BBC's 'Business Bites' returns with a new series from 9 January

MUMBAI: BBC World business programme - Business Bites, has come back with a new series featuring two top competing industry leaders each week, discussing the key issues and challenges facing their sectors. The new series will begin from 9 January and will be aired at 11 am and 10 pm.

This weekend's episode focuses on the core infrastructure sector of power with Tata Power managing director Firdose Vandrewalla and Maharashtra State Electricity Board chairman Jayant Kawale. The programme sees them discussing the need for reforms, the concept of free power and the lack of private investment in the sector.

Vandrewalla believes the biggest challenge facing the sector is that of commercial issues getting mixed with development issues at the cost of the utilities. Says he, "The power sector should be treated as a service sector. Any utility that does not perform up to the mark should be penalised."

On the issue of free power, Kawale feels that the concept of free power is a political reality in India, while Vandrewalla quotes a recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), saying, "Farmers don't want free power, they actually want available, accessible, affordable power,'' and hence emphasises the need for innovative packaging of services by both the SEBs and the private players.

Hosted by Ronnie Screwvala, Business Bites is part of the channel's India Business Report strand. The programme provides an insight into the men and women who shape the Indian economy, and their perspective on where their respective industries are headed.

In the following week, Business Bites will feature Mahindra and Mahindra COO Dr Pawan Goenka and Toyota Kirloskar managing director Atsushi Toyoshima, sharing their views on neck-to-neck competition in the automobile sector and the potential of the SUV segment.

Corporate bigwigs like Nandan Nilekani, Vivek Paul, Uday Kotak, Vijay Mallya and others from the information technology, pharmaceuticals, banking, insurance, and FMCG industries, who featured in the first series of Business Bites broadcast last year, will also be seen on the show.

The programme is produced for BBC World by UTV and sponsored by Tata, HP Gas and the Aditya Birla Group.

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