A guide on global online shopping for Indian buyers

It may not be as simple to shop from a global e-commerce website as it is from familiar online retail firms like Flipkart or Amazon India. Photo: iStock

It may not be as simple to shop from a global e-commerce website as it is from familiar online retail firms like Flipkart or Amazon India. Photo: iStock

Are you bored of your gaming console, and want to switch to Nintendo Switch? Or have you been eyeing that premium Harrods bag, or the latest collection from Saint Laurent or beauty products from Glossier? One way is to buy these global brands, not available in India, on your next trip abroad, the other is to hand a list to your NRI relatives. If you can’t wait that long, there’s always the option of shopping online from global e-commerce websites that ship internationally.

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Of course, there’s a cost attached to it, which many Indian shoppers don’t seem to mind paying, given the quality and choice. According to a report published by logistics firm DHL, The 21st century spice trade: A guide to the cross-border e-commerce opportunity, which quotes the Google Consumer Barometer, what drives consumers in less mature e-commerce markets like India to shop cross-border is better quality, broader range and trustworthiness. According to the report, 42% of surveyed Indian respondents said they shop from websites abroad due to better quality of products, while 37% liked the available offers. Electronic items (55%) and fashion apparels (45%) are among top purchases by Indian consumers, followed by beauty products and cosmetics (26%) and toys (20%).

But it may not be as simple to shop from a global e-commerce site as it is from familiar online retail firms like Flipkart or Amazon India—there are charges to take care of and payment and shipping options to consider. We hand-hold you through the hiccups and tell you smart ways to reduce your costs.


Shipping charges: While we are used to one-day free delivery option from most domestic e-commerce sites, ordering products from an international website typically attracts shipping charges. There are various factors that determine how costly the shipping is going to be. “Shipping charges are calculated based on factors like weight, dimension of the product, origin-destination, duties and taxes, insurance as applicable, and the service type (express takes 2-3 days, economy takes 5-15 days and postal takes 15-30 days),” said R.S. Subramanian, country manager, DHL Express India. Most global e-commerce websites have preferential rate agreements with a particular courier company and the same is displayed upfront at checkout.

Customs duty: All products, if imported for personal purposes, attract basic customs duty of 10%. On top of that, you also have to pay goods and services tax (GST) depending on the slab rate fixed by the government. Check the import customs tariff of various commodities here. While some websites might levy local taxes to be paid in your country in advance, some collect the customs duty upon delivery.

“Basic customs duty is 10% on majority of the products. It’s levied on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value. If you are purchasing something online, the CIF value will be mostly put up by the courier company; their cost generally includes insurance, too,” said Bipin Sapra, tax partner, EY.

However, the customs officer takes into account the “assessable value” when calculating the duty. “Generally, the assessable value and CIF value are the same and the customs duty is imposed on such value. Assessable value is self-assessed by the importer and is accepted by the customs officer. In case, such value is rejected by the customs officer, then the officer may determine the value as per applicable rules,” said Suresh Nandlal Rohira, partner, Grant Thornton India LLP. The CIF value may sometimes get rejected by the customs officer if she has any reason to believe that the product has been undervalued by the sender.

“Online shoppers should take care that the products ordered online by them are imported through courier and used for personal purpose to avail the concessional rate of 10% basic custom duty,” added Rohira.

Currency conversion: Websites usually list products in their local currency (say US dollar or British pound). The rupee is not one of the strongest currencies globally and hence conversion rates might spike up the charges.


Most international websites only accept credit cards, payments via Paypal account or Amex cards. Domestic debit/credit cards that are not enabled for international transactions may also not work on international portals.

However, debit cards of some banks might work for international transactions. So check with your bank if your debit card can be used to shop internationally. If not, ensure you either have a Paypal account or a Visa or Mastercard credit card.


Compare prices with package forwarding sites: If you are shopping for multiple items, package forwarding websites like Borderlinx, Shipito, and Shop and Ship may help you save some money.

Once you sign up, these sites will give you access to local warehouse addresses of different countries, for a fee. Just shop from any website and enter this local package forwarding address during checkout. After receiving the product from the e-commerce portal at their warehouse, they repackage and consolidate items into one package (in case of multiple items) and also help reduce the weight and size. They also work for those looking for brands that are shipped only domestically, say within the US.

While they may work for multiple items and in a situation where the main website doesn’t ship to India, they can turn out to be expensive otherwise because they have steep shipping costs. So make use of these services only if you really need the product and are willing to pay a premium on it. Compare costs before going for it.

Look for cheaper currency: You can also save at the time of currency conversion. You can get slight advantages by checking if the product is available on another country’s portal, say the US or Europe, where conversion rates might be slightly better. “Customers should do their research to not just see what the listed price is but also what the delivered price is going to be,” said Sapra.

However, “customs duty would remain the same for that product regardless of the country (you order the product from),” said Rohira.

Look for offers: One way to avoid the shipping charge is by shopping when the websites come up with offers of free international shipping during festive or sale seasons. Many sites also waive off the charges on a minimum order amount.

