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Top 10 Indian business news of the week [15-21st Oct 2012]

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Here’s a look at this week’s top 10 Indian business news.

Top Business News

Tata Motors launches new Safari Storme at Rs. 9.95 lakh

It is that time of the year when automakers launch new models to capture a slice of Diwali buying and Tata Motors added to the festivities as it launched Safari Storme. The new version of Tata’s SUV is powered by a 2.2 litre DiCOR engine delivering a company claimed fuel efficiency of 14 kmpl.

The Safari Storme is said to have been given a sportier look with chrome grills, high mounted spoiler and new alloy wheels. The SUV also features revamped interiors with beige coloured dashboard and upholstery, ample legroom and luggage space.

Axis Bank partners with Tata AIG General Insurance

Axis Bank partnered with Tata AIG General Insurance to become its Corporate Agent. Under the alliance Axis Bank will be offering a range of insurance products including Health, Travel, Property, Motor, etc for retail and corporate customers.

"We can bring the strength of our insurance expertise to deliver world standard insurance covers along with customer oriented claims services to Axis Bank’s customers. We also look forward to leveraging the bank’s deep and wide distribution network and their strong customer portfolio to enhance the growth and profitability of both companies" said K K Mishra, CEO, Tata AIG General Insurance.

HCL Tech quarterly profits increase 78%: Share price at 12 year high

HCL Tech posted a quarterly net profit of Rs. 885 crore for the period July to September 2012, up 78% as compared to the same period last year. Total quarterly revenues were Rs. 6,091 crore, up 31% YoY.

"A 31% year on year growth in revenues and a 78% growth in net income this quarter reiterates the fact that robust revenue growth can be achieved profitably. Increased wins in Fortune 500 accounts have resulted in Americas and Europe geographies growing at 34% and 37% year on year respectively" Vineet Nayar, Vice Chairman and CEO, HCL in a release. The Noida based company’s share prices peaked at Rs. 606.90 mid week, reportedly a 12 year high since March 2000, and closed the week at Rs. 603.80 on Friday.

Railways generates Rs. 39,889 crore from freight traffic in 6 months

In the first six months of FY 12, Railways saw a 25.43% YOY growth in revenues from freight traffic. The PSU generated revenues of Rs. 39,888.95 crore from freight traffic between April and September 2012, Rs. 8,086.64 crore higher than the same period last year. It was also reported that the Railways is set to hire more than a lakh personnel in this year alone, for posts ranging from track supervisors to station masters.

Mahindra & Mahindra launches Ssangyong Motor Company’s Rexton

Mahindra & Mahindra launched Rexton, a third generation premium SUV from South Korean automobile manufacturer Ssangyong Motor Company’s line up for an ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 17.67 lakh for RX5 MT and Rs. 19.67 lakh for RX7 AT. Rexton is powered by a 2,696 cc diesel engine giving an ARAI certified mileage of 12.4 kmpl for RX5 and 11.8 kmpl for RX7.

"The launch of the SsangYong Rexton by Mahindra – the first premium product from our Ssangyong portfolio to be offered in India – is a proud moment in our automotive journey. For the Mahindra Group, the SsangYong Rexton represents our philosophy of ‘Rise’ in action as well as in thought, as it is an embodiment of a high end SUV offering for the discerning Indian consumer." said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Starbucks opens its first cafe in India

The much awaited launch of Starbucks’ first cafe in India happened this week as the Seattle based coffee giant opened the doors of its flagship store in the historic Elphistone Building in South Mumbai.

"It is perhaps the most elegant, beautiful, dynamic store we’ve opened in our history," said Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks. The cafe is reportedly set to be open till 11 pm from Monday to Thursday and 1 am on weekends. Commentators have been cautious in drawing expectations on the brand’s performance in a dominantly tea drinking market.

Airfares likely to get cheaper as government abolishes Airport Development Fee (ADF)

Airfares out of Mumbai and Delhi are set to get cheaper as the government has decided to abolish the Airport Development Fee (ADF) beginning 1 January 2013. Currently, domestic passengers pay Rs. 200 at Delhi and Rs. 100 in Mumbai while international passengers pay Rs. 1,300 and Rs. 600 in Delhi and Mumbai respectively. Despite the aviation ministry having passed the orders, the airport authorities are reportedly being cautious about the impact of a reduction in the fees on operations.

Maruti Suzuki launches new Alto 800: 10,000 bookings pre-launch

Maruti Suzuki launched the all new Alto 800 with an affordable ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 2.44 lakh for the petrol model and Rs. 3.19 lakh for CNG. The petrol version is powered by an 800 cc engine giving an ARAI certified mileage of 22.74 kmpl on petrol and 30.46 km/kg on CNG, best in its class.

The new Alto 800 has wider petal shaped headlamps, stylish bumper, ergonomically positioned dashboard, increased leg room at the back, can holder and a range of other technical and cosmetic upgrades. It has been reported that more than 10,000 bookings were made before its launch by customers who booked it without looking, driving or knowing the price of the car.

TCS posts quarterly net profit of Rs. 3,512 crore, up 44%

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT services company, posted a quarterly net profit of Rs. 3,512 crore for the period July to September 2012, up 44% YoY. The company added 41 new clients to its kitty and 18,654 new employees on a gross basis.

"As the global operating environment continues to evolve, there is little doubt that technology is playing a more pivotal role to shape the future of every industry than ever before. Our investments and capabilities make TCS extremely relevant to participate in imagining and co-creating this future with our customers" said N Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD, TCS. It was also reported that the company will be recruiting over 25,000 students from campus placements this year out of which 12,500 have already been hired.

Kingfisher Airlines loses license to fly

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended Kingfisher Airlines’ (KFA) ’till further orders’, after the airline failed to deliver a viable financial and organizational revival plan.

"The permit has been suspended with effect from October 20, 2012, pursuant to Clause 15 (2) of Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. It has been suspended till such time KFA submits a concrete revival plan ensuring safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable scheduled air transport services to the satisfaction of the DGCA." said a statement from the civil aviation ministry. A company spokesperson reportedly said that the suspension was temporary and that the airline will present a ‘resumption plan’ to the DGCA once issues with employees have been sorted.

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