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Tuesday,18-January-2022

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Samsung heir in India, likely to meet Narendra Modi, Mukesh Ambani

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Lee-Jae-yong

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is currently in India, provoking speculation that the South Korean tech giant may make further investments to expand its presence in the country, industry sources said on Monday.

Lee is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani this week, reports Yonhap news agency.

Lee arrived in India on Sunday and was briefed by Samsung Electronics officials here. It is believed to be Lee’s first visit to India since March.

Samsung is one of the equipment suppliers for Reliance Jio’s 4G network business.

With the Indian telecom firm planning to establish a 5G network in the country, industry observers speculate that the two moguls may consult on the issue if there is a meeting.

“There’s also a possibility that Lee could meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a source said.

In July last year, Samsung India set up one of the world’s largest mobile manufacturing facilities in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in inaugurated the 35-acre Samsung Electronics facility.

Samsung currently has two manufacturing plants — in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu — and five research and development centres in India. The company has one design centre in Noida with workforce of over 70,000 people.

India today is the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world after China. According to a survey conducted by mobile industry body ICEA, the 268 mobile handset and accessories manufacturing units in the country employ about 6.7 lakh people.

Due to the focus on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the new hub of mobile manufacturing in the country over the past few years.

The new Samsung facility in Noida was set up with the aim of doubling its capacity for mobile phones in Noida from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year, in a phase-wise expansion to be completed by 2020.
India currently has over 450 million smartphone users. The number of smartphone users in the country is expected to reach 859 million by 2022, according to an ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study.

In such a scenario, Samsung’s heir’s visit is important in the festive season when the consumer electronics market is booming and consumer spending is witnessing an all-time rise, especially from the smaller cities and towns.

Samsung India is targeting business worth Rs 3,000 crore by selling over 2 million smartphones online before Diwali that falls on October 27.

“Lee’s recent visits show Samsung has a big interest in the Indian market,” the source added.

Lee is the only son of hospitalized Samsung Group chief Lee Kun-hee.

Business

Tata Motors to raise passenger vehicle prices

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Automobile manufacturer Tata Motors will marginally increase the price of its passenger vehicles from Wednesday (January 19).

According to the company, there will be an average increase of 0.9 per cent, depending on the variant and model.

“At the same time, the company has also taken a reduction of up to Rs 10,000 on specific variants, in response to feedback from customers.

“While the company is absorbing a significant portion of the increased costs, the steep rise in overall input costs has compelled it to pass on some proportion through this minimal price hike.”

Additionally, the company has decided to offer ‘price protection’ on Tata cars booked on or before January 18.

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GST hike deferment, PLI make textile stocks’ attractive, several Cos shares double

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Shares in textile business have witnessed a consistent uptick in the recent months due to various policy measures and on hopes of a firm outlook for the sector going ahead.

Besides, the GST council’s recent move to defer rate hike on textiles has buoyed investors’ sentiment.

In its latest GST council meeting, it was unanimously decided to defer a hike in rates on textiles from 5 per cent to 12 per cent, which was to come into effect from January 1.

The matter will be discussed again in the next council meeting.

The deferment came as several states flagged higher tax rates on textile products to be put on hold.

The decision by the Council gave a breathing space to the industry.

Accordingly, stocks of several textile firms zoomed.

Till date, shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills have seen a sharp rally.

The shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills companies rose 252 per cent, 316 per cent, 711 per cent, respectively, over the past one-year period.

Notably, much of the rally in the textile stocks was due Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes in the key manufacturing sectors, which included the textiles sector.

On September 8, 2021, the Union Cabinet had cleared the PLI scheme for the textile sector with an estimated budget outlay of Rs 10,683 crore.

The Centre, through the scheme, aims to provide a big fillip to the man-made fibres and technical textiles segments by promoting industries that invest in the production of some select textile categories.

Consequently, shares Of companies such as Alok Industries rose 40 per cent, Trident 333 per cent, KPR Mill 315 per cent, Arvind 195 per cent, Welspun India 134 per cent, Gokaldas Exports 344 per cent, Lux Industries 147 per cent, Filatex India 109 per cent, and Ambika Cotton Mills 105 per cent during the period.

In addition, analysts said that the stock price movement is likely to continue in the near future.

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Ford India closure: Compensation talks on with workers

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A couple of rounds of talks on the compensation to be paid to the workers have been held between the representatives of Ford India Private Ltd’s workers and the management, said a worker union leader.

He said the company management wants to conclude the talks and arrive at a settlement by February 2022.

“Couple of rounds of talks have been held with the workers in Chennai. We have given our charter of demands and the management said it has to be negotiated,” the Chennai plant union official told IANS preferring anonymity.

According to him, talks with the workers in the Gujarat plant have also started.

“We have asked for compensation for completed and remaining years of service. The company is not agreeable for the same. The management has not indicated as to the compensation they are willing to pay to the workers,” the union official said.

Majority of the workers are young and have about 25 years of service remaining before they retire and the compensation calculated on that basis will be a sizeable sum, is the management’s view.

However, the parent company will be infusing funds in dollars and as per the exchange rate between dollar and the rupee the outgo for Ford India will not be much, the worker leader said.

Last September, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand in Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country — vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

Ford’s ‘quit India’ decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees — workers and staff, the officials said last year.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya had told IANS.

Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.

The workers at Ford India want the prospective buyer of the car plants to hire them.

Meanwhile, Ford India has declared a holiday for majority workers till January 27.

About 100-200 workers have been asked to report for work to make the spares for the aftermarket, the union leader said.

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