All stories by Surajeet Das Gupta
Why Voda Idea's options for survival are narrowingRediff.com14 Jul 2021
Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) CEO Ravinder Takkar did some plain speaking. In an analyst call after its quarterly results recently, Takkar said that the main stumbling block to raising fresh capital from investors is "pricing" - telecom tariffs, in other words. Nine months ago, the telecom company's board had cleared a proposal for raising Rs 25,000 crore from investors, after the promoters made it clear that they were not ready to pump in more money. But potential investors are concerned that without clarity on tariff hikes (there have been none for more than 18 months) they might just lose their money. The lack of visibility on raising tariffs has also impelled VIL to request the Department of Telecom (DoT) for a fresh reprieve by extending the two-year moratorium on paying its spectrum instalment of Rs 8,200 crore for another year till FY23.
Why Vodafone Idea has failed to raise fresh fundsRediff.com12 Jul 2021
Vodafone-Idea (Vi) has said the key hurdle it faces in raising fresh funding, despite interest from investors, is the 'pricing situation' which is also the reason why it has asked the Department of Telecommunica-tions (DoT) for another extension of the moratorium on payment of spectrum instalment by one more year. Responding to a question during an analysts' call on Friday after its quarterly results on the reason for the delay in fund-raising nine months after it was announced, CEO & MD Ravinder Takkar said: "We are in discussions with investors. There is continued interest in investing in the telecom sector in the country. "The biggest hurdle is that the overall industry is under stress because of the pricing situation." He said that once tariffs go up, it will create a significant amount of confidence.
Wistron invests Rs 1,255 crore in Apple's India factoryRediff.com9 Jul 2021
Apple Inc's leading contract manufacturer, Taiwanese giant Wistron, has exceeded its investment obligation in India in just eight months, although the government's production-linked investment (PLI) scheme allowed it to complete the investment in four years. Between August 2020 and end March 2021, Wistron made an investment of Rs 1255 crore - 25 per cent more than the total investment it had committed to the government. Under the PLI scheme for mobile devices, the government had stipulated that each of the five participating global companies needed to invest Rs 250 crore every year for the first four years, totalling Rs 1,000 crore.
Chinese telcos feel new rule doesn't place curbs on themRediff.com29 Jun 2021
Chinese telecom gear giant Huawei Technologies has sought permission for access to the government's 'Trusted Telecom Portal' which went live on June 15 so that it can share details about the telecom products which telecom service providers have agreed to buy from it. The move is significant as sources close to the development say that, according to Chinese telecom companies' interpretation, the new National Security Directive on the telecom sector does not in any way prohibit them from participating in the process of selling telecom equipment of any kind to private telcos. The firm is waiting for a response from the government. It declined to comment.
Covid-19 pandemic: PEs pour $584 million into healthcare in 2021Rediff.com11 Jun 2021
Sensing a huge opportunity in the healthcare sector during the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, private equity (PE) players are upping their investments in the space. According to data from research platform VCCEdge, the PEs have together invested a staggering $583.82 million in the first five months of 2021 in five deals, which is the highest investment in the sector in the last five calendar years - from 2016 to 2020. The second highest investment in the sector took place in 2017, when PEs invested $503 million in 18 deals, with an average deal size of $29. 9 million.
PE funds scout for bulk-buying social e-com start-upsRediff.com24 May 2021
To create a community, the consumer can share the details of the offer with friends and family who want to buy the same goods.
Huawei seeks reboot after losing out on 5G spectrum trialsRediff.com18 May 2021
Based on industry estimates, telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and BSNL, are expected to invest over $10 billion on buying 5G telecom equipment in the next five years as they transition from non-standalone networks to standalone 5G networks.
Indian telcos at odds over controversial 5G standardRediff.com17 May 2021
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) to make a presentation detailing the pros and cons of the controversial Indian 5G standard, also known as 5Gi, which the government has been pushing for. The move comes after serious differences emerged among telcos with regard to the technology's efficacy and implementation.
