Mukesh Ambani – Profile

October 25th, 2010 - by admin
Mukesh Ambani - CMD, Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mukesh Ambani - CMD, Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani – business tycoon, industry icon, respected leader… Many are the adjectives that can be associated with the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, India’s largest private sector company.

FAMILY
Born on April 19, 1957 in Yemen, Mukesh Ambani is the elder son of the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani. He grew up with 3 siblings, Anil, Dipti and Nina. The passion of their father was balanced by the softness and love of their mother, Kokilaben and the prudence and practicality of Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita. In subsequent years, daughter, Isha, and sons, Anant and Akash, were beloved additions to their home.

EDUCATION
Mukesh Ambani did his schooling from Abaay Morischa School, Mumbai and went on to earn a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from UDCT, Mumbai. His choice of education reflected his father’s philosophy of investing in businesses of the future.

To prove to the world that Mukesh Ambani could do whatever he put his mind to, he applied and got accepted by some of the top universities when he applied for their Master of Business Administration course. Eventually, he chose Stanford University as his alma mater, but his growing entrepreneurial instinct urged him to drop out and help his father with his polyester plant.

Even while pursuing the challenging chemical engineering course, Mukesh Ambani was actively involved in his father’s company. As soon as he joined the company formally in 1981, he became one of the main impetuses for the company’s gargantuan progress.

EMERGENCE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR
Reliance’s backward integration from textiles into polyester fibers and further into petrochemicals was Mukesh Ambani’s brainchild. Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery in Gujarat, which is now the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery, was directed under his watchful gaze. He was the force behind the creation of 51 new, world-class manufacturing facilities encompassing diverse technologies that increased its annual manufacturing capacity from less than a mission tons to over thirteen million tons. Currently, the refinery has a manufacturing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day.

Dhirubhai’s dream project, Reliance Infocomm, which is looked after by brother, Anil Ambani, after the company split in 2005, was also entrusted to Mukesh Ambani in its earlier stages.

Mukesh Ambani’s next strategy is to take a giant leap into the retail with stores across the country.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACCOLADES
Mukesh Ambani’s popularity clearly shone forth in 2007, when he was selected as Businessman of the Year by a public poll conducted by NDTC. In the same year, he was presented the United States-India Business Council (USIBC) Leadership Award for Global Vision in Washington D.C., USA as well as the Chitralekha Person of the Year Award by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. The same year also saw him recorded as India’s first trillionaire.

Rewinding his life, Mukesh Ambani was chosen as Economic Times Business Leader of the Year in 2006 and ranked 42nd among the World’s Most Respected Business Leaders and 2nd among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and published in the Financial Times, London in 2004.

He was also conferred with the World Communication Award for the Most Influential Person in Telecommunications by Total Telecom and chosen Telecom Man of the Year by Voice and Data magazine in 2004. He ranked 13 in Fortune Magazine’s Asia’s Power 25 list of the Most Powerful People in Business and topped the Power List published by India Today for the second consecutive year.

LOCAL KING
In spite of managing the country’s biggest private sector company, Reliance Industries Ltd., Mukesh Ambani’s sight is currently on the Indian market alone. His vision is clear – he wants to expand rapidly within the country and change the lives of its people for the better. However, his focus extends beyond merely size increase to value generation and upscaling.

The MODERN INDIAN PHILANTHROPIST
Mukesh Ambani is regarded as the ‘modern day philanthropist’, whose paragon actions have inspired and cultured a socially sound community today. As the saying goes, ‘A man’s true wealth here-after is derived by the good he does in this world’; Mukesh Ambani has persistently held social welfare through corporate social responsibility (CSR) and charitable deeds in high esteem. He believes in industrious innovations that transform society; and that unless a business has a larger purpose that serves the millions readily, sustainable growth is impracticable.
The Reliance Foundation, spearheaded by Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani, is one of India’s largest corporate run social organization that addresses social development imperatives of India; namely quality, formal and vocational education, affordable high-quality health care, meaningful rural development and urban renewal, and protection and promotion of India’s priceless heritage of arts and culture.

The VALUE CREATOR

Mukesh Ambani run Reliance Industries Limited has been accorded with the second position in the list of world’s 10 biggest ’sustainable value creators’. By generating the largest shareholder value in terms of market capitalization, Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries Limited, both, are held as the finest corporate entities of the world today.

