Oct 9, 2008

Episode 2WO

If you are new to this story, do not start here. Go to the Index and Introduction page.

'Shubham Dutto, then'
, she said, tilting her head sideways and raising both eyebrows to emphasize the o in Dutto. She was smiling. Warney was trying hard to supress a goofy ear-to-ear grin.

'Over there, third room from the left corner', pointed out Jatin. 'Come with me. I also had to discuss something with him'

Preeti returned in 10 minutes. 'About the same time the boss spent with me', Warney noted approvingly. Introductions  followed. Vidya said she was from FMS, Delhi, and handled 'marketing' for their products. 'If she's doing "marketing", what are the rest of us doing? She must mean promotions. These people have forgotten all the college lectures and theory about marketing meaning a lot more than just sales and promotions'. Warney already felt smarter than Vidya, and confident he'd be out-performing her soon (and he was right on both counts).

'Hi, I'm Deepesh Bhatia. But please don't call me that. Everyone calls me Deep or Warney'

(out of nowhere, male voice): 'Warney? Kya? For bowling leg-spin or maidens over?'
Jatin had returned 5 minutes later. Clearly, whatever he had to discuss with the boss wasn't major.

'Leg spin. Not in his league with the maidens - yet.', Warney said, trying to sound smart and witty. Everyone smiled politely. Warney anticipated another smart-ass remark from Jatin, but it didn't come. Warney wasn't so sure about his 'IIML senior' anymore.

'I'm Preeti Khanna. IIMB class of 08. I'm from Delhi'
'So, when did you come to Mumbai?'
'Saturday. We flew together, dude.'
(Googly!) 'Oh ya! I thought so, but wasn't sure' ('She recognized me! Yay!!')
'If you hadn't been studying the airports and the aircraft so seriously, you might have remembered.'
(Stumped!) 'I might have remembered if we'd talked. By the way, where's your iPod?' ('What the fack am I doing?! Sarcasm, and open admission of interest! What naivete, Warney!  But she remembers all that. Maybe she likes me. Yayyyyeee!!')
She smiled. Warney was blanking out every time that happened, and it wasn't good.
'iPod's in my bag. I'll introduce him later maybe. Day 1 - gotta make good, serious impressions'
('But you're being candid with me. You really like me, dont you? No one can resist the Warney!')


Jatin was going out of his way to help Preeti get her workstation set up, and to get to know everything around them. To be fair, he was getting Warney's workstation set up as well, and introducing both of them to the others on the floor. But all of his attention was obviously focused on Preeti. There was something there, which was bothering Warney. But Warney was more focused on settling in and getting started with work as soon as possible, and was trying not to think too much about the happy coincidence of meeting pretty-girl here. Of course, it was a big deal, and opened up a lot of exciting possibilities for the future. This, however, wasn't the time to think about all that. He had a job to do, and his first priority was doing it well.

Jatin, just off the phone, casually: 'Boss wants to talk to you both. I told him you're both set up with comps, and I've got all HR formalities done with. Don't tell him otherwise ( :) )'

Warney and Preeti walked to boss's office. He was on the phone, but saw them through the glass panel and waved them in immediately.

'So, both of you all set?'
'Yes, sir'
'Arree hero! I told you no sir or anything. Call me Shubh'
'Yes, sir. I mean Shubh. You can call me Deep'
'Not Warney?', Preeti butted in sharply.
'Warney? Haan, Shane Warne jaisa dikhta to hai. Lose some weight. Do you play cricket?'
'Yeah, I was on the Institute teams for both IITM and IIML. Primarily as a leg-spinner, though I can also hit a few with the bat.'
'OK. You should try out for the Corporate team. I'm sure you'd do better than oldies like me. Ask Jatin, he's one of the Cricket coordinators'
'Yeah? Both of you on the Corp team?' Warney was impressed. God-knows-how-many thousands of people in this human jungle, and the two men on my team are on the squad. Good signs!
After a pause, 'OK, I'll send you some presentations we use to make our sales pitches. Also a report from a good summer intern who just finished last week. And I want you both to do some market study. Look up the internet, industry reports etc., and get a feel of the market we're in, what our competitors are doing etc. etc. You can ask Jatin to explain anything you don't understand, but I don't expect you to ask him basic questions. Do some spade-work.'
Preeti: 'What does Vidya work on, sir?'
'Tum bhi! Please stop calling me sir, both of you. If HR hears, I'll be in trouble.'
'Vidya handles our marketing intitiatives - ad campaigns, outdoors, coordinating with all the agencies etc. Her role is more of creative and execution. If one of you is interested in that, we'll discuss it in the future. For now, I want y'all to focus on some research and analysis. Solid product management.'
'Sure! We'll do that'
'You'll be making a presentation on Friday afternoon. Together. And not more than one hour. And I want you both to get involved and contribute. I'll get some of my colleagues and my boss in. Tomorrow, I'll also give you some books to read.'

'How do you wanna do this?'
Warney was a little distracted by Pretty-girl's looks and her presence. He'd heard the boss, and he heard this question, but he wasn't mentally processing any of it as well as he normally would.
'Lets start with some google search. You take up comeptition, and I'll take up basic market structure - products and customers. OK?'
'OK, what about the presentations? I want to go through those.'
'I think we should both go through all of that, since we'll both need to know all of it. However, if there's too much, we'll split some of it. But the basic stuff - we both need.'
'Right, I'll ask Jatin for the ppt's.'
('Yeah, I'm sure we'll get everything we need and some useful inputs if YOU ask him.)


'Good show, guys'. Shubh was happy. His wards had made a fairly impressive presentation, and also seemed to make a good team. They'd been embarassed a bit by some of the feedback and questions offered by Shubh and the panel. But they'd fared much better than all the other newbies, who displayed neither knowledge nor teamwork - and whose fancy, airy presentations had been shredded by the panel.

'Phew! These guys were ready to eat us, man!'. Warney and Preeti were now walking back to their workstations, and were going to leave, like everyone else already had.
'Totally! I didn't expect them to be so aggresive in this presentation. We've only been here one week. But I think we made a better team than most of the others.' She put her hand up for a hi-5. Warney wasn't quite expecting that, but they hi-5'ed.

'What say we celebrate? Coffee?', he hesiated, but decided this was a good time, 'or beer!'

She turned to him and smiled, but it was looking like a 'Oh, sorry, but I have to... (something)' smile.

(Continued here)


  1. Good/easy/involving read so far..... looking forward to next episode. Given the rush for novels by IIT/IIM types you can also push for it once you have enough content ready :)


  2. Thx for the encouragement! I can use all that I can get.

    And you correctly identified the philosophy - If Chetan Bhagat can write, so can I!

  3. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Gooood.... I am already waiting for episode 3... LOL