__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


International Group Publisher Sven Boermeester CEO & Editor-in-Chief Sandhya Mendonca Published by Global Village Publications India Pvt Ltd in association with Raintree Media Pvt Ltd

EDITOR’S NOTE India’s image in the international sphere today is of a dynamic and forceful presence; the country has long moved on from mysticism being its sole allure. Ancient wisdom goes hand-in-hand with the practicality of a comparatively buoyant economy. The world comes to India today for its 122 crore people who present a market that is irresistible.

ISBN # 978-81-907761-2-7 The power of its vast domestic marketplace helped insulate the Indian economy Address TF 9, Business Point,

from the global financial crisis and draws investments from transnational corporations who also find the country a cost-competitive location.

137 Brigade Road Bangalore 560 025 India Tel: +91 80 4094 7873 www.gvpedia.com sandhya.mendonca@gvpedia.com gvpind@gmail.com

India is the fourth destination country for FDI, after the US, China and UK. According to Ernst and Young’s 2012 attractiveness survey, the overall number of FDI projects increased by 20 percent to 932 (valued at `2.97 lakh crore or US$58261 million) and created 2.55 lakh jobs in 2011. The investments were led by the US, followed by Japan and the UK. Asian countries like South Korea and China have made sizeable investments here as well. Much of the investments are in large-scale manufacturing industries -

Every effort has been made to ensure

automotive, industrial equipment, metals industries and on business process

the accuracy of the information in the

outsourcing projects in IT services. India is continuing to grow, well and truly.

Best of India Volume 1 publication.

Huge investments in mammoth infrastructure projects tempt investors; an

Neither GVPI nor Raintree Media nor

educated workforce and the stability of democratically elected government

Global Village Partnerships Ltd take any

reinforce confidence.

responsibility for errors or omissions. All brands, products and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in

Rapid growth has affected a significant change in not just the way India is perceived by the world but the way Indians perceive the country. Brand India is evolving with confidence. Indian companies have become aggressive and have been making big-ticket acquisitions. Indian transnationals are a force to reckon with in engineering, IT, luxury, healthcare and more. Indian businesses, Indian products and Indian services are gaining increasing visibility and acceptability in the global market.

whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

The BEST OF INDIA encapsulates all that is best in each vertical that drives the country’s economy; from the mammoth companies to a sampling of smaller ones across the vast breadth of this nation.

Supported by The success story of each company makes compelling reading, charting their journey and outlining their vision for the future. It shows the perception Indians have of themselves and the world. Sandhya Mendonca Editor-in-Chief

02 | Best of India


FOREWORD “The magnitude and extent of India’s achievements can best be appreciated when you see where the country came from. When I began my career, almost 50 years ago, a young aspirant had limited choices – he or she would try to get either a job with the Government or with companies in a few cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Even in these, many of the industries were reaching a sunset stage. Nothing was world class or world size in scale. Today, the picture is completely different. Today, we have a vibrant, throbbing economy which has been the world’s second fastest growing economies for the past few years.

In the 80s and 90s the transformation was led by Information Technology which gave India its first industry in which we achieved global leadership, but even this was concentrated in a few cities mainly in the South. Today, the progress has spread across every nook and corner of the country, be it urban or rural, and across multiple industries. Capacities in many industries have catapulted to make them globally competitive. The range of successful industries include Telecommunications, Petrochemicals, Auto and auto parts, Mobile phones, Consumer goods and a whole host of other service industries. Infrastructure, which has been India’s Achilles heel has begun to attract large investments and is undergoing transformation.

Technology and globalisation have played to India’s advantage. The upsurge of Web 2.0 companies can enable creation of a global company overnight without having to spend years in building brick and mortar infrastructure. Many more young professionals have entrepreneurial ambitions. Venture funding is available to support these aspirations and Bangalore is ranked amongst the top 10 cities in the world for start-up activity, with many other cities gaining traction.

BEST OF INDIA recognises these wonderful success stories which are laying the foundation for many more accomplishments in the years ahead as India progresses to become a flagship economy for the world. The articles also include another heartening feature of industrial success - the desire of companies to give back to the community through CSR programmes and also to become the patrons for our art and music, leading to a preservation of our rich and ancient culture. Interspersed with excellent photographs, every chapter in this book has interesting narratives that capture the essence of India’s own success story.”

Ashok Soota is a serial entrepreneur and the Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt Ltd, a next generation IT company focusing on disruptive technologies like cloud, mobility, social media and analytics. Happiest Minds’ businesses include Software Product Engineering, Enterprise Solutions and Infrastructure Management Services & Security. Prior to this, Soota has led two of India’s most successful IT companies, for one of which he was the founding CEO & MD. He has also been the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Best of India | 03


BEST OF THE WORLD Welcome to the world’s premier platform for showcasing and networking governments, leading companies and entrepreneurs in business, tourism and lifestyle. Through our Best of publishing series and gvpedia.com we showcase an ever expanding Atlas of Success and Sustainability across multiple continents and industries. Brand Image

Growth and Opportunity

Branding a Nation, a City and its People

Exchanging knowledge, skills and economies of scale in media

GVP brands and builds the image of the world’s most exciting economic regions to affect a change in the perception of a nation, a city and its people by the rest of the world. This then promotes the region in terms of its investment opportunities, key industries, innovations, people, culture, tourism potential and international objectives.

8JUISFHJPOBMIFBEPGĂ™DFTJODPOUJOFOUT UIFPSHBOJTBUJPOJT currently involved in more than 40 territories where the ‘Best of’ TFSJFTJTQVCMJTIFE(71IBTBZFBSHSPXUIQMBOUPEFWFMPQB GVSUIFSFDPOPNJDUFSSJUPSJFTPSHBOJDBMMZ UISPVHIFBDIDPOUJOFOUmT SFHJPOBMIFBEPGĂ™DF BOEUISPVHIQBSUOFSTIJQTXJUINVMUJQMF8PSME Trade Centers as well as companies and individuals that have the expertise to showcase their city, state or country.

Product - The Books More than 1000 000 unique readers from 165 countries Celebrate your success The ‘Best of‌’ publishing series produces annual maxi format book publications in over 40 territories, from Bangalore to Belgium. These detail success stories of people and companies making positive JOSPBETJOUPUIFDPNNFSDJBMĂ™CSFPGCPUINBUVSFBOE emerging markets. The books showcase entrepreneurial spirit; establishing powerful global networks and the creation of individual brand awareness by bridging cultures. The result is the ultimate interactive corporate gift and P.R. marketing tool for governments, companies, hotels and business people providing leading products and services for their region.

“An encyclopedia of success stories from the world’s most interesting places, people and organizations.�

The www.gvpedia.com site was launched in 2008 so the success stories from the Best of the World print publications could all feature on an online platform. We have more than 8000 pages live and growing fast. In July 2009 we launched an online directory engine and an eBook library to complement our website which has opened up the scope for new publishing partnerships beyond the ‘Best of Series’ with new exciting books and magazines that focus on government, business and travel from around the world.

REGIONAL HEAD OFFICES

p Bangalore

04 | Best of India

p Brussels

p Cairo

p Copenhagen

p Dubai

p Gaborone


GVPedia.com Global Village Encyclopedia

p Johannesburg

p London

p Santiago

p Singapore

p Sydney

p Washington DC

Best of India | 05


THE BEST OF

AFRICA

We brand and build the image of the world’s most exciting economic regions to affect a change in the perception of a continent, a nation, a city and its people by the rest of the world. Global Village Africa is Africa’s premier platform for showcasing and networking governments, leading companies and entrepreneurs in business, tourism and lifestyle. The ‘Best of seriesmCPPLTDSJTQMZQSPÙMFMFBEJOH companies and innovators, as leaders within their genre. We celebrate the success of countries, individuals and companies with ‘the good news’ editorial and pictorial imagery in the highest quality print format available.

BRANDING A CONTINENT, A NATION, A CITY AND ITS PEOPLE

RADE

Proudly African

012

NVESTMENT

EXCHANGE

FTRADE.COM

Boosting inter-trade & cultural relations across the continent

www.ProudlyAfrican.info

06 | Best of India

in association with

GVPedia.com Success, Sustainability and Culture


Best of India | 07


Kamal Morarka Chairman

World Trade Centres all over the world, have duly supported the initiatives of Global Village Partnerships over the years. The World Trade Centre Mumbai is pleased to extend its support to GVP India in bringing out this outstanding publication, BEST OF INDIA. The ‘Best Of’ series of publications has, within a short span, become an important vehicle for the globalisation of Indian business, allowing it to showcase its capabilities to the world. Global Village Partnerships (GVP) has done a commendable service to Indian industry and business by bringing its publications to India. I have no doubt it has already become a ‘Gateway to India’ as it gives worldwide publicity to the very best in India in a manner that leaves beautiful imprints in the minds of readers. ‘Prosperity through Trade’ is the mission of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) New York. WTC Mumbai, being part of the WTCA network of 315 WTCs in 96 countries, takes pride in realising its vision of ‘a perfect catalyst in the promotion of India’s world trade developments’. Certified as the Best Quality practices by the WTCA, WTC Mumbai’s services, facilities and activities have effectively led to the increasing integration of the Indian economy with the rest of the world. We are sure that our association with GVP in the BEST OF INDIA will augment our efforts.

8 | Best of India


Vijay Kalantri President

The All India Association of Industries (AIAI) has always served the needs of the Indian industry and helped it to become efficient and able to compete with the rest of the world. Its wide ranging services and activities focus on the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. AIAI has also contributed significantly to social and environmental causes. The AIAI has truly put India on the global map and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with more than 170 overseas trade promotion organisations, government agencies, chambers and associations. “Building Bridges of Prosperity Through Industries� is the mission that AIAI strives to accomplish. I am happy to see that GVP has appropriately included AIAI in the BEST OF INDIA publication. This excellent series of publications brought out by Global Village Partnerships (GVP) literally brings out the best of India in every respect and every dimension of the economy such as business, services and government. It also showcases Indian culture and society, giving insight into the spirit of our country. I express my best wishes for the success of the BEST OF INDIA book.

Best of India | 9


Best of India

Culture

Automobiles

Aviation

Banking & Finance

Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Business Enablers

10 | Best of India


Corporates

Education

Engineering & Manufacturing

Fashion & Luxury

FMCG

Food & Beverage

Health & Wellness

Best of India | 11


Hotels & Hospitality

Information Technology

Infrastructure & Real Estate

Media & Events

GLOBALVILLAGE PARTNERSHIPS www.GVPedia.com

Building an Atlas of Success, Sustainability and Culture

Sven Boermeester International Group Publisher

12 | Best of India


(L - R seated) Leena Singh, Sandhya Mendonca, Usha Subramanian; (Standing) Anuradha Prasad, Aditya Mendonca, Pramodh BS, Kokila V

Editor-in-Chief Sandhya Mendonca

Principal Writers Anuradha Prasad Anita Rao Kashi

Principal Photography Asha Thadani

Media Consultant Leena Singh

Design Pramodh BS Kokila V

Editorial Assistance Capt S Sreenivasan Mavis Smith

Additional Photos Leonard Aarons

Sales Usha Subramanian Karina Pottamkulam Aditya Mendonca

Front Cover Concept

Collateral assistance Remuna Rai Manjunath AV

Content Raintree Media Pvt Ltd www.raintreemedia.com

Sales Intern Vasudhaa Narayanan

Mishta Roy

Best of India | 13


CHAPTER 1

Introduction


“If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.� Max Mueller, (1823 - 1900), German philologist and Indologist

Photo: Asha Thadani


Best of India

Fast Facts

Country name

Location

Republic of India

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.

Capital New Delhi

Independence from the United Kingdom

Geographic co-ordinates 20 00 N, 77 00 E

15 August 1947

The 17th century Red Fort or the Lal Qila in Delhi was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is the location from where Free India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the people on August 15, 194 The Red Fort spans about 254.67 acres and its archeological value has given it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

16 | Best of India


Time zone

Exchange rates

UTC/GMT +5:30 hours

`51 for US $1

Area

Terrain Coastline of 7000 km. Deccan Plateau in the south, flat to rolling plains along the Ganges, deserts in the west, Himalayas in the north.

32.8 lakh (3.2 million) sq km

Population

Ethnic groups

122 crore (1.22 billion)

Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Mongoloid and other

GDP (PPP) `4.06 lakh crore ($79.6 billion approximately) (2010 est.)

Country dialling code

Religions (values in percentage) Hindu 80.5, Muslim 13.4, Christian 2.3, Sikh 1.9, other 1.8, unspecified 0.1 (2001 census) Languages (values in percentage)

+91

Hindi 41, Bengali 8.1, Telugu 7.2, Marathi 7, Tamil 5.9, Urdu 5, Gujarati 4.5, Kannada 3.7, Malayalam 3.2, Oriya 3.2, Punjabi 2.8, Assamese 1.3, Maithili 1.2, Other 5.9. English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language and is the most important language for national, political and commercial communication.

Internet code .in

Currency INR (`)

Government Federal Republic

Major political groups Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bahujan Samaj Party

Environmental issues Deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, desertification, air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions, water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country, and the huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources.

Natural resources Coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Natural hazards Droughts, flash floods, flooding from monsoonal rains, thunderstorms and earthquakes. Barren Island is a volcano in the Andaman Sea that has been active in recent years.

Climate Four major climatic zones: Alpine, Sub Tropical, Tropical and Arid. Major seasons: Winter (Dec-Feb), Summer (Mar-Jun), Advancing monsoon (Jun-Sep), Retreating monsoon (Oct-Nov).

Business days Monday to Saturday

Annual events January - Makara Sankranti (harvest festival), Republic Day March - Ugadi/ Gudi Padwa/ Baisakhi (Hindu New Year), Holi August - Independence Day, Ramzan September - Ganesh Chaturthi, Id-ul-Fitr October - Gandhi Jayanti Photo: Asha Thadani

November - Navratri and Diwali December - Christmas

47, and the tradition of Prime Ministers addressing the nation on Independence Day and Republic Day continues.

Best of India | 17


Best of India

Genesis For almost 1000 years India was the world’s largest economy before losing its pre-eminent position. Fast paced economic liberalisation and market-driven policies have accelerated the country’s economy upwards and India is among the fastest growing economies with the world’s fourth largest purchasing power.

The last traces of Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the world’s first great urban civilisations, in Lothal, Gujarat

T

he Indian subcontinent has revealed signs of human habitation for almost 30000 years, eventually giving rise to the Indus Valley Civilisation which reached its peak about 4500 years ago. Archaeological finds from Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, the largest and earliest urban settlements from the area indicate craft production and trade, clear proof of a robust economy. India, it seems, has never looked back since. During the intervening years, right up to Independence, India’s economy was always a significant part of the world’s GDP even though the country’s history was in a state of constant flux. British economic historian Angus Maddison, in his book ‘Contours of World Economy 1-2030 AD’ states that India was the world’s largest economy between 1 AD and 1000 AD. In the 16th century, it slipped 18 | Best of India

Photo: Benoy K Behl

to second position under the Mughals, when it accounted for a little more than 25 percent of the world’s economy. It was back in first place during the subsequent Maratha rule during the 18th century when India’s share went up to 27 percent. This position of preeminence declined gradually with the British rule, and the country’s economy grew at an abysmal one percent from the mid-19th century till the first quarter of the 20th century, though colonial rule did result in setting up essential infrastructure, especially the railways, which played an important role in the country’s growth in later years. After gaining Independence, India designed its economy based on socialist principles inspired by the Soviet Union. It was characterised by protectionism, widespread regulation and emphasis on public ownership, all of which led to slow growth,


averaging around three percent from 1951 till around 1979. There was a slight shift in the 1970s when restrictions were eased, price controls removed, corporate taxes reduced and small scale industries encouraged. In 1991, the country took large and definitive steps towards economic liberalisation by dismantling draconian practices and paving the way towards a market-based economy. The Licence Raj was abandoned, many public monopolies were abolished, foreign direct investment was allowed in various sectors, and tariffs and interest rates were reduced. As a result, growth went from a sluggish 3.5 percent to high gear by the turn of the century. It touched 5.5 percent in 2000 and grew consistently to even reach beyond nine percent during the decade, and crossed the 10 percent mark in 2010. Currently, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the moniker is likely to stick till almost 2020 with forecasts indicating that it will average a 7.5 percent annual growth. By 2011 India’s economy was nominally worth `95.6 lakh crore (US $1.85 trillion approximately) according to the International Monetary Fund and it is a country with the fourth largest purchasing power parity behind USA, China and Japan.

Economic mix India’s economy is dependent on a unique mix of traditional brick-and-mortar and sunrise sectors. The establishment of a plethora of public sector units and heavy industries soon after Independence yielded a strong manufacturing structure. Subsequent liberalisation policies and exposure to new technologies led to the country’s emergence as a significant player in the area of information technology and communication. At the moment, according to

More than half of India’s population is employed in the agricultural sector.

government statistics, the service industry accounts for 57.2 percent of GDP while industry contributes 28.6 percent and agriculture makes up the rest. The country’s labour force amounts to nearly 50 crore (500 million) and is the second largest in the world; nearly 52 percent is employed in the agricultural sector while 34 percent is in the service sector and 14 percent in industry. Some of the major industries that contribute to the GDP include telecommunications, textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software and pharmaceuticals, while the country’s main agricultural crops include rice, wheat, cotton, oilseeds, tea, jute, sugarcane and potatoes. However, the most exciting growth story in India, starting from the last decade of the previous century, continues to be information technology and allied sectors. It accounts for a little more than five percent of the country’s GDP and annual revenues from this sector in 2011 stood at `2.5 lakh crore (US $49 billion approximately) with projections pegged at `10 lakh crore (US $196 billion approximately) by 2020. With the current average growth rate of 7.5 percent, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that the average income will double in a decade, while a McKinsey report indicates that removing a few more obstacles in the path to liberalisation will enable India to achieve a consistent growth rate higher than China’s, at 10 percent. But most heartening is a study by Citi which predicts that if the country’s reforms continue in the same vein, India will become the world’s biggest economy by 2050.

Photo: Mahesh Bhat

Best of India | 19


Best of India

Brand India Rapid growth has effected a significant change in not just the way India is perceived by the world but the way Indians perceive the country. Brand India is evolving with confidence.

Scores of bright young people hold the promise of India.

H

ow does a country ever become a brand? In his seminal work, ‘Competitive Advantage Among Nations’, the legendary marketing guru Michael Porter went on to analyse how certain countries had a distinctiveness about them which in turn was what made them stand apart. Germany, for instance, was hinged around engineering excellence whereas America was all about innovation. In a similar manner, what would India be best known for? Would it be a culture that was

20 | Best of India

© Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

created out of the many invasions that India witnessed? Could it be the realities of colonisation which we took to heart and paid heed to? Is Brand India about the paradoxes that exist or about the chaos that we thrive on? I believe Brand India, much like India the nation itself, has come a long way. From being described by Churchill as a nation of shopkeepers (the same term that Bonaparte had used disparagingly of Britain) we have swiftly moved to conquering the world.


Be it in terms of setting out the diaspora’s footprint in all critical nations to the fact that entrepreneurship is at the heart of the Big Indian Dream, there is an edge that only India has because its past has been fragmented. Then there is the reality of its structure itself. No other country is perhaps as fragmented as India in terms of linguistic and cuisine habits or for that matter the very ethos it follows in differing regions. Brands that have entered India have almost always had to alter their DNA. Be it McDonalds which had to replace beef in its Big Mac with chicken or for that matter Domino’s which had to introduce an allvegetarian restaurant and take-away to the fact that MTV even to this day has 100 percent of its programming in the local Hindi language, Brand India influences both a pernicious and coercive pressure on those who want to do business here. And yet, we are willing to accept globalisation as long as it co-exists with our cultural imprint. Which is what makes Brand India unique. It is imperative that in understanding Brand India, we recognise the commonalities that exist in Indians no matter where they reside. There is an earthiness which the Indian is simply unwilling to give up. With riches their essential DNA does not change. The maximum numbers of shoppers that line up at a Reliance Fresh store (which offers the cheapest provisions) are those who come in fancy cars. It is about the bargain and not about the price. And yet, a small town like Ludhiana in Punjab boasts of the largest number of Mercedes’ anywhere in the world: the reason being, as an evolving society, we continue to strive for badges of arrival. While the North can be boorish in its behaviour as also in its conspicuous consumption, the South remains understated even though south India consumes 62 percent of all the gold bought in India. Then there are societal triggers. While many states in the Union of India are matriarchal, there is a declining man-woman ratio given the other social pressures of beating girls in India. Something that we should be ashamed of but have done precious little about. It is this that remains the unfaltering view of India. India is not one integrated nation as far as brands are concerned. The sharp divisions in buying behaviour or for that matter consumption have made many national brands switch to sharp regional inflexions and this shows up not only in the manner in which these brands are advertised but more critically in the way they exist and evolve. Much like Brand India itself.

ever-altering religious balance? India today is home to the world’s second largest Muslim population: so much so, that even within our constitution, they have the rights to a private law. It is the resilience of Brand India that is its unique character; its ability to rise Phoenix-like from any challenge that, in other circumstances, would have crippled a nation and left it at the altar of tumultuous change. It is the resilience of the Indian State that it can still exert Governmental control even though 221 (out of 628) districts of India are under Maoist control. It is the resilience of the Indian citizen that he or she can still throw out Governments for the lack of development come election time and more critically, the resilience of the Indian consumer who can be steadfastly loyal to brands he trusts no matter what the attractiveness of price or promotion. It is this paradox that is equally stimulating to those who observe nationstates as also to global marketers. So what is the future of Brand India? Ironic as it may sound, for a land that is driven to a large extent by astrologers and godmen and godwomen, we have never charted our destiny in a logical manner. Logic is alien to the functioning of Brand India. We have hurtled from one domain to the other. Paradigm shifts have become the order of the day but yet there is vast neglect when it comes to primary health and primary education. These are the challenges that Brand India will need to constantly rise to. There are several structural and demographic issues too but equally, there is now a political will to deal with them and this is where hope resides. From being a nation which was supercilious in its denial of certain ground realities we are now a nation which is coming to terms with its warts and is willing to do something about them. Equally, the demographic inflexions help too. India is the world’s youngest nation: 61 percent of Indian population belongs to 15-35 years of age in average. With youth comes the challenges of harnessing idealism and tempering rampant enthusiasm: that too will happen for we will continue to dip into the reservoir of our longstanding history and glean the best and brightest examples from them. For a country that gave the world both Buddha and Gandhi, we cannot be doubted either for intellectual sagacity or taking journeys fuelled by truth. Therein lies hope for Brand India and what it will set out to achieve in the comity of nations. - Suhel Seth

The fact that today, four governments at the Centre have been coalition governments also points towards the ‘localisation’ of political parties. Having said that, our very democracy is skewed too. In India’s current Parliament, 37 percent of those elected belong to political families and of the women in Parliament, 72 percent are wives, sisters, daughters or daughters-in-law. So, while we laud the democracy that we have given to ourselves, we have, in large parts, been unable to shake-off the dangers of dynasties perpetuating themselves in our polity. But these are the realities that Brand India has come to terms with. How many democracies can predict future Prime Ministers? How many democracies can actually forgive and then re-elect politicians who have either been brazenly communal or viciously corrupt? In India, there is a belief that it is part of our karma. A very Hindu thing. But then what do we do with the ever-growing and

Suhel Seth is the Managing Partner of the strategic brand management and marketing consultancy, Counselage India and founder of Equus.

Best of India | 21


Best of India

Doing business in India The world’s largest democracy and a secular republic, India offers a rich investment climate backed by natural and human resources, and business infrastructure. Benefitting from robust industrial growth and stable financial and services industries, India is now seen as a more business-friendly nation, as per the International Finance Corporation’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report that features countries with a smooth/ easy business setup. In the post-recession era, having sailed through a global financial crisis with merely a minor slowdown, India has shown resilience in sustaining business growth. 15th globally in availability of scientists and engineers with a labour cost that is 20-40 percent lower vis-a-vis the US.

Photo: Asha Thadani

S

ince ancient times, India’s fame as a land of trade and industry is welldocumented. The golden bird as it was known was the world’s largest economy for an entire millennium starting 1 AD, according to economic historian Angus Maddison. With an economic history dating back over 5000 years to the Indus Valley civilisation, even as recently as 1700 AD, India accounted for more than a quarter of global GDP. Today, it is the fourth largest economy in the world in purchasing power parity terms, and poised to be the third largest. Following liberation from British rule in 1947, it was the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991 that unleashed the country’s enormous growth potential and helped create its `87.8 crore (US $17 million approximately) economy. Further, the

22 | Best of India

tremendous improvement in infrastructure over the last decade has established a network of motorways, railroads, waterways and airports that connect most Indian cities, towns and villages. With a population of 120 crore (1.2 billion), 65 percent of whom are in the 15-64 age group, and a literacy rate of 74.04 percent, according to Census 2011, India is one of the most dynamic consumer markets in the world. English is widely spoken in the country, although Hindi is the official language. Its large pool of educated, skilled, English-speaking youth is a critical success factor in the country attracting foreign investment. A well-established higher education system churns out 1.3 crore (13 million) students each year ready to join the Indian workforce. An Ernst & Young ‘Doing Business in India’ report ranks India

The same report emphasises that India has notched impressive growth with an annual GDP averaging 8.6 percent over the past five years. The Hindustan Times in a recent report quoted the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Angel Gurria as saying, “India is doing very well in terms of economic growth…India is helping the averages (growth of world economy) look better.” Domestic consumption accounts for more than half the country’s GDP, and is a strong driver for investment. Credit Suisse Research Institute’s ‘Global Wealth Report’ noted that in the last decade, India’s total wealth tripled to about `17.87 crore (US $3.5 million approximately) and is expected to double in the next five years. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Competitiveness Report’ ranks India 49th among 139 countries for global competitiveness. A survey by UNCTAD on World Investment Prospects ranks India as a leading destination for FDI (second only to China). With simplified procedures, many of which can be completed quickly online, foreigners are increasingly finding it a pleasure to do business with India.

Capital market India has a strong and transparent financial market. The credit policy is formulated by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, which acts as the banker to other banks. India’s foreign exchange is 1.4 percent of the global daily exchange turnover at `2042 lakh crore (US $4 trillion approximately). India’s is the 16th largest foreign exchange market, globally. The National Stock Exchange, India’s largest stock exchange, records a daily turnover of approximately `14000 crore (US $2.74 billion approximately), according to Ernst & Young’s ‘Doing Business in India’ report. It also


mentions that the flow of funds from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in 2010-11 was approximately `16000 crore (US $3.13 billion approximately).

Foreign investment in India With strong government support, foreign direct investment (FDI) has helped push the Indian growth story to the front pages. FDI is permitted through financial collaborations, private equity or preferential allotments, by way of capital markets through euro issues, and in joint ventures. India has received FDI of `2.5 lakh crore (US $49 billion approximately) over the past two years. A survey by Morgan Stanley shows that India is likely to receive `4 lakh crore (US $80 billion approximately) in FDI over the next couple of years. While infrastructure bottlenecks are playing spoilsport in FDI, global companies continue to see a big opportunity in India’s growing market. Telecom has been the biggest recipient of FDI over time. The government recently said it would soon launch the process to allow foreign airlines 49 percent stake in Indian carriers, thus opening up the aviation sector. FDI in multi-brand retail awaits political consensus, although single brand FDI has been cleared. The Government of India Factsheet on FDI puts Mauritius on top of the countrywise list of India’s highest foreign direct investors with `2.4 lakh crore (US $47 billion approximately). India has a Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty with Mauritius. Singapore comes next with an investment of `58090 crore (US $11.5 billion approximately), followed by the USA that put in `42898 crore (US $8.4 billion approximately) in the areas of telecommunications, services, power, oil refinery, food processing and electrical equipment. On a recent visit to India, Martin O’Malley, Governor of the US state of Maryland was quoted by the Business Standard on the strong economic ties between the two countries. He said, “We have brought the largest delegation ever from a single state to India and primarily they are business people. That is because of the tremendous market that is India, which has tremendous talent and huge economic opportunities.”

Key sectors India’s telecommunications network is the third largest in the world and the industry has played a vital role in India’s growth. The mobile telephony industry has grown a stupendous 700 percent, from having less than 10 lakh (one million) subscribers in 1998

Photo: Leonard Aarons

to over 75.2 crore (752 million) subscribers in 2010. According to a study on the Indian mobile services sector conducted jointly by the Cellular Operators Association of India and leading global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, urban teledensity in the country at 154 percent is far ahead of the rural teledensity of 34 percent. While this offers a great business opportunity, significant investments are required to increase reach in the rural areas.

the demand-supply gap in infrastructure to sustain future growth, throwing up huge opportunities for foreign investors. With the Indian Government aggressively supporting investment in infrastructure, not only are there fewer restrictions on FDI for infrastructure projects, but infrastructure companies also get tax holidays even as the sector is opening up for public-private participation.

Poised to become a `11.6 lakh crore (US $225 billion approximately) industry by 2020, the Indian information technology (IT) industry has played a key role in putting India on the global economic map. The sector is estimated to have grown by 19 percent in the financial year 2011, clocking revenues of close to `3.9 lakh crore (US $76 billion approximately), according to NASSCOM.

The Indian Government has established several Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country to empower industries with an internationally competitive environment in order to promote exports. SEZs are specifically recognised as duty-free zones. Companies and industries operating here enjoy exemption from customs duties and benefit from a more liberal regime in terms of levies, foreign investments and other transactions.

India is also among the top markets for the automotive industry. Several global auto original equipment manufacturers have set up product development and manufacturing facilities here thanks to India’s growing domestic market, and inexpensive engineering and manufacturing facilities. Philippe Varin, Chairman and Managing Board, PSA Peugeot Citroën, was quoted by The Economic Times as saying, “We view India as one of the most important and dynamic markets in the world, with forecasts of it becoming the third largest automotive market by 2020.” India’s significant economic growth and sizeable population have placed great pressure on infrastructure in the country. India needs to urgently bridge

India’s Special Economic Zones

Today, India has 130 SEZs that follow the regulatory and legal compliance framework set forth by the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 and their collective exports stand at `2.2 lakh crore (US $48 billion approximately) annually, says a report in The Times of India. India’s strong economic fundamentals and attractive demographic profile make it a compelling business destination. The country has tapped merely a fraction of its business potential. The economic fundamentals are in place and increased business activity is likely to offer greater dividends to all those who play a part in the Indian growth story.

Best of India | 23


Best of India

The road ahead India is readying for a rapid stride towards development and progress. A plethora of infrastructure mega projects across the length and breadth of the country that is spread over an area of 3.28 lakh crore (328.72 billion) sq km are markers of this journey as it readies to spend nearly `50 lakh crore (US $1 trillion approximately) on infrastructure by the end of 2020.

The `1600 crore (US $304 million approximately), 5.6 km Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai is India’s first open eight-lane, cable-supported sea bridge.

24 | Best of India

Photo: Leonard Aarons


Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi

N

o matter which economic forecast you are willing to accept, India is poised to catapult into the top ten economies of the world by 2020, beating such BRIC countries as Brazil and Russia, and others such as Canada and Spain. Its GDP is estimated to stand at around a staggering `150 lakh crore (US $3 trillion approximately). The country has been pressing the fast forward button in various sectors in order to meet the demand and expectations that such development is likely to generate.

Power and fuel Two out of three Indian projects chosen by the consultancy firm KPMG in its Infrastructure 100 report of 2010 are from this sector. It is significant, since it comprises “the most exciting infrastructure projects from around the world, as selected by independent judging panels due to their scale, complexity, innovation and impact on society” according to KPMG. Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 gas development project is expected to set new standards in integrated gas infrastructure projects and innovation in the sale and transport of energy. Tata Power’s 4000 MW ultra-mega power project at Mundra is supposedly the first of dozens of such mega power projects that will come up across the country to meet the increasing energy demands of a growing nation. There are other projects in the pipeline to augment the country’s rising energy needs. These include the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, a 9900 MW plant by the Nuclear Power Corporation, the largest nuclear power plant in the country as well as the largest in the world when fully commissioned. The National Thermal Power Corporation’s 9500 MW plant on the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh will be the country’s largest hydropower plant to be established with an estimated investment of `1 lakh crore (US $20 billion approximately). The Moser Baer Clean Energy project, a 30 MW PV plant, aimed at stamping the country’s climate concerns, will be built by Moser Baer at an estimated cost of `465 crore (US $91 million approximately) at Banaskanthain in Gujarat. The project envisages thin-film panels from First Solar, DuPont and Moser Baer which will power the site; when fully operational the plant is projected to generate around 5.2 crore (52 million) kWh of electricity a year.

Airports Forecasts by Airbus and others indicate that India’s aviation market will grow faster than China this decade. The biggest project in aviation in India, the expansion of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi also figures in KPMG’s list. Across the country, existing airports are being modernised and expanded, even as newer ones are being planned and launched.

Photo courtesy: GMR Group

Road and rail transport Many more infrastructure projects are gearing up to meet India’s rapid strides.The country’s largest highway project – the 555 km Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Kishangarh road, at an estimated cost of `5400 crore (US $1 billion approximately) is readying for launch. This and other road projects that form part of the Golden Quadrilateral are in tune with projections that India will be the fifth largest market for cars by 2020. The Chenab River Railway Bridge, the highest railway bridge in the world is being built at about 360 metres above the river bed in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir. Expected to be completed by 2016, the 1.3-kmlong bridge is designed to provide rail connectivity to the Kashmir valley. Down south, the Bangalore Metro, precursor to some of the other Metros being planned across the country, will showcase state of the art urban transport efficiency of India’s Silicon Valley. Planned at an estimated cost of `6000 crore (US $1.17 billion approximately), this mega prong project has unveiled its first leg but will be the pride of the country’s infrastructure when fully completed by 2020.

Industrial zones Recognising the need for dedicated areas for industrial development, the country is also embarking on one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects - the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, spread across six states (Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat) at an estimated cost of `4 lakh crore (US $78 billion approximately). Among the biggest mega infrastructure projects to come up in the near future, it will be spread over a length of 1483 kilometres. Along this route, the biggest urban development project will be at Dholera, 110 km south of Ahmedabad, spread over 75000 acres.

Ports To reduce the country’s dependence on foreign ports, the Kochi International Container Transhipment Terminal is a three-phase `3200 crore (US $627 million approximately) project. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2014 and is estimated to be able to handle 55 lakh (5.5 million) TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually. This is the first terminal in the country to operate in a special economic zone. A relatively young population (nearly 35 percent, around 32 crore or 325 million, are below 20), growing middle class and larger disposable incomes of `70 lakh crore (US $1.37 trillion approximately) by 2025, a fourfold increase since 2012 according to McKinsey, improved literacy that is expected to go up to 80 percent and life expectancy to 75 years by 2020, all point to a nation that is marching ahead. It is only logical that related infrastructure is in line to match this. The road ahead for India appears smooth and well-lit. Best of India | 25


Best of India Monument to love, the Taj Mahal in Agra

26 | Best of India

Photos: Asha Thadani


Myriad marvels India is a smorgasbord of colour, sound, taste and smell that promises a sensory overload. It defies description and categorisation, because it offers something for every kind of visitor. Predictably, travellers have been arriving here for millennia, enchanted by the country’s diversity and mesmerised by its allure.

T

here is no single word, phrase or even a sentence that can capture the appeal and enigma of India. In fact, any attempt to convincingly describe it will usually end up as an understatement. The country is a microcosm of the world and has been attracting travellers for millennia: Megasthenes, Huen Tsang, Alberuni, Ibn Batuta and Marco Polo are but a handful of famous names that came calling. From snow-covered mountain peaks to sunny golden beaches, from ancient

temples to glitzy modern buildings and malls, the country is one whirlwind of diversity and co-existence of the ancient and the modern. The country is so multi-dimensional that no matter where you go or what you see, it is not something that you will forget in a hurry. It is possibly for this reason that the World Tourism and Travel Council has forecast that India will be a hot tourist destination during the decade 2009-2018.

Best of India | 27


India’s diversity means there is something for every kind of soul who comes visiting. For those seeking spirituality, there are any number of sacrosanct sites across the length and breadth of the country. For history buffs, pre-historic sites beckon as do thousands of monuments and ruins that are evocative of the various epochs of the country’s ancient fabric. As for nature and adventure lovers, they will be spoilt for choice: high mountain peaks to deep ravines, fast-flowing rivers to vast lakes, pristine, virgin forests to unspoilt beaches. For those craving for the energy and pace of urbanity, there are glamorous cities that offer seductive and entrancing avenues for visual and cultural treats. And then there is the unending gamut of food that promises sensual fulfillment. Visitors to India inevitably gravitate towards the 17th century Taj Mahal in Agra, the most recognisable monument and a permanent fixture on the seven wonders list. Not only is the structure, a white marble mausoleum depicting the best of Mughal architecture, spectacularly beautiful but has a poignant and romantic story associated with it. Emperor Shah Jahan, who loved his wife Mumtaz Mahal deeply, was grief-stricken upon her death and built it (which took nearly 22 years) as a tribute and symbol of his love. It is this juxtaposition that gives the monument an aura all of its own. A few hours’ drive from Agra is the state of Rajasthan, the land of kings and replete with palaces. Selecting what to see might be a tricky proposition, but Jaipur is an excellent starting point. Nicknamed the Pink City, after the distinctive hue of its buildings, it has plenty of forts and palaces, especially such piquantly named ones as Hawa Mahal (meaning palace of air ) and Jal Mahal (palace of water).

Enchanting backwaters in Kerala

28 | Best of India

Further afield, is the golden-hued sandcastle of Jaisalmer, white buildings and lake palaces of Udaipur, the Meherangarh fort and blue buildings of Jodhpur, ornate residences that dot Shekhawati, the Junagarh fort and the delicious array of sweets of Bikaner, and miles and miles of sand of the Thar desert in the western part of the state. In complete contrast to the heat of this region, the mountains and hill stations of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are enticing, offering even skiing in places such as Auli. However, nothing can beat the magnificent beauty of Jammu and Kashmir. Though certain parts of the state are strife-ridden, there are segments of Jammu and the Kashmir valley that are accessible and a treat to visit. The Buddhist Ladakh region towards the east is completely untouched. Huge, roaring rivers, iced-over mountains with high passes, sub-zero temperatures and an unbelievable landscape make this area a truly exhilarating experience. Less-travelled but packed with beauty and diversity is India’s northeast, comprising eight states, with rich colour, customs and traditions that are completely different from the rest of the country. In the heart of Madhya Pradesh, the Bhimbetka rock shelters take visitors back to the dawn of civilisation. By some accounts these shelters have been around for almost 30000 years. The most fascinating parts of these shelters are the paintings on the walls which date back to the stone age, depicting bisons, elephants, wild boar, tigers, lions and other animals, done mostly in white and red, with the occasional green and yellow.


A girl in traditional clothes and jewellery (above) and men riding elephants in an ancient city in Rajasthan

Best of India | 29


The breathtaking panorama of Himachal Pradesh

30 | Best of India


Pristine beaches of Goa

Serene splendour of Ladakh

Best of India | 31


The Vittala temple in Hampi, Karnataka is an architectural marvel.

32 | Best of India


Comparatively newer, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta and Ellora located in Maharashtra, dating between 200 BC and 650 AD, full of remarkably preserved sculptures and paintings are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. And then there is Mumbai, home to Bollywood, the country’s Hindi film industry which churns out massive song and dance productions as well as larger-than-life actors with absurdly huge fan-followings. Down south, Hampi in Karnataka is considered the world’s largest outdoor museum. Spread over 40 km, it comprises the ruins of the Vijayanagara empire, which was in existence between mid-14th and mid-16th centuries, attaining its zenith during the 15th century. Located in a starkly beautiful landscape littered with boulders, some perched rather precariously, and the Tungabhadra flowing serenely alongside, the remains of fortresses, palaces, temples, stables, armouries, sculptures and monuments speak volumes of the creativity and grandeur of a bygone era. Some of that pomp and show is still visible at the annual Mysore Dasara celebrations, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Amba Vilas Palace, complete with royal rituals, elephants and a colourful procession at the end of 10 days of festivities. Elsewhere in the state are more World Heritage Sites such as BadamiAihole-Pattadkal and some of the densest forests of the country, harbouring a wide variety of wildlife.

In Tamil Nadu, which forms the cradle of Dravidian civilisation, it is temple architecture that mesmerises the visitor. Rock cut temples, gigantic gopurams towering into the sky, huge temple compounds, exquisite architecture, scriptures and sculpture are manifest throughout the state. Prime examples are to be found at the ancient monolithic temples of Mahabalipuram, the Kamakshi temple of Kanchipuram, the massive Brihadeeshwara temple of Thanjavur, the rock fort temple of Tiruchirapalli, the sprawling Meenakshi temple of Madurai and the Nataraja temple of Chidambaram. And then there are the beaches. Natural beauty in the form of swaying palms, glistening water and pale sands juxtaposed by a strong Portuguese influence make Goa an all time favourite. Further south, in Kerala, it is the hidden beaches and coves coupled with Ayurveda in the science of holistic health, that entice the visitor. For the first time visitor, India can be an overwhelming experience. At first everything appears so in the face and overboard that it can really give the senses a severe jolt. But once beyond the unsettling welcome, India is also a place that will gradually ensnare and weave itself so thoroughly into the psyche that it will be impossible to forget. After all, it is an art that the country has perfected over millennia.

Best of India | 33


CHAPTER 2

Culture


“In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.� Rabindranath Tagore, (1861 - 1941), Indian writer and Nobel laureate

Photo: Asha Thadani


Culture

Spiritual connect

Dance

According to the Natyashastra, Indra and other Gods approached the creator of the Universe, Brahma, at the beginning of Tretayuga and requested him to create a fifth Veda for the enjoyment of the senses. Another tradition attributes the origin of this dance form to Siva. Whatever it may be, the Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are said to be responsible for the origin of Natya (drama), Vritti (method) and Nritta (dance). The principal Indian classical dance styles flow from mythology into history and into the present.

Dance has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and splendid images of dancers adorn temples.

“

The Natyashastra, a text on dramaturgy written by sage Bharata between 200 BC and 200 AD, serves as the single cohesive fountainhead for all the arts in India that include poetry, dance, music, architecture and theatre. Theoreticians and practicising artistes adhered to it for approximately 2000 years (until the 19th century) consistently throughout the sub-continent.

36 | Best of India

Photo: Asha Thadani

Although the present form of Bharatanatyam (the oldest and the most commonly quoted classical style for purposes of history and periodicity) emerged in south India only in the 15th and 16th centuries AD, the tradition of the dance form is traceable to the distant past. Cultural historians opine that the dance form could indeed be the remote descendant of the well-known copper figurine


of what appears to be a young female dancer from Mohenjo-daro (ca.2300-1750 BC). There may be a historical link between these ancient temple dancers and the later institution of the Devadasis which flourished in India in the Middle Ages. History records the importance of dance as a performing art in Indian culture in general and in specific in south Indian society where this dance originated and evolved. From the 9th to the 13th century AD, rock cut temples, the building and embellishment of structural temples, and the evolution of temple worship attracted many types of creative talent in architecture, sculpture, painting, poetry, music and dance. The 14th century witnessed the plundering and destruction of the temples in the South at the hands of the Muslim invaders that brought about a decline in the royal patronage to the arts and forced musicians and dancers into other vocations. It is likely, say cultural historians, that as a consequence, some techniques and styles of dance were lost forever. With the establishment of the Vijayanagar Empire in the South, patronage of the arts resumed. Epigraphical evidence, the great monuments of Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagar kings and accounts by travellers indicate that dance, music and other arts flourished during this period as did the institution of the Devadasis, the servants of God.

the world of sense and has to be reverential for that which her spiritual insight reveals to her. She uses her art both as a method of communicating these feelings and as a symbol of the reality which arouses them. She creates undeniable beauty through her art but this beauty is ancillary to the main aim, that of expression of spiritual truth. The impulse to create a beautiful movement and the impulse to express the feelings of veneration and awe evoked by the mysteries of one’s religion operate together so that the endeavours of the dancer harmoniously blend to become one. I believe that there is more enthusiasm and interest in classical dance today than there was even 30-40 years ago. The Indian diaspora is partly responsible for this revival of interest in the learning and teaching of classical dance because more and more Indians living abroad want their children to be in touch with their roots. In India too, more people are aware of the long term benefits of children learning classical dance. The human mind constantly aspires to newer things and just as society is continuously changing, so is art. Indian classical dances are living, dynamic traditions and are continuously adapting, imbibing, expanding each time a creative artiste works with their tools intelligently. The emphasis here is to know the tools well enough to be able to rearrange or extend its reach responsibly.” - Prathibha Prahlad

It is interesting here to note that the Natyashastra classifies the dance/drama art into four regional types - Avanti, Dakshinatya, Panchali and Odhra-Magadhi. Owing its genesis to the great text, thus emerged the style of Odissi in the Kalinga region (now Orissa), Koodiyattam in Kerala (Kathakali is a more recent form that emerged from Krishnattam), Manipuri in the North-East, Bharatanatyam in the south, Bhagavatha Mela in the South (now developed into the Kuchipudi style), and Kathak in the North. The north Indian dance form of Kathak came from a tradition of storytellers, who sang and danced about the gods. It was thus a simple form of expressional dance. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a form of operatic play Raas Lila came to be popular in the North and inspired by the Braj poets Surdas, Nandadas and Krishnadas, it became a form of folk theatre with song, narrative, acting and dancing. With the advent of Muslim rule, Kathak was taken from the temple to the court and two distinct traditions developed - one under Hindu patronage in the courts of Jaipur and the other under the Muslim rulers in Delhi, Agra and Lucknow. It became a highly technical and stylised art for the delectation of a few and was almost always performed solo. All the dance forms flourished under the patronage of the temples initially, and of kings and rich landlords later. Dance, in particular, flourished in the latter part of the Bhakti movement – the 15th and 16th centuries AD. The Vaisnavite Alwars and the Saivite Nayannars, among many others from other geographical regions, wandered throughout the country singing and spreading the message of total subjugation at the feet of the Lord. But a more interesting characteristic of the Bhakti cult, which later translated to the arts, particularly dance, notes AK Ramanujam (poet and art historian), was experiencing one’s relation to God as that of a lover, on the analogy of human sexual passion – the predominant mood here being that of a lover’s longing for union with the beloved, technically known as Viraha Bhakti rather than the bliss of union. “The noblest purpose of dance has been the adoration of the Lord…,” says C Sivaramamurti, scholar and philosopher. You cannot, it may be said, describe God in words; nor can you in the language of everyday life convey your conception of the innermost reality of life. But you may be able to do these things in art. Intensely sensitive, the dancer has to be conscious of the spiritual reality that underlies

Prathibha Prahlad is a performer, teacher, choreographer, researcher, cultural organiser, arts administrator and media person. She has established the Prasiddha Foundation and is Festival Director of the Delhi International Arts Festival which she conceptualised.

