Wednesday, April 30, 2008

HDFC's Financial Results for the Period April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008

The Board of Directors of Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) approved the thirty-first annual accounts of the Corporation for the year ended March 31, 2008 at its meeting held on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 in Mumbai.


For the year ended March 31, 2008, HDFC reported a profit before tax amounting to Rs. 3,373.50 crores as compared to Rs. 1,967.78 crores for the previous year - an increase of 71%. The profit before tax is inclusive of profit on sale of a part of the Corporation's investment in its subsidiaries, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited and HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited and the entire sale of its holdings in its associate company, Intelenet Global Services Private Limited amounting to Rs. 636.26 crores (as compared to Rs. 32.98 crores in a subsidiary and associate company in the previous year).

After providing Rs. 937.25 crores for taxes, the profit after tax increased by 55% to Rs. 2,436.25 crores as compared with Rs. 1,570.38 crores in the previous year.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2008, HDFC's profit before tax amounted to Rs. 1,091.62 crores as against Rs. 676.12 crores in the corresponding quarter of the previous year - an increase of 61%. The profit before tax is inclusive of profit on sale of a part of the Corporation's investment in its subsidiary, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited amounting to Rs. 202.07 crores. After providing Rs. 323.50 crores for taxes, the profit after tax for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 increased by 40% to Rs. 768.12 crores as against Rs. 550.05 crores in the corresponding quarter last year.

The Board of Directors recommend payment of dividend for the year ended March 31, 2008 of Rs. 25 per share as against Rs. 22 per share in the previous year.


During the year, total assets of the Corporation increased to Rs. 81,099 crores compared with Rs. 62,744 crores in the previous year, an increase of 29%.

Housing Loan Portfolio

The loan portfolio (including loans outstanding, deposits and investments in preference shares and debentures for financing real estate related projects) as at March 31, 2008 amounted to Rs. 74,104 crores as against Rs. 57,988 crores in the previous year - an increase of 28%.

The spread on loans over the cost of borrowings for the year stood at 2.32% as against 2.18% in the previous year.


As at March 31, 2008, the unrealised gains on HDFC's listed investments amounted to Rs. 10,236 crores (previous year Rs. 6,948 crores). This excludes the appreciation in the value of the unlisted investments.


Approvals and Disbursements

Loan approvals during the year were Rs. 42,520 crores as compared to Rs. 33,332 crores in the previous year, representing a growth of 28%. Loan disbursements during the year were Rs. 32,875 crores as against Rs. 26,178 crores in the previous year, representing a growth of 26%.

Cumulative loan approvals and disbursements as of March 31, 2008 were Rs. 1,88,284 crores and Rs.1,52,156 crores respectively.

Non-Performing Loans

Gross non-performing loans defined as loans where the instalments are outstanding for more than 90 days as at March 31, 2008 amounted to Rs. 621.01 crores. This is equivalent to 0.84% of the portfolio (previous year - 0.92%) comprising loans as well as debentures issued by corporates and corporate deposits placed for financing their real estate projects.

Based on a six months overdue basis, the non-performing loans as at March 31, 2008 stood at 0.68% of the loan portfolio as against 0.77% in the previous year.

In terms of the prudential norms as stipulated by the National Housing Bank, the Corporation is required to carry a provision of Rs. 224.91 crores in respect of non-performing assets and general provision on outstanding standard non-housing loans.

The balance in the provision for contingencies account as at March 31, 2008 stood at Rs. 470.30 crores, which is equivalent to 0.63% of the portfolio.


HDFC's capital adequacy ratio stood at 16.8% of the risk weighted assets, as against the minimum requirement of 12%. Tier 1 capital adequacy was 14.6% against a minimum requirement of 6%.


For the year ended March 31, 2008, the cost to income ratio stood at 9.2%.


HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC-SL)

Gross premium income of HDFC-SL for the year ended March 31, 2008 stood at Rs. 4,859 crores as compared to Rs. 2,856 crores in the previous year - a growth of 70%. The cumulative sum assured in respect of policies issued increased to Rs. 87,439 crores from Rs. 67,193 crores last year.

HDFC Asset Management Company Limited (HDFC-AMC)

As at March 31, 2008, HDFC-AMC managed 34 debt and equity oriented schemes of HDFC Mutual Fund. The total assets under management as at March 31, 2008 stood at Rs. 62,747 crores, (which is inclusive of Rs. 16,537 crores of assets under discretionary portfolio management/advisory services), as compared to Rs. 36,421 crores in the previous year. The number of investor accounts increased to over 30 lacs as at March 31, 2008.

For the year ended March 31, 2008, HDFC-AMC reported a profit after tax of Rs. 117.74 crores as against Rs. 67.54 crores in the previous year, representing a growth of 74%. HDFC-AMC recommended a final dividend of 150% as against a total dividend of 100% in the previous year.

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited (HDFC-ERGO)

HDFC-ERGO offers motor insurance, commercial insurance, home insurance, group retail accident and travel insurance and specialty insurance products. Gross Written Premium for the year stood at Rs. 239.69 crores. While motor insurance accounts for a major share in the overall business, the company continues to diversify its business mix in favour of other products.


HDFC's distribution network spans 250 outlets which include 52 offices of HDFC's distribution company, HDFC Sales Private Limited (HSPL). In addition, HDFC covers over 90 locations through its outreach programmes. Distribution channels form an integral part of the distribution network with home loans being distributed through HSPL, HDFC Bank Limited and other third party Direct Selling Agents (DSA).

To cater to non-resident Indians, HDFC has an office in London and Dubai and service associates in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Al Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

L&T infotech ties up with US based Rockwell Automation

US based Rockwell Automation, global manufacturers of industrial automation solution, said Wednesday it has partnered with L&T Infotech to develop FactoryTalk an Information Solution Provider programme.
As a partner in the programme, L&T Infotech will join Rockwell Automation in helping global manufacturers build successful, plant-wide information applications and manufacturing execution systems (MES) using the FactoryTalk integrated production and performance software suite.

The Information Solution Provider programme was established by Rockwell Automation in October 2006 to provide manufacturers with a network of information systems.

Rockwell Automation vice president Kevin Roach said: "Having L&T as part of our partner network will help our customers use plant-floor data to improve collaboration and manufacturing performance."

L&T Infotech senior vice president Sunil Pande - also country manager US - said: "By using the FactoryTalk suite of customizable applications, we hope to provide our clients higher value by leveraging greater expertise in enterprise resource planning and enterprise systems integration."

Indo-Asian News Service

Reliance Communications net up 70 percent

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications has posted a 70.8 percent rise in net profits for the year ended March 31, to log Rs.54.01 billion ($1.35 billion), against Rs.31.64 billion ($717 million) for the year before.

In filing with stock exchanges, Reliance Communications - India's largest mobile phone company in CDMA segment - said its revenues grew 31.8 percent to Rs.190.68 billion ($4.77 billion), against Rs.144.68 billion ($3.28 billion) for 2006-07.

The company's board has recommended a dividend of 15 percent to its two million shareholders.

"Reliance Communications had a record year and we are confident of improved performance in the future," chairman Anil Ambani said here Wednesday, speaking about the annual audited results.

With a pan-India presence, the company has more than 48 million customers today, in some 15,000 towns and 400,000 villages. The net worth of its shareholders now stands at $6.4 billion, ranking it among India's top three companies.

Indo-Asian News Service

Chennai IPL team's success worries Tamil showbiz, says distribtutor

The four consecutive victories of the Chennai Indian Premier League cricket team Super Kings has filmmakers in Tamil Nadu fuming because it has resulted in their box office collections dropping, says distributor Kalaipuli G. Shekharan.
“Success in the cricket field has resulted in thin crowd at the theatres translating into losses for distributors and exhibitors,” Shekharan told IANS.
"There are hardly 30 people in cinemas for the evening and night shows making people like me wonder whether the business of movie distribution is worth pursuing," said Shekharan.

He is presently distributing four films in the biggest movie territory in Tamil Nadu comprising Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts.
"The April-May period is usually our peak season since educational institutions are closed and fans visit cinemas in droves. But this year, due to the IPL T20 matches, virtually nobody is turning up at the theatres," Shekharan complained.
"While multiplexes are hedging their bets with different genres of films, the cups of woe at single-screen cinemas are full as even the costs of electricity consumed during evening and night shows cannot be covered. As a result, several producers are thinking of deferring their releases," informed Shekharan.
"Producers are waiting to know the fate of a major blockbuster ‘Kuruvi’ starring Vijay releasing Friday since he is a brand ambassador of the Chennai team," he added.
The movies affected by IPL matches include "Santosh Subramaniam" featuring Jeeva - the collections of the film dropped 85 percent ; “Yaaradi Nee Mohini” - this Dhanush starrer is a hit but its collections fell by 90 percent; “Arai En 305il Kadavul” - the film, which has Prakash Raj in the lead, is the worst affected since its collections never went beyond 40 percent since release; and “Iyakkam” - starring newcomers, the film sank without a trace.
Indo-Asian News Service

Tanla Solutions Ltd. Announces Fourth Quarter Results for Financial Year 2008

Tanla Solutions Ltd., leading telecommunications software and services provider with worldwide operations has reported Total Revenues of Rs.147.21Crores for the Quarter ended 31st March 2008 against Rs. 85.33 crores for the corresponding quarter of 2007 on a consolidated basis. This registers a rise of 72.51%. Net Profits have jumped 46.87% to Rs. 49.99 crores as compared with the same period last year. EPS for the year ended 31st. March stood at Rs.32.62. On a sequential basis Total Revenues have increased by 18.68%. EBITDA margins stood at 46.83% for the financial year on a consolidated basis. Y-o-Y growth in Total Revenues has been 108.18% to Rs.477.17 crores and Net Profit has increased from Rs.92.79 crores to Rs.163.10 crores.