Mukesh Ambani has for long regarded ‘value-addition’ process as primal to any business establishment. He affirms that unless a business admits value; in regards to its products, services, work force, shareholders and end users, a business’s worth is futile. With the influx of this belief into tangible action at RIL, Mukesh Ambani’s conviction has been proven true as Reliance climbs high on prosperity charts, becoming India’s most trusted and value-rich brands today.

THE STORY WITH NO END
Mukesh Ambani dons a cap with many feathers, but he carries them with grace and panache. At 53 years, his sheer energy is enough to take one’s breath away. Having achieved so much, Mukesh Ambani remains hungry for more. So, he continues to create, continues to build and continues to shine brightly on India’s business horizon.

The Reliance Digital store at Moments Mall Kirti Nagar, in the city of Delhi is all set to welcome actor Imraan Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Abbas Zafar today(5th September 5, 2011) at 5:00 PM. The actors and their team will visit the store for the promotion of their latest flick Mere Brother ki Dulhan. The cast is expected to interact with the crowd and media at the promotion event.

This Reliance Digital Store is the latest addition to the electronics chain. The store was launched on 3rd September. As a part of special launch festivities, Reliance Digital has put in place exclusive launch offers which range from price-offs and discounts to exchange offers. As a part of the ‘Mismatch Exchange’ scheme, customers can bring in their old refrigerators, washing machines and television sets in exchange for any of the latest electronic product from the store. Reliance Digital is also offering a special purchase scheme where customers can take home any product of their choice at an easy EMI of just Rs. 51. And every purchase will be backed by Reliance Digital’s customer support team at ‘Reliance resQ’, available 365 days a year.

About Reliance Digital:
Reliance Digital is a one stop shop with cutting edge technology for the entire range of household electronics, appliances, computers, gaming and telecom products. Reliance Digital Stores house over 150 international and national brands and over 4000 products. The range at Reliance Digital spans, Audio and Video products (TV’s, DVD players, Car Audio players), Electronic Musical Instruments and Digital Cameras, Gaming Consoles, Computers and Peripherals, Mobile and Fixed line instruments, Durables like, Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Water Purifiers, Kitchen and Home Appliances.

The number of US dollar billionaires in India is at a record high. According to the Hurun India Rich List for 2014, this is owed to the boom in the stock market and the slight strengthening of the rupee. The number of billionaires in the country hovered between 59 and 63 for the last two years. The listings made available on Tuesday said that this figure has gone up to 109.

Mukesh Ambani Leads the Billion-Dollar Club

The Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) held on to his position as the richest man in the country. His fortune, at INR1.65 lakh crores, has gone up 37% from last year.

This is the third consecutive year in which Ambani tops the list of 230 individuals. His pole position does not come as a surprise considering the performance of his group of companies over the last few months. RIL sought approval for an INR78,000 crore expansion plan for its existing refinery business last year. In addition to this, RIL has also bought over Network 18, one of India’s largest media houses, for INR4,200 crore.

Others on the List

Dilip Shangvi, Founder and Managing Director of Sun Pharmaceuticals rose up to second position, surpassing Laxmi Mittal for the very first time. His wealth at INR1.29 lakh crores shot up by 43% over the last year. During the same period, his company acquired the Japanese-owned Ranbaxy, making Sun Pharmaceuticals the largest drug manufacturer in India and the 5th largest in the world.

With a fortune that went down by 4%, to INR97,000 crore, LaxmiMittal, Chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal dropped down one place to the 3rd position on the list. The 4th place is taken by AzimPremji, Chairman of Wipro Limited. He saw the value of his 57% stake in the company go up by 11% making him the richest South Indian on the list. His current fortune is valued at INR86,000 crores.

A surprise entry into the top 10 of the Hurun India Rich List of 2014 was Gautam Adani, Chairman and Founder of Adani Group. With a net worth of INR 44,020 crores, his wealth shot up by 152% from last year. The stock prices of Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises went up 90% and 180%, respectively, during this period.

Founder and Chairman of HCL Technologies, Shiv Nadar, at 5th position registered a 40%rise in wealth that is owed to the 57% increase in the stock price of his company. The 6th position went to Chairman of Hinduja Group of Companies, S P Hinduja, with a net worth of INR72,000 crores.

Pallonji Mistry, Chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group; Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group; and Sunil Mittal, Chairman and CEO of Bharti Enterprises, also made it into the top 10 of the Hurun India Rich List for 2014.

