EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SUBRATA ROY AND
SAHARA INDIA PARIWAR, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK…
Sahara: The Untold Story is based on painstaking research to demystify India’s most secretive and largely unlisted conglomerate, the Sahara India Pariwar. It also delves into the group’s ongoing legal battle with the market regulator.
Entrepreneur Subrata Roy, the guardian angel of the group, whose feet are touched by everybody in the Pariwar, wants to reach out to a million lives and feels impeded and shuttered in by regulations. So the clash with the regulators was inevitable. But when a regulator slams one door, maverick Roy opens another. This play has been on since 1978, when Sahara was set up.
Roy is well known for glamour and his association with film stars, cricketers and politicians. He exudes patriotism, with a statue of Bharat Mata (the presiding deity of the group) on a chariot driven by four fierce-looking lions adorning his headquarters in Lucknow. He is the Robin Hood of a country where only 35% of the adult population has access to formal banking services. This India and its millions of illiterate poor depositors stand in awe and admiration of him. But does he also exploit them? Do these poor people actually keep money with him or are they fronting for others?