Best of India | 37


Culture

Cinema

Celluloid magic The Indian film industry is the largest in the world, with 12000 theatre screens and over 400 production houses that churn out more than 1000 feature films a year. The bulk of these films are made in 10 major Indian languages, with Hindi movies claiming the largest share at 17 percent, followed closely by Tamil (16 percent) and Telugu (14 percent).

H

indi films dominate popular perception internationally where all Indian films are mistakenly labelled ‘Bollywood’ movies. Ironically, the Hindi film industry disapproves of the Bollywood tag, insisting it is no Hollywood clone. With its unique formula of heightened emotions, stylised acting, and song and dance routines, it is the only one in the world that has flourished in the face of Hollywood’s global dominance. With globalisation, Indian films are now exploring new markets like Poland, Russia and Korea, in addition to more traditional ones like Egypt, Russia and the Middle East. My Name is Khan, for instance, had a theatre release in more than 60 countries. In a parallel move, entertainment majors like Sony and Fox Star Studios have set shop in India, producing Indian movies and distributing them globally. Indian films posted modest revenues of `83325 crore (US $1.7 billion approximately) in 2011, a figure that could be exceeded by a single Hollywood blockbuster like Avatar, which has grossed over `1.3 lakh crore (US $2.7 billion approximately) worldwide. However, their enormous viewership in India and growing international presence give them an impressive clout. “Society impacts cinema much more strongly than the other way round. India is undergoing rapid social, cultural, political and religious changes. Film-makers express their interpretations of these changes through their stories and present them to society, which chooses those films that appeal to their state of mind. That is why the types of stars change constantly: macho heroes are replaced by thinking women’s heroes, then romantic heroes or comedy kings, and so on.

Shah Rukh Khan with the ensemble cast of Swades, a film about an Indian scientist at NASA who is drawn back to the village where he grew up, to undertake a project to introduce electricity to this neglected patch.

If you go back to the 50s, it was a soulful time for new-born India. Its people were embarking on a new beginning, so the heroes wanted to build a new nation; feelings of brotherhood and camaraderie reigned supreme. The 60s were a happier period and the hero had an air of boisterousness about him, but was high on manners and morals. Disillusionment with the system had set in by the 70s, when people felt betrayed by the government. Overpopulation had given rise to unemployment and the common man had become restless. This led to the birth of the Angry Young Man in our cinema. Poetry was

Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) is considered India’s most accomplished film-maker with a timeless style that is delicate, understated and sophisticated. His work was deeply rooted in his own milieu and sensibility, yet struck a universal chord. A superb illustrator, he made elaborate sketches and storyboards for his movies, wrote the dialogue and screenplay, did the casting, scored his own music and designed the publicity material. He wrote short stories, science fiction and stories for children. He was truly India’s Renaissance man.

Still from Ray’s Pather Panchali

38 | Best of India

Photo courtesy: Sandip Ray

His first film, Pather Panchali (1955), won major international awards, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival and he went on to win much recognition. He is the only Indian director ever to get an Oscar, being awarded an honourary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1992. His best-known works are the Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali, Aparajito, Apur Sansar and Charulata (The Lonely Wife), which he considered his best work. Besides winning 32 Indian National Film awards, Ray was also decorated with the Bharat Ratna, India’s greatest civilian honour. Text: Shashi Baliga


Aamir Khan with the ensemble cast of Lagaan. The film, set during the British Raj in India, told the tale of a bunch of villagers challenged to a cricket match by British officers.

replaced by angst. In the 80s, India went through great internal strife and goondaism (rowdyism and bullying tactics) became rampant. Our cinema captured this aspect, but it did not necessarily make entertaining fare. Many believe that the 80s were the worst decade in our history. Our cinema was not far behind.

In India, mainstream musical cinema will always remain popular. But along with that we now have offbeat commercial cinema, alternate cinema, the New Cinema, propagandist cinema, independently financed cinema and Government- or State-funded cinema…the list is only growing!

Instead of a new hero, the 90s introduced a new villain for society as well as the movies - the terrorist. Suspicion towards neighbouring countries grew alarmingly and cinema began to point fingers at them for fueling terrorist activities. Naturally, the new hero had a fresh job to wave the patriotic flag!

What I love most about the medium of cinema is its ability to influence audiences, bring about a change in their thoughts and their ideologies, for the betterment of society. I am of the firm belief that ‘Cinema must (also) entertain.’

The turn of the new millennium brought about strikingly different changes: globalisation, foreign investments, international franchises, the IT revolution. All of this gave India - and the hero - a new face. He began to wear an earring, stubble and an attitude that overflowed with an infectious self-confidence. Unconventional faces became the heroes for the new, emerging India. It does not matter what the new hero looks like; how he leads his life. He is no-nonsense, superstrong, smooth-talking and convention-breaking. I feel privileged to have begun my career as a director in the 90s and to have worked through the millennium till this day. My heroes have undergone constant change. I began with a struggling actor in Pehla Nasha (1993); a cop who is trying to fight the terrorist menace in Baazi (1995); a patriotic farmer who fights oppression in Lagaan (2001); a scientist who understands the true meaning of nationalism in Swades (2004); the Emperor Akbar who understands religious tolerance and practises it too, with his wife in Jodhaa Akbar (2008); an NRI who finds a novel way of choosing a wife in What’s Your Rashee? (2009); and finally, a school teacher who attempts to challenge the British empire in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010). I believe each of these heroes emerged from India’s changing times. The era of unconventional cinema is here and that is great news for film-makers. It means freedom from the need to follow trends. Freedom from following market demands. Freedom from the anguish over the fate of a Friday release. As a result, Indian cinema is going through a transition, with more and more industry folk willing to take on genres, scripts and formats that they had not tried before. The audience is now unpredictably different in its tastes but what is a given is that it wants change - newer script ideas, different genres, different formats...and different kinds of cinema.

There are days when I feel regional cinema is superior to Hindi cinema, especially when it comes to stories and technical expertise. I like the drama of Marathi cinema, the literature of Bengali cinema, the larger-than-life quality of Tamil cinema and so on. But on other days, I am convinced that Hindi cinema leads because of its ability to reach a pan-Indian audience. Films made in regional languages are truly representative of their respective cultures, concerns and problems. Hence, they become popular in their respective states. Sadly, even within India, audiences rarely get to appreciate regional cinemas because Hindi films overshadow them.” - Ashustosh Gowariker

Photo: Avinash Gowanakar Ashutosh Gowariker is one of India’s most respected directors, one who believes cinema has a purpose larger than entertainment. Winner of multiple national awards, he boasts of contemporary Hindi cinema’s only Oscar nomination for his film Lagaan (2001).

Best of India | 39


Culture

Art

A rich palette Art is deeply rooted in the Indian ethos; from the vibrant hues of clothes to elaborate jewellery and the welcoming decorations of homes, colour plays an important role in day-to-day life. Prehistoric rock paintings in Bhimbetka in the state of Madhya Pradesh are the earliest form of art and depict the triumphs and travails of humans. The influence of tribal art continues in various forms.

SG Vasudev’s works comprise of drawings, paintings, copper reliefs and tapestries. A founder-member of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village, Chennai, he lives and works in Bangalore. His works are represented in numerous personal and institutional collections across India and the world. Vasudev has won several prestigious awards, including those instituted by the National Lalit Kala Akademi, the state academies of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and the Government of Karnataka.

T

he early settlements of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are examples of architecture and sculpture that flourished in that period (3300–1300 BC and what is referred to as its mature period 2600–1900 BC). Art evolved in various forms in the country – from the rock cut caves of Buddhists to the intricately carved temples which, under the patronage of cultured rulers, became rich repositories of art and culture. Islamic conquerors brought their own influences as seen in Mughal buildings like the Taj Mahal. Through it all, there was continuity in Indian art and miniatures in particular flourished. “Indian art had to undergo many changes after the British started ruling the country and imposed their art practice in India. They established institutions like the Government School of Arts and Crafts in Madras, School of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata, Sir JJ School of Art in Bombay and others which used European methods of teaching art. Indian artists adapted to this influence and artists like Raja Ravi

40 | Best of India

Varma, who took inspiration from Western art, particularly that of Rubens. Painting in oils was introduced to the country. Indian artists looked towards the art movements such as Cubism, Dadaism, Impressionism, Expressionism and others which were developed in the West. In the early 60s, artists in the country realised that there should be contemporary Indian art and worked towards it. What you see today is the work of the artists who started professionally in the 60s, who struggled to evolve a new kind art. Post Independence, the establishment of institutions like the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Lalit Kala Akademi, helped people come closer to the art of the country. These institutions played an important role in producing books and holding exhibitions, much before the commercial art galleries came into the picture. Galleries have come up all over the country in the last decade and have made it very easy for society to see and acquire art of their choice. It is only in the last five years or so there seems to be recognition coming to contemporary Indian art in the international


art market. India being a poor and developing country, could not make an impact on the Western art world. When a country is powerful economically it can dictate its terms. We have to wait for such moments! There are several challenges faced by artists in India. Artists do not have places to work. The studio facilities are not adequate. It is important for the Government and corporate houses to support artists. At the same time it is important to educate the public to appreciate art. We have to bring art into our educational institutions and make the study of art mandatory. It is only then that we will be able to see the growth of contemporary art in contemporary India.” - SG Vasudev

Various schools of art have abounded in India: The Vijayanagar kings who ruled south India from 1336-1565 AD were great lovers of art and form; the style of painting practiced by artists under royal patronage later came to be known as the Vijayanagar School of Painting. It led to two distinct off-shoots – the Mysore and Tanjore paintings. Mysore paintings have Hindu mythology as their theme and are elegant, detailed works in muted colours. Tanjore paintings also have devotional themes and are usually painted in bright colours on panels of wood. The Bengal School of Art was initiated by Abanindranath Tagore. Gaganendranath Tagore introduced avant-garde western styles into Indian art. After Independence, there came the Progressive Artists’ Group consisting of KH Ara, SK Bakre, HA Gade, MF Husain, SH Raza and Francis Newton Souza.

New age artists delve into illustrations for books and graphic novels. Above is an amusing and interesting interpretation of the mythical bird Gandaberunda by Jai Iyer. Exuding grace, prosperity and power, this is a ‘stylised, Wodeyar-meets-Metallica’ illustration that might well be sported by rich boys on the back of their SUVs. (The Wodeyars were the rulers of Mysore State and the bird was the Royal emblem. The Karnataka government later adopted it as the state symbol.)

A painting from the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra. Sculptures, paintings and frescoes depict the life of the Buddha in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Art is in nature and daily life,” says contemporary artist Jatin Das. “The journey of art in India is rooted in nature and there is a give and take between all art forms.”

Best of India | 41


Culture

Soulful note

Music

Scholars down the centuries believe that both the Hindustani (North) and Carnatic (South) Indian classical forms of music root their geneses in sacred texts like the Vedas and the Upanishads. Handed down from the guru-shishya (teacher to student) traditions, classical music found its earliest patrons in temples and later in royal courts.

String, percussion, rythm and wind instruments capture the mystical and celebratory spirit of the country.

S

everal new genres and styles were easily inculcated as Indian classical music always believed in assimilating new influences. While Hindustani music grew from Prabandh and Dhrupad to forms like Khayal, Thumri and Bhajan, the Carnatic genres intermingled with other inter-disciplinary allied performing arts like dance and theatre, and took inspiration from regional folk forms. Several dozens of sub-genres thrive under each of the styles of music. Seminal texts like Sangita Ratnakara, Natyashastra, Abhinaya Darpana and Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini gave form and structure to music along with the oral tradition on which most performing arts prospered. The Hindustani style flourished under various gharanas or schools of music while the Carnatic style stuck to celebrating composers. In addition to its artistic metamorphosis, Indian music reflected the socio-cultural influences that changed time and again in Indian society. A common consensus among scholars is that Indian

42 | Best of India

Photo: Asha Thadani

classical music continues to remain the most sophisticated form of music anywhere in the world. “It is important to note that Indian classical music has proved itself strong from time to time. Each genre of music has its place and audience, and our classical music has been very graceful in accommodating influences. We have conveniently Indianised many Western instruments like the violin to suit our needs with excellent results. An art form has to grow and fusion in music has helped to popularise our own classical music and helped it reach the common man. It does not dilute our tradition at all; it only shows the greatness and flexibility of the richness of classical music. It also works as a medium to earn a decent livelihood for many good classical musicians.


Classical music has enriched the Indian film industry. Legends like Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and others have also sung for films, without compromising the quality of their music. Lataji (Mangeshkar) has sung countless songs which are based on our classical ragas and they have stayed evergreen melodies that we enjoy each time we hear or sing them. It only enhances the experience of watching good cinema. I have also sung for Bollywood films and for private albums. At an international level, Indian classical music has defined a significant space for itself. Earlier, our music had royal patronage and while it flourished, it remained limited in its reach. Today our classical musicians travel all over the world and enthrall global audiences. When I sang in Australia, over 50000 people stood in the rain to hear me. Such events have increased of late and it shows that there is constant admiration of our music. Technology has helped tremendously in making our music popular. Whole new generations of musicians and listeners have taken to classical music, thanks to the help provided by technology. They are considering classical music as a full time profession and are working hard towards it. I can only see the future being better and brighter. Indian classical music has survived for thousands of years and it will continue to reign. Indian classical music is so powerful that it can touch a chord within anyone’s heart. It can express every possible human emotion and that is why everybody is in awe of it.” - Ustad Rashid Khan

Text & Photo: Veejay Sai

Ustad Rashid Khan hails from the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana and has popularised Indian classical music across the world. He has been honoured with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri from the President of India, in addition to many national and international awards.

AR Rahman ‘The Mozart of Madras’ AR Rahman has placed Indian contemporary music on the international map with compositions that blend Indian classical music with electronic sounds and Western orchestrations. He has won several national and international awards, including the Grammy, Golden Globe and BAFTA. Besides being the top ranking composer for Indian films, he composes music for Hollywood and has collaborated with international musicians like rock and roll icon Mick Jagger for independent single releases.

Photo courtesy: dyser.blogspot.com

Best of India | 43


Culture

,

Centre stage

Theatre

With many genres and traditions, theatre in India is defined by language, region and caste, and does not have a single national practice.

The thrust stage in Ranga Shankara, Bangalore. There is a play held each day of the year in this innovative theatre space.

“

Theatre in India may be divided into three categories - traditional, folk and urban. Loosely defined, traditional theatre is classical, folk is community-based and informal, and urban is modern, influenced in the first instance by the British presence in India and later by theatre trends in the western world. Broadly speaking, traditional theatre comprises dance, music, speech and expression. Examples of this kind of theatre are found only in Kerala on the south-west coast of the country. There are two main forms of classical drama practised in this region, along with innumerable minor forms. One is Kathakali and the other is Koodiyattam, both of which are performed in temples. There is more dance and drama in Kathakali than in Koodiyattam, which is a quieter, more contemplative form. Both forms demand a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the spectator because their gestures are highly codified, though the stories enacted in them are from mythological literature and therefore generally known. Folk theatre also comprises music, dance and speech. They are public forms, performed under tents or in open spaces in villages and small towns. There are a few features common to almost all folk theatres. They are not performed from scripts but are generally ad44 | Best of India

Photo: Pallon Daruwala

libbed. Some are divided into two parts. The first is the ritualistic part, and the second the narrative part. Another common element is the presence of a vidushak, a character who is a clown but not quite a clown. For he is in the play not merely to amuse and entertain the audience; he is there almost as a conscience-keeper of the community. He is allowed to tear the veil off the hypocrisies of the high and mighty, including the gods, often holding them in ridicule. He also has a monopoly over the bawdy. His lines are often risquÊ, even downright scatological. While the ritualistic part of folk plays is devotional, its narratives are generally secular. Urban theatre is staged in enclosed auditoria, equipped with sound and light. Like urban theatres anywhere else, it can be realistic, expressionistic or symbolic in mode. It may be played from written scripts or, as happens increasingly today, it could be devised from actors’ improvisations on a theme. In keeping with international trends, Indian directors too have been experimenting with multi-media used in different ways along with the human body. There are two instances of theatre which cannot be called either folk or urban. For, while both the production centres and the actors


are urban, the performances are staged in the open in villages and small towns where thousands of people watch them. Both are itinerant theatres. One is Bengal’s Jatra and the other is Assam’s mobile theatre Bhraymaman. These itinerant theatres travel the length and breadth of their respective regions nine months in the year when the weather is dry. Given their large audiences, the style of performance is declamatory and the plots full of dramatic events. Activist theatre is quite significant in India and many theatre practitioners devote themselves to doing plays that have a close bearing on people’s problems. They see theatre as a tool for changing society. These plays are performed in village squares and at street corners, and begin with loud drumming and singing to attract the attention of passersby. The form is often interactive, with performers throwing questions at the crowd because the play is about issues that affect them in their everyday lives. The issues tackled by activist theatre can range from social issues like dowry, to health issues like AIDS, or political issues like the oppression of ordinary people by the state. Theatre is an art that springs most directly from the community. It is only the theatre performer who addresses the audience directly. It is therefore logical that every community produces a theatre that is specific to itself, its nature, its culture, its history and its language. The tamasha form of folk theatre that belongs to Maharashtra could not have been created anywhere else except in that state. The reason lies in its social structure and history - the Mughal army pitched camp on grounds outside towns and expected performances by the lowest caste-groups who were the entertainers and lived outside the village or town limits. Their music and dance forms, modified by the music and dance culture that came with the Mughals, gradually took the form and shape of what came to be known as tamasha. This is how region, culture, language and history shape local theatre forms. Since theatre is rooted in history and culture, which are embedded in the language, the English language in India brought with it its own history and culture. The earliest English language plays performed in the city of Mumbai, for instance, were from Shakespeare. The cultural roots of this theatre belonged to another soil. Unlike the long histories of local theatre out of which Indian language plays spring, English

Comrade Kumbhakarna by National School of Drama

theatre had no history, no traditional sources to draw upon except Western. In that sense, it was for a long time a theatre in limbo. In the last 20 years, however, after English freed itself from its British roots and became an Indian language, English theatre has matured and come into its own.” - Shanta Gokhale. Yakshagana is a vigorous theatre form from Karnataka which is believed to date back to the 16th century. It uses songs, extravagant costumes and storylines sourced from mythology and the epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Dialogue is interspersed with songs, giving it a folk art flavour. Ramlila is a theatre form devoted to legends from the great Indian epic, the Ramayana. Very popular in north India, it is usually performed during the festival of Dusshera. Similarly, there is Raas Lila, based on the legends of the Lord Krishna. Both forms use dialogue, songs and drama.

A Kathakali dancer from Kerala

Photo: Asha Thadani

Shanta Gokhale is a cultural commentator, writer, translator and theatre critic. Best of India | 45


Culture

Treasure trove

Literature

India has an unbroken history of serious literature, both oral and written from Vedic times (1500-500 BC). Little however, is known about that of the Indus Valley which flourished in 3300-1700 BC as the Saindhav script is yet to be decoded. Like all literatures Indian literature too has its origins from the tribal or the adivasi.

Indian literature has a history of over 3500 years; it has 22 scheduled languages and 122 regional languages, four classical languages and numerous dialects. A variety of literature produced abounds in all these languages. India also has a strong tradition of oral storytelling.

S

anskrit literature produced great writers like Valmiki, Vyasa (or Vyasas as Mahabharata seems to have evolved over time), Kalidasa and Bhasa, a tradition that continued up to the 13th century culminating in Jayadeva’s Geetgovindam. Sanskrit also produced poets like Bharata and Anandavardhana. There was an equally great parallel corpus produced in the South in Tamil, the Sangam literature, that also had its own eco-poetics. Indian literature found its flowering in movements like Bhakti and Sufi, struggle for Independence, Progressive movement, Modernism and later ones like contemporary Dalit and feminist writing. All these produced excellent writing, though good writing was also done outside of these movements.

46 | Best of India

Literary traditions of India have been adapted to contemporary writings. We have several novels that re-interprete episodes in the Mahabharata and Ramayana in contemporary contexts, like Pratibha Ray in Oriya and Sara Joseph in Malayalam re-reading Mahabharata and Ramayana respectively from a woman’s point of view. Malayalam novelists MT Vasudevan Nair and PK Balakrishnan have rewritten the Mahabharata from the perspectives of Bheema and Draupadi respectively. Indian poetry continues to refer to the epics and the Bhakti tradition as also to Biblical and Islamic stories in its attempt to understand our troubled times. Sometimes there are references to history: Kunwar Narain’s Hindi poetry for example is


replete with historical allusions while a poet like Kedarnath Singh refers to Kabir. HS Shivaprakash writes a new kind of spiritual poetry allied closely with the Kannada Shaivite Bhakti tradition. There are a series of 12 poems written around the major Bhakti poets from all over India - from Lal Ded in Kashmiri to Andal in Tamil - where they comment on the present. Women poets too keep going back to Meera and Akka Mahadevi while many Dalit poets invoke Dalit poet saints like Raidas and Chokhamela as also Buddha and characters like Ekalavya. This also happens at the level of form, wherein writers have retrieved older forms like barahmasa, verse play or imitating the structure of Vikramaditya tales like the Malayalam writer Chandramati and folk literature like the Kannada writer Chandrasekhara Kambar. Indian literature in English is widely read and English can be considered just another entrant into the milieu as Indians have always been multilingual. Writing in English does not in any way mitigate the significance of language writing. Language writers have their own readership in their regions and a pan-Indian readership when translated into English or other Indian languages and their works better capture the smells of our earth and the textures of our real life. In the last decade, many works in the languages have found readable English translations. The West still knows India chiefly through Indian writing in English that deals primarily with urban middle class life. There are some exceptions like Arundhati Roy and

earlier writers like Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao and RK Narayan. Perhaps, the perception is slowly changing as more works from the languages have begun to enter the international landscape. A French reader reading Mahasweta Devi in French will certainly have a different understanding of Indian life as she sees it from the margins. Western interest in India also seems to coincide with the nation’s new political and economic visibility. Post-boom exhaustion of Afro-American and Latin American literature could well be another reason. Literary festivals like the Jaipur Literature Festival too are contributing to this new attention. With the spread of English medium education there has really been a boom in the market for Indian writing in English. Some of the Indian languages, like Malayalam for example, have a good market among the language users. OV Vijayan’s path-breaking novel The Legends of Khasak (Khasakkinte Itihasam in Malayalam) has had more than 50 editions in Malayalam, each running into thousands. New movements like Dalit and new women’s writing have redrawn the map of Indian literature and challenged statusquoist canons. Indian writing in English certainly has come of age; Salman Rushdie is the real pioneer of this new wave that has produced major writers like Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh, not to speak a whole bright new generation of poets and fiction writers who are too many to name. There is also good writing happening in the Indian languages; there are no worries on that count.” - K Satchidanandan

Photo: Sikha Khanna

K Satchidanandan writes in Malayalam and English. He hails from Kerala’s Thrissur district, and is a poet, critic, academician, editor, translator and playwright. His works have been translated into 17 languages. He has received several state and national awards, the Knighthood of the Order of Merit from Italy and the Friendship Medal from Poland. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011.

The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is heralded as the largest literary festival in Asia-Pacific and draws writers and readers from across India and from many other countries. Debuting in 2008, it has become an annual feature and a platform for new literary communities in South Asia. Namita Gokhale, author and Founder Director of JLF, says “All over South Asia people are listening in to and telling their own stories, in their own languages metaphors and idiom. The ripple effect of local festivals are provoking a rethinking of national and personal narratives, and providing an interstice of local and global experiences. This spontaneous outpouring of literary expression across India and South Asia is to be celebrated as an affirmation of cultural continuity and change. Literary festivals do lead to more readers. The challenge of absorbing and reacting to books and ideas is stimulated by book fairs and festivals. In a virtual age, public readings and dialogue do add a vital dimension to the reading experience. The emergence of an engaged literary community adds intensity and interactive reactions to the process of reading, which in a digital world is not necessarily a solitary, linear text only narrative. The JLF phenomenon has positively impacted the book trade here, and also provided immense visibility to Indian books and writers.” Namita Gokhale

Photo: Tania Ameer

Best of India | 47


CHAPTER 3

Automobiles


“Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.� Henry Ford, (1863 - 1947), American automobile manufacturer

Photo: Asha Thadani


Automobiles

Driving to success With a portfolio of vehicles that cost just `2 lakh (US $ 3920 approximately) for the little Nano and go up to `1.5 crore (US $294000 approximately) for the Land Rover, Tata Motors is South Asia’s largest automobile company and the eighth largest in the world. It is the world’s fourth largest truck and bus manufacturer. A subsidiary of the Tata Group, it had revenues of `1.2 lakh crore (US $23.56 billion) in 2010-11.

The iconic British Jaguar - XK

T

ata Motors Ltd is India’s largest automobile company and the leader in commercial vehicles in each segment, and among the top three in passenger vehicles with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. It is present across India with over 65 lakh (6.5 million) Tata vehicles on the roads and with 3500 touch points in its network of dealers, sales, services and spare parts. Originally named as the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company, it began manufacturing commercial vehicles in 1954 with a collaboration agreement with Daimler Benz of Germany. It has several firsts to its credit: it was the first to develop the indigenous light commercial vehicle, India’s first sports utility vehicle, the Safari and the country’s first fully indigenous passenger car, the Tata Indica which became the largest selling car in its segment within two years. The company created a new segment by launching the Tata Ace, the first indigenously developed mini-truck. Tata Motors unveiled its ‘people’s car’, the Tata Nano in January 2008, setting a global benchmark for small cars. The car was launched in March 2009 and surprisingly for a small car, it is designed for families with a roomy passenger compartment and generous leg space and head room. The Prima, also launched in 2009, is a world standard truck, packing in power, speed, carrying capacity and operating economy. In October 2010, it launched the

50 | Best of India

Nano, the world’s cheapest car

Tata Aria, the first Indian four-wheel drive crossover, which redefines several benchmarks with its design and technologies. The company has over 25000 employees and manufacturing units in India in Jamshedpur, Pune, Lucknow, Pantnagar, Sanand and Dharwad. It also distributes and markets Fiat cars in India and has an industrial joint venture with Fiat Group Automobiles at Ranjangaon to produce Fiat and Tata cars, and Fiat powertrains.


Starbus - fuel cell (hydrogen) concept

It was the first company from India’s engineering sector to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange (September 2004) and has emerged as an international automobile company. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, it has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain and South Africa. Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, comprising two iconic British brands Jaguar and Land Rover which it acquired in 2008. JLR supports two state-ofthe-art engineering and design facilities, and three manufacturing plants in the UK.

The company’s Engineering Research Centre has over 4500 engineers and scientists, and has enabled pioneering technologies and products, through its centres in Pune, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Dharwad in India, and in South Korea, Spain and the UK. Tata Motors is focussed on environment-friendly technologies in emissions and alternative fuels. It has developed electric and hybrid vehicles both for personal and public transportation. It has also been implementing several environment-friendly technologies in manufacturing processes, significantly enhancing resource conservation.

In 2004, Tata Motors acquired Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company, South Korea’s second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market; two-thirds of heavy commercial vehicle exports out of South Korea are from Tata Daewoo. Tata Motors also acquired Hispano Carrocera, a reputed Spanish bus and coach manufacturer.

Tata Motors helps improve the quality of life of communities by working in the areas of employability, education, health and environment.

It has a joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global leader in body-building for buses and coaches to manufacture fullybuilt buses and coaches for India and some international markets. It has a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market pickup vehicles. The new plant of Tata Motors (Thailand) has begun production of the Xenon pickup truck. Tata Motors (SA) (Proprietary) Ltd, Tata Motors’ joint venture with Tata Africa Holding (Pty) Ltd, has its assembly plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng, South Africa. Tata Motors, which has been exporting vehicles since 1961, is also expanding its international footprint. The company’s commercial and passenger vehicles are marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia, CIS, Russia and South America. It has franchisee/joint venture assembly operations in Bangladesh, Ukraine and Senegal.

The company’s support to education and employability is focused on youth and women, and ranges from schools to technical education institutes to facilitation of income generation. In health, the intervention is in both preventive and curative health care. It plants trees, conserves water and has created new water bodies to preserve the environment.

Tel: + 91 22 6665 8282 www.tatamotors.com Awards • The Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance, 2011 • Pantnagar plant in the list of Sword of Honour awardees of British Safety Council, UK 2011 • Jaguar Land Rover won two ‘best of auto show’ awards from AutoWeek magazine at the Frankfurt Motor Show, 2011 • Tata Nano won the Best Car Advertisement of the Year at Bloomberg UTV Awards, 2011 • Tata Nano’s design received the world’s oldest and coveted international award GOOD DESIGNTM Award for 2010, in the category of transportation, conferred by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

Best of India | 51


Automobiles

Best sellers India’s largest automobile manufacturer and market leader in cars, both in volume and revenues, Maruti has a market share of nearly 45 percent. It has so far manufactured one crore (10 million) cars and is ranked as the seventh most trusted brand in the country by The Brand Trust Report.

Compact, affordable and reliable, the Maruti 800 was an instant success.

M

aruti Udyog Ltd was established in 1981 with its headquarters in New Delhi as a joint venture between the Indian government and Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan to manufacture low-priced cars for the middle class. It began with the iconic Maruti 800 model, priced at around `2 lakh (US $4000 approximately) and ushered in a revolution in the Indian car market. Over the years, it expanded its repertoire to include 14 models ranging from the modest 800 to premium luxury cars. It employs more than 8500 people in its two manufacturing facilities in Gurgaon and Manesar, both near Delhi. At its helm are Chairman RC Bhargava and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi. The story of Maruti began in 1970 with the creation of Maruti Ltd for the stated purpose of designing and manufacturing a wholly

52 | Best of India

indigenous motor car and affordable ‘people’s car’. After a period of turbulence, production began in 1983 in a joint venture with Suzuki Motor Corporation with the launch of the Maruti 800, India’s first affordable hatchback. It was so successful that the company launched a new model or a variant every year, even as the 800 continued to top the charts. So much so, that within a decade of the company’s launch, it had managed to take residence in people’s hearts and minds. As the company grew from strength to strength, the parent Suzuki Motor Corporation slowly increased its equity beyond 50 percent. Following this, the Indian government began divesting in the company in 2003 and by 2007 it had sold all its shares to financial institutions, while Suzuki became the major stakeholder.


With its clean sporty looks, the contemporary Swift is a fast seller.

The company’s name was changed to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation. In 2009-10 it became the only Indian car maker to make and sell 10 lakh (one million) cars in a year. In 2010-11 it sold 12 crore (1.27 million) cars, including 138000 cars which were exported, giving it a market share of nearly 45 percent and total revenues of `37522 crore (US $7.5 billion approximately). Currently, every second car on Indian roads is a Maruti vehicle. To meet growing demand, it plans to increase its production capability from the current 12 lakh (1.2 million) vehicles annually to 17.5 lakh (1.75 million) by 2013.

In the days ahead, the company is all set to launch Ertiga and Alpha models, firmly believing in its core values of customer satisfaction, innovation and creativity, networking and partnership, openness and learning, and promises to constantly endeavour to meet aspirations of a large and diverse demography, by providing the best through innovative products and services.

Tel: +91 11 4678 1000 www.marutisuzuki.com

Maruti currently manufactures 15 brands and offers over 150 variants. These include the flagship Maruti 800, Omni, Eeco, Alto, Alto-K10, A-Star, WagonR, Swift, Ritz, Estilo, off-roader Gypsy, SUV Grand Vitara, Sedan SX4, Swift DZire and Kizashi. In 2010, Maruti introduced factory fitted CNG option on five models in an environment friendly initiative, which include Eeco, Alto, Estilo, WagonR and SX4. Maruti exports entry-level models to more than 120 countries including Algeria, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Over the years Maruti has launched a host of initiatives related to its core product. Maruti Insurance was started in 2002 with the help of National Insurance Company to provide insurance to its customers. In the same year, it launched Maruti Finance to enable its customers to easily finance the purchase of cars. To strengthen and retain its customer base, it started Maruti True Value where car owners can sell, buy or exchange their used Maruti vehicles. It offered N2N (end to end) Fleet Management services for corporates which entail lease and fleet management solutions across the vehicle’s life including leasing, maintenance, servicing and remarketing. As part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, it launched Maruti Driving School, initially in Delhi and later in other cities, to provide systematic learning. The schools are based on international practices and learners have to go through classroom as well as practical lessons, starting on simulators before graduating to actual vehicles. Maruti has also been actively promoting motorsports for over a decade now for both amateurs and professionals. It organises such events as Autocross and Treasure Hunt, professional rallies such as Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare. In addition, it organises Women’s Fun Drive and Treasure Hunt for families.

Photo courtesy: Harpercollins.co.in RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Udyog Ltd was honoured with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, Japan’s second highest honour, and Economic Times’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Awards • Maruti won the MMA Asia Pacific and the Global awards for its digital campaign ‘Sports Sponsorship goes Mobile’, 2010 • CNBC TV18 Overdrive Manufacturer of the Year Award, 2010 • Gold-Award by India Manufacturing Excellence Awards (IMEA), organised by Economic Times in partnership with Frost & Sullivan, 2009

Best of India | 53


Automobiles

In the driver’s seat India’s premier utility vehicle (UV) manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is part of the Mahindra Group, a `73440 crore (US$ 14.4 billion approximately) one of India’s leading business houses based in Mumbai.

M&M produces cars, pick-ups and commercial vehicles that are rugged, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient.

The Mahindra Group’s story began in Calcutta (modern day Kolkata) in 1945 when JC Mahindra, India’s first Iron and Steel Controller, and his brother KC Mahindra, Chairman of the Coal Commission, joined hands with their friend, Malik Ghulam Mohammad to start Mahindra & Mohammad in Mumbai. After the Partition of India in 1947, Ghulam Mohammad moved to Pakistan to become its first Finance Minister. The brothers changed the company’s name to Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M). One of their first goals was to build rugged, simple vehicles capable of tackling the Indian terrain. They began assembling Willys jeeps and, as the sturdy vehicles rolled out across India’s vast terrain, the company slowly gained momentum. In the 1950s and 60s, it diversified into businesses like steel and tractors. Over time, it consolidated its position in automobiles, tractors and steel, and entered new and emerging sectors such as IT, hospitality, financial services, components, aerospace, logistics and real estate. Following a reorganisation in 1994, it has eight listed companies including the automobile giant, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 54 | Best of India

Mahindra continues to bring to the roads groundbreaking UVs. Its global presence means Mahindra vehicles are on the roads - both paved and unpaved - of Australia, Europe, Latin America, Malaysia, South Korea and South Africa. It launched the tough, rugged yet stylish Mahindra Scorpio, a wholly indigenous sports utility vehicle (SUV) in 2002 which proved to be a runaway success and redefined the company’s image. The company’s best selling UV models include the Bolero which has been India’s highest selling SUV for six consecutive years. Xylo, a stylish, feature packed ‘sedan plus’ vehicle has a loyal fan following. Its recent XUV500 received an excellent response. Its commercial vehicle range includes the Alfa three-wheeler goods carrier, the Mahindra Gio, India’s first 0.5 ton Compact Truck, the Bolero MaxiTruck with Micro Hybrid technology, the next generation Genio Double Cab pick up and the technologically advanced Maxximo mini-truck. M&M’s global subsidiaries include Mahindra Europe Srl based in Italy, Mahindra USA Inc and Mahindra South Africa. Mahindra Europe


was established in 2005 and is the official importer for Mahindra’s SUVs and pick up vehicles in Europe. Mahindra South Africa was created in 2004 and has since grown in prominence with over 45 dealerships across the country. In 2005, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and the International Truck and Engine Corporation - the operating company of Chicago-based Navistar - entered into a joint venture to manufacture light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles for India as well as export markets. Mahindra Navistar plans to address every segment of the commercial vehicle market from 3.5 tonne GVW to 49 tonne GVW with variants of passenger transport, cargo and specialised load applications. Its range of medium and heavy commercial vehicles is manufactured at M&M’s new 700-acre Greenfield Plant at Chakan, near Pune, which will produce other M&M products as well. Mahindra Research Valley, spread over 125 acres in Mahindra World City, Chennai, is perhaps the only R&D facility of its kind in the world for automobiles and tractors alike, and was created at an investment of over `650 crore (US $127 million approximately). M&M became a strong global player in the electric vehicle domain with the acquisition of a majority stake in REVA Electric Car Co Ltd, Bangalore, in 2010. The same year it acquired a majority stake in South Korean SUV maker, Ssangyong Motor Company (SYMC). The wide sales and distribution networks and complementary product lines have given both companies access to many overseas markets and the

opportunity to introduce a premium portfolio of SUVs in the Indian market. In line with the Rise philosophy, the Group’s new brand positioning in 2011, it has wide-ranging corporate social responsibility initiatives. It supports education through Nanhi Kali for the underprivileged girl child and The Mahindra Pride Schools for underprivileged youth. It is environmentally conscious and has a portfolio of sustainable products, green facilities and its CSR activities include afforestation. It supports the Lifeline Express – a hospital located in a train, and its unique employee social options programme allows employees to volunteer their time to reach out to the elderly, disabled, disadvantaged students and the rural population. The Group encourages cultural activities through the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, the Mahindra Blues Festival and

the Lucknow Festival in partnership with Sanatkada, a non-profit crafts collective. It has established the Mumbai Mantra/ Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab which will become an annual event in India, and the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award to be awarded annually at the Sundance Film Festival. Anand Mahindra gave an endowment of `51 crore (US $10 million approximately) to the Harvard Humanities Center in 2010, which has subsequently been renamed the Mahindra Humanities Center. Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, says of the Group, “Our core purpose is that we will challenge conventional thinking and use all our resources to drive positive change in our stakeholders’ lives and communities, to enable them to rise. The environment around us may change, but our core values never will.”

Tel: +91 22 2490 1441 www.mahindra.com

REVA is India’s first electric vehicle and the largest selling of its kind in the world.

Awards • Both the Jury and Viewers’ choice awards for XUV500 Auto Bild India, 2011 • The Navistar won the Commercial Vehicle of the Year award at the Apollo Commercial Vehicle Awards, 2011 • Forbes Top 200 list of the world’s most reputable companies, 2009 • One of the two Indian brands chosen by Credit Suisse study ‘Great Brands of Tomorrow’, 2009-10 • Recipient of the ICSI National Award for Excellence in corporate governance, 2008

Anand Mahindra was listed among the Top 25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia by Fortune magazine and received the Business Leader of the Year Award at The Asian Awards in 2011. He gave a `51 crore (US $10 million approximately) endowment to the Harvard Humanities Center in 2010, which has subsequently been renamed the Mahindra Humanities Center.

Best of India | 55


Automobiles

Revolutionary road Kick-starting a revolution on Indian roads with the introduction of the first engine based two-wheeler, Luna, a 50 cc moped for the common man in 1972, the Firodia Group created a stir in the automotive industry. Following on its heels was the gearless two-wheeler, Kinetic Honda that put women in the driver’s seat.

F

irodia Group is headquartered in Pune with regional offices in key Indian cities. The Group saw a turnover of `2936 crore (US $600 million approximately) in 2011 through its various businesses in the fields of automotives, power train technology, electronics and infrastructure. The Group’s core expertise lies in automotive technology. Arun Firodia, Chairman of Firodia Group, introduced India to its first 50 cc two-wheeler, Kinetic Luna. An affordable set of wheels for the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man), the first Luna cost `1500 (US $31 approximately). Its advertising tag line ‘Chal Meri Luna’ remains entrenched in the memory of nearly 60 lakh (six million) Indians who took to the streets on it. It was manufactured and supplied exclusively from India; over 40000 models were exported to the USA. In 1986, Firodia brought to the market the iconic Kinetic Honda, the first gearless 100 cc scooter in India with a touch start button. It was the result of a joint venture between Kinetic Motor and Honda. It received a massive response from women who were its target segment. It monopolised the market for two-stroke scooters until the late 90s. Subsequently it broke its ties with Honda and later, introduced the four stroke Kinetic. Other two wheelers, scooters and bikes from the Kinetic stable include Kinetic Nova, Zoom ZX, Zing, Blaze and Velocity. Kinetic Motor’s current joint venture partner is Mahindra & Mahindra, who is a majority stakeholder in the company; the two-wheelers manufactured are branded as Mahindra 2 Wheelers. The Group plans to merge Kinetic Motor with Kinetic Engineering Ltd. Since its inception in 1970, its company Kinetic Engineering has rolled out over 50 lakh (five million) components like engines, gearboxes, gears and shifts, as well as complete assemblies. It has an in-house R&D department and 40 years in the industry have led to a storehouse of knowledge in the areas of automotive design and development, supply chain, and parts and vehicle manufacturing. It also draws on its alliance with well-known companies like Daimler Chrysler and Honda for technical support.

Tel: +91 20 6614 2017/ 49 www.kineticindia.com

Arun Firodia was awarded the Padma Shri in 2012 for his contribution to the auto industry.

56 | Best of India


Gearing up Bajaj Group is among the oldest and largest conglomerates in the country with 34 group companies and total revenues of `30000 crore (US $5.88 billion approximately). Its flagship brand, Bajaj Auto, with revenues of `16974 crore (US $3.32 billion approximately) is the world’s fourth largest producer of two and three-wheelers.

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, the Bajaj Group’s origins go back to 1931 when freedom fighter, philanthropist and Mahatma Gandhi’s close confidant Jamnalal Bajaj set up the Hindusthan Sugar Mills as part of the swadesi movement and a means to make the country more self-reliant. Gradually, the family established more sugar mills but also expanded into other areas to become one of the country’s largest conglomerates. The group is currently headed by the founder’s grandson Rahul Bajaj, an MBA from Harvard Business School. His net worth is estimated to be `7873 crore (US $1.54 billion approximately) and he is currently ranked the 18th richest Indian by Forbes. The Bajaj Group has a leading presence in the country with diversified interests in motorised 2/3 wheelers, financial services, lighting and home appliances, and specialty steel. Bajaj Auto, headquartered in Pune, is among the most popular auto companies in India with revenues of `16974 crore (US $3.32 billion approximately). It sold more than 38 lakh (3.82 million) vehicles in 2010-11 and exported more than 10 lakh (one million) vehicles. It began by importing and selling scooters, most notably Vespa under licence from Piaggio of Italy, and three-wheelers. Later, it established its own manufacturing unit and produced one of India’s icons, the Bajaj scooter, with models such as Chetak, Super and Priya. It followed this with autorickshaws, both front engine, and later the rear engine vehicles. With the advent of other players and growing consumer expectations, Bajaj successfully managed to change its image from being a scooter manufacturer to one of a wide range of two-wheelers including scooterettes and motorbikes, even as it continues to manufacture three-wheelers. Some of its successful bikes include Pulsar and Discover. Two new 200 cc bikes – Duke 200 and Pulsar 200NS – have been launched recently. It became the first company to achieve Bharat Stage III compliance (Government of India’s emission norms) for its range of products in 2010. In early 2012, Bajaj Auto unveiled the Bajaj RE60, a low cost 200 cc car for intra-city transportation. The car is expected to have a fuel efficiency of 35 kmpl, a top speed of 70 kmph and carbon emissions of 60 g/km. The Bajaj Group’s corporate social responsibility initiatives encompass programs in education, health, social development and livelihood. They include a host of educational institutions with over 10000 students, a hospital, programmes for rural development and awards for social work.

Tel: +91 20 2747 2851 www.bajajauto.com Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2001. He has also received the Alumni Achievement Award by the Harvard Business School and Lifetime Achievement awards from Economic Times, Ernst & Young and CNBC TV18. He was appointed Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour by the French government and has received honourary doctorates from six universities.

Best of India | 57


CHAPTER 4

Aviation


“The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who...looked enviously on the birds soaring freely...on the infinite highway of the air.� Wilbur Wright, (1867 - 1912), Aviation pioneer

Photo: Asha Thadani


Aviation

Leading the way The first private airline company to make an impact in the country, Jet Airways is India’s premier international airline. The Jet Airways Group, comprising the full-service Jet Airways and low-fare Jet Konnect service, is also India’s largest airline group by market share.

A Boeing 737-800 in the Jet Airways fleet

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, Jet Airways was launched by Naresh Goyal in May 1993 with a fleet of four leased Boeing aircraft. Within a few years, Jet expanded its fleet and customer base to become a dominant market player in the Indian civil aviation sector, redefining commercial air travel in the country with its world-class in-flight products, warm service and classleading on-time performance standards.

