Biztro

Business in bitesizes
Taking Time to ­Reassure the Team

Subrata Roy has started to rally his huge human resource pool for help. Out on parole from Tihar Jail, Roy has been travelling to different cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, etc) for specially ­arranged meetings with thousands of Sahara ­employees and agents. The cities were plastered with Sahara ads to announce his arrival but the meetings were behind closed doors with only his employees, especially the fund agents who were given special identity cards for the event. Meanwhile, HDFC Realty and SBI Caps have begun liquidating some of Sahara’s properties to collect the debts which landed him in jail. But it seems Roy has not yet packed his bags. He will try to rejuvenate his business.

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Maruti’s Opportunity From Disaster

This is called converting a disaster into an opportunity. After a fire at one of Maruti Suzuki’s key air-­conditioner vendors Subros’s Manesar unit last week, India’s largest carmaker had to suspend production at both its Gurgaon and Manesar plants. This also forced Maruti Suzuki’s other vendors to shut down operations as production in the main unit was suspended. While this is not an ideal scenario at a time when many of MSIL’s new cars have a waiting list, the carmaker has advanced its annual maintenance shutdown of its plant from the end of the year to now and is utilising this unscheduled stoppage of production for maintenance of the plant.

Will Apple Bite India’s Bait?

Apple chief Tim Cook’s India visit seems to have had its desired effect in the corridors of power. After tossing around the proposal to ­exempt Apple from the 30 per cent local sourcing norm before allowing them to open exclusive stores in India, the government is understood to be mulling the idea of a partial exemption: the ­iPhone maker can run its stores ­unfettered for 2-3 years after which it will have to source locally. But Apple is far from taking a final decision on making in India.

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Mojo

Waiting With Bated Breath

Scientists at North Carolina State University are working on a wearable asthma warning system called Health and Envir­onmental Tracker (HET). A wristband and chest patch, it monitors patients, alerting when an attack is imminent.

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This week we remembered Roger Enrico

The former head of PepsiCo passed away last week, and we remembered the glorious cola wars of the 1980s. Enrico famously got Michael Jackson to sing about the Pepsi generation to the tune of Billie Jean in a game­-changing 1984 advertisment. This helped Pepsi briefly usurp the top slot in the cola wars against a struggling Coke (which later recovered from the disastrous New Coke). Of course, not all of Enrico’s bets worked, and many saw his bestseller The Other Guy Blinked as personal publicity. But still, for a brief beautiful moment, he pulled of a spectacular marketing coup by the proverbial underdog.

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