- For India Inc. terror cover was the priority of the insurance industry ever since the Mumbai serial car bomb blasts of March 12, 1993, that severely damaged the Bombay Stock Exchange building. Now, India Inc. is scurrying to buy fresh terror cover even while others rush to augment their terror policies in the wake of 26/11 attacks. Nitya Varadarajan reports.
The true cost of terror is impossible to comprehend or calculate. Yet, making an effort to understand it is important to prepare for the job of prevention and repair that lies ahead. This is exactly what we have attempted in our cover story. Our cover package goes beyond just cost assessment and evaluates our responses and remedies.
The data for the study was based on the published annual reports of banks and RBI. All the figures used were as reported for the financial year 2007-08, 2006-07, 2005-06, 2004-05 and 2003-04. It emerges trumps amongst smaller banks. CEO Rana Kapoor has a game plan to take it into the big league. Union Bank of India under M.V. Nair is setting new benchmarks in efficacy. Did you borrow from this bank? It loves you but won’t let you get away with defaults. Karnataka Bank is innovating in product delivery in rural and semi-rural areas. Although a few Indian banks did burn their fingers in their overseas forays, there’s still a sea of opportunity on foreign soil. There are, of course, risks, too. Keeping NPAs in check is religion here, but so is giving genuine defaulters a chance. Alex Wilmot-Sitwell’s visit to India in early November was against an extraordinary backdrop. It came at a time when UBS worldwide is struggling to recover from a financial crisis that has taken down rival Lehman Brothers. In an exclusive chat with BT’s Rachna Monga, Wilmot-Sitwell talks about the long-term implications of the financial crisis for UBS as well as its plans for India. With their traditional business of lending fraught with risk, banks are looking to beef up non-interest income by hawking third-party products like mutual funds and insurance. T.S. Narayanasami is the man with the Midas touch. After working his magic at a couple of other public sector banks, Narayanasami has succeeded in taking Bank of India to the top of the heap in the BT-KPMG Best Banks study. Here’s how. Chairman Nayak’s policy of looking before venturing has made Axis Bank immune to many of the industry’s woes. Institutions with a lower appetite for risk are better able to face the global financial storm. The KPMG annual Best Banks Survey is a check-point on the performance of the banking system.
Will Emami’s acquisition of Zandu Pharma change the landscape of the consumer products sector? The promoters of Zandu Pharma and Fem Care Pharma recently sold their stakes at attractive valuations. All the deals were struck above the prevailing stock prices of the two companies, an enviable feat considering the depressed economic and market conditions. 2008 was supposed to be Tata Motors’ date with destiny, but how things have changed! So, is it their fault or are they just a victim of circumstances? P. Chidambaram’s record as Finance Minister resembled that of the economy he presided—high on potential, low on performance.
A first-of-its-kind study of the wine market in India shows that 65 per cent of the nation’s wine consumers live in two cities—Delhi and Mumbai—yet the Rs 300-crore industry is growing at 25 per cent. Dhiman Chattopadhyay goes into the details.
Nilekani’s book is wonderfully anecdotal but falls a trifle short on analysis, says Srivatsa Krishna.
India is in the grip of a slowdown and at a time when virtually every sector is cutting down on hirings, insurance seems to be standing its ground. What’s more, the Mumbai terror attack, and the ones before it, will only increase the demand for insurance. Manu Kaushik reports.
At a business plan contest in Chennai, participants whip up innovative ideas, but fall short on pitching it right. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower’s General Manager, Karambir Kang, displayed a dedication to duty and superhuman resolve when he continued to supervise rescue operations for over 60 hours despite losing his immediate family in the recent terror strikes in Mumbai.
Reading your cover story Fighting the Bad Times (BT, December 14), the most striking impression one gets is of Vijay Mallya being a spirited fighter.
The stock market meltdown has hit the wallets of executives of India Inc. and even their retirement plans. It has taken a toll on the value of your ESOPs. What are your options now? For many families, loan repayments can get rough and uneasy. So, how can one manage one’s loans better.
Digital photography+photo printer=great sense!
If you are like most people at the gym, you are familiar with the ‘cheat biceps curl’. This is because most lifters, more men than women, like to curl as much weight as they can.
R. Mukundan, 42, will be one of the youngest Managing Directors of Tata Chemicals when he takes charge of his new assignment from the current Managing Director, Homi Khusrokhan, who retires December-end. In a chat with BT, Mukundan shares the challenges for the company and how he plans to take them on, especially in the US, where the company has acquired a chemicals firm. Excerpts: What would you give for a shot at US major league Baseball—an arm perhaps? Well, that’s exactly what Rinku Singh, 20, and Dinesh Patel, 19, gave at a competition organised in India—the Million-dollar Arm contest.
As more Indians get connected and access a host of news and social networking sites, India’s Internet traffic is showing a marked increase. According to Akamai Technology’s Quarterly State of the Internet Report for the third quarter of 2008, India had 2.6 million Internet protocol (IP) addresses—up 23 per cent over the second quarter this year. Most Indians continued to use the internet for e-mail and social networking. What happened to the Investment Commission set up by the government with much fanfare in December 2004 with the objective of, among other things, improving FDI flow into India? "The world is not going to miss participating in an economy growing between 7 and 8 per cent"A.M. Naik, Chairman, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), talking about the impact of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, in BusinessWeek online Underneath the thousands of portals and social networking sites we visit, lurks a fl ourishing underground market for fraudrelated services. According to a recent study titled ‘Report on the Underground Economy’ by Symantec’s Security Technology and Response (STAR) organisation, the total value of these goods could be over $276 million (Rs 1,380 crore) between July 2007 and June 2008. Here’s how the Internet underground makes its money and why it is hard to nail. Even as India struggles to stave off any further slowdown, some of the biggest economies of the world have already sunk into a recession. These include the US, the UK, Japan, France, Germany and Singapore.A quick look at the way some of these economies have performed over the last three quarters From diamonds and MP4 players to lingerie and stamps—Indians are buying and selling everything on the web. $513 million: Amount of money deposited by NRIs in Indian banks in September 2008—the highest since December 2006 The downturn is making firms change their salary structures, says a Mercer study. James H. Quigley, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, was in the capital to attend the three-day India Economic Forum. In a conversation with BT’s Manu Kaushik, he spoke on the economic crisis and its impact on India. Excerpts: The fortnight’s burning question. Do you think the cut in petroleum prices is a wise decision and can be sustained? The government has injected lots of funds into the banking system, here’s where it’s gone.
With the terror attacks making travellers even more reluctant to fly, this is the time to rationalise the high state taxes on jet fuel to bring them back.
Demerged: By Ahmedabad-based textiles conglomerate Arvind, its branded apparel and retail businesses into two separate companies as part of its plan to raise funds later. Both the demerged companies will become subsidiaries of the company. Arvind’s branded apparel business will be merged with Arvind Lifestyle Brands and its discount store chain Mega Mart with Arvind Retail. The demeger will come into effect from April 2009.
Every month, we bring you a listing of the biggest deals struck by Indian companies in India and abroad. Here are the deals struck in November 2008
The BT Acumen 2008 eastern zonal finals again proved that Kolkata is the hot spot of debates and quizzes, as the best of B-schools fought it out. Somnath Dasgupta reports.