Some Thoughts as we enter in to the New Financial Year

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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Author: R.Venkatakrishnan, Director – Value Added Corporate Services P Ltd

As we draw closure of yet another financial year, for most Indian businesses, it time to quickly take stock of the year that has just gone by.  The year has been quite torrid for torrid for most part and many would like to quickly put bitter memories behind.  Irrespective of what happened, it would be a good idea of putting some thoughts in place to ensure that we have some game plan for the ensuing year.  It may also be something like the proverbial New Year resolutions that we pass, except that in the case of business the results end up staring at our face!  I have a couple of thoughts on the same.

To begin with I personally feel that the worst is behind us.  Like all hard core accountants, that comes with a couple of caveats! To start with I would imagine that the Indian recovery would to a large extent be a function of a decisive mandate in the ensuing polls!  While economic decisions in the recent past have been positive, albeit a little too late, a fractured verdict could bring back problems of lack of decisive policy making and accountability.

Interest rates that have remained unreasonably high over the last couple of years could potentially show signs of easing in the next couple of quarters, at least based on present trends on inflation.  However, a bad monsoon could be game spoiler.  The quantitative easing in US may not be make a very big impact considering that the some deft handling by RBI has ensured that the foreign exchange reserves have gone back to the USD 300 billion mark.  The other positive being that the short term external borrowing, that is debts due during 2014, has come down to 21% of the total debt – Down from 23%.

Those are couple of other issues on the economic front!  On the regulatory side, the New Companies Act 2013 has become fully operational with the Government notifying many more sections.  The new act brings about a lot more changes to the corporate regulatory framework.  Some of the changes are stringent and would warrant close monitoring to ensure compliance.  The implementation of GST may not happen in a tearing hurry and would take some more time, which would be unfortunate but businesses have to accept ground reality.

On the business front the period of slowdown or recession, whichever way you would want to look at it, has created some new perspectives to the way people have looked at business.   One thing that has become certain is uncertainty/volatility in the business environment.  The changes have been driven by regulatory requirements / customer changes / competitor activity /technology or a combination of many or all of these. Speed has also become a new normal as customers have realized that it would be possible to demand at shorter delivery cycles. In normal circumstances it may not have been possible but business houses were operating under sub-optimal conditions even irrational delivery demands have been accepted.  The need to collaborate or network with every stakeholder has become the order of the day.  If need be organizations have not shied away from even collaborating with competition!

On investment strategy for the New Year – it would all depend on the risk appetite!  Even from a debt perspective I would look at a combination of Fixed Maturity Plans and good dose of gilt securities.  When interest rates come down gilt securities are bound to go up and will return good returns.  With the economy probably bottoming out, taking contrarian view and investing with a long term view will deliver good returns.  For a short term punter a straddle, i.e., buying both put and call options, may be good insurance.  One of them is bound to be a very strong winner!

Would be happy to hear views and see how some of these thoughts perform in the year to come.

BIS tag: Electronic goods importers seek further extension of deadline

January 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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This article was originally posted here by RAHUL WADKE & RAJESH KURUP

Importers of electronic products have sought an extension of the January 3 deadline to comply with the Government’s safety certification norms.

Extended twice earlier, the industry is sceptical of getting another reprieve, a move that could halt the imports of these products. Read more

The great Indian sanitation crisis

January 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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This article was originally posted here

New data released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) have once again underlined the abysmal state of sanitation in the country, particularly in rural India where two-thirds of the country lives.

Only 32% of rural households have their own toilets, according to the recently released results of a large-scale survey conducted by NSSO in 2012. An additional 9% have access to toilets although the access figure could be an overestimate. The results of the last census had also highlighted India’s gaping sanitation deficit. Census results showed that less than half of Indian households had a toilet at home; there were more households with a mobile phone than with a toilet. Read more

Obama to nominate Indian-origin doctor as Surgeon General

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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This article was originally posted by PTI here

A prominent Indian-origin doctor who heads a group that promotes Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law could become the next US Surgeon General with the President planning to nominate him to the top medical post.

Read more

Rising Above the Competition by Reengineering the Patient Experience

July 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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The continuing influence of consumerism in healthcare coupled with the escalating focus on outcomes has produced at least one constant in the ever-evolving healthcare market: increased competition. In fact, in just about any community served by more than one healthcare provider, competition for patients is at an all-time high.
But at a time when performance, if not survival, is based on how well an organization can contain costs, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition, yet do so in a fiscally responsible way that drives down healthcare costs?

Read more

Roadshow on Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh : 10 AM – 29 June 2013 : Hotel Hilton, Chennai

June 19, 2013 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Events, Events & Updates, Events & Updates, Uncategorized 

Bangladesh India Partnership Initiatives

Investments, Trade & Business

Roadshow on Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh

Saturday, 29 June 2013: Hotel Hilton, Chennai – 10 AM

 

Bangladesh is actively looking for FDIs in several sectors such as Textile, Plastic, Light Engineering, Home Textile, ICT, Software Development, ITES, Jute and Jute Goods, Pharmaceuticals, Hospital & Medical Equipments, Tourism, Infrastructure Development, Rubber products amongst others from Bangladesh, I am pleased to inform that the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Board of Investment, Government of Bangladesh have signed a MOU to facilitate bilateral Investment and business partnerships.

This MOU signed between CII and BOI will help in future facilitation and policy redressal on investments in Bangladesh.

As a follow to this, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Board of Investment, Bangladesh (BOI) and India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IBCCI) is organizing Roadshows on India-Bangladesh Investment Opportunities on 29th June 2013 at Hotel Hilton, Chennai.

This initiative is being driven from the office of the Hon Prime Minister of Bangladesh. As a part of this initiative, a very High level delegation led by the Executive Chairman Board of Investment, Bangladesh along with the CEOs of leading companies with specific project proposals who are looking for Joint Ventures will be visiting Chennai on 29th June 2013. The list of the visiting delegation along with project briefs is attached for your reference.

The first component of these Roadshows will be to share information on the investment climate sectoral opportunities, investment incentives, information on policies, market practices and intelligence for investments in Bangladesh. A key and second component of the Roadshows will be to facilitate concrete Joint Ventures between Bangladesh and Indian counterparts, through prefixed one to one meetings, based on specific JV proposals by business for Bangladesh.

We are writing to request you to take advantage of this unique initiative by participating in the program and also nominating a team of senior officials from your company to participate. The Reply form is enclosed which may be used for confirmation.

Look forward to your reply at the earliest to enable us to schedule your one to one appointments with the Bangladesh delegations on a first come first serve basis.

 

Kind regards,

 

Head – Chennai Zone – CII

 

Registration Form

 

List of Bangladesh Delegates

 

iSpirt: 30 Nasscom members may have good reasons for forming the think tank

June 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Som Mittal is exasperated. Since taking over as president of IT industry body Nasscom in January 2008, he has seen smaller IT players joining the industry body in hordes.

 

So when quizzed about the recent formation of a think tank called iSpirt by some 30 software products companies that are Nasscom members, Mittal finds it difficult to hide his angst. It only intensifies at the suggestion that smaller tech companies, mainly BPOs and product firms which are part of the 1,200-plus member organisation, get a raw deal.

 

Mittal says he is “fed up” answering “silly” questions from reporters about the formation of iSpirt (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table). The 61-year-old alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and IIM-A reckons that enough has been said about the issue and now hopes wisdom prevails in the media. “I hoped it [the issue] was dead by now,” he told ET Magazine on the phone. He adds that he has made numerous statements on the issue.

 

Mittal had earlier clarified to reporters that “there was no breakaway group and no company is leaving Nasscom. Of these 30 companies, two are on our executive council and 17 are our active members. In fact, they have just renewed their membership”.

 

To a question about the alleged dominance of bigger IT companies in Nasscom, which the smaller firms resent in silence, Mittal warns against “false reporting” and insists ET Magazine prints that “the Nasscom executive council is the supreme decision-making body, not ‘the past-chairmen club’.”

 

Big Boys

Many smaller IT firms that are members of Nasscom which ET Magazine spoke to say that the executive council (EC), which comprises some 24 elected members according to information provided on the Nasscom site, isn’t the “de facto” body that calls the shots.

 

“It is, in fact, the past-chairman ‘grouping’, comprising former Nasscom chairmen, which is the ‘supreme body’ that decides everything,” says a Nasscom executive member who didn’t wish to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

 

However, a former Nasscom chairman who is also a co-founder, offers a completely different view: “As a practice, most past chairmen [some 18-odd of them] don’t participate in the EC meetings deliberately so that we don’t end up intervening in its affairs. Only five-six of us attend EC meetings. How can such a small group dominate a 20-plus EC?”

 

The New Forum

However, he concedes that software products companies may have some serious grievances. “You will hear some announcements over the next few months to fix their problems,” he said and asked not to be named.

 

iSpirt’s founding members include Bharat Goenka, co-founder of Tally Solutions; Sharad Sharma, former head of Yahoo India R&D; Naveen Tewari, founder of In-Mobi; and Vishnu Dusad, founder of Nucleus Software. A person close to the matter said the think tank was formed to protest Nasscom’s “indifference to smaller products companies”.

