IndiaMART

Meet New Entrants | Business Standard

Business Standard

Some of the new entrants in the BS1000 club are bucking the trend in more ways than one. In addition to robust results in a lacklustre environment, many are also investing in growth.

The people leading these companies are laying the road for future gains through both greenfield investments and acquisitions. Among them is Sanjay Sethi, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Chalet Hotels. After a stint outside the company, he re-joined the firm in early 2018 with the intent of taking it public. The idea was to fuel growth, reduce debt at the time and also create a currency which could be used for mergers and acquisitions.

Chalet, a group company of K Raheja Corp, successfully listed in February 2019. The company runs seven hotels in partnership with global brands such as Marriott, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and Novotel. The 2,500-room hotel chain is on an expansion path. “Greenfield is the largest growth play for us. We’ve got three hotels under development totalling up to about 650-odd rooms under construction,” Sethi said.

The company also has a few non-hotel assets, such as retail and commercial spaces in its portfolio, which are co-located with the hotel assets and complement the hotel assets. “We’ve got a couple of office towers and retail products in the portfolio, and there are two more office towers under development,” he said.

Dinesh Chandra Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO IndiaMART InterMESHDinesh Chandra Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO IndiaMART InterMESH

In February 2020, Chalet took the inorganic route to buy Novotel, Pune, which Sethi says is a departure for the company, adding, “While organic growth has been the mainstay, all options for growth will be examined.”

Another new entrant, diagnostics chain Metropolis Healthcare, has depended on local partnerships to fund growth, both before and after it went public in the first half of 2019. Its initial public offer was shortly after financial markets had been in turmoil because of debt issues at lending major Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). Investor sentiment was weak during the book-building process, recalled Ameera Shah, promoter and managing director of Metropolis. Everybody seemed to be in wait-and-watch mode, and there were calls to defer the issue by a year. The company decided to go ahead anyway.

“We, of course, decided to price the IPO at a discount to the price we would have got normally in a good market. But we thought that let’s leave money on the table for investors. It was a good decision that we made at the time, because investors very quickly were able to pocket good profits and that gave them more confidence to stay for the future,” said Shah.

From Sanjay Sethi to Ameera Shah, meet new entrants in BS1000 club

A key part of the growth has been through partnering with local laboratories. The idea, according to Shah, has been to seek synergies where the local partner can benefit from the company’s experience and the company can also learn from them in a way that ensures growth. One such partner was Desai Labs in Surat, with which it began an association 10 years ago, and acquired in 2007. It’s grown from a single lab, to having a significant presence with 16 per cent market share in the city, with revenue growing 10-15 times.

The focus on growth continues, though Shah admits that the macroeconomic situation has been challenging of late. She believes, however, that gains can continue. “We are in full investment mode. We continue to invest in new labs, new centres, and acquisitions,” she said.

Acquisitions found mention in the December 2019 results too, with the company announcing that it acquired four labs in the quarter, and was in the process of acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Shraddha Diagnostic Centre in Ahmedabad.

For Dinesh Chandra Agarwal, MD and CEO of IndiaMART InterMESH, partnering with and helping smaller businesses aided the company to grow and get listed. He recalled in his maiden annual report after going public that the company started with Rs 40,000 in seed capital. This has since grown to a company that has more than Rs 500 crore in annual revenues.

IndiaMART calls itself India’s largest online marketplace, where businesses can buy and sell products and services from each other. This online business-to-business (or ‘B2B’) marketplace has helped people like Faruck Mansuri, a small businessman in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, buy a cutting machine, a weighing machine and a feather cleaning machine to help in his meat business. Piyush Jain, who inherited a swimming pool business, now offers 450 customisable products. His turnover has grown 10-fold and his geographic reach has extended beyond Delhi, to a network with more than 500 dealers and distributors.

Ameera Shah, Managing Director Metropolis HealthcareAmeera Shah, Managing Director Metropolis Healthcare

IndiaMART has a large base of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and claims 5.5 million MSMEs listed on its platform, though it has lately also attracted large brands to its platform.

“We earn revenue primarily through the sale of subscription packages (available on a monthly, annual and multi-year basis) to suppliers, which offer a range of benefits, including the listing of their supplier storefronts on a priority basis, access to a lead management system, integrated access to third-party online payment gateways and access to request for quotes,” it said.

The route has worked well, as its revenues and profits have grown. It is also betting on innovation to reach out better to customers. Agarwal gives the example of how search is now possible in nine different Indian languages through voice commands on the platform. There have been other moves too, to attract its target customers. This includes investing in video and algorithmic matchmaking initiatives.

“Internet penetration among India’s MSMEs remains low, with 17 per cent of MSMEs using the internet for business purposes in 2017,” he said of the potential for growth, going ahead.

The company is making other investments too, to leverage the potential of smaller companies that are going digital.

IndiaMART InterMESH bought a 26 per cent stake in a mobile accounting software application in the first week of September. “We will continue to look for possible opportunities where we can make investments,” Agarwal said.

Another company which has been on a steady investment spree is Polycab India, which makes cables, wires, fans, lighting and other electrical equipment, and will invest Rs 300 crore of capex this year. The company has said that it has been investing a similar amount over the last five or six years. The company’s business has grown since then. So, relative to its business, the company has scaled back on expansion. However, it is in contrast to the rest of the private sector.

“A sharp decline in real fixed investment induced by a sluggish growth of real consumption has weighed down GDP (gross domestic product) growth,” noted the latest Economic Survey. It said that the contribution of industrial activities to the economy has fallen during 2009-14 and also during 2014-19. Manufacturing and construction segments have contributed to the slowdown.

