World’s 10 best companies to work

February 9, 2009

Rank: 1 Company: NetApp

Business: Specializes in proprietary network storage and data management.

Reach: Has over 130 offices worldwide, including US, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Pacific and Australia.

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘The essence of what fuels the quality of the workplace at NetApp is the high trust culture. Leaders reach out to employees, sharing information, support and time in a variety of ways. This generosity of spirit is reciprocated many times over, creating within NetApp its own version of a fail-safe networked organization.’

Rank: 2 Company: Edward Jones

Business: Offers financial products at an individual investor level. Currently serves more than 7 million clients.

Reach: Over 10,800 offices in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Employees receive a whopping 149 hours of training on average a year, more than three times the 100 best averages of 45. But Edward Jones doesn’t just train people for the job they’re doing. The management’s philosophy is that employees who are passionate about their jobs will make the company a better place, so managers encourage people to develop skills even when they know the new skills will lead to a different job.’

Rank: 3 Company: Boston Consulting Group

Business: Global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy.

Reach: BCG is a private company with 66 offices in 38 countries, including the US. They also have offices in North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East

Why: BCG prides itself on its employee focused culture. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Training opportunities abound, even for senior partners. All employees are encouraged to continuously learn, accept responsibility and take on challenges. BCG is viewed as an apprenticeship and most training actually takes place within the project team. Associates who commit to returning to the company after receiving an MBA are fully reimbursed for tuition, given a promotion and a raise. Administrative staff may be reimbursed up to two job-related courses per semester.’

Rank: 4 Company: Google

Business: Focused on Internet search services. Also offers advertising, business solutions, online mapping, blogging, e-mail, social networking and video sharing. Last year, they launched their own browser, Google Chrome.

Reach: United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East

Why: The company slogan is ‘Don’t be evil.’ Google is famed for going all out to keep their employees happy. Professional development opportunities include classes on individual and team presentation skills, content development, business writing, executive speaking, delivering feedback and management/leadership. Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them. Some of Google’s newer services, such as Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense originated from these independent endeavors’.

Rank: 5 Company: Wegmans Food Market

Business: Regional supermarket chain

Reach: Seventy-nine stores in the mid-Atlantic region including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Maryland in the United States.

Why: Wegmans believe that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do. They also believe that they can achieve our goal only if they fulfill the needs of our own people. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Wegmans employs a web-based system known as the labor resource manager to ensure no employee is overburdened and that every employee has the support of colleagues at the busiest times. Having a resource dedicated to staffing enables employees the flexibility to care for sick family members, pursue degrees, or enjoy a summer off to pursue a passion.’

Rank: 6 Company: Cisco Systems

Business: Cisco hardware, software and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible — providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.

Reach: US, Africa, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe

Why: Cisco managers are trained to ensure employees have a successful work-life balance, by working flexi-time if needed. Its leadership development system is aimed at developing key capabilities, competencies and expectations for its employees. Cisco employees have access to assistance programmes that provide confidential support for various personal issues. It also provides short-term, emergency resources to help employees facing difficult personal situations. It has local onsite emergency response teams made up of trained employees and a global, cross-functional crisis communication team that helps evaluate crisis situations and communicate important information.

Rank: 7 Company: Genentech

Business: This leading biotechnology corporation is considered the founder of the biotech industry.

Reach: United States, Singapore

Why: Genentech fosters individual creativity and initiative among its researchers, encouraging scientists to pursue projects of interest in addition to working toward the company’s goals. Their scientists have consistently published important papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. They have also secured approximately 7,400 current, non-expired patents worldwide and have about 6,250 patent applications pending. Genentech also has a strong postdoctoral programme, with fellowships that last four years. The company believes providing employees with programmes, services and benefits allow them to bring the best to the business and to their personal lives.

Rank: 8 Company: Methodist Hospital System

Business: A leading US hospital, this acute care complex serves over 40,000 domestic and international patients every year. It is also a comprehensive teaching hospital, with leading specialists in every field of medicine.

Reach: United States. It also partners more than 25 hospitals in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Why: Employees earn paid time off accruals biweekly beginning from the date of hire. They are offered subsidized transport options. Education assistance includes tuition reimbursement for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level courses that are job related. Employees can get additional financial assistance for certain certifications/ degrees and a college scholarship for children of employees enrolled in health care degree programmes. Employees who adopt children are provided financial assistance. All employees and dependents have access to resources to help with everyday challenges of work and life.

