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December 31, 2007
I look up to Narayana Murthy for leadership: Infy CEO
In an hour-long chat on, one of India's most respected CEOs talks about leadership, the vision he has for the company, the impact of the rupee, et cetera.

The death of Capt Gopinath's dream
Captain Gopinath's dream of making every Indian fly will now remain just that. But this will rise to another: Mallya's dream of making Kingfisher one of the world's top airlines.

Manish Bardia: Man behind Modi's mask
The Ahmedabad-based company is now a part of the publicity department of ISRO's Mission-to-Moon project.

Gaming finally catching Indian fancy
The year 2007 surely belonged to the Indian gaming industry. Though investments made were larger than the returns, the number of people playing games certainly grew.

20 great stocks to buy in 2008
To ease your effort of picking the juiciest stocks, we have handpicked a few likely winners of 2008.

December 29, 2007
Most expensive Indian artists
No one has been able to touch Tyeb Mehta - not even Mehta himself - after his Mahisasura fetched a record $1,584,000 crore at an auction last year.

Check out the best cars of the year
General Motors India's smallest car on sale has a lot going for it, yet it did not make it to the top honours this year because the i10 is simply an overall better car

Trends in India's booming realty market
The other trend is towards the big and bigger, especially in the retail sector. Take The Great India Place in Noida, Unitech's 15 lakh sq ft "shoppertainment" destination which opened earlier this year.

December 28, 2007
A peek into the world of free downloads in 2008
In terms of no-cost software, there will be some innovative products on offer, from RSS Bandit to File Shredder.

December 27, 2007
How to fill up your IPO application
If you have never been to the great Indian IPO party but want to join in, you need to know that the way you fill up your application form could determine your chances of getting an allotment.

Now companies outsource sacking of staff
Most bosses hate firing employees. So now they're hiring freelance hit teams to do their dirty work.

Loan recovery goons? No relief for you
The draft guidelines on loan recovery do little to protect borrowers' interests.

Timeshare holidays? Be careful!
The vacation ownership industry is trying to shed dubious reputation of many years. But you still need to carry out some due diligence before investing in a timeshare holiday.

December 26, 2007
A guide to buying Ulips for your kids
How to buy children's plans with good returns and lowest costs.

Five trends that will transform society
Author Richard Watson examines emerging patterns and developments and society, politics, science and technology, media and entertainment, and other industries.

Will the Rs 1 lakh-car be an environmental nightmare?
With the transport sector responsible for a fourth of greenhouse gas emissions, the debate over the impact of cars such as the Tata one is going to get more strident.

B-school makes managers, not CEOs
Essentially, what you gain from an MBA is confidence - an invaluable commodity in today's competitive environment - as well as the ability to work harder and without sleep, also an asset in today's corporate sphere.

What luxury home buyers are looking for
Selling a luxury home isn't about the space, it is about the lifestyle.

The cheapest home, health & car covers
The story doesn't end at life cover. You need to protect your other assets as well.

December 24, 2007
Banking stocks worth investing in
Experts believe that investors should be invested in the banking sector for the long-term as it is a direct beneficiary of the robust economic activity in the country.

Why 80 is the new 30
Forget shuffleboard and croquet. With Americans living longer, a growing number of people are embarking on entrepreneurial second careers -- well into their 80s. So what are the real secrets to longevity, in business and in life?

Jaguar, Land Rover have a long and rich pedigree
A key point to understand is that Ford is selling these brands not because they are in their worst trouble ever, but simply because of Ford's overall crisis - it lost more than $12.6 billion in 2006 - is pushing CEO Alan Mulally to raise money to fulfill his declared ambition to restore the mass-market Ford business to health.

A trader takes a worm's eye view of 2007
The Nifty flirted around 4,000. Volumes high considering that most firangis are still in Mauritius, or wherever, recovering from hangovers.

It's in to flaunt a private label
From apparel, healthcare products and furnishings to consumer items like soaps, private labels are making their presence felt in a variety of retail items. Though private labels are late entrants, they are catching up fast. In the last couple of years, private labels have seen unprecedented growth with the entry of retailers such as Future Group, Shopper's Stop and Vishal Megamart.

