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India losing 70 per cent voice and call centre business to Philippines, Eastern Europe: Survey

Struggling to diversify the delivery footprint to take advantage of low-cost centres, India’s BPO industry is currently losing 70 per cent of all incremental voice and call centre business to competitors like Philippines and countries in Eastern Europe, says a report.

“It is estimated that in the ongoing decade India might lose $ 30 billion in terms of foreign exchange earnings to Philippines, which has become the top destination for Indian investors,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. Thus there is a need to reduce costs and make operations leaner across the BPO industry,” he added.

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Biz optimism index for Q2 2014 rises 9.1%: Report

Business Optimism Index for the second quarter of this year has improved as there has been a positive shift in India Inc’s sentiment despite economic uncertainty, says a Dun & Bradstreet report.

BOI, which measures the pulse of the business community, stands at 154.5 for Q2 2014, an increase of 9.1 per cent as compared to Q2 2013.

For calculating the composite BOI, each of the six parameters – net sales, net profits, selling prices, new orders, inventories and employee levels – is assigned a weight. The parameter weights are then applied to these ratios and the result saggregated to arrive at the Composite Business Optimism Index.

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Non-auto businesses shine at M&M

Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has come a long way from being a pure-auto-play stock to become a diversified conglomerate over the past few years. Two of its non-auto businesses have achieved significant scale and grown profitability over the past few years. These subsidiaries areTech Mahindra (TechM, M&M has 36.34% stake in the company) and M & M Financial Services (MMFS, 51.2% stake held by M&M).

Notably, TechM’s contribution in estimated sum-of-the-parts (SOTP) valuation of M&M has multiplied 3.0 times to Rs 191 per share for FY15 estimated as against Rs 63 estimated for FY12. It now forms about 17% of M&M’s FY15 estimated target price of Rs 1,145 (versus 7.8% in FY12). MMFS too has witnessed 2.2 times growth in its contribution to M&M’s SOTP to Rs 113 per share for FY15 from Rs 52 estimated for FY12. About 9.9% of M&M’s target price comes from MMFS for FY15 as against 6.5% in FY12 estimates.

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MTN, Airtel team up for cross-border money transfer service

MTN Group and Bharti Airtel has entered into a cross-border remittance partnership to transfer money between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The partnership would help both the operators’ customers on either side of the border.

It will enable Mobile Money customers of MTN Ivory Coast and Airtel in Burkina Faso to easily transfer money between the neighbouring countries. Until now, moving money between the two countries was mired by high fees, high usage of informal channels and a lack of proximity to withdraw money.

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China approves sale of Nokia handset business to Microsoft

Finnish telecommunications group Nokia said on Tuesday it had cleared another hurdle in its sale of its handset business to US software giant Microsoft after securing approval from Chinese authorities.

Following the European Commission and the US Justice Department, China’s Ministry of Commerce becomes the latest regulator to approve the €5.44-billion ($7.2 billion) deal unveiled in September.

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Marketing software giant Vocus acquired for $446.5M

Marketing and PR software firm Vocus, a public company, agreed to be acquired for $446.5 million today — that’s 48% more than it was worth at market close last Friday.

Vocus’ board of directors approved the purchase price of $446.5 million in a merger agreement with Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR. That price represents a premium of 48% on Vocus’ closing share price on April 4 (it was $12.18). The deal has yet to close and is pending shareholder approval.

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