India Rescues the World from Yemen

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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 8th of April 2015, Firstpost.com published an article titled “India stuns the world with brave Yemen rescue mission, US, France, Germany seek help”.

The Time of India mentioned in one of its articles :”An estimated 4,000 Indians were stranded in Yemen when India began its Operation Rahat. Over 3,000 of them have already been rescued by three Indian naval ships Mumbai, Sumitra and Tarkash, operating in tandem with the Air Force, two passenger ships and Air India in a rescue mission that has earned plaudits from around the world. That 26 other countries — including the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Egypt — have requested India for help in evacuation is testament to the professionalism of the rescuers, overseen by former army chief General V K Singh.”

This shows India’s power in the armed forces to the world and according to history, military is definitely a powerful tool for foreign policy. the same article by the TOI also mentioned :”Despite India’s distinguished record in overseas military operations, New Delhi has historically been shy of actively aligning its military and diplomatic clout as part of a strategic doctrine. But now it’s time to be ambitious and shed the shibboleths of the past.”

The Business Standard aptly summarizes the rescue mission in one of its articles as follows :”The biggest takeaway from the rescue operation in Yemen, dubbed Operation Rahat, which is in its last stages, goes beyond the numbers. It goes beyond the more than 4,000 Indians rescued. It goes beyond the 23 nations – including the United States, which is currently the only nation with a global military reach – asking for India’s help. It definitely goes beyond the chest-thumping and vitriol on social media. The biggest takeaway is that India’s military and civilian apparatus, including disaster relief forces and other government bodies, are exceptionally good in rescue and relief operations.”

The same article also wrote: “At a time when we are seeking to counter China’s growing dominance, and position ourselves as a regional giant with legitimate claims to a permanent membership of the UN Security Council, helping out other nations in times of need will gain us immense goodwill. It is certainly cheaper and better to provide relief to nations than to invade them!”

Certainly #AchheDin are here!!!

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Net neutrality, Airtel zero and some myths

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.

Ravi Padmaraj, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.


On 14th april 2015, business standard reported that Flikpart has pulled out of Airtel zero initiative. The past few days have seen an extreme uproar over Airtel violating the net neutrality principles and there have been a lot of instances of people urging their friends to boycott Airtel services. One fact worth mentioning at this juncture is that, Airtel zero is an entirely different initiative from charging more for free messaging services like Whatsapp. From a consumer’s perspective, Airtel Zero does not take away any of the benefits enjoyed by the customers,in fact it adds extra benefits in the form of free services. But the so called net neutrality activists with their social media campaign have created a shadow of doubt over the future of India’s largest telecom provider: A perfect example of the devastating potential of social media and how easy it is to manipulate mob psychology through social media.

Even though Airtel zero doesn’t violate net neutrality principles, it has a serious flaw. Airtel zero does not discriminate companies or apps. Nor does it provide better speeds for some apps. It just allows you to access some websites free. Just like the way, some companies allow you toll free numbers for information regarding their products. The only flaw in this initiative is not related to customers but related to companies. It does hinder fair competition. It eliminates the level playing ground that the internet startups have enjoyed till now. But then so does the toll free numbers, and why this uproar now. Because unfortunately just two months before Airtel made another controversial decision to charge more for internet based messaging services and duly backed out from it after the protests. That incident had created a perception in people’s mind that Airtel is against net neutrality. And now every decision taken by Airtel is viewed through that lens. A perfect example of how perception of people can plan havoc in your fortunes: Time for Airtel Public Relation department to get into action and do some damage control.

Reference

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-pulls-out-of-airtel-zero-115041400275_1.html

Saina Nehwal official No 1 ranking confirmed

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.
Puneet Verma
MBA 2014-16,
Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

With the release of latest ranking, Indian ace Saina Nehwal got the the top position in women’s single badminton ranking. It is for the first time in the history that India ace has achieved the top ranking. Prakash Padukone is the only other India player who had the distinction of being the No. 1 men’s badminton player. Also since 2010, top position in women badminton has been held by Chinese players only.

 

“I want to perform well and beat the players against whom I was losing. I don’t want to lose the way I was losing in the last three years. I want to be more consistent. When you are playing well, other things fall in place”, she said.

 

China’s Li Xuerui, who was earlier No.1 player skipped to third spot after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin. PV Sindhu held her ninth position in recent ranking.

