Booming and Bubbling India- XXII

India’s place in the global economy has been best covered in an article in the latest Mc Kinsey Quarterly: “Real GDP growth averaged 8.6 percent over the past four years, and the country’s economic planners expect it to grow by an average of 9 percent a year through 2012. India boasts companies with world-class capabilities in sectors such as automotive, information technology, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Net capital inflows topped $46 billion in fiscal 2006-07, compared with only some $24 billion a year earlier.”

Rupee end at 9-1/2-yr high against US dollar: The rupee on Thursday continued its upward march against the greenback and ended at yet a fresh 9-1/2 year high of 39.30/31 on sustained capital inflows amidst a feeble attempt of intervention by the central bank. Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex closed 155.82 pts up at 18,814.07 while National Stock Exchange’s Nifty ended 83.40 pts up at 5,524.85. India best performing market in Asia: Based on the current bullish momentum, investors are betting that the Sensex will touch 19,000 in a week, unless the political scenario worsens and there is no major slowdown in company earnings.

India’s Executives show Confidence: The economic boom that has lifted India’s growth rates has also buoyed the spirits of executives based in the country. Research conducted by The McKinsey Quarterly over the past four years highlights just how much more optimistic they are than their global counterparts.

IIP is back to double-digit growth: The rebound came on the back of robust manufacturing production, especially in capital goods.

Mukesh & Anil Ambani combined become world’s richest. The Indian stock market boom has made the Ambani brothers arguably the richest in the world if one clubs the fortunes of Mukesh and Anil, which at $ 91.41 billion is far ahead of even the Walton family of Wal-Mart.

Bharti joins Rs 2 trillion Mcap club, Mittal 4th trillionaire: Bharti Airtel on 10 October entered the coveted Rs 2 trillion club, joining the likes of Reliance Industries and state-run ONGC, while its Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal became India’s fourth trillionaire in rupee terms joining the league of trillionaires Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and Azim Premji.

‘Among BRIC nations, India is the future’. If you go by John J Dooner Jr, the CEO and chairman of McCann Worldgroup, India is the most happening BRIC among BRICs. And yes, an Indian can aspire to the top creative position of a global ad agency – “The time is now”.

IITians plan a new IIT: Rajat Gupta is founding member and chairman of the board of directors of PAN-IIT, an alumni group of heavyweights. Gupta headed worldwide operations for consultancy major McKinsey until recently. He has recently initiated the idea among members to get established an IIT.

Airtel announces launch of 8 Mbps broadband:
India’s leading integrated telecom service provider, Airtel, announced the launch of eight Mbps broadband service, becoming the first service provider in the country to offer such high speed broadband service.

Polish biotech firm coming to India: Bioton SA, Poland’s largest biotechnology company, will invest $35 million (about Rs 140 crore) in a joint venture that will operate in India, Finland, Russia and the UK.

Hiranandani bags second residential project in Dubai: Hiranandani Constructions has bagged second residential project in Dubai, after their 90-storey tower of 1 million sq ft. Hiranandani’s first project 23 Marina in Dubai is considered to be the world’s tallest residential structure.

Travel & tourism to create 7 mn jobs: “A revolutionary growth is being witnessed in the Indian travel, tourism, airline and hospitality industries. It will lead to the creation of over seven million new jobs in India in the next 10 years,” according to Elixir Web Solutions’ Business Intelligence Team. The tourism sector in India employs as many as 41.8 million people directly or idirectly.

Private equity bets big on infrastructure sector: The trickle of private equity money into the country’s infrastructure sector is now turning into a deluge, with a slew of billion-dollar funds dedicated to core sector financing on the anvil.

‘My mobile is me’ India is one of the world’s hottest mobile design locations today. The Bangalore studio “reflects India’s status as one of the hottest countries for design,” according to Nokia’s Chief Designer, Alastair Curtis.

‘Made in India’ to challenge China: Made in India’ could be the next big economic story with the country challenging China’s position as the leading global manufacturing hub within five years.

Microsoft targets bigger share: With over 5,000 people currently employed by the company in India, investment plans include an infusion of over $1.7 billion over next four years.

Government proposes to start 1,000 new polytechnics: Government proposes to start at least 1,000 new polytechnics to increase additional two lakh seats in diploma courses. “It is proposed to give a big boost to Polytechnics whose present intake capacity is only about 2.5 lakhs as against six lakhs for degree level engineering courses.” Ideally, there should be an intake capacity of over 20 lakhs in Diploma courses, even on a conservative basis, for six lakh engineers.

