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May 31, 2003

Stubbing out the habit
If implemented, a new bill could turn large swathes of India into no-smoking zones, reports Surajeet Das Gupta.

Digest this
Airlines will no longer be able to get away with serving bad food to their passengers, says Rosy Kumar.

Xing along
Hyundai prolongs the life of the Santro with a tastefully done makeover, says Srinivas Krishnan.

ITC turns match-maker
The tobacco giant's lightning-speed entry into the matchbox industry could spark off big changes in the sector, says Surajeet Das Gupta.

Sponsors throng the fast track
The growing demand for motor sports in India is seeing corporates come forward with sponsorship deals. Jai Arjun Singh surveys the track.

May 29, 2003

CAS: Painful for couch potatoes
Barring a last-minute political hitch, be ready to fork out several thousands for a little set-top box to make sure that you watch TV channels that are pay, says Anusha Subramanian.

A bitter pill
Differential pricing may be an alternative to the global pharma impasse, says Harinder S Sikka.

May 28, 2003

Stars in the number game
Numerologists Jumaanis spell the secret of the country's business fortunes.

Should CAS be introduced?
The consumer ends up paying more, but all the players need to be compensated for their services too.

May 26, 2003

Managing development
The application of IT is central to upgrading public services, says Subir Gokarn.

Companies Bill: Drastic results of poor drafting
The Companies Amendment Bill 2003 has proposed yet another series of amendments chosen from a variety of sources. Jayant M Thakur picks out some of the more extreme anomalies in key amendments.

Will i-flex remain topdog?
i-flex has scripted a success story on the IT products side and there is immense potential for it to grow bigger. But can it maintain its hot growth pace, asks N Mahalakshmi.

May 24, 2003

Slim customers, fat profits
Herbalife India is riding high on its range of weight-management

IITs: Indian Institutes in Trouble
The government's Bharat Shiksha Kosh could kill the golden goose for the IITs, says Nandini Lakshman.

How to choose a used car
The used car market's looking better than ever. Here are some hints, tips and more to help you choose.

May 23, 2003

Cashing in on the animation biz
Animation schools are gearing up to grab a part of the Rs 1,600 crore industry, says Yusuf Begg.

Swipe cards at petrol pumps soon
Faced with impending international competition, India's oil companies are gearing up for a huge automation drive at petrol outlets and supply chains, say Hemangi Balse & Palakunnathu G Mathai.

May 22, 2003

Innovation games bankers play
Tamal Bandyopadhyay takes a close look at how banks are stretching themselves to attract even small customers.

May 21, 2003

A chestful of laughs
T-shirt brands sell humour for a share of the Rs 1,250 crore market, says Maitreyee Handique.

Muzzling music piracy
Virgin Records India and Mukta Arts introduce copy-control compact discs in a bid to control music piracy, says Soumik Sen.

May 20, 2003

Banking for the privileged
You no longer need to be a billionaire to avail of private banking services, says George Smith Alexander.

May 19, 2003

Cable TV to cost more, post-CAS
Eight weeks from now, watching cable television may just not be worth it anymore, says Salil Panchal.

Maruti IPO: Should you wait or take the bait?
With Maruti Udyog Ltd filing a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Indian IPO market is set to awake from slumber.

May 17, 2003

Playing for keeps
From installing punching bags to providing squeeze balls for frazzled employees, BPO companies are coming up with ingenious ways to retain their employees, says Surajeet Das Gupta..

The sky's the limit
The customer is getting better-than-ever deals as airlines slash fares once again and offer better discounts than ever before. Smita Tripathi reports on the new price of becoming a highflier.

Re-mix and match
Remixes have caught on quickly in a music industry affected by the failure of Hindi movies to produce good new hits, says Soumik Sen.

A rough landing
The government's plan to give ground-handling rights to public sector companies could put the future of 30,000 airport workers at risk, says Amrita Dhar.

May 15, 2003

Volatility and the exchange rate
Are fluctuations in exchange rates undesirable, asks Sudhir Mulji.

May 14, 2003

Cashing in on craze for radio, TV jobs
With the launch of three new FM radio channels in Delhi -- all of which are babble interspersed with music -- besides the existing two from All India Radio, there seems to be a slew of opportunities for people with the gift of the gab.

May 10, 2003

Assuring multiple choice
Buoyed by their quicker-than-expected success, private insurers are fast-forwarding their expansion plans and redefining the market, says Arti Sharma.

Striking out on his own
Former Infosys dealmaker Phaneesh Murthy is leveraging his contacts, at a time that is being described as the worst in software history, says Bipin Chandran.

The taste of things to come
Though the concentrate business remains its core strength, Rasna is making plans to emerge as a complete beverage superpower, says Joydeep Ray.

Jobs for the boys
The tribe of regulators is set to increase, so new territory is going to be captured: soon there will be a regulator for the oil industry, and you can bet it will be an IAS man who is chosen, says T N Ninan.

Gloom around the globe
Despite the war been over, other factors have now made it clear that there are going to be no quick fixes to the world's economic doldrums, says Paran Balakrishnan.

May 9, 2003

Retiring ways for pension plan
Private pension plans, wherever they exist in our country, are erratic and not uniform.

May 8, 2003

Blank checks in the bad debt rules
In April 2003, nearly 11 months after the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act came into effect and nearly one month after a ridiculous deadline for applying for registration, the Reserve Bank of India brought into force guidelines for securitisation and asset reconstruction companies.

May 5, 2003

Have debt funds reached a dead end?
Shell-shocked by the devastating fall in equity values, and the concurrent appreciation in debt funds, investors have been compelled to take a serious look at this genre, says N Mahalakshmi.

Anti money-laundering software not in vogue
Since September 11, combating money laundering has assumed a new sense of urgency, egged on both by the implementation of the Patriot Act in the US and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in India.

May 3, 2003

War on the airwaves
A battle for listeners - and advertisers - is underway as a string of new radio stations open across the country, says Surajeet Das Gupta and Arti Sharma.

We also brand steel
Tata Steel is halfway through a programme to break the commodity cycle by branding more of its steel, says Ishita Ayan Dutt.

Crossed wires at Polaris
The company's BPO is back to square one as its two high-profile hires fall out with the chairman, says Sanjay Pillai.

All the world's a lab
A unique Web site gives scientists the chance to solve problems they might not have known about otherwise, says Soumik Sen.

The curious case of the rising rupee
The rupee has appreciated against the dollar in nominal terms by 4 per cent since its trough of Rs 49.1 reached in May 2002; in real terms, the appreciation is a largish 10 per cent, all in the space of 12 months, says Surjit S Bhalla.

May 2, 2003

Men still major decision-makers
Consumer decision-making in all areas -- ranging from what cars to buy to what clothes manufacturers to patronize -- is dictated by men when it comes to the most upscale market segment in India, says M D Riti.

ATMs spring up at Mumbai stations
Mumbai's estimated 6 million suburban train commuters are finding a new addition to their landscape: ATM booths, says Priya Ganapati.

May 1, 2003

Indian economy doing better, but not good enough
India is doing better, but on current policy settings even officials admit that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's eight per cent growth target, deemed the minimum needed to make a dent in widespread poverty, is likely to remain just that -- a target.


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