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Cover Story

  • The year gone by had it all—emotion, drama, action, and a bit of tragedy too, says T.V. Mahalingam who had a good seat in the house.
  • Bollywood rolled out the hits, but the turkeys were on display as well.
  • Vijay Mallya acquired Air Deccan, Arun Sarin dialled into India, K.P. Singh launched India’s biggest IPO.
  • Events that rocked the business world—or just made head honchos sit up and take notice.
  • If the year gone by was a belter, 2008 promises to be another party. While the immediate prospects don’t look promising, the year ahead should eventually turn out well, if not better, for everyone.21 young leaders for India's 21st centuryCheck out the young leaders in slide show Slide show: The biggest newsmakers of 2007Slide show: Best of BT 2007Slide show: Best of BT More 2007
Editor-in-Chiefs note From the Editor-in-Chief

From the Editor-in-Chief

When it came to choosing a theme for Business Today's 16th anniversary issue, it seemed appropriate to focus on leadership, specifically young leaders.
Editors note From the Editor

From the Editor

My apologies if this begins a bit gloomily but I promise it will get better as you read along. Almost anyone you spoke to during the last few weeks of 2007 felt that year's outstanding performance by India Inc. and the Indian economy was unlikely to be repeated in 2008.
Columns A leader for all Indians - Sunil Bharti Mittal

A leader for all Indians - Sunil Bharti Mittal

India’s challenges are numerous and it, therefore, requires not a few but many leaders to address the myriad problems.

Leaders for a new India

India faces significant challenges—leadership being the most important.

A leader for a global India Inc - Mukesh Ambani

The ability to formulate a shared vision of the world is the most vital attribute of a global leader.

A leader for a healthy India: Rajat K. Gupta

Over the last four years of historic economic growth, leaders in India have realised that to emerge as a global economic superpower, it is imperative to make investments in building the country's social fabric-in particular education and healthcare.

A leader for an equitable India — N.R. Narayana Murthy

We live in extraordinary times. Never before in the last three centuries has India received the kind of attention that she is getting today. Whichever conference I attend in the world, India’s growth is always talked about.

A leader for the youth of India - K.M. Birla

Our youth leaders must establish themselves more as ideating ones rather than as iconics.

A leader for an educated India — Azim Premji

A friend and I were engaged in a discussion on education. I was onto my usual argument. That education is an important tool for individual development and for social progress.

A leader for a creative India

India is the world’s largest democracy and a nation that is economically resurgent. But we have undergone over 200 years of colonisation and are, at the moment, in the midst of an aggressively globalising world.

A leader for the women of India — Anu Aga

India, Today, presents a picture of the best and the worst scenarios for women who constitute 48 per cent of its population. More and more women are making their mark in all spheres of life.

A leader for an innovative India — A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

In India after independence, science and technology (S&T) saw a two-phased progress on the back of the momentum created in the 1930s by six great scientists of international repute.
Special Destiny Inc: Chance or choice?

Destiny Inc: Chance or choice?

Leaders don’t hesitate to take on seemingly impossible goals and then inspire everyone else around them to help achieve goals.

CEO of inconclusive India - Nachiket Mor

Nachiket Mor gave up a dream career at ICICI Bank to try and make a difference to the lives of the poor.

Arvind Kejriwal: The clean-up crusader

He wants to upend the governance system so that power returns to where it belongs: the people.

God of small credit - Vikram Akula

By giving small loans to poor people, this entrepreneur is transforming rural India like never before.

The great enabler - Jignesh Shah

Jignesh Shah is using technology to deliver the benefits of globalisation to the masses.

Sights on the sun - Ratul Puri

He has shown what he could do with CDs, but his biggest bet yet is on solar power.

Mister hospitality - Vikram Oberoi

Vikram Oberoi wants to set the global benchmark in luxury hospitality. Few think he won’t succeed.

Master of the fifth estate - Vineet Jain

Vineet Jain is coming into his own. He’s taking the Old Lady of Boribunder to places she’s never seen before.

Private equity pasha - Ashish Dhawan

He has got investors who love him and a marketplace that’s red hot. Private equity’s poster boy is on a roll.

Cruise control - Kumar Mangalam Birla

He is the flagbearer of the Birla name, and also a commodities czar on the rise.

The badshah of Bollywood - Shah Rukh Khan

The most recognisable face of Indian cinema worldwide, SRK rules the entertainment industry.

Dot-com's poster boy - Sanjeev Bikhchandani

India’s most successful net entrepreneur has many more tricks up his sleeve.

India's healthcare heiress - Sangita Reddy

She is writing the precise prognosis for her business.

Urban reformer - Ramesh Ramanathan

Like much of Bangalore, Kadugondanahalli is in transition, moving from an anonymous location on a once small town’s periphery into a rapidly mushrooming suburb suffering the range of problems associated with rapid, unplanned development.

The liberator of Kumaoni women - Mukti Dutta

Datta decided to devote her life to social causes, and particularly those related to empowerment of women and the underprivileged, in the backward district of Kumaon.

Still the boy next door - M. S. Dhoni

In many ways, Dhoni is like Kapil Dev. Both hail from small towns not known for producing cricketing talent till their arrival. Both burst on the international cricket scene and immediately set the stands on fire with their explosive batting.

Her mother's daughter - Kiran Desai

For a long time, she was known as the talented daughter of noted novelist Anita Desai. Kiran Desai’s first book, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, published in 1998, won critical acclaim across the world and even won the Betty Trask Award.

Solar crusader - Harish Hande

I have some bad news and some good news for you. The bad news is you are totally dead and the good news is you are still young—This is what Denis Hayes, leading environmental activist and founder of the Earth Day told Harish Hande.

Medicine man - Glenn Saldanha

On the fringes of Mumbai, in what’s known as Navi or New Mumbai, lies Mahape. One of the 226-odd functional industrial areas chalked out by the Maharashtra Industrial Corporation (MIDC) in the state is sprawled over this suburb.

Steel czar - Aditya Mittal

At 31, Aditya Mittal already helps run the world's biggest steel empire. But his best is yet to come.
In This Issue King of the jingle - Prasoon Joshi

King of the jingle - Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi is emerging as the Indian star in the international ad fraternity.

Merchant of kitsch - Karan Johar

With the cash registers ringing, Karan Johar is staking his claim as Bollywood’s youngest showman.