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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Better-off alone...

...and that is what has propelled Cargill’s growth!

Going public is not its style, and with due respects it has reasons enough to prove its point! Being completely family owned, the parent entity - Cargill Incorporation – is not listed anywhere, which is the only reason why it is not listed in the Fortune 500 list! The company is present in 63 countries and is the world’s largest privately held corporation. With humble beginnings from a simple grain trading storage facility (in the US) in the year 1865, the company in 2006 alone earned $75.2 billion in revenues and $1.72 billion in profits. Cargill’s business activities include purchasing, processing, and distributing grain and other agricultural commodities, and the manufacturing and sale of livestock feed and ingredients for processed foods and pharmaceuticals. It has also made a successful foray into the financial sector which manages financial risks in the commodity markets. Warren Staley, the CEO, like many senior executives, he has been associated with it for over 30 years. He is also the third nonmember of the Cargill-MacMillan family. William Wallace Cargill – the founder set a rapid pace of growth for the company which also had its negatives as the company ran into high debts in the early 1990s. Then his son-in-law John MacMillan restructured its financial structure, which eventually saved it. He divested businesses unrelated to its profitable grain trading area and moved into food processing. In short, a company that has remained free of the vagaries of the stock scams and has done well to prove the logic behind being privately-held!
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Live and let live…

Apart from the automotive sector, the company has also fortified its presence in real estate and financial services

The Mahindra group is on a true expansion binge. In yet another international collaboration doing the rounds, the Rs. 94.5 billion Mahindra & Mahindra has signed a memorandum of understanding with French car maker Renault. Under the agreement, the duo will set up a green field plant within five years. The plant will have an annual capacity of 500,000 units and will be primarily used for the Logan model range. The Scorpio as a product is the single largest contributor to the company’s fortunes today, the net income of the company last year stood at a whopping Rs. 83.2 billion. The subsequent updated version of Scorpio as well as some minor modifications in other model ranges including the Bolero and Marshall MUVs (Multi Utility Vehicles) have further added value. Last year the company produced 128,601 vehicles and this includes 2705 LCVs (Light Commercial Vehicles) as well. About 22,317 three wheelers were produced at the same time. The company has been present in almost every emerging sector.

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Source: IIPM, 4Ps, B&E

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Can’t fire him guys, even if he is ‘Bush’ed!

Que: Forgetting politics, how long would you continue to employ US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? He appears to have done a poor job planning and executing the war’s strategy, and he’s evidently lost the respect of the people who work for him. How do you view this from a management perspective? (Jeff Moskow, Las Vegas, Nev.)

Ans: You can’t forget politics in this case as senior White House appointments are all about politics. One can’t really evaluate this situation from a strict management perspective. Government is just not business, especially with respect to dealing with performance issues. To elaborate, consider the recent spate of high-profile corporate departures. William Clay Ford Jr. basically fired himself as CEO, stepping down from the family company he had run for five years. After over two decades of close collaboration, Viacom founder & Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone asked CEO Thomas E. Freston to move on. In contrast, David L. Calhoun, Vice Chairman at GE, was lured into the private equity world by an offer to run privately-held Dutch firm VNU Group. All three departures caused reactions from surprise to disappointment – Freston’s was quite unexpected. But the transitions were swift and smooth. Ford, who will continue as Chairman, announced his resignation as CEO at the same time as he named his successor, Boeing Executive Alan R. Mulally. Freston was immediately replaced by longtime Redstone adviser, Philippe P. Dauman. Calhoun’s job was taken up by GE Executive John G. Rice.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Garib Rath ready to roll out

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s dream project Garib Rath will probably be rolled out on October 4. Lalu, who has turned Indian Railways on its head and made it into a money-spinning machine and who’s now delivering management lectures at the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, plans to target low and middle income passengers with air-conditioned Raths, tickets to which are going to be extremely affordable. (Earlier, the minister had announced that the first Garib Rath would be launched on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, from Saharsa in Bihar.) The trains will be run on four sectors: Saharsa-Amritsar, Nizamuddin-Chennai, Nizamuddin-Patna and Nizamuddin-Bandra. For complete information on IIPM Research & Publication Article, please click here...

Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri; Source: IIPM Publication and Business & Economy

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

‘Energy’ Booster

Then there is also the good news of Reliance Energy Limited’s success in terms of securing four coalbed methane blocks in July this year with an estimated 235 billion cubic metres of gas – sufficient to power 5000 MW of power generation. Yet another invaluable source of natural gas for Anil’s ambitious dream. According to Reliance Energy officials, “Reliance’s future growth is dependent on setting up of large capacity based power plants. But the feasibility of these power plants depends upon the ability of REL and its affiliates to source the gas feed stock economically and on a sustainable basis from RIL,” And sadly, this is where the joy ride for Anil Ambani seems to have hit a roadblock. His ambitious 7,480 MW Dadri Power Project seems to have run out of gas with the government declining to allow the Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to supply gas to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) at a cheaper rate (part of the family settlement).

