Burger King set to enter India
Burger King has entered into a joint venture with
private equity and real estate firm Everstone Group to
start operations in India. The JV is a long-term master
franchise and development agreement, which includes
sub-franchise rights for all of India.
Vinod Khosla-backed Boku
acquires Indian startup
Global payment company Boku Inc, backed by
investors like Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen
and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, has acquired
Qubecell — a Mumbai-based mobile payment startup
founded by Harvard Business School alumnus Ranjan
The deal, whose financial details were not revealed,
will help the US-based Boku to have direct partnerships with some of the largest telecom networks in
Another senior-level exit at
Infosys in North America
Stephen R Pratt Infosys’s head of utilities and
resources for North America has quit. Infosys
Alexandre Elvis Rodrigues will replace him.
Pratt, whose last day at the firm will be January 31,
2014, has left the company to start an entrepreneurial venture.
Dispute over Nokia’s
Chennai plant rages on
Nokia has asked the Delhi high court to help release
its Indian factory after its seizure by local tax authori-
ties, as it seeks to resolve the tax dispute ahead of the
sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft. Nokia
said it wanted the assets to be released by December
Chidambaram woos Diaspora
Finance Minister P Chidambaram assured the
Indian Diaspora at the South Asian Diaspora
Convention 2013 in Singapore that their home country
was a safe investment destination, adding that the rupee
was stable after the Reserve Bank of India took urgent steps
to manage the currency volatility.
BRICS Development Bank
in pipeline assures Singh
Stressing on a need for greater economic and political
coordination among BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China
and South Africa — Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh said the setting up of a BRICS Development Bank
was in the pipeline. A contingency reserve arrangement
would also be made for the benefit of five nations, he said.
Jet-Etihad deal takes off
Jet Airways and Etihad announced the closure of the
$329 million deal for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier to pick
up 24 percent equity in the Indian airline, marking the first
foreign direct investment infusion by an airline in the
Indian aviation sector.
UBS downgrades India,
UBS downgraded India to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’ and
upgraded China to ‘overweight,’ saying reforms will likely
cause China to outperform Asia except Japan for the next
2 Indians in Fortune’s
50 top businessmen list
Two Indian Americans are among the top 50 people in
business in 2013 in an annual list compiled by Fortune
magazine. MasterCard’s India-born Chief Executive Officer
Ajay Banga and the co-CEO of Workday Aneel Bhusri are
among the 50 top business leaders in the list. A returnee to
the list, Banga is ranked 15th. Bhusri, along with others
from Workday is ranked 37th.
India’s first all-women
The first all-women Indian bank, the Bharatiya Mahila
Bank, was launched with a corpus of $159 million to func-
tion as a universal bank.
Coinciding with the 96th birthday of the late prime minis-
ter Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inau-
gurated the first of its seven branches in Mumbai in the
presence of United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia
Gandhi, coalition leaders Sharad Pawar and Farooq
Abdullah, besides Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
RBI should embrace
If Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan
has to choose between taming inflation and focusing on
growth, it has to be the former, Nobel Laureate Andrew
Michael Spence said in Delhi November 21.
After crashing to a decadal-low of 5 percent in 2012-
2013, India’s growth dropped to 4.4 percent in the first
quarter of the current financial year, a four-year low.
However, inflation has been rising.
RBI’s new norm to affect
growth of multinational banks
This is because the countries where these lenders are
headquartered have set stiff rules for branch expansion
by foreign players.
So, when these lenders look to expand footprint here,
the ‘reciprocity’ clause — one of the cardinal principles
in the latest guidelines, released by the Reserve Bank of
Seven Indian drinks among
world’s best-selling alcohol
There was a time when American and British liquor
brands ruled the world, but no more. Asian companies,
including Indian ones, are now among the biggest sell-
Seven Indian brands featured among Drinksint.com’s
the top 20 — McDowell’s No 1 (whisky) ranked 8;
Officer’s Choice (whisky) ranked 11, McDowell’s No 1
Celebration (whisky) ranked 12, BagPiper (whisky)
ranked 14, Old Tavern (whisky) ranked 16, McDowell’s
No 1 (brandy) ranked 18, and Original Choice (whisky)
South Korea’s Jinro (soju), Philippines’s Emperador
(brandy), and the United Kingdom’s Smirnoff (Vodka) take
the top three slots respectively.
Ratan Tata returns to prominent
US think tank
Ratan Tata has returned as a board member of the East
West Center, a prominent American think tank. He has
worked with the Honolulu-based organization several times
between 1993 and 2004.
FDI in Indian pharmaceuticals
doubled in April-August
Foreign direct investment in the Indian pharmaceutical
sector more than doubled to $1.07 billion during the April-
August period amid concerns over increasing acquisitions
of domestic firms by multinationals.
FDI in drugs and pharmaceuticals was $487 million dur-
ing April-August 2012, according to the latest data of the
India allows 100 per cent FDI in this sector. Other sectors
that received high FDI during the period include services
($1.19 billion), automobile ($661 million), construction
($592 million) and chemicals ($ 359 million).
the week that was
Rampant gold smuggling in India
The 10 percent import duty on gold and stringent import
rules have resulted in huge quantities of the precious metal
coming through unofficial channels into India. Back of the
envelope calculations suggest 40 to 50 tons could have entered
Indian borders unofficially after July.
Seized gold bars at the international airport in Kolkata, November 19.