Inder T Jaisinghani, Chairman and MD, Polycab IndiaInder T Jaisinghani, Chairman and MD, Polycab India

Polycab too has grown well in recent times, navigating the slowdown through reliance on markets outside India, too.

More growth lies ahead, believes Inder T Jaisinghani, chairman and managing director at Polycab India. “The increase in consumer spending, infrastructure growth, industrial investments, and the inevitable rise in nuclear, more affluent families will drive demand for innovative and premium products of the kind manufactured and sold by Polycab,” he said.

However, not all new entrants in the BS1000 have fared equally well. Some, like Sterling and Wilson Solar, had difficulty meeting debt obligations and their stock has been under pressure.

On the other hand, there is a big outlier — Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) — which has gone up six-fold in value since September 2019 from its IPO price, as investors have lapped up its shares.

Fresh blooms from the garden diaries of Sandeep Rohilla

A gardening enthusiast, environmentalist, or a caring father, on our quest to unveil Product Manager – Sandeep Rohilla’s passion for gardening, we discovered the various facets cushioned softly behind Sandeep’s tranquil personality.

A Pastime turned into Passion

Three years back, Sandeep began gardening by planting herbs and small plants in pots on his rooftop. Little did he know that along with the plants, his passion for gardening also grew with each passing day. Sandeep gives the credit for his love for gardening to his wife. He shares that she motivated him to start planting medicinal plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, etc. at home to naturally purify the air and create a healthy environment for their son – Mahir

Initial Phase of Mahir Garden

Today Sandeep maintains over a thousand planters and spends his morning hours basking in the glory of his little creation, irrespective of hot or cold weather. Every morning from 5 am to 7 am, Sandeep upkeeps his garden and meditates there to self-heal.

His wife also supports him in the daily gardening tasks like watering the plants and safeguarding them from monkeys. That brings us to an excellent tip from Sandeep; he grows a lot of cactus plants to restrict monkeys from destroying the terrace garden. Sandeep is an ardent fan of cactus and succulents as they do not require regular watering and belong to the sustainable future of gardening in metropolitans like the Delhi NCR, which are already marred by the water crisis.

He also loves growing roses of different varieties, besides seasonal flowering plants that infuse vibrant colors with each changing season. Sandeep also believes in organic farming and grows vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and a variety of herbs to reap fresh and organic produce.

Facing Challenges, Learning, & Winning Competitions

As an amateur gardener, Sandeep had his share of challenges. He shares that due to lack of professional know-how, he would grow summer plants in winters, and vice-versa. He gained knowledge about plants, plant care, and nutrition via YouTube videos, books, blogs, and a thriving community of fellow gardening enthusiasts.

Sandeep launched his blog in 2019 and named it after his son. He shares his gardening exploits on Facebook, from where he got the attention of the Floriculture Society of Ghaziabad. He was approached by none other than the society’s president – Mrs. Rama Tyagi to join it and expand the impact he wants to make to the environment. Sandeep has organized, participated, and won several accolades in Flower Shows and competitions in 2019 and 2020.

In the district-level competition, Sandeep won a total of 17 prizes in two different categories, of which 7 were for the First position, another 7 for the second position, and 3 for the Third position for various parameters. He also won the First Prize in the individual gardener category and a 2nd runner up Overall at the District level.

Winning Flower Show 2020

Sandeep actively participates in the Green plantation drives in society parks organized by the municipal corporation of Ghaziabad.

Sandeep aims to reach out to a broader audience and plans to launch his YouTube channel for spreading the knowledge and gardening skills he’s acquired over the past three years. He also wants to hone his gardening skills further to participate in All-India level flowering competitions in the times to come. 

What drives this Gardenist

There are three things that inspire Sandeep to nurture his garden, the first being his love and care for his son. With air pollution breaching safety levels and taking a toll on the health and immunity of children and adults alike, Sandeep feels that we must create a healthy environment around our dwellings, which is in our immediate control. 

He also shares that gardening has helped him cope with stress and depression. Years back, he was suggested by his doctor to take up a hobby, and he inclined towards gardening. Ever since the size of his garden has expanded, and that of his medicine box has only shrunk. He has little to no dependency on his depression-related medicines anymore.

The last thing that drives this avid gardener to follow his gardening routine is his sense of responsibility towards the environment. Sandeep feels that if each citizen starts growing plants, many of the environmental issues can be sorted on their own. However, what disheartens Sandeep is that people fail to realize the power of nature and do not take up simple and sustainable hobbies like gardening.

A message for Budding Nature-enthusiasts

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse,” said Jim Rohn.

Not having a dedicated garden area to start gardening is an excuse that Sandeep will ever buy. He states that there is a wide variety of pots and planters in the market today that can be used for terrace or balcony gardening.

Mahir Garden on Terrace

On the other hand, he states, “one can also adopt a roadside or a corner in a nearby park to contribute to the environment while pursuing gardening as a hobby.” Sandeep’s thoughts remind us of a famous quote by Spencer W. Kimball – “Wherever you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.” 

Sandeep also suggests budding gardening enthusiasts to learn the basics of gardening, understand the lifecycle of seasonal plants, and plant care from self-help and DIY videos on YouTube. “When you understand your plants, the climate they thrive in, the nutrition and sunlight they need, etc.… you save yourself from disappointment,” he states.

“Start with herbs as they are quick to grow and require minimal gardening skills. When you reap your first produce, the feeling is extremely gratifying and motivating. You can grow parsley, rosemary, holy basil, or coriander on your window sill; it will not only beautify the space but also encourage everyone around to take up gardening, even if in a minuscule way,” he adds.

