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  • Why Google Pay is losing its market share?

    Indian tech payments giant, Google Pay is facing repeated shutdowns and it is affecting its consumer base. What is happening: It’s been a tense week for those at the India division of payments giant Google Pay. Google's parent, Alphabet recently parted ways with 12,000 employees on a global scale, worrying the staff spread across India and Singapore, are bracing for the cut. Why it matters: Google Pay India is one of the few payments teams globally with end-to-end autonomy—a distinction that sets it apart from other geographies. Despite an exalted status globally, Google Pay India’s fate remains uncertain which is partly rooted in a recent shift in product strategy for Google Pay Brazil. Backdrop: This shift comes when India’s real-time digital payments system, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), is flourishing at a ~70% monthly growth rate. It lost the top spot to PhonePe, and the distance has only widened since. The big picture: The major factor weighing down Google Pay is its increased reliance on big Indian banks serving as its tech partners. As the payments landscape readies for credit cards on UPI, maintaining deeper relationships with merchants and retainining consumers is its new challenge. The bigger picture: Google Pay put up somewhat of a fight to secure offline merchants but it abstained from acquiring online merchants until late 2022. Had they acquired them earlier, Google Pay would have been able to get in the thick of the money flow, enabling quicker settlements for merchants. Probably delayed due to significant investment on google pays part is likely that Google Pay avoided this path because online merchants require a significant amount of support from payments providers, as they rely heavily on digital payments. By the numbers: To retain loyalty, Paytm in 2019 launched the SoundBox, a hardware made to enable merchants to know when a payment is received. Then in the year ended March 2022, Paytm made 38% of its revenue of ~Rs 5,000 crore (~US$610 million) out of services. What's next: Google will need to reinforce its position not just within Google, but also in India’s payments ecosystem, once again. Catch up Quick: Google Pay is now in a precarious position and needs to fix its standing and retain its consumer loyalty to stay stable in the current economic situation.

  • Did Tata Neu lose its hype?

    If reports are to be believed, Tata Neu — the super app launched by the Tata Group in April of 2022 — will probably miss its sales targets for the year by 50%. What is happening: The Tata launched superapp- a digital mall- comes in line with other big names like Adani and Ambani entering into the valuable digital real estate. Tata Neu, a one stop app for accessing multiple Tata services like BigBasket, Westside, Taj or even Tata Capital enabled consumers to access a perfect space to deploy a cross-selling blitzkrieg. Why it matters: Marketed as the next big thing, that its predictions miss the mark by 50% was actually not a surprise to the app's users. The discussion stirring report led to social media being ablaze with reviews on the app with the common one being its lackluster working. What the numbers say: It is projected that the ambitious mega app from Tata Group will only reach 50% of the sales target in its first year, prompting the major Indian firm to reconsider its digital strategy. Tata Digital Pvt.’s online platform, Tata Neu, which went live in April, will see sales of about $4 billion in the year to March 31 compared with the $8 billion target set at the beginning of 2022 Backdrop: Based on China's ubiquitous Alipay and WeChat, Tata Neu was India's first super app under development since at least mid-2020 but rapidly encountered technical issues and user concerns. The primary holding firm of the business, Tata Sons Pvt., looked into finding financial or strategic backers to support the super app, including international technology companies however, potential investors hesitated at the requested valuation for a startup company. The big picture: Stating slow running of the app as one of the reasons of its poor consumer base, a report by Deloitte found that getting a mobile e-commerce site to load faster by even 0.1 seconds has a big impact and that conversions rise by 8% and customers spend 9% more money. There was a cognitive overdrive of which consumers were not a big fan. What is being said: “@tata_neu is the most complicated app to use. It’s slow and every transaction it’s asking login, then what’s for it’s a supper app if you go on login for each and every section. 1mg, Big Basket or Tata Play are much faster than Tata neu.” “Tata Neu was a very bad implementation of what a Super App should be. You can’t just fill your app with all the features and expect people to just use it. The organic way is to have one service for which people would keep coming back to the app and then build on top of it.” What now: If analysts are to be believed, maybe people like the ‘one app, one purpose’ model. Cross-selling doesn’t work. Ergo, superapps will fail. Read in short: Tata Neu, the latest superapp in the market, seems to be failing as it fails to meet its projected numbers.

