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Cover Story

  • It was April 2008, the economic boom had not dropped off the world map, and the two veterans of digital advertising decided to launch the next big thing: a full service advertising network that takes brands to every online audience they want.
  • Slots on national television for local advertisements, via cable TV operators. In short, narrow-band TV. That's the niche in which K.A. Srinivasan, Baskar S. and Srividhya S. are focussing.
  • The story of the two engineers behind Apalya, Vamshi Reddy and Shive Bayyapunedi, with work experiences spread over Cisco, AT&T, Wipro and Nokia, is classic start-up lore.
  • BankBazaar facilitates loan disbursement of Rs 100 crore a month with just 30 employees, most of them banking specialists who had worked at Amazon.com and Microsoft.
  • Two decades after playing together on IIT-Bombay's cricket team, Dhiraj Kacker and Peeyush Rai came together in Bangalore in 2008 to open a new innings as technology entrepreneurs.
  • What do you do when you are a month-old start-up and a leading business process outsourcing or BPO firm wants a stake in you? Nishant Saxena, founder and CEO of start-up Elements Akademia, an employability training player, got ambitious.
  • His babies can clean sludge from the bottom of a water tank, help out at a pickle factory, keep your home clean, and, sshhh! some are keeping watch at top-secret facilities. They are actually industrial robots- designed for Indian conditions and selling at Indian prices- by Pulkit Gaur, an industrial engineer.
  • A sudden rise in mortality among small investment houses in New York preceding the sub-prime lending crisis in the US was a godsend for the lurking entrepreneur in Amar Aujla.
  • Two classmates from management guru Bala Balachandran's Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, believe they have a way for millions of small and medium businesses to make the best of their marketing spends.
  • Mumbai-headquartered MHFC'S borrowers are people who fall through the cracks of the financial system- vegetable vendors, home visiting beauticians, cab drivers and so on.
  • For most Indians, a surgery at a big hospital can be expensive as insurance covers only a small fraction of the population.
  • Amit Grover's start-up, Nurture Talent Academy, is a barebones set-up. Grover is the lord, master and only employee of his company.
  • Incubation, CEO and start-up are terms you associate with novel business ideas-not with the neighbourhood dhobi or laundry service.
  • In its first avatar, Vortex, founded by Lakshminarayanan Kannan, 42, was part of the TeNeT Group set up at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with a focus on telecommunication and networking.
  • In 2006, he was to take over as the Singapore-based head of General Electric in South East Asia, but Sudesh Menon, already heading the conglomerate's operations in Malaysia and 37 years old then, opted out.
  • Most of our earlier start-up listers thrive, except for a few that stumbled.
  • Growth-stage funding can be a game changer in a company's journey to scale and scope. Here are four examples of how businesses vaulted ahead with the private equity advantage.
  • Indian entrepreneurs have evolved over the past decade, and the recent economic slowdown has only made them nimbler, braver, more open-minded, more diverse-and more successful.
Jun 27, 2010
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Editors note From the Editor

From the Editor

Unlike money, entrepreneurship doesn't go in short supply during slowdowns. Why? Because opportunities don't get scarce in a downturn and nor does innovation.
BT More The return of the Jedi

The return of the Jedi

Merc has launched the spiritual successor to its award-winning 300SL-the SLS AMG. BT More travelled 20,000 km to drive the car on the La Carrera Panamericana, the scene of the supercar's earliest glories.

Down to the waterline

There are few better ways to spend your time than cruising Kerala's backwaters on luxury houseboats.

Tailoring success

These five achievers from the world of design, politics, art, sport and hospitality have mastered the art of marrying style with substance. We take a dekko.

No more chicken tikka masala

Few nationalities are as dismissive of their own culinary traditions as the British. But the tide is turning and old English food makes a comeback as some of London's finest restaurants serve up the classics.

Races around the world

Fast cars, horses and boats. Racing tidbits from around the world.

