SMEs in India are Driving Economic Recovery

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


India’s MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector, with 48 million enterprises, contributes 37.5% to gross domestic product, provides employment to 111.4 million persons and accounts for more than 40% of India’s exports. Yet, these small units are considered inefficient compared to their large-scale counterparts. They are shackled by regulations, inadequate availability of funding, orthodox marketing and a lack of access to global markets and skilled workforce.

The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has collected data from the audited annual accounts of these small, unlisted, private companies, espcially MSMEs. The data presents a heartening picture because When it comes to return on equity and efficiency, these companies are ticking all the boxes. These firms seem to be saving their way to growth, with growth rates of gross savings going up from 11.6% to 17.9%. They have been net foreign exchange earners, contributing to the build-up of the country’s precious foreign exchange reserves. Such growth in employee remuneration, interestingly, comprises not just of salaries, wages and bonus, but also contributions to provident fund and employee welfare expenses. As such, these trends cannot be dismissed as reflective merely of an increase in wages at the national level. Besides, core sectors like mining and quarrying, manufacturing of iron and steel, fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and other transport equipment, and construction have also exhibited dramatic increases in growth rates.

The discrepancy between perception and reality of the Indian growth story calls for the use of a larger database to draw conclusions regarding both growth and equity. More importantly, the new data from RBI points to the new engines for the India growth and equity story—the micro and small enterprises. The government and RBI will need to help them find their rightful place in the economy.

In this context, government schemes such Udyog Aadhaar, Start-up India, Make in India and the steps taken to improve the ease of doing business all indicate movement in the right direction. Similarly, RBI’s initiatives, such as increasing the targets for bank lending to micro enterprises and bringing medium enterprises within the ambit of priority sector lending, will help energize this sector. RBI can also ensure that the bane of MSME existence is resolved through improving the transmission mechanism of policy rate changes, as also better credit flow to the MSMEs.

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TATA Motors set to Introduce Driver Assistance Technology

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Tata Motors is closely watching the autonomous-driving technologies being developed globally by big corporations like of Daimler, Google, Tesla, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Following the trend, the homegrown automobile major wants to bring driver assistance functions like collision avoidance and automated parking to its cars in India.

There is a global movement towards greater autonomy and eventually autonomous cars will be the prevalant norm. So, it’s important for us in India to understand the technologies that will come into our market gradually.

Tata Motors, which is seeking technology as a differentiator to regain its lost market share, is shipping its current batch of cars with features such as free in-car navigation. The firm has partnered with MapMyIndia to provide the service and says it’s the first firm not just in India, but world over to do this.

While the technology today is allowing customers to get a better and seamless experience in the car, in the future, it will allow cars to park themselves, improve safety in low-visibility situations and much more. These are the smart features that customers will want and Tata wants a head start in delivering these to its target audience.

Tata has distinct advantages over other Indian car manufacturers when it comes to autonomous cars owing to its subsidiary JLR and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). JLR is developing its own autonomous car technologies, which could be adopted in Tata’s affordable vehicles. JLR has showcased apps that allow users to control their cars from outside, using smartphones. TCS has, over the years, built expertise across several technology verticals, including robotics.

The other direction cars are moving in is being powered by electric drivetrains. Here, Tata has made significant headstart, not just in cars but in commercial vehicles as well. While the company had participated in a UK government-funded project to test electric cars on the roads a few years ago, electric buses are more likely to hit the roads sooner. However, the infrastructure for charging and supporting that in India is not there available. So, in the shorter term hybrid vehicles are anticipated.

When it comes to electric cars, Mahindra & Mahindra has the lead among Indian manufacturers. By buying Bengaluru-based Reva, the company has already put its first electric vehicle, the e2o on roads. Tata, on the other hand, thinks hybrid will win over purely electric in the short term, thanks to the lack of infrastructure and high costs. In the long term, however, stricter emission norms are likely to promote electric vehicles.

Should we reclaim the Koh-i-noor?

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.Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The Indian government has told the Supreme Court that it should not try to reclaim the priceless Koh-i-noor diamond from Britain. The gemstone came into British hands in the mid-19th Century, and forms a part of the Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London. The Ownership of the famous gem is an emotional issue for many Indians, who believe that it was stolen by the British during colonial rule. However, the solicitor-general disagrees and believes that it was neither stolen nor forcibly taken. He said the 105-carat diamond had been ‘gifted’ to the East India company by the former rulers of Punjab in 1849.

