Business en Wed Jul 14 10:38:48 IST 2021 sensex-soars-832-points-to-reclaim-60k-mark-nifty-tops-17900 <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Reclaiming the 60,000 level, equity benchmark Sensex rallied 832 points on Monday, led by gains in index majors Infosys, HDFC twins and TCS amid a largely positive trend in global markets.</p> <p>The 30-share BSE index ended 831.53 points or 1.40 per cent higher at 60,138.46. Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 258 points or 1.46 per cent to 17,929.65.</p> <p>IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, soaring over 7 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra and Dr Reddy's.</p> <p>On the other hand, M&amp;M, Bajaj Finserv, Nestle India and Reliance Industries were the laggards.</p> <p>"Indian markets opened on a positive note following largely positive Asian markets as investors react to mixed China factory activity data for October," said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.</p> <p>Sentiments were upbeat as a monthly survey said India's manufacturing sector activities gained further strength in October as companies scaled up production and stepped up input purchasing in anticipation of further improvements in demand, he noted.</p> <p>Further, GST data released earlier in the day showed the second highest ever GST collection of Rs 1.3 lakh crore, a growth of 24 per cent YoY, which further boosted the sentiments, he said.</p> <p>Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Shanghai and Hong Kong were in the red.</p> <p>Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.</p> <p>Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.82 per cent to USD 84.41 per barrel.&nbsp;</p> Mon Nov 01 17:32:01 IST 2021 maruti-suzuki-sales-decline-24-percent-to-138-units-in-october <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Monday reported a 24 per cent decline in sales at 1,38,335 units in October.</p> <p>The company had sold 1,82,448 units in October last year, MSI said in a statement.</p> <p>Domestic sales slipped 32 per cent to 1,17,013 units last month as against 1,72,862 units in September 2020, it added.</p> <p>“While the shortage of electronic components continued to affect the production of vehicles during the month, the company took all possible measures to minimise the impact. Accordingly, the company sold more vehicles than the sales volume expected at the start of the month,” the auto major stated.</p> <p>Sales of mini cars, comprising Alto and S-Presso, fell 23 per cent to 21,831 units as compared with 28,462 in the same month last year.</p> <p>Similarly, sales of compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, slumped 49 per cent to 48,690 units as against 95,067 cars in October last year.</p> <p>Sales of mid-sized sedan Ciaz declined 25 per cent to 1,069 units as compared with 1,422 units in October 2020.</p> <p>Utility vehicle sales, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga, however, rose 7 per cent to 27,081 units as compared with 25,396 vehicles in the year-ago month, MSI said.</p> <p>Exports jumped over two-folds at 21,322 units as against 9,586 units in the corresponding month last year, the company said.</p> Mon Nov 01 14:00:41 IST 2021 after-friday-fall-sensex-surges-over-500-points-in-early-trade <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 500 points in early trade on Monday tracking gains in index majors Infosys, Bharti Airtel and HDFC amid a positive trend in global markets.</p> <p>The 30-share index was trading 506.20 points, or 0.85 per cent, higher at 59,813.13 in initial deals. Similarly, the Nifty rose 158.40 points or 0.90 per cent to 17,830.05.</p> <p>Bharti Airtel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 3 per cent, followed by HCL Tech, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Axis Bank.</p> <p>On the other hand, M&amp;M, Bajaj Finserv, Dr Reddy’s, HUL and Reliance Industries were among the laggards.</p> <p>In the previous session, the 30-share index had plunged 677.77 points, or 1.13 per cent, to end at 59,306.93, and Nifty fell 185.60 points, or 1.04 per cent, to 17,671.65.</p> <p>Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,142.63 crore on Friday, as per exchange data.</p> <p>“Markets seem to have reached a rise-on-sell mode as premium valuations of markets and no positive surprise from earnings, especially due to higher-input costs, have weighed on investors' sentiments,” said Binod Modi, head, strategy, at Reliance Securities.</p> <p>"However, despite that, overall performance, so far, has been good with sharp growth in revenue aiding double-digit growth in earnings. In our view, the market <a title="'Expect short-term volatility in equity markets, but deep correction unlikely'" href="">may remain volatile</a> with downward bias in the near term and investors will track pricing power of the industries," he stated.</p> <p>Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo were trading with gains in mid-session deals, while Hong Kong was in the red.</p> <p>Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.33 per cent to $83.44 per barrel.&nbsp;</p> Mon Nov 01 11:00:08 IST 2021 economic-recovery-gst-collection-in-october-crossed-rs-1-3-lakh-crore <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection remained above Rs 1 lakh crore for the fourth month in a row at over Rs 1.30 lakh crore in October, indicating the impact of festive buying.