Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
24 August 2013

Will Taka, Rupee Be At Par Soon?

New Delhi, Aug 24 : The Bangladesh Taka has been gradually appreciating against the Indian Rupee over the past year and if the trend continues, both the currencies will become equal in value, according to foreign exchange traders.

The Bangladesh Taka, which was more than Tk 1.70 against a Rupee in early 2012, continued to appreciate against the Indian currency since then and on Thursday, it came to Tk 1.19 a Rupee to register some 30 per cent appreciation in Mumbai inter-bank trade, foreign exchange dealers said in Dhaka on Friday.

However, the depreciation of Indian currency has boosted exports of Indian goods to Bangladesh, which depends greatly on India for imports of most of its essentials including cotton and commodities worth $4.5 billion, they said.

Bangladesh exports goods including the recently allowed garments to India worth nearly $600 million a year. However, the depreciation of Rupee against US dollar and also against Taka is likely to hurt exports of Bangladesh to India.

This depreciation of Rupee will widen the existing huge trade deficit further for Bangladesh, Bangladesh exporters said.

The partially-convertible Rupee slumped by 2.21 per cent to hit a new record low of Rs 65.56 against a dollar at the inter-bank foreign exchange market, surpassing its previous record low of 64.11 on Wednesday, said Indo Asian News Agency (IANS).

On the other hand, a US dollar that cost around Tk 80 in 2012 was available at Tk 77.70 on an average in inter-bank trade on Thursday.

The BB intervened whenever there was excess supply of dollars in the market to prevent Taka from further appreciating.

The BB purchased a record US$ 4.539 billion from the commercial banks directly in the just concluded fiscal year (FY), 2012-13, to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market stable, officials said Thursday.

The depreciation of Rupee has slowed Indian imports of fish and other edibles from Bangladesh, as importers in India do not find trading on Bangladeshi goods viable in their domestic retail markets especially in northeast states of India. Most of these Indian states depend on imports of some essentials from Bangladesh.

The US dollar is used as the international currency for the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India.

Despite a temporary export ban on certain items including fish and vegetables imposed during Muslim fasting month Ramadan, withdrawn on August 10, many Indian importers are yet to resume imports from Bangladesh.

Volume of trade between northeast Indian state of Tripura and Bangladesh fell by 85 per cent in July last due to the escalating exchange rate of the US dollar, which remains almost unchanged against Taka in inter-bank foreign exchange trade.

In fact, suspension of international trade at Akhaura for over a month has severely affected fish supply to the state of Tripura and the resultant shortage has led to escalation of fish prices from Rs 300 to Rs 1,200 per kg in all city markets, a report from Agartala (capaital of Tripura) published in the Times of India newspaper on Monday last said.

Tripura can only cater to 40 per cent of the state's total fish requirement and the remaining 60 per cent comes to the state from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh, it said.

Meanwhile, as of the last week the Bangladesh currency is likely to be appreciated further against Rupee and remain steady against US dollar at its forex reserves have reached a record $ 16 billion, spurred by a double-digit growth in exports and low food imports, foreign exchange dealers said.

A slump in food imports following high agricultural output, improvement in payment system and a double-digit export growth have all contributed to robust forex reserve, they said.

Bangladesh received a record $14.46 billion in remittance in the fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 which was 12.6 per cent higher than the previous FY. The export income in the 2012-13 fiscal was $27.02 billion, 11.18 per cent higher than the year before, the BB data said.
21 August 2013

Auto Makers Maruti, Honda, GM Turn Towards Northeast, Eye 50% Jump in Sales

Guwahati, Aug 21 : With country's auto sector going through tough phase, the industry is looking towards the North Eastern market that promises good opportunity with major manufacturers expecting growth of up to 50 per cent in sales.

Major auto makers Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars, General Motors India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor are planning to expand their reach in the region that has largely been untapped. "The North Eastern market is very fertile. I think, the future of this region is very bright.

Opportunities are there for auto makers," Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told PTI.

The rate of owning a car in India is 18 units per 1,000 people and it is even lower in North East (NE), he added.

Expecting a huge growth in the market, the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of Japanese car major Honda is increasing its focus in the eight states of the region and plans to expand its base aggressively in the coming months.

"The North East market is increasingly gaining significance for Honda as this market has a lot of sales potential for hatchbacks and compact sedans. We are hoping more than 50 per cent jump in our sales in the region," Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

Considering the current industry growth, which is negative since last several months, the NE region is still expected to post a double digit growth, he added.

Sen further said the growth in the NE will be huge due to the fact that the automobile players are increasingly focusing on this market and it currently has a smaller base.

Talking about the company's dealership expansion plans in the region, he said: "In next 18 months, we will be expanding our presence in the entire North East and will have new facilities coming up in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

"The company, which opened its first dealership in this region at Guwahati in 2008, is currently present in Guwahati and Dibrugarh in Assam, and Gangtok in Sikkim.

The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India is also expanding its presence in rural and remote parts of NE as it expects "rapid growth" in the region in the next 3-4 years.

