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The magic of goal-setting

The chief executive of Tata Steel (Thailand), Rajiv Mangal, admits he has intentionally become quite obsessed with a single word - dividend - even though his company has just recovered from years of heavy losses in its fiscal year ended March 31.

Even his executive team openly expressed suspicions when hearing Mangal declaring last week his aim to resume paying dividends to Tata shareholders next year, after not being able to do so since 2008.

Mangal said this is because he has learnt a magic trick from the revered CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who runs the world's third most profitable software company with every breath thinking about how to return shareholders' money. The India software firm actually pays dividends to its shareholders every quarter.

Mangal said the magic was to focus on one goal wholeheartedly, and in his case, on resume paying dividends to shareholders, and that would lead to all actions to improve operations and profitability that would eventually bring the goal to reality.

It remains to be seen how his "magic" will work. But at least since the Tata boss revealed the dividend target at a press conference last Wednesday, Tata (Thailand)'s stock price has advanced by more than 7 per cent over the last two trading days, from Bt0.79 last Wednesday to Bt0.85 at last Friday's closing.

McHope

McDonald's, the official restaurant for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, last week unveiled a full sweep of soccer-related activities in Thailand. Named the "Taste of World Cup", the 360-degree campaign encompasses various marketing and promotional activities. The company is also trying to persuade ardent football fans who would like to cheer on their favourite team to watch live broadcasts of all matches at participating 24-hour McDonald's.

Doubts, however, were raised by many media representatives participating in the press conference to launch the campaign last week. With the Army enforcing a curfew throughout the country, which prohibits people from staying out of their home between midnight and 4am, how can football fans enjoy the live World Cup matches at McDonald's?

It may be that the US-based restaurant chain is rather confident that the curfew will be lifted completely before the grand event kicks off on June 12.

Contributed by Pichaya Changsorn and Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn.


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