Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya heads a multinational conglomerate that recorded $1.6 billion in sales last year. He has homes around the world. The walls of his Sausalito mansion feature Picasso, Renoir, Chagall, Turner. He has one of the world's foremost collections of classic cars.

He is a member of the Indian Parliament, leader of a political party, a player in the fields of media, technology and commerce.

But Mallya wants more: big-time American business success.

"I want to achieve market leadership in this country, because this represents the biggest challenge,'' Mallya said in an interview in his Sausalito home.

Mallya thinks he has the products to do it: a "pesticide" that he says will work for organic farmers, and a spray to rid households of dust mites.

For Mallya, it's a departure from his core business as India's leading brewmeister. He produces the top brand, Kingfisher Beer, and in the U.S. he is expanding his Mendocino Brewing Co.'s operations.

In some ways, it may seem that Mallya, 47, spreads himself fairly thin. He has 26 homes around the world ("I counted once," said Tony Bedi, who runs Mallya's American United Breweries International), including residences in Sausalito, Napa, Trump Plaza in New York, a castle in Scotland, Monte Carlo, and homes in every major city in India, including New Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore,

Goa and Calcutta.

His antique racing cars number more than 260, stored in 10 countries. He's got two yachts in California, a few in India, the famed Kalizma -- a 165-foot Edwardian yacht once owned by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and now based in the Mediterranean -- and a 187-foot yacht under construction in Australia. He also owns a Boeing 727 and a Gulfstream jet, and he pilots his own planes and boats, Bedi notes.

Yet Mallya is nothing if not a businessman. "I work seven days a week," he says, always plugging in, even while basking in his hedonistic lifestyle. His UB Group encompasses more than 60 companies in six main business lines: alcoholic beverages, engineering and technology, agriculture, life sciences, media, and leisure.

Mallya inherited the UB Group from his father, who died of a heart attack in 1983, when Mallya was 27 years old. "He dropped dead at a party," Mallya said. "One week after he died, I was voted chairman and CEO of a public company."

At the time, Mallya said, he had a reputation as something of a playboy, but he also had been a keen student of business.

Not that he had much choice. "I wanted to be a doctor like my grandfather, " Mallya said. "My father put his foot down and said, 'No, he's going into business.' Did I choose? No, but I came to enjoy it."

Mallya was an only child, and his father, part of the first generation of businessmen to achieve success after India's independence, had high hopes for him. "My father was a very strict man," Mallya said. "He was very wealthy, but he brought me up normally. He was a great stickler for performance and hard work."

His father made him take a job as a $40 a month store clerk in "the small sleepy town of Shahjahanpur," in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. "All I had for transportation was a bicycle," he said. "The nearest movie hall was 12 miles away."

Mallya hated it, but came to value it later for the character it instilled.

He attended university in Calcutta, earned a master's in business in India as well, and earned a doctorate through correspondence from the University of California at Irvine. Today, his contemporaries call him Dr. Mallya.

After his schooling was complete, Mallya was living in New Jersey, working for Hoechst, a pharmaceutical firm now known as Aventis, a firm in which his father had a significant ownership stake.

At the time, his father was also schooling Mallya in the basics of the UB Group, formed in 1947 when the elder Mallya bought a controlling stake in Kingfisher Beer. "He passed along many responsibilities in 2 1/2 years, as he became more and more confident in my capabilities," Mallya said.

Vittal Mallya died when Vijay Mallya was in the United States. The heir quickly applied some American business lessons to the enterprise.

"I shrunk the spectrum of businesses tremendously," he said, gradually exiting the processed food business, petrochemicals and plastics, batteries, paints, pharmaceuticals and others. In some cases, he said, he saw multinational corporations coming into India, and he sold out to the competition.

For instance, he had a carbonated beverage business, but "I saw Pepsi and Coke coming and I said, 'I'm outta here.' I shut it down."

"This concept of competitive advantage, I must give credit to my time in the U.S.," he said. "My first stint in the U.S. really influenced my business life a lot. I looked at things in an American way, and not in an Indian way."

He whittled the group from 20 business lines to six, focusing on areas of core competence. He gradually "beautified" the businesses before selling them off. He entered new markets, such as fertilizer, recognizing India's agricultural economy.

He boasts that UB has grown from $100 million in sales when he took it over to $1.6 billion today.

Kingfisher, the flagship product, was the fourth-selling beer in India when he got the company; today it is the runaway leader, with more than 25 percent market share.

