Which business decisions affected our day to day normal lives? Which business related amendments in law led to chaos and which introduced order? Which businesses gained momentum and disrupted the status quo? Which decisions by business magnates led to reduction in employment and which inducted newer jobs?
Here are the biggest and most influential business moments of 2016:
On the evening of November 8th, Indian businesses witnessed a change, the scale of which was experienced by no other Indian, ever. In a single move, 86% of fluid currency in the market was declared illegal tenders, as Govt. of India launched a massive operation to curb black money and to push for a cashless economy.
Such was the effect that Rs 5522 crore of old currency was infused into the banking system, per hour as Rs 8.44 lakh crore was deposited in banks within 21 days. All Govt. spending above Rs 5000 was mandated to be cashless, as Govt. announced large scale schemes and offers to lure traders, merchants and businesses into cashless mode.
Easily, demonetization was the single biggest business moment of 2016.
GST Roll Out
Goods and Services Tax, which will replace all existing state, excise and Central Govt. taxes, was one of the biggest business decisions of the year. If cashless is going to change the way businesses are being done, introduction of GST will change the businesses itself, as the price of a goods will now be almost same in Agartala or in Bhuj; Delhi or Mangalore.
As promised by PM Modi last year, reforms pertaining to GST were executed at full speed this year as the crucial GST portal went live in November and 20 lakh service tax payers were migrated to the new platform. Govt. demystified the GST tax slabs, and made it easier for businesses to understand GST and allocated special budget to make the necessary changes in the IT framework for implementing GST.
If you wanted to know how GST will impact startups, here is an interesting discussion.
Along with demonetization and GST, Reliance Jio was the entity which can be described as equally powerful business moment. 2016 witnessed Jio’s official launch, as Mukesh Ambani triggered a tsunami in the telecom circle, pan-India.
Free calling, free Internet and free SMS was launched for 3 months, and then extended till 6 months, a decision which shook the telecom industry.
Jio, which became world’s 6th largest telecom company in terms of data usage, even before their official launch, garnered 1.6 crore customers within a month of their launch, and 2.5 crore within 2 months.
Although there were issues with other telecom operators, which led to more dropped calls than expected, users kept on subscribing to Jio’s plan, and their userbase expanded. Speed was also an issue, which left on fluctuating and forcing their users to be patient.
Now,m as Jio is planning to launch broadband services as well, all eyes are now set for 2017 which will be Jio’s ultimate test when the free offers end.
Automation & Robotics
2016 would also be remembered as the year when maximum terminations happened, owing to automation and entry of bots in mainstream jobs.
It seems people took World Bank lightly, when he said that automation can kill 60% of all jobs. But subsequent events proved that World Bank was not entirely off the mark.
While Raymond announced firing of 10,000 employees, because their jobs would be now down by robots; HDFC deployed a robot inside a bank branch, for the first time in India and Pizza Hut started taking orders by bots.
While the expansion of automation and robots continued, around 4 lakh engineers were driven out of job as campus recruitment fell to 7 year low.
2017 seems scary now.
Ratan Tata – Cyrus Mistry Battle
In October this year, Cyrus Mistry, Chairman of Tata Sons for last four years, was unceremoniously removed by the Board, thereby triggering a battle between Ratan Tata and Mistry, which is still underway.
While Ratan Tata blamed Mistry for negative growth, increase in debt, his management style and lot more in a public, open letter, Cyrus Mistry blamed the 79 year old business czar of imposing his own opinion, and interfering in this day to day operations.
Few days back, Tata Sons sued Cyrus Mistry over breach of contract as he shared confidential information about the company to the media, while Cyrus Mistry has put forth allegations of breaches of governance within the Tata group; misconduct at Tata ventures; and the illegality of his ouster.
The battle is far from over, as Tata Son’s stakeholders are keeping their fingers crossed, and waiting for the storm to subside.
Patanjali, the ‘Make in India’ manufacturing company, which opened its first unit in 2014, has quickly scaled the charts to become India’s #1 FMCG company.
The trigger moment happened in February this year, when Patanjali raced ahead of established FMCG companies to become TV’s top ad-spender.
By the time January 2016 ended, Patanjali was churning out revenues of Rs 3200 crore, with an aim to cross Rs 5000 crore revenues by end of 2016.
After disrupting ayurved and health products, Patanjali is now selling literally everything under the sun – right from health juices to ghee; milk shakes to wheat and rice. Even shoes and jeans are in the pipeline, which would be soon launched.
And, international expansion is on the cards as well.
For being the new FMCG czars, Patanjali has included in the list of biggest business moments in 2016.
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