TCS brand value raises 12.5 per cent to $16.78 billion - Business Guardian
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TCS brand value raises 12.5 per cent to $16.78 billion

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Brand value of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has risen to $16.78 billion, posting an increase of 12.5 per cent, according to Brand Finance 2022 Global 500 IT Services Ranking report.

With this increase TCS has become the second most valuable brand in the IT services sector globally.
“This growth is attributed to the company’s investments in its brand and its employees, customer equity and strong financial performance,” TCS said in a statement.

“TCS continues to rise up the IT services rankings to become the second most valuable brand in the sector for the first time. This great achievement is the result of strong financial growth, strong and continued investments in a new global brand positioning last year, further investment in sponsorship platforms such as TCS London Marathon, TCS Waterfront Marathon in Canada, but also new sports such as golf and a move into Formula-E with the Jaguar TCS Racing Team,” David Haigh, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Brand Finance, said.

TCS has made consistent, long-term efforts over the past decade to increase its brand value, including investing in major brand sponsorships. In 2021 alone it added the TCS London Marathon and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon to its roster of 11 running sponsorships, announced its partnership for the Jaguar TCS racing team in Formula-E motorsports, and forayed into golf by partnering with the Dutch Open.

The company has also made significant investments in its brand by developing its Building on Belief brand positioning to articulate its mission and relationship with customers as it embarks on its next decade of transformation-led growth. Its employer brand and reputation for employee care also contributed to its enhanced ranking.

TCS’ sustained investments in building deep capabilities on new technologies, research and innovation, intellectual property, and customer-specific contextual knowledge have made it the preferred growth and transformation partner to leading corporations across the world. Strong revenue growth in 2021 saw TCS cross an important milestone, hitting $25 billion in revenue for the first time, with an industry-leading operating profit margin of over 25 per cent, TCS said in the statement.

“2021 was a historic year for Brand TCS as we launched our new brand positioning — Building on belief which captures our aspirations and convictions. With our differentiated ‘customer focused’ strategy, superior execution, investments in building newer capabilities and sustained focus on research and innovation over the last decade, we are indeed well positioned to capitalise on the multi-year technology transformation opportunities that lie ahead,” Rajashree R, CMO, TCS, said. (ANI)

 

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Industry & Commerce

Railways operates record number of addt’l trains to meet summer demand

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Indian Railways gears up for a record-breaking summer with plans to operate 9,111 trips, a substantial increase from last year’s 6,369 trips.

In preparation for the anticipated surge in travel demand during the summer season, Indian Railways has announced plans to operate a record-breaking 9,111 trips, marking a significant increase from the 6,369 trips offered during the previous summer in 2023. These additional trains are strategically planned to connect key destinations across the country, aiming to facilitate seamless travel along major railway routes. All zonal railways spanning India have mobilized to manage the heightened summer travel rush originating from states such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi.

The process of planning and operating additional trains is a dynamic one, with continuous monitoring and assessment of demand from various sources such as media reports, social media platforms, the Railway Integrated helpline number 139, and waitlist passenger data in the Passenger Reservation System (PRS). Based on these inputs, the number of trains and trips are adjusted accordingly throughout the season to meet evolving travel requirements.

Ensuring passenger comfort and safety is paramount during the summer season. Zonal Railways have been instructed to maintain the availability of drinking water at railway stations, while elaborate crowd control measures are implemented at major stations. Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel are stationed at originating stations to enforce queue systems for entry into General Class coaches, with skilled staff monitoring CCTV cameras to provide real-time assistance to passengers. To regulate crowd flow and prevent stampede-like situations, Government Railway Police (GRP) and RPF staff are deployed at foot-over bridges. Passengers can conveniently book tickets for these additional trains through railway ticket counters or the IRCTC website/app.

Indian Railways’ proactive approach to managing the summer travel rush underscores its commitment to passenger convenience and safety. As the nation’s lifeline for transportation, Indian Railways continues to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of travelers across the country.

As the summer season approaches, Indian Railways is ramping up its efforts to accommodate the surge in travel demand, ensuring that passengers can reach their destinations comfortably and efficiently. The unprecedented number of trips, totaling 9,111, reflects the railway’s commitment to meeting the needs of travelers across the country. With trains planned to connect key destinations and major railway routes, passengers from various states are set to benefit from the expanded service. The collaborative approach involving all zonal railways ensures a coordinated effort to address the influx of travelers during the peak summer months.

