We are a country with a glorious tradition of fraud. Harshad Mehta, Mehul Choksi and Ketan Parekh are all GOATs. And yet, bizarrely, India’s jump to being a $10 trillion economy is being held back by some sort of residual stigma attached to corporate fraud — the only form of entrepreneurship that aspires to high art.
India has a vast population of ambitious youth who lack the skillset to transition from unemployment to billionairehood. They will never make it, says my neighbour A.D. Lakhani, unless they learn how to do fraud successfully and get away with it. Lakhani is a professor at the prestigious Podani Institute of Management, Pune. (Please don’t acronym it.) He has long wanted to start an MBA programme that offers specialisation in Fraud Management. He never got the go-ahead for it. Last week, he says, the Board suddenly changed its mind. They now want him to offer the course from April 1.
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Lakhani mailed me his course outline and asked if I wouldn’t mind publicising it. I sincerely believe it’s a great course for anyone interested in serving the nation by creating maximum personal wealth in minimum time.
Course Name: Masters in Business Administration (Fraud)
Learning outcomes: Having completed this course, students will be able to increase their net worth by 12,000x in two years, control the media, and buy the government.
The course comprises the following six modules divided into four semesters:
Round-tripping: Every entrepreneur wants foreign investment. But how many of them actually know foreigners? The only ones the average Indian knows are the paavam-type hippies with little money. We know how to defraud them at railway stations. But it is not easy to get a wealthy foreigner to Paytm you ₹500 crore for no reason other than that you want it. So what do you do? You create your own FDI — by parking your own money in a shell company abroad. But what if you don’t have any money? Borrow it. (See module on Bank Management). Once you have your funds safely parked abroad, you bring it back as FDI. This module will teach you how to do all this without getting caught.
Shell Company Management: The module will cover the differences between industrial shell stack and investment shell stack, and offer hands-on training on how to find trustworthy yet fraudulent directors and fake addresses for 150 shell companies in 150 minutes. Students will be taken on a 21-day educational tour to Mauritius, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, St. Kitts, Singapore, Bermuda and the UAE (price of business class tickets and seven-star accommodation included in course fees).
Stock Manipulation: This module will teach you how to ensure that your company’s stock price moves only in one direction: up. It will cover creative accounting, finding parking for your stock in the most crowded of tax havens in the world, how to increase the mathematical distance between your share’s real value and its market price to infinity.
Bank Management: Banks create money out of thin air. But who gave them the sole right to do so? Snatching back this right is thus a revolutionary act. This module will teach you how to use a bank to create your own wealth out of thin air using shell companies. But to be able to do this, you must be able to make the banks go on lending you money even when it’s clear you don’t plan on repaying. How do you do that? See module below.
Entire Political Finance: This is the heart and soul of fraud management, for without it, achieving sustainability in fraud is tough. Key subjects covered include electoral bonds, timely donations for MLA sale and purchase, cultivating relations with the right politician at the right time, etc.
Media Management: A fraudster might get everything right and still end up on the losing side if he cannot control the media. Nothing is more disastrous for a fraudster than for the public to start perceiving him as a fraudster rather than what he actually is deep inside: a patriotic billionaire tycoon. This module will cover various tools of media management such as legal intimidation through defamation suits, purchase of media outlets, carrot-and-stick approach, strategic bribery through lucrative employment opportunities, etc.
Course fee: On being shortlisted for admission, students are required to open a savings account in the National Bank of Bahamas and pay their fees from that account only. Fee amount will be same as the OTP in dollars.
The author of this satire, is Social Affairs Editor,The Hindu.