Mahindra Logistics seeks Chinese partner to expand international business

Mahindra Logistics is scouting for a partner in China as it looks to expand its new foray into the international markets

Mahindra Logistics, the transportation and logistics arm of the Mahindra & Mahindra group, said it is scouting for a partner in China as it looks to expand its new foray into the international markets.

The company, which clocked a turnover of Rs1,000 crore last fiscal, is eyeing a growth of 25% this year.

It also plans to set up 11 warehouses in North, South and West India in partnership with developers to enhance its supply chain management services ahead of the planned rolled out of Goods and Services Tax.

"We are looking at all the international markets for freight forwarding by both sea and air. The top two priority markets are the US and China," Mahindra Logistics CEO Pirojshaw Sarkari told PTI.

Considering the traffic between India and China, he said the company is "looking for a partner in China to expand the freight business."

"As for the US market we are currently developing lane," he said, adding, the choosing a partner would come later.

Six months back Mahindra Logistics had started its international vertical in sync with the global expansion of the M&M group and got into freight forwarding.

On the domestic front, Sarkari said the company expects consolidation by many corporates in their logistics chain once GST is introduced in India and Mahindra Logistics would look to tap the opportunity by strengthening its warehousing facility.

"We will be setting up three mega warehouses of 5,00,000 sq ft and another eight smaller ones of around 1,50,000 sq ft-2,00,000 sq ft," he said. These will be leased out from developers who will build them according to the company's requirements, he added.

Out of the total, Rs300 crore were from the people transport services provided to many BPOs, ITes and other corporates, he said, adding the rest Rs700 crore were from the supply chain management vertical.

Sarkari said the company has made investments of over Rs10 crore in technology and "with a growing focus on transportation, warehousing and international logistics, we are set to become truly globally competitive."

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Lupin gets tentative USFDA approval for diabetes drug

Lupin has received tentative approval from the US health regulator for its generic Metformin Hydrochloride extended-release tablets, used in the treatment of diabetes, in the US market

Drug maker Lupin has received tentative approval from the US health regulator for its generic Metformin Hydrochloride extended-release tablets, used in the treatment of diabetes, in the American market.

The company's US arm Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for Metformin Hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the strengths of 500mg and 1,000mg, Lupin said in a statement.

The company's product is generic equivalent of Andrx Labs LLC's Fortamet 500mg and 1,000mg tablets and is indicated as a supplement to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, it said.

Lupin Pharmaceuticals CEO Vinita Gupta said: "This product approval demonstrates our commitment to enhance our generic pipeline, leveraging our development and manufacturing strengths in extended-release dosage forms."

The company believes it is the first applicant to file an abbreviated new drug application for Fortamet 500mg and 1,000mg and that could translate into 180 days of marketing exclusivity for its product.

"Upon receiving final approval by the FDA, Lupin believes that the 500mg and 1,000mg strengths of its product will be entitled to 180 days of marketing exclusivity," it said.

As per IMS Health data, annual sales for Fortamet in the US stood at $83 million for the 12 months ending December 2010, it added.

On Wednesday, Lupin ended 2.06% up at Rs416.25 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.83% to 19,470.98.

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10% growth not feasible, 12th Plan to target 9-9.5% GDP: Montek

Prime minister Manmohan Singh wants the Commission to aim at higher growth target of 10% during the 12th Plan, as against 8.2% estimated in the current Plan

New Delhi: Raising doubts over the feasibility of achieving 10% average economic expansion in the 12th Plan (2012-17), Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said the next plan would target gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 9% to 9.5% in the next five years, reports PTI.

"If you ask me personally, I think setting target of 10% (GDP growth) as an average for 12th Plan, is not feasible...it would be somewhere between 9% to 9.5% in the next Plan period," he told reporters ahead of the meeting of the full Planning Commission.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh wants the Commission to aim at higher growth target of 10% during the 12th Plan, as against 8.2% estimated in the current Plan.

"Our assessment is that the international situation is full of uncertainty... I feel that if we are looking at a five year period (2012-17), we can do much better than we did in the 11th Plan. I don't think that there should be much difficulty setting a target of 9%," he said.

A major area of focus would be on increasing agricultural productivity, he added.

"In the 10th Plan it (agricultural growth) was around 2%, in the 11th Plan it looks as if it will be 3%... It won't be 4% that we had targeted. My view would be that in the 12th Plan we must make sure that we can get to 4%," Mr Ahluwalia said.

Briefing media persons on the focus of the full Planning Commission meeting tomorrow to be headed by the prime minister, Mr Ahluwalia said, "We would be presenting key issues to the full panel and the approach to the 12th Plan may be ready in a month from now."

Among others, the meeting will be attended by Planning Commission members and senior Cabinet ministers, including finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram.

"What we are presenting tomorrow is not the 12th Plan approach. We are actually working on that... The Approach Paper should be in a month or so," Mr Ahluwalia said. The 'Approach Paper' lays broad outline of a Five Year Plan.

About the thrust of the 12th Plan, he said, "One thing we have all agreed (internally at Plan panel) is that it (thrust of 12th Plan) will be faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth."

He also said that special thrust will be on achieving more progress in health and education, besides improving the gender ratio.

Regarding the progress of the 11th Plan, he said, "The bottom line is that we have seen progress but not enough."

Although the Commission had pegged the economic growth rate at 9% for the 11th Plan (2007-12), it was scaled down to 8.2% in view of the impact of the global financial meltdown on the Indian economy.

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