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June 18, 2009

Business Today's "Cool Companies" List for 2009

Extract from the profile of Kolkata-based branded menswear firm Turtle Limited:
Turtle has just reported a turnover of Rs 62 crore, its highest ever, in 2008-09, up from Rs 46 crore the previous year. “We did better in the second-half…this year, we plan to grow by another 30 per cent,” he says, explaining why: “People will stop buying Louis Philippe and buy Turtle”. Turtle shirts end at Rs 900, way below its rivals. It has implemented Oracle e-biz to connect its 32 stores to its head office in grimy Howrah. “Our nature is not rampant growth,” says (Amit Ladsaria, Director), adding that Turtle stands for turtles: slow and steady…long life…tough exterior, soft interior… When it comes to shirts, Turtle is fussy: it creates its own fabric designs and gets the fabrics made to order. Today, it also makes suits, trousers and denims as well. Last year, it created a sub-brand, London Bridge, for shirts made of blends, leaving the pure cotton shirts for Turtle.

Extract from the profile of Mumbai-based post production firm Prime Focus (Revenues: Rs 266 crore for 9 months ended Dec.08):
Considering that they knew nothing about the business of television post-production and visual effects when they launched Prime Focus in 1996, Namit Malhotra and four of his friends have done pretty well: 60 per cent of the Indian market. Prime Focus offers end-to-end services in every aspect of production and post-production, for film as well as advertising. “Imagine, a decade ago, when I started along with four of my friends, we knew nothing about this business. We did not have big qualifications and had never worked in big multinationals. But we are today the only Indian multinational in post-production and visual effects,” says Malhotra. He takes pride in employing many freshers who do not have any qualifications but are great creatives.

Malhotra has another skill: taking over distressed assets abroad and turning them around, as Prime Focus has done with VTR in the UK and Frantic Films in the US. The acquisitions have given Prime Focus a chance to be associated with films such Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four and Superman Returns. A third of Prime is international talent. “… A significant amount of work can be carried out by facilities across time zones in a cost-efficient manner,” says Malhotra.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at