60 | Best of India

Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 101 planes which includes 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 12 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 59 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 aircraft and 20 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft. With an average fleet age of 5.89 years, it has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world, with flights to 76 destinations across India, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Gulf.


As a pioneering private airline, Jet was the first in the Indian aviation industry to offer 30 country specific websites and multilingual sites in Thai and French. It introduced the concept of e-ticketing, a feature that enabled customers to book and print tickets themselves. It introduced Kiosk Check-in, a first in the Indian Aviation sector. It was the first airline to enable ticketing that can be done at the touch of a mobile phone button. It also introduced Quick Response codes (two dimensional bar codes that can be read at high speed) to the Indian aviation industry. Recognising the value of social networking, the company has entered the social media space aggressively. Jet Airways was the first Indian airline to add nearly 600000 fans on Facebook; it also has a presence on LinkedIn and is the first Indian operator to have a presence on foursquare. As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Jet Airways, together with various NGOs and corporate partners, organises ‘Flights of Fantasy’ each year through which underprivileged children are flown on special dream flights. Several such flights have been conducted at Mumbai and Chennai. In addition, it launched the Magic Box concept for donations with the NGO Save the Children. Through these donations it has helped victims of the earthquakes in Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, and those affected by the tsunami in 2004. It also organises various other activities such as blood donation camps.

Tel: +91 22 6121 1000 www.jetairways.com

Awards • Customer & Brand Loyalty in Domestic Commercial Airline Sector at the fifth Loyalty Awards, 2012 • Best in Aviation at the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards, 2011 • Chairman Naresh Goyal was conferred the Commandeur of the Order of Leopold II by the Belgium government in 2011. • He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Travel Agents Association of India, 2010

Best of India | 61


Aviation

Nation’s wings India’s oldest airline, state-owned Air India, is the country’s third largest operator in terms of market share amongst the clutch of airline companies in the country.

T

he Air India story began on October 15, 1932 when visionary industrialist JRD Tata launched Tata Airlines and flew a single-engine De Havilland Puss Moth from Karachi to Mumbai with a load of airmail. It introduced passenger services the next year and slowly expanded its fleet. It went public in 1946 with the government buying a 49 percent stake in the company. It was renamed Air India Ltd and began international flights. This was also the year that the carrier’s symbol, the red-garbed, turbaned Maharaja came into existence, symbolising graciousness and royal treatment. In 1953, the airline was nationalised and came fully under government control. Simultaneously, Indian Airlines was created and all domestic services were transferred to it, while Air India took care of international travel. Through the 1960s till the end of the millennium, Air India and Indian Airlines grew steadily, expanding fleet with newer craft such as Boeing and Airbus. Liberalisation and a fast-tracked economy meant the entry of private players but the two airlines continued to hold their own in the changed scenario.

62 | Best of India

At the start of the new millennium, Air India felt it could garner a portion of the low-cost travel market and launched Air India Express. A similar entity, called Alliance Air, was floated for domestic services, while Indian Airlines was renamed Indian. However, with market rationalisation and several changes amidst the private players, the government decided to consolidate all its airlines and created the National Aviation Company of India Ltd in 2007. Air India along with Indian Airlines, Air India Express and Alliance Air formally merged into this new company in February 2011, turning it into a major airline force once again, while continuing with the Air India brand name. Currently, the company operates 28 weekly flights to the USA and offers various international flights from 15 Indian cities. It also has a clutch of code-sharing agreements with other international operators for seamless travel. On the domestic front, it offers flights from 62 cities with New Delhi as the new hub, while its corporate headquarters continues to be located in Mumbai. Air India has 124 aircraft comprising Boeing, Airbus, ATRs and Bombardiers. It has rationalised its aircraft and has a younger fleet


than before, and has chalked out an elaborate plan for replacing aging aircraft with newer models, especially Airbus. Currently stricken by reported debts of about `40000 crore (US $8 billion approximately) and perennial staff and management problems, it has begun implementing measures such as route rationalisation, network planning and other measures. The company reported an increase in passenger revenue by more than 12 percent in March 2011 and an almost eight percent increase in the number of passengers carried. The launch of Air India’s Terminal 3 at the Delhi International Airport provides an opportunity for it to develop a primary hub for international flights that are integrated with its domestic operations. Air India flies to 21 international destinations operating 143 services per week from Delhi connecting New York, Chicago, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Kathmandu and Kabul. The state-of-the-art transfer facilities at T-3 in Delhi airport have brought down the minimum connecting time (MCT) and helped improve feeder traffic between its domestic and international networks.

Tel: +91 22 2287 6464 www.airindia.in Awards • Asia’s Leading Airline in Economy Class and India’s Leading Airline by World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia, 2011 • Adjudged the Most Trusted Brand in the country’s aviation sector by the Economic Times Brand Equity Survey for the fifth time in 2010 • Awarded the Montreal Protocol Public Awareness Award by the United Nations Environmental

Air India’s mascot for several years was the Maharaja. With his inimitable style, charm and wit, he greeted passengers from 1946. His creators were Bobby Kooka, Air India’s Commercial Director and Umesh Rao, an artist with J Walter Thompson Ltd, Mumbai. The humorous ad campaigns that had him effortlessly changing personas - from a lover boy in Paris to a sumo wrestler in Tokyo and many more - won numerous national and international awards for Air India.

Programme (UNEP) for its environmental awareness activities, 2007

The upscale Terminal 3 at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is the world’s sixth largest airport terminal.

Photo courtesy: GMR Group

Best of India | 63


Aviation

Flying high The largest low cost airline carrier and the second overall in terms of market share, IndiGo is the pride of the aviation sector as it is the only airline in India making profits consistently. It has the highest ontime performance, offering both domestic and international services.

I

ndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Enterprises, began operations in July 2006 with a single aircraft and quickly increased its fleet to five by the end of its launch year. It steadily added each year, averaging one new aircraft every six weeks during one period, to reach a fleet strength of 51 aircraft. Over the next few years, at least 180 new aircraft are set to join the existing fleet. To keep its overheads low, and thereby pass on benefits to customers, IndiGo has only Airbus A320 aircraft. It offers 319 daily flights and flies to 27 destinations in India and five international destinations. Headquartered in Gurgaon, IndiGo’s parent company InterGlobe Enterprises is a leader in aviation and travel related services. It was established in 1989 and currently has a network of 61 offices across 44 cities globally. It employs more than 8500 people across businesses which include IndiGo, InterGlobe Technologies, InterGlobe Air Transport, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, InterGlobe Hotels and InterGlobe General Aviation. Within five years of being launched, IndiGo established itself as a major player in the aviation sector with a combination of low fares and on-time performance. As of January 2012, it had a market share 64 | Best of India

of 20.8 percent and on-time performance of 80.3 percent. It also has the highest technical dispatch reliability (measure of flights delayed due to technical problems) in the country at 99.1 percent since its launch. In September 2011, it began offering low cost international services to Bangkok, Dubai, Kathmandu, Muscat and Singapore. IndiGo has many firsts to its credit. It was the first domestic airline to offer its customers web check-in, mobile booking, queue busters, step-less boarding ramps and air-conditioned tarmac coaches. It is the first domestic airline to have CAT III compliant pilots (pertaining to instrument landing system that provides precision guidance for approach and landing, especially during reduced visibility conditions) thereby increasing its efficiency factor. Its advertising campaigns are intelligent and appealing; so much so, it was awarded the Best TV Campaign at the Budgie and Travel Awards in 2011. To channelise its corporate social responsibility initiatives, the group has partnered with GiveIndia, a donation platform, to organise blood donation camps, disaster relief initiatives, reduce, reuse and recycle campaigns, literacy programmes, and awareness campaigns. It also empowers employees to choose and support a cause from


the areas of children, education, employment, disability, human rights and women’s issues. Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo, says, “The order of 180 aircraft reaffirms IndiGo’s commitment to the long-term future of aviation in India. The additional aircraft will enable us to take our low fares and courteous, hassle free service to more customers and destinations, and will create more job opportunities and growth for several other aviation related businesses. Our environment-friendly fleet of the A320neo will set a benchmark by significantly reducing the impact on the environment and lead the way to a more sustainable mode of flying.”

Tel: +91 124 435 2500 www.goindigo.in

Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo, received NDTV Profit’s Young Business Leader Award in 2011.

Awards • Best low cost airline Central Asia/India by SKYTRAX, 2011 • Rahul Bhatia, Group Managing Director, awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, 2011 • Best domestic low cost service airline by the Travel Agents Association of India, 2010

Best of India | 65


Aviation

Pepping up the skies India’s second largest low cost carrier and the fourth largest airline in the country, SpiceJet is one of the few low cost carriers to have two separate kinds of aircraft for its metro and regional services.

SpiceJet has a fleet of smaller and newer aircraft which are more fuel efficient.

S

piceJet, owned by the Sun Group and chaired by Kalanithi Maran, began as ModiLuft, a joint venture between Indian businessman SK Modi and German airline Lufthansa. It began operations in 1993 but was shut down three years later. It was launched again under a new ownership as Royal Airways but this too did not fare well.

66 | Best of India

Later, SpiceJet was launched in May 2005 as a low cost carrier. It began with a bang and offered fares at `99 (US $1.9 approximately) for 99 days and subsequently at `799 (US $15.9 approximately) and `999 (US $19.94 approximately). So successful was its strategy and its steady acquisition of aircraft that it became the second largest low cost carrier in the country


in 2008 and continues to hold that position with a market share of 16.3 percent as on January 2012 according to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In June 2010, media baron and Sun Group chairman Kalanithi Maran bought into the airline and more than a year later, upped his stake further to 48.6 percent.

and two foreign cities. The company has firmed up its strategic expansion plan with an order of 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, deliveries of which will commence in January 2014 and continue through 2019. It also plans to increase its Bombardier fleet with a view to strengthening its regional services.

Based out of Gurgaon, SpiceJet has managed to hold on to its position with a combination of being able to deliver lowest air fares with the highest consumer value to its price sensitive consumers. Having completed five years of operations, it launched its international services in October 2010, flying to Kathmandu from New Delhi and to Colombo from Chennai, offering customers low cost foreign flights.

Kalanithi Maran, Chairman, SpiceJet, says, “SpiceJet is always trying to make journeys special and with our increased connectivity with Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, we will be offering India more than anyone else.”

The airline operates on a dynamic fare structure thereby being able to offer fares that are affordable and significantly lower than most airlines. Besides, its on-time performance is amongst the best in India, at 82 percent.

Tel: +91 124 3913 999 www.spicejet.com

Awards • Voted the Best Low Cost Airline by a reader’s survey conducted nationally by Outlook

SpiceJet has a fleet of 40 aircraft comprising Boeings and newly acquired Bombardiers, specifically meant for services to Tier-II and Tier-III cities. It operates over 270 flights to 32 Indian destinations

Traveller, 2008 • Recognised as the Best Low Cost Airline by Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), 2007

Best of India | 67


CHAPTER 5

Banking & Finance


“The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.� Benjamin Franklin, (1706 - 1790), American statesman

Photo: Asha Thadani


Banking & Finance

Banking on excellence The second largest bank in India in terms of book size, HDFC Bank has a network spanning 2201 branches and 7110 ATMs in 1174 localities, recording a turnover of `8623 crore (US $1.72 billion approximately) in 2011.

I

n 1994, India’s premier housing finance company HDFC Ltd, which had emerged as a leader in mortgages, received an ‘in principle’ approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank. This was the time when the government had opened up the economy and allowed private entities to set up banks. HDFC secured a licence from the RBI and HDFC Bank started operations in 1995. The organisation grew swiftly thereafter, tying up with the NatWest Bank Group and the first branch was set up at Ramon House, Churchgate, in Mumbai. It then established its corporate office and a full-service branch at Sandoz House, Worli, Mumbai. The next big milestone was the `50 crore (US $10 million approximately) IPO in 1995 which was oversubscribed by a record 55 times. HDFC Bank was the first Indian bank to offer phone banking to its customers at the turn of the millennium. It services customers in over 800 locations through Telephone Banking and also provides realtime netbanking facilities. It was the first bank in India to launch an International Debit Card in association with VISA and issues the MasterCard Maestro debit card as well. The Bank launched its credit card business in late 2001. It is one of the leading players in the ‘merchant acquiring’ business with a huge base of Pointof-Sale (POS) terminals for debit/ credit cards acceptance at merchant establishments. HDFC Bank has grown both organically by adding branches, ATMs, products and services, and inorganically by merging with the Times Bank and the Centurion Bank of Punjab. The merger of Times Bank with HDFC Bank was the first merger of two private banks amongst the new generation private sector banks. The Bank offers a wide range of commercial and transactional banking services and treasury products to 70 | Best of India


HDFC Bank Travel Cards make travel hassle-free

wholesale and retail customers. It has three key business segments: Wholesale banking services, Treasury and Retail banking services. Based on its superior product delivery and service levels and strong customer orientation, the Bank has made significant inroads into the banking consortia of a number of leading Indian corporates including multinationals, companies from the domestic business houses and prime public sector companies. It is recognised as a leading provider of cash management and transactional banking solutions to corporate customers, mutual funds, stock exchange members and banks. It has three main product areas in its Treasury products: Foreign Exchange and Derivatives, Local Currency Money Market and Debt Securities, and Equities. In Retail Banking Services, HDFC Bank provides its customers a full range of financial products and banking services, giving customers a one-stop window for all their banking requirements. The products are backed by world-class service and delivered to customers through its growing branch network, as well as through alternative delivery channels like ATMs, Phone Banking, NetBanking and Mobile Banking.

An HDFC Bank customer in Rajasthan transfers money using the Bank’s mobile banking facility.

state of Rajasthan and is operational with over 2200 retailers across 320 villages and 54 towns having opened HDFC Bank MobileBank Accounts with Vodafone m-paisaTM. Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank, says, “HDFC Bank’s mission is to be a world-class Indian bank and we plan to build sound customer franchises across distinct businesses to become the preferred provider of banking services for target retail and wholesale customer segments. We aim to achieve healthy growth in profitability, consistent with the bank’s risk appetite. The bank is committed to maintain the highest level of ethical standards, professional integrity, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. Our business philosophy is based on four core values - Operational Excellence, Customer Focus, Product Leadership and People.”

Tel: +91 22 2495 1616 www.hdfcbank.com

HDFC Bank has a board-approved mandate to lift one crore families (10 million with about four crore or 40 million individuals) from poverty. The objective is to take banking to the unbanked millions in the country’s hinterland who do not have access to modern banking amenities and bring about a positive change in peoples’ lives. It holds programmes such as the Grameen Loan Mahotsavas in remote villages to disburse loans for the purchase of tractors, autos, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles to a populace which was earlier forced to go to moneylenders for their credit needs. It has held over 500 such events in the last two years. It recently launched a gold loan product for the rural market called Bharosa Gold Loan. This has ensured that the most prized asset of any Indian household remains in safe hands even as the Bank acts as the facilitator in unlocking the value of the asset. One of its path-breaking initiatives has been to partner with Vodafone India to open HDFC Bank MobileBank Account with Vodafone m-paisaTM. This facility ensures that customers do not need to visit the bank for basic transactions which can be done on their mobile phones; it also lets them deposit and withdraw cash at appointed Vodafone m-paisaTM outlets. The service was recently launched from Chomu, on the outskirts of Jaipur in the western

Aditya Puri, MD, HDFC Bank

Best of India | 71


Banking & Finance

Creating wealth India’s second-largest bank, ICICI Bank has total assets of `406234 crore (US $81 billion approximately); with a network of 2586 branches and about 8003 ATMs in India, it has a presence in 18 other countries.

ICICI recorded profit after tax of `5151 crore (US $1155 million approximately) for the financial year that ended on March 31, 2011.

72 | Best of India


Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai International Finance Centre and representative offices in United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Its UK subsidiary has established branches in Belgium and Germany. ICICI Bank’s equity shares are listed in India on Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd and its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Bank also has a strong concept of corporate social responsibility. It has launched the Read to Lead initiative to make elementary education accessible to underprivileged children below 14 years in 14 states. The Bank’s Go Green initiative deals with environmental awareness through green products such as alternate banking channels and incentives on loans for vehicles using alternate fuel.

KV Kamath is the non-executive Chairman of ICICI. He was previously its MD & CEO. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours and is the recipient of many other awards and honours. He has been a co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

KV Kamath, Chairman, ICICI Bank, says, “The ICICI Group is a key player in India’s economic landscape. The management has in place a well thought out strategy for each segment of the financial services sector, catering to the diverse needs of customers across the spectrum. This strategy is being executed within a sound governance framework that seeks to balance the interests of all stakeholders to ensure sustainable value creation.”

Tel: +91 22 2653 1414 www.icicibank.com

I

CICI Bank was originally promoted in 1994 by ICICI Ltd, an Indian financial institution, and was its wholly owned subsidiary. ICICI’s shareholding in ICICI Bank was reduced to 46 percent through a public offering of shares in India in 1998, an equity offering in the form of ADRs listed on the NYSE in 2000, ICICI Bank’s acquisition of Bank of Madura Ltd in an all-stock amalgamation in fiscal 2001, and secondary market sales by ICICI to institutional investors in 2001 and 2002. ICICI was formed in 1955 at the initiative of the World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of Indian industry with the objective of creating a development financial institution for providing medium and long-term project financing to Indian businesses. In the 1990s, ICICI transformed its business from a development financial institution offering only project finance to a diversified financial services group with a wide variety of products and services, both directly and through a number of subsidiaries and affiliates like ICICI Bank. In 1999, ICICI became the first Indian company and the first bank or financial institution from non-Japan Asia to be listed on the NYSE. In a fast-changing economic scenario in the country and a move towards universal banking, the managements of ICICI and ICICI Bank opined that the merger of the two would be optimal for both and enhance value for ICICI shareholders. In October 2001, the two boards approved the merger of ICICI and two of its wholly-owned retail finance subsidiaries, ICICI Personal Financial Services Ltd and ICICI Capital Services Ltd, with ICICI Bank. Consequent to the merger, the ICICI Group’s financing and banking operations, both wholesale and retail, have been integrated into a single entity. ICICI Bank offers a wide range of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and through its specialised subsidiaries in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management. The Bank currently has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Russia and Canada, branches in United States, Singapore, Bahrain,

Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, was named amongst nine Indian women in the Asia Power Businesswomen list by Forbes magazine. She has also received the CNBC Asia India Business Leader of the Year Award and CNBC Asia’s CSR Award 2011.

Awards • ICICI Bank won the Century International Quality Era Award at Geneva, 2012 • The Asset Triple A Awards, Hongkong for Best Domestic Transaction Bank (India), Best Domestic Trade Finance Bank (India) for the sixth consecutive year, Best Domestic Cash Management Bank (India), Best e-Commerce Bank (India), Best SME Bank (India), 2011 • Ranked second in the banking sector and 10th in the overall ‘BT 500 India’s Most Valuable Companies’, by Business Today, 2011 • Tops the list of ‘Most Trusted Private Sector Bank’ and ranks 10th in the list of ‘India’s Most Trusted Service Brands’ by Brand Equity, Most Trusted Brands, 2011

Best of India | 73


Banking & Finance

Banking for India State Bank of India is the biggest commercial bank in India and accounts for nearly 20 percent of deposits and loans in the Indian banking sector. With a net worth of nearly `18 lakh crore (US $353 billion approximately) SBI is the largest banking and financial services company in the country by assets, revenue and market capitalisation.

SBI is the country’s largest lender.

T

he 200-year-old government-owned State Bank of India, with its headquarters in Mumbai, has built a vibrant organisational structure to shape the Indian economy. SBI has been growing by around 13-15 percent annually and registered a profit of `11516 crore (US $2.25 billion approximately) in 2011. It has over 13000 branches including 150 overseas, over 25000 ATMs and is the country’s third largest employer among listed companies, employing over 223000 people. Along with ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank, SBI constitutes the ‘big four’ banks of the country. SBI traces its history to the beginning of the 19th century when the British established the Bank of Calcutta in 1806. This was one of the three Presidency Banks, the other two being Bank of Bombay and Bank of Madras. All three were merged into one entity titled Imperial Bank of India in 1921.

74 | Best of India

After Independence in 1947, the Imperial Bank continued in the original till 1955 when it was renamed State Bank of India. Over the years, it has acquired many banks such as State Bank of Saurashtra, Bank of Cochin and State Bank of Indore. There is also a pending proposal to merge all five of its associate banks into SBI to create a ‘mega bank’. SBI offers its customers a wide variety of services such as consumer banking, credit cards, corporate banking, insurance and finance, investment banking, loans, private banking and wealth management. It has also successfully incorporated emerging technologies to offer new age facilities such as internet and mobile banking to its customers. The Bank has introduced Personal Banking Branches, referred to as boutique branches to improve efficiency in customer service. Its Personal Banking segment covers a range of services from term deposits and loans to mortgages.


Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee addresses new customers

It also has 428 Agricultural Development Branches which specifically cater to agriculturists. Agri finance is one of the bank’s strengths and it plans to set up Agri Commercial Branches for larger investments. Its Agri Business Unit was started in 2004 to study the banking requirements of the agricultural market. SBI offers customised products and services to NRIs; its International Banking services include merchant banking, loan syndication, correspondent banking, bank risk exposure monitoring and Letters of Credit reach 33 countries through a network of 173 branches in locations that include Antwerp, Paris and Frankfurt, and links with 483 leading banks worldwide. The Corporate Banking segment offers a range of financial products and services through product specialists and specialised groups like the Corporate Accounts Group to some of the country’s leading corporate and institutional clients. Around 7000 of SBI’s 9315 branches in India handle services related to the Government. It has centralised the payment of pension across all CBS branches through its Centralised Pension Processing Centre (CPPC). Other services include SBI e-Tax, SBI e-Freight, government accounts and Public Provident Fund.

SBI has many achievements to its credit but the most significant one was its recent `10000 crore (US $1.96 billion approximately) loan to National Thermal Power Corporation, its largest loan in its 200-year history. It has been ranked as the 29th most reputed company in the world by Forbes and the 11th most trusted brand by The Brand Trust Report. It was the only bank featured in the Top 10 brands of India list by Brand Finance and The Economic Times in 2010. Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman, State Bank of India, says, “Going forward, the Indian economy is seen as one of the engines powering growth and reshaping the global landscape. SBI will remain alert to the new opportunities for financing this growth both in India and abroad, while at the same time continuing to consolidate and build on its core competencies.”

Tel: +91 22 2288 3888 www.statebankofindia.com Awards • Asian Banker Achievement Award from the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and the Asian Banker magazine, 2010 • Best Online Banking Award, Best Customer Initiative Award and Best Risk Management Award (Runner Up) by IBA Banking Technology Awards, 2010 • The Most Trusted Brand by The Economic Times, 2009

Best of India | 75


Banking & Finance

Insuring trust The first private sector life insurance company in India, ICICI Prudential is one of the leading players in the private life insurance sector with a registered income of `178 crore (US $35 million approximately).

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, ICICI Prudential has 1404 offices in 1256 locations, 13000 employees and over 176000 advisors, 5000 distribution points and over 10000 servicing points across the country. ICICI Prudential is a joint venture between ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank and Prudential Plc, an international retail financial services group. It began operations in December 2000 after receiving approval from Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA). ICICI Bank is the majority stakeholder with 74 percent and Prudential has 26 percent stake in the company which has underwritten over 1.2 crore (12 million) policies since it was established.

individuals of varying age groups with different needs and are available across categories such as Term, Wealth, Child, Health, Retirement, Group and Rural. Apart from addressing individual needs, it has group insurance policies for companies. ICICI Prudential has earned the recognition of being ‘India’s Most Trusted Private Life Insurer’ by The Economic Times - AC Nielsen ORG Marg survey of ‘Most Trusted Brands’ and has set its sights on being a leader in the Life, Health and Pensions sectors, to build trust and provide world-class service.

Tel: +91 1860 2667 766 www.iciciprulife.com

ICICI Prudential’s proficiencies are in product development, distribution, sales process and servicing. Leveraging technology to offer easy access to a plethora of products, the company attributes its growth to well-defined risk-management and underwriting practices.

Awards

ICICI Prudential has a large product portfolio with flexible products, and offers financial solutions and services that can be customised to meet the requirements of its policyholders. Its products cater to

• Best Leading Private Player – Life Insurance Award at the CNBC TV18 Best Bank and

76 | Best of India

• ICICI Prudential was the first insurance company to get the AAA rating from Fitch in 2011. • Insurance Company of the Year Award and Company of the Year Award – Life Insurance at The Indian Insurance Awards, 2011 Financial Institution Awards, 2011


Securing lives With assets of over `1325 lakh crore (US $260 billion approximately), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the country’s largest insurance company with almost 77 percent share in the `2.9 lakh crore (US $57 billion approximately) insurance market. billion approximately). Banking on its large database of customers, it became the first institutional partner in the country’s Unique Identification (UID) project. Insurance came to India in 1818 via the British and subsequently, many companies were established, but all of them had the European community in mind while local Indians were charged exorbitant premiums. After Independence in 1947, many of these entities continued to survive, but came increasingly under cloud for suspected fraud. Eventually, in 1956, the government nationalised insurance and merged the nearly 245 insurance companies and provident societies which led to the birth of Life Insurance Corporation of India. As a government-owned behemoth, LIC enjoyed monopoly in the sector for almost 50 years, amassing surpluses and accounted for seven percent of the country’s GDP. Even after private players were allowed entry in 2000, LIC has continued to grow in the face of stiff competition and has an enviable market leader status. It is also the country’s largest investor and funds nearly a quarter of the Indian government’s annual expenditure. On turning 50 in 2006, the company established a foundation to fund its corporate social responsibility initiatives in the areas of education, poverty alleviation and promoting better living conditions for the underprivileged. Chief among them is the Golden Jubilee Scholarship awards given to meritorious underprivileged children at the class 12 level for further studies.

Tel: + 91 80 6659 8000 www.licindia.in

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, the root for LIC’s remarkable success lies in its network of over 13 lakh (1.3 million) individual agents who solicit policies, and are assisted by the company’s vast structure of eight zonal offices, 113 divisional offices, 3500 servicing offices including 2048 branches and nearly 116000 employees. It offers a variety of instruments under the heads of insurance plans, pension plans, unit plans, special plans and group schemes. It issues over one crore (10 million) policies a year and has enjoyed 15-20 percent growth year on year. It is estimated to have over 35 crore (350 million) policies and a corpus of `8 lakh crore (US $156

Awards • LIC has been ranked the eighth most trusted brand in India by The Brand Trust Report, 2011 • Economic Times Brand Equity’s Most Trusted Award, 2011 • Readers’ Digest Most Trusted Brand Award every year since 2006

Best of India | 77


CHAPTER 6

Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals


“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.� Alexander Fleming, (1881 - 1955), Scottish biologist, pharmocologist and Nobel laureate

Photo: Asha Thadani


Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Revitalising health India’s largest pharmaceutical company with annual sales of `9976.9 crore (US $1.95 billion approximately) Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has a broad spectrum of products. It has a presence in 23 of the top 25 pharmaceutical markets of the world with a global footprint in 46 countries, world-class manufacturing facilities in eight and serves customers in over 125 countries.

Ranbaxy manufacturers a wide range of affordable generic medicines.

H

eadquartered in Gurgaon, Ranbaxy was started by Ranbir Singh and Gurbax Singh in 1937 as a distributor for a Japanese pharma company. The company name was the amalgamation of partial names of the two founders. The company changed hands in the 1950s and was incorporated in 1961. It went public in 1973 and the same year, it established a chemical plant for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), the essential portion of any medicine. A decade later, it set up a modern dosage forms (entire medicine which includes the API as well as the excipient or carrier) facility in Dewas. In the 1990s it entered the United States market, the largest in the world and has since expanded its capacity and its markets. In 2008, Ranbaxy entered into an alliance with one of the largest Japanese innovator companies, Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd, and the combined entity now ranks among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies globally. It celebrated its golden jubilee in June 2011. Recently, Ranbaxy launched Atorvastatin, the generic version of the world’s largest selling drug, in the US market.

80 | Best of India

Ranbaxy produces a wide range of affordable generic medicines and has earned a significant amount of trust from both healthcare professionals and patients across geographies. Ranbaxy has a balanced mix of revenues from emerging and developed markets that contribute 47 percent and 46 percent respectively. It has a multicultural workforce of 14000 employees belonging to over 50 nationalities. Ranbaxy has a diverse product basket encompassing a wide therapeutic mix covering a majority of chronic and acute segments, including lifestyle diseases. It has a strong presence in the areas of cardiovascular, central nervous system, respiratory, dermatology, orthopaedics, nutritionals and urology. An important part of the company is its R&D capabilities which are instrumental for its sustainable, long-term competitive advantage. It has a pool of over 1200 R&D personnel engaged in path-breaking research. It is among the few Indian pharmaceutical companies in our country to have started its research programme in the late 70s, in support of its global ambitions. A first-of-its-kind world class R&D


Ranbaxy’s corporate office in Gurgaon

centre was commissioned in 1994. Currently, it has multi-disciplinary R&D centres in Gurgaon, in north India, with dedicated facilities for generics research and innovative research. The R&D environment reflects its commitment to be a leader in the generics space offering value added formulations and development of NDA / ANDAs, based on its Novel Drug Delivery System (NDDS) research capability. Ranbaxy’s first significant international success using the NDDS technology platform came in September 1999, when the company out-licensed its first once-a-day formulation to a multinational company. In July 2010, Ranbaxy’s New Drug Discovery Research (NDDR) was transferred to Daiichi Sankyo India Pharma Private Ltd as part of the strategy to strengthen the global R&D structure of the Daiichi Sankyo Group. While NDDR will now become an integral part of Daiichi Sankyo Life Science Research Center in India, based in Gurgaon, the company will continue to independently develop and later commercialise the new anti-malarial drug, Arterolane + PQP. It has since received approval from the Indian Drug regulatory body to introduce the product in India. It will also explore the further development of late stage programmes developed by NDDR in the last few years, including the development programmes in the GlaxoSmithKline collaboration. Within Ranbaxy the R&D of generics is poised for a sharper focus, as the company is increasingly working on more complex and specialised areas. As part of its corporate social responsibility, the company provides community healthcare services through 16 mobile healthcare vans which serve over 550000 people, predominantly in rural areas of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. It focuses on preventive, promotive and curative services, spanning areas of maternal child health, family planning, reproductive health, adolescent health and health education including AIDS awareness. Recently, as part of the joint initiative with Daiichi Sankyo, it introduced two mobile healthcare vans in Dewas as part of the global social contribution activities. The focus is on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, thereby contributing towards the achievement of UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is also involved in an anti-malaria project, implementation of environment, health and safety standards and has instituted awards to recognise research contributions in the areas of medical and pharmaceutical sciences. The company is focused on increasing the momentum in the generics business in its key markets through organic and inorganic growth routes in both developed and emerging markets. It intends to

Its manufacturing facilities in Mohali

provide a wide basket of generic and innovative products, leveraging the unique Hybrid Business Model with Daiichi Sankyo. It will also increasingly focus on emerging and high growth potential segments like vaccines and bio-generics, in order to add significant depth to the existing product portfolio. Arun Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ranbaxy, says, “I am delighted to share with you that Ranbaxy is the first pharma company of Indian origin to have surpassed sales of `10221 crore (US $2 billion approximately). During the year, we laid emphasis on strengthening our processes, focusing R&D efforts on our chosen therapies, working towards improving manufacturing efficiencies and costs, re-evaluating our brand marketing strategy and directing our energies at markets of greater importance.”

Tel: +91 124 4135 000 www.ranbaxy.co

Arun Sawhney, CEO & MD, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd

Awards • Ranbaxy Global Consumer Health Care received the Pharma OTC Company of the Year Award at the fourth Annual Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit & Awards, 2011

Best of India | 81


Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Doctor’s orders Credited with transforming the Indian bulk drug industry from importdependence to an export-oriented industry, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories was the first company in India to embark on drug discovery programmes. India, USA, Russia, CIS (Commonwealth Independent States), Germany and UK are its biggest markets. Crossing the `5013 crore (US $1 billion) revenue mark in record time to become India’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical company, the company launched 135 new generic products, filed 107 new product registrations and filed 56 DMFs globally during 2011.

Dr Reddy’s launched Reditux, a proprietary brand of rituximab, and the world’s first monoclonal antibody (MAb) biosimilar used in the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

D

r Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd is an integrated global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Hyderabad. It is committed to providing affordable and innovative medicines for healthier lives. The company employs over 14500 people globally, and through its three businesses - Pharmaceutical Services and Active Ingredients, Global Generics, and Proprietary Products – offers a portfolio of products and services including APIs, custom pharmaceutical services, generics, biosimilars, differentiated formulations and New Chemical Entities. Its therapeutic focus areas include gastro-intestinal,

82 | Best of India

cardiovascular, diabetology, oncology, pain management, antiinfective and pediatrics. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories posted revenues of `7469 crore (US $1.5 billion approximately) and a net profit of `108 crore (US $211 million approximately), at the end of 2011. Founded by Dr Kallam Anji Reddy in 1984, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories went public two years later, listing on the BSE. It is also the first Asia Pacific pharmaceutical company outside of Japan to list on the New York Stock Exchange.


Dr Reddy’s has 18 manufacturing facilities, of which 14 are in India, and the rest overseas.

In 1990, it became the first Indian pharmaceutical company to export the drugs Norfloxacin and Ciprofloxacin to Europe and the Far East. The following year, the company launched Omez, its own brand of antacid drug Omeprazole, and the first brand of Omeprazole to enter the Indian market. It went on to become Dr Reddy’s first `100 crore (US $20 million approximately) brand, and the leading brand of Omeprazole in 11 countries worldwide. Dr Reddy’s Research Foundation (DRF), established in 1993, discovered a potent glitazone drug, used to treat Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and licensed it to Novo Nordisk A/S of Denmark, the world leader in diabetes care. With this, Dr Reddy’s became the first Indian pharmaceutical company to outlicense an original molecule. In 1994, the

company filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the United States Food and Drug Administration for Ranitidine, used to treat peptic ulcers. From 1999 to 2008, Dr Reddy’s embarked on an aggressive expansion plan, acquiring American Remedies Ltd (ARL); BMS Laboratories Ltd; Meridian Healthcare (UK) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BMS Laboratories; Roche’s API business in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Betapharm, the fourthlargest generic pharmaceuticals company in Germany; BASF’s pharmaceutical contract manufacturing business in Shreveport, Louisiana; and a portion of Dow Pharma’s small molecules business. During this period, Dr Reddy’s launched Reditux – the world’s first monoclonal antibody (MAb) biosimilar used in the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The drug maker has 18 manufacturing facilities, of which 14 are in India, and the rest overseas. The company plans to invest a further `500 crore (US $98 million approximately) in expanding its manufacturing capacity over the course of 2012-13. It is establishing a formulation manufacturing plant in Vizag and a Biologics manufacturing facility in Hyderabad. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories practices sustainable chemistry which is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. It is the world’s first generic pharmaceutical company to become a member of the Pharmaceutical Roundtable,

a partnership between the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and global pharmaceutical companies that “promotes innovation while catalysing the integration of green chemistry and green engineering in the pharmaceutical industry.” The company is also committed to philanthropy in the areas of patient care, education and livelihood creation. Its Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS), the flagship programme of Dr Reddy’s Foundation for Human and Social Development creates, implements and disseminates sustainable and replicable livelihood models directly through partnerships for weaker sections of society. Over 260000 direct livelihoods have been created till date through the livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS) programme. Through its education efforts Dr Reddy’s Foundation provides learning opportunities for those who have never been to school, or are dropouts, while improving quality of education across schools. Dr Reddy’s Foundation for Health Education aims to create professionals (health educators) who work with the medical fraternity to offer an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to good health. The programmes also aim at building the necessary soft skill capabilities with the objective of strengthening the healthcare delivery system for better patient care.

Tel: +91 40 4900 2900 www.drreddys.com

AWARDS • Pharmexcil Award (Gold Prize) for Export Excellence for Outstanding Export Performance in the Large Scale Industry category, 2011 • Americares Spirit of Humanity Award for Best CSR by a Pharmaceutical Company, 2011 Dr K Anji Reddy, Founder & Chairman, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement in Health Award at the Asian Voice Political & Public Life Awards for 2012 in London for his lifetime commitment to medical research and for improving the lives of others. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award by the Government of India in 2011.

• Thomson Reuters Innovation Award - India for PharmaCorporate, 2011 • NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards for Business Leader in the Pharmaceutical Sector, 2010 • Forbes 2010 Asia Fab 50 companies’ list, 2010 • ICT Platinum Award from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Pune, 2009 • Corporate Citizen of the Year 2007-08 Award for Corporate Excellence from The Economic Times, 2008

Best of India | 83


Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Good medicine Having revolutionalised the treatment of HIV/AIDS by lowering treatment costs and making antiretroviral (ARV) drugs available to developing countries at less than a dollar a day, Cipla Ltd is the world’s largest manufacturer of ARVs to fight HIV/AIDS. Today over a million HIVinfected patients are on Cipla drugs. Ranked 14th in terms of turnover among the generic companies in the world, Cipla is one of the most respected pharmaceutical names in the world.

The Cipla facility in Goa

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, Cipla has over 34 state-of-art manufacturing units which have been approved by various Ministries of Health and Regulatory Authorities worldwide. In 2011, it posted revenues of `6483 crore (US $1.2 billion approximately) and a profit of `960 crore (US $190 million approximately), making it one of the world’s largest standalone generic pharmaceutical companies which has a presence in over 180 countries. Its 2000-strong product-range, spanning 65 therapeutic areas, comprises Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), formulations for human and animal healthcare, and over the counter (OTC) products. Founded by Dr Khwaja Abdul Hamied in 1935, Cipla was started with the object of making India self-sufficient and self-reliant in healthcare. The Chemical, Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories, as it was then called, established the country’s first research division 84 | Best of India

dedicated to attaining self-sufficiency in technological development in 1952. Under the leadership of Dr Yusuf K Hamied, the founder’s son, who has a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge, Cipla pioneered API manufacturing in the country and thus helped lay the foundation for the pharmaceutical industry in India. Cipla played an active role in the formation of the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) which consistently strove for 12 years to persuade the Indian Government towards formulating the Patent Law, soon after which the Indian Patent Act of 1970 was enacted. As per the new law, a pharmaceutical company could not have a patent on its product but could patent the process for manufacturing the product for a period of seven years. Thus, for the first time ever an Indian pharmaceutical company was allowed to manufacture any drug and this


Cipla maintains a global standard across all its products and services.

revolutionised the healthcare scenario in India, making drugs available and affordable to Indians.

of patients suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) by launching the world’s first generic Pirfenidone in India called Pirfenex.

Cipla covers a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from communicable, non-communicable, common and emerging diseases to even rare diseases. Cipla was the first company to introduce a semi-synthetic antibiotic, ampicillin (Ampicyn). It also introduced propranolol (Ciplar), the first beta-blocker for heart disease and the anti-asthma drug salbutamol (Asthalin). When India was entirely dependent on imported Metered Dose Inhalers for its respiratory health, it stopped receiving supplies of these devices. At that time, Cipla innovated a first of its kind technology to manufacture MDIs in the country, which has been a boon for asthma patients.

The company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are spearheaded by the Cipla Charitable Trust which promotes education and provides financial as well as medical assistance to needy patients. Under the aegis of Cipla Cancer and AIDS Foundation, the Cipla Palliative Care and Training Centre was started in 1997 at Pune. It is one of the few centres in India offering the best-in-class palliative care to patients diagnosed with cancer, absolutely free of cost. The centre applies a holistic approach to provide all-round care in symptom and pain management and emotional well-being of cancer patients. The centre also offers training to doctors, nurses and medical social workers.

Cipla has the technological prowess to manufacture products in most dosage forms across various therapeutic categories, thus giving the company a unique advantage. Its R&D centres, primarily focused on developing innovative products and drug delivery systems, have given the country and the world many firsts. It maintains a global manufacturing standard across all its products and services.

Dr Yusuf K Hamied, Chairman and Managing Director, Cipla Ltd, says, “Success does not make a company great. What really matters is its contribution towards making life better for everyone.”

Tel: +91 22 2308 2891 www.cipla.com

Cipla is probably the only company in India which has medicines for treating rare diseases. Cipla was the first to introduce an oral iron chelator under the brand name Kelfer for Thalassemia way back in 1989. In 2001, it pioneered the triple cocktail drug Triomune for the treatment of HIV/AIDS at a price below ‘dollar a day’. Today over 70 lakh (seven million) HIV+ patients are being treated and millions of lives have been saved, and Cipla has become one of the leading world suppliers of both anti-AIDS drugs and anti-malarial drugs to Africa. During the global avian flu pandemic in 2005, Cipla achieved the large-scale production and supply of Oseltamivir in a record-breaking three months; it was the only company to supply the drug outside of its originator. In 2009, Cipla launched the world’s first generic Bosentan, for the treatment of a rare disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Again in 2010, Cipla raised the hopes

Awards • Trust Research Advisory (TRA) declared Cipla the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ in Indian pharmaceutical industry, 2011 • Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council Award for Outstanding Export Performance (Drugs and Pharmaceuticals), 2009 • Listed in Forbes Asia’s ‘Best under a Billion’, 2007 • SCRIP Award for Best Company in an Emerging Market, 2006

Dr Yusuf K Hamied, Chairman & MD, Cipla Ltd, was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2005 by the Government of India. Best of India | 85


Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Affordable innovation India’s largest and Asia’s premier biotechnology company, Biocon Ltd is an emerging global bio-pharma enterprise focused on innovation to develop affordable products and services for patients, partners and healthcare systems across the world. It is among the lowest cost producers of statins, immuno-suppressants, insulins and monoclonal antibodies in the world.

With a focus on delivering affordable innovation, Biocon has a 90-acre research park in Bangalore, where over 350 scientists are engaged in pathbreaking research.

H

eadquartered in Bangalore, Biocon, which was started in 1978 as a small enzyme manufacturing company, became a fully integrated biopharmaceutical enterprise in 1998. The company recorded a turnover of `2038 crore (US $402 million approximately) in the financial year 2011. The company’s geographical spread extends into emerging and developed markets with 50 percent of its revenue coming from emerging markets. Biocon has fast gained recognition as Asia’s largest biopharmaceutical enterprise globally. Its customers are spread across 100 countries worldwide. It has now expanded its global footprint with a new bio-pharma manufacturing facility coming up in Malaysia.

86 | Best of India

With its focus on research, affordable innovation and reinvention, the company has evolved its business model to unlock value in the unfolding bio-economy. Its growth verticals are based on its competencies in discovery, development and commercialisation. Its portfolio encompasses products and services spanning disease areas as varied as cardiovascular, diabetes, nephrology, inflammatory and oncology. It has a therapeutic focus on diabetes, oncology and immune-mediated diseases and a special strength in biosimilar insulins and monoclonal antibodies. The company operates on a cash-flow-positive, self-financed business model and has recorded a growth in revenue of over 23


percent on compounded annual growth rate, over the past five years. This has enabled it to finance USFDA-compliant global scale manufacturing and the high-potential R&D pipeline of an integrated biopharma company. It has also given Biocon a strong edge in the hypercompetitive, low-margin global pharma market. The company is well placed to move up the value chain to offer integrated discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialisation partnerships to the global pharma and biotech world to accelerate access to affordable medicines to patients worldwide. The company has world-class R&D infrastructure, high-end development capabilities and a strong IP culture. These have enabled it to create a robust product pipeline of biosimilars and novel biologics, and an IP portfolio of a thousand patent filings and over 200 patent grants. Its wholly owned subsidiaries, Syngene and Clinigene, provide end-to-end services from pre-clinical discovery research to clinical trials, to a diverse client base. Predicted to become a front-runner in the Indian anti-diabetes market, Biocon’s first insulin analog Glargine, branded BASALOG® introduced into the market in 2010, is already the number two brand. Its other drugs for diabetes include TriGPM®, Insugen® 100 IU and the oral insulin program, IN-105 (Insulin Tregopil) which has the potential to improve the quality of life of 30 crore (300 million) diabetes patients worldwide. Its human insulin facility employs sophisticated technologies and equipment for the first time in India to produce a wide range of analogues to suit varied patient needs.

The Biocon Foundation brings about positive change in the community; it started the Arogya Raksha Yojana Health Micro Insurance Plan, in partnership with Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital and HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company for the economically backward population. Its services include free surgeries, subsidised medical hospitalisation, free OP consultation, medicines and diagnostic tests at the clinics and other network hospitals for an annual premium of just `120 (US $2.36 approximately) per member. It has 100000 members enrolled in this scheme across seven districts in Karnataka. The company trains community health workers and has assisted the Government of Karnataka in building hundreds of homes for flood affected families in Bagalkot district. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, says, “Biocon is focused on innovation to develop and deliver high quality drugs for global markets in an affordable way to patients, partners and the healthcare system. To achieve this, we plan to leverage India’s low-cost innovation base and are making headway through several strategic research and marketing partnerships.”