Mallya credits marketing for that jump -- with no small credit to his own role. He appears in Kingfisher's ads. "I am the brand ambassador," he said,

and, citing Kingfisher's slogan, he added, "I am the 'King of Good Times.' "

People who know him vouch for that. "He's a man with money who knows how to spend it," said Dicky Gill, a former race car driver in India. "There are rich people all over the world, but he knows how to enjoy himself."

Dilip Massand, who ran a promising dot-com catering to Indian Americans called, had a whirlwind negotiation with Mallya one weekend in New York. Mallya was smoking his customary cigar, drinking a beer, living, Massand said, "like a maharaja."

"He has a commanding presence," Massand said. "One thing you could see with him was the aura of patronage. ... He was tremendously gracious and generous with his friends. For the time you're with him, it's champagne wishes and caviar dreams. But when it boils down to business, he's a tough dollars- and-cents man."

Michael Laybourn, one of the founders of Mendocino Brewing Co., said Mallya helped save his firm, giving it an infusion of capital, acquiring other companies, and providing great synergy by putting it in charge of Kingfisher's American operations.

Laybourn remembers one episode in which he shipped the company's newest beer from its brewery in Ukiah to home base in Hopland -- down the Russian River in a raft. "Vijay went along with it. He even left his entourage behind, " Laybourn said. As they floated lazily downstream, Laybourn said, " 'Vijay, do you ever get a chance to calm down and relax like this?' He says, 'Never.' He got a little break there for at least half an hour, but if he had fallen in,

he'd have ruined all his little machines."

There were some culture clashes when the flamboyant Mallya took over the hippie-like Mendocino operation. India's class system was hard to swallow. "People working for him from India are right there all the time, anytime he clicks his finger, and he doesn't have to describe why," Laybourn said. "Certainly he's a member of the ruling class."

Mallya sometimes can still cause a stir in the microbrew industry, but generally, as with most of his businesses, he lets his delegates run the operation.

Mallya is something of a celebrity in India. His homes appear in society magazines. His name makes bold type in gossip columns. Everything that happens to him seems to generate news -- like the time this past summer when his helicopter crashed. (It plunged 150 feet straight down, but no one was killed, and Mallya walked away unscathed. "The message is from above," he said. "I have a second life.")

By the time of the crash, Mallya had already embarked on his political career. He is a member of Parliament, and leads the Janata Party. His goal is to empower India's vast population of youth. His pitch is: "I'm a wealthy man. ... Therefore, my government will not be corrupt."

He wants to toss out the old leaders, and establish term limits. His party is small now, but in videos he is seen flashing a "youth power" sign, making a "V" with his fingers as throngs of people cheer him in the streets.

In his political ventures, Mallya starts addressing the seeming disconnect between his wealthy lifestyle and the teeming poverty often associated with India.

"Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, once said that only 10 percent of what is allocated for rural development reaches the people, and the other 90 percent is lost to corruption and inefficiency," Mallya said. "We are not a poor country. ... We are among the top five industrialized nations in the world. We have huge natural resources. We have a vibrant agricultural economy and among the lowest cost of agricultural production in the world. We have huge food surpluses. In the high-tech fields of information technology and software development, we are world-beaters.

"Why is India still referred to as a poor country? Because the billions allocated to the poor don't get to the poor. It's a big challenge," he said. "It's all a question of management and discipline."

Mallya initially got into agriculture by taking over a state-run fertilizer business and restoring it to profitability. Now he intends to get into the organic market with SoluNeem, a pesticide made from India's neem tree that may be used in organic food production. It may be a shrewd move, as the Organic Trade Association reports 57 million acres around the world are in organic production, with demand for organic products increasing to $23 billion.

But it's not without competition. The Organic Materials Review Institute notes at least 11 other neem pesticides on the market, and says others have run into problems trying to become water soluble while not changing the chemical makeup into something that would be prohibited on an organic farm.

Meanwhile, Mallya's children are growing up American. He had come to the Bay Area when his wife was having a difficult pregnancy, and doctors ordered her to stay. They bought the 11,000-square-foot mansion out of foreclosure for $1.2 million when it was just a shell, and sank many times that amount into its renovation.

Lawsuits followed, but ultimately Mallya built his dream home, with views stretching from Belvedere to the Bay Bridge and San Francisco. It's one of the most prominent homes in Sausalito.

