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As I read this article, I lost myself with Steve Jobs. I, still, remember when I first read about Steve Jobs in iCon. I had heard about Steve earlier but the book made me fall in live with his leadership style. I always hoped that someday I could have made to one Apple Conference and meet this iconic personality, who has so much to offer with his individual presence: management, presentation, leadership, perseverance and many more. As Steve Jobs announced his second indefinite medical leave, Apple shares were bound to take a beating and I feel it should not have surprised many other like me. This post is about analyzing few points that the article tries to address about Steve Jobs and the POWER. As I have consistently mentioned in my earlier posts, we, Indians, are little bad with powers and History has proved it again and again. Most of us have a bad notion of POWER and for us, POWER is just another way to utter sentences like ” Do you know who I am or I am your —————- (You fill in the blanks and bang you are that) and mark your presence without any personal significance. Individuals find ways to stamp their authority everytime.

But lets come back to the article, I am referring to. The first power lesson the article points to is :

“power can result from sheer drive, persistence, resilience, and the ability to tolerate conflict”

Steve Jobs is definitely an inspirational figure for the above lesson. I agree with the author when he mentions that Jobs persisted, sticking with his same focus on the user interface, his fundamental vision of ease of use and cool design, but also learned from the setbacks. People who would have seen “Pirates of Silicon Valley” would know the history that Apple was once written off the radar and so does Jobs. But he held on to his dream and vision only to come back strongly later. Remember his last turnaround, he was sick. The whole world wrote him off, media said Jobs is gone but he again came back only to introduce another killer product – iPad. So hold on and hold tight to your dreams.

The second power lesson the article points to is:

power can come through the projection of an image of strength that may not yet be the reality”

Remember, what apple store has done to various software developers. It has given a platform for enthusiastic software developers to pursue tehir passion yet not only make money but also become famous. Stanford did not think at all to introduce a course in its computer science curriculum that promotes students to develop apple software application as part of its course. Pulse, an iPad application, is the recent success and latest sensation resulting from it. Android and Nokia followed the store concept of success with their own stores. But Apple did it first. So, powerful people project an image of strength and sustainability.

The third power lesson the article points to is:

“likeability is not a prerequisite to power”

Great and the one thing that I personally love the most. It is not necessary that all powerful people are likeable but as a matter of fact, very few are. It is a very well known fact that Steve Jobs is sometimes heavily criticized for his attitude and actions. One of the example that the article cites is a prime example: “Being Steved”. Being Steved is the official term for Apple employees getting fired by Steve Jobs. In the incident mentioned in the article, when the employee was packing up his things after getting fired by Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs comes by and inquires. And says, you are re-hired. I have personally heard of stories about people who were fired by Steve Jobs only to leverage on the opportunity of getting fired by Steve Jobs to make it big in their life.

Bottom line is: Apple is a success and a lot of its credit goes to Steve Jobs. He is a visionary person, may not be liked by all but he is a successful figure who knew how to make his own ways. Not to forget, his charismatic presence only puts the tagline that we see on Apple products. Personally, I feel this time the medical leave might last a little bit longer and may be a good strategy for Apple to prepare its successor while the market accepts the change and accepts the new Apple as we love today.

Source Article: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/01/steve_jobs_a_study_in_power.html

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For people who don’t know IPL, IPL is today’s money making machine in the sports arena. IPL aka Indian Premier League is the largest sports (cricket) entertainment in terms of money and entertainment. Now, the idea of IPL is not new. It exists in various forms of other games like basketball (NBA), soccer, football (NFA) and many more. So, what makes IPL the most popular game.

  • Cricket: Cricket is one of the craziest games of many countries especially in Asia. Go to any nook and corner of the countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and you will find kids and people playing cricket with a bat and ball. Very few them make it to the playing 11 of the team but to be 11, is like a dream come true for anyone. In India, cricketers and film stars are like demi-gods. If one legend dies, the whole country goes down in no time. If India gives one bad performance in a cricket match, the effigies are burnt. One would be surprise to know that we have temples to worship cricketers and film stars. Moreover, IPL paved the way for shortest version of cricket games: 20-over bringing the excitement right onto the audience
  • Entertainment: Cheer-leading has never been a profession earlier in India but it is one now. How can someone forget the Knight Riders’ team Cheer-leading Reality Show. Additionally, not to forget the eminent filmstars associated with IPL: Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and many more. Not to forget how dozens more flock around during the matches to promote themselves and their movies.

The marriage of above two fields. Cricket and Entertainment was deadly and that drove the whole nation crazy. Of course, one might say the business model is not new. There is nothing innovative. Of course, yes. I do agree but then no one introduced the concept better than IPL. And let us accept the fact: almost all our business models are the borrowed concepts from abroad: well tested and proven because we, Indians,  (most of us) are not risk-takers by nature.

Today, IPL has emerged as the biggest and largest money spinner in its genre in the sports domain surpassing all NBA and NFL. Last year, its brand value was estimated to be $4.13 Bn and with the addition of two new franchisees, it is going to be more this year. Let us look at the some of the auction highlights of this year:

