Great next era for India-Australia, says Hall Chadwick

Peter Pryn is a regular visitor to India and assists market entry for both India and Australia

As we approach Indian Republic Day and Australia Day – both on 26 January – here is a great message from my good friend Peter Pryn, Director of Hall Chadwick. This firm has a long commitment to building India-Australia business relations.

Change brings opportunity

This year, we see there to be great opportunities for international enterprises entering the Australian market. While there are niggling concerns about the Omicron variant, the post-COVID landscape is certainly one of rapid technological change, a transformational shakeup of global trading norms has occurred and there is an increasing focus on sustainable business. There is no doubt the way Australian business manage supply chains and source skilled staff has changed over the last two years. We see our clients, irrespective of scale, continue to look at ways to minimize supply chain interruptions to achieve an acceptable level of profitability.

Looking ahead: India – Australia relations

The Australian economy is very strong and the trend of high levels of foreign investment is forecast to continue. Along with a further easing of border restrictions in 2022, we are likely see a more aggressive migration program to catch up on lost population growth. This could be announced in the Federal Budget in May. We hope to see an expansive trade partnership (CECA) between India and Australia come to fruition before year-end. In a joint statement from Ministers Mr. Piyush Goyal and Mr. Dan Tehan last December, officials have been directed to speed up the negotiations.

These are all signs of a great next era in India – Australia business relations. We encourage you to start a conversation with us about opportunities to collaborate on business initiatives in 2022. 

We wish you all the best for your Republic Day and the year ahead.

Peter Pryn

Director

+61 3 9820 6400
  ppryn@hallchadwickmelb.com.au

India’s NSE world’s largest derivatives exchange

The National Stock Exchange in India’s finance capital, Mumbai

According to the Futures Industry Association (FIA), the National Stock Exchange of India has surpassed the New York Stock Exchange as the world’s largest derivatives exchange for the third year in a row in terms of the number of contracts traded in 2021. In addition, according to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) figures for 2021, the exchange placed fourth in terms of cash equities trading.

In the year 2021, the total number of registered investors on the NSE surpassed the 50 million milestone, reaching 55 million. The daily average turnover of equity futures has surged by 4.2 times in the recent decade, from US$ 4.47 billion in 2011 to US$ 18.98 billion in 2021. The daily average turnover of the cash market increased by 6.2 times within the same period, from US$ 1.50 billion in 2011 to US$ 9.3 billion in 2021.

The daily average turnover in currency derivatives surged by 83% from US$ 1.91 billion in 2011 to US$ 3.49 billion in 2021.

According to the exchange, academic research has demonstrated that a well-functioning derivatives market can provide a number of advantages, including greater liquidity and improved price discovery for the underlying assets.

The NSE recently announced that derivatives on the Nifty Midcap Select index will be available beginning January 24, 2022. With broad participation from all classes of investors in the current equity market rise, the midcap segment has come into focus, resulting in greater liquidity in these companies.

5 essential tips for doing business with India in 2022

Generation change is seen in shopping malls across India

Growing at around 9 per cent this year, India is well on track to be number 3 or 4 economy in the world. It is also one of the youngest countries on earth – with around 50% of the population aged under 25. Demand outstrips supply – for everything.

Here are some tips that might help your experience, but keep in mind you will find many variations and contradictions of these points in the very diverse and exciting India market:

India is many countries in one

Differences are not just seen in the North, South, East and West, India is truly many countries in one and you need to be ready for cultural diversity. While Mumbai is the fast and flashy financial capital, it is also a tough place because everything is done on grand scale and at great speed. New Delhi is more formal, also more liveable, and is more than a political capital – it is a powerful business city. Chennai is one of my favourites, embracing that slower southern pace and the values that shine in southern businesses. Pune is sophisticated and a major player across many sectors. Bengaluru is technology but much more as well. Regions have varying strengths, so research is the key.

Market entry strategies should think longer term

India is looking for more than a quick sale – it looks to build relationships and create trust that can last a lifetime. India is what we call a “collective” culture – everything is done within the group and if you make it into the group, you will make it there. This means your first venture should probably not be to send the sales and business development team over there is search of deals. Rather, lead from the top to create relationships – deals will follow.

