The cohort of 2011, recruited by one of the world’s best management consulting firms, handpicked from the best business schools, is keen on succeeding at The Firm. The Firm showers the members of the cohort with the best of opportunities, the best of luxury and unbelievable money.
However, behind the good life, lies an ugly truth. A secret organization operates within The Firm that helps proprietor driven family owned firms succeed in a post liberalized India. When one member of the cohort is handpicked to join this club, he is elated. Having been identified as the chosen one, there is little that can go wrong for him now.
What he doesn’t realize is that nearly a dozen management consultants who have been handpicked before have paid with their lives working for them. Will he survive the game in which every mistake is fatal or will he be on his way to become a partner?
Across 3 continents, 6 industries and over dozens of characters; the angels of Satan bring you a journey of greed, brilliance, sleaze, murder, debt, progress from the greatest profession of them all – management consulting!
Sandeep Das has done his MBA from IIM Bangalore and has been a columnist with Business World. His first book ‘was titled Yours Sarcastically’ – which is a sarcastic tale on the lives of modern day MBAs.
His second book titled ‘Satan’s Angels’ – a dark corporate tale in contemporary India explores the lives of young MBA gladiators. Here is an excerpt from the book.
Book excerpt published with permission from the author
Episode 0: The Executive Summary
“The most important skill you will learn in management consulting is to construct the ‘executive summary’ – the ability to summarize everything in 2 lines”
– Iyer, Lead Partner, India, Jackson & Company
There was acid being poured on my face. Everything and everywhere over my body seemed to burn. I could feel my skin getting charred. I could feel the acidic air enter my nostrils – dusty, dirty, stinking air. I could barely breathe.
A sharp bout of electricity seemed to gallop from my neck to my head. I could barely move my head to that side of the neck. It was sore. It hurt badly. I was sure there was a fracture. A major one.
Another bottle of acid was being poured on me. It burnt with the same ferocity. The air was stinking. I couldn’t move my body.
I tried to open my eyes. The place was a wreckage. A dilapidated wreckage.
However, it looked familiar. There were stacks of cartons towards the north west corner of the room. I had seen some of those cartons earlier. I had definitely been here before.
And then, in an instant, I realized that water was being poured on me. Not acid. Thank God!
I couldn’t move my hands. They were sore. They were tied behind me. I wanted to drink the water. I couldn’t.
I was starving. I was thirsty. I needed water. I needed food. I needed clean air. I needed some light.
I looked around. There were people everywhere. There were tyres and ropes everywhere. The last time I was there, the place looked so different.
I wondered what time of the day it was. Or what time of the night. Or how many days had been here for. I had no recollection.
“How are you feeling, Mr. Political Guy?”
His tone didn’t seem different. There was the same tinge of warmth and encouragement. He even wore the same formal outfit the last time I saw him in. He sat on a wooden table ahead of me. Flanking him were his key associates most of whom I had trusted at some point in time.
My phone started ringing. I didn’t realize that it was in his hand. He looked at the number and smiled. He held it up for me.
He, walked up a few paces and brought the phone to me. I saw the number. It was a pre-paid unknown number. I recognized it immediately.
He took the call and put the phone on speaker. I wanted to scream. But couldn’t. My mouth was stuffed with something. I couldn’t even groan.
“The sun is setting.”
There was no reaction from my side. I was being asked to run to safety. He was instructing me to run to any place other than where I was. I knew the sun had set long while ago.
He started calling my name out. Not once. But again and again.
There was no reaction.
He started to scream, “Are you okay? Just get away. They have found out about you.”
I tried to groan one final time before that. I couldn’t. I didn’t have any energy. I was losing the will to. I hoped he would locate me somehow.
The call was disconnected. He took out the SIM card and broke it. A woman emerged from the cabin behind him. She was carrying a set of files for him. Eleven files to be precise.
She looked at me from a distance. I knew her. She thought I would be surprised to see her. I wasn’t.
She smiled at me the same way. The same charming, enthusiastic, caring and warm smile. No change. She even asked me how I was feeling. She offered me a glass of water.
I couldn’t drink it. I wanted to but I couldn’t with the cloth stuffed in my mouth.
I looked closely at one of his men standing at the extreme right corner. He had a hammer in his left hand. Maybe the same hammer was used to hit me.
“Your stupid bitch was going to the cops. Had she kept quiet, I too would have kept quiet. Had you kept quiet, I too would have kept quiet.”
A Scottish trainer had once told me that everything in management consulting was in lots of three. Three key points. Three key slides. Three key stakeholders. Three key findings. Three main colors. Three main fonts. Three key skills. Three main industries.
There were three women who had played a pivotal role in my life over the last few years.
Two Indian, one Thai.
One loyal, one a traitor and I am not sure of the third one till date.
One who helped me rise, one who resurrected me and one who proved fatal for me.
Two who loved me, most likely.
Two who used me.
The three angels of Satan had shown me three different faces. It looked like I would be punished at least three times that night.
Satan’s Angels is available on Amazon and Flipkart.