Government plans Rs 1,000-crore fund for startups in priority areas

Source: The Economic Times, May 23, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government proposes to introduce a slew of reforms and another fund to boost startups that are focussed on priority areas such as rural healthcare, water and waste management, clean energy solutions, cyber security and drones.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) plans to set up an India Startup Fund with an initial amount of Rs 1,000 crore.

“The government wants to offer seed funds for high-tech, cutting edge startups. The proposal is to provide seed funds to 5,000 startups in priority areas,” a senior government official aware of the proposal told ET. Read the rest of this entry »

Infinix starts export of India-made mobile devices

Source: IBEF.org, May 22, 2019

New Delhi: Terming India as a “top priority market”, Infinix said Tuesday it has started exporting India-made devices to nearby geographies.

Infinix, which is part of China’s Transsion Holdings, is focussing on the sub-Rs 10,000 price category of smartphones in the country as it competes with the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung in the hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market.

Infinix Mobility (Global) Managing Director Benjamin Jiang said India is the “single largest market” for Transsion in terms of number of units. Read the rest of this entry »

TV, print get top billing in online companies’ ₹6,700 crore ad blitz

Source: LiveMint.com, May 21, 2019

NEW DELHI: Marketers at online companies are dedicating more resources to print and television advertising as they seek to build awareness, create new categories and acquire customers.

Online companies such as Uber, Ola and Flipkart are expected to spend a total of ₹6,700 crore in advertising in 2019, a 19% jump from the figure a year earlier, according to estimates by media buyers. Much of this spending would be reserved for print, television and outdoor advertisements, they said, on condition of anonymity.

While the death of traditional media has been heralded since the advent of the internet, recent data points suggest that at least in India it continues to find favour with marketers of even digital companies as they seek to connect with consumers in the real world. Read the rest of this entry »

India on road to ‘car registration portability’

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 21, 2019

New Delhi: Owners of cars or other vehicles relocating from one State to another will be spared the tedium of re-registering their vehicles and changing the vehicle number plates, if a planned move of the Road Ministry takes off. The proposed policy is still in the idea stage and was discussed at the Group of Transport Ministers meeting a few months ago, according to an official.

To get around this, the Road Transport Ministry had written to all the State governments with a suggestion to introduce a common tax regime across States based on the price of cars. Currently, car buyers tend to flock to States that offer lower tax rates, which make for cheaper cars. If implemented, this will enable number portability of vehicles across regions.

Another line of thought in the government is to allow seamless transfer of relatively older vehicles – those that have completed a few years. This means relatively older vehicles will not require a re-registration and related paperwork when used in a different State. This would, to some extent, separate the genuine buyers from those looking to “manage addresses” in their hunt for a cheaper vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

Bengal emerging as warehousing hub

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 21, 2019

Kolkata: West Bengal, and particularly Kolkata and its suburbs, is fast emerging as a major warehousing and logistics hub.

It is learnt that deals worth ₹500-700 crore have either been inked or are being finalised for warehouses along National Highway 2 (Delhi Road) and National Highway 6 (Bombay Road).

Land acquisition

Negotiation for the acquisition of at least 500 acres of land in various villages is under way. Read the rest of this entry »

Small trucks see growth, bucking industry slowdown

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 24, 2019

Chennai: The small commercial vehicle (SCV) segment — particularly sub-1-tonne mini-trucks such as the Tata Ace — is expected to continue witnessing growth in the near term, riding on a few favourable factors, according to industry representatives and analysts.

“Demand for SCVs is expected to be driven by high replacement demand (especially in the mini-truck segment), steady growth in private consumption and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) aggressiveness,” said Hetal Gandhi, Director, Crisil Research.

Investments by e-commerce logistics companies and strong rural demand are also expected to support growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Tata’s biggest challenge: $14 billion in auto debt and a slowdown in China

Source: Business Standard, May 22, 2019

Signs of a turnaround at its marquee Jaguar Land Rover unit may not be enough to ease the challenges facing India’s oldest and most-storied business empire.

The Tata Group bought the British luxury carmaker in 2008 for $2.3 billion, and it’s lately become a drag on the salt-to-software conglomerate, racking up losses in three quarters through December. Although Jaguar posted a net income of 119 million pounds ($151 million) this week, debt at owner Tata Motors Ltd. has grown to almost $14 billion, as it struggles to tide over a demand slump in China, the world’s biggest auto market.

JLR’s mixed fortunes have hit Tata — whose wider group debt load bloated to at least $36 billion, the largest among India’s conglomerates — just as it seeks to revamp the sprawling business. Making matters worse, a steel deal in Europe that would’ve eased the group’s liabilities unraveled this month. Tata Motors and Tata Steel Ltd. had a combined debt of about $27 billion, accounting for more than half of the total dues owed by the group’s top 18 units. This excludes debt of $9 billion till March 2018 for Tata Steel Bsl Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd, which are in the process of restructuring. Read the rest of this entry »