While Indian consumers are willing to pay extra if they can find quality products online, shipping charges and customs duty often make the products 40-50% more expensive than the listed price. So research well. Last but not the least, be careful of online fraud and only shop from reliable websites.


Top performing mutual funds: 5 flexi cap funds that are highly rewarding

Top performing mutual funds: 5 flexi cap funds that are highly rewarding

Investing in a mixed set of funds (Large, medium and small cap) allows an investor to stay on the safer side of risk and minimize volatility.
Flexi-cap funds, essentially, have no restrictions on the market capitalisation of the stocks they can invest into. While large cap funds mainly invest into blue-chip company stocks , and the same follows for mid cap funds and small cap funds , flexi cap funds can alter their asset allocation strategies by switching between the three market caps as they deem fit.

ALSO READ: New kid on the block: Can Infosys and Vladimir Putin backed Ethereum take over Bitcoin?

In that respect, they enjoy a wider range of stocks to choose from. “Flexi cap funds’ flexible mandates allow them to rapidly adapt their portfolios to changing market dynamics, thereby allowing them to potentially capitalise on short term trends,” says Mayank Bhatnagar, COO, FinEdge.

So how does the Flexi cap fund work?

“Typically, flexi cap funds follow a research driven, bottom up strategy which involves more of stock picking based on merit, and less on following rigid rules for sectoral diversification,” says Bhatnagar adding that its market capitalisation is only a secondary consideration when investors go in for selection.

This allows flexi cap funds the advantage of diverting money where they see maximum advantage.

Well managed, high pedigree flexi cap funds are projected to give decent returns over a period of 5-7 years, with a risk of higher volatility. On the other hand – wrong calls made by a less capable fund management team may potentially lead to a drag on returns in the short to medium term.

Bhatnagar analyses that when it comes to flexi cap funds, ‘time in the market’ is more important than ‘timing the market’.

As Indian equity markets have been a strong bull run in the past several weeks, despite weak earnings growth, this scenario broadly be attributed as a ‘stock picker’s market’ that witnesses individual outperformers

“In such times, it certainly makes sense to allocate a portion of your equity investments to flexi cap funds with a 5-7 year time horizon. Be prepared for volatility, though,” he adds.

According to Morningstar here is the list of 5 top performing flexi cap funds along with their returns over different periods of time:

Frivolous fashions! The most memorable fashion looks from Royal Ascot

Image result for Frivolous,fashions!,The,most,memorable,fashion,looks,from,Royal,Ascot

The Royal Ascot may be the most prestigious English horse race, but it’s also one of the biggest fashion events of Britain’s high-society calendar. Royals and socialites flock to the Berkshire green for five days of equestrian action and more importantly the fanciest fashions.

Ever since it’s inception in around 1711, the Royal Ascot has set the scene for exquisite sartorial style, but it must be noted, one can’t just turn up in any old thing, there’s a strict Royal Ascot dress code.

Women must wear dresses of an appropriate length, meaning just above or below the knee, dress straps must be a least 2.5cm thick (no spaghetti straps!), hats are serious business, no facinators, however a headpiece which has a solid base of 10cm or more in diameter is acceptable.

Meanwhile, for the gents, socks are a must, as are black shoes, a waistcoat must be paired with a tie (no cravats) and a black or grey top hat is to be worn.

Now you’re clued up on the fashion dos and don’ts, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable fashion moments in the history of the Royal Ascot horse races.