 

Deccan Chronicles mentioned “Saina, who had clinched the India Open Super Series title on March 29, was already assured of the top spot after Xuerui lost in the league stage of Delhi event and the 25-year-old Hyderabadi’s closest challenger for the position, Carolina, also lost her semifinal match”.

 

Saina recently defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand by 21-16, 21-14 at Siri Fort Sports Comples, Delhi had said” I think the consistency with which I am playing is great. I reached three finals in last two months and it is not easy.”

 

Saina in her career has won 14 international titles and recently become first Indian player to play finals of All England Championship in Manchester.

 

In her interview, she said “Titles makes me hungry. Next I hope to win more and more titles, I hope to be fit and injury free. This result will motivate me to win more titles.”

 

References

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/badminton/Its-official-Saina-Nehwal-is-World-No-1-badminton-player/articleshow/46782867.cms

 

http://sports.ndtv.com/badminton/news/240099-saina-nehwal-must-win-all-england-world-championship-says-coach-vimal-kumar

 

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/saina-nehwal-becomes-first-indian-woman-to-attain–world-no1-ranking/536718-5-135.html

Flipkart’s See-Saw Move

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.

Hardik Kharbanda, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Flipkart announced its withdrawal from the deal with Airtel to join the Airtel Zero Platform to show its support for Net Neutrality as per Indian Express article dated 15 April 2015. It comes 10 days after it was reported that Flipkart is in talks with Airtel to join Airtel Zero. It is a damage control action taken by them as a result of massive protests by users which included deletion of Flipkart Apps, downgrading of app ratings and poor rating of products on Flipkart store.

It is surprising to see that it went into such a deal in the first place. The consequences of Telecom companies’ request for differential pricing of data are gruesome for all start-ups and not for the users alone. Implementation of such pricing would mean that cash rich companies will be able to provide better connectivity to users to sell their products thereby quashing the cash crunched companies, especially new start-ups. It also means that the rich will become richer and poor poorer. As per the article, TRAI has received over three lakh e-mails from internet users to express their concerns over net neutrality.

Flipkart started as small web store that sold books and grew to be an online megastore in just 8 years. However, they should have realised that would never have been able to achieve this had such a situation existed then. Incidentally they are drawing flak from social media activists even now stating that the withdrawal is just a marketing gimmick and being compared to the big billion sale failure.

Uranium deal: Fueling relationship between India and Canada

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.

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


On 15th april 2015, business standard published the uranium deal between the India and canada. According to this deal Cameco Corporation would be supplying uranium to India for the next five years.

“The agreement on procurement of uranium from Canada for our civilian nuclear power plants launches new era of bilateral cooperation. Uranium should not be looked at on the basis of give and take. This is a matter of trust. The whole world is affected and worried about the issue of global warming and climate change,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We want to give something to the world which we can give by focusing on clean energy. It is expensive but to we have taken this step for the betterment of the human race. For me uranium is about trust and a step towards saving the world from global warming,” he added.

The deal indicates the strong friendship between Canada and India.A growing relationship which has enormous Trade potential between our countries.

I believe this is the next big step of India during Make in India campaign. Uranium is costly but an eco-friendly too its time we should also contribute towards the betterment of the human race and it will also groom the cordial relation between two countries.

#uraniumdeal #ravikumar

Panel to back net neutrality

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


After a massive turmoil for last one week, finally government of India has planned to back net neutrality as unfettered net access is crucial for spreading digital literacy and providing a flip to the newer generations. The move was taken to make internet data accessible by ordinary data consumers on a non-discriminatory basis. The announcement came in contrary to the earlier statement of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which said that mobile applications providing free internet-based calls and messaging services can be a threat to individual and national security.

Net neutrality with principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all available data on internet equal irrespective of the user, content, site, platform etc. The idea of net neutrality is based on providing full resources on internet to all individuals and organizations. It includes open standards, transparency, lack of internet censorship and low barriers to new entrants.

Millions of hearts are pounding and waiting to hear the final decision of panel formed by government of India to support net neutrality.

