Date: New year’s eve 2016.
Venue: Harsh Goenka’s residence, Mumbai.
A grumpy Sanjiv Goenka enters the room and throws a tantrum immediately.
Sanjiv: Bro, why you called me so late. I was partying with my friends and winning at all the board games.
Harsh: Winning? What was the prize?
Sanjiv: Ummm. Bragging rights?
Harsh: Huh. You must be the first Marwari who cares for winning something that you can’t keep in a locker. Anyways, I called you to ask about your plans for this year’s IPL.
Sanjiv: My plans? I bought the team. I have hired a coach and captain. They will make plans. I am sure we won’t finish second last this year. Bro, you seriously spoiled my party to discuss this?
Harsh: I don’t care where you finish in the league. I just want to make sure your business benefits from IPL.
Sanjiv: Bro, I chose the worst team name in the world so that it has the same abbreviation as my company, RP-Sanjiv Goenka group. How much more self-promotion can I do?
Harsh (turning on the TV): Let me show you something.
Sanjiv: Bro IPL is on Sony, This is Ten Sports.
Harsh: Yep, this is exactly what you need. See this guy? He is Vince McMahon, owner of WWE. He is famous for screwing over his wrestlers. Fans hate him for that and his wrestlers develop a larger than life persona for standing up to an evil owner. You need to be Vince McMahon this IPL.
Sanjiv: Haha. You think that will work? Wait, let me just fire the most popular cricketer in India from captaincy and hand it over to the Aussie captain everyone loves to hate. That will make me evil enough for you right? You have gone nuts bro.
Harsh: That’s exactly what I had in mind. And would you shave your moustache a little more? Make it more like Hitler-toothbrush.
Sanjiv: Okay, enough. I am not touching my moustache even if you give me the whole family business.
Harsh: Okay okay… Stop being touchy. Think like a businessman.. After his blockbuster biopic, Dhoni is India’s greatest middle-class icon right now. You can make him even more popular if people think he is wronged by an evil businessman. Every kid in India is going to find out who Sanjiv Goenka is. I am sure I don’t have to explain to you that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Sanjiv: Hmm, okay. I will do this. Is there anything else?
Harsh: At the auction, go after the biggest player. Even if you have to spend your entire quota on buying just one player, still do it.
Sanjiv: Bro, but what about team balance?
Harsh: Look, this is your last year at IPL anyhow. Screw team balance. The auction is the place for an owner to shine. If you get the most expensive player in the auction, it will have people talking about you. Have you ever read the news during campus placement season in India? They only talk about which company paid the highest package to one guy. No one talks about how the company benefits from that all expensive guy.
Sanjiv: Hmm. Okay, I will do as you say. But I need your help too. I can’t do this all alone.
Harsh: I am going to play the bad guy on twitter. I will troll the legions of Dhoni fans on twitter after every game. Have you ever seen the outrage whenever Sachin Tendulkar is left out of any world eleven picked by anyone anywhere in the world? We are going to see the same outrage after every game. It’s going to be brilliant. Even Kejriwal will be jealous of how much media coverage we get in those two months.
Sanjiv: You are amazing bro. I wish someday I can be as shrewd as you.
Harsh: You will be kiddo.
Sanjiv: Hehe. Right. Cheers bro.
Harsh: Cheers kiddo.
Author: Rajesh Tiwary
Twitter handle: @cricBC