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Cover Story

  • A fast expanding coffee-to-infrastructure to-financial services sprawl already ranks V.G. Siddhartha among India's 50 richest people. And, this is just the beginning.
  • CCD chief VG Siddhartha predicts domestic coffee consumption will increase so much that India will not have any quality coffee beans left for exports in about seven years.
  • Limited menu, quick service Indian food chains are the new frontier for entrepreneurs-new and old.
  • A Tamil Brahmin and a Malayali get together to manufacture and sell Mumbai's favourite snack. The result: their Goli Vada Pav chain of 65 stores has a turnover of Rs 10 crore and daily unit sales of 50,000 pavs.
  • Even the humble paratha roll can attract private equity and thrive in the QSR model.
  • For this scion of the Dabur family, QSRs were the only missing link.
  • A decade after they set it up, Dheeraj and Reeta Gupta of Jumbo King want to scale up operations and reposition the vada pav chain as 'snacks on the go'.
  • Choice and quick service are difficult partners. But Dosa Plaza and Masala Country are making them work.
  • No costly real estate, no tables or chairs. Just green carts serving popular meals and snacks to people where they are.
May 16, 2010
Editors note From the Editor

From the Editor

Some of the most profound thoughts are also the simplest. But it takes a thinker to make the connect. C.K. Prahalad was one such thinker.
Special What CK would have done next

What CK would have done next

Quite unlike many other management gurus, CK was not a one-concept wonder. Every five to seven years he would come out with a blockbuster idea that would change the way people looked at business globally.

Prahalad: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Here's a pick of the words of wisdom that Prahalad shared with BT in the past two decades, followed by a column on what he would have done next and an exclusive reprint of his last published HBR article.

The urban century

Some 590 million will live in Indian cities by 2030— about three-fourths more than in 2008. Massive and urgent changes in governance, funding and planning are needed to ensure that they live a good life.

JNNURM: Urban India's best hope

India's largest urban infrastructure improvement programme has been a patchy success story because many states are still dragging their feet on the reforms tagged to the scheme.

"States and cities have accessed only one-third of the committed money"

With just two years left for the JNNURM to complete, BT's Puja Mehra and Manu Kaushik did a status check with M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development.

Things can only get better

Surat, also known as the economic capital of Gujarat, is among the leaders in implementing JNNURM projects.

Delhi as the role model

Delhi's rich infrastructure and opportunities make it a magnet for immigrants of all classes. Its transformation holds lessons for the other aspiring Indian cities.
Letters Data Wizards in Demand

Data Wizards in Demand

India's Best CFOs (BT cover, May 2) underscores how good organisations separate themselves from their competitors by using data to improve performance.
Utility Thyroid and India Inc.

Thyroid and India Inc.

If you feel listless at work, this gland could be causing it. Get it checked.

People, places and products

Here is a take on people, places and products doing the round these days.
Technology Control+P with no wires!

Control+P with no wires!

Consumer printers are increasingly going wireless. Why you should consider buying one.
Money Ctrl+Alt Manage

Ctrl+Alt Manage

Now, keeping track of your finances will be easier as new money management websites offer a range of services to save you time and effort.
Features Silver lining in the red cloud

Silver lining in the red cloud

Andhra appears to have found a way to deal with the Maoists.

Invasion of price warriors!

A clutch of home-grown handset brands, high on features but low on price, is giving established brands nightmares in the world's fastest-growing market. Who are the people behind these brands? And why do their phones sell?
Leadership Spotlight Leaderspeak: Atul Singh

Leaderspeak: Atul Singh

Here are excerpts of a small Q&A with Atul Singh, President & CEO, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia.
Jobs The coming boom in health care jobs

The coming boom in health care jobs

US reforms are likely to bring business to health care, insurance BPO firms.
Event Balancing books & awards

Balancing books & awards

Despite it being the middle of the week, India Inc. turned up in full strength to hear the Finance Minister at the BT Best CFOs awards night.
Corporate In the Red Corridor of uncertainty

In the Red Corridor of uncertainty

The Maoist movement's inroads into some 223 districts in 20 states — at last count—have the potential to not just stall big-ticket investments but also derail the great Indian growth story.

