Ashok Leyland acquires Nissan's stake in 3 JVsAshok Leyland acquires Nissan's stake in 3 JVs

NEW DELHI: The Hinduja Group's flagship firm Ashok LeylandBSE 2.24 % said on Friday that it has completed the acquisition of Nissan Motor Co.'s stake in three joint-ventures between the two companies — Ashok Leyland Nissan-Vehicles Ltd, Nissan-Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd and Nissan-Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd.

Ashok Leyland and Nissan had announced an arrangement under which Nissan would transfer its ownership in the three units to Ashok Leyland subject to statutory approvalsin September. "With all necessary statutory approvals now in place the acquisition was completed for a consolidated consideration of Rs 3 paid by Ashok Leyland for all the shares of the three JVs," Ashok Leyland said in a statement.

Vinod K Dasari, chief executive officer and managing director, Ashok Leyland, said, "We are very positive on the future of the LCV (light commercial vehicle) business which is growing. While we have acquired 100% ownership of the JVs, we will continue to be associated with Nissan for the technology of the existing Dost, Partner, and Mitr models. These are very important products for us and hold tremendous potential both within and outside India. Our association with Nissan continues in a new relationship"...Read more

How Boards Can Set a New CEO Up for SuccessHow Boards Can Set a New CEO Up for Success

Few people have more experience with CEO successions than Ram Charan. For more than three decades, Charan has been involved in CEO searches in the United States, China, Japan, India, Brazil, and Europe, as a director, an adviser, or a member of the selection committee. Charan recently shared best practices on CEO selections in an article for HBR, The Secrets of Great CEO Selection. In a telephone interview, edited and condensed below, Charan shared how the succession process doesn’t end the moment a new chief executive is appointed: setting your CEO up for success is as important as finding the right CEO in the first place.

HBR: You’ve written about how directors must not assume the succession process is complete once the new executive takes over. Can you elaborate?..Read more

Become a More Strategic Leader by Conveying Strategic Intent

In our new book published by Wharton Digital Press, The Strategic Leader’s Roadmap, Harbir Singh and I offer a 6-point checklist for leading strategically that will help managers strengthen their capacity to develop strategy and to lead its execution. One of the most critical capabilities we highlight in the book is the ability to convey strategic intent...Read more

Airtel Payments Bank goes live with pilot project in RajasthanAirtel Payments Bank goes live with pilot project in Rajasthan

Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan, becoming the first payments bank to go live in the country.

“Customers in towns and villages in Rajasthan would now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which would act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of convenient banking services,” the firm said.

“With this pilot, we have taken a big step towards the launch of our banking services and would be testing our operational readiness for full-scale launch across India”, said Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank

The launch comes at a time when the government is making a determined push for a cashless economy through demonetisation of high-value currencies...Read more

SBI sees 300% surge in digital paymentsSBI sees 300% surge in digital payments

Point of Sale (PoS) transactions in State Bank of India surged 300 per cent in numbers and 200 per cent by value, indicating that digital transactions have really gone up, SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said on Thursday.

Digital transactions have really gone up in the sense that if you look at my PoS transactions, it is 300 per cent up in numbers and 200 per cent by value, Bhattacharya told journalists in Coimbatore in response to a query on increase in cashless transactions in SBI.

"If you take a look at the wallet, the wallet download is hugely up. In fact, we have never seen so many wallet downloads, which itself is more than 100 per cent," PTI quoted her as saying.

Typical transaction levels have surged and there is a huge demand. A lot of people are coming to SBI for PoS machines, she said..Read more

What is the economic cost of demonetization?

The demonetization is exercise is expected to significantly disrupt economic activity, which in turn will result in weaker consumption and economic growth in the immediate term. However, the impact of low liquidity, broken supply chains and loss of consumer confidence is likely to impact the economy over a longer period, says global ratings agency Moody’s...Read more

In the Age of Autonomous Cars, Can Your Organization Also Be Driverless?

Metaphors matter. Explaining the meaning of one thing by referring to it in the familiar terminology of another shapes how we comprehend the world.

Metaphors come not only with physical attributes, but embedded assumptions. When I describe a merger of two organizations as a “train wreck,” you imagine each one fixed on its track, unable or unwilling to alter course or speed before a pileup. You don’t need a lot of details to understand it as an irreparable disaster resulting in twisted debris...Read more

Sun Pharma to acquire 85 per cent stake in Russia's Biosintez

MUMBAI: India’s largest drug maker Sun PharmaBSE -2.49 %, facing an uncertain US market over pricing issues, launched an attempt to move into emerging markets and announced on Wednesday the acquisition of Biosintez, a Russian company making and marketing pharmaceutical products in the Common Wealth of Independent Countries...Read more

Is anything we thought about leadership true?Is anything we thought about leadership true?

Last week, I planned to write about a leadership technique backed by research to improve workplace motivation, engagement and productivity.

But, given the recent political season, I found myself wondering if anything we’ve believed about leadership is true. Does humility matter? Should leaders apologize? Is it better to tell people the truth or what they want to hear?

