Expect “more Mid-Market Divestitures in 2014” : “Strategic-sales OR Acquisitions for growth-momentum” | Chief Executive

The report, conducted in late 2013 and the THIRD such endeavor by RBS Citizens, surveyed 460 Executives, ” who are open to OR currently engaged in some sort of corporate development activity, including Mergers, Acquisitions and Raising-capital…”

With a sense of stability returning to the economy middle market companies remain open to buying or selling but are prioritizing opportunities to Re-invest in their existing operations..

“ Our latest survey indicates that the appetite for acquisitions and sales remains strong, but businesses are taking a more strategic, less urgent approach, which reflects a strengthening economy,” said Bob Rubino, EVP and head of corporate banking and capital markets for RBS Citizens.

“As more Middle -Market companies see Top-line growth, Owners are looking for Strategic-Sales or Acquisitions that can augment their Re-investment Strategy and help keep their Growth momentum going ..”

These findings mirror other reports that suggest that critical sectors of the U.S. economy such as healthcare, retail food and energy will see continued or renewed M&A activity in 2014, according to business leaders at CIT Group. .

The middle market is ripe for a more fruitful M&A environment in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters LPC. The persistent fog of economic and political uncertainty that has stymied investment is lifting, giving way to improved visibility for lenders, borrowers and private equity sponsors alike.

Increased Economic confidence, more certainty with respect to Fed tapering, and fewer concerns about future government budget stalemates are paving the way for greater willingness to buy, sell and invest in middle market companies…

If in recent quarters companies were primarily focused on cost savings, they are shifting their attention to strategic growth opportunities. There is an abundance of capital – in the hands of both debt and equity investors – waiting on the sidelines, which will help buoy M&A activity…

Key findings from this year’s RBS Citizens survey include :

Sellers are more interested in selling part of their business than the whole.

While interest in raising capital remains steady, companies are less likely to take on debt and are more likely to accumulate earnings, sell a business unit or divest significant assets to make investments.

Executives believe both this year and next will be a ” Buyer’s market”..!!

Nine of Ten survey respondents intend to engage a ” Friend in the deal ” – an outside partner – to provide guidance throughout the M&A process ; half of all buyers and 40% of sellers are considering partnering with a commercial bank…!!

In late 2013, RBS Citizens conducted a survey of 460 U.S.-based middle market business executives that are open to or currently engaged in some form of corporate development activity, including mergers, acquisitions, and raising capital in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions. For the purposes of this survey, middle market businesses have annual revenues of between $5 million and $2 billion.

The Sellers’ Perspective :

  • Based on this year’s survey results, the proportion of current and potential sellers in the market remains unchanged since 2012, but their motivations and intentions have shifted.
  • Although just 6% of middle market executives are currently involved in a sale, more than one-third indicate they would be open to a deal if approached by a buyer with a strategic fit.
  • While sellers were willing to ‘sell it all’ a year ago, a partial sale – selling an operating asset or division – has become more appealing than selling off the entire organization.
  • Being undervalued and underpaid by acquiring firms remains sellers’ primary concern; partial sellers are increasingly concerned about meeting post-acquisition revenue targets.

The Buyers’ Perspective :

While fewer acquisitions were in process at the end of 2013 than in the year before, deals this year are expected to be ” Larger and more Strategic” :

  • Less urgency in the market has translated into fewer current deals in process in early 2014 and more potential buyers are ‘on the sidelines’: open to but not actively seeking buying opportunities.
  • Buyers are less reliant on M&A as a means of growing; their goals are now more likely to be expanding geographic reach, increasing production and product capabilities and accelerating organic growth.
  • Respondents plan to make fewer purchases in 2014 but expect to spend more on each; the majority of executives anticipate spending between $10 million and $25 million.

Given the complexity of an M&A transaction, from ensuring proper valuation to identifying the best strategic buyers OR acquisition targets, the process has become more labour-intensive.

Most companies  without an “experienced Internal-Team” are “relying on an Outside Advisor”…!!

  • Of organizations who intend to engage external support for their deal-related corporate development needs, commercial banks are the most popular choice, followed by investment banks and business brokers.
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents rate commercial banks as ‘excellent’ in regards to their corporate development capabilities, compared to 35% for investment banks and 26% for both private equity and venture capital firms.
  • Valuation, financing, opportunity assessment and due diligence are the areas where these companies are looking for the most help.

