Wednesday, July 05, 2006

TAMING THE BULL

I was not well enough to work but neither was I ill enough to stay in bed. In such a sorry physical state, I went over to meet Amrutha Radhakrishnan, at her home in Tambaram on a damp, rainy day in Chennai. But the preoccupation of sickness lifted rapidly as she started narrating her story to me. It was shocking and moving. She said, “At the beginning of this year my cup of joy was overflowing… today its empty. We might be out on the streets soon.” Over the next two hours, she narrated the financial tragedy of how she, her husband and two little children were cheated out of nearly one crore rupees by the stock trading firm, Indiabulls Securities.

The story of her battle to get her money back is convoluted and difficult to narrate. (You can read about it
here.)

But the reason I’m writing about this is because Amrutha’s story is remarkable. She has been fighting a long, arduous battle against this corporate giant and she has finally won. But the fight has been exhausting, frustrating and heart-breaking. She went to everyone for help – police, lawyers, media, NSE, SEBI and of course Indiabulls. Some helped, some promised to help, some were indifferent and Indiabulls tried to shut her up.

But she didn’t keep quiet. In fact, she lent her voice to other ordinary investors like her. Today more than 50 of them have managed to get back their money because she fought so hard for them and she herself is finally smiling all the way to the bank again.

However, it has all happed because, through this extremely difficult time, with two young children and a looming financial crisis, Amrutha never gave up. It was not an option. She has been resourceful, energetic, dignified and gracious. She thought of me when she got her money back and I was delighted. I salute her spirit.

14 comments:

MediaYug said...

हमारी पहल रंग लाई....कल रात (बुधवार) एक सुधी दर्शक ने हमें ये बताया कि किस तरह जानामाना चैनल एनडीटीवी एम्स में डाक्टरों की हड़डताल से एक व्यक्ति की मौत के बाद खबर चलाए जा रह था। वहां मौजूद संवाददाता ने ये जताया कि लोग असंवेदनशील हो चले है और कोई भी मदद को कोई आगे नहीं आ रहा है। मीडियायुग ने पहल करते हुए चैनल हेड से ये बात बताई। फिर आज सुबह ही उस व्यक्ति के परिवार वालो के लिए आर्थिक मदद एनडीटीवी ने जुटाई। कही न कही ये हमारा विश्वास मजबूत करता है, कि टीवी मीडिया में संवेदनशीलता बची है। हमें एक कदम खुद उठाने में केवल सोचने की जरूरत होती है...आपकी एक लिखित पहल हमें मजबूत बना सकती है। गंभीर विषयों पर अपने लेख हमें भेंजे।

मीडियायुग

MediaYug said...

Dear freinds.Mediayug invited you all to write on serious issues of media.This is for the good cause of concern.We are only here to give a new breath to the news media. Hope you all sensed the deterioration of character,vision and space.

Send your articles and views on : mediayug@gmail.com

Mediayug
A dedication

Sheks said...

This question's been ringing in my mind for long....what's the connection between stock market and bull?

Srini said...

Alaphia,

It's sad to think about the case of Amrutha and many like her. In fact, if memory serves correct, I remember NDTV doing a report at the frenzy of the sensex collapse about another person, who had lost not by his gullibility or some agency but by the changing climes of the stock market.

Sympathy and regret aside Alaphia the question rings... have we become so avaricious for money? In a way I think the answer is in the affirmative. While I am not saying that such a scenario should warrant these intermediaries to deceive, what I am saying is that it is just an inevitable fallout of a new system of making money.

I do admit that I don't understand much about stock markets, how the points are arrived at and so forth ( I am quite happy in a way, too) but everyone - almost, from just out-of-collge student - to a shop-keeper with enough to invest is playing the game. When the points on Dalal Street climbed over 2500 points within the space of six months or so I knew this was coming... and we'd a collapse... And it's at the crescendo of growth or nadirs of collapse does one get to behold - don't mind my strong quote from Caesar - 'let slip the dogs of war'.
Satisfaction is the key word, having said that I cannot see the peace at the other end of this raging sea with all sorts of people doing battle for vested interests.

