IndUS Business Journal

Online shopping in India to grow by 78 percent in 2016: Assocham

Mar 20, 2016 0

New Delhi– Average online purchases in India are expected to increase by 78 percent this year on the back of attractive deals and aggressive marketing of merchandise, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday.

“Unfazed by slowdown, average online purchases are expected to increase by 78 percent in 2016 from 66 percent in 2015, due to attractive deals and aggressive marketing of ever-expanding range of merchandise from clothes to jewellery, from electronics to books,” said a study by Assocham and international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

D.S. Rawat (Photo: Financial Express)

D.S. Rawat (Photo: Financial Express)

Around 55 million consumers purchased online in 2015 and the number is expected to grow to 80 million this year with better logistics, broadband and Internet-ready devices, it said.

The report said the growth of e-commerce has been driven by aggressive merchandising and discounting from flash sales and daily deals, more online loyalty programmes and increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets among consumers.

“The smartphone and tablet shoppers will be strong growth drivers. Mobile phones already account for 11 percent of e-commerce sales, and their share will jump to 25 percent by 2017,” it said.

Overall the e-commerce industry, worth $25 billion, has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 35-40 percent a year, and is expected to cross the $100 billion mark in five years, it added.

“E-commerce is big business and getting bigger every day. Online shopping has been embraced by Indians with close to 8-10 million adults making a purchase via the Internet in the last year,” said Assocham secretary general D.S.Rawat.

The report also said computer and consumer electronics, along with apparel and accessories, will contribute 40 percent of the total retail e-commerce sales in 2016, from the current level of 35 percent.

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TiE-Boston Elects Praveen Tailam President

Mar 18, 2016 0

CAMBRIDGE, MA—TiE-Boston, the second largest chapter of TiE-Global, the biggest global not-for-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship, has elected Praveen Tailam as its new president for a two-year term, which starts on April 1.

Praveen Tailam

Praveen Tailam

TiE-Boston officials said that this year TiE-Boston had a two-way contest for the position of the president of the organization. Pallavi Singh, founder and CEO of Beacon Innovation Group, an intellectual property and innovation firm which provides support to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, lost to Tailam.

Tailam serves as managing director of TiE-Angels Boston and Singh leads TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) program. Singh also serves as co-chair of TiE-Boston’s annual TiE StartupCon 2016.

“I was very pleased to see two qualified and dedicated, long-time volunteers and charter members interested in leading TiE-Boston. Pallavi is a leader of the TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) program and TiEStartupCon (the largest startup conference in the Northeast). Praveen leads TiEAngels (angel investment group) and has been an avid supporter of many other programs such as TiEScaleup (a focused mentoring for early stage companies), social events and TiE Global activities,” said TiE-Boston’s outgoing President Gaugarin Oliver. “The charter members elected Praveen and with his many years of experience supporting TiE-Boston, his connections in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem and his vision to take TiE-Boston to the next level, he will be a terrific president of TiE-Boston to continue the momentum.”

Pallavi Singh

Pallavi Singh

Since 1997, TiE-Boston has been supporting entrepreneurs by offering education, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. TiE-Boston is a chapter of TiE-Global, the largest global not-for-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship. TiE-Boston members leverage the global network of members from 61 chapters in 18 countries. TiE has 12,000 members throughout the world, and has contributed over $250 billion in wealth creation.

Tailam is an entrepreneur, investor, start-up advisor, conference speaker, mentor, and philanthropist with strong connections to TiE. As managing director of TiE Angels Boston, he handles operations including deal sourcing and closing, partnership development, and investor education and management.

Through his ties with universities and incubators, Tailam offers help and support to promising young entrepreneurs. He co-founded TiE Angels Alliance, a consortium of 15 TiE Angel groups from all across the country. TiE Angels Boston works with TiE Global. In addition, he co-manages multiple dental practices in New Hampshire and Maine in partnership with Aspen Dental, a leading nationwide Dental Service Organization.

Tailam founded Redtail Consulting, a Boston area IT consulting practice, in 2006 and managed the business through 2012. Additionally, he has managed enterprise scale messaging systems for companies in the technology, banking, and insurance sectors, including IBM, Putnam Investments and Wellpoint BCBS.

