Business Today

Cover story | September 6, 2009

Fresh from the Google lab

Google’s ‘launch early, launch often’ philosophy means it’s continuously introducing new products and refining old ones. Here’s an update.

How Google makes its billions

Google’s process for placing ads is revolutionising the online advertising industry. Here’s how it determines both price and ad slots on its website.

Google's passage to India

India may be a tiny piece of the revenue pie for Google today, but that isn’t stopping it from expanding aggressively and wooing both web users and corporate advertisers.

'The biggest tragedy will be if great content is created but it cannot be found'

In a freewheeling chat, Nikesh Arora explains what Google really stands for, whether it’s feeding on profits of other businesses and why he loves being a Googler.

Google's 4th ace

Nikesh Arora has vaulted to the 4th position in Google Inc. — next to the founders and the CEO. Here’s an account of his success, what it means to be a Googler, and how the Internet — with Google in the forefront — is challenging traditional business models.

September 6, 2009


Riding the mid-cap revival

The good times are back for mid- and small-cap funds. Should you take the plunge?

Your borrowing options

With personal loans all but drying up, here are a few ways to overcome your income-expense mismatch.

Editor's Note

From the Editor: September 6, 2009

Google, one of US's most valuable companies, has thrived by adhering to unconventional tenets.


Why economies fail

False Economy does a skillful job in exploring the sagas of countries to figure out why some succeed and others don’t. Yet, it doesn’t quite get it right.


People, places and products

Let's take a look at the who, what and where doing the rounds this fortnight.

Leadership Spotlight

'Not walking the talk is the worst thing a leader can do'

Here's a little peek into the success mantra of SBI chairman O.P. Bhatt.


Chandra's digital hope

Zee’s advertising revenues are falling sharply, but its top brass is counting on a huge burst in subscription revenues in the medium term.

Pause on the bull run

Most market experts expect the Sensex to remain in 12,000-16,000 range for a while—unless the government lifts the sentiment with big-ticket reforms.

More trouble in the pipeline

Even as Anil Ambani accuses Mukesh of gold-plating development costs of the KG Basin fields, he turns the heat on Reliance’s gas transportation venture.

The $8.8-billion illusion

Anil Ambani says RIL’s revised capex figure for development of two gas fields is inflated; the government says that number is being misread.

Cancer slayer

By refocussing its strategies, Natco Pharma has pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy to power ahead in cancer drugs. Now it is looking for niche areas globally. Can it scale up and take on global competition?

Dry hope

Poor rains have damaged the summer crop in quantity and quality. As the monsoon whimsy continues, some intelligent government intervention could help save the winter crop.

L&T's shopping spree

A few wholly-owned subsidiaries of Larsen & Toubro have been quietly mopping up chunky stakes in businesses that are related to those of the group.

King's gambit

The problems with Kingfisher Airlines keep getting worse with every takeoff, forcing it to look for an urgent cash injection. Can it fly out of the turbulent zone?

In-house I-bankers

As mergers & acquisitions become a way of life at India Inc., CEOs are leaning heavily on their teams of dealmakers who are not too far away from the corner room.

HBR Exclusive: The new frontiers

How the global slowdown is reshaping competition from emerging markets.

IPL copycats

The Indian Premier League’s success catches the fancy of cricket bodies in at least two states.


Lessons from Intel's $1.45 billion fine

There is a fine line between using discounts to promote sales and misusing such schemes to keep out competitors.

Making do not call facility work

About 42 million subscribers have registered for the “Do Not Call” facility. That’s a minuscule proportion of the total mobile subscriber base of over 435 million.

Here comes the recovery

Unlike in the developed world, where expansion of fiscal deficit has been used to bail out banking system, in Asia, government spending has had more bang for the buck.


Wanted: Some application

It is meant to be the passport to a better job, but most applicants end up making a royal mess of their CVs. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.


Brothers in arms

Given the embarrassment of their riches, it’s a shame that the two Ambani brothers cannot desist from taking continuous pot shots at each other’s businesses.

60 minutes

'For small cars, India is the centre of the universe'

Speaking in his 12th floor office at Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, Mulally outlined Ford’s transformation and its India game plan.


Memory goes solid

SSD memories are making their way into laptops. Should you go for one right now?


Effective business writing

Master these thumb rules and make your writing sing.

Case Study

Making its own market...

...but for how long? TI Cycles has reinvented itself and the way it sells bicycles in order to achieve higher growth. This strategy may be reaching its limits.


Infrastructure eclipse

A McKinsey study on India's infrastructure reveals that underperformance in the sector during 2008-17 will result in GDP loss of $200 billion (about Rs 9.6 lakh crore) by FY 2017.

'We will open 20 new factory outlets in India this year'

Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO & President, Timex Group BV, speaks on expansion plans in India and new strategies to attract the young.

Indian law firms: Top global leagues

When it comes to closing billion-dollar deals, companies, it seems, are banking more than ever on Indian law firms to get the job done.

'We do not believe anyone else can prescribe our development or energy goals'

Shyam Saran, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister on Climate Change, discusses some of the criticisms levied against India on its stance on climate change.

BT history: Dealing with pandemics

The Indian economy won’t be laid low by SARS, but that doesn’t mean it will be wholly immune to the virus either.

How India lost the steel war

Even as India’s Bhilai Steel Plant planned to get rights to mine a big iron ore reserve, China increased its steel production manyfold. Somnath Dasgupta tells more.

'Collaboration is the way forward in retail'

Here's a cool collection of words that made the news in the last few days. If you missed them then, catch them here.

A nation of digital natives

Young Indians are ‘digital natives’ - extremely technology savvy and increasingly optimistic about India’s economic future. Anusha Subramanian tells more.

'Cross-border money launderers can now be tackled'

Neeta Potnis, Partner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells speaks on how the new amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act will help rein in offenders.

'We advise clients to buy Indian stocks'

Sakthi Siva, MD and Head of Asia-Pacific and Emerging Markets Strategy at Credit Suisse, is positive about the Asian region, says Rachna M. Koppikar.

India's first branded mall

By undergoing a name change - from RK Cineplex to Airtel RK Cineplex - India gets its first branded mall. Airtel gets rights to brand the common areas, and the mall also serves a one-stop-shop for Airtel products. E. Kumar Sharma tells more.

Jargon buster: Growth momentum

It sounds grand and is often used by business leaders and politicians to paint a rosy picture, but what does “growth momentum” really mean?

Curious case of British 'Balti'

After the Americans unsuccessfully tried to patent Basmati rice as their own discovery, it’s the turn of the British to claim parenthood for two sub-continental dishes – Chicken Tikka Masala and Balti Dishes.

Thank you, Mr Laffer

The new tax code proves the government is now convinced that the only way it can earn more is by taking less from people.