Business News

Subscribe to Business News feed Business News
The Economic Times: Breaking news, views, reviews, cricket from across India
Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Myanmar pro-democracy fighters cross India border

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
Thousands of people fleeing the junta's crackdown in Myanmar have crossed into India's far-flung eastern states, leading to worries among officials there that the region could become a staging post for pro-democracy activists and stoke instability.Three states - Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland - are currently sheltering around 16,000 people from Myanmar, civil society groups and government officials estimate, with the number expected to rise in coming months.In Mizoram, where the most number of people from Myanmar have sought sanctuary, authorities are keeping a close watch on pro-democracy fighters joining refugees moving across the unfenced, densely forested border marked by the Tiau river."We are monitoring this very closely," a state government adviser told Reuters. He said that some Myanmar fighters had earlier crossed over with the support of local people in India but had since returned."We will never allow them to train in Mizoram," the adviser said. "If you disturb Mizoram, there will be a problem for the refugees."In early May, a group of at least 50 people from Myanmar held a training camp in Mizoram, a state police official and a resistance member told Reuters.The camp in Mizoram's Champhai district did not involve the use of weapons and was disbanded after Indian paramilitary troops made enquiries, the resistance member said, declining to be named."All the young people have moved back to Myanmar," the resistance member said.At least 850 people have been killed in the turmoil in Myanmar since the junta staged a coup in February, unseating the civilian government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Some of the heaviest fighting has taken place in Chin state, which borders India, in clashes between the military and local militias.An ousted lawmaker from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) told Reuters some resistance fighters from Chin state had procured weapons from India and from the Arakan Army, an ethnic militia in Myanmar's Rakhine region, fuelling a clandestine arms trade in the region."Naturally, these people want to fight the junta. What they will try to do, in my opinion, is to procure some arms from this side (India)," said the Mizoram police official with knowledge of the training camp.'GIVE OXYGEN'India's 1,600 kilometre (1,000 mile)-long frontier with Myanmar has also long housed insurgent groups opposed to New Delhi's rule. They operate on both sides of the border and profit from narcotics pushed in from southeast Asia, Indian security officials say."It is a genuine worry that if rebels cross over, it will give oxygen to Naga and Manipur insurgents," a senior government source in New Delhi told Reuters, referring to the around two dozen insurgent groups that operate along the frontier.A Myanmar junta spokesperson did not answer calls from Reuters for comment on the situation along the border.India's foreign ministry referred questions relating to the situation in the eastern region to the home ministry, which did not respond to e-mails and messages.Avinash Paliwal, a senior lecturer in international relations at SOAS University of London, said the influx and fighting along Myanmar's border had created the most serious security situation in India's far east, often called the northeast, in three decades.This could affect India's relations with the junta, and put some $650 million of New Delhi's investments in port and highway projects in Myanmar at risk."The entire connectivity agenda, balancing China, and drug crime and counterinsurgency strategies have become complicated," Paliwal said."The migrant crisis in the northeast may take a different, politicised or even militarised turn in the future," he added.In Mizoram state, where around 15,000 people from Myanmar are seeking shelter, authorities have written to India's foreign ministry for help with setting up eight refugee camps, according to a June 1 letter seen by Reuters.In neighbouring Manipur, some of the 1,000 people who fled Myanmar are sheltering in makeshift camps in forested areas even as intense monsoon rains start, said human rights activist Babloo Loitongbam.Loitongbam and a member of the Naga Students' Organisation in Myanmar said there was a food crisis taking hold in the border areas of that country, with staples like rice in short supply."Besides the violence, the economy is also crumbling there. So, more people will come," said Loitongbam, who is based in Manipur. "People have to find a way to survive."
Categories: Business News

A Supernova called Dingko Singh

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
He exploded on the scene like a seasoned superstar. Not many fit this description in Indian sports, especially without an Olympic medal, but then Dingko Singh was unlike most. All of 42 and four years after losing over 70 per cent of his liver to cancer, Dingko breathed his last at his Imphal home on Thursday, leaving Indian boxing stunned and the many he inspired with a deep sense of void in their lives. His single biggest sporting achievement was an Asian Games gold in the 1998 Bangkok edition, which was India's first in 16 years. But bigger than that was the impact he had on those who watched him out-punch two Olympic medalists that year. "Oh my god, he was spectacular. That style was something else," recalled M C Mary Kom while talking about how she excitedly queued up to watch him fight in a show bout in Manipur after he came back from the Asiad. For her it was like finding a hero closer home as she chased her boxing dreams. That was the Dingko effect on a generation of accomplished north-eastern boxing stars, including M Sunranjoy Singh, L Devendro Singh and L Sarita Devi among several others. "I never knew I had that kind of impact. I never intended to," Dingko had told in an interaction back in 2010. He was in the capital to watch the Commonwealth Games at that time and was enjoying his anonymity in the spectators' gallery before caught up with him. He couldn't be faulted for being blissfully unaware of his impact. He never really got the time to assess it. Dingko was born to a poor family in Imphal's Sekta village and meagre resources forced his parents to leave him at a local orphanage. It was there that scouts from the Special Area Games Scheme (SAG) started by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) first noticed the raw boxing talent in him. Talented he definitely was, add to that mix a famously mercurial personality and it all added up to make a fearless campaigner in the ring and a daunting man to manage outside it. "He could not be controlled by anyone. He could not be subdued by anyone," recalled Akhil Kumar, a Commonwealth games gold-medalist who has been with him in national camps. Indian boxing got the first glimpse of Dingko's talent at the 1989 sub-junior nationals in Ambala where he became a champion as a 10-year-old. 83397826 From there began the journey of his development into a world-class bantamweight pugilist, the one who seemed ready to explode at the biggest stages, against the toughest opponents. "Those left hooks, that aggression, he was so inspiring. I saw him intently during a National championship. What a personality he had. I know how ferocious he was because I have also taken a few of his punches during national camps," said Akhil. That ferocity of blows was reflective of Dingko's persona too. He famously threatened to commit suicide after it appeared in newspapers that he had been dropped from the 1998 Asiad. He was eventually named in the squad and proved his worth with a gold, subsequently honoured with Arjuna award and the Padma Shri for that career-defining moment. "He could be dramatic but you cannot fight with a talent like that," said Gurbax Singh Sandhu, the national coach at the Bangkok Asiad. Dingko was said to be drunk during that pre-Asiad meltdown and alcohol proved to be his undoing after the Games as well, ultimately causing the many health issues that he battled. Early exits from the 2000 Olympics and the 2002 Commonwealth Games left Dingko's career at crossroads. It wasn't too long before he hung up his gloves and took to coaching at Imphal's Sports Authority of India centre. He was suspended from that job in 2014 after allegedly beating up a female weightlifter at the facility for merely professing her affection towards him. There were countless other tales as well of Dingko losing his cool while being at the peak of his prowess. He once tried his kit right in front of the federation officials after his complaints of it being ill-fitting were dismissed by them. Dingko, in his inimitable style, made sure that the officials knew first hand, how unsuitable a size he had been handed. They had to ultimately change the kit for him. "He never consciously tried to warm up to anyone for personal gains, be it coaches, the federation, officials, no one. He had such confidence in his talent. That's why he was a hero," Akhil said. Dingko, however, remained unaware of this impact as well. "I have mellowed, I don't get into trouble," he had said in a later interaction after tying the knot with Babai Ngongam. But Dingko did get into trouble, perhaps the biggest of his life, in 2017 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. "Fighting comes naturally to me, I will fight this too," he would say. However, every fight comes at a price. His treatment took a toll on his limited resources and there came a time when he had to appeal for help, which did come his way from several quarters. His misery compounded with jaundice and COVID-19 in June last year, which needed one month of hospitalisation and he was overcome by a "sense of relief" on returning home, calling it the toughest one month in a long, long time. "It's a miracle, how he fought all these ailments. Any other person wouldn't have survived this long. It shows what stuff he was made of," said Mary Kom. The man himself seemed unaware of the magnitude of his health challenges as well. In fact, in his numerous interactions with , he made light of them. "Main theek hun ji, ghabraiye nahi kuch nahi hota mujhe (I am fine, don't worry, nothing will happen to me)," was his oft-repeated response to a how-are-you call. He fought hard and was determined to beat the odds just like those Olympic medalists he thrashed in a career which is perhaps comparable to a supernova explosion. Indian boxing won't get another Dingko Singh. Better boxers will be found but fighters like him don't come easy anymore.
Categories: Business News

