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Saturday, February 8, 2020

economic news of india - world economic news - economics news for students - indian economy news

economic news of india - world economic news - economics news for students - indian economy news


Are cos using good-old jugaad to bring women on Board?

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By Rama BijapurkarThe response that we have seen so far to the new law mandating reservation of board seats for women has been disappointing and shows how far we are from real inclusion. Ironically, this applies to both those supporting and opposing the move. There has been jugaad in the best Indian tradition to comply with the new but to continue with the old way — a telling comment on the governance standards of boards which managed to do that well. The plethora of well-meaning men and organisations that have sprung up to "mentor" and "train" potential women directors are more patriarchal than progressive in their prescriptions, reflecting a poor understanding of what inclusion is really about (more on that later). They have tried to justify what doesn't need to be justified — does equal rights for equal qualifications need to be justified? Some have put forward data in support, correlating women on boards with higher market cap (giving the sex in Sensex a whole new meaning), and some have asserted that the mere presence of feminine energy on boards will make boards work better.To be absolutely clear, the purpose of introducing reservation for women on boards was simple and singular — to correct the exclusion of capable and qualified women from corporate boards. It was not meant to provide yin to the existing board's yang or to bestow boards with wonderful feminine qualities of mothers and maids. Reservations came into being because existing boards were making little effort to include qualified women. "We would love to, but we can't find any" was the refrain. The answer, of course, lies in the poor governance of how nomination committees function.The search for new board members typically begins with the question "who do we know who fits the bill" (whatever the bill may be that needs to be fitted). And, predictably, given the gender ratios in the world of work at senior levels, the obvious answer was almost always a man.What is the real story on how India Inc has complied with the reservation law? Professor Neharika Vora of IIM-Ahmedabad has done a study on this for FICCI, due to be released next month. Here is a tiny preview of her findings: women now comprise 14% of board directors, a big jump from five years ago. Women directors from the family are a popular choice for promoter businesses. While this is a good and fairer outcome for gen-next daughters — nowadays as well educated as sons — it doesn't improve board governance for obvious reasons.The other finding is that there is the phenomenon of companies complying by appointing women below 30 years of age who are not related to the promoters, have fairly ordinary education and virtually no business experience. Clearly, boards that have done this have scant respect for the quality of their own boards and its ability to govern, leave aside the spirit of inclusion. Interestingly, the study shows that male directors below 30 are far better educated and, typically, members of the promoter family.Board membership entrusts onerous fiduciary responsibility on a person to supervise management that is smart and in control of the business. Hence, a well-established selection criterion for potential board members is that they should have had substantive senior-level experience in their chosen work arenas and should have demonstrated success in their "regular careers". In the case of women, that basic criterion seems to be considered less important. Training outfits and well-meaning mentors are pushing women candidates who have not had the kind of "regular career" experience that equips them for the judgment calls that boards need to make, or the confidence to call out the management where needed. In fact, women are being told that being a board director can be their "regular career". If we persist down this track, the universe of male directors will always be better qualified for the job than the universe of female directors, loading the deck against women directors in terms of contribution to the board.A lot of the training and mentoring advice being given to women is producing "board clerks", not real directors — the accent is on board procedures rather than on processes, on the rituals rather than the religion, on rules rather than on roles. It also tends to be about equipping women to follow the existing rules of the boardroom — fitting in rather than being themselves. It is the dishonest ticking of the diversity box, having people who look different but think and act the same way as everyone else.Real inclusion also needs chairmen who know how to run inclusive boards having members with diverse styles (men and women do have diverse styles. This is well-documented by research around the world). Whenever I have suggested to any women director training shops that they will do better to train the board and the nomination committee chairs on this, I have found that the same enthusiastic trainers of women are nowhere as eager to mess with men in power!The good news is that we are seeing wonderful green shoots of genuine inclusion as a wider pool of very talented women directors is making its way into the more professionally run, board-managed companies. They are women who have already proved their mettle during the course of a substantive career, and have already had experience at holding their own even while in a minority. They place performance ahead of "fitting in" and don't hesitate to challenge group-think or the status quo when needed. My hope and ask is that they will frame the debate better and take charge in laying down the rules of what genuine inclusion and diversity mean. The writer is one of India's most experienced independent directors and an independent management consultant.

