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Cover story | December 30, 2007

Never too old to rock'n'roll

They spent their youth scrounging for stray scraps of the good life in the wilderness of the pre-liberalisation days. But that’s okay: Today, a chunk of this generation is older, wiser, richer—and furiously catching up with life as it should have been.

Swingin' in the south

The image of the moustachetwirling, pot-bellied man from the South who tilts perilously at the nearest nine yards of fabric he can espy is slowly but surely fading away. Say hello to the trendy, brandconscious southern male who’s raring to go on a bender.

In the grey zone

Indian men over 45 seem to be facing many dilemmas. With the traditional social structures breaking down and new support systems still not in place, uncertainties are piling up for men as retirement years edge closer.

The male mall crawl

You’ll see them combing the shop shelves—often unaccompanied— piling up their carts with items that range from apparel and accessories to shampoo and skin cream.

All work and no play

Indian men seem to be more obsessed about their careers, money and success than their global counterparts.

Young and restless

Quite a few Indian men are showing signs of restlessness. This is resulting in increased job hopping and rising intra-national migration.

It's today that counts

India's GeNext male may still have conservative social values, but when it comes to spending money, he's as avant garde as they come.

Single and ambitious

They are brash, confident and are aiming for the skies. And they’ll think of marriage only after they achieve, or are close to achieving, their goals. The bottom line: they want to get more out of their lives before they settle down.

How we did it

The survey examines the Indian male’s attitudes towards consumption, work, society, and his own future. This being the first survey of its kind, we have no baseline figures that we could use to assess how the Indian male has changed.

December 30, 2007

Money

Insure their dreams

When you buy children’s insurance, keep your goal and her needs in mind.

The true cost of debt

More people are warming up to credit—for buying anything from a dream home to taking a Swiss holiday. The credit fever shows no signs of reducing.

From bitter to sweet

While frontline old economy stocks have been marking new highs, pharma stocks have moved in the opposite direction.  On the face of it, there seems to be plenty wrong.

Do multi-caps have an edge?

It has been a fantastic year for the stock markets, no doubt, but what’s more spectacular is its all-round performance. Many stocks of all market capitalisations— giant, large, mid and small—have landed investors fabulous returns.

The new wave of NFOs

For fund investors, there are plenty of opportunities this December. Four new fund offers with different investing themes, ranging from overseas investing to the infrastructure theme, are open for investors. Take the plunge if your asset mix needs a rejig.

In This Issue

Muscles in middle-age

There’s a common misconception that if you’re over 40, you can no longer build muscle.

UTI strikes back

UTI AMC is set to become the first Indian asset management company to list on the stock exchanges. The oncebeleagured company has ridden the stock boom to turn around. The question now is: will listing change its future course?

Special

Do you know these guys?

Surprising insights emerge from the survey of the Indian male.

Editor's Note

From the editor: December 30, 2007

Our sample size was 11,370 men from across 35 Indian towns and the survey, commissioned in June 2007, took nearly five months to complete.

Editorial

Southern shock

Stereotypes are easy to form but notoriously hard to break. So, when one thinks of the typical Chennai man, the image that most comes to mind is of one dressed in veshti, vibhuti smeared across his forehead, extremely conservative in his outlook and, of course, partial to rice—with sambar, ideally.

Top Mind

Junk bonds are here

Junk bonds are usually issued by companies that do not have any other option of raising money from the market.

Policy Watch

China deal on

After several years of discussions with the Chinese, the government recently admitted that it was contemplating an India-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Multi-brand retail gates may open

Even as political pressure is mounting against opening up the retail sector, the government is once again trying to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing.

SEZ area may be unbound

You could ascribe it to the lobbying power of industry or the evolving nature of government policy but SEZ norms are in for amendments.

Cold flushes

Visiting the loo is only natural before getting into a meeting. Especially one where you are fighting for a scarce commodity that fuels your business.

Equitable populism, please

The rising rupee has certainly not gone down well with industry. Recently, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath informed Parliament that the problem was severe, having already scalped several thousands of jobs.

News Maker

Newsmaker: Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev must have been a satisfied man when the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) successfully got underway on November 30 in Panchkula near Chandigarh.

Noted

Numbers of note

The number of subscribers who have listed their telephone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry to avoid getting unsolicited calls. For more of such interesting numbers, read on.

To be precise

“These brands (Land Rover and Jaguar) can be very valuable for someone who knows how to manage them, and a big problem for those who don’t."

Indian IT firms hiring abroad

As Indian IT companies continue to move up the value chain, they are realising that it’s no longer sufficient to have just a large India presence.

Just wondering ...

Applause, which is privately held, has been maintaining a low profile—despite producing a big hit like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black, which released in 2005 and went on to bag as many as 58 awards.

Noted

With TheOneAlliance Network of SET Discovery, the TV Today network, to distribute its channels— Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and Tez.

The BT 50 Index

India's infrastructure: The road ahead

India's annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth could be 2 percentage points higher but for shortcomings in infrastructure. According to estimates, $450 billion (Rs 18 lakh crore) in investments is expected to flow into the sector by 2012. A snapshot:

Markets in choppy waters

Markets in choppy waters

Reporters Diary

Medicine town

A nondescript town in Kerala is turning into a healthcare hub.

