"I am 'alivest' at London"

Updated: Aug 31 2008, 08:53am hrs
Chanda Narang

CEO, Frazer and Haws

Variety is in society! London is the right place for the business women/men of multiple interests. Amongst the characterful alleys of London, I am always, always my alivest. Moolah or no moolah, its no matter seek and you shall find (usually what you are not looking for). There is a miracle of surprise in that city that never fails to appeal to my sense of adventure. Although corporate environments are practically the same everywhere, in London I find that my contemporaries are better versed on global issues. The flavour is international in all ways cuisine, people, art, music, theatre, politics, finance, trade and creative expressions. Language is not a problem. Indian law and governance are mostly based on the British one, which makes an Indian feel more comfortable. Frazer and Haws is headquartered in London, so it is just as well that the occasional sour-faced Brit doesnt bother me, neither does the weather.

The radio programming is excellent, although the television fare is a bore and fortunately one no longer needs to eat British food since every type of cuisine, at every kind of price, is available. I love the underground transportation. It is less than pristine since its so old. But access around the city is so quick and easy. And now the business ethos has become mercifully so much more efficient, partly because half the workforce is not of British origin; the other half, which is British, has started working (and smiling) at the international efficiency quotient since they want to hang on to their jobs.

The Monarchy still reigns resplendently from atop their shrinking lands. The world looks at Prince William and Prince Harry as one of their own. The royal snobbery is way down which helps market this little and mega wealthy island to all avid soap opera watchers of the British Monarchy. This is fantastic for me since Buckingham Palace is a few streets away from the Frazer and Haws head office and being cheek-by-jowl with the Queen of England is a natives dream come true. Bond Street, where I sit, has been the reigning snob promenade for hundreds of years, and remains so even till today. The only exception is that the many Bond Street British brands are held by international consortiums, but then with the more-than-British British sales staff, who is to know the colour of the money backing the enterprise.

London is a potpourri of cultural and political landmarks where world history was made and remade. This continues to be so, but today it is in a very much quieter county-home-power assemblage. London is the billboard to England, and for once the product lives up to the visitors expectations. I take my own initiative to explore parts of London on every trip, nibbling in bit by bit. Its a pleasurable business and an equally pleasurable city to work in.

As told to Jyoti Verma