Friday, 13 December 2013

Scammed - Confessions of a Confused Accountant

Life is miserable for Hitesh Shah, despite his coveted job in a top accounting firm. Labeled a nerd by colleagues, ignored by women and rebuked by parents, Hitesh cannot resist when offered a lucrative job as the CEO of an off shoot of the failing automobile company, Supreme Motors. So what if the owner Venugopal Reddy, a sleazy businessman with political connections, actually wants Hitesh to fix the company to save his skin? Hitesh’s drive and quest for success helps turn the Company’s fortunes around; he is seen a rising corporate star, he begins dating a model and is pampered by parents. 

Championed as the poster boy of emerging India, Hitesh’s fairy tale ends quickly. As his cursed luck would have it, he is soon on the run from the law – allegedly as the perpetrator of a financial scam and accused of defrauding thousands of investors! With his back against the wall, and growing public and media opinion against him, will Hitesh come out of the mess he finds himself in?

In the book, the author’s name is given as Anonymous. However, who can escape Google? So I found who he is – Ahmed Faiyaz. He is a Chartered Accountant... Management Consultant... a civil servant and also a writer by night...

Hitesh, the protagonist is a technically sound accountant who knows his job. Yet fails miserably in climbing up the hierarchal ladder because he don’t know to play the dirty office politics. His transformation from an ignored professional to an important personnal such as CEO is commendable. The character evolves. His shades are essayed nicely by the author.

Sushma is selfish and knows to use others for her personal benefit.

Payal is the hope that we still have. Though she is introduced within the first few pages of the book, her role is established towards the end. And we fall in love with her.

Hitesh’s parents are conservative and the way they deal with their under-achiever son is common and clichéd. But then, that is how parents are, aren’t they? All they pray and wish for is their children’s well-being.

Then there are several others like Venugopal, Mehta,  Suresh, Mohan Babu, Mahinder, Sohail and Rajesh.

What I think
A brilliant attempt from the Anonymous writer, I would say. It throws light into how Corporate scams originates and how it affects the careers of many innocent professionals.

I loved the first 20 pages the most – detailing the less-spoken yet pitiable condition of qualified accountants and auditors in India. The office politics and the way performance appraisal works is penned in an unabashed manner.

The author has taken ample care in ensuring that unnecessary details are given and that the reader is kept glued to the book. And hey! The author undoubtedly wins there.

I don’t see any flaws at all. No, I am not biased. This book has only 175 pages and it is an assured page turner. Because the editing is swift and the author maintains a great pace in the narrative, you will not get bored. As a result, no ifs and buts!

Should you read it?
Oh yes! This is a very different book. It intimately discusses how corporate scandals unravel. After all, the author is a Chartered Accountant. A welcome change from all the Engineer’s love stories!


PS: Being a Chartered Accountant myself, I am feeling proud that someone from my professional community has rendered such a gripping tale. And I would like to confess that I have not let this professional pride affect this Locomente’s review!

And hey author, looking forward for more books!

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