Business Today


Newsmakers: Featuring Nana Patekar, Cyrus Poonawalla, NR Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and others
Team BT        Print Edition: October 11, 2015

Nana Patekar Actor, Real Life Hero

Deficient monsoon rainfall has affected farmers across the country. Maharashtra, in particular, has been dealt a body blow with the state government planning to declare nearly 8,000 villages drought-hit. Amidst the despair, help has come from an unlikely quarter. Bollywood actor Nana Patekar has set up Naam Foundation with fellow Marathi actor Makarand Anaspure and will donate money to distressed farmers. A National Film Award winner, Patekar and Anaspure have reportedly donated some Rs 15,000 each to 113 families of farmers who have committed suicide in the state.

Home Truths

Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman, Poonawalla Group

The real estate market is somnolent but big-ticket deals appear to be making a strong comeback. Two recent deals in Mumbai show that some high-networth individuals have retained their apetite for buying coveted addresses. Take the instance of Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of Poonawalla Group, who has scooped up a seaside mansion - Lincoln House - which was used as the US consulate. At Rs 750 crore, it is considered one of the most expensive residential purchases in the country. The deal comes hot on the heels of industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla's decision to snap up Jatia House, an iconic 30,000-sq ft south Mumbai bungalow for a staggering Rs 425 crore.

New Beginnings

N.R. Narayana Murthy (left) and Nandan Nilekani

Internet and mobile tech start-ups seems to be attracting the founders of software giant Infosys. N.R. Narayana Murthy has recently invested in online insurance distribution portal It provides comparison of insurance plans, expert recommendations. Another Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has also invested in an early-stage start-up. He is betting on Bangalore-based mobile payments data startup Mubble. It is Nilekani's second investment this year.

Dynamic Duo

Sanjay Kalra (left) and Shiv Nadar

Nearly 39 years after setting up his most successful venture HCL, Shiv Nadar has launched an investment firm along with Sanjay Kalra, former CEO of Tech Mahindra. He will spend some $500 million in acquiring IT product and platform companies, especially in the healthcare technology space, in India and the US. The investment firm - Shiv Nadar & Sanjay Kalra Associates LLP - will look at the broad spectrum of areas within healthcare, including hospitals, ambulatory, physician practice, information exchanges, commercial insurers, insurance exchanges, among others.

Star Catalyst

Joe Kaeser CEO, Siemens

Prime minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Make in India' programme got a major fillip recently when German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced its plans to invest one billion euros in India and add 4,000 more jobs to its existing headcount of 16,000. Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens and the man behind the move, has worked in various capacities in the company over the past 30 years. Indeed, he could be influential in persuading other CEOs to make a commitment to the 'Make in India' intitiative which has received a lukewarm response so far. In India, Siemens works across eight sectors including power, mobility and, healthcare.

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