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One World, One Sun, One Grid: Is it possible?

With war clouds hovering around several Nations in the world, will it be ever possible for us to see a One World One community?

One basic need of the humans – Energy – seems to have the potential to bring and connect people of the world to come together cutting across geographical barriers.

September 8, 2020. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) organised a virtual World Solar Technology Summit.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was earlier expected to deliver the inaugural address but could not do so because of some other engagements. His message was read out by the New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh.

One World

The PM Modi expressed his visions on humanity and the global use of clean energy supplies across nations. He mentioned the idea of ‘One World, One Sun, One Grid’. The Prime Minister also mentioned that ISA is part of this project which can bring transformational benefits for the entire humanity.

The PM Modi made it clear that his government wants to take solar energy to all villages of India and replace fossil fuels with this clean source in agriculture.

India’s existing clean energy capacity is 134 GW. It will be scaled up to 220 GW by 2022.

The PM Modi exuded confidence that India will reduce energy tariffs further through technological advancements. A further reduction in the cost will provide a major boost to the use and expansion of renewable energy.

Five public sector undertakings (PSUs) – Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited – under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry may join ISA’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as corporate partners.

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BPCL 412.7 +2.9
HPCL 198.7 +0.63
GAIL 94.55 -1.25
ONGC 74.45 -2.62
IOC 82.75 -1.25
Time to invest in PSUs

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the PSUs will be active contributors to ISA’s Corpus Fund.

Pradhan stated that the government is actively encouraging the industry, oil and gas companies in particular, to become participants in this transition to solar energy. The mission of solarising nearly 50 per cent of fuel stations owned by public sector oil companies in the next five years is in progress. The oil and gas companies are deploying solar panels across the value chain of their operations.   The current installed solar power capacity is 270 MW. An additional 60 MW solar capacity will be added in one year.




Beat Lockdown Blues; Try the ‘Happiest Minds Technologies’ Guide

IPO of Happiest Minds Technologies Limited is now open for subscription. Minimum order quantity is 90 shares which is available at a price band of Rs.165 – Rs.166 per share. 

Happiest Minds Technologies (HMT)

HMT focuses on delivering a seamless digital experience to its customers. The company’s offerings include, among others, digital business, product engineering, infrastructure management and security services. The company’s capabilities include giving end-to-end solution in the digital space. HMT has repeat business from its customer base, which includes more than 35 Fortune 2000/Forbes 200/billion dollar corporations.

The company’s broad range of offerings helps to up-sell while multiple business units (BUs) help it to cross-sell to existing customers as well as to acquire new customers. Its average revenue per customer has increased from US$471,472 in FY18 to US$501,562 in FY19 to US$614,675 in FY20. The company’s total income & EBITDA has grown at a CAGR of 20.8% and 285.3%, respectively between FY18 and FY20.

Strong brand in digital IT services

The global enterprise digital spend is expected to be ~US$691 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to US$2,083 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 20.19%. In FY20, 96.9% of revenues came from digital services. This is one of the highest among Indian IT companies. Broadly, the company’s target market includes business services, IT services, infrastructure-as-a-service, applications, application development and deployment. HMT’s brand positioning “Born Digital. Born Agile” is a reflection of digitisation being built into the essence of its business.

Acquire new accounts, deepen key account relationships

Over the years, HMT has developed long-standing relationships with customers. The company gives significant attention to being able to understand the behaviour, preferences and trends of customers through research and a consultation process. It believes that this gives a distinct perspective that HMT brings to engagements.

With this approach, it aims to become a key part of the customer’s operating and growth strategy, enabling HMT to serve customers across multiple touchpoints and projects.

Expansion of relationships with existing active customers will remain a key strategy, going forward, as the company continues to leverage domain expertise and knowledge of emerging technology trends to drive incremental growth for the business.

Key risk & concerns

 Adverse effects of the novel Coronavirus remain uncertain and could be severe. The outbreak of any other severe communicable disease could have a potential impact on the end result.

 The company’s revenues are highly dependent on a limited number of industry verticals. Any decline in demand for outsourced services in these industries, verticals can not be ruled out.

 HMT does not have long-term commitments with customers. Customers may terminate contracts before completion, negotiate adverse terms of the contract or choose not to renew contracts.

All such factors could materially adversely affect business, financial condition and results of operations.

Priced at P/E of 31x FY20 on upper band

At the higher end of the price band of Rs 166, the stock is available at a PE of ~31x on FY20 diluted EPS.




