I cannot believe now, that 12 years ago, I was a centre manager for credit card sales – for Coimbatore and Cochin. But to my credit, I didn’t last in that role for more than a year and moved to a different position at Mumbai (I’m not sure if I can claim blame for the fact that credit card sales was wound up in many smaller cities, including those two, soon after). I realise that I missed an opportunity to see it as a service to the nation (and pocket heftier bonuses). How silly of me, to have tried to induce low-paid sales officers to work for salaries and incentives and prizes. If I were to do that role now…
I’d tell my boys, “If soldiers can stand on the border for days, can you not stand outside the ATM for a day and canvass those on the queue? Record Mann ki baat and play it to your prospects. Prove to them it is anti-national if they don’t go cashless. Every card that you sell is a slap on the Pakistanis and a checkmate on terror funding.” I’ll end my pep-talk with some fiery lines from Bharathi, and disperse after Jai Hind.
I’d approach my collections manager and convince him to recommend opening up of the blacklisted territories. “Kottaimedu, Ukkadam and Karumbu Kadai are the last frontiers in our war against cash. If we convert them all to credit cards, there would be no bomb blasts in Coimbatore. It is your patriotic duty to recommend to the anti-national credit team at Bangalore to open up these areas.”
I’d write to the credit team at Bangalore (forgot the exact name of the team – our hearts would bleed to see them declining 50-60% of the hard-earned applications), “Stop declining cards to agents and real estate brokers. How can you be swayed by trivial aspects, such as credit scores, default rates and profitability, when in the long run, your approval of cards for them will sound the death knell for black money?”
What a historic opportunity has been presented to the banks, the Visas and Mastercards, the AirTels and Reliances, and the PayTMs! They have the most iconic brand ambassador in the country speaking on their behalf. Only once before in the history of India, did a business entity get such a glorious chance, and what a peerless precedent they’ve set: East India Company created a giant of a nation out of warring tribes and petty states; they ushered in modernity and technology; they bestowed on us, railways and post offices, mills and banks.
Oh, bourgeois of the world, unite, and build a cashless nation!