The Economic Times 30 March 2018

Patanjali has a success mantra for India Inc and it's not FDI

Speaking at the India Economic Conclave, Patanjali CEO, Acharya Balkrishna questioned why food processing as a sector in India was not generating enough revenue. He went on to cite figures from Thailand, which indicated that India's overall food processing is only 6 percent to Thailand's 30 per cent.He also went on to define the true meaning of the term "Swadeshi". He said Swadeshi means putting nation first and not merely becoming a consumer of domestic products. He categorically said that India as a nation should shun "slave mentality". He also stressed on the importance of agrarian economy, and an increasing need to increase farm income and profit generation.He urged the youth to start their own business ventures and imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship. His speech revolved around the theme of "Rise of the Swadeshi Movement". Commenting further on Swadeshi, he said Swadeshi does not mean that we ignore the technological know-how of other advanced nations. The true meaning of the term (Swadeshi) can only be realised when Indians work collectively towards nation building.Reflecting on the larger goal of Patanjali, he said, Patanjali is neither a business nor a business model. It is an effort to reshape India and India's consumption habits. Explaining this point further, he said Patanjali aims to bring about a parity among the rich and the poor. Pantanjali remains committed to providing quality products at nominal rates, stated Balakrishna.Reiterating India's efforts towards spreading yoga throughout the world, he said yoga has now been imbibed as a global practice. Western nations have understood the role of yoga in Individual welfare, stated Balakrishna. He also said that Yoga occupies a central position in India's overall development.Speaking on the rise of lifestyle diseases, he said that there is an urgent need to alter our lifestyles in order to prevent such diseases. He also stressed on the importance of moderate eating for our overall physical well-being.

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Once a darling of Wall Street investors, Tesla now faces a nightmare scenario

By Neal E. BoudetteJust a year ago, Tesla looked like a rising force destined to revolutionize the auto industry.Its battery-powered Model S sedan was the rage among luxury-car buyers. Its Autopilot system seemed far ahead of its competitors in self-driving technology. Its chief executive, Elon Musk, was promising that the more affordable Model 3 would soon roll off its assembly line and bring emission-free driving to the masses.Wall Street was enraptured. Tesla’s market value rose to surpass that of either General Motors or Ford, car companies with a century of experience.What a rough ride it has been since then.Not only has the Model 3’s introduction been mired in glitches and delays — “manufacturing hell,” as Musk put it — but Tesla’s driverless efforts have been overshadowed, and the company has continued to lose money quarter after quarter.In just the past week, Tesla’s troubles have intensified. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the company’s credit rating, concerned that it was burning through cash. Those worries have grown so dire that some analysts are asking whether the company could run out of money by the end of the year.“I’ve said for some time that Tesla is far from a sure bet, or a stable company for that matter,” said Clement Thibault, a senior analyst at Investing.com. “Tesla has been living on borrowed time and money for quite some time.”Tesla shares dropped 8 percent Tuesday and another 8 percent Wednesday, and though they regained ground Thursday, they have lost almost a quarter of their value in less than three weeks.Reflecting questions about Tesla’s ability to pay off its debt, its bonds have slumped as well. Those that will mature in 2025 traded at about 88 cents on the dollar Thursday.A Tesla representative declined to comment on the company’s finances.But the company’s recent troubles extend beyond its balance sheet. Federal investigators are looking into a fiery crash that killed a Tesla driver last week in California, including the possibility that Autopilot was in use. (Autopilot was in use during a 2016 crash in Florida that killed a Tesla driver, but safety officials concluded that the crash did not result from a flaw in the system but found it lacked safeguards to prevent its misuse.)And Thursday, Tesla said it was recalling 123,000 Model S cars made before April 2016 to replace bolts that hold a power-steering motor in place. The bolts can become corroded and break, leaving drivers with only manual steering. The company said no crashes or injuries related to the issue had been reported.Tesla’s reversal of fortune is a jolt for both the company and its chief executive, who had built a reputation not only as a visionary but also as an achiever, masterminding an automotive brand, breaking ground on a battery plant that would be the world’s biggest building and launching rockets through his SpaceX venture.For years, Tesla has ridden a wave of enthusiastic support from its customers and a certain set of investors, even though it generated barely any profit in the 15 years since its founding. Company events to present new models tend to have the feel of a religious revival, with hundreds or thousands of owners cheering wildly at each new pronouncement from Musk. Anticipation for the Model 3 prompted nearly 400,000 prospective customers to put down deposits of $1,000 each.In November, before a screaming audience of several hundred guests, Musk unveiled a battery-powered semitruck and a two-seat roadster. He vowed to begin producing the truck by the end of 2019, even though the company does not have a factory to build it, and is still trying to work the kinks out of the Model 3 assembly process at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.“There is a huge part of Tesla that is simply presentation and not substance, and Elon is a master at messaging,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The problem is the reality is starting to stack up, and that’s a reality of accidents the cars have had, quality issues and massive misses on Model 3 production numbers. You add all that up and there’s a real question about whether this company can deliver what it promises.”There is no doubt Tesla has achieved some breakthroughs that have left the established automakers scrambling to catch up. It has proved that there is a viable market for electric cars, and that they can command premium prices. It has pioneered methods of upgrading cars through software updates beamed over the air, the way iPhones can download new operating systems.And it was Autopilot that set off a race to develop advanced driver-assistance systems that can guide cars under certain circumstances and actively prevent collisions — though Tesla’s technology appears to have been surpassed by the self-driving systems from other companies, including GM and the Google spinoff Waymo.Along the way, Musk has also courted controversy, including his move in 2016 for Tesla to take over SolarCity, a maker of home solar panels run by his cousin. A group of investors has filed a lawsuit contending that Musk had a conflict of interest because he was SolarCity’s chairman, and this week a judge cleared the way for the case to go forward.In January, Tesla gave Musk a new compensation plan tied entirely to the company’s market value and other performance goals. If he hits all of the goals, he could be rewarded with stock worth more than $50 billion.But the company has repeatedly failed to meet its own targets and deadlines, especially with the Model 3. Musk originally predicted that the Model 3 would arrive in 2017 and that the car would push the company’s sales to 500,000 cars a year by 2018. He later lowered his prediction to 100,000 Model 3s in 2017. Backtracking again, he said last August that the company hoped to make 20,000 a month by December, and added that “people should have zero concerns” about Tesla’s ability to increase its output of the Model 3.But in the fourth quarter of last year, Tesla made only 2,425 Model 3s. In its most recent plan, it hopes to lift production to 2,500 Model 3s a week. The company is expected to release first-quarter production totals in early April.The Model 3 is crucial. The company needs to ramp up its Model 3 business to generate revenue so that it can pay back investors and fund development of future vehicles including its electric truck.Moody’s concluded that Tesla probably needed to raise more than $2 billion from investors to be able to finance its operations, continue capital investment and pay debts and other financial obligations that will come due soon. According to Moody’s, Tesla has $200 million in convertible bonds due later this year, and $900 million due in early 2019.“Liquidity is going to be very tight by the end of the year,” said Bruce Clark, a senior vice president at Moody’s. “They need to re-establish credibility with the capital markets.”

