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BW Businessworld

The Midas Touch – Boon or Curse

Here is the story of Vandana and Pranav - how they have turned a fintech startup into a billion dollars unicorn.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Vandana and Pranav lived in a small rented apartment after marriage. They relished the little things in life like selecting and buying furniture for their flat and trying to balance their budgets. On weekends they would either go on long drives on his scooter or have their friends over.  They were a happy couple.

Some years later Pranav had this crazy idea to start a fintech company. 

Vandana was naturally worried but Pranav assured her, “Some of my IIT friends will also contribute to the seed capital. If things do not work out by year two, I will pick up a regular job.”

Seeing his enthusiasm, Vandana said, “So long as our minimum expenses are protected, I think you must give it a shot.” 

When the first level funding came in, Pranav fell out with his IIT friends because he returned their money with interest instead of delivering the promised shares.

The next five years saw a series of funding into Pranav’s company that increased its valuation to a billion dollars – another unicorn.

A Media Hero

They now lived in their own bungalow at Vasant Vihar in New Delhi. The kids were ferried to and fro from school in Vandana’s ‘E’ class Benz.

The media hailed Pranav as a person with the ‘Midas touch’ and he was like a man possessed. He worked 16 hours a day and travelled extensively. He chose to spend time with start up founders and his investors. His only objective - increase his valuations.

Rude Awakening

For the first time he slept well on his flight from New York. The deal he had just closed would take his company’s valuation to over two billion dollars. He planned to buy that house at The Palms, Jumeirah for Vandana on her next birthday.

As his Maybach entered their gate, Pranav noticed an Uber in the driveway. The lights in the main drawing room were on.  

Vandana and the two kids were all dressed up and seated next to the three large packed suitcases.

“ What’s happening Vandana?” asked a shocked Pranav.

“ The kids and I are leaving you. I wanted to personally say bye.”

“ Why?”

“ Money has blinded you. You are no longer the man I married. Do you realize we have no real friends now? You ditched even your IIT friends who supported you,” she sounded anguished. 

“ I just closed this deal in New York and am planning to buy you that house in Dubai for your birthday,” said Pranav.

“ See you are again not listening Pranav. I never married you for all this. You are so busy making money and living up to your image of having the Midas touch that we have become strangers. Even our children don’t know you.”

“ Don’t say that Vandana. You know I am doing all this only for my family,” he pleaded. 

 “You may have the Midas touch but remember how that story ended. Even King Midas’s daughter turned to gold. All for what - just greed,” she said.

As the Uber pulled out of the gate, Pranav felt his world collapse around him.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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FinTech startup capital funding Magazine 14 Dec 2021

Jayaram Easwaran

Author, Consultant, and Independent Board Director at Jindal Stainless

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