Bollywood Art Director Nitin Desai Found Dead at Studio, Amidst Reports of Rs2.5-Billion Loan Default

Nitin Desai Found Dead at Studio

Renowned Indian art director Nitin Desai, known for his contributions to iconic films like “Lagaan” and “Jodhaa Akbar,” passed away tragically at his Maharashtra studio. He faced financial difficulties, including a substantial Rs2.52 billion loan default, as reported by Indian media.

PTI revealed that an insolvency petition was filed against Desai in a bankruptcy court due to his financial situation. Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) President B N Tiwari stated Desai sought help due to struggles in repaying loans. COVID-19 impact on studio business worsened his financial woes.

Maharashtra MLA Mahesh Baldi noted Desai’s financial stress a month before his tragic passing, suggesting it could be a factor. Despite movie opportunities, ND Studios primarily hosted TV shoots, weakening financial stability.

Desai’s venture, ND’s Art World Pvt Ltd, obtained loans totaling Rs1.85 billion from ECL Finance in 2016 and 2018, with repayment issues emerging in January 2020. Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company’s insolvency plea was accepted by Mumbai’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on July 25, following which Desai’s account was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) with an outstanding amount of Rs2.52 billion by June 2022.

Desai’s company cited a significant property loss due to a May 7, 2021 fire incident at ND Studios, alongside a recovery notice from creditors on the same day, highlighting the challenges they faced.

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