Former SAJA vice president and convention chair Vikas Bajaj (click on image for hi-rez version) will soon be moving from New York to Mumbai. He will become the New York Times business section's first correspondent in Mumbai (he will also write for the International Herald Tribune). From a memo by NYT business editor Larry Ingrassia:
I am pleased to announce that Vikas Bajaj, who has covered the financial markets and housing for the last three years, will become Business Day's first correspondent in Mumbai, India.
Vikas, who joined the Times in 2005 from The Dallas Morning News, has been an important member of our team covering the financial crisis over the last two years. At the height of the turmoil last September and October, he focused on the collapse of the stock and credit markets in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, while also writing smart, cogent pieces explaining how Wall Street and the economy were laid low by the lure of easy money and financial engineering. All told, his byline graced the front page three dozen times last year.
In his new assignment, which Vikas will start in late March, he will return to the country of his birth at a crucial time in India's history. We will look to Vikas to help explain India's dynamic, and often, chaotic economy and the impact the country's emergence is having on the world and its own population of more than 1 billion people. Recent events have been especially dramatic, with India being buffeted by the global financial crisis and its proud business community shaken by the revelation of a massive corporate fraud, not to mention the brazen terrorist attack in Mumbai.
In his new job, Vikas will report to Marcus Mabry and work closely with Heather Timmons, our contract writer in New Delhi, as well as our colleagues on the Foreign Desk and the IHT Asia in Hong Kong.
Vikas was born in Mumbai, raised in Bangkok, Thailand and educated at Michigan State. He speaks fluent Hindi, which will serve him well in his new assignment, and some Thai.
Join us in wishing Vikas well as he begins his new assignment.
Larry & Marcus
Asked why this assignment at this time, Bajaj told SAJA: "The Indian economy is going through seminal and seismic changes right now. There are many great stories to written about what is going on there, how it affects the world and how it is changing the lives of a billion Indians."
When he moves to India in March, it will be a time of transition for the NYT India staff. Somini Sengupta will soon be leaving New Delhi after a four-year stint as New Delhi bureau chief (see link below). Replacing her will be Jim Yardley, Beijing bureau chief. Also joining the Delhi bureau is Lydia Polgreen, currently West Africa bureau chief. Heather Timmons will continue to work out of the Delhi bureau for the business desk.
- SAJAforum coverage of Bajaj's work: The day he had two A1 stories above the fold (March 28, 2008) | Vikas Bajaj's nonstop hits (June 26, 2007)
- See Vikas Bajaj's collection of stories at his Times Topics page
- SAJAforum coverage of Sengupta/Yardley/Polgreen moves
Also see SAJAforum coverage of recent member moves to South Asia:
- Former SAJA president Jyoti Thottam becomes South Asia bureau chief - included a webcast (June 2008)
- Geeta Anand moves to Mumbai for Wall Street Journal (June 2008)
Post your comments below. E-mail him via saja[at]columbia.edu (subject = pass on to Vikas Bajaj)