Passive investing in India, us vs. them behavioral traps, and the dangers of market timing are among the topics covered in the latest Weekend Reads from India, curated by Shreenivas Kunte, CFA.
Read more: blogs.cfainstitute.org
Passive investing in India, us vs. them behavioral traps, and the dangers of market timing are among the topics covered in the latest Weekend Reads from India, curated by Shreenivas Kunte, CFA.
Read more: blogs.cfainstitute.org
GoDaddy, the world’s largest Cloud platform dedicated to small and independent ventures, is empowering small and medium businesses (SMBs) in tier 2 and 3 cities of India and, to its surprise, is finding young women more keen to learn the skills needed to go online.The US-based Internet domain registrar and web-hosting company is equipping web professionals and local resellers with the right tools, knowledge and skills they need to help grow their ventures online.”As we go deeper into the country, we see huge numbers of young web developers and entrepreneurs waiting to be trained, in order to help local companies grow online in the New-Age technological environment,” Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, GoDaddy India, told IANS in a free-wheeling chat.”To our surprise, we find women more forthcoming and eager in tier 2 and 3 cities to learn new digital skills. We are also excited to see the positive response among web professionals and SMBs alike,” Arora noted.Women entrepreneurs continue to face several challenges like gender bias and access to financial funding or venture capital in the country. According to a recent Mastercard Index of WomenEntrepreneurs (MIWE) report, India is ranked 52 in the list of 57 countries surveyed when it comes to empowering women to run successful businesses.Even the technology hub Bengaluru and capital New Delhi ranked 40th and 49th, respectively, on a list of 50 women entrepreneur-friendly global cities, said another report by US tech giant Dell Technologies last month.The growing enthusiam among young women to learn digital knowledge and skills is a welcome sign, said Arora.Today, one million people in India rely on GoDaddy’s products to get their ideas online and Arora wants to quickly add the next million in GoDaddy’s bucket.Formed as Jomax Technologies in 1997, the company launched its first website building software and hosting services in 1999. In 2000, the name GoDaddy came into existence.Today, with more than 17 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy has over 75 million domain names under management.For the second quarter that ended on June 30, GoDaddy reported revenues of $651.6 million — up 16.8 per cent year-on-year — and international revenue s were at $233.3 million, up 24.3 per cent (year-on-year).”We are very bullish on India. We have seen 8-10 million Indian SMBs — out of more than 25 million — taking their businesses online and next on our radar are the rest which are eager to go digital but don’thave the right tools, guidance and skill-sets,” Arora emphasised.According to him, in a growing market like India, web developers are interested in learning new processes with new tools to help manage their clients while, at the same time, ensuring quality and expanding their business.GoDaddy has already trained over 700 web professionals in Pune, Jaipur, Kochi and Ahmedabad.”Web developers are a driving force in helping SMBs increasingly do business online and helping to shape the growth of the digital economy,” Arora told IANS.As part of GoDaddy’s initiative, web professionals receive extensive education on how to amplify their business, develop and upgrade skills while accessing GoDaddy resources to help create and manage an effective digital presence for small business clients.In its recent “Global Web Developer’s Survey”, GoDaddy found that nearly 50 per cent of developers inemerging markets like India tend to have more new businesses when compared to developers in other regions.The findings showed that the primary drivers of small business websites are: Selling new services to existing clients (40 per cent); providing support to existing clients (31 per cent); and finding new clients and reselling products/services (28 per cent).The research also found that in the US, developers and designers are more likely to work for a small firm and concentrate their work on fewer clients who provide larger retainers. However, in India, web developers primarily work in formal office environments.According to Arora, web developers in India are now regularly guiding and engaging with small businesses to help them get online — given the “Do-It-For-Me” nature of the customers.The pervasiveness of smart devices and increasing affordability has further encouraged millions of small businesses to leverage mobile to enhance their business. Over two-thirds of web pages designed by web developers for small businesses in India are more likely to be tailored and targeted for mobile.According to Arora, the next wave of small businesses will rely heavily on web designers and developers.”Supporting our customers in India, with increased training and support, and being available to help them create and grow their online presence for their business, has always been a key element of our value proposition,” said Arora.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Tremendous global uncertainties plus political jitters in India have led to risk aversion among investors and made them rush for safe stocks,
