Blog: What next for cash-rich Jio and India?

first_imgHomeBlog Blog: What next for cash-rich Jio and India? Related Intelligence Brief: How is Jio leveraging start-ups? Tags FacebookReliance jio Kavit Majithia Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >> Read more AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 13 JUL 2020 center_img Intelligence Brief: Mobile in India – Frontline gains mask underlying pains Raising $15 billion through 11 deals over three-months in a normal environment is impressive for any company.But, doing it during a global pandemic when stock markets are fluctuating, confidence in investing is low and the effects of said pandemic on an emerging market country like India are not yet fully known, is unprecedented and quite a testament to the potential of both the company, and the market as a whole.Reliance Jio Platforms, the digital services juggernaut housing the country’s largest operator Reliance Jio, has been on a hot streak of deal making resulting in investors from the US and the Middle East all clamouring for a piece.For Mukesh Ambani, Indian billionaire and chairman of Jio Platform’s parent Reliance Industries, his big risk in establishing an operator which shook up the Indian telecoms market by initially offering free data packages to lure subscribers, is starting to pay off big time.“Deal making is both an art and a science, and Reliance Industries seems to have mastered it better than anyone else…it’s hard to find a parallel to this anywhere else in the world,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, CEO of digital advisory company Greyhound Research, said in an analyst note.Social media giant Facebook set the ball rolling in April, announcing it was taking a 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for $5.7 billion, making it the largest minority shareholder in the company.This triggered a flurry of fundraising from US and Middle Eastern investors between April and June, resulting in a sale of 25 per cent of the company.Reliance Industries then appeared to indicate that at least one of its aims had been achieved, declaring itself debt free last month, almost a year ahead of schedule.However, any idea pulling itself out of the red would halt the deals were quickly dismissed after Intel, through its investment unit, became the latest investor to pick up a stake earlier this month.Jio’s operator rivalsNeil Shah, analyst at Counterpoint Research told Mobile World Live Jio’s data-centric network, which has attracted close to 400 million subscribers, and the fact it operates in the most important “open” market in the world, makes the recent bets into the company a no brainer.“If you look at India, it’s the second-largest mobile market in the world and is still quite under penetrated. It is on the cusp of massive digital transformation, mostly driven by mobile technology,” he said. “Since the growth potential is high, the return on investment for investors is going to be even higher.”So, clearly India’s digital segment has the potential, but arguably the only operator truly benefitting at the moment is Jio.Is it therefore set to dominate, or will the promise of India’s potential lead to more (perhaps riskier) bets into the country’s other operators?Well, shortly after Facebook announced its investment, rumours emerged Google was looking to follow its rival and increase its presence in India.Financial Times reported that as well as holding talks about an investment in Jio, Google had turned its attentions to acquiring a 5 per cent stake in joint venture Vodafone Idea, which has been dogged by recent financial struggles.At the time of writing, there has been no word the talks led to anything, but that’s not to say they won’t, particular when considering the ongoing advertising battle between Google and Facebook.Shah noted Facebook’s access to Jio’s ecosystem now makes it “a more lucrative platform to marketers, which is “a loss for Google in this war of eyeballs”.“Google definitely would like to bet on another horse and the debt-reeling Vodafone Idea is definitely a target, if Google could shape Vodafone Idea’s strategy to build a more lucrative business beyond being just selling voice and data plans,” Shah said.He noted the operator still has close to 300 million subscribers, meaning it could “also be one of the key customers for Google Cloud and other Google properties which it can cross-sell to millions of users via the Vodafone-Idea channel”.Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester concurred, stating Google was looking to make bigger bets in India. On the operator side, he believes Vodafone Idea and former market leader Bharti Airtel are on the hunt for both investment and partners, “to create an ecosystem of services beyond the telco”.Indeed, Reuters reported in June that Airtel was courting another US tech giant, Amazon, with talks about a $2 billion investment.Jio’s next movesSo, it is likely Jio’s operator rivals may follow its model and look for some overseas cash.But, for the company itself, attention turns to what next: how will it continue its momentum? And as India’s market leader, will its recent cash injection translate into a quicker 5G push for the country?Not likely, according to Meena, who said flat out India was still not ready for investment in 5G, so it was too early to make a call.For Shah, after going debt free, the company can now at least look at a vision of building an ecosystem of connectivity, commerce, cloud and content domestically, before potentially branching out its operations globally.“Investing in rolling out FTTH, IoT and 5G networks should also be a priority to maximise its ecosystem opportunities beyond consumers,” he said.It appears e-commerce could be Jio Platform’s next major short-term play.Meena pointed to the fact that Facebook, through investments in its Marketplace and Jio Platforms, with various enterprise consumer plays in music streaming, financial services and even a domestic online grocery shopping platform dubbed JioMart, already have the building blocks in place.“Facebook needs men and women on the ground to execute the e-commerce model, and Reliance needs a platform for customers and merchants like WhatsApp. With this deal, both these needs can be fulfilled,” he said.Gogia predicted Jio Platforms, with Facebook’s help, will now look to leverage technology and capitalise on other assets within the Reliance Industries moniker and offer “omni-channel retail”, across a number of areas, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, fashion and lifestyle.“This is not a digital opportunity alone. This is a hybrid opportunity, where Reliance Industries will marry its prowess in both domains,” he said.And the three market watchers suggested these roads, the e-commerce push and the flurry of investments, will lead to Ambani’s ultimate end game for Reliance Platforms.“The idea is to go for an IPO next year with a valuation of $125 billion to $150 billion. All depends on how they are able to execute JioMart and e-commerce operations in next 12 to 18 months,” said Meena.The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Blog: How safe are social apps for children? Blog Previous ArticleGoogle hails Android 10 uptakeNext ArticleMyanmar presses operators to expand website blocks Authorlast_img read more

An investment of Rs.2-3 lakh crore from private sector for water storage and supply of tapped water to every household – just assure water procurement

first_imgAs on 1st April 2019, about 81% of rural habitations in the country have access to potable water through a wide range of schemes whereas about 46% of rural habitations catering to about 54% of rural population have piped water supply having provision for at least 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd), which includes household tap connections and public stand posts. As reported by States, 18% of rural households have tap connections. As per Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) maintained by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), as on 31st March 2019, about 18% i.e., 3.28 Crore out of the total 17.87 Crore rural households in the country have tap water connection. Thus, about 14.60 Crore households are without tap water connection and planned to be covered in partnership with States/ UTs under the mission by 2024 (Source – Jal Jeevan Mission Guidelines).India has 20 agro-ecological zones with varying degree of annual rainfall and freshwater availability. In 2017, out of total 731 districts, 256 with 1,592 blocks have been classified as water-stressed. This necessitates the need for water conservation efforts including smart water management/ practices while planning potable drinking water supply.Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) has been launched by the Government of India, which aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.The programme focuses on service delivery at household level i.e., water supply on regular basis in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality. This necessitates use of modern technology in planning and implementation of water supply schemes, development of water sources, treatment and supply of water, empowerment of Gram Panchayat / local community, focus on service delivery, partner with other stakeholders, convergence with other programmes, methodical monitoring of the programme and to capture service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of services. This will help in achieving the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission in its true letter and spirit.The estimated outlay of the mission is Rs.3.60 Lakh Crore with Central and State share of Rs.2.08 Lakh Crore and Rs.1.52 Lakh Crore, respectively. Accordingly, the tentative outlay over the five years is as follows:(Amount Rs. Crore)Year                                                            GoI share                                 State share                       Total2019-20                                                       20,798                                       15,202                         36,0002020-21                                                       34,753                                        25,247                        60,0002021-22                                                       58,011                                        41,989                      1,00,0002022-23                                                      48,708                                        35,292                        84,0002023-24                                                      46,382                                        