Sunday, September 30, 2012

LuLu International Exchange opens 17th outlet in UAE

Dubai: In an effort to bring more and more convenience to its customers, LuLu International Exchange, the growing remittance and foreign exchange Company based out of Abu Dhabi, on Thursday opened its 17th branch in the UAE. The new branch, located on the busy Naif Road area in Dubai was inaugurated in the presence of Mr. Salim M.A, Director EMKE / Lulu Group.Mr. Adeeb Ahamed, CEO - LuLu Financial Group the holding company of Lulu Exchange speaking at the inauguration said, “we are extremely delighted to add one more branch to our growing network. Our emphasis on customer satisfaction with superior service has made us a favourite of customers, across the Emirates in just three years of us beginning our operations. We dedicate this branch to the service of our esteemed customers, who have always supported and encouraged us to deliver the best.”
LuLu International Exchange is a part of the larger LuLu Financial Group (LuLu FG), an emerging global Non-Banking Financial Group. With the opening of the new branch, the cumulative branch count of LuLu FG has now risen to 45. The group currently has operations in Oman, Kuwait and India apart from UAE.
“The Group is looking further to expand in Bahrain and Qatar by 2013 as a part of its expansion plans in the Arabian Gulf region and countries in the Asia Pacific region such as Australia, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia in the near future. We already have liaison offices in India and Bangladesh to facilitate smooth functioning of the group’s remittance business operations and provide the best services to its customers" emphasized Adeeb when asked about the group’s expansion plans.  
“With this branch in Naif Road, we intend to take money transfer services closer to our target customers in the Deira and nearby areas. It is and will be our ongoing commitment to enhance customer experience by identifying customer requirements and providing quick solutions. This branch will also handle the wholesale currency operations of the company”, he said.  
The senior officials of LuLu FG and other special invitees were present on the occasion.

About LuLu International Exchange:
The UAE operations were initiated in September 2009. Since then LuLu International Exchange has been constantly growing by garnering the trust of customers. The exchange house well known for its customer centric approach and value-laden service provides safe, reliable and quick services for its customers to send money to their loved ones across borders. Apart from sending money, customers can also get their foreign currency exchanged at the most competitive exchange rates clubbed with personalised customer service. LuLu International Exchange also offers value-added services such as NoL cards, Salik cards, Utility payments, National Bonds, Mawaqif etc. to its customers. LuLu International Exchange currently has 17 branches across UAE.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Manappat Infratech (P) Ltd” to implement various projects in Kerala.

Kochi, 14th September 2012: Manappat Group of Companies, a versatile business house with headquarters in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman and investments across United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and India has formed a new company in India namely “Manappat Infratech (P) Ltd” to implement various projects in Kerala. The Company is setting up  a Mixed use Commercial/Retail development project in 4.26 acres of prime land at the entry point  of  Perumbavoor Town, Ernakulam District on the Aluva- Munnar highway. Company has got the market study done for the project by world renowned French Real Estate consultant Jones Lang La Salle. The project envisages construction of 250,000 sq ft ++ built up area with facilities such as commercial space, office space, 3 screen multiplex, food court, Residential apartments, 1500+ people capacity convention centre and star rated hotel. The land has already been acquired for the project and cost of the project shall be in excess of Rs 250 Cr when completed. It is expected that construction shall commence by end of 2012 and the first phase of the project will go on stream in August 2014.
This mixed use development shall be the first of its kind in sub urban towns in Kerala with one of the biggest multi level car parking facilities to accommodate more than 1000 cars. The Architects for the project shall be M/s C. R. Narayana Rao & co of Chennai
The company is also in the process of establishing an SEZ based IT/ITES Park near Kozhikode Airport. It is learnt that, Govt of Kerala is coming up with a revised policy guidelines for private IT parks as part of Emerging Kerala. The company proposes to join hands with GoK for providing state of the art plug and play IT/ITES infrastructure in the State. An extent of 35 acres of land has already been acquired for the project and necessary formalities for getting SEZ status for the project is being initiated. The project will have built up space for IT/ITES companies, developed land with all basic infrastructure besides social infrastructure like residential complex, shopping mall, hotel and other auxiliary facilities. The Manappat Knowledge Park, as it is called will cost Rs 1000 crores plus when completed. The total build up area envisaged is around 800,000 sq.ft. in the first phase, which will give direct and indirect employment for around 1500 people.
Other projects: The group also has plans to set up the following projects for which land has already been in possession.

