Response from Mr.Suresh Hari, Secretary, CREDAI Bangalore and Mr.Suresh Kris, CFO, Brigade Enterprises Ltd.

Response from Mr Suresh Hari,Secretary, CREDAI Bengaluru

The cost of funds become expensive now. The funding from banks and other financial institutions have become slow, and banks don’t fully invest in real estate. They don’t come forward to invest in developers fully. Borrowing from other sources come at a higher cost. Availability of funds at a good price is a big challenge. Now the Government has relaxed FDI to include smaller projects also. This will kickstart economic activity in real estate sector in a bigger way and funds will be available for many developers. Real estate will be much more attractive for investment. This applies to all aspects of realty business.

The cost of funds will be more competitive. The bottomline of listed real estate companies will go up because their cost of investment will be competitive.

Till now, investment on office spaces and malls was only made in city outskirts, foreign investment was possible only into projects spread over a larger area. By easing rules for FDI into projects spread over a smaller area, the Government has opened up avenues for development opportunities within city limits. The 20,000-sq-metre requirement will now open up investment opportunities for those looking at smaller projects inside city limits.

Also, this move will also result in investor interest in smaller cities where the demand is more for smaller office or retail spaces.

Response from Mr.Suresh Kris, CFO, Brigade Enterprises Ltd.

The relaxed norms for 100 percent FDI in construction is a welcome move for the real estate industry which is cash-strapped. For developers like Brigade group, who have small land parcels which did not qualify for foreign investment till now, would benefit from this move.

With this notification, foreign investors, who were not keen to invest in larger projects, may now start investing in smaller projects.

The notification would also open up demand for land where development of less than 50,000 sq metre only is possible. It is not just the residential segment which would benefit. The relaxed FDI norms would also see investment flowing into commercial and retail spaces, and also some of the mall management companies would stand to benefit.

Doing away with the clause of 50% development to be done in 5 years from the date of approval and restriction to only a three-year lock in period will give the existing foreign investors a lot of room to exit current investments. They can now re-jig their portfolio, and many developers – small and big – would benefit from such an exercise. All these are positives that we have been awaiting for a long time.

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Customers in India Reward Excellent Service by Spending More and Spreading the Word

Bangalore, 30th October 2014 : Businesses in India can reap the most rewards by providing excellent service, as 78% of consumers have spent more with a company because of history of positive customer service experiences, according to the findings of the American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer released today. The survey also indicates that this trend is picking up as 86% of Indian customers have expressed willingness to spend 23% more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service as against the global average of 66% who are willing to spend 12% more.

In addition to spending more, 66% of the survey’s respondents say they always tell others about good service interaction, telling an average of 41 people. According to the study, recommendations from friends or family members is amongst the most likely ways to get 22% Indian customers to  try a new company, behind a company’s reputation (33%) –  which is impacted by the service they provide.

 “Businesses can build advocates by delivering outstanding service, and companies that do this consistently understand that exceptional service is a real competitive advantage. The highly networked Indian customer present a phenomenal opportunity as he wields a wide sphere of ‘word of mouth’ influence and is also willing to pay a premium to companies providing great service. So focusing on delivering outstanding service will ultimately help companies to grow,” said Mr. Sanjay Rishi, President, American Express South Asia.

The American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer, a flagship survey conducted across 10 countries, reveals:

Everybody’s talking about service

Companies will need to continue giving importance to their engagement with customers given the influence of recommendations as most trusted in India as against other markets. Indian consumers tell significantly more people on an average about their customer service experiences, both good and bad as against their counterparts in other markets. While 66% of Indians are likely to talk about their good experiences to an average of 41 people (global average of 41% talking to only 9 people), about 50% talk to 48 people about their bad experiences.

“Your customers are telling others about their service experiences. In fact, they’ll spread the word to more people than any other country in our study,” said Mr Rishi. “Recommendations from others and a company’s reputation are truly driving consumer behavior, so it’s important for businesses to create good customer service experiences.”

