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Vol 12 Issue 5 May-June 2013

why don’t we get to the bottom of things…ever?

Managing Editor Jason D Pavoratti Editor John Antony Director (Finance) Ceena Senior Editorial Coordinator Jacob Deva Senior Correspondent Bina Menon Creative Visualizer Bijohns Varghese Photographer Anish Aloysious Correspondents Bombay: Rashmi Prakash Hyderabad: Iqbal Siddiqui Delhi: Anurag Dixit Director (Technical) John Antony Publisher Jason D

s it about Indians or is it about humans itself? Any thinking person would wonder at the superficiality with which fundamental problems are addressed in this nation. The absolute foolishness of superficial problem solving was recently evident in the issue of increasing rapes, especially of young children.

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The moment a brutal rape is reported, all some leaders can think of is ask for the death penalty. And all many among us can think of doing is going out to protest. Protest against what? How can we blame only police for something that happens more in homes than outside? But have we ever paused to ponder why this crazy stuff is happening so frequently these days? A complex crime as rape shouldn’t be oversimplified, but some fundamental issues are completely overlooked. Have any one really bothered to draw a simple graph between availability of hardcore porn in a society and the rising incidences of rape? Commonsense says that there is bound to be a co-relation, if not for the glaring evidences from the two Delhi rapes, in which the perpetrators had attempted crazy stuff on their victims which are never done in real life but ample in porn. But what we have in society is psychologists who encourage porn, if

not peddle it. Only some porn are taboo - like child porn - and everything else is deemed ok. But anybody who has watched hardcore porn at least once would agree that what it really promotes is misogyny, especially the sexual objectification of women. And as recent rape episodes reveal, the perpetrators had violent misogynist traits. One can argue that porn has always been there. Yes, it was. But what matters is not porn was there or not, but its easy availability. Once upon a time there was no video porn, only magazine porn. Then came VCRs and video porn. But it was accessible only to the rich, at least initially. Then VCRs became cheap, and even more importantly, the CD revolution started. Then came DVDs which packed more porn into the same space or pockets, and then came the game changer - Internet. The floodgates were opened due to global supply. But the game was not done yet. And finally, during the last few years it happened mobile phones with video, and porn became like air or water - everywhere. All a junior colleger, or even a high-schooler, or anyone for that matter has to do is connect the phone to Internet or take the phone to the ubiquitous ‘software upgraders’. Repeated studies on sexual predators in USA have proven that they were addicted to porn from their childhood onward. And even more importantly, the damage porn inflicts is not similar in different cultures. For example, ‘made-in-West’ porn is less ‘damaging’ for a culture where dating begins in upper primary. But is this the situation in India where virginity-untilmarriage and monogamy are still virtues? And don’t ever think at least child porn is out of reach. Nothing is ever out of reach in this Internet age and when there are enough porn peddlers out there to make a quick buck by selling movies of cruelty to innocent children. Yet, the situation being such, nothing - absolutely nothing - is being done to control this porn epidemic. Now, don’t tell it is impossible due to Internet. China has proven to a large extent that a crackdown on porn - which at least limits its reach significantly - is indeed possible. If communist China which is not overtly spiritual can do it, what prevents an inherently spiritual and ethical nation like India from doing it? Because, we are not really bothered to reach to the bottom of things. We are content doing the superficial stuff - blaming Sheilas Dikshit or local policemen, asking for death penalty, and such stuff. All these words about hardcore shouldn’t mean that softcore is fine. Softcore probably does an equal

amount of damage to youngsters in the society, as not only is it pervasive, but because it is done by actors and actresses who are thought upon as role models and success symbols. But, unfortunately, speaking against softcore has already turned politically incorrect in this nation. Anyway, this unwillingness to reach to the bottom of things is in almost every challenge we face as a nation. Take the issue of Hindu-Muslim animosity, that was an equally big issue at the time of Independence as it is now. It was enough to take the life of the Father of Our Nation, and as Godhra and Post-Godhra revealed around 11 years back, it is a burning issue still. Yet, no steps are taken from either community or other neutral communities to make both stop focusing on what is different, and start focusing on what is common. Let Hindus and Muslims never forget that there is so much in common as long as they are living in India, as this is the land of Kabir and the land of Moinuddin Chishti. That would be like getting into the bottom of things, rather than breast-beating fanaticism. Another instance is terrorism in all its manifestations - be it Khalistan, Kashmiri separatism, Maoism or what not. Time and again, it has been proved that bayonets and bullets don’t solve the issue. Terrorism is not at all justifiable, but terrorism is not fully mindless either. In most instances, a community has been intensely hurt, or is perceiving that they have been immensely wronged, and only that gives rise to terrorism. This is the case whether terrorism is induced by religion or wealth disparities. Yet, we never really reach out to find what is the real issue causing such violent reactions. Yet another instance is the colossal waste we incur as our defence budget. Despite being not a developed country at all, our defence budget is the 8th largest in the world at Rs. 2.5 lakh crore. Can’t this be put to good use for nation building if we had really worked on our relationships with our neighbours. Don’t think this is impossible, as even in war-prone Europe, which initiated two world-wars, there was Sweden which has proactively avoided war for more than 200 years. Another instance is our high unemployment levels. Though much has been said and done on it, governments won’t do just what would correct it forever - providing massive incentives for job creators. Won’t anyone wonder why don’t we get to the bottom of things…ever? John Antony

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Meet the IndianAmerican Ad Executive Whom Google Paid Rs. 540 Crore Bonus to Not Leave for Twitter

India Resurrects and Reopens 427-yr-old Mughal Road, But Security Forces Weary

Security forces have pressed an alarm button saying the 427-yearold Mughal road, which is being reopened to provide alternative connectivity to the land-locked Kashmir, may be used by the militants for reviving terrorism in border areas.

“Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt,� wrote Benjamin Franklin around 250 years back. But if India Inc were to be presented this quote in the 2005-08 bull-run, our Chieftains would have guffawed at the First American. Because, here was easy money, truckloads of easy money.

How not to be conned while buying a home A real estate exhibition concluded recently in Mumbai dubbed itself as "India's biggest property expo" and promised "properties across all budgets". It flopped, as many of the previous ones did, for the reality is..

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GVK Power & Infrastructure







Two years ago, Twitter was in disarray. On April 14, 2011, Fortune's Jessi Hempel blasted Twitter for failing to launch exciting new products, generate meaningful revenues, or hang on to executive talent. None of this was news to Twitter's board members or CEO..

Are There Educated Bollywooders? Bollywood is famous for millionaires who have never went for college, let alone complete a degree. But among them are exceptions too. Here are a few:

Italy Built a New District it Can't Afford, Now Qatar is Buying It Qatar is in talks to buy some or all of Milan's newly built Porta Nuova business district. Qatar is in talks to buy some or all of Milan's newly built Porta Nuova business district as Italy's economic crisis squeezes its U.S. developer, several sources have told Reuters.

Are Private Universities Worth Considering This Admission Season? PART 2

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Why Gold Will Bounce Back Will gold continue bouncing back or revert back to sliding is the billion dollar question today. Chances are more that gold will eventually scale up, if only for its save haven status. Even while agreeing with Warren Buffet that gold is utterly..

As Indian Youth Pursues American Model Development, Is American Youth Pausing to Rethink? A recent study finds that younger generations significantly lag their parents in saving for future, thanks to the massive burden of rising expenses as well as educational and credit card loans. Is Indian..

A Radically Contrarian Strategy on Raising Well Behaved Kids It is focusing on good behavior that decreases the instance of misbehavior, and not vice versa found renowned child psychologists Jacob Azerrad, Ph.D., and Paul Chance, Ph.D., in their classic essay 'Why Our Kids Are Out of Control'. Though it has been 12 years since..

15 Foods to Beat Stress Did you know that what you eat can greatly affect the way you think and feel? Here are the top 15 foods that help you develop a calmer mind and deal with stress better:

Celebrity Cars World's Most Expensive Food Ingredients Money is truly funny in the world of rich. To have all the wealth in the world to spend on the most luxurious things, would be the typical dream of the rich. Even when larger parts of the world are riddled by starvation and poverty..

How Much Should a Corporate Logo Cost? On one extreme are design firms that swear by the need for corporate logos or brand identities. They can't be blamed as these high-expense corporate fancy is their bread-andbutter. And there are enough takers too, with companies like Unilever spending huge time and money on getting their new logo right.

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IPL Set for Nail Biting Final Stage The Indian Premier League has reached its final and nail biting stages. The Top-4 are yet to be decided but the two big guns – Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore have almost landed in the playoff stages. Chennai has been in outstanding..

Living With Less. A Lot Less. By Graham Hill, Minimalist and Founder of and

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Italy Built a New District it Can't Afford, Now Qatar is Buying It

atar is in talks to buy some or all of Milan's newly built Porta Nuova business district as Italy's economic crisis squeezes its U.S. developer, several sources have told Reuters. Texas-based Hines declined comment on any move to cut its stake in the 34-acre project, planned during the last boom; no immediate comment was available from the Gulf emirate, which has made major investments in European real estate in recent years. But three sources, one with direct knowledge of talks, spoke of discussions on selling Qatar at least part of a development that has so far cost some 1.8 billion euros and has transformed the skyline of Italy's commercial capital with a series of towers a mile (1.5 km) north of the historic centre. A fourth property sector source said other investors had looked at Porta Nuova but that no formal sale process was under way for the estate of offices and high-end apartments, which has

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been likened to the larger Canary Wharf in London's docklands. Work started in 2007, months before the global financial crunch, and office lettings and apartment sales are now behind projections as the Italian economy stagnates and lags even other European states, two sources with knowledge of the project said. "The timing has been bad and Hines is keen to cut its exposure or get out at the right price," one of them added. With the final stage due for completion next year, Hines has said about half the 370 apartments have been sold for an average of 1.5 million euros and 55 percent of the 130,000 square metres of offices are let - to Italian bank Unicredit. The bank is among lenders to the project and now occupies its eponymous Unicredit Tower, Italy's tallest building. Milan's property market reflects Italy's economy, however; data from consultant CBRE show a drop of 28 percent in the amount of office space being newly taken up in the city last year compared to five years earlier in 2007; the vacancy rate rose from 7.4 percent

to 11.6 percent over the same period. Luxury Milan home prices have fallen by about 8 percent in that time and, for all its glamour as an international hub for the fashion and design industries, the northern city of 1.4 million has not seen the non-European rich lining up to deposit their cash in its real estate in the way that London has. As well as Italian money, investors in Porta Nuova include the U.S. teacher's pension fund TIAA-CREF. About two thirds of funding was from lenders including Commerzbank's Eurohypo and Banca Popolare di Milano. Qatar's major deals in Europe include Harrod's department store in London and the British capital's new Shard, the tallest building in western Europe; an investment in Milan could make sense for firms linked to its sovereign wealth fund, notably Qatar Holding and real estate specialist Qatari Diar. Neither unit was immediately available for comment but Qatar and Hines have worked together before. Qatari Diar invested in a $700-million project that Hines developed in Washington in 2011. The 3.5 billion euros which Qatar spent on European real estate in the 12 months to mid-August 2012 was the equivalent of six weeks' revenue from the country's liquefied natural gas exports, according to Reuters calculations. Porta Nuova would fit with the Gulf state's track record of investing in well-appointed office blocks. According to Thomson Reuters data, it owns about 29 percent of Songbird Estates, the majority owner of Canary Wharf Group, which controls the London financial district of the same name. One of the sources who said projections had been missed at Porta Nuova blamed Hines's effort to charge the same rents as in the fashionable heart of Milan - about 500 euros per square metre - and compared that to Canary Wharf's typical 35-percent discount on the City of London, about five km miles away. The Porta Nuova offices are the highest quality in Milan but companies are reluctant to move from the historic centre without an incentive," the source said. "It's like Canary Wharf charging the same rents as the City."

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Bollywood is famous for millionaires who have never went for college, let alone complete a degree. But among them are exceptions too. Here are a few: Sonakshi Sinha Sonakshi Sinha completed her schooling from Arya Vidya Mandir in Mumbai and graduated in fashion designing from SNDT University.

Shah Rukh Khan SRK did his schooling at St Columbia School in New Delhi and we hear he won the 'sword of honour' for representing the 'spirit of the school'. He was an all rounder – good at academics, sports and arts. He did his honors in Economics and joined Jamia Milia Islamia for Masters in Mass Communications, and then dropped out to pursue a career in acting.

Amitabh Bachchan

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Unlike son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, his dad Amitabh Bachchan has degrees in Arts and Science.

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Randeep Hooda Hrithik studied at Bombay Scottish School and then went on to graduate in Commerce from Sydenham College.

John Abraham

John Abraham is not just a handsome hunk. He studied economics at the Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, in Mumbai, and got his MBA from the Mumbai Educational Trust (MET).

His parents wanted him to be an doctor, but Randeep's mind was always in acting. After completing school, he went to Australia where he got a bachelors degree in marketing and his masters in business management and human resources management.

Ameesha Patel Ameesha Patel studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Bombay and was head girl for the academic year 1992–1993 before heading overseas to study Economics at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She began her career as an economic analyst at Khandwala Securities Limited after graduation before doing advertisement campaigns.

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Hrithik Roshan

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My space is small. My life is big.


By Graham Hill, Minimalist and Founder of and

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I have come a long way from the life I had in the late ’90s, when, flush with cash from an Internet start-up sale, I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets. Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. My circumstances are unusual (not everyone gets an Internet windfall before turning 30), but my relationship with material things isn’t. We live in a world of surfeit stuff, of big-box stores and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. Members of every socioeconomic bracket can and do deluge themselves with products.

My life was unnecessarily complicated. There were lawns to mow, gutters to clear, floors to vacuum, roommates to manage (it seemed nuts to have such a big, empty house), a car to insure, wash, refuel, repair and register and tech to set up and keep working. My success and the things it bought quickly changed from novel to normal. Soon I was numb to it all. The new smartphone didn’t excite me or satisfy me.

There isn’t any indication that any of these things makes anyone any happier; in fact it seems the reverse may be true. For me, it took 15 years, a great love and a lot of travel to get rid of all the inessential things I had collected and live a bigger, better, richer life with less. It started in 1998 in Seattle, when my partner and I sold our Internet consultancy company, Sitewerks, for more money than I thought I’d earn in a lifetime. To celebrate, I bought a four-story, 3,600square-foot, turn-of-the-century house in Seattle’s happening Capitol Hill neighborhood and, in a frenzy of consumption, bought a brand-new sectional couch (my first ever), a pair of $300 sunglasses, a ton of gadgets, like an MobilePlayer (one of the first portable digital music players) and an audiophile-worthy five-disc CD player. And, of course, a black turbocharged Volvo. With a remote starter! I was working hard for Sitewerks’ new parent company, Bowne, and didn’t have the time to finish getting everything I needed for my house. So I hired a guy named Seven, who said he had been Courtney Love’s assistant, to be my personal shopper. He went to furniture, appliance and electronics stores and took Polaroids of things

he thought I might like to fill the house; I’d shuffle through the pictures and proceed on a virtual shopping spree. My success and the things it bought quickly changed from novel to normal. Soon I was numb to it all. The new Nokia phone didn’t excite me or satisfy me. It didn’t take long before I started to wonder why my theoretically upgraded life didn’t feel any better and why I felt more anxious than before. My life was unnecessarily complicated. There were lawns to mow, gutters to clear, floors to vacuum, roommates to manage (it seemed nuts to have such a big, empty house), a car to insure, wash, refuel, repair and register and tech to set up and keep working. To top it all off, I had to keep Seven busy. And really, a personal shopper? Who had I become? My house and my things were my new employers for a job I had never applied for. It got worse. Soon after we sold our company, I moved east to work in Bowne’s office in New York, where I rented a 1,900-squarefoot SoHo loft that befit my station as a tech entrepreneur. The new pad needed furniture, housewares, electronics, etc. — which took more time and energy to manage. AND because the place was so big, I felt obliged to get roommates who required more time, more energy, to manage. I still had the Seattle house, so I found myself worrying about two homes. When I decided to stay in New York, it cost a fortune and took months of cross-country trips and big headaches to close on the Seattle house and get rid of the all of the things inside. I’m lucky, obviously; not everyone gets a windfall from a tech start-up sale. But I’m not the only one whose life is cluttered with excess belongings. In a study published last year titled “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” researchers at U.C.L.A. observed 32 middleclass Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. Seventy-five percent of the families involved in the study couldn’t park their cars in their garages because they were too jammed with things. Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives. Housing size, for example, has ballooned in the last 60 years. The average size of a new American home

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LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.

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We Are Happy to Serve You, which makes a reusable, ceramic version of the iconic New York City Anthora coffee cup and, an environmental design blog that I later sold to Discovery Communications. My life was full of love and adventure and work I cared about. I felt free and I didn’t miss the car and gadgets and house; instead I felt as if I had quit a dead-end job.

in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. And those figures don’t provide a full picture. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people. This means that we take up more than three times the amount of space per capita than we did 60 years ago.

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Apparently our supersize homes don’t provide space enough for all our possessions, as is evidenced by our country’s $22 billion personal storage industry. What exactly are we storing away in the boxes we cart from place to place? Much of what Americans consume doesn’t even find its way into boxes or storage spaces, but winds up in the garbage. The Natural Resources Defense Council reports, for example, that 40 percent of the food Americans buy finds its way into the trash.

