Three of India’s States Consider Hyperloop Installations

In October, I blogged about Hyperloop Transportation Technologies first agreement with India’s eastern state of Andhra Pradesh‘s Economic Development Board, to facilitate the development of HTT’s Hyperloop Transportation System in the state.

In November, Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One entered into a partnership with the government of Maharashtra for exploring the possibility of connecting Mumbai and Pune with the hyperloop transportation system. The distance of 92 miles between the two cities would take just 14 minutes, a journey that currently takes up to three hours by car, reports BusinessLine.

Virgin Hyperloop One LogoVirgin Hyperloop One has also approached the government of the southern state of Karnataka to conduct a preliminary study to understand hyperloop’s feasibility and economic impact in the region. The state’s minister for IT, Priyank Kharge, said, “We are happy to partner with Virgin Hyperloop One for its preliminary study in our region and we hope to bring out some concrete solutions for the state swiftly.”

Nick Earle, senior vice president for global field operations, Virgin Hyperloop One, said, “India is one of the most important geographies for developing hyperloop networks and re-imagining the complete transportation system. With this preliminary study, we are excited to initiate the build-up of a strong foothold that we foresee in future throughout the state,” reports the Economic Times.

December 2, 2017   No Comments

India now grows “Kopi Luwak” coffee

India, Asia’s third-largest producer and exporter of coffee, started producing the world’s most expensive coffee, known as civet coffee or kopi luwak.

In the country’s largest coffee-growing area in the southern state of Karnataka, a start-up firm, Coorg Consolidated Commodities, produces the luxury coffee on a small scale. Narendra Hebbar, one of the founders of the company explained that civet cats eat the flesh of coffee cherries, but not the bean. The animal’s excreta contains the partially digested seeds or beans which are sourced from plantations located close to the forest from where the wild civet cats come to eat the ripest coffee cherries. Natural enzymes in the civet’s stomach enhance the flavor of the bean which makes this coffee unique.

Coffee berries

The Economic Times reports that in India, this specialty coffee sells at $65 per pound  (a cup of kopi luwak can sell for as much as $80); its price includes the cost of sourcing the animal droppings, processing the beans, accounting for the wastage during processing and acquiring quality certifications.

September 15, 2017   No Comments

Some iPhones May Soon Be “Made in India”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call in the first week of February that India is “the place to be.” And Priyank Kharge, the minister for Information Technology for the state of Karnataka, India, said that Cupertino-based Apple Inc., will at first, begin assembling iPhones in India by the end of April.  “Apple’s iPhones will be made in Bangalore (the capital city of Karnataka) and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market,” added Kharge.

apple-ipad_1

Wistron, Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer, will use its existing facility in an industrial zone to the north of Bangalore to assemble the smartphones, and later, it will start manufacturing them.

The company sold a modest 2.5 million iPhones in the country in 2016. While that was its best year ever in terms of revenues and sales, it only ranked 10th among vendors in the December quarter according to Counterpoint Research, says Bloomberg. Apple accounts for less than 2 percent of shipments in India, where an estimated 750 million smartphones will be sold by 2020. “In the longer term, it’s a great move,” Cook added on the post-earnings call. “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country.”

February 6, 2017   No Comments

Fair Wear Foundation Reports Improvements in India’s Apparel Industry

A report by multi stakeholder Fair Wear Foundation, a European initiative working to improve workplace conditions in the garment and textile industry, highlights positive factors in India’s garment industry.

Apparel Resources reports that Fair Wear Foundation India Country Study 2016 found no child labor in the garment industry of the country now as compared to the year 2000. Similarly there is no discrimination either on the basis of religion or caste, and women get ‘equal pay’ for ‘equal work’ just as men do.

Fair Wear Foundation

The audit was conducted in garment manufacturing hubs such as Delhi, and Noida in the north, and in Tirupur and in the state of Karnataka in the south, between 2013 and 2016. However, during the time of audit, it was found that 2-3 factories employed workers who were 15 to 18 years old.

 

September 19, 2016   No Comments

Asia Competitive Institute Ranks India’s States for Ease of Business

In a study done by the Asia Competitive Institute which is part of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Goa and Andhra Pradesh are rated as the top five of 21 sub-regional economies in ease of doing business in India.

Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka, were rated as the most competitive states, as well as states that lead in attracting foreign direct investment accounting for over 50 percent of the total FDI inflow into the country, said Sasidaran Gopalan, research fellow at the institute.

States of India

States of India

India’s appreciating real effective exchange rates have not significantly affected FDI inflows over the last decade, reports Bloomberg.

“The impact of real exchange rates on FDI in India has been rather negligible so far,” Gopalan pointed out, citing the finding from a recently concluded study by the institute for 2000-2013. The research study, however, also concluded that the volatility in Indian rupee “actually appears to induce more FDI into the country”.

September 17, 2016   No Comments