India’s red-ant chutney makes it to celeb-chef Gordon Ramsay’s new menu

first_imgTwo famous tribal food items from Bastar in Indian state Chhattisgarh – namely Chapda chutney and Dona Pudga – have made it to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s menu.. Apparently the British cook loved them so much during his trip to India that he decided to bring them home, reports Business Standard.For the uninitiated, chapda chutney is chutney made out of red ants, considered not only healthy but also good for keeping diseases at bay. The other dish, Dona Pudga, is a dish that has chicken seasoned with basic spices, wrapped in a leaf and roasted over fire. No oil is used in the cooking.Read it at Tribune Related Itemslast_img

In High Spirits

first_img“Sita promises the river Ganga a thousand jars of wine if her exiled party were to return home safe. After they do so, Rama feeds her with his own hands with maireya, a spiced wine,” writes K.T. Achaya in Indian Food – A Historical Companion. Alpana Singh became the youngest Master Sommelier in the world at age 26. “I never thought I would end up in this profession” “Meanwhile the happy public in the city outside indulge in drunken orgies, and even the atmosphere of Ayodhya reeked of wine. In the Mahabharata, Krishna enjoys drinking freely with Arjuna and the Yadavas are finally killed in a drunken brawl.”You may find it hard to believe that in the straitlaced Indian culture even the gods were reputed to imbibe wine, but you need only glance at the sculptures on the walls of the Krishna temples in Mathura, the Sanchi Stupa or the Chalukyan temples in South India to see the drinking scenes of daily ancient Indian life. The Kamasutra, as well as Kalidasa’s plays, all evoke wine and Sanskrit literature describes the feisty taverns of Mauryan times where customers drank fermented and alcoholic drinks throughout the day and well into the night, eating salt to encourage their thirst.Indeed, long before there were wineries in Bordeaux, or the Napa or Sonoma Valley, Indians were into wine, big time! Sanskrit literature relates tales of Kapisayani, wine made from white grapes, imported from Kapisis, Afghanistan and Harahuraka, which is wine made from black grapes imported from Harahur, Afghanistan. The Vedas described intoxicating drinks distilled from fermented mahua and Kadamba flowers, dates or mangoes, and even now Madhira, the Sanskrit word for wine, is still used in our Hindi poems and Bollywood lyrics and, of course, shairis and ghazals, love poems from the Muslim ethos, have enough wine in them to cause a flood!Given everything else Indian Americans are into in this country, it was inevitable, that a few would venture into Sonoma and Napa Valleys, America’s wine country. When you drink fine wine in upscale restaurants in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco or New York, it may well be a bottle from an Indian American owned vineyard!So, how about a bottle of wine? Or better still, how about 1.5 million bottles of wine? Madaiah Revana: ” I wanted to make the best wine – not just the best Californian wine” The lush vineyards stretch over 650 acres in California’s verdant Napa Valley. Calvin Sidhu, real name Kulwinder, is just 37, but he’s certainly seen his share of the grape. He is chief executive officer of the well-reputed Freemark Abbey Winery, where his brother Dev, real name Devendra, is chief operation officer of this, one of the oldest wineries in California. Ever year, more than 125,000 cases of premium wine pass through their hands – just as basmati rice passed through the hands of their ancestors in the villages of the Punjab.“My father’s family had farms in the Punjab for 400 years. They grew wheat and rice,” says Calvin Sidhu. Their father left the village life for Canada in 1952, getting into commodities trading, mostly grain and lumber, things that kept him close to his agricultural roots. “It was our Punjabi blood, I guess,” Sidhu adds.The family moved to California when the boys were in their teens and they grew up in San Francisco. Calvin went to school for a year in Italy, where he fell in love with wine. Both he and Dev were fascinated with the wine culture from a consumer standpoint and it was only later that they thought about it as a viable business. The lush vineyards of Calvin Sidhu’s Freemark Abbey Winery stretch over 650 acres in California’s verdant Napa Valley “My family’s business was commodities trading and we didn’t want to do that anymore. But we fell in love with wine and at the same time we wanted to stay in business together so we started to look around and we got lucky,” says Sidhu. The brothers bought Freemark Abbey Winery in 2001 with an established history of high quality wines that had started in the year 1886. He says, “We didn’t start the wineries from scratch. We actually purchased very well established ongoing concerns. My father was very happy when he saw the vineyards, because he felt we still had something of agriculture in it.”To the well-reputed Freemark Abbey in Napa, they added two more wineries this year – Arrowwood in Sonoma and Byron in Santa Barbara, purchasing them from the Robert Mondovi Company. “These are the three best known wine areas in the U.S.,” says Sidhu. “There is some overlap, because in Arrowwood they also produce Cabernet and Chardonnay as they do in Free Mark Abbey, but they are distinct. Sonoma has its own flavor profile and Napa has its own. Byron is just pinot noir and chardonnay.”The brothers continue the tradition of crafting world-renowned wines as well as high quality, small lot production wines in the Napa Valley. Freemark Abbey currently crafts some 40,000 cases of wine each year, producing three Cabernets, a Napa Valley Cabernet, and the vineyard designated Bosche and Sycamore Cabernets. The winery also produces Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling, as well as very limited production wines, such as Viognier, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc. Depending on the climate and harvesting conditions, the winery also makes a luscious late harvest Riesling, known as Edelwein Gold. Rajat Parr is one of the leading celebrity sommeliers in United states: “It’s not just a job. It’s more of a passion, more of a lifestyle.”The wineries employ a staff of 82 people and offer wine tastings and excursions as well as a wine club with nearly 5,600 members, to whom wine is shipped directly at a discount and occasionally exclusive wines not available elsewhere.As CEO of the company, Sidhu is more involved with the marketing and sales, traveling constantly, while Dev as COO, handles the day to day running of the business. Says Calvin Sidhu, “We make a lot of different varietals, but at Freemark we are known for our cabernet sauvignons. At Byron we are known for our Pinot Noirs and at Arrowwood both our reds and our whites are world class.” They sell to many restaurants across the country, including Spark’s Steakhouse and Delfresco in New York.What are the special challenges of the business? Sidhu says, “In our industry one of the challenges is consolidating business. A lot of the big guys are getting really, really big. We only concentrate on the very high end market so we would like to build our business and acquire other high end brands.” With an eye on their own young children, the brothers have named their business The Legacy Estate Group, hoping that the vineyards, with their hallowed past, will be something the children will take into the future. Calvin says, “It’s a wonderful family business.”What do their relatives back in the village think about their wineries? He says, “They are very proud, but they are somewhat bewildered at the prices of wine in the States. Some of our wines sell for $20 a bottle and that translated into rupees is a little overwhelming!” Ask Sidhu about the most rewarding thing about his business and he responds: “Going into a restaurant and seeing your wine on the wine list.” Karan F Billimoria, an Indian entrpeneur, in search of the perfect wine to go woth Indian food, scouted the vineyards of France, South Africa and Spain to  create General Billimoria Wines. Close to Freemark Abbey is Revana Family Vineyard, a vineyard and winery estate with a singular focus of producing world class Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard, owned by a Houston cardiologist, Dr. Madaiah Revana, won awards and acclaim with its very first effort, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was awarded 91 points by Wine Spectator and this commendation: “Rich, intense and sharply focused, offering complex flavors of roasted coffee, grain, currant and black cherry and finishing with a mix of ripe fruit and pretty vanilla oak. Drink now through 2013.”How did Revana, a medicine man, end up imbibing the grape? “It’s a passion actually. I started collecting fine wine about 15 years ago. I never thought I’d actually have a winery or a wine business,” he says.A busy cardiologist, his relaxation was going to wine tastings and seminars, where he made friends in the wine world. He accompanied a friend to Tuscany where the man’s best friend owned a winery in Chianti. Recalls Revana, “We stayed on the property and I just fell in love with it. It was so beautiful. I thought I should maybe get a property and have a small vineyard here. That’s how it all started, but I decided against this because of the distance.”When a meeting took him to Napa Valley in California, Revana met with realtors in the St. Helena area and looked for a small property there. He recalls, “I was just looking for land. I didn’t know anything about the business and I thought I’d better start from scratch – that way I would be able to ensure quality.” Raju Mirchandani’s wine bar La BateauIvre, which means “Drunken Boat in French,” serves different 300 wines by the glass.He bought ten acres of prime land, with a house, an open courtyard and olive trees – a little bit of Tuscany in the Napa Valley. The area was already known for producing some of Napa Valley’s most prodigious Cabernet Sauvignons and the gravelly soils, sloped pitch and excellent exposures of the property seemed perfect for growing grapes. Studies of the soil composition confirmed that it was an ideal location for premium Bordeaux varieties.After purchasing the property, Revana focused on assembling an expert team to create premium Cabernet Sauvignons: winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett, who is widely considered one of California’s great winemakers, and Jim Barbour as vineyard manager. Says Revana: “I wanted to make the best wine – not just the best Californian wine – that was my intention. We did everything from the beginning to