" />
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Launching Rs200 note will fill missing middle: SBI report


New Delhi: Introduction of Rs200 note will fill in the “missing middle” even as the new currency in circulation (CIC) has already reached 84% of the pre demonetisation level, says a report.

Cash with banks, a CIC component, has however witnessed a decline over November 2016 level, said the State Bank of India (SBI) Ecowrap report. The data for 23 June 2017 shows cash in hand with banks declining to 5.4% of the currency in circulation from a high of 23.19% for the fortnight ended 25 November 2016, it said. Going by historical trends, cash in hand with banks is roughly 3.8% of CIC and is currently at 5.4%. This means at least an additional amount of 1.6%/ Rs25,000 crore of excess currency may be currently lying in ATMs and herein lies the importance of new Rs200 notes which could serve as the “missing middle” it said.

The report added that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently “put orders” for it. “The cash in hand with banks has been higher compared to the last year, because of demonetisation and the subsequent limits placed on withdrawals for some time. However, now the percentage is showing a decline and reaching pre- demonetisation levels,” it added.

The report noted that though there has been a significant move towards relocating distribution of currency towards smaller denominations post demonetisation, there is a mismatch caused by the presence of Rs2,000 denomination straight after Rs500 denomination. Moreover, an ATM machine typically holds 10,000 bills and if these were to comprise say only notes of Rs100, the number and cost of replenishment goes up significantly.

“Herein lies the paradox. Notes of Rs2,000 denomination in ATMs may find few takers because of missing middle/Rs200 note,” the report said. The Reserve Bank is reportedly expected to introduce Rs200 notes in the coming months to ease pressure on lower- denomination currencies that are in short supply.

The new notes of Rs200 should be out before the end of 2017 and will greatly help in narrowing the demand and supply gap in smaller-denomination currency bills.

Canara Bank-led consortium seeks buyer for 270 MW power plant in Maharashtra


New Delhi: A Canara Bank-led consortium of lenders is scouting for a buyer for a 270 MW power plant in Maharashtra which came under corporate debt restructuring (CDR) plan.

IDBI Capital Markets & Securities Ltd (IDBI Capital) has invited an expression of interest to take over the thermal power project on behalf of the consortium of lenders led by Canara Bank.

“IDBI Capital invites expression of interest from the interested parties, who fulfils the qualification criteria and who may be willing to take over the management and control of the company by acquiring 100% equity of the company,” IDBI Capital has said in the EOI document.

The last date of sending EOIs is 8 August. The company has set up a 270 MW coal based thermal power plant located in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The project has achieved commercial operation during 2013-14, however, due to change in policy on price and distribution of all grades of coal by the coal ministry in 2012.

The new rule allowed coal supply only to those independent power producers who had or have long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) with state power distribution companies (state discoms). “It was a major setback for the power producers including the company, which had already made huge capital investments in the sector. “Considering the financial difficulties faced by the company, the lenders of the company restructured the outstanding indebtedness of the company under corporate debt restructuring mechanism in 2013,” read the EOI document.

The project was initially based on sale of power on a merchant basis and the company had secured a medium-term PPA with one of the state discoms. Due to issue relating to availability of transmission corridor, the offtake of the power could not start as per the PPA terms of the company. This pushed the management of the company to pursue selling of the project to a strategic buyer.

The project currently is non-operational due to non- availability of necessary offtake arrangements. The project is kept under preservation till date with regular trials required to maintain the project are undertaken and hence safeguarding the value and operational efficiency of the project.

CDR is one of the mechanisms enabled by the RBI to resolve the issue of non-performing assets of banks.

Wipro has invested heavily in data: CEO Abidali Neemuchwala


Bengaluru: Data is going to be the currency of the future and the company has invested heavily in it, Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala has said. “We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in the data space, and we feel very upbeat about this because as you rightly said data is going to be the currency of the future and we are very heavily invested in this area,” he said.

When asked if Wipro had engaged startups to monetise data, which will create jobs and automatically check layoffs, he said, “The company has made strategic investments in about 12 startups and some kind of strategic alliance with another 20-22 startups, and out of them all at least 20% of them are in data and data-related areas.”

Neemuchwala also said the company has invested in some very specific IPs which are internal company IPs, and also bagged a very significant deal with a customer couple of quarters back. “They are in data business and we are using Wipro technology to help them support Chief Marketing Officers of Fortune 500 companies to utilise their data better and monetise their data better… So, we have leadership position in our analytic practice and our significant part of revenues comes from there.. We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in data space,” he said.