"North East market has always been very important for Maruti Suzuki. We believe that there is a huge opportunity in rural areas of North East, besides the major cities," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.

Currently, this region contributes around 4 per cent to the total domestic sales of MSI and it is "significant considering the socio-geographical nature of the region", he added.
15 August 2013

America’s Most Profitable company per employee makes your phone work—and it’s not Apple

You’d be forgiven for not recognizing the name InterDigital, despite the fact that it has been around since 1972 and developed many of the technologies that are critical to our increasingly mobile, wireless world. As a result, per employee, InterDigital is the most profitable company in the US, with a net income of $937,255 per worker, according to Bloomberg’s just-released visual compendium of data. And the only thing InterDigital produces is designs for new technology—and the occasional lawsuit.

But whatever you do, don’t call InterDigital a patent troll—CEO William Merritt hates that term. And it’s admittedly not a fair label for InterDigital, in contrast to firms that merely buy up patents in order to then sue other people over them. Like ARM, the Cambridge, UK-based company that designs the chips that are in practically every mobile device on the planet, InterDigital does not manufacture anything itself. Yet the company employs more than 200 engineers who have collectively helped InterDigital amass a trove of patents that could be worth billions. InterDigital also creates working prototypes of all of its technologies, in order to demonstrate them to industry partners like Alcatel-Lucent, who later incorporate them into their products.

InterDigital isn’t shy about both licensing the technology it develops and selling it outright. In 2012, InterDigital sold 1,700 patents to Intel for $375 million, which led InterDigital’s stock to surge 27% in a single day as the markets speculated that the rest of the company’s patent portfolio might be equally valuable. In 2011, the company’s stock shot up 70% when its leaders announced the company would be for sale, and rumors circulated that Apple and Google would bid on it, in an attempt to lock up InterDigital’s intellectual property. (InterDigital’s attempt to sell itself ended in January 2012, when the company opted to license its IP instead.)

Using that patent portfolio in court cases appears to be as important to InterDigital as licensing its technology to mobile companies—you might call it the carrot (develop new wireless standards and technology) and stick (sue anyone who violates your intellectual property) approach to innovation. Presently, InterDigital is suing Nokia, Huawei and ZTE for violation of its patents, seeking a ban on import of their products. However, the company’s case may have weakened, and its stock has declined, after another patent case—this one by Samsung against Apple—came to naught when president Barack Obama vetoed an import ban on older Apple products.

InterDigital’s job pages reflect the company’s dual nature. They include openings for both hardware engineers and patent managers. While the company has yet to sell itself, its per-employee revenue suggests that the only thing more profitable than either inventing or suing is doing both at the same time.
06 August 2013

Maruti Suzuki to Expand Dealer Network in Remote Parts of Northeast

Guwahati, Aug 6 : Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki today said it will expand its presence in rural and remote parts of North East as it expects "rapid growth" in this region over the next 3-4 years.

The company, which first opened its outlet in North East 30 years ago at a time of rolling out its first car in the country, currently sells an average of 3,000 vehicles every month in the region. "North East market has always been very important for Maruti Suzuki...We believe that there is huge opportunity in rural areas of North East states, besides the major cities," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek told PTI.

Currently, this region contributes around 4 per cent to the total domestic volume of MSI and it is "significant considering the socio-geographical nature of the region", he added.

Asked about growth expectations from the region, Pareek said: "We are very confident that this share will only rise in coming years as North East offers vast potential. The region is expected to grow rapidly over the next 3-4 years. However, putting a number to that will not be prudent."

The company had sold a total of 10.5 lakh vehicles in the domestic market in 2012-13. Out of that, around 40,000 units were contributed by the North Eastern states, translating to a sales revenue of approximately Rs 1,200 crore.

Among all the North Eastern states, Assam contributes the highest in terms volume with a share of almost 60 per cent in the total sales of MSI from the region.

"However, as road and other infrastructure develops, going forward we expect the share of other states to increase. The awareness about advantages of a dependable personal vehicle will surely bring more opportunity for us," Pareek said.

To increase sales, the company is expanding its dealership and service network across the region that is geographically challenging.

"We are planning to expand all across North East region. However, our primary focus would be to expand our reach in rural areas of the region. We want to be present to customers in far flung areas of the entire North East.

"North East region has always found special focus in company strategy for reach, volumes and customer service. Maruti Suzuki products have always found deep trust among customers in North East. Based on the potential, we have progressively increased our sales and service network in the region," Pareek said.

At present, MSI network has 39 dealer showrooms and 52 workshops in the region. The first showroom came up in the region 30 years back in 1983, when the then Maruti Udyog Ltd had begun making and selling cars in India.
15 July 2013

Honda expects over 50 per cent jump in sales in Northeast

Honda Honda Cars India is expecting over 50 per cent jump in its sales in the North East region during 2013-14 even as the total four-wheeler market in the country is going through sharp decline in the recent months.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese car major Honda is increasing its focus in the eight states of the region and plans to expand its base aggressively in the coming months to tap the potential of this market.

