About two weeks ago, after the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Dubai got over, I was invited to visit one of the Middle East’s biggest attractions, the Burj Khalifa, quite simply the tallest building in the world. One of the participants at the conference, a leading corporate lawyer from India, had his office there. High-speed elevators took 65 seconds to reach our host’s office, on the 154th floor. The interiors were plush, the design was amazing, but most of us will perhaps remember our whistle-stop tour for one other reason: The open loo that provided an amazing panoramic view of the city.
After that visit, I know at least one well-heeled Indian entrepreneur in our small group, who seemed very keen to dip into his millions to fund a home at the Burj. Our editorial team, consisting of Shishir Prasad, Pravin Palande, Samar Srivastava and Shravan Bhat, tells me that there are many others. Actually, upscale Indians are on a veritable buying spree, not just in Dubai, but across the world, in Singapore, London, New York and even Nairobi. For many global Indians, the decision to buy a second home outside India is starting to make a lot of sense. That’s why our special report on international real estate on page 49 is worth reading. Think of it as a handy, comprehensive guide that helps you think through every aspect of the investment decision.
Just before I left for Dubai, my colleague Samar Srivastava and I had an exclusive conversation with Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks. There are many sceptics who diss its brand of coffee, but that doesn’t seem to have deterred consumers in Mumbai from forming mile-long queues outside its new store at Horniman Circle. Samar’s story provides perspective on the Tata-Starbucks market entry strategy—and why they could be a global brand worth watching.
I’ll point out two other must-read stories, both from Bangalore. Our chief of bureau Seema Singh has an interesting story on Isro’s audacious new plan that will cede space to private sector firms to help build a series of polar satellite launch vehicles. And Rohin Dharmakumar focuses on a cautionary tale involving Subash Menon, who founded Subex two decades ago, only to find himself surgically removed by his own board, dominated by two powerful global hedge funds.
Before I sign off, let me wish you and your family a very happy Diwali!
Editor, Forbes India
Twitter id: @indrajitgupta
(This story appears in the 23 November, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)