Once upon a time we had sports. Then the sports became a business. Once it becomes a business, money maximisation becomes a must. So all games have to look ‘great’. So billiards has a lot of coloured balls (what the media did to make you shift from b/w to color is a different story altogether!).

Similarly the stock market was once a place where people came to raise money for growing a business.

Sadly now the media wants to run the stock exchange like a casino or worse like a sport. There has to be high decibel, super shrill action. How to excite the people about a dull boring subject is something that they also do not know.

They call the companies and ask them ‘How do you think you will perform in the next quarter’. Now start the lies.

If I were the Managing Director and not very good in communication, I may not actually be able to say much. That sends the anchors on another shrill competition and they in unison with other channels make me look like a fool. Their game is to move to the next company and make them look incompetent.

I have dealt a lot with sales projections. What ever business you do predicting client behavior is not easy (for me predicting my own behavior is difficult). My request would always be for 3 month broad projection and one month projection in detail. Detailing will be client wise, probability of closure, back up, are there any competitors also competing for the same business at this point of time….blah blah.

The best salesmen FUDGE. Make no mistake. If a guy has said he will bring Rs. 20 L in a week, I ask for break up….There are times when they meet the numeric target, but from a different client (to me this is missing the target, ouch!)…

And the job is painful….

Now cut paste to quarterly results. I am hugely disappointed with companies which keep giving ‘revised targets’. It means nothing at all.I am even more concerned with companies which give results EXACTLY as their projections. Market quickly says ‘Oh this company will beat projections’ or ‘this company will always grow at 30% every quarter’. To me both are scary situations.

If we do an HONEST study of quarterly results you will find that companies HAVE TO (they may be doing it happily) fudge. Then there is happiness all around.

Will the institute of which I am a member do a study? i think not….so let us all be happy!

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  1. Hats off Subra…

    marks the pain of people too, who are involved in fudging the data..
    Its a duel edged sword with only downsides and lot of confusion and threats. I saw people worried with what if situations…

    On the other side, I recall interviews of people from TTK, Coromandel etc. simple down to earth people, whom the media tries hard to press or manipulate…

    Dont think we can avoid this now…

  2. Subra Sir,

    I have a question,as a way of analyzing the company performance, is it correct to analyze the company Balance sheets/P&L.

    Is it not important to analyze the people who run it, I mean are we not kidding ourselves by looking at companies as Seperate enitites, it is only as good as the managers who run it. so why is it that none of the ANALYSTS, Experts etc. analyse the people, after all the CEO,Marketing head etc. only know in what path the company is going.why is this factor ignored? is it not right to say that to analyse the company you need to analyse the people rather than the balance sheet P&L.

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