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Re-test date is out: CBSE class XII Economics examination to be held on April 25

Re-examination for the economics paper of CBSE's Class 12 will be held on April 25 across the country, while a decision on holding a re-test, likely in July, for the Class 10 mathematics paper will be taken in 15 days, Education Secretary Anil Swarup said today."For Class X, we have found in the prelim inquiry that the leaks were restricted in Delhi and Haryana and if the re-exam will happen, the exam will be held in the two states in July," Secretary Education said."The decision in this regard will be taken in the next 15 days," Swarup said."There has been no leak outside India, hence no re-examination will be held outside the country. The question papers are different for students appearing for the CBSE examinations outside India," he said."There are no perfect solution for this kind of situation. Our immediate concern of the children who have suffered and this decision is in that context. We will nail the person who did this," he added.The alleged leak of the question papers has snowballed into a major issue, with students protesting against the CBSE for its failure to maintain the sanctity of the examination. The students accused the board of negligence and demanded immediate action against those guilty. The CBSE had announced on Thursday that re-examination dates for Class 10 Mathmetics and Class 12 Economics paper will be announced soon. Meanwhile, special investigating team probing the CBSE paper leaks has detained around a dozen people including coaching centre owners and tutors for interrogation. A total of 18 students and five tutors have been questioned.The official said they have not yet found any clue that point to the involvement of any CBSE official in the matter. Amid the row over the CBSE papers leak, the government today appointed senior bureaucrat Vineet Joshi as the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which will conduct the entrance examinations for higher educational institutions organised by the CBSE, AICTE and other bodies.Joshi, a 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre, was appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in his budget speech of 2017-18, announced the setting up of the NTA "as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher educational institutions".

