The Techies Don’t Close…

Part 2

‘You claim to be in the right place and you’re not Anil – explain, young man,’ with a hint of uncharacteristic firmness in the voice.

‘Am Vinod, Anil’s colleague. Anil had to leave suddenly for his home-town. I came in for him as your message had called for urgent and personal attention. He sends his regards to you, Sir.’

‘What happened? Is everything okay at his place?’ He softened up.

Anil was always good at meshing with people. They would talk to him about their love-life in the second meeting! Needless to say he had this habit of drawing his performance bonuses in full.

‘Nothing serious that I know of, Sir.’

‘I too hope so. Could be that his parents found a girl for him?’ he chuckled.

It wouldn’t have knocked me down at all if Mr. Dhube eyed at Anil as a prospective groom for his daughter.

‘You see, I’ve had rounds of discussions with Anil. Are you updated on the details?’

‘Yes, Sir. You’re procuring instruments to upgrade the facilities in your lab with funds provided by Laker Foundation of NY. You invited quotations from half a dozen suppliers, evaluated various options and found us most favorable on price-performance; and your recommendation for purchasing our equipment would be forwarded to the funding authorities any day now for their approval. Anil also told me you’ve ambitious plans to extend the lab in near future. I’m a colleague of Anil in the Engineering function in my company and in fact it is very likely that I’ll be the guy installing and commissioning the instruments you are ordering! You can freely discuss with me whatever you would’ve taken up with Anil though I’m not from the Sales function.’

‘There is a hiccup, now. You know, when I discussed my recommendations – before I formally record – with the Director, he insisted, in view of our total planned purchases for the year, on getting at least 10% off the prices.’ It means another 3% over and above the 7% that you’ve already given.

This was anticipated and I was ready for the ball: ‘Sir, did you point out as it stands now we’re already cheaper than our closest competitor by almost 25% while better in functions and features?’

‘You’re not entirely correct. When we compared the offers from various suppliers and normalized them, it was a lot closer than what you imagine. While we don’t wish to scalp from your margin, the Director is very firm about it. There’s very little I can do in this regard. Besides – it is strictly between us – he has to have something to show for himself. And another thing – he’s going away to Delhi on leave in the next week and won’t be back for three weeks. I had to tell you this in person – that’s why I asked Anil to come over to resolve the commercials so we could get his approval before he goes off. ’

I liked being elevated to the status of a confidante or even a co-conspirator: ‘I appreciate you telling us this. How much time do we have to revert with a response?’

‘We need your revised offer in our hands by this Thursday – he leaves for Delhi on Tuesday next. Gives us a couple of days to write up the final recommendation. ‘

‘I think I can do better than that. Let me check this out with my commercial officer and have an answer for you by lunch. We’ll do something about it. He‘ll have no reason to complain, I assure you, Sir. The written offer can follow later to reach you on or before Thursday.’

‘That would be real fast work, I must say. I’m impressed by your alacrity. If you get all of that done, we should be able to release the purchase-order before Tuesday.’

‘Thank you, Sir.’ My feet were not on the ground for a moment.

‘Now that business is done and out of the way …there was something else Anil and I had talked about – well, I haven’t asked you for tea. What will it be – tea or coffee?’

(To be contd.)


One Response to The Techies Don’t Close…

  1. trisha says:

    I have seen from my life that people who talk very softly are usually really soft or very shrewd.


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