Ranjan beamed his face showed open admiration as Ishita blushed gloriously...
"I am obsessed with that store, I could rattle off every product's price in my sleep" she muttered meekly
Ranjan laughed... Mr Goyal was very happy that his direct report had made a GREAT FIRST impression at a pastry shop...
15 floors down, the strip mall was on the 5th, Excelsior Corp Office was on 20th...
"We always order from that store for office celebrations" Mr Goyal offered a unnecessary tid bit to Mr Bhalla
" Shes been with us 5 years Ishita?"
"Yep!" she grinned as she set up her laptop and looked for the projector cord
"I never introduced you guys" Ranjan said bashful...
"this is Raman MY S" before he could complete the word... Raman "Friends call me R&B" he said undermining the biological connection
He watched as she deftly connected the devices, and atpped on the space bar multiple times... she wore pink nail polish he noticed...
You are so tall Ms Iyer" said Ranjan
"Sir u can call me Ishita"
"Ishita" he repeated... "Jee" she said
Mr Goyal took a quick call softly
"Are you from Chennai?" he asked
"Sector 12 RK Puram.. Mr Bhalla... Dad works for I&B Ministry Mom teaches Econ at KV andrews ganj"
Mr Bhalla looked further impressed "OH A TEACHER'S DAUGHTER..." "Good good"
Raman just stared at the screen she had shared, a picture of a tall temple and a couple stood with "Ishita Iyer" in the center
Ishita was very careful about removing her background before she shared her monitor, but somehow forgot... she quickly nuked the picture
"I met Bansal at golf on Saturday" Ranjan said
"Oh! Did you" Mr Goyal was impressed
"We meet once a month for tennnis at DLTA or Golf..., neither of us have a handicap of 14 like my" Ranjan smiled pointing to the younger man
"Its 12 actually" R&B bit out softly
"Ohya, you told me that yesterday" Ranjan agreed amiably
Not sure HOW MUCH Mr Goyal knew or remembered the scandal, as a duty they read up everything on their client before the meeting
Ishita had read about Mrs Savita's sudden demise in Hong Kong and the Board of Directors of
Excelsior a privately held company "reaffirming their faith" in the Chairman...
"REady" Ishita muttered smiling, bringing her presentation up
"You can call me Ranjan" Mr Bhalla said
"We actually have a protocol we address out clients with the last names only. A country specific rule though we are US based" she smiled
"Mr Bhalla?" she called... to R&B
He looked up from his phone and their eyes met for the second timne in two days... Ishita's DRAM whirring furiously wondering WHERE she saw him
"Ya"? he asked
"Oh! can we begin?" she asked
"Ask him" R&B pointed bluntly to his Dad
Mr Goyal pretended to ignore that jab
Ishita began talking about the action plan, how many teams how long who will be involved who wont... she named her direct reports...
She passed around hand outs and played the simulation... plugged dummy transactions displayed the processing speed and accuracy
An assistant wheeled in tea in fine china and various kinds of cookies... her poured stirred and served...
R&B refused to have any, but watched what Ishita ate, a strawberry shortbread with a gooey center... a crumb stuck on the side of her lower lip...
longer after the cookie and tea was gone...her tongue darted out as an afterthought... like she deliberately waited 3 minutes and 17 seconds to savor that one last crumb
His eyes followed it on its terminal journey... and their eyes met for the third time in two days...for a second it seemed to her like she had just eaten her spiral bound note pad...
Ranjan asked a question...
"I have a question" Raman interrupted as she responded to Ranjan on a Q
"I DOUBT the scalability" he said bluntly
"Its been tested" she said firmly
"on companies with 30 employees and one cash register" he mocked..
"Actually the biggest was... she began"
"the pastry shop downmstairs?" he smirked
"Jerk" Ishita fumed silently
"NO MR BHALLA we have this running successfully at JAYSONS Furnishings, they have 118 showrooms across North India sell over Rs125 crores worth
"Its not capital equipmenty, an automobile is a capital equipment... curtains are not"
Ranjan wanted his son to talk but his son was clearly messing with the young lady
"We look at Revenue and Net income, employee count... even when it was beta tested"
R&B interrupted her, "THIS company " he began instead of MY company "employs 17,600 people across 9 states in North India, 22 showrooms with back office accounting and 7 workshops
and 11 PDI (pre delivery inspection warehouses), I would like you to show me such scale"
"Beta I promised Bansal I would buy it" Ranjan began softly
"Ofcourse!" R&B said coldly... his eyes were on Ishita though
Ishita stoppped her presentation and jotted down questions, she was red and agitated
Bansal spoke softly and reassuringly "Mr Bhalla if u will give us a week, we can arrange for exact or better matches from SE Asia"
"I am looking for North India examples, not even South" he said pointedly looking at the Iyer in the room it wasnt the fourth time because she did not look at him... the meeting was a disaster concluded Ishita as Mr Bansal spoke the end notes
Ranjan spoke a lot and too loud to pacify and make peace...he promised he already bought it... offered platitudes...
did damage control as best as he could l
"The oversmart, cocky, under educated "Papaji ka binness MAIN manage karoonga" blue jeans and white shirted Lucifer" is going to cause Mr Goyal's first failure...thought Ishita as she began to grieve... and yanked the projector cord off her imac...pissed...