New era of robot war may be underway unnoticed

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
In March 2020, as COVID-19 locked down the world, what may have been the first autonomous drone attacks in history were taking place on a largely unwatched battlefield in Libya.According to a U.N. report published in March this year, Libyan forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) used Turkish-made STM Kargu-2 drones to hunt down units loyal to former Libyan Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar.The report – prepared by independent experts for a U.N. panel on Libya arms sanctions breaches – stated that the four-rotor drones were programmed in "autonomous mode" to attack fleeing logistics convoys and other vehicles automatically, without further human intervention.If correct, that would represent the first documented such incident on a battlefield – a development that has long been predicted and feared by military and human rights experts alike. While drones have been a feature of the battlefield for years – from strikes by large U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles to much smaller devices operated by militant groups such as Islamic State – they have still required a human being to operate the "kill switch".That such a step may have taken place unheralded and largely unnoticed, however, should not be a surprise. The last two decades have seen a mass proliferation, downsizing and democratisation of technology once the preserve of the most powerful states. Innovation is now much cheaper, and those willing to bend rules can find advantage.KAMIKAZE DRONESNo country has exploited this dynamic more than Turkey, its cheap and effective “loitering” kamikaze drones a perfect match for the foreign policy of President Tayyip Erdogan.As U.S. and Western interest in the Middle East falters, Turkey has been quietly increasing its involvement in conflicts in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and West Africa. That presence is often simultaneously diplomatic, commercial and military – with shipments of Turkish weapons and technology often a key part of the deal.Turkey has also become a prime mover in the larger UAV market, selling its Bayraktar TB2 drones in countries including Qatar, Tunisia and Ukraine – each deal also furthering Turkish geopolitical connections and interests. The TB2 was also used by Turkish-backed forces in Libya, one of several weapons systems apparently shipped in contravention of a U.N. arms embargo.In the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan last year, Turkish support was central to Azerbaijan's battlefield success – with Turkish drones loitering over the battlefield to target Armenian tanks with brutal effect.Footage of these attacks was used extensively by Azerbaijan as information warfare, disseminated over social media and shown on large screens in public areas.Not everyone is glad to see Turkey’s UAV export success. In April, Canada blocked the export of potential drone components to Turkey at the same time as other Western sanctions following Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defence missiles. Canada’s Foreign Affairs department said the ban was in part due to evidence that Canadian drone components had been used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Whether those drones were autonomously operated remains unclear – but it is at least a possibility. STM, the Turkish firm that manufactures the drones, states in a YouTube video that the Kargu drone can select targets autonomously with a “fire and forget” mode, implying that it can be launched to loiter looking for a target and then engage automatically.'FIRE AND FORGET'The video shows the quadrocopter taking off and hovering before identifying and targeting a vehicle. While the video shows a deliberate human decision to engage, the company headings say it can "fire and forget".Similar drones – although not necessarily autonomous – are also made by Israel, and played a significant role in the most recent Gaza conflict as well is being exported to Azerbaijan and used in Nagorno-Karabakh.Tracking such developments is difficult, particularly during the COVID-19 era, when international media and observers are less likely to be present. Small drones are increasingly a feature of war in the Mideast, used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and all sides in Syria.The use of "fire and forget" weapons is itself, of course, not new – 77 years ago, German V1 and V2 rockets hit southern England, guided towards populated areas by rudimentary guidance systems. Anti-personnel and anti-vehicle landmines have been around much longer, lying in wait for unsuspecting victims sometimes decades later.Anti-personnel landmines were banned by the 1997 Ottawa Treaty, and some campaigners have long called for a similar prohibition on autonomous killer drones.They had argued this should be done before such technology became a reality, but it may already be too late. Whether or not the March 2020 Libya strike was the first autonomous drone attack, it is unlikely to last – and there may well have been more since then.
Categories: Business News

Wind power sector wants solar to help drive growth

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
India’s struggling wind power industry is looking to its clean energy rival for help emerging from a pandemic-induced slump.About half of the 20 gigawatts of wind power the nation is expected to add through 2025 will come in the form of hybrid projects that combine turbines with solar panels, according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council and MEC Intelligence. An existing pipeline of about 10.3 gigawatts of projects will make up the rest.The outlook is brighter than the recent past, which saw the nation install less than 4 gigawatts of wind power in 2019 and 2020 combined. India’s wind industry, which has about 40 gigawatts of capacity now, has been struggling for the past few years due to land challenges, which hindered projects as well transmission lines.The report derives its optimism from a potential rise in energy consumption as the economy revives and India’s embrace of clean energy to meet its climate commitments. The world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases plans to expand its renewable power capacity nearly five-fold to 450 gigawatts by the end of this decade, shedding its dependence on coal, which helps produce close to 70% of its electricity.Central government tenders will account for 90% of the new additions, with corporations and provinces making up the remainder, the report said."The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been." - Henry Kissinger
Categories: Business News

Saurabh Mukherjea's fav bet for a post-Covid world

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
One simple way to profit in the post-Covid world would be to look at Galaxy Surfactants, says Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder, Marcellus Investment Managers. Edited excerpts from an interview:SBI is outperforming HDFC Bank. Power stocks are making a comeback. So this market is changing colours very fast. Any thoughts on this?Basically, there is a sense of relief that the second wave is behind us. As vaccination drive begins properly, we would hopefully be out of Covid. Even if there is a third wave, the hope is that it will be a small one. And under such circumstances, people say why should I buy the optically expensive HDFC Bank and not SBI. Such trades are inevitable.But my experience has shown me these are passing waves. Fundamentally, over the course of a stock market cycle you go through bull and bear market phases. An HDFC Bank has too much muscle than an SBI to be able to keep up with it.It is a good thing that the risk appetite and confidence is coming back into the market.Given that how the shape of the economy is changing, have you identified a champion from the mid or smallcap space?A lot of themes that we have been playing over the last two-and-a-half years will continue to work. What we are trying to do is understand how the human psychology is changing. There are changes in consumption of speciality chemicals. People need more cleaning products and personal care products. People are doing more medical tests and not just for Covid. We have franchises like Dr Lal Path Labs.I recommend cleaning and personal care front. The behaviour is changing steeply. Over the past year or so, we have built a substantial position in Galaxy Surfactants. This is the largest manufacturer of surfactants in the country and supplies to companies like Unilever. It also has a large business which supplies chemicals which go into personal care products like lotions and skin care and so on. Whether you buy cleaning products and personal care products through Unilever or P&G, ultimately the raw material is coming from Galaxy Surfactants. So we felt it was the neatest way to play this significant lasting upsurge in consumer behaviour where they buy more cleaning and personal care products. Galaxy also has a substantial export franchise. PAT has been compounding at around 20-22 per cent for the last five years. They have a dominant franchise, strong balance sheet, clean management team and strong R&D capability. That's what really drew us to this franchise. Surfactants are a commodity but this company seems to make a better quality of surfactants and that too with oleochemicals rather than petrochemicals. It stands out from the crowd. So one simple way to profit in the post-Covid world would be to look at Galaxy Surfactants. What are your expectations in terms of the recovery in cyclicals and consumption?Globally, you have a very strong cyclical recovery. The global commodity demand is probably the strongest in eight-nine years. It look that the demand is outstripping supply by a considerable amount. As we saw in the fourth quarter, in India too we will continue seeing capex recovery. The fourth quarter GDP data clearly points to a capex recovery. In April-May this year, you had some of the largest steel companies announcing capex. So the capex cycle is underway. There is a whole wave of market activity where people will rush to play the capex cycle. Fundamentally, a bull market and commodities mean input cost pressure. It leads to inflation and therefore one needs to invest in strong franchises which have pricing power to deal with inflation and protect their operating margins. Across the world, it looks inevitable that commodity prices and inflation will go up strongly. Therefore, our focus as ever is to invest in powerhouse franchises which have the pricing power to make sure that the topline growth comes through the bottomline. That has been our focus for a long time.
Categories: Business News

Icra projects GDP growth at 8.5% in FY22

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
With decline in number of fresh COVID-19 cases and easing of restrictions, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at 8.5 per cent in FY2021-22, according to credit rating agency Icra Ratings. It expects the gross value added (GVA) at basic prices (at constant 2011-12 prices) to grow at 7.3 per cent in FY2022. "The impact of the second wave of COVID-19 and the ensuing state-wise restrictions was seen across a variety of high frequency indicators in April-May 2021. Now that the fresh cases have moderated, and restrictions are being eased, we have placed our baseline GDP growth forecast for FY2022 at 8.5 per cent," ICRA Chief Economist Aditi Nayar said. Icra said if vaccine coverage is accelerated following the re-centralised procurement policy, the GDP expansion in FY2022 may be as high as 9.5 per cent, with a widening upside in Q3 and Q4 of FY2022. In FY2020-21, the country's GDP contracted by 7.3 per cent. Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had projected real GDP growth at 9.5 per cent in 2021-22. For the full year, it expects the GDP growth to exceed the GVA growth by 120 basis points (bps), based on the expectations related to the value of taxes on products and subsidies on products in FY2022. It has taken into account the likely higher outgo towards food subsidies by the government in FY2022, relative to the budgeted level, following the decision to provide free food grains in May-November 2021. The agency has excluded the impact of the release of food subsidy arrears in FY2021, based on the clarification provided by the National Statistical Office (NSO). The monthly pattern of subsidy release by the government cannot be ascertained at present, Nayar said adding, "Therefore, we caution that the quarterly trend in GDP growth could differ from our baseline assumption (+14.9 per cent in Q1, +8 per cent in Q2, +5.6 per cent in Q3 and +7 per cent in Q4 of FY2022), based on when the subsidy pay-out is booked." The rating agency expects a prolonged negative impact of the second wave on consumer sentiment and demand, with healthcare and fuel expenses eating into disposable income, and less pent-up/replacement demand in FY2022 relative to FY2021. Notwithstanding the expectation of a normal monsoon buffering the prospects for crop output and less reverse migration in 2021 compared to 2020, it expects the combination of the sharp rise in rural infections, loss of employment as well as remittances to weaken the rural sentiment and demand. "After the satiation of the pent-up demand seen during the festive season in 2020, purchases of consumer durables may be restricted, which would impact capacity utilisation in FY2022," it said. It said even as the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country has dampened the near-term outlook for the Indian economy, vaccine optimism has led global commodity prices to soar. The agency expects subdued domestic demand to constrain pricing power, squeezing margins in many sectors. With the CPI and WPI inflation expected to average 5.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent, respectively, the agency expects the nominal GDP to expand by 15-16 per cent in FY2021-22.
Categories: Business News

India close to giving indemnity to foreign vaccine makers like Pfizer, say sources

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
India is close to agreeing to grant foreign COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Pfizer Inc protection against legal liability so that it can use their shots in an immunisation campaign that is facing acute shortages, three government sources told Reuters. "Indemnity will be granted," said one of the sources. "If one company gets it then all of them get it." India invited Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in April to sell their vaccines after infections rocketed. However, no deal has been signed. Pfizer has not sold to any country without obtaining indemnity against legal action over any adverse effects of their product. India has not granted indemnity to any COVID-19 vaccine maker, but the sources, who requested anonymity, said the government was having a change of heart. The government has already met one of Pfizer's other key demands by dropping a requirement that foreign vaccines undergo local trials. Another government official said he expected Pfizer vaccines to be delivered in August. He said initial recipients of foreign shots could be monitored, before a mass roll-out "once we are sure of its efficacy on Indians." Neither the foreign or health ministries responded to a request for comment. Pfizer declined to comment on its discussions with the Indian government but said it sought indemnity wherever it supplied its vaccine. "We seek the same kind of indemnity and liability protections in all of the countries that have asked to purchase our vaccine, consistent with the local applicable laws to create the appropriate risk protection for all involved," a Pfizer spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters. One of the sources said India was negotiating prices of $10-$12 per dose for foreign shots. The European Union is paying 15.5 euros ($18.86) per dose for the Pfizer vaccine developed with Germany's BioNTech. The Pfizer spokeswoman said the company had offered doses to many countries at a not-for-profit price. India has administered more than 239 million vaccine doses - mainly a licensed version of the AstraZeneca drug produced locally - the most in the world after China and the United States. But with a population of 1.35 billion people, India's vaccination rate is much lower than many countries.
Categories: Business News

