India’s Commerce Minister Reports 48% Increased FDI

Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, said that since the launch of the ‘Make in India‘ initiative in September 2014, there has been a 48 percent increase in Foreign Direct Investment inflows for the period October 2014 to April 2015 as compared to the corresponding time frame of the previous year.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Commerce and Industry

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Commerce and Industry

The ‘Make in India’ program aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. Japan, China, France and South Korea have announced their intention to make huge investments in India in various industrial and infrastructure projects, reports Knowledge and News Networks.

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August 8, 2015   No Comments

California’s Uber to Invest $1 Billion in India

Uber will spend $1 billion over the next nine months to expand its presence in India, which is one of its biggest global markets.

The company currently operates in 18 cities in India and offers services unique to the market, such as UberGO (on-demand hatchback vehicles) and UberAUTO (which supports cash payments), reports the  Los Angeles Times.

“India is one of Uber’s big priorities, along with China and UberPOOL,” Amit Jain, president of Uber India, said. “With this investment and the strong rate of growth we are seeing, we expect to hit over 1 million trips per day in the next six to nine months,” he added.

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August 6, 2015   No Comments

Foreign Firms Surge to Provide India’s 280,000MW Solar Energy Goal

India’s $100 billion push into solar energy over the next decade is being driven by foreign players as local manufacturers are no longer protected by government restrictions on the sector. SunEdison of California will invest up to $4 billion in a manufacturing facility, and China‘s Trina Solar has unveiled plans for a $500 million plant. Both these companies will tie up with Indian firms to build the plants.

San Francisco-based First Solar will build 5,000 MW of solar power before 2020, and says it will rely on imported panels for now because it is cheaper to buy component parts internationally where they are more readily available, reports Reuters.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

Sarus Solar, formed by Canadian Solar Inc., and two other Canada-based firms, plans to spend about $1.02 billion to build a 500-MW photovoltaic power plant in India. The first solar park will be constructed in the state of Maharashtra’s Thane district the firm’s head of operations for India, Arun Agarwal, said. The second 500-MW project will be in the northern Jharkhand state and has already been approved, he added.

Japan’s SoftBank will invest up to $20 billion. The firm said it would consider making solar panels locally with Taiwan’s Foxconn.

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July 19, 2015   No Comments

India: Fourth Largest Hub for Startups

According to the Ministry of Finance’s Economy Survey 2014-15, India is becoming the world’s fourth largest center for venture and angel funded startup businesses. The country’s technology sector is fueling this growth especially in the online space, where 240 million Indians now have internet access, according to research group IMRB International. IMRB says this is the third highest in the world after China and the U.S., which India is expected to overtake this year.

Investments into India’s startups hit more than $3.5 billion in the first half of this year, a new high, according to Yourstory.com, one of the country’s most popular websites for entrepreneurs. A significant proportion of this money comes from overseas, with funds such as Tiger Global, Sequoia and Accel in the U.S., and Japan’s SoftBank, leading the way, reports BBC.

Arjun Narayan, founder of Catamaran, a private investment company that has offices in both Bangalore and London says: “It takes a lot of learning here [India] as it is a very heterogeneous market with lots of different tastes and variants,” he says. “In many cases investors don’t have patience and don’t let that learning curve happen.” Catamaran’s principal investor is NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder and first CEO of Infosys.

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July 19, 2015   No Comments

India: Next Hot Stop for Smartphone Makers

“India presents the world’s largest smartphone growth potential for the next 5 years,” Mark Li, senior analyst at Bernstein Research said in a report titled India: The Next China for Smartphones?

India is the world’s third largest smartphone market behind China. In the next 5 years it is projected to more than double its smartphone shipments, overtaking the U.S. to become the world’s second biggest market, reports CNBC.

Smartphone manufacturers have to adapt their selling strategies to the prevailing scenario in India where the market is characterized by low average selling prices, slow technology migration and a high reliance on retail channels.

Samsung is currently the top smartphone vendor in India with a 27.8 percent market share, followed by local manufacturers Micromax, Intex, and Lava with a 15.3 percent, 9.4 percent and 5.4 percent market share, respectively. With the acquisition of Motorola, Lenovo has gained market share in India through its partnership with online marketer Flipkart.

China’s Xiaomi has made headway in the market with its low-price devices. It entered India last July and has a 5 percent share of the market already. The company has announced plans to set up a manufacturing base in the country to meet demand.

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July 3, 2015   No Comments