Electronics stores across India hare lined up with options for consumers looking to buy HD and smart TVs, but it all started when Videocon became the first colour TV manufacturer in the country. But the man behind that gamechanging move, Venugopal Dhoot is now in the news for all the wrong reasons, as a co-accused in one of the loan fraud cases that rocked the nation. Dhoot has been produced in a CBI court along with former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
One of India’s gamechangers
After graduating as an electrical engineer from Pune, Dhoot was ready to take over the reins of the legacy of Videocon Electronics established by his father Nandlal Dhoot. Under Venugopal Dhoot’s leadership, the homegrown Indian electronics brand transformed India’s home entertainment experience with colour TVs. After bringing colour to Indian living rooms shortly before the economy opened up for visionaries to thrive, Dhoot led Videocon towards expansion into global markets.
Marching towards expansion
By 2009, Dhoot oversaw the launch of Videocon’s D2H service, ready to compete against Tata Sky and Dish TV, which was sold to a US-based firm by 2015. That was also the same year when Venugopal Dhoot claimed that Videocon would become a full-fledged oil and gas firm in three years. But in 2018, he sold 10 per cent stake in Videocon’s gas field in Mozambique to public sector firm Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil Inida. The firm also sold its entire stake to a US-based company.
Tainted by dubious dealings
Around the same time in 2016, a whistleblower at ICICI Arvind Gupta, who had invested in ICICI Bank and Videocon, blew the lid off a loan fraud case involving Dhoot, Chanda Kochhar and her Husband. It was alleged that Dhoot gave crores in funds to Deepak Kochhar’s renewable energy firm NuPower, after Chanda Kochhar favoured his firm Videocon for loans worth more than Rs 3,000 crore. In 2018, Dhoot tried to distance himself from the whole matter, and claimed that he didn’t know Chanda Kochhar personally, but that didn’t stop CBI from eventually arresting him in the case.
Faces more trouble
Apart from the ICICI loan fraud case, Dhoot is also under CBI’s scanner for corruption in financing Videocon’s oil and gas assets in Mozambique. Premises linked to the company were also raided by the Enforcement Directorate in connection to the corruption allegations.
Now the Chairman of one of India’s most popular electronics brands stands in court, where the CBI is demanding a three-day custody to investigate him.
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