The period called ‘after-office-hours’ is a time for us to rewind and share a laugh with the colleagues. All except the officers would have rushed back home. A stray customer would come in who is promptly and politely shooed off.
One day a guy came in carrying a back pack. He was dressed in formal wear, but not expensive. He came in and asked for the Stressed Assets Recovery cell, which was a floor above (Stressed assets stands for loan defaulters). We presumed his family would have taken some bad debts and this guy would be running from pillar to post to save them.
Some time later he returned back. He had a visible speech defect. I offered him a seat which he refused. He wanted to know if the bank would help him in getting a loan for a textile unit. After shifting to this place I got a chance to come across many aspirants who wanted some kind of loan or the other. Some were genuine and a few were absolutely rogues. All had the impression that ‘the nation’s largest lender’ dished out money for free. This boy seemed very young and absolutely determined. But the speech was causing a problem for us to make out. I offered him a pen and paper, which were refused too.
With very great difficulty he managed to say about his project. But he didn’t have a clear project plan or land. The manager was absolutely stunned that he didn’t have a partner too. He proposed to run this unit alone. I knew from the first second that he would be refused. A publicly listed company would be in jitters about its bad assets every quarter. This has a great chance for turning sour.
The manager tried to convince him that he should route it through the government to get some subsidy.
‘Try to rope in a partner. We don’t think you can make it alone’
With great difficulty he managed to blurt ‘Why not?’
Then came in another guy in a swanky car that made a lot of noise. He had a expensive watch on the wrist. He wanted to start out a catering services with 15 focal points all over the city. An absolutely stunning idea considering the fact that Kochi is a city of food lovers.
He had all chance to get the loan sanctioned when he fished out the report from his laptop bag.
The first jolt came in when he learnt that only 2/3rd of the money would be sanctioned by the bank. And no chance for advertising expenses. The guys started blurting out different versions of the proposed project.
In the end it was something like a real estate deal had gone sour and he wanted to pay his debtors!