Sahara India Pariwar

For other uses of "Sahara", see Sahara (disambiguation).
Sahara Pariwar
Privately held company
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1978 (1978)
(Lucknow, India)
Founder Subrata Roy
Headquarters Lucknow, India
Area served
Key people
Subrata Roy (Chairman)
Products Financial services
Mass media
IT Services & Outsourcing
Revenue Increase 730 billion (US$11 billion) (2011)[1]

Sahara India Pariwar is an Indian conglomerate headquartered in Lucknow, India with business interests in finance, infrastructure & housing, media & entertainment, consumer merchandise retail venture, manufacturing and information technology. The company has an estimated market capitalisation of US$25.94 billion as of March 2011.[2] The group is a major promoter of sports in India and was[3] the main sponsor of the India national cricket team. The company owns a 42.5% stake in Formula One's Force India Formula 1 Team and also sponsors India national field hockey team. In more recent times, the company has faced criticism due to allegations regarding questionable financial practices, crony capitalism and its close nexus with and favoritism from political parties.[4][5]


Subrata Roy, founder and chairman of Sahara India Pariwar

Sahara India Pariwar was founded by Subrata Roy.[6][7] The group operates 4,799 establishments under the Sahara India umbrella.[8]

Real estate

Sahara India Real Estate Company and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation, subsidiaries of the conglomerate, buy and develop land for residential housing projects across India. The company has projects in Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Kochi, Coimbatore,Gurgaon and Pune.[9][10] Sahara has a collaboration with Turner Construction, an American building company, in some of its projects.[11]


Sahara owns several professional sports teams in India in a variety of sports. In badminton, it owns the Awadhe Warriors of Lucknow, one of six teams in the Indian Badminton League'.[12]

In cricket, it owned the Pune Warriors India, a franchise team that played in the Indian Premier League (IPL),.[13]

In October 2011, Sahara purchased 42.5% of the Force India Formula One team.[14] [15]

British driver Paul di Resta driving the Force India VJM05.

The company launched a polo team, the Sahara Warriors Polo Team in 2012.[16] From 2005 Calcutta Football League is also sponsored by Sahara.

In July 2012, Sahara India Praiser picked up the Lucknow franchise of the Hockey India League, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.[17] It is also the sponsor of the Bangladesh Cricket Team since 2012.[18]

Media and entertainment

Sahara Filmy logo

The group owns a national Hindi News Channel Samay and 36 city specific regional news channels Sahara Samay. It also owns Sahara One- A General entertainment channel, Filmy- A Hindi movie channel, and Firangi- An entertainment channel. Sahara Samay received the "Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award" in 2008 for its network newsroom technology.[19]

The group owns publishes and sells one magazine in English, 7 editions of Hindi Daily Newspaper Rashtriya Sahara, nine editions of Urdu Daily Newspaper Roznama Rashtriya Sahara and one International Urdu Weekly, Aalmi Sahara.[20]

Sahara produces, markets, and distributes Hindi and other regional language films. Well known films produced by the company include Bewafaa, Page 3, Sarkar, No Entry, Wanted.[21] In September 2010, the company was in talks to acquire MGM Studios, but the deal collapsed.[22][23] Sahara is willing to try again to take over MGM.[24]


The Plaza Hotel in New York City
Grosvenor House Hotel, 1920s postcard illustration

Sahara owns a controlling stakes in New York City's Plaza Hotel and London's Grosvenor House Hotel.[25][26]

In India, the group owns the "Sahara Star" hotel near Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.


Sahara has interests in insurance and asset management. Sahara India Life Insurance Company Ltd. (SILICL) is a life insurance company in the private sector Sahara Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd. manages 16 equity and debt mutual funds. Sahara Banking & Financial Services Fund has been adjudged the Best Performing Banking Sector Fund over a three-year performance by the international agency "Lippers" in 2012.[27]

Other financial activities associated with the company have come under significant legal scrutiny, including a savings program with the stated intention of selling savings products to the poor, which government officials claim may be exploiting its customers.[28]


On 13 August 2012, Sahara India announced the opening of their retail FMCG business named 'Q shop' (Quality shop) with an initial investment of Rs. 30 billion. Sahara also announced the hire of 600,000 sales personnel and 3000 customer care executives.[29] At its launch, Subrata Roy said that Sahara had been planning for this venture for the last two years and was opening 'Q shops' in major cities across the country to provide adulteration-free consumer merchandise including processed food and beverages to buyers.[30] The group said it would set up 305 warehouses in 285 cities in a phased manner.

