Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mobile number portability licences to be granted in March

The list of companies that will be granted licences for mobile number portability (MNP) - a technology that enables cellphone users to retain their phone numbers when changing operators - will be announced next month, the government said Thursday.

"The successful bidders for grant of mobile number portability service licences will be announced by March 5," Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja said in Rajya Sabha.

The letter of intent will also be issued the same day, Raja said, adding that the implementation of MNP has not been delayed.

The government had issued guidelines for award of MNP service licences Jan 1 this year.

As per the guidelines, MNP is to be implemented in all metro and category 'A' service areas within six months of the award of the licence, and in rest of the service areas within one year.


Minimum pay hikes for Infosys employees this year

Infosys Technologies, India's No. 2 outsourcer, would hand out minimum wage rises in April to its staff, its chief executive Kris Gopalakrishnan said on the sidelines of an industry conference.

"This is going to be a prolonged downturn," he said referring to the global economic slowdown.

The company expects IT services business to be slow in the foreseeable future as clients delay technology spending amid the global economic crisis, he added.

India's large pool of English-speaking engineers and cheaper wages has helped attract outsourcing from Western firms such as Citigroup, General Electric, Qantas and Airbus. But a recession in the United States, which accounts for more than half the sector's revenue, and turmoil in the global financial sector have halted the sector's scorching pace of growth and battered stocks.

"The environment continues to be challenging," Gopalakrishnan said. "The feedback we are getting from clients are that the budgets are going to be down, in some cases significantly down," he said of likely technology spending by the firm's customers.

"They are also saying that when the budgets are released there will be a delay in spending."

India's exports of software and services in the year to March will be sharply below an earlier forecast, expanding 16-17 per cent to about $47 billion, the National Association of Software and Service Companies said earlier this month.

On US President Barack Obama's pledge to end tax break for companies that send US jobs overseas, Gopalakrishnan said the Indian IT companies would wait to see how the proposal was implemented.

"My take on it is of course protectionism will only prolong the downturn," he said. "This is a challenge which we all have to face collectively."


Is Silicon Valley on a reviving phase?

Martin Pichinson has never been busier. The co-owner of Sherwood Partners makes his living by helping the financial backers of start-up firms that file for bankruptcy and wind down their operations.

This year, he's helped shut down 30 firms -- more than the total number in 2008. "Business is booming. It's exploding," Pichinson said from his Silicon Valley offices. "It's sad," he added. Venture capitalists and market experts expect the pace of firms that shutdown in the tech industry to accelerate this year, potentially rivaling the dot-com crash, as funding dries up.

Mergers, acquisitions and IPOs are no longer a reliable exit strategy with capital markets tanking and buyers wary. So as in 2000, investors are now putting pressure on their invested firms, forcing them to cut back and save, or just cashing out and cutting their losses. Others say they are hunkering down and awaiting a turnaround and a resumption in deal and IPO activity in 12 to 18 months.

Paul Deninger, vice chairman of investment bank Jefferies & Co in Boston, reckons that about a 10th of the 500 to 1,000 start-ups his institution now tracks nationwide will fail. "The mergers and acquisitions market is firing on four out of eight cylinders," said Deninger, who runs a team that advises on deals. "Are we in a recession or depression? If 18 months from now we're in the same situation as today, then we have a much more serious problem."

To entice investment from a shrinking cash pool, startups now have to come up with fully realized business strategies. Next week, many of Silicon Valley's venture capitalists and chief executives gather near Palm Springs for Demo.Com, a conference showing off undeveloped new products and technology. But unlike in years past, organizers expect many products will be tied to fleshed out business plans and market strategies.

"Companies will present a solid business proposition with a clear path to revenues," promised Chris Shipley, Demo's producer. Last year, many of the start-ups there hoped to "collect a lot of customers and then figure out how to create business value around them. That's not working in the market today." Silicon Valley got a wake-up call in October, when a private slide-presentation put together by well-known VC Sequoia somehow got leaked onto the Internet.

Entitled "RIP Good Times", it forced an already-nervous industry to mull over declarations like "it is different this time," and "recovery will be long," and "spend every dollar as if it were your last." Venture capital funding tanked 71 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008, but investment hasn't completely vanished. This week alone, Apparent Networks Inc of Massachusetts, which designs software to help firms access networks, raised $12 million from venture firms.

