Business Today

People, places and products

Here is a take on people, places and products doing the round these days.

Print Edition: May 2, 2010

Manoj Kohli
African Safari?

Manoj Kohli, 50, spent almost a decade running Bharti Airtel's Indian operations, building it from a few isolated circles into a national telecom behemoth as Chairman Sunil Mittal's go-to man. When the announcement came in January that he was making way for new CEO Sanjay Kapoor, the speculation was that Kohli had fallen out of favour. Not quite. In fact, as Bharti Airtel puts finishing touches to the acquisition of Zain's African assets, insiders say Kohli will shift base to Nairobi, Kenya, to steer Bharti Airtel's operations in Africa across 15 nations. Kohli did not confirm the news clarifying that several legal procedures remained to be completed before African markets are emblazoned with Bharti Airtel's logos, but we are told that the shift (with family and his terrier) will happen in two months.

Kushan Mitra

Dilip Chenoy
A New Course

Dilip Chenoy, 51, Director General of industry lobby, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), is moving on to be the first Chief Executive of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). With a stated mission to "train" 150 million Indians by 2022, Chenoy thinks his task is cut out. "There is an employability gap and to be competitive as a country, we have to fix that." And he feels that his experience in the automobile sector will help him, "The auto industry directly and indirectly is the largest organised sector employer where we worked in getting a lot of people trained for the shop-floor." If India has to reap its muchtouted "demographic dividend", Chenoy will have to play the vital role of coordinating efforts between education and jobs.

Kushan Mitra

Sidhartha Mallya
Son's Earnings

Curious how much and how high-profile heirs of billionaire businessmen get paid when they join the family business? The recent appointment of liquor baron Vijay Mallya's son Sidhartha as DGM (New Generation Sales Outlets) with United Spirits offers a peek. We reproduce junior Mallya's salary slip based on the company's notice sent to its shareholders seeking approval. Modest, we'd say.

City of Gold

Now that the FIFA World Cup season has come around, South Africa is getting ready to rejoice for a month. And leading the way is Johannesburg, the financial hub of the country. With its vibrant culture and love for the outdoors, even if you haven't managed to get a ticket for one of the matches, the city is worth its weight in gold. This 'city of parks' has a host of fantastic museums, not least the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. The region is famed for its gold mines, and if you want to experience one, there's the Old Kromdraai Gold Mine that you can check out.

Bibek Bhattacharya

Boosting the Android

Until now, if you wanted to use an Android device in India, you had a choice of devices only from HTC. In the past few months, Samsung and Motorola have unveiled their Android devices, but the most stunning new Android device comes from SonyEricsson, the Xperia X10. Stunning, mainly because of its 4-inch capacitive touchscreen. The user interface is very smooth and the media player called Mediascape can knock the socks off the competition. However, priced at Rs 35,795, it faces up to some very formidable competition (iPhone 3 GS, anyone?) and it does have downsides such as limited on-board storage.

— Kushan Mitra

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