Bharat Alt-Fuel to set up greenfield EV manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu; to invest Rs 250 crore
The integrated facility spread across 40,000 square metres in Krishnagiri, around 300 kms from here, was expected to commence production in the second half of 2023.
Bharat Alt Fuel, which focuses on alternative fuel technology and e-mobility, will set up a greenfield unit in Tamil Nadu at an investment of Rs 250 crore to manufacture electric vehicles, batteries and motors, a top company official said on Friday. The integrated facility spread across 40,000 square metres in Krishnagiri, around 300 kms from here, was expected to commence production in the second half of 2023.
“BAF aspires to be a catalyst for change wherever it is needed, so it makes perfect sense that we are bringing electric two-wheelers to one of the world’s largest vehicle markets. Our new factory will be making all the critical components, including batteries and motors… “Establishing a global manufacturing footprint is a practical, natural step and enables us to grow our brand, scale our business, and address climate change through inspiring sustainable transportation,” its executive director Sorubh Kumar Bharti said.
According to him, the construction of the plant was expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2022-23 and the first electric scooter was expected to be unveiled during Diwali festive season in 2024. “Of the 40,000 square metres, around 10,000 square metres will be utilised for motors and later expanded to batteries…We will be scaling up the production at the facility (gradually),” he said.
The integrated facility will be upgraded to a fully functional battery and motor manufacturing unit, thus making the product 80 per cent localised, Bharti added. “The investments will be funded through internal accruals…We plan to unveil the product by the Deepavali festival in 2024. Initially, we will have dealerships in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” he told PTI.
According to him, the plant will recruit 1,000 and be scaled up to 3,000 once the production has been increased. The vehicles would be sold in the domestic market and later be shipped to ASEAN, African countries, he said. The new manufacturing facility will be owned by Bharat Alt Fuel and enable the company to meet growing domestic and international demand for electric vehicles, he said.
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The company was also in the process of signing some international technological collaborations, which will enable the company to bring world-class products to the domestic market, he said.
FIRST PUBLISHED: JUL 8, 2022 08:58 PM
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In a first, Union Bank of India launches virtual banking lounge on Metaverse
As per sources, country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is also in final stages of launching a Metaverse store.
Metaverse: Visitors to JPMorgan’s Onyx lounge can create their avatars. (Image credit:@fintechfrank /Twitter)
State-led Union Bank of India on July 8 launched a Metaverse-based virtual lounge where it will showcase its products to customers virtually, it said in a release. The lender is the first Indian bank to open a virtual shop for publicity.
“Uni-verse, the Metaverse virtual lounge of the bank, hosts the bank’s product information and videos in the initial phase. Uni-verse will deliver a unique experience of banking to the customers who can roam around the lounge, get information of the bank’s deposits, loans, government welfare schemes, and digital initiatives as if they are experiencing the real world. This initiative is in partnership with Tech Mahindra,” the bank said.
To be sure, Union Bank is not the first lender to open a shop in the Metaverse; US-based JPMorgan Chase & Co achieved that feat earlier this year in February.
JPMorgan launched its lounge on Decentraland, a Metaverse platform. The Onyx lounge is named after the multinational investment bank’s blockchain business that was launched in 2020.
Visitors to the Onyx lounge can create their avatars by choosing a gender, skin tone, hairstyle, clothes and accessories. Visitors are greeted by a tiger avatar and a digital portrait of Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO.
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As per sources, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is also in the final stages of launching a Metaverse store.
So, what is Metaverse and why is it important?
In simple words, Metaverse is an evolved form of internet. The technology enables real-life experiences and situations with Augmented Reality (AR). Users can do nearly every task using Metaverse. They can visit different stores, enquire and hold conversations with different Metaverse users.
With a rise in use of online banking services, and as lenders increase the share of online loan originations in their portfolios, both domestic and foreign lenders are keen on attracting customers through Metaverse.
Union Bank of India officials said the bank will publicise its products through the Metaverse but due to lack of regulatory clarity, will not be issuing loans directly through the virtual lounge.
Further, the bank intends to showcase the Metaverse lounge through the newly-built digital banking units (DBU), they said. The Centre, had in Union Budget 2022-23, announced setting up of 75 DBUs in 75 districts to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.
A DBU is a specialised fixed point business unit / hub housing certain minimum digital infrastructure for delivering digital banking products & services. The objective of a DBU is expansion of digital financial services and financial inclusion.As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, scheduled commercial banks with past digital banking experience are permitted to open DBUs in Tier 1 to Tier 6 centres without having to take permission from the apex bank in each case.
FIRST PUBLISHED: JUL 8, 2022 08:37 PM
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Will borrow up to Rs 3,200 crore from banks, NCDs in FY23; aim for IPO post 2027, say Muthoottu Mini officials
As on March end, the NBFC’s total AUM stood at Rs 2,499 crore.
Muthoottu Mini Financiers will borrow up to Rs 3,200 crore from banks and through non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the present fiscal, and is aiming to go public post 2027, the gold-loan-focused non-banking finance company’s (NBFC) management told Moneycontrol on July 8.
“We issued NCDs when banks were not supporting (offering lower rates). Earlier, we had seven bank partners, but now we have 19-20 banks supporting us, and that really is cheaper also…What we are looking at is Rs 1,600 crore in NCDs and Rs 1,600 crore through bank loans this fiscal,” said the NBFC’s Chief Executive Officer PE Mathai.
As per rating agency CRISIL, borrowing costs for NBFCs will likely rise 85-105 basis points (bps) this fiscal. Overall profitability, however, is expected to remain steady cushioned by a reduction in credit costs, it said.
In terms of asset growth, Muthoottu Mini is expecting to reach total assets under management (AUM) of up to Rs 8,000 crore by 2027, Managing Director Mathew Muthoottu, said. As on March end, the NBFC’s total AUM stood at Rs 2,499 crore.
Further, during the current fiscal, the NBFC will increase its presence in central and northern regions, opening a total of 130 new branches, the MD said.
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