Mallya is also something of a player in town, as the owner of MarinScope newspapers, publisher of five small weeklies in Marin County. But aside from making his classic cars available to local parades (some of the cars are worth $3 million; Mallya himself has raced in his 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, among others), Mallya has not gotten involved in local politics.

"When you come to a town like this," said Mayor Amy Belser, "and you have money, and you buy the newspaper, and you buy this huge house that's been in contention for years, people take notice. But to my knowledge, he hasn't made any particular enemies that I know of."

(There might be one: Among those who sued over the construction of his house was the next door neighbor, former Mayor Bill Ziegler. Mallya said he won the suit, and bought Ziegler's house. "I've got a plan for it," Mallya said, eyeing the now-vacant home in a prime spot overlooking Bridgeway and the bay. "I'm going to make it part of my deck." Ziegler did not return a phone call seeking comment).

The house is chock-full of art and furniture purchased at auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's, from chairs that he said he out-bid three museums to get, to a gold 1872 Steinway piano, to all those famous painters. He leads a tour into a bathroom to show off an antique fountain he had converted into a basin.

"It's so unique, either you love it or you hate it," he said. "I'm sure whoever designed it 100 years ago thought it would be in an English garden, not in some washroom."

Mallya must drive harder bargains in business than he does in negotiating with his family. How else to explain the Indian beer baron's compromise in the familial debate over giving his teenage stepson his first car?

Mallya wanted him to drive a scuffed-up beater, like he had to do when he came of age. He recalled his days of grunt work in Uttar Pradesh.

But Marin County peer pressure is a powerful force. Mallya folded and gave the boy a Mercedes ML.

"It was a compromise,'' Mallya shrugs. "But he does not get to drive my Ferrari!''

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English entrepreneur, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies.

Branson's first successful business venture was at age 15, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in late 2007.

With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s - as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.

Today, his net worth is estimated at over £4 billion (US$7.8 billion) according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2006, or US$3.8 billion according to Forbes magazine

Monday, February 18, 2008

BOARDS::Another Suicide season is coming

One more Board Exams(and IIT JEE) are approaching so as season to SUICIDE, that gives lines on the forehead of authorities like Dr. Ashok Ganguly(CBSE Chairman ) rather being relieved after a year of hard work.

What makes the situation that much adverse that pupil is forced to take an extreme step?

In fact for sure parents love their children very much and can anything to save them from this Monster .

The question still hangs like a dark cloud: what are the solutions?

Everybody can give his own solutions but rather going into the solutions….lets try to find a root cause so that an exact medicine only should be given to this PLAGUE.

To go any further lets see what is a EDUCATION as a process?

Education is not all about examinations, but rather it is an ongoing process that never stops and can happen in various situations, we would not make such a fuss out of failing in examinations. Instead, ‘failure’ in examinations is actually just another part of the process of education and has to be perceived in a positive way. A student may fail to get good grades in examinations during school but excel during their tertiary education..

Though Knowledge and Skills through Education is required for a person to earn bread but to fulfill his or her role as a human being and as someone responsible in their specific discipline to help make this world a better place for living. Therefore, it’s not all about scores; but it is about values, knowledge, and character. If this is understood well, then we will not confine the process of education to such a small scope that is based on examinations entirely. Sean Covey, son of popular author Stephen R. Covey, pointed out on this matter in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”. He wrote: “Although grades are important, becoming truly educated is more important...

Now we ready to explore problems in our Education System that’s acting as a termite.

1) Education System

I think our Education System just based on Cramming ,rather on fundamentals which is important a good character for the society.A good Crammer can score more than a student who has better understanding,learning ability and discretion power(that’s where he feels cheated from a crammer)

2) The Capitalistic Society

Our society, due to being so engulfed by the idea of capitalism, has the perception that everything must by materialistically measurable. Developments, for instance, is seen as the rising of high towers, the constructing of sophisticatedly-engineered buildings, and the high figures that the country makes from investments and taxes. In education, excellence is measured almost entirely by the number of As a student gets or how much grade point the student manages to score. In order to obtain those, of course the most important thing is the examination. Thus, much weight is put onto examinations; to such an extent that it may have just been too much weight..

A example…. Sachin Tendulkar didn’t had a pleasant academics, but he has still a huge financial success….

3) The Evil Human Nature

There is evil human nature that makes him dangerous animal on the planet; Man is not in problem because of his problem rather he is in grief because his neighbor or his competitor is more happier

Here are some living examples that can support my context…..

· My cousin got 91.2% in her boards but her father didn’t appreciated her effort; because she didn’t topped the school by mere 1.8%,…that’s disgusting.

