A busy street in Asia’s largest slum Dharavi leads to a quiet lane where Anita Leathers operates its colouring unit. As children play near shops that sell everything from mobile phones and garments to raw meat and sweets, the mood at the leather unit is sombre.
The leather business is one of the biggest contributors to the Mumbai slum’s informal economy, estimated to have an annual turnover of more than $500 million. About 15,000 small-scale industries, spread over an area of 500 acres, deal in businesses such as pottery, plastic recycling and garment manufacturing.
One of them is Anil. The 30-year-old travel agent put his 200,000 rupees ($3,276) in another investment scheme offered by Sahara, which bills itself as “the world’s largest family.” He fears that the case could hurt his investment.
Indian automotive design and modification firm DC Design is considering an initial public offering this year to raise about 1 billion to 1.5 billion rupees ($16 million-$24 million) to expand its operations, its founder said in an interview on Wednesday.
The company would consider filing for an IPO among other ways to raise capital after its Avanti supercar goes on sale later this year, Dilip Chhabria told India Insight at the Delhi Auto Expo in Greater Noida.
One would expect the former head of India’s No. 1 car maker to drive a glitzy new SUV or an imported luxury car, but Jagdish Khattar thinks differently. The industry veteran who spent 14 years at Maruti Suzuki now buys only second-hand cars and drives a used Volkswagen Passat.
“Rich people buy new cars, intelligent people buy second-hand cars,” said Khattar, the founder of Carnation Auto, a service and used-cars company he started in 2008 after leaving Maruti. The used car market, he said, is the future of automobiles.
An increased number of India’s equity diversified funds favoured technology companies such as Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) among Sensex stocks in 2013, raising their bets on a sector that benefited from a depreciating rupee and improving demand from developed economies.
Nearly 160 of 322 such funds had investments in India’s No. 3 IT services provider Wipro in December as compared to 91 funds a year ago, more than doubling the collective stake held in the company, data from Morningstar India showed. India’s top IT services exporter TCS was part of 190 portfolios, up from 155.
India’s diversified equity mutual funds rose in 2013 but underperformed the broader markets for the first time in five years, as returns were dampened by the losses in the mid- and small-cap shares as well as financial companies.
These funds gained 4.8 percent on average in 2013, according to data from fund tracker Lipper, delivering lesser annual returns than the benchmark BSE Sensex after 2008. The Sensex touched life highs in 2013 and ended 9 percent higher, boosted by foreign inflows of more than $20 billion.
Companies that help in processing card payments look set to benefit from rising demand for portable card swipe machines after the Reserve Bank of India adopted new rules to prevent fraud and enhance security.
Merchants in India usually swipe cards through a reader to generate receipts that customers sign, but the new rule, effective Dec. 1, adds another layer of security by making debit card holders enter their personal identification numbers to validate transactions via these machines, also referred to as point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
Rakesh Kumar is not like most of the street vendors in Old Delhi. The hand-painted sign on his wooden counter, “exchange damaged, old notes,” reveals a different story. He sells money.
For the past 40 years, Kumar has offered customers new banknotes for soiled or damaged ones for a fee that earns him about 100,000 rupees ($1,600) a year. It has also helped him pay for the marriages of his three children.
Srinivas Porika tried for months to get a loan of 250,000 rupees ($4,000) to pay for his sister’s wedding, but every bank he tried turned him down. The problem: Porika’s employer, a tech start-up company, was not on the banks’ lists of pre-approved companies.
“They were ready to give me a credit card, but were not ready to give me a loan,” said the 28-year-old from Hyderabad, who met several bank managers and officials to plead his case.
India’s diversified equity funds bucked the trend in the broader markets to eke out gains in November, as a strong performance by mid- and small-cap shares and sectors such as capital goods supported unit values.