Its subsidiary business, Tanla Mobile continues to be the growth driver and works in partnership with global mobile operators across UK and Asia, Spain and South Africa to deliver and bill mobile content over SMS, WAP, MMS, Video, etc. Its product suite includes Mobile Payments Solutions, Campaign Management, Content Management, 3G Video Management and Interactive TV Management applications.

Mr. Uday Reddy, Chairman and MD at Tanla Solutions said of the results; "The last financial year has been fulfilling both in terms of exceeding our earnings expectations and expansions from a geographical and managerial standpoint.

"I am further pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Maxted who would be heading the Interactive TV vertical. Adam joins us from Minick, which is a leading European provider of mobile entertainment and interactive media services. Prior to his assignment with Minick, Adam was MD for Harvest Media which is a leading interactive TV services company and was responsible for managing high profile TV programs such as American Idol and The X Factor. Adam has over 20 years experience working in the Telecoms and Media sector. He will be responsible for building Tanla's interactive TV business roadmap and implement global services working in partnership with Tanla geographic heads jointly targeting the Media sector.

"We have identified Mobile Payments as another focus vertical and have appointed Jeff Spirer to Head this critical portfolio. Jeff comes with over 20 years of experience in high technology marketing, business development, and sales. Jeff was previously with Bango Inc., a mobile payments company where he was Heading business development.
I am also happy to welcome Dr. N. J. Rajaram as President - Corporate Planning, who would be based out of Hyderabad. He has over 21 years of experience in various capacities; primarily in the areas of Software Process Improvement and Institutionalization of best practices. His roles have also entailed IT strategy formulation, IT planning for business adaptability, Systems Design, Project Management, and Business Reporting. His last assignment was as Vice President & Head of Global Quality at Intelligroup where he spearheaded several quality and business process initiatives.
"Tanla has continually invested in R&D initiatives and to institutionalize this we have recently constituted a Research Laboratory which would be focusing on next generation networks, wireless communications and embedded solutions. Dr Kaluri V Ranga Rao has been appointed as Chief Scientist and would be spearheading these initiatives. Dr. Kaluri has over 30 years experience in R&D and his previous assignments include 20 years with DRDO, 5 years as VP(Telecom & Hitech) at Satyam, Chief Engineer with GE (Hyd) and visiting professor at IIT for 3 years. He is an author of "Digital Signal Processing for practicing engineers" and has also published over 20 papers.
Even as we build on this momentum our home market provides us immense opportunities.
"With the mobile subscriber base crossing the 250 million milestone, the Indian market throws open tremendous potential. Our India initiatives announced last quarter is only a precursor to what we hope to achieve in this coming fiscal."

Highlights for the quarter:

-- Tanla Mobile Marketing & Advertising guide released in Mobile World Congress, Barcelona.

-- Direct connectivity agreements received from all Operators in Spain & South Africa.

-- Successful launch of ICM (Integrated Campaign Manager) at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. Strong pipeline of Media & Telecom clients for ICM. Sowetan (South Africa's larger media groups), first customer to go live with ICM.

-- Successful launch of bulk SMS services in India: processing over 10 million messages per month within the first 3 months.

-- Payforit becoming the standard for Mobile Internet billing in the UK. Strong pipeline of new business for Payforit with over 10 clients already signed up & live.

HCC Bags Rs. 303 crore Teesta Hydro Electric Power Project Order

HCC (Hindustan Construction Company), a leading infrastructure construction and development company has been awarded the work of Lot - IV of Teesta Hydro Electro Power Project Stage - VI by M/s Lanco Infra Tech Ltd. This order is worth Rs. 303.02 crore for all civil works and will be completed in 44 months. The project is located at Tarkhola near Rangpo in the district of South Sikkim.
The contract covers construction of underground power house cavern, underground transformer cavern, two numbers of 16 m dia & 60 m high simple surge shafts, four numbers of 5.4 m dia circular pressure shaft, two numbers of D shaped tail race tunnels, modified horse shoe shaped HRTs and Civil works of switch yard.

HCC is also involved in construction of NHPC's Teesta Low Dam Hydroelectric Power Project Stage IV in West Bengal involving construction of diversion arrangement, concrete gravity dam along with spillway, roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam, intake structure, surface power house, tail race channel, switch yard and other associated civil works.
HCC has built several landmark projects in India's Hydro Power and water resources sector, with at least 10 of these situated in the geologically challenging Himalayan region. Having also constructed over 45 dams, barrages and 15 powerhouses in the Indian sub continent, HCC has contributed to over 30 per cent of India's installed hydropower capacity.

About HCC:
HCC is a leading construction and infrastructure development company with a rich heritage of experience. The company specializes in large-scale infrastructure development and developing new age construction technologies. The Company has managed and executed several technically complex and high value projects across segments like transportation, power generation infrastructure, marine projects, oil & gas pipeline constructions, irrigation & water supply, utilities and urban infrastructure. (Please visit:

India gets little more voting power in IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has won final approval from its board of governors for a reform package that gives emerging economies like India a little more say in its running.
India's share stands increased to 2.34 percent, up by a mere 0.42 percentage points, while the total voting power of developing nations goes up by just 1.6 points under the changes approved Tuesday by the board made up of finance ministers from the fund's 185 member countries.
Besides India, the reform package would boost the voting shares of other emerging economic powers like China, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea, who for more than a year have been demanding a bigger role in IMF decisions.

At the same time, it would reduce the shares of several others including like Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
"This vote shows the overwhelming level of support across the Fund's membership for these reforms, and I thank the members for this resounding endorsement," said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
"I see this result as the beginning of the new legitimacy of the Fund," he said, noting: "The new structure represents an important step toward a redistribution of voting shares toward dynamic emerging market and developing countries and we expect to see a continued shift over the next decade."
The changes will enhance the participation and voice of emerging market and developing countries, and realign members' shares with their relative weight and role in the global economy, the IMF said.
Governors of 175 countries, representing 93 percent of the total voting power in the Fund, voted in favour of changes to the quota and voting share structure by a deadline of April 28. Three countries voted against, two abstained, and five did not vote. Approval of the Resolution required 85 percent of the total voting power.

Besides increasing the voting shares of more than two-thirds of the member countries, the reforms package will also enhance the voice and participation of low-income countries through a tripling of basic votes-the first such increase since the Fund's creation in 1944.

"In particular, the tripling of basic votes reflects an innovative part of this reform effort, aimed at enhancing engagement and voice of our low-income members," Strauss-Kahn said.

"To preserve this element of the reforms, the package includes a mechanism that will keep constant the ratio of basic votes to total voting power in the IMF," he said.

The reform of country representation is part of a two-year programme approved at the 2006 Annual Meetings in Singapore, when initial ad hoc increases in quotas were agreed for China, South Korea, Mexico, and Turkey. A country's quota at the IMF largely determines its voting power in the 185-member institution.

The proposed changes will increase nominal quotas ranging from 12 to 106 percent for 54 countries, with some of the largest gains going to dynamic emerging market economies, the aggregate shift in quota shares for these 54 members amounts to 4.9 percentage points, IMF said.

India along with other underrepresented emerging market and developing economies, whose shares in global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) are more than 75 percent greater than their actual pre-Singapore quota shares, will receive a minimum nominal quota increase of 40 percent from their pre-Singapore level.

Overall, the changes in voting shares amount to an aggregate shift of 5.4 percentage points to under-represented countries. Still, the actual shift from industrial countries to emerging ones was a small 2.7 percentage points.

Among industrial countries, the US' voting share dropped by 0.292 percentage points to 16.732 so did the shares of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada. Japan was the only industrial country whose voting shares increased.

Indo-Asian News Service

General Motors cuts 1,000 more jobs in Canada

With its high dollar making Canada the world's most expensive place to manufacture vehicles, General Motors (GM) has decided to cut production at its Oshawa plant near here and lay off about 1,000 workers.
"With rising fuel prices, a softening economy and a downward trend on current and future market demand for full-size trucks, a significant adjustment was needed to align our production with market realities," the company said in a statement issued here.
As the cut in production will lead to loss of about 1,000 direct jobs - and 6,000 related jobs- the Canadian government has come under pressure to intervene to help the auto industry.

Just a few months ago, GM had laid off about 1,000 workers at the car plant as its sales sagged in the US. With Monday's announcement, two of the three work shifts at the plant have been eliminated.