Moreover, the dynamic nature of planning and operating additional trains allows Indian Railways to respond swiftly to changing demand patterns throughout the season. By leveraging inputs from diverse sources, including media reports, social media platforms, and passenger reservation data, the railway can optimize its services to accommodate passenger needs effectively. In addition to enhancing connectivity, Indian Railways is prioritizing passenger safety and comfort. Measures such as ensuring the availability of drinking water at railway stations, implementing crowd control measures, and deploying security personnel demonstrate the railway’s commitment to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for passengers.

Overall, Indian Railways’ proactive approach to managing the summer travel rush reaffirms its status as the backbone of transportation in India, facilitating essential connections and journeys for millions of passengers nationwide.

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Indian cotton yarn spinners to see margin improvement after low profitability

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After a challenging year marked by low profitability, the cotton yarn spinning industry is poised for improvement this financial year, according to a report by Crisil Ratings. Operating margins for cotton yarn spinners are expected to rebound by 150-200 basis points from the decadal lows experienced last year, reaching around 10.5-11% in the current fiscal. Stable cotton prices, supported by better availability during the 2024 cotton season, alongside improved cotton yarn spreads, are cited as key factors driving this margin recovery. The stability in cotton prices is anticipated to persist, remaining below international levels, further contributing to the improved operating margins.

Revenue projections also indicate a positive trajectory, with an estimated growth of 4-6% expected this financial year. This growth is attributed to moderate expansion in downstream demand, particularly from segments such as readymade garments and home textiles. Domestic sales volume, constituting a significant portion of the industry’s revenue, is forecasted to drive this growth.

Despite a remarkable recovery in exports witnessed last fiscal year, with an 80-85% increase, export growth is expected to taper to 3-4% in the current fiscal due to sluggish global economic conditions. However, with the revival in demand and operational performance, the industry’s capacity utilization levels have already reached 80-85%, with further improvement anticipated this year.

Pranav Shandil, Associate Director at CRISIL Ratings, highlighted that while capacity utilization levels are improving, capital expenditure (capex) for cotton yarn spinners is expected to remain moderate in the near term. This cautious approach to capex reflects a recovery phase from the lows experienced in the previous fiscal year, mitigating the need for significant debt additions on already deleveraged balance sheets.

The positive outlook for the cotton yarn spinning industry suggests a gradual recovery from the challenges of the past year, with improved margins and revenue growth expected to support the sector’s resilience amidst evolving market conditions.

The anticipated improvement in the cotton yarn spinning industry, as outlined by the Crisil Ratings report, heralds a promising turnaround from the difficulties encountered in the preceding year. This shift towards a more favorable landscape is underpinned by several factors, each contributing to the industry’s resilience and potential for growth.

Firstly, the stabilization of cotton prices, coupled with enhanced availability during the current cotton season, is a pivotal driver behind the projected margin recovery. The ability to maintain cotton prices below international levels fosters a conducive environment for spinners, alleviating input cost pressures and bolstering operating margins. This stability not only fortifies the financial health of spinners but also instills confidence in their ability to navigate future market fluctuations effectively.

Moreover, the anticipated rebound in operating margins by 150-200 basis points signifies a significant uptick propelled capacity utilization levels to 80-85%, with further improvement anticipated. This upward trajectory not only augurs well for the industry’s growth prospects but also underscores its ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities amidst evolving market dynamics.

The cautious approach to capital expenditure (capex) reflects a prudent stance adopted by spinners as they navigate the recovery phase. While capacity utilization levels improve, a moderate capex outlook mitigates the need for significant debt additions, thereby preserving the deleveraged balance sheets of industry players. This disciplined approach to capital allocation underscores a commitment to long-term sustainability and resilience in the face of uncertainties.

Overall, the positive outlook for the cotton yarn spinning industry signifies a gradual yet robust recovery from the challenges of the past year. With improved margins, revenue growth, and prudent financial management, the industry is well-positioned to thrive amidst evolving market conditions, reaffirming its status as a cornerstone of the textile ecosystem.

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Due to scale-down operations, Vistara fares rise by up to 25% on major routes

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Just ahead of the peak summer travel season, travel industry insiders reported a surge of approximately 20-25% in fares across key routes such as Delhi-Goa, Delhi-Kochi, Delhi-Jammu, and Delhi-Srinagar, said in a news report.

