ECONOMY, P5 BRANDWAGON, P7 BACK PAGE, P10 FRICTION AHEAD DISRUPTION STRATEGY SRK-MANIA SWEEPS CINE LOVERS EPFO moves to block higher pension for pre-2014 retirees Kimberly-Clark aims to shake up the kids’ diaper market in India Pathaan’s record opening gives industry a much-needed boost BENGALURU, FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 2023 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL XXXV 242, 10 PAGES, `10.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E IN THE NEWS First India-made nasal Covid vaccine from Bharat Biotech INDIAONTHURSDAY got its first-ever intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC, being manufactured by Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech, reports fe Bureau.The vaccine was launched by Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and science and technology minister Jitendra Singh on the occasion of Republic Day. iNCOVACC is now available on the CoWIN platform and has been priced at `800 for private markets and `325 for supplies to central and state governments. ■ PAGE 5 Direct benefit transfers at `5.14 trn TRANSFER OF ASSORTED subsidies and sops to the beneficiaries through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) has reached `5.14 trillion so far in the current financial year, reports Prasanta Sahu. The payments are expected to surpass `6.3 trillion achieved in the whole of FY22 due to the spike in fertiliser subsidies. ■ PAGE 2 BajajAuto upbeat on Triumph partnerhsip THE OPPORTUNITYTO scale up the business with the British partner Triumph can be much bigger than the 15-year-old partnership with KTM, said Bajaj Auto, as preparation go on in full swing in rolling out the first motorcycle from the joint venture in due course this year, reports Swaraj Baggonkar. ■ PAGE 4 Vi board to meet on Jan 31 on ATC’s dues VODAFONE IDEAWILL seek fresh approval from its shareholders on January 31 on its proposal to settle `1,600 crore dues with equipment vendor ATC Telecom Infrastructure through issuance of equity convertible debt bonds, according to an exchange filing by the company on Thursday, reports fe Bureau. ■ PAGE 5 Career cushioning in IT as layoffs surge Co-pay should be the last option A comprehensive cover along with a top-up plan is preferable ■ PERSONAL FINANCE, P7 We are deeply disturbed by this intentional and reckless attempt by a foreign entity to mislead the investor community ■ They said 'we have long list of documentswe would demand in a legal discovery process' has positions in Adani firmsvia US-traded bonds, nonIndian-traded derivatives serious,it should also file suit in the USwhere we operate.We have a long list of documents wewoulddemandinalegaldiscoveryprocess." OnWednesday,sharesofAdanigroupcompanies slumped by up to 8.1%, eroding the group’s combined market capitalisation by nearly`87,000 crore. The group said the forensic report had adversely affected its shareholders and investors. Continued on Page 8 Maruti Suzukiwill have one of the largest EV product line-ups bya single manufacturerin India by 2030.Tata Motors could still be the THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) market is set leaderwith at least 7 EVs on sale by that year to heat up with Maruti Suzuki preparing to while Mahindra & Mahindra could have a roll out its first carin the segment minimum of 6 EVs. in FY24 — a full year before the Though the SMC presentaINSIDE schedule. The company will Maruti confident tion did not provide much launch one electric car everyyear details on the body shape of of meeting till 2030 thereafter. upcoming 6 EVs, pictures proemission norms The company’s first electric vided therein suggest presence PAGE 4 vehicle will be based on the eVX of a compact hatchback, a comconcept which was showcased pact Jimny-style SUV, three at the recently concluded Auto Expo and other SUV-like design vehicles and a was unveiled by Toshihiro Suzuki, presi- crossover. dent Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). SMC hopes to have a 15% penetration of “In India we will introduce the SUV bat- EVsby2030inIndia.About25%ofitsvolume tery EVannounced at the Auto Expo 2023 in composition will be made of hybrid electric FY2024, with 6 models to be launched by vehicles and 60% by internal combustion FY2030,” stated a presentation by Maruti engine by2030. Suzuki’s parent SMC on Thursday. With seven battery electric models, Continued on Page 10 ■ It will have one of the largest EV product line-ups by a single manufacturer in India by 2030 first electric vehicle will be based on the eVX concept which was showcased at the recently concluded Auto Expo Continued on Page 8 ■ Hindenburg SWARAJ BAGGONKAR Mumbai, January 26 ■ The company’s ated tech-platform and pan-India focus, JioMart is rapidly gaining e-B2B market share.It is also gaining traction in pharma andelectronics,leveragingRelianceIndustries'Netmeds