IndUS Business Journal

Indiginise more for defence self-reliance, official exhorts Indian firms

Aug 9, 2018 0

Bengaluru– Indian aerospace and defence manufacturers should indigenise more to help achieve self-reliance in arms production for the three armed forces, an official said on Thursday.

“As the government is keen on self-reliance in the defence sector, the manufacturers — especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups — should strive for greater indigenisation in arms production,” Defence Production Secretary Ajay Kumar said at an event here.

Addressing the fifth ‘Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Show’, Kumar said that the MSMEs and start-ups should make the best use of opportunities in the sector as the government had liberalised the procurement process and simplified procedures.

“The MSMEs and start-ups should meet the needs of state-run defence units and the armed forces with greater indigenisation,” asserted Kumar.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Chairman T. Suvarna Raju, speaking at the inaugural session, said that MSMEs and start-ups have huge potential to reduce imports in the defence and aerospace sectors.

“As defence units like HAL depend on private suppliers for critical components and systems, MSMEs and start-ups should ensure high standards and quality of the parts they make and supply to the original equipment manufacturers,” said Raju.

Inaugurating the two-day event at the HAL Convention Centre, Karnataka Industries Minister K.J. George said it will give an opportunity to the MSMEs and start-ups to showcase their capabilities and manufacturing prowess to the state-run defence units, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the armed forces.

“The event highlights Karnataka’s leadership in the aerospace and defence sectors. Many state-run defence units and OEMs across the country will find suppliers of components and systems at the show,” said George.

Organised by the city-based Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI), the trade show saw the participation of over 70 exhibitors from both public and private sectors.

The exhibitors included HAL, Defence Research Development Organisation labs, Indian Army, Navy and Indian Air Force, Blaser SwissLube, Siemens and Alpha Design Technologies.

The second day of the trade show on Friday will include sessions on indigenisation of IAF and Navy, and opportunities for the industry. (IANS)

Read More

India, South Korea MoU on trade remedy approved

Aug 9, 2018 0

New Delhi– The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Korea on trade remedy cooperation.

Signed in July during the visit of the South Korean President to India, the MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in areas like anti-dumping, subsidy and countervailing and safeguard measures.

The Cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (IANS)

Read More

Offering something for everybody, IKEA gets huge response on day one

Aug 9, 2018 0

Hyderabad– Ikea’s first India store, which opened its doors to a huge response by customers on Thursday, offers a world of options for people looking to furnish their homes with products of good quality and yet affordable.

The store by the world’s leading Swedish home furnishings retailer was teeming with customers in the evening and the total number for the day might cross 30,000 when the store shuts down at 11 p.m.

About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 p.m. but the crowds swelled later as thousands of techies headed to the place while returning home from offices.

There was traffic jam in front of the store located in the heart of HITEC City, the hub of information technology. The IKEA employees had to regulate the customers by allowing them in batches.

Patrick Antoni, Deputy CEO, IKEA India, had said on Wednesday that they are expecting an average daily footfall of 30,000 to 35,000.

IKEA welcomed the first customers at the 400,000-square feet facility with loud cheers from company officials and employees, holding Indian and Swedish flags amid loud band and music.

The store was formally inaugurated by Telangana’s Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao along with first customer Rajni Venugopal, IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Sweden’s Ambassador to India Klas Molin.

The first India store was opened five years after the world’s largest single brand retailer received government approval in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 stores in India by 2025.

The company now revised the number of stores to 40 across all formats. Its officials on Wednesday said they plan to approach the government with revised investment figures.

IKEA’s next store will open in Navi Mumbai in next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. In the next phase, IKEA would cover Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai and Kolkatta.

The sight of concept homes meets the customers as they walk through the sprawling Hyderabad store.

From living rooms to dining rooms, children’s rooms to workspaces, kitchen and bedrooms to bathrooms, the display rooms offer ideas, inspiration and solutions for the entire home in a setting, perhaps not seen before in India.

The sheer range of products in different room is impressive as the furniture giant has designed them with a promise to make Indian homes brighter and better.

The products displayed in concept room are not for pickup but the customers can note down the details to purchase them in the market hall, which has extensive range of products including home kitchen utensils and accessories, textiles, rugs, lighting, decoration, stationary and even live plants.

Bringing its world-class shopping experience to India, Ikea has designed the store in a manner which tempt customers into buying something after a long walk through the store that is the equivalent of 10 football grounds.

Located in the heart of HITEC City, the information technology hub, and close to the posh localities, the store appears to be designed to target upper middle-class and the rich. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet.

Laying a greater emphasis on affordability, Ikea has priced over 1,000 products out of total 7,500 below Rs 200. One finds a set of four spoons for as low as Rs 15.

Ikea officials promise there is something that everyone can buy for their homes. “We found love for homes is very big in India. We did not know this. Friends, families, festivals and food all happen at home,” Patrik Antoni told IANS.

“Unlike countries like China, Taiwan and Korea, people in India celebrate at home and we promise to improve their everyday life,” he said.

Ikea, in tune with its philosophy, has come out with home furnishing solutions for India by taking people’s inputs. The company says its team visited 1,000 homes to understand life at home, frustrations, needs, dreams and aspirations.

Ikea, which has stores in 49 countries, has a mixed global range with the local needs and realities. It developed products for local needs including masala boxes, pressure cookers, tawas, idli makers, colourful sheets and mattresses made with coconut fibre centre.

Sourcing from India for over 30 years, Ikea is not new to the country. About 1,000 products displayed at the store are made in India. It also tailored 2,000 products from its range to suit Indian needs, taking into consideration climatic realities such as dust and humidity.

The unique shopping experience is incomplete without tasting Indian and Swedish delicacies at a 1,000 seat restaurant, the biggest for Ikea globally. Like the products, the food is also affordable with biryani priced at Rs 99 and chicken meat balls Rs 149. (IANS)

Read More

Cummins India Q1 standalone profit down 18%

Aug 9, 2018 0

Mumbai– Engines and generators manufacturer Cummins India on Thursday reported a 17.62 per cent decline in its net standalone profit for the first quarter (Q1) of 2018-19.

According to the company, the net profit during the period under review fell to Rs 183 crore from Rs 222.16 crore during the Q1 of the previous fiscal.

Besides, the total sales from operation declined to Rs 1,296.49 crore from Rs 1,387.69 crore during the like period of 2017-18.

“Domestic sales in the current quarter declined 7 per cent over the same quarter last year. However, the same quarter last year had a strong tailwind from pre-buy on account of impending GST implementation effective July 01, 2017,” Cummins India Managing Director Sandeep Sinha said in a statement.

“We are positive on the medium to long term outlook for domestic sales as underlying demand remains positive arising from sustained investments by the government in creating infrastructure for the Indian economy,” he added. (IANS)

Read More

Sensex mounts 38k points, Nifty at record high

Aug 9, 2018 0

Mumbai– The benchmark equity index — S&P BSE Sensex — crossed the 38,000-points mark during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.

According to market observers, the fresh record high for the barometer index comes on the back of domestic political development which renews confidence in the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

On Thursday, Janata Dal United’s Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Harivansh was fielded by the BJP-led ruling NDA.

Also, broadly positive global cues, along with better-than-expected quarterly results and inflow of foreign funds pushed the key index higher.

At 1.10 p.m., the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex traded at 38,032.23 points, higher by 144.67 points or 0.38 per cent from its previous close.

The barometer index touched a fresh record high of 38,076.23 points and a low of 37,939.28 points during the day’s trade.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 11,469.90 points, higher by 19.90 points or 0.17 per cent.

The NSE Nifty50 made a fresh intra-day record high of 11,469.90 points. (IANS)

Read More

Prepared to defeat Google in China: Baidu CEO

Aug 8, 2018 0

San Francisco– As Google is trying to make a comeback in China with censored apps, its biggest rival in the country, Baidu, said it was prepared to take on the US tech giant and defeat it, the media reported.

According to a report in The Verge on Tuesday, Baidu CEO Robin Li wrote on his verified WeChat account that if “Google decides to return to China, we are very confident we can just PK and win again.”

PK, short for “player-kill,” is a Chinese slang that originated as a gaming context to refer to one player killing another.

Both Baidu and Google are search engine giants which also offer Cloud services while making huge investments in Artificial Intelligence for their growth.

In the second quarter of this year, total revenue for Baidu stood at $3.93 billion, a 32-per-cent increase from the same quarter last year, with mobile revenue remaining the main contributor, Xinhua reported on August 1, citing the company’s unaudited financial statement.

Baidu CFO Herman Yu attributed the acceleration of revenue growth to the company’s increased investments in AI-powered businesses.

Since Google left China in 2010, Baidu quickly took control of the search engine space, raising its share in the Chinese market to over 70 per cent.

But when news that Google was considering a comeback with censored apps, Baidu’s stock price fell 7.7 per cent.

However, the Baidu CEO is far from intimidated.

“Chinese tech companies have already taken the lead… The whole world is copying from China,” he was quoted as saying in social media. (IANS)

Read More

Genesys joins Wipro to put India on global autonomous driving map

Aug 8, 2018 0

Mumbai– In an effort to put India on the global autonomous driving map, Mumbai-based Genesys International Corp Ltd on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with tech major Wipro.

Genesys, which creates advanced HD navigation maps for self-driving cars, will use its expertise to develop maps and content while Wipro will develop the navigational and control technology for autonomous system and smart mobility companies, the company said in a statement.

To begin with, the company will create an HD map of the Wipro campus in Bengaluru. The pilot vehicle has been developed by Wipro to drive around its campus autonomously.

“With two decades of experience in the Geospatial technology and being pioneers in state-of-the-art LiDAR technology in India, we understand the mapping business better than anybody else. This partnership with Wipro will strengthen our presence in the autonomous system space,” said Rajendra Tamhane, Senior Vice President, Genesys.

HD mapping for autonomous driving is a $10 billion opportunity and every autonomous vehicle sold will have nearly $225 worth of HD map content.

“This partnership enhances Wipro’s offering in the autonomous system market and reinforces our ability to support the initiative of our global customers,” said K.R. Sanjiv, Chief Technology Officer, Wipro Ltd.

Genesys is the first Indian firm that has developed high-precision HD maps for a customer in the US which is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology.

Established in 1995, Genesys completed an extensive HD mapping of road and street network for an autonomous driving project in North America that will enable nearly 1.25 lakh residents to access self-driving taxis at their doorstep.

Core to the autonomous vehicle technology, HD self-navigation maps enable, aid and guide autonomous cars to self-drive and navigate.

The HD maps are created from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) source data which consists of billions of pixels — commonly referred to as a point Cloud.

Currently, Google’ Waymo and global cab-hailing service Uber rely on the LiDAR technology but not Elon Musk’s Tesla that uses high-end computer vision technology via cameras.

“We are in discussions with auto-makers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and various product/services companies in the autonomous vehicle eco-system to partner and provide value-based services,” Kuldeep Moholkar, CEO-Designate, Genesys, told IANS in a recent interview.

“The company is ready to undertake HD map creation for large volume of work involving counties, states and even entire countries,” he added.

Genesys has nearly 2,000 professionals with expertise in Geographical Information System (GIS) and Geospatial Engineering domain. (IANS)

Read More

Switzerland likely to share HSBC accounts data in 10 days: Goyal

Aug 8, 2018 0

New Delhi– Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that Swiss government is likely to share the HSBC accounts data in about 10 days, after the Supreme Court of Switzerland ordered it to share data with India.

“The Supreme Court of Switzerland has ordered the Swiss government to share with us the data. In about a week or 10 days, that is going to get formalised,” Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

He said that HSBC list was released somewhere in the year 2010-11, and from 2011-12 till 2014, the government kept trying to make an effort but was stalled by the Swiss government from getting any information on the ground that this is a secret information.

“It is only after this government came in that we sent our Revenue Secretary to Switzerland. We had high-level discussions with the government of Switzerland and a joint statement was issued in October 2014, in which both sides agreed that they will share information with each other and since then we have started getting information on the HSBC accounts from Switzerland,” he said.

Responding to supplementaries, he said with regard to HSBC, the already undisclosed income of Rs 8,448 crore has been brought to tax.

“The tax demand of Rs 5,447 crore has been raised and a penalty of Rs 1,290 crore levied in 164 cases so far. 199 prosecution complaints have been filed in 84 cases,” he said.

On Panama Papers, he said, it contains details of 426 persons. “Investigations are going on in all the cases. So far, 62 invasive actions have been conducted which included search, seizure action in 50 cases and survey action in 12 cases.”

Goyal said that criminal prosecution complaints have been filed in 16 cases and in 33 cases, notices under Section 10 of the Black Money Act have been issued.

“As an outcome of these investigations so far, undisclosed foreign investments to the tune of Rs 1,542.88 crore has been detected … and the investigations continue,” he said.

The Minister said that it was only under this government that the people have started increasingly filing their returns.

“The number of tax filers has increased by over 50 per cent in the last four years and the quantum of income-tax collected has also increased by about 75 per cent in the last four years. It has also stopped the leakages that were happening previously,” he said.

He said the Modi government has given almost Rs 4 lakh crore to the poor in their bank accounts through direct benefit transfer.

The Minister refuted that the IMF has reduced India’s growth projections and said that the country is slated to grow at a robust 7.3 per cent this year, 7.5 per cent next year and it will continue to be the world’s fastest growing large economy in the world for the next two years. (IANS)

Read More

Snapchat’s daily user count slips to 188 mn

Aug 8, 2018 0

San Francisco– Snapchat’s daily active users number shrank 1.5 per cent to 188 million in the second quarter of 2018 — down from 191 million in the last quarter, its parent company Snap has said.

Although the company’s revenue increased 44 per cent to $262 million — compared to $182 million revenue in Q2 2017 — it appears that Facebook-owned Instagram “Stories” has stalled Snapchat’s growth.

More than 400 million people use Instagram’s “Stories” feature daily to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

“We are excited by the progress we have been making and are optimistic about the opportunities ahead as we continue to invest in innovation,” Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO and Co-Founder, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Snapchat for the first time shared the number of monthly active users — 100 million in the US and Canada.

Cash used in operating activities was $199 million in Q2 2018.

The net loss decreased 20 per cent to $353 million in Q2 2018 — compared to a net loss of $443 million in Q2 2017, said the company. (IANS)

Read More

Musk wants Tesla to go private at $420 per share

Aug 8, 2018 0

San Francisco– In a surprise move, Elon Musk has announced to take his electric car maker company Tesla private at $420 per share.

Tesla has been public since 2010.

Elon Musk (Photo: Twitter)

“A final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best.

“As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders,” Musk wrote to Tesla employees in an email on Tuesday.

According to him, being public also subjects Tesla to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on it to “make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term”.

As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company.

The news led to Tesla share going up to $343.84 at the end of trading on Tuesday.

Musk, who owns approximately 20 per cent of Tesla at the moment, said he aims to structure the company in such a way so that all shareholders have a choice.

“Either they can stay investors in a private Tesla or they can be bought out at $420 per share, which is a 20 per cent premium over the stock price following our Q2 earnings call (which had already increased by 16 per cent).

Musk said he wants all Tesla employees to remain shareholders of the company just as is the case at SpaceX.

“The intention is not to merge SpaceX and Tesla. They would continue to have separate ownership and governance structures,” Musk wrote.

This proposal to go private would ultimately be finalised through a vote of shareholders.

“Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote,” Musk tweeted.

Shares of Tesla were halted on Tuesday afternoon following Musk’s Twitter message — an announcement that blindsided Wall Street and led to questions about fraud, the New York Post reported.

The Tesla CEO tweet earlier sent shares up $16 in five minutes, to $371.07.

The stock since settled at $366.94 before exchanges halted trading, pending an upcoming announcement from the company.

It was unclear what prompted the tweet. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Saudi Arabia was taking a $2 billion stake in the electric automaker, the New York Post reported.

It was also unclear what brought him to the $420-a-share figure — the number can be used as a slang term for marijuana. Musk previously tweeted an April Fool’s joke about his $60 billion company going broke.

The surprise announcements prompted former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt to question whether Musk had broken securities laws.

The tweet “might constitute fraud if any of the facts he disclosed are not true”, Pitt said on CNBC.

Tesla has not confirmed whether the tweet was real — or if the CEO’s account was hacked.

Bullish on the performance and increased production of “Model 3” cars, Musk is also planning to introduce a mini-car.

The electric car maker reported revenue of $4 billion in the second quarter of 2018, with $2.2 billion in cash in hand.

Tesla is producing roughly 7,000 Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles per week. (IANS)

Read More