New Delhi: As the global financial and economic crisis began knocking louder on India’s doors last month and concerns mounted about the health of the economy and banking system, finance minister P. Chidambaram became the most cited in the world media from among Mint’s 20-member list of influencers.
Holding out assurances that India was relatively safe from contagion, that its economy may be slowing but was still healthy, prodding banks to lend and trying to talk up nervous financial markets in the face of a seemingly endless stream of bad news, Chidambaram was the most visible face of India in October, displacing Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao in the global media.
Quite unsurprisingly, Chidambaram was also the most cited influencer in the Indian media, with 864 press citations, against 595 for Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, the number two. Subbarao was the third most cited influencer in the global media and fifth in the local media in October as companies and consumers looked to RBI for monetary measures and cues to commercial banks to calm volatile markets.
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Tata group chairman Ratan Tata, with 118 citations to 304 for Chidambaram, was the second most cited influencer in the global media. Tata in the month announced that Tata Motors Ltd’s much-anticipated Rs1 lakh Nano car would now be made in Gujarat, and not in Singur in West Bengal, where the project had been dogged by months of protests 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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