Business Today


By Devika Singh   Delhi     Print Edition: February 26, 2017

Blame Game

A new controversy surrounding Vijay Mallya emerged when Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minster P. Chidambaram had helped Mallya secure huge loans for Kingfisher Airlines. The Congress leaders hit back saying the previous UPA government had done nothing against the law. "All prime ministers and other ministers in any government receive representations from various captains of industry which, in the normal course of things, are passed on to appropriate authorities," Singh said, addressing a press conference in New Delhi. He further said that the letter Patra was referring to was nothing but "an ordinary piece of paper" which any minister in his position would have dealt with similarly. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala launched a counter attack by asking, "Who permitted Mallya to escape?" and "Who waived his loans?"

New Strides

Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Enterprises (PEL) has acquired a portfolio of drugs from UK-based Mallinckrodt LLC in a deal worth $171 million. "This would be our seventh pharma acquisition in the last two years, taking our investment for inorganic growth to `3,000 crore across our pharmaceutical businesses," the Chairman of Piramal Enterprises said. The company informed that the deal also includes an additional $32 million payable depending on the financial performance of the acquired assets over the next three years. The acquired products include drugs such as Gablofen for treatment of severe spasticity and two pain management drugs under development. According to Piramal, this will boost PEL's operating profits and margins, besides helping diversify its offerings in the US.

Trump Trample

US President Donald Trump's directives are causing ripples the world over. That he plans to implement the promises he made before the election has the Indian IT industry worried. Trump recently issued an executive order banning all immigrants and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US. If he delivers on his other promises, too, work-visa programmes, including the H1B and L1 visas used by Indian IT professionals, could be restricted. Some reports suggest that Trump is expected to sign a new order strangulating work-visa programmes soon.

The Rebel

As a mark of rebellion against Donald Trump's order banning refugees in the US, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, vowed to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years. In a letter sent to employees of his company, Schultz said that Starbucks will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration's actions grows with each passing day. "There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognised as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business," he declared.

One in a Billion

Jyoti Bansal, Founder of application intelligence venture AppDynamics, recently sold his company to Cisco in a $3.7-billion deal, a day before the company was slotted for an IPO on NASDAQ. Bansal is an IIT-Delhi alumnus who moved to the US in 2000 and started his company in 2008. "In the nine years since, AppDynamics grew from that initial dream to a successful technology company that today is a strategic software vendor for the world's largest enterprises," Bansal wrote on a blog on LinkedIn. According to reports, Bansal has a 14 per cent stake in AppDynamics, which would translate to approximately $525 million.

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