One of the undiluted pleasures of being a business journalist in a growing market like India is the opportunity to unearth high-performance enterprises that no one has heard of, and in spaces you wouldn’t expect. More than two-and-a-half years ago, we had unveiled our first instalment of Hidden Gems, where we featured 10 businesses that had managed to create wealth and jobs in businesses that were, frankly, on no one’s radar, and in spaces as varied as coal tar pitch, cooling solutions, water desalination, building truck bodies, and even water treatment.
This year, we’re back with a new list of 12 enterprises that are perhaps even more promising. And this time, we’ve been able to spot some really exciting, premium unlisted firms in areas like water management, crop protection, metal recycling and even anti-virus software. Our team, led by Deputy Editor Shishir Prasad, has refined the methodology this year, with help from Venture Intelligence, an information provider in the private equity and venture capital space. You can read about it on page 45. Quite simply, if anyone needs reassurance that entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in this country, our Hidden Gems special report provides the real evidence.
To be sure, entrepreneurship isn’t always warm and sunny. No one knows that better than Narendra Murkumbi, the poster boy of the sugar industry. When Shree Renuka Sugars, the firm that Murkumbi and his mother founded in 1998, acquired two ailing sugar mills in Brazil two years ago, it was hailed as an astute move. Today, the aggression looks a tad foolhardy, after a couple of key assumptions behind the deals fell apart. But even though Murkumbi has his back to the wall, he’s now fighting doubly hard to prove his detractors wrong. Don’t miss our riveting story on page 30.
Before I sign off, do watch out for our special edition on the 100 Richest Indians. This year, it packs quite a punch. And has all the makings of a collector’s edition. It’ll hit stands on November 2, and will be available for a month.
Meanwhile, tell us what you think of this issue once you’ve read it.
Editor, Forbes India
Twitter id: @indrajitgupta
(This story appears in the 09 November, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)