Vijay Mallya , the self-proclaimed “King of Good Times,” lost his billionaire ranking in Forbes India rich list as his net worth eroded 27 percent to $800 million this year from $1.1 billion last year.
However, the flamboyant businessman is not worried about his plummeting fortunes, instead he feels relieved.
"Thanks to the Almighty that Forbes has removed me from the so-called billionaires list. Less jealousy, less frenzy and wrongful attacks,” Mallya tweeted to his 1.5 million fans.
Mallya dropped to the 73rd position on the list from the 49th place last year, as the losses in the aviation business dragged down his wealth.
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Mallya’s tweet came after the employees of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines had agreed to resume duties after a 26-day-long strike demanding salary dues pending for seven months. Employees of the cash-strapped airlines Thursday agreed to a management proposal to pay the salary dues in a staggered schedule Thursday.
It is not clear whether resolving the Kingfisher employees’ wage row or the losing of the billionaire tag that brought more relief to the brazen businessman who was not publicly seen in the country after his airline entered the “bad times.” According to his twitter statement, he is abroad attending his other important business commitments.
His employees, as a last-ditch effort to reach the businessman, had threatened to hold protests against him at the India Grand Prix Formula 1 event to be held in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, this weekend. A Times of India report said that Airport Authority of India was considering the legal opinion on impounding his personal aircraft, if it comes to India from abroad, as the Kingfisher Airlines had defaulted on payments.
The business tycoon, who is known for his “live life king size” approach, is an industrialist with diverse interests, starting from brewing to bio technology and aviation to Formula 1 racing.
He controls the UB Group, the largest manufacturer of spirits in the world by volume, and his beer brand- - Kingfisher -- controls more than 50 percent of market share in India.
Kingfisher Airlines Management Approaches DGCA
In another development, the Kingfisher management approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with a fresh plan and promise that they would be raising their own funds to revive the airlines.
"The (Kingfisher) CEO further informed that at present, the source of funding for the airline will be through their own resources," the DGCA said, according to Reuters.
Following the promise, the DGCA has asked the airline to submit its winter schedule.
Mallya has been maintaining that he is in talks with the foreign companies to sell a stake in the company to raise capital. However, no foreign company so far has expressed interest in investing in the debt-laden airline.