Screwvala lunches with corporate bigwigs in BBC's new series

NEW DELHI: Beginning this Sunday (25 July), BBC World will present a brand new business programme, Business Bites. Part of the channel's India Business Report strand, Business Bites will see UTV's head honcho Ronnie Screwvala inviting two leaders from the same industry to lunch, to discuss the policies, issues and challenges impacting upon their sectors.


For 14 weeks, Business Bites steps away from the traditional format of studio interviews to showcase 28 industry leaders, such as Nandan Nilekani, AK Puwar and Ranjit Shahani, as they have in-depth debates with their competitors, according to a BBC statement.

Filmed in some of the best restaurants in India, Business Bites takes some of the people defining the country's economy away from the formality of a TV studio to offer an insider's look into the industries being examined.

This Sunday's edition focuses on information technology as Nandan Nilekani, the CEO of the $1bn global company Infosys Technologies Limited, lunches with his opposite number at the international offshore services firm Wipro, Vivek Paul. They discuss the troubling "Coolie Valley" tag that plagues the Indian IT sector because of its readily available cheap labour, and the differences between it and "Silicon Valley" in the United States. The two leaders talk of product innovation and the impact that multinationals are having on India's IT companies.

In the following weeks, Business Bites features in-depth looks at the banking sector and the pharmaceutical industry. Ronnie Screwvala takes A K Purwar, chairman of the State Bank of India and Citibank India's CEO, Sanjay Nayar, out to lunch to talk about the need for value-added services and sophisticated systems to measure and control risk.

Ranjit Shahani, vice-chairman of Novartis India Limited and Wockhardt Limited's chairman, Habil Khorakiwala, share insights on the fast-moving pharmaceutical industry and debate the Product Patent Act, Exclusive Marketing Rights [EMRs] and the need for transparency at the patent office.

The programme is produced for BBC World by UTV.

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