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Cover Story

  • Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla says the world has witnessed phenomenal changes over the last 15 years but it has been a defining period for India in many ways.
  • Yes, says the Wipro chairman, if the government's reach and the rigour of NGOs bind in its schools.
  • Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan Nilekani says India's response to four major forces - young, accessible, aspirational and mobile citizenry - is the key to sustainable growth.
  • Reforms ought to be directed towards enabling more entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • The Harvard B-School Professor says Indian entrepreneurs have an edge but they have to absorb as well as contribute ideas to the world.
  • The chairman of Deccan Logistics says the spirit of adventure and entrepreneurial energy will drive growth and create wealth - a new market, a new customer need.Looking back at years2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999
  • The Senior Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum & Library says the 'elite of calling' must take the lead in framing the social agenda.Looking back at years2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002
  • The professor at Tuck School of Business says not just the Nano, Indian ingenuity in health care and energy, housing and banking wait in the wings of the world stage.
  • Infosys chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy says men may come and men may go but corporations should go on forever.
  • Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi says the intelligence of its simple people will keep India's stature unsullied, despite challenges.
  • Credit ratings and surveillance have to improve if scams are to be made history.
  • Hybrid seeds and better water management can keep us from being a big importer of food.
  • India as an idea is centuries old, if not more, chroniclers have told us. Colonial rule sapped the country. Independence failed to restore its economic might. But the last 20 years mark a trajectory that is taking the country up again.
  • The chairman of IFMR Trust says the private sector is best placed to serve the poor, but it can't expect govt help.
Jan 09, 2011
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BT More The best of the west

The best of the west

Sandeep Arora heads west to check out the bars of Mumbai. With his pick of the best watering holes in the 'Maximum City', our three-part series on the best whisky bars of India comes to a close.

More vroom room

The automobiles just get faster, snazzier, if higher priced, every year. The scene promises to hot up further in 2011, with offerings that are sure to get your pulse racing.

At the end

'There are different kinds of love, but they all have the same aim. Possession.'

Find your own escape route

Five trends in the world of travel to look out for in the coming year.

Bucketlist of experiences

Top-picks from 46 new elements of Unesco's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Track and wield

Check the desirability quotient.

Books that shaped my life: Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Arabian Sands and more

Tom Wright, GM (India, Middle East, Africa And Pakistan), Cathay Pacific Airways talks about the books that have made him what he is today.

It's a cool mint

The American company entrusted with the task of producing fine collectibles, Franklin Mint has brought out a gold coin featuring the Taj Mahal.

Social mores

Of the million metaphors attached to black and white, the one that conjures up images of piano keys is perhaps the most pleasant one.

Into the deep

The emerald isles of Andaman are quite correctly feted for their wildness and beauty, but probably the best way to see this wonderful archipelago is to go under the waves and discover the magical world of coral reefs.

Manual

Ask him for his fashion mantra and all he'll say is "You gotta feel good to look good."

Keep pace

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

Smokin' Hot

Get a taste of the world's best cigars at the Delhi international airport's swank new terminal

Turf club

Syndicate racing is the new sex at the country's premier turf clubs as a new league of hopeful and enterprising investors pool in resources to buy, train and race champions. A report.

Brand Pitt style

Delhi's Select Citywalk Mall has launched a styling service for anyone willing to shell out cash for dash. With a team of stylists helping you pick out your clothes, accessories and style, filmstar looks are assured.

A new high in Thai

Celebrity chef Ian Kittichai's swank new restaurant in Mumbai offers enough surprises, flavours and ambience to become one of the city's hot spots.
Columns Factories in peril

Factories in peril

The CMD of Larsen & Toubro says Indian engineers have been recognised as amongst the best but the benefits of this talent do not trickle enough into our economy.Looking back at years2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996

Future perfect

The chairman if ITC said the integration of vision, values and vitality enhances an organisation's potential for longer-term wealth creation.Looking back at years2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

Financing growth

ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochchar says India's financial services sector is poised for sustained growth, driven by urban consumer demand and expansion into underserved markets.