Aveksa Inc, which tailor-makes security software for corporations, secured $10 million. And private equity investor Good Energies invested $20 million in SAGE Electrochromics Inc, a 20 year-old firm that makes glass-coverings to cut heating and lighting costs. But investors are getting pickier, scrutinizing every firm as rigorously as they had in the bubble's aftermath.

Michael Kwatinetz of San Francisco's Azure Capital agreed that the era of "fluffy" investments was over -- not a bad thing if healthier and more fiscally responsible companies emerge. "Get your burn rate under control. Even the best companies are cutting their forward expense rate," Deninger advised.


Is more layoffs planned by TCS at its UK centre?

Just a day after the report of India’s biggest software exporter TCS laying off several employees at its UK office, comes a report that the company has put another 130 employees under scanner.

According to a report in a business daily, the 130 employees are said to be working for its UK-based insurance client Legal and General’s (L&G’s).

In June 2008, TCS signed a five-year agreement with L&G to provide IT managed services. Under this, TCS was to provide application development and support services from the client's premises plus TCS' new delivery centre based in UK.

Earlier reports said that Mumbai-based TCS laid off most of its marketing team in London, plus a large number of professionals in the consulting division. According to sources, the targets were mainly the high-end consultants who are said to be an expensive lot to keep on the bench, and marketing.

Giving reasons for the over 100 layoffs in the UK office, TCS CEO & MD S Ramadorai said that either the contracts of these employees had ended, or can be due to bad performance. He added that going forward in the year, a lot of emphasis will be on employee efficiency.

This week, the IT major also accepted that it may go for further job cuts to tackle global economic downturn. The company also ruled out salary hikes next year.

Ramadorai said, "There would be no hike in salaries in the forthcoming year" and added that "job cuts are possible if the situation worsens".

Adding further that TCS has frozen "lateral intake" he said the company is reviewing variable pay component on employee salaries.

The variable pay component of TCS employees differs between 22 per cent and 35 per cent of his/her gross salary, depending on employee rank, he said.

Variable pay represents eight percent of the total revenue of TCS, whose headcount is 1.3 lakh. Ramadorai said the company is also looking into all aspects of cost reduction, including capex and infrastructure.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest that the company is planning to increase its working hours by 10-15 per cent over the current 40-hour, five-day week cycle.


Yahoo CEO ushers out CFO in executive shake-up

After spending six weeks diagnosing Yahoo Inc.'s troubles, new Chief Executive Carol Bartz started to prescribe a cure on Thursday with a management shake-up that will usher out the Internet company's chief financial officer.

Besides pushing CFO Blake Jorgensen out the door, the overhaul will expand the responsibilities of Yahoo's chief technology officer, Ari Balogh, and the company's top advertising executive in the United States, Hilary Schneider.

Bartz also created two jobs: a chief marketing officer and her own chief of staff.

Elisa Steele, who has been working at NetApp Inc., will join Yahoo as chief marketing officer on March 23, while Joel Jones, a former McKinsey consultant who has been Yahoo's corporate strategist, becomes Bartz's chief of staff as of Thursday.

With the new pecking order, Bartz hopes to speed up Yahoo's decision-making and have a senior team that supports her strategy for turning around a company struggling with three years of declining profits _ a downturn that had battered its stock price well before the market's overall decline.

Although Bartz still hasn't specified how she intends to get Yahoo back on track, she has left no doubt about her resolve to recapture the Internet pioneer's glory days.

``I'm singularly focused on providing you with awesome products. Period,'' Bartz wrote in a blog posting Thursday addressed to Yahoo's 500 million worldwide users.

Yahoo's previous two CEOs, co-founder Jerry Yang and former movie studio mogul Terry Semel, also attempted to revive Yahoo in recent years by reshuffling executives, but those moves never paid off. Bartz's reorganization is meant to last two to four years.

Investors appear to be betting that Bartz will deliver on her promises. Yahoo shares gained 50 cents, or 4 percent, to close Thursday at $12.98.

