In a recent incident, the Badshah gave an indication of his compassionate and gentle approach to people who are facing a hard time. Shankar Sharma, it is well known, has been facing a lot of ridicule in informed circles over his reckless statement that he was “100% sure that the market will crash” and then staging a somersault when that did not happen and pretending that he was always bullish.
There have been a number of occasions in the past when Shankar Sharma has, in his immaturity, locked horns with the Badshah and threatened him to a duel. The Badshah has always lightly parried him away instead of crushing him with his awesome strength.
Now that the markets are at historic highs, the Badshah could have ripped out Shankar Sharma and torn him to pieces over his wild and reckless predictions that the markets would crash and a great Bear market set in. Shankar would have no sympathy from anyone.
However, instead of ridiculing Shankar Sharma, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala actually complimented him. In an interview with Maneka Doshi, the Badshah said:
“When Titan went up Shankar Sharma, he told me in 2010, Titan’s price was Rs 1400, he told me that the best purchase is Titan and I told him okay. I did not believe that that was the best purchase and the price went to Rs 6,000 in three years. Then Titan took a breather, it came down to about Rs 4,400 and now it is around Rs 5,500. So, there is nothing wrong in Titan.”
Now, the significance of this utterance by the Badshah should not be lost on anyone. It is a well documented fact that the Badshah has been extremely bullish on Titan since the year 2003. Shankar Sharma is the last person that the Badshah would look at to seek an endorsement for Titan.
The only reason the Badshah made the out-of-context reference to Shankar Sharma is to send a subtle message to investors that Shankar should be forgiven and not treated as a pariah. It is also intended to boost Shankar Sharma’s confidence a bit.
In my humble opinion, while the Badshah is very generous and forgiving, Shankar Sharma has to understand that while it is perfectly normal for a stock picker to make a mistake, he has to come out in the open and acknowledge the fact that he misread the situation. He can’t pretend that he never made that prediction or worse that he was always bullish.
There is one famous precedent for this. During the great stock market crash of 2008, Ramesh Damani was extremely bearish and had predicted a multi-year bear market. If someone challenged him, Ramesh Damani mocked that person by saying that he had not lived long enough to see Bear markets. However, when the great stock market boom happened in 2009, Ramesh Damani candidly admitted that he had made a mistake in reading the situation.
A public apology is the least that one expects from Shankar Sharma, who is otherwise highly regarded for his intellectual ability.