Automation in warehousing

The following article is my own interpretation of the business article published on 23-01-2015 in ETRetail(The Economic Times). Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

M.Venkatesh, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School Of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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As e-commerce industry is growing at a good pace day-by-day, the concept of not just a simple warehouse but an automated warehouse is gaining prominence. And this is quite understandable. Now-a-days customers are not just expecting discounts on their favorite products; they even want their products to be delivered as soon as possible. This is where giant automated warehouses help e-commerce players to survive in the increasingly competitive market.

                       Automation is the key word here. Last year when Amazon showed its 16-inch a robot working in its totally advanced automated warehouses, the whole world was stunned. But soon we may see this in every e-commerce warehouse. Also important is the location of these automated warehouses. For example, Amazon generally has its warehouses in the suburbs and near to the airport. And we can clearly observe how Amazon is using the concepts of warehouse utilization that we learn in classes every day. Amazon has already avoided the problem of honey combing with automation. And then it is trying to employ combination systems for the physical location and control of inventory part. On a whole, as rightly pointed out in the article, the greater the volume the greater is the responsibility for automation.

http://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/e-commerce/e-tailing/e-commerce-industry-a-look-into-online-fashion-retailers-like-myntra-and-zivames-warehouses/45986298

Future of Oil prices

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Monalisa Sarkar, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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Economic times on 23rd Jan, 2015:

On Friday market price of Brent crude oil rose after the death of Saudi Arabia’s king because of generation of uncertainty in oil markets. Brent crude rose up to $49.80, up $1.28 a barrel and finally closed at around $49.20. In 2005, when King Fahd died, similar concerns emerged and Brent rose to a then all-time high price of almost $61 a barrel.

On the other side, price of US shale oil decreased by 1.6% and finally closed at $45.59 a barrel. Data from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed that US had biggest build in crude inventory in atleast 14 years. US is now among the top producers of oil pumping out over 9 million barrels per day.

CNBC on 23rd Jan, 2015 said “ Reports of a partial shutdown at BP’s oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana, weighed on U.S. crude. Sources familiar with the plant’s operations said they did not know when the 90,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit would be restarted.”

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s death on Friday led his brother Salman become the king of the world’s top oil exporter. Salman is intending to keep oil minister Ali al-Naimi in place.

Oil investors were worried about a possible change in Saudi oil policy, but Salman indicated that policy will remain unchanged and he is also expected to continue OPEC policy of keeping oil output steady of 30 million barrels a day as announced by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) in last November. Repeated assurances of continuity from Salman helped calm the market.

“There was only a spike in prices over these tensions and they eased afterwards,” van Cleef said

I believe that if the prices continue to fall it can create an alarming situation as Crude oil prices have fallen in last few years and the prices are now below $50 per barrel.

Also no changes in policy is assured by Saudi, but the oil minister has expressed a desire to step down, which can lead to changes in Saudi’s energy policy in future.

Xiaomi : Apple of China

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Abhishek Sahu MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Xiaomi : The Chinese smartphone manufacturer which has now become the global No. 3 manufacturer after Apple and Samsung.According to an article in the Bloomberg of 5 Nov states that the company is looking for funding round which is valued to be around $50 Billion. Speaking about India, Xiaomi has got more than expected demand for the smartphone.It had tie-Up with Flipkart which was his online exclusive trading partner.The smartphones giants where in an awe when its flagship product Mi3 was out of stock in less than 20 min of sale.The online giant Flipkart’s server crashed minutes after the online sale of Mi3 went live.

Though the company has been accused for copying Apple’s product and design.The cheap smartphone manufacturer is set to launch its new model in December (Note).The company which has its operations in China, India, Singapore and Malaysia is soon set to expand its operations world wide.Due to its aggressive pricing strategy the company could make a profit of $56 Million, is expected to quadruple next year. Analyst were all surprised and raised there eyebrows as the Taxi App Uber was valued $17 Billion since then it has doubled and now its more than what others could think ($41Billion) . Due to such steep rise in start-ups the analysts are skeptical and apprehensive about the growth of the start-up smartphone manufacturer. Could it beat world leading Tech company Apple, well lets wait and watch.

