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Good for the game

May 29, 2008

Good for the game

IPL is an outstanding success. Top overseas cricketers playing alongside homegrown stars in a spirit of camaraderie is a sight to behold, especially in the backdrop of a surge in sledging and other on-field controversies. IPL has certainly benefitted cricket. But the business tycoons who have invested millions in their teams will have to wait a little longer to break even and make profits. They will also have to constantly innovate to make profits every year. 

D.B.N. Murthy, through e-mail

The Midas touch?

The feature on Wipro (Two to tango, June 1) is well-researched. Though corporate history is replete with examples of co-CEO models failing to deliver, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji’s decision could pay off. Like a true leader, Premji has paid great attention to the choice of leaders, and avoided pushing his progeny into leadership positions. In fact, his son Rishad is learning the rules of the business from one of Premji’s trusted lieutenants. The failure of the co-CEO model in other companies need not repeat itself, and Premji, by taking such a decision is not risking the prospects of the company. The new structure has paved the way for pooling ideas and sharing opinions to churn out decisions without conflicts. Personal preferences and hobbies of the two CEOs will hardly affect the day-today functioning. Rather than being cynical, let’s be hopeful.

B. Rajasekaran, through e-mail

A different ball game

Your cover story on IPL has raised a very pertinent question about the economics of this extravaganza. The team owners are all business tycoons who know where to sow and how to reap profits. However, unlike other businesses, the IPL business— managing a team, getting endorsements and winning matches— may prove to be a different ball game. Besides issues of corporate management, some adjustments on the part of the owners may be necessary. Their future profitability will depend on how soon they can create loyalties around their teams. If the franchisees make money, why shouldn’t the government, too? The government should come up with a special tax to tap the huge profits the IPL owners look set to make.

A. Jacob Sahayam, through e-mail

Learning the ropes

There is no doubt that cricket has loads of money. And it was the whiff of mega money that drew Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, GMR, Shah Rukh Khan and N. Srinivasan to the latest form of cricket. But after the first round of games, Vijay Mallya and T. Venkattram Reddy—owners of Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers—must be disappointed over their choice of players. Their teams figure at the bottom of the points tally and have not performed to their potential. On the other hand, Shah Rukh Khan and Manoj Badale—owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals, respectively, are already in the black. Their teams are not only one of the cheapest in terms of cost, but their managements have also managed to squeeze out higher revenues. The first season of IPL will surely teach the owners a few lessons in team selection.

Bal Govind, through e-mail

In need of big push

The feature on nanotechnology (BT, June 1) should have been done earlier. Also, the story didn’t adequately emphasise the lack of research and industrial application of nanotechnology in the country. In fact, there is a complete disconnect between the government and industry over the use of nanotechnology. Incentives in the form of tax holidays that were given to IT should be extended to companies developing applications of this technology. The companies that have taken baby steps in adopting this technology should certainly be lauded for their great, albeit belated, efforts.

R. Nagrani, through e-mail 


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