Tel: +91 80 2808 2808 www.biocon.com

Biocon’s oncology division is anchored by its proprietary anticancer MAb, BIOMAb EGFR®, and supported by its flagship albumin fusion nanoparticle taxane, Abraxane®, and biosimilar Granulocyte Stimulating Factor (GCSF), NUFIL™. Leveraging the India advantage to deliver high value licensable R&D Assets, Biocon’s Novel Molecules program has a promising pipeline. T1h (Itolizumab), an advanced immune-modulating, anti-CD6 antibody, is being evaluated for two indications: psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It has successfully completed phase three clinical study in India for psoriasis with very promising results.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & MD, Biocon Ltd, is ranked among the 25 most influential people in biopharma business by Fierce Biotech. She has been ranked amongst the most influential women by Financial Times, Forbes and TIME magazines. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2005. Awards • Golden Peacock National Quality Award, 2012 • Biospectrum BioPharma Company of the Year Award, 2011 • Among Top 20 Indian companies in Forbes ‘Best Under A Billion’ list, 2009 • Biotech Product, Process Development and Commercialisation Award, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, 2001

Best of India | 87


CHAPTER 7

Business Enablers

The twin towers of WTC Mumbai are a landmark in the commercial hub of India.


“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!” Mark Twain, (1835 - 1910), American writer

‘Prosperity Through Trade’ is WTC’s mission.

Photo: Leonard Aarons


Business Enablers

The world of business Long before globalisation became a buzzword in India, the World Trade Centre in Mumbai had created a platform for building business trust across the globe. Established in 1970, the WTC at Cuffe Parade in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, has pioneered growth in trade and commerce.

T

he WTC complex is one of Mumbai’s best-known landmarks with a magnificent entrance and marbled arch that welcomes the refreshing breeze from the Arabian Sea. Aesthetically landscaped with sprawling lawns, the Arcade is the central motif with the two imposing twin towers forming the backdrop. The building complex provides ample parking space, a luxury in this bustling metropolis.

The Arcade is a pleasing central motif of WTC Mumbai. 90 | Best of India

The WTC Mumbai is promoted by the M Visvesvaraya Industrial Research and Development Centre (MVIRDC) that was set up in 1970 as a non-profit company. A public-private partnership involving the Government of India, the State Government of Maharashtra, as well as private sector trade and industry, it is dedicated to the memory of a visionary engineer and statesman, the late Sir M Visvesvaraya.


MVIRDC became a member of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), New York, USA in 1971. WTCA is a not-for-profit and non-political organisation with footprints in all continents. It is the most powerful network of organisations involved in the promotion of world trade, its mission being ‘Prosperity Through Trade’. Being part of such a vital mission, WTC Mumbai’s endeavour has been to be the nation’s most preferred catalyst for development of international trade. It is the first operating WTC in India and its services have been certified by the WTCA as ‘Best Quality Practices’. It has also got the licences to establish WTCs in four more cities in India, namely Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Kolkata. WTC Mumbai has close to 20000 direct and indirect members who are represented through chambers of commerce and associations. Its purpose is to build a fertile environment for international trade through the involvement of

relevant businesses and government agencies in discussions and deliberations on policies and regulations. It provides multilateral services for the promotion of commerce and brings together potential business partners through trade missions, buyer-seller meets and conferences. It offers guidance on policies and procedures, and helps in redressal of grievances of members in dealings with government departments, financial institutions and policy makers.

Development Starting from becoming the foremost international trade hub in India, the WTC has systematically upgraded its infrastructure and services. During the 70s, the Arcade became a landmark in the city by bringing together various state emporia, leading textiles and garments producers, showrooms of engineering firms, banks, travel organisations, logistics companies and others connected with world trade.

‘Courage, Conviction and Confidence’ is exemplified by Sir M Visvesvaraya (1860 -1962) engineer, statesman and visionary. WTC Mumbai is promoted by the non-profit M Visvesvaraya Industrial Research & Development Centre. A bust of Sir MV graces the entrance to the building.

Photos: Leonard Aarons

Best of India | 91


During the next decade, it created additional infrastructure with what was till 2010, the tallest buildings in the city, the Centre 1 (a 32-storey building) and the IDBI Tower (24-storey). The Centre brought together offices of major organisations, such as the ExportImport Bank of India, Reserve Bank of India, Industrial Development Bank of India, Indian Banks’ Association, Tata Motors Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd, State Bank of India, Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, Taipei World Trade Center, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, Engineering Export Promotion Council and various other Export Promotion Councils. Along with setting up a business centre and a meeting room for the use of industry, trade and government organisations, WTC Mumbai diversified its service activities to include research, trade information and trade education. With India’s economic liberalisation in 1991, it began to play a catalytic role in the promotion of world trade and investment. Indian businesses were freed from many regulations that fettered them within the country, and were also encouraged to look at international business opportunities. WTC Mumbai’s services have helped the development of globalisation and also generated new ideas and services from this process. Under the leadership of Kamal Morarka, a prominent industrialist who is also a former Member of Parliament and former Minister with the Government of India, and Vijay G Kalantri, another well-known industrialist, who became its President and the Vice President respectively in 1995, the WTC Mumbai has initiated a stronger drive for trade promotion. Kalantri was elected to the WTCA Board of Directors in 2001; he is also President of the All India Association of Industries (AIAI). WTC and AIAI organise many events together to promote India’s foreign trade, investment and technology such as the WTCA Spring Meet in April 2005, the Innovative Technologies for Manufacturing (ITM) Expo & Conferences in 2008 and 2009, the Global Economic Summit 2010 and India’s first International Maritime Logistics Exhibition 2010. Over 25 countries participate in the WTC-AIAI international events. WTC Mumbai participates in major international events such as the World Trade Organization Annual Public Forum, WTO Ministerial

Offices of several prestigious institutions are located in the World Trade Center Mumbai. 92 | Best of India

YR Warerkar, Executive Director, WTC Mumbai, says, “The WTC Mumbai has not only put India on the map of the WTCA, but in the process it has become India’s preferred catalyst for the promotion of world trade.”

Meetings, WTCA General Assemblies and WTCA Regional Meetings, Futurallia B2B Events and International Association of Science Parks General Assemblies. WTC Mumbai assists small and medium enterprises through Trade Point Mumbai and is a member of the World Trade Point Federation, Geneva.

Research & Development Research & Development is one of the principal activities of the organisation as information is a key factor for business. WTC also conducts research-based seminars and studies for industries, diplomatic missions, services and business sectors. It brings out


a quarterly international trade journal ‘World Trade Research and Information Report’ which provides a wide range of information on international trade. The International Trade Library at WTC, started in 1989, is an exclusive source of business information. Situated in the Centre 1 building, it has a user-friendly environment that allows easy access to various sources of trade information from the large collection of trade directories, journals and related publications. The WTC Library became a depository library for international organisations like the World Bank, WTO and UNCTAD/ITC as well as the Government of India. The library also serves as a sourcing guide for foreign entrepreneurs through its import-export databank, which is India’s first ever computerised database on imports and exports based on the Customs Daily List. As the world became a globalised village, there was a swift need for specialised knowledge in various business domains. The WTC set up the World Trade Institute (WTI) in 1991 to give students and professionals adequate knowledge and skills on the various aspects of foreign trade. WTI was the pioneer in introducing a six-month Post Graduate Diploma in Foreign Trade in 1995 and Post Graduate Diploma in Forex and Risk Management in 1999.

Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India, delivering the Third Sir M Visvesvaraya Memorial lecture at WTC on 21st December 2011

WTI has also introduced a Post Graduate Diploma in Import-Export Management through Distance Education. The courses offered by WTI are recognised by the industry and entrepreneurs in India and abroad. WTI has been certified as the ‘Best Practice Institute’ for its superior quality performance by WTCA, New York which makes it a benchmark for other WTCs.

Infrastructure WTC offers all the services associated with global commerce at one place, which gives the businessmen prime and continuous access to resources essential for success in world trade. Members can access all reciprocal WTC services from around the world. The WTC has three centrally air-conditioned buildings with a total built-up area of about 15 lakh (1.5 million) sq ft in a prime area of downtown Mumbai. It houses various offices and agencies involved in different aspects of international trade.

(L-R) Suresh Shetty, Minister of Public Health and Protocol, Government of Maharashtra presenting the WTC Award of Honour to Dr BR Barwale, Chairman, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co Ltd, at the WTCA Annual Day 2011 in the presence of WTC Mumbai Vice Chairman Capt. Somesh C Batra, WTC Chairman Kamal M Morarka, WTC Vice Chairman and WTCA Board Director Vijay Kalantri and Vice Chairman-WTC Mumbai Sharad P Upasani

Centre 1 houses offices of organisations connected with world trade, business, industry and the executive offices of the World Trade Centre. These include international representative offices, export promotion councils, travel and cargo agents and financial institutions. Centre 2, the 24-storeyed tower adjacent to Centre 1, has offices of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), which has supported the World Trade Centre from its inception. The Arcade houses a wide variety of shops, showrooms and services. Several State Governments have set up their emporia in the Arcade, showcasing India’s multi-faceted cultural identity. Center Point is the Business Centre with furnished offices and well-appointed executive suites that include meeting rooms and business cabins, and is backed by secretarial and state-of-the-art communication facilities. A plush office suite in the World Trade Centre Mumbai Best of India | 93


WTC Mumbai offers the following services: Trade promotion and facilitation

WTC Mumbai organises buyer-seller meets for visiting overseas delegations and hosts Indian Trade Missions to enable businessmen from India to explore overseas opportunities. It provides business matchmaking (B2B) services to its members and visiting delegations. It has signed over 70 Memorandum of Cooperation, with chambers of commerce and trade associations from all over the world. Trade Information facilities include an International Trade Library and access to WTCA Online, which enables members to access trade information at their convenience. WTC Mumbai also provides guidance on policy, procedures as well as assistance in redressal of grievances of members with concerned government departments, financial institutions and policy makers. WTC Mumbai is authorised by the Commerce Ministry of the Government of India to issue Certificate of Origin to assist export activity. It also organises sector specific international exhibitions and conferences to facilitate international trade and investments. Expos, Global Economic Summits are some such examples.

94 | Best of India

Trade Point is a source of trade related information, a trade facilitation centre as well as a gateway to global electronic networks. WTC Mumbai is also the operating Trade Point in India and a member of the World Trade Point Federation (WTPF) Geneva, which has a network of 100 trade points in 70 countries.

Knowledge-based services: Research & Development WTO Study Centre provides information and details about WTO agreements and its implications on Indian industries. WTC offers Impex Databank, which is India’s first ever computerised database on India’s Imports and Exports based on the Customs Daily List. This database helps in identifying export products and import substitution. It also helps in evaluating prices effectively. It covers India’s 12 major ports. WTC’s knowledge-based services have expanded considerably in terms of research, education and information. Its research expertise was availed by the government as well as private sector to promote foreign trade and investments. Its research publications were utilised extensively by government and industry. WTC’s membership increased to 2000 (direct) all over India and 20000 (indirect) through chambers and associations, and the membership has derived many advantages from the WTCA and overseas WTCs.


The business cabins located on the first floor of Centre 1 offer a grand view of the Southwest Bay and the Arabian Sea. The ten meeting rooms are designed for flexibility and can accommodate as few as ten people to as many as 300, in either conference or theatre seating format. The Expo Centre on the first floor of the Arcade is a centrally air-conditioned exhibition centre with an area of 25250 sq ft and is backed by support services. It is an ideal venue for both national and international trade shows with a choice of combinations from 10000 sq ft to 15000 sq ft for exhibitions and events, and offers support and technical services. WTCA Annual Day in June is a special day for WTCs worldwide to mark their solidarity and reaffirm their commitment to cooperation with businesses for mutual benefit. WTC Mumbai felicitates organisations or individuals for their outstanding contribution to India’s international trade and investment. Recipients of the WTC Mumbai Award of Honour include Tata Motors, which is India’s foremost auto manufacturer, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Essar Group, Padma Bhushan Capt. CP Krishnan Nair of The Leela Group of hotels and Dr BR Barwale of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. YR Warerkar, Executive Director, WTC Mumbai, says, “WTC Mumbai has not only put India on the map of the WTCA, but in the process it has also become India’s preferred catalyst for the promotion of world trade.”

Tel: +91 22 6638 7272 www.wtcmumbai.org Best of India | 95


Business Enablers

Empowering entrepreneurs The world over, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are recognised as a dynamic sector and credited with the creation of over 80 percent of total employment. In India, SMEs have created 48 crore (480 million) jobs while the organised sector has created 2.9 crore (29 million) jobs. This vital sector embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and is represented by the All India Association of Industries (AIAI), its core mission being ‘building bridges of prosperity through industry’.

E

stablished in 1956 in Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country, by Babubhai Chinai, MP, the AIAI has over 1400 members and through its affiliates it represents over 30000 industries. Nearly 70 percent of its members are from the SME sector. With sweeping changes brought about by rapid globalisation, mergers and takeovers having become the order of the day, with new challenges for industry, AIAI, to a large extent, meets the requirements of SMEs in this process.

Core functions The AIAI acts as a catalyst for industrial growth and investment promotion. It represents its members effectively on various national and regional-level panels and also with financial institutions on economic, trade and fiscal issues. AIAI organises seminars, workshops, trade exhibitions, B2B meetings, takes trade delegations overseas, and promotes domestic and international trade, investment and technology transfer through networking activities.

Polish Chamber of Commerce to facilitate bilateral trade, investment, joint venture, technology transfer and related international exchanges between India and EU. It is affiliated to UNCTAD and represents the WTO ministerial meeting in Singapore, Geneva, Seattle and Oman. It participates in the WTO Annual Public Forum meetings held every September in Geneva. It also represents employees at ILO Geneva as an advisor and is part of the Government of India delegation.

Policy formation The Government frequently seeks its views on Free Trade Agreements, labour law reforms, FDI flows into domestic

AIAI has signed agreements for cooperation with more than 170 international trade bodies and chambers of commerce covering most of the industrial world. This promotes bilateral trade, enhances exchange of trade-related information and trade delegations, fosters joint ventures and technology transfers. The Association constantly endeavours to promote large, medium and small-scale industries involved in almost all major manufacturing and service sectors like engineering, textiles, chemicals, education, hospitality, health, IT, pharmaceuticals, metals, rubber, sugar, plastics and paper. It organises various international business and trade related events which are held annually. AIAI works closely with World Trade Centre Mumbai to organise such events. Some of them are Global Economic Summit on Trade & Investment and Innovations Technology, ITM Expo, India Initiative, Global Conference and INDIALLIA. AIAI also supports international events such as Global Vendor Programme and China Products Fair and Expo, Indfair, Autofair and Marine exhibitions to name but a few. It initiated the Young Entrepreneurs’ Society (YES) in 2001 to promote and groom young individuals with entrepreneurial drive. It has instituted the Young Entrepreneurs’ Achievement Awards for budding business people across various industries. It is associated with the Indian Council of Foreign Trade to explore overseas markets for products of Indian origin. With Poland being strategically located in Europe, the Association also initiated the Indo96 | Best of India

Rupa Naik, Executive Director, AIAI

Photo: Leonard Aarons


industrial sector, and also on fiscal and monetary measures. AIAI aims to not only provide a platform for development to the SME sector, but to also participate in proactive decision making to accelerate growth and help members surmount obstacles to doing business. AIAI nominees find place in government and semi-government panels and other policy-making bodies. AIAI is represented on various Advisory Committees of the Government, Reserve Bank of India, Small Industries Development Bank of India and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

Supplementary functions AIAI has published books and papers on important issues like ‘Prospects and Problems of Small-Scale Industries and WTO: Impact on Indian Business’ and the ‘Indian Economic Miracle’. The quarterly AIAI News features activities of the Association and articles on topical issues that offer vital information to industry watchers and players alike.

Vijay Kalantri, AIAI President with Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

In addition, the AIAI has also initiated a business portal BIZBOARD to effectively connect the members of the affiliated associations in India and abroad. As part of its corporate social responsibility, AIAI has adopted the Mumbai Port Trusts’ Sagar Upvan, a 14-acre botanical garden to give the city of Mumbai a public space that improves the lives of its citizens and also contributes to environmental equity.

Through the ages The list of AIAI’s past Presidents reads like the Who’s Who of industry and business, and comprises people who made Mumbai the prosperous business capital it is today: founder President Babubhai Chinai, MP, Pravinchandra V Gandhi, Jayantilal Mehta, Madhav Gandhi, Prem Chand Jain, Harish Mahindra, Jayant S Dalal, GN Somani, Naren C Desai, Himat J Doshi, Ghanashyam Binani, JM Doshi, Kiran N Jhaveri and Chandrakant S Desai.

Inauguration of AIAI-WTC Mumbai Global Economic Summit 2011 (L-R) Chhagan Bhujbal - Minister of Public Works of Maharashtra, Padmashri Bhavarlal Jain - Industrialist, Kamal Morarka - WTC Chairman, Salman Khurshid - Union Law Minister, Subodh Kant Sahay - Union Tourism Minister, Vijay Kalantri - AIAI President

Today, the Association is led by Vijay Kalantri as President with Rupa Naik as Executive Director. “The vibrancy and robustness of the SME sector can be attributed in great measure to the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels its constant progression across various industries. The latent seed of entrepreneurship requires ample support and encouragement to grow into a potentially successful venture,” says Kalantri. “The road ahead is fraught with many challenges but the AIAI has always revelled in tackling them head on. It will continue to promote the vital interests of the growing SME sector which is so critical to the functioning of an efficient economy,” says Naik.

Tel: +91 22 2201 9265 www.aiaiindia.com A trade event organised by AIAI

Best of India | 97


CHAPTER 8

Corporates


“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.’’ Thomas Alva Edison, (1847 - 1931), American inventor and businessman

Photo: Asha Thadani


Corporates

Pioneering trust India’s largest and most respected business group had revenues around `382500 crore (US $75 billion approximately) in 2010-11. The Tata Group has significant international presence with over 100 operating companies located in 80 countries and employing nearly 425000 people worldwide. The Brand Trust Report of 2011 lists Tata as the second most trusted brand in the country while Brand Finance ranked it among the top 50 global brands in its Global 500 report of 2011.

The Tata Chemicals’ plant in Babrala, Uttar Pradesh is India’s most energy efficient fertiliser complex.

E

stablished in 1868 by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and headquartered in Mumbai, the Group is among India’s oldest groups with diversified business interests. Its operating companies are spread across seven business segments: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals; 31 of these are publicly listed in India. Fifty eight percent of its nearly `382500 crore (US $75 billion approximately) revenue in 2010-11 came from outside the country. Nearly 66 percent of the equity of Tata Sons, the Tata promoter holding company, is held by philanthropic trusts. The Group had humble beginnings in 1868 as a trading company dealing in cotton and slowly began diversifying. It entered the textile

100 | Best of India

industry in 1874 and inaugurated the Empress Mills in Nagpur in 1877, opened the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai in 1903, got into iron and steel production in 1907, entered into hydroelectric power generation in 1910, started Tata Chemicals in 1939, launched Tata Motors and Tata Industries in 1945, Voltas in 1954, established Tata Tea in 1962, Tata Consultancy Services in 1968 and Titan Industries in 1984. It went on a global acquisition spree in the last two decades, acquiring such well-known global brands as Tetley Tea in 2000, Corus Steel in 2007, and Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008. It hit headlines across the globe in 2008 when it launched the Nano, the world’s most affordable car, selling at approximately `122400 (US $2400 approximately).


Each of the Tata companies operates independently and has its own board of directors and shareholders. Together, the Tata companies have a combined market capitalisation of `453900 crore (US $89 billion approximately) as on March 7, 2012, and a shareholder base of 36 lakh (3.6 million). Major companies in the Group include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels. Tata Steel is among the top 10 steel makers, and Tata Motors is the world’s fourth largest truck manufacturer and the third largest bus manufacturer. TCS is a leading global software company, with delivery centres in the US, UK, Hungary, Brazil, Uruguay and China, besides India. Tata Global Beverages is the second-largest player in branded tea in the world. Tata Chemicals is the world’s secondlargest producer of soda ash. Tata Communications is the world’s largest wholesale voice carrier and has one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks in the world. The Group holds many firsts to its credit; it established the first integrated steel plant in India; it introduced labour welfare benefits much before it was mandated by law; pioneered civil aviation and began the first chain of luxury hotels in the country. It is a leader in commercial vehicle production and in software development. It is responsible for the first indigenous passenger car Indica and has provided innovative and affordable solutions across various sectors such as Nano (affordable car), Swach (water purifier) and Shubh Griha (affordable housing). It also has a strong leaning towards social responsibility and has established and funded many educational, research and cultural entities in the country. Some of the institutes that have been established include: Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Memorial Hospital, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and National Centre for Performing Arts. Two-thirds of the equity of Tata Sons, the promoter holding company, is held by philanthropic trusts that have not only created national institutions for science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts but also provide aid and assistance to non-government organisations working in the areas of education, healthcare and livelihoods. Its companies also extend social welfare activities to communities around their industrial units. In 2011, the combined developmentrelated expenditure of the trusts and the companies was pegged at around three percent of the Group’s net profits. It has also donated `244 crore (US $48 million approximately) for an academic and residential building in the Harvard Business School, to be named Tata Hall and used for the institute’s executive education programmes. The Group was the recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007.

Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, was awarded the ABLF Lifetime Achievement Award (India) in 2011. He received the Business Leader of the Year from The Asian Awards, the Legend in Leadership Award from Yale University and the Businessman of the Decade from the Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce in 2010. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards by the Government of India.

The Tata Group is expected to continue to focus on new technologies and innovation to drive its business, both in the domestic as well as international markets. With its annual growth at nearly 24 percent and its diversified interests, the Tata Group is steadily on its stated path of growth through excellence. Since 1991, the Group is headed by Ratan N Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, the promoter holding company of the Tata Group. Apart from ensuring the manifold increase in revenue of the group, Ratan Tata is associated with many organisations and philanthropic entities, is a member of the Prime Minister’s council on Trade and Industry, and serves on the boards of Cornell University and University of Southern California. Ratan Tata is scheduled to retire in December 2012 and will be succeeded by Cyrus P Mistry, Deputy Chairman, Tata Sons, who was formerly the Managing Director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group and who has been on the board of Tata Sons since 2006. “One hundred years from now, I expect the Tatas to be much bigger than it is now. More importantly, I hope the group comes to be regarded as being the best in India – best in the manner in which we operate, best in the products we deliver, and best in our value systems and ethics. Having said that, I hope that a hundred years from now we will spread our wings far beyond India…,” says Tata. (Source: http:www.tata.com, March 19, 2012@Tata Sons Ltd. Tata Sons Ltd. is the owner of Trademark and Copyright in the Tata Logo. Reprinted with permission from Tata Sons Limited.)

Tel: +91 22 6665 8282 www.tata.com

Windmills from Tata Power

Best of India | 101


Corporates

Powering ahead Ranked among the foremost business conglomerates in India, the Reliance Group includes Reliance Power, Reliance Communications, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Capital, Reliance Broadcast Network, Reliance MediaWorks, and other leading businesses that touch the lives of every fifth person in India.

The 1200 MW Rosa thermal plant in Shahjahanbad in Uttar Pradesh is among the country’s best performing power plants.

T

he Reliance Group’s companies are ranked among the top three corporate leaders in India in each of its business segments. In the beginning of March 2012, the listed companies of the Group commanded a cumulative market capitalisation of `86111 crore (US $16.8 billion approximately) with 1.2 crore (12 million) shareholders, constituting one of the largest such stakeholder bases in the world. It has over 130000 employees constituting one of the largest workforces of a business organisation in the country. Headquartered in Mumbai, the Reliance Group is headed by Anil Ambani, the younger son of the late industrialist Dhirubai Ambani, founder of the mammoth Reliance business empire. He founded the Reliance Group through a demerger from its parent organisation, Reliance Industries Ltd, in 2005. Reliance Power has the largest portfolio of upcoming power projects for any private player in India, and is currently implementing

102 | Best of India

close to 30000 MW of power projects based on thermal, hydro and gas fuel cycles, as well as the largest basket of renewable energy projects in the country including solar and wind. Reliance Power holds captive reserves of nearly 40 crore (4 billion) tonnes of coal in India and Indonesia which constitutes the largest such capacity for any private sector company in India and is poised to join the league of the world’s top ten thermal coal producers from 2013 onwards. Reliance Communications has been at the forefront of India’s telecom revolution, and has over 14 crore (140 million) subscribers. Its affiliate, Reliance Globalcom, is the largest fibre-optic infrastructure provider in the world spanning the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Reliance Infrastructure is India’s largest private sector power utility, as well as the largest private player in other national infrastructure sectors such as construction and operation of roads under the National


Reliance Infrastructure operates metro railways in Delhi, Mumbai and other leading cities.

Highway Development Programme; metro railways in Delhi, Mumbai, and other leading cities; specialised realty projects; and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services to power projects across the country. The utility business of Reliance Infrastructure distributes more than 2800 crore (28 billion) units of electricity to over 2500 crore (25 million) consumers in different parts of the country, including Mumbai and Delhi. It also generates 941 MW of electricity from power projects located in several states across the country.

one of the world’s most famous film studios, DreamWorks that was set up by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg. Three of the studio’s movies - War Horse, The Help and Real Steel - were voted to 11 nominations in different categories of the Academy Awards in 2012.

Tel: +91 22 3032 7000 www.relianceadagroup.com

Reliance Capital is India’s largest financial services conglomerate whose operative arms rank among the market leaders in every area of the consumer finance sector in India. At the start of 2012, Reliance Capital Asset Management managed `140000 crore ($27 billion approximately) across its mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and other businesses. The Group has also established itself as one of the strongest players in India’s information and entertainment sectors. Reliance Broadcast Network operates the country’s largest FM radio network – 92.7 BIG FM – whose 45 stations reach four crore (40 million) people each week. It also has a growing collaborative business of entertainment television channels with CBS Studios International, the leading television broadcaster in the US. Reliance MediaWorks is India’s fastest growing film and entertainment services company. Its business also includes BIG Cinemas, India’s largest cinema chain with over 550 cinema screens that are located across India, Nepal, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the USA. In 2009, the Reliance Group acquired 50 percent ownership of

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani has received national and international acclaim for his vision and leadership at the Reliance Group. India Today magazine ranked him as the third most powerful and influential person in India in its list of 50 such luminaries in 2009. He was also included in a similar list by the US-based Business Week magazine the same year. The Economic Times has ranked him in fourth place among its list of India’s Top 100 CEOs in 2009, as well as 2010. In 2010, the UKbased Financial Times included him in its selection of 50 notable business leaders from emerging markets. The Prime Minister recently nominated him as the CoChair from the Indian side of the India-China CEO Forum. Awards • Reliance Capital received four awards at the ninth Annual ICRA Mutual Fund Awards with Reliance Liquidity Fund given top category ranking of a ‘Seven Star Fund’, 2012 • Reliance Mutual Fund won two awards at the CNBC TV 18 CRISIL Mutual Fund Awards, in the categories of ‘Most Investor Friendly Fund House of the Year’ and ‘Most Innovative Fund of the Year’, 2012 • Reliance AnyTime Money Card and Edge - The Learning Academy, two of Reliance Mutual Fund’s projects, were rated among the Top 50 Financial Inclusion Projects in India by Skoch Consultancy Services Ltd, 2012 • Reliance Communications was recognised by Business Today magazine as among the ‘Ten Best Companies to Work For’, 2012 • Reliance Infrastructure won the Best Asia Employer Award, 2011

Best of India | 103


Corporates

Sound fundamentals With its name inextricably linked with Indian industry for close to two centuries, the Aditya Birla Group has revenues of `1.7 lakh crore (US $33.3 billion approximately). It holds prominent positions in varied sectors such as aluminium, agribusiness, carbon black, chemicals, copper, cement, energy and wind power, financial services, garments, fertilisers, insulators, IT and BPO, mining, retail, textiles, telecom and viscose staple fibre.

Aditya Birla is India’s largest manufacturer of high performance insulators.

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, the origins of the Aditya Birla Group can be traced to the early 19th century to Pilani in Rajasthan to a cotton trading business set up by Ghanshyamdas Birla. He soon expanded the business and diversified into textiles and fibre, aluminium, cement and chemicals to eventually become the House of Birlas. He was a close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi, and leaders of the freedom struggle met to chalk out strategies for the movement in Birla House in Delhi. His grandson Aditya Vikram Birla took charge in 1969 and began rapidly strengthening its position and entering new sectors. By 1995, when Aditya Birla died prematurely, the Group’s revenues had crossed `8000 crore (US $1.5 billion approximately) globally, with assets of over `9000 crore (US $1.7 billion approximately), with 55 plants, 75000 employees and a shareholder community of 600000. In 1996, all 104 | Best of India

the companies belonging to the Group were consolidated under the umbrella of the Aditya Birla Group, led by Kumar Mangalam Birla with a new logo of the rising sun in memory of Aditya Birla. The fourth generation Birla heads the Group with operation profits of over `25400 crore (US $5.1 billion approximately) and a workforce of over 133000 belonging to 42 nations. The Group is a metals powerhouse globally and is among the world’s most cost-efficient aluminium and copper producers, with Hindalco-Novelis being the largest aluminium rolling company. It is among Asia’s top three primary aluminium producers and is the largest single location copper smelter. It is the world’s largest carbon black and viscose staple fibre producer, the fourth largest insulator producer, the fifth largest producer of acrylic fibre, is among the top 10 cement producers, is ranked amongst the best energy-efficient fertiliser


plants and is the largest Indian MNC with manufacturing operations in the USA. In India, it is a top fashion and lifestyle partner with many high-end brands in its stable. It is the largest producer in the chloralkali sector, is among the top three mobile telephony companies, is a leading player in the insurance and asset management sector, is among the top two supermarket chains in retail and is one among the top 10 BPO companies in the country. The Group operates in 36 countries and over 60 percent of its revenues are from overseas operations. It is present in Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.

It has a strong set up for its corporate social responsibility initiatives. It focuses on healthcare, education, sustainable livelihood, infrastructure and advocating social reform in Asia, Brazil, Egypt, Korea and Philippines. In India, it works in 3000 villages, reaching out to 70 lakh (seven million) people through the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development. It runs 42 schools to provide education to 45000 children and runs 18 hospitals which cater to more than 10 lakh (one million) villagers. It has also created institutional entities such as the Columbia Global Centre’s Earth Centre in Mumbai in partnership with Columbia University and the FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence in New Delhi. Its latest commitment is a `250 crore (US $50 million approximately) R&D centre in Navi Mumbai. The Group has notched up many accolades over the years. Going forward, it aims to reach `3.2 lakh crore (US $63 billion approximately) in 2015. This it intends to do, by further strengthening its position in the sectors where it is already a player as well as entering a few new ones, even as it banks on its fundamentals and continues to nurture a culture to keep experimenting. Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla says, “The Birla brand is strong and inspires confidence amongst investors. We have had a long association with handling investors’ money and our financial astuteness is respected.”

Tel: +91 22 6652 5000 www.adityabirla.com Awards • Aditya Birla Group won the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award from the Public Relations Council of India, 2011 • The Aditya Birla Group ranked number four in the list of global top companies for leaders and number one in Asia Pacific, in a study conducted by Aon Hewitt, Fortune Magazine and RBL (a strategic HR and Leadership Advisory firm), 2011 • Hindalco ranked ninth across industries on Forbes Asia’s Fab 50 companies list of Asia’s Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, has won NASSCOM’s Global Business Leader Award in 2012. He was chosen by the World Economic Forum (Davos) as one of the Young Global Leaders in 2004 and has won a slew of awards for business leaders.

50 most valued companies, 2010 • Hindalco and Birla White won the Golden Peacock Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2010 • Idea Cellular won the Economic Times’ Emerging Company of the Year Award, 2009

Best of India | 105


Corporates

Locking into business While its popular products like keys and storage systems have become a generic name in India, the Godrej Group operates in 17 countries, owns over 90 different product lines across FMCG, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security, real estate and agricare sectors. It also supplied rocket engines to Chandrayaan -1, India’s first unmanned spacecraft that conducted a successful mission to the moon.

Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) is a leading fast moving consumer goods company, with a range of personal and home care products.

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, Godrej is one of India’s largest conglomerates, employing close to 20000 people. At the end of 2011, the Group posted a turnover of `14500 crore (US $2.8 billion approximately).

of King Edward VII of England, launching the world’s first springless lock. By the 1920s, the company was the official supplier of safes to the Government of India, the Royal Indian Marines, His Imperial Majesty’s Mint, and a large number of Indian and European banks.

The Godrej Group began in 1897 as a lock manufacturing company established by Ardeshir Burjoji Godrej, a lawyer with a penchant for inventions which were manufactured by his brother Pirojsha Godrej. In 1902, the company began making fire-resistant safes; six years later, Godrej secured its first patent under the seal

Godrej later diversified, launching the world’s first soap to be manufactured with vegetable oil instead of animal fat in 1918, and almirahs in 1923. In 1932, the company was incorporated as the Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd. Godrej expanded its operations to Kolkata in 1926 and later to Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad

106 | Best of India


and Kanpur. The Group companies come under the purview of Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd and Godrej Industries Ltd. Four years after India gained Independence, Godrej was commissioned to make the ballot boxes for free India’s first elections; in 1955, it launched India’s first indigenously made typewriter, and followed that up by collaborating with the General Electric Co, USA to launch its first refrigerator in 1958. Five years later, Godrej manufactured India’s first forklift truck. In 1967, it entered the office equipment market with the group’s first overseas manufacturing unit in Malaysia. Over the next three and a half decades, the company opened several subsidiary divisions, further expanding its presence throughout the country with the launch of new product lines and forays into the packaged food, real estate and agricare sectors.

Inspired by the concept of sustainable philanthropy, the Godrej Memorial Hospital offers high quality healthcare services at an affordable cost. It works with the NGO ‘Smile Train’ to help children afflicted with cleft lips and palates. The Group supports The Heroes Project to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS, and the Foundation for Medical Research (FMR), Mumbai, particularly for the cure of leprosy.

Tel: +91 22 2518 8010 www.godrej.com

The Godrej Group currently exports to 60 countries and derives 40 percent of its revenues from overseas business. The Group plans to continue expanding its global presence. Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Group, says, “We plan to grow 10 times in the next 10 years. Our objective is to become a `1.6 lakh crore (US $31 billion approximately) enterprise by 2021.” As part of its corporate social responsibility, Godrej manages the Udayachal schools (pre-primary, primary and secondary) which focus on total personality development of children. The Group sponsors employees who volunteer to work with Teach for India, a nationwide movement that places outstanding young professionals to teach full-time in schools.

Awards • Godrej Nature’s Basket bagged the title of ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the Food & Grocery Category at the Retail Excellence Awards hosted by the Asia Retail Congress, 2012 • Brand Godrej was declared India’s 22nd ‘Most Trusted Brand’ by the Trust Research Advisory, 2010 • Godrej Refrigerators won the country’s first Urjavaran Empower India Awards for Energy Efficiency, 2010 • Five Godrej brands featured in Brand Equity’s ‘Most Trusted Brands Survey 2010’ - the highest for any Indian group • NDTV Profit awarded Godrej Consumer Products Ltd was awarded the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Award in the ‘Consumer Products’ category, 2010

Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group has played an important role in the development of a variety of industries by leading key organisations of trade and commerce. He is the recipient of several awards and recognitions for his contribution to Indian industry, including the Rajiv Gandhi Award 2002.

Best of India | 107


Corporates

Powering communication The most prominent face of Bharti Enterprises is its mobile telephony brand, Airtel which is the world’s fifth largest mobile operator in terms of subscriber base. The Bharti Group has operations in over 21 countries and interests in telecom, agribusiness, financial services, retail and manufacturing.

H

eadquartered in New Delhi, Bharti Enterprises was founded in 1976 by Sunil Bharti Mittal, a Panjab University graduate, as a small-scale bicycle manufacturing unit and diversified into production of yarn and stainless steel sheets for utensils. In the early 1980s, the company imported and marketed stainless steel, brass, plastic products and zip fasteners. It also tied up with Suzuki to import portable generator sets and by 1984 it had become the largest genset importer in the country.

Bangladesh, Seychelles, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as well as the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Bharti became the first company to bring Blackberry exclusively to India. By the end of 2011 Bharti Airtel had a customer base of 24 crore (243.3 million) with revenues of `59538 crore (US $11.67 billion approximately) and is among the top five global mobile companies.

Bharti entered the telecom sector in the late 1980s, manufacturing push button telephones. In 1995 it launched mobile services in Delhi, and gradually expanded its network to the rest of the country. Bharti went public in 2002 and by 2003 Airtel had become the country’s largest GPRS network. In 2004 it brought Blackberry to India and by 2005 became the leader in the segment with a national footprint in all 23 telecom circles of the country.

Other business ventures of the Group include Bharti Softbank - a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank Corp - for mobile internet. Beetel Teletech, a Group company, is India’s leading manufacturer and distributor of telecom and allied products. The Group has a joint venture – FieldFresh Foods – with Del Monte Pacific Ltd, to offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the domestic as well as international markets.

It crossed the five crore (50 million) subscriber mark in 2007 and 10 crore (100 million) mark in 2009. Meanwhile, it also extended its mobile phone services to 19 other countries such as Sri Lanka,

Bharti has a joint venture with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management, for Life Insurance, General Insurance and Asset Management. The Group has a presence in

108 | Best of India


the retail sector through Bharti Retail that operates stores in multiple formats. It also has a joint venture - Bharti Wal-Mart - with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India. Since inception, Bharti has forged strong partnerships with some of the biggest international brands such as Singtel, IBM, Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent and Del Monte Pacific. With exciting new ventures like money transfer through mobiles and 4G services, Bharti is consolidating and extending its large customer base. To nurture its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Bharti has a philanthropic arm called the Bharti Foundation, to which the associate companies have committed a corpus of `200 crore (US $38 million approximately) to provide elementary and higher education to underprivileged children in villages across India. Bharti Foundation has partnered with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi to set up the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management. It has also set up the Bharti Centre for Entrepreneurial Initiatives and partnered with three other business leaders to establish the premier business school, Indian School of Business’ campus in Mohali. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Enterprises, says, “Our global expansion is anchored in our strategy of transplanting our successful business model and blending it with local needs.”

Tel: +91 11 4666 6100 www.bharti.com

Awards • Bharti Foundation won the Global CSR Award in Education at the Blue Dart World CSR Day, 2011-12 • Bharti Infratel received the Green Mobile Award at the GSMA Annual Global Mobile Awards, 2011 • Bharti Realty won the FIABCI Prix d’ Excellence Award, 2011 • Bharti Airtel was recognised as India’s Best Enterprise Connectivity Provider at the Users’ Choice Awards by PC Quest, 2010

A mobile recharge and payment machine

The telecom industry, with over 250000 towers, is the largest consumer of diesel as most mobile towers need a generator backup especially in rural areas that have erratic power supply. Bharti Infratel, one of India’s top tower companies, has replaced diesel generators with solar energy, reducing carbon-di-oxide emissions by 2.5 tonnes per tower every year. The Solar Photo Voltaic cells have a lifespan of 25 years and offer a stable and permanent source of power, minus noise pollution or toxic emissions. It is estimated that on an average, solar energy can lead to reduction of 2.5 tonnes of carbon-di-oxide emission per tower every year.

Sunil Mittal, Chairman & CEO, Bharti Enterprises, was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2007. He was also awarded the Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2010 by The Economic Times.

Best of India | 109


Corporates

Refining prosperity Reliance Industries Ltd is the flagship company of the Reliance Group of Companies, India’s largest private sector enterprise. RIL is the largest polyester yarn and fibre producer globally, and among the top ten producers of major petrochemical products in the world. Its facility in Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat is the single largest oil refining complex in the world, with a nominal crude processing capacity of 12 lakh (1.24 million) Barrels per Day (MBPD).

The Dhirubhai -1 Floating Production Storage and Offloading

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, with revenues of `2.9 lakh crore (US $56.8 billion approximately) at the end of the financial year in 2011 and market capitalisation of `3.4 lakh crore (US $66 billion approximately), RIL is the largest publicly traded company in India. With backward vertical integration as the cornerstone of its business strategy, RIL activities include exploration and production of oil and gas, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals (polyester, fibre intermediates, plastics and chemicals), textiles, retail, infotel, and special economic zone (SEZ) development.

110 | Best of India

The company has 12 manufacturing units across the country, and over 120 subsidiary companies and 22000 employees around the world. The Reliance Group’s origins lie in a textile mill in Naroda, Ahmedabad, founded by the late Dhirubai Ambani in 1966. In 1977, the company made its first public offering, starting the equity trend in the Indian capital market. Reliance began the process of backward integration in the early 1980s, setting up a plant to manufacture polyester filament yarn, and later diversifying into fibre intermediates,


RIL’s plant in Jamnagar is the single largest oil refining complex in the world.

plastics, petrochemicals, petroleum refining, oil and gas exploration and production, and power in order to achieve complete incorporation across the materials and energy value chain. The group was bifurcated in 2005, and split between Ambani’s sons, Mukesh and Anil; Reliance Industries and RIPL, both awarded to Mukesh, together became Reliance Industries Ltd. RIL and the Reliance Group hold a string of firsts to their credit. In 1992, Reliance became the first Indian company to make an international global depositary receipt (GDR) offering; four years later, it was the first corporation in Asia to issue 50 and 100-year bonds in the US debt market. Reliance was also the first private sector company to be rated by international credit rating agencies S&P and Moody’s. In 2002, it was the first private sector company in the country to make a gas discovery, located in the Krishna

Godavari Basin; this turned out to be one of the largest gas discoveries in the world, with an in-place volume in excess of seven lakh crore (seven trillion) cubic feet, equivalent to about 120 crore (1.2 billion) barrels of crude oil. Two years later, it became the first private sector company in India to record a net profit in excess of `5000 crore (US $98 million approximately), earning it a place in the Fortune Global 500 list of ‘World’s Largest Corporations’. RIL makes significant contributions to the community in the areas of health, education, infrastructure development and environmental protection. It supports projects like Kanya Kelvani, a Gujarat State project to educate the girl child; Project Jagruti, designed to tackle the issue of dyslexia in Surat; and Project Drishti, a program that offers free corneal graft surgeries for the visually challenged underprivileged. The company intends to invest in new petrochemical capacity, organised retailing and digital services, pursuing growth through partnerships that are expected to address the Indian markets, as well as provide entry points into global markets. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, RIL, says, “Our partnerships in shale gas and joint ventures in retail are a few examples towards implementing this strategy. We are gearing up for the next phase of growth through a combination of our own initiatives and forging new partnerships with leading companies. These investments will accelerate India’s growth as a consumer and digital economy.”

Tel: +91 22 2278 5000 www.ril.com

Awards • Ranked as the ‘Sixth Most Trusted Brand in India’ in the Brand Trust Report, 2011 • Golden Peacock Global Award for Sustainability, won by Jamnagar Manufacturing Division, 2010 • FGI Federation of Gujarat Industries Award for technology development won by Hazira Manufacturing Division, 2010 • CII’s ‘National Award for Excellence in Energy Management’ for Jamnagar Manufacturing Division, 2010 • ‘National Energy Conservation Award’ from the Ministry of Power, Government of India for Dahej Manufacturing Division, 2010 • Rated as the 33rd ‘Most Innovative Company in the World’ in a survey conducted by Business Week in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 2010 Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & MD, Reliance Industries Ltd

• Ranked second among the world’s 10 biggest, ‘Sustainable Value Creators 2000-2009’

Best of India | 111


CHAPTER 9

Education


“Nahi Jnanena Sadrusham� (Nothing is equivalent to knowledge) The Bhagavad Gita

Photo: Asha Thadani


Education

Educating India With annual government spending of `52057 crore (US $10.20 billion approximately) and an estimated `2.4 lakh crore (US $47 billion approximately) private spending, education is among the 10 most valuable Indian sectors. It caters to approximately 18 crore (180 million) school children and 2.2 crore (22 million) pursuing higher education.

Aspirational parents are committed to educating children in India.

E

ducation in India is a curious dichotomy: funding is both public and private; control is vested in the Union Government as well as in the states; over 80 percent of schools are publicly funded and yet over 30 percent of students study in private institutions. Together, however, the system has been instrumental for India’s rising economic prowess on the global stage.

114 | Best of India

India’s education history dates back to the Vedic period (around 1500 BC) and can be traced to the guru-shishya (master-student) tradition practiced through the Gurukul system where students lived in the residence of the teachers and not only imbibed knowledge but helped in other day-to-day household activities. A more secular system of education was developed between 200


BC and 400 AD with the advent of Buddhism, which triggered the establishment of universities such as the ones at Nalanda and Taxila. These institutions attracted not just local students but even those from countries in Central Asia and China. Along with Buddhist literature, students studied logic, grammar, medicine, philosophy, metaphysics, arts and crafts, while royalty were taught martial arts as well as economics, politics and history. A 10th century Islamic scholar who visited India wrote that India had a very sophisticated system of mathematics.

In 2010, the government further solidified this commitment with the Right to Education Act which states that every child in the age group of 6-14 years will be provided eight years of elementary education in an age-appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighbourhood. As a result of these campaigns, the literacy rate of the country has gone up from 64.83 percent in 2001 to 74.04 in 2011, while household spending on education went up by 300 percent during the previous decade, according to a survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation.

It was during the British rule that the foundation for modern Indian education was laid. In the early 19th century, Lord Macaulay formulated a policy for educating a section of the local population so that they would act as a bridge between the British and the Indians. This led to the establishment of some of India’s oldest schools and colleges: La Martiniere was set up in 1836 and St Xavier’s in 1860 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), St Stephen’s in 1881 in Delhi, Loyola College in Chennai in 1925 and so on. After Independence in 1947, the Central Government formulated polices to govern education at various levels, which facilitated the setting up of such institutions as Delhi’s Sri Ram College and Lady Sri Ram College in 1957.

In the area of higher education, India stands third after the US and China, offering a host of options for students. The University Grants Commission administers higher education (arts, science, commerce, technical, medicine and others) through more than 525 universities (including 42 central, 275 state, 130 deemed and 90 private) with nearly 26000 colleges affiliated to these universities. In addition, there are over 1750 polytechnics, technical excellence institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management and a plethora of private institutions which offer world class education, facilities and training.