ensure high premium wine.”Revana has invested heavily in the talent to produce top wines. Revana Family Vineyard 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Santé 2004 Gold Star Award, an elite designation granted to food, wine, and spirits products of exceptional quality. The Colorado Wine News Review noted: “The wine is elegantly styled with great acidity, balance, structure, and integration. Still tight and needs another three years in the bottle to show at its best. Excellent.”Yes, the uninitiated may think a wine is just a wine, but to people in the know it is as remarkable as a great novel or a poem, orchestrated carefully with soil, climate, fermentation, barrel aging and blending. It’s all about patience and love’s labor. After 18 months in barrel and an additional twelve months in bottle, the inaugural, limited bottling of 2001 Revana Family Cabernet was released in early fall of 2004.Dan Dawson of Backroom Wines observed, “With the resources to plant the best, hire the best, build the best, and make the best, Revana’s ability to sell was without question.” The winery also has a mail order division and wines are also sold at fine stores and at major restaurants like French Laundry in San Francisco and The Tribeca Grill in New York. These are fine wines that retail for $90 a bottle. Revana Family Winery produces just 2,000 cases a year, and sometimes less, depending on the yield.Revana, who hails from Bangalore, studied at the Mysore Medical College before coming to the United States some 30 years ago. He did his cardiology training at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas and is now in private practice in Houston. His winery may be in the Napa Valley, and he physically in Houston, but his passion keeps him connected: “I am pretty much hooked. I speak to my staff everyday, make a lot of decisions and visit it every month.”So does it make money or is it just for pleasure? “It will never be a huge money making venture. It might make a little bit of profit eventually,” says Revana. “But it gives me a lot of pleasure. I just want to concentrate and make the best wine.” It’s a break from his medical work, he says, and something to look forward to. In the future, when he is no longer practicing medicine, he hopes to be involved much more with the winery.What does he feel when he goes to a restaurant, and sees ‘Revana Family Vineyards’ on the label of a bottle? He laughs, “I can’t believe it! I feel very fortunate that I have something like this. Lots of people enjoy it and it gives a lot of pleasure to people – and that’s very satisfying.”From California, move to London. Karan F. Bilimoria, an entrepreneur of Indian origin, who, in his search for the perfect wine to go with Indian food, has scouted the vineyards of France, South Africa and Spain and created General Bilimoria wines, a division of Cobra Beer Inc. Bilimoria, a law graduate of Cambridge University and a chartered accountant with Ernst and Young, became obsessed with creating the perfect beer to go with Indian food in 1989. The result was Cobra Beer and in a country mad about Indian food and beer, the brand really caught on. Today the company is worth 80 million pounds at retail and sells a ton of beer. As Cobra CEO, Bilimoria has won many awards, including Business Person of the Year 2004 by the London Business Awards.He next turned his attention to wine and once again looked for the perfect fit with spicy Indian food. The result was a range of French, Spanish and South African wines under the General Bilimoria label, named after Karan’s father, Lt. General F. N. Bilimoria, who was quite a beer and wine connoisseur. The company has launched a reasonably priced range of South African, French and Spanish wines in the U.S. market, exposing wine drinkers to lesser-known varietals: The South African range captures the best the region has to offer from a crisp Colombard-Chardonnay to a fruity Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, the most planted grape in the area. The French vintage encompasses Terret Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah Grenache, while the recently added Spanish range cultivated along Valencia’s Mediterranean coastline includes Tempranillo and a Dry Muscat.“We are selling to hundreds of restaurants in London, including the two Indian restaurants which have Michelin stars, Zaika and Tamarind,” says Honshang Chenoy, vice president of marketing for Cobra Beer and General Bilimoria wines in New York. “These wines were paired to go specifically with Indian food. They are very easy drinking and smooth so they don’t clash with the food, they complement it.” General Billy, as the wines are affectionately known, sell over 350,000 bottles a year.As Chenoy points out, England has over 8,000 Indian restaurants. In America their reach in the Indian restaurant market is a lot lower, so they have broad streamed in America with their wines selling at Fresh Direct and Best Sellers chain of wine stores, and are served at several mainstream restaurants too.The potential for wine both for the domestic and the overseas market is not lost in India. Indeed, Kashmir and Maharashtra were populated with vineyards right up to the British days when the phylloxera pest destroyed crops. Wine was not a priority in the intoxicating days of independence for a newly born nation and for many years one heard little about Indian wines, nor was the country a big consumer. Now things are changing with enterprising vintners emerging, and a wine nascent culture developing in India with thousands of potential customers.Yes, wine is set to become big business in India and the grapevine connections go all the way to the United Kingdom and the United States“Today noses might wrinkle at the thought of an Indian sauvignon blanc or cabernet but tomorrow India’s winemakers hope it will be as acceptable as a Chilean merlot or an Argentinian shiraz,” wrote Peter Foster in the Daily Telegraph. “Wine has been produced in India for centuries but with help from French and Australian experts India’s wine industry is now seeking international acceptance.” The three main wine producers in India are Grover Vineyards, Chateau Indage and Sula Vineyards, and they are all exporting Indian made wines to the rest of the world. Sula was created by a returning NRI – Rajeev Samant. In 1990, after completing an undergraduate degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University, Samant joined the hi-tech world. He became one of the youngest managers in the finance division at the headquarters of one the world’s largest software companies, Oracle in San Francisco.And then he decided to leave it all and plant alphonso mangoes in the family owned land in Nasik! Situated 120 miles from Bombay and 2,000 feet above sea level, Nasik is India’s biggest grape-growing region. Samant found it strange that no wine grapes were grown there at the time. After a little study he was convinced that the Nasik climate was perfect for wine grapes, at par with winegrowing regions in Spain, California and Australia.He headed back to California, back to Sonoma County and there he met Kerry Damskey, who is one of the region’s noted winemakers. The two experimented with planting Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, both varieties that had never been planted in India before. The Sauvignon Blanc cuttings were flown in from France, the Chenin from California, and these were the first two varieties to be planted at Sula Vineyards, in early 1997. Samant and Damskey also created state-of-the-art 670,000-liter winery facilities that have all stainless steel tanks with chilling jackets, perfect for sub-tropical winemaking. With over 250 acres planted with wine grapes, Sula still remains the pioneer of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Blush Zinfandel in India. Sula sells in Indian wine shops and restaurants, and also in Lavinia, France’s largest wine shop. Samant is also exporting Sula not only to Europe but also to the United States, so his excellent wine adventure has really come full circle.Indian Americans are not just into producing wine from Nasik to Napa Valley, however. They are also interpreting and serving it – as sommeliers. This fancy sounding name merely means the keeper of the wines, the one who knows everything about the soul of a wine, what wine goes with what food and what wine a customer really wants, even though he may not.The job, however, is far from simple. The sommelier must not only know everything from grape to vintage, but also just about all there’s to know about the history of the wines even if there are thousands of wines in his inventory.One of the leading celebrity sommeliers in the United States is Rajat Parr, wine director of the noted Mina group of restaurants. He is responsible for developing and managing the wine programs at each of their restaurants: Arcadia at the San Jose Marriot, Nobhill and Seablue at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the most recently opened, Michael Mina at the Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, where he is sommelier. Three other restaurants are slated to open next year. As wine director, Parr structures the wine list in all the restaurants, makes the big volume decision and heads the sommeliers at all the restaurants.Michael Bauer, restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle raved about Parr’s wine list at Michael Mina: “I can’t think of a list that’s more distinctive or exciting. The 1,500 selections crafted by wine director Rajat Parr are perfectly tailored to the complex combinations served at the restaurant.” Parr was the sommelier-recipient of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award in 2001 and has acquired his immense wine knowledge through experience. He began his career as an apprentice to the acclaimed Master Sommelier Larry Stone at the Rubicon, where he developed an expertise in wines from around the world. He recalls, “He’s a wine guru and the greatest sommelier in America. He’s the only one who’s a master sommelier and has the French master’s diploma – no one else has that in the world. He’s an incredible teacher. He’s a very hard person to work for, but he’s a very great teacher. I worked with him for three years and he’s still a mentor of mine.”Earlier wine director of Aqua Development Corporation, where he oversaw wine lists for seven restaurants, including Aqua in San Francisco, Parr also been the sommelier at Fifth Floor in San Francisco, which quickly received rave reviews and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator two years after opening. So how did this Calcutta boy land up in the fine restaurants of the world, telling people what they should drink?