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Walmart, Amazon are turning small Indian firms into global entrepreneurs

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Indo Count Industries, a lesser known textiles manufacturer in India, is one of the fastest growing suppliers of home textiles in the US and Europea. The company has entered 49 foreign markets and aims to be a global leader.


For Mumbai-based Indo Count, global retail monolith Walmart offered the gateway. A partnership with Walmart’s home brand ‘Canopy’ over a decade ago helped the Indian textiles maker expand globally.




Being a Walmart supplier has elavated its position to a trusted supplier in the marketplace and has also allowed the company to invest smartly to increase its market share globally.


Indo Count Industries is not a case study in isolation. Hordes of home-grown Indian manufacturers and sellers are profiting incessantly from the business models and facilitation offered by India focused multinationals like Walmart and Amazon. Walmart with its sourcing model and Amazon by offering a ‘Global Selling Programme’, are raising the aspirational bar for small Indian businesses, elevating them to earn the coveted tag of ‘global entrepreneurs’.


Building on its global sourcing model, Walmart has set up a global sourcing centre in Bengaluru. The centre sources an array of India made products- textiles, apparel, pharmaceuticals and handicrafts for catering to 14 international markets.


“India is an important sourcing market for Walmart. Not only do we procure over 95 per cent of the goods sold in our Best Price stores from local companies, including SME (small & medium enterprises) and women entrepreneurs, but we also have a global sourcing centre located in Bangalore. We work closely with and engage our suppliers to understand and meet our responsible sourcing and compliance standards”, said Marilee McInnis, Director Corporate Affairs, Global Communication, Walmart.


Ashish Kapoor, director at Panipat-based Kapoor Industries, reminisces how a partnership with Walmart in 2006 fashioned the growth in the company. According to Kapoor, the company registered a growth of 33 per cent in 2016 and 50 per cent in 2017. Between 2015 and 2017, Kapoor Industries grew from manufacturing 1.2 million pieces per month (600 tonnes) in 2015 to 2.4 million pieces per month (1,200 tonnes) in 2017. “Our plan is growing the production assets by 33 per cent per year which will expand our business by 100 per cent in less than three years”, he says. As the leading producer cum exporter of bath, beach and kitchen towels, Kapoor Industries accomplished annual export (to US) turnover of $125 million in 2017.


If Walmart is spinning success stories of Indian manufacturers in global markets, Amazon is taking ‘Make in India’ to the world, bolstered by its ‘Global Selling Programme’.


Saroj, a global seller on Amazon from Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) started selling copperware online with modest sales of Rs 2,000 per month. He then evaluated the customer feedback and reviews on the global marketplace and repositioned his products. The strategy helped Saroj considerably and his earnings rocketed from Rs 24,000 to Rs 2 crore per year.


Amazon said it is empowering sellers from small towns in India by scaling up their businesses and leveraging the digital economy.


“Today, we have over 50,000 Indian sellers as part of the Global Selling Program, 80 per cent of them are from Tier 2 and below cities. Sellers and manufacturers in India are producing great quality products and there is an opportunity to connect this supply to hundreds of millions of loyal customers on Amazon’s various marketplaces. The aim of Global Selling program is to encourage and empower more and more exporters to come online, reach out to a global customer base and grow and scale their business”, said Abhijit Kamra, Head- Global Selling, Amazon India.


Rohit Mehrotra, co-founder, California Design Den credits it to Amazon for launching and building his own brand in the US market. “After 10 years of manufacturing and exporting to US retailers, we wanted to launch our own brand in US market, but it was so competitive that our efforts did not yield good results. Then we got on Amazon platform through Amazon Global Selling program. The continuous guidance and support of the team made sure we understood the long game and focused on quality and giving value to customer. It has also been instrumental in helping us become one of the bestsellers in our category. Another milestone for us has been the participation in various sale events in the US like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas and last year itself we saw a growth of 200 per cent”, he said.


Through various spike sale events on global marketplaces like Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, the e-commerce giant provides a lucrative platform for Indian sellers to engage with global customers. Whether it is Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday or a specifically curated Diwali Bazaar, Indian sellers get good traction from customers abroad for their products. Amazon’s global selling team and third-party service providers are available to provide local enablement solutions to e-sellers – from tax specialists and logistics partners, to branding consultants to enable a smooth global transition.



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Adani arm acquires defence electronics and avionics firm Alpha Design

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Adani Enterprises said on Saturday its subsidiary, Adani Defence Systems and Technologies, has acquired Alpha Design Technologies.


