New Delhi: As we come closer towards the end of 2012, we are trying to identify the important series of business events. The year of 2012 is considered to be an important one as the government of India was successful in moving towards economic reforms. It was also the year which saw controversies with coal and telecom spectrum allocation. As well, a good number of new product launches treated the Indian consumers.
Reforms in India
It was the high time of the year when the UPA government passed the Bill allowing 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail. The Parliament witnessed huge pandemonium over FDI in retail but the government eventually came out as winner in allowing it to mark 2012 a year of reforms.
With economic reforms knocking the doors, Sensex welcomed it with highest single day gain. India is now open to global stalwarts like Carrefour, Tesco and Wal-Mart.
Since the beginning of the year 2012, one issue which has consistently been on the headlines is Coalgate. The issue cropped up when the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report accused the government of irregularities in allocation of coal blocks and presumed a loss of Rs 10,60,000 crore to the government. The government came under huge criticism over the coalgate. Later, the government had to deallocate ten coal mines.
SC cancels 2G licenses/ Former Telecom Minister A raja gets bail
The cancellation of 122 2G licenses by the Supreme Court grabbed limelight. The SC cancelled the licenses on the ground that they were issued by then Telecom Minister A Raja in “unconstitutional” manner. Raja got bail after spending 15 months in jail.
Cap on LPG subsidy
To lessen the subsidy burden, the government decided to put cap on the number of subsidized cylinders given to consumers annually. The number of subsidized cylinders was fixed at 6 per year. Beyond six cylinders, consumers need to pay at market price.
The Opposition launched huge protest over the government decision. Now, the government is mulling to raise number of subsidized cylinders.
Once among the core businesses of Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Group, the Kingfisher Airlines passed through financial crisis in 2012. The cash-strapped airlines witnessed so many cancellations of flights. Pilots, engineers and crew all went on strike to demand their salary dues. Banks refused to bail-out the troubled airlines. CBDT froze accounts of KFA as it was unable to clear dues within the scheduled time. Passengers went through horrific times with repeated cancellations of flights.
Air India pilot strike
Air India was also not immune to it. The Air India pilots also went on strike which was one of the longest to have witnessed in Independent India.
The strike was called off only when the court asked the pilots to return to work and management was asked to consider rejoining of 101 sacked pilots. The strike caused huge losses to Air India.
Maruti Manesar plant violence
The traditional fight between unions and management was resurfaced again at Maruti’s Manesar plant. Workers created chaos at the plant and set the factory on blaze. The General Manager (HR) of the MSI Manesar was killed and about 100 injured in the fire.
The violence led to shut down of the plant for one month. It caused the company a loss of tens of millions of dollars. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) charge-sheeted 145 workers, 149 arrested.
Market/Bullion in 2012
The sensex saw a growth of 24.9 percent in 2012. Nifty gained 29 percent so far. Markets got new life with huge interest of foreign fund in India. Stock market turned bullish with the interest of government in carrying out economic reforms. The gains are expected to continue in the next year as well.
The ever-rising gold prices hit new ceiling of Rs 32,950 per 10 grams. The demand for the yellow metal also saw new heights. It witnessed all round buying support. The continuous weakness in rupee has also helped the gold.
In an effort to snap tax evaders, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee introduced General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) in the Union Budget speech. It attracted lot of criticism for the scope of retrospective amendments in the law. It created huge unrest among the foreign companies. Later, he had to defer the implementation of GAAR.
The internet phenomena of Facebook which is quite popular among the young population all across the world decided to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The first day of the trade saw both gains and losses. It was one of the biggest IPOs in US history.
Apple-Samsung patent war
The issue of patent is not new but the row between Apple and Samsung is among the biggest fights over it. In the age of innovation, Apple and Samsung have devoted their R&D to develop products suitable in the modern internet era. However, their products looked very close. Apple sued Samsung in many countries with accusation that Samsung has copied its product. Apple Inc got successful in winning the patent case against Samsung.
Vikram Pandit’s resignation
When Vikram Pandit was selected for global CEO of Citibank, it was considered to be a great success for the person of Indian origin to head one of the biggest banks of the world. But his resignation came as a shock to people all around the globe.
Rajat Gupta’s sentencing
The insider trading case was in the reckoning for the long time in media all around the world. India born
Rajat Gupta had to face sentence of two years in jail in insider trading scam case. Rajat Gupta served Goldman Sachs as director. He was accused of passing information to his friend Raj Rajaratnam who is said to have made millions of rupees by using the information received from Rajat Gupta. Both Rajat Gupta and Raj Rajaratnam have been sentenced for imprisonment.
Aakash 2 tablet at UN
The UPA government’s plan to provide students low cost tablet is the sought after scheme which gained new limelight when Aakash 2 tablet was displayed at the United Nations. Various magazines hailed the scheme which has potential to change education standard in India.
NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES IN 2012
The launch of latest version of iPhone 5 was hugely anticipated by the customers all across the globe. Eventually, Apple Inc sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 smartphones in the three days after the new device hit the marketplace on September 21, the company said.
The device was taken well with the customers for its technical advancements. It was android base device. It promised to provide high speed internet access. The device was also capable of giving higher talktime. It also did not disappointed cutomers on its aesthetic.
Nokia Launches Lumia 920
The smartphone market saw cut-throat competitions. Once the market leader, Nokia is facing challenges from the rivals Apple, Samsung and HTC. Now, Nokia has now launched new products to regain its status as a market leader. The new Nokia Lumia 920 expected to give stern competition to other players in market.
The aesthetics of latest smartphone from Nokia was attractive. The device run on Windows 8. It also featured Nokia's largest ever battery. The device possessed biggest ever screen from Nokia.
Google Nexus 7, Jelly bean
Seeing the possibilities in the smartphone market, Google launched Nexus 10. Google also developed a new operating system of Android Jelly Bean. Google also launched tablets which are likely to give challenge to Apple and Samsung.
Microsoft launches Windows 8
To deal with the challenges being put by Google and Apple, Microsoft launched Windows 8 operating system. Earlier, Google has been successful in tapping the market with Android operating system for smartphone.
Maruti 800 Alto, Maruti Ertiga
Maruti Suzuki India launched new Maruti Alto 800 which was hugely anticipated by the Indian consumers. The revamp of Maruti Alto was followed closely by the people. Air bag-option is available in new Maruti Alto. With growing market for SUVs in India, Maruti launched its new Life Utility Vehicle (LUV) Ertiga.
Mahindra & Mahindra offered lots of multi-utility vehicle options to the consumers. To capitalize on the segment of SUVs, M&M launched Quanto which is cheaper than Scorpio and Xylo. The new Quanto is smaller than Scorpio and Xylo in size, but falls in the category of SUVs. It provides customers with an option of going for SUVs in low budget.
Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton
Mahindra and Mahindra is making its presence felt in almost all segment of SUVs. In association with Ssangyong motors, M&M introduced high-end SUV Rexton in India. Earlier, M&M was successful in acquiring Korean company Ssangyong.
Renault has launched few cars in Indian market. But this time, it launched Renault Duster in mid-sized Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment. The pricing was attractive enough to catch the attention of Indian customers. It was taken well by the customers and soon it will be seen all over.
Tata Motors launched new SUV ‘Storme’ in the market. The new SUV is named as ‘Safari Storme’. In the first look, it seemed that it is largely influenced by Range Rover.