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Indian Companies Increasing Foreign Acquisitions; More Companies "Indianized"



Photo by IANS

Indian companies have become matured, while tough competition remains within the domestic market of the country, Indian companies are exploring more markets and adding more dimensions of competition. In the last decade we saw growing number of acquisitions by Indian company not only of smaller brands but also of much bigger and prestigious brands. In our previous article we discussed how the former colony India has been acquiring more businesses in the UK and “Indianizing” them, becoming the largest employer in the private sector of the UK. It is observed that Indian companies in a collective manner targeted UK businesses more actively, it could be unintentionally or may be some kind of nationalism. Indian companies are now equally active in the rest of the geography in the race to secure resources and technology.

In a report by Columbia University, India has gushed as the world’s 21st largest outward investor, having more than US$75 billion in foreign investment in the last decade. In another report by the Reserve Bank of India, during 2009-10 alone, the investments by domestic Indian companies in overseas joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries stood impressively at US$10.3 billion.
Year 2000. One of the first major overseas acquisition by an Indian company was the acquisition of popular UK brand Tetley. Tata Tea in 2000 acquired Tetley for US$407 million. At the time of acquisition Tetley had three times the turnover of Tata Tea in India, but now it is the front runner brand of Tata Global Beverages and has made its successful presence in over 70 countries offering nearly 500 different varieties of popular tea.

Year 2003. In the year of 2003, one of the key Korean based commercial vehicle company, Daewoo was acquired by Tata Motors. Daewoo was famous for the cars Cielo and Matiz. After the acquisition Daewoo cars disappeared from Indian markets. Today Tata Daewoo is in the heavy vehicle business with its manufacturing and assembly mainly in Korea, India and Pakistan (Afzal Motors).

Year 2005. The confidence in the management of the Tata boosted so high that one by one it acquired more companies in US, South Africa and East Europe making it world’s second largest branded tea maker. US herbal and green tea brand Good Earth was bought by Tata Global Beverages in 2005.

In another move in the automobile industry Tata Motors bought one of the largest manufacturer of bus and coach cabins in Europe, Hispano Motors Carrocera in 2005. Apart from their main plant in Zaragoza, Hispano also has another facility across the Mediterranean sea in Africa, Casablanca, Morocco. Their combined capacity is to produce nearly 2.000 unites per year. With this acquisition Tata also brought a number of jobs by bringing manufacturing of Hispano bodied buses in India at ACGL plant in Goa. These buses are known as Tata Divo.

Tata Hispano
Why doesn’t Tata launch these buses in India? Variant of Tata Hispano Globus can be seen plying on the airports which lack functioning aerodrome facilities. Photo by Motor India

Later, in the same year Tata made another acquisition in the UK. UK-based Brunner Mond group and US-based General Chemical Industrial Products were back to back bought by Tata Chemicals.

Year 2006. Another US based beverages firm Eight O’ Clock Coffee was bought for US$220 million. Tata also successfully established itself in the tea markets of other small countries like Czech Republic, where it owns JEMČA which is the biggest selling tea brand in the country.

In a move to secure resources around the world, Indian companies are actively spreading their arms. A study by Ernst and Young reports that the Indian companies have advanced in recent years and have invested appreciably in securing mineral resources. For the first time, in the year 2010, India-based companies scored over Chinese counterparts in the acquisition of foreign mineral assets. To support the statement, Indian companies had invested US$4.64 billion in 2010 to acquire businesses outside India, while Chinese overseas investments declined by more than half to US$4.45 billion.

Year 2007. Tata, just after one year of making its dominating presence in the tea markets of US and UK, moved on to the next big thing, Steel! In the year 2007, ambitious Tata Steels bought a company five times bigger than itself for US$12.1 billion. At that time Corus was ranked eighth largest in the world. This pushed Tata Steel from 65th position in the world steel production to a comfortable 5th position. In an another move in the metallurgy industry by another Indian company, Aditya Birla Group acquired Canadian Novelis, an aluminum producing company, for around $6 billion by its flagship company Hindalco Industries. This acquisition has made Hindalco world’s leading aluminium rolled products producer.

