Tata Motors’s JLR plans to set up engine manufacturing unit in India

While the premium range would be produced in the UK plant, JLR is looking to manufacture the lower range in India.

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover plans to set up an engine manufacturing facility in India to meet the demand in the country.

The company, that is investing £355 million in an engine plant in the UK, said the investments on the planned Indian facility could be lesser. Speaking to a group of visiting Indian journalists at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Ralf Speth said the company has already started a hi-tech engine programme for Europe with the UK plant.

"The step two would be to go to India and then in India set up another facility with similar advanced technology in terms of inner equipment at the plant, and then deliver lower specification engines for the Indian market," he said. He, however, declined to give any time frame and on the size of investments.

Asked if the investment will be similar to the UK, Speth said, "I think it will be cheaper." At present JLR assembles sports utility vehicle Freelander at Tata Motors' Pune plant.

Elaborating the firm's strategy on engine development, he said the idea is to have a premium range and a lower range. While the premium range would be produced in the UK plant, the company is looking to manufacture the lower range in India.

When asked if JLR will supply the engines to other companies, he said, "No, we will not supply to other manufacturers. It can be for both Tata and JLR. There we are open. At the moment, there is no plan and Tata has to make sure that our engines fit in their products."

On the continuation of JLR's sourcing of engines from Ford, Speth said, "Yes, why not? There are so many different engines and so many different challenges on the engine side — smaller engines, bigger engines, hybrids..."

He, however, said for some very specific engines, the requirement from Ford may decrease, but even if the percentage comes down, it would not mean that the absolute number will come down.


K Venkataramanan appointed new CEO and MD of Larsen & Toubro

The L&T's board of directors has decided to bifurcate the roles of chairman and managing director in a major top management rejig, which would become effective from 1 April 2012.

In a long-awaited top management succession planning exercise, corporate giant Larsen and Toubro appointed K Venkataraman as its CEO and managing director, while its current chief A M Naik would remain executive chairman for the next five years.

Naik currently holds the position of chairman and MD at the group, a major player in engineering, manufacturing, construction and a host of other businesses including technology and financial services. The L&T's board of directors has decided to bifurcate the roles of chairman and managing director in a major top management rejig, which would become effective from 1 April 2012.

As per the new structure, Venkataraman would assume the position of chief executive officer and MD, while Naik would assume the post of executive chairman.

Venkataramanan is currently whole-time director and president (hydrocarbon) and had joined L&T as a graduate engineer trainee in 1969. He was elevated to L&T Board in the year 1995.

"I am pleased that the board has appointed K Venkataraman as CEO and MD. I have full confidence that under Venkataraman's leadership, L&T will continue on its growth path," Naik said.

While Venkataramanan would be responsible for the businesses of L&T, Naik would focus on completing the portfolio restructuring, institutionalising the IC (independent company) structure, mentoring and developing the leadership team and future leaders, the group said.

Accordingly, the board decided that there was a need for continuity and requested Naik to continue for a period of five years as executive chairman of the Group.

"I am honoured with the responsibility that the board has placed on me. I am also happy that A M Naik's guidance will continue to be available," Venkataraman said.


Bank customers tortured by recovery agents; ombudsman helps out

With instances of recovery agents harassing bank customers continuing unabated, banks need to take care in choosing and recruiting recovery agents

A recent report published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Banking Ombudsman (BO) reveals that out of 71,124 complaints it received during 2010-11, 1,722 or 2% related to direct selling and recovery agents. Some cases indicate that customers are unnecessarily victimised by the banks and had to suffer the tortures of the recovery agent, the report said. It reveals the series lapses in the KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures followed by the banks.

Take the case of Ankit (name changed). Despite having no credit cards, he was receiving frequent calls from his banks for the recovery of the dues on his card. Ankit complained to the bank. However no action was taken and calls continued at odd hours. He approached BO. During the hearing, the bank accepted the mistake saying that the defaulting credit card holder and the complainant had the same name. The BO held bank negligent in initiating the recovery measures and directed it to pay Rs5,000 to Ankit as compensation for harassment and metal anguish he had to go through.

Similarly, according to the report, another complainant Vivek (name changed) had to go through even more harrowing experience. Vivek was harassed by the abusive calls of bank’s recovery agents to pay the loan which he had never availed. He was unrelated to the bank. The ordeal was such that he fell ill and had to get operated for a heart problem. Even in the ICU, the calls continued. A complaint was lodged with the BO. At the hearing, the bank said that phone number from where Vivek was getting the calls did not belong to their recovery agents. The case was closed.

Vivek then appealed to the Appellate Authority (AA) against the bank for the trauma he had to go through and for misguiding the BO. Interestingly at the AA, the bank admitted that the calls belonged to its recovery agent. It explained that such repetitive calls were due to lack of communication and data issues with their outsourced collection agency. It was also revealed that bank did not complete the KYC formalities before sanctioning the loan and the borrower remained unknown and untraceable. The AA observed that bank sanctioned the loan without even cross checking the validity of the number and it misguided the BO. The authority awarded a compensation of Rs1 lakh to Vivek.

The apex bank had laid guidelines to be adhered by the banks’ recovery agents. However, experts point out the need for recruiting trained recovery agents. “Banks should engage trained agents to recover the money, as it is important to deal with debtors with ‘humaneness’,” GS Hegde, RBI’s principal legal adviser, was quoted saying by PTI.

So, if you get such abusive call do approach the banking ombudsman.



Sewa Singh

5 years ago

Recovery agents appointed by bank looks like gooondas as they treat with customer and their family. Bank, government, police should take strict action agaainst them.

a v moorthi besides TIHAR

5 years ago

this looks like a cooked up article. the write up should name the banks involved so that Public will know and Bank will also not use services of thugs as recovery agents. rather the concept of recovery agent itself is without merit. i also wish to make it clear that i hold no brief for defaulters. news from inside is that ICICI and followed by HDFC has the maximum default in consumer finance as they had out sourced their consumer lending to DSA whose only aim was to suggest borrowers for cosumer finance

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