About 90 percent of all vehicles manufactured at this Canadian plant are exported to the US.
The Canadian dollar (loonie) acquiring parity with the American dollar, rising high gas prices, the dumping of foreign made vehicles here and the economic downturn in the US have hit the Canadian auto industry very badly.
Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union leaders have blamed the government for not doing enough for arrest this trend.
Chris Buckley, president of CAW at the GM plant, said: "I want to challenge the government to get off their asses and start to give some attention to the declining auto industry and manufacturing sector.
"This is absolutely devastating news to about 900 to 1,000 of our members who will lose their jobs.''
He said the government should intervene to check the rising dollar to make manufacturing competitive in Canada, and lower fuel powers by reining in profit-greedy oil companies.
The union leader said while foreign car manufacturers dumped millions of vehicles in Canada, they had little access to foreign markets. The lay-off will take effect in September.
Though GM has announced that it will start production of hybrid vehicles at the plant, it is unlikely to soften the blow to workers.
Last year, about 1.5 million vehicles were sold in Canada.
Indo-Asian News Service

Tata Group wants fresh talks on investments in Bangladesh

India's Tata Group expects to revive talks on the proposed $3 billion investments in Bangladesh.

"A lot of things have changed in the last two years," Tata's Bangladesh project director Syed Manzer Hussain said in response to media queries after his courtesy call on Commerce and Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman Tuesday.

The New Age newspaper Wednesday quoted Rahman as welcoming Tata's interest in investing in Bangladesh. But he said: "In a professional negotiation, we will uphold hundred percent our national interests and everything will be settled after professional analysis."

Tata showed interest in investing in steel, fertilizer, power and coal mining sectors of Bangladesh, making proposals worth $3 billion, the highest Bangladesh has received from anywhere, when Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata visited Dhaka in 2003.

After months of prolonged negotiations, the government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia put the project on hold saying they were "politically sensitive" and could not be taken up when the country was scheduled to go for elections.

The negotiation was supposed to be resumed in 2007 when Tata executives, particularly Manzer, met a number of advisers to the interim government. But the government pushed the issue into limbo.

Indo-Asian News Service

Patni's Q1 CY2008 Revenues Up 13.1% at US$ 176.4 million

Patni Computer Systems Limited (Patni) today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2008.
Performance Highlights for the quarter ended March 31, 2008

-- Revenues for the quarter at US$ 176.4 million (Rs. 7,061.2 million)

-- Up 13.1% YoY from US$ 156.0 million (Rs. 6,724.1 million)

-- Up 1.3% sequentially from US$ 174.1 million (Rs. 6,861.9 million)

-- Contribution from top customer at 11.1% for the quarter from 12.5% during the previous quarter

-- New client acquisitions during the quarter were 34 as compared to 37 of previous quarter. Number of active clients was 331 at the quarter end as compared to 318 in Q4 2007

-- Offshore leverage in the current quarter was 70.8% compared to 70.3% in the previous quarter. On YoY basis offshore leverage has increased by 2.4%.

-- Operating Income for the quarter at US$ 17.3 million (Rs. 693.4 million)

-- Down 42.9% YoY from US$ 30.3 million (Rs. 1,307.8 million)

-- Down 36.0% sequentially from US$ 27.1 (Rs. 1,066.3 million)

-- Net Income for the quarter at US$ 18.1 million (Rs. 724.6 million)

-- Down 35.0% YoY from US$ 27.8 million (Rs. 1,200.3 million)

-- Down 28.4% sequentially from US$ 25.3 million (Rs. 997.2 million)

-- EPS for the quarter at US$ 0.13 per share (US$ 0.26 per ADS)

-- Stock based expenses in Q1 CY2008 were at US$ 1.1 million compared to US$ 1.3 million in the previous sequential quarter

IBM Board Approves 25 Percent Increase in Quarterly Cash Dividend

The IBM (NYSE: IBM) board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.50 per common share, payable June 10, 2008, to stockholders of record May 9, 2008.

Dividend declaration on April 29, 2008 represents an increase of $0.10, or 25 percent higher than the prior quarterly dividend of $0.40 per common share.

IBM has increased its quarterly dividend by 150 percent since 2006. This is the 13th year in a row that IBM has increased its quarterly cash dividend.

With the payment of the June 10 dividend, IBM will have paid 370 consecutive quarterly dividends, starting in 1916.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Intellectual Property and Claims Issues Discussed at Bangalore Bio 2008

One of the important topics discussed in the Bangalore Bio 2008 was IP & claims, moderated by Dr. V. C. Vivekanandan - MHRD IP Chair Professor & Head-Centre for IP Law Studies, Director - NALSAR, Proximate Education and the speakers included, Dr. Robin A. Chadwick, Partner / Shareholder Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, USA, Dr. Markus Engelhard, Partner Boehmert & Boehmert, Germany, Mr. Ravi Bhola, Head - Bangalore Operations, K&S Partners Mr. T V Madhusudhan, Assistant Controller of Patents and Design, The Patent Office Ms. Sushila Rao, Manager -IPR Department, Biocon Limited.
There's an increased focus in commercialization of IPRs in the Bio Tech sector. This special session reflected the industry's views and suggested the necessary steps to improve the scenario in India.

The Profiting from IPRs depends on various factors such as end user needs, protected IP, market size and dynamics, commercial feasibility and commercial partners. As the business scenario is dynamically changing, an IP is no more than a white paper when it is not a commercial hit and it is the case with some of the patents. Actually only 10 percent of all the patents granted in the field of biotechnology are block busters in the commercial platform.
This is the summary of the views of the participants in the session titled "Intellectual Property and Claims Issues" at the eighth edition of the Bangalore Bio 2008. The situation for getting patents and protecting them after that in India is totally different from that in the US and Europe, speakers outlined.
Ravi Bhola, Head-Bangalore operations of the IP consultancy firm K&S partners said, India should take urgent steps to capacity building in the field of IPs in general and Biotechnology IPs in particular as IP granting authorities and enforcement agencies are insensitive to the views of the biotech sector. When it comes to getting a patent or seeking protection for a patent, the current processes and challenges are cumbersome and complex, he said.
"There are many challenges when an aggrieved party wants to seek the shelter of courts in India, Bhola said. Lack of specialized courts to deal with IP issues, Lack of proper system of documentation, Insensitivity of judges and police officials towards IP issues and the delay in getting justices are some of them to mention," he added.
Dr Markus Engelhard, Partner, Boehmert & Boehmert, Germany, explained the procedures to obtain a patent collectively for the entire EU or for each member state of EU. Compared to the time and procedures in EU or the US, the Indian procedures are seemingly simple but with many ambiguous definitions and scope for several interpretations.
According to T V Madhusudhan, Assistant Controller of Patents and Design, Patents Office, Chennai, "the applicant may even get the patent grant within 12 months if he provides all the information required by the patents office. Some issues of the act are giving room for debate," he said.
Sushila Rao, Manager - IPR Department, Biocon, said "Indian companies are realizing the need to profit from IPRs. Though the number of patents in the US is less compared that of EU, the market capitalization and profitability of the US companies is very huge because of the size of the market and scale of their operations." According to Sushila Rao the growth potential for Indian biotech companies stands very high, as there is increasing focus in commercializing IPRs.

Canada almost in recession, says bank

The US economic slowdown and global financial crunch have cast their shadow on resources-rich Canada, which has almost entered recession, according to the Bank of Canada.

In its quarterly report released Thursday, the country's top bank says economic growth during the year's second quarter will crawl to just 0.3 percent. Earlier, the bank had pegged it at 2 percent.

It has also downgraded the growth rate from 2.3 percent to 1.8 percent for the second half of the year.

Bank of Canada governor Mike Carney said the downturn in the US would badly hit Canadian exports, leading to recession trends likely to persist till the middle of next year.

The US accounts for more than 80 percent of Canadian exports. The housing sector collapse in the US has led to credit crunch there, hitting Canadian exports.

Further, the rising Canadian dollar has not helped the manufacturing sector, particularly in Ontario, where a large number of jobs have disappeared.

Because of a high Canadian dollar, tourism from the US has declined considerably. Tourism pumps in billions of dollars in the economy of Toronto alone.

The high Canadian dollar - which has remained at par with the US dollar since late last year - has also hit Canadian exports of manufactured goods.

The loonie - as the Canadian dollar is called - has been kept high by rising fuel and metal resources, which Canada has in abundance.

This, coupled with strong domestic demand, will however help Canada weather recessionary trends.

Prime Minister Stephen didn't seem worried when he told a chamber of commerce near Montreal that Canada was in a position to withstand global signs of recession because of its strong economic fundamentals.

Indo-Asian News Service

Bharti Airtel registers good fourth quarter growth

Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile phone service operator, Friday posted robust growth with consolidated net profit rising to Rs.18.98 billion in the quarter ending March 2008, from Rs.13.18 billion in the same period last year.

The firm, which has 64 million subscribers as of March 31, 2008, has registered a total income of Rs.79.29 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007-08 from Rs.53.98 billion in the same quarter of 2006-07.

"This has been another year of record growth for the telecom industry and Bharti Airtel. The Indian telecom story is now entering the second wave of growth, which will come from rural India. As an industry leader we are committed to be at the forefront of this growth and take our services deeper into rural areas and provide affordable world-class services to customers," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairperson and managing director of Bharti Airtel.

"The coming year will be an exciting one for the company as we launch our services in new segments such as DTH and go live with our operations in Sri Lanka. Going forward, we see another year of strong demand in all business segments and we will continue to build on our organisational strengths," Mittal added.
During the fiscal year ending March 2008, the company's net income stood at Rs.67 billion and cash profit of Rs.111.37 billion.
The company, which has a market of 32.22 percent, has plans to invest $3.4 billion in the current fiscal in building its infrastructure and networks.
Indo-Asian News Service

ADB lends $450 million for Indian power project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Friday it has approved a loan amounting to $450 million to build a 4,000-megawatt, energy-efficient coal power plant in India.

