The CEO of a Chicago-based tech management company was killed in January after he fell to his death during a stage stunt at the company’s silver anniversary party in India, the New York Post reported.
Vistex CEO Sanjay Shah was killed when he and company president Vishwanath Raju Datla were making a flashy entrance on stage via an iron cage descending from the rafters as part of the company’s 25th Anniversary celebration at Ramoji Film City.
The incident, which was captured on video and published in the Times of India’s website, showed the two executives being lowered to the stage as fireworks erupted and an announcer was telling the audience to “put their hands together” for the two executives.
As the cage started its descent, one of the wires from the rigging snapped and the cage dropped on one side. Shah and Datla were dumped out of the cage about 15 feet from the floor. One of the men landed head-first.
Sanjay Shah was killed instantly while Vishwanath Raju Datla suffered severe injuries and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Officials are investigating the rigging used to lower the cage.
Shah and Datla were in India to celebrate Vistex’s silver jubilee with employees from the company’s Asia-Pacific office.
Sanjay Shah founded Vistex in 1999. Since then, the advisory service company has expanded to more than 20 offices globally. Its client list includes some of the biggest corporations, including General Motors, Yamaha, and Coca-Cola.
Born in Mumbai, India, Shah moved to the United States in the late 80s to attend Lehigh University business school. He received an MBA from Lehigh in 1989 at the age of 21, according to the university.
According to a statement from Vistex, Shah donated $5 million to Lehigh to establish the Vistex Institute for Executive Education.
A noted philanthropist, in 2020, Shah opened the Vistex Hospital in Bihar, India.
His Vistex Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations that promote health and education.