Booming and Bubbling India-XXIX

While the news from share markets may be shocking, India appears to be doing fairly good. Is it because of the great democracy that India is? Even Late Benjir Bhutto in her autobiography excerpted in ‘The Sunday Times’ recently mentions, “Democracy cannot be sustained in the absence of a stable and growing middle class. The growth of India into a regional and international economic power occurred – not coincidentally – as its middle class exploded into a huge economic and political force.” India may be a country of “extreme paradoxes” with 48 “dollar billionaires” on the one hand and 260 million below poverty line people on the other, as former top UN official Shashi Tharoor says. India is certainly to move a little faster and also to grow inclusively.

But the enterprising India brings hope. Exports are still on track and so is the per capita income. India Inc gives hope.

Exports up 16.04% to $12.31 bn in Dec’07 India’s exports registered a growth of 16.04 per cent to 12.31 billion dollars in December 2007, as against 10.61 billion dollars in the same month of 2006. For April-December period of 2007-08, India’s exports stood at 111 billion dollars, registering a growth of 21.76 per cent, from 91.20 billion dollars in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Per capita income up by 14.2% in 2006-07: The per capita income at current prices is estimated at Rs 29,642 in 2006-07 as against Rs 25,956 for the previous year, depicting a growth of 14.2 per cent, according to the figures released today by Central and Statistical Office (CSO). GDP records growth of 9.6% in 2006-07: Economy grew by 9.6 per cent during the year 2006-07, up from 9.4 per cent in the previous year, on the back of strong showing of manufacturing sector The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has revised its current fiscal gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the economy to 9.1 per cent, against the 8.9 per cent it had forecast in October 2007.India ranks 11th, China 48th on Global Integrity’s index India is ranked 11th among 55 countries for governance and anti-corruption standards in the recent report released by the independent watchdog organization, Global Integrity.

India is thinking big. India can send crew to space in seven years. The Indian government has been “sensitized” on the issue of manned space flights and India’s space agency will be able to send crew to space in seven to eight years. India and the US have agreed to cooperate in the exploration and use of space for peaceful purposes, including in human space flight, under an agreement signed between their space agencies.

MNCs in the country are investing. Strengthening its bid to make India its global small car hub, Korean car major Hyundai Motor today said it will invest $1 billion by 2013, to beef up operations in the country. The company today commissioned its second plant set up at a total investment of $528 million (Rs 2,429 crore).

Indian companies are going ahead with its acquisition plans. Tata Chemicals (TCL) has signed definitive agreements to acquire US-based soda ash maker General Chemical Industries Products Inc (GCIP) for $1.05 billion (about Rs 4,000 crore) to become the second largest producer of soda ash in the world.

MNCs are setting up its R&D units in India. Chemicals and polymers manufacturer Dow Chemicals plans to develop its Pune unit into a global research and development centre that will focus on a wide spectrum of products which give it an edge in the Indian and international market. Swedish vehicle giant Volvo plans to turn a new Indian manufacturing facility into a low-cost export hub to tap rising Asian demand for public bus transport, the company said on Wednesday.

Government is slowly but steadily going for reforms. In a bold move aimed at attracting foreign capital in its fast-expanding economy, the Union government has relaxed foreign ownership norms in six businesses including aviation, commodity exchanges and oil refining, braving opposition from Communist allies in a year of 10 state elections.

Indian companies are performing better. A survey conducted by CyberMedia’s Glogal Services and neoIT reveals more than one-fourth of the 100 best information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) service providers across the globe are headquartered in India. The survey identified India as the hub for global delivery with 57% of the employees engaged in delivery centers located in India, followed by 18% in the US. India’s largest software provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) ranked first in list of best performing IT services companies. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd has secured around Rs 784 crore order from Sun Life Financial of Canada for offering outsourcing services. The order was bagged by Diligenta, a UK-based financial services authority-regulated subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS).

Indians in world’s wealthiest CEOs: Forbes: Out of the world’s 10 wealthiest CEOs, four positions have been grabbed by Indians: Lakshmi Mittal is ranked at the 2nd place followed by Mukesh Ambani (6th place), Anil Ambani (7th) and Wipro chief Azim Premji (9th).

