5 interesting Forbes India long reads for the weekend

From AirAsia CEO Amar Abrol to Rubique's Manav Jeet, pi Ventures' Manish Singhal to Cognizant Technology CEO Francisco D'Souza, we interviewed businessmen across sectors, and more this week

Published: Sep 30, 2017

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Image (Clockwise from top left): Simon Hunt by Amit Verma; Manav Jeet by Vikas Khot; Manish Singhal by Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India; Amar Abrol by Selvaprakash Lakshmanan for Forbes India; Francisco D'Souza by Madhu Kapparath

From AirAsia CEO Amar Abrol to Rubique’s Manav Jeet, pi Ventures’ Manish Singhal to Cognizant Technology CEO Francisco D’Souza, we interviewed businessmen across sectors, and more. These are the best stories from our writers this week. So sit back and enjoy. We’ve got your weekend quota of reading sorted.

1) To attain grand status, a brand must be a luxury player globally: William Grant & Sons CEO
William Grant & Sons, the world’s third-largest Scotch whisky maker, turns 130 this December. Its CEO Simon Hunt says the secret family recipe and attention to detail makes its signature brands like Glenfiddich single malt, Grant’s blended Scotch, The Balvenie single malt Scotch and Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt enjoy the status they have acquired today. Hunt, 46, has been with William Grant & Sons since 2007. He has been the CEO since March 2016. During his recent visit to India, he spoke to Assistant Editor Paramita Chatterjee about the legacy of the brand, why innovation is key to the company and how it’s an entity with an eye on the future. Click here to read more

2) Amar Abrol: Firmly in the cockpit
In a little over a year, CEO Amar Abrol has managed to double AirAsia India's fleet and headcount, and introduce more routes. By sweating its assets to the full, the airline has also cut its losses. Abrol recounts the day - although he didn't remember the exact date - he was summoned by Tony Fernandes and given the news that the was going to be elevated to CEO. Click here to read more

3) From customer's point of view, entire borrowing process is inefficient: Rubique's Manav Jeet
A veteran banker, Manav Jeet says being in the business for so long, he had the advantage of understanding the pain points of people applying for loans. "It's not an easy process," he tells Forbes India, and Jeet felt there was an opportunity to be tapped by bringing lenders and borrowers together on the same platform. Click here to read more

4) Products that don't use AI or machine learning will die a natural death: Manish Singhal
pi Ventures was set up to invest into early-stage startups that use Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things to solve problems across a range of sectors. The $30-million (around ₹190 crore) fund, which announced its first close at $13 million in March this year and received another $3 million infusion from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation in May, will look to invest in 18-20 startups in India over the next 3-4 years, according to Singhal. He speaks to Forbes India about his game plan. Click here to read more

5) The best days of IT are still ahead: Cognizant Technology Solutions CEO
Francisco D’Souza, who helped start Cognizant Technology Solutions in 1994, has been its CEO for over 10 years. He continues to shepherd the company based in Teaneck, New Jersey, as it undergoes structural changes in the digital era. This includes the acquisition of US-based TriZetto Corp two years ago, which D’Souza, 49, says has helped Cognizant’s health care unit touch 160 million Americans in some way. The $2.7 billion buy is an example of how technology’s rapid evolution is compelling IT services businesses to transform into strong intellectual property-led business advisors and tech providers rolled into one, he tells Forbes India. He also expects to accelerate the pace of acquisitions at the Nasdaq-listed Cognizant. Click here to read more

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