Neelkanth Mishra, MD and India economist and strategist, Credit Suisse, tells ET Now.Edited excerpts: If you look at largecap stocks, there is no bear market. If you look at mid and smallcap stocks, it is pretty bad. Why are markets so polarised? In the Nifty50 and BSE 100, a very large proportion of revenue comes from outside India. That revenue is actually being boosted by or rather the expectations of those are being boosted by a weaker rupee. Some of those sectors are actually seeing earnings upgrade in rupee terms and that is a big supporting factor. There is also an element of risk aversion. Credit Suisse has a risk appetite index which at a global level is in a very negative territory right now. If you look at only equity risk appetite, it is at the lowest levels since 2011. There is tremendous uncertainty around China, impact of trade wars, the first-half slowdown in Japan and Europe and whether we will see a recovery in the second half.Given all those uncertainties plus political uncertainty in India because of approaching elections have left the markets jittery. People are starting to move towards safer stocks. What we observed was that while Nifty and Sensex have done much better than the small and midcap indices, even within the Nifty, the performance is really concentrated in top 10 stocks. These stocks have contributed to 218% of Nifty’s gains. This is the second most concentrated performance in last 12 years. The highest was in 2015. So, it is a very polarised performance. It is partly because of the rupee impact and mostly because of risk aversion among investors. What happens next? Since historically this kind of polarised market has rarely happened, what should we expect now? Will the polarised nature change or will mega cap stocks come down? I do not think this type of reversal actually happens with the largecap stocks coming down. It generally happens because the other stocks start to do well. But yes, that potential exist. The risk appetite reversal can actually mean that some of the high PE and safer stocks start to come down in absolute terms. As comfort emerges on global growth, we see the market realising that while there is quite a bit of concern around the potential impact of trade wars, that the current economic momentum, European data for example, the PMIs have been quite strong.The credit conditions are still easing and the Chinese government is now suggesting there is a stimulus on the way. As that comfort comes through, the more beaten down sectors even within the Nifty and BSE 100 could actually start to do well. It is a little bit difficult to forecast on midcap and smallcap stocks but a bit of froth that had been building up there, has been coming off. I do not know if many of them are still in value territory.If I look at the stocks which are at an all-time high, the basket is diversified. TCS is a software company, Reliance is a commodity /telecom company, Bajaj Finance is an NBFC, HDFC Bank is a private bank, HUL is an FMCG company. This is not TMT or 2004 to 2005 where the market polarisation was restricted to a sector. Right now, 8-10 mega cap stocks are going higher. Do they represent the entire length and the breadth of the economy?That is correct. One characteristic of all of these stocks is that over the medium term, they have all added value with the exception of one or two.It is a sign of risk aversion that people are choosing to be in stocks where it is going to be very hard over the medium term to destroy value. To put it in context, when people who allocate money — the fund of funds managers, the family office managers, the pension managers, sovereign wealth funds — think about investing in India, they think more or less on the percentage of GDP basis.If India is 3% of world GDP, then broadly 3% of our funds should be in India. Now, if you are managing $10 billion, then you have to put $300 million into India and they will then allocate it to an India fund manager or an Asia fund manager with India exposure or EM fund manager with India exposure. Therefore, a certain quantum of funds must come to India. When this fund manager sits down to invest money into the Indian market, they figure out that there are metal names, petrochemical names, a large global auto maker and that there is a significant export dependence in many of the companies. Therefore, when they come down to looking at a pure India plays, they realise that there are very few of them. Then all of them sort of crowd into those few stocks because they are not as confident of growth elsewhere.Given the high degree of uncertainty, you want to be in stocks where value won’t be destroyed over next five years. So, you take a medium-term approach and this is the safest place to be. But yes, this herd behaviour actually opens up opportunities resulting in some of these stocks trading now at record high multiples. It is debatable how much return can be made on them over two or three years so they may not fall. There can be quite a bit of time correction and therefore our view is that the stocks, some corporate focussed lenders, even some of the metal names now offer very decent value. People are too risk averse to be looking at them and therefore this is a good time to be buying those stocks.You have shared your thoughts in the past that a weak rupee is not bad news for India because more than 50% of Nifty earnings are dollar denominated. But for most of the investors weakness in rupee is bad news. How do you make a differentiated case here. If you are a dollar investor, then obviously a weak rupee is not very good. In dollar terms, Nifty returns over last 10-12 years have been actually quite very bad but if you are a rupee based investor, then you have the opportunity of taking advantage and which is why some of the IT even some of the pharma names seem to have done better than they would have done fundamentally because of the weakness in the rupee.As you said, more than half the revenues in the Nifty and the BSE 100 are not in really in rupees. For a metals, petrochemicals, IT and pharma company or an auto component exporter, nearly half the revenues come from exports. Construction companies which have significant global exposure also see a positive adjustment in the currency.So, 5-6% decline in the rupee actually benefits the Nifty EPS by about 4% to 4.5%. If you see the prior trajectory, whenever the rupee has fallen by 10% or more in the past decade or so, generally 12 months after that the market is in a positive territory. I am not using the fundamental argument that is very tempting to use that a weaker rupee stimulates exports, causes a lot of import substitution because our research says that in India’s case, in India’s export and import basket, the currency sensitivity is not very high, at least not in the near term. Therefore, the impact on the market is more through the translation of impact on earnings. Secondly when a BOP deficit starts to build up, we start falling. In Jan-Feb, a lot of capital flight was taking place and therefore the balance of payment deficit could as high as $35 billion which means that the difference between the current account deficit and the capital inflows that we are seeing is $30-$35 billion. The projection now is more like $20 billion because things have started to improve at the margin. The rupee’s weakness was much bigger in January when it did not seem to be that weak but in the last three months, it has actually been among the better performers and one of the stronger currencies in the world. It does not appear so because we are just looking at the USD INR but when you look at the rupee in the context of other currencies, it has actually done quite well. Whenever this USD INR adjustment happens there is a fear among investors that you are putting in $10 million in trade now, when the rupee falls 5%, even before the stock has done anything, you have lost 5%. So, automatically, the FPI investors hold back on their investments, thinking an adjustment is due.Once they feel that the adjustment is done, then they actually come back and put that money back in. That also helps the markets. So long as the rupee depreciation is controlled, which it seems to be, there is a stellar job being done there. The markets will hold up and perhaps once we realise that rupee is at a position where further depreciation is not necessary either because oil has come down or because the rupee itself has fallen to a sufficient low, then a lot of FPI inflows can start happening. But don’t you find your foreign investors slightly disillusioned with the way how earnings trajectory has moved in India? A lot was assumed in 2014 after the change of government and frankly the earnings trajectory has not only disappointed, it has really dampened the way how analysis and how assumptions have gone. At a headline level, there is no way anyone can disagree with what you just said. There is clearly a single digit kind of EPS growth over four-five years for the index. That is something that is very unexciting especially for the market which is trading at 17-18 times PE.Within that, there are nuances. If you look at most of the coincident indicators, they will start to be weakened in the second half of the year. As of now, cement sales are at mid single digit point. Steel demand growth is the best it has been in many years. We are seeing airline traffic growth at 18%, two-wheeler and four-wheeler growth is strong. How sustainable they are is a different question. In many pockets, there is a decent growth. The headline numbers have been bad and I can appreciate the impatience, but for every year there have been different reasons. One year, big losses among metal producers will drag down earnings. There were inventory losses for the oil producers the year that oil went down.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Dalhousie is one of the many hill stations established and developed by the British empire in India as their summer retreats. This place still oozes a colonial feel and is scattered with British style bungalows, churches and other buildings.
Famous for its deep and green, pine-covered valleys with snow-clad mountains at remote backdrop, Dalhousie is a panoramic place with views to behold.
Located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is built on and around five hills – Balun, Bakrota, Tehra, Patreyn and Kathlog. Ravi river flows at the base of Dalhousie, through the Chamba valley.
Dalhousie has an average elevation of 2000 meters and besides the Dhauladhars you can even view Pir Panjal mountain range from here.
Getaways from Dharamshala – Dalhousie (116 kms)
This is the last article from my series on ‘Getaways from Dharamshala’. Despite being a mainstream hill station, Dalhousie has still retained its old world charm and is not too cluttered. Other articles in this series
Why Visit Dhalousie
One can come here to relax, take leisurely strolls around, visit temples, churches and colonial buildings, soak in the beauty of Khajjiar and adjoining places, more adventurous souls can explore nearby peaks and passes by trek.
Both honeymooners and family vacationers can unwind here at their own pace. Dalhousie preserves ancient temples, art, Hindu culture and British architecture which you can explore amongst its calm and easygoing ambiance.
Interesting Read: Top 12 Must Visit Offbeat Places in Himachal
Best Time to visit Dalhousie
Dalhousie experiences a pleasant summer, the temperature hardly ever goes above 30. In March-April, snow starts melting and reveals beautiful vistas. Summer season here is from April – June and is considered the best time to enjoy this place.
Dalhousie is one of those few hill stations which exuberate a different charm in every season and can be visited anytime, depending on what one wants to see.
To experience snow-covered mountains and open grounds to play around in snow, visit the place during December – February. October – November is chilly but you are not likely to find snow, however, this is one of the leaner periods and you may find less crowd here.
Monsoon season (July-September) is quite wet but makes the valley even more green, pretty and romantic.
How To Reach Dalhousie
From Dharamshala, you can reach Dalhousie by taxi, bus or drive down in your car. The distance is conveniently covered in about 4 hours with scenic views all along.
Buses from HRTC and a couple of private operators run from Dharamshala for Dalhousie in the morning between 7 to 9am.
If you are coming from Delhi then route options are similar to reaching Dharamshala. My article on Complete Guide to Dharamshala has all the required details on the same. I have briefly written about the options below:
The nearest airport, Gaggal (Kangra), is approximately 3.5 hrs of drive away (130 kms) from Dalhousie. Spicejet and Air India operate regular flights from Delhi to Kangra airport. Easiest and fastest option for the onward journey ahead is to take a taxi from airport. Or else, you can get a private bus from outside the airport if you land in the morning.
Nearest rail station from Dalhousie is Pathankot (84 kms away). Regular trains from Delhi are available on this route. A night trains suits best as it reaches Pathankot early morning. Some buses run from Pathankot to Dalhousie in the morning. Otherwise, taxis are easily available outside the station to go ahead.
Dalhousie is about 570 kms (more than 11 hrs of drive) away from Delhi. For most of the route the roads are in good shape and you can self-drive. Regular buses by HRTC and some private operators are available from Delhi (ISBT) for Dalhousie which leave in the evening and reach Dalhousie the next morning.
En Route Dalhousie
What To Do in Dalhousie
Officially, Khajjiar is a picturesque sub-town and the brand image of Dalhousie which pops up the moment you mention the hill station’s name anywhere.
Located 21 kms and almost an hour’s drive away from main Dalhousie town, Khajjiar is often termed as mini-switzerland of India. At 2000 meters above sea level, Khajjiar is surrounded by tall, dense deodars and pines.
Interesting Read: Monasteries In Dharamshala – A Complete Guide
The most famous tourist spot in Khajjiar is the Khajjiar lake, which is situated between Dalhousie and Chamba main city. It is almost a dry lake but lush green meadows around it and thick forest cover makes it a beautiful picnic place for both locals and tourists. You will find the usual recreational activities to do here, such as, horse riding, zorbing, photo-shoot in Himachal’s attire, photo shoot with rabbits and even short-distance paragliding.
For me, the best thing to do there was to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place and stroll around the meadows.
Khajjiar, we call min-Switzerland
Literally meaning, black cap, Kalatop hill is around 8 kms from Dalhousie and derives its name because of the dark and thick forest which covers it. Besides providing the mesmerising views of hills, valleys, river and green meadows, Kalatop is also a wildlife sanctuary which houses Himalayan black bear, Black marten, leopards, pheasants and other birds amongst the oaks, pines and deodars.
Visit Kalatop for the beautiful trails and views. The best way to enjoy its beauty is to walk around the well laid trails. Take a bus, taxi or drive till Lakkarmandi, which is 4 kms from Kalatop.
From here you can walk till Kalatop while enjoying the serene views. There is a forest rest house inside the sanctuary, which needs to be booked well in advance if you wish to spend a night right in the lap of jungle. It can be booked through HPTDC portal.
If you are visiting Dalhousie during winters, you should visit Bakrota to get good view of the snow covered mountains. It is a famous spot for tourists in Dalhousie and is frequented by people to soak in the sight of white peaks.
We visited Dalhousie during summers and the place still looked pleasant with a background of Himalayan trees. Located at 2085 meters above sea level this is the highest point in Dalhousie and is just over 4 kms from Dalhousie town center.
As it is a little in the outskirts of main town, this place is comparatively quiet and also has some beautiful homestays for the offbeaters. There are no activities to do here, except walks and strolls.
Somewhere near Dalhousie
This waterfall is located en route to Panchpulla, a picnic and tourist spot in Dalhousie. Because of accessibility and convenient location, this is thronged by tourists while visiting Panchpulla.
People are allowed to take a dip in the falls except during monsoon when the water flow is heavy and falls with full force. Although, you would find the fall better looking during monsoon or right after that because of abundance of water.
Unfortunately, lot of waterfalls in the hills dry up by summer if there has not been enough snowfall during the season. Satdhara is fed by ‘seven streams’ (hence the name) of water that flow down from high up in the mountains (fed by melting snow).
