Booming and Bubbling India-XXV

“It is undeniable that India is on a new growth trajectory. A trajectory where sustained economic growth of 9-10 per cent per annum – growth rates which were considered impossible even five years ago – seems possible for many years to come,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a conference organised by a business magazine. Indian economy is likely to expand at close to 9 per cent this fiscal and the government may take more steps such as relaxing norms for infrastructure companies to raise funds abroad for sustaining high growth, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.

Sensex surpasses 20K: Stock market benchmark Sensex achieved the 20K milestone on 29 October in intra-day trading on all-round buying by foreign as well as domestic investors in blue chip stocks led by Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Industries.

Mukesh Ambani becomes world’s richest: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani became the richest person in the world, surpassing American software czar Bill Gates, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and famous investment guru Warren Buffett, courtesy the bull run in the stock market, following a strong share price rally in his three group companies — India’s most valued firm Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd — the net worth of Mukesh Ambani rose to $63.2 billion (Rs 2,49,108 crore).

Sebi curbs fail to slow down markets: Indian stock markets shrugged off concerns of a short-term slowdown in foreign fund inflows, with the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) benchmark index closing at a new high, and fund managers saying that this was due to continuing inflows from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and renewed interest from domestic institutions, including mutual fund (MF) houses.

Q2 good show keeps going: Indian Inc report high net up of Q2: HDFC 75%, SAIL 18%, Nestle 40%, Bharti Airtel 87%, and RCom 86%,….. India Inc seems to have warded off adverse macroeconomic factors, including a rising rupee and growing raw material costs, with better cost-management and by reworking their product portfolio.

India Inc invests : India is set to become a potential goldmine as investment announcements surge to Rs 1,75,629 crore for August-September 2007, bulk of which will go to Petroleum sector, especially in Orissa and West Bengal, according to Assocham’s Eco Pulse Study on ‘Investment Announcements’.

Goldman may invest $2 bn: Goldman Sachs, which has invested more than $1 billion in the Indian market, is ready to double or triple its exposure to the country, its chairman and chief executive said in a newspaper interview published on Monday 28 Oct. Dubai’s DP World to invest $500 mn in India: Dubai’s DP World plans to invest $500 million in India over the next two years to development infrastructure at its port operations in the South Asian country, including rail links and roads.

Cisco on track to invest $1.1 bn in India: Cisco Systems Inc is on target to invest the $1.1 billion (Rs4, 337 crore) it committed in 2005 to spend in India and plans to scale up its staff strength to 10, 000 people in India by the end of 2010, chief executive John Chambers, who is currently on a trip to India, said on 29 October.

Steel outplays other sectors: Steel seems to have outplayed other sectors in wooing investments, both foreign and domestic, as the sector is set to attract investment worth about Rs 3,00,000 crore within the next five years.

Rs 1-lakh house: After the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, the UPA government is working to launch another scheme for the aam aadmi. Tentatively called the Aam Aadmi Awas (AAA), its goal is to provide “affordable” homes that ensure “reasonable quality of life” for the “urban-rural poor.”

Harvard dresses up for growth courses in India: Harvard Business School will start an executive education programme in India next year, stepping out of its traditional East Coast venue in the US, targeting companies with global ambitions to address what it believes is the typical challenge in the booming economy–managing hypergrowth.

GFL to invest Rs 6,000 cr in wind power: Gujarat Fluorochemicals (GFL), India’s largest refrigeration gas producer and part of the Inox group, is diversifying into the power sector, and plans to invest over Rs 6,000 crore to produce 1,000 mw of wind energy within the next five years.

Indian markets among top wealth creators: Indian equity markets have been one of the top performing markets when it comes to wealth creation, witnessing an 89 per cent expansion in the total market capitalisation in 2007.

Global tech, local help: A knowledge processing and outsourcing (KPO) unit in Calcutta is teaching people in the US how to set up and use the latest electronic gadgets.

Airbus in talks with Air India for selling 12 superjumbo A380s: European aircraft maker Airbus Industrie is in talks with flag carrier Air India for sale of up to 12 superjumbo A-380 planes, as it looks for a greater presence in the world’s fastest growing civil aviation market.