  • A total of 127 players were sold in the two-day auction at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore, while 12 players were originally retained by the franchises ahead of the auction.
  • Deccan Chargers have 14 players, spending $6,875,000 and keeping $2,125,000 still to spend. Dale Steyn ($1.2 mn) and Cameron White ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players for the team.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders have 12 players, spending $8,575,000 and keeping $425, 000 still to spend. Gautam Gambhir ($2.4 mn) and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 mn) were star cricketers.
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore have 16 players, spending $8,640, 000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Saurabh Tiwary ($1.6 mn) and AB de Villiers ($1.1 mn) were top fetchers.
  • Mumbai Indians have 12 players, spending $8,520,000 and keeping $480,000 still to spend. Rohit Sharma ($2 mn) and Andrew Symonds ($850,000) rocked the table for Mumbai Indians.
  • Sahara Pune Warriors, the new franchise, have 14 players, spending $8,070,000 and keeping $930,000 still to spend. Robin Utthappa ($2.1 mn) and Yuvraj Singh ($1.8 mn) were their prized possessions.
  • Team Kochi, another new franchise, have 17 players, spending $8,640,000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Mahela Jayawardhane ($1.5 mn) and Muttiah Muralitharan ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players.
  • Delhi Daredevils have 17 players, spending $8,250,000 and keeping $750,00 still to spend. Irphan Pathan ($1.9 mn), David Warner ($750,000) and Umesh Yadav ($750,000) were star cricketers bought.
  • Chennai Super Kings have 18 players, spending $8,615,000 and keeping $385,000 in pocket. R Ashwin ($850,000) and S Badrinath ($800,000) were top fetchers.
  • Rajasthan Royals have 8 players, spending $6,195,000 and keeping $805,000 in pocket. Ross Taylor ($ 1 mn) and Johan Botha ($950,000) emptied their suitcase.
  • Kings XI Punjab have 11 players, spending $6, 945, 000 and keeping $2,005,000 in pocket. David Hussey ($1.4 mn), Adam Gilchrist ($900,000), Piyush Chawla ($900,000), Dinesh Karthik ($900,000) were their prized possessions.
  • Rajasthan Royals were allotted budget of $7 million because of Bombay High court order.
  • Koklkata Knight Riders were constantly on the news: for picking up Gautam Gambhir for a record money and then not taking the star player of the region and former Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly.
  • Saurav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle went unsold. More than Brian Lara, this IPL auction put a BIG DOT on the cricketing career of one of the most successful Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly. Media left no time to make a fuss about the situation and broke hell on Dada. Most surprisingly, can Kolkata Knight Rider play without Saurav Ganguly in the player’s hometown itself? I guess yes, because this is India and lets be honest, we take few seconds to make a star and few seconds to bring someone to ashes.
  • The another aspect of auction side of KKR is: If I am not wrong, they are the only team to have broke even and into the profits. Don’t forget that they have never qualified for the semi-finals and have been one of the worst performers in the league. The credit goes to the King Khan of Bollywood, their franchise owner, Shahrukh Khan. Personally, I don’t like him or his acting but I love his presence of mind and his sheer attitude and marketing skills inspire me a lot. Remember, those xxx energy drink or the cheer-leading Reality show, SRK rocked the IPL with his own presence. SO, why KKR needs to play when both franchise owners and players are happy earning money without winning matches.
  • Personally, I feel Team Kochi made intelligent buys and did not put in money anywhere where the stake was too high. A lesson well learned from the Deccan Chargers from the past.
  • Anil Kimble made a smart move by opting himself out of the auction at the right time. Prestige and honor kept intact and he also got to mentor the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
  • Rahul Dravid, another star player of Indian Cricket team, just escaped the fate of Saurav Ganguly when he was picked up but it is a YELLOW light for Dravid. Be careful for the next auction.
  • Youngsters from India and abroad made the most out of this auction. A lot of unknown names got picked up over well known names: a very good positive sign. I am a strong believer in the power of fresh blood and Ia m sure some of them are going to make their dream run this IPL. Best of Luck to all of them!!!
  • Last year, IPL debuted on youtube, live streaming all matches. I expect this year they should live tweet also 🙂
  • IPL3 also debuted on movie theaters, showing the IPL matches live in the multiplexes. So, I guess you can grab your popcorn this year too.

IPL4 is going to have more matches and it is going to get bigger and better. I have always been a strong fan of Mumbai Indians and I am going to stick to my team this year too. Who will win IPL4? What do you think?

Just sit back, relax, get your popcorn and enjoy!!! For me, I am more interested in knowing the facts and success of both IPL4 and Cricket World Cup and we will try to bring you a post-tournament report. I am curious to co a sided-by-side analysis of the two biggest cricketing events of the year. Are you anxious? Do check back that time…

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US Holidays recorded a record sales in the holidays: a whooping $32.6 bn. It is a great news especially when the economy has been struggling a lot. So, it’s definitely a great news for the business.

I visited US in 2207 just after Thanksgiving and during the New Year. I must tell that the deals during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year were definitely very appealing. So, I almost returned from US in a bankrupt state. but I need to blame myself and that time. First I was fairly new in my job and had hardly any savings. But what is defining the sales today is ONLINE and that is what is more exciting than anything else. Consumers don’t fear to spend money online and trust the products deliver online. There are definitely few benefits of online buying: we save a lot of money by not driving to and fro to the store, we save a lot of time by not going on a shopping. Rather I feel it takes less time to buy something online. Moreover, it is easy to view the feedbacks and reviews of products online, which is easily searchable. So, with a right kind of research, one can almost snatch a great deal of his own and no other time can beat the price than the holiday season.

On the contrast, I feel that Indian consumers are yet to embrace the online buying system. There is still so much resistance among people to buy online. I don’t have the data but if anyone can start looking for it, I am quite confident that it would not much different. Why? First, Indian consumers don’t trust the online shopping. secondly, we are too emotional people that we believe that we do better deals when we are in front of another person. And by dealing I mean the power of bargaining. I will not be surprised if any survey could affirm this. We believe in relationships more. Third and most important thing, we believe in buying things at the cheapest price possible. I would really hope that some consultancy or some MBA students could do this study. Bring a same product (lets say a car) and show it to people in different countries. I cannot comment on the psychology of people of other countries but I can definitely say that the first question that an Indian might ask is: how much it would cost me? So, it is not surprising that why small cars are so popular in India. Basically, it is not that Indians are environment friendly, it is just that we are way too price-conscious. Therefore, one can see all products having small variants available in India: shampoo and soaps to cars and houses.

