After Bose: Dead/Alive, Hansal Mehta returned to the world of web series with Scam 1992, based on the infamous stock market crash of 1992 in India.
Adapted from journalists Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu’s book The Scam: Who Won, who Lost, who Got Away, Scam 1992 is being hailed as one of the best web series of the year.
Here’s a look at all the players in the series, and their real-life counterparts:
1. Harshad Mehta
Pratik Gandhi, who plays the lead, has won over the critics and the masses with his brilliant performance. From Harshad Mehta’s distinguishable personality traits to his devil-may-care attitude, Gandhi nailed the infamous stockbroker’s mannerisms down to a T.
2. Ashwin Mehta
Hemant Kher plays the role of Harshad Mehta’s brother Ashwin Mehta, who was also a stockbroker in Harshad Mehta’s firm. He went on to pursue a lawyer’s degree in his mid-50s and was finally acquitted in 2018.
3. Jyoti Mehta
Anjali Barot played Jyoti Mehta, Harshad Mehta’s wife. In 2014, Jyoti Mehta sued a Mumbai-based broker who owed six crores to Harshad Mehta since 1992. She won the case in 2019.
4. Pranav Seth based on Ketan Parekh
Jai Upadhyay plays Pranav Seth in the series, a character apparently inspired by former stockbroker Ketan Parekh. A chartered accountant, Parekh was also a part of Harshad Mehta’s firm GrowMore investments but not convicted in the 1992 Scam.
However, he was barred from trading in the Indian stock exchanges till 2017 after his involvement in the 2001 stock manipulation of the Indian stock market.
5. Sucheta Dalal
Shreya Dhanwanthary played the role of journalist and author Sucheta Dalal, who was working with TOI when she investigated the high-profile Harshad Mehta Scam in 1992. She went on to investigate and report on several high profile financial fraud cases, including the Enron scam, the Industrial Development Bank of India scam, and the 2001 Ketan Parekh scam.
A Padma Shri recipient, she is the co-author of the book The Scam, from which the series is adapted.
6. Debashis Basu
Faisal Rashid plays Debashis Basu, co-author of the book The Scam and Sucheta Dalal’s husband. He was one of the journalists who investigated the Harshad Mehta scam in 1992. He currently runs Moneylife, a fortnightly magazine on investment.
7. Manu Mundra based on Manu Manek
Played by Satish Kaushik, the character Manu Mundra is apparently based on the life of the kingpin of the stock market in the 80s, Manu Manek, infamously known as the ‘Black Cobra’.
It is rumored that he headed one of the biggest cartels, the Marwadi Bear Cartel, during the time. He came into close competition with Dhirubhai Ambani, with the latter ultimately leading to the cartel’s downfall. Manu Manek was never booked in any stock market scam, and no verified images of him are available.
8. Maheshwari based on Radhakishan Damani
Maheshwari, played by Paresh Ganatra, is supposedly based on businessman and investor Radhakishan Damani, the founder of DMart. Though he was not accused of any scam, he was linked to both, Manu Manek and Harshad Mehta, who were infamous for stock manipulation.
He quit the stock market in the 2000s. Today, with a net worth of $17.8 billion, Damani is India’s second-richest person.
9. Rakesh based on Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
Kavin Dave plays the role of Rakesh, apparently inspired by businessman Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, rumored to be the ‘king of stockmarket’ in present times. Apparently, the void that Harshad Mehta’s arrest and downfall created in the stock market was taken over by Jhunjhunwala.
He has often credited Radhakishan Damani for his knowledge about the stock market and considers Damani as his mentor.
10. Ram Jethmalani
Mithilesh Chaturvedi plays the late Ram Jethmalani, lawyer and former Rajya Sabha member, who headed the legal team defending Harshad Mehta.
The series is currently streaming on SonyLiv.