I have spent the best part of my life exploring how to help people thrive at work. In today’s reality, I find myself questioning everything I thought I knew. This is not a bad thing. But it sure makes it challenging to write a typical blog post. Again, not a bad thing!..Read more

Five principles for building innovative businesses in the 21st centuryFive principles for building innovative businesses in the 21st century

I took my daughter (a millennial) out to the shopping mall the other day and I must say, it was quite an experience to observe how differently her generation approaches the market with very different expectations from the brands and products they consider. With shorter attention spans, unlimited choices and more informed than I could ever have, she revealed to me the characteristics of the 21st century customer. This got me thinking – can businesses still living in 20th century even begin to comprehend the needs and desires of this 21st century customer, let alone fulfil those?

Let’s do a deeper dive into customer’s behavior and expectations that we see around us. In the last couple of years, the emergence of ubiquitous connectivity across multiple devices and digital innovations have redefined business models and experience. For example, in case of mobile app–based shopping, the choices available, the ease of choosing delivery time and innovative payment methods with easy return policies have become common factors in shaping the overall shoppers’ experience...Read more

USSD technology to pay digitally without internetUSSD technology to pay digitally without internet

Cashless after demonetization but finding it difficult to pay digitally due to poor or no internet connectivity? USSD technology is the solution for you. Here's what it is and how you can use it. However, this payment method can be used only for small value transactions up to Rs 5000 as per RBI guidelines

National Unified USSD Platform or NUUP is a mobile banking service based on USSD. USSD refers to unstructured supplementary service data. Simply put, it's a technology that transmits information through GSM network channels - these channels are normally used for voice calls via your phone. USSD technology facilitates sessions of communication that can be used in various areas of life including banking. Herein, your telecom operator and bank will become parties with whom communication takes place via USSD. According to Mr. AP Hota, MD and CEO of National Payments Corporation of India, "this service is available on every phone where an SMS can be sent, be it smartphones or feature phone"...Read more

How to weave grit into your company's culture

According to New York Times bestselling author Angela Duckworth, parenting begins and ends with grit.

In her book “Grit,” she describes it as a combination of passion and perseverance. On Duckworth’s “grit spectrum,” parenting styles can fall anywhere along a continuum, from supportive to apathetic, challenging to undemanding. The concept also applies in the context of corporate leadership styles...Read more

4 Myths About Entrepreneurship And What It's Really About4 Myths About Entrepreneurship And What It's Really About

Being an entrepreneur is a fashionable thing these days. Frequently I am introduced to people who are exploring getting into the startup world. Having just celebrated only the third birthday of my own startup, I’m no expert in the topic of entrepreneurship. Yet I love these conversations about career changes and exploring entrepreneurship, because it often highlights the multi-faceted discussion of what entrepreneurship is about.

I went into entrepreneurship bright eyed and with rose tinted glasses – fresh out of my first job in finance, I was fascinated by the tech industry which I covered as a research analyst, and wanted to join the league of entrepreneurs that created tech giants in the likes of Tencent, Alibaba and online games companies. Having no coding background nor product/marketing experience, my first startup failed within nine months.

First Code Academy was my second startup, and I went into it with much more tempered expectations. The decision of building First Code full time was a more deliberate one, and even so, I look back today and realize I have had many misconceptions about entrepreneurship...Read more

When Charismatic Leadership Goes Too FarWhen Charismatic Leadership Goes Too Far

In most cases, charisma is a useful quality for CEOs. Many work hard to develop charismatic skills. Especially when an organization is asked to become more innovative and to perform beyond normal levels, having followers with an unusually strong belief in the leader and their vision increases the odds of success.

But charisma has a dark side that can sap the strength and potency from an organization. If it grows too powerful, the leader becomes ineffective at motivating others and at driving the business.

Charisma is often misunderstood. Historian Arthur Schlesinger helped popularize the term in the 1960s. As it became used widely, he complained that the word had been reduced to simply “a chic synonym for ‘heroic’…or even just ‘popular.’” It became widely used during and after World War II, when it was used to describe Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill…but was just as frequently applied to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The sociologist Max Weber defined the “charismatic organization” as one that exists not due to a legal structure or a strong tradition but to the personal magnetism of the person leading it. That’s one reason the word “charismatic” often comes up when describing the dynamics of cults...Read more

Forget cold cash, money’s going digital

MUMBAI: As the country reels under the cash crunch, banks and payments companies are readying war chests to finance advertising campaigns pushing their digital payments instruments and trying to get more people to use plastic cards and mobile wallets for small value transactions...Read more

RIL, GE join hands for global industrial technology partnershipRIL, GE join hands for global industrial technology partnership

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and GE, two of the world’s biggest manufacturing companies will collaborate to combine their expertise and develop Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for industrial businesses across the world.

Oil-to-yarn and retail conglomerate, RIL and US-based multinational GE will jointly develop applications for industrial customers in sectors including oil & gas, fertilizer, power, healthcare, and telecom.

“GE will provide its Predix cloud offering, Industrial Internet applications and data science expertise. RIL will develop solutions on Predix as an Independent Software Vendor, bringing to bear its over 30 years of data, process, and operational expertise,” the two companies said in a joint statement issued on Thursday. “RIL will also offer nationwide connectivity infrastructure to customers through a 4G network powered by Jio.”

