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India is going to surpass UK with regards to world’s largest economy rankings as its GDP growth is projected to be 7.6 percent in 2019. Data trends show that US growth is estimated to be temperate from 2.8 percent in 2018 to approximately 2.3 percent in 2019. Labour markets in developed economies are estimated to tighten, thus increasing the wages.

India and France are expected to cross the UK with regards to world’s largest economy ranking this year, pushing it from the fifth to the seventh position in the global ratings, as per the projections. Though the UK and France usually switch places because of similar levels of development and almost equivalent population, India’s spiraling up the rankings is most likely to be stable and lasting now. As per the projections, UK would experience almost 1.6 percent real GDP growth, 1.7 percent for France and 7.6 percent for India in the year 2019.

India is expected to have a healthy growth rate of almost 7.6 percent in FY20, assuming that there are no big headwinds in the world economy like more trade tensions or any supply shocks in oil. The growth will be aided by further realization of efficiency gains that come from the newly-implemented GST and policy momentum predicted in the first year of the new government.

Today, India has become the fastest developing large economy throughout the world, with the gigantic population, very favorable demographics and the huge potential because of the low initial GDP per head. It is assured to continue to go up in the global GDP league ratings in the next few decades and this surely is a good time for company formation in India.

The restrained growth in the UK last year and again in the year 2019 is probable to turn the statistics in France’s favor. When comparing the currencies, the relative strength of the Euro as against the Pound is also an important factor to consider here. The world-wide economy is estimated to slow down this year as G7 countries go back to long-run average growth rates, as per new projections and data.

The lift in growth of many major economies observed between 2016 end and 2018 beginning has now ended. The boost from the fiscal stimulus is estimated to decrease, while higher interest rates could diminish consumer expenditure and a strong dollar is expected to continue dragging on net exports. The projections point out that US growth is going to be moderate from a projected 2.8 percent last year to around 2.3 percent in 2019.

The development in China is also expected to slow down as compared to 2018. Although the Government would try to ensure a minimal slowdown, the effect of US tariffs and the necessity for controlling the debt levels are probable to create a meek deceleration in growth this year.

The labour markets in developed economies are likely to go on tightening with unemployment decreasing even if job creation slows. This will push up wages, but would cause challenges for enterprises planning to fill talent shortages. In 2019, unemployment would fall a little more in the US and Germany, though the rates of job creation in these countries have remained strong.

Indian IT Sector is Planning to Expand in the GCC Countries

India, being one of the biggest trading partners of the UAE, holds massive potential to further augment bilateral trade by utilizing its IT competence. IT companies in both the countries could play a major role in improving the amount of trade between the two nations.

The UAE in the GCC countries remains as the top-most destination when it comes to India’s electronics exports especially in the Middle East, as the electronic products and software exports is projected at USD 911 million and USD 2.43 billion respectively. The IT industry in UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, KSA and Oman is thriving and it is the apt time for investments, expansion and active participation in the market.

Future Scope of IT Industry in GCC Countries

Kuwait IT Sector:

Kuwait is one of the most technologically-advanced states in the Gulf region and it generates high income, has liberal market access policies, and low tariffs. There are many opportunities present in this market because of several e-government drives. There is an economic boost, which encourage a wave of hardware spending. The Kuwait corporate sector has also been increasing their expenditure and now Kuwait stands to take advantage as logistics point for the emerging Iraq market.

UAE IT Sector:

The UAE is a regional hub, located strategically at crossroads of Middle East and Asia, serving a huge and potential market of about 2 billion people. UAE is one of the highest GDP per capita in the whole world and offers excellent telecom and IT infrastructure, good market access and least trade barriers for foreign competitors. What’s more? There is also a lot of government support; for instance, Dubai Internet City project and many other free trade zones. There is a huge expatraite business community that helps to drive the sector development. There are many opportunities such as outsourcing, CRM, storage and in security products in this market. Training, E-learning, tourism and travel sector also has a lot to offer.