For aspiring gardeners and enthusiasts, the most vital skill that Sandeep wants to teach is patience. “Plants take their own sweet time to grow or bloom. Respect their growth cycle because gardening is all about patience,” he concludes.

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Mask, Gloves: Check; Hazmat: Check. Indians suit up to ward off Covid-19 | Economic Times

Economic Times

New Delhi: Indians are stocking up on hazmat suits in their defence against Covid-19, perhaps taking a cue from supermodel Naomi Campbell who wore one to the airport. The demand for the protective attire has picked up in the last few days as it has for products such as latex gloves.

Nirvana Being, located in the capital’s Khan Market, has sold 300 hazmat suits after having begun stocking them this month. It also sells online. Online marketplace IndiaMart said demand for such suits jumped fivefold in February.

“The increase in demand can be linked to the coronavirus since the platform has witnessed a sudden increase in inquiries of all the medicinal items which were prescribed to safeguard oneself from the virus, be it surgical masks, hand sanitisers etc.,” said IndiaMart CEO Dinesh Agarwal. Items such as tissue paper, kitchen towels and wet wipes are also selling in much bigger numbers, he said.

IndiaMart said demand quadrupled in February from what it was in December for protective overalls or chemical suits and doubled for latex suits.

“This is the first time we are keeping these bodysuits,” said Jai Dhar Gupta, founder of Nirvana Being. It currently has a stock of 1,200 imported hazmat suits sourced from Dupont and 5,000 pairs of latex gloves. One hazmat suit costs Rs 2,000 while a pair of latex gloves costs ₹100. With the rise in Covid-19 cases, Apollo Pharmacy Retail has also been selling more hazmat suits in the last two weeks.

“The demand for these suits has definitely gone up… These are being used especially by the caregivers and hospital staff,” said Jaya Kumar, CEO of Apollo Pharmacy Retail.

Such suits are available on Flipkart as well. The marketplace didn’t respond to queries.

3M recently received a request for safety goggles for the first time in India, demand for which has been negligible so far. “We have manufactured goggles for supply to the government of India (Ministry of Health), per their specific request,” a company spokesperson told ET.

A Date to Remember [With Numbers!]

Great problems bring out great potential, and Vikas Goyal, Senior Manager, Business Analytics at IndiaMART, is a fine example of how to turn adversity to your advantage.

Vikas at Radio City’s Office

Married to Vaishally, the couple shifted to New Delhi four years back and are proud parents to their son Vivaan. For Vikas, work-life balance is purely a function of hours. He explains that out of the total 168 hours in a week if you strike out 70 hours for the basic chores, you are left with roughly 100 hours. These 100 hours can be segregated by dedicating 60 hours for office, 30 hours for family, and 10 hours for your passion. Coming to passion, Vikas has an undying inclination towards numbers, solving puzzles, cubes, and all things logical.

The 168 Hour Split

His passion for numbers takes us back to his early days. The untimely death of Vikas’ father pushed the Goyal family towards financial struggle. All of twelve at that time, Vikas pitched in to contribute whatever little he could, by giving mathematics classes in his neighborhood. “Gradually, the responsibility germinated to love for the subject, and I started coaching CAT/GMAT aspirants during my academic days,” he shares. Vikas went on to crack CAT and pursue PGDM. Besides, he worked with T.I.M.E, Career Launcher, and Endeavor Careers as a part-time quantitative and logical reasoning faculty.

Learning never stopped for Vikas, as the ‘Best Performer of the Year’ awardee for 2016-17 and 2018-19, continues to enhance his skill set with certifications like Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the American Society of Quality, and Level III Professional Risk Management from PRMIA.

The Best Performer Award for 2018-19

Blessed with a jovial persona, Vikas is an advocate of data-driven decision making. He states,

Vikas shares that when you lead a big team, people get carried away with emotions, however, the leadership must trust data.

Don’t trust your beta, but trust data.

Talking about the inspiration behind his book ‘A Date with Numbers,’ Vikas shares that mathematics is perceived as a dull and dry subject with lots of formulas. And youth icons like Virat Kohli add fire to this dislike for the subject, when they release statements like, “I used to get 3, I was that good. I did not understand, why someone would even want to learn math.” To break the notion and make maths interesting for children, he authored ‘A Date with Numbers.’

A Date with Numbers

Vikas brings out the beauty of numbers by linking them to dates. “Dates are special, and they are universal; birthdays, marriage anniversary, work anniversary or even the paycheck day – dates are meaningful to us,” he adds.

Vikas shares an incident that acted as a trigger to write his book. “It was my 13-year-old niece. Last year, I happened to see her on her birthday. She is good in studies but didn’t like mathematics as a subject. I tried to convince her that math is interesting to which she asked to prove it,” he reveals. Vikas took the challenge and proved his point by taking her birthday as an example, 

The response from her niece was heart-warming, “Amazing! Thanks for making my birthdate special!”

“If a math equation on the birthdate could ignite interest in the kid, then why not do it for each date of the year?”

Vikas thought of beautifully expressing each of the 365 days of the year using basic mathematics to invoke the curious minds of all ages. His formula was to blend the beauty of numeric logic with the emotions of dates. 

However, the destination Vikas had set for himself did not pave through easy roads. To identify something unique for each date was a herculean and challenging task. And it becomes tougher when you are working as a full-time employee. “I believe in the motto: There is no “i” in “team” but there is always “i” in “time.” If you are passionate about something, shelling 8-10 hours out of 168 hours in a week is just 5%,” he shares.