The water is supposed to have medicinal properties, apparently because of the presence of mica in it. It is a decent place to visit with family and friends, enjoy the views but don’t expect too much water in the fall during summer or early winter. From Gandhi Chowk (central location in Dalhousie), you may walk to Sadhara, which is around 3 kms away or take a cab.
Stay Options at Dalhousie
Dalhousie has a plethora of stay options from all genres. You can choose from peaceful homestays to luxury resorts. We looked for a decent hotel for a comfortable stay with family and zeroed in on Hotel Grand View.
The staff here was courteous, helpful and fulfilled all our special requirements regarding our stay with a toddler. The property has both outdoor and indoor play areas (which was thoroughly enjoyed by kids) and a pretty view.
However, I would recommend if you are travelling alone and would like more solace then opt for options in the outskirts, like Bakrota hill.
Besides the private ones, HPTDC operates some beautiful hotels here, like Hotel Devdar in Khajjiar which is beautifully located and gives you a chance to cherish the meadows of Khajjiar closely.
In addition to these three destinations, you may explore a little offbeat and charming village ‘Barot’, which is a little over 110 kms from Dharamshala.
In this article, I have covered all the things you can do during a quick getaway to Dalhousie. However, on a more leisurely vacation, you can further explore the Churches, Libraries, Markets and Colonial buildings. I will elaborate on those in my upcoming article on a ‘Complete Guide to Dalhousie’.
Do you still have any questions or suggestions or need any help in planning your trip to Dalhousie? If yes, please feel free to post them either in the comments section of this article below or in “Ask a Travel Question” section of the website. You can also take guidance from many travel experts in our DoW Community Forums and discuss your upcoming travel plans.
If you like the article, please feel free to share it with any of your family or friends who are planning a trip to the Himalayas.
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Read more: devilonwheels.com
KOLKATA: Gome, China’s largest consumer electronics and smartphone retail chain, has chosen to kick off its global expansion by launching its own branded products into the Indian market which will be sold through multi-brand stores and online marketplaces.The $11-billion company is going to launch its own branded smartphones, televisions and appliances which will be aggressively priced to challenge Xiaomi, Samsung, TCL and Oppo, two senior industry executives said.Gome Electronics India is a fully-owned subsidiary of Gome Telecom Equipment, part of the Hong Kong listed Gome Retail Holdings, which has over 1,700 stores in China.Industry executives said the company has roped in Piyush Puri as head of Indian operations.Puri was earlier with Foxconn India handling inhouse brand, InFocus. Gome will be investing significantly in India to build the brand following the footstep of other Chinese brands.Gome will launch three smartphones in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment by the upcoming festive season through both online and brick-andmortar stores, while television, refrigerator, washing machine and kitchen appliances will be launched subsequently through Flipkart, industry executives said.All these will be smart appliances based on Google’s Android operating system, they said.Gome has signed film star Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador for its smartphones after his endorsement agreement with Chinese rival Vivo ended earlier this year.The company will look for another brand ambassador for the consumer electronics business.Gome plans to set up manufacturing operations in the country where all products will be locally manufactured to take advantage of duty benefits. The taxation on locally produced goods is almost half for smartphones and televisions.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com
HMD Global has announced the launch of Nokia 3.1 in India. Nokia 3 has been the most successful model in the line-up of Nokia smartphones and the Nokia 3.1 is the latest iteration of the device.
Like the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 plus, and Nokia 6.1, the new Nokia 3.1 joins the Android One family, delivering a pure, secure, and up-to-date Android experience. Nokia 3.1 is ready for Android P and will receive three years of monthly security patches and two years of OS updates from launch, as guaranteed in the Android One programme.
It’s barely been three months since HMD Global introduced a handful of Nokia phones at MWC earlier this year, but the firm is already back with another batch of new devices. This time, the resurgent …
It sports a curved screen with Corning Gorilla Glass that melts into the slim CNC’d aluminium sides with a dual diamond cut. The 5.2-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio makes for a compact and ergonomic smartphone.
Nokia 3.1 Specifications
Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo | Upgradable to Android P
Display: 5.2-inch HD+ (720 x 1440) | 18:9 aspect ratio | Gorilla Glass
Processor: Octa-core MediaTek 6750 | Mali T860 GPU
Storage: 16GB; expandable up to 128GB with microSD
Rear Camera: 13MP auto-focus with LED flash | f/2.0 aperture
Front Camera: 8MP | f/2.0 aperture | 84.6-degree wide-angle lens
Dimensions: 146.25 x 68.65 x 8.7mm
The new Nokia 3.1 comes in three color variants – Blue/Copper, Black/Chrome, and White/Iron – and goes on sale from July 21 at a recommended best buy price of ₹10,499 ($152). The phone will be available across top mobile retailers and online on nokia.com/phones as well as Paytm Mall.
