Enterprising India

Indian politicians are busy in personal mudslinging- weak, weeping, communal and what not. Media doesn’t carry any report, if any of the parties are concerned about the extremely poor record of the project executions, be it roads, power plants, or ports. Neither the ruling ones claim nor those in opposition question. One of the king makers wish to put the country in reverse mode by banning English education, computers, and even tractors for creating employment. How long will the people of India tolerate the nonsense of this class who happens to be either the kings or the king-makers too? Should it just be overlooked all together? But how is it possible when media is selling only this stuff 24×7? It is really frustrating.

For a change look at this man who is older than me, leads the second biggest business house of the country with some of the most innovative companies of the country and keeps pushing,

“Cut costs. Think out of the box. Even if the world around you is collapsing, be bold, be daring, think big.” It is Ratan Tata. As one friend of mine writes, he is the richest man on the earth. Let us look into what ‘Business Week’ reports briefly about some of his companies.

Tata Motors has turned itself into the talk of the global automotive industry with its $2,000 minicar, the Nano, which goes on sale in India soon, and is far along in developing a follow-up, a low-priced electric vehicle.

Tata Chemicals is working on a low-cost antimicrobial water system that uses no electricity, and a UV-blocking nanomaterial that keeps paint from getting bleached by sunlight.

Tata Power is planning to unveil soon an advance in a smart electricity grid.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for decades has been advising outside clients as varied as British Airways, U.S. engine maker Cummins, and Dutch bank ABN Amro. TCS was behind a new mobile-phone technology, for instance, that provides Indian farmers with valuable agricultural data.

Three Indian companies, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL), diversified conglomerate Tata Group and IT bellwether Infosys Technologies – have entered Business Week magazine’s list of world’s 50 most innovative companies.

No. 26: INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES: Of all of India’s IT giants, the tech-services outsourcer has been the most conservative when it comes to acquisitions, giving it plenty of cash to spend now if it chooses.

No. 15: RELIANCE INDUSTRIES: The $35 billion oil-and-gas company is known for executing world-scale projects frugally and on time. Reliance also enjoys huge profits: It refines the lowest-grade crude oil to earn fatter margins than rivals like Shell and Chevron.

No. 13: TATA: Tata can still dazzle, even if its takeovers since 2007 of steelmaker Corus and Jaguar Land Rover look ill-timed now. After making Asia’s fastest supercomputer, the $85 billion company just launched a $2,000 minicar, the Nano.

Interestingly, Tata Group and Reliance Industries have been ranked ahead of American industrial conglomerate General Electric (17), German car manufacturer BMW (20), Japanese auto firm Honda Motor (22) and telecom major AT&T (23), among others.

That is not all. As many as 47 Indian companies have made it to the list of world’s biggest 2,000 companies by US magazine Forbes. RIL, State Bank of India, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation are among the top 200 companies ranked 121st, 150th and 152nd, respectively. All the three have improved their ranks considerably from their last year’s positions. Four Indian companies, Hero Honda Motors [Sun Pharma [Indian Bank [and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd are the new entrants to the list.

However, none of the Indian companies have managed to find a place among the top 100 firms this year as well. When can it happen?

Interestingly some among the companies are manufacturing and metal ones too such as Hero Honda Motors, Larsen & Toubro, BHEL, Tata Motors, M&M, SAIL, HINDALCO, and NALCO.

Five Indian companies are also among ‘the world’s 25 unsung innovative companies’ of Business Week too.

As reported in Business Week, ‘in spite of these many challenges, India is slowly but surely making a mark in the global supply chain. Indian manufacturing companies are vendors of choice for global automobile multinationals. Leading carmakers such as Hyundai, and Suzuki Maruti, even to smaller extent, General Motors, Toyota, and Ford (F) are supplying cars from its plants in India to the rest of the world. India becomes more lucrative because of its frugal manufacturing as well as frugal even with design and development that is very expensive in the developed countries.

At a time when global auto majors are struggling, carmakers in India have been able to expand their overseas presence with exports from the country registering whopping 57.04 per cent growth in the last fiscal. India touched 3,31,539 units in FY09 as against 2,11,112 units in the previous financial year.

And it is not only automobiles. A recent news report from ship building is equally exhilarating and talks tones about India’s manufacturing. India joined a club of select nations. The keel for the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier was laid that will be launched in 2011 and is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2014. With this project India has become the fourth nation, after the US, Russia and France, to be capable of designing and constructing full deck carriers.

It will be manufacturing that must make India lead the global competition, as it is the core sector. Many more surprises from many sectors are still not known.

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