Find your local Indian team and culture

Companies that have tried to impose their Head office teams and cultures on India operations rarely succeed. A priority should be to identify Indians who can lead locally – with your support. Accepting that the corporate culture might not be an exact mirror of your HQ culture is also vital – with care and guidance over time, your Indian operations will reflect key elements of central culture but will bring added value too.

“Yes” can mean “maybe” or “no”

Indians are among the most courteous and generous hosts on the planet. On top of this, their culture demands that they never provide an outright rejection or “no” statement, even when this is clearly the only answer. The dumbest question for a business to ask in India is “can you help me with market entry for my products?” The answer will always be “yes” and you will sit idle for a long time back home until you realise this is not the right question. Within Indian culture built so solidly on relationship above all else, the word “no” is a real relationship breaker and is rarely or never used. “Yes” can in fact mean “maybe” or even “no” and you need to look for the signs. Like most of Asia, Indians are indirect communicators. If that is not complex enough, consider that India has 26 major languages.

Learn the art of flexibility and patience

Being patient and flexible is an asset, even if you come from a country that likes to be blunt, direct and structured. Most Indian communication is indirect, so it can take some time to work out what the real issues are. India is full of surprises and you cope best through being flexible. Dropping any “one rule for all” approach is a good start.

Indian consumers going online

More good news! Consider Bangladesh – which for many symbolises everything wrong with the world – take another look

Literacy in Bangladesh jumped from 35% to 74%

Bangladesh, home to 160 million people, for many people in the west is a symbol of everything wrong with the unequal world.

But take another look.

It celebrated a ‘development miracle’ in 2021, its 50th year of independence. In the last three decades, GDP per capita has increased seven fold, 24 million people have been lifted out of poverty, life expectancy has risen to 73 years, infant and maternal mortality rates have fallen by a factor of five, the literacy rate has increased from 35% to 74%, and more than 97% of the population now has access to electricity, up from 62% in 2014.

Worth going over that again – it is genuine good news.

India economy has weathered the pandemic and set for growth – ASK Capital Management report

ASK Capital Management is a Singapore based entity with a focus on managing and advising India centric investments for institutional and family office clients. Their latest report shows how the Indian economy has weathered the pandemic and is set for growth:

This report relates to ASK India Opportunities Fund – Fund 1

The rapid rise in COVID cases due to the new Omicron variant, hawkish tone by major Central Banks around the world and persistent inflation contributed to a volatile December for the global equity markets. Despite this the markets ended on a positive note with most markets registering positive returns in the month. India was amongst the better performing markets with benchmark BSE500 ending up 3.2% in USD terms while the Fund was up 2.7%, net of fees in December. For the year 2021, the Fund returned 29.7%, net of fees compared to 27.6% for BSE500.

After another year spent in the shadow of the COVID, we begin 2022 with a new variant of the virus disrupting resumption of normal life. This, along with inflationary pressures and a move away from high liquidity and accommodative stance of Central Banks are the biggest risks to global economy for the year. While the new variant of the virus appears less fatal, the disruption means global supply chain issues will take longer to resolve. Tighter liquidity and end of cheap money means investors will have to temper expectations of returns in the new year and bottom-up stock picking will become crucial differentiator.

The Indian economy has weathered the pandemic induced slowdown well due to the proactive and effective steps taken by the RBI and the Government. The economy is above pre-COIVD levels in size and expected to grow around 9% in FY22 and 7.5%-7.9% in FY2023 by various estimates, one of the highest growing major economies in the world. As described in the past, lower debt on corporate balance sheets, controlled NPAs in banking sector and Government policies such as “Make In India” and Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) for various sectors should revive a domestic capex cycle.

While the recovery in India has been strong, it has also been uneven with the rural segment affected more from the Delta variant in Q1FY22. This should normalise over the course of the year and aid in demand recovery. Similarly, hiring activity continues to remain strong which should support demand.

