Tata Motors has launched a new variant of its mid-size sedan Manza, and will increase its sales and services networks by 200 each by end of FY'13. The leading carmaker will add 200 more service centres as well as an equal number of sales network by the end of the fiscal. This will take the overall sales outlets to 1,200 and service centres to 1,000. The newly-launched Tata Manza Club Class is priced in the range of Rs 5.70 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi for petrol) and Rs 6.49 lakh for diesel, and claims a mileage of 21.02 km per litre for diesel and 13.7 km per for the petrol model. Besides, the company is looking to rationalize its product range and overhaul its image. The company is also looking to launch a next-generation version of its Nano, the world's cheapest car, for the US market in about three years.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and gas utility GAIL India have evinced interest in picking up stake in the Rs 5,000-crore Kochi petrochemical project that Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is building in joint venture with Korea's LG Chemicals. Explorer ONGC and GAIL had shown interest in taking equity stake. The petrochemical complex is being built with LG Chemicals as the lead partner who will take 51 percent stake. For the moment, BPCL has the remaining 49 per cent. The project will be build along with the Rs 14,500 crore expansion of the Kochi refinery from 9.5 million tons now to 15.5 million tons by 2015-16. As part of this project, it would be establishing a petrochemical fluid catalytic cracker to generate 500 TMTPA of propylene. This would offer BPCL a launch pad for diversification into petrochemicals.
Private lender Axis Bank plans to increase the share of its retail lending from the present 26 percent of the total loan book to 30 percent by 2015. As of the September quarter, the third largest private lender saw its retail loan book jump by 5 percentage points from the year-ago period. On a year-on-year basis, the retail banking grew 43 percent as of the second quarter, while large and mid-corporate banking grew just 15 percent. The bank reported better-than-expected Q2 numbers logging in 22.08 percent rise in net profit to Rs 1,123 crore.
The Aditya Birla Group has revived negotiations to buy out Jaiprakash Associates' cement plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh after Irish building materials company CRH called off talks with the diversified New Delhi-based group. The telecom-to-retail conglomerate has made an offer of up to $130 per tonne for acquiring the cement assets with a total capacity of 9.8 million tonnes. The talks between the two fell through in July this year due to differences over valuation. Jaypee was keen on a price of $190 per tonne while the Kumar Mangalam Birla-controlled group was not willing to pay more than $115-120 per tone.
Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India lowered sales growth projection to 3-5 percent for this financial year, although it is banking on the newly launched Alto 800 to give a boost. The company introduced the new version of its best selling small car Alto in both petrol and CNG options, offered at introductory prices ranging between Rs 2.44 lakh and Rs 3.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It will begin exports of its new Alto 800 entry-level car from January 2013. Also, it expects that the Manesar plant will reach to full production within next 2-3 days with the commencement of second shift operations. The company will also increase the workers strength at the plant by around 700 people to 4,500 employees by December. Besides, 622 permanent workers of the plant have signed the three-year wage settlement agreement.
IFGL Refractories, which clocked a turnover of Rs 600 crore last fiscal, has scaled down its growth target for 2012-13 in view of the slowdown in the global as well as domestic steel industry. This fiscal, the company was targeting around 20 percent growth, but unfortunately the steel industry has slowed down. The first half for the company was not bad, but second half it expects to see a major slowdown. IFGL Refractories, the flagship company of S K Bajoria Group, is engaged in the manufacture of specialized refractories and requisite operating systems for the Steel Industry.
Mahindra Lifespaces Developers plans to enter affordable housing segment with projects in cities like Mumbai and Chennai. The company has already purchased land in Mumbai and Chennai for this. It will start the project wherever it gets the approval. The realty arm of $15.4 billion Mahindra Group at present caters to the middle and high--end housing segments. It is developing projects in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur, Gurgaon and Faridabad. The company's residential and commercial footprint includes completed development of 7.14 million sq ft of space and 9 million sq ft of ongoing and forthcoming projects.
CMC has entered into an alliance with Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand to offer vocational education and training from CMC Academy centers in India. CMC Academy and Unitec will work together to provide training programs to address the skill gap in areas like Hospitality, organized Retail, Automobile Servicing, Healthcare, contraction technology and textile. Students will be offered world class training which is adapted to the Indian market and industry requirements. CMC Academy currently offers Job Enablement training in lT, Accounting & Finance and several kill areas through 250 plus training location across India. Unitec is the largest institute of Technology in New Zealand and the largest provider of trades training. With 2 3,000 students enrolled in 165 courses, it is committed to the delivery of vocational and applied education and practically orientated research.
TAKE Solutions, a leader in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Life Sciences (LS) domains, has been named in Software Magazine's Software 500 ranking of the world's largest software and service providers, now in its 30th year. The Software 500 is a revenue-based ranking of the world's largest software and services suppliers, targeting medium to large enterprises, their IT professionals, software developers, and business managers involved in software and services purchasing. The ranking is based on total worldwide software and services revenue for 2011. This includes revenue from software licenses, maintenance and support, training, and software-related services and consulting. Suppliers are not ranked on total corporate revenue, since many have other lines of business, such as hardware. The financial information was gathered by a survey prepared by Rockport Custom Publishing, LLC.