BEST OF BANGALORE - Innovation Edition

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(L-R seated) Justine Kumar Asirvatham, Sandhya Mendonca, Subhalakshmi Roy (standing) Verghese Timothy, Ravi Handve, Aditya Mendonca

Editor-in-Chief Sandhya Mendonca Editorial Subhalakshmi Roy Raghunandan Capt Seshadri Sreenivasan Arati Rao

Design Ravi Handve Design Support Pramodh BS

Additional Photography Light & Life Photography Kashif Masood Leonard Aarons

Sales Justine Kumar Asirvatham Verghese Timothy Aditya Mendonca

Team photo by Asha Thadani

Accounts Raghavendra P

Raintree Media thanks Ravikumar Kashi for permission to use his original art works. Raintree Media acknowledges the valuable inputs from Prathibha Prahlad, Classical Dancer, Founder Prasiddha Foundation & Founder-Director, Delhi International Arts Festival, for the article on dance, ‘Confluence of styles’; Vikram Sampath, Musicologist, Author & Director for South India of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, for the article on music, ‘An equal harmony’; Prof MS Asha Devi and MK Bhaskara Rao, Journalist, for the article on literature, ‘Wordy accomplishments’.


Best of Bangalore

BEST OF BANGALORE (Volume 2) – Innovation Edition First published 2014 © Raintree Media Pvt Ltd ISBN #978-81-906620-8-6 Printed & Published by Sandhya Mendonca on behalf of Raintree Media Pvt Ltd TF 9 Business Point 137, Brigade Road Bangalore 560025 - India

Resurgent growth We are delighted to present the second edition of BEST OF BANGALORE. Within these glossy pages illustrated with beautiful visuals, our team of diligent researchers and writers, along with industry experts narrate different aspects of Bangalore’s resurgent growth story. The City has changed rapidly since we published the first edition in 2007. It is home to over 8.5 million people, a sizeable number of who have come here from different parts of India and the world to be part of its growth story. The lifestyles of its denizens reflect the progression of this dynamic business and cultural hub. While there are challenges aplenty that need to be met, there is also much to celebrate. In this ‘Innovation edition’, we project the revival of the start-up buzz in Bangalore and focus on the innovations pioneered by the key businesses across various sectors. Breaking away from the sobriquet of ‘World’s back-office’, Bangalore has broken fresh ground with e-commerce and e-retail, technology, R&D, biotech with growth also in manufacturing. While welcoming a host of new companies to the BEST OF series, we revisit some of the big businesses that featured in the first edition to find out the innovations that they have evolved in their products or practices. This edition also showcases a sampling of global companies that have made Bangalore their base, and examine their growth and contribution to the economy and community. We celebrate the cultural dynamism of Bangalore with features on music, art, theatre, literature and cinema. In an innovation of our own, we have used the works of Ravikumar Kashi, one of the most talented contemporary artists of Bangalore at the beginning of each chapter. These are images of his works done in water colour and ink on cast cotton-wrapped pulp, from the series “In pursuit of happiness”. This elegant coffee table book is also a business atlas, and part of the international BEST OF series powered by the GVP network. It is also available in a digital format on /

T: +91 80 4094 7873 Printed at Grafiprint (P) Ltd (divison of WQ Judge Press) Bangalore Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in the BEST OF BANGALORE (Volume 2) – Innovation edition. Neither Raintree Media nor Global Village Partnerships take any 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, modified in any form or by any means (except as quotes in review/articles). This publication shall not be stored in whole or part in any form in any retrieval system.

Our aim has been to make this book appealing to everybody who is interested in what makes Bangalore tick. We hope you enjoy reading it. Do write to me at

Sandhya Mendonca Editor-in-Chief

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Fast Facts l Bangalore Decoded l Priority Class l Road Ahead l Doing Business in Karnataka l An agenda for business - CII l Start-up Capital l Sports




Cinema Fine arts

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Dance Music

Maini Precision Products


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Wipro Aerospace l

l Kembhavi Architecture Foundation l KGD Jaisim-Fountainhead l Venkataramanan Associates



State Bank of India


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Ing Vysya Bank





Mitra Biotech



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Lalit Ashok Blue Ginger

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Azure l Paranda Memories of China

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Garden City College









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Mahindra Reva


Karnataka Milk Federation l Amrut Distilleries l Madhuloka l Maiyas



Nova IVI


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Narayana Health


ITC Gardenia l ITC Windsor l Lalit Ashok l Royal Orchid l The Oberoi l Windflower Prakruthi l Clarks Exotica





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Bogineni Luxury Lifestyle Industries


Prestige - The Man Store



DNA Networks l Galerie De’Arts l Phase 1 l Raintree Media / South Fire

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Nitesh Estates Limited l Vaswani Group l Unishire l VDB

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Happiest Minds l Sakala l SAP l Violet 3D l Philips Innovation Campus





Soma Vineyards

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Body Concepts Peaches Building an Atlas of Success and Sustainability l



Sven Boermeester International Group Publisher

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“There is no substitute for innovation. Original, revolutionary ideas will always rise to the top.” Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

‘In pursuit of happiness‘. Water colour and ink on cast cotton rag pulp. Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Fast Facts

The Vidhana Soudha was constructed in 1956 in the Neo-Dravidian style, with influences of Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian architecture, and houses the state legislature.

Location Located in the southern region of India, Karnataka has an area of 1,91,791 sq km, covering 5.8 percent of the country’s total land area. Divided into 30 districts, the state has a population of 61.13 million (Census 2011) and is the ninth populous state of the country. Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, is situated in the south-east of the state. A landlocked city, it is located almost at the centre of the South Indian peninsula, at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. Geographic coordinates Latitudinal Parallels: 12 degree 8’ N Longitudinal Meridians: 77 degree 37’ E Population The 2011 census of Karnataka pegged the population of Bangalore at approximately 8.5 million. The population density is estimated at 4381 people per sq km. Linguistic groups Kannadigas form 42 percent of Bangalore’s population, Tamilians


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20 percent, Telugu 13 percent, Malayalees 10 percent, people of European origin eight percent, and people from other parts of India seven percent. Religions Hindu 80 percent, Muslim 15 percent, Christian five percent (approximate figures) Languages The regional language is Kannada; English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil are also widely spoken. History Stone Age weapons found in Jalahalli, Siddapura and Jadigenahalli (all in the purview of present-day Bangalore), date back possibly to the period between 2000 and 1000 BC. Inscriptions from the centuries that followed serve as proof of the dynasties that came to power. The credit of laying the foundation of the city in 1537 goes to Kempe Gowda I, a local chieftain. The Mysore royal family and the British are among the key rulers of the region who left an indelible impact on the city.

Governing body The state legislature comprises two houses – the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. While the Governor is the constitutional head of the state, in practice, it is the Council of Ministers, led by the Chief Minister, which exercises all executive powers within the state. The democratically-elected municipal corporation of Bangalore, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), takes care of the civic and infrastructural assets of the city. Major political parties Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular). Pioneering industrialists NR Narayana Murthy (Infosys), Azim Premji (Wipro), Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Biocon), Vijay Mallya (UB Group), Dr Devi Shetty (Narayana Health) Exports Karnataka’s exports amounted to ₹ 218,837 crore ($ 36.6 billion approximately), accounting for 12 percent of the country’s exports in 2012-13. It is the largest software exporter in the country, accounting for 41.6 percent of India’s electronics and software exports in 2011-12. The state is a leading producer of horticultural products and exports a wide variety of goods, from agricultural produce and food such as tobacco, coffee, tea, cashew and spices to carpets, apparels and both handloom and powerloom textiles such as cotton, silk, synthetic/rayon, wool and woollen products. Handicrafts, leather products, gems and jewellery, chemicals and pharmaceutical products and electronic and software engineering are also major exports of the state. Education Karnataka has a strong infrastructure to support education and training in various disciplines. The state has 187 engineering colleges, 114 medical colleges, 22 universities and 13 international schools as well as the largest number of R&D centres, medical institutes and industrial training institutes in the country.

June to September (Monsoon); November to December (intermittent rains) Temperatures: 20°C - 35°C (Summers), 14°C - 28°C (Winters) Clothing Bangalore is a city that balances the traditional with the modern. Saris, kurtas and salwar kameezes are as widely seen as formal trousers, shirts, skirts, jeans and T-shirts. Business days All private and public sector companies are closed on Sunday. The State Government offices are closed on the second Saturday of every month and work for half a day on other Saturdays, as do some private companies. The Central Government and most corporates are closed on Saturday as well. Nationalised banks have different weekly holidays and half days. Shops and supermarkets are open seven days a week. ATMs are open 24/7. Local time IST. Bangalore is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. Country dialing code +91 80 Internet Code .in Currency Indian Rupees (₹) Electricity 240 volts AC 50 HZ Annual events January

Economic Milestones Karnataka was the first state to introduce an Industrial Policy as well as a dedicated Aerospace Policy. The first aircraft manufacturing unit and International Technology Park were set up here. The state has the largest biotechnology hub and boasts the first Institute of Biotech and Bio-Informatics in India.

Makara Sankranti (harvest festival) The Annual Feast, Infant Jesus Church Rath Yatra, ISKCON temple Lal Bagh Flower Show (biannual)

Environmental issues Like many metropolitan cities around the world, Bangalore faces the challenges of a rapid pace of growth. The demand for water for domestic and non-domestic uses is ever-increasing. In terms of the quality of the air, Bangalore figures prominently among the highly polluted cities. The problem of garbage disposal warrants critical attention. Trees have been sacrificed for the construction of the Bangalore Metro transit system.

Ugadi (Hindu new year) Bangalore Karaga Ram Navami

Natural resources None Natural hazards None Climate Mediterranean in nature, the climate of Bangalore is considered the best in the country. March to May (warmest months); December to January (coldest months)


July The Kingfisher Derby, The Bangalore Turf Club August-September St. Mary’s Feast, St. Mary’s Basilica The Lal Bagh Flower Show (biannual) October-November Bangalore Kannada Rajyotsava December Kadalekai Parishe (groundnut fair), The Bull Temple

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Introduction 102

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Bangalore Decoded From laidback to cosmopolitan, the perception of Bangalore and Bangaloreans has changed in the last few decades. Over the years, the ‘pensioners’ paradise’ has become a potpourri of residents from diverse cultural backgrounds and age groups, who have changed the character of the city.

The Lalbagh lake is one of the most picturesque locales in the city, and a favourite with morning walkers and joggers. Photo by: Aditya Mendonca

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The stunning red brick classic Colonial building Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall houses the State Central Library with a treasure trove of books. It was built in 1915 in honour of K Sheshadri Iyer who was the Dewan of Mysore State from 1883 to 1901.

Bangalore has been privileged with a wonderful green bequest from two of its past rulers, Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, who created Lalbagh as a royal pleasure garden. Later, the British brought in formal gardens and introduced trees from the Mediterranean (the Cypress), South America (the Cerrado) and Australia (the Hoop and the New Caledonian Pines). In 1908, the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar, hired the German botanical expert Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel who created several gardens and introduced the annual popular flower shows at Lalbagh. Nearly 673 genera and 1,854 species of plants can be seen in this park that spans 240 acres in the heart of the city.

The Cubbon Park stretches across approximately 200 acres in the heart of the city.

Bangalore’s blossoms follow a spectacular seasonal sequence through the year, starting with early blooming Tabebuias in glorious pink and bright yellow in February-March. In summer there are vibrant hues of the Gul Mohur (May flower), with the Pink Cassia adding a delicate contrast. With the rains come the heady Sampige (Champak/Indian Magnolia) and Mallige (Jasmine) and the blue mauve Jacaranda light up November and January.

Best of by: Bangalore 103 Photo Bright Solomon


or years now, people from around the world have been moving here to work, and many Bangaloreans too have been employed by homegrown transnational and multi-national companies that populate the city. The mix of influences has led to a personality change of the denizens who are shedding their conservative ways and shy attitude. Much like its residents, Bangalore is a city that is constantly in evolution. The metro that is connecting different parts of the city is an indicator of a future where commuting will be very different from the past, when zipping around on a two-wheeler was the norm. Change is indeed written in every chapter of the city’s history. BEANTOWN Different sources are attributed to the name ‘Bengaluru’ or ‘Bangalore’. Some have referred to it as ‘Bengavalooru’ (a city of guards), while a legend from the 12th century says that the Hoysala king, Veera Ballala II, was lost and hungry during a hunt. An old woman offered the ruler benda kalu (boiled beans), leading to his referring to the place as ‘Bendakaluru’. These monikers lead to the modern vernacular (and now official) name of Bengaluru or the anglicised still-popular version, Bangalore. THE GENESIS Kempe Gowda I, an agricultural chieftain, laid the foundation of Bangalore as a mud-walled town in 1537. Kempe Gowda II, the son of Kempe Gowda I, is credited with developing the town and building watchtowers around the city. The towers can be seen even today, and one of them sits atop a peninsular gneiss, a rock formation that dates back billions of years, in Lalbagh. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan (years of reign 1761-1799) gave the city the much loved Lal Bagh. In their roles as superintendents of the garden, John Cameron, GH Krumbiegel, Rao Bahadur HC Javaraya, K Nanjappa and Dr MH Marigowda made noteworthy contributions; Krumbiegel, in particular, is credited with initiating flower shows in the verdant space. Till date, the garden draws visitors in droves. THE RAJ YEARS The British captured the town in 1791. In 1809, Bangalore was chosen to be their Cantonment, due to its favourable geographical location in the southern peninsula and its climate. The city became the capital of the British Raj in Karnataka in 1834, and had two distinct parts: the pettah or pete (fortified town) in the western part of the city, administered by the Mysore king, and the Cantonment in the eastern part, which came under British purview. Colonial architecture, which gave special attention to a substantial space for greenery, started to come up during this period. A vast park was created in 1870, by Sir John Meade, the acting Commissioner of Mysore. Originally called Meade’s Park, it became popular as Cubbon Park, after the longest serving Commissioner, Sir Mark Cubbon. In the post-Independence years of the 1950s, an iconic landmark of the city, the Vidhana Soudha, was constructed, which became the seat of the state legislature. Bangalore continued as the capital of the newly unified Mysore state in 1956, which was renamed Karnataka in 1973.


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A pleasant sign of urban revival, the city’s beloved MG boulevard has been recreated, after making way for a metro station. With the replanting of the magenta bougainvillea (originally from Brazil), the Metro Rangoli Center has space for art, theatre and music.

IT BOOM The next transition of Bangalore began in the 1980s, when IT services began to blossom as an industry. Soon, the city became the preferred destination for back-office service centres. Technology and multinational companies abound here, as do smaller start-ups that find the environment of the city conducive for their ideas. People have been moving in from other parts of the country in pursuit of their careers and the pleasant climate as well, bringing their own cultural influences with them. Thanks to its cosmopolitan character, Bangalore has been a perennial favourite for test-marketing consumer brands from chewing gum to denims and diamonds. According to a 2013 ‘Bangalore Retail Report’ brought out by Vestian Global, the city is the third most preferred retail destination in India after Delhi and Mumbai. This is the direct result of Karnataka, along with 11 other states and union territories, agreeing to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in June 2013. Mall culture has steeped itself into the psyche of Bangaloreans and there are extravagant malls in every locality. Stores selling trendy Indian and international brands of apparel, electronics, accessories and sports merchandise can be found on the different floors, and hefty discounts are offered during sales. With multiplexes, food courts and bowling arenas and spas, the lure of the malls is seemingly irresistible. Pubs and microbreweries, coffee and fast food are ubiquitous. Cuisine from different parts of the world finds favour, and there are plentiful options. The hustle and bustle of present-day Bangalore is a far cry from the peaceful city of old. The essence of the city’s charm lies in bridging the divide between old and new, quite like the IT millionaire stepping out of a ritzy car to savour the soft idlis and hot sambhar in the little neighbourhood darshini that does roaring business cheek by jowl with a designer boutique.

Bangaloreans have eclectic culinary tastes, favouring both the good old staple local fare of idli/dosa and authentic filter coffee served in darshinis along with Western fare in chic eateries.

UNIQUE FESTIVALS OF BANGALORE The Bull temple in Basavanagudi hosts the popular Kadalekai Parishe or groundnut festival every December. It has a fair-like atmosphere including amusement rides for kids, and stalls selling everything from food to home décor, with of course, a great variety of groundnuts. Another special event is the colourful Karaga that pays homage to the Pandava princess Draupadi. It takes place in March or April at the Dharmaraya temple in Nagarthpet. In September, a sea of ochre-robed followers converge at St Mary’s basilica to commemorate the nativity of Mother Mary. During the month of Ramzan, that usually occurs during July or August, Muslims break their rigorous fast with a lavish meal in the evening. Many parts of the city, such as Mosque Road, Frazer Town, Johnson Market and Shivajinagar, draw gourmands of all faiths, eager to savour delicacies such as piping hot samosas, spicy kababs or the rich haleem. Festivals like Rama Navami, Dasara and Christmas bring together people of all faiths through their cultural programmes. Other religions like Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism too find due place in the spiritual map of the city.

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The Karaga is a tall floral pyramid that is balanced on the carrier’s head, a man who dresses as a woman for the event. Celebrated during the first month of the Hindu new year, thousands of devotees participate in the Karaga procession. Photo by: Cop Shiva.

The glitzy UB City reflected in the lily pond of Venkatappa Art Gallery. Photo by: Vivek Mathew


Priority class Even as tourist traffic into Karnataka increases, the state Tourism Department is all set to keep the momentum growing. During the calendar year 2013, the state had 98 million domestic tourists – a 4.2 percent growth and 6.36 lakh international tourists - a 6.88 percent growth. The government has made tourism a priority sector and allotted ₹ 399 crores ($ 66.8 million approximately) for its development.

The new tourism initiatives will ensure that publicity, planning and preparation for festivals like the world famous pageant of Dasara in Mysore and the Hampi Utsav in Central Karnataka happen well in advance. Photo by: Karnataka Tourism Department


V Deshpande, Minister for Tourism & Higher Education, says, “We are focusing on maximising Karnataka’s tourism potential. A new Tourism Policy is being implemented (based on the recommendations of the Tourism Vision group). Tourism is the largest employer in the world and in many countries it contributes 10 percent of the GDP, but in Karnataka, like in the rest of the country, it has a share of only three to four percent. The state has a large number of tourist destinations that are of interest to tourists from the region, India and across the world.


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Tourists have been classified into four categories: national, regional, state and international. The plan is to increase per capita tourist spending and to cater to both mass and niche tourists.

and 11 islands. The state will also tap into adventure, medical and spiritual tourism.

A host of initiatives are on the anvil, from increasing the potential of high-tourist areas like Mysore to getting more areas recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage sites.

About 300 places across the state have been identified for their tourist potential and they will be developed in gradual stages with private sector involvement. Private companies would be able to approach a single agency for all the clearances that they need.

The State’s major cultural festivals like Dasara and Hampi Utsav will be given more prominence, and tourism will be developed along the 300 km coastline in 41 beaches

In the pipeline are the creation of as many as four million jobs in the tourism sector and revenue generation of ₹ 85,000 crore ($ 14.2 billion approximately). The Vision Group

The stone chariot in Hampi was constructed during the 15th century and is a popular tourist attraction.

suggests an investment of ₹ 73,000 crore ($ 12.2 billion approximately) of which 50 percent is to come via private sector investments. The thrust of the government’s role under the new tourism policy will be on infrastructure and the creation of human resources. The latter would include introducing curriculum in colleges that would help young people enter the tourism industry and train them to be good multilingual guides. The emphasis in hospitality industry would be to train a large number of wait staff, chefs and house-keeping personnel.

opening hours at nightspots, using Golden Chariot, the palace-on-wheels train, as a dining option when stationary, and starting an arts, crafts and more cultural events in the city. Bangalore will also get a world class MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) facility on a 435-acre plot near the airport. The plan is to make this a ‘Go To’ destination for events, with adventure, heritage and wine trails in the area around Nandi Hills and Devanahalli Fort and wine tours for visitors. CUBBON PARK

We are going to press for bilateral tourism promotions with other countries, and will seek to associate with sister states to increase visibility. Karnataka is beautiful, and we plan to enable more tourists to appreciate our state.”

Cubbon Park is home to 68 genera and 96 species of over 6000 trees and plants from around the world and dates back to British colonial rule in 1873. From its original size of 300 acres, the park has considerably lost its foliage and today has an expanse of around 200 acres.

CAPITAL FOCUS There are plans to tap into urban tourism in the capital city of Bangalore, and a host of initiatives have been recommended to reinforce its cosmopolitan image: relaxed

The heritage park will now be administered by the Cubbon Park Management Authority (CPMA), which is modelled on the English Heritage / National Trust in the UK.

RV Deshpande, Minister for Tourism & Higher Education, “We plan to improve infrastructure in places of tourist interest to attract more visitors. We welcome local, domestic and foreign visitors.”

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The Road Ahead Bangalore will soon become the first city in the country to offer free Wi-Fi connectivity to its residents. Currently being tested around Mahatma Gandhi Road and parts of Jayanagar, the project will soon include the rest of the city. Alongside the infobahn, a slew of infrastructure projects have been lined up for this infotech capital: expansion of the metro rail, bus rapid transit system, expanded airport, improved roads that reduce travel time, power and industries that will generate employment, are all in the works.

An answer to the traffic woes plaguing Bangalore, the Metro, once completed, will not only reduce travel time spent on city streets but also provide an ecologically viable option for daily commutes.

METRO RAIL According to a transport department estimate, there are over 60 lakh vehicles in Bangalore. With the number of vehicles increasing at a rate of 15 percent each year, gridlocks are a big problem in this growing city. An ambitious metro rail project is rolling out across phases and is set to surpass similar projects in other cities. The completion cost of the first phase ‘Namma Metro’ by the Bangalore Metro


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Rail Corporation Limited is pegged at ₹ 13,984 crore ($ 2.3 billion approximately). The first phase of Bangalore Metro became operational in 2011 with the purple line gliding between MG Road and Byappanahalli. The green line started operating in March 2014, between Sampige Road station and Peenya Industry station. The two other lines of Phase 1, Majestic to Puttanahalli and Majestic to Mysore Road will become operational by March 2015 with

The six-lane KIA expressway has been built at a cost of â‚š 680 crore ($114 million approximately)

the opening of the N-S and E-W underground tunnels which will then seamlessly connect Byappanahalli to Mysore Road terminal and Puttanahalli to Hesaraghatta Cross.

Other measures to ease traffic congestion include a dedicated bus lane being planned on the 62 km Outer Ring Road and bicycle tracks such as the 42 km cycle track in Jayanagar.

Phase 2 of the metro rail project includes four extensions to the existing two lines and two new lines from RV Road to Bommasandra and Gottigere - IIMB - Nagawara. The total completion cost of Phase 2 is estimated to be â‚š 26,406 crore ($ 4.4 billion approximately)


EASING THE GRIDLOCK Within the city, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will construct a six-lane steel flyover from Basaveshwara circle to Mekhri circle. The Bangalore Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning a flyover to connect Sirsi Circle on Mysore Road with the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project. Other projects include grade separators and flyovers at various city junctions with high car passenger units. The BBMP is also considering imposing a congestion tax for vehicles entering the central business district.

The biggest problem that passengers heading to the new Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), 36 km from the city centre, faced was the time taken to reach the airport. This problem has eased after the new elevated tollway connecting Hebbal with the airport became operational from January 1, 2014. The Outer Ring Road has also improved with flyovers, underpasses and grade separators that have reduced travel time from the south and south-east to the KIA. A new route to KIA is also being planned, after a second entrance is built by the airport consortium. This road will connect Hennur cross on the Outer Ring Road with the airport. The Government is also looking at starting a metro rail connection to the airport. INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERS A Biotech Park, an Apparel Park and an

Airport City around Doddaballapur and Devanahalli are coming up. An IT City and a new phase of Electronic City are being set up in the southern part of Bangalore bordering Hosur. Closer to Hoskote, the state government is setting up a manufacturing hub at Narasapura as part of the Hoskote industrial corridor. POWER To meet the rising demand for power, a combined cycle power plant is coming up at Bidadi, 35 km from Bangalore; it will use LNG gas from the Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline. It will fuel home kitchens along the Outer Ring Road once the state government forms an implementing authority. VERTICAL MANTRA As the demand for housing keeps increasing and land prices escalate, new high rises are set to change the city skyline. The Bangalore Development Authority, which has the mandate of providing housing, has decided to partner with private builders to construct apartments.

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Doing Business in Karnataka Karnataka is among the top five industrialised states in the country and has a framework for guiding investments and dedicated institutions to streamline project approvals. With an educated workforce and a relatively peaceful environment, the state’s diversified resource base makes it a preferred investment destination for investors.


he state contributes to seven percent of agricultural production in the country. It is the largest producer of coffee, the second largest producer of flowers, the third largest producer of plantation crops and the fourth largest producer of spices, and manufactures 70 percent of the silk produced in the country. Its capital city Bangalore is recognised as the technology capital of India. The total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the State during the last decade accounted for six percent of the total FDI inflows to India, and were mainly in computer software, hardware,


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aviation and manufacturing, according to Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry). TECHNOLOGY Karnataka leads in Information Technology; Infosys and Wipro, amongst India’s largest software companies are headquartered in Bangalore. It has 47 IT/ ITeS special economic zones (SEZ), numerous software technology parks in both government and private sectors, and dedicated IT investment regions.

Bangalore is home to the largest bio-cluster in India, with total revenues of over ₹ 1400 crore ($ 234.5 million approximately) and hosts 158 of the 320 biotech companies in India, such as Biocon, which figures among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the country. The state’s success stories with IT and BT sectors are an outcome of fiscal and financial incentives to investors and its complementary infrastructure of technical institutions, laboratories and research facilities. SERVICES SECTOR The services sector dominates the economy and contributes about 57 percent of the state’s income. Hotels and restaurants (25 percent), real estate (16 percent), and banking and insurance and other services (15 percent) constitute the sector.

One of the earliest start-ups, this blue chip IT company placed Bangalore firmly on the global map as the Silicon Valley of India.

2014 through renewable sources of energy. It has been identified as having the highest wind energy potential in India at 11531 MW.

MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR Karnataka is the manufacturing hub for some of the largest public sector industries in India, and several in the private sector like ABB, Bosch, United Breweries, Kirloskars close to 50 companies whose stocks are publicly traded. While the state accounts for 5.38 percent of the total registered factories in the country, the contribution of manufacturing to GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) in Karnataka has been stagnant from 2007-08, ranging from 29 percent to 30.7 percent. Industry bodies have been urging the government to give an impetus to manufacturing, and a Manufacturing Task Force has compiled a report to boost employment in this sector. POWER The growth of electricity consumption has outpaced the additions in capacity, leading to an energy deficit in the state. There is a huge potential in nonconventional energy, and the state plans to add 4200 MW by

The Ministry of Commerce has proposed Industrial Corridors covering potential areas across the state. A project for development of MumbaiBangalore Industrial Corridor has been initiated along with Chennai-Bangalore-Chitradurga (on the Bangalore-Mumbai axis). The corridor proposes to cover eleven district headquarters and over 20 major towns along the highways/major roads and rail links. As part of this programme, the major industrial corridors/ zones/nodes have been proposed along the following highways: Bidar-GulbargaBellary-Hiriyur, Tumkur-Honnavar via Shimoga, ChitradurgaMangalore via Shimoga-Udupi, Chitradurga-Hospet-KoppalRaichur and Chitradurga-HospetBagalkot-Bijapur. SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES The Central government has established sector specific SEZs for pharmaceuticals

and biotechnology, IT & ITeS, textiles, steel, automobile, petrochemicals, food processing and agro-based industries, through both public and private initiatives, at various locations in the state. Investors who set up units in SEZs can reap a host of benefits like tax rebates, exemption from duties and levies among others. LAW The judicial system of Karnataka is based on Indian law as applicable to its citizens and foreigners. Trials are in both the local language Kannada, and English. The state has a robust Lok Ayukta infrastructure in place as well as courts that take up public interest litigation against corruption. INVESTOR FACILITATORS Karnataka Udyog Mitra is the single point contact for investors Sakala e-services and on-demand services allow citizens, including investors, to access information about government services and the status of their projects on The state government has set up a host of government departments and agencies to facilitate investment and businesses such as: Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation - Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited - Electric Supply Company Urban Development Department - Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board - It hosts several national and international investor meets such as the IT/ BT conference and the Global Investors Meet to showcase the various sectors and projects in which it seeks investment under the public private partnership (PPP) models. Global Investors Meet - http://www.advantagekarnataka. com/global-investor-meet12/ highlights.php

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An agenda for business Bangalore is known for its signature Information Technology (IT) and sectorial R&D. However, it has a long history of manufacturing due to the strong presence of public sector undertakings such as HAL, BEML, BHEL and private sector multinationals Bosch, Toyota Kirloskar, Wipro and Volvo. The companies have focused on innovation, redesigning products and services to meet the changing demands of both domestic and global markets. The city also fosters diverse operating sectors such as aerospace engineering, biotechnology and garment manufacturing.

Bangalore is home to almost 90 percent of Karnataka’s textile and garment industry.


oumitra Bhattacharya, Joint Managing Director, Bosch India and former Chairman, CII Karnataka State Council, outlines the industrial scenario in Bangalore. Excerpts from his interview: Industry sectors such as textiles have rejigged themselves and are looking at a resurgent growth path. Many new hospitals and specialised care centres have opened up, giving the city a reputation as a health centre.


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Existing industries too are changing according to the needs of the market; for instance, in IT, there has been a transition to value-added services, both in terms of end-to-end work (on and off site) and embedded technology. Bangalore is also the nerve centre of the resurgent start-up trend in India. It is an incubator for entrepreneurial work; there are a lot of venture capitalists here. Bangalore embraces a kaleidoscopic influx

Soumitra Bhattacharya, Joint Managing Director, Bosch India

of people, across cultural backgrounds, professions, states and countries, yet retains an inherent character which makes it one of the most favoured cities in India. The city’s entrepreneurial climate attracts investment from all over the world. However, there are critical issues that need to be tackled, such as urbanisation, water, garbage, power, administration and basic civic amenities like roads. These require the collaborative effort of industry, industry representatives like CII and the Government.

Business Enabler


andeep Maini, Chairman, CII Karnataka State Council, talks about the challenges of the various sectors of industry and the role of the CII: 1. What are the key drivers of the economy in the state, and Bangalore, in particular? The key driver for economic growth in Bangalore continues to be the services sector (within the IT/ITES). The services sector grew at an average rate of 7.18 percent from 2009-10 till 2012-13 in the state as compared to the industrial sector which grew at a low rate of 3.10 percent in the same period. However, the growth is not completely skewed towards the services sector. The primary sector and the agriculture sector which stand as a reasonable proxy for the primary activities in an economy, grew at rates of 4.05 percent and 5.18 percent respectively. The state’s economy is growing below its production possibility frontier. This can be attributed to policy uncertainties prevailing domestically and globally, and we will have to wait and see how the stabilisation of the domestic and global economies continue before a clearer picture emerges. 2. How have the various industry sectors evolved here? Skewed development has unfortunately become a part of the Karnataka growth story. The move towards a knowledge economy has to a certain extent come at the cost of the slowdown/decrease in importance of the manufacturing industry. This, coupled with problems in connectivity of north and south Karnataka, has resulted in an unequal development pattern. 3. Which are the sectors affected by the slowdown? The manufacturing industry has been worst hit by the slowdown. Within the manufacturing industry, the automotive, construction equipment and auxiliary manufacturing are some of the sectors which have been badly affected. The mining sector has also seen deceleration of growth. 4. Which are the operating sectors that are thriving currently? IT/ITES, machine tool industry, power

sector and aerospace industry are currently operating without any major strain. 5. What are the opportunities and challenges for the various operating sectors in Bangalore? Four NIMZs (National Investment and Manufacturing Zones) will be established in the state as per the National Manufacturing Policy 2011. The recently released i4 policy and textile policy by the state also opens up various possibilities in terms of innovative methods of operating businesses. The forthcoming State Industrial Policy 2014-19 also provides various incentives in terms of development of private industrial estates, operating industries on a plug and play basis and development of industrial corridors. The food processing industry will also offer a plethora of opportunities in the medium term. In terms of challenges, ease of doing business continues to be a major roadblock, along with delays in infrastructure projects, industrial relations and environmental clearances.

the state. CII also organised a series of workshops aimed at increasing awareness of financing and funding available to MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). The Partnership Summit 2014 was another such effort aimed at positioning the city and the state as an attractive investment destination in the country. The summit is CII’s international flagship event organised annually with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and a Partner State. The Partnership Summit 2014 was the 20th edition with the theme ‘Emerging Global Value Chains: Building Partnerships’ and it was a platform for exploring the various facets of innovation that can drive future growth. The summit featured Heads of State and Governments, Ministers, senior bureaucrats, academicians and prominent CEOs. Bahrain was the partner country, and over 300 overseas delegations and 800 Indian delegates participated in the summit.

6. What is CII’s role in driving growth? CII Karnataka has been an active partner of the Government of Karnataka (GoK) in terms of suggesting policy interventions aimed at driving inclusive and broad based growth. One significant achievement of CII has been the formation of the GoK- CII Aerospace Taskforce to make concrete recommendations for making Bangalore an aerospace hub in Asia. CII has also pushed for, and been successful in, extending the power purchase agreements made by BESCOM. CII, as part of the Karnataka Tourism Vision Group, submitted a report underlining eight recommendations aimed at boosting the potential for tourism in the State, leading to increased employment and investment in the State. According to the report, over four million new jobs and revenue generation of Rs 85,000 crore ($ 14.2 billion approximately) can be achieved. 7. Describe some of CII’s recent efforts to boost business in the city? CII, in collaboration with the GoK, is organising a series of workshops for the Heads of Departments/Line Heads of the government. These workshops will aim at increasing the ease of doing business in

Sandeep Maini, Best of Bangalore Chairman, 31 CII Karnataka

State Council and Chairman, Maini Group


Start-up Capital Bangalore is abuzz again with a new energy and drive. The figures say it all: 41 percent of start-ups in India are springing up in Bangalore, according to It is the only Indian city to feature among the Top 20 start-up ecosystems in the world in a 2012 study by Startup Genome. From innovative technologies to internet-based applications, from ecommerce portals to creative products and services, a number of young companies call Bangalore their home.

