Vijay Mallya – “Who is he ?”
A lifestyle that was so fascinating that it attracted the attention of millions. A personality that was so glamorous that models & actresses would roam around like a bumblebee or flowers. 1 of the most distinguished personalities of India was “Vijay Mallya”. He was once on the 7th cloud but his business empire soon plummeted to earth. 2nd March 2016 “Vijay Mallya” was in the news. He fled to Britain when Enforcement Directorate or ED was behind him due to money laundering of over 9000 crores in the form of bank loans. So what exactly were these 9000 crores frauds?. How did Mallya manage to fly away even when ED was behind him ?. What’s the story about Vijay Mallya & Kingfisher Airlines ?.
Vijay Mallya was born on 18th December 1955 in Kolkata. He was the only son of an Indian Entrepreneur & Chairman of the United Breweries Group- “Vittal Mallya”. Vijay Mallya’s father passed away when he was just 28. Then he took hold of the business. Vijay Mallya expanded the business in different streams. He was a sports enthusiast. He bought his cricket team – “Royal Challengers Bangalore” in the IPL. From a very young age, Vijay Mallya was in love with racing. He later also formed his Formula 1 Team namely – “Force India” in October 2007.
Vijay Mallya – “His Accolades”
In 2010, Vijay Mallya also became a member of the Upper House that is a Rajya Sabha member. But he resigned just before his 2nd term was about to end in 2016. He was facing a case of loan default then. He had an honorary degree of Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration from the Southern California University for professional studies. Vijay Mallya also earned awards such as – “Officier de la Legion d’Honneur”. These were a few of his achievements from expanding business to serving in the Upper House from owning a sports team – “A Formula 1 team” to receiving so many awards.
Kingfisher Airlines – The Rise Of Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya was an undisputed Indian business tycoon. Kingfisher beers are sold in several countries. But it was due to the airlines that led to Mallya’s downfall & later it became a scam. Kingfisher airlines started in 2005 with a vision of making it the best 5 Star Airline in India. Newly bought several aircraft. Beautiful flight attendants, free meals during flights & in-flight entertainment made Kingfisher a whole new experience in budget. Kingfisher also had a separate 1st class department with free liquor service. All these facilities made it an absolute choice for both middle class as well as business class or rich travelers. Vijay Mallya was not satisfied by the domestic roots of his airlines. He also wanted to expand to international routes.
The Fall Of Vijay Mallya
The airlines, however, didn’t complete 5 years & were not eligible to do so. This led to the acquisition of Air Deccan by Vijay Mallya to fulfill his goal. In 2008, Kingfisher got permission to fly on international routes. In 2009, Kingfisher became 1 of the leading airlines in India. However, things not always are what they seem to be. Kingfisher was in heavy losses despite acquiring Air Deccan & getting permission to fly internationally. To run the company, Vijay Mallya took loans from several banks including SBI, IDBI PNB, etc to cope with the expenses. Kingfisher didn’t pay employees their salary. Kingfisher held passenger’s Service Tax, Provident Fund & Income Tax of the employees & did not pay it to the respective departments.
The Probe – “Vijay Mallya & Kingfisher Airlines”
A Canadian research firm namely – “Veritas” published its article called – “Pie In The Sky”. The article mentioned how Kingfisher airlines were in heavy debt & losses but it did not disclose it to the public. Vijay Mallya, later in an interview slammed “Veritas” saying it had a lot of factual errors. Kingfisher airlines were shut on 20th October 2012 & its license was also canceled. It’s said that it was also negligence from the banks. Banks lent loans to Mallya’s Kingfisher only on its trademark reputation & future project plans even after Verita’s report. Vijay Mallya also used these funds to support his IPL team – “Royal Challengers Bangalore” & “Force India”. Vijay Mallya ran these companies when employees of Kingfisher did not get their salary for months.
Waiting for the verdict
Several employees came out in protests. An employee’s wife committed suicide mentioning in a note that her husband didn’t get a salary for 6 months causing hardship for them. Several mistakes led to Mallya’s downfall especially acquiring Air Deccan by Vijay Mallya. Vijay Mallya claims that the recession of 2008 led to this & also fuel prices became too expensive. Few people know that Vijay Mallya offered an amount of 4000 crores for settlement. But lenders demanded at least 4900 crores. The majority of Kingfisher breweries have also been sold. Several of Mallya’s assets including Kingfisher Villa were auctioned in early 2016. When Mallya was warned about his arrest he flew to Britain on 2nd March 2016. He mentioned that it was just a regular business trip to London. Vijay Mallya is still fighting his case in the UK to avoid extradition to India.
Thank you for reading this article. I’ve written many articles about infamous Indian scams on my website. Readers can check those articles also. There is an in-depth article about the Sahara scam also.