  • Vedanta To Sell Overseas Assets for $3 Billion

    Vedanta Ltd., the Indian multinational mining company, recently announced plans to sell its international zinc operations to unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd. for $2.98 billion. What is happening: Vedanta Ltd. announced plans to sell its international zinc operations to unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd. for $2.98 billion which would enable it to benefit from a dividend outflow that is Anil Agarwal’s cash cow. Subject to regulatory permissions, Hindustan Zinc, a mining company with headquarters in Rajasthan, India, announced in an exchange filing that it will gradually acquire the assets of THL Zinc Ltd. Mauritius from its parent company over a period of around 18 months. Why it matters: The billionaire owner of Vedanta, Agarwal, needs to make the transaction in order to decrease debt at Vedanta Resources following a failed attempt to delist Vedanta Ltd. in 2020 and to simplify the corporate structure of his commodities firm. The deal can aid upstreaming of cash from the unit, deliver gains on higher valuations and the structuring avoids long-term capital gains tax. Backdrop: According to information gathered by Bloomberg, Vedanta Resources has $4.7 billion in dollar bonds maturing over the next four years, with $900 million in notes due in the first half of 2023. Vedanta owns about 65 percent of the miner and the Indian government holds about 30 percent. The big picture: According to a report with the exchange, the company's total gross investments, cash, and cash equivalents decreased during the preceding few quarters and stood at 164.82 billion rupees ($2.03 billion) as of the end of December. The costly acquisition of the international zinc assets would run down cash reserves at Hindustan Zinc The numbers: Shares of Vedanta Ltd. advanced as much as 3 per cent in Mumbai Friday, while Hindustan Zinc slumped as much as 9.9 per cent. The company’s total gross investments and cash and cash equivalents have eased in the past few quarters and were at 164.82 billion rupees ($2.03 billion) as of December’s end, an exchange filing showed. Read in short: In order to gain from a dividend outflow, Vedanta Ltd. announced plans to sell Hindustan Zinc Ltd. its international zinc operations for $2.98 billion.

  • Uncertain Future of Vodafone India

    The telecom company already suffering from financial issues, is now witnessing a mass exit of its employees. What is happening: Around a fifth of its sales team is believed to have quit over the past few weeks, industry sources said. The future of Vodafone India appears bleak at best, starting with its failure to pay its debts to tower companies and other billers, record subscriber losses, the government's proposal to buy a stake in the indebted firm, and now reports of employees quitting. Why it matters: Data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) show that Vodafone Idea continued its 12-month run of continuous customer decline up until October 2022. If the numbers continue racking up, the continued existence of the telecom provider seems at risk. Backdrop: The telecom operator has lost about 38.1 million mobile subscribers in the 19 months till October, and had 245.62 million total mobile subscribers as of October-end. It added that the crisis-hit telco is now scouting for replacements and has listed as many as 986 vacancies on LinkedIn. The big picture: The number of permanent employees at Vodafone Idea has decreased by more than 35% during the last four fiscal years. On the company's payroll as of March 31, 2022, there were 8,760 permanent employees, down from 13,520 in FY19. A higher employee count of the company in FY19 was due to the merged operations of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular during the year. By the numbers: In FY20 and FY21, the company’s permanent employee count was at 11,486 and 9,174, respectively. Vodafone Idea’s net loss widened to Rs 7,595.5 crore during the July-September quarter. As of 2023, the company needs to raise around Rs 25,000 crore to tide over its immediate financial crunch. Read in short: Vodafone India already suffering with bad times given its debts and drop in subscribers, hits a new low with over one fifth of its workforce quitting the telecom provider.

  • India's Crypto Exchanges losing out to Foreign Platforms

    In yet another hit to the Indian crypto market, Indian markets are facing competition from their global peers even after the FTX fallout. What is happening: India’s cryptocurrency exchanges have lost a significant share of their trading volumes to foreign platforms since February 2022. Indian exchanges ceded $3.8 billion in trade to foreign ones between February and October 2022. Why it matters: When it comes to foreign intermediaries, it is easier to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat currency on International exchanges like Binance allowing traders to route funds without intermediaries. similarly, other exchanges like KuCoin and Gate also allow limited trading without furnishing KYC details. Basically, foreign intermediaries are far more convenient and provide an ease of access which Indian countparts cannot match resulting in their downfall. The big picture: In Nov 2021, global players like Binance and Coinbase were at 50% of the volume in India, which increased to 67.6% by October. This shift can be credited to India’s stringent policy stance, along with the prevailing global market conditions. The collapse of international cryptocurrency platforms like FTX and Vauld hit global trading volumes, but Indian exchanges like WazirX, CoinSwitch, and CoinDCX suffered the worst. Backdrop: India’s cryptocurrency market gained traction during the pandemic years, with its total holdings reaching more than $5 billion by February 2022. But it began shrinking after the Union budget of 2022 announced a 30% tax on gains from trading, along with a 1% tax deduction at source (TDS). What is being said: “Indian VDA exchanges lost 97.1% of their volume in October 2022 compared to the corresponding volumes in January 2022. In this period, foreign exchanges lost only 36.3%.” according to Bloomberg Catch up quick: In a new low for India's crypto sector, foreign investors take over as India's competition even after the FTX fallout, Indian crypto investors are now moving their wallets to Binance and Coinbas, reports say.

