11th HKTDC Entrepreneur Day opens today HKTDC Media Room
11th HKTDC Entrepreneur Day opens today HKTDC Media Room
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Average Rate of Return for Day Traders
Is India neoliberal or communist? Let's look at the facts. Analysis of India's economic climate and reforms.
It has come to my attention that people are silly enough to believe that India is a neoliberal country and that the 1991 reforms were neoliberal. While the government removed the license raj, it never removed the vast politburo like central authority that limits vast majority of capitalism. We must also remember communism occurs usually through a single party system because private communes can exist within a free market system no one would stop them, but communists want everyone to adhere to a central authority. Let's take a look at some facts. Communism: political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society. - This is largely done through a central politburo like mechanism and a single party system. 1.India almost has no property rights - its vastly known that the legal apparatus which should protect individual and private property is at the discretion of who is wealthy and connected to the govt. If you're connected to the govt you will win property rights cases if not you will lose them. You go to a court case of property matters either it takes years or the person with most influence wins, much like Cuba or North Korea or China. In fact anyone who has used the legal system knows how Byzantine it is much similar to the soviet union. 2.Similarly communism is against individual rights, and India basically has no individual rights, it also has no free speech. A central mechanism like the politburo uses a vast mechanism to ensure it controls what is said and what isn't. You see the same thing in North Korea, Cuba, and China all communist countries. 3.Central politburos and communist created oligarchs where those who were close to the central mechanism of rule could enjoy excess wealth and ownership of capital while others could not. You can see this in Cuba , North korea, China, and Russia, all essentially communist countries where In India similarly the oil sector, commodities sectors, telecom sector etc. are all ruled by oiligarchs with close ties to the government. Monopolies are ONLY created by the government legislation that limits competition again a facet of communism : Here is a Nobel prize winners George Stiglers take. https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=occasional_papers Examples of monopolies: Reliance - created by the govt. by keeping out private competition. AT&T - another govt monopoly - https://www.cablefax.com/technology/how-at-amp-t-became-a-monopoly-2 . Even De Beers was created by a politician i.e cecil rhodes - today De Beers is no longer a monopoly as its be deregulated. Another take on monopolies by another Nobel winner Gary Becker. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-unnatural-death-of-natural-monopoly?barrier=accesspaylog#:~:text=A%20more%20important%20defect%20of,than%20older%20methods%20of%20production.
India uses a vast bureaucracy to decide who can do business and who can't. Is it not still communism if the govt implicitly decides the means and ownership of production? Is it only communism if there is explicit ownership? I think not. A govt using obtuse means ensuring a lack of competition and centralisation of production is still communism.
Whether its the power sector or manufacturing or commodities sector or something as basic as getting a liquor license the govt uses a vast bureaucracy to keep the competition out.
India still uses 5 year plans where the govt decides which way the economy goes. It vastly gets involved in every aspect of development and such a method has shown little to no difference. The public schools don't work, the public hospitals dont work, the public programs are riddled in corruption. And it uses a vast central authority to ensure that private players cant enter the system to educate kids. In fact private schools with $2 tuition are doing the job where govt schools won't and govt schools are corrupt. - https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/world/asia/for-indias-poor-private-schools-help-fill-a-growing-demand.html
It destroys vast parts of the economy with subsidies and special credits. The government decides winners and losers much like a communist system. Sometimes it gives free electricity which Punjab farmers misuse, it gives subsidies to farmers, to textile companies, credits to restaurants. It essentially ensures if you can lobby that you get special treatment.
India still relies on vast protectionism, capital controls and tariffs to protect industry. There hasn't been a free trade deal in decades.
India's PSU are dens of corruption, unprofitable and completly wasteful of your taxes, yet they enjoy overt influence take the case of PSU banks where NPA are 4x the level if private banks. What about trains? Well how do you trains wouldn't be even better if they were not privatised?
No competition in healthcare a key aspect. The insurance and private hospital sectors are essentially run by a few oligarchs. In a real market system you'd have millions of primary and secondary facilities providing specialty work. in India its always the same few names key ahead by red tape.
Lets also look at some facts post 1990 when India did the bare minimum: https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/twenty-five-years-indian-economic-reform - Per capita income is up from $375 per year in 1991 to $1,700 today. India has long ceased to be a low-income country as defined by the World Bank, which uses a threshold of $1,045, and has become a middle-income country. Indian growth rate under a pure fabian-communism vs post 1991 reforms: 1950-1980 3.5% growth 1980-1991 - 5.5% - remember reforms started under Rajiv Gandhi earlier than 1991 1991-2003 6% 2003-2015 - 8%. "Critics of globalization once claimed it would make India subservient to foreign masters. Instead, by encouraging the movement of persons and goods, it has created a remittance flow and export strength that makes foreign aid irrelevant. In the bad old days, any major drought meant India was dependent on food aid. When two droughts occurred in a row, as in 1965 and 1966, India survived only because of record food aid from the United States. A 1967 best-selling book by William and Paul Paddock declared that simply not enough food aid existed to save all needy countries, and so hopeless countries like India should be left to starve, conserving food aid for countries that were capable of survival.8" You can clearly see the trend. But what about the poor? Hunger ratio those who reported hunger in the last 12 months Source: Angus Deaton and Jean Dreze. 1980 - 17.2 2000 - 3.5 2010 -2.5 " Source: Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze, "Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations," Economic and Political Weekly (India), February 14, 2009. The Global Hunger Index is actually more a measure of nutritional indicators such as underweight and undersized children, and those characteristics are by no means the same thing as hunger. Small size can have genetic roots, as has been argued by Niti Aayog (the new name for a reformed planning commission) chair Arvind Panagariya.12 Besides, research by Dean Spears in India has proved conclusively that even when people get enough calories, open defecation and the disease it spreads prevent the body from absorbing the nutrients.13 The problem, then, is not hunger so much as terrible sanitation. Focusing on hunger instead of sanitation amounts to barking up the wrong tree. The hunger ratio in India has fallen so low that National Sample Survey Office surveys no longer bother to measure it." " In 1991, it took two years for anyone to get a telephone landline connection. N. R. Narayana Murthy, head of top software company Infosys, recalls that in the 1980s, it took him three years to get permission to import a computer and over one year to get a telephone connection.14 Today, the cell phone revolution means instant access to communication even in remote villages. The number of cell phone connections has just exceeded one billion. India has among the cheapest cell phone rates in the world, barely two cents per minute, and second-hand cell phones cost just $5, so even the poor can afford to make calls." " In 1991 India's main exports were textiles and cut-and-polished gems. Today, its main exports are computer software, other business services, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and auto components. Most developing countries grew fast by harnessing cheap labor. India never did so, because its rigid labor laws inhibited labor flexibility, and they still do so today. Software and business services are estimated at $108 billion in 2015-16, up from virtually nothing in 1991. " " Economic liberalization has benefited Dalits, the lowest of the Hindu castes, once condemned to the dirtiest work, such as cleaning latrines, cremating the dead, and handling dead animals and their hides. A seminal survey in two districts of Uttar Pradesh revealed striking improvements in the living standards of Dalits in the past two decades. TV ownership was up from zero to 45 percent, cell phone ownership was up from zero to 36 percent, two-wheeler ownership (of motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds) was up from zero to 12.3 percent, and children eating yesterday's leftovers was down from 95.9 percent to 16.2 percent. " " Even more striking was the improvement in Dalits' social status. The proportion of cases in which Dalits were seated separately at weddings was down from 77.3 percent to 8.9 percent. " Indians who lived on less than $2 PPP adjusted 1980 - 93% 1995 - 80% 2016 - 60% But what about inequality? Is inequality a bad thing? No. The argument is that as we have grown we have also grown more unequal. But consider the case of two similarly sized countries. Singapore vs Sweden. Singapore has an income of 105,000 gdp per capita at PPP Sweden 55,000 gdp per capita at PPP. 20% of Singaporeans are relative to the their income, and only 10% of Swedish are. But does this matter? No. Why? Because Afghanistan which has a $500 gdp per capita is even more equal than Afghanistan. Bottom-line is that equality doesn't matter per se. Sweden might have less inequality, but it is vastly poorer. The bottom 20% of Singapore is still vastly richer than the bottom 20% of Sweden. I could go on but we can that despite the bare minimum changes India still vastly benefited from liberal policies. Is India even a neoliberal country? Neoliberalism or Neo-Illiberalism? 'Leftist critics accuse India of going down the path of neoliberalism. The actual process could better be called neo-illiberalism. Although many old controls and licenses have indeed been abolished over the past 25 years, many new controls and bureaucratic hurdles have appeared, mostly in such areas as the environment, forests, tribal rights, and land and in new areas like retail, telecom, and Internet-related activities. Many state governments have failed to liberalize sufficiently. Hence, entrepreneurs complain bitterly of red tape and corruption. A survey conducted in January 2016 by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy showed that projects worth Rs 10.7 trillion ($160 billion) were stuck for various reasons, up from Rs 10.5 trillion ($158 billion) in September 2015.30 The Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Index places India at just 123rd out of 178 countries. Of the foundation's five categories — free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree, and repressed — India falls into the "mostly unfree" category. The Fraser Institute's index of economic freedom ranks India at 114th of 157 countries. India's freedom score as calculated by the Fraser Institute has actually declined in recent years, from a peak of 6.71 in 2005 to 6.43 in 2013.31' In fact during UPA - 2 red tape increased as you can see from the Fraser institute.. And ever since Modi has come in:
Say no to communism if you wish to improve the lives of the poor and yourself. Estonia PM: Ronald Reagan once said, when asked the difference between Marxists and anti‐Marxists, that Marxists are those who have read the books of Karl Marx and anti‐Marxists are those who have understood them. When you have lived in a communist society, it is not hard to understand how wrong these theories were.
Top 10 Nikola Naysayer's Baseless Arguments. Try harder, folks.