 

“Infographic” : “#ExpandRetailMarkets” by having an “#Omni-ChannelStrategy” | ERP Software Blog

” The Modern #RetailIndustry is increasingly becoming more complex and is no longer dominated by physical-retail locations…In today’s environment, consumers demand higher quality customer service and are willing to switch brands to fulfill this requirement “…!!

Consumers push for alternative buying options, whether that is in a physical store or online, and they expect expeditious shipping for free. With these new retail standards, retailers are driven by consumers’ need to find #NewTechnologyAndSoftwareSolutions, that meet the demands of the new retail environment…!!

A fully integrated, end-to-end, retail management software solution enhances the efficiency of key business functions and allows retailers to effectively manage every aspect of the supply chain. Mobility and real-time visibility empowers retailers with insight into all areas of their operation, including, but not limited to, merchandising, inventory, point of sale terminals, e-commerce, financials, and business intelligence.

The Omni-Channel Retail Grail - infographic

Retailers can expand markets by having a #FlexibleRetailStrategy, that meets the needs of consumers, as well as staying current in the industry…Going omni-channel can drive retailers’ success by offering products through whatever channel the customer desires, while at the same time streamlining operations to reduce operational costs, increasing efficiency and profitably, and obtaining powerful insight to make more informed decisions.

Break away from the traditional, brick-and-mortar retail environment to bricks and clicks by following the omni-channel grail – a #RetailStrategy focused on the consumer…!!

One of the “imperative for Modern Retail to survive” is to “increase pay & decrease inventory” | by: Caitlin Kelly | Quartz

While Retail industry/sector, is the world’s largest employer, and one with more than 1.3 million in the United States alone, it’s an industry riddled with crummy jobs—low-pay, part-time, ever-changing schedules. As a result of poor service and extremely high turnover, managers, workers, and customers end up miserable…

But it doesn’t have to be that way, argues MIT adjunct associate professor of operations, Zeynep Ton, in her new book, The Good Jobs Strategy. Ton has spent 10 years researching how retailers can reverse this trend, to the benefit of all concerned.

Ton writes : “In service industries, succeeding at the expense of employees and customers often go-together. That’s why our experiences with restaurants, airlines, hotels, hospitals, call centers and retail stores are often disappointing, frustrating and needlessly time-consuming.”

We talked to Ton about her findings and her unusual conviction that it’s time for a radical change in how service-workers are treated. Below is our conversation, edited for style and clarity.

Q: Where did you get the idea for this book? 

Zeynep Ton: It came together when I realized there is a “vicious cycle” where retailers are not investing in their people, even when they were having operational problems and low sales as a result of their current strategy.

I first went to study the Spanish grocery store chain Mercadona. They had low prices but were also offering their employees good jobs and their company had a great performance.  They were essentially forced into changing their management style when major competitors like Carrefour came to Spain in 1993.

CEO Juan Roig created NINE Principles, one of which treats employees as experts that customers can reliably turn to for advice and recommendations. In addition to offering high pay—twice that of Spain’s minimum wage, €14,693($20,088)/year for a full-time worker—the company empowers employees and reduced its inventory, allowing its staff to know their merchandise and sell it much more effectively. The next example couldn’t be more different—QuikTrip, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but what they were doing was similar. That really excited me since there’s a great audience for this sort of data.

Others can do this as well… When retailers choose to hire carefully—QuikTrip interviews five people for every job opening—it shows in the company’s financial  performance. QuikTrip’s turnover rate is also a mere 13% among full-time staff, substantially lower than the 59% rate in the top quartile of the convenience store industry.

Q: Isn’t your argument counter-intuitive in an era when so many people are desperate for a job, any job?

ZT: What’s sad is that retail is not the only industry to behave this way. Too many employers treat labor as just a cost to minimize. But when you have unhappy staff and customers, over and over, they manage to convince themselves this is still the way to do it. I think we have to change our mindset—and stick to it.

Q: What do you think will change this attitude that low-wage workers are dispensable?

