Indian IT cos should diversify their export markets: Sachin Pilot

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of rising anti-outsourcing sentiment in the US, the government today said Indian IT companies should diversify their export markets and reach out to Europe, Africa and Asia in a bigger way, reports PTI.

"We (IT companies) must diversify our export destinations to reach out to Europe, Africa and Asia so that there is the balanced approach in terms of export destinations," minister of state for communications & IT Sachin Pilot told PTI.

The state of Ohio in the US recently banned outsourcing work to foreign companies, hot on the heels of the country's move to hike fee for H-1B and L1 visas. These moves are expected to hurt the $50-billion Indian IT market, which garners a major chunk of revenues from American companies.

"It is very unfortunate that this kind of issues are coming up which the people are calling protectionist...," Mr Pilot said while asserting that Indian IT sector is robust enough to over come any challenge.

The outsourcing ban by Ohio has come as a disappointment to India, and commerce minister Anand Sharma said on Tuesday that the move is "not welcome at all."

The Indian IT industry has made a notable contribution that is acknowledged globally, even in the US. It is Indian entities which are responsible for creating jobs, even now when there are big job losses, Mr Sharma had said.

On whether Indian IT companies would be able to face challenges posed by the US government steps, Mr Pilot said," We believe that the global movement of the trade of good and services is required for the world to grow together and I am hopeful that no matter what challenges would arise Indian IT sector is robust enough to overcome on them."

Ohio governor Ted Strickland had banned offshore outsourcing by government departments. Earlier, the US increased professional visa fees significantly to fund a $600 million programme to secure its border with Mexico.

Mr Sharma had also cited data suggesting that Indian IT companies have created over 2.5 lakh jobs in the US in the last three years.

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Supreme Infra wins contract worth Rs77.7 crore

Supreme Infrastructure India Ltd said it has received a contract for construction of residential accommodation for army at Hisar in Haryana. The project cost is Rs77.7 crore and is expected to be completed in 27 months.

The scope of work includes construction of around 161 units of six flats each totalling to 966 flats, the company said in a statement.

The company has also achieved the financial closure for its build, operate and transfer (BOT) project for the four laning of Manor Wada Bhiwandi road in Thane, Maharashtra. The concession agreement for this project was signed earlier in February this year. The project, awarded by Public Works Department (PWD), Maharashtra, is about Rs430 crore. Supreme Manor Wada Bhiwandi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the subsidiary of Supreme Infrastructure India Ltd, has already infused equity to the tune of Rs56 crore.

On Thursday, Supreme Infra shares ended 2.2% down at Rs284 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.4% to 19,417 points.

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Elder Health Care signs in-licensing agreement with POLA Chemical Industries

Elder Health Care Ltd said it signed an in-licensing agreement with Japan-based POLA Chemical Industries to introduce POLA's cosmetic products in India.
EHCL will launch "Bihaku" whitening range viz white wash, white lotion, white gel and white mask through the over the counter (OTC) as well as dermatologist/cosmetologists route in the next two months.

The organised skin care segment, currently valued at Rs2,300 crore, is growing at 20%. EHCL is targeting sales to the tune of Rs7 crore from Bihaku products by the fifth year of launch.

On Thursday, Elder Health Care shares shed 3.6% to Rs89 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.4% to 19,417 points.

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