Big fish enter the PE pond

Some of India Inc.'s biggest corporate houses-including the Tatas, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Anil Ambani-are sniffing for attractive businesses to invest in and in the process competing with global venture capital and private equity majors like Blackstone and Warburg Pincus.
Columns The curious case of no-sweat equity

The curious case of no-sweat equity

Prima facie, the issue of sweat equity to Sunanda Pushkar by Rendezvous is in clear violation of the Companies Act. The penalty, though, may be a paltry fine.

An Indian McDonald's anyone?

A similar eating out format for Indian food is a big opportunity.
Focus Fixing the IPL!

Fixing the IPL!

The IPL controversy exposes the urgent need to revamp the BCCI and other sports bodies in India. BT asks experts to draw a blueprint for the radical reforms required to clean up the mess.

The problem of plenty

The surge in capital inflows, and the consequent hardening of the rupee, is emerging as the next big challenge for the RBI.

Review and Technology

BT gives you a rundown on new products. This fortnight, the spotlight is on Maruti's refurbished WagonR and Motorola's comeback, a smartphone.

Personality of the fortnight

Zoozoos, the egg-headed, pencil-limbed mascots of Vodafone Essar swept the creative awards at the Goafest, last fortnight.

Well Said

Here are some interesting quotes by leaders over the last fortnight. 

BT-Ernst & Young Deal Watch

Bharti Airtel is busy building a global footprint. Its buyout of Zain Africa BV will give it access to mobile operations in 15 African countries with a subscriber base of over 42 million.

Demystifying the Greece crisis

The festering Greece debt crisis is threatening to engulf the Eurozone and take its toll on the global economic recovery.

Numbers of note

$5.5 MILLION is the income of America's first couple, President Barack and Michelle Obama, in 2009.

BT now and then

Last fortnight, nine telecom companies, including the likes of Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, commenced battle for 3G airwave slots across 22 circles in an online auction.

Solar power for the future

India plans to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022-up from 12 MW in 2009. Several Indian companies are betting big on prospects of business in solar energy. Here's a lowdown on the technology and business.

"Retirement living concept is still new to India"

Dan Madsen, Chairman of One Eighty, one of the largest privately owned retirement community operators in the US, spoke to BT's Manu Kaushik about the opportunities in India during a recent visit.

"100 mn outbound Indian travellers by 2020"

Frits Van Paaschen, Chairman, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which has brands like Le Meridien, Sheraton and Westin in its stable, was in India recently on a whistlestop tour. He spoke to BT's Kushan Mitra on his chain's plans for India. Excerpts:

From Iceland with love

The unpronounceable volcano of Iceland, Eyjafjallajokull, left thousands of flyers stranded and netizens bemused.

Mumbai Jilted?

Whatever happened to the recommendations made by the high-powered Expert Committee in February 2007 on transforming Mumbai into an International Financial Centre (IFC)?

Cigar Etiquette

Warm the foot of the cigar before you start puffing.
Book Madoff & the SEC's inactivity

Madoff & the SEC's inactivity

For 10 years, Markopolos kept telling the regulator that the fund manager was running a scam. The racy tale of the investigation.
Back of the Book How refreshing! How Heineken!

How refreshing! How Heineken!

Goafest 2010 was a time to discuss strategies to keep ads—and ad makers—fresh.
60 minutes "China's growth is good but India is the jewel"

"China's growth is good but India is the jewel"

She was credited with turning around the North American operations of cosmetics major Avon in the '90s. Today, as President & CEO of Colorado-headquartered $5.3-billion Western Union, Christina A. Gold, 62, has her task cut out: