Friday, December 28, 2012

Federal Bank revises interest rates on resident and NRI deposits

Mumbai- Federal Bank revised interest rates on rupee deposits from resident and non-resident customers. The bank has increased rate to 9.00% on maturity period of one year to three years. The extant rate of interest on deposits of ‘above 1 year to 3 years’ maturity bucket is 8.75%. For resident depositors, rate of interest for deposits has been increased in the ’91 days to 119 days’ band to 7.50% from 7.00%.    Revised rates of interest for resident customers for other maturity periods are as follows:

TenureInterest                       Rate

7 days to 45 days                  5.00%
46 days to 90 days                7.00%
120 days to 180 days            7.00%
181 days to less than 1 year   8.50%
Above 3 years                       8.75%

Resident Senior Citizens are eligible for additional interest of 0.50%. For NRI Term Deposits, for maturities from one year to three years the rate offered is 9.00%. Above three years the rate is 8.75%  The above rates are effective from December 24, 2012.

Sobha bags two prestigious CNBC Real Estate Awards (2012)

Company wins the Most Reliable Real Estate Developer Award – Consumer Choice

Sobha Elite honoured with the Best Residential Project

Bangalore, December 24, 2012: Realty major Sobha Developers Ltd. has been bestowed with two

valuable recognitions at the CNBC Awaaz Real Estate Awards, which were held on December 22, 2012, at

Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai.

Sobha was declared the Most Reliable Real Estate Developer as voted by consumers at the national

level. One of the company’s projects, Sobha Elite, won the Best Residential Project in the mid segment

category (Rs. 35 lakh – Rs. 1 crore, with 70% or more completion) at the city level.

The award was received by Mr. Ramakrishnan P., Deputy Managing Director, Sobha Developers

Ltd., from Shri Ajay Maken, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. The award for

Sobha Elite was received by Ms. Shilpika Grover, AVP – National Sales, Sobha Developers Ltd.

Expressing his happiness on the receipt of the awards, Mr. Ramakrishnan P., said, “Our customers are the

heart of our operations. I would like to take this opportunity to heartily thank each and every one of them for

their kind patronage. We, at Sobha, pledge to continue enhancing customer experience through world-class

quality and impeccable service.”

Commenting on the achievement, Mr. J.C. Sharma, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Sobha

Developers Ltd., said, “The ‘Most Reliable Real Estate Developer Award’ means a lot to us. Behind this

success are well designed systems and processes that incorporate transparency, a value-driven and customer

centric approach and reliability – all in line with the best global practices. We take it as a challenge to

successfully meet the constantly growing demand for real estate through quality work and timely deliveries.

We will continue to follow the path of perfection. I thank all our stakeholders for their continued support.”

CNBC Real Estate Awards are the most respectable ones in the real estate sector. These awards aim to

recognise and appreciate leading developers who have played a vital role in the growth of the sector with

their high quality projects. This year the focus of the jury was primarily on efficient project management and

measuring customer satisfaction.

Over the years, Sobha has metamorphosed into one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the

country. The Most Reliable Developer Award is an endorsement of the Company’s focus on every minute

detail, innovation, fair play, ethics and community care.

The apartments of Sobha Elite, located in the heart of West Bangalore, marry quality and aesthetics for a

distinctive lifestyle. Spread over an area of 20.3 acres, the 3BHK units are range from 1,651 to 1,789 sq. ft.

The project has an excellent host of amenities and a serene atmosphere through its ample green spaces.

About Sobha Developers Ltd.: A Truly Global Indian Company

Founded in 1995, Sobha Developers Ltd., a Rs. 15 Billion company, is the only backward integrated real

estate player in the country. It means the Company has all the key competencies and in-house resources to

deliver a project from its conceptualisation to completion.

Sobha is primarily focused on residential and contractual projects. The Company’s residential projects

include presidential apartments, villas, row houses, luxury, super luxury & moderately priced apartments

and plotted development. In all its residential projects the Company lays strong emphasis on environmental

management, water harvesting and high safety standards.

On the contractual side, the Company has constructed a variety of structures for corporates including offices,

convention centres, software development blocks, multiplex theatres, hostel facilities, guest houses, food

courts, restaurants, research centres, and club houses.

Sobha’s superior quality execution capability is its core strength. As of September 30, 2012, in the past 17

years since its inception, Sobha has completed 81 real estate projects and 221 contractual projects covering

about 53.73 million sq. ft. The Company currently has 39 ongoing residential projects aggregating to 24.54

million sq. ft. of developable area and 17.35 million sq. ft. of super built-up area, and 41 ongoing contractual

projects aggregating to 9.93 million sq. ft. under various stages of construction.

Aptech conducts CMAT for the third time

Mumbai, December 28, 2012: Aptech, the global leader in training & learning services, is conducting
the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) mandated by The All India Council for Technical
Education (AICTE) for the third time. The registrations commenced on November 1, 2012 and will
close on January 2, 2013.

With the rise in the number of centres from the first season, CMAT has witnessed great success
so far as online testing has gained tremendous traction in the recent past. The students derive a
tremendous benefit from online testing as it is easier to attempt, less of a logistical exercise, the
results are quick and overall it gets rid of duplication of efforts by them. They can apply to multiple
colleges with just one test.

Mr. SS Mantha, Chairman, AICTE said, “This format allows students to save time, energy and money
by institutionalizing online testing. This also saves hassles for the colleges by facilitating one time
testing for various colleges put together. We are happy to innovate from the conventional pattern of
such examinations and drive it successfully.”

Commenting on the initiative, Aptech CEO & MD, Mr Ninad Karpe said, “We have been successful
in conducting a glitch free examination for the last two seasons and are confident that the
upcoming test would be similar. We take maximum effort to ensure the online testing right from the
registration to the attempt and the results are done in a cohesive manner. Technology is a vital part
of the whole spectrum and our processes give us an added edge.”

Aptech commenced its education and training business in 1986 and has globally trained over 6.5 million
students. Aptech is an ISO 9001:2008 organization and the first IT Training and Education company to get
this certification for Education Support Services in 1993. Aptech has presence in more than 40 emerging
countries through its two main streams of businesses – Individual training and Enterprise Business. As a
leader in career education, it has over 1300+ centers of learning across the world.

Under Individual Training, Aptech offers career and professional training through its Aptech Computer
Education, Arena Animation & Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (both in Animation &
Multimedia), Aptech Hardware & Networking Academy, Aptech Aviation & Hospitality Academy and
Aptech English Learning Academy brands. Enterprise business includes Content Development (Aptech
Learning Services), Training and Assessment Solutions for Corporates & Institutions (Aptech Training
Solutions, Aptech Assessment & Testing Solutions).

GAIL issues crop compensations in Kerala

GAIL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT has initiated the issue of  crop compensations to the land owners hin Kerala and the first set of crop compensations have been handed out to the land owners of Poyya village of Kodungallur taluk in Thrissur.

The Deputy Collector Sri. M Anil Kumar along with Sri. M S Sreedharan (Revenue head Spread I Thrissur) handed over the first cheque for Rs 377520/- to Sri. Benny Alex a resident of Poyya Village.

Federal Bank grants more than 24lakh shares under ESOS 2010

Mumbai: Federal Bank has offered Employee Stock Options for the second time since the Bank implemented the Employee Stock Options Scheme in 2011. The grant in 2011 was at Rs. 420.65 and at Rs. 474/- in 2012. The unique feature of the Scheme is that it covers all permanent employees of the Bank, which means from the junior most award staff till the Managing Director get an opportunity to own the Banks stock.  While the spirit of the scheme is to enable all employees to become proud owners of the Bank in which they work, it is worth noting that the market has displayed immense faith in the Bank’s performance and its potential to grow and remain profitable.