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Enormous consumption has global, environmental and social consequences. For at least 335 consecutive months, the average temperature of the globe has exceeded the average for the 20th century. As a recent report for Congress explained, this temperature increase, as well as acidifying oceans, melting glaciers and Arctic Sea ice are “primarily driven by human activity.” Many experts believe consumerism and all that it entails from the extraction of resources to manufacturing to waste disposal plays a big part in pushing our planet to the brink. And as we saw with Foxconn and the recent Beijing smog scare, many of the affordable products we buy depend

on cheap, often exploitive overseas labor and lax environmental regulations. Does all this endless consumption result in measurably increased happiness? In a recent study, the Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen linked consumption with aberrant, antisocial behavior. Professor Bodenhausen found that “Irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mind-set, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in well-being, including negative affect and social disengagement.” Though American consumer activity has increased substantially since the 1950s, happiness levels have flat-lined. I DON’T know that the gadgets I was collecting in my loft were part of an aberrant or antisocial behavior plan during the first months I lived in SoHo. But I was just going along, starting some start-ups that never quite started up when I met Olga, an Andorran beauty, and fell hard. My relationship with stuff quickly came apart. I followed her to Barcelona when her visa expired and we lived in a tiny flat, totally content and in love before we realized that nothing was holding us in Spain. We packed a few clothes, some toiletries and a couple of laptops and hit the road. We lived in Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Toronto with many stops in between. A compulsive entrepreneur, I worked all the time and started new companies from an office that fit in my solar backpack. I created some do-gooder companies like

The relationship with Olga eventually ended, but my life never looked the same. I live smaller and travel lighter. I have more time and money. Aside from my travel habit which I try to keep in check by minimizing trips, combining trips and purchasing carbon offsets I feel better that my carbon footprint is significantly smaller than in my previous supersized life. Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life. I like material things as much as anyone. I studied product design in school. I’m into gadgets, clothing and all kinds of things. But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support. I wouldn’t trade a second spent wandering the streets of Bangkok with Olga for anything I’ve owned. Often, material objects take up mental as well as physical space. I’m still a serial entrepreneur, and my latest venture is to design thoughtfully constructed small homes that support our lives, not the other way around. Like the 420-square-foot space I live in, the houses I design contain less stuff and make it easier for owners to live within their means and to limit their environmental footprint. My apartment sleeps four people comfortably; I frequently have dinner parties for 12. My space is well-built, affordable and as functional as living spaces twice the size. As the guy who started, I sleep better knowing I’m not using more resources than I need. I have less and enjoy more. My space is small. My life is big. (From New York Times)

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India Resurrects and Reopens 427-yr-old Mughal Road, But Security Forces Wary

here is a need for keeping continuous watch on the Mughal Road which may be utilised for movement of logistics, weapon and funds by the extremists,” said Danesh Rana, deputy inspector general of police (RajouriPoonch range). This road is relaid and reopened for traffic after almost 427 years in Jammu and Kashmir. Emperor Akbar-led grand Mughal army had used this cart road to defeat Yousuf Shah Chek in 1586 AD. Historians say a caravan of horses, chariots and foot soldiers used this road to assimilate the Valley with the rest of Mughal Kingdom. Later this 83.9 kilometer road, which connects Shopian in south Kashmir with Bafliyaz in Poonch district in Jammu, was frequented by the Mughal

royals and their wives who used to spend good part of summer in serene Valley here. While the road is likely to be thrown open soon, the security forces fear that some of the militants operating in the Valley may be sent to Rajouri and Poonch to revive militancy in the twin districts which have otherwise been almost free of militancy. Sources said less than a dozen ultra are operating in these two districts because of the pressure maintained by the forces. “We are taking all precautions and reinforcing our deployments along this road. We will be checking public transport because militants’ masquerading as civilian may try to sneak through this road,” said Rana. What has sent alarm bells ringing is the fears that this road may make the

movement of infiltrating militants easy. “Earlier the militants after infiltrating were finding it difficult to pan across the state. But with this road they may find it easy to reach to the desired points after infiltrating from the LoC into J&K,” said a senior Intelligence officer. The work on the road first started in 1969, but it was abandoned for one reason or the other and finally stopped in 1990 due to the militancy. In September 2000, work was again started by J&K Project Construction Company (JKPCC), who hired the services of M/s RITES for estimates. After the report from National Remote Sensing Agency, a feasibility report was prepared and submitted to the government. In 2005, the work formally started on the road under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme. Constructed at the cost of Rs 639.85 crores, the road has seven meter width of carriageway and has 423 RCC slab culverts. This road has 21 minor permanent bridges.

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Security forces have pressed an alarm button saying the 427year-old Mughal road, which is being reopened to provide alternative connectivity to the land-locked Kashmir, may be used by the militants for reviving terrorism in border areas.





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wo years ago, Twitter was in disarray. On April 14, 2011, Fortune's Jessi Hempel blasted Twitter for failing to launch exciting new products, generate meaningful revenues, or hang on to executive talent. None of this was news to Twitter's board members or CEO Dick Costolo, of course. They'd spent the months prior trying to turn Twitter into "a real company" after years of neglectful management. The first step: hire a chief product officer. The board wanted someone who could fix the company's internal turmoil, revamp its

product lineup, and get advertisers spending billions of dollars on the platform. David Rosenblatt, the former CEO of DoubleClick and Google executive who joined Twitter's board in December 2010, believed he had the perfect candidate. Rosenblatt reached out to Neal Mohan — a Google executive who had been Rosenblatt's top lieutenant at DoubleClick. Twitter made an offer, and it seemed like Mohan would accept. But then he said no. Why? Because Google wrote a massive check to keep him. Rosenblatt told a friend that Google made him an offer much richer than the one the Knicks had

just given star forward Carmelo Anthony. That February, the Knicks made headlines everywhere for agreeing to pay Anthony $65 million over three years. TechCrunch later reported that Google paid Mohan more than $100 million in stock. In the two years since Mohan signed the deal, Google's stock price has increased about 35 percent, making Mohan's deal worth as much as $150 million. Over the past several weeks, we've spoken to his colleagues, clients, and competitors to learn more about Mohan. Some of them asked to remain anonymous out of deference to Mohan's quiet, behind-

A $100 million career starts with a $60,000 job Mohan graduated from Stanford with a degree in electrical engineering in 1996. Then he worked at Andersen Consulting — the company now called Accenture. Then, in 1997, he joined a startup called Net Gravity. It sold enterprise software

and to execute those cuts. He rose to the position of Vice President, Business Operations. In 2003, Mohan went back to Stanford to get his MBA. Two years later, DoubleClick reached a breaking point. The company, which went public in 1998, had acquired a data-collection agency called Abacus Direct for $1.7 billion in 1999, and the merger wasn't working anymore. The company had stretched itself too far. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman decided to acquire DoubleClick for $1.1 billion, load it with debt, and break it into two pieces, Abacus Direct and DoubleClick. Hellman & Friedman asked longtime executive David Rosenblatt to become the CEO of the new DoubleClick. Rosenblatt accepted, with a plan to refocus the company on the opportunity presented by a future in which hundreds of billions in annual offline advertising spending would eventually move online. It was going to be a painful process. DoubleClick would have to unload lots of assets, pivot into a new business, and deal with a massive amount of debt. Rosenblatt knew he needed help. His first call was to a friend and former colleague who'd just finished his MBA at Stanford.

How to turn $1 billion into $3 billion Despite offers from Google and others, Mohan agreed to rejoin DoubleClick as head of products, and by extension, head of strategy. But he had one condition for Rosenblatt: he had to stay in California. He'd convinced his wife, a life-long New Yorker, to move out there for Stanford only by promising that once they started their life in Northern California, they wouldn't have to uproot themselves again. Rosenblatt agreed to this condition, even though it meant asking someone who had never managed a product development team to manage a large one from 3,000 miles away. With Mohan back in the company, the pair spent the next six months creating a strategy for the new

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the-scenes style. Mohan himself declined to comment. They say Mohan is the visionary who predicted how brand advertising would fund the Internet, turned this vision into a plan, and then executed it.

to digital marketers. This was the beginning of Neal Mohan's $100 million career in Internet advertising. It was a humble start. The gig paid $60,000 per year. On LinkedIn, Mohan lists his title at NetGravity as "senior analyst." But his boss from that time, Richard Frankel, tells us Mohan was basically a high-end customer support representative. Neal Mohan got in the Internet advertising business with a $60,000 customer support job, helping clients use software like this Frankel says he hired Mohan for two reasons. The first was that it was the 1990s, and Mohan was one of the few people NetGravity could find "who knew a little bit about Internet tech." The second reason Frankel hired Mohan was he found him to be a "rare" combination — an "insatiable technologist" who also had enough business savvy to interact with NetGravity's enterprise customers on a strategic level. "When he worked with a customer, he didn't just help them solve their problems," Frankel said."He helped customers figure out how to better use our technology. That turned into a lot more business for NetGravity." Frankel soon handed him NetGravity's largest accounts. Mohan made them larger. Frankel believes the secret to Mohan's success, even so early on, was his curiosity. "In a typical meeting with Neal, he asks questions non-stop. He really wants to understand what you're discussing: some new segment, some new company, some customer problem. He wants to understand it — and he can really absorb and digest all the facts that he's getting hit with." In November 1997, NetGravity was acquired by a another, larger, Internet advertising startup, DoubleClick. He moved from California to New York, where DoubleClick was based. From 1997 to 2003, Mohan's role at DoubleClick expanded from services to sales operations to business operations. Hired to work with clients on their problems, he began to focus on DoubleClick's. He re-organized the company's 500-person technology sales and services group. When the bubble burst, DoubleClick management asked Mohan to figure out which costs the company could cut,

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DoubleClick. The result: an epic, 400to 500-page PowerPoint document. Several sources who have seen this document, or participated in its creation, say that even today you can see traces of it in similar documents outlining Google's current product road map in display advertising. These sources say the document is another example of Mohan's special ability to understand what's newly possible thanks to technology, and how this might be applied to serve a business strategy. The first half of the presentation detailed a vision of where Internet advertising was going for publishers, advertisers, and consumers, and what kinds of products DoubleClick should create to take advantage of it. That vision: As the world grew more digital, some company was going to provide "comprehensive" and "holistic" solutions to publishers and marketers that allowed them to figure out exactly the price at which they should be buying or selling ads. Additionally, some company was going to help these publishers and marketers deliver "interactive" and "rich media" ads. The document proposed that this company should be DoubleClick. The second half of the deck spelled out

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Susan Wojcicki

exactly how many engineers DoubleClick needed to hire every month, and for which products, to achieve that vision and reach very specific, aggressive revenue goals. Mohan and Rosenblatt presented the PowerPoint to the DoubleClick board — which included their overlords at Hellman & Friedman — in December 2005. The board approved the plan. The new DoubleClick was born. It developed three primary business lines: core ad tech solutions, an ad network, and an advertising exchange. Less than a year and a half later, Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Betting on

Susan Wojcicki reports directly to CEO Larry Page, who trusts her so immensely that there is a saying at Google, "What Susan wants, Susan gets." What Wojcicki wanted in 2007 was DoubleClick, which Mohan was heading.

Mohan's PowerPoint plan paid off nicely for Hellman & Friedman. Would it for Google?

How to survive at Google After Google bought DoubleClick in 2007, competitors Microsoft and Yahoo rushed into the market to acquire similar companies. Yahoo bought the Right Media Exchange for $680 million. Microsoft bought aQuantive for $6.3 billion. Five years later, Microsoft announced the entire deal was a bust, and that it was writing off $6.2 billion of the $6.3 billion it spent as a loss. Over at Yahoo, Right Media's entire senior management team left the company within two years. Current CEO Marissa Mayer is unsure if she should just sell Right Media's assets for parts. Meanwhile, at Google, Mohan is still in charge of DoubleClick product and strategy. And other than Rosenblatt, who left once he was fully vested, most of Mohan's team from DoubleClick is still intact. What did Google and Mohan do right that Microsoft and Yahoo could not? Most of the credit goes to Susan Wojcicki. Wojcicki is the executive who built Google's advertising business, including search advertising, which still accounts for more than 95 percent of Google's $50 billion annual revenues. She reports directly to CEO Larry Page, who trusts her so immensely that there is a saying at Google, "What Susan wants, Susan gets." What Wojcicki wanted in 2007 was DoubleClick. She got it. What Wojcicki wanted in 2008, after the DoubleClick deal finally gained approval from antitrust regulators, was to replace the people who had been building Google's display advertising products with DoubleClick's management team. The move could have been controversial. It put Google's widelyrespected chief of display product, Gokul Rajaram, on the street. Rajaram has game. He's now running Facebook's multi-billion dollar display advertising business. If Mohan had whiffed, the numbers Rajaram is putting up just down the highway from Google would

have made Wojcicki look very bad. But Mohan hasn't whiffed. In January 2012, Google announced its display advertising gross revenues reached $5 billion in 2011. Google isn't planning on releasing a 2012 update to that number, but we hear whispers of $7 billion or more, with Google keeping 32 percent of that. Many people believe the reason Mohan has done so well at Google is that he is able to talk to engineers about advertising and media in a way they understand. "At a company like Google, one that really thrives on intellectual discourse, he was able to come into most senior rooms and describe the whole strategy that drove the acquisition and explain it incredibly coherently," one colleague says. "Generally people are able to either go wide or go deep. He manages to do both, which I'm impressed with anytime I'm in the room with him at the most senior levels." The other big reason for Mohan's success at Google has been that Wojcicki and senior management have given him lots of money to spend

on acquisitions, and he has spent it very well. Mohan has spent it on companies developing products that fit into the vision for DoubleClick he and Rosenblatt first laid out in that 500-page PowerPoint: becoming a company that provides an end-to-end solution for digital advertisers and publishers. The best example of a successful Mohan acquisition is a startup called Invite Media, which Google bought for about $85 million in 2010. The deal process began when, during one of his quarterly meetings with one of Google's big advertising clients, Mohan asked what kind of tools the agency was using, and which of them would be easier to use if Google owned them. The agency — a source tells us it was Omnicom — said Mohan should look at Invite. Invite was one of the first companies to create a product that the industry calls a "demand-side platform" that facilitates "real-time bidding." Essentially, it was a dashboard Madison Avenue agencies could use to buy ads that would be shown to particular kinds of people

almost anywhere across the Internet on the fly and in an instant. It fit perfectly into Mohan's long-term vision for DoubleClick and Google. So he went and talked to Invite Media's CEO, Nat Turner, and told him Google would like to buy his startup. Normally, even relatively small deals take as much as six to nine months to complete. Mohan got a term sheet in front of Turner within the month. "He timed it perfectly," says Turner, who worked at Google for a time and is now working on another startup. "He did it before we got too big — before other companies gave us offers." Since the acquisition, "real-time bidding" and "demand-side platforms" have become an everyday part of the entire display advertising industry online, and Google's tools are considered the best in the space. "You could argue that was the most perfectly timed acquisition that Google has made since DoubleClick," says a Mohan colleague. "If he had waited a little bit more, who knows, it could have been a much more expensive

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Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt

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Neal Mohan acquisition. It could have been a whole different dynamic. That acquisition closed and the hockey stick growth phase immediately followed." Mohan has acquired several other companies for Google, including Admeld and Teracent. He's building that end-to-end solution for advertisers and publisher as if it were a giant puzzle, says Turner. "I would argue startups invented each little pocket of that whole thing, but Neal is the puppetmaster. He's the guy who got the resources and pulled everything together."

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How does a $100 million Googler work?

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So what are some of Neal Mohan's secrets? How does he work? What can the rest of us learn from a guy whom Google is paying $100 million? We asked current and former colleagues and clients about his management style, and this is what we learned. From current and former direct reports: "He's not a screamer or a big tablebanger." "You don't waste a lot of time in meetings with Neal, that's for sure." "If I escalate something to him, I know that he will return a response." "He gives you a lot of autonomy, but believes in defining big, specific, and

"He's not a screamer or a big table-banger. He listens to his partners. He invests time in understanding what they need." strategic goals." "Every three months, he makes sure there is not a lot of redundancy in his product line, which is critical because in ad tech, everything has to sync." "He doesn't bullshit. If our numbers were going bad, I heard from him." "I never had to talk to him unless I needed to. It was awesome."

From clients: "He is the quiet assassin. He's not a big show-boater." "He listens to his partners. He invests time in understanding what they need."

How come Mohan's not a CEO somewhere? Twitter isn't the only company that's tried to hire Neal Mohan away from Google. A former senior executive at

Facebook said he tried to lure Mohan over. Another source close to Mohan says he gets notes from competitors all the time. Why has he stayed? Why isn't he CEO of something, somewhere? A source close to Mohan tells us he already feels like CEO, but one who doesn't have to do all the annoying parts of the job. "Obviously, [Mohan] gets pinged on these types of things. But in this role [he] gets to make a big impact on the entire industry, building things for publishers, advertisers, agencies and consumers. "[Meanwhile,] Google provides the basic infrastructure - starting with a great CFO and a global sales organization. Building a product at Google you get to plug into and take advantage of all that. You get to focus." "He's in a really good spot," says Turner. "There is one guy who runs display advertising at Google, and that's Neal. Susan leaves it to him. "If he had a another display guy above him, or if there were political nonsense going on, he would probably take off sooner. But there isn't." Another source, a proud former colleague, brings up another reason Mohan hasn't left Google. "I don't think you can ignore the compensation." (From Business Insider)

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How not to be conned while buying a home A real estate exhibition concluded recently in Mumbai dubbed itself as "India's biggest property expo" and promised "properties across all budgets". It flopped, as many of the previous ones did, for the reality is that property in Mumbai, and elsewhere in India, has completely detached itself from the fundamentals of affordability and economic value. eople will come to gawk at the pictures and brochures on display and then swallow hard when they see the extortionate prices mentioned for property situated at non-commutable distances and which will anyway be delivered years later. The ones who actually end up booking or buying will often do so for the wrong reasons. And what is true for Mumbai property is equally true for Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai or even tier-2 cities and towns. Indian property is a bubble waiting to burst, and the only reason why it has not burst already is the artificial constriction on its supply by the politician-builder-criminal nexus.

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Prices are high not because of genuine demand, but because our netas and babus and businessmen do not want to let the supply of cheap land rise for fear of destroying the value of their own benami assets.