BPO Industry can touch $50 bn by 2012: Nasscom: The Indian BPO industry can reach $30 billion by 2012 but has the potential to grow five-fold to $50 billion if the “right choices” are made by the industry stakeholders, says a joint study between Nasscom and Everest Group, a global strategy consulting group. India Takes Outsourcing to New Heights: Indian companies were the main engine behind the growth, accounting for US$4.9 billion, up from US$2.7 billion in 2006.

India IT to cross $10 bn by 2011: The Indian information technology (IT) services industry is poised to touch $10.73 billion by 2011, predicts research firm Gartner. Despite high attrition rates, the industry will grow at a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.2 per cent, says the study. http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?leftnm=8&autono=311825

Indian firms still big in IT services: Indian firms came first in four out of 10 information technology service categories in a global survey that selects the 100 best IT services providers. US-headquartered IT firms topped in four other categories and one firm each from Mexico and China took the other prizes in the 4th Cybermedia Global IT Services Survey.

Boeing in tech venture with Wipro, HCL: Boeing Co has entered into an agreement with the Indian Institute of Science and software firms Wipro Technologies and HCL Technologies to develop wireless technologies and other network technologies.

In ’06-07, India invested $2.2b in US: In 2006-2007, Indian FDI into US was $2.2 billion while US investment in India was $850 million (minus the Mauritius route), according to US ambassador David Mulford. In UK, where India is now the second largest investor, second only to the US, at well over one billion pounds. With over 500 Indian companies operating in the UK, India has established a presence in sectors like IT and ITES, and now manufacturing.

<a href="http://www.livemint.com/2008/01/28190758/India-not-vulnerable-to-US-rec.html “>India not vulnerable to US recession: S&P: Unlike South Korea and Singapore, India is not vulnerable to fallout of the US recession, says a report by the international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.

IITs to invest over Rs 1,500 crore to set up virtual varsity: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are in talks with US-based Carnegie Mellon University to set up a Virtual IIT. To be set up at a cost of over Rs 1,500 crore over the next three to four years, it will enable aspiring IITians and engineering students who could not make it to the premier engineering institutes of technology to bag an IIT-equivalent degree online.

12 Indians on Forbes list of top 100 dealmakers: As many as 12 Indian-origin persons have made it to a list of 100 dealmakers with ‘midas-touch’ prepared by the renowned business magazine, based on the value of the companies these people have taken public or sold in the past five years as well as the capital and involvement it took to get there.

Auto majors scout for Indian design acumen:
A number of automobile majors are now testing waters in various engineering and design schools of the country through design contests, diploma projects and interactions to discover innovative designs. Italian design house Pininfarina, which designs cars like Ferrari, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo, took the first step towards Indian designs when it signed a statement of intent to pursue collaborative automobile design activities with Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID). Nano has spurred the present breed of designers to take India to the world through their designs
.
ISB among top 20 B-schools in the world: FT: The Indian School of Business (ISB) has become the first business school from the country to figure in the top 100 business schools ranked by the Financial Times.

Tata mini-truck to roll into US: Tata Motors is considering making its first foray into the US with a tie-up to sell its Ace “mini-truck” with an electric motor in the country. The Indian automotive company, which earlier this month unveiled the world’s cheapest passenger car, the $2,500 Nano, plans to co-operate with a US company to assemble and sell the fast-selling Ace truck in North America.

Mahindra launches Scorpio SUV, delivery vans in Brazil: Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the country’s top utility vehicle maker, today announced the launch of Scorpio SUV and its Pik-Up range (single and double cab) in Brazil with Bramont-Montadora Industrial e Comercial de Veiculos. A facility has been set up to assemble the vehicles with an annual capacity of 5,000. Body assembly would be undertaken by Usiparts – a Usiminas System company – while the chassis, suspension and engine (power-train) would be assembled by Bramont at its plant in Manaus (AM).

India is still booming.

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