Creation of an unusual designation; fresh beginnings with ex-colleagues; fundraising woes; a law suite, and more
Part 3 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 and editors.
An offshoot of the chatter around the IndiGo founders’ spat is speculation on social media that ex-Interglobe Aviation president Aditya Ghosh may be mulling a return flight. Ghosh, seen by many as a Rakesh Bhatia loyalist, had quit IndiGo last year and took up the CEO’s role at OYO Hotels. Ghosh’s successor at IndiGo, Greg Taylor lasted less than a year. Industry insiders say Ghosh may be open to coming back to IndiGo if Bhatia wins the ongoing boardroom battle with co-founder Rakesh Gangwal. “Hear a big name may do ghar wapsi to IndiGo,” is how one Twitterati responded to the chatter. Ghosh did not reply to a message asking him if there was any substance to the talk.
At least one M&A deal in the non-life insurance segment is stuck because the two parties are unable to agree on designations for senior management in the new structure. WOTS got to know that the acquiree firm wants its top management to be given ‘almost-equal’ positions in the merged entity. A deputy CEO title is fine, a co-managing director is still OK even if not common, but a chief execution officer (yes, execution!!) could be a first. The last designation has been proposed so that the title CEO can be legitimately used even if the person is not the one in charge.
Fresh start (with ex-colleagues?)
A capital markets veteran who had raised eyebrows by bidding for a broking firm in his personal capacity, even while being employed with a leading private bank, is gearing up for a new innings as a fund manager for wealthy clients. He has set up a swanky office in Mumbai’s financial district and is heard to be on the prowl for top talent. The parting of ways with his earlier organisation was far from amicable. Perhaps to prove a point, he may start his poaching activity with that firm. Helps that he has close relatives working there.
The legal sector appears to be immune to the downtrend in the broader economy. The newest law firm on the block, Pioneer Legal, has begun operations in style much like its founding partner who loves the good life. It is arguably the only law firm in the financial capital housed out of a five-star hotel, with 7,500 square feet on the business floor, free seating and a “breakout area” for the legal eagles to chill and throw darts! The founding partner had parted ways with a leading law firm and in his new avatar, his formula seems to be simple: happy lawyers mean happy clients (and a happy owner as well)
Ex-Flipster's hoopster play
After switching allegiance from fashion to fitness, former Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal is busy giving his well-established competitors a run for their money, by aggressively acquiring gymnasiums. His startup CureFit has sealed a $75 million fundraising round led by existing investor Accel Growth, So, what's next on the firm’s radar? A little birdie tells us Bansal is eyeing a tie-up with a premier global basketball league. If he manages to pull it off, that would be one slam dunk of a deal
No more money for jam
Some fund managers say the problems of the NBFC sector go beyond just liquidity. More than money to lend, most NBFCs are in dire need of equity capital. And that won’t be easy to come, given the dormant losses in many of the books. The chatter on Dalal Street that the situation is likely to get messy soon.
Meanwhile, even regular fundraising is providing to be quite an ask.
An NBFC promoted by a veteran investment banker has been struggling to attract investors for its non-convertible debenture (NCD) despite offering a double-digit rate of interest. So much so that it has been forced to extend the issue period. Brokers at Registrar and Transfer (R&T) offices are sitting with stacks of forms waiting for applicants.
The government is yet to find a full-time person for the post of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), which has been vacant for more than a year.
S Eswara Reddy, Joint Drugs Controller was initially appointed interim DCGI in February 2018 for three months, and since then has been continuing on quarterly extensions. Finally, the government called for applications for the position last month. WOTS leaned that three candidates, including Reddy, are in the race for DCGI. Of them, one has the backing of a powerful politician.
The interview that was supposed to happen early this month was postponed at the eleventh hour, and the candidates were informed about the cancellation after they reached the UPSC office. Talk is that the interview had to be postponed as one of the candidates is facing corruption charges, and is trying to extricate himself from the mess.
Meanwhile, the wait for a full-time DCGI drags on.
(Contributed by Prince Thomas, M Saraswathy, Ashwin Mohan, Himadri Buch, and Viswanath Pilla)Click here for Part 1, Part 2The Great Diwali Discount!
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