The rise of App based E-commerce

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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


E-commerce players are plunging into mobile apps aiming towards the new generation of smart phone users. With the increase of internet penetration, evolvement of smartphones there is a huge opportunity for the e-commerce players in terms of reach and the customer base. E-commerce players are making move to get hold of this customer base with initial movers being myntra and flipkart. As reported in the times of India (TOI) on 07th April,” Online fashion retailer Myntra will shut its website from May 1, in what is a definitive step towards becoming only a mobile app-based retailer, sources close to the development told TOI. This will be the first such instance of an e-commerce player transforming into a mobile-only entity as internet usage over smartphones surges in India.Now the important question is why this move? The answer for this question lies in multitude of factors. One, the app platform can provide a very high level of customisation as compared to the online platform. Second, sales statistics of companies is showing a surge in orders from the mobile platform. As reported in TOI,” Here are some numbers that show why these companies are considering becoming app-only: Flipkart generates about 75% of its traffic from the mobile app, while that number is 90% for Myntra”. Third, the cost of maintaining an app platform is much lower as compared to the online platform. Finally, the change in which smartphones are being used; presently there are more number of smartphones than there are desktops or laptops, customers use smartphones to access almost anything.

Although there are factors supporting this move, what remains to be seen is, if the move is made too soon or just in time? I believe some important considerations would be the loyalty of the customers towards the e-commerce players, hardware support of smartphones for installing such vast number of apps, the mobile internet speed as well as consistency of the connection. The move is indeed bold, we will wait to see if it pays off or not.

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“Telematics”: sensing car and driver to keep you safe

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.


Wouldn’t it be great if your vehicle can ask you, “I am not working well, can you please take me to the mechanic?” or “Can you please have a cup of coffee you seem tired of driving me?” This might just be possible with the use of telematics. Vehicle telematics use mobile communication, vehicle sensing technologies. With the growth of the automobile segment , Indian telematics sector is also seeing growth as reported in the financial express on 25th march,” Indian telematics market, which is on a growth path, offers high growth potential for the automobile industry. The integration of machine-to-machine (M2M) telematics applications can convert a normal vehicle into an intelligent version with special features such as an emergency warning, GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, wireless safety communications, automatic driving assistance systems supports, mitigating road accidents, tracking, Remote management, Bluetooth and other related features.” Technology is increasingly being utilized in the automobiles especially in the passenger vehicles to provide the feel as if car is interacting. Another example is Ford tie-up with Microsoft, as reported in http://www.extremetech.com “Ford to add On-Star like telematics in wake Microsoft Azure cloud deal”. Features like sensing driver stress can go a long way I reducing the number of accidents.

Technology is going to play a big role in the future of automobiles. The time is not far when car would be interacting with you like a co-driver or may be just let you relax and assume the driver’s seat.

Healthcare services in India

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

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


The increase in concern about the issues regarding health has been proportionately more than the development in the healthcare segment in India. While being a healthcare services provider to people around the globe, having one of the best facilities and specialist doctors; there is still lack of healthcare service penetration in India. According to the Global Health Observatory (GHO) data of WHO given on http://www.who.int,“US$ 1027per capita was spent for health expenditures in 2012”, whereas in India the same figure was $61 as published in Ibef.org. There have however been new initiatives like ‘ReDx-Redesigning Diagnostics’. As reported in The Financial Express on 11 March,” ReDx is an important initiative of WeSchool, to participate in the larger national agenda, through design of unique innovative healthcare product/ services, supporting their conversion to scalable businesses and also mentoring the entrepreneurial spirit of its young MBA students.” The aim of this initiative is to create new design which are path breaking as well as affordable. As reported by The Business Today on March 11,”Xerox shifts to healthcare, education services for transformation”; India as a medical service provider has huge opportunity to collaborate with such companies to improve the healthcare scenarios.

I believe utilizing the new innovations and the innovative processes such as is the case in “Narayana Health (formerly known as Narayana Hrudayalaya) founded by Dr Devi Shetty” the reach of healthcare services can be increased manifold. With proliferation of applications aiding doctors in providing services, technology might very well become a critical factor.

Cricket World Cup, a “Mauka” for big brands

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.


With the onset of the cricket world cup 2015, there is a flurry of advertisements aimed at the fans of cricket. These advertisements are the link-up of cricketing sentiment with the brand image, which the marketers hope would boost sales. A great example is the “Mauka” commercial created by Star Sports, they are launching a new mauka commercial with each coming fixture of the Indian cricket team. While star players perform on the pitch, companies try to reap the most out of it by featuring them in their advertisements. As reported in cricketcountry.com on 26th February, “West Indies dashing batsman Chris Gayle is the latest cricketer to feature on the Amul’s latest advertisement, after his world record maiden double century against Zimbabwe in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 tournament at Canberra”. Broadcasters cash in on this advertising fiesta by charging premium prices for airing the advertisements. Where television commercials airing prices hit crores radio broadcasters like Prasar Bharati also get high benefits, as reported in The Economic Times, “Prasar Bharati to fetch crores from World Cup 2015 radio broadcast”. As the tournament picks up the heat there would be increasing fight to catch the eye balls of the cricket fans, as said by the Star India spokesperson, “The pricing for the remaining matches is dynamic and depends on the inventory left. Most brands are interested in buying spots for a group of matches, therefore single game spots are sold at a premium.”

Marketers employ different strategies to earn more customers and build on brand image. The world cup I believe is a perfect opportunity to convey a message to a wider base of customers in a very short span of time. However getting airplay time in the matches does require very deep pockets. The companies willing to cash-in on the world cup fiesta would need to dole out huge chunks of money to the broadcasters.

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.

Of Mergers & Acquisitions

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

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


 

“2014 deal value at USD 50 billion has been a fantastic year for deal making with a very strong foreign investor interest in India. I expect 2015 deal-making to even higher levels,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Raja Lahiri. Domestic deals have been a highlight in 2014, with various sectors being a part of it. Major deals that contributed to total M&A are sun pharmaceuticals acquiring Ranbaxy, flipkart acquiring myntra, Kotak merging with Ing Vysya. I think it would be good at this point to explain exactly what a merger or an acquisition is? In M&A both companies come to collaborate and work together but the basic difference is that in an acquisition one firms overpowers other to acquire it completely. A very important aspect into consideration for M&A by the firms is the business environment and the growth in 2014 is proof of the fact that change is possible. As told by Mr Rangar to The Financial Express on 6 February,”Modi and his government have brought in the past six months the belief that change can happen. What investors look for is consistency, predictability and transparency”. M&A story is still continuing in 2015 with FoodPanda acquiring JustEat Indian arm, the company has also acquired food delivery company tastyKhana as reported in The Financial Express on 7 February.

With the changing sentiment about the indian business environment I believe there would be more M&A happening the future, which is good because in mergers Indian firms would be able to gain from the expertise of other international firms.