Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin
Always a student.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., a world title holder in five boxing weight divisions, and undefeated as a professional, is the world's highest-paid sportsperson for the period 1 June 2013 – 1 June 2014. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

Floyd Mayweather Jr., a world title holder in five boxing weight divisions, and undefeated as a professional, is the world’s highest-paid sportsperson for the period 1 June 2013 – 1 June 2014. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

The Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid sportspersons was released last month. Tiger Woods, last year’s top earner, had been dethroned, and the American boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, with USD 105 million in earnings had taken his place. (He became the second sports star, after Woods, to make more than a million in a year. Interestingly, all of that was in prize money; Mayweather has no endorsement deals.)

Following him were Cristiano Ronaldo (USD 80m), LeBron James (72.3m), Lionel Messi (64.7m), Kobe Bryant (61.5m), Tiger Woods (61.2m), Roger Federer (56.2m), Phil Mickelson (53.2m), Rafael Nadal (44.5m) and rounding off the top ten, Matt Ryan(43.8m). Messi, Nadal and Ryan are new entrants to the top 10, displacing Drew Breese, Aaron Rodgers, and the now-retired David Beckham.

India’s sole representative on the list was MS Dhoni, dropping from #16 last year to 22 this year, with roughly the same income, 30m. Sachin Tendulkar, who was on the list last year, drops out this year since he has now retired (but more about him below).

The highest-ranking woman was Maria Sharapova, but dropping from 22 last year to #34 this year. Overall, gender was as skewed as ever, with the same three women on the list, all tennis players: Sharapova, Li Na (#41), Serena Williams (#55).

On salary and prize money alone, the top 10 were: Mayweather (105m), Ronaldo (52m), Ryan (42m), Messi (41.7m), Manny Pacquiao (41m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (36.4m), Radamel Falcao (32.4m), Matthew Stafford (31.5m), Bryant (30.5m), and Fernando Alonso (29m).

Lowest on that count, from the bottom, were Usain Bolt (0.2m), Sharapova (2.4m), Dhoni (4m), Federer (4.2m), Rory McIlroy (4.3m), Mickelson (5.2m), Li Na (5.6m), Woods (6.2m), Adam Scott (8.7m), and Brees (10m).

Some of those low earners wouldn’t be too upset, though. They wind up in the top 10 for endorsements: Woods (55m), James (53m), Federer (52m), Mickelson (48m), Bryant (31m), Nadal (30m), Ronaldo (28m), Dhoni (26m), Messi (23m), and Bolt (23m). (Sharapova comes in at 11, with 22m).

Mayweather’s earnings outside the ring couldn’t get lower. He made nothing from endorsements. Keeping him company, with not even a million dollars of off-field earnings between the lot of them: Branden Albert (.04m), Alfonso Soriano (.05m), Carlos Dunlap (.05m), Geno Atkins (.05m), Zack Greinke (.05m), Jairus Byrd (.1m), Barry Zito (.1m), Vernon Wells (.1m), and Joe Haden (.15m).

Predictably, the US dominated, with 62 US citizens on the list. Next was the UK, with five, Dominican Republic and Spain (four each), Germany and Venezuela (three each), Argentina (two) and, with one each, Australia, Brazil, China, Cote d’Ivoire, France, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Another ten non-US citizens from that list earn their living in the US, plus there are quite a few others who play sports highly popular in the US.

Baseball’s stars took 27 spots, basketball players 19, and American football players 18. Football the way most of the rest of the world plays has 14 on the list. Motor sports has six, three from Formula 1, and three from US-style racing. The rest: tennis (six), golf (five), boxing (four), and one spot each for athletics and cricket. No prizes for guessing that that means Usain Bolt and MS Dhoni.

Age-wise, footballer Neymar is the youngest, at 22; boxer Canelo Alvarez (23) and footballer Gareth Bale (24) are the two others under 25. 35 of the 100 are under 30.

Three are 40 and over: baseballer Derek Jeter (40), US auto racer Jeff Gordon (42) and golfer Mickelson (44).

