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Cover story | August 14, 2016

Flush with Rs 23,500 cr, Ajay Piramal is making bold bets

Flush with Rs 23,500 cr, Ajay Piramal is making bold bets

But nothing sticks in public memory more than his most recent avatar - Ajay Piramal, the investor. The contrarian, who is placing big bets on businesses ranging from financial services to healthcare on one hand, and drug discovery and realty on the other.

August 14, 2016

People

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People Business

ICICI Banks decision to sell 12.65 per cent of its stake in its insurance arm ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company via IPO could fetch the parent company more than Rs 5,000 crore.

Features

Letters to the Editor

Business Today readers share their feedback on the magazine's coverage.

iOS 10 is a refreshing new update from Apple

The iOS 10 brings in some much needed changes; refreshing and still familiar. The new Raise to Wake feature changes the way we interact with the lock screen. A new lease of life has been added to the left side of the lock screen where a page full of widgets has been added.

Forget laptops and tablets, make way for the Tab Top

As the sales of laptops and tablets decline, PC manufacturers are launching 2-in-1s to revive the market. Will they turn the corner?

Coca Cola to Facebook: Big firms embracing regional languages

Brands are increasingly leveraging India's linguistic diversity to connect better with consumers. There are reasons to do so.

Upfront

"Wait for the monetary policy" - RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, when asked what message he would like to give to his successor.

Calendar

GST : Gearing Up For Change on August 4 in New Delhi.

TravelTriangle is making holiday offers transparent

Will the start-up be able to maintain low burn rates with growing competition in the marketplace model? Today, a holidayer can go to a large offline agent like Cox & Kings; he can also go to an online player like MakeMyTrip.

PSB capital injection is akin to throwing money down the drain

The Rs 22,915 crore injected into public sector banks will not be sufficient if we consider their severe asset quality deterioration, plunging profitability and low valuations.

Even though thoroughly amusing, Pokemon Go is not flawless

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that uses your phone's GPS and clock settings to make different types of Pokemon - such as Spearow and Rattata - appear all around you.

India's digital commerce is in the middle of a big fight

The slugfest between the OTAs and hotel aggregators for a bigger slice of the estimated $20 billion (Rs 1.32 lakh crore) Indian budget hotel pie has led to discovery of a host of value-additions.

What are the roadblocks for e-pharmas in India ?

India's internet pharmacies are seeing their businesses shrink and struggle in the face of myriad hurdles.

Tired of submitting documents to HR? Some firms have found an App solution

Companies are increasing productivity and efficiency by transferring employee-related processes to apps.

The inside story of how Honda Activa turned the tables on Hero Splendor

Getting past Splendor, the world's largest-selling two-wheeler between 2001 and 2015 is no mean feat, especially if we consider that the scooter category was all but given up for dead a few years ago and most firms decided to focus on motorbikes.

Taking Contrarian Bets

Ajay Piramal was just 29 when he had to suddenly take charge of the family textile business. His elder brother Ashok Piramal had passed away, and Ajay was left with the task of running the group's flagship Morarjee Gokuldas Spinning & Weaving Mills in 1984.

Getting Better at Business

Fixing power problems is paramount for enhancing India's international competitiveness.

A Fitting Tribute

The compilation of essays is inspirational and topical for students as well as practitioners of HR.

Duvvuri Subbarao's tell all book, a first from a Central banker

This is a no-holds-barred account of the author's tenure as RBI governor amidst the global financial crisis and differences with the then government.

The game changing Blockchain technology is taking baby steps in India

The game changing Blockchain technology, which records transactions permanently in online ledgers, and lies at the core of virtual currencies like bitcoin, is taking baby steps in India.

Lessons Learnt

How the government learnt from the failure of the disclosure window under the Black Money Act and designed a much more effective Income Declaration Scheme.

Indian drug makers battling it out over launch of biosimilars

Indian drug makers are slugging it out with Big Pharma over launch of biosimilars. Will they be able to hold their fort in this emerging space?

Undoing damage: Govt to rewrite bilateral investment treaties signed with other nations

The government has begun a major initiative to rewrite the bilateral investment treaties India has signed with other countries in the past.

Breaking the Fall

Business confidence levels show marginal improvement as companies believe that the government is taking concrete measures to boost the economy, finds the latest Business Today-C fore Business Confidence Survey.

"It makes sense for a lot of enterprises to operate in hybrid mode"

Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services (AWS), talks to Venkatesha Babu about its competitive pricing strategy and growing user base.

"You should know the right time to enter or exit"

Piramal is now targeting a four-fold jump in the value of his business empire to $20 billion in just four years. Edited excerpts from an interview with P.B. Jayakumar.

Focus

Manufacturing Pains

The manufacturing sector, the major holder of IIP, is dragging the index numbers down due to weak output.

Why RJio's data price war may not affect 4G market

In fact, relatively high costs of 3G data packs and patchy services have not really caught the fancy of the masses. There are just over 100 million users in the six years since the launch of 3G services. Now, the early adopters of 4G have also been a section of 3G subscribers.

MSME sector has raised hopes of an economic recovery

According to India Ratings data, out of the 1,153 MSMEs in the country, 97 companies have been upgraded by credit rating agencies, compared to 34 downgrades as on July 19, 2016. 

Centre must bring some more clarity to the GST bill

Perceived as a panacea for India's convoluted tax structure, GST is designed to subsume taxes on production, sales and services - ranging from services tax, entertainment, luxury and purchase tax to excise duty, value-added tax, central sales tax and entry, or octroi, taxes.

DGCA is missing the whole point about congested airports

The most telling problem is inadequate infrastructure. For instance, Delhi has just three runways, and airlines have been demanding one more for smooth functioning during peak hours.

Self-inflicted Wounds

We must realise that generalist judges cannot be the optimal resource to run specialised tribunals.

The Perils of Reform

Opposition from APMC in Maharashtra has thrown a spanner in the works of free-market reforms. And, it will remain so.

Money Today

Choose your car insurance carefully

Not many people realise that choosing the right car insurance is as important as choosing the right car

Self-network platforms will lead to differential pricing

The draft guidelines issued by the IRDA will help the insurance industry serve the customer better

What if your Health Insurer suddenly stops your policy?

Several insurers have withdrawn their existing health plans. Read on to find out what implications this has for policyholders

Protect Your Home from Catastrophic Events by Insuring it

A calamity is not in your control but monetary help in case your house is damaged can help you recover fast