“If last year’s rich list demonstrated the resilience of Indian corporates in a sluggish market, this year’s exemplifies corporate India’s potential to lead the global market,” says Anas Rahman Junaid, Head of Hurun Report India. Furthermore, he also believes that the new Central Government has also sparked a boom in the stock market.

Amidst all the speculation about the future of 4G services in India, Reliance Jio is finally showing signs of its seriousness towards launching these services across 400 cities by March next year.

This year marks the completion of 1/5th of the total license period for Reliance Jio and 4 years have passed without the generation of any revenue.This put Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani under the scanner by the media and public alike.

Reliance Jio Back in Action

With the laying of the Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) being sped up, and a wide variety of equipment being imported and ready to be installed, the services are likely to see the light of day very soon. Sources say that the project is being led directly by Mukesh Ambani. There is a sudden change of vibe among company officials within Reliance Jio. The Delhi and Gurgaon offices have become an energetic hub of activity.

The cost to deploy 4G networks across India is estimated to run into ₹70,000 Crores. Global bank, UBS, recently valued Reliance Jio at ₹140 per share while adjusting for net debt of the business. Representatives also remarked that any sale of stake could drive up the valuations of the company.

As per a document submitted to bankers, Reliance Jio intends to roll out services in some of the leading urban cities and address rural area coverage as well. This plan takes into account the company’s ongoing endeavor in setting up 1,70,000-km long OFCs across the country.

A spokesperson from the company says, “While we believe that the revenues of the Indian telecom sector will continue to grow with the economy, its composition will shift from the predominant share of voice and text services as is the case today, to broadband and digital services in the years to come. Reliance Jio is well-positioned to capture a significant share of this revenue migration as well as of the additional value creation on account of broadband services.”

The success of this endeavor is important since the low broadband penetration in India makes end users more eager for 4G services.

RIL Increases Stake in Reliance Jio

Just ahead of its launch of 4G services, RIL has increased its stake in Reliance Jio to 98.9%. In March this year, it put in more capital into this business. The increased stake was bought over from the Nahatas, promoters of Infotel Broadband, since they did not make any additional investments after the 2010 rollout of services. Infotel Broadband was previously sold to RIL right after it won a pan-India broadband license in the year 2010. It is believed that the Nahatas will continue to have a seat on the board of Reliance Jio. Currently, they own 0.13% of stake in Reliance Jio. Additionally, Infotel Infocom owns 0.55% of the stake; NextwaveComm owns 0.17% of the company, while 0.25% belongs to other investors.

After the success of the Mumbai Indians cricket team and the first season of the Reliance-IMG football league only a few weeks away; sources say that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is likely to become the next big name to join the Hockey India League.

It is said that the business house will be replacing Dabur as the new owner of the Mumbai franchise, after the latter terminated its contract with Hockey India. A source revealed,”As per the recent developments, there are discussions being held with the Reliance Group to take over the Mumbai franchise. An official confirmation is expected within a month.”

Dabur’s Exit

It is believed that the Dabur Group decided to pull out of the league due to financial reasons. However, Hockey India denies such claims even while it has been trying to find a new replacement owner.

The source adds, “After the success of the first two editions, the top officials were looking at expanding the league in the next season. So, after the Mumbai franchise pulled out, they did not want the team to be removed and hence started looking for possible owners to replace them. However, there is nothing confirmed as yet.”

Setback for Hockey India

While the league was looking at expanding from 6 to 8 teams in the forthcoming season, it suffered a huge setback after 2 of the 6 franchises decided to withdraw. In addition to the Mumbai Magicians, the Ranchi Rhinos also exited because of an alleged tiff over the franchise fee with Hockey India.

While the players from the Mumbai team have already signed new forms for the mini-auction that is scheduled for the coming month, the players from Ranchi are yet to be informed about their future in the league. A player from Ranchi Rhinos says, “We have only received an email from Hockey India stating that the Ranchi owners have withdrawn. There was no mention about the auction. We are yet to sign the auction forms.”

Entry of a New Franchise

Meanwhile, good news comes in the form of an official announcement by Hockey India of the inclusion of a new franchise representing Pune in the league. With the inclusion of the league, there are now 5 teams that will battle for the leadership position in the Hockey India League. The Pune team has been bought by Anirban Sarkar, owner of Deccan Water Treatment Private Limited.

RIL’s Tryst with Sports

If talks between RIL and Hockey India are successful, this will be another feather in the hat for the business giant’s involvement in the sporting world.

