Funding your property investment

Saturday, April 24, 2010

With foriegn banks finding its ways into India soil, finding capital for your investment is geting much easier now adays when compared to decade back. Whether you are looking to buy TV or vehicle or property there are plenty of option, if you can show some your fund flow for the last six month.

By Fund flow, I mean, monthly salary or business returns. More than salary or business return the financiers might also look for monthly average excess in your bank account, so that they can judge whether you would be in position to service his loans.

Earlier, people made a modest living, would never go for a loan for investing in vehicle or even for apartment. This was the case about 15 years back. Bank used to provide loans for housing only upto 15%, the rest 85% should have come from home purchaser. The general thought was property like home was almost a dead investment. Real estate was never a priority sector lending for nationalized bank, it was small industry & agriculture which were the priority sector lending for the bank. However, it looks to me that both the sectors have been overlooked these days and home loans have taken higher precedance.

When financing the small industry, banks used to look for the Debt (loan amount) : Equity (owners capital) ratio, normally they considered this ratio to be around 3:1, which mean if investment is 30 lakhs, owner should have brought in 10 lakhs. Going by the same thought, this can be applied for purchasing a house as well. For example for a 30 lakhs property, it better 10 lakhs (approx 30%) is brought in as your contribution. The more your contribution, the safer you feel and more the debt content could mean inviting trouble.

Finally, my two cents on this topic particularly on property transaction, are to look at the trend in last 15 years are so, year on year basis, if the increase has been 10 to 15% then its a safe bet to invest, had the rise been steep like 100 or 200% there would be some correction. The correction could even be the pricing stabilizing without raising further, meaning whether you purchase now or 4 to 5 years down the line, there may not be much variation.

Further one has to keep in mind, that unlike west, India does not guarantee social security for its citizen during sunset years and hence better do some home work before taking debt route for financing your property investment.

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US - India Partnership: It Matters

Friday, April 2, 2010

When I came to know about a the blog contest on "US - India Partnership", more than just participation, I thought its need of the hour to foster a strong relation, otherwise I believe its a missed opportunity for ever. Frankly, this partnership should have emerged long back, but didn't.

If one looks at history about couple of decade back or prior 1990's relationship where not so great or harmonious as they should have been, they are so many reason to it like snail paced communication erstwhile USSR was a superpower and considered closer ally to India, politically and distance wise.
Radical changes started happening the Indian economy from early 90's,, when India opened its doors and made liberation by doing away the 'licence Raj' and making it easier to start or operate business. Almost at the same, time information technology was growing leaps and bounds. Since information technology required manpower, US trusted largest Indian skilled force due to its maths, science skill which was required for programming and the English speaking skills, this was just a beginning, but now India has made its mark clearly in the world economy and further there are prediction that India would become a "Super Power" in the near future and there are vision dreams ignited by former President and eminent Scientist Dr. A.B.J Abdul Kalam to take India as a developed nation by 2020.

Economy, Trade and investment:
Its a known fact that US is a developed economy with huge market potential due to sheer size on the other hand India is an emerging economy with huge market potential due to size of population, and continuing to have economic growth at the rate of 6%.

US had all along inclined towards capitalism, however last couple of years has not be so good for US and other developed economies, sub prime crisis followed by few companies filling bankruptcy petitions triggered economic crisis which had resulted in job losses and shunted growth of US economy. US went on to identify the problem and announced a TARP (Troubled asset relief program) funding to the tune of 700 Billion US$ in the year 2008 to bail out particularly financial companies. With such a magnitude of money pumped into the system, its natural for any country, not to let its citizen suffer or the money to move out of US shore and hence US seems to be inclined towards a protectionist mode and had its policy and procedure in place to stem the job loses. Job loses are painful, but at same time US should also look at the , business viability of US enterprises, with the current prevailing market condition even mid sized technology company with more than thousands of employees cannot just operate in isolation at US alone, to make it viable, it it has to try out various options, due to low cost skilled workforce, one of the option is to have some work based out of India or low cost countries. If these US business tries to run operate within US only, it could very well turn out to be economically not viable.

Also, if one looks at the top technology companies operating out of US, apart from US their next largest operation would most likely be in India, this bring out the fact, partnership has clearly matured. This shows, the business acumen of US business and this I believe is mutually beneficial for India in the form of employment and for Indian economy as well. Moreover, if a business is looking at 24 hours of operation, than having operation in India is beneficial since when US sleeps, India is at work.

There are prediction that next round of innovation like Yahoo, Google is bound to happen from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) countries. US and India can work together in bring out the innovations, US and India are the largest democratic countries and off course India has the largest English speaking country among the BRIC countries. The Indian skills, attitude to work is tried and without hesitation has been proved the best, hence a combined effort between US & India can go a long way to produce innovative products in the technology front in this ever changing global market front. Such collaborative effort would be mutually beneficial.

