Recently the Economist declared India’s Aditya Puri the world’s best banker by a country mile.
The accompanying two page article revealed an outstanding personal achievement in taking his H.D.F.C bank, created only 16 years ago, to its current status as the world’s tenth most valuable bank, worth U.S. $90 billion, namely more than the better known Citibank or H.S.B.C.
Since Mr Puri’s bank went public its return to shareholders over 25 years under his management has exceeded an extraordinary 16,000%.
He’s now pulled stumps due to health factors but in explaining Aditya Puri’s remarkable success, what the Economist outlined certainly struck a chord with me.
He sometimes went home for lunch, worked unbankerish short hours but overall, as I’ve always advocated for commercial success, relied primarily on observation and thinking.
Most conspicuously, (like me), he doesn’t own a cell-phone. Indeed, he goes further and doesn’t have a computer.
On my observation the degree of personal commercial success can be measured in inverse proportion to the degree of cell-phone usage.
Two extreme examples.
First, our city streets across the country are currently littered with (mainly) maori beggers, all clutching cell-phones.
Another is the absurd lining of our cities’ and suburbs’ streets and country roads with rows of plastic cones. Small groups of purported road workers can occasionally be seen lingering near them, always, most babbling on cell-phones.
Numerous studies have revealed the huge addiction factor underlining cell-phone ownership. It has certainly not advanced efficiency.
In my field I bought my first commercial building 60 years ago. Since then I’ve bought literally thousands across the world and can speak with experience when I say that the commercial world I’ve known over that lengthy time span has never been more inefficient. Cell-phone dependency has been a major factor, albeit there are others.
A positive consequence of this is it has never been easier through the absence of thoughtful competition. Aditya Puri would doubtless endorse these sentiments, but probably agree with me that advancing them falls on