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HE - Episode 7

Discussion in 'HE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    HE

    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy


    Episode 7


    Timeline A




    Madhavan and Priya started their married life. It was a commencement of a life-long honeymoon, or that was what they both thought.

    Six months flew like six minutes. Madhavan and Priya had everything a human being can ever hope for. Money, fulfilling work and eternal marital bliss – very few had them all together.

    Destiny which had all along been sleeping, now got up from its place looking for some piece of action.

    That was the best period in their business. India had opened her doors to foreign countries a decade earlier. Companies like Ad India started to enjoy the full benefits of liberalisation only now.

    During the first six months of that fiscal year Ad India’s revenue climbed by more than 50% over the corresponding period of last year. Madhavan and Priya were thrilled.

    50% growth in a year was a fine piece of statistics when viewed from outside. Financial press went ga-ga over it. But to those who were inside, it was a terror.

    Growth happened all of a sudden and infrastructure and man-power support were lagging far behind. Every one had to put in 14 hour work-days. And many had to forego weekly holidays.

    Travel schedule was quite hectic. As Ad India’s major customers were abroad, Madhavan and Priya were frequently time zones away from each other. Each of them had hired an Executive Assistant and many times actual communication happened only between their EAs.

    There were softer moments too. When Priya travelled to Europe she brought a state of art Blackberry set for Madhavan. Madhavan went to Middle East and brought Priya an exclusive hand-crafted golden necklace.

    But the pity was they could not even meet each other face to face to exchange their gifts. They got it done by their Executive Assistants and each called the other from a different time zone to thank profusely for the gift. Life moved on.

    Destiny was still looking at them with a mischievous smile.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    Part 2!

    Madhavan was bidding for a multi-crore ad compaign from a FMCG giant. That would be the most shining feather in Ad India’s cap and would push them several rungs up in the growth ladder.

    His presentation to the Top Management team of the company was immaculate. In terms of pricing and features, his was the most creative compaign. He was sure he would get the deal. But then he lost it.

    When the news came he was devastated. The time was 11 AM. Madhavan was in Chennai. He cancelled his appointments for the rest of the day. Then he called up Priya’s EA to know about her programme.

    She told him that Priya was coming by the afternoon flight from Mumbai. Madhavan told her not to send any car to pick her up. He would do that himself.

    Priya was delighted to see Madhavan waiting for her at the terminal. Forgetting for a moment they were in a public place, she flew into his arms and kissed him on his cheeks.

    “Can we go to my club for lunch, Priya? Please…”

    Priya had a hectic day ahead. She had half a dozen meetings to attend. But she instinctively knew that something was wrong and that she had to be with Madhavan for the rest of the day. She called her EA and cancelled her meetings.

    As soon as they were seated in the comfortable lounge chairs of Gandhinagar Club in Adyar, Priya gripped Madhavan’s hands.

    “Now tell me dear, what’s bothering you? ”

    Madhavan was not immature enough to ask, ‘how did you know that?’. He knew that she knew.

    The bearer had come for their lunch order. Priya knew what the club chef was good at. She ordered for thick drumstick soup with crispy vegetable springrolls and panneer 65 on the side, ghee cashew pulao rice accompanied by red chilly panneer and hyderabadi vegetables and a large bowl of chocolate ice cream with fruit salad.

    Madhavan was surprised.

    Priya waited for the bearer to go away.

    “When you are troubled, you should treat yourself with rich food. That’s the first step to recovery. Now tell me what’s the problem?”

    Madhavan told her about the ad compaign he lost.

    “I worked really hard for it, Priya. Ours was a better offer both in terms of pricing and coverage. The General Manager of the company is my personal friend. He told me unofficially that we have got the deal. But suddenly… it went to the other guy.”

    “Who got it?”

    “Smart Ads.”

    “Really? They are a lousy lot. OK, leave it to me, Boss. I will find out where we went wrong. Let’s now enjoy the food.”

    Priya excused herself to go to the rest room. On the way she made a call to one of her contacts. As she was walking out of the restroom she got a call on her mobile. She listened carefully. As she disconnected there was a big smile on her face.

    She went to Madhavan and ruffled his hair.

