Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: The Incredible Banker

Ravi Subramanian delivers another masterpiece. After 'If God Was a Banker' and 'Devil in Pinstripes', Ravi has come out with the last in his trilogy of Banking Chronicles, although this one has a slightly different and serious angle of terror funding.

The story of the book is set in the backdrop of a private American bank struggling to get a fare share in Indian Retail Market. The plot takes us to Boston, Mumbai, Singapore and to the jungles of Chhattisgarh as well, although I must admit these points are very well connected and as a reader I never felt lost.

"The Incredible Banker" is a tale of corporate politics, credit card frauds, money laundering, personal ego above friendship and relationship and about 'success at any cost'.

The book starts in a flashback with a naxal attack in Orrisa and then swiftly moves to CEO office of the Bank in posh south Mumbai area. Ravi has played to his strength of writing, being a banker himself, he is not new to what most of the foreign banks do to make their mark in India. The book also attempts to bring to light the extent to which these private financial institutions can go in spreading their business using all the un-ethical means and at the same time masking themselves as clean and ethical institution. But believe me, RBI and CBI spares no one. The top most regulatory body of the country is particularly strict on foreign banks. The story kicks off when the CEO of the bank is pulled out of his 'Morning Prayer' and summoned by the RBI Governor. The story mostly swings between present-flashback-present and sometime goes off-track when compared to the high standards set in his previous two books. Continuing the trend from his earlier books, there are two leading men in this story as well, Deepak & Karan, both of them are gunning for glory at each other's cost.

The book is an exciting yet provocative insight of money, success, greed, love, emotion and business ethics. The book has a serious angle of naxal and terror funding through credit cards and the way private banks sell (or distribute ?) these cards without keeping the proper checks and controls in place. Though it is a complex subject, the author with his most honest attempt, has given an inside view of murkiness of corporate world. Its a real page turner, specially the last 50 pages and my expectations from this book has not gone in vain and I would easily rate it a very good 7 on 10.

What does the embedded "RED" in "The Incredible Banker" signify; Many have interpreted the answer in their own different way. Does it signify a simple danger sign or the naxal link or is it related with the logo of some bank? ;)
Navigate through the pages of this book and answer yourself.


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