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INDIA EMERGING AS TOP FDI SPOT

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I ndia is rapidly emerging as a preferred country for foreign investments as the steps taken by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the last eight years have borne fruit as is evident from the everincreasing volumes of FDI inflow setting new records. The FDI inflow in India was at its highest ever at USD 81.97 billion in 2020-21. The information was given by the government during a parliament session. Among the global investors, the government said, these trends in India’s FDI are an endorsement of its status as a preferred investment destination, reported Saudi Gazette. The government reviews the FDI policy on an ongoing basis and makes significant changes from time to time, to ensure that India remains an attractive and investor-friendly destination. India’s FDI policy is liberal and transparent. Most of the sectors are open to FDI under the automatic route. To further liberalize and simplify FDI policy for providing ease of doing business and attract investments, reforms have been undertaken recently across sectors such as Coal Mining, Contract Manufacturing, Digital Media, Single Brand Retail Trading, Civil Aviation, Defense, Insurance and Telecom. Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Som Prakash, informed in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha (country’s Upper House in the Parliament) that the country’s FDI under the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at its highest-ever inflow. This came in a response to a question posed by CPI (M), Member of Parliament, John Brittas and Loktantrik Janata Dal MP M. V. Shreyams Kumar. These MPs from Ke r a l a qu e st i o n e d t h e government on the steps it has taken to bring global business into the country. MoS Prakash in a written statement said, “Various initiatives/schemes have been launched by the government for promoting growth and attracting investment in India.” He also highlighted that because of these initiatives India jumped to 63rd place in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business [EODB] ranking as per World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR) 2020 from a rank of 142 in 2014. The Minister also spoke o f h a v i n g s t a r t e d a co mp reh en sive r efo rm exercise in states and union territories to attract investors. He said that these reforms were started after consultations between the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with the state governments under Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP). It is noteworthy that under this plan all states and union territories are ranked on the basis of reforms implemented by them. There are certain designated parameters which are taken into consideration post which the ranking is done. “This exercise has helped in improving the business environment across states,” he said. Speaking on other steps taken by the government to attract investors, Prakash listed an Empowered Group of Secretaries that had been constituted to fasttrack investments in the country. He also stressed on the constitution of Project Development Cells (PDCs) to handhold investors and spur sectoral and economic growth. A G I S- e n ab l e d In d i a Industrial Land Bank has been launched to help investors identify their preferred 

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PAUL JOHN NIRVANA BAGS GOLD MEDAL IN PRESTIGIOUS LONDON SPIRITS COMPETITION

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John Distilleries Ltd.’s Paul John single malt whiskey ‘Nirvana’ has been awarded “Gold” medal in the prestigious London Spirits Competition 2024. JDL’s two other offerings – Roulette London Dry Gin and Paul John XO Brandy – have also won ‘Silver’ medals. JDL is the only Indian company to have been awarded in three different categories – whiskey, gin and brandy. “We are honored to have been awarded at the London Spirits Competition. It is indeed a privilege to be appreciated for the quality of our products,” said JDL Chairman and Managing Director Mr. Paul P John.

JDL is one of the most awarded Indian companies internationally as it has bagged various prestigious awards in the events like the International Wine and Spirit Competition, the World Whiskey Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The London Spirits Competition, organized by the Beverage Trade Network, aims to recognize and promote spirits brands that resonate with consumers and offer value for both trade buyers and end consumers.

Judging criteria include quality, value for money, and packaging appeal.

Paul John Nirvana

From the Goan shores of India, Paul John Nirvana is an unpeated expression bottled at an ABV of 40% and is created from Indian 6-row barley and matured in charred American oak casks.

Every expression of Paul John Whisky including Nirvana do not have any added flavours or colours. ‘Nirvana is an expression for those willing and keen to experience single malts, especially for the first time. Its exotic richness is sure to captivate whisky connoisseurs and amateurs equally.’ – Paul P John, Chairman. Soft aromas of caramel, bourbon and fruitcake, flavours of succulent vanilla and sweet honeycomb enhance the sublime and honeyed finish.

Nirvana ensures a captivating experience beyond the worldly realm. Created for those who seek greater heights and who enjoy creating their own path Nirvana was aptly named because it is an expression for those who discover happiness in their purpose of being. Paul John XO 100% Indian Grape Brandy Following the success of Paul John Whisky, Paul P John, Chairman of John Distilleries, ventured into the premium brandy segment with the release of

Paul John XO, a 100% Indian Grape Brandy

Paul John XO is made from the famed Ugni Blanc and the rich Bangalore purple grape. The brandy is matured in specially selected, medium toasted new French limousine oak barrels.

