Spice jet: revival or relapse?

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.

Taral shah, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.
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Recently Spice Jet announced lowest air fare rate and marketed it as cheaper than train fare starting at Rs 599 on 11th February, 2015. After lot of trouble, reduction in the size of fleet and cancelation of contracts when Spice Jet reported loss of 2.75 billion rupees for this quarter, this was really surprising move from Spice Jet. Now today on 12th February when Irish aircraft leaser Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management has sought the return of six Boeing B737 aircraft and a payment of Rs 600 crore, there would be another nightmare for Spice Jet again.

SpiceJet has 17 leased Boeing 737s and 15 Bombardier Q400s it owns, but it is fighting court battles with leasers seeking repossession of up to 12 of the former type of aircraft apart from Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management. This Show if recent battle with Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management is much important for Spice Jet. If they lose this they might be facing serious consequences for the operation of business. They have already reduced their headcount by more than 2000 and now if this court battle goes against Spice Jet then it will be difficult turnaround for them.

On the other hand recently spokesperson of Spice Jet has announced to include more 9 Boeing 737s by 2015. He also predicted to strengthen relationship with leasers soon. My observation says that it will soon catch up with the full capacity and back on track soon. Thus these are two behaviours we can see and only time can show how it turns up.

Reference : http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/spicejets-revival-may-run-into-trouble-as-lessor-bbam-seeks-100-million-115021101195_1.html

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Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other internet companies jointly launch ThreatExchange

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.

Mukesh Kumawat, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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The biggest of the internet giants like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest , Yahoo, Dropbox and Tumblr have come together to battle botnets by launching ThreatExchange, reported theguardian.com on 12th Feb 2015.

Botnets are nothing but malware and cyber-attacks. ThreatExchange will allow these companies to exchange information about cyber threats with greater ease. Cyber security has become one of the most important concerns of these web giants. Facebook has created this mini social network for cybersecurity specialists.

According to Facebook, the roots of the project lie in a “malware-based spam attack” targeting several of the companies just over a year ago. These spam attacks have become a major headache for these companies.

Data privacy is of utmost importance for users as well. Users who create accounts on these websites trust them with their private information and any leak of it is unacceptable. The launch is good news for the internet community as a whole. Companies can make their websites safer by sharing information about cyber threats and phishing attacks.

In 2012, Facebook had already begun developing a proprietary security system called ThreatData — a framework for importing information about badness on the Internet in arbitrary formats, storing it efficiently, and making it accessible for both real-time defensive systems and long-term analysis, reported Fortune.com on 11th Feb 2015.

Let’s hope ThreatExchange provides some respite to the users from phishing and cyber attacks.

 

References:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/12/facebook-twitter-web-botnets-threatexchange

http://fortune.com/2015/02/11/facebook-security-threatexchange/

Yet another Fare War

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.

Pratiksha Garnaik, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.


Slashing airfares to attract customers is nothing new in the aviation industry. Almost all airlines adopt this strategy at some point of time or the other. But SpiceJet has surpassed every other airline by selling tickets at fares as low as Rs 599, the lowest fare of any other airline by far. According to The Times of India report o 11th Feb, 2015, “Low cost carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday launched all-inclusive fares starting from Rs 599 and Rs 3,499 for domestic and international flights, respectively”. Kaneswaran Avili, chief commercial officer, SpiceJet Ltd. said to The Hindustan Times on 12th Feb,2015 that, “We are thrilled to continue to make air travel more affordable and accessible for more Indians than ever before, with our new unbelievable offer: the ‘Cheaper Than Train Fares’ sale”. The fares indeed are lower than AC train fares for equivalent routes. They are even lower than non-AC train fares for some other routes. Hindustan Times on 12th Feb,2015 reported “At SpiceJet we believe that flying empty seats, which are the ultimate perishable commodity, is a crime, and the best way to fill seats that would otherwise go empty is to sell them well in advance at highly attractive rates, often lower than train fares, to those who are willing to plan and book early in exchange for fantastic deals,” was the reason given by Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer, SpiceJet Ltd. .

As most airlines in the country are incurring heavy losses, it is necessary for them to make their offers more attractive so as to bring back the lost customers and woo new customers as well. SpiceJet is also troubled right now and after its management has changed hands, is giving a shot towards attracting customers using this “lowest airfare strategy”. With jet fuel costs lowered, airlines are expected to make greater margins from their ticket sales. These low cost tickets are expected to compensate only for the marginal costs incurred per passenger and not average costs. SpiceJet needs to get out of the troubles it has been in and all its hopes lie in the new management’s decisions. Only time will tell if the strategy proves to be beneficial for the company or not.

 

AAP at Work!

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

Unnat Bhavsar, MBA 2014-2016, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


On 13th February Times of India published the news that work on providing free WiFi in the national capital of India has begun. Delhi chief secretary, D M Spolia has started the work on fulfilling the promises of AAP even before the party has come into power. Public Works Department has been advised to make a full proof plan to set up free WiFi and build up around 20 new colleges & 2 lacks public toilets across the capital. The plan of action has to be devised in the matter of four to five days before the new party members have sworn into their positions. Such short deadlines are being provided by the officials so that party can start working on the promises as soon as they are designated in the government.