The applications to be jointly developed by the RIL, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani and US-based GE, which has interests ranging from oil & gas and power to healthcare and financial services, will yield benefits for customers including operational efficiencies, profitability and new revenue streams by using data and analytics...Read more

Robotics, automation and AI to make people ‘largely irrelevant’, feel top CEOsRobotics, automation and AI to make people ‘largely irrelevant’, feel top CEOs

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Based on interviews with top business leaders across the globe, a study by Korn Ferry finds that they attach greater importance on technology over the value of the people in their organizations.

The study, which traces changes over the years in CEO perceptions in multi-million and multi-billion dollar global organizations, finds that nearly half the respondents feel the prevalence of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will make people largely irrelevant in the future of work.

"Leaders may be facing what experts call a tangibility bias,” says Global MD - Solutions at Korn Ferry, Jean-Marc Laouchez. "Facing uncertainty, they are putting priority on the tangible – what they can see, touch and measure, such as technology investments. Putting an exact value on people is much more difficult," he says...Read more

Banking through video chats, voice messagesBanking through video chats, voice messages

When customers call their bank to resolve an issue, they often get lost in the interactive voice response (IVR) system. What if you could make a call to the bank and resolve the issue over a video chat than queue up on the IVR?

Active Ai, a Singapore-based start-up, provides such digital services as banking through live chat, voice messaging using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Last week, the fintech start-up raised $3 million from IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital. Banks are focusing on offering user-friendly services through app-based transaction, solving queries on live chats and so on. “Banking is going through a transformation and banking as a service is the way forward,” says Ravi Shankar, chief executive and co-founder,

Axis Bank is the first institution worked with. The company is in talks with more banks across Asia. “We have a strong pipeline of customers across Asia,” says Ravi Shankar...Read more

Chanakya Neeti 1 Edition (English, Paperback, B. K. Chaturvedi)

Chanakya Neeti is the English translation of Chanakya’s Neetishastra. It lists out various tenets that are relevant even today, that aim to govern a person’s way of life and the society as a whole...Read more

Is Your Company Experiencing Good Times? Time for a Plan BIs Your Company Experiencing Good Times? Time for a Plan B

Disruptors should know better than anyone that we are all vulnerable to being disrupted ourselves, and often faster than we imagine possible. Everybody needs an Act II and maybe Act III and beyond. One act plays have their place in theater, but are generally not a desirable descriptor for a career or business. The challenge is timing: often we need to be moving on to Plan B while Plan A is still in full hyper-growth swing. By the time another disruptor actually arrives at the door of our dream house, if we haven’t already have moved on to conquer new territory we will be trapped.

Take Costco, the super successful warehouse store that operates under the shelter of the umbrella corporation called simply COST or even Sam’s Club as well, the similarly modeled business arm of Walmart. Both of these “big-box” chains have been around for three or four decades now, disrupting the retail tradition and forcing competitors to adapt...Read more

How leading with an entrepreneurial mindset will keep your company at the top of its game

At the beginning of an entrepreneurial initiative, everything is an adventure. It doesn’t matter if you’re working nonstop and surviving off leftover pizza. You simply want to build and create...Read more

Entrepreneurs: When Dealing With Problems, Don't Mistake The Symptom For The CauseEntrepreneurs: When Dealing With Problems, Don't Mistake The Symptom For The Cause

As the CEO of a rapidly growing company, I spend a good portion of my time dealing with problems. I’m not complaining, of course; It’s simply part of the job. As with most things in life, the challenges I face vary greatly regarding source, severity, and sensitivity.

While the details of the problems vary, they all have one thing in common: they’re never as simple as they appear.

Whether you’re dealing with investors, clients, competition, or employees, there’s usually more going on in a situation than meets the eye. Good leaders recognize this and help their teams dissect problems accordingly.

Only by understanding the complexities of an issue and separating them out can a team find the right long-term solution to the problem at hand...Read more

CEOs of pharma cos to discuss key challenges within industry

MUMBAI: CEOs of leading pharma companies will meet to discuss key challenges within the industry on the sidelines of the 10th edition of CPhI India exhibition here, beginning November 21...Read more

The Secrets of Great CEO Selection

Nothing good comes of having the wrong CEO. Mentoring, coaching, senior team members with complementary skills, and special help from the board can’t compensate. The misses are devastating—and very public. Yet some boards still pick chief executives who aren’t right for the job—repeatedly. The revolving doors at HP before Meg Whitman, at Apple before Steve Jobs’s second tenure, and at Yahoo during the past decade are only a few of many recent examples.

On the other hand, I’ve seen some surprising CEO appointments that turned out extraordinarily well, such as Lou Gerstner at IBM, Alan Mulally at Ford, and Steve Jobs in his return to Apple.

Why are some boards great at hiring company leaders, while others struggle? For more than three decades, I’ve been involved in CEO successions in the United States, China, Japan, India, Brazil, and Europe, as a director, an adviser, or a member of the selection committee...Read more

Kolkata all set to host mining, machinery exhibition event

KOLKATA: Kolkata is poised to host the International Mining & Machinery Exhibition (IMME) 2016 and the two day Global Mining Summit 2016 (GMS) between November 16-19, 2016. The largest trade fair dedicated to mining sector in the country, IMME is a platform to showcase latest and diverse range of mining machinery, equipment, advanced technology solutions, services and supplies both from India and companies abroad...Read more

How the Best CEOs Differ from Average OnesHow the Best CEOs Differ from Average Ones

We all know the stereotypes: Great CEOs are extroverted. They’re self-promoting. They’re risk takers. But are these stereotypes true? Which traits actually differentiate CEOs from other executives? And, most important, which attributes separate successful CEOs from other CEOs?

