f o r    m a n a g i n g    t o m o r r o w
MARCH 25, 2007
 Cover Story
 BT Special
 Back of the Book

Mobile Security
Today, it is all about information and how the right information is sent to the right people at the right time and right place. Uncertainty about how to secure mobile phones in the face of increasing threats is slowing individual adoption of mobile applications. There are many facets of mobile security, including network intrusion, mobile viruses, spam and mobile phishing. Analysts expect big telecom companies to develop security solutions on various security platforms.

Rough Ride
These are competitive times for the Indian aviation industry. As salaries zoom, players are scrambling to find profits. Even the state-owned Indian is now seeking young airhostesses to take on the competition. It is planning to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for airhostesses above 40 years. On an average, they draw a salary of Rs 5 lakh a year. The salaries of pilots, too, are soaring. According to industry estimates, the country needs over 3,000 pilots over the next five years.
More Net Specials

Business Today,  March 11, 2007

Espresso Evangelist
At first glance, Ernesto Illy, the 83-year-old Honorary Chairman of Italian coffee major Illycaffe, looks more like a Swiss banker than someone who's worked for five decades in the world of coffee. But start talking to him and it takes less than a second for that perception to change. For, coffee runs in Illy's blood. In 1933, his father Francesco founded Illycaffe in Trieste (Italy) that Illy Jr. turned into a global brand, including in India. "We want to impart the latest techniques in coffee production and marketing to Indian growers," says Illy, who was in India recently. To that end, he's set up a Università del Caffè, which will train 400 growers by end of the year. Ironically, though, Illy's day begins not with a cup of espresso, but Assam-Darjeeling blended tea. Of course, rest of the day he drinks his own stuff.

Young and Eager

Hamish Mclennan, 40, first came to India as a 20-something backpacker, but two decades on, he is the youngest Chief Executive of a global advertising company, Young&Rubicam in his case. McLennan has a vision to make Y&R (part of Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Group) one of the most innovative advertising agencies, especially in the 'interesting times' that he believes we live in. "The internet, blogs, podcasts and even mobile phones are changing the way people use and consume media and that is changing the way we as marketers need to work," he says on a recent visit to India. "But if we can realise this, then I believe that advertising, good advertising and good energetic brands will always be the best way to cut through the clutter," says McLennan, the first non-American CEO in Y&R's 83-year history.

Money is Money...

...and an asset is an asset. So, how does it matter whether your car plant makes money by building cars or developing real estate? Or so figured Hindustan Motors' Chairman, Chandra Kant Birla, who has signed a deal with Bangalore-based Shriram Properties to redevelop 314 acres at Uttarpara, where the company's 53-year-old manufacturing facility is located. The deal, which involves building an integrated IT and automotive township, will fetch the ailing car maker Rs 290 crore over the next few years. "The industrial climate has improved in West Bengal and we have the full support of our unions because they know a lot of the money will be ploughed back into the plant," says a group spokeswoman, speaking for Birla. Apparently, the money is to be spent on "rejuvenating and expanding the product line" at Uttarpara, which currently manufactures the Ambassador car.

Warming Up to India

It's official now. Starbucks is coming to India by year-end. That means, the Seattle-based coffee chain's founder, Howard Schultz, has moved a step closer towards his dream of having 40,000 coffee shops by entering emerging markets. But like the 54-year-old Schultz, who sent his director of trading and operations of Starbucks Coffee Company, Colman Cuff, to make the announcement at the Indian Coffee Festival in Bangalore recently, has found out elsewhere in the world, there are copy cats to reckon with. India's cosmetics entrepreneur, Shahnaz Husain, has announced plans of launching "Starstrucks", a chain of-what else-coffee bars. In China, the American retailer had to drag to court Shanghai XingBaKe Coffee Shop because the name translated into Starbucks in English. In South Korea, too, it faced a similar problem. It won in China, but lost in South Korea. So, Schultz must be keeping his fingers crossed.

From Her Heart

When Kokilaben Ambani turned 75 on February 24, she chose to mark the occasion by launching a book on her late husband, Dhirubhai Ambani. Authored by Kokilaben, "Dhirubhai Ambani-The Man I Knew" contains rare pictures of Dhirubhai's birthplace in Chorwad, his school at Junagadh and also pictures of him in Yemen. It also has articles by Kokilaben, her children and grandchildren. It is learnt that Kokilaben broached the topic of the book to Dhirubhai when he was alive. The launch of the book, which took place at the Ambani residence "Sea Wind" in South Mumbai, was a family function, but had Maharashtra's Chief Minister and Governor among the guests. For Kokilaben, who saw Dhirubhai rise from a village in Gujarat to the zenith of corporate success, the book must mean a lot. And possibly for Dhirubhai too. He couldn't have asked for a better author for his biography.

Taking on Google

When this magazine first met Jimmy Wales, 40, back in 2004, Wikipedia was still an upstart online collaborative project. Three years on, Wikipedia is used by everybody from research students to housewives. So, you would think the former options trader would be happy. Not quite. He thinks the same human editorial judgement that created and forms the backbone of Wikipedia can be applied to search engines. So along with another technology entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, he plans to create a 'user-created' search engine to rival Google. "I like making money and there are honorable ways of doing it," he told BT recently. The search engine is dubbed 'Wiki-Asari', a Hawaiian-Japanese combination that roughly translates into 'Collaborative Fast Search'. Should Google worry? Wait for an answer.