With a kingfisher beer in my hand I am wondering what is wrong with the brand Kingfisher, India’s most popular beer. To answer this question first we need to go back a little back in history and get to know what ‘Kingfisher’ brand is?
United Breweries Group, India’s leading beer producer owns the Kingfisher brand, and the group chairman is Vijay Mallya. Vijay Mallya the man behind making UB group into a multi national conglomerate of more than 60 companies. He made the kingfisher, India’s most popular beer brand, sold in more than 52 countries with more than 50% market share of India. He had been Rajya Sabha MP two times and founded Kingfisher airlines in 2005, the most luxurious flight service in India (though closed down in 2013). He owns the IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore, Formula One team Force India and I-League teams Mohun Bagan AC and East Bengal FC.
But what happened to the voyage of this successful businessman? Currently Vijay Mallya owns more than INR 9000 Crores in loans to Indian Banks, has stepped down as the chairman of UB Group and as per sources fled from India to London. Indian Banks have seized 9 patents belonging to the disfunctional Kingfisher Airlines. A money laundering case for Rs 500 Crore has been filed against Vijay Mallya.
King of Good times, Vijay Mallya is in deep trouble with his whereabouts unknown to the Indian government. Kingfisher airlines which got off air in 2012 never made profit in its 8 years of operation though Mallya put into action various plans for its revival. With Mallya gone, Indian banks have a meager chance of getting their money back as Kingfisher airlines itself doesn’t have much assets and their is not much value of the patents belonging to Kingfisher Airlines.
The only hope is that Indian government find Vijay Mallya and he repay the loan from his personal wealth (Mallya owns more than 7000 crore in fixed assets). But the question here is why banks provided loan to the already bleeding Kingfisher Airlines? With Rs 9000 Crore at stake, its the Indian citizens hard earned money that is lost and the person who did that is sitting somewhere in luxury.
Its not entirely the fault of Vijay Mallya because he is a businessman who will always try to earn profit by taking risks, its the fault of the banks who gave him the money to take risks and loose it. Banks should be held liable with Mallya for this and a proper inquiry should be done into this matter.