‘I will continue to send migrants until the last migrant reaches his home’: Sonu Sood

Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has been moved immensely by the miseries of millions of poor migrants especially the migrant workers who go to metro cities in search of livelihoods have now started to unfold in the world’s largest coronavirus lockdown. It is turning out to be one of the “greatest manmade tragedies” in India as per a few experts. Some business and psychological consequences for the rest of the country are also possible. Some of them believe that the government should have given people some time before imposing lockdown.

The lockdown measures included stopping train, bus and air services to stem the spread of the corona. The lockdown was extended three times but some relaxations have been permitted since late April.

Despite such gloomy plight of migrants, those experts didn’t come forward to help the migrant labourers. However, one man took note of their plight, rose to the occasion and instantly became a worldwide hit.

As the number of cases and death toll due to corona keep rising in the country, well known Bollywood actor, model and producer Sonu Sood, 46, has emerged as a ‘messiah’ for the migrants during the covid-19 lockdown. He did not hesitate in running several extra miles to support the needy people at times of corona induced crisis. After helping the labourers reach their homes, he is helping the migrants. He is constantly transporting people to his home through buses. Sood, along with his friend Neeti Goyal, is presently running a ‘send home’ campaign for the benefit of helpless migrant labourers. He has so far helped in the transportation of over 12,000 migrants to their destinations.

In early April, when corona phenomena had just started to show its effects in India, Sonu Sood had offered his hotel at Juhu, which has many hospitals nearby, as stay facility for health workers – doctors, nurses and other support staff so that they remain close to their workplaces. He then tied up with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to feed the needy affected by the corona outbreak and lockdown. Sood had been providing meals to over 45,000 people in Mumbai’s Jogeshwari, Andheri, Juhu and Bandra areas every day. He began a special drive for food and ration to the needy people, Shakti Annadanam, named after his father.

Sonu sood

Sonu Sood generally plays the roles of a bad guy or villain in films. He has also won many awards for it. But his moves aimed at helping people during corona has won millions of hearts. It has made him the real hero. He has now become one of the most trending topics on social media. People are giving him a bigger title than Hollywood superheroes. With his help, people who came home gave him the title of ‘Reel Villain and Real Hero’. At the same time, some people have become so emotional with this help in this difficult situation that they have given Sonu the status of God. Not only the common people but Union Minister Smriti Irani has also praised Sonu’s efforts.

For Sonu Sood , the lockdown has been an eye-opener for everyone. He has requested the governments to let the migrant workers go back to their homes without any unnecessary hardships.

Sonu’s activism in business can be gauged from the fact that whoever is contacting him on social media, Sonu Sood himself is giving the answer and assuring him of help. These days Sonu’s Twitter account is full of similar messages. Sonu himself has also stated that he is receiving messages for help in thousands.

Sood is flooded these days with messages like :

‘Sonu Sood Sir Please Help. Send Sir anywhere in East UP. From there, we will go to our village on foot.”

Sood responds by saying, ‘Why would you go on foot? Send me your number….’

Sonu sood
Full of energy, Sonu Sood on field in corona battle gear

For the past several days, Sood has been helping such workers in whatever way he could. To send the trapped labourers to their native places, team Sood has been working relentlessly and are arranging for them everything from buses to food and drink.

Sood is trying to help more and more number of people. He can be found on the field for 20-20 hours a day helping the migrant workers. Talking about his initiative in media, Sonu Sood has said, ‘It has been a very emotional journey for me because I was very sad to see these migrants roaming the streets away from their homes.’

Sonu Sood said, ‘I will continue to send migrants home until the last migrant meets his house and the loved ones. It is really close to my heart and I will give it my all. ‘

Sood maintains that this is not enough for him and he is inexhaustible. Whatever he has achieved at a relatively young age might be a fantasy of today’s younger generation. From being a celebrity, it is through his visionary and compelling initiatives that the Team Sonu Sood has now emerged as an aspiring “Role Model” for all such migrants .




Virgin Atlantic And United Airlines Are For Sale

It’s been some time since bankrupt airlines were on the top of the media’s bestseller list. However, we are now seeing a lot of these niche companies come back to life and become financially viable again.

Virgin Atlantic is one of those companies that has seen its share of struggles. Not only did it go bankrupt during the economic recession, but it also went through a power struggle between two of its most vocal promoters. When the airline merged with British Airways, it was the first time Virgin Atlantic was in a situation where it had to work with both British Airways and Air France.

Virgin and United Air Lines are probably the two best known airline bankruptcies on the market today. These two companies have had similar styles of promotion as the other. Neither of them was cheap to operate. Most of the losses came from the lower fare tiers because of the low amount of demand for those flights.

Virgin Australia had trouble because of a decision by a major American carrier to drop the Virgin brand name from their ticket prices. This decision to cut into the profits on all Virgin Australia flights but the top end of the business. Since this is the least profitable segment of the airline Virgin Australia went under.

Even when airlines merge they don’t always work out well. Virgin and United airlines made a deal that cut their losses by combining their profit margins. The combined profit from Virgin and UAL is now enough to support the costs of operating both airlines.

Fortunately for Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines, they have also been able to work with a strong investor group who saw the opportunity in a profitable and stable company with a good track record. British Airways and Air France made a deal with the investment group to sell a small portion of the company. As a result, Virgin Atlantic and UAL are now free of the large financial liabilities of the first merger.

A merger shows that one of the strongest media to invest in a new airline is an international group that can step in and provide funds to keep the business alive. The partnership will likely remain in the short term. The two companies must see some kind of return on their investment before they would consider merging with their competitors.

The takeover of Virgin Atlantic and Air France by an international investor could bring a couple of benefits to those two airlines. They would likely receive money from the buyer to help them fund some of the increased fuel costs. They also would probably get a favourable credit rating from a major credit agency that would help them finance their further expansion into the new markets and continue to attract more passengers to their flights.




Ask The Expert: Why is Spicejet in a Hand-to-Mouth Situation?

India’s budget carrier airline, SpiceJet, presently operates nearly 630 daily flights to various domestic and international destinations. It has an impressive fleet size of 118 aeroplanes, comprising 82 Boeing 737, 32 Bombardier Q-400s and four B737 freighters.
 
SpiceJet has recently signed a codeshare agreement with the Gulf carrier, Emirates. Code-sharing enables an airline to book its passengers on its ally carrier and present seamless travel to destinations where it does not operate.
 
Also Read: Jet Airways pilots look to join SpiceJet, IndiGo pilots see injustice
 
This is the first-ever codeshare agreement signed by SpiceJet. The codeshare will permit opening of new routes and destinations for the passengers of both the air carriers. An initial agreement between the two airlines was signed in April 2019. Thus, travellers from all over the world can book a single ticket with lucrative rates to any of Emirates’ nine points across India and connect onwards to 172 domestic routes on which SpiceJet operates. 
spicejet
However, the overall financial health of SpiceJet does not present a rosy picture. The company is facing a liquidity crunch. It has very low amounts of cash shown on its books. Media reports have said that the SpiceJet is bolstering its balance sheet with a fundraise through a qualified institutional placement (QIP), it is in talks with potential investors. SpiceJet has denied such reports. The so-called potential investors are missing too.
 
The fact of the matter is:
-As on 30 September, SpiceJet had cash and cash equivalents worth ₹93 crore. 
-It had a net worth of about ₹850 crores (negative). 
 
On the other hand, Spicejet’s competitor, IndiGo run by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd had cash and cash equivalents worth about ₹18,736 crores and a net worth of about ₹6,200 crores. SpiceJet’s free cash flow was ₹115 crore compared to IndiGo’s ₹3,111 crores for the first half of FY20. 
 
IndiGo is India’s largest airline by market share. SpiceJet is India’s second-largest airline by market share after IndiGo. 
 
Also Read: SpiceJet considers taking over Jet Airways’ aircraft, staff
 
In six months ending 30 September, SpiceJet lost ₹200 crores. It did not expect such a loss. It had assumed that the operating environment will not remain bad. When Jet Airways shut operations in April 2019, other airlines like Spicejet assumed that they will benefit greatly. However, that did not pan out as per their expectations, yields did not show any marked improvements. SpiceJet expanded rapidly in recent times, taking advantage of Jet’s closure to take up over 30 of Jet’s former 737 NG planes, flying more passengers and raising fares. SpiceJet has also received some of Jet’s domestic and international airport slots.
 
In SpiceJet’s case, the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes did hurt to some extent. SpiceJet seems to have placed very high hopes on the so-called virtues of the MAX, like 12-15% lower fuel consumption and 10% lower maintenance costs. It made the cardinal sin of assuming this as the key to profitability. 
 
Most aviation analysts view this as an almost a hand-to-mouth situation for SpiceJet. Things may worsen further if Spicejet does not apply a course correction. A saving grace is a fact that the fuel prices haven’t increased too much.
 
When a company is viewed as financially strong, it is in a better position to get better deals from suppliers, vendors and aircraft makers. Even for a fundraising exercise, the investors investigate its finances and then invest. 
 
indigo
SpiceJet and other airlines like SpiceJet are not presently able to pass through such rough weather. They invariably have low cash on their books because they allow their businesses to heavily depend on variables beyond their legitimate control like fuel prices and competitive pressures. They are neither aware of the true value of their net worth nor they are able to make the optimum utilisation of their resources – which is quite strange. Most of the time, they find themselves very difficult to sustain. 
 
