Boeing to Set Up Engineering and Technology Facility in India

Seattle-based commercial aircraft maker Boeing will invest $170 million to set up a new facility for engineering and technology which will manufacture and assemble electronics /avionics in Bangalore, India. The Karnataka state government gave permission for the project which will be set up on about 36 acres of state-owned land at Aerospace Park.

Boeing 777-300

Business Line reports that Boeing expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 new aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years which, according to the plane maker, is the highest-ever forecast for the country. Boeing also expects single-aisle planes like the next generation 737 and 737 Max to account for most of the deliveries.

“The increasing number of passengers, combined with a strong exchange rate, low fuel prices, and high load factor bodes well for India’s aviation market, especially for the low-cost carriers,” Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said.

December 11, 2017   No Comments

Three of India’s States Consider Hyperloop Installations

In October, I blogged about Hyperloop Transportation Technologies first agreement with India’s eastern state of Andhra Pradesh‘s Economic Development Board, to facilitate the development of HTT’s Hyperloop Transportation System in the state.

In November, Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One entered into a partnership with the government of Maharashtra for exploring the possibility of connecting Mumbai and Pune with the hyperloop transportation system. The distance of 92 miles between the two cities would take just 14 minutes, a journey that currently takes up to three hours by car, reports BusinessLine.

Virgin Hyperloop One LogoVirgin Hyperloop One has also approached the government of the southern state of Karnataka to conduct a preliminary study to understand hyperloop’s feasibility and economic impact in the region. The state’s minister for IT, Priyank Kharge, said, “We are happy to partner with Virgin Hyperloop One for its preliminary study in our region and we hope to bring out some concrete solutions for the state swiftly.”

Nick Earle, senior vice president for global field operations, Virgin Hyperloop One, said, “India is one of the most important geographies for developing hyperloop networks and re-imagining the complete transportation system. With this preliminary study, we are excited to initiate the build-up of a strong foothold that we foresee in future throughout the state,” reports the Economic Times.

December 2, 2017   No Comments

India Now Grows “Kopi Luwak” Coffee

India, Asia’s third-largest producer and exporter of coffee, started producing the world’s most expensive coffee, known as civet coffee or kopi luwak.

In the country’s largest coffee-growing area in the southern state of Karnataka, a start-up firm, Coorg Consolidated Commodities, produces the luxury coffee on a small scale. Narendra Hebbar, one of the founders of the company explained that civet cats eat the flesh of coffee cherries, but not the bean. The animal’s excreta contains the partially digested seeds or beans which are sourced from plantations located close to the forest from where the wild civet cats come to eat the ripest coffee cherries. Natural enzymes in the civet’s stomach enhance the flavor of the bean which makes this coffee unique.

Coffee berries

The Economic Times reports that in India, this specialty coffee sells at $65 per pound  (a cup of kopi luwak can sell for as much as $80); its price includes the cost of sourcing the animal droppings, processing the beans, accounting for the wastage during processing and acquiring quality certifications.

Coorg Consolidated Commodities has signed a contract with a company in Dubai for exporting the coffee, and aims to produce three tons of it by next year.

September 15, 2017   No Comments

Some iPhones May Soon Be “Made in India”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call in the first week of February that India is “the place to be.” And Priyank Kharge, the minister for Information Technology for the state of Karnataka, India, said that Cupertino-based Apple Inc., will at first, begin assembling iPhones in India by the end of April.  “Apple’s iPhones will be made in Bangalore (the capital city of Karnataka) and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market,” added Kharge.

apple-ipad_1

Wistron, Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer, will use its existing facility in an industrial zone to the north of Bangalore to assemble the smartphones, and later, it will start manufacturing them.

The company sold a modest 2.5 million iPhones in the country in 2016. While that was its best year ever in terms of revenues and sales, it only ranked 10th among vendors in the December quarter according to Counterpoint Research, says Bloomberg. Apple accounts for less than 2 percent of shipments in India, where an estimated 750 million smartphones will be sold by 2020. “In the longer term, it’s a great move,” Cook added on the post-earnings call. “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country.”

February 6, 2017   No Comments

Fair Wear Foundation Reports Improvements in India’s Apparel Industry

A report by multi stakeholder Fair Wear Foundation, a European initiative working to improve workplace conditions in the garment and textile industry, highlights positive factors in India’s garment industry.

Apparel Resources reports that Fair Wear Foundation India Country Study 2016 found no child labor in the garment industry of the country now as compared to the year 2000. Similarly there is no discrimination either on the basis of religion or caste, and women get ‘equal pay’ for ‘equal work’ just as men do.

Fair Wear Foundation

The audit was conducted in garment manufacturing hubs such as Delhi, and Noida in the north, and in Tirupur and in the state of Karnataka in the south, between 2013 and 2016. However, during the time of audit, it was found that 2-3 factories employed workers who were 15 to 18 years old.

 

September 19, 2016   No Comments