Thanks to Prajeet Patel, who had set up and grown our Nordic franchise, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden decided to visit our Delhi office. We wanted to be super-prepared and meticulously planned the visit. The delegation consisted of the King, the Swedish ambassador to India, and business leaders who controlled about 50% of the Swedish market cap, including the Wallenbergs. We got about 50 people in our India office to simulate the event the day before the official visit. Everybody got to wear a sign around his / her neck, indicating their respective roles during the visit. Obviously, some were very proud to pose as the king or the ambassador! The simulation helped find little flaws in our plans, which we mended immediately.
On the eve of the event, we found that it had been upgraded from a business to a state visit, which is why we would be called on by about 100 Indian troops in the morning. In their quest to provide security, these troops made things really difficult for us. For example, they put a metal detector right in front of the office building. When the king’s security detail (a 6’6” tall, huge Swede with lots of artillery below his jacket) arrived, the Indian troops wanted to make him step through the metal detector. The Swede just smiled and stepped around it. Nobody dared oppose him. What happened next was hilarious! They wanted the king himself to walk through the metal detector! We managed to convince them that the move does not make much sense.
The actual visit included speeches; the delegation was highly interested in what Evalueserve did as a company. The king asked to talk to one of our analysts, who turned out to be an equity analyst in our FS team who was researching an alcoholic beverage market. It was a discussion no one was prepared for, least of all, the analyst in the team. But all’s well that ends well, and the entire visit was greatly appreciated by His Majesty.