Rank: 9 Company: Goldman Sachs

Business: A bank holding company that engages in investment banking, securities services and investment management.

Reach: United States, South America, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East,

Why: Sharing ideas, support collaboration and contributing to others’ project is encouraged, both through explicitly defined cultural expectations and through the actions of individual leaders, who are also expected to serve as role models. Some of the benefits offered include education, tuition reimbursement, preparatory courses and exams, scholarships and fellowships and loan and mortgage discounts. They can also avail of ongoing training and mentoring programmes.

Rank: 10 Company: Nugget Market, Inc

Business: Family owned, upscale supermarket chain

Reach: Owns and operates nine Nugget Markets and three Food 4 Less stores in the Northern California region, United States

Why: Nugget Market, which was founded in 1926, has never had a layoff. Since its launch, it has had a progressive, employee-friendly attitude, providing its associates with some of the top wage and benefit packages in the industry. Nugget also has excellent healthcare benefits, including long-term disability and sick pay. It encourages associates to balance their work and personal life through flexible schedules and five weeks of paid vacation.


World’s top 15 business schools

February 3, 2009

Rank-1: London Business School – UK

Amongst its other achievements London Business School — sharing the top spot with Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania — boasts of a community that includes 1,300 plus students each year from 121 countries, 150 plus teaching faculty from more than 30 countries and 27,800 alumni based in more than 120 countries. Situated in Regent’s Park, London, London Business School offers degree programmes like MBA, executive MBA, EMBA-global, Dubai-London executive MBA, Sloan Fellowship MSc, Masters in finance, and PhDs.

Rank-1: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania-USA

Established in 1881 in Philadelphia, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, is the world’s first collegiate business school has 84,000 plus alumni in 139 countries, 25 plus research centre’s and initiatives and 11 academic departments. The university offers executive education programmes in subjects like finance/wealth, management, healthcare, corporate governance, marketing/sales and technology and operations apart from a host of other courses.

Rank-3: Harvard Business School-USA

Offering management courses since 1908, Harvard Graduate School of Business started with a student population of 33 regular and 47 special students and a 15-member faculty. It reached one of its famous milestones in 1959 when the school admitted women graduates to the second year MBA programme. Harvard Business School moved up one position in 2009 to rank 3rd against its 2008 position.

Rank-4:Columbia Business School -USA

Columbia University Graduate School of Business was founded in 1916 by A Barton Hepburn, president of Chase Manhattan Bank then, with 11 faculty members and 61 students. Currently, the university offers full-time MBA programmes, executive MBAs and doctoral programmes with over 36,000 students. Warren Buffet, the legendary chairman of Berkshire Hathway did his MS in 1951 from Columbia Business School.

Rank-5: Insead: France/Singapore

With two campuses in France (Fontainebleau) and Asia (Singapore) Insead began offering executive MBA programmes in November 2003 from both the campuses. It signed a strategic alliance with Wharton Business School in 2001. Today, the university boasts of 138 standing and affiliate faculty from 32 countries, 887 MBA students across 76 nations, 9,500 executive MBA students from 100 countries spread across 2,000 companies. From number 6 in 2008 Insead too has moved up one position in 2009.

Rank-6: Stanford University GSB and IE Business School

These two, like London Business School and Wharton School, share the same position. However, in 2008, Stanford (USA) stood 4th and IE Business School (Spain) stood at the 8th position. So while Stanford moved two points down the ladder IE Business School moved two points up.

Rank-8: China European International Business School

This is what China and Chinese entrepreneurship is all about. Established on November 8, 1994, a recent entrant into the world of high finance, China European International Business School (Ciebs) — in just its 14 years of existence — has barged into the hallowed top 10 for the second time in a row. Ranked 10th in 2008 Ciebs has managed to move two positions up to the 8th position this year. Today Ciebs offers open programmes like multinational management, strategy, leadership, marketing and sales, finance and accounting and corporate governance amongst others.

Rank-9: MIT: Sloan, USA

Massachusetts, Cambridge-based, MIT Sloan School of Management has moved up from the 10th position in 2008 to 9th position this year. While MIT Sloan began its operations in 1914 in engineering administration, it began teaching management courses 11 years later. Today, MIT Sloan offers graduate and undergraduate programmes to more than 1,100 students across 60 countries. Amongst its illustrious alumni are included names like former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, former Hewlett-Packard president and CEO Carly Fiona, and former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rank-10: New York University: Stern, USA

Established at the onset of the 20th century New York University, Stern is located in Greenwich Village in the centre of New York City. This university today offers courses as varied as undergraduate BS programme, full-time MBA programme, Langone part-time MBA programme, executive MBA, and PhD programmes.

