The Finest Quotes from the Year Gone By

What some of our interviewees said, and we liked the most

Published: Jun 3, 2010 10:02:29 AM IST
Updated: Jun 3, 2010 10:03:47 AM IST


"He [Lakshmi Mittal] likes to joke that on his plane, he serves pizza rather than champagne.”
—Tim Bouquet, co-author of Cold Steel, on steel magnate L.N. Mittal’s legendary thriftiness. Cold Steel is the definitive book that chronicled Mittal’s Arcelor acquisition and Bouquet reckoned that Mittal would turn the challenge in front of him into an opportunity by restructuring his empire and shedding excess fat. (June 5, 2009)

This is not an ordinary building. This is not an ordinary hotel. We wanted to redo everything, to give the world a new chapter after 26/11.”
—Karambhir Kang, general manager, Taj Hotel, on his vision for the Mumbai landmark after it suffered a terrorist attack. Kang lost his family in the attack in which he stayed on duty helping hundreds of guests. (December 18, 2009)

The line between work and social life is blurred here.”
—Mark T. Robinson, CEO, Citi South Asia, says Indians don’t hold back. He feels that we need to do a better job managing time and productivity. (February 5, 2010)

Unlike the Americans, we don’t believe the whole world is ours.”
— David Wei, CEO of, on the reason behind his company’s success. There may be some logic behind Wei’s thinking. is the world’s largest B2B e-commerce company with 40
million users worldwide across 240 countries. (July 17, 2009)

In one incident, while I was talking to a person about a car, suddenly her kid came online and said, ‘don’t buy that car, it’s a boring car"
—Sudhir Rao, COO Renault India, knows the weakness of the Logan is in its looks.
(August 14, 2009)

That’s because you work like a dog at Bajaj Auto.”
—Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, on his work philosophy. Bajaj Auto was down in the dumps for a year. But Rajiv Bajaj, after a lot of soul searching, tried a whole new strategy to take on industry leaders Hero Honda. (December 18, 2009)

It is like doing a start-up all over again in a very different world.”
—Nandan Nilekani, Infosys founder, on his work in the public sector. Nilekani is now the Chairman of the new Unique Identification Authority of India. (Feb 19, 2010)

I have already started late. Look at the Tatas and Birlas. They are already so big, so I need to grow faster.”
—Sajjan Jindal, managing director, JSW Steel, on his ambitions. The steel entrepreneur has set his sights on building a Rs. 60,000 crore diversified conglomerate in the next five years. (November 6, 2009)

There are only five or so subjects in the world. We make films on these subjects. These are not copies.”
—Rakesh Roshan, director, tries to justify the allegations of Hollywood ‘inspirations’. (July 31, 2009)


I go there and work with them on the shop floor. They know my story, where I come from and how I have grown. I am one of them and they call me dada.”

mg_27932_blurb_280x210.jpgSudip Dutta, founder of Ess Dee, doesn’t hesitate getting his hands dirty in his factory. He bought the tiny pouching factory that he worked for as a delivery boy for Rs. 16,000. His business is now worth Rs. 500 crore. (December 18, 2009)


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(This story appears in the 04 June, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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