Business Today Archive November 16, 2008 Issue

Edition: November 16, 2008

The market is hogging the limelight these days and the incessantly falling sensex is creating excellent buying opportunities for investors despite the gut-wrenching uncertainty.
In This Issue
Who are the country’s best marketers? What challenges did they have to overcome? How did they do so? And what was the outcome of their strategies? The fifth such Business Today listing answer all these questions and more.
The events of the past few months leave a question mark on India’s medium-term growth prospects and, thus, equity valuations have been shattered.
Editor's Note
You step into your neighbourhood shop to buy your weekly loaf of bread, say Modern Bread. The shop owner tells you about a new Britannia bread that, he claims, is better and worth trying. He even offers to take back the open pack of the bread if you didn't like it. You decide to try it out.
The liberalisation of the economy brought with it a fresh wave of thinking—one that was unfettered by historic baggage. That, however, proved to be a flash in the pan as one now risks being branded by ideology, or, rather, by the lack of it.
Top Mind
Policy Watch
Critical policy issues have been hanging fire as Members of Parliament have staged walkouts more often than debated legislations. Here are a few Bills awaiting their attention.
Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chairman of Infosys Technologies, as head of an expert panel to review the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) plan to extend a pension package to the private sector. The group is expected to submit its report soon.
The BT 50 Index
Deal Watch
Every month, we bring you a listing of the biggest deals struck by Indian companies in India and abroad. Our partner: global professional services firm Ernst & Young. Here are the deals that were struck in October 2008.
Alice Schroeder’s biography of the Oracle of Omaha unveils the human being behind the financial genius, says Dipen Sheth
If Abs are the most popular of all vanity muscles the world over, why did it take an aging superstar to show us that Indians can develop chiselled six-packs as well?
BT More
The labels should bring life back into the business of quaffing wine. Imagine describing a wine as blonde, blueeyed and busty! Definitely better than evoking the glories of obscure names sommeliers drop.
Printed Circuit
Portable computing has never been smaller.
PMO pointman  Pulok Chatterji, 57, is India’s next Executive Director to the World Bank. The Secretary to the Prime Minister will join the Bank in Washington D.C. for a three-year tenure in February, replacing Dhanendra Kumar.
Leadership Spotlight
When Business Today was putting together a feature on best PSU banks for 2006-07 earlier this year, a bank chairman asked which bank was at the top.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows are more durable compared to other forms of capital inflows. FDI to India picked up dramatically in the last two years, but in now threatened by the global uncertainly.
Indian tractor manufacturers are driving aggressively into Turkey.
As capital becomes scarce in the global markets, foreign portfolio investors—the lifeblood running through domestic equities—turn their backs on India. This has got more to do with the stress in the financial system in their own backyard than any fundamental issues with the domestic market. Will they return, or should we be waiting for them at all? Rachna Monga goes into the details.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) deserves much credit for elevating the public’s interest in space research to a level comparable to that in cricket and the economy.
Remote infrastructure management outsourcing spurs new jobs.
The message in your cover package Crunch Time (BT, November 2) comes out loud and clear. Though financial booms and busts have played themselves out time and again, investors refuse to learn the right lessons and keep looking for alternatives. Their greed takes them to new markets and businesses from which they hope to augment their returns.
India’s shift to renewable energy could stall in the absence of clearer policies.
60 minutes
Richard “Rick” Rashid runs Microsoft Research, the software giant’s crack 850-person unit, and has overseen breakthrough research in the areas of e-commerce, Internet and online products and its ubiquitous Office software. An avid science fiction fan and Star Trek junkie, Rashid met Rahul Sachitanand during his recent trip to Bangalore. Excerpts from an interview:

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