Book Review: The Target-Jignesh Shah

The book ‘The Target’ – by Shantanu Guha Ray tells the story of the NSEL scam and how its fallout completely destroyed Jignesh Shah, the founder of NSEL,MCX and other exchanges

As readers are aware, the NSEL scam was unique in the annals of Indian markets.The exchange, as per the then FM, was “illegal from Day 1″

Many people lost monies, reputations and even lives in the fallout of the scam.

Would like readers to listen to this audio conversation (in Gujarati) which one of the victims had with Jignesh Shah in October 2013


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In the audio conversation,Jignesh Shah makes it clear that he is no way responsible for any defaults…in fact, he is a victim !

The book runs with this line of thinking and makes the startling case that the NSEL scam was a conspiracy to destroy Jignesh Shah.

The book is replete with allegations-feel the author just penned down whatever Jignesh bhai was telling him- such as:

  • The NSEL crisis was used by three people-Chidambaram (then FM) , Dr. K P Krishnan (Additional Secy,MOF) and Ramesh Abhishek (Chairman, FMC)- to destroy Jignesh Shah
  • The babus of the Finance Ministry wanted to see Jignesh Shah destroyed as he had single handedly challenged SEBI in the courts and NSE in the market place
  • The real culprits of the NSEL scam were brokers who fraudulently sold NSEL products to their clients
  • The clients were not deserving of any sympathy as they were indulging in “bogus trades”
  • Kirit Somaiya led-Investor Grievances Forum- filed a complaint against NSEL but not against brokers because most of brokers belonged to Kirit’s Marwari fraternity
  • Ramesh Abhishek,Chairman FMC, did not go after the defaulting brokers because he too is a Marwari

And so on and on.

The Book is one sided and gives Jignesh Shah a clean chit.Nay, it glorifies him by comparing him to John Galt, of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (there is one entire chapter on this !)

The Book fails to grasp the simple point that the primary function of an Exchange is to guarantee settlements.If it can’t do so and if it is unable to understand that,it has no purpose being in the stock market business and nor do its promoters.

The author uses a Delhi term ‘Kaam Tamam’ to explain the fate of Jignesh Shah.

I have a Mumbai term for this-‘Encounter Kar Diya’

The Mumbai police used to be notorious for its “Encounters”-where dreaded criminals/underworld elements were bumped off. Sometimes, they used to “encounter” minor criminals in the belief that these criminals can create major problems in the future.

I believe something similar happened to Jignesh Shah.He had already received permissions after much effort, litigation etc to start an Equities Stock Exchange.The authorities believed that if not checked,with his recklessness,sharp business practices and management style, his Exchanges could create ‘systemic risk’ and imperil everyone.

So they used the NSEL scam to “Encounter ” him

Read this book if interested in the NSEL scam.

2 replies on “Book Review: The Target-Jignesh Shah”

Jignesh lives in posh juhu, huge house with swimming pool, throws massive parties, had a holi party in Novatel, rubs shoulders with the top brass, all this was a planned scam, nothing but scam scam scam he is a cheat

I used to work in a company of the so called brokers – while yes they are to blame for getting greedy and selling a “too good to be true product” without adequate due diligence – a broker is an intermediary- he creates a platform. In fact they trusted Jignesh Shah believing that since he is there , nothing will go wrong. Blaming them is a convenient red herring. This man was a shark! If you talk to people who conducted investigation, his vision was 50 to 5000! A valuation of 5000 crs with an investment of 50 crs. It is this mentality of cutting corners, bribing people to create wealth – as exemplified by Ambanis and Adanis that lead to this disaster. Money does not grow on trees. But people like him want that and in the process kill multiple investors with them.

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