Quiz Miscellany 1

21 05 2009
 Here are the Questions and Answers to the weekly quiz published by Business Standard  in their Tuesday supplement dated May 5th,2009

Q1.Who said: “I expect the personal computer to become the kind of thing that people carry with them. A companion that takes notes, does accounting, gives reminders, handles 1,000 personal tasks?”  

Ans : Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft

Q2 .Name the company and the metric it created that measures research spending divided by gross margins for each new product line. This helps it to focus its resources on innovations that maximise profits. 

Ans : Hewlett Packard and Research Prodcutivity 

Q3. Smilemakers is a division of which company? 

Ans : Staples  

Q4. An Indian company recently introduced a brand positioned as an emergency lemon refresher. Name the brand and the company. 

Ans : LMN by Parle Agro

Q5. Which brand claims that it is the world’s largest selling non-Scotch whisky?

Ans : Bagpiper  

Q6. The co-founder of a consumer products company sent one of his products to a lab in New York for analysis and got back a report which said that the product had only .56 per cent of miscellaneous particles. This prompted him to come up with what became a well-known catch phrase for this product. What’s the phrase? 

Ans : Ivory soap is 99.44 % pure, it floats

Q7. Mahatma Gandhi called it one of the few useful things ever invented. Name it.

Ans : The Singer Sewing Machine 

Q8. In which journal was Parkinson’s Law first published? 

Ans : The Economist 

Q9. The birth of this brand goes back to 1921 when a school teacher and local candy shop owner was inspired by a little boy’s inability to decide between ice cream and a candy bar. Name it. 

Ans : Eskimo Pie

 –    G. Mohan


Quiz on Satyam Computers

2 02 2009


Q.1. After Satyam announced the decision to acquire Maytas and then backtracked who was the first independent director of Satyam to resign. She is an an academician , working in the  USA and was a Director of Satyam from 1991. Name her.



Ans ; Dr Mangalam Srinivasan



Q.2 What was the earlier name of Maytas Infrastructure ?  It was a company started by Ramalinga Raju.



Ans : Satyam Constructions



Q3. B.Ramalinga Raju and B. Rama Raju are in judicial custody. Name the third brother who is currently absconding and is accused of being the mastermind behind the land deals.



Ans : B.Suryanarayana Raju



Q4. Who was the first MNC client of Satyam Computers?



Ans : John Deere (the tractors company)



Q5. PwC the auditors of Satyam was formed by the merger of ‘Price Waterhouse’ and ‘Coopers and Lybrand’. Coopers and Lybrand had an Indian associate to which the partners Srinivas Talluri and Gopalakrishnan belonged. Name this audit firm.



Ans : Lovelock and Lewes



Q6. B.Ramalinga Raju and Satyam were considered model corporate citizens due to their philanthropic and CSR work in the form of the 108 service (EMRI) and drinking water projects in different parts of AP. Name the foundation which carries out the philanthropic activities of Raju.



Ans : Byrraju Foundation



Q7.  As per the confession letter of Ramalinga Raju who was supposed to take over the charge of Satyam after his resignation. This person was the interim CEO for less than 48 hours before the government appointed a new board.



Ans : Ram Mynampati



Q8. In the Chanchalguda jail, in Hyderabad, where Raju and Ramu are holed up with other petty criminals how is Raju keeping himself busy ?



Ans : Reading spiritual books on Buddha and playing chess.


Q9. What does SFIO stand for?



Ans : Serious Frauds Investigation Office



Q10. Satyam was the first Indian IT Services company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. What is its symbol ?



Ans : SAY



Q11. Satyam is fighting a long legal battle with a UK based products company related to intellectual property rights. The case is going on in  Texas courts. Name the company .



Ans : UPAID Systems



Q12. As per US law, a lawsuit in which one or more parties file a complaint on behalf of themselves and all other people who are “similarly situated” (suffering from the same problem). Often used when a large number of people have comparable claims. Satyam is facing several of such lawsuits filed by investors in the US. What is the correct term for such a suit ?



