Booming and Bubbling India- XII

While ‘Time’ magazine celebrates India’s 60 years of independence, Shobha De gives a ‘wake up‘ call. Some are skeptical and find Indian economy overheating. A group is worried about the falls in stock market last week. But in the last 18 months, assets under management of mutual funds have doubled. Floods are causing concerns. But monsoon is ‘mehrvan’. India is likely to witness three consecutive years of positive growth in the farm sector. Overall, the boom continues all over NEWS. So I am hopeful that series will go on.

India unveils landmark nuclear deal with publication of 123 Agreement: Finally, the suspense is over. Any one can read the agreement. It took two years to complete. It spells out how a plan for the U.S to share nuclear technology with India will work. Indian can get to the thorny issues like reprocessing rights and the creation of a fuel reserve for India. India and the US will engage in full civil nuclear cooperation activities covering nuclear reactors and aspects of the associated nuclear fuel cycle including technology transfer on an industrial or commercial scale between the governments or authorised persons. The agreement does not hinder or interfere with India’s nuclear programme for military purposes developed independent of the civil nuclear deal. Perhaps, India has tasted the major win in diplomacy for the first time.

Ernst and Young European Attractiveness Survey 2007: India’s popularity is rising as 26 per cent respondents said the country is amongst their top three preferences in 2007 whereas the figure was just 11 per cent in 2004. One company in five intends to relocate all or part of its European activities outside the region and for this they look forward to the Asian countries. “China attracts the interest of 50 per cent of respondents currently undergoing a relocation search, while India is considered by 30 per cent of voters.”

Time to rewrite notions about rural India: According to a new report by Roopa Purushothaman of BRIC fame, currently chief economist at Future Capital Holdings, titled ‘Is Urban Growth Good for Rural India?’, “There are several things about rural India that aren’t true anymore… The non-farm economy is driving growth in rural GDP.” In 2000, the rural economy accounts for 42% of total manufacturing output and 27% of services.

Indian family values intact:
According to a 57-nation survey, nearly 84% of the Indians questioned isay spending time with their families is their favourite pastime. Sixty-eight per cent of the adult urban population in India is married and less than 1% is divorced or separated.

What’s Next for Outsourcing? A new report, “China’s Diminishing Offshore Role” discusses China’s slow progress as an offshore outsourcing destination. Two years ago, experts predicted China would soon overtake India as the world’s leader offshoring destination, but in relative terms China’s position has weakened.

Telcos plan Rs 60,000 crore expansion: Indian telecom companies are investing over Rs 60,000 crore in 2007-08 to finance a massive expansion of their mobile networks, infrastructure and subscriber numbers. The money being invested in just 12 months is equivalent to 60 per cent of the cumulative investments in their wireless mobile business since the sector was opened up for private investment in 1995. 80,000 new towers are being built across the country.

Inventor doc’s breakthrough: Jaipur-based surgeon Atul Kumar’s patented invented device could potentially reduce the risk involved in endoscopic surgeries – a minimally invasive surgery employed to operate such vital organs as the brain, spine and uterus. The invention could enable even relatively inexperienced surgeons to perform complex endoscopic surgeries. Dr Kumar has obtained a patent in India for the device and has patent applications pending in the US and UK.

India’s handicrafts are going upscale: Non-profit firms and manufacturers are better organizing their operations and vouching for the quality of their goods. India currently accounts for about 2% of the total international handicrafts and folk art industry estimated at $235 billion in 2005, but wants to double its share, according to the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts. India’s handicrafts exports grew 16% to Rs17, 288 crore in year ended March 31, 2007 compared with Rs14,526 crore in the year earlier period.

Ramon Magsaysay award for Palagummi Sainath: Reformative Indian journalist Palagummi Sainath and author of the 1997 best-seller book “Everybody Loves a Good Drought”, was among the seven people selected on 31 July for the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award.

RIL may become India’s first $100 bn mkt cap firm: Reliance Industries, India’s most valued firm, may become the first in the country to achieve a market capitalisation of $100 billion, according to international brokerage and equity research major Morgan Stanley.

Arcelor Mittal plans to advance Orissa construction date: Lakshmi Mittal’s global giant Arcelor Mittal is planning to advance the construction at its 10 million tonnes Orissa plant and hopes to begin initial construction by mid-2008, as against the earlier date of 2009.

India to become hub for sanitaryware: India could soon become a manufacturing hub for international sanitaryware brands. International brands like Roca, Kohler and H&R Johnson plan to expand their scale of operations in India.

Hindalco plans Rs 30K crore capex: Hindalco Industries Ltd will incur a capex of around Rs 30,000 crore ($6.7 billion) over a period of five years towards its brownfield and green-field expansion.

Nokia sets up design studio in Bangalore: Nokia Oyj, the world’s largest phone maker, has set up a studio in Bangalore to design new mobile phones in partnership with local design house, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. India is the third largest market for Nokia after the US and China. The’satellite’studio, the first outside of Espoo, Finland, where Nokia is headquartered, will focus on research into colour and material trends and also how phones could be better used to access the Internet.

Daimler set to drive luxury buses into India next year: DaimlerChrysler India Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of German auto major DaimlerChrysler AG, is close to launching luxury buses inIndia as early as next year, making it the second major international bus maker toenter India after Volvo AB.