“It just happened,” he says. “I happened to be in culinary school and I fell in love with wine. I was planning to be a chef, but by the end of it all I knew I wanted to be in the wine business.”After earning a bachelors degree from the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, he entered the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. An internship at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore gave him the opportunity to work with such renowned guest chefs as Alain Ducasse and Jean-Louis Palladin. Parr, 32, is a much sought after speaker at wine seminars and tastings at prestigious food and wine events.“The wine list in San Francisco Michael Mina is very comprehensive – it has 2,200 wines – it’s very deep in Burgundy and is almost 70 percent French wines,” says Parr. It just won the Wine Spectator award last month in the very first year of operation and that rarely happens.What is the challenge of being a sommelier? He says, “The hardest part is to understand people and to follow what they want. You have to judge what they really want. You’re pretty much on your feet and you’re up till about 1 am. It’s a fun job, but it’s for people who are passionate about wine. : It’s not just a job – it’s more of a passion, more of a lifestyle. You can’t just be a sommelier for so many hours and say the rest of the time I’m going to be normal. It pretty much takes over everything you do.”One Indian woman who has really made a big splash in the world of wine is Alpana Singh: by the age of 21, she had passed the advanced sommelier exam and by 26 she had become the youngest Master Sommelier in the world, one of only 14 women to achieve this title. She is the sommelier at Everest, a renowned restaurant in Chicago, presiding over a cache of 1,500 wines.Singh, who grew up in Monterey, Calif., says: “I never thought I would end up in this profession. My parents both worked in the restaurant industry so working in a restaurant is very comfortable for me. I just never knew you could have a professional career working in wine.”As Singh recalls, she was barely of legal age to drink when she first got into wine. She started out waiting tables at a bistro, and one of the requirements was to know something about wine. She decided to pursue a wine education and went on to study for the rigorous Master Sommelier test, which is administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international examining body for wine and beverage service in Devon, England.The goal of this exam is to turn out people with outstanding tasting and evaluation skills, wine knowledge and impeccable abilities in service and beverage department management. There are introductory, advanced and master exams, and the exam for master sommelier is not an easy one to pass. In fact the only 3 percent of those who sit in the exam pass, and there are only 104 master sommeliers in the world.“What amazed me about it was the study of the various aspects of science, history, geography and travel,” she says. “There is so much more to wine then just drinking it. You have to read and study. There’s no school you can go to; you’re on your own. You can have a mentor who’s already passed the test.”The MS exam is an intricate three-part process with several tests and a three year wine retail experience among its requirements. The tasting part is scored on the candidate’s verbal abilities in clearly and accurately describing six different wines. Inside 25 minutes, the candidate has to identify grape varieties, country of origin, district of origin and vintages of the wines tasted. She says, “Once I made the connection of the book knowledge to the flavor, wine became a definite passion for me.” She recalls, “My great grand-parents are from India and they were brought to Fiji by the British who owned Fiji as a colony. They were indentured servants and cut sugar cane and harvested rice on British plantations. They decided to stay in Fiji rather than returning to India therefore my grandparents and parents were born in Fiji. After emancipation the political climate was in turmoil so my parents thought it would be for our best future if they moved to the United States.”Indian parents generally have their hearts set on producing doctors and engineers so did her parents give her a hard time on her unusual choice of career? She says, “My parents did not have a choice as far as what I wanted to do. They respected my judgment and supported my passion. I think more Indian parents should be as encouraging rather than trying to box their children into a career path that they have chosen for them. I could have been a doctor, but that would not have made me happy. I think all parents want what is best for their children and my parents realized that a career in wine was going to make me happiest and most successful. So far I have not proven them wrong.”She might not have an MD after her name but she does have MS – Master Sommelier!Everest, a renowned four-star restaurant atop the Chicago Stock Exchange, where Alpana is sommelier has received several awards, including the Five-Diamond Award from AAA, and top ratings from the Zagat Survey and Maitre Cuisiniers de France. She met its famed chef Jean Joho at a wine and food event who invited her to interview for the position in 2000. The restaurant’s $1 million, award winning wine inventory boasts the largest selection of Alsace wines outside of Alsace, and includes a rare wine, the 1982 Petrus Bourdeux, a bottle of which goes for $2,800.Yet ask her which wine is the jewel in the Everest crown, and she says: “All of our wines are the crown jewels. We have no favorites. If the wine weren’t good it wouldn’t make it to the wine list. So they are in essence all my favorites.” She suggests the Alsace Pinot Gris with pate, the Rieslings with cream sauces and the Cabernet Sauvignons from California with the heavier meat items. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to an open bottle of wine when wine is ordered by the glass in a fine restaurant, Singh gives you the inside story: “Usually we will pour the entire bottle during a night’s service. All left over wine goes to the kitchen for use in cooking. We begin each day with fresh bottles of wine.”Are cheap wines always bad or can one find reasonably priced wines that can enhance a meal? What would she recommend? She says, “There are many great values out there. You just may have to go outside of the box to get them. Try wines from Spain, Argentina or Australia for good bargains.” Singh has never visited India, but would like to some day. The country’s emerging vineyards will certainly be virgin territory for her to explore. The young wine connoisseur has traveled extensively and does see a difference in people’s attitude toward wine in different countries: “The younger generation is definitely more into wine than older generations. In Europe wine is viewed as a food item meant to be enjoyed in moderation on a daily basis as part of a healthy diet. In the U.S., we are slowly beginning to adopt this attitude.”Wine continues to be her big passion, both inside and outside the restaurant. She is in demand as a speaker and also teaches a class at Just Grapes, besides hosting the Emmy award-winning dining show “Check, Please!” on Chicago’s local public broadcasting station. She says, “I enjoy helping viewers learn about restaurants and neighborhoods they normally would not have tried.” She is currently working on a charity project for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and adds: ” I’m sure wine will always be a part of my life.”Raju Mirchandani is another Indian whose passion for wine has taken him into an entirely different world – the world of wine bistros and cigar bars. Mirchandani understood the pleasure and intimacy of wine and cigar bars and opened his first whiskey and cigar bar in 1991, called Hudson Bar and Books. The concept was so popular that in 1998 he opened the Lexington Bar and Books. Mirchandani calls them the world’s most refreshingly civilized places to meet, and they’ve certainly proved popular. He’s opened Tynska Bar and Books in Prague and is currently in Budapest opening the Rosetti Bar and Books. He has plans to add Bar and Books in Berlin, Warsaw and New Delhi.In 1999 Mirchandani brought the French bistro concept to New York when he opened Le Bateau Ivre, which means “Drunken Boat” after a poem by 19th century Frenchman Arthur Rimbaud. It offers French wines by the glass along with raw and grilled seafoods, served in true bistro style from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. It’s a place to have a real French breakfast, lunch or dinner with a glass of wine fine. It offers Burgundies, Bordeaux, and Beaujolais, and has received strong reviews in The New Yorker, New York and Time Out. It serves 300 wines by the glass and features representation of every winemaking region in France. Says Arun Mirchandani, managing partner of the Bar & Books, about Le Bateau Ivre, “It’s a popular theme. It was created out of the visible void in the market and no one had conceptualized and capitalized on this in the past. In New York there isn’t any other restaurant devoted completely to French wines in the classic bistro setting.”Arun, who is Raju’s nephew, says of the Bar and Books in Manhattan, which focus not so much on wine as on whiskey and are two of the premier smoking lounges out of just six in the entire city: “We have a well balanced wine menu, but the primary focus is on whiskey of which we carry 125 different kinds of whiskey from all over the world, and premium cigars.” Do Indian-Americans frequent the bars? He says: “There is a well-represented Indian clientele that visits our establishments – young, successful professionals.”Indeed, as more and more young Indian Americans come of age – drinking age actually – some are bound to be fascinated by the encyclopedic number of wines available in the country, for America is indeed a melting pot of fine wines from all parts of the globe. Each immigrant brings from his country of origin his own native favorite – be it from Portugal, Argentina, Brazil or Australia – and the varieties are just mind-boggling.And in this kingdom of entrepreneurship where the improbable becomes probable, America offers a huge array of careers in the wine industry; as time passes we are bound to see not only sommeliers and winery owners, but also winemakers, distributors and vineyard managers of Indian descent. So big bucks and big satisfaction don’t lie just in IT, engineering or medicine – the impetus for a whole new lifestyle can be in your next sip of fine wine. We’ll drink to that!   Related Itemslast_img read more

