Indian Cities to See Fastest Growth in Asia Over Five Years

Delhi will have the fastest growth of any city in Asia, with the economy to be almost 50 percent larger in 2021 than it was at the end of last year. Indian cities are set to expand the most across the region, with growth speeding up from the past 5 years, according to a new study from Oxford Economics, which ranked Asia’s 30 largest cities. With financial and business services projected to be the fastest growing sector in India, Delhi’s dominance in this industry will lead to higher growth and higher incomes. “Limits on foreign ownership of Indian companies are gradually being reduced or eliminated,” wrote Mark Britton, lead economist on the report. “In the short term this is conducive to strong growth in Delhi’s professional services sector, as overseas investors seek advice on possible deals, while long term it should mean steady income streams for such businesses.”

indian_citiesConsumer companies such as Japan’s Muji are also betting on that change. Parent company Ryohin Keikaku Co. sees India becoming its second largest international market, after China. And Amazon.com Inc.’s Indian unit is seeking approval to invest in a food supply chain and take advantage of government moves to ease rules on foreign retailers. China’s expansion will slow, although the largest five cities will still be recording growth rates of 6 percent or more. There will be a slight slowdown across the region amid moderating import demand from China, with growth expected to average 4.2 percent per year over the five years to 2021, down from 4.5 percent in 2012-2016. Even so, that’s still much faster than the developed economies and cities in the region – and that’s a big opportunity for companies. Starbucks Corp. plans to almost double the number of stores it has in mainland China by 2021, and McDonald’s Corp. plans to add 2,000 new restaurants over the same period. Both companies recently announced they were buying out their partners in Mainland China and taking control of operations.

However, there are significant differences across the region. Japanese cities are likely to remain at the bottom amid a challenging demographic outlook, with Osaka last in the rankings as its working-age population falls by approximately 1 percent per year, the report said. Tianjin is forecast to clock the fastest growth in China, given that it has a large manufacturing base and one of the nation’s busiest ports. However, as the services sector expands, the manufacturing and shipping industries may prove to be less supportive in future. Ho Chi Minh was the only non-Indian city in the top five, reflecting the city’s success in establishing itself as a manufacturing center, as well as its strong services sector.

  • Bloomberg

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2 months hence

What have i been doing in India 2 months since coming back from Singapore?  Studying, taking a break from work at the same time.  But things are still as busy as when i was in Singapore.

Have suffered one of my worst summer in a decade.  Its always 40-42 degrees daily and i suffer the most on my way back home from my classes daily.  Once i reach home, am so drained that i just dont seem to have the time and inclination to do anything else.

Just cant wait for the rains, but looking at the screwed up weather, i foresee very bad monsoon this time too.  Hopefully iam wrong.  The winter in December was extreme and so has been the summer.  I experienced both of them this year.  Just hope that the monsoons are also extreme.  I promise not to complain 🙂

So much to write, so little time.  Becoming a full time student after working nonstop for 15 years has been a refreshing experience.  The course would end by mid of this month.  See how things go ahead from here on.

Will write soon on my experiences after moving back to India.

Above picture courtesy: Chase’s blog

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Its been a week

A quick update…Its been a hectic one week for me here in India.  The speed of this place is simply mind boggling.  Trust me, Singapore seems to be very much laid back compared to Hyderabad now.  Did anyone say that Hyderabad had a easy-go nawabi culture?

Forget about settling down, am still in the process of getting my things organized.  Going to the bank to get my residence status changed from NRI (Non Resident Indian) to RI (Resident Indian) has already had its share of story to tell.  Will write in detail some other time.

Meanwhile have joined a course to brush up on my networking skills (CCNA and CCNP) and unlike full day one week courses in Singapore, here they are 2 hrs per day classes for 15 or 30 days (depending on the course).  Not to mention the course fees which is a fraction of what it is in Singapore.

E.g a CCNA course in Singapore costs SG$ 2000 (approx INR 80,000).   The same course here costs me INR 3500 (approx SG$ 87).  A CCNA + CCNP course combined costs INR 8200 (approx SG$ 205).  In Singapore, it would cost SG$ 8000 (approx INR 320,000).   I think that should settle any argument on why you should not come back to India to study and get certified (if you wish to).

My cargo is to arrive only in the first week of April.  And when that comes, there will be another mega round of unpacking.  Combined with it the course schedule which is in the afternoons (morning class is full) and Iam still tired at the end of the day.  Havent had time to even think of searching for a job.  There are quite a lot of  ideas in mind.  Am already working on one of it simultaneously.  Cant believe i had the energy to juggle so many things at the same time.

