FDI in retail: Indian government has not asked us to re-apply for entering the market, says IKEA

Master Bathroom at Ireo Gurgaon Hills

Swedish home furnishings major IKEA today said it has not been asked by the Indian government to re-apply for entering the market through single brand FDI route following the relaxation of sourcing norms.
However, according to a senior government official, the firm would have to revise its application and re-apply after the tweaking of mandatory sourcing norms for FDI in single brand retail.

“We have not been asked to re-apply. The (Indian) government had asked for some clarifications in July and we will send our response as soon as we have done our internal evaluations, which are on-going at the moment,” an IKEA spokeswoman told PTI.

In June, IKEA had applied to the government with its plans to invest 1.5 billion euro (Rs 10,500 crore) in India to set up 25 stores.

“We are waiting for the government to go through the approval process. Regarding the policy revision announcement on Friday, we will now look into the details of this decision of the Indian government,” she added.

Read more: The Economic Times

No rollback on multi-brand retail FDI: Sharma

Just a day after Trinamool Congress (TMC), a key ally of the UPA government, withdrew its support over the issues of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and hike in diesel prices, Union minister for commerce and textile Anand Sharma today ruled out any possibility of rollback of government’s decision over allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Sharma, who was in Ahmedabad for a function on Wednesday, also urged his former colleague and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, to ‘reflect and ponder’ over her decision.

TMC lead by Banerjee had on Tuesday announced their party’s withdrawal from the Congerss-led UPA under protest over issue of FDI in multi-brand retail. All TMC minister have been asked to resign from their resepective posts in the government on Friday.

“The word rollback is not in our dictionary. The decision on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail was taken last year along with permitting 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail. The FDI in single-brand retail was notified, but decision one FDI in multi-brand retail was put under suspension (over opposition from various parties including TMC),” Sharma said addressing a press conference at the state Congress headquarters here.

Read more: Business Standard

Indian markets moving in sync with global equities: Saurabh Mukherjea, Ambit Capital

ET Now: When we walked into the trade, everyone was talking about a gap down — some were betting on a gap down of 100 points, some were betting 200 points. What do we have on a ticker, a cut of just 30 points?

Saurabh Mukherjea: I do not think investors got overexcited last Thursday-Friday, when the reforms were announced. However, I am concerned about what the TMC is doing. A lot of what has happened in the last 3 or 4 days was anticipated and we feel that this government will quite comfortably survive. The key question now is what the government will do in terms of economic reforms over the next 2 to 3 months. The things to look forward to are the Shome Committee report, which will get finalised by the end of this month, and the Kelkar Committee report on fiscal reforms, which will materialize in October. Moreover, the markets are now anticipating a rate cut in RBI’s October 30th policy. Overall, we feel that incremental economic reforms in India will keep coming through in the coming months.

Read more: The Economic Times

Hottest emerging markets for retail industry

In mostly all emerging markets, foreign direct investment in retail is 100% and no country makes a distinction between multi-brand and single-brand retail.

However, zoning curbs, or proximity to traditional marketplace, and timing restrictions are imposed by some local governments, such as Indonesia. A look at spread of Big Retail:

Whirlpool eyes top slot in home appliances market

America’s largest home appliances maker Whirlpool plans to invest more than Rs 750 crore in India over three years, with more than half of it earmarked for innovation, as it targets market leadership in the country.

Whirlpool India (BSE -2.64%) will invest in product innovation and development, capacity augmentation and marketing at a time when the white goods industry is down to single digit growth rate in a slowing economy, Arvind Uppal, Whirlpool’s president for Asia-Pacific and managing director (India), said. The company targets market leadership in refrigerators and washing machines within a year. It also wants to be a top brand in air-conditioners and microwaves by then.

“Leadership would not just mean bagging market share, but also to build Whirlpool as a best-in-class technology brand,” says Uppal, who is credited with turning around Whirlpool India from deep losses in the last seven years.

While the top management at Whirlpool India, at Uppal’s initiative, took a pledge in February to become the market leader, trade insiders say it would be a Herculean task for the US brand.

Read more: The Economic Times

Foreign retailers likely to approach FIPB to set up shop

Foreign retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger, fashion brand Promod SAS, NA Pali Europe, Italian jewellery maker, Damiani International are likely to approach the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for entering India.

As of now, most of these brands are present in the domestic market through a licensing or franchise arrangement. After the new norms on foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in single-brand retailing and 51 per cent in multi-brand retail, these retailers are keen to go it alone, industry sources say.