</p> <p>This is the second-highest collection of GST since its implementation on July 1, 2017.</p> <p>The tax collections last month on goods sold and services rendered was 24 per cent higher than in October 2020.</p> <p>“The gross GST revenue collected in the month of October 2021 is Rs 1,30,127 crore of which CGST is Rs 23,861 crore, SGST is Rs 30,421 crore, IGST is Rs 67,361 crore (including Rs 32,998 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 8,484 crore (including Rs 699 crore collected on import of goods),” the finance ministry said in a statement.</p> <p>CGST refers to Central Goods and Services Tax, SGST (State Goods and Service Tax) and IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax).</p> <p>This is very much in line with the trend in economic recovery, it said, adding “this is also evident from the trend in the e-way bills generated every month since the second wave”.</p> <p>The revenues would have still been higher if the sales of cars and other products had not been affected on account of disruption in supply of semiconductors, it added.</p> Mon Nov 01 14:18:26 IST 2021 fuel-prices-hike-again-petrol-crosses-rs-120-in-madhya-pradesh <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Petrol and diesel prices on Sunday were hiked for the fourth straight day by 35 paise per litre each, pushing pump rates to new record highs across the country with states with high incidence of local taxes such as Madhya Pradesh having the costliest fuel.</p> <p>The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 109.34 a litre and Rs 115.15 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.</p> <p>Diesel now costs Rs 98.07 a litre in Delhi and Rs 106.23 in Mumbai.</p> <p>This is the fourth consecutive day of the price hike. There was no change in rates between October 25 and 27, prior to which prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre each on four straight days.</p> <p>While petrol has already hit the Rs 100-a-litre mark or more in all major cities of the country, diesel has touched that level in over one-and-a-half dozen states. Diesel rates crossed that level in places ranging from Jalandhar in Punjab to Gangtok in Sikkim.</p> <p>Prices differ from state to state, depending on the incidence of local taxes and cost of transportation.</p> <p>The twin factors led to petrol price crossing Rs 120 a litre in places such as Panna, Satna, Rewa, Shahdol, Chhindwara and Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh.</p> <p>The same level has also been crossed in two border towns of Rajasthan: Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.</p> <p>Ganganagar has the costliest fuel in the country with petrol costing Rs 121.52 a litre and diesel coming for Rs 112.44 per litre.</p> <p>Petrol price has been hiked on 25 occasions since September 28, when a three-week-long hiatus in rate revision ended. In all, prices have gone up by Rs 8.15 a litre.</p> <p>Diesel rates have been increased by Rs 9.45 per litre in 28 hikes since September 24.</p> <p>Prior to that, the petrol price was increased by Rs 11.44 a litre between May 4 and July 17. The diesel rate had gone up by Rs 9.14 per litre during this period.&nbsp;</p> Sun Oct 31 12:21:14 IST 2021 paytm-ipo-could-boost-indias-image-as-investment-destination <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Fintech major Paytm's Initial Public Offering (IPO), which will reportedly become the largest in Indian history, could be a game changer for the company. The IPO is expected to raise the value of the firm to about $19.5-$20 billion when it opens next month.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Experts see multiple drivers for the IPO including providing an exit and monetisation opportunities to existing investors, employees and managers. The company wants to be a financial behemoth through this IPO.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Through the IPO Paytm's management is aiming at creating a financial behemoth that leverages the payment customers to cross sell and upsell. While this is a valid goal, a bigger challenge that the company is facing is that companies like PhonePe are giving a tough competition to Paytm. In the medium term, as new financial intermediation technologies rise on the horizon, it could pose new challenges to the company despite the IPO,” remarked Alok Shende of Ascentius Consulting.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Paytm creates value for its shareholders based on the number of transactions and the value of the transactions. Experts say this could&nbsp; be a good opportunity for the company to move ahead and for investors to partake of a share in the pie. And, this reinforces the image of India as an investment destination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Market experts point out that it is currently raining IPOs, with new age technology led companies getting under the spotlight and having their fair share. Paytm is among the companies credited with pioneering India's fintech revolution through their use of QR codes. “Paytm has had its share of wrong judgements and decisions but the access to capital and scale helped them to tide over the hiccups. Of the Rs 18,300 crores that is planned, Rs 10,000 crores are OFS (Offer for Sale) from the current investors. Only Rs 8,300 crore is primary capital which will get into the company. The money will be used to strengthen the ecosystem,” pointed out Sathya Pramod, CEO Kayess Square Consulting Private Limited.