Book Review: Sahara: The Untold Story

Title: Sahara: The Untold Story
Author: Tamal Bandyopadhyay
Pages: 374
Price: Rs. 450

Sahara: The Untold Story by Tamal Bandyopadhyay is an attempt to demystify India’s most secretive business conglomerate, the Sahara India Pariwar, with a special focus on the group’s ongoing battle with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). But the highlight of the book for me was an exclusive interview with Subroto Roy, the guardian angel of the group. Legend has it that his feet are touched by all the member of the Sahara family.

However, it would be helpful to note that the Sahara India Pariwar has issued a longish disclaimer (featured on the left flap of the book) that the book does not reflect the true and complete picture.

The book is a result of painstaking research and several interviews. For someone not very familiar with the many banking terms, it was a bit taxing to read. But one also gets a basic gist looking paying close attention to the tone adopted by both Sahara and the regulator.

Apart from a narration of events, the book also profiles the key individuals in this ongoing regulatory battle and the letters and extracts letters exchanged between Sahara and the other entities, not available in the public domain.

Among other things, it was interesting to learn that “Sahara Airlines introduced the concept of apex or advance purchase fares in India…” (page 261).

Sahara: The Untold Story is a heavy read, loaded with banking and business jargon. But the interview with Roy is an absolute delight, even if that’s the only thing you can take away from this book. It answers some of the many questions you might have of this individual, who enjoys a larger-than-life persona for many in this country. Read this book, if only for that.

Learn more about Sahara: The Untold Story.


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