ZT: What we need now are leaders with the commitment to investing in their employees. The four companies I profile in my book—QuikTrip, Mercadona, Costco, and Trader Joes pay their people better than average but are still able to please customers, employees, and investors at the same time.

Q: Is there a specific set of principles these retailers have adopted?

ZT: FOUR things are essential :

1. You must offer fewer products. By having a smaller number of items in the store, your staff will know the products well enough to fully engage with customers and offer them excellent service.

2. Combining standardization and empowerment allows operations to run smoothly while allowing staff to feel they have a say in how the store is run. QuikTrip allows staffers to decide how much inventory the story should carry each day to how to handle customer complaints. The company has made Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 11 years in a row.

3. Cross-training staff insures that everyone is busy and productive, not waiting for a specialist to arrive for their shift or scrambling when someone is out sick. While many retailers practice “chase strategy,” scheduling their staff at the last minute, we often see high turnover, absenteeism, and tardiness. When staff are able to perform a wide variety of tasks, their time is better spent.

4. Operate with slack. Many retailers simply don’t have enough staff working in their stores. Then when someone calls out sick, the existing staff are over-burdened taking on those tasks as well. Hiring and paying additional staff far in advance, even using them as floaters (sending them into whichever store needs additional help) is the solution. Some retailers see these staffers the way we view substitute teachers or back-up pilots—as an essential part of their business. Instead of complaining about the cost, they ask, “ How can I afford not to do this ? ” 

When I went into stores and interviewed workers, I heard over and over: “We don’t have enough time to do our jobs. We don’t have the right equipment.” They’re understaffed all the time. It’s the whole mindset of treating your employees like they matter—and they do matter !!

Q: What’s in it for the employer? This might make workers happier, but how will it improve my business or profit margins?

ZT: The retailers I spoke to set very high standards for their people—and people love high standards. That surprised me. But people love it when they are set up for success. It has to come from the top. It’s how you manage the entire organization. If sales are your only metric, then store managers will achieve that at any cost, no matter the effect on employees. These retailers also have much lower employee turnover. Mercadona has less than 4% and I spoke to employees who had been there 10, 12 even 14 years. People just don’t leave !!

Q: How can others apply the Good Jobs Strategy to their own business?

ZT: Hire very carefully. QuikTrip has the very best hiring practices I’ve seen. They have every employee take a math test so they’re not just relying on the computer but can even beat it, so they have the right change ready in their hands.

This is not a quick fix OR just a nice way to behave. It’s a deliberate, long-term sustainable strategy. It’s not easy…It requires long-term focus…

Premium Consumer-Electronics Brand “Sony” plans to “make India a Bigger Market than Japan” | The Economic Times

” Sony wants India to become its No. 3 market Globally”. It’s targeting a Big sales-push that may see the country overtake its home base of Japan, driven by “Smart-Phones”, the segment that’s growing the fastest for the company.

The focus on “Smart-phones” was renewed last year with the launch of a new range of ” Xperia” devices in India, which currently ranks FOURTH overall for Sony after China, the US and Japan. 

In the last ONE year, we gained Market Share from 4% to 10% in “Smart-phones” and now the target is to take it up to 20-25%, which would enable India to become a bigger market for Sony globally,” said Sony India managing director Kenichiro Hibi on the sidelines of International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology expo that’s held annually in Las Vegas.

Sony plans to make India a bigger market than Japan: Kenichiro Hibi, India MD – The Economic Times.

“14 Stats from 2013”,to inform your “2014 Social Marketing Strategy” development |by: Jordan Slabaugh| SpredFast

As 2013 draws to a close, Brand-Marketers and Social-Media Strategists have the opportunity to reflect on learnings from the past year.  While no single industry statistic should stand alone in informing future plans and strategies, a broader snapshot of social network trends, social consumer behaviors and brand social media results can help inform the big picture of social going into 2014.

Here are 14 Statistics & Trends from 2013 to inform your 2014 social marketing strategy :

Growth, Usage and Trends of Social Networks –

1. Facebook users spend 6.35 hours each month on the social network via their desktop – When it comes to sheer usage, Facebook still reigns supreme, accounting for almost twice as much time spent monthly by users on the social network over Google. And while mobile usage is on the rise, the majority of this time is still via a desktop experience.

