MPT’s loss, State’s gain

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on March 08, 2011 Published on March 07, 2011




The Maharashtra government, it appears, does not want to lose its senior bureaucrats to the Centre. It wants the best men to head the State undertakings. It has called Mr Rahul Asthana, Chairman, Mumbai Port, back to the State before his term ended. The buzz is that he is going to head MMRDA. “Gone are the glorious days of Mumbai Port,” said an official, reminiscing about the time when the bureaucrats in the State cadre would compete with one another for the post at the premier port.

Holy hiring!

At the recent TiE Summit in Mumbai, a host of exhibitors were vying for delegate attention. Among them was a 10-year old talent search company offering a ‘Zero Cost Fresher / Campus Hiring Solution, Rishi Cool'. Taking the ‘Rishi' line, the company's representatives including the founder were dressed in saffron and holy beads, holding large saffron ‘holy staffs' which advertised their offering. Without waiting for delegates to come to the stalls, the bright saffron robes mingled with the suits, providing much-needed visual relief!

A billion dollars in a shot!

“Will you be in position to deploy all the Rs 10,000 crore?,” SBI Chairman O.P .Bhatt was asked this ‘billion-dollar' question by a young TV journalist at a recent press conference. This was with reference to the of SBI's retail bonds. Pat came the reply: “We can deploy as much and more in a single shot in a day!” It's small wonder that SBI is called the ‘Big Daddy' in banking circles.

Of fame and name

When your name has a wide recall, you tend to feel happy. But for Dr Anji Reddy, Founder-Chairman of pharma major Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, popularity had different connotations. “When I told somebody sometime back that I am Anji Reddy, he said: “Oh! You are Anji Reddy, and I was beginning to feel happy that I was well known,” Dr Reddy recalled while accepting the Genome Valley Excellence award at the recent BioAsia 2011 event. But Dr Reddy's happiness was short-lived as he was dubbed a ‘copycat' at the same meeting, as his company was involved in making generic drugs. However, this jibe was also a motivating factor for Dr Reddy to take up innovation. “Innovation will continue and soon a drug will be developed from India,” he declared. Dr Reddy's Laboratories is currently working on balaglitazone, an anti-diabetic molecule and scouting for partners to commence Phase III trials.

Big talk, but inaudible

When an event is organised by a market-savvy company and the media is invited , one expects the proceedings to be audible. More so, if the event is a seminar with a line-up of speakers one is keen to listen to. What explains a technology company hosting the seminar in an auditorium three sizes too small , and an audio system that tests the hearing ability? And to think an industry body like IAMAI partnered this event, which was hosted in Mumbai recently! Journalists asked for the video recording of the event, and that hasn't arrived yet. Something wrong with the video- recording equipment as well?

Voters come last

There was quite a lot of euphoria when the Supreme Court decided to send home P. J. Thomas , Chief Vigilance Commissioner. In many ways it looked like a gentle reminder that not all is lost in the scam-tainted world of politics. But, on Saturday, Lalit Modi tweeted on the revocation of his passport that this is the most corrupt government in the history of India, sending quite a few corporate minds reeling. One pointed out that dignified posts were occupied by not-so-upright men. Another said it was time someone told the Prime Minister that, apart from the compulsions of coalition, he must remember that people voted both his party and his alliance partners to power, to underline whom he was accountable to first.

The winner is ....

Will there be a rollback of duty on iron ore exports, as proposed in the Union Budget?

A partial rollback cannot be ruled out, feels the iron ore mining and trading lobby which is believed to be pulling strings at the right levels.

The duty, it is said, has been proposed at the behest of the steel industry in general, and a private sector steel magnate in particular having considerable clout with the powers-that-be. But then, as everybody knows, the mining and trading lobby too is not one to give up easily.

Friends, family, fools

When wannabe entrepreneurs dream of making it big with their ‘great ideas', it is friends and family members who believe in those dreams and end up with huge losses. They provide the crucial seed funding and are popularly referred to as a category called ‘Friends and Family'. There is a logical extension to this category called ‘angel' and ‘private equity' funds that come in the second phase. A key member of an angel firm calls this another ‘F' that represents a category called ‘Fools'. Addressing a gathering of budding entrepreneurs recently in Hyderabad, he quipped that the early stage investors end up as ‘Fools' as some entrepreneurs fail to deliver. A would-be entrepreneur working on a product idea had the last laugh on this. “Why call only one category of investors Fools?,” he asked.


Bengali Renaissance

Finance Minister: Mukherjee;

Chief Economic Advisor: Basu;

Revenue Secretary: Mitra;

CBDT Chairman: Majumdar; and

CBEC Chairman: Dutt-Majumdar

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Published on March 07, 2011
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