Business News

Subscribe to Business News feed Business News
The Economic Times: Breaking news, views, reviews, cricket from across India
Updated: 2 hours 54 sec ago

Plans afoot to bring 2 schemes under EPFO

5 hours 2 min ago
New Delhi: The government is proposing to bring the voluntary pension scheme for small traders and unorganised workers under the ambit of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) hoping to make the two schemes more attractive. Both have failed to draw significant subscribers several years after launch. “We are looking at bringing the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) for unorganised workers and the National Pension Scheme (NPS) for traders and self-employed persons under the administrative control of EPFO,” a labour ministry official aware of the deliberations, told ET. The discussions are currently underway on whether the EPFO need to float an entirely new scheme to extend its coverage to individuals or bring the two schemes within its fold, another official said. The move is also aimed at simplifying and making implementation of these schemes more effective. 78939428“However, EPFO doesn’t have the experience of handling individual contributions without the intervention of an employer. Hence, the move will require a lot of preparations,” the second official added. The Code on Social Security, 2020, allows the government to frame any other scheme or schemes for the purposes of providing social security benefits under this Code to self-employed workers or any other class of persons.
Categories: Business News

No immediate need for GST rate cut: Maruti

October 29, 2020 - 11:34pm
NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest car maker, on Thursday said there is no immediate need for GST rate cut on passenger vehicles with demand looking good for the next few months.The auto major, with around 50 per cent of market share in the domestic passenger vehicle segment, said the government can look at the GST relief if demand tapered off in the future."The industry has done pretty well in the second quarter and I don't think that anybody's sales have suffered due to the lack of demand. What I am able to work out at the moment is that the production capacity more than anything is still being built up due to various constraints," MSI Chairman R C Bhargava told reporters.He further said, "Therefore, if I was in the government at this time when there is no lack of demand, giving relief at this stage would be quite unnecessary."In case demand falls and if it looks like that it is not a temporary thing but sustained dip in demand that is when the government will need to step in, Bhargava noted.When asked categorically, if he sees no immediate need for GST relief because demand right now is sufficient, he said, "Yes"."I am selling everything I am producing. If the GST went down and demand increased by another 30 per cent I won't have cars to sell," Bhargava noted.On how long the industry could wait for the GST rate cut, he said, "I don't know how demand will develop in the coming months, what happens to the customer demand and the market."Various automakers in the past have demanded GST cut on automobiles in order to help the industry revive from a prolonged slowdown. Earlier this week, Tata Motors President (Passenger Vehicles Business Unit) Shailesh Chandra had said that any kind of government support in terms of GST cut would benefit the whole passenger vehicle segment.Responding to a separate query, Bhargava said he never gets worried about any actions or inactions of the government because he cannot control what the government does.He responded when asked if he was worried that the government and GST Council were not considering GST cut on cars."My philosophy is that if something is beyond my control then there is no point getting worried or happy or ecstatic about those things," the veteran industry leader said.Elaborating further on the matter, he added that in the second quarter, the company did well in terms of sales."Further, in the third quarter (October-December), the market situation looks quite adequate and we will not have a situation where we will have surplus stock available with us and we will be able to sell whatever we can produce."So, at this point in the third quarter, the GST impact does not arise," Bhargava said.The question will arise if sales start falling sometime next year, he added."If it does, in case a situation emerges like that then it is there I guess where the government will have to take a view, as in what they can do or would like to do," Bhargava said.When asked about the government calling for companies to scale down royalties to their parent companies, MSI MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said that in order to develop new products, the auto major needs support from the parent firm.Without divulging much, he said the company would try to communicate with the government and explain the matter to them.MSI Chief Financial Officer Ajay Seth said the company has been pursuing cost-saving measures and in the July-September quarter, the automaker has been able to save Rs 270 crore more than the second quarter of 2019-20.The automaker said the share of hatchbacks improved in the overall sales of the company in the second quarter. The company added that it also did not see any adverse impact on its sales number due to lack of diesel cars in its portfolio.
Categories: Business News

ServiceNow says India among its fastest growing markets

October 29, 2020 - 11:34pm
Mumbai: Digital workflow company ServiceNow which offers a cloud automation platform used for IT service and other functions said that India is one of its fastest growing markets with more companies looking to make the digital shift following the pandemic. The company is looking to accelerate its business from India.The company’s third quarter financial results reported earlier this week were better than analyst expectations and were led by a growth in subscription revenue.Arun Balasubramanian, Managing Director India & SAARC in a chat with ET said, “India has been one of the fastest growing markets for ServiceNow so we continue to expand our customer base rapidly. At the same time we are also expanding our presence in India development centre, which is the second largest development and research centre globally.”The company’s Hyderabad centre has also been serving global customers, added Balasubramanian, “Since the last two years, ServiceNow has tripled the employee base across the Indian technology centres and the talent pool is getting more opportunities to serve the global customers.”Indian companies across industries like telecommunication, banking, manufacturing have been signing up for the ServiceNow platform to digitally transform operations and drive productivity, according to him.In a recent survey released by the company (fielded by Wakefield Research) India emerged as the country which used the maximum number of workflow digitalisation tools, compared to other countries. Indian companies used the lowest number of offline workflow tools, preferring to use digital tools instead. Commenting on the survey, Balasubramanian said, “Upto 74% of India’s executives said that their business continues to use offline workflows, lowest among all other countries surveyed (US 89%, UK 98%, Australia 98%). While the figure indicates greater adoption of digital workflows in India there is clearly plenty of scope for greater utilization of digital work processes.”The companies surveyed included those that employed over 500 persons across verticals like telecommunication, banking, financial services among others.
Categories: Business News