Reference:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Cleartrip-backs-net-neutrality-exits-Facebooks-Internet-org/articleshow/46933773.cms

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/04/att-but-not-verizon-and-comcast-sue-fcc-over-net-neutrality/

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/net-neutrality-trai-paper-says-mobile-apps-can-impact-national-security/articleshow/46923515.cms

http://www.thehindu.com/specials/in-depth/net-neutrality-what-you-need-to-know/article7105310.ece

Expansion of Grocery delivery to 10 cities by an app PepperTap

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.
Karishma Chandrapal, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On 15th april,2015, Business Standard published an article about the expansion of grocery delivery by an app PepperTap to 10 more cities.

It published:

PepperTap, a hyperlocal grocery delivery services has received Series-A funding of $10 million from SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital. The funding will be used for building a team and for expanding the reach of PepperTap to 10 more cities in the country by the end of the year.

Launched in November 2014, PepperTap offers a wide-range of groceries and daily-need products. Currently PepperTap offers more than 15,000 SKUs across staples, food & dairy products, household items, fruits & vegetables. Consumers can place their orders through a mobile app and deliveries are made in a span of two hours.

Navneet Singh, Co-founder, PepperTap commented, “Our sole focus is to build the best grocery and fresh product-buying experience for our customers. Through our unique business model, we are able to provide delight for our customers, increase sales for our partner stores; and create a concrete and sustainable business for our shareholders.”

‘‘Participation by quality funds like SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital in our Series A funding establishes the fact that we are endeavoring to create a niche place for ourselves in the market. This investment will help us iron out any chinks in our armor, and build on our strengths to take our business from a single-city operation to a pan-India scale,” Singh said.
Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors said, “We agreed to invest in Peppertap even before the name was finalized, and before the first engineer was hired. We liked Navneet so much and had such great chemistry that we felt we could partner with him to solve a very tough problem in a very large market. So we agreed to launch a grocery delivery business with him. A few months later, Navneet and team have far surpassed our expectations. We are delighted to co-lead the Series A with SAIF Partners and work with them to help make PepperTap a leading mobile commerce company in India.”
Ravi Adusumalli, Managing Director, SAIF Partners said “Grocery in India is a huge market and grocery shopping on mobile is already seeing strong adoption. We believe that PepperTap’s hyperlocal marketplace approach is the most efficient way to cater to this market, and can scale very rapidly. We are very excited to partner with Navneet in making PepperTap a big success.”
Prior to this round of funding, PepperTap also secured an undisclosed seed funding from Sequoia Capital recently. This capital infusion enabled the company to establish its operations, invest in strategic hiring and product development. It also gave it the much-needed support in enhancing its brand visibility and creating greater customer engagement.

So in my opinion, this app is the most required innovation in today’s fast moving world. People prefer to save time and put less effort in everything they do. E-commerce websites have brought a major change in their lives. People prefer to shop from home and deliver it at home rather going to shops and malls and investing their time on selecting and shopping.  PepperTap now enables people to buy grocery and get it delivered at home within two hours saving their effort to visit grocery shops.

Happy Birthday Levi’s

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

Sagar Gautam, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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In our consumer culture of shiny-new-object syndrome, it is increasingly unlikely that a brand will survive—much less thrive—for more than a few seasons. But for 162 years, Levi Strauss & Co. has done just that. The staying power of the Levi’s brand stands out boldly in this era of pop-up stores.

When Levi Strauss emigrated in 1853 from Buttenheim, Bavaria, to the U.S. and founded his company, there were only 31 American states. Another 32 years would pass before the automobile was developed. Among iconic U.S. brands, only Anheuser-Busch (founded in 1852) has been around longer than Levi’s. (Coca-Cola came about in 1892; Ford in 1903.)

And yet Levi’s remains a formidable brand today. Fiscal 2014 revenue increased 2 per cent over the previous year to $4.68 billion, and the company commands the highest share of the global jeans market. Retailers credit Levi’s for having unique brand assets they can’t get from other lines. As Gary Oneil, former creative director for J.C. Penney said in The Indian Express on 10th April 2015, “Levi’s has become a brand titan that scales across lifestyle, gender … this allows retailers to cast a broad net that captures a diverse customer base.”

The secret to the longevity of Levi’s actually isn’t a secret at all. The company uses classic brand-building principles to maintain and grow its brand equity. These are fundamental ideals that remain the keys to building a brand with staying power.