The maximum permissible number of options that can be granted as per shareholder approval is 5% of the paid up equity share capital of the Bank in aggregate, presently equal to 85,51,650 equity shares

At the time of reporting the share price of Federal Bank stock stood at Rs.542. It may also be noted the Bank that had crossed the landmark of having over a 1000 branches in the country in October 2012, has recently crossed another landmark in having over 10000 employees on the roles of the Bank.  The ESOS is seen as part of the Change Management process, for the Bank to successfully participate in the highly competitive employment market of the Banking Sector. The senior management of the Bank realizes that employees enjoying proprietary interest in the institution in which they work makes them naturally loyal to the establishment and this leads to retention of talent.  

About Federal BankFederal Bank is a leading Private Sector Bank with a branch network of 1023 branches and 1,135 ATMs spread across the country. The Bank had total business of Rs. 86,693 crore as at March 31, 2012. It has Net Worth of Rs. 5,706 crore as at the end of fiscal 2011-12. It recorded net profit of Rs. 776.79 crore during the last financial year. Federal Bank has its Representative Office at Abu Dhabi that serves as a nerve centre for NRI customers in the UAE. Federal Bank is transforming itself, keeping its principles intact, into an organization that offers services beyond par. It has a well defined vision for the future as a guidepost to its progress.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

IT Mission’s ITES Habitat Centre keeps on fulfilling its mandate; Stage-II facility opens today

When Kerala State IT Mission set up ITES Habitat Centre in 2002, as a training and facilitation centre for
IT/ITES sector, young entrepreneurs made a beeline for it.

Availability of basic infrastructure facilities at nominal costs was the key. Now Kerala State IT Mission has
developed the Stage-II of the facility, which opens up opportunities for more entrepreneurs at the ITES
Habitat Centre. ITES Habitat Centre functions at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium complex,
Kaloor, right at the heart of Kochi.

Out of 25845 sq. ft. space now available with Kerala State IT Mission at Jawaharlal Nehru International
Stadium Complex E -sector, 14763 sq. ft. space has been already developed in 2002 and 2006 which
has been apportioned into cubicles of size ranging from 100 to 700 sq. ft. to accommodate small to
medium companies.

The newly developed Stage-II facility consists of 23 independent cubicles of size ranging from 100
to 500 sq. ft. to accommodate Small /Start up IT/ITES units .The estimated project cost for stage 2,3
development is estimated to be Rs. 237 lakhs.

ITES Habitat Centre is directly managed by Kerala State IT Mission and a Mission Coordinator is stationed
at the centre. The structure is designed in such a way as to operate the centre in a self-sustainable way
without government budgetary support.

Presently, more than 50 successful enterprises employ 300 people at this centre. With the Stage-II
commissioning 23 new IT/ITES units employing up to 150 people will be soon operational at the centre.
Once the total expansion work is completed it is estimated that this centre can employ 500 persons in
IT/ITES with 65 independent IT units.

Unlike major IT parks which demands huge investment to start a business, a young entrepreneur with
4 employees can straightaway start a business paying a paltry amount as licensee fee per month to
KSITM at ITES Habitat Centre. ITES Habitat Centre is an excellent example of an early investment by the
government that continues to pay for itself in terms of job creation and tax base appreciation.

The common services such as Front Office, Reception, Security & Maintenance services, Electric
Power with Back-up DG Supply, Air Conditioning, Housekeeping, Conference Hall, Dining Hall and
other common utilities are managed by KSITM, thereby making it the ultimate destination of a small
entrepreneur who has to arrange only the internet facility on his own, apart from paying the license fee.
Public parking is available a few hundred feet from the building.