Wal-Mart Enters India

first_img“He doesn’t realize it, but I know everything about him,” says Indian retail magnate Kishore Biyani about a young man sitting with him in a Mumbai hotel meeting room in early December. “I see that he is wearing Colour Plus trousers. I know his waist size … I know everything about him. We are a company of observers, and everybody is trained to observe customers,” says Biyani, who is CEO of the Future Group and managing director of its flagship Pantaloon retail chain that last year had revenues of $450 million and expects to become a $1 billion company by mid 2007. Biyani often spends Sundays hanging about unobtrusively and watching shoppers at his company’s 200 clothing stores in 32 Indian cities. The home-grown retailer’s obsession for observing the average Indian consumer also at public places like temples and movie halls underscores what could be Wal-Mart’s biggest challenge as it sets up shop in India in partnership with Bharti, a leading telecom services provider.“India is a very diverse country – we have 6,000 castes and sub-castes in 28 states, and every community has its own tastes; every state has its own nuances,” says Biyani. “To manage the diversity and the heterogeneity will be one of the biggest challenges for anybody who comes to this market.”Enigmatic India and its challenges in transportation, warehousing and distribution infrastructure haven’t deterred the world’s biggest organized retailers that have lobbied – unsuccessfully so far – with the Indian government to permit foreign direct investment in the retail industry. Wal-Mart battled stiff opposition from Indian retail chains and found an open backdoor, forming a joint venture with Bharti to supply back-end supply chain technology and related processes; Bharti will handle the front-end of owning and running the stores, which are likely to be co-branded. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but media reports put Wal-Mart’s proposed investment in the venture at $100 million initially, rising to $450 million in a few years.Cash and CarryWaiting in the wings and actively negotiating with several Indian companies as potential partners are Tesco of the U.K. and Carrefour of France. Some, like Germany’s Metro and South Africa’s Shoprite, have already entered India with a cash-and-carry business that supplies only retailers, restaurants and business houses where the Indian government permits FDI. Wal-Mart is also entering the cash-and-carry business, with Bharti supplying Wal-Mart’s stores in India. Moreover, many large Indian companies – including Reliance Industries, the Aditya Birla group, and other regional firms – have recently announced ambitious plans in retailing. India’s retail industry is one of its fastest growing (with a 5% compounded annual growth rate) and has $320 billion in annual revenues this year, according to a report titled, “Retail in India: Getting Organized to Drive Growth,” released recently by consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Never mind that Wal-Mart’s $315.6 billion in global sales last year is about the size of the entire Indian retail industry. “Rising incomes and increased consumerism in urban areas along with an upswing in rural consumption will further fuel this growth to around 7%-8%,” the authors say, pegging India’s consumer class with rising disposable income at 400 million people.But now that Wal-Mart plans to enter India, attention is focused on the retail giant’s India strategy. Wharton professor of marketing Jagmohan Raju says one big challenge Wal-Mart will face in India has to do with how it is perceived by consumers. “In the U.S., when you think of a big warehouse store, you think of lower prices, and small, boutique stores have higher prices,” he says. “In India, the perception is exactly the opposite – the bigger store has higher prices; smaller shops can offer lower prices because their overheads are lower. How will Wal-Mart’s positioning of lower prices carry forward in a mindset where customer perceptions of big versus small are so different?”Consumer Behavior David Bell, Wharton professor of marketing, says Wal-Mart’s business model is founded on “everyday low prices for consumers and squeezing costs out of the system, and customer service with friendly people who greet you.” But those, he argues, do not guarantee shopper traffic, as consumer behavior is dramatically different across global markets. Coca-Cola might adjust to people’s preferences in different markets by making its drink sweeter or more effervescent. Or McDonalds could allow people to consume alcohol at its restaurants in France and make hamburgers with rice patties in Japan. “But there’s considerably more variation in the way people shop for products than their underlying preference for the products themselves,” Bell says. “This is what makes it more difficult – not just for Wal-Mart in particular, but for any retailer – to be truly global.”Changes in consumer preferences that Wal-Mart will encounter have to do with simple things like how often people like to go to a store or what motivates them to choose one store over another. “In local markets, you have dynamics of retail competition, variations in the frequency with which people like to shop, variation in the kind of products that drive people to the store, variation in the importance of the retail assortment.”It is too early to tell if some of the controversies Wal-Mart has faced in the U.S. will crop up in India, too. “In the U.S., a number of small towns did not like Wal-Mart for a couple of different reasons,” says Bell. “One is purely aesthetic – these big boxes look pretty ugly – and the practice of having huge buying power can be detrimental to the local economy – people who try and compete on price. Thirdly, they are criticized for their employment practices, such as their benefits, and ethnic and gender discrimination in hiring.”Wal-Mart’s most immediate challenge could be finding real estate at preferred locations and financing it at the prevailing prices. Biyani says his group bought most of its real estate long before the current price boom. “If we were to do business at today’s rates, we’d have to shut down,” he says.“The Wal-Mart model is very real estate hungry,” says Raju. “They need a lot of real estate, close to where people live, and have easy access to them. The Wal-Mart model also relies on the fact that everything is on display, which requires lots of space.” Raju notes that if, as many industry watchers expect, Wal-Mart sets up its stores on the outskirts of urban centers, other challenges could emerge. “If you are going to travel by train, you’ll have to carry your purchases in a bag, and then you’ll buy less,” he says. “If you drive your car there and load it up, Wal-Mart should have a place to park all those cars.” Some industry experts have argued that the typical Indian consumer does not travel more than 6 km (3.75 miles) or 7 km to shop, and that few suburbanites own cars.Raju says he expects Wal-Mart to adopt a blended model of its traditional format tweaked to fit the reality of Indian real estate. “It would be stores where you have all the products on display, but you don’t pick it up and put it in your cart yourself.” This would involve something like a handheld computerized device, he says, into which customers enter information about the products they want to buy. They would then collect their purchases at a checkout point at street level and drive away, or have them delivered to their homes.More blending might be on the way, especially in cultural nuances. Wal-Mart’s recent debacles in Germany and Korea, where it sold out to local retail players and exited, could be wake-up calls. In Germany, Wal-Mart’s low price strategy failed to win it a distinctive market position simply because two other well-entrenched retailers – Aldi and Lidl – have been following that strategy for years, says Bell. He notes that Wal-Mart was also faulted for relying too heavily on a U.S.