Recognising that there existed large scale discrepancies in literacy levels despite various polices and laws, the Indian Government launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme for Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE), making free and compulsory education to the children of 6-14 years age group a Fundamental Right. It aimed to address the education needs of nearly 20 crore (200 million) children. Apart from opening schools where none existed and augmenting teacher strength, the programme envisages providing life skills, special attention to education of girls and children with special needs, as well as extending computer education to bridge the digital gap. To meet these goals, the Central Government allocated `21000 crore (US $4.1 billion approximately). An important part of this campaign has been the Midday Meal Scheme which provides cooked midday meals to an estimated 11.2 crore (112 million) children, mostly attending government schools.

India’s education system supports many other academic initiatives. The National Institute of Open Schooling enables more than 14 lakh (1.4 million) children to taking up schooling through open and distance learning. The Indira Gandhi National Open University facilitates the same in higher education through its own resource centres and coordinates the efforts of similar institutions at the state level. The system also recognises schools and institutions that offer global programmes such as International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International Examinations, as well as Islamic Madrasa schools and Deobandi schools. According to the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), India hopes to achieve 100 percent adult literacy, an overall literary rate of 85 percent and drastically reduce the number of out-of-school children. It also intends to concentrate on improving quality of education at all tiers and improve skills training.

Best of India | 115


Education

The art of learning Listed as one of the top five boarding schools in the world by Good Schools Guide International, The International School Bangalore (TISB) was the first coeducational international boarding school in India to offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) curricula.

The International School Bangalore

TISB is a springboard for success with a healthy mix of world-class academics and extra-curricular activities.

T

he International School Bangalore was established in 2000 by Dr KP Gopalkrishna, an educationist who founded The National Public Schools group, comprising nine schools in India and Singapore, all of which are highly reputed for their quality of educational standards and academic excellence. TISB brings together the teaching methods of the west and east to over 950 students from nearly 35 countries. It has over 60 Koreans, 25 Thais, 55 British and 290 US citizens on its rolls. In 2011 its students graduated with a 35 point average score in the IB Diploma, 67 percent of all IGCSE papers graded A* - A with 13 percent of the 116 | Best of India

papers marked 100 percent, and 49 perfect 800 scores in the US SAT - one of the best results in Asia. Set on a sprawling 125-acre green campus on the outskirts of Bangalore, its facilities range from a 45000 volume library, specialised science, computer science and mathematics laboratories, and three theatres with a total seating capacity of 2000, to sporting facilities like a golf course, swimming pool, basketball, badminton, tennis and squash courts, natural grass fields for hockey, football and cricket, an athletic track and a gymnasium.


The school emphasises international learning and has brought in faculty with training and experience from various parts of the world. Benefitting from access to such knowledge, its students move on to study in universities like Oxford, Columbia, Stanford, LSE, Harvard, Cambridge, University of Pennsylvania, Melbourne, McGill, Berkeley and Brown. The school has hosted visiting faculty from Sweden, France and UK. Study tours have included a Spanish language course in Santiago de Compostela, the National University of Singapore Summer Science Camp, the Hong Kong Polytechnic Global Business Challenge, the Global Young Leaders conference in Washington, and a summer tour of US universities. TISB has developed exchange links with Warwick School and Greshams School in the UK, College Juliette Dodu in Reunion Island, the Lycee du Gresivaudan in Grenoble, France, and Nawa Academy in San Francisco.

life’ derived from Latin. Along with academic excellence, the school fosters values like decorum, courtesy, self discipline and honesty to give a strong foundation to its students,” says Dr Bindu Hari, Senior Principal and Director of TISB and Director of the National Public Schools Group. Dr Matthew Sullivan, Principal, TISB, says, “The USPs of TISB are its pastoral care, structure, safety, international exposure opportunities, top examination results and superb placements in the best universities worldwide.”

Tel: +91 80 2263 4900 www.tisb.org

Students can indulge in a wide range of activities through clubs that nurture everything from art, dance, drama and music to electronics, elocution and debate. Activities are aimed to build positive teamwork; be it the opening ceremony of the Sports Day, school plays and musicals or trekking in the Himalayas. TISB won the parliamentary debate competition award every year for five straight years at the Model United Nations performances in Colombo, Qatar, Cairo, Boston and Washington. VIVUM, its annual arts and science festival, is open to over 1000 students from across India and abroad. Students are encouraged to interact with the world outside the confines of the school and to learn to share and care through drama, art and music therapy sessions over the weekends at a local hospice for AIDS patients. They also work with orphanages, cancer hospices, school children suffering from HIV, and visit institutions such as a home for the elderly and a home for abandoned girls and rural boarding schools. TISB students have helped save the lives of 21 poor rural children by raising funds for emergency heart operations. “At TISB, the focus is on love for learning, standing by its mottos, ‘life and learning are one’ derived from Sanskrit and ‘learning for

Dr KP Gopalkrishna, Chairman & Founder, The International School Bangalore

Best of India | 117


Education

Integrating minds Set in the delicately beautiful environs of Meghalaya in north-east India, William Carey University (WCU) is an integrated model of the academia for socio-economic development.

The beautiful and fragile ecosystem of Meghalaya needs environmentally sustainable development.

W

CU is a member of The ACTS Group of Institutions, a Group with focus on integration, which was started in 1979 by Dr Ken Gnanakan. (The acronym ACTS stands for Agriculture, Crafts, Trades and Studies.) The concept of integrated education has grown alongside Gnanakan’s experiments in teaching and learning, which he elaborates in his book ‘Integrated Learning’ published by Oxford University Press. Recognised as a private university by the Meghalaya Government, it offers post-graduate degrees with research in development management, environment and social entrepreneurship. Recognition from the University Grants Commission (UGC) is in the process. The Meghalaya Government passed an Act to establish William Carey University in 2005 which started functioning in 2007. Currently located in Shillong, WCU will soon have its new sprawling campus in Umsning, on a 500-acre setting currently being built in collaboration with Grace City Enterprises. With its emphasis on practical

118 | Best of India

research and development, the partnership with Grace City and its commitment to social entrepreneurship will see a growth in economic opportunities in Meghalaya. WCU is a university with a difference. Rather than following traditional patterns, it is committed to a holistic model of higher education. This vision is bringing together social, economic, environmental, cultural and academic activities, facilitating all round growth for the community. The university is named after William Carey, a pioneer English missionary known as ‘father of modern missions’. Carey worked alongside national luminaries such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy to bring about social change and establish educational institutions. Carey started the first higher education institution in India – Serampore College, as well as founded the Agriculture and Horticultural Society of India.


WCU has an integrated vision for society.

With significant changes in global economic conditions, particularly in India, WCU is identifying areas of study that will influence north east India’s economic development alongside its environmental sustainability. Studies will address the changing economic, social, political and institutional context in order to promote environmentally sustainable economic development.

The Vice Chancellor of Kalyani University commented on how WCU’s innovative approach could complement traditional approaches in the Indian university system. The President of Judson University in Chicago, USA, during a visit to WCU pointed out that innovative approaches like these were a necessity all over the world as education was becoming stereotyped.

Students coming from all over India have the advantage of directly participating in these social, environmental and economic activities. Economic growth is high on the agenda and therefore commercial collaborations of all kinds are welcomed. Small scale businesses in food production, aquaculture and others are being designed to boost the local economy as well as bring profits to investors.

Dr Ken Gnanakan, Chancellor of the University, a noted educationist and environmentalist, says, “William Carey University will soon emerge as a front line institution with its integrated vision for society, the environment and economic development. Our vision is to see total transformation of people and their contexts. Students, teachers, experts and the whole community are joining hands with us in seeing this vision become a reality.”

Students are involved in commercial as well as service oriented opportunities. Courses are designed to create opportunities for students to train and study in an appropriate context and make their transition to professional activities. The university also offers research based programmes and awards MPhil and PhD degrees. A unique distinction is its one year research project grants involving students in practical community based socio-economic projects.

Tel: +91 3642 2241 26 www.wcu.co

Programmes are conducted in formal as well as non-formal modes as the university goes to the people rather than people coming into an academic sanctuary. Several short term courses are offered in collaboration with Kalyani University, West Bengal. Besides a full time faculty, it also invites international faculty who facilitate modular programmes of study. WCU’s expertise also lies in environmental programmes. The region is well-known for its biodiversity, but its fragile mountain ecology has to be carefully studied for sustainable resource utilisation. While appropriately scaled productive operations can be developed for optimal use of its rich biodiversity, it also helps alleviate poverty. Its environmental projects are validated by the International Ecological Engineering Society, Switzerland.

Dr Ken Gnanakan, Chancellor, William Carey University

Best of India | 119


Education

Moulding managers The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are among the country’s elite institutions and comprise a cluster of 13 prestigious business schools spread across the country.

The focus today is on Indian managers, with growth having shifted to emerging markets.

T

he IIMs make headlines every year for the huge number of candidates (upwards of 250000 for approximately 2600 seats) who take the Common Admission Test (CAT) to gain entrance and for the stupendous salaries that successful graduates command. The IIMs are fierce hunting grounds for global and national companies and most institutes have been known to achieve high percentages of placements. Conceived by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on the recommendations of the Planning Commission, they were initiated and established with the objective of providing high quality management education to assist the country’s industrial growth through research and consultation. Because of these ideals, the IIMs were created as autonomous institutions with complete and independent control over their activities though their administration is done by the IIM Council. Entry into IIMs is through a tough competitive exam and the course syllabus is exacting. There are 13 IIMs in the country producing more than 2600 management graduates. The two-year postgraduate programme in management is the flagship course though many of the IIMs offer one year courses for executives as well as fellow, doctoral, diploma and part-time programmes. The first IIM to be established was in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1961 followed by Ahmedabad in the same year. Over a period 120 | Best of India

Photo courtesy: IIM Bangalore

of time, more IIMs came up in Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, Shillong, Rohtak, Ranchi, Raipur, Tiruchirapalli, Udaipur and Kashipur. An informal ranking system puts ABC on top of the IIM list (Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata). IIM Ahmedabad is ranked 11th in the Global Top MBA rankings 2012 by the Financial Times, London. Many IIM alumni have gone on to achieve significant successes in various fields. Illustrious alumni include Indra Nooyi - Chief Executive Officer, Pepsico, the late CK Prahalad - management guru, KV Kamath - Chairman, ICICI Bank, K Radhakrishnan Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation, Ajit Balakrishnan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rediff.com, Ramachandra Guha - historian and author, and Karan Bajaj - author. In addition to IIMs, India has also seen the creation of many successful private institutes of management. The Indian School of Business in Hyderabad is South Asia’s first school to get accredited to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Its post graduate programme has been ranked 20 in the Global Top MBA rankings 2012 by the Financial Times, London. ISB has strong partnerships with acclaimed global management schools such as Wharton School, Kellogg School of Management and London Business School and will soon open a second campus in Mohali.


Teaching technology Indian Institutes of Technology are India’s Ivy League, producing some of the best technical minds of the country who have gone on to achieve tremendous success across the globe. The admission process is stringent and nearly 500000 students take the IITJEE (Joint Entrance Examination) for approximately 10000 seats each year.

IITs are institutes of national importance with the purpose of creating scientists and engineers to aid India’s social and economic development.

T

he Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are a group of autonomous engineering and technology institutes of higher education that denote the highest order of academic excellence. Entry is tough and the curriculum is rigorous; the gruelling process enables the alumni to excel in a wide range of professions. There are 16 IITs spread across the country, including the seven established initially and nine that were started subsequently owing to the high demand for their graduates. Soon after Independence in 1947, the Indian government decided to create higher technical institutions for the industrial development of the country. Thus was born the idea of IITs and they were designated as ‘institutes of national importance’. The first IIT was established in 1951 in Kharagpur near Kolkata. This was followed by IITs in Mumbai, Chennai, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee. In 2008, the government felt that the country needed more such institutions and paved the way for the establishment of IITs at Bhubhaneswar, Ropar, Hyderabad, Patna, Gandhinagar, Jodhpur, Mandi, Indore and Varanasi. Each of these is an autonomous university, though the common IIT council oversees their administration.

Photo courtesy: IIT Madras

The IITs have managed to retain their excellence since they are autonomous and the government has no control over internal policy decisions. They are also free from regional and student politics. They create their own curricula and are able to adapt rapidly to changing requirements. The undergraduate course follows the same time format as a regular engineering course while students have to compulsorily take advanced courses in humanities, social sciences and even management to complete their course, thereby broadening their education. The IITs also provide dual degree (integrated undergraduate and postgraduate studies), postgraduate and doctoral education. Since its inception, the IITs have collectively and cumulatively produced nearly 200000 alumni. Famous alumni include NR Narayana Murthy - Chairman Emeritus, Infosys, Vinod Khosla - Co-founder, Sun Microsystems, Kanwal Rekhi - angel investor, Chetan Bhagat - author, Harish Hande - Managing Director, SELCO India, Manohar Parrikar - Chief Minister of Goa, Nandan Nilekani - former Chief Executive Officer, Infosys and Chairman, Aadhar, Pranav Mistry - inventor of the SixthSense, Jairam Ramesh - Union Minister for Rural Development, Gururaj Deshpande - Co-founder and Chairman, Sycamore Networks, Narendra Patni - Founder, Patni Computer Systems and Ashok Soota - Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt Ltd. Best of India | 121


CHAPTER 10

Engineering & Manufacturing


“Kritih Vishwatishayani” (May what we create be the best in the world) Sanskrit shloka

Photo: Asha Thadani


Engineering & Manufacturing

Standing strong Conceived as a patriotic endeavour to help India keep pace with changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution, Tata Steel’s history is linked with that of India’s industrialisation. Today it is among the top ten global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of over 2.7 crore (27 million) tonnes and operates in 26 countries. It employs over 80000 employees across five continents and is a Fortune 500 company.

Tata Steel’s largest plant is located in Jamshedpur in the state of Jharkhand in India.

T

ata Steel, headquartered in Mumbai, is part of the Indian behemoth Tata Group; it had consolidated revenues of `1.3 lakh crore (US $25.4 billion approximately) in 2011. Tata Steel began life in 1907 as the Tata Iron & Steel Company (TISCO). The company’s first steel plant was established in a remote village called Sakchi, in the state now known as Jharkhand. It was the first company in India to issue shares to the public and is hailed as the first truly Indian enterprise. The first steel ingot rolled out of the plant in 1912; by 1919, Sakchi was built up as a planned city and renamed Jamshedpur, after Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, TISCO’s founder. Over the course of the next 100 years, TISCO played a pivotal role in India’s march towards self-sufficiency and industrialisation,

124 | Best of India

carving a reputation for ethical business practices, worker empowerment and philanthropy. Tata Steel has been at the forefront of infrastructure-building efforts for India and her allies. During World War I, TISCO supplied 1500 miles of rail and 300000 tonnes of steel for military campaigns in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Salonica and East Africa. In 1937, construction began on the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, using 80000 tonnes of the company’s steel; by 1939, TISCO was widely recognised as the largest steel plant in the British Empire and the most economical exporter of pig iron in the world. Later, during World War II, the armoured cars used by the British were made from Tata steel, and were known as ‘Tatanagars’. After India achieved independence, TISCO supplied


The Scunthrope Works in North Lincolnshire is UK’s largest steel processing centre; it belonged to Corus and was bought by Tata Steel, Europe’s second largest steel producer.

steel for many of the country’s ambitious infrastructure projects, including the Bhakra Nangal dam. It was the first Indian company to introduce employee-centric measures like the eight-hour working day (1912), free medical aid (1915), paid leave (1920), maternity leave (1928), profit-sharing bonus (1934) and retirement benefits (1937). Tata Steel continues to take pride in its identity as a ‘family’ of employees rather than a ‘company’. Flourishing despite the regulatory environment that persisted in India until 1990, the company embarked on an ambitious, four-phase modernisation program that began in 1979 and stretched across the 80s and 90s. It was renamed Tata Steel in 2005. In 2007, the company won a hotly contested bid to acquire European steel-

maker Corus, the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of steel.

people. The Tata Relief Committee helps victims of natural disasters.

With expansion plans on the horizon, Tata Steel continues to move steadily towards achieving its vision of becoming “the global steel industry benchmark for value creation and corporate citizenship.”

It also helps create sustainable livelihoods for people in all its communities around the world. UK Steel Enterprise was established to improve the economies of areas most affected by steel plant closures and has helped establish several businesses. The company also supports education through scholarships, projects to improve agricultural productivity and sponsors many sporting activities around the world.

Tata Steel has introduced several community health programmes in India that address the needs of children, adolescents and mothers. It supports the Jeevan Rekha or the Lifeline Express, the world’s first hospital on rails that offers diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment across rural India.

Tel: +91 22 6665 8282 www.tatasteel.com

It provides potable water to communities in remote villages through tankers or piped water distribution systems and hand pumps. The company has also constructed or reinstated wells and has helped over 50000

Awards • CNBC Asia’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award at CNBC - TV 18 India Business Leader Awards, 2012 • Sustainability Prize at the CII-ITC Sustainability Award in the Category A for Large Business Organisation, 2011 • Tata Steel won the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Award in the metals category, 2011 • ‘Most Respected Company’ in the Metals category from Business World magazine, 2011 • National Energy Conservation Award from the Government of India, 2010 • ‘Company of the Year’ title from the Economic Times, 2009 • Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2009 • World Steel Dynamics, a prominent steel-industry data company, declared Tata Steel the ‘lowest cost producer of steel in the world’ in 2001 and the ‘world’s best steel plant’ in 2005. • Since 2003, Tata Steel has consistently won Asia’s annual ‘Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise’ (MAKE) award for sustained excellence in the field of Knowledge Management. HM Nerurkar, MD, Tata Steel

Best of India | 125


Engineering & Manufacturing

Climbing high Supplying high quality plumbing products to infrastructure developers in India and abroad, Star Pipes & Fittings Pvt Ltd is worth `300 crore (US $58 million approximately). It has its sights set on expanding into other verticals such as infrastructure and property development and retail.

S

tarted by PK Paul in 1984 in Thrissur in Kerala, Star Pipes is the first recipient of the ISI certification for plumbing products in south India (in 1988). It has offices in Chennai, Nagari and Bangalore, a production and marketing facility in Dubai and a wide marketing network. With over a thousand employees on its rolls, its annual sales revenues are `225 crore (US $44 million approximately). Known as a reliable supplier of high quality, technically excellent plumbing products, its range of unplasticised polyvinyl chlorides (UPVCs) stand out in the market for their durability, low maintenance, light weight, resistance to chemicals and an internal smooth surface. They are also non-flammable and coated with an ultra violet (UV) stabilised compound and hold up well against weather conditions when used outdoors.

126 | Best of India

Star Pipes began production and marketing of flexible suction and delivery hoses in 1994 under the brand name Star Flex. To meet the growing demands of overseas clients, it registered the Star Impex brand with Dubai as the nodal centre. Continuing to grow, the company added more facilities; it installed a PVC pipe manufacturing unit at Thrissur in Kerala, followed by manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Dubai. It has now established a strong presence in the entire Middle East. Starting with processing 10 MT of PVC per month, it now processes 1500 MT of PVC every month. Its products reach a wide customer base from domestic consumers to architects and builders.


Star supplies world class pipes to customers in several countries.

Each of its production facilities has an R&D centre that works on applying the latest innovations to the product mix. Its portfolio addresses varied requirements like potable water distribution, domestic plumbing, bore wells and lift irrigation. The company employs environment-friendly measures in its business practices and utilises rainwater harvesting. As part of its corporate social responsibility, it is involved in projects that assist underprivileged and physically disabled children. Star Pipes plans to reach a sales revenue of `700 crore (US $136 million approximately) within a span of five years by expanding its present line of products and through diversification into different business lines which include infrastructure and property development and retail. Bobby Paul, Managing Director, Star Pipes & Fittings Pvt Ltd, says, “We have set aggressive targets for the years ahead paving the way for the organisation’s development. Star now enjoys product quality acclamation among its customers. We are committed to continuously upgrading our products keeping pace with the latest innovations in the world. We aim to create an environment in which our employees can mature and develop to their full potential and would like to see this company add greater value to our customers by our service which is marked by dignity and courtesy.”

Tel: +91 487 2386 762 www.stargroupind.com

Awards • The first PVC Fittings Manufacturer in south India to receive an ISO 9002 Certification in 2001 and in compliance with ISO 9001: 2000. • Recognition for ‘Environment Management System’ by JAS – ANZ, 2004 Bobby Paul, MD, Star Pipes & Fittings Pvt Ltd, was awarded the Quality Summit Award by the Business Initiative Directions in New York in 2000.

• Achieved international recognition for ‘Quality Management System’ by TUV Germany, 2001

Best of India | 127


Engineering & Manufacturing 128 | Best of India

Right element One of the top 10 producers of copper in the world, Hindalco Industries Ltd is the non-ferrous metals flagship company of the `1.7 lakh crore (US $35 billion approximately) Aditya Birla Group, operating in the aluminum and copper segments. A Fortune 500 company, with revenues of `72078 crore (US $14.38 billion approximately) in 2011, it owns Novelis, the world’s largest aluminium rolling company and is one of the biggest producers of primary aluminium in Asia.


H

eadquartered in Mumbai, Hindalco was established in 1958. It commissioned its aluminium facility at Renukoot in eastern Uttar Pradesh in 1962, backed by a captive thermal power plant at Renusagar. Subsequent acquisitions and mergers with Indal, Birla Copper and the Nifty and Mt Gordon copper mines in Australia, consolidated the company’s position in value-added alumina, aluminium and copper products, and gave it access to captive copper concentrates. The 2007 acquisition of Novelis Inc, a world leader in aluminium rolling and can recycling, positioned Hindalco among the top five aluminium majors worldwide in terms of shipments, and made it the global leader in Flat Rolled Products (FRP).

Awards • CII – EXIM Bank Business Excellence Award for ‘its strong commitment to excel on the journey towards business excellence’, 2011 • Greentech Foundation’s Greentech Safety Gold Award in Power, 2011 • Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2010 • CII’s National Award for Excellence in Water Management (Beyond the Fence), 2010 • Golden Peacock Environment Management Award, Global Convention on Climate Security, 2009 • National Energy Conservation Award, second prize, awarded by the Ministry of Power and Energy, Government of India, 2007 • Bureau of Indian Standards’ Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award, Silver - large scale manufacturing (metallurgy) category, 2007

Its product portfolio includes standard and specialty grade aluminas and hydrates, aluminium ingots, billets, wire rods, flat rolled products, extrusions and foil, as well as copper cathodes, continuous cast copper rods, precious metals, acids and fertilisers. Today, Hindalco has close to 20000 employees in 50 countries across five continents. In India, its activities cut across the entire aluminium manufacturing value chain, from bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting to downstream rolling, extrusions and foils. Captive bauxite mines in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha supply the company’s alumina refineries at Belgaum, Muri and Renukoot. Birla Copper, its copper division, located in Dahej, Gujarat, holds the distinction of owning the world’s largest single-location custom copper smelter. In Australia, the company operates two copper mines through Aditya Birla Minerals – a 51 percent subsidiary of Hindalco that became the first Indian-controlled company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. Hindalco also operates two R&D centres at Belgaum and Taloja, both of which have been accorded recognition by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India. The company is committed to the idea of building sustainable livelihoods in the 660 villages and 10 urban slums surrounding its manufacturing plants; the Aditya Birla Rural Technology Park at Muirpur, Uttar Pradesh, runs over 70 vocational training programmes for local youth, and its Yashogami Skills Training Centre at Radhanagar in Maharashtra teaches underprivileged women craft and design skills. It also supports the agriculture industry with irrigation schemes, watershed development programmes and training. In line with its vision to “be a premium metals major, global in size and reach, excelling in everything we do, and creating value for its stakeholders,” the company is embarking on an ambitious capital expansion plan to set up greenfield alumina and aluminium capacities in India. It will invest `10000 crore (US $19 billion approximately) in its Mahan Aluminium project in Madhya Pradesh, and the Aditya Aluminium and Utkal Alumina projects in Odisha. It also plans to invest `700 crore (US $137 million approximately) to enhance capacity at the Dahej copper-production facility. These projects are expected to treble Hindalco’s aluminium capacity to 17 lakh (1.7 million) tonnes per annum.

Tel: +91 22 6662 6666 www.hindalco.com Photo: Asha Thadani Best of India | 129


Engineering & Manufacturing 130 | Best of India

Power to the people India’s largest power company, state-owned NTPC was ranked 341st in the 2010 Forbes Global 2000 of the world’s biggest companies. With an installed capacity of 36014 MW through 22 coal based, seven gas-liquid fuel based and six joint venture power stations, it lights up every third bulb in the country.


H

eadquartered in New Delhi, NTPC was established in 1975 to accelerate power development in India. This dynamic power major, with a 25000-strong work force, has a presence in the entire value chain of the power generation business, having diversified into consultancy, power trading, ash utilisation and coal mining. With rich experience in engineering, construction and operation of power plants, NTPC is the largest and one of the most efficient power companies in India, its operations matching global standards. The company has extended its services to the development of the Indian power sector in several programmes of the Government of India such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd has been designated by the Indian government as the Nodal Agency for purchasing power from solar power projects connected at 33 KV and above grid, at tariff regulated by CERC, and for sale of such power, bundled with the power sourced from NTPC coal power stations to Distribution Utilities, under Phase-I (2010-13) of JNNSM. It provides consultancy services to various electricity boards and repair and maintenance services of thermal stations of power utilities in various states in the country. Central to NTPC’s strategies is a focus on technology as a key driver of efficiency,

sustainability and competitiveness. It continues to retain technology leadership in the Indian power sector with a ward of 800 MW super critical units for its future projects and ultra super critical units, 1200 KV switchyards and high concentration ash slurry disposal systems. The company’s green vision is ‘going high on generation, lowering GHG emissions’. NTPC is among the world’s cleanest fossil fuel based power generators. It is diversifying its fuel mix to include hydro, nuclear and renewable energy. Two hydro power projects of 1320 MW are already under implementation. For green power development, NTPC is adopting supercritical and ultrasupercritical technology with higher

efficiency, suitable fuel mix, developing technology for carbon-di-oxide utilisation and focusing on renewable resources. NTPC has taken up several CSR initiatives that include support to the DOTS programme for the diagnosis and treatment of TB patients, by providing mobile laboratory and testing facilities. NTPC Foundation has established the ICT Centre for physically challenged people at Delhi University. ICT Centres for the visually challenged have been established in Mysore, Trivandrum, Lucknow, Guwahati, Ajmer and Indore. To assist employability of village youth, the company has adopted 17 ITIs and is starting six new ones. It has been making efforts to improve the socio-economic status of people affected by its projects through effective resettlement and rehabilitation and has also taken up community development works in and around the projects. NTPC has embarked upon an ambitious plan having diversified fuel-mix including coal, gas, hydro, renewable and nuclear. Looking ahead, it has adopted strategies like greenfield projects, brownfield projects, joint venture and acquisition route, to become a 128000 MW plus company by 2032, with 28 percent power generated from non-fossil sources.

Tel: +91 11 2436 0100 www.ntpc.co.in Awards • ‘Most Respected Company in Power Sector’, Businessworld, 2011 • Ranked 19th among India’s ‘Top 25 Companies to Work For’ by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute, 2011 • One of only four companies to achieve ‘Maharatna’ status, awarded by the Government of India, 2010 • Ranked first amongst Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders in Asia and second globally in the Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, 2010 • CII-EXIM Excellence Award, 2010 • Golden Peacock Environment Management Award, 2010 • SCOPE Excellence Award - Gold, Institutional Category, 2010 • International Gold Star Award for Quality, 2009 A plant in Faridabad Best of India | 131


CHAPTER 11

Fashion & Luxury


“Dwell on the beauty of life.” Marcus Aurelius, (121 AD - 180 AD), Roman Emperor

Photo: Asha Thadani


Fashion & Luxury

Keeping India trendy The textile division of India’s biggest private sector enterprise the `2.5 lakh crore (US $49 billion approximately) Reliance Group is India’s largest manufacturer-exporter of suiting fabrics. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, it produces over two crore (20 million) metres of cloth a year. It exports to most of the leading international brands in the clothing business while its iconic brand Vimal is entrenched in the Indian pysche.

Brand Vimal stands for ‘fashion for the young trendsetter’.

T

he late Dhirubhai Ambani founded Reliance as a textile company and started his first textile mill at Naroda near Ahmedabad in Gujarat in 1966. The Vimal brand, named after Ambani’s nephew, became a household name throughout the country due to extensive marketing. With franchise retail outlets exclusively selling the Vimal brand of textiles, the umbrella brand soon became iconic and came to be known as Only Vimal. It was one of the first major retail chain of stores to be set up across the country. In 2007, the brand launched a new foray into ready-to-wear apparel for men and has comprehensively stocked showrooms across India.

134 | Best of India

Styling the fashion sensibilities of Indians for over four decades, this popular brand garners as much attention for the fine quality of its fabric as for its innovative advertising. While international model and actor Kabir Bedi personified Brand Vimal in the 70s, in the 80s, cricketing heroes Viv Richards, Ravi Shastri and Allan Border were its playful, sporty ambassadors of flair. Effortlessly shifting the gears of style paradigms, the brand continues to be contemporary through the passage of time. The brand’s newer models are trendsetters, young, charged and energetic.


Anand Parekh, President, Textile Division-RIL, says, “Reliance is committed to offering the best products and technology to our mass customer base at the most affordable prices. Vimal brings aesthetics, new fibres, new functionality, making a solid contribution to the world of textiles in the domestic as well as the discerning export market.”

Clothing is not just about style; it also has to offer comfort, especially in a tropical climate where it is a challenge to look and feel fresh through the working day. Stemming from its continuous research and innovation, Vimal came up with a revolutionary concept to keep fungi, bacteria and odour at bay - the DEO2 product treatment. In another first, it became the first textile company in India to offer anti-microbial treatment across its vast range of products, without increase in prices. The process of treating the fabrics is environment friendly. From the khaki of the police, the fatigues of the army to the whites of the navy and the air force to the snappy suits of corporate denizens, Reliance clothes people across the length and breadth of the country. The company manufactures over 20000 design-shade combinations in light wool, polyester wool and woollen, polyester viscose, and polyester cotton fabrics under the Vimal brand. It has the largest vertically integrated fabric production facilities in India with state-of-the-art plant and machinery that convert wool tops into finished fabrics through dyeing, spinning, weaving and processing. Stringent quality checks compliant with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are in place at each stage to consistently produce fabrics that are at par with global standards. Levi’s, JC Penney, Haggar, Macy’s, Marks & Spencer, Next Clothing and Burton are some of its customers.

Vimal Gifting helps people dress their loved ones with special care.

The company has tapped into the gifting market too and Vimal Gifting offers gift boxes of ready-to-stitch takeaway fabrics, readymade garments and accessories. Gift vouchers and e-shopping make gifting as pleasant to give as to receive. Reliance is a prominent supplier of branded upholstery and textiles for the automobile industry. Working with Maruti Suzuki, it has introduced antimicrobial seat covers with DEO2 that keep cars fresh. Its impressive client list includes General Motors, Ford, Mahindra & Mahindra, ACGL, Grupo Antolin, Harita, Pinnacle (Force Motors), HMM Coaches, JCBL, Toyota-Kirloskar, Nike, Tata and Lear. Looking ahead, Anand Parekh, President, Textile Division-RIL, says, “Our brand is a keen innovator in the market of personal adornment. We are constantly working on new blends of fabric to meet the changing needs of new trends. The bulk of our competitors have foreign collaborations but we have an in-house R&D and are proud that we are an Indian company manufacturing to international standards.”

Tel: +91 79 6606 8888 www.onlyvimal.co.in www.ril.com

Vimal’s apparel range has options for business, leisure and evening wear; in fact, for every occasion that requires a man to be well-dressed. Vimal’s made-to-measure facility helps turn men into gentlemen and appointments with its master tailors can be made online.

The Naroda complex housing RIL’s manufacturing division represents the largest investment in the textile industry at a single location and is recognised as India’s most modern textile complex by the World Bank.

Nothing proclaims style like a bespoke suit. Best of India | 135


Fashion & Luxury

Taking the silk route The dazzling spread of silk with intricately woven designs is a staple in the Indian woman’s wardrobe. Tapping into this passion, the 80-year-old Nalli has created a name for itself with its traditional silk saris and the contemporary Nalli Next. With a pan-Indian presence of 24 stores and counting, Nalli has steadily risen to be one of the top brands in India.

The allure of silks is contemporary with Nalli Next.

W

ith an expected turnover of `550 crore (US $107 million approximately) in 2011-12, Nalli is headquartered in Chennai and has showrooms in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. It is poised to reach other metros and Tier 2 cities across India in a big way and has also opened stores in Singapore, US, UK and Australia.

Starting off as a small retail store in Chennai in 1928, Nalli has grown into a well-established brand. The Chetti family, unsurprisingly, has its roots in the silk capital, Kanchipuram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. While the town is known as Kanchipuram, the saris are commonly referred to as Kanjeevarams.

The second biggest producer of silk in the world, India is the largest consumer of silk and the country has a largely domestic consumer base.

Long before the store took shape, Nalli Chinnasami Chetti had presented a hand-crafted Kanjeevaram sari to King George V as a souvenir from Madras. The specially designed border that was called the ‘durbar pet’ or ‘coronation border’ can still be replicated on request.

Nalli is one of the leading players in the Indian silk market and has working contracts with silk weavers’ co-operatives in Kanchipuram to keep the craft of handwoven silk alive. A handwoven sari typically takes 12 days to weave and those with zari embroidery take about 20 days or more depending on the complexity of the design.

Thirty years after the first store was established, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, the founder’s grandson, took over the reins and has built a brand that stands for unrivalled quality at reasonable prices and has a loyal clientele. Chetti is not only a connoisseur of silk; he has even penned books on business management. He was instrumental in improving

136 | Best of India


Nalli nurtures the timeless elegance of traditional weaves.

the quality of customer service offered at the stores. Thanks to such measures, women find it pleasurable to sift through the stunning choice of silk, crepes and chiffons; a task that can sometimes be daunting. What sets Nalli saris apart begins with raw material; Nalli uses the finest available. The saris are woven in its own looms and strict quality checks are carried out at every stage. Sidlaghatta silk, the best in India, and ‘Napolean’ zari (embroidered gold borders) with the highest percentage of gold and silver are the hallmark of all its signature silk saris. Keeping it ahead of its competitors was its foresight in introducing computers in the documentation and design processes, which has significantly reduced the turnaround time in a craft that is conventionally drawn out.

Photo: S Badri Naryanan

Its stores are a delight to the senses. Electric blues, sunny yellows, traditional greens and maroons, playful fuchsia and the golden glint of zari make for a tantalising spread. The Kanjeevaram saris are decorated with elaborate designs and traditional motifs like elephants and mangoes. Temple borders, diamond kicha design work and tissue pallus add to the variety. Nalli’s repute has drawn in clients like the acclaimed Carnatic singer MS Subbulakshmi and the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Queen Elizabeth was gifted a Nalli sari for her coronation by VAK Raghu of Royal Insurance. Nalli became well-known for its silks and wedding sarees, and it branched out under Kuppuswami Chetti’s son Ramanathan K Nalli.

The family then ventured into manufacturing and exporting home furnishings, fabric and apparel. Lavanya R Nalli, the fifth generation family member, gave Nalli a contemporary twist by introducing Nalli Next in 2009. It is targeted at young, urban women with a choice selection of merchandise that works splendidly for cocktails, business and more casual settings. The sari collection includes chequered pallus, elegant temple borders, geometrics, embroidered lotus and palm motifs. The product range includes an apparel line for women, ready-to-wear menswear and their furnishing line, Next Living. Nalli has just opened a new store in Coimbatore and more recently in Kanchipuram, the home of silk saris. It will soon launch in Puducherry and Ahmedabad too. It plans to extend its reach in the north by opening stores in the NCR region. The new retail format, Nalli Next, opened its doors to its clientele in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai. Currently opening two stores on an average every year, Nalli continues to smoothly woo the silk market. Chetti says, “Our personalised services to each of our clients have extended beyond selling saris. We have often recommended chefs and garland makers to clients for weddings and are considered part of their families.”

Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, Chairman, Nalli Group, takes a personal interest in the business.

Tel: +91 44 2434 4115, 4260 4567 www.nallisilk.com www.nalli.com Best of India | 137


Fashion & Luxury

Sweet smell of success Keeping people and their environs smelling pleasant is obviously a good business and one that has seen Ripple Fragrances become a leading player in the `190 crore (US $38 million approximately) Indian home fragrance market, with an estimated annual growth rate of 30 percent during the last three years.

The Iris range of fragrances is a blend of natural oils and aromatic compounds.

S

tarted in 2004, Ripple Fragrances Pvt Ltd is the spatial fragrance division of the NR Group which is headquartered in Mysore. The Group has been in the business of fragrances since 1948, Cycle Pure Agarbathies being its flagship brand. Leveraging its expertise in fragrances, Ripple entered the market when there

138 | Best of India

was a spurt in home dÊcor outlets and magazines that catered to urban Indians’ desire to beautify their homes. Ripple is one of the few Indian companies that creates and blends perfumes in-house. Its Founder and Managing Director, Kiran Ranga,


is a Master Fragrance Creator with a degree from the University of Plymouth in Business and Perfumery.

laboratory replicating the smell of rain soaked earth, a bouquet of blooms in a flower market and a variety of other appealing aromas.

The fragrances made by Ripple stem from aromacology, the science that studies smell and its ability to affect positive alterations of the state of the mind.

These signature fragrances add another dimension to visual merchandising as they can create pleasant associations for its customers and a subtle shift in mood, thereby enhancing the shopping experience. Ranga says, “The Ripple dream is to create sensory delight in the daily lives of consumers through fragrance and form design.”

The company has developed functional ‘do-good’ products like room and car fresheners, atomisers and freshness danglers under the brand name Lia. Iris is its ‘feel good’ brand, designed to create a positive ambience and a feeling of wellness. Staying in step with current trends, Ripple customises fragrances for its clients’ needs. The Iris Signature Fragrance is aimed at the hospitality and retail sectors and offers a diverse range of aromas that include invigorating citrus at workplaces, languorous lavender for spas and the spark of cinnamon for romantic candle-light dinners. Getting the right aroma calls for a great deal of detailed analysis; trained experts study the target consumers of the clients before the process of creating a fragrance. A team of perfumers works in its

Iris Fragrances conform to international guidelines of International Fragrances Association (IFRA), Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) list of aroma molecules stated under EPA (Environment Protection Agency) in the United States, and American and European regulatory bodies, to ensure that the ingredients are allergen free and biodegradable. This reduces the occurrence of toxicity and allergens in natural oils. Though natural, concentrated forms of oils like citrus and clove cannot be used directly on the skin due to their photo sensitisation properties, a safe and effective way of using essential oils is to dilute its potency with carrier oils. The company makes a range of products for wafting the sweet smells; handcrafted aromatic candles, potpourri, reed diffusers, fragrant stones, pillow misters, amphora, fragrant sachets, vapourisers with tea light candles and essential oils. Its specialty incense sticks for gardens not only keep gardens fragrant but also repel mosquitoes and insects. The fragrance dispensers and accessories are made from stone, ceramic, glass and wood. These are aesthetically designed decorative pieces in a variety of textures and colours. Iris products are sold through well-known lifestyle retail chains and are also a popular choice in specialty gift stores. Aiming at high visibility, its promotional activities include the shop-within-shop concept, exhibitions and promotions in apartment complexes. Advertising in lifestyle magazines and sustained PR activities have also contributed to rapidly creating consumer awareness. Leading corporates use Iris as a gifting solution; it is also used in star hotels to create a welcoming atmosphere. Ripple undertakes custom branding of its products for overseas retailers, catering to their private label business. Around 40-50 percent of home fragrances sales overseas are attributed to private labels. The smell of success is heady, as the company looks forward to launching exclusive Iris Aroma Boutiques in 2012, the first of which will open in Bangalore. It is geared to be the market share leader in home fragrances both in India and overseas.

Kiran Ranga, Founder & MD, Ripple Fragrances Pvt Ltd

Tel: +91 821 4241 541 www.ripplefragrances.com Best of India | 139


Fashion & Luxury

Southern comfort

®

From the mills of south India, plush terry towels and exquisite bed linens retail in over 20000 upscale department and boutique stores in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Italy, France, UAE, Korea and Japan. Weaving a success story in Tamil Nadu’s second largest city of Coimbatore, a textile and manufacturing hub, Sharadha Terry Products produces some of the world’s finest bath and bed linens.

S

tarted in 1992, Sharadha Terry Products Ltd is headquartered in Coimbatore, with an office and showroom in New York’s upscale Fifth Avenue. The company which saw a turnover of `400 crore (US $78 million approximately) manufactures and exports bed and bath linen under the brand name Micro Cotton®, which uses exceptionally fine cotton fibre. It is part of the `17000 crore (US $3.3 billion approximately) home textile market in India, which is growing at a rate of nine percent annually and is expected to reach `26600 crore (US $5.2 billion approximately) by 2015. The organised market is less than 10 percent with bed linen and bath linen making up two-thirds of the home textile market. The Micro Cotton® range of towels has won acclaim in home décor magazines like Real Simple, Good Housekeeping and Home Textiles Today in the USA, and UOMO of Japan. Its customers include retail giants like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Belk, Marks and Spencer’s, Debenhams, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard’s, Habitat, Myers, Target, Woolworth, Edcon, El Corte Ingles, Kaufhof, Mirabello, Auchan, Emart, Ohome, Seibu, Sogo, Takashimaya and Isetan. Its customer base extends to the hospitality sector with its linens placed in distinguished hotels like Bellagio, Burj Al Arab and The Leela. Micro Cotton® is a luxury brand for highend bath and bed linens. Renowned for high quality, they are made of ultra fine fibres of very fine micronaire that are finer and longer than Egyptian cotton. Proprietary technology ensures that Micro Cotton® bed and bath products have an extraordinarily soft hand feel. Micro Cotton® products also launder extremely well and retain their softness and other attributes after repeated washes.

The Micro Cotton® bed linens are crafted from some of the finest cotton fibres, and are exquisitely and intricately woven into the finest sheets that have a brilliant lustre and elegant comfort. 140 | Best of India

The company manufactures all its products in compliance with environment friendly policies. Some of the measures it has taken are the responsible management of water, waste water, chemicals, solid waste and recycled materials at its manufacturing


units. State-of-the-art waste-water treatment plants have been implemented at its processing facilities, and the company has focused part of its research and development to develop products and packaging that are socially responsible. G Kannappan, Founder Chairman, Sharadha Terry Products Ltd, says, “We go very deep into the products we make. We understand what the end-user would like and strive to exceed their expectations. We are passionate about our products; we want to make the best home textile products in the world. We believe this can be done only through innovation and hence we continuously work on it. Samuel Holt made the first cotton terry cloth in 1848. Micro Cotton® towels have revolutionised the whole bath industry after 150 years. We are pioneers and leaders of the best products in the home textile industry.”

Tel: +91 93609 09001-5 www.microcotton.com

Awards • Sharadha Terry Products Ltd won the Macy’s Five Star Award for five consecutive years, 2007-11 • Outstanding Export Performance Award by Texprocil for six consecutive years, 2006-11 • The company won the EPCES Export Award, 2008-09 & 2010-11 • Manufacturing Excellence Award by Frost & Sullivan India, 2005 Micro Cotton® towels are very soft, extremely absorbent and bulky yet lightweight.

Best of India | 141


Fashion & Luxury

Splendid weaves Well-known for its exquisite silk saris and finely crafted jewellery, The Chennai Silks has established its presence in south India as a garment manufacturer, retailer and exporter.

Popular actor Anushka resplendent in a Vivaha Silk Saree. Inset: A Vivaha sari recognised as the world’s most expensive sari in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records.

H

eadquartered in Tamil Nadu’s textile hub Tirupur, The Chennai Silks is a `1000 crore (US $195 million approximately) worth Group. Started in 1962 as a weaving unit by A Kulandaivel Mudaliar, it has expanded rapidly and is now a conglomerate with business interests in textile retailing, jewellery, manufacturing, garment exports, spinning, fabric processing and energy.

The quality of its products is attested by the Silk Mark and Handloom Mark, and two of its showrooms in Chennai and Coimbatore have also earned the ISO 9001:2000 certification for complying with International Quality Management Systems. Among its loyal customers are actors Anushka, Radhika and Kavya Madhavan.

The flag bearer of The Chennai Silks image is a range of bridal and wedding saris conceptualised under the brand Vivaha Silk Sarees. Hand-woven in its own handloom units in Arni and Kanchipuram, there is a Vivaha sari for every wedding related occasion – engagement, nalangu (a pre-wedding ritual), wedding, reception and gifting. A Vivaha sari that is retailed at `40 lakh (US $79000 approximately) has gone down in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records as the world’s most expensive sari.

It has nine large showrooms across Tamil Nadu and one in Kerala that sell a wide range of western and traditional garments in silk, soft silk, synthetic, cotton, linen and denim for men, women and children for both casual and formal occasions. It retails menswear under the brands Vitomine, Harolt and Rich Craft, and has an exclusive collection of children’s wear called Bublee.

