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PM Modi Turns Gamer ‘NaMo OP’

The Prime Minister’s meeting with the gaming community became a talking point in the nation, due to e-gaming’s vast engagement with the youth.

While calling him the coolest PM in the world, leading Indian creators on Saturday gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a new name in the world of livestream gaming – ‘NaMo OP’, where OP stands for “overpowered”.

In a free-wheeling conversation with the Prime Minister at his residence in New Delhi, gamers decided to give PM Modi a new gamer tag.

A smiling Prime Minister said that India has already given him a name: ‘NaMo’.

The gamers replied: “We all have gamer tags. Since you are a Gen Z like us, we would now call you ‘NaMo OP’ (overpowered), as you are the most powerful person in the country, in our livestream chats.”

PM Modi also learnt several gaming phrases like GTG (Got to Go) and AFK (away from keyboard), among others, which are used during live-streaming by the creators.

Later, PM Modi also played some indigenous games with the creators.

The Prime Minister’s meeting with the gaming community became a talking point in the nation, due to e-gaming’s vast engagement with the youth.

PM Modi’s outreach to the gaming community reinforced his resolve to maximise youth connection in the nation’s growth.

ALSO READ: Musk to Meet Modi, Unveil Investment Plans

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Kristalina Georgieva To Serve As IMF Chief For Second Term

The IMF Board commended Georgieva’s “strong and agile leadership during her term, navigating a series of major global shocks.”

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The board’s decision was taken by consensus, according to a statement by the coordinators of the Executive Board, Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Abdullah F. BinZarah.

The decision was made nearly a week after the coordinators announced that Georgieva, the IMF’s current Managing Director, is the only candidate for the position, Xinhua news agency reported.

“In taking this decision, the Board commended Georgieva’s strong and agile leadership during her term, navigating a series of major global shocks,” the statement said.

Georgieva led the IMF’s unprecedented response to these shocks, including the approval of more than $360 billion in new financing since the start of the pandemic for 97 countries, debt service relief to the Fund’s poorest, most vulnerable members, and a historic Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation equivalent to $650 billion, the statement noted.

Under her leadership, the Fund introduced innovative new financing facilities, including the Resilience and Sustainability Facility and the Food Shock Window.

It also secured a 50 per cent quota increase to bolster the Fund’s permanent resources and agreed to add a third Sub-Saharan African chair to the IMF Board.

“Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership,” the statement said.

Georgieva, a national of Bulgaria, has been the IMF’s Managing Director since October 1, 2019.

Before joining the Fund, Georgieva was Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank from January 2017 to September 2019, during which time she also served as interim President of the World Bank Group for three months.

She previously served at the European Commission as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and as Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources.

ALSO READ: ADB Ups India’s Growth Forecast

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Tata Partners with Shell for c Infra

The two companies are also exploring introducing convenient payment systems and loyalty programmes to facilitate charging for electric vehicles….reports Asian Lite News

Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd (TPEM) said on Thursday that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Shell India Markets Private Limited (SIMPL) to collaborate in setting up public charging stations across India.

“The collaboration will leverage Shell’s fuel station network and TPEM’s insights from over 1.4 lakh Tata EVs on Indian roads to set up chargers at locations frequently visited by Tata EV owners. Additionally, both companies will work towards delivering superior charging experiences,” according to a TPEM statement.

The two companies are also exploring introducing convenient payment systems and loyalty programmes to facilitate charging for electric vehicles.

Commenting on the partnership, Balaje Rajan, Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd and Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd, said: “Through this partnership, we aim to grow the existing charging infrastructure, which is crucial for mainstream adoption of EVs in the country, particularly as the customer base continues to expand. This strategic alliance will help in driving up the EV adoption in the country.”

Sanjay Varkey, Director, Shell India Markets Private Limited, said, “Shell is committed to offering integrated solutions that prioritise convenience, safety, and sustainability in charging EVs. Our ultra-fast and reliable chargers ensure that our customers enjoy a sustainable, hassle-free and efficient charging experience.

