EDITOR’S NOTE

India, an emerging economy, has witnessed unprecedented levels of economic growth, along with some of the fastest developing economies of the world like China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. India, being a cost effective and labor intensive economy, has benefited immensely from sourcing and outsourcing of businesses from the developed countries, on the strength of sound domestic financial and economic policy, strong entrepreneurial and manufacturing base, global leadership in IT and ITES, and export oriented industrial framework. With the pace of recent economic growth crossing 20K in the Sensex Index, India is fast emerging as a major economy to be reckoned in the Global business scene. The current issue of ABR seeks to provide the researchers and academicians an exposure to some of the recent advancements that are taking place in the business world, emanating from India.

The first paper by Srinivasan et al on ‘Testing Alternative Models for Forecasting Volatility in Stock Futures Market: A Linear Approach’ examines the various alternative models for forecasting and modeling volatility in stock futures contracts by using out-of-sample forecast method; utilizing statistical tools and risk management evaluation criteria. Findings suggest that, according to RMSE statistics, the autoregressive model and linear regression models rationally shared and ranked first for out-of-sample forecasts in the linear models. One can learn more about the market movement and return volatility through studying the non-linear approach as well.

Srivastava’s study on ‘Asian Stock Market from the Indian perspective’ is an eye-opener to test the efficiency level in Indian Stock market and the random walk nature of the stock market by using the run test, autocorrelation function ACF (k) and unit root test for the period from January 1998 to December 2009. The study carried out in the paper has presented the evidence of the weak and efficient forms of the Indian Stock Market.

Mehta and Chanders study is designed to empirically test the three factor model suggested by Fama and French on Indian stock market and to document the evidences as to how firm characteristics are used as a better way to explain the stock return behavior. The overall findings indicate that the three factor model given by Fama and French is more powerful, than its other variants of taking one or two factors in explaining the variability in the returns of all six portfolios.

Jeyachitra and associates report on an empirical study on Portfolio Risk and Return Relationship on the basis of analyzing the portfolio performance of Nifty stocks and measuring the total risk. The study found a high positive correlation between portfolio returns and risk and that the portfolio unsystematic risk declined due to diversification. The study could be very useful to understand the impact of systematic and unsystematic risk through portfolio construction. Millions of people in developing countries have been given access to formal financial services through microfinance programmes. Nevertheless, millions of potential clients would still remain un-served and the demand for financial services far exceeds the currently available supply position.

Rai and associate’s studyon financial sustainability of microfinance Institutions provides a more comprehensive, pragmatic and representative model for financial sustainability. Their model of financial sustainability gives due weightage to some of the critical financial indicators like Portfolio at Risk, Loan loss, Borrowers per Credit Officers etc.

Options are used by hedgers to reduce risk. A better way implemented by the companies these days is to use the delta value of options to create a portfolio having minimum risk. This portfolio has a delta value of zero. Due to the market changes the delta value changes and thus the portfolio needs to be balanced regularly. The different types of options have been analyzed by Sharma et al in their study on ‘Dynamic Delta Hedging’ and the most expensive and cheapest ones have been identified. The relation between time value of option and time of maturity has been verified. The findings of the study are explained theoretically and finally tested on the touchstone of historical data collected from the site of National Stock Exchange and values calculated with the help of standard formulae already available. These findings are in consonance with the various theories about available Options. The authors conclude that in the time period assumed, the delta neutral portfolio created was profitable for option expiring in April while was in loss for March expiry.

Customer Relationship Management has become a vital and critical component for ensuring customer satisfaction in all businesses. The term CRM has been widely recognized as an important business approach to understand and influence customer behavior through meaningful communications in order to improve customer retention and loyalty. Saeed, Vij and Men examined the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Personal Computer (PC) industry in Malaysia from divergent angles. The study highlights the major customer satisfaction factors, which can be used in customer satisfaction enhancement. The results of their analysis would enable the PC companies to further recognize the customers’ needs and preferences for better customer satisfaction which ultimately leads to customer loyalty and portability

Mukherjee and Roy have introspectively studied the present status of steel industry, specifically in terms of the degree of competitiveness - both globally and locally. Their work measures the extent of global competition in steel sector - a basic ingredient for developing economic infrastructure for a nation. Based on the global competition, time series analysis has been carried out to indicate the past trend and future direction. The position of India has also been indicated along with those of a few leading nations. Importance of labour cost, availability of raw materials, cost of energy consumed etc. has also been highlighted to gain competitive advantage in Indian Steel Industry. Many business organizations attempt aggressive efforts to managing their supply chain. Such effort to manage the supply chain paves the way for effective and positive impact on various practices of supplier selection that in turn enhances the organizational performance.

