Who gave loans to firm that sold Manesar land to Vadra?
After the entry of Satyanand Yajee and Sandeep Dahiya, Onkareshwar Properties got over Rs 85 cr as short-term loans in two years, reports N Sundaresha Subramanian
Onkareshwar Properties, incorporated in 2004 with paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh, was a non-descript entity that made a meagre profit of Rs 77,949 for the financial year ended March 31, 2006. The next year was better, with profits more than doubling to Rs 1.68 lakh.
Something unusual happened in FY08. Robert Vadra, son-in-law of United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, decided to enter the real estate business. And, Onkareshwar was the proverbial right place at the right time.
Following a Business Standard report on Saturday, local media reported that two people closely associated with Haryana's political establishment joined Onkareshwar as directors on February 28, 2008. The duo was Satyanand Yajee, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda's fellow office bearer in the All India Freedom Fighters' Successors' Organisation; and Sandeep Dahiya, a relative of Hooda's wife, Asha Hooda.
Following this, Yajee infused capital of Rs 24 lakh into the company. But the most significant boost to the company's operation came from short-term loans. During the year, the company's short-term loans increased a whopping Rs 66.55 crore to Rs 87.93 crore.
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Image: Was Robert Vadra only one of Onkareshwar Properties' influential customers?
Did Onkareshwar facilitate other deals for Vadra?
Who were the generous lenders who lent the start-up a sum of Rs 25 lakh, which was 250 times its net worth? The balance sheets don't give any clue.
At the end of FY09, Rs 53 crore lay as investments in the company's books. Fixed assets swelled from Rs 12.11 lakh to Rs 17.76 crore. So, Onkareshwar, too, was practising the model found in many Vadra entities, funding long-term assets through short-term loans.
Short-term loans hit a high of Rs 106 crore in FY10, before dropping to Rs 56.83 crore in FY11.
These generous loans almost immediately helped the company rake in significant profits. In FY09, the first full financial year after Yajee entered Onkareshwar and helped Vadra buy the 3.5 acre Shikohpur land, the company booked a profit of Rs 43.04 crore. This was an increase of 173 times over FY08's net profit of Rs 24.85 lakh.
The entire FY09 profits were retained in the business as reserves and surplus. There was no remarkable increase in reserves in FY10. But by FY11, the company's reserves grew to a formidable Rs 136.55 crore.
Out of this, share capital was just Rs 25 lakh. The rest was internal accruals in just three years. The company was sitting on a cash of Rs 70.83 crore.
Dahiya quit the company on March 31, 2011. Subsequent numbers are yet to be published.
If they managed this miracle purely by their business acumen and managerial talents, Yajee and Dahiya must be the most sought-after turnaround artists in India Inc. Or, did they also get around with 'a little help from friends'?
Did they also get interest-free loans from 'friendly' corporate majors? Did they facilitate other deals for Vadra? Was Vadra only one of their many influential customers?
Yajee would know best. But he did not respond to emails and calls made on his mobile phone.
Image: The balance sheets don't give any clue on the generous lenders