Mahindra Electric eyes investment, bulk deals with e-commerce companies

October 29, 2020 - 11:34pm
Mumbai: Mahindra Electric is eyeing the leadership position in electric last-mile delivery vehicle space and has been in discussions with several e-commerce companies including Flipkart, Amazon, and Reliance Retail among others for a potential deal. The company has also been in discussions with e-commerce companies for capital investment and is close to finalising a deal, said Pawan Goenka, managing director of parent company Mahindra and Mahindra.“We have significant interest from many players – e-commerce providers, financial investors and strategic investors and we are in the process of finalising (a deal) with one or two of these players,” said Goenka. He declined to comment by when could a deal be concluded. The company launched its electric cargo vehicle under the brand Treo Zor on Thursday. The vehicle was designed in consultation with e-commerce companies, said Mahesh Babu, managing director, Mahindra Electric. “While we have made this also to meet retail demand, it is very specifically designed to meet e-commerce demand. We are in touch with many of them and you will hear when we jointly announce,” he said. Inquiries have also come in for these vehicles from Europe and Japan, but India remains the focus market, Babu said.Mahindra Electric also makes electric three-wheelers for passenger transport under the Treo brand and has sold over 5,000 units since its launch in 2018. It has spent about Rs 100 crore in developing the Mesma 48 platform on which these vehicles are built, according to Babu. The company has localised most of the components on the vehicle barring battery cells and a few other small electronics which are imported.The vehicles receive government subsidies under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. Goenka said that government subsidies continue to remain critical to keep these electric vehicles competitive with combustion engines vehicles. While EVs are cheaper to own over their lifetime due to low fuel and maintenance costs, the purchase price still remains much more expensive than conventional vehicles. For example, the Treo Zor starts at Rs 2.73 lakh after government subsidies and lower GST rate as compared to about Rs 2 lakh for three-wheelers with diesel engines.
Categories: Business News

RIL Q2 preview: Profits may dip but Jio may see sequential improvement

October 29, 2020 - 11:34pm
Mumbai: Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries may report a drop in its performance from a year ago when it unveils its September quarter earnings on Friday. The company may, however, log a sequential improvement even though full-recovery to pre-Covid levels is yet to happen.Analysts will also wait and watch company’s take on the legal tussle between Amazon Inc and Future Group, which has put the RIL-Future Group on hold.Kotak Institutional Equities expects RIL to report a 26.5 per cent drop in net profit, while it believes sales may drop 35.1 per cent.The brokerage expects petchem segment EBITDA to increase quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) as higher volumes offset weaker margins. Refining segment EBITDA may decline QoQ as lower crude throughput and adverse exchange rate offset modestly higher margins.Kotak analysts expect higher EBITDA from Jio on a QoQ basis led by a rise in subscriber base to 410 million and average revenue per user (ARPU) to Rs 144/month (+Rs3.5 QoQ) and retail led by sequential recovery in revenues. The ARPU in the same quarter year before came in at Rs 120.Equirus Capital expects RIL to report a 14.9 per cent decline in net profit, and a 34.1 per cent decline in net sales from a year ago. It expects GRMs to come in at $7.5/barrel, compared with 9.40/barrel a year ago, and ARPU at Rs 142.Motilal Oswal expects RIL to post a decline of 34.4 per cent in the September quarter net profit, while net sales may drop 23.8 per cent from a year ago.Goldman Sachs expects RIL’s core EBITDA to grow 6 per cent QoQ. However, it may see a drop of 21 per cent YoY, driven by improvements across all businesses ex refining.“We expect this improvement to be higher versus peers in each segment driven by lower cost assets and the omni channel strategy driving market share wins,” Goldman Sachs analysts added. Retail business in focusGoldman Sachs believes the retail business will be the key focus in the September quarter report card, as it expects 34 per cent QoQ improvement in retail EBITDA though still down 38 per cent YoY.“RIL’s retail business outperformed peers last quarter and we expect this trend to continue given its omni channel offering driving market share wins. We specifically note the strong app download trend versus peers for RIL’s digital retail assets JioMart (for groceries) and AJIO (for fashion), according to SensorTower,” Goldman Sachs analysts said.Jio in bright spotBofA Securities expects Jio to report 5 per cent QoQ revenues rise led by steady QoQ net adds and 2 per cent QoQ ARPU uplift.“Although small, the ARPU uplift is also influenced by the fixed broadband revenues now added along with cellular revenues. We expect EBITDA margin to improve 25 bps QoQ to 43.5 per cent led by continued revenue growth,” BofA analysts said in a note.Goldman Sachs expects 2QFY21 Jio revenue/EBITDA to rise up 4-5 per cent QoQ, with 410 million subscribers, which involved an addition of 12 million subscribers in the quarter and ARPU of Rs 142, with the sequential growth driven by sector-leading subscriber addition and delayed translation of ARPU hikes.
Categories: Business News