Two Indian design institutes among top global schools: Industrial Design Centre of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and Ahmedabad’s National Institute of Design are among the 60 schools named in the second annual survey of the best design schools in the world compiled by Businessweek magazine, which is part of the McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

India becoming top global innovator: India is increasingly becoming a top global innovator for high-tech products and services, says a World Bank report recommending new ways be explored to leverage the entrepreneurs and technologists of its diaspora. As each invention, service or product reaches maturity and saturation, the next phase of growth can only come from a radical change, an innovation. This does not have to be limited to a product: in fact, exciting innovations often take place in processes or in business models.

Indian firms raise $2.7 bn on AIM in 2006: India-related companies and investment funds raised to the tune of 2.7 billion dollar on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2006.

India to formally join TAPI project next month: India will formally join US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project next month for importing natural gas from the Central Asian nation to meet its growing energy needs.

India can sustain 10% growth rate: India’s economic growth can reach a sustainable 10 per cent and be spread more evenly across the country if the government pursues ambitious and wide-ranging economic reforms, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said in a survey. Economy to grow by 9% in ’07: International ratings agency Standard and Poor’s expects India’s economy to grow by 9 per cent in 2007 and 8.8 per cent in 2008.

Gold hallmarking to be made mandatory: Gold purchasing will soon be more comfortable experience without the nagging doubt about its purity, as the Government is set to make it mandatory from January 2008 to emboss all gold sold in the country with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) hallmarking.

Bluetooth scales up in India: Malls across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune are deploying bluetooth-enabled servers to reach out to customers in a more direct and personal way than a loudspeaker and a stage in the public mall area.Bluetooth is a technology specification for wireless communication. And bluecasting, a term used to describe direct marketing using bluetooth-enabled servers, is not new to India.

Punjab Chem acquires 30% in US-based firm: Agrochemicals company Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection (PCCPL) has acquired a 30 per cent stake in the US-based Source Dynamic. Indian pharma company Lupin has acquired 80 per cent stake in Kyowa Pharmaceutical Industry (Kyowa), one of the top ten generic pharmaceutical companies in Japan.

Gitanjali Gems to add 150 stores in US: Gitanjali Gems, an integrated diamond and jewellery manufacturer, is planning to add 150 stores in the US, taking the total there to 250 by next year. In November last year, it had acquired a 97% stake in Samuels Jewelers Inc, a Texas-based chain that has 97 stores in the US and a turnover of $100 million.

Infosys revenues cross $1 billion in Q2: Software major Infosys achieved a milestone by crossing one billion dollar revenue for the quarter ended September 30, registering an year-on-year growth of 18.4 per cent. The Bangalore-headquartered company earned a net profit of Rs 1,100 crore after tax during the period, against Rs 929 crore for the same quarter last year.

Foreigners flock to India for good jobs: After middle and senior level foreigners making it to India it is now the turn of professionals who are at the beginning of their career to flock to the country, as the work environment throws them a huge challenge, both professional as well as personal.

Wipro to take over Nokia Berlin unit: Wipro Technologies has taken over the business and assets of Nokia Siemens Networks’ radio access related R&D activities in Berlin.

McCann chief pictures India as export hub: According to McCann Worldgroup Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John J Dooner Jr. India is a maturing market and the time has come to export ideas out of the country instead of importing them,

India, Aus join hands to increase wheat output: The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have jointly drawn up short and medium term strategies to increase the yield of wheat to an optimal level.

3Com Looks to India for Growth: The bulk of 3Com’s investments will be directed at India, which is its largest potential market in Asia.

RIL to invest $8-9 bn in Jamnagar over next 3-4 years: Reliance Industries will invest $8-9 billion in the next three to four years in the Jamnagar ‘Super Site’. RIL would build the world’s largest petrochemical complex at Jamnagar with an annual capacity of two million tonnes of olefins, with matching downstream capacities. It will also be one of the most competitive ethylene crackers in the world and with this complex.

Microsoft inks research pact with IISc: Microsoft Research on 12 October announced a research and collaboration agreement with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Under this agreement, Microsoft Research is committed to providing funding and research expertise in the next two-three years to assist with major projects in life sciences research and advanced high-performance computing platforms based on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.The pact is aimed at accelerating the scientific discovery process by increasing the computational power in scientific and engineering research.

Ratan Tata most influential businessman in Asia-Pacific: Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata has been ranked the most influential business person in the Asia- Pacific by Asia Money in its annual poll of 100 most influential people in Asia-Pacific.

And Finally one Indian, Rajendra Pachauri heads the panel that has been awarded Nobel Peace Prize this year jointly with Al Gore, the former US vice-president.

Another good news is regarding the irrelevance of politics in the Indian growth story. Globally it must get recognition. Growth is taking along social sector with it. For, infant mortality has declined to a never-before rate of 57 per thousand births, from 68 a couple of years ago, according to the National Family Health Survey-III (NFHS-III).

Perhaps, the booming economy makes every other sector to pull up its shocks.

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