Ekta Kapoor rounds off 'Asiaweek's' Power 50 list

Balaji Telefilms' creative director Ekta Kapoor is in the news again, and how. Indian television wonderkid's hold on the popular pulse has been acknowledged by Asiaweek in its latest Power 50 list for 2001.

The Asiaweek survey on the region?s most influential communicators, technologists, artists, entrepreneurs and politicians, is all praise for the young TV serial producer, saying: "Since producing her first blockbuster television programme at 19, Ekta Kapoor has rewritten the script on TV entertainment for the masses. She has created more than 20 soaps on 10 major Indian networks; a comedy series she created ran for five years. The Indian showbiz community watches her every move, and older, more experienced producers are quick to copy any new Kapoor concept.

Being listed is the icing on the cake, literally speaking, for Kapoor, as it was only on Saturday that her staff threw a big birthday party for the soap specialist.

Other notable Indian names from the ICE world (information, communication, entertainment) on the list are Infosys chairman NR Narayanamurthy, who has has improved his ranking to 27 from 40 last year and editor of the "news and views" portal, Tarun Tejpal, ranked 48 because of his "expose" against government and military officials for allegedly accepting bribes.

A Malaysian of Indian origin T Ananda Krishnan, 63, who aims to become Southeast Asia's answer to Rupert Murdoch is ranked 29.

"Having made his fortune from property, gaming and oil trading, Krishnan's MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems offers high-quality alternatives to stodgy government programmes over 24 television and eight radio channels. His multiplex cinemas bring the latest movies to Malaysians. Ananda also plans to offer TV services featuring Web-based interactivity. The ethnic Tamil tycoon may be known as a recluse, but that has not stopped him from touching people's lives every day." Asiaweek says.

Talking of Murdoch, while he is not on the list son James Murdoch has been ranked 43. Installed as CEO last year Murdoch's primary task is to work towards making the Southeast Asian operations of Star (mainland China in particular) profitable. Star's India operations are its only profit-making venture at the moment and the younger Murdoch's task is to change that.

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