Part 5 of our 'Word on the Street' column, which gets you the unreported chatter from the world of business and markets, put together by our fly-on-the-wall reporters.
Standard safety precaution
A foreign bank with a policy of hiring and firing based on its global HR restructuring decisions has improvised on the way it handles mass layoffs. Recently, when the bank decided to let go a few hundred employees, they employed a specialist security firm to ensure there was no trouble. The laid-off staffers were asked to leave the premises immediately, and were escorted by the security personnel.
The hapless people were wondering at the hostility of their employer, but the bank did not want to take any chances. A rival bank had to face the ire of a local political party when it gave pink slips to some employees. One of the sacked staffers called up a party known to take up cudgels on behalf of workers. The part sent its workers to the bank's premises, resulting in minor violence and damage to property. In order to avoid a similar situation, the foreign bank undertook the sacking exercise in a military-like manner.
Change of guard
Pawan Agarwal, the CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is said to be a front runner for the position of Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), according to industry sources.
Agarwal, a 1985-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, has been on an extension as CEO at FSSAI. If he gets the job, he will replace Jai Priye Prakash, the current Secretary of DoP.
At FSSAI, Agarwal has been credited for bringing in vigor and direction to the food regulator. As Secretary of DoP he will be expected to play an important role as Modi government is trying to rejig the entire drug price regulation. Given that price caps are not working well, the government is moving towards setting the margins that drug firms earn from regulated drugs.
One of India Inc's twitter friendly business czars and film aficionado is eager to fast-track his dream project - a desi version of Hollywood’s iconic Universal Studios. And what better location to showcase a movie and entertainment theme park than Bollywood’s home – Mumbai! Now theme parks may be expensive to maintain, but they can generate solid revenues as well. A little birdie tells us the cinephile's team is on the prowl to raise capital for this 'blockbuster' plan and may appoint advisors shortly. We say move over Jurassic Park rides, time for Sholay's Gabbar Singh to take centerstage!
Words and deeds
In public, most high net-worth individuals are all praise for the newly elected NDA government. But that does not mean they are in a hurry to invest in the stock market. Most of these investors have suffered bruising losses over the last year, especially in small and midcap stocks. They are now using every rally to get rid of underwater investments and narrow their losses. That could partly explain why the market has been unable to build on the rally immediately following the exit poll projections.(Contributed by M Saraswathy, Viswanath Pilla, Ashwin Mohan & Santosh Nair) Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.