Born on June 10, 1948, in Araria, Bihar, Roy was a maverick face of India Inc and preferred to be called ‘managing worker’ and his group a ‘pariwar’, which had an estimated 1.2 million workers at its peak.A first generation entrepreneur, he raised a business empire that spanned across various sectors including finance, real estate, aviation, media, health and hospitality. The group was the sponsor of the Indian cricket team for 11 years.
His later years, however, were known for his brush with law. In March 2014, the Supreme Court ordered his detention for his failure to appear in court in connection with a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which wanted the group to refund billions of investors their money. Roy had to spend a little over two years in Tihar jail till he was released on parole in May 2016. The Supreme Court has now set up a “Sahara-Sebi refund account” for this purpose.
“It is with profound sadness that Sahara India Pariwar informs the demise of our Hon’ble ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara, managing worker and chairman, Sahara India Pariwar. Saharasri ji, an inspirational leader and visionary, passed away on November 14, 2023 at 10.30pm due to cardiorespiratory arrest following an extended battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes,” Sahara India Pariwar said in its statement.
Roy had been admitted to Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai on November 12 after a sudden decline in his health. “Details regarding last rites will be communicated in due course,” the statement said.
Roy’s journey as an entrepreneur started from Gorakhpur where he took over a small chit fund company in 1976 and turned it around within two years to raise Sahara India Pariwar, which became one of the biggest conglomerates of the country by the turn of the century.
Apart from starting a newspaper and TV channels, he started Aamby Valley City project between Pune and Mumbai in 1990s and acquired properties such as London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and NYC’s Plaza Hotel. He also co-owned Force India F1 team with Vijay Mallya. He later bought it and christened it Sahara Force India.
“Saharasri ji was…a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege to work alongside him,” the group’s statement said.
Watch Sahara Group founder Subrata Roy passes away in Mumbai