Thursday, March 30, 2017

Infibeam's next big bet is the fast-growing ed-tech sector

Infibeam plans to provide a wide range of services, including customized facilities, to educational institutions under this venture. It will be powered by DRC Systems

Infibeam Incorporation, India's first listed e-commerce entity, is preparing to venture into the fast-growing education-technology sector that it expects will be a reservoir of loyal customers.

The company plans to provide a wide range of services, including customized facilities, to educational institutions under this venture. It will be powered by DRC Systems, a provider of enterprise resource planning technology that Infibeam acquired this month.

“With India getting digitalized, education would be one of the primary sectors where digitalisation will speed up.Thus, (there exists) a huge potential to tap the burgeoning education sector during this transition phase,“ said managing director Vishal Mehta. “We will be a single vendor for educational institutions, providing them everything under one roof.“

Many educational institutions that are digitising their operations approach multiple merchants in the absence of a single vendor to cater to all their requirements, which makes digitising expensive for them, said Mehta.

By addressing this gap, Mehta expects, Infibeam will be able to tap into the ever-growing needs of parents and students. “Parents spend on their children irrespective of the economic condition as it is need-based consumption for their children's future,“ he said.

The global e-learning or education-technology market is about $100 billion, according to Infibeam's due-diligence report. India's e-learning market is a fraction of that, at $1billion, but is estimated to be increasing at an annual growth rate of about 20%, according to the report.

The education venture represents the next stage of growth for Infibeam Incorporation, the parent of online marketplace Infibeam and e-commerce enabler BuildaBazaar. The company's strategy for this phase is to focus on potential repeat customers, or need-based customers, such as students and their parents, said Mehta.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Dohanomics - Investing Lessons made Easy

Living in the sphere where every folk, from low class to the luxurious class, desires to multiply his income, the need for the right guidance is the most sought path. Understanding all the theories, quoted by the professionals and experts, is similar to deciphering the enigma for the layman. And it isn't an option to be considered, especially when it concerns their money. Hence, acquiring the professional help and trusting them blindly was the only course of action that the investor pursued. Well, not anymore!

Realizing the need of the hour, Vinayak Sapre came up with the idea of compiling the book Р'Dohanomics'. This book is capable of educating the investing lessons to any novice. It is not one of those ordinary clich̩ investing books, that talk about the same old concepts. The distinctive characteristic of this book is that it provides the basis of learning for today's financial affairs with the help of ancient and time-tested couplets by Kabir and Rahim. Fascinating, isn't it? With the most unique concept, Vinayak Sapre has made his appearance in many prestigious newspapers like Hindustan Times and The Times of India.

Vinayak Sapre is a financial advisor and has been in the financial industry for more than a decade. He has completed his Master of Business Administration and has mentored many financial advisors too. When asked about the problems with the investors in our country, he answered 'According to me, it is basically due to lack of financial literacy. And I always make sure to educate my clients first and then proceed further with the investment plans.'

1. How did you come up with the idea of integrating the learnings of Sant Kabir and Rahim with that of today's financial era and compiling a book on it? Can you give us a brief example of preachings of the couplets by 'Sant Kabir and Rahim' in context to the financial market?

Vinayak Sapre: The idea of sant Kabir and Rahim came into my mind after seeing so many presentations, in which we have quoted the whole industry solely with the foreign experts. And somewhere I have realized, that the Indian investors and advisors find it very difficult to associate themselves with these foreign experts. This forced me to think that if there are so many skilled pundits in India, there has to be some kind of preaching by them which can be used in and is relevant to today's financial market, which can be easily apprehended by common people. In context to this, the two names that I found most suitable are Kabir and Rahim. Because, they are both non-controversial and respect each other's religion, in fact, Kabir never believed in religion. Also, both of them are equally loved among Hindus as well as Muslims.

Talking about the examples of preaching by Kabir and Rahim. There is one couplet of Kabir:
Mod moday hari mile, harkoi lev modaye 
Baar baar ke mod se, bhed na vaikunth jaye.” 

It talks about the herd mentality in the market. Kabir says that if you could have secured your place in heaven by sacrificing your hair, then sheep would have been the first to dwell in heaven. Similarly, when you are making an investment, you are not suppose to imitate your friends or neighbours. You should invest as per your goal and need.

2. Having completed your Masters with the specialization in Sales and Marketing department, what motivated you to take a shift in the Finance sector?

Vinayak Sapre: Well, it just happened by accident, as I was into some other job. And because of a friend, who was doing well in financial industry and also wanted me to join in. Due to some mishap, I lost my job. After which he got me into Kothari Pioneer mutual fund. And that's how, I came into mutual fund and since then I have been enjoying the life.

3. Our finance minister, Arun Jaitley, claims that the Budget 2017-18 has been prepared with regards to promote higher investments. What are your views regarding the same?

