The flagship smartphone Xperia S has a 4.3-inch scratch resistant TFT touchscreen, along with 12.1 mega pixel camera and 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual core processor
Sony Mobile Communications launched Xperia S handset in the Indian market at a price of Rs32,549, along with three other devices.
These are the first phones to be made available in the country since Sony Mobile Communications became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation earlier this year post its split with Ericsson.
The flagship smartphone Xperia S has a 4.3-inch scratch resistant TFT touchscreen, along with 12.1 mega pixel camera and 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual core processor.
The pricing of the other devices -- Xperia P, Xperia U and Xperia Sola -- was however not disclosed.
Sony Xperia P has 8 MP camera, 2. 4-inch reality display, Mobile BRAVIA engine, 1 GHz Qualcomm dual core processor Android 2.3 Gingerbread (upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS) and 16GB memory.
Sony Xperia U and Sony Xperia Sola have 5MP camera, 8GB memory and Android 2.3 Gingerbread (upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS).
“Of the 150 million phones sold last year in India, about 10 million were smartphones. The category is growing at 70 per cent and we estimate that by 2015, one in two phones sold would be a smartphone. This is the potential that we see in the smartphone category in India,” Sony Mobile Communications India managing director P Balaji told reporters.
As part of the Sony group, the company is in a stronger position to bring connected entertainment experiences to consumers in India, he added.
“Bringing together the best of Sony's electronics, networked services and content, the Xperia smartphone is a cornerstone to enjoy entertainment in this connected world,” he said.
To introduce Xperia smartphones, Sony has launched one of its largest brand and marketing campaigns in India called ‘Made of Imagination’.
Balaji, however, declined to comment on the investments in the campaign or the number of devices to be launched this year.
Decline in mutual funds SIP registrations over the last 7 months is a wake up call for regulators and market intermediaries
Data from Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), a registrar of mutual funds, on trends covering the last 11 months time period between April 2011 and February 2012, showed a decline in interest in systematic investment plan (SIP). Ever since the regulator started experimenting since August 2009, as to how mutual funds should be sold, inflows into funds have been erratic, and on the whole, negative. But all this while the fund industry and distributors were all pointing to SIPs as the saviour. The hope was a that a new breed of investors are adopting SIPs which would in time grow to a sizeable corpus. However, this hope too is dashed. The number of new SIP accounts peaked at around 200,000 in August 2011 month when HDFC Bank ran a massive contest to enrol SIP and this has since steadily declined by more than 60% to 75,000 new accounts. The average ticket size stood at Rs2,613 which is up 1% from last year. This decline in SIP interest should be a wake up call for the regulator – assuming of course it wants to wake up.
Fund companies had spent large amount of money on advertising, thinking that SIP would be the key to getting more investors on board. Yet, despite this, the location-wise SIP registrations haven’t seen much of a difference, indicating that investors are uniformly not interested in signing up for new SIP schemes. While bullet investments (i.e. lumpsum) have been very erratic, showing no definite trend, mutual funds tout regular SIP as a safe mode of investing. In the absence of persuasive selling by both fund companies and distributors, customers are uninterested.
This decline in SIP is not a surprise to regular Moneylife readers. Our Position Paper from Moneylife Foundation on issues faced by retail investors pointed out the reasons why, the investor population has declined from 20 million in the 1990s to just over 8 million by 2009 (according to the 2009 Swaroop Committee Report)
Setting up another garment factory was met with hurdles, but the author used his earlier contacts to get the work done. The 19th part of a series describing the unknown triumphs and travails of doing international business in the mid-1980s
After my discussion with Rupak I came down eight floors and outside the lift, I was surprised to see Shohaib, a friend of mine whom I had met many years earlier as the man who set up the Chicken Tikka Inn in Dubai. Later, I was introduced by Ajay as his friend after which we had met many times but had no business relations, as such.
After exchanging a few words, he asked: “Ram, when is your agreement with Rupak going to expire?” When I asked, why, he said that a cousin of his was keen to set up a unit and that he had assured him that his friend Ram would certainly do the needful if and when he is free! In the market everyone knew that I had moved from being a building materials man to start garment factories.