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He adds that fintech, especially the payments space, is a discount-led space and until a player offers discounts and rewards it is very hard to survive in the market and have a loyal customer base.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The operational revenues of the company have fallen by about Rs 450 crore and losses have narrowed down by about Rs 1200 crore predominantly due to lesser marketing expenses. The consolidated losses are about Rs 12,500 crore.&nbsp; So everything here is based on potential like the valuation these days. However, will Rs 4300 Crore be enough for customer acquisition and retention in this market which is a bucket with multiple holes. I am doubtful whether an overall Rs 8300 crore will be enough in primary to fund the future losses,” added Pramod.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Paytm has said that it has sufficient capital after raising the size of its IPO. Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma told the media that they do not see any reason to raise more money, especially in primary capital, unless there is an extraordinary event. He has also said that the company is also well capitalised.</p> Sat Oct 30 19:53:24 IST 2021 expect-short-term-volatility-equity-markets-deep-correction-unlikely <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>After hitting record highs, the markets have seen some correction in the last few sessions; the BSE Sensex closing below 59,500 level this week. What is the outlook ahead? Where are interest rates headed? Which sectors are looking good from growth and valuations perspective? Sampath Reddy, chief investment officer at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance shares his thoughts with THE WEEK.<br> </p> <p><b>Equity markets rallied sharply through 2021, despite warnings on valuations. From what we have seen in the last few days, do you think there is more steam left?</b></p> <p>Yes, valuations are quite elevated with the sharp market rally. However, corporate earnings have been quite a positive surprise amid the pandemic. In FY21, we saw India GDP contract by 7.3 per cent but Nifty EPS (earnings per share) grew by a healthy 18 per cent, against earlier expectations of around 10 per cent contraction in earnings growth. Despite the second wave, the earnings for FY22 and FY23 have not seen any significant downgrades and are anticipated to grow by 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. Therefore, this uptrend in corporate profitability cycle, helped by cost-cutting initiatives by corporates have contributed to the positive market sentiment and rally, besides the global liquidity surge making its way into capital markets. Economic recovery has also been better than expected and the festive season could provide further fillip to growth and consumption.</p> <p>In the short term, we could see some market volatility due to Fed taper or rising inflation and commodity prices. However, we believe that any market correction may not be as deep as seen in March 2020. The long-term India growth story remains intact with India remaining a preferred investment choice among peer emerging markets.</p> <p><b>What kind of impact will the tapering of liquidity by Federal Reserve and other central banks have on emerging market equities, including India?</b></p> <p>Market expects that the Fed taper may be announced in November 2021 policy meet, but it is expected to be in a gradual and calibrated manner. Its not like the Fed will abruptly stop the quantitative easing and withdraw liquidity. Also, rate hikes are expected only in late 2022 and the FOMC forecast as per the September meeting indicates one rate hike of 20 basis points in calendar 2022.</p> <p>However, as the markets move in anticipation, we may see some short-term volatility in emerging markets (including India) once the Fed starts to taper. However, as mentioned before, India seems favourably positioned among the emerging markets pack from a long-term fundamental perspective.</p> <p>Also, some of the macro-economic indicators in India are better placed than during the Fed taper tantrum in 2013. For example, the current account deficit for FY23 is projected at 1.5 per cent of GDP versus a high current account deficit of 4.8 per cent of GDP in FY13. Forex reserves are presently at a record high of more than $600 billion (indicating an import cover of 13-15 months) versus reserves of around $300 billion in 2013 (when import cover was around six months). Inflation presently is also much more moderate than the high levels of 9-10 per cent inflation seen in 2013.</p> <p><b>In recent monetary policy committee meetings RBI, too, has started slowly mopping up excess liquidity. Are Repo or reverse repo rate hikes around the corner?</b></p> <p>Yes, RBI has indicated liquidity normalisation going forward as economic recovery continues.