Johnson Controls and Hitachi to Set Up Export Hub in India

Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls and Hitachi Airconditioning India Ltd., will develop and manufacture air-conditioners in its plant near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, for sale in the Middle-East and Southeast Asia.

Global CEO Franz Cerwinka said, “We also want to expand our manufacturing to export out of India. The Indian operations contribute  12 percent to our global revenue. India has the potential to become one of the top three markets for the company since there is a lot of pent-up demand which will be generated in the mid-to-long term.”

JCI Hitachi

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India reported that in 2016 sales grew 20 percent to $301 million from the previous year. Profit climbed 62 percent to $12.4 million (Rs 81crore.) the Economic Times reports.

June 8, 2017   No Comments

India’s Shrimp Industry Shows Steady Growth

India’s export of shrimp was 382,959 tons in Calendar Year 2015, up 9.8 percent from the previous year
India’s cultured shrimp production in the year ending March 2015 was about 426,500 tons, up 30 percent from the previous year (Figure 1). From  2005  to 2015, shrimp production has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent.
Fig 1. Cultured Shrimp Production Rising

Fig 1. Cultured Shrimp Production Rising

The introduction of white leg shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei, or Vannamei) in 2009 spurred growth in shrimp production during the last few years and displaced sales of the other major shrimp species such as the tiger shrimp (Penaeus Monodon) which was found to be susceptible to disease. In FY 2015, the production of the white leg shrimp (Vannamei species) rose to  353,000 tons, which was 81 percent of the total shrimp production in India. This species is preferred since it has a fast growth rate, is disease resistant, needs lower feed requirements, and exhibits a higher survival rate.  In 2015, the area under shrimp production in brackish water aquaculture was 121,600 hectares, which was up from 102,500 hectares in 2010. Industry sources indicate that shrimp production accounts for 25 percent of the brackish water aquaculture.
Accounting for 65 percent of the total shrimp produced in India, the state of Andhra Pradesh is India’s largest cultured shrimp producer. This is followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry (earlier known as Pondicherry), Gujarat, and Odisha. Tiger shrimp (Penaeus Monodon) are farmed in the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala, while the Vannamei species is preferred in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
Although most of India’s shrimp production is exported, its broodstock is imported. According to industry sources, India imports 98 percent of total broodstock specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Vannamei broodstock from U.S.A., and in Calendar Year 2015 import of broodstock from the U.S. reached $10.8 million  In addition to broodstock, Artemia Cysts, which are used as live feed during the larvae raising operations in shrimp hatcheries, are imported as well. In CY 2015, 97 percent of India’s Artemia Cysts worth $15.44 million were imported from the United States, says a GAIN report.

May 15, 2017   No Comments

Facebook Rolls Out Express Wi-Fi in India

Facebook announced the commercial launch of Express Wi-Fi, its second attempt to bring millions of Indians online at an “affordable” fee. The service is currently available in the four Indian states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya, where the company has 700 hotspots through other internet providers. It has also partnered with Airtel, (currently India’s largest telecom operator), to launch an additional 20,000 hotspots. Customers can sign up for daily, weekly, or monthly plans that cost about $0.15 a day.

“Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content,” says Munish Seth, regional head for connectivity solutions in the APAC region.

Facebook Logo

Mashable reports that India is the fastest growing market for Facebook. As of last month, Facebook’s marquee platform had 184 million monthly active users in the country, 50 percent of which return to the site every day. The company’s instant messaging and voice calling app WhatsApp also has over 200 million monthly active users in India. 

May 13, 2017   No Comments

MIT Grads Provide Biodegradable Sanitary Pads to Rural India

A startup, Saathi (meaning ‘companion’ in Hindi), founded by three graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a graduate from Nirma University in India, is hoping to improve access and waste disposal of sanitary pads for women in rural India.

275,000,000 women in India cannot access pads because they are too expensive (also scarcely available, and difficult to discard). “Only 16 percent of women have access to sanitary pads in India,” Kristin Kagetsu, co-founder and CEO of the company told NBC News during an interview at the company’s production facility, located outside Ahmedabad, in India’s western state of Gujarat.

The sanitary napkins are eco-friendly: they are made from locally-sourced banana fiber, which is highly absorbent and biodegradable; it doesn’t have to be burned when disposed, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Banana Fibers

Fibers from the banana tree

Saathi is one of the finalists in the Health and Wearable Technologies category at SXSW, Austin, Texas. It is looking  funding this project, and according to its website, $12,737 have been raised toward a target of $20,000.

April 19, 2017   No Comments

Emma Watson Wears Indian Bodice

In Beauty and the Beast, Disney‘s film set in France, Britain’s Emma Watson, starring as Belle, wears a beautiful, delicately hand embroidered bodice created by India’s artisans. “They used a technique called ‘Aari work’ which is a very fine chain stitch traditional to the Kutch area of Gujarat,” said assistant costume designer Sinead O’Sullivan. She went on to mention that the style of embroidery “lent itself very nicely to eighteenth century French floral design.”

Aari Embroidery from Kutch

CNN reports that Anaita Shroff Adajania, fashion director for Vogue India and a stylist in the Indian film industry said, “It’s not just the film industry that’s turning to India. Some of the biggest names in fashion get their work done in the country.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama wore the creations of Mumbai-born designer Naeem Khan on two occasions while Bibhu Mohapatra from India’s eastern state of Orissa has created outfits for Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow.

March 28, 2017   No Comments