German multinational automotive company, Daimler AG, will be setting up a bus manufacturing facility in India to make inroads into the bus segment after consolidating its presence in the truck segment in the country.
The company will be investing around $69.55 million in the bus manufacturing facility, which will be inside its existing truck facility at Oragadam near Chennai. The facility will employ nearly 300 people and the production will commence in the second quarter of 2015.
The plant will manufacture 1,500 buses annually in the initial phase, under both Mercedes Benz and Bharat Benz brands, and the capacity could be expanded to 4,000 buses.
The company has also entered into a supplier arrangement with Wrightbus of Northern Ireland to build the bus body for the Bharat Benz range.
The India plant at Oragadam will be the only Daimler plant worldwide to manufacture three brands – Daimler trucks, Mercedes Benz and Bharat Benz buses, and engines under one roof.
American multinational retail corporation Walmart has decided to look at the surging Indian e-commerce segment.
After six years of exploring an entry into the multi-brand Indian arena having operated under the cash and carry model in the country, Walmart is eyeing the marketplace e-commerce model which does not restrict foreign investment.
There are no government norms in India limiting foreign investment in this format as the host company is either categorised as a technology or a back-end entity. Many top multinational companies like Amazon and eBay are present in the country through this model.
Walmart is reportedly developing an electronic platform and could go live in the next three to four months.
Although in the early stages, online retailing in India has seen strong growth in recent years and is expected to grow up to 55 per cent annually to become an $8-billion business in the next three years, according to Crisil Research.
Indian automotive giant Tata Motors is exploring a possible tie-up with Chinese automobile manufacturing company Chery Automobile to share its vehicle platforms.
The Indian automobile manufacturer already has a tie-up with Chery through its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit, which got the approval from Chinese authorities to set up a joint venture last year.
Tata and Chery have reportedly been in talks to expand that collaboration for a while now.
The synergistic benefits of a possible tie-up include Tata Motors gaining access to the Chinese market and Chery making its India entry. Also buying out an existing platform could save the Indian company time and money, something it has done in the past by buying the Renault Traffic Van platform.
Tata Motors is planning a fast and cost effective entry into the mini car segment, which has been dominated by rival Maruti Suzuki’s Alto for a while.
India’s largest mobile phone services provider Bharti Airtel and Kenyan telecom operator Safaricom Limited are looking at acquiring Essar Telecom Kenya Limited.
Airtel Networks Kenya Limited has sought an approval from the Communications Authority of Kenya to acquire the telecommunications licenses and subscribers of Essar Telecom Kenya Limited, which operates under the brand name of ‘YuMobile’. Safaricom has made a bid to acquire the infrastructure of the company.
The combined value of the deal is said to be around $100 million.
After an exit from the telecom business in India, Essar is now looking at selling its Kenya business. On approval, Essar will be out of the mobile services business globally except its handset selling business under The Mobile Store brand in India.
The deal will help Bharti Airtel expand its operations in Africa and bring over 2.7 million customers of Essar Telecom Kenya into its own network.
This will be the second acquisition by Airtel within a month of it acquiring the business and assets of Mumbai-based Loop Mobile.
The world’s largest black tea producer, McLeod Russel, is planning to acquire a tea processing plant in Vietnam to venture into the business of green tea.
The Kolkata-based company has signed an agreement to purchase a tea processing factory in Vietnam through subsidiary Phu Ben Tea Company Limited.
The deal is expected to be valued at around $0.82 million.
The Vietnam processing unit has an annual production capacity of 6 lakh kilograms of green tea. Following the acquisition, the facility will be upgraded to produce a million kilograms. The raw material for the factory would be sourced locally.
Founded in 1869, McLeod Russel is part of BM Khaitan Group and produces about 100 million kg of high quality tea a year from six tea estates in Assam, five in West Bengal, three factories in Vietnam, six estates in Uganda and one in Rwanda. The company also has two blending units in Dubai and Nilpur.