Here’s the top 100 list.

Sachin Tendulkar may have dropped out of the list of active sports stars, but he, like David Beckham (who also retired from his sport), got instant entry onto another list: the best-paid retired athletes. They’re doing very well indeed, for gentlemen of leisure, with Beckham raking in 37m and Tendulkar 13m.

Most long-lived by one count would be Pele, who, despite having retired in 1977, still made 15m last year. Golfer Arnold Palmer, at 84, the oldest on the list, made 40m. Standing tall above them all, however, is basketball legend Michael Jordan, who 11 years after retiring, made 90m last year. I.e., more than any active sportsperson except for Mayweather.

Here’s the list.

Also on

Maria Sharapova, Sachin Tendulkar (Reuters)
Last week saw much indignation from Tendulkar ‘fans’ because Maria Sharapova, in an interview, admitted to not knowing who the cricket legend was. Sharapova’s Facebook page was attacked, and enough Tweets to sink an armada were launched. Who the #### was she? What had she achieved that could compare with Tendulkar’s sacred divinity? How could she not know who SRT was? Dammit, there he is in the Royal Box! Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Take a breath. Pause. Sit down. Put down that smartphone.

Ask yourself, can you blame Sharapova? That young woman plays at the top, or near enough, of her sport, which, as anyone who has played any sport with any degree of perseverance knows, takes a lot of gruelling, concentrated effort and eats up a large slice of one’s time. So she, perhaps, isn’t the best-informed sports star around; everyone can’t be Rahul Dravid. And she’s not alone. You know Virendra Sehwag, right? Arguably the most explosive batsman Indian cricket has ever seen. Who’s got a few achievements under his belt that even SRT didn’t crack, like two Test triple-centuries, including the fastest ever, the highest ODI score, the fastest ODI century by an Indian. A friend on Facebook reminded me that that Sehwag, an Indian, a cricketer, an outstanding Indian cricketer, didn’t know who Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy were.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Anyway, if achievement in one’s own sport is what earns one the right to confess ignorance of another sportsperson, Sharapova isn’t a ‘Greatest Of All Time’ candidate mentioned in the same breath as Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King or Steffi Graf just yet, but she’s got some solid credentials. She’s been world Number One, and she’s got a career Grand Slam behind her, which is nothing to sneeze at. And she’s doing quite well on the earnings and world fame fronts, thank you very much. And yes, she has a few years left in the sport for sure, injuries permitting, so she can aspire to GOAT status.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Sachin Tendulkar certainly has a very special place in our cricket-loving hearts. And the debates about whether he or Donald Bradman was the GOAT will, no doubt, continue long and fervently. But, because the little big man played a sport only a handful of countries play with any degree of seriousness (and one practically unknown in the world’s biggest market for sports, the USA, and one that’s played in only a few of the countries that play the world’s most popular sport, football), as much as we idolise him, we cannot realistically expect him to be a household name outside the cricket-speaking world.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Look at the other side of the coin. We in India are as ignorant of many other sports as this Russian in America is about our world. Could the average Indian sports fan (or, hey, Tendulkar himself) pick Derek Jeter out of a line-up? Or Peyton Manning? How about Floyd Mayweather, a world title holder in five boxing weight divisions, and undefeated as a professional? Or Wladimir Klitschko, current world heavyweight boxing champion? He’s been champ for eight years now, and is the second-longest reigning heavyweight champ ever, behind only Joe Louis. Do we know a thing about gorodki? Or sambo?

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Fine, fine, let’s leave all that out of it. Let us concede, for argument’s sake, that, never mind apples and oranges, Sharapova’s achievements in tennis are not in the same league as Tendulkar’s stupendous achievements in cricket and that her knowledge of the world isn’t what it should be.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

There’s this, dear Tendulkar-bhakts.

Tendulkar has ascended to Himalayan heights in cricket. He played at the top level of his sport for a truly epic length of time, starting earlier than most and carrying on longer than most. Some of his records look like they’ll never be broken. His place in the sporting pantheon is secure. For all practical purposes he is unassailable.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

But when you say that if Sharapova does not know who he is, it is a grievous insult, then you’re saying one of two things (or, perhaps, both).

One, that your own life is sad and you have nothing else to bask in but the achievements of Sachin Tendulkar. Any slur on him, imagined or real, attacks your own self-worth.

Two, if all his legendary career counts for nothing without affirmation from this 27-year-old Russian tennis player, that must mean that you think that Sharapova is greater than Tendulkar.

Are you sure that’s what you want to say? Join me now: Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

It was loads of fun, and we all had a great time. Here are some of the social media comments we caught. If we’ve missed any Tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts, anything else, let us know,

Mary Meeker

Mary Meeker

Mary Meeker is a quiet Internet legend of our times. She is known as one of the earliest in Wall Street to see the potential of the Internet. A former stockbroker and securities analyst, She spent almost 20 years at Goldman Sachs before leaving, in 1991, to become a partner at the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Her 1995 “The Internet Report” (with Chris DePuy) a Morgan Stanley industry report, was known as ‘the bible’ for dotcom boom investors. Since then, her annual reports have awaited eagerly by professionals in the internet world.
Her 2014 report was just released. Here it is.

(You can view a PDF of the report here.)

Some take-aways, including a few relevant to the Indian reader:

• Internet usage has slowed (but the fastest growth is in ‘more difficult to monetize developing markets like India / Indonesia / Nigeria’).

• Smartphone usage is still growing, though slowing down: ‘fastest growth in underpenetrated markets like China / India / Brazil / Indonesia’ But there’s lots more room for growth: usage is at around 30% of a total of 5.2 Bn cellphones worldwide.

• Tablets are still at early stage rapid growth and mobile data traffic is accelerating.

• Revenue from mobile apps is far more than from mobile advertising (Apps make 68% of mobile monetisation).

• Cybersecurity is a big worry, with 95% of networks compromised in some way

• Education may be at an inflection point; online education is finding takers across the world

• OTT (over the top) messaging services — like Whatsapp, China’s Tencent WeChat and Viber — have gained over a billion users in less than five years.

• Image- and video-sharing is rising rapidly.

• Apps are moving from multi-purpose (for web or phone) to ‘there’s an app for that’ (i.e single-purpose) and ‘invisible’ apps (they open only with context, run like a service layer).

• Facebook (21%), Pinterest (7%) and Twitter (1%) are the leading social media traffic referrers.

• Web plays like Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post get the most action on Facebook, but US TV giants follow closely, and brands like the New York Times and the Guardian are hanging in there.

• The BBC gets most shares on Twitter, with NYT coming in second and web-native Mashable third. Forbes comes in at #8.

• All sorts of things are being re-imagined, including dating, music listening, grocery shopping, currency itself..

• ..but the big one is “People enabled with mobile devices + sensors uploading troves of findable & sharable data.” (And not ‘findable’ — i.e., not publicly available or searchable — isn’t dong too badly either!)

• Two-third of digital universe content is consumed and created by the consumers themselves.

• MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) which include sensors and actuators, mainly in mobiles and, to a lesser extent, tablets, but also in laptops, cameras, wearables have grown 32% YoY, to just under 8 Bn units.

• Data processing costs (computing, storage, bandwidth) are whooshing downhill; the Cloud is growing.

• Better-designed user interface + consumers generating vast amounts of data = data becoming more usable and useful.

• New companies are doing old things in new ways and growing. Fast!

• Data mining and analytics has lots of room to improve and grow.

• Big Data is being used to solve big problems.

• Screens are growing. And smartphone are the most viewed and used in many countries, including India (where TV gets 96 minutes a day, laptops + PCs 95 minutes, tablets 31 minutes, and smartphones 166 minutes).

• Media engagement actually rises when people are using multiple screens.

• Smart TVs are a rising percentage of TVs shipped (38% in 2013).