He holds a Masters Degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University. He enjoys music and travel and is an avid golfer, cricketer and squash player. A resident of the Greater Boston area for almost 22 years, Tailam currently lives in Nashua, NH, with his wife and two children.

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Alibaba keen to enter Indian e-commerce space in 2016

Mar 18, 2016 0

New Delhi– Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is exploring the online marketplace opportunities in India and is keen to enter the country in 2016, its president Michael Evans said here on Friday.

“We have been exploring very carefully the e-commerce opportunity in this country which we think is very exciting on the backdrop of Digital India,” Evans said after meeting Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“We plan to come here and work to serve both customers, consumers and of course small businesses because that is the history and the DNA of Alibaba. We are planning to enter the e-commerce business in India in 2016,” he added.

On his side, Prasad said: “We hope Alibaba will come and have a good footprint in India also including the expanding business of e-commerce, they are exploring the possibility. On my behalf I have said very clearly Alibaba is quite free to come and expand its footprint in India.”

An Alibaba affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group had signed a deal to buy a 25 percent stake in Indian mobile payments and e-commerce platform Paytm owner One97 Communications in 2015.

The same year, Alibaba has also received anti-trust regulator Competition Commission of India’s approval for buying 4.14 percent stake in Snapdeal.

“I told him (Evans) about the exponential growth of e-commerce in India and what was a matter of great assurance that he said he proposes to take care of business online and also offline,” Prasad added.

India’s e-commerce market is likely to touch $38 billion-mark in 2016, a 67 percent surge over the $23 billion it clocked last year, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

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Honeywell, Jet Airways sign Boeing 777 maintenance contract

Mar 18, 2016 0

Hyderabad– Honeywell Aerospace has been selected by Jet Airways to provide maintenance services for Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) on board its fleet of 10 Boeing 777 airplanes.

The five-year agreement will help Jet Airways better predict and manage maintenance cycles, allowing the India-based airline to reduce unscheduled downtime and improve reliability of its fleets.

Jet AirwaysThe announcement was made on Friday at India Aviation 2016, country’s largest civil aviation show currently underway year.

This latest APU maintenance service agreement for the GTCP331-500 model is designed to keep servicing costs under control while maintaining equipment at the latest modification standard, helping the airline reduce variable costs and improve flight performance, said a statement by Honeywell.

The agreement is an extension of Jet Airways’ comprehensive APU maintenance programs already in place for its B737NG and A330 aircraft.

“Our APU maintenance program coupled with Predictive Trend Monitoring Diagnostic service provides Jet Airways the tools to simplify budget planning and mitigate unexpected costs that may arise due to unscheduled removals, as well as speed up turnaround for its B777 fleet,” said Arijit Ghosh, president, Honeywell Aerospace India.

“Having a comprehensive maintenance service plan across our fleets enables us to focus on our operations and continue to enhance customer experience,” said K.M. Unni, chief of operations, Jet Airways.

Honeywell’s APU provides compressed air to the main engines of an airplane as they start. It also runs air conditioning and electrical power to the plane while it is on the ground and serves as primary or backup electrical power for environmental, cockpit and hydraulic systems during flight.

With more than five decades of experience in the development of APUs, Honeywell will provide Jet Airways with access to a growing global network of experienced and Honeywell-approved field technicians.

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Cisco to invest $100 million to support digitization

Mar 18, 2016 0

New Delhi– Global IT company Cisco on Friday announced a $100 million investment plan for India to support the next phase of digitisation in the country.

The planned series of strategic investments include $40 million to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country and train 250,000 students by 2020, the company said.

John Chambers

John Chambers

The investment forms part of Cisco’s global ‘Country Digitisation Acceleration’ or CDA programme, under which the company will collaborate closely with state governments on strategic initiatives including the addition of six new innovation labs, three centres of expertise, funded university collaborations and skills investments.

“Digitisation goes beyond connectivity. With our increased investments in education and innovation, we are harnessing the power of technology to launch a generation of problem solvers who will innovate like technologists, think like entrepreneurs and act as social change agents,” said Cisco’s executive chairman John Chambers.

