Lord of the Links

My sojourn into the Spider's Web

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Googling For Gold

This BW article describes how Google's utter disregard for "business-type" behaviour is not liked by many VC's but at the same time, its unprecedented success at the stock market (at a M.cap of $120bn and PE of 70 odd) makes all VCs and I-banks scurry around it for deals. Google has spawned a new generations of start-ups in the Silicon Valley, whose only aim is to create some great technology and sell it to Google.

At the same time, the article says how Google must use its current M&A currency for some big-ticket acquisitions (AOL?) and not atrophy it by keeping it for too long and letting it diminish, to make sure its numero uno position in the Internet world remains unchallenged!
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 4:47 AM || link || (8) comments |

Friday, November 25, 2005

Advanced Micro Gets Down To Business

AMD made great inroads into Intel's marketshare in 2005 and it wants to repeat its success in 2006. AMD executives want to take its share price, which at $27 is at a 4 year high, even further up.

AMD plans to follow a three pronged strategy:
1. Try to ensnare Intel's biggest customer - Dell. Dell which currently only sells Intel chips on its website, has recently shown signs of considering selling AMD chips as well.
2. Try to push its Opteron chip into the high-end server market.
3. Try to push its Turion chip into the Laptop market. Intel Pentium M based on its Centrino technology has been the biggest driver for Intel in the past couple of years with laptops becoming the device of choice for corporate executives as well as consumers. And Intel has ridden this wave on account of its Centrino brand. AMD has come out with Turion this year which is promising but still only occupies a small corner of the market.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 10:10 PM || link || (1) comments |

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Deal That Even Awed Them in Houston

A deal to buy Texas Genco for $5.8bn by NRG Energy of NJ has all the analysts agape because Texas Genco was bought by a cartel of 4 private equity investors last year for about $900mn. This could very well go down in history as the sharpest profit ever made in a private equity deal.

The deal is a result of the deregulation of the energy markets in Texas which fixes energy costs (even those from coal) to the cost of energy from natural gas sources. A lot of NGOs are perturbed because this is greatly shooting up energy prices.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 2:40 AM || link || (1) comments |

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How Google Tamed Ads on the Wild, Wild Web

This NYT article describes how Google defied the erstwhile conventional wisdom and went for small, unobstrusive text ads instead of the large banner variety that decorated the other search companies. Its strategy was supported by a huge mass of small advertizers who have shaped Google today into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 6:14 AM || link || (2) comments |

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lalit Suri - Hotelier with a drive

This Rediff.com article chalks out the life of Lalit Suri, who has built himself a huge hotel business in the last two decades. Originally a automative man, he helped his family to diversify into the hotel business and stuck on.

Even though some people may claim that he built his first hotel due to his leverate with the Gandhi-Nehru family, he maintains that it took a protracted legal battle to get the property. He has been one of the premier beneficiaries of the ITDC disinvestment and now has 7 properties all over the country. He has bought more properties including the Great Eastern Hotel in Kolkata, and is also looking at a luxury hotel in Dubai.
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Computer Associates: Clearing A Cloud

Life is tough for John Swainson, who took over Computer Associates (and now plans to brand itself plain simple CA) last November. Even though he has been able to improve CA's performance, and unscrew the innovation tap. However, investors and customers are still not fully convinced and he might require much more work than he initially anticipated.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:37 AM || link || (1) comments |

The Man Who Invented Management

An obit of Peter F. Drucker in Businessweek. Salient featues:
* Drucker was born to extremely wealthy and socially influential parents in Austria. Shifted to US in 1930s.
* His big break came when he studied the GM corporation.
* His ideas have formed the foundation of management as a science.
* Instead of trying to be a bookish person like most other academics, he interfaced really well with industry via consultancy projects.
* Towards the end of his 95 year old life, his intellectual capabiliites started waning and his influence in management was called into question
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:26 AM || link || (1) comments |

India Concern to Design I.B.M. Chips

IBM has decided to outsource the designing of some components of its Power Architecture chips to HCL Technologies. This shows the acceptance of the maturity of the Indian chip design industry by the big players, which has over 125 companies including the captive units of Intel, Texas Instruments and a host of private players. However, the absense of chip manufacture facilities could prove to be a hindrance in the long term.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 2:32 AM || link || (1) comments |

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How Adidas and Puma were born

The article describes the fierce rivalry between Adi and Rudolf Dasslers, brothers who founded the twin giants Adidas and Puma.

