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Unite! You Have Only Your Supply Chains To Lose 

Take the case of teauction.com. It went live two months ago in the hope of saving tea buyers and auctioneers time and money. Cycle times in the tea industry (this means from when a tea estate sends its tea sample for evaluation to a potential buyer and preparing a catalogue by brokers, to finally when the auction is conducted and the sale is concluded) hover at nine weeks. Rakesh Bhutoria, CEO, teauction, thinks in the next few months, with transaction volumes going up, cycle time could go down to four weeks. Transaction costs, which are around 8% of the value of the tea sold, can similarly be shaved off by more than half to 3.5%.

Of course, as Azam Monem, general Manager, Williamson Magor, says, these are still early days and these savings will take time to fructify. "We've found business on the site very convenient and have saved on costs, but we need to get higher prices too. That's when we can get most value out of the site. And we believe this will happen which is why we are on it," he says. There are hidden costs like warehousing while transacting on the Net, but managers like Monem believe spending more is not the issue if they can get higher value addition through sites like teauction. Which is why they are still feeling their way around - in the last two months, Williamson Magor has sold Rs 60 lakh worth of tea, but their total sales come to about Rs 800 crore. Clearly, there's still a long way to go.


Centurion Bank takes stake in teauction.com 

- 27/8/2000
Centurion Bank Ltd. has appointed Mr. Mahesh Vyas, executive director of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) as one of its directors on the board of teauction.com, after acquiring a 26 per cent equity stake in the portal. According to senior officials of the bank, two nominees have been inducted on the tea auction portal's board. Mr. Dev Ahuja is the other nominee and Mr. V A Arinivasan, director, is the alternate to Mr. Ahuja. The bank has spent about Rs 10 crores to acquire the stake. Set up by Mr. Ayush Bagla of the Hanuman Tea group, the tea portal is devoted to online trading in tea. Explaining the benefits to the bank, a senior official said that both buyers and sellers on the portal would open accounts with the bank for financial settlement. "The financial gateway of the bank will bring immense speed to operations. Actual financial settlement in the past used to take about 8 weeks. The bank will settle the deal in less than two weeks" the official said. The bank is also confident of increasing its business through the portal and is confident that tea traders will use credit lines worth Rs.200 crores, the official added. Trade volumes on the portal have alreahome.aspup to 1.20 lakh tones of tea from 90,000 kg and trade worth Rs 2 crores per week are being routed through it. "The bank is also confident that the initial investment in equity will result in substantial capital gains as we expect the valuation of the portal to rise sharply rise in the future", the official said. Centurion Bank with 37 branches has hit the headlines because many private sector banks have been attempting to acquire the bank. While Ind Global and HDFC Bank had shown initial interest, they were unable to clinch a deal. HDFC Bank went on to acquire the Bennet Coleman & Company-promoted Times Bank. Centurion Bank had a deposit base of Rs 3,867 crores at the end of March 2000 and its advances stood at Rs 1,840 crores. Promoted by 20th Century Finance, 30 per cent of the bank's share capital is held by the Ahujas: the Capel group and International Finance Corporation hold another 38 per cent, while retail investors own the rest of the equity.


Centurion Bank forays into Net Financing 

- 25/8/2000
Centurion Bank Limited, one of India's fastest growing private-sector banks and a forerunner in harnessing the latest technology, has acquired a very significant stake in teauction.com - India's largest B2B portal, catering to the tea industry. Along with this acquisition of 26% for Rs 11 crores, the Bank has earmarked Rs 200 crores towards financing and funding the transactions on the site. The Bank also plans to provide an exclusive payment gateway to the auctioneers as well as the buyers. The bank is newly appointed Managing Director, M.J. Subbaiah said, "This move reinforces the bank's commitment to enhance convenience and spur productivity and efficiency. The new economy is hungry for institutions like our to invest and assist in their growth. The tea market is growing exponentially and with our association with teauction.com, we are convinced that the industry will see more of such tie-ups." Teauction.com brings together the entire community of buyers, sellers, registered brokers, suppliers, and associations and substitutes their physical presence at the auctions. Teacution.com caters to the requirements of the domestic as well as international tea markets. The company currently manages sales of between 90,000 to 1.2 lakh kilograms of tea per week, translating into trading of about Rs 100 crores per annum. The company ahs also entered into an arrangement with a satellite company in USA for obtaining daily weather updates specifically in tea plantation areas, 6 times a day, five days a week. On the road, connectivity is also being offered to the bidders and the sellers through the call center being set up in Salt Lake in Calcutta.



Centurion forays into net financing 

- 17/8/2000
Centurion Bank Ltd. one of the leading private sector banks and a forerunner sector banks and a forerunner in harnessing the latest technology, has acquired a very significant stake in teauction.com India's largest B2B (business-to-business) portal, catering to the tea industry. A press release issued here stated that along with this acquisition of 26 per cent for Rs 11 crore, the bank has earmarked Rs 200 crore towards financing and funding the transactions on the site. The bank also plans to provide an exclusive payment gateway to the auctioneers as well as the buyers. The release quoted the bank's managing director, Mr. M J Subbaiah, as saying that "This move reinforces the bank's commitment to enhance convenience and spur productivity and productivity and efficiency. The new economy is hungry for institutions like ours to invest and assist in their growth. The tea market is growing exponentially and with our association with teauction.com, we are convinced that the industry will see more of such tie-ups. As far as Centurion Bank is concerned, this is just a small part in our endeavor to aid the growth of the new age economy as a whole. The release stated that teauction.com brings together the entire community of buyers, sellers, registered brokers, suppliers, and associations and substitutes their physical presence at the auctions. Through this portal, tea is available 'online'. It caters to the requirements of the domestic as well as international tea markets.


Centurion Bank enters into net financing 

- 15/8/2000
Centurion Bank Limited, a private sector banks and a forerunner in harnessing the latest technology, has acquired a very significant stake in Teauction.com? India's largest B2B Portal, caterers to the tea industry. Along with this acquisition of 26 per cent for Rs II crore, the bank has earmarked Rs 200 crore towards financing and funding the transactions on the site. The Bank also plans to provide an exclusive payment gateway to the auctioneers as well as the buyers. In his first ever interaction with the media, after taking over the reins of Centurion Bank its newly appointed Managing Director, Mr. M. J. Subbaiah said. "This more reinforces to bank's commitment to enhance convenience and spur productivity and efficiency. The new economy is hungry for institutions like ours to invest and assist in their growth. The tea market is growing exponentially and with our association with teauction.com, we are convinced that the industry will see more of such tie-ups. As far as Centurion Bank is concerned, this is just a small part in our endeavor to aid the growth of the new age economy as a whole." Teauction.com brings together the entire community of buyers, sellers, registered brokers, suppliers and associations and substitutes their physical presence at the actions, Through this portal, tea is available - "online" teauction.com caters to the requirements of the domestic as well international tea markets. Teauction.com apart from having tied up its first round of funding is also in discussion with venture capitalists in the United States with the specific aim of undertaking a wide range of new programmes catering to specific industry segments. The company currently manages sales of between 90,000 to 1.2 lakh kilograms of tea per week. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ayush Bagla, Managing Director of teauction.com stated. "This system of auctioning tea through the portal does away with the delays and defects of the traditional auction system while putting together faster and efficient features.


Centurion Bank invests in teauction.com 

- 15/8/2000
Centurion Bank Limited has acquired a very significant stake in teauction.com - India's largest B2B portal, catering to the tea industry. Along with this acquisition of 26 per cent for Rs 11 crore the bank ahs earmarked Rs 200 crore towards financing and funding the transactions on the site. The bank also plans to provide an exclusive payment gateway to the auctioneers as well as the buyers. The newly appointed managing director of Centurion Bank, M J Subbaiah said 'the tea market is growing exponentially and with our association with teauction.com, we are convinced that the industry will see more of such tie-ups. As far as Centurion Bank is concerned, this is just a small part in our endeavor to aid the growth of the new age economy as a whole according to a press release here. Teauction.com brings together the entire community of buyers, sellers, registered brokers, suppliers, and associations and substitutes their physical presence at the auctions. Teauction.com caters to the requirements of the domestic as well international tea markets. Teauction.com apart from having tied up its first round of funding is also in discussion with venture capitalists in the United States with the specific aim of undertaking a wide range of new programmes catering to specific industry segments. The company currently manages sales of between 90,000 to 1.2 lakh kilograms of tea per week, translating into trading of about Rs 100 crore per annum. The company has also entered into an arrangement with a satellite company in USA for obtaining daily weather updates specifically in tea plantation areas, 6 times a day, five days a week. On the road, connectivity is also being offered to the bidders and the sellers through the call center being set up in Salt Lake in Calcutta.

Centurion Bank picks up stake

- 16 / 8 / 2000
Centurion Bank has acquired 26 per cent stake in teauction.com, a business to business (B2B) portal catering to the tea industry, for Rs 11 crore. "The bank has earmarked Rs 200 crore towards financing and funding the transactions on the site by various tea companies, brokerage firms and sellers and buyers," Centurion Bank director VS Srinivasan told newspersons here. A joint committee constituting members from the portal, Centurion Bank and a rating agency has been set up to conduct appraisals of the credit applications, he said. The committee has already approved around Rs 15 crore of credit, the bank's managing director MJ Subbaiah said adding the disbursements would commence soon. This acquisition was the first step towards the bank's e-commerce initiative, Srinivasan said adding, it also plans to provide an exclusive payment gateway to the auctioneers as well as the buyers.

Centurion Bank acquires teauction.com

- 14 / 8 / 2000
Centurion Bank has acquired 26 per cent stake in teauction.com, a business to business (B2B) portal catering to the tea industry, for Rs 11 crore. The bank has earmarked Rs 200 crore towards financing and funding the transactions on the site by various tea companies, brokerage firms and sellers and buyers. A joint committee constituting members from the portal, Centurion Bank and a rating agency has been set up to conduct appraisals of the credit applications. The committee has already approved around Rs 15 crore of credit.

 

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