April was the month of financial results, soaring prices, the controversy relating to complex foreign exchange derivatives sold by a few banks to companies which later claimed they didn’t understand how the products worked, and Bharti Airtel Ltd’s bid-in-the-making for African telco MTN Group Ltd.
Expectedly, ministers P. Chidambaram (finance) and Kamal Nath (commerce and industry), Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy, banker K.V. Kamath (ICICI Bank Ltd), and Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal were among the people who dominated the news in terms of citings in local media (although Chidambaram was cited less than he was in March).
Some of the citings Kamath received were also on account of being named head of India’s most powerful industry lobby, the Confederation of Indian Industry. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd chief Malvinder M. Singh gained the most in terms of citings in local media, largely on account of an affiliate’s bid for Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Overall, 14 of the 20 individuals in the group were cited more in local media than they were in March. Others who gained significantly (such as Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji) did so on account of announcements regarding their financial results for the quarter ended March and fiscal year 2007-08 (the year ends in March for most Indian firms).
Overall, the group saw a 25% rise in citings. In global media, the group saw a 7.7% fall in citings and only 10 people received more citings than they did in March. Kamath, Reddy, Mittal and Nath were cited more in April for the same reasons for which they were more in the news in local media. The Mint Influencers Index is a monthly, objective measure based on media analysis by Dow Jones Insight, which tracks these leaders, looking at the volume of media citings for each of them as a proxy for their rising or waning influence. The assumption is that visibility and share of voice is good for them and their companies and, in the case of global media, collectively the index is a good surrogate for the growing or waning interest in India.
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