The Celeritas Files
by: Ishan Majumdar
"I think that Leroy is in the process of buying a diamond," he replied, "and convincing the sellers that it is actually a peanut."
A story of corporate espionage, the crux of the matter could be summed up by this statement alone. A fast paced story with several twists and turns, The Celeritas Files keep you guessing if the good guys will win or would the underdogs triump. Focusing around an extremely capable R&D firm Bliksem, it follows the lives of its management and senior members as they make a breakthrough in the world of batteries.
A phenomenal development in technology, the new battery could be charged in under two minutes and the firm is looking to shake hands with the largest French firm manufacturing luxury phones, Leroy. Bliksem is on the verge of bankruptcy and his founder and managing director, Sivakumar, makes the biggest sales pitch of his life. As he continues his battle, his team is facing a demon he has no idea off.
The story starts with senior members of Bliksem at a Christmas party. The leader and single mother Shaina, the reserved Amaan, the intense Nandini and the lively Ravi who swings the other way. Accompanying them is Shaina's 5 year old Rajiv, the source of all happiness in her life. As they leave the club, one of them is killed and Rajiv is kidnapped, triggering a chain of events where Sivakumar is wondering why his team isn't showing up at office while a secretive high-level police investigation is underway to apprehend the killer and kidnapper.
The corporate side of story has been extensively covered, dealing with in-depth subject matter such as company valuation & acquisition, patent challenges, shift in market dynamics, global politics and its impact on corporations, under the table dealings with government and institutions, ruthless business rivals and lack of global recognition of domestic brands.
What Ishan Majumdar, deliberately or accidentally, highlighted in the story is the lack of trust on domestic players for better business opportunities. The perpetual red tape, ruthless business rivals, corrupt officials and unending paperwork is a nightmare for a company and for a breakthrough technology that could potentially rule the world of portable power for a decade or more, rather than joining hands with a local partner the founder chose just one company in the whole world and put all the eggs in one basket. Rishabh, Bliksem's financial and marketing guy, is seen pointing that out and causing a rift that threatened to derail a lot in the company.
The story is not simple espionage, murder and kidnapping. The lives of the Bliksem employees is intertwined in unexpected ways. There is decades long friendship, there is betrayal from a friend, there is grief to get over and there is a life to get back to as if nothing has happened. For a novel that is not very long, Ishan Majumdar has packed surprisingly a wide variety of emotional hit-points for the reader.
Like most modern novelists, Ishan has focused on a good plot to drive the story and like most upcoming writers, he has extensively relied on new realities and trends to give authenticity to the story. The parts click together to form a picture that is as realistic as one can get after sufficient exposure of the corporate world.
This is definitely a worthy read, both as a crash course in corporate valuation & acquisition as well as a fast paced short read to enjoy your Sunday.
Tags: Corporate Espionage, Ishan Majumdar, The Celeritas Files