The global solar industry is reelling under a massive oversupply and falling prices. Solar companies are going bankrupt almost every day and the biggest companies are firing workers and shutting down factories. Indian solar panel companies are working at low utilizations and are on the verge of bankruptcy as well. Moser Baer is already doing debt restructuring and has shut operations on its thin film plant as well.

However India’s biggest capital good equipment company BHEL owned by the government is plannning a $500 million investment to build a solar cell factory in at Sakoli which is part Union heavy industries minister Praful Patel’s constituency Bhandara.Talk about how dumb you can get. BHEL hardly has too much expertise in the solar panel industry and with solar cells in massive oversupply,it is almost sure to lose money. However that is how things work with Indian government companies where investment is made at the whims of ministers rather than rationality and business sense.BHEL is currently trading at one of the lowest valuations in its 10 year history and its not a big wonder why. The company has benefited in the past as did other machinery and engineering companies from an infrastructure invesment boom. However those glory days are over for the company as it faces competition from the Chinese companies and decreasing orders flow.

China captures almost Half of the Power Equipment Market in India raising Concerns

India’s private players like Tata Power,Reliance Power and others are in the process  of setting up massive mega coal plants using supercritical boiler technology.While L&T and BHEL,the two Largest Capital Equipment Companies have won a lot of orders,the sheer scale of Demand requires Huge Imports as well.Low cost Chinese equipment providers like Shanghai Electric and Dongfang Electric have won almost half of the power equipment orders raising concerns amongst the Indian administrators.The relations between the 2 countries has always been testy with a major war being fought in 1962.Recently India banned Chinese telecom equipment providers Huawei and ZTE over Security Concerns.

 

Praful Patel the minister has already spent a few years in the airline ministry presiding over the conversion of the state owned carrier Air India ino a basket case. Now its the turn of BHEL to be turned into a basket case as well.

Air India which is India’s government owned  airline is a cesspool of corruption,sloth,mismanagement and inefficiency.Most of the the aircraft  are worse than the second class cabins in Indian trains with cobwebs hanging and dirt piled around.The air hostesses are rude and hostile and over aged as well.The airline has one of the highest manpower to aircraft ratio in the world with more than 200 per aircraft.The airline routinely loses thousands of crores each year which is wasted on the employees who seem more like arrogant owners than workers.Government officials and politicians treat the airline as their personal property making passengers wait in case they are late.Note its not uncommon to find that the seats are torn up and dirty.If you are unlucky you might even find rats running on your feet as the dirtiness invites rodents to make Air India their home.While all airlines have faced tough years,even the worse private airline does not have rats running through them.

Updated: 7/06/2016

Japanese Solar Panel companies

Sharp, Kyocera, Panasonic-Sanyo, Mitsubishi were the top solar panel producers in the world. Solar Energy in Japan has a long future dating back to 1994 when the government introduced capital subsidies to boost solar energy installations on rooftops. Till 2004, Japan was the largest solar market in the world after which it was overtaken by Germany. After 2004, the growth in the solar industry tapered off as the government reduced the subsidies for solar panels to almost zero. However the low cost Chinese solar module producers have pushed back most of the Japanese companies. The Japanese government grants generous solar subsidies and feed in tariff to boost the renewable energy production in the country which remains far off targets. This has led Japan to become the top non-European market after USA and the growth seems set to continue in the future as well. Japan has relatively low installations costs and is much nearer to grid parity. Also lack of  wind energy makes solar energy more attractive as a renewable energy choice. While large scale solar installations in Japan are almost absent, there remain large numbers of rooftop solar installations.

Top Japanese  Solar Panel Companies

1) Sharp

Latest Update on Sharp

Sharp which used to the biggest solar panel maker in terms of revenues till a couple of years ago, has been fighting bankruptcy fears. It has posted humongous losses and is being kept afloat by Japanese banks. The company is in advanced stages of being bought over by Taiwanese company Foxconn. As it is, Sharp has sold off its non-Japanese solar operations a couple of years ago and now is losing revenues in the Japanese market.

History:

The Japanese Zaibatsu known more for its Electronics Products is also the world’s No 1 Company in terms Solar Module Revenues. Sharp has been the solar world leader since the past 4-5 years despite stiff competition recently  from upcoming Chinese Crystalline Solar (c-Si) players and Thin Film Leader First Solar  Sharp’s c-Si division is not cost competitive with the Chinese and Taiwanese companies as its cost structure is almost 30-40% higher than the cheapest Chinese producers. Though the quality of Sharp’s crystalline silicon modules is considered much better,the cost difference has become too big in a rapidly commoditizing industry. While companies like Masdar are abandoning their Thin Film plans, Sharp has started shipping a-Si modules from its 1 GW capacity  plant in Sakai.   With its established distribution strengths and technological abilities in LCD Technology, Sharp is one company that can survive the c-Si onslaught.

Sharp Solar Panels Manufacturing

Sharp was one of the biggest seller of solar panels globally and has a massive distribution network.  Though the quality of the solar panels made by Sharp is much better than normal crystalline solar modules,note the premium that you have to pay is much more. The lower cost of  solar panels made by Asian companies has made Sharp look to move its solar panel factories away from its home base. In volumes, Cd-Te leader First Solar has already overtaken Sharp while Suntech, Yingli, Trina are also fast catching up as the Chinese displace the Japanese in global solar rankings. Sharp’s c-Si business is not cost competitive with the company making very low margins despite much higher ASPs. It has been increasing outsourcing from Taiwanese solar cell companies in order to reduce costs. However that remains a losing strategy for Sharp despite its premium quality reputation. The company has decided to increase the focus on amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Technology building a massive  1 GW plant in Sakai.

Sharp has along history of solar panel manufacturing and have  solar pv modules in atellites, telecommunications, water pumps, remote houses and safety signals, to grid-tied homes, businesses and large solar farms.

 

Sharp PV Modules Review

i) Sharp Residential Solar Panels

Sharp sells a 235-250 W solar panels.This black frame module  comes with a standard 25-year limited warranty on power output and 10-year limited warranty on materials and workmanship. They come with tempered glass, EVA lamination and weatherproof backskin which enhances cell performance and life.

These are 60 solar celled polycrystallinemulti-purpose  modules. The ND-Q235F4 and ND-F2Q235 are more sleeker and aesthetically pleasing. they install faster than other conventional modules. They are manufactured in USA and Japan.

Module Watt Efficiency (%)
ND-250QCS 250W 15.3
ND-240QCJ 240W 14.7
ND-Q235F4 235W 14.4
ND-F2Q235 235W 14.4

ii) Sharp Commercial Solar Panels

Sharp sells a wide variety of solar panels for the commercial market, ranging from 240-300 Watts. These are polycrystalline 60 celled or 72 celled modules. Note these solar panels are manufactured in varied locations and qualify for domestic content requirements which exist in Ontario and USA as well. They come with 25-year limited warranty on power output and and 10-year limited warranty on materials or workmanship. The commercial panels use advanced surface texturing process to increase light absorption. They also come with tempered glass, EVA lamination and weatherproof backskin which enhances cell performance and life.

Module Watt Efficiency (%) No.of cells
ND-F4Q300 300 15.3 72
ND-250QCS 250 15.3 60
ND-240QCJ 240 14.7 60

iii) Sharp Solar Panels for Utility Market

Sharp mainly sells its amorphous silicon thin film solar panels for this segment of the market. The wattage of Sharp thin film panels for utility market begins from 115W. Thin Film Solar Panels are more suited for large ground mounted solar farms, which have no space constraints and where cost is more important since it saves on installation and labor costs. Thin Film Solar gives a better performance under high temperature and low light than normal crystalline solar panels. Sharp is selling a wide variety of a-Si Solar Panels with 115-135 Watt Power Ratings.