Saudi Arabia IT Sector:       

Saudi is the largest regional IT market due to its huge spending. It’s a big market with growing demand of more sophisticated IT products and services including outsourcing. There are a lot of opportunities in this market because there is an increasing focus on software expenditure, new deployments, and upgrades of ERP solutions.

AI Impact on the GCC Economy

Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be able to double the figures of economic growth for almost 12 of the developing economies by the year 2035. This will help to enhance productivity by almost 40 percent.

The Middle East is projected to achieve 2 percent ($320 billion) of the total world-wide benefits of AI in 2030. As per the data and estimates, 33 percent annual growth rate of AI is predicted in the UAE, 31 percent annual growth rate of AI in Saudi Arabia, and 28 percent annual growth rate in GCC4.

Did you know that Saudi Arabia is the first ever country to give citizenship to a Robot? Yes, the AI activities in the GCC have been growing. Some news which goes to prove this is as follows:

  • Oman symposium has decided to explore AI’s impact on education.
  • UAE Cabinet has formed an AI Council and has appointed the first minister for Artificial Intelligence.
  • Saudi Arabia is investing $500 billion in completely automated city spanning three countries.
  • Dubai Decrees itself the AI City-State of the Future.
  • Emirates is introducing AI vehicles for improving airside operations.
  • 500 Emirati men and women are there in the first batch to be trained in AI field.
  • Almost 45% of jobs in the Middle East are technically automatable today.

There are huge opportunities in the GCC in terms of Robotics and AI. AI would offer about 10m new jobs and automation is expected to eliminate 74 percent of the existing jobs available today. 21 percent of core skills needed across all the jobs and occupations would be very different in the GCC by the year 2020.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has taken a few severe actions in regard to the directors of the company that involves DIN deactivation, show cause notices, strike off the companies, KYC, etc. These measures are taken in order to align Indian businesses with global standards. Therefore, it is the time when the Indian companies that are closely held by the family members, whether public or private, need to change their way of thinking and start complying with these rules and regulations. As per the Companies Act 2013, it is the responsibility of the board that the rules and regulation made under the act are followed and complied.

It has been discovered that the companies which have a transparent business policy and complied timely with the laws, have an edge over its competitors. In order to establish transparency, companies have to comply with the provisions of the law and follow the advice of professionals like auditors and company secretaries.

Directors are the backbone of any company. Any failure or default in obliging with their duties will not only lead to punishment or penalty but also lead to losses for shareholders and hamper the reputation of the company. Although most of the directors are loyal to their companies, they are not able to comply with the laws due to lack of awareness and knowledge.

In this article, we will guide you on the duties and responsibilities of the directors of the company.

 How Company is Different from Proprietorship or Partnership Firm

Let us have a look at some of the points that differentiate a company from proprietorship or partnership firm.

  1. A company is a separate legal entity.
  2. Company has limited liability.
  3. Company has perpetual succession and never dies unless there is a wound up.
  4. Company is an artificial person.
  5. Shares of the company can be transferred freely and easily.
  6. The directors or shareholders or members cannot claim themselves to be the owner of the company’s property.
  7. A company can sue and can be sued.
  8. A company has a dual relationship.
  9. Even though a company is not a citizen but it has its nationality and residence.

 

Board of Directors

A company performs its functions through shareholders and board of directors. The board of directors of a company looks after the business of the company, makes operational and strategic decisions and ensure that the company meets its statutory obligations. Board of directors can be said to be the backbone of the company as the overall performance of the company is dependent upon them. The directors are responsible for achieving the objectives of the company mentioned in its memorandum of association.

 Directors

As per section 2 (10) of the Companies Act 2013, the board of directors in a company is a collective body of the individual directors. Under section 2 (34) of the act, a director is a person who is appointed to the board of a company. The board of directors is a body of individuals who collectively take decisions to direct, supervise and control the functioning of a company. Section 149 of the Companies Act 2013, says that the board of directors of a company should comprise of individuals only. This means that no association, firm or body corporate can be appointed as a director. No one can assign the office of director to any other person under section 166 of the Companies Act 2013. Any assignment made would be void. This brings to the conclusion that in a company only individuals can be a director and such appointed director cannot assign his office.