Surely, Kerala State IT Mission’s initiatives like the ITES Habitat Centre work as catalysts in fostering and
developing more IT units in the state.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ThinkLABS conducts the 5th All India Robotic School competition at IIT, Mumbai

 Team from Aura Edify Global School,Kerala and Wisdom High School, Nasik were announced  winners in the junior and the senior category after competing with 150 other teams

The top two teams received a cash prize of INR 50,000 each

Kochi,December 4,2012: ThinkLabs Technosolution Pvt Ltd, today conducted TRICKS 2012 at IIT Mumbai for over 600 students from across the country. This is the 5th all India robotics competition open for any school children. For TRICKS 2012, 150 teams from across the country participated in the competition that spanned over 2 days. After a gruelling competition, Aura Edify Global School and Wisdom High School from Nasik were announced winners for the junior and the senior category respectively.  The winners were chosen by a panel of judges on the basis of not only on how well they were able to make their robots perform but also on their presentation skills and team spirit.

The top teams from each category received a cash prize of INR 50,000 each. The teams at the second and third positions under each category received a cash prize of INR 20,000 and INR 10,000 respectively. There were cash prizes given for best algorithm, best design and best presentations as well.

The theme for this year’s ‘TRICKS2012’ was ‘Mars Exploration Mission ’. Keeping to the theme, teams were given a task chart, designed to ensure that the robots would be able to help in understanding Mars, its weather cycle, soil structure and hence facilitate future missions.

Said Gagan Goyal, CEO, ThinkLabs, “We at ThinkLabs look forward to this competition every year. The enthusiasm of the children and their improving performance each year is almost like a validation to our theory of hand on learning and training. With ever increasing competition in the academic arena, such competition also motivates children to push their boundaries in an enjoyable fashion and we are very happy that the schools and parents are encouraging them to participate.”
Said Professor Amarnath, ““Robotics as a subject is a combination of creativity, application and science in our daily lives. I feel, as teachers, by helping a student learn robotics at an early stage, we are expanding their horizon and opening their minds to million possibilities he /she can create.”

This year, like before, the teams were divided into two groups on the basis of their age. Any student from 1st to - 5th   standard could participate in the junior school category and students from 6-12th standard could participate in the senior school category. Each group was given a given a pre- defined task list, based on which they create and plan their strategies for the competition. The task list acts as a broad guideline and a student is free to experiment along those lines.

For the current year, TELE MARS, the task for the junior team, was to build a remote controlled Mars explorer. At this level, the student was expected to build a robust machine which travels different terrain, pick and place objects, climb inclines and so on. The key judging criterion was to build robots that can be easily controlled by remote control.

AUTO MARS, the task for the senior team, was to build robots that follow a line and can intelligently perform various tasks on the way. The important criterion was its ability to use sensor and make decisions. Reliability and repeatability of the robot were crucial in the judging process.

On the 1st day of the competition, the teams had a qualifying round. The objective of the qualifying round is typically not to eliminate but to help the student identify and significant flaw in their design and assembling. On the 2nd day, the teams made their final presentation to the ThinkLabs judges and the final teams were selected on the basis of the performance and consistency of the robots and over all team presentation.

ThinkLabs started TRICKS in 2007 with the intention of enhancing the interest of students and also the teachers in robotics. Over the years and annual competition has become a platform where students from various schools come and display their learning and enthusiasm on the subject. ThinkLabs plans to take the robotic competition to other countries as well in due course of time.

About ThinkLabs:

ThinkLABS is a IIT-alumnus venture in the field of hands-on science and technology education catering to schools and colleges. Since its inception in 2006, the company has grown significantly and today partners with over 200 schools and 40 colleges across India.

ThinkLABS  world-class award winning innovative programs introduces school students to hands-on science education through robotics and science implements. Cutting edge programs in embedded systems and robotics and is aimed at preparing college students for careers in the new frontiers of technology.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mahindra Two Wheelers registers 26% growth in November

Growth driven by scooter range which sports Mahindra’s new, advanced Z-
Series engine

Mumbai, December 03, 2012: Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd (MTWL), a part of the US $ 15.9 billion
Mahindra Group, continued to build its presence in the two wheeler segment.

The company’s sales in November grew by 26% over last year. November 2012 sales were 10,082
units. Cumulative sales from April to November 2012 stood at 79,910 units.