"If we look at the current industry growth, which is negative since last several months, the NE region is still expected to post a double digit growth," Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen told.

The growth in the NE will be huge due to the fact that the automobile players are increasingly focusing on this market and it currently has a smaller base, he added.

When asked how much growth HCIL expects in this fiscal, Sen said: "The North East market is increasingly gaining significance for Honda as this market has lot of sales potential for hatchbacks and compact sedans...We are hoping more than 50 per cent jump in our sales in the region."

On the models that are driving the company's growth in the region, he said small car Brio and sedans Amaze and City have highest demand.

The company has posted 26 per cent jump at 469 units during April-June quarter this year over the same period last year in the region.

During last fiscal, HCIL had sold a total of 73,483 units across the country.

Out of this, only 1,212 units were sold in the NE region.

Talking about the company's delearship expansion plans in the region, Sen said: "In next 18 months, we will be expanding our presence in the entire North East and will have new facilities coming up in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland."

The company, which opened its first dealership in this region at Guwahati in 2008, is currently present in Guwahati and Dibrugarh in Assan, and Gangtok in Sikkim.

Car sales in India fell for a record eighth month in a row in June with a dip of 9 per cent as economic slowdown and low consumer sentiments continue to hit demand.

The continuous decline in the automobile market prompted the industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to seek stimulus package from the government, similar to the one given during the 2008-09 downturn, in which excise duty on two-wheelers, small cars and commercial vehicles were reduced to 8 per cent.

With actual sales in the first quarter of this fiscal turning out to be wide off the mark from what it had forecast in April, SIAM stayed away from revising sales projections it had made in April this year and stated that even those targets were unlikely to be met, except in two-wheeler segment.
09 July 2013

Northeast Has Huge Business Potential: UK Envoy

Guwahati, Jul 9 : British high commissioner Sir James Bevan said the dividend of prevailing peace in the northeast is evident in the development that the region has been experiencing.

At an interactive programme organized by the Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP) here on Monday, Bevan said with peace there has been a marked confidence among people in taking the region to the path of development. The forum is an NGO and Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi's son, Gaurav Gogoi, is its secretary.

"The infrastructure is growing. Soft infrastructures like healthcare and education is also progressing. The growth of the region is remarkably good. As a whole there is huge potential in the region," Bevan observed.

Although Bevan mentioned about the northeast's challenges primarily because of its location sharing border with many countries, at the same time he talked about the region's opportunities in terms of business investment and its location in proximity to Southeast Asia.

"There are challenges, but also immense opportunities. We want to be a partner in the development of the region. Britain has a lot to offer to the northeast. A lot of investors are willing to invest in various sectors. There are immense potentialities in tourism, agriculture and hydro-power. British companies have lot of expertise in the infrastructure sector. Education is also a sector where we collaborate," Bevan said.

The diplomat recalled a comment of a top bureaucrat of the northeast during his earlier visit to the region. He said, "I asked the bureaucrat if I came back to northeast after 20 years, what would you tell me? The bureaucrat replied the region will be the richest place in India. 'I am confident," he added.

Bevan also met chief minister Tarun Gogoi before the interactive session. He talked to Gogoi about how Britain can help in mitigating climate change in the northeast, in general and Assam, in particular.

With Edward Snowden leak creating flutter in media, the diplomat had to face questions from one of the participants during the interactive session about ethics of spying.
03 July 2013

Oil India to invest Rs 12,000 cr in Northeast by 2017

Oil India Ltd said today it plans to invest Rs 12,000 crore in the North East by 2017 on projects, including expansion of exploration work and diversification of business.
Oil India Ltd said today it plans to invest Rs 12,000 crore in the North East by 2017 on projects, including expansion of exploration work and diversification of business.

Guwahati, Jul 3 : Oil India LtdBSE -2.02 % said today it plans to invest Rs 12,000 crore in the North East by 2017 on projects, including expansion of exploration work and diversification of business.

"We have set a capex target of Rs 19,000 crore for the 12th Five-Year Plan till 2017. Out of this, Rs 12,000 crore will be invested in the North East," Oil India Ltd (OIL) Chairman and MD Sunil Kumar Srivastava told reporters here.

The state-run company will spend Rs 1,982 crore in the North East out of the total investment of Rs 3,581 crore planned for the current financial year.

The company will use the money on activities such as exploring new blocks, diversification, upgrading infrastructure and general corporate purposes, he said.

OIL, which has wind energy projects in Rajasthan, plans to expand its presence in the sector by setting up units in the North East.

"We are conducting a feasibility study in the North East to see the potential of this business. Once we are done with the study and get a positive feedback, we will set up the plants," Srivastava said.

He declined to share details about the time frame and the investment proposed for starting wind projects in the region.

The company has two wind energy plants in Rajasthan with capacities of 13.6 MW and 54 MW.

"As part of our diversification strategy, we are also looking to enter the natural gas segment. We have appointed a global consultant to see the potential of LNG business in India," Srivastava said.

OIL is investing Rs 871 crore to upgrade its pipelines from Duliajan in Assam to Barauni in Bihar.

