Colours Inc. (SHOMBIT SENGUPTA)
Strategic consultant Shombit Sengupta, 54, has done a curious act. He has got 24 top CEOs of India to paint on canvas, and will display their work of art at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai in March. The painters' list reads the who's who of India Inc. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Keshub Mahindra, Chairman and MD of Marico Harsh Mariwala, and Britannia MD Vinita Bali, to name a few.
Sengupta started Shining Consulting in Paris in 1984 and its subsidiary 3Rabbit Design in India recently and is known for his emotional surplus theory for communication for brands and companies. His brand USP? His astute skills, of course. His next catch: A painting by Vindi Banga, President (Foods, Home and Personal Care), Unilever.
Fresh Innings (KESHAV MURUGESH)
He brews a mean cup of South Indian filter coffee and collects coffees from all over the world. But for the moment, coffee can wait as Keshav Murugesh, the new Group CEO at business process services provider WNS, is busy brewing plans for his new role. Says Murugesh: "I want to position WNS as the nimble, flexible and innovative partner whose people and offerings help drive clients top line and bottom line."
He has also been elected to the Board. Murugesh, 46, most recently served in the same role at Nasdaq-listed Syntel Inc., an IT services company. He is used to new innings, after all, cricket is a passion. He recently played a CEOs vs Celebrities match at the Bombay Gymkhana, which his team won. Beyond work and cricket, Murugesh works with the student community and is the Chairman, India of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a global organisation headquartered in the US that spreads entrepreneurship among students.
Now, the Foxtrot (PETER MUKERJEA)
Media hawks were quick to swoop down on his recent India visit, which he readily acknowledges, but shrugs off the plans to bring in Fox News: "Me bringing in Fox News? It is someone's wild imagination. Totally mythical," says the 50-something Peter Mukerjea, ex-CEO of STAR India, who exited from a management position at INX Media early in 2009. But he's got plans that turn him hunter, from being hunted.
"I am developing our executive search business focussing on chief executive and independent board director positions," he says. Behind every successful man is a woman—his wife Indrani Mukerjea continues to keep her interest in recruitment space alive with INX Global. That's not all: He's finished penning Confessions of a TV Executive, which will be published later this year. And in the little time that's spare, Mukerjea works to improve his handicap—in golf.
Fancy a Dragon ride in Far Far Away, piloting prehistoric dragon flies in Jurassic Park or "duelling" roller coasters in Sci-fi City? Don't have to look very far. The Chinese New Year is set to ring in the opening of Universal Studios theme park in Singapore, the first such theme park in South Asia and the second in Asia.
The movie-themed park on the eastern part of Resorts World Sentosa, Sentosa Island, will feature seven themed zones, each encircling a lagoon. The themes include Madagascar, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, New York, apart from Far Far Away and Jurassic Park. And if this gets a little too touristy, there are always the white sand beaches.
Google Wave was supposed to be Google's new social collaboration tool, but it got a cold response. Google Buzz is different; it isn't an invite-only service and the functionality will be rolled out to all Gmail users within weeks. Essentially it allows users to post status updates that will be circulated among other Gmail users (with Buzz), who you have mailed in the past.
Following or unfollowing is easy enough and like Facebook, it allows you to make "rich" updates (photos and video) and also embed pictures. Google Buzz is integrated into the Gmail interface on devices such as the iPhone and those that run Google's Android operating system. Importantly, it "embeds" Buzz updates in existing networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Gmail has been a proven productivity enhancer, with Buzz we are pretty sure Google has invented a productivity killer.