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Stumbling Blocks in All-Round Indo-Russian Partnership

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Soviet stamp 1974 for freindship between USSR and India

India and Russia enjoy healthy strategic relations since Soviet era. Large part of Soviet help came in the sector of defence, education, mills, mining, and industry and infrastructure development. The two countries essentially shared the buyer-seller, give and take relation. However, after the collapse of Soviet Union and the liberalization of Indian economy thebuyer-seller relationship turned into a full fledged partnership.

World’s fastest cruise missile, Brahmos and fifth generation fighter aircraft PAK-FA/HAL FGFA is the result of close partnership between the two countries in defence sector. The two countries realized the potential of their economies, one of the fastest in the world, and pioneered furthermore collaborations and investments. One of the prominent example of the successful business collaboration is Sakhalin I project where India owns 20% stake in the oil field which has 2,300 million barrels of oil and 17,100 billion cubic feet of gas in place.

India has been seeking more such investment in Russia in the field of hydrocarbon, oil, and pharmacy. On the other hand Russia had not done any major commercial entry in the Indian markets, the only prominent investment by a Russian company in recent years is of Russian telecom company MTS. India is world’s fastest growing telecom market and already has world’s second largest mobile phone user base and third largest internet user base, making it one of the best region for any telecom company. Telecom industry is highly competitive in India, companies go to any extent (within the limits set by TRAI) to provide one of the best services to their customers including free SMS, freephone numbers, first few minutes of calls as free, etc. After the introduction of the brand in India, MTS had soon reached 16 million subscriber base in no time. However, the whole thing all of a sudden changed in India and most of the licenses provided to the private companies were cancelled giving a big blow to the Russian investment and economists. The developments were unwelcomed in Russia and expressing grief.

The recent changes in Indian system has affected Indo-Russian ties, defence sector in India which had seen a strong presence of Russian hardware and technology is also seeking partnership and contracts with other major providers in the world. Cancelling of telecom licenses in India was not directed against Russia, but was due to political corruption that had taken place during the auctioning of the licenses that led to the abrogation of all the licenses given. Another major investment that faced the stumbling block was Norway based company Uninor.

“We were very happy that such a new and interesting field of our mutual cooperation as telecom was opened, a new investment destination for the Russian capital – both private capital from the Sistema, as well as from the Government with its shares.” Said ambassador of Russia to India, Alexander M. Kadakin in an interview to CNBC TV 18 Channel.

“As a bona fide buyer of that license we were thunderstruck when the whole thing all of a sudden changed here in India and all those licenses were pronounced invalid. It was a very unexpected development. I feel, the judicial and other authorities did not make a distinction between our company, which was a bona fide buyer, and all other companies. And the spectrum we bought was not claimed by any Indian company.”

According to the Russian ambassador there seem to be the involvement of political element rather than judicial one in the whole case.

“I don’t want to comment on the Indian judicial system, with highest respect I have for it. But it seems there is more political content here than judicial one. If we take up the matter judicially, look – a bona fide buyer acquires a frequency which nobody claims, acting according to all norms and regulations, valid at that time, in 2008, and all of a sudden in 2011 they just cancel all the licenses and my company is boiled in one soup with all other companies which may have committed something. It is not a judicial matter only, it is a political one. The Russian Government will never allow 3.1 bln dollars to be thrown in the abyss. This must be understood. The Government’s shares are the tax-payers’ money. It is about 1 bln. Are we to throw our money into the inferno of your internal problems in the telecom sector?”

When asked if India’s popularity as an ideal destination for investment is declining, Kadakin reply was positive, he denied any such doubts and pointed to the “ill wishers” of the growing cooperation between India and Russia for creating such illusions.

“How can it be that India would seem not a very favourable destination for Russian investment if yesterday a deal was signed in Moscow opening a credit line for 3.5 bln US dollars for the development of Kudankulam power plant? This is a huge, very important and strategic project. How can one say that things are not OK? These are the intentions of ‘ill-wishers’ who try to sow evil seeds of doubt into our cooperation.”

