Companies & Sectors
Bharti Airtel splits Indian operations into 8 hubs

“The new organisation design is aimed at furthering the company’s initiatives to build a more connected organisation, aimed at delivering a world-class experience to customers,” the company said in a statement

Private telecom services major Bharti Airtel on Thursday split its Indian operations into eight hubs focussed at building a more connected organisation.


The hubs will report to Ajai Puri, who has been given the charge of newly created position of director (market operations). Puri will report to joint MD and CEO designate for India Gopal Vittal. The changes will be effective from 1 March 2013.


“The new organisation design is aimed at furthering the company’s initiatives to build a more connected organisation, which is closer to the market place and is able to deliver a world-class experience to customers,” the company said in a statement.


Various telecom circles will be clubbed to form hubs.


“Circle CEOs will continue to report to a Hub CEO and operate with the same level of independence (as they do now), while the Hub CEO will provide overall guidance and oversight to the telecom circles under it,” it added.


As part of the changes, Raghunath Mandava, currently operations director (west & distribution) has been elevated as director (customer experience). He will also report to Vittal.


Airtel business CMO Najib Khan will now take over as CEO (homes and office), where he will be responsible for telemedia business, SMB vertical, LTE and Wi-fi services.


K. Srinivas will take over as director (special projects) and will be responsible for evaluating potential investment opportunities and developing business case across various lines of business. He will report to Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.


Last week, Bharti Airtel had appointed Kohli as managing director and said its founder Sunil Mittal will assume the role of executive chairman.


Vittal, who will take over as the new CEO in March, was named additional director and joint managing director of Bharti Airtel. He was named chief executive after the firm’s India CEO Sanjay Kapoor stepped down last month.


The revamp comes at a time when the company is looking at improving profitability while increasing both 3G and 4G subscriber base. Bharti Airtel is also struggling with uncertain regulatory environment and bleeding business in Africa.


NTPC offer for sale: Government garners Rs11,400 crore through stake sale

The NTPC offering was the government's third divestment in the current fiscal during which it has a target of Rs 30,000 crore

Government-owned power utility major NTPC’s one-day offer for sale (OFS) through which the government sold 9.5% stake in the company was subscribed 1.7 times on Thursday. The government is reported to have mobilised around Rs11,400 crore by offloading nearly 78.32 crore shares at an average price of Rs145.91.


Domestic institutional investors including insurance companies and mutual funds were major bidders.


The NTPC offering was the government's third divestment in the current fiscal during which it has a target of Rs 30,000 crore. Last week the government garnered around Rs 3,100 crore by divesting its stake in crude refiner Oil India and around Rs 5,900 crore through a, OFS for NMDC in December. The government has, so far in FY13, mobilized about Rs 20,000 crore though divestments of its stake in these companies, which is about 67% of its target.


The government is eyeing another Rs5,000-Rs7,000 crore through divestment in some more state-owned companies. The mobilisation will help the government mover closer to its fiscal deficit target of 5.3% of GDP.


Data on BSE website showed that the NTPC OFS had generated a demand for about 132.85 crore shares and all those who bid at Rs145.55 or above have been allotted shares of the government-run power utility major. Market players said that the recent change in rules for OFS that of allowing institutional investors to bid for stocks at no margin helped the NPTC issue sail through.


Earlier, institutions had to put in full margin money while bidding in an OFS. Under the new rules, an institutional investor which is bidding in OFS without any upfront margin cannot revise its bid price downward, while those bidding with full margin money can do so.


Venus Remedies posts decent results; net profit up 55%

Venus Remedies (one of our stockletter picks) has posted satisfactory third quarter results, with both sales and profit trending upwards. We had recommended the stock on 18 May 2012 at Rs 161.10. The stock closed at Rs248.55 today, up by 54% in 9 months 

We had written about Venus Remedies, a research-based global pharmaceutical company, in our Moneylife issue dated 29 November 2012. The company has reported has reported 18% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in net sales to Rs112.64 crore for the quarter ended December 2012 compared to Rs95.83 crore for the corresponding quarter last year. Its net profit rose 55.5% y-o-y to Rs16.06 crore against Rs10.33 crore it recorded for the same period last year.

A closer look at the Moneylife database reveals that the company has indeed been performing decently over the last few quarters. We looked at the net sales as well as operating profit pattern of Venus Remedies and found out that the company has not shown any negative growth in either, which shows consistency. The company’s three-quarter y-o-y growth rate is 16% whereas it has beaten the average this time around by growing at 18%. Likewise, its three-quarter y-o-y growth average for operating profit was 15% whereas it grew 26% for the December 2012 quarter. Yet, despite putting a string of good quarters, its valuation remains surprisingly low. It is quoting with market capitalisation at just over two times its operating profit, while its return on net worth is an impressive 20% for a company that is rarely tracked by analysts.

During the quarter, Venus Remedies received its first patent from Mexico for ‘Vancoplus’, a novel antibiotic formulation to combat Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus ( MRSA ) infections. The patent has been granted from the Mexico Patent office and is valid till February 2026. Vancoplus has the potential to restrict transfer of bacterial resistance to other strains by preventing conjugation and transfer of plasmids containing resistant genes. Vancoplus is also the only known therapeutic option for breaking of bacterial biofilm formed by gram positive bacteria, one of the most common causes of bacterial resistance.

It also received approval from Drugs Controller General, India (DCGI) to conduct Phase-III clinical trials of its cancer detection new chemical entity (NCE). After thorough screening by the IND committee for the investigational NCE VRP1620, the DCGI has found clinical Phase-I and Phase II data satisfactory and thus granted permission to conduct Phase-III clinical trials on the molecule. The molecule is for early cancer detection.

It also launched CSE1034 under the brand name ‘Elores’. It is a novel Antibiotic Adjuvant Entity (AAE) to combat antimicrobial resistance caused by MDR, ESBL producing strains.

Venus Remedies closed at Rs248.55 on National Stock Exchange (NSE), down 0.22% from its previous close.

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