 Importance of Directors

Directors represent the company. Even though the shareholders have the authority to decide on the appointment and removal of directors, it is the directors who run and manage the business. If a company does not comply with any provisions of the companies act, the company shall be liable for fine or penalty because of the board of directors. The board of directors can do anything which is beneficial for the company and within their powers. However, the board of directors cannot exercise any power which is restricted as per the provisions of the Companies Act 2013 or the memorandum or the articles of the company. To conclude, directors perform multiple roles in a company and the performance of the company is dependent on them.

 Duties and Responsibilities of Directors

Directors must ensure that the company is managed in the most efficient manner. They must use their powers wisely and delegate the responsibilities to CEO, CS, MD, etc. In the end, the responsibility of the company’s performance will be on the shoulders of the directors.

ICAI has Signed an MoU with Invest India for Endorsing Foreign Investments

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India or ICAI has recently collaborated with the Invest India. Both the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 4, this year, which also happened to coincide with ICAI’s Platinum Jubilee Annual Function held in New Delhi under the guidance of the Committee for Export of CA Services & WTO of ICAI. CA. Naveen N. D. Gupta, who is the President, ICAI and Mr. Deepak Bagla, who is the Managing Director and CEO of Invest India signed the dotted line. Amongst the renowned personalities present there were, Mr. Rajiv Mehrishi, the Hon’ble Comptroller and Auditor General of India, CA. Prafulla P Chhajed, the Vice-President of ICAI, CA. Babu Abraham Kallivayalil, the Chairman and CA. Anil Bhandari, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Export of CA Services & WTO of ICAI.

The key purpose of the MoU is to bring together and also encourage global investment in India, foreign company registration in India and also foster Indian investments out of India. It also aims to offer required support and guidance to the probable investors, both inbound and outbound, and to encourage and promote India as an investment-friendly destination.

This collaboration of ICAI and Invest India is set to endorse international investment in India by offering the requisite guidance and aid to potential investors in terms of the regulatory compliances concerning investments in India. The ICAI has a wide network of its members spread across the globe; that would surely provide necessary support in this respect, especially in terms of taxation, accounting, legal and advisory services and also to aid in development of appropriate investment vehicle, etc.

In addition, this step would further help in fostering innovation and new technologies, start up India initiatives, facilitating investments across the world, creating more job opportunities especially in the field of Accounting and Finance Services, which are recognized by the Government of India under the Champion Sector.

ICAI also plans to assist Invest India in resolving their investment-related queries coming from both Indian and global organizations including financial investors and also start ups concerning information about applicable legislation and policies, procedure of filing applications and then assisting them in meeting other regulatory necessities to the extent possible.

Both parties would plan organizing investment promotional events such as road shows and investor outreach programs globally. They would also get together to organize training programs, webinars, events, seminars typically on investment-related subjects in different sectors of the Indian economy for encouraging investments and also to facilitate better connections between global investors and Indian business community.

A Brief Guide for Setting up an American Business in India

India is the world’s fastest growing democracy that is also free-market and provides profitable business opportunities for everyone, especially the American companies that offer the right products or services.  India’s future looks promising and it shows a potential for continued growth at the rate of 8-10% for the coming couple of years. Hence, this is the apt time for the U.S. companies to setup their businesses in the expanding Indian market and even for American companies doing business in India to make further growth plans.

But before that, you should answer these questions: Does your business possess a strategy suiting Indian market? Are you ready with a plan on how to enter and then do business in India? Do you know what corporate structure to follow and what entities are there for conducting business in India? Do you know the legal requirements of setting up a business in India?

How to do business in India?

India, being a diverse and complex as a country, one should take into consideration many factors such as language, regionalism, values, religion, etc when deciding to do business in India. Even one’s approach and behavior should be amended according to whom you are dealing with or addressing. Irrespective of the industry, all the investors and US companies doing business in India should be prepared to accept some differences in the way businesses operate in India and even the norms and regulations in which they function.

