The landmark sale of Satyam Computer Services Ltd to Tech Mahindra Ltd propelled Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group, to the ranks of India’s top newsmakers in April. Mahindra, who described the acquisition as a “game changer”, was the second most cited Indian voice in the global media in April from among Mint’s 20-member group of influencers, behind only home minister P. Chidambaram.
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In the Indian media, he ranked third, behind Chidambaram and Tata Sons Ltd chairman Ratan Tata, who remained in the limelight as the much-hyped Rs1 lakh Nano car went on sale. Tech Mahindra, a mid-sized information technology firm, won for itself a seat at the high table of the information technology services business by emerging as the highest bidder for Satyam with an offer that will likely cost it about Rs2,900 crore for a 51% stake.
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“It is not a sinking ship,” Mahindra said about Satyam. “It may not be a racing craft yet, but we are well on our way to a viable future.” Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao was the third most cited Indian voice in the global media last month after cutting key policy rates by a quarter percentage point in a bid to spur banks to lend more and accelerate slowing economic growth. Subbarao, who last month also spoke at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings in Washington, has cut interest rates six times since October.
“We are grappling with a crisis that has afflicted the entire world, whether at the core or in the periphery,” he said about the global economic downturn. 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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Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint