Month: August 2010

Weekly Business Quiz #41

1. For which brand has Roger Federer shot a TV commercial where he hits a bottle on a mans head with a tennis shot?

Ans. Gillette

2. Which two famous beer brands are owned by the Australian co. Carlton and United Breweries ?

Ans. Victoria Bitter and Foster’s

3. Which brand has won the rights for sponsoring the indian cricket team for the next three years in all the three formats ?

Ans. Airtel

4. For which brand do two unusual celebrities endorse Shabana Azmi and K Srikkanth ?

Ans. Varilux lenses

5. Arrange the following in increasing order of their sales in US paperbacks. Hardcovers, e-books ….

Ans. 3.hardcovers 2.ebooks 1.paperbacks

6. What is the advice given by GOOGLE CEO to the youth to remove trail of their data in social media ?

Ans.  Change your name on becoming an adult

7. Connect Gazel, Escort, Padmini, Cielo, Uno Baleno ….

Ans. these car models have been since discontinued by mfrs.

8. What is a non-compete fee in acquisitions ?

Ans.  A premium said by the acquirer for not entering the same business for a fixed time

9. Which co is india’s largest private sector employer ?

Ans. TCS with 163,000 indian population. global impact

10. Name the new stock exchange floated by PSU banks and private banks and BSE. It will start trading in currency derivatives.

Ans. United Stock Exch.

11. Why are the jewellers in Kerala crazy about the number 916 ?

Ans. 916 stands for 22 carat gold 91.6 % purity

12. Based on last quarter figures which country has overtaken japan to become the second largest economy?

Ans. China

13. A co. found that it was cheaper to put half page ads in classifieds than main paper. This forced newspapers to change. Name it.

Ans.  SU-KAM


Weekly Business Quiz # 40

Q 1. In power sector what is a regulatory asset ?

Ans. Accumulated losses approved by regulator for tariff calculations

Q2. Amartya Sen ko gussa kyon aata hai ! Why is Amartya Sen angry with Facebook ?

Ans. Identity theft.

Q3. HUL is extending its distribution reach through ‘SHAKTIMAN’s. Who is a shaktiman ?

Ans. A distributor of HUL goods who will use cycle to reach villages below 2000 population

Q4. Which luxury brand is credited with the creation of the ‘gaberdine’ fabric ?

Ans. Burberry

Q5. Armani has sub-brands. What is the difference between Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani ?

Ans. Giorgio is for 35-50 age group and Emporio for 25-35

Q6. What was the price of a car in 1947 when india got independence ?

Ans. Rs 350

Q7. Yesterday was Friday the 13th.What is the fear of number 13 called ?

Ans. Triskaidekaphobia

Q8. Signature tune for which indian telecom service has become the world’s most popular mobile music download?

Ans. Airtel, composed by AR Rahman

Q9. Mahindra will soon take over the Korean auto co Ssangyong. They are not the first.Name the first Indian auto co in Korea.

Ans. Tata motors  acquired Daewoo Heavy Comml Vehicles

Q10. Why is the Canadian co Research in Motion (RIM ) in the news in India?

Ans. Their Blackberry services are not in line with Indian security stds

Q11. Vinay Deolalikar an IIT alum claims to have solved a big maths problem ‘P is not equal to NP”. He is associated with which co. ?

Ans.  HP labs

Q12. Why are airport authorities not in good terms with the”King of good times” ?

Ans. outstandings have mounted

Q13. Which city proposes to become an alt. to Greenwich meridien by building the world’s largest clock ?

Ans. Mecca in Saudi Arabia

Q14. What calamity in Russia is likely to cause huge losses amounting to over 15 b $ ?

Ans. Heat wave due to forest fires

Q15. Mughai-e-azam at Rs.12 crores was the costliest movie made 50 years ago. Which business group had financed it ?

Ans. Shapurji Pallonji group

Q16. A US senator has called Infy and other indian cos as ‘chop shops’. What is a chop shop ?

Ans. A shop where stolen car is chopped & sold in parts

Q17. What does Ratan Tata propose to do post retirement (in lighter vein)?

Ans.Attend AGMs as audience and ask questions

-Compiled by G.Mohan

Will Indian Billionaires sign up for the Gates-Buffett pledge ?

