Thursday January 17, 2019
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US-India trade group welcomes liberalised FDI norms


Washington: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) applauded the Indian government’s latest reforms liberalising FDI norms in industries that are starved for capital and enable the ease of doing business in the country.

“Putting more FDI proposals through the automatic route is clear signal that the government is living up to the mandate of minimum government and maximum governance,” USIBC president Dr Mukesh Aghi said.

USIBC comprises 350 top-tier US and Indian companies.

“India’s recent rise in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, the ruling on Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT), its efforts to modernise the railways network, lifting of FDI in the insurance sector are all significant achievements that will propel more investment and innovation in the country,” he said.

“USIBC member companies are encouraged by the Government’s efforts to undertake economic reforms and stay away from politically driven distractions.”

“India continues to see increased FDI despite an uncertain global outlook. If the government continues on the current trajectory of bold (FDI and regulatory) reforms, then India will easily surpass the $41 billion in FDI from US companies,” Aghi said.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in Sep 2014, USIBC had identified upwards of $41 billion slated for investment from members over the next three years, based on a survey of 20 percent of USIBC’s membership.

Emphasizing the benefit of a more open economy, Aghi said, “Allowing a path to relax the norms for sourcing for single brand retailers who sell cutting edge technology will clear many of the challenges that high-tech companies have had when it comes to taking advantage of the 100 percent opening of the single brand retail sector.”

“In construction development, removal of two major conditions on minimum requirements area restriction of 20,000 square metre and capitalisation of US$ 5 million will provide much-needed boost to investment in the real estate development sector.”

The Council is keen on further reforms in these sectors and additional liberalisation that will aid the growth of bilateral trade, Aghi added.

“FDI in business to e-commerce still remains restricted. As a result, smaller Indian e-commerce companies cannot seek the capital they need to grow their business and hire more employees. USIBC will continue to urge the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to allow at least 51 percent FDI in e-commerce,” he said.


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Why Migrating Magento to Shopify is Becoming More Popular

Change for some people is daunting and challenging but for some the experience of changing to a new platform and discovering it is refreshing and energizing.

cHINA, MOON, shopify
A moon is seen behind the construction site of China Zun in Beijing's central business area. VOA

BusinessThere are many different problems a merchant has to take care of every day when selling online such as orders, marketing, inventory, delivery, and other business commitments. For this reason, many merchants look towards technology for a helping hand. Magento was a useful, flexible and dominant e-commerce platform for small-to-medium sized businesses. But since last year alternatives to Magento enterprise such as Shopify became more famous for SMB (small-to-medium business) sized merchants, that for a good reason.  

Current SMB cannot afford the high progress, hosting and executive costs of Magento platform. This makes Magento a practical and feasible platform for only large business owners and clients because they can afford the expenses. There has been a fascinating shift from Magento to Shopify over the years.

The Growth Of Shopify

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that has been in the market since many years but recently gained popularity in the smaller merchant market among many other great alternatives to Magento enterprise, by developing and providing user-friendly, easy to navigate and manage online shop platforms. It might not be the most top-notch hosted e-commerce platform, but it has the essential power and facilities that help emerging small businesses to excel and grow in the market.

Shopify is no less and allows you to control and organize catalog, orders, products, and customers over many different Shopify stores using back-end web-based applications.

Shopify has put in a lot of effort and worked towards enhancing and developing its facilities, features and level of customizations over the past two years. The hard work has proved fruitful as it has gained the lion’s share of the smaller merchant market and has become a competition to Magento and sent Magento worrying for its market share of active online merchants.  

Although there is still room for improvement, Shopify is undoubtedly on the list of the best alternatives to Magento enterprise because it takes care of hosting, performance and security for the merchant. So that the merchant can focus his energy and time on building and growing his business.

Shopify As a Competitor of Magento

The rise of different alternatives to Magento enterprise including Shopify didn’t go unnoticed and alarmed Magento that took immediate action and in April 2016 at the annual Magento Imagine Conference, Magento did the inauguration of a new hosted platform for enterprise-level merchants and clients.

The Magento platform is for large enterprises and businesses because it requires constant updating and customization to produce effective and efficient results and become a productive solution to the problem of merchants such as managing hosting. This continuous improvement and updating work can cost a lot making Magento an expensive choice.

Magento 1 was improved, and as a result, Magento 2 was launched which is significantly better, but there is still a need for improvement as it experiences continued bugs which affect its performance and productivity. Another problem for Magento 2 is that there are very few certified developers for it. But due to the importance of staying updated, relevant and secure in the market, transforming from Magento 1 to Magento 2 has become a necessity for merchants.

However, it is important to note that upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not an easy and fast process. To migrate products customers and orders from Magento 1 to Magento 2, you will have to buy and download new applications and programs specially designed for Magneto 2.  

During this process, some data from Magento 1 could be lost or deleted due to the incompatibility of the data with the new program. You will also have to recreate your theme and design all over again which can be a time demanding and tiring process.

Magento, Shopify
There are greater hosting obligations for Magento 2 as compared to Magento 1.

Also, there are greater hosting obligations for Magento 2 as compared to Magento 1. All of the above-stated points add to the cost of managing your Magento Platform making it very expensive.

Shifting to Shopify

Due to the costs, problems, and difficulties in functioning an SMB (small-to-medium business) shop using Magento, there has been a significant rise in the number of Magento-to-Shopify migrations. And according to the statistics, these numbers aren’t falling anytime soon.

Shopify is a hosted platform that is patched and updated automatically without the need of employing developers; this makes it an excellent choice for burgeoning enterprises. Also features like theme design and incorporations are much easier to do using Shopify which reduces the cost.

There is no doubt that Magento is a superior platform when it comes to multi-store construction which is easy to manage with a single back-end. But Shopify is no less and allows you to control and organize catalog, orders, products, and customers over many different Shopify stores using back-end web-based applications.

Also Read: Hiring for Your Business? Get it Right First Time

Effective change

Change for some people is daunting and challenging but for some the experience of changing to a new platform and discovering it is refreshing and energizing. Especially when they understand and feel the enhanced usability of Shopify’s back-end interface.