Business Today Archive April 6, 2008 Issue

Edition: April 6, 2008

Cover Story

New CEO, new HUL

Hindustan Unilever is on a roll again. That HUL has been finally able to stoke up the growth embers, improve profitability, regain market shares, and grow fledgling markets in the past three years, are significant indicators of its business success. But that doesn't make new CEO Nitin Paranjpe's mandate—to pump up HUL's mojo in highly competitive markets—any easier. Business Today's Brian Carvalho reports.
Money
Before the financial year ends, here is a checklist to keep your tax outgo to the minimum.
In This Issue
India has traditionally been a tea drinking market. But over the last decade, coffee has made steady inroads into the popular consciousness. It is fast emerging as the beverage of choice for a larger number of the GenNext consumers, and a number of home-grown entrepreneurs is riding this trend to fame and fortune. BT's K. R. Balasubramanyam finds out.
Special
Global food prices are on a boil as biofuels and freak weather play havoc with the demand-supply equation. Food prices in India too have been inching upwards. How vulnerable are we to food price shocks? 
Editors note
It's not as if the recent past has been bad at HUL. In fact, it is quite the opposite: profitability has improved over the past couple of years and, in many of the product categories that the foods, home and personal care marketer operates, it has been able to regain lost market shares.
Editorial
Never before, probably, has the sensex moved as wildly as it has in the past three months. During this short period, the bellwether index of the Indian stock market has shed more than 30 per cent off its January 10 peak of 21,206.77 (on March 17, it closed at 14,809.50).
Policy Watch
Industrial output growth slowed to a 10-month low of 5.3 per cent in January, indicating a slowdown in the manufacturing sector. This has set alarm bells ringing in the Commerce Ministry.
News Maker
Brand Deepika Padukone is on a roll. If the roaring success of Om Shanti Om opposite Shah Rukh Khan made her the hottest thing in Bollywood, two mega advertising deals in quick succession—one with Pepsi this February and the other with ITC for its Fiama Di Wills range of soaps this month—have catapulted this 22-year-old beauty into the top league of brand ambassadors.
Noted
Reliance Energy, as Reliance Infrastructure, to better reflect its business portfolio. The change is subject to receiving approval from shareholders. Anil Ambani’s REL is constructing India’s tallest ‘100-storey’ corporate park in Hyderabad and has plans for SEZs in Noida and Mumbai.
Reporters Diary
The innovative Golden Chariot will need to quickly iron out some operating niggles if it is to be a successful luxury train.
BT More
The Pinot Noir, a fruit-forward (read: fruity), light-to-medium red wine (actually, the New Zealand variety is full-bodied), from both Marlborough and Central Otago, has won the hearts of critics and consumers alike.
Treadmill
A busy day doesn’t have to stand in the way of great health. Eat these five healthy foods to keep your energy levels up.
Printed Circuit
When Time Magazine declared ‘You’ as the person of the year, they really didn’t mean you, they meant user-generated content as epitomised by YouTube.
People
He closely follows football, loves to read and is taking his baby steps towards becoming a collector of Discworld memorabilia. Ambareesh Murty, an alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering and IIM Calcutta, replaces Rajan Mehra as Country Manager of eBay India. Mehra is moving out to pursue an entrepreneurial role in venture capital space.
Leadership Spotlight
Nicholas Piramal India (NPIL), one of India’s leading pharmaceutical companies, is going through a major makeover.
Trends
By 2050, the E7 emerging economies (China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey) will be around 50 per cent larger than the current G7 (US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada), according to recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Current
Exposure to overseas credit derivatives takes a toll on Indian banks.
Features
Jain Irrigation Systems is the second-largest drip irrigation company in the world and one of the largest suppliers of ducting to telcos globally. The stock of Jain Irrigation Systems rose from Rs 411.10 on February 28, 2007, when Chidambaram presented his first “pro-farmer” Budget, to Rs 612.8 on March 13, 2008, a fortnight after the second such Budget. Now, it’s eyeing revenues of $1 billion. BT's Krishna Gopalan reports.
Jobs
Agriculture is offering unlimited opportunities on the back of retail.
Letters
Kudos for India’s best managed Companies (BT, March 23, 2008). The vision, virtues and values of these companies who have made it to the top of your BT-Ernst & Young study are truly admirable and worth emulating.
Event
The cream of India Inc. came together to play golf at the 13th Business Today-Honda Pro-Am of Champions 2008.

December 28, 2008

December 14, 2008

November 30 2008

November 16, 2008

November 2, 2008

October 19, 2008

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August 24, 2008

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July 27, 2008

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June 1, 2008

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