Under Trial 4993 / 64

This is me; Sandeep Rajkumar Khandelwal | UT 4993 / 64. I was stationed in Barrack No. 1 of Thane Central Jail from 14 July, 2014 to 19 September, 2014 along with my father in law, brother in law and a business partner (all of them in different barracks). We spent 12th & 13th July in police custody at the Borivali lockup. Jail is something you don’t wish to see, when you are bankrupt and drowned in debt. In our country; there’s a very thin line if any, between a genuine bankruptcy and a fraud. Behind the bars, I used to ponder hard as to what really conspired in my life to have landed me there. Had I really duped or defrauded anybody? Was I running a genuine business or a ponzi scheme? I guess, the world accepted and recognised it as a legitimate business until we genuinely began losing money, and that’s when the perception changed.

Many firms, which are darlings of investors across the world, are or have remained loss making businesses for years, but they could raise piles of cash consistently. Just because we weren’t able to raise additional capital at the right time, do we become frauds or thugs? I don’t think so; but then the society and more specifically its law, have their own ways. What is the biggest difference between a bankrupt and a fraud? I guess it is the communication or the lack of it with the affected parties like customers, suppliers, financiers, bankers etc. When a failed concern makes all the possible efforts to keep communication as smooth as possible with all the concerned parties and to top it off has also begun making part payments to them; how wise is it to blindly label it as a fraud?

Anyways, enough of mindless rambling about bankruptcy and enough of venting my personal anguish. Let’s start talking about you. For my endeavour here is to help you gain a few insights which will keep you from going bankrupt. And if at all, you are already off the edge, I wish to help you manage the crisis in the most effective way. For me, now it’s all about you. As for me, what makes me an authority on the subject? Am I a PhD? Have I spoken to hundreds of people who have faced a similar situation and hence have an in depth research ready? No. What I have is a firsthand experience of building a business from scratch to nearly a 6 million USD concern, of getting a valuation of 12 million USD from blue chip investors, of holding interest of more marquee investors during the journey. And then finally going bankrupt and landing in the jail and many, many things in between. I have learnt from my own experiences and experiments conducted in the university of life. What I want to talk about, I hope, holds tremendous value for early stage entrepreneurs who are facing the challenge of managing tremendous growth and pace. And it will hold equal value for those who are thinking about starting up but are worried about the risks that any venture carries. In the end, I have come to understand that losing less is the eventual win in the game of life. And I will help you lose less.

Originally published at estd1984.wordpress.com on November 28, 2015.

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