Milestone Capital MD dies in senseless tree tragedy

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Mumbai Mirror

Mumbai, 26 August 2011:  One of corporate India’s youngest and most promising fund managers, Ved Prakash Arya, managing director, Milestone Capital, died in a freak accident Thursday morning when a coconut tree crashed on him during his morning walk in a garden near his house in Versova.


His wife, Rubi, head of human resources at UB Group, was walking with him a little distance ahead when the mishap took place. A fellow walker, John Solkar, helped Rubi pull her husband, a fitness enthusiast and a regular walker at the garden, from under the tree.


Though Arya was conscious while he was being taken to Kokilaben Hospital in the family’s car, he suffered a cardiac arrest minutes after being wheeled in. A hospital source said Ved was gasping for breath when he was brought in. "He was put on a ventilator but he was sinking. Several attempts were made to resuscitate the patient but we could not save him."


Ved Arya


Arya, who is survived by his wife and two children -- Tanu, 12 and Dhruv, 9 -- is the ninth victim of a tree crash in three years in the city. After facing much criticism on poor maintenance of trees, the municipal corporation recently set up an independent committee to inspect weak trees.


The garden developed by the Local Area Management body three years back was deserted when Arya and his wife arrived for their daily walk around 7.40 am. Fifteen minutes and a couple of laps later, when Arya was near the garden’s entrance the tree came crashing down crushing him.


John and a guard from a neighbouring building pulled Arya out and laid him on a cot brought from the garden security guard’s room. John said Arya seemed alright as he laid him down on the cot. "I offered him water. He was talking to us. At one point he asked me to let him sit up," John recalled.


In the meantime, Rubi was making desperate attempts to stop an auto or a passing car to rush her husband to the hospital. "We lost a lot of time because while a people slowed down to see what was happening, none stopped. Rubi then called her driver to get the family car," said John.


Arya was conscious in the car and complained only of pain in his arm, said John.


However, by the time they reached Kokilaben hospital at Lokhandwala, a 15-minute drive away, he was out of breath. Minutes later he suffered a cardiac arrest.


A ’leader’ lost:

Arya set up Milestone Capital four years back and quickly scaled it up to become a prominent domestic private equity firm with assets of nearly $1 billion under its management. In this brief time, he also started a few joint ventures, including one with IL&FS Investment Managers and another with Religare Venture Capital.


Arya, a keen marathoner, had a fairly young top management team at Milestone,  with most key executives in their early 40s.


An engineering graduate from the University of Rajasthan and an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad, Arya spent a year at ESSEC Business School in France doing research work. He had completed an Advanced Management Programme from Harvard Business School.


Before setting up Milestone, he was the COO and director (operations) at Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. He also helped set up Globus Store Private Limited for the Rajan Raheja Group in 1998 and was its CEO till March, 2004.


Official spokesperson of Milestone Capital described Arya’s untimely demise as ’loss of a leader’. "We are deeply shocked at this sudden turn of events. We just cannot come to terms with the fact that he is no more with us. We will extend our full support to the family in their moment of grief and will stand by their side. But as he taught us that business is a separate vertical, so business runs as usual. But at the same time, this is an irreparable loss to us."


Shocked neighbourhood:

At Gladioli, the building where the Aryas’ live, this correspondent was stopped by neighbours from going up to the apartment. "The children have not been told about the unfortunate event. They are with their grandparents," said a neighbour who did not wish to be identified.


Friends and well wishers in large numbers gathered outside Kokilaben Hospital to extended support to Rubi, who went about the carrying out the formalities calm and composed.


The body was later shifted to Cooper hospital around 2.30 pm for post-mortem. The funeral took place at 6.30 pm at the Yari Road cremation ground.


Kavita Malhotra, who helped develop the garden where Arya lost his life, in her capacity as secretary, Ashoka Road Residents Association, said she was shocked to learn of the accident.


Malhotra said regular maintenance and inspection of trees was carried out at the garden. "None of the trees were deemed dangerous," she added.


BMC’s tree officer inspected the site later in the day and submitted its report to Assistant Commissioner of the K-west ward Ramesh Pawar.




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Comments on this Article
SANJAY LALIT, DELHI Tue, August-30-2011, 4:41
I have worked with Brillant, Ved Prakash Arya for 15 months. Indeed. its the shocking news of my entire life to know the sad demise of our beloved Shri Ved Prakash Arya at a very young age. May the Almighty God give sufficient fortitude to the bereaved family members to withstand the irreparable loss. May the Departed Soul rest in peace. I still cherish my start up association of 15 months with Ved Milestone Group. It\ s really a wonderful association with him.In reality, I got a lot of inspirations from him. Parting away from Milestone left a lot of memorable events in my mind. I will always remember my association with Ved.
Vishal Soni, Udaipur Rajasthan Sun, August-28-2011, 7:48
He was 1 year senior in Engineering college . My date of birth was same as ved. we used to celebrate together. we did our summer training Escorts tractor division Bangalore. it was so sad to hear about him
Ms Papun Bhattacharya, Kolkata Sun, August-28-2011, 6:10
Deep Condolence to bereaved family .
Sanjeev Vaid, Kota/Jaipur Fri, August-26-2011, 5:12

Mr. Ved is my classmate in Mahavir school Jaipur.He was hardworking and very gentle in speaking.we goes 8 km cycling and enjoy in the meantime and return by cycling.we share our homework and study together.i feel deeply sad by sudden demise of my classmate and frend of school time.

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