Some time ago in the late 90’s a new bank being setup in Abu Dhabi was going through a lot of meetings and demos with suppliers for the various systems needed.
I was working with a firm which was a distributor of a leading document processor company. Myself and our sales guy Raheel had started out early morning from Dubai and reached well before our presentation time at the bank’s make shift office. We found to our surprise that our only competitor team had arrived even before us and they looked professional to the core, all dressed in blazer suits and having a couple of laptops rehearsing their presentation.
Here we were with an old desktop computer and an equally old cheque clearing document processor and with no presentation except the demo software which we were supposed to present. We certainly looked out of place when the competitor guys looked at us handling all the hardware and the cables. Raheel asked me to leave all the hardware and rushed out with myself to our regional office which was luckily a couple of buildings away.
We paced into our office with a running request for a computer, where Raheel prepared a quick presentation having 4 or 5 slides, copied onto a 3.5 inch floppy disk. We asked Siddhique, the office assistant to come at around 11 am to pick the hardware and help us load it in our car on our way back.
We raced back to the bank office just in time for our demo. The competitor guys were still working on their presentation, making it slick minute by minute. One of them was walking to and fro and doing a shadow presentation. We said our prayers and hoped to do our best we could in the time we were allotted and entered the meeting room. There was an oval table, a white screen and a projector with around 4 people from the bank’s team eager to watch our presentations. Raheel’s last minute slides were equally important as my demo with the hardware and software. Just as we gave our thanks and came out, we chanced upon Siddhique looking out for us, and asked him to help us take all the hardware and load it into the car.
The document processor modules, the desktop computer, the RS232 serial port and power cables had to be removed and we entrusted that task to Siddhique. On the way back to Dubai after a quick late breakfast, Raheel made a call to the bank’s coordinator just to check how the competitor’s demo had been. The friendly voice at the other end replied,”we had to cancel that demo as your guy who came to take all of your equipment also took our projector’s power cable. I hope it was not done by you guys on purpose”.