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Amazon to buy Flipkart ?

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Amazon and Flipkart being the biggest rivals in the Indian e-commerce market, Amazon might offer Flipkart to buy it when it is in a tie-up talk with Walmart, one of the biggest retailers online.

Earlier Amazon held talks to buy the Indian rival Flipkart but the deal is more likely to happen with Walmart rather than Amazon, according to a newspaper report. According to the person familiar with the matter, the deal with Amazon can create a monopoly concerns as both Flipkart and Amazon are biggest Indian e-commerce sites.

None of Amazon, Flipkart or Walmart replied when asked for the comments on this matter.

The deal between Walmart and Flipkart is like, Walmart is planning to take over 40 percent of Flipkart making it one of its biggest overseas deals. With this deal, Walmart, world’s largest brick-and-motors retailer will have access to an e-commerce market estimated to be of $200 BIllion in a decade by Morgan Stanely. With this deal, it would be a direct challenge to Amazon in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Amazon is also committed to investing $5 Billion in India as it expands its grocery services.

Walmart is planning to buy the majority of the stake of Flipkart having a mix of primary and secondary shares.

History of Flipkart

Flipkart was founded by ex-Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007 which now controls roughly 40 percent of India’s online retail market. Like Amazon, this pair also started by selling books online and grew rapidly in all the categories of the product available and competes with Amazon in all product categories.

The success of Flipkart also drives many rich and tech-savvy investors including US hedge fund Tiger Global Management LLC, online marketplace eBay Inc and software maker Microsoft Corp, as well as Chinese technology firm Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Hope this was Informative and let’s See What Happens in the E-commerce Industry.

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Why Windows Phone Failed

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Why Widows Phone failed
 Windows Phone: a product with so much potential that had everything going for it, and yet one that failed spectacularly. Despite the billions of dollars and the priceless connections of Microsoft, the Windows Phone never took off and would go down in history as one of Microsoft’s most expensive mistakes.
We’re gonna look at the reasons behind its failure and the actions Microsoft could’ve taken to possibly prevent it.
When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in 2007 he took the smartphone world by storm. Up until then, smartphones had a big problem: they had small screens with interfaces that were hard to navigate, and the reason for that was because half of the phone was occupied by a keyboard with tiny buttons you could hardly press with any precision at all.
Apple unvield iPhone in 2007

Apple unveiled iPhone in 2007

What Steve Jobs showed to his ecstatic audience was a game changer, but it wasn’t just Apple fans there were watching. The engineers at Google, which for the past two years had been building a smartphone of their own, had to scrap their entire project and to start over with a touchscreen design. Their final product, Android, would arrive more than a year later, at which point the iPhone had taken the smartphone crown.
The iPhone’s model was built on exclusivity: it was entirely produced by Apple to establish maximal control over the user experience and the quality of the product, which allowed Apple to charge a premium for their phones.
To succeed Android would have to adopt a different strategy: instead of going for exclusivity, Google tried to be everyone’s friend, partnering up with as many phone manufacturers as possible with the selling point of their phones being the fact that they were cheap, yet functional.
For a time, the smartphone world was in balance, with Android and the iPhone occupying very distinct segments of
the market. And yet, this balance would soon be disturbed by another tech giant, Microsoft.
Now, out of the three companies, it was actually Microsoft that had the most experience with mobile devices.
Back in 1996, Bill Gates unveiled what he called the handheld PC, which was really more of a tiny laptop. The operating system it ran was known as Windows CE, which was basically Windows 3 modified to function on the lowest specifications possible.
Over the next decade, Microsoft would add features and develop this product line extensively, making another 6 full releases. Between 2006 and 2008 Microsoft’s mobile devices claimed a 15% market share, greater than any of their competitors except Symbian by Nokia.
But this success is exactly what blinded Microsoft to threat of the iPhone.
When Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft at the time was asked about the iPhone his reaction, he was like that iPhones don’t have keyboards which will not make them good email machine. Also said that $500 for iPhone is not customer friendly.
When he was asked “How do you compete with iPhone?”, he replied ” Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year.”
We can clearly see the stark difference between the two men: the reporter very clearly sees the innovations
of the iPhone as a threat to the old smartphone establishment, but Microsoft’s CEO can barely look past the sales numbers. And just in case you’re thinking he’s an exception, the CEOs of Blackberry and Palm were equally skeptical of the new iPhone.
It took Microsoft a full year of declining market share to finally realize that something had to be done. Unlike Microsoft, Blackberry’s sales were still increasing, which gave them a sense of confidence they never recovered from.
Now, as they say, it’s better late than never and when Microsoft finally got around to it, their development was actually pretty fast.
Microsoft began developing a touchscreen-based mobile device in late 2008 and it took them only two years to get it ready for market. What Steve Ballmer unveiled was indeed a very unique product whose advancement of smartphone design isn’t really widely recognized, but it should be. At a time when the iPhone and Android were stuck with static icons, the Windows Phone gave you tiles with live information.

