Telecom Competitiveness, Merger and Acquisitions, the new Idea for Vodafone to help their customers.

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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 Shringi, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The market redesign of telecom market by the launch reliance jio has re-triggered the trend of mergers and acquisitions among tel-cos. The sector of telecommunication has seen several mergers in the past 4 years’ like MTS and Aircel merging in Reliance communications. But this merger talks between is Idea and Vodafone is about the fight to become no. 1 tel-cos in the country. It is about adding new customers and grow revenue market share(RMS), adding value to customer service by the high end experience of Vodafone and Idea’s distinct corporate ecosystem to drive the targeted synergies towards a healthier bottom-line. This merger will result in the country’s largest tel-co replacing Bharti Airtel.

Reliance Jio started its work by officially acquiring 95% of the shares of Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) in 2012. But this plan started much before in 2010 when reliance industries on back hand with help of HFCL took PAN India license for 4G spectrum such that the other companies does not come to know and the spectrum could be purchased at much lower cost in 2010 spectrum auctions by TRAI. This blasting entry by Reliance industries in telecom sector in 2012 via Project Vijay, later changed to Reliance Infotel and then Reliance Jio created a bruising impact on the existing telecom companies in the market like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Docomo, and BSNL. Specially the free voice and data service by Reliance Jio that was to be given till December 2016 and later extended till March 2017 has resulted in worse quarter for telecom companies disturbing their revenue model and decreasing their profits by as much as 60%.

To fight the current scenario Vodafone Group doesn’t have much of the choice but to accelerate its expansion moves in India- likely with the help of Idea Cellular. Although this acquisition will have several road blocks like Indus tower stake holding, regulatory hurdles associated with spectrum caps and significant market power in terms of combined customer base and RMS, but it can be dealt in a year time and by surrendering excess spectrum. Another major problem the existing tel-cos face against Jio is that they own license of only limited states across India like Idea have of only 11 circles, Vodafone in 14 circles, airtel in 16 circles only whereas Reliance Jio owns PAN India license across the country.

In a country like India whose telecommunication network is the second largest in the world by number of telephone users (both fixed and mobile phone) with 1.053 billion subscribers as on 31 August 2016 this process of competitiveness and mergers will not only create a big telecom giant in India but also will increase the competitiveness in the Indian telecom market in terms of providing quality service, technology and providing a competitive pricing to customer base in terms of adding value for them.  And this competition will further facilitate a faster growth of country in a new direction towards the new era of digital transformation. The path on which the journey of success has started and will go beyond the infinity.

Down-round for Snapdeal. What does it mean to other start-ups ?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Bharat Sabnani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Snapdeal has had a poor last year with their losses increasing from Rs 1328 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 3316 crore in 2015-16. This in addition to the speculations from investors has resulted in down-round for Snapdeal. A down-round means a reduced valuation of the start-up compared to that of the previous round. This down-round can affect the investors sentiments and its founders but it can also reduce the short-term pressure that Snapdeal faces. The reduced valuation can actually lead to smart business practices and making the business sustainable.

Other emerging start-ups can also learn from this to focus on effective business models instead of short-run marketing gimmicks like deep discounts. The flow of money and investments are not infinite and the start-ups should keep this in mind. The aggressive funding will eventually come down and this will balance the current start-up ecosystem of India. This is just the start of down-round and all the start-ups should make it a point to make their businesses sustainable, so that they are not affected by the increase or decrease of their valuations.

Digital Villages in India

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Mohit Bhagchandani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


As a part of Digital India initiative, the Indian government announced that it would provide free wifi to 1,050 villages in the next six months. The wifi hotspots will be mounted on towers so that maximum people can utilize this benefit. The Government has allocated Rs 420 crore for Digital Village Initiative and it aims to connect 900 million people in our country.

The aim of the government is to use digital technology to provide basic development services to rural areas, according to Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology official, Aruna Sundararajan as reported by CNN Money. There will be a vast number of service providers who will be providing their service for this initiative. In addition to this, common service centers will also be set up for different digital services like online forms filling, paying digitally and much more.

