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What is it that makes a good company great? To me, without a doubt, professional management. One that can work without looking over its shoulder and take decisions purely on merit. A management in which the founder/promoter and his family play no part and let qualified and experienced people do the job they’ve been hired to perform. The promoter does not sneak family members into key positions and second-guess every move of the professionals. Rather, he reposes faith in his team to do its best under the circumstances.
These are the very qualities that Analjit Singh, founder-chairman of Max India, brings to his businesses. “I don’t want to be a seth,” he says. Asked about his daughter playing a role in the running of the company, he replies, very matter of fact: “She has to earn her stripes.” This rather unusual ability to not be a seth, coupled with the fact he has allowed his top management to split the company he founded back in 1982 into three, reposing full faith in the team, makes Max India our cover feature this issue.
The decision to split the company into three listed entities is meant to unlock value for investors and help Max Ventures and Industries — the new holding company that will have in its fold manufacturing businesses — hitch a ride on PM Modi’s ‘Make In India’ bandwagon. The other two holding companies — Max Financial Services and Max India — with insurance, healthcare, health insurance and senior living between them, are expected to strike it rich on the stock markets, especially with the insurance sector being opened up to greater FDI.
Associate editor Joe C. Mathew spent a lot of time with the Max India management to decode the thinking behind the decision to demerge. He probed, cajoled and persisted to get to the bottom of the Max saga. Delve into the package, starting on page 40.
The Modi government has managed to land in a mess. By pushing ordinances — when it failed to rustle up the numbers for a legislation to undo the UPA-helmed land Act in the Rajya Sabha — that are deemed pro-industry and anti-farmer, it has managed to unite the opposition against it. This could see its massive mandate quickly slip away and prove suicidal in the long run. BW brings you two experts, on opposite ends of the spectrum, to put you in the picture, in case you haven’t fully figured out what the brouhaha is about. Catch the debate on page 32.
This issue, we also look at what’s holding up large power projects — UMPPs as they’re called. Of the 16 envisaged, only four have been awarded and all of them are in trouble. Join the power play on page 76.
A riveting read, I promise.
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 04-05-2015)