Rank-11: University of Chicago, Booth,USA

Part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, Booth School of Business has dropped two places from number 11 from number 9 in 2008. Established in 1895 University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the second-oldest school in the US. With faculty strength of 187 in 2008 the university offers programmes like full-time MBA, executive MBA, part-time MBA, and non-degree executive education.

Rank-12: Iese Business School, Spain

Ranked 13th in 2008, Iese Business School has improved its position to 12th in the 2009 survey. With over 30,000 successful alumni working in more than 100 countries Iese, established in 1957, offers full-time, part-time and modular MBA and PhD programmes. Founded in 1958 in Barcelona, Spain, Iese is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra.

Rank-13: Dartmouth College, Tuck USA

At number 13, Dartmouth College, Tuck, a 109-year-old institution, has dropped a position below its 2008 ranking. Interestingly, unlike other universities, Tuck offers only full-time MBAs apart from a plethora of executive education programmes as well as the Tuck Business Bridge programme for undergraduates.

Rank-14: MD – Switzerland

Located in the cool climes in Lausanne on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, IMD has maintained a status quo at number 14 vis-a-vis its ranking in 2008. With 20 open enrollment executive development programmes IMD, established in 1990, offers an 11-month MBA programme and distance learning programme in executive MBA. A typical class at IMD consists of students from 22 nationalities and in the age group of 34 to 50 years.

Rank-15: Indian School of Business, India

A meteoric rise from number 20 is how one can describe Indian School of Business jump to the 15th position in the Global MBA Rankings 2009 survey. With over 442 students enrolled for the class of 2009 for its one-year MBA programme the mean and median GMAT score of its student is 714 and 720 respectively. Established in 2001 by a group of Indian industrialists and academicians ISB is the only Indian management school to make its mark in this global survey.


The top 10 economies of the world and the recession

January 23, 2009

United States

The United Stated with a GDP of $13.8 trillion is the world’s No.1. The US economy grew in the first quarter by 1 per cent. However, the recession has battered the economy. By June 2008, the economy fell into a recession. In the third quarter of 2008, the GDP shrunk by 0.5 per cent, the biggest fall since 2001. The 6.4 per cent fall in spending during Q3 on non-durable goods, like clothing and food, was the largest since 1950. About 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008, the worst since the end of World War II.

Japan

Japan is the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $43.7 trillion. With a huge fall in exports, Japan has moved deeper into recession in the fourth quarter. Japan’s GDP has fallen at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September 2008, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Japan’s previous recession was in 2001, after the dot-com bust in the United States. Japanese exports plunged a record 35 percent in December as the recession led to a fall in electronics and automobiles. Bank of Japan said the economy will shrink by 1.8 per cent this financial year.

China

China has steered ahead of Germany as the world’s third largest economy after the United States and Japan. It saw a GDP growth rate of 13 per cent in 2007. China revised the growth rate of its gross domestic product (GDP) for 2007 to 13 per cent from 11.9 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The pace was the fastest since 1994 when the GDP expanded by 13.1 per cent, according to the NBS data. Final verification showed the GDP totaled $3.76 trillion. However, the recession has taken a toll on the economy. The growth in manufacturing has fallen sharply in the fourth quarter. The GDP growth in the fourth dropped to 6.8 per cent, pulling down the full year growth down to 9 per cent from 13 per cent in 2007.

Germany

Germany has been pushed to the 4th position after being ranked third for many years. Its GDP stands at $32.9 trillion. Falling exports saw the German economy’s GDP fall by half a percent in July, August and September, which was the second straight quarter of decline. The European economy saw its first recession in 15 years. Europe is facing the worst financial crisis since the great depression. The GDP in the 15 euro nations contracted by 0.2 per cent during August, September and October 2008.

United Kingdom

The fifth largest economy, United Kingdom fell by 0.5 per cent July and September. The GDP of the fifth largest economy stood at $27.2 trillion. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its forecast said the UK economy will “stagnate” during 2009. It said UK GDP growth will fall from 3.1 per cent in 2007, to one per cent in 2008 and it will contract 0.8 per cent in 2009. The economy shrank in the third quarter for the first time since 1992.