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If you are not convinced, ask yourself: why is it that when property prices are so high their shares have performed so poorly? Every politician, from the highest to the

lowest, is invested in land and property for some reason or the other usually personal gain. We know Sonia Gandhi and her son got possession of a Rs 1,600 crore Herald House in Delhi through a trust they personally control. They even used the Congress party to fund it. We know Sonia's son-in-law Robert Vadra is a big property speculator. We know why BS Yeddyurappa had to lose his job in Karnataka for dubious property deals and for letting the mining lobby run riot. We know why Nitin Gadkari had to give up the BJP's presidentship. We know that politicians such as Sharad Pawar and Jagan Reddy of YSR Congress are neckdeep in property deals. The buzz in Hyderabad is that Telangana is not happening because several Andhra politicians have bought benami land in and around Hyderabad, which will be the capital of Telangana, when created. If the state is announced before they can encash the land, politicians in Telangana will have the upper hand on pricing. The short point is this: politicians have a vested interest in keeping property prices high. This is why they want interest rates to be lower, so that more people can buy property; this is why they want to allow FDI in retail, so that

more Wal-Marts can buy land in urban areas; this is why they want a Land Acquisition Bill that will artificially boost rural land prices four-fold, and land near the urban periphery two-fold from already high current market prices. This is why the rural development ministry is talking of a Right to Homesteads which sounds like a proaam aadmi move, but will end up pushing land prices unaffordably high even in rural areas. If you don't believe me, ask yourself: what stops city municipal corporations

So it is a myth to believe that property prices will keep rising in urban areas just because land is scarce. Land is not scarce, it is made artificially scarce. When every other resource involved in constructing property limestone, cement, glass or steel is subject to the laws of demand and supply, only land has been artificially inflated by politicians and builders because that is where their wealth lies. This is why they try to foster the myth that property prices have only one way to go: up. If we stop believing this, we

So it is a myth to believe that property prices will keep rising in urban areas just because land is scarce. Land is not scarce, it is artificially made scarce. won't buy houses we don't need, and pay prices we can't afford. Here are the usual reasons we trot out to ourselves while buying a home: Property prices in the city are unaffordable so let me buy something somewhere, even if I never intend to live there. When the price appreciates, maybe I can sell it and buy something more livable. This is why Bangalore's techies buy property near the airport 33 km away as a form of investment. I already have a home. So let me invest in something that looks cheap

today, even if it is 50 km away from my workplace. I may keep it vacant, but surely I will make a neat profit when the price appreciates. This is why Mumbai's propertied classes buy second homes in hill areas of the state, or even in deep suburbs. This is why Delhi's middle classes invest in property along the Yamuna Expressway though they know it is an extraordinarily long commute if they even went to live there. I already own a small home in the city. If I flip it and buy a larger home half way to Mahabalipuram from Chennai, I can stay there when I retire some time in the distant future, grow potted plants, play golf and live the good life. This logic entices many people, even though they know there is no water supply, or good infrastructure in the place where they are buying cheap property. "Cheap" property is not cheap without a reason. When interest rates fall, my EMIs will become more affordable. So let me grit my teeth and buy something I simply cannot afford right now. This is

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from raising the floor space index (FSI)? Urban land may be limited, but construction can surely be vertical. In Singapore, they construct not only upwards but downwards: they build several stories underground and not just overground. If the normal FSI is one, raising it to two would double the available land. If we raise it to five or 10, as in parts of New York, the land available in urban areas would rise fivefold or 10-fold, and prices would drop like a stone.

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Assuming you are not rolling in money or are an expert realtor who knows when to buy or sell property, I would like to suggest that many of the above arguments just don't wash. a super-flawed argument: interest rates are not your main cost; the price of the property is. When I bought my flat, interest rates were a high 14-15 percent. But low prices were what enabled me to buy. Living in a rented property is never a viable proposition. I have to buy a house at any cost. When rentals are 1-2 percent of property costs, it makes better sense to rent than buy. Your EMIs will usually be at least two to three times the rent. Assuming you are not rolling in money or are an expert realtor who knows when to buy or sell property, I would like to suggest that many of the above arguments just don't wash.

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The only good reasons to buy property are these: you want to live in it, and have the necessary income to pay the loan bills every month. If you buy for any other reason, you are indirectly supporting the politician-builder nexus.

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If you are still not convinced, let me bust the implicit assumption that property prices can never fall. The truth is property prices have both risen and fallen in all countries which run a free

market. Even in India they have fallen, but we don't want to believe the evidence. Take Mumbai's southern tip of Nariman Point. At one stage a decade or two ago, prices for commercial space were upwards of Rs 40,000 per square foot. Today's average is Rs 25,000 per sq ft though the actual price may vary from building to building, from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 per sq ft. This is not only a steep 37 percent fall, but adjusted for inflation, the fall would be more than 70 percent from the peak. But, you may point out, residential prices are not following the same trend. Possibly true. The reason why this trend is more apparent in commercial property than residential is simple: commercial property is bought and sold without emotion by beady-eyed finance professionals who weigh the opportunity cost of the money they invest; residential properties are often bought for emotional reasons ("I need somewhere to stay") and pure greed ("Let's buy a second home and make money from the appreciation.") To be sure, even residential prices do

fall, but we tend not to notice it. I remember I had bought a home in Thane (a satellite city of Mumbai) in 1997, and for the next few years not only did the price not rise, it actually fell 20 percent. It was only after six to eight years that the price stabilised and started rising consistently. Now, despite what builders tell us, prices are again levelling off. If I had bought my small flat just for appreciation, I would have lost money in the initial years. Even a bank fixed deposit would have doubled my money in those six to eight years. The point I wish to make is this: don't buy property in the belief that it will keep rising. Buy it only if you want to stay in it, unless you are a specialist speculator and know the ins and outs of property buying. The fact that property has risen for the last 10 years first on the basis of real demand and later on artificial steroids is no guarantee that it will rise for the next 10. Sooner or later, the laws of demand and supply will catch up with the reality of unaffordability. Don't be fooled. By R Jagannathan for Firstpost

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By Pete Jaison


IPL Set for Nail Biting Final Stage he Indian Premier League has reached its final and nail biting stages. The Top4 are yet to be decided but the two big guns – Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore have almost landed in the playoff stages. Chennai has been in outstanding form with the likes of Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Badrinath, ‘Sir’ Jadeja, and Captain Cool all experiencing incredible form. It looks as if the CSK team may complete a hattrick of titles this year. With every department - be it batting, bowling or fielding - clicking good for the Chennai Super Kings. With the exception of Sunday’s loss to the Mumbai Indians, they do look like the most formidable team still. All is indeed well for the whistle Podu side.

Meanwhile, last year’s champions, Kolkata Knight Riders has been off-color and very ordinary. Their captain Gautam Gambhir may have experienced good form at the start of the season but has been failing miserably in the last few games. Manvinder Bisla and Yusuf Pathan found their old form but it seems like it is a little too late for the side. The mystery spinner, Sunil Narine who baffled batsmen last season hasn’t been the match winner he had proved to be. The entire team hasn’t been impressive this year and they face the challenge of winning every single game hereafter. Mumbai Indians keep gaining

momentum after each game and it looks as if everything is falling in place for them at the right time. The highly talented Rohit Sharma has delivered when the captaincy reins were given to him when Ricky Ponting dropped himself owing to poor form. Dinesh Karhik and Dwayne Smith have been consistently performing for them. The top quick bowlers of the team, Mitchell Johnson and sling bowler Lasith Malinga have found their rhythm at the right time. It definitely won’t be a surprise if Mumbai Indians manage to secure a playoff berth. The newbie of the tournament, Hyderabad Sunrisers has looked pretty decent and they too are in the right track. Dale Steyn, their main bowler can be very devastating on his day and Darren Sammy has been looking extremely good

The Priety Zinta side, Kings XI Punjab does not boast of a game-changing player except Adam Gilchrist but he too isn’t looking very solid with the bat. Nevertheless they have pulled off some surprise wins already, on their day, they can upset any big side. Their most consistent player has been David Miller, and the hurricane 101 off 38 balls he scored against RCB is one of the best ever knocks in the history of the tournament. The Kings XI has been riding on Miller’s performances so far in the tournament and its high time their other batsmen chip in too. Both Delhi Daredevils and Pune Warriors are more or less out of the tournament, but now the pressure is off them and hence both these teams can be party poopers. The IPL is looking to be heading for an exciting finish yet again and 7 teams are still in contention for the playoff spots. And as Danny Morrison would say – let’s get cracking!

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The Royal Challengers on the other hand have only two departments - Gayle and the rest of the team. With ‘Gayle storm’ going wild in some games (despite faltering in a few as well ), their young captain Virat Kohli in red hot form, and de Villiers still seeming to be unstoppable, Bangalore too has been in the groove. Their pace battery is looking to be a little bit out of charge but still managing to get the job done for the Challengers.

with the bat and they can’t be written off by any side. The Indian players too have been in good touch, with Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma contributing to the team’s success so far. Rajasthan Royals too, are looking well poised to sneak off with a playoff spot. Their batting has looked very solid with Shane Watson, Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane, and the new find, Sanju V Samson, all looking pretty good with the bat. Watson has been very consistent with the ball as well.

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“Rather go to bed supper-less, than rise in debt,� wrote Benjamin Franklin around 250 years back. But if India Inc were to be presented this quote in the 2005-08 bull-run, our Chieftains would have guffawed at the First American. Because, here was easy money, truckloads of easy money. All you needed was a tall story. And this easy money came in varied forms - project finance, term loans, working capital, FCCB, ECB, GDR, fully-convertible, partially-convertible, optionally-convertible, compulsorily convertible, and what not. It was so easy during that time that even tiny operations like Cals Refineries or Karuturi Global could raise several hundreds of crores of rupees from overseas. Just a tall story like relocating a refinery from Europe or leasing 3 lakh hectares in Ethiopia for free, was enough. So, what could have been the easiness felt by bigger, well established players? Any conglomerate would have been foolish not to take it, or so it seemed at that time. GDP growth rates were in near double digits, interest rates seemed to be in a freefall, and for a while it seemed that India would surprise herself by marching ahead of schedule into the league of developed nations that are characterised by some of the lowest interest rates in the world. And some sectors like infra & power changed colours from the dull of concrete to the dazzle of diamonds.

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ut then came Lehman. Equities got thrown off from the cliff. For a while, it seemed that the debt market too would be affected. But it didn’t, as Central Bankers across the world invented a nifty trick to plug the gaping hole created by Lehman and its ilk. They started printing money and dumping it in the market like there is no tomorrow, and debt once again became easy. To plug holes in their own balancesheets, India Inc’s chieftains again started gulping down money. But there was a catch, this time around. Within the next few quarters, inflation started inching up in several markets including India, due to the huge

Capt. Krishnan Nair

as cases like Kingfisher and Suzlon reveals, rather it was just the beginning of a vicious cycle.

25 that he and another brother had brought upon themselves by smoking in secret.

Taking on debt had simply became a habit for many. As Warren Buffett puts it succinctly, “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

Lies were not limited to debtors alone. Creditors too invented their own lies restructuring of non-performing assets. Blessed by the Central Banker, lenders went on a restructuring spree, without bothering to check whether there was any fundamental flaw in the business model they were financing. With a good percentage of the potential NPAs being public sector units like State Electricity Boards, and with private sector loans being given out on strong political patronages, RBI had no option either.

But when leverage ratios started looking unjustifiable even to their patrons in the banking system, there was another easy solution - boost profits and thereby enlarge networth or shareholders‘ equity, so that the debt/equity ratio becomes justifiable enough to pile up more debt. The long-running trick of capitalization of expenses, then came in handy. But it was nothing new. “Debts and lies are generally mixed together,” remarked

GM Rao

oversupply of money, which eventually caused interest rates to reverse their downward trajectory and start moving up. Finally, debt was beginning to bite.

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Ragupati Sighaniana

debt-feasting India Inc. Obnoxious debt/ sales ratios started surfacing. Hotel Leela Venture was just one example. The Leela’s debt had become 6.5 times to 8.3 times of its annual sales. The writing on the wall was clear.

But by that time, all conventional norms of safety while taking on debt - like the traditional 0.5 times debt/equity ratio had been breached by hundreds of listed companies - large-cap, mid-cap, & small-cap. “You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt,” warned noted Euro-sceptic, awardwinning journalist, and English politician Daniel Hannan in 2009, echoing centuries of financial wisdom. But our corporate honchos would have nothing of that sort, as they piled up more debt to service old debt, often at a higher rate, reflecting the new normal in the interest regime. And this was not a one-off event

Networth boosting lies and restructuring lies, however, had limits up to which they can go. Other ratios started troubling

Many of these business models were fundamentally unviable. They were never going to survive without painful surgeries. But there was an even more serious problem. The debt contagion was spreading. Ajit Gulabchand

French polymath and thinker Francois Rabelais more than 500 years back. Even someone like Gandhi was susceptible to the natural mix of debt and lies. While he was 15, Gandhi admits to having stolen a piece of gold from one of his brother’s armlets to clear a debt of Rs.

“If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours,” said John Maynard Keynes, arguably 20th century’s most influential economist. Finally, banks and their granddaddy RBI admitted that they have a huge problem. But they claimed that they also had a

produce quite satisfactory economic results, with no aid from leverage. It seems to us both foolish and improper to risk what is important - including, necessarily, the welfare of innocent

But for all its famed successes like Wockhardt, the fact is that the CDR mechanism is not a silver bullet to the debt problem, not even by a long shot. While many like Kingfisher are not even admitted to the CDR ward, some other admitted patients like Suzlon and their key lenders like SBI are moving from one complication to another, affecting the health of both. The greatest collateral damage from debt was something else whatsoever. SBI or PNB may or may not get back their full dues. Kingfisher or The Leela may or may not survive as a company. But the entrepreneurs and the

Manoj Gaur

bank officers are surely going to survive, if not thrive. But what about the massive losses lakhs of retail investors have been hit with, through direct equity exposure or through mutual funds? Many of the debt-laden stocks have been on a freefall for more than five-years now, eroding 80-95% of investors’ savings. The plight of investors are evident from another ratio - debt/marketcap. Suzlon, for example, has nearly run up a debt that is 5 times of its market capitalization. An equally disturbing angle is what has been happening to employees of highlyleveraged companies like Kingfisher. Buffett explains that this side-effect of debt is why Berkshire Hathaway steers clear of such companies. “Good business or investment decisions will eventually

Everyone sharing the common denominator of highest imaginable debts. What will be their natural end? Will it be as tragic as Shakespeare says, “He that dies pays all debts.” Kumar Mangalam Birla

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Gautam S Adani

bystanders such as policyholders and employees - for some extra returns that are relatively unimportant.” But then India Inc’s Chieftains would claim that Old Man Buffett is not ambitious enough. After all, didn’t he desist from investing in any Indian stock despite the ambitious things we have been doing? Like GVK Group that has its hands in every happening pie, from airports to energy to hospitality to infrastructure to life sciences to transportation. Or like GMR Group that has tall ambitions in everything from airports to energy to infra to SEZs. Or like Adani Group that is equally ambitious across several domains including ports and trading. Or more well-known ambitions like that of Suzlon, Hotel Leela, or Kingfisher.

GV Krishna Reddy

The real lingering doubt in the market is something else. Are they all cases of entrepreneurial calculations just gone wrong? Or are they the most-calculated corporate mis-governances in the history of India Inc? A cunning bet that it is easier to make money by taking lenders and equity investors for a long ride, rather than create a viable and sustainable business model?

Seasonal Magazine takes a long hard look at some of the highest-debt companies in India, to ascertain whether there is any hope left for its various stakeholders. We also bring you companies whose debt are at reasonable or acceptable levels, as well as companies who run zero-debt or negligible-debt operations.

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solution. Enter Corporate Debt Restructuring, a joint mechanism by which the companies as well as their lending banks both lie on the surgical tables to get some excess flab removed.

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Kingfisher Airlines

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When Vanity was Indeed Proved Vain


rom a modest annual sales of Rs. 306 crore in FY’05, Vijay Mallya guided Kingfisher Airlines to achieve dizzying heights by FY’11, recording a revenue of Rs. 6360 crore, which was a 21 times sales growth within just 6 years. Somewhere along the way, it even tried to be Jet Airways, by diluting its luxury tag to accommodate low-cost carrier Air Deccan. Kingfisher even came close to this ambition by becoming India’s second-largest private carrier for a short period of time. Debt was cheap in those times, and the liquor baron faced no issues in getting easy and massive debt, given the clout of his UB empire and his political connections. KFA played some moves really smart like merging itself into Deccan - and not the other way around - for the dual benefit of getting an international licence as soon as possible and for utilizing Deccan’s listed or public status. The sales growth and merger was enough during the 2007-08 bull run to take the stock from Rs. 148 level (when it was only Deccan) to Rs. 335 (for the combined entity) within less than 18 months. Kingfisher Airlines would also eventually go international. The pride was even visible on the faces of its hostesses and stewards, as it bordered on arrogance. KFA was like no other as this was Mallya’s personal airline. But looking at the state in which Kingfisher Airlines finds itself today, anyone would wonder what was the whole idea about. Because, during all these years, Kingfisher has never made a rupee of profit, at least in the classical

sense of that term. Was the merger with Air Deccan to blame? To a large extent, yes, as what its founder Captain GR Gopinath had created was a business that was never destined to be financially viable. The too clever Captain sold off to Mallya at the correct moment, and from that moment on it became Mallya’s pain. But blaming Gopinath is not the full story either, as Kingfisher Airlines had never managed to make a penny either before acquiring Deccan, or after acquiring Deccan and running it as Kingfisher Red, or even after winding up Red. That is, make a penny for its public investors or lenders, as it would be foolish to assume that promoters didn’t make a killing with generous debt, naïve investors, and equally naïve customers who shelled out the costliest fares in India. But even a restructuring blessed by its lenders, a couple of years back, couldn’t ‘save’ Kingfisher. Pundits reached the obvious conclusion that for all his famed flamboyance and entrepreneurial skills, Mallya seems to have a flair for only growing his inherited high-margin liquor business, where he is a monopoly in India. And he has recently proved that he intends to keep both businesses separate, when he refused to bring in funds from the stake sale to Diageo to revive his practically defunct airline. By the end of FY’12 itself, debt stood at Rs. 8030 crore. And the situation seemed hopeless with KFA ending FY’12 with a massive Rs. 2328 crore loss. Still, Mallya and his staff battled on through FY’13, hoping against hope for a turnaround trigger - like the aviation FDI - that would never come in time.

