Business Today


Newsmakers. Featuring: J Jayalalithaa, Nikesh Arora and more
Team BT | Print Edition: June 7, 2015
Comeback Queen: Jayalalithaa
Comeback Queen: Jayalalithaa

Comeback Queen

She is the ultimate comeback heroine. Whenever political pundits have written her off, Jayalalithaa Jayaraman has managed to bounce back from the brink. The AIADMK supremo is set to return as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the Karnataka High Court cleared her of charges in a disproportionate assets case. The state's industry will be hoping that the decision-making process, which had ground to a halt since September 2014 when she had to step down, will now be fast-tracked, especially as analysts now expect state elections, due next May, to be advanced. - Venkatesha Babu

A Tory MP's Indian Connection

When Rishi Sunak was nominated from the Conservative (Tory) party as a candidate for the largely rural Richmond seat in the UK, his win was a foregone conclusion. The seat had been a traditional Tory bastion held earlier by party grandee and former foreign secretary William Hague. Sunak's victory, coming amidst a record 10 PIOs (People of Indian origin) getting elected to the UK Parliament, would have been unremarkable, except he is also the son-in-law of Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy. Akshata, Murthy's daughter, married Sunak in 2009 and her 0.89 per cent stake in Infosys is worth nearly Rs 2,000 crore. Sunak and Akshata met while studying at Stanford. A third-generation British Indian, Sunak, who is also a businessman, was quick to acknowledge the support of his wife and in-laws in his success. - Venkatesha Babu

Mr Bankable

Last year when Nikesh Arora, a high-profile senior Google executive, was lured by Japan's SoftBank Corp.'s billionaire entrepreneur Masayoshi Son, it was clear he was marked for great things. Just nine months later, Arora has been elevated as President of the company and Son indicated that he was his potential successor as CEO. The move comes amidst SoftBank's efforts to turn around its $20 billion acquisition of Sprint, a US telecom carrier. Arora is a decade younger than Son and with SoftBank's increasing investments and interests in India, he will be a good fit. - Venkatesha Babu

Separate Ways

After the Mukesh-Anil Ambani and Rahul-Shishir Bajaj battles on family wealth and assets in courtrooms and later settlements out of court, another stand-off between two high-profile brothers has come to an end. Amarchand and Mangaldas and Suresh A. Shroff and Co. (AMSS), India's largest law firm, has been split into two, following an out-of-court settlement between the brothers, Mumbai-based Cyril and Delhi-based Shardul Shroff, after a year-long court battle. The dispute had its origin when their mother Bharati Shroff, the largest shareholder in the 98-year-old firm, left her entire wealth and assets to elder son Cyril as per a will made in 2012 and later amended in 2014. Shardul questioned her wish in the Bombay High Court last year. Bharati passed away last year. On May 11, Shardul launched his new firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, based out of Delhi. - Anand Adhikari

India's New Brand Ambassador

Another feather has been added in the cap of veteran banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath as he becomes the first head of the proposed BRICS Bank. Kamath, 67, will preside over funds worth $100 billion to finance the infrastructure needs of emerging economies. His appointment is significant as India itself needs huge investment support to build its infrastructure. Based in Shanghai, the Non-executive Chairman of ICICI Bank and Infosys will now be dealing with different governments. Says V. Vaidyanathan of Capital First, who has worked with Kamath closely: "Kamath is a lateral and high level thinker. He has the ability to straddle multiple conflicts with great grace. So, he is best placed to set up the institution." - Anand Adhikari

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