But, Mistry is not the first businessman to seek refuge in fowl and fauna to articulate his situation or strategy.
Almost eight years before Mistry took interest in letter writing, it was Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju who wrote an equally sensational letter. Unlike Mistry, Raju saw the national animal. He did not see himself as one. But, he saw himself riding one. "It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," he wrote referring to the widening gap between the real and artificial numbers in the company's books. Raju's letter did not surface first in the Press like Mistry's. It was sent to the exchanges sending the regulatory apparatus into a tizzy. Sebi swung into action to ensure it was not some prank before unleasing the 'tiger' on an already beaten down stock market.
Unlike the other two, Mukesh Ambani was not in any sort of trouble, when he invoked the spotted jungle cat to describe his strategy. In an interview with The Economic Times in 2011 the Reliance Industries chairman said: "I love the leopard. It sits on top of a tree. It doesn't take any risk. Whenever it sees it can make a kill, it rapidly makes the kill. It just happens in a flash," said Ambani, who often sat observing leopards for hours in many forests. "After getting the kill, the leopard goes back to the top of the tree and sits there aaram se," he added. He wanted his company to institutionalise leopard like execution capabilities.
These are not the only animals in what some describe as the dog-eat-dog world of big business. There are some 'wily old foxes', who can trick you before you blink. There are those promoters and top executives, who run away with 'Lion's share' of the company's profits. And, then there are scapegoats. Less talk about them, the better.