335 achieved during December 2007, it had been on a steady fall, pulling more and more investors into its vortex who kept on averaging or entering, unwilling to believe that Mallya, his bankers, and his political godfathers would let this once high-flying airline simply wither and die. But as things stand now, it seems that that was the plan after all. It has been months now since KFA was forced to stop flying by DGCA on safety concerns. The stock recently touched yet another alltime low of Rs. 6.55, which is a 98% erosion in price from its peak. Debt now stands at 14 times of its eroded

market-cap of just Rs. 560 crore. In some ways, even the current price of Rs. 6 odd is a miracle for the share as the networth or shareholders’ equity has long turned negative, standing at Rs. -5082 crore by FY’12 end, which implies that the per share book-value of Kingfisher Airlines is at around Rs. -67. Though there is no doubt that Kingfisher would go down in history as one of Mallya’s worst incompetencies or misgovernances, it is equally a black mark in the capabilities of our bankers, regulators, and policy makers.

Vijay Mallya

Seasonal Magazine

Routes were cut, and costs were trimmed, but all of it proved to be too little, too late. By the time aviation FDI came, KFA had became too unattractive for a suitor. Lenders led by SBI who were once too kind, had turned too cold, if not unkind. They have flatly refused the CDR route citing that Mallya is not doing his part like bringing in additional promoter‘s contribution. Mallya’s once-proud boys and girls have also turned against him, as salaries stopped coming. But the greatest hit as usual was borne by its equity investors, especially retail investors. From dizzying heights of Rs.

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Tulsi R Tanti


Suz-Loan! he story started 18 years back. The year was 1995 to be precise. World was racing to not just the millennium, but to a huge energy crisis. Nations were exploring all alternative avenues, but India was nowhere on the renewable energy map. Wind was the most promising renewable during that time, as solar was still nowhere near economical. Enter Tulsi Tanti with his fledgling wind energy company, Suzlon Energy. Promise was followed up with some stellar performances from his core team. Strategy-wise too, Tanti seemed invincible. He created a 25:75 capital sharing model, whereby clients needed to bring in just 25% of the cost upfront, while Suzlon will arrange the remaining 75% on loan. Banks competed to give loans to Suzlon. Stupendous growth followed, and by the time Suzlon went for its IPO in 2005, market was willing to give Rs. 510 for a Rs. 10 face-valued share, with the IPO getting oversubscribed nearly 46 times. It was not only Tanti who became a billionaire, but many early investors like Citigroup made a spectacular killing. How could it have been otherwise? The promise Tulsi Tanti was unconsciously projecting was that of next Dhirubhai. If Reliance was about

yesterday’s energy technology - oil here was someone dominating tomorrow’s energy tech - wind power. As an alternative to fossil fuels, wind power is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, and uses little land. Wind power is also very consistent from year to year. While pioneers like Denmark is generating more than 25% of its electricity from wind, other countries have been fast catching up with nearly 90 countries now actively pursuing massive wind projects. Even those who didn’t have enough or suitable land for installing the mammoth wind blades and turbine towers, got a shot in their arm, when offshore wind power or turbines-in-sea became not only feasible, but more promising due to the steady, strong winds existing on the oceans. For many years, wind power was growing at more than 25% a year, globally. And Suzlon Energy was not just the perfect company to ride this wave, but the only Indian company worth mentioning in this booming sector. From a small Indian player, Tanti’s vision saw Suzlon become a vertically integrated giant delivering end-to-end solutions from assembly, installation, and commissioning. The company manufactures blades, generators, panels, towers, and state-of-the-art large offshore turbines, all in-house.

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Seasonal Magazine

Tanti’s ambition was evident when he took the inorganic route to take Suzlon to the next orbit, by acquiring Belgian firm Hansen Transmissions in 2006 and German wind giant REpower in 2007. Suzlon is also integrated downstream and delivers turnkey projects through its project management and installation consultancy, as well as operations & maintenance services. Suzlon is a multinational company with offices, R&D, technology centers, manufacturing facilities, and service support centers, spread across the globe. Suzlon has R&D teams and facilities in India, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands, while the international sales business of Suzlon is managed out of Aarhus, Denmark. Tanti’s larger-than-life vision paid off and Suzlon rapidly became one among the Top-10 global wind energy firms. For a while, it seemed as though Tanti and Suzlon could do no wrong. By the peak of the 2008 bull-run, Suzlon stock had scaled the dizzying height of Rs. 2300 (for a Rs. 10 face-valued share) - which translated to 4.5X returns

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within less than 3 years. Then, Suzlon’s world started coming apart. The trigger was the 2008 world economic crisis itself. Wind power suddenly went out of wind. Hidden beneath the wind power euphoria were some stark realities that started surfacing. In most of its key markets including Europe and US, wind power was driven by state subsidies. The economic crisis caused the subsidies to dry up. There were technological challenges too that were hitherto understated. First was the undeniable fact that due to shortterm fluctuations in the nature of wind, it is never feasible to replace more than 20% of a national or regional grid’s requirement with wind energy. Which means it is no match to coal-based or gas-based generation. At the same time, wind energy has initial high costs, which makes the unit-cost of generation comparable to say, natural gas based power. Suddenly, wind power became a discretionary-spending project, which clients would embrace only for other advantages like lower pollution. But it is not fully true to

largest foreign currency bond default by an Indian firm. But fortunately for Suzlon, its bankers led by SBI have decided that it is a case fit for CDR. The process is, however, going to be long and painful for its investors as it stock has tanked by another 50% even after CDR entry. Another concern for the stock is imminent dilution on a massive scale, due to lenders agreeing to convert part of interest-due to equity, and which would plunge the promoter’s stake to less than 40%. In the final reckoning, whether Suzlon could be revived will depend largely upon how transparently and sincerely founder Tulsi Tanti will be undertaking the ongoing transformation. It is something that Tanti owes his shareholders who have lost savagely by investing in this promise.

Seasonal Magazine

put the blame on Suzlon’s fall to wind power’s fall. The industry’s fall just exposed what a nastily leveraged operation Tanti and company were running since the last few years. As of FY’13 beginning, the total debt on Suzlon’s consolidated book was Rs. 10,948.26 crore, which translates to a debt/equity ratio of 2.11 times. And the current total debt is even higher than this, with a much worse D/E ratio. But that is not all. This is the fourth year running in which Suzlon is in deep red losses, causing the stock to fall like a pack of cards. From its peak in 2008, Suzlon is trading at over 97% loss now. And survival looks difficult with a debt/ market-cap ratio of nearly 5 times. Around a year back, Suzlon also defaulted on a huge FCCB making it the

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Seasonal Magazine

L for Legend, or L for Lows? page 36

Capt. Krishnan Nair

Leela Venture’s stock, the L might stand for Lows or even Loans. Because, from its mid-2006 highs of nearly Rs. 90, the stock has steadily fallen over the next 7 years to recently mark a new low of Rs. 20. During the start of FY’13, consolidated debt stood at Rs. 3,643.47 crore. What is so bad about it? Aren’t they owning some of the finest real estate and hospitality properties across the country? Perhaps that was the thinking shared by not only retail investors but the banks who gladly kept on lending to The Leela during these last several years, hoping it to turn around. Its leverage was quite bad at 2.29 times its shareholders’ equity or networth, but there were even worst offenders than The Leela when it came to leverage. But the real problem lay somewhere else. The Leela churns out an annual revenue of only around Rs. 570 crore, and the debt is nearly 6.5 times the annual turnover! Some estimates says the total debt has now scaled to Rs. 4750 crore, and by that estimate the debtto-sales ratio is a shocking 8.3 times. Which naturally raises the question whether The Leela will ever be a viable and sustainable business model for its shareholders, 40% of whom are public institutional and retail investors. Though the promoters hold nearly 60% stake still, over 93% of it is pledged with financiers or banks. Hotel Leela Venture is now undergoing a painful Corporate Debt Restructuring with its lenders, which mandates that it has to sell off some of its dear properties within a deadline, which unfortunately is not the best way to get best prices. Other strategies Vivek Nair is now pursuing is an asset-light management-only model, instead of the realty-heavy model it pursued till now. But only time would tell whether the singular L in its logo indeed stands for a legendary turnaround.

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he Leela is without doubt one among the frontrunners in Indian hospitality industry. The brand’s full name - The Leela Palaces, Hotels, Resorts speaks volumes about Founder Captain CP Krishnan Nair’s towering ambition. On that ambition alone, Captain Nair, has zoomed from a nobody in the Indian hotel business to one among the top three or four players, like Vivanta (Taj), Oberoi, & ITC, all of whom starting much earlier. The 92-year old entrepreneur has recently moved up from an executive role to that of Chairman Emeritus, leaving the CMD’s role to elder son, Vivek Nair, who has plenty of help from the family itself, despite being a listed company. Captain Nair’s younger son Dinesh Nair is Joint MD, while granddaughters Amruda Nair, Aishwarya Nair, & Samyukta Nair are handling key roles from financial control to wine tasting to interior designing. The Group also has a professional President in industry veteran Rajiv Kaul. The Leela boasts of high occupancy across its eight palaces, hotels, & resorts, despite what is perhaps the costliest room rents in the country. The group is now actively mulling an overseas foray, starting with Dubai, and has plans to double its portfolio of hotels within the next four years. With such a pedigree and performance can anything go wrong for The Leela? The Group recently went in for a new brand identity, created by who else but Landor, Paris, one of the costliest design firms around. The singular L in the new logo is said to stand for Leela, Luxury, Legendary, Lavish and Lyrical. But for anyone who has owned the listed parent, Hotel



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GVK Reddy

GVK Power & Infrastructure

ew companies fit the word conglomerate as perfectly as GVK Power & Infrastructure, the flagship holding company of GVK Group. It holds diverse operations in mainly three core sectors - energy, airports, & transportation. Projects that GVK has done or operates even now will read like some of the best projects in India. How about Mumbai International Airport and Bengaluru International Airport? Both are by GVK and run by GVK. It is a pioneer in BOT road projects and has in its portfolio four large-sized BOT projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, & Madhya Pradesh. GVK has two large power projects under operation of around 450 MW each, and eight others in various stages of development, with three among them upwards of 800 MW each. GVK controls two coal mines in Jharkhand, and three in Australia, one of which is said to have the potential to be one of the largest thermal coal mining operations in the world. As part of its Australian mining operations, it has also bought 100% stake in a 500 km pit-

to-port rail link. GVK is also actively constructing a major airport in Indonesia, which would be operational next year. With the Group’s operations being such, why is GVK Power & Infra’s stock on a free fall since 2008? No marks for guessing. It is of course a case of an overload of debt. Founder Dr. GVK Reddy and his team has piled up so much debt on the company, for funding major projects, acquisitions, and diversifications, so much so that it doesn’t make any sense for anyone else but themselves. Public investors who hold nearly half of the equity have been badly hurt by the irrational strategy with the share falling from Rs. 93 to Rs. 9 during the last five years. GVK Power & Infra’s consolidated debt stood at Rs. 14,048.85 crore during FY’13 beginning, translating to a whopping 4.04 times of debt/ equity. Respite won’t be coming for a long time as this debt is also 5.64 times of annual consolidated sales. Survival of equity investors look stark as debt/market-cap is even worse at 9.24 times. Complicating the situation further, GVK slipped into the red for the first time since many years. Will GVK’s equity investors escape ever? For that to happen a miracle won’t be enough. It would require a series of miracles in countries as diverse as India to Australia, and in sectors as diverse as finance, infra, and power. However, the largest miracle required would be a change in the heart of Dr. GVK Reddy regarding strategy and transparency.

Seasonal Magazine

Jack of All Trades, Even Master of Some, But Stock Won’t Stop Falling

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Seasonal Magazine

A Model Turnaround Mantra Not Just for the Debtstruck, But for All

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ockhardt’s dramatic turnaround through CDR has so often been cited these days that, it now runs the risk of being viewed too simplistically. Even worse, witnessing the dramatic turnaround in Wockhardt’s stock, at least some sections of the market have come to believe that getting admitted into the CDR cell is the magical switch that causes a free-falling stock to stop and go overdrive, full-throttle. Though much of the pharma major’s turnaround from the brink is wellknown, Seasonal Magazine decided to get the story straight from Chairman Dr. Habil Khorakiwala. What he shared with us is so profound that though it may be a bit dizzying for the fainthearted, it will be inspiring for all who believe that success is never easy or automatic. The crux of the story is not that the whole Wockhardt family starting with the promoters - had to make great sacrifices and undergo great pains. There were sacrifices and there was unavoidable pain, of course, but that was not the main challenge. But before mentioning the main test, it is important to understand that Dr. Habil still thinks that much of the Rs. 4325 crore debt was not aimlessly made, but that most if not all of it, later proved to be the real game-changers for

Wockhardt. The now good-looking journey really began in the year 2006 when the company embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy to extend its presence in the Indian and international markets. Of course, there were other losses too, like derivative losses. Though there is no doubt that the company was overleveraged at that time - net debt / equity was at 5.7 times - what really upset Dr. Habil’s calculations was the global economic slump that started in 2008 and sustained for a couple of years. In July of 2009, the company was referred to the CDR cell. Though laden with a heavy debt burden, the fundamental business of the company remained strong. However, Dr. Habil’s genius lay in the fact that he realized a great truth - that much more than debt restructuring was needed to make good of the acquisitions that caused this debt, and thus elevate Wockhardt to a highly rewarding trajectory. The result of this realization was the formulation and implementation of a 3-year strategic business plan. Wockhardt also coined a perfect mission statement to make all the stakeholders, especially its employees, understand this policy. This mission statement was ‘More and More with Less and Less’. But that was easily said than done. Then came Dr. Habil’s master strategy for getting it going. He

started focusing on margins. In the pharma business, high margins primarily means high-margin markets and nothing much else. That is how Dr. Habil started shifting Wockhardt’s focus to the most lucrative market of them all - USA. But even that was easily said than done. To effectively deliver in this most advanced market, Dr. Habil knew that he would have to make Wockhardt spend more on one front - Research & Development. That is how, even amidst heavy cost-cutting on almost all other fronts, Wockhardt’s R&D spend steadily began to rise. From 3.6% of sales in FY’10, it jumped to 5.4% of sales in FY’12. It has again risen to 5.9% of sales in the first three quarters of FY’13. And the results from this move came in as emphatically as good karma. Contribution of US markets in sales jumped from just 20% in FY’10 to 44% in FY’12 and 50% in the first three quarters of FY’13! Needless to say, margins also jumped. Operating Profit Margin rose from 17.6% in FY’10 to 31% in FY’12. Also aiding margins were a couple of product strategies like differentiated products with complex technologies, and niche products with small market size, that helped mitigate competitive risks. But even these - R&D and product strategies - were not everything. People were empowered, productivity was increased, and cost optimisation was vigorously pursued across all their activities. The result was pleasant to look at with operating expense as a percentage of sales falling from 37.7% to 32% during the same period. And the greatest beauty of the whole strategic shift was that all these happened without sacrificing on the topline growth. Sales, in fact, surged from Rs. 3638 crores in FY’10 to Rs. 4614 crores in FY’12. Meanwhile, the execution of the scheme for Corporate Debt Restructuring was being fully implemented, quarter after quarter. Dr. Habil had bargained for a lucrative deal with his lenders, keeping in mind the long-term interests of all stakeholders, including all of Wockhardt’s equity holders who had been severely hurt during the free fall of the stock. Dilution of the core equity base was

Seasonal Magazine

avoided, even while arrangements for preference shares were accommodated in lieu of interest-cuts and deferments. Due to their co-operation and authentic dealing with their lenders Wockhardt was also successful in obtaining a really long lease of life for their remaining debt - extending up to 2018. But the going was not very smooth always, as there were lenders who found value in Dr. Habil’s strategy as well as lenders who tried to extract more and immediate returns from Wockhardt. They even went on to file a winding up petition against Wockhardt at one stage. But Dr. Habil stayed on course, fighting all his battles with elan. Promoters also brought in Rs. 80 crore as part of the CDR package, for which Dr. Habil had to make personal sacrifices like selling assets in unlisted operations like Wockhardt Hospitals. The simultaneous strategies of re-focusing on high-margin businesses as well as complying fully with CDR process have had a magical effect on the balance sheet as well as the stock. Today, Wockhardt’s Total Debt Outstanding on the books is just below Rs. 2000 crores with Cash-on-Hand of Rs. 1000 crores. Net Debt to Equity Ratio has fallen dramatically from 5.7 times in FY’10 to just 0.6 times by September 2012. Even more dramatic was the surge in Wockhardt’s stock performance. From its all-time low of Rs. 68 during April 2009, it has appreciated to a recent all-time high of Rs. 2166 - which is an almost 32X wealth appreciation within as little as 4 years! And analysts believe that Wockhardt stock is still not fully priced in. Even recent concerns raised by USFDA on a Wockhardt plant haven’t dented investors’ enthusiasm as they expect Wockhardt to overcome this challenge too. On his part, Dr. Habil Khorakiwala is continuing to steer the company towards increasing its investment in R&D so that it will continue to be the growth engine for the future. All the while teaching Wockhardtians and all of us for that matter, that what really matters in business and life is doing ‘More and More with Less and Less’.

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Jubilant FoodWorks

Seasonal Magazine

Debt Free Pizzas?