This initiative will also accelerate India’s transition to a digital economy following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.Currently, Google is providing free wifi at 100 railway stations across the country and over 10 million people are using this service daily. Wifi hotspots may work as an alternative technology for providing the internet to all. If this plan becomes successful, it will be expanded to the rest of the country.

References:

Govt to bring free Wi-Fi in over 1000 villages with new pilot project

 

Canada welcomes refugees

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Anandu S Raj, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Donald Trump has banned immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa. The new US President has imposed a controversial 90-day ban on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. But on the contrary, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is extending a warm welcome, irrespective of cast creed or race.

Justin Trudeau has a message to all refugees and immigrants. “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith”-the Canadian president tweeted.The refugee protection program of Canada is indeed a great example that all countries can follow. It has two main parts: The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people seeking protection from outside Canada and the In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada. Apart from this, the Canadian government also helps in the successful integration of all refugees.
Since 2015, Canadians have welcomed nearly 40000 refugees and they are expecting an increase in the inflow of refugees in 2017.Th is move is not only on humanitarian consideration but also aimed at higher economic growth through the contribution of refugees to the nation’s development. However, without any doubt, we can say that this great gesture by the Canadians towards the refugees is the truest exemplification of the idea, “Atithi Devo Bhava.”

References
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/01/30/pm-trudeau-says-canada-welcomes-refugees-.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-justin-trudeau-canada-immigration-ban-muslim-countries-a7552186.html

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/

Idea-Vodafone Merger

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

  • Srishti Ranjan, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

 

While Reliance Jio’s entry in the Indian telecom sector proved quite a challenge for the big companies in this sector, a possible merger between Vodafone and Idea Cellular may change the telecom scenario altogether. Though the companies did not divulge much details, but both issued statements confirming that their businesses will be merged in a cashless deal. The basic premise of the merger is said to be based on equal rights between Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone in the combined entity.

The merger if materialized will not only knock off Bharti Airtel from its top position in the telecom sector but may also lead to altogether new pricing strategies in the industry. While the merger will mean some relief in financial aspect for Vodafone, Idea will benefit geographically especially in cities where Vodafone already has a good presence. It will enable them to provide a tough competition to Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel. Bharti Airtel currently has 33% market share with around 266 million users, which, if the merger occurs, will be countered by Vodafone-Idea combined user base of 390 million (roughly 43% of the market share). The decision is being taken when already the telecom sector is undergoing a huge price war reinvigorated by the cut throat prices introduced by Reliance Jio. It will be interesting to watch as to how the merger if finalized is practically implemented and what the combined Vodafone-Idea entity is named as.

Reference : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/vodafone-confirms-merger-talks-with-idea-cellular-5-key-takeaways/articleshow/56870115.cms

Volatile Democracy

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Rishita Pramanik, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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I fail to understand the world these days! At least the democracies. Few months back there was a quote “flaring” the online space. It said, “Countries are in a race to prove themselves idiots. Currently Britain has the lead but America has a  Trump card.” And by all means, it seems that people of USA have played this card.

I do not judge anyone, especially if it’s neither in my right, nor my interest to do so. It was in the right and interest of USA citizens and they gave a judgement which I totally respect. However why is it that these same people who gave their chosen one a marginal victory are now upset if he has disbarred certain people to enter USA albeit having valid VISAs. Surprisingly its similar to what the British did after the Brexit vote!

As per a report, poll found that 41% of American voters disagreed with the recent Muslim ban policy while another 10% were in a dilemma. Four US states are planning to sue the POTUS and there are already talks of his impeachment in the media. I do not intend to argue if this decision is for the good of America or otherwise. What I’m trying to say is that Mr. President had made his intentions crystal clear while he was the president elect nominee then why is the country shocked and surprised at what he has done. He has merely taken his first step towards fulfilling the promises which have made him sit where he currently sits.

And if the people really are feeling resent towards him now, then it’s a question mark on the face of democracy as a system. Election is the base on which democracy stands and if the people send their wit away to graze as they cast their vote, then, well…the Muslim ban seems like the least of all worries!

Possible Roadblocks to Vodafone-Idea Merger

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Vinay Agrawal, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Vodafone India, India’s second largest telecom company is in talk with Idea, India’s third largest telecom company for a possible merger. If this merger happens then the combined entity will become the largest telecom company in India leaving behind the number one Bharti Airtel. This move comes due to the entry of Reliance Jio in the market. Jio is offering free voice and data services which are affecting other players. Bharti Airtel reported a 55% fall in its third quarter and Vodafone India is finding it difficult to increase the market share.

