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Indian Companies Increasing Foreign Acquisitions; More Companies "Indianized"

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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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Turn Your Passion into a Career: How to Make Money Doing What You Love

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Many dreams of turning their hobby, passion, or creative outlet into a career. It’s a beautiful idea, but it can take time to figure out where to start. Here’s a guide on successfully turning your hobby into a career. 

Do Your Research 

Before you turn your hobby into a business, please research and find out what the industry looks like, your potential customers and their needs. Next, consider your strengths, skills, and knowledge and decide how to use them in this new venture. Finally, consider what makes you unique in the industry and how you can market yourself. 

Take A Strong Career Test

A Strong Career Test can help you identify your ideal job and the type of environment you would flourish in. In addition, knowing this information can give you an idea of what kind of business to start and whether it’s something you’d be passionate about.

Think About Finances and Legalities 

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, consider the financial aspect – are there any costs associated with getting started? What sort of budget will you need? Will there be any tax implications? It’s also essential to think about the legal side of things – if necessary, consult with a lawyer specializing in business law so that you understand all the regulations associated with starting up and protecting your intellectual property rights. 

Create a Business Plan 

Now that you have researched and considered the legalities and finances involved, create a business plan that outlines all this information. Make sure it includes short-term and long-term objectives to keep track of your progress over time. Be realistic when setting targets for yourself – don’t aim too high at first because this could set you up for failure if it doesn’t pan out. Also, consider whether or not there is potential for growth or expansion once your business gets off the ground. This may include marketing strategies such as social media campaigns or investing in advertising materials such as brochures or flyers. 

Start Networking 

Networking is essential when launching any new business; it’s about building relationships with people who may be interested in your offer. Start by reaching out to family, friends, and acquaintances who may already know about your business or service offering; they may even be willing to share it with others! Additionally, join online groups related to your area of expertise – these are great places for exchanging ideas with like-minded people and potentially finding potential customers/collaborators/mentors/partners, etc. Finally, attend events such as trade shows or conferences where relevant topics are discussed – these are ideal opportunities for making connections within the industry that could prove beneficial down the line! 

Turning your hobby into a career is no small task, but it can be approached thoughtfully and strategically! Please research the industry thoroughly before beginning to understand its nuances; familiarize yourself with the legalities of running a business; create a viable yet ambitious business plan; network extensively (both online & offline). And never give up! With dedication & hard work, anything is possible.

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Top Tips for Moving Your Business to an Office

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Office chairs and tables
via Wikimedia Commons

Every business starts somewhere, and every successful business will eventually reach certain points in its growth journey that require the next step to be taken. For a lot of businesses, one of these steps is transitioning from a home or temporary work area into an office space. Moving into an office, although bringing a new set of costs and challenges also brings a new set of positives and opportunities. Not to mention upgrading to an office space can have the added benefit of improving the culture and productivity of your business.

This step should be seen as an exciting new investment and not something to be afraid of so if you are considering taking the next step or wondering what you should think about when looking at moving your business into an office space then the following tips may be of use to you.

Choosing the right location for your office

Whatever your reasons are for taking the next steps and moving your business into an office, you must choose the right location for it. You will not only need to be aware of its location for your staff but also depending on the type of business you own you may need to consider its location for your customers as well. You might find “the perfect workspace” internally, or one that fits or is much less than your budget, but it may not be in a suitable location for your business’s requirements, ultimately leading to a negative investment in the future.

Buying or hiring adequate equipment

Your office needs to be equipped adequately so as to enable your staff to do their job properly, and although budgets can be tough it is important to at least get the basics. An option you could look into would be something like mac studio rental equipment which can be sourced as a cost-effective way to enhance your short-term, and even long-term projects with high-end, and portable equipment that you may not be able to afford to start with. Whether you are working on a video production, hosting a conference, or heading to a marketing event, investing in the right equipment is a must.

Create a positive working environment

When moving into a new workspace, (just like when moving into a new home) you will be given an empty husk or a blank canvas that you can over time put your own flare into. Creating a positive working environment is not only based on your company’s work ethics, such as inclusivity, events, incentives, and how you treat your staff in general, but also on how you present, decorate, equip, and maintain your business’s workspace. No one will want to come to work or do their best if the office space you provide them is not a nice place to be in, so be sure to implement the best working environment possible for you and your team.

Consider your budget and growth

A big part of running a successful business is to make sure you are acquiring more wealth than you are spending so that your business can continue to grow. When you are looking at moving into an office with your business you need to consider all the expenses that this will bring with it. Rent, bills, insurance, etc. You might have to make a decision and choose a smaller office to start with before investing in your dream office space, as running before you can walk may hinder your business’s progression.