Nokia 3.1 packs in modest specifications but claims to offer a well-rounded Android experience in a well-crafted chassis. What are your thoughts on the new Nokia 3.1 and would you like to pick one up? Tell us in the comments!
Read more: androidauthority.com
The government has set up a high- level task force to develop a roadmap for building aircraft under the ‘Make in India’ programme, which will decide on setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the Rs 10,000- crore project, Rajya Sabha was informed today.”A high level taskforce to develop the roadmap with implementable recommendations has been set up under the chairmanship of the Civil Aviation Minister,” Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu told members in Rajya Sabha.Responding to supplementaries on the issue, he said the task force has been working on the matter and have already taken several steps, but a decision on forming an SPV will be taken at the Committee of Secretaries.The task force will consist of 106 people from HAL, NAL, ADF and DRDO for appraisal. So, these will be the persons actually constituting the SPV. Enough financial and administrative powers may be sought for the SPV to implement the project, he said.”This is an idea which will actually change the manufacturing infrastructure. It is almost a Rs 10,000 crore project,” he said.Prabhu said we are not just trying manufacturing through this process, but will also encourage anyone who has manufacturing capabilities to manufacture aircraft so that we can bridge the gap that exists between the demand and supply and actually do that at the same time.In his written reply, he said a High-Level Task Force under the Chairpersonship of the Minister of Civil Aviation has been taken up for the holistic development of the ecosphere for manufacture of civilian aircraft, helicopters and associated aviation equipment in India.This has been done in pursuance of the National Civil Aircraft Development (NCAD) programme and for promotion of India as an important investment destination and global hub for the manufacture, design and innovation under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Prabhu said.”The issue of the development of the Regional Transport Aircraft was considered by the Committee of Secretaries in a meeting held by the Cabinet Secretary on 18.05.2018 and further actions have been taken up in accordance with the decisions taken therein, including the constitution of a Sub-Committee on the Special Purpose Vehicle for manufacture of the regional transport aircraft in India,” he said.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com
A panel working on the Indian government’s cloud computing policy wants data generated in India to be stored within the country, according to its draft report seen by Reuters, a proposal that could deal a blow to global technology giants such as Amazon and Microsoft who offer such services.It could not only raise their costs because they will need to ramp up the number and size of data storage centres in India, where power costs remain high, but at least some of those increases are likely to be passed onto customers who include everyone from small start-ups to large Indian corporations.The policy will be the latest in a series of proposals that seek to spur data localisation in India, as the government finalizes an overarching data protection law. Local data storage requirements for digital payments and e-commerce sectors are also being planned.The authorities want the information stored locally so that they can more easily get access to it when conducting investigations.India’s push for localisation comes at a time of heightened global scrutiny of how companies store user data. In July, India said its federal police had begun probing Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook user data, which New Delhi suspects included information on Indian users.The draft report of the cloud policy panel, which is headed by the co-founder of Indian tech giant Infosys, Kris Gopalakrishnan, said a “forward looking” data protection regime was needed as India’s IT laws framework was “not sufficient” for cloud computing.”We recommend localization of cloud data and any data that is stored about Indian entities or data generated in India,” it said, adding this data “must be available for investigative agencies and national security agencies.”Gopalakrishnan declined to comment on the draft report, but said he hopes to submit it to the information technology ministry before month-end, or at least by September 15. A spokesman for the IT ministry said the department would review the report once it’s submitted but won’t comment before that.Cloud computing refers to the provision of software, storage and other services to customers from remote data centres. It allows companies to use programs at lower operational costs as programs and data are not stored at the customer’s own data centres, or on their desktops.Industry executives said many Indian businesses store their data on cloud servers located outside the country and a localisation mandate could force them to migrate data to India.”Data localization will increase costs for public cloud companies as they might need to expand data centre capacity to fit customer data currently hosted outside India,” said Santanu Patro, a research director with research and advisory firm Gartner in India. He said they could pass on the increase to customers.The panel’s draft recommendations said that India must consider the importance of securing “data sovereignty, especially in the context of cross-border data flows”.”Indian legal and policy frameworks must focus on ensuring that data generated from India can be utilised for the benefit of Indian citizens, governments and private players,” it said.An