Incredible Indians!

Mar 21, 2013, 01:06 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

In the circles that matter, it is the ultimate recognition of excellence, which is why the list of 'The 50 Most Influential Business Professors of 2013' published by MBA ranking (the measuring tool used by students, educational institutions and instructors to rate worldwide MBA programs) is creating such a stir.

Malavika>> In the circles that matter, it is the ultimate recognition of excellence, which is why the list of ‘The 50 Most Influential Business Professors of 2013’ published by MBA ranking (the measuring tool used by students, educational institutions and instructors to rate worldwide MBA programs) is creating such a stir.

Because not only is it topped by an Indian — Vijay Govindrajan, currently the Earl C Daum 1924 professor of international business at Tuck School of Business, but Indians make up one of the largest groups in the list (a whopping seven out of fifty!)

Vijay Govindrajan

For instance, besides Govindarajan, there are Nitin Nohria, (present and tenth dean of Harvard Business School,) Nirmalya Kumar, (professor of marketing and the co-director of Aditya Birla India Centre at London Business School), Pankaj Ghemawat (the youngest full professor in Harvard’s history currently professor of strategic management at IESE Business School), Rakesh Khurana (the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School), Sheena Iyengar and Phanish Puranam (professor for INSEAD graduate business school).

Sheena Iyengar

Interestingly, the story that most impressed was that of Sheena Iyengar, the young Indian woman who diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease as a young girl, lost her sight completely by the 11th grade. “Her primary focus is on choice, how people perceive and respond to it. Her research on the subject has been frequently cited and she has won a number of awards and honors for her teaching and writing,” says thereport.

Nitin Nohria

Incidentally, the rankings are determined by five publications, these include Forbes, Financial Times, US News & World, Business Week and the Economist and each uses a unique criteria for the judging making it one of the most prestigious and credible in the industry.

Nirmalya Kumar

Dressing left, thinking right
>> His client list reads like a who’s who of the rich, famous and powerful: Sachin Tendulkar, Farhan Akhtar, Ajay Mittal, Siddharth Mallya, Mickey Mehta and Ajay Mittal amongst others. And so, naturally when we spoke to Saville Row tailor Paul Jheeta, we asked which of his clients had the perfect body for carrying off his bespoke suits.

Paul Jheeta

“No one has a perfect body, which is why I make them look slick and smart in my suits,” said the NRI success icon, adding, “But Indians are certainly beginning to have better bodies, they are hitting the gym more and very aware of personal times.” And how does the Indian shape differ from those abroad? “Indian men tend to have squarer and bigger shoulders, and have better developed chest muscles.

Sachin Tendulkar

The Europeans and Americans have bigger biceps on the whole,” said the expert, the son of an Indian Navy man and a homemaker mother, who left India in the ’90s to pursue his dream of reaching the pinnacle of tailoring and craftsmanship in England. And now, for the most pertinent question and one we’ve been dying to ask: Would this terribly experienced bespoke tailor from Saville Row please settle the greatest debate on the Indian male?

Farhan Akhtar

Namely does he dress to the left or right? Jheeta blushes, “Er that’s classified information, no?” he laughs. “But if you really want to know — Indian men dress to the left. Which makes it easier all round as the fly’s to the left,” he says. So, now we have it on record. The most right wing of men (you have to be, when you’re buying a Rs 3 lakh suit) are left leaning where it matters most! Go figure!

Mickey Mehta

Cheap thrills
>> So guess what the cheapest thrill amongst a certain community of builders is these days: constructing a luxury tower that will be taller than Mumbai’s most famous building and the world’s most expensive private home. Or so a certain realty group claims when they try and talk up a project on Cumballa Hill. “Not only will we be five stories higher,” their promoter is alleged to have boasted. “But residents will be able to actually ‘look down’ on the famous address.” We told you. Cheap.

The penthouse resident
>> And now that he’s moved into the top floor of his family owned construction Island City Center in Wadala, Jeh Wadia’s presence has become a topic of discussion amongst the residents. Whereas there are some who delightedly welcomed his move, hoping that it would lend impetus to their drive for high standards, others have been heard to complain that they find his pernickety and authoritarian presence overbearing and untenable. Hope the differences get resolved soon.

Jeh Wadia

Capital fashionista
>> Suddenly the Qureshis, particularly their attractive daughter Pernia is everywhere! Their Delhi home featured in a lifestyle glossy has been described as the ultimate Xanadu, their gracing of the front seats and their considerable retail clout at Paris couture week has attracted notice and of course Pernia’s ubiquitous e-commerce fashion venture is one of the first few of its genre to make an impact. But the question remains who are the Qureshis? Whereas her father’s connections with the Doon school alumni association, dog breeding and the meat export industry are cited, what is known about the young fashion icon is that she was training to be a lawyer before she switched to fashion styling and designing for films like Aisha (Sonam and Rhea Kapoor are said to be close friends). Dressed in the height of fashion and wooed by fashionistas this diary predicts a long and sustained reign of this new fashion diva.

Pernia Qureshi with Sonam Kapoor

The talented Birla
>> We saw him stun audiences with his musical talent when he sang a solo in a Shiamak Davar extravaganza a few years ago. And his cricketing prowess is said to be on par with his musicality. Added to that the fact that he will be exhibiting his photographs at the Tao later this week only proves that young Aryaman Vikram, eldest son of Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, is a chip of the old block.  After all, his dad, the soft-spoken low key Birla, is known to have a fine eye for the arts and is a committed patron of them. As for Aryaman, little is known about his photographic interest except for the fact that his pictures show an unusual mastery and that his English tutor has mentored them. Nice! 

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