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Mark of distinction

It’s an honour that seems to have come a little late in the day. Among the innumerable feathers in his cap, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Group Chairman and CEO, Bharti Enterprises, has added another— the GSM Association Chairman’s Award 2008.

Print Edition: March 9, 2008

Mark of distinction

Sunil Bharti Mittal
Sunil Bharti Mittal
It’s an honour that seems to have come a little late in the day. Among the innumerable feathers in his cap, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Group Chairman and CEO, Bharti Enterprises, has added another— the GSM Association Chairman’s Award 2008. The GSM Association has recognised Mittal, 49, for leading Bharti as the number one GSM cellular player in India and reaching out to more than 60 million subscribers across 22 existing circles.

“It is a tribute to India’s telecom growth story, Bharti’s vision and the emergence of Indian telcos on the global stage,” is how Mittal sees his achievement.

The GSM Association recognised him as an architect of an incredibly successful business built from scratch, which has had a transformational impact on the GSM industry. For the man in focus though, the centre of attention is now retail and agriculture, the two sectors where he wants to repeat his telecom success story.

On the ball

Sundar Raman
Sundar Raman
Cricket involves not just the tally of scores, but some heavy number-crunching as well today— thanks to the skyrocketing rates of the sports property in the country. And just about anyone, who's been remotely interested and involved with the game and its economics, could not have afforded to miss out on what 35-year-old Sundar Raman, the former managing director, Mind Share, had to say on the game and its rates. No wonder then, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now roped him in as the chief operating officer of Indian Premier League—BCCI’s domestic club cricket property.

Raman, who started career with WPP-group company JWT India in the early ’90s, is clearly raring to go. And when he’s not busy with cricket, what does he do? “I am a high-handicap golfer and like to catch up with the game as often as possible,” he says. Raman surely plays to win.

Singapore swing

Balu Doraisamy
Balu Doraisamy
Balu Doraisamy has clearly brewed the secret sauce to tap the fast-growing Indian market. Under his leadership, tech giant Hewlett-Packard laid claim to being the largest tech MNC in the country, leading several segments in the PC, printer and server markets. Doraisamy, 52, is now headed to Singapore, this time as HP’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific and Japan business and to run the Technology Solutions Group in the region. That would be his second stint there—prior to becoming Managing Director for the tech giant in India, Doraisamy spent nearly a decade in Singapore, managing the global accounts business for Digital and Compaq for the Asia Pacific region. Doraisamy may have benefitted from the rapid growth of the domestic IT industry, but will have to keep his wits around him to sustain growth in the Asian market, especially with the growing clamour over a decline in IT spending and even a full-scale recession.

 Sankaranarayanan Padmanabhan
S Padmanabhan
Power moves

It’s not often that an organisation adds almost 75,000 employees within four years in India. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) did that and a substantial credit for this goes to Sankaranarayanan Padmanabhan, who spearheaded HR at TCS as Executive Director & Head (Global Human Resources Develo1pment) during the period.

Paddy, to his colleagues, has now taken over as Executive Director, Operations, Tata Power. The 49-year-old Padmanabhan joined TCS in 1982 and has held several key leadership positions in TCS. He headed the application development and maintenance practice, the Chennai development centre as well as the firm’s aviation industry practice, including a software development venture with Singapore Airlines.

While at TCS, he built a workforce with 8.3 per cent foreign employees from 62 nationalities. Mighty impressive achievements, by all accounts.

Sweet tidings

Sameer Suneja
Sameer Suneja
Sameer Suneja, 36, just anointed as CEO Perfetti Van Melle, has literally grown up with the company. He started his innings as brand manager in 1997 and moved to Milan for an international marketing assignment for a few years. Suneja moved back to India in 2002 and has since helped build some of the most memorable brands as its sales and marketing head. Some of the campaigns such as Chlormint’s ‘Dobara Mat Poochhna’ (in Hindi it means “don’t ask again”) and ‘Smile please’ for the Happy Dent chewing gum brand, have gone on to win many accolades and awards. In fact, under him, the company has won the ABBYs and EFFIES for four consecutive years. An IIM-Bangalore alumnus from the 1994-batch, Suneja started career with Colgate Palmolive and moved to Frito Lays India before beginning his extensive and sweet stint at Perfetti.

Steely resolves

Ram Vilas Paswan
Ram Vilas Paswan
Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, 61, has been his usual assertive self recently. He first asked steel manufacturers to roll back price hikes and got his way to an extent. Now he is hogging the limelight again. The minister has dispatched a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding a relook at the iron ore allocation policy in the interest of the steel sector. Paswan contends that the steel ministry should be involved in the allocation of iron ore mines. His main grouse seems to be that merchant miners are being preferred to steel makers in mine allocations. This, he feels, is inimical to the interests of the steel sector. Paswan’s proposal is already being resisted by the Ministry of Mines, citing conflict of interest principles. Can Paswan prevail upon Singh? Only time will tell but, the minister is unlikely to leave any stone unturned to have the last word on the issue.

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