. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "International school aamby :: Educationworld.in". Educationworld.in.
- Bandyopadhyay, Tamal. "Excerpt from the book "Sahara: The untold story"". Business Today. Jaico Publishers. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Sahara to get truckloads of papers back from Sebi". Times Of India. Retrieved Feb 15, 2016.
- "4,600 Sahara investors claim refund from Sebi". Times Of India. Retrieved Oct 10, 2014.
- "Subrata Roy arrest row: The not-so-beautiful story". Indian Express. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "SC grants conditional bail to Sahara chief Subrata Roy". Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "Subrata Roy sent to Tihar jail: Full text of SC order on Sahara case". First Post. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- "From Tihar jail, Sahara chief Subrata Roy tries to sell the New York Plaza". Times of India. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "SC grants four-week parole to Sahara chief". The Hindu. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- "Sahara says confident of getting out of financial constraints by next fiscal, entering new businesses". Times of India.
- "Sahara says confident of getting out of financial constraints by next fiscal, entering new businesses". Moneycontrol.
- Sahara to put in Rs1000 crore in welfare foundation, DNA, 5 February 2012
- Sahara Welfare Foundation, Sahara India
- , Sahara Welfare Foundation
- Sahara to pay martyrs' families 5 times salary for 10 yrs , The Indian Express
- Sahara will pay salaries of Mumbai martyrs , The Economic Times
- Sahara to pay martyrs' families , DNA
- Sahara India to adopt 1,000 villages for all round development , The Economic Times, 10 June 2013
- Sahara flags off prog to adopt 1,000 villages, The Economic Times, 12 June 2013
- Subrata Roy Sahara Announced to Adopt 1000 Villages in 7 States Under CSR , India CSR, 1 April 2013
- "Sahara joins Uttarakhand relief work -". The Times of India. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- "Sahara's national anthem feat gets Guinness honour", The Times of India, 7 May 2013