Hitachi opens first R&D centre in India

Hitachi to expand IT and social infrastructure business related operations and pioneer new business areas

Hitachi, Ltd announced the opening of the Hitachi India R&D Centre in Bengaluru, India. This is the first research base for the Hitachi Group in India, as part of its efforts to promote efficient business development based on local needs in the rapidly growing Indian economy.

The new R&D Centre will be directly operated by Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd., the regional headquarters for Hitachi Group operations in India, and will conduct research and development focusing on Information &Telecommunication systems and social infrastructure business. In order to support the entry and expansion of Hitachi Group companies in India, the researchers will study the local market need, and promote market-oriented technology research & development to improve and enhance current products, as well as conduct regional research founded on regional needs to pioneer new business areas.
Further, offshore-oriented research will be conducted in collaboration with universities and corporate entities in India to achieve efficient advanced research.

The Hitachi India R&D Centre will start with about 10 researchers, aiming to double this number by FY2015 through local employment, in order to contribute to business growth and pioneer new business areas in India based on local research.

In April 2011, Hitachi undertook an overhaul of its R&D structure to create an organization for the global expansion of Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business by reorganizing and integrating its eight domestic laboratories into three laboratories and increasing its overseas research personnel. In June 2011, Hitachi set out a “New globalization plan” based on six centres located worldwide, in Japan, North America, Europe, China, South-east Asia and India, and targets a Hitachi Group consolidated revenue in India to increase to approximately200 billion yen in the next few fiscal years from the FY2010 revenue of approximately 90 billion yen. Local production and joint businesses with local partners have already commenced in business areas such as construction machinery, air-conditioning equipment, thermal power generation, and information control systems. The launch of the Hitachi India R&D Centre is part of Hitachi’s efforts to promote the localization of research, as well.

Efficient offshore-oriented advanced technology development will be promoted through collaborations with the academic institutes in India, as well as working with offshore vendors and talented human resource in India. Collaborations with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) , Bengaluru, are already underway, and the establishment of the Hitachi India R&D Centre will serve to facilitate cooperation with local universities and corporate entities.

The new Hitachi India R&D Centre will focus its activities in India but will in the future conduct R&D for the Asian Belt Zone in collaboration with Hitachi Asia R&D Centre, based in Singapore.

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Volvo plans Rs400-cr investment in India

“India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China”Volvo CEO

Volvo today announced plans to invest about Rs400 crore in India in the next five years. "With this kind of investment plan, India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China," Volvo Bus Corporation President and CEO Hakan Karlsson said.

In the first phase, Volvo plans to expand its industrial establishment capacity in Hoskote to 2,500 units in the next two years. At present, the facility can produce 1,000 vehicles, he said.

The company also plans to introduce a range of new products starting in 2012, he said. "This announcement backs Volvo buses earlier announcement to become a one billion dollar company selling 5,000 buses in 2015," Karlsson said. The second phase will see Volvo setting up a new industrial establishment, he said.
"Business planning process has already begun to set up the second factory in India," Volvo Buses India, MD and CEO, Akash Passey said, but declined to divulge where it would be.

Globally, Volvo has the biggest plan in China to expand its industrial establishment capacity to 3,500, Karlsson said. The company also plans to expand capacity to 30,000 globally by 2015, which would be thrice the existing capacity, he said. "We plan to expand our establishments in Asia to 15,000 capacity," Karlsson added.

Volvo expects global revenues to grow by Rs20,000-Rs 25,000 crore by 2015, Volvo Bus Corporation senior vice president (business region international) Rune Lundberg said. "At present our global revenues are in the range of Rs14,000 crore to Rs15,000 crore," he said.

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L&T to infuse Rs 500-cr in insurance business in next 3-4 years

"We have four micro-insurance products in our portfolio as of now, which have seen sound response from the consumers," Joydeep Roy, chief executive officer of L&T Insurance said

L&T General Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of engineering construction major Larsen & Toubro, will see a capital infusion around Rs500 crore from its parent over next three to four years. "We will infuse around Rs500 crore in next three to four years in our insurance business to support future growth prospects of the company," YM Deosthalee, chairman of the board of L&T Insurance said, on the sidelines of launching the company's first health insurance product.

The company, which started its operation last year, will fund this amount from the internal accruals of the holding company, he added. L&T General Insurance has started its operation with an initial investment of Rs175 crore and has set a target of collecting a premium of Rs1,000 crore in its first five years of operations. It also aims to be break-even in five to seven years. Referring to business growth, the company officials said there is vast scope in the general insurance space as its penetration is very low. However, the company has no plans to enter into partnership in this space in the near future. "We are not going to enter into any kind of partnership in the near future," Deosthalee said.

The general insurer, which is betting big on health insurance, has also the rural markets on its radar for growth. "We have four micro-insurance products in our portfolio as of now, which have seen sound response from the consumers," Joydeep Roy, chief executive officer of L&T Insurance said adding, that the company has no plans to enter into life insurance space as of now. He also said the insurer will come up with three to four new products every quarter as part its business expansion plan.

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