 

True Sportsmanship is not Dead!!!!

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Rakesh Kumar Duan, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On the 26th of January 2015, The Economic Times published about a rare gesture of sportsmanship shown by little known American tennis player Tim Smyczek during his 2nd round match with Rafael Nadal at the ongoing Australian Open. Tim Smyczek lost the match but definitely won a lot of hearts and respect throughout the world for being a true gentleman.

Life is surely a game and in today’s world of cut-throat competition, usually nobody leaves a single chance of pushing his/her rivals out of the game and win the game by hook or crook. But Tim showed that in life, the real deal is in being a gentleman and doing what is right, even if that leads to some kind of loss. If not for that simple gesture, Tim surely had the chance to stay in the game and give Nadal a more difficult fight than it already was. There is no failure in that kind of loss, because at the end of the day, you would be having a surge of pride in yourself for doing the right thing. Therein lies true sportsmanship, the feeling of taking loss in a positive way, showing respect to one’s opponents and valuing the ethics of the game.

In today’s world where everyone is fighting his/her heart out to get ahead in the race, the only way you can stand out is by being a good sport. One should take defeat as positively as he takes victory. Only then he can emerge as a true winner.

Gold Price Forecasts in 2015

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ajinkya Ramdas Hire , MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On 24th January Reuters published a new about Goldman Sachs slashing the 2015 price forecasts of several metals such as copper and aluminium but it increased the gold price estimate by $62 per ounce. Goldman sachs said in a statement that” The primary reason for the changes to our forecasts is cost deflation ñ driven by a combination of actual and anticipated US dollar strength, cheaper energy and other input costs, and our expectation of an improvement in mining productivity”

As gold is a top performing commodity in 2015 so far, many investors around the globe are preferring over stocks and and currency markets           .

But as per an article in wall street journal on 23rd Jan some investors liquidate their gold holdings on Thursday which was a 5 month high for the prices. European banks also had large bond buying program that helped gold prices to reach 5 months high i.e.  Close above $1,300 an ounce for the first time since August.

Previously  as per article published in NDTV Profit,Gold price rise can also be due to wedding season buying from the jewellers  it also said gold prices have been rose by 1000 Rs in last 5 days

As per article in 23rd Jan Deccan chronicle : gold prices decline by .20% in futures trade as most of the investors shorted their positions amidst weak trend overseas and fall in demand from domestic market jewellers

In my opinion the price fall in gold is temporary but in 2015 gold prices will reach new highs and it will also depend on policies of Fed. But gold may fall if federal reserves increase the interest rates

Will Yureka be a Eureka for Micromax ?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Avesh Verma MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Recently Micromax, the 2nd largest smartphone player in India, launched a sub-brand Yu to be sold exclusively online. Micromax’s phone are not known for technological superiority and thus they are betting big on this Cyanogen OS phone to increase their market share in this space. According to an article in The Strategist, Business Standard 26Jan issue this move by Micromax is seen as the readiness of the brand for the future. Micromax wishes to position its brand on a stronger technological platform by releasing Yu smartphones. After the success of Xiaomi’s online sales drive, this new method of selling the products exclusively online has caught the eyes of many. As prices in the online channel are very competitive it has forced brick & mortar retailers to boycott brands which overwhelmingly supports the online marketplace. But Micromax has managed to keep both the channels happy by releasing this new sub brand altogether.
But this move by Micromax may also lead to cannibalizing its own products .Also there is a notion that the mother brand always enjoy a better recall than sub brands. So Micromax has to carefully pave the way ahead and strategically position, segment and target the consumers to make the sub brand Yu Yureka a success.
Reference: The Strategist, Business Standard

What’s in a hug??

The following article is my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ruchira Chaudhury, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


 

“Atithi devo bhav..,” the true meaning of these three words reflected significantly when Prime Minister Modi broke protocol and tradition to receive president Obama and his wife, Michelle on the tarmac of the airport, on a wintry morning of 25th January 2015. This was followed by what Reuters reported as a “bear hug”. As per the plan, armed police and soldiers lined up the roads of Delhi to welcome the honorable president of the States. The planned welcome also includes 40000 security personnel and 15000 new surveillance cameras installed in the capital.

