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Vol 3 Issue No.19 May 2013 | 30 | AED 5

Confidence of

VISION Interview with Dr. Roy C. J. Chairman, Confident Group

The Heights of

Home Loans NBFCs & Success Points to ponder The Building of India’s biggest Debt-free Real Estate Company

NEW BANKING LICENSES

Shri V.P. Nandakumar is the MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Jiz P. Kottukappally


Managing Editor Ajit Ravi Editor Jebitha Ajit

Cover Photograph:

Dr. Roy C.J.

Associate Editor Bejoy George Legal Advisor Adv. Sreelatha Parameswaran Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Tressa Varghese Denisha Sahadevan Sheela Abraham Sreerekha R. Nair Creative Design Ashique K Gilsha Bindosh Marketing Vice President, Marketing Neeti Sharma, Ph: +918800922566 Jazz Media Services LLC, Dubai, + 971 4 3583453 Pramod Mithun Mithraa - Trivandrum Jenson Antony Photographer Jinish, Photogenic Our Patron: Mr. V.P. Nandakumar Printed and Published by Ajit Ravi Pegasus L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamasserry, Kochi-33 Printed at S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627 Veekshanam Road, Cochin Contact Ph: 0484 3242220, 3292223, 3046432 Mob: +91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 editor@uniquetimes.org

RNI Reg. No: KERENG/2011/42633

* All rights reserved worldwide. Reproduction in any manner without permission of proprietors is prohibited.

Our Patron Mr. V.P. Nandakumar


Editorial Thank you for the wonderful response that you have given to the last edition of our magazine. Readers from all over the world gave a positive response to our new articles and design. I certainly think with this kind of patronage from readers and sponsors, our magazine set to scale newer heights. This edition we have the cover story on Confident Group and its leader Dr. Roy C. J. In the story we track the amazing growth that confident group made in the last decade. Confident group is a good example of the synergy of visionary leadership and efficient management coming together to take an organization to greater success. Other articles include an article 10 great gurus and the review of the new Honda Amaze. In our regular features, V P Nandakumar writes NBFC’s and new banking licenses and Jizz P Kottukappally writes about home loans and points to remember while availing a home loan. Dr. Thomas Nechupadom.writes about Living successfully as an entrepreneur. Unique Times is now available in Dubai and slowly we are setting our footprint in the Middle East, we hope to become the favourite business lifestyle magazine in the region. Miss Queen of India will be held at Adlux international convention centre on May 18.We will have an exclusive coverage of the event. Hope this edition will provide you a good reading experience. Thank you

Ajit Ravi


Contents

28

The Heights of Success Dr. Roy C.J. Chairman, Confident Group

Interview Confidence of VISION

32

Business Diary

8 16 Banking

Jiz P. Kottukappally

Banking Shri V.P. Nandakumar is the MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd.

13

26 Entrepreneurship

20

Dr. Thomas Nechupadam

Management Gurus


36 Gadgets

50 Beauty Tips

62 Applications

Entrepreneurship

54 46

Wishlist

58 Books

Auto Review

40


Letters

Dear Ajith, The new design of Unique Times and the new articles have come out very good. I am quite impressed; your magazine is one of the nononsense magazines that I regularly read. All the best. G Gayatri, Chennai Dear Editor My friend gifted me a subscription of Unique Times; honestly I was not expecting a magazine of this quality in both printing and content. Unique Times is probably one of the best magazines I have gone through. I am not comparing you with the international magazines, but I certainly see a potential for growth. I especially liked the 10 entrepreneurs who changed our world article. Godwin S, Bangalore Dear Sir, I bought a copy of the magazine from Kochi, I was quite impressed, with the quality and selection of your stories. The way you present your magazine is quite innovative, and is a anti-dote to all my reading fatigue. I am a researcher of South India culture and festivals. I am also sending a DD for an annual subscription. Thank you Ruth Joyce G, New Delhi

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


Dear Sir I am a regular reader of the magazine. I enjoyed reading the article on the way an employee should dress in an office. The magazine is very informative. Tinsu. S, Kochi The magazine is always wonderful read for m always. The online edition helps me in easy access to the news, where it provides me insights on business, fashion and entertainment news. The online edition is very convenient to me The daily updates in my email about the news that is being published in the magazine. The articles are all in-depth and giving detailed information. Please continue with the great work you are doing. I hope there there are many readers like me waiting for the next issue. Ann K, Dubai Dear Sir, Excellent Magazine. Good range of articles. Pl include more articles on health based like Yoga, Acrobatics, Aerobics, Gym Work Out which will be of great benefit of the readers who are of Corporate and Business Background. Also include contacts of Gym and Aerobics whom we can get in touch with as a part of our life style. Thanks, Linto Thomas, Trivandrum

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Business Diary

H&M Entering the Indian Market In hopes that the growing population along with the rising incomes in Asia’s third largest economy will fuel the demand for H&M’s fast changing fashions, Hennes and Mauritz are planning to spend around 100 million euros ($130 million) on starting 50 stores in India. “It’s a very interesting market with a huge population and a growing middle class,” Fredrik Olsson, head of expansion of H&M told Reuters. Technopak, an Indian retail consultancy predicts that the textile and clothing market in India would be double to $141 billion by 2021 from the $58 billion in 2012. According Olsson, the company has found and mapped out many potential store locations where H&M plans on selling nine different product categories.

Infosys Ranked Leader by EIO The Indian IT bellwether Infosys became the Environmental Tracking carbon ranking leader in 2013 for its greenhouse gas emissions and disclosure practices. The global software major said that “as a part of the selection process, the Environmental Investment Organization (EIO), a London based climate change and finance think tank, ranked Infosys among the top five of the 300 large firms it assessed for carbon footprint.” The company’s carbon reduction projects includes the first use of radiant cooling air conditioning in a commercial building; utilizing a new technique involving the circulation of water in embedded popes in order to chill rooms and reduce energy use. According to Infosys cofounder and executive chairman S Gopalakrishnan pointed out that Infosys has “created an innovative way to notify employees leaving a building that they have left their computer on and a system for them to remotely switch it off using their phone.”

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RCom and Aircel to Team up The telecom operator Reliance Communications ties up with Aircel in order to improve the 2G GSM network coverage which involves both the companies using each others’ mobile towers. Reliance Communications is holding discussions with other operators as well in order to have similar arrangements and add a total of around 10,000 mobile towers in its network. The company said that it is expecting that all the agreements with existing telecom operators are likely to be completed by the end of the second quarter of the current financial year. Reliance Communications stated that the 2G GSM Intra circle roaming arrangements with various other operators will “significantly improve both the outdoor and in-building coverage,” of the company’s mobile network.