The Manila-based bank said it executed the loan agreement with Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, which is to build, own and operate the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project in the western state of Gujarat.

"The project will not only provide a significant volume of additional electricity to address shortages, it will also promote private investment in power and show good practice in building and financing large-scale power projects in India through public-private partnerships," said Takeo Koike, an investment specialist with the bank.

The lending institution said the power plant would use technology that improves the conversion efficiency of fuel to electric power to 44 percent compared with 34 percent to 36 percent for conventional coal-fired power plants.

"India will be dependent upon coal as fuel for a large portion of its power generation for the foreseeable future as it has no other practical alternatives," Koike said.

"The issue is thus to ensure cleaner coal technology is deployed to minimize environmental impacts, including emission of greenhouse gases," he added.

Ultra mega power projects were launched by the Indian government to achieve rapid additions to the country's electricity generation capacity and competitive tariffs through economies of scale.

DPA Goes Retail with ' Match Point', India's fastest growing matrimonial site, has opened its first ' Match Point' in Lucknow. In the next 6 months, 25-30 Match Points are planned across India.

On the initiative, Vivek Khare, Business Head, said, "With almost 65% of our population under 35 years of age, India sees millions stepping into a marriageable age every year. Parents play an important role in arranged marriages, from finding a match to final selection. Since some parents are uncomfortable with internet, we see a bias towards traditional media like newspapers and marriage bureaus for finding a match. Our retail initiative will help us tap into this critical segment."

"Having achieved leadership in North and West India, is poised to enter the offline space. Synergizing our online business with the retail network will build significant volumes for us. With time, we plan to ramp up and introduce value added services like astrology, horoscope matching etc" added Swapnil Tripathi, VP, Consumer Services and Operations, Info Edge (India) Ltd.

Apart from exclusive outlets, offline business will capitalize on the existing network of 61 offices of in 41 cities. Match Points will utilize its online database to provide match making services. Anyone, looking for prospective bride/groom can walk-in to a Match Point. Counsellors will provide personalised guidance on the bouquet of services on offer and help in finding the right profiles based on criteria given by the member as per age, religion, caste, profession, location etc. Registered members will subsequently receive the best matched profiles on a regular basis.

Apart from, Info Edge (India) Ltd, India's largest internet company, owns - India's no. 1 job site, - India's No.1 real estate portal, Quadrangle- an offline executive search firm,, a Career Guidance Website and, a professional networking site.

About, India's fastest growing matrimonial site, provides online matrimonial classified services. It was acquired by Info Edge (India) Ltd in September 2004. enables users to create a profile on the site and allow prospective grooms and brides to contact each other. Users can search for profiles through advanced search options on the site on various preferences ranging from basic details of preferred partner to Lifestyle, Career, Education, Profession etc. Users can avail free registration and make initial contact with each other through services available on via Chat, SMS, and e-mail.

HCC Turnover Crosses Rs. 3000 crores in 2007-08

The Board of Directors of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC) took on record the company's audited results for the year ended March 31, 2008.


For the year ended 31st March 2008

-- Turnover crosses Rs 3000 crore mark, up 30% at Rs 3104.34 crore compared to Rs 2394.50 crore for the corresponding period last year

-- Profit before tax up 32% to Rs 156.00 crores over Rs 117.89 crores

-- Profit after tax up 37% to Rs 108.77 crores over Rs 79.28 crores; crosses Rs 100 crore mark.

-- Improved operating margins (EBDITA) at 11.9% for the FY2007-08 from 9.1% in the previous year.

-- The Board of Directors of HCC has recommended a 80% dividend

-- Order book on hand at Rs.10158 crores

The company is awaiting award of projects worth Rs 3775 crores where its bids are lowest. The company also reported that the tenders under evaluation are Rs 2570 crores and where it is pre-qualified to bid are over Rs.26,462 crore.

The company is currently executing 36 projects across the country including complex and challenging projects such as Bandra Worli Sea-Link - Mumbai, Godavari Lift Irrigation Scheme (GLIS) - Andhra Pradesh, Chennai Bypass - Tamilnadu, Pir Panjal Tunnel Lining Works, Mughal Road - Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi Metro and Kudankulam Breakwater - Tamilnadu.

During the financial year 2007-08, the company bagged six new orders which include Irrigation tunnel work of the Pula Subbaiah Veligonda Project - Andhra Pradesh, Rajiv Sagar Lift Irrigation Project - Andhra Pradesh, Middle Vaitarna Water supply project - Mumbai, Two orders from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and construction India's first strategic crude oil storage at Vishakhapattanam.

Lavasa, the new hill station being developed by HCC Real Estate, the 100 per cent subsidiary of HCC has attracted Oxford University to put their leadership programme. In addition to this, it has also signed MoU with Girls Day School Trust of UK and Christ College, Bangalore to set-up their campus in the hill town. In the financial year 2007-08, it has done the pre-sale of Rs.494 crores against the target of Rs 99 crores. While most of the infrastructure is ready for phase I of Lavasa, the construction of villas and apartments is in full swing.

HCC Real Estate is developing 1.9 million sqft '247 Park' in Vokroli, Mumbai which will be ready for occupation in March 2009. The building will have Gold rated LEED Certification for Green Buildings. The construction work for this IT park is progressing on time.

The company was awarded the 'Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance 2007'. It also received the 'Golden Peacock Award for Occupational Health & Safety - 2007' for Bandra Worli Sea Link Project.

About HCC

HCC Turnover Crosses Rs. 3000 crores in 2007-08 is a leading construction and infrastructure development company with a rich heritage of experience. The company specializes in large-scale infrastructure development and developing new age construction technologies. The Company has managed and executed several technically complex and high value projects across segments like transportation, power generation infrastructure, marine projects, oil & gas pipeline constructions, irrigation & water supply, utilities and urban infrastructure. (Please visit:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tata Communications Introduces Global Suite of Security Services

Tata Communications (NYSE:TCL), a leading provider of the new world of communications, announced today the launch of a robust suite of security services designed to protect the applications, IT systems and networks that power its customers' critical business infrastructures. The high-quality, cost-effective security services, which include premise and managed services as well as professional services, enables Tata Communications to provide its customers with security solutions on a global basis.

Tata Communications delivers a full range of monitored and managed security solutions that are backed by aggressive performance-based Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The services are overseen by an experienced, globally distributed support team using state-of-the-art systems, processes and tools. Tata Communications' wide range of supported vendors and solutions, combined with its globally consistent and efficient service delivery model, meets the security needs for businesses.

"Research by our global network of strategic partners shows that security risks continue to increase dramatically. As attacks continue to grow in complexity, effective solutions must integrate multi-dimensionally across different categories of security infrastructure, take on global visibility of incidents and events, and build upon best-available real-time intelligence," said John Landau, Senior Vice President, Global Managed Services, Tata Communications. "Tata Communications has assembled extraordinary expertise and purposefully designed its defense-in-depth services suite to address this concerning trend. We are strongly positioned to support our customers as they recognize the requirement to move beyond simple point security solutions towards globally consistent integrated threat management solutions."

Tata Communications' focus on managed services allows enterprises to reduce costs by outsourcing the increasingly difficult and expensive task of both monitoring and managing their security infrastructure, while simultaneously delivering higher levels of coverage and protection. The suite of security services, which includes managed and monitored Firewalls and Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances, Intrusion Detection and Prevention systems, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Detection and Mitigation, and Penetration Testing, offers customers proactive detection and evaluation of information security threats, accompanied by swift incident response and remediation actions. Evaluation and response is based on Tata Communications' sophisticated real time security incident and event analysis, which draws upon a global base of current activity and trends.

"It is hard to predict when a new problem with security is going to arise. Service providers offering managed security services have a better view on the threat landscape and more data points then any individual enterprise can have access to on its own," said Rob Ayoub, Industry Manager - North America Information & Communication Technologies for Frost & Sullivan. "Tata Communications combines security with telecommunications services on a global basis, operating in more than 100 countries. This sets the company apart from others and allows it to offer simplicity for multi-national companies looking to rely on a small core of service providers."

By combining third party expertise with core security competencies, Tata Communications has assembled a suite of services robust enough to meet the needs of multinationals and global enterprises, yet priced to be accessible to small and medium sized enterprises. Additionally, Tata Communications' services enable enterprise customers worldwide to enhance the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their applications, information assets and systems, while managing their regulatory, compliance and IT governance requirements.

"Tata Communications' customers are running their businesses on cutting-edge IP solutions, with security management being a paramount concern," stated Vinod Kumar, President of Global Data and Mobility Solutions, Tata Communications. "As one of the world's largest global network operators, our company is committed to meet our customers' unique infrastructure needs, allowing them to focus on running their businesses. Our delivery of these world-class managed security solutions is now providing our customers with the ability to reliably secure their critical business networks and applications."

Global enterprises look to Tata Communications to reduce the complexities of information and network security, while meeting key governance benchmarks. Tata Communications' MSS are delivered in accordance with ITIL guidelines, and the company is in progress of attaining ISO27001 certification in May 2008. Tata Communications' experience and range of risk and security solutions help clients secure business operations and maintain regulatory compliance across the globe. Partners with for Personalized Merchandise, an online marketplace for personalized merchandise announced their partnership with a leading online and mobile social networking portal. Through this partnership, Myntra's services will be made available to more than a million active Indyarocks users.