a.      Health care/ hospitality project with JV partners in an area of 12 acres of land in possession at Pukkattupadi, Cochin. Looking for JV partners
b.      Appropriate development in a 5 acres land adjacent to the Koratty Info Park. We are in discussion with Government to act as a  co-developer with Infopark.
c.       We also have land banks in various parts of the state which we want to develop along with the Govt. or with potential JV partners, for which we are on the lookout for partners with viable project ideas.
d.      To set up  an Automatic Roller Shutter factory in association with the world leader in that segment M/s Norpa of Spain.

FFor more details, visit

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kochi getting ready for Natural Gas distribution

KOCHI, 08th September 2012 :The first phase of the
RegasifiedLiquified Natural Gas (RLNG) distribution network,
the dream project of Kochi, is ready for inauguration. The 43 km
pipeline network built by GAIL India Ltd from PetronetRLNG’s
5 million metric tonne LNG Terminal, which is expected to be
commissioned by December, to the main industrial centresin the
city would be dedicated on Monday, September 10.

The important role that Natural Gas plays in any growing
economy has not yet been fully appreciated. Moreover, there
are many misgivings among the people about its transportation
through pipelines. So as to avoid incidents like the recent tanker
lorry explosion at Chala, Kannur that killed several people,
pipeline gas distribution project of GAIL stands up as a solution.
The gas pipeline network project stresses on the safety aspect
involved in the transportation of such fuels.

The laying of the pipeline from Puthuvypin to Udyogamandal and
from Udyogamandal to Ambalamugal has now been completed.
Companies like FACT, BSES, TCC, Nitta Gelattin, HOCL, BPCL
etc can now receive RLNG distributed through pipelines and use
it to reduce costs, becoming environment friendly.

In the next phase the gas distribution project can cover
households in the city. Cooking gas can be given easily to
homes like we distribute electricity and water. The project
ensure the supply of cooking gas to the people throughout

year without any disruption. The government would also be able
to save a major part of the subsidy that they give out on LPG
cooking gas and utilize it for other productive purposes.

GAIL has laid 30 inch pipeline from Puthuvypin to Udyogamandal.
From Udyogamandal to Ambalamugal it has laid 18 inch pipeline.
GAIL could successfully acquire land from the public to lay
the pipeline for about 6 kms in the first phase. The remaining
land in the 43 km stretch has been made available by different
institutions or companies like the Cochin Port Trust, International
Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT), the Indian Navy, the
Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Co-Operative Medical
College Kalamassery, HMT, FACT, CCK-ROU, Kalamassery
Municipality, Kinfra, Cochin Corporation and Smart City. All these
institutions agreed to the projects implementation after they were
convinced about the safety of the project.

Gas pipelines are generally laid in underground. A minimum
soil cover of 1 meter from the top of pipeline is ensured. While
crossing waterbodies like the rivers and lakes in and around
Kochi, the pipelines are placed at 3 to 20 metre depth from the
lowest point of the river bed. The agricultural land where the
pipelines are laid can be used again for farming.

ROUis usually acquired in 30 meters width for laying the pipeline.
But in Kerala, this has been reduced to 20 meters.

GAIL will acquire only the right to use of the land for the project.
The land owner will retain his ownership rights and can sell or
retain the land at his own will. While acquiring the right to use the
land, GAIL will pay as per the P&MP Act.

Natural Gas has several benefits when compared to LPG. It
is safer. In case of a leak, LPG being heavier than air, it will
stagnate in low lying areas. On the other hand, Natural Gasbeing
lighter than air, itwill disperse into the atmosphere in case of a
leak. This will reduce the chances of an explosion substantially.

The work on the 505 km pipeline from Kochi to Mangalore will
start soon. When this is completed 7 districts from Ernakulam
to Kasargod will benefit from the project. GAIL will start 26 SV
station (in 50 cent each) and 5 IP station (in 1.25 acre each).
This trunk Pipeline will facilitate the city gas distribution in Kochi,
Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur etc.

If the vehicles in our state start using natural gas, pollution would
greatly be reduced. In many cities in the country like Delhi/
Mumbai/Indore/Ahmedabad the use of natural gas in vehicles has
been made very successful.

RLNG will be made available to NTPC project at Kayamkulam
through pipelines that shall be laid along the seabed. The
agreement with KSEB on this will be signed soon. Brahmapuram,
Cheemeni projects can also look forward to using RLNG as fuel.

The project will lead to major economic growth of the state by
creating new jobs and generating revenues to the tune of Rs 1000
crore to the state exchequer. The state of Gujarat is earning Rs
3000 Crores per annum as Cenvat from its Dahej LNG terminal.
It will also avoid accidents like cylinder blasts and tanker lorry

Natural Gas is the fuel of tomorrow. Kochi is becoming a
model for the rest of the state to follow. When the first phase is
inaugurated the people of Kochi will participate in yet another

development initiative of the state. It is a green energy backbone
for the state.

Mahindra Adventure kick starts Second Season of ‘Spice Challenge 2012’

One of India’s most competitive and scenic TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) rallies with over Rs. 3 lakh in total prize money

·         Spice Challenge 2012 held under the ‘Mahindra Adventure’ umbrella brand as part of the Challenge series
·         Motorsport event with the prize money worth Rs. 3 lakh on offer
·         Mahindra vehicles will traverse the challenging route of Cochin-Munnar-Alleppy- Poovar
·         In its second edition, more than 700 kms will be traversed in 3 days
·         All set to challenge the Kerala monsoon and provide unlimited fun for enthusiasts

Cochin, September 5, 2012,: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), India’s leading SUV manufacturer, kick starts the Spice Challenge 2012 in association with Mercury Himalayan Explorations. It promises to be one of the most scenic and competitive TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) rallies with big prize money on offer. Currently in its second season, the rally will see participation from over 40 Mahindra vehicles that would take on the challenging route of more than 700 kms in 3 days.
Held under the Mahindra Adventure umbrella, it is part of the Challenge series of motorsport events that were launched last year. A unique concept, as the name suggests, TSD rallies are not only about speed. The driver and the navigator are expected to keep track of time in tandem with the distance covered.
The Spice Challenge 2012 promises to be one of India’s most competitive and scenic TSD rallies, which will start from Cochin. The rally will then make its way through the green rolling tea estates of Munnar, the serene backwaters of Alleppy ending up at Poovar. Enroute, the participants will navigate highways, B-roads, rough road stretches, while experiencing the magnificent monsoons and spices gardens as a backdrop. The participants also get to experience God’s own country, whilst staying at authentic houseboats.
With total prize money worth Rs. 3 lakh on offer, this event is being held exclusively for Mahindra vehicle owners. The event has also been duly approved by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).

Speaking on the occasion, Vivek Nayer, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “In keeping with our promise of providing adrenaline pumping challenges, we are pleased to unleash the second season of Mahindra Adventure Spice Challenge 2012. This challenge promises to be one of the most scenic & competitive TSD rallies, that will leverage the changing aspirations and lifestyle of upwardly mobile Indians. The journey also aims to celebrate Incredible India as one experience’s God’s Own Country.”
The Mahindra Spice Challenge route is chalked out by the Mahindra Adventure team in association with IMSC (Indian Motor Sport Club), while the ‘With You Hamesha’ service team will ensure that participants can enjoy the rally unhindered.
About Mahindra Adventure

A unique concept to showcase the off-roading capabilities of Mahindra vehicles, Mahindra Adventure will function as an umbrella brand with a series of adventure and motor sports events organised under its banner.

