Sahara Group founder and Chairman Subrata Roy died today at a Mumbai hospital after battling a long illness, the company said in a statement. He was 75. Subrata Roy is survived by wife Swapna Roy and two sons, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy, who live abroad.
Born in Bihar’s Araria in 1948, Subrata Roy’s success story of starting Sahara India Pariwar began in 1978. Starting with a capital of only Rs 2,000, the company has traversed a long way to become a frontrunner in entrepreneurship, Sahara says on its website.
His family later moved from Bihar to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently, Subrata Roy shifted to Lucknow in the 1990s and made the city the headquarters of his group.
However, Sahara faced a multitude of problems over funds in a case that has now come to be known as the “Sahara chit fund scam”.
Sahara in the statement today said Subrata Roy died of a cardiorespiratory arrest following an extended battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes.
He was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in Mumbai on Sunday after his health deteriorated. “His loss will be deeply felt by the entire Sahara India Pariwar,” the company said.
“Sahara India Pariwar is committed to upholding Saharasri’s legacy and will continue to honour his vision in driving our organisation,” the company said.
“The death of Shri Subrata Roy ji is an emotional loss for Uttar Pradesh and the country because along with being a very successful businessman, he was also a very sensitive person with a big heart who helped countless people and became their support,” Samajwadi Party chief and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in a post on X.
सहारा श्री सुब्रत रॉय जी का निधन उत्तर प्रदेश और देश के लिए भावात्मक क्षति हैं क्योंकि वो एक अति सफल व्यवसायी के साथ-साथ एक ऐसे अति संवेदनशील विशाल हृदयवाले व्यक्ति भी थे जिन्होंने अनगिनत लोगों की सहायता की उनका सहारा बने।
भावभीनी श्रद्धांजलि! pic.twitter.com/Gdhmy5mDs8
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) November 14, 2023
In 2012, what began with the Supreme Court ruling as illegal an investor scheme by Sahara had quickly grew into a massive controversy with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Himachal Pradesh High Court asking the Enforcement Directorate to look into alleged money laundering by the Lucknow-based group. Thereafter, for years, Sahara fought the cases in courts until it was told to refund depositors.
Earlier this year a website was opened where depositors of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies can claim their refund in 45 days. The website was launched following a Supreme Court order in March that said Rs 5,000 crore should be transferred from the “Sahara-SEBI Refund Account” to CRCS to depositors invested in the Sahara Cooperative Societies.
The government had assured depositors of the refund of the money that got stuck in the Sahara scam.