On a seemingly uneventful evening of 28th June, Goa and Goans were hit by the torrential news of their favorite club Tito’s having been sold through a heartbreaking Facebook post by its owner Mr. Ricardo Joseph D’Souza. Since then, several people have come in support of Tito’s, passing the buck about what led to this extreme step, and the repercussions of the same.
Although Ricardo had not disclosed the news of his new partners, sources have revealed that he is a Punjab-based businessman. The new owner of Tito’s is purported to be an established casino operator. All that Ricardo disclosed was that it was a fair deal calling it “a win-win situation if both parties seal the deal smiling”.
Not much is known about the terms of the contract yet. However, it is believed that they have sold a 65% stake in Tito’s Resorts & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. As per Ricardo, an IPO and expansion may be in the offing.
The deal has not yet been finished yet, and a major portion of the deal is still remaining. Soon after the announcement post went public, several known people came forward with an outpour of love and support for the brand, as well as consolation for the public.
Calangute MLA Mr. Michael Lobo addressed the media saying that he is a close friend of the owner and will talk him out of the deal, as only the advance has been paid yet. He further promised that if it must be sold, he will continue his attempts to keep the stakes sold to below 50%.
“I am the only person who has been telling him not to sell, or sells just a small percentage… if anybody from our department has harassed him, he should tell me their name,” he said. However, when the previous Sarpanchas were named in the interview, Mr. Lobo wished to not comment.
Although conjecture has filled the air with hopes that Ricardo will reverse the deal, it does not seem too likely. “I don’t plan to do any business in Goa until the system is fixed. I don’t blame politicians, I blame the system; the cogs within the system,” Mr. D’Souza said in an interview with The Quint.
This was not a sudden decision, but things that I have been facing every single day for the last 40 odd years. “This is not something I want the upcoming businessmen of today to be going through, therefore I decided to take a stand. I am putting my foot down in defense of all those whose voices go unheard”.
When asked what changes he envisages in the “system”, Ricardo spoke of major changes in ‘ease of doing business. He pushed for a ‘single window clearance’ for all businesses as a must. “There are too many corrupt departments that one has to get through in order to get licenses for doing business,” he said.
Having a legendary record of hosting 16,425 parties, playing 87,6000 hours of music, and welcoming 90,000 visitors every month, there can really be no place else if not for Tito’s.
After being the go-to party place in Goa, this iconic club situated in Baga’s Tito’s lane was set to be sold and perhaps, shut to the world, forever!
On being asked how these negative influences managed to bring down the 50 years-strong business, Mr. D’Souza shared that he does not see it that way. “The amount of love we got from all over the world was incredible”. The outpour of love from people has proved that Tito’s is too strong to be taken down by adversaries.
People not just in Goa but all over India were left in disbelief. A homegrown business, it was built with years of hard work and struggle by the owner, who in his own words, began by “selling sandwiches under coconut trees”. Lots of help and support from the local Goan and international visitors alike had made this dream possible.
Meanwhile, the sale of Club Tito’s has rendered its employees without work. This goes for not just the staff working at Tito’s but even the shop owners running stores in Tito’s Lane. in a situation where they were already suffering from the misgivings of the pandemic, they believe, is set to serve the blow harder.