New Delhi: The public spat with private equity firm ICICI Venture notwithstanding, retail chain Subhiksha managing director R. Subramanian on Tuesday said they can together bring the firm back on track provided one shareholder is not allowed to force its decisions on the firm.
“As long as we do not make the mistake of allowing one shareholder to force its decisions on the company and we capitalise the company well, we should not have too much issues,” Subramanian said.
Asked if the parties could work together again after so much of differences, he said: “As a set of investors we all have points of view which could be different on various matters, but that is only natural, the differences do get exaggerated in times of stress. However, all investors believe in the Subhiksha way and the model and the need to get the company back on track.”
Subramanian said the company is moving forward with the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) process and working with the revival plan and added: “We do not see the bad blood being demonstrated at this stage impacting the CDR or revival.”
“Banks want all of us to be committed to the cause of the business revival and they are wiling to do all from their side. As long as we show commitment to fight for company revival, than for each other selfish interest life would be fine and the company would be back,” he added.
Subramanian described the current spat with ICICI Venture as “what happens in families” and “there could be huge fights and then there is reunion -- the fights are temporary -- the unity on the cause is perpetual”.
Without naming anybody, Subramanian expressed his displeasure on one shareholder “who has been in for eight years and invested four times and earned Rs300 crore, walks out at first whiff of trouble” and said the company has a responsibility to all its banks, employees and customers.
Subramanian’s comments came a day after ICICI Venture accused him of keeping the stakeholders in the dark regarding the financial position of Subhiksha and alleged non-cooperation with the board. Earlier PremjiInvest, which has 10% stake in the company, had said it was willing to work with other shareholders to revive the retail chain.
Speaking about the sacrifice that is needed by all the stakeholders, he said, “I am working on nil salary since April 2008, though ICICI Venture had approved a reasonable salary. I have already made over my entire personal PF money to the company to enable it to meet PF dues. Each stakeholder has to make sacrifices.”
“... imagine what stakeholders of much larger wealth and means, and ones who have earned Rs300 crore of profits can do for us. We have a large business and 15,000 employees to protect,” he added.