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Infosys looking at overseas acquisitions

IT major Infosys Technologies is looking at acquisitions in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Japan and Australia, a top company official said. “The size of the company should be around $450-500 million,” Infosys chief executive and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The US accounts for around 62 percent and Europe around 26 percent of the company’s total revenues of $4.6 billion. The company is now looking at increasing the revenue share from Europe to 30 percent.

Regarding recruitments, Gopalakrishnan said the company had hired 18,000 people in 2008, adding that it would look into further recruitment next January-February depending on the economic scenario.

Infosys is pursuing contract deals worth $1 billion, he added.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, Science, Software, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Rahman thanks mother, God at Oscars gala

Indian music maestro AR Rahman won the Oscar for his original score in the highly acclaimed movie Slumdog Millionaire.

The composer was overwhelmed and interspersed his speech with Hindi as well as Tamil on receiving the coveted trophy here Sunday.

“There is a dialogue from an old Hindi film,”Mere paas ma hai” – which means I have nothing but a mother. My mother is here, I have her blessings. I am glad she could be here,” said Rahman.

He ended the acceptance speech by saying “God is great” in Tamil, something he says after winning every award.

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, General, Hollywood, Kollywood, Oscar, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shah Rukh Khan’s shoulder surgery successful

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh khan

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh khan’s shoulder surgery ended successfully on February 16, 2009. Earlier in the day Khan was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital for the operation.

The actor injured his shoulder while shooting for the film ‘Dulha Mil Gaya’. This is Shah Rukh’s 2nd shoulder surgery. The actor decided to get himself operated in Mumbai to avoid the sort of criticism that came his way after he chose to be operated on by doctors in London for a back problem in 2003, says a friend of the actor.

“When he got his back surgery done in London there was criticism about his lack of faith in Indian doctors. Shah Rukh feels that some of the finest doctors in the world are in Mumbai and so he sees no need to go to the West for treatment,” Khan’s friend said.

Post the surgery Khan will be out of action for at least 2 months. Arriving in Mumbai from London, Shah Rukh spoke to the media about his injury. “I will be fine and get back to work in 2 to 3 months. I believe this is a little price that I have to pay for all the goodness that I have got in life”, the very optimistic actor said.

Despite his painful shoulder, Shah Rukh chose to promote his new film “Billu” vigorously during the Valentine week. “After attending the special screening of “Billu” for hairdressers in Mumbai on Feb 12, 2009, Shah Rukh flew to London with Lara Dutta and Irrfan Khan for the film’s premiere. He came back to Mumbai on Feb 15, 2009 to prepare for Monday’s (Feb 16, 2009) surgery,” the friend said.

Shah Rukh will need to rest for a month after the surgery, which has put on hold the filming of Karan Johar’s “My Name Is Khan” till March 14, 2009. But Johar, a close friend of the superstar, is not worried. “Films will keep happening. Shah Rukh needs to be well,” Johar said.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-skipper Mohammad Azharuddin to contest on Congress ticket

COUNTERING AP ALLIANCE: With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar’s entry will boost Cong’s confidence.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar

Former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin may contest the coming Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket. The Congress leadership has been in touch with him for the past few months.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in Andhra Pradesh, Azharuddin’s entry will boost the confidence of the Congress.

Azharuddin will be used by Congress to counter the powerful MIM influence on Muslim voters in Hyderabad.

The batsman might stand from his hometown Hyderabad. He has a huge fan-following there despite his premature exit from the world of cricket following allegations of match fixing in the late 90s.

Azhar has kept a low profile since his exit from the Indian cricket scene and runs a successful event management firm.

Speculation was rife in February last year that he may either join or campaign for the Telangana Rastra Samiti in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls. The talk was sparked by the hour-long luncheon meeting he had with TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, Elections, General, India Related, Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India test-fires BrahMos cruise missile

SHOW OF STRENGTH: Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

India test-fired BrahMos cruise missile successfully on Jan 20, 2009  at the Pokhran test range of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

BrahMos, developed jointly with Russia, is a supersonic cruise missile and can be launched from submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL).

The missile was to be test-fired for the third time in desert conditions on January 18, 2009  but it was postponed to January 20, 2009  due to heavy fog and rain in the area.

BrahMos has been named after two rivers – the Brahmaputra of India and the Moscow of Russia.

The first test-firing of the BrahMos was conducted on June 12, 2001 at the Interim Test Range Chandipur-On-Sea in Balasore (Orissa).

January 20, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sania Mirza enters round 2 of Australian Open

Indian ace Saniza Mirza  moves to second round

Making a successful return to the grand slams, India’s Sania Mirza cruised into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday (January 19, 2009) after defeating aside Poland’s  Marta Domachowska.