• YouTube channels have huge reach and growth.

• People choose to watch and share good video ads.

• Twitter + TV boosts ad impact.

• Internet TV is beginning to replace linear TV, particularly with millennials.

• 500 Mn (80%) of China’s internet usage is via mobile.

• In 2013, nine out of the top ten global internet properties were ‘Made in USA’ and 79% of their users were from outside the country. By March 2014, that had dropped to six, with four China sites muscling in, all four of them getting no traffic from the US.

• China is pretty much the mobile commerce leader in terms of innovation.

• While the big four (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon) still lead the Internet companies in market value, China’s Tencent is now number five. From the top twenty, thirteen are US companies, four are from China, two from Japan and one from Korea.

• 60% of the top tech companies were founded by first- and second-generation Americans (immigrants to the US or the children of immigrants); among them, at #21, Cognizant, with co-founders Francisco D’souza (Indian origin, Kenya-born) and Kumar Mahadeva (Sri Lanka-born).

• Of the world’s 2.6 Bn Internet users as of 2013, India has 154 Mn, approx 13% of the population, and has grown 27% since 2013 (2012 growth was 36%).

• Of the world’s 1.7 Bn smartphone users as of 2013, India has 177 Mn, approx 10% of the population, 55% up from 2012.

• Mobile traffic as a percentage of Internet traffic has been growing globally at around 1.5x. It is now (as of May 2014) 25% and likely to maintain that speed or accelerate.

In just over ten days, a new Indian government will form. Regardless of which party or coalition wins a majority, that government has a tough time ahead of it.

If you could have a minute with the new cabinet, enough time to speak perhaps five sentences, what five things would you suggest should be their priority? Use the form below to tell us.

We’ll select the best suggestions and publish them on

And the best five sets of suggestions will win a year’s subscription to Forbes India. (If no set of five is good enough, then we’ll chose single suggestions. And if you are an existing subscriber and win, we will add the free subscription to the end of your current subscription. You could also choose to give a subscription you win to a friend.)

At Forbes india, we celebrate success. And we’re always on the lookout for individuals who, while making a difference to the world around us, are also achieving personal success. And with India’s famous demographic dividend starting to give us returns, we want to hear from young people who are out there, taking chances and creating lasting value.

If you are a young entrepreneur, please fill out this form (also embedded in this post, below). If you are a young professional (or know someone who fits the bill), go here instead (or to the second embedded form below).

Continue reading

Guest post by Kishore Singh, friend, ForbesLife India columnist and art expert. Kishore also interviewed Christie’s CEO Steven P Murphy for us a couple of days ago. You can read a version of the interview here.

Christie’s inaugural auction in India couldn’t have had a better start as lot after lot went under the gavel. But for a couple of lots that were withdrawn, there was only one—strangely, a nude Hussain—that remained unsold.

And, oh, the records!


Image By: Vikas Khot

V S Gaitonde claimed India’s most expensive tag at Rs 20.5 crore (that’s before the buyer’s premium and VAT), Tyeb Mehta bested himself at Rs 17 crore (another lot sold for Rs 8.2 crore), Manjit Bawa at Rs 3.2 crore, and Ganesh Pyne at an amazing Rs 1.9 crore.

As the two auctioneers announced the paddle numbers, the buzz couldn’t have been more incredible, starting with a palm-sized Gaitonde fetching Rs 80 lakh and Ramkinkar Baij winning Rs 42 lakh. Ram Kumar managed Rs 2.9 crore and M F Husain Rs 1.25 crore. The National Treasure artists—works that cannot be exported—did considerably less well, with Amrita Sher-Gil matching her lower estimate at Rs 3 crore, Rabindranath Tagore at Rs 2.4 crore, and Nandalal Bose mostly selling under estimates. (All prices exclude a buyer’s premium of 20-25 per cent, 12.5 per cent VAT, and 12.36 per cent service tax on the buyer’s premium.)