· My friend got 1500 in ROORKEE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION and nobody offered him even sugar because his nearest competitor has a better result.

4) Child attaches himself emotionally with the result because of some irrelevant factors rather than his efforts

More than often child do attach them self with the result Emotionally that’s where people get feel the pain as they have attached the result from emotions in many way like….a stature in society, a pride etc. And many factors becomes responsible for it.

Many times parents attach child’s success with their dignity or set up some unrealistic target without knowing the will and capability of the child, that’s just adds pressure to the boy rather ease his path to the success because a over conscious boy have less chances for success in comparison to a audacious fearless guy who just believes in his ability.

5) Parents many times injustice with the capabilities of the child

Many times parents setup goal for his wonder child; its good that parents taking care of his child the better option is that they must be taking decision in keeping the capabilities of the boy in a view An good example can be seen in Taare Zameen Par.

Another living example that I came across ,a guy Saurav Srivastav(suicides because he felt that his preparation IIT JEE is not up to the mark to fulfill parents dream even when he was regularly under 150 in mock tests organized by FIITJEE),according to his suicide note and profile on ORKUT he was more comfortable in reading novels and writing,he was writing novels since class VIII .

6) Glorification of child who got success

I am totally against glorification of a child in NEWSPAPER by different COACHING centers …..I think this factor is most widely responsible to add pressure in society to the parents as well as children…..another noteworthy point is that its never servers any purpose for the just pollutes the atmosphere ….a ban is most certain solution….

So I have just tried to find the root cause of the evil monster rather its symptoms , the factors that make him stronger and act as a tonic for them to spread like a plague……

Every year CBSE liberalizes its examination process I think they are just CURING NOTHING….and worse is that it may lead to make exanimation as a formality rather a formal process……

Its very important weed out the actual factor responsible for this evil rather taking steps to fade intensity of the process.

Opening consulling centers is not either one of the best solution because consulling by parents(with real intension) will be far more effective than these professionals as its assure child some body his own is there behind them, assures that they love him what happen so as he got failed come to them, what happen if he has got fallen…just come to them

Another thing that’s very essential at this moment is to give the child freedom to painting of his by his own colors, allow them flow with their own flow and expolree their world …and just give little direction rather giving a U turn or LEFT or RIGHT turn

The Raja of rigionalism:Raj Thackeray

Regionalism, new call from Thakceray pariwar, though un my next writing I will be telling more about the regionalism ,here I want to try to analyze about whole incident that has happen in past few days only.

Before I go further I would like tell important points

1)A small portion(relevant one) of an interview by Mr. Raj Thackeray to ET on 12th of FEB 2008

Why are you opposing migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar?
Mumbai is home to multiple communities like Gujaratis, Marwaris, Parsis, South Indians, Bengalis, Sindhis and Punjabis. These communities have lived peacefully with Maharashtrians and they have even tried to assimilate the ethos of Marathi culture. These communities also celebrate their festivals without causing any nuisance to the city and natives. For instance, Gujarati Garba is never a show of political strength. That’s not the case with migrants from these two states. They indulge in a political show of strength and are out to deny the very status of Mumbai, as the capital of a Marathi state. No other community, except for these migrants, has called its regional leaders to Maharashtra to indulge in political and regional mobilisation. My party will not allow anyone to practise the agenda of his state in Maharashtra. We will allow festivals like Chhat Puja, if they are celebrated as festivals, not as an exercise in show of strength

2) History of ShivSena( after all roots of Raj Thackeray are from there)

Bal Keshav Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai

In 1960, Bal Keshav Thackeray launched a cartoon weekly Marmik with R.K.LAXMAN. He used it to campaign against the growing influence of non-Marathi people in Bombay.

Shiv Sena on June 19th, 1966 with the intent of fighting for the rights of the natives of the state of Maharashtra (called Maharashtrians)

Initially Shiv Sena especially attracted a large number of disgruntled and often unemployed Maharashtrian youth, who were pulled towards Thackeray's charged anti-migrant oratory.

In the late 1970s, as part of his "Maharashtra is for Maharashtrians" campaign, Thackeray threatened migrants from South India with harm unless they left Mumbai.

Thackeray, then a cartoonist for the Free Press journal, initially targeted the growing number of South Indians by inflammatory slogans like "lungi hatao pungi bajao" (referring to the lungi, a Marathi word for the traditional men's dress in South India).

