Saturday, 15 July 2017

Dilip Pendse, Former MD, Tata Finance Commits suicide

  • Former Tata Finance managing director (MD) Dilip Pendse (61) allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in his office in Mumbai's Dadar (East) on July 5, 2017 morning.
  • A financial wizard, Pendse’s rise in the Tata group over 22-years catapulted him to such heights that he was considered a successor to Ratan Tata.
  • Between March 2000 and March 2001, TFL’s exposure increased from ₹220 crore to nearly ₹500 crore, mostly as investments in junk stocks that crashed during the dot-com bust. 
  • Tata Sons’ own review found irregularities ranging from insider trading to false paperwork within Tata Finance.
  • Pendse was dismissed from Tata Finance in 2001 after the company arm ran huge losses and the group filed criminal charges against him.
  • In Oct 2003, The Bombay High Court transferred the Dilip Pendse-Tata Finance case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the Mumbai police. The judgement was delivered on a writ petition filed in the Court by Tata Finance for transfer. The investigations pertain to the alleged fraud committed by Mr Dilip Pendse, former Managing Director of the company.
  • Pendse was reduced to spending most of his time, post his ignominious sacking, cooped up in his office, agonising over his fate and studying the case papers. He  languished, worrying about his own future and the future of his family. Disgraced and abandoned by old friends and colleagues, damned and destroyed for a crime that was never fully established! A man as strong, as cerebral, suddenly felt defeated and alone. Pendse eventually gave up the fight and lost the war. 
  • The monumental problems our clogged  courts create, especially for law-abiding citizens, often caught in a maze of legal issues that drag on for decades and eventually cost a few their precious lives?
  • According to his friend, Pendse was drained and defeated  after fighting the system for 16 long years. He must have done this (suicide) in a moment of weakness. He wanted to prove his innocence. He failed to get justice.
  • Former Tata executives said Pendse’s end was as tragic as was his dramatic rise.
My View:
Whether illegality of transactions are proved are not, Dilip Pendse as MD of Tata Finance Ltd shall have to own up responsibility for company's huge losses exceeding Rs.500 crores in 2000-01. The only way CEO's can insulate from this type of catastrophes is to follow due diligence meticulously, maintain transparency at all times in their working, keeping the Board informed properly and following procedures & protocols in letter and spirit. Otherwise, they will have to own up for failed decisions and pay the price. Over enthusiasm leads to no where. What ever one does during the day, he must ensure peace of mind and sound sleep in the nights are never disturbed. Democracy and its systems are always expensive & inefficient and if we expect speedy response or justice, it reflects our ignorance, especially in India which is saddled with monumental defects and problems. The only way we can still live happily is to make fewer mistakes and be careful at all times.

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