I believe that the future is going to belong to the online sales. There is no denying that companies like Google and Facebook (don’t forget speculations on recent Facebook’s valuation of $50 bn) are generating such huge revenues from online advertising only. But the question would be to build credibility and confidence in the minds of the consumer. And I also believe that there could not be any better medium to do so than social networking sites like twitter and Quora. Secondly, understanding the psychology of the consumer would go a long way in the pricing and positioning the product in the a country’s market.

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/07/BUQS1H5C84.DTL

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Last Sunday, I visited to participate in “The Art of Elevator Pitch” Panel Discussion at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The discussion was very informative. Honestly speaking, I did not know what is an Elevator Pitch before I decided to participate in the contest when I received an email from my Toastmasters International District. But I knew I am going to participate. So, I immediately replied to the email and got the preliminary round of questions. I am attaching the file with the answers here. Please do feel free to comment whatever you feel like.

DeepakPanigrahy_Oracle

What did I get out of the Contest?

  1. Networking: I feel very good to network with some of the amazing people in the industry. Having entrepreneurial pursuits myself, it was just an amazing platform for meeting future business leaders (students of IIM Bangalore), Venture Capitalists such as Griffin David, Balaji and Ian Faria, Private Equity Players such as Samir Inamdar and many more. And of course, not to forget very enthusiastic Toastmasters. In fact, I got an invitation to speak over the IIM Alumni Toastmaster chapter and I plan to do so for some of my Advanced Communicator Bronze level, Speeches by Management Category.
  2. Special: The session became special in personal term also. After a very very long time, I had a crush on someone there. Let me tell you that I am not the one who can fall for anyone any time. Someone needs to be very special to match my frequency and vibrancy and I felt the same with someone there. It is a different case that I did not do anything at that moment of time, though I wanted to with all good intentions. Somehow I decided to hold back for some more time and if future will permit, I will do the necessary. No doubt, the girl is special and I could feel that. I call the girl as Miss AC. So, Miss AC, hope to meet you soon but in a different fashion
  3. Elevator Pitch: Well, this is the instant take away from the session. And I am going to discuss more in details on this with my version of the elevator pitch with the final case study.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Elevator Pitch is a short speech of about 2 minutes, generally given by entrepreneurs to the VCs or angel investors. It derives its name from the fact that it takes exactly 2 minutes to go from the lobby to the top level where the VC has his office. And one gets just two minutes to leave the VC with the curiosity and quest. In my view, an elevator pitch is successful if you can get the business card out of the VC.

What kind Elevator Pitches can be?

I feel elevator pitches can be anything. It can be about yourself, a product, a service, a group, an organization and often related to marketing campaigns, branding and public relation activities. Why is it important? Generally, we don’t know with whom am I going to sit next to in my flight. We don’t get any clue with whom I am going to go in an elevator. So, suppose I bump into a potential VC all of a sudden and what I get is just 2 minutes to generate interest into me and my idea. In my view, it generates a lot of interest in the field of consultancy also. What do you feel how much time a CEO has when you are on a consulting project with the that CEO’s firm? Talk to the management consultants and I can bet most of them will say that they get the time to pitch their ideas and solutions exactly equal to the time one takes to walk from CEO office to his car. And trust me when I say that its not only your firm’s reputation that is at stake but also your own reputation and credibility too.

What constitutes a good elevator pitch?

  1. First and foremost, you must understand that elevator pitch is not your business plan rather it is the door to getting the funding for your plan by getting the business card of the VC or scheduling a meeting with the VC.
  2. Try to connect emotionally both at the personal and professional level. What I mean here is you should be able to relate your idea with the person and at the same time, take his curiosity level to such an extent that he makes the next attempt to reach to you. One very good example that I would like to cite here is taken from the real life experience of Griffin David, discussed during the panel discussion at IIMB.  Griffin David is a Venture Capitalist and an Entrepreneur in himself, who has traveled a journey from SemiConductor Chips to Potato Chips today. He is currently the CEO of Bread Basket Pvt Ltd, having founded it. He cited an incident where his team was pitching a business plan in front of potential investors. They somehow manage to connect with them prior to the meeting and went for an excursion to SONA in Europe. SONA seem to be known for a beach but a special beach-nude beach. They all went, enjoyed, in fact went to give a television interview also with only their heads showing up. But the effect of the trip was seen when his team was given 45 minutes for the presentation while others were given only 15 minutes. Did you see the difference what an emotional connect can make? In yet another incident mentioned by one of the panelist (sorry, I don’t remember who was it exactly), he mentioned that once in an attempt to raise money from a bank, he was facing lot of issues. One of his friend’s wife discussed the problem with the wife of the banker. The banker’s wife went and told his husband that the person in question is like a son to her and you must approve his loan. Ultimately, the loan passed. The panelist came to know about the incident much later in one of the parties. Can you guys relate now? Can you guys make what I am thinking? EQ is one of the biggest weapon and i fused properly, can do wonders in your not only personal but professional life also. We are all human beings and an angel investor or a VC is no exception. Our daily lives are full of emotions and almost 90% of the time, our decisions are based on our emotions and feelings.
  3. Understand your audience. This hold true in case of any speech. Each person is different. Understanding your audience will help in pitching your idea in the most effective way. How can you do that? Thats where your networking connections are going to work for you.
  4. As like an speech, according to me, an elevator pitch also has a certain format and guidelines: Be crisp and ensure brevity because at the day, you only have 2 minutes. Your introduction is your selling point. If you cannot connect with your opening statement, forget it. It is same as the FIRST impression is the LAST impression. So be very careful how are you going to begin. Be prepared with your best 3 points to support your statement. A lot of my management consultant friends tell me that the the RULE OF THREE is an accepted norm of making your points in a business setup. So, these three points should be your best selling points and should generate curiosity in the minds of the VC. At the end, end it with a strong conclusion. I feel the conclusion should not only be persuasive but also leave the VC thinking, thus, prompting him to give away his business card and seeking to get an appointment for a detailed discussion.
  5. Of course, do look out for your body language and voice modularity. Nothing can substitute an appropriate body language with good command over the voice modulation. This is where Toastmasters is going to help you the most.

