A 23-year veteran with Polaris Industries, a leading manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, Bennett J. Morgan still finds his work exciting. "When you have a tremendous passion for sports and the products you make, coming to work is a joy and an exciting and rewarding experience," says Polaris's President and Chief Operating Officer. At a time when the global market for ATVs is dwindling, with sales falling 10 per cent last year, Polaris has notched up an impressive growth of 15 per cent. Morgan's success mantra: "It is easy to be extraordinary when you are doing what you love." Polaris is banking on emerging markets like China, Brazil and India for future growth. Morgan says India is a nascent but huge market for ATVs. He adds a word of caution, though: "It is easy to be excited... you also need to be patient." And it is easy to be patient, when you are making profits.
Down and out
Deven Sharma, Outgoing President, Standard & Poor's
Is Deven Sharm
, 55, President of Standard & Poor's, being forced to quit for having the temerity to downgrade the United States' long-term debt rating from AAA to AA+
? He will step down on September 12 to be succeeded by Douglas Peterson, 53, currently Chief Operating Officer at Citigroup. The announcement came within three weeks of the historic downgrade. Sharma, who grew up in Jharkhand, joined the global ratings agency in 2006 as Executive Vice President and became President a year later. But many, including Sharma's father R.N. Sharma, ex-chairman of Bharat Coking Coal, claim Sharma had decided to quit much earlier.
Meena Kaushik, Executive Chairperson, Quantum Consumer Solutions
Meena Kaushik, 60, has taken the next big leap. Her firm, Quantum Consumer Solutions, has moved from being a pure consumer research company to one looking at consumer consciousness. A trained anthropologist, Kaushik believes there is a need to understand consumer culture and behaviour more deeply, and has accordingly introduced ethnography as a consumer research tool. How are the two connected? "Qualitative research focuses on the psyche of the consumer," she says. "It's all about the why of consumer behaviour. Consumer ethnography deals with the cultural influences in an individual's life. It delves deeper into the consumer mind as well as his or her reality to uncover real beliefs and needs." Quantum has even done an ethnography study to find out how Bollywood is consumed. Kaushik's favourite pastime is watching television serials. "I am a great exponent of popular culture, and television also helps me understand shifts in consumer preferences," she says. That's an insight.
Ravi Pillai, MD, Nasser S. Al Hajri Corp.
What is the magic formula behind the success of Padmashri recipient Ravi Pillai, 60, who recently bought the Leela resort in Kovalam, Kerala, in a Rs500 crore deal? "Honesty, hard work and commitment are the secrets of my achievements," says the Managing Director of Nasser S. Al Hajri Corporation, Saudi Arabia. Pillai, who has interests in construction and petrochemicals, says: "There were other overseas players but being an Indian I was very eager to take over the property. Also my personal relations with Capt. Krishnan Nair (Chairman of the Leela Group) helped."-Dearton Thomas Hector
Painting it red
Steve McMahon, Former player, Liverpool FC
If you like football and watch ESPN STAR Sports, you must be familiar with commentator Steve Mcmahon, 50. This former Liverpool player recently launched the Steve McMahon Football Academy, the official Liverpool Football Club academy, in India in partnership with the Mumbai-based Carnoustie Group. Its first centre starts in Noida in October, to be followed by centres at Mumbai and Goa, among other places, by 2012. The academy was launched on the same day former India captain Baichung Bhutia decided to retire from international football. Time to find new future stars, indeed.
-Dearton Thomas Hector
Lots in a name
Umesh C. Deveshwar, Chairman, Imerys India
A name like Umesh C. Deveshwar, immediately sends signals - the correct ones. The 62-year-old Chairman of Imerys India is indeed the younger brother of ITC Chairman Yogesh C. Deveshwar. Imerys, the French industrial minerals company, is looking at beefing up its India operations. So, does the name open doors for him? UCD, as he can be called, recalls an occasion when he led a delegation of the Indian Refractory Makers Association as its chairman to meet the managing director of a SAIL steel plant. "The MD said he wanted to meet me alone. He thought I was my brother," says UCD.