By Dilip Bobb
The Prime Minister will be hosting a dinner for around 100 CEOs of multinational companies and top Indian industrialists shortly after he arrives in Davos for the World Economic Forum annual summit.
The dinner will be organised – and paid for – by the Taj group. The CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) is the body which handles such matters and according to one CII source, the cost to the hotel chain for that one dinner will be a mind-boggling Rs 1.5 crore!
That includes the cost of sending a battery of the hotel’s top chefs taken from various properties of the group, flying them to Davos along with sous chefs (senior chefs fly Business class), kitchen helpers for chopping, cutting, marinating the food, specialised kitchen ware like tandoors and skewers, apart from crockery and cutlery and items of food, condiments, etc, which have to be packed in special containers. And, of course, the cost of putting the staff up in Davos or nearby resorts, apart from local costs of conveyance, fresh meats and vegetables, sauces, etc and the five-star hotel venue.
No Modi-Trump Meet In Davos
Despite the media speculation and hype, there is no chance of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at Davos where both leaders will be delivering keynote speeches at the annual World Economic Forum jamboree.
The reason is that Trump will arrive in the Swiss ski resort town where the world’s movers and shakers meet every year, a full day after Modi leaves. Modi’s visit last just 24 hours–he arrives on Tuesday 23rd Jan and leaves on Wednesday evening to be back in time to welcome the 10 heads of state and government from the ASEAN countries who he has invited for the Republic Day celebrations.
Trump will arrive in Davos on Thursday evening and address the Forum on Friday morning.
The dinner itself is an elaborate four course meal, apart from the appetizers, and served on Taj branded plates and cutlery. Indian PM’s do not serve liquor by tradition so there will be exotic Indian-flavoured alcohol-free cocktails.
Catering for India-related events at Davos has been done either by Taj or ITC, both are large chains which use the event as a branding exercise since the hosts and guests are some of the richest people on the planet, apart from corporate VIPs and Indian industrialists. Taj has been doing Davos for the last couple of years and willingly bears the costs which has so far been far less than a crore since the dinners have been smaller affairs – no Indian PM has hosted a diner there yet, and for so many people – Modi’s dinner will be catering for 150 guests.
Smaller hospitality players cannot afford the astronomical price tag. One of them was initially approached by CII for Modi’s Davos dinner and had to decline when they were told that their costs would be Rs 1.5 crore.