Cover Story

  • Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is either incredibly clever or a budding illusionist. Little else can explain his presentation of the Union Budget on Monday, February 28.
  • As India enters the last year of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period, it is certain to miss quite a few key targets. Telecom is an exception.
  • An opportunity has been wasted in this please-all Budget, says Harsh Goenka of RPG Enterprises.
  • Healthcare needs have not been adequately addressed, says Dr Prathap C. Reddy of Apollo Hospitals.
  • All budgets are important, but some budgets are more important than others. Business Today chooses ten that have had the most impact on the nation's economy.
  • The inside story of how Indian realty industry has become the repository of illicit money. Its dalliance with black money goes back a long way.
Features RIL eyes short-term gains from $9 bn BP deal

RIL eyes short-term gains from $9 bn BP deal

The $9-billion deal between Reliance Industries and British oil major BP could open fresh chapters for both. For RIL, the BP deal could mean a way out of its current stagnating situation. For BP, the tie-up comes as part of its continuing efforts to reposition its operations.

The bug stops here

Insects released by an Indian Council of Agricultural Research lab are saving crops worth crores.

Juicy returns

Mega food parks are eliminating middlemen from the farm-to-fork chain.

External combustion

Leadership in scooters is not enough. Honda has a long way to go in motorcycles.

Rough road ahead

Sales of passenger cars in India increased by a third in 2010, but rising fuel prices and shrinking margins for carmakers mean 2011 may not be so hot.

Data upswing

A Russian conglomerate takes a contrarian stance in India wagering on mobile data services and, two years later, sticks by that bet.

Long on India

Exits dent a valuable venture and private equity business Sequoia Capital built, but the firm is unperturbed.

Highways to prosperity

Toll road developers are making the most of the country's ambitious highway expansion plan but challenges remain.

Comic relief

The slow-moving comic books and graphic novels space is looking up with the entry of new players and a rise in interest.

Plugging the grain drain

Karnataka launches unique clean-up drive against bogus ration cards and fake LPG connections.

Bare-knuckled wireless

Telecom business models get ready for an overhaul as pressures of maintaining margins - and, indeed, survival - mount.

Batting for the Minnows

Sponsorships of lesser-known teams in the ICC World Cup are going for a song, and Indian companies are cashing in.

Anatomy of a scam

The behind-the-scenes story of how former telecom minister A. Raja manipulated government rules to rob the exchequer.
Executive Health Glow of confidence

Glow of confidence

Healthy skin and hair can boost your personality and self-confidence at the workplace.
Book A can of Asian Brand-worms

A can of Asian Brand-worms

Joseph Baladi is not going to be very popular with Asian CEOs after this book, says Harish Bijoor
Columns Educating for tomorrow

Educating for tomorrow

It is now critical to nurture individuals through their primary and tertiary education journeys by providing them life skills that combine core hard skills like vocational skills, with soft skills like mindsets, aspirations, and values.

Cuts like a knife

Pranab-da may or may not be a Bryan Adams fan, but let us hope his Budget does better than this for India's infrastructure sector.

Youth key to agri transformation

M.S. Swaminathan says the future of agriculture depends on youth in farming; and on providing the economy and power of scale to farm families operating small and marginal holdings.
Technology Just married. Now what?

Just married. Now what?

Can tying up help Nokia and Microsoft stay relevant in the world of mobile devices?
Event Tee party

Tee party

Playing with India Inc.'s leading lights, lady pros from India and abroad added competitiveness and glamour to the 16th BT-Honda Pro-Am of Champions.
Money Profit from a balancing act

Profit from a balancing act

Balanced funds provide the best of both equity and debt, enabling the investor to maximise profits or cut losses in a volatile market.

Looking beyond borders

Buoyed by liquidity, global funds have beaten domestic ones over the past six months. The rally is expected to continue, especially for commodity funds.
Focus Etcetera


In an attempt to control the scale of protests in the country, the then reigning Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, pulled the plug off the Internet for five days.

'India is my no. 1 global sourcing destination'

F. Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Information Officer of telecom giant AT&T, was among the most sought after executives at the recently concluded NASSCOM India Leadership Forum in Mumbai.

BT Retro

The Sensex P-E has been quoting at a premium to other emerging market indices. Analysts feel the India growth story justifies the premium.

5 steps to here

Crude crosses $100 again

Caught and bowled

India's passion for cricket is the lifeline of the world cricket economy. But according to the TAM ratings, TV viewership of the sport has plunged in the past few years.

On record

I am conscious about personal responsibility. I feel about it… I don't say I have never made a mistake. But I am not that big a culprit as is being made out.

The 10 most watched ads

With all the hype and hoopla around the World Cup and mobile number portability, or MNP, corporate India was expected to launch high decibel promotional campaigns around these events.

Should the RBI persist with a high interest rate regime to tame inflation?

Most agree that a hard interest rate regime may not yield the desired results for the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI.

Deal watch

The Aditya Birla Group will acquire a 100 per cent stake in Columbian Chemicals, an Atlanta-based carbon black producer, from One Equity Partners for Rs 4,006.6 crore ($875 million).

Numbers of note

Rs 2,000 cr Equity sought from the government by Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi for financially-troubled Air India.

Small screen, big stakes

TV manufacturers are betting big on the World Cup to drive sales but Team India will have to deliver on the field.

Find out the meaning of a new business word: Elvis Year

What it means: The peak of popularity of a product or a phenomenon.

Get cracking on reforms

Manmohan Singh must recover the spirit of 1991 and become a reformer again to restore the credibility of his government, argues Gurcharan Das.

A taxing resolve

The Central government pushes ahead with India's most ambitious indirect tax reform, the Goods and Services Tax, but it will not be smooth sailing.


A new laptop from the Acer stable and the fourth iteration of the BlackBerry Bold.
People People business

People business

Today, MapmyIndia navigation devices - available at Rs 8,000 upwards - have local address information relating to 18 Indian cities.
Leadership Spotlight Leaderspeak with Amit Burman

Leaderspeak with Amit Burman

Director, Lite Bite Foods; and Vice Chairman, Dabur Foods Amit Burman talks about what works for him.
Letters Reader's forum

Reader's forum

If the state of markets at the start of 2011 is any indication, the See-saw Sensex (BT cover, March 6) may continue in that mode throughout the year. But there is no need to panic.
Jobs The business case for diversity

The business case for diversity

In the hunt for talent, many Indian organisations are arming themselves with a formal strategy to employ and retain women, says a study.
Reactions Politics 'Peanuts to the nation'

'Peanuts to the nation'

Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi admires Pranabda but cannot help criticising some of his budget proposals.
Editors note From the Editor: March 20, 2011

From the Editor: March 20, 2011

Pranab Mukherjee's latest budget speech listed some welcome steps like a million-a-day Aadhar numbers, a roster of delayed financial legislation, and the first stabs at routing cash subsidies directly to the poor. By and large, however, it was a safe budget.