Bank of Maharashtra, Case 1: V. D. Kolhatkar, Chief Manager, Gurgaon, Haryana
A responsible banker, handles all the underhand deals responsibly, and by himself. And he is meticulous, needs a plan for every meeting.
Here at this branch of Bank of Maharashtra in upscale Gurgaon, the Cobrapost journalist meets Chief Manager V.D. Kolhatkar. Pleasantries over, we come straight to talking business: We want to invest Rs. 1.5 crore in some long-term instrument. There should be no TDS; hence no FDs.
Kolhatkar ponders over the requirement and thinks that insurance is an option.
We have queries, though. Would Rs.1.5 crore of cash be directly put into insurance or would it be routed through an account?
Kolhatkar says that he would discuss it with the chartered accountant of the politician and decide. Meanwhile, the manager agrees to put the reporter on to the person who handles the insurance.
We need to tie a few loose ends first. Has the manager done such cash deals before?
The manager replies: “Haan … haan (Yes … yes).”
We are expecting Rs. 5–7 crore soon. Does the bank have a locker to stash that cash?
We get another affirmative nod from the manager.
And can the currency notes be counted at the bank, we prod?
“Sub ho jayega (Everything will be done),” Kolhatkar assures us.
Such deals require trust and secrecy. That’s why the manager deals with the matter personally. He states: “Nishchint raho … otherwise main kisi officer ke paas aapko divert karta … lekin main nahin kar raha hoon … hhud hi handle karoonga … kuch aise hain clients jo karna hota hai (Don’t worry … otherwise I could have sent you to some other officer, but I am not doing it … I will myself handle your case … we need to do this for some clients).”
What else can we ask for the senior banker is taking it upon himself?
We come to the issue where some of the cash in the lockers has to be transferred to offshore accounts. Could this be done?
Kolhatkar informs that his branch is the foreign exchange branch so it will be done, but cautions: “Woh poore cash mein nahin ja payega … wo account ke through route karna padega (It will not go all in cash … we will have to route it through an account).”
He assures us that he will figure out a way: “Dekhte hain … uska kuch karte hain (Let’s see …. will do something about it).”
The Chief Manager likes to do his homework. He wants to meet the politician but would like to prepare himself for the meeting. In his opinion, going into a meeting without a proper plan is worthless: “Pehle hum ek scheme banayein fir baat karte hain … jaate samay kuch ek plan apne haath mein hona chahiye na … otherwise, haanji sochenge ji ka kya karna (First let us prepare a plan and then we will talk … before going for the meeting, we should have a plan ready in our hand … otherwise, yes … will think what to do).”
Impressive, we believe. We part happily.