33,618                        80,000Total                                                        2,08,652                                      1,51,348                     3,60,000(Source – Jal Jeevan Mission Guidelines)Successful accomplishment of the Mission will involve development of water resources for each location and distribution of safe and clean drinking water to the rural community. An investment of Rs.3.60 lakh crore has been envisaged by the Central and State Governments under the Mission. Can we involve the private sector in successfully achieving the goals of the Mission? We must remember that at present investment by private sector in water storage and conservation is negligible.Before we deliberate investment in water storage, let us observe the investment by private sector in food grain storage through Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme (PEGS), which was formulated in 2008, for construction of storage godowns in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode through private entrepreneurs, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) to overcome storage constraints and ensure safe stocking of food grains across the country. Assessment of additional storage capacities required under the scheme was based on the overall procurement/ consumption pattern and storage space already available. More importantly, under PEGS, no funds were allocated by Government for construction of godowns and full investment was done by the private parties/CWC/State Agencies by arranging their own funds and also the land. After a godown was constructed and taken over, FCI gave a guarantee of rent for 10 years in the case of private investors and for 9 years in case of CWC / SWCs / State Agencies, irrespective of quantum of food grains stored. Out of a sanctioned capacity of 150.76 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) under the PEGS, a storage capacity of 142.38 LMT has been completed as on 30th April 2019. At standard rates, an amount of Rs.4,000 was required to be invested for creation of a storage capacity of one tonne. It can be safely assumed that total investment under rural godown must have hovered around Rs.6,000 crore. It may also be mentioned that the investors have been released a subsidy of nearly Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000 crore under the scheme. It is a point to ponder whether availability of subsidy in absence of guarantee of rent would have attracted the same amount of investment from the private sector as it (private sector) would have to struggle for regular income stream to repay the credit from the banking system. I am sure guarantee of rent for ten years was the major attraction for investors and the banking system. There was hardly any investment by private sector in godown storage before the PEGS.Similarly, most of the State Governments agree to purchase power from the private power producers by entering into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with them. These PPAs offer the investors to design their investment in power sector. Growth in solar power production can be largely attributed to the PPAs, which is akin to a guarantee of rent. Another example can be of investment by private sector in road infrastructure. Collection of toll charges on the roads constructed by them enabled them to build roads across the country, which is again very close to being called a guarantee of rent though variable in nature. Will private sector invest without the guarantee of toll collection rights? The answer obviously is ‘no’. There is hardly any investment by private sector in creation of water storage structures. The only reason which appears to me is lack of a guarantee of rent by central or state governments. There should be mechanism wherein governments offer them a guarantee of rent for supply of water. Many regions of our country perennially face acute shortage of drinking water. Different governments have invested large sums of money in creation of water storage structures and are still investing in them, still many parts lack even drinking water facility. Is there a solution to overcome the shortage of water in these areas?Let us recollect the pictures of trains carrying water to Latur in the summers of 2016, which invited nation’s attention to water scarcity in the district. The Indian Railway submitted a bill of Rs.4.0 crore to supply 6.2 crore litre of drinking water to Latur (64 paise per litre or Rs.640/kilo litre of water). Many other districts in the country face such problems every year. In the summers of 2019, there were 6,597 water tankers to supply water to 5,243 villages and 11,293 hamlets operating in the State of Maharashtra at a rental of Rs.1000 for 5000 litres of water, meaning Re.0.20 per litre (The Indian Express, June 16, 2019). Daily expenditure of State Government was about Rs.9.00 crore and if the tankers operated for 100 days then expenditure would be Rs.900 crore. Water tariff charged by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Maharashtra for domestic use varies from Rs.8.25 to Rs.11.00 per 1000 litres and supplying about 777 million litres water per day.According to the civic officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the existing revenue from water charges is Rs.1388.35 crore. The BMC generates