On November 14, 2023, Subrata Roy, esteemed chair of Sahara India Pariwar and formerly a prominent figure in the Indian media landscape, passed away at the age of 75 in Mumbai. Fondly known as Saharasri within the group, he left behind a legacy of inspiration and vision.
The visionary leader succumbed to cardiorespiratory arrest after a protracted struggle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension, and diabetes. Sahara India Pariwar, in a statement to Variety, conveyed the news, mentioning that Roy was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute (KDAH) on November 12, 2023, following a deterioration in health.
Sahara India Pariwar, currently holding a net worth of $31 billion, operates in diverse sectors such as financial services, construction, real estate, sports, manufacturing, hospitality, and life insurance.
During its prime, Sahara’s media wing, Sahara One Media and Entertainment, managed three Hindi-language channels—Filmy, Sahara One, and Firangi, featuring international content dubbed into Hindi. Sahara Movie Studios played a pivotal role in Bollywood, co-producing successful films like “Sarkar,” “Wanted,” and “Page 3.” The group also had a thriving distribution business, Sahara One Motion Pictures, and owned newspapers and magazines in Urdu, Hindi, and English.
In 2010, Sahara engaged in talks to acquire MGM, though the deal did not materialize. The group owned Pune Warriors India, a franchise in the Indian Premier League. However, the media empire faced challenges, with Sahara One discontinuing its free-to-air broadcast in the U.K. in 2013 and the Indian cricket board terminating Pune Warriors India the same year due to a fee dispute. Sahara lost its sponsorship of India’s national cricket team to the Star India group in 2013 but continues to support teams in the Indian Badminton League and the Hockey India League.
In 2014, Sahara One underwent restructuring, prompting several senior executives to resign. Subsequently, Roy faced legal troubles, leading to his arrest ordered by the Indian Supreme Court in connection with Sahara’s involvement in raising $3.8 billion through illegal bonds. After a period of incarceration and a prolonged legal battle, Roy was eventually released on parole.
Subrata Roy is survived by his wife, Swapna Roy, and sons, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy.