A columnist in one of Mumbai’s important business newspapers, Live Mint, has described Palanpur as “man for man the most productive, most brilliant city in South Asia”. Aakar Patel, a well-known columnist, was commenting on Samsung choosing 32-year old Pranav Mistry to unveil its latest technology, the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch during its launch at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin.
Patel writes, “Mistry’s being picked for launching it globally tells us something about how he’s regarded within the company”, and goes on to note that there has “been much amusement at the way (he) spoke English”.
However, Patel adds that the academic-researcher turned corporate-innovator is “grounded in his culture, which is something the English-medium Indian usually discards, even though he makes the pretence of worshipping it”.
The columnist then goes on to say that “The interesting thing about the town—it is hardly a city, with barely over 100,000 people—of Palanpur is that it is man for man the most productive, most brilliant city in South Asia”.
He describes a visit to the diamond bourse in Tel Aviv, Israel, which he found was dominated by “two communities – the Polish and other Eastern European Hasidics with their black coats, black hats and ringlets, and Palanpuri Jains with the singsong accent of Mistry”, adding “Palanpuris control half the market in the world’s unpolished diamonds, and they have no equal, even among Marwaris”.
Finally, Patel writes, “It is usually in the field of business and enterprise that the Palanpuri shines and so it is unusual that young Mistry picked academia (he is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US) as his calling, then moving to a corporate job”, before concluding, “Mistry is smart enough to make it to the world’s technology elite”.
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