Booming and Bubbling India- XXI

Sensitive Index (Sensex) is flirting with a new record high of 18000. If it had closed at that level, it would have been the fastest 2000-point rise in the recent history of any stockmarket. In the past few weeks, the story has dominated the headlines of newspapers here and overseas. But does the sensex tell the whole story? Many are skeptical and asking, ‘Is India headed for a slowdown?’ Is India making a transition from from a demand-led growth of the past three years to strong investment-led growth? However, the activities at the level of enterprises are exciting and keep the booming story alive.

Surge in India’s Markets Creates Some Overnight Global Giants: Skyrocketing stock markets and a surging rupee are creating publicly traded behemoths in India. These new giants have swiftly overtaken some long-established Western competitors, in terms of market value. Their lightning-fast growth may usher in a new round of foreign partnerships, overseas takeovers and competition for resources and talent.

Rural India moving towards a better future: “Most of the states in India are peaking at the right time. The government initiative and role of rural Indians in the field of sanitation and poverty alleviation is showing its results,” said Lizette Burgers, chief of water and sanitation, Unicef India.

Kolkata brothers ‘scrabble’ Facebook’s hottest game: Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla have built a free online scrabble game that has 800,000 registered users on Facebook – which had 33.7 million unique visitors last August and was ranked the 14th most popular website on the Net by market researcher comScore.

Indian brain to guide GE’s innovation drive: Vijay Govindarajan, the Earl C Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at Dartmouth Colleges Tuck School of Business, will soon join General Electric (GE) as professor in Residence and chief innovation consultant to help the company advance its innovation agenda.

Sanofi-Aventis plans vaccine hub in India: India’s status as a global pharmaceutical manufacturing hub is all set for another booster shot with the Euro 28 billion French pharmaceutical major Sanofi-Aventis exploring the possibility of setting up a vaccine manufacturing hub in the country either through an acquisition or a joint venture.

IIM grads become crorepatis: Five students at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, still to complete their study, have got pre-placement job offers with an average salary of Rs one crore, all coming from global investment banks.

Queen Nooyi rocks American business world: Indra Nooyi, the Indian-origin Queen of the American business world, kept her crown intact for the second year in a row as Fortune magazine named her the most powerful businesswoman in the US.

Ruia Group acquires Malaysian firm: The Ruia Group announced the buyout of controlling stake in Industronics Berhad, a Malaysian player in electronics and engineering, for an undisclosed sum.

Real estate market to touch $90 bn by 2015: The growth of the realty sector would touch $90 billion from the current level of $14 billion and would help the economy continue to grow between 9-10 per cent, according to a recent report by industry body, Assocham.

Realty to attract $10-20 bn investment: Leading Private Equity (PE) players feel $10-20 billion would pour into the country’s real estate sector in the next three years.

Airtel joins global top 10 in telecom: Bharti Airtel’s customer base has crossed the 50-million mark to make it the 10th largest player in the global telecom industry.

Tatas biggest Indian employer in UK: Tatas’ British connection is set to get even stronger with the group expecting a significant surge in its employee strength in the UK as it expands operations and buys more firms. Presently at 30,000, it is a little less than 10% of Tata group’s entire headcount of about 3,30,000 people across the world.

Consultancy business to cross Rs 17,000 cr by 2010: Rising opportunities and growing consultancy spectrum as a result of high demand, consulting industry in India is poised to grow at CAGR of 28%-30% to carry forward its size to over Rs 17,000 crores as against current size of nearly Rs13, 000 crores, according to a paper on ‘Opportunities for Consultancy’, brought out by Assocham.

Mobile phones raise incomes for rural poor: The mobile phone is enabling people at the bottom of the pyramid such as balloon sellers and water melon vendors to do business in a wider geography. While the former reaches out to a potential market much faster because of the timely information he gets about crowd gatherings on his cell phone, the latter isn’t worried any more about the nine-month-long off-season as he can easily find alternative work as a repairman.

DLF to create new Bangalore @60k cr: DLF, the country’s biggest realty firm, plans to develop a huge integrated township spread over 9,178 acre on the outskirts of Bangalore at an estimated investment of up to Rs 60,000 crore over the next seven years.

GAIL plans $2.3 billion petrochem plant in Iran: Government-owned GAIL India, the country’s largest transporter and marketer of gas, plans to set up a mega $2.3 billion petrochemical plant in Iran.

Thermax Ltd inks deal with Georgia-Pacific Chemicals: Thermax Ltd, a global solution provider in energy and environment engineering has entered into a technology and manufacturing license agreement with US-based Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC for performance enhancing chemicals which find extensive applications in the paper industry.

Reliance launches cheapest colour phone: Reliance Communication launched ‘Classic 732’ at a price of Rs999, the lowest in Indian market. Earlier in May, the company had launched the Classic monochrome phones at a price of Rs777.

India top talent destination for World Inc: Global corporates are looking at India to get the right talent. “India is topmost on the list of preferred destinations for countries facing an internal talent crunch situation,” global management consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) partner and director James V Abraham said.