Yahoo hired Bartz, 60, last month to replace Yang, who exasperated many investors and employees with his wishy-washy management style. Yang also infuriated stockholders last year by turning down an opportunity to sell Yahoo to rival Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share, well above the price of $19.18 just before the software maker announced its initial bid.

Although Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has repeatedly said he no longer wants to buy Yahoo in its entirety, he has indicated he still wants to explore a possible partnership that would involve Yahoo's online search engine, the second most popular behind that of Google Inc.

Bartz so far has been lukewarm to the idea in her public remarks, but Jorgensen expressed an interest in working with Microsoft in a Wednesday presentation at an investor conference.

In a Thursday research note, Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth said he didn't consider Jorgensen's departure a sign Yahoo is any less interested in working with Microsoft.

But Anmuth wondered about the wisdom of letting Jorgensen go, given that Bartz came to Yahoo without any previous Internet experience. Jorgensen also was somewhat of a novice, having joined Yahoo in June 2007, but Anmuth thought he would at least provide Yahoo some stability.

Jorgensen will remain CFO until Bartz can find replacement. His departure isn't a total shock because he was an ally of former Yahoo President Susan Decker, who resigned last month after Bartz beat her out for the CEO job.

But Jorgensen provided no inkling he might be headed out the door when he met with USB analyst Benjamin Schachter earlier this week, Schachter wrote in a Thursday note.

``While we were fans of Blake, Bartz is clearly going to be leading the charge here,'' Schachter wrote.

Jorgensen is paid a salary of $500,000, according to Yahoo's most recent disclosures about executive compensation. The terms of his severance package weren't disclosed Thursday.

Besides changing CFOs, Yahoo also appointed a new leader to expand its service on to mobile devices. David Ko, already part of the mobile team, was promoted to the top job in the division to replace Marco Boerries, who is leaving the company after a four-year stint.

Bartz mainly wants to root out bureaucracy with her new chain of command.

``People here have impressed the hell out of me,'' Bartz wrote Thursday. ``They're smart, dedicated, passionate, driven, and really nice. There's so much great energy and frankly lots of optimism. But there's also plenty that has bogged this company down. For starters, you'd be amazed at how complicated some things are here.''

In hopes of simplifying things, Bartz is placing all of Yahoo's products under Balogh, who joined the company a year ago. The shift appears to lessen the authority of Ash Patel, who had been overseeing most of Yahoo's products.

Schneider's job is being expanded to include oversight of advertisers and partners in Canada, not just the United States. Bartz intends to hire another executive to steer Yahoo's advertising relationships in Mexico and overseas.

Finally, Yahoo is creating a new division to handle complaints from frustrated users and advertising customers.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Are salaries at Indian IT MNCs melting?

Software multinationals in India have begun freezing wage increases, slashing salaries and postponing merit-based hikes, a study by Indian consulting firm Zinnov has found.

"Though Bangalore stands highest in its average salary for multinational R&D firms, followed by Pune and Chennai, the economic slump is causing undue pressure on them to retain compensation levels," Zinnov director for advisory services C S Chandramouli, said after the survey was made public.

Hinting that IT salaries in 2009 would see a freeze across the board in a majority of the firms surveyed, Chandramouli said the average increment would be in the 5-12 per cent range.

"Of the 30 representative multinationals surveyed in these three cities (Bangalore, Pune and Chennai), 27 per cent of them said they have frozen salary increases this year, while 42 per cent said they would provide salary increases and 15 per cent have postponed their merit increase cycle to take a call at a later stage if the economic scenario changes," Chandramouli said.

As a preferred destination for IT services and R&D, about 680 multinationals operate in India. Many of them have more than one R&D centre and presence in one or two of the three cities surveyed.

According to Zinnov's annual report on "Compensation and Benefit Study 2009", 12 per cent of the MNCs have announced 5-10 per cent salary cuts either for senior management or across levels.

"The survey highlights that multinationals are also shifting focus to the variable pay component to reward and retain top performers as opposed to fixed pay. Some of them have even restructured their compensation, linking employee rewards to individual and organisational results," the report said.

Referring to the adverse impact of the tough economic conditions on the compensation budgets, Chandramouli said MNCs were attempting to balance their need to retain key talent and address concerns over wage increase.

