Finance & fiction

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BOOK Ravi Subramanian ends his banking trilogy with the launch of his latest novel The Incredible Banker

As a successful author who popularised ‘corporate fiction' in Indian writing, Ravi Subramanian's banking trilogy (after If God Was A Banker and Devil in Pinstripes ) is all set to end with his new novel, The Incredible Banker . Launched recently in Chennai, the book not just drew crowds from banking circles but others who have followed his 18-year stint in the industry.

The Incredible Banker is about the lives of three people in the Greater Boston Global Bank, like any other foreign bank with losses in its retail banking business, mind-numbing politicking among the honchos and aggressive loan salesmen battling the listless credit folks.

It changes one day when Ronald McCain, its CEO, is hurriedly pulled out of his morning team huddle and summoned by the RBI governor. What ensues is a scandal that Ronald is least prepared for.

When the CBI lands up at Deepak Sarup's doors for the same scandal, Ronald decides to distance himself from the bank leaving Deepak, a senior executive, to fight his own battles.

“The story is set in a foreign bank and talks about how external elements take advantage of the politics within to further their own causes. There are some interesting characters in the book, that of the CEO, Ronald. This isn't like my previous books, where the stories were straightforward and the characters were black and white. Here, there are many layers to the story and the characters all have grey shades,” the author explains.

While his experience in the industry has helped his writing, Ravi explains that a lot of the time, they don't affect his stories. “Any author gets inspired by the experiences and events that happen to him or his immediate circle. While that's where the seed or the idea germinates, by the end of the story it accounts for hardly anything in the book. What I've written now isn't something I've seen happen to anyone I know. This book is a Naxalite story, on how they use the politics in the bank to launder money.”But the characters in his books are often people he works with or is close to. “I write about banking because it is something I'm familiar with. Also, I don't have to do much research on it,” he says with a laugh, “I use a lot of my friends' and colleagues' names in my book.”

For his next book, however, Ravi is at a crossroads. “I have a manuscript ready and waiting for the last three years because I'm not able to decide whether to continue in this genre or try another and experiment with my writing. But the story is about three generations of a South Indian family, where the man belonging to the current generation is the only banker in his family.”





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