Sahara India Pariwar’s Sahara Q Shop entered into the Guinness World Records when it opened a record 315 outlets in 10 states of India, just at one time on 1 April 2013[31]

Health care

The group owns a hospital in Lucknow. The hospital was opened in 2009. This hospital became operational in February 2009 and is currently operating with approximately 350 beds, including 120 bed Critical Care Infrastructure and expandable to 554 beds.[32]

Other Businesses

Under the name "Sahara Next", the company offers Information Technology consulting services in banking, finance, media and entertainment, chemicals and CRM.

Under the name of "Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Limited" the company collects funds from individuals. It deliberately defines condition that the deposit cannot be withdrawn or surrendered before maturity period.The maturity amount is just the deposited amount plus nearly simple interest of the whole amount [As per the Terms and Condition of 'Sahara .M. Benefit' for a deposit of Rs 200 per month, if an individual deposits Rs 12000 for a full tenure of 60 months, he/she will receive Rs 14783 on maturity (with a total benefit of Rs 2783 as a reward after 5 years)]

There are several complaints on 'National Consumer Complaint Forum' that the collection office is not able to pay the individual the maturity amount even after the end of maturity period. In some cases the agents force the individual to migrate to another scheme instead of refunding the money. Some other cases the local office only changes /extends the date of issuing the cheque adding frustration to the poor individuals.


The group owned an airline, Air Sahara, which it sold to Jet Airways in 2007.

Under the name "Sahara Global", it offers integrated travel and tourism services for domestic as well as international customers.[33][34]

The group runs a school in Pune, the International School Aamby – Aamby Valley.[35]


Being a largely unlisted company, with often secretive practices, Sahara India Parivar's activities have in recent times come under criticism.[36] This includes allegations of unknown sources of capital, crony capitalism, favorable treatment by political parties and a close nexus with the latter. In June 2014, a book "Sahara: The Untold Story" written by an eminent Indian journalist Tamal Bandyopadhyay highlighted some of these issues.[37]

On 26 February 2014, the Supreme Court of India ordered the arrest of Subrata Roy, Chairman & Founder of Sahara India Pariwar, for failing to appear in connection with the Rs.24,000-crore deposits his company has not refunded to its investors. He was eventually arrested on 28 February 2014 by Uttar Pradesh police on a Supreme Court's warrant, in a dispute with Market Regulator - SEBI.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40] As of January 2015, Roy was still in Tihar jail, albeit with air conditioned facilities,[41] awaiting trial, and is trying to sell some of his hotel properties.[42]

In July 2015, SEBI cancelled Sahara’s mutual fund licence - it ordered the cancellation of Sahara Mutual Fund's certificate of registration on expiry of a six-month period.[43]

Charitable work

The Sahara Welfare Foundation, the social development unit of Sahara India Pariwar, runs social welfare projects.[44][45][46] The company assisted the families of Indian soldiers killed in the Kargil war with a commitment of 500 million (USD 10.65 million )[47][48] [49] The company claims to have assisted families whose homes were damaged in the 2006 Gujarat earthquake. Other welfare activities include water purification systems and education resource systems in Indian villages.[50] [51][52]

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.[53]

