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Innovation culture fuelling business resilience in India: Study




Amid the pandemic, 77 per cent of Indian organisations have found innovation to be critical or important to their performance and resilience, said a Microsoft and IDC report released on Tuesday.

The study found that in a short span of six months, organisations in India have increased their ability to innovate by 4 per cent by maturing their culture of innovation.

The study also showed that close to 78 per cent of India organisations are speeding up digitalisation in a variety of ways to adapt to the new reality.

This included launching digital products and introducing digital payments to embracing ecommerce and automation.

As a result, Indian companies are aiming at increasing their revenue from digital products and services to 50 per cent in the next three years from 36 per cent at present.

According to the survey, 64 per cent of respondents acknowledged that innovation has become easier in the post-COVID-19 era.

Prior to the pandemic, only 32.5 per cent of Indian business found innovation in their products and services easy.

“Innovation is no longer an option, but a necessity. We have seen how the recent crisis has spurred the need for transformation; for organizations to adapt and innovate in order to emerge stronger,” Rajiv Sodhi, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India, told reporters in a virtual roundtable.

“We commissioned this research to gain better understanding of the relationship between having a culture of innovation and an organization’s growth. But now, more than achieving growth, we see that having a mature culture of innovation translates to resilience, and strength to withstand economic crises to recover,” he added.

The study introduced the culture of innovation framework, which spans the dimensions of people, process, data, and technology, to assess organizations’ approach to innovation.

It surveyed 439 business decision makers and 438 workers in India within a 6-month period, before and since COVID-19.

The India study was part of a broader survey among 3,312 business decision makers and 3,495 workers across 15 markets in the Asia Pacific region.

When asked about their priorities for the next 12 months, organisations in India (45 per cent) indicated that they will focus on technology as most essential for business resilience and recovery.

According to the report, some best practices will include developing a culture that promotes investing in disruptive technologies and leveraging data to differentiate and enhance products and services.

The other area of focus is people. In the coming year, 18.5 per cent businesses in India plan to focus on embracing risks and driving innovation through ongoing learning, and the right talent and skills.


Essar Oil UK announces appointment of Chief Executive Officer





The Board of Directors of Essar Oil (UK) Limited on Monday announced the appointment of Deepak Maheshwari as its Chief Executive Officer.

EOUK’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex is a key strategic national facility, annually producing over 16 per cent of the UK’s road transport fuels.

Maheshwari joins EOUK at a transformative juncture as it accelerates its transition to a ‘Low Carbon Energy Provider’ of the future.

As CEO, Maheshwari will work closely with the EOUK Board on the delivery of a number of strategic energy transition projects which are aimed at making Stanlow a green refinery to meet the post-carbon needs of a progressive UK.

Amongst these are HyNet (a low carbon hydrogen energy and carbon capture project) which will transform the North West of England and North Wales into one of the world’s first low carbon industrial clusters, together with the building of a Biofuels business which will include production of both renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

With more than 25 years’ senior leadership experience, across the utilities, energy, and infrastructure sectors in Europe and Asia, Maheshwari will lead an experienced management team and further strengthen corporate governance within the ESG framework.

Most recently, Deepak was CFO and Head of Strategy at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, India’s largest commercial multi-port operator. He was previously CFO of Essar Energy Limited.

EOUK Chairman, Prashant Ruia, said: “We are delighted to welcome Deepak to EOUK. His immense corporate experience will prove invaluable during such an important period of growth for the company, which is aiming to be a leading player in the transition towards a sustainable society by delivering cleaner energy solutions.”

“I am delighted to be joining EOUK as Chief Executive Officer and look forward to building on the impressive legacy that Essar colleagues have created. The UK’s green economy continues to develop and flourish and the Board and I will work hard to ensure EOUK sits at the fulcrum of the UK’s sustainable, low carbon future.”

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Odisha records 54% growth in GST collection in July





Odisha recorded 54 per cent growth in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in July as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, officials said on Monday.

According to an official statement issued by the office of the state GST commissioner, Odisha collected GST worth Rs 3,615 crore in July 2021 as against Rs 2,348 crore collected in July last year.

This growth rate of GST in Odisha is the second highest among all major states in India after Maharashtra, the statement said.

GST collection till July end of this financial year is Rs 13,661 crore, as against Rs 7,540 crore collected till July last year, thereby recording a growth of 81 per cent.

The state collected Rs 927 crore in CGST, Rs 1,028 crore in IGST and Rs 592 crore in cess in July. Moreover, the total collection of VAT (petrol and liquor) was Rs 824.53 crore in July as against Rs 611.36 crore collected in July 2020, recording a growth of 34.86 per cent.

The revenue collection from liquor recorded a growth of 36.36 per cent, officials said.

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Will Goa resume mining? Industry dependents seek clarity





Days after the Goa assembly passed the Goa Mineral Development Corporation Bill 2021, paving way for setting up of the body to revive mining in the state, the Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organisation for mining dependents in the state on Monday demanded a timeline for resumption of mining activity.

The Front, a collective of now-unemployed mining industry workers and owners of businesses linked to the industry, has also said that the bill passed in the state assembly to form the Corporation had no roadmap for revival of mining.

“There is transparency required on how this is going to enable early resumption of mining in Goa and restore the livelihood lost which is more vital in current circumstances. The bill does not spell out any intent about protecting the interest of local people by creating employment,” a statement issued by the Front’s president Puti Gaonkar said.

“The current bill does not mention about induction of workers or trucks directly by corporation so the interest of local people does not form a part of the bill. Goans have faced a lot of hardships because of repeated bans on mining in the last one decade and are now looking for stable and sustainable livelihoods,” the statement said.

Mining activity in Goa was banned by the apex court first in 2012, following the unearthing of a Rs 35,000 crore scam by a judicial commission appointed by the central government. But was resumed in 2015 with restrictions, before it stopped again after the apex court found irregularities in renewal of 88 mining leases and stopped all ore extraction activity from March 2018.

According to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, forming the Corporation would enable the state government to fast-track resumption of mining activity in the state.

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