Odisha Govt approves investment proposals worth Rs 608.79 crore

Source: Business Standard, Jun 30, 2020

The Odisha government on Monday approved five investment proposals worth Rs 608.79 crore in sectors like Metal, Food Processing, and Logistics & Infrastructure, which may generate employment for 1,496 people in the state.

In a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, the investment proposals were approved at a State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA).

As per the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL), the approved projects includes Metal Downstream sector, Iron Ore plant, Pellet Plant, among others.

According to the press release, “In a big boost to the State’s metal downstream sector, Reliable Sponge Pvt. Limited is looking at setting up an Iron ore beneficiation plant of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and Pellet Plant of 2.0 MTPA, with an investment of Rs 250 crore and providing employment to about 250 people.”

“Whereas Growel Feeds Pvt. Limited will be setting up a Shrimp/Prawn feed and fish feed manufacturing facility, with an investment of Rs 65.82 crore of capacity providing employment opportunities for 700 people

In the logistics and infrastructure sector. Another investor, Sravan Shipping Services Pvt. Ltd. will be setting up a logistics park at Jadupur village of Kendrapada District, with a total investment of Rs 100 crore and employing around additional 250 people,” stated the release. The proposal of Chilika Distilleries Pvt. Limited to set up 110 KL per day grain-based distillery plant, with an investment of Rs 99.97 crore and will provide additional employment opportunities for 170 people. SOM Distilleries and Breweries Odisha Pvt. limited is looking at setting up 120 KLPD capacity distillery (Grain-based) unit, with an investment of Rs 93 crore and it will provide additional employment opportunities for 126 people, it added.

Maharashtra govt signs Rs 16,000-crore investment pacts with 12 firms

Source: Business Standard, Jun 16, 2020

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday announced the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with 12 domestic and foreign companies for Rs 16,000 crore investment in the oil, chemicals, auto, electric mobility, and logistics sectors.

The agreements, part of the Magnetic Maharashtra initiative, are expected to help spur economic activities in the state reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis has led to a sharp drop in the state’s revenues and led to an exodus of migrant labourers.

To revive the state’s economy, the government has been planning several initiatives, including fast-tracking approvals to new investors. “We will offer all assistance to new investors,” said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the occasion.

In the agreement with the government, UPL promised to invest Rs 5,000 crore in five years to manufacture pesticide ingredients in the Raigad district. Great Wall Motors, which recently acquired General Motors’ plant in Pune, will invest Rs 3,770 crore.

PMI Electro Mobility Solutions and Foton Motors of China signed MOUs for Rs 1000 crore investment for manufacturing electric vehicles in Pune.

ExxonMobil has agreed to invest Rs 760 crore to manufacture lubricants, while Varun Beverages would put in Rs 820 crore, the government announced.

Land has been allotted to nine of the 12 companies, which had been in talks with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation for the last six months.

“Three more investment projects in the steel, pulp and paper, and electronic system design sectors are in the pipeline. These would entail investments of another Rs 8000 crore. We hope to finalise them soon,” said B Venugopal Reddy, principal secretary, industries department of the state government. “We expect the investment to materialise, and manufacturing to commence in two years,” said Bhushan Gagrani, principal secretary, the Chief Minister’s Office.

Anand Mahindra invests $1 million in social network start-up Hapramp

Source: Business Standard, Jun 10, 2020

Bengaluru: Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, has come on board as a key investor at start-up Hapramp. The firm is working on the biggest social media challenges such as user privacy, data security, and fair content monetization. It was founded in 2018 by five students in the final year of their computer science graduate degree.

Mahindra is investing $1 million in the Gurugram-based firm. He had, in 2018, announced via Twitter a funding opportunity for an Indian social media start-up that met certain criteria. Hapramp, which had just come into existence, grabbed the opportunity to apply. Mahindra tweeted that Team Hapramp had won the seed funding on Wednesday.

“Took 2 Years but I finally found the start-up I was looking for,” Mahindra said in his tweet.