EDIT: There are now 19 items on this list. Last updated on Sep 30, 2020. If you’re coming from subs that are heavily anti-Nikola such as wallstreetbets and RealNikola, I hope folks there haven’t closed your mind to the point you can’t see facts when they’re presented to you. The following is meant to address baseless claims so that we can move onto legitimate concerns and questions about Nikola Corporation. Now be prepared for some serious due diligence (DD). This will take awhile... Before you read the items below, I suggest first watching the following videos: - Real Engineering Video (Sep 5, 2020—a great summary of Nikola’s business model) - Tesla Joy Video (Aug 24, 2020) - Tesla Daily Video (Jun 2, 2020) - TESLA Charts Podcast (Jul 19, 2020) - Autoline Network Video (Jun 11, 2020) - This Week In Startups Video (Jul 31, 2020) 1) They ripped off Tesla's name! FACT CHECK: What does this even mean? So...don't invest or at least take a look at a company given their name? Are you telling me that the inventor Nikola Tesla licensed his name to Elon Musk? That would be a no. Did Tesla Inc. trademark Nikola? Also a hard no. The only thing this tells me is that two clean energy companies honored a great inventor...a father of modern energy. I made this baseless claim #1 on this list since there are way too many people who just can't get over the name and refuses to took deeper, or if they do look deeper, they're already blinded by hate/disgust and can't look at the company objectively. Fun Fact: See who truly honors the great Nikola Tesla (click on the following names). Is it Tesla’s Elon Musk or Nikola founder Trevor Milton? 2) They're diluting their shares with the merger! FACT CHECK: Nikola Motor Co. and VectoIQ are conducting a reverse merger, which will come to a shareholder vote on June 2, 2020. If you don't know what a reverse merger is, click here. VTIQ's 29.6M shares will be combined with the 320.7M private shares of existing Nikola Motor Co. Another 52.5M shares will come from VectoIQ's PIPE (see #16 below as well for those who are worried PIPE investors are about to sell their shares). VTIQ will convert to $NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at pre-merger will be the same price it will be post-merger. Furthermore, existing Nikola private shareholders (not VTIQ shareholders) will be under a lock up period for 6 months where they are barred from selling their shares. I wouldn't be concerned with dilution until the lock up is lifted, but even then, Nikola World 2020 would have revealed major progress with the company that I'm sure most investors will want to hold tight for the long. Trevor Milton on dilution. Read the SEC filed S-4 to learn more about the merger. Post-Merger Edit: No signs of dilution. NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price despite all the PIPE, warrants, and employee stock options entering the market. The only remaining shares left are the 2M (max) that the Diesel Brother can earn for Badger sales. 3) They sued Tesla...a bunch of amateurs! FACT CHECK: Here's a video of an unbiased deep dive onto the patent lawsuit, which btw, Nikola is winning and winning at the highest patent court in the country. If another company infringed on Tesla’s patents, would that be okay? 4) Trevor Milton is the CEO. FACT CHECK: Part of the agreement on the merger was for Trevor Milton to lose some shares to own up to 40% of the company. The agreement also elevated him to Executive Chairman from CEO so he wouldn’t have to run the day-to-day operations of the company and instead focus on leading the board of directors and the strategic direction of the company. All in all, institutional investors wanted to limit Trevor’s control over the company. The CEO of Nikola is Mark Russell who has no social media presence and rarely seen, as it should be for the guy running the show. When Mark does speak, it's clear that he's the more calculated and reserved executive of the company. Comparatively, Trevor is a visionary. Those who follow him closely know he tends to speak in the future. As the Chairman of the company, he is fulfilling his job in pointing the Corporation's strategic direction. Edit 1: A modification has been made to Trevor Milton’s lock-up clause. Edit 2: Trevor Milton dumped 6 Million of his own shares! See...he doesn't even want the stock! Fact Check: On Aug 26, 2020, Trevor announced that he would GIVE 6 million of his shares to the first 50 employees of Nikola. He then later announced that he would give the other 350 of his employees a total of 1 million of his own shares. Nikola haters love to spin the truth. They're so blinded by hate and disgust for Trevor and Nikola that anything he does is processed negatively. Edit 3: Trevor Milton is no longer CEO or Executive Chairman as he stepped aside following sexual assault allegations. 5) Trevor Milton started two companies that went bankrupt! He’s even a college dropout! FACT CHECK: Now we're getting into the SPIN ZONE! Get the full dose of truth in this Forbes article. You’ll find that Trevor actually started two businesses that he sold for millions of dollars. For whatever reason, some people assume great entrepreneurs have been 100% successful in their endeavors. They couldn’t be more further from the truth. To those who tease Trevor for being a college dropout, see this list of successful business leaders who also dropped out of college. 6) Hydrogen tech is unproven! Nikola is just vaporware! FACT CHECK: It seems you are ill-informed of the industry. Here's hydrogen fuel cell tech use in South Korea, in California, in Germany, and in the United Kingdom, to name a few...oh, and there's Nikola's H2 fueling station at their Phoenix, Arizona HQ. Do these videos of the Nikola Two look like vaporware to you?
Video 8 Trevor Milton showing the Nikola Two Powertrain
To learn more about hydrogen, read this peer-reviewed study on the 20 Hydrogen Myths. Furthermore, if you go through the Hydrogen FCEV Technology and Hydrogen Technology post flairs in this sub, you’ll find other companies vouching for FCEV tech as well to include Shell, Hyundai, BMW, Bosch, Ballard, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler, Toyota, and Hyzon...I’m sure I’m missing others. What are all these companies missing that you see? Is it because Elon Musk said hydrogen is "fool cell"? They all must be trying to fool us I guess. 7) My shares will be $10 post-merger! FACT CHECK: VTIQ will convert to NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at merger, will be the same price it will be post-merger. Post-Merger Edit: We did not see NKLA start at $10. In fact, on Jun 4, 2020 listing day, NKLA opened at $37.55. 8) They took PPP money meant for small businesses. How dare they do that?! FACT CHECK: Before Nikola received close to $1B from the VectoIQ merger, the company was strapped in cash and had over 300 employees and their families to care for during COVID-19. They eventually paid tax payers back as you'll hear in this clip where Trevor sets the record straight with CNBC. 9) I don't understand warrants, so this company is a fraud! FACT CHECK: If you don't understand warrants (NKLAW), either get smart or just buy NKLA common shares. See this reference and my thoughts on NKLAW. 10) They're asking me if I want to redeem my VTIQ shares for $10.36 when I bought it at $25. This is 100% a scam! FACT CHECK: VTIQ shareholders received messages on whether to opt into redeeming their shares by May 29, 2020. If they did, they would only receive $10.38. No one in their right mind would want to do that if the price of VTIQ is currently way over that price. Not only does this hurt you, it also hurts Nikola Corp as you would be taking cash from the merger. Read this Article. Bottom line, if you receive a message asking if you want to redeem your VTIQ shares, don’t do it. This is an option that they made available, but VectoIQ and Nikola Corp. highly suggests against redeeming your VTIQ shares. 11) Their revenue projections are fake! Anyone can preorder with $0 money down! FACT CHECK: This article explains why preorders are $0.00. Also, read this Tweet from Trevor Milton. Moreover, go to pg. 14 on this SEC filing. Notice how the vast majority of the preorders are from legitimate institutional fleets. See this Tweet as well. Note that Nikola has stopped taking orders for their FCEV semis since Fall 2019. They’re only taking orders for BEV semis, Badgers, NZTs, and WAVs. The $10B 14,602 preorder semis where for those FCEVs. Trolls can’t add to that number and are just wasting their time especially since Nikola runs scripts to filter out their submissions. 12) No one wanted to invest in Nikola! That's why they went public...to take your money instead! Nikola is SCAM! FACT CHECK: Go to Pg. 10 on the prospectus. You'll find over $500M in funding from several companies prior to the merger with VectoIQ. Post-merger, Nikola’s institutional investors include Bosch (German), Hanwha (S. Korean; 6.13% ownership), CNH Industrial/Iveco (Italian; 7.11% ownership), Nel Hydrogen (Norwegian), Fidelity Management and Research Company, Inclusive Capital Spring Fund (~5.6% ownership), Black Rock, and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP. To doubters, what do you see that these companies fail to see? These companies fully vetted Nikola before investing in them. Nikola even received a $1.7M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to the merger, VectoIQ’s CEO Steve Girsky, who is known for getting General Motors out of bankruptcy as their former Vice Chairman, did a top-down vetting of Nikola, Trevor Milton, the leadership team, their strategy and vision, etc. Steve is now a member of Nikola’s board of directors along with leaders from Bosch, Hanwha, Iveco, Ace Disposal, and Caterpillar's Thompson Machinery (Source). EDIT: Along with partnering with Nikola on producing the Badger, General Motors also invested ~$2B in Nikola on top of saving Nikola $4B in capex. GM undoubtedly did their homework on Nikola and on Trevor prior to this investment, which grants them ~11% stake in the company. Furthermore, Nikola went public via a SPAC reverse merger to save time and capital going through the traditional IPO route. They wanted to go public to be completely transparent and demonstrate to investors that they aren't another WeWork company doomed for failure. The reserve merger brings about $1B in capital to kickstart their major projects (hydrogen infrastructure and factory construction). Although their stock went through a tough road during their first couple of months since listing on the NASDAQ, Nikola continues to survive and trade above their IPO price. Three months after listing, Nikola even secured a binding contract for 2,500 Nikola Refuse trucks from Republic Services worth at least a $1B and may be increased to 5K trucks ($2B max order) (Source). For those who think Nikola is riding on the backs of retail investors, see pg. 34 of this prospectus. Retail investors own about 10% of NKLA. Now the real questions: Should retail investors invest in a pre-revenue company? I invested in NKLA/VTIQ for the same reason why venture capitalists (VCs) invest in pre-revenue/pre-IPO companies. The big difference is that Nikola decided to go public via a reverse mergeSPAC, which allowed retail investors to participate, thus democratizing investment in a pre-revenue company, which until recently only the very rich VCs can. Does Nikola deserve their pre-revenue valuation? Valuation is based on investor sentiment and Nikola cannot control their stock price. Literally the last share buyer does. I came in when NKLA was still VTIQ and my valuation was based on the 14.6K FCEV pre-orders worth ~$10B to include binding contracts with Ab inBev and U.S. Xpress. We then witnessed what happened when the Nikola Refuse order with Republic Services became a binding contract. Investors decided that they were willing to come in now before the order gets fulfilled as they believe the stock price will be much higher later when the order materializes. Lastly, senior leadership at Nikola will take no more than $1 per year in salary and will be compensated instead with stock bonuses if they meet benchmarks. This shows good stewardship of investors’ money, not add to the company's CapEx, and letting their performance dictate their compensation. 13) They’re outsourcing everything! Definitely not vertically integrated like Tesla! FACT CHECK:Outsourcing is a misleading term. Technically, you can't outsource to a company that invests in you and/or has partnered with you. The more appropriate term is joint venture. For example, Nikola and Iveco has a 50/50 JV factory in Germany (Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH). Iveco's parent company CNH Industrial also invested $250M to Nikola in cash, goods and services. Bosch is providing the fuel cell and powertrain for the semis. They too invested heavily in Nikola. Outsourcing would imply that Nikola is the customer of a contract company and Nikola is paying them...not at all the case. Together, these companies that have invested heavily in Nikola enable vertical integration. Fun Fact: Just as how Nikola is using another OEM to manufacture the Badger, Tesla also used another OEM to build one of their vehicles. It was their very first vehicle...the Roadster. The OEM was Lotus, but notice I said “used another OEM to build” the Roadster. I didn’t say “manufacture”. The point here is that Testa didn’t do everything themselves as Nikola haters dog the company for. 14) The cost to create hydrogen is $13/kg. That's way more than what diesel costs. No company will switch! FACT CHECK: Nikola has dropped the cost of producing hydrogen to below $4/kg . Their hydrogen will also be made onsite, thus removing distribution requirements. Furthermore, Nikola will take advantage of both renewable energy (wind and solar) as well as cheap excess power from the grid...hours where energy companies are actually releasing energy (wasted electricity) due to grid overload during low-usage hours. They also won't be getting power within municipalities, but rather through PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) on main federal transmission lines saving them a ton of money (Source). 15) Trevor Milton sold millions of NKLA shares to buy his $32.5M ranch when Nikola has made ZERO revenue!! FACT CHECK: First, see #4 above. Beyond these shares Trevor had to sell as part of the merger, he cannot sell the rest of his shares as they’re locked up for 6 months post-merger with VectoIQ. Furthermore, Trevor bought the ranch a year before the merger and before VectoIQ and Steve Girsky approached Nikola. Lastly, Trevor made bank from selling dHybrid to Worthington Industries. The seed money from Worthington to start Nikola was separate from Worthington's purchase of dHybrid. 16) PIPE investors are going to sell their shares! The disparity between NKLA and NKLAW will tank the stock! SELL NOW!! FACT CHECK: Please see this piece that I wrote, which addressed this fear mongering by naysayers. Post-Warrants Edit: NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price. The downward pressures from the warrants are now gone and none of the PIPE investors have signaled dumping their stocks. 