The maiden budget from India’s new government may have failed to excite – but for the gold and jewellery industries, what Arun Jaitley, finance minister, didn’t say was more interesting than what he did say.
Against market expectations the minister did not remove restrictions on gold imports, despite stories of smuggling methods becoming more and more innovative, and jewellers complaining that business has dropped sharply. Continue reading »
India is the world’s largest democracy, known for lively debate and an active press. As the country has developed, however, the public has grown skeptical of both the media and politicians.
To promote greater transparency and accountability, Govindraj Ethiraj, a well-known business journalist, set up IndiaSpend, a non-profit that aims to generate data-driven journalism. Continue reading »
It’s all kicking off in Indian ecommerce. Flipkart, an ecommerce website founded by two former Amazon employees, raised $1bn in equity this week. Amazon itself quickly followed, with an announcement on Wednesday that it was investing a further $2bn in the country.
As competition becomes fierce at the top of the market, beyondbrics went to Bangalore to meet senior executives from Myntra, the fashion retailer that Flipkart acquired this year. Continue reading »
As Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, gets his feet under his desk in New Delhi, it seems everyone is optimistic about the country’s prospects. That includes Ravneet Gill, chief executive of Deutsche Bank in India.
Modi won this year’s election with a powerful majority, having promised to restart India’s manufacturing sector, to get investment going by cutting red tape, and to improve the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Gill says all this will help India’s struggling banking sector – but running a bank in the country still isn’t an easy job. Continue reading »
Jimmy Choos under your sari and an African safari for the Diwali long weekend?
A new report by Kotak Wealth Management and Ernst & Young – Top of the Pyramid 2014 – finds that India’s super rich are “ready for change” as a strong new government comes to power in New Delhi – and they’re spending to prove it.
Continue reading »
It is like the return of a prodigal son. Infosys, the Indian IT group, hived off its “products, platforms and solutions” business this year into a wholly-owned but independent subsidiary known as EdgeVerve.
The unit was first formed two and a half years ago as part of the group’s efforts to move into higher value businesses. But that strategy – dubbed “Infosys 3.0″ – has taken a back seat in the past year as the focus shifted back to the traditional IT services that are bread and butter for Infosys. Now, as the parent group’s financial results improve and a new group chief executive arrives next month, this young but fast-growing subsidiary is poised to come back into the spotlight. Continue reading »
As the monsoon rains lash down on the streets of Mumbai, traffic has slowed to a crawl. Just last week, India’s trademark black and yellow taxis would speed down Marine Drive, the city’s seaside boulevard, but now the road is clogged as a jumble of jalopies and private cars trundle past potholes brimming with water.
Just the opposite is true of India’s car market: sales have started to accelerate. In the month of June, total car sales jumped 14.76 per cent year-on-year to 160,232 units, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) published earlier this month.
While the evidence is too fragmented to make a compelling case for a sustainable upturn in car sales, some analysts are optimistic. The thumping triumph of Narendra Modi, prime minister, in May’s national election – which has also sparked an impressive stock market rally – may be helping to infuse consumers with a sense of wellbeing, analysts said. Continue reading »
Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, unveiled a maiden budget on Thursday which failed to excite stock market investors but made several pledges for reform which – if they are implemented – may coax future efficiencies out of an economy burdened by red-tape, corruption and opacity.
The budget outlined plans to raise foreign investment limits in defence and insurance, overhaul India’s US$43bn subsidy regime, and simplify its archaic tax system to make it more transparent and bolster revenue growth. That, the government expects, will help raise growth from last year’s level of about 4.6 per cent.
However, investors did not get the “big bang” reforms that many were expecting, sending the benchmark Nifty equities index down 0.2 per cent in the day to 7,567.75. Nevertheless, there was much in Jaitley’s budget to suggest optimism. Continue reading »
Many Indian customs are surprising to outsiders – standing to sing the national anthem before any screening at any cinema, for example, or the halwa ceremony that precedes the unveiling of the national budget. The gelatinous, ghee-based dessert was prepared in New Delhi and distributed this week among government employees who have begun printing the most significant document of India’s economic year and will be isolated from their families and other outsiders until it is unveiled on July 10. A little ‘sweet dish’ is the least the government can offer the 100 officials involved in putting the budget together.
That may, however, be one of the only sugary sweet elements in the government’s first budget since Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, was voted in with a strong mandate – leaving him with no excuse not to fulfil his campaign promises of reviving growth and embarking on fiscal consolidation. Continue reading »
India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is used to dealing with troublesome allegations – the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has certainly provided him with lots of practice in the last few months.
But accusations from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) over Reliance Industries’ telecoms business do sound a red alert, given that the sector is just recovering from a scandal over 2G spectrum allocations from 2008. Continue reading »
As Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, grapples with slowing growth, weak output and rising inflation, he will pay particular attention to one company whose performance has a bearing on all those issues: Coal India, the public sector behemoth that mines 80 per cent of the country’s coal.
That in itself presents a big challenge. For Coal India is not performing well. It has missed production targets in five of the last eight months and output has grown at less than 2 per cent annually over the past four years. Continue reading »
As the pro-business Narendra Modi comes to power in New Delhi with a powerful popular mandate, investors are hoping for an economic turnaround and some hard-hitting policy reforms.
So there was plenty of interest when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank, released its half-yearly financial stability report late on Thursday. Its conclusions are not all rosy for Asia’s third largest economy. Continue reading »
The inaugural budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – scheduled for next month – is set to be scrutinised for signals on policy priorities to revive Asia’s third largest economy.
A series of moves in recent days are yielding clues as to Modi’s evolving agenda and the possible content of the budget. Here are some potentially revealing tea leaves. Continue reading »
All eyes are on China’s Alibaba, the e-commerce behemoth, and its planned US listing – not least from neighbouring India.
Senior management at Snapdeal, the online marketplace backed by eBay, are watching the initial public offering (IPO) closely as they mull a similar listing themselves. Co-founder, Kunal Bahl, told beyondbrics that the company could launch an IPO in 18 to 24 months’ time. Continue reading »
At the Bharat Forge factory in Pune, vast hangars are filled with huge machines heating and shaping metal. But there are very few workers around – perhaps a good thing given the sweltering heat.
A population of over 1.2bn supposedly gives India a ‘demographic dividend’ but at the country’s biggest manufacturer and exporter of automotive components, the talk is of a shift to high tech manufacturing rather than labour intensive processes. Continue reading »