With gentle honeyed aromas, orange zest and a touch of herbs that enhance the tender raisin and sweet oak flavours, the exotic Paul John XO is matured and distilled in Goa. Paul John XO is bottled at 46% ABV and was released in October 2019 across select countries including USA, Europe, UK, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and India & many more.

Roulette Dry Gin

Roulette is a first choice for those who have a fresh take on life. People who love to experiment and are unafraid to try new things. Discover the perfect balance of versatility and flavour. With its juniper forward profile, it’s ideal for sipping or mixing. Whether you’re enjoying it neat or with a mixer, its refreshing and easy-going character shines through.

Roulette’s effervescent charm and juniper-rich taste elevates any occasion, be it before or after sunset. Roulette London Dry Gin uses all three types of distillation methods for extracting the botanical’s flavours. Our Gin production is further elevated by the exceptional Muller Pot Still, a masterpiece handcrafted and custom-made in Germany.

This 500 liter copper pot still is a small batch wonder and one of world’s finest. What sets it apart is its patented AROMAT technology that elevates our handcrafted liquid to extraordinary heights.

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Nepalese Tycoon Binod Chaudhary who sold ‘WaiWai’ plans to list India unit by 2026

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The firm, boasting a 28% share in the local instant noodles market and generating an annual revenue of 8 billion rupees ($96.2 million), is in preliminary talks regarding its listing plans. The aims is to achieve a 15% revenue growth this year.”

Nepalese billionaire Binod Chaudhary, who made his fortune selling instant noodles, is seeking to list his conglomerate Chaudhary Group’s India food unit by 2026. The Gurgaon-based firm, known for its Wai Wai brand of noodles that rivals market leader Maggi from Nestle Ltd. and ITC Ltd.’s Yippee, “would be ready to go for a sizable listing” in the next two years after rolling out new products and acquiring smaller firms in the noodle-related industry, Manvendra Shukla, global chief executive officer at CG Foods India Pvt., said in an interview. He didn’t share any other details. The listing plans for the firm, which has a 28 per cent share in the local instant noodles market and an annual revenue of Rs 8 billion ($96.2 million), are still in the early stages of discussion, he added. It aims to grow its revenue by 15 per cent this year.

CG Foods India’s initial public offering plans follow a rush among foodmakers, including packaged food products maker Gopal Snacks Ltd. and animal protein maker Mukka Proteins Ltd., that have gone public in the past year. The sector has seen the second-highest number of IPOs in India in the past 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg News show. The mini-IPO boom is being fueled by investors attracted to India’s relative political stability and its status as the fastest-growing major economy amid the slowing pace of expansion in China.

The noodle maker, however, is not rushing to list and plans to bolster its market share and product portfolio first. The company is also looking to buy smaller companies that make seasonings, dips or ketchups, Shukla said.

‘Not Replicated’ Chaudhary Group launched the Wai Wai noodle four decades ago in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, and has since grown to become India’s third-largest brand. Wai Wai is known for its preseasoned noodle — it comes with a layer of spice in addition to the seasoning pouches in the packet — which means it can also be munched on as a snack without cooking it. “We have something which is not replicated yet in the market,” Shukla said. CG Foods India currently has seven plants across the country, with Nepal and India contributing over 80 per cent to the group’s food sales. The firm expects to add production lines as volumes continue to grow in India where sales of snacks and soft drinks almost tripled over the past decade in India, exceeding 30 billion dollars. It launched two flavors last month, including a spicier variant called Dynamite, inspired by the Korean cuisine. More products are in the pipeline, including healthier noodle options, according to Shukla.

“It is a flavor battle,” he said.

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Summer Sizzles, Sales Rise, Indian Consumer Firms Gear Up

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Blue Star intensifies its product offerings with a plethora of new home air conditioner models, targeting a remarkable 25% revenue boost in the air conditioning segment, led by Managing Director B. Thiagarajan.

As temperatures soar across India, consumer goods companies are gearing up for what promises to be an exceptionally hot summer. With forecasts predicting an increase in heatwave days, reaching temperatures of at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, from April through June, businesses are seizing the opportunity to meet the rising demand for cooling solutions.

Blue Star, a leading appliances maker, has launched a myriad of new home air conditioner models to cater to the anticipated surge in demand. Managing Director B. Thiagarajan aims for a substantial 25% revenue growth from the air conditioning segment, a significant jump from last year’s 5%.