Samsung’s

Finance Ministry

Samsung’s S Voice App

Goes Easy on TRC Norms

As the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched up, and reviewers came about, they were all questioning Samsung’s preinstalled personal assistant S Voice as to what this smartphone is exactly? This was the same question which had led Apple’s Siri to say that the Nokia Lumia 900 was the best phone around left the Samsung Galaxy S4 puzzled. In a response to the question the S Voice app on the S4 gave a round of texts listening a random list of phones which included Alcatel 665, Apple iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPhone 4S, however nowhere was seen the name of Samsung Galaxy S4 or even the Apple iPhone 5.

The Finance Ministry has decided to relax the tax residency certificate norm which is necessary but not sufficient after becoming tired of hurting foreign investments coming from the Mauritius route. A Finance ministry official said that “the original sub section 5 of the Finance Bill has been omitted completely.” Another official said that “it was to prevent any confusion for investments sheltered under Circular 789. But taxmen can call for information as per the respective DTAAs (double taxation avoidance agreement).” The Finance Ministry made it clear that the investments routed via Mauritius would continue enjoying tax protection under Circular 789 and the TRC would be sufficient.

Etihad Airways & Jet Airways Deal Etihad Airways has decided to take nearly a quarter stake of Jet Airways, which gives it a big hold in the fast growing Indian market. By making this $397 million investment Etihad Airways has provided India’s largest carrier has gained a global partner as well as the cash to partially pay off its debt. This move would seem to be encourage more of the foreign airlines to enter into the Indian market. The regional head of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Kapil Kaul commented that this move is “a game changing opportunity for Etihad, and a game changing opportunity for India.” Jet will be establishing a hub in Abu Dhabi as part of the agreement, expanding its reach through Etihad’s global network. The airline will also expand existing operations and introduce new routes between India and the Gulf.

Biocon ‘s Net Increase The Biotechnology major Biocon reported an over twofold jump in its consolidated net profit to Rs. 248.61 crore for the quarter mainly on account of exceptional income. The consolidated net sales of the company, increased to Rs. 630.12 crore for the quarter from the Rs. 589.22 crore for the same period a year ago. According to Biocon, the company has determined that it does not have continuing obligations for clinical trials and development activities in respect of biosimilar insulin analogs. “The key contributors to growth this fiscal have been research services, branded formulations and our growing biosimilar business, led by the generic insulins,” said Biocon chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar. Biocon’s insulin franchise is continuing to gather the market share across India and emerging markets and now accounts for more than 10 percent of the company’s sales.

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APFC’s Investment The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp, which oversees the American state’s oil wealth portfolio has increased its investment in the Indian stocks to over Rs. 1,000 crore with increased holdings in bluechips such as ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC as well as Reliance Industries Ltd. In the January – March quarter when the domestic benchmark indices declined by over 3 percent, the specialized fund managers hired by Juneau-based Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) hiked their investments in 38 Indian stocks. However the fund lowered its holdings in stocks such as Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Gail India and Tata Motors. The goal of the APFC Board is to achieve an average annual real rate of return of five percent at risk level broadly consistent with large public and private funds.

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Tata Returns to Aviation

Ethiopian’s Dreamliner Takes Off

Though the current scenario for the aviation industry remains to be tough and competitive, a good partner and an untapped potential in the low cost sector has made the Tata group re-enter the aviation space. When questioned as to why the group changed its decision on re-entering the sector, Tata group brand custodian and spokesperson Mukund Rajan said, “If you look at the low-cost carrier space, it is huge and it has not been adequately tapped. So, the opportunity is there.” The Tata group which started up the civll aviation sector in India is making its come back with Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia and Telestra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia in a 49:30:21 joint venture. The decision came about from the fact showing partner AirAsia, the largest low cost operator in the continent to have proven a track record.

Since the first commercial flight was grounded three months ago following the incidents of overheating in the batteries proving auxiliary power, the Ethiopian Airlines became the world’s first carrier to resume the flying of Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jets. After two lithium-ion battery meltdowns having occurred on two jets with other airlines withing two weeks in the month of January grounding all Dreamliners on January 16, the flight from Addis Ahaba to Nairobi was the first. U.S. Regulators approved a new battery design last week which cleared the way for installation and a resumption of Dreamliner flights by airlines worldwide. Though Ethiopian Airlines said that its fleet did not suffer any of the technical glitches which was faced by the other Dreamliner jets, it had withdrawn planes from service to undergo the changes as required by th e FAA.

UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


IKEA’s Proposal The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs took up the much awaited Swedish retail IKEA’s Rs. 10,500 crore proposal to set up the single brand retail store in the country. Earlier in January, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had cleared the investment plan of the firm to open the retail stores in the country. In the application proposed by IKEA, the company has made a proposition to invest the amount for setting up 10 furnishing and home ware stores as well as allied infrastructure over 10 years in India. It is eventually planning on opening up 15 more stores. This would be IKEA’s largest investment in the single brand retailing since the government has allowed for foreign investment in this sector.

Future venture Invests in Tresmode

6.2 million Unemployed in Spain

The investment arm of the Future Group, Future ventures, has made a 33 percent stake purchase in the Mumbai based footwear brand Tresmode. The acquisition of Tresmode will possible help Future Group to increase the focus on its core retail business after it divested its insurance businesses. The group had sold Pantaloon retail’s 50 percent stake in Future Generali to L&T Finance. Also the NBFC, Future Capital, was also sold to PE major Warburg Pincus which helped to cut the debt from Rs. 7,500 crore to Rs. 2,3000 core. The group has in the past also provided the capital to other fashion companies such as Biba and Anita Dongre.

The recession wrecked country of Spain is in no way of seeing a hope of light as for the first time ever, more than 6 million people have become unemployed increasing the country’s unemployment rate to a record of 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 according to the National Statistics Institute. In the first three months of the year, there was a 1.1 percent increase from the previous quarter where the unemployed number of people increased to 237,400. The total number of people who are unemployed happen to be exactly 6.2 million people. The Labor Ministry employment secretary Engracia Hidalgo described the figures to be “dramatic” saying that the government was working non-stop in order to make Spain a job creator again.

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 11


Country’s Largest Copper Smelter to Remain Shut The country’s largest copper smelter will be remaining shut for now as a local environmental court transferred the case over its closure to New Delhi, thus extending a mouth long closure at the facility which meets half of the country’s copper demand. With Sterlite Industries smelter closed up, 3,000 tonnes per day of copper concentrates onto the market sending fees to process them to a five month high in Asia. The output at the Tuticorin facility, which half of the 30,000 tonnes of which it produces, was curbed after the local residents complained of emissions which resulted in breathing problems. Justice M Chockalingam of the National Green Tribunal commented that the “circumstances did not permit” the hearing of the case in the southern bench of the fast track court as it had been scheduled.

Hero MotoCorp Hikes Up Prices Hero MotoCorp, the two wheeler market leader has announced a hike in price ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500 across all of the models which is to take immediate effect. The hike is a result of the company report stating that there has been a 4.86 percent decline in the net profit at Rs.574.23 crore for the fourth quarter which ended on March 31, 2013. Durng the corresponding period last year Hero MotoCorp had registered a net profit of Rs. 603,59 crore. The estimated sales of the company fell by 2.56 percent during the last fiscal year which is to 60,75,583 units from the 62,35,205 units in 2011-12. Taking the current atmosphere into consideration the atuo sector is seemingly facing a tough time in Idnia, and according to Pawan Munjal, the managing director and CEO of Hero MotoCorp Hero MotoCorp is being cautiously optimistic about the growth prospects in the future.

Maruti Suzuki Takes on Amaze India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India has responded to the intensifying competition from Honda’s Amaze by conducting a “mileage drive rally” for its entry level sedan DZire across 31 cities. “We are celebrating the 5th year of the DZire and so we thought of conducting such a mileage rally to connect with our customers,” said the Maruti Suzuki India’s Vice President of marketing Manohar Bhat. “Competition is in all segments of the cars we sell. We welcome all competition. Our cars speak for themselves by their performance.” Bhat said that in the last five years since the launch, the DZire has been the largest selling sedan in India and the company intends to maintain the leadership position.

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Neeti Sharma, a marketing professional with over 11 years of experience has joined Unique Times as Vice-President Marketing. She is a dynamic person with rich experience in Brand Management, Business Development and Team Management. She also has experience in Training & Development and Module Development. She has earlier served in companies like Jet Airways and AVA Merchandizing.


Banking

NBFCs &

NEW BANKING LICENSES

Shri V.P. Nandakumar is the MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd.

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 13


In contrast, NBFCs are less tightly supervised than banks, so they have greater operational flexibility.

I

n August 2010, the RBI first released its discussion paper seeking views on the issue of new banking licenses. More recently, in February 2013, the RBI came out with detailed guidelines on the eligibility criteria for these new licenses. Corporates and public sector entities with a track record of 10 years or more can apply for the licence. The initial paid-up capital for new banks has been set at Rs 500 crore and applications have to be submitted by July 1, 2013. Not surprisingly, the well-run NBFCs have come under the spotlight, given the perception that the large NBFCs are particularly well placed to take advantage of this opportunity to convert themselves into banks and move into a higher orbit. However, I hold a contrarian point of view and believe that converting an NBFC with a successful track record into a bank is not the great idea it’s made out to be. There are hidden costs involved which should make one tread cautiously. Banks and NBFCs India allows only full-service banks to operate. Narrow-focus banks or banks specialising in a particular area or activity are not allowed. Therefore, any new bank starting out today will have to carry out the full range of activities of a commercial bank. Moreover, it will also have to maintain stipulated CRR and SLR and adhere to priority sector lending norms (up to 40 percent of net bank credit). At least 25 percent of branches are to be located in rural and semi-urban areas. In contrast, NBFCs are less tightly supervised than banks, so they have greater operational flexibility. At the same time, cost of funds for NBFCs is higher than that of the banks because

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they do not have access to current and savings account (CASA) deposits. To overcome this handicap, and to gain competitive advantage, India’s NBFCs have evolved largely as single-product companies with strong core competency in their chosen area. It’s a sensible strategy because without core competency there’s no survival. The focus on a single product gives extra insights into the nitty-gritty of the business which in turn fosters innovations that add value to their products. In this way, they are able to win (and retain) customers despite their higher costs. It’s a fact that NBFCs in India have grown largely by creating new markets through innovations, and single-product NBFCs have contributed significantly to India’s economic growth. Focus and Core Competency Consider the example of Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd. (STFCL), widely regarded as the most successful and well run asset financing NBFC in India today. The company has assets under management (AUM) of over Rs.40,000 crores mainly in truck financing, of which over threefourths is deployed in the financing of used trucks. Before Shriram came into the picture, mainstream lenders would not touch the used truck segment. In fact, they do not venture into this territory even now because it remains an unviable business proposition where too many risks are involved. To begin with, valuation of the asset (an old truck without an invoice) is problematic. Having handed over the money, you are never sure where the truck is at any given point of time, so enforcing your security is difficult. Moreover, you are dealing with a sub-prime borrower (typically a truck-driver aspiring to be a truck-

owner), who has little by way of assets to back up his dreams. It is to STFCL’s enduring credit that they ventured into areas where others feared to tread and for having made a huge success out of it. Early on, they recognised that this business could only be built on relationships, not due diligence. And so, for loan recoveries they prefer to rely on relationship management rather than post-dated cheques. The company has over 4,000 field officers managing 150-200 customers each. Every month, they collect as much as Rs.750 crore from over six lakh customers, of which about 60% is collected as cash. Having extended finance for a used truck, the company goes out of its way to finance tyre replacements and engine overhauls. They are flexible in their EMI schedule to account for large payments like road tax etc. because they realise that their loans are secure only so long as the trucks are running. The company has also invested in workshops where the used trucks that their borrowers would like to sell off are first refurbished so that it fetches a higher price which helps the borrower to go for a newer truck, financed (of course) through STFCL. All this is recounted merely to demonstrate how extraordinarily innovative STFCL has been and how much it has gone out of its way to be relevant to its customers. STFCL could accomplish so much is because they remained a single-product company and never lost its focus. Likewise, the Kerala-based gold loans NBFCs are another example of singleproduct companies that have overcome great handicaps and innovated their way to growth. The pioneering role played by the Housing


Banking

Banks are obliged to maintain up to 40% of their net bank credit as loans to the priority sector and also open at least 25% of their branches in rural and semiurban centres.

Development and Finance Corporation (HDFC) in the area of housing finance is well known and needs no repetition. Why should NBFCs convert into Banks? Let’s look at the conventional reasons given in support of the idea. Cost of funds: Firstly, NBFCs have a much higher cost of funds because, unlike banks, they do not have the benefit of current and savings account (CASA) funds. The moment you become a bank, you can raise interest free or very low cost funds through current and savings account balances. Looking at the established banks, it is seen that CASA deposits can go up to as much as 50% of total deposits for the established banks while in the case of the newer entrants it would be about 35%. CASA is a huge advantage because the average interest paid on these balances would be less than 2%. However, a new entrant to the banking field would take time, at least about seven years or so, before they can raise CASA to these levels. What’s more, the benefits from CASA have to be weighed against the opportunity cost in maintaining the stipulated CRR and SLR, currently at 4 percent and 23 percent respectively. This effectively means that a fourth of your CASA is locked up in relatively low yielding gilts, thus blunting the advantage of CASA to an extent. Also, as against the seven years or so required to raise CASA to meaningful levels, the window available to these new entrants in the matter of full adherence to priority sector lending norms is much less. Banks are obliged to maintain up to 40% of their net bank credit as loans to the priority sector and also open at least 25% of

their branches in rural and semi-urban centres. The costs imposed by these conditions would be felt much before the full benefits from CASA deposits are realised. This is a critical concern for a new entrant into banking. Regulatory stress: Secondly, NBFCs continue to face regulatory stress, with step-motherly treatment by the RBI. It takes the form of tight norms and strict controls on what is permissible and not permissible. Further, that State Governments also claim the right to regulate NBFCs with stringent laws that make business all but impossible. Consequently, NBFCs operate under a constant state of uncertainty which makes life difficult for them. Converting to a bank in order to fall fully within RBI jurisdiction makes sense if only to be rid of harassment by state governments. Concentration risks: Thirdly, from a regulatory perspective, the NBFCs have grown to such an extent as to be recognised as “systemically important”. There is the worry that single product NBFCs would face concentration risks, arising from their narrow focus on a single activity. What are the risks? Notwithstanding the above advantages, there is a real risk of focus being lost with potentially adverse impact on future performance. As the new banks are expected to provide the full range of banking services, the core competency of a single product NBFC will be lost as a bank. Having built up a track record based on innovations, you end up becoming just another me-too bank. In this context, there are two examples that come to mind and they happen to

be a study in contrast. The first of these is Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. (KMFL) and its conversion to a bank as Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. in 2003. As an NBFC, KMFL was hugely successful and considered one of the top NBFCs of those days. Today, as a bank it is well reputed but not in the league of the top performing banks in India. From the point of view of its shareholders too, it has been a let-down. As an NBFC, KMFL had delivered spectacular rewards to its shareholders. As a bank, the record has not been the same. On the other hand, when HDFC ventured into banking, they promoted HDFC Bank Ltd. as a separate entity. The outcome was different. While HDFC Bank has been very successful (it’s considered to the best private sector bank in India), there has been no let-up in the performance of the parent. HDFC continues to do well and reward its stakeholders. Conclusion In the context of examples of NBFCs venturing into banking, there is a Kotak model and there is an HDFC model and compared to Kotak, the path followed by HDFC is the smarter choice. As for Manappuram Finance Ltd., we have succeeded as a specialised gold loans company and it may not be a good idea to put it to risk by hasty conversion into a bank. Until the RBI opens up to the concept of specialised or narrow focus banks, Manappuram may be better off as an extraordinary gold loan NBFC rather than as an ordinary bank.

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Banking

POINTS TO PONDER 16

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The Union Budget 2013 proposes to introduce section 80EE , whereby, a person taking a loan for his first home from a bank or a housing finance corporation up to Rs 25 lakh

Jiz P. Kottukappally

The author is working as Asst General Manager , Catholic Syrian Bank and the views expressed are the personal opinion of the author. Author can be reached at jizpauls@gmail.com May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 17


If you expect the interest rates to come down in the future its always better to opt for a floating rate loans

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MANAGEMENT

GURUS THE GUIDING FORCE OF THE BUSINESS WORLD

C K Prahlad C K Prahlad was born in Coimbatore, India, His career started with Union Carbide. He then joined the coveted Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad for his post graduate studies. After that he moved to Harvard for further education, there he wrote a thesis on multinational management in just two and a half years. After obtaining Phd, he returned to teach in IIM But he soon returned to the United States, when in 1977, he was hired by the University of Michigan's School of Business Administration, where he advanced to the top tenured appointment as a full professor. In 2005, Prahalad earned the university's highest distinction, Distinguished University Professor. Prahlad advised Philips' Jan Timmer on the restructuring of this electronic corporation, then on the brink of collapse. C. K. Prahalad is the co-author of a number of well known works in corporate strategy, including The Core Competence of the Corporation (with Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, May–June 1990). He authored or co-authored several international bestsellers like Competing for the Future (with Gary Hamel, 1994), The Future of Competition (with Venkat Ramaswamy, 2004), and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits (Wharton School Publishing, 2004). His last book, coauthored by M. S. Krishnan and published in April 2008, is called The New Age of Innovation.

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Philip Kotler

K

otler was born in Chicago. He received his master's degree at the University of Chicago and his PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Economics. Professor Kotler is well known for his book Marketing Management which is the world's most widely used graduate level textbook on marketing. His other textbooks include Principles of Marketing and Marketing: An Introduction. Kotler has also written fifty other books on such subjects as museums, performing arts, place marketing, poverty alleviation, innovation, professional services, religious institutions, healthcare, education, tourism, hospitality, and corporate social responsibility. He developed new concepts in marketing including social marketing, atmospherics, demarcating, megamarketing, turbo marketing and synchromarketing. He believes that marketing is a major economic discipline that goes beyond promotion and selling to include product development, distribution and pricing theory and practice, often called the 4Ps. He is considered to be the father of Marketing Management. He was also awarded the First "Leader in Marketing Thought" by the academic members of the American Marketing Association.

Jack Welch

J

ack Welch was born in Peabody, Massachusetts Welch attended Salem High School and then the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering. He received a MS and PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960. Welch joined General Electric in 1960. He worked as a junior chemical engineer in Pittsfield, and was unhappy with the bureaucracy he observed at GE. Welch was named a vice president of GE in 1972. He became senior vice president in 1977 and vice chairman in 1979. Welch became GE's youngest chairman and CEO in 1981. Welch's public philosophy was that a company should be either No. 1 or No. 2 in a particular industry, or else leave it completely. Welch's strategy was later adopted by other CEOs across corporate America. Welch adopted Motorola's Six Sigma quality program in late 1995. In 1980, the year before Welch became CEO, GE recorded revenues of roughly $26.8 billion. In 2009, Welch founded the Jack Welch Management Institute, a program at Chancellor University that offered an online executive MBA degree. The institute was acquired by Strayer University in 2011. Welch has been actively involved with the curriculum, faculty and students at the online business school since its launch.

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Michael E. Porter

M

ichael Eugene Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. He is a leading authority on company strategy and the competitiveness of nations and regions. He received an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University in 1973. Michael Porter is the author of 18 books and numerous articles including Competitive Strategy, Competitive Advantage, Competitive Advantage of Nations, and On Competition. A sixtime winner of the McKinsey Award for the best Harvard Business Review article of the year, Professor Porter is the most cited author in business and economics. Michael Porter’s core field is competition and company strategy. He is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field, and his ideas are taught in virtually every business school in the world. His work has also re-defined thinking about competitiveness, economic development, economically distressed urban communities, environmental policy, and the role of corporations in society. His main academic objectives focus on how a firm or a region can build a competitive advantage and develop competitive strategy. He is also a Fellow Member of the Strategic Management Society. One of his most significant contributions is the five forces. Porter's strategic system consists primarily of:

