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Monday,17-January-2022

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Masala Flakes: Kellogg to offer more Indianised products

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Kellogg

Breakfast cereal category major Kellogg India is set to expand its portfolio with more Indianised products which are suited to local palates.

Last year, the company launched its first ever Indian breakfast product Kellogg’s Upma for which it received a healthy response.

The move to introduce Kellogg’s Upma assumed significance as the company broke with tradition to launch a product which was curated for the local palate.

In a conversation, Kellogg South Asia’s Managing Director Mohit Anand said: “Our offering may be Indianised to serve the local palate better, however, consumer preferences are evolving and so are we along with them.”

According to Anand, the pandemic and the resulting lockdown has brought shifts in consumer behaviour such as their increased preference for ‘In-home food consumption over out-of-home foods’.

“The need for health and wellness coupled with convenience and taste of comfort food has heightened.”

“Early results (for Kellogg’s Upma) have been very encouraging with very strong feedback from consumers; more than half of consumers who are aware about Kellogg’s Upma intend to buy it and hence it stands strong in their consideration set.”

Besides the breakfast category, Kellogg India is now targeting the ‘In-between meal’ segment.

It has recently launched the K Energy bars to enter this category.

“The ‘3 p.m. snacking’ is not an uncommon snacking occasion anymore and the discerning consumer, especially in the wake of Covid-19 is in search of nutritional and convenient options.”

“Concepts such as recently launched ‘K Energy bars with protein’ fulfil this in-between meal hunger need perfectly.”

On the recovery process, Anand cited that consumption is back to pre-Covid levels with sales benefiting from increased ‘In-home consumption’ of food categories.

“Starting March last year, we experienced major disruptions in ‘Supply Chain’ and ‘Route To Market’, much like the industry. Behind a hyper local approach and with extreme agility, we were able to recover the operations within 40 days.”

“Our plants were operational within 72 hours of the announcement of lockdown and shortly we were able to recover the on-ground operations to normal levels. Dedicated multi-functional teams worked relentlessly with strong support from government agencies like Invest India, to restore the operations.”

Going forward, he pointed out that key challenges will remain around demand compression due to economic stress.

“Discretionary spends will come under stress as consumers make choices and will pivot towards trusted brands that provide value for money.”

“Brands will need to continue to innovate to serve the emerging needs of consumers, especially on health and wellness given the heightened awareness on it driven by the pandemic. A shifting shopper footprint driven by e-com will be the new reality as the channel accelerates in the coming months or years.”

At present, Kellogg has two manufacturing plants in India for domestic as well as export production.

The company began its India operations in 1994 by setting up a manufacturing plant at Taloja, Maharashtra.

In addition, it has also established a Research and Development Centre in India that caters to the demand of the South Asian markets for Kellogg.

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Business

Credit Suisse chief resigns after attending Wimbledon in breach of Covid rules

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 Antonio Horta-Osorio, Chairman of the global banking giant Credit Suisse, has resigned with immediate effect after he was reportedly found to have broken the UK’s Covid-19 quarantine rules, the BBC reported.

A former boss of Lloyds Banking Group, Horta-Osorio joined Credit Suisse after a series of scandals at the Swiss bank.

After being the chairman of Credit Suisse for just eight months, he has now been replaced by board member Axel Lehmann.

“I regret that a number of my personal actions have led to difficulties for the bank and compromised my ability to represent the bank internally and externally,” Horta-Osorio said in a statement issued by the bank.

“I therefore believe that my resignation is in the interest of the bank and its stakeholders at this crucial time,” he added.

A preliminary investigation by Credit Suisse had found that Horta-Osorio reportedly attended the Wimbledon tennis finals last July when the UK’s Covid-19 rules required him to be in quarantine, the report said.

He was brought in to lead Switzerland’s second-largest bank to help clean up a corporate culture marred by its involvement with collapsed investment company Archegos and insolvent supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital.

In February 2020, then-Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam resigned after a scandal revealed the bank had spied on senior employees, the report said.

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Business

Union Budget 2022: Tax rebates in Budget for realty vital for salaried class

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Currently, one-third of India’s population reside in cities and it is estimated to go up to 50 per cent by 2030. There is a steady rise in the number of households with a shift towards nuclear families and increased urbanisation.