-driven view of how Germans shop, made worse by populating its top management in the country with U.S. expatriate executives, many of whom couldn’t speak German. Thirdly, the Wal-Mart strategy of a price-service combination with friendly greeters and so forth backfired. “Culturally, greetings and friendliness in stores are viewed by the Germans with a lot of suspicion,” says Bell.Rites of PassageWal-Mart also had some lessons to learn in South America a couple of years ago, when it discovered that the design and layout of its stores did not match shopper preferences. “In South America, shopping for some families is a social or an entertainment-driven event,” says Bell. “You have the whole family or the extended family shopping together, so you need much wider aisles.” That, he says, is unlike what Wal-Mart is used to in the U.S., where a single person typically shops for the entire household, while other family members are looking after the children or at work. “It seems like a fundamental thing, but you could never predict that coming from the outside unless you have a local partner.”Chastened by these experiences, Wal-Mart may not face the same problems in India. Bharti, its local partner, is a leader in the mobile phone services industry and must have deep insights into Indian consumer behavior patterns. Even so, there could be surprises, as Biyani’s Big Bazaar store chain learned the hard way a couple of years ago. The chain had bought 100,000 white cotton shirts, expecting good demand. But sales were slow, and promotional campaigns fell flat. It soon figured out why: The demographic profile of Big Bazaar’s middle-class shoppers meant people who commute in crowded trains and buses and not in air-conditioned cars. For them, white shirts are high-maintenance hassles, needing frequent laundering. The group eventually liquidated its unsold inventory of white shirts through heavily discounted sales. Wal-Mart’s legendary success at procuring its supplies at extremely competitive prices has no doubt pleased its customers to whom those savings are passed on, but critics have accused it of compelling its suppliers to survive on very thin margins. Here, Biyani says he works differently. “We are not like Wal-Mart; we believe in a situation of win, win and win,” he says. “The supplier should win, we should win and the customer should win. In Wal-Mart’s strategy, and maybe that of other international retailers, the company wins and the customer wins. Somebody has to lose for those two to win.” Future Capital Holdings, a Biyani-run private equity firm, last month raised $830 million that it has begun investing as vendor financing in manufacturers of foods, garments and fashion jewelry, among others. Products of these companies get captive shelf space at the Future Group stores.Raju says existing national brands will need to plan their response to Wal-Mart very carefully to ensure that while they get to supply the retail giant, they also don’t alienate their smaller store buyers. “They are used to it in the U.S.,” he says. “Right now, Hindustan Lever deals with a lot of small stores. Tomorrow they will be dealing with large buyers like a Wal-Mart or Reliance Retail, so the relative power structure of buyers and who is supplying will change. This is a challenge they have faced in developed markets where they deal with the Tescos and Safeways.” He expects the national brands in India, such as Hindustan Lever and Procter & Gamble, to figure out ways to help small stores with specially tailored services “to ensure they also thrive and do well.”Raju sees bigger benefits flowing to other players in the retail supply chain, such as farmers. “Companies like Wal-Mart coming to India, I hope, will help farmers because there will be fewer players in the chain,” he says. “Farmers could form cooperatives to supply directly to Wal-Mart rather than have to deal with multiple intermediaries.”Party SpoilersIndia’s retail promise must seem tempting, but that outlook “is tempered by the fact that the country is grappling with severe infrastructure and policy issues,” says the CII in the report it produced with A. T. Kearney. “Cold chains [distribution chains for perishable items], warehousing and logistics infrastructure will fast become unmanageable challenges for India if proactive action is not taken.” It points to policy regimes that vary across states, “inadequate quality control and the lack of a skilled workforce.”Biyani doesn’t buy all that, arguing that “India is a nation of dukaandars (shopkeepers) and that enough retail talent is available. He also dismisses concerns about distribution and logistics infrastructure with a simple, rhetorical question: “Have you [in the recent past] faced a shortage of anything you wanted to buy?” Biyani scoffs at Wal-Mart’s logistics and supply-chain strengths. “Where will they run their Volvo trucks here?” he asks, adding in a lighter vein, “They will probably have to have bullock carts and handcarts in their supply chain.”Raju points out that Wal-Mart’s efficiencies stem from the scale of its purchases, which determines what prices it pays suppliers.“Suppliers are willing to work with them because if they don’t work with them they lose a big part of the market,” he says. The Wal-Mart buying center at its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters “is huge, and that’s why most of the companies’ vendors have their branch offices in the city where Wal-Mart’s headquarters are located,” adds Raju.Coping with OversupplyOrganized retail is just beginning in India, but plans call for some 600 malls to be built over the next decade across the country. The nascent industry in India could learn valuable lessons about what went wrong with retailers in the U.S., leading to bankruptcies, closures and sell-offs at companies like K-Mart, Caldor and Bradlees.“What went wrong [in the U.S. market] is oversupply,” says Martyn Chase, chairman of Donaldson, a London-based company that manages 350 retail malls across Europe. “One mall gets built, and somebody builds a new and bigger mall nearby, so the previous one is killed.” He doesn’t see an immediate threat of that happening in India, but says “you will get casualties in 10 years when you have too many of them.”Chase says the way to prevent hemorrhaging and consolidation in the industry is to bring regulatory oversight. “You need proper regulations governing mall locations, mall size and the like,” he says. “Before you are allowed to build a mall in the U.K., you have to demonstrate there is a need for it, by proving that there is enough demand from people who live in that area to make the mall work.”Biyani argues that the underlying dynamics of standalone retail are not attractive. (Pantaloon’s urban locations put it in a different market segment from that of the big box centers Wal-Mart might put up on city outskirts.) “In India, no retailer has made big money so far,” says Biyani. (Pantaloon’s profits last year were 3% of revenues.) “The money is in the peripheral activities; it’s never in the retail itself. It’s the power of retail that gets you the money; it’s never the transaction that gets you the money.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Youth Congress calls for dialogue to introspect defeat

first_imgAfter it’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress organisations in the State are set to introspect on what went wrong. The State unit Youth Congress has called for an open dialogue on June 3 to introspect the results. Former and curent office-bearers of the party’s student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress are among those who have been invited to voice their opinion to find out where did the party go wrong and to discuss the future strategy.“Though Lok Sabha elections results are shocking for the Congress, we humbly accept the mandate given by the nation. The Congress is going through a difficult phase and youth need to stay united in same old fighting spirit in such adverse political circumstances,” said Satyajeet Tambe-Patil, president, Maharashtra Youth Congress.Mr. Tambe-Patil said it is time for the young workers of the Congress to come together and put a formidable fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. “It is our duty to ensure that Congress comes back to power in the State and for which we have to decide the future strategy,” he said, adding that the meeting will discuss how to go forward for Assembly polls and which programs should be highlighted in front of the people.“Assembly polls are different than the Lok Sabha polls. We have invited all the workers to ensure the focus is back on party organisation and to let everyone talk as openly as possible. It will bring out some negative points which can be tackled in the course of time as well,” he said.last_img read more

