Monthly Archives: February 2017

Recruitment start-up Belong raises $10 million from Sequoia Capital, others

Recruitment start-up Belong to use funds to expand client base and improve product, launches BelongExperts—a marketplace of recruiters

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 Along with the funding, Gautam Mago, managing director at Sequoia Capital India, has joined Belong’s board of directors, which includes Matrix managing director Tarun Davda and Raju Reddy, founder of IT services company Sierra Atlantic.

Transforming the Food Economy of India – An international platform to showcase, connect & collaborate in the Food sector:

Smt.Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing today had a luncheon meeting with Ambassadors and High Commissioners of leading food processing and food retailing countries to share with them the investment opportunities available in India in the food processing sector.

Speaking at the session Smt.Harsimrat Kaur Badal said “Recently, the Government of India has allowed 100% FDI in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India. This initiative has opened up vast opportunities for international companies to invest in India in the food processing manufacturing, supply and marketing. Additionally, attractive incentives have been established by state andcentralgovernments to include capital subsidies, tax rebates, and reduced custom and excise duties. Increasing focus is also being given to supply-chain related infrastructure, such as cold storage, abattoirs and food parks. The whole idea is to spur greater growth in the food processing sector and transform Indian food economy as well as connect farmers with the value chain to increase their returns”.

During the interaction, the Minister also invited the countries to partner with World Food India 2017 – a three day flagship event being organized by Ministry of Food Processing Industriesfrom 3-5 Nov 2017 at New Delhi. The eventwill focus on showcasing achievements and opportunities of the Indian Food Processing Sector and fostering maximum investment commitments. The event will also provide a platform for exhibiting innovative products and manufacturing processes, showcasing the entire value chain of food processing industry with a vision to leverage innovation, technology, development & sustainability of the sector.
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Speaking at the occasion, Shri Avinash K Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Food processing Industries said “With increasing disposable income and changing consumer preferences in India, processing, retail and e-commerce are the sectors where the opportunity lies. Over the past two years, the Government of India has taken a number of policy decisions to spur vibrant growth in the food processing segment. With a progressive policy outlook, we will offer full support towards new collaborations and greater investment.Given that the right framework is in place, acloser interaction is required between Indian and Global food & beverage sector and this platform will be provided by World Food India 2017.”
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Shri J P Meena, Special Secretary, Ministry of Food processing Industries said,“India already has all the requirements for a head-start in the food-processing industry. Basic materials such as food grains, pulses, vegetables, meat and fish can be sourced locally. What is required is an integration and collaboration across players in the value chain, to garner mutual benefits. We are hopeful that investments resulting from opening up of the FDI policy will further help build up the required infrastructure in the food processing sector thus reducing wastages and integrating farmers to the markets”.

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The interaction was attended by Ambassadors from Royal Danish Embassy, Embassy of France, Embassy of Republic of Korea, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Embassy of the Republic of Poland along with senior representatives from Canadian High Commission, Embassy of People’s Republic of China, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the republic of Indonesia, Embassy of Italy, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, High Commission of Malaysia, Embassy of Mexico, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand High Commission, Embassy of Belgium, Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil and Embassy of the United States of America. The representatives appreciated the Ministry’s initiative of organizing ‘World Food India 2017’, including its timely announcement and expressed keen interest in partnering with the mega event.

Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India: February 27, 2017

Mumbai richest Indian city with total wealth of US$ 820 billion: report

New Delhi: Mumbai has become the richest city in India with a combined wealth of US$ 820 billion, followed by Delhi and Bengaluru, with wealth worth US$ 450 billion and US$ 320 billion respectively, according to a report by New World Wealth. Mumbai is home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, while Delhi is home to 23,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires, and Bengaluru has 7,700 millionaires, eight billionaires.
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The list also includes Hyderabad (total wealth of US$ 310 billion, 9,000 millionaires and six billionaires), Kolkata (total wealth of US$ 290 billion, 9,600 millionaires and four billionaires), Pune (total wealth of US$180 billion, 4,500 millionaires and five billionaires), Chennai (US$ 150 billion, 6,600 millionaires, four billionaires) and Gurgaon (US$ 110 billion, 4,000 millionaires and two billionaires).
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The report further stated that India is expected to benefit from strong growth in the local financial services, IT, real estate, healthcare and media sectors over the next decade. The hospital services and health insurance sectors are expected to grow strongly, while cities like Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore are expected to lead the pack in terms of wealth growth.

Can sense a fantastic business momentum at the moment in India, says Rothschild

Alexandre de Rothschild, deputy head of Rothschild Merchant Banking, on working in India, dealing with the uncertainties here and tapping the true opportunities

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What is the kind of opportunity you see in India? 

From selling door to door detergent to ‘Sabki Pasand Nirma’ – Karsanbhai Patel’s incredible story

Karsanbhai Patel lost his daughter Nirma in a car accident, and went on to immortalise her name in a brand he has been nurturing like his own daughter. Today, Sabki Pasand Nirma is a phrase that goes beyond lip service. The product Karsanbhai once sold from door to door, today has an overall 20% market share in soap cakes and about 35% in detergents.


