Subrata Roy

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Subrata Roy
Subrata Roy.jpg
Born (1948-06-10) 10 June 1948 (age 74)
Araria, Bihar, India
EducationMechanical engineering from Government Technical Institute, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
OccupationFounder and Chairman of Sahara India Pariwar
Years active1978 – present
SpouseSwapna Roy

Subrata Roy (born 10 June 1948) is an Indian businessman who founded Sahara India Pariwar in 1978.

Sahara India Pariwar has operated a vast number of businesses such as Aamby Valley City, Sahara Movie Studios, Air Sahara, hockey sports, Filmy, among others.

Roy was named among the 10 Most Powerful People of India in 2012 by India Today. In 2004, Sahara group was termed by Time magazine as 'the second largest employer in India after Indian Railways. The group operates through more than 5,000 establishments spread across India[1] and has a workforce of around 1.2 million (both field and office) under the Sahara India umbrella.[2]

Early life[edit]

Subrata Roy was born in Bengali Hindu family in Araria on 10 June 1948[3] to Sudhir Chandra Roy and Chhabi Roy.[4][5] He studied at Holy Child Institute in Kolkata and later studied mechanical engineering from Government Technical Institute, Gorakhpur.[6] Roy started his first business in Gorakhpur.[7][8][9]

Business career[edit]

Roy joined Sahara Finance, a struggling company, in 1976,[10][11] that ran a chit fund[12] and took it over. He changed its financial model in 1978. Sahara is said to have used the financial model of much older Peerless Group. They are termed residuary non-banking companies (RNBCs)[13] that accept deposits of very low amounts.

In the 1990s, Roy moved to Lucknow which became the base of his group.[14] His Sahara City project covering 217 self-sufficient townships was launched in the 1990s.[15] 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 financial services, education, real estate, media, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, and hospitality.

The Hindi newspaper Rashtriya Sahara was started in 1992. In the 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).[16]

In 2010, Sahara purchased the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel in London,[17] and 2012 the historic Plaza Hotel and Dream Downtown Hotel in New York City.[18]

Sahara has a workforce of around 1.2 million including Salaried Employees, Consultants, Field Workers, Agents & Business Associates, etc.[19] In 2004, Sahara group was termed by Time magazine as "the second-largest employer in India" after the Government-run Indian Railways.

Sahara is said to have 9 crore plus investors and depositors, representing about 13% of all households in India.[20]

Roy has been planning to foray into online education (edunguru) in India, which is targeted at small towns and villages. He has put a team in place which consists of members from top universities and colleges across India, and even abroad.[21] The route map of the program has been prepared, and 14,000 hours of lectures have been developed for this.[22]

In June 2019 Roy announced his foray into the automobile sector under the brand name 'Sahara Evols'. The Sahara Evols venture will offer a wide range of electric vehicles (EVs) along with advanced allied services.[23][24]

Humanitarian efforts[edit]

In 2013, Sahara contributed to the relief efforts in flood hit Uttarakhand region wherein one lakh bottles of drinking water, packaged juice 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 programme by constructing 10,000 pre-fabricated houses.[25]

Post Kargil War, the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee praised Sahara India led by Subrata Roy Sahara for providing financial support to the 127 families of martyrs.[26]

Subrata Roy owned Hotel Sahara Star Mumbai has joined hands with Feeding India to give back to the society. As a part of its CSR initiatives, the hotel will be providing food to the ones in need.[27]

Awards and honors[edit]

Roy received an honorary doctorate in business leadership from the University of East London (2013).[28]

He also received the Business Icon of the Year award at the Powerbrands Hall of Fame Awards in London in 2011.[29]

He has been the ITA – TV Icon of the Year 2007. He has received the Global Leadership Award in 2004.[30]

Subrata Roy received Businessmen of the Year Award in 2002, the Best Industrialist Award in 2002, Vishisht Rashtriya Udaan Samman (2010) by a daily from one of India's top publication houses, 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.[31]

He has been also awarded honorary degree of D. Litt. by Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Darbhanga.[32]

Moreover, he has been featured regularly in the India Today list of 50 Most Powerful People of India, since 2003.[33]

In 2004, Sahara India was termed by Time magazine as "the second largest employer in India" after Indian Railways.[34][35]

In 2012, Roy was named among the 10 most influential businessmen in India by the news magazine India Today.[36]

Work philosophy[edit]

Roy has propounded the corporate philosophy of 'Collective Materialism',[37] that advocates collective growth through collective sharing and caring. He has given lectures on the corporate philosophy propounded by him at Harvard University, IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), IIM (Indian Institute of Management), Banares Hindu University and many other institutions.