Cognizant to give bigger hikes in Q4: CEO

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
Mumbai | Bengaluru: Cognizant Technology Solutions’ revenue in the ongoing fiscal year will come in at the high end of its previously guided range of $16.7 billion, despite a challenging year, said CEO Brian Humphries. In an interview with ET, Humphries said the Teaneck, New Jersey-based IT services provider is also refreshing its India focus with an elevated role for the new India managing director and is doubling down on digital deals. Employees will also be given bigger hikes and promotions in the coming quarter, he added. Edited excerpts:How would you sum up this quarter’s performance? Has deal momentum increased?Brian Humphries: I would categorise this quarter as a solid one. We executed well in a challenging environment and outgrew every single major competitor globally on a constant currency basis. We exceeded Wall Street expectations on revenue and margins and increased our guidance for 2020. We have good momentum with bookings up 25% in the quarter.Rajesh Nambiar has just been appointed as Cognizant’s managing director for India. Any immediate goals he has been tasked with?Brian Humphries: Rajesh starts in the coming few weeks. It is a more senior role, much more elevated than the prior position and he is reporting to me directly. Therefore, he will be the executive committee representative of nearly 200,000 associates in India. Externally, he will help strengthen the brand position in India, enhance the relationships with government bodies, universities, media and policy making bodies like Nasscom.The company is planning bigger salary hikes and promotions in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year. Why this decision during a challenging year?Brian Humphries: We are pleased that we are entering Q4 executing increased promotions, and we are accruing bonuses at substantially higher levels than last year. This reflects frankly on the improving financial performance as well as the continued engagement and commitment of our employees who worked very hard to help us in a very challenging year.Is the worst over for retail, travel and consumer segments? They have seen some decline in the quarter...Brian Humphries: A lot depends on the evolving macroeconomic situation that we are faced around the world. The good news for Cognizant is that those portions represent only 10% of the company and that’s why we have been able to outgrow competitors. We are in a position of strength in industries like healthcare where we are executing very strongly.The cost savings goals under Cognizant’s ‘Fit for Growth’ plan seem to be completed. Does this mean that employee pyramid correction actions are also done?Brian Humphries: Yes. I would say for the most part now we are focussed on commercial transformation and continuing to invest in the business. We have taken that and put it behind us and have come out with employee engagement levels that are at multi-year highs. Voluntary attrition is down five quarters in a row, we are very much investing in talent, digital, we are building out our commercial team and building out our bench. We are also investing in marketing and branding.All technology companies say they will see a multi-year growth period. Is this reflecting in your deals as well?Brian Humphries: I think the major thing that is happening at this time, is Covid-19 – both the opportunity and threat it creates. The pandemic has really widened the divide between the digital natives and the legacy economy companies which have really struggled to shift to a fully digital operating model. Our commitment behind digital is really fueling our growth. Digital now is over 40% of our business. Our deal mix has actually increased to larger deals. We are standing to benefit well from vendor consolidation.
Categories: Business News

Samsung India expects 40% growth in smartphone segment in Q4

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
Samsung India on Thursday said it expects to clock 40 per cent year-on-year growth in value terms in its smartphone business in December quarter on the back of an aggressive lineup of products and initiative to make devices more affordable. Samsung, which has reclaimed the top spot in the Indian smartphone market from Xiaomi after two years, said the company has been bringing in devices straddling across price points to cater to different segments of the markets. "We have had a slew of launches to make available a rich portfolio of devices during the festive season. We have launched 12 smartphones in the last 2-3 months straddling across premium phones like the Fold 2 to the M series, A series and F series," Samsung India Senior Vice President Asim Warsi told. The response has been tremendous and the company expects to see over 40 per cent growth in value terms in the fourth quarter, he added. "In the past years, we have been leading the market in value terms, and we are confident of further consolidating our position," he said. Apart from smartphones, the company has also bolstered its lineup of tablet PCs and smart wearables to woo customers. Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President (Mobile Business) at Samsung India said the company has focussed on ensuring that various channels, including offline retailers, can offer a safe purchase experience to consumers. He noted that while the footfalls have reduced, the customers walking in are better informed about products and the time taken to close the sale is also lesser. Singh pointed out that affordability programmes like Samsung Finance+, Samsung Care, 'Reward Yourself' and 'Galaxy Forever' have also helped reach out to more customers. "The average selling price (ASP) of smartphones has been growing, and same is the case with Samsung," he said adding that the ASP has grown from about Rs 11,900 in 2019 to about Rs 12,700 in the first half of 2020. Last month, Samsung had said it expects its online business in India to grow 35 per cent in 2020 over the last year, driven by strong overall demand and success of its M series of devices. The company has been aggressively expanding its portfolio of devices in the online channels, including the recently launched F series with Flipkart. According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung became a leading brand in the Indian smartphone market after two years with 32 per cent year-on-year growth. It attributed the strong performance of the South Korean brand to multiple strategies, including effective supply chain and touching various price points through new launches. Samsung's aggressive push in online channels, with the highest ever online contribution within its portfolio, also helped it regain its number one spot, it had added. As per the research firm, Samsung led the smartphone market with a 24 per cent share of the 53 million units in the September quarter, followed by Xiaomi (23 per cent), Vivo (16 per cent), Realme (15 per cent) and Oppo (10 per cent). Samsung led the overall market (smartphone and feature phone) as well with a 22 per cent share.
Categories: Business News

Solar tariffs may reach a new record-low once again: Experts

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
BENGALURU: In a greatly encouraging response, over 5000 MW of bids were received for the 1070 MW solar tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, which analysts said may lead to record low tariffs. SECI is the nodal agency through which the ministry of new and renewable energy conducts wind and solar auctions.In the bid submission that took place Wednesday, almost all the major developers in the country expressed interest in taking part, sources said. “We expect aggressive bidding and possibly a new tariff low in this auction,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director of renewable energy consultancy firm, Bridge To India. Queries sent to the Managing Director of SECI remained unanswered as of press time.Experts said that during the early solar auction years (between 2015 and 2017), tenders were heavily oversubscribed in a similar manner. “The past two years were a bit of an exception as many developers exited the market in the face of various execution and financing challenges,” Rustagi said. The oversubscription could be attributed to the demand-supply mismatch that has arisen in the market right now. “As the pace of transition towards renewables is accelerating globally, huge pools of capital have been earmarked for the sector by sovereign wealth funds, international utilities and oil & gas companies etc,” he said. But the pace of new auctions has slowed down at the same time.Developers prefer to participate in plain vanilla solar auctions over hybrid and storage based ones because of technical and execution simplicity, according to Rustagi. The renewable energy ministry has been moving away from conducting auctions for plain solar and wind projects of late. This tender may have received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response because Rajasthan distribution companies have agreed to purchase the power. “The usual offtake uncertainty is not there,” Rustagi said.
Categories: Business News

What does it take to make money in a momentum-chasing, myopic market?

