Harshad Mehta Story from Rags to Riches

Harshad Mehta

The Incredible Story of Harshad Mehta, Biography of an Indian stockbroker

Harshad Mehta – a name that shook the Indian financial market in the 1990s. The man who rose from rags to riches and became known as the “Big Bull” of Dalal Street.

His success story inspired many, but his involvement in one of India’s largest securities scams left a permanent mark on his legacy.

Here, we will take a closer look at Harshad Mehta’s life journey – from being born into poverty to becoming one of India’s most controversial businessmen.

From Rags to Riches: Harshad Mehta Success Story

Harshad Mehta, born on July 29, 1954 in Paneli Moti, Gujarat, was a well-known stockbroker and entrepreneur in India.

His father, Shantilal Mehta, was a small-time businessman and his mother, Rasilaben Mehta, was a homemaker. Harshad had three siblings, namely Ashwin, Hitesh, and Sudhir Mehta.

Harshad Mehta was married to Jyoti Mehta and the couple had a son named Aatur Harshad Mehta. Despite his immense success, Harshad Mehta’s life was not without controversy.

He was implicated in several financial scams, including the famous securities scam of 1992, which led to his downfall.

On December 31, 2001, Harshad Mehta passed away in Thane, Maharashtra due to a heart attack at the age of 47. His legacy, however, lives on as one of the most intriguing and controversial figures in Indian financial history.

Join us as we explore how he changed the face of Indian finance and what lessons can be learned from his tumultuous career.

Early life of Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta was born on July 29, 1954, in a lower-middle-class family. His father was a small-time businessman who sold textiles and grains in the suburbs of Mumbai.

Harshad’s early life was marked by financial struggles, as his family often had to make ends meet with limited resources.

Despite these challenges, Harshad showed an aptitude for mathematics from a young age and excelled academically.

He earned degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Mumbai before beginning his career as a salesperson at New India Assurance Company.

However, Harshad’s true passion lay in the stock market. He started investing in stocks during his free time and quickly gained expertise in understanding market trends. Eventually, he quit his job at New India Assurance to pursue trading full-time.

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With only Rs 5,000 borrowed from his brother Sudhir Mehta as capital and working out of two-room flat with no air conditioning or even basic furniture except floor cushions; over time through sheer hard work & perseverance became one of the most prominent investors on Dalal Street during the late ’80s & early ’90s rising meteorically up until he became known as The Big Bull!

How Harshad Mehta Became the King of the Indian Stock Market

Harshad Mehta was a self-made man who rose to become one of the most successful stockbrokers in India during the 1980s and early 1990s.

He started his career as a small-time broker but soon realized that there were significant opportunities in manipulating the stock market.

Mehta’s success story began when he identified a loophole in Indian banking regulations that allowed him to borrow money from banks using securities as collateral.

He used this strategy to buy large quantities of shares, which he then sold at inflated prices, making huge profits.

His aggressive buying sprees often caused stock prices to soar, earning him the nickname “The Big Bull.” His charm and confidence also helped him gain access to powerful circles within the government and corporate world.

As his wealth grew, so did his power over the market. Mehta became influential enough to manipulate even large public sector companies’ share prices by spreading false rumors about their financial health.

Despite being embroiled in numerous controversies throughout his career, Harshad Mehta managed to build an empire worth billions before it all came crashing down with allegations of fraud against him.

How Harshad Mehta Changed the Face of Indian Finance

Harshad Mehta’s impact on the Indian finance industry cannot be overstated. He was a visionary who saw opportunities where others only saw obstacles. His innovative ideas and unconventional methods made him stand out from other businessmen of his time.

Mehta was credited with introducing new financial instruments like ready forward deals, which allowed banks to lend securities to each other for short periods of time. This led to increased liquidity in the market and helped boost trading volumes.

He also promoted the concept of dematerialization of shares, which eliminated paperwork and streamlined the process of buying and selling stocks.

This revolutionized how people invested in stocks and paved the way for online trading platforms that we have today.

Mehta’s success inspired a whole generation of investors who looked up to him as a role model. He proved that it was possible for someone from humble beginnings to rise up through hard work, determination, and strategic thinking.

