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BW Businessworld

All About Portfolios

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The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in India talks a lot about the power of brands. But quite often, they fail to practise what they preach — especially when it comes to powerful brands that have been acquired. Quite often, the acquired brand is pulled out from the market, or left to languish with little resources behind it. That's because most acquirers tend to see the value of the acquired company in terms of the latter's distribution network, its manufacturing plants or other hard assets that can be utilised to push their own brands. That is why Kraft is an unusual case. After taking over Cadbury, Kraft is focusing on pushing more resources behind the iconic chocolate company's products. And it is actually going slow on introducing its own global portfolio of brands in India.

Kraft's strategy for India is examined by senior editor Prasad Sangameshwaran in our cover story. He also looks at what its competitors are planning to do to take on the Kraft-Cadbury combination.

Meanwhile, senior associate editor Gurbir Singh looks at the scions of prominent builders taking over, or preparing to do so, from their fathers. With fresh thinking and strong ideas, they are changing the way business has been conducted in the construction industry. Turn to page 34 to understand what it means for consumers as well as bankers and other stakeholders.

The most awaited event of this week was the long overdue Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Coming at a time when the government was embroiled in half a dozen scandals and other problems, one was looking for strong signals from the Prime Minister. Also, the event was being keenly watched for the kind of message it would send out to the Congress' restive allies.

Unfortunately, the reshuffle has left everyone completely foxed about what the Prime Minister was  hoping to achieve. If hard-working and efficient ministers were expecting to be rewarded with more powerful and meaningful portfolios, that did not happen. Nor were inefficient ministers dropped or punished with inconsequential ministries. Given the nature of the reshuffle, most political observers are left wondering why Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi went in for the exercise at all.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 31-01-2011)