According to Dinesh Malkani, president, Cisco India and Saarc, Cisco’s announcement underscores India’s strategic importance to the company’s global operations.

“We are thrilled that India has been chosen for Cisco’s global country digitisation acceleration programme. India’s digital transformation will grow the economy faster, will provide employment and inclusion, will enable innovation opportunities and help deliver affordable citizen services to become more competitive on the global stage,” Malkani said.

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Karnataka to open four technology business incubators

Mar 18, 2016 0

Bengaluru–The Karnataka government would set up four technology business incubators across the state in 2016-17, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Friday.

“The incubators will be set up in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, medical devices, health technology and clean technology,” he said while presenting the budget.



Referring to the start-up policy framed to encourage innovation and building an eco-system for growth of start-ups in IT, biotech, ESDM and other knowledge sectors, he said state-run Keonics would set up the incubators and common instrumentation facilities in Bengaluru and in the IT parks of Shivamogga, Bagalkote and Kalaburgi.

“Ten incubators will also be set up in post-graduate and professional institutes across the state under the new age incubation network. An incubator will come at Bagalkote for research and development in biotech start-ups,” he said.

The budget has also proposed to set up centres of excellence and finishing schools in IT, electronics and animation sectors on the lines of Biotechnology Finishing Schools (BTFS) across the state.

“The Rs.56 crore Bengaluru bio-innovation centre ha been commissioned to provide access to high-end instrumentation and laboratory facilities to micro, small and medium enterprises,” Siddaramaiah said.

The state government has also set up the Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Fund with Rs.100 crore corpus to provide venture capital to chip companies.

“The Karnataka Geographic Information System (K-GIS) has been set up to use spatial technologies in decision-making and planning,” he said.

The budget has proposed to allot Rs.222 crore to the department of IT, BIT and S&T in the ensuing fiscal.

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Start-ups should venture in bamboo enterprise

Mar 18, 2016 0

New Delhi– Start-ups should be encouraged to take up bamboo trade and development, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh said here on Friday.

Global Bamboo Summit 2016 Bamboo DayChairing a high-level coordination meeting for the upcoming Global Bamboo Summit to be held in Indore next month, he said that efforts must be made towards greater economic viability and use of bamboo.

He said that states from northeast will send their delegates and artisans and would set up stalls in the summit.

Organized by Madhya Pradesh government with National Bamboo Mission and Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE), the three-day summit will begin on April 8.

The summit will focus on Make in India with bamboo, mainstreaming bamboo in government programmes, promoting research and development, streamlining policy and legal framework and bamboo as a change agent in poverty alleviation, employment generation and climate change, an official statement said.

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Jewellers to continue strike, shops in Tamil Nadu open

Mar 18, 2016 0

Ashok Minawala

Chennai–Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu have started functioning but there is no internal division within the industry and the indefinite strike against excise duty on products will continue till the government heeds their demand, said senior officials of a trade association.

“Except in Tamil Nadu, the trade is on strike in other southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In south, there are large players,” All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) director Ashok Minawala told IANS.

GJF zonal committee member Jayantilal Challani told IANS that the industry in Tamil Nadu is in a different league.

“They are operating in a corporate set up with big showrooms wherethe overheads are high and has to be met,” said Challani, who is also president of the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association.

He said the industry in north is strongly againt the central government’s decision to impose excise duty.

The gems and jewellery industry is on indefinite strike since March 2 in protest against the central government’s decision to inpose excise duty.

However both the officials stress that there is no internal division in GJF on the issue of big shops doing business in Tamil Nadu.

Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu are operating since Thursday afternoon.

According to Minawala, the industry has lost around Rs.20,000 crore of business due to the strike.

“The strike will continue till the government discusses the issue with us and take suitable action. We have made several suggestions on the issue,” he said.

Minawala said the strike will affect the exports and also bigger players with chain of showrooms would start feeling the pinch when the supplies dry out.

Meanwhile the central government on Friday said representatives of the jewellery industry met the revenue secretary and chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs on March 17 to discuss the issue.

According to the government at the meeting, it was clarified that in case of jewellery manufactured on job work basis, the liability to take registration, pay duty and to file return is on the principal manufacturer and not on the job worker.

