India’s textile sector is undergoing a long overdue restyling, writes India Inc. Founder & CEO Manoj Ladwa. The Indian textiles industry is a $100-billion giant, which employs about 50 million people, making it the country's largest employer in the organised sector. It is also one of the largest contributors to the export trade, accounting for nearly 15 per cent of India’s total exports. This 5,000 year old industry is arguably also the oldest in the world. So, it might appear [...]
Ignore the doom mongers, India will return to the high growth path by winter. There’s an old truism about India which holds that for everything that is true about this country, the exact opposite is also correct. This is true for the Indian economy as well. The country’s foreign exchange reserves recently crossed the $400-billion mark, making India the world’s sixth-largest holder of forex, ahead of the Euro zone, Brazil and Taiwan. The Indian rupee, which had fallen to a [...]
Re-skilling and up-skilling must go hand-in-hand with tech advances in India, writes a digital expert.
Last month, the lead singer of 70s band Talking Heads, David Byrne, wrote in the ‘MIT Technology Review’ about how tech is eliminating humans. With AI, autonomous vehicles, robots, automated self-service check-outs, and lots more, he says the art of human interaction will die away, since there will be no humans doing the traditional jobs of serving customers. But what does that mean for India, where there are over a billion people: if tech will replace all the manual jobs that give people a daily living, what will they do?
Alibaba plans BigBasket investment
China’s Alibaba and its Indian online marketplace investment, Paytm Mall, are in talks to pick up a significant stake in online grocer BigBasket.
The online marketplaces are seeking to invest around $200 million in one of India’s largest online grocer, BigBasket, at a valuation to be decided after due diligence is completed, according to Indian media reports. A estimate figure of around $1 billion has been doing the rounds for BigBasket.
Part of BigBasket’s appeal is its express grocery delivery feature, which lets customers receive grocery deliveries within 60 minutes. Its main competitor is Grofers India, which is backed by SoftBank. Amazon is said to be eyeing a stake in Grofers to counter Alibaba. Grocery is one of the fastest-growing segments of India’s e-commerce industry. According to eMarketer, India’s retail e-commerce market will be worth $55.3 billion by 2018 — up from $6.1 billion in 2014.
Indian start-ups get FDI policy boost
A new consolidated foreign direct investment (FDI) policy framework issued by the Indian government this week includes provisions specific to start-ups which is being seen as a major boost for the sector.
According to the 2017 FDI policy document released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), start-ups in India can raise up to 100 per cent of funds from Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs). They can issue equity or equity-linked instruments or debt instruments to FVCIs against the receipt of foreign remittance.
The document reads: "Startups can issue convertible notes to persons resident outside India (subject to certain conditions).
“A start-up engaged in a sector where foreign investment requires government approval may issue convertible notes to a non-resident only with approval of the government."
Foreign residents, except those in Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be permitted to purchase convertible notes issued by an Indian start-up.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) observers weigh up how CSR in India is different from the rest of the world.
A majority of Fortune 500 companies have a base in India and according to a Bain analysis report, between 1991 and 2012, the number of MNCs in India more than quadrupled. And over 20 years, total MNC revenue grew at a compound annual rate of 18 per cent — faster than the overall economy.
Demographics, rising incomes and a low existing base all point towards a paradigm shift in the fortunes of India’s still fledgling food retail sector.
It can potentially become the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) and will definitely play a major role in realising the Prime Minister’s goal of doubling farm incomes by 2022. Food retail, the largest component of India’s more than $500-billion retail sector, is standing at the cusp of greatness. How its fortunes play out over the next five to 10 years could well decide the success of the government’s ambitious Make in India initiative as well as the direction of politics by influencing how the critical farm lobby votes in future elections.
IKEA to set up in Bengaluru
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has finalised Bengaluru as the base for its third Indian store after Hyderabad and Mumbai.
The company has announced plans for 25 stores in India by 2025, with the first set to open in Hyderabad early next year.
In Bengaluru, the firm has acquired a 14-acre land parcel from the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation at Nagasandra on Tumkur road. The IKEA store in Bengaluru is expected to have more than 5 million visitors per year and will be connected to the Nagasandra metro station to offer easy access for the customers.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in a statement: “IKEA will bring best business practices, many employment opportunities, infrastructure development and contribute to the growth of the retail sector in the State. IKEA will work as a catalyst in our development plans.”
IKEA India CEO Juvencio Maeztu added: “Karnataka is a highly strategic and important market for IKEA. Along with retail stores, IKEA’s purchasing team will also grow local sourcing and engage with local artisan and communities in many projects.”
A country-specific export strategy could turn the tide in India’s favour in the sector, explains an industry expert.
The world apparel trade stood at $445 billion in 2015 down by 8 per cent from previous year. India’s apparel exports grew by 3 per cent in 2015 whereas that of Bangladesh and Vietnam grew by 8 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in the same year. After the phasing out of quotas in 2005, Bangladesh and Vietnam grabbed the opportunity and their apparel exports increased rapidly. Bangladesh surpassed India in apparel exports in 2008 and Vietnam in 2012 as can be seen from the chart below and their apparel exports have been consistently growing and have been higher than India’s exports throughout.
The man behind a unique social enterprise initiative bringing together young talent from the UK and India explains what Modual: Mumbai is all about.
I’m writing this from day three of the Modual: Mumbai workshop. Already the ideas are flowing through a cultural collaboration that has exploded into more energy than even we experienced Modual-ers had anticipated.