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Air Strikes in Libya to Continue; Interview With Willie Walsh

Aired March 29, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The air strikes will go on while Gadhafi is in breach of the U.N.

U.S. sets out its stall (ph), you'll hear to night on this program.

IAG's chief exec Willie Walsh tells this program he won't swallow up Japan Airlines, he may take a bite.

And lessons in health and wealth given to us by the CEO of Starbucks and the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.

I'm Richard Quest. We have a varied show, because I mean business.

Good evening.

Out of the bloodshed, a vision for a new Libya; tonight, the violence goes on but already world leaders are planning for life after Moammar Gadhafi. As envoys from 40 countries and organizations end a day of meetings that took place in the British capitol, London. Together they reaffirmed their commitment to carry out the U.N. resolution to protect civilians. They also made a commitment to provide humanitarian aid.

And they agreed that Colonel Gadhafi's regime has lost its legitimacy and will be held to account. The leaders said that only the people of Libya can choose the next government. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the military operation will continue until Gadhafi lays down his arms.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This coalition military action will continue until Gadhafi fully complies with the terms of 1973; ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered, and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans.


QUEST: These are the most recent pictures we have from the western city of Misrata. Tonight, witnesses say the city is under fire from pro- Gadhafi forces. It is described by one witness as carnage on the ground, as troops are killing civilians and forcing them from their homes. Tanks fired mortar shells and soldiers are using heavy guns. Coalition planes were seen circling overhead, no airstrikes have been reported.

So the conference in London has been taking place. Becky Anderson is outside Lancaster House, where the meetings were.

Becky, I know you'll be talking a lot about this on "CONNECT THE WORLD" later, and we'll mention that and talk in a second. But this-this meeting, 40 people, plus organizations, was it just a lot of talking?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: Yes, plus, plus, everybody alongside the foreign ministers from some 35 countries, plus the head of the U.N., NATO, and various other organizations. It was a lot of talk. They came they talked, they left, and left very little for us; lots of questions and very few answers.

But David Cameron made the point at the beginning of this meeting that what he wanted to ensure was maximum political and diplomatic unity, when it came to the U.N.-led military intervention in Libya. You heard what Hillary Clinton had to say during the meeting. And it became very clear that those who are onboard for military intervention are sticking to that. They say until Gadhafi stops breaching the terms of U.N. Resolution 1973, they will stay the course.

But I've got to say, Richard, I can't remember for sometime, a story where you had so much division between EU members, G8 members, and members of NATO, as well. So, while we got this sort of overarching reminder to Gadhafi, if you like, that this intervention will continue, these airstrikes will continue, the enforcement of the no-fly zone will continue, we got very little else, it has to be said.

QUEST: I've heard the question asked of the secretary of State, of the president of the U.S., of David Cameron, you know, what is the end game once you've gone beyond protecting the civilians? I'm sure everybody was saying that they are-are we any closer to understanding that?

ANDERSON: No, I think we've heard from almost everybody here, even those who you might not necessarily expect to be as supportive of-regime change as it were, perhaps the AU and the Arab League. We have heard everybody saying, look, this is it. This is the time, Gadhafi has to go, he should go at this point. But the problem, of course, is this, the U.N. resolution doesn't mandate regime change. So, even the president of the U.S., when you heard him speak just about 12-14 hours ago, late last night, he had to draw back from this push for regime change. It is not sanctioned so far as NATO is concerned, according to the U.N. resolution. And when I spoke to the NATO chief today, he simply said, that isn't part of the deal.

QUEST: Finally, Becky, NATO has now got full control, if you like, or command and control of this operation. From the coalition's point of view, it is a relatively, relatively simple operation, isn't it? They send the planes up, they bomb the targets that they find, and it is relatively containable, at the moment. Does it expand further?

ANDERSON: And that is the big question, isn't it? How long it goes on? I mean, what is the actual mission. The strategy still seems very unclear. You will never get the rules of engagement when you talk to the NATO chief. I pushed him a number of times.

But you know, the strategy to all intents and purposes seems very unclear. The end game, the exit strategy at this point, the Americans, the American population and those, you know, those of us around the world who are watching this. We all want to know how long NATO is going to have to be there. What they believe the exit strategy is. And that is still very unclear.

One of the few things that came out of this today was that was interesting, that whether the international community will actually arm the rebels. Now, again, not part of mandate, not part of the U.N. resolution, but we have heard the U.S., certainly, through Doctor Susan Rice saying that is not out of the question. And we have also heard that from Secretary of State Clinton, today. That goes against what most other people are saying. So, what happens next is still very unclear.

