The most powerful indians in 2009: 75-79

Ronnie Screwvala,Mahendra Mohan Gupta,Aveek Sarkar,Sri Sri Ravishankar & Chandrababu Naidu

Written by Express News Service | Published:March 9, 2009 5:48 pm

75. Ronnie Screwvala,46
Producer,CEO and Founder-Chairman of UTV
Why
If an “indie” film movement is growing in Bollywood,it’s thanks to him. Screwvala is the one producer who has backed filmmakers with a different take. He was on Esquire’s List of 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. With Jodhaa Akbar,Fashion,Aamir,A Wednesday,Welcome to Sajjanpur and Mumbai Meri Jaan,UTV has had a dream run. It has also partnered with Walt Disney,Fox Searchlight,Sony and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment Production company.
Power punch
UTV co-produced the Chris Rock comedy,I Think I Love My Wife,as well as The Happening,directed by Manoj N. Shyamalan.
What next
With Delhi-6,Main Aur Mrs Khanna,What’s Your Rashee,and Seasons Greetings,UTV is a key player with over Rs 100 crore at stake.

76. Mahendra Mohan Gupta,65 CMD,Dainik Jagran Sanjay Gupta,46
CEO and Editor
Why
Mahendra Mohan Gupta heads the Dainik Jagran,one of the largest circulated Hindi dailies in the country—the newspaper has over 200 editions and about 30 publishing centres,with a readership of about 5.5 crore. Dainik Jagran is now diversifying into radio and television.
Power punch
The first edition was launched in Jhansi in 1942 and in 1947,Dainik Jagran moved to Kanpur. The newspaper moved out of Uttar Pradesh to Delhi in the 1990s and gradually ventured into other states.
What next
After launching its web edition,Jagran is expanding to touch more people through radio and television. The Guptas say it’s time to consolidate as they want to make Jagran one of the largest media companies in the world.

77. Aveek Sarkar,64
Editor-in-chief,ABP
Why
With Anandabazar Patrika,he has built a reputation of being a builder of institutions. The ABP is an opinion-maker and a force to deal with in Bengali. In English,the group has The Telegraph in the region. The ABP group brings out over eight publications.
Power punch
Aveek Sarkar has been known for thinking ahead of his times. His forays into TV (Star TV) were the first by a serious print group. But even before that,in 1985,well before the publishing boom,the Anandabazar Group had a tie-up with Penguin. ABP struck a deal with Fortune last year.
What next
He wants to establish ABP’s presence on the Internet strongly. The ABP Group is likely to go in for more acquisitions and media partnerships with overseas publication houses.

78. Sri Sri Ravishankar,52
Art of Living Founder
Why
From Afghanistan to Iraq,China to Israel,wherever there has been strife,newage spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and his Art of Living Foundation have flown in to spread peace. The Art of Living has touched down as a peace-seeker,relief provider and stress-buster in 140 countries,making it the biggest spiritual export from India in the current decade.
Power punch
In December 2008,the Art of Living took its message of “a stress-free mind and a violence-free world” to Iraq. In November,Sri Sri Ravishankar gathered a group of 1,000 sitarists to perform for victims of the Bihar flood.

What next
With stress levels bound to head anywhere but down in times of recession,the Art of Living brand could be cashing in on the downturn as people seek fulfilment and peace in life.

79. Chandrababu Naidu,58
TDP President
Why
How the TDP performs in the national and state polls in Andhra Pradesh could well determine UPA’s fortunes in Delhi. In a state prone to ‘waves’,ensuring decisive victories (and defeats) is significant.

Power punch
In true medieval fashion,he virtually usurped his father-in-law N.T. Rama Rao’s throne when he took over the TDP. Ahead of the 2009 elections,he displayed his leadership qualities,bit the bullet on Telangana and formed the grand alliance with the TRS which has brought his party back into the race.
What next
He has to keep himself relevant in a scenario where the TRS and Chiranjeevi are snapping at his heels. Once a PM-candidate,the head of the Federal Front and a regional power,Naidu’s challenge is to remain powerful in the post-poll scenario.

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