Budget reignites fight over who gets what

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The 2020-21 Union budget and the 15th Finance Commission report have reignited the debate over the relationship between the Centre and states on sharing finances.Revenue Source & OutflowStates contribute funds to the Centre by levying central taxes such as GST within their borders and receive funds from the Centre in a variety of ways. 74031598 States' Revised SharesThe 15th Finance Commission (FC) has slightly modified the formula for distributing states' share of central taxes — the largest component of transfers to states. 74031603 Top Tax CollectorsWhen it comes to generating tax revenue, the most populous states are not on top, meaning smaller southern states have to subsidise the larger but less productive northern states 74031612 Population & DevolutionFC's new tax revenue devolution formula relies a lot on states' population. 74031619 Cash CrunchA big issue affecting the finances of states is revenue crunch. With GST, loan waivers and income support schemes, most states are cashstrapped, forcing them to borrow more. 74031625

A school play landed this town in a legal mess

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District Jail, Bidar. When Najbunnisa's daughter came to visit her, the 11-year-old was worried about how her mother was managing in the prison. "She told me not to be tense, to look after my health, to eat well — things I should be telling her," says Najbunnisa. But when it was time to leave, the girl could not bear to be parted from her mother. "She was sobbing. She didn't want to leave. But what could we do? I can't keep her here with me," says the anxious single mother.Najbunnisa has been incarcerated along with Fareeda Begum, the headmistress of Shaheen Urdu Primary School, where the former's daughter studies, in the north Karnataka district bordering Telangana. It is hard for the two middle-aged women — one a struggling widow, the other a mother of two girls and a teacher for close to three decades — to wrap their heads around the fact that they have been accused of sedition, that, too, over a play performed by young students like Najbunnisa's daughter. The charge of the colonial era Section 124 A carries a maximum term of life imprisonment."When the police took us from school, they did not tell us we were being arrested. They said it was for more questioning," says Fareeda Begum. That was on January 30. They have been in jail ever since.The play — performed at the school on January 21 — was about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). "Part of the National Curriculum Framework is to create awareness about current social subjects. This was just another assignment given to students," says Thouseef Madikeri, CEO of Shaheen Education Foundation. The school in Bidar is one of the 43 it has across nine states and is well-known in the district and outside, particularly for the success of its students in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The corridors of the school, much of which appears as if it's under construction, have pictures of successful students and display cases with newspaper clippings on its initiatives. "This is a minority institution but 50% of the students are from other communities. Many come from impoverished back backgrounds and we give scholarships of up to 100%" says Madikeri. 74033373 The children, teachers say, were given two days to prepare and they presented a 10-minute sketch for which they themselves wrote the dialogue. In the play, the 11-year-old, who plays an old woman, says she does not have any identification papers and would hit with slippers the person asking for it. (An English translation from Dakhini, a form of Urdu spoken here, says, "The person who was selling tea is now asking for our papers. Where are his papers?") What was meant to be a routine school activity turned into a Kafkaesque nightmare after the play was live-streamed on Facebook by one of the parents, based on which a police complaint of sedition and insulting the prime minister was filed the next day.The complainant, Nilesh Rakshal, told ET Magazine over the phone: "Young schoolchildren were using words against the PM, which I found objectionable. I felt it was against the Constitution that respects the post of PM." The 35-year-old