Companies & Sectors
Microsoft appoints Satya Nadella as its CEO

Satya Nadella is taking over at a time when Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, is expanding its focus to devices and cloud infrastructure


Software giant Microsoft has appointed Hyberabad-born Satya Nadella as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Nadella would replace Steve Ballmer.


In a statement, Microsoft said, “As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to this new role”.


Nadella is taking over at a time when the world’s largest software company is expanding its focus to devices and cloud infrastructure.


“The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but, to seize it, we must move faster, push harder and continue to transform,” Nadella said in the statement.


“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” Microsoft founder and former Chairman Bill Gates said.


Gates said that Nadella is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.


“His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” Gates said.


Formerly executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft, Nadella was leading the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world.


Gates will assume a new role as Technology Advisor and devote more time to the direction of the company’s products and technology.


In August last year, while launching its search for a new CEO, its then chief executive Steve Ballmer had said he will step down in the next 12 months.


SKS Microfinance plans to raise upto Rs400 crore

The funding would help the MFI to meet growing demand from customers for range of products and services including insurance, mobile loans, loans for solar lights in addition to micro credit, SKS Microfinance says

SKS Microfinance, the largest microfinance non-banking finance company (NBFC) in India, said it would raise up to Rs400 crore in FY15 with a maximum dilution of 20% as it sets out to create ‘SKS Microfinance 3.0’ for taping opportunities presented by the transformation of Indian villages.

“Company plans new initiatives for meeting increasing requirements of customers who are benefiting from a buoyant rural economy; set to realign organisation structure to equip itself to fully capitalise on the opportunity,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

SKS Microfinance plans to address the growing demand among its customers for an entire range of products and services including insurance, mobile loans, loans for solar lights in addition to micro credit, which will remain the company’s core business.

It said, the proposed capital raise of up to Rs400 crore will fund such growth opportunities besides reinforcing the capital position of SKS Microfinance.

SKS Microfinance also issued a profit guidance of Rs125 crore for FY-2015. The profit guidance comes after its recent announcement that there could be a positive surprise in its guided net profit of Rs55 crore to Rs60 crore for FY 2014.

“SKS Microfinance believes that initiatives like cross sale which has been in pilot phase for a couple of years, will create greater value for all its stakeholders as it plans to creatively disturb the asset-revenue-earning mix. The non-micro finance institution (MFI) business will be just 10% of the Company’s assets, but it could contribute 15% of the revenue and 25% of the profit in the medium term,” the company said in the filing. 

During December 2013 quarter, SKS micro finance posted 31% increase in its net profit due to robust loan disbursement growth. Its net profit stood at Rs21.4 crore from Rs16.3 crore in a same period a year ago.

At 2.20pm on Wednesday, SKS Microfinance was trading 1.4% up at Rs181, while the 30-share Sensex was marginally up at 20,242.


Can India invite Qatar for setting up more LNG terminals?

While negotiating with suppliers from Qatar, it would be in the long term interest for India to invite them to be a joint venture partner in one or more of the LNG terminals in the country

A couple of weeks ago, Moneylife carried a story on the developments of LNG industry in the country. Veerappa Moily, our petroleum minister, had stated that as many as 12 LNG terminals were being planned in the country and he was, in fact, inviting Nizar Al-Adsani, head of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, whose delegation had come to attend the Petrotech 2014 conference in Noida to participate.


Earlier, it was reported that both Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and ONGC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), where KPC had shown keen interest in buying 26% stake in the petrochemical plant in Dahej in Gujarat as well as another project in Mangalore. Details are awaited.


Petronet's LNG terminal, which was completed a few months ago, was hoping that the pipelines would be ready and that they would have no problem with distribution; regrettably, this is not so and the issues raised by Tamil Nadu government were being sorted out. Work on the pipeline, by GAIL, is not yet complete, as a result.


At the moment, due to the above factors, according to the information available, LNG Kochi terminal, with a 5-million tonnes a year capacity, is totally underutilised, and hardly used, and it is about 95% empty! This is totally uneconomical for any terminal to work, and Petronet is reportedly looking for international operators who can store their LNG and reload for other destinations! This is a temporary situation until GAIL, which is building the pipe line, complete the project and declare it ready for use. Petronet CEO Balyan has stated that this temporary delay is likely to be overcome in the next six months or so. The FACT's (Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd) decision to import Ammonia directly has also contributed to this problem.


In the meantime, Petronet CEO and MD AK Balyan has been negotiating with Qatar to get additional supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at $13 mBtu, which has been the rate at which it has been obtaining its supplies on a long term basis. Qatar, being the world's largest supplier, has been demanding a higher rate of $17-18 (spot rates at the moment), against the annual need of 2.5 million tonnes required by Petronet. Negotiations are continuing and it is hoped, due to our long standing relations with them, a mutually acceptable and affordable price will be settled in the next few weeks.


While negotiating with Qatari suppliers, it would be in the long term interest, to invite them to be a joint venture partner in one or more of the LNG terminals in the country, as Moily has indicated that our plans are to have as many as 12 in the next few years.


Already, Kuwait has shown interest and is dealing with ONGC, and there is no reason why Petronet LNG cannot moot such a similar idea to Qatari suppliers. They can have the benefit of setting up a terminal outside their country, effectively ship their gas and still have the mutual benefit with India?


Petronet LNG, we are sure, have similar plans in mind. They would do well to extend this idea and proposal to other prospective partners in Saudi Arabia and other countries also.


(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)



Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

Petronet can contract NOW, yes now, with Reliance for $10mmBtu, as w.e.f April 1'14, they have been given more than 50% increase, from $4.2mmBtu to $8.8mmBtu & they will increase production.

Primarily they will have to meet the UMPP & fertilizer co's priority.

Instead of me discussing Reliance may have contacted Petronet or Petronet to Reliance.

There are fissures in this whole gamut of natural gas production, NELP, FY12-13 LNG imports were 13.43 mn tonnes.

There are ramifications of land acquisitions for pipeline OR intentional below contract production to get int'l prices which can be 300% more.

A proper CAG & DG -Hydrocarbons coordination is required to unveil the Oil Mins transparency & price conclusions in NELP [erstwhile & to be now implemented.]


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