The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian Buffett bill: Rs 2.6cr
- Pabrai finally wins right to lunch with billionaire
Buffett and Pabrai

Washington, July 1: An Indian investment fund manager in America has put up the money for what is probably the most pricey lunch in the world.

Mumbai-born Mohnish Pabrai has won an auction to have lunch with billionaire-philanthropist Warren Buffett with a bid of $650,100 (Rs 2.66 crore).

Pabrai said in Nebraska after winning the bid that he would use the opportunity to seek Buffett’s advice on setting up a charitable foundation to help poor children in India acquire technical education.

Pabrai, managing partner of the $600-million Pabrai Investment Funds in California, has just published a book that extols the Patel model of doing business.

The Dhandho Investor The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns draws on the experience of the Patel community from Gujarat, who are now said to own more than 70 per cent of motels in America.

Pabrai is not a Patel or a Gujarati. Reviewing the book in Financial Times of London last week, John Authers wrote: “It never occurred to me that the Patel business model could be the basis for market-beating returns. But that idea did occur to Mohnish Pabrai.”

A self-confessed disciple of Buffett, 43-year-old Pabrai has been unsuccessfully bidding every year from 2003 to have the charity lunch with the American billionaire.

Pabrai won this year’s five-day-long auction on eBay by offering much more than the successful bid of slightly more than $600,000 in 2006. For this, he teamed up with Guy Spier, another fund manager who put up about $217,100. Prabai’s share of the lunch will be around $433,000.

The New York steakhouse, Smith and Wollensky, will host the lunch at a date yet to be fixed. Buffett will give away the auction money to the Glide Foundation, which aids homeless people in San Francisco.

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