All photos and designs uploaded on Indyarocks can now be printed on any of Myntra's products using the on-demand customization platform offered by Myntra. As an introductory offer, members of Indyarocks will be able to print first 10 photos for free and also avail a discount of 33% on all products. The range of products includes t-shirts, coffee mugs, calendars, posters, teddy bears, watches and much more.

'We are excited as this tie-up would enable us to provide our users a complete online and offline photo sharing experience. Myntra's merchandize list is huge and would appeal to all youngsters in the country' said Kalyan Manyam, co-founder, Indyarocks .

'This is an addition of another big name to our growing list of partners. Through this tie-up, we aim to provide the users of Indyarocks an opportunity to get creative and express themselves through our merchandize' said Mukesh Bansal, CEO of Myntra. is a unique and innovative gifting option for those who prefer doing things differently. Myntra aims to broaden its platform for creativity and gifting to many more users through this partnership.

About is an online marketplace for on-demand personalized merchandise for users to shop, sell or create unique custom-designed products. Myntra's core team comprises of IIT & IIM graduates who bring to the table an exquisite blend of technical/entrepreneurial skill sets with a proven track record in India and overseas. provides various customization tools, an easily navigable user interface and a vibrant community of designers to have a one of its kind offering in India. They have state of the art back end fulfillment to ensure high product quality and have partnered with one of the leading courier companies to ensure fast and reliable delivery anywhere in India.

About PhoneLinx Communications

PhoneLinx Communications is a new age Mobile Lifestyle solutions company based out of San Jose, California and Hyderabad, India. PhoneLinx will be introducing its various interactive mobile applications and offerings through its unified social networking platform PhoneLinx vision is to redefine life on the move.

MWV Names Gautam Sircar Country Managing Director for India

MWV (NYSE:MWV) today announced that Gautam Sircar has been appointed managing director for the company's operations in India.

Mr. Sircar will directly report to Bruce Thomas, senior vice president, Global Market Strategy and Emerging Markets, and he will have responsibility for all aspects of establishing and maintaining the growing and profitable MWV business within the geographical region encompassing India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"With a national and international background in consumer businesses, recent experience in packaging, and a keen understanding of operating international businesses, Gautam combines all the qualities required to succeed in this role," said Mr. Thomas.

Mr. Sircar's most recent role was CEO of Kloeckner Pentaplast India Pty Ltd, the Indian unit of the international producer of films for packaging, printing and specialty applications. Prior to this, Mr. Sircar spent more than 24 years at Unilever working across different brands in the fast moving consumer goods sector in India acquiring deep experience in both domestic and international businesses. He also performed a variety of assignments across finance, audit and commercial/supply chain functions to complete his great experience.
"MWV has a strong commitment to supporting, growing and strengthening the Indian marketplace, as evidenced by our recent alliance with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in which we will sponsor research projects that address critical areas in packaging for consumer, agricultural and transportation applications," stated Mr. Sircar. "I look forward to further developing our comprehensive packaging solutions in this critical global market."

About MWV

MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) provides packaging solutions to many of the world's most-admired brands in the food and beverage, media and entertainment, cosmetics and personal care, home and garden, and healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. The company has market-leading positions in its Consumer & Office Products and Specialty Chemicals businesses, and operates in more than 30 countries. MWV manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, please visit us at

Solar Know-How from Germany for Engineers Worldwide

With the launch of the Global Production Engineering for Solar Technology (GPE Solar) international Masters degree, the Technical University of Berlin (Germany) will be offering the established GPE Masters degree for the next Winter semester in the solar technology field. The course, which will be offered in English, will provide a currently unique combination of material including engineering and product-specific topics, business development skills and management training. It is designed to prepare students for the particular needs of the fast growing solar-technology market. The course contents cover all stages of the photovoltaic and solar thermal value-added chain: from the production of components through planning and installation to finance, legal issues, marketing and business development.

After two year's study the graduates of the GPE Solar Masters will acquire a Master of Science degree and gain excellent career prospects. "GPE Solar sees itself as a crucial link between education and the industry" said Dean of Studies Prof. Dr.-Ing. Guenther Seliger. "The triggers for the creation of the course were the concrete requests of the industry."

GPE Solar will be organized jointly by the University and the Renewables Academy of Berlin which, as a partner to the University, will ensure an on going the connection to solar companies and current industry practice. The university is working together with solar technology manufacturers, designers and system vendors for both teaching and research. A 6-month vocational assignment forms part of the course and, for their final dissertation, students will work on real-world issues facing enterprises in the sector.

Students will benefit not only from the international student community in the German capital, but also from crucial advantages presented by this location. Germany is the global market leader in photovoltaic component supply, manufacturing and installation. In addition the course is supported by the German Solar Industry Association (BSW); to quote managing director Carsten King: "The skills of the next generation of managers will be a major factor for continued solid growth in the solar industry. Therefore, I can only welcome the introduction up of GPE Solar."

In the face of rising prices for oil and gas, the use of sunlight to generate electricity (photovoltaics) and for heating (solar thermal) is becoming increasingly important, both to secure energy supplies and for climate protection. The global solar market is booming and currently recording double-digit growth rates. According to a market study in 2007 by the Swiss Bank Sarasin, the next few years will see further worldwide growth, with newly commissioned PV power installations growing at an annual rate of 50% up to 2010. At the same time, the companies in the industry are seeing an acute shortage of qualified personnel. The GPE Solar Masters program is specifically designed to fill this expertise gap.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Max New York Life Continues High Growth

Max New York Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies of India, today announced it First Year Premium (FYP) income for financial year ended March 2008. During the year the company has recorded a growth of 70% in individual first year premium adjusted for single pay. The adjusted individual FYP for FY 2008 stood at Rs.1,308 crore as compared to Rs.769 crore during previous financial year.

During the last quarter of the financial year (Jan-Mar 08), the company grew by 95% over the corresponding period last year. The adjusted individual FYP for quarter ended March 2008 stood at Rs.471 crore as compared to Rs.241 crore for quarter ended March 2007.

Commenting on the continued high growth of the company, Mr. Gary Bennett, Managing Director & CEO, Max New York Life Insurance, said, "We have built a robust and values driven business model. We have the best in class agent advisors who are acknowledged for their quality of advice. We always had a strong focus on customer needs and during past one year we further sharpened our customer centricity. This reflects in our entry into new product segments like health insurance and retirement planning and superior customer service and claims record. These efforts are reflected in our financial performance for the year and will help us continue on this growth trend."

Max New York Life Insurance sold 8.7 lakh policies during the financial year 2008, an increase of 58% over 5.5 lakh policies sold during financial year 2007. The company has acquired around 23 lakh policies since inception. In the financial Year 2008 the Assets Under Management also doubled to over Rs.3,600 crore as compared to Rs.1,800 crore as at the end of previous financial year.

During the Financial Year 2008, Max New York Life further strengthened its distribution network. The company launched 77 new offices and now has presence in 157 cities across the country through 242 offices. The rural business of Max New York Life Insurance started its hub and spoke operations in Haryana after witnessing stupendous success in Punjab. The company also strengthened its partnership distribution channel by signing 4 corporate agency relationships, 5 broking house tie-ups and 8 referral tie-ups with banks.

Max New York Life Insurance launched 13 new products during the financial year and now has a portfolio of 38 products and 8 riders for individuals. The company entered the health insurance segment with the launch of LifeLine Health Insurance Plans in February 2008. It also strengthened its ULIP portfolio through launch of Like Maker range of products and retirement portfolio through Smart Invest.

Max New York Life Insurance has a strong growth focus. The company plans to significantly expand its distribution footprint by opening more than 100 new offices every year for next 3-4 years. The number of agent advisors is expected to touch 2,00,000 from current 36,500. The growth in agency distribution will be complemented by strong growth in partnership distribution. The company currently has an equity base of Rs.1,032 crore. To support this growth plan, the shareholders are committed to increase the capital base to Rs. 2,650 crores over the next 3-4 years.

About Max New York Life Insurance Co .Ltd (

Max New York Life, a joint venture between Max India Ltd. and New York Life, a Fortune 100 company, is one of India's leading private life insurance companies. The company offers both individual and group life insurance solutions. It has established a wide distribution network with 242 offices across 157 cities in India. Through its wide network of highly competent life insurance agent advisors and flexible product solutions, Max New York Life is creating a partnership for life within its customers in India.

UltraTech Announces Financial Results for the Quarter and Year ended 31st March, 2008

UltraTech Cement Limited, an Aditya Birla Group Company today announced its financial results for the quarter and year ended 31st March, 2008.

Financials - Q4FY08

For the quarter ended 31st March, 2008 the Company achieved Net Revenues of Rs.1,602 crores (Rs.1,465 crores). After providing for Interest of Rs. 19 crores (Rs. 20 crores), Depreciation of Rs. 65 crores (Rs. 60 crores) and Tax of Rs. 148 crores (Rs.116 crores), the Profit After Tax stood at Rs. 283 crores (Rs.232 crores).

The Company produced 4.22 MMT of cement (4.17 MMT). Effective capacity utilisation at 113% was on par with the corresponding period of the previous year.

Domestic sales volume grew by 4% from 3.86 MMT to 4.03 MMT in Q4FY08, by curtailing exports to cater to the rising domestic demand.

