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Wednesday, January 30, 2008 — No Region Specified

Many Are Already at Work on Fulfilling Gates's Vision

Source: The New York TImes

Bill Gates?s bold Davos challenge to the world?s capitalists last week should have come with equally bold footnotes. There are billions of people who need the great inventions of the computer age, he asserted. Breakthroughs change lives only where people can afford to buy them. With any luck it will mean that the emerging nations will finally complete the promise of a failed computing experiment played out by a team of French and American computer scientists i...
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Tata Nao Car Has Two Forms Of Innovation. Shall We Call It Nanovation?

Source: Business Week

If you go to the official Tata Nano website and check out the bottom left corner, it says inclusive innovation. Click on that and you get to a discussion on the kinds of innovations that Nano represents. One is called frugal engineering by Renault-Nissans?s chief Carlos Ghosen, referring to the simple and inexpensive way the car was developed. It is a methodology you see all over India?in health care, telecom, drug development and now car manufacturing. I p...
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008 — No Region Specified

Billions of Entrepreneurs in China and India

Source: Harvard Business School

By Martha Legace Entrepreneurship in the world's 2 most populous nations, China and India, has through modern times been somewhat asleep. But now, says HBS professor Tarun Khanna in a new book, both societies have woken up, and the results could reshape business, politics, and society worldwide. In some sense people in these societies are running faster than their rules and laws can keep up. So they are creating the rules as they go along. ...
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

Extra Helping

Source: New York Times

By Rob Walker Over the last few months, some visitors to the Web site of Kiva, a nonprofit that lets users make interest-free microloans to entrepreneurs in low-development (that is, poor) countries all over the world, were greeted with a surprising message. Thanks Kiva Lenders! it began. You?ve funded EVERY business on the site!! Has a charity ever announced that it had enough money? Would-be lenders were dumbstruck, says Kiva?s public-rel...
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

Bajaj Raising Stake In KTM To 30%

Source: Forbes.com

Indian scooter and motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj Auto plans to increase its stake in Austrian motorcycle maker KTM Power Sports by 25% to 30% over the next few months, said Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj. In November, Bajaj Auto acquired 14.5% of KTM for about $76 million, and subsequently increased that to 20.9%. When we move into a more up-market two wheeler scenario, we will brand the vehicles as KTM, as that is what will be right for consumers, Rajiv told Forbes.com.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

?The key is to provide quality and affordable healthcare?

Source: The Financial Express

Translated literally, Sankara Nethralaya means the temple of eyes. The 30-year-old super speciality ophthalmic institution has lived up to its grand name and become synonymous with quality and affordable eye care in the country. Its 1,500 healthcare personnel cater to nearly 1,500 patients daily, performing more than 100 surgeries. When Dr Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath founded it in Chennai 1978, it was for missionary purposes. The objectives included practising quality eye care, training and te...
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Proud, But Poor Buyer

Source: DV-Reclama.ru

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Monday, January 28, 2008 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation gives Heifer Intl $42.8M for Africa project

Source: Associated Press

By Chuck Bartels A $42.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was announced Friday will enable Heifer International to expand a program designed to reduce poverty among 1 million people living on rural dairy farms in three East African countries. An important focus of the effort will be bringing more women into positions of responsibility, both on family farms and at regional milk chilling plants. The grant is for parts of Keny...
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Monday, January 28, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Age of Ambition

Source: New York Times

By Nicholas D. Kristof With the American presidential campaign in full swing, the obvious way to change the world might seem to be through politics. But growing numbers of young people are leaping into the fray and doing the job themselves. These are the social entrepreneurs, the 21st-century answer to the student protesters of the 1960s, and they are some of the most interesting people here at the World Economic Forum (not only because they?re half the age of ever...
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Monday, January 28, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Tata Invasion

Source: The New Yorker

If Tata is so powerful, why have so few Americans heard of it? In large part, because so much of its fortune has been made selling to its home market and to other developing countries, rather than to the U.S. and Europe. Historically, developing-country firms that have become global powerhouses?like Japanese companies decades ago or, more recently, Korean companies like Samsung?were companies that, in addition to dominating their domestic markets, were heavily oriented toward exports to the West...
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Thursday, January 24, 2008 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Issues Call for Kinder Capitalism

Source: Wall Street Journal

Free enterprise has been good to Bill Gates. But later today, the Microsoft Corp. chairman will call for a revision of capitalism. In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the software tycoon plans to call for a creative capitalism that uses market forces to address poor-country needs that he feels are being ignored. ? We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well,...
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 — No Region Specified