QUEST: What have you got for us tonight on "CONNECT THE WORLD"?

ANDERSON: Oh, lots of goodies. We got the head of NATO, my interview with him. We've got the foreign minister from Germany, a bit of a naysayer, in all of this. Remember, they didn't-they abstained from the vote, the resolution on Libya. We have some sound from the Turkish foreign minister as well. Lots of goodies in the mix. We've got Paula Newton, who has been covering this story from all angles, with me tonight. That is in about what, two hours from now? We'll be here for an hour special on Libya, tonight.

QUEST: Becky, many thanks, "CONNECT THE WORLD" in just two hours from now.

It is a mixed picture on the European stock markets. The market edged higher while some did, the mood was extremely uncertain. Look at your numbers.


In London, BP ended the day down more than 2 percent on reports that some managers could face manslaughter charges over the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Banks also suffered because of concerns they will sell shares to boost their capital holdings. UBI of Italy has just announced that it wants to raise $1.4 billion that way. And in the gloom of the day, S&P cut its credit ratings for Greece and Portugal.

So, the U.S. markets-oh, me bell's a little bit off tonight. Shall I try that again?


That's better. Nice rounded tones. Up 80 points, nice rounded market, up over 0.5 percent, 12,500, or 12,250. It is has only been back on its feet a day, already Japan airlines is attracting some investment attention. Willie Walsh tells us why BA and Iberia's parent might be interested in a bite.


QUEST: International Airlines Group, that is owners of BA and Iberia, is eyeing up a stake in Japan Airlines. At least that what seems to be the development. The group's chief executive Willie Walsh is in Tokyo on Tuesday. And he's thanking BA staff who have continued to run two flights a day to the Japanese capital. Earlier Mr. Walsh gave me thoughts on how the city is coping after the earthquake and the tsunami. And why a full merger with a restructured JAL isn't on the cards.


WILLIE WALSH, CEO, BRITISH AIRWAYS: Quite honestly, Tokyo to me, looks relatively normal. It is a little bit quieter than I've been used to. But what I've felt and seen and witnesses is a very strong determination from the Japanese people, to overcome this tragedy, which has been extreme.

QUEST: One of your airlines, British Airways, kept its double daily services to Japan, throughout the crisis. But are you seeing that the business requirement and demand on those flights is still justifies those flights?

WALSH: Well, we have seen a reduction in demand, as you would expect in a situation like this. But we're determined to maintain our services. We are here for the long-term and we also want to provide whatever help we can. We have been helping with the-getting people down for the search and rescue effort early on. We are helping with humanitarian relief that is ongoing at the moment. And we are absolutely determined to help in rebuilding the business links. So, you know, we have seen demand reduced. But I've not doubt that that will recover in due course.

QUEST: I try and be diplomatic in my questioning, sometimes one has to just get the sledgehammer, and hit hard. Is JAL a possible candidate for the IAG family of airlines?

WALSH: Well, being equally direct, unfortunately, there are restrictions on ownership and control. So one of the things we can do is look at progressing a deeper relationship beyond a potential joint venture. We might look at some equity participation if Japan Airlines floats again on the stock market, which is their intention at some stage over the next couple of years. But I don't see Japan airlines being merged with British Airways or Iberia. And that is not just because of the restrictions on ownership and control, but I don't think it fully fits with our ambition at the moment.

QUEST: Unfortunately, yesterday, once again, UNITE and the unions threatening industrial action at British Airways. Now, obviously, Keith Williams, chief exec at BA will now be doing the negotiations. But you will have a say in the direction that they take, or at least an influential view.

So, are you worried that BA heads for a strike at Easter, or heading towards the summer?

WALSH: No, I'm not worried at all. Keith, you know well. He is a fantastic guy and he has made quite a significant effort already to resolve these issues. But equally we're determined to use our contingency plans if we are faced with any threat of industrial action. And those contingency plans are very well developed.

QUEST: IATA came out with some interesting numbers this morning. Not surprisingly the unrest in the Middle East is taking its toll there, but there is good growth elsewhere.

And, all hail, yields seem to perhaps be moving in the right direction.

WALSH: Yes, I think the general economic environment is actually much more positive in 2011, than it has been in for sometime. Clearly the industry is going to be challenged by the high price of oil. The geopolitical risk is adding probably about $15 to the price of a barrel of oil. But, you know, the general environment is not too bad. And I'm optimistic about the outlook for 2011. So long as the high oil price doesn't start having a dampening effect on the economic recovery, we should see 2011 being an improvement on 2010.