water at Rs.11.33 per 1000 litres and remains one of the few municipal bodies in the world, which supplies water to domestic users at cheaper rates. The BMC has hiked water charges by 3.72 per cent for 2018-19. The new rates have become be applicable from June 16, 2019. According to the new tariff, water charges applicable to domestic users, like slums, would increase from Rs.3.68 to Rs.3.82 per 1,000 litres, while that of societies and buildings would be revised from Rs.4.91 to Rs.5.09 per 1,000 litres. Non-domestic users, like non-trading institutions, would be charged Rs.20.40, up from Rs.19.67, and commercial institutions would be charged Rs.38.25, up from Rs.36.88, per 1,000 litres. Users have been paying tariffs for getting water supply in their houses. The Government of India has planned to supply tapped drinking water to each household by 2024. As per the Bureau of Indian Standards, IS:1172-1993, a minimum water supply of 200 litres per capita per day (lpcd) should be provided for domestic consumption in cities with full flushing systems. (www.indiaenvironmentportal.org)Water woes of Latur – Does the solution lie in Latur only?As discussed earlier, water trains to Latur in the summers of 2016 invited nation’s attention to water scarcity in the district. Many other districts of Maharashtra must be facing such problems every year. Can we permanently overcome water scarcity problem? Solution lies in district Latur only. Consider the following figures (taken from www.latur.nic.in):Sr. No.     Particulars                                                                                                  Figures1               Human population of district Latur                                                      0.24 crore (slightly revised upward)2              Animal population of district Latur                                                       0.06 crore3              Total living beings (approximately)                                                       0.30 crore4              Average water requirement per living being per day                         0.2 kilo litre (200 litre)5              Daily water requirement of the whole district (3 X 4)                       0.06 crore kilo litre (CKL)6             Total annual water requirement (365 X 0.06)                                    21.90 crore kilo litre say 22 CKL7             Total area of Latur                                                                                     7157 sqkm say 7000 sqkm8             Total area in sqm (10,00,000 sqm = 1 sqkm)                                     700,00,00,000 or 700 crore sqm9            Average annual rainfall in the district                                                   802 mm = 0.80 m = 800 l/sqmor  0.80 kilo litre per sqm10         Total water received annually in the district (8 X 9)                          560 crore kilo litre11          Number of times water received to requirement (10/6)                   25 times12         Water storage capacity required (1kl / cubic m) keeping                 30-35 crore cubic m to supply 22 crore cubic min view the percolation and evaporation losses of about 30-40%A water storage of one billion cubic metre (BCM) is required to create an irrigation potential for one lakh ha. Under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) up to the year 2007-08, irrigation potential of 52.616 lakh ha was created with a cumulative expenditure of Rs.27,185.55 crore i.e. Rs.516 crore per BCM. For 2008-09, 11.96 lakh ha was the irrigation potential to be created at an investment of Rs.7850.00 crore i.e. Rs.656 crore per BCM. For the Kaleshwaram irrigation project on Godavari in Telengana, an amount of Rs.80,000 crore has been estimated as expenditure to create an irrigation potential of 40.00 lakh ha. So it can be safely assumed that costs must have trebled i.e. Rs.1,968 crore per BCM say Rs.2000 crore or Rs.20 crore per crore cubic meter as compared to 2008-09.Water is a natural resource received free in the form of rains. We need to tap and store just 5% of the total water received in the district of Latur. There is a live storage of about 17 crore kilo litre in several reservoirs in the district Latur under the control of the State Government to supply drinking water for human and animal population. These reservoirs should have 30-35 crore kilo litre of water to maintain regular water supply in the entire district as evaporation and percolation losses (may be 30-40%) must be accounted for while calculating the net requirement. Estimate the difference in the available water in the State Government controlled reservoirs and total requirement of water for the whole district. Now invite the private organizations including Panchayats and Farmers’ Organizations to supply the deficit as estimated above. They will create water harvesting structures to store the water to be supplied by them to the State Government Drinking Water Supply Department. Supply of water can be easily monitored through Water Meters. There is a gradient of about 100 m in the district. By using the force of gravity, this water can be supplied by laying only the pipelines. The State Government may float tenders for supply of water to its reservoirs by procuring water from the private players. This water procurement will cost about one paise per