The key takeaway from Vikas Goyal’s journey is that anyone should not be bounded by their work, and must follow their passion. While writing his book, Vikas was often ridiculed for being orthodox, there were many who told, ‘who reads books these days.’ However, going back to the roots, and following his passion motivated him to stay on course. “Pursue what you love the most, irrespective of whether it is perceived orthodox, outdated. Do what you love,” Goyal concludes.

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International Women’s Day | IndiaMART Women Entrepreneur’s Showcase 2020

Women across the globe are changing the dynamics of entrepreneurship. Taking a plunge into the entrepreneurial vulnerability, innovating, setting priorities, bending patriarchy, taking critical decisions, overcoming fears, and juggling many roles, women have aced the arena which was predominantly a male bastion, two-decades back.

On International Women’s Day 2020, IndiaMART salutes Women Entrepreneurs and brings three unique stories of grit and growth of women-led businesses to inspire you on this special day.

Rachna Gupta | Founder-Director – Creative India & Home Hue

The journey of Rachna Gupta from a homemaker who got married at a young age of 18, to earning the most coveted crowns of Mrs. India 2019 & Mrs. Summer Global Universe 2020 is awe-inspiring.

Rachna Gupta Winning Mrs. Summer Global Universe 2020

As the director of ‘Creative India’ furnishings and owner of ‘Home Hue’ furnishing store in Pune, Maharashtra, Rachna states that life must go on despite the snowballs it throws your way.

Life’s loose cannons can make or break you

“My world came crashing down when I lost my husband in 2012, and I was caught unaware at a juncture in life where you’re left wondering what to do and where to go from here,” states Rachna. However, giving up was not an option, and Rachna gave herself five years to build her life up for her children – Vidul and Tamanna, now 20 and 15, respectively. “It’s been a tough battle, being a single mother and juggling between work while raising my children. And it was only possible due to my firm determination and positive attitude towards life,” shares Rachna.

She joined Panchsheel Realty and pursued an MBA, simultaneously. A year and a half down the line in mid-2014, determined to be her own boss and make her mark, Rachna fulfilled a small order for Radisson Blu, Pune, making it her first order for many to come. Today, her banner ‘Creative India’ supplies furnishings and linen to the top five-star hotels across India, and Radisson Blu stays on as her oldest and largest client. Rachna loves designing beautiful homes and spaces and takes up Interior Designing projects.

She was recognized as a remarkable upcoming business by Femina in 2019. Encouraged by her mother and daughter, she’s participated and won beauty pageants, besides launching her retail store in the heart of Pune. “My endeavors have made me realize that to be a winner, one needs to grab the opportunity and shun all negativity. Women must choose to ignore naysayers, work respectfully, and be accountable to themselves only. No challenge is beyond accomplishment if you are determined and work hard to realize your goals,” she advises fellow women.

CA Monika Maru | Co-founder – Maru Ecobags

An avid environmentalist and women empowerment enthusiast, CA Monika Rathi Maru, co-founded Maru Ecobags in 2018 after quitting a thriving corporate career at Tata Motors. Her entrepreneurial plunge coincided with the time when the Maharashtra government took a stand against plastic, and banned single-use plastic bags. Knowing that eco-friendly bags are critical for a sustainable future, Monika launched Maru Ecobags and formed an all-women squad in the rural periphery of Pune.

 

“I took the initiative to make my contribution towards safeguarding the environment from the harmful effects of plastic bags and non-woven bags. My next aim was to empower rural women. Women stitch all our cotton bags at their homes. This empowers them and enables them to become financially independent without stepping out of the house,” share Monika

Besides working closely with her 70-member team, Monika also serves as a lecturer at the Institute of Taxation and Accounts, Pune, to quench her love for all things accounting and taxation.

Having recognized by Hindustan Times and LBB Pune, Monika continues to raise awareness against environmental hazards posed by plastic and non-woven bags. On 2nd October 2019, she organized a plastic collection drive in collaboration with the municipal corporation. She was enthused to collect over 150 kg of plastic waste with people participating in the campaign with great zeal. The collected plastic was picked by the Pimpri Chinchwad, Municipal Corporation for a petroleum project.

From leaving the comfort of a corporate career to working towards the environment in her own way, Monika shares that, “it’s not easy to give up your fixed salary, and start afresh as an entrepreneur and start building from grounds up. However, women must overcome fears and follow their true calling.”

Sheetal Talati | CEO – Pushpa Industries

Back in 2007, a young Sheetal Talati took over the reins of her family business after the untimely death of her father – Rohit Talati. Having lost her hero overnight, Sheetal did not lose his vision to take Pushpa Industries to the next level. His words were etched in her memory when he had shared that, “his hard work was in its golden period, and there was no stopping right now.”

“Even though I was grieving, the promise I made to him, fuelled a fire inside me. I did not want to let my father’s hard work go in vain. I took over just ten days after my loss and resumed work as usual with our existing clients,” shares Sheetal.

However, this was just the beginning of an avalanche of challenges. She was still learning the ropes of the business on her own and battling offers for a buyout when all of the existing clients left, knowing that a young lady is the new boss in the male-dominated field of HVAC and heat-transfer manufacturing.

Sheetal reveals that “for a while, I went to work and had nothing to do but to switch off the lights at the end of the day. I felt like a failure.”

Determined to turn things around, Sheetal made her resolve to make the best product in the existing market by gaining knowledge first-hand, she enrolled in a course on air conditioning and refrigeration at Father Agnel College, an “all-boys’ course” in Mumbai, after requesting special permission from the administration, to understand the nitty-gritty of manufacturing.

