The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 61-70https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others-do-not-use/the-most-powerful-indians-in-2012-no-6170/

The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 61-70

Captain Cool became the hottest sporting property in the country by leading India to World Cup glory.

61. MS Dhoni,30

Cricketer

Rank ’11: 17

WHY

On April 2,2011,Captain Cool became the hottest sporting property in the country by leading India to World Cup glory for the second time in 28 years. Though his team’s hold over the No. 1 Test ranking slipped away embarrassingly fast,Dhoni’s mighty six will remain the abiding memory of 2011. Despite the disasters of England and Australia,he led India to their second consecutive Test series win in the West Indies.

POWER PUNCH

Still remains captain of the Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game and is one of the highest-paid sportsmen in India through endorsements and his IPL captaincy.

WHAT NEXT

With the senior statesmen in the team looking to be on their way out,Dhoni will have the responsibility of reviving his team’s fortunes by moulding the next generation of cricketers.

BY THE WAY

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When in Mumbai,he often goes out at night with actor John Abraham for tea at a roadside stall.


62. Kumar Mangalam Birla,44

Chairman,Aditya Birla Group

Rank ’11: 74

WHY

Widely seen as the most successful Birla. The Aditya Birla Group has grown stronger,consolidating its position as a $35 billion conglomerate with operations in 36 countries. More than 60 per cent of its revenues come from overseas operations. He is currently ranked the eighth richest Indian.

POWER PUNCH

The Aditya Birla Group is among the world’s top 10 producers of cement and aluminum and the biggest producer of carbon black,which is used to make tyres. He has retained his penchant for acquisitions with the takeover of Columbian Chemicals of USA for $875 million last year—at a time when India Inc has slowed down its overseas M&A drive.

WHAT NEXT

The group is definitely on the prowl for more strategic acquisitions. The rumour is that it is eyeing one of the world’s biggest coal mine operators.

BY THE WAY

The thieves who cloned his credit card and bought gold ornaments worth Rs 3 lakh told the police they had no idea who Birla was.


63. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal,61

Chairman,ArcelorMittal

Rank ’11: 75

WHY

Mittal,the world’s biggest steel producer,plans to set up two steel plants,one each in Orissa and Jharkhand,investing Rs 40,000 crore in each. If these projects fructify,he would emerge as the biggest investor in the country’s steel sector. His determination to set up a plant in Jharkhand has convinced the state government to allocate him an iron ore mine of nearly 500 hectares for his proposed plant. His stake in Hindustan Petroleum shows his keen interest in India’s energy sector.

POWER PUNCH

After opposition by locals to his company ArcelorMittal’s land acquisition in Jharkhand,he has decided to withdraw from the site and put the onus on the Arjun Munda government for its new projects. He has also said that without raw material security,it would be meaningless to proceed with the projects.

WHAT NEXT

Despite the economic downturn,particularly in Europe,he is keen to expand in India and China,especially due to India’s huge need to invest in infrastructure.

BY THE WAY

His firm is funding a $29 million red tower,designed by Anish Kapoor,which will soar over London’s Olympic Park.


64. Kapil Sibal,63

Minister of HRD & IT

Rank ’11: 23

WHY

The minister may have been targeted consistently by the Opposition in and outside Parliament,he may have also courted controversy for taking on Facebook and other social networking sites and for his strong comments on Team Anna,but Kapil Sibal remains the UPA government’s top point man and voice of authority on a range of issues.

POWER PUNCH

His powerful defence of the UPA government when it was shaken by the Jan Lokpal movement not only kept Sibal in the headlines but ensured that the government put up a brave face at the height of the Anna Hazare wave.

WHAT NEXT

A critical year ahead for Sibal with a slew of education reform Bills languishing in Parliament. Only if they pass muster

will the UPA’s larger reform agenda get realised. The closely watched issue of pricing 2G spectrum will also prove an acid test for the minister in the coming months.

BY THE WAY

He has an interest in art and boasts of an enviable collection of paintings. While his office shows off some of these works,MF Husain’s portrait of the minister adorns his living room.


65. Salman Khan,46

Actor

Rank ’11: 78

WHY

Ready and Bodyguard were blockbusters despite poor reviews. His other big project,Bigg Boss,too stayed at the top despite Khan missing for most part as his co-host Sanjay Dutt ran the TV show. 2011 brought Khan back on the list of the most bankable actors in the industry.

POWER PUNCH

He remains the only actor who has retained his position among Bollywood’s biggest stars for nearly two decades despite an erratic track record.

WHAT NEXT

Yash Raj Film’s Ek Tha Tiger,Shirish Kunder’s Kick and

Dabangg 2 and Sher Khan,being directed by his brothers Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan.