Mahindra Adventure will unleash a series of events throughout the year such as the popular off-roading event, the Great Escape and several Challenges, which are sporting events in keeping with the company’s promise of providing adrenalin pumping challenges. Other events include the Multi-Day Escapes, such as the Monastery Escape (10 days) & Royal New Year Escape (6 days), the Tri- Nation Escape (Bhutan, India & Nepal- 14 days), Authentic Goa (4 days) & Wild Escape (6 days).

Mahindra Adventure will also enter official teams in some of India’s most popular motorsports events including the Dakshin Dare, Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm. For more information please visit

Expressions come to lifeat Le Méridien Kochi

Kochi 6th September 2012:In tune with Le Méridien brand’s passion towards art and architecture, Le Méridien Kochi played host to “Expressions”, a seven day art camp at the hotel earlier this year. 10 participating artists from India came together to express an assortment of thoughts onto their canvas. The exhibition of the completed paintings from the camp will be inaugurated by Dr. K. S. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Kerala Public Service Commissionon 8th September, 2012 at 6 pm at The Art Corridor, Le Méridien Kochi.

The corridor will adorn the concluded works of Anil P.G, Babu K.G, Bindhi Rajagopal, K.A Devadas, Dhara Mehrotra, Falghuni Bhatt Sanghvi, Francis Xavier, T. J. KajalCharankatt, Prathapan G and Wilfred K. P.The event and exhibition is jointly organized by Palette People and Le Méridien Kochi.

“This venture supports emerging and talented artists and is also in tune with Le Méridien brands passion toward art and architecture. The Art Corridor itself is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to support emerging artists and our art camp was one such attempt to provide a platform for deserving talent”, said Mr. Cyril P. Jacob, Curator, Art Corridor Kochi.

The collaborative camp had set stage for the artists to exchange ideas and laid a great opportunity to learn and improve. Each had selected different themes that had inspired them the most. The architecture of the hotel and the scenic beauty that embraced the state also paved way for creative inspirations. The exhibition will conclude on 30th September.

About Le Méridien Kochi

Le Méridien Kochi has been regarded as one of Kochi’s most exclusive addresses since its grand launch in April 2001. This prestigious landmark houses 5 floors of luxurious accommodation for international business and leisure travelers. The 223 spacious rooms and suites, most with breathtaking views over the manicured gardens and the backwaters, are outfitted to meet guest's modern needs yet still retain the elegance and warmth of Cochin's heritage.

Le Méridien Kochi is managed by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies. Le Méridien brand mission is to provide its guest not only a great stay but an active discovery that they themselves control. Their stay with Le Méridien will inspire them to be creative by giving them a new perspective.

Le Méridien creates a feeling of personal growth, enrichment and a sense of community and affiliation beyond delivering a beautiful design, an accommodating room and a comfortable bed.

regards & thanks,

Pete’s lines up the super cars of Kerala, on Pete’s Super Sunday

The first super car show, Petes Super Sunday is happening on 9th September 2012 at Cochin. Pete’s Automotive Products Pvt. Ltd is organising this exciting rally of the super cars. World’s most powerful and fastest cars are lining up for the first time in Kerala says Peter Chacko,  Managing Director of Pete’s.
The drive will begin at morning 6 AM from the Pete’s Vytila showroom where the flagging off will happen . The cars will reach Athirapally via Cochin City, Alwaye, Angamaly and Chalakudy. The rally will end at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor .
Most of the cars that are participating in this show are rare ones like Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F 430, Audi R S 5, Audi R 8, Porsche 911, BMW M 3, BMW C 4, Jaguar X F R, Mercedes SL 55 AMG, BMW 640 D, Bentley Flying Spur, Subaru Empresa, Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG, Nissan 350 C, Porsche Boxter etc. All the participating cars in the Pete’s Super Sunday have been Pete’s tuned to provide extra power and speed.
Pete’s automotive; the national brand is the leading name in India for custom tuning and performance products. The Pete’s performance shop is located at the premises adjacent to the International Hotel on the M G Road, at Cochin. Pete’s provides custom tuning and state of art tuning technology to cater to the requirements of the new age customers and cars. The car detailing shops in strategic tie up with the detailing pioneers of the world Smart Wax, USA is another venture of Pete’s.
Pete’s already has presence in 42 cities through dealership network. The customer support help line +91 9850 88444/ Toll free 1800 425 88444 provide 24x7 service to all customers.
The Pete’s Super Sunday is being organised in tie up with Smart Drive Auto Magazine. Pete’s Super Sunday C O C Promod Thevannoor, Super Car owner Deepak Narendran, Smart Drive Magazine Chief Editor Biju N Nair was present at the Press conference. 