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
In the past few months, the focus on the ‘short term’ has increased substantially. The pandemic has got us chasing near-term data points. Equity markets have risen sharply, and a lot of new retail investors have entered the market. Studies have shown young and inexperienced investors typically trade more frequently, follow trends (herding), chase hot stocks and end up taking higher risk.The unprecedented sharp bounce has left a lot of experienced investors with the feeling of missing out and a lot of them are yearning to participate in the market rally. Trading apps do not force investors to trade, but they definitely persuade them by constantly sending out price alerts and notifications. There is pressure on institutional investors too, as financial media and social networks are discussing how funds performed in the last 4-5 months, instead of their long-term track record.The rise of passive funds, algo traders and high frequency traders has tipped the scale further towards investors focused on the short-term momentum. And, of course, leveraged investors are anyway forced to react to short-term news flows rather than long-term company fundamentals.But the fact is now is the time when, more than ever, investors need to have a long-term view.TAKING A LONG-TERM VIEWAs it is clear from the facts mentioned above, there is very less competition if you are looking to invest with a long-term perspective. Since a majority of investors are trying to outsmart each other in the near term, joining this herd is likely to generate only average results. The opportunity for superior returns is in looking beyond three years (5-10 years is better) and investing in businesses or investment themes that are not fully appreciated by this crowd.Once you change the investment horizon, the entire view on market movement, asset allocation, fund manager selection and stock selection changes. The benefits are huge, and how!Love the downturns: When you have a longer investment horizon, you are prepared for a crisis. Even good businesses may go through downturns. But with a longer-term view, you would be ready to participate in it by adding to the positions during a fall. A lot of short-term investors miss out on a good business by trying to frequently trade in and out of the stock. Even a second wave in Covid pandemic and the resultant downturn can be used intelligently by an investor, who is investing with a decade’s outlook.Take advantage of crowd biases: Typically the crowd, which is dominated by short-term and inexperienced investors, is guided by biases like greed, fear, myopic loss aversion, recency bias and over-reaction or under-reaction to new information. Broaden your horizon and use the crowd-level errors to your advantage. This is often referred to as ‘Time Arbitrage’ as it involves making an investment in an asset with good long-term prospects at a time when it is facing short-term challenges.Enjoy a broader opportunity set: Herding leads to market participants staying focused on certain hot stocks or glamour stocks and ignoring a lot of other companies that may have good businesses but are under the radar. Short-term investors concentrate on stocks that grab their attention either due to their sharp movement or media coverage. A long-term investor is looking for a good business at a good price. Since noise or liquidity are not much of a consideration, one is able to have a larger number of companies to choose from.Capture important themes and styles: Certain macroeconomic themes (like return of global inflation), demographic themes (increased women’s participation in workforce), geopolitical themes (Atmanirbhar Bharat) unfold over many years. Only long-term investors can fully utilise the wealth creation opportunity in industries and companies that benefit from these themes.Also, investment styles like value investing require patience and long-term horizon which these investors can utilise.Filter out the noise: A market participant is bombarded with a lot of information, whether material or not. And it is difficult to differentiate between signal and noise. Using the filter of a long-term orientation, a lot of data points which are of low significance can be removed.Bond with your friends who believe in market efficiency: You obviously want the value of bargains that you discovered (by the actions of short-term investors) to be realized over the long term. As Benjamin Graham said, “In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run, it is a weighing machine”. Join your friends who believe in market efficiency and secretly hope this time the crowd overreacts on the upside.THE RIGHT SUPPORTJust having a long-term view on the investments cannot guarantee success. There are also some other problems that the investor will be encountering. I have listed some important ones with suggestions to handle each one:Future is difficult to forecast accurately. It is also difficult to find third-party long-term forecasts as most of the analyst make only near-term projections (within a period of 1.5 years). A diversified portfolio bought with a margin of safety can cushion the investor from possible errors in forecasting.There is a career/business risk if the client or the organisation is not supportive of the strategy. Set up the right ecosystem with clear communication of strategy and expected outcomes. Incentive structures can also be set based on long term results.Time is a friend of a wonderful investment but the enemy of a bad one. The investment horizon has to be backed with a good investment process of evaluating and selecting investments.The right support structures (clients, organization, team, investment process) might help an investor on the path of long-term wealth creation. However, on a personal level, the investor may have to maintain the discipline. It is tempting to join the crowd and easier to focus on the next quarter than next decade. It will however be far more lucrative to resist the temptation and turn your investment horizon into your investment edge.
Categories: Business News

How 'one nation, one gold price' could soon become a reality

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
Kolkata: The demand for a uniform gold rate across the country is gathering pace. Jewellery chain Malabar Gold & Diamonds has introduced uniform pricing of gold across all its stores in the country, and some other jewellers plan to follow suit.Gold is an imported commodity and, therefore, the import price is the same across the country. But jewellery associations in different parts of the country fix different board rates, leading to multiple prices. For instance, on Thursday, 10 grams of 22-carat gold used in jewellery was commanding a price of Rs 49,100 in Delhi, Rs 46,850 in Kerala, Rs 49,680 in Mumbai, and Rs 47, 380 in Chennai.Many jewellers also undercut the market by selling at lower rates by evading taxes, industry insiders said.“The government should take concrete steps to ensure ‘one India, one gold rate,” said Ahammed MP, chairman of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, adding that a uniform rate would benefit customers.“Post-GST there is only one uniform tax rate on all jewelleries across the country and we have only one legal tender that is Indian rupee unlike some foreign countries. At the international level, there is only one rate for gold. All these make a compelling case for a uniform gold rate across the nation,” he told ET. Ahammed said there is a wide price differential for gold in the South Indian and North Indian markets. “In South India gold prices are relatively fair for years and there is a clear buyback system. Jewellers here do not charge high margins,” he said.He alleged that jewellers in North India charge hefty margins, pushing up prices artificially and distorting the market.“Jewellers should display the buyback rates because recycling gold does not make any difference in its purity,” Ahammed said. “You may charge a certain percentage of margin, say 2% or so, while buying back gold. Jewellers should come forward to share this information among them. This will lure more customers to invest in gold.” The government should ensure compulsory BIS hallmarking of gold and put in place a tracking mechanism to follow movement from the source of origin to the end customer, the Malabar Gold chief said. Saurabh Gadgil, chairman of Pune-based PNG Jewellers said Malabar’s initiative is a step in the right direction. “However, we feel that it should be taken up by the industry together instead of individual jewellers as it would create confusion in the minds of the customers,” Gadgil said. “We see this phenomenon in the UAE as well where the rates for gold across the board are standardised, while making charges are decided by individual jewellers.”Ahammed is hopeful that uniform gold pricing will make a huge difference in Malabar’s sales and new customer acquisition.
Categories: Business News