"Organisations are being proactive in managing people cost as it constitutes about 62 per cent of the total operating cost," he noted.

Highlighting compensation trends across functions like engineering, quality assurance testing and technical architects, the report said senior positions such as engineering manager and director engineering continued to be on a rise, with an average 8 per cent increase.

As India's IT hub, Bangalore, however, continues to dominate the compensation index, especially in software product and R&D. "Bangalore engineers are paid 5 per cent higher than their counterparts in Pune and 8 per cent higher than in Chennai for engineering and quality positions," Zinnov consultant Sahana Shetty said.

However, average salaries of senior positions in the three cities are similar, though average salaries at junior positions are two-three per cent higher in Bangalore. "Employees are not clear if they will be laid off or if the projects they are working on will be de-prioritised. They are also concerned about the financial health of the parent company. Employees are frustrated with cost cuts for what seem like inexpensive benefits (snacks, lunch, office parties, etc)," Shetty added.


IBM to host gen-next technology competition

As part of its University Relations programme, IBM has rolled out a novel gen-next technology challenge titled "IBM Blue Battle" in over 25 leading engineering colleges across India.

The first in the "IBM Blue Battle" series has been launched at IIIT Hyderabad and is being conducted on IBM Multi-core architecture for gaming. Colleges to follow include UVCE Bangalore, JNTU Hyderabad, Madras Institute of Technology (Anna University) Chennai, few IITs and NITs.

Amol Mahamuni, programme director, WebSphere Solutions and Technology and University Relations-IBM India/SA, said, "The challenge will enhance the students' knowledge on technologies that are at the helm of innovation across the industry and provide them with an opportunity to develop innovative solutions in real work scenario." It hones their technical skills while learning basic on-the-job skills such as teamwork, organization, and working under deadlines, he added.

The competition will enable participants to work on technologies such as Multi processors/Nano technology, electronics, service oriented architecture (SOA), Multi Core Architecture, Enterprise Computing (IBM System z), Information Management, Web 2.0, cloud computing, virtualization and High Performance Computing (HPC). Mentors from IBM, along with the college faculty, will closely work with the students throughout the programme.

This competition will also enable students to work on projects using IBM products, applications, tools and services in the future through further collaboration and mentoring by IBM experts.

The winners of this competition will receive prizes including Lenovo Ideapad laptops, along with certification from IBM.

IBM's University Relations has been partnering with academia to drive evolving open standards-based IT skills.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Electronic hardware manufacturing to touch $155 bn by 2015

With the increasing consumption of electronic items in the country, the hardware manufacturing industry in India is poised to touch $155 billion by 2015.

"As per study made by Frost and Sullivan, the (global) market for electronics hardware is expected to grow by 30 per cent to $320 billion in 2015," Department of Information Technology Secretary Jainder Singh said at the Componex Nepcon exhibition here today.

"There is a potential for the domestic hardware manufacturing to grow to $155 billion in 2015," he added.

Indian electronic hardware production increased from Rs 43,800 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 80,800 crore in 2007-08, with a cumulative annual growth rate of 16.6 per cent, he added.

Increased consumption of mobile phones, computers and televisions is driving the domestic demand for the industry in India.

"While the sales of PCs have reached 7.3 million units a year, about 8-10 million mobile phones are sold. The market for colour televisions has also increased to about 15 million units a year," he said.

Singh noted that with the relaxation in import policies and progressive reduction in duties, import of manufactured components has increased, which has in turn suppressed the domestic demand.


Is Nokia likely to enter laptop industry?

The world's top cellphone maker Nokia is eyeing entering the laptop business, its Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in an interview to Finnish national broadcaster YLE on Wednesday.

"We are looking very actively also at this opportunity," Kallasvuo said, when asked whether Nokia plans to make laptops.

Industry has rumoured about Nokia's possible plan to enter the PC industry since late last year, but Kallasvuo's comment was the first official admittance of such plans.

"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a cellphone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said.

"Today we have hundreds of millions of people who are having their first Internet experience on the phone. This is a good indication," he said.

Nokia's comments come a week after No 3 PC brand Acer launched a foray into the phone business with eight cellphone models, joining leader Hewlett-Packard and No. 4 Lenovo in the high-growth space.

