The Target – is an eye-opener as it reveals a sordid conspiracy hatched by the unholy nexus of bureaucrats-politicians-regulator, against FTIL Group and its promoter Jignesh Shah.
Mr. Shantanu Guha Ray has gone deep into the story and revealed the various actions by the government. The writer also expresses that the resolution of the NSEL crisis is possible if only all involved, government, FTIL, defaulters-who possess the entire default amount, and brokers get together and put a concerted effort. The author very subtly conveys that such a big, national level crisis should be the top most agenda for the government and be resolved at the earliest
Such a blatant read about how innovation gets stifled at the hands of a few vested interests, at the cost of the nation’s growth, millions of jobs, and faith in the corporate governance.
Selective diction, devoid of lengthy phrases, and easy style make The Target Book an excellent piece of literature. Highly recommended to all.
‘The Target’ is perhaps the first of its kind on market crises. It is an investigative journalist’s detailed probe into a payment default crisis that destroyed an Exchange industry set up by tech-evangelist Jignesh Shah as part of his “Make in India” dream over the past 10 years. As the author, Shantanu Guha Ray says he started digging up skeletons of the NSEL payment crisis while working on the cover story for a legal magazine. Guha stumbles upon certain confidential government documents at clearly expose the role of top bureaucrats in scuttling Shah’s growing companies only to bring his empire down. And all this was done because Shah had proved to be a threat to the monopolistic forces in the markets led by the holy cow called the National Spot Exchange, says Guha.
Guha is so inspired by Jignesh Shah’s exemplary innovations that he has compared him to John Galt – the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, the hugely popular novel of 1950s by Russia-born American author, Ayn Rand. Guha says, both these innovators challenged the system, fired a revolution that broke the shackles of a monopolistic regime in the interest of all those who wanted fair play in the markets.
As the author rightly points out Jignesh Shah’s vision of creating 10 new-generation regulated multi asset (equity, commodity, currency, bond and electricity) financial markets just in 10 years across India, Singapore, Dubai and Africa was admired and acknowledged in India as well as abroad.By shunting Shah and FTIL out of the Exchange space, India has lost all these robust companies.The Target exposes the role of a top union minister and his favourite bureaucrats who conspired to bring down Jignesh Shah’s Exchange Empire because they wanted to promote the NSE!
The narration of the series of events that followed the NSEL crisis makes this book stand out from your regular read. I am sure it would keep you on the edge throughout.
The Indian market is perhaps the most difficult in the world to succeed in. India’s diverse socio-economic conditions and a unique political climate offer both, advantages as well as certain challenges to its business leaders, including innovators and entrepreneurs.
All professionals and business leaders find themselves facing challenging situations. These could range from possible disputes with its manpower, customers, its chain of suppliers or distributors or even regulatory or government authorities. In some case, these disputes have assumed disastrous proportions in our country.
Senior journalist Mr. Shantanu Guha Ray has taken a hard look at the challenges that India’s innovation and entrepreneurship industry faces today. The book provides wonderfully nuanced insights into the world of Corporate India, its cut-throat rivalry and competition for big fortunes.
‘The Target’ is a real-life story of Jignesh Shah, an innovator and an entrepreneur who transformed Indian financial markets. It is an essential read for business leaders wanting to understand the dynamics of emerging markets.
Financial Technologies is a well-reputed company, with more than 60,000 public shareholders, an accomplished Board and a dynamic management, considered to be one of the most respected and widely regarded technology solutions companies that pioneered multi-asset-class trading segment. Cost-effective and efficient technology solutions enabled Indian financial markets to expand the reach, benefiting millions, including financial institutions, intermediaries, investors and other stakeholders.
Since its inception, FTIL has not received any complaint from exchanges or intermediaries, which are its biggest clients and customers. Even competing institutions used to buy technology solutions from FTIL, which is a testimony to its integrity and business ethics. There was never any regulatory action of any sort, although the exchange and ecosystem ventures of the Group were operating in several regulatory jurisdictions in India and abroad.
Despite all these, the Group was declared ‘Not Fit & Proper’ and forced to exit from its exchange ventures after the NSEL crisis. This is a huge loss for the nation as one of the finest financial institutions that promised to take India to glorious heights has been savaged.
The Target, by ShantanuGuha Ray, hovers around the conspiracy hatched by a few bureaucrats and politicians, having vested interests, against the poster boy of Indian exchange market, Jignesh Shah.
The title alone pretty much conveys the gist of the account. The author gives a vivid description of how the big NSEL crisis unfolded and led to a series of untoward actions by the regulatory authority and the investigative agencies against FTIL group and its promoter Jignesh Shah.
The author has very well brought to the fore the goof-ups on the part of the Forward Markets Commission, a regulatory authority of the National Spot Exchange Limited, causes of the crisis, and the nasty approach of the investigative agencies towards the case. And yes, FMC had the biggest role in triggering the NSEL crisis.
Shantanu has exposed this link-up between crooked politicians and bureaucrats. He has also elaborated on the ill-intention of KP Krishnan and P. Chidambaram as how being supporters of NSE they perceived the success of FTIL group, especially MCX, as a big threat to NSE.
A must-read for all those interested in hidden politician-bureaucrat nexus and its impact on the masses.
I know it is a very filmy headline, but I think it is really apt. I have heard a lot of stories in which Jignesh Shah was painted black. How he routed black money with the help of brokers, how he bypassed the regulations and violated the norms of the exchange laws, how he had formed nexus with the brokers and defaulters to cheat the investors trading on his platform. Like the herd of blind fools, I followed and believed the public perception. But, often, the truth is entirely different.
