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If God Was a Banker

3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,237 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
Two young managers graduates, with nothing similar in family backgrounds and temperament, join New York international Bank on the same day and take entirely different routes to success.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Rupa & Co (first published January 1st 2007)
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2 States by Chetan BhagatI Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder SinghThe 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan BhagatThe Immortals of Meluha by Amish TripathiRevolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat
Indian Books - Fiction
230th out of 755 books — 2,150 voters
Equating the Equations of Insanity by Durgesh SatpathyThe Guardians of Karma by Mohan VizhakatMansfield Park by Jane AustenThe Mysterious Disappearance of the Rama Empire of India by Lakshmi HayagrivaRevolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat
Indian Authors
12th out of 12 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 24, 2011 Aparna rated it did not like it
Shelves: errr, overhyped
Wait a minute. I think this book clearly establishes that IIM provides good bankers, or businessmen, but definitely not the best writers.

Spoiler Alert: For those of you who want to save a precious 4 hours of their lives, here's the "plot" - Good Guy, Bad Guy join bank on same day. Good Guy succeeds with integrity. Bad guy sleeps around, succeeds with luck and cunning wit. Bad Guy gets caught. Saved by God in a Banker's disguise. Bad Guy reforms. All are friends again. THE END!!

Hopeless storylin
Sneha Nair
Oct 23, 2012 Sneha Nair rated it really liked it
Ok few things i am learning from such books........
1.IIM produces excellent writers
2.They write really well, simple language, easy to digest, simple normal emotions & twists & turns in the required places
3. they really dont know how to make a "perfect ending"

Dont know how bt every "IIM waala's" story ends in a perfect ending manner even though everything is jumbled up untill the 2nd last page.
Over all a great peice for time pass reading, entertaining with all the essential masalas :)yet
Oct 14, 2011 Geetika rated it did not like it
There are too many corporate books talking about sexual relationships in an organization. I feel these books are sending a very wrong signal. However I feel the real problem of Corporate world or banking sec in particular is poor leadership and poor culture management. After a long time read a book called "Puppet on the Fast Track" which rightfully points the issue and real life dilemma of youngsters.

If God was a banker is full of filth and nonsense and unfortunately that sells! Read it is a rea
Aug 25, 2011 Alekhya rated it did not like it
Wish there was an option of 'I hated it' or 'It's a total waste of time' A completely avoidable book. NO story, zero creativity, pathetic style of writing. It was mostly about a lusty guy making out than a sensible story! Worst book i ever read.

Would advise everyone to stay away from this book.
Oct 06, 2015 Nikhil rated it did not like it
I have finished the book in about 10 hours and it’s not a compliment.

This book is a result of what can happen when you pretend to be a story-teller, but you're not.

The story revolves around two characters - Swaminathan (protagonist) and Sundeep (antagonist). Not to be a racist but the author sounded like a whiny kid who has issues with North-Indians. The obvious clue was when he went to extreme lengths illustrating an emotional background story - not to forget his extensive research from a typic
Vidhya Nair
Dec 28, 2012 Vidhya Nair rated it liked it
Shelves: already-read
Came across this book by chance in Jaipur when attending a talk by Jeffrey Archer where Ravi Subramaniam was the moderator. This was his debut fiction novel. The book reads like a film, but gives you an insight on the probable follies, exploits, games played within the corporate foreign banking environment in India. Sometimes they say, too much intelligence is a bad thing, it makes you do deviant things. I especially liked the character of Naresh, a uniquely Indian character. Shrewd manipulator, ...more
Ashish Goel
Sep 23, 2009 Ashish Goel rated it liked it
It is good for the first time readers. Plus points are
a) Written in simple langague
b) Give insight to banking industries in India(few incident are bit exarrated)
c) Office politics
d) silent message that bad move my take you to greater hieghts but eventually it would led you down