For complete IIPM Research & Publication Article, please click here...

Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Source: IIPM Publication and Business & Economy

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Are Indians finally rich?

In FY ‘06, the automobile industry grew by 12% in terms of numbers and 10% in value terms. Furthermore, exports crossed the $2 billion mark. At the moment, the auto industry accounts for 5% of the GDP, and these figures are expected to keep on flying high in future. Both national and global players seem to be bullish on India as never before. Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Santosh Mohan Dev, on September 7, 2006, at the Annual Convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), confirmed, “Manufacturers have announced plans to invest Rs.11,000 crore in the past 9 months.” On the same day, Japanese automobile giant Suzuki announced a fresh investment of Rs.30 billion in Maruti. The investment will be added on to Rs.60 billion investments earmarked by the company for new models and new plants. Even Honda is gearing up with an investment size of $200 million. M. Takedagawa, CEO & President, Honda Siel, divulged, “The plant will be primarily used for small cars production. However... we will be in a position to launch a small car only in 2010.”

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Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Source: IIPM Publication

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Now, even them... (IIPM Editorial)

China suffers income inequality

The ‘long march’ of the famed Chinese resurgence as the economic super power seems to have failed to bridge the big divide in China. The China Development Report, brought out by UNDP, contends that inequalities have sharpened over the economic reform period post- 1979. Intra-rural, intra-urban and rural urban inequalities have witnessed a rise in the 1990s. The most glaring disparity relates to the sharp increase of the ratio of urban-rural per capita income, which increased from 1.86 to 3.11 between 1985 and 2002. It can be contended that given the amenities currently provided to urban Chinese, like subsidies for housing, rent, medical care and education, even these figures are grossly underestimated, because, if these subsidies are removed, then the same ratio would climb by around 400%, making the inequality the highest in the world. A similar report commissioned by the OECD also contends that China faces an acute form of inter-regional disparity. Even the ratio of per capita income of eastern to central states has gone up from 1.42 in 1997 to 1.52 in 2003. The real challenge for planners is to spread the riches from coastal regions to the hinterland of China. The Chinese system stands to face grave danger if these concerns are not addressed at the earliest.

For complete IIPM Research & Publication Article, please click here...

Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri; Source: IIPM Publication

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Business&Economy, IIPM>> Asger Jorn’s Oil Painting

17,421,269 INR to 26,131,902 INR

A rebel. That is how one could perceive Asger Oluf Jorgensen alias Asger Jorn. Born to staunch Christians, Jorn worked to break away from his religious stranglehold. His rebellious nature manifested in art forms that broke away from reality through deformed human representations, a sense of violence in brushwork and incredible colour chemistry. This was also the concept of COBRA – a group he co-founded to promote semi-abstract paintings; he even formulated a weird form of football that was three sided and didn’t believe in goal scores, but focussed on the skill of defending goals. Guess, Zidane would agree with Jorn’s explosive and ‘heady’ spirit.

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Source: IIPM Publication, Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Monday, August 14, 2006

Big as its Ruler

When Muhammad Ibnu Bdi l-Wahhab (an Arab religious leader) successfully consolidated an otherwise disintegrated country in 1744 to give birth to Saudi Arabia, little would he have known that he was building a nation that’s almost floating on the elixir of power – oil. Since inception, there were a series of raids and attacks by rulers of the Ottoman Empire and other contenders from the Arab world to conquer the trade route between Arabian nations and the rest of the world. It was only in 1902 that late Sultan Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (better known as Ibn Saud) won back Riyadh from his rival family and ended the struggle for power over the country. The West accepted Saudi Arabia as an independent state only when it signed the Treaty of Jedda on May 20, 1927. Ibn Saud’s dynasty continues to rule till date through current Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who is a staunch supporter of the West. While the political fate was decided in 1927, it took three more years before the economic destiny of the country was completely transformed; with discovery of its oil reserves. Since then, the economic ascent of Saudi Arabia has made history. Also historical have been its strong ties with the United States, although, though relations were strained for a while when fifteen of the nineteen hijackers of 9/11 were found to be of Saudi Arabian origin.