Sheetal Talati Mehta

She also took help from the company’s older employees and her father’s extensive notes that felt as though he was guiding her. “I felt confident again. I taught myself everything – from technical stuff like electrical wiring to running the show; I took on every role.

Today, Pushpa Industries is one of the leading coil manufacturers in Maharashtra. It manufactures all types of heating and cooling coils for air conditioners, AHUs, package units, FCUs, chillers, dryers, cold storage, refrigeration products, etc. It also provides coils and components to leading brands like Blue Star, Voltas, Hitachi, Daikin, and LG, among others.

Making a breakthrough in a male-dominated industry like manufacturing, I didn’t have any role models to look up to or emulate. I have been told multiple times that she got orders because she is a girl. On the flip side, clients and vendors have often walked into the office demanding to speak with the boss, expecting a male to be in charge,” she explains. 

Looking back, Sheetal says that she wanted to be her own role model and leave footsteps for the future generation of women who want to pursue this field. “I didn’t shy away because I was the only female manufacturer in the HVAC and R industry then. If I can hold my ground through perseverance and courage, it will inspire other women to also charter this path, and this is what keeps me going,” says Sheetal.

Educate yourself at every stage. It is a lifelong process. Make each day count, by learning something new,” the advice that her father gave helped her make focus on learnings at work, and win back the clients, the company had lost.

One of the biggest challenges that women face is straddling different roles of being a mother, wife, daughter-in-law, and the boss! Even in this day and age, there’s a part of the society that expects mothers to not work but look after their kids, especially when their husbands are professionally stable. “Random people offer unsolicited advice all the time. I believe it is sentiments like these that force almost 60-70 percent of women to give up their careers. However, women must charter their own paths and follow their hearts. It does not matter whether you are a man or a woman in a given field, with hard work and dedication you are made to win,” she recommends.

Sheetal has been featured in YourStory, ET Tomorrow Makers, and Humans of Bombay and has won numerous awards. “It’s been ten years, and we’ve received countless awards for being the best. I still miss my father every day, but every time there’s a victory at work, I feel closer to him, and finally, it’s not just his dream…it’s ours,” she concludes.

Celebrating Womanhood this International Women’s Day 2020

Sunday, 8th March, marks International Women’s Day 2020. Women are the foundation stones of a progressive society; the ones who mobilize generations and spread joy wherever they go. To celebrate womanhood this Women’s Day, we invited women employees of IndiaMART to share their unique stories and inspire others to make breakthroughs and emerge glorious in the endeavors they are chasing, or challenges they are facing.

The sky is not the limit

Hailing from the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, young Tulika Prakash was a flower that discovered its essence when she decided to clear UPTU back in 2011. She prepared for the entrance exam and accomplished her goal by securing admission in IIMT, Greater Noida. Getting admission on her own was life-changing as no-one in her family could imagine an average performer – Tulika would crack UPTU. Her father had even made arrangements for a donation as Tulika had got a compartment in Class12th, however, to everyone’s surprise, she not only cracked UPTU but also made it to one of the best engineering institutes in the state.

As a child, Tulika was enrolled in multiple extra-curricular classes post-school hours. She shares, “everyone has some or the other aspirations tries to reach it, but I was quite different as my aspirations were never fixed; be it becoming a great painter, a loving teacher, dancer, badminton player, or an engineer. What I did was not only following a single dream but following each and every dream with a focused mind. It was hard to reach the gates of the district competition when I met with an accident just to prove myself best in painting.”

Upon moving to IIMT, Greater Noida, Tulika was enthralled with her new-found family of fellow students and professors who motivated her to believe in herself and etch her presence. The first semester brought her an award in technical writing, proving to be the first of many wins in debates, drawing competitions, presentations, and other contests in the coming semesters.  With late-night studies and consistent efforts, she emerged as a college topper.

The fourth year was special as Tulika reserved her berth in three companies during the placement drive. Keen upon joining one of the firms, a 9 am to 6 pm work schedule looked too mundane to contain her aspirations. She left the job, and with the help of her professor Mr. Nikhil Kumar Gupta, Tulika made up her mind to appear for UPSC Civil Services exams. In the first attempt, Tulika could clear the Prelims only, however, with perseverance, she cleared Prelims as well as Mains in her second attempt.

Coping with depression

As is with life, it gives you a high and makes you feel invincible, but in the next moment, it makes you realize that nothing is in our hands. Tulika could not clear UPSC Interview, and it impacted her mental health to the extent that emotions could flare anytime, anywhere; and she would cry for no reason. Her younger brother came to her rescue and understood the feelings that had bottled up all this while. Tulika recalls that he would give her a champi (massage), and even though he is younger to her, he filled the place of her mother, while she was staying miles away from her family. He convinced Tulika to take clinical help to treat her depression. However, things went from bad to worse when a psychologist prescribed hard psychiatric medications, that impacted Tulika’s overall health.

A silver lining in the cloud

A change of doctor proved to be a ray of hope, and Tulika’s condition took a turn for the better. Tulika shares that she realized the power of silence and calm during her emotional turmoil.

Meanwhile, she joined IndiaMART and interacting with her colleagues only enhanced her emotional equilibrium. Eight months down the line, she has regained her confidence, and no one can imagine the struggle she’s had in the past few years.

I achieved one of the highest tags in the Indian society by qualifying UPSC civil services mains but went down with depression after I couldn’t clear the interview. Still, life goes on, so why not be happy and joyful. After a long journey of one year, I’m back with a smile and laughter focusing on more and more targets,” says Tulika.