    “You don’t worry dear. It’s not your fault that you lost the compaign. That Smart Ads leech had provided women to the President of the client company and got the deal.”

    “My God! Do those things still happen in our industry?”

    “They do, Mr. Clean. My contact tells me that they brought in a top actress for the purpose. Now let the client and Smart Ads go to hell. Cheer up. We have a lot of things to do.”

    “But it’s not fair, Priya. I gave my life and soul to it. I can’t digest the fact that I lost it because I could not stoop low enough to supply women to that bastard.”

    “Cool, boss, Cool. Remember what your Swamiji said. Nothing is fair in this world.”

    “But.. I…. But I….”

    Madhavan was so overwhelmed with anger and frustration that he could not complete the sentence.

    “Boss, you want a revenge, right? Ok, don’t think of any plan now. You are now emotional. Any plan you think of now will be strategically weak. Leave it to me, Boss. I will come up with something.”
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    Part 3!


    Madhavan was consoled. They went home and made love. In the evening Madhavan took her to the Sheraton for a poolside dinner. As Madhavan would remember much later that was the last happiest day they spent together.

    They went home around ten. They made love again. Madhavan had almost forgotten about Smart Ads and was slowly drifting into a dreamless sleep, when Priya shook him.

    This was the watershed moment that destiny was looking for.
    “Get up, Boss. I have an idea.”

    Madhavan saw the time. It was one in the morning.

    “Priya….”

    “Dear, certain things cannot wait. Unless I tell you my idea I can’t sleep.”

    “Shoot.”

    “Just listen to this story, Boss. My grandfather’s friend was a very, very rich man. Once he went to Bombay. This man had leukoderma. Back then people did not know that it was not a dangerous or a contagious disease. They thought it was a variant of leprosy.

    “So when this man went to a hotel and asked for a room, the Manager flatly refused. He would not let lepers stay in his hotel. This man produced a Doctor’s certificate saying that his disease was not leprosy and it was harmless.

    “The manager abused him and almost threw him out of the hotel. It was almost mid-night. The rich man went back to the Railway Station and spent the night there. But the very next day he came back, bought the whole damned hotel and fired the manager.”

    Madhavan yawned.

    “Now Boss, in the same way Ad India is going to take over Smart Ads. The Ad compaign you lost is going to be there for three years. We will take over the company in six months flat. Then you can run the compaign yourself.”

    “But I have not bought any company so far…. Is it ethically right…..”

    “What’s this boss, a company is like any other piece of property. You bought a flat in Bangalore last year. In the same way we can buy this company. I don’t see any difference.”

    “But if they refused to sell….”

    “Well, boss, we are not going to do what my grandfather’s friend did. What I have in mind is a hostile takeover. That will teach them a lesson.”

    But how do we….”

    “Leave it to me, Boss.”

    Destiny was still smiling. Someone not familiar with the ways of Destiny, would naively ask, ‘They have become even closer. So what’s the big deal?’ Destiny has no duty to explain its actions. But if it did, it would say, “I don’t work in ways you can understand.”
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 4!

    Part 4!



    They were back to their usual hectic life from the next day. Priya started working on taking over Smart Ads. She worked through the phone for first half of the day and identified the best kick-ass take-over lawyer in the town.

    Priya hosted a dinner for that lawyer that very night. When they walked out of Hotel Breeze in Poonamallee High Road around 11 that night, they had designed a fail-proof strategy.

    In the normal course of things Priya would have told about the meeting to Madhavan. But she wanted to give Smart Ads to Madhavan as surprise gift. So she kept the details to herself. She did not even tell Madhavan about the lawyer she had hired for the purpose.

    Destiny’s smile became wider.

    An astute lawyer, a cool Priya, a time-tested strategy, and an enemy not well- prepared – nothing more was required to ensure the success of the project.

    Smart Ads fell into Priya’s hands in the next three months. She clinched the deal for just one-half of the amount budgeted for the purpose by Madhavan.

    She shook hands with the lawyer, gave him a fat bonus and retained him as the company’s permanent legal counsel.

    She then checked with Madhavan’s EA about his programme for the day. Madhavan was flying in by the night Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore.