Driven by rising consumer interest, government initiatives and infrastructure development, India’s EV sales nearly doubled in 2023 and are likely to grow 66 per cent this year, a report showed on Friday.

Overall, India’s passenger vehicle (PV) sales grew 10 per cent (year-on-year) to surpass 4 million units, its EV sales nearly doubled, rising 97 per cent YoY to account for 2 per cent of the overall PV sales.

By 2030, EVs are expected to represent nearly one-third of India’s PV market, signaling a robust long-term growth trajectory in the country’s automotive sector, according to Counterpoint Research.

“As the infrastructure and consumer traction develops, we will see the entry of newer players such as Tesla and fast-growing Chinese brands like Xiaomi, which will catalyse innovation and competition in the world’s fourth-largest PV market,” said Research Vice President, Neil Shah.

“We will see players in the broader value chain prioritising India’s market not only to target domestic consumption but also for technology R&D and export opportunities,” he added.

With a strong portfolio and strategic tie-up with Uber, Tata Motors held more than two-thirds of the country’s EV market last year. However, it lost a significant share to Mahindra & Mahindra and BYD.

Recording a 2,476 per cent increase with just one model in its portfolio, Mahindra & Mahindra was the fastest-growing brand in 2023, followed by BYD and MG Motor, said the report.

“EV sales in India are expected to increase by 66 per cent in 2024 to constitute 4 per cent of total PV sales,” the report mentioned.

Maruti Suzuki’s entry into the EV market is expected to shake up Tata’s dominance.

“Moreover, VinFast’s move to build a factory in India’s Tamil Nadu state highlights the growing interest and investment in EV manufacturing in the country,” the report noted.

ALSO READ: PM Modi’s Vision Set to Propel Gaming Industry

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ADB Ups India’s Growth Forecast

The ADB had in December projected India’s economic growth rate at 6.7 per cent for the 2024-25 financial year…reports Asian Lite News

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday raised India’s GDP growth forecast for 2024-25 to 7 per cent as it expects public and private sector investment along with a gradual improvement in consumer demand to drive up the growth rate.

The ADB had in December projected India’s economic growth rate at 6.7 per cent for the 2024-25 financial year.

The ADB also expects India’s inflation rate to come down going ahead.

“The Indian economy grew robustly in fiscal 2023 with strong momentum in manufacturing and services. It will continue to grow rapidly over the forecast horizon. Growth will be driven primarily by robust investment and improving consumption demand. Inflation will continue its downward trend in tandem with global trends,” the April edition of the Asian Development Outlook says.

For the 2025-26 fiscal, the ADB has forecast India’s growth at 7.2 per cent. The multilateral institution said exports are likely to be relatively muted this fiscal as growth in major advanced economies slows down but will improve in FY2025.

“Monetary policy is expected to remain supportive of growth as inflation abates, while fiscal policy aims for consolidation but retains support for capital investment. On balance, growth is forecast to slow to 7 per cent in 2024-25 but improve to 7.2 per cent in 2025-26,” it said.

To boost exports in the medium term, India needs greater integration into global value chains, the report added.

The increase in the ADB’s growth forecast is in line with the IMF and World Bank which have also raised their estimates for India’s growth with the economy clocking a robust 8.4 per cent growth rate in the October-December quarter. The country’s exports have also increased despite geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea region which have disrupted shipping.

India’s foreign exchange reserves have risen to a historic high of $645.58 billion for the week ended on March 29 and are sufficient to finance up to 11 months of imports.

The macroeconomic fundamentals of the economy have turned stronger with the fiscal deficit well in control following robust tax collections. The lower fiscal deficit will help control inflation as well as leave more money in the banking system for corporates to take loans for investments as the government needs to borrow less.

The big-ticket government investments in large infrastructure projects such as highways, ports and seaports have accelerated GDP growth, making India a bright spot amid the global slowdown.