Vinayak Sapre: Well, Budget definitely looks promising but instead of commenting on the budget, I would suggest that people should look at their own household budget. We need to have a ballpark figure when we are preparing our budget. We need to focus on our own incomes, expenses and expenses. Reason being, there is a vast difference between our budget and Union budget.

4. What is the biggest challenge that you face while explaining the basics of investing sutras to the novice investors? Also, according to you, what is the problem with majority of the investors in our country. Is it the lack of information or the greed to obtain higher returns without patience?

Vinayak Sapre: What has happened in our society specially in the last 20-25 years post liberalisation of economy is that the spending pattern of the society has changed a lot. Be it in smaller towns or in bigger places like Mumbai, Delhi or any other metro cities, things are available very easily on EMI and credit cards. People are not aware about the important aspect, force retirement, which is happening in private sector. Due to which people will have much longer post-retirement life. There is an additional expense called Lifestyle expense, which was not there probably 20-30 year back in the life of our parents. And despite of the dramatic increase in the lifestyle expense, people are actually ignoring it.

Not only the greed but lack of information leads to the greed. People who come to invest generally come with the idea, that they want to make a lot of money in quick time. This according to me is basically due to lack of financial literacy. And I always make sure to educate my clients first and then proceed further with the investment plans.

5. What is the one advice that you always give to your clients without failing, may it be a nascent investor or a professional one?

Vinayak Sapre: I think the mantra of the successful investing is truly explained by the Kabir's saying,
Dheere dheere rehmana, Dheere sab kuch hoy,
Maali soche sau ghada, Ritu aaye fal hoye.”

It states that one needs to be very disciplined and patient while investing. And if you are looking at goal-oriented investing, it only makes sense to remain disciplined and have lot of patience as an investor.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Feather in the Cap of the Leading Entrepreneur of the Country - Vishal Mehta

Ahmedabad, March 22, 2017 : On 17th of this month, Ahmedabad Management Association(AMA) celebrated it’s 60th anniversary. As a part of this celebration, the Annual Presentation & Felicitation Function was organized. Recognizing his deep commitment and visionary approach, Mr. Vishal Mehta was rewarded with “B.H. Jajoo- AMA Outstanding I.T. Entrepreneur of the year Award for 2015”, adding another feather into his cap as the managing director of The function was honoured by the presence of the chief guest Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, IAS, Chairman, Airports Authority of India. This award is instituted to recognize and felicitate outstanding contribution done by an IT-Entrepreneur in terms of growth, innovation, people management, social contribution and sustained development.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Where Colors Collide With Music

The Holi celebration at Infibeam started quite earlier than the actual date. Infibeam - where it is all about shopping with a smile - spread some smiles across its employees in a rhythm loaded Holi on 10th March in it’s Ahmedabad branch. What is even worth mentioning is - Infibeam in collaboration with My FM 94.3 and Rustic Colors came together to deliver an evening of music, masti and food.

As the dusk approached, the floors started emptying - as they all joined the celebration where the stage was already set - or being set up. The members of the band Rustic Colors - which is a rock band with experimental rock, punk and alternative - tuned up some great tunes of oldies music. With Keval Limbad on Acoustics, Deval Kshatriya on Electric, Ankit Patel doing the vocals and that amazing lad on the keyboards - set the mood on for some amazing music.

The platform also turned out to be a kind of spotlight to our very own singers from Infibeam. As RJ Vishal called out some names from the crowd - the cheering already started. Who knew our people too had such amazing talent in them? The sweetest gesture was from RJ Vishal himself, who handed out some free passes for the Holi Celebration at The Orion Lawn in Ahmedabad on 13th March. There were couple passes and group passes for everyone.

The continuous cheering went a step further as everyone started singing with the band itself. From Gulaabi Aankhen of Atif Aslam, to Kabhi Jo Badal Barse of Arijit - it was all there. The evening was slowly coming to an end with some delicious snacks for everyone out there. These glorious moments were well captured in the camera - which will bring a smile that is to be remembered.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Story of Happy Feet – #SolesforSouls

It was 8:30 in the morning and everyone crowded the office premises for the special cause of 'Giving'. Way too early for the Infibeamers to rise up and mark their presence in the office. But with the huge event approaching near, hardly was anyone able to control their ardour. After all, it was 8th March - 'International Women's Day'. The day for Infibeamers, to execute all the plans that were thought of and meticulously drafted about weeks ago, to celebrate Women's Day. The fervour was at its pinnacle and everyone vowed to make this day a big success by bringing smiles across the face of every woman labourer and her family, fighting for their survival.

Carrying the bags thronged with clothes, footwears, fruits and biscuits to be distributed among the needy ones, our team made their way on the roads, some in their cars and others on their two wheelers. With all the excitement and zeal, they headed towards the IIM road, which was followed by Manav Mandir, Shyamal, S.G.Highway, and Ghatlodia. On reaching each destination, they approached the women, busy in their chores, Men, working around and the kids, playing on the footpath and gifted them the little things specially bought for them. The unexpected surprises covered the faces of women and kids with the smiles and mellifluent laughter, which will never be forgotten by our team. The mere view of it was soothing enough to melt your heart.