says he filed the complaint as a "citizen and social worker". When asked if he had been a member of the Bajrang Dal (a 2015 court verdict describes him as a district convener of the Dal), he insists that whatever he was in the past, he is not a member of any party now. He adds that he did not mention sedition in his complaint.The police swung into action after Rakshal's complaint, with groups of them reportedly arriving to question the young students and staff repeatedly for five days thereafter. "They kept asking us the same questions 20-25 times, telling us we were teaching the wrong things and made the children re-enact the dialogue. They even asked us, had the prime minister been a Muslim, wouldn't you have prevented this," says one of the teachers, who was interrogated. The first day, in contravention of the Juvenile Justice Act, the policemen reportedly came in uniform, unaccompanied by members of the Child Welfare Committee. Following a furore, the policemen started coming in plain clothes but the administration says they took children to parts of the school that were not in the range of CCTV cameras."They asked me the same questions many times," says the 11-year-old who had allegedly said the controversial line. She refuses a biscuit, saying she has an upset stomach, but otherwise speaks bravely, and says she has been to see her mother twice. Firdaus, the neighbour who had been looking after her, says the little girl has not been eating much. "She hasn't been well, she keeps asking about her mother at home. We looked after her because there was no one else," she says. Najbunnisa had moved to Bidar from the village of Hallikhed just three months ago, for the sake of her daughter's education and the two were getting by with what little money she got from renting out some farmland. 74033377 According to the FIR, the police say the headmistress was present when the play was staged and that they "felt" it was on her instruction. "There is no evidence. They just say they 'felt' this was so," says Keshavarao H Srimale, one of the lawyers who moved the bail application for the two women and filed anticipatory bail for the trustees of Shaheen, who are also mentioned in the FIR. The mother was held because she allegedly told her daughter what to say, a charge Najbunnisa denies. Nagesh DL, SP of Bidar who took charge on February 1 after his predecessor was transferred, earlier told ET that the police had booked the case based on information received and that they had been following the Supreme Court order on filing FIRs.Divided cityIn a sign of the polarisation the case has created in Bidar city, Srimale says about 30 lawyers tried to pass a resolution at the Bar Council, saying no lawyer should represent the two women and the management of Shaheen group because they had insulted the prime minister. The motion was defeated but they then moved a third-party application in support of the complainant, saying they wanted to assist the public prosecutor. "We take such measures only in the rarest cases that go against society. They were talking against the PM and NRC. The teachers should not have taught the students such things," says Anil Kumar Karanji, a lawyer who supported the motion. However, he adds that Shaheen institutions have a good reputation.Activists in the city, which was the capital of the powerful Bahmani sultanate of the Deccan in the 15th century, says sedition was slapped as a reaction to the anti-NRC protests in Bidar. "There was a huge rally of 50,000 people in Bidar on December 23. Sedition charges have been slapped to create panic among protesters and to suppress free speech," says Mubashir Sindhe, cofounder of the Secular Citizens Forum, an umbrella platform of 26 organisations protesting against the CAA.The case has sparked outrage in the city also because of the popularity of the school. "Earlier, if our children wanted to study science or get training for entrance exams, they would have to go to Kalaburagi or Bengaluru. But now, we have Shaheen where students get first-class education," says Swamidan Mudhale, a Dalit rights activist. "This case is just to tarnish their reputation."Activists, family members and the Shaheen school management are now waiting for the bail hearing on February 11. The 11-year-old girl hopes she can finally be reunited with her mother.