A Start-up Saturday event in Bangalore


ikened to the Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurial climate of Bangalore had made it the information technology capital of India during the 1990s. The legendary start-ups Infosys and Microland and the resurgent Wipro have inspired a legion of aspiring entrepreneurs. Having made its mark as the world’s back office,


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the growth of a supportive eco-system has led to Bangalore picking up a buzz as the start-up capital of India. Bangalore is abuzz with successful start-ups across diverse verticals: Online retail start-ups Flipkart, Myntra and (an online bus ticketing portal), Little Eye Labs,

(that builds mobile app analysis tools, EmployeeSocial (a social recognition solution for the process of employee rewards), Zoomdeck (a tool to make photos interactive), HackerEarth (a platform that connects programmers and companies), Eduflix (creates video lectures), and InterviewMaster (an

online video interview tool). From the animation specialist Technicolour India that creates onscreen magic for Hollywood films to local brands like Chumbak that designs quirky souvenirs and the retail tea chain Chai Point, these new ventures span a variety of businesses.

Starting a new business has never been easier in Bangalore. There are several programmes that help kick-start businesses, with facilities for long-term incubation and guidance from mentors and peers. The Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) established in 2000 at IIMB, Bangalore (the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, a premier business school in the country) provides both mentoring and incubation for potential entrepreneurs. It has incubated over 45 companies to date. The incubator is open to any entrepreneur in any vertical of business so long as they meet the selection criteria. The Centre hosts a flagship event 4startups on the first Saturday of the month. This half-day workshop

on various aspects of starting or growing an enterprise attracts 300 participants. An open mentoring session is held twice a month and is open to any entrepreneur, while a mentor is assigned to each person who comes on board the incubator programme. The Centre has incubated unusual and off-beat companies: Just Books is a new generation community library chain, while Milaap Social Ventures is a mission-driven company that mobilises crowd-funding for communities in need. Among other successful companies incubated at NSRCEL are the advanced text analytics and social engagement solutions provider Meshlabs which was recently acquired by US based Nasdaq listed PegaSystems, Amagi which makes cloud enabled TV broadcast Infrastructure and

Mango Technologies, a couple of whose products was acquired by Qualcomm. The Centre is emerging as a hub for various organisations that support women entrepreneurs. It also manages IIMB’s partnership with the Indian Institute of Science and the National Centre for Biological Sciences. Technology giant Microsoft has an accelerator programme that provides state-of-the-art workspace, access to technology and hands on mentoring by Microsoft experts to start-ups. Events such as the ‘Bangalore Start-up Weekend’, ‘Start-up Saturday’ and ‘in50hrs’ have conference rooms packed with determined entrepreneurs, working hard to shape up a business prototype over a weekend. These events not

only facilitate an exchange of start-up ideas, but also, provide a platform to bring start-ups and potential investors together. Start-up Saturday is the longest running startup event in Bangalore. It is organised on the second Saturday of every month from February 2008. Start-up Saturdays are interactive sessions comprising of debates, discussions and presentations which bring together aspiring entrepreneurs with potential mentors and investors. It is organised by Headstart Network, a volunteer driven non-profit entity which was founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Aditya Mishra, Amit Singh, Arpit Aggarwal and Netra Parekh. Apart from Start-up Saturdays, it organises Headstart Higher, an employment fair for start-ups and Headstart Hackerspace, a series of talks, presentations and competitions for start-ups in the technology sector. www.startupsaturday. The share-a-workspace idea is catching up in Bangalore. Jaaga is a creative community project that supports techies, entrepreneurs, online learners and artists conceptualised by Archana Prasad and Freeman Murray. It supports creative entrepreneurs with space, networks and programmes along with hosting workshops, presentations, founder meets, peer sharing and fun evenings of entertainment and learning. Prasad says, “Jaaga is driven by people, commitment, passion and creativity. Activities and events at the space encourage not only professional development but also nurture the sense of community and encourage creative dialogues”. 10,000 Startups, a National Association of Softwares and Services Companies (NASSCOM) initiative, inaugurated ‘Startup Warehouse’, a shared office space available at subsidised rates.

NSCRL incubatees

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“A good entrepreneur in Bangalore will find money, as there’s availability of capital.”

Pradeep Kar, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Microland, and a serial technology entrepreneur.

PRADEEP KAR, who set up the IT infrastructure management services provider Microland in 1989, says he chose Bangalore due to the city’s access to talent, a DNA of research and development in electronics and defence, and good climate. He attributes the huge resurgence in the internet economy and start-ups in this space to deregulation of the Telecom sector.

This is quite a change from the time he started Microland when finance was available only through institutions. Earlier, the horizons were longer, capital investment was smaller, and the exits were yet not thought of. Now, he says, there is both the availability of capital and availability of opportunities for capital to be invested.

“Before 2005, most technology entrepreneurs who built businesses focused largely on addressing opportunities outside the country, but now we are seeing a huge burst of entrepreneurship focused on the domestic market. We are replicating models which have existed and done well internationally and making them relevant to the Indian market.”

The startups environment could improve in Bangalore if the Indian government creates regulatory frameworks such as Limited Liabilities that are essential for risk taking. He also advocates a cultural change where failure is accepted, as is dropping out of school/college to start one’s own business.

Kar points out that India has a much higher percentage of mobile users accessing the net than oversees. Support industries like real estate have boomed too along with retail and hospitality. The large number of startups has attracted a significant presence of angel investors and incubators.


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While angel investment is in its infancy here, he predicts that the resurgence of the internet boom which will be very good for India. “The youth have grown up on the mobile and internet economy, and are now building solutions to problems that customers are facing. I am optimistic that the future is very bright.”, says Kar.

“Bangalore has the right eco system for startups” BEN MATHIAS, who set up the Indian operations of the global venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates, represents the new breed of Venture Capitalists (VCs) – locals who go abroad and have come back to represent VC funds. Besides his personal reasons for choosing Bangalore, Mathias says that the critical mass of the city keeps investors interested. “There are a lot of technically competent people here, and some of them get good ideas, leave big companies and start their own. Take for example this suburb of Whitefield. There are many large employers of tech here like GE, SAP, Accenture, Dell and Cisco. I have seen a lot of people from such companies around here leave to set up startups and grow big enough to move on to large offices. Headquartered in Bangalore, NEA’s portfolio includes companies from all over India. It has invested in the areas technology, healthcare and energy, in companies that are building technology either for the Indian market or the global market. Mathias says, “We get five to ten proposals a week seeking investments, and many of these are from Bangalore. I base my judgement on several factors: the hub in the market, competitive advantage (could be cost), the quality of the team - this is subjective, intuitive and not strictly measurable.”

Ben Mathias, Executive Director, New Enterprise Associates India Pvt Ltd.

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Potential entrepreneurs ideate at Jaaga.


The Sporting Bangalorean World class training facilities and a strong passion for excellence have given Bangalore a rich roster of sporting greats in various sports.

Joint holders of the record for most consecutive wins in the IPL (7 matches in 2011), RCB is owned by Vijay Mallya and captained by Virat Kohli. Their attack is spearheaded by Chris Gayle, the blaster from Jamaica, who has hit the highest number of sixes (192) in the IPL till date.

SPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA Playing host to various national camps prior to major international events, including the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cups, the regional headquarters of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is located in the Bangalore University campus on Mysore Road. The 100-acre campus is equipped with state-of-the-art training facilities as well as a dedicated Sports Sciences faculty, which offers courses on sports physiology, bio-mechanics and sports medicine. The organisation also offers diploma courses in various sports such as athletics, badminton, hockey, swimming and many others. CRICKET The M Chinnaswamy Stadium, home ground of the Karnataka state cricket team and of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the city’s representative in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was constructed in 1970. It has hosted numerous Test matches, One Day Internationals, including the prestigious Cricket World Cup (1987, 1996 and 2011) as well as the Twenty20 games of the IPL. The stadium has witnessed Gundappa Viswanath’s thundering square cuts and the spin magic conjured by Erapalli Prasanna and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar during the 1960s. The 1990s generation


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cheered Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad as they bowled high speed deliveries, the subtle pace variations of leg spinner Anil ‘Jumbo’ Kumble, the third highest test wicket taker in the world, and the stoic determination of Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid, one of the most formidable batsmen in international cricket with more than 10,000 runs to his credit. Bangalorean Shantha Rangaswamy was the first woman cricketer in India to make a test century in 1977. The next generation of cricketers like Robin Uthappa, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Agarwal and Abhimanyu Mithun demonstrate great potential. FOOTBALL The history of football in the city stems from the establishment of the Karnataka State Football Association in 1946. Stalwarts such as Arumainayagam, Shanmugam Venkatesh and N Ulaganathan have all begun their careers playing in the Bangalore Division Football League, before moving to the national team. Ulaganathan played as a winger in the 1970s, dazzling spectators with his dribbling skills. Venkatesh was one of the best midfielders for India and was named ‘Player of the Year’ in 2004-2005 by the All India Football Federation. Followers of ‘The Beautiful Game’ still abound, who now cheer the Bengaluru Football Club (Bengaluru FC), the city’s representative in Indian league (I-League), which created history by becoming the first I-League team to win the title on debut in 2014.

Owned by Mumbai based JSW Group and captained by Sunil Chhetri, Bengaluru FC is a formidable team in the I-League.

HOCKEY Initially limited to defence clubs, this fast paced and physically challenging game soon gained immense popularity. The Mysore State Hockey Association was set up in 1937, which changed its name to Karnataka State Hockey Association in 1970. Fans would cheer as Arjuna awardee Ashish Ballal blocked and dived in front of the goal, taking India to the 1998 Asiad gold medal. Later, the swift stroke play of midfield wizard Arjun Halappa, the former captain of the national team, mesmerised fans across the country. BADMINTON Another game patronised by the defence clubs, the immense popularity of the sport led to

the establishment of the Mysore State Badminton Association in 1951, which later evolved into the Karnataka Badminton Association. The state tasted glory with Satish Bhatia’s victory of the National Singles title in 1968. In the 1980s, Prakash Padukone lobbed, smashed and dropped his way into history, winning the Commonwealth Games (1978) and the World Cup (1981). The former world No.1 now heads the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, a training facility which has produced champions like Ashwini Ponnappa. TENNIS Prolific tennis players like Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have made this city their home as they have moved from strength to strength in

Sharmila Nicollet is a consistent winner in the domestic and international golfing circuit.

the world tennis circuit. While Bopanna is one of the newest tennis hopes for India, Bhupathi, with 52 career doubles titles so far, is a seasoned veteran. He was the first Indian to win a Grand Slam tournament in mixed doubles at the French Open in 1997. In 1999, he and Leander Paes were ranked the No. 1 world’s men’s doubles team.

the 1999 National Games held in Manipur and was the only woman member of the Indian swimming team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Other Arjuna awardees include athlete Ashwini Nachappa, honoured in 1990 and heptathlete Reeth Abraham, honoured in 1997.


Young Bangaloreans are forging ahead in many other sports. Golf has become immensely popular, more so with the recent exploits of Sharmila Nicollet, who was the youngest Indian golfer to qualify with a full card for the Ladies European Tour in 2012. Swimmer and Olympian Gagan Ullalmath, racer Arjun Maini, cyclist Kiran Kumar Raju are making the city proud by carrying forward the torch of sporting excellence.

Bangaloreans have brought home national and international honours in diverse sporting fields. Cueist Pankaj Advani has won eight world titles in both billiards and snooker and was honoured with the Arjuna award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2009. Fellow Arjuna awardee and swimmer Nisha Millet is the only Indian sportsperson to have won 14 gold medals in


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“As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit.� Seneca, Philosopher and statesman

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Wordy accomplishments


Kannada literature brims with vitality, with both writers and readers engaging in contemporary issues. Eight Kannada writers have been conferred the Jnanpith award, the Indian government’s highest literary prize.


annada writers have been innovative in both style and subject, starting from the 10th century, when the Jain poet Pampa invented champu, a new form of poetry. In the years that followed, Kannada literature found nourishment from various sources such as the vachanas, meaningful verses composed by Vachanakaaras like Basavanna, Allama Prabhu and Akka Mahadevi in the 12th century and the Dasasahitya of Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa and Kumaravyasa’s epic Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari (the Mahabharata of Karnataka) in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the early 20th century, the period of new writing, Navodaya, began with the influence of Western, chiefly English, literature. BM Sri’s English Geethegalu, translations of English poetry introduced the bhavageethe genre of poetry into Kannada. New genres of writing such as short stories, novels, literary essays and criticism began in a milieu specific to Kannada. Prominent litterateurs of the period included Kuvempu, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, DV Gundappa, Chennabasavayya, Da Ra Bendre, Ananda Kanda, Ahalye, PT Narasimhachar and AN Murthy Rao.

With 11 outlets, Sapna Book House is one of the most popular book stores in Bangalore, offering book lovers a wide variety in both Kannada and English.

The progressive or Pragathisheela movement followed and some of the leading writers of this period were Niranjana, TR Subbarao, AN Krishna Rao or AaNaKru, and Basavaraja Kattimani. Newly independent India’s social concerns were reflected in Navya literature by VK Gokak in the 1960s and was joined by Gopalakrishna Adiga, UR Ananthamurthy, P Lankesh, Poornachandra Tejaswi, Shantinatha Desai, Yashwanth Chittala, Alanahalli Krishna, Veena Shantheshwar, Raajalaxmi N Rao and Girish Karnad. Kannada literature has also been enriched by Dalit writers like Siddalingaiah, Baraguru Ramachandrappa and Devanoor Mahadeva, who voice the concerns of the marginalised segment of society.


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Winner of the Padma Shri in 2009 and the Sahitya Akademi award in 1990, Shashi Deshpande is a prolific writer.

Writer, actor, director, Girish Karnad is a multifaceted literary figure.

Jnanpith awardees include KV Puttappa, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, DR Bendre, Shivaram Karanth, VK Gokak, Prof UR Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad and Chandrashekhara Kambara.

Anita Nair SL Bhyrappa is widely regarded as one of India’s foremost contemporary writers. Parva, a 20th century interpretation of the Mahabharata is considered to be his magnum opus and a film on his novel Vamshavriksha won the Swarna Kamal, the highest award in Indian Cinema.

Photo by: KG Somashekhar

CONTEMPORARY WRITING By far, the most popular contemporary writer in Kannada is SL Bhyrappa, whom author Purnachandra Tejaswi credits with keeping readers interested in reading. Bhyrappa is among the top five best-selling authors in India, and his books are translated into many languages. His most popular novel is Aavarana, and its copies were preordered and sold out before it was released in 2007. It created publishing history by going into ten reprints within the first five months. MK Indira, Triveni and Anupama Niranjana are among novelists adept at telling good stories. MK Indira’s novel Phaniyamma about a child widow was made into a film by Prema Karanth and has won many awards. The state government has instituted an award in her name for women writers. Contemporary writers like DR Nagaraj, HS Shivaprakash, Jayanth Kaikini, Vivek Shanbagh, Vasudhendra, Guruprasad Kaaginele, Nemichandra, Arif Raja, Veeranna Madivalara, NatarajHuliyaar, K Akshatha, Girish Kamathada, Shriranga, Chandrashekhara Kambara, Chandrashekar Patil, Ki Ram Nagaraj and Vaidehi, keep readers engaged.

Bangalore is also home to some of the best Indian writing in English. Apart from the standard bearers like Girish Karnad and Shashi Deshpande, a host of writers in various genres keep churning out books. A cross-section of writers from various parts of the country have made Bangalore their home and bring a unique perspective into their writing. Anita Nair has emerged as a bestselling author and her books have been translated into 30 languages. “The surge of writers writing in English in Bangalore represents the calibre and temperament of the city itself”, says Nair. “While Bangalore as a city may have many civic short comings, it does not fracture a writer’s psyche through religious intolerance, safety issues and ethnic crowding. There is a certain cosmopolitan anonymity which helps me retain an objective state of mind and transport myself into whichever setting I choose to write about. Bangalore has its writers; from playwrights to historians to critics to novelists to poets to essayists. Nevertheless, each one is an island and one is in no danger of them merging to form factions or power groups. And thus, of one ever having to be part of a coterie or a clique.”

Innovative selling The habit of reading books is alive and well in Bangalore, and locals make a beeline to book fairs and literary festivals. “Bangalore is the only real cosmopolitan city in India in terms of readership as people here hail from different parts of India and the world, and people here read books on a variety of subjects”, say brothers Nitin Shah and Deepak Shah who run the city’s most successful chain of book stores, Sapna. Constant innovation has kept them thriving

when several other books stores have shut shop. They constantly keep track of demand and adopt technology to keep customers happy. In the book trade since 1967, they have in recent years been opening branches rapidly. Seven out of their 11 outlets are in Bangalore, and offer booklovers in different parts of the city access to good books. “We have seen unimaginable changes in the evolution of the business. We have diversified from stocking just

books to many other products, and have moved from maintaining ledgers and stock cards to custom building our own inventory software to offer better service to customers. Technology helps keep track of new arrivals and to inform our customers. We kept pace with the innovation and also kept a keen eye on the customers and their demand”, they say. Keeping pace with the trend of ecommerce, Sapna has an online presence at

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Out of the woods


The Kannada film industry, referred to as ‘sandalwood’ (copying the nomenclature of Hollywood and Bollywood, it borrows the name from the tree that the state is famous for), is estimated to be worth about ₹ 300 - 350 crore ($ 50.7 - $ 59.2 million approximately), and churns out close to 130 films annually.

About 37 percent of Kannada movies made until 1971 starred the late Dr Rajkumar as the hero (an astounding 138 of the 367 Kannada movies) and his last and 212th movie Shabdavedi in 2000 was the 2,030th Kannada film


ven in the days of digital downloads and satellite TV, Karnataka has 700 theatres screening films; certainly the film industry here has come a long way from the initial days of lack of financiers. In 2013, about 133 Kannada movies were released (the highest so far) and approximately 3,300 Kannada movies have been released since the time the very first film Sati Sulochana in 1934. Genesis While Gubbi Veeranna made the first Kannada silent film His Love Affair in 1928, it is YV Rao, (veteran actress Lakshmi’s father) who is credited with the first Kannada movie talkie (with sound) Sati Sulochana in 1934. This film was made in Chatrapathi studio in Kolhapur, the second film Bhaktha Dhruva in Hyderabad and the third Sadarame in Madras. Kannada films in the 60s and 70s were noted for story-based plots that impressed audiences. To name a few, School Master, Kittur Chennamma, Chandavalliya Thota, Naandi, Satya Harishchandra, Gejje Pooje, Namma Makkalu, Sri Krishan Devaraya, Sharapanjara, Saakshathkaara, Bangarada Manushya, Nagara Haavu, Gandhadagudi, Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu,


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Chomana Dudi, Ghatashraddha, Kaakana Kote, Ondanondu Kaladalli, Ranganayaki, Pallavi Anu Pallavi, Bettada Hoovu, Accident, Premaloka, Tarka, Ganeshana Maduve, Mutthina Haara and Aapthamitra. Original and thought provoking films have been made by GV Iyer, BR Panthulu, Puttanna Kanagal, BV Karanth, MS Sathyu, Girish Karnad, Girish Kasaravalli, Suresh Heblikar, T S Nagabharana, Baraguru Ramachandrappa, among others. Girish Kasaravalli has won 13 National Awards and global acclaim for his work spanning more than four decades in Ghatashraddha, Tabarana Kathe, Thaayi Saheba, Dweepa, Akramana, Mooru Daarigalu, Bannada Vesha, Mane, Kraurya, Hasina, Naayi Neralu, Gulabi Talkies, Kanasemba Kudureyaneri and the recent Koormavatara. Other directors like Dinesh Baboo, MS Rajashekar, Sunil Kumar Desai, D Rajendra Babu, Rajendra Singh Babu, Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, Dwarakish, HR Bhargava, Harsha, Kavitha Lankesh, Prakash, A M R Ramesh and V Ravichandran have also played a big role in keeping Kannada cinema alive.

Lucia written and directed by Pawan Kumar, was the first crowd-funded Kannada film, raising ₹ 51 lakh ($ 86,323 approximately) in less than a month via social media.

Disconnect There was a glaring disconnect between the audience and filmmakers during the first three decades of Kannada movies chiefly because the bulk of the activities relating to filmmaking - discussions, filming, sound recording and post-production of most Kannada films, were happening in Chennai. Though the actors were eager to see their own movies in Karnataka and gauge audience reaction, their busy schedules and the lack of promotional activities created a disconnect between the filmmakers and actors on the one hand and the audience on the other. While the industry in Bangalore today is sophisticated enough to handle most of the production, the disconnect is not geographical but about mind-sets. Director BM Giriraj, whose film Jatta did not do well at the box office despite receiving critical acclaim, observes, “There is no nexus between Kannada celluloid and love of the land. Jingoism unfortunately runs parallel and not in favour of the language.”

Still from Kanasembo kudureyaneri, directed by Girish Kasaravalli in 2010, offers three different narratives that explore the possibilities that Irya, a grave digger loses his unique ability to foresee events in his dreams. The film has won several national and international awards, and features Karnataka Minister for Culture Umashree, who is also an acclaimed actor.

Resurgence Film Producer N S Rajkumar says, “Kannada movies fail to evoke the mass hysteria that Telugu and Tamil films do from their audiences. It is a miserable truth that a mere seven percent of Kannadigas even bother walking into theatres that screen Kannada films, and this has been the same since its inception.”

The good news is that the Kannada film industry, long derided for lack of meaningful cinema, is going through a resurgence. Younger directors have introduced not just contemporary film making techniques but modern ideas and story lines. Mungaru Male directed by Yograj Bhat changed

the rules of the game when it was released in 2006 with relatively unknown actors. It was a resounding success, and was screened for an entire year without a break. More recently, Pawan Kumar released Lucia, the first crowd-funded film. He says, “The audience today clearly wants a return for investing

their time and money in viewing a film. Film makers have their work cut out – a film needs to have a good story and production value that meets the need of the audience.” The challenge, it appears, is to raise the bar in film making and to raise audience expectations. with inputs from Prakruthi Banawasi

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Confluence of styles


Nurtured in the heartland of the Cauvery basin of peninsular India, Bharatanatyam is among the oldest of the classical dances of India that was encouraged by royal patronage. Changing fortunes of kings and the subsequent change in political contours and resulting migrations led to regional cultural interactions. Today, various classical Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Mohiniattam and contemporary dance thrive in Bangalore and other parts of the state, reflecting a reservoir of cultural growth.

Mei Dhwani - Echoes of the Body directed by Jayachandran Palazhy and presented by Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts. Photo by: Sudeep Bhattacharya.


he Hoysalas not only patronised art, but the legendary queen Shantala was herself a dancer. The Vijayanagara kings were great connoisseurs of art, and after a bleak period following the fall of their Empire, the Nayakas of Tanjavur drew several artists, musicians and dancers to their capital in present-day Tamil Nadu.

gave syntax to the language of dance in this region. Alongside the palace dancers were devadasis of extraordinary merit like Rangamma, Muguru Jeejamma and Bangalore Nagaratnamma, who fought a successful court battle to lift a ban on ‘Radhika Santvanam’, an erotic poem written in the 18th century by devadasi Muddupalani.

In Karnataka, the Wodeyars’ contribution to the arts has been immense. Kanteerva Wodeyar patronised dance schools in the Srirangapatna region, while Chikkadevaraja penned two musical odysseys-Geeta Gopala and Saptopadki. During Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s time a distinct dance style, now known as the Mysore school began to emerge. His successor, Chamarajendra Wodeyar invited Chinnayya (one of the famous Tanjore Quartet) to his court, where the latter not only composed several dance pieces but also influenced the learning and teaching of dance in the Mysore area.

Jatti Thayamma was a phenomenal bridge between the Carnatic music-centric Bharatanatyam and the Hindustani Kathak styles and performed abhinaya to thumris and ghazals. She was conferred the title of Natyasaraswati by the President of India.

Devadasis (temple dancers),who had become established from the 8th century, were pitted against a crumbling support system during the British colonial reign in the 19th century, and seeking individual patrons outside the temple and the court, were exploited. Despite the British rule banning temple dancing, the 19th and 20th centuries saw a steady stream of illustrious dancers and dance teachers in Karnataka. Dance gurus Muguru Subbanna, Kolar Kittappa, and palace dancers Amritamma, Jatti Thayamma and her disciple Venkatalakshamma


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Modern times Ram Gopal first exposed Karnataka to various dance forms like Kathakali, Kathak and Bharatanatyam of the Pandanallur variety. He invited legendary masters Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, Sohanlal and Chandu Panniker to Bangalore, encouraging enthusiasts to learn from them. He had tremendous influence on several first generation dancers of the 20th century, including Bharatanatyam exponents like US Krishna Rao, Chandrabhaga Devi and Leela Ramanathan. US Krishna Rao and his wife Chandrabhaga Devi were pioneers in dance education in Bangalore through their school Mahamaya. Several of their disciples like Radha Sridhar, Tumkur Ramanna and

others became respected teachers while Kamdev, Sonal Mansingh, Sudharani Raghupaty and Prathibha Prahlad became famous dancers. Dance gurus HR Keshava Murthy, S Radhakrishna, Kaushik, Lokaiah in Bangalore, Venkatalakshamma in Mysore, Muralidhar Rao, Rajaratnam Pillai and Jayalakshmi Alva in Mangalore, also set up schools at the same time. Renowned guru Kittappa Pillai camped in Bangalore for a brief while and trained some well-known dancers and teachers, notably Narmada and Padmini Rao. The legacy of teachers like Meenakshi and S Radhakrishna, Padmini Ramachandran and Narmada continue through their students Rangasree, Sridevi, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Praveen Kumar, Satyanarayana Raju and Soundarya. Bhanumathy and Padmini Ravi, both trained in Madras, moved to Bangalore in the 80s and upped the bar of competition, and Padmini’s students Kiran and Sandhya both teach and perform. Vani Ganapathy moved here in the late 80s, and of that generation Sridhar and Anuradha are other notable dancers. Other forms The city nurtures several forms of Indian classical dances; Usha Datar was the pioneer of Kuchipudi in Bangalore, which was further strengthened by Veena Vijay Murthy and Vyjayanti Kashi. Kalamandalam Sridevi Unni and Radhika established Mohiniattam schools in Bangalore. Manju Bhargavi’s presence in Bangalore too popularised Kuchipudi in the region. The 80s were significant for the history of dance in Karnataka with Maya Rao starting the Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography and Odissi dancer Protima Bedi establishing Nrityagram. Over the years, both these institutions have shaped Bangalore’s dance ethos and firmly placed the

Madhu Nataraj, Founder-Director of STEM Dance Kampni focuses on creating contemporary Indian dance through STEM (space, time, energy and movement).

city among serious centres for dance internationally. Continuing the legacy of Kathak are the duos Nirupama and Rajendra, and Nandini and Muralidhar. Nrityagram nurtures dancers and its ensemble, led by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy travels around the world for performances. Dance festivals Somewhat unique to Karnataka is the plethora of festivals that dancers organise. It started with the Nitya Nritya festival by Lalitha Srinivasan of Nupura School in the 80s, followed closely by Vasanta Habba of Nrityagram. Prathibha Prahlad’s Prasiddha Foundation began Sharad Vaibhava, Eka-Aneka, and Hampi Festival, which firmly placed Bangalore as a cultural centre of the South. Bangalore Habba and festivals run by Attakalari, Madhu Nataraj, Anuradha Vikrant, Radha Sridhar, Sai Venkatesh, Nandini and Murali, Vyjayanti Kashi and several others continue till date. Contemporary dance Several contemporary dance companies have put their stamp on Bangalore. Dance companies like Attakalari, led by Jayachandran Palazhy, STEM Dance Kampini, led by Madhu

A performance by Prasiddha Dance Repertory

Nataraj and Nritanrutya, led by Madhuri Upadhya bring a contemporary flavour to the city.

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Many-hued performances


Theatre lovers in Bangalore can on almost any given day pick from performances in Kannada, English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Kodava and Tulu.

ART’s production of ‘The Dreams of Tipu Sultan’ by Girish Karnad and directed by Arundhati Raja in 2012 at Jagriti Theatre.


he founder of the city, Kempe Gowda I is reputed to have written a play in the Yakshagana format in Telugu, and the earliest record of a theatre performance in the city goes back to 1885. Bangalore, like the rest of the state, benefited from the patronage of theatre and other arts by the rulers of Mysore State, the Wodeyars. Kannada theatre is a rich tapestry of influences from Marathi and Urdu, along with Sanskrit and Shakespeare’s English plays. The traditional theatre of the Old Mysore region, which included Bangalore, was Moodalapaya (a form of Yakashgana) and the narrative was through music and drama. Over time, speech or dialogue became more prominent and attracted a wider audience.

Travelling theatre companies began to take plays across the land. The most famous of them was Veeranna’s Gubbi travelling theatre company which spent ₹ 36,000 ($ 610 approximately) on an extravagant production of Kurukshetra in the 1930s in Bangalore,


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featuring expansive sets and live elephants and horses. B Jayashree from the Gubbi family and Master Hirannaiah are the surviving champions of this tradition. Modern Kannada drama began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the playwright Samsa using a modern idiom; later TP Kailasam and Sriranga were influenced by contemporary British drama. On the Western coast, Shivaram Karanth experimented with a wide range of theatrical forms, from the traditional Yakshagana to modern farce. BM Srikantaiah (BM Sri) pioneered the theatre Renaissance, by bringing Greek drama and aesthetics into Kannada discourse. These served as tools to critically analyse and interprete local classical traditions, and modernist influence in drama soon engulfed new Kannada literature. In 1949, dramatist and writer KV Subbanna established Ninasam in Heggodu, Shimoga district, which marked

Writer, director and actor Prakash Belawadi hails from the ‘Green Room’ family – whose members across three generations are closely involved in several aspects of theatre, TV and film-writing, acting, directing, lighting, make-up and production. The family home is called Green Room in a fond reference to paterfamilias BN Narayan’s (Make-up Nani) expertise in applying make-up. Belawadi says, “Kannada theatre thrives, not with uniform success but unflagging vitality. It is in reality ‘Karnataka Theatre’ and a ready host to the theatre of many tongues. Kannada theatre owes its open and generous spirit to its cosmopolitan origins. Theatre is articulated by enthusiastic young groups who have dared to write original works and put them on stage. The Kannada sensibility needs expression on stage, like fresh air and sunlight. It will always thrive.” Prakash Belawadi

Actor Arundhati Nag (above), at Ranga Shankara, a theatre built in memory of her husband, the beloved actor Shankar Nag. Contemporary Kannada plays are performed here and also at venues such as HN Kala Soudha, ADA Rangamandira and Ravindra Kalakshetra.

The theatre group Prabhat Kalavidaru, started in 1930, is a family-run theatre group famous for its ballets, and has over the years nurtured actors who have become stars in the Kannada theatre, TV and film circuit.

the beginning of theatre training and a travelling repertory that continues to make an impact.

CG Krishnaswamy, BV Rajaram, C Ashwath and HS Shivaprakash. English theatre

Three plays staged in Bangalore in the 1970s set into motion a second renaissance of sorts: P Lankesh’s Sankranti, a translated production of Oedipus, and Chandrashekhara Kambara’s Jokumara Swamy. Produced by Pratima, a group of young theatre activists and directed by BV Karanth, the cast included Girish Karnad and B Jayashree. The plays created stars in Kannada theatre who went on to achieve national and international recognition. It triggered a period of intense productivity in theatre, and brought to centrestage writers, directors and artistes who have influenced Kannada theatre aesthetics such as Jadabharata (GB Joshi), CR Simha, C Loknath, Lokesh, R Nagesh, Prasanna,

English language theatre was originally for ‘Whites only’ and dominated by the Bangalore Amateur Dramatics Society. In 1969, Bangalore Little Theatre came up as a secular group and since then there have been a number of local theatre groups that keep fanning the flames. Artistes’ Repertory Theatre (ART) was established by the popular thespian couple Arundhati and Jagdish Raja in 1982. The couple has built Jagriti, a thriving performance space with state-of-the-art facilities in Whitefield. New genres of theatre like stand-up comedies and short plays have captured the imagination of theatre-goers in alternative performance spaces like lounges.

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In creative flow

Fine arts

The Fine Arts in Karnataka were nurtured by successive monarchs who commissioned temples, sculptures and paintings. The city bears this monumental legacy gently, and works of art can be seen at several public and private galleries. This is also home to quite a few local artists who have won international acclaim.

Ravikumar Kashi is an artist whose works cut across defined expectations in different mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography and installation. His idea/concept driven works are layered and connect with the viewer in multiple ways. Introspection is an important device in his works, which touch upon the idea of the self and its many facets. He has also explored the themes of desire, gratification and destruction, in individual and at societal level. He is seen here with ‘A thousand desires’ created out of cast coloured cotton pulp in 2012.


ating back to the majestic 6th century Mahishasura Mardini in Aihole, the 6th-7th century rock cut cave temples in Badami , the th 12 century madanikas (dancing nymphs) in Belur, the 15th century stone chariots and musical pillars in Hampi, sculptors in the state had evolved a distinctive iconography to create masterpieces. Painting had a rich and distinctive style with gilded gold leaf, known as Mysore school. These rich paintings of icons adorned puja rooms, temples and palaces of the Vijayanagar Empire and the Wodeyars of Mysore.


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The genres of landscape painting and Company school etching was introduced by the British colonists, who began to record their impressions of the new country to send to their families back home. The new visual language of western European art included botanical drawings, along with landscapes and people. Its influence can be seen in the landscapes of prominent artists of the mid-late 80s such as K Venkatappa, Rumale Channabasavaiah and N Hanumaiah. The British style of painting with water colours came into vogue in art schools such as the Chamarajendra Institute of Visual Art, Kala

Navin Thomas makes art with found objects and living beings, and by playing with sound and light. His ‘My love is an icy cold fever’ is a large sculpture constructed with ultra-violet tube lights. Its purpose was to attract nocturnal insects that could be identified by the local community.

