November 2008

Back to his roots
Ratan Tata has decided to make his Nano, the world's cheapest car, in Gujarat, the state where the Tata clan, of Parsi faith, made their first home in India after their ancestors fled Persia (now Iran). If all goes well Tata Motors will be given a 1,000 acre site near Sanand, 26 km from the western fringes of Ahmedabad, to build the first Nano plant. Completed cars, which seat four, would be sold around US$2,500. Tata Motors has pulled out of a planned plant in West Bengal due to protest by farmers and other residents.

And to America
Tata Consultancy Services will buy Citigroup's India back office unit for US$505 million and expects revenue to start flowing in from the acquisition as soon as the first quarter of next year, says TCS Chief Operating Officer N. Chandrasekaran.

Nomura in, Lehman out
Japan's Nomura will buy over the defunct Lehman Brothers' India operations, a move that would expand its workforce in India by 3,000, including 1,200 IT professionals.

August 2008

Mittal buys Dubai firm
ArcelorMittal, the biggest steelmaker in the world, has acquired 60% of privately held Dubai Steel Trading Company for an undisclosed sum. Dubai Steel, formed in 1986, has 50 staff and sells mainly to the construction market.

Sun power
Solar Semiconductor Private Ltd, a maker of photovoltaic modules based in Hyderabad, has signed a 10-year agreement to supply Deutsche Solar AG, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG of Germany, worth US$1.2 billion.

Bra power
Triumph, arguably the most famous women underwear brand in the world, will invest Rs 100 crore (US$25 million) to open 100 stores in India in the next two years.

July 2008


Citigroup CEO Vikram S Pandi is severely embarrassed after the bank he took control of last December had to write down US$202 million on the value of Old Lane, a hedge fund of which Pandit was a co-founder. Citi bought Old Lane for US$800 million, a purchase that brought Pandit into the group. Citi will restructure Old Lane after “substantially all” its outside investors withdrew their money.

The Bangladeshi government has stopped coal imports from India, citing their high sulphur content. The government has stipulated the coal should not contain over 1% of sulphur to protect the environment, but coal from India has well over 2% of sulphur. Local coal traders say the ban will lead to more firewood being cut for brick kilns and end up creating more damage to the environment.