Further, exemption from excise duty up to the clearance limit of Rs.6 crore is available to a jewellery manufacturer if his aggregate value of domestic clearances is less than Rs.12 crore in the preceding financial year.

Artisans and job-workers are not covered within the ambit of this duty and thus they are not required to take registration, pay duty, file returns and maintain any books of account.

A jewellery manufacturer having turnover less than Rs. 12 crore during the preceding financial year and less than Rs. 6 crore in the current financial year is not required to take registration and file return.

Application for excise registration as well as returns can be filled online.

Directions have been issued to the field formations to provide hassle free registration within two working days. There will be no post registration physical verification of the jeweller’s premises.

There is no requirement of declaring pre-budget stocks. Directions have also been issued barring any visits to the jeweller’s premises.

Jeweller’s private records or his records for state value added tax or for Bureau of Indian Standards (in the case of hallmarked jewellery) would be accepted for all central excise purposes.

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Embraer receives business jet order from India

Mar 17, 2016 0

Hyderabad– Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer on Thursday said it has received an order for a new entry-level business jet Phenom 100E from an undisclosed customer based in India.

Embraer Executive Jets announced this during India Aviation 2016, India’s largest aviation show currently underway here.

The aircraft, to be delivered later this year, will be managed by Titan Aviation Group, a global aviation specialty service provider headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.

Captain Sakeer Sheik, managing director of Titan Aviation Group and Claudio Camelier, Embraer Executive Jets’ vice president, sales (Asia-Pacific and Middle East) announced the deal.

Currently, there are 28 Embraer jets in India under three different categories, executive, commercial and defense and security.

“The Phenom 100E has proven itself to be a very agile aircraft that is capable of taking off and landing on short runways, while fuel economy helps keep operating costs low,” said Camelier.

“We are grateful for the confidence the customer has placed in us and thank Titan Aviation for their unwavering support. This order takes the Embraer Executive Jets aircraft registered in India to 22, across six aircraft types.”

“Titan Aviation Group has been in the aircraft management business for 12 years providing differentiated services to our customers,” said Sheik.

“Embraer Executive Jets’ broad portfolio of efficient aircraft and their solid customer support and services network allow us to assure the low operating costs, high dispatch reliability and superior operational readiness expected by our customers,” he said.


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Low inflation from falling oil makes GDP computing difficult

Mar 17, 2016 0

New Delhi–Falling inflation, as measured both by the consumer price index, or retail price, as well as wholesale price index, caused mainly by prolonged low oil prices, has made computing the GDP more difficult, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said on Thursday.

Arvind Subramanian

Arvind Subramanian

“Under the current circumstances, something has happened that has made measurement (of GDP data) even more difficult for India. Basically what has happened is that because oil prices have come down, our CPI and WPI inflation have come down and that makes computing GDP data much more difficult,” he said while answering questions at the annual India Today Conclave here.

“There is going to be some uncertainty about (GDP) data, maybe there is going to be more uncertainty about GDP estimates because of these factors.

“I think that the doubts that I had raised earlier were related to changes in methodology of estimation of GDP. I think now there are other sets of doubts about numbers.

“My response to that would be to look into all estimates. There is normal range of uncertainty. I think this happens in all countries around the world,” he added.

Even over a year since India’s GDP data was unveiled under a new series, the controversy over the changed methodology employed by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) refuses to die down with economists even terming it obscure.

Changing the base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05 in January last year, the CSO said that India’s real GDP, that is adjusted for inflation, grew 6.9 percent in 2013-14 instead of the earlier projected 4.7 percent, and by 5.1 percent in the year before compared to 4.5 percent under the previous system.

Advance estimates for 2014-15 released in February, projected India’s GDP to grow 7.4 percent.

The new numbers seemed contradictory when compared with other economic indicators such as revenue growth of listed firms, expansion of banks, the index of industrial production numbers as well as real challenges confronting India Inc such as weak demand, high debt and low earnings.

A committee headed by the National Statistical Commission chairman Pronab Sen has been set up to examine the estimation methodology. But critics say he has been a vocal supporter of the new series and hence question if the findings will be bipartisan.

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