The haze before dawn

Had J.R.D. been alive - he died two years after Manmohan Singh unleashed reform - his heart would have leapt at today's per capita income of Rs 44,345. But, were the 1991 balance of payments crisis and the reform Budget truly serendipitous? Palaniappan Chidambaram, then a Congress MP, told me in April 1993 that the change was not as miraculous as it seemed.

More excitement

FMCG will grow strongly and no longer be a defensive sector.

Remote healing

The need of the hour is low-cost but high-impact models that propose innovative solutions to address India's health care crisis.

On the world stage

Indian pharma is on a new high, but it must keep ahead of the G-7 and emerging economies.

Help young India

The biggest challenge is financial inclusion of the poor in areas without banks.

Adapt or fade

A churn is imminent in the satellite TV business, writes Zee Entertainment's chairman, as broadcasters would be expected to adapt to consumer needs to be more appealing.
Jobs Managing up, down and across

Managing up, down and across

Establishing a rapport with your boss is not enough. Peers and juniors also matter.
Event Bankers' envy

Bankers' envy

The Business Today Best Banks Awards ceremony had banks celebrating rapid expansion of their business and an accelerating GDP.
Health Detox detour

Detox detour

The Tattva Spa, just outside Delhi, is a vacation for jaded city souls.
Focus 1998: Buddha smiles again

1998: Buddha smiles again

At 3.45 p.m. on May 11, 1998, India stunned the world by testing three nuclear devices at Pokhran in Rajasthan.

1997: Dream Budget

A weak United Front government was not expected to bite the bullet and push through bold policy reforms.

1996: The world's back office

Back in 1994, when Gurgaon was just a sleepy hamlet in Haryana, American Express set up a processing centre in India to service its Asia-Pacific centres.

2001: The big bull's nemesis

Ketan Parekh was the Pied Piper of Dalal Street. The man with the Midas touch, revered by brokers and investors alike.

2000: Dot gone

Domain name registration became a big business as dotcoms of all hues mushroomed.

1999: India Inc on Wall Street

Back in 1999, Infosys Technologies had revenues of just $100 million and employed about 3,700 people. In March that year, it became the first Indian company to be listed on an American stock exchange when it debuted on the Nasdaq.

2004: Brothers up in arms

Dalal Street had been abuzz with rumours of a rift between the Ambani brothers after their father's death in 2002.

2003: The budget airline boom

Despite the setback and some lingering concerns about the safety procedures on its aircraft, Captain G.R. Gopinath's Air Deccan went ahead with its expansion plans and introduced flights on several routes.

2002: Dhirubhai's Legacy

From a small trader of polyester yarn in the 1960s, who started the business with just Rs 15,000, to creating a petrochemicals giant, it was a meteoric rise for Dhirubhai.

2010: Scams, Scandals and Shame

If there were two words to describe 2010, they would be graft and grime. You had Lalit Modi, land scams, Suresh Kalmadi and Niira Radia prove that honesty in public life was a distant dream.

2007: BSE Sensex crosses 20,000

The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share Sensitive Index, or Sensex, which had taken a little over two decades to cross 10,000 in February 2006, doubled in just 20 months.

2006: The Battle for Singur

Singur was a nondescript town in West Bengal till Tata Motors chose it as the manufacturing location for its small car, the Nano, in May 2006.

2005: Offshoring goes mainstream

The world got Bangalored in 2005. By 2004, there were three Indian IT services companies with billion-dollar revenues - TCS, Infosys and Wipro.

2009: Satyam Scandal

At nearly Rs 8,000 crore, the Satyam scam was among the biggest in corporate India and tarred the image of the snow white IT industry.

2008: 26/11

On November 26, 2008, Mumbai stopped for almost four days, although train services were resumed within six hours of the attacks on CST.

1995: Mobile services come calling

Two politicians - West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and Union Communications Minister Sukh Ram - were the first official users of cellphones in India.

