Booming and Blooming India-XXX

India and Indians have learnt to think and attain big through investment, expansion, acquisitions, and collaborations. India Inc is also doing its best to overcome the situation arising out of rising Rupee vs. Dollar. Surprisingly, these are getting reported from various sectors. Every time the news comes from a different company too. Here are some recent reports:

The GMR Group, a group hardly known few years ago, is all set to expand its operations overseas. Months after winning the bid for building a new airport in Istanbul, it is planning to bid for more airports in Eastern Europe including the Prague airport project.

Larsen and Tourbo has now become the first Indian company to enter with a deal with the oil and refining giant, the Sinopec group that is regarded as the largest Chinese company in terms of total sales to collaborate across a wide product range in both China and across the world. L&T would be Sinopec’s favoured equipment supplier in its projects in China and in its foreign ventures.

Twenty firms have submitted initial bids for building India’s longest and biggest expressway project yet-a Rs40,000 crore, eight-laned, access controlled expressway linking Ballia in eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) with Greater Noida-located on the border of the Capital, New Delhi. The 1047 km-long road project dubbed Ganga Expressway will, when operational, cut travel time between the backward eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and the more prosperous western part of the state, by 16 hours from the current 24 hours.

RPG Enterprises will invest Rs 14,000 crore over the next three years across sectors like power generation and transmission, retail, entertainment, and IT.

The Reliance Energy (REL) plans a capital infusion of up to Rs 8,000 crore in two years to part-finance its huge requirements especially for large infrastructure projects. The company has evinced interest in acquiring PT Berau Coal, one of the largest thermal coal firms in Indonesia.

SAIL’s investment would be Rs 53,000 crore to increase hot metal capacity to 26 million tonnes.

Euro Ceramics will pump in Rs 575 cr for expansion to ramp up its vitrified tiles production capacity by 100,000 tonnes per annum (TPA).

BGR Energy expects its orders from exports to double from Rs 600 crore to Rs 1,200 crore in the next two-three years once its proposed manufacturing facilities at the Mundra Special Economic Zone, the West Asia and China become functional.

As reported, the government will be able to meet its Eleventh Plan target of adding 78,000 Mw capacity – more than the total capacity addition achieved in the last three Plans

Larsen and Toubro, Suzlon and Bharat Forge along with domestic giants like Tatas, Birla, Mahindra and Ambanis figure among 100 firms posing an “urgent threat to industry leaders” of the world. According to a new list of 100 New Global Challenger Giants released here today by Boston Consulting Group, India is home to 20 such firms, next only China that accounts for 41.

Exports go up 35.6% in Oct; fastest rise in 15 months: Despite an appreciating rupee, which makes goods produced here relatively more expensive overseas and leads to lower value realizations since up to 80% of the billing is in dollars, India’s exports rose surprisingly faster by 35.6% in October over the same month last year, to $13.3 billion (Rs52, 801 crore), edging ahead of the 24.3% increase in imports over the same period to $20.79 billion.

IBM sales in India may approach $1 bn this year. Sales of hardware, software and services in India increased 39 per cent in the first three quarters, said Vice-President Jesse Greene.

Sintex acquires US-based Nero Plastics: Wausaukee Composites mc, USA (WCI), a downstream subsidiary of Gujarat-based Sintex Industries, has acquired Nero Plastics Inc, USA. With the acquisition, the group’s market share in the US electrical business will go up to 30% from the present 11%. Sintex had acquired Wausaukee Composites mc, USA (WCI) six months ago.

M&M plans five engineering colleges: Mahindra and Mahindra is planning to set up five engineering colleges at an investment of Rs 250 crore, as it looks to tackle shortage of human resources in its different ventures.

I<b>ndian firms scout for farms overseas: The Varanasi-based Jhunjhunwala Vanaspati Ltd would spend Rs 150 crore to buy 20,000 hectares of oil palm plantation in Indonesia. K.S. Oils, based at Morena in Madhya Pradesh, is reportedly toying with the idea of buying oil palm plantation abroad as also a few other solvent extracting companies.

Derivative trade in rupee grows abroad: An increasing number of bankers and traders in major financial centres such as Singapore and London are inking deals in derivative contracts on the rupee. The frequency of such deals, usually made over the telephone, has increased even as the rupee rides on the back of India’s growing economic power and takes toddler steps towards becoming an international currency.

R&D centre in Goa: French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis has opened its largest Asian and first Indian pharmaceutical development centre in Goa, with an investment of Rs 100 crore.

General Motors ties up with IIT Kharagpur: General Motors Corp, global automakers, announced setting up a new Collaborative Research Lab (CRL) in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur to carry out research in areas of electronics, controls and software.

Internet user base grows by 40% to 46 mn: The Internet user base in India grew by over 40% on a year-on-year basis to touch 46 million in September 2007 from 32.2 million in 2006. During the same period, the number of active internet users (those who regularly surf the web) has reached 32 million, according to the Internet in India [I Cube] Report 2007, published jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

Indian Startups Go for Web 2.0 Gold: According to JuxtConsult, a New Delhi-based online research and advisory company, 44% of Indian online traffic uses the Internet just for social networking. Google’s (GOOG) Orkut is the most popular social networking site in India, with a 64% market share. Facebook is also winning many Indian fans, especially students. But in the last six months, a plethora of local sites has emerged to compete with the Americans. Today, there are more than a dozen India-based and focused social networking sites with colorful Hindi names that are synonyms for community (bigadda.com) and friends (yaari.com).

Film industry to generate 6 mn jobs by 2010: The size of the domestic film industry is likely to exceed Rs40,000 crore by 2010, creating employment opportunities for about six million people who would be engaged in producing 1200 movies in more than 50 languages and local dialects.

India’s hot property market: According to Merrill Lynch, India’s realty sector will grow from $12 billion in 2005 to $90 billion by 2015.

When the politicians are busy in Gujarat battle, leftists are talking hot and cold on Indo-US deal, many in the boardrooms or in small class rooms are creating unique models to move the country ahead.

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