Business Today

Cover story | October 4, 2009

What sets these entrepreneurs apart

They have a hunger for running their own business; have a high tolerance for uncertainty; are unreasonable in their desire for change; and are consumed with a passion to do something for the society.

A new class of entrepreneurs

The new “middle class” entrepreneurs are, in many ways, more “genuine” entrepreneurs, since most of them are starting out in a field that is much more level than ever, and hence the competitive landscape for them is also much more challenging.

The middle kingdom

The ones we did not profile. But they also have fire in their belly.

Bl**dy good business

Today, Thyrocare Technologies, the company Velumani founded, is valued by outside investors at Rs 500 crore and has many private equity suitors thanks to the returns.

The collector in cyberspace

The RBI's recent figures show a 5% drop in the number of cheques processed in 2008-09, but a smashing 28% growth in retail electronic clearing. And the credit can probably be given to one man: Bikramjit Sen.

Growth with special effects

He had no clue about the high-technology world of post-production and visual effects when he got into the business together with four friends in 1995. Today, Namit Malhotra's company controls 60 per cent of the Indian market.

Maverick on the move

His pony-tail with the famed yellow butterfly bow may have gone, but not his chutzpah. Patanjali ‘Patu’ Keswani, 50, Chairman & Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotel Company, refuses to let his age temper his radical thinking.

Dialling success

West Bengal’s Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had once upon a time hoped to bring in the big bucks by exhorting a lethargic bureaucracy to “Just Do It”. He failed.

Happy to be of help

Now is not the best time for bold moves, but don’t tell that to Uday Challu. The audacity of the 47-year-old Founder-CEO of iYogi is coded into his business.

Express profits

There are people who know what they are going to do in life right in college. Virendra D. Mhaiskar is one of them.

He lights up your life

Acquiring Havells for the princely sum of Rs 10 lakh in 1971, he moved up from being a trader in electrical equipment to a manufacturer of switchgear.

Kitchen biz to baking giant

The turning point came when McDonald’s India chose Cremica as its sole supplier of sesame buns, liquid condiments, batter and breading.

Logging into logistics

“With free trade warehousing zones, one European client will double its imports to $6 billion”

Gen next: The hidden leaders

They are not yesterday’s start-ups. They are not in the Top 10 listing by size. Taste the thunder of India Inc’s entrepreneurial middle rung.

October 4, 2009


Profiting from PMS

Portfolio Management Services have become more transparent, thanks to a recent SEBI directive. Here’s how to choose one.

The return of FMPs

After a long gap, FMPs are back in vogue and, yes, they still make good investments.

Editor's Note

From the Editor: October 4, 2009

Here we talk about a class that, in many ways, combines the key strengths of both the beginners and the big daddies of Indian business.

Reporters Diary

Golden harvest

We takes a tour of India’s largest onshore oilfield in Rajasthan’s Barmer district as it goes into production.


Explaining the meltdown

Gillian Tett’s book takes us inside the mysterious world of derivatives and shows us how a culture of innovation, greed and hubris almost destroyed the world’s financial system.


Property buyers are back

Though still small in numbers, buyers are back in the property market convinced that prices and interest rates have stopped falling.

Thanks, but no thanks

The country’s largest private sector company, RIL, moves heaven and earth to sell KG basin gas to the country’s largest power producer, but in vain.

Merchant of power

Naveen Jindal has propelled his steel and power company into India’s—and the world’s—most profitable power producers by focussing on the wildly lucrative merchant power business. Will his competitors stop his dream run?

Will the IPO party fizzle out?

Aggressive pricing and attractive alternatives—for both investors and promoters—to public issues may halt a primary market boom that’s only just begun.

'India is still under-branded'

During a recent visit to India, Sir Martin Sorrell took time out to speak on issues as diverse as global business dynamics, new media and the challenges to old media.

HBR Exclusive: What your leader expects of you

The following behaviours are powerful individually, but taken together they drive performance and growth in a way that has a significant effect on long-term results.

Getting more direct

Direct selling companies are embracing new channels of marketing and sales for enhanced credibility and higher growth.


Why hostile takeovers may rise

With a sizeable share of the Indian equity pie now with FIIs, can one expect they will be driven by their fiduciary obligations to increase shareholder value through hostile takeovers?

Why sugar crisis repeats in three years

India had an import duty of 60 per cent on sugar till January 2009, which it slashed to zero only when it realised that it may have to import 5-7 million tonnes of sugar.


Calling R&D engineers

An intensive hunt is on for R&D talent across sectors. Here’s why.


Raising the education bar

Hats off to the growing tribe of edupreneurs for offering quality education in India.


Meher Pudumjee's future gaze

The Chairperson of Thermax peeps into the looking glass and sees the engineering giant increasing the contribution from services, and from its green portfolio, to sustain its blistering pace of growth.


The world's biggest waste of time?

Given here are some interesting factoids that Henri Moissnac, Director (Mobile), Facebook, shared with us. But the site isn't stopping there.

Goodbye Symbian

Nokia finally prepares to bid farewell to the venerable operating system.


Make your e-mails work for you

Writing effective e-mails is harder than you thought.

People, places and products

Here's a look at the people, places and products doing the rounds these days.

Leaderspeak: Sanjiv Goenka

Here are excerpts of a small Q&A with Sanjiv Goenka, Vice Chairman CESC & RPG Enterprises.


'Ring tones paved way for digital music'

Elizabeth Schimel of Nokia speaks to Anamika Butalia about the company's contribution to evolution of digital music.

'The malt whisky market has huge potential'

Glenmorangie, one of the oldest malt whisky brands in the world, now owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, is yet to crack the Indian market despite India consuming 92 million cases of whisky annually.

How the web spread worldwide: A chronology

On September 2, 1969, even as the world was celebrating man’s footprints on the moon, another “giant leap for mankind” was taking shape in a small lab inside the University of California — the Internet was being born.

'West Bengal will always remain in our hearts'

Here are quotes by some of the people in the news over the past fortnight.

The new car blitz

At least 14 new cars (or variations) are set to launch in India this festive season. Here are some of the jazziest hot wheels you can buy.

Overworked and underpaid?

A recent study by UBS, that compares the relative purchasing power in 73 cities around the world, has several interesting insights to offer.

Singing the same tune?

When it comes to stock markets, the Chinese influence on India has been growing consistently.

India gets addicted to almonds

According to the latest Almond Board Position Report issued in August, India was the fourth-largest export market for California Almonds following Spain, Germany and China.

A secure future for poor women

Poor women in Gujarat - from rag-pickers to vegetable vendors - have reasons to be less worried about starvation in old age than their peers elsewhere, says E. Kumar Sharma.

Indic to go truly Indian

Google’s next innovation could help translate mail and documents from one Indian language to another.

Jargonbuster: Satisficing

Satisficing describes decision making that takes the short cut of defining a set of aspirations and then settles on some alternative that meets the minimum requirements.

Trade marks to sound marks

Many companies are seeking to register special sounds and the Trade Marks Registry has recently allowed registration of a sound mark in India, to Allianz AG. Shamni Pande tells more.

The year after

Nikhil Prasad Ojha, Managing Partner, Monitor Group India, on how the financial crisis changed India Inc. in the past one year.