The latest Netflix series on the crash-landing of once-popular Indian businessmen has received a objection.
This time, it is the Sahara Group that has shared detailed observations on how Netflix' projected the company and its promoter. On Thursday, reports delved into the Group's complaints with Bad Boys Billionaire.
Viewers and online reviewers, so far, have praised the series and the way it projected Kingfisher's Vijay Mallya and Jeweller Nirav Modi. A Hyderabad court restrains Netflix from releasing the episode on Satyam's Ramalinga Raju. Meanwhile, the episode on Sahara Group was not released originally, but now that it has been made available to viewers, the Sahara Group wants Netflix to remove some scenes.
Sahara Group wants the makers to remove "ill-researched and baseless" content that it believes is tarnishing its reputation and image.
That SaharaSri, Chairman Subrata Roy, or the Sahara Group did not like the comparison with Vijay Mallya or Nirav Modi to begin with. That explains why the company filed for a stay with a court in Bihar. Netflix in reports said that the company "acted on the 11th hour". The district court initially approved the stay with an injunction dated August 29, 2020. The series was to launch on Sept 2.
Netflix moved the Supreme Court for relief. The apex court asked the Patna High Court which in turn asked the District Court to review the injunction. The district court on Oct 3 passed an order to vacate the previous injunction.
Two weeks after the District court announced its revised decision, the camp at Sahara shared a detailed account of what they found wrong with Bad Boys Billionaire.
The statement says that Just to gain commercial benefits, Netflix has created an ill-conceived, spiced up commercial film full of sensationalism at the cost of the image of the Sahara Group which is unacceptable and highly objectionable,
Sahara India Pariwar is a law abiding and a high-quality organisation, where nobody should have the right to malign its image, it added.
They have already publicised this film with the title 'Bad Boy Billionaires' and showing with Dr. Vijay Mallya, Mr. Nirav Modi who have taken away banks money whereas Sri Subrata Roy Sahara and Sahara Group have deposited Rs.22,000 Crore including interest with SEBI whereas SEBI did not require more than around 100 Crores repayments. Sahara has already repaid."
A spokesperson for the Group is quoted as saying, "the whole film is a bundle of lie, manipulating and ill-conceived which is an attempt made by Netflix to tarnish the image of Sahara".
The group found glaring loopholes - wrong mention of Sahara in the business of chit fund and wrong allegation that depositors are not genuine.
Every financial institution in the world including banks works on rolling factor that is new business cash makes the repayment of old account because all surplus moneys are invested somewhere or other, to loans in case of banks, or in businesses like in Land, Real Estate, etc., which Sahara invests. So this film has created a very negative image of Sahara for not doing anything wrong in the business.
In its statement, the company adds, "This is completely wrong. We were never, and we are never a chit fund company. Since the beginning we were under regulation of Registrar of Firms Societies, under regulation of Reserve Bank for 21 years, worked long years under Ministry of Corporate Affairs and now our workers have promoted and are running cooperative societies under the regulation of Ministry of Agriculture."
Here are other observations from the Sahara Statement:
"It is said in the film that agents stop going to village and when the account is discontinued, account holder gets a letter of amount being forfeited which is absurd and wrongfully maligns Sahara Group's image," Sahara Group said.
On re-investment, Sahara said "Netflix, in the film tried to paint a negative image of Sahara on the reinvestment aspect. Throughout the world, in all financial institutions including banks and, in the companies, where agents are promoting business like in life insurance, etc. the reinvestment is always done in a big way. In our case around 40 per cent is reinvested."
With regard to fooling depositors for many years, Sahara Group said its "an absolutely wrong allegation that we were fooling the investors in beginning years and then we were /are unable to repay.
We are regularly repaying though in some cases delayed payments are done but we are paying interest of the delayed period up to the last day".