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Indian Companies Increasing Foreign Acquisitions; More Companies "Indianized"

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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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4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

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Customer experience is much more than a one-time interaction. It’s an ongoing process that requires your business to think critically about how you can improve every interaction with your customers. Your customers should feel valued and understood at every step of the way, from first contact to the final sale. If you’re reading this, you know that customer experience is essential to the success of your business. It goes beyond surface-level niceties like “hello” and “thank you.” Instead, CX involves a 360-degree view of how customers perceive your company from beginning to end. These customer experience tips will help you streamline your interactions and give your customers the kind of service they want to return to.

Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

Never make your customers feel like they’re jumping through hoops to interact with you. Instead, make it easy for them to find and use your customer touchpoints—your website, social media channels, or physical storefront. Don’t forget about accessible payment options for your website and store to allow for multiple payment methods. Whether you include options to pay via PayPal or you need high risk merchant services due to poor business credit, pay attention to what you offer.

This applies to your customer service interactions as well. Make sure you have a clear way for customers to reach you through email, phone, a contact form, or some combination of the three. Be sure to include your hours of operation and any steps customers need to take to resolve their issues as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Make sure your contact channels are functioning well.

Make sure you have a way for customers to reach you both during regular business hours and after business hours (if applicable). Ensure your phone system is working correctly, your emails are always sent, and your website or any other online contact form is easy to use. Additionally, make sure you’re responding to customers promptly. If you’re doing everything else right, but if your contact channels are a mess, you’ll end up with many frustrated customers. No one likes to feel ignored.

Offer solutions to problems, not just products or services

It’s essential to offer products, services, and solutions to your customer’s problems and concerns. When speaking with customers, focus on their challenges and how your products or services can resolve them. Remember that customer service isn’t just about sales. It’s about resolving customers’ concerns about your company, products, or services—even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. Your goal is to create a lifelong relationship, not just a single transaction.

Establish trust through transparency and authenticity

Trust is crucial for building a strong customer experience. Be transparent about your policies and your products—this means disclosing any potential risks or downsides as well. Be authentic in how you interact with your customers. You should always be yourself, even if that means you’re not the best salesperson or occasionally make a mistake. Customers will respect your authenticity, which builds trust and loyalty.

Summing up

If you take nothing else away from this article, this is the one thing you need to remember: your customer experience dictates your business’s future. Your customers don’t just experience your products or services once. They experience them throughout their entire relationship with you. Make sure you’re paying attention to every single touchpoint and listening to how you can improve. Put in the effort to improve your CX, and you’ll see the results in no time.

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David Faraco and Aquarius will create the First NFTs in Solidarity with Nature

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When it comes to the environment, we often think about ways to reduce our carbon footprint or recycle more. But what if there was a way to actually support the environment while also supporting your favorite artist? With NFT, now there is! NFT, or non-fungible tokens, are a new way to collect and trade digital art. And because they’re stored on the blockchain, they’re completely secure and immutable. That means that when you buy an NFT, you can be sure that you’re getting the real thing and that your purchase will support the artist directly. Plus, NFT are a great way to show your support for environmental causes. Aquarius and David Faraco are teaming up to create the first-ever nfts in solidarity with nature.

What is an NFT?

An NFT is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. The term NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. NFT are unique, unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which can be exchanged for goods or services. NFT have been gaining in popularity due to their ability to represent digital assets in a more secure way. For example, an artist could create an NFT of their work and sell it as a digital collectible. The benefits of using an NFT include the fact that they cannot be counterfeited and are tamper-proof. David Faraco Heredia, will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This project is aimed at helping to preserve our planet’s natural resources.

How will David Faraco’s NFT help nature?

In David Faraco’s native country of Costa Rica, nearly a quarter of the land is protected in some way by the government. This includes rainforests, national parks, and biological reserves. Now, with the help of blockchain technology, Faraco is hoping to do even more to protect the environment. Faraco is the founder of Aquarius Crypto Universe, a company that creates non-fungible tokens (NFT). NFT are digital assets that can be bought, sold, or traded like traditional cryptocurrencies. However, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, each NFT is unique and cannot be replicated. Aquarius will use NFT to create digital certificates of ownership for land and wildlife. These certificates will be stored on the blockchain, making them tamper-proof and impossible to forge.

What are the benefits of using NFT?

  1. According to David Faraco, the benefits of using NFT include “the ability to show provenance, the immutability of the data, and the trustless nature of the technology.”
  2. He claims that by using NFT, we can “create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.”
  3. Faraco believes that NFT “have the potential to revolutionize how we interact with and value Nature.”

