Modi to Visit USA to Meet President Trump Soon

United States National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in the third week of April setting the stage for a bilateral visit by India’s Prime Minister in the next few months, possibly as early as June.

US and India Flags

Trump and Modi will meet anyway in early July during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. However, both Indian and American government sources confirmed the possibility that Modi may travel to the U.S. for a stand-alone bilateral visit in June or July, reports the Indian Express.

April 20, 2017   No Comments

IDFC to Buy First Solar’s Assets in India

Chennai, India-based IDFC Alternatives, the asset management arm of the infrastructure-focused lender, is in talks to buy Arizona-based First Solar’s 200 megawatts of renewable power assets in India in a deal potentially valued at around $200 million.

Logo of IDFC Limited

Livemint reports that First Solar is one of the first overseas companies to enter India’s solar energy market, and it considers the country as its second-largest market after the U.S. in terms of total shipments. The Indian solar power generation space is getting intensely competitive, as India plans to generate 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Of this, 100GW will be from solar power projects.

In a report dated March 20, the New Delhi-based consulting firm Bridge to India said, “The country added 5,526MW of new solar capacity (up 83% over Fiscal Year 2015-16) and 5,400 MW of new wind capacity (up 63%) in the year.”

 

April 15, 2017   No Comments

In a U.S.- China Trade War, Does India Benefit?

Analysts differ on their opinions on whether India stands to gain if there were to be a trade war between the U.S. and China, but the majority say India stands to benefit from the tensions.

The Economic Times reports that Seshadri Chari, a national executive member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, says,”China’s production strength requires a market, and the U.S. is no longer a Chinese market. At this stage, China cannot risk a meltdown in its economy. It’s too politically risky for Xi Jinping. They need a big market. And in Asia, we are the largest market. Today, India is dealing with China from a position of strength.
 Ship in a port

“A protectionist America hurts China more than it hurts India, though India is not without concerns,” states Ashok Malik, a distinguished fellow at the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

“If the U.S. and China don’t get along, the U.S. will turn increasingly to India as a large Asian actor,” says Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker with the opposition Congress Party and chair of India’s parliamentary standing committee of foreign affairs. He added, “And China, if its U.S. market contracts, will need to diversify its markets and investment outlets, including toward India.”

It would be “premature” to assume U.S.-China ties will nosedive given the scale of their interdependence, says Ashok Kantha, a former ambassador to China and director of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi.

April 10, 2017   No Comments

Online Marketplace for Private Jets, Helicopters Soars in India

New Delhi-based JetSetGo is a digital platform that provides an enterprise management tool for aircraft operators. It offers cloud-based scheduling, aircraft management, and advanced trip-pricing capabilities with an in-built marketplace for services and parts. It also provides customers the ability to compare and book private charters online with the ability to recoup cost of empty travel legs through a demand aggregation model that helps reduce charter costs.

The company either manages or has exclusive marketing contracts for 16 aircraft–ranging from Falcons to Hawkers to Challengers with 7 to 18 seats. This makes it the largest fleet in India, and the outfit operates anywhere from 4 to 20 flights a day, reports Forbes.

JetSetGo Logo

Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Co-Founder of JetSetGo says, “We will soon be the only travel platform for high-end domestic travel and experiences,” she says. “Our focus is to cater to the $18 billion rapidly growing in-bound travel market and to the travel needs of India’s Ultra High Networth Individuals who are expected to triple in number in the next 5 years. They have very different travel needs, which the current ensemble of online travel companies and startups can really not cater to effectively.”

 Industry experts say by 2027, Indian civil aviation will be among the three largest globally.

April 7, 2017   No Comments

KKR and Canada’s CPPIB Acquire Stakes in Bharti Infratel

New Delhi-based telecommunications company Bharti Airtel Limited sold a 10.3% stake in its tower arm subsidiary Bharti Infratel to private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for $951.6 million.

Bharti Infratel owns over 90,000 telecom towers and the company reported a revenue of $829 million  for the financial year ending March 2016. This is the second time KKR is investing in the tower company (it previously did so between 2008 and 2015).

Airtel logo

VCCircle reports that the transaction will provide Airtel the much-needed funds to paredown  its debt. “This investment…reinforces the positive outlook for the telecom infrastructure sector. The long-term investment horizon of the investors aligns well with the capital needs and business cycles of Bharti Infratel,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Airtel’s chairman.

March 29, 2017   No Comments