QUEST: And at what point, Willie, does the oil price start to hinder the business again, do you think? How much more pain can this take for the airlines?

WALSH: I think at $115 a barrel it is a challenge, but I don't think it is going to undermine the economic recover that we have seen in most major economies. I think if oil goes above $150 a barrel, it is something that everybody will be concerned about. But I'm pleased to say we're not there at this point. And hopefully, we'll see some of this uncertainty resolve itself sooner rather than later.


QUEST: The chief exec of IAG, Willie Walsh.

Now fellow ONE WORLD partner airline Cathay Pacific has announced it is reducing its services from Hong Kong to Osaka and Tokyo. It says radiation fears have reduced demand for those flights.

Sendai Airport was one of the hardest hit by the March 11 tsunami. The damage was so bad that some officials doubted that the airport would ever reopen. Now, as our correspondent, Martin Savidge reports, Sendai is back in action and this time the passengers and the planes are playing a major role in the relief efforts.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you remember some of the most amazing images that came out in the first hours after the tsunami, one of them would have to be the airport in Sendai.


SAVIDGE: What is so amazing to see this massive airport overrun with water and debris. Now we're going back to see how it looks today.

But first we have to avoid Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Fukushima reactor, this is the 25-mile restricted area. This is our airplane here.

SAVIDGE: Colonel Rob Toth (ph) was aboard the first plane to arrived at Sendai after the tsunami.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think anything you see on TV or Hollywood, with their greatest special effects, can't put into perspective the amount of destruction that was down there on the airfield the day that we arrived.

SAVIDGE: Sweeping in for landing ourselves, we see none of that.

(On camera): You can probably see that for the most part behind us it looks great. It really does.

(Voice over): The transition is amazing. Given what happened here the day of the disaster. But get away from the runway and you see the reminders, which a literal army of 240 U.S. airmen, soldiers and Marines, alongside Japanese civilians, frantically work to clear.

By just dumb luck there were no large passenger planes here when the wave hit. But hundreds of smaller, mostly private, aircraft weren't so lucky. They look as though they fell from the sky, even ones in the hangers weren't spared.

(On camera): This is the main entrance here at Sendai. It is like any normal American airport, only it is not so normal now.

(Voice over): Sendai is an international hub, think Logan Airport or Dulles. Japanese officials had written the place off.

(On camera): Did you think it would be able to be reopened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me honest, the answer is no.

SAVIDGE (voice over): But it is open and now serves as the center for humanitarian aid distribution.

And guiding those planes, from the same roof on which so many sought shelter, now stand American Air Force air traffic controllers, who saw a tragedy and were able to help.

MASTER SARGENT MICHAEL CHARVAT, U.S. AIR FORCE: You feel kind of sad, but you know you are here for a job, and hopefully you can bring some relief to the Japanese people.

SAVIDGE: Once an iconic image of a disaster, Sendai Airport has now been transformed into an early sign of hope. Martin Savidge, CNN, Sendai, Japan.


QUEST: Later in this program the Starbucks chief executive tells us how his company is responding to the disaster in Japan. And we'll discuss the region's future with Howard Schultz, after the break. And from one boss to another, the star of our series is leaving his post. What did we learn? When Richard Braddock, as the was "The Boss".


QUEST: Now if you are the chief executive of a company, you are "The Boss", the one making the decisions. It also means the tree shakes you fall the furthest. And that is what happened to one of our bosses, that we followed in our series. He is Richard Braddock, who was the chief executive of FreshDirect. Earlier this month the British supermarket chain Morrisons announced that it was taking a stake, a 10 percent stake, in FreshDirect for more than $50 million. That same day we received a statement from FreshDirect containing the following announcement.

It said, quite bluntly, "Richard Braddock is no longer with the company." What has happened? Obviously, we reached out to FreshDirect to get a statement, or an interview with Richard, who had appeared on our program so many times. They declined. Today we look back at our time with Richard Braddock, as he was, "The Boss".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): For more than six months Richard Braddock allowed us inside this boardroom. Opened his doors to his business strategy.

RICHARD BRADDOCK, FMR. CEO, FRESHDIRECT: Being ready is not simply being open for business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And shared his insight on how to lead.

BRADDOCK: Well, as a manager I believe you are as good as your people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this week's episode we say good-bye to the former CEO of FreshDirect, as we remember his time as "The Boss".

From the day our cameras started rolling Richard Braddock was there.

BRADDOCK: Good morning. How are you all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From days, to weeks, to months, Richard discussed with us the growing pains for FreshDirect.

