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BW Businessworld

The Power Of Disruption

How the giant is transforming to face India’s fast evolving future

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The Union Cabinet reshuffle that PM Narendra Modi effected last week saw the rise of Nirmala Sitharaman as the new Union Defence Minister. Together with the Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and I&B Minister Smriti Irani, Sitharaman represents the Indian woman power. In this issue of BW Businessworld, we bring you a sharp coverage of the Union Cabinet reshuffle, which also saw the induction of as many as nine new ministers, including four former bureaucrats.

But, our primary focus, as the pre-eminent business and policy magazine of the country, remains corporates, and the overall economy. In our cover story, we take a close look at the largest FMCG player in India – Hindustan Unilever. HUL’s numbers are for all to see. Because of its sheer scale and size, when something impacts HUL, its effect is felt industry wide. Its steadiness in the wake of demonetisation and in the face of GST has therefore meant good news for all. But what is the essence of HUL? What is it doing to stay relevant in a world that has become about the new age, technology and about super brands that are young and nimble in their lifespan and appeal?

We have had a near unprecedented access to HUL to find out some of these answers. Our Group Editor for marketing and advertising, Noor Fathima Warsia, met with the entire management committee of the company – spending time with each member to understand the various pieces that make the whole and the traits that define HUL. We have taken an exhaustive look at its functions and businesses to explore how each unit is contributing to what makes HUL. The most important element is the in-depth conversation with Sanjiv Mehta, CEO & MD, HUL as he takes stock of not only what is happening in his company but also in the role that HUL plays for the industry and for the economy.

It’s not just the FMCG that we are focussing on. The latest developments have disrupted the telecom space. We ask the Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha what’s the way forward, and in a candid conversation with Deputy Editor Suman K. Jha, he says the sector “will stabilise in 4 to 6 months”.

As the second cover this issue, we look at the journey of Vodafone India and how it is banking on global consolidation experience to chart a new course in India’s telecom market. Mumbai Bureau Chief Clifford Alvares interacts with Vodafone MD and CEO Sunil Sood.

This issue of BW Businessworld has a third cover on fintech firms taking on the banking giants As is well-known, the live-in of finance and technology has created a new beast: fintech players. And their face-off with banks promises to be an interesting one. Deputy Editor Raghu Mohan and Senior Associate Editor Vaishali Dar say while the battlelines are still being drawn, it will be more of collaboration in this area. In a special story, Senior Associate Editor Ashish Sinha looks at the growing market for elevators and escalators.

With this issue, we also start a series with various countries’ ambassadors / High Commissioners, with two of them being featured in this issue. The series is anchored by Taniya Tikoo. The current issue also has a section on residential schools.

All in all, a wholesome package which I am sure you will enjoy. Keep writing in with your feedback.