With more indian companies making global sized acquisitions and a spate of billion-dollar public issues hitting the market, it isn't surprising that India's investment bankers are a happy lot.
Investment banks, which typically earn fees and commissions that are in proportion to the size of deals they broker or issues they manage, have seen a big boost to their earnings in recent months.
In the first six months of 2007, as our cover story (India's Richest Investment Banks) shows, India's investment banks earned $929 million, which is already more than 75 per cent of what they earned in the whole of 2006.
Big M&A deals- domestic as well as cross-border-are one reason for the boost in their earnings but large-sized IPOs and followon issues have also boosted the fees they collected.
While many believe this is just the beginning and we may see even bigger deals and, as a result, bigger fees being paid out to I-bankers, our story by Assistant Editor Mahesh Nayak also explores the increased competition in the investment banking business-among global investment banks, global commercial banks, Indian I-banks and boutique firms- and explores whether there is room for so many players of varied stripes.
This issue has a special report on India's information technology business. True, Indian IT has been on a roll over the past decade-its market growing ten-fold from $4.8 billion in 1997-98 to $47.8 billion in 2006-07-but its top players are now coming to grips with the route that they will have to follow for the future.
First off, these market leaders are differentiating amongst themselves rather than cloning each other's strategies; and, second, they are spreading their wings to make their operations more global. Our lead story in the package details how they are going about insuring their future.
Another story looks at whether Indian IT vendors, who have so far been outward focussed (depending more on outsourcing deals overseas), can now take on foreign IT vendors, like IBM, who have stolen a march in the domestic market.
A third story catches the early signs of what may become a full-blown trend of consolidation in the Business Process Outsourcing business and a fourth describes how Microsoft and a few others are targeting India's poor by making computing cheaper and relevant to the needs of the under-privileged. In the Tamil film industry, also known as Kollywood, there is a phenomenon called Rajinikanth.
Or should we say that it is a synonym for Kollywood? As superstar Rajinikanth's film, Sivaji: The Boss, becomes the biggest blockbuster ever, Associate Editor Krishna Gopalan explores this one-man industry (The Boss, No Doubt).