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Cover Story

  • They are young, full of beans and very restless. And they are either quietly moving into family business, or starting up their own.
  • There are eight new names on this year's list of Power 25. Their stories are anything but typical.
  • More and more women are displaying a flair for starting up on their own.
  • Business Today’s list of India’s Most Powerful Women in Business has honchos from the hurly-burly world of financial services all over it. Outside the list too, women are calling the shots, be it wealth management or equity research or hard-nosed broking.
  • Listings are horribly hard to put together. This one is more so. For one, how does one measure power? For another, when there are so many talented and successful women in Indian business, how does one zero in on the 25 most powerful? The first question is relatively easy to answer.
Oct 07, 2007
Treadmill Mash-up your workout

Mash-up your workout

When you first start going to a gym, the trainers usually try to ease you into a light regimen.
Editors note From the Editor

From the Editor

It isn't a big surprise that 10 of the 25 women on the fourth Business Today Most Powerful Women in Indian Business have earned their spurs in banking or finance.

From the Editor

It isn’t a big surprise that 10 of the 25 women on the fourth Business Today Most Powerful Women in Indian Business have earned their spurs in banking or finance. Our three previous listings have also reflected similar proportions.
BT More Teeing off from home

Teeing off from home

Swimming pools, jogging tracks and clubhouses are passé. Investing in plush residential complexes built around golf courses is the latest fad among the rich and the famous. We bring you a menu of choices.

'I try to capture attitude in my phones'

Nokia’s Senior Design Manager Silas Grant, responsible for designing Nokia’s latest fashion phones, the 7500 and 7900, speaks to us.

The Apple iPhone: It's all in the touch

Apple's iPhone is considered to be the ultimate device ever made. It is already being called a game changer in the mobile phone space. Bibek Bhattacharya laid his hands on one and brings you this review.

Know your canines

Pooches have been man’s best friend. Here we tell you how to care for some of those rare dogs, the dos and don’ts, and much more.

Make mine an exotic

Cocktails today have to try very hard to impress your palate and surprise it. Here are a few exotic ones that will challenge your taste buds.

The all-in-one camera guide

Modern digital cameras can confuse all but the most knowledgeable. We guide you through the minefield of jargon and specs and tells you what to look for in these machines.

Globetrotting on a budget

Planning a trip abroad? We tell you how to plan your visit, on a budget of $200 per day for a couple, to six cities around the world.
Money Back in the Reckoning

Back in the Reckoning

Despite global risk appetite coming off and the subprime concerns unnerving the world’s stock markets, the Indian market has shown a sturdy resilience and has been steadily gaining ground.

The Gilt Edge

The glitter is back in gold. After peaking in May 2006, when the international gold price touched $725 (Rs 32,625) per ounce, prices tumbled below $600 (Rs 27,000) levels in June 2006.

In the yonder years

Till about 2001, life insurance Corporation of India had a pension plan with tons of benefits for retirees. Jeevan Suraksha offered guaranteed returns as pension, reducing the ‘uncertainty’ of income in an otherwise uncertain period of one’s life.

To shop or not?

When Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani addressed his shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in June last year, the title of his speech was simple, yet telling—“Embarking on a Retail Revolution.”

The millionaire's secrets

Unprecedented wealth creation in the last few years has not just pushed up the number of wealthy individuals in India, but it has managed to change some of the consuming and investing behaviour of this privileged and distinguished lot.

The layman's retirement guide

Corporate Head Ramesh Khanna, 58, (name changed) plans to retire by 2008, but with a current expense of around Rs 12 lakh, his corpus is a wee-bit short.

Taking a bow

The party bells are ringing for the home loan borrower. After three years of rate increases, a slew of banks have started offering discounts on lending rates for fresh home loans.
Back of the Book The all new lotus notes

The all new lotus notes

People who have used lotus notes will testify that the user experience on older versions of the software could be extremely frustrating. As an e-mail, contacts and calendaring tool, not only was it difficult to use but worse still, it looked ugly.

Internet's top 10 best shops

Online buying has come a long way. Virtual assistants and celebrity recos are just some of the cool new features. Pallavi Srivastava trawled the internet to shortlist the 10 best online stores.
Drive The sports utility files

The sports utility files

An SUV might never see off-road action in its lifetime, but they are ideal for India’s potholed roads. We feature some of the most popular utes in the market.
People A spat averted

A spat averted

Early this month, when Sunil Bharti Mittal, in an interview with the Times of India, mentioned that many telcos had quit during an adverse phase, while his own brand grew against all odds, it raised the hackles of Rajya Sabha MP and former promoter of BPL Mobile, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Leadership Spotlight Turnaround Man

Turnaround Man

At 63, most company executives would be considered to be past their prime. Not so Ravi Kant, MD of Tata Motors, who took over as President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on September 5.
Book A seductive idea

A seductive idea

Could China and India become the new IT partners? Two Gartner analysts seem to think so.
Event Games corporates play

Games corporates play

Top-shot executives pick up valuable business lessons during the Microsoft Corporate Challenge 2007.
Jobs Help,Tarun!