142 | Best of India

The Group has a chain of jewellery showrooms across Tamil Nadu called Sree Kumaran Thangamaligai (SKTM). The first to


A large selection of contemporary and traditional designs at SKTM

be BIS-certified in the state, it is well-known for its variety, purity and competitive prices. The jewellery collection includes bangles, necklaces, earrings and finger rings in gold, platinum, silver, diamonds and precious stones. With a choice of customised designs and reworked antique patterns, they are crafted with care and make for a dazzling display. One of the Group companies, SCM Garments Pvt Ltd, set up in 1989, is a vertically integrated garment manufacturing company, with facilities that include spinning, knitting, dyeing, printing, embroidery and sewing. Its factories adhere to AQL 2.5 Level Quality Standards with quality being monitored at every stage of the manufacturing process. Another vertically integrated company Aathava Garments specialises in woven garments. These two companies export to the Middle East and Germany. SCM Textile Spinners, set up in 2003, manufactures 100 percent combed cotton yarn; yarn is also spun from organic

cotton. At SCM Textile Processing Mills, which is equipped with advanced German machines, fabric is processed according to the Oeko-Tex 100 standards. The factory also has a modern effluent treatment plant, zero discharge waste water recovery plant and reverse osmosis technology. The Group has made a foray into the manufacture of precast concrete products, setting up Teemage Precast In, in 2011. In an effort to reduce the impact on the environment, it has also set up the SCM Energy Division with 40 windmills that effectively generate energy for its own units. As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Group assists underprivileged children by providing them school notebooks, clothes and uniforms through the AKN Trust. With plans underway to open new stores across Tamil Nadu, TK Chandran, Chairman, The Chennai Silks, says, “Our unique value system has made us what we are today. An ethical approach to business ensures integrity in all our dealings, making us synonymous with reliability and trustworthiness. Our core focus has always been to make sure that each person connected with us - our vendor, employee or customer – finds our association fulfilling as well as fruitful. As we change with the times, we will ensure that our values stay constant, because more than anything else, we will remain a Group that values its values.�

Tel: +91 421 2242 888 www.thechennaisilks.com

TK Chandran, Chairman, The Chennai Silks Best of India | 143


Fashion & Luxury

Style & substance

Fashion

The sartorial styles of Indians are deeply rooted in tradition, culture and in the broader sense, Bollywood. A whole social history study can be done in detail to trace fashion from the Raj to the evolution of the modern day Indian. Indian fashion sensibility today is a heady mix of beautiful saris with Manolo Blahniks, jeans paired with vintage tees and kolhapuris, a Kundan diamond necklace with a Dior dress, or salwars with low backs and Cartier love bracelets.

I cannot think of Indian fashion in a unilinear way. Fashion and style of Indians have many facets, and are influenced by everything around us – pop culture, state of the economy, global warming, the list is endless. Indian clothes such as saris, salwars, kurtas will not be popular abroad as they are traditional ways of dressing; it is like an Indian woman wearing the Japanese kimono. However, they may be interpreted and used in modern and different ways. Hermes for their Spring Summer 2008 collection based the collection on India and the sari. Indian clothes may not make it abroad but Indian designers are making their way and showcasing their collections overseas; Sabyasachi and Ashish N Soni in New York and Manish Arora in London and Paris. Most designers come back as the wedding industry here is big money. Manish Arora is clear that he wants to make it in the international arena, and has designed his first collection for Paco Rabanne. But other designers have decided their marketing focus is in India, and are doing phenomenally well in their own country. Initially, every designer could have been classified as ‘fusionfashion’, as in Indo-Western fusion, which was a Western silhouette with ethnic nuances and motifs. There were so many clichés in the market, paisley-ed jackets, kurtis with ‘western’ silhouettes, skirts and dresses that were too embellished. But they soon realised that their forte lies in handicraft, in decorative arts, in embellishments, in technique. But this was not used in a literal way; they took little bits of it and used it in fluid silhouettes. And then we had beautiful collections from designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anamika Khanna, Varun Bahl, Savio, James Ferreira, Rohit Bal, Abraham and Thakore and Sanchita Ajjampur. They ushered in a coherent vision of India. However, an Indian woman looks most beautiful in an elegant sari and the ideal attire for an Indian man is a handloom dhoti with a kurta – these are traditional but can be worn in a modern way. The sari is the most versatile garment that can be draped in various ways and can be worn on different occasions. It is the foundation of any Indian woman’s wardrobe. In the great Indian tradition of draping, the sari and the dhoti reign supreme. In many ways, these are the perfect garments, for they are usually handwoven fabrics, rectangular in shape and normally made from silk and cotton. The sari is usually six metres long while the dhoti is about three to five metres in length. It is experience that will give you the perfect drape, a technique worth learning as you can create an individualistic masterpiece every time you drape one. The dhoti looks perfect with short or long kurtas, and I sometimes add a jacket over the kurta or throw on a shawl to complete the look. 144 | Best of India

Actor/model Roshan Issac models a cotton dhoti from Adi Dhakeshwari.


Models: Neha Tomar & Nisha B, Courtesy: Prasad Bidapa Models, Designer: Ethicus

Photo: Rony Dutta

One of the most important developments to happen in the global fashion industry is the concept of Ethical Fashion. This is a project where the use of organic and sustainable materials in an environmentally friendly process becomes the benchmark for the industry. Responsible designers and corporations all over the world now acknowledge the importance of this concept which ensures a fair deal for all participants in the process – from cotton growers to silkworm farmers to the weavers, printers, dyers, embroiderers, tailors and technicians who make the concept of fashion possible. Mani and Vijayalakshmi Chinnaswamy of Appachi Cottons head a project called Ethicus which strives to create a product which subscribes to all the values of Ethical Fashion. “The project covers an area that stretches from the elephant corridors of Kabini right up to the tiger reserves at the foot hills of Anamalai in Pollachi,” explains Mani. The company urged the farmers to switch back to organic cultivation and helped them lead a productive, sustainable and debt-free life. They grow the best kind of cotton and the fragile forest reserves also get a reprieve.” - Prasad Bidapa

Prasad Bidapa is India’s best known exponent of style and arbiter of chic. He has launched the career of many top models and actors, and is a much sought-after fashion impresario.

Best of India | 145


CHAPTER 12

FMCG


“Shramam vina na kimapi sadhyam� (Without effort nothing is possible) Sanskrit shloka

Photo: Asha Thadani


FMCG

Helping Indians buy Named the ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year’ by the India Retail Forum four years in a row, specialist electronics retail chain Croma is making its presence felt throughout India with 71 outlets in 14 cities retailing over 2500 national and international brands.

A

Enterprise

laptops l  gaming mobile phones l Icd Cameras l mp3

C

roma is part of Infiniti Retail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Group, one of India’s leading conglomerates with a revenue of `3.7 lakh crore (US $74.4 billion approximately) in 2010-11 with global interests spanning various sectors like energy, engineering, information technology and communications, chemicals and consumer products. Launched in October 2006, Croma has established itself as the largest multi-brand electronics retailer in India in just over five years.

A combination of well-trained staff, attractive pricing, a world class ambience and a ‘touch, feel and try’ shopping experience that centres on the consumer, is what constitutes the Croma effect.

With a turnover of `1500 crore (US $290 million approximately), the company’s growth in 2010-11 was 51 percent higher than the previous year with a same store growth of 14 percent. Its success in a price driven market can be attributed to the company’s wellformulated proposition expressed in the brand’s tagline “We help you buy.”

Ajit Joshi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infiniti Retail Ltd, says, “The core reason for our success has been the strong commitment of our sales associates to provide a distinctly superior consumer experience which makes consumers come back to our stores more often. We have also made a conscious attempt to ensure that the latest and best gadgets make their way to our stores first.”

148 | Best of India

Its success has been recognised by a jury panel of leading retailers and over 4000 consumers, giving it the ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year’ award instituted by the India Retail Forum for the fourth successive year.


Its extensive product range is certainly a key attraction and features high-quality merchandise over categories such as home appliances, televisions, home theatre systems, computers and peripherals, digital cameras, MP3 players and mobile phones. Croma’s private label portfolio comprises 5.2 percent of its business and has more than 250 unique products that contributed a turnover of `83 crore (US $15 million approximately) in 2010-11. From air conditioners to kitchen appliances and data storage devices, one can walk in and come out with all the gadgets that a home or an office needs. Croma has megastores that are between 800 and 1500 square metres that pack the wide range of products; and then there are the new nifty Croma Zip stores. These smaller stores are between 100 and 250 square metres and stock only digital categories. The Zip stores, launched in June 2007, have been instantly profitable, delivering double the

revenue per square foot of its megastores. There are eight Croma Zip stores currently operating with five outlets in airports. The company is consolidating its leadership of the market and plans to increase its consumer base with more stores in more locations. It recently launched an e-commerce site to enable digital sales. It plans to build its capability in after sales support as one of the key differentiators. Croma is also focusing on offering more white label products; the Croma brand on several generic goods has already proved popular as it offers the assurance of a respected brand at attractive prices. Joshi says, “Croma intends to become a `5100 crore (US $1 billion) enterprise in three years. While our journey so far has been great, we are confident that with the initiatives we have embarked upon, our future will be even greater.�

Tel: 1800 258 3636 www.cromaretail.com

Ajit Joshi, MD & CEO, Infiniti Retail Ltd

Best of India | 149


FMCG

The alchemy of fragrance Spreading a fragrant aroma from India across the world, the Mysore-based NR Group is India’s largest incense stick manufacturer and exports to over 60 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Far East and North America.

Popular brands include Three-in-One, Lia, Rhythm, Woods, Bansuri and Yagna, which was specially formulated as a tribute to the company’s founder.

C

losely associated with prayer, the incense stick or agarbathi is a `1300 crore (US $254 million approximately) market in India. Laying claim to 30 percent of the organised market, NR group has established Cycle Pure Agarbathies as India’s largest selling incense stick brand.

Estimated to be worth `650 crore (US $127 million approximately) in 2011, the Group was started by N Ranga Rao in 1948. It was originally known as Mysore Products and General Trading Company. While the flagship company, N Ranga Rao & Sons manufactures and exports agarbathies, the Group’s interests have diversified to other fragrance domains, herbal extracts and electronics. 150 | Best of India

Photos: Asha Thadani

It adopted the brand name Cycle in 1952; the brand identity stems from the image of the bicycle that represents simplicity, freedom, value for money and breaks past language barriers. It also symbolises the cycle of life, an apt reference as agarbathies are used in ceremonies that mark life, death and other occasions symbolising purification. The Ranga family has in the last 64 years transformed the business from a small scale industry into a global and modernised enterprise. It has an in-house R&D department and a library of over 500 fragrances that are created and blended in its laboratory.


Arjun M Ranga, Managing Partner, NR Group was entrusted with the task of overseeing Cycle Pure Agarbathies in 2004. He modernised the systems, introducing enterprise resource planning and boosting exports. Exports comprise 15 percent of its total sales today. The Group’s marketing division, Rangsons Marketing Services Pvt Ltd, was set up in the mid 80s to specifically market its products, breaking away from wholesale dealers. It was the first agarbathi manufacturer to print the MRP on the pack, a significant decision in a sector that abounds with unorganised manufacturers. With over 1200 sales personnel and 4000 distributors, Cycle Pure Agarbathies is distributed to nearly 600000 retailers directly. Its campaigns ‘Everyone has a reason to pray’ and ‘Bhagwaan Hai’ created a paradigm shift in agarbathi advertising. Its marketing strategies have resulted in effective branding and advertising with initiatives like the ‘Pray for India’ campaign during Cricket World Cup 2011. The key manufacturing processes remain the same and Cycle Pure Agarbathies continue to be hand-rolled. Over 20000 women across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Assam are engaged in this activity. The company facilitates vocational training for rural and tribal women, creating jobs for nearly 10000 low income households. A team from the company trains women in bamboo splitting and agarbathi rolling thus helping them to augment their household income. The raw materials include charcoal, wood powder and jigat (adhesive). These are used to form the dough which is rolled onto the bamboo sticks, sourced from north-east India and Karnataka. After they are rolled, the raw bathies are baked in the sun for three days before being dipped in a range of fragrances. The agarbathies are fragrance locked in a pouch using a heat sealing method. To maintain quality, there are quality checks conducted at each stage right from raw material to packaging.

Cycle Pure Agarbathies supports local art forms across India, conducting the Rhythm Dhakir Ladai contest for traditional drum beaters in Kolkata, restoring the original form for Garba dance in Gujarat, and organising kolam (rangoli – traditional floor decorations) contests in Tamil Nadu. It also holds the Cycle Heritage Quiz for school children. With plans to launch an e-commerce portal soon, the company is firmly set on expanding its reach.

Tel: +91 821 2521 227 www.cyclepure.in

The quality management system at Cycle Pure Agarbathies factories is compliant with ISO 9001:2008 that ensures that the agarbathies are of premium quality and that the spread and retention of the pleasant fragrance is distinctly superior. Besides empowering women in villages and small towns, the Group’s philanthropic arm, the NR Foundation, funds Project Unnati that has been educating the children of its workforce from 2007. Project Prerepana promotes sustainable development in the slums of Mysore, with the focus on women and child welfare in education and health.The Ranga Rao Memorial School for the Visually Challenged provides boarding, education and healthcare for visually challenged girls.

Arjun M Ranga, Managing Partner, NR Group, says, “Brand Cycle stands for hope and freedom, the grand essentials of human living. We would like to see Cycle speak the language of hope, happiness and wellness - a beacon of spirituality sustained by our Indian roots and powered by global wings.”

Awards • N Ranga Rao & Sons was recognised with the Exports Gold Awards by Exports Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) in 2010-11 • The company’s radio spot featuring the incessant ring of a bicycle bell won the Bronze Lion at the Cannes Advertisement Awards festival in 2008

Best of India | 151


FMCG

Practicing innovation A leading player in the global beauty and wellness space, Marico has demonstrated the truth of its assertion of ‘uncommon sense’. With an annual turnover of `3128 crore (US $613 million approximately), Marico has a strong presence in over 25 countries across India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

From providing oils that groom glossy hair to those that keep hearts ticking and services that induce glowing skin, Marico is in the pink of health.

S

tarting off as a small family owned and operated business, Marico Ltd has traversed a well-planned path to emerge as a professionally run company operating in the beauty and wellness space and is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). It manages the operations of its regional offices and overseas ventures from its head office in Mumbai. Its portfolio spans three business areas: Consumer Product Business covering the domestic FMCG franchise, International Business Group, and Kaya Skin Clinic, its beauty and skin care products and services offering. The group has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent in turnover and 27 percent in profits over the past five years. 152 | Best of India

The Consumer Product Business franchise of Marico is one of the largest among Indian companies, where its products reach approximately 13 crore (130 million) consumers through a widespread distribution network of 33 lakh (3.3 million) outlets. In 2011, its market share in the `1900 crore (US $372 million approximately) coconut oil segment in India was 54 percent, 57 percent in super premium refined edible oils market and 24 percent in hair oils. One out of every three Indians is a Marico consumer, cutting through the swathe of classes. Its Parachute Advansed hair oil has a pan-India reach, its foods brand Saffola has an urban consumer base, and Kaya, its chain of beauty and skin care clinics, occupies a luxurious niche. Both its flagship brands Parachute Advansed


and Saffola have witnessed innovative and cutting edge product expansion, where Parachute Advansed has developed a range of value-added coconut oils like Parachute Advansed Jasmine Hair Oil and Parachute Advansed Hot Oil, among others. Saffola has also grown beyond edible oils to include fortified foods, low GI basmati rice and oats. Another key development is Marico’s foray into the skin care category with the Parachute Advansed brand, tapping the skin care market with its unique coconut-based body lotion offering called Parachute Advansed Body Lotion. Its domestic brands also include Nihar Naturals, Mediker, Revive, Hair & Care and Manjal. Its international brands like Hair Code, Fiancee, Camelia, Aromatic, Caivil, Hercules, BlackChic, Code 10 and Ingwe make up 23 percent of the Group’s revenues, where many have been conceptualised to suit the local niche needs of the target audience. The path to secure its leadership position in the FMCG sector has witnessed a David versus Goliath battle, where the small niche Marico took on the might of multinational firms. In a fairy tale ending, not only did Marico fend off the competition, but also bought out rival products of competitor MNCs. In recent years, Marico has been filling its shopping basket with select brands from HUL, Colgate and more recently, with International Consumer Products Ltd, Vietnam in 2011. Its recent acquisition, Reckitt Benckiser’s Paras Pharmaceuticals’ Personal Care business, helped it add male grooming and post-wash hair-care segments to its portfolio. Marico has laid out a well-planned growth chart across all its verticals, with a strategic focus on expanding within the beauty and wellness space.

centre stage of global business leadership, Marico instituted its CSR initiative in 2003 by forming the Marico Innovation Foundation. The Foundation provides a framework to the Industry and Social Sector to leverage innovation for quantum growth. Its recognition platform - Innovation for India Awards, biennially recognises breakthrough innovations from India. Its eco-friendly initiatives are executed across all operation levels of the company, and include use of recycled paper, water conservation and energy efficient practices at its plants. The tenacity of purpose is strong and evident in its Chairman and Managing Director, Harsh Mariwala. Commenting on the outlook of the company’s growth, he says, “Marico’s growth is all about innovation. And once we like an idea, we back it completely. There are no escape buttons – one has to survive or perish. It is such innovation that is key to our growth - from consumer friendly plastic packaging of our oils to thought leadership in heart care, we have pioneered wellness services in India.”

Tel: +91 22 6648 0480 www.marico.com

It is not just its business practices that have won Marico recognition. The Group’s green initiatives and its efforts to foster the spirit of innovation through the Marico Innovation Foundation merit appreciation. With the strong belief of innovation being the Awards • Milind Sarwate, CFO and CHRO, was awarded the CNBC TV 18 Best Performing CFO Award in the FMCG & Retail sector, 2012 • Marico Marketing won the prestigious Effies awards for its effective advertising across Parachute Advansed, Nihar & Saffola franchise, 2011 • Won three awards for Parachute and Saffola at the EMVIEs from the Advertising Club of Bombay, 2011 • Parachute a Super Brand in UAE & Bangladesh and Hair Code in Egypt by Superbrands • Kaya Skin Clinic was awarded Superbrand status for the UAE, 2012 • Marico was ranked 18th in the ‘Top Companies for Leaders’ (Top 20 Companies from Asia – Pacific), in a study conducted by Aon Hewitt, 2011 • India International Logistics Forum’s Innovation in Supply Chain Award, 2011 • Greentech Environment Excellence Award in the Silver Category in FMCG by Greentech Foundation, 2010 • NASSCOM CNBC TV18 – IT User Award for excellence in IT application, 2010

Harsh Mariwala, Chairman & MD, Marico Ltd has won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Manufacturing, the Talent Management Award at the CNBC India Business Leader Awards in 2009, the CEO with HR Orientation - Global Excellence HR Award by the Asia Pacific HRM Congress in 2007 and the Teacher’s Achievement Award in Business in 2006.

Best of India | 153


CHAPTER 13

Food & Beverage


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.� George Bernard Shaw, (1856 - 1950), Irish writer and Nobel laureate

Photo: Asha Thadani


Food & Beverage

Brewing success Every second bottle of beer sold in India is from the house of United Breweries Ltd, which is certainly keeping the good times alive. People in over 50 countries have developed a thirst for this lager which defines the taste of Indian beer anywhere in the world today. United Breweries dominates all other beers in India and its premium brew Kingfisher has transcended into an award-winning lifestyle brand.

T

ime was when hogsheads of beer meandered through the streets of Madras (modern-day Chennai) from the breweries of Scotsman Thomas Leishman. The colonising British were such enthusiastic guzzlers of the brew that United Breweries exported it to fighting troops in both the World Wars. The company was taken over by Vittal Mallya in 1947 and became the foundation for a huge empire. The conglomerate UB Group has been under the chairmanship of Dr Vijay Mallya since 1983 and United Breweries Ltd (UBL)

156 | Best of India

is commonly known as the Beer Division of the Group. Headquartered in Bangalore, UBL had a net turnover of `30960 crore (US $6 billion approximately) in 2011. While the numbers are impressive, its powerful presence derives from the contemporary, fun and cool activities that the brand promotes. Come cricket season, Kingfisher Premium, made of fine quality malted barley and hops with a refreshing and crisp taste, boosts the spirits of ardent fans or cools their tempers with long cold sips of their fresh draughts.


The mother brand from the Kingfisher stable is out there on the field; it sponsors six of the nine IPL teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab. Kingfisher is also the proud sponsor of the Sahara Force India Team which in a very short time has made its mark in the competitive Formula 1 circuit, and off the race track has created its own brand of glamour and good times much to the envy of everyone. The association with sports goes back nearly two decades with notable accolades including the sponsorship of the West Indies Cricket Team, Benetton Formula 1 team and with brand ambassadors such as Saurav Ganguly, Ajay Jadeja, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok in the past. Kingfisher also sponsors one of India’s finest football teams. The red and gold brigade of Kingfisher East Bengal Football Club has a large fan following that goes around the world making it India’s most admired football outfit. Arguably the most glamorous and certainly the most sought after item, the Kingfisher Calendar has been the stepping stone for many aspiring actresses, from Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Nargis Fakhri, Yana Gupta, Lisa Haydon and Nathalie Kelley in Bollywood to Himasha and Anjali in the South. The super premium Kingfisher Ultra, with its distinctive taste of subdued malt balanced with a hoppy bitterness and smooth, crisp and light texture, is the latest fashion statement in bottled beer. The golden yellow liquid in an embossed flint bottle, crowned with a convenient ring-pull cap and a gold metal coated neck has its own lounges at hi-fashion events like the Wills India Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week, India Couture Week, Men’s Fashion Week and a host of other city based fashion weeks. For the young and sporty, Kingfisher Blue gives the adrenaline rush of adventure sports and a flavour of the outdoors. From river rafting to mountain climbing and gaming, the brand offers a host of challenges to its fans who look forward to a life that offers fun and adventure. A mix that Kingfisher as a brand has always been known for over the years. The company has gone beyond beer with Kingfisher Bohemia, a selection of fine new age wines. The fruity red, rosé and white wines from South Africa have infused a trendy, cool aura to wine drinking. With many other brands in its barrels from the smooth Kingfisher Red, UB Export, London Pilsner, Kalyani Black Label, Zingaro and Bullet, there is a beer for every taste and for every occasion.

www.kingfisherworld.com Best of India | 157


Food & Beverage

For the good life With 40 restaurants in six Indian cities, the BJN Group whips up a culinary storm with its lip-smacking array of cuisines replicating tastes and flavours from the Mediterranean region and China to the North West Frontier and of course, India.

K

nown for its fine dining concepts and driven by its motto, ‘Khao, Piyo, Jiyo’ (eat, drink, live), the Group saw a turnover of `100 crore (US $19.6 million approximately) in 2011-12. An accomplished chef, the late PB Nichani started the BJN Group in 1998, with Bamboo Shoots serving Oriental cuisine and soon opened the old English style Tavern at the Inn followed by Angeethi, a rustic Punjabi dhaba-style restaurant in Bangalore. A yen for spotting food trends and innovation earned Nichani the moniker, ‘Man with the Midas touch’; he pioneered the trend of thematic restaurants. The Group has unfurled a series of restaurants, lounge bars and pubs each with its own distinct flavour, leaving gourmands in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Gurgaon spoilt for choice. Adding an outlet a year, it has 19 successful brands including Red Bamboo Shoots, Tavern at the Inn, Aromas of China, Samarkand, Hypnos, Indi Joe, Firangi Paani, Khansama, Vaayu, Bombay Post, Nawab Ganj Safari and Café Masala. Not restricted to fine dining formats, the Group also runs the Museum Inn Hotel, a three-star deluxe hotel in Bangalore, and has ventured into catering with BJN outdoor catering. The hallmark of its ventures is authentic and innovative cuisine and decor, and impeccable service. With an unflagging passion for creating and improvising culinary delights, the team at BJN continues to woo foodies, taking fine dining to a whole new level. 158 | Best of India


The stylish lounge, Vaayu

Angeethi, which means a traditional cooking stove from northern India, exudes warmth with Bollywood tunes and posters livening up the rustic ambience. Styled like the dhabas, the popular pit stops on Indian highways, it is an informal eatery where foodies can gorge on generous helpings of desi cuisine like the most authentic dhaba murg, paneer tikka masala and tava specialities – gurda kapoora, kaleji, bheja and mutton chops. Samarkand brings to the table North West Frontier cuisine; its recipes crafted out of the traditional fare from Afghanistan, Mongolia and Samarkand. Its dark interiors mimic these rugged lands abound with mystery, its tabloid-style menu sharing snippets of the culture teeming in these faraway lands. Its signature dishes are nalli ka salan, chandini kebab, burra kabab, sikandari raan, saboota chooza, galouti kebab, and the sought-after dum gosht biryani. The desserts like bakhlava and khubani ka meetha are a cheerful treat. Apart from the regular drinks, its well-stocked bar also serves traditional drinks enticingly named angoori nasha and iran-e-gulbadan.

of the streets of Mumbai - Bombay baida roti, Janardhan’s fish, boti kebab and meat beliram. Cocktails and mocktails are named after hit Hindi films - Badley Ki Aag, Dream Girl and The Burning Train. Black and white posters of Bollywood stars of yesteryears add a touch of nostalgia to the contemporary décor. With chocolate fountains and gelatos, Café Masala is chic and informal and lets diners watch a cricket match or alternatively feast their eyes on the live tandoor kitchen. Nisha P Nichani, Chairperson-Executive Director, BJN Group, says, “BJN continues to maintain the high standards of food and service. We are committed to offer consistently exceptional dining experiences to our customers.”

Tel: +91 80 4111 3333 www.bjngroup.in

From splendour to subtle exotica, Red Bamboo Shoots located at the Museum Inn is an Oriental affair to remember with a spread spanning varied cuisines from China to South East Asian countries. Its neighbour, Tavern at the Inn is the classic English pub retrieved from the Victorian Age with delectable finger food to accompany cocktails. The lounge bar Hypnos serves scrumptious dishes from the Mediterranean, its upbeat ambience conjuring up dreams of azure blue skies and sea. Khansama gives you a dose of the Indian aristocracy. Taking its name from the master chefs to the Royals, the premium fine dining restaurant boasts of kebabs and curries cooked and served with an imperial flair. Other specialties include salmon ki seekh, delicately skewered kebabs of Norwegian salmon cooked to a smoky finish in a clay oven, termezi qorma, mildly spiced and slow simmered lamb knuckles, ambade ka jhinga, tangy grilled sea prawns with the tender flavor of ambada leaves, and Punjabi zaituni naan, delectable bread studded with green and black olives. A sky lounge with an excellent view of the cityscape, Vaayu offers a relaxing experience with a barbecue and Hawaiian tents. Nawab Ganj Safari is a luxe walk into the wild; with faux alligators, turtles and the gush of a waterfall, diners are transported into a lush jungle and can look forward to a feast fit for kings. Bollywood calls at Bombay Post, with an eclectic selection ranging from the staples

Nisha P Nichani, Chairperson - Executive Director, BJN Group

Best of India | 159


SAHIB SINDH SULTAN

A

t Sahib Sindh Sultan, history is recreated. A tribute to the first Indian train that chugged out from Bori Bunder to Thane in 1853, its dining space catapaults you back in time. It is designed to replicate the luxurious Pullman dining cars with the shimmer of silver cutlery, polished wood and richness of silk heightening the senses. Adding to the drama are the staff in period uniforms, luggage racks and suitcases, and announcements heralding the departure or arrival of a train at a station. Its menu borrows inspiration from colonial India, listing dishes from across India and Anglo-Indian food like shikari bateer and railway mutton curry. Beer, wine, and cocktails, with decadent desserts complete the experience.

Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad

FIRANGI PAANI

T

his understated yet stylish pub uses large kegs as tables. Deep green leather seats gleam against dark wood and there are fascinating memorabilia to gaze at while retro rock music plays in the background. All of which go well with the pub’s Polynesian cocktails, scotches, liqueurs, wines and beers that can be coupled with an assortment of food like momos, crumb fried prawns, fish and chips, spaghetti, falafel, hummus and pita bread.

Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune 160 | Best of India


AROMAS OF CHINA

T

he classy Aromas of China is for those with discerning taste. Elements of the Orient are used sparingly with an eye-catching ceiling with gold leaf finish. This subtlety extends to its dishes from the Sichuan, Shanghai and Guangdong provinces. Gourmets can relish General Mao’s Tai Chin Chili Chicken, crispy shitake mushroom in honey pepper sauce and Taiwanese chilly baby corn. For those who like it hot, there are sautéed fresh river prawns, crab meat and broccoli in ginger wine sauce. The selection of dessert ranges from chilled Oriental mango pudding, flambéed mandarin glass peaches to sweet bean red pancake. Patrons can also opt for private dining rooms with complete exclusivity and privacy.

Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai

INDI JOE

T

he high-energy and peppy Indi Joe, an all-American diner, is as wholesome as it gets with a buffet spread that includes a variety of steaks, hot dogs, pastas, risotto and the classic fondue. It serves the best of the world on one platter, its menu extending to Mexican, Lebanese and Thai dishes. Open all day, the buzz is palpable at the restaurant which includes a trendy bar serving beer, exotic drinks, and cocktails like margaritas, daiquiris and wine. From family and youngsters to couples on a romantic rendezvous, there is something for everyone who is an Indi Joe – evolved desis, who knows and loves their roots, but who is not afraid to experiment with food.

Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Pune Best of India | 161


Food & Beverage

Milking success Stemming from a social movement that created co-operative trade in India, Amul commands 25 percent share of the organised dairy sector which accounts for 20 percent of the milk produced in India. Its mascot, the Amul Butter Girl has had a firm hold on the hearts and minds of Indians over the last five decades.

The Amul Butter Girl’s tongue-in-cheek commentary on the socio-political going-ons has gone down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running campaign.

Amul’s coup was its brilliant advertising strategy conceived by Sylvester DeCunha in 1966. The Managing Director at ASP advertising agency, DeCunha introduced India to the Amul Butter Girl, chubby and in a polka-dotted dress, with her trademark impish looks. She lent Amul an ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ edge in the market. During the last 46 years, she has morphed from sexy to innocent to audacious in the blink of an eye, keeping the public mesmerised with her satirical and at times controversial quips. Its tagline ‘The Taste of India’ is also apt; not limited only to its array of delectable products, it also captures the essence of India.

162 | Best of India


F

ounded in 1946 in Anand, a small town in Gujarat, Amul’s origin is intertwined with the growing frenzy of India’s freedom struggle and a charged socio-political atmosphere. It was established to counter unfair trade practices that made a co-operative essential. Freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhai Patel laid out a solution to the beleaguered farmers - a co-operative that would give them more control and economic freedom. Following a milk strike, a cooperative was born, with backing from leaders like Patel and Morarji Desai who later became the Prime Minister of India. At its inception, it had two village dairy co-operative societies, procuring 247 litres of milk a day. The Amul model put milk-deficient India on the map as the largest milk producer in the world. Its success made it the model on which the National Dairy Development Board, set up in 1965, tried to replicate in other states of India. GCMMF saw a turnover of `12000 crore (US $2.35 billion approximately) in 2010-11 with exports raking in `100 crore (US $19.6 million approximately). During the peak winter season, it procures 1.4 crore (14 million) litres of milk a day from its sources -15712 village milk cooperative societies, 17 member unions from 24 districts and three million (30 lakh) milk producers.

Today, milk contributes to 22 percent of India’s GDP from the agriculture sector and is estimated at `2 lakh crore (US $39 billion approximately). It is a secondary source of income for 1.5 crore (15 million) rural families. Supporting the Federation is a network comprising 47 sales offices, 6000 dealers and more than 10 lakh (one million) retailers. A three-tiered model, at the village level it has dairy cooperative societies which together come under a district level milk union. At the state level, there is an association of member unions. The strategy opened a direct link between milk producers

and consumers, without the interference of middle men. The farmers manage procuring, processing and marketing. Its product range includes milk and milk-based products like breadspreads, cheese, milk powders, milk drinks, ghee, yoghurt, sweets, ice cream, chocolate and confectionery. GCMMF retails through 7000 Amul Parlours and 375 Amul Ice Cream Scooping Parlours across India. In an organised ice cream industry worth `1000 crore (US $195 million approximately) and growing at a pace of 12-15 percent annually, Amul Ice Cream is the only national brand. It was the first to introduce Sugar Free & ProLife Probiotic Wellness Ice Cream in India in 2007 and also the first to introduce Flaayo Frozen Yoghurt in India in 2012. GCMMF also launched Amul Café in Ahmedabad in 2011 that serves Amul Pizza, Amul Pav Bhaji and Amul Cheese Burgers, sandwiches, sundaes and milk shakes. It will soon be launched in metros and Tier 1 cities. Besides empowering farmers, Amul continues to work to improve the process of milk production through various initiatives. It has strengthened the infrastructure for quality and clean milk production by implementing various programmes. It has identified 4000 potential village dairy cooperative societies for installation of bulk milk coolers, 2733 of which have already been installed. It has also implemented

the fertility improvement programme since 2007-08, which addresses animal nutrition, breeding and health to improve the animals’ productivity. During the last four years, its veterinary consultants have implemented fertility improvement programmes in 3887 cooperative societies. The Federation encourages milk producers to plant trees on Independence Day to increase the green cover and has helped plant 3.1 crore (31 million) trees in Gujarat. Amul plans to tap the huge untouched potential for branded, packaged, valueadded dairy products in urban, semi-urban and rural India. It also plans to move up the value chain with product innovations. About the Federation’s vision, PG Bhatol, Chairman, says, “One of the key challenges ahead is to enhance the share of the organised sector which is less than 20 percent of total dairy consumption, by enhancing and streamlining our supplychain network, effective deployment of technology including information technology and safeguarding interests of our farmers. Our plan is for the group turnover of all dairy cooperatives of Gujarat to reach `30000 crore (US $5.8 billion approximately) by the year 2020.”

Tel: +91 2692 258 506 www.amul.com

Awards • Economic Times Business Excellence Award for being the Best Corporate Citizen, 2011 • APEDA Award from Government of India for Excellence in Dairy Product Exports for the last 13 years • Golden Trophy for its outstanding export performance and contribution in dairy products sector by APEDA, 2009-10 • First and only Indian organisation to win the International Dairy Federation Marketing Award for probiotic ice cream launch, 2007 • IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award for adopting noteworthy quality management practices for logistics and procurement, 2003 • GCMMF bagged India’s Most Respected Company Award instituted by Business World, 2002 PG Bhatol, Chairman, Amul

• Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award in Best of All Category, 1999

Best of India | 163


Food & Beverage

Timeless delicacies Cooking was a subtle art practiced to perfection in the royal kitchens of yore and the intricate recipes were carefully guarded secrets for generations within the families of the chefs for the Maharajas and Nawabs. ITC Hotels has recaptured the glorious tastes of India’s culinary heritage in its signature restaurants and, with its delicious venture Kitchens of India, offers a wide array of ready-to-dine and read-to-cook packaged foods.

Mouthwatering dishes made from the recipes of master chefs - yours in no time.

I

TC Hotels is one of India’s finest and most successful hotel chains and has set new standards of excellence in the hotel industry. Its master chefs have successfully recreated the timeless delicacies of ancient India and have made ITC’s gourmet restaurants Bukhara, Dum Pukht and Dakshin the last word on authentic Indian cuisine. While Bukhara captures the exotic flavours of the North West Frontier Province, Dum Pukht brings alive the royal cuisine of Central India. Dakshin takes its patrons through a gastronomic journey of southern India while Gharana treats food lovers to the best of panIndian cuisine.

164 | Best of India

These rich flavours of authentic Indian cuisine served in the restaurants of ITC have transitioned to household experience across the globe thanks to ITC’s Kitchens of India range of products. Conjured for the discerning consumer, the ready-to-dine range has been recreated entirely by the master chefs of ITC in the time tested, traditional Indian way and is 100 percent natural and preservative free. This allows patrons of the ready-to-dine range to enjoy in an instant, what has taken ages to perfect. The ready-to-dine range comprises authentic biryanis, desserts, chutneys, conserves and curries. Biryani, slow-cooked mutton or


chicken with rice and delicate spices, has its origins in ancient Persia and its cooking method was brought to the Indian sub-continent by invading armies, where it evolved over the years in the royal households of India. Kitchens of India offers biryani aficionados a delectable choice of several regional varieties such as Bohri biryani, Noormahal biryani and Hyderabadi mutton biryani. After a celebratory repast, it’s time to appease the sweet tooth as any royal cook worth his salt would know. Uniquely Indian desserts such as Jodhpuri moong dal halwa (split moong dal and a generous mix of dry fruits) and Hazoori petha halwa (fresh, grated petha cooked in ghee, simmered with milk and khoya and garnished with raisins) are meticulously recreated from the royal kitchens of Marwar and Agra respectively. Any meal can turn into a special dish with the perfect accompaniment; Kitchens of India Chutneys and Conserves are exquisitely created from the finest Indian ingredients and spices for just such occasions when one wants to add flavour to a mundane meal. While chutneys serve as an ideal dip for most Indian snacks, the conserves let you savour the seasonal fruits of India throughout the year. Catering to aspiring chefs who would want to whip up their own dishes, Kitchens of India also offers a variety of vegetarian and nonvegetarian Masala Mixes. These ready-to-cook pastes provide the user with an instant flavour base for Indian dishes. These mixes only require the addition of meats or vegetables and a few minutes of cooking to transform a simple meal into an everlasting memory. A gastronomic journey of Indian delights can begin with a visit to the supermarket, thanks to the master chefs of ITC and their quest for culinary perfection.

Unique facts about Kitchens of India • Kitchens of India is one of the leading and fastest growing brands of Indian food in USA and Canada. • Some of Kitchens of India’s recipes come from ITC’s restaurant Bukhara, rated as the ‘Best Indian Fine Dining Restaurant in the World’ by The Restaurant magazine. • The fame and glory of dal bukhara was so extensive that it used to be gifted to dignitaries in a special can.

www.kitchensofindia.com www.facebook.com/KitchensofIndia

Best of India | 165


Food & Beverage

Flavours of India The incredible variety of ingredients, cooking processes and styles that we call Indian cuisine gives it a complexity that is truly unique. Indian cuisine is so varied because it has been receptive to many cultural influences, embraced new ingredients and techniques, and made them its own over the centuries.

The complex layering of ingredients in Indian dishes creates a burst of flavours.

A little over 400 years ago, for instance, chillies, tomatoes and potatoes were not grown or eaten in India and the use of onions and garlic was restricted. All these ingredients are now an intrinsic part of our cuisine. Today a political boundary unifies all the diverse layers and strands into one composite called Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine has a long and varied history that is remarkable for its ability to absorb and adapt from different cultures. It goes back thousands of years and its earliest avatar was quite different from what we think of as Indian cuisine today. Contrary to popular perception, a lot of meat, including beef and venison, was widely eaten in the early days. Most food was steamed; it was the Aryans who brought in tandoori cooking, whitle open-fire cooking came from the North-West Frontier region. Because of the country’s tropical climate, Indian cuisine relied on overcooking to help preserve food longer. It was actually the principles of pickling that were employed: that is why Indian food is very spicy, oily, salty and uses extremely sour ingredients. India has become more of a vegetarian nation now but many of the early cooking processes are still prevalent. Steaming, for instance, is still used for a variety of dishes like the south Indian 166 | Best of India

Food

Photos: Asha Thadani

idlis, Maharashtrian modaks or the Parsi specialty of fish steamed in banana leaves, patra ni macchi. Indian cooking always used a number of ingredients and each time it adopted a new style, more ingredients were added, creating new complexities. So when you eat an Indian dish, you will experience an explosion of flavours in your mouth, an experience that can be overwhelming for some. (French food, for example, usually has just one dominant flavour.) This complexity also helped increase our repertoire since it offered so many more possibilities for variations. The evolution continues: a good recent example would be what is popularly known as ‘Indian Chinese’, which can be a far cry from the original. Because it is ever-evolving, there is no ‘authentic’ Indian cuisine. Authentic with reference to what, one could ask, since there are few standard recipes for key ingredients and spices; sometimes they are watered down, sometimes enhanced. India’s vast geographical differences affect palates and cooking styles and availability has always been the key to regional cuisines. Take the Konkan coast: people who live along this stretch use a lot of coconut (and seafood, of course). Go a little inland and the dishes


will have more of dried coconut and red meat. Go further inland and the coconut is often replaced by peanuts. Until recently, people from one part of the country were not familiar with the cooking styles and even vegetables in other parts. Take the region that now forms the state of Maharashtra - those on the Konkan coast had no idea what Kolhapuri cuisine was like, while practitioners of the latter were, in turn, not familiar with the cooking style in Poona. Interestingly, some south Indian cuisines are perhaps closest to the early Indian style, because of historical and geographical reasons: invaders like the Mughals or Mongols came from the North and rarely went all the way down South. As a result, south Indian languages, cultures and cuisines have been the least affected by foreign influences. Indian food can be light and healthy; I can make a perfectly tasty biryani without a drop of oil. Indians are increasingly opting for lighter styles of cooking. Unfortunately, those who eat Indian food outside the country are familiar for the most part with restaurant-style Indian cuisine. We do not eat like that at home; the food that comes from our kitchens is much lighter. Indian culinary tastes and practices are influencing Westerners and changing their tastes! McDonald’s McAloo Tikki Burger is their number one seller, Maggi Masala Noodles has turmeric and there are Indian toppings like paneer or chicken tikka on our pizzas. We are always open to new ideas - but we like to adapt them to our own tastes and make them our own.”

Sanjeev Kapoor is India’s best-known and most successful chef. Author of a number of best-selling cookbooks, he is also a restaurant consultant, TV show host, co-owner of a food channel, and winner of several culinary awards. His award-winning TV cookery show, Khana Khazana, ran non-stop for more than 17 years in India. His book, How to Cook India was listed among the ‘Summer Cookbooks of the Year 2011’ in the New York Times. He has more than 140 titles (in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati) to his name. His website, www.sanjeevkapoor.com, offers visitors over 6000 recipes and a wealth of information on Indian and international cuisines. Ayurveda, or the knowledge of life, is the Indian science propounded over 5000 years ago that considers food as medicine that can correct imbalances. Good nutrition is one of the principles of Ayurvedic treatment, which believes in the shad rasa or six tastes that should all be present in a balanced meal. These six tastes are sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. In addition, herbs are used for their medicinal properties. These foods and herbs have to be combined carefully. Taste, medicinal values and time taken to digest are among the many factors taken into consideration. Ayurveda advises that heavy foods such as meat, dairy products, starchy foods and whole grains do not combine well with ‘light’ foods such as fruit, which digest faster. Similarly milk, which is sweet, cannot be combined with acidic fruits as it will curdle. Above all, Ayurveda believes that food should be fresh, free of toxins and, wherever possible, locally grown. Text: Shashi Baliga

Steamed idlis, south India’s favourite breakfast, are light and nutritious.

Best of India | 167


CHAPTER 14

Health & Wellness


“Shareeramadyam khalu dharmasadhanam� (The body is the instrument of executing all duties and deeds) Kalidasa, (approximately 4th century AD) Indian Sanskrit scholar, poet and dramatist

Photo: Asha Thadani


Health & Wellness

Supplementing wellness Making a determined bid to increase India’s share of the world’s nutraceuticals, functional foods and dietary supplements market which is pegged at `5.8 lakh crore (US $113 billion approximately), Uth Healthcare is the new kid on the block who is committed to grow exponentially with scientifically focused solutions to nutrition needs.

Wings of wellness with medical nutrition

I

n India, as in many parts of the world, lack of nutrition is reaching disturbing proportions. While there are scores of people who have no access to good nutrition, there are others who overeat food with no nutritive value. Pune-based Uth Healthcare was started in 2011 with the primary focus of creating solutions to improve the quality of life across age groups through medical nutrition. It has introduced internationally acclaimed formulations NutriRight, NutriRight W, NutriRight C, NutriRight Fero, NutriRight Mom, NutriRight D3, NutriRight LD and Obicure - in the field of nutraceuticals to combat modern lifestyle problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Its product portfolio spans medical nutrition and lifestyle nutrition to sports nutrition and enteral nutrition. The company has established its presence in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. The domestic market for nutraceuticals was estimated at `4400 crore (US $862 million approximately) in 2009 with around 132 players, who are mostly from the FMCG and pharmaceuticals

170 | Best of India

domains. India has only one percent market share but is predicted to reach `9500 crore (US $1.86 billion approximately) by 2013, according to a study by FICCI and Ernst & Young. The growing awareness among consumers about the advantages of preventive medicine for better health has led to an acceptance of nutraceuticals, which are a range of products that combine nutrition and pharmaceuticals offering both health and medical benefits. They help prevent and treat lifestyle diseases by maintaining well-being, enhancing health and modulating immunity, bridging the gap between food and medicine. The products range from dietary supplements to functional beverages and herbal products like green tea and soy proteins. The sudden spurt in lifestyle diseases is a consequence of sedentary lifestyles, inadequate diets owing to lack of nutrients and stress. Non-communicable diseases account for two out of three deaths each year worldwide. By 2030, eight out of 10 leading causes of death will be linked to these diseases.