Even in a digitally connected world, consumers’ preferred method for talking about their service experiences is still face-to-face conversation. Nine in ten consumers say they tell others face-to-face about their service experiences – good or bad.  While 83% are using social networking sites to talk about customer service, followed by online chat/instant messaging (81%), company websites and consumer review websites (74%) and text messages (73%).

While the reward for providing great service continues to climb, so too does the cost for getting it wrong. Indians are also most reactive to poor service with 71% consumers having dropped a transaction or an intended purchase because of poor customer service versus a global average of 55% consumers.

However, 66% Indians are willing to give companies a second or more chances when faced with a poor experience, as against customers in Japan (52%), Italy (45%) and Mexico (44%) who say that companies do not get a second chance to make a good impression when it comes to customer service. The remaining 34% Indians consider switching immediately after a bad customer experience.

Great service defined

Though majority of survey respondents say that a personalized service experience is important to them and they want to be thanked for their business. But the ticket to entry in providing great service is first taking care of the customer’s needs.

What qualifies as “excellent” customer service for Indian consumers are the customer care person’s abilities to provide satisfactory answers (79%); or being connected to someone knowledgeable (63%). Once those core expectations are met, personalization (58%), appreciation (49%) are pivotal to an excellent customer service. Customer care professionals can further seek to distinguish themselves through attributes like efficiency (34%), consultative approach (22%) and empowerment (18%). On the other hand, companies can strive to exceed consumer expectations for customer service by delivering promised value at the right price (27%).

“A personal touch is important to almost everybody, as long as you start by effectively addressing the customers’ needs,” said Mr Rishi. “Customers prefer engaging with service professionals who can handle their request efficiently and without many transfers. Part of our Relationship Care service culture is teaching our customer care professionals to put the customer’s needs first.”

A New Initiative to make Reading Contemporary for Children

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Bangalore, 29th October, 2014 – The fantasy book- Secrets of Zynpagua: Return of the Princess has been steadily gaining popularity among children. Now it has entered the next stage of delighting them.

DPS Bangalore East in a spirit to make reading fun and more contemporary hosted its first ever mono-play of the book Secrets of Zynpagua: Return of the Princess at its Premise on 29th of October. The mono-play session was followed by a debate on importance of reading, and a creative writing contest. The writing contest is based on the theme ‘Prince of clouds meets the evil scientist’. The best entry would feature on face book page of the book and be included in the sequel of the book.

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As per the author, Ilika Ranjan, the book which released in August, has received overwhelming response from children. They have been sending emails and handmade cards to the author. Based on the responses received from children, the most popular characters are Anika, the gifted princess who can read the stars and Leo, the prince of clouds. “Every email and card received has motivated me to innovate more and reach out to children. We thought we should come up with something that would further their interest in the book and make reading fun and happening. The book Secrets of Zynpagua has unpredictable turns and all the prophecies that foretell a mystery are lyrical. Thus we worked with the concept of musical mono-play, which ends on the turning point of the book” says the author.

The director of storyghar.com personally enacted the story which was backed by outstanding music.

The author insists that the notion- children don’t read is not true. “In fact, after interacting with children, its been a delightful revelation that today’s children love to read, have an amazing grasping power and language skills. Reading as a hobby should be made more contemporary and the wordBookworm should be done away with. Reading produces the smartest and most intelligent people in the world, not bookworms, a word which does not define readers of today” says the author.

Author, Ilika Ranjan, expressed her heart felt gratitude to DPS –Bangalore East, school principal, the librarian and the staff for their motivation and eagerness to promote reading and encourage other schools to participate in such events.

The book is available on Flipkart, Amazon and Crosswords. Infact Crosswords bookstores is partnering with the Secrets of Zynpagua: Return of the Princess in creating excitement at their various stores in the country, which includes musical monoplays, debate and elocution contests for children, interesting bookmarks etc.

