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

Automakers Make India their Export Hub

With India’s low-cost manufacturing and the government’s push towards Make in India, overseas companies are actively looking at serving their global markets from India.

Swedish auto major Volvo, which started operations in India through the import of a luxury bus from Hong Kong back in 2000, executed the export of two fully-built inter-city luxury buses to Europe. Its Bangalore-based plant will undertake more of such orders, which is notable because its parent company has a plant in China, too.

Volkswagen’s Scania, has a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Karnataka and is working towards exporting fully-built buses to Europe.

Headquartered in the U.K., earth mover JCB’s India subsidiary has just started exports to Russia. Vipin Sondhi , managing director and chief executive of JCB India, said, “We are exporting components to the U.K. from Pune near Mumbai, where they are assembled to be shipped to other parts of the world; and we are exporting components to the U.S.”

Daimler India Commercial Vehicle has ramped up parts supplies from India — it now reaches across the globe including Europe and the U.S. Around four million parts have been exported by this company to other global Daimler entities worldwide, reports Business Standard.

March 30, 2016   No Comments

Philips Healthcare Localizes Business for Key India Market

The $4.8 billion Indian health care equipment market is dominated by three large multinational companies—Philips, GE Healthcare India, and Siemens—which together account for a  major share of high-end equipment. Dutch company Philips, is the market leader.

To keep ahead of the competition, Philips India’s operations will re-organize shortly

Philip India  as restructured in 2016

Three factors, which are unique to India’s healthcare sector, are driving changes in Philips’s business model in India, reports Forbes:

1. Cash-Strapped Sector – India’s per capita healthcare spend, at $45, is way below other BRIC countries. India’s total expenditure on healthcare is about 5.2 percent of its GDP of which 1.2 percent is funded by the government according to PricewaterhouseCoopers data. Enter the PPP model – Private-Public Partnerships: “This model brings in private sector capital and efficiency, uses government infrastructure and draws in modern technology to deliver equitable, affordable and quality health care,” says Chhitiz Kumar, head, Philips Capital and Business to Government and PPPs. He says this model has gained a lot of traction in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana. Philips’ revenues through the PPP route are growing at 70 percent year-on-year, adds Chhitiz Kumar.

The other innovation is the ‘pay-per-use’ model. “The cost of health care equipment works up to 30 percent of a hospital’s project cost,  and  if this can be eliminated through a pay-per-use basis, the initial investment costs come down dramatically,” says Vishal Bali, former group CEO of Fortis Healthcare. “The pay-per-use structure also helps hospitals price their services aggressively.”

2. Need for Localization – “India-focused innovation brings down costs and gives the much-needed edge in a competitive market,” says Dr Rana Mehta, partner & leader, Healthcare, PricewaterhouseCoopers India. Philips’ Healthcare Innovation Centre in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra “combines technology and market knowledge. It also helps design products that are unique to India’s needs like that of durability, higher throughput and handling voltage fluctuations,” explains Rekha Ranganathan, head of this institute. The Pune centre has so far launched five products, focusing on the twin aims of affordability and profitability. “When it comes to value engineering, India is the best,” Ranganathan added referring to the company’s initiative to increase manufacturing in India which has been nominated as the global hub for the company’s mobile surgery business.

3. Shift to Services – customers are increasingly seeking to buy better services, and Philips recently launched a Healthcare Transformation Services business. “Health care is shifting from doctor/hospital-centric to patient-centric. Also, delivery is becoming dis-aggregated. Single monolithic entities are giving way to small specialty hospitals. Our focus is to help hospitals change in line with these trends,” says Dr Adheet Gogate, senior director, Healthcare Transformation Services. He and his team study the process flow in hospital wards to find ways to improve productivity—whether it is reducing the time taken to discharge a patient, increasing an equipment throughput or optimizing work flow in operation theaters.

November 10, 2015   No Comments

Amazon India Localizes

With increasing awareness, and Internet penetration in India, e-commerce is blooming. Currently, Amazon India has launched bookstores in Hindi, Kannada and Tamil – three regional languages in India.

The Hindi bookstore was launched in April 2014 with over 23,000 titles. It offers a vast selection of genres ranging from literature, fiction, biographies, children’s books, and classic novels by famous authors. “Additionally, there is a vast collection of reference books and textbooks to help students and job aspirants prepare for interviews and tests. Customers can also enjoy reading Hindi translation of more than 800 bestselling English books,” says Noor Patel, director (Category Management) at Amazon India.

In July 2014, Amazon launched the Tamil (the language mainly spoken in the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu) bookstore with a selection of over 8000 titles making it the largest Tamil book store in India.

And in the month of October of the same year, titles in Kannada (the language mainly spoken in the southern state of Karnataka) were made available, with more than 7300 books, 4700 movies, and 2500 music albums. The company recorded a 30 per cent growth in the demand for Kannada books in three months, Patel observed.

Patel added that regional books used to face significant challenges in reaching its customers due to the highly fragmented publishing industry and its ability to reach all points of sales even within the states where they are published, reports SiliconIndia News.

“But e-commerce has played a key role in bridging this gap, taking books to their readers irrespective of their location and language. Due to the wide range of languages in India and the high levels of inter-state mobility, several readers were unable to buy books published in their mother tongue or language of their choice. Identifying this need, we launched the regional bookstores,” explained Patel.

October 12, 2015   No Comments

Ikea to Operate 25 Stores in India

The Swedish home furnishings company IKEA has announced a long term plan to open 25 stores in the country at a cost of $80 million per store. In July this year the company bought land in Hyderabad in south India for its maiden store.

Business Standard reports that IKEA has signed a memorandum of understanding with various state governments in India: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra for its stores to be located in these states.

IKEA in India

“Our priority is to find the right locations for our stores, to increase our supplier base, and establish long-term relations with the authorities and other important partners. In the first phase we are looking at establishing IKEA stores in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” a company spokesperson told Business Standard in reply to an emailed questionnaire.

October 12, 2015   No Comments