A charming millennial, brimming with energy, and high dreams are what defines Tulika, and this women’s day it is time to applaud her resilience to push herself out of depression, besides her courage to share her story with others to let them know they are not alone in their struggles, and ups and downs are part of a good life!

The journey from merit to marriage

Our other muse for the day is Tulika Kumar, an HR professional from New Delhi, India. An alumnus of the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, Tulika earned her MBA from Delhi School of Economics. She was absorbed by the company where she did her internship and served there for three and a half years before getting married and relocating the United States.

Making choices

Fast forward, the next fourteen years were spent raising two beautiful daughters – Priya and Pragya, and supporting her husband to realize the American dream. The family decided to move back to their Indian roots in 2018, and Tulika found the timing right for her second innings in the corporate world. Planning ahead, she enrolled herself in a few online courses to learn people analytics, besides brushing up her MS Excel and HR skills.

In June 2019, Tulika moved back to India, and her job hunt brought her to IndiaMART. Tulika shares that while walking inside the office on her first day, in this so-called comeback, it made her more anxious than when she joined her first office eighteen years back. But she had the resolve not to let anything hamper her zeal to work again.

After having done my MBA from a reputed institute and a very fulfilling career for 3.5 years, I got married and relocated to the USA. There my career took a back seat first because I didn’t have work authorization and then to care for my young family. Time flew…. I kept myself abreast with the latest in the field of HR. I had been out of the workforce for more than 14 years! Though I was and am thankful for the time I was able to devote to my home and kids, I also wanted to go back to my career,” shares Tulika.

Thousands of women quit work after getting married to prioritize family over their careers. However, Tulika Kumar is an illustration of a woman who knows that she wants all but maybe not at the same time. Today, she is happy that she decided to take a break from work and focus on her family. She’s equally elated with the fact that she did not lose herself and left no stone unturned to stay relevant and professionally well-versed with the progress the HR field witnessed in close to a decade and a half.

The decision should be yours 

Tulika Kumar advises fellow women to follow their hearts when presented with life choices. Whether to work or not, should be entirely a woman’s decision. She also suggests women stay in touch with their line of work, and never give up on their passion.

Hope the different dimensions of life presented through the kaleidoscope of life events shared by Tulika Prakash and Tulika Kumar reflect upon our readers and inspire them that nothing can limit a woman’s aspirations!

Google Cloud announces plans to launch second cloud region in India | CRN India

CRN India

Google cloud regions bring Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services to global organisations in industries like media and entertainment, retail and manufacturing, helping them drive growth, differentiation, and innovation for their business. As the company’s customers in India grow and diversify, Google continues to advance and invest in its cloud infrastructure to help regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, as well as public sector organisations across India achieve their goals.

Rick Harshman, Managing Director, Google Cloud Asia Pacific, said, “At Google Cloud, our mission is to accelerate every organisation’s ability to transform through data-powered innovation with leading infrastructure, platform, industry solutions and expertise designed to meet our customers where they are on their journey to the cloud.”

GCP regions are the cornerstone of Google’s cloud infrastructure, and they enable customers such as L&T Finance, Manipal Hospital Group, Reliance Mutual Fund, Royal Enfield, TechMahindra, Truecaller, and many more to deliver high performing, secure, low latency, cloud-based services to their users, no matter where they are around the world.

Projected to launch in 2021, the Delhi cloud region will have three zones to protect against service disruptions. The region will also include a portfolio of key GCP products, offer lower latency to nearby users, and, when combined with the existing region in Mumbai, enable geographically separate in-country disaster recovery for the customers’ mission-critical applications.

For customers in Delhi and beyond—and businesses and organisations yet to try Google Cloud services—the new region presents an opportunity to take advantage of the big data and infrastructure services onshore while staying compliant with India’s data laws and regulations.

Harshman further added, “2020 is already shaping up to be a great year for Google Cloud in India, and we look forward to helping businesses and governments solve their most complex challenges and create value for years to come.”

Several Indian customers welcomed the addition of the Google Cloud region to Delhi. Sunil Prabhune, Chief Executive-Rural Finance, and Group Head-Digital, IT and Analytics, L&T Financial Services, said, “Cloud is the technology that enables us to achieve scale and reach. Today there are countless data points available about rural consumers which enable us to personalize our products to serve them better. With access to faster compute power, we can also on-board consumers more efficiently. Our rural businesses have clocked a disbursement CAGR of 60% over the past three years.”

Mukesh Rathi, CIO & Chief Digital Officer, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, said, “We knew we made the right choice when we selected Dialogflow Enterprise Edition as our strategic, long-term platform to run intelligent chatbots across our inhouse processes and functions. A Delhi cloud region shows we are working with a cloud provider that shares our commitment to high-quality in-market and multinational services.”

Amarinder S Dhaliwal, Chief Product Officer, IndiaMART, said, “Buyers and suppliers can already access our marketplace much faster than previously with Google Cloud, and this has a positive impact on customer engagement, time spent and the entire user journey. We are extremely excited about the potential of a second GCP region in India to help us provide an even better experience to the businesses that use IndiaMART.”

Akhil Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, NoBroker, said, “Google Cloud is transforming the cloud market similar to what NoBroker is doing by providing C2C platform for real estate needs without any brokerages. A second Google Cloud region in India will give us access to secure infrastructure closure to customers as we recently launched NoBroker services in NCR region. It will also help us retain customer data within India – meeting our compliance requirements.”

Channel Drive | Express Computer | Communications Today

5 of 16 IPOs doubled money in 2019. SBI Card will show what 2020 holds | Economic Times

The Economic Times

Analysts and investors are hoping that 2020 too will produce a few multi-bagger debutants.

