THE WILL…

Mr. Ranchoddas is lying still on his bed with slight movements of his chest, tubes are passing through his nose and mouth for essentials. It is difficult to differentiate whether his chest movement is because of the breathing or the slight vibration caused by his pacemaker. The only way to know whether he is alive is the indicator on the Multi-Vitals tracker which is showing green light. This tracker monitors his blood flow, key nutrients and brain pulses constantly.

The house is buzzing with many relatives, friends, business associates, coming to check the health of Mr. Ranchoddas. While his condition is being live streamed on his official channel, everyone is eagerly tracking his situation. The day before yesterday, when the Multi-Vitals tracker turned amber, the market crashed by about 10% eroding billions of market capitalization. Doctors have strictly prohibited any visitors to go near the patient, fearing infection. Only senior doctors and the robots assisting them are allowed inside the hyper care unit where he is housed. All the visitors are allowed to see and interact with the holo projection of the patient from the observation hall.

It all started a month ago, when Mr Ranchoddas was in his office reviewing his business heads, their quarterly performance. Amidst heated discussions, he suddenly blacked out and collapsed in his chair. The physicians in his corporate office immediately rushed to check and moved him to the nearest hospital and along with other specialists from across the world, they were on a long video conference call discussing the condition. It indeed looked complicated. After all, he is one of the top 10 wealthiest persons in the world. Both his children were out of country, busy making big business deals. After being in the hospital for about 30 days where his situation was not improving the doctors advised to continue to monitor and treat him in his mansion to avoid any external infection. And more importantly, the crowd and media was getting too difficult to manage and the condition was not getting any better.

From routine checkups, the specialists were anticipating a deterioration in his condition over the past few years. Over the last few years he has also undergone many treatments and bionic implants, he is currently living with a 3-d printed kidney, an electronic heart and he recently underwent a thorough bone and muscle replacement therapy. However, the natural tissues started disintegrating few years back. Now, some of the brain functions have started showing signs of slowing down and there is no medical technology that has been developed for that yet.

He is the chairman of one of the largest business conglomerates in the world. He inherited the family crown jewels from his grand father and used it to invest in various modern and innovative businesses. His grand father saw early signs of entrepreneurial streaks in him and considered him to be his heir. His father was not very focused and if left to his devices, would have squandered all the wealth. His grand father was having a farm in which he reared various animals and also grew his own food which is unheard of in the present day. Currently all foods are genetically manufactured in a centralized factory owned by the government. No animals are to be killed for food and all proteins are prepared through cellular synthesis. But the crown jewels that he inherited has made Mr Ranchoddas the big business magnate he is.

The board is meeting today morning to decide the next chairman. Will it be one of the two children of the ailing old man or a completely independent person? Both his children were expected to land from their trip and join the meeting shortly. Of course, the company had existing directors who have a wealth of experience in running complex businesses. While running business is important, the chairman also would inherit the crown jewels of the family which will give the key to more financial control than any of the other businesses. The person who becomes the chairman would also have a strong control of the resources which help in new investments.

Leon Ranchoddas, the elder son hurriedly walked to the hyper transit which will take him from the airport to their mansion. He was with his boy friend and was just returning from the business trip. He got an update from his assistant that Tara had already reached the mansion just a few minutes ago.

Leon always had the feeling that he fell short of his dad’s expectations and that his sister Tara was the favorite. He is a very strong businessman with a great acumen to identify investment opportunities. As the head of new ventures, under his leadership the group has made very good investments in the recent few decades that have grown tremendously. However, when it comes to inheriting the company’s controls it takes more than the business acumen that he has. Tara was liked by most of the other board members. While she was an effective leader who managed the sustainability of the group as a whole, the board and the seniors felt that she really was far sighted and built things for the future. Everyone studied in schools about the oil wells that helped the dry desert regions of Arabia and how a handful of owners of the wells once controlled major events in the world. There are management lessons from this history about how not to depend on one natural resource and importance of building for future. For a new chairman of such a large conglomerate, Tara’s visionary skills may come into play.

Leon entered the mansion and saw Tara standing near their father’s bed. She was looking tired and her greying hair added to the weariness. She hadn’t changed from the business suit that she was wearing for the meetings. While they were anticipating this situation at some point in time, when it actually hit, they were feeling quite shocked and sad about it. After all the senior has been a pillar of support for the family for the past decades and also a mentor for his children. They also realize that the situation is inevitable and they had to rush to the corporate head quarters for the board meeting. The legal committee will read the senior’s will and also discuss the issues of the group’s leadership.

The meeting started exactly at 10.00 as planned and the legal head projected his personal pad onto a screen. The document can be opened with three people unlocking it with their thumb biometric. The legal head entered his part to open the will and the other two parts to be entered by two other independent directors. They will have the senior’s decision as to who will inherit the rich water wells in his farm, the crown jewel. The water wells along with few others in the country have been helping to build the economy and the world. When the will is about to be opened and everyone waiting with a bated breath, an emergency message pops up on the screen and at the same time notification pings on everyone’s watches. This is from the chief doctor attending the 163-year-old Senior Mr. Ranchoddas!

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