It described how both of them competed with each other over getting athletes to wear their shoes, and how the empire was split during the 2nd world war.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 12:03 AM || link || (1) comments |

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Unpeeling Apple's Nano

The article dissects the iPod Nano, to estimate the cost of its viscerals. It claims Apple earns over 50% margines on each Nano sold. Its collaboration with Cypress Semiconductors (for touch wheel), PortalPlayer (for audio-chips), and Samsung (for flash memory) seemed to have greatly cut costs. Samsung is said to be giving discounts of over 40% to Apple.

The market is rife with the feeling that there is going to be major consolidation with only 2-3 players remaining.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:28 AM || link || (1) comments |

Friday, October 28, 2005

India helps Boeing fly into the future

Finally the world wakes up to Indian scientific proficience. Boeing has tried up with iISc Bangalore for a joint R&D program. The program has been facilitated by the Society for Innovation and Development at IISc.

The program would use IISc's scientific dexterity for projects to teh tune of 50 000$ annually. It is a great opportunity to prove India's scientific worth to the world, which we should not squander away at any cost.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:44 PM || link || (1) comments |

Vodafone buys 10% stake in Bharti

Vodafone bought 10% in Bharti Televentures Ltd. for $1.5bn, the largest acquisition in India till date. With this deal Warburg Pincus sold off all of its state in Bharti.

The deal is a hallmark in Indian Telecom Industry, because it marks the coming of age of the industry and of foreign players becoming interested in investment in India.

What remains to be seen is what would be the long term goals of Vodafone vis-a-vis BTVL.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:39 PM || link || (1) comments |

Monday, October 24, 2005

What's with Mukesh Ambani & fruits?

Suddenly the top bosses of every top Indian corporate are talking the agri language:

Mukesh Ambani talking fruits and vegetables. Rakesh Mittal crowing over his crop of okra. Abhiram Seth planning rows of citrus cultivation. Ajay Shriram chortling over crushing sugarcane. Vineet Chhabra going ecstatic over gherkins. Planning their retirement? Turning gentlemen farmers?

So we have Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Mittal (in a JV with Rothschild), Ajay Shriram of DCM Shriram, Ballarpur Industries (BILT paper), ITC, PepsiCo -- you name it -- talking about agri farming. They plan to help shift farmers from cereals to cash crops such as citrus, tomatoes and even mangoes (yummy!). It will both help farmers increase their incomes as well as reduce the pressure on our granaries.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:05 AM || link || (1) comments |

Sunday, October 23, 2005

India: A Quiet Shopping Spree

Indian acquisitions abroad have started to snowball. This BW article informs how India is gradually catching up with the international M&A game:

China raised a storm of controversy in the U.S. earlier this year when its cash-rich corporations announced their intention to acquire several American companies, including oil producer Unocal Corp. and appliance maker Maytag Corp. (MYG ). But while China was bidding for -- and losing -- overseas acquisitions, another big Asian country, India, was also investing abroad, but with a minimum of rancor.

Indian companies, which had a very small presence in foreign locales just a few years ago, have inked 62 overseas deals worth $1.38 billion so far this year, buying up a variety of foreign outfits, from engineering design house INCAT International in Britain to Valeant Pharma in the U.S. That compares with just $202 million in deals in 2002. The Indian purchases have flown under the political radar because most of them are small -- the average price of recent Indian acquisitions is just $30 million -- and they usually don't involve big-name companies.

The writer attributes the success to the opening up of the economy, boom in the private sector, and the unabated supply of skilled engineers and graduates. The writer also names the Tata and AV Birla group as being on the forefront of international M&A activity.

We can only expect more exciting times ahead.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:40 AM || link || (0) comments |

Online Extra: Google's Search for Simplicity

Google may adopt a more livelier homepage, because even though its minimalist design has been hugely popular, it needs to popularize its bouquet of services which is suffering due to the hyperlinks not being present on the home page.

Despite this roiling change, Google's famously minimalist home page looks almost as it did when the upstart search company owned just 1% of the market. Consider this: Five years ago, Google's home page contained 50 words, 11 links, and zero ads. Today, it contains 49 words, 17 links, and zero ads.

Froogle is way behind Yahoo! Shopping, and even Gmail and Google Talk dont have anywhere near the number of subscribers as the alternate email services.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 5:33 AM || link || (0) comments |

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Watch out! TCS is on prowl

TCS is going great guns in the international market with a new understanding with Pearl Plc. where it takes over its back-office operations, and buying out an Australian financial consulting company.

