Friday, October 23, 2009

One Doctor, One Medical Rep., One Week, but Two Microwave Ovens!

Series FRD/01/2009
One Doctor, One Medical Rep., One Week, but Two Microwave Ovens!
Last week I was down with fever and cold. I carried it on for 2 days, but then went to Doctor for the check-up. I usually avoid to meet Doctor since I think that Doctor always benefits more than patient. Anyways…it was a Thursday evening, the clinic was full of patients…probably due to sudden climate change. When my turn came, Doctor invited a Medical Representative (also known as MR) of a pharmaceutical company (who was perfectly dressed up with blazer, tie and Van Husain white shirt) to come along. Doctor requested me to sleep on Patient’s bed and he asked MR to shoot with the script. That reminded me a fraud witnessed me in first year of my article-ship (audit) services. Here I start with a special blog post series on Financial Frauds experienced by me, my audit colleagues and friends during my/their audit days.
So….I was a Junior Audit Clerk, but yes...favorite of a Senior Audit Clerk in our audit company. Being a new auditor, I was ambitious and always expected different audit segment in every new engagement. I was given task of auditing travelling expenditures. It was one of largest pharma company in Asia. Medical Reps working with Pharma Company travels heavily across the country to build market. The audit was aimed at verifying all expenditure reimbursements of those MRs. I assessed the process and internal controls followed by Accounting Department before releasing reimbursement claims. The brief process was as below-
1. MR to fill up Travel Expenditure Form and should take approval of Sales Director for his region and then submit the same to Finance for claim.
2. MR is always given cash advances for his expenses and allowances.
3. MR is given fixed daily allowance and reimbursement of expenses at actuals.
4. Allowable expenses include taxi charges, phone expenses, Gifts given to Doctors to promote products and any other legitimate business expense.
5. Gifts to doctors – Many MRs prefer to gift doctors with electronic appliances or a good Zodiac Tie. Gifts promots pharma company's brand solidly in the hospital and medicine market.
Now, I always loved to read "what expenses MR has claimed". "What has he eaten at restaurant?" "Why did he ordered 3 dishes of Chicken Hyderabadi?".... thought he must have invited his local friends for dinner, but cannot challenge such things in a capacity of the auditor. I used to read even laundry expenses…..what has he dry-cleaned – handkerchief or sox pair etc.
I was also drilling down gifts made to Doctors. After about 20 reimbursement claim vouchers, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pande (name changed) (who dry cleaned all his inner wears everyday in a Five Star Hotel), claimed Rs. 19,200/- as reimbursement after consuming his initial advance. That suspected my mind with the questions – "how and Why one employee spent 20 K from his pocket?" "Why was he given less advance?" "Why he didn’t pay large expenses by credit card – I mean no sensible person would carry cash of 40000 while travelling.". I believe these questions must have triggered in the mind of Finance executive if he was a hardcore accountant. But then he may not be able to challange due to departmental barriers.
On further analyzing the voucher, I found that gift items were purchased on cash and that too with a rough bill. Questioning rough bills to Mr. Pradeep by Accountant, he told him that he did so often to avoid sales tax and thereby saving company’s money. Accountant thanked Pradeep.
But, while analyzing list of doctors who were gifted with electronic appliances, it was observed that Dr. H. M. Bangali (name changed) was given two microwave ovens in a single week by Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pande!! Now…that was the poor mistake made by Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pande, Jr. Medical Reps. During investigation and interrogation by Accounting Department with Sales VP, Mr. Pande confessed the fraud.
We were told by one of the good friend (insider) that Mr. Pande was physically slapped by angry Sales Vice President. J I truly enjoyed those gossiping.
The audit was completed after submitting specific remarks on reimbursement policy and internal controls in the Audit Report. But that actually triggered to frame out centralized purchasing policy of gift purchasing. Gossips were also chewed that few Medical Reps (ladies especially) that they get tired with heavy weight gifts and unhappy to carry 10 gift boxes. It was also heard that few MRs made tie ups with Chaywala to keep those 10 boxes or Junior Medical Reps were exploited by expecting them to carry gift boxes with seniors.
Fraud Summary LineOne Medical Representative of a pharmaceutical company gifted Two Microwave Ovens to a single Doctor/physician in a single week!!
I will sum up the post with a famous quote from Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer. -
“Honesty is the best policy when there is money in it.”

