Bangalore:Former Wipro Ltd executive Sudip Nandy has joined Aricent Inc., a US technology outsourcing firm as its chief executive officer.
Nandy was president of the technology media and telecom business unit at Wipro, which earned nearly a third of revenue of Wipro, India’s third largest information technology vendor. Nandy replaces Ash Bhardwaj at Aricent, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday. “There is a fundamental shift happening in the communications industry as equipment manufacturers and service providers look for more innovation and deeper domain expertise from their strategic suppliers,” said Nandy. Aricent’s investors include leading firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. , Sequoia Capital, Flextronics International Ltd and The Family Office.
— Staff Writer
Sangit Kala Kendra seek applications for awards
Mumbai: The Sangit Kala Kendra, a centre of performing arts, is inviting applications for the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar and Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskar Awards for 2008.
The Aditya Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar is in memory of its founder president, Aditya Vikram Birla. It is conferred on artists in the visual or performing arts for lifetime achievement. In 2008, it will be presented to a maestro in the field of Hindustani instrumental music.
The Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskar will be presented to two young and promising artists again in the field of Hindustani instrumental music, a release said quoting Rajashree Birla, president of the Kendra. Past recipients include Lata Mangeshkar, M.F. Husain and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Applications will be accepted till 24 October.
— Staff Writer
Tag Heuer cellphones in India next year: Pascal
Bangalore:Luxury Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer says it will launch its cellphone range in India early next year, according to Philippe Pascal, president, LVMH Watches and Jewelry. Tag Heuer is a brand of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. LVMH is yet to work out the pricing of handsets in India. It is sold for £3,000 to £10,000 in London, depending on the metal and diamonds used.
On Tuesday, the company launched its eyewear range including sunglasses, eyeglasses and lenses. Zahir Abbas, associate director of retail at management consultancy Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd said introducing new categories is a way of leveraging the brand for companies such as Tag Heuer, which have a niche clientele.
Pascal expects India’s contribution to the overall turnover to increase with the new products but did not divulge the revenues generated locally.
— Deepti Chaudhary
RPG Cellucom to divest up to 50% stake
Mumbai: Cellphone and laptop retail chain RPG Cellucom India Pvt. Ltd, a master franchisee of Dubai-based Cellucom Group, plans to divest a stake of up to 50%, with plans to invest about Rs300 crore by December 2009 on expansion, an executive familiar with the development said. The executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the parent group is yet to decide on the matter, gave no further details such as the exact size of the stake to be sold by the firm.
Chief executive officer and managing director Arun Nagar also declined to give details of the planned divestment, saying it was the prerogative of the RPG group to decide on the exact size of the equity sale. Nagar, who spoke to Mint at the opening of the company’s first flagship store in the Mumbai suburb of Khar, confirmed the planned investment.
“Part of the investment will be done through private equity and part of it would be through internal accruals of our shareholders,” Nagar said.
RPG Cellucom, a subsidiary of RPG Retail, has about 125 stores in the cities.
— Jharna Majumdar
Essar Oil signs MoU with Indian Oil Corp
Mumbai: Essar Oil Ltd has entered into a pact with Indian Oil Corp. that will allow both companies to use each other’s facilities to reach regions where they don’t have a presence.
Indian Oil will now be able to feed its domestic markets in the western and eastern regions by accessing Essar Oil’s products and infrastructure on the west coast, as per the memorandum of understanding, or MoU. Essar Oil, in turn, will have access to Indian Oil’s supply locations and will benefit by being able to minimize the placement and logistics cost of product to various remote locations.
— P.R. Sanjai
Record fall in D&B biz optimism index
Mumbai: The business optimism index of Dun and Bradstreet Information Services India Pvt. Ltd, a business information and risk advisory firm, for the October-December quarter of 2008 recorded a 28.1% drop to 138.9 from 193.2 in the corresponding quarter of the previous year Q4 2007. This is the sharpest fall ever witnessed in the index. All six sub-indices have fallen significantly compared with the corresponding period last year, a Dun and Bradstreet release said. The optimism index for net profits has experienced a decline of as much as 21 percentage points while the optimism index for volume of sales has declined by as much as 17 percentage points on a y-o-y basis indicating subdued demand conditions. The optimism index for new orders stood at 68%,— a decline of 18 percentage points.
“The crisis of confidence being witnessed across the world’s financial markets is reflected in the deteriorating sentiment of the Indian business community. The moderation in economic growth, high inflation and deepening global financial crisis have adversely affected corporate sentiment,” said Kaushal Sampat, chief operating officer, Dun and Bradstreet. The index measures the pulse of the business community and serves as a reliable benchmark for investors.
— Staff Writer
Currency futures at new high in?combined trading
Mumbai: Trading volumes in currency futures shot to new high on Tuesday with the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd’s (MCX) stock exchange joining the National Stock Exchange, or NSE and the Bombay Stock Exchange, or BSE, in offering the product.
NSE started trading in currency futures on 29 August and BSE on 1 October. Combined volume of currency futures on the three bourses stood at 198,790 contracts valued at $198.8 million (Rs954.24 crore). This is almost 29% higher than the $154 million worth of futures traded on 1 October, when BSE joined NSE in offering the product.
On Tuesday, 123,332 contracts worth $123.3 million were traded on NSE, 15,506 contracts totalling $15.5 million on BSE. MCX’s stock exchange had $59.9 million worth of trades.
— Staff Writer
Mining: rules eased for overseas borrowing
New Delhi: The government on Tuesday decided to allow companies involved in mining, exploration and refining to borrow more from overseas, a finance ministry release said. The finance ministry had last month eased borrowing rules allowing companies building roads, ports, utilities and other infrastructure projects to borrow as much as $500 million for rupee expenditure, compared with the maximum of $100.
Helion, Charles River invest $11 mn in venture
Bangalore: Helion Ventures and Charles River Ventures have invested $11 million (Rs52.8 crore) in SMS GupShup, a mobile social community platform. SMS GupShup provides a platform for free SMS-based group messaging service which enables advertising to targeted communities.
“This investment will enable SMS GupShup to innovate faster and deliver great products to consumers, advertisers and enterprises,” said Beerud Sheth, president, and co-founder, SMS GupShup.
“We believe that this innovative platform for mobile communities and advertising has immense potential,” said Ashish Gupta, managing director, Helion Ventures.
— Staff Writer