Correspondent, Mumbai
Rina's Feed
Aug 4, 2010
via India Insight

Will rotting foodgrain bring about a retail revolution?

Photo

Pictures of grain rotting in the rain in Punjab have shocked a country reeling under high food price inflation and where hundreds of thousands go to bed every night on an empty stomach.

The estimates vary from 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice and wheat wasting in Punjab alone, and as much as 18 million metric tonnes of food grain lying in the open across the country because of inadequate storage facilities, translating into losses of about 270 billion rupees ($6 billion).

Aug 3, 2010

Cities in India grow fast, develop slowly

MUMBAI (Reuters) – It happens every year. When monsoon rains lash Mumbai, the city turns into a cesspool, which along with its potholed roads and gridlocked traffic, mocks its ambition of becoming a global financial centre.

India has Asia’s third-largest economy and the increasing global clout that goes with it. It is already home to a quarter of the world’s 20 most densely populated cities.

Aug 3, 2010

India’s cities grow fast, develop slowly

MUMBAI (Reuters) – It happens every year. When monsoon rains lash Mumbai, the city turns into a cesspool, which along with its potholed roads and gridlocked traffic, mocks its ambition of becoming a global financial center.

India has Asia’s third-largest economy and the increasing global clout that goes with it. It is already home to a quarter of the world’s 20 most densely populated cities.

Aug 3, 2010

SKS IPO success heralds more microfinance offers

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Lender SKS Microfinance raised about $358 million in an IPO after pricing the sale at the top end of an indicated price band, signalling strong investor appetite and the likelihood of more such offers coming to market.

The IPO, which values the firm that gives tiny loans to poor women at $1.6 billion, has drawn such high-profile investors as billionaire George Soros, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Infosys Technologies founder N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Aug 3, 2010

India SKS IPO success heralds more microfinance offers

MUMBAI, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Indian lender SKS Microfinance
raised about $358 million in an IPO after pricing the sale at
the top end of an indicated price band, signalling strong
investor appetite and the likelihood of more such offers coming
to market.

The IPO, which values the firm that gives tiny loans to
poor women at $1.6 billion, has drawn such high-profile
investors as billionaire George Soros, venture capitalist Vinod
Khosla and Infosys Technologies (INFY.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) founder N.R. Narayana
Murthy.

Jul 28, 2010
via India Insight

Would you like a soda with your small loan?

Photo

SKS Microfinance, India’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), aims to raise up to $353 million in a closely watched IPO that has already drawn top anchor investors.

As India’s largest MFI and the first to do an IPO, SKS is answering lots of questions: Should MFIs charge 28 percent interest on loans to the poor? Should MFIs operate as for-profits? Should they allow private equity firms to invest in them? Should they come to the capital market?

Jul 14, 2010
via India Insight

India wants austerity to begin at the boardroom

Photo

A news article on Tuesday said India’s finance minister plans to call a meeting of about a dozen top CEOs to tell them to adopt a more austere lifestyle.

An “ostentatious lifestyle” by CEOs does not reflect well when nearly 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, Pranab Mukherjee plans to tell them.

Jul 5, 2010

In India, for India: medical device makers plug in

BANGALORE (Reuters) – In a sleek glass and chrome building in Bangalore’s software hub, the more than 1,000 young researchers and engineers at GE Healthcare could hold the keys to innovations that save lives in India’s vast hinterland.

The 50,000-sq. ft. R&D facility, GE Healthcare’s largest, recently launched the MACi, a portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that weighs less than 1 kilo and runs on a battery even in hot, dusty conditions, enabling ECGs at just $0.20 each compared with around $50 currently.

Jul 1, 2010

Akula shines light on India microlending in SKS IPO

MUMBAI, July 1 (Reuters) – As a controversial $250-$350
million IPO draws nearer, Vikram Akula, founder of India’s
largest microlender, SKS Microfinance, crunches numbers.

India’s first microfinance institution (MFI) to tap the
capital market has nearly 7 million clients, has disbursed
close to $3 billion in total and claims a 99 percent repayment
rate.

Jun 25, 2010
via India Insight

India must ask: where is the honour in killing?

Photo

Three men were arrested by Delhi police this week for “honour killings” days after the Supreme Court asked eight Indian states to stop these so-called “honour” killings, where family members, typically men, kill daughters and their husbands for apparently bringing dishonour to the family by marrying below their caste.

The killings, in a posh neighbourhood in Delhi, brought the tragic and shameful story of honour killings closer home to Delhi residents, who had so far dismissed the rising instances of these killings as a feature of rural India, equating them to a more traditional and conservative India they claim not to inhabit.