Automobile industry aims to create 6.5 crore jobs by 2026

Nov 16, 2016 0

New Delhi– The Indian automobile sector aims to contribute over 12 per cent to the gross domestic product of the country, and create nearly 6.5 crore additional jobs by 2026 over the next decade, said Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Maruti Suzuki India, on Wednesday.

“Our vision is that over the next decade, the Indian Automobile sector must contribute in excess of 12 per cent of the country’s GDP. We want to create nearly 65 million additional jobs by 2026,” Ayukawa said.

According to Ayukawa, at present the automobile industry contributes around 7.1 per cent to the GDP of India and employees nearly 32 million people directly or indirectly.

In the last ten years, the automobile industry has invested around $35 billion.

“Our responsibility towards the communities where we are operating also increases. It’s our duty to develop a sustainable, mutually beneficial and inclusive socio-economic ecosystem,” he said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer’s (SIAM) first ever CSR (corporate social responsibility) conclave.

“Over the past 10 years, the Indian automobile industry has made significant contribution to the socio-economic development of village communities. Fortunately, our efforts are well aligned with the Government’s flagship missions of Clean India and Skill India.”

Ayukawa said by 2026, the automobile industry not only seeks to increase mobility, but will also focus on promoting safe, comfortable and environment friendly mobility.

“Our responsibility also entails minimising the negative impacts of use automobiles. We have to address issues like congestion, air pollution, global warming and road accidents,” said Ayukawa.

“Our aim is to be among the top three global automobile markets. This will only happen if we create safe, efficient and environment friendly vehicles.” (IANS)

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Santhana Krishnan Joins Internet of Things Smart City Company as President

Nov 16, 2016 0

Boston– CIMCON Lighting, Inc., a provider of software powered LED controllers and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled Smart City lighting management solution, announced the appointment of Santhana Krishnan as President effective immediately.

Krishnan will be responsible for the company’s sales and marketing, including managed IoT services, Lighting-as-a-Service and expanding its Smart City solution portfolio.

Santhana Krishnan

Santhana Krishnan

“Today, cities spend unto 40% of energy costs on street lighting.  With CIMCON’s IoT enabled Smart City lighting management application cities can reduce up to 30% of energy costs and up to 70% of maintenance costs,” said Krishnan, who brings with him over 20 years’ experience in IT infrastructure management software, managed services and Software-as-a-Service, most recently at CA Technologies where he managed strategy, business development and M&A for a $300 million business unit.

With urbanization in developing economies 60 percent of the worlds population – about 4.7 billion people – will live in cities by 2025, according to market reports. Through “smart city” initiatives, cities are adopting IoT applications to improve services, conserve energy and water, relieve traffic congestion and improve quality of life. McKinsey Global Institute estimates impact of the IoT in cities could be $930 billion to $1.7 trillion globally in 2025. The estimates are based on value of improved health and safety, the value of time saved through IoT applications, and more efficient use of resources.

Previously, Krishnan was Founder and CEO of InteQ, a pioneer in managed services which remotely managed mission-critical IT infrastructure for xSPs and enterprise organizations located in over 90 countries.  Prior to InteQ, he worked at HP and IBM.

“Rapid urbanization is forcing cities to consider IoT and Smart City technologies, and CIMCON is well positioned to be the foundation for connected cities,” said Anil Agrawal, Founder and CEO of CIMCON Lighting. “We are delighted to have Santhana join the CIMCON team. His experience coupled with industry insight and vision will be a tremendous asset in accelerating the company’s growth by further developing and commercializing compelling smart city applications.”

“I am very happy to be joining CIMCON at such an exciting time for the company as it continues to expand its global presence,” said Krishnan.  “There is a tremendous opportunity to deliver IoT enabled applications that empower cities and utility providers to capitalize on the Smart City movement.”

There are over 315 million street lights worldwide and 42% of the street lights will be networked to make them “smart” over the course of the next decade. Global Internet of Things (IoT) investment in street light market will cumulatively reach $69.5 billion over the next decade, according to a new study published by Northeast Group, LLC.