2)  Kyocera

Latest Update on Kyocera

Kycoera is reporting lower revenues,as a result of lack of presence in other competitive markets and as the Japanese solar boom starts to taper off with a reduction in growth.

History:

Kyocera is one of the oldest solar panel manufacturers and is second only to Sharp amongst the Japanese companies. It  also manufactures industrial ceramics, telecommunications equipment, office document imaging equipment, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools, and components for medical and dental implant systems. Kyocera Solar Corp. in Japan was founded in 1996, and Kyocera Solar, Inc. in the U.S. in 1999. The company has production bases in Japan, Mexico, Europe and China and is planning a factory in California as well. The company plans to reach 1000 MW of production by 2013. The company manufactures solar panels and is actively engaged in commercial and utility solar parks.

Kyocera Solar Modules Review

Kyocera sells both grid tie and off-grid series of solar panels for residential market.

I) Grid Tie Solar Panels

i) KD300-80 series – 80 cells, 600 V modules, 325-330 W

ii) KU300-80 series – 80 cells, 1000 V modules, 325-330 W

iii) KD200-60 series – 60 cells, 600 V modules, 260-265 W

iv) KU200-60 series – 60 cells, 1000 V modules, 260-265 W

v) KD100-36 series – 36 cells, 140 W modules

II) Off-grid Solar Panels

1) KD145-36 SX series – 36 cells, 140 W modules

ii) KD100-36 series – 36 cells, 140 W modules

3) Panasonic (earlier Sanyo)

Latest Update on Panasonic:

Panasonic is thinking about shutting off it 345 MW solar cell plant in Nishikinohama as the cost of the production is too high. Note Panasonic produces high efficiency solar cells using the n-type monocrystalline technology similar to Sunpower. However, the cost of production is too high to allow Panasonic to sell except in a few niche market. The company which is banking on selling integrated solar energy + energy efficiency homes, is finding it tough to run Japanese factories. It has recently set up a large Malaysian factory which should keep running.

History:

Sanyo Solar was one the biggest Japanese solar companies along with Sharp, Kyocera and Mitsubishi. After Panasonic bought Sanyo, the emphasis on the renewable energy green division has been increased. Sanyo had already been metamorphizing into a green company from an Electronics company before Panasonic bought it for a very cheap price. Panasonic completely changed its strategy to become a major green player targeting a major percentage of sales in the future to come  from green products. Panasonic announced 22.5% efficiency level for its solar module based on mass-production technology.

Panasonic PV Modules Review

Panasonic sells PV solar modules under the HIT brand which is derived from the technology it uses. The HIT (Hetero junction with Intrinsic Thin Layer) solar panels are one of the high efficiency solar panels available. HIT is designed specifically to maximize the energy generation in minimum space and with the utility electrical grids, roof top solution providing high efficiency and customized energy solutions for all applications. Panasonic sells most of its solar panels in the 240-294 Watts range, with more than 19% efficiency.

Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer Technology

Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer HIT Technology uses a thin layer of amorphous silicon along with a layer of crystalline silicon which increases the amount of sunlight that is cap. You can read about different types of solar panels here.

1. HIT modules are suitable for high temperature zones
2. HIT modules generate more power even at low light condition
3. HIT modules require around 22 to 25% less space compared to other Poly modules
4. HIT modules weigh 25% less compared to other Poly modules
5. Energy generation per Sq Mtr is way higher as compared to other Poly modules.

Types of Panasonic HIT Solar Panels

i) Slim: N240/ N245 – Measuring 160 cm in length and 80 cm in width, used for small and compact rooftop installations. They were introduced in 2014. 

ii) Compact: N285 – A perfect combination of small size with high power. This panel was introduced in 2015 with 285 W and just 150 cm in length.

iii) Powerful: N330/ N325 – As the name suggests, these panels have the highest output and are the newest invention in the HIT series. Occupying just 1.35 meter square with power output of 330 W.