Guinness World records

See also


  2. Financial Statement of the Group
  3. "India Cricket News: Sahara Group mulls sponsorship re-bid for Indian team". ESPN Cricinfo. 8 December 2013.
  4. Tankha, Madhur (25 June 2014). "The story according to some". Chennai, India. The Hindu. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. Sabkale, Yogesh. "Sahara: The Untold Story - Book Review". Moneylife. Retrieved 11 February 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  6. "Owner of Pune Warriors runs Sahara India Pariwar as managing worker". THE AUSTRALIAN. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  7. "Subrata Roy Sahara". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  8. Tamal, Bandyopadhyay (June 2014). Sahara: The Untold Story (1 ed.). Delhi, India: Jaico Publishers. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  9. Sahara Group enters real estate, The Economic Times, 5 February 2008
  10. THE GOOD LIFE, INDIA TODAY, 15 February 2008
  11. Sahara launches construction JV with Turner, rel="nofollow",REUTERS, 9 February 2012
  12. Sahara buys IBL's Lucknow franchise, The Times of India, 16 July 2013
  13. 2 New IPL Team, The Times of India, 22 March 2010
  14. "Sahara Group takes 42.5% stake in Force India Formula One team". The Guardian. London: The Guardian. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  15. "Sahara buys 42% stake in Mallya's Force India F1 team". The Times of India. The Times Group. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  16. "Sahara India Pariwar launches Polo team Sahara Warriors". 22 November 2012.
  17. "Sahara to own hockey franchise". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 July 2012.
  18. "Sahara set to become Bangladesh sponsor". IBNLive. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  19. Samay bags international honour, The Economic Times, 6 April 2005
  20. Sahara plans three weekly newspapers,, 1 February 2003
  21. Sahara One Motion Pictures – a banner in the right direction,,5 September 2006
  22. Indian Congolomerate In Talks About MGM Bid, Reuters, 18 September 2010
  23. Sahara Says MGM Studio Creditors Reject $2 Billion Bid, Google, 24 September 2010
  24. Sahara Still Committed to Finalizing MGM Bid, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 September 2010
  25. "Sahara checks into iconic New York hotel". Hindustan Times. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  26. Sahara buys UK hotel for Rs 3,275cr, The Times of India, 31 December 2010
  28. Antony, Anto (2 December 2013). "India Shadow Banker Fights to Keep Empire Built on Poor, """.
  29. Sahara enters retail, to launch 800 'Q' Shops, Business Today, 16 August 2012
  30. Sahara in Rs. 3,000-cr ‘Q Shop’ retail foray, Hindustan Times, 13 August 2012
  31. 1 2 Sahara Q shop makes it to the Guinness World Records, Deccan Chronicle, 17 April 2013
  32. Nawabi Entry in Healthcare, Express Healthcare, 1 April 2009
  33. Sahara Global launches travel show
  34. Sahara Global launches 'Celebrate Life'
  35. Education World
  36. Bandyopadhyay, Tamal. "Excerpt from the book "Sahara: The untold story"". Jaico Publishers. Retrieved 11 February 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  37. Bhattacharya, Barsali (20 June 2014). "Controversial Sahara book reveals 'untold' story of Subrata Roy's company". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  38. "Subrata Roy Sahara surrenders before Police in Lucknow". IANS. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  39. Roy, Subrata. "Profile of Subrata Roy". Profile. BBC. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  40. "SC grants conditional bail to Sahara chief Subrata Roy". Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  41. "Subrata Roy gets AC room, phone, laptops at Tihar jail". 13 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  42. "From Tihar jail, Sahara chief Subrata Roy tries to sell the New York Plaza". Times of India. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  43. "Sebi cancels Sahara's mutual fund licence". The Times of India. 28 July 2015.
  44. Sahara to put in Rs1000 crore in welfare foundation, DNA, 5 February 2012
  45. Sahara Welfare Foundation, Sahara India
  46. , Sahara Welfare Foundation
  47. Sahara to pay martyrs' families 5 times salary for 10 yrs , The Indian Express
  48. Sahara will pay salaries of Mumbai martyrs , The Economic Times
  49. Sahara to pay martyrs' families , DNA
  50. Sahara India to adopt 1,000 villages for all round development , The Economic Times, 10 June 2013
  51. flags off prog to adopt 1,000 villages, The Economic Times, 12 June 2013
  52. Subrata Roy Sahara Announced to Adopt 1000 Villages in 7 States Under CSR , India CSR, 1 April 2013
  53. "Sahara joins Uttarakhand relief work - The Times of India". 24 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  54. Sahara's national anthem feat gets Guinness honour, The Times of India, 7 May 2013
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