The most powerful indians in 2010: No. 81-90
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He debuts in the list as he's considered India's top investment banker. The MD of Kotak Mahindra Bank is involved in leading fund-raising activities like IPOs, bond issues and overseas fund mobilisation. He's also known for innovative financing options and structured deals. His asset management, investment banking, securities and insurance businesses are doing well.
When he broke his ties with US banking giant Goldman Sachs three years ago, many thought his days as a businessman were over. The opposite has happened: his companies have gone from strength to strength.
He will consolidate his position in investment banking, securities, insurance and commercial banking. With a buoyant capital market, he's raring to go this year.
82. BARLJA DUTT, 38
As Group Editor and the face of one of India's largest English news TV channel NDTV 24x7, Dutt is among the most influential media persons in the country. The journey to this position has been full of hard work, grit, determination and passion.
Very few women journalists in Indian television have managed to achieve the position that she has. She established herself with her reporting of the Kargil war and has never looked back. When 26/11 TV coverage was criticised, her standing ensured she became the personification of TV news for both sides of the debate.
Television news engendered enough questions post-26/11 for there to be an attempt to regulate it better. She will be in prime focus as stakeholders assess how TV journalism changes post-new rules.
83. G JANARDHANA REDDY, 43
G KARUNAKARA REDDY, 47, and G SOMASHEKHAR REDDY, 42
Businessmen and ministers in the Karnataka govt
The Reddy brothers from tiny Bellary are on our list because of their powerful combination of wealth and political clout. They are among the richest businessmen in Karnataka and hold three key ministerial portfolios in the state government. G Janardhana Reddy is the real force of the trio. Much of their wealth comes from the mining companies he owns.
In November 2009, they brought the BJP government in the state to its knees by engineering a rebellion of MLAs against Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. That forced the BJP to undermine Yeddyurappa and give in to their demands.
They are crucial to the continuance of the 19-month-old state government. A CBI probe into allegations of illegal mining is pending.
84. HARISH SALVE, 59
He drops down the list because his sure touch failed him in the Bombay High Court while arguing in favour of Mukesh Ambani in the Godavari basin gas dispute case. He was also at the receiving end of the SC when he argued in favour of CM Mayawati's right to erect statutes and memorials in Uttar Pradesh.
His successful fight for the Uphaar theatre victims took him from trial courts to the high court. As amicus curiae in Supreme Court forest bench, he has helped the court regulate an area that the political class is afraid to touch.
The next big SC decision, he thinks, will be on goods and services tax, and the allocations of taxation powers between the Centre and state governments. No prizes for guessing who is likely to argue the matter.
85. DR DEVI SHETTY, 56
Dr Devi Shetty brings Japanese-style process innovation to the healthcare sector. With a business model that focusses on large volumes and differential pricing for the rich and the poor, his Narayana Hospitals are creating as many as 30,000 hospital beds in cities in India.
Dr Shetty inaugurated the first of his health city projects in Bangalore in December 2009—the complex has a heart hospital, an emergency and trauma care facility, an eye hospital, the Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Centre, a nephrology unit and a neurosciences facility. Similar projects are on in other cities.
Scheduled to sign an agreement to build a heart hospital in Cayman Islands that will later be expanded into a 1,000-bed health city. It's expected to serve as an affordable, near shore health destination.
86. E SREEDHARAN, 77
Managing Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
The 'Metro Man' is credited with changing the face of public transport in the Capital. Of the 135 Metros in the world, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is one of the five in the world that are making operational profits.
In the year of the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi Metro will change the city's skyline and Sreedharan is the face of that transformation. So when he took moral responsibility for a mishap at a Metro construction site in July 2009 and resigned, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit asked him to stay back.
By the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the Capital, the Delhi Metro will cover 189 km. He has hinted at a possible retirement soon, so it will be interesting to see who replaces him.
87. NR NARAYANA MURTHY, 63
Murthy's gradual loosening of ties with Infosys sees him slip down the list. But he is still someone everyone listens to—and that's not just at Infosys. He displayed his un-sapping energy for entrepreneurship by creating a new venture capital fund, Catamaran, that will help young Indian entrepreneurs.
Convinced Nandan Nilekani to give up his top job at Infosys to head the Unique Identity Authority. Got Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate a corporate education centre in Mysore. Gave science talent a boost by instituting the Infosys Prize.
Murthy's Catamaran will invest primarily in India and in the social sector.
88. VIJAY MALLYA, 54
He drops 20-plus places in the power list because some of this former Rajya Sabha MP's businesses and pleasures— airlines and owning a T-20 cricket and motor racing teams—were doing better earlier than now. His attempt to frighten the government, by getting private airlines to announce a strike to extract concessions, bombed. But a man whose liquor company, United Breweries, is the third biggest in the world, is always someone to reckon with in business.
His businessmen's trade union tactic failed but he did get the airlines together to present a common argument. And he got back to the country what the government couldn't—some of Mahatma's belongings.
If aviation picks up, he will have new plans soon. Has plans to bring Formula One to India.
89. DR ZAKIR NAIK, 44
The evangelist, who wears suits and ties and preaches Islam in English, is a powerful orator. His sermons on Peace TV-English boast of a viewership of 100 million. The channel is aired in more than 125 countries and was launched in North America last year. Last year, he launched Peace TV Urdu, which has 50 million viewers. In the last 14 years, Naik has given 1,300 public talks, including 100 in 2009.
Naik's 10-day "peace conference" last November in Mumbai was attended by a million people. His lecture at the same conference was attended by around 2 lakh, including former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He plans to launch Peace TV-Bangla by December and a news channel by 2012 or 2013.
90. ANAND MAHINDRA, 54
The vice-chairman and MD of top utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra and co-promoter of Kotak Mahindra Bank, makes it to the list this year because he took a brave bet on bidding for and acquiring Satyam. Also, he took group company Mahindra Holidays public last year. Another reason: he's stepping up his presence in defence-related production.
The takeover of Satyam Computer, the most important corporate development last year, was a milestone. He assessed the troubled tech company and valued it accordingly, surprising many in the corporate world.
The performance of Mahindra Satyam will be keenly watched. Mahindra's joint venture with Renault to make Logan is under strain.
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