M.P. returns over 25% of target under PMAY

first_imgMadhya Pradesh has surrendered more than a quarter of its allotted Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) houses for this financial year, giving up 2.32 lakh out of a total 8.32 lakh houses. This is the first time any State has done so, according to senior officials from the Union Rural Development Ministry which administers the scheme.The housing scheme aims to ensure that every rural Indian family has a pucca house with basic amenities by 2022, and expects to build a total of 2.95 crore houses by then. The nationwide target for this financial year 2019-20 is 60 lakh houses.“The State targets were determined in February 2019 and Madhya Pradesh was allotted a total of 8.32 lakh houses under the Annual Action Plan approved by the Empowered Committee. However, on July 31, we got a letter from the MP government that they wished to surrender 2.32 lakh houses this year,” a senior Rural Development Ministry official, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu. “The State indicated that it was not in a position to construct [the original target] this year.”“This is an unprecedented situation and it is not good for the State to reduce its target. At the end of the day, it delays housing for lakhs of its people,” said another senior Ministry official, who also did not wish to be identified. “It seems that the Congress government’s farm loan waiver scheme may be reducing the State’s ability to meet its share for other schemes.”Under PMAY (G), each beneficiary is given a total of ₹1.2 lakh to construct a pukka home, with a hygienic kitchen space. (The amount is ₹1.3 lakh for hilly States, difficult areas and tribal and backward districts which come under the Integrated Action Plan.) The cost is split in a 60:40 ratio between the State and Central governments in plain areas, and a 90:10 ratio in northeastern and Himalayan States. Thus, State governments must bear a share of the cost of the flagship Central scheme.In the last three financial years, Madhya Pradesh has been second only to West Bengal in the number of houses constructed under PMAY (G), completing more than 13 lakh houses since 2016, according to government data.Soon after the Union budget was presented in July, MP Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot had complained that the State’s share of tax revenue had been slashed by ₹2,700 crore, calling it a “huge loss” and a “betrayal” of the people of the State by the NDA government.When the State’s Congress government presented its own maiden budget, it increased its budgetary allocation for farmers by 145% over the previous year to ₹22,736 crore. In keeping with poll promises to implement a farm loan waiver scheme, the State’s Finance Minister said the loans of 20 lakh farmers had been waived, to the tune of ₹7,000 crore, over two months. Asn additional ₹8,000 crore was set aside for the remaining farmers, he said.The Congress government has been slow to come on board with some other flagship schemes of the Central BJP-led government. Only 9,304 of MP’s approximately 80 lakh farmers had received the first instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)scheme’s annual income support of ₹6000, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Rajya Sabha in June. With regard to the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat, on the other hand, MP has created its own version of the health insurance scheme and re-christened it as Maha Ayushman, increasing the amount of coverage and the number of beneficiaries as well.last_img read more

Retract decision to demolish Mangu Mutt: Punjab CM

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote to Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik on Saturday, urging him to retract his government’s decision to demolish the Mangu Mutt in Puri, which is associated with Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.Mr. Singh described as unfortunate the move to demolish the mutt, which has age-old significance for the Sikh community as Guru Nanak Dev visited the holy site to spread his message.‘Shocking decision’“It was shocking that while the whole world was getting ready to commemorate the 550th ‘Prakash Purb’ of the first Sikh Guru, the historically important mutt, a symbol of the connection between Sikhism and the Jagannath Temple, was sought to be demolished by the Odisha government,” said Mr. Singh in a statement.The Mutt is among many structures within 75-metre radius of the Jagannath Temple that are being demolished to ensure safety and security of the 12th century shrine, following a decision of the Odisha government led by Mr. Patnaik.Opposing the move, several organisations earlier said at least 12 major mutts and shrines associated with the Jagannath Temple are located within the 75-metre demolition radius.last_img read more

SEA Games: Coach wants to see more from Perlas

first_imgPerlas Pilipinas head coach Pat Aquino. Photo from Fiba.comKUALA LUMPUR — Perlas Pilipinas came away with an 88-54 rout of Singapore, but head coach Pat Aquino was still not happy about it.Aquino felt the Philippine women’s team needed to play with more discipline and hard work despite the team applying full-court pressure all throughout the game and converting baskets in the open floor.ADVERTISEMENT “I told them that we need to defend very well so we can execute our offense well,” Aquino said of his team’s opening day win in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games here.He singled out Afril Bernardino, the towering forward, who topscored with 16 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“She really came out to play tonight, in the Fiba-Asia she was missing but tonight she deserved being the top scorer,” added Aquino.Providing help was Janine Pontejos and Camille Sambile who had 13 and 10 points, respectively. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “We have a gruelling schedule so we need to be on our feet always,” said Aquino.Perlas plays Indonesia on Monday. Neymar slams Barca bosses after PSG home debut Read Next PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

TNT dismantles Ginebra, gets spot in top 4

first_imgRead Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PBA IMAGESTNT secured a spot in the top four after handing Barangay Ginebra its worst beating under Tim Cone, 121-92, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Glen Rice Jr. and Jayson Castro uncorked 12 3-pointers combined with the fiery import unleashing a flurry in the third quarter, where the KaTropa took the air out of the Gin Kings.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Ginebra just couldn’t figure out how to slow down not only Rice and Castro but the entire TNT side, which also has the likes of Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams stepping up.Rice exploded for 36 points on top of nine rebounds while Castro had 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field that went with four rebounds and seven assists.Justin Brownlee scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to pace the Kings, who have held the top spot early in the conference but could still fall to as low as fifth place depending on the outcome of the last day of eliminations on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT View comments “We’ve always talked about everybody pitching in for us to be successful every game. I think today players were really focused on the task and they were all ready to contribute today,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela, whose squad became the first team to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage.“It really helped us that we shot really, really well especially in the three-point area. When you shoot that way you really have a good chance winning ball games.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRice couldn’t miss in the third quarter. He hit four triples in a row in just a span of one minute and 36 seconds to stretch TNT’s lead to 20, 83-63, with 4:25 left.TNT, which rose to 8-3, shot 17-of-40 from long range, hitting 10 triples in the second half. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  PVL men’s: Ateneo wins 6th straight at expense of La Salle LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Chooks-to-Go falls to Petrochimi, faces Blatche-led China in QF