17) The Badger is just a GM EV rebadging of the Silverado. 100% GM technology with a Nikola badge! I can't believe Nikola gave GM 11% stake of their company for this! FACT CHECK: The Badger will utilize GM's powertrain (Ultium battery tech and Hydrotec fuel cell stack technology), but the rest of the truck is Nikola's IP/design. Furthermore, the two existing prototype Badgers were completely made by Nikola without GM's help and will be revealed during Nikola World 2020. GM will then engineer their tech with Nikola's tech/design, test, validate, and manufacture the pickup truck. See this Tweet from Trevor: >Nikola to share hardware like ASILD Inverters, batteries and other validated parts. Nikola will always own; the brand, cab, chassis modifications, infotainment, controls, OTA, sales, service and warranty & customer interaction. GM to help us build it to last and cut cost. This interview explains a lot more about the partnership between Nikola and GM. I also encourage you to read the 8-K filing. It’s not that long of a read and shows what’s part of this deal beyond just the Badger, which justifies the 11% stake. The partnership with GM on the Badger is also only good for 6 years. After that, Nikola would be free to manufacture the Badger themselves once they have a factory and the capital to do so by then. Their next-gen battery would surely be ready by then as well. 18) Nikola's Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure is Trevor Milton's brother who was just your average joe construction worker, You've got to be kidding me! FACT CHECK: Trevor's brother Travis Milton is Nikola’s Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure; however he doesn’t have to know much about hydrogen technology to do what he does as Nikola hydrogen supplier is Nel Hydrogen. I assume his role is to find industry experts, such as Nel, and oversee Nikola’s contracts with them. Furthermore, there’s actually other hydrogen-related executives in the company (see pg. 16 of this prospectus presentation filed with the SEC). You have Dale Prows as Head of Hydrogen Supply Chain and Livio Gambone as Head of Hydrogen Storage. Also, check out these recent hires. They added Pablo Koziner, who came from and was an executive at Caterpillar, to be the Nikola Energy President overseeing stations and energy. 19) Nikola faked the Nikola One video...LMAO! They even admitted to it! FACT CHECK: Yes, the Nikola One in this 2018 video did not drive in its own propulsion, hence the title "Nikola One Electric Semi Truck in Motion". The allegation is that Nikola fooled its investors. The truth of the matter is that Nikola's investors at the time were private investors as Nikola was still a pre-IPO company (Nikola Motor Company), to include Bosch and Nel. In Nikola's own words, "Nikola investors who invested during this period, in which the Company was privately held, knew the technical capability of the Nikola One at the time of their investment." Furthermore, Nikola's strategic partners have come out in support of the company after shorter Hindenburg Research's desperate hit-job article to support their short position after the GM partnership announcement that sent NKLA up ~50%. Moreover, NKLA investors find this hit-piece irrelevant as what matters now is what Nikola already has (working prototypes as seen on #6 above, strategic partners as listed on #12 above, 800 binding orders for FCEV Nikola semis from Ab inBEv and 2,500-5,000 binding orders for the Nikola Refuse by Republic Services) and what's to come (strategic partnership announcement on building out fueling stations, Badger reservation numbers, Nikola World 2020, and potentially more major binding contracts). — Now that we’ve gotten the baseless arguments out of the way (and I’ll continue to add to them when necessary), I encourage you to go through NikolaCorporation and read through the DD that have already been and continue to be shared. Filter topics by post flairs to find info you’re interested in. Cheers, KaiserCyber
Landscaping business from 0 to 23k service appointments in 4 years
EDIT: I posted this on Entrepreneur couple weeks ago. It seems to be quite helpful to some. I'll try my luck here. Hope you find it helpful too. This post is mostly for those who’re thinking about starting a landscaping business. If you have one, there may still be some values in it. Industry $99B on lawn care spend in 2019. Average ~$800 annual spend per household. Over 500k landscaping businesses in the US, over a million workers. Why & What We started a yard care business (southwest US) 4.5 years ago because we couldn’t find one that’d pick up our calls, or show up to see our yard, let alone do the work. Got frustrated and decided to build a business for it. We wanted to make the process of hiring a landscaper easier, so we built a website to let people book lawn service online. They search their address, see the instant quote, and can book the service. We can change the pricing anytime with a click. The day we launched we had our first online booking. A young professional booked our first appointment and he’s still a client to this day. On the business side, when a new booking comes in, we assign our crew to a new client. Send out auto-reminders the day before the service. We built lots of features to automate the workflow (scheduling, invoicing, payment, clients, crew’s login). We have a feature to charge all houses by clicking a “Charge” button. We do 30-40 houses a day. This saves us hundreds of manual clicks. You’re building a business, not a job. Ideally, money should come in with or without you around. It won’t be 100% no involvement but you want to be as hands-off as possible. Automation is your friend. Try to automate as much as possible. Numbers Revenue comes mostly from recurring yard and lawn maintenance, weekly, biweekly, monthly. We had no prior landscaping experience, learn the trade on the go by tagging along with the crew. We grew to 420 recurring clients as of today. ~23,000 appointments served since launched. The instant quote, booking feature of our site really help fuels our growth. Service ranges from $40-$300+ per yard depending on how large the yard is. Plenty of add-ons services (irrigation repair, install, tree trimming, removal, planting, grass reseeding). Tree removal, installing a new irrigation system could be in the thousands. NET margin’s roughly 20%. If you apply good business practices, $500k+ annual revenue is very realistic. As for pricing your job, we use our site to set the maintenance pricing. If you don’t have that, some use hourly rate. Some quote by the job. Use what best fits you. Hiring This is probably generic and applies to any industry. Our first hire was our own yard guys. His brother also does work for us. He knows someone from his church. One leads to others. We now have 6 crews. We tried indeed, craigslist, have a job application page on our site. We never had luck with them. We’re lucky all our current guys are great. Very little turnover. They are the most hardworking people we know. Good crews are hard to come by. Pay them well above the average. If you had to fire someone, do it fast. It hurts all sides if you fire slowly. Operations Send clients service reminders at least a day before the service. Your crew should have access to all service info. Group all the houses in the same area on a specific day. It saves travel time and gas. Our maintenance service doesn’t just mow and go. We trim bushes, remove weeds on gravel (majority of yards here have rocks). Check the irrigation system, help clients set up irrigation timers. Look out for leaks, broken sprinklers (add on revenue), report to clients if you see any. They will appreciate your attention to details. Crews will forget gate code, when they ask, tell them, don’t let them wait. Your job is to make their job easier. Clients will have special requests, how much to remove this bush, how much to trim this tree. Get the quote out asap, best to do that on the same day of maintenance. Crews may miss things. Forget to trim a shrub, left the debris at the corner. You need to be ready to fix the mistake, put out the “fire”. Maintain good communications, always. New leads will call to ask you to come out to see the yard, we direct them to our website that has an instant quote or have them send you the most recent photos (not the photos on Zillow that’s 6 months ago), if they want an accurate quote. If mowing only, you can ask how tall the grass is in inches, go to findlotsize.com to measure the area. You can give them some rough estimates that way. You will get one-time cleanups often, try to turn them into recurring maintenance. We charge more on the one-time service and discount the first service if they sign up for maintenance. We tell the clients something like this: There's no contract on the maintenance service, you can cancel at any time. However, if cancel right after the first service and before the next maintenance service. The difference between the one-time service ($300) and the discounted first service ($250), will be charged.” *Maintenance $50.* Clients cancellation Ask them why anything not happy with. Don’t make the same mistakes if you’re in the wrong. Many clients won’t tell you unless you ask. If they move, make sure to let them know to leave your number to the new owner. Ask them to leave you a review if they haven’t yet. Many new owners end up signing up with us. Problems Stolen tools. We’ve had $600 blowers, $800 lawnmowers stolen multiple times. Need to lock them in the trailers. Our city doesn’t rain much. If it did, we had to reschedule that day’s appointments. Fixing an irrigation leak could take much longer than expected. Finding the source is much harder than fixing it sometimes. This will mess up the day’s schedule. Rescheduling could be a mess just to check what days to reschedule to. Notifying the clients, make sure they’re ok and the crew’s route is optimized so they don’t need to travel far from one yard to the next. Limit the number of houses to no more than 12-15 per 2-3-men crew daily. For any automation experts, we’d like your feedback on how to automate the rescheduling. There’s often gravels on the lawn. We’ve broken 2 sliding door glasses, a van’s glass parked on the driveway when we weed eat the lawn. We lived up to our mistakes. Told the clients immediately and always pay for the damage in a timely manner. A sliding door glass easily runs $500 and up. Having liability insurance that has good coverage is very important. Bad clients We’re fortunate most are nice people, but some are absolutely unbearable. One client always wanted us to do free work. Got mad if we don’t do it even though we stated clearly what’s and not included in the maintenance. Threaten to leave us bad reviews. Fire these types of clients quickly, you won’t regret it. We do a little bit of free work here and there for clients sometimes cos we’re nice people, but a line should always be drawn, business is still business, we’re here to make money. We’ve had about 5-10 clients who straight out scammed us from not paying us (mistakes we didn’t get their cards first). All big cleanups. If it happens to you, after a few invoices, don’t spend more time on it, send them to collections. Your time should be spent on taking care of your clients, crews, and getting new business. Always in your best interest to get their credit card info. Tell them: The card info is for reserving the appointment only. It’ll be posted as a pending/authorized transaction, however, it won’t be charged until the service is completed. Marketing We don’t do printed ads, never printed door hangers. We do have business cards that we give out to new clients. Not a big fan of traditional marketing. Maybe we’re missing a lot though. Yelp is downright terrible. Hide good reviews and always call to get us on their ad platform. We never bite. Any bad reviews we respond professionally. Smart consumers can see who’s in the wrong. We do get Yelp's new lead message from time to time. We check the lead’s profile. If you only see 1-star reviews they give everywhere, don’t respond. Chances are, they will give you a 1-star too. Wait for a few days, yelp will email you to remind you to respond, then click don’t intend to reply. This way, it won’t hurt your response time and rate. We focus more on google review. We tried fb ads, google AdWords, thumbtack, HomeAdvisor's initially. Never had good results. You must set up your GMB and Bing business page. Add photos, posts regularly. Use their analytics to narrow down the search keywords. Use them to optimize your site SEO. Our site traffic and people calling are mostly organic search through google. Send an auto email to clients after each service with a simple review link at the end to increase the number of reviews. We have some CRM in place though not systematically. We have thousands of old and existing clients in our database. Trees need trimming once a year; lawn needs fertilizer regularly. Reach out to them. More reason to have repeated clients than a one-off. You should have add-on business regularly either you reach out to them or they ask for it. You need a CRM plan if you want to grow to the next level. Social Media We’re present, but not active as in having daily scheduled posts. It’s very time-consuming to post, follow others, be engaging, just to hope others will retweet/share or follow back. We aren’t sure how much more effort we should put into it. Currently, no ad spend. We’re open to it. Just need a plan. If you’re spending $$ on ads, good to know your client segments so you can target them.
Homeowners: Most clients of ours are younger crowd, professionals who don’t have any time to do yard work or wait for someone to come out to give quote.
Investors: Out of state, snowbirds, send them after service photos, they will appreciate it.
Property managers: We work for a property management company that manages over 2,000 investment properties in our city. They give us constant stream of work. Many are large ticket one-time cleanup. Find yours in your city. Contact them. They may be looking for landscapers.
Realtors: Got some work from them here and there. Most we know don’t give us much work. We don’t actively reach out to them. Not worth our time.
Apartments, shopping center, HOAs: We avoid this type of business although we do have a few. Net 30 payment is too long. We understand it’s a large amount but it ties up our resources. A good size apartment landscape maintenance could take 3 guys half a day. Residential homes are quick, excellent receivable, job done, click charge, get paid the next day. You just need a lot of repeated clients. With lots of smaller clients, you reduce the risk of losing big clients. If you have too many large commercial clients, what if they cancel the contract next year, it’ll crush your top line. You lose a residential client out of hundreds or thousands, no big deal.
HOA, city violations: Depending on the HOA, cities, and states, they send our violations to residents if they don’t maintain the yard. Many only find help right before the fine kicks in. Those are very good business. If you pick up the call, you most likely will get it. Convince them to sign up for maintenance, more recurring, add-on revenue.
