Tuesday, March 28, 2006
The signs are portent. If you are a faithful of a certain Mr Peter Senge’s systemic thinking, travelling in India today is a mine of data. The unfortunate few whose privilege cards change metal colour with rapidity are seeing a crumbling of all things good around them.
Last week, having finished work earlier than expected, I was dashing back to Mumbai from the Capital. Was trying to get on to a 5:25 flight or a 6:00 flight (both were, of course, leaving at 6:30). It was mayhem. There were platinum people jostling with first time fliers at a counter manned by an extremely sweaty and harassed lady who was trying to make seats meet. The platinum people were getting extremely vocal at the plain blue treatment been meted out to them. Brand affinity was walking out of the emergency exit.
Giving up on the tickets and reconciled at another wait in the lounge and a late night taxi fare, I demanded my free glass of beer and a place to smoke. I was pointed to a corner under the only sign that encouraged people to desist from the terrible habit. The corner was a mess. The ashtray was full. The table was filthy and there were hapless waiters running around. The signs were for all to see.
The gentleman from the bank (that has just bought out the man with the golden sacks) looked around him, smiled wryly and said “if we can’t handle two years of 8% growth, what will we do”
PS would have had a lot to say. Look out India Inc. Something’s giving.