    It was now Priya’s turn to go to the airport to pick up Madhavan. Madhavan was delighted to see her. As the luggage was loaded into the black Benz Priya took him aside and gave a cover.

    “Some mail for you, Boss.”

    Madhavan opened the cover. A paper inside announced that Smart Ads was now legally a part of Ad India, Madhavan lifted Priya off the ground.

    “Awesome, Priya. How did you pull that one?”

    “Boss, it was an easy prey. I found out that theirs was an unlisted company and they had forty shareholders each holding about 2% in the company. I approached them individually and offered a good price for their shares.

    “With all the expenses factored in, we have got the company at half of its real price. And you can run that compaign sitting in your office, Boss.”

    Madhavan was on Cloud Nine.
     
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  5. varalotti

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    Part 5!

    Part 5!
    Next day. Madhavan’s EA called Priya on her phone.

    “Madam, MD wants you to come to his cabin. Right now.”

    Priya was a little offended by the EAs authoritative tone. She nevertheless ran to Madhavan’s office.

    “Am I the boss, or are you?”

    Priya was taken aback by Madhavans demenaour.

    “Anytime, you are the boss.”

    “Then will you take orders from me?”

    “Sure, Boss.

    “Now listen, lady. From today, you are the Joint Managing Director of the Company. Our Company Secretary will come to you with a lot of forms to be signed. And from now on you will be in charge of business planning, finance, tax and overall corporate strategy. I will focus only on marketing and HR.”

    “Boss… what’s this….”

    “I am not yet finished. Listen. The company is placing an order for a BMW car exclusively for your use. Henceforth your air-travel will only be in first class.”

    “Boss..” Priya ran into Madhavan’s open arms.

    The smile on Destiny’s face turned even more wicked.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 6!

    Part 6!


    Taking over other companies is an easy way to leap-frog growth and go to the top in no time. It is also the easiest way to accumulate wealth. A successful takeover gives a ‘high’ which very few things in life can match.

    Precisely because of this reason, it is a highly addictive activity. Once you have successfully taken over another company, you naturally start looking around for potential victims. That was what Priya was doing. And that was what that shrewd kick-ass lawyer was doing.

    When they both saw a soft target on the horizon their mouths watered. As usual they defined their strategty and closed in for a kill.

    Madhavan was in a client meeting when the call came. The caller was quite frantic. Madhavan did not want to take the call. But then the caller had called more than a dozen times in two minutes.

    Madhavan excused himself to take the call. His face went pale. He returned to the client meeting.

    “Are you all right, Mr. Madhavan?”

    “I am not sure. Can we continue this meeting tomorrow?”

    “No issues. Take care.”

    Madhavan stormed into Priya’s office.

    “What’s this Priya? Are we planning to take over Creative Ads?”

    “Yes, Boss. So what?”

    Priya’s non-chalance was neither deliberate nor arrogant. But it appeared so to Madhavan.

    “What the hell is happening in this company? Smart Ads played a dirty game. We revenged them by gobbling them up. What sin did Creative Ads do?”

    Priya was shocked by the emotional outburst.

    “Boss, this is not a question of sin or merit. And we are not Gods to reward them for their merit or punish them for their sins.

    “Taking over companies is a corporate strategy for faster growth. I have been looking for nice, little companies, so that we touch the billion mark that is a gross billing of Rs. 100 crores in the next year.”

    “But Creative Ads is my friend’s company.”

    “Boss, in the world of business there are no friends or enemies. There are companies which can be taken over and companies which can’t be.”

    “What if someone takes over our company?”

    “No way, Boss. We hold the entire hundred percent between ourselves. Unless one of us betray the other, our company cannot be taken over. But those idiots at Creative Ads, their shares are with a hundred and fifty people. We have cornered 30% already. And in another two weeks, we will have 51%.”

    Madhavan’s face became red with anger.

    “Priya, I want us out of this nasty business rightaway. Am I clear?”

    “Very.”

    Madhavan stormed out of the room leaving Priya in a state of shock. She picked up the phone to talk to her lawyer.

    There was an understanding smile on Destiny’s face.
     