Templates We have many message templates for generic questions, to save time communicating with leads and clients. Examples: “If you have recent photos of the yard, please send them to us so we can provide a much narrower price range. Thank you!” Please refer to our ongoing maintenance service details here for your reference. >> “link to your site’s page that describes the maintenance work” You can see some of our work here for your reference. “Link to your photo gallery or IG page of your work photos.” These are some irrigation, tree trimming work of ours for your reference. “Links to your photo gallery” You can also login here to view the service schedule and details. Thanks. “Link to the client login page.” Refer to your friend and family to get a 10.0% discount on your next appointment if they book with us. >> link to your referral page << We have a few spreadsheets we created to calculate fertilizer, weed/feed, new sod, reseeding price. Plug in the area, give you a price. This makes it quick to send estimates. Final take away Anyone can start a landscaping business. You don’t need to have much knowledge or invest thousands of dollars to start. We didn’t even have a truck, a lawnmower when we started. This (https://imgur.com/a/W0XsHuD) is what we have. You just need a system that can run your business efficiently and a crew who has the experience and know what they’re doing. Have the vision to set the business up so you’re not the one who does the labor work, instead, you’re the one who manages, markets the business. As you build up your client base, you can invest more into trucks, equipment, and hire more workers. Our model is working. We have online booking almost daily with no ad spend. it can work for you too. Focus on smaller clients instead of big HOA, commercial clients. You’ll be glad when hundreds of recurring clients constantly give you additional work. Many will say don’t start a landscaping business, it’s bottom of the barrel, you’re competing with low wage folks who charge nothing. If you are reliable and dependable, you will get business, and people are willing to pay more. Use good business ethics. People can book online on our site but there are still many prefer to call you. Pick up the calls. I can’t tell you how many times we heard on the other side of the phone saying, “OMG, you’re the first one who picked up my call!” There’s no passive income in all of these. You’re active if you want to succeed. Crew, client questions, complaints, new leads requests. It’s non-stop. Don’t low ball any quotes, don’t use words like cheap, low cost in your marketing message. Use reasonable, competitive pricing instead. If you follow good practice, your business will grow, it won’t be a candlestick growth but it will grow. It happens to us. It will work for you too. Photo gallery: https://imgur.com/jxz4JyT https://imgur.com/a/c59MMiu https://imgur.com/a/BG7eswH Any comments, feedback, questions, let us know. Thanks!
Hi FIRE! Before we start, I want to thank you for opening this post. I am grateful, and I am also grateful for discovering the Fire philosophy of investing in my 20s. So, Thank you, reader. I am 25 years old, with a bachelor of science in business economics. I have had a series of entrepreneur endeavors but none of them was successful enough to replace a liveable wage. I live very a minimal lifestyle, and I mostly spend money on traveling, buying self-improvement/ philosophy books for myself and my friends, and twice a week I would get takeout with my girlfriend. I love her and I really enjoy spending money on people that I love. I would say I always spend about 10% - 15% of my paycheck on buying self-improvement books/courses, giving money to the homeless (There is a lot of them in my city, and they stand under the hot sun near the traffic sections. My girlfriend is very giving and she always waves and gives them water or money. I started to as well and giving makes me feel good.) I mostly do this because I know I will be successful, but when I get there I want my friends to be there with me. Careerwise, I graduated right into COVID and it has been really hard to land a full-time position, and I am contemplating if I need to go to graduate school during this time. I am currently working part-time (20 hours a week) making ~$20/ hour. I have had the luck of working and saving up quite a bit of investment money, and I wish to get some feedback from people more experienced than me. Here is my current situation: I have no debt of any sort. (No credit card, no car payment (Sold my car), no student loans, etc) I am currently living at home, sleeping on the floor. I don't have a bed also my family is kind of poor so I don't mind. Also, I don't want to have a bunch of stuff. I want to have meaningful relationships and travel experiences. The city that I live in is very expensive so there is no way I could afford it if I lived on my own. I make about $500 - $1,000 (Varies) every two weeks. I want to make more but I am having a hard time landing a job (I work in business development, marketing, and behavioral economics) My credit card score is around 790s (I am very responsible for paying off and I use my credit card as a debit card.) What I have in my bank Checking $2,000 Savings $8,000 What I have in my Investment (I am inspired by the FIRE (Financial Independent Retirement Early movement and I have been auto investing in my investment accounts) I don't have a 401K yet, it seems that I would need an employee to have one. I have been working mostly contract jobs. My philosophy of investing: I have been reading a lot of Ray Dalio's work on Macroeconomics and geopolitics. Coming from an economic background, I really worry about the dethroning of the dollar as the world reserve current statues, and also an economic war that becomes a hot war between the US and China.) also high inflation is another worry of mine. I recently bought a vanguard total real estate index and yesterday I exchanged it for TIPS ($3,000). I know I should not try to buy and sell within a year because of capital tax reasons, but I looked at my asset allocation and I didn't have enough % for bonds. Taxable (~$13,000) IAU (Gold Trust) - $2000 VIPSX (TIPS) - $3,000 VTIAX (Total International Stock Index) - $3,000 VTSAX (Total Stock Market Index Fund) - $3,700 VXUS (Total Intl Stock Index) - $1,200 Roth IRA (~$19,700) (I try to max it out every year) VTSAX - $8,500 VTTSX (Vanguard Target Retirement 2060 Fund) - $11,000 I would love to hear some feedback on how could I optimize my portfolio, or find a mentor, or work on improving my situation. Also, does anyone have an excel sheet or website that I could enter the number to see where my asset allocation is? I would really like to know exactly how much I have in international equity vs domestic (USA). Thank you! Thank you to everyone who read to the end! TLDR: Young college grad need help with investment and life. Additional questions: Should I exchange my VTSAX TO VFIAX? An article from Investopedia said that VFIAX has less volatility than VTSAX and also has a slightly higher return. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTIAX), could someone explain to me why this fund has underperformed against the VTSAX (Total Market) and VFIAX (SP&500) Also, someone recommended buying VTWAX Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares instead of VTIAX. What are your thoughts on this? Also, I am not interested in day trading, options, or picking individual stocks (I have been scammed before and learned my lesson). However, I have heard that most millionaires are in real estate. There is a lot of hype about real estate investing (house flipping, BRRRR method, etc) I am always skeptical when I see a lot of marketing materials about how easy it is. Is real estate something that I should start studying? Thank you again for reading!
I bought 2 TSLA stocks at 750, and yesterday when it hit 1085 and a market cap value of 200+ billion, I thought to myself there's no way the company is worth that much, especially after plant shutdowns that happened recently. I mean you barely see Teslas on the street, it can't be the most valuable auto company right now(maybe some day). Anyways, so I sold my 2 stocks, I kind of forced myself so I could shake my fear and dip my toes into day trading as a new investor, to buy them at a lower price. However, today the stock even went higher, so I'm not sure to take my small loss and buy them back or wait for it to come down? Their delivery numbers are coming out in the next few days, and that could send the stock even higher. Any thoughts? I'm not sure what the best move is. P.S I feel like the main reason the stock is over priced is due some people mindlessly worshiping Elon, it's almost like a cult LOL. Don't get me wrong though I think he's one of the most innovative and hard working entrepreneurs.
Nigerians Are Using Bitcoin to Bypass International Trade Hurdles
Chukwuemeka Ezike sends thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin a month in order to trade with Chinese exporting companies. In return, he receives spare auto parts, construction equipment, and juices for a family business his father started more than 30 years ago. Ezike works full-time at Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi as its community manager but helps with his family’s business on the side. He says bitcoin is faster than exchanging currencies the old-fashioned way. And he can use it to leapfrog bank limits of $10,000 a day, which he often needs to do. Ezike doesn’t pay the manufacturer directly. Over WeChat, he works with a middleman named “Allen” who exchanges Ezike’s bitcoin for renminbi, China’s national currency, and then passes it on to the manufacturer. Ezike couldn’t divulge which companies he deals with, saying, “The Chinese are sensitive with the data that’s shared.” He’s one of several Nigerians using bitcoin for this purpose. Ezike even helps other Nigerian companies make similar cross-border transactions with bitcoin.
Using bitcoin for global trade
In several ways, bitcoin makes sense for global trade. The currency jumps borders with ease, where other currencies encounter friction. If the counterparty is willing to receive bitcoin on the other end, it’s often faster and cheaper than legacy payments. But this can be a big “if,” since bitcoin is a newer way of transferring money and people aren’t exactly used to it quite yet. While bitcoin has these nimble properties, it hasn’t disrupted international trade and value transfer just yet, especially given the currency’s current limitations. If more people use bitcoin at once, the network becomes congested and payments slow down. Behind the scenes, developers around the world are working on the Lightning Network to fix these problems, so that more people, maybe one day even millions, can all use bitcoin regularly without seeing a spike in fees and sluggish transactions. All that said, some Nigerians are becoming reliant on using bitcoin as a way to trade internationally, and are finding bitcoin has significant benefits over legacy financial systems.
Foreign exchange woes
Nigerian bitcoin entrepreneur Chimezie Chuta has another theory for why some are using bitcoin for trade with China and beyond. Like most other countries in an increasingly globalized world, Nigeria imports a significant percentage of the goods that it uses. As Chimezie Chuta put it: “Nigeria is a very import-heavy country. Food industry, drugs, you name it, construction equipment, cars.” Much of these goods are bought from Chinese manufacturers. “Nigeria’s economy is heavily import dependent and China is a major import partner to Nigeria,” Chuta adds. Nigerians have to struggle with this process, though. “Access to [foreign exchange (FX)] for importation by Nigerian business owners is highly limited because the [Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)] has limited liquidity to cater for everyone,” Chuta told CoinDesk. If Nigerians want to reap the benefits of trade, they need to hunt down a way to exchange their naira (Nigeria’s national currency) for other currencies. In Nigeria, finding U.S. dollars or Chinese remnibi is not an easy task. “Importers typically rely on the black market for the additional FX needed and that comes at a very high price,” Chuta said. This phenomenon has been covered in Bloomberg, for instance. This is one of the other reasons Ezike has turned to bitcoin as an alternative. “The hustle for [the] dollar and all that is quite a thing I love to avoid,” Ezike told CoinDesk. With bitcoin, he can “take out all international banking routing processes,” he said. Others are reaching the same conclusion. “Chinese exporters have expressed willingness to accept bitcoin payments for their goods; hence, many business people in Nigeria find it more convenient to make such payments with bitcoin for obvious reasons,” Chuta said, adding that bitcoin is speedier, open and trustless.
More naira problems
Entrepreneur Monyei Chinazaekpele was able to buy clothes, COVID-19 masks and tests from House of Trippy in China, to resell to customers in Nigeria. He decided to use bitcoin after experiencing mounting frustration with current banking limitations, especially their impact on global trade. “I was enlightened about the monetary policies on the ground. I was shocked to my nerve,” he told CoinDesk. Chinazaekpele reiterated Chuta and Ezike’s point that foreign exchange is tough in Nigeria. “You can’t easily switch to other currencies,” he said, adding that he’s hopeful it’s just “a matter of time” before this situation improves. “Basically, bitcoin is stress free to use and honestly, the naira is not a good store of value,” Chinazaekpele said, pointing to the naira’s 12% inflation rate, which means the value of the currency depreciates by that much value every year. Bitcoin’s price fluctuates, and sometimes the price goes down. But Chinazaekpele argues that bitcoin generally doesn’t have this inflation problem, since over the long term the price has been going up. Chinazaekpele’s also looking to buy a cashew processor with bitcoin, but he’s still working out the details with the factory, which is also located in China.