He has written the following books -

  • Shanti, Sukh: Santushti - 1994, Essays on peace of mind and happy living.[38]
  • Maan, Samman, Atmasamman[39]
  • Life Mantras [40] - "Life Mantras" was released on 2 February 2016 in 5,120 public events across India. The book is the first of the trilogy written by Roy. The book was the best seller and was among the top 5 in the Nielsen BookScan bestseller chart for India for four consecutive weeks. Life Mantras topped the chart by ranking number one and has become a bestseller in the non-fiction category as tracked by Nielsen BookScan.[41]
  • Think With Me[42] - The second book of his trilogy was launched on 18 December 2016,[43] at the national 'Think With Summit'. The event proved to be a melting pot of ideas from visionaries and thought leaders. This edition talks about the importance of leadership and aligned all efforts towards the nation.

Legal issues[edit]

On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered the detention of Roy for failing to appear before it in connection with legal dispute with Market Regulator - SEBI.[44] In a statement after the arrest, his lawyer said 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.[45] As he failed to appear in the court during the ongoing legal battle, Roy was held in custody in the Tihar Jail, Delhi and is now out on parole since May 2016. Sahara was allowed to sell a part of its assets in India to raise part of the money in question.[46]

Roy has rejected allegations of misconduct and has alleged Indian National Congress of witch hunt due to his opposition to Sonia Gandhi over becoming the country's prime minister.[47]

Initially he was granted interim bail by Supreme Court of India on 26 March 2014 on condition of depositing ₹10,000 crore to the market regulator SEBI.[48] His deposit of ₹10,000 crore has not been made.[49] As of August 2014, Roy was trying to sell some of his hotel properties to raise enough money.[50] Roy was granted his first bail in May 2017 for four weeks to perform the last rites for his deceased mother, later extended to 24 October.[51] Since then he has been successful in getting his bail extended on various grounds. As of 31 January 2019, Sahara still had to pay ₹10,621 crore to meet its total liability.[52]

Roy claims that the company's fundamentals are intact and assets are greater (3 to 5 times) than the liabilities.[53] Sahara also has deposited ₹22,500 crores which will in due course of justice come back to Sahara India as it has already repaid 95% of its investors. [54]

The Securities And Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has repaid only ₹64 crore to the investors since 2012.[55] It is also been reported that Sahara has paid ₹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 2009–2010 and 2012–2013. 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.[56]

On 28 August 2020, two petitions were filed against the release of the Netflix documentary Bad Boy Billionaires: India in the Bihar district court. The Bihar court passed an interim stay order on the petition filed by Subrata Roy against the release of the documentary on the Netflix platform. Following the stay order by the Bihar court, Netflix threatened to move the Supreme Court against the court order for restraining the documentary release.[57]