France

France is the 6th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $25.6 trillion. The French economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of the year. However, the gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 0.5 percent fall of the French economy in 2009. President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a 26-billion-euro stimulus plan in December to fight the crisis.

Italy

Italy with a GDP of $21 trillion, is the 7th largest economy in the world. The Italian economy fell in the third quarter of 2008 for the second consecutive quarter. The GDP fell by 0.5 per cent on a quarter-ago basis, after a revised drop of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter.

Spain

The world’s 8th largest economy is Spain with a GDP of $14.2 trillion. Spain has been trapped under a recession for the first time in 15 years. Spain’s economy fell for the first time since 1993. Spain’s gross domestic product fell 0.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter, while it grew 0.9% from the third quarter a year earlier.

Canada

Canada is the 9th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $13.2 trillion. It is expected that Canada will see negative growth in the next two quarters. Canada’s unemployment rate is set to hit a high of 7.4 per cent in 2009. While the growth is 0.6 percent in 2008, there will be no growth this year, according to The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Brazil

Brazil with a GDP of $13.1 trillion is the 10th largest economy in the world. Brazil’s economy has also been hit by the recession. Brazil’s industrial output fell by 6.2 per cent in November. This has been the fall since December 2001. Brazil’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years.

India

India with a GDP of $1.17 trillion is the world’s 12th largest economy. The Indian economy grew at 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008, the slowest growth rate in three years. The growth rate of 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008 is much lower than 9.2 per cent recorded in corresponding quarter last year. The economic growth further fell to 7.6 percent for the second quarter of this fiscal. The manufacturing sector has been badly hit by the slowdown. The growth rate in the manufacturing sector was recorded only 5 percent during July-September, 2008. The manufacturing sector had registered a growth rate of 9.2 percent during the same period last year. According to the National Council for Applied Economics Research (NCAER), India’s industrial growth will deteriorate further by next year.


Best nations to do business

October 7, 2008

1. Singapore – Singapore kept its top ranking for the third year in a row as the easiest place in the world to do business. The Asian city-state edged out New Zealand and the United States in the ‘Doing Business 2009’ ranking. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore’s economy depends heavily on exports refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing. Thousands of foreign expatriates work here in multi-national corporations. The city-state employs thousands of blue-collared workers across the globe.

2. New Zealand- New Zealand has a developed economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $128.1 billion as on 2008. The country has a very high standard of living. New Zealand’s service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and the farming/raw materials extraction. New Zealand is heavily dependent on free trade, particularly in agricultural products.

3. USA- The American economy is under terrible stress at the moment.  A series of events in United States, including the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bank of America agreeing to buy Merrill Lynch for $44 billion, has shaken up the global financial markets. There could be several more developments over the next few months that might make things more difficult. Thousands will lose their jobs in the global financial sector as many companies have witnessed the fastest drop in business levels, profitability and confidence in almost two decades.  Initial estimates say that the unprecedented crisis in the global financial services industry will lead to more than 250,000 jobs being lost globally. And economists say that this figure is ‘very conservative.’ The eventual number of jobs that will actually be lost could be much higher, they say. The fiscal hurricane that originated in the United States has soon spread panic and gloom across the world markets. European companies have already announced layoffs, while some Asian companies too have done the same. However, some relief came with the US Congress approving a revised $700 billion package to bail out the beleaguered financial sector of the country.

4. Hong Kong- Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centers.  It is one of the four Asian tigers known for its high growth rate and rapid industrialization. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalization of $2.97 trillion as on October 2007. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.

5. Denmark- Denmark has a GDP per capita higher than that of most European countries, and 15-20% higher than that of the United States. Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD, and The Economist. Denmark’s market economy features efficient markets, above average European living standards, and high amount of free trade. Denmark is home to many multinational companies. Among them: A P Moller-Maersk Group, Lego, Bang & Olufsen, Carlsberg, Vestas, Novozymes and the pharmaceutical companies Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk deserve special mention

6. Britain- The British economy is made up (in descending order of size) of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the 1980s, during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s tenure, most state-owned enterprises were privatized. The British government now owns very few industries or businesses — Royal Mail is one of the very few examples. In the post World War II period, the British economy recorded chronic weak growth. However, in recent years Britain has seen the longest period of economic growth. It has grown in every quarter since 1992.  It is one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remain relatively low. The country’s GDP as of 2007, stands at $2.772 trillion.

