Comparing his hotel properties in India with the ones that he has in Europe, a CEO of a global hospitality chain was surprised that a “small Indian wedding” would have no less than 600 guests. “We realise weddings are a big source of revenue for us, so we have large banqueting halls in our Indian properties, which you cannot find elsewhere,” he pointed out. In France, a wedding is attended by not more than 15-20 people, he said, adding, “Six hundred people could well be a protest against the President!”
For Mr R. Sri Kumar, Vigilance Commissioner, Chief Vigilance Commission, personal banking was at its best in the sixties. As a student at IIT Madras, he stayed in hostel. In a hurry to catch the train to his hometown Lucknow one evening, he went to his Indian Overseas Bank branch. As it was closing hour, the security person at the entrance asked him to return the next day. Mr Sri Kumar, naturally, protested loudly.
Listening to this, the bank manager came out. After he narrated his plight and the need to catch a train just a few hours later, the manager asked Kumar how much he needed. Taking Mr Sri Kumar’s signature on a piece of paper, the ‘agent’ gave him the amount required from his own pocket. “That was ‘personalised’ banking at its best,” said Mr Sri Kumar, speaking at a function organised by Corporation Bank Officers’ Organisation.
Shouldn’t industrialists be more circumspect while speaking at public forums? A Mumbai-based industrialist took the opportunity of a weekend conference in Mumbai to praise the Finance Minister ad nauseam. From hoping that Mr Pranab Mukherjee becomes the next Prime Minister, to expressing the urge to fall at his feet, the gentleman left no stone unturned to impress the FM. The audience, however, wasn’t impressed. They felt that the speech reeked of a hidden agenda. The gentleman would do well to call for a recording of his speech and review it dispassionately. Why this kolaveri (fixation) di?
Batting for Tendulkar
The Union Minister for Rural Development, Mr Jairam Ramesh, took a dig at MPs and people who were criticising the Tendulkar Committee report on the poverty line. Commenting on the criticism of the methodology adopted by the Tendulkar Committee to arrive at poverty numbers, he said in lighter vein, “Most of the people criticising the (Tendulkar) report may have thought it was Sachin Tendulkar. They may be unaware of Suresh Tendulkar.”
(Contributed by C. Anjana, A. J. Vinayak, Ram Kumar and Amit Mitra.)