Unreasonable people power

Source: Economist.com (Business.view)

The growing influence of social entrepreneurs Ten years ago, few people had heard the term social entrepreneur. Now, to be a social entrepreneur is to be sought after by politicians and businessmen alike for your potential to solve big social challenges in innovative ways. Governments, increasingly struggling to meet society?s demands, are desperate for help from someone more creative than the typical bureaucrat. Businesses, as this week?s special repor...
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 — No Region Specified

Going global

Source: The Economist

The British brand of corporate responsibility is seen as the gold standard, says Julia Cleverdon, chief executive of Business in the Community, which for 25 years has been championing the cause in Britain. And it is true that Britain, especially London, has been a hive of innovation in CSR since the mid-1990s, thanks to a creative cluster of think-tanks, NGOs, consultancies and inventive bosses. But according to Simon Zadek of AccountAbility, a think-tank that has been part of the cl...
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 — No Region Specified

Stove for the Developing World's Health

Source: New York Times

Envirofit has been visiting rural areas to study factors like the ergonomics of cooking habits and preferred color schemes. In India, women tend to squat while cooking, making height an important consideration. Envirofit will offer a variety of sleek ceramic stoves from single to multipot, with and without chimneys, and with colors like apple red, baby blue and gold. The cost is to start at $10 to $20 and run to $150 to $200.. ?The women and the families that are buying...
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 — No Region Specified

Third World First

Source: Boston Globe

By Jeremy Khan Bapi Das, seated next to an open sewer in a teeming slum on the outskirts of this Indian city, combs his hand through his hair, smooths his moustache, and prepares to enter the global financial system. Das, a 42-year-old commercial painter, grins as a worker for a local micro-finance group frames his face with a digital camera and zooms in. It is an important moment. His photo will adorn a smart card that, with help from a mobile phone and a finge...
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 — No Region Specified

A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories

Source: New York Times

By Keith Bradsher Rising prices for cooking oil are forcing residents of Asia?s largest slum, in Mumbai, India, to ration every drop. Bakeries in the United States are fretting over higher shortening costs. And here in Malaysia, brand-new factories built to convert vegetable oil into diesel sit idle, their owners unable to afford the raw material. This is the other oil shock. From India to Indiana, shortages and soaring prices for palm oil, soybean oil and many oth...
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Monday, January 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

Intel's Amazon Ambitions

Source: Fast Company

By Richard Shaffer It is, as Intel's press release put it, one of the most remote inhabited places on earth. Parintins, Brazil, is on the outskirts of nowhere. The closest highway ends in ?bidos, a day or two downriver. So in 2006, when Intel wirelessly connected the Amazon city to the rest of the online world, chairman Craig Barrett promised that the venture would bring the expertise of specialists, sophisticated medical imaging, and the world&#...
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Monday, January 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

Small Wheels, Big Lessons (Opinion)

Source: The Financial Express

By NK Singh The flutter created by the Nano, Tata Motors? new low-cost car, will not subside anytime soon. This car, costing about a lakh rupees ($2,500), is half the cost of the next cheapest car, made in China ($5,000). It reportedly meets the required benchmarks on safety, fuel efficiency and emission norms. Sceptics question these claims, asking us to wait for drive tests to validate them. However, the widespread enthusiasm accorded to the car represents a new mid...
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Monday, January 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

Banker to the Poor Goes Beyond Microlending

Source: Reuters

Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel prize for inspiring a global microfinance movement, is now pioneering an idea he calls social business as a way to fight poverty. In a new book, Creating a World Without Poverty (PublicAffairs, $26), the Bangladeshi economist describes social businesses as those dedicated to social causes rather than profit. Nicknamed the banker to the poor, Yunus started his movement 30 years ago with a $27 loan to women i...
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Monday, January 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

Third World First

Source: Boston Globe

Das, a 42-year-old commercial painter, grins as a worker for a local micro-finance group frames his face with a digital camera and zooms in. It is an important moment. His photo will adorn a smart card that, with help from a mobile phone and a fingerprint reader, will allow Das to store money electronically, make small cash withdrawals, and send money to his family on the other side of the country. It is the first bank account he has ever had. This might seem like a classic example of...
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Friday, January 18, 2008 — No Region Specified

