Booming and Bubbling India-VIII

India will be 60, next month. The entrepreneuring Indians are making news every now and then. The news excites younger generation to have big dreams. And these dreams are pushing the country towards the status of a developed nation.

Today’s rumour may be reality tomorrow: The shares of both Infosys Technologies and Capgemini SA jumped on rumors of India’s IT bellwether acquiring Europe’s largest IT services firm.

India’s chipping in: A leading US-based analyst firm, iSuppli – in a forthcoming report – has pointed out that the integrated circuit design industry will quadruple in revenues from $596 million last year to $2.1 billion by 2010. The report also suggests that within the next three to four years, India will end up doing half the world’s chip design. The story such as one on Mithilesh Jha is clear indicator.

India Rides the VC Wave: As reported in Business week, U.S. venture capital firms are broadening their scope and investing in Indian companies that are helping the country’s poor. Two California VC funds-Walden International and New Enterprise Associates-are considering a $5 million investment in Novatium, a Chennai-based company that has developed a $100 personal computer.

India emerging as third largest banking hub: According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the domestic credit in India would grow to $23 trillion in 2050 from $0.4 trillion in 2004. India is pegged to take the third place as a banking hub after China and the US by 2040.

Faster Urbanisation in India: The urbanisation of India is taking place at a faster rate than in the rest of the world. By 2030, 40.76 per cent of India’s population will be living in urban areas compared to about 28.4 per cent now, according to the United Nations’ ‘State of the World Population 2007’ report.

Indian millionaires: The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI), with a net asset of at least $1 million, increased by 20.5% to 1,00,015 in India last year, second only after 21.2% growth in Singapore, according to the World Wealth Report released by Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini on June 28,2007.

Red tape smaller problem for India Inc: According to an International Business Report (IBR) by global accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton International, India seems to have fared much better, with just 37% of the businesses surveyed blaming bureaucratic delays for their woes. That’s a tad lower than the global average of 38%, and way below Brazil’s 60% and Russia’s 59%. Further, only 23% of Indian businesses consider cost of finance to be a significant constraint as against Russia at 40%, Brazil at 36% and China at 35%. The numbers on working capital being a significant constraint to growth are very similar.

India second largest investor in UK: India has been rated as the second largest foreign investor in the UK by consultancy firm Ernst and Young, acknowledging India Inc’s growing competitiveness and willingness to take up global challenges.

Indian M&As to top $100 bn: India Inc is getting bigger by the day in terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Driven by large capital and global liquidity, the M&As, including inbound and outbound deals, are expected to cross the $100-billion figure in calendar 2007, according to leading investment bankers.

4 Indian majors in ‘IT 100’: Indian majors like Bharti Airtel, TCS, Infosys and Satyam Technologies have found place in the Information Technology 100, BusinessWeek’s ranking of the top tech performers in the world. TCS has also been named as the only Indian entity to be listed among the world’s top 10 most profitable firms.

Arun appointed on Biz Council for Britain: NRI entrepreneur and Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin has been appointed as a member of the Business Council for Britain, a high powered body comprising representatives of UK-based businesses by the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown to advise him on issues that affect enterprise, business and competitiveness of the economy.

India-born scientist excels: Indian-born Australian Kuldip Sidhu has won the “2007 Top Invention Prize” for his work on stem cell research that, he says, is of “great relevance for India”.

An Indian as future Nobel candidate: Avinash Kamalakar Dixit, the Princeton professor is one of a trio of Indians who stand on the highest peak of academic economics. Amartya Sen is already a Nobel lauret. The names of the other two-Jagdish Bhagwati and Dixit-are inevitably tossed in the air when the new Nobel season starts every year.

Mukesh Ambani to get ‘Global Vision’ award: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) will confer the ‘Global Vision’ 2007 award for leadership on Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani in Washington.

A scientist at IIT-Kharagpur has patented a technique to harvest hydrogen from a commonly found strain of bacteria, providing a possible alternative to current hydrogen extraction techniques, which are expensive.

Tata Power has completed acquisition of 30% stakes in Indonesian thermal coal producers – PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and PT Arutmin Indonesia, and other related coal trading companies owned by PT Bumi Resources Tbk for a consideration of $1.1 billion.

Carlos Ghosn, head of Japan’s Nissan Motor and France’s Renault, said in Bangkok on Wednesday India’s Mahindra would be the “natural” partner if the company decides to produce a $3,000 car there. “If it’s possible to be done, it will be done in India.”

US firm, TN govt ink pact to set up tech campus near Chennai: US electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company, Samnina-SCI Corp., has entered into an agreement with the government of Tamil Nadu to set up a manufacturing technology campus in India at Orgadam, near Chennai that will offer solutions to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the medical, communication, automotive, multimedia, defence and aerospace sectors.

According to managing director and chief executive Heung Soo Lheem, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is India’s largest exporter of fully built passenger vehicles and a manufacturing base for all the parent’s small cars worldwide.

Daimler to assemble trucks in India soon: DaimlerChrysler plans to assemble Mercedes-Benz trucks in India soon, to tap the growing demand to transport freight in Asia’s third-largest economy.

TCS to provide software for Ferrari’s F1 cars: Software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has entered into an agreement with Scuderia Ferrari to provide entire software to the Italian automaker’s Formula-One cars from car electronics to safety, aerodynamics to trouble-shooting, during and between races. TCS engineering software division contributes almost six per cent of its total revenue and almost 18 per cent of that comes from aerospace sector.

India gets entry into elite tech studies club: India was last week made a provisional member of the Washington Accord, a 10-member apex global organisation that determines standards of engineering education.

NHPC to invest Rs 27,000 cr in Arunachal Pradesh: National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) would invest Rs27, 000 crore in Arunachal Pradesh in the next 10 years for development of mega hydro projects.

Bajaj plans maiden car in Rs 2-5 lakh range: Bajaj Auto, India’s second-largest two-wheeler maker, plans to price its first car between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. A concept vehicle will be showcased in January 2008 at the annual auto show. The company has earmarked Rs 750 crore for a four-wheel production plant to manufacture 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles annually.

Japan lines up $30 bn for investment in core sector: Japan may announce an investment of $30 billion in infrastructure projects that would include building a high-speed freight railway system between New Delhi and Mumbai, a port in Gujarat, and industrial complexes in Rajasthan.

Shobha De writes in her column in India Today special issue on this anniversary of 60 years, “Whether India is merely poised, shining, glowing or growling, nobody will argue that India is certainly climbing, clambering, clawing its way to the top of the heap. About time, too. The only question worth asking is: what took us so long?”

However, I think the more importsnt is to find how can we expedite it further to go ahead with the competition.

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