A green house offers great savings
How much do you pay for your electricity bills? Let's assume an average of Rs 5,000 every month. What if you could cut it down by half? Over the life cycle of your building (50 years), the savings invested in a systematic investment plan at 12 per cent amounts to Rs 9.86 crore, if other factors remain constant. Not a bad investment.

December 22, 2007
Cyber chatting: The good, bad and the ugly
Social networking sites can turn into unfriendly places where you may be publicly victimised.

Tourism industry got a boost in 2007
With the country racing to meet the Commonwealth Games deadline, the year 2007 saw the tourism industry bargaining tax sops for budget hoteliers and those wishing to double up their homes as 'bed-and-breakfast' inns to cater to the big rush.

Hic Hic Hurray! Raise a toast to 2007
As the sun sets on 2007, tipplers will be raising a toast to a year, which gave them a plethora of global brands to choose from. For every peg they gulp down, they would be thankful to the year which saw the prices of imported spirits going southward, as the government removed additional customs duty.

What is short-selling?
Short-selling is the sale of shares that the seller does not own at the time of trading. Despite being a long-standing market practice worldwide, short-sales have been the subject of considerable debate and divergent views in most securities markets.

December 21, 2007
Have an idea? Anti-theft it!
A patent is to an idea what an alert watchman is to your property. Everyone can look, but no one can steal.

Life time super pension
This Ulip from ICICI Prudential lets you forego your life cover.

December 20, 2007
How to counter global food scarcity
The situation is unlikely to improve in the near- to medium-term, as the crop outlook is far from satisfactory in most of the major wheat-exporting countries. Matters have got even worse because some of the other cereals, notably maize, are being diverted to bio-fuel production as a response to spiralling crude oil prices. The worst-affected, predictably, are the low-income, food-deficit countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, who face 25 per cent rise in their food bill.

December 19, 2007
How to save enough money, not matter your age
Presenting thumb rules that let you save enough regardless of when you start -- 20s, 30s or 40s -- and make your money grow so well that you secure your future.

P-notes salvo hits markets this year
Though SEBI adopted many other measures in 2007 to streamline the capital markets, it was its decision on P-notes, which gave a jolt to the capital market and evoked extreme reactions both in favour and against the move.

Flying from Bangalore? You may have to pay more
The BIAL proposes to levy a UDF of Rs 675 on domestic passengers and Rs 955 on international passengers. This would mean that every passenger flying out of Bangalore will have to cough up this additional amount.

Indian stars light up Sweden
Sweden ushers in the spirit of Christmas by attacking its winter pall of darkness. Four weeks ahead of Christmas, the Swedes deck up their windows with lighted 'Advent' stars. But paper stars, traditionally used to keep the darkness at bay, had been going out of fashion, caught in stagnant styles. Stars made of wood, metal and even Plexiglas were fast taking over until the year 2000.

December 18, 2007
Stop picking employees' pockets
When large companies fall into financial difficulties, it always amazes me to see where they turn first for help in overcoming their problems -- to their hourly workers and other frontline employees, who are asked to take pay cuts and reductions in benefits such as health insurance and pensions.

How companies approach innovation
Executives say innovation is very important, but their companies' approach to it is often informal, and leaders lack confidence in their innovation decisions. Top managers and other professionals agree that the biggest challenge is talent but disagree on why. Nonetheless, executives agree on some steps to improve innovation.

Tax reforms gain momentum in 2007
With industry and tax payer-friendly initiatives taken by Finance Minister P Chidambaram this year, the government succeeded in achieving unprecedented growth in tax collections. Consequently, the tax reforms have gained momentum and a roadmap is ready for implementing goods and service tax from April 1, 2010.

Stock-picking: Strategy for success
Inverting the whole idea of stock-picking is throwing up new winners and winning strategies.

December 17, 2007
Indian pharma cos on R&D drive in 2007
Two years after India entered the product patents regime, the year 2007 saw Indian drug firms striving to shed the copycat image and become innovators with emphasis on research activities even as they resisted moves to include more medicines under price control.