7. Ireland- The economy of the Republic of Ireland is modern and trade-dependent with growth averaging a 7% per annum in 1995-2007. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and employs 29% of the labour force. Ireland has the second highest per capita income of any country in the EU next to Luxembourg, and fourth highest in the world based on measurements of gross domestic product per capita

8. Canada- Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Group of Eight. As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. The country’s GDP as of 2007 stands at $1.274 trillion. Canada has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, the automobile industry being especially important.

9. Austria- The economy of the Republic of Austria may be characterized as a social market economy similar in structure with that of Germany. In 2004 Austria was the fourth richest country within the European Union, having a GDP per capita of approximately Euro27’666, with Luxembourg, Ireland, and Netherlands leading the list. In the post World War II era, Austria has achieved sustained economic growth. In the crisis-ridden 1950s, the rebuilding efforts for Austria lead to an average annual growth rate of more than 5 per cent in real terms and averaged about four point five per cent through most of the 1960s.

10. Norway- The economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era. Shipping has long been a support of Norway’s export sector, but much of Norway’s economic growth has been fueled by an abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries. Norway is among the most expensive countries in the world, as reflected in the Big Mac Index. Historically, transportation costs and barriers to free trade had caused the disparity, but in recent years, Norwegian policy with respect to labor relations, taxation, etc, have contributed significantly.


World’s top 10 companies

July 31, 2008

The rankings are based on a combination of the sales, profits, assets and market capitalization of these companies. Check out the world’s top ten companies.

1. HSBC Holdings

“We have a clear strategy; it is focused on investing and developing our powerful emerging markets franchises. We will continue to do that,” Stephen Green, chairman, HSBC. The ‘world’s local bank’ is HSBC’s tagline. Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. It comprises of over 10,000 offices in 83 countries across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges. Shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 200,000 shareholders. HSBC offers a range of financial services: personal financial services, commercial banking, corporate, investment banking and markets and private bank. HSBC Holdings has reported sales to the tune of $146.50 billion and profits of $19.13 billion in 2007.

History: The HSBC Group is named after its founding member, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was established in 1865 to finance the growing trade between Europe, India and China. The inspiration behind the founding of the bank was Thomas Sutherland, who was then working for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Seeing the potential of local banking facilities in Hong Kong and on the China coast and he helped to establish the bank which opened in Hong Kong in March 1865 and in Shanghai a month later.

2. General Electric

“We are going to solve tough customer and global problems and make money solving it,” Jeff Immelt, CEO, GE. Imagination at work, says the GE tagline. Innovation and research are the strongholds of GE. In 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon wearing boots made of GE’s silicone rubber. GE has four strong businesses in the financial services, infrastructure, and media markets. GE Capital offers an astonishing array of products and services aimed at enabling commercial businesses and consumers worldwide. The company prides helps build the healthcare, transportation, and technology infrastructure across the globe. General Electric’s sales stand at $172.74 billion and profits at $22.21 billion in 2007.

History of research

GE’s research started in a barn in 1900 when General Electric Company completed eight years. The barn saw company’s major breakthrough technologies. One of the earliest projects of the new lab was incandescent lighting. GE scientists have thousands of patents, and two Nobel prizes: Irving Langmuir won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1932 and Ivar Giaever won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973.

3. Bank of America

“Bank of America helps build strong communities by creating opportunities for people – including customers, shareholders and associates – to fulfill their dreams.” Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman, CEO and president. Bank of America is the largest commercial bank in the United States in terms of deposits and second largest by market capitalization. The bank also offers talking ATMs which help customers who are visually impaired. The Bank of America sales is at $119.9 billion and profits are at 14.98 billion in 2007.

History

Before 1998, Bank of America organization was known as NationsBank. In 1998, NationsBank acquired San Francisco-based BankAmerica and renamed the corporation “Bank of America”.

4. JPMorgan Chase

“Our expectation is for the economic environment to continue to be weak in spite of the environment, we are confident that we are building an increasingly strong and profitable company.” James Dimon. JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.8 trillion. With an employee strength of 1, 80,000, the company operates in more than 60 countries. It is a leading player in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase reported sales to the tune of $116.35 billion and profits stood at $15.37 billion in 2007. Jamie Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

History

JPMorgan Chase & Co., was founded in New York in 1799. The firm is built on the foundation of nearly 1,000 institutions that have come together over the years to form today’s company. JPMorgan Chase traces its beginnings to the Bank of The Manhattan Company, which was founded by Aaron Burr in 1799 and became one of the leading banking institutions in the nation. In the 1800s, many new banks were formed across America. JPMorgan Chase has links to many of these early institutions, including the Western Reserve Bank, one of the first banks in Ohio and a predecessor of Bank One, which merged with JPMorgan Chase in 2004.

5. ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation is an American oil and gas corporation and a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The company was formed on November 31, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. It is also the largest publicly held corporation by market capitalization, at $501.17 billion on April 18, 2008. Exxon’s reserves were 72 billion oil-equivalent barrels at the end of 2007 and are expected to last over 14 years. While it is the largest of the six oil giants with daily production of 4.18 million BOE (barrels of oil equivalent) in 2007, ExxonMobil is 14th in the world when ranked by held oil and gas reserves. Rex W. Tillerson is the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil reported sales to the tune of $358.60 billion and profits stood at $40.61 billion in 2007.

History

Exxon Mobil Corporation was formed in 1999 by the merger of two major oil companies, Exxon and Mobil. Both Exxon and Mobil were descendants of the John D. Rockefeller Corporation, Standard Oil which was established in 1870. In 1911, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Standard Oil must be dissolved and split into 34 companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard (Standard Oil Company of New Jersey), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York), which eventually became Mobil.

6. Royal Dutch Shell

“This is a very exciting – though daunting – time for our industry. The world is racing ahead with ever-increasing energy needs. We are under pressure to keep up. But this race does not have only one winner. This is a race all of us must win.” Linda Cook, Executive Director of Royal Dutch Shell. Royal Dutch Shell is an MNC oil company with Dutch and British origins. It is the second largest private sector energy corporation in the world, and one of the six oil super majors. The company’s headquarters are in The Hague, Netherlands, with its registered office in London (Shell Centre). Oil giant Shell has over 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources under construction. Shell has been exploring and producing oil and gas for more than a century. The exploration and production work is going on in nearly 40 countries and the company employs around 35,000 people. Royal Dutch Shell reported sales to the tune of $355.78 billion and profits stood at $31.33 billion in 2007.

History

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was created in February 1907 when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd of the United Kingdom merged their operations. After the merger, 60 per cent of the new Group went to the Dutch arm and 40 per cent to the British. In 1833, the company founder’s father, Marcus Samuel, founded an import business to sell seashells to collectors in London. When collecting seashell specimens in the Caspian Sea area in 1892, Samuel realized the potential of exporting oil from the region and commissioned the world’s first purpose-built oil tanker, the Murex to foray into this market.

7. BP

BP has transformed itself from a local oil company into a global energy group employing over 96,000 people and operating in over 100 countries worldwide. BP has reported sales to the tune of $281.03 billion and profits stood at $20.60 billion in 2007. Tony Hayward is the group chief executive of BP, earlier known as British Petroleum. With headquarters in London, the company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world.

History

British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana) in December 1998, becoming BPAmoco until 2000 when it was renamed BP and adopted the tagline ‘Beyond Petroleum’. Most Amoco gas stations in the United States have changed the look and name to the BP brand. The highest grade of BP gasoline available in the United States is still called Amoco Ultimate.

8. Toyota Motor Co

Toyota Motors is 70-years old. Headquartered in Japan, it is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. The company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spinoff from his father’s company Toyota Industries to manufacture automobiles. Fujio Cho, is the chairman of the company. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands. Toyota’s management philosophy is ‘lean manufacturing’ and ‘just in time production’. Toyota continues to promote localization, based on the principle of producing vehicles in those countries or regions where demand exists. In Japan, Toyota has equipped Takaoka plant with the company’s most-advanced technologies. In R&D, Toyota is continuing to focus its efforts in the three key areas of the environment, safety and energy. Toyota has positioned hybrid technologies as core technologies that can contribute to resolving environmental issues. Toyota Motor Co reported sales to the tune of $203.80 billion and profits stood at $13.99 billion in 2007.

History

Sakichi Toyoda invented the wooden Toyoda handloom in 1890. In 1894, Kiichiro Toyoda born. In 1924, Sakichi Toyoda completed the non-stop shuttle change type Toyoda automatic loom (Type G). In 1929, Kiichiro Toyoda traveled to Europe and the United States to investigate automobiles. The British company, Platt Brothers, gained the automatic loom patent rights. In 1931, Kiichiro Toyoda started research into gasoline-powered engines.