Sundeep Srivastava and Swaminathan are juxtaposed to project the two sides of a different and difficult profession; retail banking. While Sundeep is aggressive and ambitious, Swami is evenhanded and sensible. The
Vadassery Thaiparambil Rakesh
Got a doubt whether NYB stands for NY Bank or NY Brothel House. Cannot digest how can the author show the MNC bank in such a poor light where a sex maniac was allowed to run amok. And the language also lacks depth and intensity. I also felt it impossible to keep aside the book and read it in one go - the reason being the titillation the book offered reminiscing in me the college hostel days when we used to read the penthouse letters in one go. Frankly was surprised to see the book became a best ...more
Isaac Zachariah
Apr 28, 2013 Isaac Zachariah rated it did not like it
Not a goodread definitely. Too many plot errors. Bad vocabulary. Silliest of mistakes. I think the book has not gone through any proof-reading or editing, and the author, most likely, has published the rough draft. Boo to Rupa publication, no effort in inspecting the material. And my my, can you believe, this book did win two awards!!! To hell with all in the jury!!!! Maybe Ravi sent the fictional characters of his book, Reshma and Monica, to the jury's bedrooms. Horrible writing. Pathetic exagg ...more
Fatima JAX
Apr 10, 2014 Fatima JAX rated it liked it
I am so tempted to give 4 stars but settling for 3 stars. A very gripping read.. Looking forward to the other few titles of Ravi Subramanian :-)
Akhil Tiwari
May 07, 2010 Akhil Tiwari rated it did not like it
Let us understand one thing here:
IIMs may produce great businessmen(some?)but they produce awful writers.
This book,alike Chetan's shitty crappy books that hook the reader,is what we exactly call 'the same old bollywood deadly-drama'. These are the scripts many aspiring 'directors'(Slaves of fame?)are in quest of.
I'd suggest this book to my enemies.Go guys,give it a shot in order to torment your blessed soul.
Arun Venkatesan
Jun 15, 2013 Arun Venkatesan rated it it was ok
Refreshingly new setting - the Indian Private Banking industry. But clearly, the author watches a lot of Megaserials/Bollywood films.
Sep 29, 2014 Priya rated it liked it
It was a nice book showing how a person can be mad behind money and fame and leave the integrity behind to achieve the same.

The character of Sundeep did not hold honesty in both his personal and professional life. There were no values or morals for him. Loyalty was not in his dictionary. Only thing existed was to grow and grow with whatever means comes by way. I had read it somewhere ( not in this book ) that a man can be successful in a long term , or lets say a person can be successful in a lo
Jan 29, 2013 Chhavi rated it did not like it
This is an unbelievable book. The writer appears to be a very good human being who hardly hurts anyone in his book, so the good guy is TOO good who gets is due in all areas of life - wonderful job, great wife, kids, money, fame, recognition, you name it. The bad guy reforms with not even a loss in income- forget about loss in stature or any humiliation - he spoils the life of innumerable people and his life remains rosy as he reforms himself in 30 minutes, getting rid of his natural character an ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Sk rated it really liked it
I completely enjoyed the read for two reasons - first one being, the plot was set in an Indian context with protagonists from two of my favorite B Schools - IIM A & B. Ravi Subramaniam has very beautifully managed to bring out issues in Indian culture & in the Banking sector prevalent during early 2000s. Secondly, coz it thrills me when despite all the issues..everything is normal at the end of the day..just like any Bollywood masala movie :D Its a pretty fun read..will recommend 1!!
What a torture. This is one of those (very rare) books that make you regret your decision as soon as you start reading. The 3 or 4 hours of my life I'll never get back. The little trooper me soldiered on and finished the book.

So here's a badly written review.
I felt like I was reading the story of a really really bad movie. There's nothing original about the story - Good guy vs bad guy. Bad guy does a lot of bad stuff, good guy leads a straight honest life. In the end, the bad guy loses his job b
Aug 10, 2015 Shobhana rated it liked it
Shelves: ravi-subramanian
My first book on banking concepts. It was nice to get into and understand the retail banking areas. I felt as if I'm turning into a banker on reading the same. Moreover reading a book on Indian base gives some personal touch while reading and makes us get involved. In fact, I was truly inspired by the character of Swami and felt I should imbibe those and implement in my work place.

My rating was Average as the escapades of Sundeep with girls was too much of an overdose. It need not be necessary t
May 12, 2012 Ajay rated it really liked it