How to plan a road trip

The road ahead is just a phrase unless you put pedal to metal and test its mettle. Learn to manoeuvre it right.

Buy an island to fit

What do Marlon Brando, Richard Branson and Sharon Stone have in common?

Craft your own chocolate

Mumbai's best-known chocolatier Zeba Kohli tells you how to create your very own delicious confections.

Put together a toolkit

It's not all fun and games atop the corporate ladder. At work, you may be held in awe but at home, do you miss being the 'superman' of your family?

Great food, fine wine; pair well

An easy-to-use guide that helps you choose the right wine to go with your food.

Create a stir: make a wasabi martini

If it's summer, it's time to get yourself a juicy martini.

Pick the right suit

Marketing and Commercial Director and General Manager Paulo and Stefano Canali on what makes the cut this summer

No playing with food

Powerpuff girls on the walls, innovative dishes on the table. Delhi's Mamagoto seems to have cracked the magic formula of getting diners back again and again.

Copenhagen's Noma

Move over El Bulli and Fat Duck. It's Copenhagen's Noma that's come out tops in S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant awards.

New York state of mind

Sounds fishy

Fish oil equals better mental function? Not really, concludes a two-year British study.

Old vodka in new bottles

While French label Grey Goose has turned to Chopard for a special redesign of its bottle, earthy elements have caught the fancy of Finlandia, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary with four limited edition Sigg water bottles.

On the move

A guide for the travelling enthusiast.

Ghoulish delight

Titanic memorabilia shows up at an auction 98 years after the ship's voyage, and is immediately snapped up.

The search for the last Queen of Egypt takes a small break

Her legendary beauty has made her possibly the most-writtenabout woman of the ancient world.

Support your underwear

Shoes and jerseys are passe. Football mania goes undercover with Calvin Klein's new range of innerwear, especially designed for FIFA 2010.

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller, the world's first-ever motorcycle

By now, almost everyone knows that alongwith fast cars, bikes too fuel's most men's not-so-secret fantasies.

Books that shaped my life: The Secret, Straight from the Gut and more

Subhinder Singh, MD, Reebok, talks about the books that have helped him become the man he is today.

Track and wield

From itsy-bitsy gadgets to cool cars to mega bikes to exercise equipment, there is a host of really cool things out in the market this summer. Anumeha Chaturvedi checks out their desirability quotient.

Private Jetiquette

The ten points to keep in mind while travelling on a private jet.

Making the cut

Forget about painful incisions. Advances in plastic surgery are set to revolutionise the art of looking good—needlelessly.

Vintage instruments

Wine trading has emerged from the recent economic recession as strong as ever, with gains of 15.7 per cent posted for top wines from Bordeaux. Charles Curtis, MW, lets you in on the smart investment choices and pitfalls to avoid when starting or expanding your wine collection.
Letters Good Times for Grads

Good Times for Grads

Happy times are here again for MBA and engineering graduates in India (India's Top Recruiters, BT cover, June 13).
Features The fear is back

The fear is back

The eurozone crisis has sent stocks across the globe into a tailspin on fears of a double-dip recession. But though markets may remain jittery awhile, another global meltdown is unlikely.

The lengthening arm of the Indian taxman

A host of global corporations—Vodafone, Microsoft, Dassault, to name a few—struggle to comprehend the country's tax administration and its ways. How bad is it and what is the way out?

Takeover therapy

Piramal's domestic formulations business becomes the latest—and most expensive—acquisition of an Indian drug business by a global pharma major. As the stakes get higher, who's next?

Skilling the unskilled

Truck major Ashok Leyland's new factory credo attempts to overcome the unemployment-unemployability paradox.

Time to cheer and bring on the beer

Business plans and spreadsheets could well take a back seat at many multinational corporations as thousands of expat executives root for their respective teams in the football World Cup.

Shoppers begin hunting in groups

Online group shopping is fast emerging as a new way to get bargains, as a number of portals test the model.

