Keep Ice on Head and Sugar on Tongue By: Dhananjay Mahadev Datar

Dhananjay Mahadev Datar

We have always followed a strict policy of purchasing and supplying only quality foodstuffs. We would purchase them from both Mumbai and Dubai. In Mumbai, the wholesale market of spices is at Masjid Bandar and in Dubai it is at Deira Dubai. Whenever my father visited these markets, I would accompany him.

Once we were returning from Masjid Bandar after a purchase. It was late afternoon on a summer day. We were both hungry and decided to eat at a restaurant on the way. The lunch time mentioned on the board outside was actually over, but luckily we were allowed in to have lunch with the last batch of customers.

By the time our lunch arrived, some restaurant staff had already begun winding up the operations. At that time we heard a war of words from a side table. It was between a waiter and a customer. The reason behind the quarrel was, in fact, trivial. The customer had liked the crispy Papad in the dish very much and had demanded some more. The waiter had refused saying that the side items were finished and out of stock. This had enraged the customer. He was arguing and pleading that since he had paid the full price of the lunch, he was entitled to get every item mentioned in the menu.

As both parties were adamant on their stands, the conflict got bitter. Surprisingly the owner of the restaurant sided with his staff and we feared the situation would escalate to a physical fight. Amidst this turbulence my father silently left the restaurant and came back with a packet of Papad which he had bought from a nearby grocery shop. He handed over the packet to the cook. Within five minutes the scene changed and peace prevailed. The owner of the restaurant thanked my father profusely for his presence of mind.

My father wisely advised him, “Sir, I am also a small businessman but I have never allowed any quarrel in my shop. The owner should always refrain from arguing with his customers. Satisfied customers give us name, fame and prosperity. A wise businessman always treats his customers with patience and courtesy.”

When we left the place my father turned to me and said, “Dada, if you want to succeed in business, always keep ice on your head and sugar on your tongue.”

By: Dhananjay Mahadev Datar, CMD, Al Adil Group, UAE Bahrain,Oman Saudi Arabia & India.