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Archive for October, 2006

Kenichi on China model

Posted by g.e. on October 7, 2006

Some interesting perspectives from Kenichi Ohmae‘s recent talk in India.

Snippets from DNA India follows:
…in his address to the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, Ohmae said that Chinese capitalism is one of the most decentralised in the world.

This is how it works. The mayor of the city is held accountable for state-owned industries within his area and has to ensure that the city keeps growing at more than 7% every year. If the mayor misses this parameter two years in a row, Beijing intervenes and the mayor is fired.

.. he felt that decentralisation in India, to the level of the gram panchayat, was not working to India’s advantage, at least as far as attracting investment from abroad was concerned. To take care of this, India as a country needs a strategy, he felt.

… This is where India could gain, because the working population in the 15-34 age group will surpass that of China by 2014.

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Desi action in PE space

Posted by g.e. on October 7, 2006

Find Vinod Manahta’s other articles here.  A nice round up of Desi action in Private Equity here.

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The World on Tata

Posted by g.e. on October 7, 2006

Curiously the media reaction has been very positive on Tata‘s bid fo Corus. I shudder to think what the western media would have said of a similar deal for Corus by, say, Baosteel!

BW on the deal’s arithmetic:
Corus is the world’s ninth-largest steel producer by 2005 output and Tata is in 56th place, according to figures from the International Iron and Steel Institute.

A combined Tata-Corus entity would have an annual steel production of 25 million tons, making it the world’s fifth or sixth largest steel producer, according to a recent JPMorgan Chase & Co. report.

Last year, the company bought the 2 million-ton-a-year steelmaking operations of Singapore’s NatSteel Ltd. and another 40 percent stake in Thailand’s Millennium Steel PCL.

Outside of steel, the Tata hunt has bagged other quarry such as Britain’s Tetley Tea, U.S. telecom network operator Tyco Global, Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, and Boston’s Ritz Carlton hotel.

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FDI in Education

Posted by g.e. on October 7, 2006

An article on BW throws up some interesting stats on higher education:
Around 150,000 students are currently studying in the U.S., Britain, Australia, and elsewhere. An additional 100,000 depart every year to pursue foreign degrees at a cumulative cost in tuition and housing of about $4 billion on average every year.

Some 60% of India’s 1 billion-plus population is below the age of 25.

In the 17-to-23-year-old age group, only 11% (or 10.5 million students) sign up for higher education. Compare that to other developing economies: 13% in China, 31% in Philippines, 27% in Malaysia, and 19% in Thailand. New Delhi’s annual budget for higher education is $2 billion, or 0.37% of GDP, which also lags most other countries in the region.

Right now the picture isn’t promising. India’s educational system in rural areas is in desperate need of investment. Nationwide, only 15% of the 200 million-plus student population makes it to high school, and only half those students actually graduate.

And on market demand:
A study last year by McKinsey concluded that only 25% of India-trained engineers and 15% of the system’s finance and accounting professionals had the skill set to work for a multinational company.

McKinsey and the India IT industry group Nasscom have estimated that India has the potential to grab 50% of the estimated $110 billion global outsourcing market expected by 2010. But it will need a quality workforce to do so.

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Japan shows interest in rebuilding Nalanda University

Posted by g.e. on October 7, 2006

New Tang Dynsaty Television reports:
Japan has decided to take a hand in helping rebuild one of the most ancient universities in the world, the Indian university was standing at the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, 2,000 years ago. The university is expected to not only revive an ancient symbol for education but also help to enhance the eastern state of India where the university is.

Local reports said Japanese experts have already made the blue print for the proposed international university. The state government has already allocated 450 acres of land for the development of the university.

Kumar added that the proposed university would greatly enhance the state’s reputation.

The Nalanda University is of a different league. It used to be an international university when most Europeans were still living in jungles. It has its own glorious history. If we can establish an international university in the vicinity, it would be a worthwhile achievement.

The ancient university was ransacked by Muslim invader Bakhthiyar Khalji in 1193, a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. The University, which lasted for over 1700 years, in its zenith housed over 10,000 scholars from over 19 countries. But despite its rich legacy, Bihar sits at the bottom rung of development, with abysmally low level of literacy and high crime rate.

Links on Buddhism and Bihar:
Nirvana in Buddha’s land
Buddhism and Its Spread Along the Silk Road
British Library’s International Dunhuang Project
The Pali Text Society

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