Microsoft unveiled first Windows phone in 2010 at MWC

Overall, critics had much to praise: in terms of design the Windows Phone user experience was right up there next to Apple and because Microsoft had very strict requirements for the hardware used by phone manufacturers, all of the early Windows Phones were very powerful machines for their time. And yet, Microsoft ran into a big problem very early on.
Microsoft was trying to do something very difficult: it was emulating Apple in trying to establish strict control over the user experience and hardware, but unlike Apple, it wasn’t actually making its own phones. This approach made the Windows Phone a very refined product, but the degree of control Microsoft wanted to be made working with them much more difficult for phone manufacturers compared to working with Android.
Unsurprisingly, most phone manufacturers decided to partner up with Google, which left Microsoft in a very bad position: it had a great product and no one to make it. The only saving grace for Microsoft was a lucky connection: when Nokia replaced their CEO in September 2010, the new guy, Stephen Elop, was a former Microsoft executive and the first item on his agenda was to try to restore Nokia’s declining market share by abandoning Symbian and pivoting towards Windows Phone.
Now, you can tell that this was a very premeditated plan because of this massive transition, during which Nokia completely changed their product offerings, happened in the span of a single year. Nokia started selling their first Windows Phone in November 2011 and I can tell you right away that this was possible thanks to the billions of dollars Microsoft poured into Nokia as “platform support payments”.
Nokia was supposedly paying Microsoft a licensing fee, but in reality, it was actually getting $250 million back from Microsoft every quarter, which more than made up for their expenses. Of course, the other phone manufacturers knew that this was happening, which pushed them even farther away from Microsoft.
After all, why would they fund their own development and pay a licensing fee to Microsoft, when Nokia was getting it all for free?
Effectively, Microsoft had gone all in with Nokia and there was no going back. But sadly for Microsoft, it was far too late. By the time Microsoft solved its production issue, four years after the introduction of the iPhone, it had fallen to a 2% market share. Nobody was developing applications for the Windows Phone and why would they, considering that Android and iOS were clearly the winners here.
For its first three years, the Windows Phone App Store was empty: it didn’t have Instagram, it didn’t have YouTube, it barely had anything. By 2013 the stock price of Nokia had fallen by 75% at which point angry shareholders were threatening to just fire Stephen Elop and get rid of Microsoft altogether.
In the end, that didn’t happen, Microsoft instead just purchased Nokia’s mobile phone division for $7.2 billion in 2014. Here’s the funny thing though: the very next year Microsoft wrote off their investment for $7.6 billion, and then to top things off they fired almost 8,000 employees. Microsoft kept Windows Phone on life support until October 2017, but it was clearly dead a long time before that.
And yet, it’s easy to imagine the different path Windows Phone could’ve taken had it only not been as greedy with its original philosophy. Had Microsoft been willing to compromise on its control over production, it would’ve
easily convinced the big manufacturers to use Windows Phone instead of Android.
After all back then Google had practically no ecosystem to speak of, while Microsoft had been a software titan for decades.
This was how the Windows Phone ran the path for its downfall.
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Why is Norway Richer than UK (United Kingdom)?

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Great Britain and Norway: the two countries with the biggest reserves of oil in the North Sea. This key strategic resource has been a blessing for Norway, but its impact on the UK has been much more questionable.

In this article, we’re gonna look at how the discovery and exploitation of the same resource resulted in drastically different effects on these two European countries.

Up until the Second World War, digging for oil on the coasts of Western Europe was a futile endeavor. Pretty much every country had tried it, of course, but the numerous wells that had been dug produced less than a hundred barrels per day on average: completely insignificant compared to the vast oil fields of the Middle East.

The North Sea’s oil wasn’t discovered until the 1960s, and unsurprisingly before that Norway wasn’t nearly as wealthy as it is today.

Before the Second World War, the backbone of the Norwegian economy was fishing and shipping, which of course they were very good at having had centuries of experience.

The British, meanwhile, were busy doing their whole empire thing. As the leading naval power in the world, they relied heavily on oil, but one of the major problems with that was the fact that Britain didn’t have a lot of reserves itself.

Instead, it had to rely on imports, which is why it supported the global expansion of Shell and BP, especially in the Middle East.

During the first half of the 20th century, no one thought the North Sea would be a worthwhile place to extract oil. It was a dangerous and difficult task to even try to search for it there, which is why the extent of its reserves was largely unknown.

Why UK lost its oil wealth?1

Image Courtesy: Business Casual

In 1958 the Norwegian government itself rejected the possibility of finding oil, but just one year later a monumental discovery changed the outlook of the entire industry.

In the northern part of the Netherlands, Shell had been looking for oil. They didn’t find any, but in one of their wells, they found natural gas at large quantities. Nothing groundbreaking so far, but when they dug a few more wells in the area they discovered more gas at the same depth; in other words, they had stumbled upon a giant gas field.