Hiring activities in retail, e-commerce bouncing back: Naukri.com

October 29, 2020 - 8:34pm
Mumbai: The retail segment, which has been badly hit due to the lockdown restrictions, is bouncing back gradually with an uptick in hiring of 15 per cent in September when compared with the previous month, according to a report. However, the hiring activities are still down by 50 per cent compared to the corresponding month a year ago, according to a report by Naukri.com. The sector is showing a slow but steady sequential recovery but the sector is likely to bounce back further during the festive season in the country, it added. "As more public spaces have opened up keeping social distancing in mind, we see movement pick up in retail spaces. Hiring is also picking up accordingly," the report added. The Naukri retail hiring report is based on hiring activities in the sector on the job site's platform. Top roles that recruiters are hiring for include retail store manager, sales or business development manager, merchandiser, software developer, tech architect, designer and accountant. Roles such as logistic manager, interior designer, warehouse assistant and tech lead have seen 100 per cent, 66 per cent, 44 per cent and 42 per cent growth in demand year-on-year. Keywords like logistics and retail sales executive are up by 247 per cent and 500 per cent in recruiter searches for the sector, it added. Meanwhile, the report further stated that there has been an upward trend in hiring activities in the Internet sector with a sequential recovery since July onwards. This is backed by various phases of unlocking along with the huge demand from consumers for daily essentials through online channels. Major hiring to prepare for the festive season is indicative in August but has become flat through September, it added. Even though the internet or e-commerce industry started seeing a decline in hiring since the start of the year, when compared with the pre-COVID-19 period, we see a high recovery; the sector is down by only 7 per cent in September compared to February. Even digital marketing and pay per click specialist roles have seen an annual growth of over 40 per cent, it added.
Categories: Business News

Shapoorji Pallonji Group submits plan to Supreme Court for separation from Tata Group

October 29, 2020 - 5:34pm
Mumbai: The Shapoorji Pallonji Group on Thursday said it has submitted a plan to Supreme Court to end its seven decades-old association with the Tata Group. The Mistrys have valued their holding in the Tatas at Rs 1.75 lakh crore, it informed the apex court, which is hearing the long-drawn legal battle between the two groups that began after the Tatas in a boardroom coup on October 28, 2016 sacked Cyrus Mistry as the Chairman. "Tata Sons is effectively a two-group company, with the Tata Group comprising Tata Trusts, Tata family members and Tata companies holding 81.6 per cent of the equity share capital, and the Mistry family owning the balance 18.37 per cent," the Shapoorji Pallonji Group said in a statement quoting from its submission to the apex court. The group has submitted a plan for separation from Tatas to the Supreme Court. Tata Sons is the core investment company and is the holding company for the Tata Group and its value arises from its stake in listed equities, non-listed equities, the brand, cash balances and immovable assets. The value of 18.37 per cent stake of the SP Group in Tata Sons is over Rs 1,75,000 crore, it said. In their scheme of separation, the SP Group said disputes over valuation can be eliminated by doing a pro-rata split of listed assets (share price value is known) and pro-rata share of the brand (brand valuation already done by Tata and published). A neutral third-party valuation can be done for the unlisted assets adjusted for net debt. As a non-cash settlement, the SP Group sought pro-rata shares in listed Tata entities where Tata Sons currently owns stake. For example, while Tatas own 72 per cent of TCS, the SP Group's ownership of 18.37 per cent in Tata Sons translates to 13.22 per cent shareholding of TCS, which is worth Rs 1,35,000 crore at present market capitalisation, as per the statement. Pro-rata share of brand value adjusted for net debt can be settled in cash and/ or in listed securities, the statement said. For the unlisted companies, an expedited valuation can be done with a valuer selected by both sides. This can be settled in cash and/or in listed securities, it added.
Categories: Business News

