Amazon invested $1 bn in India e-commerce arm since Jan

Source: Business Standard, Nov 16, 2017

Bengaluru: US online retail giant Amazon has invested Rs 6,200 crore (about $1 billion) in its e-commerce business in India since the beginning of this calendar year as it competes with cash-flush rival Flipkart.

Amazon Seller Services, largest arm of the US company here, has seen three rounds of capital infusion this year. The largest, of Rs 2,900 crore, was at end-September, according to official filings.

This brings the total pumped into this arm to Rs 17,839 crore ($2.7 billion). The figure shows how quickly Amazon has ramped up its investment in Indian e-commerce, with $1 billion of that being invested in 2017. The firm has also seen its authorised capital rise from Rs 16,000 crore to Rs 31,000 crore, which could signal the coming in of a lot more investment. Amazon aims to overtake Flipkart, which claims to have a cash reserve of $4 billion.

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Govt to launch portal for security clearance in civil aviation from Dec 1

Source: Business Standard, Nov 15, 2017

New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry will soon launch a portal for security clearance-related works for various entities in the sector as part of efforts to improve the ease of doing business.

The portal would do away with paperwork with respect to seeking security clearances, according to Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey.

Whether it is for airlines, airports, cargo handling or ground handling agencies or those who wish to run a commercial business in terminal buildings, security clearances were becoming tedious, he said yesterday.

The online portal would be functional from December 1 and the initiative is part of the ease of doing business, he added.

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India, EU hold discussions on proposed free trade agreement

downloadSource: The Economic Times, Nov 15, 2017

Senior officials of India and European Union (EU) today held discussions on the long-stalled free trade pact and expressed willingness to address issues in a time-bound manner, the department of commerce said today.

The chief negotiators of India and EU held discussions here on the proposed free trade agreement, officially dubbed as Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), the department said in a series of tweets.

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Decks cleared for first mega CEZ; 45 companies may invest Rs 15k-crore in phase-I

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 16, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has given the go-ahead for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs.

About 45 companies across telecom, auto and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in the zone, senior officials told ET.

The plan envisages a total investment of Rs 15,000 crore in the first phase and creation of more than 1.5 lakh jobs, they said. “The idea is to attract large firms interested in serving the export markets as they would bring with them technology, capital, good management and links to the world markets,” said one of the officials, who did not wish to be identified.

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Draft labelling rules for prescription drugs unveiled

Source: LiveMint.com, Nov 14, 2017

New Delhi: Antibiotics and other prescription drugs must come in packages with warnings printed inside a red rectangular box, the health ministry has suggested in its latest labelling rules aimed at checking antimicrobial drug resistance in India.

Prescription drugs are those that require a medical prescription to be dispensed, unlike over-the-counter drugs.

The ministry had earlier proposed a conspicuous red vertical band running throughout the body of the package with the words “schedule drug” printed on it. However, the regulatory body on drugs and devices—the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)—put out a draft notification on its website on Monday with new labelling rules seeking comments and suggestions from stakeholders.

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After changing telecom’s face forever, Jio now sets sights on a grand entry in ecommerce

Source: ETRetail.com, Nov 15, 2017

AHMEDABAD: Reliance Jio, after successfully disrupting India’s telecom industry, is preparing to wade into the crowded ecommerce market leveraging its vast network and hundreds of millions of subscribers, according to two persons aware of matter. The company is working with corner stores, or ‘kiranas’, and consumer brands to create an operational model that will enable shoppers to buy at neighbourhood shops using digital coupons via its Jio Money platform or text messages, they said. A pilot project involving several stores and leading brands is ongoing at Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad and a larger rollout is likely next year, they said.

Given Jio’s rapid growth to gain 132 million subscribers in about a year, its entry into online-to-offline ecommerce should put on notice payment companies including Paytm and PhonePe that are also forging collaborations with corner stores and other entities. These firms, though, have the strong backing of investors to aggressively expand their networks.

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Amazon doubles war chest to $4.74 billion to take on Flipkart

indexSource: LiveMint.com, Nov 15, 2017

Bengaluru: Amazon India has nearly doubled its authorized capital to Rs31,000 crore ($4.74 billion), nearly matching its mammoth capital commitment of $5 billion made in June last year.

Not only does it improve the prospect of further investment commitments from founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos, it also sets the stage for an all-out, high-stakes war against local e-commerce rival Flipkart.According to regulatory filings with the Registrar of Companies on Tuesday, Amazon India has already issued paid up capital of Rs17,839 crore ($2.7 billion) towards its marketplace arm Amazon Seller Services—far exceeding its initial commitment of $2 billion in July 2014.

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