It is the vision of Nita Ambani, Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, to help the nation connect with sports and inspire people to follow their dreams. In addition to RIL’s cricketing success in the Indian Premier League, this vision manifested in the form of a Reliance-IMG joint venture known as the Indian Super League, a football extravaganza scheduled to start next month. RIL is also involved with the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships that currently being hosted in Mumbai.

The much-anticipated first season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is scheduled to start on October 12th. For this, the organizers have released a captivating TV commercial (TVC) that aptly captures the fervor behind the sport.

The ISL is arguably the most anxiously awaited football event in India this year. The official TV campaign that was launched on 7thSeptember kicked off with a 100-second panoramic film that appropriately showcased the hopes of 1.2 billion people in developing a thriving football culture in India.

The first television advertisement kick-starts the lead-up to a 36-day-long integrated marketing campaign for the opening game that is scheduled for next month.

Bringing about a Football Revolution

The league is a result of a joint venture between Reliance Industries Limited and International Management Group. The league is built on the vision of Nita Ambani, Chairperson of Reliance Foundation,to encourage the spirit of sports. The league intends to bring about a football revolution in India. She says, “ISL hopes to act as a foundation in creating an ecosystem to nurture talent and make our own national football heroes.”

This event ushers inhope of India qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in a few years’ time.

C’mon India, Let’s Football!

With this simple phrase, the television commercial conceptualized by Ogilvy & Mather urges Indians to be a part of their very own league. The peppy soundtrack for this commercial is composed by Amit Trivedi who has been able to aptly capture the spirit of millions of fans all over the country.

The commercial reaches out to everyone from fishermen in Kerala to pujaris on the banks of the Ganges;from monks in the north-eastern part of the country to dancers in Rajasthan. The joint effort, power and passion of Indian fans towards football eventually takesthe shape of a unique human stadium, acting as an overwhelming climax to the film.

Audience Reception

This artistic commercial was shot at over 20 locations across India by Manoj Pillai from ThinkPot Films. The campaign was launched in the T20 game between India and England on Sunday, followed with full-fledged promotional broadcasting across the Star Network.

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather adds, “India is a great nation, which will excel in everything possible and football is our next goal. I’m extremely excited about the League and the communication. The only thing I want to hear is 1.2 billion people saying,’C’mon India, let’s football!’”

Srinivasan Gopalkrishnan, AVP Marketing & Commercial – ISL says, “This film showcases India’s grand welcome to the beautiful game and, with it, the passion and dreams of all Indians out there. Come 12th October, the fans will be treated to a great sporting spectacle and we hope everyone joins us in saying: C’mon India,let’s football!”

The audience found the creative of the commercial to be loyal to the magnificent size of the project. It has been able to effectively bring alive a sense of inspiration that will eventually help India take its rightful place in the world of football. On social media as well, the sentiment towards this campaign is positive.

5 years after closing down expansions in neighborhood supermarkets, India’s largest retailer, Reliance Retail Limited (RRL) is once again scheduled to open new value retail stores all over the country.

Reliance Retail’s Expansion Strategy

In this month alone, RRL will launch 5 supermarkets in Bengaluru and 15 in other parts of the country. This move is part of RRL’s cluster strategy, through which the company aims to increase the density of stores in specific markets.

Damodar Mall, CEO of Reliance Value Retail, said, “The next phase of RRL’s growth strategy is more mature. Mistakes have been made and lessons learnt. We are confident that the (new) investment made will be more sustainable.” Out of RRL’s total turnover of Rupees 14,500 crores, value retailing accounts for 55%. The company plans on intensifying its roll-out plans across other markets in the next few months, as the strategy starts showing results.As of now, there are 602 Reliance Retail value formats in operation all over the country.

In FY14, RRL recorded a net profit of Rupees 182 crores. This was the retail giant’s first profit since its 8 years of existence in the market.

Late last month, there was news of RRL changing its financing strategy to meet its working capital needs. Until recently, it primarily relied on parent company, Reliance Industries Limited, for funds. The news suggests that RRL is going to raise up to Rupees 5,000 crores from banks and the capital market.The retail company plans on acquiring long-term bank funding of about Rupees 2,000 crores and raising the other Rupees 3,000 crores by issuing commercial papers. It is believed that the money raised through commercial papers will be released in parts, depending on the financing requirements.

