AIG and Tasmac


Arun Sundar wants me to write about Tasmac sarakku. Well, I have had singham once, but that was years back. I can’t say much about it, but it delivered a bigger bang for the buck. However, I can narrate the time I lost money speculating on Tasmac. In the late 1990s, my cousin, bucking his orthodox parents, acquired a wine shop license along with a dozen of his business partners. He was a visionary, in that he had a sprawling open space with cabanas and served good food too. Needless to say, he did rocking business. When I started out on my first job, I immediately asked him if I could invest in his venture hoping to buy out a partner. The shares were either prohibitively priced or the partners were unwilling to exit. Then, under amma, the government took over all the shops and promised to return a portion of the wine shop license fee.

In 2005, speculation was rife that muka‘s reelection was imminent and that he would put up wine shop licenses for auction again. Tasmac had not refunded the license fee. Just then, one of the partners in his wine shop decided to exit and was willing to sell his share at face value. I bought it. Muka won, but did not auction the licenses. I emigrated, and at some point got about 75-80% of my investment back.

As they say in Tamil, nalla maatukku oru soodu. Evidently, I am not a nalla maadu. I speculated again on AIG last year. When the market unravelled rather spectacularly, I opened myself a trading account, bought it for under $1.50, saw it go all the way upto $2.50, and smugly decided to hold it in hopes of selling at a higher value. Today, it trades at under $0.60. Good going.


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2 Responses to “AIG and Tasmac”

  1. Arun Says:

    Lol….neenga avlo nallavaraa, considering Tasmac as an investment option?!!

  2. Alan Smithee Says:

    Actually it is an amazing business. The shop that I am talking about is in a big, non-corporation town in TN. They used to sell 70-80k worth every day and upwards of a lakh/day in the weekends. This was in the pre-IT boom time.
    But you need someone who knows the system and the cartels well, to front you.

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