L&T plays cricket in W Indies

Engineering and Construction major Larsen & Toubro Ltd has bagged an order worth $48.2 million from World Cup Barbados Inc (WCB) of West Indies, for re-construction of the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The company would have total responsibility for the construction and execution of rebuilding project of Kensington Oval in Barbados and also ensuring that specifications of the International Cricket Council (ICC) were met, L&T informed the Bombay Stock Exchange. 
In addition, the company had volunteered to re-build the George Challenor Stand, the biggest and most critical stand on their own at a total cost of Rs 10 crore, it said. The new stadium when completed in all respects would seat 26,500 persons.

India Inc upbeat, says survey

Seventy seven per cent of the 478 companies that participated in the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Q1 Business Confidence Survey have rated the present state of the economy as “moderately to substantially” better as compared to the conditions prevailing in the last six months. 
While 20 per cent saw no perceptible change on the overall macro front, another three per cent rated the present conditions “moderately to substantially” worse compared to the last two quarters of the last fiscal. While 19 per cent expect their industries to maintain current levels of performance, 8 per cent foresaw a slide. Sector-wise, the services sector is the most upbeat about current indicators compared to the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. 

Wal-Mart raises sourcing target from India to $300 m

The Indian textile story is singing. Wal-Mart, the global retail chain, is upwardly revising its sourcing targets from India driven largely by textiles. 
The company’s sourcing from India has been growing 30 per cent year on year for the past three years, and it now says it intends to grow this by 40 per cent for the current financial year. The global major has so far sourced goods worth about $1.2 billion and intends to source goods worth a little over $300 million this fiscal. 
A Wal-Mart India spokesperson confirmed this and remarked that textiles from Indian are the major growth driver for the company. 
“Nearly 50 per cent of our total sourcing from India is from textiles such as apparel and home furnishings, and we are pretty bullish on India. We are targeting to grow by 40 per cent this year as against our earlier estimate of 30 per cent growth,” he said. 

Hotels, travel agents bullish

Travel and hospitality industry players are upbeat about business prospects in the next six months. Growth would be driven by an increase in the air traffic capacity in the country, they said. Domestic air travel is expected to maintain a 20-25 per cent growth during the next six months, while international travel is seen growing to a lesser extent. Holiday travel ahead of Dusshera and Diwali will be driving air traffic in September and October. The outbound honeymoon season is also expected to spur a 35 per cent growth in outbound travel during these months. 
The hotel industry is equally rosy about the outlook for the next six months. With demand expected to grow, the hotel industry could see occupancy increase by 5-6 basis points to close the financial year at 72-73 per cent.

Infy tops in customer satisfaction

Infosys Technologies has announced that in an independent survey report by Forrester Research it has been ranked the highest in client satisfaction in outsourcing services and was among the top three in consulting services among 11 major global IT service providers. In another report, Forrester has recognised Infosys for taking a more strategic approach than other offshore players. It states that Infosys’ strategic objective is to become a preferred global IT service and consulting firm not just the largest offshore vendor. “To avoid becoming a commodity service provider, Infosys does not bid on deals that it considers non-strategic. It is one of the few Indian vendors that do not do pure staff augmentation engagements, and it is rarely a low-cost bidder, preferring instead to differentiate itself through higher-quality skills.” 

India, Japan log in together

India and Japan have agreed to set up a joint task-force to identify and explore the possibility of joint ventures and stand-alone projects in the areas of broadband, mobile communication, e-governance, information security, research and development and ubiquitous computing. The two sides have also signed three memoranda of understanding for enhancing cooperation in the information communication technology (ICT) sector. 
The National Institute of Information and Communication Technology of Japan has signed the MoUs with C-DAC, C-DoT and IIT (Guwahati). The MoU and the agreement to set up the task-force was signed by Mr Dayanidhi Maran, Minister for Communication and IT, and Mr Taro Aso, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, during the first India-Japan ICT Ministerial Forum.

September 2005

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