Stories From A Yellow Room

Friday, February 12, 2010

I mean Business!!

After days and ages I finally have my long weekend, a 2 day break means much respite to my other wise cho-o-block life, which I have learnt doesn’t treat me well if I over stack it up.

So I am taking it easy…taking it slow…eating well…sleeping well and shoppin tooJ

As my career now becomes 6 month old I’d like to share a brief on my life as a business journalist. Having finished my post-grad in a land of dead poets and alive authors (I say cause no-one seems to write meaningful poetry anymore) my literature left me devoid of any business skills till I was forced to grapple the reality of being employed, luckily my promise to get through Business Journalism rescued my day, being persistent helped and I landed a job at India’ most widely read Business magazine : Business World.

Though 6 months that have gone by have I have had numerous editorial meetings where words such as fiscal and deficit flew right through to me and management jargon became a lingo placed far away from my literary rhetoric, but old habits die hard as I tried to sit through the art of business writing I was often faced by my love for my long drawn “critical” approach very often found in students of literature.

But I am well equipped now I must say, past few months have given me enough meetings with the who’s-who of corporate India from meeting hard-core business men\women to analysts and strategists, its been exciting to venture into new stories. From covering advertising\marketing and branding to researching on more complex and alien topics such as retail, hospitality ,aviation etc it’s been a great learning curve.

My meetings have many memorable stories to talk off, the latest being Mr Patu Keswani. I have been following Patu’s business since a while ( thru news papers ) and was quite excited to meet him , Mr Keswani owns and runs a chain of hotels called Lemon Tree and has launched another brand by the name of Red Fox, a IIT\IIM grad the man knows is humour as much as he knows his equities. Fabulous office, quirky art-work, one that stood out was a portrait of a dog with a crown, staring at a man tied to a chair titled : “hospitality industry”.

We stepped into his office only to find him enjoying a palak paneer with naan which he claimed was the best he’d eaten from a dhaba outside his office and he continued at it till the end of his meeting, he was kind enough to offerJ.

The interview was fab, and I realized that some men are borne to do business, as his financials plans flew right form his mind to paper it struck me how flawlessly he compartmentalized and structured his company to make it most profitable, how he raised capital from partners, kept his stakes and grew his business. Being a pioneer in creating India’s own domestic chain of branded hotels Patu is by all means a successful business man : in 8 years he has made 20 hotels , in an industry where the average gestation period is 2 years per property, the man is indeed doing well…

Many more such fascinating people to talk about, on the other end HHF : an NGO run by a dear friend and me keeps me equally busy, as we launch another brand to expand our organization and look at liberal flow of funding….some where I try and find the business-woman in me J

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