Monday, December 23, 2013

Stock strategy for an election year

Stock strategy for an election year 

While the current positive mood will play a pivotal role and drive the markets in the near term, the rally will not be sustainable without the fundamentals matching the expectations

While the current positive mood will play a pivotal role and drive the markets in the near term, the rally will not be sustainable without the fundamentals matching the expectations 
Goldman Sachs has Modi-fied its view of the Indian economy. India Inc is rubbing its hands in unabashed glee. Two weeks ago, the benchmark stock indices hit their alltime high levels. Brokerage houses are goading clients to invest lest they miss the bus.

All this is based on hopes that the BJP-led NDA will emerge victorious in the 2014 polls and that Narendra Modi, superlatively described by investment banker CLSA as the 'greatest hope' for the Indian stock markets, will become the prime minister. The groundswell of support for the BJP in the recent state elections has reinforced these expectations. 

The Sensex surged 330 points after the state election results, unmasking the political stance of the investor community. The rupee appreciated sharply against the dollar and bond yields climbed down. In its report, Goldman Sachs asserts, "The BJP and Mr Modi, in particular, have been focused on infrastructure and capital spending in the past, and a BJP-led government may be beneficial for the investment demand pick-up." Many others concur with the assessment. 
This is what's driving the markets now.

Stock strategy for an election year

Are these expectations running ahead of the ground reality? Can the election results really make a difference to the fundamentals that drive stock prices? How should investors play the stock markets, both in the run-up to the elections and afterwards? Our cover story this week attempts to answer these questions and tell you how to handle your equity investments in this election year. 
Great expectations

Barely five months from now, India will elect the 16th Lok Sabha. Given the backdrop of the slowdown, these elections assume greater significance. It is not surprising to hear the growing demand for a change in government. Says Chandresh Nigam, managing director and CEO, Axis Mutual Fund: "The stock markets seem to have a singular expectation for now—the formation of a stable government after the elections." Not everyone is convinced that India's economic problems will be cured in a new political environment. There are also voices arguing that investors are reading too much into the political developments. They say that elections do not impact the markets much, and that the outcome should not matter to a long-term equity investor. Neelkanth Mishra, India equity strategist, Credit Suisse, argues that elections are overhyped and while the outcome is likely to drive volatility due to the expectations, it may have a limited near-term impact on the economy and corporate earnings. 

Stock strategy for an election year

"Even though it may seem intuitive that election outcomes drive GDP growth and market performance, our research suggests almost no correlation between the extent of government fragmentation at the Centre and economic growth during its tenure" (see table). Besides, it may be too optimistic to expect that the policy actions taken by the new government will have an immediate impact. "Our analysis of past reforms suggests that it takes 6-8 years, on an average, for any intention of the Central government to translate into jobs or meaningful economic growth," asserts Mishra.

However, markets don't wait for events to happen and discount them early on.

However, sentiments can carry the markets only so far. So, while the current positive mood will play a pivotal role and drive the markets in the near term, the rally will not be sustainable without the fundamentals matching the expectations. Only an improvement in the investment cycle can revive the economy. Sonal Varma and Aman Mohunta of Nomura point out, "The state elections are likely to boost sentiment, but they should not have any immediate impact on the fundamental outlook. India's economic growth is bottoming out, but weak domestic demand amid tighter fiscal and monetary policies is likely to prevent any meaningful take-off."

Stock strategy for an election year
As far as the macro indicators go, the economy is still going through the motions. Even though the September quarter saw a marginal improvement in the GDP growth over the previous quarter, it is still near its 10-year low. The government has managed to control the current account deficit primarily by restricting gold imports. It is expected to remain around 4% of the GDP in 2014, down from a high of 4.9% in October.

The other data paints a worrying picture. Industrial production declined by 1.8% in October, as against the 2% growth registered in September. Inflation continues to rage, with November data showing a disturbing 7.52% spike in the WPI along with a surge in the CPI to 11.24%. The RBI has not hiked rates this time, but if high inflation persists, it will be left with no option.

Stock strategy for an election year

Another argument against fixation on a particular leadership is the historical continuity in reforms. In the past, reforms have come through irrespective of the party in power. For instance, some major economic reforms happened when the much-hated Third Front was in power (see page 16). For all its perceived shortcomings, even the incumbent UPA government has pressed through some desirable reforms, such as the hike in diesel prices, as well as some key reforms in the pension and insurance space. 
Experts agree that a stable government is more important than the party that comes to power. Nandkumar Surti, managing director and CEO, JP Morgan Asset Management, says, "The importance of the election outcome, in the long run, depends solely on the type of government that comes to power. As long as we have a stable and strong government that implements reforms for economic growth, we will witness an upsurge in the economic climate of the country."
How can expectations be derailed? 

