Garnering funds is not difficult for Indian companies. Retaining ownership of companies is. Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds are only too happy to come on board, but they like to secure their exit route as they invest. As a result, they are increasingly getting involved in the operations of their portfolio companies, especially e-commerce companies and startups. Some are even taking control of the management of investee companies in order to prepare them for exits as in today’s environment investing is easy but cashing out profitably is not.
Infosys Ltd, India’s second largest software services exporter, on Friday reported a higher-than-expected 28.6% increase in fiscal second quarter (Q2) net profit as it added almost 50 new clients and benefited from a foreign exchange gain. The company announced a one-for-one stock dividend, propelling its shares to a record high.
Seldom has a global technology company launched a global product or programme in Asia. On 15 September, at an event that rivalled its annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Google Inc. did precisely that when it launched the first family of three Android One phones in India as part of a larger initiative to bring “high-quality smartphones at affordable prices, to as many people as possible”, with support for local languages.
But because key retailers are selling only online, the great unwired will be hard to reach at first.
On Tuesday last week, Google launched the low-price Android One smartphone, attempting to target the ever-shrinking price gap between smartphones and phones without internet features. The Android One smartphone retails between Rs 6,000 and Rs 7,000.