The 66 per cent young population – below 35 years of age, are emerging as young millennial borrowers of home-loans. It is also true that home-loans market is driven by young borrowers within the age group of 26-35 years – about 25 per cent and also by people in the age group of 36-45 years – about 28 per cent. These are all active home-loan audience and jointly account for 53 per cent of annual originations.

The average ticket size of a home-loan of young borrowers has continued to increase over the last 5 years, with a CAGR of 6.2 per cent. The ticket size continues to increase more for women than men. The cumulative active home-loan base of these borrowers has seen continuous growth over the last 3 years at a CAGR of 3.5 per cent.

These young borrowers have been the reason for change in the home-loan market.

Within the affordable segment, volume growth in home-loans of Rs 15-35 lakh, over the last 4-5 years, indicate shifting preferences of buyers towards higher ticket sizes. Rural Housing demand for mid-range and higher ticket sizes has continued to increase over the last 5 years too. Share of annual originations (volume) of Rs 35-75 lakh ticket size has increased by 4 per cent in the last 5 years. Share of annual originations of Rs 75 lakh plus ticket size has increased from 0.37 per cent to 0.87 per cent in the last 5 years.

Share of annual originations of Rs 15 lakh ticket size has declined over the last 5 years, largely due to falling demand for very small ticket size segment of Rs 2 lakh.

The dearth of disposable income has been a deterrent factor for salaried class towards taking home-loan and buying real-estate. Since the input cost in real-estate has increased the rates, the salaried class is left with no other option but to approach for home-loans from financial institutions. Interestingly, the tenure of repayment of home-loan is fluctuating between 11-30 years.

There is also a deterrent factor for salaried class in home-loans and EMIs. The EMIs are no more supportive since the financial institutions first draw larger part of interest in the EMIs and principal component is kept less in more than first 50 per cent of the EMIs. As the EMIs near completion, the interest component becomes negligible and principal component is much higher.

Even if the buyer has the provision of pre-payment of home-loan, he ends up paying the larger portion of principal amount rather than saving on the interest. Further, the financial institutions also levy heavy fees on pre-closure of loans. In case the buyer opts for higher tenure for loan repayment, it then makes it difficult for the buyer to invest in second property.

One question that has been asked frequently is – “If the principal and interest amount are predefined, why the EMIs can’t have equal amount throughout the tenure.”

Coming to tax benefit, repayment of principal amount in a home-loan qualifies for deduction under section 80C, which has an upper limit of Rs 1.50 lakh per annum. Since the same section – 80C, accounts a number of other investments including PF, PPF and life insurance policies etc, it becomes impossible for a buyer to take advantage of any benefit out of this section.

Buyers are looking forward to increase in this limit in Union Budget-2022 since this limit has not been increased in last many years.

On the tax benefit for interest payment, since under section 20(b) of the Income Tax Act, there is a cap of Rs 2 lakh per annum on the interest part of the home-loan, home-loans being larger in size, the buyers are unable to take much benefit of the same too. To extend tax benefit to the buyers the government has also added few sub-sections 80EE, 80EEA under the Income Tax Act but the volume of loan is not allowing buyers to gain desired additional benefits out of these sub-sections.

What perhaps needed in the Union Budget 2022 is to bring dynamic changes in the income-tax slabs and increase the rebates under section 80C, 80EE, 80EEA and 24(b) of the Income Tax Act.

One of the greatest philanthropists Andrew Carnegie said – “Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real-estate.” Andrew Carnegie is one of the five people who built America, the other four being Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Henry Ford. Harv Eker, an author and businessman, known for his theories on wealth and motivation said – “Don’t wait to buy ‘real-estate’, buy real-estate and wait”. These two statements said all about owning real-estate and what it could mean to a buyer.

Globally, investment in real-estate is directly related to the future of a buyer and also growth of the economy, and so be in India.

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Business

Equities rise for six straight sessions

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) and broader 50-scrip Nifty on the National Stock Exchange extended its gains from the past week and traded in the green in early trade on Monday.

Notably, indices had been gaining for the past six trading sessions.

At 10.15 a.m., Sensex traded at 61,288 points, up 0.1 per cent from the previous close of 61,223 points. It opened at 61,219 points.

Nifty traded at 18,280 points, up 0.1 per cent from the previous close of 18,255 points. It opened at 18,233 points.

Top gainers during the early trade were Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Adani Green Energy.

HCL Technologies, GAIL (India), ACC, Adani Transmission, and NMDC were some of the top losers, NSE data showed.

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