The skills opportunity

Goal: To train 500 million Indians over the next 10 years. Possible now: Less than five million a year. But, as this exclusive McKinsey article argues, the gap is an opportunity for private entrepreneurs to make India a factory for skilled talent.
Technology To roam or not to roam

To roam or not to roam

More Indians than ever before are travelling abroad and taking their phones along. The savvy ones don't go roaming.
Money Of dodgers and radicals

Of dodgers and radicals

Being too aggressive or conservative in your approach to investment is as bad as being a habitual procrastinator. Here's solution to suit your temperament.
Leadership Spotlight Leaderspeak with Sanjeev Chadha

Leaderspeak with Sanjeev Chadha

Here is a small Q&A with Sanjeev Chadha, Chairman, PepsiCo, India Region
Jobs VAS job market set to accelerate

VAS job market set to accelerate

Companies in value-added services sector up the hiring ante.
Utility People, places and products

People, places and products

Here is a look at people, places and products doing the round these days.

Always on the Go?

Your work life is a blur and stress is a constant. Here's a fix.
Focus After Future comes currency options

After Future comes currency options

SEBI is readying the framework for more currency derivative products, beginning with options. What are they and how do they differ from currency futures?

Review and technology

A new BlackBerry and a new Mac, that should make one happy!

Twice as nice

Revenues from advertising have almost doubled for the multiplexes in the last three years.

FMCG turnaround

The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are working up a lather once again after a prolonged lull in sales growth, if the latest figures from AC Nielsen is anything to go by.

Monsoons matter less than ever...

... But the rural economy matters more than ever for India. That's not so much of a paradox, explains CRISILCentre of Economic Research in this exclusive column.

Abolishing hunger?

With Sonia Gandhi at the helm again, the National Advisory Council is expected to push forward the social sector agenda of the Congress—particularly the Food Security Bill. However, there are several loose ends to be tied up.

Nano's real test begins

In an irony of sorts, the Tata Nano finally started rolling off the main assembly lines at Sanand in Gujarat on the same day-Wednesday, June 2-that its bte noire Mamata Banerjee won a stunning electoral victory in civic polls across West Bengal.

India is not for the risk averse

Norwegian telecom giant Telenor has rolled out its services in five circles and plans a pan-India footprint soon.

"Europe has learnt from US experience"

Peter T.S. Wong, HSBC's Chief Executive for Asia Pacific, shares his views on the European crisis and how Asia is getting economically stronger.

How things work

There's a lot of interest around hybrid cars. In India, Toyota has launched its hybrid Prius recently, and GM plans to get the Volt by the year-end.

Some champagne, Mr Bin Laden?

A cover story in LHR News—a BA staff magazine—about a new feature that allows passengers to download tickets to their iPhones has a mock boarding pass for "Bin Laden/Osama", complete with a date of journey, gate for boarding and a seat number (7c).

The bridge to nowhere

Not even a single pillar of the Rs 6,000-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Sea Link, which was originally proposed in the early '70s, has been erected.

Blue Cheese

There is not one type of blue cheese; several countries have their own varieties made with different types of milk (buffalo, cow, goat and even sheep) and add the penicillium mold (the same fungus that gives us penicillin) at different stages of the process.
Book 'True value is created in the interface between employees and customers'

'True value is created in the interface between employees and customers'

Giving employees the most preferred treatment isn't a new philosophy, but is rare. Practising it is rarer still than preaching it. Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies, practised and demonstrated its transformational impact before preaching about it in the forthcoming book. Here, he talks of the story behind the book. Excerpts from the conversation with BT and the book.
60 minutes "The plan A for India is digital"

"The plan A for India is digital"

A reporter, a foreign correspondent, an overseas bureau chief, a deputy editor, a managing editor, an editor and publisher-and now Chief Executive! That's a splendid career graph and it belongs to John Ridding, CEO of Financial Times.