He called out Hapramp’s flagship offering GoSocial, saying “Look out for their social networking platform”. GoSocial is a social media platform that rewards artists and creators as they post and engage with the community. About 50 thousand users have already downloaded the GoSocial app from the Google Play Store before it has been formally launched. The app will soon be available on Apple App Store, and the company has plans to expand marketing to South East Asia in the coming year.

Mahindra had asked digital transformation expert and ex-Mahindra executive, Jaspreet Bindra, to work with him to find a next-gen Indian social network start-up. The aim was to find a firm which would reward creators, protect personal data and be built on next-generation technologies like Blockchain.

“The Hapramp team is building a Web 3.0 social network. It is built on emerging digital technologies, has a solid business model which rewards content creators, protects personal data, and best of all, is built here locally in India,” said Bindra. He has signed on as an executive advisor and mentor to the Hapramp founding team.

Shubhendra Vikram, CEO and one of the co-founders of the start-up said the investment is a massive approval of the company’s mission to give creators the right to their content.

“The fact that this comes from Mr. Anand Mahindra, someone who we admire and who has always supported creators, gives us confidence,” said Vikram. “We have big plans, and we intend to stick to our belief of empowering creators and building an ecosystem where they can learn, compete, and win rewards.”

Hapramp has been incubated through its early days by Huddle, a leading sector-agnostic incubator, based in Gurugram. Huddle has also invested in Hapramp.

“Since inception, the Hapramp team has worked with speed, frugality and a larger vision of enhancing lives, through the simplicity of an app that holds a true value of rewards on the go, with a large notion of educating and entertaining their users,” said Sanil Sachar, founding partner, Huddle.

Hapramp sees itself as an idea lab working on the ideas that emerge from the confluence of the creative industry and information economy. At present, Hapramp is working on three ideas. These include GoSocial, a platform for budding creators to showcase their talent and build a community and 1Ramp.io, a rewarding social media platform powered by Steem Blockchain. It is also working on Asteria Protocol, a new standard for platforms to privately and securely treat public data.

No global tender for government procurement of up to Rs 200 crore

Source: The Financial Express, May 14, 2020

In a bid to promote domestic manufacturing in micro, small and medium enterprises, the Centre has decided that no global tender will be floated by the government or its agencies for procurement of goods and services if the value is less than Rs 200 crore. However, its impact on the SME sector will be assessed after detailed guidelines are released.

“Unless the finer details of the announcement are out, it is very difficult to analyse its impact. Because, there could be multiple items in one tender to increase the value above Rs 200 crore to fit the criteria for a global tender,” said Anil Bhardwaj, secretary general of Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises. Currently there is no financial limit fixed to float a global tender.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced: “Indian MSMEs and other companies have often faced unfair competition from foreign countries. Therefore global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement up to Rs 200 crore. The necessary amendments of General Financial Rules will also be done.”

This will be a step towards self-reliant India and will also support the ‘Make in India’ initiative, she said, but did not explain how it would benefit the MSMEs in particular. “Unless there is more than 25% reservation for SMEs in this process, it will not be helping the sector,” said Chandrakant Salunkhe, president of Mumbai-based SME Chamber of India. The government has reserved 25% for the MSME sector in all its purchases, including through the Government e-Marketplace portal.

Private equity firm Silver Lake to invest Rs 5,655.75 crore in Reliance Jio Platforms

Source: The Economic Times, May 04, 2020

NEW DELHI: US private equity firm Silver Lake will invest Rs 5,655.75 crore in Jio Platforms for a 1.15% stake at an equity value of Rs 4.90 lakh crore, a deal which came less than two weeks after Facebook announced a $5.7 billion investnment into the unit of Reliance Industries.

“Reliance Industries Limited and Jio Platforms Limited announced today that Silver Lake will invest Rs 5,655.75 crore into Jio Platforms. This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.90 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.15 lakh crore and represents a 12.5% premium to the equity valuation of the Facebook investment announced on April 22, 2020,” RIL and Jio in a joint statement said Monday.

Jio Platforms is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited focussed on next-generation technologies. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which provides connectivity platform to over 388 million subscribers, will continue to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jio Platforms.

In April, US social networking giant Facebook said it will acquire 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 43,574 crore, which according to analysts, would help reduce debt at RIL.

