Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Intellectual property rights vs Profit protection right ??

Knowledge@Wharton : Patent Controversy Resumes as Indian Supreme Court Rejects Novartis’ Glivec Claim

This is not at all an 'intellectual property rights' vs 'affordability' case as its being painted all over but really a simpler case on extension of patent beyond its original period. The drug in question was awarded patent long back for its innovation at that time and Novartis has reaped all the benefits of exclusivity awarded by the patent regime - even in India.

Now, when the patent is about to expire, the company management in order to retain its large pharma status (and of course profits) make inconsequential changes to the manufacturing process (to simplify: say replace cane sugar in lemonade with equivalent amount of corn sugar) and call it a new innovation and demand patent over it. The so called innovation does not impact the efficacy of the drug and is just a physical modification made only to "evergreen" the patent. The driver of such practice is not at all any innovation but is really monopolistic practices to make huge profits.

Unfortunately, most countries like USA does not recognize this ever-greening as a monopolistic malpractice and its only Indian patent law which disallows such practice. Indian courts just upheld the law of the land to reject the patent application of Novartis which did not brought any real innovation.

Even more unfortunate is that globally India is maligned now to be stealing intellectual property. The lobby groups of big pharma (who thrive on a fraction of profits made by companies through such monopolistic practices) are going hitter titter calling names to India and its courts. Some groups are supporting the cause for the benefits it serve to poor around the world by generally reducing the cost of such drugs by ~95%-97% (imagine the profit margin of big pharma). But benefit to poor is only a consequence of the law and its not any robin hood philosophy behind it.

The intellectuals of the world should debate if the intellectual property rights are really about protecting ingenuity or profits ?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Conferred with Corporate Dealmaker of the year award for the recent acquisitions

Dear All, I am very pleased to share that I have been conferred with Corporate Dealmaker of the Year award by Global M&A Network at a ceremony held on Nov 3, 2011 at hotel Four Season in Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, I also participated in M&A intelligence forum and chaired a panel discussion on Corporate Growth Strategy.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Where are the crorepaties ??

I was shocked to see the following graphic in today's Economic Times. There are only 20,000 odd tax payers in India with income more than Rs 1 Cr. I am sure, I can find more just in Andheri suburb of Mumbai. 
If we do a back of envelop calculation assuming that India has 1% 'real' crorepatis - Annual taxable income of 1Cr and more. On a very conservative side, it means about 1 Cr people do not pay tax on their taxable income of minimum 1 Cr each. At current tax slabs, this would estimate to a whopping 1,25,000 crores. Compare this amount with the total direct and indirect tax receipt estimate of Union Budget -  Rs 9,32,440 crore. Bloody 15% of total tax income of the government. 

This much money can (a) do wonders to our Infrastructure spending or (b) reduce the income tax rates drastically to spread the load of running the country from a 'helpless service-class' to more evenly with the 'business-class'. The service-class as I see is actually working like a 'slave class' by filling up all the hard earned money as taxes while our business-class reap all the benefits, buy properties, gold and other luxury stuff in black and do not pay any tax.

It is terrible state of affairs of Indian finances on what could be the extent of the black money doing around. I am sure that Income Tax Department is not so helpless to not even know how many people in India are really crorepaties... Somebody should check that may be our Income Tax dons themselves may be having more than 20000 'black sheeps' earning more than a crore each just to keep the listed crorepaties low in the country.

God bless India.

Monday, January 25, 2010

ISB ranked 12 in 2010 FT MBA Rankings

Indian School of Business does it again by rapidly increasing its ranking in the annual FT MBA rankings.

As always the parameter where ISB scores on all other BSchools is the % increase in salary from pre to post MBA. ISB registered a salary increase of 166% for its students against 109% for Harvard and 102% for INSEAD (also a 1 year program like ISB)

What are the reasons for it ? are ISB alumni's overpaid compared to peers from other renowned BSchools ? or are ISB alumni so good that companies are fighting for them ? or India has big shortage of management talent ?? While these are some of possible conclusions and personally I would like to side with 2nd one, but honestly I think a big part of this increase is that the pre-MBA salaries in India are far too low !!

The journey so far for ISB has been commendable and has established itself into the realms of ivy league but it is just the start of tougher part - sustaining itself there... Alumni like me have to play a crucial role in this by doing our part well and bringing good repute to the school and surely alumni are at it...

An interesting fact measured by the rankings is that ISB alumni has ranked the school very low on fulfilling their goals or reasons for doing MBA...

Like the increase in salary chart it is very easy to make wrong conclusions from this chart as well... do students have wrong / too much expectations from the school or the business practices in India are still rudimentary where students do not get to apply what they learn ? May be ISB can set this right by slightly extending the duration and including internship in the curriculum... Internship will not only provide students an opportunity to better judge career prospects but also will provide to get back to business with right expectations !!!

charts and data courtesy: FT.com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Landline numbers to become 10 Digits!

I agree with Arun's comment that it would be a big inconvenience to change 500M+ mobile numbers and that way TRAI's proposal of changing landline numbers makes sense... but just thinking from a 'brand building' perspective having 11 digit when world has 10 is a sure indicator that Indian economy has potential to become an order of magnitude larger than anyone else in the world !!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Unreal estate !

The survey published in this week's economist is pretty interesting. According to it, Mumbai is among the least buy to let yield rates city. It means that if someone is buying a property only to lease it.. then its a money loosing proposition given the high inflation and interest rates scenario.

But what about the returns when a sells the property?

The real return of any real estate world over is from the capital gains. Even in this list if we analyze the topper Cairo, the rank has no meaning... Just a look at the prevalent interest rate there which is at 12.12% for 3 month loan (Reference: economist - published 28th Aug 2008) suggest that the return would be therefore negative ! True it will be more negative for Mumbai, but the comparison is still not accurate.

An accurate comparison should not just compare buy to let yeilds but should also adjust it for prevalent home loan rate and also the price appreciation. Mumbai which is doing badly on yeild & interest rate (thanks to Indian inflation) will quickly climb rankings on the capital gains! This will hold inspite of recent softening of property rates.