Its success scripted through strategic networking, prices for the masters will continue to consolidate, providing a leg-up for Indian art, which has been in the doldrums ever since 2008.

Last year, we twice invited several prominent authors to write some short stories for us. Very short stories. Very very short stories. Short enough to fit into a single Tweet. You can see the efforts by some of the authors short-listed for the Crossword Book Awards here, and another selection here.

We enjoyed those so much that we decided to bring out another collection. So we wrote to several of the authors from this year’s Crossword Book Awards short list to take a bash at it. After all, if you’re going to put up a challenge like this, who better than the cream of India’s writing talent to throw it at, right?

So here you go, their 140-character fiction, each one followed by a short introduction to the writer, in their own words.

(Lest we forget, all language is breath) He would listen, each night, until the one before they would part, in the silence, to her stories.

Janice Pariat lives between Brighton and many places in India. Boats on Land was awarded the Sahitya Academy Young Writer Award 2013.

Love affairs = bus journeys. Childhood defeats = water shortages. Grief = whiskey. I was trying to net life, only got difficult pleasures.

Anjum Hasan is a fiction writer, poet, critic and editor at Caravan.

What you say to yourself you say to no one. You fill a gaping hole with a photo with lipstick mark. There is no home, only homelessness.

Rahul Pandita is the author of Our Moon Has Blood Clots, a memoir of a lost home in Kashmir.

‘I couldn’t write till I was drunk and in Dozakh, Manto bhai.’
‘I couldn’t get drunk till I went to Dozakh to write, Mirza sahib.’

Arunava Sinha translates whatever he can, whenever he can

Stop singing! Shouted Moin. Plug your ears, said the monster, chucking two banana peels at him. That’s how Moin’s mother broke her arm.

Anushka Ravishankar writes under duress.

He struggled to build an empire, his son expanded it, the grandson frittered it all away.

Rashmi Bansal is author of Stay Hungry Stay Foolish & Poor Little Rich Slum

“Actions speak louder than words,” she whispered into his ears. She then walked over to the sink to wash the knife that she had used.

Ashwin Sanghi

This one’s a bit over the specified length.

The cat chased shadows but the girl made him stop. Too dangerous. Alien shots fired. She grabbed the cat. He clawed. She ran. Her shadow lengthened to a new, loping gait.

Uma Krishnaswami

2200 AD. Everything has run out: food, fuel, even words. 140 characters left. Writer of last whodunit falls short of three words: who did it

Payal Kapadia

Think you can do better? Tweet your stories at @ForbesLifeIn, and if we like them enough, we’ll retweet them.

By the way, the Crossword Book Award results are being announced today. So go ahead and wish your favourites luck. I shall probably tweet the results from the venue later today, from my personal Twitter ID, @zigzackly

Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2013

The Forbes India name is associated in many minds with our Rich List and our Leadership Awards. But that’s not all we do. Part of our genetic make-up is the belief that business can be a force for good. And when, last year, we launched our Philanthropy Awards, it was just a formal expression of this belief. These awards seek to recognise the efforts of individuals who have created model institutions, people who inspire others to follow their example. Our winners—and our jury members—are role models for active philanthropy in corporate India, people who have devoted time, money, skill and considerable expertise to the creating sustainable models of giving. Their time is valuable, and spoken for many months ahead. The chance to meet and chat with them is something young organisations in the social development sector would value greatly.

That’s why, this year, we’d like to give a few promising young NGOs a chance to do just that. This opportunity is open to young NGOs working in core areas: literacy and education, child rights and abolition of child labour, health and nutrition, and environmental protection (but a great effort in other areas is also eligible).

Please go to this form to apply. Do please pass the address on to people you know who are doing excellent work. We look forward to hearing from many bright, enthusiastic and socially conscious people.

(Forbes India Philanthropy Awards: home page, categories, methodology, jury, last year’s winners, watch last year’s awards evening.)

Update: We’re closing applications on Wednesday 13th November, 4pm IST.

ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

“The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida,” wrote the Bard, in Othello. ‘Luscious’ as a descriptor for ‘locusts’? Old William hitting the mead too hard? Not really. It’s only our modern Westernised sensibilities that make us a little queasy at the thought of chomping on insects. Around 1,900 species of insects are regarded as rather traditional fare.

This I discovered thanks to my colleague Sumana Mukherjee, who anchors our cover feature on the future of food. Chefs, she tells us, are experimenting with new ways to make the creepy crawlies less, well, creepy to our palates. And it isn’t just some flavour of the month thing; the world’s population continues to grow, and we’re running out of the resources that have kept us fed thus far. We need to find new sources of food and that means, among other things, looking seriously at the nutrient-rich six-legged creatures. To get a different perspective, Vikram Sheel Kumar, our resident loony doctor, puts on his researcher’s toque blanche to check what is brewing in the labs. And Jasodhara Banerjee rounds it off with an easy-to-digest summary of how food is moving around the world. This three-course offering starts on page 52.

A quick sampling of the rest of the menu? My now-ex-colleague Shishir Prasad, and Shravan Bhatt, our promising young cub, got to hang out with table tennis legend, Peter Karlsson, who was visiting India to help coach young Indian players. Shishir even got to play a game with him, much to the envy of the rest of us TT fans in the office. The story is on page 92. Then Amruta Patil, the very talented graphic novelist, has compiled a selection of must-reads (p 26). And Madhu Kapparath has curated an unusual edition of our Beautiful People section: this time the focus is on the beauty of aspiration for a better life. That’s at the very end of the book. And yes, I had the opportunity to chat with another legend, Rahul Ram, a member of one of my favourite Indian bands, Indian Ocean, which has been rocking concerts all over India and the world for 23 years now; that’s on page 36.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, all this writing has made me very hungry.

Bon appetit!

That was my edit letter from the new issue of ForbesLife India, which should have got to our subscribers a week or so ago, at least. It’s also in bookshops, and all the better news-stands across the country, so make sure you grab your copy.

To give you more of a taste of what’s in the issue, here’s the table of contents, and our Contributors pages. We hope you enjoy the issue and, as ever, look forward to your feedback!

Table of contents, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Table of contents, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 1,  ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 1, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 2,  ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)

Contributors 2, ForbesLife India, Volume 3, Issue 2 (the monsoon edition)















Peter Griffin
I handle the 'Life' section of Forbes India and oversee social media.
In previous lives, I was an advertising creative director, voice-over artist, RJ, TV host, web producer and content architect, freelance travel writer, columnist, and consultant to NGOs.
I've been blogging since 2003, and co-founded the South-East Asia Tsunami & Earthquake and Mumbai Help blogs (which, with other similar initiatives later became the WorldWideHelp group), and the writers’ community, Caferati. I'm a keen student of collaboration and online culture. I've also co-curated the Literature section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from 2006 to 2012.
Aside from Twitter (link below), you could also follow me on Facebook or Google+.
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Peter Griffin's Activity Feed
July 16, 2014 16:08 pm by Vikram
Now that Ian Thorpe has come out of the closet, will Tendulkar- bhakts question, if he fancies Sachin??
July 11, 2014 17:08 pm by CTL
"And the debates about whether he or Donald Bradman was the GOAT will, no doubt, continue long and fervently"....hahaha...I read this line again & again...EPIC(If you nderstand the pun)
July 09, 2014 16:20 pm by Shalini
I doubt his visit is news to anybody outside India. And why do you care so much for Maria's memory. She's not there for a G.K. quiz.
July 08, 2014 16:16 pm by manish
India's contribution to others sports besides cricket is nothing to boast about so all we Indians know are these players. I wont blame any athlete who is ignorant about Sachin..may b they all need to realise that there are other sports bigger than cricket and lot many sporting greats who will not kn...
July 08, 2014 15:59 pm by Ananya Nigam
Good it is logical , but somewhere down the line it hurts our very Indian inside us....
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