 

However, he added: “They have to exist in the current environment dominated by Nasscom and, therefore, they are not coming out in the open with anti-Nasscom statements.”

 

Fear Factor

Clearly, the fear is about being “boycotted by Nasscom for any open defiance,” says a Bangalore-based executive of a products company and an iSpirt member. Which is why iSpirt says on its website that it has a very focused agenda related only to software products.

 

 

Source : The Economic Times   dt February 10, 2013.

 

 

Major insurance cos refuse to include Ayush treatment in mediclaim despite IRDA order

May 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Major insurance companies in the country are refusing to abide by the IRDA order to include Ayush products and services in the mediclaim insurance policy. IRDA issued a directive in this regard sometime in last February after repeated representations from ayush industry.

 

IRDA under section 5(1) of the IRDA (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2013, had issued a notification directing inclusion of the Indian System of Medicines (ISM) in the mediclaim insurance policy. But, no insurance companies have taken steps to comply with the IRDA order so far.

 

It is understood that insurance companies across the country are citing ignorance on this matter to avoid providing coverage to the ISM sector under mediclaim policy. Ironically, the new regulation which came into force with effect from February 18, 2013, states that the insurers may provide coverage to non-allopathic treatments provided the treatment is taken in a government hospital or in any institute recognised by government and or is accredited by Quality Council of India (QCI), National Accreditation Board on Health(NABH) or any other suitable institutions.

 

However, Prabodh Shah, president, Gujarat Ayurvedic Aushadh Manufacturers Association (GAAMA), informed that most of the insurance companies in Gujarat have been claiming that they have yet not received any notification from the IRDA on this matter. “We are shocked by this attitude which constantly sidelines the interest of the ASU industry. What is more concerning is that this delay in realising our long standing demand, is resulting in undue difficulties to the patients who are keenly awaiting to utilise the benefit of mediclaim policy for ISM treatment options,” Shah pointed out.

 

He further stressed that the only way to deal with this issue is to ensure that the IRDA ensues a sensitisation drive on this issue among the insurance companies so that they may not pretend ignorance on this matter.

 

Source : Pharmabiz News dt May 29, 2013, 0800 IST

 

 

Value Added Corporate Services P Ltd Completing 22 years in Consulting Business

May 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Today Value Added is completing 22 years in Consulting Business….Was not an easy journey…..have seen fair share of highs and lows…but as a Team, we emerged stronger ..

Thanks to our Clients, Business Associates, Well wishers, Colleagues and Ex Colleagues, vendors etc who have made this possible….

Will hit 25 yrs with a big bang in the next few years time….

Thanks to all of you for making this wonderful journey along with us….

- Team Value Added

Bill on independent regulator for biotech sector introduced in Lok Sabha

May 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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A statutory independent regulator for the country’s rapidly growing biotechnology sector is on the cards.

 

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

A Bill that provides for setting up the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) for regulating the research, transport, import, manufacture and the use of organisms and products of modern biotechnology was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2013, provides for the setting up of an inter-ministerial governing board to oversee the performance of the proposed BRAI.

It will also provide for setting up the Biotech Advisory Council to render strategic advice to the authority on matters relating to developments in modern biotechnology and their implications in India.

 

NODAL AGENCY

The proposed BRAI would be the nodal agency of the Government to ensure comprehensive safety assessment of organisms and biotech products.

It would regulate the trials preceding the clinical trials in the health sector and the present mechanism for regulating clinical trials would continue.

It will also help India keep pace in regulatory measures with the rapid technology advancement in biotechnology and at the same time ensure safety to human and animal health and environment.

 

PRODUCTS

The biotech industry in India has been growing at an average annual rate of 20-30 per cent during the last five years and its turnover during 2011-12 exceeded Rs 20,440 crore.

A large number of biotech products are already in the market and many more are in the pipeline, namely, the therapeutic biotech drugs, vaccines, genetically modified crops with resistance to pests and diseases, drought and salinity and with enhanced nutritional factors.

The potential of biotechnology with respect to food security, public health, employment generation, intellectual wealth creation, expanding entrepreneurial opportunity and augmenting industrial growth warrants a focussed approach towards innovation, regulation and commercialisation. Currently, the activities and processes involving the genetically engineered organisms and products are broadly regulated under the “Rules for Manufacture, Use/Import/Export and Storage of hazardous Micro-organisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the guidelines published by the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

 

 

Source : Business Line   dt April 22, 2013

 

 

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