The Mistry exit
The ouster of Cyrus Mistry as Tata chairman could signal a sharp change in the course of the Indian conglomerate. Even those with the best brand-values have a finite shelf life. Tatas are now seen to be no exception. The acquisition of the British auto-business could be breezed through, flashing the Tata symbol but sustaining it needed operational and administrative acumen. The Tatas’ drifting inner strength and weak command and control over the disjointed megalith that the conglomerate had become, put the MNC’s British operations in jeopardy. The handling of the DoCoMo issue too was an outcome of excessive faith on its brand rather than on professional competence. Mistry belongs to a generation that grew on competitive competence, one that was not in awe of flamboyant brand banners. The present crop of managers trust innovation whereas the earlier ones managed through pure brand clout. And there lay the difference. As Mistry went by the book on the principles of running a huge company for sustained profits, he was deemed an upstart and an outlier. The old guard has won for the time being. But surely they must have realised that things would have to be done differently from now.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Checking ATM fraud
Apropos of the editorial “Checking ATM fraud” (FE, October 21), while the government, the banking regulator and banks are encouraging account-holders to extensively use internet banking to ensure real-time payment settlements, minimise the cost of transactions and the use of cash as well, the other side is fraught with growing threats on the security front. Revisiting the IT security systems in the banks, in both public or private sectors, need to be evaluated to further strengthen the systems to prevent security threats and fraudulent use of the internet banking. Blocking ATM cards is not the right measure as it will put customers in difficulty. The leakage of the details of the various types of the cards at point of sales and at the ATMs points to the fact that the prevailing systems are not foolproof. It is therefore essential to look for more technologically-advanced systems to plug any possibility of further leakage of information, otherwise customers will lose confidence in the banking system. Eventually it will adversely impact the business and will be disadvantageous to the growth of internet banking.
VSK Pillai, Kottayam
ATM data breach
This refers to the report “Banks to take corrective measures after report on card data breach” (FE, October 22). Such breach of data is happening at regular intervals, and it makes a consumer think if using cash as a mode of transaction is safer than using debit/credit cards. It also saves the trouble of having to report to the authorities on misuse of cards. It is becoming unsafe to use cards of one bank at the ATM outlet of another. The risks are more if the card is used at malls and at public places like bus/railway stations and particularly at off-site ATMs. Even at the branch-level, banks, if there are more than two ATMs, do not bother to provide screens to prevent one person from being able to see able to what is being done at the other ATM. This will ensure people go for a safer option like using cash. Corrective measures need to be taken.
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai