Suits & Sayings: Whispers and murmurs in corporate corridors & policy parlours

ET’s weekly roundup of the wackiest whispers and murmurs in corporate corridors & policy parlours

BCCL
Mr Dependable
The recent NCLAT ruling stumped Bombay House, but it also took Cyrus Mistry by surprise. Just the previous morning he’d been firefighting and had spent most of the day meeting lenders with a detailed presentation on the Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s financial health as it faces a liquidity crunch. Starting with breakfast meetings at the Belvedere to several chats with PSU bank chiefs, Mistry was busy in his new role as chief negotiator and assurance officer on behalf of his family’s multi-generational business. Some even joked that his family was lucky to have him back to sort out the current stress after a period of rapid growth. If only they knew that just a day later, he would emerge triumphant elsewhere.

Plug & Play
The fact that this mega conglomerate is taking a serious relook at its content play and might seek out new foreign partners is disconcerting many across the vast organisation. A little bird tells us its genteel boss is also seeking greener pastures and was recently overseas doing a negotiation of his own – with a Far Eastern media giant that has set its eyes on the subcontinent. The new year could well see some new beginnings.


Tongue Twister
Deal Street’s rainmakers were invited to a rather colourful party last weekend. The annual bash by the host—a top consultant with close mates across banks and PE funds—is a must-attend event for whoever gets invited. But this year’s theme was certainly not for the meek-hearted. Every guest had to wear something on their outfit that was lickable! From lollipops to ice lollies or Hershey’s Kisses to raunchy tees, the party was as wicked as it was sizzling, or shall we say slurpy? Mind you, we are not even venturing into the naughty stuff that might make you really blush.

Game of Throne
The countdown has truly begun to select the next boss of HDFC Bank. Thursday saw the beauty parade of global search firms vying for the coveted global search assignment. Senior reps from all over the world flew to Mumbai for the pitch, and some even made discreet enquiries of top execs they think would be keen to jump ship. After the first two global candidates turned down the offer, will the media-shy prodigal make a comeback, was the question being asked, although at least two internal candidates are believed to still be on the shortlist.
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Trousseau Time
In this season of big fat weddings, here is another nugget of nuptial natter. And no, we are not talking about Rewant Ruia’s reception gala. A little birdie tells us Avni Biyani, younger daughter of Retail Raja Kishore, is engaged. The force behind the hip and premium Foodhall is set to get married early next year to the scion of a Delhi-based hoteliering family. Her elder sister having been married into the Anil ‘Vedanta’ Aggarwal family, dad Biyani is getting set for the next big bash. The venue should be the easiest thing to sort out.

Model Citizens
Some Indian venture capital investors are up in arms on Twitter, after taking umbrage at wellknown US-based VC Tim Draper’s critical comments on the Citizenship Amendment Act. The local VCs, who have generally been public champions of the regime, pointed to Draper’s lack of success in India, compared with Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, jeering at his decision to shut shop and run away. Perhaps some of these domestic VCs should take a closer look at their own investment track records before pointing fingers.

By the Clock
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At a recent musical soiree, a fat cat boss arrived late with his missus and had to settle for the third row since the concert had already begun. He seemed restless and kept peering, eager to check if any of his equals were in the front rows, and if there was space available for him to move ahead. But alas there were none. What perhaps perplexed him the most was a recently-retired CEO and a patron of the arts, along with his better half, occupying prime seats on row one. We don’t know yet if he went home seething, but moral of the story: Be on time.

Gourmand Guests
This dashing scion recently held his silver jubilee wedding anniversary party in a newly-opened fancy hotel in his hometown. Several of his fellow city slicker friends soon realised that the dinner was strictly vegetarian. By then, spirits were high and a few craved some juicy chops and kebabs. Strings were pulled and a separate chef’s table was set up in the kitchen for a few hungry souls. Our usually quick-witted host was left tongue-tied.
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