Even so, several factors could thwart the expectations of a sweeping change. Despite the anti-incumbency wave, which was visible in the state elections, it may not actually turn out to be a clear victory for the BJP. As Nomura points out, "State election outcomes are not always a reliable indicator of the general election prospects. Even if antiincumbency proves to be a core theme in the 2014 general election, it does not follow, of course, that the BJP would necessarily be the main beneficiary."For instance, the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party has already demonstrated its ability to take away a chunk of the anti-incumbency votes that would have otherwise gone to the BJP. 

Also, even if the BJP secures the highest number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections, it may still have to depend on its coalition partners to form a government. A rainbow government may not be able to implement some of the controversial, but desirable, reform measures; this was the trouble that plagued the incumbent UPA no end. Dipen Shah, senior vice-president, private client group research, Kotak Securities, says, "Only a clear mandate and a stable coalition will be able to take definite steps to provide the required impetus to the economy."

If there is a stable government after elections, it will take away a lot of uncertainty associated with the economy and support any recovery in the future. Of course, this is assuming that the ruling party will earnestly take up the cause at all. It remains to be seen whether the incoming party will have the resolve to take tough decisions, including those on diesel price decontrol, removal of subsidies, etc.

External risks could also play spoilsport. First is the threat of a downgrade of the Indian economy by global ratings agencies. S&P already has a 'negative' long-term outlook on India, the only one of the three rating agencies with this view. It has now warned of the possibility of a further downgrade in case of a hung Parliament or failure of the incoming government to push through key reforms. This would give government bonds 'junk' status, which can have very serious, negative implications for the economy.
Stock strategy for an election year

A rating downgrade would not only cause a flight of foreign capital but also push up the overseas borrowing costs of Indian companies. If the present government decides to do away with its fiscal consolidation efforts in favour of more populist, welfare-oriented measures to win over voters, India may move closer to a ratings downgrade. A Uturn on the diesel price hikes, for instance, may appeal to the middle class, but will be frowned upon by rating agencies.

The second threat is from the winding down of the US Fed's asset purchase programme. We saw how initial news of the tapering impacted the rupee between May and August this year. Now that it is official, the rupee may go through another bout of volatility. Along with these known external risks, the unknown uncertainties surrounding the domestic political developments could derail the expectations. In short, the market's enthusiasm over the BJP coming to power may well be misplaced.

What you should do

Whatever the outcome, it is a given that the stock markets will be heavily influenced by political developments till the elections and afterwards as well (see graphic). We would caution investors to temper their expectations and not be carried away with the upbeat mood. As Nomura cautions, "We think that chasing the rally is not prudent, as it remains to be seen how the incumbent party will react to its poor showing in the state elections." Investors may remain hopeful, but should avoid giving in to the euphoria. If those hopes are not realised, the market reaction may be adverse, opines Pankaj Pandey, head of research,ICICI Securities. What then should be your stock strategy?

Do not wait for election outcome

Some investors may be planning to stay out of the market till the elections are done with and clarity emerges. This may not be the best approach. As mentioned earlier, the markets don't wait for events to happen. They would have already taken a course by the time the results are out. Surti insists, "The risk-reward equation is quite favourable right now and this is an opportune time for investors to start allocating to equities in their portfolios." This is not to suggest that investors should jump headlong into the markets now; they should merely take a measured exposure, instead of avoiding stocks altogether.

As Pandey suggests, "Investors can remain light on stocks for the time being and invest in a staggered manner in the coming months." However, be prepared for higher volatility as the markets are likely to be on tenterhooks till the results are out. Investing in equity mutual funds through the SIP route is the ideal way to deal with this volatility.
Stock strategy for an election year
Gain exposure to cyclicals

A few stocks shot up after the state poll results (see table). It would be too early to view this as a clear trend. Most economic indicators show that there is a long way to go for a turnaround in the investment cycle. However, you should catch hold of certain investment themes that are likely to play out in the event of an economic recovery and possible pick-up in investments. Besides, it is time that investors gradually lowered their exposure to overvalued defensive stocks and started adding cyclicals to their portfolio over the coming months. Many stocks in the capital goods, banking and auto sectors are available at cheap valuations. It is now a good entry point for those looking to invest for the next 3-5 years or more. Nomura asserts, "We expect market gains to be led by high-beta domestic cyclicals (banks and industrials, mainly) and expect defensives (FMCG, pharma, telecom and IT services) to underperform." It believes the banking sector will benefit the most from a new regime. Shah believes, "The new government is likely to focus on boosting investments, which could help in reviving the economy. In that event, select companies in the capital goods and infrastructure segments would do well."
Stock strategy for an election year
Do not let go of defensives

