Archives for category: Uncategorized

2012の第2四半期でのGDP上昇が5.5%と先週インド経済成長の低迷化のニュースが話題となりました。第1四半期の5.3%を上回ったのでよいと思うインド政府の主張もありますが、9%の上昇期待と比較すると、やはり対策が急務と思われます。

CPIインフレも10%前後で推移し、高いので、インド準備銀行(RBI)としては金利下げを避けたい。一方、対米ドルルピー安が進み、この一年で25%も価値が下がり、輸出業が刺激を受けるべきところ、欧州の経済問題など、グローバルスローダウンにより、効果がでていません。

この状況下、幾つかの対策を優先すべきと考えます。

まず一つ目として、FDI(海外直接投資)規制のさらなる緩和です。特に小売業 (Retail)をはじめ、保険業などへ投資規制緩和が考えられます。ルピー安がさらに進んでいるので、国際ビジネスでは、外資家企業はインドに投資し易い環境とはなっていますが、お金があるが投資できない状態です。これは資本増につながります。

二つ目は、インフラ整備です。7月末に6億人が影響受ける停電が、この課題の重要かつ印急性を語る。これは基盤づくりにつながります。

三つ目は土地取得に関する政策の透明化です。Tata のSingur 事件をはじめ、まだ、工業団地開発の際、土地は本当に所有できるかが不安となります。土地取得スキャンダルは日常ニュース事項となっているぐらいであり、工業化促進の妨げとなっています。

四つ目は、これだけの人口の馬力を活かすのでしたら、基本教育が重要課題です。経済発展の3要素のうち労働力が一つであり、人材資源豊富なインドでは、それ活かすために、それを磨くのが必要だと考えます。

アショク アシタ

Advertisements

Just last week, I was making my travel arrangements for a trip to Mumbai. To find the right flight as per the timing of my visit, I first logged into the travel portal Yatra.com. Here, I noticed that the “budget flights” Jet Konnect, from the Jet Airways wing was priced higher than Jet Airways, the full services provider. Both Jet Konnect and Jet Airways carry the 9W code. Due to these discrepancies, my own preferences have recently has changed to Indigo (6E), and I wasn’t too perturbed about this. However, I mentioned this to my colleague and came to know that he too has been noticing this of late and has changed his preference to Indigo.

As I have been increasingly hearing about the growing preference of Indigo, this small incident got me thinking about how hard it is to stay on the top in international business. Though, Jet Airways is primarily a domestic route airline, with a few international routes, it is the main private airline whose tickets can be purchased from outside India. Thus, an international businessman in Europe planning a trip to India can make his booking conveniently on Jet as part of his British Airways or Lufthansa or other European airline itinerary.

Additionally, since the late nineties, Jet Airways has built itself as the leading brand in India’s domestic travel. It seems to me they decided to milk that brand name in the name of cost efficiency, a few years ago. Hence, they introduced their “budget” wing Jet Konnect

Pricing it essentially at the same level as the full service wing, they stripped value-adds such as blankets and newspapers and started to charge for catering services. Travelers who boarded for the Jet experience were shocked, but Jet could claim that Jet Konnect is their “budget” wing. Jet Airways still has a few flights on the full service, but instead of raising standards on Jet Konnect, they are now stripping away standards on the so called full service, removing refreshments on demand and so on.

As a result, people like my colleague and I now find airlines like Indigo more attractive. I suspect that half that battle was won by Indigo’s diligence keeping a young fleet etc. However, the remaining half was of the battle was lost by Jet, lulled by loss of competition from Kingfisher and Air India. It will be interesting to see if Indigo can remain on top; the challenge to do so will be tough.

In a similar vein, ITC Hotels that was one of three leading chains in India is also now showing signs of decline. Recently, there was a booking at one of their hotels through a travel agent. Later, when the hotel recognized the name of the expected guest, the Relationship Manager (or Sales Assistant) informed the travel agent that they would not honor the booking because the expected guest had previously stayed at the hotel at a higher rate.

This incident reminds me about roadside mango sellers in Delhi, who charge according to how they perceive the customers’ potential to pay. For example, if you approach in slippers, they may ask for Rs. 50/kg. But, if they see the potential customer stepping out of a chauffeur driven car the rate increases to Rs. 60/kg or more. They charge money according to the customer’s ability to pay. Despite the variable prices, the roadside vendor does not go back on the agreed price once the deal is struck, and this is important in the realm of international business too; honoring commitments. ITC Hotels should not compare itself to roadside mango sellers of Delhi, but, if it must, it should adopt their positive qualities too and retain commitments made.

As per the HBR (Harvard Business Review) blog piece – “Staying on Top Image

, Mancur Olson has suggested that the actions taken by Jet or ITC could lead to the classic corporate stall. Here, the companies are becoming captive to their own success and are facing vulnerability to low-cost rivals. They are probably in crunch of innovative ideas that could lead them out of it.

Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore was visiting India last week. He talked about how difficult the business environment is in India. It does not help that even leading businesses such as Jet Airways and ITC Hotels do not keep up their end of the social contract. This is a primary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and no amount of separate CSR programs can hide their fundamental shortcomings, as was proven in the famed Satyam scandal a few years ago.

My own former company Toyota allowed quality sag and was bashed (disproportionately, in my opinion) in American media a few years ago. This resulted in drastic drop of sales. I read recently that Toyota is now poised to gain World No. 1 spot after many years. I wish my friends and former colleagues the very best.

My message: Getting to the top is tough; staying there is tougher. Hence, maintain your social contracts to remain the leader.

Developments in clean technology and environmental policy are a necessity for the growth of any nation. For many years, only the major economies of Europe could fund such development. However, major Asian countries such as China and India are currently dealing with the realities of rapid industrial expansion. In an effort to avoid the environmental crises of Japan in the 1960s and 70s, Asian countries can make use of the European sustainable development model to direct their efforts.

Japan’s environmental crises should inspire caution in the environmental policies of major Asian countries. Japan’s lack of strict policies concerning the disposal of toxic waste led to widespread health problems. In the 1960s, industrial waste containing methylmercury caused residents of Minamata City to develop a medical condition that caused approximately 6,500 deaths. The 1970s saw a dramatic rise in cases of chronic arsenic poisoning due to inadequate safety measure at arsenic mines in Japan. These events should direct the focus of technological research to key issues threatening the environmental health of Asia.

"Clean technology Asia", "Clean technology India", "Clean technology China","Clean technology Japan"

Clean technology Asia

China and India will inevitably encounter increasing greenhouse gas emissions. By taking a cue from European policies, major Asian countries could design efficient methods for combating increasing levels of these gases. The 20-20-20 Directive is an excellent example of European air quality control measures. This program sets a goal for the EU to increase renewable energy and reduce pollution by 2020. If China and India employ a similar policy, these countries could set an excellent foundation for their industrialization.

The European think tank, Bruegelhas also advocated measures for the environmental health of the EU. It is taking an active role in the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan. They work to promote the use of sustainable energy, aiming for a 30% reduction in pollution. By setting emissions restrictions and encouraging innovation, China and India could begin to reduce pollution before it becomes uncontrollable.

The continual industrialization of major Asian countries is inevitable. Without proactive interference, equally inevitable are the serious pollution issues these countries will face. These serious problems will be rendered manageable and less harmful if a Europe-like program of environmentally responsible development is utilized. By carefully monitoring their growth, countries such as China and India can create energy policies that are as proactive and forward-thinking as those found in the EU. International business solutions could then help meet those policy goals.

%d bloggers like this: