Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
RATAN Tata, the 72-year-old chairman of the $71-billion Tata Group, is looking for someone like him as a successor. But his choice is plainly not as straight and simple as that of the grand old ruling Congress party, which is grooming Rahul Gandhi.
The second most keenly-awaited succession announcement in India became the topic of discussion in corporate boardrooms on Wednesday, after Mr Tata said in a conference that he has hired consultants to choose a successor.
As always, Mr Tata is not in a hurry. He has given himself two years to finalise as to who would step into his rather big shoes, people familiar with the matter said.
“The successor, I would hope, would have integrity and our value systems in the forefront and hopefully would carry on the path that we have tried to set for the company’s growth,’’ Mr Tata told a conference organised by the Wall Street Journal. Mr Tata will retire in 2012, whenheturns75.Heisthechairmanof Tata Sons, the group’s holding company, and non-executive chairman of group companies like Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Consultancy Services.
The choice of successor may be at the top of his mind, as he may prefer to leave behind a conglomerate, where the next chairman does not face the challenges he did when he was called in to head the group after his uncle JRD Tata.
The process of succession planning is much more dignified than at the time of JRD Tata,’’ said Gita Piramal, management writer and author of ‘Business Maharajas’. “Nobody knew JRD’s mind. There seems to be an inclusive exercise going on, as Ratan Tata is consulting within and outside to find the successor.”
Neither Ratan Tata, nor anyone else in the group, is talking about who would succeed. But the choice seems to be as huge as the group’s business empire.
As has been for many years, the first name that crops up in any debate about it is Noel Tata, a natural heir with the surname. What strengthens the argument for him is that he is the son-in-law of the biggest shareholder of Tata Sons, Pallonji Mistry, popularly known as the Phantom of Bombay House.
Noel Tata is building the retail business under Trent, which runs the Westside stores. Some say he has not proved his mettle by running the biggest of the companies in the group. But this was also the case with Ratan Tata when he took over. An external spokesperson for the group said it had “nothing to add” beyond what had been stated by Mr Tata.
But Ratan Tata, in his own words, is open to anyone at this point of time. “We are looking both within the organisation and outside,’’ he told the conference. “It would certainly be easier if that candidate was an Indian national.” In the same breath, he said, “It could also be an expatriate sitting in that position,’’ with nearly 65% of the group’s revenue coming from overseas markets.
Many names, including Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Vikram Pandit of Citigroup and former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin, have done the rounds. But none of them seem to be interested, say people in the know who did not want to be identified.
Some experts are notconvinced that an expat, particularly a person who is not of Indian origin, could lead the group. “There are complexities with a diversified conglomerate which not many expats are used to or exposed to. Where as Indian CEOs may be routed through several companies and may be more prepared to take over as the head of a conglomerate. But that’s not the only reason, there are cultural nuances they (expats) need to adapt to,” said Arvind Mahajan of KPMG.
There is also a galaxy of leaders in the group which makes Ratan Tata’s choice difficult. There is RK Krishnakumar who has been involved in the plantations and hotels businesses for many years, though at 71, age is against him.
R Gopalakrishnan, a former Hindustan Lever executive; B Muthuraman, former managing director at Tata Steel who lead the nation’s biggest overseas acquisition, that of steel company Corus, and Ravi Kant of Tata Motors who steered the takeover of Jaguar Land Rover, are the other top leaders.
But Mr Tata is not taking chances. He may be seeking advice from the best of the global expertise in head hunting.
John Ward, author of many books on family businesses and a visiting lecturer at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, is being speculated as one of the advisors, though there is absolutely no confirmation of this. Others rumoured to be involved are McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group.
According to Rajiv Memani, country head for Ernst & Young, which has worked with various Tata group companies, a typical external consultant for a group like the Tatas would have to be one with the least conflict of interest. “The firm should also be capable of matching intellectual wavelength with the group’s senior executives and be able to visualise the group’s objectives.”
Source: The Economic Times
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
BIOGRAPHY MARTIN BOGREN
Martin Bogren lives in south of Sweden. His work is concentrated to
documentary / personal photography and he has been exhibited in
Sweden and in France recent years. He started up in the early
90s - first as a young musician, but he soon started to photograph
other bands and concerts for local newspapers and later on for
magazines and record companys.
In 96 he published his
first book - The Cardigans - Been it (Tidens Forlag), based on his
tour photographs with the band.
The book ”Ocean” was released
by Journal in 2008 and is now exhibited at
the Stockholm Kulturhus and at Dunkers Kulturhus in Sweden..
