Saturday, December 14, 2013

BUSINESSMEN IN UNIFORM – Part 1

BUSINESSMEN IN UNIFORM
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. Please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humour. This is a spoof, pure fiction, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2.  All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
3. The generic term “soldier” includes all armed forces officers and personnel in uniform – soldiers, sailors, airmen)
NB:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

BUSINESSMEN IN UNIFORM – Part 1

“SATTA BAZAAR”

Let me tell you about the first encounter I had with a “Businessman in Uniform”.

This happened more than 35 years ago.

Six of us “piddly” Sub Lieutenants from various ships sat in front of a chubby Commander in Headquarters (those days the Headquarters was located in a civilian building in Fort area of Mumbai).

We had been “detailed” for some “bum jobs” connected with Navy Week and the Staff Officer was briefing us.

Suddenly, the phone on the table rang and the Commander picked it up.

Whatever he heard on the phone suddenly galvanized him into action.

The Commander abruptly stood up and told us that something urgent had come up.

He told us that he would be back soon and we should wait for him.

He threw a file in front of us and told us to read it till he got back.

Then he swiftly grabbed a civilian bush shirt which was hanging on the hat-stand, wore the blue bush-shirt over his white uniform shirt.

He picked up his briefcase and disappeared at the speed of light.

We waited patiently in his office – almost half an hour passed.

Then we went over to the office hall and asked the staff if they knew when he would be back.

“Don’t worry. He must have gone to Dalal Street, to meet his broker in the Stock Exchange. He will be back soon,” the Commander’s PA said.

(Remember, this happened in the 1970’s when there was no internet, no online trading, and you had to physically trade stocks through your broker)

When the Commander returned, he seemed quite cheerful and in a happy mood.

I do not know whether he was a “Bull” or a “Bear” but from his happy mood it appeared that he had made a lot of money that day.

After a “brief” briefing on the “official” matter, he educated us on investing and trading in shares and told us how much money could be made in the stock market rather than the conventional savings methods which we were doing.

Later on, during my career, I met many such “Bulls” and “Bears” in the Navy, who were more preoccupied with the Stock Market than their Naval Duties.

Now, thanks to internet, with the advent of online trading, it has become ever so easy for these “businessmen in uniform” to indulge in their stock market trading, even during working hours, and from remote locations – you can use your PC, your laptop, or even your mobile smart-phone to indulge in “satta bazaar” and you can do it 24/7.


REAL ESTATE

During my stints in inter-service establishments, I discovered many “businessmen in uniform” in the army and air force too, with other business interests.

“My boss is more of a businessman then a soldier,” an army friend of mine once commented and went on to tell us that his senior was heavily engaged in real estate speculation and was least interested in soldiering duties, which he left to his juniors.

There was another officer, who would spend hours exhorting junior officers to buy property, explaining to them the various tax benefits, telling them how much the value of their property would appreciate, the rent returns, and that real estate was the best investment.

Was he doing this for purely altruistic reasons?

Well, that I will leave it for you to guess.

But I wonder whether it was a curious coincidence that he was plugging only a certain scheme, arranging site visits, facilitating loans and helping out with paperwork.

Others were busy investing in land in and around the city.

Yes, apart from the “stock market”, “real estate” (“property market”) seemed to be quite popular with “businessmen in uniform” and, of course, there were many other “businesses” as well, some of which they pursued on their wives and children’s names.

All these “businessmen in uniform” seemed to be more engrossed in making money rather than their military duties.

I often wonder why such individuals join the armed forces.

If you have a talent for business, then why waste your life soldiering in the defence services?

If you have financial acumen, will your talent not be better utilized in the business-world rather than in the military?


MILITARY MINDSET versus BUSINESS ACUMEN

Business Acumen and Military Attitude are stark opposites.

In fact, they are mutually exclusive.

You can either have a military mindset or you can have business acumen – you cannot simultaneously have both.

You can either be a Businessman or you can be a Soldier – but you cannot be both at the same time.

I am of the firm view that those with a “military mindset” should keep away from the business world.

And similarly, those who have a “nose for business” must keep away from the military.

Do you agree?

Well, let’s discuss this a bit more, in my subsequent blog posts.

To be continued … 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
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Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
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