Sweet Smell of Success

How Arindam Chaudhuri made a fortune off the aspirations—and insecurities—of India’s middle classes

01 February 2011

This article had previously been removed pursuant to an injunction granted by a civil court in Silchar, in 2011, as part of IIPM’s Rs 500-million lawsuit against The Caravan. On 16 February 2018, a single judge of the Delhi High Court vacated the injunction. On 26 April 2018, while hearing the IIPM’s appeal against the February order, a division bench of the court passed an ex-parte order restoring the injunction. In an order passed on 27 November, the bench dismissed the appeal, upholding the single judge’s order to vacate the injunction. In keeping with this latest order, The Caravan has republished the story online. You can read more about IIPM’s case against The Caravan here.

A PHENOMENALLY WEALTHY INDIAN who excites hostility and suspicion is an unusual creature, a fish that has managed to muddy the waters it swims in. The glow of admiration lighting up the rich and the successful disperses before it reaches him, hinting that things have gone wrong somewhere. It suggests that beneath the sleek coating of luxury, deep under the sheen of power, there is a failure barely sensed by the man who owns that failure along with his expensive accoutrements. This was Arindam Chaudhuri’s situation when I first met him in 2007. He had achieved great wealth and prominence, partly by projecting an image of himself as wealthy and prominent. Yet somewhere along the way he had also created the opposite effect, which—in spite of his best efforts—had given him a reputation as a fraud, scamster and Johnny-come-lately.

Siddhartha Deb is a Contributing Editor atThe Caravan. Currently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, he is working on a nonfiction book to be published by Viking.

Keywords: Arindam Chaudhuri Siddhartha Deb IIPM business school Malay Chaudhuri blog management higher education
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