Summer is slowly creeping up, but the nights and mornings are surprisingly cool.  Getting ready to face my first Indian summer in years.  But at the same time my mouth is salivating at the prospect of mangoes that are gonna flood the market during summer.   That itself is worth relocating back 😉

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Moving back

Finally, moving back to India over the weekend.  Bringing to an end my 11 year old saga in Singapore 😉  Lots of packing done over the past 2-3 weeks.  Never knew that relocation was so tiring. Updates will be slow in the meantime (not that I have been any active in the past few months on this blog).

Moving back to your home country  after working abroad for a long time is not easy.  Brings about a lot of changes, changes in lifestyle, mentally getting adjusted to the new environs even though its the same place you were born and bred.  Still, its something I needed to do to jolt myself out of the comfort zone.  Of course there were personal reasons too that were instrumental in this move back home.  Some of which i will write in detail later on.

There are a lot of things that i have done over the past 1 month that i feel i could share on this blog and would help someone else who is either planning or is in the process of moving back to India.  Resigning the job, relocation, cancelling the numerous subscriptions, giving up the work status in the country, moving money, documents, dealing with cargo etc…

I plan to write more in detail about how i went about sorting all of them.  I will miss Singapore and all the wonderful friends i made here.  The place and its people will always have a special place in my heart and I will always wish the country and its people well.

Till then its goodbye Singapore.  Hyderabad, here i come 😉

Above picture courtesy: RehannaBernard

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Return 2 India

The first major decision of 2012.  Yup its time for me to close my 11 years old chapter here in Singapore and move back to India.  It hasnt been an easy decision to take, but ya it took time to come to this.  Have been thinking about it for more than 2 years now.  The time is here.

Will write in detail later.  But as of now, i can only say that I will miss Singapore a lot.

Above picture courtesy: portalhunt

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IIM-Ahmedabad seamless campus in Hyderabad

Some good news for the students and the city of Hyderabad.

In what could propel Hyderabad into a premier educational hub of the country, the AP government and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, have informally agreed to set up a ‘seamless’ campus of IIM-A on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

“The decision to set up IIM-A campus in Hyderabad was taken at a meeting between the board of governors of the institute and state government officials in Ahmedabad recently. The top management institution has now set up a committee to work out further modalities,” state government sources told STOI. Dons in IIM-A confirmed the development to STOI.

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The move is said to be highly symbiotic. The 110-acre IIM-A campus is virtually saturated and there is no scope of any further expansion. “The AP government has offered nearly 150 acres of land virtually free of cost or at a nominal amount of Rs one per acre as well as a grant of Rs 100 crore. The seamless campus at Hyderabad would be bigger than the Ahmedabad location and have ultra-modern facilities,” the official said.

According to sources, IIM-A can benefit immensely by having an extension in Hyderabad. “The PGDM — commonly called MBA-course is the brand-building one, but not revenue earning. The institute can generate money only through short-term executive courses and the IT, biotechnology and infrastructure hub that Hyderabad is would attract many to join up,” sources said.

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According to sources, reputed faculty from abroad are keen to join the institute and would be motivated by the access that the Hyderabad international airport would provide for them. “IIM-A is the top management institution in the country and Hyderabad is the hub of the emerging economy. Both will tremendously benefit with the setting up of the seamless campus,” officials said.

The YSR Reddy government thought of the seamless IIM-A campus after the Centre made it clear that a new IIM cannot be granted for Hyderabad since it already has an IIT. “And there is no provision for an IIM for Andhra Pradesh in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2013-18) as well. A seamless IIM-A campus would be an extension of the one at Ahmedabad and not another new campus. This way, the Union HRD ministry will also have no objection as it need not give any financial assistance,” said sources.

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According to the sources, the IIM-A board of governors were highly appreciative of the facilities that were being offered by the state government for the growth and expansion of the institution. “Their efforts in the last few years to grow including opening a campus in Mumbai came a cropper. Besides, former HRD minister Arjun Singh shot down all the expansion plans of the IIMs. Therefore, the offer from the AP government was welcomed with open arms by IIM-A authorities,” officials said.

Apart from the flagship PGDM course, the seamless campus in Hyderabad would offer a slew of new ones as well as optional courses that the student from Ahmedabad can enlist for a short-term, the sources said.

“In short, the seamless campus in Hyderabad can further cement the grip of IIM-A as the topmost management institute in the country,” the sources added.

The committee set up by the IIM-A authorities is expected to submit its proposals shortly to the board of governors after which the institute will seek a formal approval from the Union HRD ministry.

