To promote its flagship Make In India programme, the government is proposing its own version of the US’s Buy American policy through a national government procurement policy, according to a government official familiar with the plan. The policy being considered involves purchases of Rs2 trillion a year but doesn’t include defence equipment. Under the proposed policy, the central government will provide special preference to companies producing in India; this could be in the form of a relaxation in turnover and experience conditions as well as price preference in products and services it is buying for its own use. Read original article here.
Demonetisation effect: economic growth seen slowing to 6.1% in December quarter
India’s economic growth may slow to 6.1% in the fiscal third quarter because of the government’s disruptive move to ban cash, according to the median of five estimates by economists. Economists surveyed by Mint expect growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the three months ended 31 December to be in the range of 5.5% to 6.5%. That compares with the 7.2% growth recorded in the year-ago quarter. The government will release GDP growth numbers for the December quarter on Tuesday, providing clues on how the economy has responded to the government decision to outlaw high-value banknotes in November. Read original article here.
Airtel buys Telenor India as telecom consolidation gathers steam
Bharti Airtel Ltd agreed to acquire the assets of Telenor ASA’s India business, as the country’s biggest telecom operator seeks to preserve its position in a market where new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s aggressive pricing has spurred a wave of consolidation. As part of the deal, Airtel will assume the Telenor unit’s liabilities related to licence fees and lease obligations for phone towers, a Telenor spokesman said on Thursday. The transaction, which won’t involve any cash payments to Telenor, will give Airtel access to 44 million customers (increasing its user base to 307 million), 43.4 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 1,800MHz band and 20,000 base stations. Read original article here.
Snapdeal confirms layoffs, founders to take 100% pay cut; here's their letter to employees
The Economic Times
Online marketplace Snapdeal has confirmed that it is undertaking layoffs within the organisation, but declined to specify the exact number of employees affected by the decision, as the company looks to turn around its fortunes after a dismal 12 months. "On our journey towards becoming India's first profitable e-commerce company in two years, it is important that we continue to drive efficiency across all parts of our business, which enables us to pass on the value to our consumers and sellers. We have realigned our resources and teams to further these goals and drive high-quality business growth," an official release stated. Read original article here.
Reliance Jio calls a truce in telecom war, starts charging for data services
After months of providing free services, and being accused of predatory pricing in the process, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has decided to begin charging its subscribers. Incumbents, such as Bharti Airtel Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India Ltd, can finally breathe a bit easier. As they rightly pointed out in the past, you just can’t compete with free services. But they still have a bloody battle on their hands. Reliance Jio’s new tariff plan is significantly more competitive than the ones announced at the time of its 1 September launch. The new plan reveals a strategy of chasing customers with data needs. Read original article here.
N. Chandrasekaran to take the reins of Tata Sons today
Sometime in the first half of Tuesday, 21 February, the directors of Tata Sons Ltd will meet in the boardroom at Bombay House, the conglomerate’s iconic headquarters in south Mumbai. Interim chairman Ratan Tata, 79, will chair the meeting, which has been called to mark Natarajan Chandrasekaran’s “assumption of charge”, as a Tata spokesperson put it. The 53-year-old Chandrasekaran will be the first chairman of the $103 billion Tata group with no family links to the Tatas, although he has spent all his working life at one Tata company, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS). Read original article here.
Tata in early talks to join RCom-Aircel-MTS combine to take on Jio
The Economic Times
Reliance Communications and the Tata Group are believed to have initiated talks to explore a possible union that could see Tata Teleservices join forces with the merged RCom-Aircel and MTS, persons familiar with the matter told ET. Such a move could create a strong No. 3 telco behind the proposed Vodafone-Idea combine and Bharti Airtel, amid intense competition triggered by Reliance Jio Infocomm’s entry. Read original article here.
Early talks on merger of Paytm and Snapdeal, with Alibaba and SoftBank as key players
The Economic Times
About a month back, exploratory talks had been held on merging Paytm’s marketplace with Snapdeal in an all-stock transaction. People familiar with this development told ET that whether the deal will happen is not certain and that if all stakeholders agree, talks may resume again. These people spoke off record, citing confidentiality issues and non-disclosure commitments. ET could not independently verify the complete contours and details of the discussion. Read original article here.
Flipkart outsells Amazon in December, January on bumper smartphone sales
India’s largest online retailer Flipkart is showing early but clear signs of sustaining the turnaround that began with its win over arch-rival Amazon India during the Big Billion Day (BBD) sale in October, belying predictions of many investors and analysts who thought Amazon may run away with India’s $14-15 billion e-commerce market. Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd pulled in gross sales of more than Rs2,600 crore in both December and January on the back of bumper sales of smartphones, said two people familiar with the matter. Amazon (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd) generated gross sales of roughly Rs2,300 crore, on average, in these months, said two other people familiar with Amazon’s numbers. If sales at Flipkart’s fashion units Myntra and Jabong are included, the company is far ahead of Amazon. Gross sales reflect the value of goods sold on the site, before product returns. Read original article here.
CXO recruitment is picking up after a slowdown last year. Executive search firms and experts say there has been a 25-40% increase in hiring mandates for CXO roles since early January on the back of improved economic sentiment, liquidity returning to the system, Indian companies expanding overseas and more clarity on the business front. All this has led to a flurry of activity after a slump in 2016 due to a combination of factors such as Brexit, the US elections and excessive presdisure on global business apart from domestic concerns such as demonetisation, corporate debt and an uncertain business environment. Read original article here.