Thursday, December 11, 2008

Business Lessons Begin Early

Scene: Li'l General seated in his high chair for dinner. I'm feeding him vegetable soup. NDTV Profit is playing in the background. Tired of watching Aamir Khan and SRK battle it out with endless promos of their upcoming movies in Zoom, I flipped the channel to settled on NDTV Profit. The program "The Unstoppable Indian" was playing. YC Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC Group, was being interviewed. YCD was recounting how Madhavrao Scindia had persuaded him to take up the offer for Chairman of Air India to turn around the national carrier similar to British Airways; how he left ITC for a period of three years from 1991-94 and how under his leadership Air India's gross profit margins improved.

To my surprise, LG did not want the channel to be changed. This has never happened before. So I took the cue and told him who the gentleman was. Strangely, YCD spoke as if he was in a stupor and in a very unimpressive manner. It was kinda odd for a man of his experience and all that he has seen in his 40 year career. At one point, when he was emphasizing on how rural people empowerment was more important for the group in it e-choupal initiative than aiming for a higher share in profits, I pushed the discussion a bit further and told LG, "This is where papa worked once. Say I T C." And there he went for the rest of the evening....

I tche chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
I tche chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Haven't been able to stop him ever since.