Google Offers a Map for Its Philanthropy

Source: New York Times

The second initiative, called ?the missing middle,? refers to the missing middle class in Africa and South Asia and the missing middle level of financing between microcredits and hedge funds. Microcredit funds currently provide families with three or four or five days of livelihood, Dr. Brilliant said. ?No country,? he said, ?has ever emerged from poverty because of microcredit. Jobs make that possible. China did it with manufacturing, India did it with outsourced call centers.? ...
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Thursday, January 17, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Hunt for Profits Goes South

Source: Der Spiegel

With Purchasing Power Rising, Euro Firms Eye Developing World By Julia Bonstein Ever on the lookout for tomorrow's customers, Western corporations have set their sights on industrializing economies and developing nations. It's a huge opportunity, but low cost isn't the only important criterion for a vast new group of consumers. Innovations are also important for this growing market. The One Laptop per Child initiative ha...
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008 — No Region Specified

Going Wireless: Dialing for Development

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

Author: David Lehr Going Wireless: Dialing for Development How Mobile Devices are Transforming Economic Development at the Base of the Pyramid A draft white paper by former Acumen Fellow David Lehr has just been posted on the Acumen Fund blog that describ...
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008 — No Region Specified

Poverty reduction for profit? A critical examination of business opportunities at the bottom of the

Source: Eldis

Authors: J. L. Warnholz Publisher: Queen Elizabeth House Library, University of Oxford, 2007. The author examines the idea that selling consumer goods to poor people at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP) generates profits for large businesses and eliminates poverty at the same time. He admits that big businesses have a central role in shaping future markets and generating employment. The entry of multinationals in the BoP sector would also reduce prices, raise ...
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Nano Inspiration

Source: LiveMint

The lessons of design innovation, scale efficiency, vendor networking can help in hundreds of challenges By Ramesh Ramanathan I am inspired by the story of the Tata Nano. Beyond its cute look or frugal engineering-driven price tag, I find it remarkable how team Tata pulled it off in just four years. I?ve watched and read the rumblings ?on congestion, traffic, the environment. Confession: I own a car. This makes it hard for me to criticiz...
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Monday, January 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

A Nano Leap Into the Future

Source: Times of India

He's been hailed as the world's foremost thinker. He revolutionized the way corporate chiefs looked at markets through his bestseller, 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid'. And now, management mahaguru C. K. Prahalad writes exclusively for Sunday Times on the Nano launch. By C.K. Prahalad He's been hailed as the world's foremost thinker. He revolutionized the way corporate chiefs looked at markets through his bestseller, 'The Fortune at the B...
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Monday, January 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

Chip and Car Makers Fire Cheap Shots in Low Spending Battle

Source: Finance Week

Intel's move into affordable computers, and Tata's launch of the $2,500 car, signal growing recognition that redesigning for currently excluded low-income customers may be the only way to avoid a profit-scrapping scramble for the affluent minority. With disposable incomes threatening to stagnate in industrial countries, and still comparatively low in those newly industrialising, affordability might even displace the currently fashionable drive for sustainability.? By Alan Ship...
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Friday, January 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

Indians Hit the Road Amid Elephants

Source: New York Times

By Somini Sengupta A few weeks ago, the traditional Indian joint family household of Vineet Sharma, a fertilizer industry consultant, achieved a long deferred dream. Having ferried themselves on scooters all these years, the Sharmas bought a brand-new, silver-gray hatchback known as the Tata Indica. Never mind that none of the six adult members of the household knew how to drive. No sooner had the car arrived than Mr. Sharma, 34, took it for a spin and knocked over...
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Friday, January 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

In the Shadows of India's Loan Boom

Source: Wall Street Journal

Incidents like the one that left Mr. Kumar with 12 stitches in his scalp and a 10-day hospital stay reflect a dark side of India's economic boom. As consumer lending soars to record levels, India's banks face mounting criticism and government sanctions for their aggressive loan recovery tactics, which sometimes include using hired thugs. With the economy growing at more than 8.5% a year for the past four years, Indians are taking on home, car and credit-card debt as never before -- with ...
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Friday, January 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

The challengers

Source: The Economist

When Ford Motor Company bought Jaguar in 1989 and Land Rover 11 years later, it marked a low point for Britain's ailing industrial heritage. Last year Ford concluded that it could not make money from the illustrious British marques?equally a sign of its waning fortunes. The two firms shortlisted to take the prize come from India. Their ambition and confidence is a sign of something new in global business: the arrival in force of emerging-market multinationals. Tata Motors, the ...
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Friday, January 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

