The Game Changers 2000 | 2009

Photo: S Radhakrishna

International Call

The BPO has transformed the Indian economy and young aspirations

THE BPO INDUSTRY, whose revenues touched $11 billion in 2008, has in the last decade profited foreign multinationals while creating Indian ones. It has spawned millionaires, built IT cities and spread its tentacles into small town and rural India. But essentially, the letters BPO abbreviate a cross-section of Indian youth, emboldened by employment and exposure, who mimic languages and lifestyles that are not theirs.

Photo: Vijay Pandey

Pr Pashas

Costly spin doctors are shaping the nation’s mindset

THE AMBANI SLUGFEST has highlighted the dependence on PR advisors in the making or breaking of reputations. Men like Anthony Jesudasan (in picture), Anil Ambani’s troubleshooter, now routinely feed “news” to the six financial dailies and 55-odd news channels in the Indian Capital. Nothing suceeds like canny PR.

Photo: Jayanta Sah

Two’s Company

Mukesh and Anil Ambani checkmated each other but drove the markets to dizzying heights

WHEN THE WORLD’S richest brothers agreed to break up Reliance — founded by their legendary father Dhirubhai — many felt it was the end of the conglomerate. But the two have a combined wealth of $8.5 billion (four times what they inherited in 2002) and drove almost 35 per cent of the bourse in 2009, or roughly one-third of the country’s growth chart. No wonder they’re called: “the tsunami that brings benefits”.

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Building Blocks

Driven by medium housing segments,India became one of the world’s fastest growing real estate markets

DESPITE THE global financial crisis, the housing demand in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 10 percent during 2009-2013. Over the last decade, realty drove both urban wealth creation and extreme discontent in the hinterland as the housing boom ate up large tracts of agricultural land, displacing thousands even as it housed hundreds.

Photo: AFP

Newly Engaged

This December India became the world’s second largest mobile phone user after china

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, India had fewer than 10 million landline phones. Today there are 500 million phone users and 10 million new mobile subscribers are added every month. While the phone has evolved globally into the Swiss Army knife of consumer electronics, Indians have evolved text messaging and missed calls into an art form. The middle class acknowledges the cell phone’s transgressive power when it incessantly exclaims that ‘even the dhobi’s boy now has one’.

Sting As King
Button-sized hidden cameras rocked the political Richter in 2001 SPY CAM JOURNALISM made its advent with the gripping visual of BJP president Bangaru Laxman accepting a thick wad of notes from reporters posing as arms dealers. That single frame delivered a larger, more potent message — hidden cameras are an effective tool in the hands of journalists willing to expose the abuse of public office and public money. TEHELKA remains committed to the motto it pioneered.
Market Dragon
Everything the Chinese make, we now import: mosquito nets, mobiles, even Ganesha statuesCHINA HAS BECOME the world’s factory, a place where everything is manufactured. In the last decade, Indian markets have been swamped with lowcost Chinese goods. Consumers are delighted, but 80 per cent of India’s anti-dumping WTO applications are against imports from China. Chinese assembly line products have almost destroyed Indian small-scale sectors like fire crackers and toys. 
Captain VictoryUnlike his predecessors, ‘Mahi’ did not need god or big daddy to lead the national team MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI epitomised the arrival of small-town India. With his swashbuckling batting, safe wicket-keeping gloves and shoulder-length hair, it didn’t take long for the Jharkhand boy to enhance his reputation as a clinical destroyer, leading India to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2008 and the first tri-series triumph in Australia.


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