1994: Market makeover

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched its operations which went on to change the face of the markets by ushering in technology-based trading.

1993: An IPO that flew; and how

Infosys Technologies, today the bellwether IT stock in India, was far from a favoured pick 18 years ago.

1992: The Securities Scam

At 37, Harshad Mehta had everything going for him. The New India Assurance employee-turned stockbroker was living in a 15,000 sq.ft. plush apartment with a swimming pool in up-market Worli.

1991: Unshackling the economy

A comatose economy and a deep fiscal crisis. It was a mountain to climb for the Cambridge-educated former bureaucrat Manmohan Singh, when he rose to present India's Budget on July 24, 1991.

Destiny child turns 20

Savour the highs and the lows, the hits and the misses. We hope you enjoy it as much as the team that put it together.
Special Hire local, act global

Hire local, act global

A clutch of multinational corporations has replaced expat CEOs with Indians.

Bob the builder

A retired Philips head honcho has some exciting reasons to keep coming back.

Airport authority

Marcel Hungerbuehler led the team that built up operations at the Bangalore International Airport against several odds.

Thriving in organised chaos

This former Microsoft researcher will soon use mobile phones to generate blue collar employment.

Bustle in the burbs

The only thing that Staes-Polet, who co-founded Kreeda in Mumbai, dreads is a trip downtown.

Vibrant landscape

Setting up a Hollywood-style effects hot shop in India allows Charles Darby to focus on what he likes most and does best: create.

Fresh shot in the arm

John W. Ellingboe has moved from representing a client of GVK Biosciences to working with them.

Mass appeal

If Max Hegerman is enjoying work in India, it might be because he takes an autorickshaw to work.

Motoring on

Carl-Peter Forster is a global CEO at a Tata company that is well-positioned to be a global auto giant.

Thai recipe

Mukesh Ambani is counting on Gwyn Sundhagul to succeed in the organised retailing of food and groceries.

Indian Hotels Exotica

Raymond Bickson was born in Hawaii, trained in Switzerland, and is now Ratan Tata's point man for the hospitality business.

Destination India

A number of Indian businesses - particularly New Age ones - have foreigners at the helm.

Prized asset

He wants to seize the opportunities in financial services.

The face of FB India

Kirthiga Reddy was drawn to India from the US.

From the grassroots

Inclusive growth is no hollow buzzword for Shah.

In the land of plenty

From running a restaurant in London to managing a real estate fund in India, Ajoy Veer Kapoor has been on a roll.

New York state of mind

Murari Rajan misses the melting pot, but he is at home with the action on The Street.

Highway to the growth zone

Pawan Goenka returned to India to rewrite the rules of auto engineering.

You ain't seen nothin' yet

The man who bid adieu to America five years ago says India's best is yet to come.

On the home stretch

Jeya Kumar, who has lived most of his life overseas, has his path chalked out in India till retirement - and beyond.

Warm comfort

Zubin Irani has returned to India twice - and it seems unlikely there will be a third time.

They are playing her song

Dealing with entrepreneurially-driven clients is a refreshing change, and Aisha De Sequeira is taking in every moment of it.

Back where he belongs

Gunit Chadha learned the ropes on Wall Street, and is putting that education to good use on Dalal Street.

Back to the future

Life has turned full circle for Malay Mukherjee who had left India two decades ago.

Home is where the market is

These corporate biggies have left plum jobs in the developed world to return to their country of origin and partake of its growth story.
People People business

People business

Leaders who consistently think ahead of their time are a rare breed. A list of global Indians who put the country on the world map.
Editor-in-Chiefs note From the Editor-in-Chief

From the Editor-in-Chief

The year 2011 may mark the end of two decades of reform, but it is hardly the end for the Indian economy. Rather, the two decades have created a sound platform for the next big leap. To capture this, we invited some entrepreneurs and thought leaders to pen their thoughts in this very special issue of Business Today.