If you are keen on pursuing statistics and it is where your interest lies, then you can do a Master’s in Economics or Statistics in any other university. In terms of education, all other options are open to you (apart from an MBA).

The rising 'Ad'diction

The excitement and glamour of advertising is luring professionals from the unlikeliest of fields. Dumping their “safe” jobs and (often) better remunerations, doctors, IT consultants, hospitality industry professionals and rural marketers are all heading to the organised chaos of advertising.
Trends Instan Tip

Instan Tip

The fortnight’s burning question.

Other markets look better

Adrian Mowat, MD AND Chief Asian and Emerging Markets Equity Strategist, J.P. Morgan (Asia Pacific), paid a quick visit to Mumbai last week. BT’s Clifford Alvares spoke to him on the stock markets and how the US subprime crisis affects India.

India is now world's 7th largest IPO market

The economy is on song (despite recent data that reveals a slowdown in manufacturing growth), and India Inc. is in rapid expansion mode. Is it any wonder that Indian companies are flocking to the stock markets in droves to raise capital?

IT companies looking beyond engineers

As people pressures have intensified (Infosys’s attrition went up by 2 per cent to 13.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2007-08), the IT industry is beginning to expand the breadth of its hiring to include plain vanilla science, commerce and humanities grads.

Higher rates to hit bank profits

The rating agency has, provisionally, projected the net profitability margin of banks at 1.4 per cent, compared to 1.6 per cent in 2006-07.

We will build content partnerships in India

It has been almost six months since Shailesh Rao took over as MD, Google India. In a candid interview with BT’s Kushan Mitra, he shares his thoughts about the Indian internet market and the direction Google is taking in this country.

China invades retails shelves

As Indians scale newer heights of consumption, retail shelves are becoming showcases of the competitiveness (or, in some cases, the lack of it) of Indian manufacturing.

International roaming: Avoid the big rip-off

Indians traveling abroad and using international roaming as indiscriminately as they use their phones in India, will receive towering bills, tens of pages long and sometimes amounting to lakhs of rupees.

In trusts do HNWIs trust

High profile slug-fests (LIKE the Birla-Lodha spat) regarding inter-generational wealth transfers in large business families and those of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have exposed the inadequacies of the traditional methods of estate planning.

Bio-diesel firms are headed abroad

Standard Wars

The OXML standard was not approved by the ISO at a recent conference, but proponents of OXML believe it will be passed soon enough.

Economy watch

Direct tax collections (income tax and corporate tax) have risen 42 per cent over the previous corresponding figures.

Numbers of note

Rs 7,58,751 crore was the money Indians saved in 2006-07. For more of such interesting numbers, read on.

To be precise

“We talk about girls” Naresh Goyal, Founder and Chairman, Jet Airways, when asked what he talks about when meeting India’s other billionaire friends.

Governance pays off for states

There was surprising unanimity and some squabbling among different states at the India Today State of the States Conclave 2007 on September 14.

Populist Play

The differences between the UPA government and the LEFT parties over the India-US nuclear deal seem to be pushing the country towards mid-term general elections.
Current Parallel Pitch

Parallel Pitch

The traditional Ashes series (between England and Australia) or an India-Pakistan slugfest may no longer be the most electrifying battle to look forward in the arena of cricket.

TCS gets clinical

It’s a move that is likely to help India’s largest IT company get a slice of the humongous budgets of global pharma majors. Last fortnight, TCS announced that it had inked a deal with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche to provide a variety of services.

Jack in the box

Ashok Kumar Bansal has been an IKEA supplier for the last 15 years, but he may not have been quite prepared for the mother of all orders that landed at his Noida factory last fortnight.

ISPs Interrupted

Since 1998, when private INTernet service providers (ISPs) were first allowed, more than 750 licences have been snapped up.

Farewell to farms

Two years after being established as an equal joint venture between Bharti and the Rothschilds to market farm produce, FieldFresh Foods is set to turn a new leaf.

It takes two to tango

Knowledge is no substitute for native intelligence. Or so it appears, when one takes a look at the goings-on in the wheat business in the country.

Of cheetahs and swans

Notwithstanding the alleged spectrum scarcity, new applicants have queued up for unified licences, which will allow them to offer everything from mobile telephony to fixed telephony to internet services.

UK? This is hero calling

Indian BPO companies are now busy building a global footprint. It’s now the turn of the New Delhibased Hero group to get into the act. Hero ITES has snapped up Scotland’s largest call centre operator Telecom Service Centres (TSC) in a £40-million deal.

Jet's Long-Haul Plan

Investors might remember how they got burned during Jet Airways’ market debut. The scrip, which listed at Rs 1,350, dropped to Rs 550 within a few months of listing.

Direct to home?

It is crossover time for many brands into the world of direct selling. In an attempt to find more consumers, sales heads of an increasing number of companies are seeking to piggy-back on the strength of 4.5 lakh distributors of Amway in India.

Reebok's giant stride

It is billed as the largest REEBOK store in the world. Spread over 15,000 sq. ft and across three floors on the upmarket Jubilee Hills Road of Hyderabad, it is meant to give a leg-up to the single-brand shopping experience.

