Nice summary here.
It is such a typical story of spectacular rise and fall seen in so many businesses. Usually you see such decline across generations when gains made by first generation are squandered by subsequent ones living lavishly. That it happened in one generation is a testimony of how lavish the whole thing was.
Not very long ago, the protagonist was both darling of corporate world and the media. Now all things have turned just the opposite.
Infact, this is a very interesting question of business history. Why certain business which start as family affairs last generations whereas others just fritter away after showing some promise (in this case just one generation perhaps). I think somewhere down the line it is this family code written somewhere of not taking things for granted and live as simple as possible. Stay away from all kinds of publicity and flash.
Every business has ups and downs. In a down cycle it is much easier for the non flashy businesses to survive as one is away from limelight and can restructure.
In case of Mallya this option is not just available. A friend commented that there must be so many who owe more than Mallya to the banks but no one really talks about them. The one in the media becomes an easy scapegoat as people have seen riches being spent just too easily.