Shooting from the hip

Jul 09, 2014, 06:21 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

Wish more corporate leaders would take a lesson from Yes Bank's Founder, Managing Director & CEO Rana Kapoor

Wish more corporate leaders would take a lesson from Yes Bank's Founder, Managing Director & CEO Rana Kapoor.

A simple text to enquire if he indeed has acquired a stake in BusinessWorld - the corporate monthly that readers might recall had been sold last year to Anurag Batra of exchange4media, and Vikram Jhunjhunwala of Shrine Capital by its publishers, the ABP group, headed by Aveek Sarkar - Kapoor was candid and forthcoming, “My daughter Radha Kapoor, who is an independent and serious businessperson in her own right has bought a small stake in the title,” he said, adding, “She is also, as you may know, the driving force behind the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) - that has entered into a collaboration with New York-based Parsons and has its campus in Lower Parel,” he elaborated.

Rana Kapoor Radha Kapoor
Rana Kapoor and Radha Kapoor

“Radha studied there herself and was driven by the idea that such excellence in education should be available to students in India,” he says. “She’s got ideas of her own. In fact, she’s the one who brought Pressto, the premium dry-cleaning business, to India.

Why don’t we all meet next week to catch up,” asked the high profile banker, about to catch a flight to Delhi even as we compared diaries for the upcoming meet. “With its new leadership this country is on the verge of a real breakthrough,” said the man, whose bank continues to grow by leaps and bounds. “We have to grab this opportunity,” and then he was off, undoubtedly the man with the best-creased trousers on the flight.

He ain’t heavy...
As brothers, they couldn’t be more different. One is known for his flamboyance and bombast (he practically invented the words), and the other for his quiet wit and his sensitive creativity.

Suhel Seth (centre) with Pawan Munjal (left) and Arun Jaitley
Suhel Seth (centre) with Pawan Munjal (left) and Arun Jaitley

So when Suhel Seth’s younger brother Swapan, who was once famously described as ‘an advertising writer, a columnist, an author, an art collector and a badly behaved recluse’, said, “It was in honour of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of England, George Osborne,” about a party hosted by his brother on Monday night in the Capital, you can be sure he’s vastly underplayed the event and the guests.

Swapan Seth (right), George Osborne (left) and Roshan Seth
Swapan Seth (right), George Osborne (left) and Roshan Seth

“It had its fair share of politicians from all parties jostle with business barons. Media moguls and high-fiving hipsters,” he says, adding, “Suhel’s timing, sweet as it is like Tendulkar’s, was vintage. He saw it as the best way to usher in my 47th birthday as well.” Nice!

Will she, won’t she?
So is Sagarika Ghose taking up the alleged offer, allegedly made to her by the alleged Shekhar Gupta, now with the India Today group? Our source said she is and that her equally famous husband Rajdeep was ‘considering a similar offer made to him by the same group’.

Sagarika Ghose
Sagarika Ghose

But even before we lobbed the question to the lady (who has asked more than a few hundred leading questions in her time), she appeared to be well aware of the kite flying that’s been going on about the future course of action by the celebrated duo.

“No comments please dear,” she begged off when we texted her. “Also no sharing of my FB posts,” she said, “Sorry but I’ve had an issue with this recently with someone else.”

And then she signed off with a breezy, “Let’s chat for sure after all the dust settles.” So where indeed, will Sagarika Ghose and that lanky chap with the shy smile and the Bombay Gym lope, park their talents? Watch this space!

To be or not to be
When we’d asked him about his stepping down from his job running the NYT’s blog ‘India Ink’, he’d hinted of a more time consuming and pressing engagement.

Bashrat Peer
Bashrat Peer

And now when we read that the upcoming Vishal Bhardwaj-directed Haider, starring Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha-the third in the director’s Shakespearean trilogy, based on Hamlet-which has already created a stir with its trailer, was released yesterday, has been co-written by the noted journalist and political writer, and alumni of the Columbia school of journalism Bashrat Peer, it all begins to make sense.

Peer after all is a native of Kashmir, where the film is set and from where has come some of his finest writings. In fact, his book ‘Curfewed Night’, which won the Crossword Prize for Non-Fiction, is an eyewitness account of the Kashmir conflict. As abiding fans of both Peer and Bhardwaj, we cannot wait to see Haider.

In the pink of health
“The 2014 Turning Point Rose (made from Cabernet Sauvignon) is now ready for bottling,” says our friend the oenophile, entrepreneur Ashwin Deo, about his latest produce.

Ashwin Deo 
Ashwin Deo

“It has been my dream to get the colour of the Rose right as most Rose’s in India are much too dark compared to what I like and this year, I have been able to get the perfect sexy Onion Pink, thanks to my winemaker Marc Dworkin from Bordeaux,” he gushed, “He is simply awesome!” “Rose, according to me, is the most perfect wine to be consumed in India, given our weather,” says the man whose distinct bottle design has tickled the fancy of wine drinkers.

Tickled pink? “Yes. In keeping with the overall philosophy of Turning Point wines being young, approachable and fun, the Turning Point Rosé 2014 is just that, and to top it all, this year it’s ‘Mera Wala Pink’,” he says.

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