Joined: 19 May 2008
Joined: 05 October 2007
Indian consumers, many from rural areas, make up the fastest-growing group of cellphone subscribers world-wide. In the village of Karanehalli, a cluster of simple homes around an intersection of two dirt roads about 40 miles from India's high-tech capital of Bangalore, Farmer K.T. Srinivasa doesn't have a toilet for his home or a tractor for his field. But when a red and white cellular tower sprouted in his village, he splurged on a cellphone. While the way his family threshes rice crushing it with a massive stone roller hasn't changed for generations, his phone has changed the way he farms. He uses it to decide when to plant and harvest by calling other farmers, to get the best prices for his rice, coconuts and jasmine by calling wholesalers, and to save hours of time waiting on the road for deliveries and pickups that rarely come on time. Life is much better with the cellphone, he said from his rice paddy in the shadow of the new tower. I bring it with me to the fields and anyone can reach me here. Mr. Srinivasa, like close to half the 800 people in his village, uses Idea Cellular Ltd. as it was the first to bring them service. He paid the equivalent of about $60 for his Nokia phone, and spends about $6 each month for service. Like most rural users, Mr. Srinivasa uses his phone to make voice calls he doesn't know how to text message or to download emails. On average rural Indians use their phones around 8.5 hours a month, up 10% over the past year. The story is the same across rural India, home to more than 60% of India's population of 1.2 billion. The continued expansion of the cellphone industry in India stands in sharp contrast to most other industries here. Textile and software exporters are struggling. India's brand new malls are sparsely populated and the sales of cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles have declined in recent months.
Joined: 19 January 2006
Joined: 05 October 2007
Now when I meet companies we might supply to, they talk real numbers in terms of their expansion goals. There's no mention of the statistically magical consulting companies. So it makes it easy for me, as a supplier, to plan production and my own targets. I can pay real salaries, instead of kow-towing to the whims of young whipper-snappers who conveniently add a few zeros to the salary they deserve. I get real prices from my own suppliers and they stick to deadlines because they appreciate the business they have. So the recession is not so bad, is it? It's just the rudest wake-up call we've ever had. India will shine and our economy will boom. But if we ever felt that we might be immune to the global downturn, now we know we were kidding ourselves. Yet we need to realize that our local economy itself is huge the reason so many foreign companies come to India until recently was a very inward-looking economy. We must simply understand what the Indian consumer in the new age is looking for and deliver on that. And it's clear that, at heart, he's still the simple Indian purchaser who wants a better life for his children than he has. He wants a better car, a bigger house and all the amenities organized retail chains, malls and multiplexes that his friends who moved abroad have. He's had a stroke of unbelievable luck for the past few years because a higher salary allowed him to indulge, as the shopping choices were only matched by almost unlimited financing options. It's time now to depend less, as the new movie title has it, on Luck by chance.
Joined: 05 October 2007
Interim Budget likely to offer tax breaks
SEBI smells circular trading in Spice Communications rally
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is probing if there was any circular trading in shares of Spice Communications, which had risen sharply of late. A top SEBI official told ET that the market regulator has asked stock exchanges for details of trading in Spice shares in the three sessions since January 29, when the stock surged 228%. The rally in this stock during this period stumped most market watchers, who said the low-free float, provided traders the ammunition to ramp up the stock. Free float means the shareholding of non-promoters, which is supposed to be at least 25% of the total equity, unless in exceptional cases such as public sector companies.
IL&FS to take control of Maytas Infra
Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Company (IL&FS) is poised to acquire management control of the troubled infrastructure company Maytas Infrastructure owned by family members of Ramalinga Raju, former chairman and managing director of Satyam Computers, who confessed to financial fraud on January 7. The leading non-banking finance company is emerging as a government preference given its prominent role in infrastructure finance in the country. IL&FS is among 19 banks and financial institutions that have collectively lent Maytas Infra Rs 50 billion and is partner in several major Maytas projects including the Hyderabad Metro.
DoT gets tough with new mobile players on rollout
The Department of Telecom is turning the heat on new mobile players for not launching services despite having given out the licenses almost a year ago. The DoT has asked all the new players to submit details of the network set up so far including the number of base stations and location of their mobile switching centers.
GSM operators add 9.3 million subscribers in Jan
Unscathed by the global economic downturn, the Indian telecom growth story continues with the GSM operators adding a record 9.3 million new subscribers the highest ever, taking the total user base to 267.5 million in January, 2009. If Reliance Telecom numbers are included the addition may cross 10 million.
Low fares didn't work, so airlines take the high road
Low fares, sometimes even pitched as no fares, didn't work for them, so Indian airlines are hoping that the reverse strategy works for them. The move comes even as jet fuel prices, tracking oil prices, have plunged, helping airlines cut costs.