Ans : Class- action suit



Q 13. In the boom days of Internet, Satyam had floated an Internet company called Satyam Infoway, later renamed as Sify Ltd. This was the first Indian Internet company to be listed on the NASDAQ. Satyam has since divested their shares in this company. Name the new owner of Sify


Ans : Vegesna Raju



Q 14. Satyam floated a Joint venture with Dun and Bradstreet in 1992. The first CEO of this JV was a Satyam nominee. Srini Raju, who happens to be a close relative of Ramalinga Raju. Ramalinga Raju and Srini Raju’s wives are sisters. Srini Raju gave up charge of this company in 1994 and left Satyam in 2000. This company is now a very big IT services company  listed on NASDAQ and is all set to beat Satyam in revenues. Name this company.



Ans : Cognizant Technolgies



– G. Mohan

Quiz on the Business of Healthcare

14 12 2008


Q 1: By what name Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories is popularly known as? Hint: This company was founded in 1935.


Ans: CIPLA Ltd 


Q 2: This company is named after its founder, who was an Ayurvedic doctor in Bengal, and used to travel to far-flung villages to treat people. He founded this company in 1884, which was named after a shortened form of the way he was usually addressed. Name the company.


Ans: Dabur, by Dr S.K.Burman



Q 3: Physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen wasn’t out to revolutionize the medical field, but that’s exactly what he did. The curious Roentgen wished to see if cathode rays could escape “a glass tube covered in black cardboard.” What did Roentgen discover which led him to win a Nobel Prize?


Ans: X-rays 


Q 4: What is common to Cheminor Drugs, American Remedies Limited, BMS Laboratories, Betapharm, and Meridian Healthcare?


Ans: All the companies are now part of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. 


Q 5: Find the odd one out among the following





Ans: Aviva. Aviva is not an HMO. All others are.


Q  6 : In 1983 this Act was passed in the USA to provide  to provide incentives to develop treatments for rare diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people nationwide. Thanks to the Act, over 160 medicines were approved to treat rare diseases between 1995 and 2005. Name the Act.


Ans: Orphan Drug Act


Q 7: With which famous hospital chain would you associate Dr V? The mission of the organisation in in the words of its founder was “To eradicate needless blindness”.

 Ans: Aravind Eye Hospitals, founded by Dr. Venkataswamy


Q 8 : Born on May 19, 1795 in Maryland USA. This businessman made his money in selling corn, whiskey and later invested heavily in Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He died without heirs on December 24, 1873. He left 7 million US Dollars mostly in Baltimore and Ohio railroad stock for philanthropy. This sum was the single largest donation for setting up educational institutions till that time. Name this philanthropist, on whose name several world-class healthcare institutions are surviving to this day.


Ans: Johns Hopkins

– G. Mohan

Quiz on Star Hotels of India

9 12 2008



Q1: The picture postcard of Gateway of India in front of Taj Mahal Hotel is one of the most representative images of Mumbai. Which was built first, the Gateway of India or the Taj Mahal hotel?


Ans: Taj Mahal Hotel was built in 1903 and the Gateway of India in 1928



Q 2: Trident-Oberoi, at Nariman Point,  was a victim of the recent attacks, was built by the Oberois in the 1970s. As a part of the financing deal from American Exim Bank, they had to take an American collaborator. Who was the collaborator?


Ans:  Sheraton


Q 3: During 1993 in Mumbai, a well-known 5-star hotel in Bandra, home to several Bollywood blockbusters had a bomb attack. The hotel had remained closed since then, due to litigation, change of ownership etc. The hotel is now under Claridges Hotels and is expected to be open to guests in 2010. Name the hotel.


Ans:  Sea-Rock , earlier known as Sea Rock Sheraton



 Q 4: Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi, the founder of the eponymous Oberoi Group of Hotels, was manager of a hotel owned by a British family. When they were leaving India, he bought it from them. Even now, this hotel is part of the Oberoi chain. Name the hotel and the city.


Ans: The Clarkes Hotel in Simla


Q 5: Late Lalit Suri, the hotelier-turned-politician built the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in New Delhi. This has expanded by acquiring several ITDC hotels. After his death, the hotel chain has renamed itself. Name the chain.


Ans : The Lalit



Q 6: Of which brand of hotels is Asian Hotels, promoted by the Jatias and Sarafs, the holding company?


Ans: Hyatt Regency in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai  



Q 7: She was a long-serving director of Indian Hotels, the owner of Taj Group of Hotels. She has promoted a chain of Indian restaurants, called Bombay Brasserie which has branches in many foreign cities starting with London. Name the person.


