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Time to bury the hatchet

Print Edition: August 24, 2008

Time to bury the hatchet

The ongoing dispute between the Ambani bothers (BT Cover story, August 10) is doing nobody any good and so the whole thing, including the question “Who Wins Now?”, is pointless. It’s neither good for Mukesh and Anil nor for industry and the country. Like the Bourbons, the two brothers are refusing to learn and are waging a battle that’s already beginning to look like a farce. With politicians taking up cudgels on behalf of the brothers, things can only get worse.

A. Jacob Sahayam, through e-mail

Fabulous Fabindia

Congratulations to you for the splendid coverage on handicraft retailer Fabindia and its innovative business model (Inclusive Capitalism, BT, August 10). Fabindia’s unique business model is helping transform the lives of thousands of struggling weavers who would have otherwise remained outside the loop of gainful employment, economic productivity and social well-being. Many of the company’s initiatives are truly noteworthy. Its efforts to increase SRCs in all the states, identify, upgrade and institutionalise the skills of weavers, tap low-cost financial resources to broaden micro-financing, re-skill the artisans with modern techniques and tools and establish nationwide retail stores must be applauded as well as emulated by others. Fabindia has shown that without sacrificing growth, it’s possible to integrate a large number of small producers into the economic mainstream.

B. Rajasekaran, through e-mail

Card talk

Your story Honey, I shrunk the card (BT Money, August 10) actually provided a lot of useful information about debit cards. I am sure a lot of people like me are ignorant about the debit or credit cards they are using. In your article, you have mentioned that for ATMs the withdrawal limit is Rs 15, 000 to Rs 1 lakh a day. But some banks are allowing withdrawals of up to Rs 1.5 lakh a day (like Deutsche Bank). Also, in the case of Deutsche Bank, debit cards are protected against fraud by their zero liability insurance offer for 30 days following any fraud detection. This means that if the card is lost and you detect any withdrawal using your card even after 10 or 15 days of the fraud being committed, the bank will reimburse such withdrawals up to Rs 2.5 lakh, once you submit the copy of the FIR to the bank. One hopes other credit card issuers will also extend this facility.

Munmun Lodha, through e-mail

Challenging times

Your feature on Citibank (BT, August 10) offered some useful insights into the banking industry. Indeed, a good bank is one that is able to stay ahead of times, is able to perceive the future challenges and put in place appropriate mechanisms to convert those challenges into opportunities. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the world economy is heading for uncertain times. Obviously, banks will find the going tough and Citibank is no exception. But in a rapidly growing economy such as India, there are huge opportunities for banks to create value. Also, the impact of the global financial turmoil has been somewhat muted in the sub-continent and may not affect banks here the way some of the global biggies have been hit. In Sanjay Nayar, the country head of Citi’s Indian operations since 2002, the bank that never sleeps has an alert watchman.

Srinivasan Umashankar, through e-mail

Pinching times

Don’t touch my wallet (BT July 27) not only echoed the sentiments of the Indian middle class but also put inflation in the right perspective. The truth is that inflation is hurting all sections of society, but more severely the poor and middle classes. What’s worse, it doesn’t look like relenting anytime soon, given the high commodity prices.

Ashok Jayaram, through e-mail

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