Book

Consumer kane

Reich builds a case for why democracy has become a slave of capitalism. And how instead of the former dictating the latter, it is now Supercapitalism that is playing centre forward in the game of life.

Treadmill

Why antioxidants are good for you

You may have heard about the health benefits of antioxidants, but do you know what an antioxidant is? Here’s a low-down on them and how they actually work.

Printed Circuit

Deconstructing the Motorola Q9h

Despite certain shortcomings, the latest offering from Motorola is a very good device.

People

Think change

Amar Babu seems to relish the heat and dust of the fast-growing Indian market. Just months after moving to the US as MD, South Asia (Sales and Marketing Group), Intel, Babu finds himself back home.

Leadership Spotlight

Growth driver

In December this year, IBM India announced that it expected to touch the $1-billion revenue mark, becoming perhaps the first IT MNC giant to reach this landmark in India.

Trends

BSE lags other Asian markets

The BSE Sensex ranks #5 in Asia in terms of returns this year.

Rupee @ 30? Oh dear!

As the rupee hit a near-decade high of 39.16 to the dollar on November 7 (it was at 39.49 on December 7), it is becoming clear that the Indian economy must learn to live with a stronger rupee over the medium term at least.

The French connection

Juliette Monmousseau, 30, is a fifth generation member of the Monomousseau family, which runs Bouvet Ladubay, one of the oldest sparklingwine producing establishments in France, now owned by Vijay Mallya’s UB Group. In Kolkata recently to promote her wines, she spoke to BT’s Ritwik Mukherjee. Excerpts:

Instan tip

Every exporter is facing acute pressure on account of the sharp and sudden rupee appreciation. The packages announced by the government to offset losses are grossly inadequate and remain mostly on paper.

IT largest employer

This is for those who claim that the IT sector provides jobs only to a handful of Indians. New estimates say the Indian IT sector is expected to overtake manufacturing as the largest employer in the organised sector.

Mobile sales reach a high

Mobile phone sales have sky rocketed. The worldwide sales to end users in the third quarter of 2007 reached 289 million units, a 15 per cent increase over the figures for the corresponding period last year.

Look out for model CEOs

So you thought only celebrities become brand ambassadors? Think again. In a move that appears worthy of emulation, HP’s Imaging and Printing Group has roped in Deep Kalra, Founder & CEO, Makemytrip.com, to endorse its new range.

Net's share of ads to grow

The internet juggernaut has begun rolling and is set to cross major milestones as an advertising medium. A study suggests, the internet is expected overtake magazines to become the world’s third-largest advertising medium.

'India most dynamic market'

Harper Collins is sharpening its focus in India. The three-million-copies-a-year market, which has doubled in size over the last year, is expected to grow at 30-40 per cent per annum.

Tightening its grip

Embroiled in a battle for control with veteran Delhi-based stock broker Harish Bhasin, Tilak Dhar and his family, promoters of DCM Shriram, are desperately trying to consolidate their control over the diversified conglomerate.

Economy watch

Export growth has been stagnating in recent times. The appreciation of the rupee against the US dollar is the obvious culprit.

Get a Miro media player for free

Miro is created by a community similar to the Firefox browser, and because they don’t take any information from you (to download), it is probably safer than products made by large tech firms.

Current

Home away from home

The Clarks Group of hotels enters the home-stay segment.

On the Birla bandwagon

Few can boast a career graph that’s been as meteoric and at the same time as unpredictable as that of Ajay Srinivasan. Close to a decade ago he took charge of Prudential Plc’s Indian asset management company.

Power shifts

In mid-October, at the annual general meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Chairman Mukesh Ambani talked about five “fundamental strategic shifts” that were under way at this petrochemicals & refining Goliath.

Billion-dollar dream

Ranganath ‘Rangu’ Salgame hit the headlines two years ago when, as the India head for Cisco, he persuaded his bosses to commit a massive $1.1 billion (Rs 4,400 crore) investment to the country’s operations.

ABB: Awed by India

It’s Hubertus Von Grunberg’s fifth or sixth visit to India, but his first as the Chairman of ABB and he clearly likes what he sees. And that is plenty of growth opportunities.

Bullish on India

If a list were to be compiled of global business leaders who were most bullish on India, then Steve Rohleder, COO of consultancy and outsourcing firm Accenture, would certainly be counted among the top.

Will funny get the money?

Challenger brand Indian Cricket League (ICL) from Subhash Chandra-owned Zee Sports may be struggling to convince advertisers and sponsors, but it seems to be scoring with its first rush of campaign spots unleashed on TV and radio.

IFCI: Hard road ahead

For IFCI, the beleaguered financial institution that over the years has made innumerable attempts to climb back into the reckoning, help seems in sight.

"Most IT projects don't pay"

The implementation of IT projects leaves a lot to be desired, feels John Roberts, Research Vice President, of Information Technology (IT) and Research firm, Gartner (Asia-Pacific).