"We are upgrading and revamping our pipelines. By mid-2015, we replace all our old fuel pumps from Duliajan to Barauni," Srivastava said.

The North East accounts for OIL's entire crude oil output and a majority of its gas production, according to the company's website.

OIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said on June 25 they agreed to jointly buy Videocon Industries' 10 per cent stake in a Mozambique gas field for USD 2.5 billion.

OIL has said it will raise up to USD 900 million in overseas debt by October to pay for its acquisition of a 4 per cent interest in the Rovuma Area 1 offshore block in Mozambique.
28 June 2013

Why Your Cuppa Is Costlier

By Debiprasad Nayak and Biman Mukherji
Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Rains have come more than three weeks late to much of Assam state, stunting the growth of tea buds and leaves.
Tea prices are on the boil in India because of uneven monsoon rains in the country’s northeast.
The monsoon arrived early over most of India this year, causing death and destruction in the northwest. But the rains have come more than three weeks late to much of Assam state, one of the world’s top tea growing regions.

As a result, temperatures have stayed five to six degrees Celsius above normal, stunting the growth of tea buds and leaves during the crucial months of May and June, a period that usually yields the best quality of tea from shrubs.

“Tea leaves have crumpled and appear reddish,” said Sujit Patra, joint secretary of the Indian Tea Association.

Tea prices have already risen around 10% over the past month. Common varieties of tea are now priced around 130 rupees ($2.18) per kilogram at wholesale markets in Kolkata, industry officials say. They warn prices could rise further.

Weather officials say a low pressure area has affected the distribution of the rains this year, causing floods over northern hill states and an unusually dry spell in the northeast.

Rainfall in Assam and the adjoining state of Meghalaya so far in June is 57% below average, according to the state-run India Meteorological Department. Forecasters expect rains to increase from this week, but that will only limit some of the damage given that tea output in May fell 7% from a year earlier, according to the Indian tea industry officials.

“The total quantity of production is likely to be less this year, but it is difficult to estimate right now,” said D.P. Maheshwari, managing director of Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd., one of the largest tea producers in the country.

India is the world’s second-largest tea producer. In 2012, it produced 1.13 million tons of tea. About 80% is consumed within the country.
21 June 2013

How To Get Rich In Your Country Of Choice [Infographic]

It's easy! Just inherit gobs of cash.

How do the rich get rich? The answer depends on geography.

This infographic, designed by studio BoldFace and published by Independent Newspapers, breaks down, for various regions, how the rich earned their dough. In the United States, it's a landslide: 67 percent of wealthy survey respondents said they made it big by "savings through earnings." In the Middle East, meanwhile, "inheritance" is just barely the most popular way of striking it rich, with 49 percent of respondents saying they got their dough passed on to them. Since the graphic was published in Irish newspapers, there's also of ton of data on how Ireland's rich accumulated their wealth.

The infographic still leaves a couple questions open. How is "wealthy" being defined here? And what can we attribute to the differences: culture, laws, or something else? Either way, go ahead and use this as your field guide to your very own cash-filled swimming pool.

How The Rich Get Rich
How The Rich Get Rich:  Independent Newspapers/Boldface
18 June 2013

Honda Unveils 'CB Trigger' For Northeast India Market

Guwahati, Jun 18 : Country's second largest two-wheeler maker Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India today launched 150 cc motorcycle CB Trigger for the North-East aimed at capturing 20 per cent of the market in this segment in the region.

The CB Trigger is priced between Rs. 70,315 and Rs. 79,900 (ex-showroom, Guwahati), Vivek Taluja, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) Division Head (Regional Office East), told reporters here.

The bike, which will compete with Bajaj Auto's Pulsar, claims to give a mileage of 60 kilometre per litre.

Talking about sales expectation from this region, Taluja said, "The 150cc category market in the North-East is around 2,600 units per month. We are targetting to capture 20 per cent share with the CB Trigger." The company is currently working on organising a rally from Guwahati in Assam to Tawang via Bombdila in Arunachal Pradesh to give its brand image a boost, and is inviting Honda customers to take part in it, he added.

"We are interested in organising a bike rally in the North-East to strengthen our brand image. We are considering to do it this year," Taluja said.

When asked if it will be for all HMSI buyers, Taluja said, "Usually premium bike owners are more willing to take part in such adventures. We are looking to invite customers who have bought bikes of 250cc or above category." HMSI at present has 17 dealers across the North-East region, and it is adding 3-4 more by the end of this year, he added.
17 June 2013

GM India sees North East next growth mkt, aims 8% jump in 2013

GM India is expecting a growth of around eight per cent in its sales in North East market this year even as the overall car segment is witnessing a steep fall.GM India is expecting a growth of around eight per cent in its sales in North East market this year even as the overall car segment is witnessing a steep fall.
Guwahati, Jun 17 : General Motors India is expecting a growth of around eight per cent in its sales in North East market this year even as the overall car segment is witnessing a steep fall across the country in the recent months.