30 Summer Shoes You Can Buy At Shopbop Up to 70% Off

If you’re anything like us, the last few days have been spent frantically planning how you’ll blow your hard-earned money on the many Fourth of July sales looming ahead. And the sales this year are no joke, almost everyone is slashing their prices. We’re the first to admit we’d dedicate a chunk of time to perusing a good ‘ol fashion discount, but even we realize how difficult it is navigate the rough sale waters without missing out on a few true gems.
The secret? It all comes down to narrowing down to a specific sale and dedicating your complete focus to it. Even better — pick a specific categories to peruse at a time. Having a strategic game plan will eliminate the inevitable stress that comes from seeing too many red price tags in a row. In this case, we’re breaking down the best discounted summer shoes that Shopbop has to offer. With a big blue banner claiming “up to 70% off”, now is the time to act.
Whether you’ve been on the lookout for mini wedges in highlighter hues or that one perfect pair of minimalist slides to wear all summer, we wouldn’t advise a dilly-dally approach. Instead, check out our no-shoe-missed guide to Shopbop’s summer sale for a quick and easy shopping experience that’s sure to get you the most bang for your buck.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh Sofie Slides, $426.00 $298.20, available at Shopbop.
Tibi Scott City Sandals, $550.00$385.00, available at Shopbop.
Dolce Vita Adalea Slides, $100.00$60.00, available at Shopbop.
Tibi Simon Slingback Pumps, $485.00$291.00, available at Shopbop.
Loeffler Randall Tilly Demi Wedge Slides, $350.00 $182.00, available at Shopbop.
Dolce Vita Kai Block Heel Sandals, $130.00 $91.00, available at Shopbop.
Mother of Pearl Alfie Slides, $450.00$315.00, available at Shopbop.
Loq Franca Pumps, $495.00 $371.25, available at Shopbop.
Coclico Evil Tea Slingback Pumps, $385.00 $269.50, available at Shopbop.
United Nude Terra Sandals, $250.00$175.00, available at Shopbop.
Coclico Ooh La La Block Heel Mules, $350.00 $245.00, available at Shopbop.
Tabitha Simmons Sophia Platform Slides, $495.00 $198.00, available at Shopbop.
Trademark Adrien Tie Slides, $478.00$286.80, available at Shopbop.
Stuart Weitzman Ava City Slides, $365.00 $255.50, available at Shopbop.
Dorateymur Harput Slides, $445.00$311.50, available at Shopbop.
Tibi Hanson City Sandals, $450.00$360.00, available at Shopbop.
Monse Glen Plaid Racing Stripe Mules, $850.00 $510.00, available at Shopbop.
Giuseppe Zanotti Clear Strap Slides, $535.00 $321.00, available at Shopbop.
Reike Nen Pointed Toe Mules, $338.00 $202.80, available at Shopbop.
Ganni Ebba Sneakers, $350.00$326.04, available at Shopbop.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh Martina Mesh Slides, $437.00 $305.89, available at Shopbop.
Trademark Taos Slides with Toe Strap, $228.00 $159.60, available at Shopbop.
Rebecca Minkoff Anden Peep Toe Flats, $125.00 $62.50, available at Shopbop.
Parme Marin Flip Thong Sandals, $264.50 $185.15, available at Shopbop.
Senso Bec Slides, $189.00 $132.30, available at Shopbop.
Parme Marin Simple Strap Slides, $276.00 $193.20, available at Shopbop.
Loq Marti Mules, $455.00 $318.50, available at Shopbop.
Tibi Hanson City Sandals, $395.00$316.00, available at Shopbop.
Dear Frances Bare Knot Slides, $375.00 $225.00, available at Shopbop.
The Fix Roxanne Mules, $89.00$53.40, available at Shopbop.

3-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Is Flower Girl at Bone Marrow Donor’s Wedding: ‘It Was Very Special’

Skye Savren-McCormick (center) with Hayden Ryals and bridesmaids

Skye Savren-McCormick (center) with Hayden Ryals and bridesmaids
Mark Broadway Photography

On July, 29, 2016, Hayden Ryals helped save 2-year-old Skye Savren-McCormick’s life with a bone marrow transplant. Now, two years later, Ryals and Skye teamed up for another special day: Ryals’ wedding.

On June 9, little Skye served as the flower girl as Ryals, 26, wed Adrian Ryals in Hartford, Alabama. Talia Savren-McCormick and her husband Todd set off on the long journey from their Ventura, California home to Alabama just two days before the ceremony where, Savren-McCormick says Skye enjoyed every moment.

“It was so sweet and she was really excited to do it. I put her one the ground and she took one step and then took a giant handful of flowers and tossed them on the ground,” Savren-McCormick tells PEOPLE of now-3-year-old Skye. “It was very heartwarming. We’re so grateful to Hayden, she saved Skye’s life. She was really cute.”


Amazon Prime Day Vs Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days: The 2018 Online Sale Showcase

Amazon Prime Day Vs Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days: The 2018 Online Sale Showcase

A June 2018 report expected Indian retail ecommerce sales to increase 31% to reach $32.7 Bn in 2018. The report was put to test during the recently concluded sales of Amazon and Flipkart— Prime Day and Big Shopping Days, respectively.

Amazon Prime Day was hosted for 36 hours on July 16-17, while Flipkart hosted Big Shopping Days for 80 hours from July 16-19.

The Big Shopping Days sale was Flipkart’s second sale event since the announcement of Walmart acquiring 77% stake in the company in May 2018. After its four-day Big Shopping Days sale held from May 13-16, Flipkart claimed in a media statement that it enabled 300 sellers to become millionaires.

Two Deep-Pocketed Players, Two Big Sales

During Big Shopping Days sale 2018, Flipkart claimed to generate four times its daily revenue and sell 2.5 times the daily units it sells on an average.

The 80-hour event generated sales equal to 15 non-sale days in terms of transaction value and sold as many units as 10 non-sale days. Also, the company claimed that traffic on the Flipkart platform increased by 150% of its daily traffic.

However, the Amazon Prime Day sale was something new for India.

Bringing its global event Prime Day to India for the first time, Amazon India offered 200 exclusive new product launches, thousands of deals, and video and music selections especially curated for Prime Day. The Prime Day offers stretched further for one week on Prime Music and Video as well.

The research company RedSeer has analysed customer perspective to these sales.