Inflation has come down to around 5 per cent and is expected to fall further which is paving the way for stable economic growth ahead.

ALSO READ: PM Modi’s Vision Set to Propel Gaming Industry

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Tesla’s Big India Goal

According to experts, there’s a lot of history and talk about Musk’s intentions to enter the Indian market…reports Nishant Arora

With Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirming his first-ever India visit to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month and announce key investments in the electric vehicle (EV) space, industry experts on Thursday said that the country could grow into a considerable market for him in the foreseeable future, generating at least $3.6 billion in revenue by 2030.

The news of Musk arriving here brought cheer to millions of Tesla lovers in India, after a determined PM Modi convinced the tech billionaire to look at the country — which has been witnessing stupendous economic growth across quarters for the past decade — as his next destination to build a Tesla plant and a global supply chain system.

According to experts, there’s a lot of history and talk about Musk’s intentions to enter the Indian market.

“The list of possible announcements includes India providing duty cuts on imported Tesla cars, the company establishing an official sales and service presence in the country, followed by possible manufacturing facilities further out,” senior analyst Soumen Mandal from Counterpoint Research told IANS.

The current EV penetration in India is 2.3 per cent, which is likely to reach 28 per cent by 2023.

The electric cars priced around $25,000 (Rs 20 lakh and above) will have at least a 15 per cent market share by 2030, according to the latest industry data.

“India could grow into a considerable market for Tesla in the long term. As cars effectively become supercomputers on wheels, we anticipate Tesla could achieve $3.6 billion in revenue from car sales in India alone by 2030,” Mandal noted.

Moreover, India has the potential to become a manufacturing hub for producing cars in the sub-$25,000 price range, with opportunities for export to developing and underdeveloped nations.

Additionally, said experts, Tesla’s preference for establishing its supercharger network could catalyse the growth of India’s EV charging infrastructure, mirroring the standardization seen with US automakers adopting the North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging standards.

Also known as the Tesla charging standard, NACS is an EV charging connector system developed by Tesla. It has been used by all Tesla vehicles in the US since 2021, and was opened for other EV automakers in November 2022.

According to Liz Lee, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, the country’s EV landscape is about to see a significant rise.

“Government initiatives such as the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC) and the recent reduction in import duties on EVs under $35,000 to 15 per cent are game changers,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, car sales in India are likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 per cent between 2024-2030 from 4.4 million units last year.

According to industry experts, when it comes to EVs, the CAGR is expected to touch a staggering 52 per cent in the same time-frame — a “natural progression” for India as noted by Musk.

In 2024, India’s EV sales are likely to grow 66 per cent, driven by rising consumer interest, government initiatives, and infrastructure development.

Experts told IANS that Tesla’s presence in India could further stimulate the establishment of supply chain ecosystems, “leading to the localisation of automotive components manufacturing”.

It is a clear sign that India’s journey to “become a major player in the global EV market is accelerating,” they emphasised.

ALSO READ: Musk to Meet Modi, Unveil Investment Plans

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Musk to Meet Modi, Unveil Investment Plans

According to Musk, the entry of Tesla in India, as the company scouts for factory land, will be a “natural progression”….reports Asian Lite News

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is reportedly planning to visit India later this month to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and announce his mega investment plans, as the country doubles down on its EV adoption strategy.

However, an official confirmation on Musk’s India visit from the tech billionaire or his electric car company was yet to come.

Musk is slated to meet PM Modi “in the week of April 22 in New Delhi”, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

The X owner, accompanied by other top Tesla executives, is also likely to make an announcement about his investment plans and setting up of a potential $2-3 billion manufacturing plant in the country, the report mentioned.

According to Musk, the entry of Tesla in India, as the company scouts for factory land, will be a “natural progression”.

“All vehicles will go electric and it is just a matter of time,” the Tesla CEO said.

