Tag: reading

Preetam’s List

Friday’s market action: Dow +0.13% to 13488. Crude+0.29% to $93.85. Gold +0.06% to $1661.60 London +0.33%. Germany +0.09%. France +0.08%.

Investors are speculating if TCS will surprise the Street when its announces its earnings later today. Analysts, however, are not expecting any major deviations from their estimates. TCS [stockquote]TCS[/stockquote] and WIPRO [stockquote]WIPRO[/stockquote] closed 4% and 6% higher on Friday respectively following INFY’s lead. (ET)

India’s headline inflation is likely to have risen in December by less than the central bank projected, and analysts expect a cut of at least 25 basis points in the policy repo rate. (ET)

After Satyam scam, it looks like Price Waterhouse has caught itself in another problem. The Income-Tax office in Chennai has summoned audit firm Price Waterhouse and Company to appear before it in connection with the alleged tax default by Nokia to the extent of Rs 2,500 crore. (BusinessLine)

China’s unexpected surge in exports last month renewed concern from analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) that statistics from the nation can be unreliable.The increase didn’t match goods movements through ports and imports by trading partners according to UBS. What is cooking in China now?  (Bloomberg)

After US and France changing there TAX regime, voices in India are contemplating the pros and cons for Indian economy. What does it have in store for investor and people in general – Aswath Damodaran explains . (ET)

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A Cloudy future for Indian IT?

The national employability report 2011 compiled by Aspiring Minds revealed a shocking trend- the percentage of ready-to-deploy engineers for IT jobs is dismally low at 2.68%. Even though India produces more than five lakh engineers every year, only 17.45 % are ready to be employed in the IT sector. Revenues for Indian information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services companies is expected to cross $100 billion mark this financial year.

Indian IT Sector

However, there are doubts over sustaining this multi-fold growth due to supply-side constraints like talent availability. The report notes that around 92% of graduating engineers do not have the required programming and algorithm skills required for IT product companies whereas 56% showed lack of soft skills and cognitive skills. To retain its competitive edge, the IT industry requires an industry-ready workforce. Sector-specific skill shortages have emerged with middle-management personnel possessing little domain experience.

The IT/BPO sector also faces threat in the form of competition from other offshore destinations who are ready to dislodge India. A number of alternative offshoring locations like Philippines, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and China are emerging as viable options for BPO delivery centers.

Philippines has superior English language and soft skills for customer service operations especially for US buyers, Eastern Europe offers language and time-zone advantages for European buyers.


These competing destinations also offer lower cost, provide quality talent pool and are offering fiscal and regulatory incentives to lure buyers away from India.

Mid-tier IT companies are facing problems of their own. Apart from over-dependence on few clients and increasing attrition, they are also plagued by non-availability of talent. Since the sector biggies get preference in campuses during recruitment, mid-cap firms lose out on top-quality talent. This has impacted their ability to execute projects effectively.

TOP TIERAlso, the emergence of cloud computing has allowed companies to cut fixed costs in terms of buying software or high capital expenditure on IT infrastructure.

Even as cloud computing is yet to address key issues like data security, it has made crucial inroads into traditional outsourcing and the days of companies hiring thousands seems to be over as SECOND TIERthey no longer have to maintain assets such as servers and software.

Even as we dissect the industry on key parameters like order pipeline, demand outlook, decision-making cycle, client IT budgets, pricing power and so on, it is crucial to address the structural issues that plague the IT industry if it is to continue as the blue-eyed sector of the Indian economy.

Instead of resting on its laurels as one of the world’s top providers of IT and BPO services, companies must build new skills in its workforce to maintain its competitive edge and innovate.