Bird Group's ambitious plan to grab Air India's ground handling armRediff.com16 Apr 2021
The promoter-brothers, distant cousins to IndiGo's Rahul Bhatia, are eyeing Air India's ground handling subsidiary to augment their aviation services business even as they make a big play in EVs.
India, China border spat: Bird group's EV hatchback plans in limboRediff.com15 Apr 2021
The car was expected to have a price tag of Rs 10 lakh and launch was slated for this June.
Will Xiaomi disrupt India's e-scooter market?Rediff.com10 Apr 2021
Known for its phones and emerging from nowhere in the segment, it might take on the scooter Goliaths.
'Next financial year will be much better'Rediff.com9 Apr 2021
'Revival is happening slowly.' 'But that is, if the pandemic is controlled.'
Mobile phone makers want relaxation under PLI schemeRediff.com5 Apr 2021
In a communication to the empowered committee on PLI recently, the Indian Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) has stated that except one player (Samsung), all the other eight players (which include vendors of Apple Inc) selected under the scheme were facing numerous challenges in fulfilling the qualification criteria.
Can Ola disrupt India's e-scooter market?Rediff.com28 Mar 2021
As a tech services company, Ola has never been in hardcore manufacturing. And unlike in ride hailing, which is a two-player market (Uber is the only other competitor), in two-wheelers it faces many entrenched players. But most of all, rivals say Ola's targets are out of sync with most, even ambitious, projections.
IPL 2021: Star Sports hopes to earn Rs 32 billionRediff.com22 Mar 2021
Disney-Star generated advertising revenue of over Rs 27 billion for IPL 2020.
Amul to start making buffalo mozzarella cheeseRediff.com18 Mar 2021
Italy may be the home of premium buffalo mozzarella cheese, but India could soon give the country a run for its money in this regard. India's largest dairy cooperative, Amul, has submitted a plan to the government, aiming to turn the country into a global hub for the export of mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk, which is sold at a hefty premium around the world. Mozzarella cheese is one of the products identified by the government for support under its Rs 10,900 crore production-linked incentive scheme (PLI), to give a massive push to food processing exports as well as to build Indian food brands.
Private philanthropy outstripped corporate largesse by 42% in FY20Rediff.com17 Mar 2021
Individuals flew the flag for philanthropy in FY20, escalating their contribution significantly in comparison with company and foreign fund donations, according to the Dasra/Bain & Co India Philanthropy Report of 2021. Funding by individual philanthropists went up by 42 per cent from Rs 21,000 crore in FY19 to Rs 30,000 crore in FY20.
Atmanirbhar and PLI: Why Modi's ambitious manufacturing targets are unachievableRediff.com12 Mar 2021
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met over 40 CEOs across broad swathes of industry, ranging from makers of mobile devices, auto components, food products to telecom networking equipment and pharmaceuticals. The agenda: To discuss how to make India an integral part of the global supply chain. The focus of the discussion would be the much touted yet not so well understood production-linked incentive scheme (PLI), the centrepiece of the government's drive to massively boost the manufacturing sector. To do so, the government has created a war chest of over Rs 197,000 crore to be paid out as incentives to over 14 industries in five years. There are three objectives to the scheme, two explicitly stated, one implied.
Over 10 Indian start-ups may mop up at least $10 billion in IPO rushRediff.com22 Feb 2021
Over 10 Indian start-ups with total valuations of $84 billion (some are planning fresh fund-raising) are bracing to launch initial public offerings (IPOs) in the next 36 months. While the size of their IPOs is under discussion, estimates are that they would together raise a minimum of over $8-10 billion during the initial listing.
Has India lost out in the global 5G race?Rediff.com17 Feb 2021
Several factors have held India back. One is DoT policy somersaults and lack of clarity on whether to or not to ban Chinese gear makers.