All of us want to be on Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and be rich. Unfortunately, not many of us, as a matter of probability, will get there. Most of us have a vision of a good life for ourselves and our families: one of the worthwhile goals for anyone is to thrive regardless of circumstances. Some of us adapt and create circumstances which make us the proverbial duck in the water, while some of us struggle with situations.

Here is my interpretation of the show and lessons one can use profitably to live a good life financially.

1. Know your level of understanding

You must have noticed that initial questions are easy and from the look of it, make one feel everything is simple. Unfortunately, as you climb the level of questions, the answers are out of one’s circle of competence and hence one may lose money.

It is the same with investing. You start with simple concepts like a fixed deposit; however, you may discover along the path that as you try to learn about new opportunities, you will find more complexities. Even in a simple product like an FD, did you know that the maximum liability of the bank is only Rs 1,00,000 even though you may have deposits worth crores.

Many investors, for half a per cent more, take undue risks without understanding the implications. This may create a problem for them in the future. Some of the investors we know parked their funds with cooperative banks and lost their principal.

As per the rules of the game, if you cross Rs 3,20,000, you have an opportunity to win the Rs 7 crore prize. Similarly, if you invest Rs 50,000 per month and increase the amount every year on an inflation basis for 20 years you have a shot at the Rs 7 crore prize without being a part of the show.

A timely tested method to evaluate any opportunity is the SLG Triangle.

S: Safety

L: Liquidity

G: Growth

If an opportunity fits in the above for you one may consider it. If there is a concern regarding any of the parameters, one should pose specific questions to an expert.

2. Use your lifelines

The game has four lifelines

  1. Fifty-fifty                 3) Talk to an expert
  2. Phone a friend       4) Jodidaar

When it comes to investing to create your dream life, you need to “Talk to an expert”. That is the only safe option. The rest do not have adequate knowhow of the investment opportunities in question and may not offer informed and relevant advice.

Can it be useful to talk to a friend? It can be, if he is an experienced investor, which is difficult to define.

Can I do fifty-fifty? It is like flipping a coin. It may or may not result on a right outcome.

Can I talk to a jodidaar? A jodidaar at best can clarify on your internal motivation unless the person is from a domain area.

Often people go ahead and buy a product without adequate understanding. The result is they lose capital. As we have seen on the show, most of the time the expert is right and for the rest it is a matter of luck and probability. The advantage is lesser mistakes and a higher potential payoff.

If you understand the implications you can consider going ahead, however it is doubtful whether your interpretation of the information would be as good as a professional.

3. Knowing when not to respond

Most of the contestants who reached the one crore level have maintained their cool and have not taken unnecessary risks. Sometimes they have said no to opportunities when the risk was too high for them.

What is a risk? Risk is any factor that can change the intended outcome. Many a times on the show the contestants feel that they will go on winning. In investing terms risk is about losing capital, as well as loss of returns achieved. A tested strategy is to transfer profits to risk free assets depending on one’s capacity to take risk.

How does one decide when to stop? It is important to set limits which help one maintain one’s peace of mind. An over allocation to any category may be risky from a growth point of view.

May you become a millionaire by choice.


  • Anirudh Gupta is the CEO and Principal Adviser of Ashiana Financial Services, a wealth management firm based out of Mumbai and a certified corporate director from the Institute of Directors. He is an MMS Finance from Mumbai University and has worked with reputed Indian and international banks such as HDFC Bank, Bank Muscat, Barclays Bank and DBS Bank Ltd over the last 14 years. He is among the top 10 writers in finance on Quora in India on personal finance and has written articles in Business world, Entrepreneur India and is an SME Expert on Jetlinker. 100 articles have been written on LinkedIn pertaining to financial markets, wealth management and entrepreneurship attitudes over the last couple of years by him. He is passionate about adding value to the entrepreneurial ecosystems and has made presentations at BNP Cafe, on “Discover your entrepreneurial dna” basis international research.