Asia's most powerful and influential men: ReviewAsia recently published profiles and portraits of some of Asia's most influential and interesting men. Business Asia looks at some of the men who made the list.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
The Tata Group The Tata Group is India's largest conglomerate company, with revenues in 2005-06 of Rs. 967,229 million (US $21.9 billion), the equivalent of about 2.8% of India's GDP, and a market capitalisation of US $57.6 billion now (only 28 of the 96 Tata Group companies are publicly listed). is one of India's oldest, largest and most respected business conglomerates. The group's businesses are spread over seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. It comprises 98 companies and operates in six continents Six Continents is a large retail PLC in UK which split into Six Continents Retail known as Mitchells and Butlers plc. The hotels and soft drinks business of Six Continents PLC is now known as InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. . It employs some 2,89,500 people and collectively has a shareholder base of more than 2.9 million.
Heading the Tata Group since 1991, Ratan N Tata is the chairman of Tata Sons Tata Sons is a promoter of the key companies of the Tata Group and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. It was established as a trading enterprise by Group founder Jamsetji Tata in 1868. The chairman of Tata Sons has traditionally been the chairman of the Tata Group. , holding company of the Tata Group, and major group companies including, Tata Motors Tata Motors Limited, formerly known as TELCO (TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company), is India's largest passenger automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturing company. It is also the world's 5th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer. , Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS Limited company) is one of the world’s largest providers of information technology, consulting, services and business-process outsourcing which commenced operations in 1968. As of 2007, it is Asia's largest And India's No. , Tara Power, Tata Tea, rata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Teleservices and Tata AutoComp. He is also chairman of two of the largest private sector promoted philanthropic trusts in India.
Mr Tata joined the Tata Group in December 1962. After serving in various companies, he was appointed the director-in-charge of The National Radio & Electronics Company Limited in 1971. In 1981, he was named chairman of Tata Industries, the group's other holding company, where he was responsible for transforming it into the group's strategy think-tank and a promoter of new ventures in high-technology businesses.
He is associated with various organisations in India and abroad in varying capacities, some of which are:
--Chairman, government of India's Investment Commission
--Member, Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry
--Member, National Hydrogen Energy Board
Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
--Serving on the International Investment Council set up by the president of the Republic of South Africa
The government of India The Government of India (Hindi: भारत सरकार Bhārat Sarkār), officially referred to as the Union Government, and commonly as Central Government honoured Mr Tara with one of its highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, on Republic Day, January 26, 2000.
"Ratan Tata's face is immediately recognizable in Mumbai and in every corner of urban India," ReviewAsia reported.
"Tata, who turned 70 in December, is the chairman of the Tata Group, one of India's oldest and most venerated family conglomerates with annual revenues of nearly US$50 billion and profits of US$4 billion."
The magazine reported that the Tata's revenue was "rising rapidly" under Ratan's stewardship.
"Significantly, Ratan's achievement is twofold," the magazine said. The unveleiling of the Nano--the US$2,500 'people's car'--in January ... was preceded by a spate of acquisitions abroad since 2000 that turned the group into a global player.
"His strategic vision over the years has clearly shifted from the domestic to the international."
Tony Fernandes was appointed as group chief executive officer of AirAsia in December 2004. He was financial controller at Virgin Communications London from 1987 to 1989, senior financial analyst at Warner Music International London from 1989 to 1992, managing director at Warner Music Malaysia from 1992 to 1996, regional managing director, ASEAN ASEAN: see Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
in full Association of Southeast Asian Nations
International organization established by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand in from August 1996 to December 1999 and vice president, ASEAN from December 1999 to July 2001 at Warner Music South East Asia.
Fernandes was actively involved in developing the Malaysian music industry and received the title "Setia Mahkota Selangor" from His Royal Highness King of Malaysia Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in 1999 in recognition of his contributions and was also the recipient of the "Recording Industry Person of the Year 1997" by the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia.
In addition, he was awarded the International Herald Tribune International Herald Tribune
Daily newspaper published in Paris. It has long been the staple source of English-language news for American expatriates, tourists, and businesspeople in Europe. award for the Visionaries & Leadership Series in 2003 for his outstanding achievement with AirAsia, and was named "Malaysia CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Year 2003" by American Express and the Business Times. Fernandes was awarded "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Malaysia 2003" in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2004.
