Venugopal Dhoot – The man who went from making colour TVs to being involved in the ICICI Bank loan fraud case

Dec 27, 2022

By: Rounak Jain

Credit: BCCL

Who is Venugopal Dhoot?

Venugopal Dhoot is the chairman of Videocon. Born in 1951, Dhoot became an electrical engineering graduate. Under his leadership, Videocon expanded its presence outside India with manufacturing plants in Mexico, China, Italy and Poland. It also ventured into the oil and gas sector with investments in oil blocks in Brazil, Indonesia, Australia and East Timor.

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From manufacturing colour televisions to washing machines and more, Dhoot dreamt big

Under Dhoot’s leadership, Videocon went from making colour televisions to home appliances like washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators and more.

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The peak – mobile phones, telecom, and satellite TV services

At its peak, Videocon also launched mobile phones, telecom and satellite TV services. He also tried to buy the now-defunct Pune team in the Indian Premier League in 2010.

Credit: Videocon

The rise of Venugopal Dhoot

Venugopal Dhoot was ranked the 61st richest person in India by Forbes in 2015, with an estimated wealth of $1.19 billion.

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The fall

The Videocon group’s financial woes began in the 2010s due to increased international competition in the consumer durables sector, which was the bread and butter of the company.

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Allegedly colluded with the Kochhars to save the Videocon group

The CBI has accused Dhoot of giving kickbacks to Chanda Kochhar and her family as a “quid pro quo” for loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to the Videocon group between 2010-12 - when the bank was headed by Chanda Kochhar. Most of the amount loaned turned into non-performing assets.

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Kickbacks to the Kochhars

According to the CBI, Dhoot allegedly invested ₹64 crore in Deepak Kochhar’s NuPower Renewables, a few months after ICICI Bank sanctioned a loan of ₹3,250 crore to the Videocon group. A ₹5 crore flat of the Videocon group was also allegedly transferred to Deepak Kochhar’s family trust in 2016 for just ₹11 lakh, according to a report by the Economic Times.

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The ICICI loan fraud case

According to the CBI, Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak and Chanda Kochhar cheated ICICI Bank to the tune of ₹1,730 crore. All the three accused have been arrested by the agency.

Credit: BCCL

What next?

The central agency has Dhoot in its custody till December 28, when he will be produced before a special CBI court along with the Kochhars for further custody.

Credit: BCCL

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