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MARCH 11, 2007
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The centre is looking at removing the distinction between FDI and FII investments. This will impact sectors like asset reconstruction, real estate and aviation, where separate ceilings apply to FDI and FII investment. However, allowing FDI through the FII route in the realty sector could result in prices shooting through the roof. The Asian financial crisis of the '90s is still fresh in mind, and a method should be devised to moderate possible volatility in key sectors.

S&P And After
For the first time in 14 years, international credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's (S&P), has raised India's credit rating to investment grade. S&P is the last of the three major international rating agencies to do so. Moody's Investors Service did it in January 2004 and Fitch Ratings in August 2006. The upgrade is likely to spur the flow of foreign investment into power, steel and other industries, which receive less than a tenth of the funds going China's way.
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Business Today,  February 25, 2007

How to Become a Leader
India Inc. is on a growth curve. It needs leaders to drive its ambitions. Do you have what it takes to lead this growth?

"A cross-functional role gave me a macro perspective of business"
Ruchir Asthana/General Manager/IBM India

Help, Tarun!
India is growing at 9 per cent- plus; several companies, across sectors, expect to grow to several times their current sizes in the foreseeable future. And they will depend on a band of as-yet-little-known group of executives to drive this scorching pace of growth. These are people who, over the last few years, have shown the verve, the zest and, most importantly, the leadership skills that have marked them out as the stars of the future. Of course, many of them received (and continue to receive) institutional support from their employers, but in all cases, it was individual initiative that first brought them into limelight in their respective organisations.

Says Gautam Nagwekar, COO (Farm Equipment Sector), Mahindra & Mahindra, who was elevated to his current position in November 2006: "To be a leader, you need to have a purpose that is larger than your own self." Adds Vinod Kamath, Head (Supply Chain & IT), Marico, who will take over as CFO of the company in April this year: "You must fundamentally be willing to move away from your comfort zone, take up new challenges and roles, and be able to deliver successfully." To be able to do this, one needs to have a mindset that stops looking at issues from a very functional perspective and views them, instead, from a cross-functional one. "This helps you to widen and broadbase your skill sets and mature in your job, and, in turn, helps your evolution as a leader and allows you to take on greater challenges," he adds.

Ashu Phakey joined retailer Subhiksha as Senior Vice President in October 2005, and made his mark by setting up 100 outlets in the Delhi region in 9 months flat. He had to begin from scratch-Subhiksha did not even have an office in the national capital. He had to hunt for property, recruit a team, line up vendors and put a supply chain in place. The impressive delivery won him a promotion-to President. Moral of the story: be a self-starter; don't complain about problems; instead, think of solutions that makes things easier for others.

If you want to get noticed among the crowd, you should:

Move out of your comfort zone and volunteer for greater responsibilities

Set stiff goals and assess yourself honestly against them

Be ready to learn new things all the time

Think horizontally, always wearing the organizational hat, and not in staff-line silos

Network extensively within and outside your organisation

Good leaders are born, but proper grooming can also make them better managers

It helps if the organisation you work for proactively looks for and grooms talent. Yashovardhan Verma, Director (HR), LG Electronics India, puts the issue in perspective. "It goes without saying that there is plenty of leadership talent in our young executives. At LG, for instance, we prefer to hire fresh talent and groom them for leadership positions rather than hunt for middle- and senior-level executive in other companies," he says. Adds Phakey: "The enormous empowerment, the easy and informal access to the top management, the total lack of hierarchy and the extremely quick decision-making were major factors in the success we achieved."

Wanted: Dealmakers
The demand for M&A specialists is set to explode.

India inc. is on a feverish deal-making spree. The Tatas have bagged Corus; Kumar Mangalam Birla is in the process of buying out Novelis and Vijay Mallya's takeover of Whyte & Mackay is reportedly in the works. These are just some of the overseas M&A deals that have caught the public eye. And we haven't even started talking about Vodafone's buyout of Hutchison Essar and other inbound transactions. Many more such deals, both cross-border and domestic, are in the pipeline. "It's a very challenging and lucrative profession particularly for professionals who want to be always in the thick of activities," says Joydeep Datta Gupta, Head (hr Practices), PricewaterhouseCoopers India. M.R. Sridharan, Executive Director, Excellers, an executive search firm, says demand for such professionals will explode in the months ahead.

FMCG major Marico follows a similar strategy. Explains Milind Sarwate, Chief (hr & Strategy), Marico: "Early empowerment, on-the-job training, and coaching by immediate superiors or functional experts allow us to develop our in-house leadership talent."

"Empowerment and a lack of hierarchy helped my team deliver results"
Ashu Pakhay/President/Subhiksha

Cross-functional exposure forms an important part of this grooming process. "Though my functional expertise lay in sales, I also got the opportunity to hone my skills in M&A, strategic business planning and international operations," says Ashish Bhargava, Category Head, Marico, who was involved in the company's acquisition of Nihar from Hindustan Lever. Adds Sarwate: "Ambitious young executives will have to explore new territories and take the attendant risks if they want to move into leadership positions."

Anuj Ayodhyavasi, National Product Group Head (Microwave Ovens and Vacuum Cleaners), LG Electronics India, joined the company as a