‘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.