The future of Best Deal TV, the home shopping channel owned by celebrity couple Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, is looking uncertain as Kundra, who served as CEO of the company, has stepped down.
In December last year, the company had temporarily suspended operations after seeing a drastic drop in the business after demonetisation. However, vendors across the country alleged that the company has defaulted on payments since the beginning of last year.
Meanwhile, Kundra, sent his resignation letter to the company via email (a copy of which is with ET) on December 15. He wrote, “I would like to officially resign as CEO of Best Deal TV. All good things come to an end I guess.”
“We nearly conquered the industry, so close yet so far. The demonetisation, whilst a bold and most needed step, unfortunately came at a very bad time for our industry and we have been nothing but collateral damage,” he wrote.
ET had reported on Dec 13 that the company had decided to suspend operations due to demonetisation and the cash crunch in the market. Hari Trivedi, chief operating officer, Best Deal TV had said that the cash-on-delivery business was negligible because of which the company was finding it difficult to meet the internal expenses.
However, multiple vendors claimed that the channel has not paid their dues running into crores since January last year. Trivedi had said that almost Rs 4.5 crore worth of payments to 80 vendors are pending between January and June. “It’s not a very big amount for the promoters. Once Kundra comes back, we will start clearing the dues. We have also suffered major losses, but we are looking at negotiating and settling the dues,” he had said.
Best Deal TV was launched in March last year by Shetty and Kundra, who own 63% stake in the company. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar was given 8% stake for his endorsement of the channel, while Deepak Kothari, managing director of UY Industries, invested Rs 60 crore to own about 26%. The company has burned as much as Rs 100 crore in the past 18 months.