and Reliance Digital. yetconvinced ifplayers,apart from Udaan, will scale up and be that huge.Wewill have to wait for another couple of years to see that,”he added. While Udaan has a dominant position ine-B2Bmarketintermsofreachandscale given its first moveradvantage,differenti- ● TEAM BONDING AHEAD OF BUDGET Maruti’s first EV in FY24,a year ahead of schedule CHARGED UP FORAY ■ Suzuki Motor Corporation hopes to have a 15% penetration of EVs by 2030 in India ■Maruti's market share is around 43%, it still hopes to hit 50% market share and keep it like that till 2030 Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with ministers of state for finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad (second from right), Pankaj Chaudhary (third from left), CBIC chairman Vivek Johri (left) and other senior ministry officials during the 'halwa' ceremony of the Union Budget in New Delhi on Thursday PTI Near 50% jump in imports threatens India textile story Net trade surplus falls sharply TEXTILES & GARMENTS TRADE Exports BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, January 26 Imports ($ bn) TEXTILE AND GARMENT imports byIndia,traditionally a major exporter,jumped as much as 48.8%untilNovemberthisfiscalfromayearago to $7.2 billion,while the outbound shipment of such products shrank 13.4% to $23.1 billion. Suchimportsarelikelytogowellpast$10billion in the current fiscal to hit a record,official and industrysourcestoldFE.Butwhatcausesconcern isthatthegrowthinimportswasdrivennotjust bymassivepurchasesofinputs—includingraw cotton,fabricsandman-madetextiles—butalso by those of finished products.Apparel imports shot up 53% to $1.2 billion in the first eight monthsofthisfiscal(seechart).Morethan40% of the garment imports were from Bangladesh, whereseveralIndianfirmshavesetupunitsover the past 15 years to take advantage of its dutyfree access to large markets,such as the US and theEU.Another20%camefromChina. 23.1 4.8 7.2 FY22 (Apr-Nov) FY23 (Apr-Nov) variants. Withtheseinitiatives,Coca-Cola is building a culture of experimentation and trying out new ideas to make the sales in the second half of theyearequal to the first.“There is a 1% swing that has happened. My guess is that if we do 1% everyyear and in the next 4-5 years,then that would become substantial. A 1% swing is big if you look at the scale of operation thatwe are doing now. Best case scenario that I am expecting is 2%, so a 58:42 may become 56:44 and then we move slowly through it to make it equal.Still it is not going to be easy to change habits so quickly,”Ray said. THEADMINISTRATOR OFReliance Capital (RCap) has filed an application seeking a 90-dayextension for the completion of the debt-laden firm’s insolvency process. The present deadline to conclude the process ends on January 31. In its petition filed before the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) Mumbai bench, the administrator has sought time till May 1 to complete the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP). Stating that the time lost due to the legal issues and otherprocesses, whichwerenotduetothe corporate debtor’s (RCap) fault, the tribunal should “exercise its discretion and grant time for completion of the CIRP beyond the 330-day period”, the application filed onWednesday stated. Alotof timewasspent inobtaining clarification or vacation orders inrelationtoseveralinterimorders, pursuing pending disputes before the tribunal relating to possession ofRelianceGeneralInsuranceCompany’s shares and finalising & approving of resolution plans. Further,there is also an interim stay by the tribunal to the proposed second challenge mechanism. The bankruptcy proceedings of RCap were to end on June 4, 2022, but was extended to September 2, 2022, following the tribunal’s order. It was further extended to November1,2022,and laterto January 31,2023. OnJanuary6,RCap’sCommittee of Creditors (CoC) had approved a resolution to seek extension for completion of the CIRP with 98.09% of their total votes, as it would be difficult to wrap up the proceedings by January 31. Continued on Page 8 Continued on Page 8 Key segments Apr-Nov, FY23 % rise, y-o-y Imports ($ mn) 1,302 Raw cotton 1,226 Garments Yarn, fabrics, made-ups* 860 Cotton fabrics, made-ups 468 Man-made fibre 446 Man-made yarn, fabrics & made-ups 260 53 38 38 47 2,127 13 *Excluding cotton-based products Sources: DGCIS; ministry of commerce Continued on Page 8 Coke rewrites script to be a brand for all seasons THE CORE BRAND theme,Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola, is still going strong,but the US beverage giant is trying hard to establish itself as a brand for all seasons.At the heart of the brand strategy is how to get more from the core. So while the peaksummermonthswillcontinue tobeimportant,de-seasonalisation ofallitscorebrands,includingCoke, Maaza