India’s business world has had its share of scandal and success this year and that has been reflected in headlines and during heated discussions on nightly news shows.
From Cyrus Mistry’s unceremonious ousting as Tata Sons chairman to Vijay Mallya’s ongoing battle with Indian authorities from the U.K., there has been plenty to write and talk about.
To quantify the business buzz, India Real Time did a survey of the thousands of English-language newspapers and websites in the Factiva database to find out exactly which Indian business leaders got the most media attention. Factiva is a service of Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.
We searched on the names of the biggest Indian billionaires and business newsmakers in India and around the world and came up with this list of the top 25, based on story count.
Even though it broke late in the year, the increasingly ugly war over control of the Tata Group was the most mentioned story by far. Mr. Mistry was mentioned in more than 15,500 stories while his predecessor, successor and new arch rival, Ratan Tata got his name in close to 13,000 articles in our database.
After the Tata tussle was another bad business story: Mr. Mallya, who fled the country, unable to find a way to calm his many creditors.
Satya Nadella, the Hyderabad-born chief executive officer of Microsoft was fourth on the list as he was mentioned in close to 10,000 articles. He has become an important face of the software giant and is being credited with having put it back on the tech leaders’ map.
India’s richest man and chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, was fifth. This time it wasn’t his massive refinery in Gujarat or huge home in Mumbai that kept him in the news but his monster move into 4G telecommunications. He is looking to grab a big slice of the market and lower the cost of data forever by giving away his service for months. Anil Ambani, who has his own telecom company, may have benefited from his big brother’s buzz as he came in at number seven.
To more hugely successful Indian exports, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Indra Nooyi, chief executive at PepsiCo Inc. were in the top ten at number six and number eight respectively.
Also in the top ten were two tech titans one old school and one new school. Infosys Ltd. founder Nandan Nilekani and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.
The rest of the top 25 is a similar mix of big business leaders like Kumar Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman of Biocon Ltd., and Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of steelmaker ArcelorMittal, technology pioneers like Wipro Ltd.’s Azim Premji and startup upstarts like Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal as well as a scandal tainted titan Subrata Roy, founder of Sahara India.
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