Wind of Change

Source: The Economist

Last month Hansen Transmissions International, a maker of gearboxes for wind turbines, was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Nothing noteworthy about that, you might say, despite the jump in the share price on the first day of trading and the handsome gain since: green technology is all the rage, is it not? But Hansen exemplifies another trend too, which should prove every bit as durable: the rise of multinational companies from emerging economies. Its parent is Suzlon, an Indian firm that...
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Thursday, January 10, 2008 — No Region Specified

In India, the world's cheapest car debuts to fanfare, criticism

Source: CS Monitor

By Tony Azios Manufacturers take note of the $2,500 vehicle?s massive market, as environmentalists fear the effects of an automobile influx. India's Tata Motors unveils the world's cheapest car at Thursday's New Delhi Auto Expo, drawing interest and criticism from environmentalists and automakers around the globe. Dubbed the 'People's Car,' the small vehicle will reportedly sell for 100,000 rupees (approximately US $2,500...
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Thursday, January 10, 2008 — No Region Specified

Nonprofit slips in race for cheap laptop for world's poor kids

Source: CS Monitor

By Ben Arnoldy Problems at One Laptop Per Child show how social entrepreneurs can blaze trails but miss the payoff. The vision was grand: Develop a cheap laptop and get it into the hands of 150 million school children in the developing world. Making the computer turned out to be the easy part. On Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop Per Child, showed off the $200 XO. The innovative compute...
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Wednesday, January 09, 2008 — No Region Specified

My Other Car Is a Tata

Source: BusinessWeek

The soon-to-be-released $2,500 People's Car is a natural fit for India, but don't expect rivals to match it. By David Welch and Nandini Lakshman, with Ian Rowley in Tokyo Forget about sleek styling, a powerful engine, or electronic gadgets in the dashboard. Gurdeep Randhawa is lusting after a bare-bones car that'll soon be available in India. The 39-year-old mill manager in a Mumbai suburb buzzes to work on a $1,350 scooter and pile...
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008 — No Region Specified

The laptop wars

Source: Economist.com

Will charity or profit end the digital divide? When a plan to create a $100 laptop was announced three years ago at the World Economic Forum, it seemed like a stroke of genius. Here was an opportunity for the global business elite gathered in Davos to show they had a heart, and to do so in a genuinely useful way?by developing a cheap way to bridge the digital divide and extend the benefits of the IT revolution to millions of children in the developing world. Nichol...
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008 — No Region Specified

Asian banks go micro with biometrics

Source: ZD Net Asia

Banks in the region are turning to smart cards and biometrics to boost their microfinance operations, according to a new report from IDC's Financial Insights. The study revealed that the successes of banks such as Grameen Bank in providing sustainable microfinancing schemes, have spurred others in the region to grow their microfinance operations. The report cited Indonesia's PT Bank Danamon and India's ICICI Bank, as two examples that rely on biometric and smart c...
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Monday, January 07, 2008 — No Region Specified

Negroponte on Intel's $100 laptop pullout

Source: Fortune

By David Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor An exclusive Fortune interview with Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child initiative, regarding Intel's defection from the project. On Thursday Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) announced it was dropping out of the non-profit One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization, which was set up to develop and market a low-cost - ideally $100 or less - education-focused laptop for the poorest children in the world. Th...
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Monday, January 07, 2008 — No Region Specified

THE NR EYE: Focus on investment in social projects

Source: The Peninsula - Quatar

Indian officials have made it plain that they?ve given up using the annual diaspora conclave as a platform to woo investments of overseas Indians. The investment or money has not been forthcoming. Therefore, we decided that we will not ask for any investment this year (at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2008) but seek partnership from NRIs for philanthropic projects, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told the media recently. In India, the contributions made ...
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Friday, January 04, 2008 — No Region Specified

Why criticising the Rs 1-lakh car is wrong

Source: Rediff News

By Mritiunjoy Mohanty Tata Motors will unveil its Rs 1-lakh (Rs 100,000) car at the 9th New Delhi Auto Expo on January 10. The commercial launch of the car is slated for the second-half of 2008. Both events are keenly anticipated by India's burgeoning middle class, in general, and the auto industry, in particular. Not since the launch of the Maruti 800 in 1983 has a new car model been more keenly awaited. And just as the Maruti 800 before it, if the Tata Rs 1-l...
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Thursday, January 03, 2008 — No Region Specified