Peter Drucker

P

eter Drucker is one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of management theory and practice. His writings have predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning. After graduating from Döbling Gymnasium, Drucker found few opportunities for employment in postWorld War Vienna, so he moved to Germany While in Germany he also earned a doctorate in international law and public law from the University of Frankfurt in 1931. In 1933, Drucker left Germany for England. In London, he worked for an insurance company, then as the chief economist at a private bank. In 1959, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker" and later in his life considered knowledge worker productivity to be the next frontier of management. Peter Drucker gave his name to two institutions: the Drucker Institute and the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, both at Claremont Graduate University. The annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in his hometown of Vienna, Austria, honors his legacy. Over the next 70 years, Drucker’s writings would be marked by a focus on relationships among human beings, as opposed to the crunching of numbers. His books were filled with lessons on how organizations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find a sense of community and dignity in a modern society organized around large institutions. 22

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Peter Senge

P

eter Michael Senge is an American scientist and director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is known as the author of the book The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization from 1990. He is a senior lecturer at the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management, and co-faculty at the New England Complex Systems Institute. Peter Senge was born in Stanford, California. He received a B.S. in Aerospace engineering from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Senge also studied philosophy. He later earned an M.S. in social systems modeling from MIT in 1972. He also earned a Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1978. He was the Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). This organization helps with the communication of ideas between large corporations. It replaced the previous organization known as, the Centre for Organizational Learning at MIT. Peter Senge has written several books and articles throughout his career.

Gary Hamel

D

r. Gary P. Hamel is an American management expert. He is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago. He is a graduate of Andrews University and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Gary Hamel is the originator (with C. K. Prahalad) of the concept of core competencies. He is also the director of the Woodside Institute, a nonprofit research foundation based in Woodside, California. He is a visiting Professor of Strategic Management at London Business School. He was formerly a Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of Michigan (PhD 1990) and at Harvard Business School. His academic standing took a dent soon after publication of the hardback version of Leading the Revolution, in which he had written a very positive profile of Enron. Following the critical reception of Leading the Revolution, Hamel began work on resilience in business strategy. He wrote about the concept in a 2003 Harvard Business Review article titled The Quest for Resilience The Wall Street Journal in 2008 has ranked Gary Hamel as one of the world's most influential business thinkers, and Fortune magazine has called him "the world's leading expert on business strategy.

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Stephen Covey

S

tephen Richards Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. He was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University at the time of his death. Covey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. He was awarded ten honorary doctorates. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey's best-known book, has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. Covey's 2004 book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. It is the sequel to The Seven Habits. Covey posits that effectiveness does not suffice in what he calls "The Knowledge Worker Age". Covey released The Leader in Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time in November 2008. It tells how some schools, parents and business leaders are preparing the next generation to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.

Edward de Bono

E

dward Charles Francis Publius de Bono was born in Malta. De Bono then gained a medical degree from the University of Malta. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, in England where he gained an M.A. Degree in psychology and physiology. He also has a Ph.D. degree and a D.Phil. Degree in Medicine from Trinity College, Cambridge, a D. Des. Degree (Doctor of Design) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and an LL.D. Degree from the University of Dundee. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking as a subject in schools. He has written 57 books with translations into 34 languages. He has taught his thinking methods to government agencies, corporate clients, organizations and individuals, privately or publicly in group sessions. He has started to set up the World Center for New Thinking, based in Malta, which he describes as a "kind of intellectual Red Cross". In 1995, he created the futuristic documentary film, 2040: Possibilities by Edward de Bono, a lecture designed to prepare an audience of viewers released from a cryogenic freeze for contemporary (2040) society.

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


Entrepreneurship

Living Successfully as an

Entrepreneur

A Dr Thomas Nechupadom heads Metanoeo, a total transformation/ grooming company that has been the by word for grooming and dressing, personality enhancement and Social/Corporate Etiquette for many pageants including Ms.South India and Mannapuram Ms. Queen of India contest 2012.

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n entrepreneur’s life is not easy. But as an entrepreneur will not sit back and take what life deals him; he attacks life head on, takes charge of his own life, and has an unrelenting determination to establish his own path in life In a book called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, Mr. Hill said that “an educated person is not necessarily a person with any specialized knowledge, but an educated person is one who has so developed the higher faculties of their mind that they can acquire anything they want without violating the rights of others.” An entrepreneur used his higher faculties of the mind like reasoning, memory, will power, intuition and imagination to solve problems and go further forward. The first step towards establishing a successful life as an entrepreneur is to create a mindset understands the importance of a network of business opportunities. The

mindset has to be developed systematically. Before you start you have to have the mindset to achieve the things you want in your life. You have to analyze your current mindset and see what is stopping you from achieving what you want. And you have to honest with yourself because only a correct analysis will show your shortfalls and find suitable remedies. Once you have corrected yourself on your shortcomings, your mind is capable of making creative choices. If you need help just check the lifestyle of two other entrepreneurs find all areas where you have made a difference and note it down. Personal Development is another key to successful living. Read self help books if you require, attend a personal development program. Punctuality is another key which will give you a lot of self esteem. You also have to be well organized that will help in avoiding wastage. Personal improvement has to


Start writing down all of the new ideas that you have as an entrepreneur now

be done in a holistic way; there is always a scope for improvement. Every day writes down your improvements and where did you falter so that you necessarily do not repeat the same mistake. Another important thing is to write down your short term goals, the midterm goals and your long term goals and following them meticulously so that you achieve them. Be realistic when writing your goals and do not keep them out of reach. Once you achieve your short term goals you will feel more confident about achieving your long term goals. But also be a little creative about your goals, so that you will able to push yourself to attain the goals. Please always remember that there is not option for hard work. Also write a list of fifty things that you need to improve in your life. Writing it down will increase the number of times you notice those things and make improvements. Keep your mindset always positive and never be a pessimist. Integrate personal development into your daily lifestyle. Start applying personal development everyday in your daily life. With the new mindset you have now, you should continue to feed your mind every day with personal development. Personal development is a must for an entrepreneur to succeed so integrate personal development into your daily lifestyle. Initially you will have to take an extra effort to achieve difficult goals, but soon you will find that the difficulty is becoming easier.

affirmation statements on a sticky note around your home, office, and work area in times when you need to be encouraged as you move forward with your new idea. Affirmations should always be written as positive statements in the present tense. Placing four affirmation statements on a sticky note around an area that you visit most often will further your actions toward your goal because your affirmations will begin to work as supportive thoughts, and a placeholder for a more positive mindset in your daily life. Take a decision for yourself that you will never give up on your new ideas and goals until you see them manifest in your life. You will need to take action on your new ideas and goals as an entrepreneur. You have been taking action all throughout this article in the steps listed above, so now it is time for you to take the necessary action to make it happen. Successful entrepreneurs know how to manage their time. Please try to implement the steps we have discussed in the article and sure you will have a better life. What you have now is a blueprint to success and you will have to implement it. Remember the famous statement “The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going. “

Visualize what you will require to achieve, visualize for seven minutes your long term goals, once you do that your mind will believe that it is achievable. Also Put four positive

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 27


Corporate Focus

The Heights of

Success The Building of India’s biggest Debt-free Real Estate Company

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dummy photo C

onfident Group, is a rapidly growing conglomerate, headquartered in Bangalore with operations in Kochi, Trivandrum, Trichur, Calicut, Dubai and Singapore. Confident Group is diversified into six verticals, namely- Infrastructure, Hospitality, Aviation, Entertainment, Education and Health Care. The Group is currently deploying 115 projects in the infrastructure sphere, which includes Gated communities of Townships, Villas, Apartments, Commercial Towers, Malls, Software Towers & Parks, Hotels and Resorts. The Group is the Largest Owners & Operators of Hotels + Resorts in Bangalore and also in the process of implementing similar Projects across different locations in South India. The Group is also setting up three schools across Bangalore, which can be used superiorly by every Confident Home buyer. The First School is already under Operation with exclusive tie-up with the famed Gear Foundation for Higher Education.

