Alibaba Invests $200 Million in India’s Paytm

Valuing India’s Paytm E-Commerce Private Limited at about $1 billion, China’s Alibaba Group Holding Limited, will invest $180-200 million in the online retailer, taking the stake of Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial to more than 50 percent.

Paytm e-Commerce is an entity created by Noida-based One97 Communications Ltd., which was valued at $5 billion last year, and e-commerce constitutes 20 percent of its business. Paytm will continue to be the vehicle for Alibaba’s e-commerce play in India, and is expected to spin off the e-commerce business into a new mobile application and a separate website in February, named PaytmMall—inspired by Alibaba’s T-mall in China, reports Mint.

Paytm ad

Paytm, which started operations as a mobile payments and mobile recharge business, created a web of payment solutions in the offline and online channels where consumers can transact via the Paytm wallet. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has India’s Central Bank’s approval to launch a payments bank by the end of February.

 

 

 

February 12, 2017   No Comments

India Tops in Trust of Institutions in Global Report

An online survey of more than 33,000  respondents conducted between October 13 and November 16, 2016 by Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, and reported in the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, revealed that trust is in crisis around the world, and the largest-ever drop in trust was recorded across the institutions of government, business, media and NGOs.

Among the 28 nations surveyed, India emerged as the most trusted nation in terms of institutions with 72 per cent of the respondents from the general population feeling so. The country is followed by Indonesia (69 per cent), China (67 per cent), Singapore and UAE (both at 60 per cent), reports the Economic Times.
'Trust' written in sand
Other Key Findings:
  • The Indian government is the second most trusted  by its own citizensafter China
  • Of the 28 countries, there was distrust in government in 75 percent of them
  • Trust levels decreased to 47 percent this year from 50 percent in 2016
  • CEO credibility dropped 12 points globally to an all-time low of 37 per cent, plummeting in every country studied
  • Government leaders remain least credible
  • Trust in business dropped in 18 countries, while NGOs  saw drop-offs as high as 10 points across 21 countries
  • Half of the countries surveyed have lost faith in the system, led by France (72 percent) and Italy (72 percent), Mexico (67 percent), South Africa (67 percent) and Spain (67 percent)

February 7, 2017   No Comments

China’s Nubia to Expand Smartphone Operations in India

Over the next five years, China‘s smartphone maker Nubia will invest $100 million in India in mobile technology startups and to forge partnerships with local content creators as part of its strategy to build an ecosystem around its products in India.  It also plans to start production in India soon.

India is our first priority, and we count it among our top three markets. We want to be the No. 1 online brand in India – it’s our major target,” Mai Donghai, senior vice-president of Nubia, told the Economic Times. “The timing is right as well, considering the network transformation and adoption of 4G.” Mai added that Nubai plans to open its R&D center in India for deeper software customization and that it may acquire design firms in India to support local R&D.

Nubia Smartphone

Currently, Nubia’s focus is only on the online channel for its sales, and it is working with Amazon for this purpose. Going forward, it will launch its own e-commerce portal to sell devices in India, and it will set up experience stores.

 

January 2, 2017   No Comments

India’s Property Market May Flourish in 2017

Word on the street was that India’s November 2016 demonetization of high value currency notes would have a significant impact on the real estate price; here is what the experts say:

Forbes reports that 2017 will be a bumper year for India’s real estate market as well as for its economy. The country tops the list of preferred destinations for investment in property by institutional investors.

High Rise Apartments

The middle class in India, the driver of the surge in domestic consumption, has very little household debt and is looking for suitable housing. The finance industry is supportive and India’s central bank has repeatedly cut interest rates. All these factors are promising trends for investors in the realty market, and for 2017 Bangalore and Mumbai are the top-ranked cities for both investment and development, according to the 2017 version of Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific, put out by Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute.

India is seeing a boom in business-park development, and suburban development is creating new business and residential neighborhoods. Blackstone of New York City, the Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, privately-held Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda are seriously interested in property assets in India.

Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle India says: 2016 saw the biggest changes in decades, especially on the policy front – the Goods and Services Tax and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill cleared hurdles, and are on their way to implementation. REITs will help smaller investors to invest in Grade-A commercial real estate across India. India’s first REIT listing will happen in 2017.

India’s Tier-I cities moved up to the 36th rank in JLL’s biannual Global Real Estate Transparency Index in 2016 due to improvements in structural reforms and liberalization of the foreign direct investment policy. India came 4th in developing Asia in terms of Foreign Direct Investment inflows per the World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. Thanks to a proactive government keen on improving India’s ranking on different indices and strengthening public institutions, the country is poised to become a modern economy.

As the real estate market achieves higher transparency, the mismatch of demand/supply can offer opportunities for developers and investors alike. Indian real estate is on its way to becoming a consolidated and moderately efficient  sector over the next few years.

 

December 30, 2016   No Comments

Apple Requests India for Manufacturing, Labelling Concessions

Serious about manufacturing iPhones in India, Cupertino, California-based Apple has requested concessions from India’s government. These are exemptions from the country’s product labeling regulations, and  tax relief. The company has filed a formal request to India’s Department of Revenue and Department of Electronics and Information Technology requesting to be excluded from the mandatory product labeling information so that it can maintain the iPhones minimalist look.

India is one of Apple’s biggest growth markets, and manufacturing iPhones in the country will give Apple the option of opening its own stores without the necessity of middlemen or distributors – a strategy that China‘s Huawei has successfully followed.

apple-ipad_1

Forbes reports that India’s smartphone market is expected to overtake the U.S.’s next year and become the second largest in the world behind China, according to recent research by IDC.

 

December 29, 2016   No Comments