Year 2008. India made notable acquisitions in the sector in which it is considered the world leader, IT sector. Indian company HCL acquired UK based enterprise solution provider Axon in mid 2008. Overall Axon group and its subsidiaries has constituted 14% of HCL Tech’s revenue of Rs 16,030 crore and net profit of Rs 1,646.5 crore proving impressively beneficial. HCL, Infosys, and Tata Consultancy Services have till date acquired large number of companies or established their centres around the world and maintain world dominance when it comes to IT.

In the same year, in one of the most surprising deal Tata Motor’s acquired prestigious British Jaguar and Land Rover auto brands. Still very few are aware that Tata Motors owns these super luxurious British automobile brands since 2008. Tata never renamed it as Tata Jaguar. Buying from the cash strapped Ford, Tata has now recorded massive net profit in JLR section.

Jaguar Land Rover Profit

Year 2009. When most of the Indian private companies were surprising the world with one after the other big acquisitions, state run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) also expanded its arm, and this time again it was UK! In January 2009, ONGC bought U.K. firm Imperial Energy for $2.1 billion. It was one of the biggest foreign acquisitions by ONGC Videsh (OVL), which is the overseas arm of ONGC. OVL successfully holds stakes in various parts of the world, notably the Gulf, Latin american and Siberia.

Year 2010. In mid 2010, In one of the largest coal mines deals by an Indian group, Adani Enterprises, in a cash and royalty deal, acquired the Australian coal assets of Linc Energy for US$2.7 billion.

In the same year, Bharati Airtel, India’s largest telco also became world’s fifth largest telecom company after acquiring African assets of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co., Zain. Apart from its massive Indian subscribers, this deal provided Bharati Airtel additional 180 million customers in 18 countries and annual revenue of $12.4 billion

Flowing in the spirit, Sahara India Pariwar in late 2010 controversially bought iconic Grosvenor House hotel in London for 470 million pounds (around Rs 3,250 crore), which gave it a considerable stronghold in the global hospitality business. Sahara India Pariwar had been losing businesses in India, Sahara airways, one of them. Sahara is also known for sponsoring various Indian and Bangladeshi sports team.

Talking about sports, Venky, flagship company of Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group bought Blackburn Rovers, 135-year old English premier division football club which however could not keep club’s fans happy.

Pedro Moreno de los Ríos, partner at Parangon Partners explains “One of the great advantages of Indian executives, compared with their Chinese counterparts, is their knowledge of Anglo-American culture. Another advantage is the greater openness that India has enjoyed when it comes to foreign capital”. He further added, “Indian managers tend to have an international approach, and “India is [even] exporting managers to China.”

Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources says, “They [Indian Companies] are aware that there are markets that have not been exploited, and they want to take advantage of them, but not if foreigners get one hundred percent of the profits,” explains Peters. He further adds, “That way, they guarantee that India will not be sold off to foreigners.” He says India and Indian companies are giving more important to their development and are open to foreign companies to gain expertise, technology and funding while maintaining control. “India wants to create its own companies and brands, while China leaves the road wide open to foreign companies,” says Peters.

India, which is third largest economy in terms of GDP (PPP) knows that it needs a stable economy if it is dreaming of becoming a super power in every manner. A strong economy, jobs, education, food security and political stability will help India excel in the path which it has already chosen. A number of foreign acquisitions like these have helped Indian companies gain expertise, technology and management lessons which will help this country shape even more global brands in the future. Companies like Tata, Birla, Reliance and Jaypee are also determined to structure better education in India through their state of the art institutions of technology. Foreign acquisition did bring some jobs to India and more importantly India has secured and has been securing some of the key resources field around the world, that will keep feeding its giant economy in a long run.

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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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The Future of the UK Used Car Market



It is an intriguing time in the UK auto market in 2018 with a range of political, economic and social factors influencing the industry. New car sales continue to fall for the 11th consecutive month with diesel taking the brunt of the slide. It is thought that this decline is due to the uncertainty over the Government’s clean air plans (including the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel), but also the economic climate and uncertainty over Brexit.

Sale of AFVs

Although new car sales continue to fall overall, there is evidence that the 2040 ban is influencing consumers with the sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rising steadily over the last 11 months, including a 7.2% rise in February compared to last year. Although this is unable to offset the free-falling diesel sector, it does show that motorists are beginning to prepare for the green car revolution. Motorists are also aware that there are many incentives for making the switch, plus there is now a wide range of excellent electric cars on the market.

