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India’s dream of outdoing China: just a dream?

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Image source: skynews.com.au

By Sol Palha

India has had many aspirations to overtake China, but this is more of a pipedream than reality. India’s corruption makes China’s corruption seem non-existent. Add in the traffic jams, and filth one has to deal with in parts of Mumbai and Delhi, and the allure of investing in India loses its appeal rather rapidly.

This is the reason India continues to suffer such a massive amount of brain drain. Smart Indians understand that their best option is to seek greener pastures. Modi’s government had the strongest mandate of any government, yet like all his predecessors he seems to be all talk and little to no action; he has failed to implement any noteworthy changes.

The first thing he should have done was to streamline the investment process, by making it easy for foreigners to invest. With foreign investment comes a plethora of jobs; instead he continues to chant the same old song of change while marching to the drumbeat of no change. This century belongs to China, and the world recognizes this. No one flinches when Indian markets are tanking but if Chinese markets tank or there is some bad news coming out of China the world’s financial markets react and in most cases the reaction is usually very strong. From a mass psychology perspective, this tells us that the financial markets recognize China as the defacto leader and India if it’s lucky might manage to hold onto some position in the top 5. India will not take out China in the near future, but that does not mean one should not invest in Indian companies. There are still some Indian companies that are worth investing in; we would wait for strong pullbacks before committing money into any of these stocks.

We are going to list a few of Jim Rogers’s recent quotes as he seems to concur

You can’t just invest on hope. Even If reforms started coming, it may not be enough to make the markets go higher, because markets have already factored it in. If the reforms are substantial, the markets may go higher. No indication of that.

If Modi made the currency convertible, if he made the markets open to outsiders, then I would have to be back in India again. So far Modi has been doing worthwhile things like addressing some social issues — I am all for that, and that is great for a lot of people — but India needs more.

You have saved your farmers by making it illegal for foreigners to own more than five hectares — how on earth can an Indian farmer compete with an Australian farmer with 50,000 hectares? In history, India has been one of the great agricultural nations of the world — you have the land, the people, weather — God gave you everything. And then, he also gave you Delhi to mess it all up.

Conclusion

While the Indian economy has grown nicely over the years, we think the tiger will have a hard time dethroning the Golden Dragon. India’s has a GDP of roughly $2.1 trillion, and that sadly is a long way off from China’s current GDP of $11.3 trillion.

At this stage, it’s not even a close race. In fact, the odds are higher that China will displace the US as the top dog than India overtaking China. While there are some great companies in India, from a long-term perspective, China makes for a better investment as the market is extremely oversold; great companies are selling for a fraction of their former prices. For example, CHH, HNP and BABA are some companies worth taking a closer look at.

“Be ready when opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” ~ Roy D Chapin Jr.

(The article was first published in safehaven.com)

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Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)