CIMCON Lighting provides Internet of Things (IoT) enabled solutions that help cities run smarter while reducing costs. The company uses LED lighting to create a wireless sensor network and platform allowing cities to implement a variety of Smart City applications to manage outdoor lighting, meter electric vehicle chargers, monitor air quality, improve public safety and security, optimize parking, traffic and waste management to improve the quality of life for city residents. CIMCON’s software powered street light controllers and lighting management solution have been implemented in over 50 cities in 16 countries.

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Arby’s Restaurant Group Inks Deal with Parikh Network, LLC to Open 50 New Restaurants

Nov 7, 2016 0

ATLANTA— Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), parent company of the franchisor of the Arby’s brand, has announced a new development agreement with Parikh Network, LLC, a new franchisee to the Arby’s brand, to open 50 new restaurants over the next eight years.

“There has never been a better time to join the Arby’s brand,” said Ashish Parikh, CEO, Parikh Network, LL

As part of the transaction, Parikh Network also purchased 18 ARG-owned Arby’s restaurants in the Baltimore, MD and Harrisburg, PA markets from which to grow their Arby’s business.

Parikh Network is led by brothers, Ashish Parikh, CEO, and Amish Parikh, President, who began in the franchise business in 2006 and grew their portfolio to include more than 100 restaurants operating under another quick

http://www.haigwoodstudios.com

http://www.haigwoodstudios.com

service restaurant brand name. Franchise Times named Parikh Network, LLC on their 2016 “Restaurant 200” list (76th largest franchise company).

“We are thrilled to welcome Parikh Network into the Arby’s family,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. “Their track record of operational excellence, including a focus on guest service, and their proven ability to grow their business through new restaurant development year after year has been incredibly impressive.”

“There has never been a better time to join the Arby’s brand,” said Ashish Parikh, CEO, Parikh Network, LLC. “With the significant business momentum and continued industry outperformance, the future is very bright for Arby’s. Our family business is eager to grow by building new restaurants in the Arby’s system.”

Arby’s remains on track with its goal to surpass $4 billion in total system-wide same-store sales (SSS) by the end of 2018. The Brand has achieved 24 consecutive quarters of SSS growth and 15 consecutive quarters of industry outperformance.

 

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First time In 5 years, public sector units profits fell in 2015

Oct 20, 2016 0

By Prabhpreet Singh Sood

For the first time in five years, the profits of Indias state-owned companies shrank, by about 20 per cent in 2015, with 77 public-sector units (PSUs) reporting losses and contribution to the exchequer dropping Rs 20,000 crore ($3 billion) over the previous year, according to the latest government data available.

The drop in profits — from Rs 1.28 lakh crore ($22 billion) to Rs 1.03 lakh crore ($17 billion) — over 2013-14 comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2016 Independence-day declaration that a “new culture” had helped flag carrie Air India and telephony provider Bharat Sachar Nigam Limited (BSNL) improve their performance.

As many as 235 PSUs — companies in which the central government or other government companies held at least 51 per cent of shares — surveyed by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and public enterprises saw profits drop in a year that India’s economy grew 7.3 per cent over 4.7 per cent in 2013-14.

“In the past, government companies accounted for a large share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), today they don’t,” said P. Rameshan, former director of the Indian Institute of Management-Rohtak.

India had 298 PSUs in 2015-16 — of which 63 have not yet started operations — in sectors that include mining (Coal India Ltd, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), manufacturing (Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum), services (BSNL, Air India), electricity (National Thermal Power Corporation) and agriculture (National Seeds Corporation).

Except electricity, PSUs in other sectors reported a fall in profits or a rise in losses during 2014-15 compared with the previous year.

PSU contribution to the exchequer dropped Rs 20,000 crore in 2014-15

The government’s companies contributed Rs 20,000 crore less to the public exchequer in 2014-15 than they did the previous year, when they generated Rs 2.2 lakh crore.

Even the top profit-making PSUs — companies such as ONGC, Coal India Ltd, Indian Oil and NTPC — saw a 13 per cent dip in profits.

A leading reason for this was the global slowdown and weakening of international oil prices, leading to a 29 per cent fall in export earnings and affecting manufacturing companies.

“The steel industry, one of the biggest in terms of turnover, suffered because of the fall in oil prices,” said Anand Kumar, former director of Indian Oil Corporation, India’s largest company by revenue in 2014. Nearly 10 per cent of steel industry’s demand comes from the petroleum industry, which is facing a slump due to fall in crude oil prices.