Similarly, renowned ice cream brand Baskin Robbins is rolling out 20 new products in India ahead of the scorching summer months.

Analysts foresee a substantial impact on consumer discretionary spending, particularly on products like air conditioners, fans, refrigerators, and cooling appliances. This surge in demand is expected to reflect robust growth numbers for the first quarter of the fiscal year for companies operating in this sector.

Traditionally, less than 10% of Indian households own air conditioners, but the combination of the hotter summer forecast and new product launches is expected to drive up this figure. Many first-time buyers are entering the market, driven by the desire for temperature-controlled comfort, particularly in light of the extreme temperatures experienced in various parts of the country.

Advertising expenditure is also on the rise, with companies like Blue Star and Baskin Robbins significantly increasing their budgets to capitalize on the heightened demand. Television and online advertising are key avenues for reaching consumers during this period.

Beyond manufacturers, delivery and service providers are also experiencing a surge in demand. Grocery delivery apps like Zepto, Swiggy, and Zomato’s Blinkit are witnessing increased orders for hydrating fruits, beverages, and ice creams as consumers seek relief from the heat.

With the summer months typically leading to increased beer consumption, breweries are gearing up for heightened production and distribution challenges. Carlsberg India’s Managing Director Nilesh Patel highlights the need for careful planning to meet the rising demand.

While the harsh weather may drive up vegetable prices and potentially curtail outdoor spending, analysts anticipate that consumers will continue to indulge in small luxuries like cold beverages and ice cream to find relief from the heat.

Overall, Indian consumer goods companies are bracing themselves for a lucrative summer season, with both manufacturers and service providers working tirelessly to meet the heightened demand for cooling products and refreshments.

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Aerospace parts maker JJG Aero raises $12 mn to hike capacity

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Bengaluru-based aerospace components manufacturer, JJG Aero, has secured USD 12 million (Rs100 crore) in inaugural funding from CX Partners which will be used primarily to increase its new facility’s manufacturing capacity, further vertical integration and other corporate initiatives.

Established in 2008, JJG Aero specializes in manufacturing build-to-print high-precision machined components, with in-house special process finishing capabilities. The funding comes at a time when the aerospace supply chain is facing all-time high demand from aircraft manufacturers, which legacy vendors in the Western world are struggling to meet. The global geopolitical issues, economic stability and Government support make India ideally placed to benefit from this deal.

The company has spent a decade in building best-in-class capabilities, processes, compliance standards, and customer relationships and obtaining requisite approvals and certifications, and we are now in the right place to grow rapidly. Anuj Jhunjhunwala, CEO, JJG Aero sees the company’s strengths and value proposition enabling them to emerge as a key player in the aerospace ecosystem. “India has emerged as an attractive destination for sourcing components and parts by global leaders and we are excited to be selected by so many marquee clients as a strategic growth vendor” says Jhunjhunwala. This investment will enable JJG Aero not only to continue on its growth path through capacity addition but also to upgrade the quality of earnings by focusing on higher value-added components.

Vivek Chhachhi, Managing Partner, CX Partners also notes that with its foray into the manufacture of aero-engine components, JJG Aero is well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities and further solidify its presence in the market.

From simple 2-axis to complex 5-axis machining, JJG Aero offers a wide range of manufacturing services, complemented by over 30 NADCAP-approved special processes, including electroplating, anodizing, paint, and NDT. Moreover, the company provides assembly, testing, and other value-added services to its esteemed client base.

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Tesla eyes India market as Elon Musk makes bold AI prediction

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In a recent X Spaces session with Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized the importance of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, stating that it’s a natural progression for every country to embrace them. Musk highlighted India’s status as the most populous country globally and stressed that electric cars should be accessible to Indian consumers like they are in other parts of the world.

Musk’s comments coincide with Tesla’s intensified efforts to expand its presence in the Indian market. Sources reveal that the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat have extended enticing land offers to Tesla for the establishment of a cutting-edge EV manufacturing plant. The proposed investment for this venture ranges between USD 2 billion to USD 3 billion, demonstrating Tesla’s commitment to both domestic and international markets.

This move aligns with India’s new EV policy, which aims to attract investments from global EV manufacturers and promote the adoption of advanced EV technology among Indian consumers. The policy emphasizes the importance of domestic value addition (DVA) and sets specific localization targets for manufacturers establishing operations in India.

To incentivize investment, the government has introduced measures such as customs duty exemptions and import quotas for EVs based on the level of investment made by manufacturers. These initiatives aim to position India as a preferred destination for EV manufacturing and contribute to the country’s Make in India initiative.

