Jose Thomas

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A SETBACK TO RECOVERY
Thursday 26th May, 2011



     

 

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Recovery is always difficult - this is generally, everybody's notion. I also did think this way, occasionally, but I also knew that I had no other option but to recover.

In my last story I wrote about reducing my debts burden. However, there were weekly ups and downs. It behaved like a seesaw, rather a push and pull. As the Asian currency crisis worsened, the Government of India was concerned about the Rupee depreciating its value against the U.S. Dollar, which definitely would impact all imports, especially crude oil. Foreign earnings those days were purely from exports, unlike the foreign direct investments of today. Foreign investments were a difficult path for any one because the Indian Government was very skeptical of permitting foreign investments in the Indian economy. So, all the central bank of India had to do was, to contain the depreciating rupee and pressurize exporters to repatriate funds at a faster pace. It was a rule those days (and still is) that exporters could give credit to importers for up to 180 days and so did my company. We used to ship products to my own subsidiary in the U.S. on 180 day credit basis.

Due to political pressure, the central bank of India was forced to bring in a rule where, if exporters exceeded a 90 day time limit to bring in the export proceeds, they were penalized at a high rate of interest of almost 17% per annum and that too, with a retrospective effect and I got caught in this. Just when I thought I was on the road to financial recovery, this dealt a big blow. I was unable to bring in the export proceeds within 90 days which resulted in a huge penalty being slapped on my company. It again crippled my operations. The losses amounted to about Rs.6 crores. A heavy burden at an
inopportune time!

You got to remember something. The small town I lived in was carefully observing my operations with mounting curiosity. Most people were waiting to see me go under. That is the way of the world, sometimes. There's a good old saying in Kerala that goes "If someone puts a foot forward there are forces that would make him pull his foot back". I felt this pressure too!

Friends, I am a fighter. Fighting does not mean that you simply work without substance. I stayed on top of things, bore the shock of a further loss, which accentuated my debts. People started pushing the panic button within the organization, but I still believed in one thing – the trust I had in myself and in God. The concept of believing in one's own capabilities and of course, the blessings of our Creator! It is this combination that changed the road map of my life.

Troubles began to brew and spill over. No good news was forthcoming. Every morning when I woke up, I heard fresh rounds bad news – bad market, less raw material, escalating costs, changed policies and so on.

Today, as I write this story, I see that I have come a long way. I had to make compromise, but I really held on to my beliefs- of steering my company out of this grave situation and to bring it to where I envisioned it to be.
Vision, vision, vision, backed up with hard work and commitment. This episode of my recovery is going to take yet another bad turn, and you would be interested to see how I circumnavigated the odds and overcame the challenges.

Stay tuned…

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Responses to
 Mathew Mampra says:
Josetta,I feel it is slightly dragging now...like Malayalam TV serials....and hence losing the charm.Please conclude and write about your experieces more in crisp&short blogs.All the best
 
 Sajan says:
Don't worry... you can and will still rise like Pheonix.
 
 Ipe Peter says:
Dear JT, Your way of seeing the world differently is really appreciated. I have learned so many things after joining Choice and after listening to you during your various interactions with me. Eventhough I had 38years of Banking Career, I learned much more after my retirement only after associating with you Many many thanks to you JT, Ipe