Business Today

Upfront

Your cheat sheet for what's made news this past fortnight and upcoming events in June-July.
     Print Edition: July 5, 2015
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

"I found that nowadays the eyes are becoming smaller and smaller. One day I turned it back and found Made in China"
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar does not much like China-made Lord Ganesha idols. Nor does he much like to curb his expression.

MADE IN CHINA?

KFC plans to sue three Chinese companies for spreading rumours on social media that the fast food chain uses eight-legged chickens. Now that seems beyond even the vaunted Chinese manufacturing capability. One post also apparently referred to six wings on the same chicken. KFC has 4,828 outlets in China.

DEATH OVER DISGRACE

Professor Stephen Hawking will consider assisted suicide if he felt he had nothing more to contribute to the world and was merely a burden, reports The Telegraph of the UK, citing an interview with Dara O'Briain, for a new BBC programme. Hawking argues that keeping someone alive against their own wishes is the "ultimate indignity". He also says he suffers bouts of loneliness, because people can be afraid to talk to him or let him answer.

The time it took @Caitlyn_Jenner to reach a million followers - the fastest in Twitter's admittedly short history. The account opened with: "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn." The struggle was the journey of Bruce Jenner, a former Olympic athlete and reality TV star, to becoming Caitlyn, culminating in a Vanity Fair cover with the headline, "Call me Caitlyn". The previous fastest to a million was American President Barack Obama's @POTUS, which took five hours.

ME WARRIOR, YOU JAIN

The Indian Diaspora's march to the top in the global corporate order takes a pause. Anshu Jain, co-CEO at Deutsche Bank, quit, besieged by trouble from regulators, investors, and employees - that's pretty much everyone, isn't it? Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior, perhaps the second most prominent India-born woman in American industry after Indra Nooyi, was the collateral damage as Chuck Robbins took charge in place of long-serving CEO John Chambers.

But hope floats. Punit Renjen, from earthy Rohtak, takes charge at Deloitte. Nikesh Arora may someday be the big boss at SoftBank. And, even as Warrior falls in battle, Pankaj Patel gets into the new executive leadership team at Cisco.

 


CALENDAR

 

GIFT Meet

What: Stakeholders' meet on IFSC rules in GIFT city
When: June 24
What to look for: The regulations and guidelines for India's first International Financial Services Centre within the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT City, project were unveiled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in April. Now, feedback from all the stakeholders including Indian and foreign banks, financial institutions, stock brokers, insurance and re-insurance companies is being sought by the finance ministry and the management of GIFT City, which is being developed as the country's first smart city.

Festival of Ideas

What: Cannes Lions
When: June 21-27
What to look for: The ad festival is gold standard for creative excellence, and the industry's who's who flock to France to share ideas. The speakers' list includes Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola's top marketing executive in North America, Evan Spiegel of Snapchat, and artist Pharrell Williams.

MAT Matters

What: Income-tax department reply on MAT
When: June 18
What to look for: The Bombay High Court has directed the income-tax department to file a reply on minimum alternate tax (MAT) notice against global fund management company Aberdeen Asset Management by June 18. The court has directed the tax department not to take any coercive steps against the company till the next hearing on June 23. The court order has come as a relief for foreign institutional investors, who have contested the claims of the tax department over payment of MAT on their past investments in stocks.

AAP Budget

What: Delhi Budget session
When: Mid-June
What to look for: The Aam Aadmi Party government's first full Budget in mid-June is eagerly awaited as several promises, including opening 500 new schools and emphasis on higher education and vocational training, have been made in the election manifesto. So, education could see an increase in allocation of funds.

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