BP pitches for infra sharing with companies like ONGC; sanctity of contract

October 29, 2020 - 5:34pm
New Delhi: Ahead of starting the next wave of gas production from the KG basin, UK-based supermajor BP Plc has pitched for oil and gas producers sharing their infrastructure to help cut costs and monetise small and marginal discoveries.BP, which in partnership with Reliance Industries Ltd is investing USD 5 billion in developing three sets of discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin block KG-D6, also wanted sanctity of contracts to be honoured and policy stability.Speaking at the India Energy Forum of CERAWeek, BP's India head Sashi Mukundan said policy and decision making must support raising domestic oil and gas production by adopting best international practices. He also made a case for offering incentives for doing better than targeted production rather than imposing penalties."One of the things that surprised me when I came to India was that you don't see upstream companies working together and sharing infrastructure," he said, giving an example of a hub called Na Kika that BP and Royal Dutch Shell have created in the Gulf of Mexico.The hub, 140 miles offshore in 2000 meters of water depth, brings in oil and gas production from 8 fields - four owned by Shell and BP and the remaining by other operators. There are 100 miles of gathering line and four export lines - two oil pipelines built and operated by Shell and two gas pipelines that are built and operated by BP. But production from all 8 come through that system, he said."If you have something like that you actually can speed up new production, you can reduce the cost, you can bring up marginal discoveries. Also, you can bring down the economic cut off point of production from each of these fields," he added.The KG-D6 block sits next to the gas blocks of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). Reliance-BP has built pipelines to carry the gas to share and so has ONGC laid separate lines.Mukundan said there should also be the sanctity of contract and policy stability."Once we come and invest under a certain contract and a certain policy framework, it is important that we keep it the same and continue with that," he said, adding the present government is pushing for that.The other thing is interpreting contracts to support activities, he said."Lot of time, the contract might be silent. If it is silent (on an issue or activity) for some reason, we always interpret as allowed," he said. "If it helps in increasing activities, we should allow it."He went on to cite the example of Angola, which like India also has production sharing contracts for oil and gas production.The African nation produces 1.5 million barrels per day of oil and to maintain the output it has allowed companies to not just produce but also explore in the same offshore block as well as allowed tie-in marginal discoveries into the existing production and allowed companies to market gas they discovered alongside oil, he said.On the management committee, which acts as oversight panels for oil and gas blocks, he said these should be run similar to the board of a company where everyone is looking for the success of the block and not at each one's interest.The management committee is headed by the DGH and is made up of representatives of the operators. In some cases, a representative of the oil ministry also sits on these committees. These panels approve investments as well as oversee operations.He suggested the appointment of a nodal officer from the DGH, who is not just looking from the standpoint of the upstream regulator, but from the interest of the block operators to help bring success to the operations."We can also have DGH participate as we are going through the planning process. So, DGH people can learn from experienced players like BP in terms of how we plan and execute, how we risk manage, how we come up with development concepts, how we come up with commercial models. Also, by participating, they will bring experiences and learnings from other blocks. Also, DGH can assist us by sharing information, services, and infrastructure, making sure that we do this right," he said.Mukundan said the focus should be to increase the activities that will help raise oil and gas production and reduce imports."I need to mention this that in the last six years, this government has done a lot to simplify and fast track processes," he said."Proof is in the pudding, which is why BP and Reliance have committed to spend USD 5 billion to develop three fields which will produce 30 million standard cubic meters per day or roughly 1 billion cubic feet per day of production. That will meet 15 per cent of India's demand in 2022-23 and be roughly about 25 per cent of the production."India, he said, is not a country of prolific reserves. "We have to string together medium and many small reserves to build materiality and accelerate production. For this, we have to have out of the box thinking. And policy and decision making must support this. There shouldn't be any other objective which supersedes this, not even thought of maximisation government revenue."He gave the example of Goods and Services Tax (GST) where the collections would increase if the economic activity rises."If we see more activity happening, more exploration, more production happening, automatically revenue would go up," he said. "We probably must question the depth of regulations that we nowadays have in the name of assurance. Do we really need all of that? Is it helping or is it hindering E&P activities? Are we taking away flexibility, freedom, and the space to innovate solutions?""If incentives are better than penalties," he asked. "Increase activity, deliver faster, bigger, and better."
Categories: Business News

Analysts upbeat on this Rakesh Jhunjhunwala favourite, see up to 19% upside in stock

October 29, 2020 - 5:34pm
Mumbai: Analysts gave a thumbs up to Titan's September quarter earnings and reiterated their faith in the Tata Group's jewellery-to-watches firm as they expect a rapid recovery in sales.Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and his wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala hold 4.43 per cent and 1.09 per cent stake in Titan, as per the latest shareholding data.Titan reported a net profit of Rs 199 crore for the quarter ended September, down 37.81 per cent from Rs 320 crore a year ago but still managed to meet analysts’ estimates.The company said it has incurred a loss of Rs 484 crore during the quarter as a result of change in the cash flow hedging.Though the multibagger stock has been languishing for the last two sessions amid weak market sentiment, it has doubled over the last three years. Over the last five years and 10 years, it has logged 236 per cent and 562 per cent gains, respectively.Brokerage Motilal Oswal pointed out that though higher-than-expected ineffective hedges impacted EBITDA margins in 2QFY21, the management has clarified that impact in subsequent quarters will be sharply lower now since sales predictability is increasing.“Nevertheless, while sales were in line in 2QFY21, the miss on EBITDA/PAT had led to a decline in EPS estimates for FY21, while FY22E numbers are relatively unchanged,” it said.“Faster-than-expected sales recovery and attractive structural opportunity mean that we retain our buy rating,” the brokerage added. It maintained a target price of Rs 1,400.ICICI Securities too reiterated its 'add' rating on the stock and raised target price to Rs 1,350 from Rs 1,250 as it expects profitability to return to normal levels in FY22 once revenue growth and product mix normalise.The brokerage said the potential growth drivers are: boost to volumes from stable gold prices, consumers likely accepting higher gold prices and market share gains.Prabhudas Lilladher too retained its 'accumulate' on Titan as steady recovery across jewellery, watches and eyewear segments sustained during October. The brokerage has a target price of Rs 1,352.“We believe improving consumer sentiments, higher walk-ins with improved conversion rates and ticket sizes, robust e-com watch sales and better product mix in eyewear division are positives,” Prabhudas Lilladher analysts said.“Jewellery division is expected to be back to growth in Q3 on the back of festival and wedding demand though coin sales will be high like in Q2 due to investment demand,” they added.
Categories: Business News