and Sprite,will be the focus in the coming years. A multi-pronged approach is playing out to make the strategy workable. Coca-Cola India is reallocating its marketing spends to multiplequarters,againstthestrongori- There is a 1% swing that has happened. A 1% swing is big if you look at the scale of operation — SANKET RAY, PRESIDENT OF INDIA & SOUTHWESTASIA, COCA-COLA entationtowardsthefirstandsecond quarters. In 2022, Coca-Cola India decidedtohikeadvertisingandmarketing spends in the third quarter of the calendar year to ensure strong demand in the festive season. MULTI-PRONGED STRATEGY ■ Coca-Cola is ■ At the heart of Coke's strategy is how to get more from the core looking to drive home consumption further, focus on newer beverage categories ■ The beverage company ■ It is also engaging is reallocating its marketing spends to multiple quarters At the same time,the soft drinks major is also leveraging its popular brands. The company over the last oneyear,hasintroducedvariantslike Maaza Aam Panna, Fanta Apple Delite, Limca Sportz, honey infused juices underits fruit nutrition brand in different kind of messaging for its iconic brands MinuteMaid,andCharged—whichis anenergydrink,ridingonThumsUp. According to Sanket Ray, president of India and SouthwestAsia for The Coca-Cola Company, the idea is to increase the occasions when the brandsareconsumedandoffermore Administrator in NCLT for extension to RCap process RAJESH KURUP Mumbai, January 26 26.7 US GIANT WORKING TO KEEP ITS FLAGSHIP BRANDS RELEVANT BEYOND SUMMERS SHUBHRATANDON New Delhi, January 26 I am not yet convinced if players other than Udaan will scale up and be that huge — VAIBHAV GUPTA, CEO, UDAAN « FE S P E C I A L THEADANI GROUPmayinitiate legal action against US-based forensic financial research firm Hindenburg Research,which released a 103-page report onWednesdayhighlighting accounting fraud, stock manipulation and improper use of offshore tax havens by the group. In a statement issued on Thursday, the groupsaiditisevaluatingrelevantprovisions under the US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive INSIDE action against Hindenburg Legal options Research. available to Adani "We are deeply disturbed Group PAGE 4 by this intenPSUs have 30% tional and reckexposure to Adanis’ less attempt by a debt: CLSA PAGE 4 foreign entity to mislead the investor community and the general public, undermine the goodwill and reputation of theAdaniGroupanditsleaders,andsabotage the follow-on public offering from Adani Enterprises (AEL)," Adani Group legal head Jatin Jalundhwala said. In response, Hindenburg Research said:"Regarding the company's threats of legalaction,tobeclear,wewillwelcomeit.We fullystand byourreport andbelieve anylegal action against us would be meritless." The statement went on to add:"If Adani is Research responded by saying 'ifAdani is serious, it should also file suit in the US wherewe operate' ■ JioMart is rapidly gaining market share in the segment ■ Apart from Udaan andJioMart, the other major players in this segment are, Flipkart Wholesale,Amazon Business, Dealshare Wholesale, and Elasticrun « Apple bets strong on India for iPhone exports ■ PAGE 10 JATIN JALUNDHWALA, LEGAL HEAD, ADANI GROUP ASHLEY COUTINHO Mumbai, January 26 FOR THE FIRST time since its launch in 2016, e-B2B (business-to-business) startup Udaan mayface some tough times protecting its dominant position, as Reliance's JioMart is sharpening its focus in this area. However, Udaan CEO Vaibhav Gupta isnot undulyperturbed bythe competition he faces. “Ihaven’tseenqualityplayersyet.Large industries, like e-B2B, will have 5-10 big companies but we will have to see how many of them will work hard to build it,” Gupta told FE. “Among the current players, I am not ■ Hindenburg ■ It is growing at roughly 5-6% q-oq or around 4050% annually « EXPLAINER COURT BATTLE AHEAD TUSHAR GOENKA Bengaluru, January 26 « PAKISTAN’S CURRENCY TUMBLED 9.6%, the most in at least two decades, to close at 255.43 per dollar on Thursday as the crisis-stricken government relaxed its grip to win muchneeded loans from the IMF, reports Bloomberg. ■ PAGE 8 Company evaluating provisions under US, Indian laws for action Company strengthening FIRST-MOVER ADVANTAGE ■ Udaan has a dominant position in e-B2B market its business to counter in reach & scale given its first mover advantage threat by rival players « « Pak rupee slumps to record low Adani may file suit against Hindenburg Udaan reins in cash burn rate: CEO « SEVERAL EMPLOYEES IN the IT sector are opting for ‘career cushioning’ to safeguard themselves against the mass layoffs in the sector, according to HR experts, reports Ayushman Baruah. Career cushioning becomes extremely helpful during uncertain times like these when layoffs are rampant. ■ PAGE 4 US FIRM STANDS BY REPORT BENGALURU
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.