FIAT India rolls out Avventura in Bangalore

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Bangalore, October 27th, 2014
:  Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited (FGAIPL) launched its “Avventura – Contemporary Urban Vehicle” (CUV), for the global market. The Avventura, with its compact size, rugged design and signature looks is a unique mixture of attributes made for an enjoyable drive inside the city and outside. The vehicle designed with iconic Italian styling is packed with modern features.

FIAT Avventura is designed keeping Indian conditions and need in mind. The car will be produced at FIAT’s Ranjangaon plant in Pune and will be initially sold in India. Avventura is a milestone product for FIAT India as it is the first Contemporary Utility Vehicle conceptualised for India and completely manufactured in India.

FIAT India has an unprecedented number of enquiries for the FIAT Avventura since it opened for bookings.

Avventura which was unveiled globally at Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year comes with features like high terrain gauges, functional roof rails, large boot and 60:40 split seats. To top it all it also has high ground clearance of 205 mm to give a smooth ride. Its Italian design, aggressive and bold character, especially the fashionable rear spare wheel makes it handy and stylish which is an apt choice for people who wish to live an active lifestyle. The car was one of the most talked about and an attention grabber at the auto expo 2014.

Pricing of FIAT Avventura:

Variant Price (INR) Ex-Showroom Bangalore
Petrol 1.4 FIRE PETROL ACTIVE 608,979
1.4 FIRE PETROL DYNAMIC 717,624
Diesel 1.3 MULTIJET DIESEL ACTIVE 701,222
1.3 MULTIJET DIESEL DYNAMIC 779,121
1.3 MULTIJET DIESEL EMOTION 832,421

 Speaking on the launch Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli, President and MD, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, India Operations said, “We are thrilled to launch Avventura, India’s first Contemporary Urban Vehicle (CUV), a lifestyle product which is specially designed for someone who is continuously in search of enthusiasm. The Avventura showcases FIAT’s commitment to India to produce cars designed for India and manufactured for India. As per our 3 pillar strategy, we have strengthened our dealer network, after sales service and with our unique 2014 product portfolio we aim to become one of the most favoured car companies in India.”  

Avventura will be available at exclusive FIAT showrooms across country. FIAT has made remote parts of the country accessible to after sales service with a hub and spoke model where a major distributor in key cities supports neighbourhood centres. FIAT has strengthened its presence in India by opening 125 exclusive dealerships in 98 cities across 24 states, which provides world class service to the customers. The company also provides a customer relationship manager to every owner of a FIAT car under its Amico program.

BANGALORE RAPTORS IS BORN

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~Mittu Chandilya Unveils Name & Logo for his Champions Tennis League Team~

Bangalore, October 23rd, 2014: Mittu Chandilya, CEO, AirAsia India today scored a match point as he announced the Name and Logo for his Champions Tennis League team. Bought in his personal capacity, Mittu recently acquired the Champions Tennis League franchise for Bangalore, the city which is also home to him and the airlines. Champions Tennis League is India’s first international tennis league owned by Indiantennis legend Vijay Amritraj.

Bengaluru’s newest professional sports franchise will be called the ‘Bangalore Raptors’. It is the first time a professional sports league team has globally crowd-sourced their name, from online and offline platforms.‘Bangalore Raptors’ unanimously emerged as the winning name! The Chandilyas liked the concept of being fierce, quick and smart. Inspired by one of the world’s most famous dinosaurs, the name defines the essence and DNA of the team. With smart picks from the player draft, ‘Bangalore Raptors’ is a great combination of international experience and Indian talent – Venus Williams, Feliciano Lopez, Thomas Enqvist and Ramkumar Ramanathan, as part of the team.