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Weekly Recap


The NIFTY ended on a negative tone, drifting down -1.12% for the week.
Biggest losers were BHEL (-7.45%), TATAPOWER (-4.64%) and NTPC (-4.41%).
And the biggest winners were BAJAJ-AUTO (+7.29%), BANKBARODA (+5.42%) fii.2012-12-10.2012-12-14and JINDALSTEL (+5.22%).
Decliners eclipsed advancers 30 vs 20
Gold: -0.01%, Banks: +0.24%. Infrastructure: +4.41%,
Net FII flows for the week: $1,070.86 mm (Equity) and $306.36 mm (Debt)


Too early to rejoice over retail FDI

India Inc is euphoric as the red carpet for Walmart, Tesco and its ilk has been formally rolled out with reports suggesting Delhi as the first city to host the global retail giants.

Riding on the retail bandwagon, the analyst community and government voices have fuelled hopes of more measures in the coming weeks like passing of key financial sector reform bills, FDI in insurance and so on.


In a September, 2012 report, Crisil estimated that allowing 51 % FDI in multi-brand retail will result in investment of $2.5 billion-$3billion in the retail sector over the next five years.

FDI in retail will also address the issue of inflation as mandatory creation of backend infrastructure may remove bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain and pave way for better farm practices and higher prices for farmers.

But getting carried away with the ‘potential’ big investments would be foolhardy as FDI in multi-brand retail is at the discretion of states. With a busy election calendar for the next one year followed by the big Lok Sabha elections, FDI in retail is unlikely to get off the ground.


After the Gujarat polls in December, there are state elections in Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in the first half of 2013 and Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Delhi and Rajasthan in the second half. This means implementation of FDI in retail is at risk in the near term as the reform measure will give way to populism. With the latest Walmart controversy over lobbying claims rocking Parliament, FDI in retail has attracted severe negative publicity and is being viewed as anti-people. On current mood, even Congress-ruled states would not invite the wrath of voters and woo global retailers.

Also, riders like minimum $100 million investment, 30% sourcing from small industries, etc may act as barriers for global retailers.

However, retail stocks have been flying high in the last few months on hopes that FDI would help them forge partnerships with global retail chains and bring in funding and technology for the sector.


While FDI in retail will attract capital inflows in the long-term, it is miniscule when compared to India’s annual requirements. C Rangarajan, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor was quoted as saying in October that India needs capital inflows of up to $ 70 billion annually for the next five years to bring its Current Account Deficit (CAD) down to 2.3% of GDP.


Apart from acting as a sentiment booster, FDI in retail is unlikely to change the fundamental equations at the ground level like elevated inflation, high fiscal and current account deficits and a weakening currency.

For the economy to decisively turnaround, structural reforms like addressing coal and power sector issues, fast-tracking investment proposals and land acquisition and green clearances are crucial.

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[stockquote]BRANDHOUSE[/stockquote] [stockquote]CANTABIL[/stockquote] [stockquote]KOUTONS[/stockquote] [stockquote]SHOPERSTOP[/stockquote] [stockquote]TRENT[/stockquote]

Preetam’s List

Roundup: Dow -0.08%. S&P +0.02%. Stoxx 50 -0.49%. Italy +0.12%. London 1.15%. Germany 0.33%. France -0.87%.

Taiwan and South Korea experienced huge outflows of people to the United States and other countries in the 1960s and ’70s, even as their economies were taking off. Wealth and better education have always been a major reason to go abroad. A concern about political oppression is forcing the Chinese emigration story to change – (NY) 

Will hurricane sandy be able to play a hand in the upcoming U.S. Elections? (Economist)

An Indian court has sentenced a man to life in prison for a 2009 hijack scare in a passenger plane, saying it was adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to prevent future incidents that could endanger the lives of other passengers. And Ajmal Kasab is still not sentenced – Are we really tolerating about the real terrorists or what? (CNBC)

Ukraine this week held a deeply flawed election, in which the main opposition leader was jailed and the biggest gains went to a party of neo-fascists, who appear to have won 10 percent of the vote. A depressing outcome after the uprising to overturn a stolen election 8 years ago. (Bloomberg)

Who says that technology like twitter can not be used for any other reasons than to make comments about rivals. They also save lives – See how it happened with Sandy incoming (CNBC)

Will the expanding Chinese manufacturing numbers help their markets take a turn?


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