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BW Businessworld

Tall Men, Towering Enterprises

BW Businessworld’s MRC survey reiterates what the business fraternity has always known and the winner did take it all

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By the time you read this issue of BW Businessworld, India will have a new President. Ram Nath Kovind has defeated his Congress Party opponent, Meira Kumar, by an impressive margin in the presidential elections.

Kovind comes from a humble background, born as he was in a Dalit family in a village near Kanpur. He has risen from the ranks and practised as an advocate before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was subsequently sent to Bihar as a Governor. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kovind’s name now figures in a list that includes those of illustrious heads of  India like Rajendra Prasad and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Rajendra Prasad and Abdul Kalam had brought respect to the institution and charisma to Rashtrapati Bhawan — traits that have not been shared by all occupants of the mansion atop Raisina Hill.

They, thus, remain among India’s most respected heads of state. Will President Kovind live up to the stature his office demands? Only time, as they say, could tell.

Respect is a yardstick that applies in equal measure to the world of business as well. No matter what the size of an enterprise is, no matter what its revenues and profits are, a company commands respect on the basis of parameters like corporate governance, ethics and transparency, innovation, global competitiveness and returns to shareholders.

The thought inspires BW Businessworld’s annual list of the Most Respected Companies. This issue contains the most definitive list, in the annual feature that you dear reader, look forward to. This annual property of ours continues to be celebrated by industry.

As in previous years, we tied up with an agency for the ground work for the survey, followed by a jury meet of some very eminent people. This year our chosen agency was IPSOS. The outcome is the most conclusive list of the Most Respected Companies. In our profiles of these super companies, we examine both their leadership and their financial parameters.

In addition to the companies featuring in the list, we also celebrate some outstanding contributions by individual professionals in the world of business and policy. All in all, an engrossing read, that we hope you will enjoy.

Other features that should keep you glued to our pages include a detailed interview with the media-shy TATA chief ethics officer, Mukund Rajan. Senior associate editor, Ashish Sinha, brings you the fascinating story of Bombardier India and Alstom Transport — two companies that are metro makers in our country among many others. These Canadian and French rail equipment manufacturers are keen to put India’s infrastructure building plans on the fast track.

Last year we had predicted the stock market boom. The author of that feature and our Mumbai bureau chief, Clifford Alvares, does a follow-up as the Nifty stays on course to attain the 10,000 mark. In another report, Alvares evaluates Indian initial public offers (IPOs) and concludes from investor responses that they are having the best year and a half ever.

We also do a follow-up of the precarious jobs scenario in the country. Senior special correspondent, Himani Chandna, predicts a massive boom in e-learning, in the light of the mad rush for upskilling and re-skilling by professionals and new entrants to the job market.

All in all, a wholesome package, dear reader, which we hope you will enjoy. Keep writing in with your feedback!