Booming and Bubbling India- XIII

Another good quarter ended June 2007. The performance of India Inc. seems fantastic. 2,308 companies register a massive 39% growth in net profit (over the previous corresponding period that ended June 2006). Top line grew 19% during this period. The performance by India Inc. at the operating income level recorded an impressive 38% compared to 28% in the earlier quarter. Stock market movement may be worrying to some, but robust basics suggest it as correction. Industrial production for the quarter is on rise, particularly the manufacturing is doing fine. Employment is growing. Prediction of growth rate is not affected. India is sure of a steady growth. Some took the shortage of skilled manpower as a gospel truth. See how Indian companies are overcoming that by putting its own facilities such as one at Mysore by Infosys. Some may doubt, but even for Indian outsourcers, the party is not over. The rising rupee may be a concern, but for some sector requiring imported raw material it helps bringing down the cost. The boom is on and it is bubbling.

Jobs grow faster than population in India: For the first time since Independence, employment has grown at a faster rate than population during a five-year period between 2000 and 2005. Is jobless growth a thing of past?

Bajaj’s with Renault: India’s second largest two-wheeler maker, Bajaj Auto Ltd, which has plans to develop a small car with French carmaker Renault SA, said its main contribution to the proposed vehicle would be the engine. It is an indicator of strong manufacturing India.

Top buyout cos make a beeline for India: Global private equity’s (PE) platinum leveraged buyout (LBO) firms have started arriving in India with plans to grab a slice of the country’s booming PE market. By March 2008, at least five of the world’s Top 10 LBO shops are expected to have teams on the ground here, according to executives in Mumbai’s PE circles. Does it not show the basics of the companies strong?

Wipro to buy Infocrossing of US: India’s third largest IT firm Wipro acquired US-based Infocrossing Inc, a leader in data centre space and IT outsourcing, for $600 million (nearly Rs 2,400 crore) in cash. For Wipro, the deal would create one of the world leaders in end-to-end IT infrastructure management solutions.

Wal-Mart, Bharti announce 50-50 JV: Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart, world’s largest retailer announced a 50-50 venture that will be called Bharti-Wal-Mart Private Ltd, for their cash-and-carry and wholesale business and will cater to small retailers and will source products directly from farmers and small manufacturers. The deal was important enough to be covered by ‘Business Week’ as well as ‘Economist’.

HAL 34th among top 100 global defence firms: Hindustan Aeronautics has climbed 11 notches up to reach the 34th position in the list of top 100 defence companies in the world, released by the US-based magazine Defence News saw HAL improving its position from 45 based on the company’s sales and turnover.

Four Indian institutions in world university rankings: Four leading Indian educational institutions- the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs at 57), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs at 68), the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU at 183) and the Delhi University (DU), have found their place in a list of world’s top 200 universities, with Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford dominating the rankings, according to the Times Higher Education Supplement, an authoritative journal in academia. In the list of top technology universities, IIT jumps to the third place after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley. Among the world’s top 100 science universities, IITs rank 33rd. I wonder the listing considered all IITs and all IIMs as one single institution.

Hyundai exports four lakhs Atos from Chennai: Hyundai Motor India has shipped 4,00,000 units of its small car Atos prime from its Chennai facility to overseas market. As announced earlier, the company uses India’s facility as manufacturing hub for small cars even for export.

Indian American donates $20 million to native village: Kumar Bahuleyan, 81, who was born to a Dalit familly in India, decided to donate his personal fortune as a gratitude to his village, to establish a neurosurgery hospital, a health clinic and a spa resort in Chemmanakary, in Kottayam district of Kerala. Is it not something exemplary, and encouraging for many to do something for their villages, lakhs in waiting?

M&M to develop engineering skills among students: As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning to take steps to develop engineering skills among students in the age group of 7-12 years in association with the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) India through an innovative programme – AWIM (A World in Motion) in Nashik that makes the challenges of maths and science exciting by bringing authentic engineering design experiences into the classroom.

TCS eyes 150 deals: TCS Financial Solutions, a strategic business unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has decided to pursue clients and opportunities in regions like Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa to reduce dependence on US clients. As reported, “Between 100-150 deals are likely to be in the pipeline in the next 12-18 months from these markets alone. Of this, 20% is likely to be in the large category ranging between $30-200 million, while 80% would be in the $5-10 million range.”