US House of Representatives passes resolution honouring Diwali: The US House of Representatives has for the first time passed a resolution recognising the “religious and historical significance” of Diwali. The House Resolution 747, was passed by an overwhelming vote of 358 to 0 (with 66 members abstaining).

Infosys pursuing 15 global deals worth $100 m each: “Globally, Infosys is in the reckoning for at least 15 opportunities, all are $100 million-plus each. These are all overseas deals and typically take 8-10 months for closure. They are across various areas including hi-tech, retail, manufacturing, and Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), ” Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO & MD, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

German pact to take science to industry: India and Germany will invest 10 million euros (Rs 56.8 crore) each to establish an Indo-German technology centre in New Delhi for industry-relevant research under a slew of agreements the two countries signed today. The agreements will expand existing scientist-exchange programmes and launch joint research projects in futuristic manufacturing, energy technologies and health research.

Cisco, Wipro announce strategic alliance: US networking firm Cisco and India’s third-largest software maker Wipro Ltd announced a strategic alliance to develop and deliver IT service solutions to help both companies meet their customer’s needs. Under the pact, Cisco and Wipro together will build new IT infrastructure service solutions that combine the US company’s industry-leading networking solutions with the Indian firm’s infrastructure and managed services portfolio.

Dow plans $100mn R&D facility near Pune: The Dow Chemical Company will be investing $100 million for a research and development (R&D) facility at Chakan near Pune.

FieldFresh targets turnover of Rs 500 cr: Field Fresh Foods (P) Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Del Monte Pacific India Ltd (DMPL), is targeting a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next three years. At present the company is exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to key markets, including the UK, West Asia and Europe.

NCAER raises GDP growth forecast to 8.9%: The National Council of Applied Economic Research, which had forecast the country’s economy to grow by 8.5 per cent in 2007-08, has raised projection to 8.9 per cent on improved performance of agriculture and services sectors.

India to stay in talent top club till 2012: For 2012 ranking, India gets the 2nd rank on its demographics; 9th on its labour mobility and relative openness of the labour market; 13th on its proclivity to attract talent; 13th on its environment to nurture talent, but a poor 25th on education and 26th on FDI inflow.

India geared up to tap $31 bn drug outsourcing market: Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS), is becoming one of the most promising opportunities for the Indian pharma industry. India, with its intrinsic competitive advantages, remains as one of the most preferred outsourcing destinations with the global manufacturing outsourcing opportunity estimated at $20 billion targeting $31 billion by 2010.

India’s exports rise by 19.26% despite rupee rise: India’s exports increased by 19.26 per cent in September this year, despite a rise in rupee value, while imports went up by a moderate 2.31 per cent.

HCL to set up 5 tech centres at Rs 1,000 cr each: The country’s fourth largest software exporter HCL Technologies will set up five technology hubs across the country which will entail an investment of Rs 1,000 crore each, and the new initiative would generate employment for nearly one lakh people in the next 5-7 years.

Suzlon plans exports to 40 countries: World’s fifth largest wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy seeks to export its products to 40 countries including South Africa, South Korea and parts of emerging Europe.

India tops in carbon credit deals: India has registered the largest number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the world. The country accounted for 283 CDM projects out of the 819 registered by the CDM Executive Board.

HTMT to buy 3 overseas BPOs for $300 million: Hinduja TMT Global Solutions (HGSL), the business process outsourcing (BPO) arm of the Hinduja group, is in final stage of negotiations for acquiring two BPO companies in the US and one in the UK for a total consideration of around $300 million (Rs 1,200 crore).

IIT Madras, Bombay tie up with auto cos for low-cost robots: IIT Madras and IIT Bombay have entered into an agreement with a consortium of automobile companies to design, development and manufacture of low-cost robots that can be deployed on the shop floor.

India may add 78,000 MW in next five years: India may add 78,000 MW of power generation capacity in the five years to March 2012, according to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Japanese investments in India to touch $5 b: Japanese investments in the country are expected to touch $5 billion over the next three years.

For most who matter in the developing countries, India is becoming important, though many skeptical in India are counting the days the booming mood lasts. But look at the revolution that one sees on the street. “India’s economy is growing at over 9%, and younger consumers, especially those working in call centers, can now afford the personal digital assistants and Research In Motion (RIMM) BlackBerrys that, as recently as a year ago, seemed out of reach to everyone but wealthy businesspeople and other professionals.”

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