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Friday,27-May-2022

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Xiaomi loses huge 8% market share in India in 2 years

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Global smartphone brand Xiaomi which has maintained top position in the smartphone shipments in India for 17 consecutive quarters, is fast losing market share in India and since Q1 2020, it has shed 8 per cent market share amid rising competition and supply chain constraints.

In Q1 2020, Xiaomi registered a solid 29 per cent market share in the highly-competitive India market, according to Counterpoint Research data.

Since then, the graph is spiralling downwards, slowly but steadily, and in Q4 2021 (the festive quarter), Xiaomi logged 21 per cent market share — according to latest data coming from market research firm Canalys — which is a massive 8 per cent decline from Q1 2020.

The company, however, still maintained the lead in Q4 2021 with shipping 9.3 million units in the country, said Canalys.

According to industry analysts, Xiaomi has been hit by component shortage in the mass-market, entry-level segment where its rival brands are rapidly gaining with riding on a new chipset player called Unisoc.

In the premium segment where Xiaomi is aiming to gain footprint with launching top-of-the-line devices, Apple doubled its market share in India in 2021, on the back of increased share of domestic manufacturing, aggressive retail initiatives, and robust consumer demand.

Certain brands which picked entry-level chipset provider Unisoc in the mass-market affordable segment amid the global chip shortage were able to meet the demand in the mass-level market, while Xiaomi lost on the opportunity as it was hit by supply issues in the all-important festive quarter (October-December).

According to market research firm Techarc, entry-level chipset provider Unisoc saw two out of six smartphones launched in the entry segment (up to Rs 6,000) for 2021.

On the other hand, Apple doubled its market share in the premium segment in India in 2021, selling 5-6 million units last year, thus narrowing the margin for other smartphone players in the premium category.

Apple shipped a record 5.4 million iPhones to India in the entire year, and 2.2 million in the festive quarter (Q4) alone, according to Gurugram-based market research firm CMR.

On the quarterly basis, the Cupertino-based giant registered 34 per cent growth in the October-December period.

Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, said that Xiaomi has had to face tough headwinds in Q4 2021 owing, among others, to the prevailing supply side dynamics.

“As the brand pegs its future growth on the premium smartphone segment, it will face-up to increased competition from its closest rivals. While doing so, Xiaomi will need to drive its brand salience among premium smartphone buyers to attain sustainable market gains,” Ram told IANS.

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Sacked fund manager slaps legal notice on Axis Mutual Fund

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Fund manager and Chief Dealer at Axis Mutual Fund, Viresh Joshi, who was sacked last fortnight, has served a legal notice to the company challenging what he terms as his illegal termination.

Joshi was first suspended and later relieved of his charge on May 18, as per a statement issued by the AMF on May 19, for his purported role against allegations of ‘front-running’ (or, tailgating) at the company which conducted an internal probe into the matter.

He has hired leading law firm, Mansukhlal Hiralal & Co. to challenge his termination order.

Confirming the development, lawyer Chirag M. Shah told IANS: “We are in communication with Axis Mutual Fund on behalf of our client Viresh Joshi and have duly replied to the unlawful termination notice.”

Shah added that AMF terminated Joshi unceremoniously on unsubstantiated charges of alleged ‘front-running’ and he has sent a notice to the company against the unlawful termination.

The AMF further stated that it had been conducting a suo moto internal investigation into the issue since February 2022 using a reputed external advisor to assist with the ongoing probe.

“Further to our investigation, his conduct and following the decision to suspend him, the employment of Mr. Viresh Joshi has been terminated with effect from May 18, 2022,” said the company.

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Reliance subsidiary SankhyaSutra unveils ‘make in India’ software at Drone fest

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Bengaluru-based subsidiary of Jio Platforms, SankhyaSutra Labs, which makes high-fidelity multi-physics and aerodynamics simulation software, on Friday showcased its products and solutions at the ‘Drone Festival of India 2022’.

According to the company, achieving accurate simulation of turbulent flows often required in aerospace and defence designing is a challenging task due to the involvement of multiple scales of swirling motions, also known as vortices.

SankhyaSutra Labs said it develops next-generation high-fidelity CFD tools that do not use approximate turbulence models.

“When we speak about self-reliance in defence, we often tend to focus on the ability to manufacture various hardware components indigenously,” Dr Sunil Sherlekar, CEO at SankhyaSutra Labs, said in a statement.

“This journey towards self-reliance would be incomplete without indigenous design tools, which are the key enablers of this journey. At SankhyaSutra, we are developing deep technology for India and the world,” he added.

Incubated in 2015, SankhyaSutra Labs has its R&D centre in Bengaluru with target customers across the globe.

The company has planned a major product launch in October this year.

“Accurate and reliable simulations can potentially reduce the need for expensive and time-consuming experiments, such as wind tunnel experiments, which are used in the designing of aircrafts,” said Dr Vinay Kariwala, VP Business Development at SankhyaSutra Labs.

Reliance Industries Ltd had acquired an 83 per cent stake in SankhyaSutra Labs in 2019, with an investment of Rs 216 crore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day ‘Bharat Drone Mahotsav 2022’ in the capital.

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India Cements to monetise land, increase price by Rs 55 per bag

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Cement major India Cements Ltd will monetise some of its land to settle its debt and for capital expenditure, said a top company official.

He also said, in order to recover production costs that went up owing to drastic increase in coal prices, the company will be increasing the cement prices by Rs 55 per bag in three phases between June and July.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday N. Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director said the company would monetise surplus land for repayment of loan and for some capital expenditure.

“We are not in distress sale mode. We have about 26,000 acres of land in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The lands are of different categories,” Srinivasan said.

According to him, the company has to repay about Rs 500 crore of its debt and to that extent land monetisation would happen.

India Cements total debt at the end of last fiscal was about Rs 3,000 crore.

The capital expenditure is not much except for some balancing equipment and waste recovery plant in Chilamkur in Andhra Pradesh.

Srinivasan said the company would increase the cement prices by Rs 55 per bag in three parts — Rs 20 on June 1, Rs 15 on June 15 and Rs 20 on July 1.

He said the company’s products are already premium priced.

According to Srinivasan, the consumer has a choice as cement bags are now available in the price points ranging between Rs 320-450.

When queried that other cement players had expressed their plans to reduce their selling prices Srinivasan remarked: “Don’t compare. All costs have gone up. If I don’t increase the prices, I will runup huge losses.”

With a slow recovery in the southern markets further affected by record rains and floods in the previous quarter, the selling price of cement was under constant pressure resulting in uncompensated increase in the cost of production.

This was further compounded by the reduction in volume as the company as a prudent policy withdrew from the far off markets to focus on home markets.

Meanwhile, the company closed last fiscal with a total income of Rs 4,729.83 crore (FY21 Rs 4,460.12 crore) and a net profit of Rs 38.98 crore down from Rs 222.04 crore logged in FY21.

The company Board has recommended a dividend of Re.1 per share of Rs.10 each.

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