The case is being heard by the Supreme Court after an Indian NGO filed a petition asking the court to direct the Indian government to bring back the diamond. The court is still considering the issue, and said it did not want to dismiss the petition as it could stand in the way of future attempts to bring back items that once belonged to India. The Foreign Affairs Ministry will be approched for discussion on the matter.

Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said a few years ago that it should be returned as ‘atonement for the colonial past’. However, successive British prime ministers have refused to do so.

The diamond was last worn by the late Queen and was displayed on her crown when her coffin lay in the state after her death in 2002. The Koh-i-Noor, meaning “Mountain of Light” in Persian, is one of the most precious cowining jewels. It has been the subject of conquest and intrigue for centuries, passing through the hands of Mughal princes, Iranian warriors, Afghan rulers and Punjabi Maharajas. The stone was originally found in India’s Golconda mines and measured 186 carats when it was eventually handed to the British in 1849 under a treaty that was signed after the Anglo-Sikh war.However, the diamond’s traditional rose cut could not awe visitors of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and so it was re-cast as an oval, gaining sparkle but losing a lot of weight in the process.

It is said to be unlucky for men to wear the Koh-i-Noor diamond owing to its long and bloody history. Some Indian and Pakistani visitors to the Tower of London hiss as they pass it – they want it returned to the Indian subcontinent, though to which country remains unclear.

Facebook all set to revamp its news feed

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The social media giant is testing a revamped version of its News Feed where news based on topics like Sports, US and World, etc gets reflected. Currently, if one reads an article via Facebook, one will also see a bunch of suggestions or similar links on that topic appear on the News Feed. Now what Facebook is testing is the new ‘News Section,’  which is planned to appear at the bottom of the user’s screen. One can access links and topics by swiping left or right.

That Facebook might add a news hub is not really surprising, given how the social media site has evolved over the years. Initially,Facebook, for a lot of people, was just about creating a certain image of themselves on social media. The party animal, the intellectual, the angry person, the humrous joker. But over the years that idea has drastically evolved.

Today it is the biggest social network on earth and it its supremacy seems invincible (for at least sometime). With its Messenger and WhatsApp apps it has a reach of about a billion users, offering a different kind of networking, one where we chat with our friends, trade pictures and plan parties in private. But there has been a decline in personal sharing while a subsequent boom in publically sharing links and news articles.Undoubtedly, today Facebook is the most accessible way to consume news as well, which explains the reason behind testing a dedicated section. Facebook’s Trending section is already divided into different categories such as Politics, Science and Technology, Sports and Entertainment. A design change will make these more prominent in appearance. Facebook’s Trending section is already divided into different like as politics, science and technology, sports, and entertainment. A design change will attempt to make these more prominent in appearance. Facebook’s Trending section is already divided into different like as politics, science and technology, sports, and entertainment. A design change will attempt to make these more prominent in appearance.

Of late, Facebook has been pushing meaningful content aggressively. It’s Instant Articles feature has seen it tie-up with publishers to ensure that these links open easily for readers, and that the content is more engaging and vibrant. Even publishers have started seeing the platform as a source of revenue and traffic. Also for news websites this is a new way of reaching out and engaging with their audience, espcially the young adults, who spend a lot of time on the platform. All publishers know that a story that goes viral via Facebook needs to make an appearance on their platform again, to be shared later on the social media site for more traffic gains. The comments wars are still happening on Facebook, but news is mushrooming on the site, in a huge way. The question is by when will Facebook roll out this dedicated space for news on their site.

Water Ration in Myusur, a far fetched dream

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The water levels in Mysuru have been at a significantly low level over a considerable period of time. The administration has the option to subsidize water and provide it as ration in view of the depleting water resources. However, the administration doesn’t plan on doing so.

The administartion was of the view that the much-talked-about scarcity and depletion were just superficial claims. After properly analysing the major reservoirs – Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini reservoir, suffcient amount of water was available to satisfy the population’s needs. The available water could meet the demand for potable water. However, the supply for irrigation canals was suspended. The decision to stop water supply for irrigation was taken after a team comprising of the Regional commisioner and Deputy commissioner of Mysuru and Mandya had properly accessed the water availability there.

Officials from the Irrigation Deptartment pointed out that there won’t be any threat to drinking water availability as there was ample water available in the dam to take care of the potable water needs till June-July. However, the need of the hour is to use water judiciously and sparingly and prevent any execessive wastage.

