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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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

ISRO tests C25 Cryogenic Engine

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.

Ritvik Singh, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Last week, on India’s Republic Day, Indian space agency ISRO gave the country its best gift by successfully testing its most powerful cryogenic engine, code-named C25. It was tested for a duration of 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri. This is the same technology which was used in Saturn V, which carried man to the moon in 1967. By testing an engine this powerful in the first attempt, ISRO has once again demonstrated its ability to work in new areas.

For those who are unfamiliar with this technology, Cryogenics is the study of substances at a temperature as low as 150 degree Celsius and lower. Since Cryogenic engines use liquid Oxygen and liquid Hydrogen as fuels at this temperature, they can be tricky to operate. Thus far, the US, Japan, China, France and Russia are the only countries to have tested Cryogenic engines.

In my opinion, this is a great news for India. Since Russia denied this technology to India under US pressure, it is a huge accomplishment for them to develop such a complex technology. With a powerful C25 backing the GSLV Mark III rocket, India is looking forward to launching its second moon mission – the Chandrayaan 2.

Impact of Donald Trump’s decision to ban Muslim countries

 

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.

Devan Goyal, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The case of Muslim ban by Donald Trump bars citizens of seven Muslim majority countries for entering the US for the period of 90 days. It also suspends the United States refugee system for a period of 120 days. According to MR Trump his decision will help keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US. The countries which are effected are Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.

I believe that the decision taken by trump will benefit less to US than it will raise harms to the innocent people. There are many people those who will be effected. For ex people who were out of US are not given permission to enter US. Their whole life style stays impacted. Moreover IT industries will also be impacted as employees who are sent for onsite works will have to return back. There is US Syrian refugee program that gave accommodation to 12486 Syrians in 2016. They have reduced the cap on the total number of refugees
from 1, 10,000 to 50,000.

Also it has violated many laws that includes giving preference to Christian refugees over Muslim refugees. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 says there should be ban of discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin. Mr Trump is violating this act also. It also violates the first amendment on freedom of religion.

So at last to pen off, I think the decision taken by Donald Trump seems to have lot of sufferings. The benefit out of it is not visible as of now. It will ultimately disturb the relations of US with the other countries.

 

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!

Why Trump is good

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.

T R Srinath, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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A new bill introduced by Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren proposing changes in the H-1B visa programme seeks to raise the minimum salary under the scheme to $1,30,000 from the current $60,000. The legislation, if passed, could hit Indian and American IT companies which use H-1B visas to hire foreign skilled workers, including Indians.

Even 8th standard social studies textbooks talk about the menace of brain drain. We’ve been taught that brain drain is bad and that the flight of skilled and educated Indians to foreign countries is something that causes harm to the country. Even though they might bring in a little forex, the loss of fine human capital does irreparable harm to the nation’s economy.

That being said, we must welcome this bold move of the Trump government. Nowadays, settling in the US is the only dream of many youngsters. Fantasized by the standard of living in the developed countries, these youngsters dream of settling there. Isn’t that a form of escapism? If your home is dirty, will you abandon it and settle in your neighbour’s house? Or, would you clean it up and live there peacefully? The brave will prefer the latter.

Despite enjoying highly subsidized education at premier institutes like the IITs and IIMs, the talented youth ends up being of little value to the nation’s development. It’s an investment gone waste. If this new policy of Trump can help India retain its skilled workforce in its own land, we can definitely turn India into a place better than the US!

An Ugly Marble Cake…

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.

Adwait Nigade, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


It looked amazing…just as if God had decided to bake a marble cake! And this is my reaction just by seeing the photos available on the internet (one of which you can see below). The sight was of a supreme beauty, one that only nature could create! It definitely looked picturesque…the snow settled on the sand as the largest dry desert of our planet experienced a heavy snowfall. As beautiful as it may look, snow falling on the sand dunes of Sahara is something very rare. It has happened just once before, thirty seven years ago in a much lesser intensity and the underlying reason to it is not so beautiful…rather it’s ugly!

Well, to be scientific, an extremely low pressure area was passing over North Africa which on hitting the landmass caused the air to cool suddenly and condense, thus the snowfall. But going beyond the theoretical explanation, this is a living proof of the damage we’ve done to our planet.

Global Warming, later rechristened as ‘Global Climate Change’ has been nibbling at our healthy existence slowly but steadily and the issue has clearly not been given the attention it deserves. Its only now, when few of the biggest cities in the world have become literally uninhabitable have we “somewhat” realised the gravity of the situation.

Since last few years, many parts of earth are witnessing unusual phenomenon like early melting of glaciers, heat waves in winters, undue monsoons etc. Nature has always given us subtle hints regarding the continuous damage we’ve been inflicting on it and we as the civilization have been vehemently ignoring them. But as of late, the hints have started becoming bolder like the incident stated above.

Nevertheless, it was a treat for the eyes to see white snow mixed with red sand, however we must strengthen our efforts towards green initiatives. The government of Kiribati, a pacific island nation with unparalleled beauty is buying land in Fiji for relocation of its citizens since the sea level has been constantly rising and the coral island nation may cease to exist few years down the line! Are we serious! Has it really come to this? Well, in that case it won’t be far when we would be searching for a new planet to relocate!

At the international level the environment protection must not be limited to signing of treaties somewhere in the Alps, but formulating measures to implement them. At the individual level too, there’s a lot we can and must do. For starters, let’s pay attention if we switch off the A/C next time we leave the room!

Merger talks between Vodafone and Idea.

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.

Avijit Nigam, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Vodafone is facing a stiff competition from Reliance Jio and in order to expand its user base and Revenue Market Share (RMS) it is said to be in consolidation talks with Idea Cellular. If the proposed merger takes place the new entity will be India’s largest telecom by revenue as well as subscribers toppling Bharti Airtel.

Such merger would face various impediments such as regulatory issues linked with spectrum caps, combined customer base and market share. Another issue to look into is that of Indus Towers stake. Currently, Bharti & Vodafone have equal stakes of 42% each while Idea owns 16%.

Entry of Jio has hit hard all the telecom companies after it provided free data and voice services since September last year. Bharti Airtel’s net profit fell to 504 crore which is its worst in four years. On the other hand, Idea is expected to report its first net loss ever since inception. So a merger at this point is well on cards..!!

My opinion: A merger is always a good option in order to overcome stiff competition and increase the market share. Also to deal with issues like Revenue market share and combined customer base both companies have sufficient time of one year. However blending corporate ecosystems of both companies and arriving at a healthy bottom line is yet to be observed.