Deloitte Global CEO on India's recovery, a new Haryana endeavour and dealing with anti-Big Four regulators

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
India was hit by a tsunami—the highly virulent delta strain—but the country remains an attractive destination for long-term global investors, said Punit Renjen, Global CEO, Deloitte. The Indian American CEO said that he expects double digit growth even in the short term once the country takes care of the Covid pandemic. In an exclusive chat with The Economic Times’ Vinod Mahanta and Sachin Dave, the India-born CEO talks about the Indian economic recovery, Sanjeevani Pariyojana (Deloitte’s pro-bono healthcare project with Haryana Government), dealing with anti-Big Four regulators and rallying US businesses to help India: Edited excerpts. India faltered in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis in the last two months when India became the epicentre of Covid-19 globally. Has that affected India’s image globally as an attractive investment destination? We're in the midst of a global crisis that has impacted everybody. We have to address Covid-19 before we can get back to some level of normalcy and return to growth. I think that is the predominant sense amongst business leaders and amongst government leaders. You've seen this over the last 15-16 months. The crisis started in China, spread to Italy in Europe and Europe had its peaks. Then came the United States, which witnessed a set of peaks in the winter months. And now, it has come to India so it's a global crisis that must be addressed. Most people, most investors look at the investment horizon beyond the year—they take a long-term view. Even earlier this year, the IMF was talking about 12-13% growth in India. That certainly has moderated or at least it's moderated because you had to take care of the Covid-19 crisis. But over the long arc of time, and investment horizon, India is a very attractive destination. And it is attractive because the fundamentals are attractive: the talent pool, the demographics, the consumer base, the democratic tradition. All of these together make India a very attractive investment option over the long term. So are you confident about India's recovery and ability to manage the crisis going forward? India was hit by a tsunami. The virus variant, the Delta virus, is a highly virulent strain, and it hit India like a tsunami. I am confident that India will come out of it. It’s difficult to predict with precision how the economy will shape up in the near term but in the longer term, India is going to do extremely well. I still expect double digit growth even in the short term.The numbers on the second wave are coming down drastically, which is a very positive sign. We should hope that the third wave doesn't come but we must prepare for it. The United States and Europe have been hit by multiple waves.I'm very encouraged by the Indian vaccination program. Unlike anybody else in the world, vaccinating 1.3 billion people in a democratic environment is a massive challenge but we must vaccinate as quickly as we possibly can.Despite the Covid disruption, will Deloitte continue its aggressive investment path in India or take a pause? We have committed that we will double our presence in India over the next few years. This is a good example of putting my money where my mouth is. We're going to hire between 75,000 to 100,000 additional people over the next number of years. This is both to serve our global clients and to serve Indian clients. Indian companies are taking their rightful place as leading companies in the world. We're doubling down on our commitment and we are actively expanding.How did the “Sanjeevani Pariyojana”, Deloitte’s healthcare project with the Government of Haryana start? In April, my 81-year-old mother took the first vaccine, and later got Covid-19. When you live far away, it becomes a very difficult situation. It was a learning experience in some way as I saw my mother recover at home. And that brought on this notion that there is a possibility to try and treat people at home.We tried to answer two or three questions. The first question was-is there a way for us to stop this rush to the hospitals and stop the panic? Second, are their innovative ways that would work in local realities to treat patients and help them to recover at home. So, from that started the “Sanjeevani Pariyojana” with the Haryana government. Kudos to the government of Haryana, including the health department, for agreeing to do a pilot with us in Karnal. What kind of on-ground impact did the project ultimately deliver? The district health administration has told us that between 24 May to 8 June 2021, the district of Karnal has witnessed a significant reduction in deaths. The district administration has said that at least 50 percent more lives were saved since the programme’s inception on 24 May. 195 medical students have consulted more than 7,000 home isolated patients, making over 40,000 calls. The availability of oxygen concentrators at field hospitals reduced the strain on the district hospital. The occupancy at field hospitals on 31st May was 50% from nil as these patients would need to otherwise go to the district hospital. When we started in Karnal, the infection rate or the positivity rate was about 25-26%. Our initial analysis working with the Government of Haryana, the Public Health Foundation of India and PGIMS, which in my view, is the top medical school in Haryana, was that 90-94% of the patients could be treated at home, 5% in regular hospital beds and 1% in ICU at the main hospital in Karnal.How do you see global recovery panning out?Lumpy. And again, it is driven by how much we can control the virus. Some countries have done a very good job in terms of controlling the virus either through measures like lockdowns and social distancing or through vaccination, for example in the United States and the United Kingdom—recovery has started in these countries. But in some others where the virus is still prevalent, the recovery is delayed. There is no doubt in my mind that we will come out of it but there will be changes in the way that we live and work. My hope is that once we come out of this pandemic, we will again start operating more like a global community, won't close borders and take Draconian actions going forward. This pandemic has also given us a chance to reassess how we live, work, and focus on some of the other big issues like climate, diversity and inclusion, racial justice and inequality.Many of the steps taken by the Indian regulators in recent times can be termed anti Big Four. A lot of regulators globally seem to be taking this view. How is Deloitte dealing with this emerging situation? The regulators have a very important role to play. In this arena, there is an ecosystem of players—regulators, policy makers, boards, company managements etc.—and the audit firms have a very critical role to play too. We respect the view of the regulators. They and us, are focused on exactly the same thing, which is improving audit quality and making sure that we uphold the public trust. Deloitte over the last five or six years has invested over $1.5 billion into our audit business and our audit quality results have improved dramatically over the last six years with an over 60% improvement. We are leaders in audit quality globally.Deloitte stopped doing non audit work for audit clients, practically gifting EY and KPMG business worth tens of crores. What drove this decision? We're committed to the highest levels of audit quality, and we try to do the right thing. We take a decision that is globally consistent, which is to be the leaders in audit quality. Companies are now reassessing their global strategies. Is India still a viable candidate for China plus one model for global supply chains? First, the virus has been quite disruptive to business. The supply chain is one example, the other is the way we work and live that will change. The virus has also been affirmative, in the way it has affirmed digital transformation or the power of technology to enable growth. India is a very attractive choice for global companies. As global companies, including Deloitte, reassess their strategies as a result of the pandemic, India, I'm convinced will feature in their plans, like it has in Deloitte’s plans. How did Deloitte as a business deal with the sudden and severe Covid disruption in which all its clients were also hit simultaneously?The way to think about it is on a continuum; the first thing you have to do is to respond. The second is how you start recovering. And the third is how you set up the process to thrive. So, respond, recover and thrive. In the response phase, if you go back to March of last year, when the virus first hit, we had 300,000 of our professionals to protect and support them. That was a way for us to respond to the virus. We also took actions to make sure that we were protected as an organisation. Raising liquidity as an example, and many of our clients did the same thing. But while we did that we also started planning for recovery, because we were convinced that the virus would be vanquished. There would be a recovery, out of the pandemic. And what that means is to keep the investment going with a longer term thinking/mindset. So, as an example, in India, we were steadfast in our commitment to invest in hiring people. We have remained steadfast. Now has the time frame expanded? Yes.In the midst of a pandemic, it is hard to hire 75,000 people at the same pace as you did pre pandemic, but we have not wavered from our commitment. Thirdly, to thrive you have to make the investments now so that you can come out and distance yourself against your competition. We do know that there has been more digitisation in the last 15 months than there has been in the last five years. So, companies have to make investment in things like cloud, artificial intelligence, transformative efforts, that are enabled by technology. All of those investments that clients made during the pandemic have allowed them to come out and start taking advantage as economies open up and as recovery starts. So, respond, recover, and try. That's the mantra that we used.You and other Indian CEOs did a commendable job rallying US businesses to help India when it was needed the most. Are any more such initiatives underway? Absolutely. I'm very proud of how the US government, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USIPF), USIBC and the US Chamber of Commerce along with 40 CEOs, stepped up. What we did was to address what was the immediate need of the hour—oxygen. So, oxygen concentrators and ventilators were shipped through the Ministry of Health, as well as Niti Aayog. Everybody realises on the steering committee that this is a global issue. The virus does not discriminate. Nobody is safe if we are not vaccinated, wherever we may be living. The Delta variant is now in 50 countries. So, they stepped up to do the right thing. India had helped the United States in the fall and the winter and now it was the right thing for us to do.Do you think that Covid-19 could change the global economic pecking order? It is hard to predict. I think the United States will remain as the leading global economy, certainly in my lifetime. It is entirely possible that India can become a $5 trillion economy and take its rightful place as one of the leading economies in the world. This could be India’s century.
Categories: Business News