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are not only the two richest guys in the planet, they are also the most generous. Apart from donating their own wealth, now they have started a campaign to enlist billionaires to pledge more than half of their wealth for philanthropy. In US, already they have received a good response with 40 signers which includes big names like Michael Bloomberg, Pierre Omidyar, David Rockefeller, Sandy Weill, John Doerr etc reports Wall Street Journal.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, now intend to take this campaign global. They are slated to visit China in September and India in March 2011. India is home to 52 billionaires as per the latest Forbes list of March’10. It has 2 in the Top 10 namely, Mukesh Ambani and Lakshmi Mittal. So a trip to India is well logical.

The question to ask is will any of the Indian billionaires sign up this pledge. One WSJ blogger Devin Banerjee has already asked this question and has asked the billionaires themselves. According to this post

Spokespersons for the wealthy Indians contacted by India Real Time, who included Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Azim Premji and Sunil Mittal, danced around the issue or declined to comment. Requests for comment from seven Indian billionaires weren’t returned, and a spokeswoman for Dilip Shanghvi, chairman of Sun Pharmaceuticals, whose net worth is estimated at $4.6 billion, said Mr. Shanghvi “would prefer not to talk on personal philanthropy.”

The same post quotes Emily Harrison, founder of Innovaid, a Mumbai based consultancy for advising high net worth individuals on charity, “I don’t think they’re ever going to pledge half, even though I would love to see that.”

I will also be totally surprised if any billionaire signs up for the Gates-Buffett pledge. 

Indians and Indian rich in particular, give away a very small fraction of their earnings to charity. According to a Bain study, quoted by the above mentioned post,  only 10 % of charity in India comes from individuals and companies in contrast to 75 % in the US. In India, the biggest donor is the government.

As to why they do not give in charity, here is my take :

  • At this stage in India’s growth, the billionaires are still accumulating wealth. The market economy has really come into its own only in the last two decades. So, the billionaires are spending money on themselves through conspicuous consumption through swanky bungalows, personal planes, fancy weddings etc. This is almost in revolt to the years of repression due to MRTP or penal income tax and other socialistic policies. 
  • Even among the billionaires who do not wish to flaunt their wealth ( for e.g. Azim Premji), bequeathing their wealth (shares in their companies) to their children is top on their agenda. The inheritors of the rich not only inherit the wealth, they also get control and management positions by virtue of the shares they get from their parents. Business families may allow the companies to go to seed by having worthless inheritors  ( Dalmias for e.g) but they would not give their wealth away for charity. If there was an inheritance tax in India, perhaps Indian rich may not accumulate so much wealth for their children.
  • Most Indians and Indian rich are Hindus, by faith. Unlike Islam, Christianity, Judaism which prescribes a portion of the income to be given away to charity, Hinduism does not give any norm. Whereas charity and generosity are seen as a virtue in Hindusm, it leaves it to the individual. Thus the rich are under no moral or religious compulsion by way of their faith to give away to charity. Some Indian business houses like the Birlas donate money to build temples and places of worship.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility is still seen largely as a public relations exercise or a business requirement. As Indian billionaires, many of whom make their wealth through ‘privatisation by stealth’ ( as remarked by Raghuram Rajan), they do some community work around the factories they build. This is more out of a business compulsion rather than genuine philanthropy.
  • In the pre-independence days,  the rich were also involved in the freedom struggle. They contributed their wealth to the freedom movement. Sir Ratan Tata had funded Gandhiji’s struggle in South Africa  by contributing Rs125,000 ( a princely amount, those days ) in 1909. G D Birla, Jamnalal Bajaj all were big contributors. Now, the Indian rich are quite isolated and obsessed with their individual pursuits of maximising their wealth. To be fair to them, the political leadership is hardly inspiring enough. Many of the political masters in India are themselves billionaires, except that their names do not appear in any Forbes list.

If the Gates-Buffett pledge campaign   makes philanthropy a status symbol among the rich, you could well have a few rich loosen their purse strings a wee bit.


Weekly Business Quiz # 39

Q1. After LSE, DSE, MSE which indian city will soon have a school of economics ?

Ans. Hyderabad

Q2. Cherry blossom is a shoe polish brand in india. In china however cherry blossom from L Occitane is different. What ?

Ans.  A range of body cosmetics

Q3. Why US senate proposes to inc substantially the H1 B & L1 fees that will hit the indian IT firms badly ?