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The TV ads of Domino’s Pizza in India are not just catchy for its consumers. Towards the end, together with the world famous logo, comes the brand identity of Jubilant FoodWorks. Is it just the insecurity of a domestic franchisee, that while they are promoting a global corporation’s brand, it is better to put in their own name too? Consumers and even some branding strategists might think likewise. But not the investing community. They know very well why ‘Jubilant FoodWorks’ is flashed towards the end of every Domino’s commercial. Because, that is the name with which this latest minted multibagger experiment is known in BSE and NSE. It is as though Jubilant doesn’t want to stop at attracting pizza lovers, but want to attract pizza loving investors too. And, boy, does any other company want fresh investors more than Jubilant? Not by a long shot. Because, here is a company that landed into the capital market right during the aftermath of the global economic crisis, and proved almost every analyst wrong. And the landing was no simple affair either. The asking price was too high under every logic possible. For its January 2010 IPO, Jubilant Foodworks and its early-day private equity backers were asking a stiff price - Rs. 145 a share - which translated to a stiff valuation of 35 times price-earnings multiple! And even worse, the bulk of the IPO was an offer-for-sale by promoters and early investors, which meant that the bulk of the IPO proceeds wouldn’t come into the company at all. Assured by such obvious giveaways, almost every analyst gave it an ‘Avoid’

rating. But much to their dismay, this Jubilant Bhartia Group company had the last laugh. The IPO listed at over Rs. 160, went to an intraday high as far as Rs. 240, and closed the first day near Rs. 230. But that was not the real miracle. The scrip has never seen its IPO price of Rs. 145 level again. For those who thought that a 35 P/E was way too high, Jubilant crossed one obnoxious valuation after next, and currently stands at over 70 times in price-earnings multiple! At one point, quite recently, it was trading at even 88 times. Investors who got in through IPO have made a killing of nearly 8X within as little as 3.5 years. What is the secret for this unprecedented success? Nobody knows for sure. The core performance has been good, of course, with sales rising by nearly 2.5X times and profit by over 3X times. But was that enough to move from high valuations to dangerous valuations, no

one knows. Jubilant fans also claim that analysts were wrong in assessing the stock’s potential solely by the valuations of Domino’s Pizza in USA, as this is India, where the growth potential is much higher. For example, despite Domino’s being the market leader in the organized pizza market in India with a 62% market share and 70%+ share in the pizza home delivery segment, analysts agree that market penetration is still low in the country and that Jubilant can scale up things massively. Fans also cite the recent addition of Dunkin’ Donuts, another US based franchise chain positioned as Food Cafes, into Jubilant‘s portfolio. But there are also analysts who assess that it would be years before Dunkin’ Donuts can contribute significantly to the bottomline, till then being a drag on profits. On the governance front too, Jubilant Foodworks enjoys great strengths as the duo behind this game

is brothers Shyam Sunder Bhartia (ICWA) and Hari Sunder Bhartia (IIT Delhi), both of them Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2010. Together, they manage the Jubilant Bhartia Group employing 30,000 and valued at over $3 billion, with group companies including Jubilant Lifesciences, Jubilant Industries (both listed in India like Jubilant FoodWorks), and Jubilant Energy NV (listed in LSE AIM). Chairman Shyam S Bhartia is married to Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director of Hindustan Times Group, former Rajya Sabha member, daughter of industrialist KK Birla, and granddaughter of Birla family patriarch GD Birla. The corporate governance has also been good at Jubilant Foodworks, at least so far. So, will the Pizza party continue forever or come to an end soon? Well, the jury is still out on that crucial point. Naysayers still feel that the party will end, and that JF will go the way of earlier high-flyers from the group like Jubilant Lifesciences. But one thing is sure - the story so far has been excellent, and one of beating all odds. The high point is that the Bhartias have done all these while transforming Jubilant Foodworks into a zero-debt firm. Even whatever reasonable debt they had before the IPO was retired using the proceeds from the new issue of shares, which was a minor portion of the IPO.

Shyam S Bhartia

Seasonal Magazine

Hari S Bhartia




Titan Industries

Seasonal Magazine

Why RJ Doesn’t Flaunt a Patek Philippe

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atches are to rich men, what bags are to rich women. That is why even in this age of 50K smartphones, and always-on touchscreen displays that scream time everywhere from car dashes to desktops, men still want that next luxury watch, the one they would almost feel guilty of affording. Why should Rakesh Jhunjhunwala be any different? Big Bull is known for his expensive tastes. Yet, for a dollar billionaire who can even afford a Patek Philippe 1527 ($5 million a piece) if he wants to, RJ has often made a fool of himself in earlier interviews by flaunting a Titan on his arm, even though it was the costliest Titan around. But the reason for his penchant for this Made-in-India product has always been well-known - Titan needed all his brandambassador powers not just in selling watches, but in attracting more and more investors. Because, here was a story that went on to become one of the greatest investment successes of all time. From its fledgling beginnings in 1984, as a small partnership company at Bangalore between Tata Group and Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), its plans were hazy to say the least. Policy was a big issue in those days, even in watch making, like how many mechanical and quartz watches were each company allowed to make. The world had gone quartz, but India had her own HMT’s interests to guard, which made mechanical watches. The

Bhaskar Bhat

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala about Titan is its high debt. But over the years, Bhaskar Bhat kept his eye on reducing debt steadily, not just in debt/equity terms, but in absolute terms. So much so that by the economic downturn of 2008, Titan had turned into a text-book model company with 0.5 times debt/equity. But this widely admired CEO didn’t stop there, and the Titan you started seeing in 2012 had turned into a negligible-debt firm, if not a zero-debt firm. The bull run in gold was another shot in the arm for Titan Industries as Tanishq contributes the lion’s share of revenue. At the same time, Titan excelled on two other fronts dividend payouts as well as accumulation of cash reserves. It was a difficult job to deliver except for someone with innate skills, hard work, innovation, and high integrity. And that is why Bhaskar Bhat is one of the most highly respected CEOs not just in the Tata conglomerate but across India. RJ who is known to look deeply into CEO-expertise before investing, has often opined that he is

always on the lookout for the next Titan, but has been unable to find one. It should be difficult, as few shares has delivered as much to RJ as Titan. Until very recently, the combined stake of RJ and wife Rekha in Titan - around 10.31% - was valued at over Rs. 2870 crore, with his initial bet appreciating by 80-100 times within a decade! And co-promoters Tata and TIDCO are sitting on higher gains, as each still holds 25.17% and 27.88% respectively. But the bigger question facing Titan and Bhat now is whether the dream run has ended. The bull run in gold has subsided for now, and RJ has utilized it for profit booking, by selling a substantial 1.1% stake in Titan. Despite Q4 and annual results being good, some analysts feel that Bhat would find it difficult to keep Titan’s Return on Equity (RoE) at above the impressive 40%, as is the case now. But being about Titan and Bhat, one can’t be too sure. In any case, such outstanding performance is needed to keep Titan stock at where it is - enjoying a priceearnings multiple of over 33 times.

Seasonal Magazine

rest of the market was fragmented among hundreds of smaller watchmakers. But in 1985, Rajiv Gandhi changed rules, which allowed any company to make an unlimited number of quartz watches. Titan decided to make only quartz watches. Still it took another 2 years to make its first watch. An IPO soon followed, selling shares at par (Rs. 10) as was the norm and fair practice back then. Still, nobody gave it much of a chance including RJ, given the fragmented nature of the market. Led by Tata Group veteran, Xerxes Sapur Desai, till 2002, Titan did become the dominant private sector player in the market with its unique offering of excellent quality watches at high yet reasonable prices. In 1990, the company would also launch Tanishq, India’s first branded jewellery chain. But in 2002, things changed dramatically for the company as well as the stock. The man who replaced Desai was the young yet Titan-veteran Bhaskar Bhat. The IIT-IIM alumnus decided to take Titan Industries to a much faster orbit. At the same time, the stock was languishing at depths since the post-dotcom burst. Capitalizing on the opportunity, RJ surfaced publicly as an investor holding 1.57% of the equity which was brought at as low as Rs. 4 per share (for the current split share) or even less. Bhat’s strategies started working. On a massive ramp-up of own-stores and multi-brand retail stores, not just in India but across the word, sales of core brands like Titan, Tanishq, & Fasttrack accelerated. RJ kept on buying for many quarters until price was Rs. 12 to Rs. 20. In fact, market credits India’s Buffett for publicly exhorting retail investors to buy Titan Industries stock when it was at Rs. 6 in 2003-04. But even under Bhat, Titan was not a flawless balance sheet. Unknown to many in the younger generation of investors, Titan was an operation troubled by high debt. While RJ was buying the stock for the first time, debt was high, with a debt/equity of 2.87 times! Even the Big Bull himself is on record in 2003, saying that the one thing troubling him

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V-Guard Industries


Seasonal Magazine

Guarding the Balance Sheet Too

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f there is one word to describe the overall strategies of Kochiheadquartered V-Guard Industries, it would be, ‘prudent’. Since its IPO around 5 years back, the electrical appliances manufacturer has grown its sales by nearly 5 times through widening its pan-India reach as well as diversifying into several new product segments. Yet, this has been achieved without sacrificing the quality of its balance sheet. As of FY’13 end, V-Guard has run up a debt of only around Rs. 105 crore. That it makes up to only a prudent 0.52 times debt/ equity is not the bigger story. Recently, the company announced that it has clocked a turnover of Rs. 1350 crore for FY’13. Which means that it now has an enviable debt/sales ratio of 0.08 times, which is almost negligible. It is a far cry from what most comparable small-cap to mid-cap companies have been doing with regard to debt. But such prudence doesn’t mean V-Guard doesn’t take risks. Its history is full of taking risks, but only calculated and manageable risks. It had steered clear of purely idealistic positions like ‘zerodebt’, but scaled up to a level of debt that was not only perfect by text-book standards, but perfect by its own capacity to service debt, keeping in mind good returns for its equity investors. Originally an appliance maker, V-Guard had bravely ventured into the capital-intensive yet lowermargin business of electrical wiring

cables, which has however contributed handsomely to its topline as well as bottomline in recent years, when competition intensified in its core home appliances business. On the equity side too, V-Guard promoters Kochouseph Chittilappilly and Mithun K Chittilappilly have steered clear of lazy-money practices like continuous equity dilution that many small-cap and mid-cap promoters are prone to. Since the 5 years since its IPO, equity has remained steady at a tad lower than Rs. 30 crore. And the investing community has recognized such practices for the underlying intention

Kochouseph Chittilappilly

- that the promoters intend to create wealth through the shareholder base and not outside it, which is a cornerstone of corporate governance. The prudent debt practices of V-Guard are indeed remarkable as its core business of consumer goods is traditionally highly working capital intensive. For companies who have gone for large manufacturing facilities, the long term capital also may be on the higher side. However the unique model of manufacturing followed by V-Guard - which involves outsourcing about 60% of its products - has helped it to keep the long term capital as well as borrowings to a minimum. In fact, during the 5 years since its IPO, VGuard has never reached even a 1:1 debt:equity ratio, with the highest being in FY’11 when it was 0.81 times. On the working capital front too, constant efforts are made to keep the cash conversion cycle at optimum levels by consistent monitoring of the inventory and debtor outstanding, as well as increasing the payable days by using vendor financing and supplier bill discounting. V-Guard has also entered into channel financing facility with few bankers to provide financing to their distributors. As a result of such efforts, the company has been able to improve their cash conversion cycle by

around 10-15 days year on year. The overall strategy is clear - don’t shun risk or debt, but while embracing it, be as prudent as possible. In a way, this is the same strategy with which founder Kochouseph Chittilappilly explained away his supreme human sacrifice of donating a kidney to a poor patient a couple of years back. Speaking to Seasonal Magazine which was quizzing him on his underlying humanist motive, Chittilappilly told in his characteristic self-effacing manner, “Risk comes from not knowing what one is doing. I am a student of science. I have spoken with enough doctors who confirm that a human needs only one kidney to live well. So, at my age, is donating a kidney such a big deal?” He did that to inspire a chain-reaction of kidney donations in his state of Kerala, by demonstrating that it is safe, but which succeeded only partially. The same phenomenon applies to his balance sheet too. It is there for everyone to study. But few promoters would take the pains to follow such a model. But it is a business paradigm that has delivered immensely for all V-Guar d shareholders who now sit on 6X gains within less than 5 years, despite V-Guard not being in a fat margin business.

Seasonal Magazine

Mithun K Chittilappilly

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Chanel launches Summer 2013 make up collection L’éTé Papillon De Chanel Chanel, for this season, launches an electric palette for carefree beauty. The summer palette comes in the most shimmering colours: golden yellow, electric blue, aquatic green and intense coral seem to quiver in the light like butterflies. The Stylo Eyeshadow by Chanel is ideal, compact and practical. Its lightweight, long-lasting formula ensures dazzling colour that electrifies the eyes. Specially formulated

with a high concentration of water, the creamy texture of Stylo Eyeshadow delivers an instant, soothing sensation of freshness which is ideal in summer. Its pen tip allows for easy application. Used as eyeliner, a sheer halo or a more intense colour block, it leaves an ultra-light and precisely adjustable layer on the skin in just one stroke. The wet effect brings out dense and radiant colour. Stylo Eyeshadow comes in six

For est E tials un ore Esssen sentials unvveils it w Rupam C ollec tion itss ne new Collec ollection Meaning ‘natural beauty’ in Sanskrit, Forest Essentials has launched the ‘Rupam’ collection of facial and body skincare products. The new range, yet another revelation of natural beauty and skincare as defined in Ayurveda, includes a Facial Cleansing Paste, Body Cleansing Paste, Hydrating Body Milk and Luxury Butter Soap. Forming the central core

of all formulations are the ingredients of pistachio and jaggery. A unique combination, pistachios and jaggery, along with other Ayurvedic herbs and natural vegetable butters, form highly potent skincare products rich in nutritive, antioxidant and moisturizing properties. Other than providing hydration to the skin, these fine ingredients also protect the skin from the

Canali Opens Second New York Boutique

Giorgio Armani’s “Acqua For Life Project” joins forces with Sean Penn and J/P Haitian Relief Organization

Seasonal Magazine

Luxury fashion designer Giorgio Armani announced his partnership with Sean Penn, CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO) to improve water conditions in Haiti. The Acqua for Life Campaign donated a $500,000 USD grant to benefit the Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) activities overseen by J/P HRO in the dense urban environment of Delmas 32, a neighborhood of Port-auPrince. Additional funds will be raised for J/P HRO at a special event during the Paris Photo exhibition in Los Angeles.

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Italian luxury menswear brand Canali has officially opened its first New York flagship store at 625 Madison Avenue, one of the Big Apple’s chicest addresses. The store joins the Broad Street boutique in New York, which is located in the heart of the Financial District. The two-story, over 500sqm space, has an elegant and

sophisticated setting, designed around a modern architectural concept with references to the brand’s renewed visual identity. The exterior features the Canali logo: two small diamonds that intersect into infinity, alluding to the infinite stitches used to transform a Canali suit from conception to reality.

IW C IWC Scha usen Schafffha fhausen la unche wo launche unchess ttw ne w models in it new itss Por tugue se ortugue tuguese Collec tion ollection

The new edition Furla Candy Bag for the Summer 2013 collection is a blaze of light, transparency and colour. As if enveloped in a warm summer sunset at the seaside, Candy Sunset captures the light and the motion of the waves, its colours light up and change from turquoise to blue and from orange to gold, in an infinite array of shades.

“Carrera by Jimmy Choo” eyewear capsule collection announced Carrera, a leading brand of Safilo Group and the iconic luxury fashion brand Jimmy Choo have announced an agreement for the design, production and distribution of an exclusive capsule collection of Carrera by Jimmy Choo sunglasses. The collection will blend the eyewear expertise and bold attitude of Carrera with the style and glamour of Jimmy Choo in a range of unique models combining high performance in a fashion forward aesthetic.

Chambor la unche st eexxclusiv e launche unchess it itss fir first clusive boutique in Bangalor e Bangalore Leading make up brand Chambor Geneva has launched its first exclusive store at Phoenix Market City Mall in Bangalore. While Chambor cosmetics are available to customer at all leading departmental stores with over 380 counters across India, the launch of this exclusive boutique is the perfect way for consumers to

discover and experience, first hand, the brand’s range of colour cosmetics, skincare and expert advice. The store houses a vast range of products such as foundations, concealers, eye makeup, lip and nail colour, etc; exchange tips and ideas with makeup artists; and also get professional advice on how to choose the right product to suit your skin type.

Tod’s la unche launche unchess Double Stripe collec tion o ollection off bags ffor or men in it s Spring/ its Summer 20 13 2013 collec tion ollection For Spring/Summer 2013, Tod’s has launched the Double Stripe collection for men, a range in soft calfskin leather designed for all types of usage: from daytime to night time, from professional to recreational and from office and business travel to weekends away for pleasure. The name derives from the double leather stripe that decorates each piece. The inspiration for this new project comes from the fact that modern men have a need for flexible, functional accessories that can adapt to a multitude of uses and situations while retaining an

air of modern elegance. There are nine different styles available in the Double Stripe Collection, including a weekend bag, a document case, a sporty hold all, a satchel with a shoulder strap, two types of soft briefcase and a messenger bag. All of them are available in two different materials. The models come in six different colours that range from brown and black to contemporary green, red and blue. The collection is enriched by precious details that make these bags versatile and reliable: double and inside pockets, zip, snap

Adding variety and grace to its Portuguese collection, Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has launched two elegant newcomers: the Portuguese Chronograph Classic and the Portuguese Tourbillon HandWound. The new Portuguese Chronograph Classic has a classically inspired design it also reflects a surprisingly independent look. This third chronograph member of the Portuguese dynasty preserves the identity and cultural heritage of the legendary originals of the 1930s. The timepiece comes complete with appliquéd Arabic numerals, a railway-track-style chapter ring and slender feuille hands. An arched-edge front glass makes this slim beauty’s 42-millimetre diameter seem smaller than it is. The traditional type of glass used admirably lends a wellbalanced and classical impression.

Seasonal Magazine

Furla la unche launche unchess the Candy Sunse Sunsett bag

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British Petroleum The new BP logo (redesigned in 2008) had a price tag of $211,000,000 or Rs 11,57,96,80,000.

The Pepsi logo came at a hefty price tag of $1,000,000 or Rs 5,48,80,000! The new Pepsi logo was designed by the Arnell Group in 2008. And of course, as is customary, the logo price include a complete branding package.