On 5 October 2020, Netflix released three out of four films in the anthology, including those featuring Vijay Mallya ("The King of Good Times"), Nirav Modi ("Diamonds Aren't Forever") and Subrata Roy ("The World's Biggest Family"), while the final episode about Ramalinga Raju remained encumbered by legal injunctions and as of December 2020 has yet to be released.[58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tamal, Bandyopadhyay (June 2014). Sahara: The Untold Story (1 ed.). Delhi, India: Jaico Publishers. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Sahara's Subrata Roy is planning a comeback and high on his priority is online education - Firstpost". 21 October 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Subrata Roy birth date and place". Medium. 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ "India's Sahara Group". 24 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  5. ^ বাঙ্গালীর বিত্ত সাধনা সাহারার ইতিকথা, (Bangalir Vitta Sadhana: Saharar Itikatha), Mani Shankar Mukherjee, 2003
  6. ^ "Subroto Roy Biography". 23 February 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Subrata Roy". 10 July 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2004.
  8. ^ "Sahara India". 24 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara An incredible journey From Gorakhpur to Lucknow". Leader Biography. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Owner of Pune Warriors runs Sahara India Pariwar as managing worker". THE AUSTRALIAN. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara". Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Sahara chief, money all safe and well". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  13. ^ RBI eases pressure on Sahara, Peerless, Sugata Ghosh, TNN 18 May 2005
  14. ^ Rai, Manmohan (1 March 2014). "Subrata Roy, Sahara chief, has friends across political, glamour spectrum". The Economic Times. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  15. ^ Subrata Roy's 'Sahara City' Stands on Scandalous Base, Shobhit Kalra, 7 Jul 2013 Archived 9 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Sahara India launches 3 news weeklies PTI 11 May 2003
  17. ^ "Sale of Plaza Hotel had to happen". New York Post. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  18. ^ Thirani, Neha. "Indian Conglomerate Buys New York's Plaza Hotel". India Ink. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  19. ^ Sahara India under PF Department's scanner; the company asked to submit all employee details, Vikas Dhoot, ET Bureau 12 Jan 2013
  20. ^ "Sahara's phantom investors: Why Subrata Roy's numbers don't add up - Firstpost". March 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Sahara's Subrata Roy is planning a comeback and high on his priority is online education - Firstpost". 21 October 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Sahara eyes slice of online education sector - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Subrata Roy's Sahara enters automobile sector; to offer wide range of EVs". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Subrata Roy's Sahara enters EV market: Sahara Evols to sell electric two, three-wheelers and cargo vehicles". The Financial Express. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Sahara joins Uttarakhand relief work - The Times of India". Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  26. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara - ex PM Vajpayee thanks Sahara India Pariwar". YouTube. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021.
  27. ^ Ankita (18 February 2019). "Sahara India Pariwar's Mumbai hotel joins hands with Feeding India as a CSR initiative". Cross Barriers. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  28. ^ "UK university confers honorary doctorate on Subrata Roy". 10 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Grand launch of Powerbrand". 15 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  30. ^ "The Global Leadership Award".
  31. ^ "The ITA Awards » The Indian Television Academy Awards". The Indian Television Academy. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  32. ^ "Mithila varsity confers D Litt on Subrata Roy". The Times of India. 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  33. ^ Malik, Ashok (3 February 2003). "The high and mighty: 50 most powerful people in India". India Today. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  34. ^ Perry, Alex (6 December 2004). "A Tale of Two Indias". TIME. Archived from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  35. ^ "From Rs 20 to Rs 50 million, Sahara's Subrata Roy's journey as he turns 65". dailybhaskar. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  36. ^ "India Today High and Mighty power list 2012: Rank 7 to 12". India Today. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Wearing Nationalism On His Sleeve". Business Standard India. Business Standard. 18 September 2002. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  38. ^ Jacob, Jency (1 March 2014). "The quirks and eccentricities of 'Saharasri' Subrata Roy". Business Standard India. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  39. ^ Subrata Roy: Confident of swimming the troubled waters, AMRITA NAIR-GHASWALLA, 8 September 2012
  40. ^ Subrata Roy's 'Life Mantras' unveiled in over 5000 locations, 2 February 2016
  41. ^ "Saharasri Subrata Roy's 'Life Mantras' remains in top 5 for last 4 weeks in Bestseller Chart of Nielsen". @businessline. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Think With Me". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Think with Me Book - An Assembly of Indian Socio-political Issues". 30 December 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  44. ^ "Subrata Roy Sahara surrenders before Police in Lucknow". IANS. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  45. ^ Roy, Subrata (28 February 2014). "Profile of Subrata Roy". Profile. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  46. ^ Reuters Editorial. "Supreme Court again rejects Sahara chief Roy's bail plea". IN. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Sahara's Subrata Roy blames troubles on comment about Sonia Gandhi". 29 November 2013.
  48. ^ "SC grants conditional bail to Sahara chief Subrata Roy". Times Of India. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  49. ^ "Supreme Court again rejects Sahara chief Roy's bail plea". Reuters. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  50. ^ "From Tihar jail, Sahara chief Subrata Roy tries to sell the New York Plaza". Times of India. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  51. ^ "SC extends Subrata Roy's interim bail till October 24 - Times of India ►". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  52. ^ Mittal, Priyanka (31 January 2019). "SC summons Subrata Roy over unpaid dues". Mint. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  53. ^ "Assets of Sahara exceed liabilities, says Subrata - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  54. ^ "'Sahara has repaid 95% investors' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  55. ^ "Subrata Roy Says Sahara Had to Make Double Payment For A Single Liability". Bloomberg Quint. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  56. ^ "Sahara's Subrata Roy is planning a comeback and high on his priority is online education - Firstpost". 21 October 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  57. ^ Ohri, Raghav. "Netflix | Bad Boy Billionaires: Netflix to move SC against Bihar court order restraining use of Subrata Roy's name in 'Bad Boy Billionaires'". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  58. ^ Ohri, Raghav. "Netflix releases all episodes of 'Bad Boy Billionaires' except the final episode about Ramalinga Raju". The Economic Times. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

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