Ensure that your office space is fit for purpose

All businesses have different workspace requirements depending on what they specialize in, for example, if your business primarily works with clients overseas or on the phone then the office space needs to only really accommodate your employees, their desks, and equipment. Whereas if your business requires customer-facing meetings then you will also need to consider whether the office space you are planning to move into has conference room spaces available. Maybe your business is more “hands on” for example a computer diagnostics and repair shop and may require a workshop space too. So be sure to consider what your office space needs to be used for and whether it is fit for purpose.

So, whether your business is already at the stage where you are looking to find your perfect office space and take the next step, or if you are just starting out as a new business, acquiring and building the right office space is vital. 

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Are You Leaving Your Business Open To These Common Security Pitfalls?

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Security is a critical concern for business owners operating on the market today. If there is a security breach in your company, then it can end up costing you a fortune. As well as this, it can also end up damaging your business reputation and this will lead to you losing more and more customers and clients. Aside from losses of sales and damage to your business reputation, there’s another problem that you can have here too. That’s the legal factor. Businesses these days are required to reach certain security standards. If you don’t do this, then you are going to be leaving your company open to a potential lawsuit. So, let’s look at some of the ways that you might be leaving your business open to security pitfalls and the best ways to correct these troubles. 

Failing To Secure Tech

First, you need to make sure that you are taking steps to secure your tech. There are lots of ways that you can do this. For instance, you might be getting rid of old tech. If so, then it’s essential that you wipe all the data. You should start by clearing out the Google search history. If you don’t do this, then there’s a chance that there will be remnants of passwords and encryptions that a criminal could use to access your company’s sensitive data. If you’re wondering how to delete Google search history, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s relatively simple. By that’s just the beginning, once you have cleared the history, you’ll need to complete a more comprehensive clean up of the tech. Some businesses will even decide to hire a professional service to ensure that this work is completed the right way and that absolutely no data is left. 

Forgetting About The Cloud 

Are you wondering the best way to keep your business data secure? The answer is simple. It’s the cloud. Experts agree that by using the cloud, you will always have a greater chance of avoiding a hack or potential theft of data in your business model. It really is that simple. The benefit of a cloud server is that it keeps your data offsite and restricts the access. 

You might assume that it’s going to be difficult to access a cloud solution that will suit your business. However, we’re pleased to say that’s not the case. Instead, cloud solutions are completely scalable and thus can be accessed by any type or size of company you can imagine. 

Failing To Vet New Team Members

It’s also important that you remember to vet new team members before you allow them any kind of access to your business. While it might not seem like a massive concern, it should be because of the security risk that it poses. Before you allow anyone to join your team, you need to have run extensive background searches on them, spoken to all of the referees that they have listed, and checked for anything that is untoward about them. If you don’t find anything, then this is great and you can go ahead with hiring them.

However, if there is any doubt about them, then you need to be caerful. Run the checks again if you need to, but make sure that you’ve got the information that you need. Even then, you need to have them sign a non-disclosure agreement before they are allowed to join your team, just to be on the safe side. 

Forgetting About Physical Security 

We may live in the age of technology, but this does not mean that you should not be focusong on physical security as well. Your business building is still important, and the people who work for you still need to be protected. You can’t just try to cut corners and save money by leaving your actual business location vulnerable, and yet this is exactly what some companies try to do.

There should be physical security on the doors at the entrance of your building at the very least. As well as this, you’re going to need extras such as CCTV to keep an eye on the areas of the business that are not supervised. We recommend having these in any area that holds important information or money.

Failing To Stay Up To Date 

If you are using out of date technology and software then this may not be running the maximum security that your business needs. The reason it is recommended to keep up to date with tech is so that you are getting the very best services within your company. If you don’t update tech when required you may be missing out on vital security updates that will keep any and all unwanted activity away from your business. Make sure that you keep on top of all of these things and your business will be thriving and successful. 

Using The Wrong Services 

Finally, if you are using the wrong services then you are leaving your business extremely vulnerable to attacks and hacks. Without the right level of support from the correct services then you could be saying bye bye to your business before you are ready. Make sure you know which services to use and research these before you sign up for them. You don’t want to use something you don’t actually need as this will just take your hard earned cash for nothing. 

You should certainly be using IT support services when it comes to the cybersecurity aspect of your business. They will keep a close watch on your business and alert you to any hacks, no matter how small. 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you need to do in order to avoid leaving your business open to some of the common security pitfalls. It’s more important than ever that you are taking the right precautions, and doing everything in your power to keep your business safe. Tech is more powerful than ever in business, so you can’t afford to fall down on this hurdle. We wish you the very best of luck.

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