What about the PSUs?
Kudos for India’s Best Managed Companies (BT, March 23, 2008). The vision, virtues and values of these companies who have made it to the top of your BT-Ernst & Young study are truly admirable and worth emulating. It would have been good to see the PSUs also included. For example, a comparison of ICICI Bank, which is looking to have a global footprint, with SBI, which has 10,000 branches in India alone, would have made an interesting study.
Jacob Sahayam, through e-mail
Clarity on CSR needed
The article on Anji Reddy (BT, March 23, 2008) is commendable. But I want to know whether there are any checks and balances while giving away wealth, or is it an exerise based on caste, language, contacts and connections. I am part of a school (as a fund raiser) in Chennai that is fighting for survival. We are located in the slum development area and we need bricks (50,000 of them). None of the IT, telecom and auto companies we approached for help has bothered to revert. I am somehow led to believe that in such matters, it is a question of knowing the right people or, at least, having access to the right people. CSR makes for a great headline. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty, very rarely is help extended where it is needed the most. I feel our big organisations have a long way to go on CSR and that they should create a transparent system for giving money to charity.
Ganesh Narayanan, through e-mail
Banking on M&A
It is going to be a litmus test for HDFC Bank Chairman Deepak Parekh and MD Aditya Puri to make the merger with Centurion Bank of Punjab a success (Merging to Grow, BT, March 23, 2008). It will take HDFC Bank a while to leverage the branch network of Centurion Bank and to improve its financial performance. There is a strong belief though that the premium attached to HDFC Bank may not be justified after a merger with a weaker bank and that the merger will affect the performance parameters of the merged entity because of the relatively poor financials of Centurion Bank. If the merger is a success, then it will be another feather in the cap of HDFC Bank.
Bal Govind, through e-mail
Not by loan waiver alone
Loan waiver alone will not help farmers. The government needs to come out with income-generating schemes to boost productivity (Between the Devil and the Deep Sea, BT, March 23, 2008). Also, will the loan waiver reach the deserved? Ultimately, the government will be judged by the implementation of the scheme. The inflation monster has raised its head again. The economy needs a booster dose of interest rate cuts, or, at least, lowering of the cash reserve ratio. RBI should do so immediately as it will boost investment.
K. Pillai, through e-mail
Your review of The Man Who Also Made Steel distorts facts. By dubbing the biography as authorised, it’s obviously implied that the work has been commissioned and paid for. A man of Russi Mody’s stature doesn’t need to do so. On the contrary, he was averse to the very idea of any book, and at 90, with his failing memory, it was an awesome task to authenticate details. Scores of people have been quoted in the book. How could Russi possibly have been the only source? Of course, it’s awfully tedious to dig out facts and figures from the archives so painstakingly and then crosscheck them 10 times over. That’s the winning wicket of the book—factual accuracy. Unlike a journal with ephemeral shelf-life, a book cannot afford to take such liberties, for tomes are for posterity.
Jyoti Sabharwal, Editorial Director & Publisher, Stellar, through e-mail
Editor’s note: For those who missed the review, it can be found online at www.businesstoday.in
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