India, like other nations which have adopted EVs, should also have more and more electric cars going forward, according to the X owner.

Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are reportedly on top of Tesla’s agenda to start EV manufacturing and export the vehicles as well. During his visit to the US last year, PM Modi had invited the tech billionaire to explore opportunities in the country for investments in the e-mobility sector.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk on Thursday said that his X platform has activated the Community Notes feature — a user-based fact-checking programme — in India, as the country prepares for general elections.

Musk-owned social media platform also welcomed new contributors in India for its community notes feature.

“Community Notes now active in India,” wrote the Tesla and SpaceX CEO.

The company said that its first contributors in the country “are joining today, and we’ll be expanding over time”.

“As always, we’ll monitor quality to ensure that notes are found helpful by people from different points of view,” said the X platform.

Community Notes now has contributors in 69 countries around the world.

“We’re adding more regularly,” said the Musk-run platform.

In December 2022, the company first enabled the ability for people to look at ‘Community Notes’ related to posts globally.

“Community Notes aim to create a better informed world by empowering people on X to collaboratively add context to potentially misleading posts,” according to the company.

Contributors can leave notes on any post and if enough contributors from different points of view rate that note as helpful, the note will be publicly shown on a post.

“A post with a Community Note will not be labelled, removed, or addressed by X unless it is found to be violating the X Rules,” said the company.

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PM Modi’s Vision Set to Propel Gaming Industry

The online gaming segment is the fourth-largest segment of the Indian Media & Entertainment sector…reports Asian Lite News

Several leading gaming creators met Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, saying that his vision is set to “revolutionise gaming” in the country.

Creators like Animesh Agarwal, Mithilesh Patankar, Payal Dhare, Naman Mathur, and Anshu Bisht met PM Modi and discussed the rise of the e-gaming industry.

“We recently had an insightful discussion with the Prime Minister about the esports industry. His vision is set to revolutionise gaming in India,” Agarwal and Patankar posted on Instagram.

India currently has a huge gaming audience of 450-550 million players.

In FY23, the Indian gaming industry generated $3.1 billion in revenue, marking a 19 per cent growth from $2.6 billion in FY22, according to recent industry data.

Dhare, in her Instagram post, said that it was an honour to be the only woman gamer at the table, discussing the future of e-gaming and content creation with PM Modi.

“Thank you for recognising our voices and paving the way for inclusivity in this industry,” she added.

As per Invest India, the online gaming segment is the fourth-largest segment of the Indian Media & Entertainment sector.

It is expected to reach Rs 231 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent.

Last month, the creators and influencers’ community hailed PM Modi, calling him the creator of ‘New Bharat’ and the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ during the National Creators’ Awards in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the global gaming console market grew 10 per cent (year-over-year) last year, primarily due to improvements in the supply chain constraints faced in 2022, rising consumer demand, and new releases, a new report said on Wednesday.

According to Counterpoint Research, a pick-up in growth was observed after the launch of new-generation consoles.

Sony surpassed Nintendo to become the top player in 2023, owing to the PS5’s popularity.

“The latest generation of consoles, launched by Sony and Microsoft in 2020, drove the market up in 2021. Further, the Covid-19 pandemic supplemented the market’s growth because of the time people were forced to spend at home,” the analysts said.

“2022 witnessed supply chain constraints, which weakened in 2023, resulting in a market rebound,” they added.

According to the report, Sony is expected to lead the market again in 2024, driven by its popularity and weak competition.

As per estimates, the report mentioned that software and other services revenue includes the bulk of gaming console market revenues and is expected to increase further in the coming years.

In 2023, software and other services revenue accounted for over 70 per cent of the entire gaming revenue for Sony and Microsoft. The analysts said that they expect a single-digit decline in the gaming console market in 2024.

Artificial intelligence (AI) integration is going to be an integral step for the gaming industry’s future growth.

