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Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat is the 2009 Impact Person of the Year

Rajesh Kamat, CEO of the year and a half old television channel Colors, last night became the Impact Person of the Year 2009 at a well-attended industry bash in Mumbai, hosted by exchange4media.

The 12 nominees for the impact Person of the Year 2009 were: Sam Balsara of Madison World, Subhash Chandra founder of  Zee Group, Haresh Chawla of Network 18, Arnab Goswami of Times Now, Samir and Vineet Jain from the current promoters of Bennett Coleman &Co, Rajesh Kamat of Colors, Kalanidhi Maran founder of of Sun Network, Harit Nagpal of Vodafone, Vikram Sakhuja of Group M, Ronnie Screwvala promoter of UTV Network, Uday Shankar of Star India and Rajiv Verma from HT Media.

Aaccomplished musician and sitar mastro Pt Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Anoushka Shankar,  who hersl f has won musical awards including the pretigious British House of Commons Shield in 1998, was chief guest at the event.

The impact Person of the Year Award was established in 2005, with its first recipient being Peter Mukerjea, who was then with Star India, followed by Rajdeep Sardesai in 2006, Vijay Mallya in in 2007 and Lalit Modi and Raghav Bahl in 2009 under th editorial choice category.

In July Colors completed one year on Indian television

Global Delight, developers and publishers of the popular free camera app on the App Store – Camera Plus – today released a pro version of the appliacation, Camera Plus Pro,  that works exclusivelt on the iPhone. The new appliacationi requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later.

Camera Plus Pro aims at making the iPhone the default camera for any occasion with its capturing, editing, sharing and managing options.
With features such as point zoom, timed capture, burst mode, filters, anti-shake, flash, crop and more, Camera Plus Pro provides the user with flexibility for capturing pictures and editing them.

“We set the bar pretty high when we released Camera Plus in October. With Camera Plus hitting close to 2 million downloads within a short span of time, we were inundated with fan mails and feature requests that got us working on a Pro version”, said Mr. Rohith Bhat, CEO of Global Delight. “Now with this new release of Camera Plus Pro, we have once again set the bar pretty high”, he added.

With the Point Zoom feature, users can zoom to a particular point on their screen with precision. Camera Plus Pro’s Timed Capture function enables the users to set a countdown timer for up to 10 seconds, enabling them to be a part of the pictures as well. Burst mode function captures multiple photos continuously with a choice of 3 to 8 shots at a time, with only a second’s difference between each shot.

Camera Plus Pro also provides a choice of 7 Filters; thus users can add that special touch to their captures. One can also get rid of blurry pictures with the Anti-Shake feature. Users can apply up to 3 varying degrees of Flash, which can also be selectively undone. Square and Circular Crop features enable the user to retain a portion of the capture that they want.

German carmaker Volkswagen AG today took the second step in its multi-stage integration with Porsche SE, acquiring a 49.9 per cent stake in its luxury sports car business for €3.9 billion ($5.8 billion).

“The next important step on the way towards the integrated automotive group with Porsche has therefore been completed, as announced, before the end of the year,” Volkswagen said in a press release.

The €3.9 billion price is based on the enterprise value for Porsche AG calculated under a careful due diligence and valuation procedure, it said.

“The acquisition of the trading business of Porsche Holding Salzburg is planned for 2011. The creation of the integrated automotive group is then to conclude with the merger of Volkswagen AG and Porsche SE during the course of the same year,” it added.

Volkswagen had convened an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders last week for the implementation of a comprehensive agreement signed in August and subsequent agreements signed in November.

“The combination of the two companies follows a compelling strategic, industrial and financial logic. For the Volkswagen Group, Porsche ideally complements the brand portfolio. The Stuttgart-based carmaker will allow Volkswagen to further expand its position in the premium business, which offers particularly strong earnings. In turn, as an independent brand under the roof of the Volkswagen Group, Porsche will have the potential for significant additional growth,” the release said.

The transaction will have a sustained positive effect on the Volkswagen Group’s earnings. With a return on sales of 10.3 per cent, Porsche AG is the world’s most profitable automobile manufacturer. Besides, the planned integration of Porsche in the Volkswagen Group and the associated closer cooperation will help realise significant synergies on both the income and the cost side. Volkswagen Group expects its annual operating profit to increase by some €700 million in the long term.

Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla Ltd said on Monday that it has received a notice from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on overpricing two of its antibiotic drugs. Government watchdog NPPA has sought Rs11.55 crore and interest of Rs8.59 crore in respect of the drug Ciprofloxacin, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Cipla said the demand was contrary to a Supreme Court ruling and it had legal advice the demand was not tenable. “The period to which these amounts pertain to have not been specified in the demand notice,” it said.

The company also got a notice demanding an amount of Rs11 lakh by way of interest up to April 2009 in respect of its the drug Doxycycline, it further said. Both the drugs are used in the treatment of bacterial infections.

In July, Cipla had received a similar notice from the agency for alleged overpricing of two other drugs – Salbutamol and Norfloxacin. It had then got a demand notice of Rs64.39 crore for asthma drug Salbutamol and Rs2.19 crore for Norfloxacin, used in treating infections.

NPPA, under the chemicals and fertilisers ministry, is responsible for keeping an eye on the price movement of dugs in the country.

A French commercial court fined online auction giant eBay Inc €1.7 million ($2.6 million) for failing to comply with a 2008 injunction to stop sales of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA perfumes on its French Web site.

eBay was fined yesterday by the Paris Commercial Court for the unlawful marketing on its site of Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain perfumes in the latest round in a long-running legal battle over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Internet.

This judgment follows the ruling against eBay by the Paris Commercial Court on 30 June 2008 which found eBay guilty of serious neglect of its obligation to respect selective distribution networks.

The French court had then ordered eBay to pay a total of €38.6 million in damages to the French luxury goods company LVMH, with €19.28 million to be paid to Louis Vuitton Malletier and €16.3 million to Christian Dior Couture as damages for the sale of counterfeit products.

In addition, eBay was told to pay €3.25 million to four perfume brands – Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain – for infringing on a selective distribution network. All these six brands are part of the LVMH group.

Further to payment of €1.7 million, the Court ordered eBay yesterday to discontinue its illegal practices.

The Obama administration extended the regional centre investment EB-5 program, which entitles investors who put in $1 million into regional centre real estate projects and create at least 10 jobs in the U.S., to green cards along with their families.

Simply put, this program allows investors a fast-track to U.S. green cards and permanent residency. If investors are willing to put money into a business carried out on in a designated backward area, the investment required is even lower at $500,000, reports Economic Times.

The EB-5 program is attracting a large number of hospitality entrepreneurs from Gujarat who are keen on setting up shop in the U.S. Many of the Gujarati hotel entrepreneurs also have strong family links in the U.S.

“The falling dollar has increased the number of applications in the EB-5 category in addition to access to branded hotel deals that are trading at 30-40 percent discount. This is definitely the time to buy as the U.S. real estate market is slowly recovering,” says Sachin U Patel, Managing Principal of real estate development company American Life, which operates the EB-5 regional centres in Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett.

The regional centres are diversified funds or private business development projects that allow EB-5 investors to infuse the required funds and in return acquire a small ownership interest.

Most immigration experts are seeing a growing interest in the EB-5 category of visas. Mumbai-based Immigration Attorney Sudhir Shah says, “This is certainly a good time to apply for the EB-5 programme. There are several schemes on offer wherein you merely have to invest money and in return you get a green card without having to actively participate in the business. For those who are looking at moving to the U.S. to run a motel or store there, the reduced property prices are a big attraction too, as they can get more value for their dollar investments.”

The EB-5 scheme, though proving to be very attractive, is however not without glitches. Proving that the funds available for investment are from lawful sources can be a challenge for some Indian investors.

Karnataka is targetting a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 9 per cent by 2010 from 7 per cent today, and is set to launch infrastructure projects including public private partnership projects (PPP) worth Rs100,000 crore by 2010, said V Madhu, principal secretary, infrastructure development department, government of Karnataka.

He was speaking at the special session on Karnataka, with the theme of  Infrastructure Development Agenda and Investment Opportunities, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry at EXCON 2009 in Bengaluru.

Karnataka is now among the top five industrial states in India. It is one among the states that register steady growth in GDP, which is about Rs215,282 crore, he added.

Karnataka’s road sector needs an investment of Rs125,000 crore by 2020, for energy sector, it needs the funding of Rs 80,000 crore by 2017 and for airport infrastructure, Rs15000 crore by 2011. Railways alone need Rs 21,000 crore, he said.