What are the other potential areas where elevator pitches can be useful?

Well, when I sat and thought about it, I never knew I could relate it to so many circumstances. Some of the areas where I feel an elevator pitch can help you are DATING, JOB INTERVIEW, PROMOTIONS in jobs and PROPOSALS (e.g an author pitching his book to the publishers or a story writer pitching his story for a movie to a producer). The most interesting among the list is DATING. Imagine you are standing alongside a beautiful girl (say Katrina Kaif) and you have got one shot at her before she disappears in the world of invisible strangers again. Your 2 min shot can give you the mobile number or a date. On the other side, a bad pitch may land you in prison, labeling you as a stalker. In other words, 2 minutes can decide whether she is going to be your life partner. Similarly, each one of knows, the way one walks and introduces himself is the 75% success of the interview. Imagine yourself in an elevator with CEO of your company and you know your skills are not well utilized by your current boss and you get only 2 minutes to showcase what you got and you can do for the organization if given the right opportunity. Finally, here is my version of the elevator pitch that I wrote for the case-study presented at IIMB for the finalists:

Case Study: ElevatorPitch_Stage2_CaseStudy

======================================================================================================

My Elevator Pitch: Would you like your girlfriend/wife to look like Katrina Kaif or Toon Toon? If given a free hand, wouldn’t you wake up early in the morning and go to gym with your wife to keep her in shape more than yourself? One will walk with broad chest and full prestige if your girlfriend/wife is good looking and smart. So, wouldn’t you like her to look good in her office too? I am sure you will.

I am Rita and I propose to bring an exclusive line of garments for women for office wear. From college to an office, from home to a boardroom, I present to you an elegant and exclusive design of apparel for Indian women. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that women spend more than men on looking good and beautiful. The most prominent proofs are endless research on spending habits of men and women and the time a woman spends on dressing up. And of course, not to ignore your own wallet and the savings you barely manage to make at the end of the month. No more sarees or executive shirts and skirts from Allen Solley or so, Rita & Co. will bring a premium line of designs exclusively designed to the taste of Indian women. Recent feedbacks from the students of IIM Bangalore, who have already taken the designs to their summer internships have felt more comfortable and confident filled with positive energy after wearing my designs.

So, what are you waiting for? Tighten your seat belts as we, together, can bring a sea wave of changes with Rita brands flaunting in offices and board rooms and change the image of a working Indian women to a more confident, elegant and stylist business women.

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Hey, please feel free to comment your views on the elevator pitch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Here is th elist of the world’s top 10 companies and trust me, one day they are all going to look for me and then I am going to have the final say….

1. HSBC Holdings

“We have a clear strategy, it is focused on investing and developing our powerful emerging markets franchises. We will continue to do that,” Stephen Green, chairman, HSBC.

The ‘world’s local bank’ is HSBC’s tag line. Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. It comprises of over 10,000 offices in 83 countries across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges.

Shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 200,000 shareholders. HSBC offers a range of financial services: personal financial services, commercial banking, corporate, investment banking and markets and private banking. HSBC Holdings has reported sales to the tune of $146.50 billion and profits of $19.13 billion in 2007.

History: The HSBC Group is named after its founding member, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was established in 1865 to finance the growing trade between Europe, India and China. The inspiration behind the founding of the bank was Thomas Sutherland, who was then working for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Seeing the potential of local banking facilities in Hong Kong and on the China coast and he helped to establish the bank which opened in Hong Kong in March 1865 and in Shanghai a month later.

2. General Electric

“We are going to solve tough customer and global problems and make money solving it,” Jeff Immelt, CEO, GE.

Imagination at work, says the GE tag line. Innovation and research are the strongholds of GE. In 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon wearing boots made of GE’s silicone rubber. GE has four strong businesses in the financial services, infrastructure, and media markets.

GE Capital offers an astonishing array of products and services aimed at enabling commercial businesses and consumers worldwide. The company prides helps build the health care, transportation, and technology infrastructure across the globe. General Electric’s sales stand at $172.74 billion and profits at $22.21 billion in 2007.

History of research

GE’s research started in a barn in 1900 when General Electric Company completed eight years. The barn saw company’s major breakthrough technologies. One of the earliest projects of the new lab was incandescent lighting. GE scientists have thousands of patents, and two Nobel prizes: Irving Langmuir won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1932 and Ivar Giaever won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973.

3. Bank of America

“Bank of America helps build strong communities by creating opportunities for people – including customers, shareholders and associates – to fulfill their dreams.” Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman, CEO and president.

Bank of America is the largest commercial bank in the United States in terms of deposits and second largest by market capitalization. The bank also offers talking ATMs which help customers who are visually impaired. The Bank of America sales is at $119.9 billion and profits are at 14.98 billion in 2007.

History

Before 1998, Bank of America organization was known as NationsBank. In 1998, NationsBank acquired San Francisco-based BankAmerica and renamed the corporation “Bank of America”.

4. JPMorgan Chase

“Our expectation is for the economic environment to continue to be weak � in spite of the environment, we are confident that we are building an increasingly strong and profitable company.” James Dimon

JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.8 trillion. With an employee strength of 1,80,000, the company operates in more than 60 countries.

