Faces to watch in 2013
A volatile environment both at home and abroad will test the mettle of these figures.
India’s key financial administrators have been hauling the coal out of the fire all year, and will have no respite in the coming months. From a sharp slowdown in GDP (gross domestic product) growth to a free-falling rupee, from industrial deceleration to rising prices, it’s going to be a busy year ahead for the country’s macro managers as the domestic economy roughs it out in an uncertain world.
There’s also a lot happening in boardrooms as well. From Cyrus Mistry at the helm of the Tata Group to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd foraying into tablet and telecom, and Vijay Mallya’s moves to keep Kingfisher Airlines afloat, a few faces are expected to dominate 2013, in the making and re-making of India’s corporate world.
HT takes a look at the faces from the world of business and economy that are expected to dominate 2013. Watch out for the news they make and the impact they leave behind.
P Chidambaram | Finance Minister
P Chidambaram will present Budget 2013-14 — the last full budget of the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA's) second term.
The challenge before FM and his men will be to control prices, boost growth, rein in subsidies and add more than a dash of populism to boost the government’s sagging political stock. From a country-wide Goods and Services Tax (GST), to a Direct Taxes Code, from allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in pensions to raising the FDI ceiling in insurance sector, Chidambaram is expected to carry on the unfinished reforms agenda.
Cyrus Mistry | Chairman, Tata Sons
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry has taken over as the new chairman of Tata Sons from the iconic Ratan Tata who retired last week after a 21-year tenure at the helm. The 44-year-old Mistry will need all the composure of his predecessor as he sets out to achieve a daunting target to multiply group revenues five-fold to $500 billion (R2,750,000 crore) in 10 years.
Mukesh Ambani | Chairman, RIL
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL's) next phase of growth is ready for takeoff in consumer-centric businesses spanning across retail, telecom and financial services and possible launch of a low-cost tablet. But he also has the Krishna Godavari (KG)-D6 gas output controversy to get over with.
Kishore Biyani | Chairman, Future Group
Duvvuri Subbarao | Governor, RBI
From will he, it is now when will he. According to industry leaders, the Reserve Bank of India’s RBI's) bitter medicine to raise interest rates to rein in rising prices has cast
side effects on growth. All eyes will be on Subbarao to find out when and by how much he will cut lending costs, before his term ends in September.
Vijay Mallya | Chairman, UB Group
Vijay Mallya-controlled Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) has not flown since October, leaving those who fly on it, and work for the airline, unhappy and angry. Mallya has so far not elaborated on how he plans to use part of the funds raised by selling stake in flagship liquor business United Spirits Limited (USL) to infuse capital in the troubled KFA, amid increasing concerns over the debt-laden carrier’s future.
Anand Mahindra | Chairman, M&M group
The Parliament has passed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, paving the way for the entry of new private banks and stronger regulatory oversight for the RBI. Amid a clamour among industrial houses to make their presence felt in the sector by setting up banks, Anand Mahindra could well turn out to be next big face of India’s banking industry.
Sushil Modi | Chairman, GST panel
The BJP leader has his task cut as the chairman of state finance ministers’ panel on the nationwide GST, to hammer out a consensus on the tax code. GST aims to stitch a common national market by replacing indirect levies such as octroi and VAT (value-added tax) with a single tax. Modi’s role is crucial for rolling out what is being billed as India’s biggest tax reform initiative.