Wipro president and chief operating officer B M Bhanu Murthy said Wipro’s analytical business has grown significantly well this quarter. To a query on the size of investment in data, Bhanu said the company’s investment in big data has been on a day-to-day discovery platform (DDP) which has gained significant traction in the last two quarters.

Bhanu further said the company is able to leverage DDP with couple of its investments to help lot of organisations mine huge data they collect and big data available externally, and hence it is seeing good traction and its investments are paying off through analytical.

Rising costs, falling yield a threat to Indian tea firms: Luxmi Tea’s Rudra Chatterjee


While on a tour of the UK in the summer of 2015, Rudra Chatterjee, who worked with management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton before joining his family business, was tempted to buy a bespoke English furniture maker in the upscale neighbourhood of Belgravia in London.

For Chatterjee, 40, whose family controls carpet maker Obeetee Pvt. Ltd, a furniture maker was a “perfect fit” for expansion into a new but related business. He studied the company for months but eventually decided to let the opportunity pass.

“I wasn’t sure about the liabilities,” he says. But Chatterjee didn’t give up the idea of a furniture business and launched his own within a few months, partnering one of the key executives of the business he was looking to acquire. Manor and Mews Ltd, the firm he founded in the UK last January, now has stores in London and New York.

Chatterjee, heir to the Luxmi Tea Co. Ltd, founded by his grandfather in 1912, recently concluded an agreement to develop tea plantations in Rwanda.

Edited excerpts from an interview:

What led you to Rwanda for expansion in tea?

Rising cost and declining yield are threats to Indian tea companies. But we are still interested in expanding in India. Recently, we bought Lengrai tea estate in Upper Assam, which produces 500,000-600,000kg of tea annually. We decided to go to Rwanda because the quality of the crop there is very good. We already produce high quality tea in Assam, Tripura and Darjeeling. Adding Rwanda will create opportunity for us to expand our product offering.

What are the challenges?

The only challenge in Rwanda is to develop and manage plantations. Our core strength is managing plantations. When expanding, you don’t want to take risks that you are not familiar with. All our lives, we have been managing plantations.

Where is Obeetee headed?

Even before we invested in Obeetee back in 1998, it was the sole supplier of carpets to hotels built by the Oberoi Group (EIH Ltd) and to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. We are now trying to build on its legacy by partnering designers such as Tarun Tahliani, Abraham and Thakore and Raghavendra Rathore.

When we tried to hire young graduates from leading fashion design institutes, we found people were not too keen to join a rug maker. So we thought carpets have to be made glamorous. We launched this line called “Proud To Be Indian” partnering Tahiliani to produce rugs made with Indian craftsmanship. Going forward, we will launch more under this label in partnership with Abraham and Thakore and Rathore.

What drove you to start a furniture company?

As a rug maker, furniture is a perfect fit for expansion. I had initially thought of buying an existing furniture maker in Pimlico in central London, but eventually decided against it because I wasn’t sure about the liabilities. Thankfully, David Salmon, a key executive at the company I was looking to take over, agreed to join hands with me. It’s still a small company.

What are your group’s key strengths?

There are uncertainties in the tea business, but we have strong cash flows from the carpet business to tide over bad years. As a group, we clocked around Rs1,000 crore in revenue last year, and we have no debts. And of course, my father Dipankar Chatterjee (chairman, Luxmi Group) is an avid planter. Because he was convinced about Rwanda, we took the plunge.

Adobe names Shanmugh Natarajan as MD of India operations


New Delhi: Adobe Systems Inc. on Friday said it has appointed Shanmugh Natarajan as the managing director (MD) for Adobe Systems in India.

Natarajan, who was formerly the executive director, will continue to lead Adobe operations in India, in addition to his ongoing responsibility as vice president (engineering and digital media) at Adobe, a company release said.

“Natarajan provides leadership across our teams in India, which contribute to the strength of our employment brand and advancing Adobe’s position as a sought-after place to work. With an employee base that represents virtually every Adobe function, India continues to be a vital component of our growth,” said Donna Morris, executive vice president, customer & employee experience.

Natarajan will continue to lead R&D and operations for Adobe India while Kulmeet Bawa, MD, South Asia will continue to lead Adobe’s field operations.

“All of Adobe’s business units have large teams operating out of India, and we will continue to deliver exemplary products while focusing on customer experiences,” Natarajan said.

Natarajan joined Adobe in 2008 and has been instrumental in leading product development of award-winning products like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash and Lightroom.

Natarajan has a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from College of Engineering, Guindy in Tamil Nadu and holds a masters in computer engineering from the University of Texas in the US.

Verification: 55a190b0664d6f07