"North East is an important and emerging growth market for General Motors. In terms of sales, it contributes as much as 32 per cent of the total sales in the Eastern region with Assam contributing a major part of the share," General Motors India Vice-President P Balendran told PTI.

At present, the North East (NE) contributes three per cent to the total sales of the company annually, he added.

GM India had clocked a total sales of 92,435 units during last year.

When asked about the company's expectation from the NE, Balendran said: "It's growing at a rate of five per cent even in these tough market conditions and is expected to grow around eight per cent overall by the year end of 2013."

Assam contributes the highest at around 60 per cent of overall sales in the North East region.

Talking about the models, he said the small car Beat and the newly launched Sail hatchback and sedan continue to generate good demand in the region.

"All our models, regardless of the fuel type, have significant demand in the North East. In Assam, diesel and petrol both are accepted well," Balendran said.

Car sales in India fell for a record seventh consecutive month in May with a decline of 12.26 per cent, prompting industry body SIAM to caution that the prolonged slump in the market may result in job losses in the automobile sector.

As per SIAM data, domestic passenger car sales in May stood at 1,43,216 units as against 1,63,222 units in the same month of 2012.

GM India, which had set up its first showroom in the region in 2004, is also expanding its network in the NE.

"We have recently opened new showrooms in the cities of Nagaon and Tinsukia. We will shortly open two more new showrooms and service outlets in cities like Tezpur and Jorhat," Balendran said.

Currently, GM India has 14 sales points and service outlets in the North East. The company currently has a warehouse in Guwahati with a total capacity of 350 cars.

The Eastern region for GM India comprise states like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal.

The company had reported 39.83 per cent increase in its sales at 8,500 units in May 2013 compared to 6,079 units in the same month of 2012.

The sales during May 2013 included 1,506 units of Beat, 2,851 units of Sail, 2,177 units of Enjoy and 1,475 units of Tavera.
10 June 2013

North East Biz Team Going to Thailand, Cambodia

By Shobha Roy

Kolkata, Jun 10 :  A 30-member business delegation from North East headed by Union Minister of DoNER Paban Singh Ghatowar will visit Thailand and Cambodia to explore bilateral investment opportunities.

Industry ministers from Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland will also accompany the delegation along with their officials and local entrepreneurs.

The delegation, which leaves for Phnom Penh on June 12 and return to India on June 18, has been organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce with the participation of the DoNER Ministry, the Indian Embassies and leading chambers of commerce in both the countries, said a press statement issued by the chamber.

Opportunities would be explored in areas like agriculture, mining and tourism among others where South East Asia is known to be strong.
04 June 2013

China Eyes Northeast India's Rs 350 cr Mosquito Net Market

Absence of local entrepreneurs in the sector has always left the potential to be enjoyed by traders from Bangladesh. China is now gradually replacing Bangladesh.Absence of local entrepreneurs in the sector has always left the potential to be enjoyed by traders from Bangladesh. China is now gradually replacing Bangladesh.

Siliguri, Jun 4 : Highly diversified topography with dense network of water streams, deep forests and thus moist climate have kept India's North East region as highly Malaria prone. And this propensity hosts a potential of Rs 350 Crore per annum market of looming polymer based mosquito net or producing its raw material monofilament out of downstream items from major Petrochem units.

But, absence of local entrepreneurs in the sector has always left the potential to be enjoyed by traders from Bangladesh. China is now gradually replacing Bangladesh.

Despite all efforts, malaria propensity is increasing in the region every year with higher percentage of malignancy following entry of new variants of the pathogen into the picture. There are many reasons behind it- accepted West Bengal health department officials.

"Due to this high propensity, entire NE region is a traditionally heavy mosquito net using zone, perhaps the highest in world. And there lies the annual potential of over Rs 350 crore," said officials from Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd(HPL).

But, "Against Eastern Region's annual consumption of near 10,000 Metric Tones (MT) of monofilament, local production lies even below 400 MT. Naturally we used to trade Bangladesh filaments and loomed net both here at high scale to meet the demand vs local production gap," said Mr J. Burman, importer of monofilament from Bangladesh. Apart from filament, there is severe shortage of looming units too in eastern India.

With a major bend in the trend, now Chinese filament and nets are replacing products from Bangladesh. "Though it may not be as durable as Bangladeshi or Indian products, Chinese filaments or loomed nets give at least 50% higher profit margin," said Mr B Saha, importer of Chinese nets.

Interestingly, "It is not too tough to utilize this potential by developing local units," said HPL officials. According to HPL documentations, from the initial price of near Rs 100 per kg, monofilament allows very high percentage of value addition in all the stages like net looming, tailoring etc. A moderately sized looming unit costing Rs 2 crore only can handle around 30 MT a month and generate near 80 employments.

But, there is another side of the story too. "Though profitable, being a very labour intensive one, these units are bound to remain under pressure of trade unionism in Bengal and that is too tough to," said members of Plastic Federation of North Bengal, reluctant to be named.
10 May 2013

India's Startup Companies Lacking Guardian 'Angels'

Indian entrepreneurs are struggling to find investors as venture capitalists increasingly shy away from risk. Only five percent of startups get funding.

