Business Today

People, places and products

Here is a look at people, places and products doing the round these days.

Print Edition: September 5, 2010

The Summit Climber

At the recent NASSCOM HR Summit in Chennai, the speaker who walked away with the most applause was not a human resource honcho of India Inc., but mountain climber JAMLING TENZING NORGAY. Son of Tenzing Norgay, of Mt Everest fame, Norgay Junior, now 45, scaled Everest in 1996 with a team led by David Breashears, an experience documented in the 1998 IMAX film, Everest. The ace climber took the audience of 700 HR professionals on a visual journey of his climb. His advice: "Getting to the top is optional, but getting down is mandatory."

- Saumya Bhattacharya

At the helm

One more Indian-American has joined the ranks of the heads of top graduate business schools in the United States. SUNIL KUMAR, 42, the Fred H. Merrill Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and an expert in operations research, has been appointed the next Dean of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. His five-year term will begin on January 1, 2011.

Kumar has a Master's degree in Computer Science and Automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and an Engineering degree from Mangalore University in Surathkal. University President Robert Zimmer announced Kumar's anointment at the helm calling him "a right blend of vision, entrepreneurial energy and academic leadership". All Kumar has said so far has been through a statement: "I look forward to helping strengthen and enhance Booth's outstanding research environment and its rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education."

- Saumya Bhattacharya

Future Play

V. VAIDYANATHAN loves to make unconventional moves. An alumnus of Harvard Business School, he chucked his job at Citibank after 10 years at the multinational bank to join ICICI Ltd, when CEO K.V. Kamath was strategising its big retail foray. The youngest executive director of ICICI then, Vaidyanathan was in the running to succeed Kamath in May 2009. The job went to Chanda Kochhar.

He later turned around the bank's insurance subsidiary with its first ever profits in 2009-10. Vaidyanathan, 42, is starting out yet again from scratch as a co-promoter and professional in Kishore Biyani's fledgling financial services business. Many are calling his exit a succession issue in the bank, but Vaidyanathan dismisses it, saying it is the entrepreneurial challenge that excites him. "You rarely get such an opportunity," says a beaming Vaidyanathan. He is in new territory, but going by his record, he may well spring a surprise.

- Anand Adhikari

Waterproof Camcorder

Some might argue that the video recording capabilities of regular still cameras will deal camcorders a death blow. But not this camcorder from Sanyo, which is waterproof up to 10 feet of water. It may not seem like much, but is usually more than enough to capture videos in swimming pools and when you go snorkelling on your holiday.

The Xacti records in Full-HD and can also take pictures in 14-megapixel resolution with 5x optical zoom and 12x doublerange zoom. The product is currently not on Indian shelves, but if you are the water-borne type, you should pick it up before your next exotic holiday on a coral reef beach.

PRICE: $350

- Kushan Mitra

The Eternal City

Try Rome, the Eternal City. September and October are the best months to visit. City tours start from the Roma Termini station. Think Gladiator and take in the Coliseum, the largest-ever amphitheatre in the Roman Empire. Big by even today's standards (it could seat 50,000), the Coliseum was used for gladiator fights and public spectacles. Then you have the Sistine Chapel, which has Michelangelo's finest work, frescoed on the ceiling. He is said to have hated doing it. The chapel alone is worth the queue outside the Vatican City. When in Rome, don't forget to pick up some shoes and glares, or gorge on pastas and pizzas.

- Sukanya Choudhary

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