The ‘Swoosh’ cost $35 or less than Rs. 2000. The Nike corporate trademark was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, while she was a graphic design student at Portland State University. But over course of time, Nike made sure the designer was paid handsomely for creating one of the world’s most iconic brands.

Seasonal Magazine

One of the world’s most admired brands and recognizable logos, the BBC logo was redesigned in 1987 at a cost of $1,800,000 or Rs 9,87,84,000.

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How Much Should a Corporate Logo Cost?

The Accenture logo is priced at a whopping $100,000,000 or Rs 5,48,80,00,000. It was designed by Landor Associates in 2000.

Coca-Cola logo didn’t cost a dime. The famous logo was created by the bookkeeper of the inventor of the beverage. The typeface used, known as Spencerian script, was developed in the mid-19th century and was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.

On one extreme are design firms that swear by the need for corporate logos or brand identities. They can't be blamed as these high-expense corporate fancy is their breadand-butter. And there are enough takers too, with companies like Unilever spending huge time and money on getting their new logo right. On the other extreme are mega corporations that have decades-old or even centuriesold logo, made with little or no money, but still very successful on the branding front. And an even more extreme case is that of Google that have made fun of the whole process by changing their logo frequently for implementing the inspirational Google Doodles program. Here is a fun look at how much many famous corporate logos actually cost.

London Olympics This was one of the most controversial logo designs when it was first revealed. The London 2012 Olympics logo was loved by many, slammed by as many and it came at a price tag of $625,000 or Rs 3,42,65,625. The logo was designed by legendary logo designer Wolff Ollins in 2007.

Google logo cost nothing to design. The original Google logo was designed in 1998 by Sergey Brin, one of Google's founders. Later it has been fine-tuned several times, but the original concept was kept intact. And later, the search giant would turn imaginative on the logo, running their Doodle program by which on each suitable day the logo would be artistically changed to commemorate an achiever or achievement or festival, with the side-effect of generating millions of additional searches on Google.

The original Twitter logo was in use from its launch in March 2006 until September 2010. The price tag was just $15 or Rs 823. Not much is known about the new bird in use since then, with chances being that it was done inhouse.

The ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Banking) group logo redesigned in 2009 cost the organization $15,000,000 or Rs 82,32,00,000.

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Celebrity Cars Ratan TTa ata - Mer cede Merc edess Benz S Cla Classs No, Ratan Tata doesn’t drive a Tata Nano or a Jaguar. He uses a Mercedes S Class instead. His fleet also includes a Ferrari California, a Maserati Quattroporte, a Cadillac XLR and a Chrysler Sebring.

Abhishek Bachchan - A udi A8L Audi

Seasonal Magazine

Abhishek Bachchan’s latest addition is an Audi A8L. His customized Audi is powered by a 4.2-litre V8 diesel engine, and produces 350 BHP and 800 Nm torque. It costs upwards of Rs. 1 crore.


Harbhajan Singh - Hummer

Harbhajan Singh sometime back bought a Hummer and it became news when the traffic police slapped him with a penalty of Rs.3,000 for driving the vehicle without a registration number. Now that Hummer is no more in production, any guess on whether Harbhajan’s Hummer has appreciated or deprecated in price? Expert opinion is divided on the issue.

Bill Ga or sche 959 C oupe Gattes - P Por orsche Coupe

Seasonal Magazine

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates’ daily drive is a Porsche 959 Coupe. Only 230 numbers of this car were built and each one costs 2.2 crore Indian rupees. Earlier a high-speed driver, Gates has been booked by police for it. Now that he has turned a philanthropist, Gates’ interest in cars is waning.

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Celebrity Cars

Ga ut am Gambhir - Mahindr a Boler o Stinger Gaut utam Mahindra Bolero

Seasonal Magazine

Gautam Gambhir was delighted to own the Bolero Stinger, which he feels is stylish in looks and power packed in performance. According to Gambhir, the Bolero Stinger has everything he has ever wanted in an offroader and enjoys driving the vehicle both in the city as well as on long road trips.

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Bipa sha Ba su Bipasha Basu tle Volk olksswagen Bee Beetle Bipasha Basu is the proud owner of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle that she calls ‘Brad’. Though small in size, Beetle is big in power, and makes sense for celebrities who want small-sized luxury.

St eve Ballmer - FFor or d FFusion usion Ste ord Microsoft CEO and Bill Gates’ college buddy Steve Ballmer is a modest billionaire. He drives a hybrid Ford Fusion which is worth around Rs. 10 lakh Indian in USA.

Vir at K ohli - R ena ult Dust er ira Kohli Rena enault Duster

Seasonal Magazine

Renault recently gifted a Duster to the Toyota Etios brand ambassador for his outstanding performance in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli’s favourite car, however, is a white BMW X6.

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Celebrity Cars

Alic eW alt on - FFor or d Alice Walt alton ord F-150 King R anch Ranch Heiress of the Wal-Mart fortune, Alice Walton, is the second richest woman in the world. But she owns a simple car, a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch. It is worth Rs 22 lakh.

Saif Ali Khan - TTo oyota LLandcruiser andcruiser

Seasonal Magazine

Saif Ali Khan likes macho vehicles and thus owns two of the most capable SUVs - Toyota Landcruiser and Range Rover Sport. Both these vehicles offer excellent off-road ability.

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Seasonal Magazine

Celebrity Cars Muk esh Ambani - Ma ybach 62 Muke Maybach Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has a net worth of $22.3 billion, and is the world’s richest Indian. He drives one of the most luxurious cars, a Maybach 62, along with a Mercedes S Class and a Mercedes SL500. The Maybach costs Rs. 5 crores.

Sachin TTendulk endulk ar - Nis san G TR 530 endulkar Nissan GTR

Seasonal Magazine

Sachin Tendulkar, after selling off his Ferrari 360 Modena, soon bought a Nissan GTR 530. The cost of the GTR is approximately Rs. 70 lakh. An auto enthusiast, one of Sachin’s first cars was a second-hand BMW way back in 1993. “My pockets were not so deep back then so I had to opt for a second-hand BMW but it was a joy to drive that car,” says Sachin. The little master currently owns a BMW M5 and its SUV X5, and has also signed up with BMW on a contract.

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Salman Khan Audi Q7

Seasonal Magazine

Salman Khan is a SUV lover and owns a Range Rover, Audi Q7, and BMW X6. Also an avid biker, he also owns a Suzuki Hayabusa sports bike, one of the fastest motorcycles in the world. The latest addition to his portfolio is a limited edition blue Suzuki Intruder M1800RZ. A cruiser super bike, the Intruder, is a four stroke, 2-cylinder, liquidcooled, DOHC, 54째 V-twin machine.

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Celebrit ar elebrityy C Car arss

Vir ender Sehw ag - Ben tle on tinen irender Sehwag Bentle tleyy C Con ontinen tinenttal Flying Spur Virender Sehwag has expensive taste when it comes to luxury cars. If you thought the Nawab of Najafgarh likes brash SUVs or racing cars, you are grossly mistaken. Viru drives a Bentley Continental Flying Spur - the same car driven by world’s richest Carlos Slim - that costs more than Rs 2 crores.

Kangna R ana ut - BMW 7 Serie Rana anaut Seriess

Seasonal Magazine

She represents the young super-successful who can afford to buy expensive cars before they are even 25. Kangna Ranaut bought herself a BMW 7 Series on her 21st birthday. She says it’s very spacious and comfortable car.

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Yuvr aj Singh - LLambor ambor ghini Mur cielago uvraj amborghini Murcielago Yuvraj recently took his Lamborghini Murcielago for a spin at the Buddh International Circuit. Years earlier, Yuvraj Singh etched his name into the record books when he hit six sixes in an over in the World Twenty20 encounter against England. Yuvraj was awarded a Porsche 911 for the achievement by the then Vice President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Lalit Modi.

When Diya Mirza-Handrich won the Miss Asia Pacific title on 3 December 2000 in Manila, Philippines, she became the first Indian contestant to win this title in 29 years. Later turned into a successful actress. Diya Mirza has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Spastics Society of India, HIV awareness, prevention of female foeticide, CRY, & Narmada Bachao Andolan. Dia Mirza drives a Lexus LX SUV.

Seasonal Magazine

Dia Mir za - LLe exus LX SUV Mirza

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Celebrit ar elebrityy C Car arss Anil Ambani - LLambor ambor ghini Gallar do amborghini Gallardo Industrialist Anil Ambani drives a car that suits his personality, a Lamborghini Gallardo. The Gallardo accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 325 km/h. Its V10 engine offers 500 hp and 376 lbs-ft of torque.

Sride vi - P or sche C ayenne SUV Sridevi Por orsche Ca The 100th Porsche to be sold by Porsche India, is Sridevi’s Cayenne SUV, powered by a 3.0-litre V6 power unit capable of delivering a maximum output of 240bhp. The SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in just 7.8 seconds and the top speed is 218 kmph. Sridevi has really gifted the car to her husband Boney Kapoor.


Kapil De or sche P anamer a Devv - P Por orsche Panamer anamera The first ever Porsche Panamera Diesel in India was bought by 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev. took delivery of last month. Kapil thinks the car has sportiness, luxury and efficiency, and plans to drive it on a daily basis.

Carlos Slim Helu - Ben tle Bentle tleyy Con tinen ontinen tinenttal Flying Spur Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim Helu had long displaced both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as the world’s richest man. He drives a Bentley Continental Flying Spur which costs around Rs. 1.70 crore.

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8 Great Health Benefits of Sleep

Seasonal Magazine

If you’re not of the rare breed that worries about hours wasted while snoozing, you do love your daily dose of slumber. Perhaps you even look forward to it with unnatural enthusiasm. If so, you’re doing it right. Apart from being the most relaxing end to a long day, sleeping also has multiple health benefits.

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In the case of sleep deficiency, the body’s functions enter a state of high alert, and cause an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones. The stress hormones make it harder to sleep and the higher blood pressure amplifies the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Boosts Memory: In the time you’re asleep, the brain processes any new knowledge, organises the skills learned while awake, makes connections between events, feelings and memories, and sensory input. This helps you to process information and perform better.

Healthier Heart: A lack of sleep is often associated with increased blood pressure and cholesterol – factors directly responsible for heart ailments and strokes. Seven to eight hours of sleep will go a long way in promoting cardiovascular health.

Lowers Inflammation: One of the most important benefits of sleep is that it helps to keep stress hormone levels in check. This allows the body to alleviate the levels of inflammation, which is known to increase the risk of heart-related diseases, premature aging, arthritis, cancer and diabetes.

Enables Body Repairs: The cells in the body produce more protein while you’re asleep, which aids the body in recovering from damage caused by stress, ultraviolet radiation, and other harmful exposures.

Lowers Depression: Sleep has an impact on several chemicals in the body, including serotonin, which causes depression in people in the event of a deficiency. The right amount of sleep, close to 7 to 8 hours, can prevent the onset of depression by producing enough serotonin.

Weight Management: Lack of sleep may lead to an imbalance of the ghrelin and leptin hormones, which are crucial in regulating appetite. Additionally, the same part of the brain that controls sleep also increases metabolism. So to maintain or control weight, it is imperative to get adequate sleep.

Higher Energy & Alertness Levels: It follows logically that a good night’s sleep leads to more energy and alertness the next morning. This prepares the body for a day’s worth of activity and engagement, and increases the likelihood of another good night’s sleep. It’s a good circle to be caught in.

Seasonal Magazine

Reduces Stress:

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World's Most Expensive Food Ingredients Money is truly funny in the world of rich. To have all the wealth in the world to spend on the most luxurious things, would be the typical dream of the rich. Even when larger parts of the world are riddled by starvation and poverty, here is a list of the most expensive and luxurious foods in the rich world.

Seasonal Magazine

1. Most Expensive Spice:

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Saffron is derived from the essence of the saffron crocus flower. A rare celebrity in its own world, about half a kilogram of dry saffron is extracted from 75,000 flowers. That is the area of 5 Olympic level swimming pools. Since it requires so much effort to procure and manufacture, the spice is priced at INR 5500 – INR 55000 per kilogram.

2. Most Expensive Nut: The Macadamia nut, although utterly humble in looks, truly shocks you when you ask about its price and origins. It is the world’s most expensive nut, and accounts for the delicious chocolates that remain a rage throughout the world. The manufacturing alone is such a time-consuming process that it adds to the overall value and pricing of the nut. A tree can only produce these nuts after a decade of rearing. It requires fertile soil and very heavy rainfall. The wonderful thing about these nuts is the creamy white kernel, which tastes like heaven on a platter, that is, only after you manage to crack open its tough exterior. The kernel is composed of 80 pc oil and 4 pc sugar and its price exceeds INR 1650 per kilogram.

3. Most Expensive Caviar: It has been the dream of every high-roller to savour the tastes of life with caviar and bubbly in their hands. However, the most expensive caviar in the world doesn’t make this dream any easier. The Beluga Caviar is literally the Godfather of all the caviars available. This luxurious caviar comes from a fish whose ancestry dates back to the Jurassic Period, and has remained the only living survivor of those 120 million years. With such a royal and grand heritage, how can it be cheap? A mere kilogram of Beluga Caviar costs more than INR 2,75,000. Talk about expensive fish eggs!

5. Most Expensive Potato:

Just when the world thought that mushrooms can sing happy and colourful songs in cartoon films, does the most expensive mushroom come around to surprise you. The white truffle mushroom grows in the fertile Piedmont Region and lives up to reach 12 centimetres in diameter and nearly 500 grams in weight. Nevertheless, it is the price that takes away the cake – the white truffle mushroom costs a whopper INR 2,79,984 per kilogram.

Seasonal Magazine

4. Most Expensive Mushroom:

Who would have thought that something as common as a potato would make this list? La Bonnotte is the world’s most expensive potato. With only 100 tonnes of this potato reared every year, a single kilogram can cost up to INR 34,998. Why? Because these potatoes can only be grown in the presence of a rare seaweed fertilizer in a climate shaped by the sea. This rare climate and seaweed, incidentally, can only be found on the island Noirmoutier in France. Now, wouldn’t you like to roast one of these on a spit?

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15 Foods to Beat Stress

Seasonal Magazine

Did you know that what you eat can greatly affect the way you think and feel? Here are the top 15 foods that help you develop a calmer mind and deal with stress better:

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Milk: Surprised again? Well, milk contains tryptophan, which helps in the build-up of serotonin, thereby helping the mind stay relaxed.

Nuts: Nuts contain selenium, a mineral whose deficiency causes crankiness, anxiety and fatigue. Therefore, a handful of nuts help you stay calmer.

Chocolate: Give in to your desire by indulging in chocolates. Their anandamine content keeps the dopamine levels of the brain in check, thereby ensuring the mind stays relaxed and free of stress. However, chocolate can be kind of addictive.

Spinach: Popeye’s favourite food is also rich in magnesium, which keeps the mind from overreacting. The correct dosage of vitamins A and C as well as iron ensures a healthy diet intake as well.

Blueberries: A delicious fruit, blueberries are also packed with antioxidants, which are known to be highly effective in relieving stress.

Almonds: The zinc and vitamin B12 content of almonds makes them super-eligible to make it to this list. These nutrients help maintain a balanced mood and keep anxiety at bay.

Green tea: Nothing can have a calmer effect on the human mind than a cup of green tea to kickstart the day. In fact, it is known to have an immediate relieving effect on many.

Fish: Fish types such as salmon and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide selenium and tryptophan to the brain, thereby helping it stay calm.

Broccoli: Go green with broccoli, as you get your required dose of potassium, the low levels of which can cause tiredness and stress.

Whole Grain Bread:


Bread made from whole grain has the same effect as pasta, that is, the reduction of magnesium deficiency. So, make sure you include toasts or sandwiches in breakfast to lead a stressfree day.

Kiwi fruit is also known to convert tryptophan into serotonin, thereby inducing anxiety-relieving experience for the brain.

Bananas: Bananas is another rich source of potassium, thereby increasing chances of staying calm and stress-free through the day.

Rice: A carbohydrate that has an immensely calming effect, rice is also easy to digest and low in fat.

Seasonal Magazine

Surprised? Remember to drink plenty of water to keep flushing out those toxins and stay healthier and happier. Drinking a mouthful of water every hour during your waking hours is a great way to stay positive and energetic throughout the day.

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Alliance University

Apply Now for Over 12 Courses Starting Between July to September

lliance School of Business, a constituent of Bangalore based Alliance University, has four courses starting in July 2013 for which admissions are now open. These courses are MBA - Two Years / Full Time, BBM Three Years / Full Time, Bcom (Honours) - Three Year / Full Time, and PhD Minimum Three Years.

Seasonal Magazine

Another constituent entity, Alliance Ascent College, has its next MBA - Three Year / Full Time batch starting in August. Alliance School of Business too has a business course starting in August, which is an Executive MBA - One Year / Full Time. Applications to both these courses can be done now itself.

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August is also the month in which all BTech programs commence at Alliance, and applications can be done now. These include Four Years / Regular and Three

Years / Lateral Entry programs, both of which are full time programs. These engineering programs are offered by Alliance College of Engineering & Design, and includes almost all in-demand branches like Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, and Information Technology. Two courses will commence at Alliance College of Law too in August, with admissions open now. These are BA LLB (Honours) and BBM LLB (Honours). Both are Five Year / Full Time programs. Alliance University also has several courses starting in September, with admissions open now. These include Master of Financial Management (MFM) and Master of Commerce (MCom), both under Alliance School of Business.

