Sahara group, whose legal battle with Sebi continues in Supreme Court over refund of over Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to investors, has made a surprise announcement of plans being afoot to hire over 56,000 new employees this year along with investments to the tune of nearly Rs 32,400 crore (Rs 324 billion).
In three-page newspaper advertisements, the group has invited applications for senior positions across business verticals within and outside country and said that these more than 56,000 new jobs need to be filled by the end of 2014.
At the same time, it has also claimed that the group, which calls itself Sahara India Parivar, is "committed to creating four lakh salaried positions in next three years".
The businesses for which job applications have been invited include FMCG & retail, dairy, poultry, luxury real estate and lifestyle, food factory, low-cost housing, CSR, education and even cruises (Sahara Water Homes).
Besides job details, the group also disclosed specific investment targets for at least four business verticals and these investments total to an amount of Rs 32,394 crore (Rs 323.94 billion).
For its 'Luxury Retail: Sahara Global Mastercraft Ltd' business, the group said that an investment of Rs 1,400 crore (Rs 14 billion) would be made over five years, while Rs 5,172 crore (Rs 51.72 billion) would be invested in Food & Beverages and Entertainment: QSR (Quick Service Restaurants).
Its 'International Business: Macedonia (Europe)' business is expected to see an investment of Rs 13,922 crore (Rs 139.22 billion) in dairy project and Rs 9,600 crore (Rs 96 billion) in hospitality project.
Further, healthcare would seen an investment of Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 23 billion) for 5-7 years, according to the public notice. The group also claimed a huge asset base with a market value of "Rs 1,52,518 crore" and a land bank of 36,631 acres.
This massive recruitment drive comes at a time when the group is caught in a legal battle with Sebi, which had charged it of raising over Rs 24,000 crore through various "illegalities" in issuance of certain bonds through two firms.
These two firms -- Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC)-- were asked to refund the money to investors, while the Supreme Court also asked the group to comply with Sebi orders.
Sahara group later deposited Rs 5,120 crore (Rs 51.20 billion) with Sebi and claimed that it was way above the outstanding amount due to be returned to investors as more than Rs 20,000 crore were already refunded directly.
The Supreme Court has refused to allow Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy to leave the country till the companies provide details of refunding Rs 20,000 crore to investors.
The apex court last week asked the group to furnish all the documents to reveal the source of Rs 22,885 crore which it claims to have refunded to the investors.
Besides, the group was directed to place all documents including the bank statements sought by Sebi before February 11 when the court would take up the case for further hearings.