Subrata Roy ( Hindi: सुब्रत रॉय) (born 10 June 1948) is an Indian businessman. He is the founder and chairman of the Sahara India, an Indian conglomerate with diversified businesses and 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. He has been in Tihar Jail since 2014.
10 June 1948 (age 68) Araria, Bihar, India
Founder and Chairman of the Sahara India
1978 – present
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 mechanical engineering from Government Technical Institute, Gorakhpur. Roy started his first business in Gorakhpur.
Main article: Sahara India Pariwar
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 the 1990s, Roy moved to Lucknow which became the base of his empire. His Sahara City project covering 170 acres was launched in the 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 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).
In 2010, Sahara purchased the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and 2012 the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City.
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 India’s national anthem, setting a world record
Sahara is said to have 29.6 million investors, representing about 8.5% of all households in India.
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 programme by constructing 10,000 pre-fabricated houses.
Awards and honors
Subrata Roy 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. 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 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.
In 2004, Sahara India was termed by Time magazine as “the second largest employer in India” after Indian Railways.Work philosophy
Roy has propounded the corporate philosophy of ‘Collective Materialism’, that advocates collective growth through collective sharing and caring.
He has written three books.
“Shanti, Sukh: Santushti” 1994, Essays on peace of mind and happy living.
“Maan, Samman, Atmasamman”
“Life Mantras” was released on 2 February 2016 at 5,120 public events across India. The book is the first of the trilogy ‘Thoughts from Tihar’ written by Roy during his period behind the bars. The forthcoming books are ‘Think with Me – How to make our country ideal’, and ‘Reflections from Tihar – A book on Tihar Jail’ which are to be released soon. About after a month of its launch on February 1, 2016, ‘life Mantras’ topped the non-fiction category of Nelsen BookScan, publishing into second spot Manorma Yearbook 2016 on March 6, 2016.
“Think With Me”
“Think With Me”, the second edition in the Trilogy was launched on the 18th day of December 2016,at the national level extravagant event- ‘Think With Summit-towards Greater India’. 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 aligned efforts towards nation.
Since March 2014 he is under judicial custody with a bail amount of 100 Billion Indian Rupees, Sahara India Pariwar – Issuance of Optionally Fully-Fully-Convertible Debentures, by his two group companies, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing & Investment Corporation Ltd. (SHICL)
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. 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. As he has failed to appear in the 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. 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. His deposit of 10,000 crore has not been made and Roy is still in jail. As of August 2014, Roy was trying to sell some of his hotel properties to raise enough money. Roy was granted his first bail for four weeks to perform the last rites for his passed mother which was later extended to the 24th of October.