Due to streamlining of the procedures and substantial liberalization has been done since 1990, there are substantial investment in US from India as well. India and the US have do have multi faceted relations ranging from political, strategic to economic and commercial. USA is the largest investing country in India in terms of approvals, actual inflows, and portfolio investment

FDI investment in India from US have been on the increase as Indian embassy site and so is the India investment in US according to same site . According to bloombergutv website , India is emerging as the second fastest investor in US. Further, it has been reported that, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland , had provided with $19 million in tax credit to TCS for expanding its operations in the Cincinnati suburb of Milford. This will allow the Indian tech company to ramp up its head count from 300 to 1000 and majority of them expected to be people from US.

The India-US partnership, has vast potential for expansion of cooperation in key areas ranging from agriculture, education, infrastructure development, energy to space, nuclear & defence, and Medical 'outsourcing'. By Medical 'outsourcing' I mean, with Obama administration, coming out with new medical bill, which will cover insurance for more people, probably US can look at the option of utilizing Indian medical facility, which can be cost effective.

Fight against terrorism:
Recently, I read an article in news site (courtesy Rediff) which quoted Timothy J Roemer, United States Ambassador to India that, Terrorism, the common enemy of India, US.
I also believe this is where India and US has to work in tandem if they want to achieve success against war of terrorism.

US had the first impact of terrorism by 2001 (9/11), whereas India has been target of terrorism for the last two decade and to me it seems the cooperation on war of terrorism is more at the talks level between two countries and not able see a real collaboration in tackling terrorism. There is no iota of doubt in any one mind about US determination in fighting terrorism, but it need to go all out to fix it, its something like fixing number of holes in drain tank. There is no point fixing some of the hole in the tank and leaving the other holes of drain tank open and trying out a different strategy in fixing the hole, it only going to prolong the leak and if strategy does not work the leak is going to continue instead get into the root cause and fix it.

Roemer, further added that, the bilateral strategic partnership between the two countries was the strongest ever and they were working at an 'unprecedented level' on counter terrorism and regional security along with various other issues.

To me, if India had got the required support from US, terrorism would have almost been wiped out from India by now.

Friendship: Some of the events in the post did boast the outlooks of friendship between two countries, it ideally started with Clinton period, in year 2000 he was on a 5 day state visit to India, further push was given by Bush administration, which was followed up by visit of Secretary of state Mrs Hillary Clinton in year 2009. Privately, Bill Gates through his foundation is focusing on betterment of AIDS Victims.

Its time to put words into actions one of the suggestion towards fostering relationship, is to form a high power committee comprising of eminent people drawn from business, social welfare, global economics, defence etc. The high power committee should periodically meet to discuss and plan for the future relation and cooperation between two countries and make unified recommendation to US-Indian leaders from time to time, to act upon.

The world's two largest democracies can work together on global issues like climate change and in facilitating a global economic recovery and also apart from countering terrorism, building an cohesive atmosphere for cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and establishing a stable balance of power in Asia.

'Partnership' has a slightly different meaning when compared to relationship or friendship, its an association of two parties which has mutually benefits to each other. In any partnership the expectation may vary and for the partnership to work both the parties have to discuss and come to an understanding on all subjects of interest for both countries. Yes, if this partnership can blossom well, it would not only benefit both the countries but also the other countries as well.

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The future on publishing...

Is Publishing industry up for a change?.

In the last couple of years, few of the well known newspapers in US has close down it shutters. With advent of TV's into Indian homes couple of decades back started eating up the advertisement revenues for the newspapers and magazine, now advertisment with online magazine through internet should be further taking up their share of advertisement.

If you are a writer, you don't need to depend on paper based magazine to have you article published, you can start your own blog. But, getting readers to your blog can be a challenge but if its a passion you want to write your thoughts you can still do it through your own blog, interestingly starting a blog is free.

Even a new publisher has his own space in web, one don't need to invest much on machinery or on appointing circulation agents to reach out to the public. The publisher can concentrate on the content and publish on the web. As in any business, to become a self sustaining business in e-publishing it might take few years, as the main source of income would be from advertisement. With e-publishing, publisher or writer can combine text and multimedia features, which makes article interesting.

The other fact, is that when one post his article in blog or on online magazine, the comment is linked to the article, interestingly, this will also lead to social networking of like minded people who had responded, unlike paper based publishing where comments can be provided only in subsequent post and the possibilities of establishing contact with comment provider is really remote.

With computer with multimedia facility becoming cheap and internet with good speed even in MB's becoming affordable, I am sure e-publishing would be boon to upcoming writers and publishers.

Happy blogging!!!

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