The Group's projects completed and those in pipeline are of Gigantic proportions, 115 large projects spanning across 5,45,65,450 sq. ft. of Land and Construction across prime locations in Bangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum, Trichur, Dubai and other locations. There is no doubt, Confident Group is a giant player at large in all its spectrums of operations. Confident Group is implementing 115 projects that are at different stages of completion, many of these Projects have been completed ahead of schedule and numerous Customers are residing happily. The total turnover projected on these 115 projects is an astounding $ 1 Billion! The Group has in-depth knowledge in quality & system orientation and is an accredited certified Conglomerate with ISO 9001:2008 for Quality management System, ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management System and OHSAS. 18001: 2007 for Occupational Health

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Corporate Focus

The Indian Entertainment Industry is growing at a phenomenal pace, offering remarkable opportunities to structured organizations

The Group is a "Zero Debt Group" which means that the Group is implementing and controlling all operations without any external source of funding

& Safety Assessment Series Certifications. The Group is a "Zero Debt Group" which means that the Group is implementing and controlling all operations without any external source of funding. The Indian Entertainment Industry is growing at a phenomenal pace, offering remarkable opportunities to structured organizations . At Confident, we believe these opportunities exist across demography and languages. The Film Industry is also an Excellent Branding Vehicle taking the Group's name to all sections of the Society.

Bengaluru-based conglomerate Confident Group with operations into six verticals including hospitality, infrastructure, aviation, entertainment, education and health care, plans to operate 10 hotels in Bengaluru during the next five years. The group will launch its fourth property, Confident Aquarii in Bengaluru by 2009 end. Confident Aquarii is a five-star resort, which will

UNIQUE TIMES May 2013

Presently, the group has three hotels operational in Bengaluru, Confident Cascade at Bannerghatta Road, Confident Propus at Langford Road and Confident Iris at Brigade Road. According to Gaffar Kandy, Director of Sales, Confident Group, "We look forward to be the largest hotel and resort chain under a single brand in Bengaluru by 2014. Presently, three hotels are operational in Bengaluru. We plan to set up 10 hotels in the next five years. Lands have been acquired at different locations in Bengaluru to develop hotels, resorts and golf course."

Business Verticals Hospitality

30

have 75 rooms and will mainly target the leisure clientele.

Aviation This is the first Learjet in India and a Learjet is what a Ferrari is in automobile. This is the most expensive plane in its category. This has a seating capacity of 8. Confident Group is also acquiring one more plane and a helicopter in this Dubai Air show. This makes the total fleet of Confident Group to 4, the largest in South India Charter Airline.


We look forward to be the largest hotel and resort chain under a single brand in Bengaluru by 2014 Entertainment We are committed and excited to be a part of India's entertainment factory with our own gallery of blockbusters to show! We are also in the process of building Multiplexes, In-house Film Processing facilities, In-house Production Equipment and Film Cities. In Short a Totally Integrated Film Production Unit, thereby bringing in Economies of Scale to the Total Business. The Entertainment division at Confident Group believes in a Strict Zero Debt policy and no film or associate ventures are funded or under loans from external sources. Education Confident-GEAR Montessori Plus is an initiative from Confident Group to provide exemplary education within the proximity of Confident projects'. After successful functioning of Confident GEAR Montessori Plus

School for past 2 Academic years, we are commencing the functioning of Confident- GEAR Creative Leadership School located at Sarjapur. At Confident-GEM Plus style of teaching enhances learning through objective observation and application of logic. Social and intellectual discipline comes through selfmotivation and hard work. Spontaneous progress of the child is the greatest triumph of this Scientific Pedagogy. Our program is designed to help children broaden their basis of information, through concepts, acquired foundation skills & positive learning attitude; we sharpen the students’ perspectives and abilities by channeling their talents through a wide spectrum of areas, which promote the growth of students' reasoning, creative thinking, and research skills.

Reggio Approach and Multiple Intelligences Incorporated. Admission system in a Montessori Environment permits children to start school at age two-and-a-half, before which the parents should have finalized their child’s admission, when the child turns two years old. In the Montessori system academic or Calendar year is not relevant while pertaining to admission, only the child’s age plays a major criterion.

We follow an enhanced Montessori Method of Education inspired by the

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 31


Interview

Confidence of

VISION Prelude: A magnificent Personality – he has successfully created a business and an enterprise, and has handed over execution to his professional team – all in just 7 years from start. The company runs on ERP, it is the most transparent and principled company in physical action and on web, and tens of thousands of families have already deposited their trust in this red and white firm.

Interview with Dr. Roy C. J. Chairman, Confident Group.

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Dr Roy CJ has set many distinct records in terms of business principles, implementation of unique concepts, and of systematic and transparent operations of a builder, all in a very short span of 7 years. Read Below the excerpts of an interview with Ajith Ravi in a rare occasion where Dr Roy CJ returned back from Frankfurt after receiving the coveted Award 'International Arch of Europe'.


One of the biggest and most important successes of Confident Group is the committed team What was this Award and what does it mean to you? Business Initiative Directions is a European Company that surveys fast growing companies that drives on principles. We are proud to have been recognized at such an early stage for growth and spread with highest quality standards. After the highest CRISIL rating of 7 Star, this is another accolade that has come in search of us, which underlines our passion to deliver quality. How did you get the idea to start the company? Confident Group was started in 2006. Before starting Confident Group, I was a partner and Joint Managing Director of another real estate company, which was an extreme success. I have also worked for the multinational company Hewlett Packard from 1990 to 1997 from where I learnt the finer aspects of running a company professionally. I started Confident Group along with my co-directors with a unique vision

of ‘Zero-Debt real estate company.’ Basically this was done to make sure that we invest our money before taking customers money into the project. We also made sure that every single project is run on zerodebt basis without availing of any sort of project loans to manage each of the project. This way, during past recession, we were not overburdened with the return of project funding to the banks and also there was no interest to be serviced since there was no project funding. This also sent a clear message that we are not collecting the advances from customers to retire the old debts of the company. While starting itself we were convinced that these principles matter for customers, and being very tough standards, it was a herculean task to walk the talk. What is your Inspiration? Business leaders. I have the nature of getting inspired by successful business leaders at different times in

life. I normally identify business leaders a few steps ahead of me for gaining intense inspiration and then emulate that leader. Once achieved I then look at the next business leader to get the next set of intense inspiration. It would be very wrong if I say business leaders like Bill Gates, Carlos Slim or Mukesh Ambani inspired me. It is rather a successful local business leader who could be in India or Dubai who has intensely inspired me to achieve. What will you say about Confident Group? Our headquarters in India is in Bangalore and our world-wide initiative headquarters is in Dubai. We have fast growing operations all over Kerala and we are the market leader in real estate in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram and our launch in Thrissur and Calicut has been well received. As per market analysis, we are the No 1 selling brand in Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. We achieved a unique record “never