New opportunities for US companies

India announced comprehensive relaxations in January 2018 in foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations for single-brand retail and some other areas, along with permitting overseas carriers to obtain up to 49% of Air India to support speeding up its divestment. The objective was to eliminate barriers to global investment and aid the economy in faster development.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) has recently permitted 100% FDI in the sector of real estate broking and also permitted foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) for investing in power exchanges via the primary market.

A lot of concentration being on infrastructure development, the government allocated Rs 5.97 lakh crore in 2018 budget for this sector with an objective to make over 80,000 km of roads till March 2022. India has taken many new initiatives in finance and the tax reforms are intended to bring in more investment, and also push the transformation towards a digital economy.

Points to consider for foreign investors and US companies doing business in India

Any global investor who is planning to start or set up a business in India should first opt for an apt business and corporate entity that is best-suited with its goals and also manages the liability and tax planning challenges. Foreign businesses planning to do business in India or American companies doing business in India should focus on various entry strategies in India and plan their corporate structuring so that they can save taxes as permitted by laws and also as per international tax treaties.

The global investors or shareholders should mandatorily seek proper government approvals before investing in India. As there are several steps to be performed before setting up a business in India, if you need assistance with company formation in India or foreign company registration in India, we at IMC, would be happy to help you in each step of the process.

RBI Simplifies the ECB Policy, and Lifts Sectoral Curbs

RBI has recently announced a new regulation for all the foreign borrowings, thus permitting all the eligible companies to raise overseas funding under the regular route and remove the existing sectoral curbs. All the entitled borrowers would be now able to raise external commercial borrowings (ECB) up to the maximum limit of $750m per year under the regular route.

The “liberalization or rationalization” in the latest framework ECB and rupee-denominated bonds has been mainly done to simplify the process of doing any business, said the central bank. The RBI said that the Tracks I and II under the current framework have been combined as the ‘Foreign Currency denominated ECB’ and the Track III or the Rupee Denominated Bonds structure has been amalgamated as ‘Rupee Denominated ECB’ to replace the current four-tiered arrangement and the structure has now become instrument-neutral. Here, Track I, II, and III stands for the total amount and maturity of the funds that are raised.

In addition, all-in cost ceiling per year is quoted at ‘benchmark rate plus 450 bps spread’, where 100 basis points are equal to 1 percentage point. The minimum average maturity period (MAMP) is decided at three years, which is applicable for all the ECBs, whatever may be the borrowing amount in lieu of different layers of MAMPs currently, with an exception of the borrowers who are especially allowed in the circular to borrow only for a short period, the RBI norms said.

The list of qualified or eligible borrowers now includes all businesses eligible to get FDI. In addition, all the port trusts, businesses in SEZ, SIDBI, all registered companies involved in micro-finance activities, EXIM Bank, registered trusts, societies, cooperatives, and NGOs could also borrow as per the new framework. But, lending or borrowing as per the ECB framework conducted by Indian banks and their foreign branches would be subject to the prudential regulations, said the RBI.

ECBs are basically commercial loans that are raised by qualified resident organizations from recognized non-resident businesses or organizations and must comply with all the usual parameters like minimum maturity, permissible and not permissible end-uses, and also highest allowed all-in-cost ceiling.

However, there is also a negative list, where the ECB proceeds are not permitted to be utilized, and those include real-estate activities, equity, and capital market investment, purposes of working capital barring foreign equity holder, and repayments of Rupee loans barring foreign equity holder.

India is seeing a great year in terms of corporate deal making as foreign investors are spending a lot more in India as compared to China. Company formation in India is on a rise because of active foreign investors participation in Indian companies.

India, one of the fastest growing economies of the world offers great opportunities to businesses thriving here due to its mass consumers. Moreover, other factors encouraging the number of deals taking place in India includes industry consolidation, better bankruptcy system and increasing participation of family businesses.

This year India has experienced the highest volume in terms of the mergers and acquisitions deals ever since the economy started in the year 1990. The mergers and acquisitions deals targeting Indian companies totaled $93.7 billion this year which is 52% higher as compared to the last year. Out of this number, overseas purchases in India amounted to $39.5 billion which is higher than that of China amounting to $32.8 billion. The major reason for India overtaking China is owing to the slow growth in China and their trade battle with the U.S.

