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  • When the the income-tax sleuths raided the house of a businessman-turned-politician in a small town in Junagadh district of Gujarat recently, they were startled at the sight of the palatial building in which he lived.
  • September 24 has set the meter ticking again for cricket. The closely contested win for Team India over arch-rival Pakistan has changed vision, the Twenty20 way.
  • Judith Wilcox, Regional Manager, India Subcontinent, Virgin Atlantic, spends a lot of time in India. She discussed the carrier’s plans with BT’s T. V. Mahalingam. Excerpts:
  • The fortnight’s burning question.
  • The BSE Sensex seems to be on steroids, and the way it is going, it may well cross the 18K-mark by the time this magazine hits the stands first week of October.
  • Indian companies in general display a greater awareness of environmental issues than their Asian peers, but at a national level, India seems to be lagging in articulating its response to climate change, according to a recent report on corporate governance.
  • The PC market in India is celebrating Diwali a quarter ahead of schedule. Driven by a buoyant economy, PC sales in the country have jumped 47 per cent to 1.7 million units during the first quarter of the current financial year .
  • Last fortnight, as Ben Bernanke lowered the Fed rate by 50 basis points, there was cheer in India as well. It has heightened expectations of a reversal of the rising interest rate cycle in the country.
  • Away from the ARCLIGHTS, India’s middle market deal makers are finding themselves in the thick of an M&A boom. According to a report by Grant Thornton, the proportion of middle market cross-border deals has increased significantly.
  • Leading the charge is India’s #1 software exporter TCS that plans to hire around 5,000 people from these places. #3 Wipro, too, is seeking to cast its net wider and is recruiting from as many as 260 campuses nationwide.
  • Storage and information management giant EMC has started the EMC Academy Programme across 60 colleges and has 2,000 students enrolled in them.
  • India is inching up the scale in terms of the ease of doing business . And it seems to be moving faster than China, though it has miles to go before it can catch up.
  • The Indian equity markets are scaling new highs every day and, already, rank as the 10th largest globally. SEBI chief M. Damodaran has promised to introduce more products to further deepen the markets, particularly in the futures and options segment, and make it more investor-friendly.
  • Ludger Arnoldussen, Member (Board of Management) and in charge of Asia, Australia, Africa and Germany at global reinsurance giant Munich Re Group, was in India recently to take stock of the company’s business in the region. Ludger spoke to BT about his business in general and its prospects in the near future. Excerpts:
  • According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the number of women employed in the organised sector (public and private) has risen from 495,000 in 2001 to 502,000 in 2005. And this number is expected to double in the next three years, say experts.
  • Ambani family's combined wealth of $91.41 billion makes it the richest business family in the world, far ahead of even the Walton family of Wal-Mart. However, the fact is that the two brothers, Mukesh and Anil, had split the business empire established by his father between them in June 2005.The billion dollar churnAmbani brothers world's richestSensex continues march towards NorthDLF to replace Dr Reddy's on Sensex
  • It’s a sobering thought. Despite rah-rah stories on how well India Inc., and specifically private sector companies, is doing, advance tax collection figures are dominated by the public sector.
  • After much coaxing and months of discussion, the Government of India is finally veering around to the idea of using its overflowing forex coffers to finance the humongous investment needs of the infrastructure sector.
  • Far too often the investments that the world’s major corporations make in India, and the resulting development, do not extend beyond India’s boom towns: Charles Prince
  • 20 per cent of executive directors of FTSE 350 companies has fallen over the past five years. This equates to the loss of almost 360 positions since 2002.
  • Over the last two months, Reliance Industries has realised that selling gas can be tougher than finding it. Never mind the fact we live in an era of crippling shortages—amounting to as much as half the prevailing demand.
  • Foreign lawyers, along with foreign chartered accountants and company secretaries, will be able to work in India once the Limited Liability Partnership Bill, which is pending before the government, becomes law.
  • Under its “do not disturb” initiative, Vodafone Essar HAS launched a call filter service to block unwanted calls. Under the offer, 32.4 million subscribers across all its 16 circles can now create their own caller blacklists.
  • Emerging market corporations have enjoyed easy access  to international markets for some time, and credit discipline appears to be weakening.
  • There’s a new urban legend in the making and it all stems from the makeover that actor Shahrukh Khan got himself. Khan’s chiselled new look—complete with washboard abs and lean, vein-popping muscles—has given rise to intense speculation about how Khan, 42 and a chain-smoker, transformed himself into a hunk in barely six months.
  • Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. Says Dr Sapra: “Go for a brisk 30-minute walk 4-5 days a week.”
  • Every month, we bring you a listing of the biggest deals struck by Indian companies in India and abroad. Our partner: global professional services firm Ernst & Young. Here are the deals that were struck in September 2007.
Oct 21, 2007
Back of the Book Meet the Indian Humvee

Meet the Indian Humvee

M&M’s Axe prototype is every bit as versatile as the iconic US Army carrier.