</p> <p>We expect that the RBI may start by reducing the corridor between the repo &amp; reverse repo rate (by increasing the reverse repo rate) in its December policy review or in early 2022. We except the central bank to otherwise remain accommodative for some time still and intervene to manage the yield curve efficiently. Repo rate hike is expected in 2022, depending on the inflation and growth trajectory, and monetary stance of major global central banks.</p> <p><b>What's the outlook on interest rates and equity markets in 2022?</b></p> <p>We feel that interest rates have bottomed out and expect yields to harden a bit going forward. As mentioned earlier, RBI will try to intervene (via open market operations) and keep long term yields from hardening too much as it needs to manage the remaining part of the large market borrowing programme in an effective manner. Presently we prefer the medium-term part of the yield curve.</p> <p>For equity markets, we believe that earnings growth momentum will be sustained in FY22 and FY23 and broad-based, and that should help sentiments and support market valuations to some extent. So, the long-term India growth story remains intact and is gaining traction, and therefore we recommend investors to continue to systematically invest in equities. There may be some market volatility in the short term but given the strong earnings outlook we don’t expect a very deep correction. From a market cap perspective, we presently prefer the large-cap segment to the mid/small-cap segment, with the valuation premium of the latter widening due to the sharp rally this year.</p> <p><b>Given markets have hit records, what are the risks if any from here on, barring of course the easy money tapering?</b></p> <p>Besides tapering, one of the other risks is rising commodity prices (especially crude oil prices), which poses some concern for a net oil importing country like India; although as mentioned earlier--our current account deficit is still benign compared to the highs seen in FY13. Globally, inflation has risen quite substantially and domestically too inflation may rear back again, although its moderated in past couple of months due to fall in food prices. Core inflation in India is still a bit elevated. Rising interest rates is also not very conducive for equity markets, although rates are still quite far away from earlier highs. An eye needs to be also kept on any geo-political issues.</p> <p><b>Where would you bet your money on now from a sector perspective?</b></p> <p>We are positive on select banks, metals and infrastructure and capital goods sector.</p> <p>With the economic recovery we expect credit growth to gradually pick-up after languishing for a while at five-six per cent. Large private sector banks would lead the credit growth in the economic recovery coupled with the hypothesis of credit cost getting normalised in the latter half of the year. Banking and financial sector has around 40 per cent weight in the Nifty index and accounts for 25 per cent of overall earnings. Healthy profit after tax growth of 25-30 per cent is expected for the sector in FY22 &amp; 23. Valuations also remain reasonable for the sector.</p> <p>Metals sector has benefited from sharp rise in metal prices, which has helped drive profitability. Also, metal companies have been able to use this uptick in earnings to deleverage their balance sheets, which has been an investor concern for the sector earlier.</p> <p>With the economic recovery we expect capex cycle to also gradually recover, being initially led by public infrastructure spending. We also expect the government’s PLI scheme to provide a boost to domestic manufacturing. Manufacturing contribution in GDP for India has been moderating over the past few years, this could help revive the manufacturing sector. The government has also announced Rs 6 trillion National Monetisation pipeline over a four-year period (FY22 to FY25) for leasing of core central government assets. It is expected that the additional revenues from this will primarily be used for infrastructure spending.</p> <p><b>The IPO market has been hot this year, be it the number of issues or funds raised and several issues had bumper listings. What is your outlook? Do you think there is still enough appetite for mega IPOs like LIC and BPCL?</b></p> <p>Yes, with the market buoyancy—equity market issuances have been strong this year, and we have seen some large IPOs over the past few months with strong listing gains. This indicates healthy appetite from investors (both retail and institutional). The IPO pipeline remains quite strong in FY22 with net equity supply projected to be at record highs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat Oct 30 15:09:18 IST 2021 ayush-market-size-has-reached--18-1-bn--says-ayush-minister <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The AYUSH market size has reached USD 18.1 billion, a 17 per cent rise between 2014 and 2020, due to growing global and domestic demand, and the Centre's strong support to regulatory, research and development, and back-end infrastructure, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing the inauguration of 'AYUR-UDYAMAH' at Vigyan Bhawan, the Union Ayush Minister said in terms of the global share, India has grown faster in the AYUSH market as compared to the rest of the world and accounts for about 2.8 per cent of the market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is likely to hold even though disruptions in production are not ruled out, he said, adding that during the same period, different product segments have grown at a much higher rate than the overall industry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the occasion, he released a Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) report which showed that despite a slump in economic activity in 2020 due to Covid, the industry is projected to reach USD 20.6 billion in 2021 and USD 23.3 billion in 2022.