Niwas Mittal has several epithets: he is the richest Indian,
the richest European, and the third richest human being on the
planet. Europe's Luxury Institute recently estimated his net worth
at $28 billion (Rs 1,26,000 crore). Now, Rs 40 crore of that has
been used to launch Mittal Champions Trust, to help improve India's
performance in international athletic events such as the Olympics
(it isn't a coincidence that the next summer games will happen
in London, Mittal's base). The trustees, apart from Mittal, his
son Aditya, and son-in-law Amit Bhatia, are tennis ace Mahesh
Bhupathi and cricketer Rahul Dravid, and the first beneficiary
of the trust is Joshna Chinappa, the world's second best junior
squash player. The 54-year-old Mittal has a reputation for being
a canny investor; here's hoping he earns a healthy return on this
too many people know that Azim H. Premji, the 60-year-old
Chairman of Wipro, is an electrical engineer from Stanford. In
keeping with the Institution of Electrical Engineer's philosophy
of recognising contributions by eminent electrical engineers in
all spheres, Premji became the latest recipient of the Faraday
Medal (instituted in 1922) and the first Indian honoured for "outstanding
business leadership and contribution to elementary education."
CEOs of multinational firms that visit India meet the media. Not
so Sam Palmisano, the 54-year-old CEO of IBM (it employs
30,000 people in India). In India for a holiday in early November,
Palmisano found the time to meet with the Prime Minister, Karnataka
Chief Minister Dharam Singh and address employees, but had no
time for the media in this, his third visit in as many years.
Are we missing something?
mama Sunita Narain, the 45-year-old head of centre for
science and Environment has a new target: audit firms Ernst &
Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The controversy concerns carbon
credits that companies can claim if their projects meet the norms
required to be a Clean Development Mechanism. Firms like E&Y
and PWC have to audit projects to find out whether they meet these
norms and Narain alleges that they don't do that, instead merely
"doing a cut-paste job" of a report of one project onto
another. The typos are the same, she points out. Ram Babu, Associate
Director, PWC, maintains his firm does everything by the book.
Still, the audit firms will find the lady a tough act to counter.
has represented the Indian government and the Gandhi family. Now
Sarosh Zaiwalla, 52, the first Indian to set up a law firm
in the UK, and one of the best-known names in international arbitration,
has found so much favour with the Chinese government (his firm
represents China at London's International Court of Arbitration)
that he is opening an office in Beijing. Among his friends is
a certain Anthony Blair who once interned at Zaiwalla & Co.
"Do you know that he represented the Government of India
once?" asks Zaiwalla.
Ma, It's Green
Sheel, the 52-year-old CEO of Suzuki Motorcycles India, has
won a prize from cement major Holcim for coming up with a design
for a house that is green (it helped that Satish Gujral was his
collaborator). The biggest consumer of energy is the house, not
the people living in it, explains Sheel, who is building the house
on 11.5 acres of land he owns on the tony M.G. Road on the Delhi-Haryana
border. "I want to leave a message," says Sheel. Well,
a 12,000 sq ft house should serve that purpose.
|The Fortune Women
Four Indians who figure in Fortune Magazine's
annual listing of the most powerful women in business
Despite her infamous us-is-like-the-middle-finger speech
to the graduating class at the University of Columbia Business
School, Nooyi remains one of the most powerful women in
business in the US. The President and CFO of PepsiCo moved
up one spot in the listing, from #12 to #11. One more and
you can count her rank using fingers.
The chairman and MD of Biocon, a company she founded in
her garage (in 1978, with a staff of two), Shaw debuts in
the international list (of most powerful women) this year.
That shouldn't surprise someone who has been called India's
fermentation queen by The Economist and who is the richest
woman in India.
ICICI bank is possibly India's most aggressive banking and
financial services firm (the company itself prefers the
term Universal Bank), and Kochhar, its Executive Director,
is the person behind the bank's retail business. An alumnus
of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, she may
well succeed K.V. Kamath as the bank's CEO.
The chairman of the Dubai-based Jumbo Group may have exited
Shaw Wallace (it was sold to UB earlier this year), but
Fortune sees this in a positive light, explaining it away
as a desire to focus on the group's electronics business
(Jumbo has an exclusive distribution agreement with Sony
in West Asia).