In anticipation of these developments, Tesla plans to dispatch a team of experts to explore suitable locations across India for the proposed manufacturing facility. Musk’s previous statement about visiting India in 2024 further underscores the company’s eagerness to enter the Indian market and collaborate with local stakeholders.

Tesla’s expansion into India represents a significant step forward in the global EV landscape and underscores the company’s commitment to sustainable transportation solutions. With India poised to become a key market for electric vehicles, Tesla’s entry is expected to drive innovation and accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country.

As the electric vehicle market continues to evolve, Tesla’s entry into India holds the potential to reshape the automotive industry and contribute to India’s transition towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Tesla’s entry into the Indian market not only signifies a pivotal moment for the country’s automotive industry but also presents an opportunity for Tesla to capitalize on India’s growing demand for electric vehicles. With the Indian government’s focus on promoting clean energy initiatives and reducing carbon emissions, Tesla’s electric vehicles align perfectly with India’s sustainable development goals.

Moreover, Tesla’s presence in India is expected to stimulate job creation and economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The establishment of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant will not only provide employment opportunities for local residents but also foster the development of ancillary industries and supply chains.

In addition to manufacturing, Tesla’s entry into India is poised to catalyze advancements in EV infrastructure and technology. As Tesla vehicles become more accessible to Indian consumers, there will be a corresponding need for charging infrastructure and support services. This presents opportunities for collaboration with local businesses and government agencies to build a robust EV ecosystem.

Furthermore, Tesla’s entry into India could spur competition and innovation in the domestic automotive market, encouraging other manufacturers to invest in electric vehicle technology. This competition could lead to advancements in battery technology, vehicle performance, and affordability, ultimately benefiting consumers.

Overall, Tesla’s decision to establish a manufacturing presence in India reflects the country’s growing importance in the global automotive industry and underscores India’s potential as a key market for electric vehicles. As Tesla’s footprint expands across the country, its impact on India’s economy, environment, and technological landscape is expected to be profound.

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Air India, BIAL Partner to Create South India’s Top Aviation Hub

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Air India and Tata Group airlines will partner with BIAL to improve airport services and connectivity at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, including setting up an exclusive lounge for premium passengers.

Air India and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) have entered into an agreement aimed at bolstering Bengaluru’s status as a premier aviation hub for southern India. The collaboration seeks to enhance air travel connectivity to and from India over the next five years.

Under the agreement, Air India, along with other Tata Group airlines such as AIX and Vistara, will work closely with BIAL to improve international connectivity, operational efficiency, and passenger experience at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB or BLR airport). This includes plans to strengthen the group’s presence at the airport and establish a dedicated domestic lounge for premium and frequent travelers of Tata Group airlines.

Furthermore, Air India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Karnataka to develop maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities at the Bengaluru airport. This partnership aims to stimulate the MRO ecosystem and create over 1,200 new job opportunities in the state.

Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD of Air India, emphasized the importance of airline-airport synergy in enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency. He expressed enthusiasm for strengthening Air India’s relationship with BIAL and expanding its presence at the airport, as well as establishing a major MRO center.

Hari Marar, MD and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited, highlighted the BLR airport’s commitment to becoming the international gateway in Southern and Central India. He stated that the collaboration with Air India aligns with the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s vision of developing Indian airports as hubs and aims to enhance the passenger experience. Marar also expressed ambitions to capture a significant share of long-haul routes from Bengaluru Airport over the next five years.

In related news, Air India announced the appointment of Jayaraj Shanmugam as its Head of Global Airport Operations, effective April 15. Shanmugam, who previously served as the chief operating officer (COO) at BIAL, brings extensive experience to his new role.

The collaboration between Air India and BIAL represents a significant milestone in the transformation of Bengaluru into a key aviation hub in the region. By leveraging each other’s strengths and resources, the partnership aims to not only enhance air connectivity but also contribute to the economic growth of Karnataka by generating job opportunities through the establishment of MRO facilities.

Jayaraj Shanmugam’s appointment as the Head of Global Airport Operations further solidifies Air India’s commitment to optimizing its airport operations and providing a seamless travel experience for passengers. His extensive experience in airport management, coupled with his previous role at BIAL, positions him well to drive operational excellence and efficiency within the airline.

As the aviation industry continues to evolve, alliances between airlines and airports are becoming increasingly vital to meet the growing demands of travelers and enhance overall competitiveness. The strategic collaboration between Air India and BIAL sets a precedent for future partnerships in the aviation sector, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and synergy to achieve common goals.

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