Keeping it on the down-low
All this trade with bitcoin is happening behind the scenes. Businessmen and women on the ground aren’t exactly eager to publicize that they’re using bitcoin for international trade. For one, the legality of cryptocurrency is fuzzy in the region. The CBN has issued several warnings to banks. The latest in 2018 advised banks “not to use, hold or transact in any way with the technology.” “In the bitcoin space we don’t know what reaction to expect, so we try to be a little bit discrete,” Ezike told CoinDesk. That’s why he doesn’t want to reveal the name of his father’s importing business. By only revealing his individual name, he’s less fearful that the Nigerian government will “attack” the business. “We have had accounts frozen at some point due to bitcoin transactions,” Ezike said. “We had to appeal to re-open them.” He added that it’s the same situation in China, which is why the people he transacts with there “ensure they [keep] a low profile.” As for the relationship between the government in Nigeria and crypto, Ezike said that “they are really confused about what to do with it. But hopefully they will embrace it.” https://www.coindesk.com/nigeria-using-bitcoin-trade-with-china
r/startups banned me for broadcasting this message: Founders! Do. Not. Raise. Venture. Capital
I love the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was my fav growing up. Since then, I've founded several startups, was employee #3 at a $65m VC firm in SF, and realized that there is a similar phenomenon to what Robert Kiyosaki is talking about in Rich Dad Poor Dad currently occurring in Silicon Valley. Let's tastefully call this phenomenon: Rich Founder Poor Founder. The point of entrepreneurship is freedom. Yes it’s to build cool shit and innovate and all that, but at the end of the day the sort of person who becomes an entrepreneur is usually doing it because they want freedom to control their day and work on the things they care about. A lot of people go out and start their first business and try to make it a venture backed startup. That’s the wrong move. That’s like going to the gym and trying to bench 250 lbs on day one. It’s not that you can’t build up to that, it’s just not the right move today. I think the right move is to start a business that can make you $100k+ per year in profit. It doesn’t matter if it can’t scale past that, it’s about building that foundation to give you the freedom to try new things. Fail at those new things and it doesn’t matter as you have that financial foundation. It could be something as simple as a consulting or a services business, or a digital product like a course, newsletter or subscription podcast. Anything that is high margin, simple and enabled by the internet. VC’s may shit on lifestyle businesses but at the end of the day they collect a 2% yearly management fee regardless of their success and typically have a great lifestyle (once their fund size is above $100m AUM). Ask yourself what’s an easier path to wealth and freedom? Path 1: Venture backed startup 90% chance of $0. Small personal income until scale, IPO or liquidity event. Massive dilution. Most founders end up owning 5%-20%. $500m market cap = $25m-$100m for founder(s). OR Path 2: Lifestyle business 50% - 75% chance of success. Pay yourself whatever you want out of profits over time. If you can bootstrap your way to $300k/yr in profit and invest half of that ($150k/yr) at 10%/yr for 20 years = $9.6m + $150k/yr salary to enjoy your life with your family and friends. After 20 years, you can choose to sell that business or automate it and let it ride but with $9.6m invested in a conservative portfolio paying out 5% annually = $480k/year in interest or $40k/mo for you to live off without ever touching the principal nor sacrificing quality of life. The definition of rich is having passive income that’s greater than your burn. I’m pretty sure we can all comfortably live off $40k/mo without ever having to leave the house. But wait this isn’t a fair analysis as venture backed startups typically reach scale or a liquidity event in 10 years and you did 20 years for the lifestyle business. Fair, I’m sure after 10 years most of us can comfortably live off $20k ish/mo without ever having to work or touch the principal investment. Most entrepreneurs start with one goal in mind: freedom. If you value freedom, you should have one goal for your first company, and that’s to build a lifestyle business that can produce $100k+/yr of personal income. It can be boring and it doesn’t have to scale. It sets yourself up for the foreseeable future and then you can afford to take big swings. Forget startups. Forget venture capital. Build something that gets you in the game and makes you a living first. I think VCs may underestimate the extent to which mainstream entrepreneurship is a key input to outliers and moonshots. So many successful billionaire founders had a “never worry about rent again” moment via an exit in a much more boring business before swinging for a home run. Elon Musk — before sending rockets into space and revolutionizing the auto-industry, Elon Musk was broke building Zip2 (online city guides for newspapers) before he netted $22m on the sale. Source Patrick & John Collison — built Auctimatic: auction management software for small Ebay sellers, and sold it for $5m before going on to found Stripe, valued at $36b. Source Mark Cuban — Before building and sellingBroadcast.com for $5.7b and buying the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban built a services business called MicroSolutions and sold it for $6m. Source Mike Bloomberg — now worth $60b, Mike Bloomberg had a nice “never think about rent again” exit at 39 when Salomon was acquired by Phibro in 1981; he received $10 million. Bloomberg said “The Salomon Brothers did me the two greatest favours in my life. They hired me and they fired me.” Source Daniel Ek — Spotify isn’t Ek’s first success. Daniel Ek became a self-made millionaire at age 23, before even putting a single thought into Spotify. At 23, Daniel Ek “retired” after he sold his online marketing company Advertigo to Swedish digital marketing firm TradeDoubler in a deal worth $1.25 million. Alex Tew — started the Million Dollar Homepage to raise money for his university education. He sold 1 million pixels on a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid on his website for $1 per pixel. He ended up making $1,037,100 USD before founding the billion dollar meditation app, Calm. Austin Allred — co-authored the growth hacking textbook Secret Sauce, which became a best-seller and provided him the personal seed money to build Lambda School, valued over $150m. And countless others: Ev Williams (Blogger), Pincus (freeloader, support.com, tribe), Travis Kalanick (Red Swoosh), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr), Jason Fried & DHH (37 Signals services business) etc. All of these entrepreneurs built more of a lifestyle business or had a smaller liquidity event before they built a rocket (figuratively and literally for Elon). There is no greater security than knowing that no matter what risks you take, you have a business or enough cash in the bank to pay for your livelihood. If you start by building a lifestyle business it will force you to build a product or offer a service that customers actually want. It forces you to create a monetization plan and it forces you to build a real business. By starting a lifestyle business it forces you to create something you’re passionate about and build an actual business that will actually help attract VC if that’s the path you choose to go down. Renowned value investor and Warren Buffett mentor, Ben Graham, once said: “In the short-run, the stock market is a voting machine. But in the long-run, it is a weighing machine.” AKA in the short term the market may value hype and narrative, but in the long term it always values real traction, revenue, earnings and margins. We’re seeing this play out in the venture market today. In the last few years you may have heard startups raising at eyebrow lifting valuations and hiring large masses of employees. But behind the curtain their P&L is f*cked! They have little to f*ck all for revenue and huge expenses. Founders often get attached to valuations and forget that when they sell the business, the weighing machine is the only thing that matters. The buyer has to have a way to pay themselves back, either via earnings, a future sale or strategic synergies. Your venture valuation is irrelevant. Venture valuations aren’t backed by fundamentals and their funds have been compared to a ponzi scheme. Build a lifestyle business where results, traction, revenue, margins and earnings are the things that matter because at the end of the day, the numbers have to work with the weighing machine. Pro tip: If you’re bootstrapping, you can still take advantage of venture capital by using all the VC subsidized software available on the market. The internet is the greatest leveler of access to entrepreneurship society has ever seen. There is far too much focus on raising venture capital and creating 100–1000x outcomes and not nearly enough on leveraging the internet to empower entrepreneurs to build profitable and sustainable software-enabled lifestyle businesses. TL;DR 'Rich Founder' is someone who creates a sustainable 'lifestyle business' with a high probability of success. 'Poor Founder' is someone who thinks they need to raise venture capital, a fancy office, big staff and a bunch of resources to succeed. Rich Founder has a probability of success and enjoys his/her life. Poor Founder is miserable and might as well go to a Casino and put it all down on Red 5. As for my shameless plug: Here's a FREE community and resource hub to help more people become 'Rich Founders'.
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I had a podcast years ago called the Year of Purpose Podcast where I interviewed entrepreneurs all over the globe that are creating life on their own terms. After years had passed I realized that the podcast had such great content but it was just sitting there dormant. I had spent so much time to find the best interviews and to bring the best content to my audience but it was just going to waste at this point. At one point in time, I interviewed someone that teaches others how to publish their first book and get it to the Amazon bestseller list. I later hired him and took his course in self publishing and since that time I've published two written books, 3 adult coloring books and 1 gratitude journal. I thought, why not leverage what I know about launching self-published books and apply that to the content that I've already collected through my podcast? This is how my seventh book was born and another stream of income that sends me checks every month. This is something that you can easily do too without having to write the actual book and it's much easier than you think if you have a little bit of money to invest in outsourcing the final product. Here are some quick pointers and steps:
Start by designing the cover first. A lot of people think they want to publish a book and then never accomplish it because they get lazy. By creating the cover, the book becomes real to you and now you'll have a goal to work towards to fill the pages of that book. The best way to do this is to head on over to 99designs.com and run a design contest for the cover of your book.
Choose the best podcast episodes that you want to leverage in this book or in my case, I took all 175 episodes and proceeded to the next step. It was more expensive but it opens me up to be able to create multiple volumes later. In this first book (my seventh one) I used 36 podcast interviews.
Head on over to Rev.com and get your podcast episodes transcribed. You can also find people who will do it cheaper on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com - personally I used a mix of Upwork and someone I met on Fiverr to get a bulk discount on transcribing my shows. Alternatively if you're like me and recorded your shows as videos, you can upload them to YouTube and YouTube will eventually auto-transcribe your video. It's not perfect but you are able to go in and download the transcription in a text format later on. YouTube is free, Rev is $1/min and there are other sites like Temi.com (uses AI like YouTube not real people like Rev) for $0.25/min. Collect all of your transcripts in a folder in Dropbox or Google Drive.
Next up, you'll need a ghost writer, someone who can take your words and not only alter them to sound like it's not 100% conversational but rather an informational chapter in a book. My best recommendation for this step is to go on Upwork and making a posting for a ghost writer and editor. Tell them that you have podcast episodes that are transcribed and are roughly X amount of pages or X word count and you're trying to get it condensed and re-written down into a long blog post. Tell them that you're looking to get roughly 1000-1200 words out of this blog post but most of the hard work is done since the content is all in the transcript and you just need someone who can shape it. By telling them it's a blog post, they won't value it as high as a chapter in a book and therefore won't charge you as much to do it. You're also giving them the bulk of the content at the end of the day so you're really just looking for someone to create the Cliffnotes or Sparknotes for you.
Once you have between 20-30 "blog posts" you've got the skeleton of a book. At 30 "chapters" and 1200 words a piece, you've just created a 36,000 word book which is roughly 150-200 pages depending on your font size and spacing in a 6x9" format. Organize each of these "chapters" in one solid word document and add in what I call your "book ends" this means writing your copyright page, introductions and forewards, dedication page, etc. You can also add an epilogue in the end of the book. I recommend creating a special offer if you're looking to create a business out of this and place it at the beginning, sprinkled throughout and end of the book encouraging people to visit your website or a landing page where you can collect their email address and market content to them at a later date. This is a great way to build an email list of people eager and willing to buy from you and when you come out with volume 2, you'll have a launch team ready to buy and pump up your book in the ratings.
Lastly, you have your rough copy of your book in a word document. Now it's time to get someone who can proofread and do a final edit pass through to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Again I use upwork.com for this but I also recommend posting to social media saying you need 3 friends who are interested in getting an advance copy of your book. They must be good at proofreading and editing text and as a trade for getting an advance copy of your book, you simply ask for them to read it within a week or two and provide you with any spelling error corrections they find. This is a great way to recruit people to become advocates for your book when the time comes to launch on Amazon.
So you're book is technically done. It's edited and in a word document but you need it to look good when printed and get formatted properly for paperback and for ebook readers. Again this is where I hire someone on Fiverr.com or usually Upwork.com in my case. I look for someone who will "manually" design the interior of my book. They'll need to know what book size you want to print - the typical size is 6x9 but Amazon has quite a few options when using their KDP printing on demand options. The reason why you want them to do it manually is some of the cheaper gigs will leverage software to automatically generate your interior files and ebook files which very rarely turns out looking good. It WILL have tons of errors and things won't show up right when it's printed or on the ebook. It's not worth being cheap. You'll need the interior designer to provide you a PDF for the printed book and either an epub or mobi file for the ebook.
Almost there! You've got your files! At this point you should have a PDF for the front and back cover (all one image), a PDF for the interior of the printed paperback book and then your epub or mobi file for the e-reader (Kindle) version. Now simply make an account with Amazon KDP and follow the instructions to setup your first book to sell! You'll need to order an author copy before hitting that publish button to make sure that the book prints properly but they'll also give you a chance to look at a virtual draft to make sure the interior designer did their job right.
And voila, you have turned your podcast into a published book on Amazon! Over the past 4 years I've published 7 books, it's provided me with a monthly income that direct deposits into my bank account each month. It's not paying the bills but it totally could if I wanted to invest more time into it. For me it's just really fun and having the physical book cover in hand and printed is such a huge reward. You can also order author copies at cost so even if your book sells for $10-20 on Amazon you can get them at $3-4 a piece yourself and re-sell or give them away as gifts. They've quickly become my favorite business card to giveaway when networking and meeting new potential clients! Feel free to ask questions below if this sounds like something you're interested in and I'll try to answer them as best I can!
