The most powerful Indians in 2014: No. 71-80

Indian Express: The most powerful Indians in 2014.

By: Express News Service | Updated: March 14, 2014 11:57 am
See who is placed where this year. See who is placed where this year.

RANK 71: LT GEN DALBIR SINGH SUHAG, 59

army

Army vice-chief

(New on the list)

WHY
He is slated to take over as the next Army Chief this year after Gen Bikram Singh retires. He will take charge at a critical time with the Army facing a lot of criticism over cross-border raids and lack of modernisation.

POWER PUNCH
Despite rumours that hinted at a change in succession plans by appointing a new four star general, he stood firm as the Eastern Army Commander, refrained from lobbying and was appointed the new Vice-Chief of Army Staff in January.

WHAT NEXT
To improve the state of civil-military relations with the new government.

BY THE WAY
Officers are often amazed when he manages to outdo soldiers decades younger to him in climbing mountains.

RANK 72: AVEEK SARKAR, 68

aveek

Editor-in-Chief, Ananda Bazar patrika Group

Rank (2013): 85

WHY
He wields immense clout in the media as well as political, social, cultural circuits at the national level. As head of the ABP Group, Sarkar has been at the forefront of the media industry in India.

POWER PUNCH
He was elected as captain of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. RCGC is more than a mere golf club, it a well-known power centre.

WHAT NEXT
To build his dream project – Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) – said to be valued at Rs 800 crore.

BY THE WAY
Sarkar is a regular at the Wimbledon every year.

RANK 73: NARESH GOYAL, 63

naresh

Chairman, Jet Airways

(New on the list)

WHY
Much before the government started the process to relax foreign investment norms and allow international carriers to buy stake in their Indian counterparts, Jet Airways started its stake sale negotiations with Etihad. Jet became the first Indian carrier to get foreign investments after the rules were relaxed in September 2012.

POWER PUNCH
The 24 per cent stake sale deal with Etihad valued Jet Airways at Rs 8,000 crore, much higher than its market capitalisation. Jet sold its stake to Etihad for Rs 2,058 crore.

WHAT NEXT
Jet needs to work with Etihad to provide the best global connectivity to Indian consumers.

BY THE WAY
He doesn’t know how to drive a car.

RANK 74: ADITYA CHOPRA, 42

aditya

Director-producer, owner, Yash Raj Films

Rank (2013): 87

WHY
As the producer of Dhoom 3, he is the man who made the most money in Bollywood last year. He has become something of an urban legend — he never entertains any media query, never makes an appearance at any company event, yet is the single most powerful producer in town.

POWER PUNCH
As a tribute to his late father Yash Chopra, he organised a special event where SRK walked the ramp with Yash Chopra’s leading ladies — Rekha, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Rani Mukherji, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra.

WHAT NEXT
Bewakoofiyan, Mardaani, Kill Dil, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Daawat-e-Ishq, Paani.

BY THE WAY
He sees all Hindi releases and keeps a diary of all that he liked and didn’t like about the film.

RANK 75: RAJ THACKERAY, 45

raj

Chief, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

Rank (2013): 44

WHY
The enfant terrible of politics, he heads the MNS which has a sizeable following among the youth of Maharashtra. He is also one of the few state leaders whose oratorial skills can send followers into a frenzy.

POWER PUNCH
He has placed himself as an alternative to Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena.

WHAT NEXT
After being kept out of the BJP alliance, he plans to tie up with fringe parties for the Lok Sabha polls.

BY THE WAY
He was named Swararaj, the king of musical notes, by his musician father. An avid tabla and guitar player, Thackeray dropped the ‘swara’ from his name at the insistence of his uncle Bal Thackeray.

RANK 76: K RADHAKRISHNAN, 64

radha

Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation

(New onthe list)

WHY
He had to deal with the scam in ISRO that took place during his predecessor’s time. The blame for stalled efforts to launch the heavy lift Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle also landed at his doorstep. In the last year and a half, he has been able to step out of the shadows of his illustrious predecessors to guide ISRO towards delivering a series of successful missions.

POWER PUNCH

Under his  leadership, ISRO has delivered a perfect launch for the indigenous GSLV rocket, putting India among a band of six countries to have capability to launch heavy payloads in the two tonne-plus category.

WHAT NEXT
More tests for the GSLV to prove its capability as a reliable space launch vehicle.

BY THE WAY
He is an accomplished Kathakali dancer.

RANK 77: SALMAN KHAN, 48

salman

Actor, Television host

Rank (2013): 39

WHY
His stint as host of Bigg Boss 7 turned out to be the most successful and controversial season for broadcaster Colors. His one worded “yes” on Koffee with Karan to Karan Johar’s question of whether he is a virgin, is quote-quip-joke of the year, all rolled in one.

POWER PUNCH
Though his own film Jai Ho was releasing, he went on promote Aamir Khan’s Dhoom 3 on Bigg Boss. Aamir has gone on record to say that Salman’s promotion was a big factor in getting people interested in his film.

WHAT NEXT
Sajid Nadiadwala’s Kick, Sooraj Barjatya’s next.

BY THE WAY
He composed the tune of Teri meri prem kahaani (Bodyguard).

RANK 78: ROHIT SHETTY, 40

shetty

Director

(New on the list)

WHY
For long, Rohit Shetty was just known as the guy who blows up cars in films that he makes for buddy Ajay Devgn. But with the stupendous success of Chennai Express after the Golmaal franchise, Bol Bachchan and Singham, Shetty has emerged as the only director with four 100 crore+ grossers.

POWER PUNCH
He takes over as the host of Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 5 after Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra.

WHAT NEXT
Singham 2 with Ajay Devgn. Also on the cards is a project each with Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan.

BY THE WAY
He dropped out of school after class X and started assisting director Kuku Kohli at the age of 15 so that he could contribute to his household expenses.

RANK 79: SUSHIL KUMAR MODI, 62

suhilkumar

Bihar BJP legislature party leader

Rank (2013): 93

WHY
Former Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, the most powerful BJP man in Bihar, has been leading from the front against Nitish Kumar, matching him propaganda for propaganda in his party’s bid to sell Narendra Modi’s PM candidature.

POWER PUNCH
The “sound fiscal management man” of NDA, Modi has all reasons to demand credit for striking a better success rate – winning 91 of 102 Assembly seats contested in 2010 elections, against JD(U)’s 115 out of 141 seats contested.

WHAT NEXT
If BJP gets over 20 seats in Bihar, this Modi would cement his claim as the BJP CM candidate in the 2015 Assembly polls.

BY THe WAY
By 6 every morning, he finishes reading epapers on his iPad.

RANK 80: ARNAB GOSWAMI, 45

arnab

Editor-in-chief, Times Now

Rank (2013): 43

WHY
Has made Times Now the most viewed English news channel in a short time. His aggressive style of anchoring has forced others to follow suit, making him one of the most popular—and spoofed — prime time anchors.

POWER PUNCH

Got the first, and till now the only, TV interview of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

WHAT NEXT
Will Goswami now get an exclusive interview of BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi?

BY THE WAY
He is India’s most famous Assamese by a long distance.

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