There is a great deal of conjecture and mythology about CEOs and the attributes that define their success. So what should companies look for when they hire a new CEO?

In today’s rapidly changing markets, with digital disruption looming over every business, this question has never been more important. Russell Reynolds Associates, in partnership with Hogan Assessment Systems, has led a research effort to separate myth from reality, identifying key indicators of leadership that have a measurable impact on a company’s growth. The results demonstrate that intensity, an ability to prioritize and focus on substance, and an ability to know what one doesn’t know (and utilize the best in what others do know) are more strongly related to best-in-class CEO leadership than traditional traits like extroversion or self-promotion...Read more

Corporate governance is not just about complianceCorporate governance is not just about compliance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) have revealed the findings of a pilot project for the Corporate Governance Scorecard, which aims to improve the levels of corporate governance within Indian companies. “From where we were some years ago, we’ve improved significantly,” says M Damodaran, former chief of the Securities and Exchange Board of India during an event to launch the initiative. “But what remains to be done is far more than what we’ve got so far.” The scorecard will be a voluntary tool by which companies can self-assess their performance on a variety of parameters.

Vladislava Ryabota, IFC’s corporate governance lead for South Asia, spoke to Forbes India about the implications of the scorecard. Edited excerpts:

Q. What was the process of creating the scorecard for India? Was it different from your earlier efforts?
There are many markets where we help; but they were smaller markets. The biggest so far is Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). But these were separate scorecards and they were combined to create a regional scorecard. For India, which is the largest market, it starts with drafting, for which you need to involve professionals. We chose Institutional Investor Advisory Services because they had in-depth knowledge of Indian realities...Read more

India and US launch $95 million clean energy projectsIndia and US launch $95 million clean energy projects

WASHINGTON: The US today announced two financial projects worth USD 95 million in India to bring more energy-efficient appliances to rural sector, as part of its efforts to continue the global transition to zero-and-low carbon energy sources.

The US has committed USD 70 million in Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing for renewable energy projects in India; and announced to launch a USD 20 million partnership this week with the philanthropic sector to bring more efficient appliances to rural Indian villages.

The USD 75 million OPIC financing is for a utility-scale PV project in Telangana.

It is sponsored by ReNew Power Ventures...Read more

The World Just Got More Uncertain and Your Strategy Needs to AdjustThe World Just Got More Uncertain and Your Strategy Needs to Adjust

Donald Trump’s unexpected win in the U.S. presidential election is unleashing an inevitable maelstrom of analysis: Why and how did it happen? As with the Brexit vote, almost all pollsters and pundits failed to foresee this result. But now that we have a clear outcome, it’s time to move forward and assess the implications for business and society.

So what are those implications, exactly?

Based on his campaign, Trump’s policies are directionally clear: Reduce personal and corporate taxation, invest in infrastructure, repeal the Affordable Care Act, tighten up on illegal immigration, strengthen law enforcement, and take a tougher stance on trade policy. It seems reasonable to use these intentions as a basis for forecasting the impact on taxes, trade, demand, employment, and mobility of labor. But even with these directions in mind, there’s a lot we just don’t know yet. What will be the administration’s take on science and technology? How will the Affordable Care Act be repealed? And what about the details of trade deals or infrastructure investment?..Read more

Overcoming the 5 obstacles to organizational agility

This post, part of a series, was adapted from APQC’s “Strategic Planning and Implementation Best Practices for Achieving Organizational Agility” best practices report. View an overview of the study findings or download the full report.

This post was written by Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, a research program manager at member-based nonprofit APQC, the world’s foremost authority in benchmarking, best practices, process and performance improvement, and knowledge management...Read more

BLightsource Renewable Energy to invest Rs 6,500 crore in India in 2-3 yearsLightsource Renewable Energy to invest Rs 6,500 crore in India in 2-3 years

NEW DELHI: UK-based Lightsource Renewable Energy will invest Rs 6,500 crore over the next 2-3 years to set up 1000 MW solar energy projects in India.

"The company is looking at developing 1000 MW of solar power projects entailing an investment of Rs 6,500 crore over the next 2-3 years," Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd Managing Director and Head India Operations Rupesh Agarwal told PTI.

Lightsource recently won a 50 MW solar project in Maharashtra under the Centre's ambitious solar programme. This is the maiden solar project secured by the company in India.

"We are eyeing 1000 MW of solar power projects in the country which is bare minimum in the backdrop of government's ambitious target of adding one lakh MW by 2022. We would like to do even more than targeted 1000 MW in coming years depending on the auctions of these projects," Agarwal said...Read more

Nothing lacking in Indian startup entrepreneurs, says Narayana MurthyNothing lacking in Indian startup entrepreneurs, says Narayana Murthy

One of India’s most celebrated entrepreneurial minds, NR Narayana Murthy co-founded the $9.5 billion information technology (IT) giant Infosys in 1981. Since then, the self-made billionaire (his estimated net worth is $1.87 billion, putting him at No 62 on the 2016 Forbes India Rich List) has had an accomplished journey as a business leader. He led Infosys as its chief executive for over two decades, until 2002. Then, after relinquishing his executive role for almost a decade, Murthy returned as executive chairman of the Bengaluru-based IT major in 2013, only to step down a year later when he exited the board as well.