Vistara’s decision to reduce operations by 25-30 flights daily, approximately 10% of its capacity, has led to a 20-25% increase in airfares on major routes. Ahead of the peak summer travel season, insiders in the travel industry noted a surge of around 20-25% in fares on key routes like Delhi-Goa, Delhi-Kochi, Delhi-Jammu, and Delhi-Srinagar, according to the national daily.

On average, the airline conducts approximately 350 flights daily. However, since April 1, Vistara has been forced to cancel more than 150 flights cumulatively due to pilots unexpectedly reporting sick at the end of March. Given the ongoing demand-supply mismatch leading to higher airfares, Vistara’s move has exacerbated pressure, particularly on routes affected by cancellations.

While Vistara has not specified the duration of the capacity cut, indications suggest it will likely remain in effect until at least the end of April, keeping fares high on affected routes during this period, the report said.

Notably, in the Indian airlines’ summer schedule for 2024, Vistara showed significant growth in approved domestic flights compared to the previous winter schedule and last year’s summer schedule.

This year’s summer schedule, spanning March 31 to October 26, featured 2,324 weekly domestic departures by Vistara, marking a 25.2 per cent increase over last year’s summer schedule and 22.2 per cent over the recently concluded winter schedule.

Overall, the current summer schedule for all Indian carriers combined exhibits a 6 per cent year-on-year increase in domestic departures and a 2.3 per cent sequential increase.

Facing significant disruptions and numerous flight cancellations and delays last week amid several pilots taking sick leaves as part of a protest over a new pay structure, concerns have also arisen about Vistara’s impending merger with Air India.

The carrier has tried to resolve the issues. As part of mitigation efforts, the Tata Group airline last week announced a reduction in operational capacity, primarily in its domestic network, to provide “much-needed resilience and buffer” in its crew rosters.

Vistara also announced a new salary structure for its pilots. Under this arrangement, pilots will receive a fixed salary for 40 hours of flying time instead of the current 70 hours. Additionally, they will receive compensation for extra flying hours and a reward based on their years of service with the airline.

This new salary structure was offered as Vistara, which is a 51:49 joint venture of the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, is in the process of being merged into Air India, which is wholly owned by the Tata Group.

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Pilots flag burnout as vistara tackles flight crisis

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The meeting centered on resolving issues regarding new contracts and scheduling. Pilots were assured of a more thoughtful utilization of their time.

Vistara airline anticipates resuming regular flight operations by the weekend following an agreement with pilots who raised concerns about fatigue. The joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines saw pilots operating close to maximum flight duty limits, discussing health issues with management. Despite these challenges, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) postponed implementing revised flight duty norms, originally set for June 1, citing the necessity for further consultations. 125 Vistara Flights Cancelled More than 125 Vistara flights have been cancelled since April 1. The cancellations were attributed to a surge in pilot sick leave requests.

The most affected routes included Delhi-Indore, Delhi-Srinagar, Mumbai-Kochi, and Bengaluru-Udaipur. Spot airfares on these routes also surged by up to 38 per cent following the flight cancellations earlier this week. Vistara-Air India Merger The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore granted approval for the merger of Vistara with Air India in March 2024. Vistara’s CEO, Vinod Kannan, indicated plans for operational integration with Air India by mid-2025, with expectations of receiving legal clearances by mid-2024.

Vistara’s management, including chief executive Vinod Kannan, held discussions with pilots during a virtual town hall, The meeting focused on addressing concerns related to new contracts and roster. The pilots were promised more considerate utilization of their time. Kannan appealed to pilots for support in ensuring smooth operations. To alleviate the strain on resources during the crisis, Vistara reduced daily flights.

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Over 150,000 jobs created in Apple’s Indian ecosystem since Aug 2021, says report

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In a recent development, it has been reported that Apple has significantly bolstered employment opportunities within India’s tech sector since its participation in the country’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones in August 2021. According to insights from an Economic Times report, Apple’s direct employment within its ecosystem in India has surged to an estimated 150,000 individuals. Remarkably, the majority of these employed individuals are young first-time job seekers aged between 19 and 24 years, as highlighted by estimates from government officials and industry experts.

Moreover, the report indicates that an additional 300,000 individuals have found indirect employment opportunities through companies benefiting from the PLI scheme. Apple’s direct employment within India currently stands at 3,000 individuals, with its iOS application development alone supporting over 1 million jobs, as per officials familiar with the matter. This signifies a substantial contribution to the Indian job market over the past 32 months, with the Apple ecosystem estimated to have created over 400,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly.

