Companies & Sectors
Passenger car sales up 9.48 percent in September: SIAM
The festive season coupled with lower fuel prices gave a boost last month to domestic passenger car sales which grew by 9.48 percent, industry data showed on Friday.
 
According to data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger car sales during September stood at 169,590 units against 154,898 units in the like month of the previous year. 
 
The data revealed that the total passenger vehicle sales, which includes cars, utility vehicles and vans, went up by 3.84 percent to 232,167 units from 223,584 units sold in September, 2014.
 
However, sales of utility vehicles fell by 8.56 percent to 48,464 units. The off-take of vans, too, receded by 10.1 percent to 14,113 units. 
 
The industry data for last month showed a 12.07 percent growth in the overall commercial vehicles segment sales, which is a key indicator of economic activity. 
 
The commercial vehicles segment off-take for September stood at 62,845 units from 56,078 units sold during the corresponding month of 2014.
 
On the other hand, sales of three-wheelers receded by 13.04 percent in the month under review at 49,524 units from 56,078 units sold in September of 2014.
 
A downward trend was also seen in the sales of two-wheelers last month. Two-wheelers sales slipped by 1.06 percent to 1,537,137 units from 1,553,608 units sold in the like month of 2014.
 
Bucking the trend for the two-wheeler industry, scooter off-take in September was up 6.54 percent at 462,341 units. However, motorcycle sales plunged by 21.20 percent at 54,559 units.
 
Exports for the month under review were higher by 3.54 percent at 343,125 units sold abroad from 331,397 units shipped out during September, 2014.
 
Notwithstanding sales abroad, total automobile sales in September were marginally lower by 0.45 percent at 1,881,673 units from 1,890,218 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Future Group ties up with Patanjali
 Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has entered into a marketing partnership with Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurveda to sell its products and expects to do business worth Rs.1,000 crore in the next 20 months.
 
"We will sell Patanjali products under this partnership. We went to see their food park. These products have something that can bring revolution in India," said Biyani, founder and CEO of Future Group.
 
"We are jointly going to set up an office for collaboration in Rishikesh. Within the next 20 months, we will jointly do a business of Rs.1,000 crore."
 
Patanjali products will be available in all Future Group retail outlets in 240 cities.
 
"We wanted to partner a 'Swadeshi' retail chain. Indigenous products should get more respect. We provide world-class quality products with low price. Hence, customers are benefited from it. We will partner Future Group in manufacturing also wherever possible," Baba Ramdev told reporters.
 
Future Group and Patanjali Ayurveda have foodparks in Bangalore and Haridwar, respectively.
 
Ramdev said Patanjali's business will cross Rs.5,000 crore by the end of 2015-16 fiscal.
 
He said: "We will launch Patanjali noodles on October 15. It will be all over India. Maggi used to sell for Rs.25, we will offer it for Rs.15. Its taste-maker will be health-maker. It will have no added lead or MSG."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Online aggregators creating fresh buzz in hotel bookings
The $800-million online hotel booking space in India is getting filled up by a host of aggregators, catching the attention of not just the netizens who are on the move but also venture funds as more people board to the travel bandwagon seeking comforts within a budget.
 
In the process, these aggregators are also demanding certain standards from the hotels in their drop-down -- complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi, spotless linen, air-conditioning, television with cable, hygenic rooms and bathrooms, safety and security.
 
According to a report by ratings agency ICRA, it is estimated that 8.4 million Indians are likely to book hotels online by 2016 up from 3.5 million in 2014. It also said the online hotel industry was expected to grow to $1.8 billion by 2016 from the current $0.8 billion.
 
A host of players have also cropped up seeing the potential growth -- OYO Rooms, Vista Rooms, Zo Rooms, Treebo, Zip Rooms, RedDoorz and WudStay, to name a just few among a host of others that are mushrooming by the day.
 
According to a report by the global investment banking firm Jefferies, online budget hotel aggregators like SoftBank-funded OYO Rooms have also emerged as "a major disruptive force in the online hotel booking space in India."
 
"Based on room-nights booked, OYO Rooms is already much ahead of online travel agencies (OTAs)like Makemytrip, though average transaction size is lower. With 20 percent of sales closing through OTAs, these could drive significant traffic to OTAs in the near-term but may capture the lower end of the market in the long run," it said.
 
The OTAs are agents selling travel products and services like airlines, car rental, cruise lines, hotels, railways and vacation packages on behalf of suppliers.
 
The report also said, OYO Rooms leads the race having already raised over $126 million in funding from SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and Light speed Ventures amongst others and reported to have been valued at $400 million in the latest round.
 
"We have around 3,000 hotels and 30,000 rooms across 124 cities in India in our portfolio. We do half a million bookings per month," Kavikrut, chief growth officer at OYO Rooms told IANS.
 
Asked what is the edge of booking through OYO Rooms over other direct online hotel bookings, Kavikrut said: "It is the predictability that we offer. Customers get what is promised to them."
 
Ritesh Agarwal founded Oravel Stays in February 2012. In May 2013, Oravel transformed from a discovery marketplace to a managed marketplace for standardized hotels by launching OYO Rooms.
 
The ICRA report said, travellers are increasingly using the internet to research and book flight tickets and hotel accommodation, swapping traditional travel agents for OTAs.
 
"The deepening penetration of internet usage and smart phones in India has lead to increased booking of hotels through online portals and applications in recent times," it added.
 
"We wanted to redefine the way hotel industry is perceived to be. We wanted to make things more predictable for the customers," Ankita Sheth, co-founder (with two other) and head of partnerships, Vista Rooms told IANS.
 
Vista Rooms, is a new startup marking its entry as an online branded accommodation aggregator, targeting tier II and III cities of India. It has a network of around 480 properties in 55 plus cities.
 
The online startup has already raised an undisclosed amount of funding to expand its network of branded stays, bolster its technology and hire new talent.
 
The average prices of the hotels vary between Rs.1,500-2,000 per night, Sheth said, adding: "Hotels are our partners, we will help improvise better model."
 
According to Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL), a professional services and investment management company specializing in real estate, since aggregators do not make capital investments in land & building, but only provide a booking engine for by renting unused accommodation their model is comparatively easier to sustain.
 
"Aggregators are merely technology platforms that provide bookings to economy & budget accommodations while charging their booking fees," Mandeep Lamba, managing director - hotels, JLL India told IANS.
 
"The differentiation is purely to attract different segments of travellers who are seeking alternate to hotel accommodation at a comparatively lower price point." 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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