first_imgMOST READ View comments Warren unfurled 12 of his 30 points in the killer second quarter, while Sajjad Mashayekhi got 15 markers, six rebounds, and five dimes.Behnam Yakhchali also chimed in 12 markers, six boards, and three assists, while national team veteran Arsalan Kazemi contributed nine markers and 18 rebounds in the resounding win.The Scores:PETROCHIMI 87 – Warren 30, Mashayekhi 15, Yakhchali 12, Kazemi 9, Davarpanah 8, Niktash 5, Zakeri 4, Mirzaeitalarposhti 2, Sahakian 2, Bahramzad 0.CHOOKS-TO-GO PILIPINAS 66 – Austin 20, Ravena 20, Torres 9, Jero. Teng 5, Revilla 4, Manuel 3, Jeri. Teng 3, Vosotros 2, Cruz 0, Jose 0, Tamsi 0.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Isaiah Austin paced Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks, while Ravena got 20 markers, five boards, and three assists in the defeat.Norbert Torres added nine points and four rebounds for the Filipinos, who failed to sustain their hot shooting from their game against Mono Vampire last Sunday and only drilled four of their 19 shots from three this time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutChooks-to-Go lost hold of the game in the second quarter when Willie Warren anchored Petrochimi’s 27-point outburst to grab a 43-29 halftime lead that ballooned to as high as 21, 57-36, with 3:57 left in the third frame.Austin and Ravena kept the fight going for Chooks, cutting the deficit to as low as 10, 66-56, with 6:54 remaining in the game, but the Iranians answered with a 14-0 blast to regain the 24-point advantage, 80-56 with 3:36 remaining capped off by a pair of free throws from Saeid Davarpanah. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Quarters: 16-14, 43-29, 61-45, 87-66. Isaiah Austin. Photo from Fiba.comWith its Iranian foes imposing their height advantage, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas fell to Petrochimi, 87-66, Tuesday in the 2017 Fiba Champions Cup at Chenzhou Sports Center in Chenzhou, China.The Philippines dropped to 2-2 at third place in Group A, putting them in a collision course against Andray Blatche and his Chinese ballclub Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the quarterfinals on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Star ousts NLEX, enters semis Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

Warriors’ Klay Thompson ‘aspires’ to create dynasty like Michael Jordan’s Bulls

first_imgView comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next With the likes of superstars Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all in one team, it’s not hard to envision the Bay Area franchise to win its third championship in four years.In a recent interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell, the Dubs’ sweet-stroking shooting guard Thompson couldn’t help but compare his squad to perhaps the greatest dynasty the league has ever seen, the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the ’90s.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“What’s that, six championships in eight years?” he said. “So we’re, what, like only a third of the way there? I think it’s close. We still have a long way to go, but I do see the fandom, the fanfare like the Bulls had in the ’90s.The Warriors, of course, are no strangers to eclipsing the Bulls’ historic records, having topped the team’s 72-win regular season in 2016. Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson dribbles during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, California.  AP PHOTO/Marcio Jose SanchezThe seemingly overpowered roster of the Golden State Warriors is once again primed to repeat as champion in the upcoming NBA season and could very well be on its way to establishing a dynasty.READ: NBA: Warriors to repeat as champs, LeBron to win MVP, GM survey saysADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City “It was cool a couple years ago when we were chasing that 73-win season,” Thompson recalled. “Just being compared to that team is an honor. There’s definitely motivation. I would love to match up, play against Michael Jordan. That would be a dream. Obviously we don’t have a time machine, but that would be pretty special to see that. There’s definitely motivation to leave that type of legacy.”But despite their historic regular season run that year, the team failed to capture the Larry O’ Brien trophy after squandering a 3-1 series lead  against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Still, the 27-year-old dead shot believes his current team is still the closest comparison to Jordan’s Bulls team.“Every time the Bulls came to town that was the ticket of the year. Now it’s when the Warriors come to town, that’s the must-see game,” he explained. “And we don’t take that for granted; that’s such a cool position to be in. We rarely play in front of a crowd that’s not sold out. That’s so special. It’s hard to really grasp that as a player. So I think it’s close, I still think we’re not on their level yet, but that’s what we aspire to be of the 2000s. We aspire to be that dynasty that will be in the minds of NBA fans forever.”  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Rest: Frowned upon when NBA games count, not in preseason LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

Standhardinger on his one-handed freethrows: ‘I’m not very conventional’

first_imgHere’s something you don’t see everyday. @CStandhardinger shooting one-handed free throws.— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) November 9, 2017 ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:07No. 1 pick Standhardinger’s monster game further fuels SMB debut hype00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games READ: Standhardinger ‘very excited’ to play with Fajardo at SMBIn Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club’s 98-85 tuneup victory against NLEX on Thursday, the Fil-German forward unveiled a new weapon in his arsenal – a one-handed free throw.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. — Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) November 9, 2017It may look unconventional, but that’s exactly what 28-year-old bruiser is going for.“If you watch me play, I’m not very conventional you know. I’m just efficient. That’s the same thing with the free throw. It has not been working for me so good in the last two years, so I’m figuring out something unconventional,” he said.“I hope that it works better for me and I have a good feeling with it.” Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I’m working on some stuff, trying to figure some stuff out, but I’m pretty confident that I’m going in the right direction,” he said in a short chat after the game at FCL Center Gym.Standhardinger, who is set to play in the ASEAN Basketball League this month before suiting up for San Miguel in the PBA, said that he’s sticking with his unique free throw shooting style because it works for him.“It feels good and I like it,” he said. “I’m sure that I’m gonna be ready with it. Worst case scenario, I’ll be ready with it when the PBA starts, but I think I will be ready with the free throws when the ABL starts.”Here’s some proof that @CStandhardinger can make those one-handed FTs! Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddingcenter_img Court acquits Taulava of P9.5-M tax evasion charges Christian Stanhardinger during the tune up game between Hong Kong Lions and NLEX Road Warriors. Photo by Randolph LeongsonChristian Standhardinger has been playing basketball for quite sometime, but he’s not afraid to try something new.Six months away from his PBA debut, the no. 1 overall pick is working to develop his game into something unconventional.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Read Next CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Almost over in 9

first_imgThey furiously traded punches the rest of the way and when the bell sounded in the 12th, Pacquiao did a brief shadow boxing display.But the referees were unimpressed.Especially New Yorker Waleska Roldan, who scored the bout 117-111 for Horn. Fellow judges Chris Flores and Ramon Celdran handed 115-113 scores for Horn.Pacquiao’s camp, though, slammed the officials.“The referee was sketchy, the judges were crazy,” fumed Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.ADVERTISEMENT BRISBANE—Pounding and chasing Jeff Horn throughout the ring in the ninth round, Manny Pacquiao had the Australian challenger clinging for life and nearly pulled off a stoppage win on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT In fact, American referee Mark Nelson saw the heavy beating Horn had been receiving from Pacquiao and went over to chief trainer Glenn Rushton and Horn.“Show me something in this round, otherwise I will stop the fight,” Nelson blurted out. Horn heard it loud and clear and rose to the challenge.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Hey, hold your horses, we’re not that bad,” Horn said to himself. “We’ll keep going for sure.”Being at his prime at 29, Horn got his legs back in no time and surprised Pacquiao by again taking the offensive in the 10th. China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Horn answers questions about his victory over Pacquiao8.2K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Gamescenter_img Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera “Manny lost the fight, but Jeff Horn looks like a pumpkin,” Fortune added, referring to Horn who finished the fight with a badly swollen face and needing stitches over his right eye.“Those scores, that card? It should be the other way around,” said Fortune.Several celebrities on social media seemed to agree.“This is what’s wrong with boxing,” tweeted former undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. “Horn was very game but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!”American football quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers was equally forthright.“Boxing is a joke, and it proves it again tonight. Are you kidding me with those scorecards? #joke #rigged,” Rodgers said on Twitter.Baseball and NFL legend Deion Sanders said: “@mannypacquiao was robbed! I’m really upset right now. Really. This is ignorant. God bless u Manny and all u do for your country. #Truth.”Broadcaster ESPN said that Pacquiao had landed 182 punches to 92 from the challenger over the 12 rounds in front of more than 51,000 fans in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane. —WITH A REPORT FROM AFP Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ What ‘missteps’? MOST READ Jeff Horn’s vision comes to fruition with win over Pacquiao Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

