If you had defaulted on payments worth Rs 90,000 crore to a clutch of public sector and private sector banks, chances are that by now you’d either be behind bars or in a foreign country, where the long arm of the law can’t reach you easily. Well, not so fast. Because you could also very well be Venugopal Dhoot, embroiled in investigations of wrongdoing and yet living a charmed life in Mumbai.
This is the story of how Dhoot took everyone for a jolly good ride over 35 years of corporate life. Chances are this is a story you’ve never read before.
In December 2020, Dhoot made a last-ditch attempt to salvage his bankrupt Videocon group. He put in a bid of Rs 31,000 crore, promising to make good on all the loans he had borrowed over a 10-year period. To be able to do this he put together a master plan where he would monetize assets, leverage the Videocon brand and make a splash in a new business—low-cost housing.