Business Today

People business

Starring Tarun Shah, CEO of Sharekhan; Gaurang Gandhi, Founder of Pinc Group; Sanjeev Kapoor, Master Chef; Darshan Mehta, CEO of Reliance Brands; Tusshar Kapoor, Director of Balaji Telefilms Ltd; Giovanni Bisignani, CEO of IATA; U.K. Sinha, Chairman of AMFI; and Nishchae Suri, MD of Mercer

Print Edition: October 31, 2010

Tarun Shah, CEO, Sharekhan

The tiger never sleeps

Gordon Gekko's much mellowed return to celluloid in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps did not set the Indian box office afire - not at least the way Dabangg could.

Nevertheless, Sharekhan, its Indian brand partner, believes that the association has worked well for it. So, why did a broking house decide to associate its fair name with a movie that largely preaches the perils of avarice?

"Sharekhan is a 10-year-old company and in terms of positioning and our goal of empowering retail investors, it was a good branding fit," explains CEO Tarun Shah, 51, who has not yet seen the movie. BT got him to react on Gekko's razor-sharp one-liners.

Gekko: "Greed is good. Now, it seems it is legal."
Shah: "... Greed itself might not be bad provided it is backed up with hard work."
Gekko: "The mother of all evil is speculation."
Shah: "... Speculation is the fulcrum on which the markets are based..."
Gekko: "Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs? They get slaughtered."
Shah: "Totally agree."

-T.V. Mahalingam

Gaurang Gandhi Founder, Pinc Group

Six-baggers of another kind

It is a long way from Dalal Street to the sands of Goa, but for the Pinc Group of Companies, it could well have been another day at the office. Pinc, which stands for Pioneer Investcorp, is a Mumbai-based group with capital market-related activities. Last fortnight, led by its Founder and Managing Director Gaurang Gandhi, 54, the Pinc Panthers went on to win a "super sixes" beach cricket tournament in Goa. The umpires had their task cut out. "For instance, when a ball got caught in a coconut tree, there was indecision as to whether it was a four or a six; the players, meantime, continued to run," grins Gandhi.

-Nitya Varadarajan

Sanjeev Kapoor Master Chef

Putting the bite on a new sight

A 24-hour food channel may seem a daunting prospect to most - unless you are the host of a cookery show that is the longest running programme on any satellite television broadcaster in India. Over 16 years and 800 episodes later, Sanjeev Kapoor, 46, host of Khana Khazana, is set to make his kitchen a stage - round-the-clock.

Finding investors is not a problem for Kapoor, although, at the time of writing, he was keen to keep their identities under wraps. "Food will be the next entertainment on Indian television," declares Kapoor, who is an amateur percussionist when he is not with his pots and pans. Also keeping him busy is research on new kinds of food and ingredients. He seems to have found enough of one ingredient to get his new venture going - capital.

-Anusha Subramanian

Darshan Mehta, President and CEO, Reliance Brands

On a high clothes horse

He has been at the forefront of Reliance Brands's joint ventures with luxury labels Paul & Shark and Zegna, and high-fashion label Diesel. So, what are the bling-bling threads Darshan Mehta, 49, head of this Mukesh Ambaniowned retailing venture, most happy in? "I used to frequent Diesel outlets on my overseas trips, but now I shop in Mumbai," says Mehta. "Polo Ralph Lauren brand Rugby and British brand AllSaints are other favourites. You don't get them here." Not yet.

-Anumeha Chaturvedi

Tusshar Kapoor, Director, Balaji Telefilms Ltd

Man about tinseltown

He is hoping to be more successful in the boardroom than he is on the silver screen. Tusshar Kapoor, the 34-year-old-son of yesteryear superstar Jeetendra, is back on the board of Balaji Telefilms Ltd as a director, a position he held between 2004 and 2009. He has also been re-appointed on the board of Balaji Motion Pictures Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the serial producer.

Kapoor has already begun walking the corporate talk. His first priority at both companies: "To de-risk the business model. The business of films interests me a lot," says the MBA from the University of Michigan. So whilst it is the small screen for sister Ekta, Tusshar clearly prefers the big silver one - whether he is on it or behind it.

-Anand Adhikari

Giovanni Bisignani Director General, IATA

Over, not out

He has controlled the world's airlines with an iron grip over the past decade as the Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, or IATA. As Giovanni Bisignani, 64, gets ready to fly into the sunset - his term ends in March 2011 - he would like to think he has left the global airlines industry in good hands, what with it set to make profits of over $8 billion by year-end. Next stop? "I have run banks and shipping companies, I am not a one-industry horse," he jokes. But with IATA's own predictions of a sombre 2011, it remains to be seen if the industry can do without him.

-Kushan Mitra

U.K. Sinha, Chairman, AMFI

Amfi Fie Fo Fum

Managing two mandates shouldn't be difficult for U.K. Sinha, 58 - not when he is in the habit of reading three books at a go. Right now it is The Mahabharata, a murder mystery, The Scent of Money, and a biography of Tony Blair that he is poring over. "I manage to read all at the same time," grins Sinha, Chairman of UTI AMC, who took over as Chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds of India last fortnight. As AMFI Chairman, he has a mission: To attract more retail investors. "Mutual funds are not meant for managing corporate treasuries," he warns.

-Anand Adhikari

Nishchae Suri MD, Mercer

Harmonic Resources

He is used to leading teams, be it a cricket squad at his former company or the leadership school he set up in July 2009. Now, from October 25, NISHCHAE SURI, 36, will lead HR consulting firm Mercer in India. Suri has spent more than 11 years with Hewitt Associates in Asia-Pacific and West Asia. In October 2008, Suri quit Hewitt to set up the School of Inspired Leadership at Gurgaon. "In the business of people, people come first," he says. Suri is also a Hindustani music connoisseur and finds enough lessons in it to fine-tune his own leadership skills. "Everything in music is about harmony and how notes and sound create the balance. Leadership, too, is an act of balance," he says.

-Saumya Bhattacharya

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