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Wipro, H-P in global alliance
Bangalore - Wipro and Hewlett Packard (H-P) today announced a global strategic alliance to jointly develop and deploy network management solutions addressed to telecom service providers.
The alliance is already engaged in talks with its first customer, a global cable ISP company scheduled
to start operations in India.
Wipro Infotech will be the system integrator for India
and the Asia Pacific region while Wipro Technologies
will fulfill the role in the rest of the world.
The alliance will leverage on Wipros extensive expertise and experience in consulting, systems integration, and developing custom network management applications.
Hewlett Packard has a complete solution suite of world
class solutions for service creation using the H-P Bluestone & H-P OpenCall platform, service delivery
using H-P Process Manager, service assurance using the
H-P OpenView platform and service usage using the H-P Internet Usage Manager solution suite, said Steve
Au-Yeung, general manager, infrastructure services and
software for Hewlett Packard, Asia Pacific.
Using H-P's suite of solutions, Wipro will be able to help telecom and network service providers to develop, integrate and deploy services quickly and further deliver them with a high quality of service assurance and allow service providers to bill their customers based on usage of the services.
H-P platforms, known to be one of the best in the market for their technologies and price performance capabilities, will benefit from Wipro's experience in the telecom domain and enterprise software systems to deploy faster and more powerful solutions. This alliance will bring to customers H-P Software Solution deployments that will improve business performance through customised software solutions.
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MTNL may partner with BSNL for international telephony
New Delhi - The government-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) is exploring the partnership route for its international telephony venture, a market due to be opened up by April 2002.
The partner could well be Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd
(BSNL). Mr Narinder Sharma, chairman and managing
director of MTNL said the organization has set up a
working group with BSNL to see how it can explore
opportunities in international telephony.
Currently, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) is the
monopoly provider of international telephony services
in India. Chairman and managing director of BSNL, Dr DPS Seth confirmed that the two public sector firms were exploring synergies. "We are looking at possibilities...though no parameters have been fixed for the joint working group," Dr Seth said.
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Indian lenders could value DPC equity lower
New Delhi - Indian lenders led by Industrial
Development Bank of India (IDBI) are likely to value
Dabhol Power Companys equity at a discount to its
face value.
The paid-up capital of Enron-promoted DPC is $1
billion with the US power major holding 65 per cent
According to sources, although the power minister has
consistently denied the possibility of National
Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) taking over the
project, the government has still not ruled it out.
"NTPC picking up Enrons equity in DPC is still an
option," a source said.
Once the roadmap is ready, the lenders would also
negotiate with private players including the Hindujas,
Tatas and AES who have evinced interest in taking over
the project, said a senior FI official. Sources also
said the committee would closely look at various
aspects including the cost of power and its tariff.
The lenders would reduce the interest rate accordingly
and the details would be worked out.
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SmithKline to focus on volumes
New Delhi - Eighteen months after SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare bought over Viva and Maltova from Jagajit Industries, the company is ready to enter the markets with new improved versions of these health drinks with the aim of hooking low end consumers.
Hiking prices however is not on the agenda, instead
SBCH feels by generating volumes and getting the
low-end consumers, profits would follow sooner than
Viva and Maltova will be used as flankers to SBCH
existing brands, Horlicks and Boost. Being popular in
the north, Maltova will help garner the much needed
market share in a market where health drinks are not
so popular as they are in the east and the south.
Since malt-based white market is losing market share,
the brand will help scoop up the desired result.
Sources said SBCH took time to put its name on these
two products because after buying out the Viva and
Maltova brands, it found that these products did not
actually have the ingredients that were listed on
their lables. The research team of the company
reformulated the nutrient content to avoid future
Since Horlicks and Boost are premium category
products, there are many who cannot afford such high
price products.
The company intends to use Viva and Maltova to lure
this lot to the SBCH fold by offering more or less the
same food value at a lower price.
The health drink market is estimated at 100,000 tonnes
per annum.
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Leela drops plan to construct another hotel, will make corporate park instead
Mumbai - Hotel Leelaventure promoted by Krishnan Nair
has dropped plans to construct a hotel adjacent to the
existing Leela Kempinski in North Mumbai.
Instead the company has tied up with the Raheja group
to develop a commercial centre called Leela Corporate
Top company sources said Rockford Developers, a
company jointly promoted by the Rahejas and HDFC,
would develop the land owned by Hotel Leela.