Sarr makes season debut but says he’s still not 100 percent

first_imgTrump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters High-flying Hill promises more poster dunks: ‘I’m here to put on a show’ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments “I just feel like I’m not 100 percent but I’m on my way there,” said Sarr Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum after helping Adamson beat University of Santo Tomas, 88-81. “I’m trying to get back and just help the team. I think I’m just at 50 percent and I was trying to push myself just to help my team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSarr finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists in just 11 minutes of play.The Cameroonian said he felt sluggish during the game and he wasn’t as mobile as he wanted to be. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson center Papi Sarr admitted he is still not his normal self after making his debut in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday.The 6-foot-8 big man missed the Falcons’ opening game loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles due to a groin injury.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side MOST READ “I was literally heavy, I was tired. My body was so tired and so heavy that I’m hoping by next game I’ll be back to normal,” said Sarr. LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.last_img read more

Asian Games hockey: India top points-table with four wins in a row

first_imgStar drag-flicker Sandeep Singh continued his goal-scoring spree as India defeated Japan 3-2 for their fourth consecutive win and finished atop the points-table in group B of the Asian Games men’s hockey competition, in Guangzhou on Sunday.Sandeep kept a cent per cent record in penalty corners on Sunday, converting the two short corners India earned in the day with precision in the 38th and 62nd minute to see his team finish the preliminary stage on an impressive note.However, it was captain Rajpal Singh (31st minute) who drew parity for India after Japan had surged ahead with a Hiroki Sakamoto strike in the 21st minute.And then seven minutes later Sandeep converted the first of his two set pieces with a fierce drag-flick to ensure his team a 2-1 lead at the breather.Crossing over, both the teams struggled hard for goals till the 62nd minute when Sandeep once again was bang on target from India’s second penalty corner.Japan, however, pulled one back a minute later through another field strike from Sakamoto.With four wins out of as many matches, India finished on top of Group B with 12 points, while arch-rivals Pakistan finished second with nine points.India will now take on the second placed team from Group A — the winners of the match between China or Malaysia later in the day — in the semifinals on November 24 while Pakistan will be up against formidable Korea.last_img read more

Coach defends Clarke, Hughes on drinking allegations

first_imgAustralian cricket coach Tim Nielsen on Thursday defended Michael Clarke and Phillip Hughes over allegations that the pair was found drinking at a Melbourne bar well into the night on the eve of their humiliating Ashes series defeat at the MCG.Aussie players Phillip Hughes. AP”These guys are playing cricket all day, every day. And they’re never playing at home. They were out for dinner. All the information we received straight after the incident was that they were out for dinner together and nothing but polite and courteous to the people out in the the public.”They posed for photographs and signed autographs, they talked about the Test match. I can promise you they wouldn’t have been feeling great because we were under pressure in the Test and going to the fourth day looking like the Ashes were going to be lost,” Nielsen said.According to some photographs released by the media Down Under, the duo was spotted drinking at the World Restaurant Bar on the third night of the Melbourne Test, which Australia went on to lose by an innings and 157 runs to help England retain the Ashes on foreign soil for the first time in 24 years.The pictures had raised some serious questions pertaining to the professionalism and discipline of Aussie cricketers but Nielsen said the photographs of the cricketers showed the two players were well behaved and simply enjoyed drinks with dinner.”I don’t really mind what anybody says. (But) I can’t expect – I won’t expect – any of my players to sit in their hotel room for 250 nights of the year, especially if they’re having a bad day or a good day,” Nielsen was quoted as saying by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.advertisementNielsen spoke in defence of the players after a 25-year-old local woman, Emily Goodyear, had claimed that the pair drank vodka with her and and told her “it doesn’t matter that we are out, we’ve lost the match anyway.””And Philip added, ‘I’m not batting and I don’t think there’s any chance we’re going to win.’,” she added.Aussie vice captain Michael Clarke. APTest vice-captain Michael Clarke had defended himself and his team-mate Hughes by arguing that they have done nothing wrong.”There’s no doubt Phillip and I went to a restaurant bar, we had dinner there, I had two drinks and didn’t have a late night at all. We posed for a lot of photos with a lot of people, we were polite to a lot of people and there were even a few of the Barmy Army there.”I have absolutely no idea what time I got home, but I guarantee you it wasn’t late,” the 29-year-old Clarke said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Ind vs WI 2nd Test: Ishant shines as India take 34-run lead

first_imgA superb three-wicket burst by speedster Ishant Sharma, who grabbed career-best six for 55, helped India dismiss the West Indies for 190 in their first innings and put themselves into a comfortable position on the rain-affected third day of second cricket Test here. Score | PhotosIshant took the last three West Indies wickets off five balls for just one run to end the West Indian resistance in the post-lunch session to give India a slender 11-run first innings lead at Kensington Oval.India, who had scored 201 all out in their first innings, were 23 for no loss from 5.4 overs in their second innings when the stumps were drawn as only four deliveries were bowled in the final session due to rain and bad light. Tea was also taken 10 minutes earlier than scheduled due to rain.The visitors have now taken an overall 34-run lead with all their second innings wickets intact. Openers Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund will resume tomorrow on three and eight respectively.Altogether, 42 overs were played on Thursday, an improvement from the 25.3 on Wednesday.Ishant picked up the last two wickets off successive balls — Ravi Rampaul (0) and Fidel Edwards (0) — after dismissing West Indies captain Darren Sammy (15) in the earlier over towards the close of post-lunch session to keep India ahead in the Test.He added three more wickets on the third day to the three he scalped on the second day to grab his second career five-wicket haul in an innings.Playing in his 33rd match, the 22-year-old Delhi pacer completed his 100 wickets in Tests during his inspirational spell when he dismissed Sammy for his fourth wicket of the innings in the post-lunch session.advertisementWest Indies were marvelously served by returning batsman Marlon Samuels who remained unbeaten on 78 from 178 balls with eight fours.The home side were 189 for eight when the rains came in the post-lunch session and immediately on resumption, they lost their final two wickets for a mere one run.India though had to labour for wickets as the West Indies, led a resolute Samuels, denied them much success in the morning session.The visitors got just one wicket in the opening session in the form of Chanderpaul, who fell to rookie pacer Abhimanyu Mithun in the penultimate over before lunch.India struck at the fag end of the opening session to reduce the West Indies to 138 for six.Overnight batsmen Chanderpaul and Samuels batted resolutely for most part of third day morning whose start was delayed due to rain by adding 36 runs in 17.4 overs before India got the breakthrough by removing the former in the penultimate over before lunch.Rookie pacer Mithun claimed the scalp of steadfast Chanderpaul (37). Chanderpaul was unlucky to edge a pull off a delivery which did not rise and crashed into his stumps.West Indies, who resumed at 98 for five in reply to India’s 201 all out, added 40 runs from 19.3 overs possible in the morning session.Chanderpaul and Samuels added 77 runs for the sixth wicket which was the most resolute batting put up by the hosts in the series so far.Till Chanderpaul’s dismissal, West Indies had showed a rare batting resolve.Early showers once again delayed the start of the third day’s play by an hour but the West Indian pair lost little time in falling into their groove.Ishant Sharma steamed in and his new-ball partner Praveen Kumar showed his characteristic energy but the unruffled pair were determined to hang around at the crease.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more