NHAI cancels Goa road contract to IRB Infra

NHAI had awarded the project to IRB Infrastructure in January 2010 for four laning of Goa-Karnataka border to Panaji-Goa stretch on BOT toll basis

IRB Infrastructure Developers said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has cancelled a contract awarded to it for four laning of a road in Goa.

"The company has received a formal letter from NHAI informing the company, termination of this concession agreement of the project due to their inability to provide necessary land for implementation of the project," the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

NHAI had awarded the project to IRB Infrastructure in January 2010 for four laning of Goa-Karnataka border to Panaji-Goa stretch on BOT toll basis. To execute the project a special purpose vehicle, IRB Goa Tollway, was formed, it said.

The concession agreement with NHAI was executed in February 2010 and financial closure was achieved in March 2010, it added. However, NHAI failed to provide necessary land for implementing the project. Finding delays in getting land, the statement said, IRB Infrastructure Developers in September this year removed the project from its order book.

On Monday, IRB Infra closed at Rs141.85 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1.5% up from the previous close.


Havells, Chinese partner to invest Rs530 crore on new plant

Havells India said that the initial investment would be $50 million, which after around three years will go up to $100 million

Electrical goods maker Havells India said it, along with a Chinese partner will invest up to $100 million (nearly Rs530 crore) in the next three years to set up a manufacturing facility at Jiangsu province in China.

The new facility will come up under a 50:50 joint venture, Jiangsu Havells Sylvania Lighting Co Ltd, with China’s Shanghai Yaming Lighting Co. "The initial investment would be $50 million, which after around three years will go up to $100 million," Havells joint managing director Anil Gupta told reporters.

The plant will start initial commercial production in April 2012 and will have full swing output by November next year, he added. The JV firm will produce lighting products like HID lamps, LEDs, CFLs and lighting fixtures, he added.

Initially the company plans to export products wherever the Sylvania brand is sold currently and the later would also cater to the Chinese market, Gupta said.

At present Havells sells the Sylvania brand, which it had acquired in 2007, mainly in Europe and Latin America. It has also been gradually expanding in West Asia and Africa. The JV expects revenues of $30 million in the first year itself and $100 million in the next three years, he said.

"Though we had presence in China in R&D space, the need for a manufacturing base was always there," Gupta said. In India the company has eight facilities located in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

On Monday, Havells closed at Rs397.95 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 3.46% up from the previous close.


R&D hiring likely to grow by 20% in 2012

Hiring in R&D is on an upward trajectory and is expected to increase by 15%-20% in 2012

As global companies are shifting their research and development base to India to become cost effective and raising their R&D spend, experts have said that hiring in the segment will grow by up to 20% over last year.

“Total global spending on R&D is anticipated to increase 3.6%. With this, the momentum in the hiring has gone up. With India becoming a destination of choice due to its cost competitiveness, hiring by multinational companies is at an all-time high. There is a talent war for engineers and technical professionals,” Elixir consulting executive director Kanika Vaswani told PTI.

Auto hubs: The country is an emerging destination for auto R&D and companies such as Renault-Nissan, Maruti Suzuki, Honda have set up their centres from 2011 and this year, this not only gave rise to hiring but also led to attrition in the established R&D companies due to these new entrants, she pointed out. Besides, pharmaceuticals and auto R&D that has been hiring steadily, other segments like defence have recently increased hiring, recruitment has recently seen a spurt and is rapidly growing hiring in the defence sector.

Talking about pay packages, she said, in R&D hiring, pharma and defence are the better-paying sectors. Echoing the view, Executive Search Firm Symbiosis Management Consultants CEO Vinay Grover said R&D is witnessing large investments not only from MNCs but also from domestic players.

“India, positioned as a land with plenty of talent pool at a low cost, has gained the attention of MNCs. In domestic companies, pharma and automobile have realised that in their ambition to globalise their operations, they have no recourse but to spend on R&D,” he said.

Despite the lull in job opportunities, the hiring in R&D is on an upward trajectory and is expected to increase by 15%-20% in 2012, he added. This positive trend in R&D hiring started picking up in 2010 and peaked in 2011, and is expected to continue through 2012, he said.

“The hiring is on at all levels—junior, middle and senior. There are lot of positions available at level of technology manager and program manager that can go to the level of director,” he said adding that IT and health care are among the highest paying sectors.

Planman consulting director Deepak Kaistha said organisations in India are realising the value of a strong internal research centre to back them with ideas that could be turned into reality. “Hiring has touched its peak in FY11 and is expected to grow another 20% next year,” he added.

Many organisations are also providing funds to the upcoming PhD students and offer such programmes for employees in collaboration with top-notch institutes to attract talent, he said. FMCG sectors are showing great potential and plan to hire more R&D techies next year, he said adding that Japanese firms aim to work closely with Indian Universities and collaborate with companies to make hiring a smoother process.

When it comes to salaries, he said, IT and FMCG sectors offer the highest packages and R&D hiring is mainly happening at a higher grade levels. Executive search firm GlobalHunt director Sunil Goel said that for the last few years, there has been lot of focus on real R&D and companies are trying to innovate world class product and technologies. He, however, said that market conditions may not be that great in 2012 and hiring in the sector will remain steady.



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