The company he co-founded has not only created lakhs of jobs, but also made several of its staffers millionaires through its employee stock option plan. As he once said in an address, “Wealth—financial, intellectual, or emotional—must be shared.”Apart from being chairman of Catamaran Management Services Pvt Ltd, the venture capital fund he founded in September 2009, the 70-year-old now divides his time between his engagements, including being on the boards of the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Rhodes Trust (University of Oxford) and chairing the Public Health Foundation of India. He is also a trustee of the board of the Infosys Science Foundation, a not-for-profit trust that aims to encourage the culture of science and research in the country...Read more

Stratification: How Strategic-Decision Processes will Create Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Strategic decision-making is an important competency for today’s business organizations. Yet, many implement suboptimal strategic decisions because of haphazard strategic management approaches that subject leadership teams to poor strategic issue framing, inadequate key factor identification, laborious data collection, and detrimental groupdynamics. Companies that make sound business strategy decisions establish a foundation for future success...Read more

A 2x2 Matrix Explains Good vs. Great Leadership

The relationship between the two is not a continuum. For more, read "The Difference Between Good Leaders and Great Ones"...Read more

Business and design: The future of designBusiness and design: The future of design

Unlike technology, design seldom follows a neat curve. When it comes to questions of style, it’s hard to chart steady improvements. At the moment, however, design does seem likely to become an even more powerful business driver—provided it isn’t undone by its own popularity.

In a number of sectors, executives are becoming more and more aware that smart design can be a shortcut to competitive advantage. The growth of Starbucks and the rise of Apple are two of the most familiar stories about the power of good design, but a number of industries have been similarly transformed by an idea that was less technically novel than packaged in a more appealing way.

One somewhat less familiar case in point is retail design. Shopping has been reinvented a number of times through design, from the arcades and department stores of the 19th century to the shopping mall in the second half of the 20th. “If you look at the origins of the shopping mall movement here, certainly the first shopping malls in the US had beautiful public spaces on both the inside and the outside,” says Paco Underhill, an environmental psychologist, author of several books on consumer behavior, and the New York-based CEO and founder of Envirosell, a global consumer behavior consultancy...Read more

88% employees willing to stay longer if appreciated at work: Survey88% employees willing to stay longer if appreciated at work: Survey

NEW DELHI: Nearly 90% of India Inc. employees say they will stick around longer if they feel appreciated for their work reveals a study by TimesJobs. The study, which surveyed more than 1,600 employees, further reveals that 82% employees are willing to work harder if their bosses appreciate them.

“Companies should ensure this by appreciating, recognising and rewarding your employees. It is a highly effective and proven strategy for improving employee engagement and business output. Therefore, creating a formal structure for employee recognition is very important,” says Nilanjan Roy, head of strategy, Times Business Solutions.

While most employees value appreciation at their workplace they don’t seem to get it quite often, only 41% employees feel they are appreciated at their current place of work, the study reveals...Read more

How Leaders Can Focus on the Big PictureHow Leaders Can Focus on the Big Picture

Every leader knows that they shouldn’t micromanage — even if some of us still do. But while we understand the downsides of micromanaging and taken action to avoid it, we still haven’t sufficiently embraced the upsides of not micromanaging.

The main upside is that leaders have more time to spend on what we call macromanagement. Although there are different definitions of this term floating around, when I talk with executives, I use it to mean managing the big issues rather than the small ones. Time and effort spent on macromanagement enables leaders to be as clear, decisive, and disciplined at the macro level — on the big strategic questions the organization is facing — as their managers are at the micro level, i.e., about how these decisions might be implemented.

So, what are these big strategic questions that leaders aren’t spending enough time on or aren’t answering in a sufficiently clear or disciplined way? They are questions about:..Read more

Automation And Artificial Intelligence In Banking And FinanceAutomation And Artificial Intelligence In Banking And Finance

This Future of Finance Forum – the second of four taking place around the world – brings together industry leaders, experts and innovators to unpack the challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. Plus: how market participants, regulators and consumers can benefit from intelligent automation in a global economy.

This episode originally aired on Monocle 24; The Bulletin with UBS: The Future of Finance Forum

For more episodes, tune in to Monocle 24; The Bulletin with UBS

Delivering insights into the people, places and products shaping the financial week ahead. Hear from the finest minds and freshest thinkers as they take you beyond the numbers and the hype to get to the heart of the day’s big issues...Read more

The CEO as ActivistThe CEO as Activist

When news breaks, people expect public figures to respond. Company leaders are now often included in this category, as social media connects them with their customers in unprecedented ways. What’s a CEO to do? How much does a chief executive risk by speaking up about social or political controversy — or is staying silent a worse offense? These questions loom particularly large during a U.S. election cycle that has raised the profile of many polarizing issues.