Above news source: TimesofIndia

Above pictures of campus source: IIM Ahmedabad

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Am back

First a trip to smelly and dirty Chennai, then a trip to equally smelly and extremely dirty pilgrim town called Velankanni (with the famous shrine of Mary) and finally to an extremely clean, cold and windy Hyderabad.

Chennai was sweltering hot, i sweated buckets.  Coupled with that the scarcity of water and a city that is used by its citizens as a garbage dump.  You wonder where the municipal workers of the city are?  If at all they are doing the work.  Whether you are the middle of the city or at the outskirts, one thing that defines Chennai is the consistent crappy smell in the air.  The air stinks in Chennai and uniformly so.  Dont know why and how.  This is in addition to the dirt and filth all around.  Wonder which moron decided to name it a metro.

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Velankanni was equally dirty.  For a piligrim town with such a potential for tourism, there are hardly any good lodge/hotels.  The only good ones are the dorms run by the church, but they too offer you rooms for the next day only.  And if you are the ones (like me) who just drop into the town with no reservations, hoping to stay at some hotel, be disappointed with the kinds of rooms you get there.  As for the restaurants, stay away if you dont want to come down with some extreme case of food poisoning or diarrhea.

If you have any plans of going to Velankanni, stay at Nagapattinam, a town near Velankanni.  Take a bus in the morning to Velankanni, see around and come back to Nagapattinam.  This was advised by my friends after i did my trip much to my exasperation.

Took a train from Chennai to Hyderabad.  Was travelling by the Indian Railways after more than 11 years and loved the experience.  Reached Hyderabad early morning around 6am on the 14th (our 1st wedding anniversary).   Was amazed at how clean the city of Hyderabad was at 6 in the morning.   Either the roads were swept clean or at some places the cleaners were hard at work.  Kudos to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the people who work for them for keeping the city reasonably clean.

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It was drizzling all through and there was a nice cool breeze.  Loved it. Since we were tired, we preferred to rest.  There was not much celebration for the anniversary as all plans were for wifey’s birthday which was 2 days later on the 16th.  Had a get together at home for friends and family for wifey’s birthday.

Later on in the week, went to the new mall in town, GVK-1.  Good place to hang out, but there was something lacking in the place.  I prefer Hyderabad Central or City Center.  Also the mall is pretty new and the shops are only coming up.  Maybe it will be good once it fills up.

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Saw the movie New York.  Not bad i thought.  Better than the crap that Yash Raj is famous for churning out. Saw the movie at the new INOX multiplex at GVK-1.  The seating is good and so is the sound system.

Travelled back to Singapore via Chennai again.  From the superb airport of Hyderabad to a garbage can called Chennai Airport is a perfect example of what the private sector can do to our economy while at the same time, the Chennai airport run by the inefficient babus of Airports Authority of India have really screwed it up.

There were no seats at the international departure.  They simply disappeared.  For someone who’se flight is yet to start check-in, they simply have to stand there waiting for the counters to open.  Can you believe that?  What about the elderly and the people who need to rest?  Have the airport authorities ever thought about their comfort?

And the cafe’s selling stuff in Chennai airport are nothing but daylight robbery.  Tea is sold for Rs 30.  A samosa / aloo bonda costs Rs 60.  Whereas you get a good Cafe Coffee Day coffee at the Hyderabad airport for just Rs 15.

I can go on and on about the pathetic situation at Chennai airport, but its a waste of time.  Its a perfect example of why the airport needs to be handed over to a private player so that they can do a better job of the same.  Anyone with doubts can look at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Bombay airports and compare them to the ones run by AAI.  There is simply no comparison.

Back at office and a mountain of work stares me in the face.  Time to get going.

Chennai picture courtesy: I’m seeing green ;  Hyderabad tank bund and NTR gardens picture courtesy: Hyderabad

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IPL-2 starts with a bang

The second edition of the Indian Premier League started yesterday in South Africa with 2 huge upsets.  Last year’s underperformers, Mumbai Indians beat last year’s runner’s up, Chennai Super Kings.

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And in the 2nd match of the night, the so called “test team” of the IPL, Bangalore Royal Challengers beat defending champions Rajasthan Royals.  The other 4 teams in the competition (Punjab Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers) will be seen in action today (Sunday).

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As usual, am rooting for the Deccan Chargers inspite of them ending up with the wooden spoon last time round.  Cant help it.  Once a Hyderabadi, always a Hyderabadi 😀

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As the tournament has started off with upsets, lets see how the last time’s losers will perform this year.