As the world gradually recovered in 2014-15, demand for major commodities from India, such as coal and metal, also fell.

Ten at the bottom account for 85 per cent of losses

In 2014-15, 10 loss-making PSUs accounted for 85 per cent of all PSU losses: Rs 27,000 crore, or Rs 4,000 crore more than the previous year. BSNL, Air India and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd were the biggest losers.

These companies could not cope with competition, said Rameshan. “BSNL is but a mere fringe player in the telecom industry today,” he said. “Air India, which lost its status as the market leader long ago, is no different.”

Modi said that Air India had made an operating profit of Rs 100 crore in the financial year 2015-16, but as FactChecker.in reported in August 2016, that is 0.0023 times the airline’s accumulated losses, now more than Rs 44,000 crore ($7.3 billion) — equal to India’s annual health budget — and borrowing has grown to more than Rs 38,000 crore ($6.3 billion), IndiaSpend reported in September 2015.

PSUs had also fallen behind on technology, said Hareendran Bhaskaran, dean of Bhavan’s Royal Institute of Management, Kochi.

The PSU workforce dropped by 50,000, but employees were paid more

The PSU workforce was trimmed by nearly 50,000 over the last one year, but the per capita expense on employees rose 10 per cent over the same period.

After economic reforms in 1991, private-sector competition, it was hoped, would goad PSUs to reform and improve. But most old problems continue.

“There is a lot of backseat driving by the government,” said Alok Perti, former secretary, Ministry of Coal. “Public sector companies that have government directors are likely to see them dictating what course of action should be taken. In many cases, the ministry dictates.”

In 2011, the S.K. Roongta Committee, to suggest PSU reforms, said: “Over-governance promotes conservative, cautious and risk-averse organisational culture, with procedures being paramount and outcomes secondary.”

The committee recommended a fixed tenure of three years for PSU heads and suggested that 50 more companies be listed on the stock exchanges over the next five years. Not a single company was listed since the recommendation was made.

“That (Roongta report) must be now gathering dust in the corridors of bureaucracy,” said Kumar. “Nobody wants to antagonise the master, the politician.”

The divestment plan is revived, but 2015-16 target falls short by 66 per cent

Earlier this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government should “leverage the assets” — meaning, sell stakes, land and manufacturing units — of PSUs to raise money for infrastructure.

However, a little more than a third of the Rs 69,500-crore target for 2015-16 — to be achieved by selling stakes or closing loss-making PSUs — was achieved.

Perti said the government’s plan to sell stakes would make little difference to the companies. “These will remain government companies, and these companies have the drawback of being run as government departments, rather than companies,” he said. (IANS)

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Despite smartphones, Indian DSLR market at cusp of giant leap

Oct 17, 2016 0

By Anuj Sharma

New Delhi– Despite smartphone makers launching devices with high-end camera specifications to woo amateur shooters, the photography market in India is at the cusp of a significant leap and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are, in fact, looking at stupendous growth in the months to come, a top Canon India executive has said.

With over 1,100 registered patented technologies in digital cameras, 2,300 in inkjet printers, 5,600 in multi-functional printers (MFPs) and more than 200 in scanners, Canon has emerged as one of the leading global technology innovators in the digital imaging space.

Kazutada Kobayashi

Kazutada Kobayashi

“India is one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. I am more than happy that we are running the business successfully with DSLR cameras in the country despite the onslaught of camera-specific smartphones. We are witnessing a healthy growth rate of around 8-9 per cent in the camera market,” Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India, told IANS.

During the first half of 2016, the camera division contributed about 44 per cent to total revenue for Canon India. “Geographically speaking, the southern region has been the major contributor for revenue escalation, with a 32 per cent contribution,” Kobayashi added.

“We closed the first half with nine per cent growth as compared to the similar period last year. This year, we have focused on restructuring and expansion of our key domains. We plan to achieve a double-digit growth (about 10 per cent) by the end of the year,” the executive added.

Canon’s research and development centre “ISDC” is located in Bengaluru and works on product development and research in the area of system LSI design and verification, embedded operating system (OS) and middleware technologies for cameras, multifunction printers, network surveillance cameras and healthcare modalities.

The centre produces software not only for DSLR cameras but also for security cameras and printers.