Housing stocks are a good long-term bet
Strong demand for housing loans and stable real estate prices augur well for housing finance companies. Though the stocks are not cheap, they make good long-term investments.

December 15, 2007
How green was my office
Typically, these unsung and largely anonymous backroom boys account for as much as 45-55 per cent of a building cost and bear the burden of reducing energy waste over the life cycle of the structure. And yet, for all the Hafeez Contractors and Charles Correas, you might be hard put to remember the named of any MEP service provider.

Buying luxury goods? Are they good enough?
Luxury to me means the best possible materials being used along with great design and manufacturing processes to put together a product. That alone can be the reason for those hefty price tags. A product of such excellence that it deserves every bit of money spent on it. And the label that gets tacked on these products promise that or should at least promise that much.

December 14, 2007
Edelweiss: A banker creates a success story
If Apple inspired the name selection, the culture within Edelweiss, which has grown from three members to a 1,200-plus organisation in a span of 12 years, is modelled on Infosys.

How to stop wasting power with your computer
Computers consume a lot of power even when nobody's using them. If users won't take time to power down their PCs, Surveyor software will.

December 13, 2007
Innovative business: Biodegradable diapers
In 2002, Jason and Kimberley Graham-Nye faced a decision: cloth (a hassle) or disposable (wasteful). "We looked at each other and said, 'That's it?'" says Kimberley. "There hadn't been any real innovation in diapers since the 1960s, when disposables hit the market." They set out to change that.

December 12, 2007
What Paris Hilton can teach you about branding
Alex Bogusky, an ad guy who definitely doesn't shy away from controversy.

How to develop good managing skills
Good managers use coaching skills as part of their repertoire. The focus is on cooperation and facilitation of the other person's development. Coaching involves crating a comfortable environment where action plans can be developed together.

Is there space for more TV channels?
With at least 50 new TV channels expected over the next six months, and much of the ad revenue cornered by the top few, a shakeout looks inevitable.

All you want to know about 3G spectrum
Confused about what is 3G spectrum? Read on...

Plan to buy a house? Head for Bangalore
It seems the Bangalore real estate bubble has burst. The city, which saw some unrealistic rise in property prices in the past few years, has witnessed a sharp drop this year. A survey conducted by a real estate firm corroborates this. Real estate company Asipac states that real estate prices in the city have dropped by at least 10 to 20 per cent in the past one year.

December 11, 2007
The Sensex story: From 1K to 20K
The stock market barometer Sensex on December 11 won over the 20,000-point mark after flirting with it for as many as 45 days -- the third longest courtship for a thousand-point milestone.

The grandmother of invention
Like millions of women, Lisa Gable was often frustrated by falling bra straps. So, at age 70, she designed a solution and launched an intimate apparel company. Fourteen years later, she's still at the helm -- and her Strap-Mate can be found at Nordstrom and other major retailers.

Sometimes, even CEOs have to say they're sorry
Handled skillfully, however, admitting a mistake can bolster a leader's stature.

The man behind Dr Reddy's success
For, the transformation of the company from a predominantly bulk drug manufacturing unit to the big league of global generics business needed a lot of hard work and perseverance.

Rising attrition? Bikhchandani thrives on it
Close to 90 per cent of the revenues of his company, Info Edge, come from its recruiting portal - and naukri makes close to half its income from recruitment in the IT and BPO spaces.

Ahmedabad, Kolkata among new global hotspots
Look beyond Shanghai for the next big thing.

December 10, 2007
Sensex on steroids & what you should do now
Despite the markets zooming into the stratosphere, some investment advisors believe that some sectors and stocks still offer value for investors.

Should you go for 'cold' sectors?
In the 12-18 month time frame, these cyclicals are likely to recover. And they're relatively cheap.

Investment plan: Pick the right option
If the tax benefit is another factor that draws investors, then an Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), which is a mutual fund with the identical tax benefit under Section 80C, is a better option. Here too, you get the tax benefit and the investment is locked only for three-years.