As it turns out, the one they found was the largest one in Europe, but what made it truly significant was its implication for the North Sea.

You see, the geologies of both areas were very similar so finding gas in the Netherlands meant that there might be oil under the North Sea.

The oil companies scrambled and began their first explorations in 1962.

Norway didn’t start giving out licenses until 1965, but they were in no rush.

The stormy weather and still developing technology meant that whatever oil could be found was going to be very difficult to extract. The drilling rigs had to withstand 15-meter waves and winds of up to 110 km/h, so unsurprisingly it took a few years and several deadly accidents before the oil could start flowing.

The first major oil discovery was made in 1969 on the Norwegian side.

Then, in a mad streak of luck, the British discovered the largest field in the entire sea on their first try just a year later.

In 1975 Queen Elizabeth herself would inaugurate the flow of oil from that field and this gesture symbolized a new opportunity for both Great Britain and Norway to benefit from this new resource.

But the way both countries approached their newfound wealth was radically different. The Norwegians could afford the luxury of being patient. Their political situation was one of stability: their leading Labor party had been the largest one since 1927 and is the one responsible for the welfare state and their high taxes.

In other words, they had no pressure to immediately spend the oil profits to stimulate the economy in the hopes of ensuring their reelection.

Re-elections UK

Image Courtesy: Business Casual

On top of that, the government’s attitude towards private companies was aggressive: they only allowed a 50% ownership stake in any given well, with the rest being owned by the state itself.

In 1972 the Norwegians went a step further, creating an oil company (STATOIL) entirely owned by the state, which would then compete directly with foreign companies.

Norway was effectively double dipping: not only did it tax the oil industry excessively, but it also owned a big chunk of it. But what’s really smart is what the Norwegians did with all that money: they not only saved it but also started investing it.

In 1990 they created a special fund for exactly this purpose whose growth rate ever since has been nothing short of exceptional.

They put most of their money in stocks and bonds, with a dash of real estate sprinkled on top, and the results speak for themselves.

The Norwegian fund is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world and it even passed a trillion dollars in market value in September 2017.

And keep in mind, that’s a trillion dollars spread out over just 5 million people. So by all accounts, the Norwegians handled their oil boom perfectly. But the same cannot be said for the British.

The surge of oil profits for Britain coincided with the rise of Margaret Thatcher.

She came into power in 1979 and instead of setting up a fund to invest these new profits, she used that extra money to make radical reforms to the British economy.

She started a wave of mass privatization of companies that were otherwise profitable and made large cuts to income taxes in order to revitalize an otherwise stagnating economy.

Her policies were successful in that regard and resulted in large economic growth, but these benefits were temporary.

Unsurprisingly, when the revenues from oil started declining, Margaret Thatcher’s house of cards came crumbling down.

In essence, the UK and Norway took opposite approaches to their oil money. The British blew it on tax cuts, while the Norwegians invested it and grew it to the point where this tiny nation of 5 million people is the largest shareholder in Europe.

Norway is a perfect example of why investing is smart and that’s a lesson we can all use.

Norway the Perfect Ex. How to Invest

Image Courtesy: Business Casual

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Source: Business Casual
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SoftBank to acquire majority stake in WeWork.

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SOFTBANK to Acquire WeWork

SoftBank a Japanese telecoms and Internet Company, which is very intimate and well known for funding and acquiring stakes in various Multi National Companies. SoftBank is about to take over around 50 percent of the company WeWork.

WeWork is an American company founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey that provides shared Workspaces and Offices to Technology Startups and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups, small and large Businesses.

SoftBank shares fell 5.4 % and suffered their biggest one-day drop in nearly two years on Wednesday (10 Oct 18′) partly on concerns about the prospects of eight-year-old WeWork whose outlook is tied closely to the ups and downs of the real estate market. Recent technology sector weakness also weighed on SoftBank’s shares, traders said.

WeWork_workspace

One of the sources told that the pricing and other details of WeWork investment are yet to be firmed up and the second source said Softbank is in talks to take a major investment in WeWork.

SoftBank and its giant Vision  Fund invested about $4.4 Billion August 2017 on WeWork and hold 2 board Seats in the Company. And Owns about 20 percent of the company.

Earlier the Wall Street Journal reported Softbank’s investment would be between around $15 billion to $20 billion and is most likely to come from the Softbank’s giant Vision Fund. Earlier June Journal says that the smaller Softbank investment discussion valued WeWork at up to $40 Billion.

wework_image

SoftBank’s other real estate-related investments include Compass, an online real estate marketplace, Katerra, a construction startup, and Indian hotel chain OYO Hotels.

SoftBank Group Corp, Tokyo Stocks

Image Courtesy: Reuters

SoftBank had earlier invested Billions of Dollars in U.S. ride-services firm UBER Technologies but owns a minority stack in the firm.

The Chinese unit of WeWork raised about $500 million in July from the investors including Hony Capital, SoftBank, Trustbridge Partners, to drive and expand its existence in the nation.

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