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When talking big can backfire

By Taipan
18 Feb 2016

Award ceremonies are a time to drink, catch up with old friends and brag about the success of your business and your team. And for old retirees like me, it appears to be the time to put your foot into your mouth.

As always, I was lucky enough to be invited to Asiamoney and GlobalCapital Asia’s awards dinner on Wednesday — a night filled with well-deserved gongs, free-flowing alcohol and a sumptuous three-course dinner.

But while I managed to catch up with my usual buddies, this time I decided I should mingle as well. So when I saw a group of people standing quietly in a corner, I walked up to them with the intention of wowing them with my knowledge and charm.

They were from a pretty big company in southeast Asia, but unfortunately it was one I had not heard of before. Not one to give up, I regaled them with stories about another big firm from the same country that I had often dealt with in the past.

I threw out some names and mentioned large acquisitions the group had done, while the people nodded politely and agreed that the business was indeed well run and one of the more savvy names in the industry.

Satisfied, I wrapped things up and headed back to my friends. But when I merrily recounted the gist of my conversation, I was brought crashing back to earth as I learned that the company I had been extolling was actually their single biggest competitor.

I hastily changed the subject, realising that this was one time I had no way to talk my way out of a situation. Oh well, congratulations to all the winners! 

By Taipan
18 Feb 2016