Saturday, October 10, 2020

'Mallya bid everything to rescue the airline': Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Kingfisher Airlines' collapse

"Bad Boy Billionaires: India'', the controversial docuseries on Netflix, features an interesting episode which covers the rise and fall of Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher empire. The 60-minute episode -- The King of Good Times -- summarises the former liquor baron's journey from the time he inherited his father's empire to that of his fall in racing, airlines and cricket. The episode directed by Dylan Mohan Gray, also features interviews of his son Sid Mallya, his executive assistant Tushita Patel, Shobha De and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Shaw, who is Biocon Chairperson and Mallya's childhood friend, could be heard talking about how she advised him to get out of the airline business when it started to tumble. Kingfisher Airlines, established in 2005, was a major failed business venture by Mallya which eventually became insolvent and had to be closed down.

In the interview, Shaw said that she was trying to tell Mallya to cut his losses and get out of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines. "But, he kept telling me, "no, no, I can rescue the airline. I can turn it around. I can definitely make it work again"."

"He bid everything he had on trying to rescue that airline," she added.

"Vijay was in denial. You know, he kept thinking that he could build this business, he kept thinking that things will change and things will turn around. But eventually, you know, he had to call it quits." Shaw said.

As part of the Kingfisher collapse, Mallya is accused of being a "willful defaulter" under Indian law. Mallya, currently in the UK, is wanted in India over alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to estimated Rs 9,000 crore.

09/10/20 Business Today

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