The endless pictures of him with a galaxy of national and international dignitaries are ready reminders of his billionaire status, but having the future King of England pay a visit to his pocket borough was something Cyrus Poonawalla was particularly chuffed about.
The almost month-long preparations for the royal visit had enough security checks to wear down a lesser man’s enthusiasm, but it seemed nothing could shake the Pune-based billionaire’s composure. While almost everyone at the venue seemed to be under orders to turn out in suit and tie, the local press, which had no prior alert about a dress code, arrived in relatively more casual attire.
Though they were ushered into a make-shift pen, Cyrus finally unburdened his angst to this diarist. “Look at me,” he whispered, spreading his arms. “This isn’t the weather to wear it but I’ve pulled out this three-piece suit - which I only wear in Europe - especially for this occasion. I’ve also worn my Derby tie. Tell me, there is British royalty visiting and our press arrives wearing jeans? What does it say about the Indian media?” We’re sure they’d be very keen to hear the answer from Poonawalla himself.