  • Why Reliance Capital Insolvency Is A Mess

    Ranging from complex asset pooling to low ball offers to fanciful e auctions, everything has been tried during this insolvency period auch that now the bod values are 60-70% lower than expected. What is happening: After spending about a year under bankruptcy proceedings, Reliance Capital Ltd. is witnessing a tight race for its assets. The main unresolved issue is that nobody is satisfied. Bids for Reliance Capital, currently undergoing the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP), have been much lower than the liquidation value of Rs 13,000 crore leading to differences in opinions between the lenders and the Reliance Cap administrator. Backdrop: In 2019, India’s banking regulator RBI took over the Board of Reliance Capital, the group’s non-banking finance company, and sent it to the dark corridors of bankruptcy courts. In the race to grow at all costs, Companies in the Reliance Group took on enormous amounts of debt. When the first entity Reliance Communications fell in 2017, Anil Ambani’s business empire came crashing down like a pack of dominos, the current victim being Reliance Capital. The big picture: Reliance Capital was a financial services company that had its hands in many fields including asset management, life insurance, wealth management, commercial finance, and home finance. Eventually post rhe chain reaction of debts, Reliance Capital couldn’t even pay its own creditors leading to March 2019 when it only had Rs 11 crores in cash. Soon by June, its auditor PwC had resigned stating that it wasn’t satisfied by Reliance Capital’s response to financial issues it had flagged. The numbers: On Nov 28, the last date for submitting bids, RCap received 4 binding bids. The highest bid of Rs 5,231 crore has been submitted by a consortium of Cosmea Financial and Piramal. Hindujas with Rs 5,060 crore emerged as the second highest bidder, followed by Torrent Investment (Rs 4,500 crore) and Oaktree (Rs 4,200 crore). Valuation reports by independent valuer Duff & Phelps has pegged the liquidation value of RCap at Rs 12,500 crore while RBSA has valued the company’s assets at Rs 13,200 crore. What next: At this point, it is necessary for relevant parties ro determine if they want the resolution or liquidation and what option they want to choose in case they wish to go ahead with the resolution process. News in short: Reliance Capital, in poor condition since 2019 hit new lows with its bids dropping 60-70% lower than the expected rates, which in compilation with other disappointments results in Reliance Capital Insolvency basically being an elaborate mess.

  • Will Jet Airways ever fly again?

    As per latest reports, India's largest private airlines company which is currently facing money troubles may bid goodbye to the skies of the future. What is happening: Jet’s new promoter doesn’t actually own the airline yet. Jet, which was scheduled to begin domestic operations in 2022, is still grounded and is still owned by the banks. Why it matters: Unverified reports are even claiming that owners were considering selling 11 of Jet’s planes because of JKC’s delay in clearing payments. since its declaration of bankruptcy, the largest private owned airlines of India has faced multiple setbacks, so much so that 3 years post its acquisition it is still not in flight which in turn affects the aviation industry as well as national image. The big picture: The National Company Law Tribunal is seeing the conflict between JKC and Jet's creditor-owners (NCLT) Due to JKC's failure to comply with the terms of its reorganisation plan, the creditors are refusing to give over Jet to JKC. Obtaining clearances for foreign traffic and approvals for landing slots at important Indian airports are two examples of these needs which JKC claims that it has complied with. Backdrop: A group of banks led by the State Bank of India have acquired Jet since its bankruptcy in 2019 on behalf of its creditors (SBI). A reorganisation plan was offered by the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium (JKC), which eventually took over as Jet's promoter, in 2020 and was accepted by the creditors. Numbers: In October of last year, the NCLT ordered JKC to pay the former workers 275 crore rupees (about $33 million) but according to JKC's authorised reorganisation plan, just Rs 52 crore was allocated for employee payouts. What is being said: JKC’s spokesperson said that “We reaffirm that there has been no delay from the JKC to implement the resolution plan, and we are in full compliance with the approved plan.” After the transfer of full ownership, JKC’s spokesperson said, Jet would be ready to take to the skies “within 60-90 days.” Catch up quick: India's largest private airlines is currently facing money troubles once again putting a question on its continued existence in the backdrop of even its new owners post bankruptcy in 2019, JKC is currently facing losses.

