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Patanjali, an Indian consumer-goods giant

EXECUTIVES at firms selling consumer staples like to think of themselves as “marketing gurus”. But how many could actually contort themselves into the lotus position, let alone attempt a headstand?

The boss of LafargeHolcim resigns over a scandal in Syria

KEEPING cool in the heat of war is not easy. That might help explain why LafargeHolcim, a French-Swiss cement-maker, blundered so badly while running operations in Syria as fighting raged.

French business relishes the prospect of President Macron

THE likely election of Emmanuel Macron as France’s president, in a run-off vote on May 7th, has corporate leaders in a state of high anticipation.

A Form 10-K for America’s government

WHEN he was running Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for his energy. In a legendary clip of a company meeting that has received almost a million hits on YouTube, he charges onto the stage and launches into his “monkey dance”, before roaring into a microphone: “I love this company!

Steven Mnuchin gets started on tax reform but there is more to do

OF THE things that investors and bosses have come to like about Donald Trump, the most important is his promise to redraw America’s knackered corporate-tax system.

Technology firms and the office of the future

FROM the 62nd floor of Salesforce Tower, 920 feet above the ground, San Francisco’s monuments look piddling.

Small flying “cars” come a bit closer to reality

Beats 140 characters “YOU may smile, but it will come,” said Henry Ford in 1940, predicting the arrival of a machine that was part-automobile and part-aeroplane.

Another debate about net neutrality is brewing

THE details around network neutrality, the principle that internet-service providers (ISPs) must treat all sorts of web traffic equally, can be mind-numbingly abstruse.

Fast-food chains in Japan

Three-star service SHIMMERING spreads of raw fish sashimi, succulent beef from massaged cows, and, for a decade, the capital with the most Michelin-starred restaurants: few nations rival Japan for fine dining.

AkzoNobel makes unrealistic promises about growth

THE future for AkzoNobel is dazzling—if you believe Ton Büchner, its chief executive. The boss of the Dutch paint-and-coatings firm reported a solid set of quarterly earnings on April 19th, then promised a new era of rapid growth and investments.

How Donald Trump affects America’s tourist business

TRUMP Tower, in midtown Manhattan, has become a modern-day Mount Vernon. Tourists have long visited George Washington’s homestead.

New types of driver embrace the recreational vehicle

EARLY spring is the main selling season for recreational vehicles (RVs) and the phone on Tom Troiano’s desk has been ringing incessantly.

China’s internet giants go global

THERE was a time, not that long ago, when China’s big internet companies were dismissed by investors in Silicon Valley as marginal firms with a tendency to copy Western products.

Why the decline in listed American firms matters

LAST month Schumpeter attended an event at the New York Stock Exchange held in honour of Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb, a room-sharing website that private investors value at $31bn.

How Germany’s Otto uses artificial intelligence

A GLIMPSE into the future of retailing is available in a smallish office in Hamburg. From there, Otto, a German e-commerce merchant, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its activities.

China’s HNA Group goes on a global shopping spree

Chen keeps spending NOW it is a conglomerate with more than $100bn-worth of assets around the world. But HNA Group started life as a small local airline.

Google is accused of underpaying women

GOOGLE has made a fortune by helping people dig up whatever information they seek. But in a court hearing on April 7th, America’s Department of Labour (DoL) accused the company behind the profitable search engine of burying the fact that it pays its female employees less than their male counterparts.

Cloudification will mean upheaval in telecoms

IN THE computing clouds, startups can set up new servers or acquire data storage with only a credit card and a few clicks of a mouse.

Why carmakers need to get bigger

CARS are getting bigger. Motorists worldwide have for years been abandoning four-door saloons in favour of bulkier SUVs.

The University of Chicago worries about a lack of competition

ONE sign that monopolies are a problem in America is that the University of Chicago has just held a summit on the threat that they may pose to the world’s biggest economy.