Increase in prices of coal, fly-ash, iron ore and petro products resulted in variable costs rising sharply by 12% compared to Q4FY07. Imported coal prices at US$150 pmt (US$74pmt), more than doubled during the quarter. Sequentially too, QoQ witnessed sharp increase in variable costs of over 10%, while realisation remained flat, thereby resulting in continuous pressure on margins.

Financials - FY08

For the year ended 31st March, 2008 the Company achieved Net Revenues of Rs.5,509 crores (Rs.4,911 crores). After providing for Interest of Rs.76 crores (Rs.87 crores), Depreciation of Rs.237 crores (Rs.226 crores) and Tax of Rs.499 crores (Rs.384 crores), the Profit After Tax stood at Rs.1,008 crores (Rs.782 crores).

During the year the Company produced 15.07 MMT of cement (14.64 MMT). Effective capacity utilisation remained flat at 101%.

Variable cost increased by over 8 % during FY08 mainly on account of escalation in the cost of raw materials, mounting freight charges and the cost of imported coal.

The recent ban on exports imposed by the government will have an impact on export revenues. However, the Company plans to increase its domestic volume to mitigate the impact.


The Board of Directors have at their meeting held today, recommended a dividend of 50%, aggregating to Rs. 62.24 crores. The Company will absorb the corporate tax on dividend amounting to Rs. 10.58 crores, leading to a total payout of Rs. 72.82 crores.


Clinkerisation (Pyrosection) unit at the Company's Unit in Andhra Pradesh (APCW) was commissioned in Q4FY08. Remaining work pertaining to capacity expansion at APCW and the split grinding Unit at Ginigera in Karnataka is in progress. The Unit will be operational in H1FY09. Continuous de-bottlenecking efforts across the Company's Units resulted in capacity increasing by 1.2 MMT during the year. Upon commissioning of expanded capacity at APCW, the Company's total capacity will be 23.1 MMT.

Trials have begun on the 1st Stream of the Thermal Power Plant (TPP) of 23MW at the Unit in Gujarat (GCW). All four Streams aggregating to 92MW will be fully operational in H1FY09. The Project work at the other TPP's aggregating to 100MWs being set up at the Company's Units in Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh are in full swing. These will be commissioned during H1FY09.

15 Ready Mix Concrete plants have been set up in FY08 across the country. Recognising the opportunities that this Business offers, the Company is focussed on setting up additional Ready Mix Concrete Plants.


Overall, demand is expected to grow by 9%. The Industry will inevitably experience a surplus of supply over demand on account of additional capacity of 118 MMT, during the XIth Plan Period which is expected to have an impact on domestic prices in CY09. Continuous government intervention has resulted in uncertain price environment, which together with significant increase in input costs will have an adverse impact on margins.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ocimum Biosolutions Launches Genowiz 4.0, A Comprehensive Gene Expression Analysis Software

Ocimum Biosolutions, a leading provider of integrated genomics solutions, has announced the release of GenowizT 4.0, a comprehensive solution for gene expression analysis. The latest version makes the process of microarray data analysis simpler with a host of features such as AutoGuide to execute automated work flows for analyzing data, addition of organisms/genomes, automatic update of annotations, PLIER algorithm, data export in different formats, box plots and enhanced scatter plots.

"Ocimum aims to be the number one genomics outsourcing partner in the world. GenowizT is a key product central to our vision of providing integrated end-to-end genomic solutions for our valued customers by combining biology and IT in an easy-to-use interface to handle different kinds of expression and genotyping formats such as Affymetrix, Agilent and Ocimum", says Anuradha Acharya, CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions. "Unlike most of the other tools of the same genre in the market, GenowizT is envisioned by expert biologists and implemented using sound algorithms. This means that it has great features which are tailor-made for experimental biologists", adds Dr. Ashwin Sivakumar, Director, Marketing Alliances and Outreach.

GenowizT is a comprehensive microarray data analysis package that effectively assists researchers in generating significant biological conclusions, right from data upload through analysis and visualization. The strong algorithms of GenowizT can analyze microarray data formats from various sources, be it academics or industries. GenowizT allows researchers to organize experimental information (MIAME), import data files quickly and easily, work simultaneously with multiple experiments, import gene annotation files, pre-process and normalize data, perform cluster analysis, classify and view gene information, perform functional classification and track down intricate correlations in data by performing pathway analysis. All analysis performed is saved in database and can be retrieved as required.

About Ocimum Biosolutions:

Ocimum Biosolutions is an integrated life-sciences R&D enabling company providing focused solutions for different steps of the genomics process chain. After joining hands with Gene Logic, we offer a strong BioResearch portfolio including knowledge bases in Genomics and solutions in Toxicogenomics, Pharmacogenomics and Clinical Genomics.

Zero Friction Announces Vixture Gaming Championship

After taking the world by storm, big-ticket gaming comes to India.
ZFriction Ltd ("Zero Friction"), Asia's premier integrated entertainment corporation, in association with Electronic ArtsTM, today announced the launch of Vixture ( with total prize money of Rs 50 lakh-the largest ever offered in any console gaming championship in India.
"Unlike other parts of the world, gaming in India does not enjoy recognition as serious sport. Vixture will provide give a platform for budding Indian talent to showcase their skills. The largest ever prize money offered by Vixture indicates the commitment of Zero Friction to gaming in India", said Charu Sabale, Director, of Zero Friction's India subsidiary.

Vixture will target more than 50,000 gamers from more than 500 top gameplexes to battle it out to secure a place among the 64 finalist teams shooting for the top spot in Mumbai in a three-day Vixture final to be held on June 13-15, 2008.

Vixture will feature five globally popular games by Electronic ArtsTM - Crysis®, Need For SpeedTM ProStreet, EA SPORTSTM Cricket 07, EA SPORTSTM FIFA 08, and EA SPORTSTM Fight Night Round 3. While Crysis® will involve all five players from the teams, other games will be single person shootouts. For the first time in India, gamers will have the opportunity to play Crysis®-the most sophisticated and exciting science fiction shoot game created worldwide, in a professional multi-gaming competition.

Teams of five gamers each will play five games in a winner takes all competition that will have preliminaries in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune between May 15-May 30, 2008. In addition to the largest ever single prize of Rs. 20 Lakhs to the top team and Rs. 10 Lakhs to the runners-up team, top gamers in each of the five games on offer will win Rs 4 lakhs each.

With the entry of global leaders like Electronic ArtsTM aided by the rapid spread of broadband, India is one of the fastest growing gaming markets in the world.

"This is a very unique opportunity to play five of EA's top games in one of the largest gaming competition we've seen till now. Gaming in India is growing in leaps and bounds and we expect a great response from gamers from across the country and across genres", said Mr. Ajay Khanna, General Manager, EA Games India Pvt. Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of Electronic Arts Inc.

Vixture 2008 is also supported by EA Sports & MTV.

About Zero Friction

Zero Friction was setup in Hong Kong in 2006 with a view to becoming a leading pan Asian integrated media and entertainment company. The Company's focuses on building entertainment intellectual property and content assets across film production, graphic novels & comics, event ownership and talent management. More information on Zero Friction can be had at .

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet.

India's Largest Telecommunications Company Signs Contract for Convergys Solution to Lower IT Costs and Launch Convergent Services

Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG), a global leader in relationship management, announced today that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has signed a multi-year licensing, support, and maintenance contract for Convergys' Infinys (R) rating and billing solution. BSNL will replace its legacy billing systems with the Convergys solution to reduce IT costs and to facilitate the introduction and deployment of new convergent services. BSNL is India's largest and the world's seventh largest telecommunications company providing a comprehensive range of telecom services.

The Convergys solution will support BSNL's 18 million wireline subscribers. It is a real-time charging product that supports IP and IMS network technologies, convergent and online charging, and next-generation business models. In addition to facilitating revenue growth through the delivery of new advanced services and bundled offerings, the Convergys solution will help BSNL lower IT costs by consolidating and eliminating redundant systems, utilizing a distributed open source platform, and limiting the need to pay for expensive and time-consuming custom system or application development.

"World class telecommunications companies like BSNL realize the importance of their customer relationships as they compete in very competitive and rapidly deregulating markets," said Iain Hackett, Convergys' Vice President, Asia Pacific Region. "As such, a convergent billing and care platform like Infinys is a requirement to better manage customer relationships, drive greater value from them, and attract and retain new customers."

The Convergys solution is being delivered in conjunction with Tata Consultancy Services, a leading IT services, Business Solutions, and Outsourcing firm. Tata will provide project management, business requirement analysis, solution definition, configuration, installation, testing, and data migration, as needed.

About Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), formed in October, 2000, is the world's 7th largest telecommunications company providing a comprehensive range of telecom services: Wireline, CDMA mobile, GSM Mobile, Internet, Broadband, Carrier service, MPLS-VPN, VSAT, VoIP services, IN Services, etc. Within a span of five years it has become one of the largest public sector units in India.

BSNL is largest operator in India in all service areas. BSNL's cellular service, CellOne, has more than 17.8 million cellular customers, garnering 24 percent of all mobile users as its subscribers. That means that almost every fourth mobile user in the country has a BSNL connection. In basic services, BSNL is miles ahead of its rivals, with 35.1 million basic phone subscribers or 85 per cent share of the subscriber base and 92 percent share in revenue terms.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, business solutions, and outsourcing organization that delivers real results to global businesses, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata Group, India's largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 108,000 of the world's best trained IT consultants in 47 countries. The Company generated consolidated revenues of US $4.3 billion for fiscal year ended 31 March, 2007 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at

About Convergys

Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG) is a global leader in relationship management. We provide solutions that drive more value from the relationships our clients have with their customers and employees. Convergys turns these everyday interactions into a source of profit and strategic advantage for our clients.