On the other hand, competitors such as Future Retail, Aditya Birla Retail and Spencer’s Retail are closing shops to cut their losses while cash-and-carry companies such as Metro and Walmart have halted all expansion plans.

Expert Speak

Top officials believe that the neighborhood format is getting increasingly profitable in urban areas. Experts say that value formats will contribute significantly to dairy, fresh fruits, vegetables, personal care products, staples and home products segmentsand ensure higher stock returns, enhanced sales and ROI/sq ft. The food-and-grocery category accounts for 60% share in the $490 billion Indian retail sector. Following this is the apparel and mobile segments.

Founder and MD of Wazir Advisors, HarminderSahni,believes that RRL’s expansion plans take birth from its confidence in its sourcing, procurement and supply chain systems. He said, “Reliance knows that the real money is made at the back-end. Most of the other retailers have been merely trading operations in the neighborhood space. They have been struggling too much with the front-end to worry about the back-end.”

Within the neighborhood format space, RRL’s retail brands include Reliance Super, Reliance Mart and Reliance Fresh. Each one of these formats operates out of 3,000 to 20,000 sq ft of space.

The 20th edition of the Reliance Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships (AJTTC2014) will be held at the NSCI Sardar Vallabhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai from September 12thto 16th. 200 players representing 16 countries will battle against each other to win the muchsought-after championship. Out of this, 30 participantswill represent India.

India last hosted this championship in 2011 in New Delhi. The World Junior Championships were also held in India in 2012 for the very first time. The 2013 edition of the AJTTC was hosted in Doha.

Participating Nations and Sponsorships

The AJTTC2014 is considered to be among the most prestigious events within the junior table tennis circuit around the world. Participating nations include Singapore, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Iran, Hong Kong, China, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and, the host country, India.

According to a recent press release, the event is being organized by the Mumbai City District Table Tennis Association and is being backed by the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU), the Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association (MSTTA) and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

The director of the tournament will be 8-time national men’s singles championship winner, Kamlesh Mehta. “In India, over 1 lakh players are associated with it (table tennis) professionally, and another 2 lakh play the sport as a hobby,” said Kamlesh Mehta. He adds, “Hosting the 20th edition of the championship, an event that will see the world’s top players, is very prestigious for us. This is the first time such a major event is coming to Mumbai, Maharashtra.”

2 of the world’s best table tennis players, Fan Zhendong (China) and Hoikem Doo (Hong Kong), are also expected to be present at the event.

Unveiling of the Official Logo

The official logo of the championship was unveiled by Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, along with former national champion and tournament advisor, Niraj Bajaj. Other members present during the unveiling included the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Vita Dani, TTFI Secretary General Dhanraj Choudhary, and Kamlesh Mehta.

Nita Ambani’s Vision for Sports in India

This is not Nita Ambani’s first interaction with the sporting world. In addition to being the co-owner of the Mumbai Indians IPL Cricket team, she has also leveraged her leadership position in Reliance Foundation to help children connect with the spirit of sports. In addition to pursuing a number of philanthropic activities, the foundation also works to inculcate a sense of excitement towards sports and inspiration to pursue one’s dreams.

As Founding Chairperson of Football Sports Development, she has been involved in the creation of the Indian Super League, a football league that is scheduled between October and December this year.

The league was started with goals that look beyond its commercial benefits. She believes that while the financials are important in driving investment into a specific sport, the key aspect of this football league will be to focus on grass root development, refurbishment of stadiums and inculcating a sense of professionalism in player management for sports in India.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Bharat Petroleum Limited (BPCL) emerged as winners at the annual PetroFed Oil & Gas Industry Awards held on September 8, 2014.

The event recognizes excellence in performance in a variety of categories within the industry. The awardswere presented by Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Saurabh Chandra. While Petroleum Minister, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, was expected to give away the awards, he was unable to attend the ceremony due to his travel.

Winners in Leading Categories

RIL took home the Refinery of the Year award.Its Jamnagar Manufacturing Division consists of a refinery that is equipped to manufacture a variety of crude oil and fuel. Ranked 11.3 on the Nelson Complexity Index, this refinery is able to process heavy and sour crude oil to manufacture high-value products.

BPCL won the Leading Oil & Gas Corporate of the Yearand the Oil & Gas marketing Company of the Year awards. The company also received special commendations for their system, which is able to predict the refining characteristics of a crude oil sample. BPCL was also given accolades for its GPS-based pipeline surveillance personnel movement monitoring systems. Besides,ONGC won the Exploration & Production Company of the Year accolade.