Used Car Market

So, what does all this mean for used car dealerships? Sales have managed to maintain stability amidst the turbulence in the industry with a drop of just 1.1% in 2017 compared to 2016. This was largely thanks to the sale of used electric cars, which saw an increase of a staggering 77.1% in 2017. Hybrids were also up 22.2%. This goes to show that motorists are preparing for the future and still have the need to change automobiles, with the used car market being a much safer place to do this as it is a much smaller investment.

The Future

It is easy to see reputable used car dealerships like Shelbourne Motors performing well in 2018 and beyond as more and more second-hand electric cars become available. An increasing number of cities are imposing their own bans ahead of the 2040 ban, plus it is expected that there will be more clarity on the ban and the electric vehicle infrastructure will continue to grow. Additionally, the landscape of a post-Brexit UK will be clearer soon and this could encourage motorists to shop in the used car market.

The future of the used car market in the UK looks healthy despite the fact that there has been a great deal of uncertainty in the UK over the past year. Provided that dealerships are able to provide motorists with a range of second-hand electric automobiles, it is easy to see motorists opting to buy used as opposed to new as this can allow for big savings which is important in the current economic climate. The green car revolution is fully underway and this is what has managed to keep the used car market afloat during a challenging period.

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Controversial Business Moves: Have Amazon Gone Too Far?



Amazon are a marketplace giant, and their combination of a huge choice of products, low prices, and fast delivery options have seen them wipe the floor with their competitors. It’s even claimed that whole industries have been almost wiped out by the online retailer’s presence. But, where there is brilliance, there is often also controversy. Amazon is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of their most controversial business moves of late!


Let’s start with what is perhaps the one thing that we’ve all experienced when shopping with Amazon that has left a sour taste in our mouths: packaging. Now, we live in a world where we’re becoming increasingly aware of the detrimental effects that human activity is having on our planet. One of the main man-made problems posing a threat to our beloved Earth? Waste. We use so many products on a day to day basis that are seen as disposable, and we often throw many products and most packaging away after just a single use. The UK produces around 30.5 million tonnes of waste every single year. Within the EU, people produce around half a tonne of waste per person, and with over 500 million inhabitants, this figure quickly mounts up. America is said to produce 250 million tonnes of garbage on an annual basis. So, when many of us shop, we expect responsible large-scale businesses to use as little packaging as possible and to, preferably, send our purchases in recyclable materials. Sure, this may cost a little more and take a little more time, after all, you’ll have to pick packaging options logically rather than throwing every item into the first box that catches the supplier’s eye, but surely it’s worth it. It really isn’t all too surprising that Amazon causes outrage on a regular basis when they have been reported to send items as small as a phone charger in a box large enough for your small kids and cats to make a fort from. Now, the company has tried to justify this behaviour by saying that they optimise for the whole rather than the individual. Theorist Alexander Savin noted on his twitter feed that “Amazon uses a complicated software system to determine the box size that should be used based on what else is going in the same truck and the exact size of the cargo bay. It is playing an automated Tetris with the packages. Sometimes it will select a larger box because there is nothing else that needs to go out on that specific truck, and by making it bigger, it is using up the remaining space, so items don’t slide around and break. This actually minimises waste and is on the whole q (sic) greener system. Even if for some individual item it looks weird.” While this is an interesting theory, the tweet received all sorts of lash back from people refuting the theory. Many believe that the genuine reason for entirely environmentally unfriendly packaging is because Amazon promises such fast delivery that workers have just a matter of seconds to grab the nearest box or packaging to get the item out on time.

Drone Delivery

Again, convenience has come hand in hand with another complaint for the big bosses at Amazon. Sure, we’re all now familiar with Amazon Prime, a service which offers guaranteed next day delivery on a whole host of items. But have you heard of Amazon Prime Air? This is a fully autonomous system where a drone (otherwise known as an aerial vehicle) without a human pilot can deliver goods to customers within 30 minutes or less of completing their order. Sounds like something from the future, right? While this service hasn’t yet been launched by the company, it is in development and trial, and Amazon hopes that one day seeing an Amazon drone delivering goods by air will be as common a sight as seeing one of their delivery trucks travelling down the highway. People, expectedly, have a lot of questions surrounding the practice. They want to know how heavy the goods that this method could deliver can be (the answer, so far, is five pounds), where they are testing (there are currently trials in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel), and whether weather will affect the service (the company claim that they aim to operate in daylight when there are low winds, there’s good visibility, and a lack of rain, snow, or ice). Perhaps the most important issue on our minds, however, is how Amazon intends to navigate the airspace in each given country, as drones are a risk to planes. This is still being negotiated, so perhaps it will be a while before we really do see these plans come into practice and public use.

