Business Today

People business

People in news: Hugo Barra, Rishad Premji and more
Print Edition: May 24, 2015
Sunil Wadhwani (L) and Ashok Trivedi, Co-founders, iGate
Sunil Wadhwani (L) and Ashok Trivedi, Co-founders, iGate

Cashing Out

Nearly three decades after they first built Mastech and eventually morphed parts of it into what is iGate today, friends and partners Sunil Wadhwani and Ashok Trivedi had a big pay day recently when French IT major Capgemini acquired the company for a whopping $4.04 billion. Wadhwani and Trivedi had moved away from executive roles and the company was being run by professionals. With their 12.99 and 12.81 per cent holdings, respectively, the duo walk away with nearly $500 million each. Apart from philanthropic activities, both had been involved in mentoring and angel investments. And given their entrepreneurial past, it won't be surprising if they end up launching a new venture. - Venkatesha Babu

Son Rise at Wipro

Almost eight years after he joined Bangalore-based IT giant Wipro, Rishad H. Premji, 38, has now been inducted into the company's board. Rishad, by all accounts, is a chip off the old block, fully qualified and capable, having been carefully rotated and groomed amongst various functions in the company. The only question that remains is whether the elder son of Azim Premji will, at some point, also take on the CEO mantle, though company sources told BT it is unlikely. - Venkatesha Babu

'Mi' in India

Ever since Xiaomi entered India last July, Hugo Barra has been frequently visiting the country. Responsible for the Beijing-based consumer electronics company's global division and in charge of its products and operations in all markets outside China, he joined Xiaomi in October 2013 from Google. Days after the launch of Mi 4i, its first flagship smartphone outside China, in India, Xiaomi revealed that Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in the company. Said Barra: "We're incredibly honored by this extraordinary vote of confidence... We're really looking forward to working with him as an investor and advisor to build Mi India as a truly Indian company!" - Nidhi Singal

Playing Cat and Mouse

WPP's media network Group M and Sam Balsara-owned homegrown network Madison World have lately been at war. First, Sam Balsara refused to sell a stake in Madison's media and OOH business to Group M at a valuation he considered low. Then came the news that Group M had clinched Airtel's media account from Madison, which the latter had been servicing for close to a decade. Industry insiders claim the Airtel deal, for which it quoted a surprisingly low price, was Group M's way of snubbing Madison. Now, Balsara has hired Vikram Sakhuja, Group M's Chief Strategy Officer, as Group CEO. Sakhuja has a lot of cleaning up to do at Madison, which hasn't been doing too well lately. Only time will tell whether Balsara's move to hire Sakhuja was a well-thought-out strategy to first fix his house and then sell it at a higher valuation, something industry observers don't rule out. - Ajita Shashidhar

The New Wolf on Wall Street

Navinder Singh Sarao is no longer an unknown name in the global financial market. It has been alleged that the trades executed by this person of Indian origin (PIO) on May 6, 2010, were responsible for the biggest one-day crash in Wall Street's history, wiping out close to $850 billion. UK-based Sarao, 36, is believed to have made a whopping $40 million in the process. If Sarao is extradited to the US and found guilty, he faces 380 years in imprisonment. It seems algorithmic trading is the new weapon in the hands of the new wolves on Wall Street and any flash trades could plunge global financial markets into a tailspin. - Mahesh Nayak

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