Hotel Leela Ventures has total outstanding debt of
around Rs 650 crore and is planning to bring it down
to Rs 450 crore by next year. The company has
initiated a major debt reduction programme with an aim
to control interest costs and improve the bottomline.
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Bharti offers Rs 500cr for disputed licence
New Delhi - Bharti has offered a bank guarantee of Rs
500 crore to the Department of Telecommunications for
the disputed Punjab licence.
Terms and conditions of the fourth cellular licences
make it mandatory for a company to clear all its
outstandings to get licences. At present, there is a
dispute on between Bharti and DoT over the Punjab
licence, which was terminated by the DoT for
non-payment of licence fee.
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Citizen to increase stake in Indian JV
Bangalore - Japan-based Citizen Watches is considering
the possibility of increasing its stake in its Indian
joint venture and ending its almost three-year-old
relationship with the local partner in the Indian
On the whole Citizen holds a 51 per cent stake in the
joint venture through Citizen Watch Company and
Citizen Trading Company of Japan, which have 25.5 per
cent stake each in the Indian arm, and the remaining
49 per cent is held by the Indian partner Doshi Time
Industries based in Chennai.
However a decision is yet to be taken to this effect.
The company is waiting to see how it performs after
having announced a change in strategy, which will now
focus on the premium end of the Rs 1,500-crore Indian
watch market.
Company sources said, if the stake is increased, it is
most likely to be raised to 100 per cent entailing a
capital infusion of around Rs 20 million. The total
equity capital of the joint venture stands at Rs 40
million. Citizen Watch Company and Citizen Trading
Company of Japan have 25.5 per cent stake each in the
Indian arm.
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MoF gives FIs two weeks to complete DPC revival package
New Delhi The ministry of finance has given Indian FIs
led by Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) two
weeks to finalise the revival package for the
controversy-ridden $2.9-billion Dabhol power project
in Maharashtra.
FIs on Tuesday held discussions with the high level
committee of secretaries led by finance secretary Ajit
Kumar, on the package being worked out for Dabhol.
The package proposed by the FIs includes an
out-of-court settlement with lenders and promoters of
Dabhol project, re-scheduling of loans to make the
project attractive before it is put up for sale to
prospective buyers and re-negotiating power tariffs
with the promoters following various fiscal
concessions proposed by the Centre and the state
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Royal Enfield launches Bullet Electra priced at Rs 56,931
Chennai Royal Enfield Motors, a unit of Eicher Ltd,
part of the Rs 1,000 crore Eicher Group, has launched
its new model Bullet Electra.
The bike is priced at Rs 56,931 (ex-showroom) in
Powered by a 350 cc, four-stroke engine, the bike
would initially be available in three colours - silver
ash, riviera red and amazon blue - at all the major
dealerships of the company spread across the country,
said Mr Siddhartha Lal, chief executive of Royal
Enfield Motors.
The power bike would also offer CDI (capacitor
discharge ignition) - to its customers, which would
improve the pick up and reduce the maintenance cost of
the bike.
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Jet Airways ups business class fares
Mumbai With Indian Airlines announcing a reduction in
fares and the economy is a general jet lag, Jet
Airways has decided to increase the business class
fares on its busiest Mumbai-Delhi route from September
1. The fare for the sector is being hiked by about 13
per cent to Rs 17,420 from Rs 15,360 for a return
Jet has decided also not to reduce its fares on the
economy class in response to the Indian Airlines fare
cut announced last week.
As a result, the Indian Airlines economy class fare on
the Mumbai-Delhi route is Rs 10,000 for a return trip,
while Jet Airways charges Rs 11,380 for the same
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BPCL will soon have 1,500 Pure for Sure outlets
Kolkata Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
plans to convert around 1,500 of its 4,582 outlets in
the country as Pure for Sure ones by October 2002,
to ensure guaranteed supply of "quality and the
quantity (Q&Q)" fuels to consumers.
"With high performance vehicles hitting Indian roads,
and fuel prices soaring, the need for assured Q&Q is
all the more pronounced," BPCL general manager
(retail, east) Sen told reporters here after
inauguration of the first outlet in Kolkata.
Mr Sen said at least 800 of the outlets throughout the
country would be equipped to ensure quality, quantity,
courteous service and quick fuelling by March 2002.
The number would be increased to 1,500 by October 2002
after completion of the third phase.