For 25 years, our unique combination of domain expertise, operational excellence, and innovative technologies has delivered process improvement and actionable business insight to clients that now span more than 70 countries and 35 languages.

Convergys is a member of the S&P 500 and has been voted a Fortune Most Admired Company for eight consecutive years. We have approximately 75,000 employees in 84 customer contact centers and other facilities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and our global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit

Jubilant Organosys Reports Q4 and FY 2008 results

Q4 FY08 Revenues growth of 49% to Rs. 6,890 million; Net Profit at Rs. 582 million;
Pharma & Life Science revenues increase 102%
FY08 Revenues improved 38% to Rs. 24,889 million, PAT up 76% at Rs. 4,005 million
Pharma & Life Science revenues increase 71%
Board declares increased dividend at 150% for the year
Revenues for 4th quarter ended March 31, 2008 rose by 48.7% to Rs. 6,890 mn over Q4 FY 2007. The international revenue was also higher by 107.4% at Rs. 4,429 mn. Consolidated EBITDA in Q4 stood at Rs. 1,064 mn, however, the EBITDA before exchange loss and interest income on unused FCCB, has grown by 210.7% to Rs. 1,277 million and net profit for the quarter was at Rs. 411 mn. The EPS for Q4 FY2008 was Rs. 3.22.

Consolidated annual revenues increased by 37.5% to Rs. 24,889 mn as compared to FY 2007. International revenue increased by 67.6% to Rs. 13,940 mn. EBITDA over financial year grew by 59.5% to Rs. 6,067 mn, however, the EBITDA before exchange gain and interest income, has grown by 75.5% to Rs. 4,774 million, while the net profit increased by 75.7% to Rs. 4,005 mn. EPS grew by 72.2% to Rs. 22.42.

The Board of Directors of the company recommended the dividend of 150% (previous year 125%) on fully paid up equity shares of Re 1 each, for the year ended 31 March, 2008.This will result in a dividend payout of Rs. 256.6 million (including dividend tax).

Consolidated revenues from international operations stood at Rs. 13,940 million, a 67.6% growth on account of volume growth in the CRAMS business and addition of Hollister. Revenue from North America and EU contributed 41.8% and 25% with a growth of 140% and 17% respectively.

Jubilant continues to see strong traction across existing businesses and expects over 35% increase in revenue (without accounting for proposed acquisition of Draxis). The operating profit is expected to show a substantial growth due to volume growth and expansion in margins and resultant improvement in net profit for FY 2009.

Commenting on the Company's performance, Mr. Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman & Managing Director and Mr. Hari S Bhartia, Co-Chairman & Managing Director, Jubilant Organosys Ltd, said:
"There was a significant progress both in terms of revenues and earnings in FY 2008. Moving on to next year, our outlook on revenue, earnings and margin performance is growth led. We have established our self as India's largest and one of the most skilled outsourcing partner of choice to global pharma & other life science companies. Further organic and inorganic initiatives implemented in the recent past are expected to make healthy contribution to our operations which should reflect in accelerated growth in the future"

About Jubilant

Jubilant Organosys Ltd. is an integrated pharmaceutical industry player, one of the largest custom research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) and drug discovery and development services companies out of India. The company has a presence across the pharmaceutical value chain for products and services such as exclusive synthesis, contract manufacturing, proprietary products, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, generic dosage forms, drug discovery services, drug development services, chemistry services and clinical research services.

Jubilant Organosys has geographically diversified manufacturing facilities in eight locations: Gajraula (UP), Nanjangud (Karnataka), Roorkee (Uttarakhand), Nira (Maharashtra), Udaipur (Rajasthan), Samlaya (Gujrat), Salisbury, state of Maryland (USA) and Spokane, state of Washington (USA). Together, these help Jubilant cater to 130 customers across more than 50 countries around the world.

India Retail Witnesses Advent of Highly Specialized Mall and Asset Management Services

Riding on Asia's robust retail growth and India's unprecedented retail boom, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL), and Colonial First State Property Management today announced a joint venture partnership to form Asia's first integrated retail development and management service provider - Sandalwood. The 50:50 joint venture company will help Asian and Indian developers and retailers to capitalize on premium retail opportunities as well as creating long term value for retail assets.
Colonial First State Property Management is one of Australia's largest full service property development, management and leasing specialists. Since its inception in 1983, the firm has undertaken more than 25 major shopping centre developments and now manages 36 centres on behalf of third party clients in every state of Australia, including iconic Chadstone Shopping Centre in Victoria, Chatswood Chase in Sydney and Queens Plaza in Brisbane.

India's retail sector is evolving at a swift pace and is set to grow by 35% by 2010. This growth has been fuelled by a strong economy, favourable demographics, rising wealth levels as well as rapidly changing lifestyles and consumer aspirations of an ever burgeoning middle class. The real estate sector has responded well to this retail growth. The total retail mall stock has been doubling every year, from a meagre one million sq ft in 2002 to a staggering 40 million sq ft in 2007 and an estimated 60 million sq ft by the end of 2008.

There are over 100 malls operating in India and more than 300 being developed and of this total, more than 90% have yet to achieve global benchmarks. In order to be globally successful, mall owners and developers in India need to focus on vision, scalability and processes and create a distinct proposition for themselves in this emerging market. Sandalwood, with its specialist property management skills and development expertise will ensure that retail owners and developers are strategically positioned for long term growth and success.

Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj says, "As retail in India grows at a rapid pace, this is indeed an opportune moment for us to introduce specialized retail and intensive asset management services. Sandalwood will seek to create long term value for India's mall owners through its globally benchmarked practices, proven expertise in property development and intensive asset management."

Darren Steinberg, Head of Colonial First State Property Management says, "Asian economies are amongst the fastest growing in the world with real GDP compound average growth of approximately 9% per annum over the last five years, and their retail management and property development markets have grown at a compound average growth rate of more than 20% in the same period. Colonial First State Property Management's specialist retail property management skills enable property owners to receive the benefit of master planning and development expertise which is critical to ensuring assets are enhanced and strategically positioned for long-term growth and success."

Stewart Hutcheon has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Sandalwood Asia. Mr Hutcheon is well known and highly regarded by the retail management and property development community in Australia. His impressive career includes over 18 years experience in the retail property sector. His most recent appointment was as Director of Leasing and Deputy Managing Director of AMP Capital Shopping Centres Pty Ltd, with shopping centre assets under management of approximately A$9 billion. Prior to that, he spent over seven years at Westfield, Australia.

In India, Sandalwood's operations will be spearheaded by Ms Gagan Singh, who has over 28 years of experience across the apparel, exports and hospitality sectors. In addition to performing her new role, she holds the position of Deputy CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

Ms Singh says, "I am delighted to be heading up this new and exciting company. Sandalwood will draw upon global expertise and local knowledge to bring our clients' visions to highly profitable retail environment that is based on strong differentiation for their retail assets. Sandalwood seeks to help create space not just to shop in, but to 'live' in."

Mr Puri concludes, "We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for Sandalwood India. The retail business in India is growing and the pace is expected to accelerate. The market and business outlook is extremely positive and Sandalwood is well-positioned to be an industry leader in the active retail sector in India."

About Jones Lang LaSalle

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2007 global revenue of USD 2.7 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle has approximately 170 offices worldwide and operates in more than 700 cities in 60 countries. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a global portfolio of approximately 1.2 billion square feet. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse in real estate with approximately USD 49.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, visit website,

ProCurve Networking Strengthens Network Security, Integrates with Microsoft NAP Technology

ProCurve Networking by HP today announced that ProCurve Identity Driven Manager (IDM) policy management tool is now interoperable with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) technology, providing an integrated, standards-based solution for robust network security. The combined technology solution helps customers to implement customized network access policies for admission of users and clients in wired and wireless networks.
ProCurve's IDM policy management tool enables network administrators to centrally define and apply policy-based network access rights that allow the network to automatically adapt to the needs of users and devices as they connect. It enforces network security while providing appropriate access to network users and devices.
Microsoft NAP is a policy enforcement technology built into Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems. It protects network assets by enforcing compliance with network health policies.

"Having ProCurve switches, access points and IDM complement Microsoft's NAP architecture provides customers with robust network security," said Mauricio Sanchez, chief security architect, ProCurve Networking by HP. "Through this integration, ProCurve continues to deliver on its ProActive Defense strategy, which combines access control and network immunity with trusted architecture to defend against potential security threats."

This integration represents another milestone in the longtime collaborative relationship between Microsoft and ProCurve. Their work includes defining the IEEE 802.1X standard and their involvement within the Trusted Computing Group to develop and promote open, vendor-neutral, industry standard specifications.

In addition, ProCurve is the global technology partner for Microsoft Technology Centers (MTCs). MTCs were established in 2001 to showcase Microsoft and interoperable partner technologies that customers can use to plan, design and evaluate customized products and solutions. ProCurve is the sole network infrastructure vendor for all MTCs worldwide. The ProCurve infrastructure in each MTC allows customers to test their products and solutions in a highly available and secure network environment. In addition to ProCurve IDM, the MTCs have deployed ProCurve Gigabit Ethernet switches, access points and the ProCurve Manager Plus network management tool at several locations around the world.

