Biz Check: Hits & Misses Of 2014



For India Inc, 2014 had been a year of transition, hopes and expectations. But not everyone could hit the bull’s eye this year. As 2014 closes, BI India lists down corporate honchos those who hit the mark and those who didn’t. So here goes the list:



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Hits of 2014: Ratan Tata

Hits of 2014: Ratan Tata

He may have retired from his company, but the man was in news for all the right reasons. With a hawk eye for booming business, Tata has been betting big on e-Commerce sector. He has made investments of undisclosed amount in online retail firms such as Snapdeal, Urban Ladder and also ventured into online jewellery segment by investing an undisclosed amount in Bluestone.com. He was truly an angel investor to these budding companies.

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com 

Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra

2014 was a happy year for Anand Mahindra as his Group’s IT arm Tech Mahindra cracked a major deal. It acquired US based Lightbridge Communications Corporation for $240 million, thus cementing its position in the US IT market. Apart from a successful acquisition, the company also got the prolonged approval from the government to introduce its Australia made aircraft in India. The company had bought an Australian aerospace firm and was already selling its aircraft in the US market while flying in the Middle East and Australian skies.

Image Credit; Indiatimes.com

Azim Premji

Azim Premji

The 69 year old tycoon is still going strong in 2014 and has some major plans for his enterprise. After investing in the e-Commerce sector (fashion website Myntra.com and e-tailer Snapdeal), Premji is eying a 5% stake worth Rs 600 crore in India’s second largest insurance giant HDFC Life. Apart from these, Azim Premji’s private equity firm, Premji Invest, also forayed into real estate sector by closing a $10 million bulk-buying apartment deal. Besides, the company has already obtained RBI’s approval to directly invest in tech companies located in China and the US. 

Kunal Bahl

Kunal Bahl

The founder of online marketplace Snapdeal.com has been going great guns this year. The company raised nearly $1 billion and some of the big investors on board. Some of them include Ratan Tata, Azim Premji and Softbank. The e-Commerce giant had an aggressive expansion plan, which included expanding their product portfolio and entering new partnerships. The company has had a special focus on SME sector and carried out several initiatives to promote the growth. The website also registered overwhelming response for all its sale offers. 

Sachin and Binny Bansal

Sachin and Binny Bansal

The founders of Flipkart.com, one of the pioneers of e-Commerce sector, have had a mixed year. Despite facing a few hiccups like an alleged raid on the warehouse and a severe backlash from shoppers on social media (remember the Big Billion Day fiasco); the company has managed to win the trust of its investors and raised funds worth $500 million to $ 600 million from its third round of financing. Besides, raising funds for itself, the company also gave wings to another Chennai start-up, Ather Energy, and invested $1 million in it recently. The firm has also been in the news for offering the highest number of jobs to IIT graduates.

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com 

Miss of 2014: Subroto Roy

Miss of 2014: Subroto Roy

The patriotic business tycoon has been in trouble since a long time, but his troubles reached the peak when he was arrested and put in jail in March 2014. Since March, Subroto Roy is desperately trying to raise funds, Rs 100 billion, in order to obtain his bail. He has been trying to sell three of his luxury hotels, but the deal is still hanging in the air. Besides, most of his projects are in doldrums including the launch of his ambitious by-invitation luxury stores in these iconic hotels. Most recently, Sahara had to sell its Gurgaon land for Rs 1,211 crore in order to raise funds for Sahara chief Roy.

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com 

Jignesh Shah

Jignesh Shah

Once considered to be the superstar of the financial market, Jignesh Shah has now 13,000 families chasing him for their money. Shah, the founder of Financial Technologies (India) Limited (FTIL), has now been deemed as unfit to run one of the biggest commodities Exchange following the Rs 5,600 NSEL scam. Shah had to sell stakes in almost all the companies he once invested in and has now resigned from the Board of FTIL too. With no end in sight for the NSEL scam, Shah certainly cannot look forward to a bright 2015 either. 

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya

The king of good times has been severely criticized for his lavish lifestyle even when the employees of Kingfisher airlines have been running pillar to post to get their long-pending salaries. Mallya has been declared as a willful defaulter by United Bank of India and more recently declared United Breweries Holdings Limited as a willful defaulter as well. Other public sector banks such as State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank too have served him with notices. The company has failed to raise funds to pump into his defunct airline and has still not paid his employees. 

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com

KP Singh

KP Singh

The real estate mogul and the chairman of DLF Limited carried forward Robert Vadra land deal controversy in 2014 as well. DLF has been accused for rolling out unsecured interest free loans to Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra. The company got another hit when market regulator SEBI barred the company from entering the capital market for three years.  This development has only multiplied problems for Singh, who will face a hard time raising funds via bank loans. His company will not be able to raise funds through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), as it comes under SEBI’s purview.

Image Credit: Indiatimes.com 

Arun Sawhney

Arun Sawhney

The CEO of pharma major Ranbaxy respectively, has had a hard time in 2014. The company was first hit when US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned imports from the company’s Punjab manufacturing unit after it found serious violations. The American health regulator also withdrew the tentative approvals granted to Ranbaxy for producing two generic drugs. The company had also filed a lawsuit against FDA, which was rejected by the US court. More recently, news reports suggested that drugs manufactured in its Dewas plant in Madhya Pradesh, has been barred in Germany and other EU markets.

 Image Credit: Indiatimes.com

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