Moreover, the government has taken active steps in easing the conduct of business in India. With fruitful steps like the implementation of the new bankruptcy code, relaxed foreign direct investment rules, implementation of new tax regime in the form of GST (Goods and Services Tax) and efforts to end tax terrorism, India is becoming a hot stop for investment among international firms and investors.

Further, India has jumped 23 positions in the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business ranking this year and is now at the 77th position. Now India ranks first in South Asia and third among BRICS nations for ease of doing business. The major reforms that led India to this position are improvement in trading across borders with reduction of time and cost to export and import goods, ease of starting a business in India, reduced cost and time in getting electricity connection, introduction of single online window for obtaining construction permits, ease of obtaining credit and paying taxes. All these factors contribute to making the environment far more favourable for deal activities.

Growth in India is now remarkably higher than that of China with a huge group of higher-spending consumers. As per the reports from the government, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will almost double to $5 trillion by the year 2030.

Indian market, S&P BSE Sensex index also shows signs of enthusiasm with 4.2% higher this year. This is another benchmark in the world in positive territory.

Some of the biggest deals of the year that took place in India include:

  • Walmart Inc. invested $16 billion in Flipkart Private Limited
  • Naspers led $1 billion fundraising for Swiggy
  • SoftBank led a $1 billion investment in OYO Hotels

 

With all these initiatives and factors combined together, India makes for a promising destination for investment and conducting business.

If you are looking for foreign company registration in India, get in touch with a professional company like IMC Group who can help you out with the smooth and hassle-free establishment in India.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India

Foreign Direct Investment or FDI is not only a key driver of economic growth but is also one of the main sources of non-debt financial resource for economy’s development in India. Various global organizations come to invest in India to take benefit from comparatively lower wages and special investment advantages like tax exemptions, etc. When it comes to the Indian government, it has a very favorable policy regime and competitive business environment that attracts foreign capital to flow into the country. The government has been taking various initiatives lately like relaxing FDI norms in all the sectors such as defense, telecom, PSU oil refineries, stock exchanges, power exchanges, etc. 

Market size 

As per the data given by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the total FDI investments that came in India in 2018 (April-June) were at US$ 12.75 billion, pointing towards the success of government’s effort to make it easier to do business and relax FDI norms. According to this data, the services sector got the highest FDI equity inflow which was around US$ 2.43 billion. Trading attracted US$ 1.63 billion, followed by telecommunications which stood at US$ 1.59 billion and then computer software and hardware which got US$ 1.41 billion. In June 2018, the total FDI equity inflows went up to US$ 2.89 billion. Indian received the maximum FDI equity inflows from Singapore, Mauritius, Japan, Netherlands, and United Kingdom (in the same order). 

Investments and further developments

India ranked as the top recipient of Greenfield FDI Inflows from the Commonwealth, according to a trade review that was released by The Commonwealth in 2018.

Some of the significant announcements about FDI off late are as follows:

  • Bharti Airtel received the approval of the Government of India in August 2018 for selling 20 per cent stake in its DTH arm to Warburg Pincus – an American private equity firm for $350 million.
  • Idea’s request for 100 per cent FDI for an approval in June 2018 by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and then it got merged with Vodafone, which made Vodafone Idea the largest telecom operator in the country.
  • In the month of May, Walmart bought a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for US$ 16 billion.
  • In the month of February 2018, Ikea announced that it is going to invest about Rs 4,000 crore (US$ 612 million) in Maharashtra to establish multi-format stores and their experience centers.
  • 39 MoUs have been signed in November 2017 at an investment of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore (US$ 612-765 million) in India’s North-East region.
  • In the month of December in 2017, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) gave approval to FDI proposals of Supr Infotech Solutions in retail sector and Damro Furniture, while Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance gave its approval to two FDI proposals which valued at Rs. 532 crore (US$ 81.4 million).
  • The Department of Economic Affairs also signed three foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs. 24.56 crore (US$ 3.80 million) in October of 2017.
  • Kathmandu based CG Group is planning to invest Rs. 1,000 crore (US$ 155.97 million) in India in its food and beverage business by 2020.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) is also planning to invest around US$ 6 billion by 2022 in various sustainable and renewable energy programs in India.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India is considering 100 per cent FDI especially in Insurance intermediaries in India to promote the sector and attract more funds. In early 2018, the Government of India permitted a foreign airline to make investments in Air India up to 49 per cent. However, the percentage of investment cannot go over 49 per cent, directly or indirectly.