Although his legacy is somewhat tarnished by his involvement in the 1992 securities scam, there is no denying that he changed Indian finance forever.

His involvement in the securities scam of 1992

Harshad Mehta’s involvement in the securities scam of 1992 was one of the most controversial and talked-about events in Indian financial history.

In simple terms, he used a loophole in the banking system to take advantage of banks’ readiness to lend money against government securities.

Mehta bought government bonds from smaller banks at a lower price than their market value and then sold them to larger banks at inflated prices.

This led to an artificial rise in stock prices that lasted for several months, earning him massive profits.

Inevitably, though, this bubble had to burst. When it did, Mehta’s empire came crashing down as investors pulled out and exposed his fraudulent activities.

The scam resulted in losses worth thousands of crores of rupees and shook public confidence in the stock market.

Mehta was eventually arrested by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation on charges related to cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and breach of trust.

He spent several years battling legal cases before succumbing to a heart attack in 2001 while still awaiting trial.

The legacy left behind by Harshad Mehta is one that continues even decades after his death. His name is synonymous with white-collar crime and serves as a cautionary tale for those who seek easy riches through fraud or deceit.

His death and the aftermath

Harshad Mehta’s life was marred by controversy and his death was no exception. He passed away on December 31, 2001, due to a heart attack in Thane jail where he was serving his sentence for the securities scam of 1992.

After his death, many questions were raised about the circumstances surrounding it. Some believed that he was murdered while others attributed his sudden demise to stress and anxiety caused by the legal proceedings against him.

The aftermath of Harshad Mehta’s death saw mixed reactions from people. While some felt sympathy towards him and called for justice, others believed that he had received what he deserved for his involvement in the securities scam.

Despite being one of India’s most controversial businessmen, Harshad Mehta remains a polarizing figure even after his death.

Many continue to debate whether or not he should be remembered as a successful stockbroker who changed Indian finance or as a fraudster responsible for one of the biggest scams in Indian history.

Regardless of how one views Harshad Mehta’s legacy, there is no denying that his impact on Indian finance cannot be ignored. His rise and fall serve as cautionary tales about greed and its consequences in business.

What We Can Learn from India’s Most Controversial Businessman

Harshad Mehta’s life and career may have ended in controversy, but there are still valuable lessons we can learn from his successes and failures. One of the key takeaways is the importance of taking calculated risks.

Mehta was known for taking bold bets on stocks that others were hesitant to invest in. He used his knowledge of market trends and financial loopholes to make significant profits, but also faced heavy losses when things didn’t go according to plan.

Another lesson we can learn from Mehta is the value of staying ahead of the game. He constantly sought out new opportunities and strategies, which allowed him to stay at the top of his field for several years.

However, it’s important to note that Mehta’s downfall stemmed from unethical practices such as manipulating stock prices and exploiting regulatory loopholes.

This serves as a reminder that success should never come at the cost of integrity or ethical standards.

While Harshad Mehta may be a controversial figure in India’s finance industry, there is much we can glean from both his successes and missteps.

By studying his approach to risk-taking, innovation, and ethics – we can apply these lessons towards our own personal/professional growth without repeating similar mistakes he made during his tenure as one among India’s most successful businessmen


Harshad Mehta’s life was one full of ups and downs. He started out as a simple middle-class boy who rose to become one of India’s most powerful business tycoons. His success story is an inspiration for many young entrepreneurs who aspire to create something big.

However, his involvement in the securities scam tarnished his image, and he faced severe consequences before his untimely death at the age of 47.

Despite all this, Harshad Mehta remains a polarizing figure in Indian finance history. While some view him as a villain who ruined the market’s integrity, others see him as someone who challenged the status quo and made investing accessible to common people.

What we can learn from him is that nothing comes easy in life; hard work and perseverance are key ingredients for success.

We should also stay away from unethical practices that compromise our values and principles because they lead inevitably towards downfall.

Harshad Mehta may have been controversial but he left behind valuable lessons about ambition, greed, ethics, power dynamics in business which still hold relevance today.

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