This announcement further strengthens the technology collaboration between ProCurve and Microsoft and reinforces the open standards based solution delivered by ProCurve to meet customer and business requirements.

For more information on ProCurve IDM and Microsoft NAP integration, please visit

About ProCurve Networking by HP

The ProCurve Networking business unit of HP delivers wired and wireless enterprise networking products, services and solutions. The foundation for ProCurve's business model is the Adaptive Networks strategy in which networks are adaptive to users, applications and an organization's needs.

ProCurve was positioned in the Leaders quadrant in research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.'s 2008 Magic Quadrant Report for Global Campus LANs and is No. 2 worldwide in Ethernet switch market revenue according to Dell'Oro Group.

Further information on ProCurve networking solutions, products and lifetime warranty is available at

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers - from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world's largest IT companies, with revenue totaling US$107.7 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2008. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

Britain's RBS bank unveils record write-downs and cash plans

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Tuesday asked shareholders for a record 12 billion pounds ($24 billion) of new capital as it revealed fresh write-downs of 5.9 billion pounds resulting from the current credit crunch.
Britain's second biggest banking group said it would raise the capital by issuing shares at a 43.6-percent discount to Monday's closing price in what analysts said was one of the biggest rights issues in British corporate history.
The losses announced as a result of exposure to the US subprime mortgage market are the highest yet recorded by any British bank, and come on top of write-downs of 2.4 billion pounds already announced by RBS.

The Edinburgh-based bank said it was also carrying out a "strategic review" of its insurance arm, which could potentially involve a sale yielding some four billion pounds.

RBS is the first lending British bank to ask shareholders to help rebuild its capital base, but others are expected to follow suit.

It spent nearly 50 billion pounds last year on the acquisition of Dutch Bank ABN Amro in one of the biggest takeovers in the banking sector.

Details of the RBS plans to raise more cash come ahead of a shareholder meeting Wednesday, and follow the injection of a massive 50 billion pounds into the banking system by the Bank of England Monday.


Chile can be a hub for Indian businesses: Bachelet

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has said that her country can be a hub for Indian businesses and extended support to India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Speaking after a brief meeting with her Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil Monday at the palace of La Moneda, Bachelet said: "Chile can be a platform for India in Latin America as we have all the necessary required infrastructure for operating business in this continent."
Bachelet, the first elected woman president of Latin America, added: "We support reforms in the UN Security Council and on behalf of Chile express full support to India for permanent membership in the Security Council."

Patil, on a three-day visit to Chile, noted that "common commitment to inclusive economic development through pluralistic democratic governance" made both countries "natural partners".
"Our bilateral trade is growing well and there are many more opportunities to diversify our trade and investment basket. Given the strong credentials of both our economies and the growing outreach of our business houses, the time is now opportune for a substantial intensification of our economic engagement," she said.
The Indian president said the two governments were in the process of finalising agreements on bilateral investment protection and promotion and also on avoidance of double taxation.
"A better awareness of each other's capabilities will enable us to discover cost-effective alternative supply sources to meet our requirements," she said.
India and Chile have signed an Air Services agreement, under which both countries grant rights for establishing scheduled international air services to each other's territory.
According to officials, there would be code sharing between Chilean Airlines LAN and an Indian carrier - either the state owned Air India or any private airline to begin with.
An agreement on cooperation in science and technology will help define areas of collaboration in the fields of innovation, research and development between Chile and India.
This would include visits and exchanges of experts, seminars and workshops in different areas of science and technology and human resources training.
India's Non-Conventional Energy Minister Vilas Muttemwar and Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote research concerning the protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.
India and Chile also signed a MoU on sports cooperation. The agreement includes exchange of experts, government officials, coaches and athletes apart from exchange of curriculum material on sports and joint publication of material.
Indo-Asian News Service

15 great PR Ideas

From The Cheap Revolution:

It’s hard to allocate where your money should be spent when you’re a startup - and you sometimes have to stretch every dollar. Bootstrapping doesn’t have to be hard though. If you decide to promote your company yourself, read on for fifteen do-it-yourself tactics and get ahead of your competition!

1. Write an interesting article. Writing articles is a great way to establish credibility and drive traffic to your site. Check out this outline if you’re not sure of the layout or for some more ideas. The key here is to make sure your article ends up benefiting the person reading it. Some ideas include:

* Talking about the social benefits of your service.
* Providing advice on pitfalls you fell into when starting your business with examples on how you overcame them.
* Creating a case study on a client.

After you put it together, submit it to online article submission sites such as For a list of more than 150 other sites, check out this post. (Pick your shots and find the ones that will be the most relevant to your audience).

Other important aspects to take into account are to make sure your headline is thought-provoking and to include a byline at the end of article. Your headline should draw people in – make sure it’s short, funny, and/or engaging. Sometimes writing it last works best. Check out this great post by Copyblogger for other headline ideas.

Finally, your byline should give readers a brief background of yourself and your company. Be sure to include a link to your site readers can click on. If you have analytics software installed on your site, track which sites are bringing the most traffic and concentrate your future efforts in submitting articles to those sites.

2. Blog about it. Don’t have a blog? Get one! If you’re worried about the cost, you can sign up for a free account at or The title of your blog should be relevant to your product/service – you can also make it catchy or creative depending on the industry you’re in. Check out more on Blogging here.

When writing your posts, take considerable time in writing your headline. In addition, make sure to include keywords that relate to your post. These keywords will be instrumental in helping readers find your post. Once you’ve published your post, submit it to bookmarking tools such as stumbleupon, delicious, and digg. For a great list of social media sites you can submit your post to, check out this entry by Tropical SEO. These tools will help drive traffic to your site.

I would also set up a Technorati account. This will help even more readers find your blog. It’s free to set up an account and you can set up your blog to automatically ping the site every time you post. MyBlogLog is another site I recommend setting up an account on. It allows you to build a community around your blog as well as network with other bloggers.

3. Send an e-newsletter. This implies you have a mailing list. If you don’t have one, start building it now. Include all the current contacts you have and be sure you have an opt in button on your site so you can collect more contacts. Another way to build your mailing list is by asking people at networking events if you can add them to it.

The next step is to write your newsletter. In it, you can talk about news in your company, recent hires, etc. Always make sure you include news your readers can use – there has to be at least one post that will benefit your readers directly. For example, in our last newsletter, we talked about leveraging social media for your business. Use an e-mail campaign service such as Constant Contact and iContact. For other alternatives, check out our previous post. Be sure to include an opt-out option or you will be violating the CAN-SPAM Act.

4. Submit a Press Release. Write a noteworthy press release in third person and submit it yourself at free online sites such as For other sites, click here. You can also send the press release to the local media around your area. To gain a better chance of getting it picked up, include a cover letter that showcases how the information in your release benefits your local community.

It’s important to also note that it may prove worthwhile to pay for one PR service if you have truly newsworthy information. We’ve used with great success.

5. Profile your company in Wikipedia. It’s important to build an online presence and adding an entry in Wikipedia can help you accomplish that (even with the new nofollow attribute). Check out how other companies profile themselves and use the same format. Be sure to include links to your site so people can find you (We’re working on ours now!).

6. Get a LinkedIn Account. LinkedIn is a social networking site for business professionals. It allows you to connect with those you know as well as get introduced to those you want to know. In my opinion, it’s most useful function is its “Answers” feature. This is where users post questions on several different categories about a certain topic. Leverage your knowledge and experiences by answering them and post your own questions that make others notice you. Be sure to leave a response you’re proud of because the best answer given to a question can earn you an “Expert” rating.

7. Leverage Social Media sites. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Squidoo, Ning and Zaadz can be a great way to market your company and/or offering. Make a list of groups on each that are relevant to you, join them, network with other members, and promote yourself and your service. For a list of other social media sites, click here.

8. Add Signature Lines
. You are probably constantly e-mailing vendors, clients, partners, etc. Did you know you can also market your new services in them? Add a signature line at the end of your e-mail with a link to your site that promotes your new service or blog post. It’s easy to do and can prove to be fruitful.

9. Go to trade shows. This depends on what industry you’re in but it can be a great way to promote yourself or your company. You can also set up a booth yourself if appropriate.

10. Speak at conferences. Find local, relevant conferences and offer to speak for free on an area of expertise you possess. This can be at your local chamber of commerce or other associations that relate to your industry.

11. Start a contest. Everybody loves to win something and a great way to market your company is to start a contest. Make one of your offerings for free as the prize. Use this opportunity to add to your mailing list (with permission of course).

12. Comment on blogs. Compile a list of blogs that complement your service/company or relate to your industry and comment on their posts. Try to be in the top three to comment and make sure to say something that is related to your area of expertise or knowledge.

13. Guest Blogging. Offering to guest blog on someone else’s blog can be a great way to introduce yourself or service to others. Research a list of relevant blogs and contact the blogger. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how willing bloggers will be to talk to you. You can also approach a expert in your area and offer to do a guest blogging piece on your own blog.

14. Ask for testimonials. If your clients were happy with your services, ask them for a testimonial to include on your site. If they don’t time to write one, write it yourself and ask them to approve it.

15. Network, Network, Network!

I hope you have the time to implement all of these steps. If not, consider using a virtual team to help you execute and accelerate the launch of your web business!
check out more in full post
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