Flexi-staffing: no temporary phenomenon this

The allure of a secure job is unlikely to diminish any time soon in India, but the flexi-staffing or contractual labour market is expected to increase in size. In India, the flexi-staffing industry is still at a nascent stage. Penetration within overall employment in India is estimated at about 0.4%, far behind other countries (see chart 1). Click here for ... Read More »

Sugar: prices play supportive role, export commitment a concern

  These are better times for sugar stocks, which is reflecting in their shares as well. Globally, the sugar market is forecast to be in a deficit situation in 2015-16. Bad weather has affected the crop in key growing countries such as Brazil and India. Sugar prices have risen substantially since mid-September. Domestic wholesale prices are up by 10%, while ... Read More »

If cigarette stocks fell on GST, why have auto stocks not risen?

The sentiment in the stock market is so bearish that investors are quickly discounting even the hint of negative news, while dragging their feet before pricing in positive news. Consider the 4.6% drop in the shares of ITC Ltd last week after a government committee recommended a goods and services tax (GST) of 40% on cigarettes. As this column pointed ... Read More »

Gems, jewellery and power are the engines of industrial growth

The chart shows the sectors that have contributed the most to industrial production growth over the last six months. For each month between May and October, the top three sectors that have shown the highest contribution to growth have been selected. Click here for enlarge The conclusions that follow are: 1) Gems and jewellery has been the biggest contributor to ... Read More »

Steel: falling imports dim the case for protection

  The government appears convinced that the steel industry needs more protection. Safeguard duties on certain varieties of flat steel have already been imposed and more are in the pipeline. Reports of a floor price for imports are also doing the rounds. The impression conveyed is that the steel industry is sinking because of imports. But the numbers convey a ... Read More »

Weak construction, real estate demand hurt Cera Sanitaryware

Cera Sanitaryware Ltd shares have slipped around 22% since mid-April over concerns of a slowing real estate and housing market. They had, however, touched an all-time high in April on expectations of upbeat revenue growth buoyed by the government’s cleanliness campaign—Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for building toilets. It is the unorganized companies that have benefited from the programme so far, because ... Read More »

Luxury takes a deep dive

Luxury is no longer the preserve of consumers in the metros; the small town buyer is claiming a fair share of theluxury products sold in India according to a CII-IMRBreport ‘Emerging consumers of Luxury – India Tiers 2 & 3’ released recently. Small towns and cities account for about 35 per cent of sales of luxury brands, says the report ... Read More »

Brands look for a spot in the sun

Even as India takes the lead in setting up a global solar alliance, the industry for solar products in the country is caught in a bind. Despite years of research, subsidies and a growing basket of products, none has been able to build a successful national brand and the industry continues to be the preserve of unorganised businesses selling in ... Read More »

Ads pop up and play automatically, daring readers to shut them down with feats of fine motor control. The ads commandeer the screen. They expand and contract. They cover the text and refuse to budge. And then there is the dreaded X – the one that invites you to close the ad yet seems impervious to repeated clicks of the ... Read More »

Twitter twists to Bollywood’s tunes

A few months back, with just a few days to go for Diwali,Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn went on ‘Periscope’, Twitter’s live streaming video app, with a unique offer. He wished his fans the best of the season and gave them a shot at being a part of the first day of shooting for his movie.Shivay, Devgn’s movie releases sometime towards ... Read More »