Had promised to pay on January 25, but calls employees to collect salaries in mid-Feb; says he is raising funds to reopen the restaurant
Interiors of Illuminati that opened in January and shut down in December last year
Employees of Illuminati — the high-end lounge bar and restaurant that shut shop within a year of opening — were once again turned away empty-handed by their boss, Akhilesh Rao, who had promised to clear their two months' dues by January 25. On Tuesday, he gave them another date — February 15 — for clearance of dues, but the staffers are not optimistic at all.
One of the employees said he suspects Rao will not fulfil his promise and "we will continue to suffer".
Rao shut down Illuminati, which opened in January 2019, on December 18 after suffering heavy loss and hasn't paid his staff since November.
"We were asked to wait till January 25. A few employees had called Rao that day but were given another excuse. He said January 25 was a Saturday and the banks were shut. Was he not aware of this before? He had given us a fake promise just to extend the date once again. We are left with no money," an employee told mid-day.
Another employee alleged that Rao was working hand in glove with the MIDC police and that is why "no case has been registered against him despite making a complaint to the police control room". "We have no money to commute, pay school fees of our children, buy medicines, etc. How will we survive? We are asking for our hard-earned money," the employee added.
Rao, however, claimed that he is working on a plan to reopen Illuminati and his priority is to clear the dues of his employees, some of whom have already taken up new jobs.
"The return of first five months could not be evaluated properly as it was just the beginning. However, later we realised that the business was not doing well and we were short of funds to run Illuminati. So, we downed the shutters on December 18," Rao told mid-day.
"But we are working to raise fund to reopen it. Our priority is to clear the salary of all the employees. But our fund-raising exercise is marred due to some reasons," he added.
Day Akhilesh Rao called staff to collect payment
Day Rao has promised to clear the employees' dues
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