Anil Thakraney: Mrs Dhoni should have invested in Rhiti

05 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney

 

Well, now that the dust has settled on the N Srinivasan saga (for the moment, that is), the media is going after Dhoni on charges of conflict of interest. Apparently, Captain Cool, at some point, held a cool 15 percent stake in a sports management company called Rhiti (what an odd name!), and this constitutes what we call ‘unfair trade practice’. This is because there are a few other cricketers managed by this company, and it would be in Rhiti’s interest if they got selected to play for India. The conflict arises because as captain, Dhoni has a say in team selection.

 

While technically speaking the media has a valid point, and Dhoni is answerable for this direct investment, I really think we should go a bit easy on the guy, we should give him some breathing space. For three reasons. One, apart from doing commentary, cricketers don’t really have a solid career post retirement, and they have to look for investment opportunities while the going is good. Dhoni can start a restaurant or a hospital or a dance bar, but perhaps these things don’t interest him, his heart may lie in an activity he understands most: Sports. Therefore investing in a sports management company isn’t really out of place.

 

Secondly, sports is a totally performance based activity (unlike many other professions in India, especially Bollywood, where failed sons of stars keep getting fresh opportunities), and even if Dhoni got Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja (Rhiti clients) an entry into the cricket team, these blokes have to quickly deliver. Or perish. So this so-called ‘conflict of interest’ has a very small role to play in this case. N Srinivasan’s situation is entirely different. He headed the BCCI and owns Chennai Super Kings, that’s a Deadly Dodgy Deal.

 

Thirdly, we have to admit Mahi was at least transparent in his dealings. Like some of our respected netas, he could easily have invested benaami money in Rhiti. Or even invested in his wife’s or cousin’s or chacha’s name. But he chose to put his own name to it. Maybe this wasn’t about honesty, maybe it was about financial naiivete. Either way, the truth is, he put his own name on record. The media must acknowledge this.

 

In short, fine, let’s cover this story. But please don’t crucify the man, he deserves better. There are enough big fish swimming in the dirty Indian Ocean to go after.

 

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PS: Haha. Totally cute ad from Taco Bell to push their Dollar Menu. What I like most about this one is how nicely they’ve sold their low price offer without damaging the brand. Rather, they’ve made it rock.

http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682903/a-spunky-senior-channels-christopher-walken- in-new-spot-for-taco-bells-dollar-menu?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ fastcompany%2Fheadlines+%28Fast+Company%29

 

Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney

 

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