A $43 billion jump in Adani’s fortune is fraught with many risks

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
By Anto AntonyA rally in the stocks of companies controlled by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has added almost $43 billion to his wealth this year, catapulting him to the spot of the second-richest person in Asia. Some analysts say the gains are fraught with risk.Adani’s net worth of $76.7 billion got a boost from a 330% jump in Adani Total Gas Ltd., a 235% rise in his conglomerate’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. and a 263% increase in Adani Transmission Ltd. this year. Adani group stocks, especially these three, “look extended,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Gaurav Patankar and Nitin Chanduka wrote in a June 10 note after analyzing technical indicators.“Among the biggest foreign investors are a few Mauritius-based funds holding over 95% of assets in these companies,” the analysts wrote. “Such concentrated positions, along with negligible onshore ownership, create asymmetric risk-reward as large investors conspicuously avoid Adani.” 83398236The analysis underscores the vulnerability of the rapid wealth surge Adani has seen in 2021, beating the gains for Warren Buffett and his compatriot Mukesh Ambani. A representative for Adani Group declined to comment immediately.The overseas funds hold a large chunk of shares, effectively reducing the public float and leaving the stocks prone to volatility, the analysts wrote. Elara India Opportunities Fund, Apms Investment Fund, Cresta Fund, Albula Investment Fund, Lts Investment and Asia Investment Corp. have put more than 95% of their assets in Adani group firms, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.The ports-to-power conglomerate also got a boost after MSCI Inc. included three more Adani firms to its India benchmark index last month, taking the group’s total footprint to five. This leads to mandated buying by investors that track this index.“Adani stocks trade 150%-200% above 200-day moving averages, and statistically look extended,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts wrote. “Tesla was 126% above the 200-day when it peaked this year.”--With assistance from Ashutosh Joshi and P R Sanjai.
Categories: Business News

US to remain world’s ultra-rich hot spot even as China, India surge

June 10, 2021 - 5:20pm
By Ben Stupples and Suzanne WoolleyThe US will remain the global hot spot for the world’s super-rich in the near future even as the fortunes of Asia’s wealthy continue to grow, according to research from Boston Consulting Group.The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the US will increase 36 per cent to about 28,000 in 2025 compared with last year, the firm said in its 2021 Global Wealth Report released Thursday. China and India should lead percentage growth of fortunes worth $100 million or more for the same period by almost doubling the number of ultra-wealthy individuals to 13,600 and 1,400, respectively, according to the report. There are currently 60,000 ultra-high-net-worth individuals worldwide with a combined $22 trillion. 83395947
Categories: Business News

Govt of Nigeria creates official account on Koo

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
The government of Nigeria has created its official account on Indian microblogging platform Koo, co-founder and chief executive Aprameya Radhakrishna said on Thursday. The government's first post was to do with a documentary on Nigeria that will be aired on June 12 in commemoration of Democracy Day. "Spreading wings beyond India now," wrote Radhakrishna while tagging his co-founder Mayank Bidawatka. A few days ago Radhakrishna had said the platform was considering enabling the local languages of Nigeria on its platform as the app is available there. The development comes after the African nation indefinitely suspended Twitter's activities on June 4 after the US-based social media platform deleted a tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. In a tweet on Saturday, Radhakrishna said: “Koo is available in Nigeria. We are thinking of enabling the local languages there too. What say?”Radhakrishna had also posted a screenshot of places such as Rwanda, the Philippines, Niger, Peru and Paraguay previously where Koo was available, and another screenshot which mentioned the languages spoken in Nigeria. Nigeria’s ministry of information and culture conveyed through its official Twitter account earlier that the government was indefinitely suspending Twitter, with minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed also citing Twitter’s persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's ‘corporate existence.’Twitter said on June 5 that it was ‘deeply concerned’ after Nigeria blocked the platform.“Access to free and open internet is an essential right in modern human society. We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world,” the company said in a statement issued from its public policy account. Last month, Mayank Bidawatka, cofounder of Koo, told ET that downloads of the app and engagement on the platform were up about five times over the course of three days.This came after Twitter’s run-in with the Indian government and the Delhi police, with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology also using the Koo platform to issue a rebuttal to Twitter. Bidawatka said many users were looking for alternative platforms to ‘speak their mind’. “Platforms need to act like enablers and not judge the content from their own point of view. If users feel targeted by a platform because of its biased approach, it can be a breach of trust and a fundamental disconnect,” he had said.
Categories: Business News

