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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Suicide Banker-Puneet Gupta-Book review

The Suicide Banker by Puneet Gupta is another interesting banking related fiction, at par with the ones by Ravi Subramanian (Read: Devils in Pinstripes * The Incredible Banker * Bankster * )

The suicide banker is focused on the concept of rural banking- lending money to farmers and villagers. Sumeet is the lead character who hops from SBI to Citizen bank to Ind-Credit bank. In his role as fraud detector, he smells the rot in agri-business, but people at the helm of control are in no mood to retrospect. They are riding high on the initial wave of success- of being able to disburse large amounts of money in short time and build a large portfolio. However, not everything is well at the bottom- aggressive sales people are throwing caution to winds and indulging in malpractices hand in glove with franchises, in order to meet their targets and increase their own income. Money meant to finance villagers is also routed to stock markets and other investments, using bogus documents. This bubble had to explore one day. The book explains it in detail.

Conflict of work-life balance is also nicely illustrated in the book.

I could relate very well with the story, because I've myself invested about 10k in micro finance, via RangDe and lost a part of it due to micro finance related escalations in Andhra Pradesh

Couple of missing things:

  • At the beginning of the story, there was a mention of author discovering a fake ATM of Ind Credit Bank set up in Mumbai- this aspect was not covered further- who did it, how did it impact customers and so on
  • Author completely misses out on the technologies like Blackberries. No where in the novel there's a mention of blackberries
  • Venkat not taking his laptops to any of the meeting sounds a bit strange
  • Couple of minor typos have sneaked in- like in Page 78, begged instead of bagged

Summary:
Title: The Suicide Banker, paperback
Author: Puneet Gupta
MRP: Rs 195 (Available for less online)
Publisher: Rupa
Genre: Fiction

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