I read Shantanu Guha Ray’s ‘The Target’ and came to realise that Jignesh Shah is actually beyond these petty things. For a man, who made a lot of money through his exchanges, this Rs 5600 crore is not really a big deal. So it is quite surprising to think that the public image of this great pioneer of exchange industry is quite low.
This book gives you the other side of what happened in NSEL. Jignesh Shah‘s fear, unhappiness, anger, loneliness and the deep rooted hurt at being misread so negatively by the media. Why should this happen to a man like him – an entrepreneur who created 10 exchange ventures and turned the way the world looks at the Indian financial markets?
Over a couple of years now, we Indians have witnessed quite a few ripples on the financial front. Anomalies like high-handedness have been in the limelight, spelling bad news for the investment climate.
While the government deserves appreciation on rolling back PF withdrawal forms, there is an urgent need to remedy a few more critical issues that can send out signals that we respect corporate governance as much as any other nation.
I was reading this book based on a Mumbai-based entrepreneur. And I was taken aback by how this high-handedness crushed initiatives that were benefitting our Nation along with all stakeholders involved.
Titled – The Target Book, this book is written by ShantanuGuha Ray and highlights how a few of our own politicians and bureaucrats shrugged the entrepreneur – Jignesh Shah and his ventures so that they could be safe and rich.
It was the ruling government that took all possible unwarranted measures to demean a national vision, going to the extent of slapping unlawful orders on Jignesh Shah’s companies, namely National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) and Financial Technologies (India) Limited (FTIL).
How could the government expect 63,000 shareholders of FTIL to pay for brokers and market-men transgressions in a crisis that was engineered for selfish motives and stop FTIL in its tracks?
Would urge all of you to read it and decide if what happened was RIGHT OR WRONG!
So I was reading this book on Jignesh Shah, which was recently launched, that captured his creations and innovations, apart from the injustice done to him.
For all those who aren’t aware – Jignesh Shah was a pioneer who developed the commodities and futures industry in India and took it to the world. But while his ventures were making India proud, he was crushed with all force by the then ruling government with unreasonable orders and verdicts.
Titled – The Target Book, by ShantanuGuha Ray, this book, which I request all of you to read brings to light how a true ‘Made in India’ story was destroyed by our very own politicians and bureaucrats. One such order was a merger of two of his companies – NSEL & FTIL.
While considering the pros and cons of this forced merger, it is evident that the merger will destroy the concept of “limited liability”. It may also lead to global and local investors losing confidence in investing, given that FTIL has FDI and FII investments. It will further set a precedent to an array of PILs seeking a merger of companies facing financial problems with their solvent parent companies.
The forced merger will also have an adverse impact on FTIL’s market capitalization. It may erode its net-worth by buckling the unproven and sub-judice liabilities of more than Rs.5,000 crore ofNSEL onto FTIL. This will directly harm thousands of FTIL shareholders along with hundreds of its employees, creditors, vendors and other stakeholders, which is against the spirit and purpose of Section 396. It can hardly be said that Section 396 was meant to fasten third-party unproven liabilities on a healthy company with a view to adversely affect the stakeholders of such healthy company, its creditors, and employees.
While the saying – “All is Well, That Ends Well”, holds true here, we too hope for an unbiased and beneficial resort to the NSEL–FTIL crisis, a resort that would be globally favorable and fortunate for other corporate houses too.
It is a known fact that Jignesh Shah owned 99.9% of NSEL. But of all the exchanges that he created, only NSEL incurred a crisis. At the outset, it looks fishy as none of the other exchanges which he has been heading saw any such problems. In fact, NSEL ran successfully for five years since its inception in 2008. But, if there was a market watchdog, was it sleeping for five years. I am an ardent investor in the commodities market and I was one of the happiest when MCX came about in 2003. Jignesh Shah rose to stardom, and his direct competitor was the monopolistic NSE.
The NSEL which ran successfully for five years was under the supervision of FMC from 2011. So in the two years that FMC was the designated authority to lead the exchanges and protecting the investor interests, it was definitely sleeping. If it takes so much time to actually connect the dots or even notice a violation, two years after it was designated by the Govt to do so, then it is an issue as it clearly shows the FMC was ineffective as an authorised watchdog. In addition, if it was so incompetent, why did the Government approve of its recommendations of NSEL-FTIL merger, when they themselves merged FMC with SEBI. It does sound strange that it was a premeditated move to bring down Jignesh Shah. Have the vested interests succeeded in killing his spirit of innovation. Guess, only time will tell!
As the central regulatory body, MCA holds the responsibility of governing corporations and ensuring sustainable corporate growth — the most crucial growth metric of the last few decades. But alas, the purpose seems to be lost on MCA in the NSELcase where it has looked directionless in its decision making.
Shooting yourself in the foot, a snake biting its own tail or a government overruling its own laws — all iterations carry self-destructive undertones that must ring a bell to Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in its handling of the NSEL case.
One such ludicrous decision, made on flimsy grounds, with the potential of a dreadful impact is the merger order of the defunct NSEL with FTIL. A move ordered without any rational thinking will burden around 63k innocent shareholders of FTIL with Rs. 5,600 crore. People who were far away from what was happening at NSEL will be made to pay for the sins of defaulting brokers at NSEL, now established as the main culprits in SEBI’s ongoing investigations.
And MCA still couldn’t build up a strong case to make its point, as proven in the Bombay High Court when it stated that not a single penny has gone to NSEL, FTIL or its promoter. At a time when Make in India is galloping towards success, MCA’s actions outline breach of limited liability — just not what an FDI seeking nation would want! Government rethinks its decision!