New Innovations & Achievements in Law, Health Sciences, & Pre-Graduate Programs ecently, Symbiosis International University (SIU) has introduced a oneyear full time LLM course, effective from academic year 2013-14. The new course will also offer specialisation in six different areas of legal studies. This is in tune with the international practice in this subject. Universities in the US and Europe offer one-year PG law courses, which is an attractive option for students in terms of saving time and money. UGC had recently allowed this scheme and Symbiosis is one among the pioneers in this field. SIU had also consolidated its PG law centre known as the Symbiosis Centre for Advance Law Studies and Research and has now brought all its PG and research programmes under this centre. The one-year LLM course will be interdisciplinary in approach, with an orientation for advanced studies and

research of law. Students will have options in terms of specialisation, cross specialisation courses that combine innovation, legal acumen and theoretical insights. SIU is so bullish on this new course that it has discontinued the existing 2-year course, from this year onward. Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, a constituent of Symbiosis International University, had hosted the 15th national seminar on hospital/ healthcare, medico legal systems, and clinical research at its Lavale campus during early May. The 15th edition of this national seminar saw the introduction of a new concept of master classes, wherein delegates got an opportunity to interact with industry experts on a one-to-one basis for knowledge sharing. Symbiosis added value to the event by organizing a consortium with a view to reinforce and enhance the overall quality of

Seasonal Magazine

Symbiosis International University

PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES health care education management in India. Addressing a much younger crowd than it normally teaches, Symbiosis International University recently launched the first-of-its-kind fully residential summer school at its Lavale campus. Students above 18 years age and having passed or appeared in their standard XII are eligible for admission. The school offers short-term certificate courses in a range of disciplines including filmmaking and photography, creative writing, liberal arts, performing arts like dance, theatre, Indian music, Indian classical dance, art and design and climate change. Each course will engage students in 120-hour teachinglearning exercise that will lead to eight credits and a certificate at the end of the term. Students can choose any one of the six course modules. Meanwhile Symbiosis students continue to bring in laurels. Sachin Ravi and Nikhil Joy from Symbiosis Law School first became the second team to qualify for the International Championship of the Tata Crucible Campus Quiz 2013, behind IMT Ghaziabad, but then the Symbiosis pair went on to bag the international edition beating universities from UK and Singapore. At the national level the duo had bested teams from IIM Bangalore, IIM Indore, IIT BHU, XLRI etc.

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Another admission season at graduate and postgraduate level is fast approaching, with admissions for some branches already started or midway. Even not all hardworking students are expected to gain admission for the course they wish for at the institution they prefer. Which brings back the eternal dilemma of ‘course-or-institution’, and to add fuel to the confusion, in recent years, there have been even more options by way of private universities. The additional question they bring to the table is whether students should opt for selffinancing courses at conventional institutions, or opt for these entirely self-financing universities?

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Seasonal Magazine

Universities have come a long way in India since 1857, when the year of India’s first freedom struggle also stood glorious witness to the foundation of three universities - University of Mumbai, University of Madras, & University of Calcutta. British India went on to establish many more universities, and later free India would follow suit, under the vision of leaders like Jawaharlal, in an accelerated mode. So much so that, Indians never felt there were less universities than they needed. And how can it be otherwise, with the nation home to 42 great Central Universities (like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Benares Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University etc) and 285 well-performing State Universities (like National Law University, Tamilnadu Agricultural University etc). The British model followed by them to spread out - that of affiliating colleges was also perfect for the populous people we are. And, in case any of us needed even better quality education, especially of the professional kind, there were the autonomous institutions coming under Department of Higher Education, like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs, formerly RECs), and Indian Institutes of Science, Education, & Research. We and our children studied under some of these facilities, paying fees not worth calling by that name, while our teachers and professors were always in glee,

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teaching barely 5 hours a week, and taking home conscience-pricking salaries, all under the auspices of that benevolent regulator, University Grants Commission (UGC), which was only too happy to burn public taxpayer money at a furious rate for the benefit of, well, the public itself. The fact that a majority percentage of such beneficiaries came from the most affluent segment, or the fact that a good percentage of them forsake Indian citizenship forever, is another story altogether. Anyway, in case this kind of comprehensive framework weren’t enough, our lawmakers started an alternate arrangement - the Deemed-to-

be-University or its popular short form, Deemed University. The first Deemed University clearly deserved the title as it was none other than Indian Institute of Science (IISc). So were many others that followed. But today, when their tally has touched around 150, anyone can guess the quality standards at many such deemed universities. But for argument’s sake, let us assume that their existence too is fair enough. Now, the moot point is, wasn’t this elaborate infrastructure of 42 Central Universities, 285 State Universities, 150 Deemed Universities, the around 50 IITs/IIMs/NITs, and the thousands of affiliated colleges enough for India? One should also remember that post the

this, India is today home to 112 private universities! The quantitative logic behind the move is sound. Ask any edupreneur, and he or she would cite their favourite ratio - GER. Gross Enrollment Ratio is a UN created metric which is no rocket science but a simple ratio of students of a nation enrolled in a school/college to the total number of children of that level. India’s GER at tertiary or higher education level is 15% now, and it means that only 15% of students who should be going in for a college degree are now pursuing it for various reasons. Kapil Sibal now wants to double it to 30% by 2020. The solution? More universities. Will the government do it? Of course not. So, the only way out? Private Universities. How many more? A hundred more, or five hundred more? Nobody knows. But before that isn’t it proper to assess the condition of the existing private universities? It is quite unfair to brand all private universities as sub-standard or non-performing. Some of the biggest brands in Indian higher education today are of private universities - like Sikkim Manipal, Symbiosis, ICFAI, SRM, Nirma, Amity, Lovely, VIT, Manav Rachna, Sharda, Sastra, Apeejay Stya, Galgotias etc.

Seasonal Magazine

introduction of self-financing colleges, the whole infrastructure had widened significantly. Yet, in 1995, India decided that enough is not enough, when UGC allowed yet another academic beast - Private University - and notified the first of this species - the Sikkim Manipal University. But little did our lawmakers or UGC realize that they had opened the real floodgates. The reason was simple enough. Private University, by definition, was a fully state affair, having nothing to do with the central government except for UGC approval. Some of India’s state governments like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh etc competed with each other to allow private universities to aspiring entrepreneurs, who went on to define themselves a new name due to their rapid success - Edupreneurs. Today, Rajasthan leads the tally with 25 private universities, while UP, Himachal, & Gujarat have between 1611 private universities each. However, there were casualties too, like when Supreme Court burned down all private universities in Chhattisgarh in one stroke, forever. Anyway, in case anyone didn’t know

Some of them have rightfully earned their brands too, and not by flashing full-page newspaper ads alone. But is the model really flawless? How can it be flawless when better education is available from the hundreds of statefunded universities and their thousands of affiliated colleges at subsidized rates? In higher education it is a given that any institution is only as good as the students it attracts. And to a lesser extent, the faculty and infrastructure. How can there be excellent faculty in a private university if they won’t pay better than the statesponsored UGC scale? Privatization is not the culprit here, but rather too fast privatization with too little forethought. When the society is allowing a private institution the supreme authority to grand degrees, and make a business (or ‘charity‘ if you prefer so) out of it, don’t these institutions have the responsibility to aid the needy among the society? But thank God that our lawmakers didn’t bungle it more. They could have, if they had allowed private universities to also affiliate colleges. Basing all logic on GER is flawed, as it ignores why the other 85% are not studying in a college today. Though on paper there are many reasons, including dyslexia, in practice what social researchers have repeatedly found is that the reason is purely economical. In other words, fee is unaffordable or they need to start earning now itself. So, how will a student or his/her parents who can’t afford the regular subsidized college fee, afford the hefty fee of private universities? The only other way is to ban affluent students from getting subsidized education, and thus force them to opt for private universities with better infrastructure and luxuries. Of course, that is an impossible plan in this democracy. In this scenario, what all are the steps that private universities are taking, this admission season, to ensure that their services are truly public-oriented? Seasonal Magazine interacts with the best private universities to find their strategies and suggestions:

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Nirma University

Seasonal Magazine

Not Just a Private University, But On Track to be a Great University

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There are universities of all hues in India. From universities founded during the British Raj to the newly minted private universities by various states. And there are other categories too, like public universities, affiliating universities, deemed-to-be universities etc. And the general public often nurse stereotypical images regarding various categories. But Nirma University, at Ahmedabad, has already broken all such typecast images, with it often coming ahead of public universities in accreditations as well as placements. This oldest private university in Gujarat is not just a powerhouse in its oldest faculty of Engineering & Technology - but in almost all its departments like Business Management, Science, Pharmacy, & Law. The secret is, of course, in the name itself. Nirma University is the brainchild of Padma Shri Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel, one of India’s most super-achieving firstgeneration entrepreneurs, who literally built the multi-billion dollar Nirma Ltd from scratch, beating mammoth multinational corporations like Unilever and P&G. Such world-beating ambition and planning to build a great university is also evident in his educational venture. While Dr. Patel is the Founder and President of Nirma University, and Ambubhai Patel is the Vice-President and Managing Trustee of Nirma Education & Research Foundation which runs Nirma University, they have also created one of the most formidable professional Board of Governors and Academic Councils among all private universities. Dr. Anup K Singh, Director-General and Chairman of Academic Council as well as Finance Committee, is a prime example of this professional culture. Dr. Singh has been trained at University of Allahabad, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Harvard University, and has taught at leading B-Schools, and done corporate training for several leading corporates and organizations including ONGC, IOC, Bharti, L&T, New Holland, Nirma, British Council, Cadila etc. Dr. Singh was instrumental in formulating Bhutan’s National HRD Policy and starting an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Family Business. Seasonal Magazine interviews Dr. Anup K Singh, Director General, to bring you the unique value proposition of Nirma University.

An equally vexing problem facing at least some private universities is the difficulty in attracting the finest teaching talent. How does Nirma fare in this regard? In the last two decades, higher education has grown exponentially in this country. Unfortunately, faculty talent did not grow in the same proportion. Even the best of national institutions suffer from a lack of adequate number of faculty. We have taken up the challenge of faculty talentcrunch quite seriously. Our unique approach lies in growing our own timber. We have evolved two kinds of strategies. Firstly, there are intensive schemes for the existing faculty to attend different quality improvement programmes. As a result, they are enabled to enhance their expertise. Consequently, they can be considered for higher positions. Secondly, the institutions under the University also

PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES have evolved a scheme in which postgraduate students who are interested to be a teacher in the concerned field are groomed right from the beginning of the second year of the Post Graduate programme. We also take talented young faculty and provide them with rich developmental experience and offer them sufficient opportunities to upgrade their qualifications. We also ensure that we retain them. We are a student-focused and faculty-driven institution. The faculty have thus developed a sense of belonging and ownership of the institution. Unlike many private universities Nirma University has the unique distinction of being founded and led by a remarkable entrepreneur and visionary, Dr. Karsanbhai K. Patel. How has Nirma University capitalized on this advantage, to

Seasonal Magazine

any private universities are said to experience difficulty attracting the best-performing students. As an older private university, has Nirma University come out of this phase, and are you fully satisfied with the kind of student-talent that you are attracting? From the very beginning, Nirma University and its constituent institutions emphasised that we have to attract quality students and give them the best faculty and facilities. We have always provided excellent academic and campus life experience to our students. We have also continuously worked on quality education and high employability. As a result, we are the first preference of students in the state of Gujarat and a significantly favourite educational institution nationally.

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inculcate entrepreneurship and thinking-big among students in general, and specifically in your BSchool? Nirma University is a product of the vision and commitment of Padma Shri Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel. He has played a pivotal role in creating an institutional culture and value system. Dr. Karsanbhai Patel has been committed to the service to society. He has also stressed on values like discovery, development, discipline and dedication. The University also focuses on many “S” values, such as student satisfaction and success, strength, stability, and service to the society. Dr. Patel believes that the purpose of education is not just making a student employable but also to ensure his overall personal and social development. The Institute of Management has learned a lot from the leadership style of our founder, especially his value system. Our BSchool focuses on employability, entrepreneurship, and ethical conduct. Consequently, we produce students who have strong work and ethical values, who have developed a ‘can do’ attitude and who have caremindedness. Many of our students become entrepreneurs after working for some time. A good number of them embark on entrepreneurship immediately after completing their MBA programme.


What are the principles you follow in the admission process? Like, selection solely based on public entrance tests, no capitation, reasonable fee, etc? As I already pointed out earlier, we attract high quality students state-wide and nationally for our different programmes. To facilitate this, we have a transparent and fair admission policy. We admit students only through national entrance tests and share relevant information with all stakeholders. A good number of seats are filled through a government body, Admission Committee for Professional Courses. This committee is constituted by the Government under the Chairmanship of a retired High Court

Padma Shri Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel

Judge. And there is no question of charging a capitation fee at all. Our fees are fairly reasonable. The University also provides scholarships and tuitionfee waivers on merit and merit-cummeans basis. The basic idea is that an admitted student should not suffer because of lack of financial resources. Can you briefly explain the achievements Nirma University has made in the placements performance? What percentage of students opts for campus placement, success rates, pay packages, recruiter profiles, etc? Nirma University is a favourite institution for recruiters in different domains. A large number of companies visit different Nirma institutions every year. Almost all students desirous of placement get placed. The highest package in the Institute of Management was offered by Citibank. Some important recruiters this year were, Infosys, CARE, CRISIL, Café Coffee Day, Berger Paints, FINO, Usha International, Evosys, ICICI Bank, HDFC, GSPL, GSFC, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, HDFC Bank, Idea

Cellular, Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Equipments, Kotak Mahindra Bank, TCS, Mahindra & Mahindra, UCO Bank, and Tata Motors.. Almost all eligible students of 2013 passing- out batch from the Institute of Technology, Nirma University, have bagged lucrative offers from national and international recruiters. Total 443 individual offers and 522 combined offers have been generated so far. Average package offered this year is Rs. 3.6 lacs per annum. Companies that visited the campus are from diverse domains like - IT, Electronics, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, Market Research, Consulting, Heavy Engineering, R&D, and Design. In the Institute of Law, the first batch came out in 2012. This year, the placement has been very good. Nirma, as a conglomerate is known from its inception stage until now for its in-house R&D as well as notable backward integration. Have such values prompted Nirma University to go in for advancing your research programs?

students the world over. We get international students in most programmes. At present there are 164 students from Middle East, and 44 students with PIO status, and students from other foreign countries too. We have a section in the University that deals with their admissions and welfare.

As you are aware, Nirma Ltd and Nirma University are two separate entities. Of course, Padma Shri Dr. Karsanbhai K Patel is the leader of both the enterprises. But, they differ in their objects and goals and stakeholders. The University is, of course, a research and innovation driven enterprise. Right from the inception, the University has been strengthening its Research Wing. At present, we have more than 232 researchers and 150 research guides. We have also collaborations for conducting research leading to Ph.D. with prominent national level institutions like ISRO, PRL, IPR, Directorate of Forensic Sciences-GoG, R&D of Intas Pharma, Cadila Pharma, Piramal Pharmaceuticals etc. NU is known for its extensive library and computing facilities. Can you brief us on some unique points regarding these facilities? A library is the sanctum sanctorum of a university. This is the place where students search and study subject materials. With changing times, the library has emerged as an information centre too. At Nirma University, the

Central Library Resource Centre has 79,000 books, 19 online databases, 787 print periodicals, more than 7000 online journals, over 376 videos, and more than 4700 electronic media like CDs and Floppies. Each institution under Nirma University also has its own powerful computing facilities. Recently a NU alumni, Abhijit Karnik was in the global news from UK for inventing a shape-changing mobile phone. Can you fill in some more details of Karnik’s stint at NU? Abhijit Karnik is currently a final year doctoral student at University of Bristol, UK. His work on mobile computing is widely recognised. Abhijit has achieved several awards for his exemplary work. Like him, there are numerous other alumni who have brought about many innovations in their respective fields. You have an international students division. Can you briefly explain the activities as well as the core statistics of the division? We live in a highly globalized world. A true university caters to the needs of

Around a month back, Nirma had its 15 th convocation. What were the highlights of that event? The Chief Guest of the 15 th Convocation was Ashank Desai, Founder and former Chairman, Mastek Limited. The convocation was held on April 6, 2013. PhD, Masters, and Bachelor degrees were awarded to the students of different constituent institutions.

Seasonal Magazine

Dr. Anup K Singh, Director-General and Chairman of Academic Council

Recently, Nirma University started two new courses - an MTech and an integrated MBA. What are the salient points? As a University, we believe that our programmes should be interdisciplinary in nature. Our new MTech programme in Energy System is one such programme. Three engineering departments - electrical, mechanical, and chemical - offer it together. We also intend to offer more such interdisciplinary programmes in the future. The integrated BBA-MBA programme is a response to the societal needs of quality management education. We think that, in general, BBA education in India has failed to meet the expectations of students, parents, and employers. This new programme at the University intends to follow Activity Based Competency Development approach and to focus not only on academic learning but also on personal, social, and professional development of each and every student. It has several internships through which a student discovers insights into societal and corporate realities as well as develops relevant skills for work and the world. The programme also provides adequate flexibility to the student. He can either quit after three years with a BBA, or study more for his MBA.

