Mansi Desai, the daughter of renowned art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai, has issued a statement assuring that her father had every intention to honor his commitments and make the promised payments. She clarified that the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a lack of work and the temporary closure of ND Studios, was the main reason for the financial challenges. The art director’s company, ND’s Art World, had acquired loans totaling around Rs 185 crore through two transactions with ECL Finance in 2016 and 2018.
The difficulties with repayment began prior to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, starting in January 2020. According to a report by PTI, Mansi’s statement conveyed that her father never intended to deceive anyone, and he had planned to fulfill all the financial commitments he had made. She emphasized that the closure of the studio due to the pandemic hindered his ability to meet regular payments.
Mansi also revealed that her father had taken a loan of Rs 181 crore, of which he had already repaid Rs 86.31 crore, with all the payments settled in February 2020. She elaborated that he had even covered the six-month interest by selling his office in Powai. The statement stressed that Nitin Chandrakant Desai had no intention of committing fraud and was determined to fulfill all his promises.
Mansi implored the media to refrain from making defamatory statements about her late father and urged them to verify information with the family before publishing any details. She emphasized, “We kindly request the media to refrain from making defamatory statements about him and from spreading false information. We ask that you consult us before disseminating any information.”
Nitin Chandrakant Desai was found deceased on August 2 at his ND Studio in Khalapur Raigad near Karjat. It was reported that he had taken his own life. Local BJP MLA Mahesh Baldi from Karjat mentioned that financial stress appeared to be a factor contributing to his decision. The accomplished art director, a four-time National Award winner, had faced limited work opportunities over the past five years compared to his earlier career.
Desai was renowned for his elaborate set designs in movies such as “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,” “Jodha Akbar,” “Lagaan,” and “Devdas.” He had also contributed to films including “1942: A Love Story,” “Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha,” “Baadshah,” “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.,” and “Once Upon a Time in Mumbai.” His more recent major projects in art direction included “Panipat” and “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.”