UPA's dilemma: to be or not to be populist
There is no bar on such measures before poll dates are announced, but the government may need to weigh pros and cons. While two senior ministers independently said the government would make use of the opportunity to announce some populist measures, another said the government would just present its basic accounts during the interim budget.
Talk to us directly: India tells Pak
India asked Pakistan to directly deal with it on the issue of the Mumbai dossier, after it became clear that Pakistan was stringing India along. After Pakistan said on Monday it would revert with more questions, India is now resigned to several more days of waiting for the neighbor to respond. Pakistan has successfully mired India's demands to deal with terrorism in bureaucratese. Terror groups may have approached Dawood Ibrahim to kill Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive after the November 26 Mumbai attacks. Underworld don Chhota Shakeel, a close aide of Dawood's, is believed to been given a contract to kill Kasab. Shakeel is believed to be hiding in Pakistan and taking help from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.
Devolution of powers in Lanka only way out: Pranab
India underlined the urgent need for credible devolution of powers in Sri Lanka, saying it is the only way forward to ensure resolution of problems afflicting the island nation. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told that India remains concerned over the condition of civilian population in northern Sri Lanka.
Advani woos voters via Pak media
A Pakistani website is a rather unusual place to find an advertisement of BJP leader L K Advani campaigning for the forthcoming 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But there he is on the online edition of Pakistan's premier English newspaper, Lahore-based Dawn, with his slogan: Advani for PM. The Dawn online advertisement isn't an isolated example. The BJP is hard-selling the 81-year-old Advani all over the web. About 2,000 sites frequented by India's net-users have been identified by BJP's crack IT team. Several foreign media sites have been selected, including Washington Post, New York Times and UK's Guardian online. Apart from the Dawn, Pakistan newspaper The Nation and website Paktribune also carry the ads.
Maharashtra sees 150,000 job losses
Maharashtra has reported around 150,000 job losses over the last few months. State Labor Minister Nawab Malik said 150,000 fewer jobs were available in the unorganized sector in the state this year compared with the previous year. The worst-hit sectors were automobile ancillary, engineering and construction.
Joined: 05 October 2007
DLF stalls 2 of its biggest projects
Facing acute liquidity crunch and poor buyer sentiments, the country's biggest property developer, DLF, has stopped work at two of its biggest mid-income housing projects. The New Delhi-based builder has halted construction at DLF New Town Heights in Gurgaon Sector 90 and Express Greens in sector M1 in Manesar, both in Haryana. The two projects were launched in January and August 2008, respectively.
Tata Strategic Group ties up with Roland Berger
Tata Management Strategic Group, a part of the diversified Tata Group, on Wednesday announced alliance with Roland Berger Strategy, the biggest strategic consultants with European origin. The alliance will give both firms an opportunity to offer Indian firms new high-end services that require specialised or international experience. The alliance will support international firms in their expansion plans in India and large Indian companies planning to develop in Europe, China and Japan. Both companies would also seek to jointly develop new geography like West Asia, South-East Asia and Africa.
IBM seen controlling half of local offshoring market by 2010
IBM, the world's biggest software services provider, continues to gain more business in the domestic information technology market, and Nine trends for IT in 2009 is set to control almost half of the domestic outsourcing market by 2010. At least two experts tracking India's $5.6-billion market for software outsourcing said, that IBM currently has around 36% share, and is set to control almost half the domestic outsourcing market by 2010.
Subhiksha directors quit company as woes mount
Three directors on the board of Subhiksha Trading Services Ltd resigned over the past six months as the discount retailer hurtled into a crisis that has left behind angry investors, employees and business partners. These directors had quit the board to avoid the legal problems they would inevitably face as the crisis at Subhiksha worsened.
CCEA okays proposal to ease FDI norms
The Government streamlined the methodology for calculating the total foreign investment in Indian companies, under which it has excluded indirect investment routed through entities ultimately controlled by Indians from the overall sectoral ceilings. The move, cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, is aimed at encouraging more overseas funds inflow and offering greater leeway for foreign firms to increase equity in their ventures in India.
NSG hints at Qaida, Taliban link to 26/11
A day after top Al Qaida commander Mustafa Abu Al Yazid warned India of more Mumbai-like strikes if it tried to attack Pakistan, National Security Guard (NSG) chief J K Dutt on Wednesday said 26/11 was a joint operation of Taliban, Al Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The Mumbai terror attack was an audacious attempt by the LeT, Taliban and Al Qaida combine to shape policies of three sovereign nations that include the oldest and the largest democracy,Dutt said at an international seminar organised by the National Bomb Data Centre at Manesar in Haryana.
