Business Today

Cover story | December 13, 2009

PSBs' day in the Sun

In a year credit was tight, public sector banks made merry, with three of them vaulting into the top six.

Small, slow and steady

DBS Bank climbs to pole position in the category of banks with a balance sheet size of more than Rs 3,000 crore and 10 branches or less. The success mantra: Stay away from retail.

Foreign banks catch the flu

When the global banking system was laid low last year, a number of foreign banks’ Indian operations got the sniffles. Result: Many have tumbled down the BT-KPMG rankings.

Yes, again on top

With a sharp eye out for poorly-served customers and on cross-selling products, YES Bank comes out ahead among mid-tier peers for the second year running. Sustaining the pace could be tough, though.

Performance of assets and people

They are a motley bunch, some large and some small, all winners in their category. They have two things in common: motivated people and a distaste for non-performing assets.

Indian banks: Not yet out of the woods

The Indian banking system did well to survive the carnage of the global meltdown that brought marquee institutions down to their knees. But there are challenges which, if not tackled, could derail India’s ambition of higher economic growth.

Bankers' banquet

The 16th BT-KPMG study on Indian banks throws up a new winner as well as a pack of surprise climbers, and highlights the shifting trends in Indian banking.

Size matters, but so does form

Axis Bank storms its way to the apex of the league of best banks, courtesy a measured focus on growth, returns and efficiency. And there’s a plan to scale up, too.

December 13, 2009


How to choose the right advisor

Picking the right person to manage your portfolio can prove to be a daunting task. Here’s a checklist that should make your job easier.

Editor's Note

From the Editor: December 13, 2009

It's not just serendipity that the state of Indian banking 16 years ago sounds similar to the plight of banks in the US and UK today.



In Superfreakonomics, the follow-up to their 2005 phenomenon, the authors seem to have fallen short of substantive material. Don’t miss the last chapter, though.


Wired to win

While existing transmission lines are not able to feed Mumbai’s power demands, Tata Power’s new, 3M-made aluminium lines are three times as effective. But, can the rest of India afford them?

Overcome public speaking jitters

Spontaneous audience connect actually comes from a calculated process.

No paddy pool!

The centuries-old practice of planting paddy in a puddled field is beginning to be replaced by a new technique of direct dry-seeding. The farmer saves money and time, the earth its water — and the environment gets less methane.

People, places and products

They escaped death on the night of terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26 last year. Life in the city hasn’t changed much, but for Gulam Noon and Alok Vajpeyi, the aftermath of the terror attacks has brought about a new meaning to life.

Holes in the safety net

The New Pension Scheme was expected to tap one million Indians in the first year. The subscriber base after seven months: 2,400.

Why good people do bad things

The bizarre and terrible events at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq caused social psychologist Philip Zimbardo to reexamine the famous and controversial prison experiment he conducted at Stanford in 1971.

Why you didn't get that promotion

Decoding the unwritten rules of corporate advancement.

How I changed the business of lobbying

In building the institution called CII, Tarun Das transformed the way business dealt with the government. He tells us how.

Back of the Book

Helping women's business

Goldman Sachs’ ‘10,000 Women’ campaign, aimed at churning out a new wave of women entrepreneurs, is gaining traction.


When and how to withdraw stimulus

Stimulus measures that are in the nature of reforms should continue, other measures may be gradually withdrawn as domestic demand grows, industry recovers, tax collection becomes buoyant and exports growth recovers.

How to create wealth through disinvestment

The offer should only be to retail investors, and at reasonable prices. This would ensure that the wealth created by public enterprises through domestic public resources is shared rightfully only with the public.


Ringing in new opportunities

Jobs abound as telecom sector takes a big leap.



Power Rangers

Stepping out from the slowdown, India's most powerful women exude self-assurance at the BT event to honour them.


Back in business

After a long period of troubles, multiplexes are finally looking up as some good content comes in from Bollywood and cost pressures ease.


Farm scam?

Why is a virtual farming game all the rage? And is it really free?

Case Study

Experience vs exuberance

Ashok Leyland banked on both the attributes to transform itself but the generation gap that ensued among its executives threatened to derail it.


PSU stocks to invest in

The government’s decision to revive disinvestment has brought the spotlight back on PSU stocks.

A summer glow at IIMs

At Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, the batch of 2009-11, despite being a large one of 312 students, was placed for summer internship in four days, the shortest time in recent memory.

'The crazier the idea, the better'

Dennis Hwang, 31, Google Inc.’s webmaster, is better known for the logos he designs for the company’s homepage.

Geographical indication? Not for everyone!

How does a variety of tea or sweets qualify as a Geographical Indication (GI)? The question assumes significance since several Indian companies and associations have recently applied for GI status to the Registrar of Geographical Indications in Chennai for their products.

'India has 700 mn potential consumers under 30'

Matthew J. Shattock, President and CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, spoke about the company’s plans to cash in on the growing Indian whiskey market and on lessons learnt from the global economic crisis.

Data in danger

Crucial data relating to legal matters, credit card information and test results stored in digital files are lost or stolen from company files every day, even as most Indian firms admit not having a comprehensive data loss protection programme in place.

India will lead IPO market recovery

Developed markets such as the US and Japan may have been leading the recovery in the financial markets till 2008, but this trend seems poised to change in favour of emerging markets.Virendra Verma reports.

Boarding pass on the mobile phone

The next time you fly, you could be carrying your boarding pass in your mobile phone. A software from Mumbai-based Hexaware Technologies can generate 2D bar-coded boarding passes (BCBP) for passengers.

Has stimulus satiated you?

The UPA government’s stimulation packages held up the Indian economy. As the buzz grows on exiting such expansionary spending, the casualty could be economic goodies.

'We are not a search company'

Carol Ann Bartz looks a lot younger than her 61 years, which is surprising given that since coming out of semi-retirement in January this year.

BT More

Testing the Asian palate

Jeannie Cho Lee has finally bridged the huge gap in our knowledge about pairing Asian food with international wine, but her size zero figure belies her passion for calorie-laden inducements.

Chit-chat with Nandana Sen

Daughter of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, actor Nandana Sen likes making the first move and believes it’s humour that adds to a man’s sex appeal.

An affair to remember

Hosting an unforgettable party can either be a strenuous exercise or a fun-filled evening to look forward to. Adding a personal touch to make the evening special is the way to go, says Chhaya Momaya.

The sound files

What is a party without music, you ask? Bear in mind that a party with bad audio set-up is possibly worse. Here is how to decide what sort of sound you need for your party.

Shabby chic

Shoot the breeze and check out the wildlife at this unique camp.

Head out

So you want to take the long route to the best year-end parties in the world. Here’s what you should choose from.

Pilates: Power play

The exercise form, promising a multitude of benefits, has the biggies hooked.

Stroke of genius

The Strokes may be dormant, but their singer is alive and kicking.

Marvellous look at magic realism

An exhibition is being planned at Lalit Kala Akademi to celebrate the 20th anniversary of New Delhi's Gallery Espace.


Tote on the turf, restaurateur Rahul Akerkar’s newest venture offers a multitude of delights.

Specials for the host

Walking in empty-handed at a party that you were invited to weeks in advance is a big no-no. Personalise your gifts or hand over one of these precious bottles to let your host feel special, too.

Great deals

During the final days of December, if you find yourself in either Delhi or Mumbai, these are some events you must check out.

Party in place

Gunjita Dhawan and Meher Sarid let us in on some party planning secrets.