Here are a few highlights from the customer front:

  • Awareness of the Amazon or Flipkart sale is 60% compared to 100% in BBD/Great India Sale last year
  • Flipkart has a 60% mindshare during sale days compared to 40% for Amazon
  • 59% of respondents have bought on Flipkart while 41% have bought on Amazon (10% overlapping on both)
  • 68% of the respondents knew about the sale through low-cost digital channels
  • 39% of the customer purchased consumer electronics on Flipkart followed by Fashion while 35% of the customers purchased Fashion on Amazon followed by Mobiles
  • 60% of the consumers on Flipkart spent more than INR 5000 during the sale, while 70% of the consumers on Amazon spent more than INR 5000 during the sale
  • The use of PhonePe was 13% of the total payments on Flipkart while 9% of Amazon customers used Amazon Pay

So, Who Nailed It: Flipkart Or Amazon India?

Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country head, Amazon India, said, “Extending Prime Day to 36 hours this year allowed us to further reward members with unbeatable deals, access to exclusive new products, and unforgettable experiences that highlight the many benefits of a Prime membership. We also want to thank our sellers, brands and our content partners who helped to make Prime Day bigger and better.”

To be noted, members streamed music in 18 Indian and international languages on Prime Music in the week leading up to Prime Day. The week leading up to Prime Day was Prime Video’s best ever, with the highest number of streamers in India ever, as claimed by the company.

On the other hand, according to Smrithi Ravichandran, Senior Director, Flipkart, “During Big Shopping Days, the success of the sale is a testimony to our customer’s faith in us, making us as the destination where India shops. We are overwhelmed to see the RedSeer survey findings that reinstate our commitment and celebrate this success.”

Some of the unconventional categories that were a great success during this sale included Furniture and IoT other than the hot categories like mobiles, fashion and appliances, she added.

Amazon Vs Flipkart: Expanding Product Categories

Recently reports surfaced that Flipkart is working to triple its warehouse workforcefor upcoming festive season sale Big Billion Days.

Following the Walmart acquisition, Flipkart has been increasing its commitment to the Indian market with several new initiatives, including a foray into fintech for which it has sought NBFC certification. Flipkart has also set its next target — a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $17.6 Bn by 2020-21.

It must also be noted that a Forrester report had recently revealed that Flipkart’s standalone market share was estimated to be 31.9% at the end of 2017 while Amazon India’s was 31.1%.

Amazon had started out in India with a 14% share in 2015 against 43% of Flipkart. Citi Research estimates that Amazon India is currently in second place in the Indian ecommerce market with about $5 Bn in GMV.

Amazon had committed $5 Bn investment in India. Recently, Amazon opened 15 fulfilment centres in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai to create a specialised network for Amazon Now.

A Citi Research report had said that Amazon India is expected to reach $70 Bn in gross merchandise volume (GMV) and $11 Bn in net sales by 2027. The same report valued Amazon India at $16 Bn.

While Amazon India’s food retail plans have hit a roadblock, the company continues to expand its portfolio and has onboarded Indian handloom weavers, and also introduced Shutterbug.

At the same time, Flipkart has been expanding its bets on grocery, fashion, furniture etc as the company expects about 45% ($7.4 Bn) of its 2020-21 GMV target to be contributed by mobile phonesfollowed by large appliances and fashion at $2.7 Bn and $2.6 Bn, respectively. Groceries are expected to contribute another $1 Bn.

As the festive season sales preparations start for the ecommerce giants, customers can buy an increasing range of products on these platforms. But though the ecommerce giants may entice online shoppers with such sales, will they be able to taste the real success that comes with balance sheets showing profitability in this financial year?


Closing bell: Sensex, Nifty reverse losses, close at fresh record highs led by RIL

Sensex and Nifty 50 traded lower on Tuesday. Photo: Mint

Sensex and Nifty 50 traded lower on Tuesday. Photo: Mint
  • Mumbai: Indian benchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE’s Nifty 50 reversed losses and hit new record highs on Tuesday led by Reliance Industries ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision tomorrow. In intraday trade, Sensex rose 150.19 points to a new high of 37,644.59, while the Nifty 50 gained 46.45 points to an all-time high of 11,366. European stocks struggled for direction following earnings updates from major companies, while Asian markets were mixed as the Bank of Japan tweaked its monetary policy. Meanwhile, FIIs sold shares worth a net of Rs 234.04 crore on Monday, while DIIs bought shares worth a net of Rs 48.58 crore, provisional data showed. RBI’s monetary policy committee may raise policy rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday but is expected to maintain its neutral policy stance given the volatility in crude oil and food prices, economists say. Here are the latest updates from the markets:
  • 3.33 pm ISTClosing bell: Sensex, Nifty reverse losses, hit fresh record highsBSE Sensex closed higher by 112.18 points, or 0.30%, to 37,606.58, while the Nifty 50 rose 36.95 points, or 0.33%, to close at 11,356.50. During the day, Sensex rose 150.19 points to a new high of 37,644.59, while the Nifty 50 gained 46.45 points to an all-time high of 11,366.For the month, Sensex rose 6.16%, while the Nifty 50 advanced 5.99%.BSE MidCap and SmallCap rose 0.33% and 0.66%, respectively. All the sectoral indices on BSE, except bankex, finance and utilities, gained led by energy, consumer durables, realty and capital goods. Bankex and finance fell 0.44% and 0.53%, respectively.Reliance Industries, Hero MotoCorp, Dr. Reddy’s and Tech Mahindra were among the major gainers, whereas Axis Bank, HDFC, SBI and Eicher Motors were among the top losers. Tata Motors fell over 1% ahead of Q1 earnings.