  • Microsoft to invest $10 Billion in ChatGPT

    Microsoft will buy a 49% stake in OpenAI for $10 billion, the company behind chatbot ChatGPT. If the deal goes through, it would be one of the largest investments in the AI industry to date and would signify a major step forward for both Microsoft and OpenAI. The news of the potential investment has generated a lot of buzz on social media, with many people expressing excitement about the future possibilities of GPT-3 and ChatGPT under Microsoft's guidance. However, there have also been some memes and backlash on Twitter, with some people criticizing Microsoft's past actions and questioning the company's commitment to ethical AI. Despite the mixed reactions, it's clear that the potential investment in OpenAI represents a significant opportunity for Microsoft to further its AI capabilities and solidify its position as a leader in the industry. GPT-3, in particular, has proven to be a powerful tool for natural language processing and has already been used in a variety of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and content generation. Microsoft has been reportedly experimenting with building OpenAI’s language AI technology into its Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook apps. The Information reports that Microsoft has already incorporated an unknown version of OpenAI’s text-generating GPT model into Word in its autocomplete feature, and has been working on integrating it further into Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Before this deal, Microsoft purchased an exclusive license to the underlying technology behind GPT-3 in 2020 after investing $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019. It has built a deep relationship with OpenAI ever since, including plans to add an AI text-to-image model to Bing powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 2. In the future, Microsoft could use these models to scrape and summarize information from Teams Meetings transcripts, and then add images generated from OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 image generation model to PowerPoint presentations. Researchers have reportedly presented their Office integration work to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, but it’s not clear if and when these GPT- or Dall-E 2-powered models would be available in Office products.

  • Why Hike Messenger Failed in India?

    Hike Messenger was once a popular messaging app in India, with over 100 million users. However, it ultimately failed to compete with other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and fell out of favor with users. Rise of Hike Messenger The app was developed by Kavin Bharti Mittal, the son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder of Bharti Enterprises. Hike quickly gained popularity in India due to its unique features, such as the ability to send messages even without an internet connection, and its focus on privacy. In 2016, Hike reached 100 million users and was valued at $1.4 billion. The company received funding from major investors such as Tencent and Foxconn. Hike also launched several successful initiatives, such as Hike Sticker Chat, which allowed users to send personalized stickers, and Hike Wallet, a digital wallet that allowed users to make payments and transfer money. However, despite its initial success, Hike struggled to compete with other messaging apps such as WhatsApp owned by Facebook. Hike's user base began to decline, and the company was unable to monetize its services effectively. In 2018, Hike announced that it was laying off a significant portion of its workforce and refocusing on its core messaging business. There were several reasons for this failure, including hiring mistakes, a lack of a unique selling proposition, fast evolution in the market, and low user retention. Ease of Use One major mistake that the company made it tried to offer too many features in its app. While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, this ultimately led to a cluttered and confusing user experience. Users were overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and found it difficult to use the app effectively. On the other hand, What's App UI was extremely easy to use and requires very little technical knowledge. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection to get started. This made it particularly appealing to users in India who may not be as technically savvy. The fast evolution of the messaging app market also played a role in Hike's failure. New apps and updates were being released at a rapid pace, and Hike struggled to keep up. As a result, it fell behind in terms of features and functionality, making it less appealing to users. Finally, Hike suffered from low user retention. Despite initially attracting a large user base, the company struggled to keep those users engaged and coming back to the app. This, combined with the domination of WhatsApp in the market, ultimately led to Hike's downfall. In conclusion, Hike Messenger failed in India due to a combination of hiring mistakes, a lack of a unique selling proposition, fast evolution in the market, and low user retention. These factors ultimately led to the company's inability to compete with other messaging apps and forced it to shut down. If you like this kind of short format articles, Then please subscribe to our newsletter to support.