It is seen as a land of entrepreneurs, economic growth and huge business potential, but India appears to be failing its promising startup companies which are struggling to find investors.

While there is no lack of ideas among the country's vast young population, funding is declining from venture capitalists and rich "angel" investors, as they are known, who are often crucial to a young firm's success.

"Risk-taking appetite from investors is low," said Internet entrepreneur Nameet Potnis, who is trying to address the problem by setting up, a platform to connect startups with early-stage investors.

"It is easy to set up an online business in India but very difficult to do business," he told AFP.
Three decades after businessman N.R. Narayana Murthy and six other Indians sat around a kitchen table and formed leading IT outsourcer Infosys, the country is yet to create a favorable business environment for new entrepreneurs.

Just five percent of thousands of Indian startups get funds from sources external to friends and family, analysts say.

It is one of the toughest countries in the world for a start-up to flourish, according to a 2012 report by US-based research firm Startup Genome.

Venture capitalists invested $1.09 billion through 222 deals in 2011, but this dropped by 30 percent to $762 million through 206 deals in 2012, according to researchers at Venture Intelligence, based in southern Chennai city.

The decline could not come at a worse time for the young Indian professionals and business graduates who are risking branching out on their own, after losing or quitting lucrative jobs amid the global downturn.

India's own economic growth slowed to an estimated 5.0 percent for the fiscal year that ended March, its slowest rate in a decade, but that has not deterred many youngsters from trying to turn their ideas into businesses.

Some of India's well-established start-ups include Nasdaq-listed online travel firm, shopping website Flipkart and digital entertainment company Hungama.

In recent years, ventures have branched into areas as varied as pet care, gaming, restaurant guides and e-learning, and the startup bug is spreading into smaller Indian cities.

"More companies are coming up and not that much... money is being put in," said Sampad Swain, an entrepreneur who founded "Instamojo", which helps to sell digital downloads.

Jubin Mehta of, an online site which tracks startups and entrepreneurs, said venture capitalists tend to look over 200 ideas before investing in one.

"Roughly 500 start-ups come up each month. And less than five percent -- only about 25 -- receive external funding," he said.

Kulin Shah, an entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, said angel investors have become more demanding in the current economic climate, trying to avoid getting their money blocked in ventures for too long.

Angels are increasingly unwilling to fund firms that are clones of foreign start-ups or face intense competition, such as online car rentals, car pools and best-deal ventures, Shah said.

But too much caution can prevent investors spotting a hit, such as Nischal Shetty's Twitter application "justunfollow", which has more than three million registered users including 10,000 paid customers.
When he set it up three years ago, he generated revenues from day one despite a lack of enthusiasm from external investors.

"Angels asked me: how will you make money from this?" he said.

There are a few signs of hope for budding entrepreneurs.

In southern Kochi city, a massive glass-and-metal campus called "Startup village" is nurturing young engineers and aims to launch 1,000 Internet and mobile firms in 10 years.

Nasscom, an IT trade body, says start-ups are a "critical pillar" of the industry and last month launched "10,000 start-ups", a program which will shortlist and help fund as many ventures in the next 10 years.

"We have to create an environment where early-stage funding comes in," Nasscom president Som Mittal said at the program's launch.
02 April 2013

Tatas Ties Up With Cardamom Growers; Looks To Northeast For Turmeric

New Delhi, Apr 2 : Tata Global Beverages today announced a partnership with cardamom growers from South India to market the latter's produce, the first time the Tata group firm has undertaken such an initiative.

The firm also said it planned to expand such partnerships and will work with turmeric growers from North East India.

"There is a great deal of difference in prices that consumers pay and what go to farmers. There is a need to stabilise the prices. Through our expertise in marketing and distribution, cardamom growers will get immense benefit," company's Vice Chairman R K Krishna Kumar told reporters here.

The company today announced a packaging, marketing and distribution tie up with South Indian Green Cardamom Company (SIGCC), which launched a new brand 'Spice Mist' for selling cardamom and black pepper.

"We have entered into an MoU with SIGCC. Under the agreement, they pay us a marketing fee for packaging, logistics and warehouses to sell their products. This initiative is not for profit purpose, but it is an endeavour of the Tata group to give back to the society," Krishna Kumar said.

Tata Global Beverages Managing Director and CEO Harish Bhat claimed this is the first time in India that any whole spice is being sold under a "proper brand".

"This is also for first time that any Tata group firm is experimenting with spices. We will test market the brand in Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Madurai, and depending upon customers' response, we will launch it nationally," he added.

Asked about expanding the spice portfolio, Kumar said the company is looking at other products like turmeric.

"North-east is very large and high quality turmeric comes out from that region. We are looking at this product," he said.

He said the launch of branded turmeric by the Tatas will take some time and it may happen next year.

SIGCC is a company of spice growers, mainly for cardamom, and comprises about 1,500 shareholders, who are also the planters having 1-50 acres of individual land parcels.

