India Still Shining

While the election news coverage on all the 24-hours channels is getting menacingly boring and to a great extent agonizing, many things though sparingly reported keep the hope for innovating and shining India alive. Why should not I and many who belong to my clan be with those?

IIT-Bombay is organizing TechConnect 2009 for industry professionals to view its research projects and prototypes and to explore opportunities to commercialize IIT-B’s researches and technology. It will showcase 42 exhibits across manufacturing, ICT, defence, energy, healthcare and processing industries – ranging from mobile jammers, prosthesis for children with bone cancer to treating cancer cell by heat and drug via magnetic nanoparticulates to IT for agriculture and even local area public transport.

DRDO’s BrahMos: India can soon claim to be among the first in the world to be ready with a supersonic land-attack cruise missile and then perhaps with a hypersonic one. Sivathanu Pillai, the chief executive officer and the head of the Indo-Russian BrahMos, an acronym from the Brahmaputra and Moskva, has made the BrahMos Land Attack Cruise Missile Mark II real despite opposition from the Indian Army that kept upping its demands and reducing the size of the targets in the tests. Pillai aims at arming Indian army’s artillery divisions with a missile the world had not seen. The BrahMos that is fully debugged is ready. The recent successful demonstrations of the BrahMos have scuttled the move in the army to import the Tomahawk or its clones.

IIT-KGP: After three years of research, IIT-Kharagpur, along with the Tokai University of Japan, has invented the novel injection that uses a micro needle to extract blood or deliver drug painlessly by using the suction-based pressure that a female mosquito uses to suck blood.

India-born Sanjay Jha tops among US CEOs: Motorola’s India-born chief Sanjay Jha has emerged America’s top paid CEO. With a total payout of over USD 104 million in 2008, Jha is the only CEO to get a compensation package exceeding USD 100 million, with Occidental’s Ray Irani at a distant second with USD 49.9 million.

Despite worldwide recessions, global hotel chains, as many as 37 international hotels brands are knocking at India’s doors to invest in India’s attractive hospitality sector.

Despite the industrial slowdown, the engineering giant, Larsen and Toubro, got around $1 billion worth of orders in the last week of March. Its order backlog has risen 13 per cent to Rs 77,000 crore, from Rs 68,000 crore in December 2008.

BHEL, the power equipment giant PSU got orders worth Rs 59,687 crore in FY09, a rise of 19 per cent over FY08. The total order book is around Rs 1,17, 000 crore. BHEL is doubling its current manufacturing capacity of about 10,000 Mw to 20,000 Mw by 2012.

Reliance Industries (RIL) commenced gas production from the KG-D6 block in the Krishna Godavari basin. India will save $9 billion in oil import bill annually with the beginning of production from the fields. Bringing a deep sea discovery such as the one made in the Krishna-Godavari basin into production within six-and-a-half years is a record against the global practice of 9-10 years.

Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India plans to increase its headcount by up to four-fold at the research and development centre in Bangalore in the next few years and will invest Rs 150 crore. It will increase its headcounts to between 500 and 1,000 engineers for its R&D centre in Bangalore in the next few years that employs currently about 200-220 people.

Aircraft maker Boeing Co., opened recently a research and technology centres in Bangalore, only the third such outside the US. With ongoing research collaborations with the National Aerospace Laboratories, the Tata group and the Indian Institute of Science, Boeing expects this centre with around 30 scientists to build technologies for future planes. According to Boeing projection, India would need 1,001 aircraft worth more than $105.0 billion over the next 20 years.

The $15-billion engineering and industrial product company of the US, Eaton Corporation, plans major expansion of its India operations aimed at making the country a hub for its global research and development activities and has decided to recruit over 600 engineers over the next two years.

Many Indian companies have also undertaken innovation as its route to go global. Praj Industries sells technology and engineering services to global firms that set up ethanol plants. It has just announced a breakthrough: the cellulosic biomass to ethanol technology, a second-generation process to extract ethanol from corn cob and sugarcane bagasse, both waste products in food production. The new technology will enable companies to produce ethanol from food waste, not food. Its scientists are also working on taking the company from the second-generation to the third in biofuels.

The world scientific fraternity recognizes the India’s talent. The highlights of the Battelle/R&D Magazine report state: [India] is becoming a top player in biopharm, automotive, IT/software, and IT-enabled services. India adds value to its customers’ products with large scale/low cost intellectual property.

MNCs are still building manufacturing facilities in India. Volkswagen India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the world’s third-largest vehicle maker, will produce Polo, its top-selling model, at its greenfield plant at Chakan that is an e580-million plant, with a manufacturing capacity of 1.10 lakh car.

Nano has kept on getting terrific reviews from all corners of the world. Business Week, New York Times, Economist, and many put excellent coverage of this cute car that has all the potentials to become the car for the world.

I keep on searching the right material to read, and surprisingly I keep on finding many. It may be about the powerhouses that Indian entrepreneurs have built over the years or about the startups or mini global companies that keep on surprising with its performance through innovative approaches.

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