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Plant derivatives experienced 21 per cent growth in the 2014-2020 period, followed by nutraceuticals (20.5 per cent), pharmaceuticals (15.8 per cent), plant extracts 14.7 per cent and herbal plants (14.3 per cent), according to a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ayush medicines have done exceedingly well in helping Covid patients recover faster across the world during the first and second wave of the pandemic in the last one-and-a-half years, Sonowal said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>About the new incubation centre, Sonowal referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech mentioning that start-ups were the new types of wealth creators in the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"He outlined the need of the government to relentlessly work towards making India's start-ups and the start-up ecosystem the best in the world. This will contribute to the long-term vision of Aatanirbhar Bharat," Sonowal said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I hope the start-up initiative will help Ayush entrepreneurs in translating innovations into products and services that are commercially viable," he added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On this occasion, the All India Institute of Ayurveda—Incubation Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship—was launched by Union Minister of Food and Processing Industries Pashupati Paras.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is the first of its kind incubation centre under the Ministry of Ayush to promote start-ups.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli and Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shantanu also attended the function.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the occasion, RIS-FTIM Journal was also launched.</p> Sat Oct 30 13:53:45 IST 2021 adani-group-buys-minority-stake-in-flipkart-owned-cleartrip <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The Adani Group on Friday announced that it was investing in online travel aggregator Cleartrip, presently part of the Flipkart Group. Adani Enterprises will acquire a significant minority stake in Cleartrip, which will become its OTA partner.<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It is such strategic partnerships among homegrown companies which will eventually create local jobs as well as an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The Cleartrip platform will become an essential part of the broader SuperApp journey we have embarked upon,&quot; said Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The deal is expected to close in November.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Flipkart acquired a 100 per cent stake in Cleartrip in April. Coincidentally, that month the Adani Group became only the third Indian conglomerate to cross $100 billion in market capitalisation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the bulk of the group’s revenue has come from the Adani Green energy company, it holds a diverse array of businesses including in port management, mining, airport operations, natural gas, food processing, and recently, a possible foray into news media with the hiring of journalist Sanjay Pugalia, who had stepped down as president of Quint Digital Media Ltd.</p> <p>Now, Cleartrip has become the group's first digital venture.&nbsp;<br> <br> </p> <p>As India continues its recovery from the second wave of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns, the travel industry has been limping back to business, with “revenge travel” seeing many Indians <a href="">leave home during the festive months</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group, said, “At the Flipkart Group, we are focused on delivering experiences for consumers and providing opportunities to help them fulfil their aspirations. As travel picks up over the next few months, Cleartrip will continue to focus on providing easy and flexible travel experiences for its customers. We strive to strengthen our relationship with the Adani Group and will explore ways in which we can expand our offerings for consumers, leveraging their robust travel infrastructure in the country.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri Oct 29 23:27:33 IST 2021 microsoft-beats-apple-regains-top-spot-as-worlds-most-valuable-publicly-traded-company <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>As of noon ET on Friday, Microsoft’s market cap was $2.46 trillion. Apple’s? 30 billion dollars shy of this, at $2.43 trillion.