Exit polls predict easy win for AAP in Delhi

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NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal is set to return as Delhi chief minister and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will virtually sweep the assembly elections, exit polls predicted Saturday.As polling came to a close at 6 pm, with the Election Commission of India (ECI) projecting a voter turnout at 60.24% (as of 9:50 pm), a poll of polls covering 10 exit polls gave 52 seats to AAP, 17 to the Bharatiya Janata Party and one to the Indian National Congress.The polls, which are sample surveys conducted among voters exiting polling booths, signalled that the Delhi voter responded to AAP's campaign that focused on "kaam", or getting work done.Kejriwal, a former civil servant and activist who stormed into electoral politics with an anti-corruption campaign in 2013, led a campaign focusing on the development work his government did in Delhi, especially in education and healthcare, as well as sops such as lower electricity bills and free bus rides for women.The exit polls gave AAP between 47 and 68 seats in the 70-member Assembly.They predicted an absolute rout for Congress, which ruled Delhi for three terms between 1998 and 2013. The maximum seats to AAP were given by India Today TV-Axis exit poll, which predicted 59-68 seats for the party, while giving 2-11 for the BJP and none to the Congress.If these figures hold, the results will come as a disappointment for the BJP, which had hoped its sweep in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 would reflect in the assembly polls.Delhi's voter turnout saw a sharp fall over the 2015 elections. According to the Election Commission of India, voter turnout till 9 pm was projected at 60.24% — lower than 67.12% in 2015. 74033662 Traditionally, a lower voter turnout is read as a vote for the incumbent.The voter turnout in Delhi has been similar during the Congress regime under Sheila Dikshit, when she won consecutive terms. In 2003, when Delhi voted a second time for the Dikshit government, the voter turnout was 53.42%, and a comparable 57.58% was the turnout in 2008.Later, in two consecutive elections — 2013 and 2015 — voters turned out in big numbers to vote Dikshit out of power. In 2013, 65.63% of Delhi turned out and the percentage increased further to 67.12% in 2015.Across constituencies, Matia Mahal in Central Delhi registered the highest voter turnout of 68.36%, whereas Bawana assembly constituency in North district saw the lowest turnout at 41.95%. Among districts, North East district registered the highest (62.75%) voter turnout, while the lowest turnout was recorded in South East district (54.15%), according to the ECI app.

Government appoints DoT's Mahmood Ahmed on MTNL board as director

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NEW DELHI: The Central government has appointed Mahmood Ahmed, Deputy Director General of the Licensing Finance Assessment (LFA), Department of Telecom as its nominee director on the board of MTNL, a PSU under the ministry.He has been appointed for a three-year period or till the period of superannuation, an official order said.As part of the revival package announced by the Union Cabinet in October last year, MTNL will be merged with the BSNL. Pending this, MTNL will act as a subsidiary of BSNL. MTNL is listed but has its net worth already eroded. BSNL is unlisted.In November last year, MTNL received DoT approval to be a subsidiary of BSNL by transferring the government's shareholding to it following the Union Cabinet's in-principle approval to their merger earlier. In the next fiscal the merger of BSNL and MTNL will take effect with formal notification after structural changes takes place in MTNL to merge with BSNL. The government holds 56.25 per cent in MTNL. Its share price was up after a long time, 4.55 per cent at Rs 8.05.MTNL currently has a lean structure after the VRS where 14,000 employees took voluntary retirement. It has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been ringing in loss since 2010. The total debt on both the companies is Rs 40,000 crore, of which half of the liability is on MTNL alone.The next fiscal Budget provides MTNL financial support of Rs 372 crore on account of minimum alternate tax, refund of CDMA spectrum, payment of interest on MTNL Bonds and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service. The Central government will infuse Rs 6,295 crore in MTNL for 4G spectrum. Besides, Rs 1,133 crore will be provided to MTNL as grant-in-aid for payment of GST.