I initially applied for a completely different position off of Indeed. The recruiter had an auto-message sent to me asking for me to email my resume to them. The next day, the recruiter told me the position was already taken (now it is off of Indeed itself). The recruiter referred me to a different email / position, but supposedly by the same company, within a couple of hours I received this email. I believe this is a scam, looking more on the internet. I am however going to leave this up (if that's okay) since there are a couple different types of email drafts. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/59k43n/how-i-got-caught-in-a-terrible-personal-assistant-scam- "Here’s how one of these typically goes down: Someone contacts you through an old job posting, saying something to the tune of, “Hey, the position you applied for has been filled, but I need a personal assistant.” https://www.indeed.com/community/interview-tips/new-personal-assistant-scam/td-p/974771- has a bunch of different email drafts, one extremely similar to this one as well Hello, Thank you for your application, your resume was received and I must say I am impressed. Your position will be confirmed and your duties will include but are not limited to; Running errands, shopping, supervisions and monitoring, scheduling programs, flights and keeping me up to date with my schedule. You will also act as an alternative telephone correspondence when I'm away, Make regular contacts and drop-offs on my behalf and most importantly handle and monitor my financial activities. My name is (Redacted). I'm a retired engineer and I have been a local and international successful entrepreneur, I presently deal into Forex Trading which deals with Stock Exchange. I will maintain a fair degree of flexibility in terms of working around your other commitments. I will provide clear set of instructions for each task I need done and sufficient funds to cover all errands. Currently, I am in Ontario meeting with business partners. I will be back by month end to arrange a formal interview with you and for necessary paperwork. Please note that this position is not office-based for now because of my frequent travels and tight schedules. It is a part-time job, and some weeks you will be busier than others, although the pay stays constant. I do have a number of things you could help me with this week if you will be within reach for me. The pay is $650 weekly and you can to get to work at your flexible hours as this means this won’t affect your present job already if you have one. If you are interested, get back to me with the following information below: Full Name : Address (P.O box Not allowed): Apt #: City: State: ZipCode: Mobile (For SMS): Current Occupation : Email : I understand most of the information requested is in your resume already but I am asking again so I can verify to see everything is correct. Best Regards, (Redacted)
Hey guys! Geez, it has been well over a month since my last update. A lot has happened and a lot has sold. A Look Back at 2019 I wrote the first part on January 21, 2019 – almost a year ago to the day. Since then, I took $1,165 and was able to flip it into a final profit of $9,262.28. I sold over $40k worth of baseball and sports cards, and (between eBay fees, inventory purchases, supplies and PSA fees) spent around $42k. I have over $10k of inventory currently. My final gross margin was 43.8% and my final net margin was 23.1%. This was one of the most fun things I have done in this hobby in a while, I very much look forward to continuing in 2020. You can find the previous installment here A really really really brief recap of the past eleven parts I started in December of 2018 with $1,165. I have since bought and sold over $40k in baseball, football and various sports trading cards. I have had a few great successes ($1,165 into $3,085 before fees - $2,771.20 into $6,200.10 before fees - $1,086.68 into $3,190.54 before fees) and a few duds. I generally sell my cards on ebay, but utilize auction houses every now and then. The biggest bottleneck I face is submitting cards to PSA (a third party grading company), a card might have a 2-4 month turnaround time. To successfully "flip" you need to balance some of these purchases with shorter flips. Right now I have approximately 80% of my inventory with PSA (WHICH IS WAY TOO HIGH). Purchased There are usually some late December auctions each year, but generally the holidays are quiet in the baseball card industry. I was able to purchase a few lots from what auctions I found:
I bought two multi-year lots from Heritage in late December – the first here and the second here. In total I spent $1,934.95 on the two groups. I am taking a bit of a risk on these, not because I don’t believe I will make money (I should), but because I am sending so many of the cards to PSA. This will likely tie up these funds for 3-4 months (more on that later) and adds an additional cost to the group. I sent 52 cards from these groups to PSA (totaling $542.51). I think there is a lot of mid-grade star power and several cards in the $100-200 range. I am going to auction off the non-graded cards soon and try to recoup some of the funds. I will keep everyone updated on that.
I bought another multi-year lot, this one completely made of Yogi Berra cards. I spent $1,452.17 with fees and shipping. The same as above, most of these cards (22) are with PSA right now. This ties up a significant portion of the group and I will need to wait before I can sell these. There are a few cards that I kept, the two signed cards – one I sold for $80.00. The other signed card is listed and the others will be auctioned off.
I sold the deckle edge cards that I was holding on for a while. They did okay totaling $122.71 via auction. That brought the final tally for the lot to a $66.91 profit after fees. Not terrible.
The last of the PSA graded cards from the multi-sport group I purchased from Goldin Auctions sold. The final price was $120.85. This brought the final profit on the group to $795.86 after fees. I’m very happy about this result, PSA graded cards are a very quick and easy turnaround.
I sold a few more items from the other multi-sport collection I bought from Goldin. Everything that has not been sent to PSA is now sold – the total of the ungraded cards came to $178.10, led by this Clemente for $37.77. The remaining cards that are with PSA I have valued at $500 on the tracker. I think that is very conservative, the 1957 Hornung rookie, the 1972 Julius Erving rookie and the Tiger Woods rookie should come out to a combine $400-500 alone.
Wrappers! I sold $847.00 worth of wrappers in the past few weeks and still have $2,683.45 listed. Those $2.6k in wrappers will likely only bring a fraction of that depending on how patient I am. These wrappers were in much worse condition than I anticipated, but there was enough quality to turn a profit. Wrappers rarely do well in auction, so I am going to try to keep these listed for another month or so before I reconsider my approach.
From that multi-sport group I purchased from Huggins and Scott, a few cards were sold last night, led by the 1969 Joe Namath. I sent a few of the cards to PSA, I sent the 1978 packs to PSA, I opened the 2003 Ultra Basketball blaster (because it wasn’t sealed and I was bored) and will try to list the remaining items soon. I am predicting to come out ahead, but it’s too early to tell, so I am keeping the tracker at a slight loss.
The Parkhurst cards! Those cards are BEAUTIFUL. I sent 30 of them to PSA, and unless they are altered or something, I expect good grades on them. I did sell one of the graded cards last night, one of the checklists sold for $135.50. I sent the other graded cards to PWCC to sell (let’s see if they can do better). The cards that were not sent to PSA will be auctioned off next week.
I sold the graded Mickey Mantle cards from that REA auction that I won. The total of those seven cards came out to $1,236.91. I should do very well on this group, I think that the remaining cards I sent to PSA have a conservative value of $1,500-$1,800. I put in $1,000 in the tracker just to be safe. Depending on how they grade I might keep a card (more on that later).
PSA Update Here is a link to the Google Doc with the status of all of my PSA cards. The spreadsheet also includes a summary of where the project is. There has been absolutely no movement since the last installment. To those unfamiliar, PSA is my bottleneck. Grading has a 2-4 month turnaround, so cards that I sent in December I may not see again until April or May. Right now, I have ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY cards with them. By value, it represents maybe 70-80% of my inventory, it is very frustrating. Hopefully I will see some movement soon though. One thing that is changing is how I account for PSA fees. PSA does not charge my credit card until AFTER the order is finished – previously, I would credit my cash balance on the P&L as soon as I send the cards to PSA. Now, because the amount is material to the project, I am representing the balance as “Accounts Payable,” but still hitting my expense. This way, I can still use the cash while PSA grades my order. Obviously, I will need to be careful about this and to leave myself plenty of wiggle room (which I’m not too worried about). So, to update the summary:
1972 Kellogg’s Set
1960’s Mantle Postcards
1966 Topps Lot
1967 Vene. Topps Mantle
1960’s Insert Lot
1960’s Empty Boxes
1956 Adventure Gum Set
1961 Golden Press Set
1957 Topps Partial Set
1936 Goudey R314 Lot*
1969-1973 Topps Yankees Lot
Hank Aaron “Odd-Ball” Collection*
Pre-WWII card lot w/ Cobb & Mathewson*
N154 Duke Presidential BB Club Pair
1934-36 Batter Up Low Number (1-80) Complete Set
(23) Sandy Koufax 1950's and 1960's card lot*
1934 Goudey "Big League Chewing Gum" Wrappers Trio
1977-1979 Topps Baseball Rack & Cello Packs (6)*
Perez-Steele "Great Moments" set w/ 28 signed
Perez-Steele "Great Moments" set w/ 42 signed
1952 Bowman Football Small Signed Lot (38)
1961-62 Fleer Basketball Oscar Robertson Signed Lot (2)
1969 Topps & Deckle Edge Baseball lot w/ PSA graded
*-denotes inventory still on hand (see below). ^ -inventory on hand is valued at a conservative estimate of fair market value for remaining items. `-grading fees are expensed when the card is sent to PSA, fees are not paid until PSA has completed the order. Fees that are expensed, but not paid are sitting in Accounts Payable below. Grading Fees`: $2,360.93 Current On Hand Cash: $1,680.15 Inventory
1957 Swift Meats Baseball Game Complete Set (18) (in hand)
(36) 1950s-2000s Multi-Sports Collection (15 at PSA, 21 sold)
1933-1989 Multi-Sport Wax Pack Wrapper Hoard of (650+) (many sold, many listed)
1941-2004 Multi-Sport Treasure Chest (33) (4 sold, 15 with PSA, the rest in hand)
1912 B18 Blanket Find (100) (in hand)
1962-63 Parkhurst Hockey Collection (45+) (1 sold, 3 to PWCC, 30 to PSA, the rest in hand)
1953 to 1969 Mickey Mantle Group (16) (7 sold, 9 at PSA)
1956-1959 Topps and Fleer Baseball Collection (48) (29 to PSA, the rest in hand)
1961-1969 Topps, Fleer and Post Cereal Baseball Collection (61) (25 to PSA, the rest in hand)
1948-1965 Yogi Berra Collection (26) (1 sold, 1 listed, 22 to PSA, the rest in hand)
ALSO! If anyone is interested in what the financials for this project would look like:
As of 1/23/2020
Cost of Goods Sold
Fees (15% of Rev.)