SIGCC Executive Director G Vinayaga Moorthy said with better sale prices and higher realisation, the company will take part in auction of spices of other growers as well.

SIGCC Director Sam Mathew Kalarickal said growers have approached the Indian government to safeguard domestic cardamom producers from possible cheap imports of the spice from Guatemala in the American continent.

"We have requested the government to incentivise domestic production or put higher import duty. The cost of production of Indian cardamom is higher than Guatemala, so we will not be able to match them on price," he said, adding import from the nation is likely to start very soon.

Tata Global Beverages is an integrated beverage business unit of the Tata Group. Its brands include Tata Tea, Tetley, among others.
01 February 2013

Yes Bank, IFC to set up PE fund for Northeast India

The fund will invest in small and growth enterprises across sectors such as tourism, infrastructure and healthcare

By Deepti Chaudhary

The corpus of the fund has not been decided yet. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
The corpus of the fund has not been decided yet. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Mumbai, Feb 1 : Yes Bank Ltd and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly create a private equity (PE) fund that will invest in companies in the northeastern states.
The fund will invest in small and growth enterprises across sectors such as tourism, food and agribusiness, infrastructure, healthcare, education and affordable housing in the largely neglected region.
It will make the investments through equity shares, debentures, convertibles and equity-related instruments.
The corpus of the fund has not been decided yet.
“IFC’s work to increase access to capital for small entrepreneurs in northeast India will help support inclusive growth in a low-income area—one of our top priorities,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s executive vice-president and chief executive.
Last year, IFC provided a $75 million loan to help Yes Bank expand its network to reach undeserved people, small and medium enterprises, and agricultural borrowers in India.
18 January 2013

Bajaj Auto Looking To Emerge Market Leader in Northeast,width-310,resizemode-4/bajaj-auto-looking-to-emerge-market-leader-in-northeast-india.jpgGuwahati, Jan 18 : Bajaj Auto is looking to emerge as the market leader in Northeast India. Presently around 40,000 bikes are sold in Northeast India in a month.

President (motorcycle business) of Bajaj Auto, K. Srinivas who was in Guwahati on Thursday said around 8.6 lakh bikes are sold monthly across the country. "Northeast India is a big market of sports bike and commuter bikes."

He said presently Bajaj auto accounts for 37 percent of bike market of Northeast India. " With our new launches we will emerge market leader here."
11 December 2012

Business Lessons From a Former Gang Member

Business Lessons From a Former Gang Member

Ryan Blair didn’t get off to a good start. At age 16, when most kids born into a middle-class household are starting to wonder which colleges they want to apply to, he was sitting in a jail cell in Los Angeles, the result of his 10th arrest as a juvenile.

In the previous few years, he’d left the family house because of his father’s meth addiction and violent behavior, spent almost a year living in a toolshed in his half-sister’s backyard, and joined a gang. (He’s got the tattoos to prove it.)

His numerous siblings had already spent a collective decade doing hard time, and Blair seemed a good bet to join the family club. Luckily, that last stint behind bars—26 days—scared him straight.

Fast-forward a few decades. Owner of a sprawling home in the Hollywood Hills, Blair today is the chief executive officer of ViSalus Sciences—seller of Body By Vi, a weight-loss and fitness challenge program.

The company is on track to hit $600 million in revenue in 2012. (He sold ViSalus, which he founded, to Blyth (BTH) in 2008.) While he never went to college, he’s still got a résumé an MBA would kill for: as a self-made millionaire, a serial entrepreneur (he’s founded half a dozen other companies over the past decade), and a New York Times bestselling author of a fast-paced guide to entrepreneurship, Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went From Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur. Bloomberg Businessweek caught up with Blair to find out what he learned on the streets that helped him succeed in business.

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Milk
“The new guy in jail gets tested right away, usually by someone walking up and demanding their milk at lunch. If you give it away without a fight, you’ve got tough times ahead. The same thing goes on in business every day: People are always trying to get their hands on your equity or get money out of your company, whether it’s by renegotiating agreements or hitting you with lawsuits. You have to stand up for yourself and your principles. Because if you allow one person to steal your milk, others will follow.”

Make People Earn Your Trust
“A lot of times in business, your natural inclination is to trust everyone, in particular potential business partners, financing partners, and the like. That’s a mistake. You never trust a brand-new person on the streets, and I use the same philosophy now as I did then: You have to earn my trust, and I am constantly verifying people’s intentions and motives.”

The Strongest Guy Isn’t the Most Powerful Person in the Room
“The one with the most influence is. This is as true in the boardroom as it is in a street gang. You might be the primary equity holder in a company you founded, but watch out for an influential board member who’s gunning for you. They can take you out just as easily as a guy with a gun.”

Street Smarts Trump Book Smarts Any Day
“If you want to impress me, don’t throw rhetoric, résumés, or buzzwords my way. Tell me a practical vision you have for getting the job done, whether it’s in leadership, management, or processes.”

