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APRIL 8, 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 25, 2007

'Toon Struck
Will Sachin Tendulkar help his captain bring home the World Cup? Can't say, but his equity as the game's superhero doesn't seem to be diminishing. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Comics has teamed up with the ace cricketer to launch "The Master Blaster" comic, animation and gaming series, featuring Tendulkar. "Given the phenomenal popularity of cricket in India and Sachin's iconic status, we are confident that the venture will be highly successful," says Suresh Seetharaman, President, Virgin Comics. The first "master blaster" comic book is slated to hit the newsstands by the middle of this year. Close on its heels would follow animation and games revolving around the superhero. Seetharaman won't tell how much Virgin is paying Sachin, who is said to have a stake in the venture too. But you can be sure that it'll be lots more than what he brings back from the West Indies.

Eye on India

They say, not too many good things come out of Bihar. Rena Golden would beg to differ. The Senior Vice President of CNN International was born in-you could have never guessed-Betia in Bihar some 45 years ago. Now based in Atlanta, where the CNN headquarters are, Golden overseas editorial production, programme development and day-to-day operations of CNN. Recently, Golden was in India to kick-off CNN International's third series spotlighting India, Eye on India. "This year, the focus is on India's youth demographics and their aspirations," she says. It's a pity she won't be featuring in the series. As role models go, she isn't exactly a poor one-not even for those not born in Bihar.

No, Thanks, Wal-Mart

A little over two years ago, when Sunil Mittal hired Ravi Deol, 42, to head his agri-export joint venture with the Rothschilds, Wal-Mart wasn't on Bharti Enterprises' radar. But then Bharti did end up joining hands with the world's biggest retailer late last year to launch a retail venture, and Deol suddenly had the chance to move from Field Fresh to the new venture. Yet, come end of March, Deol will bid goodbye to Bharti to turn an entrepreneur. He's keeping the plans under wraps, except to say that it will be a venture focussed on healthcare services. He also claims to have tied up funding. "There are so many opportunities in India now for entrepreneurs, and I wanted to do something before it was too late," says Deol, who first shot to fame at India's first coffee chain, Barista. It was something even Mittal couldn't argue against.

Cool-Headed Counsel

If critics of the national knowledge Commission Chairman, Sam Pitroda, think that they can provoke the man out of his dignified manners, they are sadly mistaken. Recently, when some mps heckled him during an address over his stance on reservation in education (he's against it) he refused to be drawn into an argument. And when Business Today contacted him for his reaction to the incident, he merely said: "It's good to disagree, it's their privilege." Better known as the technocrat who initiated the telecom revolution in India, Pitroda, 64, often is bold enough to stick his neck out on contentious issues, yet is equally staunch about steering clear of energy-sapping controversies. No doubt, a quality that endears him to progressive politicians.

Remote Control

You can take a man out of television, but you can't take television out of him. Ergo, less than 60 days after Peter Mukerjea, 53, quit star Group, India, as CEO, he's back in the game-but with his own venture called Inx Media. His severance agreement with star bars him from getting into broadcast until July 31, 2007, so he's enjoying his gardening holiday, while wife Indrani spearheads the venture and does all the talking. Inx will launch three channels-Hindi general entertainment, music, and an English news channel-by the end of this year. "I will definitely ask Peter to join us after July 31 as he would definitely be an asset to the company. But the decision is his whether to join or not," says Indrani, Chairperson of Inx Media. Will Mukerjea break his wife's heart? Don't be silly.

Final Frontier

It's something most people dream of, but for 35-year-old Santosh George Kulangara, "it's a dream come true." Come end of this year or early next, Kulangara, Managing Director of Labour India Publications, will hitch a ride aboard Sir Richard Branson's tourist 'spaceline', Virgin Galactic, for a view of mother Earth from 360,000 feet above it. For that experience, Kulangara, who also produces a popular weekly travel programme Sanchara on Malayalam channel Asianet, will pay $200,000 (Rs 88 lakh). He's already made a down payment of $20,000. The Kottayam, Kerala-based man is a confirmed travel buff, having toured 50 different countries over the last 10 years. But this is one visit-if it happens-Kulangara won't forget in a hurry.