Basic rules for investing in art
Avoid putting more than 10 to 15 per cent of the value of your investment portfolio into such investments. Most experts would advise that exceeding this limit may subject your entire investment plan to a high level of risk.

December 08, 2007
The mHawk has landed: Check it out!
An all-new engine and a host of features mark the new V-series Mahindra Scorpio.

December 07, 2007
The cheapest term-insurance plans
If your need is just life cover, the cheapest way to get it is a term insurance plan. Find out which policy to buy. . .

This 'Spark' fails to ignite GM's fortunes
In the seven months between April and October this year, the Chevy Spark has managed to sell less than 12,000 units, or an average of 1,700 units a month, while its peers Alto and WagonR (Maruti Suzuki) , Indica (Tata Motors) and Santro (Hyundai) have had average monthly sales of 10,000-18,000 units.

December 06, 2007
The top unit-linked pension plans
Choose a high-equity plan when you target retirement corpus, since this will be the longest tenure investment you will be making.

December 05, 2007
8 reasons why stock market traders lose money
Many people think trading is the simplest way of making money in the stock market. Far from it.

Sensex soars into the stratosphere
2007 can best be encapsulated as the Year of the Sensex.

December 04, 2007
Beer war hots up in India
How three international brands plan to compete with UB and SAB Miller.

A businessman's crusade against darkness
Harish Hande, who has been honoured recently with a prize for social entrepreneurship, has made it his business to take solar power to every un-lit home.

Start-ups foresee a successful 2008
The CEO and promoter of Nazara is not only on a much solid ground in the mobile value-added services (VAS) space but also boasts of private equity players falling over to fund the firm.

December 03, 2007
Tips to select a good mutual fund
Mutual funds are the ideal investment option for funding retirement and children's education.

Now, a map to ease traffic
Mapunity's IT project to help Delhi tackle its traffic.

December 01, 2007
A revolution in the two-wheeler world
Rapid changes are taking place in the two-wheeler world.

Jet vs Kingfisher: The battle for No.1 slot
Jet's supremacy has now been challenged by a nimble and aggressive Kingfisher which, in just two years and following Mallya's buyout of Air Deccan, is commanding the same market share as Jet Airways and Jetlite.

November 30, 2007
Leadership is not about popularity
As a leader of a business, be very clear in your mind that you are not running a democracy. By virtue of the fact that you have been anointed the leader, there is a significant degree of autocracy that comes with you. When you make decisions and when you make choices, they're not always the most popular.

November 28, 2007
8 ways to identify profitable shares
Though investment opportunities abound all the time and in almost all situations, they may not be very easy to identify. A shrewd and discerning investor will usually find opportunities for making money in places, and in situations, where a less discerning one will not. The best investment opportunities are often found in the most unlikely of places and situations.

Green funds: The new colour of money
Funds come pouring in for three eco-friendly projects.

How Nokia India is transforming itself
The cellphone giant is slowly turning into an Internet services firm.

November 27, 2007
Smart managers don't repeat mistakes
Everyone make mistakes, regardless of career experience, length of service or seniority. Firing someone for making a mistake maybe an error on your part. Once that person has made a mistake and realized the reasons behind it, they are highly unlikely to ever repeat their actions.

November 26, 2007
Nifty, Sensex: Different strokes
A look at the differences in the sector-coverage of the Sensex and the Nifty suggests that the divergences in index movements could increase.

Investing? Things to remember
Investment decisions without a blueprint can cause financial trouble. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself.

How to plan finances after marriage
Marital bliss also implies greater financial responsibilities. A check list of what you need to do.

November 24, 2007
Markets: Till death do 'US' part
If the greenbacks don't pour in, our markets can't do the Indian rope trick. That has been very evident last week and all of November. The FIIs have just sold stocks worth close to a billion dollars and our markets have taken a 10 per cent or 2,050 point correction.

November 23, 2007
Money transfer through your mobiles soon!
The technology is in place and operators are waiting for the green signal.

November 22, 2007
Meet the man behind NSE's success
He is that rare breed of people who did not shift to multi-national companies and multi-million dollar salaries, but stayed on for the cause of nation-building.

