Doing Business in Rain

Mumbai is an amazing city.

It has been raining cats and dogs for the past few days. The rains have been successful in filling the water catchment areas just outside the city and also very successful in creating multiple continuous craters on the poor quality Mumbai roads.

But no issue with rains as such. Business life goes on in Mumbai without stop. I was amazed to see the mass of working folks who were walking on the roads in pouring rains after close of work. There was the usual traffic jams in the expressway, no surprise there – in fact, when it rains even in small quantities, the Mumbai traffic starts to crawl. You can imagine what happens during the big rains. Like today’s rains – it has rained non-stop from last night, all of today……and it is still raining heavily at 11 PM tonight here in Mumbai.

But action goes on. Everyone goes about his/her task as though things are perfectly normal. Cars are accelerating when there is little less traffic on the roads, irrespective of the wetness of the roads. People cross roads nonchalantly, carrying umbrellas, and completely oblivious of the oncoming traffic, absolutely sure that nothing will happen to them. Big lorries carrying all kinds of stuff are moving in and out of the city, during the only hours that they are allowed in. Buses are running as usual, again completely ignorant of all traffic rules.

And, that is the spirit of Mumbai. Rain or no rain, business goes on, and has to go on, as this is the financial and commercial HQ of India. When I walked out of a five star hotel recently, I was surprised when someone approached me and asked whether I would be interested to see the inside of the Aston Martin car parked in the driveway. Though I was a bit taken aback, I also noticed the proactive approach made by the driver, in the hope that I might be interested in a test drive. Well, I was not, but that is a different matter altogether. The fact is that, even in pouring rain, someone approaches and asks if we can do business ! I am sure that this kind of thing does not happen in other cities of India that easily.

Mumbai has a way of working and that is a non-personal, non-emotional, practical way of conducting business and affairs. Entirely professional and non-partisan as well. So, it is no wonder that Mumbai stands tall amongst the cities of India in terms of the professionalism and ease of doing business.

Well, I started with rains and ending with conducting business ! And that is the way Mumbai moves on and ahead. Welcome to Mumbai…….in the rains !


Vijay Srinivasan
27th August 2011


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