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From the editor

As the fight between the Ambani brothers shows no signs of abating, our cover story examines how while the protagonists have become more desperate, the impact of India Inc.'s worst battle could queer the pitch, not only for each of their companies but for Indian business, in general, and, well, even politics.

Sanjoy Narayan | Print Edition: August 10, 2008

If you thought the fight between Mukesh and Anil Ambani was over when they decided to apportion the Reliance empire in June 2005, you were wrong. In fact, the ongoing battle between the two brothers may have begun around then. Intense rivalry between the two has come to such a pass now that even national politics is influenced by their conflicting interests. Restricted thus far to the business arena, the Ambani vs. Ambani fracas burst into the open again last month when the Samajwadi Party's General Secretary Amar Singh coaxed the government to introduce proposals that, if accepted, would adversely impact Mukesh Ambani's business interests. As is well known, these proposals appeared to be part of Singh's conditions for agreeing to provide support to the ruling coalition in last month's trust vote in Parliament.

For the warring brothers, there is a lot at stake. Both of them run huge businesses, which together account for around 5 per cent of India's GDP. The stocks of their bigger companies are the bellwether for the Indian stock market. Besides, both of them are among the 10 richest businessmen in the world. Clearly, the settlement of June 2005, details of which have never been revealed to the public, has not put their feud to an end. As the fight between the two brothers shows no signs of abating, our cover story by Associate Editor Suman Layak examines how while the protagonists have become more desperate, the impact of India Inc.'s worst battle could queer the pitch, not only for each of their companies but for Indian business, in general, and, well, even politics.

As its global CEO, Vikram Pandit, grapples with Citigroup's colossal losses after it took a massive beating during the subprime crisis, things are quite different here in India. Although Citi India's business accounts for a minuscule proportion of America's biggest bank's global revenues, it's health and growth prospects here are far better. As part of its global strategy, will Citigroup scale back its Indian operation? Our feature by Associate Editor Anand Adhikari finds out.

Delhi-headquartered handicraft retailer Fabindia has scorched a blazing trail by expanding across the country as well as abroad, including China, West Asia and Europe but not so well known is the retailer's unique experiment to turn its supplier-artisans into shareholders. Senior Correspondent Kapil Bajaj describes how (Inclusive Capitalism).

This issue's special report is on education, an industry that is all set to grow from $40 billion to nearly $70 billion in the next four years. The package examines how a variety of new investors is entering the business, the problems that hobble Indian education, the role of technology and the plethora of regulations that need reform.

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