Saturday, 25 May 2013

Conference under Pipal Tree!

Sh Prakash Lal Tandon had taken over as Chairman of PNB. While he settled down in the new job, he unsettled the working of the bank! And for good! He gave a corporate look to the bank by creating logo of PNB. Branches were renovated on a single pattern. Large number of executives were transferred out. HO departments were re-organised into various functional divisions.

On his visits to branches he saw managers with white or no hair so he declared the need of managers with ‘black hair’! He therefore proposed new faster promotions policy which shook the unions & split their membership.

A small theater on top floor of Parliament Street HO was dismantled & thrown out.

He chaired the Tandon Committee which set the norms of lending to large corporate borrowers.

He was tall with very fair & reddish complexion, hair swept back & curling at the back of neck. He would carry his own briefcase & walk up the stairs to his cabin on second floor instead of taking lift kept ready exclusively for him.

He had a dark blue Fiat car with extended ceiling on the back which resembled current hatchbacks. As his driver parked the car Sh Tandon came out immaculately dressed in whites & shiny black shoes. Com Gautam Dev Gupta, Spl Asstt, President of Delhi employees union, said good morning to him. Both shook hands & started talking to each other.

In contrast to Sh Tandon, Com Gupta was of darker complexion, with a flowing black & white beard, with a jhola on his shoulder & leather chappals on his feet. They talked & talked standing there under the Pipal tree, near cycle stand for good 20 mins or so. Curious officials & clerical staff watched them from windows but nobody disturbed them. And nobody had a clue to topics of discussion between the two. Such meetings between them took place later also twice or thrice.

Haven’t seen any such conference of a CMD & a Special Assistant thereafter.

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