“…Silver Lake is one of the most respected voices in technology and finance. We are excited to leverage insights from their global technology relationships for the Indian Digital Society’s transformation,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said in a statement.

“…They (Jio Platforms) have brought extraordinary engineering capabilities to bear on bringing the power of low-cost digital services to a mass consumer and small businesses population. The market potential they are addressing is enormous…,” said Egon Durban, Silver Lake Co-CEO and Managing Partner.
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Reliance Industries and AZB & Partners and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsels.

“In the wake of the severe economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, globally and especially within India, this partnership with one of the most renowned tech-investors globally, Silver Lake, has special significance. Comprehensive digitisation will be a vital component of the revitalisation of the Indian economy,” Jio Platforms said in the statement.

“The investment by Silver Lake is underlines further testament to the world-class digital platform that Jio has built, powered by leading technologies, such as Broadband connectivity, Smart Devices, Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented and Mixed Reality and Blockchain,” it added.

Silver Lake has around $40 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital with a singular focus on the world’s great tech and tech-enabled opportunities. Its investments have included Airbnb, Alibaba, Ant Financial, Alphabet’s Verily and Waymo units, Dell Technologies, Twitter and numerous other global technology leaders.

Germany-based Freudenberg Group to invest ₹400 crore in Punjab

Source: LiveMint.com, Feb 18, 2020

Germany-based Freudenberg Group CEO Ulrich Kerber on Tuesday discussed with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh the modalities for investing ₹400 crore in the state’s automotive sector.

Amarinder assured Kerber of his government’s full support and cooperation to undertake expansion in the state, a government statement said here.

Kerber informed the chief minister that the group was in constant touch with ‘Invest Punjab’ team for identification of suitable site for the new project, which would soon be finalised.

He told Amarinder that Vibracoustic India, an arm of Freudenberg Group, is a leading supplier of NBH (noise, vibration and harshness) solutions for automotive industry, with a presence in 19 countries, and a market share of 18 per cent. Read the rest of this entry »

Indian Oil to invest Rs 500 crore in Karnataka

Source: IBEF.org, Feb 17, 2019

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), a public sector oil marketing major, plans to invest Rs 500 crore (US$ 71.54 million) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.

According to the company, the investment will be focused for setting up a terminal for receiving, storage and distribution of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) under a common user facility (CUF) spread across an area of about 120 acres.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Executive Director and State Head, IndianOil, Karnataka, Mr DL Pramodh and Principal Secretary Commerce and Industries, Mr Gaurav Gupta, and exchanged in the presence of Chief Minister Mr BS Yediyurappa, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Mr Pralhad Joshi, Minister of State for Railways Mr Suresh Angadi, and Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries Mr Jagadish Shettar at the recently-concluded ‘Invest Karnataka’ meet at Hubballi.

Henkel to invest Rs 400 crore on India expansion plan

Source: Financial Express, Feb 04, 2019

Mumbai: German company Henkel on Tuesday said it will invest 50 million euro for brownfield expansion activities in the adhesives business in India over the next five years. It announced the inauguration of a Rs 400 crore or 50 million euro facility at Kurkumbh near Pune on Tuesday built over the last four years. “What we have launched is phase one and two of the facility, we will be doing phase three and four for sure. At the end of five years, our cumulative investments at the facility will be Euro 100 million,” its board member and executive Vice President of Henkel Adhesive Technologies, Jan-Dirk Auris told reporters here.

The facility at Kurkumbh, the seventh manufacturing unit in India, is spread over 25 acres land and will be focused on making adhesives primarily for the Indian market and there will also be a bit of exports, its president for India, Shilip Kumar said. A company executive explained that there is extra land available within the same plot for expansion and it is also buying a 6.6 acre parcel located next to it for the expansion.

India is the third largest among the emerging markets for the USD 9-billion adhesives business globally, and the company said that in 2015, its domestic turnover had touched Rs 1,600 crore. Till now, the company has invested up to 400 million euro in India since entering the country in 1997, Auris said, adding that it employs close to 1,000 people. Kumar said the new facility employs 320 people directly and indirectly. He said the addressable market opportunity in India, where competes with global majors like 3M, is over USD 1 billion per annum. The biggest revenue segment is automobiles, followed by the packaging industry, he said, adding that the electronics segment is also catching up on sales.