2. Instagram has more than 150 million active users – Now a part of the Facebook family, Instagram has surged in growth and has more than 150 million active users. One third of that number grew in the last 6 month time period, underscoring the growing interest in visual content creation and consumption.

3. 15% of Internet users are on Pinterest – Nearly one in every 6 people who use the Internet are on Pinterest. What’s more? These users are well educated and 18% have an annual income of $75,000 or more.

4. Tumblr & Pinterest outperform Twitter & LinkedIn when it comes to share of time spent, in minutes – They may not have as large a user base as giants Twitter and LinkedIn, but visually-focused social networks Tumblr and Pinterest win out for time spent on their sites in comparison.

Users Share of Time on Social Networks

Social Consumer Behaviour :

5. 33% of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products or services – One in three consumers are discovering new brands and products via social networks. That may not lead to direct attribution on the brand side, yet, but it’s an indicator that brand awareness and reputation are powerful in the social consumer life-cycle.

6. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site – 2013 has raised much discussion on the effectiveness of social advertising. If LinkedIn’s advertising performance is any type of indicator, relevant social advertising is going beyond awareness building through impressions and driving action.

7. 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes – Social networks are huge, but does that mean they are being used for business purposes? Forrester Research confirmed this year that, yes, statistically every business decision maker is both using social media and doing so in part for some type of work purpose.

Social Networks Use Business Decision Makers

8. 47% of Internet users share photos or video they found online – Active usage is great in understanding where people spend time, but understanding consumer actions is an even more meaningful way to get insight. Pew reported in 2013 that nearly half of all Internet users share multimedia they discovered somewhere online. The learning here ? Resonate with your consumers’ interests, and they will share and propagate your content.

9. 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour – Listening without action is no longer an option for social brands. The expectations of consumers have shifted to make brand responses a mandate. A non-response now risks a disappointed customer, at the least, and a negative brand perception.

Brand Intentions and Results :

10. 91% of executives are planning a more programmatic approach to audience segmentation in the next two years – Two trends are highlighted here : the rise of audience segmentation and the intent to scale social media through a programmatic approach. 2014 will likely bring with it more, personalized content and a strong concentration of building internal infrastructure to make this strategy repeatable and successful.

11. 70% of marketers say that Content-Marketing has increased their Brand awareness – Content marketing is on the rise for a very important reason: social is an always-on medium and it requires compelling content to consistently reach and resonate with audience members. The good news ? iMedia reports that brands are seeing positive results as it pertains to content raising brand awareness.

12. 65% of marketers cited an increased social media ad budget in their 2013 plans – To advertise on social, or not advertise on social is no longer the question. Two out of three marketers planned to increase their social advertising budget in 2013. And with greater stringency placed on News-feed placement, this number will likely rise in 2014 for marketers to reach their intended audiences.

13. 79% of Marketers have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities – 2013 solidified the year of social media earning a seat in the integrated marketing mix. Going beyond Paid, Owned and Earned social, brands are now actively integrating social with traditional marketing and creating a full view of social’s integration within CRM systems.

14. Pinterest drives twice the website referral traffic of Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + combined – conversions are a marketer’s best friend. As it pertains to social media, Pinterest proved its power in driving users from the social network directly to corporate websites, second only to Facebook.

A bonus stat and parting thought – social media is the top driver for relationship building : 52 % of enterprise brands say social media is the top driver for relationship building/ brand engagement, more than twice as much as email, and quadruple that of corporate websites.

Why is this significant ? Marketers are realizing and embracing the inherent value of social media – building relationships – and working to create programs that deliver great experiences.

The impact : Happier, more Loyal Customers and Increased Awareness & Demand.

Why “Boards fail to choose the right CEO” ? | by: Ram Charan | CNN Money

” Directors must seize control of CEO selection and pursue the task in a way that’s fundamentally new at most companies. Here are a few of the most critical steps boards need to take “…

 It’s becoming an epidemic : the dead-on-arrival CEO who is doomed from day one because he or she was the wrong choice. Look at YAHOO, which just got its fifth CEO in five years, OR think of Leo Apotheker, who lasted only 11 months at the top of Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Investors blame the CEO when he or she flames out, but the real culprit is the board. The directors blew their most important job: making sure the company always has the right CEO.

