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Economics->MBA->Analyst->Business aaahh... Looks like a damn CV. Let me try again. Foodie-Moviefreak-Travel & Photography enthusiast->and of course a Blogger.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Arranged M&A..Oops..I meant marriage!

Coming from a joint family with a really huge base of relatives all scattered around in the vicinity offers far too many advantages. As kids, we had our own gang which was so high in number that, the elders feared all of us coming together at one place in one time. A reckless gang, where the age difference was as large as 10 years. We have played hide and seek and every single board game be it a ludo or a business or a monopoly. And we played cricket in all the seasons and times of day and night, including the indoor cricket where hitting the tube light was considered as “out”.

Time flies and today most of them who were elder to me are married or on the verge of getting so. Coming to the point of marriage, they all have been very true to what was expected of them. Each and single soul went through the process of “arranged marriage”. All my hopes of having someone in my family who would do a love marriage were belied every single time. Never mind. Now, if they couldn’t find one for themselves, I am not really the right person to blame them. After all people living in glass house shouldn’t be throwing stones at others.

But what has always amused me is the entire long process of arranged marriage which is no less than a Corporate M&A. Well don’t raise your eyebrows. I am not exaggerating.

The above pictorial representation is taken from one of the many ordeals of slides we went through during the MBA days. It all starts with a strategic plan where the elder decides that its time the protagonist gets married. This could be due to reasons across all the aspects. Crossing the threshold age or completing a post graduate degree is the simplest of the reasons. It could also be if the eldest member wants to see a grandchild or great grandchild or even in situations when suddenly people realize they didn’t have a marriage for quite so many years ( 5 or more) and now it is time to have some party and reunion with all the kiths and kin.

Once it is approved and the would-be bride or groom is informed about the same, the elders try to show their flexibility and liberal nature by asking if the protagonist has someone in life. The questions are not supposed to be taken in a literal manner. Its only accepted answer, is “No, I am fine with whoever you think is suitable for me.”

I have seen families using the matrimonial sites, but I guess, in a tier 2 and 3 cities, even that isn’t required. The elders (possibly the most connected one) only need to put a word in the community and the message travels far and wide about the intentions of a possible merger..oops a marriage alliance. A number of proposals come along the quality and quantity depending upon the protagonist as well as the family. (Read company and group company/promoters). Every application is studied and a proper due diligence is performed by both the parties which involves interaction with protagonist and a general survey of the past track records known it the market and close friends. A set of possible targets are identified and the deal is sealed based on parameters like financial stability, cultural similarities, possible synergies and of course the not so official factors like the amount of peer pressure and miscellaneous “financial transactions.” Not to forget, the valuation done is a matter of subjectivity and is based on the information both public and private acquired through both reliable and unreliable sources. The model encompasses a detailed list of factors and its correlation with the final number which could contain 6 to 8 zeroes. But then as we all know, at the end of the day, it is just a call one needs to take and pray that its close enough to the reality.

Once all of this is in place, it’s time for the execution and here it is the ability of the two parties to manage their expenses and time frame as any deviation or extension in the timelines could make the entire deal fall through. All this while, the 2 nominal central characters are allowed to interact; not to decide but just to be prepared for what is going to come ahead.

Finally the deal... I mean the marriage takes place and its success is measured by parameters quite varying in nature. After the cultural and financial synergies are formed, one might expect to have some harmonious relationship between the two people. And yeah, at most places the parent companies have pretty short horizon and the profitability of deal might even be judged by how soon the small companies are born. 3 years without the entry of new member and you will get to hear every possible ridiculous/hilarious explanation for the same. Well, I think I should just stop now or else if this piece fall into the wrong hands, a deal in the distant future might not all together take place...



megha said...

good one!... can totally relate to it :D

Sriram Agrawal said...

Lolzz... Thanx Megha!