Samsung plans big comeback with premium smartphones in India

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NEW DELHI: Eight years back, Samsung became the leader in the mobile phone industry in India with the roll out of "Galaxy S3" from its Noida facility.Today, as the Indian smartphone market witnessed a modest 8 per cent (Year-on-Year) growth in 2019, the South Korean giant registered declining shipments among the top five brands.The last eight years or so have seen Chinese invasion like never before (Chinese smartphone brands captured 72 per cent of the Indian market in 2019 compared to 60 per cent in 2018), launching devices with top-notch features while taking the average selling point (ASP) further down.A premium player from the very beginning, Samsung faced the heat as smartphones became more affordable with each passing year, and players like Xiaomi and Vivo captured the affordable to mid-premium segments, forcing the company to launch online exclusive M-series in the budget segment and revamping the 'A' series in the mid-segment, which have so far been successful attempts.The company understands that it is best known for the Rs 30,000 and above segment and has begun 2020 by launching 'Lite' devices of its successful premium brands -- along with taking positive strides in the 5G and foldable space."The mobile business aims to improve profits by expanding sales of premium models, such as the enhanced 5G lineup and new foldable devices," the company said while declaring its financial year 2019 and Q4 results on January 30.Samsung expects smartphone revenues to rise on improved product mix with the launch of new flagship models and foldable devices.In India, the company now seems to be back on its premium strategy, with launching 'Lite' version of S10 and Note10 Lite in the range where OnePlus currently rules.According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, IDC India, considering the size and potential of the Indian market, it is certainly not saturation for the market or any brand like Samsung.The other brands in the market are relatively new entrants while Samsung has been in India for more than two decades now as a lifestyle brand."These brands are able or willing to infuse freshness in their brand in terms of marketing and investments in retail etc," Singh told IANS.Samsung has, in fact, actually started doing well in the online space for the past couple of quarters.Its Galaxy M series, in particular the Galaxy M30s device, performed well in the online segment, helping revive its online share in the fourth quarter of 2019 at an all-time high of 16.6 per cent.However, this happened at the cost of ceding space to brands like Vivo in the offline space."This is interesting since offline has always been Samsung's forte for a ling time," said the IDC executive.For 2020, market competition is forecast to intensify as manufacturers increasingly adopt high-performance components, including application processors (APs), memory and cameras.In response, Samsung plans to differentiate its premium smartphones by expanding 5G adoption and introducing new designs for foldable products."The company is trying hard to get back to growth path. To revive in 2020, it needs to build portfolio across price tiers. Launching the 'Lite' version of its flagship phones S10 and Note 10 is a good step in that direction," said Shilpi Jain, research analyst with Counterpoint Research."Also, it needs to be more aggressive in its marketing strategies across all platforms to fight the competition," she added.Samsung aims to improve earnings by expanding sales of premium smartphones and enhancing the competitiveness of its mid to low-end lineup.Tweaking its portfolio would be a godsend for Samsung to revive its growth path.In India, Samsung needs to go aggressive in the $200 to $500 segment."This segment is expected to see growth from the upgraders this year. Almost all brands are expected to bring in models in this price range and the competition will be very stiff," said Singh.