Lately Martin has won recognitions with silver in
Sony World Photography Awards and with upcoming exhibithions
in Warsaw and Portland during 2009.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
On the evening of November 26, 2008, ten young Pakistani men reached Mumbai in a small hijacked fishing boat, having slaughtered its captain and crew, and glided unnoticed into the teeming Indian port city. Over the next three days, armed with cell phones, machine guns, and fruit and nuts to sustain them, they unleashed coordinated attacks across the city that left at least 170 people dead and more than 300 wounded, sending shockwaves of fear around the world. Narrated by Mumbai-born Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and Newsweek International editor, and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dan Reed (HBO's "Terror in Moscow"), TERROR IN MUMBAI provides a 360-degree view of a terrorist act, recounting in harrowing detail the bloody events of that 60-hour period. Premieres Thursday, November 19 at 8pm (ET/PT).
Friday, November 13, 2009
House of Waris
Tag along for the ride as actor, jewelry designer, and Style.com avatar Waris Ahluwalia travels to the Indian factory where his Love Conquers All collection is made.
Note: Best Viewed on Firefox.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Ask people who have been there, and they’ll all tell you India is like no other place in the world, a land that stirs every one of the five senses and stays in your heart forever.
It is this India that brought together three friends, Waris Ahluwalia, Mortimer Singer and Tina Bhojwani to raise funds, spirits, and awareness for the victims of the attacks in Mumbai in November, 2008.
The editors set out to create a scrapbook–collecting personal photos, stories, and memories from people who, like themselves, love India.
The contributors include Wes Anderson, Adrien Brody, Francesco Clemente, Anthony Edwards, Jeanine Lobell, Natalie Portman, Yves Carcelle, Jean Touitou, Owen Wilson, Laura Wilson, Cynthia Rowley, James Ivory, Matthew Williamson, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch, Padma Lakshmi, Shobhaa De, Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani.
This book declares to Mumbai and the whole country that we are all thinking of them and support them: hence To India, with Love: New York to Mumbai. Profits from the sales of the book will go to support families affected by the attacks. This book can truly make a difference, by opening eyes to the wonders of India and by once again letting the pen—or a camera—dominate the sword.
Proceeds from the book, which was inspired in part by last year’s attacks on Mumbai, will benefit the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Dhruv employs his skills as a documentary film maker to replicate a credible and emotive fabric in the advertising and corporate work. He has also harnessed the prowess of internet video to create interactive marketing and recruitment tools for his clients website.
Courtesy: © Simon Broughton, originally published in the June 2009 #60 issue of Songlines
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Confirming Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a new hub of the art market, around 50 Galleries from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the United States will present displays at Abu Dhabi Art, including some which will be exhibiting in the Middle East for the first time.
Monday, November 9, 2009
If you have a couple of friends over and want to prepare something a little bit more elaborate, then- cut a thick slice of dark lithuanian bread (available from any Russian grocery store), roast a leg of lamb, toss some arugula and then sit back and enjoy with a Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the perfect wine for the oncoming cold and chilly evenings...sip after sip warms the gut, kindles the taste buds and the evening is converted into a warm and romantic memory.
Cabernet Sauvignon along with Chardonnay and Merlot is one of the most widely-planted of the world's grape varietals. The principal grape in many wines from the Bordeaux region in France, particularly those from the Medoc, it is grown in most of the world's wine growing regions. Many of the finest red wines in the world are predominantly made from this grape.
Most Cabernet Sauvignon based wine is blended with varying quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Malbec. Blending grape varietals lends a wine added structure, aromas and flavors along with muscularity and individuality. All this depends on the type of wine that is desired by the wine maker or the vineyard owner.
California Cabernet compared to French Bordeaux is mostly bigger, dark- with more blue and violet highlights. Alcohol levels are higher and flavors are inclined to be more fruit forward; jammy preserves, cassis, stewed plums, roasted meat, cherry and toasty oak. New world wines are also much more approachable and welcoming in their youth.
If you like trying something very different from the usual stuff in your wine shop, I recommend the Cab from Ceja Vineyards. With bright fruit, berries, leather, anise and some dark chocolate on the nose, it shows a toasty earthiness with a concentration of dark fruit, blackberry, plum and cherries on the palate. This wine can be enjoyed alone or with chicken, darker fish or meat dishes. And it goes beautifully with anything chocolate!
And if you crave a wine that is bolder, bigger, true to the spirit of California than go no further than the Cabernets from Phelan Vineyards. This is a boutique winery located in the Mt. George area in Napa Valley dedicated to producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The Phelan wines are characterized by their elegant texture and huge aromas of smoky wooden barrels with hints of coffee, earth and dark berries. And this one demands a juicy steak or roasted lamb with lots of sauce and gravy!
Please drink responsibly. Au Revoir...
By Priya Singh
For more adventures in the world of food and wine, go to Nourishment for the Senses