<br> </p> <p>For Microsoft, regaining the number one position from Apple had become an infrequent affair in the last ten years. Since Apple surpassed Microsoft in 2010—despite having far less volume of the global personal computing market—the Redmont-based company has managed to pass its Cupertino-based rival only a handful of times. The last time was in July 2020.<br> </p> <p>MSFT’s gain over AAPL follows the latter’s fourth fiscal results being perceived as disappointing, with a revenue shortfall of around $6 billion on account of supply chain disruptions that have affected every industry that relies on the use of a semiconductor.<br> </p> <p>Microsoft too has suffered from the supply chain crunch, but less so as it is less hardware focused than Apple. The stock has also gained from the recent announcement of Windows 11, its first major update to Windows in over five years, as well as with strong growth in its cloud-based services. So while MSFT has gone up by over 45 per cent this year, Apple has climbed by 15 per cent.</p> Fri Oct 29 23:21:18 IST 2021 off-campus-hiring-could-become-norm-for-it-companies <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>In September, IT major Tata Consultancy Services began its off-campus recruitment drive to hire freshers across the organisation. The IT major now says it received a very handsome response and plans to hire a large number of candidates in the second phase of this drive.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Experts now off-campus hiring could become a norm among Indian IT services companies, as a strategic tool to attract fresh technical talent. On the other hand, on-campus recruitment is expected to take a backseat amongst the Indian IT services companies.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is expected by experts that TCS, which is one of the major recruiters in the IT field IT businesses, plans to hire around 70,000 fresh graduates this fiscal year through the off-campus hiring. TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan had stated that off-campus employment is expected to reduce campus visits, improve their reach and prevent the institute from serving as a quality benchmark.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“While on campus provided a captive talent pool, it did suffer issues of non-serious candidates taking tests to a weak ecosystem supporting such preparation. On the contrary, an off-campus hire would be more prepared and organised for a thorough interaction or test. It gives the hiring company a distinct edge in hiring more competent people from diverse institutions and backgrounds. Despite a two-decade run of on-campus hiring trends, very few educational institutions undertook any significant collaboration to include in its curriculum industry needs and job oriented education losing the race to off-campus placement,” remarked Subramanyam Sreenivasaiah, the CEO at Ascent HR.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Experts point out that since the pandemic has struck, the large IT services companies have transformed their fresher recruitment processes by going virtual. They invited applications online on their portal to assess candidates online and do the rest of the selection process online. In exceptional situations, some of them hold final interviews at their facilities for candidates residing near their offices. However, this is a rare situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Off-campus recruitment process has become a boon for several institutions because it opens up opportunities for their students and at the same time, for the employers, it widens the net, removes the restrictions of sourcing from a list of pre-qualified institutions. While the new practices open up many possibilities for the employers as well as the candidates and the colleges, the challenge of building a strong employer brand and converting the offers into joiners become bigger than ever before. Since these changes have come all of a sudden, the HR and marketing teams are scratching their brains to come up with new ways of building a stronger engagement with offered candidates from institutions that they do not have a past association with. The cost of hiring has gone down tremendously. In the years ahead, we think, there will be a hybrid model of hiring: offline and online together,” remarked Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and CEO of CIEL HR Services.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HR experts further point out that off-campus recruitment helps in attracting diverse talent and expands the reach of an IT services company. However, the benefit of on-campus hiring is that it saves time and energy as the entire process required to set it up is easier.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The way forward is virtual hiring. The pandemic has forced digitisation of the hiring process. From campus selection to competitions, hackathons and assessments along with interviews, can all be conducted virtually. Virtual hiring offers the best of both off-campus and on-campus hiring. The two fundamentals of hiring are talent assessment and reach; virtual hiring backed by Artificial Intelligence and big data that enables this,” said Siddhartha Gupta, the CEO of Mercer | Mettl, a skill assessment and talent acquisition platform.