“Adani Defence Systems and Technologies — a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm — has acquired the control of Alpha Design Technologies,” Adani Enterprises said in a BSE filing.



The company did not reveal the deal value.


The acquired firm provides Adani Defence and Aerospace a strong tier-1 capability for building a base for graduating to platform capabilities, the filing said.


Alpha Design was established in 2003 for the design, development and manufacture of defence electronics and avionics.


Its key business areas includes, defence electronics, avionics, aero-structure assemblies, space and satellite systems and simulators among others.


The consolidated turnover of Alpha Design Technologies in 2017-18 was Rs 218 crore, Rs 210 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 419 crore in 2015-16.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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TikTok ban likely to shadow FDI plans of tech firms, says IAMAI

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Reacting sharply to the nationwide ban on short video messaging app TikTok, industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said that the ban might affect future plans of companies to invest in India.


In a statement it said the move would impede FDI in digital if intermediaries were to be banned quite arbitrarily by the courts in the country. While not naming TikTok, the association said that it was responding to the recent ban by the MeiTY on the order of a High Court.



The association was of the view that such bans dilutes the safe harbour provisions currently contained in the IT Act and its Rules and make it impossible for them to operate in the country.


“Especially affected would be the so called social media platforms which allow citizens to express themselves. Content moderation on user generated content platforms has been a problem about which the platforms themselves are keenly aware and have taken effective measures in recent months to curb the excesses. The Code of Ethics adopted by all social media platforms with the Election Commission is a case in the point,” IAMAI said.


It further said that in this particular instance, the complainant should have approached the government for redressal first before approaching the courts and the court should have ideally asked the platform to remove the “offending content” than ban the entire app.


According to IAMAI, dilution of the Safe Harbour protection available to intermediaries/social media platforms undermines the steady growth of India’s digital economy. This especially impacts the thriving startup ecosystem in the country.


“Content moderation on user-generated platforms is an industry-wide challenge that our members take very seriously, and are constantly addressing with ever-improving mechanisms along with enhanced safety features such as increased privacy settings, in-app reporting, comments filter, content filter for younger users, in-app access to Community Guidelines, online safety resources and more,” IAMAI said.



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Jet Airways CEO asks govt for Rs 175 crore to pay one-month salary to staff

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Jet Airways management has asked the government to release Rs 175 crore to pay one-month of salary to its staff. The airline also asked to retain prime airport slots to retain value for new investor.


A team of employee representatives led by CEO Vinay Dube and Deputy CEO Amit Agarwal later in the evening met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and requested for Rs 175 crore, which would be used to pay one month salary to the employees.



“We requested for funds to pay at least one month’s salary and that will give hope to employees,” Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube told Business Standard.


However, Jaitley did not promise anything and said that he would forward the request to banks.


Civil Aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola was also a part of the team.


The airline shut operations on April 17 as banks refused to release emergency funding of Rs 400 crore.


The lenders consortium refused to release money as they felt they don’t have enough collateral to extend further credit.


Asim Valiani, Vice President, National Aviator’s Guild, who was part of the team, said that airline’s asset, like the Boeing 777 planes, can be kept as collateral to release the amount. ” With that one month salary can be paid to the employees,” Valiani said.


Jet Airways has defaulted on a loan of EXIM bank through which the aircraft were bought. This is the reason why Indian banks are unable to treat the planes as collateral.


Valiani said they also requested to protect prime airport slots of Jet Airways to give confidence to new investor that operations can be resumed immediately.


ALSO READ: Jet staff seek President’s intervention for salary dues, funds to airline


The government has started distributing Jet Airways slots temporarily to other airlines. Jet will have the right to retain these slots if it can resume operations in six months.


“Banks were unable to release emergency funds we had sought. But right now it’s important to pay the salary of the employees and protect airport slots to create value for the new investor and also for the banks,” Dube said.


Dube said that the bank’s had their own reasons and rules due to which they couldn’t release money.


“Banks have their own commitments and consideration when asked about why banks did not agree on release of loans earlier. Let’s focus on future and not on past, ” he said.


ALSO READ: Bankers weigh all options to save Jet Airways without getting hit


The employee members also asked to expedite the sale process. “We were told that there were serious bidders,” Dube said.


ALSO READ: Flew too high? Jet’s Goyal through the eyes of those who worked with him


SBI led consortium has called for bids for up to 75 per cent of the company. However, with the Supreme Court striking down a key circular which had allowed banks to convert the airline’s debt into equity, there is uncertainty how much of the stake can actually be sold.



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