corporate India

Videocon dismisses rumours about raids at its offices

The indebted company also rejected ‘false and malicious’ news reports about its Chairperson Venugopal Dhoot.

Consumer electronics and petroleum conglomerate Videocon Industries on Thursday refuted rumours about law enforcement agencies searching its offices. The company’s shares declined 3.33% during the day after the reports emerged.

“Videocon categorically asserts there is no substance to rumours that the company’s offices were raided by any investigative agency,” the company said in its filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. “The contention of the said reports regarding Chairman Venugopal Dhoot is totally false and malicious. Members are advised not to fall prey to such rumours.”

The company, which is facing insolvency proceedings, is renegotiating with lenders to extend the repayment period of its Rs 22,100-crore debt by five years, DNA reported on Wednesday. “We are not asking for any interest waivers,” Dhoot told the newspaper. “We are only requesting banks to delay the repayment of the dues by five years. The stock price will bounce back after the initial panic as the company is backed by strong underlying assets.”

The group has an overall Rs 43,100-crore debt, of which Rs 21,000 crore is foreign debt secured against the company’s oil and gas fields in Brazil and Indonesia worth $12 billion (Rs 78,000 crore). The foreign debt is from banks such as the Bank of America and Standard Chartered, and the loans are extended to the company’s subsidiary, Videocon Hydrocarbon Holdings Ltd, Dhoot said.

“This portion of the loan cannot become stressed as we have a huge oil field asset to service it,” the Videocon chairperson said. “If you look at our results, we reported operational profit but landed up in losses due to the interest payment burden, which is about Rs 2,500 crore annually.”

Videocon’s stocks have been declining since Dena Bank and Central Bank declared loans to the company as non-performing assets. It is among the most-leveraged groups in India, and a Credit Suisse study in October 2015 had named it among the 10 companies with the highest debt in India.

Several experts, including former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, have repeatedly voiced their concerns about the ticking time bomb of corporate debt in India.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.