It is a leading player in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase reported sales to the tune of $116.35 billion and profits stood at $15.37 billion in 2007. Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

History

JPMorgan Chase & Co., was founded in New York in 1799. The firm is built on the foundation of nearly 1,000 institutions that have come together over the years to form todays company. JPMorgan Chase traces its beginnings to the Bank of The Manhattan Company, which was founded by Aaron Burr in 1799 and became one of the leading banking institutions in the nation.

In the 1800s, many new banks were formed across America. JPMorgan Chase has links to many of these early institutions, including the Western Reserve Bank, one of the first banks in Ohio and a predecessor of Bank One, which merged with JPMorgan Chase in 2004.

5. ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation is an American oil and gas corporation and a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company. The company was formed on November 31, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil.

It is also the largest publicly held corporation by market capitalization, at $501.17 billion on April 18, 2008. Exxon’s reserves were 72 billion oil-equivalent barrels at the end of 2007 and are expected to last over 14 years.

While it is the largest of the six oil giants with daily production of 4.18 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent) in 2007, ExxonMobil is 14th in the world when ranked by held oil and gas reserves. Rex W. Tillerson is the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil reported sales to the tune of $358.60 billion and profits stood at $40.61 billion in 2007.

History

Exxon Mobil Corporation was formed in 1999 by the merger of two major oil companies, Exxon and Mobil. Both Exxon and Mobil were descendants of the John D. Rockefeller corporation, Standard Oil which was established in 1870.

In 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Standard Oil must be dissolved and split into 34 companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard (Standard Oil Company of New Jersey), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York), which eventually became Mobil.

6. Royal Dutch Shell

“This is a very exciting – though daunting – time for our industry. The world is racing ahead with ever-increasing energy needs. We are under pressure to keep up. But this race does not have only one winner. This is a race all of us must win.” Linda Cook, Executive Director of Royal Dutch Shell.

Royal Dutch Shell is an MNC oil company with Dutch and British origins. It is the second largest private sector energy corporation in the world, and one of the six oil super majors. The company’s headquarters are in The Hague, Netherlands, with its registered office in London (Shell Centre).

Oil giant Shell has over 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources under construction. Shell has been exploring and producing oil and gas for more than a century.

The exploration and production work is going on in nearly 40 countries and the company employs around 35,000 people. Royal Dutch Shell reported sales to the tune of $355.78 billion and profits stood at $31.33 billion in 2007.

History

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was created in February 1907 when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd of the United Kingdom merged their operations.

After the merger, 60 per cent of the new Group went to the Dutch arm and 40 per cent to the British. In 1833, the company founder’s father, Marcus Samuel, founded an import business to sell seashells to collectors in London.

When collecting seashell specimens in the Caspian Sea area in 1892, Samuel realised the potential of exporting oil from the region and commissioned the world’s first purpose-built oil tanker, the Murex to foray into this market.

7. BP

BP has transformed itself from a local oil company into a global energy group employing over 96,000 people and operating in over 100 countries worldwide. BP has reported sales to the tune of $281.03 billion and profits stood at $20.60 billion in 2007.

Tony Hayward is the group chief executive of BP, earlier known as British Petroleum. With headquarters in London, the company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world.

History

British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in December 1998, becoming BPAmoco until 2000 when it was renamed BP and adopted the tagline ‘Beyond Petroleum’. Most Amoco gas stations in the United States have changed the look and name to the BP brand. The highest grade of BP gasoline available in the United States is still called Amoco Ultimate.

8. Toyota Motor Co

Toyota Motors is 70-years old. Headquartered in Japan, it is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. The company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spin off from his father’s company Toyota Industries to manufacture automobiles.

Fujio Cho, is the chairman of the company. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands. Toyota’s management philosophy is ‘lean manufacturing’ and ‘just in time production’. Toyota continues to promote localization, based on the principle of producing vehicles in those countries or regions where demand exists.

In Japan, Toyota has equipped Takaoka plant with the company’s most-advanced technologies. In R&D, Toyota is continuing to focus its efforts in the three key areas of the environment, safety and energy. Toyota has positioned hybrid technologies as core technologies that can contribute to resolving environmental issues. Toyota Motor Co reported sales to the tune of $203.80 billion and profits stood at $13.99 billion in 2007.

History

Sakichi Toyoda invented the wooden Toyoda handloom in 1890. In 1894, Kiichiro Toyoda born. In 1924, Sakichi Toyoda completed the non-stop shuttle change type Toyoda automatic loom (Type G). In 1929, Kiichiro Toyoda traveled to Europe and the United States to investigate automobiles. The British company, Platt Brothers, gained the automatic loom patent rights. In 1931, Kiichiro Toyoda started research into gasoline-powered engines.

9. ING Group

ING is a global financial services company providing banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services. The company serves more than 75 million customers in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

Based on market capitalization (31 March 2008), ING is one of the 20 largest financial institutions worldwide. The ING Group reported sales to the tune of $197.93 billion and profits stood at $12.65 billion in 2007. The group is led by Michel Tilmant.

History

ING was founded in 1991 by a merger between Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group. During the past 15 years ING has become a multinational with very diverse international activities. ING’s history can be traced to the insurers De Nationale Levensverzekering Bank and De Nederlanden van in 1845. The oldest legal predecessor is the Kooger Doodenbos from Koog, Noord Holland, founded in 1743.

10. Berkshire Hathaway

“When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. ” Warren Buffett

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is based in Omaha, US. Berkshire Hathaway manages a number of subsidiary companies. Its core business is insurance, including property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard insurance.

The company averaged an annual return in excess of 21 per cent to its shareholders for the last 42 years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt. Warren Buffett is the company’s chairman and CEO. Earlier, he used to focus on long-term investments in publicly quoted stocks.

Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including candy production; retail, home furnishings, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewellery, newspaper publishing and even makes and distributes uniforms and footwear.Berkshire Hathaway reported sales to the tune of $118.25 billion and profits stood at $13.21 in 2007.

History

Berkshire Hathaway traces its roots to a textile manufacturing company established by Oliver Chace in 1839. In 1929 the Valley Falls Company merged with the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company established in 1889. The combined company was known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. In 1962, Warren Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway.

After some clashes with the Stanton family, he bought up enough shares to change the management and soon controlled the company. Buffett initially maintained Berkshire’s core business of textiles, but by 1967, he forayed into the insurance industry. Berkshire first ventured into the insurance business with the purchase of National Indemnity Company.

Courtesy: Rediff.com

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1. London: At rank 1, London reigns supreme among the top commercial cities of the world. London scores highest in the financial flow, knowledge creation and information flow. London is also ranked high in the business centre criteria.

It is ranked 3rd in terms of ease of doing business and 9th in legal and political framework. London did not fare as well in livability criteria (rank 24th), and economic stability (rank 20th). A strong economy and a vibrant financial market are its strengths.

2. New York: New York ranks second in the list of top global business centres. These global cities connect markets and commercial activity across the world.

New York is ranked top in North America. It beats London in the legal and political framework dimension and economic stability and livability.

New York, however, ranks lower in financial flow and business center dimension.

3. Tokyo: Tokyo ranks third in the list of top ‘Worldwide Centers of Commerce.’

More and more Asian cities rapidly growing attracting big business and a place in the global business world.

Tokyo scores very well in the dimensions of financial flow, business centre, livability and knowledge creation and information flow where also it was ranked 3rd.

However, Tokyo scored considerably lower than London and New York in legal and political framework, economic stability and ease of doing business.

4. Singapore: Singapore ranks fourth in the list of top business centres. Two Asian cities top the list in terms of ease of doing business.

Singapore tops with an index value of 82.82 and in terms of business centres, Singapore is ranked at the third spot with an index value of 62.58.

All the cities have been rated on seven different parameters, including legal and political framework, economic stability, ease of doing business, financial flow, business centre, financial flow, knowledge creation and information flow and livability, MasterCard said.

5. Chicago: Chicago ranks fifth in the list of top business centres in the world.

In terms of knowledge creation and information flow, Chicago ranks among the top 10.

More universities, MBA programmes, research institutions and numbers of researchers drive this dimension of knowledge creation.

6.Hong Kong: Hong Kong ranks sixth in the list of top commercial centres. In terms of ease of doing business, Hong Kong is ranked second with an index value of 80.37.

Cities in Asia were not generally major centers of commerce in the second half of the 20th century, with the exception of Tokyo and subsequently Hong Kong and Singapore.

The very strong rise of Shanghai in the 2008 Index reflects the equally spectacular rise of China.

While Shanghai was likely the dominant Asian commercial centre before World War II, it faded for many decades until China’s economic reforms of the 1980s catapulted it back to global prominence, the report states.

7. Paris: Paris ranks seventh among top global business centres.

In Europe, it ranks at No. 2 after London.

With a score of 79.17, London tops the list in Europe also but there is a big gap between it and other cities, Paris has a score of 63.87 and Madrid has a score of 58.34.

8. Frankfurt: Frankfurt has slipped to No. 8 among the world’s top commercial centres. It stood in the seventh spot in 2007.

The city ranks at No. 3 among European cities.

9. Seoul: Seoul ranks ninth among the world’s top financial centres. The booming Chinese and Indian economies reflect the economic power to Asia.

The strong presence of Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa cities is further evidence of the growing influence of the region not just in manufacturing and services, but also in broadly based commercial strength, the study said.

10. Amsterdam: Amsterdam ranks tenth among the list of top commercial centres in the world. It ranks among the top ten in legal and political framework.

It also ranks high in the business centres criteria and economic stability.

Courtesy: Rediff.com

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Atleast, I am there, working in one of them among the top 30-Oracle, placed at 22.

So, here is the list:

The InfoTech 100

Which companies are logging the strongest growth, which industries are the hottest, and how the winners are faring in a treacherous economic climate

How do you pick the best-performing tech companies in the world? At BusinessWeek, we sort through the financial results of 30,500 publicly traded companies and rank the tech players on four criteria: shareholder return, return on equity, total revenues, and revenue growth. The companies leading the list are those with the lowest aggregate ranking.

Amazon.com and Apple took the top two spots this year. Still, the dominance of U.S. companies is in decline: The country has 33 companies among the IT 100 this year, down from 43 in 2007. When we first started compiling the list in 1998 to rank tech’s top performers, 75 of the winners were U.S. companies.

NOTE: A more complete explanation of methodology is below the table.

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Click column heading once to reorder from highest to lowest. Click twice to reorder from lowest to highest.

