Each of us divisional heads had prepared our own presentations and delivered them one by one, which was basically our own analysis that included input and cooperation of our partners from around the world. I made my presentation with all facts and figures. The team of experts seemed diligently to be making notes in their legal size yellow pads, looking ever so attentive and contemplative. We thought with the intent of addressing the problem areas to discuss further and then suggest some practical solutions – things we may have missed.

Instead, during the second round when my turn came, their Japanese expert shuffles the papers in front of him, puts the pile down in a neat square and shoots: So Haresh, what do you think went wrong and what can you do to correct it? Didn’t I just give him the whole nine yards of what was happening and the measures we have taken and were planning to take? Was he sleeping? Drugged? Doodling instead of making notes? High on something? Pulling my leg?

No, but I wasn’t thinking any of it. Flabbergasted, the answer just rolls out of my mouth, smooth  as the toothpaste slithering out of its tube. I thought you are the ones going to tell us that! And as if I had popped open a can of laughing gas, everyone on my side of the table bursts out in a roar of laughter. Later when we break for refreshments, the group clusters around me and Bob Friedman – the Entertainment Group President walks up to me, puts his arms around me and goes: Haresh you are our hero!

© Haresh Shah 2014

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

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Next Friday, March 7, 2014

TENDER TRAPS

They are everywhere, especially if you’re looking for them. But even if you aren’t, they find you. After all, that’s what they do for a living. Someone who traveled as much as I did, always staying in the top hotels and frequented the most trendy spots around the world, you are more likely than not, stumble upon one of those pretty and tempting ladies of the night.

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