  • 3.10 pm ISTIndia’s April-June fiscal deficit at 68.7% of FY targetIndia reported a fiscal deficit of Rs 4.29 trillion ($62.57 billion) for April-June, or 68.7% of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year compared with 80.8% a year ago. Net tax receipts in the first quarter of 2018/19 fiscal year that ends in March 2019 were Rs 2.37 trillion, government data showed. India expects to trim the deficit to 3.3% of GDP this fiscal year, after meeting an upwardly revised fiscal deficit target of 3.5% of GDP in 2017/18. Reuters

  • 3.00 pm ISTRaymond reports profit in Q1Raymond Ltd reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 2 lakh in the June quarter, compared to a loss of Rs 7.25 crore last year. Consolidated revenue from operations stood at Rs 1,251 crore versus Rs 1,197 crore in the same period last year. Raymond shares traded 1.58% lower at Rs 837.65.

  • 2.42 pm ISTYuken India shares rise as it considers bonus issueShares of Yuken India jumped 4.61% to Rs 3,499.95. The company disclosed that its board of directors will consider issuing bonus shares.

  • 2.30 pm ISTBankof India Q1 profit rises over 8%Bank of India Ltd said on Tuesday quarterly profit rose 8.4% as the state-run bank recomputed tax provisions made a year earlier. Net profit was Rs 95.11 crore for the quarter ended June, compared with Rs 87.71 crore a year earlier. Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans rose to 16.66% at end-June, from 16.58% in the previous quarter, and 13.05% a year ago. Bank of India shares traded 5.85% lower at Rs 97.35.

  • 2.15 pm ISTUPL shares rise as Q1 profit risesUPL Ltd reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 510 crore in the first quarter ended 30 June, compared to a profit of Rs 473 crore last year and lower than the Reuters consensus forecast of Rs 514 crore. Consolidated revenue from operations came in at Rs 4,134 crore in the June quarter, up from Rs 3,851 crore in the same period last year. UPL shares traded 0.42% higher at Rs 644.40. In intraday, the stock rose as much as 2.22% to Rs 656.

  • 1.50 pm ISTLet public sector banks manage themselves, says BoB chief Ravi VenkatesanWeak balance sheets and laws that require the state to hold at least 51% of their shares have left public lenders dependent on the government for new capital



    Let public sector banks manage themselves, says BoB chief Ravi Venkatesan https://www.livemint.com/Companies/CrzMaOAEiGUAOAggo9vNFK/Let-PSU-manage-themselves-says-BoB-chief-Ravi-Venkatesan.html 

    Let public sector banks manage themselves, says BoB chief Ravi Venkatesan

    Weak balance sheets and laws that require the state to hold at least 51% of their shares have left public lenders dependent on the government for new capital


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  • 1.33 pm ISTMahindra Lifespace shares fall 2%Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd shares traded 2.19% to Rs 554.40. The company said its shareholders have approved a private placement of non convertible debentures worth Rs750 crore.

  • 1.10 pm ISTEuropean stock markets wobble at openEurope’s stock markets wobbled in opening trade, with London’s FTSE 100 shares index adding just 0.1 percent to stand at 7,705.50 points. In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s benchmark DAX 30 index also rose 0.1 percent to 12,809.74 points, while the Paris CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent to 5,486.13 compared with Monday’s closing level. AFP

  • 12.53 pm ISTReliance Industries topples TCS as India’s most valued firmReliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Tuesday toppled Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) as the most valued company in India. At 12.36pm, RIL shares were trading 2.16% higher at ₹ 1174.90, imparting it a market cap of ₹ 7.44 trillion. TCS, at ₹ 1930 per share, was valued at ₹ 7.39 trillion. Read more

  • 12.35 pm ISTFII equity holding up marginally in April-JuneForeign institutional investors (FII) increased their ownership in India’s biggest listed companies in the June quarter although they are net sellers of Indian equities so far this year due to concerns of steep valuations and weakening currency. Year to date, FIIs sold Indian equities worth $584.25 million with an outflow of nearly $2.7 billion alone in the June quarter. In the same period, benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty jumped 10.09% and 7.49%, respectively. Read more

  • 12.13 pm ISTAnil Agarwal makes firm offer to buy rest of Vedanta ResourcesVedanta Resources Plc said on Tuesday that chairman Anil Agarwal’s family trust, Volcan Investments, made a firm offer to buy Vedanta stake it did not already own in a deal that values the mining conglomerate at $3.07 billion. Vedanta investors will receive $10.89 per share in cash for each share of the company, representing a premium of about 6 percent to the stock’s Monday close. Vedanta Ltd shares traded 1.36% down at Rs 221.70 per share on BSE. Reuters

  • 12.00 pm ISTNPA resolution, loan book pick up key challenges for Axis Bank“Going forward, ageing related requirements, resolution of stressed assets, and importantly loan book pick up will be key challenges before Axis Bank,” said Lalitabh Shrivastawa, AVP of research, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas. “Also, better clarity on the top-level succession plan and the roadmap going forward will also be helpful in providing with a sense of direction. While the present quarter performance is welcome respite, we prefer to await further developments to gain confidence on the stock.” The brokerage upgraded rating to “hold” with a revised PT of Rs 625. Axis Bank shares traded 1.21% lower at Rs 561.60.

