It may not come as a surprise that in recent years information technology companies have hogged the limelight in our annual The Best Companies to Work for in India study. Infotech companies have usually been at the forefront of innovative practices in human resource management besides offering their employees both - great career opportunities and good compensation. This year too, seven on the top 10 list are pure-play IT companies.
What may, however, come as a surprise to regular readers of our popular survey is the sharp slide that last year's topper has registered. Yes, Infosys, #1 in 2006 and 2005 and #2 in 2004, is down to #5 this year. The other surprise outcome of the Business Today-Mercer-TNS study is this year's numero uno - Microsoft, not a name that easily evokes affection around the world but whose employees at the six Indian facilities it runs clearly seem to adore working for the software giant. Breaking into the upper echelons, otherwise dominated by IT companies, is Johnson & Johnson, which has moved up from last year's sixth position to #3 this year.
The Best Companies to Work for in India study takes six months of surveying and analysis to complete, where we work closely with our two partners - Mercer and market research firm TNS. This year, we had 94 companies participating. After the survey, Business Today's reporters fanned out to meet employees, executives, analysts, HR specialists and stakeholders at the top ranking companies to find out just why these companies made it to the top. And, in some cases, like our feature on Infy's slide, we attempted to find out what may have gone wrong.
This year, following feedback from many participants, we decided to feature not just the top 10 but the top 15 companies in the magazine. And, as in the past, the identity of the other participants will be kept confidential, although we will be happy to provide them with feedback on their performance if required.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we have a feature on Asian Paints, where 10 years after wresting control of the company, Managing Director and Vice Chairman Ashwin Dani has global ambitions for India's foremost paints company.
Our fortnightly personal finance section, BT Money, explores whether there are still any undervalued bargains to be had on the bullish bourses… and finds that indeed there may well be some.
Also in this issue: in an interview, advertising conglomerate, Euro RSCG's Executive Co-Chairman Stephane Fouks talks about the huge opportunities in India for his firm; an assessment of the rush by many to get into the telecoms business; and a story on what the brouhaha over participatory notes may mean for foreign funds flow and the stock market.