The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 51-60https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others-do-not-use/the-most-powerful-indians-in-2012-no-5160/

The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 51-60

Pawan Munjal successfully managed Hero Honda's parting of ways with Honda Motor Company.

51. Pawan Munjal,57

MD & CEO,Hero MotoCorp

New on the list

WHY

Pawan Munjal successfully managed Hero Honda’s parting of ways with Honda Motor Company. He now steers the newly-christened Hero MotoCorp into the future without the formidable Japanese bike major for tech support.

POWER PUNCH

Four years ago,Munjal is said to have brought together around 40 key executives to chart out new business opportunities. A consulting firm was roped in to prepare a report. His early homework kept him in good stead.

WHAT NEXT

Munjal and his top team have upgraded Hero MotoCorp’s R&D team with more than 200 engineers. On the anvil is a concept series hybrid scooter,which Munjal thinks could be a game-changer. He’s also said to be looking at global opportunities.

BY THE WAY

He is an avid golfer.


52. Sushil Kumar Modi,60

Deputy CM,Bihar

Rank ’11: 62

WHY

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He is the pivot of an alliance that is crucial to the future prospects of the BJP-led NDA. At a time when the NDA is a much-diminished version of itself,the BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar is indispensable to its fightback at the Centre.Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is much feted for putting the state on the growth track,Modi is the underestimated deputy and Finance Minister whose sober style has never let attention be diverted to the inner dynamics of what is still seen as a not-so-natural alliance.

POWER PUNCH

Having presided over the BJP’s dramatic strike rate of 89 per cent in the 2010 Assembly polls,Modi has quietly but surely used the ensuing year to lay low his rivals in the state BJP.

WHAT NEXT

Modi must ensure that the BJP-JD(U) coalition in Bihar remains stable till the 2014 parliamentary polls as it will be crucial to any revival of the NDA at the Centre.

BY THE WAY

He offers his guests quality leaf tea but himself avoids tea and coffee.


53. Sushil Kumar Modi,60

Deputy CM,Bihar

Rank ’11: 62

WHY

He is the pivot of an alliance that is crucial to the future prospects of the BJP-led NDA. At a time when the NDA is a much-diminished version of itself,the BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar is indispensable to its fightback at the Centre.Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is much feted for putting the state on the growth track,Modi is the underestimated deputy and Finance Minister whose sober style has never let attention be diverted to the inner dynamics of what is still seen as a not-so-natural alliance.

POWER PUNCH

Having presided over the BJP’s dramatic strike rate of 89 per cent in the 2010 Assembly polls,Modi has quietly but surely used the ensuing year to lay low his rivals in the state BJP.

WHAT NEXT

Modi must ensure that the BJP-JD(U) coalition in Bihar remains stable till the 2014 parliamentary polls as it will be crucial to any revival of the NDA at the Centre.

BY THE WAY

He offers his guests quality leaf tea but himself avoids tea and coffee.


53. Salman Khurshid,59

Law Minister

Rank ’11: 34

WHY

Since taking over as Union Minister of Law and Justice in the July 2011 reshuffle,Khurshid has become an important voice in the UPA dispensation,often fielded by the government to defend its policies and contentious decisions. As Law Minister,he is also expected to take a call on how to best defend government functionaries in important court cases such as the 2G case.

POWER PUNCH

When his colleagues in the government and the party seemed to have no idea about how to tackle an adamant Anna Hazare during his fast,Khurshid played an important role in calming Team Anna at a crucial time.

WHAT NEXT

First the Uttar Pradesh elections,where poor results could affect his standing within the party. He needs to push ahead on crucial judicial reforms,for which he will also need to reach out to the opposition. Important Bills moved by his ministry,particularly Judicial (Standards and Accountability) Bill and the Commercial Courts Division Bill,require his involvement if they are to be passed in Parliament.

BY THE WAY

He keeps more than two dozen dogs and cats and more than a hundred birds.


54. Anil Ambani,52

Chairman,Reliance ADA Group

Rank ’11: 51

WHY

There are no more skirmishes with elder brother Mukesh Ambani; Anil Ambani has also got a clean chit from the CBI in the 2G spectrum scam in 2011. He managed to raise Rs 4,500 crore by roping in Nippon Life of Japan as a joint venture partner in his insurance and mutual fund businesses.

POWER PUNCH

Though seen as fiercely competitive,Ambani recently coordinated meetings of top telecom and power players with senior ministers and the Prime Minister.

WHAT NEXT

Ambani’s biggest challenges are reducing debt at RCom and executing the 4,400 MW UMPP project at Sasan. The Group also expects to make a mark in the entertainment business with several Hollywood releases. Banking may be his last peak to scale.

BY THE WAY

A marathon runner,he drinks six litres of water a day. His favourite food is pav bhaji.


55. anand mahindra,56

Vice chairman & MD,Mahindra & Mahindra

Rank ’11: 65

WHY

Mahindra has set global benchmarks through both acquisitions and greenfield business development with several high-profile deals in the past few years. The latest SUV model from M&M,XUV500,has been a roaring success. His tech firms—Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam—are also doing well. He now oversees a $14.5 billion corporation,employing more than 144,000 people across the world.

