Monday, November 26, 2007

Smart game behind Smart City

Smart city is an initiative taken by Dubai Internet City to invest in India. The project was actually lightened by the Congress government under Oommen Chandy (ex-chief minister) and finally approved by the Left government under Achuthanandan, the current chief minister here. However it was the single-handed initiative by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy which has managed to get Kerala a major investment opportunity in the green sector - the Rs 1,700-crore Smart City proposed by the Dubai Internet City which will come up in Kochi. Several states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were after the the Dubai Internet City for the project, and finally Kerala bagged the project.
Kerala government announced that they received the letter saying they have decided to set up the Smart City at Kochi. Several states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were after the the Dubai Internet City for the project, and finally Kerala bagged the project. The project was actually claimed by both the ruling Left Democratic Front and the opposition United Democratic Front as their achievement. The congress party also backed out from signing the deal just before the election. The possibility of signing the agreement was again put to question when the left got the rule. The project, which demanded as many as 300 acres of land in Kochi at a cheaper rate, evoked criticism from a section of political leaders, particularly the CPM-led Opposition, right from the beginning.

According to them, the move would finally end up in the state losing huge area of land without substantial return in terms of employment generation.

Adding more trouble to the smooth processing of the project proposal, the state bureaucracy failed to prepare a draft MoU within the stipulated time frame set by the DIC. Many speculations were there among the public regarding the issue. After a series of discussions and controversies, finally it was put into an agreement on May 13. State IT director Ajay Kumar and TECOM executive director Farid Abdul Rahman signed the lease deed for 234.5 acres of land earmarked for SmartCity for 99 years.
The Rs1,700-crore project aims to generate as many as 90,000 jobs and build 88 lakh square feet of office space in three phases spanning ten years. To start with, Kerala government is providing them 200 acres of land in Kakkanadu, near the Kochi Infopark. The Smart City, expected to create more than 100,000 new jobs in the first stage and around 5 Lakhs jobs directly and indirectly in the last stage, would provide critical infrastructure for IT services and IT-enabled service companies.

Though the present agreement empowers the government to take over the project if the company backs down on its promises, opposition leader Oommen Chandy alleges that the government had actually shouldered a heavy burden. The state government is leasing 246 acre of land for 99 years for the Smart City project for Rs 104 crore. The project, the first major FDI in the IT sector in Kerala, would be spread over 8.8 million square feet built up area, of which 70 per cent would be for IT and ITeS. It is to be modelled along the lines of the Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City.
The smart city gives a great opportunity for Kerala to compete with Karnataka and Tamilnadu in Information Technology. Due to the presence of the marxist parties, Kerala is flooded with strikes and trade unions.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Some facts....

A good investor who gets one penny in his hand will make it two. Those who have two will go for three and the like... Only such people will succeed in life..
When we talk about 'Investments' we cannot ignore 'Decisions'.
It is the decision of a person which makes an investment best or the worst. To take better decisions, the person should be more knowledgeable about the investment opportunities that is available in his reach. In this modern era, the reach will cover even the entire universe. A person sitting in US can invest in India and vice verse. Technology changed and so is the world.
More and more investment options are wide open today. For those investors looking forward to India, this is the best time. Reasons are manifold. India is currently one of the largest economy in the world. India welcomes foreign investments (but approval is required). The approval is automatic in sixty categories of industries. India is in a very strategic position and easily accessible to south Asian counties. FMCG Companies are having a big time in India at present and it will remain so in the next 10 years. The consumer market in India accounts to almost 300 million people which is rapidly growing day by day. Demand for several consumer products is growing at over 12% per annum.
India is also a very attractive destination because of its skilled workforce available at competitive price. More and more budding professionals and managers are there who could produce more and is capable of delivering quality outputs to their employers.
One of the factors which triggered the growth of Indian GDP is the manufacturing sector. India is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the world, spanning almost all areas of manufacturing activities. In the coming years we could hope that India will rise to be one of the top countries in the world... Get invested.