Most steel, cement, infra stocks are value traps: Shankar Sharma

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Data shows Nifty and gold have given exactly the same return in last 10 years. And Nifty gives you all the stress when you invest in it. With gold, it is a lock-and-key stress-free return. My question is, why then foreign investors are so obsessed with Indian stocks? Data shows we have got positive flows in last nine out of 10 years, barring one or two.I do not attach any value to foreigners buying India. They are buying many things. Okay, we Indians are wo kuen mein medhak wala humara hota hai. ke humare ka dollar aya hai to hume lagta hai ke duniya mein kahin aur dollar ja hi nahi raha hai (we have a frog-in-the-well approach to it. If there are FII flows to Indian markets, we feel, dollar is not flowing to anywhere else).There is no such thing. They give money to many countries, rightly or wrongly, deserving or undeserving. In India, we have has hardly had any ETF business, which has changed in last 10-15 years. A lot of it is basically ETF money, but you talk to individual FIIs or non-ETF players, but I do not see a single happy face. All of it has come down to buying eight stocks. If you try to make a diversified portfolio with a little bit of risk mitigation, you suddenly go into a very poor return characteristic. So the market is forcing you to just buy ETFs.What should those people do who are invested in those eight or 10 stocks? Should they stay invested?This polarisation of the market is a pretty new phenomenon. It started in 2018, when smallcaps crashed. So a lot of the money basically moved to largecaps and the economic distress of 2017, 2018, 2019 has been terrible. So polarisation of the money moving from smallcaps to largecaps has kept on increasing. Those are still okay, but not great. I am not a votary of buying an Asian Paints at 70-80 PE, or whatever it is. It is a great company, but the strange thing is, India has many unique things. One is, if you look at valuation and you buy based on valuation, you have to turn it upside down. This means you short low PE stocks and you buy the high PE ones. I mean this trade has worked for 25 years. So if you short ONGC and you buy an Asian Paints, by and large you would probably never go wrong. Foreigners come here and buy their ONGCs, but they never buy Asian Paints. Then they keep crying. But India is unique in the sense that the premium for quality and governance in a country which has no governance -- from the government downward to corporate India -- a handful of companies which have survived and which do not have great governance – the market just says 'hey, I do not care about what PE you are trading at. As long as you are not likely to go bust suddenly, you will have an accounting hole. Something like what happened in Delhi in some power companies, the erstwhile Thapar Group. Then suddenly you have more debt than what was declared. These kind of things I am not going to get when I buy a certain kind of companies. Hence leave the PE aside, forget about it. It is an outdated outmode, at least in India. It does not work anymore. I am not saying that is right, but I am not the one to say that is wrong either. A market men say let us revisit cyclicals, revisit industrials when the economy comes back. Steel, cement, infrastructure…will these stocks come back?I find the whole debate around structural versus cyclical – from what you pick up on Twitter and elsewhere -- a total nonsense. Cyclicals do not last five years.We are in a cyclical slowdownI think the economy started slowing down even prior to demonetisation, which happened in late 2016. It was already on a downtrend. So are you telling me we are in a slowdown since 2015, and now you are in 2020. Five years? What kind of nonsense is this? This is a structural problem. This large-scale decimation of job earners, of corporate India, of MSMEs is not coming back. So we will play, at least I will play, it realistically. I am not going to live in a fool's paradise and say that suddenly all those dead companies are going to come back. By the way, even at the peak of the infrastructure boom -- and we were the only firm to call that this nonsense cannot go on any more -- people used to say in 2007, 2008, 2009 if India has to grow, infrastructure has to grow. You remember that one of those things?We have argued that with..I am sorry, India has to grow, but whosoever told you that infrastructure has to grow, now we have grown 5-6% compounded, has infra grown? It has not grown. These kind of theory suddenly comes out in the market. So I do not subscribe to that view that industrials are coming back anytime soon.Government support, liquidity… You bust as a consumer, you bust as a company, you bust as a government. How do you come out? Paisa chahiye na, paisa hi chahiye na, baat se toh nahi ho sakta na, boss. My good intentions cannot revive my company, unless I find some way to make money. We all know, every housewife knows that. So why are we suddenly hoping that the industrial economy will suddenly zoom up with not even a rupee of stimulus being given directly in the Budget. The corporate tax cut is not a stimulus for capex. It is a stimulus for a handful of banks and a handful of FMCG companies, none of which are interested in capex anyway. So this is a hope trade I'd not understand if you apply your mind to it from where will industrial revival happen unless you inject large amounts of money.So what is the future for steel, cement, infra names? They have underperformed. Do you think they will continue to underperform? Okay metals are a global commodity, but India-centric businesses, cement, EPC, road companies, infrastructure companies have destroyed wealth. Do you think this trend will continue? They will continue to act as what is called value traps?They are value traps, and again there will be an odd one here or there. But I do not think one should start thinking about these stocks just yet. For me, the Budget was important only from one perspective: that it told me what the government's thinking is. The government's thinking is, figure it out that I am not there to write out big cheques for you guys. Apna raasta nikalo boss, jo bhi nikalna hai. Why should I go and spend time buying deadbeat companies when there is enough money to be made buying safety.

