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India in Spotlight



                                                  LEADING INDUSTRIES IN INDIA


G V Krishna Reddy is the founder and chairman of GVK, a diversified business enterprise with interests in a wide range of businesses including power generation, airports, roads, urban infrastructure, bio-science, hospitality services and manufacturing sectors. In recent years, GVK has increasingly focused on the Infrastructure sector which has been identified as its core business area for future growth. Ramkrishan Prakash Hinduja has been Chairman of the Board of Hinduaja Global Solutions Ltd since October 2007. He also serves as Vice Chairman of Gulf Oil Corp. Ltd. and has been its Non Executive Director since Aug. 19, 2002. He graduated in science and economics from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. Sunil Godhwani has been Managing Director of Religare Enterprise Limited, the holding company of Religare Insurance Broking Ltd. and Religare Commodities Limited since April 9, 2007. He is a graduate in chemical engineering and has a master’s in industrial engineering and finance from Polytechnic Institute, New York.

What factors account for your company becoming acknowledged as a leader in its field?

Sunil Godhwani: Staying committed to the overall vision of Religare of becoming a global financial services player despite the volatility of the markets either in India or globally. Putting in place an aggressive and passionate team taken from among the best talent in the industry, who breathe and live the brand, backed by state of the art systems, processes and infrastructure.

Prakash Hinduja: Hinduja Group has been in operation for the past 96 years and we are present in 35 countries employing more than 50,000 personnel in Group companies in many different industries. Our Group principles are very well defined: Work to give, Word is a bond , Act local, Think global, Partnership for growth, Advance Fearlessly. G. V. Krishna Reddy: Doing value accruing projects, completing projects on time, not compromising on quality, emphasizing health, safety and the environment, managing cash and debt effectively, business performance and company reputation.

Would you specifically comment on how you intend remaining at the top and what the opportunities and challenges are?

Sunil Godhwani: For Religare, rankings and positions do not matter as much as staying focused on achieving our goals and objectives. For us, it is key to keep our eye on the bigger picture, our vision for the company, our consistency in meeting and raising benchmarks that we set ourselves and most importantly continue to empower our people to drive the company to new heights.

Prakash Hinduja: Our expertise combined with low manufacturing and production processes. In short, cost efficiency without compromising on quality. Also we constantly strive to innovate and create products that are the needs of today’s growing economy. A good example of this is Nissan Motors to produce vehicles for global consumption. G. V. Krishna Reddy: If we continue to achieve what has been listed above, we should be in a position to maintain our leadership position.

Leaders of three leading companies that drive the Indian economy discuss the current position of their companies, their views on Asean, possible policy changes in government policy and the role of globalization. >>Although the Indian government is well aware of the need for reform and is pushing ahead in this area, business still has to deal with an inefficient and sometimes still slow-moving bureaucracy.<<

How important are Asean countries to your expansion /development plans?

Sunil Godhwani: In Asia, apart from India, we do have a significant presence in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. It would be safe to say that at Religare, we feel that Asean countries together with BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries will be instrumental in the growth of the merger and acquisition markets.

G. V. Krishna Reddy: The opportunities available in India for infrastructure development are so huge that there would not be a need for a player like us to look for opportunities outside India. But if a great opportunity comes our way then we are prepared to look at it.

Over the next five years what new government policy changes would you wish to see initiated?

Sunil Godhwani: India already has a fairly robust regulatory system which will need regular upgrade as we continue to move ahead and introduce new, innovative and sophisticated financial instruments. The biggest challenge for Indian regulators and policymakers would lie in keeping the market insulated despite the high level of integration that we are set to achieve during the coming decade.

Prakash Hinduja: The general economic direction in India is toward liberalization and globalization. But the process is slow. Before jumping into the market, it is necessary to discover whether government policies exist relating to the particular area of business and if there are political concerns which should be taken into account. Although the Indian government is well aware of the need for reform and is pushing ahead in this area, business still has to deal with an inefficient and sometimes still slowmoving bureaucracy.

G. V.Krishna Reddy: Extension of tax benefits for infrastructure projects and a set of dividend distribution tax on dividends distributed under a subsidiary-holding company.

Please comment on how globalization may affect your company and what research needs to be done.

Sunil Godhwani: Globalization makes the world our oyster and no doubt has a positive impact on Religare towards becoming a global financial services player. With globalization, our playing field intensifies and keeping our vision and goals at the forefront, everything is within reach. Because of globalization, the financial services industry is constantly in a period of transition with market shifts, competition, and technological developments ushering in unprecedented changes.

Prakash Hinduja: Globalization is going to become a natural phenomenon in the coming years. As costs go up, new and alternate methods of cost efficient process and products will be the need of the hour. Therefore, any research done will be on these lines. As far as we are concerned, we are ready for this. India today is one of the markets with the cheapest cost of labor. As mentioned earlier, with increasing costs the businesses will start shifting to markets with cheap labor but with good expertise and productivity. In short, globalization will lead to development of new markets and products that are cost- efficient and high on quality.

G. V. Krishna Reddy: A reduction in corporate taxes, power to be made a central subject rather than a state subject and globalisation brings in competition and I believe that competition is healthy for any business.

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