Business Today

From the Editor

Chaitanya Kalbag        Print Edition: March 18, 2012

There are times when we at Business Today chafe at being a fortnightly. There is so much happening in business and the economy that we storytellers are fit to burst. It is not just what you see in the printed magazine - our website is up to nearly a million page-views. Our tweets and podcasts are gathering ever more followers. It is natural for us now to shoot web video clips while speaking with Anybody Notable in business. This issue is swollen with superb content, and our cover story on Mukesh Ambani illustrates the new paths that BT is beating. His troubles with the Petroleum Ministry over Reliance's gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin are like a burr in his sock - a prickly annoyance at every step. This story is as much about deep-sea exploration as it is about how a giant like Reliance Industries, which pulled all the right levers in both pre- and post-reform India, can start to have just too much sand and water getting into its pipes, figuratively speaking. It illustrates the attention to accuracy, balance, detail and narrative that we excel at, as well as our tenacity - Special Correspondent Anilesh Mahajan pieced together the puzzle over weeks with help from senior editors. Enjoy reading it.

Another businessman who has adroitly played government, politics, regulations and public perception like a harp and had a rollicking good time at it is in even deeper water. Vijay Mallya  is looking like the King of Poor Times; can he pull Kingfisher Airlines out of its nosedive?

Large chunks of our 'mind space' are taken up by big events, and the government's annual Budget is truly like an assault on Everest - lots of base camps, sherpas carrying in demands and requests from the praja to the raja (okay, I mean North Block), the gusts and blizzards of economic stress (have we ever gone into a Budget feeling buoyantly happy?) capped by a 90-minute peroration from the peak. It is actually a gripping tale, and Senior Editor Sanjiv Shankaran and Deputy Art Director Rajat Baran Chakravartty would have done us proud at last month's Comic Con in Delhi with their colourful narration. Do not for a moment think that we are flippant, though. I was privileged to moderate a spirited, two-hour brain-storming at our offices when we gathered five of the best economic brains in the nation led by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha. You can read their often tart recipes for Pranabda (Last Chance to Get It Right) and the meaty pre-Budget package that follows. Not a week earlier, I was in Mumbai debating why more women do not become leaders in technology at the NASSCOM Leadership Forum with three fellow panellists. By the way, Goutam's stream of reports from the conference on our website drew a lot of eyeballs.

The seventh and final round of voting in India's most populous state will take place only after we hit the news stands. Special Correspondent Manu Kaushik foraged across Uttar Pradesh to bring you some old-fashioned "shoe leather hits village dirt track" reportage on a huge chunk of our political economy. Just in case you think we are short-termist poll-watchers, don't miss Executive Editor Suveen Sinha's Bihar chronicle. Frankly, there is so much to read and view this fortnight. Senior Editor Anand Adhikari casts his gimlet eye over unscrupulous promoters who misuse IPOs, and Senior Editor Suman Layak draws the curtain aside on corporate fraud. There's more. Lots more. Go on.

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