SBI, Raymond, TCS Ready To Cash In On Vajpayee Visit

New Delhi, June 27: | Updated: Jun 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayees China visit may give a shot in the arm to three Indian proposals that have been pending clearance. State Bank of India (SBI), Raymond Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had already chalked out major designs on the Chinese market. It is understood that these projects were taken up at the political and bureaucratic level with the relevant authorities during the visit.

While SBI is planning to set a branch in China, Raymond has been hoping to obtain a licence to set up its retailing operations. Tata group company, TCS on the other hand, is eyeing the implementation of an information technology project for the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The visit will certainly expedite the pending proposals of the three companies, an industry source said adding that both government and industry delegates visiting China were briefed on these company specific issues.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange, in a meeting with Indian industry in Shanghai, told visiting delegates that it was looking at TCS. The project is likely to be finalised soon. The stock exchange is talking to TCS to design its trading and clearing systems, a visiting Indian delegate told FE. Global IT majors Hewlett-Packard and IBM are also involved in the project with TCS.

When contacted, a TCS official, without disclosing any detail told FE that the companys Singapore-based regional director Girja Pande, who was in China, left Shanghai on Friday on a positive note.

The visit of Mr Vajpayee has also boosted Raymonds hopes. Its resident director (China) Arvind Verma told FE that the company is currently catering to South Eastern countries through Shanghai office, but it is looking forward to start its retail network in China.

Retailing is not an open sector in China. American and European companies like Wal-mart and Carrefour have been given licences. But such decisions are political, he said adding that PMs visit would help Indian companies to expand in China.

SBI, which has a representative office in Shanghai since 1997 is enthused by Mr Vajpayees visit. In China, relationships does matter. Better political relations will ease our efforts, SBI Shanghai chief representative Rakesh Sharma told FE.

If TCS gets a share of the Shanghai Stock Exchange pie, it would only add to its presence in China. In June 2002, the company announced the setting up of its wholly-owned subsidiary called the Tata Information Technology (Shanghai) Company Limited. As a part of its globalisation strategy, TCS has also set up a new global development centre in Hangzhou (China) to retain its global clients expanding in the Chinese market.