It's a hard job running a business. It's
even harder to run a business and manage to eat right at the same
time. Still, in this day and age of dietary fads, an increasing
number of executives do manage to control what they eat. Here, we
go through the diets of corporate India's top honchos and get them
analysed by dietician Ishi Khosla. The common thread: most have
ketogenic (that's high protein, very low carbohydrate) diets. Unlike
management styles, however, it's not recommended to do a 'follow
the leader' routine on diets; everyone must find a diet that suits
them. The next few pages make for some 'hungry' reading.
Vice Chairman and CEO, EXL Services
"My weight has been the same for the
last 20 years"
DIET: Talwar is a health freak. Lots
of fruits and veggies in his diet, with muffins for tea and a single
roti with dal for dinner. And the occasional ice cream.
KHOSLA SAYS: He is a small eater and
is falling short of proteins, dairy products and fish. The abundance
of fresh fruits is good. He should replace the muffin with some
yoghurt and nuts.
Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group
"I am a conservative vegetarian
and dislike carbohydrates"
DIET: Papaya and coffee for breakfast.
Veggies, salads and soups for lunch. She makes sure that oil, masala
and carbs stay as far away as possible.
KHOSLA SAYS: Being a woman, she
definitely needs more dairy products. She also needs more proteins
and protective foods like nuts.
Managing Director, IMG/TWI
"The one thing that does not work
for me is sugar and I try and avoid it"
DIET: Wholesome breakfast with fruits,
cereal, juice, brown bread toast and an egg-white omelette. Light
lunches and early dinners, and he compensates for the many dine
outs by regular swimming.
KHOSLA SAYS: His diet sounds good. He just needs to add some
yoghurt, soya and nuts. At his age he should just concentrate on
MD/CEO, Electrolux Kelvinator India
"My weakness is things made of potatoes,
especially stuffed capsicum"
DIET: Fruits and almonds for breakfast; a home-cooked lunch.
And he also skips meals. When this correspondent contacted him,
he was eating a burger at the Bangkok airport.
KHOSLA SAYS: To avoid acidity, he should not skip meals.
He should keep fruits in the car and office. There aren't enough
dairy products in his diet, though the almonds are good. He should
include functional foods like soya, amla and seeds.
Chairman, Godrej Group
"I love red meat and cut down on other
things to compensate for it"
DIET: Fruits for breakfast, beans and
chana for lunch and a light dinner. Loves fine dining, especially
Italian and French cuisine. However, he does hit the exercise trail,
because, as he himself admits, he puts on the pounds too easily.
KHOSLA SAYS: The exercise routine is a good strategy for
a balanced diet. He should just make sure that he includes more
fruits and green vegetables in his daily diet. And if the red meat
is frequently included in the diet, the meat should be lean and
the portion size must be below 100 gms.
"I don't know what white bread looks
DIET: No oil and lots of proteins. Basically lassi, fruit,
muesli, brown bread sandwiches, pasta and roti. And "a couple
of beers" with the lads three times a week.
KHOSLA SAYS: For Colvyn, the "no oil" bit is okay.
He needs to balance this out by consuming other fats. Lassi is the
only protein in his diet, so he needs to beef up on that front.
What is apparent is, in fact, his intake of more carbs and less
proteins. He is low on dairy and protective foods like nuts and
Managing Director, Dr. Reddy's
"The most important thing is to eat
DIET: A healthy breakfast comprising
cereal and milk. Sambhar and rice for lunch. Reddy, however, loves
the Hyderabadi biryani and junk food, but avoids all sweets except
the occasional tiramisu.
KHOSLA SAYS: His avoidance of sweets is good, but he needs
to watch his indulgences. Since rice is a staple, he should switch
to brown rice.
President and MD, Hughes Software Systems
"I am trying to avoid eating out. Rich
foods and alcohol is unavoidable"
DIET: Simple breakfast-fruit, toast and cereal. A home-cooked
lunch and a lighter dinner. He loves French and Thai food. In addition,
there is lots of exercise as well.
KHOSLA SAYS: He needs to avoid rich foods while eating out
and if he can't, he should compensate for it by making the next
meal extremely light. He needs to introduce dairy products and protective
foods in his diet.
Managing Director, Maruti Udyog Limited
"I stopped having
sugar in my tea and coffee some 20 years ago"
DIET: Desi CEO, Videshi diet. He rigidly
follows Atkins. Lots of fruits and veggies with no rice or rotis.
But what he avoids in sugar, he makes up with his indulgence in
kulfi or rabri.
KHOSLA SAYS: He is eating sensibly and
his diet is good. He just needs to increase his dairy intake and
include nuts in his diet.
Executive VP, Sony Entertainment Television
"I have given up trying to get into
the pair of jeans I wore 10 years ago"
DIET: Lots of protein, egg whites and
fruit. The rich Italian food he loves is balanced out by fish and
greens. But he can't stay away from chocolates, dessert, snacks
KHOSLA SAYS: Fish and greens are always good, but he needs
to control the amount of chocolates and desserts. He needs to look
at his intake of carbs and try reduce it.
PURI BUCH 
Country Head, Oper. & Ser. Delivery, ICICI Bank
"I will not give up strawberries and
DIET: Ok, so she has her diet planned
around that indulgence. Light food during the week. Boiled eggs,
fruit, pasta and the occasional parantha.
KHOSLA SAYS: Ice cream everyday is certainly not good. Strawberries
are great. Women need more dairy products; she should have skimmed
milk instead of ice cream. She compromises on protective foods;
nuts and seeds are a must.
Vice-Chairman, RPG Enterprises
"I don't eat any fats during the
week, but the weekend is a free for all"
DIET: No oil, but the man is a self-admitted
foodie. He will eat any style, from Japanese to Lebanese, so there
are lots of breads and rotis, with a particular fondness for sweets.
KHOSLA SAYS: Sanjiv needs to increase his intake of fruits
and green vegetables in his diet. He is low on consumption of dairy
products. Therefore, he needs to include milk or some other dairy
product in his eating habits. He also needs to do something on the
essential fatty acids front. However, too much fondness for carbs
(rotis and bread) and sweets is not good.
CEO, Asian Paints
"Favourite foods are what you are
not supposed to eat"
DIET: Typical 'Gujju' food, and purely
vegetarian. Plus an all-important glass of buttermilk. But there
is that indulgence in Mexican and Italian food at least twice a
KHOSLA SAYS: He needs to consume more dairy products, nuts
and natural fats in his daily diet. However, for his age his diet
is good. He needs to go in for a regular intake of anti-oxidants
like amla in his diet. The vegetarian bit is good, but he needs
to beef up on proteins. In Italian food, he needs to switch to whole