9. ING Group

ING is a global financial services company providing banking, investments, and life insurance and retirement services. The company serves more than 75 million customers in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Based on market capitalization (31 March 2008), ING is one of the 20 largest financial institutions worldwide. The ING Group reported sales to the tune of $197.93 billion and profits stood at $12.65 billion in 2007. The group is led by Michel Tilmant.

History

ING was founded in 1991 by a merger between Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group. During the past 15 years ING has become a multinational with very diverse international activities. ING’s history can be traced to the insurers De Nationale Levensverzekering Bank and De Nederlanden van in 1845. The oldest legal predecessor is the Kooger Doodenbos from Koog, Noord Holland, founded in 1743.

10. Berkshire Hathaway

“When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. ” Warren Buffett. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is based in Omaha, US. Berkshire Hathaway manages a number of subsidiary companies. Its core business is insurance, including property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard insurance. The company averaged an annual return in excess of 21 per cent to its shareholders for the last 42 years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt. Warren Buffett is the company’s chairman and CEO. Earlier, he used to focus on long-term investments in publicly quoted stocks. Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including candy production; retail, home furnishings, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewellery, newspaper publishing and even makes and distributes uniforms and footwear. Berkshire Hathaway reported sales to the tune of $118.25 billion and profits stood at $13.21 in 2007.

History

Berkshire Hathaway traces its roots to a textile manufacturing company established by Oliver Chace in 1839. In 1929 the Valley Falls Company merged with the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company established in 1889. The combined company was known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. In 1962, Warren Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway. After some clashes with the Stanton family, he bought up enough shares to change the management and soon controlled the company. Buffett initially maintained Berkshire’s core business of textiles, but by 1967, he forayed into the insurance industry. Berkshire first ventured into the insurance business with the purchase of National Indemnity Company.


The world’s largest economies

July 29, 2008
India

The Indian economy is the 12th largest in the world. That is, India’s gross domestic product stands at $1.171 trillion. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, India is the world’s fourth largest economy. Its GDP in purchasing power parity terms is at $3.092 trillion. These are the year 2007 figures, recently released by the World Bank. By definition, purchasing power parity (PPP) is an economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power. India is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies, yet its annual per capita income remains quite low at $950, or about Rs 40,000. That puts India in the 160th spot. Incidentally, World Bank figures show that the world’s GDP is at $54.347 trillion. India accounts for just over 2 per cent of global GDP.

So which are the world’s largest economies?

1. United States

The American GDP is at $13.812 trillion, making it the world’s largest economy. It accounts for more than 25 per cent of the entire world’s GDP! In terms of purchasing power parity too, the United States is the world’s leading economy. However, its per capita income at $46, per year, pegs it at the 15th spot in the world.

2. Japan

Japan, with a GDP of $4.377 trillion, is the world’s second largest economy. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, Japan is ranked third by the World Bank. It’s GDP in PPP terms is $4.283 trillion. Japan’s per capita income (annual) is $37,670, making it the 25th highest in the world.

3. Germany

Germany is the world’s third largest, with its GDP at $3.297 trillion. But in PPP terms, Germany is the world’s fifth largest economy. It’s GDP in PPP terms is at $2.752 trillion. Its per capita income is the 23rd highest in the world, at $38,860.

4. China

China, the Asian giant, is the world’s fourth largest economy with a GDP of $3.281 trillion; but in purchasing power parity terms it ranks second at $7.055 trillion. It is the world’s fastest growing major economy and its giant strides have taken the world by a storm. Economists predict that over the next few decades, it could topple the US as the world’s largest economy. China’s per capita income, however, is still low at $2,630 per year.

5. United Kingdom

Britain is the world’s fifth largest economy. Its GDP is at $2.728 trillion. In purchasing power parity terms, the United Kingdom’s GDP stands at $2.082 trillion making it the seventh largest in the world. Britain is a rich nation. Its per capita income is at an impressive $42,740. That would rank it in the 19th spot.

6. France

The French GDP is at $2.563 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy; but in terms of PPP, it is the world’s 8th largest (GDP in PPP terms, $2.054 trillion). The per capita income of the French at $38,500 makes them the 24th richest people in the world.

