Monday, 3 December 2012
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Monday, 1 October 2012
Saturday, 15 September 2012
Thursday, 13 September 2012
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Saturday, 4 August 2012
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Saturday, 7 July 2012
Friday, 6 July 2012
There can't be an inspirational figure with more books written about him, but Mr Nazareth has produced an easy to read, carefully researched addition to the list. Perhaps because Pascal Alan Nazareth has been in the position of leading important teams himself, he has decided to examine his subject from the point of view of the Mahatma's leadership qualities. He examines India's most famous son's abilities in communication, organizational, strategizing, and management skills, and Gandhi's influences on contemporary figures.
Friday, 29 June 2012
Saturday, 2 June 2012
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I was given as much time as I needed by Sir Richard's fabulous head of communications, Nick Fox, for the subject of being good in business. Sir Richard answered everything I asked with a lovely smile and was frank and direct. He was upfront if he found a question made him think- it appeared that several of them did!
The articles in this issue are in "as told to" format rather than with a conventional narrative by the writer, so they come out as long sets of uninterrupted thoughts. They give good insight into the minds of leading business thinkers.
Holly and Freddie were politeness personified, willing and able to talk and seemingly thrilled with their recent visit to India with one of Virgin Atlantic's charities, Free the Children.
I'm reading Sir Richard's blogs regularly to follow what he is doing - it seems that we only scratched the surface in my 2,200 words!
Thursday, 17 May 2012
His style was laid back, his tone moderated, and he answered all my questions with ease. I like the fact that Sir Terry is a private person, and that there are few public photos of his family.
Forbes India has a terrific theme for its third anniversary issue which was published last week. The theme this year is business as a force for good, and the magazine contains interviews with some of the planet's foremost opinion formers. Steve Forbes is apparently pleased as punch with his Indian brand, visits the Mumbai team regularly and promotes Forbes India in the US.
My editors in Mumbai are enthusiastic and engaged, and I enjoy talking to them. They are taking business and looking at its intersection with all areas of life; sport, the arts, science and technology, etc. Creating a different model to other magazines in the business space, which is why Forbes India is growing.
Monday, 14 May 2012
Jane Macartney of the Times will be moderating our talk; I will be appearing alongside Peter Popham, who has written a recent biography of Aung San Suu Kyi and the LSE's Mukulika Banerjee.
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
The theme was India-Africa and I had plenty of material from my research on the Sonia Gandhi biography to talk about. I focussed on Mahatma Gandhi's 20 years in South Africa, where he developed his philosophy of non-violent resistance later used to great effect in India to free that country from the British and was acknowledged by Nelson Mandela as being inspirational to him. Jawaharlal Nehru always fought for Africa in international arenas, seeing the continent as a valued neighbour, and Indira Gandhi gave support to the Africa National Congress office in Delhi, providing it with diplomatic status.
Rajiv Gandhi used all his powers to speak out against apartheid-particularly going head to head with Britain's Margaret Thatcher- and when Mandela went to India in 1995 to give a Rajiv Gandhi Foundation lecture, he referred movingly to his late friend's support.
Sonia Gandhi visited South Africa and Mandela 100 years after the Mahatma's peaceful resistance movement was born, squaring the circle.
I chose to invite my colleague Matthew Jamison, Indophile and Consultant Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, to share the platform with me rather than give a keynote myself and he was a mine of information about London being a great business hub for India and for India-Africa relations. As he reeled out some astonishing stats everyone listened open-mouthed. He researched hard to get his talk ready within a matter of days and I was very pleased. We work well together.
China versus India in Africa was a theme of several questions, and I pointed to TLG Capital's good work in Africa using Indian expertise. TLG founder Zain Latif, another standout speaker of the day, easily and convincingly covered that side.
I really liked Robert Appelbaum, Partner with Webber Wentzel and Head of the South Asia Group. He was funny and snappy-in contrast to some of the other speakers and questioners - and emphasized the importance of seeing African countries as very different entities.
My friends Mark Pillans, MD of Mimir Communications and Ashutosh Shastri, MD of Enerstrat Consulting were also able to join us for the day.
Good to have supported the London Business School again this year.
Monday, 23 April 2012
Monday, 9 April 2012
Monday, 2 April 2012
Friday, 2 March 2012
"Rani Singh does a brilliant job in painting an intimate canvas of Sonia Gandhi through exclusive interviews with those who know her closely."
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Sunday, 19 February 2012
The only non-Japanese Board member of JX Corporation, David Nash, was one of my speakers at the 15 Feb launch. I will write about the evening separately but here is the text of David's speech. Note please his observations on the difference between statesmen and politicians.
Ladies and Gentleman
I am somewhat humbled by being asked to say a few words at Rani’s book launch
I say this partly out of my admiration for the workmanship that has gone in to compiling this book- something I could never match- but also the recognition that many of you probably know India and the accomplishments of Sonia Gandhi better than I do
But as Rani’s friend I was happy to accept her invitation and also take this opportunity to celebrate her achievement.
Any first biography is a momentous task. If Rani had chosen to say something about Churchill she would have found over 73 previous biographies and papers on his life to refer to. In this sense every first biographer is in a way a pioneer that provides a platform for others to delve into more detail. It is therefore, I am sure, an important work that will be referred to time and time again in the future.
I also congratulate Rani on finding a style of writing that doesn’t make it a Wikipedia-type compilation but instead a page-turning narrative on the life of a remarkable individual
I read a lot of the book on planes- as they are great places to be a little contemplative – free from mobile communications and after completing this book half way across the world last week, two thoughts stuck in my mind that I thought I might share with you.
One was about India then and India now. As I read through the chapters I realised how perceptions of a country change over time. In my twenties I regarded India as problematic- wasn’t it Bernard Levin who described it once as ‘another disgruntled colony’! How different we all see India today. No one would contemplate labelling it as stuck in its Imperial past. It has become, by its sheer size and energy, a prominent Superpower
And quite remarkably it was during this staggering period of change that Sonia Gandhi found herself obliged, by circumstance, to move from mother and family former to one of the most prominent individual in Indian politics. It was a job neither she nor Rajiv could ever have imagined she would have to take on.
The job was demanding enough for her Mother-in-Law, one can hardly imagine the day to day demands it must place on someone not born into political life and who the BJP and others readily ridiculed as a foreigner. It is a measure of her success that such comment about her today seems out of place as much as talking about the German and Greek ancestry of our marvellous Royal family
Whenever we chose to read a biography we always find in it something that talks to our own life experiences. In a far less demanding way than hers, I have spent the last twenty years trying to make executive decisions in a foreign culture- and like her with an accent that sometimes is the source of comment.
And again like Sonja Ghandi, decisions have had to be made using a consensual style that rarely pleases the crowd; patience instead of immediate action; options instead of simple solutions and humility instead of bravado. The difference in these responses is in my mind the difference between a Politician and Statesman. Rani’s book clearly shows how, over time, Sonia Gandhi matured into the latter.
If you are interested in India it is essential reading
Well done Rani…..my only question now is ‘what next’?