Top Honors and Commendations

Other top honors were distributed to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), which won the Oil & Gas Pipeline Transportation Company of the Year award. The Human Resources Management Company of the Yearwent to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). A 10-member team at IOC along with Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) also bagged the Innovator of the Year – Team award. The team was led by R K Malhotra, the then Director of Research and Development at IOC. The award was presented in recognition of the development and commercialization of a technology that co-processes non-edible oils in diesel hydro-processing operations within an existing refinery. Each member of the winning team under this category was further recognized with a cash prize of ₹ 50,000.

The individual Innovator of the Year category went to Dr. Shashikant at IOC for his contribution to the development of a catalyst for Olefin Polymerisation and a process to manufacture Tarpaulin Grade Polyethylene. The individual award also carried a cash component of ₹200,000. In addition to Dr. Shashikant’s win, two special commendations were given away under this category for IOC’s Guwahati Refinery and HPCL.

The Environmental Sustainability – Company of the Year award went to Oil India Limited while the awards for project management were jointly given to Essar Oil and GAIL India Limited.

Team Leader, Aviation HR at BPCL, Ms. Ritu Mathur, was recognized as the Woman Executive of the Year. In addition to the accolade, she also received a cash award of Rupees 1,00,000. Ms. Sita Baruah, Senior Maintenance Manager at IOC’s Guwahati Refinery, was bestowed with a special commendation under the same category.

The winners of the PetroFed Oil & Gas Industry Awards 2013 were selected with the help of a process developed by knowledge partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an evaluation conducted by the Awards Committee. This Committee was led by Prodipto Ghosh, former Secretary to the Government of India.

The recently truncated 29th state of India, Andhra Pradesh,is attracting attention from a number of large domestic as well as global retailers. Giants such as Wal-Mart, Reliance Retail, Future Group and Aditya Birla Group have already begun exploring opportunities here.

According to various property consultants and industry executives, international single-brand players such as Adidas and Nike are also scouting for available commercial real estate with an aim to expand their presence in Andhra Pradesh.

Current Concentrations of the Retail Sector

Andhra was recently condensed to 13 districts right after the creation of Telangana, a new state with 10 districts, including the city of Hyderabad. This motivates Andhra Pradesh to create a large new capital city along with a number of smart cities, consequently paving way for new retail opportunities.

Most large players, such as the retail wing of Reliance Industries Limited, have their outlets located in and around Hyderabad. This city is currently a part of Telangana even though it will remain the joint capital for both states for the next decade.

Positive Sentiments in the Retail Industry

Wal-Mart India, which operates its 20 cash-and-carry stores under the brand name Best Price Modern Wholesale, is optimistic about the emerging opportunities that are made available with the new capital and cities planned in Andhra Pradesh. Rajnees Kumar, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, said,”We plan to open 50 more cash-and-carry stores in India in the next four to five years.” However, he refused to disclose the exact number of stores planned for Andhra Pradesh. Wal-Mart currently has 1 store in Hyderabad and 3 in Andhra Pradesh.

On the other hand, a senior executive at Future Group cited political uncertainty and regional agitations in the then undivided state as reasons behind not expanding base there in spite of business potential. While Future Group has 21 stores in Karnataka, 17 in Tamil Nadu they only had 9 in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The change in the state’s political scenario since June 2014 has encouraged Future Group to aggressively plan for 6 big-format stores. “Apart from signing agreement for stores at Guntur, we are on the verge of signing agreements for Rajahmundry and are looking for suitable property in Kurnool,” said a company executive.

Under the Chairmanship of Mukesh Ambani, Reliance RetailLimited already has about 50 stores in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Working under brands such as Reliance Fresh, Reliance Super, Reliance Mart, Reliance Trends, and many more, the Group’s future plans for Andhra Pradesh are still unclear.

Sandip Patnaik, Managing Director at Jones Lang La Salle India says, “Thanks to end of uncertainty over state bifurcation, now most of the large-format players are aggressively exploring business opportunities in truncated AP.” He adds, “Though the real-estate prices and rentals now in most cities of AP are no less than Hyderabad, retailers are attracted by over five lakh populated locations with presence of higher spending population.”

In a development that is expected to significantly shoot up the overall profile of the India Super League, it has been announced that legendary Brazilian footballer, Arthur Antunes Coimbra, has been signed on as the Head Coach of FC Goa.