Samsung plans big comeback with premium smartphones in India

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NEW DELHI: Eight years back, Samsung became the leader in the mobile phone industry in India with the roll out of "Galaxy S3" from its Noida facility.Today, as the Indian smartphone market witnessed a modest 8 per cent (Year-on-Year) growth in 2019, the South Korean giant registered declining shipments among the top five brands.The last eight years or so have seen Chinese invasion like never before (Chinese smartphone brands captured 72 per cent of the Indian market in 2019 compared to 60 per cent in 2018), launching devices with top-notch features while taking the average selling point (ASP) further down.A premium player from the very beginning, Samsung faced the heat as smartphones became more affordable with each passing year, and players like Xiaomi and Vivo captured the affordable to mid-premium segments, forcing the company to launch online exclusive M-series in the budget segment and revamping the 'A' series in the mid-segment, which have so far been successful attempts.The company understands that it is best known for the Rs 30,000 and above segment and has begun 2020 by launching 'Lite' devices of its successful premium brands -- along with taking positive strides in the 5G and foldable space."The mobile business aims to improve profits by expanding sales of premium models, such as the enhanced 5G lineup and new foldable devices," the company said while declaring its financial year 2019 and Q4 results on January 30.Samsung expects smartphone revenues to rise on improved product mix with the launch of new flagship models and foldable devices.In India, the company now seems to be back on its premium strategy, with launching 'Lite' version of S10 and Note10 Lite in the range where OnePlus currently rules.According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, IDC India, considering the size and potential of the Indian market, it is certainly not saturation for the market or any brand like Samsung.The other brands in the market are relatively new entrants while Samsung has been in India for more than two decades now as a lifestyle brand."These brands are able or willing to infuse freshness in their brand in terms of marketing and investments in retail etc," Singh told IANS.Samsung has, in fact, actually started doing well in the online space for the past couple of quarters.Its Galaxy M series, in particular the Galaxy M30s device, performed well in the online segment, helping revive its online share in the fourth quarter of 2019 at an all-time high of 16.6 per cent.However, this happened at the cost of ceding space to brands like Vivo in the offline space."This is interesting since offline has always been Samsung's forte for a ling time," said the IDC executive.For 2020, market competition is forecast to intensify as manufacturers increasingly adopt high-performance components, including application processors (APs), memory and cameras.In response, Samsung plans to differentiate its premium smartphones by expanding 5G adoption and introducing new designs for foldable products."The company is trying hard to get back to growth path. To revive in 2020, it needs to build portfolio across price tiers. Launching the 'Lite' version of its flagship phones S10 and Note 10 is a good step in that direction," said Shilpi Jain, research analyst with Counterpoint Research."Also, it needs to be more aggressive in its marketing strategies across all platforms to fight the competition," she added.Samsung aims to improve earnings by expanding sales of premium smartphones and enhancing the competitiveness of its mid to low-end lineup.Tweaking its portfolio would be a godsend for Samsung to revive its growth path.In India, Samsung needs to go aggressive in the $200 to $500 segment."This segment is expected to see growth from the upgraders this year. Almost all brands are expected to bring in models in this price range and the competition will be very stiff," said Singh.

IIMA concludes Cluster 1 placement: McKinsey & BCG- top recruiters

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NEW DELHI: In the first cluster of the final placement process at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Blackstone Group and Strategy & (Middle East) were among the new recruiters thronging the campus while McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group were the top recruiters with the highest number of offers. These offers were made to the PGP class of 2020 where four cohorts –investment banking & markets, management consulting, advisory consulting and private equity, venture capital & asset management were part of the Cluster 1 list.Other recruiters included Accenture Strategy, Kearney, Avendus, Bain & Co., Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, KPMG, Monitor Deloitte, Matrix Partners, Multiples, Nomura,Oliver Wyman, among others, according to the information shared by the institute.Consulting firms, offering management consulting roles across geographies (including Malaysia and Middle East) have recruited in large numbers. Finance firms offered (including pre-placement offers or PPOs) roles in investment banking, private equity, venture capital and capital markets across functions and geographies (including Singapore). Among finance firms, Avendus made the highest number of offers (10 including PPOs), closely followed by JP Morgan Chase & Co.(8) in Cluster 1.