November 21, 2007
Biggest wealth-creators for shareholders
The Indian stockmarket is witnessing its biggest-ever bull run - high economic growth and favourable market conditions have allowed companies to grow at a very high pace and create wealth for shareholders.

Best banks in India
Both HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank have come to be acknowledged as the best in their fields, with complementing strengths and far-sighted game plans.

November 20, 2007
India Inc's high-profile makeovers
There have been several, high-profile name changes in 2007 and interestingly, many of these have been corporate rebrandings, rather than consumer product name changes.

The new global hot spots for business
In search of the next big opportunity? From Poland to Brazil, a look at some of the world's second-tier cities that are becoming first-class destinations for business.

3 things B-schools don't teach
The typical MBA course content is functionally laid out as finance, strategy and policy, marketing, production, systems, HR and so on

November 19, 2007
The people behind Supercomputer Eka
The credit goes to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons - the Computational Research Laboratories (CRL). The main people behind the super achievement are N Seetha Rama Krishna (Project Manager), Sunil Sherlekar (Head, Embedded Innovation) and Ashwin Nanda (who heads CRL) besides, of course, Ratan Tata himself and CRL Chairman S Ramadorai, who is also the CEO & MD of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The perfect job for savvy number crunchers
If you have a knack for number crunching, financial planning is the right job for you.

10 stocks that can earn great returns
Mid-cap stocks, which are trading at cheaper valuations compared with large-caps, can be rewarding investments.

November 17, 2007
An architect in sync with nature
Architect K Jaisim takes his inspiration from Howard Roarke and is clear that "he will never put anyone in a prison", that is, in stuffy highrises. Gargi Gupta talks to him about his latest projects, including a 'retirement village'.

Bajaj-KTM: Ready to race!
KTM has quite a long history, but the upshot is that the company is famous for its off-road motorcycle prowess and is rapidly gaining respect for its excellent street bikes as well. The street bikes are a recent phenomenon, which with Bajaj's equity intervention, should be of great interest to us as well.

November 16, 2007
50 ways to green your business
From the universal (catch that rainwater!) to the innovative (a hybrid locomotive!), half a hundred options for cleaning up your business.

November 15, 2007
CEOs must be crazy to win: Expert
Indian CEOs need to be "crazy" in order to keep pace with the rapidly-changing economy, according to Shoji Shiba, visiting professor at MIT, professor of business administration and dean of the School of Applied International Studies, Tokiwa University, Japan.

A strong rupee hasn't always hit exports
Rising productivity and product diversification ensured high export growth in the past.

November 14, 2007
Is it time to start an OTC derivatives market?
Given how Participatory Notes are essentially an OTC market for Indian equity derivatives, moving them onshore should be an important objective.

November 13, 2007
Local origins of Hyderabad's development
One way in which Hyderabad's growth can contribute to the overall development of the region around it would be to develop industrial corridors between Hyderabad and Warangal, Hyderabad and Machilipatnam and Hyderabad and Tirupathi/Bangalore.

B-schools? They are just starting points
There are things in real business life that MBA education does not, or maybe cannot, teach you. These are lessons that one learns on his own.

November 12, 2007
Globalisation of Golconda
Golconda, and later Hyderabad, is one of the few landlocked urban centres of this sub-continent that reached great heights of prosperity without a major river system or a port next to it.

Key things to check in your credit card statement
Your monthly credit card statement is the best document that will help you understand your monthly spending.

Disability insurance policies: 4 tips
Take disability insurance policies at an early age to avoid any financial hardships. Here's some help on how to go about it.

Investing? 6 hot stocks to watch out
Growth rates in sales and profits have been low in Q2 FY08 as expected while the stock markets are still high. What should investors do?

November 10, 2007
Making sense of multiple messages
Several organisations are already using these tools, though choosing which vendor and technology to go with can be challenging. Particularly since the software and hardware guys are both doing hardsells read Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Avaya and so on. Of course, whoever you go with will tie up the other parties, software with hardware and telecom for instance.