“Microsoft has already started working on an AI chatbox for Xbox, initially to help with support queries. Sony is also expected to enhance its upcoming PS5 Pro and PS6 devices with AI,” the report stated.

AI upscaling is expected to improve the quality of the content in the PS5 Pro, it added.

ALSO READ: RBI Pushes Fair Play in Forex Markets

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RBI Pushes Fair Play in Forex Markets

RBI Governor said that efforts were being made to leverage technology to achieve greater efficiency while also meeting the objectives of market reforms…reports Asian Lite News

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday emphasised the need to give retail customers a fair deal in foreign exchange markets that is at par with large customers.

“There is a need for effective market-making and finer pricing for smaller deals on NDS-OM. Divergence in pricing in Foreign Exchange (FX) markets for the small and large customers are wider than what can be justified by operational considerations,” the RBI Governor said in his address at an international financial conference in Barcelona.

“Banks may need to do more to facilitate the use of the FX Retail platform. We continue to see banking channels being used by certain persons or entities to fund activities on unauthorised FX trading platforms. This warrants enhanced vigilance by the banks,” he pointed out.

He said that efforts were being made to leverage technology to achieve greater efficiency while also meeting the objectives of market reforms.

U.S. dollar banknotes in Washington. (Xinhua/Liu Jie/IANS)

“For example, we are exploring the use of technological platforms to expand the reach of financial markets, in particular the reach of the RBI Retail Direct and FX Retail. In the derivative markets, efforts are underway to introduce electronic trading platforms for a larger number of derivative products and to expand the central clearing of products,” he explained.

Das also said that to foster greater efficiency, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for reporting trades to NDS-OM and accessing the RFQ dealing mode are being contemplated.

The introduction of bond forwards is being considered to enable long-term investors to manage their interest rate risks efficiently – draft guidelines in this regard were issued in December 2023.

The Reserve Bank also remains engaged with stakeholders to assess the need for the introduction of new products and infrastructure based on evolving market developments, he added.

India’s foreign exchange reserves rose for a sixth consecutive week to hit a historic high of $645.58 billion for the week ended March 29, according to RBI data released on Friday.

The forex kitty increased by $2.95 billion during the week, after notching a cumulative $26.5 billion rise in the previous five weeks.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday referred to the record foreign exchange reserves as a reflection of the strength of the Indian economy.

“It is our prime focus to build a strong umbrella, a strong buffer in the form of a substantial quantum of forex reserves, which will help us when the cycle turns or when it rains heavily,” Das said while unveiling the first monetary policy review of the current financial year on Friday.

Rising foreign exchange reserves are a positive sign for the economy as they reflect an ample supply of dollars that help strengthen the rupee. An increase in foreign exchange reserves gives the RBI more headroom to stabilise the rupee when it turns volatile.

This is because the RBI intervenes in the spot and forward currency markets by releasing more dollars to prevent the rupee from heading for a free fall.

Conversely, a declining forex kitty leaves the RBI less space to intervene in the market to prop up the rupee.

Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das announces the central bank’s monetary policy statement, in Mumbai, Friday, April 5, 2024.(IANS/Video Grab)

India’s forex reserves, including the central bank’s forward holdings, can now cover more than 11 months of imports, which is close to a two-year high.

The RBI Governor also said that the rupee has remained largely range-bound, as compared to both its emerging market peers and a few advanced economies during 2023-24, and was the most stable among major currencies during this period.

“The depreciation of rupee at 1.4 per cent against the US dollar in 2023-24 was lower as compared to the emerging market peers like Chinese yuan, Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah, Vietnamese dong and Malaysian ringgit and a few advanced economy currencies like the Japanese yen, Korean won and New Zealand dollar,” Das said.

On the outlook for the rupee, the monetary policy report said the nominal exchange rate of the Indian currency saw two-way movements in the range of Rs 82.8-83.4 per US dollar.