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 33


Interview

before by a builder” of ‘Delivering nearly 1,000 flats in December 2012 in Kerala.’ With this delivery, we would have completed 100 per cent delivery of all projects launched on or before 2011. This is a rare distinction for any builder in Kerala. This was followed by the CRISIL award to Confident Atria Kochi, with the highest rating of 7 Star. What is the present status of the organisation? Confident Group is the No 1 selling brand in Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. We are launching exclusive ‘Confident Platinum Malls’ in Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasargod, Manjeri, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and other locations in Bangalore. These malls should contribute Confident Group a turnover of USD 1 billion dollars which is `5,500 crore in the next 5 years. This would make us one of the top 10 real estate brands across India. We have strong intentions to optimise the way a middle class family lives and enjoys life including

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013

promoting quick decisions by offering luxury in economical homes, reaching to the B Towns with entertainment infrastructure and fill it with well crafted movies. The Kerala Operations is led by Mr TA Joseph, Managing Director and Karnataka Operations by Mr Gafar Kandy, Managing Director. They are supported by well-qualified and highly specialised Directors and General Managers in each function, whether it be technical, commercial or support. Major factors that contributed to your professional success? Vision of the future. Due to clarity and intensity of the vision, I could conclude the organisational principles at the start itself. This helped to put all my efforts to build that exact enterprise and business that I visualised. In the absence of this clarity, I feel that any entrepreneur, despite starting a venture will tend to go with the wind and eventually lose track in life. My


Clarity of vision drives me; in the absence of this clarity, I feel that any entrepreneur, despite starting a venture will tend to go with the wind and eventually lose track in life.

When in crisis of an employee, be it professional or personal, I am always right behind them.

exposure in large size MNCs in new age industries and my entreprenuerial spirit converged at the right mix and the result is there, loud and large in front of all. How do you tackle challenges in your business? Any negative situation I consider as an opportunity. I look deeply for positive aspects in every challenge and have always been highly successful. One of the biggest and most important successes of Confident Group is the committed team. Today, we have close to 3,000 team members. At Confident Group, even during recession we have not retrenched a single employee but we have given bonus and salary increments every year and also salary on-time every time. This again is rare in the real estate industry. Keeping them alert and focused in real time environment is well done by the board of directors and this not only ensures delivery of quality to customers but also Job security and guarantee to the employees.

How do you evaluate your strengths and weakness as a business man? My strength as a businessman lies in the marketing and branding talent in me. I also have a very strong vision and high focus on implementation. Once I decide something; come what may, I get the team to implement the same. When in crisis of an employee be it professional or personal, I am always right behind them. The weakness people say I have is the extremely fast decision making and I have always found this to be a major advantage. I can equally take various styles of instructing and guiding based on the personal style of my team members. How do you keep your body and mind fit? I play golf and regular workouts and walking in the park. Hobbies / special interests My biggest hobby is doing business the right way, producing cinemas, motivating team members and creating brand ‘Confident Group’.

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 35


Gadgets

HTC

A620E 8S 18,500/-

5 MP Primary Camera HD Recording Windows Phone 8 OS 4-inch Super LCD 2 Touchscreen 1 GHz Dual Core Krait Processor Wi-Fi Enabled Expandable Storage Capacity

Nokia

Lumia 820 23,499/8 MP Primary Camera Secondary Camera Support 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Capacitive Screen 1.5 GHz Dual Core Krait Processor Wi-Fi Enabled Expandable Storage Capacity of 64 GB Windows Phone 8 OS Qi Wireless Charging

BlackBerry

Bold 9790 21,999/BlackBerry 7 OS 5 MP Primary Camera 2.45-inch TFT Capacitive Touchscreen 1 GHz Marvel Tavor MG1 Processor Expandable Storage Capacity of 32 GB Wi-Fi Enabled

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Samsung

Galaxy Grand Duos I9082 20,900/-

1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor 5-inch Capacitive Touchscreen Dual Standby SIM (GSM + GSM) Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS 8 MP Primary Camera and 2 MP Secondary Camera Full HD Recording Multi Window Expandable Storage Capacity of 64 GB

SONY

Xperia P 20,900/8 MP Primary Camera 0.3 MP Secondary Camera Android v2.3 (Gingerbread) OS 4-inch TFT Capacitive Touchscreen 1 GHz U8500 Dual Core Processor Full HD Recording FM Radio Wi-Fi Enabled

XOLO

X1000

18,799/-

2 GHz Intel Atom Processor with Hyper Threading Technology Android v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS Wi-Fi Enabled 8 MP Primary Camera 1.3 MP Secondary Camera Expandable Storage Capacity of 32 GB 4.7-inch TFT LCD Capacitive Touchscreen May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 37


Gadgets Fujifilm

X-S1 Point & Shoot 54,999/-

Full HD Recording 26x Optical Zoom and 2x Digital Zoom 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 - 624 mm 12.0 Megapixel Camera EXR CMOS Image Sensor 3 inch TFT color LCD Monitor f/2.8 - f/5.6 Aperture

SONY

Alpha A57K SLT SLR

44,990/-

16.1 megapixel Camera Exmor APS HD CMOS Image Sensor Full HD Recording 3 inch TFT, Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack Technology ISO 100 - ISO 12800 Sensitivity

Canon

EOS 700D SLR 59,995/-

CMOS Image Sensor 3 inch TFT Color Liquid-crystal Monitor 18 Megapixel Camera Full HD Recording Focal Length: 18 - 55 mm

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


Nikon

Coolpix P7700 Point & Shoot 24,990/12.2 Megapixel Camera CMOS Image Sensor 7.1x Optical Zoom and 4x Digital Zoom Full HD Recording 3 inch Wide Viewing Angle TFT LCD with Anti-reflection Coating f/2 - f/4 Aperture 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28 - 200 mm

SONY

DSC-RX100 Point & Shoot 34,990/20.2 Megapixel Camera Full HD Recording 3 inch Xtra Fine / TruBlack / TFT LCD 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 30 - 108 mm Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor f/1.8 - f/4.9 Aperture 3.6x Optical Zoom and 14x Digital Zoom Price: Rs. 34990

Canon PowerShot S110 Point & Shoot

29,995/-

12.1 Megapixel Camera 5x Optical Zoom and 4x Digital Zoom Full HD Recording CMOS Image Sensor f/2.0 - f/5.9 Aperture 3 inch PureColor II G Touch Screen LCD (TFT) 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 - 120 mm

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 39


Auto Review

Amazing

HONDA

With the Amaze, Honda embarks on a landmark innings in India

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


Honda has gifted the Indian customers with the first diesel Engine; the good news comes in a sweeter package as the diesel engine is fitted into a compact sedan. The entry into sub 4 meter compact sedan segment opens a great opportunity to the Japanese car maker. Honda executives are quite happy with the reception that Amaze got in India. Amaze will certainly bring in the numbers that Honda is expecting.

