India major player in start-ups

India is playing a major role in a growing trend of new companies that are launched as global businesses right from the beginning, a media report said. These businesses, often in technology sector, set up headquarters in Silicon Valley to take advantage of funding and ideas, but have major operations in places such as Bangalore, giving them access to overseas markets as well as an increasingly innovativ e pool of talent. India, with its booming tech economy and wealth of engineering talent, has become one of the biggest participants in the ‘global garage’, the San Jose Mercury Newspaper reported yesterday. In the past three years, venture capitalists have invested more than $400 million in US-based start-ups (new businesses) operating in India, according to TSJ Media, a VC tracking firm in Chennai.

Indians drive in style

Considering the number of super luxury cars sold in India, it is clear that car makers have high expectation. And many more high-end brands are driving in. Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Rolls Royce are already here. Now, the Italian marquee Lamborghini is also revving up. And high networth individuals—products of the new economy—are snapping up these huge, purring beauties. Costing Rs 2-2.5 crore, the Lamborghini Gallardo will have a 5-litre engine, giving a power of 520 bhp. Porsche has managed to sell 150 units, most of them Cayennes, which sells in the price band of Rs 47 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore. The balance 30% comprises the sports cars, Boxster and 911 Carrera. DaimlerChrysler has sold three Maybach's, tagged in the range of Rs 5.25-5.5 crore.

Siemens plans big push in IPTV

Even as the Indian television watcher is showing reluctance in embracing direct to home television, moves are already afoot to take the good old TV to the next level. And the push is coming from the telecommunications industry. 

Germany's Siemens Communications Group is in talks with five of the biggest telecom service providers in India—Tata Telecom, Reliance Infocomm, Bharti Televentures, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd—to introduce a new service that offers a host of entertainment solutions delivered on normal television sets through broadband internet. Termed IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), the service offers, apart from the regular TV watching, home entertainment solutions like video or music on demand, video telephony, SMS/MMS, e-mail, Internet surfing, gaming, voice over IP and the facility to watch a programme at any chosen time.

IIM cell joins hands with Singapore university

The N.S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore has signed an MoU with Universitas 21 Global, Singapore, for launching a joint certificate programme on entrepreneurship and family enterprise. Targetted at entrepreneurs and owners of family-run business houses, the programme is scheduled to commence by end of 2006, S Sunderarajan, chairperson of NSRCEL said. 

“This is the first of its kind programme being offered by any management institute in the country. We aim to provide new opportunities to learners around the world to work collaboratively in a learning environment,” said the chairperson.

Wipro buys 2 firms for $28 million

Wipro has announced that it is acquiring mPower Inc, a Princeton, New Jersey, US headquartered company with a development centre in Chennai and MPACT Technology Services, based in Chennai, for an all cash consideration of US$ 28 million. This announcement comes just days after it announced an acquisition of an Austrian chip design firm NewLogic for $56 million. 

mPower, which is a niche firm focussed on the payments space, has total annualised revenues of around $18 million and an annualised EBIT of around $4.6 million. 

Wipro Technologies has also entered into a strategic engagement with MasterCard International, by acquiring 100 per cent stake in MPACT, a joint venture of MasterCard and mPower.

Software shows robust growth in 2005

Resurgent software exports, lucrative global deals, heavy investments, acquisition, a quite burial to the outsourcing outcry and low-cost computers marked the year 2005 for the information technology industry, which also had its share of blots that threatened to mar the booming business process outsourcing story. 

The Indian software and services export is estimated at Rs 78,230 crore ($17.2 billion) in 2004-05, as compared with Rs 58,240 crore ($12.8 billion) in 2003-04, an increase of 34 per cent. This segment will continue to show robust growth in future also. IT exports are likely to grow by 30-32 per cent in dollar terms during 2005-06. 

The production of the electronics and IT industry is Rs 148,360 crore during 2004-05, as compared to Rs 118,290 crore during the year 2003-04.

January 2006

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