Mumbai: Five of the 16 initial public offerings of calendar 2019 doubled investor money over the past few months in an volatile market.

With a long list of issues lined up for this year, analysts and investors are hoping that 2020 too will produce a few multi-bagger debutants. The analysts say the performance of the ongoing Rs 10,000 crore SBI Cards and Payment Services issue is likely to have a bearing on how the primary market behaves through the year.

As many as 12 of the 16 IPOs that hit the market last year are trading with gains till date, while four failed to deliver returns.

The issue of state-run Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTCNSE -8.60 %) was the star performer, with the shares jumping a whopping 445 per cent since its debut in September, 2019. The stock hit a record high of Rs 1,995 on February 25 from its issue price of Rs 320 per share.

The other star performers included Metropolis Healthcare, Neogen Chemicals, Indiamart Intermesh and Affle (India), data from primary market tracker Prime Database showed.

The IPO market had a lackluster start to calendar 2020 until the much-awaited SBI Card issue hit the market earlier this week, creating a lot of buzz.

The issue had been subscribed 15 times till the start of fourth and last day of the bidding process. Bankers expect the issue to be subscribed 30 to 35 times as high networth individuals (HNIs) are expected to place most of their bids on the last day, specially reserved for them and retail investors on Thursday.

“A lot will depend on SBI Card listing, and how that pans out. Given the entire coronavirus scare the secondary market is already facing the brunt of it,” said Pranav Haldea, Managing Director of Prime Database.

The impact was visible in the unlisted market. Even as the IPO mopped up solid subscriptions, unlisted shares of the company took a knock in the unofficial market for trading in such shares.

The seven-day losing streak of the secondary market and jitters created by

oronavirus outbreak in the national capital caused panic in the unlisted market, and the premium that the unlisted shares of SBI Card enjoyed halved.

Dealers in the unlisted market said the premium on the counter, which was around Rs 380-390 a week ago, has plunged over 65 per cent to Rs 130-140 as of Wednesday.

“When the secondary market is volatile, primary issuances will be hit. Till the time the entire situation stabilises, I doubt there will be more issuances in the market,” Haldea said.

IPOs worth around Rs 21,080 crore are waiting with Sebi approvals to hit the market.

“Fortunately, the quality of IPOs that came in 2019 was better, and their business models were different. This season, the IPO process has started with SBI Card, which is a company to hold in a portfolio,” said

Deven Choksey, Group Managing Director, KR Choksey Investment Managers

“The gains on listing and beyond would depend on how the secondary market performs,” he said.

Choksey was concerned that almost 95 per cent of IPO money is funded by financiers. “The issue will sail through, but because of coronavirus scare, the secondary market is subdued. So problems may erupt post listing. We need to wait and watch what happens at the IPO listing,” he said.

CNBC-AWAAZ CEO Awards 2019 – Celebrating India’s Outstanding Leaders | CNBC TV 18

CNBC TV 18

t a grand ceremony held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, CNBC-AWAAZ CEO Awards, pioneered by CNBC-AWAAZ in partnership with the Chhattisgarh Government, recognized leaders who create and sustain entrepreneurial initiatives, develop best practices and carve out powerful businesses in the Indian economy.

For the second consecutive year, the awards paid tribute to entrepreneurship, celebrating the strategic vision and transformational initiatives of doers and performers, disruptors and innovators, pioneers and pathbreakers.

An evening to remember

The evening began with an engaging panel discussion on ‘e-Growth drivers and Opportunities in the Current Economic Environment’. Moderated by Pradeep Pandya, Deputy Executive Editor, CNBC-AWAAZ, the panel comprised  Brijesh Agrawal, Co-Founder, Indiamart; RM Agarwal, CMD, ITI; Sanjay Nayak, CEO & MD, Tejas Networks and  Arun Prasad, MD, CSIDC. The discussion covered various themes including international competitiveness of Indian enterprises, the need for technology development, policy facilitation expected from the government, the transition from old economies to newer ones, and many others that are relevant for the progress of the Indian business ecosystem. The audience, who were encouraged to share their questions, concerns and views on the themes being discussed, participated intermittently, making the session truly interactive.

This was followed by a one-on-one chat with V. Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO of IDFC First Bank, who has been a game changer and thought leader in the financial sector. He shared his perspectives on retail lending, consumption and spending at the bottom of the pyramid, financial inclusion though data analysis and fintech and his own professional journey this far. When asked what made him choose to serve the customer segment that he does, he concluded, “It gives me great joy to know that our employees derive happiness from their work because they can sense the social impact that it makes. Secondly, I will always continue to lend to those at the bottom of the pyramid because I believe that they are intrinsically honest and earnest.”

Next up was a brief address by Shailendra Bhatnagar, Managing Editor, CNBC AWAAZ and CNBC BAJAR. He explained the genesis, motivation and methodology for the awards and highlighted the immense contribution of the state of Chhattisgarh. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the state of Chhattisgarh and the government of Shri Bhupesh Baghel for their unstinted support in making this platform a great success.” He went on to introduce the jury and explain how the 26 winners from various categories were chosen, concluding by wholeheartedly congratulating the winners.

Categorical selection process

Like last year, business leaders were judged under stringent, objective and transparent criteria. Researched by CNBC-AWAAZ’s editorial team and validated by the esteemed jury panel, this marquee platform conferred two categories of awards – one by the esteemed jury and the other by the CNBC-AWAAZ editorial board.