While strong profit margins in the smartphone industry attract PC brands, the attraction of the low-margin computer industry is less obvious.

"Nokia maybe nervous about entering a market segment that is already heavily commoditised, but it would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution," said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight.

"All leading mobile network operators and retailers are adding connected notebooks and netbooks to their portfolios alongside mobile phones. On this basis it comes as no surprise that Nokia is evaluating this segment," he said.

The global PC industry was resilient for most of last year when other technology sectors were ailing, but it too has now been caught up in the deepening economic downturn that has hit demand from consumers and corporate buyers.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Motorola to bring live 'News on the Mobile' to India

Motorola, Inc's Indian subsidiary, Motorola India Private Limited, and digital publisher, Pressmart Media Limited, on Tuesday announced the live news-on-the-mobile service on MOTO VE66, MOTOSURF A3000 and MOTOROKR EM35 phones slated for distribution in India.

News on the mobile provides consumers access to branded news content powered by Pressmart. By selecting the WAP link "Daily News" on their Motorola phones, consumers can receive free news content and access to their favourite newspapers while on the go.

Newspapers offered on the service include Indian Express, The Financial Express, The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle.

News-on-the-mobile is designed specifically for the mobile phone screen for optimum viewing experience.

A GPRS connection is required to access the free news content, a Motorola press release said here.


Is Vodafone to layoff hundreds of jobs?

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone group by revenue, is to cut hundreds of jobs in Britain, according to a report on Sky News.

The move to cut jobs could be made as early as Tuesday, said the report.

The mobile phone operator, which employs 10,000 people, has previously said it will boost free cash flow by cutting 1 billion pounds of costs.

Vodafone declined to comment on specific job cuts.


Nokia, Qualcomm tie up after years in court battles

Top cellphone maker Nokia will use Qualcomm's chips in its advanced cellphones, the firms said on Tuesday, marking a further warming of ties between the former courtroom rivals.

The cooperation gives Qualcomm access to a major share of the smartphone market, while it enables Nokia to further lower production costs.

"In the end of the day Qualcomm needs Nokia as much as Nokia needs Qualcomm," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

The deal marks the first time Nokia will use Qualcomm chipsets in its 3G phones, and brings the firms closer together after years of bitter disputes over intellectual property rights and royalty payments.

"We are very very excited about this opportunity," Andrew Gilbert, the head of Qualcomm's European business told the media in an interview. "We are going to compete for as much of their business as we can."

Nokia's key suppliers of 3G chipsets have been Texas Instruments and STMicro, which has spun off wireless chips into a joint venture with Ericsson.

Nokia and the new ST-Ericsson venture said on Tuesday they would cooperate on providing ST-Ericsson's U8500 chips for 3G smartphones using Symbian foundation software.

Nokia said on Tuesday it had tapped also Broadcom , its current supplier of second-generation technology chips, to supply 3G chipsets.

Nokia eyes U.S. Market

Nokia and Qualcomm agreed last July to a 15-year settlement that included a hefty 1.7 billion euro one-time payment from Nokia, ending a three-year legal battle where the firms raised dozens of cases against each other on three continents.

The agreement also comes against the backdrop of an ailing cellphone market, with 2009 sales set to drop as consumers rein in spending on new gadgets due to the economic recession.

Nokia said it would introduce the first model using Qualcomm chipset and Nokia's software in the middle of next year.

The phones would initially be for the North American market and work on third-generation networks and run on the Symbian operating system, the most widely-used smartphone software that is currently controlled by Nokia but will eventually be made royalty-free for all users.

Nokia shares were down 2.2 percent at 9.11 euros on a weaker Dow Jones Stoxx European Technology Index.

"I don't see the markets reacting since the products are expected to be sold only around mid-2010," said Nordea analyst Martti Larjo. "(But) at least the cooperation shows that Nokia is focusing its efforts on the North American market."

Nokia has long struggled in the U.S. market. North American sales dropped 20 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, and Nokia's North American market share of some 8.7 percent was well below its global figure of 37 percent.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is Wipro riding on the recovery wave?

