Monday, September 26, 2011

Golden India

Saturday : In air : Frankfurt Mumbai
Some sunahara gyan from who heads gold trading of Canadian bank. India is world's biggest importer of gold. She import and consumes close to 900 tons per year and our gold import bill is next to oil. Even Dubai be around 200 tons and that too bulk of it is exported. His major customers are Zaveri Bazar, Laxmi Road. A big jewelry shop would house at least few hundred Kgs just on display. Nearly 12 banks are in the business of this trading. With price being uniform ; service, payment terms and relationship must be variables that would differentiate one trader from the other.

US interest is zero percent, stock and bond market crashing, western countries economy tottering , real estate price defeating. People who hoards the money need a place to park. No other option than gold. Result gold prices are going up and up. I kept on thinking, can this gold asset of India not be channeled in economy ? Answer lied in various gold loan schemes that are promoted.

This man who possessed golden knowledge had penchant for vodka to liqueur, after gulping few shots he snored his way to long sleep. His dangling thick gold bracelet, ring studded with diamonds and his stout physical frame reminding me of representative from Pune who shot to fame with his gold dangling.


Hotel Hassles

Sunday : Mumbai/Pune
All hotels while check in take pre -authorization yet while checking out, they again swipe the card , take a print out , ask for your signature and take another printout and fish out for an envelope to present customer his copy , in between make a call (perhaps housekeeping dept to check if all room belonging are intact). All these sequence of events don't happen in US hotels - at least in Marriott. They just swipe the card at the beginning, last day of the check out slip in the bill copy to the room and that's it. You inform them at check out and 'Bye' . In my previous visit to US, I asked the front office person and he said ' of course, we are business hotel, we don't waste time '.

At 2am, at Marriott Courtyard, Mumbai, front office was manned by just one staff and he took his time to attend to the customer till he turned out to me. I waited with mix of impatience counting the minutes of precious sleep that I would be wasting after traveling 20 hours.

Just before Hinjewadi, O hotel has a huge hoarding highlighting Pune and Goa hotels with customer care telephone number in massive digits. When I called thus number seeking information on Goa Property, pleasant sounding lady kept me hold for some time and then offered me their Goa number to get information. By afternoon, I called up Marriott Courtyard to speak to a person with whom I had talked twice. His colleague picked up the stating that his away on a meeting and offering me his mobile to call him again. I started wondering if this is the norm to ask customer call up. I was relieved when our customer care. Lady responded with ' please give me your number, I will call you again'. Both O hotel and Marriott must have spent substantial money on hoarding and training but missed out on small yet relevant responses to customers.

HP board chose another successor within a year. A company that once ranked top for ' attracting and retaining the talent' can't spot in house talent and make wrong choice every time But not bad for a person who even gets exit package after a year of bad performance