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Experts further point out that recent announcements by IT services such as TCS and other companies to hire off-campus graduates is expected to democratise their hiring process and has been a long time coming in the industry. “Off-campus hiring is in line with an industry trend whereby there is a greater focus on skills of individuals rather than on the institute alone. This change means that upskilling and reskilling continue to be the key to better job prospects and career opportunities,” said Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HR experts feel when an IT company finalises any on-campus candidate it has to wait for a few months before the candidate completes his or her degree but with off-campus, the company has flexibility in hiring the candidates as and when it is required. IT companies can plan their recruitment drives better and hire whenever they want to hire rather than waiting for on-campus candidates to graduate from their college.&nbsp;</p> Sat Oct 30 10:27:39 IST 2021 jiophone-next-google-reliances-new-android-phone-costs-rs-1999-plus-emis <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The full price of the much anticipated JioPhone Next, jointly developed by Reliance Jio and Google, is Rs 6,499. At that range, it is not the cheapest Android device in the market, and it rubs shoulders with competitors like the Samsung Galaxy M01 Core (which starts from Rs 4,999), the Realme C11 (Rs 6,799) and a host of smartphones by iKall and iTel.<br> </p> <p>But, with an array of smart features, the JioPhone Next is aimed to be the most accessible smartphone yet for the Indian public, part of Alphabet’s plan to capture the “next billion” users. To tap this, JioMart’s Digital’s network of over 30,000 retail partners will be selling the phone with a “paperless digital financing option” that Reliance says will extend to the “remotest corners of the country”.</p> <p>With consumer research suggesting that Indians won’t buy a phone if it costs over <a href="">two per cent of their annual income</a>, the solution appears to lie in easy monthly instalments: Jio and Google say the JioPhone Next can be availed for as little as Rs 300 a month, which will include a Jio plan with 5GB data and 100 minutes.</p> <p>The monthly tariffs get higher depending on the amount of data and minutes desired, with plans for Rs 250, 500, 550 and 600 a month.</p> <p>Jio isn’t the first company to offer EMIs at this level: EMIs for the Galaxy M01 Core start at Rs 174 a month. But the JioPhone Next adds a few AI-powered features that could give the phone an edge over the “stock” Android in its budget Android One competitors.</p> <p>The phone will run “Pragati OS”, an optimised version of Android designed specifically for this model. Jointly developed by Google and Jio, it is geared at helping India’s multilingual population use AI translation tools to access cross-language content. “I can speak in one language, and the phone will translate that into another language,” JioPhone Next product management Binish Parangodath said.</p> <p>JioPhone Next will have a translation feature working in 10 Indian languages. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 SoC which will help it run the “Translate Now” feature promising live text translation of 10 popular Indian languages using the phone’s camera and digital assistant. The phone has been designed with “read aloud” functionality allowing content on screen to be read out in the user’s preferred language. It also adds a few camera features seen in more premium devices, like HDR, portrait mode (blurring the background of a subject) and a low-light Night Mode.</p> <p>There are also Augmented-Reality features taken from SnapChat.</p> <p>"Google has also partnered with Snap to integrate Indian-specific Snapchat Lenses directly into Camera Go, the phone’s camera app, which will create a more delightful and innovative photo-taking experience for users," the company said in a release.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Google also promises updates that will enhance the p[phone’s experience over time. There is also an offline sharing option that appears to use Bluetooth called “nearby share”.<br> </p> <p>Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet&nbsp;said, “The JioPhone Next is an affordable smartphone designed for India, inspired by the belief that everyone in India should benefit from the opportunities the internet creates. To build it, our teams had to work together to solve complex engineering and design challenges, and I’m excited to see how millions of people will use these devices to better their lives and communities.”</p> <p>Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, said, “I am delighted that Google and Jio teams have succeeded in bringing this breakthrough device to Indian consumers in time for the festival season, inspite of the current global supply chain challenges caused by the Covid pandemic. I have always been a firm believer in the power of the Digital Revolution to enrich, enable and empower the lives of 1.35 billion Indians. We have done it in the past with connectivity. Now we are enabling it again with a smartphone device."</p> Fri Oct 29 19:37:59 IST 2021