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Kerala to host Asia's largest startup conclave in April

Thiruvananthapuram: Asia s largest startup ecosystem congregation, Huddle Kerala, will be held at Kovalam near here on April 6 and 7. The initiative is envisaged to provide a platform for start-ups to pitch their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world. Startups, investors, academicians and industry leaders will attend the event, which is expected to have the participation of 2,000 members with 40 speakers in 30 sessions. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the conclave, being organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation, a statement said here today. The guests to the conclave include Sharjah Digital Transformation Higher Committee Chairman Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Prince Constantijn of Netherlands, it said. KSUM chief executive officer (CEO) Saji Gopinath said that the first-of-its-kind global event in the state will ensure maximum connect with technology experts and leaders from countries in Asia and Europe, apart from providing opportunities for close interactive sessions between the participants. "The conference would be to pitch in a platform for upcoming startups to showcase their product and business model in front of the entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts", he said. Huddle Kerala will primarily focus on the emerging sectors like blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things (IoT), gaming and e-sports, cyber security, digital entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, e-governance and mobile governance among other latest technologies, it said. The philosophy behind Huddle Kerala is to help the next generation world-conquering companies move forward. At the very core of the event is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and build up a huge start-up community. The Huddle 100 Competition will kick off on the first day with 100 companies pitching in the first round, the statement said. The next day 10 best companies will continue pitching and they will be mentored by the top-notch industry leaders and coaches. Out of these, semi-finalists are chosen, further narrowing down to finalist. Start-ups will have the opportunity to showcase their products at designated start-up Zone (demo booth) at the venue. The KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the State. World s leading location-based marketing specialist Posterscope and mobile app builder Zoho Corporation are the sponsors of the event, the release added.

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NBCC eyes 35% revenue growth from next fiscal: CMD A K Mittal

New Delhi: State-owned construction firm NBCC Ltd is targeting to achieve a higher growth of 30-35 per cent from next fiscal onwards on the back of a strong Rs 1 lakh crore order book, its CMD Anoop Kumar Mittal said today. NBCC soon would unveil a five-year growth vision, said Mittal who yesterday got a one-year extension as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) within days after getting a clean chit in an alleged corruption case investigated by the CBI. "We are currently undertaking 345 projects with an order book of about Rs 1,00,000 crore. Our revenue in the current fiscal is likely to remain at last year's level of about Rs 6,500 crore. From next financial year onwards, you will see real growth of revenue," Mittal said. He said the company is targeting 30-35 per cent revenue growth every year. "We will soon launch a vision document for the next five years". Mittal said the company plans to develop one lakh homes, mostly in the affordable category, in the next five years. This would be constructed on its own land as well as surplus land of other public sector units. On getting the clean chit, Mittal said he was always confident that truth would come out. "Last 100 days were of anxiety and tension. Now everybody, including our employees, is relieved". Mittal highlighted some prestigious projects being undertaken by NBCC including redevelopment of some colonies in the national capital as well as ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan here. Earlier this month, NBCC informed in a regulatory filing that no charges have been established against its CMD as allegations against him were not corroborated during the CBI investigation. In late December, the CBI had booked Mittal for alleged corruption in the Rs 2,150-crore re-development project of ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan here. NBCC has broadly three areas of operations -- project management consultancy (PMC), real estate development and EPC contracting.

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Chanda Kochhar 'a huge beneficiary' of Videocon loan

A day after the ICICI Bank cried foul over the controversy surrounding the loan sanctioned to Videocon Group, Trustee, Indian Investors Protection Council, Arvind Gupta, on Friday, said that the evidence in the case clearly shows the bank's CEO, Chanda Kochhar, being a beneficiary of the loan."Evidence shows strong links that Chanda Kochhar and her family are a huge beneficiary of this loan. Government should order investigation and audit to check why loan was given to a sinking company," Gupta told ANI.Deepak Kochhar, who is Chanda Kochhar's husband, is an indirect beneficiary of the loan granted to Videocon, according to Gupta."Venugopal Dhoot transferred money from Videocon Group to Supreme Energy, in which he had 90 percent shares. He promoted it and later transferred it to Deepak Kochhar. Deepak Kochhar then transferred his shareholdings to Pinnacle Energy. Pinnacle Energy was a trust formed by Kochhar family. Now they are saying they sold their shares of Nupower Renewables much before. NuPower Renewables was special purpose vehicle made to revert allegations in future. ICICI never gave it loan, but company was benefited," Gupta claimed.He added that the bank is only trying to save itself since the money has become a Non-Performing Asset (NPA)."That reply doesn't inspire any confidence in me or any deposit holder or any shareholder. The question is when I say dirty banking, somebody else, other than the bank and its functioning or the management, has to look into the matter. And if you see their reply, they have gone into examining the internal process of giving loans. I am not asking about the process, your process may be very robust, your process may be very strong, transparent, but how does it matter?" asked Gupta while commenting on the statement issued by the ICICI Bank."The net result is that your money has gone down the drain...you have given them the money and it has gone bad and become NPA," he added.Earlier on Thursday, ICICI Bank Chairman M.K. Sharma had claimed that attempts were being made to malign the reputation of the bank, its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).Addressing a press conference, Sharma came to defense against the loan sanctioned to the debt-laden company, said the ICICI bank's Board had reviewed the internal processes and details of the exposure to the group.He further noted that the share of sanction to Videocon was less than 10 percent, contrary to the media reports.The chairman of the leading private lender further noted that in 2012, a consortium of over 20 banks and financial institutions had sanctioned facilities to Videocon Industries Limited, 12 of its subsidiaries and associates as co-obligors for a debt consolidation programme, and for the group's oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to Rs 40,000 crore."ICICI Bank's current exposure to the group is part of the syndicated consortium arrangement; ICICI was not the lead bank for the consortium. It only sanctioned its share of the facilities aggregating to Rs 3,250 crore," he said.Sharma also ruled out the possibility of any special benefit granted to the borrower and said terms and conditions offered are similar to those offered by other banks of the consortium, who account for 90 percent of the role amount.Media reports suggested that the ICICI Bank had granted a loan worth Rs 3,250 crore to Videocon. However, concerns were flagged about the payment of the loan, as almost 86 percent of it (Rs 2,810 crore) still remains unpaid, and the Videocon account was declared a NPA in 2017.The controversy comes amid a number of banking scams that have been unearthed in the public sector bank space, particularly the multi-billion-dollar Punjab National Bank scam involving celebrated jeweller Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group owner Mehul Choksi.