This consolidation move by Vodafone India to merge with Idea is a good move. But for the merger to take place, both the companies have to pass various hurdles. Firstly, India M&A (Merger and Acquisition) rules require the merged entity to hold up to 25% of total assigned spectrum and up to 50% in a specific band. This will pose a problem for them as the combined entity will have more than 50% spectrum in five circles namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (West).Secondly, India M&A rules entail a merged entity’s combined customer market share(CMS) and revenue market share(RMS) does not exceed 50%. In this case, also the combined entity is crossing the limit for CMS in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (West) and RMS in – Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (West).Thirdly, Vodafone-Idea merger will lead them to a 53% ownership of Indus towers and Bharti Airtel to 42%.This will raise the issue of control which may compel the merged entity to sell its Indus tower holdings. Lastly, both the company has to be very clear whether they are doing this merger just to counteract Jio or there will be long-term goals and objectives of merged entity. Otherwise, it will be difficult for both of them to continue their operations.

References

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/telecom/features/vodafone-idea-merger-is-full-of-opportunities-and-challenges-1654551

 

To Americans, A return gift by President Trump…

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Debasish Acharya, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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Background

High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 will significantly impact Indian companies such as Infosys, TCS, and Wipro, in addition to US tech giants like Apple, Facebook and Google. Initially, idea behind H1B visa was aimed at supplementing the US workforce with high-skilled workers for doing those jobs for which Americans did not possess required skills. Over time, there have been many quibblings about many companies replacing American workers with foreign counterparts, as the latter can be hired at lower salaries using H1B visas with the same skillsets. Few cases were also evident of Americans being forced to train H1B holders to do their own jobs and gradually they were fired.

The new H1B visa reform bill aims at increasing the minimum salary for visa holders to $130,000, more than double the current minimum. This implies companies would either have to pay a higher costs for employing highly-skilled foreign citizens or hire the Americans. It would also remove the ‘per country’ cap for employment-based immigrant visas. A gap in demand and supply for talent for smaller companies, which cannot afford the highly skilled workforce, may be created by these visa reforms.

Opinion

Seventy years of independence and the state is such changes take place in the US and there is a tremendous impact on us. Do we think more about foreigners while formulating policies for our own. Certainly not, so why are the hues and cry if someone else does that? We call ourselves as a developing nation, but we like to serve it better staying abroad. Ranking fourth globally in brain drain, we have given ourselves a reason to worry. We fail to recognize our potential, numerous justifications will follow but somewhere in the search of an affluent lifestyle, we have lost our own identity. Let us start believing in ourselves, there will be few road-blocks but somewhere down the line we will not be worried in future.

Reference:

http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/11-countries-with-highest-brain-drain-366967/?singlepage=1

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/h-1b-visa-reform-bill-introduced-in-us-house-of-representatives/articleshow/56888616.cms

 

Milky Way being pushed at 20 lakh km/hr by an unknown force

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. 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.

Priyank Begani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


As per the scientists, Milky Way is being pushed through space by cosmic dead zone. It is known that our galaxy is being pulled through space, but cosmologists suspected it was being pushed as well.The constellation is loacated on the farthest side  of Lacerta, the Lizard, the vast patch of nothingness appears to have a striking dearth of galaxies compared to the rest of its cosmic neighbourhood.

The Shapely attracter being the attracting obstacle, pulling the Wilky Way galaxy, but research showed the pushing force by a Dipole repeller. A 3D map of the nesrest galaxies show a steady flow of galaxies towards the Shapley attractor and away from another region of space almost directly behind the Milky Way on the same axis. The movement of Milky Way depend on the gravitational attraction attraction of the galaxies around. With increased distance from Wilky Way, the attracting force diminishes and at regions devoid of galaxies, give rise to repelling force

So from the studies done at Imperial College London even shows that with increased voids in space, lack of galaxies at a particular direction, leads to a pushing force ,with an attracting force from the distant and closely spaced galaxies around Milky Way.