Companies & Sectors
Russia chooses Anil Ambani for 'Make in India' frigates
With India close to choosing Grigorivich frigates for its navy, Russia is partnering Anil Ambani-led Pipavav Defence to build these ships under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative, official sources said on Thursday.
 
They will be upgraded versions of Talwar-class ships, or the Russian equivalent of Krivak-III.
 
Confirming this to IANS, at least two senior defence officials said a team from Russia evaluated three-four private and state-run shipyards as they were keen on an Indian partner if the ships were to be built in India. This will be a pre-condition for the order valued at $3-$3.5 billion.
 
The sites evaluated were Pipavav's yard in Gujarat, Larsen and Toubro's unit at Ennore, and the state-run Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. Pipavav, a majority stake in which was acquired by the Reliance Group a few months ago, emerged the winner.
 
"The Prime Minister's Office is closely watching the development," one of the two officials told IANS. "This is likely to be an order that will be placed on the government of Russia by our government."
 
Incidentally, the development comes against the backdrop of the navy vice chief, Vice Admiral P. Murugesan, stating on Tuesday that India was exploring the possibility of getting upgraded Talwar-class ships and was in talks with Russia for its Grigorivich frigates technology.
 
"As per our maritime perspective plan, we have to build a certain number of ships in a certain time. We are exploring the possibility to expedite the acquisition of certain number of ships," Murugesan told reporters here. "But this will not be an import. It has to be made in India."
 
The idea is to have a 198-ship naval force by 2027, up from the current 137 vessels. Already, 48 warships are under construction at Indian shipyards, including aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers, submarines, corvettes and fast-attack craft.
 
India has been stressing on domestic defence production under the "Make in India" programme, an important aspect of which is to get technology transfers and inviting foreign firms to manufacture in India.
 
The Grigorivichs are improved variants of the six Talwar-class frigates the navy obtained between 2003 and 2013.
 
In March, the Reliance Group had announced its acquisition of a 18-percent stake from the then promoters of Pipavav Defence, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.
 
Pipavav's facility is at the location by the same name on the Gujarat coast and claims modern, versatile engineering and fabrication facilities with shipbuilding infrastructure that is also suitable for the construction of a wide range of warships and submarines.
 
The company is said to be a strong contender for a tender, potentially worth Rs.60,000 crore, to build six advanced submarines for the navy along with five other private and state-run firms such as Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Mazagon dockyard.

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Branding Nano as cheap car was wrong: Tata
Tata said the mistake was branding the model as the cheapest car instead of affordable car
 
Branding Tata Motors small car Nano as a cheapest car was a mistake and was one of the reasons for the model not taking off as expected, Rata Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, said here on Wednesday.
 
Tata, who was here to participate in the 11th convocation of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, also took some questions from the students.
 
Answering a question on the Nano car, Tata said the mistake was branding the model as the cheapest car instead of affordable car.
 
He said people did not want to be associated with a cheap car.
 
Brand Gurus had earlier expressed similar views to IANS and said a car in India is a status symbol and people do not want their car to be known as a cheap car.
 
Tata urged the graduates to focus on those things that make a difference to people and always ask themselves whether what they are doing is right.
 
Later speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the function Tata, the former chairman of the Tata group reiterated the same point on the Nano's branding strategy.
 
He said the small car was designed by people with an average age of 25-26 and was a success beyond expectations.
 
However, he said the one year delay in the car launch allowed rumours to float around about the car.
 
Tata who is investing in start-ups said he was looking at those outfits that would help the common man.
 
Stating that it is important to nurture start-ups and support them Tata also urged the entrepreneurs to be a long term player and build an institution than cashing out early.
 
According to Tata, he is keen on investing in health and connectivity sectors.
 
He said there is an opportunity in e-commerce and etailing in India which are expected to change the face of merchandising and marketing in the country.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

2 years ago

I look at the whole 'NANO' episode differently. Tata through NANO sent out a message that it was possible to produce a car that can be sold at Rs one lakh at that point of time. It made car manufacturers to answer several questions on costs and pricing, which was necessary at a time when prices were linked to luxury features, rather than usefulness or strength and quality of the vehicle. Tata is not a brand whose value will come down just because they produced 'cheapest' car!

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

2 years ago

Nano AC car when launched in the year 2010, it was costing Rs.1,90,000/-
Now several features like car to run on CNG, power steering, etc, has increased its cost to Rs.3,75,000/-, which is not affordable.

Pfizer to shut Thane plant in September
Pharma major Pfizer Ltd announced on Wednesday the shutting down of its Thane manufacturing plant from September 16 as it has become unviable, a company spokesperson said here.
 
"The decision to close the site is based on an assessment of its long term viability and its ability to achieve the needed production. There has practically been no production activity at this plant since 2013, and the closure will not impact the supply of any of our medicines to patients," the spokesperson said.
 
The plant was commissioned in the 1960s and was part of the company's heritage for over five decades.
 
During that time, the company, which notched a turnover of Rs.1004 crore last year, produced a number of medicines for both the domestic and international markets, serving millions of patients.
 
Pursuant to the closure decision, the company offered a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to 132 of its 212 workmen at the site last year, while the remaining continued to get full wages though the plant was inactive.
 
Pfizer Ltd said it would honour the obligations towards requisite compensation for the remaining 80 workmen as per the laws.
 
Pfizer is headquartered in Mumbai with over 4,000 employees in the country.

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