Aaron Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, believes business leaders should play a more meaningful role in public policy and solving social problems than most do. Chatterji has been studying the confluence of the private and public sectors throughout his career, and has had a foothold in both worlds himself. Before earning a Ph.D. from the University of California–Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 2006, he worked in banking as a financial analyst. He later took a foray out of academia to serve as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 2010 to 2011...Read more

Success Motivation: Success tips and strategies to motivate yourself!

Are you feeling like all the motivation to succeed in life has left you alone? worried for your future? and causing you to sit on your couch and ponder where you went wrong on the long path to success?..Read more

The new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 bank notes: You should know this

NEW DELHI: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced trashing of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bank notes to curb black money, RBI has released the details of newly minted Rs 500 and Rs 2000 bank notes. The new Rs 500 note is completely different from the old note while the new Rs 2000 note has 17 major features to make it stand out. Check out the features of these bank notes below:..Read more

How to Make Better Decisions with Less DataHow to Make Better Decisions with Less Data

Maria, an executive in financial services, stared at another calendar invite in Outlook that would surely kill three hours of her day. Whenever a tough problem presented itself, her boss’s knee-jerk response was, “Collect more data!” Maria appreciated her boss’s analytical approach, but as the surveys, reports, and stats began to pile up, it was clear that the team was stuck in analysis paralysis. And despite the many meetings, task forces, brainstorming sessions, and workshops created to solve any given issue, the team tended to offer the same solutions — often ones that were recycled from prior problems.

As part of our research for our book, Stop Spending, Start Managing, we asked 83 executives how much they estimated that their companies wasted on relentless analytics on a daily basis. They reported a whopping $7,731 per day — $2,822,117 per year! Yet despite all of the data available, people often struggle to convert it into effective solutions to problems. Instead, they fall prey to what Jim March and his coauthors describe as “garbage can” decision making: a process whereby actors, problems, and possible solutions swirl about in a metaphorical garbage can and people end up agreeing on whatever solution rises to the top...Read more

Dalmia Bharat, OCL India plan merger to create cement giant

NEW DELHI: The boards of Dalmia Bharat Limited and OCL IndiaBSE -2.29 % Ltd (OCL) have decided to merge the two entities, a move that will create the fourth largest cement maker in the country with an installed capacity of 25 million tonnes per annum and annual revenues of about Rs 10,000 crore...Read more

No Laptop, No Phone, No Desk: UBS Reinvents the Work SpaceNo Laptop, No Phone, No Desk: UBS Reinvents the Work Space

LONDON — A desk is like a home away from home for many in the working world.

Family photos, trinkets from a vacation, an extra pair of shoes or spare chopsticks are just some of the things routinely left lying around in what has become personal space.

But that comes at a price for companies, particularly in cities like London or New York, where the cost of real estate is at a premium, and at a time when workers are more mobile than ever.

In its newly opened building in central London, the Swiss banking giant UBS is looking to change the way employees view their relationship with their work spaces.

Many of its employees at 5 Broadgate in the City of London will no longer be tied to the same desk every day with a telephone and desktop computer. Instead, the company has deployed so-called thin desks throughout the building...Read more

Can retailers afford to ignore omni-channel strategy in today's age?Can retailers afford to ignore omni-channel strategy in today's age?

week while browsing through the website of a large retail chain, I shortlisted a few items and decided to visit the retail store to check the products before making my purchase decision. Much to my dismay many of the products were unavailable in the store. When I checked with the sales staff she promptly mentioned that the products sold online and those in the store were not necessarily the same. I was shocked to say the least and wondered why in a day and age of known webrooming and showrooming, the two product offerings were different. Does reaching the consumer through more channels than one not require an integrated approach?

Multi-channel retail is not a new phenomenon as retailers have over the years used more than one medium to reach the end consumer. Omni-channel retail is nothing other than an integrated multi-channel approach which requires that the customer is at the core of the retailer’s strategy. It means letting the customer decide on when, where and how to shop, the mode of payment and the mode and time of delivery / pick up of the products of his choice. The Indian retail landscape has changed phenomenally over the past decade. This market is expected to double to $ 1 trillion by 2020 from $ 600 billion in 2015. Similarly the e-commerce market is expected to touch $ 60 – 70 billion by 2020...Read more

The 2 kinds of people in businessThe 2 kinds of people in business

Each month, When Growth Stalls examines why businesses and brands struggle and how they can overcome their obstacles and resume growth. Steve McKee is the president of McKee Wallwork + Co., an advertising agency that specializes in working with stalled, stuck and stale brands. The company was recognized by Advertising Age as 2015 Southwest Small Agency of the Year. McKee is also the author of “When Growth Stalls” and “Power Branding.”

SmartBrief offers more than 200 newsletters, including SmartBrief on Leadership and newsletters for small businesses and marketers and advertisers.

I recently spoke at a conference where leading market research companies gathered to share best practices and ponder the future. As with many industries, talk centered around the need for transformation. The industry is facing threats from new technologies and non-traditional competitors, including prestigious management consulting firms like McKinsey and Deloitte who see in it new sources of revenue and fast-growing online enterprises like Amazon and Salesforce that collect an immense amount of mineable data...Read more

Mindfulness Works but Only If You Work at ItMindfulness Works but Only If You Work at It

The latest trend in leadership development is mindfulness training. There is a burgeoning array of apps, self-help books, and corporate interventions designed to help leaders become more mindful and thus more resilient, focused, and aware — qualities that many executives believe can make them more effective in their roles.