PC snubs Modi, asks if he is in touch with Pak
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram slammed BJP leader and Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi over his irresponsible remarks concerning local links in the Mumbai terror attack. Queried on similarities Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on involvement of internal elements in Mumbai attacks and comments by Pakistani leadership, Chidambaram said you should ask Narendra Modi whether he and Pakistan are in contact with each other.
Kasab: Media says charges filed, Pak Govt denies it
Confusion prevailed over reports that Pakistani authorities on Wednesday filed a case against Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the Mumbai attacks, and 12 others in connection with the terror strikes. The case was registered on the basis of the probe conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the decision made by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet during its meeting on Monday.
Indian defense forces competent to meet any threat: Chidambaram
In the wake of an al Qaeda warning to carry out more Mumbai-type terror attacks, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the country's defense forces are prepared to meet any threat from any quarter. Defense Minister A K Antony had already made it clear that the defense forces are fully prepared to meet any kind of threat.
Foreign firms can hike stake with change on FDI norms
Giving scope to foreign firms to increase equity in their Indian joint ventures, the government on Tuesday changed FDI policy and excluded indirect investment through domestic companies from overall sectoral ceilings. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the changes in the guidelines for calculating total foreign investment.
Rebels deny shooting civilians in Sri Lanka war
The Tamil Tiger rebels denied accusations that they opened fire on civilians fleeing Sri Lanka's northeastern war zone, instead accusing the military Wednesday of turning so called safe zones for civilians into killing fields. The accusations came amid reports of increasing casualties among the many of the tens of thousands of civilians reportedly trapped inside the war zone as government forces battled to destroy the rebel group and end the nation's 25-year-old civil war.
Joined: 05 October 2007
Some of the laws governing the opening of eating establishments in India date back almost 100 years and are completely archaic. Add to that the boatload of approvals needed just to open shop in Delhi and most cities across India and it's tempting just to ditch the idea of having a restaurant before you begin. When I set up the KFC and Pizza Hut restaurant chains in India in 1994, for instance, I found that the restaurant licensing laws are governed under the Punjab Municipal Act of 1957. It requires that no building housing a restaurant should have unauthorized construction. And the entire restaurant has to be on the ground floor. Anywhere else was out of bounds. How did this play out in practice? A friend of mine who had a property in Defence Colony market, one of Delhi's swankier neighborhoods, was more than willing to rent it to us. No sooner had the lease been inked than problems started coming out of the woodwork. The building quickly came under scrutiny from the Delhi authorities because it had some unauthorized construction. Ploof! The building was torn down and rebuilt from scratch. I did open the KFC three years after first signing for the site. For a country that seeks to be a global power, encourage entrepreneurship and investment, there is still a huge amount of red tape. That, of course, was a decade ago. How much has changed since then? Not much. I've been opening new restaurants for the past year. There has been some relaxation in the rules: You can build on higher floors as long as they are commercially zoned. With the arrival of malls, the real estate crunch has eased. Privatization has made getting a power connection less of an issue. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. For a country that seeks to be a global power, encourage entrepreneurship and investment, there is still a huge amount of red tape. It is an added cost of doing business here. First, you get a No Objection certificate from the Fire Department which is followed by a Health license from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Then you need three different police clearances one from the police station in the area where the restaurant is located, the next from the police station in the area where the restaurant manager lives, and then another one from the police licensing department. Next, you apply for Tourism & Excise licenses. The Excise license is issued only after approval from the Tourism department and it's all governed by the Punjab Excise Act of 1913. Inspectors check out the premises and paste a notice at the restaurant inviting objections from the neighborhood regarding the sale of alcohol in that area. This is accompanied by the beating of drums literally. The restaurant also can't get a liquor license if it is near a place of worship or a school. Oh, and the process can only start once the restaurant is ready to open, potentially landing you with more serious delays. If you get this far, all you have to worry about is whether anyone will show up! Of course it's all worth it in the end. You wake up from the nightmare with a dream realized. But it takes a foodie's passion to want to do it again.
26/11 attacks: Kasab gets police custody till Feb 26
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested in connection with the November 26 terror attacks in the city, was today remanded in police custody till February 26. A magistrate's court here remanded Kasab to 14-day police custody for his involvement in a blast that took place in a taxi at Vile Parle. Kasab, however, was not produced in court citing security reasons.
Satyam an aberration in system; company functioning as usual
The government today said it was business as usual at Satyam Computer ever since a new board took its reins following an accounting scam, which the Corporate Affairs Minister described as an aberration. Satyam is a stand alone case. Our corporate sector is very mature and our IT sector is respected worldwide Prem Chand Gupta, Minister of Corporate Affairs, said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
Pure gold in the spot markets of Mumbai, the largest bullion market in the country and a benchmark for prices in other local markets, rose to 14,770 rupees ($304) per 10 grams Thursday, up from the previous high of 14,265 rupees/10 grams early in the week. Standard gold was quoted at 14,705 rupees/10 grams, up from a previous high of 14,200 rupees/10 grams.
