Business Today

People, places and products

Here's a look at the people, places and products doing the rounds these days.

Print Edition: April 4, 2010

The cheese man cometh

People working for a chocolate company are a happy lot, notes Sanjay Khosla, President (Developing Markets), Kraft Foods. On his first visit to India after the American foods giant snared Cadbury for $19.6 billion in January, Khosla, 57, sees the deal as a "win-win proposition in India". "Cadbury has great strengths in distribution, while we have strength in modern trade internationally," says Khosla. He sees Kraft leveraging Cadbury's strength in distribution to launch Kraft products (like cheese and Oreo Biscuits) in the country.

But that still is some distance away. Right now, Khosla is focussing on the integration of the two entities, especially the people angle. "The priority is to appoint one clear leader for each geography, get them to focus on their businesses and then take it from there," sums up Khosla. Anand Kripalu, MD, Cadbury India, has already been drafted into Kraft's Asia-Pacific team and will handle a few other South Asian countries. Looks like these could be the first steps towards one sweet marriage.

T.V. Mahalingam

A Fresh Start

Honda Siel Cars Chief Executive Masahiro Takedagawa, 55, has finished his five-year stint in India and is leaving to take charge of Honda Canada. His stint in India was an eventful one. Not only did the company dramatically increase its production with the successful roll-out of second-and thirdgeneration Honda City, it also launched the Honda Civic and began building (only to delay it later) a second plant at Takepura in Rajasthan. "The Indian automotive industry is complex and dynamic. I am glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this industry in India. The coming years are surely going to be exciting at Honda India as we prepare for the introduction of Honda's new small car in India in 2011," says Takedagawa.

Kushan Mitra

The Homecoming

Come fall and Yale University will witness a homecoming of sorts. Its 1971 alumnus and India's leading economic policymaker, Rakesh Mohan, 62, will return to the university as one of the inaugural Senior Fellows at the new Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and Professor in the Practice of International Economics and Finance in Yale School of Management. Says George Joseph, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Yale University: "We are expanding our connection to India. At a bigger level, the objective is globalisation."

And who better than Mohan to steer that? The ace economistbanker's plate is more than full. He will spend three months every fall for the next three years at Yale. And back in India, he plays the role of the Chairman of the high-level National Transport Development Policy Committee. Says Mohan: "I will be teaching a course on Evolution of Central Banking and Financial Regulation, on issues that have acquired new resonance in the last two years." While at Yale, Mohan is unlikely to miss home; his son Rasesh is an undergraduate student of political science at the university. As we said, it's a homecoming of sorts.

Saumya Bhattacharya

Samsung Jet2

Samsung has played a major role in popularising touch-screen mobile devices in India and the launch of the Jet 2 bolsters the top of the product line-up. This is Samsung's most powerful touch device until now, featuring an 800 MHz processor and loaded with several applications. This device uses Samsung's own operating system, with an upgraded version of its TouchWiz user interface. This is complemented with Samsung's ‘Dolphin' mobile Internet browser and the fact you can run Java applications on the device. But the biggest selling point of the device is that it supports the DivX and Xvid video formats, which allows it to back up as an effective portable video device. And, priced at Rs 19,990, it isn't unaffordable.

Kushan Mitra


Over the past decade, the cultural heart of Europe has grown into one of the first cities of the world, putting contenders like New York and London in the shade. Since Berlin has a busy cultural calendar with something worth seeing every week, it's a great destination through the year. And April is a great month to make your way to Berlin. On the 10th of the month is the renowned "Berlin Night of Operas and Theatres" featuring all-night performances—most of them for free—at various venues around the city. Then comes "Achtung Berlin" from the 14th to the 21st; a festival-cum-award show for some of the most cutting-edge films and theatre from around the world. If that's not your cup of tea then there's the spring festival of Classical Music from the 23rd. If it's April, you have got to get to Berlin!

Bibek Bhattacharya

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