FAISAL HASHMI on the Muslim profile in the expanding Indian corporate sector


Recently the computer and BPO giant Wipro announced its last quarter profits -- a whopping 41 percent. That might be amazing for many. However, for Wipro, which is used to taking spectacular success in its own stride, it was almost routine.


With a market capitalisation of Rs 90,000 crore, and 81 percent shares in Wipro, the Wipro head Azim Premji is among the richest Indians counted on the fingers of a single hand.


Premji, who as an engineering student at Stanford University inherited his fatherís modest vegetable oil business less than three decades ago, gradually diversified into computers, filling a void left by the withdrawal of IBM from India. Over time the company moved into the emerging area of BPO with resounding success.


Among the high-profile Indian corporate leaders is Habil Khorakiwala, the chairman of rising pharma company, Wockhardt Ltd. With a market capitalisation of Rs 5,000 crore and a fast expanding business presence in Europe and America, the company is stated to rise quickly. In fact, half of its business is in Europe and America.


Wockhardt UK is among the 10 largest generics companies in Britain and the second largest hospital supplier. Biotech is one of the mainstays for Wockhardt, which has proven capabilities in various facets of biotechnology discipline including gene cloning, development of production strains, expression of proteins in all major expression systems -- yeast, mammalian and bacterial cells, purification, downstream processing and testing.


Wockhardt launched recombinant human insulin (Wosulin) first time in the Indian market during 2003. The automatic insulin delivery device, Wosulin Pen with recombinant insulin cartridge followed.


Apart from Wosulin, Wockhardt launched hepatitis-B vaccine (Biovac-B) and erythropoitin (Wepox) during last four years. Its biotechnology products constitute 10 percent of sales in the Indian market.


Wockhardt commissioned its Biotech Park in Aurangabad during 2004. This project is built as per USFDA and EMEA standards. Wockhardt Biotech Park has six dedicated manufacturing plants with capacities catering to 10-15 percent of the global demand for major biopharmaceuticals.


Chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturing company Cipla is almost 100 years old. Under the leadership of its chairman and managing director Y K Hamid, Cipla has become one of the best Indian companies. Ciplaís research and development (R&D) matches international standards. Hamidís brother Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied is its director.

Last year Ciplaís export was worth Rs 1500 crore. The annual profit is Rs 1900 crore.


Ishaat Hussain, one of the stars of India Inc., is Tata Sonís executive director.  He is also chairman of Voltas Limited and director Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited. Hussain, a chartered accountant by profession, is considered an expert on finance, banking and tax-related issues.


An expert on mining sector Dr Atiq-ur-Rahman Ansari is director of Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited. Earlier, he was general manager of this company.


The Mid-Day Multimedia Limited has emerged as a vibrant group. Its chairman Khalid Ansari is not only a known media tycoon but a successful industrialist as well. Despite cutthroat competition the Mid-Day  has become one of the leading newspapers of Mumbai under his stewardship. Earlier, Mr Ansari used to publish the Sports Week  magazine. His son Tariq Ansari, a high profile corporate leader, is executive director of Mid-Day Multimedia Limited.


A household name Rooh Afza, mere mention of whose name is enough to whet peopleís taste buds, is manufactured by a Muslim company Hamdard (Wakf) Laboratories, which in fact, is a trust founded by renowned philanthropist Hakeem Abdul Hameed. Its annual turn over is reported to be about 125 crore and profit is near about 34 crore.


The ARJ Allana Group is another premier Muslim company. Specialised in export of food products, the group is run by Abdul Razak Allana and his sons. It was recognised by the Government of India as being the second largest earner of foreign currency for the country and awarded a Gold Status in the Exporters Directories.


The above is only a brief glimpse of Muslim presence in India Inc. and is by no means a definitive list of Muslim corporate leaders.g