Vikas Pota on ten business icons in India

February 1, 2010

VikasAmid jitters about uncertainty in the financial markets over the past 16 months, many investors have continued to look toward the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China, which by 2050 are expected to be wealthier than most current major economic powers.

In all four countries, GDP has more than doubled since 1998, and in China and India it has trebled.

The Confederation of Indian Industry, a non-profit non-governmental, industry-led organisation, estimates India’s GDP growth rate at 6.1 per cent in 2009-10.

With those facts in mind, Vikas Pota, managing director of public affairs firm Saffron Chase, wrote “India Inc.”, a book about 10 global success stories he parallels with such powerful businessmen as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett.

“The fact that the domestic Indian market is growing proves to be a major boon and safety net for Indian companies like Tata, who face the severe consequences of the slowdown in other parts of the world while their home market sees expansion,” Pota writes.

Among his subjects are key players in such firms as ICICI Bank, Biocon, Eros International, Infosys Technologies, Bharat Forge, HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services.

“I included questions on their early days, their perspectives on what it takes to succeed, whether their Indian heritage played any role in their thinking or business achievements, and how those who lead family-owned businesses, members of what has been termed the ‘lucky sperm club,’ view their successes in years to come,” Pota explained to Reuters at his book launch in London.

Watch the video below or click on the headline and scroll down to find it.

The top 10  from the India Inc. website:

Subhash Chandra
Founder of Zee TV, India’s first satellite channel. Known as a media baron who took on Rupert Murdoch and won.

Baba Kalyani
Chairman of Bharat Forge, the world’s largest forgings company. Chairman of $2.4 billion Kalyani Group, of which Bharat Forge is the flagship company.

KV Kamath
Chairman of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank. Total assets of $102 billion, 25 million customers worldwide, 1,520 branches around the world.

Kishore Lulla
CEO of Eros International, India’s largest distributor of films and entertainment. With a film catalogue of 2,000 titles and 5,000 music videos, is passionate about using YouTube and other new-media opportunities to reach a larger global audience.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Chairman of Biocon India, Asia’s largest biotechnology company, the world’s seventh largest biotech employer, with a presence in 75 countries. Formed her company in a garage after her preferred career as a master brewer hit a glass ceiling due to her gender.

Narayana Murthy
Non-executive chairman & chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, a Bangalore-based global IT consulting firm. Murthy borrowed his share of the $250 start-up fund from his wife to found Infosys with six engineers in 1981. Today, the firm is worth billions.

Shiv Nadar
Founder of HCL and Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of HCL Technologies, India’s fourth largest IT company. Ranked along with Facebook by BusinessWeek in 2008 as one of the Top 5 most influential companies to watch globally.

Subramaniam Ramadorai
Vice-chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software company with worldwide sales worth $5.7 billion per year and consultants in 170 offices across 50 countries.

Malvinder Singh
Doubled profits as CEO of Ranbaxy, India’s largest pharma company, producing drugs whose patents have expired (generics) at lower cost. Made acquisitions which brought scale to Ranbaxy and resulted in its ascent to the global top 10 generics companies, with sales of $1.7 billion and exports to 150 countries.

Tulsi Tanti
Chairman of Suzlon Energy, the world’s third largest supplier of wind turbines and other wind power solutions. The firm is Asia’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, with a presence in 21 countries and five continents.


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I am so glad to know that my country is growing so fast and at such astounding speed. But please do not overlook our poor people. Please provide enough for them. Thanks

Posted by Ajoy Adhikari | Report as abusive

Today morning, i got very good news and writings from you.
Thanks for showing all existing great personalities to their growth fields.
I have already written a number of times about excellent growth on economic and social fronts from Brazil,Russia,China and India to this well known news website and to other world famous news channels.
You have not mentioned the good growth of SUN TV and Cavin Care consumer products from South India.
In one side, India is progressing and an eye to world trade and commerce,more capital flow,more industries,very good backing by information technology sphere and on other side, the existing government, social welfare agencies and big corporate houses involvement for have not progress at the earliest.
Thanks for your wonderful writings on India!s new wealth creators, their interests for nation economic upward from time to time.
I wish that, Indian poor community!s tears should be wiped out as early as possible.

Posted by krishnamurthi ramachandran | Report as abusive

It seems that this is a great mix from industries ranging from IT ,Biotechnology,Engineering and Entertainment and all these business leaders from INDIA have an outstanding vision to guide the country as a world leader.

Posted by amit shah | Report as abusive

kudos to all these eminent personalities…

Posted by vijay honnungar | Report as abusive

with the GDP trebled since 1998 and India to be one of the wealthiest country by 2050 makes me feel proud and I hope that the poor and homeless population also grow towards the same and make our Country one of the Nations having poverty & unemployemnt rate fallen to zero.