Fondly known as Zico, the 61-year-old signed the contract today in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The representatives of FC Goa are expected to travel to his country soon to assist him in completing his visa formalities and bringing him to Goa.

The owners of the franchise, Srinivas Dempo, Venugopal Dhoot and Dattaraj Salgaocarwere extremely happy with this development and warmly welcomed Zico. Terming it”a proud moment”, they declared it an honor to have a legend of his stature coach the FC Goa team for the first season of the Indian Super League.According to a press release, Zico’s signing was made possible due to the efforts of Amaury Nunes and Beto D’Silva.

Zico’s High-flying Football Career

Also called “White Pele”, Coimbra made 71 international appearances between 1976 and 1986. In addition to being a former midfielder, he made his mark in the football world as one of the best playmakers and free-kick takers of his time. Coimbra came to be known for his ability to bend the ball in all directions. Having scored 48 goals for Brazil, his skills as a finisher and a passer are also renowned. He is the fourth-highest goal-scorer for his national team. He represented Brazil in 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups. The 1982 team was considered the best Brazilian national squad ever.

In 1999, Coimbra stood 8th in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote. In 2004, he was included in the list of FIFA’s 100 World’s Greatest Living Players. Over the years, he has coached the national teams of Japan between 2002 and 2006 and Iraq in 2011-12. The former appeared in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and won the 2004 Asian Cup under his aegis. In January 2009, he was announced as the Head Coach for the CSKA Moscow team for a period of 9 months.

Other Glamorous Associations in the Indian Super League

The India Super League consists of 8 teams representing Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Pune, Kerala, Mumbai and the North East. The league is off to a rather glamorous start with some of the leading names from the sporting and film world backing up these teams. Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and John Abraham are some of the celebrity co-owners of the 8 franchises.

The formation of India Super League is largely attributed to Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation.She believes that the foundation’s involvement in this league can have a significant impact on football and drive passion for sports across the nation.

Set to start on October 12ththis year, the finals for the first season of the League will be held on December 20th.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is set to start selling diesel from over 1,400 petrol pumps across India from October this year. These operations are run jointly by RIL and Essar Oil in India. Diesel will be sold at the market price, without subsidy.

Within a few years of getting into the petro-retailing business, RIL had cornered about 14% of diesel sales. Unfortunately, the differential in the diesel prices of private retailers and state-owned oil marketing companies forced RIL to shut down its pumps in 2008.

Market Pricing of Diesel

Since diesel accounts for 44% of the total consumption of petroleum products in India, market pricing of this product is important for its retail segments to work viably. It is believed that about 85% of total sales at fuel pumps across highways and nearly 50% of sales at fuel stations nationwide consist of diesel. With the consumption of this fuel rising by 35.52 million tons within a short span of 10 years, the market is thriving more than ever before.

UPA’s Attempt to Minimize Losses

Diesel prices have been rising at the rate of 50 paisa per liter every month since January 2013 and were last raised on August 31.In this period, rates have cumulatively gone up by ₹11.81 per liter. The objective of these monthly hikes implemented by the former UPA government was to minimize losses incurred by the government due to the subsidies provided on diesel prices. The losses have since dipped significantly.

In May last year, the monthly increase trimmed losses to less than ₹3 per liter. However, the fall in the rupee value led to losses of ₹14.5 per liter in September. Since then, the monthly hikes have continued and the rupee as significantly strengthened.

Diesel Prices under the New Government

Fortunately, since March this year, losses have rapidly decreased with expectations about a decisive and stable government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new government has played a significant role in helping the rupee gain against the dollar.

Between March and May this year, when the Modi government came into power, losses on diesel were pushed down by approximately ₹4 per liter. In August, the losses stood at ₹1.78 a liter. Last Saturday, diesel prices were hiked by 50 paisa per liter while petrol prices were slashed.

Deregulation of Diesel Prices

The current market sentiment is that deregulation of diesel prices looks imminent. The difference between the retail sale price and actual cost of diesel dropped to a historic low of only 8 paisa. For the first time in over a decade, it has been found that retail pump prices are almost in sync with the imported cost of diesel.

We also owe this situation to the monthly increases and softening of international oil rates. If this trend continues, India’s retail diesel prices will be at par with global rates within the next 7 days, not necessitating the next increase of 50 paisa per liter due on October 1.