‘We’re not built on basis of political involvement’ | business | Hindustan Times
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‘We’re not built on basis of political involvement’

Neil Mills, chief executive officer of SpiceJet, spoke to Hindustan Times on the raging telecom controversy that has hit the Marans. KalanithiMaran, brother of textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran, is the chairman and promoter of SpiceJet.

business Updated: Jun 03, 2011 21:01 IST
Tushar Srivastava

Neil Mills, chief executive officer of SpiceJet, spoke to Hindustan Times on the raging telecom controversy that has hit the Marans. KalanithiMaran, brother of textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran, is the chairman and promoter of SpiceJet. Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the whole controversy?
The impact on SpiceJet shares was dramatic on Thursday, though it recovered somewhat today. We feel there has been an overreaction to the whole issue. There is absolutely no substance to these allegations. We are connected only by blood of our chairman (to Dayanidhi Maran). That is the only connection. Dayanidhi Maran is not a director on our board nor is he a shareholder.

Even if Dayanidhi Maran doesn’t hold stake in SpiceJet, investor always look at it as a business run by the family.
That may be the perception. It’s not run by the family.

There are questions being raised about the source of the money that was pumped into the airline by Maran.
We have clearly shown everything before the Bombay Stock Exchange. Kalanithi Maran pledged Sun TV shares and borrowed money to buy shares of SpiceJet. He borrowed pledging existing assets and nobody else was involved in this.

Will SpiceJet be able to tide over these allegations as shares of companies that have previously been linked to the telecom scam haven’t been able to recover fully?
It would be inappropriate to compare us with other companies as there is no substance at all to the allegations that are being made.

Don’t you think that after this controversy promoters would find it difficult to raise funds to enhance operations?
I think it affects the general sentiment. It might impact investor confidence. It would be hard to raise money but I think everyone knows that SpiceJet is a profitable business and the fundamentals are strong. This won’t affect our functioning. We are a strong company, and not built on basis of political involvement.