We also make buses

Daimlerchrysler isn’t doing too badly for itself in India, cantering along at a growth rate of 22 per cent (till August) in 2007, having sold 1,385 Mercedes-Benz cars in India.

Room for a balance?

The online travel industry is on song. According to PhoCusWright, a Connecticutheadquartered travel, tourism and hospitality research firm (with an India office), the sector grew at 126 per cent from a base of $295 million in 2005 to $796 in 2006. In 2007, it is expected to record a 66 per cent growth to $1.3 billion.

Not just cash dispensers

It’s been a good year for ATM manufacturer NCR in India. This February, the company won an order for 3,000 ATMs from the State Bank of India (SBI). That was the single-largest order by any Indian bank.

Bye STPs,hello SEZs

Back in 1999, when the 10-year tax holiday for the IT industry was announced by the Indian government, IT was the sunrise industry. Nearly a decade later, the scene is starkly different.

Cheap and Best?

Just when it was beginning to look like India’s largest private sector company isn’t in a mood to participate in the frenzy to buy out international assets, it decided to grab a piece of the global action. Two pieces actually.

The race for IFCI

For India’s oldest (and until recently ailing) financial institution, it’s a problem of plenty. New Delhi-based IFCI’s plans of offering at least 26 per cent stake in itself to large investors has attracted a bevy of suitors.

All's well that ends well

Too many cooks can spoil the broth. However, that did not happen early this week when an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM), a short Cabinet, decided the profitability of a $6-billion investment in the oil and gas exploration business of Reliance Industries (RIL).

Vodafone, the Brand, dials in

In what promises to be the biggest brand transformation in the telecom sector and one of the largest across the entire Indian consumer sector, the Hutch brand will make way for Vodafone on September 20.

Bricks, Mortar and Moolah

If there is one sector that has benefitted most visibly from the India growth story, it is the construction industry. Titanic-sized tower cranes busily moving blocks of concrete and steel are a common sight across metros.
Reporters Diary Wi-Max Messiah

Wi-Max Messiah

Through a series of pilot projects across the country, Intel and its 74-year-old Chairman Craig R. Barrett want to take computing to the masses. Business Today’s Kushan Mitra travelled with Barrett to see one such project.
Noted Take a note of these

Take a note of these

LIC has  declared a higher bonus for its policy holders, on the back of a 22 per cent rise in its valuation surplus to Rs 15,127 in 2006-07.
News Maker Newsmaker:Motilal Oswal

Newsmaker:Motilal Oswal

The unabated bull run on the stock markets has resulted in many an investor laughing all the way to the bank. The listing of Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL) was another reason for them to rejoice.
Policy Watch Regulator's lens on shipping costs

Regulator's lens on shipping costs

A bird’s eye view of what’s hot and what’s not on the government’s policy radar.

Land sale for PSU revival

The government is again out to “downsize” sick public sector units (PSUs), only this time, quite literally.

Tale bearer

The government’s internal intelligence arm, the Intelligence Bureau, “cautioned” the Petroleum Ministry against its on-land exploration schemes, NELP VI, a few months ago.

Open the choke

RBI’S preoccupation with combating inflation is well known, and so, it was only natural for RBI Deputy Governor Rakesh Mohan to compliment his organisation in a recent conference in Mumbai, when inflation fell to a low of under 4 per cent on September 1.
Top Mind Top of Mind

Top of Mind

Reinventing Indian Standard Time.
In This Issue Indian steel output likely to multiply

Indian steel output likely to multiply

It’s raining steel plants, OR, at least, MoUs to set them up, in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.  At last count, the states had signed MoUs worth Rs 5.4 lakh crore

Holcim's India strategy

The Swiss giant has already emerged as the country’s largest cement player. How does it plan to consolidate its lead?
Features Hell for Leather

Hell for Leather

Old Agra’s once-famed footwear makers seem to be caught in a time warp from which they are finding it difficult to escape.

Autos in Overdrive

Interest rates are up, but passenger vehicle sales show no sign of slowing down.

The Return of T-banking

Well, actually, transaction banking never went anywhere. Only, banks are rediscovering its virtues now—steady income, absence of volatility and predictability.

TVS vs Bajaj: The fight gets dirty

Bajaj Auto has accused TVS Motors of stealing its technology, a charge it has denied. TVS, which is doing badly in bikes, is entering the three-wheeler market that is dominated by Bajaj. Which way is this battle headed?
Editorial Woman Power

Woman Power

Notwithstanding India’s pathetic track record in gender development and equality, there’s no doubt that these are vastly better times for women in the country.

The tide is rising

It is no secret that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who has to fulfill popular aspirations and renew his mandate from the people every five years, does not see eye to eye with the unelected Karat and others of his ilk.

Pyjama Cricket 2.0

Pyjama cricket, the pejorative used by purists to describe the limited overs version when it was born about 30 years ago, now has a new form—Twenty20.
Letters Feature more regional schools

Feature more regional schools

It is admirable the way you have put together India’s Best B-schools issue (BT, September 23, 2007). At the same time, year after year, the same schools steal the show, like the Indian Institutes of Management.