While defensive sectors are expected to underperform, don't exit these sectors completely. Any turnaround in the economy will take some time to fructify. "We do not expect a pick-up in the investment cycle in the next two to three years," insists Mishra. This means shifting completely in favour of economy-sensitives may not be a good strategy at this point. However, Mishra expects income growth at the bottom of the income pyramid to stay robust, which bodes well for the consumption sector. Defensives (consumer staples and pharma) and export themes (IT services) remain a good play given the struggling economy and weak currency. Shah says, "Investors should have a mix of defensives and economy-sensitives in their portfolios." However, investors should avoid defensive stocks quoting at high valuations. 

Stock strategy for an election year
Source : By Sanket Dhanorkar;

The secret of Indigo’s consistent profits

The secret of Indigo’s consistent profits 

How does the airline turn in profits year after year in one of the world’s toughest markets where competitors are struggling?

How does the airline turn in profits year after year in one of the world’s toughest markets where competitors are struggling? 

When IndiGo, India's largest airline by passengers carried, reported a profit of Rs 787 crore in the 2013 financial year, it stunned many in a manner unusual for an earnings broadcast. Aviation has always been a thorny industry, one as is said only half in jest that makes millionaires out of billionaires, but Indian aviation has stood out as notoriously brutal owing to high taxes and costly airport charges.

The year to March 2013 also happened to be the worst in recent years due to a steep increase in fuel prices and weakening rupee. During the year, Kingfisher Airlines shut shop and IndiGo's competitors made losses of more than $1 billion.
But IndiGo emerged unaffected from the wreckage. The latest numbers, revealed by IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh on September 24, burnished the airline's reputation as the lone Indian carrier to prosper in a troubled industry.
Even so, the quantum of profit was astonishing. Indi-Go's profit had increased six-fold from a year ago. The profit surpassed a projection of $100-110 million (around Rs 550-610 crore based on the then exchange rate) by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an aviation consulting and research firm. IndiGo's own estimate done three years ago presaged a modest profit of Rs 57.5 crore in 2012-13.
Soaring Profits
What is the secret of IndiGo's continued profits? The airline has long been a subject of interest for air travellers and financial analysts alike. Travellers attribute IndiGo's success to the efficient service they experience on board and planes that run on time. Analysts have speculated —IndiGo doesn't have to make public its earnings as it is not listed — that it makes most of its money from sale-and-leaseback transactions.
Under this transaction, operators sell newly acquired aircraft to leasing companies and in a parallel transaction lease the same aircraft. The price at which the aircraft is sold to a leasing company is usually higher than the price paid to aircraft makers like Boeing or Airbus.
But InterGlobe Aviation — the company that runs IndiGo — raised eyebrows when it revealed that it did not make profits through the sale-andleaseback route. (It was the first time that IndiGo chose to go public with its annual results.) Ghosh told ET that IndiGo made an operating profit of Rs 993.2 crore, a figure he said will end speculation that a large part of his airline's profits is generated by sale and leaseback of aircraft. On how IndiGo continues to deliver profits, Ghosh said the customers are rewarding his airline for focussing on a product that is basic, simple, even boring.
True, Ghosh and his team run an innovative and nimble airline. A reputation for punctuality has helped IndiGo, a no-frills airline, charge more than full-service competitors like Jet Airways and Air India on many routes. Fares actually rose by more than 20% during the year, belying its claim of offering low fares.
IndiGo has also shown it is ready to go against the grain. It has introduced an airport lounge service, again unusual for a no-frills airline. Hormuz P Mama, an aviation expert, says IndiGo's aircraft utilization is the highest for any Indian airline. "That helps enhance revenues."
This, however, is only half the story. An analysis by ET Magazine of the airline's books reveals that it is indeed sale-and-leaseback transactions that helped IndiGo record higher profits. In some cases, these transactions turned losses into profits as it happened in fiscal 2011. Financial documents that InterGlobe filed with the Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) also show that the seven-year old airline consistently reported profits from its third year of operations. Of course, it's not as simple as that.
Three accounting experts that ET Magazine approached say the transactions done by IndiGo adhere to Accounting Standards, and one of them called these accounting entries as financial engineering to drive more value out of investment.
The combination of operational performance and financial engineering has amplified IndiGo's valuation. From an initial investment of around Rs 100 crore as equity capital by promoters, the airline today can be valued at Rs 12,200 crore ($2 billion) depending on "how investors treat the sale-and- leaseback model", says Kapil Kaul, CEO of CAPA South Asia.
Indeed, analysts linked IndiGo's decision to finally publicize its annual results as a gamble to attract investor interest and list on bourses. In September, Ghosh denied any such plan, saying the results were announced to end the "bizarre interpretations" people draw from the one or two sheets that are leaked every year when IndiGo makes regulatory filings. "So I thought [it is] best to be transparent and take the mystery out of it." 
Source : By John Samuel Raja & Binoy Prabhakar - ET Bureau ;