Live Purchases

Perhaps the most recent controversy associated with this retail giant is its delivery of live animals. The company has been slammed by animal activists and many consumers alike for offering home delivery of live animals such as lobsters and crabs. Not only is the method of boiling these creatures alive for consumption cruel in and of itself and something that shouldn’t be promoted at all (nevermind in the home and left to the hands of inexperienced and unprofessional cooks), they can also face the cruel fate of being left in boxes for days as they make their way from supplier to consumer. This is a sad case of sentient creatures being treated like commodities on a whole new level. Many customers have since cancelled their accounts completely, stating that they will not return to Amazon until they cease this cruel practice.

As you can see, Amazon is no stranger to controversy, and some of the decisions that they have made in their process of trying to meet the mass market’s needs and expectations really have backfired. However, where there is a complaint, there is room for improvement, and hopefully, they will begin to take customer feedback into account, ensuring that their business becomes as eco-friendly, safe, and cruelty-free as possible!

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Customer Care: Making People Feel Important



If you’ve been in business for a couple of years, you probably have a good understanding of the old idea that the customer is always right. Of course, this isn’t to say that the people you serve are geniuses and that they are constantly correct where you are wrong. Instead, it’s simply suggesting that you ignore your own feelings when talking to people like this, treating their word as if it is the only thing important to you. Understanding how far this should go within your own company will be a challenge. To help you out, this post will be exploring some of the key areas you will have to consider, along with the help you can get along the way.

Customer’s Expectations: The people spending money with you are those you want to please the most with this sort of work. Having been treated well by loads of other companies, the level of expectations most people have for the businesses serving them will be very high. Meeting these requirements can be hard for some companies. You will need to work tirelessly to handle the finer elements of this job. Thankfully, there are loads of tools out there to help you with this, and a lot of them are completely free.

The Areas To Work On: There are quite a few different areas which need to be worked on before you can consider yourself a customer-focused business. It will be easy to tell how much effort you put into this sort of work, with the results impacting everyone using your business. Below, you can find some of the examples you will have to keep at the front of your mind.

  • Customer Service: When a customer needs help with an order, a query, or any other kind of service, it’s important that your business handle it as swiftly and professionally as possible. A large part of this will be the training being taken by yourself and the employees doing this job. At can take many years to be able to handle this part of your business, and a lot of people will find themselves struggling throughout.

  • Customer Health & Safety: Along with feeling like their queries are important to you, it’s also critical that customers feel safe when they are spending in your stores. If you have someone slip and fall on ice outside your doors, they may have the chance to take you to court. Avoiding this sort of issue is a priority, with a lot of modern customers going out of their way to get something out of normal accidents like this.

  • Customer Complaints & Suggestions: Of course, sometimes, a customer won’t be trying to get in contact with you because they’d like to ask a question. If an order goes wrong, it can be understandable if a customer wants to have some harsh words with you. While this may be hurtful and hard to hear, the advice they give could be very useful to you. If they see that you’ve put their complaint into action and solved the issue, they will be much happier to spend with you going into the future.

  • Accessibility: Companies have to work hard to make sure that everyone has access to them, nowadays. Ramps, lifts, and other tools are all perfect when you’re working towards getting something like this done. People will be unhappy if they are unable to shop with you because of a disability they are suffering with, and you have the power to solve an issue like this before it ever comes.

Why Is It Important? When you’re looking at all of the work before you in a field like this, it can be hard to see the importance of what you’re doing. In reality, though, without this sort of effort, it will be obvious to customers that you haven’t spent any time thinking about them. For those most loyal, it could be frustrating to see your business go for so long without any change. Thankfully, solving this shouldn’t be too much work, and a lot of people have a good idea of what will need to be done based on their own expectations of businesses.

Hopefully, with this post in mind, it should start to get a lot easier to repair your relationships with customers which are unhappy with your business. It’s important to keep your customers at the forefront of your mind when you’re running any sort of company. Without these people, you wouldn’t be able to earn, and this makes it very important to keep up with them.

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