Government sources said many foreign brands in lifestyle, apparels, footwear and jewellery are keen to own 51 per cent in single-brand retail operations in India.

Recently, Inditex-owned brand Zara had faced FIPB hurdles for setting up stores of Massimo Dutti, as the rules for single-brand retail stipulate that the company making the FDI proposal needs to also own the brand, not a different entity.

Read more: Business Line

DTH growth in India slows further, says MPA

In Q2 2012, India’s DTH operators were expecting to get a much bigger boost in subscriber figures from the IPL cricket season and the scheduled rollout of the mandatory digitisation initiative. Unfortunately, IPL performed below expectations while the digitization rollout was pushed back four months. For the six months ending June 2012, the industry added only 4.4 million gross subscribers, taking the cumulative gross base to 48.8 million subscribers, according to the latest report from Media Partners Asia.

One big positive development however has been the reduction in churn rates as active-to-net-subscriber ratios improved. For the period under review, the total industry active base stood at 29.8 million with Videocon d2h and Tata Sky as the major contributors to active subscriber additions. Dish TV still has the biggest share of active subscribers with 23 per cent, followed by Tata Sky and Airtel with 19 per cent each.

Read more: Best Media Info

Employment

Gaming turns into serious business

Evolution is the name of the game in this industry. Gaming gained popularity in 1970s and 80s and has since become more accessible. It has also created space for youngsters wanting to turn their hobby into a career.

“In the past gaming was considered as exclusivist. In the last three years or so, especially with the advent of social games, now everybody is a gamer,” said Rahul Razdan, President (Product and Operations) at ibibo.com, a popular gaming Web site.

A growing number of animation and IT institutes have started to offer specialised courses in game development to cater to youngsters wishing to enter this industry.

Deepak Abbot, Product Head, Reliance Entertainment Digital, said, “Five years back, the gaming industry hardly existed in India, hence, we only hired people who loved gaming and then they developed on-the-job specialisations. But things have changed now — we get majority of profiles with good three to four years of experience in game development, game designing, game marketing and so on.”

Zapak.com, a social gaming site, is a subsidiary of Reliance Entertainment Digital.

Read more: Business Line

Infrastructure/Transportation

Get ready to zip between Delhi, Gurgaon

After several flip-flops and failed “cosmetic” measures, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Gurgaon Traffic Department and Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) have finally come up with a Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway de-congestion plan.

The plan, which will be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow, has a slew of time-bound measures for improving traffic flow on the stretch, besides improving safety.

The concessionaire and the NHAI have finally agreed for the expansion of toll gates by adding new lanes.

According to sources, it has been decided that 11 lanes would be added to the existing 32 lanes at the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza and four lanes to the 16 lanes at Khidki Daula toll plaza.

Read more: The Tribune

Gurgaon e-way operator told to pay Rs4.25 crore

In a fresh trouble for the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway operator, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has issued a notice to it seeking a compensation of Rs4.25 crore towards toll tax.

Officials of the corporation said pursuant to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the concessionaire has also stopped collecting the MCD toll tax from the commercial vehicles entering Delhi and thus causing monetary loss to the civic body.

The notice issued to the DS Constructions Limited and the National Highway Authority of India states that the Municipal Corporation has been losing toll tax revenue by nearly Rs 25 lakh per day due to suspended toll collection work at the Delhi- Gurgaon toll plaza following the orders of the High Court on September 4. “Since the toll collection has been halted for 15 days up to September 20, the expected loss will be Rs4.25 crore. In view of the agreement, your company (NHAI and DGSCL) are liable to compensate the loss of toll revenue to the Municipal Corporation’s contractor,” the notice said.

Read more: The Pioneer

India News

Sheila for making Delhi disabled-friendly

MEETING NEW CHALLENGES: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurating the 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for the Elderly and Disabled in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

The Delhi Government is keen to expand and upgrade the bus rapid transit corridor and will ensure that these corridors are more comfortable and accessible for the disabled, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday.

Ms. Dikshit said her government is aspiring to make Delhi a “caring city” for the elderly and the disabled in particular. The Chief Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the four-day long, 13 International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled.

Creating awareness

Referring to the collaborative efforts made by the Delhi Government and Transed to make the city disabled-friendly, Ms. Dikshit said: “We have worked together to make places like Qutub Minar, Red Fort, bus queue shelters, public conveniences accessible.” She said efforts to help raise awareness and sensitise people to the cause of accessible and inclusive environment will continue.

Read more: The Hindu

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