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 41


Auto Review

T

he Amaze is based on the Brio Hatchback and is specifically targeted to the Indian Market. Amaze has a lot of advantages. It is a sub four meter sedan, but it does not look like hatch with a boot, the boot is perfectly joined to the car with some amazing design works, the Amaze certainly looks like a sedan. The 1500 cc all aluminium earth dreams diesel engine which can boast of a mileage of 25 kmpl which can go and capture the heart of mileage conscious Indian customer. What makes this car stand out from other sub four metre sedan is the cohesiveness of the design. Unlike its competition the Desire which is the currently best seller in this class, the Amaze does not look chopped from the rear. The side line flows effortlessly from the front to the back. The reason it doesn’t look like a hatch fitted with a box is. Honda planned this Brio-based saloon from day one Honda has spent money in lengthening the wheelbase and as a result there is more cabin space. Amaze has plenty of cabin space. . The Amaze can easily accommodate four large adults inside, with enough head-, shoulder- and legroom for all. The longer doors also make getting in and out of the back really easy. The Amaze gets driver seat height adjustment and rear-seat passengers get a new foldaway elbow rest as well. Other plus points include the dashboard that gives

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013

you great forward visibility. The interior and especially the dashboard look similar to that of the Brio, and while this works well on the hatchback, but not quite impressive for a sedan. There are seven cup holders. The interior can be called decent with no luxury splash. The interior design focuses on functionality than on luxury. But with the price and functionality and the market segment luxury can take a back seat. The driver seat adjustment the longer armrest also makes it stand out from the rest of the sedan. Honda’s first diesel for India There have been some mixed reviews for the Honda Diesel Engine. The power delivery and driving manners are brilliant, but on the other hand the engine is a little bit noisy. The allaluminium engine, though lighter sends out more noise than a typical diesel engine. There is no much turbo lag and starts accelerating even at 1200 RPM. The Amazes’ power delivery hides its performance because there is no sudden surge of power. The Amaze is absolutely a really nice to drive in city traffic, where you need a responsive engine. Honda engineers say they have tuned the Amaze to suit the Indian driving style of shifting up early and rarely exceeding 3,500rpm. The petrol motor is as same one in the Brio and that means it has good parts throttle responses. But, when you try


The Amaze feels well planted and precise around corners, and this feeling of confidence and poise remains even at higher speeds. to push it for overtaking you can feel a slight dullness, and it can be a problem, but the top end performance is really good. The Amaze petrol's super-light curb weight of 965kgs, will post a rather impressive 0-100kph time of 13.27Sec. The automatic gearbox-equipped petrol Amaze and it felt quite energetic. Initial responses to the throttle are good and the Amaze takes off from the rest with a considerable amount of acceleration. The Japanese major has also given the Amaze a good amount of ground clearance almost the same as the Brio. That means the notorious Indian roads will not take a toll on the under body even with a full load. The raised longtravel suspension also helps it ride well over Indian roads. Apart from the odd stuttering noises, the suspension tackles potholes and bumps rather well. The improved really compromise driving manners. The Amaze feels well planted and precise around corners, and this feeling of confidence and poise remains even at higher speeds. The power steering which is electrically assisted gives you a precise driving experience in low speeds and even in higher speeds.

and there is a good amount of power and torque when it is needed. The big news is the mileage the diesel motor provides which is a record breaking 25.8kmpl as per ARAI test rules. Actual figures may be lower but one can expect the Amaze to be incredibly frugal in daily use. To achieve such low fuel consumption with a 1.5 litre engine and near 100bhp is in itself an achievement. When we look at the overall picture, however, and the new Amaze clearly has almost everything else buyers in this class are looking for, and now with prices announced its become even more desirable too. The Honda Amaze prices start at Rs 4.99lakh for the base petrol and goes upto Rs 7lakh for the top-of-the-line VX variant. While the Amaze diesel price starts at a low Rs 5.99 lakh and the top VX diesel will set you back by Rs 7.60 lakhs. These prices match the Maruti Dzire and it is only about Rs 10,000 more expensive variant.

Honda is set to break some sales records with the Amaze, the strength of Amaze lies in the fact that despite being a sub four entrant it does not ill proportioned like its competitors. The interiors are spacious. The diesel engine is tuned to the Indian customer

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Specifications

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013


Wish List

The Ford EcoSport has been a mini sport utility vehicle originally built in Brazil by Ford since 2003 at the Camaรงari plant. A second generation concept model was launched at the 2012 Delhi Motor Show and is intended to be a global car with a new factory in Chennai, India. The EcoSport was designed by the Ford-US Truck Vehicle Center and based on the Cologne built European Fusion, because of this, the project used the Ford B3 platform. The EcoSport is one of Ford's best-seller models in Brazil (consistently appearing on the 10 best-selling vehicles), Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico. Its main competitors are the Fiat Palio Weekend Adventure, Volkswagen CrossFox. The Ecosport is all set to launch in India

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013

The Ford EcoSport


Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover vehicle manufactured using the PQ35 platform of the Volkswagen Golf. All Tiguans feature two-row seating and four-cylinder engines. The Tiguan debuted as a concept vehicle at the November 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Show and in production form at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.The name Tiguan, pronounced TEE-gwan, is a portmanteau of the German words Tiger (tiger) and Leguan (iguana). The news is that Volkswagen is bringing the Tiguan to India

Volkswagen Tiguan

May 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 47


Wish List

Maruti Suzuki unveiled its own allnew mini-SUV, the XA Alpha concept at the 2012 Auto Expo conducted in Delhi. The XA Alpha is based on the Swift platform and sticking to the SUV DNA this new mini-SUV is short in its stature it has got some funky headlights, and thick C-pillar. The interiors are likely to be similar Suzuki styling. It will sport the K-series petrol engine and 1.3-litre diesel power plant. It is expected to be released by sometime in 2013.

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UNIQUE TIMES May 2013

Maruti XA Alpha


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