Escaping IT's tier II

A year ago, the top management of IT services vendor MindTree Consulting, led by Ashok Soota, met at the firm’s headquarters in the primarily residential borough of Banashankari in south Bangalore to discuss the future path for the mid-tier player.

On Verizon's horizon

The international long-distance (ILD) telephony market in India is set to swell further with another global giant, Verizon Business, a unit of US communications service provider Verizon Communications, declaring its intentions by applying for an entry licence.

School for retailers

Riding the boom in the retail sector, Pantaloon Retail is adding a new outlet every week and 500 employees to its rolls every month. But finding the right people was proving difficult.

Big Bosch

The m43.7-billion Bosch group is further upping the stakes in the country. Following investments of Rs 1,800 crore from 2005 to 2008, the group plans to pump in another Rs 850 crore. This takes the total investments in the country to Rs 2,650 crore by 2010.

Staples' diet

Business cards, letter heads and the like may appear like innocuous little odds and ends, but put them all together and you have a humungous market—one that’s pegged at $10 billion (nearly Rs 40,000 crore).

Shopping in Singapore

The announcement that Singapore’s 2,670 MW Tuas Power is up for sale has electrified Indian power majors. Tuas is the youngest and first of the three power companies Temasek Holdings.

Northern comfort

The northern state of Jammu & Kashmir has taken pole position in the recent review of VAT (value-added tax) collections by the states for the six-month period ended October 2007.

Bad trip

In March this year, Swiss drug major Novartis announced a suspension of the marketing and sales of its bowel drug Zelnorm in the US over concerns that it may cause cardiovascular problems in some patients.

Back of the Book

Tulsi evangelists

It’s called the elixir of life. Not without reason: Farmers are getting a new lease of life cultivating tulsi the organic way.

 

Jobs

Help Tarun!

I’m a B.Sc (Computer Applications) final year student and belong to a backward area of J&K. I have been working with NGOs for the last 3-4 years and am interested in Social Entrepreneurship. However, I am unable to decide between MSW and an MBA. Please advise.

Beat the burnout blues

India Inc. is in the growth mode. The massive opportunity has, however, brought along excessive workload and unrealistic targets. Result: the workforce is falling prey to burnout.

Drive

Auto overdose

There is every reason to be in the capital between January 10-17.

Letters

Now for a cover on SSIs

BT 500 throws up some new trends. For example, there are 46 new entrants this time, six of them from real estate. What is important is that they all add to the wealth of the country and also have made several individuals rich.

Event

Playing the mindgames

India Inc’s managers of tomorrow display the stuff they are made of at the sixth Business Today-Aditya Birla Group Acumen East Zone Finals.

60 minutes

"Our focus is the key to our success"

He flies more than 300,000 miles every year and he flies commercial. So what does Bart Becht, the 51-year-old CEO of the UK-based household cleaner giant Reckitt Benckiser have to show for his hectic globetrotting? Plenty, actually.

BT More

Les desirables

Bring in the New Year by taking your pick from these exclusive items for yourself and your home.

The magical subcontinent

There is so much to learn about the culture, arts and the natural wonders that the Indian subcontinent boasts of. Read these three great new books to find out.

The blue waters beckon

Get enchanted by the blue waters this winter and experience the luxury that comes with an old-world voyage. Take your pick from some of the most exclusive cruises from across the world.

The cord files

Of course, you can look smart in corduroy trousers or jackets. Its weight makes corduroy the perfect fabric for winter. This season, you can try a few new things to wow your colleagues and friends at work or at a party.

'Flick' them on

Watch these much talked about movies, now available on DVD.

How to breeze through bingeing

Having trouble getting up and going to work after a night of wild partying? Get up and get sorted with these easy-to-follow remedies.

It's Korean and it's hot

We unravel the secrets of the increasingly popular Korean cuisine.

Going bubbly

Good sparkling wine as an ingredient in your food? BT More gets Chef de Cuisine of Moët & Chandon Bernard Dance to tell you just how to whip up some mouth-watering dishes by adding a dash of the bubbly.

Get seen here!

Here are two new hot spots in Delhi and Bangalore you should definitely check out.

For a few lakhs more?

We told you what you can own for a million bucks. Care to spend a little bit more? Check out our list of six fabulous creations which you can call yours in 2008.

Yours for Rs 10 Lakh

A million bucks goes a long way. It can buy you, among other things, a suite on the new Airbus A380 or a brand new watch. Read on to find out what else it can get you.

The coolest way to be entertained at home

It’s going to be a ‘leap year’ all right for personal entertainment. BT More tells you what will make you want to stay at home in 2008.

Fit as a fiddle

Get in shape in the months to come with the latest in freehand exercises, bodybuilding machines and diets.

Gadgets of 2008

If you thought that 2007 provided a bumper crop of gadgets, then 2008 is likely to be an even bigger year. And we are not even talking of the second iteration of the iPhone. Big gadgets, small gadgets, we have them all here.

Designers to watch

Who will be the next big names in the Indian fashion scene? BT More spoke to some leading designers and industry watchers to find out.