As per my opinion this decision will have a significant impact on the current political situation in Delhi. AAP has certainly influenced the youths positively by making a fast move towards fulfilling their promises. Such major visible changes will definitely help AAP in creating a strong hold over their position in Delhi.

References: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Free-Wi-Fi-in-Delhi-Officials-begin-work/articleshow/46236586.cms

How safe am I ?

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.

Satyajit Kumar, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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So far I had a notion that I lived in a safe country until I found a recent article published in Times of India on 12th of February. It states “Far away from the virtual war zones of Syria and Afghanistan, it’s in India where more bombs are exploding.”

According to the data released by National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) in 2014 India witnessed 190 IED explosions, putting it just behind Pakistan with 313 explosions and Iraq with 246 blasts in the list of countries worst affected by bomb blasts.

Now that’s a shocking figure altogether, boiling down to just below 2 blasts per day on an average.

The bottom-line here is the ease with which the anti-social elements are able to carry out these explosions. Most of the incidents used high explosives and electronic detonators. The sale and stocking of explosives and detonators are not controlled properly. There is not much serious investigation of the purpose before issuing the license with respect to the usage of detonators.

These attacks can be categorized into terrorist activities (external threats) and Maoist activities (internal threats).

India has been ranked among the top 10 countries for terrorist activities since long. Taking account the proneness of attacks there should be proper preparedness to prevent such attacks. The intelligence system should be highly active and be well equipped with most modern technology. Moreover India should not allow foreign influence in Internal discretionary matters.

The problem with respect to Maoist activity seems to be increasing as compared to the terrorist activity. Origin of Maoist activity was aimed at safeguarding the interest of lower suppressed society. But gradually it shifted to some individualistic self interests in most of the areas. They became a problem to their own people. Now it’s

difficult to differentiate Maoism with some societal goals and the one with individual interest. Therefore the course of action to combat Maoist activity is not clear – whether to tackle them harshly or tries to resolve the issues through talks. Therefore a proper understanding of the local problems needs to be developed by the government and appropriately measures should be taken to resolve them.

Lend your hands to build up a safer place to live in.

Pfizer acquires Hospira for a whooping deal of $17 billion

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.

Kumaresan S, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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US pharmaceutical major Pfizer has announced it acquisition of Hospira for $17billion. This deal includes the three manufacturing facilities of Hospira in India and this will help Pfizer to increase its manufacturing capacity in India.
In India, Pfizer majorly depends on the third party manufacturer for its domestic supplies and it has only one manufacturing unit in Goa, Which they secured after acquiring weyth ltd.
This deal with Hospira will fetch Pfizer the following facilities in India. One facility in Chennai which produces generic injectable and the antibiotic anti-lactam. One facility in Aurangabad, Maharastra which produces Pencilin and Penem Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and one facility in vishakaptinam, Andhra Pradesh which is being set up and it will manufacture speciality injectables.
This deal will help Pfizer to increase their market share by extending their product portfolio into generic drug production and injectables business. Apart from instilling Pfizer’s deep root in upcoming injectables industry, deal will entitle Pfizer to be a potential market mover in the domain for immune system for tumour attack, one of the hottest area of the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry. It is also learnt that the acquisition is eyed with future perspective of the company which is transcending towards off patent products which substantially provides a slower but a perpetual revenue thereby enabling a compounded cash flow.
Reference:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-05/pfizer-s-hospira-deal-signals-preparation-for-eventual-split
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102400727

Flash Sale and a “Yureka” for you

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.

Hemant Sharma, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.


Micromax’s sister branch YU has been on a role with the flash sale of its phone “Yureka”. As reported on 12 February 15 by the Financial Express, the latest sale of 25000 units of Yureka smartphones was completed just in the span of 5 seconds. This was the fourth flash sale, with the previous flash sales being held on January 13, 22 and 29 respectively. “Amazon India is the sole seller of Yureka in Indian market, with the flash sales they have been able to create an artificial demand for Yureka”, as reported in Ibitimes on 10 February 15. With the kind of specifications Yureka is offering within the given prize range coupled with flash sale strategy, Yureka is surely making in-roads into the Indian smartphone market. The concept of using flash sale as a marketing strategy is a strategic change although not new in the Indian market context. Smartphone vendors have earlier also tied up e-commerce sellers like the Motorola’s tie-up with  flipkart to sell its Moto range. The mindboggling speed with which the amount of units of Yureka were sold on Amazon shows the power a good marketing strategy can provide to a seller. Making a market a level playing field by reducing the competitive advantages of selling through traditional media channels.

What we are viewing is a technology innovation receiving wide acceptability. With the marketing environment aligned towards medium scale companies that can innovate quickly to suit the needs of the market, I believe more efforts such as this have the potential to drive the growth of Indian economy.

McDonalds India – Healthier fast food options!!!

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.

