are the trailblazers who have built their empires out of the debris
of the licence raj era
seven-year-old Ekta Kapoor is surrounded by gods of all hues in
her office in the Light House of Mumbai’s entertainment and instead
created a television software empire out of virtually nothing. In
tune with Sooraj Barjatya’s Hindu Undivided Family concept, she
has found that Indian eyeballs connect with tradition, saas and
this to the logical corollary, today her programmes dominate the
Top 20 TV shows. A single episode of her serials fetches a price
of Rs 9 lakh. The lady has broken the star system and hefty payment
tradition by asking Travel Variety Sunday Sentiments Lifestyle for
incentive- based payoffs. In the process, Kapoor has come to represent
the face of India’s new generation of entrepreneurs. Meanwhile,
BPL Innovision Group chairman, the 38-year-old Rajeev Chandrasekhar,
is on his way to London for a confabulation with his investors.
The technocrat-turned-business leader is on track to complete corporate
India’s largest merger to date – the coming together of BPL, Birla
AT&T and Tata’s cellular business – at a whopping valuation of $
of the team that designed the 486 micro-processor at Intel with
the father of the Pentium, Vinod Dham, RC, as friends know him,
is passionate about flying and cars. He has plenty of the latter,
but what really drives him is his passion for building business.
Pitted against nimble-footed cellular giant Hutchison of Hong Kong,
RC credits the late Rajesh Pilot for making him stay back in India.
“Don’t go back. India is opening up and you will have a future here,”
Pilot had told him.
said otherwise, but RC’s determination saw him open a one-room office
in Nariman Point and learn the ropes of Indian business – tackling
politicos and regulatory uncertainties. And while marriage to BPL
founder T.P.J. Nambiar’s daughter in August 1990 may have helped,
RC’s belief in hard work and destiny seems to be paying off.
44-year-old Sunil Bharti Mittal has his origins in selling Honda
gensets and Mumbaikar Manoj Tirodkar sold telecom equipment. All
of them, including Mr Moneybags Uday Kotak himself, made it big
at a time when India was embarking on a new journey, stemming from
Nehruvian socialism getting an official burial from the party that
had preached it for countless years. And while America, which boasts
the highest number of billionaires in the world, is far ahead of
us, these young turks can stand and be counted amongst the global
for instance, has built a world-class company from scratch and Airtel
today runs services across the length and breadth of India. Other
rags-to-riches stories abound.
accountant Sushil Suri is a 37-year-old globetrotter who inherited
the mantle of chairman and managing director, Morepen Laboratories
Ltd, after the untimely death of his brother K.B. Suri. The man
has played a major role in building the outfit into the aggressive
healthcare company that it is today.
the case of 50-year-old Venugopal Dhoot. A brilliant electronics
engineer by training but a businessman at heart, the eldest of three
brothers bid his time in the family business of cotton and sugar,
till he set up Videocon in 1984 to produce colour television sets.
In just over a decade, the company was ranked amongst India’s best.
into Dhoot’s nature can be gauged from the fact that he pulled out
his youngest brother from an MBA course and instead threw him into
the task of setting up the colour TV factory.