Continental has signed an agreement with Modi Rubber Ltd (MRL) for the acquisition of a 100% share in Modi Tyres Company Limited (MTCL), a subsidiary of MRL
International automotive supplier and the world's fourth largest tyre manufacturer Continental has signed an agreement with Modi Rubber Ltd (MRL), for the acquisition of a 100% shareholding in Modi Tyres Company Limited (MTCL), a subsidiary of MRL, according to a press statement. The completion of the transaction still depends on the fulfilment of several conditions.
After completion of the transaction, MTCL will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Continental Corporation. The company will focus on local production and distribution of bias and radial truck/bus tyres as well as radial passenger car tyres for the Indian market.
This development is part of the company's strategy to invest in growing markets in Asia for its core businesses.
With sales of €26 billion in 2010, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide, as a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for power trains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tyres and technical elastomers.
Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. It currently employs approximately 150,000 people across 46 countries.
On Monday, Modi Rubber Ltd ended 10% up at Rs75.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 295.65 points (1.53%) to 19,091.17.
The much-touted mobile number portability, which allows a subscriber to change the operator while retaining the original number, is facing hurdles from the operators themselves. Numerous subscribers have been unable to shift as their operators have rejected their requests for no satisfactory reason
When Sanjay Harjai decided to port out his existing mobile connection, he never thought he would be held by the operator under any contractual obligation. However, despite, getting a unique porting code (UPC), clearing all dues, his existing operator-Loop Mobile-turned down his porting request citing 'contractual obligations'.
Mr Harjai's example is not an isolated case. Many subscribers' are hearing the same reason from their operators who have turned down their porting requests. A simple search on Google reveals hundreds of complaints against various operators who have refused to clear mobile number portability (MNP) requests. The complainants described various reasons being given by mobile operators to refuse porting requests; 'contractual obligations' is the most common of these.
Achintya Mukherjee, honorary secretary, Bombay Telephone Users' Association (BTUA), said, "In a recent meeting we had with the chairman of the Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), he informed us that out of 66 lakh subscribers who had applied to port out, 69% had been allowed. The remaining 31% have not been allowed to port out of the existing service by the service providers who gave various reasons."
While operators cite contractual obligations, there is a way out. Mr Mukherjee said, "In the contractual obligation there is always an 'exit clause', which they (the operators) can ask the subscriber to comply with and then allow him to port out. In our considered view, an individual consumer cannot be held on to a contract signed by a corporate body, even if that individual was a part of the common group."
Surprisingly, these complaints are against all the leading telecom service providers. And scanning through these grievances, service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communication and Loop Mobile lead the race.
People are complaining that service providers give unsatisfactory or weak reasons when rejecting the request to port out. There is a lack of communication and the issues remain unresolved due to vague reasons. Many subscribers have also complained that wrong UPCs are being provided to them.
RS Mathew, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said, "While there may be some isolated cases where some customers are face problems with some of our member companies, we believe these are more in the nature of technical glitches which will be corrected shortly and they do not impact a significant number of customers."
There is also a blame-game going on between mobile services provider, with each operator accusing the others of not allowing subscribers to port out. One such complaint on a consumer complaints forum reads: "I requested for MNP to Airtel as I want to change my operator from Reliance GSM. I submitted all the required documents with the filled form and handed over to Airtel on 15th February, but it remains pending for over nine days, as against the mandatory seven days limit for completion of porting. I spoke with both Airtel and Reliance GSM, but they are giving vague answers and blaming each other. While Airtel is saying that the process is not completed from Reliance's side (as Airtel has not received the approval from Reliance), Reliance is putting the blame on Airtel that they have not received the documents (of the request) from Airtel."
Anurag Prashar, president, corporate and customer services, Reliance Communications (RCom) said, "We do not believe in rejecting port outs, unless there are valid reasons to reject the porting request like incorrect UPC, non-completion of 90 days clause as laid down by TRAI in the MNP procedure. We believe that rejecting port out requests is a poor, short-sighted approach. Such an action rips the relationship with the customer forever. We believe that RCom customers who have ported out will return to us after 90 days, as no other competitor will be able to match the quality of network, products and services that we offer. MNP is now here to stay with us for the rest of our lives."
"Our port outs are 3-5% lower than the other operators. RCom is fairly better off compared to other operators. If unfair tactics were not used by other operators, our port in would have been even higher. USP errors do occur, from the retailer side, therefore, we have spent time and money to train our retailers. We are among the best in permitting port outs. We believe in value, we have never held numbers," Mr Prashar said.
Moneylife sent a detailed email to all leading telecom service providers for their comments on the issue. While Vodafone said it would not be able to comment immediately, Airtel, Loop Mobile and Idea Cellular have not replied so far.
According to data provided by the service providers to TRAI, by the end of February 2011 about 38.33 lakh subscribers had submitted requests for porting (shifting) their mobile numbers.
Of the total number of mobile phone subscribers in India, only 5% are in the post-paid segment. Interestingly, out of the estimated 70 crore subscribers, 70% are active users. The churning rate among the pre-paid subscribers (around 95% of the total subscriber base) is quite high and the average revenues per user (ARPU) in this segment is also low compared with post-paid users. So, mobile operators may not have much of an objection to a pre-paid subscriber shifting, but would likely make more efforts to prevent a post-paid subscriber from porting out. But this cannot be verified, as neither operators nor the industry body will share segment-wise porting figures.
Moneylife has previously reported how the announcement of MNP had led to a race among telecom companies to improve their services with the fear of loosing customers. ("Does mobile number portability threat makes customer services more responsive?" ) But it seems that customers are being forced to stay with their existing service providers, despite inefficient services.
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The number of life policies in force has increased 12 times and the health insurance has increased by 25 times over the past decade. Better terms and availability of a wide variety of products is the main reason for the growth of the industry
According to a study conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the US-based Boston consulting group, the Indian insurance sector is likely to touch about $350 to $400 billion in premium income by 2020, making India one of the top three life insurance markets.
The report said that India will also be among the top 15 non-life insurance markets by that time. The size of insurance coverage has increased hugely in India. The number of life policies in force has increased 12 times and the health insurance has increased by 25 times over the past decade. The better terms and availability of a wide variety of products is the main reason for the growth of the industry.
The penetration of the insurance premium as percentage of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from 2.3% in 2001 to 5.2% in 2011, the report titled 'India Insurance-Turning 10, Going on 20' pointed out.
Even though the Indian life and general insurance companies are showing signs of growth and are expected to reach great heights by 2020, the growth is also accompanied by losses. The non-life insurance industry has cumulative underwriting losses of about Rs30,000 crore and the private life insurers face cumulative loss of Rs16,000 crore till Mach 2010.