Case Analysis: Money Matters
Nachiket to reevaluate the strategy of his line of business as the cash withdrawal pattern will change. It means number of bank owned ATMs in the market has to come down
On that historic night of 8 November 2016, I was travelling to Chennai by road expecting to be home for dinner, when I began to see messages and calls pour in. As some clarity settled in, the only instruction I gave was for the entire senior management to be ready for a video conference, connecting our Chennai office and our corporate office.
In the next one hour, I began gathering my thoughts on what needs to be done over the next 36 hours. When I reached my office by 9.45 p.m., Chotu from the nearby restaurant was ready with about 30 food parcels. Our office receptionist handed over four Rs 1,000 notes to him. Chotu replied, “Rs 1,000 note selladhu sir, card kodunga sir!” (Rs 1,000 note won’t work. Sir, please give card!”) and pulled out his PoS (Point of Sales) machine!
My immediate feeling was that, “This country can take anything!” But I also remember thinking this: Chotu has caught up with the news and it was business as usual at Chotu’s food shop.
The case study beautifully covers the problems of various sections of the society and being a banker, I particularly could connect well with Nachiket who runs an ATM network.
But can this country really take anything? We see Nachiket and the banking fraternity was put to the biggest test. After the arrival of the ATMs, bankers had forgotten the old days when they had to deal with scores of customers waiting in a line. Now they were back to one-on-one interaction with the customer. Only this time they were irate customers, who waited for hours to exchange and deposit notes. The crucial time had begun: bankers would have to now account for every note of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500. They stayed till midnight at office for the next seven days to keep books in order, managing exchange, receipts and payments “manually”, which the senior staff have almost forgotten while the “juniors” watched, disbelieveing that this was the way it once was.
Undoubtedly these were not normal times for anyone. The average citizen was anxious to safeguard his savings while mainstream media supported by social networks ensured that the average citizens are always kept at “high adrenaline” mode. Since citizens believed that a majority of the media was biased and the expressed opinions were dependent on the political opinion about the Prime Minister, they maintained cool in the face of hardships. Despite the fact that the entire opposition was united against the Government on this sudden demonetisation, the political parties failed to grasp the mood of the common man.
The ground reality is that the daily wage earners and road side shop owners are the worst affected in urban areas, and the hardships faced by rural poor is difficult to fathom. Yet the common man accepted these difficulties expecting economic miracles in the ‘
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