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MARCH 25, 2007
 Cover Story
 BT Special
 Back of the Book

Mobile Security
Today, it is all about information and how the right information is sent to the right people at the right time and right place. Uncertainty about how to secure mobile phones in the face of increasing threats is slowing individual adoption of mobile applications. There are many facets of mobile security, including network intrusion, mobile viruses, spam and mobile phishing. Analysts expect big telecom companies to develop security solutions on various security platforms.

Rough Ride
These are competitive times for the Indian aviation industry. As salaries zoom, players are scrambling to find profits. Even the state-owned Indian is now seeking young airhostesses to take on the competition. It is planning to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for airhostesses above 40 years. On an average, they draw a salary of Rs 5 lakh a year. The salaries of pilots, too, are soaring. According to industry estimates, the country needs over 3,000 pilots over the next five years.
More Net Specials

Business Today,  March 11, 2007

$27.8 billion (Rs 1,22,320 crore): M&A volume in India in 2006, compared to $100.6 billion (Rs 4,42,640 crore) in China

$480 billion (Rs 21,12,000 crore): The estimated size of the personal consumption market in India

5.4 million: Number of PCs, including desktop and notebook computers, sold in India in 2006, according to International Data Corporation

$300 billion (Rs 13,20,000 crore): The amount Indians spend annually on retail shopping. This figure is expected to double by 2015, according to PwC


1.4 million units: The current capacity of the Indian auto industry. This is projected to rise to 2 million units by 2008-09

100,000: Number of jobs expected to be created for the physically challenged in 2007-08

Rs 22,000: The per capita share of every Indian in the Central government's total liabilities

$10.5 billion (Rs 46,200 crore): The net overseas lending by (Indian) commercial banks

544 million tonnes: The estimated annual coal requirement for power projects in India by 2012

6.8 per cent: The rate at which Hong Kong economy grew in 2006

7.25 per cent: Projected SSI (small scale industry) contribution to GDP in 2006-07, compared to 6.80 per cent in the previous financial year

28 per cent: The projected share, by the end of 2007, of online bookings in the global travel market

1.4 billion: Projected Indian population by 2026, according to the Economic Survey

150,000 tonnes: The annual generation of electronic waste in India


"Now it's a huge thing to have an India stint on your resumé"
Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro, in BusinessWeek

"The markets are probably taking a short-term view of this acquisition (Hindalco's buyout of Novelis). But we see long-term value in it"
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, in BusinessWeek

"I'm absolutely sure that millions of people want to go into space. And it's up to us to make it affordable for those people"
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, on Virgin Galactic, which hopes to become the world's first private spaceline, in Time

"Most youngsters today are looking at jobs, not careers. They are willing to change fields later if need be, but most are worried only about what their 'take-home' will be"
Anita Belani, Country Head, Human Capital Group Watson Wyatt, in Business Standard

"It is important at this point to realise that the 'economy game' is not like cricket or war"
Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics, Cornell University, in BBC Online

"At least, 20 major diamond companies from Antwerp and Tel Aviv are in China. Of these, most of the companies from Antwerp have an Indian promoter"
Praveen Shankar Pandya, Chairman, Diamond Limited Company, an industry grouping of diamond cutters, in Mint

"There is definitely interest in yachting here (Mumbai). And we're not seeing people gasping and saying they can't afford our prices"
Jamie Edmiston, President of Edmiston, which sells and charters boats in the price range of $3-350 million, at Mumbai's international boat show last month, in The Times

"As a producer, I want to know if my company has lost money. If we have, I dance at a wedding or do an ad"
Shah Rukh Khan, Actor, in The Week

"The Indian market is getting younger"
M.B Shin, MD, LG Electronics India, in The Economic Times

"Except Hong Kong and Singapore, everyone in Asia is trying to cherry-pick the benefits of globalisation"
Huw McKay, Economist, Westpac Bank, in Reuters Online


APPROVED: By BaFin, the financial markets regulator in Germany, Suzlon's $1.35-billion (Rs 5,940 crore) offer to buy out REpower Systems. Suzlon's offer values the German firm at e1.02 billion (Rs 4,488 crore).

DOWN: The inflation rate, to 6.05 per cent for the week-ended February 17, compared to 6.63 per cent the week before. The cooling off is on account of the reduction, on February 16, in prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2 and Re 1, respectively. The inflation rate had earlier peaked at 6.73 per cent.

ACQUIRED: By Pune-based BPO company HOV Services, US-based BPO Lason for $148 million (Rs 660 crore). This is the largest acquisition by an Indian BPO. The leveraged buyout is valued at 3.5 times the acquirer's turnover of Rs 164 crore for the year ended March 31, 2006.

RECORDED: By Indian executives, the highest increase in salaries in Asia Pacific region in 2006. Indian companies increased salaries by an average of 14 per cent in 2006, the highest in the region. During the same year, companies in China and the Philippines, for instance, increased salaries by only 8 per cent, while their South Korean counterparts handed out 7 per cent increments on average, says a Pan Asia survey on "Compensation Trends" conducted by Omam Consultants, a management consulting and staffing outfit.

BOUGHT: By NRI entrepreneur Prasad V. Potluri, real estate company owned by Kalpathi Suresh family, SSI, in a deal worth Rs 1,000 crore. SSI, formerly a software services and IT education company, has substantial real estate holdings in Chennai. Potluri is reportedly buying 70.85 per cent of SSI from its promoters.

DISCOVERED: By the BG India-ONGC-RIL consortium, oil in the Panna-Mukta-Tapti block. The estimate, which will be confirmed only after the Director General of Hydrocarbons' appraisal, is reportedly around 30 million barrels. BG India is all set to enhance gas production from 5.5 MMSCMD to 17 MMSCMD.


The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is urging the EU to initiate WTO dispute settlement proceedings against India for failing to cut duties on imported whisky. It wants the tax, which is between 225 per cent and 550 per cent, brought down to a "more reasonable level". Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive, SWA, says: "The Budget was the last opportunity for India to reform its system. Regrettably, it continues to deny fair market access to Scotch whisky." If the EU initiates proceedings against India, the hearing will last for 6 months, with three more for an appeal. If India loses, it will get 15 months to implement the ruling.
-Tejaswi Rathore

Total Spirit Sales: 110 million cases*
Scotch Whisky Sales: 750,000 cases**
If import tariffs are reduced, sales could rise to about 3 million cases.
* Each case contains 9 litres
** Less than 0.75 per cent of market
Figures relate to the Indian market


A. Ansari, proprietor of highland Automobiles at Sonwar, Kashmir, will not have to cook up a story the next time a customer asks him about the delivery status of the Maruti he had booked a few days ago. All he'll need to do is log on to the Maruti dealer's website and locate the exact coordinates of the trailer truck carrying his customer's car on his screen. "We are now equipping our trailer fleet with a GPS-enabled Truck Tracking System, which provides real-time updates on the exact positions of the delivery fleet," says Rajesh Uppal, Head, IT, Maruti Udyog (MUL).

"Our distributors are spread across the country, and the average transit time is between 10 and 15 days, so it's important to keep a real-time watch of the cars till they reach the dealer; this improves productivity, truck utilisation and allows dealers to commit accurate delivery dates to customers," he adds.

The system, which is being developed by MUL and an Indian software development firm, is initially being mounted on 500 trailers as a part of a pilot project. "Over the next six months, our entire fleet of 5,000 trailers will be GPS-enabled," Uppal says.

It is learnt that other car makers and trucking companies are also toying with the idea of installing similar systems.