IIPM - Indian Institute of Planning & Management

Monday, December 11, 2006

Now more Swedish cement on Indian soil

Swedish cement maker Holcim, the world’s second-largest cement maker after Lafarge, bought an additional 3.6% stake in Gujarat Ambuja Cements (GACL) to add to its existing 14.8% holding, taking the total holding to 18.4%. The Swiss cement maker bought about 50 million shares from the founders of GACL at Rs.138.65 a share, valuing the stake at Rs.6.85 billion ($153.3 million). The promoters of GACL – Sekhsaria family, sold the shares to Mauritius-based Holcim’s subsidiary, Holderind Investments. Holcim had acquired 14.8% stake in GACL from the promoters in January this year when it bought a majority stake in GACL.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

At 5, time to face the real world!

After five glorious years of podcasting excellence, Apple now needs to look beyond its legendary music player

“With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again,” said Steve Jobs on the launch of iPod on October 23, 2001. Five years hence, his comments, indeed, look like an understatement. Not only has the iPod redefined the way people listen to the music, but has initiated a complete turnaround for the company. Result, Apple earned revenues worth $1.6 billion from the sale of its iPod in the third quarter, which is more than the total sales of the company during the same period in 2001. And to think that Apple had hardly anything to do with music around five years ago! All this while, Apple has been walking alone in the absence of any competition. Of course, the market is flooded with digital music players from companies like Archos, Creative Labs, e.Digital, Philips and RCA, but none of them comes anywhere close until now. The ability to converge easily with the computer, consumer electronics and music industry coupled with the unparalleled music & video features have made the iPod unbeatable. Following its tradition, Apple launched yet another model of iPod on September 12. Owing to its latest video features, the new iPod has a 60% brighter screen, vibrant 2.5 inch colour display and a 80 GB hard drive that can store up to 20,000 songs or 100 hours of video content. For more information on IIPM Editorial Article, please click here...,

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Source: IIPM, B&E

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The olden neoclassical structures with gargoyles...

Helsinki was a no-brainer for the first place to visit in my sojourn through Finland’s “Southern triangle” as Arttu lovingly put it (though, like the Black Eyed Peas I felt like shouting “where is the love?”). Having been designed along a set of oddly shaped land masses jutting into the Baltic coast, you’d be forgiven to believe that the seascape is the most eye-catching feature of this cosmopolitan city, but the architectural marvels all around me have a tale of their own. “The olden neoclassical structures with gargoyles and the 20th century facades make Helsinki a very distinct Scandinavian capital indeed.” Well, what do you know… Arttu speaks too! First up on my itinerary is a visit to the Mannerheim Museum. Located in a hauntingly beautiful area called Kaivopuisto, Arttu was my ready reckoner to this fascinating sight. “This was originally a villa, home to the Marshal of Finland, Baron C.G. Mannerheim.” As I wind my way through the villa-cum-museum, I come to learn of how the artifacts were put together piece by piece as Mannerheim’s travels unfolded and his curios found a resting place in this place of interest. My mind’s eye cannot help but glance askance at the islands dotting Helsinki’s periphery, and Suomenlinna is one of them. Arttu read my intentions like a book and a quick 15 minute ride later, I was standing on its quay. For more information on IIPM Editorials, please click here..., Also visit: Arindam Chaudhuri Initiative


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Monday, September 11, 2006

There are two categories of intellectuals...

One common expression of this prevailing view is that there are two categories of intellectuals: The “technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals” – responsible, sober, constructive – and the “value-oriented intellectuals,” a sinister grouping who pose a threat to democracy as they “devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking of established institutions.” I am quoting from a 1975 study by the Trilateral Commission – liberal internationalists from the United States, Europe and Japan. They were reflecting on the “crisis of democracy” that developed in the 1960s, when normally passive and apathetic sectors of the population, called “the special interests,” sought to enter the political arena in order to advance their concerns. Those improper initiatives created what the study called a “crisis of democracy,” in which the proper functioning of the state was threatened by “excessive democracy.” To overcome this crisis, the special interests must be restored to their proper function as passive observers, so that the “technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals” can do their constructive work.