Disclaimer – As per Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, information obtained during the course of audit is confidential and cannot be shared or published without specific approval from the management. Writer of the blog is a qualified Chartered Accountant and only intend to share the fraud cases. The fraud case referred above should in no case be construed or perceived as specific to any company/organization/legal entity/association of persons/any individual. The purpose of blog post series on fraud is only for the purpose of brainstorming. Any action/inspiration based on this blog post which lead to any fraud, will be the sole responsibility of the user. Writer of the blog is a person with highest standards of ethics and honesty.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

EAT PUNE 04 – Punjabi Khana

Every hotel aim to offer Punjabi khana in Pune by default. In fact, if you analyze the hotel business, Punjabi food can get more margins as compared to breakfast snacks. Another interesting business factor is – Hotels are happy if couple comes for dinner/lunch and order Punjabi food as they can earn more margins with less overheads. Anyways…. Following are some of the popular and good hotels offers quality Punjabi khana in Pune –
1. Bhagatsingh Tarachand – A Mumbai based chain hotel. Fantastic taste of any sabji. Buttermilk and Lassi is served in a beer bottle. Don’t know where he gets such a tasty buttermilk. I can drink upto 5 bottles of buttermilk after lunch/dinner. Located at Shagun Chauk, Lakshmi Road – Park your car at Vijay Cricket Club’s parking near Patrya Maruti.
2. Horn Ok Please – Theme based restaurant located at Fergusson College Road near Sagar Arcade. This restaurant has built dhaba interior where you get chance to seat on ‘Khatiya’. People love playing the truck horn placed at the door as a decoration item. Clean and perfect Punjabi khana.
3. Hotel Aloha – This place was a regular dinner spot when I worked N number of workaholic nights at T-Systems. Do try out Kadhi – Khichadi here if you dinner out here. I love the taste here. Located at Senapati Bapat Road, opp. Muttha Chambers (Old BMC Software office). T-Systems employees (now Cognizant Technologies) get 7% discount J J.
4. Shivsagar Hotel – Anna run hotel. But still good taste of Punjabi food at both Aundh as well as J.M. Road vent.
5. Hotel Banjara Hills – Chandani Chauk, Paud Road. I like this hotel although many claims that service is pathetic. But food taste is good.
6. Veer Da Dhaba - Well….in case you plan to go out for dinner with your family. You can go to any hotel other than this place. Have you seen any restaurant where all youngsters on almost every table are loudly roaring, making climate noisy for no reason? This is the place where you need to forget that there is any world outside this hotel. Trust me, if you are a non-drinker like me, you would enjoy the party like anything. My school friends had a great party here once and we still laugh with those memories. We were dining and one drunky came to my table dancing….drunk glass of water kept on my table….did not say thank you nor asked for any permission and went away. One person was hitting drums hard without any music sync for no reason. A sardarji runs this hotel, good food taste and keeps tight control only after things starts getting out of control. Located at Hinawadi Road.
7. Bhajansingh da dhaba – This is popular for non-vegetarian Punjabi food. Located on old Pune-Mumbai High way – near Dehu Road Toll Naka. Good taste. Garden restaurant for family.
8. Agatya Hotel – Tulshibaug. Nice taste. Marathi style Punjabi food. Do try out Veg Bhuna here.
9. Rahul Restaurant – Aundh – Peaceful spot. Any paneer based Punjabi sabji may be tested here.
10. Chaitanya Paratha – Paud Road and F.C. Road – Run by Punjabi Sardar. Ok taste. Try out Parathas. I love Methi Corn Paratha.
11. Nebula Restaurant – Located in Bavdhan. Good and very clean restaurant. Excellent quality Punjabi food. Try out Paneer Kadhai.
Other Hotels such as Khana Pina Jina- NDA Road, Punjabi Masta Khana at Bavdhan Road, Gandharva Hotel at J M Road, Hotel Palvi at Anandnagar, Paud Road, Savera at FC Road, Rangoli at Bhandarkar Road etc. are also worth trying.