Viren Popli, Executive Vice President – Strategy and Market Development, Mahindra Two
Wheelers said, “There is increasing customer preference for our new range of scooters – the
Mahindra Duro DZ and the Mahindra Rodeo RZ. Our scooters now come with Mahindra’s advanced
Z-Series engine that delivers both 125 cc power and great on-road mileage. These scooters continue
Mahindra’s legacy of providing powerful, reliable, stylish vehicles that are designed specifically for
Indian roads. Our customers are experiencing the benefits of Mahindra’s strong automobile expertise
and realise that behind each of our scooters is the trust and reassurance of Mahindra.”

The cumulative sales for the company have crossed a landmark figure of four lakh units.

Mahindra 2 Wheelers’ range of powerful 125cc scooters cater to distinct consumer segments. The
Mahindra Duro DZ is positioned as a `ROMBA SOLID’, family scooter. The new Mahindra Rodeo RZ
with its very innovative, contemporary features is sure to enthuse young, modern couples. The Flyte
is the Indian woman’s two-wheeler of choice.

About The Mahindra Group

The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive
rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiencies.

A USD 15.9 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than
155,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic
growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and
vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace,
components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment,
logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheeler industries.

In 2012, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful
listed companies in the world.

Forbes recognizes Kerala company – AVT Natural – as one among 200 best companies in Asia Pacific

Mr. Ajit Thomas, Chairman, AVT Natural Products Ltd receives the award from Mr. Christopher Forbes, Vice Chairman, Forbes Media LLC. Seen in the picture is Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister, Commerce & Trade, Government of Singapore and Mr. Steve Leonard, Senior Vice President, EMC2, USA
Kochi, 3rd December 2012: AVT Natural Products Ltd, Cochin has been recognized by Forbes as one among 200 best companies from Asia-Pacific region with under $1billion revenue. The award function held in Singapore on 29th November, 2012 to honour the Companies of this elite list was attended by dignitaries from around the world. Mr. Ajit Thomas, the Chairman of AVT Natural and Mr. M.S.A. Kumar, the company’s Managing Director represented AVT Natural in this grand function. Mr. Ajit Thomas received the prestigious award from Mr. Christopher Forbes, the Vice-Chairman of Forbes Media LLC.

The list published on August 18, 2012 is based on the financial data of the preceding 12 months. AVT Natural with US$ 47 Million (Rs 260 Crores) Sales, US$ 11 Million (Rs 60 Crores) Net Income and US$ 52 Million (Rs 290 Crores) Market Capitalization, is one among 23 companies from India to find a place in this esteemed list. AVT Natural is part of AV Thomas Group of companies based in South India.

The list recognises the importance of small and medium enterprises in powering the Asia-Pacific economy. It comprises of companies from China & Hong Kong (72), India (23), Taiwan (23), South Korea (16), Malaysia(14), Australia(14), Vietnam(8), Indonesia(7), Thailand(6), Japan(4), Singapore(4), Philippines(3), Pakistan(3), Sri Lanka(2), and New Zealand(1).

The final list of 200 awardees was selected from a universe of 15000 companies from Asia Pacific region. Only publicly traded profitable companies with revenue greater than $5 million but less than $1 billion were considered for the list. It was further trimmed down based on business performance indicators like sales and earnings growth as well as the return on equity delivered in the preceding 12 months and over three years. The list was further scrutinized to remove companies which are thinly traded on the stock exchanges and those facing accounting or major legal troubles.

To quote Forbes: “A weak global economy has not slowed down these companies from Asia-Pacific. Against the backdrop of a fragile global economy, the makeup of our Best Under A Billion demonstrates why small and medium-size enterprises are considered essential to Asia-Pacific.”

(Enclosed Photograph: Mr. Ajit Thomas, Chairman, AVT Natural Products Ltd receives the award from Mr. Christopher Forbes, Vice Chairman, Forbes Media LLC. Seen in the picture is Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister, Commerce & Trade, Government of Singapore and Mr. Steve Leonard, Senior Vice President, EMC2, USA.)