Mandira, Ken School started by artist RM Hadapad, the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, and regional art centres in Gulbarga and Udupi. Bangalore attracted artists from other regions, and cultural and social influences became eclectic and artists thrived in the new order. Popular themes of the day were picturesque renderings of mountains and greenery, historical monuments, water bodies, and rural settings dabbed with romantic hues. Contemporary artist Milind Nayak continues this theme of landscapes and abstracts. Modern concepts have captured the imagination of artists like GS Shenoy, SG Vasudev, Yusuf Arakkal and Balan Nambiar who have used various media to express their concerns. New dimensions in visual art emerged using new media, installations and site-specific work. Notable artists of this period include Gurudas Shenoy, Sheela Gowda, Pushpamala, Babu Eshwar Prasad, Ravikumar Kashi, Umesh Madanahalli, Surekha, Shantamani, Ranjini Shettar and Smitha Cariappa. Art spaces abound in the city;

Kanaka Murthy is one of the few female traditional sculptors in India, and applies innovative interpretation to contemporary themes. A student of the late Vadiraj D, her ‘Musical Pillars’ are inspired by the musical pillars of Hampi, and emit sounds that can be heard as a raga.

the government owned Venkatappa Art Gallery is dedicated to the memory of landscape artist K Venkatappa, and several private art galleries thrive here. New hubs for art have emerged: the National Gallery of Modern Art, No1 Shanthi Road is an alternative art centre and a few

shopping malls showcase art too. Evolving with the times, patronage of arts now rests with the elected government, corporates and individual art lovers who keep the art scene buzzing in Bangalore.

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An equal harmony


Bangalore is unique in its classical musical tastes, as it favours equally the two forms of Indian classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani. A stronghold of Carnatic music till the late 20th century, the city has embraced Hindustani style in the last three decades and is home to serious practitioners and connoisseurs of both streams of music.

Raghu Dixit is a singer, composer, music producer and the frontman of the Raghu Dixit Project, a multilingual folk music band. A microbiologist who switched to music, Raghu’s songs are influenced by the Kannada saint-poet Shishunala Sharif. He combines the sounds of traditional Indian music with contemporary influences, and is the face of modern music from this city.


he South shares a classical music culture that flourishes across four states, and is defined by the theoretical genius of the Kannadigas. Though the Trinity of Carnatic music composers Thyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri hailed from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and wrote in Telugu and Sanskrit, the musicology text Brihaddesi was written by the sage Matanga, who lived between the 5th and 7th centuries. Venkatamakhi, the influential 16th century musicologist who classified the ragas under 72 melakartas, was a Kannadiga. The Bhakti poet, Purandaradasa (15th -16th century) wrote charmingly didactic poetry in Kannada, and devised simple lessons to teach the region’s complex music.

court nurtured great artistes like Mysore Vasudevacharya, Bidaram Krishnappa, Mysore Karigiri Rao, Muthhaiah Bhagavathar, Belakwadi Srinivasa Iyengar, Chikka Rama Rao, Chintalapalli Venkata Rao, N Chennakeshavaiah and T Chowdiah (the Chowdiah Hall in Bangalore is shaped in the form of his famed seven-string violin).

Music found royal patronage starting with the powerful Rayas of Vijayanagara (1336-1646 AD) and continued until the last rulers of the state, the Wodeyars of Mysore. The Wodeyar kings were themselves talented musicians and musicologists; Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1794-1868 AD) wrote musical treatises like Swara Chudamani, Sara Sangraha Bharata and Sritatvanidhi.

Hindustani music

During Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar‘s reign (1894-1940 AD), the


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The last of the Wodeyar kings, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar (1919-1974) was also a celebrated musician, musicologist and scholar. He excelled in playing the piano, and later composed 97 Carnatic compositions in Sanskrit that are admired for their rich imagery, lyrical beauty and philosophical content.

Kannadigas also excel in Hindustani music, thanks to the influence of Hindustani musicians from north India who visited the Mysore court. They used to stop over at Dharwad, a city about six hours from Bangalore, to perform and teach. Some of them stayed back and over a period of time, this led to the rise of many Hindustani virtuosos from the city. The most famous of them, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, won

the country’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. From the Eighties, many musicians have migrated from Dharwad to Bangalore. Bangalore is also the only city in India with a dedicated music channel for classical music, Amritavarshini on the state-run All India Radio. It airs both Carnatic and Hindustani music. Light music Sugamasangeetha (also referred to as Bhavageete) has emerged as a stylistically vibrant form over the last 50 years. Eminent poets like Kuvempu, Bendre and Narasimha Swamy set the tone for this genre, and hundreds of musicians perform sugamasangeetha in Bangalore, as in other parts of Karnataka.

Vidwan RK Padmanabha is the only Carnatic musician to have composed 72 compositions in Kannada in 72 mela ragas. His specialty is divinity and perfect adherence to shruti, sahitya and bhava.

Janapada geethe or folk music is also popular. The folk-inspired poetry of the 19th century mystic Shishunala Sharief, has become part of the repertoire of sugamasangeetha artistes. The music in Kannada films has gone past the era of huge acoustic movie orchestras and like its counterparts across India, is dominated by computer-programmed music. The quality of the music and the lyrics swing from clever to mediocre, but then, as elsewhere, pop culture works with its own logic. Western music Karnataka boasts a 200-year-old Western music tradition due to the Colonial influence, and Bangalore boasts a knowledgeable audience for Western classical music as well. The first fusion performance in the region can be traced back to Mysore in the 1920s with a grand instrumental ensemble of Otto Schmidt on the violin, Margaret Cousins on the piano and Seshanna on the veena. The Royal School of Music, established by the Wodeyar King, taught Indian instruments and music, along with Western drums, pipes and the piano.

TAAQ is one of the first acts in South India to play all-original sets. They have innovated a genre called ‘Bangalore Rock’- a mix of progressive rock, blues, funk, as well as polyrhythmic elements from Carnatic and South Indian Folk. Frontman Bruce Lee Mani, on lead guitar and vocals, is the only Indian to be declared as ‘Guitar player of the year’ by the Rolling Stone Magazine in 2009 and 2012.

In the early part of the 20th century, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar had hired an Austrian conductor for the palace symphony orchestra. He also put together an orchestra with Indian and Western instruments. Such experiments have been the inspiration for fusion concerts. The non-profit Bangalore School of Music, founded in 1987 by Aruna Sunderlal, teaches and promotes Western classical music. The city’s cosmopolitan character draws several popular

international musicians to perform here, and Bangalore has its homegrown musicians in several genres. Konark Reddy has been strumming the guitar in his unique style for some decades and other notable guitarists are Amit Heri, Gerard Machado, Alwyn Fernandes, Tony Das, Prakash KN, Gaurav Vaz and Bryden Lewis. Ace drummer Roberto Narain has got the city hooked to drum circles, Karan Joseph on the piano and Raman Iyer on the saxophone keep the audience mesmerised for hours.

One of the earliest Indian metal bands Millennium was born here and the heights of glory it achieved has spurred bands of various genres from rock, pop, blues and fusion like Galeej Gurus, Swarathma, Lagori, Chronic Blues Circus, UNK and SubraMania. Notable among DJs who play EDM and world music are Ivan, Gokul, Vachan Chinappa and Rishi Sippy. with inputs from SR Ramakrishna

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Aerospace & Aviation

“The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.� Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft Corporation

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Aerospace & Aviation

Flying with precision Manufacturing aircraft components requires a high degree of precision and skill, and these very requirements drew engineering design and manufacturing firm Maini Group to this sector.

Innovation Maini uses innovation to modify components and increase its efficiency, such as equipping the avionic equipment carrier, used to carry delicate avionic systems, with anti-vibration mountings to reduce damage to the fragile equipment. The aero-engine trolleys used to transport aero-engines from engine assembly line to test-bed or aircraft, and the electric tow tug (eight ton) used to tow light military aircraft and business jets are a few other examples.

The aerospace division has developed and manufactured more than 1300 high precision build-to-print components for various Aerospace OEMs and Tier1s.


he Group’s foray into aerospace began in 2005 when Maini Precision Products Private Limited (MPP), received orders to manufacture and export high precision fuel line components to the French aircraft giant, Snecma. The MPP – Aerospace Division was set up as an aerospace focused entity in 2006, and a plant was set up in Bangalore. In 2011, MTU Aero Engines of Germany, manufacturers of civil and military aircraft engines, signed up for the supply of engine components, and UK based Marshall Aerospace, the primary engine supplier to Boeing went ahead to purchase structural products from MPP Aerospace. The division received a further boost after getting a licence under The Government of India’s Defence Offset Guidelines. Issued in 2012, it mandates that international suppliers of


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defence equipment to India must purchase their components from Indian businesses. Providing services that range from engineering to product delivery, MPP Aerospace produces a diverse array of components and subassemblies that are supplied to aircraft systems, structures, accessories and ground support equipment. Acquiring requisite international safety and quality certifications as well as National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Programme (NADCAP) approved non-destructive testing facilities, the division has become a direct sub-tier to global aerospace majors. It counts amongst its clients Indian giants Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the HAL-Snecma joint venture, as well as international players such as Boeing, Eaton, Safran Group, Marshall, MTU, Parker

Aerospace, GE Aviation and BAE Systems. Predicting an exponential growth as a result of offset trades, the division aims to reach revenue of ₹ 100 crores ($16.9 million approximately) by 2016. It plans to build a state-of-the-art factory in Nelamangala, on the outskirts of Bangalore, and has partnership options with some of the established Tier 1/ Tier 2 organisations overseas to build world class factories for aerospace and defence products in India. Gautam Maini, Managing Director, MPP, attributes the success of the organisation to its ‘Zero Philosophy’. “We aim for perfection beyond standards. The innovation and technology at our company ensures sustainability. It is not about what we can do in the future, it is how we will do it”, he says.

Tel: +91 80 4072 4700

Gautam Maini, Managing Director, MPP

Awards Recipient of the award for ‘Best Quality Performance’ from Global Vehicle Group, Eaton in 2010 Won the ‘Preferred Supplier Award’ given by the Bosch Group in 2010 Received the award for ‘Premium Supplier’ given by Eaton Corporation in 2005 Winner of the ‘Zero PPM’ Award given by Westland Transmission in 2005

Soaring efficiently Drawing on Bangalore’s legacy in aerospace and defence, IT bellwether Wipro, has expanded into this vertical. Wipro Limited’s venture into aerospace and defence has been a synergy of component manufacturing and specialised software development, divided between Wipro Infrastructure Engineering and software solutions provider Wipro Technologies.


strong backing in research and development has helped Wipro Technologies invent effective software solutions for the aerospace industry. It offers solutions in airframe structural design and analysis, seats design and development, electrical systems installation and aero engine analysis. The products include passenger experience solutions such as cabin and in-flight entertainment sub-systems, and work packages that aid airframe design, stress analysis, computational fluid dynamics, geometry definition, detailed engineering, knowledge based engineering and manufacturing engineering.

Its partnership with Qatar Airways in 2012 has resulted in advanced development of its existing roster of software products, by combining in-house technical knowledge with the advanced system’s skills provided by the Middle Eastern airline. At the other end of the spectrum, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering has partnered with Compañía Española de Sistemas Aeronáuticos, S.A. (CESA), a subsidiary of Airbus and set up a ₹ 88.74 crore ($15 million approximately) aerospace actuator manufacturing unit in Bangalore. This plant is billed as India’s first aerospace actuator manufacturing facility, and has commenced operations from 2013.

Using its existing expertise in precision engineering in tandem with the technology provided by CESA, the company now manufactures hydraulic actuators, valve blocks, reservoirs and other mechanical components which have various applications in an airplane, such as landing gear, flight control systems, engines, door parachutes for emergency landings and other such utilities. It has also engineered specialised products for the defence sector, such as, multi barrel rocket launchers, antenna retraction servo systems, bomb loading forks, floating bridge and ferry systems, mobile missile launchers and others. Buoyed by the new defence

offset policy which mandates that foreign companies winning defence contracts have to invest 30 percent of the contract value in local aerospace organisations, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering aims to increase its revenue from this sector to ₹ 591 crore ($100 million approximately by 2018. Expansion plans are also in the pipeline; along with introducing new product lines, the company plans to double its initial investment in this division to increase the manufacturing capacity of the plant from 2000 to 8000 components per year over the next six years.

Tel: +91 80 2844 0011 aerospace/

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Architecture and Interiors

“Architecture is inhabited sculpture.� Constantin Brancusi, Sculptor and draughtsman

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Architecture & Interiors

Passion for design Known for using innovative design measures, such as the use of wind towers to cool and humidify, and for conceptualising buildings according to climatic conditions of the region, Kembhavi Architecture Foundation (KAF) has completed over 2000 projects and has an ongoing project portfolio valued at over â‚š 4000 crore ($ 676 million approximately). Its projects range from office complexes, transport hubs, hospitals and other public buildings to swanky private residences, apartment townships, malls and hotels.

SBIOA - Unity Enclave in Chennai (left) and the interiors of the office of Kembhavi Architecture Foundation, Hubli.


stablished in 1972 by architects Nalini and Sharad Kembhavi, the firm is known for designing spaces which synergise theme, culture, economics and the environment. It first made its mark by designing private homes and commercial areas and soon scaled up to include residential townships, cultural centres, industries, hospitality,


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healthcare and transport hubs among others.

Kembhavi from Bangalore.

Deeply rooted in Karnataka, KAF has expanded its footprint across south, north, west and north-east India. The 100 member organisation has offices in Bangalore and Hubli and is headed by Nalini and Sharad Kembhavi, along with Sowmya and Parth Kembhavi from Hubli and Nita and Indrajit

Working in varied urban and rural environments has given KAF an innate understanding of differing contexts, economic scales, aspirations, and technological challenges. This wealth of experience helps the firm grasp unique demands of each project and

Mahaveer Ranches apartments in Bangalore which is due to be completed in 2017 (artist’s impression)

Inspired by the traditional houses of North Karnataka, The KH Patil Institute of Naturopathy in Hulkoti is built to adapt to the climatic conditions, reducing the need for artificial cooling and light.

Artist’s impression of the Landmark Vertica luxury apartment buildings in Chennai, which is due to be completed in September 2014.

(standing L-R) Indrajit, Sharad and Parth, (seated L-R) Nita, Nalini and Sowmya.

adopt a fresh approach to problems. The success of the firm can be largely attributed to its strong work ethic, involving honesty, transparency and a client - craftsman sensitive approach. Clients are drawn by the firm’s ethical professionalism, adherence to deadlines, strong design aesthetics and deep rooted environmental consciousness. Some of its finest work includes the police headquarters in Gulbarga, which is the first naturally ventilated building in India to receive the LEED Gold certification and the

Ramakrishna Vivekananda Ashram in Gadag, a contemporary interpretation of the ancient Durga Temple in Aihole. The firm often undertakes social assignments such as design of institutes for the specially challenged, at zero fees. A staunch supporter of research, KAF extensively promotes studies in architecture, green awareness and solar passive design. It has established the Kembhavi Green Building Research Centre, which is dedicated to innovating green practices and applications which would optimise comfort and cost, while limiting

environmental damage. According to Indrajit Kembhavi, Principle Architect, “The driving force behind the organisation is the passion towards design and environmental sustainability, and the ability to morph and evolve rather than being bound by a predetermined style.” The future for KAF involves a rapid expansion plan, with offices slated to come up in Chennai and Pune, and also overseas.

Tel: +91 80 2244 1557

Innovation KAF follows a range of innovation practices - from assimilation and adaptation of ancient systems of form and detail, to the use of cutting-edge technologies. Believing that a green sustainable habitat is not limited to the

use of earth based materials only, but can be adapted and innovated using mass produced material to keep pace with the rapidly evolving scale and speed of construction, the firm has carved projects out of rustic elements like stone and clay,

and has also used sophisticated materials like titanium and glass. Use of solar passive elements like earth air tunnels and downdraft evaporative cooling to limit the use of air-conditioners not only reduce emissions, but is cost effective as well.

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Architecture & Interiors

Green buildings From doing up the interiors of one of the biggest operational airports in the country to redesigning an existing mall for reuse as a hospital, KGD has a penchant for taking up challenging assignments. The firm uses cutting edge Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to seamlessly combine art and science, and has created spaces for varied uses across multiple geographical boundaries.

Located in Bangalore, Manyata Tech Park is a LEED India Gold certified project and is due to be completed in July 2014.


stablished in Bangalore in 2003, KGD has offices in Delhi and Mumbai, and a global presence through its offices in Dubai, Al Khobar, Muscat, London and Denver. Led by the three directors Nejeeb Khan, Ajay Gupta, and Shivalika Midha, the firm has grown to into a diverse practice with a team of 200 architects. KGD focuses on Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering and Master Planning. Testaments of its work for retail, residential, educational and healthcare sectors can be seen in 20 Indian states, as well as Dubai, Malé, Bali, California and South Africa. Nejeeb Khan, Managing Director, prides


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himself on the diverse nature of the firm. He says, “We do not consider ourselves an architecture company or an interior, landscape or a master planning company; rather, we consider ourselves a talent company. We view buildings as six - dimensional structures; after the three dimensions of space, the fourth dimension is cost, the fifth dimension is the time and the sixth dimension is sustainability. We do not design buildings; rather, we design the lifecycle of a building.” KGD has played a leading role in shaping the skyline of Bangalore, from re-designing

the interiors of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), to building landmarks such as the Columbia Asia Hospital, Oxford Medical College, Provident Affordable Housing Projects and Jain Heights. The firm has designed corporate offices such as the India head office of Facebook and Qualcomm in Hyderabad, Honeywell office in Bangalore and the office of the Chief Minister of Gujarat in Gandhinagar, multiple townships, schools, and hospitals in parts of India for the Vedanta Group, and is working with many industry icons like Sahara to address issues of affordability and sustainability for the housing sector in India.

KGD has designed the interiors of the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore.

Digital building models created by BIM The state-of-the-art Columbia Asia hospital in Whitefield.

Innovation KGD is a staunch advocate for the use of the proprietary software “BIM” that allows architects to conceptualise and build every project virtually, before putting it to test in the real world. BIM’s concept-to-occupation time span enables the firm to optimise time and cost. Apart from BIM, the firm uses three dimensional visualisation techniques to engage and inform clients with their projects. A major part of KGD’s architectural innovations are focused on sustainability and green technology. The firm’s designs maximise the use of natural light and ventilation and provide for green cover, water recycling, and the use of locally sourced raw materials to reduce the carbon footprint of the building. As a part of its CSR endeavours, KGD constantly ideates solutions and continues to work closely with different groups to work on the city’s ever changing planning needs. One of their recent proposals is of an underground parking structure

on Commercial Street, the fashion address of Bangalore, which is perpetually plagued by parking woes. KGD sees itself making a global statement in the coming years, with international collaborations to deliver state of art projects across the globe, continuing its focus on healthcare and educational sectors. The firm sees a big potential in the ‘affordable housing’ sector, and plans on increasing its talent pool as it moves towards its future goals.

Tel: +91 80 6712 5000

KGD’s Directors (L-R) Ajay Gupta, Shivalika Midha and Nejeeb Khan

Awards Awarded the ‘Preferred Vendor’ by Choice Marina Developers in 2014 KGD’s project, ‘Century Eden’ has been awarded ‘The Best Ornamental Garden’ by The Department of Horticulture and The Mysore Horticultural Society and ‘The best residential plotted development in north Bangalore’ at the Bangalore Real Estate Awards in 2013. Awarded the Red Awards for ‘Retail Interiors’ in 2010

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Architecture & Interiors

Built on beliefs Travelling through this city, one comes across buildings and homes that bear the inimitable aesthetics of Jaisim-Fountainhead. The ITC Infotech building, the Indian Institute of Plantation Management campus and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics’ Bhaskara Complex hostel are among several examples of its work that display the design sensibilities of this boutique architecture firm.

Jaisim-Fountainhead creates unconventional structures which redefine architectural norms.


stablished in 1970 by Prof Krishna Rao Jaisim, the name Jaisim-Fountainhead is inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel ‘The Fountainhead’. This story of a revolutionary architect and thinker is a favourite with Jaisim, who maintains that he finds answers in it even today. He started the firm after completing his training with the architect Chitale in Chennai. Beginning with a few small projects, he tasted early success with the designs of the Cochin Football Stadia, the Small Industries Pavilion in Delhi and the Taj Fisherman’s Cove, a luxury resort in Chennai. After spending a few years in Oman, Jaisim returned to India and chose Bangalore as his base in 1980. After four decades and hundreds of projects, the firm has grown from strength to strength. It has designed the homes of many


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eminent Bangaloreans, such as Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and film director Girish Kasaravalli. Jaisim-Fountainhead also handles designs for non-residential and corporate assignments. Among the many landmarks the firm has created is the ITC Infotech campus in East Bangalore. The brief for this campus was to make a world-class work environment within tough cost and time constraints. The existing cigarette and tobacco godowns in the vast plot had to be reinvented as creative spaces and development centres. The project bought into play agile thinking on the firm’s part. For instance, in the structure that was to be the Learning Centre, hollow clay blocks have been used to reinforce the walls and give a warm, earthy feel. Cost-effective jalis have been used to add extra space and depth, and a giant

slab of stone suspended from the ceiling serves as the receptionist’s desk. Jaisim-Fountainhead’s USP is a personalised approach to each project, and no building that they design is quite the same as any other, right from concept to detailing. The firm revels in adopting eco-friendly practices, such as maximising natural airflow to avoid the need for air-conditioners. Materials used in construction are chosen for their functionality, aesthetics, sustainability and cost. For instance, the humble mud pots are at times used as fillers in the roof. While this helps in breaking the ‘heavy’ effect of an entirely concrete ceiling and enhances its aesthetic appeal, the tops of some pots are broken to let in natural light, and other pots are given inserts for bulbs. Red clay blocks also play a prominent part in the firm’s designs. The blocks have several plus points:

Innovation The firm believes that to build a ‘Jaisim house’ requires a suspension of everything one ever learnt about engineering or building or, for that matter, design. Jaisim’s own home sports a ceiling that is a double catenary: a system of structure that uses minimum materials with maximum coverage. This acts like the dermis and epidermis of skin, allowing the building to breathe, and rendering it more

weather and climate responsive. Arches that stay up due to the sheer pressure exerted by bricks without any pillars for support; suspended hallways that defy gravity and allow spaces without obstacles; hollow bricks that bear massive loads, and steel fabrication that supports a house are just some of the other innovations the firm has achieved over the years. Prof Architect Krishna Rao Jaisim

they are lightweight, make sturdy building material, provide conduits for wiring, do not require painting and provide good insulation. The firm cherishes its character of a small family-run business, where informality amongst employees is key. It often functions as a think tank, with associates in and around Bangalore with whom projects, talent and expertise are shared. Many of these are principal architects at other firms in the city who have trained or worked at Jaisim-Fountainhead. In the present day, Bangalore is seeing a reduction of construction space, and clients

Awards & Achievements Award for ‘Dedicated services in the field of civil engineering’ at CIVIL-AID 2012 Recipient of the ‘Chairman’s award’ at JK Cements Awards 2011 Award for ‘Best commercial architecture’ at CNBC Awaaz Crisil Real Estate Awards 2008 Awarded as ‘Nature’s friend’ by Centre for Green Building Materials and Technology in 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘Outstanding performance in the field of architecture’ by PAA (Practicing Architects’ Association) in 2007

often want spaces re-worked rather than freshly created. Undaunted by these challenges, Jaisim-Fountainhead sees its existence as a thriving

endeavour to overcome mediocrity and uphold the standards of architecture as an art. Jaisim says, “We believe in making a difference; creativity

right from inception is the key to knowledge.”

Tel: +91 80 2663 0234

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Architecture & Interiors

Crafting urban spaces From GE to Reliance, from Infosys to Wipro, and from Prestige to Puravankara, some of the biggest businesses in India rely on Venkataramanan Associates (VA) for their space design requirements. Amongst the largest architectural and design firms in the country, this 43-year-old company is deeply rooted in Bangalore, rebuilding landmark institutions such as St Joseph’s College of Arts & Sciences and the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Venkataramanan Associates offer both contemporary and classic designs, as shown by Infosys, Bhubaneshwar (above), KPIT Cummins, Pune and NGMA, Bangalore (right)


ounded in 1970 by architect PK Venkataramanan, the 200 strong VA team is now headed by Naresh V Narasimhan and Jagan Venkat. It first began making its mark in the city with designs for scientific institutions and real estate. The design of the Raman Research


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Institute, Bangalore, in 1979 was an early success. With the boom in the IT and scientific research industries in the late 1990s, VA positioned itself to meet the demand for laboratories, manufacturing units and technology parks. Designing and stewarding these projects posed

challenges in scale, complexity and often location, as some were based in Tier-3 cities with low infrastructure. Headquartered in Bangalore, the firm has an office in Pune, project co-ordinators in Ahmedabad and Chennai, and associate offices in Delhi and Bhubaneshwar.

Innovation VA has pioneered different typologies, including gated communities in Bangalore, which were uncommon in the 1990s. The firm also has a research arm, the MOD Institute (www.mod., an international collective of architects, designers, researchers, curators and practitioners engaged in the urbanisation processes in India. MOD’s recent initiative called Next Bangalore is a dialogue-platform to collect, share and comment on ideas and visions for the future of the city.

Naresh V Narasimhan, Principal Architect & Partner, VA

Over time, the team diversified its portfolio, honed its technical expertise and its ability to manage large projects such as a 60-acre Infosys campus in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, and a state-of-the-art KG D6 gas plant for Reliance Industries in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Committed to creating value and excellence in every project, VA incorporated Dutch best practices to address storm water drainage in the design of the Nirlon Knowledge IT Park in Mumbai. The project was one of the first of its scale to achieve LEED gold certification in India. The design of Brigade Gateway, a planned community

in Bangalore that spans an area of 45 acres around a pre-existing lake, is a model of energy efficiency. VA devotes considerable thought and attention to conserving the country’s natural and built heritage. While restoring the Manikyavelu mansion, a cultural landmark that currently houses the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), the firm seamlessly merged the colonial features of this pre-Independence bungalow with contemporary architectural additions. The purposeful retention of all trees on the property eventually led to the creation of a series of programmes that were centred

around the NGMA Arboretum. A collaborative and open working environment encourages the team’s strengths, which include critical analysis, visual perception, design intelligence and hands-on involvement in the design-build process. Naresh V Narasimhan, principal architect and partner at VA, says, “We do not subscribe to a business-driven approach where quantity matters more than quality. Instead, we focus on select projects and deliver carefully articulated, creative and high calibre designs to our clients.”

Tel: +91 80 4030 3050

Awards Architect of the Year (South), Residential, at the Realty Plus Awards 2013 Aparna Narasimhan was awarded Architect of the Year for Art Village, Valley School Bangalore, at JK Cement Awards 2012 Brigade Gateway, Bangalore, was awarded Integrated Township of the Year at Realty Plus Excellence Awards 2012 Nirlon Knowledge Park, Mumbai, was recognised at the International Property Awards - India 2012

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Banking & Finance

“The ascent of money has been essential to the ascent of man.� Niall Ferguson, Financial historian

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Banking & Finance

Trusted by millions The oldest commercial bank in the Indian subcontinent, State Bank of India has been standing tall for over 200 years. With 16,000 branches in the country, it has the largest network of branches in India, and has 190 overseas branches in 34 countries. It is the largest bank in the state of Karnataka, with 670 branches in 14 regions, including 266 branches in rural and semi-urban areas, more than 1,500 ATMs and 20 loan processing centres. With a share of 16.5 percent in deposits and loans among Indian commercial banks, it was ranked by the Brand Trust Report as the 11th most trusted brand in India in 2010.


he finances of the bank bear testimony to its size and success; the total turnover of the bank in 2013 was ₹ 2202 thousand crore ($ 372.8 billion approximately), and total net worth was ₹ 95 thousand crore ($16 billion approximately). The turnover of the Bangalore Circle in that year was ₹ 103 thousand crore ($17.4 billion approximately), almost five percent of the net amount. The roots of SBI in Karnataka go back to 1864 when the then Bank of Madras established a branch in Bangalore. This bank merged with the Bank of Bombay and the Bank of Calcutta in 1921 to form the Imperial Bank of India. In 1955, the Reserve Bank of India acquired a 60 percent stake in the Imperial Bank and renamed it the State Bank of India.

The state headquarters of SBI is housed in Hopeville, a colonial bungalow and home to several Commissioners during the British rule, including Sir Mark Cubbon. The bungalow, along with the grounds, was sold to the bank by Major General Charles James Green for a princely sum of ₹ 30,000 ($ 508 approximately). Hopeville remains one of the well maintained heritage buildings in Bangalore, its colonial aura co-existing with more recent buildings such as the Specialised Personal Banking Branch, which came up in 1971. Adapting to the need of the hour has been the secret of the bank’s success. Traditionally catering to the organised corporate and industrial sector, the bank has increased its focus


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Beginning operations in the colonial bungalow ‘Hopeville’ (above), the bank moved to a more modern building in 1993.

Innovation State Bank of India has pioneered the use of internet among public sector banks in the country and has an efficient online banking portal, which offers multiple features such as inter and intra bank transfers, creation of fixed deposits and online recurring schemes among others. The bank also offers unique investment schemes, such as the unfixed deposit scheme, where funds can be deposited for short periods and can be withdrawn at any time without extra charges. The housing loan overdraft scheme is a major draw; customers are allowed to take a housing loan as an overdraft account. This lowers the interest rate on the loan and makes repayment a less stressful process. on the retail banking segment to compete with recent entrants into the market. SBI has been a pioneer of online banking in India, and in 2012 it launched SBI Virtual Debit card in a move to check online fraud and promote ecommerce. The bank sets aside one percent of its net profit for Corporate Social Responsibility endeavours. In the financial year 2012-2013, it donated more than 3,000 ambulances and medical vans, as well as 51 school buses. SBI is also an active participant in social banking, with programmes aimed at specific economic or social backgrounds, such as the SBI Green Card, which gives farmers greater access to liquidity, and various other microcredit schemes. The bank also finances other microfinance institutions and social groups to increase the outreach of microcredit. Embracing the gradual digitisation of the banking sector in India, SBI plans to open six Digital Banking Outlets in metropolitan cities, including two in Bangalore. These outlets offer a vast range of retail banking facilities, from cash and cheque

deposits and funds transfer, to online applications for loans and insurance. A unique feature of these outlets is the provision of Advisory Rooms where banking experts use video conferencing facilities to advice customers on basic banking services and wealth management. Biometric ATMs, the three way secure online banking, and mobile banking which supports all operating systems are other virtual banking advancements which the bank wants to implement in the coming years. According to Ashwini Mehra, Chief General Manager of SBI, Bangalore Circle, the mantra behind SBI’s success is their policy of effective risk management while being fearless in their investments. “All business policies of the bank ensure that while we remain close to our need to minimise risk, our products get delivered on time to all customers, both corporate and retail. We focus on top line growth, all the while making sure that the bottom line is not ignored.”

Tel: +91 80 2594 3037

Ashwini Mehra, Chief General Manager of SBI, Bangalore Circle

Awards Awarded ‘Best Public Sector Bank’ in Dun & Bradstreet India’s study on India’s Top Banks in 2013

Won the ‘Agriculture Leadership Award’ from Agriculture Today, under Development Leadership category in 2012

Awarded ‘Best Electronic Payment Systems’, ‘Best use of technology for Financial Inclusion’, and ‘Best Customer Management & Business Intelligence’ in the large bank category at the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDBRT) Excellence Awards in 2013

Awarded ‘Best Bank for Excellence’ in the field of Khadi & Village Industries in the National Awards - 2011-12

SBI received the ‘Golden Peacock Award in the sector of Corporate Governance’ from the Institute of Directors in 2012

Awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, for its proactive role in establishing Rural Self Employment Training Institutes across the country during the year 2011-12

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Banking & Finance

Retail Banking Recipient of the award for ‘Best Private Sector Bank’ in Asset Quality category at the Dun & Bradstreet – Polaris Banking Awards, 2013, the private sector ING Vysya Bank has a total business worth of ₹ 74100 crore ($12.5 billion approximately) and a net worth of ₹ 6175 crore ($1.04 billion approximately), and is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.


he bank was formed when the Amsterdam-based ING Group acquired a controlling stake in the Indian Vysya Bank in 2002. This merger marked the first between an Indian bank and a foreign bank. ING Group currently holds a 44 percent equity stake, and other stakeholders include the Aberdeen Asset Management, Chrys Capital, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. With 551 branches, 628 ATMs and 10,000 employees, the bank has a strong presence in the country and offers a vast range of financial


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Innovation ING Vysya has several innovative banking practices to its credit, notably, the FD Plus scheme which allows customers to enjoy all the benefits of a fixed deposit without the premature closure penalty. Customers can book fixed deposits by sending a simple text message and link it to their savings account and transfer funds when needed, ensuring that they have ready liquidity.

Awards Awarded the ‘Safest Bank (mid-sized)’ by Sunday Standard of The New Indian Express Group, 2013. ING Converge was awarded ‘Best Corporate Internet Banking Initiative across Asia’ by the Asian Banker Technology Awards, 2012. Rated among the top five private sector banks in the country by Economic Times Brand Equity Most Trusted Banks Survey, 2011

services classified under the three broad heads of retail banking, private banking and wholesale banking. A customer friendly bank, it offers loans tailor made to customers’ needs, be it an agricultural, business or a personal loan. The bank also associates itself with various institutions to provide smooth services to customers. For example, it has a tie up with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) which allows customers to book

train tickets online, using ING net banking and ING debit cards. ING Vysya plans to expand its presence in the country over the next few years by opening 40 to 50 branches each year. The bank aims to grow four to five percent faster than the market over the next two years. Recognising that the growth in the banking sector lies in retail, the bank has greatly altered its strategy to suit its future ambitions. According to Brett Morgan,

Country Head of Branch Banking, Marketing & Private Clients of ING Vysya Bank, “We have changed the strategy of our branches. The focus is more on retail banking, as it is now a key area for growth. During the period 2012-2013, the average Current and Savings Account ratio (CASA) per branch has risen by about 50-60 percent. We want to continue on this track”.