Meet the Indian Humvee

M&M’s Axe prototype is every bit as versatile as the iconic US Army carrier.

Great to look at, but…

The RAZR2 does not really give you your money’s worth.

Abs and myths

Everyone, yes, everyone, has a six-pack tucked away into his or her middle. You can’t see it because of what is on top of it—fat.

Six tips to prevent high BP

High blood pressure can cause serious health problems. Find out how you can avoid it by following a healthy lifestyle.

Mission accomplished

Starring Brian Tempest of Ranbaxy; Finance Minister P. Chidambaram; Former US Fed Chief Alan Greenspan; Former SEBI Chief G.N. Bajpai; Bakul Dholakia, Director, IIM-A; and Air Deccan’s G.R. Gopinath.

A spokesman for India Inc.

Rahul Bajaj's formidable management and negotiating skills are being put to test in a new terrain - the dispute over dividing the family jewels with his brother Shishir.

A stellar act

India Inc’s most powerful women gathered under one roof to step up and be recognised for their achievements.
In This Issue The gregarious web

The gregarious web

What are senior Indian execs doing hanging around at social networking site, BT finds out.

The Rs 29,000-crore surprise

With a market value of Rs 29,000 crore and a net worth of Rs 8,000 crore, the eight-year-old Indiabulls group has sky-high ambitions. Property development and consumer finance are the current thrust areas. Retailing, insurance, banking, mutual funds, power and telecom are on the cards.

Charting a corrective course

Expect the unexpected. While the economy continues with its upward march quarter after quarter, the latest BT-TeamLease Employment Outlook Survey reveals that the business confidence and employment prospects are at an all-time low in the last one year.BT-TeamLease Survey in graphics

Indian IT's perfect storm

An appreciating rupee, rising wage costs, and potential withdrawal of tax breaks (not to mention a slowdown in the US) are coming together to create the worst ever conditions for Indian IT. What is the industry to do?

Clash of the titans

ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz are the two largest private life insurers in India and both are expanding furiously. The former leads on some parameters and the latter on some others. For now, the race is too close to call.

Future cities

Billions of dollars are to be poured into setting up more than 200 integrated townships across the country. While these could be the answer to India’s urban problems, there are several risks that developers and investors must negotiate. A BT-DTZ study.

Gas pricing demystified

Simple answers to confounding questions about gas pricing.
Money When the FIIs come marching in

When the FIIs come marching in

It’s now raining inflows. Says Andrew Holland, Chief Administrative Officer, EVP DSP Merrill Lynch: “The Fed reduced interest rates and that has freed the credit market and also increased investors’ appetite towards risk marginally.”

When to sell your fund

Jayesh Gandhi (name changed), Assistant Vice President of institutional sales business, exited Principal Global Opportunity Fund in January 2007. Since then, the fund delivered a 22 per cent return as against a 20 per cent of the Sensex, but Gandhi has no regrets.

The prime time dilemma

Home entertainment has come a long way from the days of Doordarshan to the age of satellite television (Cable TV) and now DTH (Direct-to-Home) and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).

How to become a global investor

Global funds have truly arrived as mutual fund houses offered as many as half a dozen schemes in the last few months. There are a few more in the pipeline. These funds invest either wholly or partly in global equities.

10 Down-but-not out stocks

With the BSE sensex soaring past 17,000, the market is on a roll. Predicting where it will go seems to be futile as foreign inflows continue to prop up the stock market.
Noted Take a note

Take a note

State Bank of India attained the distinction of being the first public sector bank to touch a market capitalisation of Rs 1,00,000 crore. On September 28, the bank’s shares closed at Rs 1,950.70 on the BSE, giving it a market cap of about Rs 1,02,665.12 crore.
News Maker Newsmaker: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Newsmaker: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

A cricketer’s fortune swings with every match but winning the Twenty20 World Cup has made young skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni the darling of a cricket-worshipping nation and marketers alike.
Policy Watch Tale Bearer

Tale Bearer

Bureaucrats are by and large risk-averse and thrive on stability, contrary to the philosophy of their masters, the political class, who lives in chaos. There are, however, exceptions.

