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India’s October production growth falls to 22-month low: PMI


Mumbai: A leading international business survey on Monday showed decline in India’s manufacturing sector growth as it touched a 22-month low in October largely due to a slower increase in new orders.
Revealing the weakest purchasing activity since December 2013, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded an eight-month low in October at 50.7, down from 51.2 in September and from 52.3 in August.

According to the PMI report published by financial information services provider Markit, in which a value above 50 in the reading index indicates an overall increase in manufacturing and below 50 an overall decrease, expansion in production and order books were the weakest in their current 24-month growth sequence.

“Rates of expansion in both production and order books were the weakest in their current 24-month sequences of growth, with panellists reporting challenging economic conditions and a reluctance among clients to commit to new projects,” the report said.

“PMI data for October show a further loss of growth momentum across the Indian manufacturing economy, with a slower rise in new business inflows resulting in a weaker expansion of output,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit and the report’s author.

Despite the slowdown in new order growth, manufacturers recruited additional workers in October. Employment rose only marginally for the first time since January.

“Undeterred by tough economic conditions overall, firms took extra staff in October. This, combined with a further drop in inventories of finished goods, suggests that production growth may rebound in coming months,” Lima said.

The report said October saw inflationary pressures return to India’s manufacturing economy. Average purchase costs rose, though the rate of increase was “slight”, the survey said.

Part of the additional cost was passed on to clients by raising tariffs.

“A return to inflationary pressures, meanwhile, indicates that RBI may pause its loosening cycle for the rest of the year following a 50 basis points cut of the key repo rate in September,” Lima said.

“Upcoming survey data will show how effective the central bank’s effort to revive the economy has been,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on September 29 cut the RBI’s repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, to 6.75 percent making it the third cut in the bank’s short-term lending rate this year.

The RBI has also lowered its GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.4 percent, from its earlier projection of 7.6 percent.

Under the PMI, the manufacturing sector is divided into 8 broad categories of basic metals, chemicals and plastics, electrical and optical, food and drink, mechanical engineering, textiles and clothing, timber and paper and transport.

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Cosmetic Industry is Booming: Thanks to Young Indians!

Young Indians, having all the resources and time, have developed the good-looking cosmetic industry into one of the fastest booming industries

Cosmetic Industry
The cosmetics market of India is expected to triple by 2025. Wikimedia
  • Beauty has become a business in the world today, and its booming rapidly in India
  • The $6.5 billion cosmetic industry is expected to grow to reach $20 billion by 2025 making India among the top 5 biggest in the world
  • Fashion consciousness is being further fueled by India’s young demography as well as social media

July 13, 2017: The beauty and cosmetic industries of India are growing at a pace never witnessed before. This isn’t just the tale of big cities but in all parts of the nation.

The young demography of India is expected to continue fuelling the industry making it bigger and bigger. As the reports from RedSeer Consulting firm estimates; the market for cosmetics and mainly hair products, skin creams, deodorants, and more, is expected to triple from present $6.5 billion to $20 billion by 2025.

It also estimates that the compounded annual growth rate will reach 25 percent, which is way above the global average of 4.3 percent. This will make India amongst the top 5 biggest markets for cosmetics in the world.

As Shubham Anand (head of retail and consumer practice at RedSeer) points out, “this booming growth has a lot to do with India’s younger demographic. These Indians want to look good all the time.”

ALSO READ: Heard of Tandoori Momos? : Tibetan Refugees Contribute to Indian Cuisine

Social media has also played an important role. Additionally, online retailers such as Flipkart, Nykaa, and Amazon are making products accessible. Online cosmetics sale is at $50 million.

The report also mentioned that the boom is certainly an attractive business expansion for luxury brands like Labiocos, Victoria’s Secret and others.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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With rituals getting digitized, you can now book your Pundit Online!

With e-commerce apps flooding the market, online booking of pujari's makes its entry into the lucrative field of Indian startups

ONline priest. Image source:Home grown
  • With e-commerce apps flooding the market in fields ranging from furniture to medicines to even booking a maid, it was only a matter of time that one jumped to religious services
  • A priest recites prayers in front of a phone connected to a house miles away from Skype or another social networking platform
  • There’s an advisory board that helps in recruiting pundits and the selected candidates go through specified tests; a process that clears any doubts of minting money by taking advantage of people’s ignorance

Is your mother ill? Has your career come to a standstill or is it a simple marital tiff? Fret no more! For all problems in the life of Hindu, there’s a Pooja with sacred mantras that can be performed to bring in peace, wealth, and prosperity.