BRADDOCK: I don't want to come off as presenting myself as a miracle worker, but we were pretty close to being out of business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problems the company faced when he joined in its early days.

BRADDOCK: We didn't have a lot of cash around in those days, we churned a lot of customers and our service was, I can say now, atrocious. There is no point in bringing in customers and then kicking them in the teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To turn the company around he took a risk and stopped signing up new customers until FreshDirect improved its operations. It wasn't an easy move.

BRADDOCK: It took a lot of energy, not just by me, but once people saw that actually things could improve and they could influence that. Then it became a little bit infectious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With money now entering the business Richard was able to innovate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get to choose better quality ingredients to begin with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He introduced the Four-Minute Meal.

BRADDOCK: Why doesn't someone hold up a before and after package.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The frozen meal.

BRADDOCK: What can we say, responsibly about tastes like fresh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And very recently a kid's meal.

BRADDOCK: It is all about healthy eating today. Every way you slice it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Outside the board room, FreshDirect was on the move as well. Expanding to 29 communities in New Jersey.

BRADDOCK: We are headed to an expansion markets to demonstrate to people we can do this not just in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then all changed. FreshDirect received an investment from Morrisons, a U.K. supermarket. And Richard Braddock was out at FreshDirect. He was no longer "The Boss".

CNN asked FreshDirect several times for a explanation. We wanted to know the reason for his dramatic departure. But all we got was this statement.

"The board of directors recognizes that the growth of FreshDirect's business in the future and its success at realizing its full potential requires a full-time chief executive officer. As such, Richard Braddock is no longer with the company."

So, what did we learn from Richard Braddock, as "The Boss"?

BRADDOCK: Ready to work the day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he was a CEO with a common purpose, he lead from the front, yet he knew he couldn't do it on his own.

BRADDOCK: When you ask your people to think everyday about how to make the business better, you create a mindset that says, in fact, I can make it better. And then through the process of them seeing that the things they try actually work on a short-term basis, you create a lot of confidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shared his vision for the company and knew what was required to get there.

BRADDOCK: Managing growth requires intensity and I think forcing companies out of what I call their traditional cultural patterns.

All right. It is only gray hair I'm covering up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And above all, Richard showed us that success requires energy and strategic thinking.

BRADDOCK: You can't change with out taking risk. You can't grow without taking risks. Because you are dealing with some degree of uncertainty, and getting your people to believe where that uncertainty exists opportunity can be created.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six months on since our first meeting we say good bye to Richard Braddock. But the no-nonsense business philosophy of this seasoned turn around expert will be remembered by all those he worked with.

BRADDOCK: Being a CEO can be a very lonely place. That usually happens when your business isn't doing too well. Or it can be a very happy place and that happens when your business is doing well. So, right now, with our business currently at 25 percent I'm pretty happy to be a CEO.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next week on "The Boss".

QUEST: Are you a brewer? Or are you a businessman?


STEVE HINDY, CEO, BROOKLYN BREWERY: A brewer must be a businessman, or he won't be a brewer for long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meet Steve Hindy, the president of the Brooklyn Brewery, on our brand new "Boss", his mission to put New York on the map once again as a home for quality beer.


QUEST: Our first turn around within our candidates of "The Boss". Good bye, Richard Braddock. Hello, Steve Hindy, of Brooklyn Brewery. "The Boss" continues throughout, of course, across CNN.

Now, critical work also, this time continuing at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Authorities there are weighing up the risks. We'll ask if there are risks the world can afford not taking. In a moment.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

This is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.

Libya's leader must go is the message again from the U.S. secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. At a special conference in London on Libya, dozens of foreign ministers and diplomats discussed how to increase the pressure on Moammar Gadhafi.

Qatar's prime minister urged other Arab states to support coalition efforts. No decisions were made on whether the rebels should be armed.

We're getting reports of more fighting within Libya. Witnesses telling CNN pro-government forces are shelling Misrata and evicting residents from their homes. We cannot confirm this information. Also, coalition planes apparently dropped a few more bombs in Tripoli. There were loud blasts heard there.

Syrians poured into the street on Tuesday, showing their support for President Bashir Assad. Earlier, Mr. Al-Assad accepted the government's resignation. He's expected to name a new government soon. A spokeswoman says the president will address the nation on Wednesday.

Soldiers loyal to the internationally recognized Ivory Coast president, Alassane Ouattara, are taking the fight to their enemies. His forces seized a sixth town today and they're closing on a strategic port in the south. The U.N. says the political crisis and its fallout have left hundreds of people dead after a million people are displaced.

