With one of the world's most expensive yachts and a cricket and Formula One team, billionaire Vijay Mallya is known as India's Richard Branson or simply, the "King of Good Times".
Owner of the world's second-largest liquor maker, it is his chairmanship of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines that is currently making headlines, not the usual write-ups in society pages of his jet set lifestyle.
Mallya, who prefers to be addressed as Doctor for his honorary Ph.D. in business administration, was typically pugnacious as Kingfisher looked headed for a financial disaster with mass cancellation of flights and the resignations of dozens of its pilots.
"I am absolutely committed to keeping the airline going unless some government agency wishes to ground it," the silver-haired 56-year-old told reporters. "The point is our bank accounts have been frozen by income tax authorities very suddenly and that has crippled us."
Mallya's ascent to the forefront of the business elite has shadowed India's own rise as an economic power. But his troubles coincide with the country's slow growth, high inflation and corruption scandals.
Image: Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya speaks during a media conference in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011.
Images: Reuters Images/ AFP/ AP