“The extraordinary hospitality” as quoted by the President himself, states a betterment of a relationship that had faltered only a year ago.  With China growing powerful in South Asia, Washington does see Modi as a way to overtake the growth. Thus, Obama’s acceptance of the invitation to visit India and be the first U. S. president to watch the Republic Day parade.

As has been noted before, Modi and Obama share a personal chemistry which has aided the President visiting our country twice. And the effort of Modi, who was denied a visa to the United States just a year ago, to reinvent the relationship, is commendable.

But; not always do a personal chemistry, a warm welcome and “n” number of visits assist in building ties between two democracies. What would matter are India’s economic path and the efficient management of the sparking friendship between the leaders of the two nations! That’s something to look forward to!

 

Make in India

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

M.Anand, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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       Make in India is a significant national program by Narendra Modi led BJP Government planned to attract foreign and domestic investment by building world class infrastructure and fostering innovation through improving skill development and securing intellectual The Government gave the priorities to the potential sectors like Construction, Food processing, Automobile sector, Biotechnology, Defence Sector and Chemical industry. The key focuses are Ease of doing Business, Focus on PPP, enhancing FDI and formulating competitive laws and regulation for Globalisation.

“Make In India” is started with a very good vision of making India as a manufacturing Hub. This will generate both direct and indirect employment along with a boost to India’s GDP. It is continuously compared with China’s “Made In China”. The focus of government is policy changes and also PM is travelling a lot for building relations. But policy changes needs to be done at a fast rate. It has been six months of Modi Government and some changes of Labor laws have occurred. Japan and US has agreed to invest $50Bn and $30Bn respectively.

On the Occasion of 66TH Republic day event, the honourable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi have invited the US President Mr. Barack Obama for mark this pride day of India. This is a master move of Modi to attract the investors from US and this shows the exponential growth or the fruitful progress of “Make in India” campaign. On evidence of this, the Business talks and Summit between the top Business officials of US and India is happening since November 2014. On the conclusion of this summit and other business events, a favourable treaty is expected to be signed between the US government and Indian Government on the end of January. We hope that the “Make in India” will be good for both country and people.

 

 

Behind the walls of Kremlin

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Krishnakumar B, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Setting aside the insurgencies in middle east, the defining movement for the year 2014 could be possibly portrayed as the annexation of Crimea by Russia through military intervention which has revived the decades old reins of Cold war between the west and the east.

Though the European Union overwhelming affinity with Ukraine with ulterior motives could be positively argued as the theory behind Russia’s annexure of Crimea, the reality could be deceitful. The steady increase in oil price over the decade has emboldened Russia to intensify its military portfolio and seize its missed opportunity, during dissolution of Soviet Union, by coercion. The quadrupled increase in oil production post cold war has provided immense endurance to Russia to withstand global economic turmoil and fund its perpetual military expansion.

The current aggressive foreign policy of Russia could be debatably compared with its early soviet Union era which acted as the catalyst for the Cold War and eventually led to the dissolution of Soviet Union. As the history repeating itself, the aggressive foreign policy of Russia has propelled the western countries to impose major sanctions over Russia. The sanction which were connoted  as concern of very trifle value seems to have gained momentum, has brought serious ramification making rouble to lose half its value, and turned colossal with the sharp decline in oil prices.

The budget of Russia which necessities the oil prices to hover around $100 per barrel to proficiently meets its holistic accentuation of economic and military proliferation has felt the burn of economic disparity due to the oil crisis. The fall in oil prices and rouble debacle has stroked the cords to Russia to turn assertive in its foreign policy and concentrate more on intravenous economics rather on its military part. Though the oil and rouble will reach a new equilibrium in the open market in the near future, the weaker economy of Russia will push its leaders to be at their peril.

Hence it could be overtly summarized that it’s the oil prices that keep Russia at the bay rather than the western NATO forces on Ukrainian borders.

References:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-says-his-crimea-annexation-was-strategic-and-russia-wont-be-isolated/2014/11/23/5f4bf688-7327-11e4-95a8-fe0b46e8751a_story.html

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/011515/how-us-european-union-sanctions-impact-russia.asp