Business Roundup #Week40

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Car Sales Hit By High Fuel Costs

This year’s Navratri and Dussehra may have been the dullest in six years for carmakers, with surging fuel and upfront insurance costs slowing down sales, says a report.

Against expectations of double-digit growth, Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam had already failed to accelerate sales and the industry might well consider it an achievement if 2018 festival season volumes even match those of last year.

Ashish Kale, the newly elected president of the Federation of Automotive Dealers Association, said retail sales slid 5-20% for cars and 15-20% for two-wheelers. However, commercial vehicle sales remained strong during Navratri and Dussehra, providing some reason for optimism.

JNPT Seeks Key Acquisition

India’s largest container port JNPT is planning to acquire three ports in Maharashtra, says a report.

This comes as it targets to more than double its profits. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) is also going ahead with its efforts to develop an offshore port at Wadhawan, north of Mumbai.

Union Shipping and Ports Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI that the JNPT, which handles more than half of the overall container traffic, is looking to acquire Vijaydurg, Revas and Dighi ports.

Jet Airways To Cut Staff

Jet Airways is said to be trimming its workforce and operations further as India’s second biggest airline battles its worst financial crisis, says a report.

At least 15 people at manager or general manager level in departments such as engineering, security and sales have been asked to leave this month, said a source.  

A few, but not all of them are aged. There was a lull in September but now the pink slips have begun again, he said. He reckoned more exits are likely.

$376 Billion Flexible Working Boost Likely

Flexible working could contribute $376 billion annually to the Indian economy by 2030, says a report, quoting a study.

Shared office space helps corporates to save cost and boost employee productivity, it says. The study, commissioned by global workspace provider Regus, that tracked flexible working in 16 nations noted that around 8 to 13% of all employment will be associated with flexible workspaces in most developed economies by 2030.

Flexible working could save more than 3.5 billion hours of commuting time across the 16 economies by 2030.

Chinese Firms Target Accessories Market

Chinese firms have now set their sights on India’s estimated more than 10,000-crore-rupee mobile phone accessories market that is largely unorganised, says a report.

Hong Kong-based WK Life plans to open 200 outlets in the country in the next two years, selling mobile phone cases, power banks, earphones and speakers to tap the burgeoning business in one of the largest smartphone markets.

ZMI, another Chinese mobile accessories company funded by smartphone maker Xiaomi, has partnered with Shyam Telecom group to launch more than 50 products in India in a phased manner.

Great Wall Eyes India Entry

Great Wall Motors has finally decided to enter India with products the company believes will help it compete effectively in the crowded passenger-vehicle market, says a report.

China’s largest SUV and pick-up truck maker, which already uses India as the technology hub for coding software for electric vehicles and artificial intelligence, has begun hiring for the local automotive business to be launched around 2021-2022.

The decision to enter India comes after multiple studies Great Wall Motors had undertaken in the last five years.

L&T In Forbes List

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is the only domestic firm to be featured among the top 25 companies in the Forbes’ global 2000 best employers list that is led by Google parent Alphabet, says a report.

While L&T, which is majority owned by its employees,  is ranked 22, there are only four domestic firms in the top 100 list.

This includes Mahindra & Mahindra at 55, Grasim Industries at 59 and HDFC at 91, and only 24 domestic companies in the overall list, according to the magazine.

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Babu Kalyanpur

Babu Kalyanpur, ( Consulting Editor) has rich experience in both sports and business journalism. Babu has led news desks in Pune and Bahrain and writes extensively on his passion, sports and business besides current affairs and matters of importance to Pune.

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