The esteemed jury comprised world-respected management strategists, academics and corporate personalities, namely, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Former Chairman, State Bank of India; Pradip Shah, Chairman, IndAsia Fund Advisor Pvt Ltd / Director Grow Trees; Shailesh Haribhakti, Chairman, New Haribhakti Business Services LLP and Mentorcap Management Pvt Ltd; Nilesh Shah, Managing Director, Kotak AMC Ltd and Shailendra Bhatnagar, Managing Editor, CNBC-AWAAZ & CNBC-BAJAR.

For the CNBC-AWAAZ Editorial board selection awards, the research team followed a 3-phased approach, which entailed a comprehensive exercise through a unique process based on a combination of criteria, including financial performance, leadership, creativity, innovation and social responsibility. The nominees were also evaluated on their ability to create short-term advantages, long-term value, a competitive edge and demonstration of leadership in the business community.

Chhattisgarh – Classic, Contemporary, Progressive

As a prelude to the awards, the Chief Guest of the evening, none other than Shri Bhupesh Baghel, Honourable Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh State, took the centre stage. He began by congratulating CNBC AWAAZ for the outstanding success of their endeavour and welcomed all the delegates to the state of Chhattisgarh. “Chhattisgarh means different things to different people,” he said and went on to explain its cultural and historic significance, natural mineral endowments, excellent state of infrastructure, including electricity, and fast-growing industrial progress. He concluded the address by inviting one and all – from any sector or industry – to invest and do business in Chhattisgarh and benefit from everything the state has to offer, assuring that his government would do everything it could to facilitate entrepreneurs.

Following the Chief Minister’s address, he sat down for a tête-à-tête with Pradip Pandya, Markets Editor – CNBC AWAAZ, during which they discussed the benefits of investing in or doing business in Chhattisgarh and even working and living in the state.

And the winner is…

Finally, came the much-awaited highlight of the evening – the CEO awards presentation by the Chief Minister. The Jury Awards for CEO of the Year, in various categories, went to Ameera Shah, Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare; Keshab Panda, CEO, L&T Technology Services; Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India; S N Subrahmanyan, CEO, L&T; Keki Mistry, Vice-Chairman & CEO, HDFC Bank and Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank. The most prestigious award of the evening went to V. Vaidyanathan, IDFC First Bank for being the Most Promising Entrepreneur of the Year in the Editorial Board Category, while the rest of the accolades in the category went to companies from different sectors.The evening concluded with a splendid photo op of all the winners followed by a networking dinner for all the participants.

For IndiaMART, No “Adverse” Impact From Coronavirus Epidemic | Inc42

Inc42

  • Indian businesses are looking to cut down reliance on sourcing from China
  • IndiaMART says Indian sellers and suppliers are seeing more inquiries for medical supplies and electronics
  • CEO Dinesh Agarwal said that IndiaMART will be the last company to be affected by coronavirus

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has affected more than 90K people and claimed the lives of over 3,100 people across 77 countries, has slowed down the progress of global businesses. Companies are running out of raw materials, spare parts and the constant supply chain that China has built over the years. Not for B2B ecommerce marketplace IndiaMART.

Even as India’s automobile and electronics industry suffers, IndiaMART has managed to avoid the impact from the outbreak, according to IndiaMART CEO Dinesh Agarwal.

With Indian businesses focusing on localising production in light of the problems in China, B2B marketplaces such as IndiaMART have seen a growth in sales inquiries for Indian sellers. Cofounder and CEO Agarwal told Inc42 that the recent coronavirus outbreak has impacted the business in a “positive” way, as sales inquiries have gone up and even foreign businesses have started sourcing materials from Indian sellers.

“Traffic that was going to China has now started coming to India,” Agarwal said about the higher flow of incoming inquiries for Indian sellers and businesses on the IndiaMART platform.

Agarwal specified that the foreign inquiries in several categories have increased. The inquiries on medical equipment and accessories have shot up by 20x, whereas for electronics the growth has been over 4 to 10 times. Citing an anecdote, Agarwal said that a seller that used to get “100 calls” earlier has now started getting 30x the number of calls.

He highlighted that there are very few economies that have large manufacturing and supply chain and as India is one of them, B2B marketplaces like IndiaMART that act as a discovery channel are not “adversely” affected by such epidemics.

But with around six new registered cases of coronavirus-led disease Covid-19 in India this week, fear has begun to spread in the minds of Indians as well. Over the past week, multiple new cases have been reported in the US and parts of Europe, which has increased calls for global action to combat the disease.

Indian Tech Companies Reel From Coronavirus Impact

Recently, popular Indian consumer electronics brand boAt’s cofounder Aman Gupta said that the company has to cancel its upcoming sale in order to save up the inventory, in case the outbreak lasts any longer. Indian startups and businesses are now actively looking at Indian manufacturing and production partners as well as sourcing material from local companies and countries other than China.

For instance, micromobility platform Yulu’s investor automobile company Bajaj Auto will provide cheaper electric two-wheelers to the company so that Yulu can overcome any slowdown due to Chinese imports being blocked. On the other hand, boAt is also looking to increase manufacturing in India, especially due to the difficulties faced in the ongoing US-China trade war and now the coronavirus outbreak.

But IndiaMART CEO said that the disruption is not something that has affected the company directly yet.

“If the overall economy starts to get adversely affected, where businesses start to shut. Then obviously, we [IndiaMART] will be affected as well, but will be the last ones to get affected.”

But Agarwal did admit that in certain categories there is a bit of a supply crunch since nobody was prepared for a situation like this. Even then, some sellers have managed to procure material from other sources, he added.

We ourselves are trying to access how to best help the country and the world by the kind of database we have. It is very unfortunate it has happened.”

Daily Hunt | HT Syndication