I am looking forward to continuing this project in 2020, my official goal is $20,000 profit. Wish me luck! I look forward to continuing to update everyone on this. Hope you enjoy as much as I do. Jason
-PM Imran inaugurates National Science and Technology Park Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated Pakistan’s first National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) in Islamabad on Monday. The NSTP is set to be the country’s largest innovation and research ecosystem which would accommodate more 40 companies including start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and other tech companies, said Radio Pakistan, Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister urged the youth to “achieve greatness” and stressed that they should not be demoralised when faced with setbacks. The park would be located in the vicinity of National University of Science and Technology (NUST), which had earlier secured the approval of the Public-Private Partnership Authority’s (PPPA) Board to initiate the process for its flagship project. -Pakistan, Qatar to sign trade pacts soon Pakistan and Qatar have agreed in principle on a preferential trade agreement (PTA) and a free trade agreement (FTA) to enhance bilateral trade. The agreements will soon be signed after necessary formalities. Pakistan has also offered to establish a plant in Qatar to manufacture footballs for the FIFA World Cup 2022 as well as subsequent football tournaments. Nebras Power, a major investment group in Qatar’s energy sector, has expressed an interest in investing directly in Pakistan’s power sector. The Pakistan’s commerce and energy ministries attended the 5th Pak Qatar Joint Ministerial Commission meeting held in Qatar last month. -‘Govt to set up biotech economic zone in Jhelum’ Science and Technology Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Monday that the government would set up a biotechnology economic zone in Jhelum, which would be the biggest economic zone in South Asia. In an interview with Radio Pakistan, the minister said that the government would establish eight to ten science and technology economic zones within the next three years. On a query, he said the National Science and Technology Park in Islamabad was the first special economic zone related to technology. He said the park would bring together the academicians, researchers and entrepreneurs so that they can share their experiences and ideas. -Russian Delegation Visits Pakistan to Confirm Investment in PSM, PIA & Gas Pipeline Russia is keen to develop its stakes in Pakistan’s economy. For this, a 64-member delegation headed by Minister for Trade and Industries for the Russian Federation, Denis V Manturov, is visiting Pakistan for four days to attend an Inter-Governmental Commission. According to the latest updates, Russia has shown willingness to help reconstruct Pakistan Steel Mills making it economically viable and play its role in Pakistan’s energy sector. Russia also wants to construct the railway track from Quetta to Taftan. It will offer Sukhoi SuperJet-100 passenger planes to Pakistan for PIA, confirmed senior officials at Economic Affairs Division, ministries of Industries & Production and Commerce. Russia and Pakistan will also figure out the much-delayed North-South gas pipeline project. While mentioning the Russian offer of SSJ-100 aircraft for PIA, the official said that the said planes will be available on direct purchase and lease to purchase options and can be positioned immediately on wet lease to meet the immediate operational requirements of PIA. -Pakistan Supports Malaysia’s Muslim-5 Initiative Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has shown Pakistan’s full support for the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s initiative of a collaboration of five Muslim nations, which include Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia, for socio-economic development in the region. Qureshi made these remarks while speaking at the second Kuala Lampur Summit Ministerial Meeting in the Doha. Addressing the meeting, Qureshi maintained that the challenges faced by Muslim countries in the field of governance, development, climate change, terrorism, and Islamophobia required a comprehensive response. The foreign minister noted that the ‘juggernaut of globalization’ was causing civilizational and cultural erosion for Muslim Ummah and underscored the need for preventive measures. -Foreign investors rush into Pakistan, with inflows surging 200% in first half of the year Pakistan has seen unprecedented inflows of foreign money this year. Global investors bought 1-year bonds worth $642 million in November alone. That is expected to reach a record $3 billion by the end of the fiscal year as investors are lured by high interest rates and promises of economic reform. According to Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, financial adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, foreign direct investment surged 200 percent in the first half of 2019. Stocks have also risen, with the main Karachi stock index up by 13 percent over the past month, making it the best-performing stock exchange of the 94 tracked by Bloomberg. -Foreign exchange: SBP reserves hit eight-month high at $9.11b The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank surged 5% on a weekly basis, hitting an eight-month high, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves. On November 29, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $9,112.9 million, up $430.6 million compared with $8,682.3 million in the previous week. According to SBP data, such levels were last seen on April 26, 2019. -Economists present sustainable growth framework at SDPI conference The second day of the three-day International Sustainable Development Conference, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, saw some statistical, practical, and policy-oriented suggestions being presented for the improvement of Pakistan’s economy. In the keynote address for the session titled “Pakistan Economy: Stabilisation with a Human Face”, former finance minister Dr Hafeez A Pasha presented a five-pronged strategy to bring Pakistan out of its vicious cycle of economic deterioration. He started his address by pointing out the findings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding Pakistan’s economy, the policy framework being seen in today’s time from the authorities, as well as underreporting of the actual intensity of the poverty and economic issues by organizations like Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). He said in order to bring improvement to the current deplorable state of the economy, the tax to GDP needs to go up from 11 to 17pc. “Our public debt is exceeding at an alarmingly fast pace even though the law dictates that it should not be more than 60pc. However, the real determinant of the economy will be external debt.” -World Beating Pakistan Stocks have Juice As Funds To Join Rally Pakistan's KSE-100 has risen to the highest level in 7 months. -PSX Surges Past 40,000 Points For the First Time in 10 Months Pakistan Stock market started the week with a bullish momentum as the market surged above 40,000 points after almost 10 months. Previously the bourse had traded at this level in February 2019. Pakistani equities closed on a positive note with benchmark KSE-100 index gaining 836 points, closing at 40,124 levels, up 2.08%, as Moody’s affirmed the government of Pakistan’s local and foreign currency long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings at B3. The announcement pushed Pakistan’s stock market above 40,000 points on closing day basis. The exchange-traded in the green zone throughout the trading session reaching a high of 856 points. Banks, Cement and Other sectors pulled the overall sentiment of the market upward on the back of contraction of trade deficit and the Ministry of Commerce released trade data which revealed that the trade deficit contracted significantly and exports increased by 9.6% in the month of November 2019. Further: -Foreign investors push into Pakistan’s rupee bonds -Moody’s changes Pakistan’s outlook from negative to stable Moody's Investors Service affirmed on Monday Government of Pakistan's local and foreign currency long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings at B3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative. Giving the rationale, Moody said, “The change in outlook to stable is driven by Moody's expectations that the balance of payments dynamics will continue to improve, supported by policy adjustments and currency flexibility." Back in November, Moody's changed the outlook on the Government of India's ratings to negative from stable and affirmed the Baa2 foreign-currency and local-currency long-term issuer ratings. Moody's also affirmed India's Baa2 local-currency senior unsecured rating and its P-2 other short-term local-currency rating. Meanwhile, talking about Pakistan Moody said that such developments reduce external vulnerability risks, although foreign exchange reserve buffers remain low and will take time to rebuild. -Cement sales signal recovery in construction industry The Pakistani cement sector – widely seen as a proxy for home and commercial construction and infrastructure development activity – has seen sales increase by 5% over the first four months of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, according to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), signaling what some analysts believe is at least a temporary recovery in the construction industry. The news came as something of a surprise to market analysts, who had anticipated a continuation of the slump that had appeared to affect the industry over the last several months. “The surprise rebound can be attributed mainly to the demand from private sector where housing schemes resuming/starting production played a part,” wrote Shahrukh Saleem, a research analyst at AKD Securities, an investment bank, in a note issued to clients on November 4, 2019. The data backs up Saleem’s comments: while export sales were up 17% in the first four months of fiscal year 2020 compared to the same period last year, they account for just 17.4% of total cement sales during that period. The much bigger impact came from domestic sales, particularly in the northern part of the country, which saw a 12% increase during that same period, compared to a 31% decline in the southern part of the country. -Cement sector posts 10.6pc growth in November The domestic cement despatches increased 5.11pc to 3.538 million tonnes, while exports surged 43.53pc to 0.808 million tonnes in November 2019. The overall cement despatches grew by 10.61pc to 4.346 million tonnes in Nov 2019, when compared with the same last year. The cement mills based in the northern part of the country despatched 3.241 million tonnes while southern mills despatched 1.105 million tonnes clinker and cement. Domestic consumption in the north was 2.976 million tonnes while exports were 0.264 million tonnes. Similarly, domestic cement consumption in the south was 0.562 million tonnes while exports stood at 0.544 million tonnes in November. -Korean investors eager to explore Pakistani market: envoy South Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Kwak Sung Kyu said on Friday that the investment companies of his country were eager to invest in various sectors of Pakistan. Talking to Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur In Islamabad, the envoy lauded the measures of the incumbent government regarding investment and economic development. “Pakistan has a huge potential to become one of the strongest economies of the world, given that it makes consistent economic policies,” he remarked. Both sides discussed in detail bilateral relations between the two countries with particular reference to economic and social cooperation and other issues. -Samsung, LUMS join hands to accelerate social startups in Pakistan Samsung Electronics Pakistan and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) have joined hands to support and empower social startups contributing towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this collaboration, Samsung and LUMS aim to accelerate start-ups delivering on their full entrepreneurial potential and create a positive impact. The official MoU signing ceremony for the collaboration took place at the National Incubation Centre Lahore (NICL). The MoU was signed by Samsung Pakistan Managing Director Roy Chang and LUMS Vice-Chancellor Dr Arshad Ahmad. Speaking on the occasion, Chang said, “Everything we design and create at Samsung, anticipates human behaviour and solves a problem, clearly. Samsung is determined in its quest for innovation that inspires meaningful human progress and that’s the culture we want to promote through this initiative to contribute towards a more innovation-driven economy and solving key local challenges identified by the United Nations.” -World’s largest electric vehicles manufacturer BYD all set to enter Pakistan BYD, the Chinese multinational company and world's largest electric vehicles manufacturer with turnover of $250 billion, is all set to enter Pakistan. The development was announced by Pakistan Electric Vehicles & Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association (PEVPMTA) General Secretary Shaukat Qureshi while talking to local media. “Toyota, the world auto giant, for the first time signed an agreement on November 7, 2019, to develop Electric Vehicles with BYD, the world's largest electric vehicles manufacturer, with 44 plants around the globe employing 250,000 personals, with turnover of $250 billion," he said. “Scenario will definitely change in Pakistan as well, with the Japanese companies roll out their models by 2024," he added. Qureshi said that the country's auto sector was totally dominated by the Japanese brands, which had yet to come up with a comprehensive response towards EV and its technology. It is pertinent to inform that Pakistan auto sector is dominated by three Japanese automakers i.e. Suzuki, Toyota and Honda. -Pakistan Records Handsome Growth in Software Consultancy Exports Pakistan’s IT companies continued to strengthen their niche in software consultancy services as they attracted over $100 million in receipts in first four months of the current financial year 2019-20. According to the data released by State Bank of Pakistan, the country’s exports in the core field of software consultancy have surged to $129 million during the period of July to October 2019 as compared to $113 million in the same period last financial year, showing a staggering growth of 14.7 percent year-on-year. The growth in the field of software consultancy is prominent among other areas of IT exports such as telecommunication services, hardware consultancy services and call centers. The overall growth in this field was seen due to the improvement in demand and acceptance of Pakistani companies. The exports of software consultancy have not only grown this year but they have shown an upward trajectory for the past couple of years including the dominating contribution to the overall exports of Pakistan’s ICT sector. -Revised Pak-China FTA to be implemented from Jan 1 The Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday that the tariff concessions under Phase-II of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) would be implemented between the governments of Pakistan and China from 1st January 2020. The protocol to amend the CPFTA-II had entered into force on 1st December 2019 through a notification. Pakistan Today had earlier reported that that the revised FTA would be implemented by January 2020. As per the commerce ministry officials, the CPFTA-II shall immediately eliminate tariffs on 313 tariff lines of Pakistan’s export interest, giving Pakistani exports a preferential treatment, similar to that given to the ASEAN region. These 313 tariff lines cover over $8.7 billion worth of Pakistan’s global export and $64 billon worth of global Chinese imports. Moreover, this would result in 75pc of total trade liberalisation for Pakistan in terms of tariff lines and 92pc in terms of trade volume. -Civil Govt Expenditure Fell by Rs. 9 Billion in Q1 2019-20: Ministry of Finance The Civil government’s expenditure has reduced by Rs. 9 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2019-20) compared to the same period of the last fiscal year (2018-19) claims the Ministry of Finance. According to the report by the local newspaper, the expenditure of the civil government for the first quarter of the fiscal year (2019-20) has fallen by Rs. 9 billion. They further stated that the recommendations to prioritize PSDP’s spending for completion of ongoing projects will be implemented during the current and next financial year. In order to revamp the entire Public Financial Management System, Finance Division has presented the Public Finance Management (PFM) law which has been approved and enacted. -Edotco Group to Expand Investment in Pakistan A delegation from Malaysian Tower Company, edotco Group Sdn. Bhd, led by CEO edotco Group, Suresh Sidhu and Managing Director edotco Pakistan, Arif Hussain met the Foreign Minister to discuss opportunities for future investment in the telecom sector and exchanged ideas on the expansion of business in the country. The delegation gave an in-depth briefing to the Foreign Minister about the company’s latest