India at Davos

Davos | Updated: Jan 27 2014, 08:56am hrs
As bitcoins and other virtual currencies become more popular, prominent banker Uday Kotak says central banks, including RBI, would have to take a hard look at this phenomenon and take a decision on the future of such currencies. "My view is that bitcoin is in very early days and it is an artificial currency. But whether it is creating new money, whether it is sustainable, whether it would survive, I have many questions about it.

"People do not understand it well enough and I believe that for it to be a really widely used currency, it has to be simple," Kotak said in an interview.

Tech Mahindra bullish on hiring, headcount to cross 1 lakh soon

With a bullish outlook on the Indian IT story and its own hiring plans, Mahindra group's technology venture Tech Mahindra said its headcount will cross the 1-lakh level in about a year, from close to 85,000 at present. "I don't think there has been any stagnation in hiring activities in the Indian IT space. Seven years ago, we were six-seven thousand people and today we are 85,000," Tech Mahindra vice chairman Vineet Nayyar said.

Asked when Tech Mahindra ould reach the 1-lakh mark, he said: "Its a matter of a year or so. I don't see it as a very big deal."

Nayyar, who was here for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, said in an interview that India's IT story is not over, but its nature would evolve depending on the changing needs.

Hinduja group unveils plan to expand base in Africa

NRI business family Hinduja group is looking at huge expansion plans in the African region across diverse sectors including automotive, technology and energy. "Hinduja group is expanding in a major way. We are expanding into Africa and there have been many meetings here with leaders from African countries, including Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa to explore business opportunities in those places," the group's Europe Chairman Prakash Hinduja said. Hinduja said the areas being looked at for expansion include exports of Ashok Leyland vehicles to various African countries in a big way. Part of the Hinduja group, Ashok Leyland is a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India.

Indian economic growth prospects good, says Deutsche Banks Jain

Expecting economic growth in India to gain momentum by next year, Deutsche Bank's Indian-origin chief Anshu Jain says he is very positive about prospects going forward after the country braved a sluggish phase.

Jain, a Bachelor in Economics from Delhi University who

went on to become co-chief executive officer of Germany-based global banking major Deutsche Bank, said he expects the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India to be "particularly interesting" with a new entrant in the fray.

Asked about his views on India, Jain said the Indian economy was coming back from a difficult period and he is very constructive about its prospects.

India ranked 155th in global environment performance list

India has been ranked at a low 155th position in a global list that evaluates countries on how well they perform on high-priority environmental issues. The country is also behind neighbouring China, Pakistan and Nepal.

The 2014 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has ranked a total of 178 countries. India is placed at the 155th position, with an index score of 31.23 points. Its rank is also much lower than BRICS peers.

Besides, India has fared poorly compared to neighbouring countries like Nepal and Pakistan which are ranked 139th and 148th, respectively. PTI