Revenues Rev. Growth Return on Equity Shareholder Return Profits
Rank
Company Name
Industry*
Country
Millions
Rank
Percent
Rank
Percent
Rank
Percent
Rank
Millions
1 AMAZON.COM NET U.S. 15,955.0 23 39 29 35 22 28 29 508
2 APPLE COMP U.S. 28,747.0 15 33 39 24 44 74 10 4348
3 RESEARCH IN MOTION COMM Canada 5,765.9 55 66 8 33 24 152 1 1241
4 NINTENDO SOFT Japan 14,876.5 25 73 5 21 60 55 17 2289
5 WESTERN DIGITAL COMP U.S. 7,448.0 47 44 25 36 19 64 12 866
6 AMÉRICA MÓVIL TELE Mexico 28,761.5 14 33 40 46 10 10 56 5408
7 CHINA MOBILE TELE China 45,863.1 9 21 61 23 48 90 9 11780
8 NOKIA COMM Finland 73,344.4 6 24 55 49 8 8 60 10350
9 ASUSTEK COMPUTER COMP Taiwan 17,343.8 20 57 11 16 76 38 21 672
10 HIGH TECH COMPUTER COMP Taiwan 3,232.5 70 45 23 59 5 111 6 782
11 GOOGLE NET U.S. 18,116.1 18 51 16 19 70 22 36 4509
12 MTN GROUP TELE S. Africa 10,208.4 35 42 28 22 53 41 20 1480
13 IBM COMP U.S. 101,259.0 4 9 95 38 17 20 38 10893
14 MOBILE TELESYSTEMS TELE Russia 8,252.4 44 29 47 38 16 26 31 2072
15 TELEFÓNICA TELE Spain 81,077.0 5 7 98 44 11 16 44 12793
16 VIMPELCOM TELE Russia 7,164.6 49 47 20 27 32 19 39 1463
17 HON HAI PRECISION IND. COMP Taiwan 40,876.4 11 45 22 23 50 -3 82 1853
18 AT&T TELE U.S. 120,703.0 1 58 9 11 95 4 68 12564
19 ACCENTURE SVCS U.S. 23,276.6 16 19 65 69 3 -3 83 1450
20 LG ELECTRONICS COMP Korea 56,834.8 8 15 81 15 81 151 2 1307
21 BHARTI AIRTEL COMM India 4,605.8 61 58 10 35 20 11 55 1016
22 ORACLE SOFT U.S. 21,020.0 17 24 57 24 43 11 52 5088
23 MICROSOFT SOFT U.S. 57,954.0 7 17 76 44 12 -3 84 16419
24 MAROC TELECOM TELE Morocco 3,495.6 65 22 59 46 9 49 18 1020
25 TURKCELL ILETISIM HIZMETLERI TELE Turkey 6,328.6 52 35 35 23 47 34 24 1350
26 LG DISPLAY COMM Korea 15,267.5 24 35 33 16 78 17 41 1430
27 NHN NET Korea 686.3 100 56 12 40 15 59 14 160
28 COSMOTE MOBILE TELECOM. TELE Greece 4,396.1 63 28 49 53 7 17 43 519
29 MILLICOM INTL. CELLULAR TELE Lux. 2,630.6 77 67 6 34 23 12 50 439
30 HEWLETT-PACKARD COMP U.S. 107,671.0 2 14 83 21 61 11 54 7850
31 COMPAL ELECTRONICS COMP Taiwan 11,838.4 32 44 24 12 94 18 40 271
32 SISTEMA TELE Russia 10,862.8 34 43 27 18 71 10 57 813
33 ORASCOM TELECOM TELE Egypt 4,545.8 62 35 32 36 18 5 66 755
34 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS SEMI Korea 104,791.6 3 15 80 12 93 25 32 7894
35 CHINA UNITED TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELE China 13,594.1 30 25 54 10 98 64 13 762
36 MOBINIL TELE Egypt 1,471.9 92 29 48 104 2 36 22 327
37 CARSO GLOBAL TELECOM TELE Mexico 16,154.6 22 7 97 43 13 4 70 1156
38 KONINKLIJKE KPN TELE Neth. 17,900.1 19 4 99 59 6 -3 81 3810
39 CISCO SYSTEMS COMM U.S. 37,684.0 13 18 72 25 41 -4 86 8069
40 WISTRON COMP Taiwan 6,843.4 50 34 36 19 69 17 42 165
41 MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELE Kuwait 6,038.0 54 39 30 20 64 13 49 1154
42 ACTIVISION SOFT U.S. 2,608.2 78 88 2 15 82 35 23 286
43 REDECARD SVCS Brazil 984.6 97 305 1 135 1 0 78 385
44 CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR SEMI U.S. 1,695.6 87 43 26 26 36 23 34 378
45 ZTE COMM China 4,705.6 59 51 15 10 99 34 25 169
46 LENOVO GROUP COMP Hong Kong 14,590.2 27 10 94 14 86 91 8 161
47 TELEMAR NORTE LESTE TELE Brazil 9,645.8 39 4 100 20 67 111 5 1478
48 CORNING COMM U.S. 6,170.0 53 18 70 27 34 13 47 2852
49 PRICELINE.COM NET U.S. 1,390.8 93 24 56 27 33 129 4 157
50 TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MFG. SEMI Taiwan 9,826.4 37 19 66 25 39 2 73 3932
51 DIGI.COM TELE Malaysia 1,304.8 94 19 63 67 4 30 28 318
52 QUANTA COMPUTER COMP Taiwan 16,645.6 21 12 87 18 72 13 48 400
53 AU OPTRONICS COMP Taiwan 9,074.1 40 35 34 4 100 16 45 282
54 AMPHENOL SEMI U.S. 2,970.7 73 16 77 30 29 32 26 373
55 REDINGTON INDIA DIST India 2,265.7 83 33 38 16 77 141 3 25
56 NAVTEQ SVCS U.S. 917.9 98 48 18 17 74 110 7 176
57 SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY COMP U.S. 12,553.0 31 13 85 35 21 -13 94 1644
58 INTEL SEMI U.S. 39,155.0 12 11 91 17 73 6 65 6783
59 NVIDIA SEMI U.S. 4,097.9 64 34 37 30 28 -6 88 798
60 ADVANCED INFO SERVICE TELE Thailand 3,263.9 67 19 68 22 56 32 27 490
61 VMWARE SOFT U.S. 1,505.3 91 81 3 15 83 28 30 220
62 TRANSCEND INFORMATION SEMI Taiwan 810.5 99 55 13 29 31 7 61 75
63 SAP SOFT Germany 14,610.6 26 9 96 30 30 -7 89 2778
64 L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HLDGS. COMM U.S. 14,167.0 28 10 93 13 89 25 33 786
65 INDRA SISTEMAS SVCS Spain 3,113.8 71 54 14 21 58 -1 79 212
66 RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS TELE India 4,707.6 58 11 89 24 45 21 37 1350
67 QUALCOMM COMM U.S. 9,678.0 38 18 71 22 54 0 77 3463
68 MEMC ELECTRONIC MATERIALS SEMI U.S. 1,982.8 86 21 60 33 25 15 46 650
69 BOUYGUES TELE France 42,538.8 10 12 88 20 66 -14 95 1977
70 DIGITAL CHINA HOLDINGS DIST China 3,259.9 68 28 50 11 97 56 15 27
71 ACER COMP Taiwan 11,426.4 33 16 78 14 87 11 51 316
72 HARRIS COMM U.S. 5,085.4 56 26 53 19 68 6 63 410
73 CHICONY ELECTRONICS COMP Taiwan 1,089.4 96 19 64 25 42 46 19 47
74 WIPRO SVCS India 4,634.6 60 30 44 25 40 -14 96 806
75 YAHOO! JAPAN NET Japan 2,330.8 81 23 58 25 38 11 53 557
76 POWERCHIP SEMICONDUCTOR SEMI Taiwan 2,855.0 74 79 4 22 57 -24 99 846
77 MANTECH INTERNATIONAL SVCS U.S. 1,578.9 88 37 31 13 92 56 16 74
78 EMC COMP U.S. 13,725.3 29 19 69 13 90 1 75 1622
79 NEUF CEGETEL TELE France 4,809.6 57 16 79 16 80 23 35 379
80 BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP COMM China 1,511.5 90 27 51 15 84 67 11 93
81 TPV TECHNOLOGY COMP China 8,455.1 43 18 74 15 85 9 58 180
82 INVENTEC COMP Taiwan 7,958.3 45 29 46 16 75 -12 93 175
83 FOXCONN TECHNOLOGY COMP Taiwan 2,444.6 80 67 7 22 55 -27 100 197
84 SAIC SVCS U.S. 8,935.0 41 11 92 20 63 4 67 386
85 TOKYO ELECTRON SEMI Japan 7,578.5 46 26 52 20 65 -18 98 812
86 DELTA ELECTRONICS COMM Taiwan 3,257.3 69 30 45 23 51 -4 85 351
87 AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING SVCS U.S. 8,569.1 42 14 84 21 62 1 76 1130
88 ADVANCED SEMICONDUCTOR ENG. SEMI Taiwan 3,108.9 72 20 62 26 35 -2 80 539
89 ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS TELE Canada 9,915.1 36 15 82 14 88 7 62 624
90 UNITED INTERNET NET Germany 2,136.7 84 17 75 41 14 3 71 219
91 SATYAM COMPUTER SERVICES SVCS India 2,118.7 85 31 43 23 46 3 72 422
92 NAN YA PCB COMM Taiwan 1,156.8 95 48 19 25 37 -8 90 317
93 NANYA TECHNOLOGY SEMI Taiwan 2,312.8 82 49 17 23 52 -17 97 539
94 ADOBE SYSTEMS SOFT U.S. 3,398.9 66 32 42 21 59 -10 91 799
95 HCL TECHNOLOGIES SVCS India 1,517.4 89 33 41 32 26 -11 92 330
96 TD AMERITRADE HOLDING NET U.S. 2,793.0 76 11 90 31 27 6 64 787
97 NIKON SEMI Japan 7,319.1 48 13 86 16 79 9 59 488
98 NIDEC COMP Japan 6,601.4 51 18 73 13 91 4 69 366
99 COMMSCOPE COMM U.S. 2,500.4 79 46 21 11 96 2 74 148
100 INTUIT SOFT U.S. 2,851.6 75 19 67 23 49 -5 87 424

