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Sahara India forays into IT, plans Rs 750-cr investment in 3 yrs

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Sahara India forays into IT, plans Rs 750-cr investment in 3 yrs

Lucknow-headquartered media, aviation and financial conglomerate Sahara India is making a foray into the IT industry. The group has inked a deal with Sahara Computers of South Africa to launch PCs, servers, laptops and peripherals in Indian market. Group chairman Subrata Roy says Rs 750 crore will be invested in the project over the next three years.

Further dwelling on the plans at the launch of the joint venture in Lucknow on Friday, Roy shares the group will introduce desktop systems, notebooks and server systems by the end of the running financial year. And, marketing initiatives for the products will begin by FY 05, through over 25 C&F agents spread across the country.

The Rs 50,000-crore Sahara India has entered in a 50:50 joint venture with the South African counterpart. The group is also contemplating on tie-ups with leading IT players like AMD, Creative, Delta, Epson, Intel, Microsoft, MSI, Samsung and Symantec to enable an effective channel for exchange of technology and skills.

The group plans to set up a hardware-manufacturing unit at Noida in UP by the end of 2004. The centre will again be a JV with the South Africa-based Sahara Computers. The assembling company has been christened as Sahara Computers and Electronics Limited (SCEL) and will assemble 15,000 units per day. The firm plans to employ over 1000 people.

Referring to the Indian market, Atul Gupta, Managing Director, Sahara Computers, South Africa, says the potentially strong Indian market for hardware is growing every day. As per the plans, by end 2005, an ICT supply chain for desktop, notebook and servers will be in place and exports are likely to begin in the coming years. However, all the products will be sold under the ‘Sahara’ brand name.

Optimistic about the joint venture, AMD President for Indian Operations says this would boost the sales of microprocessors. As one of the biggest microprocessor chip supplier for the South African firm, AMD would supply its chips for SCEL through the South African group, he informed.


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