Kareena Kapoor becomes the face of Pakistan's mobile company

Kareena Kapoor becomes the face of Pakistan's mobile company 

The 33-year-old 'Heroine' star, who is the brand ambassador of the company, has been signed up by QMobile, the largest selling mobile phone brand in Pakistan.

The 33-year-old 'Heroine' star, who is the brand ambassador of the company, has been signed up by QMobile, the largest selling mobile phone brand in Pakistan.

Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor is all set to star in Pakistan's most expensive mobile ad by a leading handset company here. 

The 33-year-old 'Heroine' star, who is the brand ambassador of the company, has been signed up by QMobile, the largest selling mobile phone brand in Pakistan. 

The actress will soon be seen in a commercial that has been shot in Thailand. 

Asked if this was the most expensive ad of Pakistan, QMobile's Chief Marketing Officer Zeeshan Qureshi said, "I cannot say for the whole industry but yes, this is the most expensive form mobile sector." 

On being chosen Kareena as the face of the brand, Qureshi told PTI, "Because she is a star and has a huge fan following here." 

The other Indian film star to have featured in a Pakistani ad is Juhi Chawla. She endorses a cooking oil. 

The Qmobile ad is being directed by Farooq Mannan who is also known as Pakistan's Imtiaz Ali. 
Kareena is endorsing QMobile's flagship 'Noir Quadcore Z4' that has 13MP rear and 5MP front camera, 32 GB internal memory, 2GB RAM, Motion and Air gesture carrying a price tag of PKR 35,000. 

QMobile had earlier signed 'Aashiqui 2' famed actor Aditya Roy Kapoor as its Brand Ambassador. The ad was much appreciated in Pakistan. 
QMobile - the first Pakistani mobile phone company - has introduced phones packed with high-end features at very competitive prices. 

The Karachi-based company was set up by Pervez Akhtar of Allied Electronics Industries - an importer, assembler and distributor of LG products in Pakistan - around five years ago. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Infographic on Internet IPOs

Infographic on Internet IPOs

Just last month, Twitter raised 1.8 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to become the second largest Internet IPO of all time after Facebook, overtaking global giants like Google, Yandex and Zynga.
The online social networking service now trades $41 a share, a huge improvement from its $26 initial price issued by lead underwriter Goldman Sachs. LinkedIn shares are reaching record highs, with share prices now at $224.54, from initial price of $45 a share in 2011. For more Internet IPO share prices, check out below.
Internet IPO infographic
Source :; [image credit :]

Saturday, December 14, 2013

John Abraham to buy 13% stake in HIL’s Delhi Waveriders

John Abraham to buy 13% stake in HIL’s Delhi Waveriders 

Delhi Waveriders had reached the finals of the first edition of the HIL that was held in January this year but lost the final tie to Ranchi Rhinos.

Delhi Waveriders had reached the finals of the first edition of the HIL that was held in January this year but lost the final tie to Ranchi Rhinos. 

Actor-turned-filmmaker John Abraham has agreed to buy a 13% stake in Hockey India League's Delhi Waveriders team from real estate firm Wave group for an undisclosed amount. The purchase adds to a growing list of cine stars who have put their money in the business of sports. Wave was founded by Ponty Chadha, the UP-based liquor and sugar baron. 

The Hockey India League, which initially sold five franchise teams in 2012 for a combined 100 crore, had allowed the teams to sell a part of their equity in the second edition of the league. A new franchise - Kalinga Lancers of Orissa that was added to the league this year - was valued 30% higher than the teams that were sold when HIL was launched, indicating the success of the tournament. 
"John will be the brand ambassador for the team and will promote hockey and Delhi Waveriders. He will be there for all matches of the Delhi team," said a person close to the development, who did not wish to be named. In an emailed response, Ravi Sodhi, director of corporate communications for the Wave group, said: "As a policy, we at Wave do not comment on market speculation." John Abraham could not be contacted immediately. The other teams in the league are Mumbai Magicians, owned by the promoters of Dabur; Punjab Warriors of the Jaypee Group, Patel-Uniexcel group's Ranchi Rhinos; Uttar Pradesh Wizards, owned by Sahara India; and the latest, Kalinga Lancers owned by Industrial Infrastructure Development and Mahanadi Coalfield. 
Delhi Waveriders had qualified for the finals of the HIL's first edition held in January this year, but lost that match to Ranchi Rhinos.