Dealing with goons on the Internet
Carnegie Mellon University's researchers have designed new computer tools to better understand and potentially thwart the growth of internet black markets where attackers use well-developed business practices to hawk viruses, steal data and attack services. The researchers estimate the total value of the illegal materials available for sale in the seven-month period at more than $37 million.

Designer electronics set to woo Indian consumers
The company plans to display and sell the new product line in upscale consumer electronics stores and Giorgio Armani's direct controlled retail network. The tri-brand GSM/GPRS phone will be available in European countries, the Asian region and parts of the US by November.

November 09, 2007
Meet the unassuming Videocon boss
Venugopal Nandalal Dhoot (VND), chairman of the Rs 13,000-crore (Rs 130 billion) Videocon Group, is known to spring such surprises.

November 08, 2007
The story of Hyderabad's globalisation
India's 'Look East Policy' offers a new opportunity for Andhra Pradesh to rediscover its links with the region and build a mutually beneficial interface with ASEAN.

Business books you must read
Written by experts in management, business and strategy, these books promise to be inspiring, informative and educational. Some of them may even be fun reads.

November 07, 2007
Why go for a wedding insurance cover
You cannot put a price tag on peace of mind during an event as huge and nerve-wracking as this.

Financial plan for the newly wed
A large part of the wedding gifts you receive will be in cash. Instead of blowing it all up, invest it for the long term.

Secure your child's financial needs
The recently launched Kotak Headstart Child Plan is designed to help parents save money for the long-term financial needs of their children.

What entrepreneurs must remember
Don't only stick to your learnings from B-school as it can be academic; ground realities may be very different. You have to adapt and change to suit different situations.

November 06, 2007
How to make a perfect wedding budget
The economics of a wedding should complement the revelry. Rationalise expenses while making the big event memorable.

How to make money from blogs
Blogs are not just about letting the world know your opinion on a subject that interests you. If you take it seriously, your blog can help you earn more than your full time job

Earn great returns from capital goods
Most of the capital goods stocks are trading at their historical highs, which often scares a potential investor. But at the same time, one cannot afford to miss the bus.

Small cap stocks? Better returns
Though fraught with risks, small business can easily fetch better returns than the established companies.

November 05, 2007
Cards: How good are cash back offers?
Banks give incentives to splurge through cards during this season. Here's how you can use them to get the best results.

Why hedge funds are attractive
Armed with an international investment limit of $200,000 per head, you can now look at hedge funds abroad.

Narendra Patni: The original IT man
A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he had gone to the US in 1964 on a MIT fellowship. The husband-wife duo -- Narendra Patni and Poonam Patni -- took the first steps towards the offshoring business way back in 1972. Initially they started operations from their third floor apartment in the US, and later set up back-office operations in Pune (started by Poonam) with 20 people.

More capital flows? Credit goes to RBI
"Reflexivity", an expression coined by Gorge Soros in his The Alchemy of Finance, to describe the interchangeability of cause and effect, is a standard feature of the way financial markets react. The dollar goes up because it has gone up (in recent weeks, the other way round). So do share prices.

'I'm the raja, I'll decide'
The Reliance decision was challenged by various GSM-mobile phone firms and there is an attempt to create a split in their ranks -- Maxis Aircel has already withdrawn from the court case, and it is likely another one or two firms will follow as they've been made to believe this improves their chances of getting spectrum.

November 02, 2007
Meet Maruti's new boss Nakanishi
The fact that Ratan Tata is lurking around the corner with his Rs 1 lakh car will not make Nakanishi's job any easier, or less public.

Solve this case, win Rs 25,000!
Rediff Business presents the TCS Smart Manager Case Contest # 31 for managers, along with The Smart Manager, the management magazine! We give you a profile and the history of a company. All you have to do is study it and post your solution in 500 words or less.

The middle class sense of value
Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Christian Dior and their ilk have discovered the Indian rich and everyone is exulting over the coming of age of the Indian consumer. But long before these trendy luxury stores made their fashionable and perfumed entries into India, the Indian middle class consumer made a significant if little-noticed transition up the value chain.

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