litre of water (a guarantee of rent), which can be recovered from the consumers. This cost is much less than the cost paid to the Indian Railways for bringing water to Latur. Quality parameters can be specified by the Department.If additional water is available with the private players, they should be allowed to sell it at market determined rate for agriculture and industry. They may undertake fishery activity in their water reservoirs. These reservoirs will recharge the ground water in the nearby areas. District will be full of man-made lakes having economic viability. There will be investments by the private players in water harvesting structures. The State Government should maintain a buffer stock of water, which is sufficient to meet three months’ water requirement of the district. If the State Government is ready to procure 15 crore kilo litres of water (for Latur district only), then the water suppliers will get about Rs.150 crore per annum for which they will have to make investments worth Rs.1000 to Rs.1500 crore in the water harvesting structures. No public money has been utilized to construct water harvesting structures, hence issue of corruption does not arise. If we implement this scheme (guarantee of water procurement even at one paise per litre) in more than 256 drinking water deficit districts, we can surely attract an investment of Rs.2-3 lakh crore for creation of water storage capacity in the country. Assuming 20-30% water percolation in these water bodies, which will lead to recharge of underground water, farmers in the nearby areas of that water body can pump it out for irrigation purposes. Additionally, this investment will be highly decentralized investment (may be around one lakh water harvesting structures in these districts) with decentralized employment potential from operation and maintenance of these structures. Let us assume that opportunity cost for any investment by the Government is 8% (equal to the amount of interest paid by the Government on its borrowings). If expenditure on procurement of water from the private sector is less than 8% of the proposed investment under the Mission, then procurement of water will be much beneficial for the Government.Annually about 37.7 million Indians are affected by water borne diseases, 1.5 million children die of diarrhoea and 73 million working days are lost leading to an economic burden of $600 million a year. Water borne diseases such as cholera, acute diarrhoeal diseases, typhoid and viral hepatitis continue to be prevalent in India and have caused 10,738 deaths since 2017 (Source – India Water Portal). Public Health Departments of different States must guarantee the supply of best quality water to the households and only this best quality water should be procured from the private players. Consumers must not require water purifiers to be installed in their houses if they can be assured of the supply of best quality water. Supplied water must be economically more beneficial to the consumers in relation to the expenditure done by them on water purifiers.Expenditure by the State Government is negligible as consumers will be paying for the water received by them. They must be paying for water at present also. We may reach a stage where 24 hour water supply can be ensured for the consumers. People of Latur need not wait for water train to supply water to them in summers. Biggest objection to above idea can be the pricing of a natural resource. Is solar energy not a natural resource? Are we not pricing solar energy through Power Purchase Agreements? Let us again recall the investment by private sector in creation of food grain storage after the guarantee of rent by the governments and building of roads after obtaining the toll collection rights. Availability of plenty of water for the people of Latur is the best argument to go for water procurement. Water is a precious natural resource, which must be used for the benefit of the people. Private sector participation in water harvesting structure can be ensured if they are given assurance of returns on their investment in the form of guarantee of rent. Water supply system is already in place in our cities, towns and villages. Procurement of water will keep the system running for the benefit of our people.last_img read more

Adriatic confirmed the highest international standard of creditworthiness excellence

first_imgThe international group Bisnode AB, the largest European provider of business and credit information based in Stockholm, which brings together more than 2400 experts from 18 European countries, awarded the Crikvenica Adriatic, which owns 8 hotels, 2 campsites and a tourist resort, on the Crikvenica Riviera. excellence for 2016.Thanks to the exceptionally good business results from last year, Bisnode awarded Jadran the highest rating of 3A, which confirmed the highest international standard of creditworthiness excellence. “I am extremely glad that Jadran and our successful business have been recognized by leading European analytical companies such as Bisnode. In the international environment, certification is a common practice, and in this way companies further strengthen their reputation and trust in the domestic and foreign business environment. ” pointed out Dino Manestar, President of the Management Board of Jadran ddBy obtaining one of the most important European standards that define the quality of business, the Adriatic is classified as 5% of the best business entities in Croatia, and the obtained certificate is an internationally recognized label of economic quality that will significantly contribute to strengthening the positive reputation of the Adriatic, both domestically and internationally. “Above all, this recognition of excellence is a confirmation of our systematic and quality work since the bankruptcy, and thus we place the Adriatic alongside other successful companies from the domestic economy, but also the European Union, because the same strict criteria apply to all holders.  