'The day was not just ordinary day anymore, after we distributed the things. It was both a happy experience, thinking I was doing a good work and a disturbing one, seeing the poor condition in which they lived. And I feel extremely proud to be a part of Infibeam', said one of the employees of Infibeam-Ahmedabad. As the famous notion goes – 'If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.' The same was experienced by our whole team on 8th March. Because after all, the joy of giving is much more greater than the joy of receiving.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Women’s Day Initiative - ‘Soles for Souls’

Celebrations are twin-faced swords. Be it western or Indian. It simply depends on the way we take them. These days can become the sunbeams guiding the ones those dire straits. This Initiative from Infibeam exactly does the same. Infibeam, the e-commerce giant has carved a niche with remarkable social initiatives along with its strive towards fulfilling its motto - “Shop with a Smile!”. On this women’s day, Infibeam has come up with another exciting initiative to applaud the strength of being women.

Can there be a more positive way of spreading a smile than celebrating a day with the downtrodden and the ones who are fighting everyday for survival? Infibeam in this Robinhood-inesque effort named “Soles For Souls” collected soles (all types of footwear) from its pro-active staff to distribute amongst the ones who have none. The females who are generally fond of footwear definitely have extra pairs with them. More often, the extra pairs which they do not actually need. And, Infibeam employees came out in large numbers with a cheerful intent to donate their extra pairs (be it shoes, slippers or any other type of useful footwear) to their counterparts working as labourers. The ones battling out bare-foot in scorching heat for their survival.

Women’s day time and again gets highlighted for the valour of the women in Lime-light. The women achieving innumerable accolades for their contributions in various fields. But what about the ones who put in equal efforts for their survival? Let’s make this women’s day an opportunity to appreciate these un-noticed efforts. And give back something to the society!” - is the heroic response the Infibeamers’ gave!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Infibeam Incorporation Limited Acquires DRC Systems India Pvt Limited

Ahmedabad, 3rd March 2017: Infibeam Incorporation Limited (BSE/NSE) one of the leading Global E-commerce solutions provider company today announced that it has signed MOU to acquire DRC Systems Pvt Ltd through its wholly owned subsidiary NSI Infinium Global Pvt Ltd. DRC Systems provides Cloud Enterprise ERP solutions and develops customized software for e-commerce applications. Infibeam has been engaging their services to provide customized BuildaBazaar solutions to their merchants in domestic and international market.

BuildaBazaar, a distributed market place platform of Infibeam is used by more than 66k merchants as on quarter ended December 2016. Serving regular needs of merchants in customizing e-commerce applications, DRC Systems has been serving BuildaBazaar customisation for some of the key merchants of Infibeam.

Through this acquisition, Infibeam and DRC Systems will be able to jointly serve an ever growing needs of customers in customizing their e-commerce platforms. Such needs are growing further with Infibeam’s foray into global markets under tie ups with Sears USA, Saudi Telecom for MENA region and its fully owned subsidiary in Middle East region. Infibeam has also tied up with ILF&S Infrastructure, Government of Sikkim for powering digital enterprise of Public Sector Enterprises.

Software developers are an integral part of team Infibeam. Under the acquisition of DRC Systems, the software team will grow by an additional 200 developers and technology professionals. With a combined team, Infibeam will be able to deliver an ever growing base of merchants in delivering e-commerce solutions. In Q3’17, Infibeam merchant base increased by 17,385 compared to last year Q3’ 16, which is 36 % growth.

DRC System is a profitable entity with revenue in excess of 10 crores as on Feb 28, 2017. Infibeam expects to grow the revenue and profits of DRC Systems under an integrated value added services offering.

Infibeam has recently signed an MOU to invest and merge FinTech Company, CC Avenues for offering payment aggregation and integration services to their merchants. CC Avenue is a profitable company with transaction processing volume of more than 15,000 crores and serving more than 100,000 merchants for their payment solutions to merchants.

Infibeam has significantly strengthened its value added services and further the association will open expanded business opportunities with the most extensive client offering in the industry.

Since listing Infibeam has delivered significant return to the shareholders and the acquisition is expected to create value both in near and long-term. Infibeam under its unique business model, is a profit making company. As on Q3, FY17 ended its revenue grew by 14% to Rs 1,027 Mn and EBIDTA by 348 % to Rs 212 with market capitalization of more than $ 1 billion, which has also grown by 215% since listing at $ 348 million in April 2016. Market cap as on 04.04.16 was Rs. 2366 cr and as on 01.03.17 is Rs. 7461.47 cr.

Media Contact:

Corporate Communication Infibeam Incorporation Limited
Shekhar Singh