Tel: +91 80 2500 5000

Brett Morgan, Country Head of Branch Banking, Marketing & Private Clients, ING Vysya Bank

Best of Bangalore




“Biotech can address many large world issues through transformational technologies.� Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson & Managing Director, Biocon

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Science of life A cluster of research institutes with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) as the nucleus, are adding to the city’s scientific eco-system. Working at the forefront of biology across several levels, they follow diverse models, and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in this field.

The institutes are located within the campus of University of Agricultural Sciences and benefit from working with close proximity to each other.


CBS, is one of the premier institutes for basic fundamental research in biology in the country and is a centre of the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) – a national centre instituted by the Central Government in Mumbai. Established by the late Dr Obaid Siddiqi in 1992, NCBS is currently headed by Dr Satyajit Mayor, and uses experimental, theoretical and computational approaches to the study of molecules, cells and organisms to comprehend and explain an integrated view of life processes. Largely driven by about 30 investigators, its research focuses across all scales of biology touching upon the areas of Biochemistry, Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Genetics & Development, Cellular Organisation & Signalling, Neurobiology, Theory & Modelling of Biological Systems, and Ecology & Evolution. Dr K Vijay Raghavan, currently Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology and former Director of NCBS, helped to establish the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) in 2008. Drs Vijay Raghavan and Mayor also founded the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) in 2009. Their belief


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was that “synergistic associations at the campus would have a far greater impact on life sciences research than the sum of individual contributions from each institution.” Though located within the same campus, the atmosphere and approach varies in each of these institutes. The fast growing inStem is peopled by young and enthusiastic scientists who focus on stem cell and regenerative biology. Research here is theme-based and provides a different model of science compared to NCBS. inStem has developed collaborations to study inherited cardiovascular disease, setting up a Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Disease with Dr James Spudich from Stanford University and strong links with the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (Kyoto University), along with NCBS. inStem has also collaborated with the University of Edinburgh to form the Centre for Brain Development and Repair (CBDR), led by Dr Shona Chatterjee from NCBS, to understand causes and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. Here the establishment of the Shanta Wadhwani Centre

for Cardiac and Neural Research by a generous endowment from the Wadhawani Foundation hugely catalyses research in the Cardiac and Neural areas. inStem also focuses on tissue regeneration and repair at the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Homeostasis (CITH), another collaborative venture with the Institute for Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan, Italy. A separate Centre for Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, established by Dr Ashok Venkitaraman from the University of Cambridge at inStem is pursuing new paradigms for the treatment of cancer. At the same time the development of advanced technology aimed at helping researchers at inStem is being led by the Dean of Translational Research, Dr S Ramaswamy. Entrepreneurship empowerment drives C-CAMP and it works with campus scientists and takes their exciting discoveries to spin-off, licensing or to the enterprise level. It enables cutting-edge research, offers state-of-the-art technologies, and provides training on these platforms to academia and industry. The focus is on building a thriving ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) scheme offers early stage grants for the development and maturation of innovative start-ups and transforming them into viable and competitive products and enterprises. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council also supports a bio-incubator facility that provides access to lab spaces.

C-CAMP is currently developing a Bio-innovation accelerator to identify discoveries with commercial potential. Through this initiative, C-CAMP is taking early stage scientific discoveries/inventions from the campus as a start and facilitating validation/ proof-of-concept studies by bringing in experts from industry to drive these translational projects. Technologies that will soon be accessible are NEF, Microfluidics, and Blue Fish. Together the three institutions are charting new territories in understanding biological science where possibilities are enormous as the world of science is wide open.

Tel: +91 80 2366 6001

Dr Satyajit Mayor, Director of NCBS

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Personalised cancer care Focusing in the area of cancer research to determine the most effective drug combination to deliver personalised solutions for patients, Mitra Biotech also enables pharma companies identify the right cancer drugs from the pipeline and promote them to next step of clinical development.

Discovery Available Information Without CANScriptTM

Discovery Available Information With CANScriptTM

Conventional pre-clinical models

Clinical Trials

Low Success Rate (<10%)

1. Target 2. Indicators 3. SOC Combinations

Conventional pre-clinical Models 1. Target 2. Indicators 3. SOC Combinations



Impact of target inhibition on patient derived tumor

Smarter Clinical Trials


High Success Rate

Rational selection of SOC combination and indications


his Indo-Us venture is headquartered in Bangalore and was established in 2009. It carries out core R&D at it centre in Bangalore, supplemented by its centre in Chicago. The genesis of Mitra Biotech can be traced to Boston during 2005-2007 when Dr Mallik Sundaram was at MIT and the co-founders Dr Pradip Majumder and Dr Shiladitya Sengupta were at Harvard. The trio realised that there were two related problems in cancer research and treatment that needed a solution: finding the right drug from among the available drugs for the given patient and finding the right patient/cancer for the new drug under development. Their combined expertise in the field led


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to the development of a multi-dimensional platform CANScriptTM (formerly known as Oncoprint) that determines the most effective drug combination for a cancer patient from among the approved protocols in the market. Enabling the use of the most optimal drug for treatment, this platform also provides an overall cost benefit analysis and eliminates the toxicity arising from non-optimal drugs. They chose India as the best place to conduct R&D and validation due to the sheer number of cancer patients. The complete R&D and validation of their technology took place in collaboration with some of the leading academic hospitals like Stanley Medical in Chennai, Kidwai Memorial Centre of Oncology, HCG Group of Hospitals in Bangalore and others.

Mitra now has more than 2000 patient-data which shows more than 88 percent sensitivity and 90 percent specificity to the actual clinical outcome. It has achieved decent growth across different spheres of business and has also improved its technology to cover more types of cancer. It has validated its technology to work on different classes of drugs like chemo, biologics and immunomodulators. Having retained investors like KITVEN, Accel Partners and IIF through to series B funding while adding Tata Capital during its recent investment round, the company is optimistic about its rapid growth. It expects its proprietary technology CANScriptTM to gain rapid market traction and plans to expand to few other hospitals in the US over the next couple of years, along with other countries in Asia and Europe.

Mitra Biotech develops personalised cancer treatment solutions.

Innovation Mitra Biotech has developed the proprietary algorithm CANScriptTM that enables physicians to select the most optimal drug or drug combination for a patient under investigation. The technology may prove to be a boon especially to the secondary/metastatic patients where treatment protocols are not ambiguous and patients have little time for the treatment to take effect. The turn-around time for this service is less than a week and the electronically generated reports classifying the drugs as responders and nonresponders are sent to physicians. This helps them make a more informed treatment decision. Dr Mallik Sundaram says, “We seek to be for the personalised cancer-care industry what Intel chips are for the personal computer industry.We have the competence to address the key unmet need in cancer care, and we firmly believe that we can do that in a cost effective manner to make the solution available to all patients.� The company has multiple business models with differential pricing schemes

Dr Mallik Sundaram, Co-Founder & Managing Director, has extensive experience in developing complex biomolecules (he obtained FDA approval for one of the first such molecule Enoxaparin in the US market).

which enables it to make the product affordable to patients in India as well as to patients in advanced countries like the United States.

Tel: +91 80 6666 0750

Awards Biospectrum Asia Pacific, 2012 – Most Innovative Start up of the year. Atlas Global M&A, Pharmaceutical Deal of the year 2013, Tata Capital Innovation Fund Investment in Mitra Biotech

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“The action and innovation in Bangalore’s dining has moved to the stand alone arena with restaurants and bars of all kinds and cuisine opening up in different parts of the city.” Abhijit Saha, Chef & Director, Caperberrry & Fava

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Journeys of taste From the tranquil greens and calm poolside by 24/7 to the cosy warmth of Baluchi, from the Oriental opulence of OKO to the chic vibe of the lounge Sutra, a variety of experiences and culinary flavours beckons guests of the Lalit Ashok.

Exhibiting the best global cuisines, the restaurants at the hotel exude sophistication.


he all-day multi-cuisine restaurant and bar, aptly named 24/7, bustles with activity at all hours. During the daytime, sunlight streams in through the large bay windows, which look out to the azure still waters of the pool and the soothing vista of the lawns around it. As attractive as the view is the repertoire of the restaurant; 24/7 is well-known for Mediterranean, European, Oriental and pan-Indian cuisines. The restaurant offers an extensive à la carte menu and buffet spreads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests often linger over the array of preparations, replenishing their plates with dishes prepared from the choicest and freshest ingredients, such as The Lalit caprise, a tomato and mozzarella salad, garnished with olives and pesto sauce. Interspersed with the light clink of cutlery, the hum of conversation fills the air – the restaurant is ideal for catching up with friends or family, or discussing business matters. The restaurant extends onto a shaded courtyard, next to the pool, where guests can enjoy their wood fire grilled chicken steak, feeling the embrace of the cool Bangalore breeze.


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For a taste of the highlands of Baluchistan, guests enter the soothing surroundings of Baluchi. The decor maintains an old world charm; gentle lights and soft upholstery make for a comfortable setting. The open kitchen is a visual treat, as the sight of burning embers in a tandoor gently roasting the skewered kebabs is a pleasant indicator of things to come. The live ghazal performances in the evenings are perfectly in tune with the decor and greatly enhance the experience. With an à la carte menu of flavoursome kebabs, shorbas, biryanis and various gravies, this restaurant is a gourmand’s delight. Guests can tuck into a delicious meal of kebabs, dum nalle ka gosht and ulta tawa paratha, washed down with aab-e-hayak, a chilled drink of fresh green coconut, infused with honey. For dessert, a generous helping of shakoora phirni, a rice pudding flavored with saffron, completes this gastronomic trek across the North West Frontier. Walking through the glass doors of OKO, the pan-Asian restaurant on the roof, guests face a choice, whether to go right or left. Moving right will take them deeper into the blue-hued interiors, with wooden cylinders hanging from the ceilings. The seating arrangements are contemporary, yet

Innovation The Lalit Ashok has pioneered innovative concepts that pair delicious food with interesting events: ‘The Gourmet Express’ introduces cuisine from different parts of the world. The promotion is on during the first 10 days of each month, and the chefs choose to showcase their range in a particular cuisine. ‘Theater Konnection’ is a quarterly theatre festival, which serves up drama along with a sublime repast. reminiscent of Oriental dining, while large windows exhibit the picturesque Bangalore cityscape. Under the dim blue lights, guests can enjoy a portion of pla laad phrik, which is crispy fried basa fillets dipped in sweet and spicy sauce, from among the many temptations on the menu. A glass of sake from the extensive wine cellar is the perfect accompaniment. Further inside this space is a private lounge, done up tastefully in red. With comfortable upholstery, this is the perfect

place to have an intimate get-together. If guests choose to go left instead, they enter the lounge and al fresco section of the restaurant, where they can enjoy their meal in the acclaimed Bangalore weather with an unobstructed view of the bustling city. The peppy and contemporary lounge bar Sutra is the perfect place to unwind after a hectic day. Guests can relax in the plush black lounge seating under the mellow yellow lights, or head to the very tempting dance floor. Their favourite drinks are close at hand at the well stocked bar counter: the cocktail repertoire of the bar staff ranges from the classic Tequila Sunrise and Margaritas, to the contemporary Antifreeze and the more experimental Cappuccino Martini and the special The Lalit Cocktail, a heady combination of vodka, peach schnapps and iced tea. The adjoining courtyard is dotted with lamps positioned at convenient intervals, which lend a gorgeous orange hue. The music varies from techno to Bollywood, depending on the theme of the night, which could be ‘Friday Bindaas Bollywood’,

‘Saturday Bass Busters’ or ‘Wednesday Women’s Entertainment’. Like any artistic creation, great cuisine comes from the heart and is fuelled by passion. At its best, it offers a feast for the senses that thrills and delights; this is the mantra that Executive Chef Subodh Goyal and his team of chefs live by at The Lalit Ashok. He says, “Whether you are celebrating romance, a birthday, anniversary, or just a night out, we offer something truly unique. We interact with customers to learn their preference in cuisine and serve them from the tailor made menu.”

Tel: +91 80 3052 7777

Awards OKO was commended as one of ‘Asia’s Top 500 Finest Hotels’ by The Miele Guide, 2013 OKO was awarded the ‘Best pan-Asian Restaurant’ by the Food Lovers’ Restaurant Awards, 2013

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Azure The colour blue beckons invitingly as one steps onto the spacious landing leading to Azure, the Mediterranean restaurant.


he play of light and space is exhilarating and sets the mood for relaxed simplicity. Simplicity is also the theme of the menu, with the emphasis being on quality and seasonal ingredients. The cooking process focuses on preserving and enhancing their natural flavours in rustic and earthy fare. The studio kitchen creates a visual communication between the chefs and the diners, whetting the appetite as the dishes are conjured with beers and ales, fruit juices and fruit vinegars. The olive and olive oil are of course the key, and the menu also explores new dishes from the Mediterranean region. A novel touch is a memory wall – a wine rack covering an entire wall, which holds empty bottles signed by delighted diners as a cherished reminder of the good times.

Executive Chef Uddipan Chakravarty recommends the Saku Tuna and Capperberry with Honey Mustard Dressing, which always tastes good with a Kingfisher.


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Cuisine: Mediterranean Open for Lunch & Dinner Azure Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur NH 4 Tel: +91 80 6690 0111

Paranda Tall glass walls encrusted with rich spices greet diners at the Paranda, as do outsized traditional bronze pots. The rustic accent shows up in the exposed brick walls, though the seating and presentation are functionally modern.

The chefs at this restaurant are teases, gently extracting the essence of simple ingredients to create masterpieces of craft, taste, colour and precision. The kitchen is not a laboratory they affirm, and stick to offering the robust flavours that the region of Punjab is known for. The dishes here are meant to enhance the joy of eating with fingers, and resurrect the forgotten delights of paan ka jad, khus ka jad, kachri and other ingredients of yore. The cuisine reflects the influence of Pakistan, the North West Frontier Province of Sindh, and bears evidence of the armies that once marched through it - Greeks, Persians, Afghans and Mongols.

Cuisine: North Indian Open for Lunch & Dinner The Jaituni Paneer Tikka is recommended, which always tastes good with a Kingfisher.

Paranda Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur NH 4 Tel: +91 80 6690 0111

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Blue Ginger - Vietnamese Restaurant The Blue Ginger at The Taj West End transports you to, well, another land where you celebrate colours and life. This feted restaurant has been called the only one of its kind in India by L’Officiel Magazine, and the best Vietnamese restaurant in Bangalore by the Times Food Guide.


et in the hotel’s fabled garden, the restaurant is tucked away behind the tall fronds of palm trees. You follow the charming Vietnamese hostess across the solid teak floor that is artistically accented with floor tiles from Southeast Asia, to seat yourself on the blue and orange seats. As you take in the soothing vista of the water hyacinths around the restaurant, you begin to experience a perceptible change in mood caused by the lighting expert, Tony Corbett, and the strains of Vietnamese music. The ambience only serves to enhance the flavour of the repast. Blue Ginger’s new menu favours the spicier dishes of restaurants of the Southern part of Vietnam, and all key ingredients, sauces and spices from that country. Herbs are fresh from the restaurant’s own herb garden.

Executive Chef Sandeep Narang recommends the steamed jumbo prawns topped with cold spicy cilantro fish sauce, which always tastes good with a Kingfisher.

Cuisine: Vietnamese Open for lunch & dinner The Blue Ginger The Taj West End Race Course Road Tel: +91 80 6660 5660


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Memories Of China Here is a perfect synergy of classic cuisine in a contemporary setting, of Ying and Yang between foods and flavours, under the protective gaze of Pixiu/Pi Yao, the auspicious winged lion prized in Feng Shui.


arm and inviting, Memories Of China is all about subtle elegance, starting from the chandelier that occupies centre stage. The tall chairs allow you a clear view of the Live Station as you follow the trail of a culinary journey to China, a journey that began in 1986 and acquired a whole new dimension with a recent makeover of space and menu. Your taste buds are tickled by dishes made from authentic condiments, fresh produce and homemade sauces in a range of Cantonese and Szechuan cuisines, accompanied perhaps by a selection of choicest teas from the Tea Station, or something more potent from the bar.

Master Chef Lai Hin Tong William recommends the Fresh sea prawns with green vegetables, which always tastes good with a Kingfisher.

Cuisine: Chinese Open for Lunch & Dinner Memories Of China Vivanta by Taj, MG Road Tel: +91 80 6660 4444

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Education & Research

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.� Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel laureate

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Education & Research

A winning formula Imparting world-class education to students from 74 countries, the Garden City College emphasises life skills development. It offers as many as 20 courses and maintains a healthy faculty - student ratio of 1:21 in the 17.5 acre campus.

The campus is a thriving hub for international students.


stablished in 1992 as the Garden City College (GCC) and affiliated to the Bangalore University, it is well on its way to becoming a full fledged university in its own right after having received the Government of Karnataka’s approval. Expert teaching faculty, dynamic infrastructure and timely adaptation of technology for academics and administration, along with a cosmopolitan ambiance in the campus, have helped GCC gain a reputation as a premier institution for international students.It offers courses in a wide variety of subjects including both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Management, Hotel Management, Commerce, Journalism and Electronic Media, English, Psychology, Sciences, Fashion and Design and Computer Applications.


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Certified with 1SO 9001:2008 in 2009 and accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council in 2010, GCC has many firsts to its credit. It conducts an internationally affiliated e-learning programme and has created an interactive website with a portal for parents and individual email IDs for students. It is one of the few educational institutions to be certified with ISO 14001:2004 for environment friendly systems and practices. In the near future, with the establishment of the Garden City University, it plans to offer courses in pure sciences and increase its focus on research. The campus celebrates the diversity of its students through the campus newspaper, magazine, radio and TV and events such as My Sovereign Territory,

a day dedicated to a particular country or a state, with students from that region displaying their culture, cuisines and traditions. The College offers interactive and interesting learning modules; for example, business management students get hands-on learning experience in various administrative departments of the college, while the students of hotel management run Café Gardenia in the campus. There is learning involved in fun and games too; Garden City Premier League (GPL), a cricket tournament modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League, is organised by the students and conducted at the college level. GCC Puraskars is an awards ceremony to honour businesses from various industries.

Students of GCC receive practical experiences of their course of study.

The state-of-the-art library and sports facilities

Awards Dr. Joseph VG, Chairman, was honoured with the ‘Education Evangelist’ Award by SkillTree Global Knowledge Consortium in 2013. Garden City College received the ‘Leadership Training Programme’ award from Wesley College, Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2012. Ranked 8th among colleges in Karnataka by India Today in 2011 Awarded ‘Outstanding B-school in the field of marketing’ by DNA in 2009 Dr Joseph VG, Chairman, Garden City College

GCC has adopted 100 villages in Kolar district and provides healthcare and education to the needy. It also conducts various skill development programmes, and has established an endowment fund for scholarship schemes to students from various nationalities and states. It involves students in initiatives such as blood donation and other medical camps.Its corporate ethics include being an equal opportunity

employer, and maintaining transparency in admissions and fees. The college draws its inspiration from the motto ‘Emphasis is on life’ which was envisaged by the Chairman, Dr Joseph VG, and this propels GCC’s endeavours to make each student a true dreamer, an achiever and a winner for life.

Tel: +91 80 6648 7600

Innovation GCC’s Technology Business Incubation Centre, in association with TechnoPark, Thiruvananthapuram, encourages budding entrepreneurs. It also gives equal attention to scientific research and publishes research journals in the subjects of Management, English, Hospitality, Tourism, Computer Science, Life Science and Media. It has set up an advanced Nano-Technology Lab to encourage interest in the subject. To further the all-round education of students, GCC offers training focused on technology such as the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and Junior Achievement India, and also conducts interactions with industry stalwarts.

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Education & Research

The future is nano Synergising pure sciences and engineering, the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) hosts the country’s first National Nanofabrication Centre and a Micro and Nano Characterisation Facility that is perhaps unrivalled anywhere in the world.

Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, IISc, Bangalore


et within the sprawling campus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, CeNSE is focused on research and education in nanoscale materials, devices and engineering. It is the brainchild of Prof Rudra Pratap and his colleagues, and was established in 2011 with an initial funding of ₹ 120 crore ($20 million approximately) from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Defence, Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), IISc and other agencies. Samsung, Unilever, IBM, LAM Research, Analogue Devices, Centum Electronics, Tokyo Electron and Bharat Electronics are among the companies that support its research endeavours. Current


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research topics include Nanoelectronics, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Nanoelectromechanical Systems (NEMS), Nanomaterials and Devices, Photonics, Nanobiotechnology, Solar Cells and Computational Nanoengineering. Apart from the regular faculty members at CeNSE, almost 40 faculty members from different departments at IISc are associated in the academic and research activities at the centre. The main objective of the research here is to observe the behaviour of various materials at a submicroscopic level. Delicate nanostructures are fabricated out of several materials, which are subjected to a series of optical, material, mechanical and chemical tests for characteristic determination. This research is

used by supporting industry and government enterprises to manufacture nanosensors which are used in final product creation. MEMS pressure sensors built as a result of CeNSE’s research are likely to be used in DRDO’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for various functions and condition monitoring. Currently, the centre is developing two vastly different sensors - an intracranial pressure sensor for National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) to be used during neurosurgery to maintain fluid pressure, and sensors to measure carbon dioxide emissions for the civic agency Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Prof Pratap is also an entrepreneur, and his start-up I2N Technologies builds low cost

He says, “At CeNSE, we want to provide an environment where we can create educators, researchers as well as start-ups. We can only do so by revolutionising the education system and by creating a new breed of researchers who do not have to go oversees to access high quality laboratories, and at the same time we want to create a crop of scientific entrepreneurs who will drive the economic engine.”

The interdisciplinary approach facilitates several parallel studies of nanoscale systems.

Apart from partnering with IIT Mumbai to allow 150 universities to access its labs and research facilities and to enable students to work, create and test their own devices, CeNSE is developing an incubation facility specifically for start-ups in nanosciences and will offer research facilities, expertise and funds to young entrepreneurs.

Scanning Tunnelling Microscopes (STMs) for research institutions. He believes that the country needs high quality educators, researchers and entrepreneurs in nanotech.

The centre has been described as a “jewel in the crown” by Dr K Kasturirangan, eminent scientist and Rajya Sabha member and its research has been appreciated by industry leaders like Ratan Tata, Narayana Murthy and Shiv Nadar.

Prof Rudra Pratap, Chairperson, Centre for Nano Sciences and Technology

Tel: +91 80 2293 3276

Innovation Pushing the envelope as far as modern science permits, CeNSE focuses its research to analyse the potential in various nano materials and foretelling its future use such as, nanosensors implanted in household appliances to make them energy efficient, sensors to monitor crop health or to preserve agricultural produce, and to construct inexpensive yet efficient diagnostic tools. Researchers here are currently working on around 25 product prototypes, such as a helical nanoscrew which can be manipulated inside a fluid by using an external magnetic field in order to administer drugs internally at the source of the disease.

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Delicate nano structures etched in silicon using electron beam lithography



Engineering & Manufacturing

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

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Engineering & Manufacturing

Powering ahead From banks to mobile network operators, IT parks to airports, most businesses in India rely on MRO-TEK to provide them with flawless data connectivity services. The company is also active in the renewable energy sector and develops technology to harness solar power.


eadquartered in Bangalore, MRO-TEK was started by H Nandi and S Narayanan in 1984. Capitalising on India’s fledgling technology market, the duo entered the niche field of manufacturing hardware. Economising on scale, the company tasted early success when its modems and line drivers, customised for UNIX computers, became popular among major government – owned and private organisations.

Web, the company was ready with its arsenal of LAN-WAN products, line drivers and modems. Growing from strength to strength, the company released its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2000. Today MRO-TEK has a cutting edge manufacturing plant spread over 1.75 acres in Electronic City, the nerve centre of Bangalore’s technology industry, and a state-of-the-art Research and Development (R&D) unit at its corporate office situated in a lush 4 acre campus in Hebbal.

The dotcom boom in the mid 1990s fuelled the growth of MRO-TEK. While India was discovering the joys of the World Wide

Moving beyond modems and line drivers, the company now provides a ‘total solution’, which involves the server, modem,


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Awards MRO-TEK was adjudged as ‘Elite Partner: India’ by Brocade in 2010. The company received the ‘Value Partner’Award and the award for ‘Overall Performance’ by Airtel in 2006. Awarded as ‘Top Modem Vendor’ in the Voice & Data Awards in 2003 and in 2004

switches, routers, hubs and ‘last-mile-first-mile’ connectivity, which is the final delivery of communications to the customers. One of MRO-TEK’s successful assignments has been for the State Bank of India; it has enabled mobile and online banking and allowed secure data transfer among the 16,000 branches of the bank. Nandi and Narayanan have taken the company into the emerging market of solar and renewable energy from 2010. Working closely with various state governments, small scale industries and plantation owners, they have developed technology to address the multiple power needs of the people in areas where an electricity grid cannot be set up. The company wants to popularise the use of solar photo-voltaic cells, batteries and inverters amongst small scale manufacturing plants, many of which are shutting down across the country due to lack of continuous supply of power. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) offers a subsidy that helps reduce the initial cost of installing the system, and the return on investment would happen within three years due to increase in efficiency and productivity. It has also developed solar powered water pumps aimed at farmers and plantation owners in regions which have poor irrigation facilities and irregular power supply, and solar powered water purifiers, in association with Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, for both

The MRO-TEK corporate office emulates the company’s eco-friendly policies by incorporating practices such as solar powered lighting, rain water harvesting and waste water recycling.

domestic and commercial use. As a part of its corporate social responsibility, MRO-TEK works with institutions such as the Akshaya Patra Foundation to fund mid-day meals to school children as well as initiates several environmental awareness drives. It has also built a free solar powered crematorium in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. The company has initiated a bus service in order to spread awareness about renewable energy and the benefits of using pure potable water for consumption among Indian villages. This bus travels through each district, covering as many villages as possible. Not only does it educate villagers, but also, offers water purifiers and photo-voltaic cells at half the market price, thus bringing the market closer to the people. So far, this service has covered 978 panchayats in Kerala and plans to move to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, before travelling further north into Chattisgarh and Bihar. The future for MRO-TEK is a healthy combination of networking, data communication, system integration and

H Nandi, Founder & Managing Director, MRO-TEK.

Innovation MRO-TEK is one of the few companies who have made sufficient inroads into the market for renewable energy in India. Driven by the belief that renewable energy is the solution to global warming, the company has taken great steps in encouraging industries and households to shift from grid to solar power. Focussing on the rural market, the company has taken an initiative to educate the population on the various benefits of renewable energy as well. renewable energy. Says Nandi, “We are here for the long-haul, and will constantly upgrade ourselves to keep up with the industry and to stave

off competitors in each of the markets.”

Tel: +91 80 2333 2951

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Engineering & Manufacturing

Infinite possibilities Leading global supplier of technology and services, Robert Bosch GmbH, was among the first multinationals to invest in Bangalore. Since the time the Group set-up its manufacturing location in India, Bangalore has been its seat of innovation and decision making in the country, thus making it the headquarters of the Group in India. The city is also home to Bosch Group’s second largest development centre outside Germany.

Connected - the way forward. Bosch designs futuristic automotive technology which is sustainable and environmental friendly.


tarting with a representative office in Calcutta in 1922, Bosch signed an agreement with Mico (Chennai) in 1951 for manufacture of spark plugs and diesel injection components under Bosch license. Its connection with the city dates right back to 1953 when the company built a plant and started its manufacturing operations. The Bosch Group has since grown to become a leading supplier of technology and services in the verticals of automotive technology, industrial technology, consumer goods, and energy and building technology. In India, the group employees over 26,000 associates and generated a consolidated revenue of ₹ 13,200 crore ($ 2.19 billion approximately) in 2013.


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It is represented by six group companies in the country: Bosch Limited, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Bosch Rexroth India Limited, Bosch Chassis Systems India Limited, Bosch Automotive Electronics India Private Limited and Bosch Electrical Drives India Private Limited. It also has 10 world-class manufacturing units and seven development centres in India. Bosch Limited, the flagship company of Bosch Group in India, has manufacturing facilities in Bangalore, Naganathapura, Nasik, Jaipur and Goa. It manufactures and sells products that are as diverse as diesel and gasoline fuel-injection systems, automotive aftermarket products, automotive electrical equipments, special purpose machineries,

packaging machines, power tools, security systems and energy and building technology solutions. The company’s market leadership bears testimony to the high quality and technological superiority of its products. The Group’s technology is inextricably linked with the growth of India’s automotive industry. A vast range of vehicles, including two- and three-wheelers, cars and heavy commercial vehicles and tractors, besides the railways, are equipped with Bosch components. The automotive aftermarket division has over 3,050 service outlets in India, including a service centre in Leh at an altitude of 11,562 feet. This division is responsible for all

Innovation Bosch works on futuristic technologies, invests in R&D and promotes the networking of science and research activities among its many development centres across the world. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested around € 4.5 billion (₹ 36,689 crore approximately) in research and development and applied for about 5,000 patents including over 220 patents from India. In 2011, as part of its Global initiative, the Bosch Group launched ‘Bosch InterCampus Program’ in India, China, Germany and the USA. It aims to achieve improvements in research conditions for university undergraduates and scientists, thus accelerating progress in promising fields of environment, energy and mobility. A 10-year development project has been setup at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore called ‘Robert Bosch IISc Center for Research in Cyber Physical Systems’. Bosch Ltd Corporate Office, Bangalore

aftermarket operations such as vehicle diagnostic, parts repair and replacement, and servicing in India and other SAARC countries. In the industrial technology space, Bosch delivers innovative engineering solutions such as assembly lines, power units and other systems for complete factory automation, flexible packaging solutions for F&B and pharmaceutical industries. Under consumer goods sector, the Bosch Power Tools in India is a market leader and offers a complete range of power tools for professionals in the construction, woodworking and metalworking industry, along with brands SKIL and Dremel. It also has cordless tools and offers versatile support services to all its product lines with a comprehensive range of accessories. The latest offerings from the business is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Squares in Bangalore, which offers hands-on experience apart from promoting hobbies that can be pursued with power tools. Security Systems division of Bosch is a one-stop shop for innovative, high-quality, security, safety and communication products and solutions. It has a state-of-the-art demo cum training academy at Bangalore that imparts training to professionals, apart from building knowledge. These sophisticated offerings are used both in public and private sectors such as transportation, government, commercial

and places of worship. In 2014, Bosch launched its Energy and Building Solutions business (BEBS) - a full-line solution provider, offering products, solutions and services in India. BEBS has introduced its patented technology for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that reduces energy costs by 30 percent and also improves air quality. The Thermotechnology unit manufactures solar and gas water heaters and boilers for both the residential and the industrial market segment. Drawing from the approach of its parent company in Germany, over the past 60 years Bosch in India has created a space for itself in the society not just as a technology and innovation pioneer, but also as a company that cares. The Group has always been committed to the progress and nurturing of its associates and society at large. The introduction of several associate and community welfare programs at Bosch India underlines the company’s commitment to sustainable impact, thus resulting in a long-term multiplier effect. The company’s social engagement program is focused on three thrust areas: Health and Hygiene, Vocational Training and Community Development. Bosch India Foundation focuses on activities in vocational studies and healthcare. Through its many programmes in 2013, the Foundation enabled the lives and livelihoods of over 7,000 people through 85 projects

The Bosch Group is a leading supplier of equipment and services in automotive technology, industrial technology, consumer goods, and energy and building services.

in 17 locations across India. Strengthening its presence in the city, Bosch Limited broke ground for a new manufacturing plant spread across 97 acres in the Bidadi Industrial Area located on the outskirts of Bangalore. Relocating from its current unit in Adugodi, the new facility will house the production of several components such as Diesel Fuel Injection Systems. The company is investing over ₹ 250 crores ($ 41.5 million approximately) for the initial development of the facility and plans to begin production by 2015. Commenting on this development,

Dr Steffen Berns, Managing Director of Bosch Limited and President of Bosch Group India, says “This relocation underlines our commitment to India and especially to the state of Karnataka. The developing industrial area in Bidadi offers us a larger space and better infrastructure support, thus helping us realise our future expansion plans. This move will help us cater to the growing business needs of the Indian market in the long-term”.

Tel: +91 80 2299 9269

award Bosch Limited was awarded the ‘Star MNC’ award by Business Standard, which was presented by the President of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee in 2013.

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Engineering & Manufacturing

Electrifying innovation A pioneer of electric vehicle (EV) technology in India, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited is one of the most experienced electric vehicle companies in the world, having deployed fleets of electric cars across 24 countries. For its innovative contributions to the global electric vehicle industry, it was ranked 22nd in Fast Company magazine’s list of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013.

The Mahindra Reva plant in Bangalore is the first automobile plant in India to be certified Platinum by the Indian Green Building Council.


eadquartered in Bangalore, Mahindra Reva has its genesis in the Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) that launched India’s first EV in 2001. Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicle company, with an estimated worth of ₹ 990.39 crores ($166 million approximately) bought a majority stake in the company in 2010. Mahindra Reva’s automotive assembly factory in the Bommasandra industrial complex has the capacity to produce 30,000 cars per year. The company also licenses out its electric vehicle technologies, electrifies existing platforms, and helps deliver integrated zero-emissions mobility solutions. It recently launched a new-generation connected car, the Mahindra e2o electric city car, in India and has unveiled concepts of the Mahindra Halo sportscar and an electric version of the Mahindra Verito sedan.


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Chetan Maini, CEO, Mahindra Reva, with the electric sports car Mahindra Halo.

Awards Mahindra e2o received the ‘CII Design Excellence’ award in the four-wheeler mobility design category and the ‘Green Car of the Year’ award by Bloomberg Autocar India in 2013. Chetan Maini received the ‘Innovation Award for Energy and Environment’ which was presented by The Economist in 2011. Reva-i was crowned ‘Green Car of the Year’ at Overdrive & CNBC TV18 awards in 2010. Awarded ‘Company of the year’ by Frost & Sullivan Automotive Powertrain in 2008 Reva was acclaimed by Business World India as one of India’s ‘Cool Companies’ and was the recipient of the ‘Company of the Year’ award in 2006.