According to Kobayashi, the Indian market is different as the need is dynamic. “You can’t take a break in India as the market keeps moving. This year, we aim to finish at around Rs 2,350 crore compared to Rs 2,158 crore last year in overall revenue for Canon India,” the Canon executive told IANS.

“For 2017-2019, we aim to grow by another 10 per cent year-on-year and reach another 33 per cent by the end of 2019 compared to this year,” Kobayashi noted.

India is growing much faster than Hong Kong or Germany or the Netherlands, Kobayashi said, adding that these are exciting times not only for Canon but also for the industry as well.

“Seeing the growth potential, we have also invested in new domains which include security cameras, medical cameras, projectors and scanners,” the executive pointed out.

With customer experience as priority, Canon has opened a record 200 Image Square stores in India till date. “We are aiming to expand our customer outreach by adding 40 more stores and close the year with a count of 240,” Kobayashi said.

Canon recently launched “EOS 5D Mark IV”, a full-frame, all-rounder camera targeted at professional photographers, primarily in the fields of wedding, commercial/advertising and wildlife photography.

The device gives high-quality images, high-speed performance along with excellent resolution under all lighting conditions.

“This festive season we are announcing the special offer of a Moto pulse headset with Canon EOS 1300D or EOS 700D cameras,” Kobayashi said. (IANS)

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Russia’s Rosneft to acquire 98% in Essar Oil for $10.9 billion

Oct 15, 2016 0

Benaulim, Goa– Russia’s Rosneft and an investment consortium led by Trafigura on Saturday said they have signed a pact to acquire 98 per cent stake in Essar Oil, and pay another $2 billion to buy Vadinar Port from the Indian industrial group.

“The all-cash deal encompasses Essar Oil’s 20 million-tonne refinery in Gujarat, India, and its pan-India retail outlets. The closing of the transaction is conditional upon receiving requisite regulatory approvals and other customary conditions,” the company said.

“The parties expect to obtain the relevant approvals before the end of this year.”

The announcement came after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin here.

Rosneft is one of the world’s largest petroleum companies with revenues of over $80 billion. It is engaged mainly in oil and gas exploration and production, refining and product marketing in Russia and across countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The first deal involves the sale of 49 per cent in Essar Oil to Petrol Complex, a subsidiary of Rosneft, while the second envisages the sale of the remaining 49 per cent to Kesani Enterprises, owned by a consortium led by Trafigura and United Capital Partners.

“An additional $2 billion will be paid for the acquisition of Vadinar Port, which has world-class storage and import and export facilities,” the company said.

Trafigura is a leading independent commodity trading and logistics group with revenues of $100 billion. United Capital Partners (UCP) is a large independent Russian private investment group with investments of over $3.5 billion in various industrial sectors.

“It is a historic day for Essar,” Essar Chairman Shashi Ruia said. “The transaction demonstrates our ability to build world-class assets and create immense value in our businesses. The monetisation of our stake in Essar Oil will help drive the next level of growth for our other businesses.”

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TiE-Boston Appoints Laura Teicher as its New Executive Director

Oct 6, 2016 0

CAMBRIDGE, MA—TiE-Boston, the local chapter of TiE-Global, one of the largest global not-for-profit organizations fostering entrepreneurship in the world, has appointed Laura Teicher as its new Executive Director. She replaces Anu Yadav, who left the second oldest TiE chapter in July.

“Laura brings a passion for impactful leadership grounded in experience managing business operations that will help us to strengthen current programs and events, grow our community, and establish ourselves as leaders in the eco system,” said TiE-Boston President Praveen Tailam.

Laura Teicher (Photo: Linkedin)

Laura Teicher (Photo: Linkedin)

Teicher served as Events Chair for two years and recently completed a term as President of the Boston chapter of Net Impact, a global association that connects and empowers professionals. She earned her MBA from Boston University. She completed portions of her studies in China and Brazil.

Her prior work includes three years with the Massachusetts Senate.

Since 1997, TiE-Boston has been supporting entrepreneurs by offering education, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. TiE-Boston connects entrepreneurs with each other and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, including seasoned serial entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, service providers, and early customers.

TiE-Boston is a chapter of TiE-Global, the largest global not-for-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship.  TiE-Boston members leverage the global network of members from 61 chapters in 18 countries. TiE has 12,000 members throughout the world, and has contributed over $250 billion in wealth creation.

