Tough August for India’s influencers

Tough August for India’s influencers

August turned out to be a tough month for India’s business and regulatory elite. The Mint Influencers Index shows that 14 of the 20 high-profile corporate and policy leaders saw their influence wane, a collective drop of 18% compared to July, in terms of their mentions in global print media and news services. But, matters were worse in Indian print media, as just three of the 20 were cited more in August than they were in July, a cumulative drop of 23%.

The Index is a monthly, objective measure, based on media analysis by Factiva, which tracks these leaders, looking at the volume of media citations for each of them as a proxy for their rising or waning influence in any given month. The assumption is simple: visibility and a share of voice is good for them and their companies in a competitive environment, and, in the case of global media, collectively the index is a good surrogate for the growing—or waning—attention that Indian business and economy is generating outside the country.

August’s top ranked influencer, in terms of Indian print media, is still finance minister P. Chidambaram, as he was in the first Mint Influencers Index, which covered a 12-month period prior through July. When it comes to global media, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti group, who was also recently elected president of Confederation of Indian Industry, remains the No.1 influencer.

While he is cited a lot less than many of the other influencers, the biggest surge in August came from M. Damodaran, chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India, who saw a 400% increase in global citations as well as a 357% rise in Indian mentions. All the talk of global auto giants looking to Tata Motors Ltd’s Rs1 lakh car also saw Ratan Tata’s mentions rise sharply, followed by dealmakers Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon Ltd and Kumar Mangalam Birla, whose Hindalco is acquiring Novelis. Both Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani, of various separate Reliance enterprises, saw a sharp decline in mentions, both globally and within India. With his ability to do deals—or talk about deals—flamboyant billionaire Vijay Mallya saw his name mentioned more in India media. Tata Consulting CEO S. Ramadorai might have gained in India during August, but saw a sharp drop in mentions overseas.

See Graphic: Mint Influencers Index

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