Further explaining the term ‘ill wishers” he referred to the protests that were launched against the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, India which are suspected to be motivated.

“When that situation continued for half a year, when India as a result was losing one million dollars every day. One should naturally think, how come those people were so well organized, on what money those “nature-protectors” were buying water and had food delivered, had shamianas erected there? It costs a lot. Who was giving the money? And the Indian Government has found that the money was channeled through all kind of ecological and “green” NGOs. But the money initially was targeted not for the anti-Kudankulam protests. Instead of developing the infrastructure in the region and in those villages, the money was used to organize protests!”

India and Russia has been great partners and there is hope of rising cooperation between the two as they participate constructively on international forums like BRICS and SCO. However, with the shift in India’s vision towards the events in the world, its policies have become more pro western, on various recent international platforms and voting, India had taken sides with the western nations instead of taking with Russia and China. Referring to India’s growing ties with United States, Russian media had said even to the extent that India is sliding to US pole and it is the time for Russia to being cooperation with Pakistan to maintain a healthy presence in the region.

However, according to Kadakin, all the claims are false and Russia seeks stronger partnership with India.

“As regards India, we are rejoicing together with India at its achievements. The figures of the India’s growth have been high, nearly 9 per cent, which in essence is almost an economic miracle. We are proud together with you, as Russia is India’s equal partner, a sister. So whenever I get to Moscow, I give one simple example: in five and a half years of my absence between the ‘two Indias’, when I was leaving my first ambassadorial post in 2004, the metro was inaugurated in Delhi and I took a joy ride. There were only seven stations there including Kashmiri Gate. But when I came back from Stockholm, you had more than 100 stations. Is that not a miracle? Moscow would be envious. We have one new station built in one year, and there is so much celebration. India is rushing ahead like a Russian troika. We are happy to be in that sledge together with India and want to rush even faster, and unite our efforts in all fields including that of mutual investment.”

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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How To Make Business Life So Much More Favourable

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If you have a business or you’re heavily considering starting a business, then you’ll know all about the perils and the difficulties that will come with it all. While it seems like such a wonderful idea from the outside looking in, it’s actually something that can really take its toll on you if you’re not prepared enough both mentally and physically. 

You’ll always be looking for ways to make business life an awful lot more convenient. The idea in this game is obviously to work hard as you never get anywhere without a serious commitment. You’ll really want to focus on working smart, however. Hard work for no reason is foolish when you have much better ideas and techniques staring you in the face. Business life can be a real hassle if you get things wrong and have to go through laborious days. Here are just a few ways to make your days, weeks, and months a lot more favorable for you: 

Get The Right People Around You  

Who you share your time with in business matters so much. If you have all of the wrong people, then you could be on a downward slant over the next few years. If you have good people with the right attitude and intentions, then you’ll likely become a lot more successful. In terms of using the right people, we’re talking about networking, hiring staff, bringing in specialists, soliciting advice, and so many other areas. Business is an interpersonal game, so make sure the right groups and individuals work with what you’re trying to achieve. 

Embrace Technology A Lot More Than Perhaps You Are Right Now 

If you’re already someone who wants to milk every platform they have, then this idea won’t worry you too much. There are so many pieces of ai powered software around that will help you with what you’re trying to achieve. Analytics, ads, management, and so many other areas can be bolstered with good programs. 

Set Up Genuine Plans With Achievable Goals 

This sort of goes without saying because you’ll likely have plans for the tasks ahead. This is more the idea of creating more structured plans for areas that are perhaps freer and less structured. Setting goals for everything you do can lead you to understand more about what needs to be done. It also gets everyone even more motivated. 

Take Care Of The People Working With You 

In terms of those you’re with, you’re going to need to treat them properly. It’s amazing what can happen if you neglect how they feel and the work they put in. The best leaders will always hone in on each individual and check in with them. 

Outsource Certain Jobs That Are Tedious

Sometimes, there are particular tasks that – although they need to be done – take up lots of unnecessary time and stress. If you are outsourcing admin, for instance, it makes life a lot easier for you as you all can focus on the productive and progressive side. 