POWER PUNCH

Articulate,savvy and enterprising,Mahindra is considered to be the voice of corporate India. His views regale his large number of followers on Twitter. His expansion into the aerospace sector by building an aircraft will be keenly watched.

WHAT NEXT

Mahindra is planning to bring various models of

Korean acquisition Ssangyong to India and raise the profile of Mahindra Racing in MotoGP,the motorcyle equivalent of Formula 1.

BY THE WAY

No family member is designated to succeed him at his business. One daughter is into film making while the

other is into design.


56. KV Kamath, 64

Chairman,Infosys

Rank ’11: 66

WHY

Proving his versatility once again,he has become the chairman of Infosys,while remaining the non-executive Chairman of ICICI Bank. He is also an independent director of US-based oil services company Schlumberger and pharma major Lupin.

POWER PUNCH

Replacing NR Narayana Murthy is a measure of the confidence Infosys has in Kamath’s global vision and financial expertise. He played a decisive role in India’s biggest corporate dispute between the Ambani brothers. Mukesh Ambani takes his advice seriously.

WHAT NEXT

Kamath will guide Infosys through a tough period,with the financial crisis continuing to impact Europe and the US,its major revenue sources. He will also be involved in the consolidation and growth plans of ICICI Bank.

BY THE WAY

He is a keen follower of motor racing and enjoys the occasional single malt.


57. Rahul Bhatia,50

Chairman,IndiGo

Rank ’11: 26

WHY

At a time when airlines are set to post record losses,IndiGo is the only one making money. While the rest are folding their non-core businesses,it is diversifying into segments such as training flight crew. Also,IndiGo is the lone success story for budget carriers when Kingfisher Airlines has shut down its low-cost arm Kingfisher Red.

POWER PUNCH

It was the only airline which took the safety regulator,Directorate General of Civil Aviation,head on after a financial audit revealed safety shortcomings. While the DGCA said the airline’s fleet expansion needed to be watched closely,IndiGo shot back saying,“Are we joking that there is overcapacity? Our penetration (aircraft per million population) is one-fourth of (even) Indonesia.”

WHAT NEXT

IndiGo plans to start an in-house training facility for flight crew in collaboration with Airbus.

BY THE WAY

Doctors asked him to lose weight,and he lost 35-40 kg in a year.


58. Raj Thackeray, 43

President,MNS

Rank ’11: 67

WHY

Despite being a disruptionist,he has the potential to acquire more space and role,upsetting the present political equations in Maharashtra.

POWER PUNCH

He successfully hijacked the Marathi manoos plank from Shiv Sena by adopting a militant line on the use of Marathi in the state and stoking the Bombay-Mumbai and Chhath Puja controversies. He forced Jet chairman Naresh Goyal to reverse the layoff of 1,900 employees within 12 hours by threatening to block all Jet flights from airports in the state.

WHAT NEXT

After the Maharashtra municipal elections,in which his MNS won double-digit seats in all four civic bodies,he has consolidated his position as an independent force in the state. He will now focus on strengthening that position ahead of the 2014 general elections.

BY THE WAY

Raj considers number 9 to be lucky for

him. In the recent local body elections in Mumbai,he fielded 225 members while there are 227 seats.


59. Aamir Khan,46

Actor

Rank ’11: 68

WHY

Bollywood’s most credible and durable star. Anything he touches turns to gold. Khan is actually a smart businessman and a smarter marketing strategist. However,his biggest asset is his clean image.

POWER PUNCH

In 2011,both his productions—Dhobi Ghat and Delhi Belly—won critical acclaim and a slew of awards. He is also seen as a star with a conscience,lending his name to a range of social issues. He is extremely selective about the advertisements and endorsements he is involved in.

WHAT NEXT

Excel Entertainment’s Talaash,directed by Reema Kagti,and Dhoom 3,in which he steps into the shoes of the baddie.

BY THE WAY

Wife Kiran named their newborn son,Azaad,after freedom-fighter Maulana Azad,Aamir’s great grand uncle.


60. Ghulam Nabi Azad,63

Health & Family Welfare Minister

Rank ’11: 69

WHY

As Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh,Azad has managed to restore some sanity in the state with the pro-Telangana faction within the Congress being quieter than it has been in some months. As health minister,he has managed to extract a commitment of 2.5 per cent of GDP for the health sector.

POWER PUNCH

When the AP government faced a tough no-confidence motion,it was Azad who got Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party to act saviour and also agree to a merger,thus saving the government. He managed to ensure that the Congress leadership was free of the Telangana encumbrance as it went to Assembly elections in five states.

WHAT NEXT

Once the elections are over,Telangana will be back on the table. Azad’s challenge will be to synergise the conflicting opinions within and outside the party to cobble together a solution acceptable to all.

BY THE WAY

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He is an avid gardener. His well-kept garden attracted a swarm of bees which built a hive. Azad distributed honey from the hive among colleagues across parties.