Manestar points out and adds that the Certificate of Creditworthiness Excellence is based on the analysis of financial statements for the past year and business performance forecasts for the next 12 months. The analytical method of calculation is unique for all European markets, which is why, by ranking at the very top, the carrier company becomes an equal participant in the entire European market.Good business results after the bankruptcy are the result, first of all, of large investment cycles in increasing the quality of accommodation capacities, which has already raised the categorization of most facilities within the company, and two hotels, Omorika and Katarina, became the first facilities in the company’s history. with 4 stars. ” Also, works on the renovation of the Esplanade Hotel in Crikvenica have recently begun, and with this investment worth over 35 million kuna, a complete reconstruction of the hotel is planned, which will be positioned as a family holiday hotel of high category 4+ stars, with highly individualized service for guests of higher purchasing power. ” concludes Manestarlast_img read more

HJA secures Times apology over advert claims

first_imgA human rights firm has received an apology from The Times newspaper for a story printed almost a year ago.The article last April had accused London firm Hodge Jones & Allen of misleading victims of Ireland’s Magdalene laundries scandal.The firm had taken out advertisements for women to come forward who had been detained in institutions run by Roman Catholic nuns to work with no pay between 1922 and 1996.HJA rejected the allegations and threatened legal action unless there was a retraction.In its corrections and clarifications section yesterday, The Times said it had reported a statement made by the Irish government which suggested the firm had falsely claimed to have drafted government proposals for the scheme.The newspaper said: ‘We accept that HJA’s advert did not make such a claim, far less was its advert dishonest, and we apologise for any suggestion to the contrary.’The Times also confirmed the firm’s senior partner Patrick Allen (pictured) did submit proposals to the Irish government in October 2011 on how a compensation scheme might operate following a request by the campaign group Justice for Magdalenes.The newspaper added: ‘We acknowledge that Mr Allen and his firm campaigned for many years to obtain justice for the victims pro bono.’As part of the settlement, The Times also agreed to remove the online article immediately and to pay damages by way of a donation to charity – the advice agency run by Sally Mulready and the Irish Women Survivors Network at the London Irish Centre to provide advice to Magdalene laundries victims. The Times will also pay a contribution to HJA’s costs.Senior media silk counsel Justin Rushbrooke QC of 5RB took the case on a CFA.Allen said he was pleased the matter was concluded but regretted it had taken a year to resolve.‘The article made serious accusations against me and Hodge Jones & Allen and called into question our business methods and our integrity. These allegations were completely unfounded, as the settlement terms and the apology recognise.’Allen added the firm is pressing on with helping laundry victims based in the UK to obtain compensation from the new scheme.It is currently working with Sally Mulready and the London Irish Centre with around 70 UK-based claimants to complete their claims and set up a PI trust to receive their damages where appropriate.last_img read more

Dominica State College Tuition Fees Discontinued

first_imgPrime Minister Honorable Dr Roosevelt SkerritEffective immediately, payments of Dominica State College tuition fees will be discontinued. This was announced by Prime Minister, Honorable Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit on Monday 13th May 2019.Skerrit explained that this decision was relayed to Head of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters in an effort to continue greater access for students to the facility.“We have taken a decision to discontinue the payment of tuition fees so that our young people will have no more excuses as to why some prefer to be at home or on the blocks and not engaging themselves in taking advantage of the many opportunities that we have extended to them where education and training is concerned,” he said.Furthermore Skerrit confirmed that all outstanding payments owed to the facility by students, are also cancelled. Share Sharing is caring! 149 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img LocalNews Dominica State College Tuition Fees Discontinued by: – May 14, 2019 Share Tweetlast_img read more