Suddenly, all eyes are on Indian eGrocery

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
It looks like Reliance's retail domination dream is about to come face to face with a rival that can match Ambani's financial might rupee for rupee.The Tata Group, one of India's biggest business empires, is reportedly all set to join the battle for India's retail space in what could turn out to be a major challenge to the post-oil road map Ambani has laid out for his group.Tatas are in talks to buy a 50-60% per cent stake in BigBasket, India's largest grocery etailer, for around $1 billion in a deal that could see China's Alibaba sell its entire 26% stake to the Indian salt-to-software behemoth, media reports said yesterday.If the deal, which is not final as of now, fructifies, the ramifications for Indian retail are likely to be profound. If the Tatas throw their hat into the ring, the Indian retail scene — where there are currently fears of an emerging Ambani monopoly — could majorly change colour.With Tatas set to add to the crowd of deep-pocketed players already vying for the vast, largely untapped Indian market, the ground looks set for a no-holds-barred fight of many big players. Ambani's Reliance has already begun a strong push to capture grocery etail via its JioMart. Then there are Flipkart and Amazon, the two big daddies of ecommerce, who also have big plans for the grocery segment.Online pushAccording to various reports, Tata group has been looking into M&A opportunities to push its ecommerce plan. A big part of this plan involves snapping up internet companies that could come in handy in scaling up its consumer retail foray. A company like BigBasket — which is known for giving biggies like Flipkart and Amazon Fresh a run for their money — suits this plan perfectly.This push is primarily spearheaded by Tata Digital, a company arm that is used to seal M&A deals in the retail sector. According to company sources, the BigBasket deal is also likely to be pursued through Tata Digital.BigBasket is not the only possible acquisition on the Tata radar. Several other similar deals are currently in various stages of negotiation, according to some Tata Group executives.As per an ET report, IndiaMart and Snapdeal are two of the retail companies that Tatas have sought to rope in with a view to ramping up the group's online presence.Tata Group has several businesses in the retail domain. It has infused quite a bit of money in its retail arms which include Trent (the operator of Westside and Landmark) and Infiniti Retail (a group subsidiary that operates Croma stores).None of these arms, however, has the heft to directly take on a rival like JioMart. But a collaborator like the already-big BigBasket — which is expected to close 2020-21 with a humongous Rs 9,000 crore in gross sales — could turn the scene on its head, some industry insiders say.Super appAs covered by various reports, the $113-billion conglomerate is also pursuing a super-app plan that will take its retail operations to the next level.All the group's consumer businesses will be tied into one app that is likely to be launched early next year. These consumer businesses include consumer durables, ordering of food & grocery items, fashion and lifestyle, apart from insurance and financial services like bill payments.As of now, most online shoppers use separate apps to access separate services. A single super app that enables users to do things from booking travel and buying stuff to paying utility bills is expected to be a major gamechanger.The Tata super app is being envisaged as a direct competition to Ambani's push for expanding Jio's digital services. The group wants to give consumers a simple, beautiful, omni-channel online experience connecting everything, Tata chairman Chandrasekaran said in an interview a while back.
Categories: Business News

Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal says strategy to win quality customers paying off; bullish on home broadband

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel chief executive officer Gopal Vittal said that the telco’s strategy to win quality customers is paying off and it is continuing its investments in networks to increase customer experience.“We believe our strategy of being relentlessly focussed on winning quality customers is paying off. Our brand is the most aspirational and trusted brand in the country...experience for us is the cornerstone of our strategy. We therefore continue to invest in Experience,” Vittal said during the earning calls.The top executive said that Airtel is building digital capabilities which are allowing it to acquire quality customers. “Second they allow us to drive greater share of wallet and reduce churn – both of which enhance lifetime value of the customer. Third they allow us to eliminate waste,” he said.During the second quarter, Airtel added 14.4 million 4G subscribers. Vittal said that over the last four quarters, the telco added 50 million 4G customers on its network.“We also added 700K net adds in the post paid segment which was one of our strongest performances in recent times. Our customer net adds was at 13.9 million and our churn was at an all time low of 1.7%. Most heartening was that ARPU also moved up from Rs 157 to Rs 162,” Vittal said.In the July-September quarter, Airtel added 5047 sites, taking overall physical count to over 200,000. It has also ramped up densification of its networks through solutions such as adding sectors, adding twin beams, refarming spectrum, experimenting with features that enhances spectral efficiency and adding Massive Mimos.Vittal said that Airtel’s Voice over Wifi solution is now being used by around 13 million customers who have seen a significant improvement in their indoor coverage.Airtel is also bullish on its home broadband business in India. Vittal said that the broadband category is at a cusp in terms of growth.“With Covid as the trigger point, we are seeing a rapid increase in work from home, in online education and in streaming services. All of these need reliable high speed broadband. We are therefore doubling down on broadband,” he said.Airtel is rapidly expanding its home broadband coverage in India and added 1 million home passes in the cities during the quarter in the cities it is already present in.The Sunil Mittal-led company is also accelerating its LCO partnership model to expand into newer cities. It is now available in 29 new cities through this model.During the quarter, Airtel launched its new Airtel Xstream bundle plans. Under the plans the telco is offering unlimited data over fiber along with its Android 4K TV Box and access to various OTT content.Vittal said that an adjustment in entry prices was due to competitive reasons towards the end of the quarter. “As a result, we saw growing momentum across the quarter while adding close to 130k customers.”
Categories: Business News

Dr Reddy's partners with Department of Biotechnology for Sputnik V vaccine clinical trials in India

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
HYDERABAD: Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd on Thursday announced its partnership with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), for advisory support on clinical trials of Sputnik V vaccine in India.According to a press release from the city-based drug maker, the partnership will allow Dr Reddy's to identify and use some of BIRAC's clinical trial centres for the vaccine, which are funded under the National Biopharma Mission (NBM), implemented by Project Management Unit-NBM at BIRAC.Further, the company will have access to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) labs to conduct immunogenicity assay testing of the vaccine.Immunogenecity refers to the ability of an antigen to induce an immune response.Chairman of Dr Reddys Laboratories, Satish Reddy said, "We are pleased with the collaboration with BIRAC as an advisory partner for clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine in India. We look forward to working with them to accelerate our efforts in bringing the vaccine to India."Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC said, "The government is committed to fast track clinical development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates and provide facilitation to accelerate market readiness of a suitable vaccine.We at DBT look forward to this partnership with Dr Reddy's for this Indo Russian Collaboration for Vaccine Development."Earlier this month, Dr Reddy's and Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct an adaptive phase 2/3 human clinical trial for Sputnik V vaccine in India.On August 11, 2020, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia and became the world's first registered vaccine against COVID-19 based on the human adenoviral vector platform.
Categories: Business News

