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From the Editor

Even if you weren't in the market for property, you must have noticed that the no-holds-barred boom in real estate prices over the past 5-7 years is cooling off. Prices that had been soaring on the back of growing demand, low interest rates and a high-growth economy appear to be slowing down.

Print Edition: May 18, 2008

Even if you weren't in the market for property, you must have noticed that the no-holds-barred boom in real estate prices over the past 5-7 years is cooling off. Prices that had been soaring on the back of growing demand, low interest rates and a high-growth economy appear to be slowing down.

In fact, there are instances where they have actually fallen. But is this a temporary correction of a market that had overheated or is it the beginning of a deeper bearish spell in the property market? To answer this, Business Today's Assistant Editor Tejeesh N.S. Behl, assisted by our countrywide bureaus, wrote our cover story package, Real Estate: Correction or Crash?. The package not only unearths the real reasons for the heady boom that we've seen in the property market and the subsequent cooling off, but also looks at each of India's metropolises, and secondrung cities, separately analysing the trends for them. We believe our story will help you to not only make sense of what is happening in the market but also what to expect in the coming months.

You may recall that last year, we debuted Business Today's first listing of India's Hottest Start-ups. I'm happy to announce the second listing of happening startups in this issue. Our reporters, writers and editors spoke to venture capitalists, executives and industry experts to compile a list of the most promising new ventures and we chose 10 of them that we think stand out as being the "hottest". And, in case you wondered what happened to the 10 that we highlighted last year, we have an update on them as well.

Steel and cement prices have shot up sharply over the last six months. While this has wreaked havoc on industries that use them as inputs, the government has alleged that companies in these markets have formed cartels to keep prices high. In Commodity Cartels: Fact or Fiction?, Deputy Editor Arnab Mitra and Senior Editor N. Madhavan investigate whether steel and cement companies are really fleecing their customers.

C.K. Prahalad is one of the most influential management thinkers of the world. The Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has just co-authored his fifth book, The New Age of Innovation, which talks about the new dynamics between a firm and its consumers. Managing Editor R. Sridharan met Prahalad for this issue's 60 Minutes where the professor talks about his new theory. As a bonus, we also have an extract from Prahalad's, and his co-author M.S. Krishnan's, new book.

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