The Art of the Deal

$7.8 billion

What is it? Estimated government IT spending in India in 2017, according to Gartner.

Why is it important? It represents a growth of 7.5% from 2016, but down from earlier estimation of 9.5%. The revision underlines the concern that India’s government spending is shrinking when it should be gearing up on the back of slowdown in economic growth. Credit Suisse in a report said the overall government spending might be revised down to meet fiscal deficit targets.

Tell me more: Gartner said the downward revision was due to “effects of demonetization and a drop in industrial production.” .



What is it? The number of Maharashtra districts witnessing farmer protests.

Why is it important? In these districts, farmers stopped vehicles carrying farm and dairy produce headed for cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad. They are agitating to ensure higher prices for their produce and demand a farm loan waiver similar to that in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP government in Maharashtra will have to spend Rs 30,500 crore to do so.

Tell me more: Even though the Fadnavis government had said it would study UP’s move, the farmers’ association has complained they got no assurance on Tuesday, leading to the strike.



What is it? The number of seats Conservative Party is predicted to win in next week’s UK general elections.

Why is it important? If the prediction turns out to be right, the party will fall short of 9 seats for a majority, leading to a hung parliament. Only twice since 1926 did the elections yield such results in the UK – in 1974 and 2010. If Conservatives fail to get a majority, its dependence on smaller parties will go up diluting its stand on policies.

Tell me more: Conservatives, under Theresa May, called for snap election on June 8, to pave the way for smoother Brexit-related legislation, as it now has only a thin majority of 17.


$124.7 million

What is it? The revenue of driverless vehicle technology company, Mobileye, in the Jan-Mar quarter.

Why is it important? The Israeli company’s revenues increased by 66%, on the back of new partners such as major automakers and development of complex driver assistance systems. Mobileye is in the midst of being bought out by Intel.

Tell me more: While Intel has moved to acquire it, end users such as BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen have signed up for its camera-enabled self-driving car systems that avoid collisions. Ensuring safety is the priority in the driverless automobile engineering, even as collisions serve as grim reminders to their limits.


$4.2 billion

What is it? The amount Russian government will lend India towards the construction cost of two nuclear power reactors.

Why is it important? The credit line is a part of a much awaited deal to jointly build two nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu. It was one among the five deals signed by India and Russia during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country. The agreement would lead to building of units 5 and 6 at Kudankulam, each with a capacity of 1000MW.

Tell me more: The two reactors will be built by India’s Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Russia’s Atomstroyexport. India has 22 nuclear power reactors at present with an overall capacity of  6780 MW.

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News in Numbers, Mar 14, 2017: 🎓 IIM-A where A = Amazon


What is it? Number of job offers from Amazon at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for the class of 2017.

Why is it important? This makes the e-commerce player the top recruiter at the premier institute, reflecting the growing power of new-age companies, overtaking conventional sector such as FMCG, consulting firms and finance. The second highest number of offers from a single company was 15, from McKinsey & Company.

Tell me more: Even when companies are hit by adverse economic conditions, recruitment at IIM-A remains largely unaffected.



What is it? The world test batting rank of Indian captain, Virat Kohli.

Why is it important? Kohli slipped further one rank after his lacklustre performance in the last four innings, with rating points of 847. At the end of the second test against Australia, he had dropped to the third spot. Earlier, Kohli had to cede the second spot he had occupied to England’s Joe Root. Kohli is 53 rating points ahead of Australia’s David Warner.

Tell me more: The same set of matches, however, helped R Ashwin regain the top spot among allrounders. He replaced Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and is 31 rating points ahead (with 434 points).


$15.3 billion

What is it? The amount US chip company, Intel, will pay to buy Israeli tech firm, Mobileye, creators of a driverless technology.

Why is it important? Not only is it the largest purchase of an Israeli high-tech company, but is also the largest acquisition of a company specialising only in driverless technology and anti-collision systems. In the emerging space of driverless assistance, that large tech Silicon Valley companies are already competing in, chip companies are under pressure to consolidate their hold as they are an integral part of it. Intel itself collaborated with the $10.6 billion Mobileye for BMW’s fleet of self-driving test vehicles.

Tell me more: Qualcomm made a $47 billion deal to buy NXP, the biggest automotive chip supplier, to create the largest cluster of sensors, chips, networking needed for autonomous driving.



What is it? Trailing price to earning ratio (P/E ratio) of top five IT companies. P/E ratio is an indicator of investors’ expectation of growth and earnings of a company.

Why is it important? Given IT companies’ high profit margins and revenue growth, it  has always been higher than the P/E ratio of the Sensex. Now, Sensex P/E ratio is 22.1. The gap indicates the tough times faced by IT companies because of changes in business, technology and political environment, especially the American president Donald Trump’s stand against outsourcing.

Tell me more: About half a dozen bills have been tabled in the United States congress, arguing that H1B visa programme is stopping American citizens from getting jobs.



What is it? North-east monsoon deficit in Tamil Nadu this season.

Why is it important? The deficit is seen across southern states, and indicates that Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are likely to face water shortages in the coming months. The water levels in the reservoirs, especially in Tamil Nadu, are at low levels.

Tell me more: The North East monsoon deficit was -61% in Kerala and -63% coastal Karnataka. South east monsoon deficit stood at -19% in Tamil Nadu, -34% in Kerala and -21% in coastal Karnataka.

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