Get My Name Right
“There are plenty of people in my old neighborhood who didn’t want me to succeed. And there have been plenty of people since with their fancy degrees and who have done it all by the book that don’t appreciate my route to success. Talk about me all you want—good or bad—because I’m not paying attention. But just get my name right, will you?”
30 October 2012

Cement Prices in Northeast To Increase

Guwahati, Oct 30 : After two sharp cuts, prices of Cement manufactured in Northeast India are likely to increase by Rs 20 to 25 per bag.

The increase in the price is attributed to lack of continuous coal supply, increase in the prices of Gypsum besides increase in the cost of diesel.

The government of India has waived-off the off-season discount of 10 percent on railway fare and even service tax of 3.69 percent has been imposed from October 1, 2012.

Sources added that there is every possibility for a hike in cement prices of Rs 20-25 per bag in near future.
27 August 2012

New Inland Water Transport Route From Northeast Faces Hurdles

By Santanu Sanyal The diversion of North-East bound cargo through Sittwe, Myanmar, is likely
to benefit the North-Eastern states, especially Mizoram, Nagaland and
Manipur. — A. Roy Chowdhury
The diversion of North-East bound cargo through Sittwe, Myanmar, is likely to benefit the North-Eastern states, especially Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur. — A. Roy Chowdhury

Inland Waterways Authority is bullish on the project in Myanmar because India’s bid to transport goods to the North-East through Bangladesh has not been much of a success.

A few days ago, Bhupinder Prasad, Chairperson, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), visited Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine in Myanmar, to inspect the port development work there.
In March 2009, the Ministry of External Affairs appointed IWAI as the consultant to a port development project at Sittwe. This followed a framework agreement between the India and Myanmar in April 2008 to develop Sittwe port on the mouth of the Kaladan river as an alternative IWT (inland water transport ) route to move goods to and from India’s North eastern region through Mizoram.

Work in phases

The project, known as Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, is being funded by the Ministry of External Affairs and has three components. First, construction of a port at Sittwe, undertaking dredging and installing navigational aids to make the Kaladan river navigable over its 158-km long stretch from Sittwe to Paletwa in Chin in Myanmar and construction of an IWT terminal at Paletwa and building six barges of 300-tonne capacity each to facilitate transportation of goods along the stretch.
The second component involves upgrading the highway from Paletwa to Myeikwa near the Indo-Myanmar border in Mizoram covering a distance of 125 km. The entire stretch will be within the Myanmar territory. The third component presupposes construction of a 100-km long road from the border to Lawngtlai in Mizoram, which is located on the National Highway 54.

On-time delivery

IWAI is responsible for the implementation of the first component estimated to cost Rs 342 crore. The detailed project report (DPR) prepared by Rites in 2003 was revised and updated to suit IWAI’s requirements. IWAI entrusted the job to Essar Projects India Ltd in May 2010, while the actual work started in December.
“The progress of port development and other associated work at Sittwe and other places is satisfactory,” Prasad told Business Line on her return from the project site recently. “Nearly 30 per cent of the job is over and, hopefully, our portion of the job will be complete by December 2013. The Government of Myanmar as well as the local people are extending full cooperation. We’re very happy,” she added.
It has been learnt that Myanmar has provided the required land free of cost for port development work. The requirement, however, has not been much so far — about six hectares in Sittwe and another three hectares or so at Paletwa.
The IWAI Chairperson sounded bullish about the project, more so because India’s bid to transport goods to the North-East through Bangladesh has not been much of a success.
“Although we have a 40-year-old protocol on transit and trade with Bangladesh, our bid to have transit facility to move cargo by barges to Assam, Tripura and other parts of the North-East through Bangladesh met with limited success. The protocol route is used almost entirely for bilateral trade dominated by vessels carrying Bangladesh flag and hardly anything for the transit trade,” she said. “We, therefore, critically need an alternative transit facility for our people in the North-East.”

Benefit for North-East

It was felt that the diversion of North-East bound cargo through Sittwe would benefit the North-Eastern states, especially Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur.
Prasad was particularly emphatic about the movement of containerised cargo on the proposed route. “This will be in line with the current international practice,” she said. “Also, goods transported in containers will be fully protected from safety and security point of view.”
But the problem is that the issue of movement of containers is not incorporated either in the bilateral agreement or in the DPR and for this reason the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to take a call on it, although the Myanmarese authorities are believed to be enthusiastic about it. “We have taken up the matter with our External Affairs Ministry which is yet to respond,” Prasad said.
But then, the port will not be able to function even if IWAI’s part of the job is completed within the scheduled time. This is because the construction of road, both within Myanmar and India, is also critical for the project.
The work on the 125-km-long road between Paletwa and Myeikwa near Mizoram on the Indo-Myanmarese border is yet to start. The Ministry of External Affairs has got a DPR prepared separately for this stretch and, as inquiries reveal, a reputed Myanmarese company with proven track record will most probably be given the job. However, nothing has been finalised as yet.
The construction of the 100-km-long road within India from the Indian side of the Indo-Myanmarese border to Lawngtlai on NH 54 has started.
The entire job has been divided into three sections and given to three Indian firms and is being implemented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways.