Man for all Seasons

Sep 08 2013, 10:31 IST
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SummaryWith successful business interests ranging from exports, interiors to real estate, there’s much more to ousted McDonald’s managing director Vikram Bakshi than just burgers and fries

to do business with. There’s never been a problem”. No mean compliment for a person who dabbles in real estate. The bulk of the real estate has not been created by Bakshi, but mostly inherited. People close to him say his forefathers had real estate in the city from the pre-Partition days. But he’s managed them well, though he’s not into running the property directly since 1995, when he got into an arrangement with McDonald’s.

A science graduate from Delhi’s Hansraj College, he started working early at the family’s printing press, which he eventually converted from a letter to an offset printing press. He did this by purchasing the latest double-colour, four-colour Heidlberg printing machines, Polar cutting machine, Klimsch camera, etc, in the late 1970s.

After graduation, he moved to Europe, selling Indian handicrafts. He started with just a few bags in his hands, and went knocking door to door in Germany, Austria, Belgium and various other European countries to sell his wares, including carpets. Once he established a few regular buyers, he set up an export company back home in Delhi.

Bakshi does not come across as a typical city Punjabi who’s loaded with real estate and retails burgers and fries. There’s no flashiness in the man. He’s not seen at fancy, page 3 parties and is essentially a family person. His three daughters are all business graduates from the US and Europe, and are active industry captains running companies such as Ascot Hotels and Retails. His wife, Madhurima, studied at the Delhi School of Economics and assists him in business and is on the board of the JV firm Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL). The CPRL is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s and Bakshi. This JV firm runs the McDonald’s outlets in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Both the sides have two representatives on the company’s board and Bakshi as MD had management and veto rights.

Bakshi is a cricket enthusiast and is usually seen in Coke’s corporate box during the matches in Delhi. McDonald’s serves only Coke at its outlets, therefore, the association. Bakshi’s friends say he’s often present at the cricket matches with his family, a rare sight in the business circles of Delhi. He also has a passion for reading, travelling and golf.

People close to him say though he’s no more the MD—something which he is contesting legally and would shortly move the Company

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