At the player auction for the hockey league last month, the six teams spent $1.4 million for 49 players. Of the 49, 28 were Indians and the rest players from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Ireland, England and South Africa. Last year, the five franchises had spent $3.1 million to buy 120 players. At this year's auction, Sahara UP Warriors bought former India midfielder Ramandeep Singh for $81,000, more than 30 times his base price of $2,600. Kalinga Lancers paid $71,000 for New Zealand midfielder Ryan Archibald, while Mumbai Magicians offered $59,000 for Australian midfielder Trent Mitton. 
Several Bollywood stars have shown interest in sports over the past few years, but it has mostly been related to cricket.

Shah Rukh Khan is the co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, while Preity Zinta co-owns Kings XI Punjab and Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra are part owners of Rajasthan Royals.

Salman Khan's brother Sohail Khan owns the Mumbai Heroes team in the Celebrity Cricket League. In the same league, Riteish Deshmukh owns the team Veer Marathi and south Indian actor Lissy Priyadarshan, who was popular in the 1980s, owns Kerala Strikers. 

Source : By Ravi Teja Sharma, ET Bureau 

The Deltin – India’s largest integrated casino resort to open in Daman

The Deltin – India’s largest integrated casino resort to open in Daman

India’s largest integrated casino resort Delta Corp’s hotel in Daman, spread over 10 acres with 60,000 square feet gaming space, is likely to become operational from early next year, Jaydev Modi, Chairman, Delta Corp Limited, told reporters in Daman on Tuesday.
The 187-room property with first land-based casino in Daman will be near Mumbai and within convenient distance from the key cities in Gujarat like Surat, Valsad and Vapi. The company owns three off shore casino vessels in Goa at present.In its casinos, visitors spend an average of Rs 12,000 – Rs 15,000 per visit.
Mr. Jayadev said that Daman hotel is ready and waiting for the final formalities to be completed after which it can be unveiled.
The Deltin will have three bars and four restaurants serving different cuisines. Daman is one of the places in the country where liquor is the cheapest, even compared to Goa.
To target corporate clients, Delta Corp has also created 29,000 sq ft of indoor meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE) space. The Deltin will also have high-end retail brands in 8,000 sq ft of space.
Modi said that most of the visitors to the casinos are Indians. Those in the 24 – 34 year bracket prefer to play poker, and ‘it is a really popular game among youth’. The 35 – 60 year old like traditional games.
He stated that the group aims to make its presence felt in places like Sikkim and across the border in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
It should be mentioned that the border of Daman touches south Gujarat town of Vapi. Both Daman and Vapi are like twin towns. Many from south Gujarat districts of Surat(2 hour drive or 115 km), Navsari and Valsad travel to Daman in week-end to have a break. Daman is strategically located at 2 hrs, 40 mins drive(180 km) from Mumbai.

India's largest casino to open in 2014

Image: A female croupier deals a hand of cards.

India’s largest integrated casino resort in Daman, spread over 10 acres with 60,000 square feet gaming space, is likely to become operational from early next year, Jaydev Modi, Chairman, Delta Corp Limited said. The company owns The Deltin and other major casinos in India.
Being in Daman, Delta Corp believes that the casino is strategically located from Mumbai as well as from Gujarat. “The Deltin is just a three hours drive from Mumbai and is also in close proximity from major cities in Gujarat,” said Modi.
The Deltin is the first land-based casino in the country. Until now, there were off shore casinos in places such as Goa. Delta Corp owns  three such off shore casino vessels in the union territory.
The Daman hotel is ready and waiting for the final formalities to be completed after which it can be unveiled. Modi said that Indians love to gamble like the Chinese and there's a huge market for casinos in India.
According to him, many state governments are considering amending the laws and give green light to such casinos, as it has potential to be one of the biggest contributors to the states' kitties.
The Deltin will have 60,000 sq ft of gaming space and will also house a 187 all-suite hotel.
The Deltin also boasts of three bars and four restaurants serving different cuisines. Daman is one of the places in the coutry where liquor is the cheapest - it’s less expensive even compared to Goa.
To target corporate clients, Delta Corp has also created 29,000 sq ft of indoor meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE) space.
Just like any other international casino, The Deltin will also has high-end retail brands situated in 8,000 sq ft of space.
Delta Corp has seen its casino business in Goa grow manifolds. In its other casinos, visitors spend an average of Rs 12,000 - Rs 15,000 per visit.
Modi said that most of the visitors to the casinos are Indians. Those in the 24 - 34 year bracket prefer to play porker, and 'it is a really popular game among youth'.
The 35 – 60 year old like traditional games.
If you look at the numbers Delta Corp shared, more and more Indians are opening up the idea of gambling. Delta has seen 20 per cent compounded annual growth in the number of guests visiting its casinos in Goa.
"If you look at the Asian gambling hubs such as Macau, Indians contribute about 4 per cent of the total industry turnover,” Modi said.
Modi stated that the group aims to make its presence felt in places like Sikkim and across the border in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
“Indian visitors make up the largest percentage of total visitors to Sri Lanka accounting for 28 per cent of total tourists,” he added.
Delta Corp has already bought the land for a casino in the neighbouring country.
Source : http://deshgujarat.comhttp://www.rediff.comPhotographs: Courtesy-Delta Corp, Victor Fraile/Reuters