executive at a global technology company offering cloud services in India described the policy’s recommendations as “protectionist”.”It seems we’ve turned the clock back on globalisation,” the executive said.The Indian public cloud services market is set to more than double to $7 billion by 2022, the draft report said. Enterprise spending on data centre infrastructure software will rise 10 percent to $3.6 billion in 2018, research firm Gartner estimates.The government panel’s draft listed Amazon, IBM and Microsoft among key companies already registered under a government initiative on cloud computing. It also listed Alphabet Inc’s Google, Oracle and Salesforce.com Inc as those with “significant presence”.Amazon, for example, says “tens of thousands of customers” in India use its AWS cloud service platform.”Due to increasing requirements of data hosting, India would need rapid establishment of data centres,” the report said.The report, however, highlighted infrastructure and connectivity challenges faced by cloud service providers in India – such as high power costs and the need to get various permits – which raise the cost of running data centres.More than 80 percent of India’s data centre supply was concentrated in five cities, the panel said. It recommended conducting a study to identify 20 locations conducive for such infrastructure, while also looking at incentives and relaxed tax structure for the industry’s growth.The panel also plans to recommend development of a “national cloud strategy” that could bring cloud service providers under a single regulatory and policy framework.The Indian government’s data localisation push has already unnerved U.S. companies who fear it will drive up costs and unsettle businesses. A government panel last week floated a bill that proposes all critical personal data should be processed within India.Lobby group U.S.-India Business Council said the bill had raised some concerns and it would seek to work with the Indian government to improve it before its passage.
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Wow Air, Iceland’s famed low-cost airline has something really amazing in store for travellers that hope to embrace the west as the airline is offering cheap flights from New Delhi to North America. The airline has recently announced that from December 7, 2018, they will be starting flights from Delhi to prime European and North American destination with fares starting from Rs. 13,499. And the cherry on top is that the fares aren’t an introductory affair. Furthermore, the CEO of Wow Air was heard saying that the flights that run from India to North America for a fact overlook Iceland and hence it can be the perfect hub for India to North America traffic. The journey from New Delhi will run through five times a week between New Delhi and Keflavik airport, Iceland. Another plus point for opting this route is the connecting time as compared to what there is already in use to Dubai, Frankfurt, Amsterdam or London. Maintaining their legacy of cheap flights, the CEO Skuli Mogensen also mentioned that as compared to the full-service carriers like Emirates Airline offer, their tickets on Airbus SE A330neo aircraft will be merely half the cost.
Recommended Holiday: Grab Best Deals on International Flight Booking
Giving passengers a comfortable experience that too at low cost is definitely the next new thing that is taking the aviation industry by a storm. And in this case, there are chances that Wow Air might make its place in the World’s fastest growing major aviation market which at present is dominated by the popular international airlines. Other local budget carriers are also trying to catch up with the pace and hence coming up with low-cost plans in the future.
Now let’s take a look at a few insights about the offer by Wow Air that you should know before your mind does all the planning for your International holidays:
Wow Air offers four fare class where one can choose from Wow basic, Wow plus, Wow comfy and Wow premium.
The price of Wow basic starts from Rs. 13,499 whereas the price goes up to Rs. 46,599 onwards if you opt for Wow Premium.
The aircraft has 365 seats out of which 42 are premium.
Additional charges will be levied for any baggage except a laptop-sized bag apart from some premium class seats.
Passengers can choose to fly to 15 North American cities apart from the European destinations.
The airline will operate five times a week from India with Airbus A330Neo aircraft out of the three aircrafts it operates namely Airbus A320, 13 Airbus A321 and three Airbus A330 aircraft.
The flights connecting New Delhi to New York will take 10.5 hours from Delhi to Reykjavik, Iceland. Followed by a 2 hours layover and another 5.5 hours from there reaching up to a total of 18-20 hours journey.
Presently, the low-cost carrier offers its customers flight to 37 destinations across Asia, North America and Europe.
Recommended Holiday: Check Out Best Deals on International Holiday Packages
Looking a bit into the history of this successfully emerging Airline in Iceland, it was the sole effort of entrepreneur Skuli Mogensen in the year 2011, who already has his technology and telecom business set up in Europe, North America and Iceland. And from that day till now, Wow Air and Skuli Mogensen have only seen great highs, where the airlines was seen bagging the award for the 5th best low-cost, long-haul airline in the world at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Whereas the CEO, Skuli Mogensen won Businessman of the Year in Iceland for the year 2011 and 2016. The airline that started its first flight from Paris has now taken over 37 destinations across North America, Asia and Europe with its focus on offering incredibly cheap flights and class apart customer service.