Posted by Marina | Report as abusive

I’m glad you’re proud of your country but how is this impressive. I worked a bit with American firms that have technology branches in India; and being in India I can’t help but feel that your on the wrong track. It appeared to an outsider that the few powerful Indian companies where able to divide and conquer everything. The same company who provides support and development to western companies also manufactures cars … the same company who makes the beer I’m drinking also owns the hotel and other services. How is this good? This is a mark of a system and way of thinking where money and power make right. Government rubber stamps anything and is used to block any real competition. This way of thinking is also infectious and it leads a journalist who should know better to tout the virtues of a system that is heavily nepotistic. A system that is better at making millionaires into billionaires then making middle class from the poor. I’ve seen Forbes list of India billionaires and the vast majority come from wealthy families. So you can see why i say this is not impressive. When the average Indian driver who works 17hrs a day (like mine did) can afford to by the car he drives then I’ll be impressed with India.

Posted by Juls | Report as abusive

People are starving, uneducated, who have education are jobless, value of the life in India is less than a cattle, we do the same work in 20 USD a day for which the standard rates are more than 250 per day. And our government keep blowing the trumpet of India Shining. Growing population is a major problem but no body cares. People have to fight each and every day for the bread. And they keep projecting all is well. Yes India is growing fast for the 20 % of the people for the rest it is the matter of the bread only which they don’t get easily. Soon we will surpass the China in population, we already have one of the highest density in the world but no one cares. God help India.

Posted by Anand | Report as abusive

The good thing about these people is that they have created jobs for Indian People as against the government which has shredded its job responsibility

Posted by Dr Samit | Report as abusive

I agree with Anand. Most of our enterprenuers are from wealthy family. While it is good to see India growing this way in almost all fields, i get concerned the moment i step out on the street, where you find people struggling to make ends meet. What i wonder is, how many enterprenuers have we made from this lot? Not a substantial number i guess.

Posted by Nijesh | Report as abusive

Don’t blame the successful corporate moguls for the ineffectiveness of the government to curb population and thus reduce poverty and improve public hygiene.

India is where she is now in world economy only because of the English plundering our wealth and educating us through missions.

Being the worlds largest democracy, sorry, largest illiterate democracy makes it easy for the politicians to buy votes.

So stop these inane comments about how corporate India needs to chill while the poor are suffering. Like the numbskulls who say India shouldn’t go to the moon because there is so much poverty.

They are entirely different entities and have no direct effect on each other. The one thing these major corporations can do, more than adopting poor communities, is to pressure the government into curbing the population. Till this is done there is no end in sight and this is exactly what the politicians want.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

I’m a very proud Indian (although not born in India)but my pride gets dagger-ed the minute I land in Mumbai.India seriously needs to pull-up it’s sleeves and start improving or shall I say need to create an infrastructure.There is still no clean water,no proper drainage,we do have lots of pollution and of coarse lots of trash every.
Besides that All Is Well!!!

Posted by B C Patel | Report as abusive

“India is where she is now in world economy only because of the English plundering our wealth and educating us through missions.”

What I meant was although the English invaded us they gave us English, and that gave us unity.

When the moghuls invaded us, they gave us disparity by forcibly converting many of our people to their kind.
I know I digress, but just wanted to make my point clear.

And like Patel, I am a very proud Indian too, and the moment we land at an Indian airport, worst of all, Mumbai, thats when we know how backward we still are compared to the rest of the world. Why dont the corporate giants stick something into the government to fix the main gateways (to the rest of the world at least), even if they cant fix the mess deep within.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

Growth thoery indeed. But no Wealth theory on a hip to be Square planet

Posted by Eden and Apple | Report as abusive

Whatever be the deficiencies in our country today ,like poor roads,sanitation,lack of clean drinking water,medical facilities etc,are largely attributable to poor governance. If the corporates /businessmen deliver such poor services they will not suvive….
I don’t understand how corporate giants can fix the mess created by the government bodies or general public( mess created by lack of basic civic sense by most of us..)

As patel rightly pointed out ,you can make out the difference the moment you enter an airport managed by a private developer say Delhi airport and any other airport managed by the government. I am sure the experience is no different if you visit a govt hospital..,govt school or any govt office for that matter.Why blame Corporate Giants…

Posted by Rajeshwar | Report as abusive

No invention or business success is worthwhile unless it serves to uplift common man – JRD Tata.
Think.. Rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer in India.

Posted by Suresh | Report as abusive

It is true that India has come a long way since Independence, but a lot remains to be done. Creating better living conditions, puplic transportation, controlling pollution, education and jobs for the 500 million poor, creating better consumer products in a non polluting and energyefficient way, recycling waste, maintaining and redesigning old cities, are some of the challanges that India faces today.

Posted by Tilak Bnaerjee | Report as abusive

Stop with the India bashing… I agree that Infrastructure has to be improved, but you have to understand that nothing can be done overnight…It is working towards it, India is set to add 7000 kms of new roads every year…Although we got independence in 1947, in reality we got the financial independence in 1991 when economic reforms took place..One has to be proud for what India was able to achieve in mere 20 years..India is considered a major economy and her confidence is being taken into consideration when making a global decision…yet there is still a lot to be achieved.

To all Indians here, one has to ask themselves what they are doing to develop their own country, rather than bashing about India, passing judgments in a forum.

Posted by Sundeep | Report as abusive

Sundeep…we ran away from it :)

No doubt you are right, but things will improve only when we can contain our population. Right now the governments dont seem to be too interested in that. So you know where you can put your 7000kms of road when the poor are selling their kidneys ‘to survive’.

Posted by raj | Report as abusive