Sezhiyan and Nambirajan empirically probed into the various aspects and variables related to supplier selection, supply effort management and organizational performances to in turn are able to develop a measurement framework and pragmatically prove the designed framework through the measurement model. The paper provides various constructs related to supplier selection, supply effort management and business performance measured by the yardsticks of scale or instrument.

Mishra in his paper on “Analysis of buying behavior of rural and urban consumers in Sagar District with reference to utility pattern of mobile phone’ aimed at establishing whether the residential background of consumers has a varying influence on their buying decisions. The study indicates that the rural consumers are less quality, functions and brand conscious compared to urban consumers; and that rural consumers mostly use friends, T.V. and mobile phone retailers as the potent source of information. The purchase decision is taken by self-decision with the help of family, friends and most of rural consumers are quite satisfied in Sager District, Madhya Pradesh.

Mann and Rashmi have examined the repeat purchase behaviour of Indian consumers by analysing the role of brand specific–repeat purchase drivers and consumer demographics on repeat purchase probability as  this study has a direct relevance for marketing managers in building a loyal customer base. Their results reveal that among the brand specific–repeat purchase drivers value for money, brand trust and brand effect have positive and significant impact on the probability of repeat purchase behaviour by consumers. In case of consumer demographics, viz. age, income, education and occupation etc. significantly affected the repeat purchase probability. Researchers have shown great interest on studying different career orientation pattern of professionals as they relate to different personal values and organizational conditions. Subramanian, in his paper examines the extent to which scientific-cosmopolitan oriented scientists differ from administrative-local oriented scientists with respect to personal life values and perceived occupational stress to suggest avenues to build career, based on their orientation pattern. The findings of his study have practical implications for nurturing their career orientation based on the life-values and perceived occupational stress levels in their work environment.

Gender plays a significant role in determining the conflict resolution style of individuals. Sweta and Jain have tried to explore the relationship between gender and conflict resolution styles among aspiring Indian managers. The empirical results of their study reveals that the aspiring Indian managers generally adopt accommodating style of conflict resolution followed by avoiding style, irrespective of their gender differences. Added to this, a significant difference in the competing style of conflict resolution mode between the two genders also became evident from the study.

Goyal and Kashyap’s study examines the sources of organizational role-stress among insurance employees. Their study reveals that there is a significant correlation among the sources of organizational role-stress.  The role isolation was found to be the main concern of the Insurance employees that led to stress at the work place. Their results also indicated that certain demographic variables do influence the level of stress among managers.

As competition increases, companies are demanding more and more services from their ad-agencies. Hence, ad- agency-client relationship is more prone to stress and sustain than ever before. There is no single factor which cements a strong bond between the agencies and the clients.  The good relationship between ad-agency and clients mainly   depends on the appropriate selection of an agency by the clients and correspondingly, on a high degree of accountability by the agency to the clients. Loyalty and tradition no longer derive choice of an agency.  Instead, return on investment makes up the bottom line.  Clients in turn, are constantly evaluating the work of their agency and its rival. It is in this context that Arul has critically examined the relationship binding and breaking   factors between the ad-agency and their clients by taking into consideration of the following two parameters namely the clients’ expectation from the agency and the level of satisfaction and the ad-agency’s expectation from the clients.

Tourism industry across the globe is one of the fast-growing industries, starting from holiday pay package to medical tourism. In Andhra Pradesh, the Tourism Corporation was incorporated during the year 1976 in the name of Travel and Tourism Development Corporation Pvt. Ltd and became a wholly-owned Government company in March, 1980. In the year 1998, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) was a loss-making unit. The paper authored by Safiuddin analyzes the Financial Performance of APTDC, using selected financial ratios to assess the long-term efficiency of the corporation with which its activities are being managed as well as short-term performance measured in terms of its ability to meet current obligations of the state-owned Tourism Corporation.

Great innovation builds around what precedes it. For granting patents to small changes to known drugs, the challenge before the patent granting authority is to distinguish between incremental innovation and ever-greening that is, extending the life of patent for changes that do not involve an inventive step. Sople and Dakhole in their paper ‘Incremental Innovation – Indian IPR Policy Issue’ discusses the issue of granting the patent rights to ‘incremental innovations’ and simultaneously preventing "ever-greening" and patenting of worthless inventions, by properly defining and interpreting the term 'inventive step’. The objective of this approach is directed to find out whether the incremental innovation issue is resolved through proper policy directives so that innovative spirit amongst the researchers will not get subdued and simultaneously ‘ever-greening’ phenomena is also prevented. 

   We wish to sincerely thank all the contributors of papers as well as the learned readers for their continued support, inspiration and cooperation in bringing out this issue of Journal on time.
   
   Dr. A. N. Sarkar
   Editor, ABR
   E-mail:ansarkar@asiapacific.edu.