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Milinda is a conglomerate of conservative companies with a primary focus on defence and logistics industries. The name is derived from the and reflects the ongoing role of military technology in global affairs. The company is led by military and ex-military personnel who prioritise a hawkish approach to security. Despite the statement originally being used by competitors in a defamatory way, Milinda has long since embraced its identity as a "hammer" that sees everything else as a "nail". The company's philosophy centres around a self-made capitalist approach to ownership and profit, with an emphasis on aggressive exploitation of all possible income streams. Milinda’s internal structure mirrors this, and is driven by a vertical structure that prioritises efforts, commitment, and profits. These factors have resulted in great success for the company, which for many years has been considered the largest corporation on Earth. On Dolos, Milinda aims to support expeditions with its vast resources of materials and equipment.
Though the most visible (and some would say most definitive) facet of Milinda’s business is situated within the defence industry, Milinda engages in a wide range of business across many unrelated sectors. The company is structured to diversify risks, allowing it to offset losses in some activities with profits from others. The conglomerate is composed of approximately one hundred different businesses spanning various industries including construction, luxury goods, finance, and electricity.
Conglomerate companies such as Milinda are generally evaluated by the market based on the sum of the assets that make up the group, which is often lower than the actual sum of the parts. This discount is attributed to the risk diversification that investors have no control over, the low or improbable synergies between the different activities, and the concern about allocating resources to unprofitable divisions and successful ones.
Sharkwater Defense Industries is the largest entity in the military branch of Milinda, and serves as the parent company of the entire conglomerate. The company's founder, Piet Banda, controls the majority of Sharkwater shares and, consequently, has significant influence over the conglomerate's decisions. Banda serves as the chairman of the board of directors, which is composed of executives from the various large companies under the conglomerate's ownership.
Since the discovery of Mars and the decision to embark on a journey through the wormhole, several negotiations between governments, United Earth, and corporations have resulted in the approval of industrial and financial support for the expedition. Given its modern weapons production and industrial capacity, only Milinda is capable of providing the massive amount of materials requested. In addition to being responsible for providing military equipment and outfitting DEEP agents, Milinda was also tasked with designing the spacecraft that transported the agents through the wormhole in tandem with DEEP.
Milinda's ability to achieve its goals is hindered by two main obstacles. Firstly, due to factions within the upper leadership, conflict among the board members was particularly intense prior to the Pipe project. Though the Dolos discovery has resulted in a temporary cessation of infighting due to working on a common goal, it is unclear for how long this will last. Secondly, before the collective decision by all the governments and corporations listed on the global index, United Earth repeatedly attempted to prevent Milinda from securing a major stake in the Dolos project. The work of several lobbyists has countered the efforts of UE, but it remains a major adversary for the company. In particular, DSF task forces on Dolos (although ostensibly independent) will likely be placed under close observation to prevent any potential espionage or sabotage efforts.
Milinda is also currently faced with several challenges not related to competitors:
- Earth's resources are becoming rarefied and more expensive to extract despite technological advancements, resulting in a downward trend in resource availability for several decades.
- Political instability, often caused by poverty, threatens financial interests, especially during uncontrolled revolutions.
- Major climate changes have resulted in global instability and significant loss of wealth, directly impacting opportunities for profit.
Until the Dolos discovery, Milinda had no answer to these existential issues. The company saw the opportunity presented by the journey through the wormhole as a chance to return to a context in which future development was possible. The promise of ground-breaking discoveries is very real, and Milinda is determined to not let the opportunity pass, despite some companies and governments viewing Dolos as a fool's gamble.
Throughout the entire expedition via the Pipe, communication with Earth was rendered impossible, leaving the planet uninformed of the journey's progress. The board of directors' internal conflicts, which had escalated in intensity over the three-year expedition, ceased following the reception of the first life signal.
Though an incredible opportunity, the Dolos expedition will be an exercise in political control. DEEP is managing the Dolos expedition, and USF is providing supervision and training via DSF. As such both have major stakes in the operations to come. However, Milinda has near-complete control over the resources and supplies for the expedition, and can be expected to leverage this for maximum effect. Already, significant influence over strategic decisions has been exerted via the leader of Milinda’s forces on Dolos, Colonel Herrera.
Full Name: Piet Banda Job Title: Milinda Holding Leader & CEO of Sharkwater Defense Industries Sex: Male
Nationality: South African/Dutch (dual citizenships) Age: 72 years old Psychological Notes: Antisocial Personality Disorder
Other Notes: Former Seven-Star General within Sharkwater Defense Industries Current Location: Earth
Bio: Piet Banda, a Dutch/South African ex-military veteran, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sharkwater Defense Industries. He gained widespread recognition as the commander of the Atlantic Dropship assaults, which effectively thwarted the brazenly stolen cadmium weaponry of the Starvation Nation group occupying the newly established Saharan Green Zone. Banda's armada of dropships decisively prevented the destruction of 755 million acres of agriculturally valuable land. The battle showcased the combat effectiveness of the untried Sharkwater dropships, which can maintain a clean combat zone while turning enemies into glass.
Piet Banda's leadership and combat prowess has established him as a timeless warrior and leader of warriors. Such is his fame, he has been compared to figures of mythology, though this is an association that he has publically demurred. He is considered the premier commander of Milinda, adored by his troops and the public for his toughness, straight-thinking, and exceptional level of fighting spirit. Despite his exceptional military rank of Grand Marshal, a Seven-Star rank of General that had previously only seen limited use, Banda dropped this position upon retirement, displaying modesty and humility.
Banda is characterised by his remarkable intelligence and resilience. He has an extreme level of resistance to suffering and a daily routine of physical training to maintain his physical and mental sharpness. He is a hard man who takes pride in his self-care and despises weakness, with a sociopathic attitude towards those who do not possess fighting spirit or personal strength.