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Cambridge Analytica scam fallout: Can #DeleteFacebook lead to #DeleteEcommerce?

NEW DELHI: With the revelation that Cambridge Analytica accessed private Facebook data of users and deployed it to help politicians win elections, Facebook has faced a backlash. There is a campaign to delete Facebook profiles. But it's not just about your votes or Facebook—the Cambridge Analytica scandal can trigger a mass flight from internet, causing a bust in e-commerce market which is expected to replace a big part of the brick-and-mortar retail in less than a decade. The fact that Cambridge Analytica used the data it collected for the election campaign of Ted Cruz also for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump shows your psychographic profile can be put to multiple uses and land with various interested parties. Cambridge Analytica harvested 50 million Facebook profiles of Americans to construct their psychographic profiles. This data can travel from politicians to private companies to governments.Imagine your prospective employer getting access to all that you have been searching or buying online! If Cambridge Analytica can create your psychographic profile to mould your political opinion, your prospective employer can use the same psychographic profile to assess you the way you won't want. No one would want one's recruiter to make an opinion of oneself on the basis of one's life on social media. And your recruiter is not the only one who could be interested in your psychographic profile. It could also be an insurance company or a country where you want to immigrate. The US has just announced that it would ask all those who apply for a visa to provide details of their social media handles and emails. A CEO buying medicine online for heart attack can be refused a higher job by an employer who has access to his psychogrophic profile. A bank can deny you loan even when your papers are in order just because it gets to know from your psychographic profile that you could be fired from your job and you have spent a lot of time looking for a new job without success. A company in possession of millions of psychographic profiles can strike deals with banks, insurance companies, advertisers, security agencies, private detectives and even with divorce lawyers. Now that people know even Facebook data can be stolen by big, innovative companies working with insidious motives, their faith in the internet as a safe space will be further shaken. The United Nations trade and development agency UNCTAD has said that the scandal over data privacy is tip of the e-commerce iceberg. Wary consumers will now avoid making online purchases, since there is no guarantee that their purchase data will not land somewhere they just don't want. For India, where it took a long time—and a big shock of demonetisation—to veer online consumers away from cash-on-delivery model to digital payments, the Cambridge Analytica scandal can stall the ecommerce growth momentum. The mobile wallet industry will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 148 per cent over to $4.4 billion by 2022, according to Capgemini’s World Payment Report 2017. As cheap smartphones and low data prices help mobile internet to spread in rural and semi-urban areas, Indian businesses are looking at an e-commerce bonanza. More people in the hinterland using their smartphones to make purchases will mean a sudden explosion in e-commerce. That's why Mukesh Ambani has chalked out ambitious retail business plans through his Jio Money platform. Billions of dollars fuel the war between Amazon and Flipkart due to a vast scope of e-commerce beyond big cities.But wariness towards online transactions due to privacy concerns can scare consumers back to brick-and-mortal retail and a promising e-commerce industry can be left fledgling to take off. If one knows a number of agencies would like to access one's purchase history, one would buy from a brick-and-mortar store instead. That will be the collateral but bigger damage wreaked by the Cambridge Analytica scam.

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