The futuristic Mahindra e20

“Our vision is to be the Earth’s Favorite Electric Mobility Solutions company. We strive to achieve this through innovations in affordable EV technologies that are also manufactured in an environmentally responsible way - that is, our products are ‘Born Green’. The Mahindra e2o is a manifestation of Mahindra’s vision for the ‘Future of Mobility’ which encompasses the ‘5Cs’ i.e., it will be Clean, Convenient,

Connected, Clever and Cost Effective. We are working towards the creation of affordable, environment friendly mobility solutions that can lead to sustainable urbanisation for India and the world,” says Chetan Maini, CEO, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited.

Tel: + 91 80 4072 3999

Innovation Mahindra Reva’s products embody innovation in all aspects, from design to technology to manufacturing to marketing. Almost every product and process has been created with an eye to making EVs affordable and eco-friendly. Taking the manufacturing process to new heights of environment friendliness, the new factory has features like natural lighting and ventilation, rainwater harvesting and energy from a solar PV plant and is among the first in India to be awarded the India Green Building Council Green Factory Platinum Rating.

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CHAPTER 10 Food & Beverages

“Bangalore has the right milieu that provides stimulus for food rooted creativity. Many of our innovations can be traced back to the inspiration that this diversity of culture and cuisine has provided. What’s more, the city is not done yet!� Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Food & Beverages

Milky way to prosperity Be it a cup of coffee you sip at one of the numerous Café Coffee Day outlets in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, or the delicious laddoo you receive as prasadam at Tirupati, the common ingredient is the Nandini brand of milk and milk products popularised by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF). It is the largest milk co-operative in South India and the second largest in the country after Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation.

KMF has the second highest average milk procurement in the country of 55 lakh litres per day.


eadquartered in Bangalore, it was born as the Karnataka Dairy Development Corporation in 1975 with financial assistance from the International Development Agency, to implement the Dairy Development Programme in eight southern districts of Karnataka. The programme was extended to the entire state under Operation Flood II and III in 1984, and the Corporation was reformed as the Karnataka Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited. It currently covers 13 district Milk Unions, 2.25 million farmer families and 21,340 villages spread over all 30 districts of Karnataka and had a turnover


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of ₹ 9,409 crore ($ 1.5 billion approximately) in 2013 - 2014. KMF supplies milk products to several other states and to the Indian army, besides exporting to USA, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries. KMF’s success undoubtedly lies in milk procurement which is the second highest in the country; it procures an average of 60 lakh kg of milk per day, out of which, an average of 36 lakh litres are sold each day, giving the Federation a share of 75 percent of the liquid milk market in the state. It manufactures over 60 varieties of milk and milk

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the launch of the Ksheera Bhagya Scheme which provides free milk thrice a week to children in rural schools, with AS Premanath, MD, KMF (second from left) and other dignitaries.

The automated dairy plant at Channarayapatna

products with Nandini Toned Milk being the most popular milk brand in the state, closely followed by Nandini Standard Shubham Milk. The Federation markets Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk under the brand name Nandini Good Life. With a shelf life of six months, this milk can be conveniently transported to most parts of India. The surplus of 24 lakh litres is used to make butter, ghee, milk powder (both skimmed and whole) and a wide variety of other milk products such as cheese, paneer, ice cream, sweets like Mysore pak, Dharwad peda, gulaab jamoon, rasagulla and instant mixes of payasa and badam milk. The Federation has adopted strict quality control measures under the Clean Milk Programme to maintain quality excellence from milking parlours to customers. Dairy farmers in the villages bring their cows to community milking parlours and the entire process of milking, collection and storage in bulk coolers is automated. Untouched by human hands, the milk is uncontaminated and of high quality. KMF also training milk producers in hygienic management of animals, milking methods, handling of milk and has replaced aluminium milk cans with stainless steel cans and pails. Farmers have multiple incentives to join the Federation such as access to vaccines and other veterinary assistance, nutritious fodder, training in modern husbandry practices, dairy visits, government subsidies and other economic incentives. The Central Training Institute of the Federation

Awards The unions and dairies of KMF have won 14 ‘National Energy Conservation’ Awards presented by the Government of India from 2004 till 2014. Awarded the ‘Gold Award’ at the Most Trusted Brand survey conducted by Reader’s Digest India in 2010 Nandini was awarded ‘The most valuable brand in Karnataka’ in the Sunday Indian & IIPM regional excellence awards in 2009 trains farmers and officers in animal healthcare and rearing, management of the milk collection units, energy conservation and operational efficiency of the milk producer co-operatives. It has established more than 1,900 women dairy co-operatives as part of its Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP), which is supported by the Government of India. The co-operatives give its members interest-free loans for the purchase of milch animals and set up self-help groups, conduct health awareness, gender sensitisation and legal literacy programmes. KMF’s energy saving measures has brought down both processing and environmental costs. In its processing plants, heat generated from cooling systems is recycled to boil water, and multi-fuel boilers are used to conserve energy. Looking ahead, KMF plans to increase milk procurement to 70 lakh kg by 2015, and to expand the dairy processing and milk powder conversion plants.

Nandini milk and milk products are synonymous with quality

Flexi-pack plants are being built in Bangalore, Mangalore, Hassan, Tumkur, Koppal and Belgaum to store UHT milk. It plans to introduce more milk products and to increase its market share in Karnataka and southern India. AS Premanath, Managing Director, KMF, says, “Milk procurement will grow at a rate of 15 percent over the year. We have to expand our dairy processing and milk powder conversion plants to handle this surplus milk. We plan to tap the growing market for processed milk products by launching mozzarella cheese, sugar-free sweets, bottled flavoured milk and packaged drinking water.”

Tel: +91 80 2553 6625

AS Premanath, Managing Director, Karnataka Milk Federation

Innovation KMF uses innovative measures to increase milk production while reducing cost in every stage. It has taught farmers cost effective methods of cattle rearing, such as using areca nut leaves as fodder and enriching waste fodder to convert it into usable feed. It has identified mineral deficiencies in the soil of various regions of the state and introduced area specific mixtures to ensure that cattle across the state get sufficient and equal nutrition.

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Food & Beverages

Brewing success Maker of the third finest single malt in the world, Amrut Distilleries has reinvented traditional notions of single malt as well as alcohol in India. With a turnover of â‚š 225 crore ($ 37.9 million approximately), the company has a diverse portfolio of products, from single malt and blended whisky to rum and brandy, and is making its presence felt across the global spirits market.


his Bangalore based company which catapulted to fame globally as the producers of Amrut Fusion Single Malt, ranked the third finest by whisky expert Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2010, has been in the alcobev business from 1948. The bulk of its revenue comes from the domestic market for its brandy, rum, vodka and blended whisky. About 20 percent of its revenue is from sales to the Canteen Stores Department, which is the official provider of consumer goods to the Indian armed forces. Established as Amrut Laboratories by JN Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale, the company gained attention by becoming a significant supplier of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to the defence sector. His son Neelakanta Rao Jagdale has steered the company‘s growth from a single bottling unit in Bangalore to a global player, with offices in UK and India. A staunch believer in innovation and the need to reinvent business models, Jagdale has brought about several new practices within the


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company, notably, the shift from flavour-based blends to distilling natural grape brandies and malt whiskies. Most of the natural essences were used to create blended alcohol, while some were matured for future use. While most Indian distillers were manufacturing whisky by converting molasses into alcohol, Amrut made a premium whisky by blending matured malt whisky made from barley procured from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan with extra neutral alcohol. The resulting blend was launched in 1982 as Prestige Blended Malt Whisky and MaQintosh Premium Whisky in 1985. By 1998, the company had enough matured single malt in reserve to consider commercial marketing of this premium drink. Rakshit Jagdale’s research project in Newcastle for his MBA course showed that there could be a viable global market for Indian single malt. In 2004, Amrut Distilleries launched Amrut Single Malt in Glasgow, the traditional home of single malt whisky, to resounding success.

Awards Amrut Two Continents awarded ‘New World Whisky of the Year’ in the Whisky Advocate Awards, 2012 Amrut Fusion Single Malt awarded the ‘Chairman’s Trophy’ at the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge USA in 2012 Amrut Fusion Single Malt recognised as the ‘Grand Master of World Whisky’ by The Spirits Business Awards in 2011 Amrut Portonova won the award for ‘Innovation’ in Malt Maniacs Awards, 201

The brand identity of Amrut has remained essentially Indian and it is marketed as a Genuine Indian Single Malt. The unique taste of the drink, vastly different from Scottish Malt, has endeared it to connoisseurs and first timers alike. This distinctive taste arises from the conditions under which it matures. While the basic practices of fermentation and distillation are similar to the Scottish, the dissimilar weather conditions between Scotland and Bangalore ensure that Indian single malt matures much faster than the Scottish malts, giving it a unique taste. Producing 15,000 cases of single malt annually, the company currently boasts of 13 brands in this category, of which three are available in India. These include Amrut Fusion, Amrut Standard Single Malt and Amrut Peated Single Malt, while Amrut Kadambham, Amrut Portonova and Amrut Cask Strength are some of the brands available in the international market. The company also produces limited edition single malt finishes, such as the Amrut Two Continents and Amrut Greedy Angels. Amrut Single Malt has a comparatively smaller presence in the Indian market, primarily because of the limited customer base for the luxury spirit. However, this is set to change;

with increasing disposable incomes and greater exposure to international wines and spirits, the younger generation is gravitating towards single malts. Amrut Single Malt is currently available in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Goa and Mumbai, and the company plans to expand into the eastern part of the country as well. Among its other brands, Silver Cup Brandy, Old Port Rum, MaQintosh and Prestige Blended Whiskies and the Bejois Grape Brandy are readily available in most parts of the country. The future for Amrut lies in innovation, fusing newer and more complex essences, and experimenting with different maturity levels to create original tastes. The latest creation from the distillery is the Two Indies Rum, a blend of Caribbean and Indian styles of rum, which has developed a considerable market in the USA. Domestic and global burgeoning demand for Amrut Single Malt notwithstanding, Jagdale is firm about not over-producing the whisky lest it ruin the taste and quality. “Quantity cannot be pushed beyond a point”. The company owns three distilleries, two in Karnataka in Bangalore and Belgaum, and one in Palakkad, Kerala, as well as bottling units in five other states of India. The

Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, Managing Director, Amrut Distilleries.

single malt is produced only in the distillery near Bangalore. About the unique taste of the beverage he says, “Malts are unique to the location of their distilleries; you cannot create Amrut Single Malt anywhere else. Bangalore has an altitude of about 3000 ft above sea level and very mild temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

The mean temperature stays around 25 degrees and the humidity at around 60 percent. These factors play a major role in influencing the quality. The malt takes four years to mature and reach that quality and the last thing we want to do is to tamper with it.”

Tel: +91 80 2310 0379

Innovation Using in-house R&D efforts, Amrut Distilleries has reinvented much of the traditional notions of single malt as well as alcohol in general. The company has created newer blends and tastes, like the Amrut Two Continents, which is matured first in India and then in Europe, and the Amrut Fusion, a blend

of peated Scottish barley and unpeated Indian barley, aged together in American bourbon casks. The complex taste of this finely crafted drink has been appreciated globally and has brought home accolades, the Whisky Bible ranking being the first of many.

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Food & Beverages

A toast to good life With 18 outlets spread across the city, the red signage of Madhuloka Liquor Boutique is a familiar sight in Bangalore. Generating a yearly turnover of â‚š 80 crore ($ 13.4 million approximately), it enjoys 25 percent of the market share in the premium segment and is credited with bringing premium liquor to the masses.

Madhuloka Liquor Boutique makes shopping for drinks a pleasant experience, allowing customers to browse amongst its plentiful offerings.


S Lokesh, a realtor and liquor connoisseur, noted the vast difference in quality between liquor stores in India and those abroad, and wanted to bridge the gap between the two by opening a store with a difference, as he felt that the local market was ready for it. Easier said than done in India, as there are multiple


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government restrictions, lengthy licensing procedures, supply inefficiencies, high taxes and shortage of talented manpower. The ban on advertising liquor also means that stores have to depend on word-of-mouth for publicity.

salesmen that were a far cry from the dimly lit liquor shops that were the norm then. The rows of bottles bore names of the best Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands and customers were free to browse, pick and choose.

The first Madhuloka Liquor Boutique opened in 1999, with stylish interiors and friendly

The vast range of alcohol and the freedom to explore new brands lent an international

feel to shopping, which endeared the chain to people and built a loyal customer base. A client-centric business model has been the core contributor to the company’s success. Madhuloka also stocks ice cubes, glasses, snacks, juices, water, soft drinks and other accompaniments, making it

orders on the go. Madhuloka also offers a unique beverage catering service, providing alcohol along with bartenders and waiters for private and corporate events. Tapping into the growing trend of wine drinking, it has opened wine boutiques which feature premium wines from across the globe. The wines are classified according to countries of origin and the knowledgeable staff help customers.

a one-stop shop for a party. In 2007, it launched an innovative delivery service, with options of paying cash or by card on delivery. Customers can call the store or log on to the website and place their order, which is delivered to their doorsteps. It has since launched a mobile app, powered by SAP, enabling

Aiming to capture the top slot amongst Bangalore’s liquor boutiques, Lokesh has chalked out an elaborate expansion plan for the chain. He says, “We need to expand more and we are doing so. A new store is coming up in Rajajinagar and also in some other places. We are also opening more exclusive wine boutiques and are looking at franchise options and joint ventures. As the digital market is booming, we are going to strengthen our software support to offer better service our customers and introduce new varieties of alcohol in the Indian market.”

Tel: +91 80 2550 5656

KS Lokesh, Managing Director, Madhuloka is a self-made man with a classic story of overcoming odds to work his way to success.

Innovation To make wines mainstream and encourage people to learn more about the drink that they enjoy, Enoteca by Madhuloka is a centre for wine education, where students are guided by reputed sommeliers about the intricacies of the beverage. Apart from events, tastings and pairings. Enoteca plays host to private wine tasting parties as well. Madhuloka has also teamed up with Soma Vineyards to offer wine tasting tours on weekends.

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Food & Beverages

Palette pleasers India’s fastest growing vegetarian processed food company’s rapid journey to the top is marked with many gastronomic innovations in preserving the authentic taste of local food. Having made its mark in the local market, Maiyas Beverages and Foods has begun exports to Japan and is targeting markets in the US, the UK, West Asia and Australia.

Maiya says that its traditional snacks are healthier and have no cholesterol or trans-fat.


tarting off in the family-owned iconic restaurant MTR, P Sadananda Maiya went on to pioneer MTR’s diversification into the instant foods business and when the family business split, he headed MTR Foods that he built into a multi-crore company and subsequently sold to Orkla of Norway. A little later, his son Sudarshan Maiya opened the eponymous vegetarian restaurant in Jayanagar that quickly became as popular as the MTR restaurants run by his kin, and soon opened a second outlet. Meanwhile, Sadananda Maiya spent four years visiting the food capitals of the world and learning more about the packaged food industry. In 2012, he launched Maiyas Beverages and Foods Pvt Ltd that currently employs 180 people. Its modern manufacturing facility set in 20 acres on the outskirts of Bangalore


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churns a delectable range of frozen foods, instant mixes, ready-to-eat mixes, savouries, masalas, pickles, sweets and beverages. These range from local Kannadiga and South Indian favourites to pan-Indian specialties. Its USP is to make authentic traditional Indian foods using modern technology, for example, the tasty snack kodubale which is traditionally made of rice flour and deep fried, is made by Maiyas out of maida in an Italian machine that churns out 350 kg of the snack an hour. Its North Indian recipes are authentic too and derived from Jiggs Kalra, the guru of this specialty cuisine. In a sector that has seasoned players like ITC Foods, Haldiram’s and MTR Foods, Maiyas’ key to success is an uncompromising stance on quality. It goes to enormous lengths to source its ingredients; it has a captive cultivation unit to grow vegetables and sources other ingredients from the best suppliers across the country.

If local supplies fail, it imports spices to maintain the quality. Backed by private equity fund Ascent Capital that has invested ₹ 100 crore, ($ 16.7 million approximately) Maiyas has an aggressive growth plan – rolling out an increasing number of eatables and strengthening its distribution. Maiya’s optimism is fuelled by his early learning experiences in the business. For example, during his time in MTR foods, he noticed that the demand of spices and mixes fell during summer and introduced ice cream mixes to keep sales flowing. It did not take off as envisaged and the company incurred heavy losses in the first six months. As volumes grew, albeit slowly, Maiya bargained with suppliers for better rates and also bought a machine for making ice cream cones. With this, he launched Softee ice cream cones, which swept the local

The filter coffee at Maiyas restaurant is brewed using a formula specified by Sadananda Maiya’s father and uses Plantation A and B varieties, with Peaberry for thickness. It does not use chicory. It also uses nano technology to reduce the fat molecules in the milk, to avoid the creamy layer that otherwise forms in hot coffee.

market, selling at just ₹ 5 each (less than 10 cents). At its high point, there were 250 MTR Softee ice cream outlets across Bangalore and till date people associate ice cream with the very affordable Softee. Supporting the cause of education as part of social responsibility, Maiya is a major donor to the National

Education Society of Karnataka and Tumkur University. He has built the pre-university block in the National College Jayanagar and the Dr H Narasimhaiah Multimedia Hall in National College Basavanagudi.

P Sadananda Maiya is a mechanical engineer, and applies his technical know-how in adapting new technology in the food business. He was among the first to introduce SAP and ERP software to run production, purchases, sales and other systems. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Tumkur University in 2010.

Tel: +91 80 4206 8697

Innovation Maiyas’ major focus is on nano technology in food production. Not only do its frozen offerings have less oil, thus making them more attractive to the health-conscious, it suits the modern busy Indian whose taste buds crave the flavours of home-made food. Though the frozen foods he had launched in MTR did not take off, Sadananda Maiya is confident that the market is now ripe as a strong cold storage system has grown in the intervening years. The company also uses nanotechnology to offer a new range of canned beverages that yet again appeal to the native taste – for example, fresh sugar cane juice cannot last for more than two hours; using nano-technology, Maiyas is able to stop the fermentation within two minutes of the fresh juice being pressed. The size of particles in sugar cane juice are reduced, and mixed with flavours like ginger and lemon before being sterilised. The result is a tasty can of sugarcane juice that stays fresh for nine months. The same technology is also used to can cold coffee from spray dried filter coffee, fruit milkshakes and lassis.

Best of Bangalore


CHAPTER 11 Health

“In the journey of life, the most gracious gift is that of well being.� Dr Issac Mathai, Medical Director, Soukya Holistic Health Centre

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Bundles of joy Using state-of-the art fertility treatments, Nova IVI Fertility Clinic has brought the joy of parenthood to childless couples across India. With a comprehensive range of services, including highly specialised programmes, it has, till date, enabled over 3000 couples to have children.


ova IVI is a joint venture of Nova Medical Centre and Valencia Infertility Institute (IVI), Spain. Established in 2009, by venture capitalist Suresh Soni and Dr Mahesh Reddy, Nova Medical Centre pioneered the concept of short stay surgeries in the country. It currently operates 11 speciality hospitals across the nation, and has opened a polyclinic in Muscat, in partnership with the OMZEST Group. Opening with the first clinic in Bangalore in 2011, Nova IVI Infertility Clinic has a pan-Indian presence with centres in New Delhi, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Its large team of doctors, embroyologists and counsellors offer comprehensive In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra-Cytosplasmic Sperm


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Awards Suresh Soni, Chairman & CEO and Dr Mahesh Reddy, Co-founder and Executive Director of Nova Medical Centre were awarded ‘Healthcare entrepreneurs of the year’ by Frost and Sullivan in 2013. Received an award in the ‘Innovation in responsible business’ category at the Innovative100 Awards organised by Inc. India in 2013 Listed among the ’14 Gems of the Country’ by Forbes India in 2013

The Nova IVI Clinic in Bangalore

Awarded the ‘Most innovative healthcare provider’ by Med Expert in 2012 Received an award for ‘Healthcare innovation’ from Mindray in 2011 Injection (ICSI) and Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) treatments, as well as specialised services such as surrogacy, ovarian stimulation, assisted hatching, endoscopy, counselling and blastocyst culture and an ART Bank which offers oocyte freezing (vitrification), endometrial receptiveness genome analysis and pre- implantation genetic screening and diagnosis. It is the first fertility clinic to have an average embryo transfer rate of two embryos per Artificial Reproductive (ART) cycle, which brings down the probability of multiple pregnancies and associated complications. Utilising IVI’s research strengths and aiming to inculcate a similar culture among doctors in India, Nova has established a research centre and has introduced a one year fellowship programme in the field of infertility treatments. The clinic also has a continuous medical education programme which brings doctors up to speed with latest advancements in medicine. The clinic has conducted numerous free surgeries for

Suresh Soni, Chairman & CEO, Nova Medical Centre

patients in need of funds. It also organises charity walkathons as well as awareness and medical camps. Nova follows strict guidelines as prescribed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and conducts periodical medical audits to ensure highest standards of ethical behaviour and professionalism. Setting itself a goal to establish 45 IVF clinics across India, South East Asia and the Middle East by 2017, Nova IVI will be opening a state-of-the-art genetics diagnostic laboratory in Bangalore and two new centres in Pune and Hyderabad in 2014. Suresh Soni, Chairman & CEO, Nova Medical Centre, attributes its success to constantly meeting and surpassing patients’ expectations. He

Dr Mahesh Reddy, Co-founder & Executive Director

Innovation Nova IVI is based on a three pronged business plan which maximises effectiveness of healthcare while minimising cost, thereby increasing affordability and profitability. a) More than 70 percent of surgeries are conducted on a short stay basis. b) The doctors own equity in the clinic as well; a unique ‘doctor owned – doctor managed’ says, “Healthcare is changing rapidly and so are consumer expectations. Our objective has always been to align the Nova business model with these expectations, while retaining our core ethos of patient satisfaction and safety. By delivering healthcare in an affordable

concept which gives them a sense of ownership and motivates them to offer the best service. c) The clinics have followed an asset- light approach; it has minimal investment in fixed capital and leases heavy facilities, land and building. This has speeded up returns on initial investments and ensured faster healthcare delivery. and professional manner in association with best-in-class talent, Nova has positioned itself as a boutique hospital with personalised service and a brand that our patients trust.”

Tel: 1800-103-2229

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Heart of India Making quality health care affordable to people across India and beyond, Narayana Health is a unique health city that uses technology to break barriers of geography and affluence, and is considered amongst the world’s most innovative companies.

The Narayana Health City in Bangalore is spread over 25 acres and includes a 1000 bed cardiac hospital, a 1400 bed multi-speciality hospital and the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre (above), among other institutes.


marrow transplant unit and a recognized centre for kidney, liver and heart transplants.

Moving beyond cardiac care, NH treats a wide gamut of health problems with a combination of single and multiple speciality hospitals. Prominent centres include the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre - one of India’s largest comprehensive cancer centres, the Thrombosis Research Institute that works on early detection of coronary artery disease, India’s largest dialysis unit, the largest bone

Its biggest achievement is to make surgery, especially heart surgeries affordable to all sections of people. The average cost of an open heart surgery now is less than ₹ 1,50,000 ($ 2500 approximately) for Indians. It is able to do this by adopting an assembly line approach and scaling up the volume of cases. Minutely detailed protocols ensure a high number of successful surgeries. Impoverished Indian patients get the same quality of health care that their wealthy counterparts and foreigners do. Patients from 70 countries come to NH. Says Dr Devi Shetty, “Our greatest accomplishment is the scalability of surgical procedures, while maintaining quality. We believe that

tarting off in 2001 as Narayana Hrudayalaya, a single specialty hospital dealing with heart problems in Bangalore, Naryana Health (NH) has grown to 26 hospitals with close to 7000 beds in 14 cities and employs 1302 full-time doctors. It is the largest heart hospital in the world; the largest number of paediatric cardiac surgeries in the world are performed here and 80 beds are dedicated to post operative paediatric cardiac ICU.


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Awards Ranked first in ‘Top 10 Innovative companies in India’, second in ‘World’s Top 10 Innovative companies in the healthcare industry’ and 36th among ‘World’s 50 most innovative companies’ by Fast Company in 2012 Awarded ‘Healthcare Service Provider Company of the Year’ at the Frost & Sullivan India Healthcare Excellence Awards 2012 Received the FICCI Health Care Excellence Award for ‘Addressing Industry Issues’ in 2012 Rated among the Top 5 Cardiac Hospitals in the country by ‘THE WEEK’

80 beds are dedicated to post operative paediatric cardiac ICU

Received the India Shining Star CSR Award for ‘Exceptional CSR work done’ in 2011

Pioneering telemedicine, surgeons use Skype to reach out patients who visit over a hundred facilities in different parts of India and more than fifty in Africa.

India will become the first country in world to dissociate health care from affluence. India will prove to the world that wealth of the nation has nothing to do with the quality of health care its citizen can enjoy.” For this to happen, Dr Shetty wants the government to change its policies on medical education, to improve health

care delivery to meet the pressing need of creating more post-graduates seats in clinical subjects. Along with adding 30,000 beds in the next seven to ten years, NH has hospitals in Malaysia and in the Cayman Islands where it is building a Health City through a joint venture.

Tel: +91 80 7122 2222

Dr Devi Shetty, India’s most famous heart surgeon had a change of heart after meeting Mother Teresa and went on to create a workable model of treating the poor alongside the wealthy. He has received several awards including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri from the Indian government, the Rajyothsava award from the Karnataka government, Lifetime Achievement Award from FICCI, Indian of the Year from CNN-IBN, The Economic Times Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.

Innovation NH has pioneered innovative approaches in its practices, both in medicine as well as in sustainability. The hospital was the first to adapt telemedicine and is one of the largest telemedicine networks in the world. In collaboration with the Indian Space & Research Organisation (ISRO), it helps millions of Indian villagers get timely health advice and extends to 18 other countries. Dr Shetty conceptualised the micro insurance scheme Yeshaswini that was launched in 2002 in association with the Karnataka government. This unique model offers health insurance to over three million farmers and their families for all surgical procedures and outpatient care for just

₹ 18 (30 cents) each month. Other states have adopted

similar schemes.

By creating a hub of single and multi-specialty hospitals with a range of hospital beds between 2000 and 5000, it is able to use economies of scale work along with low operational costs to offer affordable health care. Surgical costs are reduced for all the hospitals due to shared resources like resident doctors, clinicians, laboratory, radiology, infection and quality control teams, administrative overheads. Health care professionals also benefit as they are exposed to a variety of medical conditions. It also affords an excellent set up for research.

Best of Bangalore


CHAPTER 12 Hotels & Hospitality

“Great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.� Joan Didion, Writer

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Hotels & Hospitality

An ode to green Reprising the ethos of the Garden City and its cultural heritage, the ITC Gardenia is based on an innovative model of a hotel built inside a garden. Asia’s first LEED Platinum Certified Hotel, it plays out the theme of ‘responsible luxury’ at multiple levels.

The Lotus Pavilion has a rooftop garden, and the hotel has done away with air conditioning in the central lobby, making the space naturally cool and breezy.

Awards Received the award for ‘Best Ornamental Garden’ from the Karnataka State Government in 2013, 2012 and 2011 The Peacock Suite has been recognised among the ‘Top


he 292-room hotel is situated in the heart of the central business district and began operations in 2009. Designed by architect Rajinder Kumar, its architecture and landscaping are almost inseparable with such features as natural cooling and vertical gardens. The exterior of the hotel is made of Gwalior sandstone and Malaysian red bricks, interspersed with panels of specially treated smoked oak and highlighted with strips of copper in a matte copper- sulphate patina. Copper-sulphate has also been used for the roof, while the flooring of the entire hotel is blonde Italian marble. The interiors by Francesca Basu are


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10 amazing hotel suites in the world’ by Elite Traveler and among ‘India’s top 25 suites’ by Travel+ Leisure in 2013 Awarded the Golden Peacock Award for ‘Innovation Management’ in

2013 and for ‘Environment Management System’ in 2012 by the Institute of Directors Received the ‘National Energy Management’ Award from Confederation Of Indian Industries (CII) in 2013.

inspired by different life forms and celebrate nature in all its different manifestations. For many of its highflying guests, the best way to arrive is by a short helicopter ride from the international airport to the hotel’s DGCA certified private helipad, and then into the Peacock Suite. Considered the largest among business hotel suites in India, this presidential suite spreads across the 20th and 21st floor. The hotel also houses a luxurious spa, Kaya Kalp, which offers therapies from all over the world Some of the world’s finest cuisine alongside the best of Indian food is the hallmark of ITC Gardenia’s gourmet experience.

K&K presents an exotic array of kebabs, curries and Indian breads; the Cubbon Pavilion offers buffet as well as à la carte options over breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Lotus Pavilion in the central courtyard, inspired by the Summer Palace of a former ruler, Tipu Sultan, is the perfect meeting place over tea or to raise a toast; Highland Nectar is the hotel’s award winning whisky bar; Ottimo – Cucina Italiana showcases handmade artisanal pastas, cheeses, desserts and select wines, and ITC Gardenia’s Japanese flagship restaurant, Edo showcases sushi, sashimi and Japanese grills.

Tel: +91 80 2211 9898

Over 25,000 plants cover an entire wall at the Cubbon Pavilion, spanning 12 m and reaching up to a height of approximately 17 m to the skylight. The hotel has four vertical hanging gardens that are comprised of varieties of locally grown Philodendron. Each vertical green strip has 1500 plants.

Innovation This LEED Platinum Certified Hotel’s unique architectural design enables the lobby to use only natural light during the day. It is naturally wind cooled thereby eliminating the need for air conditioning. The hotel is energy efficient, its water is expertly recycled, and it employs an efficient solid waste management plan. Catering to the single female traveller, the hotel has an independent floor for women in the EVA wing that is staffed by women and includes a video intercom. It offers a Green Banquet that promotes fair-trade practices and the ‘locavore’ approach to dining that is, buying from local farmers and cooking locally grown, in-season foods.

The Raj revisited Embodying gracious luxury and old world charm, ITC Windsor, the elder of the two ITC hotels in this city, offers a ride back in time to a more languid era.


Old world charm blends effortlessly with international standards of luxury at the ITC Windsor.

Awards Awarded a Four Star Rating for ‘Leadership and Excellence in Environment, Health and Safety’ in the Hospitality Industry and ‘Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Environment, Health & Safety’ across all Industries at the CII’s Leadership and Excellence Awards in 2014 Received an award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Environment Management’ at the Greentech Environment Awards in 2014 Dakshin was rated as the ‘Best South Indian Restaurant’ and Dum Phukt Jolly Nabobs as ‘Best North Indian Restaurant’ at the Times Food Guide Awards in 2014. Recipient of the award for ‘Best Maintained Gardens’ from The Mysore Horticulture Society in 2013


odelled on a grand English manor, the hotel is a gleaming white landmark that one accesses from the Windsor Bridge. Moving on through the grand entrance, visitors encounter balustrades, colonnades, fluted pillars, framed portraits, chandeliers and period décor. The spacious grounds with pretty gardens and fountains create an ambience that hushes the bustle of the city.

traveller. The upper floors of the Manor overlook the rolling greens of the Bangalore Golf Club.

The hotel spans two wings – the Manor and the Towers, with 240 rooms including 22 suites and the Grand Windsor Suite.

Accessible only to guests who are fortunate to get rooms on the 23rd floor of the Towers block or the second floor of the Manor, it is a picturesque retreat complete with a gazebo, arches and pink and white climbing roses. Apart from catering to the needs of its resident guests with its round-the-clock butler service,

The luxuriously appointed Manor rooms embody muted elegance and set a premium on discreet efficiency and services specifically for the business

The Towers section is built on the concept of a ‘hotel within a hotel’ and is set apart from the rest of the hotel. Hidden from public view is ‘The Lancelot Garden’ named after Lancelot Brown, who designed the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

The ITC Windsor has the facilities and the experience to successfully host conferences and banquets, having hosted prestigious events such as the SAARC conference, the Miss World pageant, the Economic Times Corporate Excellence Awards and several elegant receptions for world leaders. While it has venues for board meetings and informal gatherings, the imposing high ceiling and chandeliers of The Regency Hall make banquets memorable. The hotel has five specialty food and beverage outlets. Styled as a conservatory, The Raj Pavilion offers Indian and global cuisine, while the Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs conjures up the past with unique Anglo Lucknowi

ITC Windsor is the first hotel in South India to have been awarded Platinum rating under LEED EB (Existing Building) programme. It has adopted contemporary green business practices to provide the best in luxury with the lowest environmental footprint, which is the Group’s ethos of ‘Responsible Luxury’. Over 60 percent of its roof area is covered with a special paint that has a high solar reflective index, thereby reducing the cooling demand. Its electrical demand is met through off-site wind turbine generators and it uses recycled water for landscape, cooling tower and miscellaneous cleaning. fare. The Royal Afghan serves up robust flavours of the North West Frontier beneath the shade of a sprawling Peepal tree, while Dakshin celebrates the rich diversity of celebrated Southern India cuisine and Dublin - The Irish Pub offers an array of premium liquors, cocktails and cigars with European delicacies. The hotel provides multiple services on request, such as a game of golf and conducting sightseeing tours, after which guests can get a relaxing massage at the Kaya Kalp spa or take a dip in the pool. Priding itself on impeccable service, the ITC Windsor is the most conveniently connected Luxury Business Hotel to the Kempegowda International Airport, and perfectly located for both business and leisure.

Tel: +91 80 2226 9898 itcwindsor

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Hotels & Hospitality

In the lap of luxury Situated amidst 10 acres of verdant gardens, the Lalit Ashok, Bangalore, maintains a fine balance between opulence and efficiency. Managed by The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, the hotel has an awardwinning spa as well, and is appreciated by corporate guests and leisure travellers alike.