4) Mitsubishi

Latest update on Mitsubishi:

Mitsubishi too is losing its decade long leading position in the solar market. It had better technology and the advantage of a large domestic market in Japan. However, it was adversely affected with the boom in the European market and the entry of the Chinese solar panel companies.

History:

The Japanese conglomerate with diversified global interests has a big presence in solar and wind energy as well. The company is known for its high quality panels and has a decent presence in USA and Japan. Mitsubishi is a part of the consortium which is looking to set up huge solar power plants in Thailand as well. But now with Japan reaffirming it commitment to renewable energy and on track to kill nuclear energy, Mitsubishi is turning its focus towards the domestic market. Mitsubishi is planning to set up a number of solar power plants in the country to take advantage of the Japan solar Feed in Tariffs.

Mitsubishi Solar Panels Types

All Mitsubishi Electric modules have a 25-year power output warranty and are manufactured in an ISO 14001 certified factory, sold as diamond Premium modules.

I) Residential Solar Panels are sold under MLE Series. These range in between 265 – 275 W with 10-year materials and workmanship warranty and efficiency levels of 16.3% and 16.6%.

II) Commercial Solar Panels are sold under MJE Series. These range in between 265 – 270 W with 10-year materials and workmanship warranty and efficiency levels of 16.1% and 16.3%.

Where are  Mitsubishi Solar Panels made

Mitsubishi does all the manufacturing and research of its solar panels and solar cells at its factories and centers in Japan. So most of the solar products from Mitsubishi are made in Japan itself and are of high quality.

5) Solar Frontier

Latest Update on Solar Solar Frontier:

Solar Frontier has been a successful player in the thin film market. It recently reached a record efficiency level of 22.3% for its CIGS cells and has an ambitious target to reach 30% efficiency levels. The company is a close competitor to teh US based thin film leader First Solar. Solar Frontier is also raming up its production at its 150 MW Tohoku facility in Japan and expects cost of production to come to as low as 30 cents/ watt.

History:

The world’s largest CIS solar energy solutions provider, with over 35 years of experience and over 3 GW of global shipments. The Japanese company which was earlier known as Showa Shell Solar. The company joined the rank of major solar companies once it started the new 900MW “Kunitomi” production plant in Miyazaki. Not only has the company started big in production, it also rapidly signed deals around the globe in India, Middle East and America.

Solar Frontier Solar Modules Types

Modules    W      Efficiency (%)
SF145-S    145      11.8
SF150-S    150      12.2
SF155-S    155       12.6
SF160-S    160      13
SF165-S    165       13.4
SF170-S    170      13.8

Where are Solar Frontier Solar Panels Made

All the Three Solar Frontier Solar Panel Production Plants are located in Miyazaki in Japan which used to house the former plasma plant of Hitachi. The Company is spending around $1 Billion in Capex for building the 1 GW capacity implying roughly $1 capex/watt which is not exactly cheap though not very expensive either.

Solar Frontier Panels Technology

Solar Frontier makes solar panels using the CIS (copper indium selenium) technology, which is different from the normal silicon crystalline solar panels made by a majority of the solar companies. This thin film technology is also different from that used by the largest thin film solar player First Solar. This thin film technology has the highest solar cell efficiency. However its production is not easy as four different materials are used. CIGs Technology is also used in making flexible thin solar panels which can be used for camping, BIPV and other applications where weight is an issue. The CIS or CIGs technology is used by a number of other companies like  Saint Gobain- Hyundai, TSMC, Miasole, OerlikonSolar, the now bankrupt Solyndra and Nanosolar.