Believe me I just completed this book in a single night. I couldn't just drop this book and it worked out to complete them in a single sitting. I have never stretched myself late night for a book reading. Well, coming to the story, I am awestruck with the storyline for the first time. There used to be a grapevine running back in the forum that all IIM pass outs will write a book of his/her and like icing the cake this has become a trend now a days. But this one is completely different from thos
Dolly Meena
May 19, 2013 Dolly Meena rated it liked it
Finished reading the book in less then 2 days, it did manage to bind my interest till the end. Simple language but well communicated. The characters were strong and any indian bschool student/passout would be able relate to them, irrespective of d plot building around the 80's. There exist so many of those Sundeeps nd Swamis nd kalpanas around us. The one thing that held me back from rating it higher was the fact that the author tried the " all is well that ends well" & " they lived happily ...more
Ayush Agrawal
Jun 08, 2015 Ayush Agrawal rated it it was amazing
Which way would you go to succeed?
Would you be honest or would you lie your way to the top?
Santosh Kumar
Jan 25, 2016 Santosh Kumar rated it did not like it
Total waste of time. dont even think of picking it.
First was deceived by the Title : there is absolutely no relevance to story and title. could have been any MNC from any of the industry.
Second was deceived by the hype: read at many places comparing the author to be the John Grisham of Banks... such a total crap.
Third the story line: there were gaps as big as moon crates ... take this as an example: a (Indian) vendor has the very high levels links on a global bank and can influence selection of
Abinav Athreya
Jan 05, 2016 Abinav Athreya rated it liked it
A story where 2 young men start in the same institution together and who touches the finish line first. The battle between ethics and aggression is here while Swami and Sundeep and battle it out in NYB. The Story has lots of adultery and success combined.


SUNDEEP: One of the major characters in the novel known for his flair, Aggression and the shortcuts that he takes to get there. As the saying goes "what goes around comes around" the same happens to Sundeep in his journey from a man
Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana
Jan 01, 2016 Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana rated it really liked it
A story written with difference has usual but well crafted plot of ambition, love, like and mistake. I decided to drop this book once, at its cover… “soon to be a motion picture”, motion pictures is one of my dislike in literature. But, a master storyteller certainly knows how much is how much. The story with appropriate pace and words arrested my mind and heart for the weekend. Love, prejudice, betrayal, strength, and ultimate winning of great family values seem to be time-tested concept of Ind ...more
Devanshi Mittal
Apr 27, 2015 Devanshi Mittal rated it liked it
If you want to have a glimpse at the real corporate world, this book is a must read. Also gives a background check of two equally successful people but so different in their reputation and behaviour. A relatable book though!
Dave Yan
May 28, 2013 Dave Yan rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading the novel while having a holiday in Patong Beach, Phuket Island. I accidentally found out this book sitting in the bookshelves in the Baan Laimai Hotel. I'm intrigued by the simplicity of language use, the clever plot to sack you in, the turn-the-reader-on parts every so often, with the moving part of ending. It's an interesting book to read for fun. I believe it could be made into a film in the near future.
Sowmya's book world
May 29, 2012 Sowmya's book world rated it really liked it
It was the beginning days When i Started reading book and i can this was my first book which i don't remember how i finished. a very well written story .

A good page turner. As you go on reading so I am sure you gonna lost. The book is good show case of how the person struggle to reach to the heights of his carrier and how he will lost himself during that.

Apr 29, 2015 Ankit rated it did not like it
I really want to take this one in points -
1)Forget the uber mediocre story line, poor English, pathetic character development - Dear Author, do you really think infidelity, overconfidence and arrogance are enough to portray the bad-guy as really bad ? I mean seriously, what era do u come from ?

2) He was clearly trying to write a movie script for a Manmohan Desai movie in the 70s, mistook it for a novel. However the real culprits are the publishers

3) Am amazed at the image Ravi portrays of women.
Jun 27, 2015 Adi rated it did not like it
This book caters to people who love watching Bollywood movies of the 80s and 90s.Good boy and Bad boy start their gloried post IIM Careers in a foreign bank(Citi like), good is so Goody that he is Ram personified , Bad is not in the league of Ravan too because hey Ravan had redeemable qualities like being a good brother for instance.The writing and plot is so simplistic , editing is non existent and characters so weak that they don't even feel real.The female characters are so mundane and their ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Swati rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Easy writing.. Has a moral message.. but overall 'Average'. Nothing extraordinary !
Aug 30, 2014 Sushrut rated it really liked it
Ravi Subramanian This is the first book which introduced me to the banking genre. The author was very kind to send me signed copy of the book which i won in a giveaway. Except for the normal faces of the people we interact at the counters, there are people behind the scenes working to keep things going and the books by the author give a deep review of the workspace, the politics and the situations that occur given the circumstances. We fish up stuff in life and we've to make it right towards the ...more
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Described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal, Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, is the author of five bestselling commercial novels—If God was a Banker (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012) and Bankerupt (2013)—based on financial crime. His latest book God is a Gamer, releases on September 12th.

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“There were two basic things in life, which no South Indian will ever compromise on: The Hindu newspaper, and his morning cup of coffee.” 0 likes
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