Business Today

Cover story | November 15, 2009

Risky business

While most Indian companies have yet to incorporate risk analysis in their businesses even after being hit by the slowdown, a handful has shown India Inc. why it’s essential to do so.

The squeeze at the top

A clutch of CEOs resorted to pay cuts in a tough year. Not all head honchos, however, were in such a Spartan state of mind.

Weathering the global storm

The fall in market capitalisation hasn’t been brutal and across the board. And a few sectors that were expected to be in the dumps have bucked the slowdown in style.

How we arrived at the BT 500

This is the 18th edition of the BT 500 list and with each year there has been value-addition to the list in terms of data and various other parameters to judge the value of a company.

Making most of the infrastructure opportunity

Nearly 80 per cent of the India we envisage in 2030 is yet to be built. The opportunity for private sector is huge. A McKinsey study identifies five points of action.

Sunset or a new dawn?

For almost a decade it was seen as the industry that could do no wrong but the telecom sector is facing up to several demons today. The question is not one of survival, but one of viability.

Unlocking the goldmine

In a year in which growth wasn’t easy, some of India’s biggest groups restructured their businesses to unshackle value. Will such re-jigs work in the long run? Virendra Verma tells more.

Flee the kitchen!

The flagship has been revamped.

Success under pressure

The boiler maker looked at new areas.

Spark of life

Exide Industries had everything going against it, but it made new friends in rural India.

Markets & margins

After its core market hit self-destruct, Infosys began looking at high-margin areas and new markets.

Been there, done that

The carmaker kept its cool to capture new customer segments and geographies.

Creating income rivers

Multinational and public sector banks have their strengths. A veteran of both systems finds a new challenge.

Soap opera!

The core business was under attack. Solution: Spend more on advertising to increase brand loyalty, capture lower price points.

False dawn?

The initial burst of results for the second quarter indicates a recovery, but that may be just a festive flash in the pan.

Ready for recovery

How much you gain from the recovery will depend on two things—the strength and shape of the revival and your company’s deeds during the downturn.

BT 500 in 2020

Dipen Sheth tries to guess which companies and sectors will make it to the Top 20 slots 10 years from now.

November 15, 2009

Money

Should you exit debt funds?

As the global and domestic economies recover, debt funds, which were popular during the downturn, might begin to lose their sheen.

Editors note 1

From the Editor: November 15, 2009

Data can fascinate or frustrate, depending on whether you are a "numbers person" or not.

Reporters Diary

Business under siege

Reeling from an onslaught by the Taliban and crippled by an electricity crisis, businesses in Pakistan are forced to survive in a world fraught with risk and uncertainty.

Book

Well-written snapshots

Legendary economist Stephen Roach’s new book on Asia is wide-ranging, but offers few new insights on India.

Features

People, places and products

Here's a look at the people, products and places that were in the news recently.

LeaderSpeak: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, Biocon

Here are some interesting things about the chairperson of one of the most successful pharma company in the country.

'Solutions for India today will be the solutions for the world soon'

For more than a decade, Vijay Govindarajan has influenced thinking at Fortune 500 companies and top B-schools with his ideas on strategy and innovation.

Columns

'Promoters must set an example'

Like everything else in life and business, I would like the emoluments of CEOs to be reasonable keeping in mind market conditions, says Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Limited.

Jobs

Honey, I shrank the CAT!

Number of applicants for the CAT exam dips; middle-rung B-schools won’t have it easy either.

Letters

Leader with the light touch

In spite of his famous surname, Noel Tata likes to fly under the radar.

Utility

Assert without aggression

Learn to stand up for yourself without being pushy.

Focus

'We have 2.5 mn honeypots to track malware'

Bill Robbins, Executive Vice President, worldwide sales of Symantec, spoke on new threats to online information.

7 things about Windows 7

Microsoft has launched its latest operating system. Kushan Mitra gives you seven reasons why Windows 7 is worth it.

Vision '11: Only fuel efficient cars in India

Vehicles will have to drive at or above a to-be-determined number of kilometres per litre, writes Daniella Grossman.

Will you 'port' your number?

From December 31, 2009, India will join some 50-odd countries that have already established an MNP framework. Daniella Grossman reports.

What UID will really do

A huge gulf has emerged between the expectations from and the intentions of the Unique Identity Authority, thanks to a blinkered faith in technology.

Mahatma, not yet a brand icon

The Father of the Nation is indeed a global icon, but Gandhi still cannot be used as an icon that companies can freely use, writes Shamni Pande.

Dollar's fall

The dollar has been on a yo-yo movement in the last year: appreciating almost 20% at the height of the financial crisis, and since March, sliding almost 12% against most currencies, writes Shalini S. Dagar.

BT More

The consistent winemaker

If a wine pairs well with the cuisine of a region that swears by chilled beer and Johnny Walker, it has to be a cracker.

Metro Watch

If you’ve lived in Bangalore or visited the city in the last two decades, chances are that you were taken for a fancy dinner to Manadarin Room at The Ashok, once the finest Chinese restaurant here.

Back page with Sonal Chauhan

Since winning the title of Miss World Tourism 2005, pretty lass Sonal Chauhan has moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in cinema.

Carved in stone

For all the publicity and the world heritage status, Khajuraho is still seeped in mystery and frozen in time.

Race to a fitter self

We caught up with F1 legend David Coulthard to find out how a racing driver keeps fit.

A man in full

Is the Indian male finally growing up and getting clothes that fit him?

My stuff

Nadia Chauhan, Joint MD & CMO, Parle Agro, drinks only Jamaican coffee.

Sound like you know about chocolate!

If you thought you knew all about chocolate, think again.

'Watches make me tick'

...says Jean Claude Biver, CEO & Chairman of Hublot, who speaks about India's growing importance in the market for luxury Swiss watches.

Emotional rescue

Acclaimed photojournalist Dayanita Singh presents her first exhibition of colour images.

Beautiful gangsters

Prepare to kiss the ring as a lush new edition of The Godfather trilogy hits the shops.

The business of sound

We caught up with the man who makes many of the fabulous music systems that you groove to.

The books that shaped my life

Every issue, we ask prominent businessmen about the books that made them the people they are today. This month: Sunder Aaron, Senior Vice President and Business Head, Sony Pix.

Just arrived

This winter, snuggle up with the season’s hot new buys.

The highlands unplugged

A trip to the stunning highlands of Scotland and a distillery is a must for anyone who claims to like Scotch Whisky.

Suit your style

The suits this season have a simplicity of design and an unfussy approach. Slim silhouettes and elegant cuts are the norm.