In Japan, workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are facing a very difficult balancing act. They need to keep the reactors cool and that means using tons of water. They're also fighting to stop radioactive water from leaking into the ocean. The focus now is how to remove the water and contain it. We told you yesterday how radioactive water had been found in a maintenance tunnel connected to Number Two Reactors. Workers are now using sandbags and concrete panels to keep the water inside.

Even at times like this, some people are sticking up for nuclear power. Scientists at Oxford say it's still the safest way to get energy. If that doesn't convince you, what about the prospect of you paying a much higher electric or energy bill?

The fact is, nuclear power is part of every country's energy resources.

CNN's Jim Boulden now looks at whether there's a viable alternative to nuclear.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It took just hours after Japan's tsunami for nuclear power to become a sensitive topic once again.

TOM WALLIN, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE: We don't really know what the overall impact is going to be on nuclear energy. It can't be good.

BOULDEN: About 14 percent of the world's electricity is generated through nuclear power. It's the main source of electricity in France, where 58 reactors supply 75 percent of the country's power. The United States gets 20 percent of its electricity from 104 reactors, while Japan got 29 percent from 54 reactors before the disaster.

Here in the UK, 19 nuclear reactors generate 18 percent of the energy mix.

On Tuesday, Oxford University released a report calling for new nuclear generators to be run on recycled nuclear fuel.

DAVID KING, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: A very simple way to get rid of the plutonium is to use it as a fuel in power plants, generate electricity, charge the utilities for the fuel and make money for the public purse instead of just spending it.

BOULDEN: Many groups, including the World Future Council, call for a complete phase-out of nuclear power. Quote: "Nuclear power is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges."

So then what would replace nuclear?

Environmentalists argue investing money in renewables instead of nuclear. Many analysts say natural gas is the answer. Using the UK as an example, UK government data reveals natural gas took over nuclear and coal just before the millennium. So if nuclear is out of the picture, it's conceivable natural gas would have to pick up the slack, in Japan, too.

WALLIN: Japan has about a dozen nuclear plants planned for the coming years. And if this accident results in a significant delay or even cancellation of all of that, or much of that capacity, they're going to have to look elsewhere for it. And natural gas is the obvious immediate fuel to turn to.

BOULDEN: Yet natural gas prices for summer delivery to the UK rose within hours of the Japanese tsunami, as it was clear countries like Russia and Qatar would transmit more liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to Japan. European consumers have also suffered in the recent past, when Russia had payment disputes with its neighbors, causing short-term supply shortages. And extracting natural gas takes exploration companies into ever more expensive and risky territories.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


QUEST: The Starbucks chief executive, Howard Schultz, says some of his Japanese stores will never be able to reopen after the disaster. Mr. Schultz is releasing a new book about this time as the coffee chain's boss. It's called "Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul."

He spoke to CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow about the situation in Japan.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, CEO, STARBUCKS: We have about 900 stores in Japan. We had 100 stores affected. We've lost about 10 stores. The business is coming back...


SCHULTZ: Yes, I think they're lost for good. The -- the business is coming back slowly. We're doing all we can for our own people. We've made a significant contribution to the general fund for the Red Cross. And we're in daily contact. And I think, you know, every day is a -- is a new day there. We're very hopeful. But I think it's going to take some -- quite some time.

But that will have a diminishing effect overall on Starbucks' business.

HARLOW: People are really worried about what this crisis does to Japan's economy overall.

Having a significant presence there, what do you think the impact of this crisis is going to be?

SCHULTZ: It's -- I think it's -- it's so catastrophic, it's hard to know what the long-term impact will be, because I think the -- this is going to have a significant effect on the economy in ways that perhaps we don't understand today.

But the Japanese people are very resilient. They're getting significant help from countries and organizations all over the world. And they will come back. But it's going to take quite some time.

HARLOW: We have seen what the Obama administration has done and put forward to aid the economy, to aid businesses. But what's been interesting, I think, at least for me to watch over the past few months, especially, is executives come out and say the Obama administration is anti-business, they're not business friendly.


HARLOW: You -- you sort of frown at that.

Do you disagree with those executives, I mean as the head of one of America's most...

SCHULTZ: Yes, I...

HARLOW: -- most sort of signature companies...


HARLOW: -- what do you think?

SCHULTZ: Well, I -- I think that statement is an anathema to me. I mean he -- he is not anti-business. There probably has not been any president in our lifetime that certainly is dealing with the multiple levels of complexity issues that he has had to deal with since he's come into office.

I don't -- I've met with the president. I've met with people in the administration. They are not anti-business. That's -- that's not true.