Friday, September 28, 2007

All eyes on Cochin.

Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
Kochi had come second among the `super nine ITES cities' in a study undertaken by NASSCOM.The study on the IT framework pertains to the key sectors of telecom, power, real estate, manpower and policy initiatives. Hyderabad has taken the number one slot in the overall ranking.
Cochin is home to many large and medium scale industries making it the commercial capital of Kerala. For centuries, Cochin has been a very important trading post on the west coast of India, paving way for trade with the Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British. Today, Cochin is a bustling industrial centre with industries ranging from ship building to handicrafts and petrochemical refining to spice trading.
One of the advantages of Kochi in the telecom sector is that it is the point of landing for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SAFE submarine cable landings. The city derives another advantage from the fact that the VSNL's primary international gateway in India is at Kochi.
Infopark, in Cochin is turning out to be one of the major attractions in Cochin. Huge funds are flowing into it nowadays. Wipro had built up 8 buidings with similar shape and size. The construction work is in the final stage. L&T had come up with a new building where large companies are expected to set up there base. More and more investments are yet to come.
The Kinfra Export Promotion Industrial Park in Kochi provides basic infrastructure for many an industry like garments, chemicals, food and engineering. The biotechnology park coming up at Kalamasserry is another attraction for investors. The park boasts of a technology incubation centre with pilot plant facilities. In addition to basic infrastructure, it provides specific facilities such as biotech lab, gene bank, computer lab and R&D facilities.
Yet another attractive feature of Kochi being projected by the Industries Department is the aviation sector and the international airport in Kochi. More than a dozen international airlines are already operating flights from the Nedumbassery airport. Apart from the aviation sector, there is scope for water transport. Kerala's long coastline offers tremendous scope for investment in high-end luxury liners connecting the tourism spots and neighbouring countries like Maldives and Sri Lanka.
So in the coming few years... hope Cochin will scale greater heights and brings out a huge contribution to the GDP of the country.

(Reference: The Hindu, Wikepedia)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Part Time Jobs.... Add Money to your kitty

The Indian Ecocnomy is in its booming stage, happy news for all the Job Seekers in India.
More and more doors are opened up and the Unemployment Rate in India is dropping down.
The Unemployment rate of India in 2006 is 7.8 (All time low) compared to 8.9 in 2005.
Jobs are available in different forms like full time normal jobs, part time jobs, online jobs, jobs at home etc. Ultimately money matters. The interesting trend which is seen now a days is that more and more students in India is seeking part time opportunities and trying to add more money to their kitty. Super Markets, malls, retail shops are all providing them the opportunity to work as sales boys/girls at evening time or at the time which they prefer. Some people who work in night shifts for jobs like Medical Transcription, Data entry operations, BPOs etc also tries their bit in such part time jobs.
Some companies also provides part time packages to working persons in fields like marketing. But there is a twist in it. A person who is working in Full Time Job is not allowed to work for any other profit making organizations (As per the norms of some companies).
But these rules have to be taken out so that the best ever resource in the world, the human being, could be utilized properly and productively.
Most of the foreign universities take initiatives to provide the students with part time jobs which helps them to meet their expenses. 'Expenses' are not for them alone... But students studyng in India also do have it. So there shouls be some initativenes taken from the part of the Government to help the students to do so along with their studies.
It will also help the students to learn how to earn, manage, and spend money that they get from their hardwork. Such lessons cannot be taught. It has to be learned. So before jumping into serious family life, they gets an opportunity to learn the concept of "Money Management".

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Invest In India..