Monday, December 9, 2013

Delhi Assembly Elections 2013 : AAP close to BJP haunts Congress

Delhi Assembly Elections 2013: AAP close to BJP haunts Congress

Arvind Kejriwal, convenor of Aam Aadmi Party, waves to supporters from his party HQ after winning against long-serving chief minister Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi. (AFP)

Assembly Elections 2013
Assembly elections 2013: Results 

Madhya Pradesh1655804NA03
* Click the State to read updates
Delhi Assembly polls 2013

Though the Bharatiya Janata Party dethroned the Congress on Sunday and emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi Assembly election, winning 31 of the 70 seats, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stole the show in its debut by scooping up 28 seats.
Witnessing a triangular electoral contest for the first time, the electorate in Delhi sprung a surprise by throwing a situation where no party is in a clear position to form the government on its own. Several hours after the picture became clear, none of the three parties talked about government formation. The AAP asserted that it would play a role of constructive opposition, while former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said the party would form the government only if it got support in the natural process otherwise “we would like to sit in the Opposition.”
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal proved to be a giant killer by defeating three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi constituency by a margin of more than 25,000 votes. The former Delhi BJP president, Vijender Gupta, came a poor third.
The highlight of the AAP’s sterling performance is that several of its political nonentities proved giant killers by defeating Congress stalwarts such as four-time MLA Chaudhary Prem Singh, PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, Education Minister Kiran Walia, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami and Health Minister A.K. Walia.
The AAP won not only in the constituencies dominated by the lower middle and working classes in East and West Delhi, but it also emerged victorious in posh South Delhi Assembly segments.
“We accept our defeat and will analyse what went wrong. We thank people of Delhi for supporting us for 15 years,” Ms. Dikshit said after submitting her resignation. Mr. Kejriwal, meanwhile, described the outcome as a “historic mandate,” saying people had voted for “honest” brand of politics.
Wining 52 seats, the Congress wrested power in Delhi from the BJP in 1998. BJP’s Madan Lal Khurana became the first Chief Minister in 1993 after 70-seat Assembly was created. He was replaced by Saheb Singh Verma and just before the 1998 election, the party brought in Sushma Swaraj as the third Chief Minister in the midst of soaring onion prices and worsening law and order situation.
Sheila Dikshit notched the hat-trick in 2003 and 2008 47 seats in 2003 and 43 in 2008.
This time around, the Congress has won only eight seats, clearly losing support from across the classes. Beginning with allegations of corruption in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Congress government also took the beating on account of rising prices, high power and water rates. Though it was credited with development of infrastructure, bringing in Delhi Metro, setting up educational institutions, the party failed to decode a strong undercurrent of AAP and aspirations of the young voters — a majority being first-timers — who turned out in large numbers to cast their votes.

AAP entry makes Delhi Assembly election race tougher for Sheila, unprepared BJP

The electoral battle is all set to be like a 20-20 match in 20 Assembly seats in the upcoming Delhi elections . These seats, spread across the city, witnessed a close contest between the candidates of the two main parties, the Congress and the BJP, in 2008.

In many of these 20 constituencies, candidates won on thin margins of a few hundred votes. There was one seat - Rajouri Garden in west Delhi - where the slender margin of 46 votes made history as far as the Delhi Assembly elections are concerned. The political fight is going to be tougher this year for these 20 seats as the new entrant, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has already registered its active presence.

A close analysis of the 2008 Assembly election results reveals that both the main parties had received a good share of votes and there was a very thin margin between the vote percentage of these two parties. While the Congress received 40.31 per cent of the total votes, the runner-up, the BJP, was not far behind, getting 36.84 per cent of the total votes.