I mentioned to him that I would be able to take a new assignment shortly and would be looking forward to a long lasting relationship. Enthused by this response, he spoke to someone and gave him my phone number and looked forward to our meetings in the next few days.
By the time I arrived at my residence my wife had already received couple of calls from Zubair and I called him back immediately. He wanted me to present him a proposal and to meet him the next day, if it was possible. I prepared the basic information and met him and he wanted to discuss the issue with his advisor and let me know the next day. When we met the he confirmed that he liked to go ahead with the proposal, but he wanted to be sure that licenses were being issued by the Free Zone and there would no problem for issuing visas for female workers.
We proceeded to the Free Zone and met an officer who processes the industrial applications; the minute he saw us, he said, “Ramdas, I told this gentleman that we have stopped the license for garment factories. So, what are you doing with him? It is then I realised that Zubair had done his home work and wanted to be doubly sure before he made any commitments.
I cannot accept ‘no’ for an answer easily from someone who was not the final authority. So, as I had no alternative, I moved on to meet Sultan Sulayem and requested his secretary, who knew me well, to get me a few minutes with the boss himself. She was kind, and Sultan Sulayem met us within the next 15 minutes.
I presented my case, and he was fully aware of my work in the first plant with Rupak and how I assisted in bringing in the nail plant also into the Free Zone. With all these factors in mind, he agreed to give us a license, as a special case, and made it the very last one to be issued for the garment factory, after we assured him that it we intended to actually build a plant, rather than occupying a shed. He called the license section’s Mohammed to ensure that our license was issued without delay.
Thus, Fine Textiles was born. An immediate arrangement was made for us to be taken to see some sites and in the next hour or so we finalized our plant location. Zubair had brought his cheque book and we completed all the formalities before returning back to the city.
The next few days were hectic; I prepared the basic drawings for the plant and luckily Zubair being a qualified engineer, made the corrections and changes. Once this was done, I took him to chief engineer Brown’s office, for his advice and approval. He was not only straight forward and friendly person, but also always appreciated good work done in the Free Zone. Once he okayed the plant outlay we had prepared, we then passed it on to an architect to get the blue prints ready for further processing. Brown had a soft corner for me, as Sultan Sulayem himself had.
Based on his own local experience, Zubair also called for bids to build the plant while I was renewing my contacts with labour suppliers in Sri Lanka and overseas agents and buyers whom I had met in course of my work.
Nothing happened for more than a week after submission of our drawings to the engineering department and on checking the progress I came to know that these were lying with William McFadden. I went to his office and was greeted by his Sri Lankan secretary, whom I had met several times earlier. When I called on him, he told me that our papers were in the queue (which I saw lay down on a huge table) and it would take some time, and he could not say when or give an estimate or projected time for the study. Since I did not know about other proposals, which surely were not for garment factories, I went back to chief engineer Brown and sought his assistance, explaining the situation with Mr McFadden. A phone call later, these were personally brought by Mr McFadden, who was advised: “Bill, these drawings were cleared by me, even before the blue print was made; you can go ahead and approve them in my presence”. With Mr Brown’s call, we received the approved drawings on the spot!
The plant contract was given and on an auspicious day, I did the bhoomi pooja and our work began in right earnest. I oversaw our plant being built brick by brick and an 18,000 sq ft plant was completed on schedule. Meanwhile, Zubair visited the site regularly, while I was present every day; our machinery requirement had been finalized and order placed. Earlier, during one of our regular meetings, Zubair asked for a D-day to commence our operation; I think it was just when we had finalized the building contract. I closed my eyes in prayer and sought divine help: and in the mental screen of mine, appeared the date: 17th July, which was what I conveyed to him.
Meantime, I had cultivated my friendship with several factory owners and it was Mohemed who agreed to join me in Colombo to assist me in the recruitment process in Haji Cader’s office. I finalized my trip to Colombo the following week, in the middle of April, when both Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays will be celebrated and the selected staff would require at least one month's notice for their employers, and I would need at least 6-8 weeks for obtaining the visa.
This would be the first of the many visits to Sri Lanka in the garment business.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was 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. From being the advisor to exporters, he took over the mantle of a trader, travelled far and wide, and switched over to setting up garment factories and then worked in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected])
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