Business Today Archive April 5, 2009 Issue

Edition: April 5, 2009

Cover Story

Rural to the rescue

Stagnant urban demand, collapse of export markets and relative rural prosperity are drawing companies to the countryside. Which means that the slowdown has not impacted the rural markets as much as their urban counterparts, reports Tejeesh N.S. Behl.
Money
Investing in the stock market is often influenced by your own personal emotions and short-term market movements. But you can still take control and choose.
In This Issue
In today’s distressed times, it may seem like an oddity, but according to New York Life Insurance (NYL) President and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman-elect Ted Mathas, the company seems to have weathered the storm quite well.
Editors note
Till less than two years ago, every single french fry sold at McDonald's restaurants in India was imported. Reason: Indian potatoes didn't have enough solid content-the proportion of water is high- to produce the crispy MacFries.
Top Mind
Is this true? Yes, according to US think-tank, the RAND Corporation, pirated movies have become the most profitable money maker for the Mumbai underworld, and these funds are channelled to those who use the money to attack India.
Noted
A quick look at the latest Airports Authority of India (AAI) data for India’s top 10 airports shows that air traffic in the first nine months of the 2008-09 fiscal has dropped sharply.

Reporters Diary
Life can be very different when one is trying to extract natural resources out of the sea that are buried more than 2-km below the surface. And yet somehow, they manage to serve samosas and farsan to their guests! On board RIL’s oil & gas exploration ship in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, Suman Layak returns impressed by the infrastructure and the production plans.

Book
Dr Rakesh Mohan’s Monetary Policy in a Globalized Economy combines a policymaker’s know-how with a scholar’s precision.

Treadmill
You joined a gym in Jan and promised yourself that 2009 would be your fittest year ever. But just two weeks later, your resolve dwindled and the gym became a distant memory. Don’t worry!
Printed Circuit
We tried out the new BlackBerry Bold from Research in Motion (RIM) a few months ago.Now we try out its three brand-new smaller siblings.

BT More
It’s true that your simple, no-frills black lace-ups are elegant, but they are boring! Don’t be afraid of brown, tan and other colours, and definitely don’t be afraid of brogues.
Leadership Spotlight
Just before the announcement of election dates, a few UPA ministers blew Rs 300 crore on an ad blitz tom-tomming their achievements— a few honest, most imaginary.BT presents a tongue-in-cheek Claim-Achievement Index with titles borrowed from Hollywood.
Trends
Current
Satyam has plenty of suitors, but none ready for the first date, let alone the walk up the aisle.

Features
In its five years at the Centre, the United Progressive Alliance government persevered for just one goal: Survival. Here’s a rating for its key ministers.

Back of the Book
Ragpicking is the last area a corporate would want to foray into. But for ITC, which had in the past entered unorganised businesses such as manufacturing match sticks and incense sticks, it is a potential gold mine. Its Wealth Out of Waste programme shows how a simple habit change can significantly benefit the company, the society and the country. N. Madhavan reports.

Columns
Several key reforms were stalled and reversed when agri-business was about to take off.

Jobs
Better pay packets for senior managers come at a premium in 2009.

Letters
As in people, adversity can bring out the best in organisations, too. Companies with sound business strategy are defying the laws of gravity and will emerge from the ongoing recession more battle-hardened and stronger than before.
Event
India's corporate leaders called the shots along with the country's top pro golfers at the 14th Business Today-Honda Pro-Am of Champions 2009.


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