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Current Trends in Business That Every Entrepreneur Should Work Towards Achieving

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buy-a-business

The world of business is changing and with it the trends that entrepreneurs should be working towards. Entrepreneurship has become a lifestyle as opposed to just a paycheck. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you can do anything. Check out these current trends in business that every entrepreneur should work on achieving:

E-Commerce

E-commerce has been a significant trend for the past few years, and you can expect it to continue being so. E-commerce has multiple benefits, including increased revenue, high availability of products, and a more significant customer base.

E-commerce allows businesses to be present on all digital platforms, which helps them reach out to more customers quickly. In addition, it makes it easier for companies to reduce overhead expenses as there are no physical stores that have rent costs associated with them or inventory levels that need maintenance constantly. Statistically, e-commerce has grown rapidly in the past few years from 25% – 30% year on year.

Financial Apps and Software

The software aspect comes into play when considering how businesses manage their finances moving forward. Companies must adapt to technology. Otherwise, they will find themselves left behind by competitors who embrace emerging technologies such as cloud computing and mobile apps. It is also easier to make purchases using these apps and communicate with the sellers. Incorporating such software with equipment and partnerships with a payment processing company will diversify the business activities and set you up for expansion.

These apps allow them to move away from traditional forms of financial management such as spreadsheets and accounting software to financial management apps such as Xero. With these new apps comes the ability to monitor business finances from anywhere, which can help businesses grow faster than what they would ordinarily be able to manage with slower conventional processes.

Blockchain Tech

Blockchain tech is the current trend in business that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving. You can apply this technology to many different industries, and entrepreneurs need to find their niche within this growing market. It’s also critically important not to overlook blockchain tech when deciding which cryptocurrency or token you want your company associated with.

Both positive and negative factors are involved in choosing one solution over another, but it all comes down to finding what works best for each situation. For example, today’s most valuable aspect of blockchain tech is its promotion of secure transactions between parties while eliminating third-party transaction fees (or at least significantly reducing them).

It means that businesses operating on a global scale could potentially enjoy significant savings in maintaining financial records. Transparency is also an important selling point for blockchain tech. The decentralized nature of its design makes all transactions public and easily accessible by anyone who has access.

Fraud and Cyber Crime

Another current trend that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving is fraud and cybercrime. In today’s modern world, the internet has brought the business community closer together as it allows you to reach a global market from almost anywhere with an Internet connection. Unfortunately, this means those who want to take advantage of this have access to millions of more potential customers, making it easier for fraudsters to steal money from unsuspecting victims.

Businesses that are not careful can fall victim to several types of cybercrime, including phishing, spoofing, pharming, and identity theft. These crimes are increasing at an alarming rate as more people use the internet for business purposes which means scammers often target them.

Conclusion

Today, business is becoming increasingly challenging. The traditional ways of doing things don’t work anymore, and it’s time for entrepreneurs to adapt to stay relevant within the industry. However, the industry itself is evolving rapidly, and it’s challenging to keep up with the changes that are happening every day. Fortunately for you, this post is here to help you understand the current trends that every entrepreneur should work towards achieving.

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Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

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Employee training

There is no question about the effectiveness of employee training and development. It’s incredibly important to help your staff advance their skills and knowledge to help grow a business, but the impact of employee learning has often been understated and even neglected. However, companies are now suggesting that employee training and development is one of the biggest megatrends that have completely transformed the future of work. It has overhauled how businesses should be developing and engaging with employees, and it’s leading to an incredibly diverse and talented workforce that is capable of wonderful new things.

Part of the problem of employee training and development is that it’s difficult to measure its impact on the workplace. Employee performance often isn’t a quantitative measurement that is easy to read and link to their output. This is one of the reasons why the effectiveness of employee training and development has been questioned by management experts.

Thankfully, new strategies have been developed to help measure workplace learning and its impact on companies. Below, we’ve included a helpful infographic that covers some of the most important measurements, such as return on investment and how it is calculated in the context of employee learning and development. It should put the effectiveness of employee training into perspective and will help you better understand when training is needed and how development actually improves your business and its productivity.


Infographic by: Ezra Coaching
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