Bar Milano opened its doors and North Italian menu to the well-heeled folks of New York in the first week of April, 2008. Located in Third Avenue of Manhattan, the restaurant was reviewed by the New York magazine as the kind of "casually elegant, darkly fashionable place... frequented by Kate Moss groupies and crowds of pencilthin gentlemen in Brioni suits." The critic trashed the pastas but strongly recommended an absinthe-laced cocktail, the Corpse Reviver No. 2.
Overall Winner and for Enhancing Competitiveness Through M&A
S. Mahalingam, CFO/ TCS
"One day it was there. A few days later, it was not. If any proof was needed about the impact of Lehman on the economic scene in the US, this was it," adds Mahalingam, ensconced in his Raveline Street Office in the Fort area of South Mumbai. These days Mahalingam can draw comfort from the fact that the TCS scrip has been buzzing ever since the company forked out an advance tax of Rs 178 crore for the last quarter of the current fiscal, as compared to just Rs 53 crore a year ago. That's done its bit to help TCS edge past Bangalore rival Infosys on the market cap front (at the time of writing TCS' market cap stood at Rs 158,092.83 crore as against Infosys' Rs 153,290.27 crore).
A little under 14 months ago, it was a different story: TCS' market cap was at a 30 per cent discount to Infosys. For Mahalingam, the closed eatery in Manhattan will always be emblematic of the perfect storm that TCS had run into in mid-2008. The first sign of trouble came in March, when JP Morgan Chase bought distressed US investment bank Bear Stearns at a fire-sale price of $2 a share. Bear Stearns was a client of TCS, though not a large one. So the folks at TCS HQ didn't have any reason for sleepless nights. Not yet.