The last two quarters were a bitter time for the computer industry in India. However, with a slight recovery seen in sales during January, Wipro Infotech wants to ride on the recovery wave in the notebook segment by launching its new series.

As per IDC reports, notebooks market will see a growth of 12% in India and with this expectation, Wipro has rolled out e.go, its new range of notebooks in India.

Talking to CXOtoday, Anand Sankaran, Chief Exclusive of Wipro Infotech said, “The industry has gone through a rough period during the last two quarters but we are seeing a sign of recovery since January 2009 and expect this trend to continue. We have launched our new range we reach out to the bold new Indian.”

This is Wipro’s second range of notebooks launched and will cater primarily to the Indian market. What more the e.go comes in three models and most unique one is the 7F3800 with a 10 inch ultra portable netbook priced at Rs 19,990 excusive of taxes. It comes in four vibrant colours including chrome red, ocean blue, racer yellow, autumn red and coral blue. “We are setting a new revolution by coming out with a netbook priced sub of Rs 20,000 that more ever comes with such high features,” said Ashok Tripathy, General Manager & Head, Computing Division, Wipro Infotech.

The notebooks have been designed integrating aerodynamics contours with advanced thermo dynamics to ensure perfect harmony of design and function.

The company plans to reach out to the enterprise as well as the consumer segment. “We have seen a negative growth in the enterprise segment but the consumers’ continue to show a positive trend in sales,’ said Sankaran.

Besides the range also comes with all ‘Green’ features that are eco-friendly and have all RoHS complaint features installed that can be recycled without causing any damage to the environment.

In fact, Wipro recorded a 60-70% jump in notebook sales during the last year but due to the present global scenario doesn’t permit similar growth this year, said Sankaran.

Wipro will target the consumers segment by selling its new desktops at Reliance Digital, Next and Pantaloon’s E Zone outlets across the country. “We expect to add more retailers in the coming months,’ said Tripathy.

Wipro has a manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million units from its two units at Pondicherry and at Uttaranchal. However, they did not disclose if the plant is utilizing its full capacity at it two units or not.

IT Cos Eye Slice of Aerospace Outsourcing!

With the global recession impacting IT companies, Indian software firms are eying the huge aerospace and defense (A&D) market as airplane makers and Defense companies look to control costs by outsourcing design and management systems.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates the Indian Defense market to touch $36 billion by 2013 and companies in India are expected to get offset orders worth nearly $4 billion through 2011.

Sensing this potential, companies such as IBM, Wipro and HCL are working on IT implementation contracts. The offset programme is expected to open up new opportunities for these IT vendors for A&D contract worth over Rs 300 crore.

Talking to CXOtoday, Anup Vittal, Industry Leader-Aerospace & Defense of IBM India, said, "With A&D OEMs and tiered suppliers increasingly outsourcing IT and engineering services, there is a very large window of opportunity created for software (IT) companies. A&D companies are increasingly being asked to demonstrate product development agility, human capital management, improve upon service offerings in the aftermarket space and enable enterprise cost effectiveness."

"All of these capabilities can be developed by partnering with established software organizations that are capable of driving innovation and improvements. This, in turn, makes it a very lucrative market for software companies to exhibit their expertise," said Vittal.

IBM is bullish about the A&D market in India and sees a huge potential to earn up to $5 billion from these sectors in India over a 10-year period. Additionally, as a qualified A&D offsets partner in India, IBM is well-poised for significant growth in this region, as companies in India are expected to get offset orders worth nearly $4 billion through 2011.

Similarly, Wipro offers application development and maintenance and enterprise business integration. It also has the expertise to offer IT services for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of civilian aircraft, and is already offering these services to some of its clients.

HCL's main area of expertise in A&D sector are avionics, aero structures and mechanical engineering services for aero engines and addresses the aerospace industry's key points.

Karun Khanna, director of Alpha Design Technologies, said, "Looking at the huge demand for software in the A&D sector, most of the IT software players are all now eying a large share in this sector. Since they all have high domain knowledge, it will give this sector the much-needed boost."

India's opening up of the Defense sector to foreign direct investment, the ongoing modernization plan of its Armed Forces and enormous new opportunities in the civil aviation sector have opened innumerable new avenues.

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