As commodity prices and inflation stabilise, companies should report increase in margins over the coming quarters as prices increases are passed on to consumers. Thus, companies with higher pricing power and better cost controls should be able to deliver superior earnings growth with likely increase in market share. This has historically been the case for our portfolio companies, and we see no reason that this cannot be the case again. Our expectation is for the portfolio to deliver an average earnings CAGR of 26% over the next 3 years.

During the month we exited from Pidilite Industries and added Avenue SuperMart to the portfolio. We believe Avenue SuperMart is a well-oiled business model in a large opportunity landscape with a strong focus on low procurement and operating costs. Its store ownership model, right store size and low supply chain cost with auto replenishments help it to maintain low operating cost to achieve the key pillar of its success – everyday low cost and everyday low price. In a predominantly food and grocery business (52% revenue contribution) with wafer-thin margins (15% gross margin), the company is able to offer everyday low pricing, unlike peers that offer discounts on select days in a week or month, creating a competitive edge.

Contact:

Nikhil Iyer, CFA, Head of Institutional Business, APAC

ASK Capital Management Pte Ltd

m: +65 83800064 EMAIL nikhil.iyer@ask-capital.com

https://www.askfinancials.com/

Melbourne now medical research and pharma capital of Australia

Moderna to use Melbourne manufacturing base

Melbourne will become the first place outside of Europe and the United States to manufacture mRNA vaccines following a deal between the Victorian and federal governments and biotech giant Moderna.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the facility would be key to the country’s medical manufacturing future and help meet the country’s COVID-19 vaccine needs.

Minister for Medical Research Jaala Pulford told ABC’s RN Breakfast Victoria’s heavy investment into medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturing over the past two decades had ultimately favoured Melbourne over Sydney for the bid.

Victoria’s medical research sector supports about 30,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $21 billion to the state’s economy, according to government figures.

“Melbourne is home to around 60 per cent of medical research that occurs in Australia and around 90 per cent of pharmaceutical manufacturing,” she said.

The facility will produce 25 million doses a year from 2024 and have the capacity to scale production up to 100 million doses per year to tackle future pandemics.

It will also produce other treatments for cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering, and protein-replacement therapy.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victoria-unveils-moderna-vaccine-deal-as-state-records-1189-covid-cases-20211214-p59ha1.html

Will India and Australia achieve “early harvest” trade deals and lay groundwork for a CECA?

Former PM Tony Abbott was instrumental in getting trade talks going again

INTO INDIA believes the two big issues facing Australia are allowing greater people movement from India to Australia, and directing more of our massive A$ 2.3 trillion pension fund sector that could be a regular source of investments in the Indian infrastructure and disinvestment story.

The key for Australia is to see India as more than a “quick sale” – Indian negotiators will be looking to push the two countries to become partners, adopting policies that streamline physical movement, including, on-arrival visas, multiple entry long term business visas, etc.

From India’s perspective, it will want to ensure that trade deficits in the post agreement period do not widen. And two, non-tariff barriers and differences in standards or recognition of qualifications do not offset higher access through the trade deal. As an Indian report recently wrote: “This is the crux of the matter.”

In the larger CECA agreement, investments from Australia will play a big role in the growth of bilateral trade between the two countries, because the growth trajectory of India will create new opportunities for Australian companies, including in areas like water management and up in future, for which Australia can be a long term reliable supplier.

In the early harvest agreement, Australia wants services included with goods – an area where India has not performed well in earlier trade deals such as with ASEAN.

Australia however just needs to accept the sensitivity of the agribusiness sector in India – the deal will fall over if Australia demands substantially lower tariffs across the board for fruits, dairy, agriculture and processed food items.

INTO INDIA RECOMMENDS Australia narrow its ambitions down to selected niche items in the agriculture sector. Finding ways that Australian expertise, technology innovation and scale can actually transform Indian agriculture sector towards value addition would give Australia a big advantage.

Finally, you can expect India could show flexibility in tariff lines related to commodities and minerals, which are needed for its growing economy and the e-mobility program. In turn, Australia could be accommodative in tariff lines related to refined petroleum, medicaments, railway vehicles, gems and jewellery, auto components and made up textile items, which it imports in any case from countries around the world, in addition to India.

