Like millions of Indians, Jag Ram Chaudhary invested with the Sahara conglomerate - Rs 1,300 a month in his case - to put away money for a rainy day.
"My wife had an accident some years back. I don't have much savings, so I thought I'll be able to save some money by putting in a small amount every month," said Chaudhary, an office helper at a construction company in Uttar Pradesh.
On August 31, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that finance schemes run by two Sahara companies were illegal and ordered it to repay as much as $4.5 billion to up to almost 30 million mostly small investors, plus interest.
The final figures are still to be determined as some clients have already redeemed their investments, lawyers on both sides of the matter said.
The case has shone a rare light on the unlisted giant whose interests range across finance, housing, media and entertainment.
Text: Tony Munroe and Devidutta Tripathy, Reuters