He said, in the first first phase, about 100 sites in
five cities would be equipped with the facility. The
number would be increased to 300 by October this year.
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IBM rides on customers products for new campaign
New York--IBM is undoubtedly one of the corporate
worlds best-known names. But how can you explain its
new branding campaign.
Big Blue is launching a new branding campaign by
marketing the IBM brandname on its customers
The brandname is a blue-and-white striped logo in the
shape of a peeled-back flag that reads "IBM
The strategy is that the company wants to make sure
consumers know when its technology is used in other
companies products -- from video game consoles to
television set-top boxes, cell phones and digital
IBM is not the first high-tech company to use its logo
to sell its brandname.
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Sri Lankan, Dilmah Tea will cater to premium Indian market
New Delhi--In a bid to tap the growing demand of
specialty tea, Sri Lankan major Dilmah Tea has forayed
into the Indian market. The company plans to cater to
the premium end of the tea market only.
A senior official of the company said the company
intended to penetrate the top 5 per cent of the market
consisting of Indians and expatriates with high
disposable incomes who desire something different in
tea, like individually foil-wrapped exotic flavoured
tea, specialty Ceylon teas etc.
Dilmah Tea is today present in 90 countries around the
world. The company offers a very extensive range of
products covering premium Ceylon, gourmet and
specialty, herbal, exotic flavoured tea as well as
decaffeinated and green teas. The company also offers
Darjeeling (sourced directly from Darjeeling), China
green, China Jasmine and China Oolong teas.
In exotic flavours, the company has 17 varieties,
including fruit options such as mango, peach, lychee
and others such as vanilla, Earl Grey (Bergamot).
Dilmah already has a joint venture in India with the
Amalgamations Group.
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Sitara goes in for acquisition to launch Indian ops
Mumbai- Sitara Networks, the US-based company
providing quality of service solutions for Internet
protocol networks, plans to acquire an Indian company
to start its direct operations by December.
Sitara is in talks with three companies at present and
after acquisition, the company will be turned into a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Sitara Networks and renamed
as Sitara India, said Ed deArias, companys executive
vice president, worldwide sales and corporate
The company will have operations in Delhi, Mumbai and
Bangalore to begin with. It also plans to increase the
number of its resellers from one at present to over a
dozen in the coming three-four months.
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BSNL plans business units to improve efficiency
New Delhi--Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is creating
separate strategic business units for its long
distance, basic telephony and cellular services
projects with each business unit being headed by a
chief executive officer (CEO) who would report to the
BSNL board of directors.
BSNL sources said the move was aimed at creating a
more efficient structure for BSNL, post
At present, BSNL is structured according to the
circles where the corporate is essentially offering
basic and long distance telephone services. A chief
general manager who reports to the companys board of
directors heads each of these circles.
BSNL is also in the process of branding its cellular
services, currently operating as pilot projects in few
select areas like Kolkata, Patna and Haldia under the
Bharat Sanchar tag.
BSNL also plans to roll out its cellular services in
600 cities across the country in two phases spanning
over a period of two years, whereby BSNL will install
40 lakh GSM lines.
The organization also plans to roll out its wireless
in local loop (WiLL) services by mid February next
year in urban areas and by March in rural areas
investing close to Rs 600 crore in the initial phase.
About 6 lakh WiLL lines are planned for the rural
sector and about 2 lakh lines for the urban areas.
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Lucent cuts 2,200 jobs in another round of
New YorkLucent Technologies has cut another 2,200
jobs, which is part of the ailing company's prior
plans to cut its work force from 123,000 in January to
less than 62,000 in the spring to weather the downturn
in the telecommunications industry.
But they insisted the cuts would not hinder plans to
improve service to its top 30 customers, who represent
75 per cent of sales and that they had enough cash on
hand to implement its restructuring plan.
Moving to end some of the uncertainty since it
announced major job cuts in July, Lucent told 2,200 US
employees on Thursday that their positions would be
eliminated and will start notifying an additional
2,500 outside the United States. It plans to lay off
another 1,000 US workers by September and 4,000 mostly
foreign workers between October and March.
Including jobs lost through outsourcing, Lucent plans
to cut 17,000 jobs between July and March.
Lucent announced a hefty dlrs 3.25 billion
third-quarter loss last month and the elimination of
its 2 percent quarterly dividend.
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domain - B : Indian business : News Review : 24 Aug 2001 : companies