Some features of CIS solar panels:

  • High electricity yield in real-world conditions
  • Greater environmental friendliness
  • Refined aesthetics

Japanese Solar Panel Cost

Solar panel manufacturers have increased tremendously in the last decade. You can look at various other biggest and best solar panel producers in the world here, to get an idea about the options you have in the market. Sanyo Solar Panels should be bought if you are looking for a premium product which occupies less space and gives high efficiency. The price that you have to pay for a Sanyo Solar Panel is almost double that of normal solar panel from mainstream silicon panel producers. There are cheap solar panels from China, if space is not a constraint and you are not looking for the absolute best quality in the market. Due to these reasons, the Chinese solar panel manufacturers are giving tough competition to the Japanese solar panel manufacturers. There is no doubt that teh Japanese solar panels are superior in quality when compared to most of teh Chinese panels. However some of the Tier 1 Chinese solar panels like Trina Solar, Jinko Solar, JA Solar and Canadian Solar are of good quality and better priced when compared to these Japanese counterparts. While most of the Indian panels can be bought at 40 cents/ watt, the Chinese panels are available for ~55 cents/ watt. However Japanese solar panels are priced at a premium and are not geographically well placed when compared to the Chinese. Hence these Japanese solar panels are losing on competition today. Though the market today is more aware and is looking at installing better quality modules, given the long 25 years of service. The Japanese need to increase their geographical diversification to benefit from this trend.

 

 

The mobile phone market has changed radically in the last few years with the advent of Apple’s iPhone. The introduction of the Apple smartphone was a major game change in the Technology Industry with the whole existing ecosystem undergoing a fundamental realignment. The once dominant Nokia with a 40% global marketshare of the mobile phone market has been continuously declining as can be seen in its share price. Despite numerous restructurings, management and strategy changes, nothing seems to work against the onslaught of Apple and Android. HTC, the first Taiwanese company to manage to break through the OEM mold of its fellow companies, is facing the music as well. HTC which had managed to quickly gain marketshare in the smartphone market is following behind Samsung and Apple. The company has been reducing its revenue and profit targets quite frequently as it fails to compete against the emerging duopoly of Samsung and Apple. Note others like Research in Motion are now facing survival questions as well while the iconic Motorola has been gobbled up by Google. HTC is not only facing problems in products but is also facing a patent war unleashed by Apple and Nokia. Note one of the reasons for Google to buy Motorola was to add to its arsenal of mobile patents as Apple and Nokia started court cases against Android vendors in most developed countries. Though Samsung is being able to put up a good fight, HTC is not managing as well because of its limited size.

The Indian telecom industry is the world’s fastest growing industry. Around 2010, local Indian phone companies got a lot of funding and support. With Mobile Handsets fast becoming a commodity with more mobile apps and services, Global Handset Hardware Companies were threatened, whether these small handset makers would penetrate global markets as well. Micromax was the most successful amongst the host of small. With low cost $100 Android phones it could lead major prices wars in the West as well.

About the Companies

Apple the biggest company in the world by value which has  changed the entire technology sector more than any company in history though launch of iconic  products like iPhone, iPod and iPad does not have a strong presence in India. This is due to Apple’s premium pricing which means that the vast number of Indians simply can’t afford Apple products. However in recent times Apple has been reducing its prices of older products. Most of Apple’s smartphones in India are brought from outside rather than being sold here.

Samsung mobile phones come in a range of dual sim, Qwerty, CDMA, smart, touch, multimedia phones & tablets. From the coolest conventional and brightest smart phones, to the most stylish touchscreens, bars, sliders and feature-rich devices with full QWERTY keyboards, Samsung has everything to offer.

HTC is the Taiwanese smartphone company which has seen the fastest growth after Apple has small presence in India like Apple. Its distribution structure is not that strong and it does not have the product lineup to cater to the low and middle segments which are dominated by Samsung and Nokia.

Nokia has played a pioneer role in the growth of cellular technology in India. Today, India holds the distinction of being the second largest market for the company globally. Nokia has established itself as the market and brand leader in the mobile devices market in India. The company has built a diverse product portfolio to meet the needs of different consumer segments – products that cater to first time subscribers to advanced business devices and high performance multimedia devices for imaging, music and gaming. Nokia has one of the largest distribution network with presence across 1,30,000 outlets. With the global launch of Ovi, the company’s Internet services brand name, Nokia is renewing itself to be at the forefront of the convergence of internet and mobility.

