Newsmakers of the year: Kalanithi Maran, GS Sundararajan & Dilip R Vellodi

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 11:52 hrs

Kalanithi Maran
Media tycoon Kalanithi Maran was in news both for right and wrong reasons

The right reasons: Government's decision to allow FDI in aviation has made Maran-owned SpiceJet a prime target for international airlines looking to gain a strategic foothold in India. The airline is profitable, has a strong balance sheet (net debt of Rs 1,050 crore in fiscal 2013), and is one of the most cost efficient LCCs in India.

& Government's decision to mandate digitisation of cable television in four metros, including Chennai, has already pushed sales of DTH business of Sun Direct three times. Besides, the company is betting big on digitisation, especially the Phase II implementation, which is expected to bring around 11 million people under the programme in the strongholds of Sun’s market.

& Acquiring Hyderabad franchise of IPL for around Rs 85.05 crore. The company says its investment will become a perceptual annuity after tax of around Rs 60 crore from the sixth year and is confident it will make profit from the third year.

The wrong reasons: According to reports, in February a money laundering case was filed by the Enforcement Directorate against former telecom minister and Kalanithi’s younger brother Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanithi in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.

& When Maran's erstwhile confidant and former COO of Sun Pictures Hansraj Saxena approached the Police Commissioner against him.

GS Sundararajan
GS Sundararajan was identified by the Rs 60,000-crore Shriram Group to lead the group's foray into banking. He had a stint in Citibank where he built the SME and asset-based finance business of the bank. Sundararajan was with the Group now for many years and at present is group director and also managing director of Shriram City Union Finance Ltd , an NBFC of Shriram Group.

Before moving to his new role, Sundararajan was managing director of Shriram Capital Ltd, under which Shriram Transport Finance Corporation, Shriram City, life and non life companies, broking firms and other financial businesses operate.

Sundararajan says in 2012 turnover has grown 10 per cent and profits 20 per cent over 2011 and 2013 should continue to be a growth year for the group. “We should be able to sustain a 15-20 per cent growth across the financial services businesses,” he says.

According to him, 20 per cent or two million customers of the group's various financial service businesses are eligible for banking products. “We can rope them into the system in less than two years from the day we start operations.” “We will be a retail and SME bank. We don't really want to be a corporate and investment bank, though it will contribute to some extent, but it will not be our bread and butter,” he says.

Dilip R Vellodi
Dilip Vellodi-founded Sutherland Global Services acquired Apollo Health Street, the BPO arm of hospital major Apollo Hospitals, for around Rs 1,000 crore in December. This is the third acquisition for Sutherland with the other two being Adventity, a financial research and analytics firm (for Rs 250 crore) and a small acquisition of a finance and accounting practice of another BPO.

Vellodi set up New-York headquartered Sutherland in 1986 at a time when the term business process outsourcing’ was not on the horizon. In fact, it called itself a customer management company.

From nowhere, he built the company to a level of around $534 million and this year it may end with $700 million with 13,000 people. The recent acquisition, according to Vellodi, will help the company tap the $38-billion US healthcare BPO market.

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