To avoid such damaging failures, directors must seize control of CEO selection and pursue the task in a way that’s fundamentally new at most companies. I’ve analyzed 82 CEO failures from the past 20 years and have been on the scene of many successions, Good& Bad.

I’ve observed what works and what doesn’t. The winning approach is clear, and more boards should go firmly on offense and follow it.

The following steps are critical :

1. Reverse the usual process – Most boards doom their efforts at the start by committing the blunder of considering CEO candidates without knowing what they’re looking for – especially the specific skills and relationship the company will need most. Directors need to think in the opposite direction. They should first define rigorously and specifically the unique requirements for the company and a successful CEO in today’s environment. What are the non-negotiable criteria the candidate must meet ?

That’s what IBM’s board did in 1993. To find a successor to CEO John Akers, it appointed a committee that included Tom Murphy, CEO of ABC Cap Cities, and Jim Burke, the highly acclaimed former CEO of Johnson & Johnson. The consensus of headhunters, pundits, security analysts, and media was that IBM’s new boss needed infotech experience, and some believed IBM especially needed someone who could win the PC war. Former Apple chief John Scully and Motorola’s George Fischer were highly touted candidates.

Murphy and Burke took a radically different view. They identified a few extremely specific criteria that they deemed central. In addition to the normal “givens,” such as character, integrity, values, and a strong record of making large-scale change, the duo decided on the following non-negotiable criteria: Customer orientation; business acumen – the ability to diagnose what ailed IBM and see how to fix it; and the ability to execute needed change and take the company forward.

Note that they didn’t use generic terms like “vision” or “strategy,” and they explicitly didn’t require infotech experience. The board’s choice was of course Lou Gerstner, CEO of RJR/Nabisco and previously president of American Express– no techie, but outstanding on each of the three criteria. He famously made clear that IBM didn’t need a vision and then rescued the company from the verge of breakup, leaving it eight years later as one of the world’s most admired and valuable corporations.

2. Place the selection criteria into FIVE buckets- No platitudes or jargon allowed. The directors need criteria that lead to a specific, pointed conclusion.

Bucket 1 :  The “givens” : Intelligence, character, a record of getting things done, a methodology for excellent execution, high energy. Two more are especially important : decisiveness, a bias toward saying “yes” or “no” rather than “maybe,” and courage. A dire lack of even one of these takes the candidate out of the running.

Bucket 2 : Skills. Specific abilities like the ones Murphy & Burke identified for IBM’s CEO. They will vary widely from company to company and era to era.

Bucket 3 : Relationships. In most companies, much is achieved through a sustained network of external and internal relationships. It doesn’t happen fast. External relationships in particular are built over long periods and become valuable two-way bridges of information. What is the candidate’s record of building enduring relationships at several levels and converting them into strategic advantages ?

Bucket 4 : Judgment. Almost all decisions at the CEO level require trade-offs, and many factors are qualitative and subjective. How effective is the candidate’s judgment on key questions, such as which information sources to listen to? In addition, how sage have the candidate’s judgments been on people, strategic bets, and resource allocation ?

Bucket 5 : Perception and cognition. Does a candidate see what waits around the bend before others do? Powers of perception and the ability to connect diverse external forces are worth a lot of points. What experiences signal that the candidate has this ability? What is his or her resilience in the face of shocks ?

3. Confront common dilemmas – Few candidates have it all, yet directors must choose someone. For example, here’s a common dilemma: choosing between a candidate possessing narrow, deep, highly sophisticated expertise but without much leadership experience, and a candidate with demonstrated leadership in a large organization but with no expertise in the sophisticated specialty urgently required for knowing where to take the company in the future.

That was the dilemma that Citigroup’s board faced as it chose a replacement for CEO Chuck Prince in the financial crisis. To establish credibility and inspire confidence, most people were looking for the second type of candidate, someone with strong credentials as a successful leader from a large financial institution, and the chairman even made an offer to such a candidate. He was in essentially the same industry but without experience in toxic assets, which were at the heart of Citi’s crisis; he was successful in part because he had avoided such instruments. Through the heavy-handed persuasion of a highly regarded director who had lived with these toxic issues for much of his life, the board within hours reversed its position and turned to the first type of candidate, Vikram Pandit, the internal expert on toxic assets. The board believed Pandit would grow as a leader, and he did.