Sania won the match 6-1, 6-4 in a convincing display of form. However, she will have to continue in the same tempo as she may have to face Nadia Petrova, a top-10 player.

Sania raced away with the first set in just 25 minutes, breaking the Polish player thrice. The Indian led 2-0 in the second set before Marta stepped on the gas, winning four games on the trot, breaking Sania in the third and fifth games.

From a comfortable 2-0, Sania found herself trailing 2-4 in no time. Under pressure, the 22-year-old Hyderabadi got her act together and went on to win the next four games to seal the issue.

Sania broke Marta in the eighth and 10th games in the process. Sania had lost to Marta in 2003 in their first meeting and now the face-to-face record stands 1-1.

Sania, playing her first singles match of the season after a long injury-lay off, was happy with her comeback  match. “It was a great way to begin after such a long break. I’ve not played a match in almost six months now. I’m just happy to have come through,” she said after the match.

Sania’s best show so far in the Australian Open has been reaching the third round in 2005 and 2008.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, Sports, Tennis, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top Ten Cities for Outsourcing in India

India has 35 major cities. Not all of them are good offshore outsourcing hubs.

In the recent past, several studies have been carried out to identify the best or most attractive cities in India. Gartner Inc, National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG, neoIT, Mercer, A T Kearney, Merrill Lynch and several others have carried out city studies for a wide range of objectives.

Important parameters that were considered when developing the rankings in these studies include:

  • Availability of Infrastructure (Power, Transport, Telecommunication, Housing)
  • Cost of Living
  • Real Estate Costs
  • Availability of Skilled Manpower
  • Attrition Rates
  • Quality of Living
  • Political Climate
  • Educational Institutions

Urban infrastructure in India is not the best in the world. Indian cities are facing overpopulation, indiscriminate growth and shortage of urban services like public transportation, water supply and sanitation. It is important to point out that the 2006 World-wide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer for 350 global cities has the top Indian cities Mumbai and Delhi ranked at 150th place. Not impressive at all. On the networking front, India ranks 40th out of 115 countries with the network readiness index of 0.23.

Despite the constrains imposed by the infrastructure or lack thereof, availability of skilled manpower and the low cost advantage continues to drive investment into urban India.

An analysis of city rankings by different surveys and study of recent outsourcing trends reveals that the top 10 outsourcing destinations in India are:

1. Chennai was the poor cousin of Bangalore and Hyderabad during the initial years of the IT boom in India. Today it is the lead outsourcing destination due to the low cost advantage, improving infrastructure, international connectivity, availability of land, skilled manpower and lower attrition rates compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad.

2. Hyderabad continues to woo investors by focusing on improving its urban infrastructure. The Governments, both past and present, have been very clear in their focus and support to the IT industry. The city has been among the most favored destinations due to the infrastructural improvements and the planned growth phased in by the governments in the twin cities.

3. Bangalore is the technology hub of India. It is increasingly becoming a global melting pot of cultures. The original garden and pub city of India has a comfortable climate compared to the other Indian cities that are happening in terms of outsourcing. However, the city’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet the demands of the exploding population. There is a growing feeling that other cities will overtake Bangalore if it continues to suffer due to political bickering, skyrocketing real estate prices and poor urban planning. According to a recent survey, it still ranks as the top city for living, earning and investing.

4. National Capital Region (NCR) includes Delhi and its surrounding suburbs. Delhi is expensive and not as popular for outsourcing. It is the suburbs, Gurgaon and Noida that have become important outsourcing destinations due to their proximity to the capital. They continue to be a major draw due to improving transport connectivity with Delhi, good international linkage and availability of skilled manpower.

5. Pune is Maharastra’s response to Bangalore. Its proximity to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and availability of trained manpower has led to the development of a thriving hi-tech outsourcing industry in this erstwhile retirement and education haven. Apart from other infrastructure components, the city is focusing on township projects to improve housing facilities.

6. Chandigarh and Mohali are twin cities. Chandigarh is one of the few planned and good cities of India. Mohali is its twin. Together, they have the space as well as the intellectual and financial capability to become India’s best outsourcing destinations. It does not yet have an international airport, but is well connected to New Delhi by road and rail.

7. Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal is high in intellect and has an advantage in terms of low costs. However, the city is famous for its traffic snarls and trade union shut downs. The current state government under chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is making the right noises to encourage investors. Early indications are that it may actually emerge as a good outsourcing destination.

8. Mysore is one of India’s smaller cities, which have joined the outsourcing bandwagon. Its proximity to Bangalore and presence of companies like Infosys and Wipro has helped the cause. It is emerging as a preferred choice over Bangalore as India’s silicon city is now congested, expensive and has higher than average attrition rates.

9. Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is well known for some of the leading science & technology research organizations in India. The city has the infrastructure and skilled workforce to attract IT investments. It is early days yet and remains to be seen whether Thiruvananthapuram can woo investors away from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

10. Coimbatore is the emerging engineering outsourcing hub located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The government of Tamil Nadu is keen on developing Coimbatore as a major IT destination in the state. Coimbatore’s strength is its rich engineering tradition and young graduating engineers to meet the manpower demands of the growing industry.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

England have the bulldog spirit to hit back: Michael Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan

Former captain Michael Vaughan has backed England to bounce back from the bitter loss in  Chennai, saying that Kevin Pietersen and his men have the “bulldog spirit” to square the Test series against India in Mohali.

“One thing with the England team is we do have a ‘bulldog spirit’, a fighting spirit. We proved that in this game,” Vaughan said ahead of the second and final Test in Mohali starting December 19, 2008.

England dominated the first three days of the Chennai Test before losing the plot on the fourth day when Indian opener Virender Sehwag went on a rampage to snatch the match away from the visitors.

“It was a great game of cricket. Both teams played to an incredible standard in terms of what they’d gone through in the previous two weeks,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

“The England team can be very proud of the way they played. For three-and-three-quarter days they dominated the Test and that is something which is very difficult to do in India,” he added.

Vaughan admitted that the six-wicket loss was a bitter pill to swallow, considering the way England dominated most part of the match. “The defining moment was that middle session (on day four) when we probably let the momentum sway back towards India when we could have nailed home the game.”

However, Vaughan, who is currently on a sabbatical from international cricket, said the task would be tough test of England’s mental strength. “We’ve just lost a real big game, a game that all the
lads would have expected to win on that fourth evening,” he said.

“It’s going to be a real task of mental strength. The boys are pretty drained and emotionally tired from what they’ve been through in the last few weeks. But if they win the toss, and bat, and get put runs on the board they can put India under a lot of pressure,” he added.

The right-hander, training with the England’s elite performance squad, said he is working towards his international comeback. “My mind is very refreshed and of course after such a great game of cricket I’m desperate to get out there and make decisions, play and score runs,” he said.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, India Related, Sports, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India has no plans to attack Pakistan: Defence Minister

DEFENSIVE TALK? India’s Defence minister A K Antony has demanded sincere action by Pakistan against the terrorists.

DEFENSIVE TALK? India

India on Dec 16, 2008 said it is not planning any military action against Pakistan but stressed that the neighbouring country will have to take action against terrorists there for the relations to improve.

“We are not planning any military action but at the same time unless Pakistan takes actions against those terrorists who are operating from their soil against India and also against all those who are behind the Mumbai terrorist attack, things will not be normal,” Defence Minister A K Antony said.

He was talking to reporters on occasion of Vijay Diwas marking the 37th anniversary of India’s military victory on Dec 16, 2008 over Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war.

On the issue of troop deployment along the Indo-Pak border, Antony said the situation there was “normal” and armed forces were “always ready”.

“Everything is normal because our forces are always ready,” the Minister said.

The Minister denied that India was planning to call off the more than five-year-old ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

“Nothing like that,” he stated when asked if India had any plans to call off the ceasefire with Pakistan.

Refusing to divulge India’s course of action in the present scenario, Antony demanded sincere action by Pakistan against the terrorists.

“I cannot say what course of action we will take but unless Pakistan shows sincerity in whatever they are saying through their actions, one thing is very sure that there is no question of things as usual,” he said.

The chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force — Admiral Sureesh Mehta, General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major — also attended the Vijay Diwas function.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, Politics, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush warns Pakistan to fight terror or a face-off

Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

GET IT CLEAR: Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

With India reaching out to the world community in the wake of Mumbai attacks, the US, Germany and Britain are sending their ministers and functionaries to India to discuss the developing situation.

Washington too is keeping the pressure up.

US President Bush made a statement saying even governments sponsoring terrorism will be held responsible.

“We’ve made it clear to Pakistan that we must do whatever to protect American people. Governments sponsoring terror are as guilty as the terrorists and will be held to account,” warned America’s President who will soon be making way for president-elect Barack Obama to take over.

The US reiterated that countries should deny safe haven to terrorists.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice too came down hard on the terror outfits and their nefarious designs.

Rice had said that those who want to disrupt good relations between India and Pakistan were at root, and that these non-state actors clearly used Pakistani territory. Rice continued to tell the CBS radio in the interview that there is reason for Pakistan to take up responsibility to act.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment