Closure of ops in 13 circles cuts SSTL loss to Rs 845 cr

Updated: Aug 27 2013, 08:08am hrs
SSTL, the Indian telecom arm of Russian conglomerate Sistema, has reported a reduction in loss at R844.7 crore during the three-month period ended June 30, 2013 due to cutting down of operations in loss-making circles. The company had posted a loss of R1,180 crore during the same period a year ago. "There was a one-time loss reduction of around R469 crore due to closure of operations where returns were not very high. The finality of operations came after March auctions and we could relaunch our business in Q2," Sistema Shyam Teleservices' CEO Dmitry Shukov said.

Joe King to lead Audi India ops, Perschke back to HQ

German luxury carmaker Audi on Monday announced a top-level management change in its Indian operations, with Joe King being appointed as head effective September 1, 2013 in place of Michael Perschke, who is moving back to the headquarters. Perschke, who moved to Audi India in July 2010 and was instrumental in Audis success in the country, will move as head of network strategy and business management, international level at Audi AG, the company said in a statement.

BSNL may set up towers in naxal-infested areas

State-run BSNL and the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) are likely to sign an MoU by the end of this month for setting up mobile towers in states affected by naxal violence. "We will try to sign the MoU (with BSNL) by the end of this month," USOF administrator N Ravi Shankar said. The USOF was created under the National Telecom Policy, 1999, for providing access of telecom services to people in rural areas at affordable prices. BSNL has already floated a notice inviting tender for setting up 1,315 sites of 2G GSM network in left-wing extremist areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal for five years, which is extendable by two years.

TV makers expect new import levy to boost sales

With the imposition of 36% duty on imported TVs as baggage becoming effective from Monday, manufacturers, including Panasonic, Sony and Samsung, are hoping that their local sales in India will grow in double digits. "This will result in expanding profit margins and will lead to better profitability," Panasonic India MD Manish Sharma said. The jump in terms of volume for the industry in India will be approximately 1.5-2 million units and the value would be around R400 crore approximately, he added. Expressing similar views, another Japanese manufacturer, Sony, said local consumption will increase although the total market size would remain the same.

Free messaging apps spy on users, say hackers

Applications such as Google, Facebook, WeChat, Whatsapp and Truecaller are hacking into mobile phones and stealing data from them, hackers say. Participants at the Hackers Conference on Sunday said that free messaging applications are spying on users and are a threat to national security, as they effectively give the Chinese government not just access to our chat logs, voice samples and location, but also to each and every piece of data on our smartphones.

Infra faces manpower crunch: Assocham

The country's infrastructure sector is grappling with severe skilled manpower shortage, leading to project delays and cost overruns, industry body Assocham said Monday. "India is currently facing an annual paucity of over 10 lakh project management professionals. Moreover, employability is also a key factor in this regard as most of the already employed workers in infrastructure space have not received any vocational training," an Assocham survey report said.

Mercer appoints Pradeep Mukerjee as India CEO

Human resource and financial services consulting firm Mercer Consulting said it has appointed Pradeep Mukerjee as the country head and chief executive officer for India, with effect from September 2. Mukerjee joins Mercer from Confluence Coaching and Consulting, which he established in 2007 as the founding director. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey spanning over a period of more than 19 years, he held a number of leadership roles in India and overseas at Citigroup.

Dunkin Donuts: 80-100 more stores in 4 years

Food services firm Jubilant FoodWorks said Monday it will open up to 100 outlets of Dunkin' Donuts outlets in the next four years to grow the brand in India. "We will open 80-100 Dunkin' Donuts outlets in the next four years to grow the brand. We are identifying locations where we can open these new outlets," Jubilant FoodWorks CEO Ajay Kaul said. The company, which is also a franchise of Dominos Pizza, said the Dunkin' Donuts chain in India will be much smaller compared to the pizza chain. "There are 600 outlets of Dominos but only 10 of Dunkin' Donuts right now. Even when we open 80-100 more outlets, in terms of scale, Dunkin' Donuts will be a smaller brand in Jubilant FoodWorks' portfolio," he said.