Expressing his excitement on the newly acquired tennis franchise, Mittu Chandilya said, ‘Bangalore Raptors’is born. This is the first sports venture that my wife Inga and I are getting together as co-owners, and the team is like our fourth child. We are mighty excited to unveil the name and logo, as we put a lot of thought into creating a memorable name and logo. The three claw scratches in the logo symbolize our three sons, who are growing up to love the game of tennis. The claw slashes also represent the sharp tennis strokes. Colours of the logo, Blood Red and Midnight Black, signify the ferocity of the Velociraptors, our team and the vibrant nature of the game.”

A former tennis player himself, Mittu trained under the legendary Ramesh Krishnan. “It is a proud moment to gift the vibrant city of Bangalore its own Tennis League team. Our fellow Bangaloreans can expect fireworks, entertainment, fun and all-round energy from the Bangalore Raptors”, he added.

Speaking on behalf of Champions Tennis League, Vijay Amritraj says, “We at CTL are delighted to welcome Mittu & Inga Chandilya’s Bangalore Raptors. Bangalore has a rich history of tennis, and the Raptors with their strong team will give the city’s fans a lot to cheer about.”

Champions Tennis League makes its debut on Indian tennis turf on November 15, 2014. The league promises the game lovers some phenomenal matches between the world’s best tennis players. Bangalore Raptors will play matches on November 17th, 20th, 21st and 24th.

For match details and tickets, log on to www.bangaloreraptors.com.

Follow us on Facebook for team updates https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreRaptors

Tweet to the team @Bangaloreraptor

“Longest Drive through Amazing India” with Honda Amaze reaches Bangalore

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Bangalore, October 18, 2014: Honda’s Longest Drive through Amazing India’with family sedan Honda Amaze today reached the city of Bangalore after covering the 2nd lap of the drive through West Bengal, Orissa and Andhra-Pradesh.

This epic drive was flagged off from the city of Jodhpur on 15th September 2014 and is planned to cover a total distance of over 23,000 Kms covering the length and breadth of the country. While reaching Bangalore, the car has already been driven successfully for more than 14,500kms. Moving through 250 cities and towns across the diverse terrains and picturesque corners of the nation, the drive will culminate at Greater Noida.

The family sedan, Honda Amaze, has seen tremendous response from its customers in India. In just 16 months since the launch, the iconic product has reached the 100,000 sales milestone. This is the fastest in the history of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL). HCIL is celebrating this success by organizing the ‘Longest Drive through Amazing India’ initiative which is a part of Honda’s“Amazingly Indian” campaign. The drive will traverse through mountainous terrains, coastlines, flat highways, congested city roads and the interiors of India showcasing the durability and reliability of Honda Amaze through this diverse terrain.

Honda Cars India forayed into the diesel car segment in the country with the Honda Amaze venturing into new market segment and increasing its operating universe. Powered by the revolutionary 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine and 1.2L i-VTEC petrol engine, the Amaze continues to be a perfect package which embodies the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver fun, agile and effortless driving, fuel-efficiency, spaciousness & safety. The car’s best in class fuel economy along with a host of other features ensured an equally smooth run for the Honda Amaze in the metros, mini-metros and tier-2 and tier-3 markets alike. Honda Amaze continues to have a strong sales momentum in the market and has lot of sales potential with Honda’s expanding dealership network which is expected to go up to 230 outlets in 150 cities by the end of 2014 – 15.

Idea Cellular announces un-audited results for the Second Quarter (Q2) and Half Year ended September 30, 2014

Idea Cellular is pleased to reverse the last 2 years trend of sequential revenue decline during the seasonally weak ‘July to September’ quarter due to contraction in ‘Voice Minutes of Use’, with an absolute revenue growth of Rs. 111 million. Idea standalone Q2FY15 revenue at Rs. 75,673 million has robust YoY growth @ 19.8% on back of 17% annual increase in Voice MoUs and 125.9% growth in ‘Mobile Data Volume’.

