IDBI Bank is seeking to recover Rs59.2 crore from Neville Tuli and his one unit. Yet Tuli and his group are found launching new ventures amidst glitz and glamour, aka vintage cars and Bollywood
Just a few days back, IDBI Bank published a notice in a newspaper declaring Neville Tuli, promoter and personal guarantor of Osian's Connoisseurs of Art Pvt Ltd, and the company as defaulters. The notice stated that Tuli and his company together owed the bank Rs59.20 crore as on 1st March, and the Bank holds second charge on the offices of the company.
However, from the activities of the Tuli and his group of companies, it does not seem like they are particularly concerned about repaying their loans. Their office is located in the posh area of Nariman Point, and has been organising exclusive events over the past two months. On 24 January 2015, Osianama inaugurated a film ‘club’, titled ‘Cinefan’, with the premiere of Neeraj Pandey’s Akshay Kumar-starrer film, ‘Baby’. Not just that, the premier was followed by a masterclass for film enthusiasts and students, conducted by Neeraj Pandey and Anupam Kher, on the next day.
Moreover, along with these inaugural events, the group also announced the launch of Osianama’s Vintage & Classic Automobile Club for vintage car enthusiasts. About a month later, on 21st February, the Automobile Club conducted its first event titled “Automotive Royalty & Patrimony: The Rolls-Royce and Peers”, which included display of beautiful and exclusive vintage cars from Rolls-Royces to Mercedes-Benz. The display was held at Liberty Cinema in Mumbai.
This is just the beginning. Osianama has big plans for these two Clubs, and planning to launch more such clubs, open to membership, over the next few years. According to reports, the film club Cinefan plans to premieres of over 50 top quality films from India and the best of world cinema in its first year along with 12 major exhibitions.
Other “clubs” that Osianama plans to launch include Antiquities and Fine Arts Appreciation; Books and Poetry; Photography; Architectural Heritage and Preservation; All Creatures Great and Small and Animal Welfare; Design, Craft and Popular Cultures, and Sporting Heritage.
Most of these cater to a primarily exclusive and elite audience. It is a wonder how Osian's Connoisseurs have managed to organise and plan so many activities, when they have over Rs59.2 crores of loans to repay. However, perhaps none of this should be surprising considering their track record.
Earlier in April 2013, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had asked Osian’s-Connoisseurs, which managed Osian's Art Fund, to wind up its existing collective investment scheme (CIS) and refund the money collected from investors – a massive sum Rs102.40 crore raised from investors, most of whom were High-Net worth Individuals (HNIs).