  • 11.40 am ISTHDFC shares extend losses, down nearly 2%Shares of HDFC Ltd extended losses for the second day and fell as much as 1.8% to Rs 1,991.50. The company on Monday reported a 54% jump in standalone net profit to Rs 2,190 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June, compared to a net profit of Rs 1,424.47 crore in the same period last year. Q1 revenue from operations increased to Rs 9,883.64 crore, as against Rs 8,259.77 crore in the year-ago period.Read: HDFC continues to bask in affordable housing glory

  • 11.15 am ISTSensex, Nifty at new highs, but why is the current market rally so different?Even as the benchmark Sensex and Nifty cross new highs, this rally is strikingly different than the previous ones. With unsettled macroeconomic situation and a handful of stocks driving the benchmark indices up, the euphoria and confidence in the rally is missing for the medium term. While wealth managers and analysts believe the rally will continue in the near term, they are not sure how long it will continue in the current state. Read more

    Graphic: Mint

    Graphic: Mint
  • 10.57 am ISTTata Motors Q1 results today: Key things to watch out forTata Motors Ltd, India’s largest automaker by sales revenue, will report its June quarter (Q1 FY19) results on Tuesday. The sustained turnaround in the domestic business, helped by a low base, is unlikely to offset a muted performance by the UK subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Automotive Plc, as the Tata Group flagship is expected to report a net profit of Rs 909.1 crore on net sales of Rs 70,900.8 crore, according to a Bloomberg poll of 10 analysts. Read moreTata Motors shares traded 1.20% down at Rs 264.10 per share on BSE. During the June quarter, the Tata Motors stock declined 17.76%, while the benchmark Sensex gained 7.45%.

  • 10.33 am ISTTech Mahindra shares rise on strong Q1 resultsShares of software services provider Tech Mahindra Ltd rose as much as 4.3% to Rs 683.75. The company reported a 12% rise in Q1 profit. Around 4.4 mln shares change hands, 1.3 times their 30-day average. Up to Monday’s close, the Tech Mahindra stock had risen 30% this year compared to Nifty IT index’s 23.6 pct gain.Investec said pace of deal wins implies that long awaited improvement in growth from telecom segment has begun. The brokerage maintained rating at “buy” and price target at Rs 786.Jefferies raised rating to “hold” from “underperform” and prices target to Rs 715 from Rs 625. It also raised constant currency growth estimate for FY19 slightly but keeps USD growth rate unchanged to factor in higher cross-currency headwind.26 of 41 brokerages rate the stock “buy” or higher, seven “hold” and eight “sell” or lower; their median PT is Rs 747.50. Reuters

  • 10.04 am ISTIdea shares trade lower after Q1 resultsIdea Cellular shares traded 4.535 lower at Rs 55.80. Idea reported a consolidated net profit of Rs256.5 crore for the June quarter, compared to a loss of Rs814.9 crore a year ago.



    Ahead of merger with Vodafone, Idea Cellular reports its weakest results https://www.livemint.com/Money/2RBI60iMPHfiWFZC2dfDLJ/Ahead-of-merger-with-Vodafone-Idea-Cellular-reports-its-wea.html 

    Ahead of merger with Vodafone, Idea Cellular reports its weakest results

    While Vodafone India appears to be in a slightly better position, the merged Vodafone-Idea entity will start on a weak footing


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  • 9.35 am ISTAxis Bank shares rise 3% after Q1 resultsShares of Axis Bank Ltd gained as much as 2.90% to Rs 584.95. The bank reported that its first-quarter net profit dipped 46.30% to Rs 701.09 crore, year on year, on the back of higher provisions and lower other income. The bank’s net profit was Rs 1,305.60 crore in the same quarter last year. The net profit was higher than the Rs 624.2 crore estimated by a Bloomberg poll of 16 analysts.

  • 9.27 am ISTIndoGo shares fall over 10% as Q1 profit plungesInterGlobe Aviation Ltd shares fell 9.78% to Rs 906 after the company reported 97% decline in its profit to ₹27.79 crore, from ₹811.14 crore a year earlier. Revenue rose 14.5% to ₹6,818.34 crore from a year earlier, as IndiGo flew more passengers, although at the expense of yields as intense competition restricted its ability to raise fares enough to sufficiently cover the increased costs. Read more

  • 9.23 am ISTAvenue Supermarts shares gain 3% on Q1 resultsShares of Avenue Supermarts Ltd rose 3% to Rs 1,633.90 after the company reported 43% increase in its net profit to Rs 250.60 crore against Rs 174.80 crore a year ago. Its revenue grew 27% at Rs 4,559.4 crore against Rs 3,598.1 crore, year on year.