Nokia in the Recent Times

Nokia faced low cost Chinese competition. The earlier thought was that, Nokia was on the backfoot in China and India from ultra low cost white box Chinese vendors. However it turns out true for even other geographies like Africa and Latin America. Chipsets made by Chinese vendors are being used by local assemblers like Micromax, Spice in India to beat Nokia at its own game. Nokia failed miserably to face the Chinese onslaught as its global marketshare has shrunk to 28% which is the lowest in the last 12 years. Nokia’s share remain cheap historically and on an absolute basis trading more like a value play rather than a technology company. But given its vulnerable strategic position and continuous marketshare losses, investors hoping for a higher share price may remain disappointed.

Nokia’s trajectory went downhill from the peak. Though it still commands an impressive 36% marketshare of the world mobile market, that has been steadily coming down. More importantly its share in the lucrative high end smartphone market is falling faster. It is concentrating on the other segments of the mobile market to defend its units where it is also getting hammered by competition from Samsung, LG in the middle segment and local players at the lowest segment. Nokia forms a classic case study of a Technology Company which failed due to failure of its R&D though Marketing also played a role. It tried shuffling the management and creating a new “smartphone” division to bring new ideas into its staid mobile division. Despite plenty of resources, Nokia has been way behind the product curve in the smartphone market.

Nokia has been losing marketshare,brand appeal and pricing power as Google and Apple capture the hearts and minds of the smartphone consumer. Apple has radically changed the mobile industry with the introduction of the iconic iPhone. It is extending its lead by constantly introducing better iterations a like the iPhone 3GS and now the iPhone 4G. Google is also making major inroads through its Android Operating System. Its partners like HTC, Motorola are winning consumers by rapidly introducing great smartphones based on the Android Platform.

Corruption in India has been exposed in many forms of late and we have documented this in GWI. Politicians, Bureaucrats, Army Generals and Business Owners have been found to be guilty in numerous cases of corruption and pelf . Politicians and Businessmen have been jailed but they have managed to get out on bail using their millionaire lawyers to fake illness and other shenanigans. Some politicians are now involved in both professions with some rumored to be billionaires owning companies through surreptitious means and parking their money in Swiss banks. Business Groups in India see their shares rising and going down depending on which political party wins proving the nexus between politicians and businessmen. There has been no reforms to separate these two and now powerful politico-business dynasties have started ruling large parts of India.

Continuous scams and scandals have started derailing the story. Massive project delays,real estate shenanigans have resulted in a perceptible slowing of Indian growth.Infrastructure companies have started slowing down with some of the darlings even bleeding red ink from the growing problems. Combine this with inflation,inequity and rising interest rates has led to a sharp correction in the Indian stock market. With the Telecom Scam still afresh amongst the masses, there has been a major reputation tarnishing of India’s image not only amongst its own citizens but also internationally. While these cases have not led to a stoppage of Foreign investment into India, a major corruption case involving 2 top executives of Reebok & Adidas has the potential to massively damage India’s investment scenario. These executives are alleged to have siphoned off millions of dollars from their parent company taking advantage of their positions.

Note what has always been known but never exposed in the mainstream media is that C Level executives in India of MNC arms have been involved in underhand deals . It is widely known that top executives regularly take bribes in procurement contracts . Setting up of factories, offices allows the executives to collude with suppliers in cheating their companies with millions of dollars. However even in cases where wrongdoing is found, no legal action is taken as the company does not want to sully its own reputation. In the Reebok case, the executives are let to get away. Fortunately in this case the media has managed to unravel some of the dirty linen allowing criminal proceedings to start against the guilty parties. India is already suffering due to the 2G scandal in which big telecom companies of friendly countries are taking billion dollar hits. With a trust deficit between parent company headquarters and Indian headquarters, the investment into India could come down drastically. The private sector which has been the major engine of growth and innovation is also getting caught in the corruption tangle.