Thanks to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in collaboration with KPMG and led by Amb Anil Wadhwa, who is Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Elon Musk is right – we all owe so much to Indian talent! Australia also has Indian-born leaders

Parag Agrawal is the new CEO of Twitter

Twitter has got a new boss and he is an India-born American – Parag Agrawal. Tesla boss Elon Musk summed it up nicely when the billionaire and SpaceX founder said: “USA benefits greatly from Indian talent!” So does Australia.

Mr Agrawal, who joined Twitter in 2011 and rose through the ranks to become the firm’s chief technology officer, was on Tuesday announced as CEO after Jack Dorsey announced he was stepping down from the role.

According to Bloomberg, at 37 years of age, Mr Agrawal is the youngest person to run a company in the S&P 500.

Indian-American tech giant CEOs

Twitter — $35.1b — Parag Agrawal

Google (Alphabet) — $1.89t — Sundar Pichai

Microsoft — $2.48b — Satya Nadella

Adobe — $318.7b — Shantanu Narayen

IBM — $105b — Arvind Krishna

Palo Alto Networks — $54b — Nikesh Arora

Mr Agrawal earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University.

Australia has diverse CEOs – but could do better

Some examples include Macquarie Group chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake, Stockland’s managing director and CEO Tarun Gupta, Orica’s managing director and CEO Sanjeev Gandhi, Link Group CEO Vivek Bhatia, Pact’s managing director and CEO Sanjay Dayal, Newcrest’s managing director and CEO Sandeep Biswas, and Cleanaway, which until January had Vik Bansal as its CEO.

Launching your startup into India – my 5 key tips

The team that have taken Australian startup CANVA global – India is a market for almost every startup

Launching your startup into India – 5 key tips

Here’s a big generalisation – almost every startup can find an eager market in India.

I say that with confidence, because the Indian economic growth story means demand for everything cannot be met – demand is huge, so that means opportunity for your startup.

But how to approach India?

First – think longer term than you normally do, but keep in mind modern India can be either fast or slow and there is no way of predicting.

Second – leave your ego behind. Pretty much every western company that has succeeded in India has done so on the support of a strong local Indian team across all levels. To do this, they have effectively left their ego behind.

Third – India wants your startup, NOT your culture. Those who struggle typically want to transfer their “culture” to India, so they put their expat team in charge of the local team.

Being preoccupied with transferring “the way we do things in our company” to India makes them blind to “the way Indians do things there” which is the most important insight for future success.

Fourth – use your expat team wisely. Expats can come and go as needed – but your business needs longevity in India and that is what an Indian management team can provide.

Fifth – Smart companies that go into Asia also ensure they hire Asians into the Head Office team, so you have Asians running your enterprise on the ground in Asia and Asians at the right level in HO guiding and advising the HO team.

The future of startups and innovation is looking good for India.

 

Emerging Markets Guru Mark Mobius – India a 50-year rally

Emerging Markets guru Mark Mobius is bullish on India

Thanks to my friend Mugunthan Siva, Managing Director, India Avenue Investment Management for spotting this one!

“India is on a 50-year rally,” even when there are quick bouts of bear markets, veteran Emerging Markets investor Mark Mobius mentioned in an interview on Bloomberg Tv. “India is possibly the place China was once 10 years in the past,” he said.

A man of his word, Mark Mobius has allotted nearly half of his emerging-markets fund to India and Taiwan to assist offset a slide in China shares that has dragged down returns from creating nations as an entire.

Mobius’ bullish view on India clashes with these of analysts at Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings Inc, who’ve downgraded the inventory market after the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index greater than doubled from a March 2020 low.

“Individuals say emerging-markets look unhealthy as a result of China is dragging down the index, however they’ve got to have a look at different areas similar to India which can be going up,” mentioned Mobius, who created Mobius Capital Companions LLP after a profession at Franklin Templeton Investments.

The Mobius Rising Markets Fund has a mixed 45% of its portfolio allotted to India and Taiwan, with tech {hardware} and software program the largest holdings in these markets. Indian software program companies supplier Persistent Techniques Ltd. and eMemory Know-how Inc, a Taiwanese chip know-how supplier, have been amongst its largest stakes as of end-September. The shares have each greater than doubled this year.