  • 9.18 am ISTSensex, Nifty trade lowerBSE Sensex traded lower by 98.76 points, or 0.26%, to 37,395.64, while the Nifty 50 inched down 16.60 points, or 0.15%, to 11,302.95.

  • 9.15 am ISTRupee opens flat ahead of RBI policy meetingThe Indian rupee was trading little changed against the US dollar as traders avoided taking long positions ahead of key central bank meetings this week. At 9.15am, the rupee was trading at 68.69 a dollar, down 0.01% from its previous close of 68.68. The currency opened at 68.71 a dollar. The 10-year bond yield stood at 7.786%, from its Monday’s close of 7.79%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions. So far this year, the rupee has weakened 7%, while foreign investors have sold $524.30 million and $6.21 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively.

  • 9.07 am ISTOpening bell: Cues to look out for before trading today■ In the US, stocks fell as a steep decline in technology shares that started last week carried through to Monday. Asian shares slipped on Tuesday after Wall Street posted losses amid weakness in the technology sector. Meanwhile, investors are set to focus on the Bank of Japan’s decision at the end of its policy meeting later in the day.■ A national regulator for e-commerce, mandatory data localization and tax sops for data centres are part of an upcoming legislation governing all aspects of electronic commerce in the country, the draft of a national policy showed.■ Axis Bank said its first-quarter net profit dipped 46.30% to Rs 701.09 crore, year on year, on the back of higher provisions and lower other income.■ The government released the draft of the goods and services tax (GST) return forms as it looks to make the return filing process simpler for taxpayers.■ Homegrown FMCG major Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) reported 79.88% jump in consolidated net profit at Rs405.04 crore in the first quarter ended 30 June, 2018, driven by strong domestic market performance.■ Tata Power said it has got shareholders’ approval to raise up to Rs5,500 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures on private placement basis.■ Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) said it plans to increase prices of its passenger vehicles by up to Rs 30,000 from next month in order to offset impact of rising commodity prices.■ The recent goods and services tax (GST) rate cuts will exert pressure on India’s fiscal consolidation and are therefore credit negative, Moody’s Investor Service said.■ Earnings Corner: Bank of India, BASF, Castrol India, Dabur and Tata Motors are among the companies that will announce their June quarter earnings today.(Harsha Jethmalani/Mint)


Nothing Scotch about this egg

Scotch eggs,Nargisi koftas,Daniel Boulud

Over the last two decades, chefs in the West have taken relatively humble dishes and tried to turn them into something special. The hamburger is one instance. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most American chefs did their own riffs on the burger, including, perhaps most influentially, Daniel Boulud’s version at DB Bistro Moderne in New York. This used high-quality beef, foie gras and every other luxury ingredient Boulud had lying around in his kitchen.

Then, it was the turn of the boring old Mac and Cheese to get the haute cuisine treatment. These days, fancy chefs will add slices of black truffles to the cheese (the flavours go well) while lesser chefs will mistakenly believe that they are elevating the dish with liberal use of synthetic truffle oil.

British chefs took longer to catch on and when they did, the luxury updates focussed on better cooking skills and ingredients: good fish and superb frying for fish and chips; triple-cooking of chips for the perfect texture, pigs-in-a-blanket or bangers and mash made with artisanal sausages etc.

I like the idea of upgrading dishes though, frankly, one often gets tired of the newer versions fairly quickly. I would never order a so-called gourmet burger, for instance. And very few of the upgrades actually last; most fade as new trends develop.

The Nargisi kofta was originally a curry that was recreated by the Brits as Scotch eggs

These are a few exceptions though. Joel Robuchon’s pommes puree have become the benchmark for upmarket mashed potatoes. Anton Mosimann’s Bread and Butter Pudding has transformed the way that old nursery favourite is cooked. And though Heston Blumenthal’s triple-cooked chips are difficult to pull off (even the ones I had at Heston’s own The Hind’s Head were rubbish), that hasn’t stopped chefs from using “triple-cooked chips” as a menu cliché.

One such dish that has become a favourite of chefs who want to upgrade old comfort staples is the Scotch egg. If you have tried one of the industrially manufactured versions in the UK then you will know how disgusting mass-produced Scotch eggs can be. The pork component consists of cheap sausage meat, which is basically mince made from the parts of the pig that nobody wants to buy. And the inside is a tough, hard-boiled egg, laid by a battery chicken in an industrial operation somewhere.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us? Well, because it is an Indian dish

So, it was relatively easy for chefs to upgrade the dish. All they had to do was to use good quality free-range eggs and proper sausage meat.