Mindfulness — a way of paying attention with care and discernment to yourself, others, and the world around you — has been much researched. But although evidence from clinical contexts suggests that mindfulness provides many benefits, few studies have been conducted with business leaders. This means that basic questions have remained unanswered. For example, does mindfulness training actually improve leadership capacities? If it does, how? And how much effort do you need to make to achieve results?..Read more

Plastic money gains currency, but cash still remains the kingPlastic money gains currency, but cash still remains the king

One of the objectives of central banks is to move people away from holding cash to the plastic or virtual world where it becomes easy to monitor the source of transaction. To this extent, governments are first trying to link all high-value transactions with the identity of the person while banks are working towards migrating customers from the branches and ATMs. How far has this succeeded?

Three trends can be examined closely here. The first is the proportion of currency in money supply. This gives an idea of the amount of cash that the system holds for purposes of liquidity, transactions and precaution. The table shows that the share of cash has been stable between 13% and 14% in the last five years, which is the period when the banking system has given specific thrust to alternative forms of holding money...Read more

GST tax structure: Rates fixed at 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%GST tax structure: Rates fixed at 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%

The high power GST council chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley agreed on a four-tier tax structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% that will be effective from April 1, 2017.

While the lowest rate has been fixed at 5% for items of common use, luxury and de-merits goods would attract an additional cess over and above the highest tax rates. Luxury cars, tobacco, and aerated drinks also fall in the top category. The additional cess will, however, be lapsable after 5 years.

“We have been able to finalise the GST rate structure. Zero tax rate will apply to 50% of the items in the CPI basket, said Jaitley on first day of the GST Council meet that spans two days.

In order to keep inflation in control, several essential items such as food that currently constitute half of the consumer inflation basket will be taxed at zero rate...Read more

Leaders Can Turn Creativity into a Competitive AdvantageLeaders Can Turn Creativity into a Competitive Advantage

In 1985, Peter Drucker made a hopeful case for an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and the creation of new businesses would more than compensate for job losses stemming from the retreat of manufacturing industries in the U.S. and other developed economies. Since then, the U.S. has increasingly come to rely on innovation and entrepreneurship to drive growth — but we haven’t achieved the scale of entrepreneurial society we need to offset the effects of globalization and automation.

One reason for this is the increasing speed of change itself. Technological innovations like high speed trading and digital marketing enable competitors to emerge, thrive, and disrupt companies far faster than ever before. This “VUCA” environment rewards innovation but it also punishes failure more harshly. The result is that while we may be creating many new businesses we are destroying existing ones faster than ever before. The average lifespan of companies in the Fortune 500 has dropped precipitously over recent decades...Read more

New way to turn sewage into biofuel within minutes!New way to turn sewage into biofuel within minutes!

WASHINGTON: Sewage treatment plants may soon turn human waste into fuel, thanks to a new technology that mimics the conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil - achieving in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years.

The technology, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), creates a material similar to petroleum pumped out of the ground, with a small amount of water and oxygen mixed in.

This biocrude can then be refined using conventional petroleum refining operations, researchers said.

According to researchers from the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), wastewater treatment plants treat about 34 billion gallons of sewage every day...Read more

Entrepreneurship is a universal languageEntrepreneurship is a universal language

I truly believe that teaching basic business skills and supporting entrepreneurialism can change the course of a family, village, city and country. I live, breathe and witness it daily in the United Kingdom, working in amongst its fertile and innovative business community.

This year I’ve also spent time with technology legends in Silicon Valley, young entrepreneurs in rural Zambia and now I’m on my way to New Delhi.

My first visit to India. And the first trip my Prime Minster, Theresa May, is making outside of the EU since taking the helm at 10 Downing Street. Different roles, different backgrounds but one common goal. We are all here to evolve and nurture the already fruitful commercial partnership between our two countries.

As part of the business delegation and a speaker at the India-UK Tech Summit being inaugurated by Prime Ministers May and Modi, I am looking forward to sharing lessons and ideas from my journey...Read more

Are CEOs Overhyped and Overpaid?Are CEOs Overhyped and Overpaid?

How much do CEOs actually matter? Throughout the Western world, and increasingly elsewhere, individual performance is glorified over and above collective team efforts. This is particularly true when it comes to leaders and entrepreneurs. For example, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk enjoy cult-like status and are widely regarded as modern tycoons of innovation.

Although such sentiments may not apply to most CEOs, even the anonymous CEO still benefits from the impulse: Most CEOs worldwide earn between 50 and 100 times more than the average worker. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio in America is even bigger, at 350:1...Read more

Four Tracks to Market LeadershipFour Tracks to Market Leadership

Within a single decade, the music industry underwent a revolution in which digital upstarts triumphed over the market leaders. In 2006, record labels generated US$9.4 billion in CD sales in the U.S.; a mere 10 years later, their sales had dropped 84 percent, to $1.5 billion. The cause of this decline, of course, was digital online music.

