As world economies restart their engines in a bid to regain lost ground due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India too shows signs of economic buoyancy and promise. India’s Make in India initiative holds a key to the global economic revival, something that should interest Australian government ministries, corporate sector, entrepreneurs, institutions seeking R&D collaborations, and Australia Inc in general, among others. India assumes greater importance as several major world economies including American, Japanese, German, British and South Korean look to move out and diversify their businesses from China. India has jumped to 63rd rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Development 2020 report, and has also been ranked as the 9th largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment destination in 2019 by the World Investment Report 2020 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
18.1M to get jobs in direct selling industry by 2025
Direct selling sector is poised to employ more than 18 million by 2025 and as per industry estimates, the Direct Selling industry in India, which currently ranks No. 15, globally, is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 4.8 percent to reach Rs 15,930 crore by 2021.
This proves that the Direct Selling industry is flourishing and illustrates its potential with the continued rate of growth — increasing at an impressive rate of 12.1% Year-over-Year.
Another interesting trend that is noticeable is that the sector has been instrumental in employment generation for nearly 122 million Indians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Gautam Bali, Managing Director, Vestige Marketing Pvt Ltd., said, “Direct Selling is one of the fastest-growing sectors in India today. Despite these challenging times, the sector has witnessed spectacular growth in the last three quarters.
“At Vestige, we have provided an alternative career opportunity to millions during the pandemic period. We are looking forward to 2021 and we hope to continue to be a key player in the Direct Selling Industry’s rapid growth by empowering people.”
Initiatives like ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ encouraged Indians to explore the option of buying and selling locally made products via the direct selling route, which entails low investments and high returns. This not only boosted local manufacturing but also established a sense of ownership as well as determination amongst budding entrepreneurs to succeed.
In India, the Direct Selling industry has provided additional income opportunities to its people and has significantly promoted micro-entrepreneurship. In FY 2018-19, there were 5.7 million direct sellers. These numbers are projected to grow exponentially to 18.1 million by 2025.
The sector has also empowered women in a significant way right since its inception. There are almost 2.1 million women today who are at the heart of this industry and have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs.
Daimler India announces competition for start-ups
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), the Indian commercial vehicle subsidiary of the German automobile giant Daimler AG, on December 21 announced a global competition “Startup Sparks” for early stage start-ups.
In a statement issued here, DICV said the early stage start-ups have been asked to pitch their ideas in the fields of Electric Vehicles and Alternate Mobility, Connectivity &Servitization, Future Mobility, and Customized Applications & Industrial Products.
“As the inventors of the first passenger car, omnibus and truck, innovation is a part of Daimler’s heritage. We’re excited to continue that tradition by launching The Farm, an incubator platform, to drive innovation that offers early-stage entrepreneurs and inventors the chance to turn ideas into reality. Our vision is to develop and evolve mobility solutions to embrace a better life for people and the planet,” said SatyakamArya, CEO & Managing Director DICV.
The competition, which is being held entirely online for this first edition, opened from December 21, 2020 and will continue till January 29, 2021.
With mentorship, infrastructure and funding support from DICV, academia and domain experts, participants can mature their ideas to the ‘proof of concept’ stage.
According to DICV, the initiative is organised in association with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and Invest India – the national investment promotion and facilitation agency.
Indian firms get ready for 2nd Gen Oracle Cloud to boost growth
Cloud major Oracle on December 21 announced that several Indian businesses like Polycab, Religare Broking and Mphasis have moved on to its second-generation cloud services in the country, amid the rising demand for secure, enterprise-grade Cloud services.
Other Indian firms subscribing to Oracle’s Cloud applications and infrastructure include Omega Healthcare, Nippon Life India Asset Management, GTPL Hathway, IFFCO, Lipi Data Systems, Infocepts, RXIL and ARCIL.
“Over the last 4-5 years, we have doubled our overall customer base and have nearly 1,000 strategic partners in our network. All this is a reflection of Oracle emerging as the cloud provider of choice for our customers,” said Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India.
Oracle offers enterprise-grade security and performance out of two local Cloud regions in Hyderabad and Mumbai, as well as 29 others worldwide, seen as critical by Indian organisations wanting to accelerate their digital journey and future-proof their business.
“We are fully geared up to help organisations of all sizes and from all industries, unlock new value from their data in the New Year, aiding faster innovation and growth recovery, while enhancing their end customer experience,” Kumar said in a statement.
Oracle said its nearly 1,000 channel partners in India now play a key role in driving growth in the country, as part of the modernised Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN 2020) which is enabling channel partners to prepare for a Cloud-first world.
“With our cloud migration capabilities and investments in Cloud Adjacent Data Centres, Sify is making it easier for customers to embrace Oracle Cloud Infrastructure led hybrid cloud adoption in India,” said Sify’s CEO Kamal Nath.
In the recent 2020 SaaSPath survey from IDC, Oracle was rated among the most-trusted SaaS vendors, and scored highly on robust data security, high availability, and value.
“We have almost minimal spend on maintenance and operations now that we are using Oracle Cloud ERP. We strongly believe that as a long term strategy, this transformation will give us the much needed spur for growth,” said PradeepPaliwal, CTO, Religare Broking.
Consumer confidence improves in December, says report
As economic activities gather pace and hopes of vaccines to counter the coronavirus pandemic rise, confidence among Indian consumers have also improved.
The monthly Refinitiv-Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) for India, has inched up by 2.1 percentage points in December 2020, said an Ipsos statement.
The monthly PCSI, which is driven by the aggregation of the four weighted sub-indices, has shown improvement across the four indices, in December.
The PCSI Employment Confidence Sub-Index is up by 0.6 percentage points, the Economic Expectations Sub Index, is up by 1.1 percentage points.
The Current Personal Financial Conditions Sub-Index and the Investment Climate Sub-Index have increased by 4.2 percentage points and 3.3 percentage points respectively.
“The consumer sentiment has further improved in December, which shows there is confidence in jobs, ability to spend and save and there is confidence in the economy,” said AmitAdarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.
Employment boosting measures, direct income transfers needed amid pandemic
As the pandemic has severely impacted several sectors along with the country’s job scenario, a KPMG report has suggested that the government should take appropriate measures to boost employment along with targeted short-term direct income transfers to vulnerable groups who have been hit hard during these tough times.
The report on the impact of the pandemic on potential income and employment in India noted that as per KPMG survey, employment in the country may decline by 11.6 to 31.1 per cent over 2019-20 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown.
It added that the vastness of the informal sector is likely to cause a disproportionate effect.
“Appropriate measures for boosting employment and output in selected sectors need to be taken in addition to targeted short-term direct income transfers to vulnerable groups who are hard hit during the pandemic,” it said.
India’s informal sector is the largest in the world, employing almost 90.7 per cent of the total workforce in FY18 and contributing 45 per cent of GDP. Most of these jobs are concentrated in the agriculture, construction sector and small-scale manufacturing and services sectors.
For employment generation in agriculture and allied activities, the KPMG report suggested the increase in final demand in the sector through pushing investment or private and government consumption expenditures.
“There is a need to share a clear plan on the mode through which Rs 1.5 trillion investment will happen along with the timelines,” it said.
It recommended the commissioning of a crisis management construction task force team for fast-tracking some specific projects that are impacted by Covid-19 and suggesting policy interventions without changing the infrastructure targets, among other suggestions across sectors.