Tata Power chief shares his post-Covid biz outlook

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Tata Power is very clear that it wants to move away from carbon-based generation to non-carbon generation, Dr Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power told ET Now's Nikunj Dalmia. Edited excerpts:Nikunj Dalmia: What is your assessment of the economy based on power demand and power generation data?Dr Praveer Sinha: Power demand has gone up in last one year, although for a certain period of time last year we saw a huge drop of nearly 20% to 25%. But in the months of November to March consumption went up. In fact, peak demand went up to 185-190 gigawatt, something that typically only happens in summer months.Demand was 186 gigawatt yesterday; this incidentally used to be the highest in 2019 in summer months. This year, if things come back to normal from next month and the lockdown is reduced, we will possibly see a peak demand of nearly 210 gigawatt. So that is where we are on the power sector.On a cumulative basis also, demand has gone up marginally. So, we do expect that power demand will increase once all the factories, industries and some of the commercial establishments open up. I think this is a good sign that the Indian economy is able to come back very quickly once things stabilise. I do expect that this will continue in the future months also.When do you see power demand back at pre-Covid levels nationally?It's difficult for me to do a prediction, because one does not know whether we will have a Covid 3 or something like that. But I would say that once the lockdown process gets reduced, we will possibly have that sort of demand in next two to three months. This, however, is subject to us not having a third wave.All the industries, all the commercial establishments are waiting to reopen and go the whole hog to catch up with their yearly plans. I do expect that once that happens, demand for power will increase.Tata Power is going through a process of transformational change. You get 30% of your business from non-renewable, which you want to take to 80% by 2030. How would you achieve such a transformation in a sector that is still regulated?We are not setting up any more greenfield or brownfield coal-based plants. All our investment is in renewable business. From our present 30% non-carbon, it will become about 60% by 2025 and 70-75% by 2030.We do have a roadmap whereby as and when our coal plants completed full life and the PPA gets over, we will decommission them. So, we are very clear that we want to move away from carbon-based generation to non-carbon generation.Now having said that, I think there are technology intervention of decarbonisation that also gives the technology of distributed energy. We are seeing that a large number of consumers are now moving towards rooftop solar — be it for residential purpose or industrial and commercial purpose.Huge opportunities are coming up where industries, commercial establishments and residential people are coming forward. We have ourselves extended our services in more than 100 cities and in last three years we have found that the traction has been phenomenal.In fact, growth has been nearly four times in the rooftop segment and we expect this to increase by 10 times in next five years.We are also looking at the opportunity of using solar pumps in villages. India has nearly 30 million pump sets out of which nine million are still using DG sets. The government programme of Kusum talks about four million pumps to be solarised. Tata Power will play a very huge role in this effort.I think the technology disruption that has happened will help consumers to generate electricity themselves and use it themselves and in some cases also use for peer groups sale.What happens to existing regulated businesses in that case? As you migrate from being a thermal power producer to a complete carbon neutral and renewable power player, what happens to the regulatory part of the business?You need to do a balancing. Right now, 90% to 95% of our business is 100% regulated. Now in a regulated business there are no margins, there are no fees. You get a steady return but you do not get any upside for the value-added services that you provide.Because of our entry into rooftop and solar pumps and various other distributed businesses as also into EV charging, we expect that over a period of time we will have possibly a 60:40 — 60% regulated and 40% non-regulated. That will give us the opportunity to take the upside of the market — especially in businesses where we provide much better value-added services and better consumer services.And the regulated business will continue to give us enough cash to help us in the growth agenda that we have. So I think a good mix of regulated and non-regulated business will be a very good combination for Tata Power going forward.Your return on equity has been in 5% to 7% in the last couple of years. Do you see that moving to double digit?Our return on equity has been low because of Mundra which has been negative. Other regulated businesses — be it the generation businesses of Mumbai or Maithon or hydro — have been doing good.Similarly, our distribution in transmission businesses have been giving us double digit ROEs — in the 12% to 15% range. Going forward from having overcome the Mundra challenge and from the coal plants that we have and moving towards more market-driven businesses, we expect that our 6% to 7% will become AA in next five years.That is the whole target on which that the company is working. We are confident about the roadmap that we have set for ourselves.So Mundra looks like a big challenge?We did carry out certain changes. First, we reduced the debt of Mundra from Rs 8,000 to Rs 4,000 crore, and to that extent the financing cost has come down.Secondly, we started blending. Earlier we used 100% Indonesian coal; now we blend and we get lot of opportunity to purchase from various other countries. Stress selling of coal has also helped us control the cost of generation and under recovery that happens in Mundra's case.Another thing is that when we look at Mundra, we look at it as a combine of coal company and Mundra. On an overall basis, we find that when the coal company starts making more money because of higher coal prices, the Mundra under recovery increases. But when the coal company is making less money, the under recovery of Mundra reduces. To that extent, we are more or less on a consolidated basis.We see the underlying EBITDA becoming virtually positive, and we are able to sustain this going forward. The changes that we brought in Mundra were to ensure that it becomes self sustainable. We have the money from our existing businesses to take the growth agenda forward.How large could be the solar EPC business for you? Have you made investments here already?The EPC business does not require capex. It only requires working capital. From Rs 1,000 crore revenue of EPC for nearly 10 years, we went to Rs 2,000 crore in 2020. Last year we crossed Rs 5,000 crore for the first time.The way that we are looking at it, the EPC business will not only cater to the utilities-scale solar panels that we will manufacture, but we will also do it for other players and other developers. It would also support our two-third of business. It will also support our solar pump business.Since all these businesses are growing by 10 times, I do expect that our returns and our revenue from the solar EPC will grow much faster than what it has happened in the last few years.
Categories: Business News

'74% of employees want more flexible remote work'