Indians compete with Russians, Chinese for prime London homes: Many Indian buyers are “keen to uncover bargains,” looking for properties or neighbourhoods where there is “improvement potential,” said the Knight Frank report. Many Indians are seeking properties priced between £750,000 and £1 million, with St John’s Wood a preferred part of the city.

Bengal to privatise 10 public sector units: Reviving its privatisation initiative, the West Bengal government has decided to go in for restructuring of five Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) and to hand over the operation of five other PSEs to joint venture partners, setting a six-month timeframe for the process.

Indian IT firms are teaching US, UK students: Certain Indian software companies like Educomp Solutions, Core Projects and Technologies and Everonn Systems are now making forays into developing software for the education sector to aid students in areas like online tutoring, classroom management, web-based learning and aiding students with learning disabilities.

India beat China in overseas M&A deal growth: Indian companies have surpassed their Chinese counterparts in making cross border merger and acquisitions with a 126% annual growth, while the Asia Pacific region registers a 36% rise in overseas M&As. So far this year, India has recorded a 126% jump in the amount spent on M&A deals outside the Asia Pacific region, compared to the previous year’s figure. China posed a 82% growth during the period.

India to set up Diaspora Knowledge Network: The “Diaspora Knowledge Network” will enable the 30- million-strong diaspora, spread across 130 countries, to work on projects in India without having to relocate themselves. The Ministry will also establish a “Global Indian Foundation” to channelize the philanthropic activities of the overseas Indian community to causes like education, health and rural development.

India Attracts 30 Firms Vying for Mobile American-Style Licences: The Indian government has received about 300 applications from about 30 companies vying to tap growth potential in the world’s hottest wireless market. India, now adding about 8 million mobile users every month, is forecast to top 500 million subscribers in five years, from 200 million now, making it an attractive market for investment.

India Electronics Poised for Takeoff: From 2006 to 2011, India’s revenue from electronic equipment production will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3%, according to iSuppli. Though the base is quite small, this is nearly double the rate of China, and four times the rate of the Americas. India is set to undergo much faster growth in semiconductor revenue than the other regions, with a CAGR

Private Equity Parties Hearty in India: Private equity deals are hitting record levels: $10.8 billion in the eight months of 2007, way above the $7.8 billion invested in all of 2006, according to Grant Thornton International, one of India’s oldest accounting firms.

Essar Global to spend $2b on oil fields: Essar Global Ltd, which has interests in energy, steel and telecommunications, plans to spend a record $2 billion (about Rs 8,000 crore) on developing oil and gas fields in India, Myanmar and Nigeria to benefit from high fuel prices.

Gems and jewellery shine for exporters: The gems and jewellery exports in the first half of the financial year increased by 27 per cent to touch $9.4 billion from $7.4 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) data.

Nano Centre: Renowned scientist CNR Rao, who is the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, will head the ‘Nano Centre’, a nano technology park being set up in Bangalore. The state government will invest Rs 100 crore in the first phase of the project.

Rs 31,000cr investments lined up in a day: The government of West Bengal today lined up projects worth Rs 31000 crore in the form of two integrated steel and power plants to be built by the Videocon and the Jai Balaji groups.

Small cities outsmart metros: Direct tax collections maintained a growth of over 40% for the first six months period of this fiscal and stood at Rs 1,11,055 crore, up from Rs 79,208 crore during the same period last fiscal. According to official data released by the government, small towns have registered higher growth in tax collections compared to the big cities.

‘India will need 1,000 planes over 20 years’: The market outlook released by Boeing this July projected India would require 911 new planes over the next 20 years. On Thursday, Airbus gave its outlook for the country and said India will need over 1,000 new planes in the same period.

India to get $13.5 bn PE funding in ’07: Study India will receive $13.5 billion in private equity funding during 2007, ranking it among the top seven in the world, concluded a study undertaken by Evalueserve, a global research and analytical firm. This funding is projected to rise to $20 billion in 2010, representing a thousand fold increases in just 14 years.

Forex reserves up by $11.8 bn at $247.7 bn: The country’s foreign exchange reserves shot up by a whopping $11.871 billion to $247.762 billion for the week ended September 28, according to the Reserve Bank.

Core sector gets a bagful Despite the finance minister’s worry over a slowdown in key infrastructure sectors, the six core industries have registered a growth of 9% in August 2007 as against 6.6% in August 2006 riding on a buoyant performance by cement, coal and electricity sectors.

Orissa tribal boys are rugby world champions: At first glance it’s hard to believe that the group of 12 shy boys huddled together in a corner of a central Kolkata hotel lobby are world champions. The odd bunch, including some who first wore shoes a few years ago, are led by a gawky 14-year-old-Bikash Chandra Murmu-captain of the India under-14 team that lifted the International School Rugby Tournament in London on Saturday. The team, Jungle Crows, won the tournament, the de facto World Cup at that level, beating a more experienced South African team, Langa Lions, 19-5.

Chak De! India

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