As the remake grew in popularity, newer versions emerged. One obvious route – to indicate that the dish had been freshly made – was to soft boil the egg (the original dish calls for hard- boiled eggs) so that a liquid yolk oozed out when you cut into it. A second was to change the batter. At one of Bruce Poole’s restaurants in London (it may have been La Trompette) I had an interesting Scotch egg over a decade ago: the egg was soft-boiled, the batter was panko (which is of Japanese origin) and they had used good quality truffle oil to add another layer of flavour.

These days, the upmarket Scotch egg turns up again and again as a canapé. Chefs use quail’s eggs, which are much smaller than hen’s eggs and you are encouraged to pop the whole thing into your mouth at one go.

Why should the fortunes of the Scotch egg concern us?

Well, because it is an Indian dish.

Yes. Really.

This is not something Brits are ready to accept. The London store Fortnum & Mason even claims to have invented the Scotch egg. And there have been many theories about the name because it is clearly not a traditional Scottish dish. One theory even has it that the recipe was first written down by the author of Ivanhoe, who was called Sir Walter Scott. And so, rather than call it the Ivanhoe Egg, they named it after the author – Scott became Scotch.

But I will go with the views of the late Alan Davidson, the greatest food historian of the 20th century. Davidson says that British soldiers ate our Nargisi kofta curry and loved it so much that they tried to recreate it at home. The original curry had a tomato gravy and when this proved too difficult to reproduce in Britain, they started using a hot sauce instead. It was a small step from eating the koftas with a bottled sauce to serving them on their own and leaving it to individuals to decide which condiment they wanted to use.

The original curry had a tomato gravy that was difficult to recreate in Britain (Shutterstock)

That’s how the dry Scotch egg was created and today, its Indian origins are either forgotten or denied outright. I have read many outlandish theories about its origin. One states that it was invented as a fish-mince dish in Yorkshire by an establishment called William J. Scott and sons – hence the name Scotch egg. Another ascribes Algerian origins to the dish, which might have been slightly plausible had Britain (rather than France) colonised Algeria or if there had been mass Algerian immigration to the UK.

Mass-produced Scotch eggs consist of cheap minced meat and a hard-boiled egg (Shutterstock)

We know that the first British recipe for a Scotch egg turns up in 1826 and calls for the dish to be eaten with gravy. This fits in nicely with the Raj origin theory: all the we-Brits-invented-it nonsense works on the assumption that a dry Scotch egg was the original. But as that early recipe proves, it started out as a gravy dish.

But where in India did the British find the original Scotch egg/Nargisi kofta?

One view is that it is a Hyderabadi dish but I have met chefs from Lucknow who say that it is part of their tradition. And let’s not forget that kofta is a Middle Eastern word. So my guess is that some enterprising Indian chef in the middle ages was experimenting with a new kind of kofta curry when he came up with this dish.

It could have been invented in North India and then travelled to Hyderabad or the journey could have taken the reverse direction. Either way, it is hard to find a good Nargisi kofta in either Lucknow or Hyderabad these days.

When the food writer Anissa Helou was researching her masterly Feast: The Food of the Islamic World, I had dinner with her at the Maurya in Delhi. Though she enjoyed the Dum Pukht biryani, she told Gulam Qureshi, the chef, that she had searched in vain for a good Nargisi kofta in India.

Chef Gulam Qureshi at ITC makes delish Nargisi koftas

Gulam wandered off and then, towards the end of our meal, he returned with a plate of Nargisi koftas. They were outstanding. Anissa loved them and a recipe for Nargisi koftas (and this story) ended up in Feast.

Last week, I phoned Dum Pukht and asked Gulam if he could make some Nargisi kofta for dinner. And he was kind enough to do so. But this time he made the original dish: a curry.

This was the classic version, he explained. The last time around, he didn’t have the keema required to make the koftas so he had used the mixture that goes into Kakori kebabs instead.

I am nobody to argue with one of the country’s best Avadhi chefs but while his gravy version was terrific, I much preferred the improvised Kakori-mince version.

Chef Manish Mehrotra cooked the modern Nargisi kofta with chicken mince and his dish was a great hit on the menu of Indian Accent (Rohit Chawla for Indian Accent)

Gulam’s Nargisi kofta is not on the Dum Pukht menu yet but he is working on putting the dish on his tasting menu. Let’s see which version he goes with.

Sadly, even Manish Mehrotra has taken his modern Nargisi kofta off the Indian Accent menu.

Influenced perhaps by the Scotch egg revival in the UK, Manish tried to create a kofta in which the yolk stayed runny. He poached the egg, threw away the white and put the yolk in the centre of the kofta.

Then, he found he had a problem. In the time it took to cook the mutton mince, the yolk solidified. So Manish decided to use chicken mince which cooks much faster and lets the yolk stay runny. The dish was a great hit in its time but Manish has now moved on.

Much of Manish’s food has its roots in humble dishes that he modernises and upgrades (the famous Daulat ki chaat, for example). Gulam’s food, on the other hand, is largely faithful to the Avadhi court cuisine tradition. But that’s the beauty of the Nargisi kofta. It works brilliantly as both a modern and a traditional dish. It is a true Indian classic.

As for the British Scotch egg; they can keep it. We much prefer the original.