Friday, 20 January 2012
Book Review – “Scammed: Confessions of a Confused Accountant” by Anonymous
It’s always a pleasure to read a book written by an industry insider. Some months ago, I had read Puneet Gupta’s Suicide Banker which gave an intimate account of banking fraud. The main fly in the Suicide Banker’s ointment was that Gupta was not particularly savvy with his prose and I was left wondering when India would produce a Stephen Frey.
Now here comes a book written by an anonymous accountant, who will cease to be anonymous if you google the book’s title and/or read articles such as this one by The Hindu which is much better written than Gupta’s Suicide Banker. "Scammed: Confessions of a Confused Accountant" is a light read with a plot that manages to show the underbelly of India’s corporate world. Hitesh Shah, the protagonist, is a much bullied accountant who gets his big break when an impressed client offers him a CEO’s job. The new job is glamorous and pays big bucks though it carries with it a not-so-faint stink of tainted money and dirty politics. Like most other people in his position, Hitesh Shah leaps at the opportunity and as the CEO of Super Cabs, a private taxi company, is soon in the limelight. He is interviewed by TV channels and the pretty Sushma finds him attractive enough to date and live-in. The promoters of Super Cabs want aggressive growth and despite some misgivings, Hitesh largely obliges them.
Powerful people usually have powerful enemies and the political opponents of Super Cabs' promoters soon raise the temperature at Super Cabs. Not long after, there some trouble with labour unions and allegations of fraud start flying. Hitesh is left holding the can and is soon on the run. Sushma is no longer in the picture-she had ditched Hitesh some time ago, but the much more genuine Payal lends a helping hand, as do a few other genuine friends. How does it all end when Hitesh is not totally innocent since he did ignore the usual warning signs and had turned a blind eye to many questionable things? Surely this unusual book can’t have a totally happy ending? Do please read this book to find out for yourself – it’s a simple, light read, written in functional prose that would serve you well on a long train or plane journey.