Sucheta Dalal, born in 1962, is a prominent Indian business journalist and author renowned for her incisive reporting and groundbreaking work in the field of financial journalism. With a career spanning over two decades, Dalal has left an indelible mark on the Indian media landscape, receiving accolades for her fearless pursuit of truth and her efforts to promote financial literacy.
Born into a Jat family, Sucheta Dalal completed her schooling at St. Joseph’s Convent School in Belagavi. She pursued her undergraduate studies in B.Sc Statistics at Karnataka College, Dharwad. Later, she delved into the legal realm, obtaining LL.B and LL.M degrees from Bombay University, showcasing her multidisciplinary approach to knowledge.
Sucheta Dalal commenced her journalistic journey in 1984 by joining Fortune India, an investment magazine. Her early career included stints at prominent news organisations like Business Standard and The Economic Times, where she honed her skills as a financial journalist.
In the early 1990s, Dalal's career took a significant turn when she joined the Times of India, one of Mumbai's leading newspapers, as a journalist covering business and economics. Her investigative prowess came to the fore as she played a pivotal role in exposing several financial scams that shook the nation, including the famous Harshad Mehta scam of 1992, the Enron scam, the Industrial Development Bank of India scam, and the Ketan Parekh scam in 2001.
Working closely with fellow journalists and analysts such as Debashis Basu, Girish Sant, Shantanu Dixit, and Pradyumna Kaul, Dalal's contributions extended beyond reporting; they were instrumental in shaping public discourse and promoting transparency in financial systems.
Sucheta Dalal is particularly lauded for her pivotal role in uncovering the 1992 stock market scam orchestrated by Harshad Mehta. Her relentless pursuit of truth and her fearless reporting played a crucial role in bringing to light the malpractices that had far-reaching consequences on India's financial landscape.
In 2006, Dalal co-founded Moneylife, a fortnightly magazine on investment, alongside her husband Debashis Basu. She assumed the role of Managing Editor, focusing on providing insightful commentary on financial matters. Recognising the need for enhanced financial literacy in India, the duo established Moneylife Foundation in 2010, a not-for-profit organisation based in Mumbai.
Dalal's commitment to investor education is further underscored by her role as a member of the Investor Education & Protection Fund of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Sucheta Dalal's contributions to journalism have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious Padma Shri in 2006. She was also honoured with the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Media Persons in 1992.
Apart from her impactful journalism, Dalal has co-authored several books, including "The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away" (1992) and "Absolute Power - Inside Story of the National Stock Exchange's Amazing Success, Leading to Hubris, Regulatory Capture, and Algo Scam" (2021). Her writings provide deep insights into the intricate world of finance and serve as a valuable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of financial systems.
Sucheta Dalal's life and work have transcended the realms of journalism into popular culture. The Sony LIV series "Scam 1992" is based on her and Debasis Basu's book "The Scam," where actress Shreya Dhanwanthary portrayed Dalal. Furthermore, in the 2021 film "The Big Bull," actress Ileana D'Cruz played Meera Rao, a character inspired by Sucheta Dalal.
Sucheta Dalal continues to be an influential figure in financial journalism, shaping narratives, and advocating for transparency, integrity, and financial literacy in India's economic landscape. Her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring journalists and individuals seeking to navigate the complex world of finance with clarity and insight.