Key constituencies

Of the total 70 seats there were 20 seats where the margin between the winner and runner-up was even lesser. These 20 seats are Rajouri Garden, Ghonda, Trilokpuri, Patparganj, Narela, Vikaspuri, Mustafabad, Mehrauli, Shahdara, Tri Nagar, Bijwasan, Timarpur, Kasturba Nagar, Model Town, Gokalpur, Wazirpur, Krishna Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Malviya Nagar and Okhla.

The Congress had won 13 of these 20 seats and the BJP, six. One seat had gone to a BSP candidate. Leaders from both parties agreed that winning these 20 seats would not be a cakewalk. "We can't ignore the Aam Aadmi Party. Political equations have changed due to the entry of the AAP. We also believe that he (Arvind Kejriwal) will get some share of votes in certain seats. But it will affect the prospects of the BJP more," a Congress legislator said.

While Congress leaders are saying the party will emerge victorious on the basis of development work in the last 15 years, the main issues for the Assembly election are inflation, rise in power tariff, irregular water supply and corruption. A BJP leader said the general issues prevailing across the country, like inflation and corruption, would play a crucial role. "I think that it is not local issues but general issues, like corruption and price rise, that will affect the Congress' vote share," said the leader.

This Delhi Assembly election is the beginning of AAP leader Kejriwal's political journey. He is aware that it will be embarrassing if his party does not get its share of votes. To get public attention, and the votes that have so far been shared between the Congress and BJP, he has adopted different strategies. He is known for his crusade against corruption and in this election his main message to the people is a corruption-free government. 

The AAP is focusing on unauthorised colonies, resettlement colonies and jhuggi areas where the people really appear to support him and his party. The residents of these areas face basic problems, like inadequate supply of water, lack of sewerage, price rise, lack of hospitals and basic education, and Kejriwal and his team will try to draw the maximum political advantage from these issues.

Star power to help involve youngsters

Don't be surprised if you see Katrina Kaif or Kareena Kapoor urging you to cast your precious votes in Delhi this Assembly elections. The Delhi Election Commission is banking on celebrity power to attract youngsters to the election booths.

Officials said Katrina and Kareena are the top choices for the advertising campaign for this Assembly elections. "There are many actresses, and media agencies are working on the project. Very soon, we will finalise one celebrity. Some actress from TV serials could also be roped in. The main purpose is to attract young voters. The youth identify themselves easily with celebrities," a senior Delhi EC official said.

The share of youth has seen a substantial rise in the revised electoral roll this year. Earlier, there were a total of 98,000 youngsters on the voters' list and now after a revision exercise by the election commission, the number has crossed three lakh.

"We have already added the youth population, particularly the college-going students, to the list. Now, we want them to come out and vote and it will certainly make some difference this year," the official added. The Delhi Election Commission office has also decided to rope in major Ramlila associations in the city to encourage people to vote.

Kumar Vikram/ New Delhi

BJP still racking its brains over who will take on Sheila

If naming a chief ministerial candidate is a telling urgency for the Delhi BJP, finding a candidate to fight against Sheila Dikshit in her bastion - New Delhi Assembly constituency - is even a bigger poll problem for the saffron party.

Knowing well what happened to senior BJP leader Vijay Jolly, who had lost the election against Dikshit in 2008, not many party leaders have evinced interest in taking on the chief minister. Even Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel, former mayor Arti Mehra and Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, V.K. Malhotra, have not hinted of any such bravado. Since the 2008 loss, Jolly has been trying to gain a foothold back in the city politics.

The party circle is abuzz, though, with some names. "Actress Kirron Kher's name comes at the top on this list. She even has the endorsement of Goel, who had invited her for the recent bijli (power) rally at Ramila Maidan and she obliged... Kher can also rally support of the celebrities for the party's election campaign," a BJP leader told Mail Today.

Kher is not new to the BJP and politics. Earlier, she shouldered responsibility of the party's women affairs and during Nitin Gadkari's tenure as party president, she was co-convener of its human rights cell. "She is active and a known public face who can match the Dikshit power," said another party leader.

Another name doing the rounds for BJP's candidate against Dikshit is that of Kiran Chopra, a social activist, who is a hit among the Capital's senior citizens as she runs a NGO for them. She is close to senior BJP leaders at the national level.