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Manav Rachna International University

A Private University Befitting NCR

Seasonal Magazine

India’s National Capital Region is no simple affair. NCR is the world’s largest urban agglomeration by area, and the second-largest by population, only behind Tokyo. Though it’s core - National Capital Territory of Delhi was always a pioneer in higher education for the highly meritorious, it was a fact that when it came to self-financing colleges and universities, NCR was nowhere near Bangalore or even Chennai. This had the effect of lakhs of NCR students literally fleeing their homes for South India, every year. Dr. OP Bhalla founded Manav Rachna International University, at Faridabad, to also correct this gross anomaly, and MRIU is proving to be a private university befitting the growing global stature of NCR. Seasonal Magazine interviews Chancellor Dr. OP Bhalla:

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nlike most private universities, and unlike many public universities even, Manav Rachna has the distinction of pioneering industry-academic tie-ups for other than placement purposes. What led to these industry tie-ups and how far have they delivered? Industry experts have now started realizing that their contribution to the improvement in quality of instruction delivery in universities directly helps them and cuts their training cost. We are glad to share that Maruti Suzuki has donated machinery and equipment worth Rs. 15 Lacs to MRIU. We have initiated ‘TCS-MRIU Pragati Project’ in which 20 students are selected every year based upon their aptitude and merit in the first year and then undergo various value-added programs beyond curricula to inculcate programming skills. Senior students guide the juniors thus creating a peer mentoring system within the community. They are mentored by TCS functional experts and MRIU faculty. Two batches of such students were placed fully because of their enhanced knowledge and practical skills. You have switched professions more

than twice in your illustrious career - from medical to co-operative housing to higher education. Was it a natural progression of an idealist? While practicing as a physician, I realized that the basic need of affordable housing for the poor is unfulfilled and they are to exposed health hazards because of unhygienic conditions in which they live. We worked on a co-operative housing project for the lowest level of employees in army and police and established Sainik Colony in Faridabad (spread over more than 400 acres of land which is now the prestigious Sector-49 of Faridabad). It is a selfcontained and self-dependent habitation having its own schools, market, community centre, places of worships, electrical substation, water supply, sewage system etc. My journey from co-operative housing to higher education was again guided by my conscience when I found that thousands of parents flee to South India for admitting their kids in professional colleges including engineering and medicine, thus realizing the need for higher education in our part of the country. Hence we established Career Institute of Technology & Management (CITM), an Engineering College

offering three B.Tech programs ,which is now known as Manav Rachna International University, a deemed-tobe university under Section–3 of UGC Act. Apart from MRIU, we have Manav Rachna College of Engineering and MR College of Education affiliated to MDU Rohtak, and Manav Rachna Dental College affiliated to Pandit BD Sharma University of Health Sciences. Many private universities are said to experience difficulty attracting the best-performing students as well as faculty. As a well-established private university now, has MRIU come out of this phase, and are you fully satisfied with the kind of studenttalent and teacher-talent that you are attracting? MRIU is fortunate enough to get talented students from all across the country. Financial status of the student at the time of admission becomes immaterial because of merit-based scholarships and the facility of liberal education loans by the banks because of high placement prospects after the successful completion of the programs. We draw our students from more than 26 States / Union Territories in India and 14 countries across various continents. MR Educational Institutions also attract the best talent in the teaching faculty due to several factors like highly conducive academic environment, autonomy, compensation packages, proximity to New Delhi etc. We draw our faculty from top institutions in India including IITs, NITs, Central / State Universities, IIMs etc.


MRIU today is more of an educational township rather than just a private university. Was it planned like that from the outset or did it eventually grow into one? Can you outline the broad specifics of this township, including what the core management does and what others have contributed? MREI Campus in Sector–43 is spread over more than 40 acres having serene topography. Initially we planned a small campus for an engineering college but eventually we got a great response from the students seeking admission and hence other institutions came up. The co-located campuses of various institutions have all mandatory and desirable facilities including stateof-the-art classrooms, labs, workshops, seminar halls, auditoriums, administrative offices, canteens and cafeteria, medical OPDs, as well as sports facilities including shooting range, T20 Cricket ground, lawn tennis, basketball, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, squash courts etc. The buildings with different themes are architecturally impressive and centrally air-conditioned. There is 100% power backup with a captive power plant of about 7 MW capacity. Manav Rachna has been quite active in forging overseas academic tie-ups too. How does it contribute directly and indirectly to the students and faculty of MRIU? MRIU has tie-ups with more than a dozen foreign universities across continents including Curtin University

(Perth - Australia), University of Toronto, (Canada), Algonquin College (Ottawa), Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Finland), AIS St Helens, (Auckland - New Zealand), University of Tskuba (Japan), Hiram College (USA), University of Teeside (UK), Leeds Metropolitan University (UK), University of Sains (Malaysia), and many others. The tie-ups cover faculty and student exchange, credit transfers, dual degrees, joint R&D projects, cultural exchange etc. Such exposures are highly beneficial to both faculty and students as they come to know about the best practices in academics and researches across the globe and help them in acquiring skills to face any global challenge. Manav Rachna has an impressive placement record of placing over 11,000 students. Can you briefly explain the achievements MRIU has made in the latest placements performance? What percentage of students opt for campus placement, success rates, pay packages, recruiter profiles etc? Manav Rachna Institutions have a very impressive record of campus placement and are patronized by 200 multinational and Indian corporates including TCS, Maruti Suzuki, Infosys, HCL Technologies, L&T Infotech, Accenture, IBM, Dell, Aricent Technologies, WIPRO, Birla Soft, Ceasefire, Citibank, Cox & Kings, Eicher, Escorts, Genpact, Grape City, HDFC, Hilti, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, ICICI, Indiabulls,

You have a very active international students division. Which are the main countries from which MRIU gets admissions and what would be the main reasons these students are attracted? International Education Centre (IEC) of MRIU primarily looks after all matters relating to initiation, development, establishment and sustenance of relationships and tie-up with foreign education providers and their representatives in India and abroad. With its global outlook and reach, MRIU has much to offer in the way of learning opportunities both inside and outside the classrooms at Post Graduate, Under Graduate & Doctorate levels, in a truly international environment. It aims to develop and sustain viable, strong, and long term international relations in the field of education that will benefit the students. The major role of IEC is to enhance MRIU’s international image on local and international platforms, explore new relationships, and establish communications with international educational organizations. MRIU presently draws foreign nationals from 14 different countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo, Nigeria, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Tajikistan, South Korea, Nepal etc. Most of the foreign students have opted for MRIU because of its commitment for quality education at par with the best institutions in the world.

Seasonal Magazine

Dr. OP Bhalla

Infogain, Kotak Mahindra, Krishna Group, Magneti Marelli, McDonald, Motherson Sumi,, NIIT, Nokia Siemens, Polaris, Religare, Tech Mahindra, Thompson Press, Tupperware, Unicon, VLCC, Yes Bank etc. Approximately 60-70% of the students opt for campus placements, others opt for either higher education or join their family business. Most of the students opting for placement are placed through Campus Placement Drives. The salary range varies between Rs. 10 lacs per Annum and Rs. 2 lacs Per Annum. The average / median salary is higher than Rs. 3.25 Lacs per annum.


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Anil Ambani


S.C. Sahasrabudhe

Admissions are now open at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT) at Gandhinagar. This will be to the 13th batch of BTech (ICT) program at this prestigious private university. Maintaining its sterling standards in admissions as ever, DAIICT requires aspirants to compulsorily appear for the upcoming Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2013. Admissions will be based on JEE 2013 score, which is the same one used for admissions to NITs (RECs) and IIITs. Candidates also has to apply separately at DA-IICT for the admissions. This admission season, there are several reasons why DAIICT should be a choice before discerning students. Firstly comes, a rigorous and innovative curriculum. DA-IICT was the first in the country to introduce a BTech in (ICT), long before ICT was a well-established term. Secondly, this private university enjoys an outstanding faculty. All the technology faculty members have PhD degrees and they know their subject areas in depth. Thirdly, the excellent fellow-students a candidate will meet here is an advantage. Amongst the important awards and laurels DA-IICT students have recently earned are: Google Woman in Engineering, Google Summer of Code, Microsoft Imagine Cup, HP Innovation Prize. Recently, one of their graduates won the Rolex Young Laureate Award. Next comes the institute’s placement track-record. Every year, DA-IICT claims that all qualified and interested graduates get placed in industry. The rest choose to pursue higher education in the best of universities, both in India and abroad. Finally, DA-IICT has a wonderful ambience in a green, fully residential campus with excellent facilities. DA-IICT is the brainchild of Anil Ambani who needs no introduction in India Inc. Founded and run professionally under former Officiating Director of IIT Bombay and former CTO of Global Telesystems Ltd, Prof. SC Sahasrabudhe, DA-IICT has a distinct position in the private university space. Prof. Sahasrabudhe is a distinguished teacher who has been awarded as the Best Teacher and for Life Time Achievement by IIT Bombay.

Seasonal Magazine

ICT Pioneer Invites Applications th For 13 BTech Batch

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Learn with Students From 75 Countries page 32

Symbiosis has managed to maintain its pioneering lead, thanks to Founder SB Mujumdar sensing the future of private education in the country before anyone else. Admissions are open in seven faculties now.

Computer Studies; Health Sciences; Media, Communication & Design; Humanities; and Engineering. Admissions are now open at Symbiosis. At present the University offers 37 post graduate and 21 under graduate programmes all of which are designed with a blend of professional and industry relevant curriculum for the students to embark on the career of their choice. Symbiosis International University (SIU) is noted among all private universities for its comprehensive faculty strength. The faculty members are recruited as per UGC Regulations. At present the University has 486 well-qualified faculty members who are consistently endeavoring to deliver the best of the academics. Out of which, 103 are with PhD and 66 are NET/SET qualified. The total numbers of Professors are 36, Associate Professors are 87 and Assistant Professors are 298. SIU follows high rigour in its research programs with the eligibility criteria for a recognized research guide being 5 years teaching experience with minimum two research publications in peer reviewed journals. Another distinguishing feature of Symbiosis is

Padma Bhushan Dr. SB Mujumdar

Seasonal Magazine

Padma Bhushan Dr. SB Mujumdar established Symbiosis on the principles of the Vedic thought of “World as One Family” which is amply reflected in the curricular and extra-curricular activities of students from several countries. The students come from more than 75 countries and find this to be a home away from home. Symbiosis Centre of International Education, wing of the University, is responsible in promoting this idea and also facilitates international students. The University also has MOU’s of collaboration with several renowned universities of the world and encourages students & faculty to participate in its programmes. The University bears in mind its objective that its ultimate aim is to participate in the task of inculcating knowledge and hone skills which are vital to the young graduates and post graduates who passes out from the University. The University offers variety of programs under Seven Faculties. The programmes are offered at Graduate, Post- Graduate, Doctoral and Diploma levels. The following are the learning faculties which can be pursued in the University: Law; Management;

that its campuses are available at major cities in North, South, & Central India, and not only in its headquarters of Pune in Western India. Bengaluru, Noida, & Nashik are some of the major cities hosting major SIU campuses. Pune is home to six distinct campuses from this higher education major. SB Road Campus is the campus from where journey of Symbiosis started in year 1971. Located at one of the most busy locations in Pune this campus is a well known landmark in Pune. It hosts the main office of Symbiosis Society and Symbiosis International Office. With the objective of encouraging meritorious students and academic excellence, various scholarships, freeships, and awards are offered to deserving students of the University by Symbiosis Society Foundation. These include Undergraduate Merit Scholarships, Postgraduate Merit Scholarships, University Sports Scholarships, Jayatee Deshmukh Award etc.

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Amity MBA Now Possible at 13 Major Cities

Seasonal Magazine

Amity University has always tried to usher in worldclass infrastructure based on the extensive European exposure of Founder Ashok Chauhan. Amity Global Business Schools now number 13 across the country including in major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi, as well as in smaller cities like Kochi.

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Dr. Ashok K Chauhan

Seasonal Magazine

Admissions are now open for MBA 2013 program at Amity Global Business Schools (AGBS) across the country. AGBS campuses are operational at 13 cities. The core curriculum of AGBS focuses on developing student’s management and analytical skills that are essential elements of effective decision making in any organization. In two years, students learn the ethos of leadership besides understanding the impact of globalization, competition, technological innovation and ethics in the workplace. The curriculum at AGBS is highly industry-oriented and is updated by Industry Advisory Boards with emphasis on all round development and is geared towards making students ready for the corporate world even before they step into it. Students learn through case studies, live projects, lectures, classroom discussions, field trips, consulting assignments and collaborative learning. In truly global style, AGBS imparts a rigorous and cross-functional curriculum. For instance, credit courses like emotional intelligence, creative thinking, and human engineering are taught.

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Why Gold Will Bounce Back

United States The United States of America holds more gold than any other country in the world. Gold holdings: 8,133.5 tonnes Percentage of total reserves: 75.1%

Germany Gold holdings: 3,391.3 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 72.1%

IMF The IMF holds a relatively large amount of gold among its assets. The IMF's total gold holdings are valued on its balance sheet at about $4.9 billion on the basis of historical cost. Gold holdings: 2,814.0 tonnes

Italy Gold holdings: 2,451.8 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 71.3%

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France Will gold continue bouncing back or revert back to sliding is the billion dollar question today. Chances are more that gold will eventually scale up, if only for its save haven status. Even while agreeing with Warren Buffet that gold is utterly non-productive, and even while agreeing with George Soros that gold has lost the safe-haven status, some undeniable facts point to the eventuality of gold recovering or ceasing to fall substantially from here on. Even a cursory look at the world's top 'investors' in gold is enough proof for gold's recovery. Can't they all be wrong? Highly unlikely, and even if they are, what should be remembered is that they are the economic policy setters. The 11 largest gold hoardings are by entities that virtually control the global economy like USA, Germany, IMF, China, & Japan. Not to be undone, the BRICS also feature among the largest gold investors, especially Russia and India. And the biggest surprise is that gold has room to grow even in the portfolios of some of these biggest gold hoarders. For example, China and Japan are the only two countries on this globe with over a trillion US$ in foreign reserves, they also have worldleading gold reserves, but their gold reserves as a percentage of their foreign reserves is tiny at just 1.6% and 3.1% respectively. Both have placed their larger bets on US dollar, but where has US placed its biggest foreign reserve bet? You guessed it - gold. So here is the list of 11 entities having max gold in this world.

Gold holdings: 2,435.4 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 69.5%

China Gold holdings: 1,054.1 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 1.6%

Switzerland Gold holdings: 1,040.1 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 10.0%

Russia Gold holdings: 976.9 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 9.5%

Japan Gold holdings: 765.2 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 3.1%

Netherlands Gold holdings: 612.5 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 58.7%

India Gold holdings: 557.7 tonnes Percentage of total foreign reserves: 9.6%

Rs. 50



Bahrain BD 1.50 Kuwait KD 1.50 Oman OR 1.50, Saudi Arabia SR 12.00 UAE DH 10.00 UK £ 3.00, US $ 3.00


Private Universities Worth Considering This Admission Season


SECRET TRAITS OF Growth Focus - Mukesh Ambani

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Success is not an event, but a process. Billionaires embody that process better than most of us. They are on a constant quest to improve, enhance, and outperform themselves. It’s a constant, internal drive to become a better person. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries and the richest Indian on the planet with a net worth of $22.3 billion, says - “I think that our fundamental belief is that for us growth is a way of life and we have to grow at all times.”

10 BILLIONAIRES Execution Michael Bloomberg

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Top performers work hard at hard things. And that means that successful people do the things that most people don't want to do, and that's why they get the job done. They have grit and perseverance. Michael Bloomberg, current Mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg, with a personal net worth of $22 billion, says - "Getting the job done has been the basis for the success my company has achieved."


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Belief - Oprah Winfrey

page 8

First and foremost, you have to believe that greatness is possible. Many of the world's billionaires have shifted the way our world works, because they believed that they were capable of doing something that was previously impossible. Change is possible. Greatness is possible. But you can't do anything unless you first believe in yourself. Oprah Winfrey, arguably world's richest and most successful media celibrity with a net worth of $2.7 billion, says - "You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed."



Curious for Opportunities Michael Dell

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Take a look at any market-leading company. Are they compromising on their product in one way or another? That's an opportunity for disruption, growth, and change. Any unmet need, any annoying problem, any half-baked solution offers a chance to change things. Michael Dell, founder of world's third largest PC maker, with a personal net worth of $15.9 billion, says - "It's through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we've always mapped our path at Dell. There's always an opportunity to make a difference."

page 10

Stunning or Nothing Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud

Seasonal Magazine

Developing a world-class skill means that you have the capability to ignore everything else. You have to be able to focus on doing an incredible job or on ignoring it completely. Greatness doesn't come from simply putting the time in. You have to put the time in with effort, energy, and resolve. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, one of world's largest investors with holdings in companies ranging from Citigroup to News Corporation to Twitter, with a personal net worth of $18 billion, says "If I'm going to do something, I do it spectacularly or I don't do it at all."

page 11


Pursue True Happiness Tony Hsieh So often, we push happiness out on the horizon of life. "Once I get this job, I'll be happy." Or, "If only I landed that promotion, then everything would be good." Of course, life doesn't work that way, and there is always another goal once we reach our previous idea of happiness. Money is important, but your life should never be built around it. Happiness comes before success, not after it. Tony Hsieh, who created and sold many Internet blockbusters like LinkExchange (to Microsoft for $265 million) and world's largest online shoe retailer Zappos (to Amazon for $1.2 billion), says - "The ultimate definition of success is: you could lose everything that you have and truly be okay with it. Your happiness isn't based on external factors."

Sharp Focus - Charles Koch

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If your only goal is to become rich, then you're going to have trouble meeting your goal. However, if your focus is on making people's lives better, then you'll find that success comes much more quickly. Charles Koch, co-founder of Koch Industries one of this planet's largest privately held conglomerates (annual sales above $100 billion) and with a personal net worth of $25 billion, says - "The only role of business is to produce goods and services that make people's lives better."

page 12

Service Pierre Omidyar

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Your success is directly tied to how much you do for others. It's not what you know. It's not who you know. It's what you do for who you know. Success follows generosity. Pierre Omidyar, the legendary FrenchIranian entrepreneur and philanthropist with a current net worth of $6.7 billion who founded eBay which became the world's largest auction site, says - "What we say here every day is that our success is really based on our members' success, our community's success."



Sharing Andrew Carnegie Success unshared is failure. Our connections with other people are what give our work meaning. The things we do will only matter if they are shared with others. Andrew Carnegie, perhaps America's first massive-scale entrepreneur and philanthropist who had a net worth of $298.3 billion (in 2007 dollars) and who gave it all away before his death, says - "No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit."

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Making Right Choices Karl Albrecht

page 14

Everything you do - or choose not to do - is a choice. Most of us think that life happens to us, but in reality life is something that we choose either by actively pursuing options and creating our own circumstances, or by blocking opportunities and limiting our beliefs of what is possible. You can choose the type of life you want to live. Karl Albrecht, the richest German with a net worth of $25.4 billion, and founder of discount supermarket chain Aldi, says - "The typical human life seems to be quite unplanned, undirected, unlived, and unsavored. Only those who consciously think about the adventure of living as a matter of making choices among options, which they have found for themselves, ever establish real self-control and live their lives fully."

Seasonal Magazine Latest Issue  

May-June 2013 Issue

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