Now, no government approval is needed for FDI going up to 100 per cent in the Real Estate Broking Services. In September last year, the government spurred the states to strengthen single window clearance system to enable fast-tracking approval processes, so that we could attract bigger Japanese investments in India.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has made the approval mechanism easier for foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals by abolishing the approval of Department of Revenue and making it compulsory to clear all proposals that need approval within 10 weeks after receiving the application.

The Government of India is also discussing with the stakeholders to ease foreign direct investment (FDI) even further in defense sector to 51 per cent from the existing 49 per cent, so as to boost the “Make in India” initiative and also generate employment. Then in January 2018, Government of India permitted 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail via automatic route.

What’s in store?

India is now the most lucrative and emerging market especially for global partners (GP) investment in the coming year, according to a market attractiveness survey done recently by Emerging Market Private Equity Association (EMPEA).

Annual FDI inflows in India are forecasted to go up to US$ 75 billion in the coming five years, as per a UBS report. According to the World Bank, private investments in India would grow by 8.8 per cent in FY 2018-19 which would overtake the private consumption growth of 7.4 per cent, and thus promote India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018-19.

How to Set Up a Mobile Shop in India

The telecommunication industry has been growing rapidly in India. To share some statistics, there are over 742.12 million phone and landline subscribers and over 706.99 million mobile phone connections and these numbers are going upwards only. The growth rate of this industry is quite high and the mobile phone market is quite lucrative if you plan to start your enterprise in this field.

A mobile phone has become an integral part of our lives today. Not only for calling, people use mobile phones for messaging, social media, clicking photographs, Internet surfing, and even for GPS. Because of this, there is a huge potential for anyone thinking of setting up their own mobile shop or business in India.

How to start your mobile shop business in India?

As there are so many mobile shops mushrooming in every nook and corner, someone planning a shop or distributorship should start a mobile shop or business initially on a small scale. You should make sure that you start your enterprise at the apt time so that decent profits could be reaped. But it is equally important to study some data like what is the awareness of customers, what is the level of their spending or purchasing capacity, which technology is being used these days, etc. So here’s a collated list of things that one should keep in mind before starting a mobile shop business in India.

 

  1. Timing is important

Proper planning is required on when you should kick start your enterprise or shop so that you could earn well. Firstly, you should be prepared with a minimum amount to invest in the business and rent a shop. You should also analyze where and to whom you could sell the mobile phones, and how you could grow in this business. This business is ever-growing and the demand never reduces; therefore the good thing is that there are high margins too. But having said that, the timing of initiation of your business is important.

  1. The location of the shop

Though the trend these days is to buy mobile phones from online or e-stores, you should strategically find a good location to rent a shop, where you can get enough local customers. You should also ensure that there are some good courier service-providers nearby so that you could even deliver the mobile phone to customers and also try to collaborate with some e-commerce companies to enhance his mobile phone business. Even a small shop (10 × 15 square feet) is good enough to begin your business or mobile phone shop.

  1. Select a good distributor

The next step is to look for a good mobile phone distributor from whom you could get reasonable mobile phones. Not only that, ensure that the distributor delivers the mobile phones and other accessories easily and reasonably. Getting a good distributor is a very big factor as you save on the money you spend in buying the mobile phones. The way you display the mobile phones is also important. Other than that, you could advertise about your store in local newspapers and in other mediums like yellow pages, social media platforms etc.

If you have any other questions or need assistance in setting up your own mobile shop business in India, do get in touch with us. We, at IMC, provide you with expert advice and solutions to set up your business or mobile shop in India.

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