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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Maritime India Summit 2016 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre in Goregaon on Thursday. The summit is scheduled from April 14 to 16. In his inauguratory speech, Modi said that his government wants to restore India's position in this sector.


Prime Minister also called upon the global business community to partner with the government to give shape to a process of port led development.


He articulated that the maritime is the cheapest and cleanest way of global trade. The government is planning to deploy modern and sophisticated fishing vessels, he said.


Modi also added that the maritime sector not only creates and facilitates economic activities; it also connects countries and civilisations.  He expressed that his government wants to modernize ports & integrate them with SEZs, Port based Smart Cities, Industrial Parks, Warehouses, Logistics Parks


He informed that in the early days, his government had announced "Sagar Mala" project, to boost coastal economy & infrastructure.


Our vast coast line of 7500 km offers vast investment opportunities, said Modi.


He also invoked Dr BRAmbedkar and said that he had great foresight on how to best utilise water resources and how to improve irrigation.


Talking about Climate change, Modi said that it is causing a lot of concern and the forum must address that issue.


PM Modi also released national perspective plan of the Sagarmala programme. He added that the government wants to increase port capacity from 1400 to 3000 mn tonnes by 2025.


Talking about the present scenario of the Indian economy, Modi said that the IMF and World Bank have indicated better days to come for India.


Source: ZEE News

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country increased to $42 billion during April-February in 2015-16, up 27.45 per cent from the inflows in the corresponding period of the previous financial year, RBI said on Monday.


The inflows were $32.96 billion during April-February 2014-15.


The data further revealed that FDI in February was $3.2 billion, down from $5.14 billion in January. The foreign direct inflows were $3.48 billion in February 2015.


The net FDI (minus FDI outflow) was $34.04 billion during April-February against $29.66 billion in the corresponding period of the last financial year.


According to the finance ministry, 98 per cent of FDI is coming into India through the automatic route and, as a “positive sign”, the number of applications being routed via the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval route has started declining.


The NDA government has been liberalising the FDI regime and has brought a number of sectors under the automatic route. Insurance, railways, defence and e-commerce are some of the key sectors where FDI norms have been liberalised.


Source: Business Standard

India has figured prominently in Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos' annual address to shareholders. This is also the first time since the government announced 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce marketplace last week that the US major has backed the business format followed in India. "India is another example of how we globalise an offering like marketplace through customer obsession and a passion for invention," Bezos told the shareholders.


While Amazon is known primarily for its inventory-led model, it operates marketplace in India to adhere to policy guidelines.


India has never permitted FDI in e-commerce, prompting companies to open marketplace business as that meant offering a technology platform to facilitate coming together of sellers and buyers on their sites. Last week, the Department of Policy & Promotion clarified that 100 per cent FDI is permitted in e-commerce marketplace but no foreign investment can be allowed in online inventory-led companies.


Industry watchers have pointed out that both Flipkart and Amazon.in need to rejig their seller base to comply with the new guidelines, which specify that no vendor can sell more than 25 per cent of the total on any marketplace site. WS Retail is the biggest seller on Flipkart and Cloudtail is the most prominent vendor on Amazon.in, with sales of both exceeding the permitted level of 25 per cent.


On marketplace model, Bezos cited a scheme called Amazon Chai Cart, where the company "deployed three-wheeled mobile carts to navigate in a city's business districts, serve tea, water and lemon juice to small business owners, and teach them about selling online. In a period of four months, the team travelled 15,280 km across 31 cities, served 37,200 cups of tea and engaged with around 10,000 sellers".


According to Bezos, through conversations with sellers, the company found out there was a lot of interest in selling online, but the sellers struggled with the belief that the process was time-consuming, tedious and complex. "So, we invented Amazon Tatkal, which enables small businesses to get online in less than 60 minutes. Amazon Tatkal is a specially-designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms. Since its launch on February 17, we have reached sellers in 25 cities.''


Referring to India, he said the company was globalising "fulfilment by Amazon", adapting the service to local customer needs. "In India, we launched a programme called Seller Flex to combine Amazon's logistics capabilities with sellers' selection at the local neighbourhood level."


