Download the latest issue of Business Today Magazine just for Rs.49
'Hazare became the unlikely fulcrum of a people's movement.'

'Hazare became the unlikely fulcrum of a people's movement.'

A 74-year-old Maharashtrian on the fast track of protest has become the unlikely fulcrum of a people's movement.

Song sung blue
Everybody knows one
Song sung blue

Every garden grows one
If you are of a certain vintage, you will have been moved by these Neil Diamond lines, sung on a hot August night almost exactly 40 years ago. This steamy August, India has been convulsed by the sudden expelling of decades of rage and helplessness over corruption, and a 74-year-old Maharashtrian on the fast track of protest has become the unlikely fulcrum of a people's movement. "Anna" means big brother, a comforting and protective presence in Indian families. Let us hope it stays that way, and fervour does not turn into fever. I have watched upheavals in Iran (1979), the Philippines (1986) and Tiananmen Square (1989) devour their idols.

We need our heroes, and we need inspirational stories. Not forgetting the hot, humid Ramlila Ground nights, we bring you three motivational tales in this issue of Business Today.

The first is about a different kind of Hero, born last month in the incongruous razzmatazz of a London delivery room ringed by the fire of arson, rioting and murderous mayhem. A rather apposite baptism for Hero MotoCorp and for the Munjals, who started out with a bicycle repair shop in Old Delhi soon after the flames of Partition died down. It is all good news for Indian riders who will now have even more choice in two-wheelers. Read Kushan Mitra's racy story.

The second is about India's most successful and brilliant women leaders in business. Our annual listing of the Most Powerful Women in Indian Business is preceded by months of painstaking vetting, and nominations are based on noteworthy success over the past year, seasoned by cool, logical and decisive objectivity - attributes all our honorees share. This year, we promoted six of our most consistent winners to a Hall of Fame. Enshrined there, they will watch newer names join their sorority. The Special Six braved rain, a Mumbai bandh, and frenetic schedules to gather for an exclusive roundtable discussion - and a souvenir group portrait - on August 1. Shweta Punj led the way by shepherding and profiling the Hall of Famers.

We also pay tribute to the 25 Definitely Powerful Women, and a second group of 25 Also Powerful Women. The number of women in corner offices is growing, but their tribe needs to grow. You will admire the rich tapestry of their stories unfurling. A number of other stories, including columns on Mayawati and women in boardrooms, embellish our stylish and exhilarating narrative.

Many of you will have heard of manga, the Japanese comic-book storytelling style. You will find echoes of this in the fascinating storyboard unfolding that was edgily illustrated by Santosh Kushwaha. We round off our trilogy with the larger-than-life fables, told by K.R. Balasubramanyam and Josey Puliyenthuruthel, of the men who will lead Infosys 3.0 (Nandita Gurjar, who heads HR and is the only woman in the company's top pantheon, features in our MPW list).

This edition of BT, truth be told, is bursting with great reportage. Take Anand Adhikari's telling investigation of lax accounting standards in Indian companies, or our unearthing of the women and men who mastermind companies' social-media presence, a new and serious kind of reputation management. Happy reading.

Published on: Aug 31, 2011, 4:07 PM IST
Posted by: Navneeta N, Aug 31, 2011, 4:07 PM IST