Rejuve-The Spa exudes the two mantras of the hotel, comfort and class.


he Lalit Ashok has illustrious neighbours; it shares a boundary wall with the Chief Minister’s house, and further down the road is the state guest house for VIPs, Kumara Krupa. Opposite the hotel lie the lush greens of the Bangalore Golf Course. The gates open upon a tree-lined driveway, which leads to the main entrance of the hotel. The spacious lobby, done up in shades of soothing pastel, is simple and minimalistic and dotted with comfortable sofas and chairs. The Lalit Ashok has a total of 184 rooms, including five luxury suites on the sixth floor and two presidential suites or The Lalit Legacy Suites on the eighth floor. Defined by the gorgeous bird’s eye view of Bangalore offered by the large bay windows in the living room, these suites are well equipped with all the comforts to which well-travelled guests are accustomed, with a fully functional kitchen, a giant walk-in closet, dual bathrooms and a balcony.


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The business centre at the lobby level offers facilities such as video conferencing, meeting rooms, printers, work stations, computers on hire, as well as secretarial and translation or interpretation services, and is accessible throughout the day. The hotel has four spacious convention centres, a large boardroom, and the aptly named Grand Ball Room spread over 3,600 sq ft. ‘Kalinga’ and ‘Siddhartha’ are two spaces in the rear lawns which host high-end events, exhibitions and product launch parties. For open air functions, the Lalit Gardens make for a beautiful setting. Canopies are erected on the lawns, the trees and shrubs are adorned with lights and the starry Bangalore sky completes the illusion of a fairy tale. Over the years, the hotel has played host to a multitude of events, from prestigious fashion shows and jewellery fairs to private get-togethers. Rejuve-The Spa, located near the pool, has a team of trained

Bhaskaran T, General Manager, Lalit Ashok Bangalore

Awards Awarded as the ‘Best Convention Hotel India’ in the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards in 2013, Rejuve – The Spa received the GeoSpa AsiaSpa award for ‘Best Hotel Spa’ in 2012 and 2013 Recognised as the ‘Best Business Hotel in South India’ by Big Research - Best Business and Service Excellence Awards in 2012 therapists and masseurs and offers ancient as well as modern wellness therapies. The in-house salon and gym ensures that the guests look as great as they feel. No stay at The Lalit Ashok would be complete without sampling the delicacies on offer in its three flagship restaurants. Situated by the pool, the round-the-clock multi-cuisine restaurant, named 24/7, offers a wide menu, ranging from Italian to Continental preparations. Baluchi serves the delectable cuisine from the north-west frontier territory of Baluchistan, from tender kebabs to savoury biryanis. The rooftop pan-Asian restaurant, OKO, allows guests to savour the flavours of the Orient along with sweeping panoramic views of the city. The Pastry Shop at the lobby level serves a wide variety of signature pastries, breads, tarts, pralines

and truffles. Sutra-The Lounge serves signature cocktails such as The Lalit cocktail, a heady combination of vodka, peach schnapps and iced tea, in an atmosphere which is a perfect mix of old world charm and contemporary pep. The Lalit Ashok believes in fostering business by maintaining healthy relationships with its clients. Bhaskaran T, General Manager, Lalit Ashok Bangalore says, “Customers are our prime focus, be it internal, external or the promoters. We respect and treat everyone as equal partners in growth and success. At the Lalit Ashok, we are firm believers of the fact that hotels offer more than luxury, we offer a way of life.”

Tel: +91 80 3052 7777

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Hotels & Hospitality

A royal journey With 23 luxury properties spread across India, the Royal Orchid Hotels Limited is one of the largest home grown hospitality chains in Bangalore with a national presence. The brand has made its mark on the global hospitality map as well, with the Malaika Beach Resort in Tanzania. This luxury hotel chain has been the recipient of various awards, including ‘Best Regional Hotel Brand’ by the Galileo Express Travel World Awards in 2008.

Elegant exteriors and interiors, with gourmet spreads define Royal Orchid hotels.


he journey of Royal Orchid Hotels Limited began in Bangalore, with Hotel Harsha in 1973 (re-launched as Hotel Ramada in 2008, under licence from Wyndham Hotel Group). Under the guidance and leadership of founder and Managing Director Chender Baljee, the Royal Orchid brand has grown steadily over the years and today boasts of properties ranging from luxury spa resorts to heritage and business hotels. The company owns and operates seven brands across the country; Hotel Royal Orchid (Bangalore and Jaipur), which is aimed at the global corporate and leisure traveller, the business hotel Royal Orchid Central (Bangalore, Hospet, Shimoga, Jaipur, Pune, Navi Mumbai and Vadodara), Ramada (Bangalore) and Regenta - including Regenta One (Hyderabad) and Regenta Central (Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bharuch, Mahabaleshwar and Gurgaon), are two upscale brands aimed at business travellers, Royal Orchid Suites (Bangalore and Pune), a long stay suite apartment complex with all amenities of a deluxe hotel, the luxury vacation destinations Royal Orchid Resorts (Bangalore, Goa, Mussoorie and Tanzania), and


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heritage hotels – Royal Orchid Metropole and Royal Orchid Brindavan Gardens (both in Mysore). The historic Royal Orchid Metropole was the erstwhile guesthouse of the Maharaja of Mysore and was built in the early 20th century. The group revamped the ancient building and introduced modern comforts while keeping the colonial charm intact. This heritage property received the ‘Best Grand Heritage Tourism’ award from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and South Asia Travel Tourism Exchange (INTACH-SATTE), in 2008. The regal Royal Orchid Brindavan Gardens, constructed in the early 20th century by the royal family of Mysore, looks out upon the legendary KRS dam and lake and the lush Brindavan Gardens. The Garden Cafe, a 24-hour coffee shop and CK’s, a multi-cuisine restaurant, provide varied food and beverage options to suit every palate. The Elephant Bar overlooks the gardens, beautiful and poetic in the evenings, when the colourful fountains come to life, rising towards the sky in a perfectly choreographed dance. Modern

comforts such as a spa, gym and swimming pool are in perfect harmony with the old world atmosphere of the hotel. Malaika Beach Resort in Tanzania is the chain’s first foray outside India. Built in the port city of Mwanza, this resort stands overlooking the picturesque Lake Victoria. A luxury leisure destination, this resort boasts of 32 luxurious suites, a state-of-the-art spa and restaurants offering traditional African cuisine as well as contemporary Indian and Continental delicacies. Food plays a huge role in the appeal and success of the Royal Orchid Hotels Limited, with Baljee himself setting the gourmet standards. The Group has conceptualised sterling dining options that cover a wide variety of cuisines from across the globe and have been honoured with awards by acclaimed institutions. The hotel has popular dining options like Tiger Trail, modelled after old jungle lodges, which serves delectable Indian cuisine, Ginseng, an oriental themed restaurant, Paparazzi, the chic multi cuisine restaurant that featured in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller ‘Hot Tables List’ in 2006, The 9th mile Dhaba, evocative of the highway eateries and Geoffrey’s, an English styled pub. Not resting on its impressive laurels, Royal Orchid Hotels Limited plans to expand further within the country and abroad, with a target of achieving 4000 rooms by 2015. Projects in the pipeline include hotels in Mumbai and Dar es Salaam, among others. According to Baljee, patience and perseverance have been the two buzzwords behind the success of this company. He says, “Aim high, but do not be disheartened with the results. Carry on regardless of failures. Try, try, and try again, success will follow you.”

Tel: +91 80 4061 2345

Chender Baljee, Founder & Managing Director, Royal Orchid Hotels Limited

AWARDS Hotel Royal Orchid, Bangalore was adjudged the ‘Most Popular Business Hotel’ in the Business and Service Excellence Awards by Brands Academy in 2013. Royal Orchid Central, Pune received the ‘Hotel of the Year’ award in the First Class Business Hotel Category at the Golden Star Awards, 2010. ‘Best Sunday Brunch 2008’ by Times Food Guide for Pinxx, Royal Orchid Central, Pune. ‘Best Oriental Restaurant’ by the Times Food Guide for Ginseng, Hotel Royal Orchid, Bangalore in 2006

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Hotels & Hospitality

Modern luxury A sweeping, semi-circular driveway leads to the spacious lobby of The Oberoi, Bangalore which opens onto a threeacre garden full of tall palms and fragrant frangipani trees. A 118-year old Raintree is the focal point of the hotel which is designed to allow an unfettered view of this magnificent tree.

The verdant Oberoi Bangalore is located in the heart of the central business district of the city.


ocated on Mahatma Gandhi Road, in the heart of the business, financial and shopping districts of the city, The Oberoi Bangalore is a haven of modern luxury. It is part of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, a globally renowned chain operated by East India Hotels. Established in 1992, its tastefully appointed spaces embody the twin characteristics of energy and quality of Bangalore. The aesthetically carpeted corridors leading to the recently refurbished rooms and suites are glass-walled to keep the intrusion of the city’s bustle at bay. The rooms are a reflection of luxury and modern technology. With modern fixtures, the bathrooms have 17-inch LCD televisions that offer idyllic relaxation. Within the rooms, teakwood flooring, spacious work desks with online multimedia hubs synergised with 42- inch LCD television and internet makes business communication seamless.


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The rooms and suites come with private balconies that offer a wonderful view of either the lush gardens or the serene poolside. Premier rooms have additional features such as a private steam and shower facility, and a walk-in closet. The award winning restaurants at the hotel offer a variety of dining experiences ranging from international and Indian cuisines to authentic Thai and Chinese. Le Jardin’s large French windows overlook the lily pond in the garden. Awash with sunlight by day and a friendly vibe at night, it is the most popular restaurant in the hotel as it serves an array of meals from multiple cuisines. It was also voted the Best All Day Dining restaurant under the 5 star category by Timeout India Food Awards 2014. The Polo Club has an irresistible alfresco setting, perfect for a city that allows one to enjoy the outdoors almost through the

year. The interiors are adorned with vintage photographs of the game of polo during the Raj era. From the rich leather and wood, the bar spills over to a shaded verandah and an open portico. In the evening retro tunes and guitar riffs play along with the flickering candles. It was also selected as one of the Best Bars to do Business by Entrepreneur Magazine 2013. Spicing up the place is the Szechwan Court which offers noveau Chinese in food and décor. It has won the Times Food Guide Award for best Chinese restaurant in the city from 2003 till 2013; it boasts of the same accolade from Food Lovers Food Guide since 2007. The serene view of a gurgling waterfall, visible through sheer curtains of gossamer gold heightens the dining experience along with the exclusivity of its two private dining rooms. Rim Naam, which means ‘by the water’ in Thai, is also a consecutive winner of the

Huvida Marshall, Vice President & General Manager, The Oberoi Bangalore

Awards Ranked 25th in the list of Top 25 Hotels in India, in the ‘Travellers’ Choice Awards’ presented by TripAdvisor in 2014 Ranked 15th in the list of Top 25 Luxury Hotels in India, in the ‘Travellers’ Choice Awards’ presented by TripAdvisor in 2013 Received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor in 2013 and in 2012 Received the ‘Insider’s Select Award’ presented by Expedia Partner Services Group in 2010

Each room in the hotel reflects a harmony of elegance, luxury and technology.

Times Food Guide Award for the best Thai restaurant in the city since 2004 and by the Food Lovers Food Guide from 2007 to 2011. It rests upon a lily pond amidst bamboo groves in the tropical gardens. Playful koi fish create a myriad coloured patterns on the water, and the restaurant specialises in fresh sea food and authentic Thai fare. Apart from the features of its 160 rooms and suites and the delectable attractions of its restaurants, its location in the city centre makes The Oberoi an ideal venue for conferences and meetings. The facilities include private meeting rooms at the business centre and well-equipped conference halls for seminars. Besides the outdoor swimming pool, recreational facilities include a fitness centre and the award winning Oberoi Spa. Says Huvida Marshall, Vice President and General Manager, “A pioneer amongst luxury hotels in the city, The Oberoi Bangalore is an oasis that offers visitors an experience of Bangalore at its best. Its greenery and serenity are perfectly synergised with luxury

The romantically lit up Rim Naam beckons diners to an authentic Thai repast.

and modern technology, making it a preferred destination for both business and leisure travellers. We constantly strive to offer the best experience to our guests by maintaining high quality of service and create memories for our guests, each time they stay with us. Our approach to hospitality is always

Innovation Oberoi E’nhance is an innovative feature in all the rooms which are equipped with an iPad interface that allows guests to customise and navigate through an impressive selection of in-room movies, web radio channels, control room lighting and air conditioning. They can also use it to place in-room dining orders.

focused towards continuously striving for the ultimate in service and luxury.”

Tel: +91 80 2558 5858

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Hotels & Hospitality

Escape to nature Combining the facilities of a luxury hotel with the leisurely ethos of a resort, The Windflower Prakruthi, located 12 km from the international airport, offers an invitation to commune with nature without leaving town. Set in lush green environs across nine acres, it is part of the rapidly growing The Windflower Spa and Resorts whose portfolio of luxury resorts includes resorts in Mysore, Coorg, Bandipur, Vythiri, Pondicherry, Karwar, Kasargod and Alleppey, besides Bangalore.

A 40-minute drive affords an escape from the bustling city. The Windflower Prakruthi is a perfect getaway for just a day, a weekend, a holiday or a corporate event.


eadquartered in Mysore, The Windflower Group took over the resort in Bangalore in 2013 and like its other resorts, a visit to Prakruthi is a sublime experience.

to contemplate the pleasing vista of green and relax on a lounger, or swim or play indoor badminton or snooker. Apart from a room for indoor games, there are full-fledged grounds for football and cricket.

Surprises await you at every turn. It could be a serene lotus pond, with the divine pink petals in full bloom. It could be a smiling staffer who proffers an invitation to high tea as you amble along the pathway. It could be the free Wi-Fi. It could be the calls from a pair of yellow-beaked Indian Scimitar Babblers (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii).

For the more adventurous, there are such facilities as an 8-level Ropes Challenge Course, an outdoor paintball field, built and designed to international standards, zorbing, All Terrain Bikes (a one kilometre long ATV track with 500 cc monster quad bikes) and a dirt track for bicycle motocross.

What isn’t a surprise is the exceptional service that the Group is known for. The boutique offering of a limited number of rooms is tailored for distinctive and personalised service.

All these activities are sure to drum up an appetite and The Bistro offers an array of dishes from around the world. It can also organise banquets for up to 200 people. Little wonder then, that this has it has become a favoured destination for family getaways and get-togethers, weddings and corporate team building activities, off site meetings and product launches.

Prakruthi has 25 rooms that range from studio, villa and premium villas that offer guests generous personal space. Guests can choose


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Awards The Windflower Pondicherry has received the ‘Best Resort in India’ award at the International Hotel Awards in 2012. The Windflower Coorg has been awarded the ‘Best Resort in India’ at the International Hotel Awards (in association with Google and Bloomberg) and Emerge, the spa in the resort, has received the ‘Best Destination Spa’ award from Asia Spa Pevonia in 2011.

PV Giri, Chairman, The Windflower Group

The 21 villas are tastefully furnished and equipped with lush amenities to meet the requirements of discerning connoisseurs. The discreet and personalised services have tempted well–known film stars such as Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi and Venkatesh to book private villas in the resort. The resort plans to increase its inventory to 65 rooms and add a world-class spa and fitness centre later this year. PV Giri, Chairman of The Windflower

Group, says: “ The Windflower, Prakruthi is built thoughtfully making nature predominant. All elements are seamlessly blended to offer guests a true sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. We believe that the location, the green ambience and the proximity to Bangalore city combined with Windflower’s high service standards are what sets us apart in this market.

Tel: +91 80 3013 6400

Innovation The core essence of The Windflower group is ‘Business with values’ and it offers experiences that are unique and innovative. The Group works on the premise that for the new breed of travellers, the way they live and the way they travel are no longer mutually exclusive. When they enter a hotel, they want to feel completely at home, be connected at all times and be in a setting where they can become a part of an experience. Along with luxury, The Windflower Group embraces sustainability and eco-friendliness. It believes that the new-age traveller seeks a hotel that is environment friendly. There is also a strong indigenous connect in design, architecture and service. Furnishings and finishes are crafted from renewable and sustainable sources.

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Hotels & Hospitality

Great green space As locations go, Clarks Exotica Resort & Spa, with the misty Nandi Hills forming a perfect background, seems to have it pat. It is close enough to the airport for busy corporate executives to stop over, and not too far from the city for locals to host events.

Clarks Exotica Resorts & Spa offers a refreshing break from the hectic pace of life in the city.


hen entrepreneur- builder Ronald Colaco established the resort in 2007, he wanted to replicate Bangalore when it truly was the ‘Garden City’ and the neat tree-lined streets and row houses which make up the sprawling Clarks Exotica Resort & Spa do just that. Occupying 70 acres of verdant land, it has 140 rooms across six luxury categories, five villas and a host of fine dining options and other recreational facilities. The resort has built a formidable reputation as a destination for weddings and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions). The sprawling grounds provide the perfect setting for a lavish wedding and the special teams of staff who are specially assigned to such events ensure that the multiple ceremonies which constitute The Great Indian Wedding carry on without hiccups.


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M Balaji, CEO, Clarks Exotica Resorts & Spa

Awards Awarded ‘Best resort of the year’ at the Golden Star Awards in 2014 Received the ‘Ultimate service’ award at the South India Travel Awards in 2014 Recipient of the European Award for ‘Best practices’ in Gold category in 2013

The nine conference rooms with facilities such as high speed internet, projectors, laptops and other essentials as well as an exclusive kitchen and dining space, has helped boost its credibility as a MICE resort. The hotel’s dining options range from international to Indian speciality cuisines, and have menus especially for the health-conscious. The chefs at Blue Alps combine exquisite flavours and serve lavish international dishes with local specialities. Known for its signature buffet spread for breakfast and dinner, Blue Alps also hosts The Sun Brunch, an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet with live dosa, pasta and chaat stations, barbeque grills, water slides, games and a sunken bar. Buvette, the pool-side cafe is the place to relax with a refreshing drink, pastries and made-to-order sandwiches. Illusion - The Lounge, comes alive in the evenings, luring party animals with its potent mixes and

lip-smacking finger food. The Seventh Heaven spa, as its name indicates, offers a diverse array of services and treatments ranging from traditional Ayurveda, Swedish and Thai massages to contemporary infra-red and water jet treatments that will soothe away the strains and tensions. Guests can also unwind at the gym or by getting a complete makeover at Persona, the in-house salon. Clarks Exotica Resort & Spa targets people for whom sports are a passion. Besides jogging and cycling tracks, it offers a vast range of indoor and outdoor activities. The sports facilities are state-of-the-art, from the swimming pool to golf putting, to tournament–level courts for squash, tennis, badminton, basketball and cricket. For those who prefer indoor sports, there are badminton, table tennis, billiards, carom and chess. The resort demonstrates its social and environmental

Innovation The resort prides itself on its ample space and uses it innovatively. To preserve the essence of country living, it does not build tall buildings but expands horizontally. It is also part of its mandate to grow at least five trees, including two fruit-bearing, around each construction. Its top-notch sports facilities are designed and inspected by professional athletes. responsibilities; it specially trains and employs people from lower income backgrounds. The resort minimises the use of plastic within its grounds and opts for the more eco-friendly arecanut. plates and cutlery. The biogas plant within the premises ensures that all recyclable waste is converted to gas or fertiliser and recycled water is used to maintain its gardens. It plans to expand its facilities further and is already developing a three-acre facility dedicated to adventure sports such as zip-lines, ropeways, an obstacle course, zorbing and paintball. It

also plans to introduce another multi-cuisine restaurant, bakery and bar. M Balaji, CEO, says that a constant thirst to expand and explore new avenues is what keeps the Clarks Exotica Resort & Spa ticking. He says, “People do not like to do the same things every weekend. By constantly reinventing ourselves, we aim to provide something new to all our target sections that range from families to corporates.”

Tel: +91 80 7177 7000

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CHAPTER 13 Infrastructure

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

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Gateway to South India Over 12 million travellers have flown through South India every year from the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (formerly Bengaluru International Airport) that opened in 2008 to meet this premier city’s pressing need for a world-class international airport. With these numbers set to increase to 17-20 million by 2017, the enhanced terminal that opened in February 2014 offers a spanking new experience to passengers.

Inspired by a smile, the roof is an aerodynamic marvel. It is the unifying element for the new and existing facilities, bringing both together as one composition.


uilt and operated by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), this was one of the first airports in the country to be constructed under a public-private partnership. Private promoters own 74 percent of the company, with GVK holding the majority share of 43 percent, Siemens Project Ventures owns 26 percent and Flughafen Zurich AG owns 5 percent. The remaining 26 percent is divided equally between the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The airport powers the economic prosperity of South India by facilitating its connectivity to the world. Passenger comfort is a priority for the airport, and its aim is to consistently


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improve infrastructure to increase air space efficiency, avoid capacity constraints and minimise costs. A two-part expansion plan has been chalked out to ensure that the size and capacity of the airport grow in tandem with the projected increase in traffic. The expanded 1,50,500 sq ft terminal, with 26 boarding gates and 15 aerobridges, wider arrival and departure corridors, increased seats near the boarding gates and short walkways, spacious security hold area and 25 retail outlets and 13 new restaurants, form the first phase of this plan. The renovated lounges of the expanded terminal lay emphasis on the comfort of passengers. They provide multiple comforts that suit both the business as well as the leisure traveller, from complimentary Wi-Fi

and business centres to massages, shower rooms and dining options. The terminal’s design has a strong local identity woven into it, welcoming visitors with local flavor and a glimpse of South India. The design is a collaborative effort between several leading international architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects and engineering consultants. Its campus is a 100-acre garden that emphasises Bangalore’s glory as a ‘Garden City’. With natural light filtering in though sky lights, local plants and flowers also have pride of place in its interiors which are inspired by the vivid colour and design of the Sampige flower (Michelia champaca). Specially commissioned paintings by internationally acclaimed artists Jatin

Awards Received the India Travel Awards South for ‘Best Airport Marketing Award’ and ‘Best Airport Award’ in 2014 Awarded for ‘Excellence in Air Cargo’ by the Shipping, Transport, Aviation and Tourism (STAT) Times International in 2014 Awarded as the ‘Airport of the Year’ at the Fifth South East Cargo and Logistics Awards in 2013 Received the ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) GOLD Certification for Passenger Terminal Building’ in 2013

Every customer touch-point at the airport will represent the unified philosophy of being the Gateway to South India, bringing a synergy between the ‘New India’ with its global aspirations and the ‘Old India’ with its rich heritage and culture.

Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 3 certified in 2013 Recipient of the ‘Infrastructure Excellence Award’ in the Best Airports Category awarded by CNBC TV 18 in 2012 Awarded as the ‘Best Airport in India’ by SKYTRAX in 2011 Received the award for the ‘Best Emerging Airport – Indian Subcontinent’ at the Emerging Markets Airports Awards (EMAA), 2011 Das, Yusuf Arakkal, Siddartha Das and Satish Gupta blend seamlessly with traditional handicrafts like Channapatna toys, Shimoga sandalwood, Bidriware and Ramanagar silks, which are showcased at stores in the airport and restaurants offer a taste of authentic Kannadiga cuisine. Conscious of the need to ensure long-term environment and community wellbeing, it follows sustainable development. The terminal building is LEED gold certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and was the first airport in India to adopt the use of biofuel for its ground operations in 2012. Plastic bags are banned in all its dining and retail outlets. Acres of plush greenery welcome the discerning traveller to Bangalore. The verdant garden also keeps carbon emissions in check. The airport has been designed to not just provide the city of Bangalore with a world-class airport in terms of service and efficiency, but also to play a key role in the long-term well-being of the environment and the community around it. It believes that by ensuring sustainable progress through its various initiatives, the airport and the city will benefit from the resulting advantages.

The second phase of the master plan is the construction of a new terminal and a second runway, which will increase the capacity of the airport to 55 million passengers per annum. Envisaging a seamless expansion in size and capacity of facilities over the next 10 to 15 years, the airport is ambitiously being developed as an ‘Aerotropolis’, or an ‘Airport City’, where layout, infrastructure and economy are centred around a major airport. It will be positioned as much more than an airport, and as the perfect rendezvous for people to conduct business, shop, dine and unwind. GV Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, says, “BIAL realises its role in the development of Bangalore as the gateway to the region. We are pleased that in a short time span, the airport has become the pride of the city while retaining its heritage and providing passengers with a world-class experience. Through our efforts to bring meaning and purpose, along with the efficiency and customer-friendliness that the traveller expects, we expect to realise our vision of being the ‘Gateway to South India’ soon.”

Tel: +91 80 6678 4444

GV Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, BIAL

Innovation To fulfil its vision to be at the forefront of technological revolutions and innovations in the aviation sector, BIAL invests in the most advanced IT and communication systems available for the aviation industry. The airport is the first to have an Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) in the country that truly functions on the principles of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM). The AOCC is the nerve centre of the entire airport; real-time data is shared with diverse departments aiding collaborative decision to facilitate faster processes. With regular and ongoing training of employees, technology upgrades and constant reviews of operations, the airport has had a consistent On Time Performance (OTP). The airport continues to focus on technological innovation which is essential to be a truly remarkable airport and provide world class travel experience to its passengers.

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In the service of the people An integral lifeline of the city, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (BMTC) runs a massive fleet of 6,792 buses on 2500 routes and covers 13 lakh km, making 4.95 million passengers reach their destinations every day. Growing at a rate of 6.75 percent per year, it has introduced new buses and new technology to meet the demands of the rapidly growing city and its commuters.

Major bus depots in the city have many amenities for commuters.


MTC’s origin lies in the Bangalore Transport Company (BTC), a private company that ran a fleet of 98 buses within the city in 1940. Over time, the city’s transport was re-organised and the BMTC was established in 1997, with the sole responsibility to provide urban public transport within the city and for a radius of 20 km around it. It offers a vast range of services, from the ordinary buses that ply both within and out of the city limits, to the airconditioned Volvos (Vajras), Coronas and Marco Polo buses. It also provides special services such as the VayuVajra or the airport service bus, a dedicated service to various companies for transporting employees on a daily basis, chartered buses to schools and other


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organisations and providing special routes during big ticket events or festivals. BMTC upgrades its fleet regularly to make its buses comfortable and has increased leg space; standing area has been increased by up to 33 percent, floor height reduced, and has introduced air suspensions systems, wider entry and exit points, LED display screens and public address systems. It has built 10 traffic and transit management centres across the city that offer a range of amenities such as ATMs, drinking water, air-conditioned waiting rooms, supermarkets and eateries. The going has not been uniformly smooth and BMTC incurred losses during the past two years. The losses stemmed

BMTC is the first State Transport Corporation in the country to use an electric bus.

not from inefficiency but from increased expenses - a 50-55 percent hike in diesel prices and salary increases. The funds crunch prevented it from appointing new drivers and conductors, and it had to cancel services; it had a shortage of maintenance staff too. Those difficult days are over, and after coming out of the red, BMTC is moving ahead with rationalising its operations. In order to increase the frequency of long distance buses and make it more cost effective, BMTC plans to introduce a direction-oriented bus service for long distance transport, rather than the currently prevailing destination-oriented one. Trunk buses will take passengers travelling towards a particular direction and drop them off at a junction, from where feeder

buses will take them to their respective destinations. It also plans to introduce different bus sizes for different routes, depending on the traffic on each route. It takes proactive measures to reduce its carbon footprint and was the first to modernise a big portion of its fleet to BS-4 emission levels. It was the first STU (State Transport Corporation) in the country to use an electric bus that it imported from China. The trial run has been positive but as the cost is a concern, BMTC is now waiting for Indian companies to manufacture affordable electric buses, as well as hybrid buses. With the state government’s support, it is hopeful of introducing around 400 buses that will run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Awards Received the Silver award for ‘Maintenance of excellent safety measures in public utility services’ from Greentech Foundation in 2013 Recipient of the e-India award for ‘Value based complete internet information facilities provided to commuters in public transport services’ in 2013 Awarded the ‘Corporate excellence

BMTC has installed CCTV cameras at key bus depots for passenger safety; currently some buses have GPS tracking software to keep tabs on their whereabouts, and it plans to install them in all buses. Apart from being trained to drive on city streets, drivers and conductors are made aware of issues such as road rage, gender sensitisation and fuel conservation. It has introduced an electronic ticketing system in many premium segment buses to save paper and is working on a common mobility card, which is a smart card that can be used both for the bus service as well as for the new Bangalore Metro. The organisation’s portal, allows commuters to plan their trips and to post grievances. It is also active on various social media platforms

award’ in supply chain management by the Indian Institute of Material Management in 2013 Received the award for ‘Minimal operational cost in city service’, ‘ Maximum improvement in tyre performance in city service’ and ‘highest tire performance in city service’ from the Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU) in 2012

and has a dedicated call centre for commuters. The organisation says it has followed up on commuters’ suggestions, after taking into account the cost and other feasibility factors. It also participates in social awareness campaigns such as “I Will Not Honk”, a campaign against noise pollution in city streets, anti smoking campaigns and road safety campaigns. Anjum Parwez, Managing Director, BMTC credits the organisation’s continuing success to three factors. “The independence which has been given to the BMTC of fixing the tariff and running the operation on a ‘no loss no profit’ basis, without any subsidy from the government is vital. The biggest strength is the sense of ‘ownership’ that the employees feel about the organisation.

Anjum Parwez, Managing Director, BMTC says, “We are in the lead among STUs in the country. Our aim is to look at transport systems in other countries and bring the best solutions here.”

Everybody working here feels that it is their organisation, and that they have to perform well for it to survive and to provide service to the people. That is the secret of our success.”Parwez credits the city’s commuters for being receptive to new services and giving their feedback. “They are extremely receptive to new things and value the quality of service and are willing to pay for it. Because of this positive response, BMTC has been able to keep bringing new technology

to the city. All new initiatives in the urban transport sector in India begin with BMTC.” BMTC offers concessional travel to NGOs, old age homes and schools for underprivileged children when they require buses, and supports cultural programmes that are not-forprofit, such as awareness about safety of women.

Tel: +91 80 2295 2422

Innovation BMTC adapts technology to optimise its operations and employs preventive maintenance. A pilot programme, based on technology developed by Bosch, monitors the health of the bus engines and predicts when it is likely to have a problem. BMTC plans to extend this programme to its entire fleet. It is also planning to use an automated greasing system and a tyre maintenance system.

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CHAPTER 14 Luxury

“Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.� Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist & Poet

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Branding luxury From high-end residences, hotels and spas to an efficient concierge service and a chic fashion line, the operations of Bogineni Luxury Lifestyle Industries cover a variety of sectors. With the opening of its first international branch in 2013, it is set to take the born-in-Bangalore luxury brand to global markets.


he family-run Bogineni Group is headed by Bogineni Jagadeeswara and his wife Bogineni Bhagyalakshmi, and has five primary verticals. Apart from properties, both commercial and residential, the company has diversified into fashion, hotels, leisure and concierge services. Driven by a passion for style and luxury, the duo handpicks the projects to which they lend their identity and infuse in each the same elements of opulence which have become their trademark. Bogineni Residences has built flamboyant properties and are known for their plush interiors, such as the Bogineni Park West located in Indiranagar, an up-market locality of the city.


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Planned and designed by in-house architects and interior designers, the spacious apartments are fully automated and are furnished with designer labels. The roof features an exclusive open terrace garden and a separate bar and entertainment area. The residents are pampered by a concierge service, adding to the luxurious aura. The provision of ample parking space in this building comes as a blessing in the city centre. Bogineni says he was inspired by George Bernard Shaw who said, “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and ask why not. �He started the company in 2010 after sensing a huge vacuum in the Indian real estate market

for branded luxury properties. Aiming for a high end clientele, he wanted the Bogineni Group to represent an elite address. His goal was to create a brand which would be synonymous with elegance and magnicence. Bogineni Bhagyalakshmi spearheads Bogineni Fashions that specialises in saris, the quintessential part of any Indian wardrobe. Its in-house designers as well as consultants, hailing from the gilt-edged fashion world of Milan, infuse the classic traditional elegance of the sari with a modern international flavour. These saris are showcased at their

flagship store in Indiranagar which provides a unique and an exclusive shopping experience. It offers concierge services, the services of fashion consultants and the option of customising garments for customers. Bogineni Concierge extends premium concierge services beyond the fashion store to its residential spaces, all to ensure that the residents enjoy a complete luxury lifestyle experience. The Group plans to foray into the hotels and hospitality space under the brand Bogineni Hotels and the leisure segment under the brand Bogineni Leisure starting with a retreat that would include a state-of-the-art spa. In the pipeline are the plans to

spread its insignia across India and also to make a mark in the global market. Bogineni attributes the success of his company and brand to the passion and zeal with which they guide every project to completion, in all verticals. “A customer living in Bogineni residences will want to stay in a Bogineni hotel, relax in a Bogineni spa and wear a Bogineni sari. Quality should be maintained across all projects and verticals. We do everything with passion, and it shows. People appreciate the dedication and effort which we put into each of our endeavours.”

Tel: +91 80 2520 0027

Innovation Bogineni Luxury Lifestyle Industries is pioneering a brand identity for opulence. Bogineni properties, Bogineni saris, and its planned hotels and hospitality ventures are geared to take the notion of ‘luxury living’ to new heights.

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A Stitch in Style Consistently providing elegant signature sartorial wonders to its refined clientele, Prestige The Man Store has been a pioneer in the world of men’s fashion for over 50 years.


he history of Prestige The Man Store can be traced back to a 600 sq ft tailoring shop called Prestige House for Men, which began operations in 1956. Today, the sophisticated, stark white, four-storied store stands out in great contrast to the surrounding vivacity and flamboyance of Commercial Street, arguably the city’s busiest shopping area. Part of the Prestige Group, the store is a one-stop shop for stylish clothing, footwear and accessories for men. From the model airplane which hangs over the entrance to the chic, uncluttered interiors, the store is designed to suit a man’s palate. Short staircases lead to each level, the walls bearing quotes of some of the most beautiful and powerful women of the world on men. The merchandise is displayed without jarring the eye, aiming to gently attract as opposed to overwhelming a customer with the variety.

guide its customers on the finer nuances of fashion and style. In-house stylists make shopping simpler by educating the customer on fashion trends and styles which would suit him, and assisting him in making the right choices. Informative guides to style fundamentals, such as the difference between pleated trousers and flat-fronts, on knotting a tie and about matching socks to the proper outfits, are subtly placed in the 17 spacious trial rooms. The store has also started corporate grooming classes, specially aimed at young professionals standing at the starting line of the corporate race. Offered free of cost, these classes will help them learn how to dress well for all professional and personal occasions.