Customers look at gold jewelry in a showroom at Zaveri Bazar, a jewelry market in Mumbai
In 1975, Indian audiences thrilled to the sight of Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini dancing with bloody feet on stark granite boulders sprinkled with shards of glass. The setting was a place called Ramanagara, hardly known before this film, Sholay (Hindi for embers). It used its rugged terrain as the backdrop for the pursuit of a band of bandits by a young and rather smoldering actor Amitabh Bachchan.
The start of a vegetarian lunch, served suitably on a banana leaf.
The film's phenomenal success put Ramanagara on the map, and today the district retains its appeal for day-trippers seeking relief from the blaring traffic and crowded shopping streets of Bangalore. Though just 48 kilometers southwest of the city, easily reached by car or train, it seems blessedly distant. Ramanagara does milk its links to the 199 minute Bollywood classic. These rocky Indian hills maintain a pleasant serenity, especially on weekdays, since most tourists skip them as they take the highway to Mysore. The district got further screen time in the great director David Lean's final film, A Passage to India. But Ramanagara has more to offer than mere celluloid nostalgia. One could get an early start by catching the 7 a.m. Mysore Express train from Bangalore's City Station; that would go to Ramanagara in 49 minutes flat. In order to do that one has to negotiate with local auto rickshaw drivers to steer through various locations. A drive from Bangalore can take a little longer, depending on traffic leading into the Bangalore Mysore highway, but affords a bit more comfort and flexibility. After passing the foul smelling Vrishabhavati River, the drive turns out to be a cinch. Stop at the 55-kilometer mark on the highway for breakfast at Kamat Lokaruchi. Decorated with murals and masks, this airy eatery originally was built to serve visitors to the Janapada Loka, the folk-arts museum next door, plan to visit it later in the day. The restaurant turns out to be the far bigger draw, with fans coming to enjoy specialties from both the north and south of Karnataka state. Its idlis, or fermented rice pancakes, are a coastal variety known as kotte kadabu. While idlis at most South Indian pit stops are round and fairly flat, these are plump, plantain-leaf-wrapped cylinders, all the easier to be dunked in coconut chutney or spicy vegetable stew. A battered green arch Government Silk Cocoon Market. The silk industry is a mainstay in the district for the daily auction the market operates all but two days a year. While India's silk industry is generally getting a beating there is no sign of doldrums here: A buzzer sounds at 10 a.m. sharp, the overhead fans kick in and hundreds of traders standing over metal bins filled with the fuzzy egg shaped cocoons begin haggling occasionally pelting each other with a spare cocoon to attract attention. This is serious business: More than 41 metric tons of cocoons from four Indian states change hands on this particular day; at peak season in March, the volume rises to 70 tons. Prices per kilogram range this day from just over $3 to about $4.70, depending on the breed and quality. To explain more about silk at the adjacent Cocoon Testing Centre, cocoons, must be plunged in boiling water with the live silkworm inside to yield the maximum prize a continuous silk strand up to 1,300 meters long. Checks a few samples for defects slitting the cocoons open with a razor blade. Will followers of the SPCA ever buy silk saree after this? Leave the cocoon market and drive to the nearby foothills. The bucolic vistas Ramanagara's average elevation is 735 meters draw rock-climbers and hikers who don't seem to mind dodging a few goats. The stairs leading to the Sri Rama temple are painted a garish red, white and blue, with trash strewn on either side. Up past the temple and after a right turn, though, gaze happily at the natural panorama. To escape the bright midday sun, head to Channapatna a hamlet that produces colorful wooden toys and bangles to observe some craftsmen at work. The bright wooden rocking horses and spinning tops that predated the Barbie doll invasion. A few narrow workshops are in an area called Nizami Chowk. Sawdust cloaks every surface, including the faces and forearms of the young men who hunch over the rudimentary cutting machines. See the final products, including sets of sleek coasters and floral-patterned bangles that dealers in Mumbai will export to the U.S. and West Indies. At Kamat Lokaruchi, get ready for the vegetarian feast arrayed on a banana leaf. Pop next door to see the collection at Janapada Loka. The displays include some delightful leather puppets, as well as elaborate costumes used in Yakshagana folk theater, a form that still thrives in Karnataka. Also get drawn to workaday items such as cowbells, noodle-makers, and a cleverly designed rattrap.
IF General Sections
Joined: 22 October 2005
Discussion_Indian serials & Indian values
Author: Bonheur Replies: 58 Views: 6447
|Bonheur||58||6447||14 January 2008 at 4:41pm by Aahaana|
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