Economy & Nation   Exclusive
Indian Car Standards: Better homologation, please

Foreign car companies must be asked to make all aspects of cars as per exact Indian driving standards, known as homologation

My new VW Passat runs like a dream. Except for the nerve-wracking grating sounds of the underbelly over our super steep road-bumps, I have little else to complain about its engineering. But I almost ran it into the garage wall, the day after it was delivered....

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  • Economy & Nation   Exclusive
    Infosys falls over 13% on disappointing Q4 results

    Infosys, the second largest listed IT company in India, reported numbers that fell short of market expectations. Analysts feel that this may raise questions on the demand for IT services in the coming quarters

    Infosys shares fell by over 13% on Friday due to the company’s disappointing fourth quarter results. According to analysts, the lower-than-expected results and guidance for next quarter declared by the company will re-ignite fresh debate on structural issues with Infosys and also questions the demand for IT services going into next year.

    Infosys shares closed 12.6% down at Rs2403 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex ended 1.37% down at 17,094.

    For the quarter to end-March, the IT company, reported a net profit of Rs2,316 crore compared with Rs1,818 crore a year ago period. Infosys' total revenues increased 22.1% to Rs8852 crore from Rs7250 crore same quarter last year. However, on a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q), its net profit and total revenues declined 2.4% and 4.8%, respectively.

    In a press release, SD Shibulal, managing director and chief executive, Infosys, said, “The year ahead looks challenging for the IT services industry, with slow recovery in the global markets. We are executing on our Infosys 3.0 strategy which is meant to deliver high quality growth in the medium to long term. We are making investments and have put in place a structure to deliver on this strategy.”

    Infosys results disappointed on the back of a miss in the March quarter, on both topline growth as well as margins, which showed a steeper decline than expected. "We are not worried on the structural debate regarding off shoring—concerns resurface with every weak quarter. The company's performance is volatile and management's ability to predict this performance has become less accurate in the face of poor visibility in the macro environment. We expect this to continue for some time and hence continued pressure on the stock," said Barclays Capital in a research note.

    Other Indian IT companies, notably TCS, have also indicated that the March quarter could be weaker than earlier expectations and hence similar issues though magnitude may differ could be plaguing the entire sector.

    “We had a very difficult quarter with revenues declining sequentially. The global currency market volatility continues to be a challenge for the industry. Our focus on high quality growth coupled with strong financial discipline helped us to deliver on EPS guidance in US dollar terms,” said V Balakrishnan, Member of the Board and chief financial officer.

    "We would wait for volatility around results to subside. Infosys remains India's premier IT services company, although it faces a tough short-term, in our view. Strong balance sheet, good cash flows and the high corporate governance of the company are other attractions," Barclays added.

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    Caterpillar sets up new manufacturing plant in India for backhoe loaders

    The company feels that the new facility would augment its distribution channel for its earth moving machines in India

    Caterpillar India launched its new backhoe loader manufacturing facility in Thiruvallur near Chennai. The new facility not only strengthens the company’s growing presence in India but also augments the distribution channel for this popular earth-moving machine by bringing in enhanced local production capabilities, it said in a release. The facility was inaugurated by Robert Droogleever, general manager for Caterpillar BHL Worldwide.  

    By increasing their manufacturing footprint to India, Caterpillar aims to provide Indian customers one of the most reliable and sought after heavy-duty vehicles thus ensuring completion of their construction jobs in a highly efficient and productive manner. To be manufactured at the new facility in Thiruvallur, Caterpillar backhoe loaders bring together reliable and time tested features with unique and market leading technologies at prices that are within the reach of the mass market.

    Kevin Thieneman, country manager- India, ASEAN and China, said, “India will make significant investments over the next several decades to build its infrastructure and support higher levels of urbanization.  This facility, our fourth manufacturing operation in India, positions us to meet industry growth and enables us to better serve our customers with the broadest range of products in the industry.”  


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