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Nearly three-fourths (74%) of Indian employees say they want more flexible remote work options, while at the same time, 73% of them are also craving more in-person time with their teams, according to Microsoft’s annual Work Trend Index, which reveals insights, challenges, expectations, and motivations that will shape the future of work in India. To prepare, 73% of business decision makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments. “If we have learnt one thing in the last year, it's that we are no longer bound to traditional notions of space and time when it comes to how, when, and where we work. The Work Trend Index findings attest that remote work has created new opportunities but there are challenges ahead as well,” said Rajiv Sodhi, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India.One among four (24%) Indian employees has cried with a colleague and 35% people are less likely to feel embarrassed now when their home lives show up at work. As living rooms made way for work meetings, 37% people got to meet their coworkers’ families. People who interacted with their coworkers more closely than before experienced stronger work relationships, reported higher productivity and better overall wellbeing. “We believe hybrid work is the future, and a successful hybrid strategy will require extreme flexibility. As every organization fundamentally reimagines itself for the hybrid work era, we are collectively learning and innovating on how we will shape the future of work in India. It’s time to embrace work as a frame of mind, not a place you go,” said Sodhi. The genuine interactions with coworkers are helping to foster a workplace where 63% of Indian workers said they are more likely to be their full, authentic selves at work.According to the survey, self-assessed productivity has remained the same or higher for many employees over the past year, but at a human cost. 62% of the Indian workforce says their companies are asking too much of them at a time like this and 13% say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance. More than half (57%) of Indian employees feel overworked and 32% feel exhausted.The digital intensity of workers’ days has increased substantially in the last year. The time spent in Microsoft teams meetings has more than doubled (2.5X) globally, 62% of teams calls and meetings are unscheduled or conducted ad hoc and the average teams meeting is 10 minutes longer, up from 35 to 45 minutes year-over-year. The average teams user is sending 45% more chats per week and 42% more chats per person after hours. And despite meeting and chat overload, 50% of people respond to teams chats within five minutes or less.Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times in the last year, and people are taking notice. Almost 62% of India’s workforce (including 51% of Gen Z) expressed their intention to switch jobs this year. Globally though, 41% of employees are considering leaving their employers this year. Being able to work remotely now, nearly 68% of Indian workers are likely to move to a new location. This fundamental shift expands economic opportunity for individuals and enables organizations to build high-performing, diverse teams from a near-limitless talent pool.
Categories: Business News

HUL announces management rejig

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has rejigged its top management and appointed Kedar Lele as its executive director for customer development from July 1.Lele, currently chairman and managing director Unilever Bangladesh takes over from Srinandan Sundaram who will move into his new role as executive director for foods and refreshment. Lele, who joined HUL in 2004 has also been inducted into the company's management committee. Prior to his Bangladesh stint, he was responsible for leading the ecommerce and modern trade business and overseeing the customer development centre for HUL.“Under his leadership, the Bangladesh business made great all-round progress – be it in CD coverage expansion, transformation of our supply chain or setting up sustainable models for market development. I would especially like to laud Kedar’s efforts towards developing talent and improving diversity in the Bangladesh business. I am certain that Kedar will take the HUL customer development function to the next level of performance,” Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and managing director, HUL, said.
Categories: Business News

Equity only way to deal with inflation: Dhirendra Kr

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
The only way to methodically deal with inflation is to be in equity because equity returns tend to get adjusted by inflation, says Dhirendra Kumar, CEO, Value Research. Edited excerpts:What explains the continuous redemptions that we are seeing in debt funds? Investors are increasingly becoming risk averse. I am not referring to the Franklin Templeton fiasco. After the decline in interest rates, investors do not find it worthwhile to assume any unusual risk. So there is an extreme risk aversion. There are very few categories which are suited for risk-averse investors. When we have an interest outlook like this, it is very difficult. The downside is much more likely than enhancing your returns. Everybody is becoming risk averse. The maximum exodus last month was from liquid funds and overnight funds, which are meant for risk-averse investors. The return in these funds have come to a point where many investors might leave their money in bank accounts rather than moving it elsewhere.For those not in the high tax bracket, does it make more sense to invest in Senior Citizen Scheme, PPF, etc as the returns are higher than debt funds?Yes, absolutely. They are giving a higher return. If you are not a tax payer, then all your return is tax-free income. Only when you cross a basic threshold, it becomes taxable. So once you have exhausted these avenues, then you will have to look for this. But for risk-averse investors, who have never invested in any market-linked investment, getting used to fixed income funds is definitely scary.Given the low interest rate environment and the way inflation is inching upwards, do you think fixed income investments should be as low as possible and one should move more towards equities?The only way to methodically deal with inflation is to be in equity because equity returns tend to get adjusted by inflation. For example, Maruti will make more profit because its unit price will get adjusted by inflation. To remain profitable, it will jack up prices. Profitability will increase and the stock price will go up. Inflation adjustment happens naturally in equity and not in fixed income.In fixed income, individual investors are at a great disadvantage. The government has become the biggest borrower in the market. They are running huge deficits and to service that they have to borrow more. So unless there is a huge revival, the situation is unlikely to change. If the government is the biggest beneficiary of low interest rates, they are unlikely to let it go high. Unless an investor embraces equity in a measured way where he can ride it with stability, he needs a great deal of handholding.
Categories: Business News

Streamlining logistics, the Korea & Germany way

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Pawan Agarwal, special secretary at the commerce ministry’s logistics division, tells Shariq Khan how the proposed National Logistics Policy is envisaged to help India overcome issues in the sector easily. Edited excerpts of the interview:Economic Times Digital (ET): When will the NLP become a reality? Pawan Agarwal (PA): Currently, we are all living under uncertain circumstances due to the pandemic. Many government initiatives have been stalled because of this. The government’s full focus is on tackling the crisis. But we are ready from our side. The policy is just awaiting approvals from the relevant departments and ministries.ET: Why is managing logistics so complex in India? And how will the NLP ease that?PA: Firstly, it is extremely difficult to even define logistics. It is one of the most used words in recent times. If there is any challenge, it is often referred to as a logistical challenge.When we talk of logistics, we are primarily referring to transport or carriage of goods by any mode of transport, as well as its storage, loading and unloading. Further, there is packaging, labelling, sorting and distribution. That is all included in logistics. Then there are value-added services. For transportation by road, you need a route and a truck. But just those are not enough. There is an entire ecosystem, from booking the goods to ensuring proper documentation to handling those goods at end points. First-mile, last-mile connectivity… all those issues come into the picture. All these functions are today discharged by the private sector, in most cases. So, when we are talking of logistics services, we are talking of all the people who provide these services. Then there are players who may not have a storage warehouse of their own.Prime Read: How this policy could have killed the oxygen crisis in the budThe NLP framework is all about ensuring that a whole lot of these stakeholders work in harmony with each other and they align their work so that we have improved efficiency. We can reduce transportation time. Once you have better predictability over when your goods will arrive, you do not have to keep high levels of inventory.ET: So, the NLP will help cut costs?PA: The biggest gain in improved logistics services is not an improvement in transport services but a reduction in storage or warehousing costs, because of predictability and improved services. That is why the improvement in logistics services is so critical.ET: How will the NLP help in infrastructure creation? PA: Unlike other departments, we are not in the business of creating railway stations or laying new roads. We can help by trying to understand how the entire infrastructure is being used, how the national highway network is being used, what are the trucking industry’s challenges, how to reduce compliance burden and ensure more distance can be covered a day. We can help improve these things.Those are the kinds of things that the logistics policy is trying to address. These are intangible gains that will certainly come out of the NLP policy. Looking at the experience of other countries that have gone this way - Korea, Germany streamlined their logistics sector in the 1980s - we want to replicate that in India as well.ET: What are the top three bottlenecks the NLP is looking to address?PA: One is logistics infrastructure. We have never looked at logistics terminals and logistic parks from a policy perspective. While everyone is building these, we do not have a clear definition of multimodal logistics parks. In the absence of this, we have had different nomenclature - Inland Container Depot, Container Freight Stations, Private Freight Terminals, etc. The new logistics policy will look at a master plan for terminals and logistic parks because these remain the critical nodes in transport infrastructure. The policy will create a facilitative environment for development of these facilities. That brings us to the absence of a policy around these aspects. So that is an area we are trying to address.The second area is digital transformation. There is a robust system in several areas, such as rail freight movement, which has a fairly good IT system in place. We are trying to bring all these systems together. We are also identifying gaps to improve efficiency here.The third area is freight movement in cities. Across cities, issues relating to freight movement have been nobody's child. As a result, city police commissioners have introduced traffic and entry restrictions on cargo vehicles. That obviously will not help to improve efficiency of logistics. So planning better city-based freight logistics is NLP’s third area of focus.ET: The policy also talks about emergency response. What is that?PA: When there is an emergency, you have to handle relief operations or rehabilitation processes. The demand for efficient logistics in that particular area or in such a situation is higher than during normal times. Digitisation of the entire infrastructure chain can ensure it is pressed into service quickly.In terms of emergency response, we are a very small unit within the ministry of commerce. So we don't expect our department to perform the functions of the National Disaster Response Force or the National Disaster Management Authority.When we say logistics for emergency response, it means we'll work with them to ensure that critical infrastructure and information is easily available so that they can be put to use in a helpful manner.
Categories: Business News