There may be a surprise face to woo the young voters in Vani Tripathi, a name not many endorse in party circles. "But she has been discussed definitely and one is not sure if she would contest," a leader said. It is also learnt that Shahnawaz Hussain is promoting political activist Rajiv Rana, who is also the president of New Delhi District.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Five stories that have shaped Vineet Nayar's life

Five stories that have shaped Vineet Nayar's life

Vineet Nayar Founder, Sampark Foundation and Vice-Chairman, HCL Technologies

"Someone out there is waiting to throw you on a train you believe to have missed, if only you decide to take that chance"

"Someone out there is waiting to throw you on a train you believe to have missed, if only you decide to take that chance" 

1. Take those chances

It was 3 am when the train stopped at Ratlam. A boy, just 8, stepped out of the train attracted by the fascinating scene outside. The train starts moving. Someone shouts. The boy is jolted out of his dreams and runs to catch the train. He catches the side bars but fails to pull himself up. He keeps running and tries again and again but fails each time. Fear and doubt creep into his mind. The train gathers speed. A critical choice faces him — give up or take a chance and keep running. He runs again, faster, taking one more chance to get on the train; feeling hopeless but not giving up, yet. Seeing the boy losing the battle, a vegetable vendor runs towards him and throws him into the last compartment of the train, to be reunited later with his family, sleeping unaware. I have always wondered why did I keep running? Why did I take that chance despite fear and doubt overpowering my mind? Did my taking the unlikely chance of running create the magic of someone helping me to get on the train?

That lesson has stayed with me all my life - someone out there is waiting to throw you on a train you believe to have missed, if only you decide to take that chance.

2. Think different not incremental

I took a summer job on a poultry farm as a young kid. Our job was to gather eggs from the henhouses on one side of the farm and carry it to the storage sheds on the other side. We followed orders for a day or two. Then, we started experimenting if we could deliver all the eggs in a shorter period of time.

After trying every method we could think of, it became clear that none of them really made much difference. We grew tired of experimenting and went back to doing the job as it always had been done.

I realized that tinkering with the process of egg-carrying or just trying harder would never change the fundamental nature of the job. You have to do a different job rather than keep doing it differently. I have tried hard to live that thought at every decision point in my life and have thus ended up doing something radically different every seven years.

3. Say it in a way that people never forget

The year was 1983 and we had just settled in for our first day of class in XLRI Jamshedpur when 30 adivasis stormed into the classroom, stabbed our professor and attacked some students before vanishing into thin air. Professor, Father McGrath, had blood all over him.

Even as we were trying to make sense of what had happened, Father McGrath rose to his feet and said it was a staged show. "Now write what you have just seen," he said. As it turned out, each student's version of the events was different. The exercise was meant to demonstrate why we should not believe everything we see in times of stress, however my take away from it was quite different - I learnt that day that if you want to say something important, say it in a way that people will never forget, or don't say it at all!

Cut to April 2005. I was facing a room full of HCLT employees waiting to hear what their new leader had to say about the future of our company. Suddenly on my signal a Bollywood track started playing and I started dancing. This simple act demolished the halo that surrounds a leader and five minutes later we got down to some serious and honest introspection . I had announced the arrival of the "Employees First" Culture-the Mc Grath way; making a fool of myself through dancing was a small price to pay for it.

4. Rejection is the best start point in life

After only three weeks of my induction training , I was approached by a senior executive who told me that I probably did not have a future with HCL. I was shocked. "Unless you do something different, you won't get beyond next week."

I spent that evening pacing my room, frustrated and angry. I felt that the executive, organization and the world was wrong and unfair. Then at one point, I looked at myself in the mirror. I did not see the world-beating , MBA, the future top executive I imagined myself to be. Instead, I saw a young trainee who was not seeing reality very clearly and needed to look within to find answers.

That was my first experience with looking in the mirror, recognizing the truth and deciding that a change was needed. This experience came in handy many times in my life and has helped me acknowledge my faults, stay honest to myself and build teams that are unafraid of the truth.

5. Press the accelerator not the brakes
Not long ago, on a flight I got talking to a copassenger . He was a retired race-car driver. He told me an interesting incident of how he had once been in the middle of a race when his brakes failed. "What did you do?" I asked intrigued.

"What do you think my options were?" I thought of a number of possibilities, but I really had no idea. "Most drivers do one of two things," he said. "They either try to get the brakes to work or they slow down. The first option distracts the driver and puts him at risk of a crash. The second option makes him a hazard to others and also puts him at risk of a crash."

"So what should you do?" I asked. "Speed up," he said. "Accelerate past the others and then take whatever action is necessary." His story impacted me profoundly and has become my mantra to get out of tough situations in business: speed up to get past the competitors and find open room to maneuver. Get the market share and then maneuver to squeeze in the profits.

Source : Vineet Nayar Founder, Sampark Foundation and Vice-Chairman, HCL Technologies 
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