Ans: Camelia Punjabi


Q 8: This corporate honcho cut his teeth in the hotel industry by managing Hotel Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi. He was inducted into the board of ITC in 1984, taking charge of the Welcomgroup. He pioneered the first private sector Degree Institute in Hotel Management- WelcomGroup School of Hotel Administration, Manipal. Now he is the Chairman of a leading Indian company. Name him.


Ans: Yogi Deveshwar, ITC Chairman


Q 9: Anil Madhok, the former MD of Oberoi Group of Hotels, struck out on his own to start a chain of mid-market hotels in 1994. Now this chain claims to be the fourth largest chain of hotels in India with 36 properties. It is affiliated with Carlson Hospitality. Name this chain.


Ans:  Sarovar Group of Hotels and Resorts


Q 10: Bikki Oberoi was in Jaipur looking for a haveli to buy for himself and had to stay at the Rambagh Palace. “I took my own servant I took my own cook. I even took my own toilet paper, “ he said. He hated the Rambagh Palace so much that he decided to build his own hotel in Jaipur. This hotel and resort, has gone on to become a luxury hotel, considered one of the top luxury brands from India.


Ans : Rajvilas


– G. Mohan

Citi Citi Bank Bank: Quiz on Citibank

24 11 2008

Q1. Citibank had one of its earliest International branches in an Indian city. It has been operating in India since 1902. Name the city and by what name was it known earlier..


Ans: Kolkata. Citibank started as City Bank of New York. From 1962, itt was known as First National City Bank.


Q 2. The full name of Citibank in India is Citibank. N.A. What does N.A stand for?


Ans : National Association


Q 3. Started by Frank McNamara, Ralph Schneider and Casey Tailor , it was the first independent credit card company in the world. In 1950, the first of these cards were given out to 200 associates of McNamara, mostly salespeople who often needed to dine with clients.Citibank was the exclusive franchisee of this well-known brand from 1981 to April 2008. In April 2008, Citibank sold this business to Discover.Name the brand.


Ans : Diners Club


Q 4. Citibank was found guilty by the Joint Parliamentary Committee for being one of the perpetrators in the 1991-92 stockmarket scam in India, popularly known as the Harshad Mehta scandal. Approximately, how much fine was Citibank asked to pay for this offence?


Ans : Rs 5.05 billion


Q 5. In 1998, Citibank merged with Travellers’ Group to form CitiGroup. From Travellers’ group, Citibank got its CEO, who remained the top boss of Citi from 2003 to 2006. He has been called  “King of Capital”, by his biographer. Name this Citibank CEO.


Ans : Sanford I.Weill or Sandy Weill


Q 6. Connect Citibank India to HP  .


Ans : Jaitirth Rao, alias Jerry Rao. Mr. Rao is credited with building the Citibank’s retail business in India. After leaving Citi he started Mphasis, an IT Services company. Mphasis merged with BFL to form Mphasis BFL. Mphasis BFL got acquired by EDS. EDS in turn has now been acquired by HP.


Q7. Connect Citibank to Oracle in India


Ans: CITIL. Citibank set-up an IT company called Citibank Information Technology India Ltd (CITIL). CITIL was renamed as I-Flex and it went public. I-Flex was acquired by Oracle and recently renamed as Oracle Financial Software Ltd.


Q 8. Citibank in India was always seen as the banker of the elite. In 1997-98 , it launched a new service targeted at the middle class with a low mimimum balance of Rs 1000 in Bangalore. This had other add-on services like utility bill payments, automatic creation of fixed deposits etc. This was considered a major innovation and Citibank took this product to many other countries. Name this service.


Ans: Suvidha.


Q 9. Name an Indian private sector bank which has a strong Citibank connection. Media has often speculated that should the RBI regulations slacken this bank would be taken over by Citibank.


Ans : HDFC Bank. Citibank has about 11 % stake in HDFC Ltd. HDFC in turn is the promoter of HDFC Bank and has 26% stake in HDFC Bank Ltd. Aditya Puri, the CEO of HDFC Bank is an Ex-Citibanker.


Q 10.  In the 1950’s and 60’s, Citibank had a member of the Rockefeller family at the top. But now the ownership of Citi is highly fragmented. Who is the largest individual shareholder of Citigroup ?