Lohia Group invests Rs 100 cr in aerospace and defence plant in Kanpur

Source: Business Standard, Jan 27, 2019

Lucknow: The Lohia Group has invested nearly Rs 100 crore in a greenfield aerospace and defence hardware plant in Kanpur.

The Group expects the commercial production to begin from March 2020, company’s director Anurag Lohia told Business Standard today.

“We will produce composite parts for the aerospace and defence manufacturers at our plant, which is spread over about 10 acres of land in Kanpur industrial area,” he informed.

The plant, which is an export-oriented unit, will be positioned to showcase the ‘Make in India’ capabilities of Uttar Pradesh, especially in the defence manufacturing sector.

Lohia has already signed an offset memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel’s largest defence company for sourcing of structural parts and components for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and cargo aircraft. It is also in ‘advanced’ talks with a European firm for supplying military-grade carbon composites.

“While commercial production will commence in March 2020, we are currently manufacturing components and hardware for display at the Defence Expo (DefExpo) in Lucknow next month,” Lohia added.

The 11th edition of DefExpo, India’s premier biennial land, naval and internal security exhibition being held between February 5 and 8, will cover the entire spectrum of the country’s aerospace, defence and security interests.

Top defence manufacturers from the US, Russia, Australia, Israel and Germany are expected to participate in the event, which is being organised in Lucknow at the initiative of defence minister Rajnath Singh, who represents the constituency in Lok Sabha.

In his recent visit to Lucknow, Singh had said this edition of Expo would be the largest in terms of the exhibition area and number of national and international participants, apart from the value of MoU likely to be signed.

India is the world’s largest military hardware importer and among the top military spenders.

For meeting modernisation needs of the armed forces, India will acquire equipment worth $250 billion by 2027, however, the current delivery capacity of the domestic defence sector is merely $75-80 billion annually, indicating huge potential for indigenous industry.

“We identified composites as the cutting-edge technology that we wanted to bring to India.

This critical and strategic technology is for the world of tomorrow and we wanted India future ready,” Lohia noted.

In February 2019, the Group had acquired Israel-based Light & Strong Limited, Israel’s largest private producer of aerospace focused carbon fibre composite components for Israel’s aerospace and defence industry.

“In this process, we became the first Indian company to acquire and own an international composites company,” he informed adding Lohia had hired an Israeli composites expert for 2 years for executing the technology transfer from Israel to India. Under the ‘Skill India’ initiative, the company has recruited 30 people from UP and sent them for training at its Israeli facility for six months.

Japan’s NTT to invest estimated $1.5 billion in data centres in India

Source: Business Standard, Jan 22, 2019

Mumbai: Japanese tech major NTT on Wednesday said a significant part of its USD 7 billion global commitment for data centres business would be spent in India over the next four years.

The company also feels that there will be margin compression issues for the data centres business in India as capacity supply goes up along with an increase in competition, NTT’s country chief executive for global data centres and cloud infrastructure, Sharad Sanghi, told PTI.

In the last few months, a string of corporates, including the Adani Group, Hiranandanis and Reliance Industries have announced investments in data centres, on the back of regulatory moves like data sovereignity which makes it incumbent upon financial institutions to house their data locally.

“India is the fastest growing region for NTT and a substantial amount of the USD 7 billion commitment will be invested here,” Sanghi said.

When asked if the money will be equally split between the four regions the company operates in, Sanghi said the overall investments are bound to be shared proportionately, hinting that over USD 1.5 billion or nearly Rs 11,000 crore will come into India.

The company, whose revenues have been growing at 30 per cent every year, is targeting to more than double its capacity in the next three years through the investments, Sanghi said.

Its overall capacity, which stands at 1.2 million sq ft at present spread across Mumbai, Noida, Chennai and Bengaluru, will go up by 1.5 million sq ft, he said.

Read the rest of this entry »