Levi’s recognizes that trend-following may be the simplest way to attract attention and raise short-term revenue, but following someone else’s lead usually causes a company to stray from its own brand identity

A look at Levi’s offers insight into the commitment, courage and consistency that goes into making a great brand. One of the nation’s longest-standing companies, it thrives on its identity as an original American brand in an increasingly global marketplace. It represents individuality and rebelliousness while appealing broadly, and it offers accessibility in an industry that thrives on exclusivity.

The culture of Levi’s has withstood the ups and downs of the economy, fashion trends and the business itself. Even more than its products, the Levi’s brand was built to last.

 

RBI to let go of the powers overs Govt bonds

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.

Ambikesh Mishra, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The relationship between North block & mint street has been a sophisticated but manageable mistrust for years. The RBI governors have used diplomacy, humour, media support and the reputation of RBI as an honest institution to manage the relationship with government of India. Add to this the power brought in by chief economic adviser, C Rangarajan, a former RBI governor himself and Manmohan Singh, another former RBI governor, the central bank had enjoyed a lot of autonomy and staved off the finance ministry.

But times have changed and today we have a strong centre, a strong PM and a strong vocal organisation in RSS. The magnitude of expectations people have by strong government is not going to make the job of Governor Raghuram Rajan any easy. Rajan has convinced New Delhi that RBI, like many central banks, should pursue ‘inflation targeting’; it means, RBI’s primary and possibly only job is to tame inflation — pull it up if it fails, but don’t blame it for anything else. The finance ministry readily agreed but threw in a condition that RBI will have nothing to do with the debt market. This condition has become the bone of contention between the two.

RBI has always acted as the i-banker of the government. Govt has decided how much to borrow and RBI has decided when and at what price to borrow. This practice has been in contrast to the RBI’s role as central bank in curbing the inflation. As investment banker RBI would help Govt raising money with lower yields whereas as central banker RBI would someday want yields to be higher to control inflation.

If it parts with the power over govt bonds, RBI will loose an important tool which it can use to control the liquidity in the market. Currently, the central bank restricts direct access to the debt market. Large retirement funds, banks, mutual funds, primary dealers, large finance companies and very few debt brokers are the only ones to directly trade on the faceless, order-matching platform over which Sebi has no jurisdiction.

Now, if government bonds trade like shares then brokers will freely procure govt security trading terminal & traders, corporates and speculators will start punting. It will not just reduce RBI’s role as super regulator & increase SEBI’s power, but also would make RBI’s job much more difficult. There may be times when market will test RBI, as more influential central banks have discovered when traders with deep pockets tried to test them like the black Wednesday created by George Soros. Well, we guess that’s just the price for opening up the market.

Save The Internet: Campaign in support of Net Neutrality

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.

-Kanika Agarwal, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

Save the internet is a campaign which is running in India against private telecom companies and in support of net neutrality. In an article on 13th of April, 2015 , Zee news quoted major aspects of Net Neutrality. It said “Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and also all websites can co-exist without hampering others and all websites are accessible at the same speed and no particular website of application is favored.”

But apparently , these aspects of net neutrality is not being followed by the private companies like Airtel , Flipkart , Whatsapp etc. In an article on 14th of April,2015 The Hindu quoted that “Flipkart was one of the partners in the Airtel Zero platform which allowed Airtel’s subscribers to access select websites and services for “zero data charges”, as long as owners of these websites/services paid Airtel.”

Now,  this created a huge controversy which caused Flipkart to revoke this deal. Flipkart now claims that they are in total support of net neutrality. In an article on 14th of April, 2015, The Hindu quoted a statement of Flipkart , “We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been a great amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications”

TRAI has issued a consultation paper on net neutrality and has urged public to share their opinion on that by 24th of April, 2015. This definitely shows a responsible side of the government but at the same time their way of communicating the idea to the public is being criticized. They have put up the link of consultation paper on their website in a very small font. Now it’s being marketed by AIB and reaching to the youth in an effective manner. More than 2 Lakh mails have been received by the TRAI as of now.

It’s appreciable that Indian youth is raising voice against monopoly of Telecom companies because they realize that internet is not luxury but utility. However, private companies are playing monopoly in basic utilities as well like power sector. It would have been really beneficial for whole country if youth would have started their campaign from monopoly in actual utilities.