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Shoptalk
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The Big One
India’s largest software exporter, TCS, will soon add another feather to its already decorated cap. This Tata group company is about to sign one of the biggest contracts in the history of the Indian software industry. It is reportedly in the final stages of signing a short-term outsourcing contract with GE. While sources close to the company put the contract’s worth at a minimum of $200 million, the buzz in the market is that it may be closer to $350 million. Not surprising for a company that has been consistently doubling its revenues every two years, for the last six years. Its total revenues for 2000-01 stand at over Rs 3,142 crore (US $689 million).

Pen’s Mightier
The Indian army is seriously contemplating a change of image. Consider this one from the corridors of Ammirati Puris Lintas, the agency which replaced Hindustan Thompson Associates (HTA) as the official agency (remember its "Do you have it in you" campaign?). AP Lintas now has been asked to devise campaigns to help attract not run-of-the-mill and option-scarce students but brilliant youngsters from all over the country. That’s not all. The Army Technical Board and the Army Management Board have mooted a proposal to fund students from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to undertake research work to help the army in both managerial and technological innovations. Looks like the motherland’s now ready to give a tough competition to the more affluent west.

Wait for Unity
Reliance Infocom will delay its launch of both basic and WLL services all over the country till it irons out what it calls teething hassles over interconnectivity issues. The service, which was supposed to have been launched from April 1, will now start some time in May. As for the name of the Reliance Infocom brand, the Ambanis are calling it Unity. With the nation embroiled in internecine violence, no wonder the launch of the Unity service is delayed!

Think Inc
Research is big business these days. NCAER and credit rating agency Crisil are jointly floating a research subsidiary which will be on the market for India Inc. That is, they’ll do both commissioned sector and project reports for corporates and also come out with their own insights independently. Headhunting for the new outfit is on. Subir Gokarn, chief economist, NCAER, will be one of the guiding lights, while some senior journalists have hopped on to the boat.

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