Mumbai local trains running on all corridors

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Mumbai local trains are running normally today after they were suspended on a few routes on Wednesday due to waterlogging as heavy rains lashed the metropolis.Central railways said that all the precautions have been taken and all preparations are in place and that they are monitoring the situation.In a tweet, it said, "Trains are running on all corridors. There is high tide of 4.26 mtrs at 12.17 hrs and forecast of heavy rainfall. Railways have kept all machineries on alert mode and monitoring the situation closely."Over the past 24 hours, Mumbai's Santacruz received 23cm of rainfall, 9cm was reported in Colaba, 21 cm in Belapur, 20 cm in Kopar, 19 cm in Manpada, 21 cm in Vikhroli, 17 cm in Long Island, 12 cm in Mathern, 11 cm in Raipur, 9 cm in Mormugao, 8 cm in Pendra Road, Shirali and 7 cm in Parbhani, Mandla, Harnai, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday.The IMD has issued an 'Orange' alert in the Mumbai, Palghar, and Thane districts of Maharashtra for the next four days starting Wednesday.Meanwhile, owing to the predictions of heavy rainfall by the IMD, Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Satya Pradhan on Thursday said that 15 teams have been deployed in Maharashtra on the request of the state government. There are two NDRF teams in Mumbai, one in Kurla, four in Ratnagiri, two in Sindhudurg, two in Palghar, two in Raigad, and two in Thane district.(With ANI inputs)
Categories: Business News

Tata Digital to acquire majority stake in 1mg

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
Bengaluru: Tata Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd., is acquiring a majority stake in online pharmacy 1mg—its second significant startup acquisition after BigBasket.Earlier this week, Tata Group said it will invest $75 million in the Bengaluru-based fitness startup Curefit. As part of the Tata-Curefit deal, the company’s co-founder, Mukesh Bansal, is joining Tata Digital as president.These acquisitions are seen as stepping stones towards Tata’s super app play.Deal DetailsAccording to people close to the development, 1mg has received a total of $220-240 million, including primary and secondary investments.According to sources:Tata Digital is getting 51-60% stake for its investment in the e-pharmacy.1mg’s existing investors Redwood Global-Korea Omega and World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) have also infused primary capital.Venture capital fund Sequoia Capital and Omidyar Network are making a full exit from the firm while other early investors are going for partial exits.1mg is said to have received primary capital infusion of $100-$120 million in total.The deal pegs the company’s valuation at $450 million, said a person briefed on the deal.Tata Digital and 1mg declined to share details of the acquisition.“They (1mg) will now grow under the Tata brand. Prashant Tandon (founder of 1mg) will continue to lead the company and work closely with Tata Digital CEO Pratik Pal,” a person aware of the matter said.E-pharmacy PlayThe Tata-1mg deal comes when Reliance Industries has entered the online pharmacy space by acquiring Netmeds while PharmEasy merged with smaller rival Medlife.“The investment in 1mg strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high-quality healthcare products and services in the e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology-led platform,” said Tata Digital CEO Pratik Pal in a statement.Tata Digital said 1mg has three state-of-the-art diagnostics labs, a supply chain covering over 20,000 pin codes across the country.The company, through its subsidiaries, is also engaged in the business of B2B distribution of medicines and other healthcare products.“We are delighted to join hands with one of India’s most iconic and respected groups. This marks a significant milestone in 1mg’s journey to make high quality healthcare products accessible to customers across India,” said Prashant Tandon, co-founder and chief executive officer of 1mg.
Categories: Business News

UPSC to commence interviews from August 2

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will commence interviews for civil services examination 2020 from August 2, according to an official statement.The interview process was deferred due to a surge in COVID-19 cases."After reviewing the situation, the Commission has decided to commence the personality test of the civil services examination, 2020 from 02.08.2021," according to the statement issued by the UPSC.The e-summon letters of personality tests (Interviews) of the candidates will be made available shortly, which may be downloaded from the Commission's website www.upsc.gov.in and www.upsconline.in, it said."No request for change in the date and time of the personality test (interview) intimated to the candidates will ordinarily be entertained," the Commission said.On the basis of the results of the civil services (main) examination, 2020 declared by the UPSC on March 23 this year, the Commission decided to commence the personality tests (interviews) of the civil services (main) examination, 2020 from April 26.The examination is conducted annually by the UPSC in three stages -- preliminary, main and personality test (interview) -- to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among other
Categories: Business News

Reliance says FCCU unit at Jamnagar refinery shut, exports may be delayed

June 10, 2021 - 2:20pm
India's private refiner Reliance Industry said on Wednesday a secondary unit at its export-focussed refinery in the western state of Gujarat has been shut since June 6, which may delay the shipment of some product cargoes.The refinery, which has the capacity to process 704,000 barrels of crude per day (bpd), is part of the world's biggest refining complex in the city of Jamnagar in Gujarat state.Reliance, which operates the refining complex, did not give a reason for the "emergency shutdown" of the refinery's fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU). "The FCCU unit is being repaired on top priority and is expected to be restarted expeditiously," the company said in a stock exchange filing. "Consequently, some product shipments may get delayed and we are working to minimize the impact on our customers," it said. A source familiar with the matter said that the unit will be fixed in a week's time. The refining complex in Jamnagar has two refineries. The 704,000 bpd export-focussed plant is adjacent to the 330,000 bpd refinery that mostly sell products in the local market.
Categories: Business News

Pages

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


  Invest Bihar