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Source: IIPM Publication, Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Friday, August 11, 2006

The crusader of personal causes

The former Prime Minister’s recent agitation is a response for grinding axe against many old foes

Mandal Messiah, Tax-investigator, Bofors-inquisitor, Dacoit-vanquisher... Former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, may have donned many a role during his 37-years political career, but never that of a fighter for farmers’ rights. That was only till last month when V. P. Singh led a farmers’ rally in Ghaziabad (UP), demanding adequate compensation for their land acquired for building a thermal power station by who-else but his pet hate, Anil Ambani. It was his raid-regime against Dhirubhai Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited in 1987 that had cost him his job as the Union Finance Minister. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had shift ed him to Defence Ministry. But his inquisitions into allegations of commission being paid in the Bofors gun deal got him sacked from the Cabinet too. He resigned from the Congress and the Parliament, accusing Rajiv Gandhi of shielding commission agents in the Bofors deal. He won the Lok Sabha by-election from Allahabad as an independent. This gave India its new Mr. Clean, who was ready to end corruption in high places. He made Bofors a synonym of corruption in all spheres of life. Singh’s Jan Morcha became a rallying point for not only common man, but also all non-Congress parties including BJP and the Left parties. He became Prime Minister in 1989, promising to bring Bofors agents to book. But, instead, he ended up doing a balancing act between the Left and the BJP. To counter BJP’s Ram temple card, he implemented the Mandal Commission report providing 27% quota to ‘other backward castes’ in all educational institutions. That ignited youth passions and a number of students even immolated themselves in protest.

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Source: IIPM Publication, Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

IIPM EDITORIAL >> The Report of the Huda Committee

These absurdities and anomalies prompted the Planning Commission to appoint the Anwarul Huda Committee to come up with renegade improvisations, subliming the abysmal performance of the mining sector. Submitted in June this year, the report of the Huda Committee indicates a path towards eventual entry for private investors into the sector, though it doesn’t yearn for an outright privatisation. The key suggestions made by the committee were related to the grant of captive mines to steel and power producers in the country. Other than that, it had also suggested that the procedure for granting licenses be made “seamless”. “We hope the recommendations are accepted and implemented,” says D. K. Sahani, President, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries. Ever since India began pursuing the path of economic reforms, China’s image in the eyes of Indians has undergone a change from that of a former adversary to a role model. Yet, despite witnessing China’s success in every major field, our policy makers still choose the beaten path instead of the winning formula. The reality is, India has no dearth of minerals to be explored and extracted.

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Source: (B&E), IIPM; Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Friday, June 23, 2006

IIPM :: Merging, acquiring promises?

Indian haute couture bigwigs are going shopping; and more than a year since the abolition of the global quota regime (from January 1, 2005), the new ‘mantra’ for Indian textile majors to go global is through cross border acquisitions; and Malwa Industries will surely be considered a pioneer in this. The company recently announced its glamorous acquisitions of mill majors Emmetre Tintolavanderie Industriali (Italy) and Third Dimension (Jordan) for a total consideration of $11 million in May 2006. “Italy is known for its trends and knowledge in denim; and the Jordan acquisition will enable us to have a foothold in garment manufacturing with duty-free access to US & European markets,” says Tarun Chawla, President, Malwa. On another front, Gujarat Heavy Chemicals, the flagship company of Dalmia Group, acquired US-based Dan River Raymond on May 27, 2006. On a third front, marking a historic achievement, Orient Craft acquired a Levis manufacturing plant in Spain on May 14, 2006.

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Source: IIPM (Business& Economy), Editor: Arindam Chaudhuri

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

IIPM Editorial : The FBI head Robert S. Mueller III told editors and reporters...

Eight months later, FBI head Robert S. Mueller III told editors and reporters at The Washington Post that after what must have been the most intense manhunt in history, “We think the masterminds of the Sept. 11 attacks were in Afghanistan, high in the al-Qaida leadership. Plotters and others – the principals – came together in Germany and perhaps elsewhere.” What was still unclear in June 2002 could not have been known definitively the preceding October, though few doubted at once that it was true. Nor did I, for what it’s worth, but surmise and evidence are two different things. At least, it seems fair to say that the circumstances raise a question about whether bombing Afghans was a transparent example of “just war.” Walzer’s arguments are directed to unnamed targets – for example, campus opponents who are “pacifists.”

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Source: IIPM Editorial

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ryanair charges Unfair France

Europe’s leading low-cost carrier, Ryanair, has filed its objection with the European Commission (EC) based on the argument that Air France’s receipt of $1.29 billion is undoubtedly an unfair state aid. Ryanair, who had recently announced its choice of Marseilles as the 16th European base, called it a ‘rampant monopoly in the French Market.’ The collection was made in lieu of landing rights offered at publicly owned airports in France. Airports fix charges for domestic flights at 50% as compared to those charged for services to other European states, which is illegal under European law and thus it serves as an unfair advantage and gives the upper hand to France’s national flag carrier. The no-frills carrier wants the French major to return the illegal aid and amendment.

