Varun Ambike

Associate, Investment Advisory

Sameer Bhatia

December 25, 1968 – August 01, 2023

It is with profound grief and remorse that we regret to inform you that Team Taurus has lost a valued colleague who was a pillar of support and strength to the Firm and his colleagues for over 12 years.

Sameer is survived by his Wife, Sarika and sons – Karan and Aditya

Please join all of us at Taurus Wealth in sharing our heartfelt condolences for the bereaved Family

Shared below is a eulogy penned by a colleague, that truly echoes the love and admiration of all in Team Taurus who were fortunate enough to know him; not just as a cherished colleague, but as a dear Friend and Well Wisher

– Mandeep Nalwa for and on behalf of Team Taurus

The Sameer I Know: True Grit

Mithun Ghosh

“The question isn’t who is going to let me. It is who is going to stop me”
- Ayn Rand

Sameer was an integral part of my personal induction and integration into the Taurus Family. In my initial months at Taurus, I remember fondly our almost daily ritual of rounding the day off with a couple of beers. The conversation was monopolized almost entirely by his preoccupation with how we could make Taurus bigger, better and more exciting. His passion for the business was infectious. He harboured an unfaltering optimism that our Firm has the potential to be a much larger force to reckon with – that we would set an undisputable industry benchmark. In his head, the path to that achievement was additive; a model in which each of us succeeded to our true potential. A passionate hockey player in his younger days; his litany of sports analogies underlined his emphasis on Team dynamics as critical to the success of our Firm. I often did not agree with particular views or options that he believed to be strategic imperatives (and boy, could we have quite the argument over these disagreements!). But I never for a moment doubted the underlying motivation and that he always had the larger interests of Team Taurus at the heart of it all. I suspect he sensed the same of me and that made for healthy mutual respect between us. Underlying that mutual respect was a personal connect founded on our shared ‘boarding-school’ ethics.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory”
- Dr Seuss

Fiercely independent, brutally honest and unquestioningly loyal to those who bestowed their faith and confidence in him; he would walk through fire to maintain the trust reposed in him! Sameer was a key contributor to keeping the lights on at Taurus in its formative years. He paved the way for the Firm in hosting a tradeable strategy with his performance out there for all to see. It was not easy upholding the standards that he set for himself and, to be sure, there were lean patches. But he lived by the motto that it doesn’t matter how hard and how often you may fall. All that matters is how soon you get back up. That the only thing that can overcome hard luck is hard work.

I also know it for a fact that he was the most efficient producer we have had in the sense that he expended the least of the Firm’s resources in delivering through thick and thin. This is a man who literally managed all his affairs, efficiently and independently, entirely on his own. Despite his low dependency on support functions, what is even more remarkable to me is that he was one of our most vocal advocates in his appreciation of the value and efforts of our colleagues in Operations & Client Servicing

Rest in Peace, my Brother. You shall be dearly and sorely missed.

I truly enjoyed his company. The flurry of memories occupying me are about the small moments. My roomie at my first offsite at Taurus, an assured presence amongst the last men standing at any team event, his wry sense of humour, quick quips, his trademark nasal laughter (chuckle?), breaking into song (the Bollywood classics) at every opportune moment, reminiscing about rascals and hilarious anecdotes from boarding school escapades, the occasional heavy discussion about the philosophy and purpose of life, our lifestyle and health choices, swapping success stories (and concerns) about our kids………….. But what I remember most are those moments when the grit that defined him shone through. At the most trying times for the Firm and individual colleagues, he was the voice of confidence that lent the assurance that it was all just a challenge that was to be overcome. I could not be by his side during his brave battle of the last few months. Having witnessed this treacherous disease from close quarters, I respect that he needed all the resources he could muster for himself and his family. But in the few exchanges I was privileged to have, and from what others have shared with me; he faced the inevitable with that same measure of grit that I so came to admire in him.

Sameer - Our Friend

- Mandeep Nalwa

I remember the first time I met Sameer I was impressed by his gravitas. Sameer always spoke clearly and precisely. His clarity of thought was on display throughout that day. What wasn’t on display in that first meeting was his steadfastness which when rattled resulted in a scathing, brutally honest description of the situation irrespective of who was in the room.

