Reader Comments

In Defence of VRL Chairman

Reader Ajeya Sadashivaiah wrote to me regarding the VRL Chairman’s comments yesterday.

Am reproducing Ajeya’s comments in full:

Nitin, I know Vijaya Sankeshwar ( I mean, I know him personally!!).

40 years ago, he started with one truck and grew to this level. He is brutally disciplined, yes he is. Never done anything illegal in his life.

Very honest person, in 1997-98 he started “Vijaya karnataka” kannada daily news paper and changed the dynamics of news paper publishing, it become highly circulated daily in karnataka (it is still No:1).

He sold the news paper to Times group for whopping 300 crore. Sankeshwar family have history in publishing, yes his family still publish “kannada-English” dictionary in karnataka.

Most important thing is “he is not that good in English”, even though he has uttered those words, he doesn’t mean that way. Please understand, the TV host anuj can make anything out of anything.

Now, I know how these media interpret words the way they want.

If Mr. Sankeshwar fail in his aviation venture, he will realize it very fast and will step out of the new venture with minimal loss. Aviation business will be started with his personal capacity will not affect VRL. no guarantee, no loaning nothing will be done. media can make anything out of this.

Still shareholders can oppose this and question this in AGM, but my point is, he doesn’t mean that way. Please check.

6 replies on “In Defence of VRL Chairman”

I believe -ve reaction to the stock is very uncalled for. VRL is such a big brand. It can’t go for a toss. I still believe in management. Let them experiment with aviation too.

Dear Nitin

Watch the full vedio at CNBC. Mr.Vijaya Sankeshwar said during call, if an investor have 100 stocks doeshe call me for consultation, so why I

” Words are free, how you use it will cost you”

Stock is falling for a more fundamental reason. Airlines is a terrible business to be in. Also, given the bad memories from Kingfisher are fresh in investors minds, no investor will take this move positively. And then you say a regional airlines?????

Bad choice of words from both the management and Anuj Singhal. But no serious investor will care for these.

Ajeya Sadashivaiah should ask his friend Vijaya Sankeshwar to drop his airlines plan. Then wait for upper circuit may be.

Dear Nitin, while I do not wish to refute the ‘knowledge’ of someone who knows Mr Sankeshwar closely, and I do not want to speculate on whether or not he grew VRL honestly, or whether his aviation venture is going to be successful or not, I just wish to bring up one point your learned reader has willingly or unwillingly left out.
After Mr Sankeshwar had sold ‘Vijaya Karnataka’ newspaper to the Times Group, he immediately started another competing newspaper ‘Vijaya Vani’! Even if Mr Sankeshwar did not have a legal obligation not to do so, he had a moral or ethical obligation (that any honest person would have) not to do so.
P.S: I am all in support for any entrepreneur wanting to grow or diversify his business – so, VS is free to explore new business ventures – and after all, whether road or air, his passion seems to be transport and why not? when grain merchants can explore/refine oil and generate/distribute power, when hotel waiters become supermarket zions and brewers and distillers buy Formula 1 or cricket teams, VS is not even diversifying away from his core passion for transport (and publishing!).

A B Pereira’s views are most mature yet direct hit. His first paragraph of comments sums up every thing. How can a business man of that maturity and credentials talk in such a manner and then ask his CFO (today his CFO was on CNBC) explaining what his boss messed up.
Every body must remember that promoters are only a part-owner of the business. The rest is “owned” by other shareholders including institutional shareholders also. No promoter has right to mess up the business and destroy value. He may have right to lose “his part of the money” but has no right to lose up others’ money.

Thanks for the healthy comments Mr. Pareira.
Mr. Sankeshwar didn’t started “Vijaya Vani” immediately after selling “Vijaya Karnataka”.
“Vijaya Vani” was started five years after selling “vijaya karnataka” to times group. You can check.

Times group people are smart enough to sign no competition agreement.

All other comments are welcome, yes VS should use words carefully.
One thing we all are missing is can this kind of activism possible 15-20 year ago . . .?

This investor activism is very good, debating, questioning, criticizing . . . challenging, yes very good for the development of any country.

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