Despite facing challenges in key markets such as the United States and China, Apple has strategically intensified its focus on India, which ranks as the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Since commencing iPhone manufacturing operations in India back in 2017, Apple has steadily expanded its local production activities in alignment with the PLI scheme. Collaborating with renowned suppliers such as Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron, Apple has played a pivotal role in enhancing manufacturing capabilities within the country.

According to the report, Apple has cultivated a robust supplier ecosystem across various states in India, generating over 77,000 direct jobs. Leading collaborators include Foxconn, which has created 41,000 jobs, followed by Wistron with 27,300 jobs and Pegatron with 9,200 jobs. Additionally, other significant contributors such as Tata Electronics and Salcomp Technologies have played integral roles in the production of essential iPhone components, resulting in the creation of over 70,000 direct jobs.

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HAL Achieves Double-Digit Revenue Growth with Rs 29,810 Crore in FY2023-24

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HAL’s order book surpasses Rs. 94,000 crores as of March 31, 2024, with significant orders expected for FY 2024-25, including fresh manufacturing contracts exceeding Rs. 19,000 crores and ROH contracts totaling over Rs. 16,000 crores secured in FY 2023-24.

Indian Defense Exports Surpass Rs 21,000 Crore Mark: Defense Minister
NEW DELHI: India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced on social media that the nation’s defense exports have surged past the milestone of Rs 21,000 crore for the first time, reaching Rs 21,083 crore in the fiscal year 2023-24, marking a remarkable growth rate of 32.5% over the previous year. This achievement reflects strategic initiatives by the Defense Ministry, particularly under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, to boost indigenous defense production. About 50 Indian companies, spanning public and private sectors, have contributed to this success story, showcasing innovation and quality standards. Defense exports now span 84 countries, with major items including Personal Protective Items, Offshore Patrol Vehicles, and ALH
Helicopters, highlighting India’s growing reputation as a reliable supplier of defense equipment globally.

In a remarkable achievement, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has reported its highest-ever revenue from operations for the financial year ending March 31, 2024. Preliminary and unaudited figures indicate a staggering revenue of over Rs. 29,810 crores, marking a substantial growth of approximately 11 percent compared to the previous year’s 9 percent. This achievement comes despite significant challenges in the supply chain resulting from geopolitical tensions. As of March 31, 2024, HAL’s order book surpasses Rs. 94,000 crores, with expectations of further major orders in the fiscal year 2024-25, as revealed by C.B. Ananthakrishnan, CMD (Additional Charge) of HAL.

Notably, the company secured fresh manufacturing contracts exceeding Rs. 19,000 crores and Repair and Overhaul (ROH) contracts totaling over Rs. 16,000 crores during the fiscal year 2023-24. One notable highlight of the year was the signing of an export contract with the Guyana Defense Forces for the supply of 2 Hindustan-228 aircraft. Remarkably, HAL managed to deliver both aircraft within a record time of one month from the signing of the contract, showcasing the company’s proactive approach and efficiency. HAL’s performance was further underscored by significant achievements, including the successful maiden flight of the first production series fighter of LCA Mk1A on March 28.

Throughout the fiscal year 2023-24, HAL experienced a series of high-profile visits and achievements, enhancing customer satisfaction, branding, recognition, and stakeholder trust and confidence. In its pursuit of innovation and technological advancement, HAL continued to seek opportunities for collaboration and the development of newer technologies by forming alliances with both global and Indian technology partners. Noteworthy collaborations include an MoU with General Electric, USA for Transfer of Technology (ToT) and Manufacturing of GE-414 aero-engines in India for LCA MK2 Aircraft, aiming to bolster India’s Aero Engine Manufacturing Eco-system.

Additionally, a Joint Venture named SAFHAL Helicopter Engines Pvt. Ltd. was established with Safran Helicopter Engines, France for the indigenous design and development of Engines for IMRH and DBMRH. Moreover, HAL and Airbus inked a contract for the establishment of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities for the A-320 family of aircraft in New Delhi. This collaboration not only contributes to the Make-in-India mission but also enhances export potential. With a robust order book and an accelerated delivery plan, HAL is poised to sustain and improve its growth trajectory, thereby supporting the Indian Defence services in bolstering the country’s defense preparedness.

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