NOTES: *INDUSTRIES: Dist=Distributors, Comm=Communications equipment, Comp=Computers and peripherals, Net=Internet companies, Semi=Semiconductors, Soft=Software, Svcs=Services, Tele=Telecommunications †Total return is for less than one year

METHODOLOGY AND GLOSSARY: To compile the information for the Infotech 100, BusinessWeek began with financial data from Standard & Poor’s Compustat, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies that has computerized data on over 30,500 publicly traded corporations. We trimmed this universe to information-technology companies. To qualify, companies had to have revenues of at least $300 million.

We divided this collection of about 800 companies into eight industry categories, such as software and semiconductors. Companies whose stock price has dropped more than 75%, whose sales shrank, or where other developments raised questions about future performance were eliminated from contention. We also dropped some phone companies whose monopoly or near-monopoly power gives them an unfair advantage over competitors. The remaining group of companies was ranked on four criteria: return on equity, shareholder return and revenue growth (which were given equal weight), and total revenues (which were weighted). The rankings for each company were added together, and those with the lowest aggregate score topped the list. Then the top 100 companies were reranked as a group.

Revenues Latest available revenues for the most recent 12-month period for U.S. companies and the latest annual revenues for non- U.S. companies. Includes all sales and other operating revenues.

Revenue Growth Percentage change in revenues compared with the previous corresponding year-ago period, in native currency.

Return On Equity Net income available for shareholders divided by common equity, in native currency.

Total Return The total return to shareholders, including dividends for the 12 months ended April 30, 2008.

Profits Latest available profits for the last 12-month period for U.S. companies; the latest annual profits for non-U.S. companies. Net income from continuing operations before extraordinary items.

Note: Data compiled by Standard & Poor’s from sources such as statistical services, registration statements, and company reports that S&P believes to be reliable but are not guaranteed by S&P or BusinessWeek as to correctness or completeness. This material is not an offer to buy or sell any security.

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