Numbers show that TCS is much larger than its rivals outside of India, and is much more global.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:23 AM || link || (0) comments |

Saturday, October 01, 2005

World's fastest growing brands

The article lists some of the fastest growing brands in the world. As expected, 7 out of 10 are related technology. The brands are Apple, Blackberry, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Red Bull, Starbucks, Pixar, and Coach.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 2:09 AM || link || (0) comments |

Monday, September 26, 2005

Battling Google, Microsoft Changes How It Builds Software

The WSJ article describes who Microsoft has done a paradigm shift on how it writes software. The focus clearly is on quality and not on quantity, when it decides to drop WinFS, Bill Gates' baby, to force a modular, slimmer and slealthier version of the Windows core. A team led by Amitabh Srivastava has pioneered the writing of clean bug-free code.

Even though the initial latency has been high, Microsoft is facing much fewer bugs, and much higher speed to market once the basic platform is done.

But will this be good enough to fight Google back?
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 10:15 AM || link || (0) comments |

Microsoft, Google most preferred employers

IT rules the waves among the engineering students of India, with Microsoft India and Google India being regarded as the best employers. Google has appeared this year for the first time in the list, and goes to show how fast Google is growing in India.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:48 AM || link || (0) comments |

The extraordinary story of Amul

This SmartManager article describes the organization of Amul and its history. From a precocious enterprise it has come a long way now to become a behemoth in the country where it almost dominates the milk trade. The article talks of what makes Amul tick, from its credit policy, its pricing, its information systems to its distribution network and strong reliance on partners and vendors.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:45 AM || link || (0) comments |

How Microsoft can 'kill' Google

The article says that Microsoft's potential deal with AOL could wipe out a large part of Google's revenues and its profits (almost 25%). Google could try to convince Time Warner that it was a better suitor with the coming of Google Video search and so on, but that is highly unlikely considering the fact that Microsoft and Time Warner have shared a close relationship ever since AOL bought Netscape and then had to closely work with Microsoft over standards nad products.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 9:42 AM || link || (0) comments |

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Vodafone eyes up overseas market

Vodafone LLC is introducing more 3G handsets as well as a better 3G technology to make downloads faster. Besides, its going to pull up its socks in Japan.

However, the world's largest mobile operator by revenues, is looking at mergers and acquisitions abroad esp. in Asia, Poland and the like to reaffirm its numero uno position, because it realizes that it is going to face much higher competition in existing markets.

Time Indian and Chinese operators took notice?
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 11:23 AM || link || (0) comments |

Kumar Mangalam: The biggest Birla

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall?
Who's the biggest Birla of 'em all?

Kumarmangalam Birla, or course! you daft!

Critics would say that the inheritance is majorly responsible in it, but the dexterity and vision with which he has managed his (father's) empire since then would should prove a worthy answer.

After inheriting, there were the usual problems - top management, loyal to his father, would who think of him always as a child, and the lower level employees whose morale was sagging. Kumar's arrival marked a shake-up in the top management, and AV Birla group pitching itself as a commodities giant, building huge capacities and becoming a globally conspicuous player [Grasim!]

Apart from that, he invested in new high-growth business, such as textiles, telecom and ITeS. Over the ten years he has been there AV Birla group's turnover has doubled from Rs. 15000 crore to Rs. 30000 crores.

Way to go, Kumar!
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 8:24 AM || link || (0) comments |

Mixing NGO-work and business?

A company by a Wharton Professor Karl Ulrich, and his students, TerraPass, helps clean your conscience by planting trees and negating the pollution due to your car. And it is finding a huge number of buyers. It's catching up as a fad, just like the Louis Armstrong bands. You go to pay upto $80 to clear your conscience depending on the exact specs of the car.

The company expects to turn profitable very soon.

Innovative thinking - Creating a business where there is none!
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 7:02 AM || link || (0) comments |

The Quiet Revolution in India

It is heartening to see higher numbers for primary education in India. Good education is what is making India stand out against all the other developing countries, and if India can clear this obstacle, there is nothing to stop it from achieving true greatness.

What is even more heartening to see is that much highers figures for female primary education. Indians have not been very good to the girl child, and hopefully they have started realizing them that education empowers them so much so that they don't have to give a dowry for her, instead they deserve to *get* a dowry for her.

What more, I personally believe that the only solution to India's population problem is universal education, esp. of girls.
|| crawled by kpowerinfinity, 6:39 AM || link || (1) comments |