David Faraco, CEO of Aquarius Crypto Universe, has announced that they will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This comes as a response to the growing environmental crisis and the need for new ways to support and protect our planet. NFT are unique and cannot be exchanged for another currency. This makes them ideal for supporting causes and organizations, like Aquarius, that are working to make a difference. These NFT will be available for purchase on Aquarius’ website and will help support their environmental initiatives.

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How to segment your customers for better results

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email marketing

Segmentation is classifying your audience by a relevant characteristic. This makes the strategy target prospects that could buy your product and increases the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy where segmentation is possible, as the best managers offer this possibility.

Why segment?

Segmentation is one of the marketing challenges facing companies today, because many are not used to it.

Until a few decades ago, advertising possibilities were limited to television, radio and newspaper commercials. These commercials reached all audiences equally. If the commercial was about women’s clothing, it was seen by men and boys alike. But the internet changed that.

Today, digital marketing offers great possibilities to segment the audience, so that everyone receives the information that is of interest and useful to them.

Some examples of segmentation are the following:

  • An appliance shop sends a special discount only to customers who are finishing paying for a product purchased in their shop.
  • A department store sends a toy catalogue to parents subscribed to its mailing list for the Christmas season.
  • A bookshop sends a newsletter with a discount coupon to parents with school-age children at the beginning of the academic year.
  • Invitations to an event on shop in a specific city, but only to subscribers who live in that city.

With these strategies you want the message to hit the target and get a lot of conversion, for this Mailrelay offers tools to segment the list in an easy and effective way. Thanks to this mass email software, you will be able to successfully segment your users in just a few minutes.

How to get a segmented mailing list?

At the time of the campaign, you can include some questions to find out some characteristics of the customer. For example, the name and surname, city, interests, etc.

Be careful with the questions, because they can dissuade the customer from subscribing, so you should only include the most important ones.

After subscribing, the customer may be asked to answer a survey, in which additional questions may be asked, but this should also be done with care, as it may be uncomfortable. It should always be optional and if the subscriber does not answer it at the first attempt, do not insist.

Another strategy to get the information we want is a contest. For this, you have to establish a very attractive prize that the subscribers appreciate very much.

Finally, purchasing habits can provide information. If a customer regularly buys products for cars, we can intuit that they own one, and we can design offers for them.

What are the advantages of audience segmentation?

The main advantage is that you gain in effectiveness, with segmentation you reach the specific customer who is in a position to buy. This allows you to design a direct message that speaks to the customer according to their needs and facilitates the sale.

It also happens that the message does not reach people who may consider it inappropriate. For example, if we have a mailing list with customers from a department store, and we are going to launch a campaign for women’s clothing, the men who receive it could mark it as spam, which would affect the company’s marketing plans.

In addition, segmentation generates greater engagement, as the customer feels that you are talking to him or her about his or her needs and concerns. Talking directly to subscribers is the best way to get closer to them and make them loyal customers.

Recommendations for segmenting your customers

  • If you are planning an email marketing campaign, it is very important that you do a proper and effective segmentation. For this, it is very important that you choose a mailing manager that has good segmentation tools.
  • Establish strategies for each segment of your audience, so that you get new niches to develop your business. Knowing the possibilities of your brand and the needs of your customers is fundamental to design strategies that will be profitable.
  • Combine the segmentation of the email marketing campaign with an excellent social media management, in order to achieve the appropriate proximity to make the relationship between the brand and the public strong. Social media is booming and is also a form of direct communication that can be very cost-effective.
  • The conformation of groups should be established strategically, this can be by gender, location, preferences, socioeconomic level, activity, etcetera. These groups should be very well differentiated and their distribution should be related to the business in question.

How to get better results from a segmented campaign?

If you have established an email marketing campaign for one of the groups you have defined in your list, the following tips can help you achieve better results:

  • Choose the right frequency according to the product and the characteristics of the group. A poorly chosen frequency can be counterproductive, if there are too many messages, it could lead to unsubscribes and if they are too infrequent, the message could be lost.
  • Analyse the metrics provided by the email marketing manager, with this information you will know if the campaign is giving results and have clues about what the problem may be, if there is one.
  • If it is a campaign of several newsletters, you can place a button for the subscriber to indicate if they are not interested in the campaign, that way you can remove them from the campaign and prevent them from unsubscribing from the list.
  • Surveys are a great tool, as they capture relevant information from customers. If they are applied, they should contain only one question, maximum 2, and always a selection by clicking on an answer option. Do not overuse surveys because they could generate unsubscribes.

If you are going to implement an email marketing campaign, segmentation is necessary to get the best possible results. We recommend you start researching today the most appropriate segmentation of your customers. You will be able to achieve great results with just a little effort. 

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