HARLOW: The rising (AUDIO GAP).


QUEST: I apologize for that.

Poppy Harlow doesn't normally sound like that. Well, not that I ever noticed.

As we press on with our busy hour, you'll want to hear more of the interview with Howard Schultz, which you can find on's Web site. See what the chief exec of Starbucks has to say at And I promise you, there'll be no nasty noises -- well, none that you're not expecting, anyway.

When we come back in a moment, now, look, if I say to you, what's that old adage about a rich man and the needle and it's easier for -- well, you know the -- the parable.

Well, what's better than being rich?

How about being super rich?

Of course, there is a catch in this tale, as the legend hip-hop artist, Russell Simmons tells us. He knows how to make it and there may be a surprise. Being super rich is not about money.


QUEST: Sometimes in this business, you do find yourself on a little bit of thin ice, talking about things that you might not be so au current with, not so much the business side of it, but when we're talking about hip-hop royalty, well, you can imagine.

Anyway, when we talk about that, we're talking about a man who turned counter-culture into big business.

Russell Simmons says he now has the secret for small rich businesses, for individuals to get rich and he means super rich and not in the way you may think.

Who is Russell Simmons?

He co-founded Def Jam Records in 1984, which brought hip-hop music to people's gramophones, along with Public Enemy, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, it was all sold to Universal for $300 million back in 1998.

With that sort of money, you can count yourself as super rich.

He then went on to Fat Farm Clothing, which made him a style icon, too. Now, that went under the hammer for $115 million in 2004. It also involved jewelry, fragrances, all the usual hip-hop memorabilia.

Now, Rush Communications is -- looks after the business and philanthropy interests for Russell Simmons. It's got a debit card called UniRush. It's got 1.5 million cardholders. And Simmons is estimated to be worth more than $300 million.

His focus is on mediation and spirituality and advising people in the workplace and small businesses. His new business book is called "Super Guide: A Rich -- A Guide to" -- "Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All".

And, as you will now learn from my interview with him, it's got nothing to do with money.


RUSSELL SIMMONS, CO-FOUNDER, DEF JAM: And no matter how big your mansion, you can only fit your butt in one seat. And if you can be comfortable in that seat and then you'll become very attractive. Those people who are still in their -- in their -- their work, who are comfortable in their work and who are focused on their work, you know, you have control over your work alone and never the fruit, is what they say in the scripture. And it's true, because the fruit, it -- it's kind of a distraction. And also, you have your work itself is -- is like a prayer. It's what makes happiness, the work itself.

And people forget these simple ideas. And so the book is a reminder, we hope. You know, it's a best-seller for the last six weeks in "The New York Times." So it's spreading around the world and I'm excited about it.

QUEST: Let's talk about in this, in the corporate -- in the business environment, because in the business world, the -- the idea of allowing time for one's self -- and I'm always thinking about this, particularly in the United States, where corporate America seems to regard if you're not having a work ethic of 130 percent, you're not working hard enough.

SIMMONS: Well, the real truth is when we are focused is when we do all of our creative work. We can never execute except when we're totally there. So the practices that bring you to present moments and to teach you to be focused are very critical parts of our day.

If we exclude them, then we're less focused and we do less work.

So the -- I beg to differ. There are -- the corporate world is also focused on results. And, of course, we can look at results, but they come after focus on the present and the execution of our work. And we want to teach people to be able to be present and not to have the results separate us from the actual work.

I -- I keep reminding people throughout the book the work itself is the prayer. And if we can be awake when we work, then we're more -- much more able to do a good job and then, of course, good givers, I -- I said earlier, good givers are great getters.

QUEST: Right.

SIMMONS: And our results come. They're fringe benefits from the work.


QUEST: The secrets of the super rich, the author there is Russell Simmons.

And you may have some thoughts on that. I'd like to read them. Certainly we'll -- we'll have a conversation about what it means to be super rich. If you have got a lot of what Simmons says is stillness and peace and tranquility and yoga, are you super rich?

@richardquest. Do join the debate. Join up, become a friend.

No, that's the other one. Anyway, you know what I mean. And we will have a chat and we will follow each other as we talk about that.

The weather forecast now. Any time Jenny Harrison has some decent weather for me, she's most definitely to be followed.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I don't, Richard. You know I don't. It's all about the change, actually, for you across in the UK.

But I'm actually going to start out in Thailand. Now, thankfully, conditions are changing here, as well.

The last few days, you see all this bright cloud at the south?

This has been producing some very, very strong thunderstorms, some really heavy amounts of rain. There was a little area of low pressure which was just sitting off the coast of Thailand, which continued to bring some torrential downpours.