2 Robinhood stock bets that went horribly wrong in Sept qtr

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
MUMBAI: Retail investors who get easily attracted to market talk and start buying beaten-down stocks in hopes of multibagger gains, seem to have gotten it wrong again.The stocks in which retail investors raised their stake the most in the September quarter are -- Future Retail and Future Consumer. They hiked their stake in Future Retail by 1,926 basis points (bps) in the quarter ended September to 25.09 per cent, and by 1,048 bps to 20.33 per cent in Future Consumer.“It is the classic case of retail investors getting it wrong. They hoped the stocks would boost post the deal with RIL, and they lapped up when the market talk was on,” pointed independent analyst Ambareesh Baliga. Even as the rumors came true, the retail investors went wrong.“Finally, all these (Future Group) stocks are going to merge into one entity. Earlier, it was a brand and retail story. Now, they are only going to be a third-party manufacturer and service provider,” he added.Since the deal in August, shares of Future Retail and Future Consumer have dropped 49 per cent and 39 per cent to Rs 69.35 and Rs 6.95, respectively.Both the stocks have dragged for a long time. Future Retail is down 83 per cent and 87 per cent over one-year and three-year period, respectively, while Future Consumer has eroded 71 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively, during the same period.Late in August, Reliance Industries announced its unit Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) will acquire the retail & wholesale business and the logistics & warehousing business from the Kishor Biyani-promoted Future Group as going concerns on a slump sale basis for a lumpsum total consideration of Rs 24,713 crore.The deal was a complex one – involving various inter-company transactions. In the first of the three-step process, the promoters will merge listed entities Future Retail, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Consumer, Future Supply Chain Solutions and Future Market Networks into Future Enterprises. Futures Enterprises will issue nine shares to Future Consumer shareholders for every 10 shares held by them, and 101 shares to shareholders of Future Retail Ltd. for every 10 shares held by them.Later, Future Enterprises will transfer the retail and wholesale business to Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle, a wholly-owned unit of Reliance Retail through a slump sale.And finally, Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle will invest Rs 1,200 crore in a preferential issue of shares by Future Enterprises for a 6.09 per cent stake, and will also invest Rs 400 crore towards its warrants, which on conversion, will amount to an investment of Rs 1,600 crore and result in an additional stake of 7.05 per cent. The shares and warrants will be issued at Rs 17.65 a piece.While retail investors scrambled to buy these stocks, foreign investors chose to smartly cut their exposure in the last quarter. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) cut their stake in Future Retail and Future Consumer by 659 bps and 645 bps, respectively. Mutual funds, too, trimmed their exposure in these stocks by 324 bps and 25 bps, respectively.Deven Choksey, Group Managing Director, KR Choksey Investment Managers, pointed that whenever such a type of transaction takes place, retail investors jump in without understanding the contours of such deals.“While the deal came as a respite for Future Group promoters, there is not so much on the table for Future Retail and Future Consumer shareholders, at least in the near term,” said Choksey.“We need to wait and watch what Biyanis do with these ventures going ahead, once the deal is executed and the picture is clear,” he added.
Categories: Business News

Gold demand could recover during fourth quarter on festival shopping: WGC

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
By Rajendra Jadhav MUMBAI: India's gold demand in the fourth quarter is expected to recover after falling 30% in the previous quarter as festivals are expected to strengthen retail jewellery purchases, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. "We expect quarter four would be better than quarter three due to pent-up demand and festivals," said Somasundaram PR, the managing director of WGC's Indian operations. Demand for the precious metal usually spikes towards the end of the year in India, as buying gold for weddings and major festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra is considered auspicious. Indians celebrated Dussehra earlier this month and jewellers reported improvement in footfalls and sales, said Somasundaram. But demand during fourth quarter would still be lower than the 194.3 tonnes recorded last year as consumers are struggling to adjust to near record high prices, he said. India's gold demand in the first three quarters fell 49% from a year earlier to 252.4 tonnes as coronavirus-triggered lockdowns hit jewellery demand, the WGC said in a report published on Thursday. In the third quarter, gold demand fell 30% from a year earlier to 86.6 tonnes as jewellery demand plunged 48% to 52.8 tonnes in the same period, the WGC said. While overall gold consumption fell, demand for coins and bars, known as investment demand, jumped 51% in the third quarter as rising prices attracted investors, the WGC said. "The slowdown in real estate and rising gold prices may have prompted unaccounted cash holders to move into gold," it said. Scrap gold supplies jumped to 41.5 tonnes in the third quarter, the highest in seven years, as record prices and stress on household finances prompted consumers to liquidate their old trinkets and jewellery, according to the WGC.
Categories: Business News

Competition for jobs in India spiked 30% since 2019: LinkedIn data

October 29, 2020 - 2:33pm
BENGALURU: Hiring in India continues to recover at a 12 per cent year-on-year growth rate in August 2020, but competition for jobs is 30 per cent higher than last year, according to professional network LinkedIn's labour market data.LinkedIn said in a statement its data also shows that professionals from Recreation & Travel, Retail, and Corporate Services are more likely to look for jobs outside their current industry.Professionals in Recreation and Travel are 3.8 times more likely to make the switch, whereas those in Retail are 1.5 times more likely, and those in Corporate Services are 1.4 times more likely to look for jobs outside their current sectors, it said.In India, Python (Programming Language) emerged as the fastest growing skill in 2019-2020, followed by Machine Learning, Data Structures, Digital Marketing, and HTML 5, the statement said.
Categories: Business News

Pages

  Udhyog Mitra, Bihar   Trade Mark Registration   Bihar : Facts & Views   Trade Fair  


  Invest Bihar