Business Today

Cover story | Sep 30, 2012

Easy funding makes start-ups get going

Easy funding makes start-ups get going

Scores of start-ups are now getting funding from angel investors and seed capital funds even when the business model is untested and there is no team in place to run a company. Successful professionals with some spare cash are often the first to invest in start-ups.

Editor's Note

From The Editor: Sept 30, 2012

The good news is that, like fireflies on a dark night, hundreds of small businesses are sparkling across India. Seed and angel funding is booming, and more and more very early stage investors are stepping in where banks and the government are absent.

Book

Catching 'em Young

Bagchi's latest is aimed at students on the verge of taking their first steps towards a career.

People

People business

Starring: Pratip Chaudhuri, Vikram Malhi, Digen Varma, Ashish Kapur, Rituraj Sinha

Leadership Spotlight

Sona Koyo's Sunjay Kapur on his leadership style

Sona Koyo Steering System's Sunjay Kapur shares his leadership style

Features

Why Dentsu is in a tearing hurry to expand

Dentsu, Japan's biggest advertising agency, has been looking to expand business outside its slowing home market. The purchase of a 51 per cent stake in Taproot in India by the company's local subsidiary in end-August was part of that strategy.

Can local digital advertising networks take on Google?

Local digital advertising networks are expanding by leaps and bounds. They are now gaining greater importance as a slowing economy prompts advertisers to tighten their belts and better target clients. Venture capital and private equity firms are also looking at the sector.

Challenges Shapoor Mistry faces being at the helm

The new chairman of the $2.5 bn Shapoorji Pallonji Group has his hands full as his younger brother Cyrus prepares to take over from Ratan Tata in Dec. Over a century, the business interests of the group have expanded from construction to include real estate, infrastructure, consumer products and biofuels.

Reliance Life Sciences poised to make a big splash

Reliance Life Sciences may have had an indifferent past, but its future is bright. Biosimilars are widely expected to be the next big growth driver in pharmaceuticals, given that around $80 billion worth of innovator biological drugs will be going off patent by 2015.

Can Shriram Group scale up non-lending businesses?

With its reputation in the lending business fairly cemented, the group is now intent on scaling up its other businesses. Infrastructure is a key focus area.

How Karnataka is reforming its PDS

A biometric project in Karnataka's fair-price shops holds promise for better PDS targeting. The state's move is the latest in a series of efforts by states and the Centre to fix the inefficient system of distributing essential items at subsidised rates to the poor.

Companies turn to music events to build brands

Bacardi's NH7 Weekender music festival is in its third year. Absolut vodka sponsors Sunburn, a three-day electronic dance music festival, and Nokia sponsors an international karaoke championship. Last year, Coca-Cola launched the Coke Studio @ MTV television series.

Why V.G. Siddhartha is raising his stake in MindTree

The founder of the Cafe Coffee Day chain was one of MindTree's first venture capitalists, buying an initial 6.6 per cent stake in the company for Rs 41 a share in 1999. He now owns 22 per cent stake in MindTree through his companies and personal holdings.

How states are charting their own growth paths

While the Centre flounders under the impact of a policy paralysis that has followed in the wake of a series of scams, states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Kerala are focussing aggressively on development and governance.

'Maruti will not end contract-worker system'

Suzuki Motor Corp Chairman Osamu Suzuki in an exclusive interview with Business Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie and Editor Chaitanya Kalbag says the Manesar trouble has led to the tarnishing of Suzuki Motor Corp worldwide, and pulled down the image of Maruti Suzuki in India.

CAG coal report: All eyes on Coal India now

In the event of a deallocation, the mines are likely to be handed over to CIL. The state-owned producer is by no means the epitome of efficiency when it comes to production and supply. Many power projects are likely to get delayed without assured supply of coal.

Drive

Duster can give SUVs a run for money

The Renault Duster gives great mileage, is comfortable and has lots of boot space. A 'compact' SUV, the Duster is the first affordable one in this category from a foreign car maker, and the first serious competition to the SUVs from Indian majors M&M and Tata Motors.

Letters

Reader's forum

The cover package (The Best Advice I Ever Got, September 16), was very informative and timely.

Case study: Best of the lot

BT receives scores of responses to its case studies. Best of the lot below is the best one on Volvo (July 8, 2012).

Technology

Should Internet be censored?

The problem with many of us who think access to the Net is our natural right and any attempt to stop us from doing so is a violation of our freedom of expression.

Careers

Defence sector faces acute talent crunch

The Indian government has raised its defence budget by 17 per cent in 2012-13 alone to $38 billion. And it is increasingly trying to source material and equipment locally for the defence and aerospace sector.

Case Study

Will repositioning products help Philips?

Once a household name, Dutch consumer electronics major Philips has slipped over the years to become an 'also ran'. Its repeated attempts to rekindle its mojo have failed. This case study looks at what went wrong and what the company needs to do in order to succeed.

Focus

Chidambaram goes for a policy somersault

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is busy undoing his predecessor's tax legacy. He is taking the much-needed policy initiatives to bridge the trust deficit with foreign investors.

What is fuelling gold prices despite muted demand?

Gold prices scaled record highs in Aug as investors in the US and Europe preferred the glitter of the yellow metal to the fickle equity markets. Yet overall global demand remained muted as consumer buying in India and China was subdued because of the current slowdown.

Why India's growth worries are far from over

GDP, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew 5.5 per cent in the April-June period. This was the first sequential rise in five quarters, but growth in the headline number conceals the deterioration in important sectors.

Slowdown fails to impact hiring at B-schools

The economy may be slowing but it seems to have had little impact on hiring at India's leading business schools. Officials at top B-Schools say there would be no dearth of jobs for students graduating next year.

Review: Nikon D800E

The Nikon D800E is way ahead of the competition in the megapixel race with a 36.3 MP FX-format CMOS sensor and a host of top class features.

On Record/Abolishing the cash reserve ratio

CRR (cash reserve ratio) is not applicable to insurance companies, non-banking finance companies and mutual funds that also mobilise funds from the public… it is an unfair imposition on banks, says Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman, State Bank of India, to wire agencies.

All about Maharashtra govt's eco-friendly building norms

The Maharashtra government is evolving eco-friendly building norms which will be mandatory for large construction projects in the state.

Chiaroscuro

Upfront

Addressing shareholders of Tata Global Beverages in Kolkata, Tata said the group would not walk away from West Bengal despite the state cancelling the Nano project.

Smart executive

Basic template for interaction with colleagues

Yes, there is a basic template for interaction with colleagues.

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