GeekBeyondRedemption said...

Actually, on the stock market there're two well known kinds of money - smart and dumb.

The smart money belongs to big institutional investors, people who have contacts into the industries they invest in (inside info), etc. They usually buy low and sell high.

The dumb investors are the retail investors who get into the game very late after seeing people making lots of money on the market. They think that the only direction the market goes is up.

When you find your neighbour uncle, your cubicle mate, your aunt, and your newspaper delivery guy all talking about investing in the stock market, that's about the time to get out - which is *exactly* what the FII's and other large investors did *before* the current collapse.

In a few weeks when there will be fire-sales, these smart investors will get into some new positions.

This has nothing to do with seemingly outright fraud as has been perpetrated here, but just a general comment on the market.

Retail investors should only make long-term (5+ year) investments on the stock market. Otherwise go for an index fund which will track the market and have very low management fees unlike most other mutual funds.

Kishor Cariappa said...

One valiant effort ups the spirit of thousands. I feel media must highlight these kind of stories, rather than run-of-the-mill stuff.

rajesh said...

absolutely mr.cariappa. we need the media cover these kind of meaningful stories rather than run behind rakhi sawants or report on the mumbai's pub news every night or provide hourly update of rahul mahajan's medical condition for a month or karan johar's approval of fashion clothing from some manish whatever.

Ashwin said...

Bravo!

Too often in India, the common man finds himself helpless when up against big money and big power. Too often, we choose to buckle and take the easy way out rather than fight for what we believe in. That fighting spirit, that refusal to lie down and simply accept our lot as fate or the vagaries of some god or the other, that spirit is what set our nation free so many years ago. Again, we find ourselves in a situation where we are once more under the yoke of oppression (okay, that might sound a tad dramatic). This time, our masters are not from other lands, but are homegrown. Big business, politicians, bureaucrats. When up against this holy trinity, most of us just give up.

Then there are people like Amrutha, who refuse to back down. Although people like Amrutha are rare, there does seem to be an increased willingness among us Indians to fight against injustice. I think the media has a very important role to play here- as Kishor said above, highlighting such stories will help a great deal. There has also been quite a lot of coverage on the RTI Act, which appears to be a powerful tool in the fight against corruption.

It is time we Indians raise our voices and take our country back. It will take time and patience.

But it can and will be done.

Ashwin

Alaphia said...

Sheks - I think geek is in a better position to answer your question.

That is true Mr. Cariappa.

Geek - whats an index fund?

Bala (Karthik) said...

Alaphia,
"Geek - whats an index fund? "

Definition
Index Investing

bnap said...

Hello,
Really shocking to say the least.How come it is not known to so many people here in Chennai.NDTV must make a nice,elaborate report on this.I am sure there would be many such instances,maybe not on such a huge scale.Alaphia,maybe you could put together a Special Report Show on this.
bnap

GeekBeyondRedemption said...

Info on index funds or for most clear and least biased info on investing -- Motley Fool's fool.com

http://www.fool.com/mutualfunds/mutualfunds.htm?source=LN
http://www.fool.com/mutualfunds/indexfunds/indexfunds01.htm

Bull market is just the DESCRIPTION of the phenomena of there being more people willing to buy a stock at a given price than there are selling. This makes the market go up.

Inverse is the bear market - more sellers than buyers.

If anyone could find out WHY, they'd make a killing.

Alaphia said...

Yes BNAP, Would like to do more positive stories like this.

Geek... thanks.

hvram said...

Hi
I reached this site by googling for Amrutha Radhakrishnan and SEBI . I remmeber reading the original article in Sucheta Dalal's site. I missed the big story about what exactly happenned in this case (i.e. the verdict ). Can you point me to anything to followup

Thanks
Regards
Hari