I'm going to show you the region which was most affected. This is it here. And look at the amount of rain since Saturday, getting on for 860 millimeters, getting on for a meter of rain. And look at it compared to the average.

And let's have a look at some of these images coming to us from Thailand, because you can imagine, obviously, with that amount of rainfall, not hard to imagine the pictures like this.

But we're talking about some really, really torrential amounts of rain that have just absolutely swelled the rivers, and, of course, really impacted thousands of people, as well.

And all this in a very popular destination for many tourists around the world, of course, as well.

Now, in terms of what's going to be happening next, there is more rain in the forecast. These are some of the actual totals from many of those places. That coast, I mean, of course, a very popular destination. Over 400 millimeters of rain in just the last 24 hours.

But the good news is that that low that was just sitting off the coast there, that is now beginning to die down, beginning to push away. So in the forecast over the next couple of days, there is still some rain, but not those bright reds and oranges you're looking at there. So not the really torrential thunderstorms. But it's going to take a while, of course, for those floodwaters to really begin to recede.

Meanwhile, in Europe, it's going to be a fairly quiet picture across the central and the eastern areas, the south, as well. There's that low moving away, pushing across toward the Balkans. And then the next system beginning to really make headway now across much of the west of Europe.

But still, we've got that huge divide in temperatures. It feels like minus five in Moscow right now, whereas in London, it feels like 14 degrees Celsius.

But likely to feel a little bit cooler with the next front coming in, with some rain showers, as well. But still staying quiet across much of Central and Eastern Europe.

But take a look at that, there is some snow in the forecast. But Brussels, one or two showers. And look at these temperatures, again. Look at this. By Friday, 19 degrees. That's eight degrees above average there.

And in Paris by Friday, reaching that magic 21 degrees Celsius, 70 degrees Fahrenheit, when the average this time of year is only 12 degrees. And you can see that warm air really pushing into the west.

Meanwhile, the cold beginning to recede a bit across, certainly, western areas of Norway. But there is some more snow in the forecast, higher elevations and also out toward sort of western areas of Russia, too, over the next few days.

So do be prepared for some delays, not at most of the major airports across mainland Europe, but, actually, when you get to Moscow, that's where the delays will kick in on Wednesday -- Richard.

QUEST: I knew it was too good to last.

Jenny Harrison, many thanks.

Now, to India. Cricket in India -- it's more than just a sport. Well, you know this. It's an obsession. And the national team is about to take on Pakistan in the World Cup semi-finals. So obsession is even an understatement. There, it's at fever pitch.

Top players can take home serious amounts of money, and not just a bat and ball, but also to pitch an advertiser's message.

CNN's Malika Kapur explains from Mumbai.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early in the morning, Mumbai's largest park is bursting with energy. Students come here before school to bat, to bowl, to do what India's top cricketer, Patinder Logur (ph), did in this very field as a young boy.

YAJURVINDRA SINGH BILKHA, INDIAN FORMER TEST CRICKETER: At times, this coach used to put a one rupee coin on top of a stump. And if anyone bowled him, then that bowler would get that one rupee coin. And he didn't want to let his coach down, so he never let that happen. So I'll play ball. Push here.

KAPUR: Singh used to play test cricket for India in the late 1970s. He says a lot has changed since those days, but one thing remains the same...

SINGH: Very good.

KAPUR: Cricket is still a religion in India and fans worship their favorite players.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Satinder Nukal (ph), because of the way he plays, is definitely the god of cricket.

KAPUR: The passion is palpable. You see it in the streets when India plays a match and even when it doesn't, making cricketers ideal brand ambassadors for companies wanting to promote themselves.

(on camera): Here in Mumbai, cricket players appear on billboards just as often as Bollywood stars, endorsing everything from sportswear to food and drinks to phones to bikes.

(voice-over): Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Dhoni, endorses 23 brands. According to different estimates, that gets him anywhere from $18 million to $30 million a year, making him the world's richest cricketer.

BUNTY SACHDE, CORNERSTONE SPORT AND ENTERTAINMENT: I think it's the money that's come into cricket. If you look at the sponsorships for a team or if you look at the sponsorship valuation, I talk in valuation -- the valuation of a team or of a tournament or of a series on air or on ground, the values have quadrupled over the last eight years.

KAPUR: According to Sachde, this is just the beginning.

SACHDE: I think we're still far off from what a Kobe Bryant does, for example, in -- for -- for the U.S. For basketball, for himself.

KAPUR: Singh prefers to look at how far cricket has come from his time.

