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FM gives away business leadership awards

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, July 28: Asking Indian companies to fly higher by being among the top five global players in different sectors, Finance Minister P Chidambaram gave away awards honouring various industrialists for their contributions and their companies for leadership position in various fields.

At a glittering ceremony here last night, Mr Chidambaram distributed awards for various categories to the Captains of Industry. The gala event was organised by NDTV Profit at a sprawling hotel, 'The Grand', in south Delhi.

Not surprisingly, CII President and Telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal, who heads the country's biggest mobile operator 'Bharti Airtel,' was named the 'Businessman of the year' (2007), while Mahindra&Mahindra's Anand Mahindra was named the 'most inspiring corporate leader for the year.' Interstingly, Mr Mahindra has held the position some years ago, which Mr Mittal holds now in the CII.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit took the award for Delhi government being named as the 'Best Business State' for the year 2007.

Kerala Tourism Board was named the best in the travel and tourism category.

Tata Consultancy Services, the country's biggest software exporter, bagged an award in the IT category while corporate giant Reliance Industries was awarded for being the best in the oil sector.

In the category of Civil Aviation, Kingfisher Airlines was rated as number one. The award was received by the flamboyant Vijay Mallaya who vowed that the key theme of his airline would be service delivery and customer satisfaction.

Pantaloons Retail and HDFC Bank were among the other companies which received the awards. From among the host of public sector and private sector banks, HDFC was adjudged the best.

The ceremony was akin to that of the filmfare awards with music being played when an awardee went to receive his recognition.

The tunes were taken from the familiar themes played on NDTV Profit.

Just as in Filmfare awards, the select names under consideration for various categories were announced and then the best among them were declared.

And like Filmfare awards, the winner said a few words to the large audience present.

But Mr Chidambaram was not his usual self, often posing questions to the winning candidate.

The Finance Minister made his speech only towards the conclusion of the event.

His questions to the industrialists were often ticklish, teasing and penetrating.

He was frequenty joined in this exercise by Dr Prannoy Roy, head of NDTV and NDTV Profit.

For instance, Mr Chidambaram asked Mr Mittal whether he had lurking political ambitions.

Mr Mittal said while it was a fact that his father was a politician, he was a "hungry and passionate businessman" who wanted to grow by the hour. While not harbouring political ambitions, he certainly wanted to do a lot for the community, especially the poor.

Similary, Mr Chidambaram asked Mr Kumaramangalam Birla what he felt like when suddenly he found himself exposed to the cold chills of gobal competition when the floodgates of liberalisation and globalisation were suddenly opened to Indian businessmen.

Mr Chidambaram remarked that his father Aditya Birla was the first truly global Indian who ventured out for overseas expansions in a big way.

Dr Roy asked Mr Birla whether the trend of outward flow of FDI from India was a transient feature or one which was here to stay.

The businessmen replied that as time went by, the country will witness more and more Indian companies going in for acquisitions abroad.

Dr Roy asked as to why was he so shy of the television and the media in general.

Mr Birla replied that he was not TV-genic.

On this, Dr Roy asked the audience to applaud if they thought that Mr Birla was TV-genic. There was a thunder of claps.

Mr Chidambaram came to the rescue of Mr Birla and said he was often confined to his work and would rather spend time accompanying his children to music classes.

Dr Roy asked Mr Mittal what was the percentage contribution of the telecom sector to India's nearly nine per cent growth per annum.

Mr Mittal replied telecom had revolutionised India and he was happy to have contributed to this revolution. Mr Mittal then gave a graphic description as to how this had changed the Indian lifestyle.

He said at least one per cent of the nine per cent GDP could be attributed to the growth of the telecom sector.


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