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How CEOs plan to ring in the New Year

By Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai
December 30, 2004 09:25 IST
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This Friday night will see a string of business tycoons letting down their hair and boogie into the wee hours of the first day of the new year.

As usual, liquor baron Vijay Mallya's party tops the list. To be hosted at the Kingfisher Villa in Goa, the bash will be attended by the who's-who of the corporate and entertainment world.

Mallya, in his element after the recent strategic alliance with Scottish & NewCastle in his beer business, said: "2004 has been a good year. The United Breweries stock skyrocketed from Rs 108 to Rs 575. I am looking forward for the launch of Kingfisher Airlines in 2005."

Goa has always been the happening place for party animals. Chairman of Leela group of hotels Krishnan Nair will celebrate the new year eve at his property -- The Leela Goa. Gautam Singhania has, however, chosen to stay put in Mumbai for his new year party.

Singhania, chairman and managing director of Raymond, said: "Year 2005 would see us realising our vision of becoming a global player in our area of core competence. We have already established ourselves in the fabric segment and now we want to be a dominant player in the apparel sector as well. The coming year is going to be a milestone year for us at Raymond."

Mumbai will also be the party destination for versatile south Indian actor Kamal Hassan, musician duo Leslie Louis and Hari Haran -- better known as the Colonial Cousins -- and model-cum-fashion choreographer Marc Robinson and his wife Waluscha who will attend the much advertised 'To Celebrate New Year's Eve', (modelled on New York's Central Park) at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt.

A few others, however, prefer to usher in the new year quietly. For Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of the Rs 4,000 crore Videocon group and his family, the new year eve will be spent under the blessings of Lord Balaji at Tirupati.

His target for the New Year? "We want to emerge as the largest TV glass producer in the world in 2005, from the current second ranking," said Dhoot.

Amar K Deb, head honcho of Channel [V], prefers a new year of serenity with a few close friends, pitched tents, campfire and all that to go with it. That's how he has been celebrating his new year over the last couple of years.

Be it in the hills, forests or beaches -- he can go anywhere to get away from the madding crowd. Destination this year is undisclosed as he does not want others to follow him.

For Rana Kapoor, managing director of Yes Bank, 2004, has been a challenging year which saw the fruition of his dream project of setting up a commercial bank.

"A lot of hard work gone into setting up the bank and family responsibilities took a back-seat. I am taking a couple of days off to make up to my family for all the lost time. I will spend the New Year eve with my family. My two daughters are back in India for the new year celebrations," said an excited Kapoor.
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Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai
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