Significantly, the revolution happened in two waves. In the first wave, during the late 2000s, the record companies became spectators in their own industry. They still produced the songs people purchased, but by 2010, Apple, with its iTunes site and iPod mp3 player, had siphoned off most of the profits.

Then came the second wave. Apple had barely had time to enjoy its ascendancy when it, in turn, was overtaken. In 2015, streaming music replaced downloads as the industry’s biggest source of revenue, accounting for 34.3 percent of sales. Spotify, a company launched in 2008 but barely on most people’s radar until 2012, is now the leader in the music industry...Read more

The Secret of Influence: Mastering the Art of Inspirational Leadership!

The power of influence is elusive, but this life-changing ability can be learned and mastered. The Secret of Influence: Mastering the Art of Inspirational Leadership is a definitive guide to the power of influence, delving into the foundational skills that are required to attain a level of influence that is effective with family, friends, and colleagues...Read more

India named world's third-largest startup base behind US and UKIndia named world's third-largest startup base behind US and UK

Despite the sluggish global economy and a slowdown in venture capital funding, India has managed to retain its startup growth story intact. Home to about 4,750 technology startups, India ranked as the third-largest startup base in the world behind the US (about 52,000 startups) and UK (about 4,900 startups), according to the Indian startup report 2016 released by Nasscom and consulting firm Zinnov on Wednesday.

With a total funding of approximately $4 billion, close to 650 startups were funded so far during the year. The report further added that the number of startups in the country is likely to more than double its base to 10,500 startups by 2020, employing over 210,000 people.

While Bengaluru, NCR and Mumbai maintained its dominant positions as the major startup hubs in the country, areas such as health-tech, fin-tech, and edu-tech were the key sectors for investors to park their funds, the Nasscom study noted...Read more

Leaders Need to Slow Down to Speed UpLeaders Need to Slow Down to Speed Up

It has never been more important for leaders to learn from and respond quickly to economic, political, and competitive changes. In a world where change is constant, that response must be rapid and inspiring.

Some of the changes business leaders face, such as demographic trends, can be predicted reasonably well. Others — technology, for example — are much more difficult to anticipate. In a 2015 Fortune survey of CEOs, almost three quarters responded that the “rapid pace of technological innovation” was the greatest challenge to their companies.

It’s not a matter of if but when your assumptions about your market will be upended. How can leaders learn to adapt quickly to new knowledge and trends — to disrupt themselves before others do? Speed and agility in learning are critical. How fast is fast enough?

According to Barry O’Reilly, coauthor of Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale, your true competition is moving like lightning — “three-to-five iterations ahead” of what you are aware of. That may be a traditional rival or an upstart that’s just a faint blip on your radar. And it’s as true if you’re operating in tech or manufacturing as it is if you’re battling global terrorism. Development cycle times are shortening, as are customer adoption trends and windows of competitive advantage, O’Reilly told me...Read more

Conducive policy for ease of doing businessConducive policy for ease of doing business

NEW DELHI: The government is facilitating ​a ​conducive policy environment to further fuel the growth of India’s telecom sector, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha Tuesday said.

“Regulatory challenges are there and fractional differences need to be adopted to enable conductive and business friendly policy to facilitate innovation and the industry,” Sinha said at the ninth edition of India Telecom event.

The industry has ​been seeking a favourable policy environment for doing business and to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) aggressively.

“There is a need to bring regulatory changes for sustainable growth. Telecom sector is not just transforming lives, but enabling business environment and economy and bridging digital gaps,” Sinha said...Read more

Make Your Strategy More AgileMake Your Strategy More Agile

Can you run fast and go deep at the same time?

Originating from agile software development, the sprint has entered the business mainstream as an increasingly popular means to accelerate business model, product, or service innovation. Sprints break an otherwise long, complex process into sizable, achievable chunks that can be accomplished at greater speed. As Google Ventures’ five-day method has shown, sprints help bypass bureaucracy, “analysis paralysis,” and endless debate cycles. They allow a company to be more agile and to more effectively adapt to digital disruption.

But the sprint format isn’t just for development and design anymore. Organizations have begun to realize that it can also be applied to a traditionally slow function: strategy...Read more

India to get electricity from offshore wind energy in 5 yrsIndia to get electricity from offshore wind energy in 5 yrs

SINGAPORE: India will get electricity generated by wind-propelled plants installed in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu in about five years as part of the country's green energy development programmes, an energy expert has said.

"We are preparing India for offshore wind (and) providing MNRE a road map for offshore wind for Gujarat and Tamil Nadu," said Mathias Steck, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager at DNV GL, an international renewable energy group.

It would take three to five years that we see commercial offshore winds projects in India," said Steck who is an expert in renewable energy at DNV GL, which has a 30-consultant team in India and made its entry into the Indian market in 1989...Read more

Understanding Business

Susan McHugh is a learning specialist with extensive training and experience in adult learning and curriculum development. She holds an MEd degree from the University of Missouri and completed her coursework for a PhD in education administration with a specialty in adult learning theory. As a professional curriculum developer, she has directed numerous curriculum projects and educator training programs. She has worked in the public and private sectors as a consultant in training and employee development...Read more