SINGH: In our time, I remember we were trying to -- all of us loved having chewing gum. So we thought Chiclet was a nice brand, you know, for them to sponsor us. And we asked them, would you mind if -- you know, I mean we would like you to be -- we would like to endorse Chiclets. And if you could even give us free Chiclets. And they said we can give you it at a discounted price.

KAPUR: A lot more money and a lot more at stake. Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.


QUEST: In just a moment, a very busy program and we are honored, after the break. South Africa's deputy prime minister has just finished a meeting at the White House. He'll be talking to us. Deputy President Motlanthe on the South African economy, after the break.


QUEST: South Africa's deputy president, Motlanthe, is on a four day visit to the United States, where he's promoting the South African economy. He's just finished a meeting with the U.S. vice president, Joe Biden. And the deputy president joins me now from CNN Washington.

Sir, many thanks.

Very grateful that you -- you've joined us.

Let's talk economic matters, if we may.

South Africa's economy has weathered some strikes. It's weathered some economic storms.

Can you tell us that the economy is out of the woods now?


Thank you very much.

The South African economy has emerged from the current recession and we recorded 3.4 percent growth last year. And however, we are aware that we need to ratchet up economic growth in order to address challenges of unemployment, as well as poverty.

QUEST: Right. Do...

MOTLANTHE: And we have, through the Ministry of Economic Development, a new economic growth path, which identifies job drivers...

QUEST: Right.

MOTLANTHE: -- key among them is build infrastructure.

QUEST: Right. Can -- can I...

MOTLANTHE: We should also say...

QUEST: If you'll -- if you'll forgive me...


QUEST: But I -- if I just -- if I just jump in there. The -- the...


QUEST: -- the purpose of your visit, obviously, to the United States, is to -- is to promote what's happening in -- in South Africa and also South Africa's role as the regional power, isn't it?

But I'm wondering, when we look at South Africa, is South Africa, at the moment, sir, playing fully to its strengths?

MOTLANTHE: Yes, I -- I would say we are, because, you know, even within the African Union, we have been put in charge of the infrastructure development program, which would link North Africa to the South, essentially connecting the economic regional communities.

QUEST: The -- the role, though -- I'm thinking about -- I think, for example, of -- let's take the rand, which has been so very strong at the moment, hitting certain South African industries. And yet, we balance that with the gold price, which is doing so well for many of South Africa's exporters. And yet you throw into the mix the automobile industry.

So Mr. Deputy President, the critics say that the government is spending too much but at the same time needs to consolidate the budget.

MOTLANTHE: Yes, Richard, our focus, the president's focus is to create jobs. And that is why we, through the treasury, will be setting aside $800 billion in infrastructure. We believe that this investment would have a catalytic effect on the economy as a whole. And I am here speaking to the American investors, as well as the organizations which helped to defeat apartheid, inviting them to come on board, because we carry the responsibility, as you correctly point out, but we are calling for 50 percent of trade dealing on -- on -- in Africa. And -- and, therefore, we see ourselves as a catalytic agent for ensuring that Africa as a whole develops.

QUEST: Mr. Deputy President, many thanks, indeed, for joining us from Washington and for -- on our program today.

Good to have you on the program, sir.

Hopefully, we'll talk next time when you're back in -- in Johannesburg and in South Africa.

Now, as we continue, we've got more business leaders on tomorrow's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Jeff Smisek is the chief executive of one of the world's largest airlines, the largest, in fact. And he tells us why his competitors should be shaking in their boots at the new merge, United and Continental.


JEFF SMISEK, CEO, UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS: When we're done with this integration in about 18 months, and when we -- we've got that all behind us, we are going to be a potent competitor in the force. And they are very scared of us. And they should be.


QUEST: Jeff Smisek.

What's he doing with United Airlines, tomorrow's program?

A Profitable Moment after the break.


QUEST: Russell Simmons on tonight's Profitable Moment.

He entreats us to stillness, to discover that part of our inner being which allows us to be at peace.

Simmons told us tonight that an abundance of richness in its own right and that he who has it is rich beyond measure.

Well, anyone who's access that part of the brain where the material world can't enter knows there's a lot of strength in mediation and the like. It does, of course, take practice to reach such elevated states. All too often, mercenary and mercantile matters move back in and before long, money is the object du jour.

In the business world, we live in the rat race. I'm not sure it can be put aside quite so quickly. But don't give up. Forget your bank balance for a moment. There's a greater wealth to be achieved if you put the daily grind back in its box.


I'm Richard Quest.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. : "WORLD ONE" now.