And did we have fights. 2 young men 12 years ago who generally thought one was smarter than the other we always clashed. Heated tough exchanges wherein in desperation sometimes I tried to pull rank usually to no avail.
But it wasn’t anger that defined these discussions. It was Sameers Passion. A contagious, consummate and unrelenting passion for life, relationships and performance that to me is the one defining attribute amongst many that stands out when it comes to Sameer.

The passion that drove him often characterized his emotionally charged interactions with me and his colleagues and friends. It made him stand out as a man of conviction and firm views. Views that were conveyed almost always with a brutal honesty and a lack of tolerance towards considerations of diplomatic and political finesse.
When I used to grumble to myself those days about this hot potato I had to handle I would relive the argument we had had. And I would find myself nearly always thinking that actually he is right. Consequently we quickly became good friends and I learnt to admire and respect his point of view.

Infact for his close friends, this attribute made him all the more real and endearing. It was perfectly acceptable to us as we had no doubt whatsoever that Sameer always stood for the interests of the ‘many’. His ideas, beliefs and initiatives were grounded in the conviction that his personal success could only be assured as a by-product of the overall success of his peer group. His agenda was never ever self-serving or to the exclusion of broader interests.

Thereafter no matter what he said and how he said it, his message was always for my benefit, for Taurus’ benefit. Infact suffice it to say whoever Sameer was most fond off he would punch them the most verbally because he cared for them. Hema is a good example.
I started seeking Sameer out for advise every now and then when I was faced with a situation. We would retire into one of the meeting rooms and he would often give me advise on how to deal with the situation. My admiration and respect only increased over time.

On dozens upon dozens of drives over the years when I dropped him home, our discussions on how to make Taurus Rock would go on and on and he would always says “bas Mandeep hum kar lenge. Aap stress karna band karo. Its not good for health “
When keeping the lights at Taurus on used to be a struggle, when cashflow management used to keep me up at night, the revenue he used to generate every quarter used to be like a huge load of my shoulders. Hazel our Finance Head and I used to wait for that revenue to come in because we knew things would just be a tad bit easier. He truly played a huge role in helping us manage our initial years and I was always grateful and indebted to him for that. Therefore all the firm did the last year was to try and repay him for what he had done all those years back.

The tough boarding school graduate that he was, fitness was such an important thing with Sameer and he ensured the same was with Karan and Adi. Our annual Bloomberg races where the Three Bhatias anchored us to an improving score from 170th odd out of 180 teams in the first year to a 13th rank at the last edition. Primarily because Sameer ran fast and he ensured that Adi and Karan ran faster.
We have had hundreds of evening tipples. Discussion centred nearly always on the philosophy of life, fitness and what I should change to make Taurus better. After his immediate family these were the three topics of greatest interest to him.

While I knew Sameer to be a tough man I could never have imagined how truly tough and brave he really was till he showed us all how he fought his battle.
Pragmatic, matter of fact and clear headed especially after the Doctors said that things looked very bad. Instead of looking fearful, he was truly fearless. He had borne the treatments with optimism and courage.

Eventually, when the prognosis left no room for optimism, there was no lament regret or disbelief in our conversations. His focus was squarely on securing the future of Sarika and the kids. Whether it was discussing how many days we can mourn him, the number was 4 to how he was sure his sons will make him proud and Sarika will be fine. He recounted to me how while one son always wanted to press his feet now, laughing and wincing in pain he said, the rascal has never touched my feet before this or how the other one learning of the prognosis told him that you have taught me all I need to know to make you proud. The fact that he could insist Adi stays in training instead of attending his last rites is the ultimate measure of the Immense love a father has for a son and how much he is ready to sacrifice for that love where there was no need to become weak from emotion in his view when the world was your oyster.

I last spoke to Sameer last Saturday. His voice was weak but it warmed up. We discussed life and Karma for 15 minutes and in his usual pragmatic way he said Mandeep I want to go now. I hope I don’t talk to you again. A minute after we put the phone down I got a message with a 16-minute video on Karma from him.

For those of us at Taurus who have spent many years with Sameer, it is difficult to process his loss and I can quite imagine him listening to us sobbing and saying. I told you 4 days and today the 4th. Enough now move on.

The absence of your physical presence leaves us an irreplaceable vacuum Sameer. We shall miss you sorely and shall remain ever grateful that we had the privilege of having you in our lives.

God Bless you, Sameer. From all of us at Taurus your family outside your home.