Mysuru’s major drinking water supply comes from the Cauvery via KRS. The river is still the primary source of water for nearly 50 per cent of the city, but a couple of years ago, parts of the city started receiving water from the Kabini dam. Mysuru had faced a severe water crisis in the summer of 2013, as the KRS water level dropped to almost nill. Even places such as Bengaluru, Mandya and Ramanagaram faced a water crisis. When the water level dropped to such a huge extent, water was pumped from the riverbed using four heavy-duty emergency pumps to ensure supply.

The problem of water availability is not limited to Mysuru. Karnataka, Mumbai, Delhi and other highly populated states of India have begun to face similar problems. Water is a scarce resource and it should be carefully utilized. Due to dense habitation of these states, the scarcity has amplified. The sources of water and the availability of usable water cannot exceed a certain level. The authorities need to be proactive in spreading awareness and ensuring proper usage of the resource. This is just the beginning of a catastrophe that can occour if things are not taken under control soon enough.

An Ocean full of Opportunities

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


“The maritime agenda will complement the ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on in parallel”, said the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi at the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai on 14th April 2016.

India has always been slow and ad hoc in developing infrastructure for the various seaboards it naturally has and thereby losing out on related economic opportunity they provide. Having been Chief Minister of Gujarat – a State that stands out in port development, Mr. Modi has an unmatched sense of this untapped potential. He pointed out that India’s maritime potential lies in its strategic location as it is a part of all major shipping highways.

The emphasis on maritime infrastructure has increased in the recent years and the Modi government has provided impetus to it. The ambitious Sagarmala programme intends to promote port development, improve coastal economy, modernize the ports, integrate ports with existing SEZs, and create port-based smart cities, industrial parks, and transport corridors. India has also started to collaborate with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar in establishing waterways and port infrastructure. This is inevitable as infrastructure provides the necessary push to take forward strategic ventures.

India should strengthen its maritime and costal strategy. At the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam in February, Mr. Modi had observed that the ability to reap economic benefits from the water bodies and the country’s capacity to respond to the opportnities and challenges in the maritime sector. The Indian Navy plays a pivotal role in containing piracy on the seas and is positioning itself as the security provider in the broader context of economic exchanges. The emphasis on oceanic trade is two-sided — first, securing energy and trade routes to sustain economic growth, and second, keeping a check on increasing foray by other countries into Indian waters. Indian strategic interests in the larger Indian Ocean are converging with the U.S. India, who has traditionally been defensive, is also indicative of a change in its posturing.

All in all, the future of maritime domain is infused with endless possibilities whose benefits can be repaed if expolited properly.

Patanjali – Taking the Market by storm

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Rarely do business analysts look beyond companies listed on the stock exchange like TATA, HUL, ITC, etc. Home grown companies like flipkart and snapdeal have also caught the attention of business experts.

But there is one unlisted company, which is now on the radar of almost all analysts and experts. It is not spending too much on promotions but still boasts of a loyal following. The company is Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd (PAL).

PAL is targeting the FMCG industry giants like Colgate , Nestle, Dabur, and others of the same league. PAL has launched products in varied product lines like cornflakes, honey, toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, medicine, etc. and is competing directly with the big fish. Not only nationally but PAL is also exporting to USA, Canada, UK, and Mauritius among other countries.

Acharaya Bakrishnan, as many might be unaware, owns PAL. He owns a whooping 93% share in the company while the remaining stake is owned by an NRI couple. The ‘yoga’ guru and television personality, Baba Ramdev doesn’t wn any part of the company. However, he has undoubtedly played a huge part in the marketing and promotion of the brand.

In a short span of less than a decade, PAL has achieved a turnover, which other companies manage to achieve over several decades. PAL is proving to be a disruptive force in the market and a threat for the incumbents. PAL derives its uniqueness from its ‘natural’ and ‘Ayurveda’ appeal. Pricing its products at a lower slab as compared to its competitors gives it an edge in the competitive environment. Other factors like the ability of the consumer to express ‘Indian-ness’ and nostalgic appeal are helping PAL win a greater market share.

With such strong appeal and affinity, PAL is posing a threat to major market players. Colgate and Dabur have felt the most impact. Due to the traction created by Patanjali in Dental care segment, Colgate’s sales have dropped by 4-5%.

A team of analysts from Edelweiss, who went to Patanjali’s Food and Herbal Park at Haridwar said that the management is confident of achieving a revenue target of around Rs.5,000-6,000 crore by FY16.