The post Wow Air all set to Wow India with its Cheap Flight Offer from December appeared first on Tour My India.
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On business matters, governments think wrong and do wrong frequently. They think right and do right a few times. And sometimes they think right but do horribly wrong, like in the draft ecommerce policy.GoI wants locally-owned, locally-managed ecommerce success stories. That’s right thinking. But the draft policy goes about this spectacularly wrongly. If this is the final policy, India won’t get what it should, and will lose what it has.What India’s ecommerce market has is plenty of foreign investment. What it should have, while keeping foreign investors interested, are locally owned and managed competitors to firms backed by outside capital.Given this, the draft is really smart on only one count – the suggestion that startups can issue shares with differential voting rights. The aim is to provide Indian founders of successful online ventures more control over companies they have built even if foreign investors have put in most of the capital. So, a share owned by a founder will carry more weight than, say, a share owned by a Chinese venture capital firm.Shareholding structures that restrict voting rights of foreign investors are not unusual. Some hugely successful startups in the US and China, the world’s two largest internet economies, have shareholding rules that allow founders with minority stock to call the shots.Will large investors lose interest if they can’t be the boss of a company they put money in? Not at all. As is the case in China and the US, India can attract large investors in ecommerce under rules that favour more control for local entrepreneurs, provided the returns on investment are potentially high.So, that was good thinking. Now for the really bad bits of the draft policy – socialism-type restrictions on pricing strategies, a completely needless additional layer of regulation, silly dos and don’ts on what can be sold and how, etc, etc. Space for this column is limited, and silly suggestions abound in the draft. So, we will pick just a few examples to demonstrate our argument.Take the recommendation that deep discounting – selling goods really, really cheap – must be thoroughly discouraged. This seems aimed principally at pricing strategies of Amazon India and Walmart-owned Flipkart – two American giants.Of course, Amazon India and foreign-investor controlled Flipkart use capital available from abroad to sell stuff really cheap. And of course, that’s one of the big reasons they control nearly three-fourths of India’s online market. But even locally-backed and locally-managed online shops would want to do the same thing.Deep discounting is a universal ecommerce strategy. It’s employed to win customer loyalty, more so in markets where online commerce is still a small part of overall retail. India’s online retail is just 3% of total retail sales. Therefore, a policy that targets discounting will actually harm future local entrepreneurs.People who made this recommendation forgot basic economics, which is that government intervention in pricing, especially in consumer market pricing, always ends up disastrously. Local startups won’t flourish if they as well as Amazon and Flipkart can’t sell products cheap.A smarter way to level the playing field against deep-pocketed foreign investors who can afford deep discounting is to have a policy that allows firms to offer steep price cuts only when all or most of their capital is locally sourced. This will truly discourage capital dumping from abroad, without ridiculous inter-ference in firms’ pricing strategies.But won’t that be unfair to an Amazon or a Walmart? No. They are free to offer deep discounts but the capital deployed in Amazon India or Flipkart must be raised locally. They will compete with local firms for capital, and they may actually attract more investor interest. But that’s wholly fair.Amazon or Walmart won’t like it. But they will have to balance their loss of the capital dumping option against giving up on one of the world’s most exciting online marketplaces. That’s smart policymaking.Terribly unsmart, too, is the draft policy’s idea of a new regulator for ecommerce. Governments love new regulators by instinct, and also because bureaucrats who make policy know every new regulator means a bunch of nice jobs for retired administrators.Why do you need a new ecommerce regulator? All transactions in an ecommerce play are covered by existing laws. If there’s a contractual violation by any party in the buy-sell chain, there are consumer courts and courts. If there are disputes over, say, shareholding patterns in a listed startup, there’s Sebi, the stock market regulator. If there are questions over data storage, there’s a new law on data protection coming up.Indeed, that the policy suggested data storage norms different from those suggested just days before by the Srikrishna committee seems to suggest those writing the draft were in some other world.In this world, an ecommerce policy for India shouldn’t be a nanny state in dotcom disguise. Indian startups need a few regulations, like those against capital dumping, and a committed government push to creating an environment rich in capital-raising possibilities. It’s the lack of local capital that’s holding back creation of local champions. But guess what? The draft policy has almost nothing to say on this.The draft, that’s why, is pretty daft.Views expressed here are the author’s own
Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com