Aket Lohia, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Looking for healthier fast-food options? Well McDonald’s corp. (India) has one. McDonalds has announced (Reuters, 10th Feb, 2015) to cut the salt and calorie level in burgers and fries. So, next time when you eat at McDonalds you will experience a different taste.  The initiative was taken by McDonalds to strengthen its customer base and also to target health conscious customer segment. The calorie cut will be attained by reduction in quantity of cheese in burgers and salt cut by reduction in sodium level in fries and buns. The salt cut will be around 10% and calorie cut will be around 20%.

As McDonalds may face the risk of customer dissatisfaction by sudden cut in amount of salt and calories in fries and burgers, they are planning to do the changes gradually and subtle enough to keep the customers happy. McDonalds have already started their Run test and all the loyalists claimed that they detected no change in taste. By 2020, McDonalds will have fruits, vegetables and salads included in their menus. Currently, McDonalds is targeting 20 major markets and competing with healthier chains like Subway and Chipotle Mexican grill. So, next time when you are in McDonald’s restaurant eat well leaving aside all concerns about putting on weight.

Reference:
http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/10/mcdonalds-india-idINKBN0LE00S20150210
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/mcdonalds-cut-almost-50-60-calories-from-burgers/articleshow/46181260.cms
http://www.abplive.in/india/2015/02/10/article497763.ece/In-India-McDonald%E2%80%99s-cuts-salt-and-calories-in-fries-and-burgers
http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/mcdonalds-india-cuts-salt-calories-in-burgers-fries/1/215563.html
http://www.indiatvnews.com/business/india/mcdonald-s-india-cuts-salt-calories-in-burgers-fries-17286.html

McDonald’s cuts salt and calories in burgers and fries

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.

Supriya Pandey, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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On the 10th of February, 2015, Economic Times published a report on McDonald’s cutting 50-60 calories from burgers. They are also planning to cut salt quantities as per a report published in Business Standard. According to the report the company has cut sodium in its sauces and buns by 10% and in fries by 20% and calories by 30-40%.

India is one of the emerging markets for McDonald’s. But competitions like Subway, which give healthier food choices to Indian consumers, may give a better choice to health conscious people. In recent CSR report, McDonald’s has promised to offer side salads, fruits or vegetables as substitutes for fries by 2020. This will give a menu option to people who go to McDonald’s just because their friends or family members like junk food. It will certainly add to McDonald’s revenue.

The documentary Super Size Me, released in 2004, caused a catastrophic damage to the image of the food giant. In terms of revenue, it decreased the sales by USD 42 million only in the United States. This led McDonald’s to adopt an imposed strategy. It added low fat and salt content food in its menu and removed the Super Size option from some of its food items. Since then the company has been trying on changes in its menu to rebuild its image by focusing on healthy food menu.

However, it seems very unlikely that McDonald’s, with this approach, would be able to pull health conscious people to start eating at McDonald’s. I think if they are so concerned about their fitness, they would not choose a place which is known for junk food as their food spot. The most McDonald’s would be able to do is to
give a menu choice to every kind of prospective customers.

There is another section of people who don’t mind taking two chicken maharaja mac in their plates but have issues when it comes to having coke. This section of people can be found sitting with burgers, sipping diet coke. If McDonald’s has plans of retaining and attracting more people of this category, the change can prove to produce the desired results.

So, we can just sit back and see how well the change works in favor of McDonald’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit: The need for long term sustainability of E-commerce companies

“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.”

Anup Agrawal,  MBA 2014-16,  Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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On 12th February 2015 Business Standard published the news that “Deep discounts are not long term strategy for e-tailors:PwC” . According to a recent survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers India it has found that most of the ecommerce companies in India are on a growing trajectory in terms of revenue but not in terms of profit. Its also been found that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity lies in this sector in future which is going to be the most lucrative market in the future, and for the companies to sustain they need huge profit in this sector which is not happening currently due to major discounts offered by  these (e-tailors) company to woo customers .  Now if you analyse the current situation the competition is at its peak now with the advent of US major e-tailor company Amazon which is going to take on its rivals in India Flipkart and Snapdeal. With the major global ecommerce companies foray in to India, there is going to be serious tough completion ahead in this particular market without any doubt, so to sustain in these industries the companies have to have a proper strategy for long term sustainability and not just offer discounts on its products.

Now if you look at the current scenario, offering discounts have become a ritual in these market. All the top ecommerce companies are offering huge discounts, for example Flipkart topped the chart in the list of companies offering discounts by launching its Big Billion day scheme, which was no wonder a big fiasco in itself.  So what PwC has found through its research is that offering discounts are not a viable option for long term sustainability and there has to be some other strategies needs to be in place in the long run.

Customer data analytics and customised consumer enhancement tools could work well for the e-tailors company. They must provide customers an experience that will change their lives to sustain in the long run and become a profitable company.

Reference-

1. http://www.investmentguruindia.com/IndustryNews/discounts-may-not-be-viable-for-e-commerce-cos-in-long-runpwc

2. Business Standard 12th February