Keki Mistry joins BSE Board

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) said Keki Mistry, vice chairman and chief executive of Housing Development Finance Corp Ltd (HDFC) has joined its board as shareholder director.

A Bachelor of Commerce in advanced accountancy and auditing and a Chartered Accountant, Mr Mistry has been actively involved in setting up of several HDFC group companies including HDFC Bank, the Exchange said in a releaseThis is


‘Our focus will be to build value beyond remittances’

The global remittance market has been growing exponentially over the past few years and India is at the epicentre of this growth. Players in this business are looking to come out with a slew of new initiatives surrounding remittances. TimesofMoney, an India-based digital payment services company, is also at the forefront of this action and is planning to come out with a bouquet of services to help Indian migrants connect better with their families here. The president of TimesofMoney, Avijit Nanda, speaks with Moneylife's Sanket Dhanorkar in the second of a two-part series

Sanket Dhanorkar (ML): Which is the largest market for your company and where will your focus lie going forward?

Avijit Nanda (AN):North America is the biggest market for us. It's reflective of the fact that most of the Indian NRIs have migrated here. That's where most of the consumption of knowledge workers has happened. The NRI footprint is the strongest there. We also have UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. While we have coverage of about 24 countries today, these are our top markets. We will still continue to focus on these countries while improving product offerings and customer experience based on customer needs. Our product development team constantly researches customer needs and behaviour so that we are able to quickly translate that into a product offering through partnerships and alliances. So while we also focus on newer geographies to get more customers, our focus will also be towards trying to achieve depth in each of these countries. While the overall market is about $58 billion, the online space is just about 20% of that. Out of this $58 billion, at least 70% comes from North America in terms of volume. In terms of value, about 60% comes from the Gulf.

ML: What new products are you planning to come up with?

AN:Since we are an Internet-based service provider it is easy for us to reach out to clients. We are not dependent too much on physical infrastructure or capabilities to reach out. We do pilots on the basis of which we tweak our product offering. One such product which is in the pipeline is the bill-pay product. The idea behind it is that remitters need to send money for several reasons. There is this bouquet of non-financial services that we are looking at. We have an offering called Window2India which provides an NRI an opportunity to connect to India, much beyond remittances - a connect to his parents in the form of gifting or healthcare planning for parents, etc. Health is a very emotional play with immigrants there because they are not around to look after the wellbeing of their parents. We also offer services around investment advisory for asset classes like property. Our property services team researches real-estate solutions available in residential and commercial verticals. We give them end-to-end solutions of walking them through various options, providing background research on builders. Beyond that there are smaller services where NRIs can send money for charity or religious causes, donate money to their alma-mater or even make utility bill payments on behalf of parents. That is a big connect we are trying to establish. This is part of the BillPay2India service which we will launch shortly.

Our focus will be to build value beyond remittances. This is why we continue to focus on non-remittance solutions to surround the customer with. Our services should become a one-stop-shop for all his into-India requirements.

ML: Do you have any plans to launch mobile platform based services?

Yes, we are working on the capabilities for having a mobile based platform and the modalities for the same. For example, would a customer have the appetite to transfer $3,000? We have done some research. We have the advantage of being able to offer similar solutions to the domestic market in India. We will cross that and make it a cross-border solution. At this point of time, regulations do not permit us to do so. But we have the capability. We are working with the RBI. We should be able to offer the service as and when the regulator allows us.

ML: Will this product be something along the lines of M-PESA, the mobile payment service launched in Kenya? (M-PESA is a service allowing users to transfer money using a mobile phone. Kenya is the first country in the world to use this service, which is offered in partnership between Safaricom and Vodafone).

AN:M-PESA is a financial inclusion story. Kenya is a hugely under-banked economy. People are also at risk while carrying cash - it may get stolen or robbed. That's where the concept of converging value into a mobile phone came into being. This is a domestic solution. It is not yet a cross-border payment solution. We are trying to launch a similar service in a while in India as well, as a domestic commerce and money transfer solution, as and when regulators allow us.