IT industry crosses $50 bn mark in FY07: The Indian information technology industry crossed the $50 billion mark in 2006-07. Dataquest’s annual “DQ Top 20” survey of the Indian IT industry revealed that the IT industry recorded a growth of 32 per cent in rupee terms and was a little shy of 30 per cent growth in dollar terms during the year.

MICO starts CRDi manufacturing at Nashik:
Motor Industries Company (MICO), the Indian subsidiary of the global leader in automotive and industrial technology – Robert Bosch GmbH, commenced the commercial manufacturing of the complete common rail diesel (CRD) injectors at its Nashik facility to cater to both domestic and export markets.

Bangalore, city of millionaires: Bangalore, the IT capital of India has the largest number of households with income of Rs 10-lakh (per year) and above. With 3.3% of the total 31,17,843 households in the country earning Rs 10 lakh and above, Bangalore ranks No 1 in the list.

Japanese PM to fund DMIC: The proposed $90-billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project is likely to emerge as the hot-spot for Japanese investors over the next few years. Mitsui, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Honda and Orix have already started identifying potential areas of investment around the corridor.

Bajaj plans Rs 1,600-cr facility in Uttarakhand: Bajaj Auto is pressing ahead with plans for a Rs 1,600-crore plant in Uttarakhand to take advantage of the state’s tax breaks.

Seven IIMs, three IITs in the offing: The government is planning to set up seven more IIMs, three new IITs, and 20 more NITs in the next five years at an investment of Rs 5,000 crore to meet the growing manpower requirement of the industry. 30 CUs, three IITs, seven IIMs, 20 NITs, five Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Indian Institute of Information Technologies (IIITs) and two schools of planning and architecture (SPA) are envisaged to come up during 2007-14.

Govt nod for Rs 1,581 cr plan for ITIs: Government approved World Bank-funded Rs1,581 crore vocational training programme for upgrading quality of education at 400 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), to improve the employability of their students.

Electronic equipment prodn to hit $32 bn by ’11: The total electronic equipment production sector in the country is likely to reach $32 billion in 2011, compared to $14 billion in 2006, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%, according to Gartner Inc. Semiconductor consumption in the country will more than double from $2.8 billion in 2006 to $7.2 billion in 2011.

Tatas plan to foray into aircraft component manufacturing: Tata Group is understood to be planning a foray into manufacture of aircraft components for exports and is acquiring land at a Special Economic Zone in Nagpur for setting up the component manufacturing plant.

The Last Rajah- India’s Ratan Tata: The market value of the 18 listed Tata companies has swelled to $62 billion, from $12 billion, since 2003. Group sales and profits have doubled, to $29 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. The three big companies that account for 75% of sales-Tata Steel, Tata Motors, and Tata Consultancy Services-are enjoying some of their best years ever.

Record M&A by India Inc. on foreign turf: Domestic companies acquired companies abroad with a war chest of 11.37 billion while the foreign firms invested much less $2.06 in buying out the Indian firms in the first quarter of fiscal 07-08, according to industry chamber Assocham’s Eco Pulse Study (AEP) on “Mergers and Acquisitions in First Quarter 2007-08”.

Indian techies log in to elite global R&D: Indian technologists are gradually making a name for themselves as they “drive innovation” in the global research and technology divisions of information technology (IT) giants like IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Motorola. Of the 67 current IBM Fellows globally, five are from India. India’s contribution to the labs is the largest from Asia.

Suzlon targets 5000 mw capacity: Suzlon Energy, India’s leading wind energy equipment manufacturer, plans to reach 5000 MW capacity installation from the current 2700 MW by the end of this financial year, to become one among the top four integrated wind energy manufacturers in the world.

Tata Steel buys stake in African coal mine: Tata Steel has entered into an memorandum of understanding (MoU) today with Australia-based Riversdale Mining to buy 35% stake in Riversdale’s Mozambique Coal Project for A$100 million.

Tata Motors set to drive in world’s largest bus plant: Tata Motors is setting up the largest fully-built bus plant in the world, which will make it one of the leading global bus manufacturers, initially with an annual capacity of 7,000 fully-built buses and luxury coaches, for which the Tatas have entered into a joint venture with Brazil-based Marcopolo-the largest mass manufacturer of fully-built buses in the world.

Reliance Ind weighs $6-b semi-conductor foray: Reliance Industries is planning to invest up to $6 billion over five years to set up a facility to manufacture not just silicon chips used in devices such as mobile phones and computers, but also liquid crystal display units and solar photovoltaic cells.

‘IT jobs will double to 3.2 m in four years’: Employment generation by IT and ITES sectors will double to 3.2 million within the next four to five years, feels Mr Nandan M. Nilekani, Co-Chairman, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Microsoft India centre working on Windows 7: Designers and engineers at Microsoft R&D centre in India have a new mandate for development of Windows 7, the next generation operating system from Microsoft Corporation, slated for release in 2009-10. This new operating system will have in-built features to address networking-related issues, virtualisation that helps create separate machines within a PC and various plug-ins for accessories for the new OS.

And the stories of booming India goes oon.

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