PAL is working on filling the gaps in its supply chain and distribution network. They are planning to implement ERP for better inventory management and to consolidate its online presence. Strong innovation and new products in the pipeline pipeline, pricing discounts to the peers, ayurvedic and natural propositions with low advertising spends (leveraging Baba Ramdev’s brand pull) lend Patanjali’s products a higher hand in the market.

With the demand for PAL’s products mushrooming, the company is moving twords expansion. Patanjali’s web site reflects that expansion. The site has application forms for people interested in opening a Patanjali Mega Store or Patanjali Chikitsalya or Arogya Kendra. It seems Patanjali is not far from being a common household brand serving all needs of the customers in the coming time.

JNU Crackdown – A nationalist project

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


What happened?

Earlier this month, some students of Jawaharlal University (JNU) in Delhi met to discuss instances of capital punishment and the hanging of Afzal Guru. The meeting turned into a stand off wherein the police arrested the President of the Student’s Union, Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of sedition. This action represents a new escalation of government meddling that has undermined the authority of institutions of higher education.

What is the real issue here?

This attack on JNU seems to be a part of a bigger right-winged design to impose a single political discourse in higher education institutions. The main issue is the use of state power to silence the dispute. The police had arrested Kumar due to alleged shouting of anti-India slogans but JNUSU (JNU Student’s Union) denied any involvement. It is unclear who shouted the slogans and without ascertaining the facts a political decision was taken based on a television clip, which was later found to be doctored. JNU is famous for its culture of radical disagreement and it seems like this is the reason why the institution was contained to send across the message that any kind of dissent with this government is unwelcome.

What is the bigger picture?

The JNU crackdown is in lines with the hyper-nationalism promoted by the right wing. At a time, when the BJP regime is unable to deliver on the economic front, they are finding ways to create polarization. Anybody and everybody who disagrees with the Modi government is branded ‘anti-national’.

Following the arrest of Kumar, the Modi government is facing huge protests from the left-wing and progressive public opinion by and large throughout the world. It is drawing criticisms from worldwide universities and academicians. This incident intimidates the intellectual, rational and freethinking individual. This incident has set off one the largest nationwide protest by students in the last decade and has received and equally unrelenting response from proponents of the government.

The face-off between the suppression and intellectual freedom will mark the beginning of an important historical change for the country and this government alike.

“Wow” Facebook Reacts

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.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Who doesn’t use Facebook these days? Facebook is a vital application for people who want to stay up to date and connect instantly with anybody at anytime anywhere around the globe. We love Facebook the way it is but we don’t mind improvements. Facebook released “Reactions” today. This feature is not something totally new but an extension of the existing “like” button.

There are numerous reasons we like some post of facebook – intellectual appeal, awe, beauty, sarcasm, sympathy, humor, so on and so forth. Sometimes we feel anger or sadness over something. There are a lot of emotions we feel when we see posts from friends. It is difficult to sum up these posts in a single like or a comment. Facebook understands this and has added six new animated emoticons for expressing different feelings. These emoticons are “Like”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad”, “love” and “angry”.

The mission to build Reactions began around a year ago. Mark Zuckerberg had conceded that the platform needed a more expressive way for users to interact with posts because not every post is likable. Emojis are more than just a playful shorthand for the written word. Nearly 70 percent of meaning derived from spoken language comes from nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions and emojis fulfill this function of non verbal cues. Humans have numerous emotions and it was a daunting task to choose just a handful of them.Facebook decided to focus on the sentiments its users expressed most often.

They analyzed how a subset of Facebook users from around the world used the platform. They looked at the most frequently used stickers, emoji, and one-word comments and found a few common emotional threads from an ocean of diverse sentiments. Most users posted the hearts-in-the-eyes emoji for almost anything they liked. They expressed humor, sadness, and shock through visual means. The team at Facebok took a subset of reactions that cut across the emotional dimensions, removed redundancies like sympathy and sadness, and joy and love and finally created prototype emojis for testing with users.

The Reactions needed to fulfill two main criteria: universality and expressiveness. Because emojis are non verbals there is a high chance of cultual ambiguity. Facebook’s Reactions closely resemble established Unicode characters, with a few minor adjustments here and there. Facebook’s design attempted to exploit the subtle visual cues to diferentiate the emoticons.

Facebook has never been afraid to alter its design even if the results were not well received by the audience. The attempt at Reactions seems to be a successful endeavour. Maybe we will see vocals coming in very soon!