Ans.  To fund security in Mexican border

Q4. L’oreal has launched a huge campaign for INOA. Expand INOA.

Ans. Innovation NO Ammonia for hair color

Q5. Which business tycoon, who wears his patriotism on his sleeve has inserted an emotional appeal to save the CW games ?

Ans.Subrata Roy Sahara

Q6. Which telecom provider is the first to do away with ‘postpaid’ and use the grammatically correct ‘postpay’ ?


Q7. How is Infosys & TVS group coming together by a marriage ?

Ans. Narayan Murthy’s son Rohan is getting married to TVS scion Lakshmi Srinivasan

Q8. In investment circles who is referred to as Mrs. Watanabe ?

Ans. A small investor ,often a housewife, speculating in currency.

Q9. Which two countries are common to BRIC, IBSA and BASIC ?

Ans. India and Brazil

Q10. Which state in India has made sports betting legal since May ’10?


Q11. In investment circles who is referred to as Mrs. Watanabe ?

Ans.  A small investor ,often a housewife, speculating in currency.

Q12. ‘Dhamaka’, ‘Dhamaal’ have been done to death. Now it is ‘Dhantenan” ( obviously inspired by Kaminey). Which car is being launched ?

Ans. Maruti  Alto k10

Q13. Which co has multiple brands of jewellery, all of them endorsed by leading film stars like Kareena, Katrina, Bipasha ?

Ans. Gitanjali

Q14. Business etiquette. In which country should you accept the business card with both hands, bow and express thanks ?

Ans. Japan . Korea too.

Q15. To which country do the chocolate brands Godiva, Nirvana, Neuhaus belong ?

Ans. Belgium

Q16. Name this iconic magazine that has been sold by Washington  Post to audio tycoon Sidney Harman.

Ans. Newsweek

Q17. Where is the ministry of corp affairs setting up Indian institute of corporate affairs?

Ans.  Manesar near Gurgaon

Q18. On which FI is the book ‘DEVIL’S CASINO’ by Vicky Ward based on ?

Ans. Lehman bros.

Compiled by G.Mohan

Weekly Business Quiz # 38

Q1. Which star of 2010 FIFA has appeared in his first TV ad for German super market chain REWE ?

Ans. Paul the octopus

Q2.As per Morgan stanley what are the newly emerging economies like Vietnam Bangladesh etc called ?

Ans. Frontier economies

Q3. As per TRAI guideline all bulk SMSes need to be prefixed with two alphabets like TA/AD/VM etc. Expand TA.

Ans.TATA ANDHRA (operator circle)

Q5. By what name was the commonwealth games known before ?

Ans. British empire games

Q6. Despite a large DRDO and ordnance factories setup approx. what % of india defence equipment are imported ?

Ans. 70%

Q7. Which brand has a new tag line ‘ JUST B’ ?

Ans. Bacardi

Q8. Who is the glue that connects GE, WIPRO. TPG and the new social medium Kineticglue ?

Ans. Vivek Paul

Q9. Connect Narayana Murthy, Vinod Khosla , ebay’s Omidyar to an Indian finance co.

Ans. SKS microfinance

Q10. Name the indian economist who has said that ‘privatisation by stealth’ has created many billionaires in india ?

Ans. Raghuram Rajan

Q11.Who has launched EKTAA brand of cereals like rice offering popular regional varieties all over india?

Ans.  Future group

Q12. Which Prof of Indian origin will take over as the dean of the prestigious Booth school of Business, Chicago Usa?

Ans. Prof Sunil Kumar

Q13. JRD Tata started a tradition in Bombay House of serving something with tea, it is followed even to this day. What ?

Ans. Khari biscuits

Q14. What is referred to as the THIRD SECTOR ?

Ans. Non profit org like charities. NGOs, trusts that are neither govt nor corporate.

Q15. Alleging overcharging by hospitals what move is being planned by health insurance cos. to cut costs ?

Ans. Direct purchase of drugs and devices

Q16. To which animation sitcom will Mohd Yunus of Grameen bank be lending his voice ?

Ans.  Simpsons

Q17.  Sandwich makers in Subway are called sandwich artists. Lavatory cleaners as sanitation consultants, in HR terms what is this practice ?

Ans. Title fluffing.

– Compiled by G.Mohan