Every year, there are thousands of rituals performed in India by priests for their temple devotees. There’s a difficulty in life and no way out of it? Don’t you worry, a guru will come to your rescue with a garland! But what if you don’t have the luxury to summon the disciple of the higher power, who will rescue you now? Put your worries to rest! Be it staying in UK, USA, Canada or any other part of the world, Indian start-ups now have the power to book an online pundit for you at your convenience. After all, would it be any different if that garland turns into your phone and the guru now virtually guides your hand through the ritual?

Let’s talk money

A few years back, one could never imagine a situation where a priest recited prayers in front of an iPhone connected to a house miles away through Skype but then don’t tough times call for some tough measures. Though in our case these measures provide employment opportunities and create a thriving start-up atmosphere all around the country.

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Some of the companies cashing in on this idea are,,, and Each charging from a mere $10 to a good $500 for a package. Savvy NRI’s don’t mind shedding few currencies till the time they are promised a good outcome from these rituals. After all, why would you mind? The vibrations produced during the pooja are similar and the sound of the priest travels at the same speed whether it’s through air or through a mobile phone with a good internet speed.

Hinduism is the faith-laden arena that’s filled with unscrupulous Gurus. The online priest booking app’s pride themselves on this matter as they only hire Pandits who hold a degree in Vedas/Astrology and have an experience of 4- 5 years. There’s an advisory board that helps in recruiting them and the selected candidates go through specified tests; a process that clears any doubts of minting money by taking advantage of people’s ignorance. These details and the scarcity of genuine pujari’s in the locality of an NRI makes him bet his money on the online system.

Proponents of the idea

Online priest. Image source: TimesofIndia
Online priest. Image source: TimesofIndia

With e-commerce apps flooding the market in fields ranging from furniture to medicines to even booking a maid, it was only a matter of time that one jumped to religious services. India has a huge number of citizens, who worship Gods and Goddesses more than any other nation, which makes the idea of booking a priest even more lucrative. This digital twist on one’s faith is a welcoming change for many, as more and more citizens are migrating to different countries in the search of jobs or for pursuing higher education.

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These online portals have numerous reasons that go in the favour of their business such as the need for many Indians settled abroad to keep their roots in place and their traditions alive. This feeling calls in for a pundit online to help them do their ‘Griha Pravesh’ (Housewarming) or even their marriage. Companies offer more than 150 kinds of pujas, typically covering almost any event in person’s life, who is a Hindu by birth or has opted Hinduism as their faith. Some services are also customised depending on your convenience or crisis.

What more can a company ask for than few happy customers? There are a number of people who come back with positive feedbacks. The positive feedbacks come due to the professionalism with which the pundits perform the pooja’s, guiding the devotee at each step of the pooja, using traditional material and sending in a to-do list a day before the entire ritual.

Lastly, it all boils down to the authenticity one sees in a guru which gives a feeling of solace to a person in sickness and in health.

– by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots


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King of Spice: Pepper Farming on Rise in Cambodia

The ministry of agriculture reports, the number of plantations has increased from 1400 hectares in 2012 to 6000 hectares in 2016


Kampot province in Cambodia is popularly known for its pepper farming business. Kampot pepper has been renowned for decades as one of the best peppers in the world. The rich farming soil in this region produces high-quality pepper that has joined an elite group of food items recognised and protected by the European Union.

According to the Indian spice company group Nedspice’s annual pepper report, since 2006, pepper commodity prices have been in a “bull market” and were still reaching new highs as of February. The estimation by Nedspice said, 40 to 45 percent of global consumption takes place in Asia.

  • Kampot pepper can sell for up to 20,000 dollars per tonne on the market. Whereas, pepper from other provinces averages out to 75 per tonne on the market.
  • Pepper farming is becoming increasingly popular in Cambodia. The ministry of agriculture reports that the number of plantations has increased from 1400 hectares in 2012 to 6000 hectares in 2016.

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  • The total yield average is approximately 11,400 tonnes of black pepper per year. Although pepper farming in Cambodia has increased in the last several years, 2016 was a difficult harvest.

Pepper farming in Cambodia. Image source:
Pepper farming in Cambodia. Image source:

  • “This year, it’s difficult to get a good crop because of the drought… and the crop itself doesn’t grow big like it’s supposed to. This year we didn’t expect to get a good crop”, said Ngoun Lay from Pepper Association in an interview conducted by NewsGram.

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  • Cambodia’s ministry of agriculture says it is looking for funding to help farmers find alternative water sources to irrigate their fields but farmers claim that so far no help has come.


  • “What we want is water, we need resources. The government can help us to dig ponds and well again. The water is important to us because when we’re farming we need water” said Ngoun Lay highlighting the lack of water sources.
  • Although, Cambodians have tax-free access to the European Union. Farmers growing pepper in other provinces sell yo Vietnam where companies have greater access to international markets whether it’s the elite Kampot pepper or the ordinary kind, spice will continue to keep farmers in business across the country if they can find enough water to irrigate their fields.

– by Akansha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akansha4117