Thursday, August 01, 2019

A lot more could have happened over coffee but...


VG sir unleashed the power of coffee for our benefit. The serenity of the CCD ambience was our true oasis in the urban desert. Its soothing aura, optimal lighting and the reassuring rest rooms invariably made up for the monopoly and monotony of the dispensed beverages, sandwiches, biscuits and cookies. CCD is, by far, one of the best options to spend time or even kill it. This value prop is yet sterling in a country like India.

How could such a business be deemed a failure, notwithstanding the mounting debt, possibly flawed decisions or even suspect fund deployments that may have collectively caused the debacle. Given a diligent founder like VG sir, a turnaround would certainly have been around the corner had the lenders cared to look beyond the obvious. VG sir's business model didn't fail, his backers failed him while his detractors made merry, and ruthless watchdogs wholly and solely relished cracking the whip.

Scores of business ventures bleed like hell everyday but continue to run pompous ads across every form of media. Many dubious entities get acquired by the glorified big fish of insatiable appetites, countless duds are sheltered by patronizing banks, and the high and mighty PE and VC brigade regularly pukes sermons on financial prudence, warming the globe while trotting it without good reason.

Why was then VG sir left alone to contemplate suicide? Why was he knowingly or unknowingly forced to demonstrate the truism of his tag line, "A lot can happen over coffee".

Amid the staple submissions and scrupulously edited advice of many a corporate tycoon, only the heartfelt words of IndiaPlaza founder Mr. Vaitheeswaran ring true:

"...when he stood alone on that bridge, with nobody holding his hand, he may have taken that sudden decision. He may have told himself, I have not been able to sleep for so many days, if I just jump, I can sleep in peace forever. I totally get it."