Ans: Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, belonging to the Royal family of Saudi Arabia. He owns less than 5 % in Citi and has promised to increase his stake.


– G. Mohan

Quiz on Bond Brands

16 11 2008


Whenever there is a James Bond film released, there is a lot of media hype around it. James Bond films are also used extensively by companies to push their brands. The just released film, Quantum of Solace has already broken all previous records for endorsements by getting endorsements of over 50 million pounds.


Q1. Which James Bond film before Quantum of Solace had the highest value of endorsements? Clue: It is not the previous Daniel Craig film Casino Royale.


Ans: Die Another Day


Q2. According to a survey conducted by Brand Republic, a respected Advertising publication, what is the brand most associated with James Bond? Clue: It is Bond’s car


Ans: Aston Martin


Q3. What car does the Bond girl Olga Kurylenko drive in Quantum of Solace?


Ans: Ford Ka (they are launching a new variant through this film)


Q4. Ian Fleming in his novels has mentioned James Bond wearing a Rolex watch. Sean Connery used to wear Rolex Submariner in Dr. No and Goldfinger. From Goldeneye onwards, Pierce Brosnan as the Bond, started wearing a different brand of watch. Name the brand and the model too?


Ans: Omega Seamaster Professional Diver


Q5. The close partnership between _________ Vodka and Bond began in Dr. No when the villain hands Sean Connery a “Martini, shaken not stirred” made with _______ Vodka.  This monumental moment in film literally changed the way martini drinkers made their cocktails, shifting from the traditional gin to a vodka-based drink and popularizing the vodka martini the world over. Name the vodka brand.


Ans: Smirnoff


Q6. Which brand of laptop and cell phone would you find James Bond using in Quantum of Solace?


Ans: Sony Vaio laptops and Sony Ericsson cell phones. Sony has launched a limited edition Titanium Silver C902 Cyber-Shot Phone through Quantum of Solace.


Q7. Which watch brand has released a range of 22 watches, each of which is centered on a different 007 villain?


Ans: Swatch.


– G. Mohan

Quiz on the Global Credit Crisis

7 10 2008







 What does Warren Buffett refer to as “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ?






Credit Default Swaps (CDS ). A specific kind of counterparty agreement/ derivative which allows the transfer of third party credit risk  from one party  to the other. One party in the swap  is a lender  and faces  credit  risk  from a third party, and the counterparty in the credit default  swap agrees to insure this risk in exchange  of regular periodic payments  (essentially an insurance premium ). If the third party defaults , the party providing insurance  will have to purchase  from the insured  party the defaulted asset . In turn, the insurer pays the insured the remaining interest on the debt , as well as the principal.


Buffet’s prophecy has come true with AIG the insurance company getting virtually destroyed because of CDS. Buffett’s own insurance companies avoided CDS.







What are “Toxic Debts” and why they are called so?







Toxic debts are poor grade Mortgage Backed Securities or Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) in the books of banks. These are poor because the underlying mortgages have become bad because of defaults by the sub-prime borrowers. These are toxic because their values have to be written down and thereby banks have to incur huge losses.






Why is the US $ 700 Billion bailout being referred as “Privatization of profits and nationalization of losses.”?






 The financial services companies, investment banks and commercial banks have all made huge profits in the last few years and distributed the same to their shareholders and executives. Now, when they are facing bankruptcy the government is bailing them out by giving them tax-payers’ money.



Q. 4:



The US economy is now said to be in the process of “Deleveraging “. What does “Deleveraging” mean?







 A process undertaken by a company in an attempt to reduce its financial leverage. Financial leverage can be beneficial for a company, but if it becomes too risky or harmful, the company may need  to deleverage itself by decreasing the amount  of debt  that it has (by paying it off).Deleveraging is  also called degearing.



By the way, General Electric has announced its plan to deleverage by issuing US  $ 15 billion worth of equity, out of which 3 Billion worth of equity will be subscribed by Warren Buffett.






Several critics of the bailout plan are concerned about “Moral hazards” in such a package. What are the moral hazards in bailout?






The risk that the presence of a contract will affect on the behavior of one or more parties. The classic example is in the insurance industry, where coverage against a loss might increase the risk-taking behavior of the insured.


If the banks and finance companies, know that there is the government waiting to protect them with a bailout package, in case things go wrong, they may be tempted to take more risk.



– G. Mohan

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