My first day in Mumbai: As told by Avendus Capital CEO Andrew Holland

I first came to Mumbai from South Korea in April 1997. That was my first visit to this city. Merrill Lynch had just made some investments into DSP and they were looking for someone for the role of head of research. That’s how I happened to be here. Those days, their office was right across Hotel Trident (pictured right), Nariman Point, where I had put up. It’s been over two decades now in this city, and even today Mumbai is pretty much the way it was then: fast paced.

I vividly remember my first day in Bombay (as it was called then): It started with breakfast at the Trident’s restaurant, which is the hotel’s lobby area today. The other memory of that day is seeing this group of six analysts with one phone between them which had an international calling facility. The phone was the classic black rotary style telephone instrument, something that we now consider “vintage”. The traffic back then was as crazy as it is, today. On the calls, people on the other side could still hear the hustle bustle and honks of cars, despite me being seated in my cabin on the 11th floor.

During my initial days, I did see many places in and around South Mumbai. I particularly remember having a great time at a dinner where I was invited to, by a group of expats at Trident’s Mexican bar. I ended up staying at Trident for over six months as finding a decent house was a task even in those years.

Mumbai is a place that just grows on you with time, as you settle down and find your own comfort zone. There’s something here for everyone, hence rightly known as “The City of Dreams”.livemint


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