India is the 2nd largest market: India is now the second largest market for foreign major Standard Chartered Bank, which has posted a 50% rise in operating profits here in the first half of 2007 with the operating profits for H1 2007 at $320 million as against $213 million in the corresponding period last year. Is not India getting attractive on its own?

India is now 5th largest global steel producer:
India has moved up two places in global ranking and is now the fifth largest producer of crude steel in the world with the revised figures for production in 2006 ahead of South Korea and Germany with the revised figures for crude steel production in 2006-07 pegged at 50.71 million tonne and that of finished steel at 51.90 million tonne.

Government to facilitate setting up of Rs65 crore R&D fund for steel: The Union government plans to facilitate the creation of an Rs65 crore fund that will finance research and development (R&D) in the steel industry, to improve the quality of steel produced in the country.

Industrial output seen up 10.6% YoY: India’s industrial output in June is expected to have grown a robust 10.6 percent from a year earlier.

India Inc raises record $22 bn: In the current year till July, Indian capital markets have seen their largest-ever initial public offerings (IPOs) and a mega follow-on public offer (FPO).

Isro to build nano-satellite platform: India’s space agency is set to launch a special platform to put into space miniature satellites catering to the needs of developing countries and the domestic scientific community.

India as outsourcing market becomes lucrative: In the first-half of the year 2007, India outpaced Australia and Japan as the largest market for outsourcing contracts in the Asia Pacific region by awarding a total of $1.68 billion worth of contracts.

Balco set to become world power in aluminium: Chhattisgarh-based Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (Balco) is all set to become the world’s largest producer of aluminium from a single location with a major expansion programme with a target to produce one million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in the next three years.

SBI scouts for $1 billion acquisition: Having tasted minor success with small buyouts, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest bank is ready with a $1 billion war chest to take over a niche bank which not just gives it access to foreign markets but also helps it blunt the advantage of international players who are poised to enter India in 2009.

Cox& King leases mountaine to push tourism: Tour operator Cox & Kings has acquired a mountain in the heart of the Swiss Alps in a bid to boost outbound tourism from India and boost revenues in the bargain.

Mitsubishi constructs new plant:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries India on Thursday said it has invested Rs 50 crore to set up a new plant in Tamil Nadu’s (TN) Vellore district to double production capacity in gear cutting tools.

BSNL aims at half million customers for Wimax: State-owned phone firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd or BSNL is in talks with system integrators and hardware vendors to plan a countrywide, mobile high-speed data network.

IIT launches centre for computing resources: The Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, launched the P G Senapathy Centre for Computing Resources in its campus with the state-of-the-art facility set up at a cost of Rs20 crore at an investment of Rs2.5 crore.

Indian cos teaming up for greener vehicles: Indian vehicle makers are joining the global race to make less-polluting, greener vehicles, teaming up with international firms and pouring money into research that could result in commercially viable technologies quickly.

India gets its first integrated animation studio: Compact Disc India (CDI), India’s leading integrated media and entertainment company will invest $12.40 million (Rs49.60 crore) to set up India’s first modern integrated state-of-the-art animation studio at the Kerala Industrial Development Corporation (Kinfra).

GM to source $1 bn spares from India: General Motors Corp, the largest US automaker, plans to quadruple autoparts purchases from India to $1 billion in three years, buying more from low-cost sources to combat competition from global rivals. Purchases would be about $250 million in value this year and increase fourfold by 2010.GM India has as many as 100 suppliers, of which about 40 were being lined up for global sourcing.

Corporate farming is taking some concrete shape in India. FieldFresh’s ‘Agricultural Centre of Excellence’ (ACE) is one such initiative. Even Mayawati’s government has come out with a policy that encourages contract farming and will usher prosperity for the farmers with elimination of the middlemen and assistance regarding other inputs for farming. Agriculture sector is bound to take a quantum leap in years to come.

Doesn’t one get excited to know that very soon the HRD Ministry will make available to students the expensive textbooks in a free digital form with integrated multimedia functions, such as video clips, animation, virtual reality, and hyperlinks in addition to the documented materials, for undergraduate and post graduate courses?

And India celebrates its 60.

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