When the Birlas used Feng Shui...
Some time back, Ravi Kastia, Global Head of the Aditya Birla Group, was conferred the Unity International Foundation's 'Outstanding Business Executive of the Decade' award. Many more laurels have followed him since.
And I remembered the time when this dynamic man sought Feng Shui consultation.
Kastia at that time was the Managing Director of MRPL.
Set up in 1988, MRPL was a joint venture oil refinery promoted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a public sector company and IRIL & Associates (AV Birla Group). But over the years it turned out to be a loser. Aditya Birla was fed up. The accumulated losses of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), as on March 31, 2001, stood at Rs 485 crore. The report of a cumulative loss of Rs 190 crore, for the nine months that ended in December 2001, was the last straw on the camel's back. The Birlas, who had a huge 37.38 per cent stake in MRPL, had decided to sell their stake.
After an initial failed attempt to find a buyer in the market, the Birlas tried to sell their stake to HPCL. This too failed, even as the name of Reliance Industries emerged as a strategic partner. Reliance Industries was reported as being in an advanced stage of negotiations. Yet, the deal had fallen through.
This is when they sought Feng Shui help. I remember meeting Ravi Kastia, Managing Director of MRPL, in their Mumbai office and also visiting the office of Aditya Birla.
My brief was, well, brief, "The Birlas are trying to pull out of MRPL. They want to sell their stake. Basically, we want the right Feng Shui so that everything goes on well and the Birlas come out of the transaction smoothly."
Feng Shui played an important role in the final chapter, and seeing that all my Feng Shui suggestions were fully implemented, I am not surprised to see that not only did the Birlas come out of the venture with their head high, but later MRPL itself became a major success.
Over six weeks in June-July 2002, ONGC negotiated the buy-out of the Aditya Birla Group's 37.38 per cent equity in the refinery, and the package was described as "very attractive" by Subir Raha, Managing Director of ONGC and "a win-win situation" by Ravi Kastia.
The negotiations went on for six weeks and finally, ONGC acquired the total shareholding of the A.V. Birla Group and further infused an equity capital of Rs. 600 crores, thus making MRPL a majority held subsidiary of ONGC. This immediately changed the credit profile of MRPL.
In less than two years after Feng Shui, the net profit of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) spurted by 92 per cent to Rs. 880 crore in 2004-05 from Rs. 459 crore in the previous year while the company wiped out accumulated losses of Rs. 1,185 crore.
The success story continued, what with ONGC getting a dividend of over 100 crores in 2007 and even HPCL getting a dividend of nearly Rs 75 crores in three years.
Ravi Kastia, Managing Director of MRPL in their Mumbai office, is a man of action. Kastia was pragmatic enough to include Feng Shui as a tool in the negotiations though Feng Shui had yet to get the acceptance it has today.
I also noticed his tact, shrewdness, immense patience and impressive personality. The swift execution of all Feng Shui recommendations, whether demolishing the toilet (unfortunately in the Wealth corner) in their Mumbai office and shifting it to a more appropriate corner, and the placement of Feng Shui products and paintings, including the Laughing Buddha and the Phoenix in his office for good fortune and glory (I related his fame with my Phoenix) and immediately flying me to Mangalore, indicated his decisiveness.
I also added a couple of Feng Shui cures in the Mumbai office of Aditya Birla and everyone who was a part of the Birla group during the negotiations sat facing his sheng chi (Success direction) suggested by me.
Visiting Mangalore for the Feng Shui of the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited was an experience that remains as fresh in my memory as it is for the interesting people I met. Talithaya V. K. The Vice President, too turned out to be a staunch believer of Feng Shui. He was full of Feng Shui success stories.
No wonder, they have all grown!
Feng Shui has worked miracles, and to check other authentic stories click the testimonials.
Two news reports about MRPL
Spurt in MRPL's net The Hindu
MRPL profits in quarter ending in June 06 Money Control
One news-report about ONGC
ONGCs hat trick; finds oil Economic Times