Citi is not totally out of the woods, but no one now questions the choice of Pandit. Making the right decision about what Citi needed most made the difference.

4. Set the new CEO up for success- No candidate is a perfect fit. The board should identify where the winning candidate falls short and determine how to help him or her close the gap. Directors need to discuss up front what risks they’re taking by choosing that candidate. They should also try to imagine how the candidate might evolve over time. An emerging best practice is to appoint a senior director as a sounding board and coach to help make the new CEO successful, with a highly structured plan for delivering that help in the CEO’s first year.

Corporate leadership has shifted from the CEO to the board. In this age of intense competition and accelerating change, boards must above all demonstrate excellence in their No. 1 job of having the right CEO at all times. Following these four practices will vastly improve their chances.

Is your Board good enough to do the job they’re accountable for ??…

“Global Varsities” allowed “to set up campuses in India”,without partnering with Indian institutes | The Economic Times

The Government of India has opened the doors for Top Foreign Universities to set up campuses in the country and award degrees, giving Indian students the opportunity to study in global institutions without leaving home or spending a fortune in dollars.

Faced with delays in enacting a law to allow foreign universities to set up base in India, the human resource development ministry has decided to allow the top 400 institutions to enter via., an executive order. It is working on regulations under the University Grants Commission Act to let Foreign Institutions begin operations without an Indian partner, which is currently a requirement.

A 2006 study by the Association of Indian Universities found that over 340 institutes in India were offering courses in collaboration with foreign educational institutes. The move has been lauded by industry leaders and many in the education sector. However, there are concerns that allowing only the top 400 institutions to set up campuses is too restrictive while others doubt if the world’s top universities are waiting to rush in. “I do not expect the best universities to be here immediately,” said NR Madhava Menon, founder-director of the National Law School, Bangalore.

The proposed UGC (Establishment & Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules requires that Foreign Education Providers set up the India campuses as Not-for-Profit Companies, that is companies set up under Section 25 of the old Companies Act (Section 8 of the new one).

The proposal has the support of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). “The ministry had sought comments and observations of DIPP and DEA on the rules. Both have supported the proposal,” the HRD ministry spokesperson said.

The decision has cheered private institutions and industry leaders. “It is a wonderful move to allow reputed international universities to freely come to India, set up campuses and offer degrees. Our students will get exposure to best in-class global education and won’t have to leave the country for that. It will offer competition to local universities and offer greater choice to students,” said TV Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education, and former Infosys director.

The new rules will allow foreign institutions that figure among the top 400 universities in the world — according to rankings published by the Times Higher Education, London, Quacquarelli Symonds, a company that specialises in education and studies abroad, or Shanghai Jiao Tong University — will be able to set up campuses as Not-for-Profit firms under the Companies Act.

Foreign institutions will be eligible if they are Not-for-Profit legal entities that have been in existence for at least 20 years and registered by an accrediting agency of the country concerned OR by an internationally accepted system of accreditation.

The foreign education providers will have to offer programmes or courses comparable in quality to those offered to students on their main campuses. Before being notified as a Foreign Education Provider, each such institution will be required to maintain a corpus of not less than Rs 25 crore. The rules also include clauses for penalties ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for violating any of the provisions or the UGC Act, besides forfeiture of the corpus.

The degrees awarded by these institutions would be treated as foreign degrees, subject to equivalence accorded by the Association of Indian Universities for further studies or government jobs.

The government had introduced a bill in Parliament in 2007, when Arjun Singh was the HRD minister. However, opposition from the Left, which was then an ally, put paid to that effort. A reworked bill was introduced by Kapil Sibal in 2010, and the bill has been discussed by the standing committee. But there has been little progress in ensuring passage of the bill.

“The move by the government to open entry to quality Foreign Education Providers is indeed a welcome step to meet the country’s demand for higher education. However, the approach to restrict foreign education providers, based on world rankings, may not be appropriate,” said A Didar Singh, secretary general.

CII said the move was in the right direction, but allowing only the top 400 institutions was restrictive. To begin with it may be fine, but it could be subsequently relaxed based on experience, said Naushad Forbes, head of CII’s national higher education committee.