ventures in Pakistan and highlighted that edotco Pakistan has long term agreements with all four telecom operators of the country including Jazz, Ufone, Telenor and Zong. edotco Group plans to expand investment in Pakistan from $200 Million to over $350 million. Being the only independent tower company in the country, edotco brings regional operational strength of 29,900 towers across its footprint combined with experience in rolling out next-generation’ shareable infrastructure like lightweight carbon fiber towers, energy as a service and smart street furniture that support fast and cost-effective 4G rollout for mobile operators. -Govt All Set to Manufacture SIM and Smart Cards in Pakistan On the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Ministry of Information Technology is all set to manufacture SIM and smart cards locally for the first time in history. In this regard, the ministry has completed its homework and prepared the final design of local SIM cards after taking all relevant stakeholders on board. The said items were earlier imported from China and other countries. MoIT has acquired the technology to manufacture these cards in Pakistan, which would help reduce the imports bill of the telecom sector. The ministry has also directed the telcos to adhere to the quality standards and standardize prices for the consumers. -Pakistan among top 15 countries reducing extreme poverty: World Bank Pakistan is among the countries that have substantially reduced extreme poverty in between 2000-2015, states the latest World Bank report. Pakistan and neighboring India are included in the list of top 15 countries along with other sub-Saharan African and a few Asian and Central Asian countries. According to the data, Pakistan has witnessed a 1.8% decline in extreme poverty in the said period. This implies that nearly 33.8 million have been lifted from extreme poverty in Pakistan. The report claims the extreme poverty rate in Pakistan stood at 28% in 2000. -Pakistan’s Promise to Hindus Pilgrims: Sharda Temple Corridor After opening up the Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan is ready to give a green signal to the Sharda Temple Corridor in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) for Hindu pilgrims in India and across the world. The idea was initially launched in March this year, but after the successful inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor and its unprecedented success amongst the Sikh community, Pakistan is even more devoted to fulfilling a commitment towards its own religious minorities, and those across the world. -PIA set to kick off direct flights to US Amid a marked improvement in the relationship between Pakistan and the US, ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington next week, Islamabad has geared up to take direct flights to New York for the first time in the country’s history. “US security officials visited the Islamabad airport and expressed concern over direct flights to the US, which has been addressed,” revealed Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a press conference at the SQMS Auditorium, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) headquarters on Thursday. “Flights are expected to begin after the upcoming prime minister’s visit to the US,” he said. -CPEC effect: Taiwanese textile companies may relocate to Pakistan Being a cheap labour market, Pakistan can transform into an excellent destination for Taiwanese textile companies, which are willing to relocate their units outside Vietnam, said Taiwan Textile Federation President Justin Huang. “At present, Vietnam is crowded, which causes difficulties for Taiwanese textile firms there, such as labour shortages,” Justin said in an interview with The Express Tribune. “In Pakistan, however, labour issues will not emerge at least for the next 10 years and this is something attractive for us.” He pointed out that China had invested massively in Pakistan’s infrastructure development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and stressed that Taiwanese businessmen could take maximum advantage from such investment. Pakistan had a duty-free export agreement with the European Union and in December, the second phase of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China would also become functional, which would prove to be helpful for the Taiwanese investors and trade and industrial development in Pakistan, he said. -Pakistan Wants to Introduce a Single Tourist Visa for Pakistan & Central Asia Pakistan wants to introduce a single visa for tourists visiting the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) sub-region, to facilitate tourist movement and increase the likelihood of tourists doing multi-country visits, increasing the average time of stay and spending per tourist. This has been revealed in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report “Asian Economic Integration Report 2019-2020, demographic change, productivity, and the role of technology”. The report further maintained that strengthening the intra-subregional ties would also help CAREC “brand” itself better as a future tourist destination for visitors from other countries in Asia, which makes up at least 60% of its market. Pakistan has recently introduced changes to its visa policy — 50 countries are eligible to apply for a visa-on-arrival under the tourist category, while its online visa system is open to 175 countries. -Treasury bills attract record foreign investment of $713m Foreign investment in treasury bills reached a new high of $712.8 million in the first four months of this fiscal year. The recent State Bank of Pakistan data indicates investment in government-backed securities has become attractive for foreigners. The financial sector believes that foreign investors’ growing interest in government papers reflects their confidence in the economic reforms being implemented in the country. -NOV 15th - Trade deficit shrinks 34pc to $7.77bn The country’s trade deficit fell by 34 per cent in the first four months of current fiscal year led by a paltry growth in exports and a double digit decline in imports of non-essential products. The data showed trade deficit in the first four months dipped to $7.77 billion from $11.69bn over the corresponding period last year, reflecting a decline of $4.19bn or 33.52 per cent. The trade deficit has been on the declining trend in the ongoing fiscal year mainly due to government’s corrective measures to slow down imports in order to reduce pressures on foreign exchange reserves and slump in overall demand, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Thursday. -China setting up 19 factories in Gwadar: envoy Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing has announced that China is setting up 19 factories in Gwadar, saying that the measure will help create job opportunities for Balochistan’s youth. “China seeks to contribute to the development of Balochistan’s mining, agriculture, fisheries and water sectors while the Chinese consulate is easing visa procedure for the provincial business community,” said Jing while talking to journalists in Quetta. -State Bank eases rules to facilitate exporters The central bank has relaxed the import and export regimes in an attempt to facilitate exporters and turn Pakistan into an export-led economy in the long run from a heavily import-oriented economy at present. “The central bank has lifted the ban on advance payment of up to $10,000 per invoice for the import of goods and services,” State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir announced while speaking at a press conference on Tuesday. He also announced that the financing limit had been enhanced for exporters under the subsidised loan schemes including the Export Finance Scheme (EFS) and Long Term Finance Facility (LTFF). “The State Bank will (alone) increase the financing limit by Rs100 billion for the full year,” he said. The government and commercial banks may also increase their financing limits under the subsidised loan schemes in consultation with the central bank. -PIA’s operational losses cut to half Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik has said that monthly operational losses of the national flag carrier have been brought down to Rs1.5 billion as compared to more than Rs3 billion suffered earlier. “The reduction in operational losses became possible only due to day and night efforts of the PIA team, comprising those officers who have been working in PIA for the past many years,” Malik said during a visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday. “However, a lot more still needs to be done to deal with PIA’s liabilities as whatever is earned by the airline is mostly spent on debt servicing.” -Exports to China can grow 20 times: Dawood Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Investment, Industries and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the second phase of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China is going to be operational from the beginning of December 2019. “This will help Pakistan to come on a par with Asean states in the Chinese market, providing a huge opportunity in shape of tariff relaxation to the manufacturers, especially the garment sector, to enhance their export volume with the potential to grow 20 times,” he said. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 35th International Apparel Federation World Fashion Convention, organised by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (Prgmea) on Tuesday, Dawood pointed out that garment exports were on an upward trajectory because of the additional market access secured by the government. -Pakistan to export more goods to China Pakistan is looking for a wide range of cooperation with China in geographical areas and products, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood. In an interview with the China Economic Net, the adviser said Chinese government had provided Pakistan with an opportunity to export more than just textile, leather and agricultural products and now the country would export chemicals and engineering goods as well. “We see it as the perfect opportunity to enhance collaboration with Chinese companies,” he told the China Economic Net. “The second phase of Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will become operational from the first of December.” -E-commerce market taking off Pakistan’s e-commerce market is taking off following an increase in public trust in the online network of buying and selling goods of all types. Sales of online merchandise in the country increased manifold during the commercial bonanza of November 11 – known as 11.11 or ‘Gyara Gyara’. “We have seen a 300% rise in orders compared to the previous year,” said Sastaticket CEO Shazil Mehkri in an email reply to a query regarding sales on 11.11. He elaborated that Pakistan’s e-commerce market was moving out of the infancy phase as people were trusting online dealers more than ever. Earlier, there was widespread doubt over the quality of merchandise bought online coupled with the fear of scamming. -Foreigners invest $678m in debt instruments Foreigners have continued to step up investment in Pakistan’s debt instruments, mostly in short-term treasury bills (T-bills), and have partly helped strengthen the country’s foreign exchange reserves to over $8 billion at the beginning of November. The return of stability to the rupee-dollar parity coupled with high rates of return on debt instruments encouraged foreigners to resume investment in Pakistan. They invested a net $678 million in the debt instruments in the past around five months – July-November 2019, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. -KP School Bag Act 2019 to be presented in provincial assembly soon The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has drafted the ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa School Bag Act 2019’ and is expected to soon present its final draft in the provincial assembly. The aim of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa School Bag Act 2019 is to relieve school-going students from carrying heavy schoolbags and if not complied with, a fine worth Rs500,000, as well as other punishments, would be imposed on the institutions violating the law. The proposed act states that the schoolbag’s weight should not be more than 10 percent of a student’s total weight. Further, all public and private schools would be obligated to provide drawers and desks to their pupils in classes in order to make sure the study materials were kept in the school premises. The act further notes that the use of wooden slates would be mandatory for all students of up to Class 8. -Yuantong Airlines Starts Weekly Kashgar-Karachi Cargo Route After successfully launching Kunming-Karachi Air Cargo Route in September, Yountong Airlines has now started regular cargo service between China’s Xinjiang Kashgar and Karachi. The first cargo plane loaded with 9.25 tons of goods, including chilled marine products, landed at Kashgar Airport today. The said route is the first international regular cargo route between Karachi and Kashgar, and the sixth international full cargo flight route by Xinjiang Airport Group this year. -Sino Tires to Invest $600 Million in the Pakistani Market A new collaboration is on the cards with Sino-Pak Tire seeking to explore import substitution prospects in the country. The local stakeholder in this venture is MSD Tires and Rubber, which manages a wholesale business in Pakistan. Officials from this joint-venture have stated that the partnership aims to tap the increasing demand for vehicle tires in the country coupled with its locational edge. The majority shares of this venture are held by the investment bank. The partnership is looking into investing close to $600 million in the Pakistani market and setting up its production plant in either Karachi or Gwadar with a signed agreement between M/s Doublestar, MSD Tyre and Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Limited already in place. They are hoping to produce 6 million tires annually with half for cars and the rest for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. -Pakistani Engineering Degrees Are Now Accepted Worldwide: Senator Rukhsana Zuberi As Pakistan is now a permanent member of the Washington Accord, engineering degrees issued by local higher education institutions are now accepted worldwide. The Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement that recognizes educational degrees of its signatory countries. Pakistan Engineering Council has worked hard to gain this membership. It will allow Pakistani engineers to get jobs and admissions around the world without any additional qualifications. -Pakistan to restore, hand over 400 Hindu temples Pakistan's federal government has decided to reopen Hindu temples across the country in phases, fulfilling the longstanding demand of the minority Hindus that their places of worship be restored to them. When most Hindus left Pakistan during Partition, many temples were lost to encroachment; even in places where some Hindu families stayed back, local strongmen muscled in and occupied temple land. Many temple complexes ended up being used as a common facility and some even became madrassas. Now the Pakistan government wants to reclaim temples and hand them over to the Hindu community. The government has decided to reclaim and restore 400 temples to the Hindu citizens of Pakistan. The process will begin with two historic shrines in Sialkot and Peshawar. Sialkot has a functioning Jagannath Temple and now the 1,000-year-old Shivalaya Teja Singh is set to be restored. Hindus had stopped visiting the shivalaya (shawala) after a mob attack during Babri mosque demolition protests in 1992. In Peshawar, the Pakistani courts had ordered reopening of the Gorakhnath Temple and it's been declared a heritage site. -NOV 12th - ATC charges Khadim Hussain Rizvi, others in case against violent protests An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Tuesday formally charged Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and others in a case concerning the violent protests initiated by TLP following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi last year. ATC-I Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta announced the charges brought against the religio-political leaders. Strict security arrangements had been made for the proceedings. A total of 26 suspects — including Rizvi and TLP patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri — were issued copies of the challan. Some of the suspects appeared in court today along with counsels Tahir Minhas and Nasir Minhas. -Govt Recovers Embezzlement Worth Rs. 10.8 Billion in Hazara Motorway Project Minister for Communication and Postal Services, Murad Saeed, has announced to open Hazara Motorway for the public on November 15. The opening was delayed due to changes in design. Responding to the point of order of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) Murtaza Javed Abbasi, the minister said he had requested FIA to look into the causes of adding a suspicious bridge in the Hazara motorway project. The changes were ordered by a former prime minister, which, according to him, caused the delay and escalated the cost as well. Murad said that he launched an internal inquiry into the matter, which led to recoveries of Rs. 10.8 billion.
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