(L-R) Samit Mehta-Director, Arun Kumar Khanna-Chairman and Nitin Gandhi-Associate Director

According to a World Health Organization report, by 2020, 26 crore (2.6 million) Indians are predicted to die from coronary heart disease, which constitutes 54.1 percent of all cardiovascular disease deaths in India. The World Diabetic Foundation puts the number of diabetics in India at five crore (50.8 million), the largest diabetes population in the world. Hypertension is expected to shoot up from an estimated 11.8 crore (118.2 million) in 2000 to 21.3 crore (213.5 million) in 2025. As nutritional needs vary across genders and age groups, Uth Healthcare has formulations that cater to specific groups from infants and adolescents to adults and the elderly. NutriRight is a complete nutritional solution with ginseng, gingkobiloba, lycopene and soyisoflavones that enhance the physical and mental well-being. NutriRight W fortified with iron, biotin and folic acid is ideal for women looking for an extra boost of energy. NutriRight C has phytosterols that make the heart strong by eliminating cholesterol. The DHA, GLA and proteins in NutriRight Mom and Pediacare are for expecting mothers and children. Obicure is an effective and safe way to manage obesity. Uth Healthcare has also forayed into the field of sports nutrition science with NutriRight Whey, which provides holistic nutrition to fitness professionals. It helps improve performance and handle the rigorous demands of sports training. Through its critical care nutrition products, the company has customised solutions for faster recovery and recuperation through adequate nutrition for hospitalised patients. It recently launched ‘Save the Generation Next’ campaign as part of its CSR initiative to identify diabetes in pregnant women at an

early stage to counter its side effects during pregnancy and prevent complications in the unborn child. Arun Kumar Khanna, Chairman, Uth Healthcare, says, “With lifestyle diseases on the rise, there has to be a strategic shift in the way people look at their health. We have to move into a proactive mode and start addressing everyday health concerns through right nutrition. At Uth Healthcare, we are focused on helping people achieve wellness through the right nutritional care.” An emphasis on science and an innovative approach combined with a passion for nutrition and commitment to individualistic solutions has assisted Uth Healthcare in its endeavour to provide wellness through nutrition.

Tel: +91 20 3292 6329 www.uthhealth.com

Uth has positioned itself as a wellness partner.

Best of India | 171


Health & Wellness

Holistic homeopathy The world’s first ISO 9001:2000 certified homeopathic institution, which has also been ISO 9001:2008 certified, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic follows international protocols and good clinical practices. From a singledoctor clinic in Mumbai, it has grown into a chain of close to 100 clinics spread across 34 cities in India and abroad.

Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic has established itself as one of the leading brands in the healthcare sector.

T

he flagship company of Dr Batra’s Group, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic Pvt Ltd founded in 1982, is the largest player in the Indian homeopathic market. The Group’s portfolio comprises verticals in homeopathy, hair transplantation (Dr Batra’s B Perfect Pvt Ltd) and personal care products (Dr Batra’s Positive Health Products Ltd). Its turnover was `113 crore (US $22 million approximately) in 2011-12. The German science of homeopathy is followed by over 10 crore (one hundred million) people in India. One of the most rapidly expanding sciences, homeopathy is growing at a rate of 25 percent a year. It is ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the second largest system of medicine in the world. Dr Mukesh Batra, Founder-Chairman and Managing Director, says, “Homeopathy is a popular choice as it is holistic; it is mindbody medicine. There are no drug-induced reactions. It is safe, uncomplicated and easy to take.” Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic is the largest homeopathic clinic in the world in terms of size, numbers, volume and number of

172 | Best of India

doctors. It has 250 fulltime professional homeopaths, 40 of whom are Doctors of Medicine (MD). It has treated over 700000 patients. Dr Batra’s chain of clinics is fully owned and managed by the company; it has no franchises. The Clinic’s expertise lies in hair and skin. Dr Batra’s has treated more than 250000 hair patients and 100000 skin patients, particularly vitiligo and psoriasis. It also treats various allergies, asthma, arthritis and migraine. It helps in palliative care for people suffering from cancer and renal failure. Dr Batra’s has invested in harnessing contemporary medical practices and technological advances to maximise the benefits of this holistic, natural science. It uses blister packing to keep the medicine in its purest form till the time it is consumed. Its cuttingedge ERP system stores patients’ medical histories and treatment details online, enabling standardisation of treatment. Third-party mystery customers visit the clinics and audit every person involved with the company to help keep track of their performance as well as to maintain the value of the brand.


Actors Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan at the annual Dr Batra’s Positive Health awards.

Dr Batra’s is the first to maintain online records of patients’ case histories and seamlessly integrate network access to patients’ databases for research and evaluation studies across its clinics. The Clinic has in place well-defined disease protocols for measuring medical outcomes through scientific parametres. There is also a system where cases are escalated for a second opinion with an expert medical committee.

The company has so far provided free health consultation to over 30000 patients. Its CSR activities reach out to institutions like Happy Home and School for the Blind, Shepherd Widow’s Home and People for Animals, among others. Dr Batra’s is the only Indian company in Dubai Healthcare City. It is also the first homeopathic corporate in the upmarket Harley Street, London, where Dr Batra’s is a registered brand.

Dr Batra’s continues to formulate new ways of reaching out to people. Dr Batra’s Tele-Homeopathy Clinic, the first of its kind in the world, uses interactive videoconferencing. Another first of its kind is mHealth, a WAP enabled service which offers free consultation to any mobile user. Patients can access the 12-hour live chat with its panel of doctors on the company’s website.

Each week a new Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic opens somewhere in India. The company plans to increase its customer base to one crore (10 million) over the next 10 years by opening clinics in A and B class cities, adding 30 clinics every year, and at least three new B Perfect clinics annually in major cities. It also plans to introduce new specialty treatments for skin, diabetes and obesity.

Dr Batra’s Positive Health Foundation is an offshoot of the belief that happiness comes from giving rather than taking. Dr Batra’s clinics provide free treatment to patients who cannot afford to pay in each city where they have a presence.

Spanning both the health and the wellness sectors, Dr Batra’s success obviously lies in its positive attitude.

Tel: +91 22 6158 0580 1800 209 6767 www.drbatras.com

Dr Mukesh Batra, Founder-Chairman & MD, says, “We strive to provide good health and wellness to all with care and compassion through clinical excellence and cost effective patient care.”

Awards • Dr Batra was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2012. • The company was named Health & Beauty Retailer of the Year by Star Retailer Awards, 2011 • Healthcare and Beauty Business of the Year Award by Franchise India, 2011 • Corporate Excellence Award for Customer Satisfaction by Amity International, 2010 • Retailer of the Year Award in the Beauty, Wellness & Fitness category from the Asia Retail Congress, 2009 • Topped Complete Wellbeing Health and Happiness Brand Survey by Synovate, 2009 • Best Newcomer Facility Provider from the Department of Health Informatics, UAE, 2009 • Listed in the Limca Book of Records for treating the largest At Dr Batra’s B Perfect Clinic, plastic surgeons conduct the largest number of hair transplantations in India.

number of patients online (450000 patients in 87 countries)

Best of India | 173


Health & Wellness

Nurturing life

Where life begins

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 8-10 percent of couples - about five to eight crore (50-80 million) people - struggle with infertility problems. Bringing cheer to childless couples and enabling them to experience the joy of parenthood, Bloom Fertility Clinic offers affordable treatment employing advanced reproductive technologies.

S

pecialising in IVF, ICSI, egg donation, infertility clinics, donor egg, embryo donation, natural infertility treatments and male infertility services, Bloom is India’s largest singly-owned IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) group in the country. Headed by Dr Hrishikesh Pai, MD, FCPS, FICOG and Dr Nandita Palshetkar, MD, FCPS, FICOG, it has five full-fledged IVF units in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nerul, New Delhi and Chandigarh, and fertility centres in south Mumbai, Bandra and Borivili in Mumbai, Noida and Faridabad in Delhi, with six other affiliate IVF units.

174 | Best of India

Bloom Fertility Centre

An ISO 9001: 2000 certified facility, Bloom has a large team of professionally trained doctors, embryologists, nurses and managers who have treated about 20000 patients from India and other countries. Every second person that it treats with IVF gets pregnant. Its pregnancy success rates are consistently high - it is 50 percent to 60 percent for women who are less than 35 years old and 40 percent to 50 percent for women who are over the age of 35. The IVF centres offer extensive services to infertile couples including counselling, examination, investigations, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery, ultrasound monitoring, IUI, IVF, ICSI, IMSI, egg donation, embryo donation and surrogacy.


Bloom has many firsts to its credit: it was the first in India to introduce assisted laser hatching and blastocyst culture for improving pregnancy rates in 1998; it introduced spindle view technology to increase ICSI pregnancy rates in 2005; it started a oocyte bank and introduced oocyte freezing by vitrification in 2006; it introduced ovarian tissue freezing for young women undergoing chemo radiation in 2007; it introduced intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI), and INVO and in-vivo vaginal culture in 2008. It provides egg donation for Asians, Afro Americans and Caucasians, and maintains that its egg donors and surrogates are rigorously screened as per international guidelines. Besides offering standard surrogacy, it also offers to fly out overseas’ patients who need frozen embryos to India for surrogacy. “Our mission is to help patients with cost-effective treatment that does not jeopardise their safety,” says Dr Pai. The introduction of viametrics for the first time in Asia at Bloom IVF Centre in Mumbai has helped doctors shift from multiple embryo transfer to single embryo transfer, thereby reducing the possibility of multiple births and its related complications. This method is also useful for patients with repeated IVF/ ICSI failures. One of the most demanding aspects of an IVF cycle is that the patient has to take numerous painful and costly injections. This can be avoided with IVM (in-vitro maturation), a new technique in which oocytes / eggs are retrieved from a patient when they are still in a developing state. While minimising the cost and the inconvenience caused to the patient, it also almost eliminates the chances of developing serious complications such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. The Group has established the Bloom IVF Fertility Academy to impart training in the field of infertility and assisted reproduction. The Academy has six units in Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Tel: +91 22 2643 8280 www.bloomivf.com

Photo: Asha Thadani

Dr Pai has conducted more than 10000 embryo transfers in the past 20 years of practice as an IVF doctor. He was associated with the teams from KEM hospital and GS Medical College Mumbai, which delivered one of India’s first IVF babies. He has trained at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, which delivered the second IVF baby of Australia; in ICSI at the Azvub IVF centre in Brussels Free University which delivered the first ICSI baby of the world; at the Verlinsky Institute in Chicago, USA; the University College Hospital in London which was one of the world leaders in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and in vitrification at the Kato clinic in Tokyo, Japan. He is the recipient of the Rashtriya Ekta Award, the Best Doctor Award from the Indian Medical Association and the Navshakti Award for yeoman service in medicine.

Photo: Leonard Aarons Best of India | 175


Health & Wellness

Nature’s way Synthesising Ayurveda and herbs with modern science, Dabur India Ltd is India’s largest health and personal care company and the fourth largest FMCG company in the country. Its products are sold in over 60 countries and it is one of only four companies worldwide to manufacture the cancer-fighting drug, Paclitaxel.

Dabur offers a range of health and personal grooming products. It is the world’s first company to automate the production of healthcare formulations based on the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda.

H

eadquartered in Ghaziabad, Dabur has revenues of over `5100 crore (US $1 billion approximately) and market capitalisation of `20000 crore (US $4 billion approximately). It employs over 5500 people and has over 40000 shareholders. Dabur was founded in Kolkata in 1884 by Dr SK Burman, a physician, as a way to provide effective and affordable Ayurvedic healthcare to rural areas in Bengal. Over the years, it has expanded its business and today manufactures a range of personal care, health care, home care and food products. After becoming the first Ayurvedic products company to obtain ISO 9002 certification in 2003, the company pursued an aggressive inorganic growth strategy. Following its acquisition of Balsara,

176 | Best of India

India’s well-known hygiene and home products business, and Fem Care Pharma, Dabur made its first overseas acquisition in 2010 by buying Turkish personal care manufacturer Hobi Kozmetik Group. The company also acquired US-based Namasté Laboratories LLC for `451 crore (US $88 million approximately). Along the way, Dabur has transformed itself from being a family-run business to become a professionally managed enterprise. The company currently owns almost 30 different product brands, 11 of which have achieved a turnover exceeding `100 crore (US $19.6 million approximately). It has five master brands; Dabur for ayurvedic healthcare products, Vatika for premium hair care products, Hajmola for digestives, Réal for fruit juices and beverages, and Fem for fairness bleaches and skin care products.


Two of these brands bear special mention: Chyawanprash and Réal. Chyawanprash is a jam-like traditional Indian formulation of herbs and plant extracts that has been used as a health supplement and immunity builder for over 2000 years. Dabur was the first company to introduce Chyawanprash as a branded product. Today, Dabur Chyawanprash commands nearly 66 percent share of branded Chyawanprash sales in the Indian market. Likewise, Réal fruit juice was India’s first branded packaged fruit juice and is today the country’s largest selling brand, worth over `400 crore (US $78 million approximately). The company has ambitious plans for the future by growing its core brands across categories and reaching out to new geographies within and outside India. Its brands are highly popular in the Middle East, SAARC countries, Africa, US, Europe and Russia. Dabur’s overseas revenue

Sunil Duggal, CEO, Dabur India, has been ranked by analysts as the Top-Performing CEO in the consumer space in 2011.

Dabur’s CSR initiatives are driven through SUNDESH (sustainable development society) in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, and in Rudrapur district of Uttarakhand. Its activities include children’s literacy, improving health care services, skill development and the environment. Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur India, says, “Dabur has been at the forefront of making Ayurveda contemporary and more acceptable for the modern day consumer - both in India and abroad. Today, our products are spreading the goodness of traditional India and natural products across the world. Brand Dabur has been built on the trust of its consumers and considers them the true owners of the brand.”

Tel: +91 120 3982 000 www.dabur.com Awards • Dabur India is frequently rated as one of India’s ‘most valuable brands’ by Business India.

accounts for over 30 percent of its total turnover. Besides expanding its existing units – which are spread across Nepal, Bangladesh, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey - it plans to establish a new manufacturing unit in Sri Lanka while exploring new units in South Africa.

• ‘India’s most trusted brand’ in the Healthcare segment by Trust Research Advisory’s Brand Trust Report, 2012 • Ranked 19th amongst India’s Best Wealth Creators by Dalal Street Journal, 2012 • ‘Organisation that offers the Best Return to Investors’ by the sixth Social & Corporate Governance Awards, presented by the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2012

Drawing its business from nature, Dabur is focused on conservation of energy; measures such as use of bio-fuels in boilers, generation of biogas and installation of energy efficient equipment have helped lower cost of production, besides reducing effluents and improving hygiene and productivity.

• Consistently won the Readers Digest Trusted Brand Gold Award from 2006 to 2011

It has also absorbed new technology that minimises use of water in its manufacturing processes; it recycles water and has developed in-house technology to convert fruit waste into organic manure.

• Ranked second best Indian Green Brand in the Green Brands Global Survey, 2011

• Ranked 14th in Financial World’s Value 100 list, 2011 • D&B rating of one, indicating the highest level of creditworthiness, by Dun & Bradstreet, 2011 • Named Top Green Company by the second edition of the Greenpeace Safe Food Guide, 2011 • LEED Silver certification for achieving internationally benchmarked green building standards at two of its manufacturing facilities

Best of India | 177


Health & Wellness

Herbal healing One of the most visible faces in the burgeoning Indian herbal market, The Himalaya Drug Company has given the traditional Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda a contemporary twist, offering consumers a head-to-heel range of 200 herbal healthcare products for therapeutics, personal care and animal health.

The company has 115 retail outlets in India and has set up hubs in Singapore, Dubai & USA.

H

eadquartered in Bangalore, Himalaya had a growth rate of over 20 percent and a turnover of `1000 crore (US $196 million approximately) in 2011. The Indian herbal market estimated to be worth `7500 crore (US $1.47 billion approximately), is expected to grow to `15000 crore (US $3 billion approximately) by 2015 according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Himalaya traces its roots back to the 1930s when it began operations in Dehradun with pharmaceutical products. The company’s foray into herbal medicine began when its founder, M Manal, saw a villager in Burma pacifying a restless elephant by feeding it the root of a plant, Rauwolfiaserpentina. Fascinated by the plant’s effect on the animal, he had the root scientifically tested. After researching the herb, Serpina®, the world’s first natural antihypertensive drug was launched in 1934. In 1955, Himalaya introduced Liv.52, a formulation that ensures optimum liver function. It is known to be one of the world’s top selling liver medicines, with one unit being sold every one-third of a second. Liv.52 and Cystone became big sellers in

178 | Best of India

several international markets. In Russia, Liv.52 is prescribed as an adjuvant in the tuberculosis regimen. In a healthcare market dominated by allopathy, Himalaya’s popularity is hard-won. It was the solid scientific evidence backing Himalaya products that made them popular. By conducting clinical trials in several leading international hospitals and institutes, Himalaya continues to build credibility for its therapeutic range of products. Ravi Prasad, Executive Chairman, The Himalaya Drug Company, says, “Ayurveda will always remain an esoteric science unless it is interpreted in the language of modern science. Safety and efficacy of a herbal product needs to be established through research in order to gain the trust of consumers and the medical fraternity.” With a team of over 130 research scientists, the company has filed for 83 global patents for its pharma and personal care products and has recently been granted seven international patents. Using molecular technology, the R&D team is in the


process of developing products that can help combat lifestyle disorders like insomnia and depression. In the personal care space, Himalaya is developing specialised herbal cosmeceuticals that will address specific skin care and hair care problems. Its range of personal care products is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A global patent has also been granted for CINNABLOC, the active sunscreen agent in Protective Sunscreen Lotion. In the early 90s when the retail revolution was still in its nascent stage in India, Himalaya launched its exclusive outlets, which became billboards for the brand. Positioned as ‘information kiosks’ the outlets showcased the entire Himalaya portfolio and educated consumers about scientific Ayurveda. The stores were electronically linked to a CRM cell, which connected to a panel of in-house doctors who responded to customer queries in real time. In 2001, the company underwent a rebranding exercise, adopting a new logo and unifying its products under the Himalaya brand name. The new brand image gave the company a contemporary look and made it accessible to a global audience.

In 2011, Himalaya introduced Liv.52 HB, which is the world’s first herbal drug to treat Hepatitis B. “What drives our growth is the passion for innovation and science. We continue to push the limits of herbal research and discovery, constantly challenging ourselves. Today, we are conducting research in cancer, tropical diseases, AIDS and many other disease conditions specific to developing countries, like dengue, malaria, and infectious and viral diseases. We want people to enjoy a better quality of life, and this is both demanding and exhilarating,” says Ravi Prasad.

Tel: +91 80 2371 4444 www.himalayahealthcare.com

It entered into alliances with Wild Oats, Whole Foods Market and Vitamin Shoppe, three major natural and organic US food retail chains. Himalaya also has marketing tie ups with Watsons in Singapore and Guardian in Malaysia - both leading personal care chain stores. In Malaysia, Himalaya became the first Indian company to set up an exclusive store at KLCC, the country’s most premium shopping destination. Being in the business of ‘investing in life’, it has created opportunities for community empowerment. Himalaya actively supports community trade, building linkages with small and marginal farmers through a network of NGOs and helping empower women. The company aims to source 70 percent of its herbs from small farmers in the next two to three years.

Ravi Prasad, Executive Chairman, The Himalaya Drug Company

Best of India | 179


CHAPTER 15

Hotels & Hospitality

Location courtesy: ITC Gardenia


“Athithi devo bhava” (Guest is God) Taittiriya Upanishad

Photo: Asha Thadani


Hotels & Hospitality

Escape to paradise Having created a distinct identity for itself in India’s growing green luxury resort market, The Windflower Resorts and Spa revels in blending into the landscape and showcasing nature. Its properties are discreetly tucked away in splendid locales across south India and it has set its sights on going international.

Carefully chosen locations offer guests breathtaking vistas of natural beauty.

H

eadquartered in Bangalore, the company was founded by PV Giri in 2005. Starting with recreating a serene getaway in the royal city of Mysore, the company soon added more properties in the undulating hills of Coorg, the jungles of Bandipur, the luscious green tropical forests in Vythiri and by the soft swells of waves lapping the shore in Puducherry. It is soon opening three more resorts in equally fabulous locations: the pristine coast of Karwar, the magnificent backdrop of the Western Ghats with a vista of the Arabian Sea in Kasargod and the quiet backwaters of Alleppey. Green is the motif of all the properties and the first activity that is implemented in a new project is landscaping to artfully recreate a lush, natural appearance to the gardens. Indigenous flora attract birdlife and guests are encouraged to pitch in and experience the joy of planting saplings. The indigenous theme stretches to design, architecture and service. Each resort of the Group has its distinct character that draws from the location. Set against a verdant mountainscape in Vythiri, a hill station in Wyanad, Kerala, The Windflower Vythiri is smack in

182 | Best of India

the middle of a sprawling 25-acre coffee and tea plantation with a breathtaking view of the Chembra Peak cloaked in swirling mists. Around 5000 feet above sea level, The Windflower Coorg is an experience unto itself, offering a welcome respite from the sweltering heat. It is set in the midst of a coffee estate teeming with a variety of bird life, with winding paths flanked by huge leafy trees like silver oaks, orange trees and jackfruit. It offers an open-air jacuzzi and an infinity pool hidden amongst teak and rosewood trees, with treks and horse rides for the actively inclined. It is wilderness calling at The Windflower Bandipur where the simple exteriors contain well-appointed rooms with all the amenities of luxury. After a jeep safari in the national park which is home to tigers, wild dogs, elephants, leopards, antelopes and crested serpent eagles that soar over sandalwood trees, guests can swap stories over a camp fire or breakfast in the open-air restaurant. The Windflower Mysore draws on the royal history of the city, recreating its splendour in its luxurious rooms with sit-outs that


especially organic and fair trade products. It employs local staff and uses service providers. Improving the living conditions of the communities is part of its sustainable development process. At Windflower Bandipur, almost 80 percent of the staff come from nearby villages and the Group is helping run schools and hospitals in the vicinity. It is also engaged in helping preserve the tigers and is a member of Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT, a collective action campaign by travel professionals to advocate, endorse and support more responsible use of wilderness areas in the Indian subcontinent). Tharun Giri, Managing Director, The Windflower Resorts and Spa, says, “Our mission is to build resorts with unique concepts which deliver special experiences, while exceeding guest expectations, resulting in strong customer loyalty and to establish a profitable and sustainable business which ensures a feeling of satisfaction and self-fulfillment while creating a human resource base that generates enthusiasm and a great sense of pride and loyalty.”

Tel: +91 80 4114 2408 www.thewindflower.com Generosity is the hallmark - rooms are large and spacious as are the common spaces and facilities.

look out at coconut palms and the distant Chamundi Hills. Heritage walks allow guests to interact with the old city’s rich history following which they can indulge in a cool dip in the rock pool or opt for an energising spa treatment. There is more history to be discovered in the erstwhile French colony of Puducherry. The Windflower Puducherry is located in Little Veerampattinam that lies between the backwaters and the Indian Ocean. Beaches strewn with seashells, backwater cruises, long drawn out evenings, contemporary rooms and fresh seafood, all weave a spell of languor. The Windflower houses India’s only ISPA certified spa Emerge, which offers an array of treatments encompassing Ayurveda, Balinese, hydrotherapy, beauty, hot stone massages and Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation programmes. The spa at Windflower Coorg is perhaps the largest in south India, a one-of-its-kind destination spa. Yoga lessons at various levels, from beginners to advanced practice, are available. Underlying all the luxury is a commitment to the environment and sustainable development. The Group minimises use of fuelpowered vehicles, prevents the escape of hazardous substances into the environment and has opted to replace and phase out environmentally-damaging products with benign alternatives. For example, swimming pools are cleaned with herbal products instead of harsh chemicals. Most of its purchases are made locally and it shops for environmentally friendly, socially responsible products,

Tharun Giri, MD & PV Giri, Founder Chairman, The Windflower Resorts & Spa

Awards • The Windflower Puducherry won Best Resort in India Award at the International Hotel Awards, 2012 • The Windflower Coorg won the Best Resort in India Award at the International Hotel Awards (in association with Google and Bloomberg), 2011 • The Windflower Group was featured in the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club Yearbook, 2011 • The Windflower Coorg was awarded the ‘Best Destination Spa’ by Asia Spa Pevonia, 2010 • The Windflower Mysore won the Best Ayurveda Spa Award at Asia Spa Pevonia, 2009

Best of India | 183


Hotels & Hospitality 184 | Best of India

Going places One of the fastest growing hotel chains in the country, Fortune Hotels with 66 alliances and more than 5000 rooms spread across 50 cities in India, currently operates 40 hotels. While providing business and leisure travellers a comfortable sojourn, it has won accolades for being the best ‘first class full service business hotel’ chain.


A

wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, a conglomerate that has a wellestablished presence in the Indian hospitality sector, Fortune Hotels was created to cater to the mid-market to upscale segment. Today, the brand has made its presence felt across the length and breadth of the country and is widely recognised for the quality of its service. The chain operates through five clearly defined sub-brands, Fortune Select, Fortune Park, Fortune Inn, Fortune Resort and the newly launched My Fortune. From capitals of various states, big and small metros to bustling business towns, it has mapped out a growth plan to cut a wide swathe across the country. Fortune Select are upscale hotels offering contemporary products and services, located in key business and leisure locations. These hotels offer best-in-class services in the mid-market to upscale category. Located in central areas and key commercial hubs of cities, these hotels allow guests to conduct their business activities seamlessly. The Fortune Park hotels are midscale business hotels located in metro and nonmetro cities. The Fortune Inn comprises full service business hotels with 30 to 50 rooms. The Fortune Resort properties are located at popular holiday and leisure destinations, and offer excellent holiday getaways for families and cater to both the mid-market and upscale segment of travellers. The first hotel under the new My Fortune brand was flagged off in Chennai in 2011. The brand represents stylish lifestyle hotels, where the comfort of home and efficient service come seamlessly together, thereby creating a sense of belonging. Having opened Fortune Inn Exotica at Hinjewadi in Pune, Fortune JP Palace in Mysore, Fortune Park Boulevard at Chhatarpur and Fortune Park DJ Avenue on MG Road in New Delhi during the past year, the chain has hotels in various stages of construction and refurbishment in several locations across India: Baddi, Bhatinda, Dehradun, Durgapur, Ghaziabad, Guwahati, Haridwar, Jodhpur, Kolhapur, Sonepat, Lucknow, Manesar, Meerut, Raipur, Rajkot, Shirdi, Mashobra in Shimla and Siliguri. It is also coming up with a third hotel each in Jaipur and Kolkata, a second hotel in Goa and Mussoorie, and two more hotels in New Delhi.

Its strategy rests on competitive pricing and full-service without compromising on quality. Giving a boost to its appeal are accessible locations, well-appointed rooms that are tastefully designed, modern décor, excellent cuisine, efficient service and stateof-the-art facilities. Its advantage over standalone hotels in several locations quite clearly shows the synergy derived from being a chain: distribution network, central reservation systems, pan-India sales, marketing infrastructure and operational support.

has extensive expansion plans and we are looking at being a 90 hotels strong chain by the year 2015.” With its tagline ‘Let Fortune Take You Places’, Fortune Hotels has set a brisk pace while maintaining a balanced approach towards growth, expansion, brand extensions and providing the same assured quality of product and service across the country.

Tel: +91 124 4171 717 www.fortunehotels.in

Suresh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Fortune Hotels, says, “We have always emphasised the virtue of leveraging the power of a ‘spread’ as ‘the length of the chain is the strength of the chain’. We plan to work towards taking further our vision of unfurling a Fortune every 180 km by concentrating on metro, mini-metro, Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities across India. The chain

Awards • Hospitality India Award for Best First Class Hotel Chain for four consecutive years, 2008-11 • SATTE Award for Best Mid-Market Chain, 2012 • Safari India Award for the Best First Class Hotel Chain, 2010 • Abacus TAFI Award for the Best Value Hotel Chain in India, 2009 • PATWA Award for the Best First Class Business Hotel Chain, 2007

Suresh Kumar, CEO, Fortune Hotels

Best of India | 185


Hotels & Hospitality

Timeless tryst Referred to as the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) owns 97 hotels in India and 17 hotels in various parts of the world. It is recognised as one of Asia’s largest and finest hotel companies and Taj, its brand in the luxury hospitality segment, is one of the 27 Great Brands of Tomorrow according to a Credit Suisse Research Institute Study.

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, a landmark hotel in Mumbai, is the proud flagship property of IHCL with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. Built in 1903, the Taj is an architectural wonder, effortlessly blending together a multitude of styles, drawing elements from the Italian Renaissance, the Moors and Indo-Islamic architecture. The Taj Mahal Palace and the Tower, which were added in 1973, are two distinct buildings with different architectural designs. Together though, they offer a composite of luxurious hospitality with all the modern trimmings. 186 | Best of India


The colonial facade of the historic Taj West End in Bangalore.

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, the story of IHCL’s birth is a proud Indian achievement. Jamsetji N Tata, the visionary founder of the Tata Group, India’s premier business house, felt that a cosmopolitan city like Bombay needed a world-class hotel worthy of its reputation as one of the world’s great cities. He opened The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Bombay in 1903 and it has since become a symbol of Indian hospitality.

hotels, idyllic beach resorts, authentic palaces and rustic safari lodges. Vivanta by Taj Hotels & Resorts span options for the work-hard-play-hard traveller across metropolitan cities, commercially important centres as well as vacation spots. Stylish and sophisticated, it offers contemporary luxury, laced with cool informality and charming Taj hospitality.

From important industrial towns and cities, beaches, hill stations, historical and pilgrim centres and wildlife destinations, Taj has a hotel in 55 locations across India with an additional 17 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. It has established its presence worldwide through its regional sales and public relations offices in the USA, UK, Japan, France, Australia, Dubai, Italy, Germany, Singapore, Brazil and Russia.

The Gateway Hotel (upscale/midmarket full service hotels and resorts) is a pan-India network of hotels and resorts for business and leisure travellers. The fusion of Indian heritage and international hospitality is evident in all its hotels, both domestic and international. Its business facilities, services, cuisine and interiors have won over urbane travellers. The Taj’s award-winning restaurants serve a variety of world cuisine and also authentic Indian food, with many recipes that have come from the royal kitchens.

Taj (luxury full-service hotels, resorts and palaces) is the flagship brand and is positioned as the hotel for discerning travellers seeking authentic experiences in a luxurious setting. The locations span worldrenowned landmarks, modern business

Taj Hotels has also ventured into the wellness segment with Jiva Spas where guests can experience the rejuvenating healing traditions from ancient India. IHCL took to the skies with Taj Sats Air Catering

The Taj Tushi Thimphu, Bhutan

Awards • The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai has been voted as the ‘Hotel of the Year (Editor’s Choice)’ in the latest edition of the UK Gallivanter’s Guide, 2012 • Vivanta by Taj - Whitefield, Bangalore was seventh on Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2012 - Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in India, 2012 • Blue Sydney was included in the ‘Best Hotels for Location’ category, Australasia and South Pacific region, on the Conde Nast Traveller UK Gold List, 2012 • SATTE chose Vivanta by Taj Bekal as the Best ‘Upscale Property of the Year’ for its contemporary and traditional mix of design, combining the best in customer comfort, 2012 • The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur features in the T+L US Top 500 World’s Best Hotels List, the Asia Category, with a score of 92.34, 2012 • The Indian Hotels Co Ltd won the award for ‘Outstanding Exporter Of The Year - Travel & Tourism’ at the DHL & CNBC TV 18 International Trade Awards, powered by ICRA, 2010-2011 • The Taj Lake Palace was ranked number one in Asia as well as in India in Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2012 Top 25 Hotels, 2011

Ltd in collaboration with a Singapore Airlines’ subsidiary, Singapore Airport Terminal Services. It is the largest airline catering service in South Asia. IHCL also offers a three-year diploma at its Indian Institute of Hotel Management in Aurangabad. Started in 1993, its international faculty and affiliations with American and European programmes turns out world-class hospitality graduates. IHCL has adopted effective practices to make it environment friendly across all its hotels. Its Corporate Sustainability Report 2010-11 was graded A+ by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). Its internationally recognised certifications include ISO 14001 and EarthCheck. Its hotels utilise solar energy and bio-mass energy generated from organic waste. Water recycling and reusing for non-potable use, Kaizen initiatives to reduce supplies and recycling metal scrap are a few of its initiatives.

Tel: +91 22 6665 3366 www.tajhotels.com

A suite in the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Rajasthan. Best of India | 187


Hotels & Hospitality

Sumptuous splendour The first to open a five star hotel in India, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is one of the most highly decorated hotel chains in the world. It consistently bags awards and accolades from publications like Travel+Leisure, Condé Nast Traveller, Forbes and Galileo. Owned by EIH Ltd under the aegis of The Oberoi Group, it has hotels in several cities in India and abroad.

A bedroom in the Kohinoor suite at The Oberoi, New Delhi has hosted many Heads of State.

H

eadquartered in New Delhi, the chain comprises 29 hotels in five countries under the luxury Oberoi and five-star Trident brands.

The company’s portfolio includes three luxury cruise vessels, the Oberoi Flight Services, a chain of flight kitchens located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Chennai, and Oberoi Airport Services which provides catering and other services to leading international airlines, and operates restaurants and lounges in several of India’s domestic and international airports. Its hospitality training institute, The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development in New Delhi, established as India’s first such institute in 1966, is now considered among the best in Asia, with approximately 100 students graduating each year.

188 | Best of India

Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi founded the hotel chain in 1934, when he acquired The Clarkes Hotel in Shimla. Four years later, Oberoi signed a lease to take over operations of the 500-room Grand Hotel in Kolkata. In 1943, he acquired a controlling interest in the Associated Hotels of India Ltd (AHI), a company that owned several properties in undivided India; in May 1949, he established East India Hotels (now known as EIH Ltd) as a public limited company which later absorbed AHI. East India Hotels’ equity shares were first listed on the BSE in 1956. With the opening of India’s first five-star hotel, the Oberoi Intercontinental Hotel, New Delhi in 1965, East India Hotels became the first Indian hospitality firm to sign an agreement with an international


hotel chain. Eight years later, the company entered into a collaboration agreement with Sheraton International Inc Boston, to open the 35-storey Oberoi Sheraton in Bombay. Between 1986 and 2009, EIH added nine hotels branded Trident to its portfolio, and acquired other properties in India and overseas. Trident hotels are five-star hotels that are acknowledged for offering quality and value to business and leisure travellers. They are located in Mumbai at Bandra, Kurla and Nariman Point, Gurgaon, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Kochi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur. The Oberoi Group also operates a Trident hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The last decade has witnessed the debut of new luxury Oberoi leisure hotels in India and abroad. In India, these hotels include The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas; The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore; The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur. Overseas, the new hotels include The Oberoi Lombok in Indonesia, The Oberoi Mauritius and The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh in Egypt. The Oberoi Zahra, Luxury Nile Cruiser, Egypt was launched in 2007.

The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur

On the social responsibility front, the Oberoi Group supports philanthropic activities that range from education to assistance for the mentally and physically challenged. The Group also contributes to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts Mumbai is a partner of the International Tourism Partnership’s Youth Career Initiative (YCI) programme. The chain has elaborate expansion plans in India and abroad: it plans to add over 850 rooms to its inventory by 2014 by establishing new properties in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Dehradun, Dubai and Morocco. Additionally, the chain intends to enter into management contracts to operate luxury properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Greece, Oman and Mauritius. Over the next 10 years, 60 percent of the Group’s business is expected to come from management contracts as the Group shifts away from acquiring its own properties. The chain will, however, remain focused on the premium hospitality segment.

Grand Royal Suite in Madina in Saudi Arabia

Tel: 1800 1120 30 www.oberoihotels.com

Awards • Five Oberoi Hotels were ranked among the best at the Condé Nast Traveller, India and UK Readers’ Travel Awards, 2011 • The Oberoi, Gurgaon was voted World’s Leading Luxury Hotel at the World Travel Awards, 2011 • The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur was ranked the best luxury hotel in India at the ‘India’s Best’ Awards by Travel + Leisure, India & South Asia, 2011 • The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur was recognised as the Best Five Star Deluxe Hotel in India at the National Tourism Awards 2010 – 2011 • The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore was ranked first in the Top 100 Hotels in the World in the Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards, Readers’ Survey, 2010

The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra Best of India | 189


Hotels & Hospitality

Defining responsible luxury Part of the multi-business conglomerate ITC Ltd, ITC Hotels is India’s most profitable hotel chain and is also an exemplar in sustainable development initiatives. The only company in the world of its size to achieve the three major global environmental distinctions of being carbon positive, water positive and solid recycling waste positive, all nine of its super premium luxury hotels have been accorded the LEED Platinum status making it the greenest luxury hotel chain in the world.

ITC Maratha in Mumbai captures the essence of the city’s history; its architectural features are a confluence of European and Indian sensibilities.

H

eadquartered in Gurgaon, with 90 hotels in more than 70 locations around the country, ITC Hotels posted a 12 percent growth rate, contributing revenues of `252 crore (US $50 million approximately) to the Group during the first quarter of the financial year 2012. Launching with the Chola Sheraton in Chennai in 1975 (which was rebranded My Fortune, Chennai in 2011), the company now owns and operates four hospitality brands: ITC Hotels in the super premium luxury segment, the WelcomHotel in the upper upscale segment, the Fortune Hotels in the upscale segment and the WelcomHeritage which are historically and culturally significant properties. The Chain’s ITC Maurya, New Delhi and ITC Windsor, Bangalore have hosted political and business leaders from around the globe, including US Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill

190 | Best of India

Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Dell founder Michael Dell. It is the only hotel chain in the world to have all of its luxury properties accorded the LEED Platinum rating, giving it the distinction of being the ‘greenest luxury hotel chain’ in the world. ITC Gardenia, Bangalore was the first Indian hotel and the world’s largest to earn this rating in 2009 and other Group properties soon followed suit. It consistently utilises renewable and biodegradable resources, and has established carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling policies that help minimise the carbon footprint of every guest. ITC Hotels’ Kolkata property, ITC Sonar, was the world’s first hotel to earn carbon credits under the aegis of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention.


The Windsor Bengaluru represents the glory days of the Raj.

Bukhara Restaurant at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi is rated among the best restaurants in the world.

Four ITC hotels currently operate on wind energy; ITC Maurya, Delhi has installed the world’s largest solar concentrator, whereby steam is generated through solar energy for use in the kitchen and laundry.

It plans to add 40 hotels in the near future including the soon to open 600-room integrated luxury hotel complex in Chennai, the ITC Grand Chola which will be one of the largest hotels in the country. It also plans to build a 400-room hotel adjacent to the ITC Sonar in Kolkata, a luxury resort at the ITC Classic Golf Resort and an ITC hotel close to Mahabalipuram.

The Group has many firsts to its credit in the hospitality industry: it was the first hotel chain to initiate branded accommodation and room categorisation in the country based on market segmentation when it introduced the Executive Club; it was the first chain to enter into an international franchise agreement on a chain-wise basis; it launched the country’s first frequent guest loyalty programme; it recognised food and beverage as part of the hotel experience, conceptualising brands that are internationally acclaimed like Bukhara, Dum Pukht and Dakshin, and introduced airport lounges on a nationwide basis. It started concept hotels with architecture that was unique to the region and the concept of ‘hotel within a hotel’ with the Towers category and later the ITC One category. A special wing dedicated to and catering to the specific needs of the single woman traveller – EVA, was a first in India, over a decade ago. It also pioneered the concept of laboratories within hotels - WelcomLab has microbiologists to ensure the highest standards of hygiene in its hotels.

Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Hotels, says, “Permeating from ITC’s triple bottom line philosophy, its Hotels’ business endeavours to make a meaningful contribution to the overall economic development of the country in multiple ways while enriching the tourism landscape of the country. We believe that business can and must play a role. Therefore, we have to consciously move from a single dimension of financial value creation to a triple bottom line philosophy of creating value that encompasses the economic, environmental and social dimension.”

Tel: 1800 1022 333 www.itchotels.in

The company intends to sustain its aggressive investment-led growth strategy, expanding its capacity in India by adding rooms to existing properties as well as building new ones. ITC plans to invest `10336 crore (US $2 billion approximately) in the next three years, adding over 7000 rooms across all four brands.

Awards • ITC Green Centre re-certified LEED Platinum with the highest ratings ever accorded to a green building of its size by US Green Building Council, 2012 • ‘Most Trusted Hotel Brand’ in the Public Choice Honours category awarded at the Times Travel Honours organised by Times of India, 2011 • ‘Most Reputed Hotel Chain’ at the Business World’s ‘Most Reputed Companies’ Awards, 2011 • Signature culinary brands Bukhara, Dum Pukht and Dakshin voted in TOP 20 at the Miele Asia Top 20 Restaurants in Asia Awards, 2011 • ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru is the first Indian Hotel and world’s largest, to get the LEED Platinum rating - the highest green building certification globally, 2011 • ITC Gardenia accorded ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ in the first year of its opening at the Hotel Investors Conference South Asia, 2011

Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Hotels

Best of India | 191


CHAPTER 16

Information Technology


“We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live...!� Swami Vivekananda, (1863 - 1902), Indian philosopher

Photo: Asha Thadani


Information Technology

Securing businesses Asia’s largest and India’s first Tier IV Datacenter, CtrlS is set to transform the datacenter management space in India which is slated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 32 percent to become a `5500 crore (US $1 billion approximately) market by 2017.

One of the only custom-designed datacenters in the country, the CtrlS facility in Navi Mumbai is an infrastructure and design marvel, with every aspect from its features, fixtures and allied services designed to provide maximum efficiency.

H

eadquartered in Hyderabad, CtrlS Datacenters Pvt Ltd was founded in 2008 by the `750 crore (US $1.4 billion approximately) (EV) Pioneer Group, which is primarily involved in IT services, consulting and infrastructure. The Group has been growing at more than 100 percent compounded annual growth rate of over the past 15 years.

demand to enable clients to make the paradigm shift from the captive datacenter model to the outsourced one. Its clients include State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Abraaj Capital, Genpact, Sonata Software, Etisalat and National Thermal Power Corporation.

CtrlS has datacenters in Hyderabad and Mumbai with an upcoming facility in Delhi. The company has developed capabilities to provide platform level services which include data center infrastructure, storage, backup, hardware, OS layers, network and security layers.

The CtrlS datacenter in Navi Mumbai is the only one of its kind in India to provide 8-zone security, 1.42 PUE, scalability for up to 10 years, guaranteeing the highest availability and least energy consumption. Armed with top-of-the-line features and the very best of infrastructure and technology, it offers clients an array of benefits which can drive a saving of up to 40 percent on total cost of ownership.

It offers a host of outsourced business solutions and services such as Disaster Recovery on demand, Managed services, Private cloud-on-

The facility sets the benchmark in the data centre space with 8-zone security, making it the most secure data centre in India. It has

194 | Best of India


ISO-20000-1, ISO-27001 and BS 25999 certifications. The space is equipped to scale up to 20000 racks: the largest data centre and provides scalability for the next 10 years.

economic challenges, launched the Karmayuga campaign in 2011 with iCONGO to build a healthier ecosystem.

It is Tier IV certified and provides 99.995 percent uptime guarantee, less than 22 minutes of downtime in a year and N+N redundancy. With 1.42 PUE, it is the most power efficient datacenter in India. Dual power sources and an additional captive power plant ensure uninterrupted power and cooling systems. It also provides high bandwidth availability and a choice from India’s leading TELCOs.

Sridhar Reddy P, Chairman and Managing Director, CtrlS Datacenters Pvt Ltd, is keen on the company becoming a thought leader in the datacenter industry. He says, “Our company’s philosophy and vision is very simple. We take ownership of each project and give it 100 percent of our dedication, never less. Each of us in our company is responsible for the client’s delight, in delivering the services promised and in coming up with new solutions.

The company, which believes in a sustainable approach to social and

We plan to launch a state-of-the-art Tier-IV datacenter in Delhi that will build

further upon the excellence achieved at the Hyderabad and Mumbai centres. The process of construction of this facility is already underway. Besides the infrastructure, CtrlS has ambitious plans in the services space that will build upon pioneering ideas like DR on Demand and Private Cloud on demand.”

Tel: + 91 40 2311 2424 www.ctrls.in

Awards • CtrlS won the Nasscom Emerge 50 Award, 2010

Sridhar Reddy P, Chairman & MD, CtrlS Datacenters Pvt Ltd Best of India | 195


Information Technology

Engineering by instinct Placing India on the global map for product realisation services is the goal of Pricol Technologies. This rapidly emerging engineering services company of the `1500 crore (US $294 million approximately) Pricol Group, enables global engineering, technology and manufacturing companies gain competitive advantage by designing products faster for price sensitive global markets.

Pricol has an integrated engineering ecosystem.

P

ricol Group, predominantly an auto component manufacturer has been in business since 1975. The Group is vertically integrated with the requisite infrastructure to support the entire value chain of product engineering and manufacturing. Pricol Technologies, the Group’s engineering services arm, offers product engineering services and design to manufacturing services, to customers in the transportation (automotive, rail and aerospace), consumer goods, industrial products and health care industries. With its headquarters in Coimbatore, it has engineering development centres and associated engineering infrastructure in both Coimbatore and Pune.

196 | Best of India

Pricol Technologies has operations and customers in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Its Product Engineering Services includes engineering design, virtual validation, electronics hardware, software development, application development and test automation. It serves its customers by leveraging its ‘integrated engineering ecosystem’ that comprises engineering capability and infrastructure required to develop and manufacture products. It has strong capability in industrial design, mechanical engineering and embedded systems along with extensive testing infrastructure to perform environmental, electrical and dynamic


Vikram Mohan, Chairman, Pricol Technologies and Managing Director, Pricol Ltd, says, “We have been developing products for Indian customers for the last four decades. Extending our philosophy of frugal engineering together with the process rigour of automotive industry, we bring a strong value proposition to our global customers. This is the reason for our success. We are using the same philosophy for the benefit of rural India by bringing in technology and products that are cost effective to improve the lives of the common man.”

testing. Its two large tool rooms produce over 1000 tools a year; it also has metallurgy and metrology labs, rapid prototyping, manufacturing engineering and contract manufacturing facilities. The company seeks out the best around the globe and by creating joint ventures it is able to bring advanced engineering solutions, skills and processes for its customers. It has a joint venture with an Italian styling house to bring state-of-the art styling and a partnership in the US with a leading manufacturing engineering company to build custom automation equipment and solutions for manufacturing applications.

