India Presents Opportunity for Mobile Shopping

India ranks second in the world, when it comes to online shopping through mobile devices according to a Dyn global e-commerce survey. China stands first with 80% of mobile device owners using e-commerce, with India following at 65%.

37% of Indian consumers expect the same quality and experience when shopping from mobile apps as they do from their computers, and 64% are open to making more purchases using their smartphones. However, Internet speed and connectivity are both a challenge in India. More than 50% of the users use Wi-Fi to shop online, and this factor presents an opportunity for cellular operators to tap into this user base, reports Business Standard.

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March 15, 2015   No Comments

Standard & Poor’s Says India is Bright Spot in Asia Pacific

Reuters reports that the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s raised its India GDP growth forecast to 7.9 % from 6.2 % for the year ending March 2016, citing rising investment and low oil prices. The agency also raised its growth forecast for 2016-17 to 8.2 % from 6.6 % previously. Currently S&P rates India at “BBB-” with a “stable” outlook. These revisions came after India this month changed the way it measures Asia’s third-largest economy.

“India should be the Asia-Pacific region’s bright spot,” S&P said in a statement.

Simultaneously, the ratings agency lowered growth forecasts for many Asian countries, including China and Japan.

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February 27, 2015   No Comments

Favorable Economic Winds Help India’s Economy Surge

Of the BRIC economies, Brazil is struggling as commodity prices fall, Russia is headed toward recession due to weak oil revenues and sanctions from Western nations, while China is slowing down. However, in India the stock market and rupee are surging; multinational companies are looking to start new operations or expand their current ones; foreign investment rules have been relaxed for insurers, military contractors, and real estate companies; and a broad tax overhaul is underway. Whether India’s momentum is sustainable or short-lived depends on whether Prime Minister Modi can push through deeper reforms.

The New York Times quotes Shailesh V. Haribhakti, the chairman of MentorCap Management, a boutique investment bank in Mumbai as saying, “All the circumstances have come together to make manufacturing and growth happen.”

With prices of crude halved, fuel costs have dropped and along with it, transport expenses and inflation. The country’s chronic budget deficits are narrowing. “We’ve got essentially a $50 billion gift for the economy,” said Raghuram G. Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Modi has many economic issues on his plate that he needs to attend to: expanding the private sector’s role in coal mining, a government-dominated industry; accelerating infrastructure projects; replacing state taxes on goods that cross state borders with a national tax; and acting on bills introducing longer term reforms.

Jayant Sinha, the minister of state for finance said that the government had begun making significant changes and that “there are a lot of inherited, legacy issues” they have had to work through such as budget deficits and persistent inflation. “You have to give us a little bit of time for every business to feel the difference,” he said.

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February 19, 2015   No Comments

India’s Economy is Now Growing Faster than China’s

Last year, economists at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Goldman Sachs  suggested that within a year or two, India’s economy might be growing more quickly than China’s.  But official statistics published on February 9th revealed that India’s GDP rose by 7.5% in 2014, a shade faster than China’s economy managed over the same period (see chart).

India and China GDP Comparision

India and China GDP Comparison

India’s statistics were “re-based” a week ago and the base year for calculation of GDP was revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12, and partly as a result, GDP growth for 2013-14 was also revised from 5.1% to 6.9%. Economists agree that the economy is doing better now than it was in 2013 and that India has been a rare bright spot among emerging markets.

The economy is likely to pick up further since the recent falls in commodity prices are a godsend for India which imports 80% of the oil it consumes; Indians are happy that the double-digit inflation in the country has decreased for this trend has prompted India’s central bank to reduce interest rates in January, from 8% to 7.75%.

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February 17, 2015   No Comments

India’s Billionaire Count Crosses Russia and the U.K.

According to the  Hurun Global Rich List, India leapfrogged Russia and the United Kingdom to third place with 97 billionaires living in the country, 27 more than 2014. Manufacturing, pharma and TMT (technology, media, and telecom) are the preferred sectors. The combined wealth of Indian billionaires, mostly headquartered in Mumbai, is $266 billion. Mukesh Ambani  of Reliance Industries ($20bn, rank 41) continue to be the richest Indian.

The U.S. stands first with 537 billionaires, followed by China with 430. In all, Hurun counted 2,089 of the world’s richest people to publish its annual list of dollar billionaires for 2015 reports Quartz.

Where the World's Top 5 Billionaires Are

Where the World’s Top 5 Billionaires Are

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February 12, 2015   No Comments