Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Midair scare on AI A320 - Overhead electric panel breaks


In a bizarre incident, an overhead electric panel in an Air India Airbus on Chennai-Mumbai flight fell off last  night, precariously clinging and creating scare among passengers.
The panel came off as the A320 on flight AI 571 took off.
The affected panel, that has overhead reading lamps and switches for alerting the fight crew, was above seat number 2, row DEF while I was on seat 3F.
The air hostesses who were in take off positions were also equally shocked as the passengers. They rushed to the seat as the seat belt sign was switched off and offered another seat in the back rows to the passengers as the hanging panel could hurt them.
The air hostess tried to push the panel back but it wouldn’t get stuck again. Some passengers tried to hold it by inserting a piece of newspaper – like we do in case of old taxi doors – but that too didn’t work.



Then someone suggested to the crew to get hold of an adhesive tape. No passenger would have such a tape since it is banned on flights as it is a potential hijack tool.
Finally, the airhostess found a piece of black adhesive tape and passengers helped her in sticking up the panel.
Our worry that the panel could break off completely and cause short circuit as it has several eclectic wires and to add to the panic was the fact that the flight was rocking due to bad weather conditions.
The incident raised questions on the poor standard of maintenance of aircraft and the passengers in other seats also clicked pictures from their mobile phones.
The airhostess thanked the passengers for showing commonsense and commented “so far, so good” as the flight landed safe at Mumbai.
I also observed that the flush button in the toilet behind the pilot’s cabin was also hanging and when brought this to the crew’s attention all that she said was: “I know the loo is stinking. Thank god, I don’t use it.”
I experienced another scary incident earlier the same day when the overhead baggage bin’s door opened up on a JetKonnect ATR flight from Madurai to Chennai. The flight was taxiing fast and the airhostess was about to finish her safety demonstration. Luckily the huge bag did not fall on the passenger below as the crew member quickly shut the bin.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just Dial - Just not another IPO


Company aims to cash in on 10% retail discount, safety net

On the back of the largest discount of 10% for retain investors and the growing internet penetration in the country, local search engine Just Dial Limited hits the capital markets on today with its public offering targeting to raise Rs950 crores.
“This is for the first time that any company is offering such a huge discount of 10% at the lower price band,” said Mr Arun Kejriwal, director of KRIS. “What is also notable is the fact that Just Dial has set aside only 10% for retail subscribers, coupled with a safety net and this is bound to enhance retail investor interest in the issue,” he said.
Just Dial has already raised over Rs 208 crore through issue of shares to anchor investors, including Goldman Sachs and HSBC, by allocating 39.37 lakh shares to anchor investors at a price of Rs 530 per piece.
The anchor investors include Goldman Sachs India Fund, HSBC Bank (Mauritius) Ltd, Birla Sunlife Trustee Company Pvt Ltd, DSP Blackrock Opportunities Fund and Deutsche Securities Mauritius Ltd, the filing said.
The IPO would see promoters and other investors selling 17.49 million shares or 25.2 per cent of the paid up equity capital. Post issue the promoters would have 33 per cent and the issue does not involve the company issuing fresh shares.
As per McKinsey & Company, India’s middle class, generally comprising people with  annual income range of Rs 200,000 to Rs 1,000,000, is expected to grow by over 10 times to approximately 583  million people by 2025.
According to Internet World Stats, as of June 30, 2012, Internet penetration was at 11.4% in India, compared to over 78.1% in the United States. There were approximately 137 million Internet users in India, making it the third largest population of Internet users after China and the United States. According to TRAI, the number of mobile subscribers in India is expected to exceed 1,000 million by 2014. With the growth projected for India’s middle class and for Internet and mobile usage in India, we believe our potential user base remains largely untapped and offers significant potential for growth.
Analysts say these augur well for search engines like Just Dial which also plans to expand its bouquet of services.
Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are the book-running lead managers to the issue and Justdial plans to list on the BSE, NSE and MCX-SX.
Recommending subscription to the IPO, GEPL Capital said, with its unique, un parallel business model & strong brand recognition Just Dial Is expected to maintain its dominant position in the local search market.
The company’s business model is “efficient as it promotes continuity in subscriptions and cash flows”, GEPL said and remarked: “It is also noticeable that such kind of model is difficult to be replicated due to the challenge of establishing the requisite credibility and relationship with paid advertisers.”
As of December 31, 2012, Just Dial had no long-term borrowings which are a competitive advantage for the company and a platform to grow operations without being constrained by significant reliance on external financing sources, GEPL said.
HDFC Securities notes in its analysis that Just Dial search service bridges the gap between its users and businesses by helping users find relevant providers of products and services quickly while helping businesses listed in its database to market their offerings. “Its search service is particularly relevant to SMEs, which currently, do not have many other cost effective options to access and advertise to such a large number of potential consumers,” HDFC Securities says.
In its offer document Just Dial says it intends to keep up with the latest in mobile Internet technology to provide its search services. In collaboration with service providers and vendors, the company is in the process of developing the ability for users to complete a number of bookings and purchases which are integrated in the search results from our website, mobile Internet WAP site and our Master App, including reservations at restaurants, home delivery of, ordering groceries, booking doctors’ appointments and even taxi bookings.
The company is also in the process of developing a car listings website in which users can research and rate car models being offered for sale, list their cars for sale and receive price quotes from vendors of both new and used cars.
Another new application called “Quick Quotes” will provide prospective buyers with a price quote from multiple vendors and which will be available 24x7.
Just Dial’s consolidated total revenue from continuing operations increased from Rs716.0 million in fiscal 2008 to Rs 2,770.2 million in fiscal 2012, representing a CAGR of 40.2%.