During this period, Shiv Sainiks launched a string of attacks on the South-Indian owned Udupi restaurants that were becoming popular in Mumbai. In a similar manner, Thackeray later targeted Gujaratis, Marwaris, Biharis, and people from North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh ('UPites') through his speeches..

……………..and got publicity in free……..and emergered as power in maharastra and nother noteworthypoint....after this incident he started to concentrate only on Hindutva and left ealier agenda........never looked back to it or even pressed for it not even when they came to govenment.

so now lets come back to Raj Thackeray

So he is just practicing a tried and tested FORMULA

From his Interview, we can conclude that what ever has happened in Mumbai till now was a part of well written script by writer Raj Thackeray and well executed by his subordinates.

But in this play he was requiring a second character for the play so he chose SAMAJWADI PARTY.

AMAR SINGH press conference INCIDENT was just to rope second Character in the play..acoording to their need.

Allegations on BIG B was just rope a ITEM number in the play…….

By all these incidents were just to pressurized them to take part in the play for Maharashtra Navnirman Sena..

And they got success….

His first part(of script) got over.

Other incidents(ATTACK) on non Maharastrians were the second part of his script.

Other thing that you can conclude from the interview that the main problem he facing is that to find his political ground now he is required not only to fight with Marathi leaders but also with leader of Northern Indian Leaders in this world of GLOBALISATION. And more importantly they are having good run for their money, they are putting.

Till 2000 North Indian parties were seeing Maharastra as an opportunity but they started noticing after 2000.

Now they have a good voice there….leaders like LALU YADAV, MAYAWATI, MULAYAM SINGH now stared to gain political ground….and that’s hurting Lill Thackeray.

Govt ,there, were also not taking any step till few days back as fearing that MNS will get political mileage and of course they cant see that, So what if public have to pay for that after all they are the RATS OF LABORATORY , and these POLITICAL SCIENTIST cant keep emotion for these SO CALLED RATS……….

And after all these RATs are very generous they you used to forget all in very short of time ,aur waisie bhi its not a election time


God can only now save from these SCIENTISTs…..ahhhh….

Saturday, February 9, 2008


After a long time I was seeing a 2 months old movie , well initially for 15 to 20 mins it was bit difficult for me to come out from the perception that was formed after talking with friends. I think one should be very much clear in his mind while he is going for a review of a movie that’s what I learnt from this experience.

Year 2007 is going to be the turning point in the history of the Hindi Film Industry.

Movie like CHAK DE,TAARE ZHAMEEN PE CHINI KUM,NISHABD,…AND OF COURSE AAJA NACH LE and some more which I am not able to recall at the moment .If some body observe carefully,there was a clear change in thinking of directors mind ,producers are now more than ready to put money on a movie that is different form so called romantic or BOLLYWOOD MOVIE. Though in the past we have witnessed many EXPERIMENTS , but they were not that much frequent.

Well as far as movie is concern ,story was bit different from what we had seen MADHURI in her earlier movie.That was the USP of this movie.No romance,no villan and hero ,just a theme .And it was Carried by the cast pretty well. Everybody was justified there role ,Right from that lill Girl to Raghubeer yadav.

Initially Madhuri looked out of form but later on she came back on track, as there was no scope for spectacular performance but she justified with the role.

Kokana Sen was too good, she is living character to character from movie to movie.

Her acting was just too good, same thing was applied for Kunal Kapoor ,both are emerging as a good and responsible actors and its just showing the bench strength of our industry.

But the major draw back was with direction, initially he looked to me as he was not able to control his excitement ,that he was working with madhuri. Initally when ther was scene where madhuri was sitting her parents, was the worst directed par of the movie,at that point it seemed as I was watching a movie directed in 1980’s.

Costume and Make up were another week link in the chain or else I can say they were the weakest.

And our elders use to say that strength of a chain can be determined by the strength of its weakest part.At many points makeup was looking offward .

Costumes just added 10 to 15 of age to both Konkana sen and madhuri .They were not according to the situation nad age of characters specially for both ladies.

Packaging of the movie also was not so appealing so that it can bring people to the theatre.

Last 30mins were too good.the whole play just was good and tried to make the viewer to flow in emotions of the plays….but according to me it was partly successfully accomplished.

Another positive part was its Editing, many parts were edited wisely, It just make the movie to flow .That was the most important part of the movie.

Over all if the above mentioned weak link would have not there , then madhuri’s work would hav also liked by the people.

Well I would like just welcome NANE back in the industry.