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Venkat Srinivasan Writes a Book on the Intelligent Enterprise, Talks About Enterprise of the Future

Oct 2, 2016 0

DEDHAM, MA—In his first book, “The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data,” serial entrepreneur Venkat Srinivasan explores innovative developments in artificial intelligence and more importantly talks about how today’s and tomorrow’s enterprises should be organized.

In an exclusive video interview with INDIA New England News, Srinivasan, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dedham, MA-based RAGE Frameworks Inc., talks about the central message of his book and future business enterprise. Click here to watch the interview.

The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data presents a cutting-edge approach to how enterprises should organize and function. The book was published this month by Wiley.

the-intelligent-enterpriseRAGE Frameworks, which Srinivasan founded in 2004, supports the creation of intelligent business process automation solutions and cognitive intelligence solutions for global corporations. Prior to RAGE Frameworks, Srinivasan founded E-Credit, which he sold in 1999. Srinivasan is an entrepreneur and holds several patents in the area of knowledge-based technology architectures. He is the author of two edited volumes and over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as an associate professor in the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University.

“The enterprise of tomorrow has the opportunity to be intelligent in addition to being efficient,” Srinivasan writes in the preface of his book. “Flexible software frameworks and the ability to understand the meaning of unstructured documents will provide enormous power to enterprises in designing an entirely new architecture for doing business.”

Srinivasan’s book is already receiving great reviews from his peers and experts.

“Srinivasan gives us a practical and provocative guide for rethinking our business process … calling us all to action around rapid development of our old, hierarchical structures into flexible customer centric competitive force …. A must read for today’s business leader” says Mark Nunnelly, Executive Director, MassIT, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Managing Director, Bain Capital.

Adds Bharat Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School: “’Efficiency,’ ‘agile,’ and ‘analytics’ used to be the rage. Venkat Srinivasan explains in this provocative book why organizations can no longer afford to stop there. They need to move beyond – to be ‘intelligent.’ It isn’t just theory. He’s done it.”

Venkat Srinivasan

Venkat Srinivasan

Srinivasan touches on key challenges that enterprises face today, and systematically outlines modern enterprise architecture through a detailed discussion of the inseparable elements of such architecture: efficiency, flexibility, and intelligence. This architecture enables rapid responses to market needs by sensing important developments in internal and external environments in real time. Illustrating all of these elements in an integrated fashion, The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data also features:

  • A detailed discussion on issues of time-to-market and flexibility with respect to enterprise application technology,
  • Novel analyses illustrated through extensive real-world case studies to help readers better understand the applicability of the architecture and concepts,
  • Various applications of natural language processing to real-world business transactions, and
  • Practical approaches for designing and building intelligent enterprises.

“The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data is an appropriate reference for business executives, information technology professionals, data scientists, and management consultants,” says the publisher Wiley. “The book is also an excellent supplementary textbook for upper-undergraduate and graduate-level courses in business intelligence, data mining, big data, and business process automation.”

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Forbes magazine calculates Trump’s fortune at $3.7 billion

Sep 28, 2016 0

New York– The fortune of Republican presidential nominee and real estate magnate Donald Trump currently is estimated at some $3.7 billion, while his debts exceed $1.13 billion, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday.

According to the magazine, Trump, who to date has refused to make public his tax returns claiming that he cannot do so because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, has seen his fortune decline by some $800 million over the past year, EFE news reported.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

“Forbes has been scouring Trump’s fortune for 34 years. Sometimes he’s up, sometimes he down — and for much of the 1990s he was out of the three-comma club,” with a net worth of less than $1 billion, the magazine said.

Forbes said that of the 28 assets or asset classes the mogul owns, most of them in real estate, 18 lost value over the past 12 months due, among other things, to the “softening” of the New York real estate market.

The jewel in the crown of his empire, Trump Tower on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, is valued at some $471 million, some $159 million less than a year ago, while the debt on the iconic property rose to $100 million.

Forbes also provided estimated valuations of other properties owned by Trump such as the 40 Wall Street building, valued at $501 million with a debt of $156 million, and his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, valued at $150 million, some $50 million less than a year ago, EEF news added.

The magazine also said that seven of Trump’s investments have increased in value over the past year, including San Francisco’s second-tallest building — 555 California Street — in which he owns a 30 per cent share, valued at $317 million, up $32 million from last year.

