Hansal Mehta, the director of the web series Scam 1992 goes back to the India of 80s and 90s to portray the story of the securities scam that shook up the country and its economy.
Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story is based on 1992 Indian stock market scam carried out by stockbroker Harshad Mehta, the series is adapted from a book written by journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu, The Scam: Who Won, who Lost, who Got Away. Starring Pratik Gandhi as the protagonist Harshad Mehta and Shreya Dhanwanthary as journalist Sucheta Dalal, the series premiered on SonyLIV on 9 October 2020.
Harshad Mehta is a standard Gujarati salesperson who lives in Mumbai along with his parents, spouse Jyoti and brother Ashwin. While doing all kinds of odd jobs to earn their living, he joins the Bombay stock market as a “jobber”. Unhappy with his growth he shortly starts his own consulting firm named ‘GrowMore Consultantancy’.
Keeping all the records on paper, and with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s economic policy, Harshad discovers several loopholes that could be exploited for personal gain, and soon begins to rise to dizzy heights and enter the money market. Here, he recognizes that one bank and its broker are the dominant players. He takes on SBI as a client and soon begins to network in the market. By this time, the thrill of making money and leveraging the system is known. Harshad and he began to use bribes and corruption as a way of rising. He has also acquired some of the largest banks as clients, strengthening his advantage in the equity market.
Harshad figured out how to redirect huge aggregates from the financial framework to the securities exchange, by misusing the provisos in the framework. Harshad was able to use the loopholes in the system to direct large amounts of money from the banking system to the stock market,RBI was aware but foreign banks chose to close its eyes.
His success brings him luxurious luxuries such as mansions, expensive cars, and a massive lifestyle, but his success has earned him a reputation, and soon Harshad Mehta appears on the radar of Times of India journalist Sucheta Dalal, curious about this financial wizard success. The sudden attack of funds on his account raises suspicion in the Central Bank of India (RBI), and Governor Venkitarajan issues an order to track the account.
To explain Harshad’s gameplay in a couple of lines we can say Harshad Mehta took money from banks, played the stock market and then would return the money to the bank and kept the profit of the stock exchange to himself. But once he could not return the money when the stock market crashed. Harshad didn’t report his last transaction, Rs 500 crores is a big amount that can’t go unnoticed for too long. He took this money from SBI without any BR. Journalist Sucheta, still on Harshad’s tail, gets to know of this missing amount and decides to pursue it.
- Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta
- Shreya Dhanwanthary as Sucheta Dalal
- Chirag Vohra as Bhushan Bhatt
- Vishesh Bansal as Young Harshad Mehta
- Anjali Barot as Jyoti Mehta (Harshad’s wife)
- Hemant Kher as Ashwin Mehta (Harshad’s Brother)
- Ramakant Dayma as Shantilal Mehta (Harshad’s Father)
- Kumkum Das as Rasilaben Mehta (Harshad’s Mother)
Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story has released only a single season including 10 episodes. Praising the cast of the series, Sayan Ghosh of The Hindu commented: “ At the heart of Scam 1992 lie the powerful, yet effortless performances by Gujrati theatre/ film actor Pratik Gandhi and former beauty queen Shreya Dhanwanthary.” Ronak Kotecha of Times of India gave 4.5/5 stars, saying, “A dramatic retelling of India’s biggest stock market scam”. Jyoti Sharma Bawa of Hindustan Times said, “One of 2020’s best web series resurrects the raging bull of Dalal Street””. Subhra Gupta of The Indian Express referred to the show as “A captivating cautionary tale”. The series is currently the highest rated hindi-language Indian web series on IMDb by getting a rating of 9.4 out of 10.