 

India has for long lacked an agency to control the monopolistic and predatory practices of Indian companies . The old MTRP Act had become quite toothless after the 1991 reforms and the Indian industry had turned into the wild west. Monopolies and oligopolies could operate quite freely and there was nobody to investigate price fixing and cartelization . Industries like telecom, cement and others saw many such abuses. However the situation is changing with the advent of a new authority Competition Commission of India.

Most of the developed countries like USA and European Union have highly developed and advanced competition regulators which impose hundreds of millions in fines against domestic and international companies who indulge in anti-market practices.The huge fines serve as a great deterrence where powerful corporates try to undermine the market forces through their sheer size. India’s new anti monopoly watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has belatedly started operations.India has become large economy and it needs effective competition regulators against the giant conglomerates which manage to subvert the governing forces in the country.

This new agency has already made a mark imposing a stiff fine on the country’s largest real estate company DLF for using its market power to provide bad service to its customers . Note the real estate companies in India are notorious for various corrupt practices which have been written many times in this blog like creative accounting ,black money usage etc. Now the commission has started to examine the practices of powerful foreign MNCs like Apple and Google . The commission is examining whether Google is using its market share in search to stifle competition. The company is also looking at Apple selling its iconic iPhone through selected telecom operators only. While CCI was badly needed to ensure the rights of Indian consumers which are mostly a victimized lot, it should see that it does not waste its time on frivolous complaints.

From WSJ

The Competition Commission of India has begun an investigation of Apple Inc. for marketing the iPhone 4 in India through select mobile-phone operators, an approach that could allegedly harm other companies in the industry, a government official said late Wednesday. It was also revealed this week that the agency is investigating Google Inc. for alleged abusive behavior in online advertising in India. And the commission is targeting a wide range of industries, including cement and tire manufacturing, for alleged price fixing.

The Competition Commission has issued 10 orders totaling more than $250 million in penalties since it was established and is working through a slate of cases that could push that figure up substantially. The agency has targeted a number of companies for forming cartels, from explosives manufacturers, to film distributors, to pesticide makers, issuing fines large enough to wipe out a large chunk of several companies’ earnings.

 

The Indian Insurance Industrywhich was massively booming like the telecom industry at one time in India is now seeing similar troubles. The industry saw many entrants in partnership with foreign insurers as they looked to capitalize on the growing Indian market. However the story turned sour due to multiple reasons. The industry saw a number of exits in 2011 with retrenchment by the existing players as well. The reasons were

1) Increasing competition

2) Losses which meant increasing demand for capital

3) Reform of the ULIP product which was being mis-sold

4) Non-increase in the FDI cap

The story continues to sour with major companies like Future Generali too firing almost 30% of its workers and shutting down a number of its branches. The firings are taking place at all levels leading to massive job losses. Note this is similar to what is taking place in telecom companies in India as well where companies like Viom networks have fired hundreds. The lack of policy response by the moribound corrupt government is directly responsible for this . There has absolutely been no movement to try and resurrect these important industries by the government. The ministers are playing petty games like removing cartoons, taking potshots at each other and indulging in nepotsim and corruption. Like one commentator said that despite its democracy what India lacks is leaders who look after the national interest. Whatever the failings of China , there leaders are looking after the national interest rather than their self interest

Future Generali Life shuts 55 branches, cuts staff by a third

That has seen its workforce reduced by a third and the closure of 30 per cent of its branch network.According to sources, the downsizing is a direct fall-out of the slowdown in the business and the promoter’s plan to sell stake in the life insurance business.Sources indicate the company has abolished the positions of zonal heads and channel heads and significantly reduced the number of regional managers, area managers, branch managers and sales managers.There have been several exits at the senior management level, which includes the chief marketing manager, the head of the agency channel and others.