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Tatas to pump in $2 bn in telecom

23-February-2004
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Tatas to pump in $2 bn in telecom

Ratan Tata has mega plans for domestic and international markets. While the Tata group plans to invest about $2 billion in its telecom venture over the next two years, other group companies are going on overdrive to tap east Asian markets.

“We will invest about $2 billion to build capacity of Tata Teleservices in the next two years. The investment will be in addition to $1.5 billion already invested,” Tata Industries managing director Kishore Chaukar said on the sidelines of the third Asia Pacific Executive Forum meeting jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and East-West Center (EWC).

The investment will be made in capacity building which will be done in stages in various cities, he said adding that “the proposed two-billion dollars investment would be a combination of both - debt and equity.” He, however, declined to give details on the funding part.

“Tata group companies such as Tata Autocomp Systems (TACO), Tata Motors, TCS and Tata Steel will increasingly focus on growing markets of the East Asian countries,” he said adding that TACO is planning to open a unit in Thailand due to cost advantage.

TACO, a relatively new company of Tata group, is supplying auto component directly to auto manufacturers and aspires to become become a global supplier. The company has already bagged a $100 million order from Ford for supply of plastic parts. It is also supplying wiring harness to Yazaki, its Japanese partner. Yazaki, in turn, supplies its products to Toyota and Nissan. TACO also plans to set up offices in Thailand, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Korea.

Tapping the booming Asian markets made sense in view of quality, delivery schedule, overall logistics and benefits emanating from a plethora of bilateral trade treaties being worked out with a number of countries in the region, he said.

On the proposed public issue of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Mr Chaukar said: “the company will take a decision based on the advice of merchant bankers.”

Tatas are ready to foray into the direct-to-home (DTH) television segment in India, he mentioned.

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