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Source: Publication, IIPM

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wal-Mart’s prices have a massive positive impact (IIPM Editorial)

Wal-Mart helps individuals, communities and whole economies prosper. Yes, Wal-Mart is huge and getting more so. Yes, its business model threatens competitors and its purchasing power frightens suppliers. But all that doesn’t make Wal-Mart bad. It just makes Wal-Mart a big fat target for critics who, for reasons of their own, won’t acknowledge the many ways Wal-Mart improves lives. First and most obviously, Wal-Mart’s prices have a massive positive impact on the quality of life of millions of consumers. No other retailer offers so many good products for so little, from groceries to school supplies to medicine to home furnishings. And in doing so, Wal-Mart helps keep household expenses low in a way that no social or government program could even attempt.

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Source: IIPM - Business & Economy

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Success of Oracle (IIPM Editorial)

It’s common knowledge; the foundation for the success of Oracle has always been its databases and it is offering Java-based middleware and a range of wide applications after it acquired PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems. Oracle is also integrating open-source technology into their middleware and products. Latest on Oracle’s interest is selling the whole “software stack” that is a complete suite of software, including operating system and applications. Competitors Microsoft and IBM flaunt benefits of these packages, popularly called “stacks.” Half a decade ago, Oracle started adapting Linux to large servers.

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Source: IIPM Publication

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Legacy of the Catastrophe

To summarise the legacy of the catastrophe suffered in these economies: An open capital account, with quasi-IMF-forced higher interest rates, attracted a flurry of borrowings (on an average, almost 50% of total capital in- flows) from abroad, generating the lending boom and immediate asset price bubbles. For many banks in the East Asian economies, the growth rate of foreign exchange liabilities started outpacing their foreign asset increase rate by about 5% per annum. And to utter surprise, these foreign liabilities, instead of being backed by cash flows, were backed by collaterals like real estate and equity, which were already standing tall on top of a bubble. The absolutely unprepared banking systems of these economies soon faced the growing mismatch of borrowing short and lending long. Interestingly, it was the Mexican Peso crisis in 1995-96 that was the tipping point for panic among foreign investors in East Asia as the flow of capital reversed from these countries in the period around 1996-97, giving rise to a fear of massive devaluation.

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Source: Business&Economy, IIPM

Saturday, April 22, 2006


There is a First World backlash against the Asian century; yet, the racist rants will prove to be futile... The First World hypocrisy has to end immediately; lest the world continues suffering...

In the late 1980s, bestselling author Michael Crichton wrote a hugely successful novel called The Rising Sun. Beyond the politically correct jargon, the book talked about how powerful Japanese corporations were taking over America. Uncle Sam was in a tumult; Sony had taken over Columbia Tri-Star and Toyota had already emerged as a strategic threat to GM and Ford. The American political class and the Bible belt underclass were busy excoriating the “yellow peril”. Read More..


A disrespectful indiscretion, a sleight of hand, a snide comment, an affronting tactic, an insulting strategy, a threatening competitive positioning, and more... and more... Maruti never forgets its competitors... Read More..

Tech India Reloaded

The Indian IT industry has long been viewed as a giant that could only bear the Olympic torch of software, or at best, become the world's most efficient and influential back office.. Read More..

Has anybody seen Koizumi?

Vanished! Untraceable! Out of sight! But yet not out of mind, is the position the Japanese Prime Minister Jonichiro Koizumi finds himself in; what with the unbelievable acceptance by the Japanese government Read More..

Another Advani yatra? Yawn...

Advani – the fallen politician, virtually expelled from his post as BJP President after his Pro-Jinnah remarks – is trying his desperate self to regain ground. Read More..

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Source: IIPM - Business & Economy

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The current evolution/intelligent design controversy...

Be that as it may, the background of the current evolution/intelligent design controversy is the widespread rejection of science, a phenomenon with deep roots in American history that has been cynically exploited for narrow political gain during the last quarter-century. Read More....

Source: IIPM - Business & Economy

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Parsons is on the right track; Icahn just needs to be paid off

Corporate raider and billionaire investor Carl Icahn is at it yet again- doing what he does best-trying to boost the stock price of his holdings. This time, his target is the world’s largest media conglomerate-Time Warner. Last month he disclosed that he and a group of like-minded investors had acquired a 2.6% stake in the company and thus began his campaign to improve shareholder value. Read More on IIPM Editorial Article...

Source: IIPM - Business & Economy