7. Italy

Italy’s GDP in absolute terms is at $2.107 trillion. That makes it the planet’s seventh largets economy. However, in purchasing power parity terms its GDP is at $1.780 trillion and its rank is 10th. Italians’ per capita income is the 30th highest in the world. It is $33,540.

8. Spain

Spain is the eighth largest economy with its GDP at $1.429 trillion. In purchasing power parity, however, it slips to the 11th spot ($1.373 trillion). With a per capita income of $29,450 per year, its people are the 36th richest in the world.

9. Canada

The Canadian GDP stands at $1.326 trillion, making it the world’s ninth largest economy. In PPP terms, however, it stands 14th in the world. Its GDP in PPP terms is at $1.178 trillion. Its people enjoy a comfortable life with a per capita income of $39,420, which is 22nd highest in the world.

10. Brazil

The Brazilian economy too has been growing at a scorching pace. It is the world’s 10th largest economy with a GDP of $1.314 trillion. But in terms of purchasing power (GDP – $1.834 trillion), it is better placed at number 9. Amongst the emerging economies, it has one of the best per capita income figures — $5,910. This places it in the 85th spot .


Nations with highest per capita income

July 25, 2008

Liechtenstein

Strange, as it might seem, the World Bank ranks nations, sometimes without giving their actual per capita income. No explanation is given by the World Bank, other than a footnote that says: �2007 data not available; ranking is approximate.’ However, information gleaned from other sources bears out the World Bank ranking. So the nation with the highest per capita income in the world is Liechtenstein, a small country bordering Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein’s per capita income is about $80,000 per annum. The principality has an industrialized economy, with banking and financial services being the mainstay. Tourism too is a major revenue earner for the nation. The personal income tax rates in Liechtenstein too are exceedingly low: basic income tax rate is 1.2 per cent on income up to 200,000 Swiss Francs, and maximum is 5 per cent on income over 2 million Swiss Francs a year.

Bermuda

Bermuda is tourist’s delight, located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda’s per capita income is almost 50 per cent more than that of the United States. The tiny island nation’s per capita income stands at just above $78,000. It has the second highest PCI in the world. Bermuda is a major financial centre and is particularly attractive because of its low taxation rates. Financial services are the nation’s largest industry, followed by tourism.

Norway

Norway’s per capita income stands at $76,450, which is the third highest in the world. Norway has a mixed economy consisting of state-owned businesses and a robust free market. It’s a high developed and industrialized state. Fishing, petroleum, hydel power, minerals contribute heavily to the nation’s GDP.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s per capita income is at $75,880. That makes it the world’s fourth highest PCI. Luxembourg is located in Europe and is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. The nation has highly developed industrial and financial sectors.

Qatar

The per capita income of Qataris is $60,000, the fifth highest in the world. Qatar is an Arab emirate located in the Persian Gulf. The nation’s economy mainly depends on its huge oil and natural gas reserves. There is no income tax in Qatar.

Switzerland

The Swiss enjoy a financially comfortable life, with a per capita income of $59,880. Switzerland ranks sixth in the World Bank’s per capita income rankings. Switzerland, a truly capitalist economy, has many giant banks and multinational corporations. It also has highly developed industries in sectors like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machine parts, electronics, precision instruments, banking, tourism, etc. Dairy farming too is an age old industry in Switzerland. It has very low tax rates.

Denmark

Denmark’s per capita income is at $54,910. According to World Bank rankings, it is the world’s seventh highest PCI. Denmark has a highly industrialized economy, with robust agricultural and corporate sectors. Despite being one of the most competitive nations, the nation has a very weak financial regulatory system. Also, its labor laws are very lax and tilted heavily in favour of the employers.

Iceland

At $54,100, the per capita income of Iceland is the world’s eighth highest. Iceland has a very healthy power sector which helps it be a highly industrialized country. Apart from manufacturing, the nation is also taking big strides in the fields of software generation, biotechnology, tourism, and financial services.

Cayman Islands

The per capita income of Cayman Islands is more than $48,140 and less than $54,100, as per World Bank figures. It has the 11th highest PCI in the world. At number 9 is Channel Islands and in the 10th spot is Andorra. The Cayman Islands are situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is a major financial centre and also one of the world’s best known tax havens. The nation’s economic mainstays are tourism and financial services.

Ireland

The Irish have a per capita income of $48,140, ranking them twelfth in the world. Ireland too has made rapid strides in the field of information technology. Construction, apart from agriculture, too is an important part of the Irish economy.