07 September 2012, Kochi: In view of the reservations and misgivings emanating from several quarters about ‘EMERGING KERALA’ and its objectives, this is to present the position of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the leading industry organization of India. 

CII has been associated with the Government of Kerala in organizing ‘Emerging Kerala’ and there is a very clear understanding of the purpose of this initiative. Emerging Kerala is not an event, it is an initiative of Government of Kerala to position Kerala and its strengths rightly in a globally connected world, and the event on 12-14 Sep in Kochi is the first step of this initiative where global leaders - business leaders, politicians, ambassadors, academicians, entrepreneurs, et al will discuss and debate opportunities and challenges that Kerala presents. The state has tremendous potential as an investment destination, most of which are not known to the outside world. The event will help showcase the strengths and capabilities of Kerala. The three day event will serve as a platform for Government officials, thought leaders, industrialists, foreign missions and other key influencers to meet, discuss and debate how these strengths and capabilities can be leveraged to make Kerala an investment destination of choice.

“We need to redefine the position and role of Kerala in a globally connected new generation world. Emerging Kerala is a wonderful opportunity for this. Thanks to the efforts of successive Governments, we lead other states in social development. A similar effort is required to promote the economic prosperity of Kerala. The only way to do this is to play to our strengths and bring in investments that are sustainable in the long run. Investments provide employment opportunities to the educated youth of the Kerala. The common man will also stand to benefit through increased economic activity. Emerging Kerala is an important step in that direction. We urge all political parties to shed differences and come together to support this important event” said
Mr VK Mathews, Chairman CII Kerala   

Regarding the apprehensions about the Emerging Kerala, Mr Mathews said “No company will take a decision to invest in Kerala because Government of Kerala has conducted a 2 days event. Companies will study the feasibility and sustainability of projects/ programs thoroughly before investment decisions are taken. Similarly, no company will be able to go ahead with any project without prior approvals from the Government. So, there is no need for any apprehensions at this stage.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


To coincide with International Literacy Day on September 8th, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has collaborated with The Asia Foundation to provide 15,000 books for distribution to schools and universities in the Southern States of India. 

Under its Books for Asia program, The Asia Foundation will celebrate International Literacy Day in 10 countries this year with a range of literacy-promoting events, from short-story writing competitions to teacher training sessions. It will also provide more than 120,000 books as part of a month-long Storytime in Asia campaign, which will benefit 1,700 schools serving 2 million children across 17 countries.

More than 500 million people in Asia cannot read or write. The Asia Foundation believes in the power of education to transform lives and inspire positive, long-lasting change. With Books for Asia’s donation of nearly one million books a year to libraries across Asia, the program combats educational disadvantages faced by the poor, minorities, and women of the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Pradipta K. Mohapatra, Chairman, CSR Sub-Committee, CII - Southern Region, “The association between The Asia Foundation and CII has been very rewarding for children studying in underprivileged schools in India as well as deeply satisfying for both our organizations.”

According to Nick Langton, The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in India, “The Books for Asia program is an exceptional opportunity to provide books from American publishers to underprivileged schools in India that otherwise could not afford them. In recent years, the Foundation has donated over 60,000 books to schools and educational institutions in India through a partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).”