Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Three of aces

mumbai Updated: Apr 11, 2018 17:09 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,column,malavika's mumbaistan

(From left)S Ramadorai, FC Kohli and N Chandrasekaran

By any standards, this picture, featuring three unassuming, but distinguished-looking gentlemen, is a historic one. Shot on Monday evening at a NASSCOM-related dinner hosted by a SoBo industrialist, it features the three stalwarts of one of India’s largest companies by market cap, the multinational IT service, consulting and business solutions giant TCS, a Tata Group subsidiary.

In the centre, as erect as ever, stands nonagenarian FC Kohli, widely acknowledged as the ‘Father of the Indian Software Industry’, who, along with JRD Tata, founded the tech giant in 1968 and served as its first CEO; he is flanked by S Ramadorai, who was its second CEO, taking the company’s revenues from $400 million to more than US$6 billion. And on the right is N Chandrasekaran, whose stint as TCS’s CEO, which began in 2009, preceded his appointment as chairman of Tata Sons in 2017, the first non-Parsi and professional executive to head the Tata Group conglomerate.

Three brilliant men, who created and led one of the sparkling jewels in India’s financial crown and gave the nation something to be proud of. And in these times of increasing tales of economic profligacy, it is important to note three men, who have displayed unassailable moral rectitude. A valuable lesson for all.

TRUE LIES

Call it the domino effect, but corporate watchers are talking about the manner in which firms connected to the electronic major under the scanner due to large un-serviced bank loans, also appear to be falling like nine pins. Related through marriage to promoters of a debt-ridden steel firm, at one time, the family alliances were thought to be almost invincible. But now, both appear to be going through their own woes. This bad phase seems to have affected relatives of the steel firm owners, too: a realty tycoon, who drives a Rolls Royce, is at the doorsteps of banks for restructuring. What the grapevine is fascinated by are the reasons for this syndrome: it’s either that when the morale of familial leaders is low, the ripple-effect is felt all over or…this was the subject of many a recent SoBo weekend pow wows: or is it perhaps just a case of unfavourable stars?

The mind boggles…

SEPARATED AT BIRTH

President of the Indian National Congress, member of the 16th Lok Sabha from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi, whose body of work includes chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India.

And Actor James Dornan, whose body of work includes ABC series Once Upon a Time, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and essaying the role of Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise.

A candle for Uma

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Uma Pocha, who along with her sister Indira, was part of the Sami sisters, a duo that brought much cheer, laughter and song to Mumbai in its Salad Days, (especially with their rollicking Bombay Meri Hai, which never failed to bring the house down)

In a heartfelt tribute to her departed sister, who she described as ‘the life of every party’, the iconic singer, Usha Uthup, recalled her amazing qualities as sibling, doctor (she devoted her practice to the care of municipal school children), wife, mother and musician.

‘She could have had a private practice and her father had in fact offered to set her up in one.

But Uma (by then Pocha, and no longer Sami) preferred to serve in the squalid schools of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Her son, Adi Pocha, wrote in a moving blog about the passing of his mother titled ‘The show must go on’.

‘..My mother ran three shows:

She was a full time doctor.

She was a popular singer.

And…

She was a full time mother and wife…’ wrote the doting son.

Goodbye and Godspeed Uma Pocha. Our condolences to the family. And yes, thank you for the music.

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 17:09 IST