BY THE WAY

His comfort food is a “unique mixture dish” that he makes which basically consists of all the leftovers in the fridge which he adds up,heats up and eats.


66. N Srinivasan,67

President,BCCI

New on the list

WHY

India’s World Cup win and his Chennai Super Kings’s IPL and Champions League titles have enhanced industrialist N Srinivasan’s authority in sporting circles at home and abroad.

POWER PUNCH

His steadfast opposition to the contentious Umpire Decision Review System pushed ICC onto the backfoot and stumped the use of technology in cricket.

WHAT NEXT

Srinivasan will oversee one of the most challenging phases of Indian cricket,when the board will soon look to phase out legends such as VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid and,eventually,Sachin Tendulkar. The succession plans will come under harsh scrutiny,especially after the wretched run of India’s Test team overseas.

BY THE WAY

An avid golfer,he once had a single-digit handicap.


67. Samir Jain,57

Vice-Chairman,Bennett,Coleman & Co. Ltd. (Times Group)

Vineet Jain,45

Managing Director,Times Group

Rank ’11: 56

WHY

The Jain brothers have been running the vast business empire of the Times Group with rapid expansions into television,Internet,radio,outdoor and numerous other business interests to complement their existing print publications,including the world’s largest newspaper,The Times of India. While Samir is credited with infusing innovations in the company since the early 1980s,Vineet has been driving its flagship brands,The Times of India and The Economic Times through the past decade.

POWER PUNCH

Entered the premium English movie channel space by launching Movies Now. The Group has also stormed the bastion of rival The Hindu by launching more editions in Tamil Nadu and foraying into Kerala.

WHAT NEXT

The ToI brand has just entered the Kerala market. In a market where readers are socially and politically conscious,will the ToI have to reinvent? Next,the Group wants to rapidly expand its radio and television businesses. Foray into independent TV distribution is on the cards.

BY THE WAY

The elder brother is an ardent follower of

a Bombay-based guruji,whom he calls ‘bhagwaan’.

68. Shivraj Singh Chouhan,52

Chief Minister,Madhya Pradesh

Rank ’11: 80

WHY

Popular and mild-mannered,he has the ability to weather controversies and keep the people of the state on his side. The Congress is yet to find a match for him.

POWER PUNCH

Well into his second term as Chief Minister,Chouhan knows how to beat his rivals without making a spectacle of it,the outward display of simplicity notwithstanding. It was due to his firm stand against Uma Bharti’s re-induction into the BJP that party president Nitin Gadkari had to make the sadhvi’s return conditional to her political exit from MP,followed by a transplantation in UP. Chouhan exhibited the finesse to make this exercise complete by personally campaigning for Bharti in her Charkhari Assembly constituency in Mahoba district of UP.

WHAT NEXT

Chouhan has to ensure that Bharti does not look back,whatever the outcome of the UP elections,and he continues his victory march into the next MP Assembly elections.

BY THE WAY

A cow enthusiast,he started with two and now has nine. He expects one of them to win the state award for the highest yield of milk.


69. Sanjay Gupta, 43

CEO,Jagran Prakashan

MM Gupta, 70

Chairman and Managing Director,Jagran Prakashan

Rank ’11: 82

WHY

The Jagran Group made a surprise entry into the English print space in 2010 with the acquisition of Mumbai-based Mid-Day Multimedia,which publishes the English daily Mid-Day. Private equity heavyweight Blackstone invested Rs 225 crore in their holding company. Their flagship Hindi daily Dainik Jagran continues to be the leader in the print space.

POWER PUNCH

With their acquisition of Mid-Day their presence in the media market is spread across four languages—Hindi,Gujarati,Urdu and English. They have a strong presence in the FM radio market too.

WHAT NEXT

They plan to launch Dainik Jagran in more territories and expand their radio portfolio in the third-phase expansion policy of private FM radio this year.

BY THE WAY

Sanjay loves watching Hollywood films while MM Gupta likes Hindi film songs of the sixties.


70. C Rangarajan,79

Chairman,PMEAC

New on the list

WHY

The former central bank governor is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s confidante and heads his Economic Advisory Council. He is always on call,and Singh seeks his inputs on most important economic issues. He had a brief stint as a Rajya Sabha member,and was close to becoming the country’s finance minister. His apolitical views bring him tasks as sensitive and special as drafting a job plan for Jammu and Kashmir.

POWER PUNCH

Despite being the PM’s advisor,Rangarajan was one of the first voices to warn that growth could falter (in his Economic Outlook last year). His assessment came after long discussions with India Inc and bankers.

WHAT NEXT

Rangarajan’s outlook for

the economy more or less sets the tone for both the Budget assumptions and monetary policy. All eyes are on his next presentation on the Indian economy later this month.

BY THE WAY

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An atheist,Rangarajan does not hold any religious ceremonies at home.