Above cheerleader’s pic courtesy: Telugupeople

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Am back

Had been to Hyderabad for a short 4 day trip as my brother was getting married.  Back in Singapore in the morning, and was in the office early too.  But very tired as there was the usual crying of kids in the flight and combine with it the cattle class airlines called Tiger airways.  The seats are so close to each other that it seems that the seats have been designed for pygmies.

Travelled via a garbage dump of an airport called the Chennai airport, a so called ISO 9001 certified airport which they so proudly display on the airport.  But from the floor with lousy and dusty tiles to leaky and stinking toilets to a new domestic arrival hall where the aircon is set so low that its enough to freeze you to haphazardly placed tubelights in the cielings. The Chennai airport is the best example of a pathetic government and its abject apathy towards its citizens and the infrastructure.

If this is what the Airports Authority of India (AAI) can provide, its high time, the Chennai airport is handed over to some private company.  When you travel from the sleek, ultra efficient, modern and brilliant Hyderabad airport, Chennai airport reminds you of some village in the remote part of India.  Even the Chennai central railway station is the same, smelly and dirty.  Often making me wonder which moron named Chennai a Metro city.

People cutting queues while showing off their official powers, indifferent authorities, misplacing luggage, airport employees who steal stuff from your luggage, ripping off your hard earned money while paying for food is how you can describe the Chennai airport.  Just outside the airport you have a huge congregation of people waiting everytime as if some superstar is arriving.  With cars, buses, two wheelers and everything in such close proximity of the airport, its just a matter of time before you might hear about a terrorist attack there.  The policemen / women just go about their motions as if they are in la-la land.

And then look at the issues in our elections starting tomorrow, the Samajwadi Party has an agenda to get rid of English and Computers.  Meanwhile, the moron called Mulayam Yadav has both his sons studying in an english medium college. The same is the case with his chamcha Amar Singh.

Some moron wants to gift colour TV and another one free rice as if the national exchequer is their father’s property. The Election Commission should come out with a ruling that the party promising freebies in the manifesto should foot half of the bill for the freebies, then we can see the fun.

So, who do you vote for?  The openly communal BJP which talks and commits hatred against a section of people or who dont follow their Hindutava (dunno what kind of tava it is) manifesto or Congress who has perfected the art of playing divisive politics or the Communists who are nothing but agents of the Communist Party of China or the scores of uneducated and criminals with enough murders and rapes in their resume so as to be called legends in their fields?

You make the call.  Meanwhile, do go out and vote. Vote against divisive, communal, casteist, socialist parties and people with criminal records against their name (oops, that rules out most of the leaders of all parties).

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Satyam's pack of lies crumble

The Satyam mountain of lies crumble in face of evidence.  As per Ramalinga Raju, a big 4 consulting company had advised the management on the Satyam-Maytas deal.  All the top 4 consulting firms (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG) have now denied being a part of the deal.

Satyam’s valuation of unlisted Maytas Properties is turning out to be a whodunit. The big four audit firms have denied any role in the
generous valuation of the private company owned by the Raju family. Satyam’s abortive attempt last week to acquire Maytas has turned into a blazing corporate governance controversy.

Satyam had said that one of the big four audit firms was the advisor to the board. And, based on this report, the board had proceeded with the acquisition of privately-owned real estate company of the Rajus for $1.3 billion (about Rs 6,240 crore).

In an email to ET, an E&Y spokesperson said, “I would like to reiterate that Ernst & Young was not involved with the Satyam-Maytas transaction.” ET received similar responses from PwC, Deloitte and KPMG. ET interacted with the spokespersons of PwC and Deloitte, while the KPMG spokesperson responded through an SMS.

Then, who valued Maytas? Satyam did not reply to an email asking the basis on which the land bank of Maytas Properties was valued at Rs 6,400 crore or Rs 1 crore per acre.

Real estate brokers said the valuation was done when the prices of land on the outskirts of Hyderabad was below Rs 10 lakh an acre due to the slump in real estate prices.

“Maytas Properties has three upcoming SEZs in Hyderabad and most are in the development phase. The firm also has properties in Nagpur, Chennai and cities in Andhra Pradesh such as Vizag. Putting these properties together, the maximum valuation could be Rs 3,500 crore.

Considering current market conditions, even this valuation may be a little extreme. But a valuation of Rs 6,240 crore is completely over the top,” a senior official with a leading property consultancy firm said.

An independent Satyam director had earlier told ET that the board relied on E&Y’s advice, something that has been denied by the audit firm. Satyam had to reverse its decision within 12 hours following protests by its investors across the world. Despite the cancellation of the Maytas transaction, the shares of Satyam crashed 33% to end at Rs 163 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.

Above news from: Economictimes

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