During this quarter, the company carried 162.5 billion minutes on its network, less pronounced seasonal quarterly decline of 1.7%, in comparison to 5.8% minutes decline in Q2 vs Q1FY14. In line with the emerging digital  connectivity demand, Mobile Data volume exploded to 39.4 billion MB on its 2G+3G platform @ 21.3% QoQ growth, reaffirming consumer preference for brand Idea.

While the Voice rate realization was under  pressure, but 22.5% quarterly jump in Mobile Data revenue, contributing 14.0% to service revenue, helped Idea improve ‘Average Realisation per Minute’ (ARPM) by 0.8paisa from 45.1p in Q1FY15 to 45.9p in Q2FY15. The ‘Value Added Service‘ (VAS) contribution has improved sharply to 21.1% of service revenue, a gain of 4.9% over last one year.

The standalone EBITDA of Rs. 22,394 million grew by 29.5% on YoY basis due to multiple drivers including scale benefit, better cost management and robust net subscriber addition, voice minutes and data volume growth. Idea improved its EBITDA margin by 2.2% during last one year to 29.6%. Including Indus dividend receipt of Rs. 1,026 million, the company has delivered excellent ‘Profit After Tax’ (PAT) at Rs. 7,794 million, nearly double the Q2FY14 PAT of Rs. 3,984 million.

Brand Idea continues its high subscriber growth momentum with 4.6 million net new customer additions in the quarter, now servicing 143.6 million EoP customer base as ‘Average Revenue Per User’ (ARPU) improved to Rs. 176 (Rs. 164 in Q2FY14) and MoU/Subscriber increased to 384 minutes (368 minutes in Q2FY14). The company continued its journey of strengthening its competitive market standing with VLR subscriber market share climbing to 17.8% (August 2014) and Revenue Market Share (RMS) in Q1FY15 @ 17.1%, an increase of 0.9% compared to Q1FY14. Idea managed to maintain the mobile data ‘Average Realisation per MB’ (ARMB) at 26.5paisa (vs 26.3p in Q1FY15). The explosive Mobile Data volume growth and steady ARMB has helped Mobile data quarterly revenue cross Rs. 10 billion mark. The Mobile Data consumer base has risen in this quarter by 3.1 million to 30.9 million. The blended data ARPU (2G+3G) has also improved to Rs. 119 and ‘Usage per data subscriber’ is now at 447 MB. The 3G (Voice+Data) customer grew steadily to 13.3 million but still represents only 9.3% of Ideas’ total subscriber base. In comparison, the 3G phone penetration among Idea subscribers is improving and over 17% of Idea users own high speed 3G devices.

In July 2014, company allotted 51.84 million equity shares at an issue price of Rs. 144.68 per Equity Share (including a premium of Rs. 134.68 per Equity Share), aggregating to approx. Rs. 7,500 million, on preferential basis to its telecom partner – Axiata Investments 2 (India) Limited, an affiliate of Axiata Group. With additional Equity infusion and strong Cash Profit of Rs. 18,155 million in the quarter, Idea has reduced its Net Debt by Rs. 21,500 million to Rs. 118,269 million. The Net Debt to Annualised EBITDA ratio stands at 1.32, providing the company sufficient headroom to participate in the forthcoming 900 MHz spectrum renewal auction. For Q2FY15, on consolidated basis including Indus 16% contribution, Idea revenue grew by 19.7% against same quarter year ago and YoY EBITDA rose by 27.2%, driving the EBITDA margin to 32.9%. The consolidated PAT at Rs. 7,559 million has grown sharply by 68.9% from Rs. 4,476 million in Q2FY14.

The strong consumer demand & brand association, expanding 2G & 3G network footprint, competitive spectrum portfolio with steady Cash flows from Operations affirms Idea ability to deliver consistent, competitive, responsible and profitable growth. The company is well geared to meet all volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous developments and remains on course of its mission to improve its market standing both in Mobile voice and data business.

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