When I met Tulsi Tanti for the first time in 2005 or 2006 I was impressed with his guts. He was like bankers say not impressive with the word document but was very strong on excel. Luckily I was still nursing some wounds of my mistake of buying another entertainment stock, so I did not get carried away.
I kept tracking Suzlon and realized that the company’s woes was because of:
- trying to expand in 2007/8 and hitting the European and world financial crisis
- funny German rules which did not allow him to use his German net worth to borrow or repatriate
- If you think it is easy to do business in Europe, think again (my respect for the Tatas goes up)
- trying to do too many things too fast, so stumbling.
However, this was not a proud son of a scion. He was a simple engineer who had no financial backing nor any great finance person to fall back on.
However, with the help of a good merchant banker (oxymoron you thought?) and a big banker he did turn things around. It was a pleasure to see him sell of the German business (he must have agonised before selling the family jewel) – not sure if I would have done that if I were in his place. However, he let it go. He did not keep saying “see it is making me US $ millions..”. Sure it was a sub optimal solution. However to win the race, you need to be alive and finish the race. Ranking is only for those who finish!
He then got Dilip Sanghavi of Sun Pharma fame to take a stake. DS has got a good deal, and I am sure he will be happy investor.
PS: this is not a recommendation to buy or sell this share. I am not disclosing whether I am a shareholder – or was one – it is not your business anyway. Here is an article – which is just a chronology of events – tracing the history. A well chronicled but not a critical article…read it if you want to…
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