Amazon, which announced an investment of $2 billion in July 2014 for the India market and is competing with Sachin Bansal-led Flipkart for marketshare, is extremely bullish on the country. Top executives had earlier said the company had an "open cheque book for India", its fastest growing market.


Source: Business Standard

With its ranking going up by three places, India has now been ranked sixth among the world’s 10 largest manufacturing countries, a United Nations Industrial Development Organization report said. India previously held the 9th rank.


The yearbook, published by the UNIDO, finds that in India, the Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) grew by 7.6% in 2015 compared to the previous year. It also said that the quarterly index of industrial production (IIP) shows 1% growth of manufacturing output in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of previous year.


“India is now the sixth largest manufacturer in the world,” the report said. The report also said that the global growth rate of manufacturing production has slowed to 2.8% in 2015. “This slowdown could be due to reduced manufacturing growth rates recorded by major developing and emerging economies,” it added.


China tops the list of 10-top industrial producers followed by the US, Japan, Germany and Korea. Indonesia was at the bottom of the list.


Source: Live Mint

In the start-up ecosystem, 2015 was about fervent investments in the first half and introspection in the second. While most major venture capital (VC) firms decided to slow down, one brand of investors, angels, still found joy and value in a space greatly overvalued.


In 2015, angel investments touched a record high of 193 deals worth $46.4 million, compared with 58 deals worth $21.7 million in all of 2014. In 2016, the numbers — 56 deals worth $15 million — are on track to match if not cross the 2015 mark. There is also a quiet introduction of foreign angel networks that have made their presence known. Since 2013, there had been four angels which made non-glamorous investments in India. US-based Empire Angels invested $600,000 in Bengaluru-based ZoomCar in 2013 and followed it with $1 million in the seed round and then $8 million and $11 million in the next few.


Singapore Angel Network and HBS Alumni Network, too, made moves in the market. Recently,  Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs entered India and made two investments — in Prophese, a data analytics company, last year, followed by Smartvizx, a virtual reality start-up, last month. Both have been in the business-to-business space. Experts say these foreign angel networks have started to find traction in the current overheated ecosystem.


“What we are seeing is the third phase of evolution in the angel investment ecosystem for India where global marquee networks are getting active,” says K Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and partner Growthstory.in. He has been one of the pioneers in angel investments in India.


Angels are largely the individuals, who invest in early stage companies in their personal capacities or through their family offices. They brought the first phase of evolution for angel investments in India. When multiple angels came together, they brought in the second phase of evolution through forming networks such as Mumbai Angel Network. But with the flow of marquee global angel networks, has begun the third phase of evolution.


“In the last year or so, the Series-A and -B rounds have been quite quicker and at good valuations, which have helped global angel investors establish themselves,” says Ganesh. "These global angels bring their strategic relationships with the US market, which will help investee companies in a big way.”


Paula Mariwala of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India agrees. She explains that the market has matured to handle foreign angel networks and there should be more on their way. The Stanford Angels network, however, was established to replicate the one that currently exists in the San Francisco Bay area. The network, she says, isn’t like other alumni networks, which only help former students. “We use our alumni network to identify and fund good companies that can grow into global firms,” says Mariwala, who is also part of Seedfund. Currently, the angel network has 70 investors. “Usually, 10 angels come together to invest Rs 10 lakh each, which means Rs 1 crore as our base investments in companies,” she adds.


Mariwala says one of the key reasons for success of these foreign networks is that they have a team of advisors that helps these fledgling entrepreneurs find the right idea of success. “We are currently expanding our advisor group. We have four advisors from the Bay Area to help these entrepreneurs. We are also trying to get faculty from Stanford to mentor them in India,” she says.


But, not all IT companies are on the radar for these angels.


Ganesh from Growthstory.in says that companies dealing with fin-tech, artificial intelligence and robotics are currently attracting these global angels. His belief is proven by Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs’ investments.


The network is also closely looking at an e-commerce back-end firm to add to its list. “It is not like we aren’t looking to invest in B2C companies but the valuations there are still too inflated to make our move in that segment,” Mariwala says. Fitness, health and fin-tech (microfinance and the works), she says, should be a big play in 2016.


The network is setting up its presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, and will use the existing local angel networks to leverage its portfolio.


Source: Business Standard