A shortage of drivers - a surplus of street fighters - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
A shortage of drivers - a surplus of street fighters A  A  A

As long term value investors, we don't worry about where share prices are headed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

As long term investors, we don't really look at the movements of the Index. Though - as those who bombarded me for making a "prediction" about the Index know - we do sometimes give these "could be" scenarios to tantalise the rational mind into thinking what irrational things can make the markets do! ☺

But, being long term investors, we focus on the quality of managements and the attitude of the shareholders of the founding families.

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"The Mother of all bull markets is ahead of us."

Now, we don't know whether or not this is likely to happen.

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The first of course is that you need to pick the right stocks.

And the second, which is even more important than the first, is something that we are revealing to you in this note today...

Now, this very special note is available only till tomorrow. So, we recommend you read it right away.

After all, it could give a big boost to your wealth building plans! Click here to read all about this...


Now, as long term thinkers, we have a new worry.

Well, actually, a new set of worries.

India, it seems to us, has a shortage of drivers. And a surplus of street fighters.

Let me explain.

Hey, where's my company?

While my father, a retired doctor, loves to hear his TV at full volume and seems glued to the shouting matches that are labelled as anchored-discussions, I don't focus on all these scams that are unfolding faster than you can say "Ek aur chor". As the Nana Chudasama banner on Marine Drive says, we need a Directory of Scams.

But, recently, I have begun to sit up and take notice to the channels that have taken the phrase "The Argumentative Indian" to a whole different level.

It all began when my driver - let's call him Nitin for sake of simplicity - walked up to me and demanded, "I want to keep company!"

Surprised by his abruptness I asked, "Sorry - what company?"

"Well", he said, "it is embarrassing enough that I drive a car which is 8 years old. All the other drivers are driving cars that are new models of new cars. To save myself from embarrassment, I tell them that you travel a lot and that you have your expensive cars outside India. So that is why they still talk to me and let me play cards with them in the parking lot."

"Well, the car still works well and it is very comfortable inside. And you did spend Rs. 30,000 to get it painted and fixed one year ago", I reminded him.

"Acha, usko choro - forget the car", said an irritated Nitin, "when the other drivers see you with your mobile phone, they again ask me what I am doing working with a boss who has an old model mobile phone and no smart phone. Again, I tell them that i-phones are what you use on your travels."

"You know I am not very good at using these new technology things", I said. "Though my family has many such gadgets."

"Who bhee theek hai - that is also acceptable. And I tell the other drivers that. But this company thing is really bothering me. I have been with you for 30 years and you never told me that I will get a company. Every driver I play cards with has a company. Some even have six. This one driver had a bad hand and I knew my game was better than his. But he took out the keys of a flat, looked me in the eye, and said, 'himmat hai to khel. Mai ek flat bet kar rahu hoon. (If you have guts play, I am willing to bet one apartment)' I knew my game was better and I wanted to bet the flat that I stay in - even though it is not mine. The he said, 'soch ke khel, ye flat Adarsh mein hai, tera Vashi mein, Vashi/Tashi ka flat nai chalega idhar'. (Play carefully, my apartment is in Adarsh and is expensive, your cheap flat in Vashi will not work in this game). Realising his firepower, I threw my cards down and - sure enough - my game was better than his! I lost a winning game of cards because you did not give me a flat in south Bombay".

"Oh", I said, not sure how else to react to such a ridiculous notion of a driver being given a flat.

"That is not the end of the story", said Nitin, "another driver watching me throw away a winning hand said, 'kyaa, tera boss ne company nahin diya?Arey mere boss ne company bhi diya or usme Rs 160 crore ka loan be milla!' (What? Your boss has not given you a company? Why, my boss gave me a company and also got that company a loan of Rs 160 crore!)"

"So this is it", said Nitin, with finality, "I can no longer keep up the embarrassment of working with you. I am quitting. Some Kejriwal fellow needs a driver. The last person with driving skills in his entourage was some Anna fellow and he was driving trucks for the army. With all the practice I have driving your old car; I can also drive his trucks. And from what I am told, Kejriwal has so many allegations to be released he needs many trucks to carry his RTI documents. My decision is clear: I will either be a driver who owns many companies, or I will be a street fighter who will expose those other drivers who got their companies. That is the only way I can win the card games during Diwali."

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Disclaimer: The Honest Truth is authored by Ajit Dayal. Ajit is a Director at Quantum Advisors Pvt. Ltd and Quantum Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd. The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and has not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author, Equitymaster, Quantum AMC and Quantum Advisors do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site. To write to Ajit, please click here.

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9 Responses to "A shortage of drivers - a surplus of street fighters"


Nov 10, 2012

It may be a satire;unfortunately I am not able to understand the article Ajit.

Like (4)


Nov 9, 2012

Good article, though not the kind of writing one expects from Mr.Ajit Dayal. Good to digress from the subject once in a while, hope it will not be a regular feature. regds

Like (2)


Nov 8, 2012

Your satire comes alive Ajit in this issue
It reminds me of Art Buchwald A G Gardiner etc

Like (2)


Nov 8, 2012

we need street fighters like Kejriwal. Rarely we see people with honesty and intelligence. Annaji is a very honest man but not intelligent. The existing political parties have lot of intelligent individuals but very few are honest. Kejriwal is well qualified and seems to be honest and intelligent. He has shown courage and guts by nailing big and powerful.
How many people in this country have the courage to go against the powerful? Now Kejriwal has started attacking the corporates, has exposed crony capitalism and skeletons will tumble out of the cupboards of big corporate houses.It will affect the financial industry as well, is that your worry?

Like (1)


Nov 8, 2012

Now I am very much happy because, there are people who actually want some urgent & real solution to the problem of Every day Scams & Lootings of common man`s tax money. Thank you for your EXCELLENT Article."LONG LIVE DEAR FELLOW HUMAN"

Like (1)


Nov 7, 2012

I would definitely be a driver who owns many companies rather than the drama act of a street fighter.

Like (1)


Nov 7, 2012

excellent article - good satire! for a change, humor not related to investing!!

Like (1)


Nov 7, 2012

Brought out the reality in a lighter way. We have to live with it with old car and other gadgets.

Like (1)


Nov 7, 2012

this is so true, tragic and hilarious at the same time.

kudos Ajit, for such a good article

Like (1)
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