India’s largest multinational software services provider, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) has entered into an agreement with Japan’s largest integrated business enterprise Mitsubishi Corp to create a Japanese software services provider.

According to the definitive agreement signed, Tata Consultancy Services Japan Ltd, Nippon TCS Solution Center Ltd and IT Frontier Corporation - a wholly owned unit of Mitsubishi - will be merged together to form a single entity.

The merged new entity will be operational from July and TCS will hold 51 per cent stake where as Mitsubishi will hold 49 per cent stake.

TCS has been present in Japan since 1987 and has continued to invest in the country by setting up new facilities. The transaction shows the company’s commitment to the Japanese market.

The Japanese IT services market is estimated to be a little over $125 billion, but Japan accounts for less than 2 per cent of India’s software exports because of language and cultural barriers.

“This strategic transaction signifies our serious commitment to the Japan market. TCS will now have the scale, strong local presence and our full range of global capabilities to serve the Japanese corporations effectively and accelerate our growth in Japan market," said N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of TCS.

Qatar based Doha Bank has entered into an agreement with HSBC Bank Oman to purchase its banking business in India.

According to the agreement, all the staff of HSBC’s business will also be transferred to the Qatar-based bank. Even though the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the Doha Bank said that the business comprised of two branches and gross assets worth $58 million as of end of 2013.

The deal is subject to approval from regulatory authorities in Qatar, India, Oman and Jersey.

The deal is seen as a means for the Doha Bank to expand its footprint in the growing Indian market. The bank had recently announced its decision to open its first branch in Mumbai in May and has set a target of $5 billion balance-sheet by the third year of operations in India.

Incorporated in 1978, Doha Bank has branches in Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi and representative offices in Singapore, Turkey, Japan, China, Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Sharjah.

Global software major Microsoft has been voted the “most attractive employer” in India in a survey conducted by human resource firm Randstad.

While Microsoft won the tag in the survey for the fourth consecutive year, the IT, telecom and ITes sector overall also emerged as the most preferred by the workforce.

The survey covered more than 8,000 potential and employed workforce in India and it was found that competitive salary and employee benefits and long-term job security were the most important factors when choosing an employer. Other criterion included the financial health of the company, good work-life balance, pleasant working atmosphere and career progression opportunities.

According to Randstad, Indian responses were in sync with global traits where salary and employee benefit was the top priority followed by job security.

Sony India is the next most attractive employer. According to the survey, Larsen & Toubro is the most attractive employer in the infrastructure industry, State Bank of India in the banking sector, Taj Group in the hospitality and Tata Power in the energy sector.

Gurgaon-based Smile Group, which has holdings in the consumer internet and digital media space, has formed a joint venture with TPG Growth to build businesses across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

According to the agreement, they will build their business under the brand name of Katalyzers. The $100-million joint venture will partner with successful internet companies in the marketplace, classified listings, local commerce, digital media, e-commerce and mobile segments, and help them roll out their businesses across Asia and other emerging markets.

Katalyzers has already set up offices in India, Singapore and San Francisco, and has a presence across China, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America through partner offices of Smile and TPG.

The Smile Group has partnered with entrepreneurs, VCs and global companies to help digital companies expand their operations and increase their footprint by rolling out internationally.

US-India Business Council (USIBC) president Ron Somers is leaving the trade facilitation body to start a strategic consulting firm focussed on business opportunities in the two countries.

Somers resigned his position with immediate effect, a USIBC announcement said, adding that his deputy Diane Farrell will officiate till a replacement was found.
Somers had been the chief of USIBC for 10 years.

In a statement, Somers said: “With elections underway in India and a new government forming, this is the perfect time for me to do what I have long planned – hang out my shingle.

“It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to lead the exceptional USIBC staff, work with an outstanding board, and advance the critical US-India commercial relationship.”

He joined USIBC as its president in 2004, and has shepherded the council through some of the most important years in the US-India bilateral relationship; most notably, the signing of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2006.

Aditya Birla group’s Madura Fashion and Lifestyle is in talks with American fashion brand Ralph Lauren to form a joint venture.

Both companies are reportedly in advanced talks to form a 51:49 JV and may sign a 10-year deal.

Mudra Fashion and Lifestyle, a supplier for Ralph Lauren, is keen to bring more international premium brands as part of its strategy to retail high-margin products.

Ralph Lauren designs and markets premium lifestyle products in the apparel, home, accessories and fragrances segments.

Madura’s brand portfolio ranges from the affordable to the high-end, including names such as Peter England, Louis Philippe and Van Heusen to Allen Solly and Hackett London.

Aditya Birla is a multinational conglomerate with interests in sectors such as viscose staple fibre, metals, cement, viscose filament yarn, branded apparel, carbon black, chemicals, fertilisers, insulators, financial services etc.

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