Exclusive | Essel Group To Become Debt-free Soon, 92% Of The Loan Already Been Repaid: Essel Group Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra | Companies News

New Delhi: Essel Group Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra  in an exclusive interview to Zee Business Managing Editor Anil Singhvi with Zee Business’ Managing Editor Anil Singhvi, said the group will soon become debt-free. The chairman said that the aim is to service debt by selling assets, and till now, the company has repaid Rs 40,000 crore to the lenders along with Rs 50,000 crore in interest as well.

Excerpts From Interview With Dr. Subhash Chandra…

Question- 1 – How far has the talk about repaying the loan reached?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that he has always spoken openly on this subject. “In an open letter last year, we had told that more than 92 per cent of the loan has been repaid. Now only a little debt remains to be paid. I have always tried, in whatever situation comes, to face it firmly. When this situation came on 25 January 2019, at the same time I had made an intention to get out of it completely,” Dr Chandra added.

Question- 2 – By when will you be able to repay the loan fully?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that every day is a new beginning. “I live in the present. This is today’s reality. My effort was to repay all the loans by March 31, 2023, but due to some circumstances there has been a delay. Some assets have not been sold. But, as soon as something is finalized, we will be completely debt free,” he added.

Question- 3 – Many creditors are disputing the loan, several others are also going to the court. What do you think is the reason?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that the creditors have supported Essel Group a lot. He reiterated, “creditors are aware that Essel Group has repaid its debt by selling its valuable assets. Essel Group has repaid Rs 40,000 crore to creditors. The group has so far paid only interest of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore. From 1967 to 2019, Essel Group never defaulted.”

Question- 4 – You have sold many assets in order to repay the loan, have you ever faced any problem for this?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that there was never any problem in selling even the costliest assets. Only two-three accounts are yet to be paid. There is a resolution to repay everyone’s debt with humility, which will be completed soon.

Question- 5 – Several eybrows were raised and people even asked if Dr. Chandra has left the country. But you never but you shying away from responsibility and kept paying everyone’s debt?

Dr. Subhash Chandra responded by saying that problem comes in everyone’s life and it takes courage to deal with it. A strong man does not run away from trouble, he stays put and fights it.

Question- 6 – Is there aby update on Zee-Sony merger? When is it expected to be completed?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said, that he has no major contribution in Zee Entertainment-Sony merger. He added, “It will not be right for me to say anything on Zee Entertainment-Sony. The CEO of the company will be able to give a better clarity on it. As far as I know, the Zee Entertainment-Sony merger is expected to be completed soon.”

Question- 7 – Many people still people consider Zee Entertainment as a part of Essel Group?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that Zee Entertainment was started by Essel Group. That’s why people are still confused. Even in future, people will consider Zee Entertainment as a part of Essel Group for some time. “I have removed Zee Entertainment from my heart and mind,” Dr. Chandra said.

Question- 8 – After paying debt of Rs 90 thousand crores, what is your net worth now?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that his own net worth is almost negligible. “I have also repaid the loan by mortgaging my house,” he added.

Question- 9 – Promoters usually are afraid to give personal guarantee, but you openly extended personal guarantee, what is the reason for this?

According to Dr. Subhash Chandra, no personal guarantee was ever given before January 2019. But, after January 2019, personal guarantee was given on the old loan. “At present, there is no outstanding case of Personal Guarantee. If someone encashes the personal guarantee, he will not get anything, because I have nothing,” he said.

Question- 10 – Some creditor not ready to listen, is it the case?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said, “Our intention is clear, we have to repay everyone’s debt.”

Question- 11 – Dish TV is a cash rich company, but several problems are visible now?

Dr. Subhash Chandra clarified that Dish TV is not a company of Essel group. “It is the company of my younger brother Jawahar Goyal. Dish TV is a completely debt free company as on date. There is some dispute with Yes Bank regarding Dish TV, the matter is in the court. People have made money by investing in each and every company of Essel Group. If the lenders of Dish TV want to run the company without a promoter, then they can go ahead.”

Question- 12 – It is being said about Dr Subhash Chandra that he can falter, but he also knows how to bounce back after falling. What next now?

Talking about his future plans, Dr. Subhash Chandra said that at this time he is mentoring startups in technology and other areas. “This will give some shareholding without investing capital. A trust was formed for public service, I will continue to do its work,” he added.

Question- 13 – What has been your learning on your personal and professional level from the whole issue regarding the loan payment?

Dr. Subhash Chandra said that bad times teach everything. He said, “A person learns more during bad times only. I have also got to learn and understand a lot in my bad times. During this time some people supported me as well. I would say most of my experience has been good.

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