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    Made in PRC_Made,in,Infosys

    2019-05-31  红叶文摘网  本文已影响   字号:T|T

      He had knocked around the world quite a bit –Australia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Dubai, Egypt and Hawaii in the United States –working in hotels and restaurants. But Jean Michel Jasserand, now 51, has made Bangalore, some 7,448 km away from Nice, France, where he hails from, his home for the last 10 years. He began as head chef at The Leela Palace hotel. But with some help from tech giant Infosys, he has transformed himself into one of the city’s leading restaurateurs setting up a string of successful outlets – all in six years.
      There is La Terrace, the first of the lot, on the Infosys campus at Electronic City on Bangalore’s outskirts. Jasserand also runs an industrial catering service from the campus. He has begun a bakery and started another outlet at the food court within the premises as well. He also has three Italian restaurants called Toscano, one of them at UB City, one of Bangalore’s swankiest areas, the other two in upmarket malls at Whitefield and Malleshwaram. There are also three French-style cafes named CaféNoir, one of them again at UB city, the other two in leading malls.
      Jasserand had been working at The Leela for four years, managing around 150 chefs, when he was approached by former Infosys Chief Financial Officer Mohandas Pai. “I had seen Jasserand’s performance when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Infosys with his delegation in 2004,” says Pai.“He did a good job.” Pai came with a proposal: would Jasserand consider setting up a restaurant within Infosys’s premises?
      Infosys had its reasons for making the offer. It had its own food court for employees, but for high-profile visitors it entertained– and of which there was no shortage – catering was invariably done by leading city hotels. Sometimes the food arrived late, embarrassing the company. Senior officials also wanted a firmer grip on the quality of food, as well as on the costs of such entertainment, and believed a top class restaurant on campus was the answer. And Jasserand, with his close knowledge of European and Asian cuisines, his vast experience in managing hotels and people, seemed just the right person to run it.
      Jasserand decided to take up the Infosys offer. But when he told the Leela management about it, he was immediately sacked. “Infosys took good care of me from then on,” he says.“Moving out of a five-star was a big step. It was very stressful.” He began by setting up his own company, JMJ Kitchen Consultancy, in partnership with Goutham Bala-subramanian, a Dubai-based chef he knew and admired, who agreed to return to India and team up with him.(The company has since been renamed Red Apple.)   
      Jasserand’s catering proved a substantial cost saver for Infosys. “Six years back, The Leela Palace used to charge`850 a plate for a menu which offered two non-vegetarian dishes and three desserts,” says an Infosys executive, preferring not to be named. “Jasserand suggested the idea of industrial catering. He offered five-star quality meals at a much lower price – three non-vegetarian dishes and six desserts at `300 per plate.” He could do so because he had no infrastructural investments to make – Infosys provided it all. He only needed to bring in raw material and labour.
      The step also enabled Infosys to enforce strict quality control, which it could not on food brought from outside. For instance, Chairman Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy believed strongly that nothing raw – such as leafy salads – should be served to visitors, many of whom were foreigners with sensitive stomachs. “Since Jean Michel started catering no client has ever comp-lained of a stomach up- set, and that is largely because nothing on the table is raw,” says Sujit Banerjee, a former facility manager at Infosys, whose task it was to conduct quality checks on the fare Jasserand served.
      Among those Jasserand has catered to at Infosys have been Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and Dell chief Michael Dell. More recently, it was Jasserand who prepared the extravagant farewell dinner to mark Narayana Murthy’s retirement as chairman in August last year. No doubt when volumes are very large, Infosys sometimes still ropes in five-star hotels to help out Jasserand.
      Jasserand himself refuses to discuss money, as does Infosys. A spokesperson said the company would not comment on the business it gave vendors. But insiders estimate he makes a fair bit from Infosys, which has helped him open his other outlets.(See Rich Pickings.)
      Jasserand is a colourful character– roaring around the city on his black Harley-Davidson, he is a regular at high-profile parties. But there are indications that his warm relationship with Infosys may be cooling. He recently shut down his outlet at Infosys’s food court. In March this year, when Infosys hosted the United Nations Foundation board meeting, it was The Leela Palace which catered – charging `3,500 a plate –and not La Terrace.
      Jasserand dismisses such talk. “I still do Mr Murthy’s visitors,” he says. “Recently, there was a French delegation visiting. I was asked to be there and I was there.”
      
      

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