Vikram Kothari is the chairman and MD of Kanpur-based Rotomac Global Private Limited, which is embroiled in a controversy for alleged defaulting on loans worth over Rs 800 crore taken from different state-owned banks. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday registered an FIR against Kothari on the basis of a complaint by the Bank of Baroda (BoB).
Belonging to a business family, Kothari had set up his stationery business under the name of Rotomac in the 1980s. His brother, Deepak Kothari is the owner of Pan Parag, a prominent mouth-freshner brand in India. In the late 90s, the family business was divided among the two brothers with Vikram getting the ownership of Rotomac, while his brother Deepak was given Pan Parag.
According to information available on Rotomac website, Kothari heads Rotomac Exports Pvt. Ltd., Kothari Foods and Fragrances, Crown Alba Writing Instruments, Mohan Steels Limited, RFL Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. and Rave Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., besides Group’s real estate ventures at Kanpur, Lucknow, Dehradun & Ahmedabad. The website says ‘Vikram Kothari has been awarded by the then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, with the Best Exporter Award, conferred by FIEO – in conjunction with Union Ministry of Commerce, Government of India’.
Acting upon the case against the stationery company, CBI raided three locations in Kanpur on Monday and questioned Kothari, his wife and son. Read | ‘Bank of Baroda knew Kothari’s record, panicked after Nirav escape’
Vikram Kothari was declared as a ‘willful defaulter’ by Bank of Baroda in February last year. He had contested the tag in Allahabad High Court and received an order in its favour but failed to pay the loans. According to reports, Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Union Bank of India allegedly compromised their rules to sanction loans to Rotomac.
Contesting rumours of having fled the country, Kothari on Sunday addressed the media and said, “I am a resident of Kanpur and I will stay in the city. However, I do have to travel to foreign countries for business purposes.”
This comes less than a week after Punjab National Bank (PNB) detected a USD 1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam wherein diamond jweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.