Investing in India

India has undergone a paradigm shift owing to its competitive stand in the world. The Indian economy is on a robust growth trajectory and boasts of a stable 8 plus annual growth rate, rising foreign exchange reserves and booming capital markets among others. Looking at the statistics, the macroeconomic situation of the country seems strong and positive- India's economy in the April-June quarter grew a faster-than-expected 9.3 per cent from a year earlier. The GDP growth was driven by manufacturing, construction and services sector and even agriculture sector, a key area of concern for the Government, rose by nearly four per cent. Quarterly GDP at factor cost at constant (1999-2000) prices for Q1 of 2007-08 is estimated at Rs 7,23,132 crore, as against Rs. 6,61,335 crore in Q1 of 2006-07, showing a growth rate of 9.3 per cent over the corresponding quarter of previous year. The economic activities which registered significant growth in Q1 of 2007-08 over Q1 of 2006-07 are, ‘manufacturing’ at 11.9 per cent, ‘electricity, gas & water supply’ at 8.3 per cent, ‘construction’ at 10.7 percent, ‘trade, hotels, transport and communication’ at 12.0 per cent, ‘financing, insurance, real estate and business services’ at 11.0 per cent, and ‘community, social and personal services’ at 7.6 per cent. The growth rates in ‘agriculture, forestry & fishing’ and ‘mining & quarrying’ are estimated at 3.8 per cent, and 3.2 per cent, respectively during this period.
There is ample reason for India's viability as a destination for foreign investment. In addition to the above-mentioned macroeconomic indicators, higher disposable incomes, emerging middle class, low cost competitive workforce, investment friendly policies and progressive reform process all contribute towards India being an appropriate choice for investors.
The Indian Government is committed in its efforts to maintain the 8 plus growth rate and provide a conducive policy environment to the enterprises, both public and private, to invest and grow their business in the country. To this end, the Government has liberalized the foreign investment regime substantially over the last decade. Today, foreign direct investment is allowed in almost all sectors barring a few sensitive areas such as defence. Further, FDI is allowed in most of the sectors under the automatic route, except a few, where approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board is required.
India's foreign trade policy has been formulated with a view to invite and encourage FDI in India. The process of regulation and approval has been substantially liberalized. The Reserve Bank of India has prescribed the administrative and compliance aspects of FDI.
The FDI policy rationalization and liberalization measures taken by the Government have resulted in increased inflows of FDI over the years.Tthe FDI equity inflows have been US $ 15.7 billion as compared to US $ 5.5 billion received during 2005-06. This is a growth of 185% as compared to the previous year. This is also the first time that FDI equity inflows into India have crossed the US $ 10 billion mark. If reinvested earnings and other capital inflows are also included, the total inflows in 2006-07 add up to US$ 19.5 billion compared to US$ 7.7 billion during the same period last year showing a growth of 153%.During the first quarter of the Financial Year 2007-08, the FDI inflows have been US$ 4.9 billion as against US$ 1.7 billion received during the corresponding quarter of 2006-07, registering a growth of more than 185%. The first six months of the current calendar year (January-June 2007) have witnessed FDI inflows of US$ 11.4 billion as against US$ 3.6 billion received during the same period in 2006.This indicates a growth of 218%.
FDI can be divided into two broad categories: investment under automatic route and investment through prior approval of Government. The pick up in FDI inflows further reflects growing investor interest in the Indian economy on the back of strong fundamentals and simplified procedures.
The 10 sectors attracting highest FDI into India are: electrical equipments (including computer software & electronics); services sector (financial & non-financial); telecommunications (radio paging, cellular mobile, basic telephone services); transportation industry; fuels (power plus oil refinery); chemicals (other than fertilisers); construction activities;drugs & pharmaceuticals; food processing industries and cement and gypsum products. The 10 top investing countries are: Mauritius, USA, UK, Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Singapore, France, South Korea and Switzerland.
In addition to FDI, Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) is also flowing into India. Qualified foreign entities (other than those predominantly owned by non resident Indians) seeking to undertake portfolio investments in India are regarded as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). Eligible institutional investors that can register as FIIs include asset management companies, pension funds, mutual funds, banks, investment trusts, nominee companies, incorporated/ institutional portfolio managers, power of attorney holders, university funds, endowment foundations, charitable trusts and charitable societies.