In India, Investments by Logistics Companies Surge

Logistics companies — both from India and globally — are actively making investment plans for the coming fiscal  year.

According to Kuwait-based Agility’s Emerging Markets Logistics Index published in February,  India, for the second consecutive year, was picked as the country with the most potential to grow as a logistics market. The report, referenced by Business Standard, surveyed more than 800 supply chain and logistics professionals. It stated that GST would be the potential game-changer and companies will have to re-gear themselves to adjust to the new tax regime. Surveyed entities also indicated that India was the leading emerging market destination for investment by their companies over the next five years.

In 2016, France’s FM Logistics entered the market in India by acquiring Pune-based Spear Logistics, and  Stephane Descarpentries, the company’s director-strategic projects and director operations Asia said, “We see a good growth potential for warehousing segment in the domestic market and would have invested even if GST was not round the corner.” The company plans to invest $50 million over next three years to strengthen its warehousing base across the country. “With the e-commerce segment growing in India, we see the need for better warehousing across country and hence this acquistion,” explained Descarpentries. In the short-term, the company plans to invest $5 million over next 8 months on ramping up the custom-built warehouses of Spear Logistics.

Logistics

Gurgaon-based e-commerce logistics firm SSN Logistics Pvt. Ltd, which owns the brand Delhivery, is in advanced talks to raise $100 million led by private equity firm The Carlyle Group with participation from China’s Fosun, according to a media report cited by VCCircle. If the deal works out, it will mark the largest funding round in the e-commerce logistics space.

 

March 2, 2017   No Comments

Warburg Pincus Invests in India’s Movie Theaters

New York City-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus, LLC., has acquired a 14% stake in PVR Limited, India’s largest cinema chain headquartered in Gurgaon, for about $120 million. The stake was bought from PVR’s existing investors, private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management and PVR’s founders, including chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli.

“The Indian film and entertainment market is expanding rapidly and we look forward to supporting Ajay and the entire management team during the next phase of growth,” said Vishal Mahadevia, Warburg Pincus India managing director and co-head.

PVR Cinema

The Hollywood Reporter quotes a report by consultancy firm PricewaterCoopers, that says box-office revenue in India is estimated to reach $2.74 billion in 2020, up from $1.64 billion in 2015, growing at an average annual rate of 10.9 percent, even though India still remains a market with low screen penetration.

 

January 24, 2017   No Comments

India’s GreyOrange Offers Warehouse Automation

Engineers Samay Kohli and his colleague Akash Gupta have created GreyOrange a robotics supplier whose products support online retailing not only in India, but internationally too. Based in Gurgaon, India, GreyOrange says it has 90% of the warehouse automation market in India, and it works with leading e-commerce and logistics firms in the country, reports the BBC. The company has eight offices in five countries and employs more than 650 people.

GreyOrange has two kinds of robots that help warehouses become more productive: Butler, an artificial intelligence-powered robotic system, can pick products from shelves in the warehouse. ”A single person would pick about 100 to 120 items in one hour. With our Butler robot, he is able to pick 400 to 500 items every hour,” Kohli says.

Sorter, automates the sorting of outgoing packages in a distribution center, and the pair of robots can potentially sort three million packages every day. The founders say, “It’s [AI] a trillion-dollar opportunity, that’s the space we’re fighting in.”

GreyOrange Sorter 1500

GreyOrange Sorter

Some of their clients are Kerry Logistics, Jabong, Flipkart, Aramex and Gojavas.

 

January 24, 2017   No Comments

India’s SpiceJet to Acquire 205 Boeing Aircraft

India’s Gurgaon-based budget airline SpiceJet has signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase 100 new Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 42 MAXs, 13 additional 737 MAXs as well as purchase rights for 50 additional planes.

India (as well as other countries in Asia), is an important market for aviation with analysts expecting passenger numbers to more than triple over the next 20 years as millions more people become wealthy enough to fly for the first time, reports Channel NewsAsia.

Interior of a SpiceJet carrier

The new aircraft will increase the range of SpiceJet’s flights by up to one hour, opening up many more destinations, including international ones, Ajay Singh, SpiceJet’s chairman, told reporters. Most Indian carriers have returned to profitability in recent years, due to lower fuel costs, but challenges remain in translating the surging demand into sustainable profits because of the competitive market and high running costs.

 

January 18, 2017   No Comments

India is Facebook’s Fastest Growing Market

“We are growing faster in India compared to the average of the rest of the world. Our primary focus right now is for the next billion people to come online and India is obviously a huge part of that,” said Adam Mosseri, vice president, product management at Facebook’s new office in Gurgaon, India.

In terms of daily active users, Facebook in India grew 22% year-on-year compared with 17% globally, including its home market.  Mint reports that in a slowing U.S. ad market, Facebook is looking for the next frontier of growth. And nothing looks as good as India’s under-penetrated market, in terms of users, advertising and Internet access.

Adam Mosseri

Adam Mosseri

Mosseri added, “There is a lot more work to do to ensure the product does well, there’s performance, language or the size of the app or offering video. There’s so much potential and so much work to do I worry about our ability to do enough of it fast enough.”

When India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited California last year, a special Town Hall meeting was organized by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and played live to users worldwide. Earlier, Facebook also bought What’s App, a company whose mobile application is wildly popular in India.

 

November 8, 2016   No Comments