cobrapost |
July 26, 2011


A. Tandon, Branch Sales Manager, ICICI Bank, South Delhi

“Mulaqaat karwa dijiye (Introduce me to him)” – Tandon, showing no hesitation in meeting a minister who wants to turn his black money into white

The man at the desk of this ICICI Bank branch somewhere in South Delhi is A. Tandon, Branch Sales Manager. He is given the same story by the Cobrapost reporter. The first question Tandon asks is: “Humare sang relationship hai Sir (Do you already have a relationship with us, Sir).” No, but we would love to have one at the earliest, the reporter assures him. After asking the visitor some more questions, Tandon asks: “Will you invest in cash?” Yes, of course. Rs. 50–60 lakh is lying at home and Rs. 5–7 crore is expected to come in March. Tandon: “Abhi ye kahan se … funds kahan se ayega (From where will these funds come)?”
The funds belong to a known politician, the reporter informs him. Tandon immediately seeks a meeting with the man: “Mulaqaat karwa dijiye (Introduce me to him).” He later offers to come over to the residence to discuss the matter in detail. The reporter seeks some more details about Tandon’s suggested plans and explains that the purpose of the exercise is to convert the money into white. Since there is a lot of noise around, the reporter asks to talk in the privacy of a separate cabin. Tandon takes him to one. He then brings one of his colleagues, Vijendra, and briefs him. Tandon says: “Sir main aapko thodasa batana chahunga ki (I would like to tell you something that) since you do not have any liability … or any kind of relationship with ICICI aapke saath koi bhi nahin hai is tarah ka toh wo bhi ek parallelly build karna padega humein (we have nothing of that sort with you so we will have to build one parallel(ly)).”
Opening an account was the first prerequisite before Tandon could help us. No problem, go ahead, at the earliest, says the reporter.
The Branch Sales Manager has a valid reason: “We cannot accept that much of amount … mujhe uss account mein transfer karna padega account kholne ke baad aur fir usse hi (after the account is opened I will have to transfer that into it and then from it) we can make a DD or whatever the investment.”
So, the account was to facilitate the routing of money into investment. But there is a hitch. Tandon explains: “Mujhe aapse ye karna hoga ki jo aapke funds hain source of funds kya hai uska wo (I will have to ask you what is the source of the funds you have) that I want to know so that ki future mein kuch mere paas kyunki kya hota hai ki jo bhi high-end investments hote hain uska kuchh na kuchh queries aati hain hi (in future what happens is I invariably receive some queries on the high-end investments asking) what is the customer’s profile and what is the source of fund.”
The reporter tells him that he has hard cash and it is up to them how they go about it, either by routing it through the account or adopting some other mode. What the minister wants is to make a safe investment in all respects. Tandon: “Main samajh gaya Sir (I understand it Sir). I got your point.”
After Vijendra has explained the best investment plan to the reporter, Tandon says in a reassuring manner: “Monthly basis pe main jo branch ka hum karte doh–sawa doh crore ka business har mahine karte hain … dekhiye main jo karta hun bees–bees lakh pachees–pachees lakh pe karta hun aapka cash ka hai to I have to think (On monthly basis, our branch does a business of Rs. 2–2.25 crore … I handle investments of Rs. 20–25 lakh … Since your case is of cash, then I will have to think).”
But nothing should be disclosed, the reporter says. Tandon: “Ismein Sir disclose karne wali koi baat nahin (There is nothing to disclose)… actually ICICI jo hai na work on the model of ‘Think Privacy’.”
On the locker request, Tandon says: “Wo ho jayga koi issue nahin hai. Bada ho jayega (That will be done. Not an issue … will manage the bigger one).”
The minister’s wife goes to England often. She wants to send some of the Rs. 5–7 crore to her relatives there. Can he help? Tandon: “Remit ho jayega Sir remit … ho jayega (It will be remitted, Sir …it will be done).”
The meeting ends on a happy note with a promise of meeting again the same evening in the presence of the minister.

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