Pricol Group has developed medical devices with its frugal engineering methodologies. Inventa, an ICU ventilator is one such product manufactured by the company in the medical domain. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India and a scientist, had initiated the research and development of an indigenous ventilator at the Society for Bio-Medical Technology (SBMT) a division of DRDO. This technology was transferred to Pricol Ltd for design, production and commercialisation as it has state-of-the-art test labs and production facilities to manufacture such critical equipment.

an engineering services company depends on its people and the adaptability of their engineering minds to varying engineering problems. We work for companies across multiple industries. The expertise required for product realisation across multiple industries

India has several companies offering engineering services. There is hardly any engineering services provider capable of offering end to end product realisation. This is primarily because engineering service providers are concentrating their services around the Computer Station (CAD or Software). It needs an engineering mindset and requisite engineering infrastructure to be a ‘serious’ engineering service provider. To develop rounded engineering minds you need to provide an opportunity for young engineers to break away from the CAD station and get their hands dirty. It is only with the Pricol Group’s manufacturing environment combined with engineering services that this becomes possible. This is Pricol Technologies’ competitive advantage.”

Craftsmanship is inherent in good design. The selection of the most appropriate materials, the way they are put together and work together determine the success of the finished product. Pricol Technologies has partnered with a UK based company to provide craftsmanship services to the Indian industry. Bobby John, Chief Executive Officer, Pricol Technologies, says, “The success of

is varied. We use this challenge to keep our engineers motivated.

Tel: +91 422 4332 211 www.pricoltech.com Bobby John, CEO, Pricol Technologies

Best of India | 197


Information Technology

Evolving technology India’s second largest IT services company with revenues exceeding `34400 crore (US $6.74 billion approximately), Wipro has over 120000 employees in over 70 centres across five continents. Its Chairman Azim Premji is India’s third-richest citizen, with a net worth of `64000 crore (US $12.5 billion approximately).

Wipro’s headquarters in Bangalore

T

he company was born before Independence, in 1945 as Western India Products, later shortened to Wipro. It began as a manufacturer of vegetable oil and consumer products; Premji inherited Wipro when he was just a 21-year-old engineering student at Stanford University and set it on the path of diversification into new and emerging sectors. It eventually entered the hardware and IT services spaces to become one of the country’s leading global IT companies with its IT and BPO services contributing to over 70 percent of the company’s revenues.

198 | Best of India

By the turn of the century, Wipro emerged as the largest publicly listed software exporter in India and the first software services provider to be assessed at SEI Level 5 in the world. Its track record extends to a series of products, services and solutions that cover diverse businesses - from consumer care to cutting-edge information technology. Over the years, its identity has evolved with its business, adapting to changing global dynamics with its signature line being ‘Applying Thought’. Wipro provides outsourced research and development, infrastructure outsourcing, business process outsourcing and business consulting services. It operates in three main segments


– IT services, IT products, and consumer care and lighting. The company’s Global IT business caters to more than 150 global Fortune 500 clients across financial services, retail, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare services, energy and utilities, technology, telecom and media. Wipro’s BPO segment is its strongest; it is among the top four offshore BPO service providers in the world. It employs over 22000 people, with the main business coming from the US followed by Europe, with clients in banking, insurance, capital markets, hi-tech manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, travel and hospitality. Its business practices have earned the company many awards and recognition over the years, turning it into one of the most admired IT companies in the country and abroad. In the coming years, Wipro sees itself as a go-to company for businesses to redesign and re-engineer themselves to meet a changing world. It believes in sustained growth by being a partner to industry leaders, attracting the best potential, offering industryleading expertise and a continued steadfast global presence.

graduates, green initiatives such as Eco Eye aimed at reducing the ecological footprint of its businesses and Earthian, sustainability programmes aimed at schools and colleges. In his personal capacity, Premji donated `10041 crore (US $1.95 billion approximately) to his rural-education foundation Azim Premji Trust, to train teachers and improve curricula for two crore (20 million) children in over 20000 schools. The Azim Premji University, a training and research institution in Bangalore, plans to open 1300 free schools across the country. Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro, says, “In our way of working, we attach a great deal of importance to humility, honesty and respect for human values; we promise to serve our customers with integrity.”

Tel: +91 80 2844 0011 www.wipro.com

Among its many CSR initiatives is Wipro Cares where it engages with the local community in development, Wipro Applying Thought in Schools where it attempts to improve quality of education in schools, Mission 10X aimed at improving employability of engineering

Awards • High Performance Brand Award from All India Management Association, 2012 • Ranked 23rd in the Top Companies for Leaders’ global list announced by Aon Hewitt, The RBL Group and Fortune, 2011 • Awarded DL Shah National Quality Award, 2011 • The Outsourcing Excellence Award for Best IT Enablement in BPO, 2011 • Wipro featured in FinTech’s rankings on ‘Top 25 Enterprise Companies’ published by the American Banker and Bank Technology News, and IDC Financial Insights, 2011 • Ranked 37th in the ‘Most Trusted Brands in India’ by The Brand Trust Report, 2011 • Ranked the ninth most valuable brand in India by Brand Finance and The Economic Times, 2010

Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards by the Government of India, and the Legion of Honour by the Republic of France. He has consistently been voted as one of the top entrepreneurs by Business Week, Financial Times and Time, and figures in the list of top business leaders compiled by Fortune, Forbes and The Economic Times.

Best of India | 199


Information Technology

Celebrating innovation One of India’s top technology companies with revenues of `33500 crore (US $6.56 billion approximately) Infosys employs more than 145000 people of 85 nationalities, with offices in 30 countries.

Infosys was the first Asian company to open trading on the NASDAQ stock market in 2006.

H

eadquartered in Bangalore, Infosys is one of India’s most celebrated technology success stories. It was born in 1981 when seven entrepreneurs decided to pool their expertise and meagre resources of about `12000 (US $235 approximately). From its modest beginnings, it has grown into a global technology services company in three decades with revenues of over `33500 crore (US $6.56 billion approximately) in 2011. What sets Infosys apart is that not only was it a pioneer in the area of information technology, it also created a merit based business system and institutionalised employees’ stock options, creating several millionaires. Its range of services is vast, spanning business and technology consulting, application services, systems integration, product engineering, custom software development, maintenance, reengineering, independent testing and validation services, IT infrastructure services and business process outsourcing to Global 2000 companies in over 30 countries. Its services are utilised in such diverse sectors as aerospace and defence, airlines,

200 | Best of India

automotive, media, entertainment and communication, consumer packaged goods, education, energy, financial services and insurance, healthcare, high-technology areas, hospitality and leisure, manufacturing, logistics and distribution, publishing, retail and utilities among others. It pioneered the Global Delivery Model (GDM), taking work to the location where the best talent is available. It has a global footprint with 64 offices and 68 development centres in US, India, China, Australia, Japan, Middle East, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Canada and many other countries. Infosys Foundation, established in 1996, supports activities in the areas of healthcare, education, social rehabilitation, rural upliftment, arts and culture, in all four south Indian states as well as in Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab. In 2004, Infosys launched its AcE or Academic Entente programme wherein it explores cocreation opportunities between the company and academia through case studies, student trips and speaking engagements, technology, emerging economies, globalisation, research and research


Close to 120000 people work in the 100-acre campus in Bangalore. It is also home to 40 species of butterflies.

collaborations, publications, conferences and speaking sessions, campus visits and campus hiring. It has also launched InStep, a global internship programme. Its other efforts to empower learners are channelled through SPARK, a one day exploratory programme, which exposes students to the working of the IT industry through Rural Reach Program (RRP), Catch Them Young (CTY) and SPARK GURU. Launched in 2008, this programme has reached 350000 students and 16000 teachers. Infosys Science Foundation, set up in 2009, awards outstanding researchers and scientists with the Infosys Prize – a 22-karat gold medal, a citation and `50 lakh (US $98000 approximately). The categories include Engineering & Computer Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences – Economics, Political Science and International Relations, and Humanities - Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Linguistics and Literary Studies. Former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was the Guest of Honour at its 2011 awards ceremony. The Infosys mantle has passed on to younger members of the core founding team

- from NR Narayana Murthy (1981-2002) to Nandan Nilekani (2002-2007) to Kris Gopalakrishnan (2007-2011) to SD Shibulal who took charge in August 2011 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Going forward, the company will focus on key areas such as digital consumers (computers, mobile phones, PDAs and handheld devices) and pervasive computing (seamless computing, communication, collaboration and commerce services for the end user), concentrate on the challenges thrown up by emerging economies and new commerce, harness the opportunities presented by healthcare economy, help create smarter organisations and enable sustainability through social contracts, resource intensity and green innovation.

SD Shibulal, CEO & MD, Infosys

NR Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys, says, “We have demonstrated that businesses can be run legally and ethically; that it is possible for an Indian company to benchmark with the global best; and that any set of youngsters with values, hard work, team work and a little bit of smartness can indeed be successful entrepreneurs.”

Awards • Infosys was ranked by Forbes as the ‘Most Innovative Company’, 2011 • Listed as one among the leading technology companies by the Boston Consulting Group • In the list of top ten companies in Newsweek’s Green Rankings • Voted as India’s ‘Most Admired Company’ in The Wall Street Journal Asia since 2000 • Ranked as the 15th ‘Most Trusted Brand in India’ by The Brand Trust Report, 2011

Tel: +91 80 2852 0261 www.infosys.com NR Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys, was recognised as Fortune’s 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of our Time by Fortune Magazine in 2012. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Padma Shri in 2000. He has also been conferred the Officer of the Legion of Honour by the Government of France and Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Government of the United Kingdom.

Best of India | 201


CHAPTER 17

Infrastructure & Real Estate


“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!� Romain Rolland, (1866 - 1944), French writer, art historian, mystic and Nobel laureate

Photo: Asha Thadani


Infrastructure & Real Estate

Shaping the skyline One among India’s Top 10 builders, the `4100 crore (US $778 million approximately) Prestige Estates has changed the design aesthetics of cities across south India with multiple projects in residential, commercial, leisure and hospitality, IT and SEZ categories.

UB City combines the best of architecture, engineering, space management and illumination techniques.

204 | Best of India


Irfan Razack, Chairman & MD, Prestige Group

P

restige Estates Project Ltd, listed on the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange, registered a turnover of `1500 crore (US $294 million approximately) in 2011. It has completed 163 projects spanning 4.5 crore (45.85 million) sq ft and has projects on the anvil that will cover 5.9 crore (59.13 million) sq ft. With an annual rental yield across commercial assets of `180 crore (US $35 million approximately), it is looking to increase it to `500 crore (US $98 million approximately) by 2014. The Bangalore-based Prestige Group has its origins in Prestige Fashions, which was launched in 1956 by Razack Sattar in the hub of the city’s shopping district, Commercial Street. In the early 80s, Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director and son of Razack Sattar took over the reins of the company along with his brothers Rezwan and Noaman, and ventured into real estate. Steadily expanding their footprint, the Razacks have taken the business to dizzying levels. Says Razack, “Our strategy has been to provide a broad spectrum of integrated solutions. We adopt the latest technologies and make continuous improvement in all areas of activity based on customer input. Our business practices are transparent. We pay attention to detail and continuously try to exceed customer needs and expectations.” Many of its developments are considered landmarks in the cities they are present in. The UB City for instance, housing the corporate headquarters of the well-known

conglomerate UB Group, is a prestigious address for businesses. The Collection at UB City is the first ultra-premium luxury mall in south India and showcases prized designer and luxury brands from around the world. The Forum Mall, unveiled in 2004 redefined retail and shopping, and has been the ultimate benchmark for the spate of malls that soon followed. The company also built and launched south India’s first outlet mall, The Forum Value Mall in Whitefield. The success of this retail format has now prompted the group to extend the Forum brand across Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore, Mangalore and Kochi. Among its many firsts is Prestige Ozone, Bangalore’s first gated community, Prestige Shanthiniketan, a wholly integrated township and Prestige Golfshire in Nandi Hills. This features 225 luxury mansions, a 300-bed 5-star hotel, a private lake and an 18-hole champion size golf course. Among the company’s commercial developments, the Cessna Business Park in Bangalore is a popular SEZ project. Its first commercial development in Chennai was the Prestige Cyber Towers on Old Mahabalipuram Road in the heart of the IT corridor.

Foundation is involved in various initiatives to provide socio-economic relief and to educate the needy. It has adopted 568 children of the Government Urdu School in DJ Halli under the acclaimed Akshaya Patra programme that provides mid-day meals to school kids. As part of its CSR initiatives, it has partnered with the Public Works Department, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Bangalore Agenda Task Force to improve roads. Along with the Rotary Club, it presents the annual Citizen Extraordinaire Award to individuals who make a difference to the city. An upbeat Razack says, “Despite all the talk of slowdown, we achieved the maximum sales ever clocked in a single year in 2011. The year ahead will witness a slew of new launches including the 25-acre Prestige Bella Vista that will be the largest gated community in Chennai, Prestige Mayberry premium villas in Whitefield and Prestige Summer Fields, a mixed-use development. We will also inaugurate Forum Vijaya Mall in Chennai and Oakwood Prestige premier serviced apartments in the Forum Value Mall.”

Tel: +91 80 2559 1080 www.prestigeconstructions.com

Venturing into the area of education, the company has set up the Inventure Academy, a well-known international school, in an effort to provide holistic education to children. At the other end of the spectrum, the Prestige

Awards • Prestige Tech Park was the winner in the Industrial category by the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), 2011 • Eleven of their properties were awarded across various categories at the Asia Pacific Property Awards in association with Bloomberg Television, 2011 • Recognised as the ‘Developer of the Year- Leisure & Entertainment’ and ‘Developer of the Year – Residential’ at the Realty Plus Excellence Awards, 2011 • The Forum in Bangalore was awarded the ‘Best Mall of south India’ at ISCA, 2011 • Prestige Wellington Park was recognised as the ‘Best Residential Property’ by CNBC Awaaz - Crisil Credai Real Estate Award, 2010 • Prestige was the first property developer to receive CRISIL’s DA1 Excellence Rating.

Best of India | 205


Infrastructure & Real Estate

Redefining urban space With a focus on creating remarkable homes, Golden Gate Properties is cementing its position in the niche of quality builders in the residential space and has already developed 22 lakh (2.2 million) sq ft in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

These luxurious apartments have a spectacular view and 5-star resident amenities, and are designed by HOK (Helmut, Obatta + Kasabum) - USA.

E

stablished in 2001 and headquartered in Bangalore, Golden Gate has an annual turnover of `400 crore (US $785 million approximately) and an annual growth rate of 22 percent. With 250 employees engaged in construction, it hires reputed national and international architects for its projects. The integration of the company’s own construction equipment (including imported shuttering materials, cranes, batching plants and trucks) allows for speedy construction. K Pratap, Managing Director, says, “Golden Gate has consistently challenged the norms of the property industry and established a position as a new order of developers. It merges the intimacy, lateral

206 | Best of India

thinking and flexibility associated with the business and the financial acumen and stability of big enterprises. This has helped us to establish a valuable position in the property market.” It has completed over 10 projects in Bangalore and Hyderabad including Golden Blossom - a 550-unit high-rise self-contained apartment complex, Golden Woods - a housing enclave with 50 row houses, Golden Star - a luxurious 148 dwelling apartment complex near ITPL, Harmony- a picturesque township near Attibele on Hosur Road just off the six-lane highway that houses 225 homes and Golden Habitat – an elegant apartment complex near the Hi-tech City in Hyderabad.


Its forthcoming projects include Golden Grand, an ultra-luxurious residential enclave set on 13 acres of prime real estate in Bangalore and Golden County, strategically located in Hyderabad’s IT hub, Gachibowli. The company also plans to develop selfcontained township projects and venture into Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities in south India. While each property developed by the company has a distinct character, all its projects are linked by a consistent ethos and approach to lifestyle apartment living. They offer social amenities for residents such as parks, playgrounds, sport facilities and club houses. Safety is of paramount importance in urban dwelling and the company ensures safety of ingress and egress. It chooses locations for development that are close to hospitals, schools and public transport while providing quality roads within the developments. Golden Gate is committed to the sustainability of Green Home development in design, development and construction, with novel construction methods and systems. Its focus on environment sustainability, quality of environment, sound infrastructure and quality products has enabled it to secure Green certification. All its buildings are green with attention to development density and landscaping. It uses environmentally friendly materials with sustainable building designs particularly to save energy consumption. Sanjay Raj, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Golden Gate, says, “Our future developments will be bullish in the residential segment with more projects outlining the sky across different locations in the cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad. Our major focus will be on both the luxury real estate market and the affordable housing segment. The luxury side has been witnessing high demand. We will indulge to cater to this niche market. We will also service the needs for first time home buyers in the affordable segment. The projects we have planned will attract investors and customer expectations based on location and their vocation, with detailed architecture and design. The main theme will be ‘Going Green’. Green Homes will increase productivity and reduce operational cost. The benefits of cost will be passed on to customers. Our growth forecast is pegged at anywhere between 30-40 percent increased annually of our existing turnovers. Our growth model is high productivity and increased profits and we will be positioning ourselves in all asset classes.”

Tel: +91 80 4299 5555 www.ggproperties.com

Sanjay Raj, CEO & Executive Director, Golden Gate Properties

K Pratap, MD, Golden Gate Properties

Best of India | 207


Infrastructure & Real Estate 208 | Best of India

Building dreams With 36 landmark residential and commercial projects and a customer base of over 25000 in the last 36 years, real estate company Puravankara is on a roll with 20 ongoing projects in Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore and Kolkata.


S

tarted in 1975 by Ravi Puravankara in Mumbai and headquartered in Bangalore since 1987, Puravankara Projects Ltd has steadily grown to become one of the leading developers in the real estate space with a net profit of `117crore (US $23 million approximately) in 2011. A public limited company with its equity shares listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) since August 2007, it has a strong presence in leading cities like Bangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mysore and Kolkata. It has also crossed borders and ventured into Colombo and Dubai. The Group’s progress has been peppered with recognition from various quarters. Its projects Purva Grace and Purva Heights have both received a PA1 rating by Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd (CRISIL) for its efficiency and attention to detail in the planning and execution of projects that stand out for their high quality. Yet another feather in its cap is the distinction of being the first company in the Indian real estate sector to get foreign direct investment through a joint venture with Singapore-based Keppel Land Ltd, the property arm of the 54 percent government-owned conglomerate Keppel Corporation Ltd. Residential projects in Bangalore and Kolkata are an offshoot of this partnership. Its strategic and technical marketing team spearheads all marketing activities with meticulous assessment and research, developing innovative strategies to help leverage the latent need in the market. It analyses the complete site and catchment area and comes up with the trend and demand assessments, to ensure it channels the right communication to the right target audience.

Provident Housing Ltd, a 100 percent subsidiary of Puravankara, caters to the rising demand of mid-segment housing by delivering competitively priced homes without any compromise on quality and offers amenities such as swimming pools and gymnasiums which are usually found only in premium housing. Provident may soon enter Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The Group’s other 100 percent subsidiary, Starworth Infrastructure and Construction Ltd, is focused on developing quality infrastructure in India and overseas. Driving its projects is ‘The You Philosophy’ that revolves around the customer’s needs, demands and ideas. Its initiatives include Purva Privileges, a resident’s referral bonus programme and Purva Advantage, that provides benefits like property management, discount shopping and plenty of other offers. Currently, the Group is overseeing the development of 2.7 crore (27.33 million) sq ft as it continues on its course to provide housing in the premium and economical segments. It is simultaneously integrating critical functions of project planning that span construction, sales and even interior furnishings. It walks the extra mile with its property maintenance services and a dedicated customer cell. Jackbastian K Nazareth, Chief Executive Officer, Puravankara Projects Ltd, says, “We want to build a future in which Puravankara will be a household name across the country and will be known worldwide for creating unique landmarks and superior community living by maintaining the highest standards of quality to ensure customer delight.”

Tel: +91 80 2559 9000 www.puravankara.com

Jackbastain K Nazareth, CEO, Puravankara Projects Ltd

Awards • Puravankara received the Best Employer of the Year Award at the Realty Plus Excellence Awards, 2010-2011 • Purva Fountainsquare was awarded the ‘Luxury Project of the Year’ at the Realty Plus Excellence Awards South, 2010-2011 • Purva Fountainsquare was awarded the ‘Best Urban Design & Master Planning’ at the Construction Source Felicitation Award Ceremony, 2010 • It won the Best Landscape Award in the Residential Category by the Mysore Horticultural Society, 2010 • It was appreciated for excellence in financial reporting for the year ending 31 March 2008 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). • Purva Park was recognised in the group residential category with Finaliste, International Prix d’ Excellence by FIABCI, Paris, the International Federation of Real Estate, 1998

Best of India | 209


Infrastructure & Real Estate

Engineering growth Starting off as a small trading company established by two young Danish men in pre-Independent India, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) is today a `58810 crore (US $11.5 billion approximately) infrastructure conglomerate. With operations in technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services, it registered 19 percent growth in 2010-11 and earned profits of `3957 crore (US $770 million approximately).

L&T’s offshore platform

H

eadquartered in Mumbai, L&T was born in 1938 when two enterprising schoolmates and engineers, Henning Holck Larsen and Soren Kristian Toubro, decided to give up their jobs in Europe and set up an office in Mumbai. In a small room that only one of them could use at a time, they began as representatives for Danish dairy equipment manufacturers. When World War II started in 1939, their supplies from Denmark were heavily restricted, prompting them to set up a workshop to provide service facilities. Germany’s invasion of Denmark the next year completely cut off supplies, forcing them to innovate and build dairy equipment indigenously. The war also provided the duo with opportunities to repair and refit ships, and the company was on its way to expansion.

210 | Best of India

L&T became incorporated in 1944 and started representing British manufacturers of oils, biscuits, soaps and glass. Next, it signed an agreement with US-based Caterpillar Tractor Company to market earthmoving equipment. After Independence in 1947, the demand for technology and expertise led to L&T’s expansion and it opened offices in Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai. It also acquired 55 acres of marshland and jungle in Mumbai’s Powai area and transformed it into its manufacturing hub. The company went public in 1950 and throughout the next two decades expanded rapidly even as it undertook large scale projects such as the Amul Dairy in Anand in the state of Gujarat


Launch of PSLV

Shipbuilding at Hazira manufacturing complex

and the setting up of blast furnaces at the Rourkela Steel Plant in Odisha. SK Toubro, retired from active management in 1962 and Holck-Larsen in 1979, two years after he received the Magsaysay Award for International Understanding for his contribution to India’s industrial development. By 1973, L&T had such a large footprint that it was counted among India’s top 25 companies. It further expanded its horizons, entering new sectors such as financial services and information technology, even as it strengthened its core competencies of engineering, power, railway projects and shipbuilding, to become one of India’s largest engineering and construction companies.

equipment finance, infrastructure finance, general insurance, mutual funds and portfolio management services, and undertakes railway projects and does shipbuilding.

The company has many firsts to its credit. It manufactured India’s first nuclear reactor and first indigenous hydrocracker reactor and an oil platform which is the biggest marine equipment; the world’s largest CCR reactor, biggest FCC regenerator, longest product splitter, longest gas pipeline, first power distribution products and systems engineered for a tropical environment and Asia’s highest viaduct, built for the Konkan Railway. L&T has manufacturing facilities in India, China, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South East Asia and Australia. It has customers in 30 countries and dealers in every district in the country. It employs more than 50000 people and more than 800000 small, medium and large shareholders hold equity in the company. Income from international operations now accounts for 19 percent of the company’s total revenues.

L&T’s social initiatives in the areas of education, health and skill building reached out to over 400000 people in 2011. The company’s corporate social responsibility programmes include healthcare for the underprivileged, mobile health clinics, immunisation drives, mother-and-child care, and HIV/AIDS awareness and support. The Larsen & Toubro Public Charitable Trust also runs training centres to provide skills training for school dropouts and unemployed youth. The company contributes towards education by building schools, donating computers, books, gym equipment, setting up libraries and laboratories, offers vocational guidance and provides scholarships. AM Naik, Chairman and Managing Director, says, “Powered by a new organisational model, the L&T conglomerate with all its constituent entities will now be better primed to meet the challenges of the future and fully leverage business opportunities as they emerge.”

Tel: + 91 22 6752 5656 www.larsentoubro.com

The company’s diversified interests straddle many sectors. It undertakes turnkey projects in the sectors of hydrocarbons, power and water. It carries out construction activities in the segments of infrastructure, buildings and factories, power transmission and distribution, metallurgical and material handling projects, and realty projects. It engineers products for refineries, oil and gas, petrochemicals, fertiliser, coal gasification, aerospace, thermal power plants, nuclear power plants and the defence sector; sets up thermal, hydro, nuclear power plants and undertakes allied activities such as plant automation, transmission and distribution, and power development; manufactures switchgear products, electrical systems, metering solutions, medical equipment and systems, controls and automation, and machinery and industrial products. It provides IT and integrated engineering services; offers financial services such as Awards • The Indian Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Governance and Sustainability Award, 2012 • Golden Peacock Global CSR Award, 2011 • Ranked 10th by Business Today in a list of Best Companies to Work For, 2012

AM Naik, Chairman & MD, Larsen & Toubro, was rated top two of ‘India’s Best CEOs’ by Business Today, INSEAD and Harvard Business Review for 2012. He also won the CNBC TV 18 Asia Outstanding Business Leader Award in 2010 and was conferred the Golden Peacock Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business Leadership in 2010.

Best of India | 211


Infrastructure & Real Estate

On the fast track With diversified interests predominantly in infrastructure, Jaypee Group is also the third largest cement producer in India. The 165 km six-lane Yamuna Expressway from Noida to Agra and India’s Formula1 racetrack Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida are amongst its most visible successes.

The Buddh International Circuit, designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, hosted the country’s first F1 race in October 2011.

H

eadquartered in Noida in Uttar Pradesh, the Jaypee Group is a `15000 crore (US $2.94 billion approximately) diversified infrastructure conglomerate. It was founded by Jaiprakash Gaur, a civil engineering diploma holder from Roorkee University (now Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, one of India’s premier engineering institutes). He became a civil contractor in 1958 and launched his company Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL). From undertaking minor construction works, the Group has progressed over the years and has entered many related fields, and metamorphosed into the Jaypee Group, a multi-billion dollar entity. It has interests in civil engineering, construction and infrastructure, cement, real estate, power, hospitality, information technology, sports and agribusiness. Manoj Gaur took over as Executive Chairman of JAL in December 2006 when his father and the Founder Chairman Jaiprakash Gaur stepped down.

212 | Best of India

Considered to be the leader in the construction of multi-purpose river valley and hydropower projects, the Group simultaneously executed 13 hydropower projects in Bhutan for generation of 10290 MW of power. It participated in 54 percent of hydropower projects developed in the 10th Five Year Plan period and other projects that have added 8840 MW to the central grid between 2002 and 2009. It has also contributed to the building of the Sardar Sarovar Project - India’s largest water resource project, the Tehri Dam, Asia’s highest rock fill dam and the Nathpa Jhakri Power House, India’s largest underground power house. The Group has a strong presence in the power sector and its ongoing projects of varying capacities across the country will have a total hydropower generation capacity of over 5600 MW by 2020. It has also entered the thermal power generation sector with projects that will produce 7850 MW as well as wind power plants in Maharashtra and Gujarat.


The 165 km Yamuna Expressway from Noida to Agra

The Group produces a special blend of Portland Pozzolana Cement under the brand name ‘Jaypee Cement’. Its plants, located in the Satna cluster in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which has one of the highest cement production growth rates in India, have an aggregate capacity of 28 MnTPA (million tons per annum). It is in the process of increasing this capacity to nearly 36 MnTPA by 2013, with Captive Thermal Power plants totaling 672 MW. It is implementing a major infrastructure project, the Yamuna Expressway and ribbon development on 6175 acres at multiple locations along the way for commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and amusement purposes.

Headlining its real estate business is Jaypee Greens, an integrated complex with an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, residences, commercial spaces, corporate park, entertainment and an abundance of greenery on 452 acres. A second similar project has been initiated in Noida with an integrated township, an 18-hole course, two nine-hole courses and residences on 1162 acres. In the hospitality sector, it owns and operates six hotels across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Group focuses on education, socio-economic development and the environment. It runs schools, colleges and universities catering to over 23000 students and plans to reach out to 200000 students within the next ten years. It has established the non-profit Jaiprakash Seva Sansthan to help the underprivileged and has also launched various green initiatives, afforestation drives, conservation efforts and pollution control projects. Manoj Gaur, Executive Chairman, Jaypee Group, says, “JAL’s consistent focus in tapping growth opportunities in its area of competence and deep belief in the nation’s unlimited potential has helped us in excelling across all our business verticals.”

Tel: + 91 120 4609 000 www.jalindia.com Awards • Manoj Gaur, Executive Chairman, Jaypee Group and Sameer Gaur, MD & CEO Jaypee Sports International Ltd, won the Global Standards Award given by NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards 2011 Manoj Gaur, Executive Chairman, Jaypee Group

• The 5.14 km Buddh international circuit was awarded the Motorsport Facility of the Year, 2011

Best of India | 213


Infrastructure & Real Estate

T

Wheels for millions With over 65000 km of track, the government-owned and operated Indian Railways is the world’s fourth largest railway network and the second largest under one management. It owns 7500 stations, employs 14 lakh (1.4 million) people, and ferries over three crore (30 million) passengers and 28 lakh (2.8 million) tonnes of freight every day through 17 zones. It runs over 11000 trains every day, of which over 7000 are passenger trains.

he history of Indian Railways dates back 180 years to 1832 when the first plan for train travel was drafted and the first experimental line was set up near Chennai. The first ever train to run on the Indian sub-continent was in 1843 from Bombay to Thane, a distance of 21 miles. The line was formally inaugurated in 1853 when a train with 14 carriages and 400 passengers made the same journey. Subsequently, passenger trains were introduced in the East 214 | Best of India

in 1854, in the South in 1856 and in the North in 1859. The network expanded rapidly, owing to the British military engineers, but were owned by private companies and numbered 42 by the time of Indian Independence in 1947. After Independence, the Indian government started the process of nationalisation, and three years later they were nationalised and


merged into one single unit, the Indian Railways. Independent units were abandoned in favour of zones, indigenous production was developed and the gradual conversion into broad gauge and electrification began. Steam locomotives began to be phased out in 1985 and the process of computerisation that began in 1987 was completed in 1995. During this time, the entity expanded rapidly, adding tracks and trains to grow into the behemoth that it is today. Simultaneously, some of the major cities started metro services: Kolkata in 1984, Delhi in 2002 and Bangalore in 2011, while a clutch of other cities are under various stages of implementation. During British rule, the government felt it better to separate railway finances from general finances owing to the size and operations, and began presenting a separate railway budget in 1924. The practice

has continued ever since even though the railway budget, which formed 70 percent of the country’s budget in 1924, has dwindled to about 15 percent currently. In addition to the vast domestic network, Indian Railways has rail links with Pakistan and Bangladesh; some of these links have been in existence prior to Independence while others have been established

subsequently, though the links have been active in fits and starts owing to the volatile political climate. There are also a slew of proposed links to Bhutan, to Myanmar from Manipur, to China via Manipur and Myanmar, to Vietnam via Manipur and Myanmar, and a possible link to Thailand, and onwards to Malaysia and Singapore. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, together called the Mountain Railways of India, have been collectively designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai also has a similar status. A set of ultra luxury trains, such as the Palace on Wheels in Rajasthan, Deccan Odyssey running through Maharashtra and Goa, and the Golden Chariot in Karnataka, have been introduced to promote tourism.

• Passengers carried in 2011-12: 758 crore (7586.82 million) • Freight carried in 2011-12: 87 crore (875.6 million) tonnes • Accidents (calculated per million km) in 2006-07: 0.23 • Longest train journey: Dibrugarh (Assam) to Kanyakumari – 4278 km, 82 hours and 40 minutes

Best of India | 215


CHAPTER 18

Media & Events


“The medium is the message.� Marshall McLuhan, (1911 - 1980), Canadian educator and communication theorist

Photo: Asha Thadani


Media & Events

Picture perfect With cutting edge media technology and state-of-the-art products, Real Image has been responsible for a dramatic makeover of the Indian film industry while also making its presence felt across the globe. Its indigenously developed Qube digital cinema system is present in theatres across 33 countries and its innovative products are used by the biggest names in the movie business worldwide – Dreamworks, Landmark Theatres, IMAX, ARRI, Technicolor and Sony Pictures.

Media Artists’ Mix Stage is considered one of the best in its field and is the first in India to receive the THX certification.

H

eadquartered in Chennai, Real Image Media Technologies Pvt Ltd, with a turnover of `180 crore (US $35.2 million approximately) in 2010-11, has offices in key Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi. Its digital cinema business is represented in Hollywood and Europe through its subsidiary, Qube Cinema, Inc. The company was set up by Senthil Kumar and Jayendra Panchapakesan in 1986 to promote technology in the Indian film and broadcast industries when the country lagged significantly behind the rest of the world.

218 | Best of India

The company’s big leap came in 1993 when it partnered with Avid Technology to introduce its nascent Media Composer computer-based non-linear editing system in India. Real Image helped television commercials and feature films adopt non-linear editing, and worked to train editors and modify the workflows in the film industry. This helped catalyse and foster all the creative and technical advances that have made Bollywood a worldwide force in entertainment.


Next, the company approached Digital Theater Systems (DTS), a small US company that had dared to take on the mighty Dolby with a competing digital sound format for cinema. While the rest of the world had – after 20 years of analog stereoscopic sound – moved to digital surround sound, the Indian market still worked exclusively with mono sound. Real Image introduced DTS in India in 1995 and it proved to be an unqualified success in the Indian market, helping revive the fortunes of the film industry, which had been affected by competition from numerous satellite television channels. In 2001, Real Image began the development of Qube Cinema, its own digital cinema system. Created by experts in product design and marketing, the technology was ahead of the curve and was a success in the international market. One of the key players in the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) standards compliant industry, Qube Cinema is the only Indian company in this space. It offers end-to-end solutions for digital cinema that are flexible and powerful. Built from the ground up on a software-based architecture, the Qube system leverages the developments in the computer industry to bring cinemas a cost-effective, professional product. Qube Cinema servers are installed in about 5000 screens across 33 countries across North and South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. Over 4000 feature films have been mastered on Qube mastering solutions. Closer home, Qube is a part of the digital strategy of almost all the multiplex chains and theatrical consolidators in India, and hundreds of independent cinemas. Qube Cinema is also an exclusive partner to several prestigious film festivals including the Venice International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India held in Goa. Real Image has a key patent for a media and advertising distribution and

tracking system, both in the US and India. Its Qube Cinema Network (QCN), networked digital cinema advertising, combines the large screen impact of cinema with the reach and flexibility of a television network in over 2500 prime release screens in India. It offers its clients, who are reputed brands from FMCG, banking, automobile, and electronics, customised and innovative patented digital cinema advertising solutions. One of the company’s divisions is Media Artists, which is considered the best Mix Stage in the country and was the first in India to receive the THX certification. The soundtracks of many memorable films like Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan and Dasavathaaram have been mixed here. Another division, JS Films, a collaborative venture between Panchapakesan and ace cinematographer PC Sreeram, has evolved into a production services company that employs all the technologies marketed by Real Image. The company has brought alternative content to digital cinemas, starting with the first Carnatic music concert film, Margazhi Raagam, conceived and directed by Panchapakesan. The film is an amazing musical experience and the latest 4K Red digital cinema cameras were used in a multi-camera shoot. With studio-quality sound recorded on Avid Pro Tools, it was edited on Avid Media Composer software; conforming and colour grading were done on Image Systems Film Master and the surround sound mixing was done at Media Artists.

Senthil Kumar and Jayendra Panchapakesan are the co-founders of Real Image which has a 50 percent share of the digital cinema market in India and 10 percent of the international market.

Real Image is proud to be a pioneer in the global media technology arena and a serious contender in the DCI standards compliant digital cinema market. Panchapakesan says, “Tomorrow’s entertainment is only limited by the imagination of creators. Real Image is passionate about being the leader in the entertainment technology industry.”

Tel: +91 44 4204 1505 www.realimage.com

Best of India | 219


Media & Events

Entertaining India Applause is sweet music for DNA ENTERTAINMENT NETWORKS be it from concert goers or sports fans. From heavy metal band Metallica to the Sultan of Swing Mark Knopfler, the incandescent Shakira to big-ticket sports events, DNA knows how to woo crowds and has set the benchmark as the largest promoting entity in India.

DNA Networks specialises in spectacular shows.

220 | Best of India


Metallica performing in Bangalore

F

ounded by T Venkat Vardhan in 1986, DNA ENTERTAINMENT NETWORKS is headquartered in Bangalore, with branches in Mumbai and Delhi and an associate office in New York. The company which has a turnover of over `100 crore (US $19.6 million approximately) annually had its big breakthrough in 1988 when it roped in the band EUROPE to play for an audience of 60000 in Mumbai. Be it Yanni juxtaposed against the Taj Mahal in 1997, Sir Elton John playing to audiences across three generations at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore, or the Rolling Stones and Metallica belting out evergreen tunes, this event management company is focused on bringing exhilarating performances to India. Not an easy task in a country that marches to the tune of an invisible background score of multiple licences and restrictions. DNA prides itself on being the only events company in India to have produced live concerts with legends such as Sting, Roger Waters, Lionel Richie, Iron Maiden, Bryan Adams and many more. The company has built its credibility by providing world class quality production for events and delivering a great entertainment experience to live and television audiences across India. DNA was the licensee of MTV in the days before satellite television came to India and later, struck an exclusive alliance with Star TV to leverage the reach of Channel V. It has long standing associations with major corporates, international booking agents and artist management companies that help it cater to different audience segments and promote various international events at regular intervals. DNA has taken music to the roots by producing numerous campus rock shows. The five annual editions of the immensely popular ‘Campus Rock Idols’ have helped promote young talent in India in the rock genre. DNA’s affiliation with sporting events dates back to the World Cup cricket tour of 1999. It went on to handle the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002 and action packed events such as the death defying biking

Shakira performing in Mumbai

stunts by the Australian-based Crusty Demons in 2005. With extensive experience in live sporting events, it has gone on to become an event partner in Sportainment for the ICC Cricket World Cup, the Champions League Twenty20 and the Indian Premier League (IPL). It managed the opening, closing and presentation ceremonies for the first three seasons of IPL and managed the sportainment from seasons one to five. It facilitated international artistes to perform at the opening ceremonies for the Champions League Twenty20 season one and three. It was also involved in hospitality, stadium management and logistics for the events. For the ICC, it organised the World Cup Launch in 2006, West Indies Mascot Promotions in 2007, Match Schedule Launch 2007 and 2010, and the ICC Awards in 2010. DNA became the official accreditation partner for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. It used innovative technology to manage the central access control for the three host countries – India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – across 13 stadiums where it also carried out brand promotional activities.

T Venkat Vardhan, Founder & MD, DNA Entertainment Networks has taken the art of managing events to a whole new level.

Vardhan is a perfectionist and finds inspiration from his late grandfather, Kengal Hanumanthaiah, who was the first Chief Minister of Karnataka and the man behind Bangalore’s landmark Vidhana Soudha which houses the state legislature of Karnataka. “We strive to implement a diverse portfolio of services to our clients and events, constantly raising the bar for live entertainment in India. Doing the right thing and acting with integrity are the key drivers of our success story,” says Vardhan. DNA ENTERTAINMENT NETWORKS has become a formidable force in the live entertainment industry as Vardhan continues to raise the bar of excellence.

Tel: +91 80 426 79800 www.dnanetworks.com

Best of India | 221


Media & Events

Crafting communication Driven by creativity and quality, Raintree Media has a varied portfolio that spans content creation and publishing, new media, brand advisory and events, and is tapping digital and social media.

Spreading the good word - Raintree Media’s catalogue consists of high quality publications. 222 | Best of India


and websites, on a wide range of subjects from travel, lifestyle and food to commerce. Its content portfolio includes the ‘Best of’ series of books in India, the first edition of the Kingfisher Explocity Food Guide, in-flight magazines and travel guides. The company also conceptualises and prepares trial editions for magazines of other publishers.

Sandhya Mendonca, MD & Editor-in-Chief

H

eadquartered in Bangalore, Raintree Media has affiliates in Dubai, Paris, London, Singapore and Nairobi. Its strong relationship with Global Village Partnerships enables it to reach out to the GVP network in 35 countries. Started in 2004, the company has multiple strengths in the media business. One of the first companies in India to identify that media outsourcing was the way forward, Raintree Media provides content to publishers of magazines, newspapers

Custom publishing is its specialisation where it capitalises on its core strengths to offer 360 degree solutions starting from research to providing the printed book. Some of its titles include the The Raj Bhavan Karnataka - Through the Ages, The Glory Years - 125 years of the Madras Gymkhana Club which was hailed as a masterpiece by His Excellency SS Barnala, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Golf Association – the course by the lake and a photobook Table by the Window. Its foray into publishing fiction began with Sentinel House, a novel on the Indian media industry by Allen Mendonca, which received excellent reviews. It is the content partner with Global Village Publications, which publishes the ‘Best of’ series of international coffee table books in India in association with Global Village Partnerships of South Africa. It has so far published Best of Bangalore, Best of Goa, Best of Chennai and the book in your hands Best of India. Brand Advisory is also one of its key offerings and the company extends its

expertise in building brands and media management to start-ups as well as businesses that seek an image make-over. A passion for creativity drives the company that is engaged in a versatile range of media. It works with some of the best talent in art, photography, music and film and has to its credit Little Light, a short film with original music composed by Ramana Gogula with the voice of Arundhati Nag and an album of Hindi music Ishq ki Lehren by Ram Nagaraj. It is also engaged to write scripts for short films and documentaries. The company revels in creativity and this led to a not-for-profit forum supporting the Arts in 2009, aptly named Under the Raintree. The monthly sessions encourage exchanges between established and upcoming writers and artists. Critical appraisal amidst bonhomie is the core idea behind the forum. As part of its community support initiatives Raintree Media set up a Media Lab for My School and supports the Larkspur School. Its affiliate South Fire focuses on digital media, social media marketing and augmented reality. While the company plans to continue with speciality print publishing, the initiatives in New Media will be a strong growth area.

Tel: +91 80 4094 7873 www.raintreemedia.com

A

sha Thadani started photographing people, food, places, history and cultures more than a decade ago. Her work has been published in magazines, books, calendars and commercial advertising projects around the world. A successful advertising photographer, her clients include leading advertising agencies, top retail brands and corporates. She has won national and international awards like the Abby and Clio for her work. Asha has had a solo exhibition at the prestigious Albert Kahn Museum, Paris and at the renowned Christie’s auction house and gallery, Paris. Her photography book, Lost Tribes of India, published by Atlantic will be releasing worldwide this year. She has worked on all the ‘Best Of’ series of coffee table books in India.

Best of India | 223


Other books in the BEST OF... series in India Elegant and informative, our coffee table books are part of the international ‘Best of...’ series published in over 30 territories across the world. These books capture the nuances that make a region tick, from its people and places to commerce and culture.

BEST OF BANGALORE

Volume 1

“The book’s a brand ambassador for the city.” - India Today, Simply Bangalore “Best of Bangalore is an excellent book and captures very accurately what makes Bangalore unique - young, aspirational, meritocratic and truly the Intellectual Capital of India. This is an outstanding book.” - Nandan Nilekani, Chairperson, Aadhar Unique Identification Authority of India

BEST OF GOA Volume 1 “Best of Goa covers the nuances that give the state its exceptional quality.” - Navhind Times “Here we have a high-end book by a sensitive group of persons….it not only transmits the flavour of Goa to the reader but also eloquently expresses the richness of its culture and its society….” - The Herald

BEST OF CHENNAI Volume 1 “Best of Chennai captures the essence of the city through articles and photographs.” - The Hindu “This is something I would be happy to buy and distribute among my friends, especially when I travel overseas. It would be a nice way for my friends from overseas to get to know about my city Chennai.” - Ramesh Krishnan, legendary tennis champion


BEST OF INDIA

Branding a Nation and its people

The BEST OF series

Celebrating success and sustainability BEST OF INDIA showcases the economic and cultural dynamism of India. Read about all that makes India such an epochal country - the key businesses across various sectors that drive its trade and commerce. India’s best companies are presented in this unique business atlas which examines the visionary leadership, focus on innovation, knowledge driven systems, agility, value for people, customers and partners customers – the qualities that contribute to their continuing success. The book celebrates their achievements and looks to offer inspiration through the individual philosophies that power their growth. With a Foreword by Ashok Soota, Suhel Seth on Brand India & Expert Opinions on Indian culture by Ashutosh Gowariker, SG Vasudev, Prathibha Prahlad, Rashid Khan, Shanta Gokhale, K Satchidanandan, Sanjeev Kapoor & Prasad Bidapa. Edited by Sandhya Mendonca

Profile for Sven Boermeester

BEST OF INDIA - Volume 1  

The Best of India encapsulates all that is best in each vertical that drives the country's economy; from the mammoth companies to a sampling...

BEST OF INDIA - Volume 1  

The Best of India encapsulates all that is best in each vertical that drives the country's economy; from the mammoth companies to a sampling...

Profile for svengvp