A festive company event in India took a tragic turn when a tech CEO fell 15 feet to his death due to a stage mishap. Sanjay Shah, CEO of Vistex, and Vishwanath Raju Datla, the company’s president, were making a grand entrance in an iron cage that was being lowered onto the stage when a wire broke, causing the cage to plummet.
The horrifying incident occurred in front of a crowd of employees. A video of the event shows the yellow cage, suspended near the rafters, beginning to shake as fireworks went off. A voice can be heard encouraging the crowd to applaud for the two executives. Suddenly, the cage dropped to one side, causing Shah and Datla to fall approximately 15 feet to the ground, equivalent to a one-story drop. The video shows one of the men flipping over and landing head-first.
Shah did not survive the fall, while Datla was critically injured. Although the initial cause of the accident was identified as a broken wire, an investigation is underway to determine if there were other factors, such as issues with the cage, which was equipped with iron wires and grills and was being moved by a rolling machine.
Shah and Datla were in India to celebrate the silver jubilee of Vistex Asia at the renowned Ramoji Film City. The lowering of the executives in the cage was a planned part of the two-day celebration, according to a company official.
Vistex, an advisory service company founded by Shah in 1999, has over 20 global offices and serves major clients such as GM, Yamaha, and Coca-Cola. Shah, originally from Mumbai, India, moved to the United States to attend business school at Lehigh University, where he earned his MBA at the age of 21.
Shah was not only a successful businessman but also a philanthropist. In 2017, he donated $5 million to establish the Vistex Institute for Executive Education at Lehigh University. He also founded the Vistex Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofits focusing on health, education, and basic needs. In 2020, he opened the Vistex Hospital in Bihar, India, which has been recognized as a national model COVID-19 facility.