Karsanbhai started Nirma in 1969, in an era when India’s domestic detergent market had very few players, mainly multi national companies, which targeted India’s affluent. For most middle class and poor people, detergents were not affordable. Karsanbhai started making detergent powder in the backyard of his house in Khokra near Ahmedabad, and sold them from door to door at Rs 3 per Kg, when other brands were selling detergents at the range of Rs 13 per Kg.

Business Standard reports how during early 80s, when Nirma was struggling with sales, Karsanbhai came out with a brilliant plan to dry out the market of his products collecting all due credits. This was followed by a massive advertising campaign featuring his daughter in a white frock singling the famous Nirma jingle. Customers flocked to stores, only to return empty-handed. As the demand for Nirma peaked, Karsanbhai overwhelmed the market with his products, leading to massive sales. That year, sales of Nirma peaked, making it the most sold detergent, way above their nearest rival – Surf of Hindustan Unilever.

This year, as Karsanbhai bought the LafargeHolcim’s cement business for $1.4 billion, he proved yet again, that his entrepreneurial appetite is far from over. Mint reports how the deal will help Nirma gain a stronger hold in Rajasthan and the surrounding region.

An entrepreneur in the truest sense, Karsanbhai, although a media shy person, has a keen eye for nation building. He started the Nirma Institute of Technology in 1995, followed by the Nirma University of Science and Technology in 2003, overseen by the Nirma Education and Research Foundation. In 2004, he launched the Nirmalabs education project, aimed at training and incubating entrepreneurs in India. In 2010, Karsanbhai Patel was conferred with Padma Shri.

source: yourstory

Apple plans to make iPhones in Bengaluru from April

Bengaluru: Apple plans to make iPhones for the Indian market in Bengaluru. Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple, is setting up a facility in Peenya, the city’s industrial hub, to manufacture the iPhones. The facility will start production from next April, according to industry sources.

Top sources in the company confirmed to TOI that Apple is “very serious” about beginning assembly operations —and thereafter full manufacture — in India by the end of next year. “Bangalore is being looked at seriously,” said multiple sources within the company. Local manufacture will help Apple price its phones competitively as full imports attract 12.5% additional duty.

Foxconn, Apple’s largest Taiwan-based OEM, earlier committed to setting up a manufacturing plant in Maharashtra. The assumption was the plant would make only Apple products. But sources say Foxconn has tied up with other players like Xiaomi and OnePlus for local manufacture and not necessarily to only make Apple products there.

This will be Apple’s second big announcement for Bengaluru. In May, Apple announced a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community and also to guide Indian developers to leverage Apple’s programming language Swift and build apps for Apple TV and Apple Watch. The facility will open early next year.
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The Bengaluru manufacturing facility underscores India’s importance for the Cupertino-based company. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s multi-city India tour earlier this year signalled the growing importance of India powered by the demand for Apple products by a burgeoning middle class. Data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research showed that Apple sold 2.5 million iPhones in India from October 2015 to September 2016, a rise of more than 50% over the year-ago period.

The revenue numbers speak for themselves. Apple India clocked robust sales touching Rs 9,997 crore in the 2016 financial year, up 56% from Rs 6,472 crore, previously. The company’s net profit grew 21% to Rs 294 crore during the same period with deeper retail penetration and lower prices for older iPhone models that garnered a huge user base. An email sent to Apple didn’t elicit a response till the time of going to press.

Apple has published job openings on its portal for a few positions at its OEM’s factory in Bengaluru like operations program manager and product quality manager. Faisal Kawoosa, principal analyst (telecom) at CyberMedia Research, said, “Apple coming to India is a big booster for the make in India initiative.”

Source : India in Business

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Honda buys 380 acres in Gujarat to set up new plant

Honda Cars India CEO Yoichiro Ueno says Gujarat land has been bought as the company is confident of the long-term potential of India and is committed to this market

SoftBank, Foxconn to soon begin operating a joint venture

The joint venture move comes as SoftBank, Foxconn step up investments in the technology sector and consider expansion in the US eBay Coupon for 8% off Max. Discount Rs.3000 offer

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Bharti Airtel to acquire Telenor India

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecoms network operator, on Thursday said it would buy Telenor (India) Communications Pvt Ltd, in a deal that will bolster Airtel’s footprint with additional spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

Airtel will buy Telenor’s India operations in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Assam, the company said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Telenor said that the transaction will not trigger any impairment. As of fourth quarter 2016, the remaining value of tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India amounted to NOK 0.3 billion. The transaction is expected to close within 12 months,” Telenor said.

Airtel is India’s largest wireless operator with over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 per cent. As the new owner, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.
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“The proposed acquisition will include transfer of all of Telenor India’s assets and customers, further augmenting Airtel’s overall customer base and network. It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band,” Airtel said.

Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

“On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The customers of Telenor India will now be able to enjoy …a range of Airtel’s world-class products and services,” Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said.

The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced Airtel’s spectrum portfolio, Vitthal said.

“Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us, and we are pleased with our agreement with Airtel. The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly. After thorough consideration, it is our view that the significant investments needed to secure Telenor India’s future business on a standalone basis will not give an acceptable level of return,” Sigve Brekke, chief executive officer of Telenor Group, said.

With effect from the first quarter of 2017, Telenor India will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting.

Telenor announced its entry into India in 2008. In 2016, Telenor India’s revenues were NOK 6.0 billion and the operating cash flow was NOK -0.4 billion.

Source: India in Business: February 23, 2017