AIRTEL BECOMES WORLD’S 3RD-LARGEST MOBILE OPERATOR
Bharti Airtel has become the third-largest mobile operator in the world with 303 million subscribers, according to the World Cellular Information Service. With telecom operations in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa, Airtel still has China Mobile and Vodafone ahead of it, while it pips China Unicom with 299.09 million subscribers and America Movil with 274.14 subscribers. “I want to thank our employees and our business partners for supporting us … things will only get brighter from here on,” said Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, in a statement to media.
ADIDAS TO OPEN OWN STORES IN INDIA
Global sportswear and equipment major Adidas is all set to roll out a fully-owned chain in the country, nearly three years after India allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail, with Germany head-quartered Adidas filing an application with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on July 13. Adidas, which competes with the likes of Nike and Puma, already has stores in India through franchisees, and if the company’s application is approved, it is free to open fully-owned flagship stores, giving it more control over its business. The company, which clocked a global sales of 14 billion Euros in 2014, has confirmed its intent to enter India via a 100% wholly-owned unit. “It is our desire and strategic intent to bring to India world-class large retail formats.” The Company, which purchased Reebok for US$ 3.8 billion in 2005, however, plans to setup its wholly-owned stores in India only for the Adidas brand. “We will continue to partner with our franchisee network,” the spokesperson said, “for our other brand portfolios.”
MASERATI RE-ENTERS INDIA
After a very forgettable first stint here when it managed to sell barely 10 cars in little over a year, Italian luxury car maker Maserati has now announced its reentry into the Indian market, with plans to launch models priced up to INR 2.2 crore and a target to sell in double digits each year. The company, part of the Fiat Chrysler group, had first entered India through an intermediary in 2011. This stint was short lived and ended in 2012. This time round the company is going it alone, with plans to import and sell cars through appointed dealers. “We made a few mistakes the last time and wanted to be sure about our partners this time, hence the over two-year delay,” says Bojan Jankulovski of Maserati. “There is a definite demand for our cars in India, but our cars are exclusive so we will not sell in dozens. We should sell in double digits though.” The company plans to sell four models — Quattroporte, Ghibli, Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio, all priced between INR 1.14 crore to INR 2.2 crore through dealerships in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. On the anvil are dealerships in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Chennai as well.
RATAN TATA INVESTS IN OLA
Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount into taxi aggregator Ola, in his personal capacity. Tata has made a string of personal investments in various start-ups over the past year, which include online marketplace Snapdeal, mobile payments firm Paytm, online furniture retailer Urban Ladder, auto portal CarDekho.com and online jewellery retailer Bluestone. Earlier this year, he had also acquired a stake in Chinese Smartphone-maker Xiaomi. “This is a huge endorsement from one of the most respected business leaders of our times,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola. Ola recently raised US$ 400 million in a series E round of funding led by Russian investment firm DST Global. Singapore’s GIC, Japan’s Softbank Group, Tiger Global, Stead view Capital and US’ Accel Partners are among Ola’s other investors.
7 INDIAN FIRMS AMONG WORLD’S 500 LARGEST COMPANIES: FORTUNE
Seven Indian companies, including Reliance Industries and Tata Motors, are among the world’s 500 largest companies, according to a list compiled by Fortune magazine, with retail giant Walmart topping the list. The Indian companies on the 2015 Fortune Global 500 list are Indian Oil ranked 119 on the list with revenues of about US$ 74 billion, Reliance Industries (158) with revenues of US$ 62 billion, Tata Motors with revenues of US$ 42 billion (254), State Bank of India with revenues of US$ 42 billion (260), Bharat Petroleum with revenues of US$ 40 billion (280), Hindustan Petroleum with revenues of US$ 35 billion and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India with revenues of US$ 26 billion (449).
INDIAN COMPANY ACQUIRES SWISS GOLD REFINER
Rajesh Exports, India’s biggest exporter of gold jewelry, has bought Swiss refiner Valcambi SA for US$ 400 million. This cash purchase helps ensure gold supplies to India, the largest consumer of the metal after China, Bangalore-based Rajesh Exports said in an exchange filing last week. Shares of the company in response rose 1.6% to close at INR 540.85 on the BSE. “On a theoretical basis Valcambi is capable of supplying the entire gold requirement of India,” says Chairman Rajesh Mehta. Valcambi, founded by a group of Swiss entrepreneurs in 1961, has processed and sold an average of 945 metric tons of gold and 325 tons of silver annually during the last three financial years, according to the statement. India imported 891.5 tons of gold in 2014 to meet demand of 811.1 tons, according to the World Gold Council. “The coming together of Rajesh Exports and Valcambi would ensure that Valcambi improves its global market share by opening up new markets in India, Middle East and China,” Michael Mesaric, CEO of Valcambi, said in the statement.