The biggest draw at the store is bespoke tailoring, a tradition maintained for over half a century. Apart from this, it also retails ready-to-wear clothing which boasts premium national and international labels, luxe fabrics and ethnic wear, as well as, perfumes, footwear, cufflinks and pocket-squares.

Teenagers accompanying their fathers for their first tailored suit, young professionals lingering over formal shirts and trendy party wear, families debating over colour choices, young women browsing through an assortment of classy accessories as they search for that perfect gift, experienced stalwarts having a knowing conversation with the tailor, the store sees many happy customers..

Clothes do make the man, and Prestige The Man Store realises the truth in this old adage. The store makes a conscious effort to

The staff treats each customer like a celebrity by giving individual attention to their wants and remembering them when they return for


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Contemporary men’s fashion are exquisitely displayed in this elegant store.

more. It is this personalised shopping experience which transforms the first time customer into a loyalist. The guiding force of the store is Managing Director Noaman Razack, who, having spearheaded the success of the Commercial Street address, also oversaw the opening of a new store in Chennai in June, 2013. Razack maintains that the success of the store depends

on the customers. “Our customers are the reason why we stand strong. We value each and every one of our customers and regard their needs as our own. Their trust, love and faith keep us motivated to work hard and keep the tradition flowing,” he says.

Tel: +91 80 2558 8599

Noaman Razack, Managing Director, Prestige Fashions

Innovation Prestige The Man Store was the first to break away from a fashion market solely targeted at women. Spotting the potential in the men’s wear and accessories segments, it was one of the first retail spaces which catered exclusively to men. Fifty years on, it holds off contenders by continuing to add interesting options in ready-to-wear clothing and accessories, while the in-house team of experienced tailors keep up with latest trends and fashion impeccable suits to fit the unique demands of each customer.

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CHAPTER 15 Media, Arts & Entertainment

“The function of art is to make things beautiful. There is ugliness in life but art has to be beautiful.� SG Vasudev, Artist

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Media, Arts & Entertainment

Game changer A pioneer of large format live entertainment events in the country, DNA has grown organically to add glamour and fizz to sporting events in cricket, hockey and extreme sports in India and abroad.

The EDM event Sound Awake at the Supernova Arena


NA Entertainment Networks is headquartered in Bangalore and has branches in multiple cities across India such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad along with an associate office in New York. Started by T Venkat Vardhan in 1987, DNA produced its first live concert in Mumbai in 1988 featuring the band, Europe for an audience of 60,000 people. This was followed by one of India’s most popular concerts when Yanni performed at the Taj Mahal. Buoyed by the support from its initial sponsors UB Group and PepsiCo India (with whom the company continues to work), DNA has brought some of the biggest artistes and bands to India such as Sting, Mark Knopfler, Santana, Rolling Stones - who performed in India as part of their 40 Licks tour, Iron Maiden and Metallica. Keeping pace with contemprary trends


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in music, DNA organised EDM events like Sound Awake in August and December 2013 with the Ministry of Sound and Hedkandi. It had many spectacular performances on several stages at the Supernova Arena. Pre- events were held in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad as a lead up to the main event in Bangalore. DNA has gone on to infuse entertainment to the ICC Cricket World Cup Tour, Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL), Vodafone Indian Badminton League (IBL), Hero Hockey India League (HIL), among many other sporting events. DNA began its venture into ‘Sportainment’ with the ICC Cricket World Cup Tour in 1999 followed by the ATP Doubles Tennis Championship in 2000 and the World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002. In 2005,

it organised the Athens Olympic Torch Relay and the Australian death defying stunt bikers Crusty Demons. It has been a part of seven successful seasons of the Indian Premier League. In the IPL 2014 edition, it was the nodal agency and event partner for PepsiCo India as well as five of the franchises: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). DNA plans and executes the entire gamut of stadium logistics which includes entertainment, customised thematic stage set up, sourcing of international cheerleaders and hospitality for these franchises. It has added more offerings to its services such as stadium concession stalls, Pepsi VIP Box and dugouts for the title sponsor PepsiCo India during the Pepsi IPL series.

Innovation DNA managed the central access control system during the 2011 ICC World Cup by using innovative technology for the three host countries - India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In 2012, it has provided accreditation access services for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and in 2014 at Bangladesh. During the Pepsi IPL 2014, DNA used the innovative feature of Radio Frequency (RF) Camera Activity in all stadiums in the UAE and India. Four high definition (HD) wireless cameras recorded the audience and transmitted signals in HD via radio frequency. The feeds were aired live on the LEDs and the entertainment stage inside the stadium. Further engaging the audience, the ‘Dance Cam’ recorded them dancing and cheering. These live telecasts add to the thrill and merriment of fans.

Logos of all the IPL teams were projected on the stadium ceiling during the matches. DNA planned and executed the gamut of entertainment across all stadia in the UAE and India during IPL 2014.

It was the event partner for the governing body for world motor sport, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobiles (FIA), at the Annual General Assembly and Prize Ceremony in New Delhi in December 2011, which was held outside Monaco for the first time in its history. DNA also played a major role for five franchisees for Hockey India League, including accreditation. It organised the opening and closing ceremonies of the league in 2014. The company managed the stadiums in New Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore along with match entertainment and accreditation for the Indian Badminton League in 2013. DNA has a parallel team that organises events throughout the year for various corporates such as PepsiCo India, Vodafone, Reliance Industries, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Thomson Reuters, United Breweries,

DNA’s ‘Sportainment’ extends to several sports like cricket, badminton, hockey and extreme sports.

United Spirits Ltd, Heineken, Louis Philippe, Canara Bank, Manipal Hospitals and others. It also organises special events for clients such as Signature Derby, Signature International Fashion Weekend and Vodafone Cycling Marathon. DNA is committed to ensuring that its events are ‘green’ and works towards minimising the use of resources and reducing waste. For instance, it uses innovative and eco-friendly flame machines during stadium entertainment. Going forward, DNA Networks

continues to pursue diverse platforms in entertainment that enthral audiences through music, sports and technology. Keeping up with new trends, enhancing experiences and redefining delivery systems on the ground are its focus areas. T Venkat Vardhan, MD, DNA Entertainment Networks says, “Team DNA’s reward lies in executing successful events. We always focus on trying to do better for our sponsors, clients and most importantly, for our fans and audiences”.

T Venkat Vardhan, MD, DNA Entertainment Networks has redefined the business of events in India.

Tel: +91 80 2361 6683

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Media, Arts & Entertainment

Gallery with a view Located in the heart of the city, Galerie De’Arts spoils art lovers for choice, lured as they are by the spectacular view from its 11th floor abode and the paintings that adorn its walls. They are tempted to settle down with one of the carefully chosen books on art on an inviting chair tucked away in a cosy nook.

Located in the heart of Bangalore’s CBD, the gallery has a 1000 sq ft exhibition space.


ounded by Deepa Subramanian in 2009, Galerie De’Arts has steadily grown to earn its place among the leading galleries of the city dealing with high calibre Indian contemporary art. One of the reasons for its quick success seems to be the gallery’s practice of placing artists above all others. It engages in collaborative initiatives with the artists, which have developed into long term committed relationships over time. One of the biggest challenges that artists face is of promoting their work, an exercise that is an expensive proposition in most commercial galleries. Galerie De’Arts takes it upon itself to promote its artists, going so far as to produce, design and create its own content and research in consultation with the artist, past available data notwithstanding.


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Some of the contemporary masters featured at the gallery are Peter Lewis, VG Andani, Bhaskar Rao, Ramesh Rao, Chandranath Acharya, C Chandrashekara, S Krishnappa, RM Hadapad, SS Munoli, Ramdas Adyantaya, Appukuttan Achary, GS Shenoy, Marishamachar, Krishna Setty, JMS Mani, Jasu Rawal, Milind Nayak, Paresh Hazra, PS Kumar, Balan Nambiar, SG Vasudev and Yusuf Arakkal. The gallery has held many successful solo and group shows of contemporary artists from India and abroad. Its first anniversary show was a tribute to Dr KK Hebbar and featured 22 contemporary masters from Karnataka from the early 1970s. Galerie De’Arts has also introduced

The interior décor reflects contemporary and ethnic elegance.

Deepa Subramanian is the Founder & Creative Head of Galerie De’Arts, Bangalore. An entrepreneur in Supply Chain & Procurement Management of Pharmaceutical Chemicals, she converted her passion for art into a business, and runs the two diametrically opposite divisions with equal fervour. The art fraternity regards it as a gallery which caters to the sensibilities of the artist.

many emerging artists to the city of Bangalore who have shown their works for the first time in the city. It tries to balance what is good vis-à-vis art that has potential. Subramanian favours an “instant emotional connect” while choosing an artist although she tries to set aside personal tastes to cater to the art world at large. The services of the gallery include corporate art retreats, art rentals, art restoration, art residencies, art learning and development and consultation on all aspects of the establishment and maintenance of an interesting and rewarding art

collection. The gallery has a wide range of works of different media including paintings, sculptures, installation art, limited edition prints and photographs of contemporary artists from India and abroad. The gallery is gearing up for a strong presence in the global art market and plans to participate in international art fairs in a phased manner. Even as it promotes Indian art abroad, it endeavours to bring in artists to India from Europe, Western Asia, Middle East and other regions.

She also conducts periodic curated shows with extensive documentation, writes critical essays, holds art talks and film screenings, and offers consultancy to art collectors.

Deepa Subramanian, Founder & Creative Head, Galerie De’ Arts

Innovation ‘Art with a heart’ is an initiative by Galerie De’ Arts that speaks for unrepresented artists and encourages them by buying their works and exhibiting them at the gallery and more importantly, projecting their works to make sure that deserving artists reach their greatest potential. The second anniversary show of Galerie De’ Arts, in association with the Times Foundation, raised funds for education and vocational training.

Tel: +91 93433 68450

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Media, Arts & Entertainment

Entertainment Unlimited High powered corporate conferences, the hottest New Year dance parties, mega concerts - Bangalore’s pioneering event management firm Phase 1 organises thousands of such popular events in India and abroad. Over the last decade and a half, it has upped the quality of entertainment in an industry that has come in to its own.

From fashion weeks to corporate launches, Phase 1 proves its mettle with each event.


n a bold move back in 1995, Oum Pradutt gave up a corporate job to get started in event management, a field about which he knew little but was passionate about. Realising the immense potential for growth in the fledgling industry in a newly liberalised economy, he tested the waters in the corporate sector, an area he was more than familiar with.


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He had an interesting pitch: what he offered was more than merely planning an event; he would create experiences through events that would be bridges to connect companies with their stakeholders, Oum himself was the architect of such bridges. Over the years, Phase 1 has led the growth of the events and experiential business, even as the industry has

become organised. Starting with a single desk and a single employee, his team today consists of 50 people who are expanding the firm’s business and travelling across continents to serve entertainment and experience on a platter. Phase 1’s impressive and rapidly expanding client list boasts of such names as IBM, Titan, Audi, Benetton, Viacom and Wipro, amongst others. Over the past

Cirkus Indigo is a two-day music festival organised by Phase 1 in Bangalore.

Amitabh Bacchan at a programme organised by Phase 1

Awards Received a silver award in the category of ‘Best Live Event of the Year’ for Novell Carnivale at the WOW Awards in 2013 Awarded a gold at the PMAA Dragons of Asia awards in the category of ‘Best International Event of the Year’ and another at the WOW awards in the category of ‘Best Incentive Tour of the Year’ for Titan BAM, arguably India’s biggest offsite event, in 2012 Received a bronze EEMAX award in the category of ‘Best Signature Event’ for Titan Impressions in 2011 decade, the company has set up two branches in Delhi and Mumbai, and has a string of associate offices across the world: Europe, North America, South Africa, the rest of Asia and Middle East. It also has a spanking new corporate office in Bangalore, designed in contemporary style at a plush address. Perhaps what Bangalore will always associate with Phase 1 is ‘Hollywood’, a creative concept Pradutt came up with in 1995. Undoubtedly the biggest New Year Party in town, this themed event has brought Beverly Hills right down to the city, attracting a 15,000 strong crowd of partygoers every 31st of December. A couple of years ago, the concept underwent some transformation and in its new avatar ‘Hollywood Limited’ is a more exclusive event held in the plush environs of UB City. It is not all glitz and glamour though and the company’s employees, who come from diverse backgrounds such as finance and film-making, are conscious of their social responsibility. Having organised

over 2000 events, Phase 1 uses its expertise in service to society. As part of its social responsibility programmes, Phase 1 conducts events for institutions which provide free education to less privileged children and organises these events with the same eye for detail and dedication that it does for a paying client. It works with the Bangalore Police to hold free and fun events for orphans that combine lessons on traffic management and crime prevention. The red brand believes in strong green initiatives as well. Right from the publicity stage which relies more on digital media than print, to the actual event which optimises power consumption and reuse of elements as much as possible, Phase 1 prides itself on being a sustainable company. Pradutt says, “Our success is reflected in the respect our clients have for us. We continuously strive to deliver richer experiences, each more unique than the other.”

Tel: +91 80 4032 1000

Harsha Bhogle (left) and Rahul Dravid at a Phase 1 event

Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 embodies the style of his company, combining perfection with a distinct and quiet flair.

Innovation Pradutt’s travels abroad over the past few years have made him realise the potential India has, especially in music and other arts. Working towards bringing international talent to India and taking Indian talent abroad, Phase 1 is on the verge of creating televised and unique intellectual properties, one of which is a music festival in an international destination.

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Media, Arts & Entertainment

More than words With multiple strengths in publishing, content creation and brand advisory, Raintree Media has diversified into Digital & Social Media and lifestyle events.


being hailed as mandatory reading for aspiring journalists.

Its publishing catalogue includes books in several genres such as branding, tourism, fiction and lifestyle segments. Its association with the GVP network, with whom it publishes the BEST OF series of international coffee table books, allows it to reach 35 countries.

Some of its acclaimed on-demand/custom publishing titles include two books commissioned by the Governor of Karnataka, ‘The Raj Bhavan Karnataka - Through the Ages’ and ‘Karnataka – A Cultural Odyssey’. The book that it published for the Madras Gymkhana Club to mark its 125th year, ‘The Glory Years’ was hailed as a masterpiece by His Excellency SS Barnala, the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

stablished in 2004 by veteran jouranlists Allen Mendonca and Sandhya Mendonca, Raintree Media has a vibrant team that works on the firm’s many verticals.

Raintree Media independently publishes the ‘Marvels of’ series of travel books, in a contemporary, comprehensive, compact and easy-to-read format. A novel on the Indian media industry ‘Sentinel House’ by Allen Mendonca received excellent reviews,


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Other books that the firm has published include ‘Karnataka Golf Association – The course by the lake’, a photobook ‘Table by the Window’ and ‘Game for Life’ for

the Royal Challengers Bangalore. 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 and websites on a wide range of subjects from travel, lifestyle and food to commerce. Its clients also include corporates, schools, colleges and government and other private organisations. Raintree Media’s comphrehesive content portfolio includes research, writing, editing, graphic design, photography and short films. 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 music composed by Ramana Gogula in the voice of Arundhati Nag and Prakash Paul, and an album of Hindi music ‘Ishq ki Lehren’ by Ram Nagaraj. Its offerings in the Digital Media space include social media marketing, augmented reality, branding and creative services. Its Brand Advisory provides inputs and services for internal and external PR and advertisements. South Fire is a subsidiary of Raintree Media that focuses on Lifestyle, Entertainment & Sports. It has two umbrella brands: South Fire Life (SFLife) and South Fire Cycling. SFLife consists of an online magazine, events and branding for the youthful. South Fire Cycling organises activities such as Weekend & Night Cycling, Sporting Events (cyclothon and triathlon), Corporate Outings (Yi cycling) and Adventure & Bespoke Travel Tours. Under the Raintree is a non-profit platform to promote the Arts with performances and interactive sessions in theatre, literature, cinema, music and the fine arts. It was formed in memory of its co-founder Allen Mendonca (1960-2009) who championed creative pursuits.

The Governor of Karnataka Dr. HR Bhardwaj presents ‘ Karnataka - A Cultural Odyssey’ to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah in September 2013.

It has facilitated the dramatised reading of Anita Nair’s play ‘Nine faces of being’ (when it was a work-in-progress), directed by Arundhati Raja of ART; a variety entertainment programme by Madras Players featuring Mithran Devanesan, PC Ramakrishna, Vishalam Ekambaram and Sharanya Nair; the launch of ‘Vriksha – the life and times of SG Vasudev’ with discussions on ‘Art & the City’ by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and UA Vasanth Rao, and a panel discussion on ‘Artistic Connections’ with Ravikumar Kashi, Vikram Sampath, Arundhati Nag and Madhu Nataraj, and two mehfils of Hindustani classical music featuring tabla maestro Trilochan Kampli and vocalist Kumar Mardur, and the young star from Kolkata, Arshad Ali. The company’s CSR initiatives also include a Media Lab for My School and support to the Larkspur School.

Tel: +91 80 4094 7873

South Fire organises various cycling events in Bangalore from night rides to cyclothons. Photo by: Sandesh Ravikumar

Under the Raintree organised a ghazal programme by Ram Nagaraj at the Rangoli Metro Art Center to promote performing arts in public spaces.

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CHAPTER 16 Real Estate

“One has to differentiate between need and greed.� Irfan Razack, Chairman & Managing Director, Prestige Estate Projects

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Real Estate

Shaping opulence A pioneer in the real estate industry in the city, Nitesh Estates redefines the scale of luxury living here, and has achieved a quantum growth keeping pace with the rising demand for homes in the city. The company has more than 1.9 million sq m (20 million sq ft) of premium residences, shopping malls, hotels and A-grade office buildings under various stages of development.

Nitesh Napa Valley, a gated community of 133 exquisite villas spread over 20 verdant acres which is due to be completed in 2015 (artist’s impression).


ncorporated in 2004, Nitesh Estates Limited (NEL), the real estate wing of the Nitesh Group, is engaged in the business of development, sale, management and operation of premium real estate spaces and other related activities. The company strategically engages and collaborates with landowners to help scale up projects faster. Headquartered in Bangalore, it has an office in New Delhi and has extended its projects to Goa, Chennai and Cochin. NEL has a project profile of around ₹ 6000 crore ($1 billion approximately) across asset classes, including a residential portfolio of over ₹ 4500 crore ($749.68 million approximately) which consists of premium condominiums, luxury villaments and super luxury villas. It was the first to win India’s largest corporate housing project for ITC Limited. The company was among the first few real


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estate companies in the country to attract FDI from US based financial companies Och Ziff (a $40 billion hedge fund manager) and Apollo Fund. HDFC AMC has a 10.1 percent stake in Nitesh. Citi Property Investors partnered with the company and owns a 74 percent stake in the project that enabled the building of the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore, the global luxury chain’s first property in India. Nitesh Estates has interesting partnerships with specialists in their fields such as Quintessentially to provide concierge services, ESPA to run the spa and Rossano Ferretti to manage the salon services at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. NEL is also developing a shopping mall in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Alongside ramping up its revenue, NEL operates incident and injury free projects across hotels, shopping malls, offices and

homes and extends these facilities to all its clients, suppliers, sub-contractors and other stake holders. Its buildings are built with one of the best earth-quake resistance technologies and are provided with first-aid safety provisions. It takes cognizance of the fact that its business involves urbanisation, and attempts to minimise its carbon footprint by erecting energy efficient buildings and investing in green cover in project sites to supplement the ground cover. Some of the charities that NEL supports are Dr Graham’s Home in Kalimpong, West Bengal to whom it offers scholarships for underprivileged children, the Genesis Foundation to save the lives of critically ill underprivileged children, Cherysh Trust which works in the areas of education and women’s sustainability in rural Karnataka and Goa, the Tribal Children of Kalinga Relief & Charitable Trust, Bhubaneshwar, to educate

The 277 room Ritz-Carlton Bangalore ushers in a new level of luxury to the city.

Awards Received the ‘Highly commended landscape architecture’ and ‘Best development marketing India’ awards from the International Property Awards (Asia Pacific) for Nitesh Napa Valley in 2013 Was the recipient of the ‘Highly commended development marketing India’ award from the International Property Awards (Asia Pacific) for Nitesh Fisher Island in 2013 Awarded the ‘State’s Best Architecture of the Year’ for Nitesh Buckingham Gate Apartments at the Architect of the Year awards in 2011 Recipient of the CNBC Awaaz Crisil Credai Award for Best Luxury Segment Residential Property in 2010 Felicitated as the ‘Best Builder of the Year’ at the Construction Source India awards in 2010 Nitesh Park Avenue luxury apartments, which will be completed in 2016 (artist’s impression).

tribal children and give them equal opportunities, and to Ekam to reduce infant mortality rate and improve healthcare outcomes for neonatal, infants and children. Nitesh Shetty, Founder and Chairman, says, “Our organisation is always driven by the values put forward for the company to strive for excellence in whatever we do. It has a dynamic board of directors and an excellent management to look after its business activities. Our uncompromising adherence to international standards has propelled us on the threshold of quantum growth – a growth aspired to by many. We are driven by the desire to excel in every aspect and that motivates, guides and pushes us that extra mile to achieve the desired results.”

Tel: +91 80 4017 4000

A mixed-use real estate space with commercial, residential and retail, Nitesh Plaza, located in the central business district of Bangalore, is estimated to be completed by 2017 (artist’s impression).

Nitesh Shetty, Founder & Chairman, Nitesh Estates Limited

Innovation Nitesh Estates is amongst the earliest to initiate the concept of green homes as a sustainable housing system. It has partnered with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and shares its mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling environmentally and socially

responsible habitats. It was also amongst the first few companies to recognise the importance of design and development through internationally renowned architectural firms. Its premise is to offer clients a choice of sophisticated living that matches a five star experience.

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Real Estate

Unique Spaces Contributing substantially towards Bangalore’s skyline, Vaswani Group is a veteran participant in the booming real estate market not only in this city but also in Mumbai, Pune and Goa.


stablished in 1992, Vaswani Group is mainly active in developing and managing residential high-rises, hotels, tech parks, corporate and retail spaces. Offering luxurious real estate solutions, the company targets its creations towards discerning domestic and international buyers. This ISO 9001:2008 certified company has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai. The Group takes credit for pioneering the concept of gated townhouses and villas in Bangalore, with the project Villa Del Mar. It has completed a sizeable number of projects which include apartment buildings, gated communities, a luxury hotel, office and retail spaces, and has more projects which are nearing completion.

Located just off the Brookefields Junction, Vaswani Brentwood is due to be completed in September 2015 (artist’s impression).

The core strength of the Group lies in the emotional connection which it shares with its employees and customers. This is further reflected in the company motto ‘from our family to yours’. It approaches every project from a personal point of view, taking account of all comforts and conveniences. The success of this philosophy is reflected in its client base, which has global brands such as Wipro, Sasken, Pantaloons, SAP Labs and Toyota. Believing in total transparency, Vaswani Group ensures that all details of projects are known to the stakeholders via brochures, websites, mailers and advertisements. Within the company, key decisions are taken in a decentralised fashion, so that all employees are kept aware of new developments. Aware of its duty and responsibility as a corporate citizen towards issues affecting both society and the environment at large, Vaswani Group undertakes public development


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Featuring three and four bedroom villas on 3.25 acres, The Villas at Walnut Creek are all set to redefine luxury living in Bangalore. This project, located just off the Sarjapur Main Road, is due to be completed in July 2016 (artist’s impression).

A lifestyle residential enclave of three, four and five bedroom apartments and duplexes, Vaswani Reserve is located just 300 meters off the Marathahalli - Sarjapur Outer Ring Road and is due to be completed in the last quarter of 2014 (artist’s impression).

Awards Awarded for the ‘Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practice’ for the Police Traffic Park from The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia Council in 2013 Received the ‘Developer of the Year – Commercial’ award in the Popular Choice Category from Realty Plus magazine in 2012 Recipient of the ‘Developer of the Year’ award in the three categories of Residential, Commercial and Luxury from The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia Council in 2012 An exclusive gated community featuring Portuguese themed three and four bedroom villas, Vaswani Whispering Palms is a mere half hour’s drive from the central business district of Bangalore.

projects in and around the city of Bangalore. It is responsible for the development and upkeep of a Police Traffic Park at the junction of Saint Mark’s Road and Madras Bank Road, one of the busiest intersections in the city. The company has directly borne the cost of the infrastructure, which includes a gazebo, an amphitheatre, children’s play area, jogging tracks and bus bays. It has also participated in road widening works in collaboration with

the Public Works Department (PWD), undertaken the concept, design and development of the Bellandur Gram Panchayat and is awaiting clearance to plant trees around city avenues. Over the next 10 years, Vaswani Group wants to increase its presence in the cities where it is currently operational and spread its footprint to other parts of the country.

Tel: +91 80 4911 0000

Vaswani Whispering Palms was awarded as the ‘Residential Property of the Year’, Vaswani Centropolis as the ‘Commercial Property of the Year’, Vaswani Brookfield Manor as the ‘Luxury Property of the year’ and Vaswani Reserve as the ‘Most Admired Upcoming Project of the Year’ from The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia Council in 2012

Innovation Vaswani Group is a staunch advocate of ‘Intelligent Homes’ and has implemented this concept in Vaswani Brentwood, where new age technology comes together with old world charm. Each house is completely automated and has state-of-the-art facilities, such as motion sensor lighting systems, IP door locks and fire and gas detectors which send alerts to synced smartphones.

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Real Estate

Uniquely yours Catering to the booming real estate demands of the city, Unishire has 16 residential and commercial projects under various stages of construction, totalling an area of two million sq ft, all in a span of five years.


he company’s roots can be traced back to Mehta Group, which was established in Bangalore in 1987 by Kirti Mehta, who recognised the potential of organised real estate in the rapidly expanding city. Revamped as Unishire in 2008, it is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (SME) since February 2014. The company works with renowned national and international architects, consultants and designers to create luxury residences and commercial properties in premium locations around Bangalore. Unishire taps into the consumer segment of young IT/ITES employees with high disposable incomes. Their housing preferences are determined by factors such as affordability, safety and proximity to work places, hospitals, schools and recreational zones, and accordingly Unishire’s residential projects are concentrated towards the north and the south of Bangalore, the two areas which have the maximum number of tech parks, commercial centres and other industrial areas. The company follows a mandate of energy optimisation and ecological sustainability, and implements measures such as grey water harvesting and solar powered lighting. Its gated communities are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound, with maximised green cover. As a part of its CSR, Unishire organised a Bengaluru Peace Walk in 2013 in aid of Uttarakhand flood victims and a de-addiction event for workers. Apart from these, the company provides material aid in the form of school uniforms to less privileged children. Following the philosophy of the seven Cs: competency, capability, cost - effectiveness, comprehensiveness, credibility, consistency and confidence, the company is looking to expand its footprint across the country over the next three years and targets a total area of 10 million sq ft. Unishire prides itself on maintaining project deadlines while keeping quality intact and providing the best value for money, these are the primary aims which drive the company.


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Designed by international architect Hadi Tehrani, Unishire Xperience is a 30 storey luxury apartment complex in Bangalore that will be completed in 2017 (artist’s impression).

Pratik Mehta, Managing Director, says, “The biggest force behind Unishire’s success is commitment, passion and method of operation. We have worked with complete transparency, integrity and ethics till date, which has endeared us to clients and helped us reach this stature today.”

Tel: +91 80 2346 1715

Located in Hebbal, Unishire Terraza is targeted towards the middle income group and will be completed in 2015 (artist’s impression).

Unishire Belvedere Signature has 62 luxury apartments, each fitted with a pool and jacuzzi, and will be completed in 2016 (artist’s impression).

Innovation Unishire projects are characterised by innovations in construction technologies, structural design, architecture and amenities. It combines the design sensibilities of international architects with Vaastu – the ancient Indian guidelines for interior design, to create premium homes which showcase the best of both worlds. Unishire balances aesthetics and functionality with efficiency and affordability. Each project has a special feature, for example, the apartments in Unishire Terraza have private terraces and those in Unishire Belvedere Signature have private pools and jacuzzis. Targeting specific asset classes with every venture, it ensures that each property is unique. The residential projects have a robust structure design combined with flexible floor plans and are designed according to the guidelines prescribed by Indian Green Building Council.

Pratik Mehta, Managing Director, Unishire

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Real Estate

Building ethics Developing properties to meet the changing needs of the real estate market for home seekers as well as IT, commercial and industrial sectors, Value Designbuild (VDB) offers a different and value-driven experience in the realty space.

Close to the city yet surrounded by silence, VDB Willow Farm has been designed by the noted architectural company, Zachariah Consultants. It is set on a seven acre, charming wooded property in which just 70 units are coming up with three options - 22 Villas (5,676 to 6,065 sq ft), 32 Duplexes (3,872 to 4,285 sq ft) and 16 Simplexes (3,578 to 3,613 sq ft).


eadquartered in Bangalore with a branch office in Mysore, VDB was incorporated in 2002 and is headed by Koshy Varghese. It is currently in the process of developing about 1.5 million sq ft of residential developments in and around Whitefield including the gated communities of Nusa Dua and Willow Farm and the 17 storeyed Azure. With a high-end retail outlet in Whitefield and the River Mist villas in Kodagu coming up soon, VDB aims to develop 1.5 to 2 million sq ft of residential and commercial space every year. Staffed by a competent team of engineers, business managers and project leaders, the company has two business verticals: Property Development and Designbuild


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services. VDB develops both commercial and residential properties for sale. It sources land after a careful analysis of its location and the development potential of the area. It then designs apartments and office spaces using the city’s most reputed and technology savvy designers. In its Designbuild services, the company integrates the role of designer and constructor, and balances the competing challenges of quality, cost and schedule. Designbuild gives clients value for their investment as it ensures tight control of costs, management of the construction schedule and a quick turnaround between design and completion. The various processes of a project comprising design

concepts, drawings and budgets to permits, regulations, to actual construction and final walkthrough are organised by VDB. VDB believes that the real challenge in building spaces is to genuinely connect with the clients’ desires, and it offers exactly this to its customers with its varied services and excellent craftsmanship. The company does not compete with the larger developers in numbers; rather, it places a premium on quality. It counts as its core values integrity, safety and value for life, respect for all people and cultures, delivering the best value to clients and exceeding expectations. It is driven by honesty and integrity, and the

Inspired by Bali, Nusa Dua is a 2.5 acre tropical paradise in the suburb of Whitefield, Bangalore with Jacuzzis and private water bodies in the garden. Each of the 28, four bedroom triplex homes range between 3,700 and 4,500 sq ft and 12 homes come with lap pools. VDB is in the process of developing the second phase of Nusa Dua, the contemporary-styled VDB Nusa Dua Chromatic. Nusa Dua has row houses and Chromatic consists of large apartments.

VDB’s first venture in Coorg, River Mist is an exclusive gated community crafted around the lush Kodagu terrain. The first phase comprises of 16 three bedroom villas, each with a private pool and garden with a lily pond.

VDB Cardinal in the plush locality of Indira Nagar houses just 10 exclusive apartments with such luxury features as a private swimming pool for each dwelling.

faith that with the right intent, everything else will fall into place. The company’s CSR activities include water conservation, education and tree planting. Koshy Varghese, Managing Director, says, “We believe that by being different in terms of communication, design and quality of delivered products we

will be able to create a niche space for ourselves. We aim to reach a situation whereby we will be among the top five companies in Karnataka in terms of recall pertaining to quality in our work and as a builder who does not deviate from the sanctioned plan.”

Tel: +91 80 4047 2000

Koshy Varghese, Managing Director, VDB, has over 30 years of experience in India and the Middle East in the areas of property development, land acquisition, marketing, construction and finance.

Innovation VDB has focussed on innovation right from its inception, with a desire to be a differentiator. It has aimed at building quality products and has an open policy by which its team members and its clients have clear information about the firm’s activities. In the often murky world of real estate, VDB prides itself on the fact that none of its projects have encountered legal hassles, and that it ensures that its developments have requisite approvals and completion/occupation certificates before handing them over to its clients.

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Flipping the retail market One of the biggest success stories to emerge out of the booming online retail sector, is the largest home grown ecommerce company with more than 14 million registered users and shipping 1,00,000 items per day. Valued at $1.6 -1.7 billion (approximately ₹ 9900 crore), the company is trusted by investors such as Accel Partners, Tiger Global, Naspers, Morgan Stanley, Sofina, Vulcan Capital and others, and has clocked sales of $1 billion (approximately ₹ 5800 crore) in early 2014. Having acquired, it is all set to capture a bigger piece of the Indian ecommerce market, estimated to be about $13-15 billion (approximately ₹ 75,000 - 87,000 crore).

Flipkart offers 10 million products across 70 categories, with electronics comprising almost half of its total sales. It is also is the largest book retailer in the country with almost 50 percent share of the organised book retail market.


he holding company Flipkart Private Limited is based in Singapore and the Indian entity Flipkart India Private Limited is headquartered in Bangalore.

Established in Bangalore in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, with seed fund of ₹ 4 lakh ($ 6,700 approximately), Flipkart began as an online book store. With over 11 million titles in stock, Flipkart is the largest book retailer in the country with a 45-50 percent share of the organised book retail market. It also sells eBooks along with eBook reading apps for smartphones and a web reader. It has vastly expanded its portfolio, offering 10 million products across 70 categories such as music, apparel, toys, footwear, home and kitchen

appliances. Electronics is its biggest category in terms of revenue, contributing almost 50 percent of its sales. The success of the company rests on the rapid expansion of scale and focus on customer satisfaction. Flipkart expanded aggressively, with the first acquisition in 2010 of a social book discovery tool named WeRead. It acquired Mime360, a digital content platform company in 2011 and, an online electronics retailer in 2012. Flipkart created a strong base of loyal clients with benefits such as free shipping, fast and accurate service and lucrative discounts. The innovative cash-on-delivery payment option proved to be a hit, and was followed by card-on-delivery, online payment and In-a-day

Sachin Bansal, CEO (left) and Binny Bansal, COO,

delivery services. It is also able to deliver to remote locations via the India Post. Flipkart opened its online market place to include other sellers in 2013 and in May 2014, it made a 100 percent acquisition of Myntra. com to further strengthen its position in the fashion space. Working towards a

target to reach US $20 billion (approximately ₹ 1,16,000 crore) in revenue by 2020, the company is focused on more acquisitions and expanding operations into new genres of retail and other sectors of ecommerce.

