Dr Subhash Chandra settles over 91% debt to lenders; eyes new venture in digital video space 

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 Dr  Subhash  Chandra, Chairman,  Essel  Group, has issued  a second Open Letter, in which he has shared details of the debt resolution process and the steps taken to pay off lenders.

Dr Chandra revealed that more than 91% of the debt has been settled to 43 lenders, and the remaining dues are in the process of being paid.

In  his  first  Open  Letter  issued  on  25th  January  2019,  Dr.  Chandra  had  apologized for  the hardships  faced  by  the  lenders  due  to  the  liquidity  crisis  triggered  by  the IL&FS  case  and committed to repay the monies to the best of his abilities. Backed by the immense support and trust bestowed upon him by the lenders, Dr. Chandra has managed to fulfill his promise.


Giving a glimpse into his new business venture, Dr Chandra said it is  in the video in digital space as well as AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) in the video space, ‘without getting into any conflicts with ZEEL, in any manner’ 


The asset divestment process certainly took a setback during the pandemic, which slowed down the overall debt resolution  process. Dr. Chandra aspired to release the mentioned second Open Letter after settling 100% of the debt to the lenders, however the unprecedented times led to a delay.

Sharing the key points pertaining to the debt resolution, Dr. Chandra said, “I am happy to report that we have come out of the financial stress situation by settling 91.2% of our total debt to 43 lenders in 110 accounts. 88.3% amount has been paid, while the remaining 2.9% is in the process of being paid.

“We are making all the required efforts to settle the remaining 8.8% of our total debt. I have no regrets for parting with a substantial ownership in the business and specially in the ‘jewels of the crown’. This was done to keep the family’s honor, ” the celebrated media visionary said.

Dr. Chandra  elaborated on his earnest desire to settle the remaining outstanding dues before the end of this fiscal year or before. He also emphasized on the fact that he does not regret the decision taken to part with a substantial portion of his ownership in his key businesses, attributing this decision taken to preserve the honour of his family. He reiterated the exit from the Infrastructure, Financial services & Print Media businesses.

As a pioneer by heart and an optimist by nature, Dr. Chandra shared his next steps in terms of setting up a venture in the video space in the digital ecosystem. With a vast experience of 53 years, Dr. Chandra is all set to once again shake up the digital video landscape by leveraging state of the art technology.

Giving a glimpse into his new entrepreneurial venture, Dr. Chandra, shared “I have earned a fair experience in the video business; hence I am exploring new ways / business opportunities in the “video in digital space” as well as AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) in the video space, without getting into any conflicts with ZEEL, in any manner.I will provide the specifics very soon and you all will witness the initial phase of launch, of yet another pioneering venture.”

A global leader who takes immense pride in his roots and his Country and a firm believer of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (One World – One Family), Dr. Chandra continues to incessantly work towards helping the Nation eradicate its challenges to create a better tomorrow through a range of initiatives.

2nd Open Letter from Dr. Subhash Chandra

Dear Friends,
Hope you all are safe and taking good care.
I am writing this 2nd open letter to all of you, after a gap of two & a half years. My last communication was dated 25th January 2019, in which I had penned down in a transparent manner, explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind the default, and I had also assured to find a solution to address the situation. As you all would have noted, I had admitted the wrong decisions taken by me in the past which caused the occurrence of the default, due to the asset- liability mismatch. Goes without saying, that it was an after-effect of the liquidity crisis, triggered from the IL&FS case. (I am attaching the copy of the letter for your ready reference).
I am grateful to the members of the editorial fraternity for publishing my open letter dated 25th January 2019, in a fair and transparent manner, which greatly helped us in maintaining the required level of transparency. I am also grateful to all my lenders for their support, trust and belief in me. The Covid-19 pandemic caused extension/elongation of the painful period beyond my targeted resolution time of 18 months to 30 months (till now) and beyond. In my 53 years of professional life, the current situation faced by me and my family, is unprecedented, despite couple of business down-turns experienced in our journey, which I had articulated in my autobiography – ‘The Z Factor’.
I am happy to report that we have come out of the financial stress situation by settling 91.2% of our total debt to 43 lenders in 110 accounts. 88.3% amount has been paid, while the remaining 2.9% is in the process of being paid. We are making all the required efforts to settle the remaining 8.8% of our total debt. I have no regrets for parting with a substantial ownership in the business and specially in the ‘jewels of the crown’. This was done to keep the family’s honour.
As mentioned in my first open letter, it is my earnest desire to settle the remaining outstanding accounts (to the best of group’s ability & current circumstances) before the end of this fiscal year or before. I would like to express my sincere apologies to the lenders for the suffering they had to go through because of me. Unfortunately, there could be one case (one lender), where there are disputes and both sides seem fixated on their belief on the number of debt(s) claimed and payable. The difference of numbers in this case is huge. The issues are pending in the court(s) for determination.
As promised in my open letter dated 25th January 2019, beyond the payment effected / committed / agreed to pay, I am in no position to pay additional sums of monies, from my own / personal resources, as I do not own / possess any assets / wealth besides what I have disposed- off to discharge our obligations.
During these past two years, tens of thousands, if not millions have prayed and many of them have sent messages of support, goodwill & prayers for our well-being. I am grateful to all of them. What has deeply touched me is that more than 90% of them have said, “I have no doubt at all that you are a man of great resolve & capacity to deal with crises, due to your courage/honesty to accept your faults” and they have further added that “you will come-back stronger and much sooner, is our belief ”. I am personally humbled with such positivity.
Our belief in the teachings of my grandparents (नेकी कर दिरया में डाल) to help the needy quietly & without publicizing for taking credit, seems to be paying off. Their prayers have helped our businesses, to emerge from the challenging phase. I am not only hopeful but sure that these very positive forces will help us navigate the challenges of coming times.
Friends, I have sailed through the difficult times, simply by smiling because of the reason mentioned above, added with continued practice of “Vipassana”, the teachings of ‘Gautama Buddha’.
I would like to reiterate, that the group has exited/sold the businesses of Infrastructure, Financial Services & Print Media & few more. Our Group Companies: Zee Learn Ltd., SITI Networks Ltd. & Zee Media Corporation Ltd., are going through a difficult phase of their existence, mainly because of lack of capital. My brother Jawahar Goel’s Company – Dish TV India Ltd., is also suffering & losing its base because of me, without any of his fault. Vide this letter, I would also like to publicly apologize to him & his family. Along with Jawahar, I would also like to convey my appreciation towards my other two brothers Laxmi & Ashok, who are standing by me in these difficult times.
I will take all the required efforts to resolve the outstanding issues (including the difficult one) as stated above. I will also keep you informed on the closure of the outstanding issues. At the same time, I am beginning my new innings & through this letter sharing a glimpse of it for your reference:
I have earned a fair experience in the video business; hence I am exploring new ways / business opportunities in the “video in digital space” as well as AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) in the video space, without getting into any conflicts with ZEEL, in any manner. I will provide the specifics very soon and you all will witness the initial phase of launch, of a yet another pioneering venture.
I hope I will receive all your good wishes for the success of my new innings. Take good care.
Yours truly,
Dr. Subhash Chandra