Disclaimer: Writer is not Punjabi. Writer is a Maharashtrian Konkanastha Brahmin. The purpose of this blog is to provide reader with interesting food spots in Pune. The spots referred in the blog have only been recommended by writer and unfortunately, he does not hold any control on reader’s tongue ;). It also does not mean that writer never eats at home or writer’s wife cannot cook the food. Please talk to writer before making any perception in this regard.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Process for change in name on passport after marriage

Well… wife Anurati holds copyrights for this blog post. About few months back, she asked me that she want to change name on her Indian Passport. Hence, we googled official website of Indian Passport Department to find out process and required documents. The step by step process followed by Anurati is written below.
1. Website – Go to FAQ section which answers all your questions. They have a helpline number as well as an email address of PRO of department. PRO answers to your email in less than 24 hours.
2. Documents required for change in name after marriage as per website are 1) Photocopy of the Husband’s passport and 2) Attested copy of marriage Certificate issued by Registrar of Marriage or an affidavit from the husband and wife along with a joint photograph in Annexure D format (available on the website). In case, you want to register your marriage (irrespective of when you got married), office is located at Central Building, near Sassoon Hospital, Pune Station. Marriage Certificates are issued computerized with name & address both written in English+Marathi.
3. Day1 – She took both of the above documents and went to Passport office, Pune located at near Symbiosys college at 10.00am. Huge Q in front of the main gain. However, she saw another Q where official facility of Passport Department to fill up and verification of application form is available. It costs Rs.35 for form filling and Rs.20 for verification. Anurati paid Rs.55 and got the appointment to submit form along with the documents on the next day at 11.00am. The date and time was printed on the form. The verification officer explained her on the documents to be attached along with the form which apart from above 2 documents includes-
a) Birth Certificate
b) Bank account with new name – Account statement entry more than 1 year.
c) Degree Certificate
d) Photographs (as per specifications)
4. All a, b and c can be challenged easily in case you write email to PRO as referred above before coming to Passport Office. Please do not argue with the verification officer since he is not your son. Just show him printout of the email.
5. Now, you may be thinking why Ambarish is advising educated people to get form filled up from someone who is arrogant, less educated compared to us, doubtful if he understands English. But, hold on – process written in the blog may help you to get name changed passport in 7 days. Swarthapudhe Ahankar Khshudra ahe (Jagadguru Masta Kalandarji - – Keep your ego outside while entering any Government office.
6. Day2 (appointment day) – Anurati went to Passport office sharp at 10.15am. She stood in the Q for about 35 minutes. The officer in the application submission window verified original documents, passport application and photocopies of the documents attached. Application was accepted with no questions and Anurati got new passport in less than 7 days. Carrying all original documents in MUST.
7. Change of Name on Passport will cost you Rs.1000 as charges. No bribe, no agent charges – Anurati got her passport at a total cost of Rs.1055 only.
Executive Summary –
- Total Expenses – Rs. 1055 - Total Time spent – Less than 1 hour in 2 days
- Change of Name Passport after Marriage received in – 7 days
- Mandatory documents – 2 Photographs, Husband’s Passport, Marriage Certificate

Disclaimer – The purpose of above blog post is only to share experience with blog readers. It should in no case be construed as “Expert Advise” or “guarantee” to get name change on the passport. The writer of the blog or any of his relative do not help/factor in passport services. Issuing/re-issuing/changing contents on passport is governed by relevant regulations of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and it is the passport department under Ministry of External Affairs, INDIA who holds complete authority to issue/reject/cancel/revoke etc. passport of any citizen of India. Reader of the blog may apply his own judgment before relying on information contained in this blog post. Writer of the blog will not be hold responsible for any outcome/result based on contents of this blog post.