My first day at Edelweiss wasn’t pleasant at all. After spending months to get 403, Dalamal Tower, Nariman Point up and running, it was just me and the office boy, sitting in that 500 square feet office, meant to seat 11. Speaking to Vidya and Venkat bought little solace. A few client calls and couple of faxes later, at the end of the day, packing my bag, all I could think of was the Rs.5,000 that had gone down the drain. That was the rent we were paying per day.
Of course, it was a refreshing change from the dingy cubbyhole above Akbarallys that I was using for many months — I still shudder thinking about the walk all the way to the Taj to use the restroom, for there was only a dirty, common loo in the building. But getting to office every day, with no one to talk to or have lunch with, and then going back home with the feeling that you lost another Rs.5,000 without accomplishing anything was worse than walking a kilometer for the loo.
I had everyone and no one to blame really. It was all my choice. I never wanted to scrimp or start small. I wanted a South Mumbai office. And it had to be Nariman Point and nowhere else! I hated the idea of working out of suburbs or being a briefcase banker…I wanted to start out in style...wanted a classy office…
After seeing how grubby business is in India, having been a mute spectator to Dad’s business, I was determined not to go down that road, with excise inspectors and all that. I wanted to study, become a professional, wear a suit and tie, work in an air-conditioned office — that was my idea of a good life! Everyone was upset. Words like “you are the only son, how can you say no to managing your Dad’s business? Who else will?” flew thick and fast. But I chose higher studies at IIFT and IIM Ahmedabad. Eventually, Dad came around to accepting my decision.
Being placed at ICICI was great. I admired tha