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  7. varalotti

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    Part 7!

    Part 7!

    The take-over lawyer whom Priya had hired had closed in for a perfect kill of Creative Ads. He was in the position of a lion who had chased a gazel for miles and was about to pounce on the hapless animal.

    The lion’s digestive system had already recognised the presence of delicious food. The preludes to the digestive process had begun. And at the last wonderful moment someone was holding the lion back. The lion decided to leave the gazel for now and train its eyes on the person holding him back.

    Priya and the lawyer were now in the take over business for more than six months. Unlike the soft business of advertising where you talk of things like creativity, mass communication and at times even values, there in take-over you talk of victims, survival, killing, eating up and high-end money.

    And Priya had been moving closely with a person who was known in his field as a vulture. Her thought processes had changed quite a lot over the past few months. The ‘high’ she had when Smart Ads was gobbled up made her crave for more and better ‘highs’.

    It was she who had identified Creative Ads and she almost single-handedly wrote the strategy to swallow the company. The lawyer now appreciated her skills openly. But Madhavan had stopped her in the last minute. She was kind of frustrated.

    Madhavan and his set of values looked quite funny to her.

    Destiny was now laughing uncontrollably.

    The ‘vulture’ lawyer, the lion who was prevented from tasting that delicious gazel, now trained his eyes on Madhavan. For him anything in life was like a take-over.

    Study the victim, know his weaknesses, find out the opportune time and then pounce on the victim with much greater force than what is neccesary. This was his universal strategy. Surprisingly this strategy used by cavemen in prehistoric days to hunt food, still worked in the greedy corporate world.

    A week later there was a 100 page dossier on Madhavan on his table. And that became his favourite bed-time reading that night.

    Madhavan’s strongest point was Priya and her love for him. Every time Priya talked about Madhavan love sparkled in her eyes. The vulture decided to do something about it. That should be the starting point.

    The vulture was quite adept in understanding the workings of the human mind. For instance the vulture knew that when one’s own survival is threatened, love, values, his sense of good and evil all take a backseat.

    There are some exceptions to this fundamental rule. But the vulture has not come across any so far. The vulture decided to apply this rule to the case on hand.

    Some angels decided to go in support of Madhavan. But it was already too late.

    Madhavan was busy in his office when that call came to his direct land line number. The caller introduced herself as a lady lawyer practising in the Madras High Court.

    She wanted to talk to him about the danger that was surrounding him on all sides. She could not do so on the phone as she was sure that the line was not secure. She called him to her country club on the East Coast Road for an hour’s session.

    Madhavan was shocked. But accepted the offer.

    Unknown to Madhavan the line was tapped and the conversation was recorded.

    Destiny was now sure that it had done its part. From this point onwards people would come in to finish what Destiny had started.

    Destiny left the place searching for greener pastures.
     
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  8. SupriyaDinesh

    SupriyaDinesh Silver IL'ite

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    Hello Sir,
    Very Early Post... We are eager to read the next episode you are double eager to post it.. :cheers Today's story was like watching a movie..hero heroine..villain's (here vulture) move.Suspense..suspense..full of suspense... Very gripping tale.. Thanks for entertaining us.

    With regards,
    Supriya
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Supriya,
    Yes, it was a very early post. My daughter is coming from Chennai and I woke up at 4 AM to pick her up from the station. But then I got a call from her saying that the train is delayed by more than an hour. So I thought I could use the time to post this episode.
    I just saw that you were on line. But in a matter of minutes you have read the entire episode of 3000 plus words.
    Thanks for the nice words about the story.
    regards,
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Sridhar,

    So, Destiny has done its duty....I can only feel sorry for madhavan and priya.
    Success in a takeover is like an itch(thought of using something else...but itch looks apt)..the more you scratch, the more it is going to itch...... So Priya has got a taste of it, along with the vulture aka lawyer....the high from success.
    Madhavan not taking the calls..shows, that though we say in tamil vidhiyai madhiyaal vellalam (i am not sure if i have spelled, it correctly....), being at the right place, right time, right person is also equally important....
    Is there going to be any damage control...or destiny has had its last laugh????

    Waiting for the next episode..................
     

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