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Tata Eyes Pegatron’s iPhone Plant

Pegatron’s India plant has nearly 10,000 employees, and the company manufactures iPhone 13 and 14 devices…reports Asian Lite News

Tata Group, which acquired Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron’s India operations for $125 million in October last year, is now reportedly eyeing to acquire Pegatron’s iPhone manufacturing facility near Chennai, as Apple ramps up its presence in the country.

According to a Reuters report, citing sources, the Tata Group may hold a 65 per cent stake in a “joint venture” to operate the Pegatron plant, for which talks are in an “advanced stage”.

The company plans to operate the JV via its Tata Electronics unit, the report claimed.

Pegatron’s India plant has nearly 10,000 employees, and the company manufactures iPhone 13 and 14 devices.

Pegatron, Tata Group, or Apple did not immediately comment on the report.

Reports surfaced in December last year that the Tata Group is planning to build one of India’s largest iPhone assembly plants in Tamil Nadu’s Hosur. The facility is expected to feature around 20 assembly lines and employ 50,000 workers within two years. It is expected to be operational within 12 to 18 months.

Tata now operates the iPhone manufacturing plant in Karnataka, which it has purchased from Wistron.

Apple is aiming to manufacture more than 50 million iPhones in India per year, as it aims to shift some of the production out from China.

Tata.

A slew of initiatives by the government have fuelled the growth of manufacturing facilities, with its Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphone production, allowing Indian companies to compete with global electronics makers based in China. According to industry experts, India stands out as a potential hub for production amid escalating US-China tensions, owing to its substantial internal market and skilled labour force.

The Apple ecosystem employed over 150,000 people directly since the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme was approved in 2021, making it the country’s largest blue-collar job creator, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said on Monday.

About 3 lakh people have been employed indirectly, with a total of over 4 lakh new jobs, owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s PLI policies which have been transformative, said the minister who is an NDA candidate from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.

“iPhone factories are set to hire more than 10,000 people directly in the peak June-September period,” he posted on X.

The FY24 production of iPhones exceeded Rs 1 lakh crore in February, with 70 per cent exports and a total market value of Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

“iOS app development now supports more than 1 million jobs. Apple has launched an education initiative on women’s health as part of its $50-million Supplier Employee Development Fund,” the Union Minister informed.

Apple’s revenue in India hit nearly Rs 50,000 crore in FY23, with sales increasing 48 per cent to Rs 49,321 crore and net profit rising 76 per cent to Rs 2,229 crore — fastest growth of net profit for Apple in India in the last five years.

India is close to achieving the target of Rs 20 lakh crore worth of mobile phone production in the last 10 years while crossing Rs 1.20 lakh crore worth phone exports in the current fiscal year (FY24) — a whopping 7,500 per cent increase in exports over a decade — top electronics industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) said last month.

Driven by this export growth, mobile phones have now become India’s fifth largest export as an individual commodity.

ALSO READ: Forbes Ranking : PNC Menon becomes richest Omani Citizen

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Forbes Ranking : PNC Menon becomes richest Omani Citizen

Under the visionary leadership of PNC Menon, Sobha Realty has gained a distinguished position in the luxury property market across the region by setting new standards of quality and craftsmanship…reports Asian Lite News

PNC Menon, the Founder and Chairman of Sobha Group and a prominent figure in the real estate sector, has climbed up the Forbes Global Ranking to become the richest Omani Citizen. This achievement highlights his leadership and pioneering role in the Middle Eastern real estate sector, marking a significant milestone for Oman’s thriving property market.

Under the visionary leadership of PNC Menon, Sobha Realty has gained a distinguished position in the luxury property market across the region by setting new standards of quality and craftsmanship. The achievement is a testament to his long-standing expertise and commitment, which serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and industry professionals to explore the possibilities in the Middle East’s dynamic business landscape.

Furthermore, the milestone achievement is anticipated to set forth a new era of success for PNC Menon, which further underscores his unwavering commitment to excellence in the industry.

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