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People In The News: India Calling

Warren Buffett has long had an aversion to investing in tech companies. But he broke that spell with Apple

Photo Credit : Bloomberg

Anshu Jain, former co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, together with former colleague Bhupinder Singh, is apparently home bound. The duo is looking to launch a non-bank finance company (NBFC) in India. The NBFC will lend to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs, and may be modelled on San Francisco-based fintech startup SoFi to which Jain is an adviser. The idea is to build an Indian version of SoFi, a marketplace lender that provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and other types of loans through an online platform.

The Troubled Tycoon
The man can’t catch a break! In yet another setback for Vijay Mallya, a dividend of Rs 12 crore due to him from United Breweries (UB) has been withheld. On order from the Debt Recovery Tribunal, UB has held back the payout to its chairman Mallya, who is under pressure from a consortium of banks to repay loans related to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya, directly and indirectly holds about 32.45 per cent stake in UB.

Top Catz
Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle Corp, emerged as the highest-paid US female executive in fiscal 2015 with $56.9 million in awarded compensation, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index. Catz’s pay matches that of her co-CEO Mark Hurd but is a far cry from the highest-paid man — Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of cancer-research firm NantKwest Inc — who was awarded $329.7 million in 2015. Alphabet Inc’s CFO Ruth Porat emerged as the no. 2 woman with $41.1 million in awarded compensation.

A Bite Of Apple
Warren Buffett has long had an aversion to investing in tech companies. But he broke that spell with Apple. The multi-billionaire’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway recently revealed a more than $1 billion stake in Apple Inc.— an investment that it made in the first quarter, before the iPhone maker in April reported its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years. The investment was announced amid an increasing view among investors that Apple deserves a lower valuation because its heady growth days may be over.

And It Ends...
Rahul Yadav is ready to quit the game and take a job, finally. Nearly five months after announcing his comeback startup Intelligent Interfaces — designed to use data analytics to “streamline processes for the government”— the former CEO has decided to shut shop, give up on entrepreneurship and is now planning to take up a simple job. Yadav announced the failure of his venture in a Facebook post, blaming “government officials for not taking any decision”.

Stepping Up
German fashion brand Hugo Boss has chosen chief financial officer Mark Langer to become its new CEO. Langer replaces Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, an eight-year veteran who stepped down in February following a slump in sales. The new CEO has a challenge on his hands as Hugo Boss has slashed sales forecasts in its major markets of China and the US.

A Swift Runner
He likes to waste no time. Two days after Shashank Manohar sent in his resignation as BCCI president, he took the chairman’s chair at the ICC. The 58-year-old was elected unopposed as the first independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an initial period of two years from May 12. A ballot was anticipated for the honorary position, and set to be concluded by the end of this month, but has not proved necessary because Manohar was the only nominated candidate.

Big Leap
Ajay Mittal has joined the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry as its new secretary, succeeding Sunil Arora. Mittal, a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from the Himachal Pradesh cadre, was formerly additional chief secretary of that state.