Business Today

People, places and products

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

Print Edition: September 19, 2010

Power Games

DEEPAK PURI, Chairman and Managing Director of Moser Baer, has more than the sun in his vision. After pursuing solar dreams - photovoltaic equipment - through Moser Baer, he is now chasing power of different kinds (thermal and hydro included) through an unlisted company. Private equity heavyweight Blackstone Advisors plans to pour in Rs 1,350 crore to fund it. "If I and other businessmen like me do not pick up the challenge, then India will remain dark. Only fools will not realise that this is the land of opportunity," he says.

Brave words those, but they apparently failed to convince the Board of Moser Baer. A power foray, it concluded, was a risk that it did not have an appetite for, forcing Puri to do the business outside Moser Baer. But he is infectiously optimistic: "To win a race, you need a good horse and a good jockey. We have both."

- Shalini S. Dagar

Mr Right?

Churn seems to be a constant at the top at Ranbaxy Laboratories. In less than two years since Japan's Daiichi Sankyo took control, it has appointed its third MD. ARUN SAWHNEY, 55, who replaced Atul Sobti, was until recently president of the company's global pharma business.

In his new role, Sawhney has to continue with the recent bright patch at the drug maker after months of regulatory trip-ups, while keeping the synergies with the parent company intact. A strong understanding of the sector - he has over three decades of global experience with companies such as Max-Gb, Hindustan Ciba-Geigy, Bayer and Dr Reddy's Labs - and the ability to manage end-to-end business should come to his aid.

- Manu Kaushik

Building Brands, Socially

An Oxford graduate in History, LUCY JAMESON, 38, Executive Strategy Director at ad agency DDB UK, and Chair of DDB's Global Planning Futures Group, is overwhelmed by the fact that several Ivy League graduates are taking up advertising as a career in India. She says: "You do find Oxford and Cambridge graduates in the United Kingdom taking up advertising as a career but in the United States it is not so."

Jameson was in India recently at the invitation of DDB's India partner Mudra to share DDB's global positioning, explain different case studies and take Indian media planners through the new planning tools. DDB Worldwide has a 10 per cent stake in Mudra. In May 2010, the DDB Group went in for a new global positioning - social creativity. According to Jameson, future campaigns need to be inherently social and inspire behavioural change - ideas that connect people with people as well as people with brands. DDB Mudra, the agency that is internationally aligned with DDB, handles a lot of DDB's global clients like Volkswagen, Philips, Johnson & Johnson and Henkel.

- Anusha Subramanian

China's Showpiece It is often said that if you want to see and feel China's growth, you should visit Shanghai. Not just China's financial capital, it is a tourist destination in its own right, too. Glass and steel financial and commercial houses as well as grand mansions built in the 1930s in European architectural styles all coexisting at the Bund on the banks of the Huangpu River will awe visitors.

Nanjing Road is considered to be the 'No. 1 commercial street in China' with some 1.7 million people shopping there every day. The other landmarks are the Yuyuan Garden, the largest of the city's ancient gardens with Ming and Qing architectural styles, Jade Buddha Temple, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the ever expanding Pudong skyline.

- N.Madhavan

NOKIA 5250
Touch Music

Nokia might be having a hard time at the top end of the device market, but not at the larger middle segment, where it is planning to launch the new 5250 later this year. A music-optimised touch screen device, the 5250 will come with full social and e-mail integration as well as Nokia's Ovi Music service with unlimited downloads. And Nokia claims the device can play music for 24 hours non-stop. But with Nokia's rivals launching touch screen devices below Rs 5,000, the 5250 will have a fight on its hands.

PRICE: Around Rs 7,000.

- Kushan Mitra

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