Other than the regulatory hurdle, there are some other challenges as well. With the exception of M-PESA there have been many pilots, but no full-fledged customer rollouts. The challenge here is to get the customer excited to adopt. The preferred mode is cash. We have moved people from cash to credit cards to bank account payments to the Internet. Now, everything is converging on the mobile phone. It is critical that the ecosystem has to be built. Such a solution involves multiple parties, each having a significant role to play. So just having a customer is not sufficient. Once you have money in your mobile phone, you must have usability - you should be able to shop, eat out or order and pay out of the mobile phone. If it is just about giving your customer an ATM or debit card, then he might as well do it from his bank account. Then there is nothing fancy about getting a mobile phone involved. That is not a mobile-wallet solution. That is, using the mobile to do a transaction like one does with Internet banking. So all these factors - regulatory, customer acceptability, technology and ecosystem - have to converge. Adoption is not going to come overnight. It is a long-term story.

The customer will have to be shown the value in using such a service. The regulator is also aware and concerned about how such services can be provided to the customers while safeguarding their interest. Mobile service providers are also looking at creating an ecosystem.

ML: What other challenges do you face in this business?

While on the one hand, the overall remittance market is growing, the online category is only 20%. The biggest challenge is getting consumers to adopt such services. People have been habituated to do wire transfers through banks. While it is a challenge, it is an opportunity also. If you are able to establish a proof of concept with these users and get them on board, they will never go back once they use the system. They see the value demonstrated. So the challenge is how to break the mindset and get the customers to adopt such superior services. The other challenge is outside the India story. As a brand, how do we connect with clients outside India like the Mexicans or the Filipinos, for instance. We need to try and engage with these clients. 

Read First Part of the interview:
For illegal migrants, the hawala channel is the only alternative’part one


E&M industry poised to grow at 12.4% over next five years

Mumbai: India's entertainment and media (E&M) industry is poised to log a double digit growth of 12.4% cumulatively over the next five years touching Rs1040 billion by 2014, reports PTI quoting a latest report by research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

"Many of the factors which caused the slowdown in 2009 are not likely to persist. With confidence returning alongside a likely increase in consumer and advertisement spends, the E&M industry is looking to get back to its high growth trajectory," Timmy S Kandhari, leader-entertainment & media practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, said in the report titled 'Indian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2010'.

Unveiling the outlook for the industry during 2010-14, he said the television industry is projected to continue to be the major contributor to the overall industry revenue pie and is estimated to grow at a stable rate of 12.9% cumulatively over the next five years, from an estimated Rs265.5 billion in 2009 to Rs488 billion by 2014.

The film sector is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% over the next five years, reaching Rs170.5 billion in 2014 from the present Rs95 billion in 2009.

The E&M industry registered one of its slowest growth rates in 2009, growing at a rate of 2.2%. This was largely due to lower than expected uptake in the advertisement spend which registered no growth and hence affected sectors like print, Out of Home (OOH), radio as well as Internet advertising. Negative growth in filmed entertainment also affected growth in 2009, the report said.

The print media industry is projected to grow by 7.4% over the period 2010-14, reaching to Rs230.5 billion in 2014 from the present Rs161.5 billion in 2009.

The radio advertising industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% over 2010-14, reaching Rs16 billion in 2014 from the present Rs9 billion in 2009.

Due to the tremendous uptake of the mobile Value Added Services (VAS) market, the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 28.6% over 2010-14, reaching Rs26.5 billion in 2014.

The key growth driver for the music industry over the next five years will be digital music, and its share is expected to move from 29% in 2009 to 75% in 2014.

Given the trends of increased internet usage, internet advertising is projected to grow by 20.1% over the next five years and reach an estimated Rs15 billion in 2014 from the present Rs6 billion in 2009.

The estimated size of OOH advertising spend is Rs12.5 billion in 2009, which is projected to reach Rs21 billion in 2014. Its share in the total ad pie is expected to go down marginally to 5.6% in 2014 from a current level of 5.8% in 2009.

Animation, gaming and VFX industry will continue to maintain its growth pace and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.2% to Rs73.4 billion in 2014 from its current size of Rs23.8 billion.

The advertisement spend, which registered no growth in 2009, is showing a rebound with increasing business confidence returning to the market as well as with innovative structuring. The spend will grow at 11.4% CAGR for the period 2010-2014.


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