ReviewAsia said Fernandes can be credited with changing the nature of air travel business in Southeast Asia.
"Tony Fernandes took a brave step when he launched AirAsia in 2002 as the Asian aviation market is highly regulated," the magazine reported.
"The no-frills model ... is proving to be popular. The Malaysian carrier has extended its reach to the huge China market and next year, Fernandes plans to venture into India."
The magazine said Fernandes was also making his mark in the hotel, insurance and communication industries.
"If Fernandes keeps getting it right, he could end up touching, if not changing, more lives than any president or prime minister in Southeast Asia. Which begs the question: If entrepreneur Thaksin Shinawatra can become prime minister of Thailand, will the youthful Fernandes one day be prime minister of Malaysia The Prime Minister of Malaysia (in Malay Perdana Menteri) is the indirectly elected head of government of Malaysia. He is formally appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or Supreme Ruler, of Malaysia, and is invariably the leader of the largest party in the federal House ?," the magazine asked.
Sir Howard Stringer
Sir Howard has been chairman and chief executive officer of Japan's Sony Corporation since June 2005.
Prior to joining Sony, Sir Howard had a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. Inc. As President of CBS from 1988 to 1995, he was responsible for all the broadcast activities of the company including entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations. Under his leadership, the CBS Television Network CBS Television Network
Major U.S. broadcasting company and network. It began in 1928 as the Columbia Broadcasting System, a small radio network directed by William S. Paley. became the first network to rise from last to first place in one season.
After leaving CBS Inc., Sir Howard was Chairman and CEO of TELE-TV, the media and technology company formed by Bell Atlantic, NYNEX NYNEX New York-New England & X for the Unknown (Telephone Company)
NYNEX New York Network Exchange and Pacific Telesis, three of the largest telephone companies in the United States, from February 1995 to April 1997.
ReviewAsia described as "a bumpy ride" Sir Howard's tenure as chairman and chief executive officer.
"However judging by the figures, Stringer has come up trumps: Sony is looking at a profit margin of 4.6 per cent for the fiscal year to March 31," the magazine said. "This may not be the 5 per cent target announced three months after Stringer's appointment, but it is far above the 1.6 per cent booked just before he took office--and is Sony's highest result in almost a decade."
Carlos Ghosn has been president and chief executive officer of Japan's Nissan Motor since 2000.
"When he joined Nissan, the company had debts of US$20 billion and only three of its 48 models were generating a profit," ReviewAsia reported. "Ghosn vowed to resign if the company was not able to report a profit by the end of his first year ... one year after his arrival, Nissan's net profit stood at US$2.7 billion--a remarkable turnaround from the US$6.1 billion loss reported one year earlier. And by fiscal 2006, operating profit margin Operating profit margin
The ratio of operating profit to net sales. stood at 9.25 per cent, up from 1.38 per cent in 2000."
ReviewAsia described as "an inspired choice" Ghosn's appointment to the top job.
"After their initial doubts, the Japanese have bestowed celebrity status on a man who has written books about how he achieved Nissan's turnaround and has even had a manga characted based on him," the magazine said. "To add to his already heavy workload, he became president of Renault in April 2005."
The magazine quoted Nissan vice president of global communications, Simon Sproule: "I would say that his biggest strength is that he is able to take a very complicated situation and make it very simple to understand. He can focus on the issue to drive the decision.
"He is not a micro-manager--he could never hope to be if he is running two very large companies on opposite sides of the world--and he has lots of personal drive.
"Ghosn is very passionate about the alliance, about cross-cultural ties and he has lots of plans to see people from different parts of the world working together.
"He wants social and cultural diversity in the company and one of his great assets, I believe, is his ability to go down to the production lines in any country in the world and talk to employees. He has every belief that Nissan can be one of the great global companies and he is always talking about the potential here that remains to be unlocked."
Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, brings to his post 37 years of service both in government and on the global stage.
At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Ban was his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His long tenure with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Chief National Security Advisor to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs. Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world.
Ban has longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry's United Nations division.