Tel: +91 80 4940 0000

Innovation Flipkart uses an A/B framework to host its website, which allows multiple versions of its site to stay online simultaneously, enabling seamless distribution of traffic among the pages.


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This has allowed it to expand its product categories, without the fear of a website crash. It supports new innovators from within the company, encourages developers to work

independently on open source platforms and also organises technology events such as ‘Slash n’, an open stage for technology innovators and amateurs to share ideas.

A new shopping mantra Changing the way Indians shop, redefines online retail in India, its success evident from the 14,000 orders shipped daily and 50 million visitors a month. Its firm lead in the online fashion retail market led to its acquisition by Flipkart in May 2014, in one of the biggest transactions in the Indian ecommerce market, estimated to be worth $ 370 million (approximately ₹ 215 crore). Myntra continues to operate as an independent entity, with Mukesh Bansal, Myntra’s CEO, handling the fashion segment for the combined businesses. Awards Awarded ‘Most Admired Non-store Reseller of the year’ by Images Group in 2012 and 2013. Awarded ‘Fashion e-retailer of the year’ by Franchise India in 2013. Recipient of the ‘Best use of social media and communication strategy’ award from Franchise India in 2013 Awarded ‘Best E-commerce Website’ by IAMAI – India Digital Awards in 2012. Awarded one of the ‘Hottest Internet Companies of the Year’ by CNBC - TV18 Young Turks Awards in 2012.

Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder & CEO, Myntra


Myntra’s success is largely attributed to its customer centric business policy.


stablished in Bangalore in 2007 by Mukesh Bansal, Imran Khan, Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena with an initial seed fund of ₹ 30 lakh ($ 50,000 approximately), began as a supplier of personalised merchandise to various businesses. Shifting from the B2B (business to business) to B2C (business to consumer) in 2010, the company added fashion apparels, accessories and other products to its portfolio. A series of tactical acquisitions followed, notably of and its parent company, in 2012 and the San Francisco based Fittequete, in 2013.

An aggressive marketing campaign, including catchy TV commercials and out of home advertisements drew more traffic to the portal which is backed by a 24-hour customer care service, dedicated warehouses in Bangalore and Delhi, and dedicated logistics services in over 20 cities in India for smooth processing and delivery of orders. It offers a wide range of payment options, from cash-ondelivery to debit and credit card payments, delivery between 24 - 48 hours and a 30-day return policy. The portal sells products from over 650 fashion brands including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Lee, Levis, CAT, Timberland, US Polo, and Indian labels

Myntra engages shoppers through fun and innovative software applications, such as Brand Size Converter which allows customers to find a perfect fit, and Star N Style, which showcases clothing and accessories chosen by youth icons. Its blog StyleMynt posts the latest fashion trends and tips. like Arrow, Jealous 21, Biba and Fabindia. Myntra has also launched a host of in-house labels. Myntra aims at Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of US $1 billion (approximately ₹ 5,800 crore) by 2016, and is shifting from a warehouse model to a hybrid marketplace model, allowing boutique brands to sell their products on its website. The company’s capabilities in the fashion segment is slated to grow as it now has access to Flipkart’s larger customer base and more robust supply chain capabilities. Mukesh Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO, Myntra, who joined the board of Flipkart, says, “2014 and 2015 are the years

when ecommerce will become mainstream. Ecommerce is around 0.5 percent of retail, and by end of this year, it will cross one percent. We will continue to significantly increase our private brands business and expand our presence in Tier II and Tier III markets. We are also working towards developing a strong mobile and tablet interface for m-commerce. Our aim is to become the largest fashion destination in the country (across both online and offline), making fashion more and more accessible while offering exclusive products.”

Tel: +91 80 4354 1999

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CHAPTER 17 Retail

“With 63 percent of its population being young and brand hungry, Bangalore has become a ‘Consumer’s Paradise’. Consumerism has bitten this city, and bitten big and sharp and deep!” Harish Bijoor, Brand & Business Strategy Consultant

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

CHAPTER 18 Technology

“Information Technology is as critical for enterprises as breathing is for humans.� NR Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Connecting happiness With operations in the US, UK, Singapore and Australia, and a workforce of 1,250 people in 16 cities that serves 75 customers globally, Happiest Minds focuses on disruptive technologies like mobility, analytics, security, cloud computing, social computing and unified communications. Equally importantly, it sees itself as a company of happiness evangelists for each other, its customers and society.


eadquartered in Bangalore, Happiest Minds is headed by industry veteran Ashok Soota, and is funded by Canaan Partners, Intel Capital and Soota. Commencing operations in 2011, it achieved higher revenue and built a bigger and more experienced team than any Indian IT services company in first two years since inception. Happiest Minds helps customers build a smart, secure and connected experience by leveraging disruptive technologies like mobility, analytics, security, cloud computing, social computing and unified communications. It combines one or more of these


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technologies to provide innovative solutions for its customers. It engages with customers through innovative business models to leverage new opportunities in the rapidly advancing social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies (SMAC). It has dedicated centre of excellence, frameworks, solutions and IP’s for each of the SMAC technologies. By converging all of them together, it solves real world problems of its customers in industries such as retail, banking, financial services and insurance, manufacturing, media and entertainment, hi-tech and consumer packaged goods.

The Network Operations Centre at Happiest Minds, Bangalore

Amongst its major successes are: providing in-store innovation for one of the largest retailers in US through digital signage systems – information display system built to replace paper signs with portable electronic e-Ink displays and tablets (kiosks), e-publisher – building an innovative document publisher and reader that enables seamless views of product manual and video content, expiring inventory management – generating business intelligence reports depicting product inventory based on expiry date, mobile enabled workflow application for store operations and unified communication – a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) based application developed for associates for internal communication and conference. Some of the other innovative projects executed by Happiest Minds to deliver business impacting solutions include mobility solutions for one of the largest retailers resulting in better in-store customer experience, mobile application developer kit for a leading consortium of telecom majors resulting in increased developer participation, analytics and big data solutions for a leading online travel portal to provide deeper understanding of customer preferences and behavior and big data solutions

for a multi-modal customer experience solutions provider resulting in increased visibility of customers. Alongside rapid business growth, the company achieves the softer rationale for its creation, happiness, through its ‘7 Cs Happiness Framework for People and Customers’. Happiest Minds values are summed up in the acronym SMILES which stands for sharing, mindful, integrity, learning, excellence and social responsibility. It is committed to strong ethical practices and the highest standards of corporate governance. Social responsibility is an important constituent of its vision, and it celebrates milestones in its growth as ‘smilestones’, with an act of giving back. It has set a goal of contributing over one million meals to the mid-day meal scheme programme before it goes public. With a mission statement of ‘Happiest People. Happiest Customers’, it has a five-year vision that encompasses happiness evangelism, progressing to a successful IPO, highest standards of governance, thought leadership and social responsibility. Executive Chairman, Soota says, “Happiest Minds’ message

Awards Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies, Ashok Soota recognised as one of the 12 IT Gems of India at INFOCOM 2013 Happiest Minds identified as one of the top 100 innovative midsized companies for branding and communication by Inc. magazine in 2013 Paper submitted by Happiest Minds expert shortlisted in the Top 50 of Prestigious Lucene Solr Revoluton in 2013 Awarded Overall Second Prize at EMC World 2013 Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds

Innovation Happiest Minds’ Intellectual Property (IP) focus is reflected in its target that 25 percent of its revenue should come from IP led services in five years. It also has an innovative programme that integrates many developmental perspectives in its design, and in innovation in all aspects of its work, not just in technology and solution development but also in its people practices of holistic wellness and performance management. and innovation have resonated well with customers and people, enabling us to achieve record levels of revenue, build a strong customer base and a wonderful team. This has set us on the path

to be the fastest in the Indian IT industry to reach $100 million revenue”.

Tel: +91 80 3320 3333

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Transforming governance Sakala is a citizen friendly administrative initiative that has made Karnataka a role model, demonstrating a consistent decline in both grievances and rejections of applications. States like Odisha, Punjab, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, and countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are looking to replicate this model.

Innovative measures like street theatre have been used to spread awareness about Sakala.


he notorious red tape of bureaucracy has brought many citizens to their knees and is so common as to have become an accepted fact. Two such instances were when an old widow seeking pension and another person seeking a disability certificate travelled as far as 500 km to meet the Chief Minister at the Janatha Darshan. This was the trigger that led to the birth of Sakala. Sakala has been peoplecentric, much before the Act was formalised. Its name was conceived by the people, as the Government held an open competition to choose it. ‘Sakala’ which in Kannada means ‘In time or good time’ was chosen as the best entry. The logo was also suggested by the citizens and shows a clock which symbolises ‘time consciousness’ and a hammer which signifies that officials who do not comply with deadlines


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will face consequences for their tardiness. Sakala’s slogan “No more Delays; we deliver on Time” has redefined the work ethics of the Government employees. Launched in April 2012 by the Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of Karnataka, Sakala or the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act (KGSC Act), 2011, has rapidly become successful. It redresses grievances of citizens about a range of government services and, true to its name, the initiative promises that there shall be ‘no more delays, delivery within the promised time’. Sakala has a multipronged approach - converging all departments into a single electronic platform to ensure accountability and traceability. No longer can applications

Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs and Animal Husbandry Minister TB Jayachandra at a phone-in programme about Sakala conducted by Doordarshan.

or files go missing as every citizen gets a computerised acknowledgement receipt that records the due date of delivery. Help desks and call centres provide hassle-free service

from 47 departments offering 478 services, with more to be added over time. Each of the 40,000 Government offices has information boards at the help desks, and services are available online at www.sakala.kar.nic. in. All information related to

Awards Sakala’s e-governance platform received the National Award in the Government category at the Quality Council of India-DL Shah Quality awards in 2014. It also received the National e-Governance award in 2014 and the Google Innovation award in 2013. the departments, their services and procedures, along with the tracking of the status of application facility is available on the portal in real time. Citizens who are not IT- savvy, can call the call centre at 080-44554455 which is a one stop shop for giving information as well as redressing complaints. Sakala claims that within 20 months of its launch, 44 million applications have been addressed in time. Over 300 citizens have claimed cash compensation for delays and defaults which are recovered from the salaries of the erring officials. The government issues a public report card on the monthly performance ranking of districts, and there is a friendly rivalry amongst them to improve their rank. The state-owned TV network Doordarshan also conducts a phone-in programme with the Law Minister on alternate Wednesdays to facilitate direct interaction with citizens. Concurrent evaluation by IIM Bangalore and Chicago University ensures that the Sakala initiative lives up to its promise. Sakala relies on proactive citizen feedback to continuously implement reforms as well as

(L-R) Former Minister, Department of Personnel and Training, Narayana Swamy, Government of India, Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, Chief Secretary Kaushik. Mukherjee and Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, DPAR(AR) & Mission Director, Sakala Mission at a regional conference.

Posters drawn by children depicting the benefits of Sakala

add to its list of services. An independent evaluation study found 99 percent citizens satisfied with the initiative. Employees were also found to be happy with the new system, so much so that 93 percent

citizens stated that the officials at the counter were courteous and helpful. Sakala is not a case of isolated success; it is replicable and its standardisation and

process documentation earned it the ISO 9001 certification. Karnataka is all set to be 100 percent Sakala compliant.

Tel: +91 80 4455 4455

Innovation Dr Shalini Rajneesh of the Department of Administrative Reforms, which implemented Sakala, says, “We have imbibed most of the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, to transform governance into a citizen- friendly and outcome oriented activity. We followed the Government of India’s Sevottam model to make the employees decide the standards of service delivery through a bottom-up approach. The State government employees’ association joined the capacity building exercise to transform the bureaucratic mindset to a

service-oriented mentality. An innovative media that includes social media, extensively empowers citizens. Citizens working in IT companies and corporates are part of the Sakala-awareness drive, modelled on American scholar Everett M Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations, and help make Sakala go viral. Some citizens have become Sakala Mitras (friends of Sakala) and assist in simplifying governance. For example, life time caste certificate is now issued instead of yearly validity, the Revenue Department does not seek affidavits for its online service, services are accessbile anytime and anywhere through cyber cafes.

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Powering cloud From crime to health to sports, SAP Labs India’s custom-made software offers innovative solutions to the government and private sector. Part of the German software company SAP’s global SAP Labs network, it is its third largest Research & Development and Global Services & Support Centre in the world. It is one of the four global development hubs that contribute to all areas of the company’s product value chain: research and breakthrough innovation, product development, global services and support and customer solutions and operations.

The SAP campus in Bangalore has an 80 percent green cover and is home to over 50 species of birds.


stablished in Bangalore in 1998, SAP Labs India also has R&D facilities in Pune and Gurgaon, and employs over 6,000 people. It is on the forefront of developing cutting – edge applications on the revolutionary ‘In-Memory platform’ - SAP HANA. SAP’s goal is to become ‘the cloud company powered by SAP HANA’, and based on this platform, SAP Labs India has developed five new applications- Rakshak,


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TracOHealth, The Milk Co-operative Experience, SAP Ganges and SAP Auction Analytics. Rakshak, TracOHealth and The Milk Co-operative Experience will enable government organisations and departments to enhance service delivery and responsiveness, and improve preparedness, prevention, safety and security outcomes in real-time. TracOHealth helps in maintaining health related information for a lifetime

of every child across India. It leverages the power of Aadhaar (UID) to uniquely identify beneficiaries, and has been architected and designed with the ability to work even in the remotest corners of the country. The Milk Co-operative Experience is designed to contribute to socio-economic development of the country. Using cloud based data and analytic technology, it offers dairy cooperatives real-time

Innovation SAP harnesses innovative technologies like cloud, in-memory, and mobile computing to help businesses adapt to change and generate value. Bangalore was chosen as the headquarters predominantly due to the availability of technology talent. In addition, SAP’s strategy was to position strong development teams close to markets that had potential for growth, to enable closer proximity to customers. making and to build strategies to improve law and order situations. With built-in analytical capabilities such as simulation of ‘what-if’ scenarios, the platform can dramatically improve speed of response, resource and budget utilisation. SAP Ganges is a business network that offers seamless connectivity to consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to the last mile of their supply chain, which consists of millions of unorganised retail stores. SAP Auction Analytics is a statistical analysis tool that assisted the KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) management during the IPL 7 auction. SAP Auction Analytics leveraged the predictive analytics capabilities of SAP HANA that enabled KKR to derive intelligence on players featured in the auction.

The company’s focus on innovation and its strategy of providing simplified solutions has helped its customers solve business problems better. SAP empowers people and organisations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. As part of its CSR, the company imparts ScienceTechnology- EngineeringMathematics education to students from socio-economically weak sections. It also works to enhance economic opportunities by strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem and works closely with start-ups, emerging entrepreneurs, growth stage ventures and engineering students.

Tel: +91 80 4139 5139

Awards Sunder Madakshira, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, was awarded the SSPA STAR ‘Marketing Thought Leader of the Year’ in 2014. visibility on procurement, to plan production and distribution. It allows the complete milk procurement process to be captured at-source, resulting in transparent milk procurement and facilitating electronic payment to farmers in their respective bank accounts. TracOHealth and The Milk Co-Operative applications are currently running as pilots in two

states. Rakshak 2.0, which will run as a pilot in the near future, will help reinforce the law and order scenario in the country, and offer real time information on crime incidents happening across states to law enforcement agencies. This solution is equipped to assist the security agencies in better decision

SAP TechEd Bangalore was awarded ‘IT event of the year’ by SSPA STAR in 2014. SAP Techniversity was named ‘Corporate IT event of the year’ by SSPA STAR in 2014. The SAP Internal Communication campaign received the award for ‘Best Communications Campaign’ on best employer by SSPA STAR in 2014. Received the ‘Excellence Award’ for Gender Inclusivity from NASSCOM in 2013

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Colourful sound Violet3D designs, develops, manufactures and sells award winning, patented, first-in-the-world, wireless surround sound systems to compliment HD TVs, game consoles and blu-ray players. Its unique calibration technology compensates for speaker position, seating position and room acoustics to deliver an enhanced audio experience.

Awards Received ‘The Best of the Rest’ for 3D audio gaming from What HiFi at CES 2014 Awarded ‘Best Home Theatre Solution’ presented by EISA in 2013 Received the ‘Design Excellence’ Award presented by CII in 2012 Recipient of ‘Best Audio Technology of the year’ by NDTV Gadget Guru in 2011

Violet3D creates the same surround sound effect as a movie theatre in living rooms with the freedom to place the speakers anywhere in the room.


iolet3D is headquartered in Bangalore and has 45 employees across its offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. It posted revenue of $1 million (₹ 5.9 crore approximately) in exports and ₹ 1.5 crore ($ 251 thousand approximately) in domestic sales in 2013-14. Its R&D team of about 25 engineers works out of Bangalore and develops cutting edge audio technology for the world markets. It launches and demonstrates the technology first in the Indian market, refines the product based on market feedback and then introduces them in the world markets through established Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and via international distributors. Within two years it has been


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able to ship over 1500 systems in India at an Average Selling Price (ASP) of over ₹ 60,000 ($1000 approximately) and over 3000 units to Germany. Started in 2008, after 3 years of R&D, in 2011 it completed its first market-ready system and test marketed it with audio visual (AV) dealers, early adopters and big-box retail stores. It refined the system and market positioning after early feedback and officially launched the product while sealing deals with Croma Retail and several AV dealers all over India. It has since grown to have more than 100 dealers stocking its products all over India. Says Ashish Aggarwal,

CEO, “Building a hardware company was always going to be an uphill task. Yet we have been able to build a world-class product entirely out of India. We have gone through the whole product cycle including conceiving, designing, testing, certification, manufacturing, selling and customer service with very little capital infusion”.

Tel: +91 80 2656 0318

Ashish Aggarwal, CEO, Violet3D

Innovation Violet3D has an understanding of key cutting-edge crosssuch as wireless, signal processing, audio processing, amplifier and acoustic design. It uses technology to delivering cost-effective and practical audio solutions to customers by iterating on features based on feedback from them.

Ashish Aggarwal, technologies, CEO, Violet 3D functional

Innovating healthcare Creating path-breaking advancements in the diverse sectors of healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle, Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) is the innovation hub of the Dutch technology company Philips in India. Its 2000-member team in Bangalore make a vast range of products that are also exported to Singapore, Indonesia and Africa.

Technology is a major enabler to connect health experts with patients in need of critical care in distant areas. PIC’s innovations include a portable ECG and Philips Efficia Warmers which have been designed to help rural health centres bring down the infant mortality rate.


stablished in 1996 as a software centre, PIC has grown exponentially and brought out 33 products in 2013 alone. Healthcare is the largest R&D organisation at PIC with activities in imaging systems, home healthcare, patient care and clinical informatics, followed by lighting and consumer lifestyle. The power to save a life drives the doctors, scientists and engineers at PIC. They have developed a new advanced portable and easy to use ECG that enables medical staff from Tier II and III towns to mail information about a patient to a cardiologist in a specialty hospital. Armed with the information, the cardiologist can decide on appropriate action by the time the patient reaches the hospital. The IntelliSpace Consultative Critical Care solution developed by a team of doctors and engineers at PIC allows specialists to remotely monitor patients in distant, multiple

intensive care units and ensure that patients receive attention within the critical first hour. An intensivist sitting at a central location known as a command centre can monitor in near real-time patients who are admitted in multiple peripheral ICUs.

Wi-Fi enabled cookers and coffee makers which connect to smartphones and can be programmed to cook specific recipes.

Another such accessible solution is the advanced ultrasound machine VISIQ, designed for use in the most remote clinics.

These hold the possibility of customising coffee by using an iPad over Bluetooth or cooking a host of delicacies using the intelligent Philips Airfryer app which offers a step-by-step guide that would help a novice cook to whip up mouth-watering dishes.

PIC lighting solution addresses the concerns of rational consumption and preservation of energy. The Centralised Solar DC grid reduces dependency on grid power and contributes to green energy. This solar powered outdoor lighting solution is ideal for remote locations where electricity is totally unavailable or is erratic.

Srinivas Prasad, CEO, PIC, Bangalore, says, “The face of transformational innovation is changing today. We use innovative techniques to manufacture a new class of frugal products that could transform markets globally. We have built expertise which is resulting in developing products that are of global quality with local relevance.�

PIC also works on futuristic lifestyle appliances such as

Tel: +91 80 4189 2535

Srinivas Prasad, CEO, Philps Innovation Campus, Bangalore

Innovation PIC believes that it is important not just to innovate but to bring meaningful innovations which make a difference to the community. A digital accelerator lab works on digital innovation to match up to the rapidly evolving customer expectations of the digital era.

Best of Bangalore


CHAPTER 19 Travel & Tourism

“Jaya sundhara nadhi vanagala naade…” (Hail the land of beautiful rivers and forests.) Kuvempu, Poet laureate of Karnataka

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi

Travel & Tourism

An innovative ride Named amongst the world’s 50 most innovative companies by business magazine Fast Company in 2013, has changed the way Indians book bus tickets. Over a million bus tickets are sold via this portal each month by 1200 operators in 24 states.


ith transactions of approximately ₹ 800 crore ($134 million), it ranks behind only the train tickets booked via the public sector Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Ibibo, a joint venture of South Africa based multinational media company Naspers and Chinese internet giant Tencent, acquired redBus and its parent company, Pilani Soft Labs for an estimated ₹ 780 crore ($130 million) in what was then one of the biggest M&A in the Indian online travel and ticketing segment. The idea for redBus was born in 2005 when Phanindra Sama, then a 25 year old


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IT engineer, could not get a bus ticket to his hometown of Hyderabad from Bangalore.

with an initial investment of ₹ 5 lakh ($ 8000 approximately).

That sparked the idea to digitalise bus tickets on the lines of flight and train tickets, and Sama and his room-mates Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri created a prototype for an online bus ticket booking portal.

redBus enables customers to book bus tickets through several channels including online, offline, cash-on-delivery and SMS, apart from brick-and-mortar partner outlets. It derives its profit from a percentage of tickets sold by the travel agents and operators.

They submitted the prototype to a TiE Mentorship Competition (The Indus Entrepreneurs) and were accepted into its Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (EAP). With such encouragement, the trio took a leap of faith and established

Extending the use of technology to streamline operations and increase efficiency, the three subsequently created two cloud based software services - BOSS, the Bus Operator Software System that helps bus operators mange their inventory and

redBus has revolutionised the bus ticketing business in India for passengers, bus operators and booking agents.

Innovation By digitising bus travel, has created a more informed market in the country. Operators can now observe customer trends and plan more routes, while customers can compare prices, quality and availability to make an informed choice. The company has pioneered several user-friendly enhancements in its website, such as, the Virtual Bus Stop which uses GPS to show all bus stops nearest to a given location and also shows a 180 degree panoramic view of the boarding point.

Sudhakar Pasupunuri, Phanindra Sama and Charan Padmaraju. Following Sama and Padmaraju’s exit from the company in June 2014, Prakash Sangam was appointed the CEO of redBus.

SeatSeller, an online bus ticketing platform for travel agents. In 2010, they set up Pilani Soft Labs unifying the business streams of, BOSS and SeatSeller. SeatSeller helps other rival travel portals and travel companies ramp up their business too. BOSS has changed the fortunes of several bus operators who power their portals with this software reservation system. redBus has triggered a ‘virtuous cycle’ in the sector; the ease of booking has increased the number of passengers,

increasing traffic and profits has led bus operators to add more buses to their fleet, causing bus makers to ramp up their production.

agents taking to BOSS and SeatSeller, the company is poised to grow much bigger, reaching to more tiers.

Tel: +91 80 3941 2345

A similar move is the launch of the Track Bus application, by which commuters can track their bus live using GPS. Available for both computer and mobile versions of the site, this application also notifies the commuters of the registration number of their bus and the next approaching boarding point.

redbus is positioning itself as the bus travel industry’s reservation platform, similar to those in airline travel. Its loyal customer base has helped economies of scale in a business where transaction values and commission percentages are low.

Was the recipient of the CIO Asia Award in 2011 Received the ‘Technology Fast 50 India’ award from Deloitte in 2010 and 2011

With more operators including several state-owned bus corporations, and travel

Awarded Startup of the year’ by the Internet and Mobile Association of India in 2010


Was part of a list of top 5 start-ups to watch out for, which was brought out by Forbes in 2010

Best of Bangalore 183

Travel & Tourism

A rosy picture Creating a new true-blue Bangalore winery, and its first single-estate wines, Bangalore Soma Vineyards has given a fillip to wine tourism, drawing visitors with spectacular views and the allure of boutique wines made on its lake fronted 100-acre vineyard at the foothills of the Maakli hills, 50 km from Bangalore.

Bangalore Soma single estate wines are prized for their distinct flavor, adding a unique ‘sense of place’ to the boutique wines.


n engineer specialising in acoustics and industrial noise control, DN Raju, owner and promoter of Soma, had established Asia’s largest rose plant nursery in partnership with a Dutch company in 1995. In 2003, with encouragement from French wine consultant Michelle Rolland, Raju switched to viticulture and began cultivating French grapes specifically for wine making. For years he was one of the single largest quality wine grape suppliers to Grover wines. The necessity of dealing with this dependency on others for his grape sale and the long term future of the vineyard made him think of starting his own boutique wine and wine tourism destination as a forward integration project. He set up a boutique winery in 2013 to make wine from grapes grown only from Soma’s single estate vineyards, partnering with international retail marketing expert Paul Topping. Passionately involved in the process, Raju waxes eloquent about the single-estate wine, likening its unique flavour to an unforgettable perfume. The estate grows more than just grapes, and the terroir contributes to its


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wines; the Shiraz red wine has unique local flavours of coconut, black pepper skin, and a faint smell of aromatic roots from a region specific local plant. The grapes for the Sauvignon Blanc wine are planted along the cooler north-east lakeside slopes and offer a crisp lemony fruity flavour to the wines. Tasting previews have received extremely positive reviews from wine connoisseurs, and Raju plans to launch a fruity Shiraz red wine,

a Shiraz grand reserve, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rosé, after they complete the barrel ageing process by the end of 2014. Wine tourism was a natural extension of the vineyard’s potential. Its picture perfect locale offers breathtaking views, and friends were always after Raju for invitations to the estate. With the addition of wine-tasting and a restaurant, it offers interesting options; apart from day trips, there are popular sunset barbecues and moonlight soirees that offer a

splendid view of the setting sun followed by a dramatic moonrise over the hills and star gazing through telescope and lectures on astronomy on new moon nights. Soma is close to the international airport in Devanahalli and is strategically poised to draw tourist traffic. Visitors are allowed entry only by prior reservation.

Tel: +91 80 2358 5055

Innovation Bangalore Soma Vineyards is India’s first underground gravity-flow based winery. It is the world’s first vineyard that grows grapes under coconut palm trees and 75 percent of the land is irrigated through drip watering system using just gravity, due to a height difference of nearly 120 ft between the ridge mounted main water storage tank and the vineyards’ lowest area below. The vines are planted along contours against the slope to prevent topsoil erosion. Soma does not use chemical weedicides and pesticides to prevent contamination of the lake.

DN Raju, Founder and Managing Director, Soma Vineyards. Best of Bangalore


CHAPTER 20 Wellness

“Intelligence comes into being when the mind, the heart and the body are really harmonious.” J Krishnamurti, Philosopher

Artist: Ravikumar Kashi


Personalising Fitness A personal trainer is among the most sought after people in a fitness conscious society, and with over 25 years of experience in the field, Sai Babu reigns supreme in this city. He trains the Who’s Who of Bangalore; along with winners of such titles as Mr Karnataka and Mr Asia, and aspiring models and actors, the city’s businessmen, politicians and industrialists are his adherents.

Sai Babu helps clients attain optimum fitness levels.


professional body builder since college, Babu worked with leading gyms in the city before breaking out as a personal trainer in the early 1990s. He made his mark in the days when there were not too many personal trainers in Bangalore and not many people were aware of the benefits of a gym. Over time, people have become more aware about the need to stay fit and gym memberships and personal trainers are in high demand. Babu attributes this marked change to the twin factors of knowledge and income and says that many people can afford to have personal gyms and trainers. Away from the crowds which throng the city gyms, such individuals can exercise in privacy and follow a personalised fitness regime.


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Each client deserves a unique approach and Babu ensures that he delivers exactly that. The diet and intensity of the workout depends on the client’s needs, body constituency, medical history and lifestyle. An ideal exercise regime, according to Babu, consists of warm up stretches, followed by high intensity cardio or weights and then ending with another set of stretches to relax the muscles. Putting equal emphasis on yoga as well as on circuit training, crossfit training, TRX, kinesis workout and kettlebell, he also advocates protein supplements as he believes they are necessary to fill-up basic nutrition that is lost out in the irregular lifestyles of most individuals. His latest offering is Body

Sai Babu, Founder, Body Concepts

Innovation Sai Babu prescribes and follows a combination of keeping his clients mentally and physically fit. Meditation helps his clients focus on the task at hand, and helps them control their mind while their body exercises and allows them concentrate, improving the effectiveness of the workout. He is up-to-date with global fitness trends such as crossfit training, power yoga, kettlebell and others and keeps his clients engaged and interested in the exercise regimen. Concepts, a boutique gym in Indiranagar that caters to those who want private and personalised training but do not have the space for a home gym. Babu trains each client at the gym that is equipped with a variety of latest fitness equipment. Attributing his success to a mantra of ‘Fitness Lifestyle’, Babu says, “It is all about maintaining balance between the calorie input and the

amount burned. If this balance is maintained, then staying fit becomes easy. To achieve success, the client has to be very sincere to the trainer and to the fitness lifestyle; it will not be successful any other way.” Babu is also a trained percussionist and a self-taught painter, and devotes time to pursue both interests to maintain a work-life balance.

Tel: +91 98 4401 8948

Feminine indulgence Tucked away on quiet Aga Abbas Ali Road in Ulsoor, right behind bustling Mahatma Gandhi Road, Peaches, the Styling Salon is a haven where women can feel pampered and special. The salon offers a wide variety of services, from a range of hair treatments including cuts that go from classic to edgy, colours that go from global to creative, perming and straightening to an extensive menu of body, face and nail treatments.

The salon is spread across 3,300 square feet.


witching from a glamorous airline job that took her to fashion destinations of the world, Prarthna Pradutt found the city brimming with potential for the beauty business. A switch in career led to the opening of Peaches in 2002 that has grown from a staff of three to a fullfledged salon and spa with a team of 20 trained stylists. As the salon steadily grew over the years, so did its client base, mostly through word-ofmouth. Over the years, celebrities like actors Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi, and model Lara Dutta, have walked out of its doors, content and impressed. Freshness and feminity, creativity and quality are its focus areas and the staff work to ensure that every client walks out looking and feeling gorgeous. At Peaches, it is all about the customer and the belief that a little pampering goes a long way in boosting every woman’s confidence. It also offers personalised service to each customer. The confidence and optimism of customer reports

Prarthna Pradutt believes that every woman could do with some personalised pampering.

is the salon’s biggest reward. It uses the latest technology for treatments, and offers semi or fully organic treatments across most verticals of services. The staff undergoes periodic training with international brand names, and Pradutt travels to keep in step with the latest services and equipment used in the international market. The salon plans to join hands with professionals and set up a complete grooming programs for women from different strata of society and across all age groups. This complete package

Peaches salon is exclusively for women to relax, refresh and unwind.

Innovation Peaches was the first to innovate a ‘Spa’rty’ – a long weekend evening of pampering services where women can sip on red wine and nibble on gourmet cheese while indulging in light conversation and retail therapy. Its clients are offered space to sell their products too, ranging from clothing, footwear and accessories to homemade candles and other lifestyle products. Apart from the standard services, it offers tattoo and nail bars on select days. would include lessons on general topics such as proper etiquette, grooming techniques, choice of attire, as well as on specific topics such as wines and travel. IT companies are amongst its clients, and Peaches offers grooming and etiquette tips to

women employees. Being a staunch supporter of women’s empowerment, Pradutt plans to work with NGOs across the city to offer free training programmes to women.

Tel: +91 80 4113 1234

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BEST OF... series in India book launches

Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds, SG Vasudev, renowned artist & Prasad Bidapa, fashion guru launched BEST OF INDIA in Bangalore, Oct 2012.

Ghazi Abu Nahl, Chairman, World Trade Centers Association launched BEST OF INDIA at the WTCA 44th General Assembly in Mumbai in April 2013.

Virendra Gupta, High Commissioner of India to South Africa launched Best OF India in Johannesburg, SA, July 2012.

Panel discussion on INDIA POSITIVE by Suhel Seth, brand consultant, Jatin Das, renowned artist, Anand Sethi, economist, Prathibha Prahlad, dancer & Director, DIAF & others at The India International Centre, New Delhi, Oct 2012.


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Remo Fernandes, renowned musician & Mario Miranda, eminent cartoonist, launched BEST OF GOA in December 2008.

Sivasankari, eminent writer & Aminur Rahman, Consul General of Australia for South India, launched BEST OF CHENNAI in June 2009.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson & MD, Biocon, launched BEST OF BANGALORE in June 2008.

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BEST OF...series in India Elegant and informative, our coffee table books are part of the international ‘Best of...’ series published in over 35 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 INDIA Volume 1 “I would like to compliment your effort to showcase the growth and success of our country.” - KV Kamath, Chairman, ICICI Bank “The Best of India book is like a breath of fresh air. In an age of cynicism where we are bombarded with so much negativity, it is a pleasant change to have a publication which focuses on ‘positives’ and success stories. The Best of India reinforces the India story and itself will lead to further success for the country as others pick up the message.”t - Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds

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 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


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


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