In addition, the magazine said that the only real estate deal that the billionaire closed this past year was to buy an industrial park in Charleston, South Carolina, valued at some $3.5 million.

Forbes also said that Trump has given some $7 million of his money to his election campaign and loaned it another $48 million, although the magazine expressed certainty that he would not recover those expenditures.

And Trump’s 10 golf courses in six US states plus the District of Columbia were valued at $225 million, including estimated debt of $18.5 million.

Meanwhile, the mogul has some $230 million in cash, $97 million less than a year ago, and also owns three helicopters and two private jets valued at some $35 million in total, the magazine said. (IANS)

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Book Review: Making of a media empire and how hubris and miscalculations lost it

Sep 18, 2016 0

By Vikas Datta

Title: Network18 – The Audacious Story of a Start-up that Became a Media Empire; Author: Indira Kannan; Publisher: Portfolio Penguin; Pages: 352; Price: Rs 699

It was a start-up, even before the word was coined, and perhaps the best example of the creative achievements spurred by India’s path-breaking economic reforms since 1991. But the journey of Raghav Bahl from heading a small production company to a media conglomerate also demonstrates the moral and economic choices necessary in such a venture, which may not always mean a happy ending.

The story of TV18’s transformation into Network 18, before it changed hands, is also a tale of inspired vision, of audacious risk-taking, of alternating crises and opportunities, of last-minute negotiations reversing agreed outcomes, struggles with obdurate bureaucrats, which could not envisage or ignored the media’s special circumstances, and above all, the inexorable laws of the market. And Indira Kannan, who was on board for most of the journey, tells it like a cliff-hanger it perhaps would have been.

network18Kannan, who joined TV18 in 1995 when it was still a production company — known for its slick shows for existing cable networks — saw it become a channel itself in 1999, diversify immensely through the first decade of the new millennium and was with it till 2011. She starts her story in May 1995 with one of the first major controversies it faced.

There would be few now who would remember the bold and sassy “The Nikki Show” hosted by British-Indian actress and Kabir Bedi’s then wife on Star Plus, as it went off air after a few episodes. However one notorious edition was enough to threaten to land the host, guest and prominent gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi, as well as Bahl and his partner Sanjay Ray Chaudhri, (or RayC as he was known) and Star TV owner Rupert Murdoch behind bars for denigrating the Mahatma.

And from this — possibly the first but unfortunately not the last time the electronic media figured in an unsavoury controversy that became politicised — starts the account of a venture that would utterly change the face of media, and the business of media, in India in the decades to come.

From there, Kannan takes us back to the circumstances in which TV18 was started in 1991. With short but pertinent biographies of the main protagonists and a string of telling anecdotes, she writes of the full advantage they took of opportunities offered by the advent of cable TV and the arrival of BBC, Murdoch’s Star, and later Zee, to slowly become a well-recognised brand. There are also the forays with Business TV and its television arm, and later with ABN in association with the Hindujas, both of which had less than the desired outcomes, and ended on a messy note.

The book takes up TV18’s transformation into a business channel, the broadening into news and general programming — where the two developments that most stand out are the way that CNN, which had come to an agreement with NDTV, was convinced to tie up with them instead, and how bureaucratic opposition to its telecast was sort of short-circuited with the “accidental” transmission of a message by then Information and Broadcasting Minister, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi.

Another key episode is the background of the “sting” of the alleged bribery of MPs ahead of the 2008 trust vote in the Manmohan Singh government — where Bahl’s usual hands-off approach proved costly — and the consequences that ensued.

On the other hand, Kannan makes no attempt to hide the miscalculations and the mistakes, in particular, a point of hubris, which began the road towards eventual change of ownership. Though best related in the foreword contributed by Bahl himself, it is also moot that it is easier to be wise after the incident, and many consequences of decisions are not apparent till much later.

But while telling the story of Bahl and his ambitious venture, the account also offers an incisive look at the development of TV programming and the media business over the last three decades and more, particularly in the post-liberalisation phase. Kannan has written a racy, well-written book, though without critical appraisal of the man who was her boss for a long time. Perhaps she was too close to the man or the events to be too critical. Nevertheless, it serves as a valuable read for both businessmen and media persons.

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