Getting tough on SEZ norms

While the government has been continuously affecting changes in the SEZ Act since its inception in 2006 in terms of size, built-up area and land acquisition, among others, more contentious issues are cropping up every day.

More steps needed to rein in rupee

In a bid to stem the appreciating domestic currency, RBI has allowed Indian companies to invest up to 400 per cent of their net worth in foreign JVs and wholly owned subsidiaries, up from the present stipulated cap of 300 per cent.
Top Mind Get e-mails to fit your personality

Get e-mails to fit your personality

You can now choose an e-mail ID that best describes you, your personality, your location or your choice of food, idol or even sports.
Book Memoirs of a Mandarin

Memoirs of a Mandarin

This book throws light on the evolution of SEBI and the Disinvestment Commission.
Editorial Be Wary of the Sensex

Be Wary of the Sensex

India is just one destination, among many, for foreign institutional money. This fact becomes clearer every time the Indian market responds to global cues— be it the subprime scare in August or the 50 basis points cut in the Fed rate by the US Federal Reserve the next month.

Retail's Lightning Rod

Reliance Retail seems to be getting singled out among all the big retailers.

Heroes and Zeroes

The Indian public doesn’t do things in halves — at least when it comes to cricket and cricketers.
Special India's best marketers

India's best marketers

Consumers always hunt for bargains and switch brands faster than they hit store shelves. It is a brave task to stand apart. Our fourth annual listing of best marketers brings a list of marketers who know consmers the best.
Jobs Help, Tarun!

Help, Tarun!

Design is a very wide term and it applies to everything from fashion design to product design and may even stretch to art direction and set design. NID, or the National Institute of Design, offers comprehensive courses in design as do other local design institutes.
Current Switching to Big League

Switching to Big League

Tier-I software firms find a way to stay competitive.

Finite possibilities

Infinite Computer may be on the radar of MNCs at the gate.

The Rupee will reign

RBI’s attempt to free capital outflows may not be enough.

Chasing the dragon

India could still make it in manufacturing offshoring.

Sector-based standards

The ICAI mulls industry-specific accounting norms.

Raja of re-invention

Sapient’s interactive media business is an unlikely hero.

Crime busters

A UK firm focussing on corporate fraud enters India.

Bizarre banishment

Why Reliance Retail will be back in Uttar Pradesh.

Shaken, but not stirred

How does one measure radio listnership? Not easily.

Education gets red hot

As India upskills, education becomes an investment haven.

The ESOP uncertainty

FBT on ESOPs may blunt this retention tool.

A Budget that balances

Zero revenue deficit by 2008-09? It’s possible.

Tangled tug of war

The fight over Haldia Petrochem takes another turn.

Crocodile wants to bite

Lacoste thinks big in India—finally.

Ale and hearty

Iconic beer brands go against the global grain.

Straightening indirect FDI

Coming soon: new guidelines on indirect foreign investment.

No kidding

A German apparel label hits domestic shelves.

Land of plenty

Cash-rich property developers eye the telecom sector.

Checking out

PE firms make some high-profile exits.

The bellwether hustle

The Reliance stocks are fuelling the Sensex’s heady ride.

Investing in Allah's name

Offshore Islamic funds make a beeline for Dalal Street.
Features New Merchants of Bacchus

New Merchants of Bacchus

From contract farmers to corporate yuppies and even engineers, everyone is clambering on to the winewagon.

Vodafone Dials In

The British telecom giant gets ready to play the Indian telecom market on its own terms and under its own name.

Restructuring GMR

Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao (GMR), Chairman of the eponymous group, has put in place an ambitious plan to parlay his Rs 1,700-crore group into a Rs 20,000-crore MNC. Here’s a sneak peek into his plans.

'We want to be a global company'

Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao, 58, the recently anointed Group Chairman of GMR Group, spends most of his time shuttling between various project sites across the country and globe-trotting for industry conferences. He met BT’s Rahul Sachitanand for a free-wheeling chat on the economy, his group and its plans for the future.

Fabindia's Fabulous March

Fabindia, which has popularised handwoven fabrics among Indians while supporting rural artisans, is expanding—at back-end and front-end.

States and their policies

Only a few states have a stated policy on integrated townships. Gujarat: It has a comprehensive policy specifying the most probable locations for development of such townships. It covers six different types of townships (technology, education, medical/healthcare, tourism, logistics, and residential) and requires 80 per cent of the built-up area to be residential, including EWS housing. The state offers to provide access roads, bulk water supply and power.