Also Read: Indigo worst performing airlines for consumers; Air India’s luggage policy best: Parliamentary panel
 
IndiGo has much higher cash holdings, it can sustain longer, it need not resort to lame excuses when things (fuel prices, currency fluctuation, or competition) become severe for the aviation sector. IndiGo’s secret is open. Its business model is different from others. Apart from generating revenue from aircraft operations, it also has additional sources of revenue. Sale-purchase and leaseback of aircraft form a major source of revenue for IndiGo. A robust cash holding position enabled IndiGo to order over 100 aeroplanes in 2006-07.



Bihar Govt Didn’t Open Counselling Centres for 0.5 Million who Applied for 166 Gr D Vacancies

The various opposition parties, including Congress, have been targeting the BJP-JD(U)-led state government in Bihar when nearly 0.5 million applicants, which include graduates, post-graduates, B Tech, M Phil, MBA and MCA degree possessors, applied for 166 Gr D vacancies in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha where only a 10th pass qualification is needed. Around 1,500 to 1,600 candidates are appearing in the interview on a daily basis since September 2019 and the process shall continue till January 2020.
 
The controversy – people who are overqualified applying for Group-D posts in the state – get bigger. Such people are willing to serve as peons, gardeners, guards and cleaners in Bihar Vidhan Sabha.
 

applied for 166 Gr D vacancies
‘Failed can Pass’ says a hoarding at Hazratganj in Lucknow

 
The Bihar minister of rural development and parliamentary affairs, Shrawan Kumar of Janata Dal (United) dismissed it. He said, “What can a government do if people apply for jobs? People apply for jobs on their own accord. It’s not like the government tells them to apply for a particular job. The only thing the government can do is to ensure the meritorious applicants are selected,” Kumar told media persons.
 
Also Read: Emotional Intelligence for Working Professionals: Why is it Important
 
Kumar, however, recognised that development is a matter of serious concern. He swiftly blamed the “increasing competition” around the world for the same. “While it is worrisome, the entire world is going through a phase of tough competition,” he said.

What to do when 0.5 million people have applied for 166 Gr D vacancies:

The Bihar government did not show any pro-active intent to address the issue of unemployment. Its security department, namely, the police force is faced with severe manpower crunch. Bihar is among the most populous regions in the world, it requires enough number of police personnel to secure its various establishments, highways, and railways apart from VIP security. It is an irony that while the departments cry for more manpower, thousands of the state’s citizens have to continuously search for jobs.
 
When it saw 0.5 million people have applied for 166 Gr D vacancies, the Bihar government did not open any counselling centre to speak to its citizens. Such an initiative would have required nearly 15 counsellors working in a 24-hr shift to counsel about 2000 people a day. The government could have empanelled such candidates and prepared a database for any future job consideration. Unfortunately, the government didn’t make any use of this opportunity.

Bihar
What should a government do

Many candidates who applied for these posts have said that unemployment was the major reason for filing these applications. They feel that a higher education degree doesn’t guarantee a basic salary of Rs 10,000 in the private sector. As such, the youth prefer government jobs over private jobs.

The government could have tried to see the reasons and solutions. By counselling the candidates and considering their strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and family backgrounds the government could have averted such a situation. It could have advised the candidates other means of livelihood.
 
Opposition leaders from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress have blamed the BJP-JDU government for the current scenario of rising unemployment in the state.
They have said, “There is a job crisis and a state of unemployment in Bihar. Hence 0.5 million young men and women from neighbouring states have also applied for 166 Gr D vacancies. This includes people holding an MBA, BCA degrees and higher qualifications who are applying for Group D jobs.
 
Also Read: CBSE Fails Even Before Exams, Does not Trust its own Examinee
 
The situation is mainly due to the education policy the country has been following. In its New Education Policy, the government has clearly mentioned that until now the country was in a grip of a flawed education system. It has produced products which are mostly unemployable in the industry. The country has seen ages of indoctrination by the Indian middle-class fathers and mothers, who influence their kids that their prosperity, self-merit, and marriage prospects are directly linked to the college they have attended and the job they do.
 
This situation shows that unemployment in the state is at an alarming level. Youths with higher qualifications are ready to work as peons. Nothing can be more unfortunate than this. People from other states like Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are also coming here for jobs, which means that even these states are reeling under unemployment.