Smart Technology Will Help Microfinance

Source: CXOtoday.com

Independent research and advisory firm, Financial Insights, has announced the release of a new report examining the growing use and effectiveness of innovative technology solutions in microfinance initiatives. Abhishek Kumar, senior research analyst, Asia/Pacific banking advisory service, notes, Banks in Indonesia and India have emerged as leaders in deploying innovative technologies to grow their microfinance businesses. These banks have shown that technologies like biometrics...
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Thursday, January 03, 2008 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mosquito Nets: Caught in a Tangle

Source: BusinessWeek

By Eliza Barclay Jenifa John recently spent $1 on a billowy swath of gauze that could help keep her family alive. The 22-year-old mother of two in the village of Engutoto, Tanzania, bought a mosquito-repelling bed net that will keep parasite-bearing insects away from her young children while they sleep. It's a matter of utmost concern: Before she bought the net, one of John's children was hospitalized with malaria?and fortunately survived. All across Africa...
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Thursday, January 03, 2008 — No Region Specified

The City Market that Is a Microcosm of How India Shops

Source: Time/CNN

Bijapurkar roughly divides Indian consumers into four categories by their income and consumption patterns ? 60 million people with high purchasing power, 100 million well on the road to that level of consumption, 100 to 150 million who have just started that journey, and the rest who are at the bottom of the pyramid or BOP, in Bijapurkar's shorthand. However, though its members earn less than a dollar a day, the BOP also forms a significant consumer base, says Bijapurkar, and bus...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Bangladesh Bank report says: Development of SMEs can curb poverty

Source: The New Nation

Higher growth of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can help cut poverty to a satisfactory level by eliminating various prejudices against labour intensive and creating jobs for the skilled manpower in the SME sector. This was revealed in the just released Bangladesh Bank annual report for fiscal 2006-07. The report said, the key reasons behind the SMEs are not entering into manufacturing are financial constrains, dismal state of utilities, technology and policy discri...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Meet the new light bulb that lasts 20 years and uses one-tenth the power

Source: domain-b.com

In lighting, the future lies with the LED. It consumes almost no power at all, and lasts practically forever. Compact fluorescent lamps are going to be obsolete very soon. In the USA, they're coming soon; lights that last more than 20 years and use 90 per cent less electricity than even the 'new' compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). They are called light emitting diodes (LEDs), and we already know about them; they are used for digital clocks and on car dashboards and blinker ...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Consumerism overwhelming Indian markets

Source: Organiser

India. Shining India. Consumer India. High?Growth India; Market-Oriented India; Investment?Inviting India. Since 1991, when India first broke away from its Nehruvian socialist ideology and went in for a market economy, things have been changing so fast as to make the progress achieved and noticeable, unbelievable. It has now the fourth largest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world in purchasing power parity (PPP). Of its 1.2 billion people, as many as 450 million are apparently below the age...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Development Center to Offer Grad Student Fellowships

Source: Tech-MIT

Legatum, a private investment firm with an interest in sustainable development, gave MIT a $50 million structured gift to create the new Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, according an MIT press release. The LCDE hopes to offer a fellowship program for graduate students, starting in the 2008?2009 academic year and to ?create a platform for sustainable development,? according to the center?s Web site. The Legatum Center, which was announced on Sept. 17, will also offe...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Let the music play

Source: Economic Times

The New York or Nasdaq exchanges have been done, now Indian companies are setting their sights on exchanges such as Euronext and those in Dubai and Australia. Businesses are globalising and so are investors and so is access to capital markets The last five years form the best period in the Indian economic history when the economy has achieved many milestones. Whether it is sustained high economic growth rate, double digit industrial growth, rising saving and investment levels, huge fo...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Bharat could save India from US recession

Source: The Times of India

Fears of a possible US recession following the subprime crisis and the repercussions this could have across the globe have cast a shadow over economic forecasts for 2008. Despite repeated interest rate cuts, demand continues to be slack in the US with retail registering disturbingly low sales over the recent festive season. Persisting economic uncertainty, which leads to deferred consumption, can put a further brake on the slowdown and make recession a self-fulfiling prophecy. And if ...
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

Vital to Access Asian Markets

Source: Go San Angelo

Ten trillion dollars will be spent inside emerging markets in infrastructure development between now and 2030 in energy and water alone. Most will happen inside China and India at a pace not witnessed on this planet since America surged westward following the Civil War. The doom-and-gloomers counter: But their environments can't withstand all that development! They'll run out of water! All those cars will demand too much oil! All that coal-fired pollution will b...
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