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Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Source: IIPM Publication

Friday, September 01, 2006

King fisher Airlines (IIPM: 4Ps Publication)

It can be rightly called the domestic version of Virgin Atlantic, for there are too many similarities. Both are relatively new and growing, are low cost carriers, and just like Virgin Atlantic is said to be carrying the flamboyant persona of its Chairman Richard Branson, so is every bit of Kingfisher Airlines; done in true Vijay Mallya style – fun-loving and colourful. And in just one year of its air time, it has sizzled the skies, managed to create a niche for itself and a loyal brand of flyers who swear by the flying experience. Kingfisher took off from the tarmac at a time when the Indian skies were abuzz with no-frills airlines. Technically, Kingfisher is a low cost airlines (its fares are lower than other carriers like Jet Airways), but remaining true to its tag-line, Fly the good times, the airline has chosen the middle path, with its comparatively low fares and truly world-class experience, additionally being the first airline to offer a premium first class service just on domestic routes. It was the first Indian airline to don its aircraft with personal video monitors for in-fight entertainment, an experience a traveller could have previously had only on some international flights. Add to that the vibrant ambience, some of the best cuisines on offer, wide and comfortable seats, hospitable and breathtaking gorgeous crew, and attractive offers for availing of cheap tickets... Voila, flying had been truly reengineered! And the list of firsts is still not over, the first airline to launch itself with a brand new aircraft, the A 320, Kingfisher keeps an impressive fleet of 8 Airbus A320s and 3 A319s, and is ambitiously buying more. And the icing on the cake – with its US subsidiary also getting registered, Kingfisher might be India’s answer to Southwest Airlines.

For complete IIPM Editorial Article, please click here...

Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Source: IIPM Publication

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

IIPM Editorial -> “I don’t take drugs. I am drugs.” ...

Whereas, Dali extolled the virtues of lunacy as a way of retrieving subconscious creativity and was a self-styled madman, pulling stunts like jumping energetically in public to get attention, Barrett was having a difficult time with his possibly drug-catalysed mental instability and suffered its more serious implications by being institutionalised. While LSD and other drugs were taking their toll on Barrett, Dali had been denying aspersions that his dream-like and grotesque works showing melting clocks and elephants with spiders’ legs were the results of tripping, by claiming: “I don’t take drugs. I am drugs.” Remembered for their maverick manners, both chose to leave the world in as individual a way as they lived. In his later years, Dalí gave up his public antics and with a final flourish bought himself a castle and locked himself in one of its towers, living off his sizeable savings until his death in 1989. Barrett, too, was a recluse from 1971 – when he made use of his degree in art and took up painting as his creative outlet – until his recent death on 7th July. The Spanish Salvador and the British Barrett may no longer be, but their genius is recorded eternally in their works and significant influences.


For complete IIPM Editorial Article, please click here...

Source: IIPM Publication, Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A climb to count on... :: IIPM Publication

Of course, blinkered as most analysts are, their sudden interest in Zee is because Zee TV convincingly dislodged Sony from the number two slot in TRP ratings from March this year (prime time slot) and had managed to dethrone even Star Plus for a week during the summer of June 2006 (as per TAM Media Research). Ashish Kaul, Senior VP, Corporate Brand Development, Zee Networks Ltd., credits the achievement to the change in leadership with the coming in of Pradeep Guha and states that, “People dropped their offensive mindset and started working with synergy and a centralised marketing & communication approach is being followed.” In reality, it goes beyond mere TRPs. There’s more to Zee's success story. We are surely witnessing the gradual emergence of Zee Networks as a media conglomerate with footprints in nearly all key segments. After years of being denied telecast rights despite being the highest bidder on quite a few occasions, Zee Sports has finally managed to break the stranglehold of Star owned ESPN-Star Sports over Indian cricket telecasts. With a friendlier team led by Union Minister Sharad Pawar at the helm, Chandra knows that Zee Sports now has a bright future. On April 6, 2005, Zee TV won the bid for telecasting rights for 25 one dayers to be played by India in overseas non-ICC venues, a bid closed at $219.15 million.