  • Reliance Consumer on Acquisition Spree

    Reliance acquired a 50% stake in Sosyo Hajoori Beverages, also took a controlling stake in Lotus Chocolate for Rs 74 crore and dozens of brands in $6.5 billion consumer goods. What is happening: Reliance Consumer will buy dozens of modest grocery and non-food brand names as the Indian retail giant plans for a big push in consumer goods business while they work to develop their own $6.5 billion consumer goods sector to compete with global giants like Unilever. In furtherance with such plans Reliance is in late-stage talks with over 30 brands for deals and plans to build a portfolio of 50 to 60 grocery, household, and personal care brands within six months Why it matters: Move comes out of the ongoing expansion of "JioMart" e-commerce operations in India's nearly $900 billion retail market, which happens to be one of the world's biggest. As per sources, Reliance had set a goal to achieve 500 billion rupees ($6.5 billion) of annual sales from the business within five years. Backdrop: In September, the company paid roughly $22 crore to Delhi-based Pure Drinks Group to acquire the domestic soft drink brand Campa, which was once a market leader in the Indian soft drink market in the 1970s and 1980s. Recently, Reliance also acquired a 100% stake in METRO Cash & Carry India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of German wholesaler METRO AG. With the joint venture with Sosyo Hajoori Beverages, Reliance plans to further strengthen its portfolio in the beverage segment having already acquired the iconic brand Campa. By the Numbers: Reliance Retail Ventures has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in BSE-listed Lotus Chocolate Co. where they will acquire a 51% stake from the promoter and promoter group entities of the confectionary maker and make an open offer to the public shareholders to acquire an additional 26% stake. For FY22, Reliance Retail Ventures reported a consolidated turnover of Rs 1,99,704 crore and a net profit of Rs 7,055 crore. What's next: By opening the gourmet store Freshpik in 2021 and expanding the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores, Reliance Retail bolstered its grocery business. Read in short: RIL wants to offer a variety of necessary products for consumers' daily requirements through Reliance Consumer Products and to commence with this the company has made several acquisitions such as the beverage industry, consumer buy and go industry as well as confections industry.

  • Amazon's Cloudtail successors struggle to onboard old sellers

    Amazon sellers are growing impatient as a result of the difficulty the businesses who inherited Cloudtail's network have had in matching its efficacy. What is happening: With Cloudtail gone, sellers are abandoning Amazon to sell on smaller platforms, opening their own websites, and even going back to selling to a brick-and-mortar storefronts. Why it matters: Cloudtail was once a one-stop-shop on Amazon India for millions of people to buy anything under the sun. Cloudtail’s heirs have been struggling to fill its shoes in the Amazon India ecosystem. The big picture: At least seven new aggregators took over from Cloudtail. These include the likes of Cocoblu Retail, VRP Telematics, and Dawntech Electronics, according to multiple Amazon India executives Backdrop: The Indian government made the decision to limit Cloudtail's and similar companies' dominance in 2016–17. Few years later, when the government forbade platforms from owning interests in their top sellers, Amazon, which had a stake in Cloudtail, left the company. Facing intense pressure, Cloudtail eventually decided to close and was dissolved in May 2022. Numbers: Cloudtail, before dissolution, accounted for at least a third of all items sold on the e-commerce platform, which reportedly registered a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $17 billion in the year ended March 2022. What is being said: Amazon executives speaking about sales-growth slowdown in 2022, said, “We are definitely climbing down from the double-digit sales growth of the pre-pandemic and pandemic years, and 2022 has likely seen a single-digit rise." Quick read: Ever since the dissolution of Cloudtail, Amazon has suffered in terms of filling its shoes. New successors have failed to pick up Cloudtail efficiency even though it is mainly made up of ex-Coldtail employees.

  • Reliance To Acquire Metro’s India Unit For $344 Million

    In a move to expand its foothold, India's largest retailer Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance acquires Metro for an amount of $344 million. What is happening: Reliance has made a move to acquire Metro brand's Indian base. The transaction brings to an end a months-long sale process that had once drawn interest from e-commerce giant Inc. and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Why it matters: Metro will see a transaction gain of about $150 million at closing, and higher earnings per share are also being anticipated. Adding Metro’s business will bolster Reliance, which is already India’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer. A bigger wholesale network which Metro would provide will allow Reliance to enter deeper in India’s local areas where a good bulk of 1.4 billion people live. The big picture: The two parties involved in the transaction are- The Ambani-led group’s B2B cash-and-carry business, Reliance Market, set up in 2011. The chain now has 52 stores with more than 4 million members throughout. Metro which entered the Indian market in 2003. The chain currently operates over 31 wholesale distribution centres throughout its Indian base. What is being said: Steffen Greubel, Metro’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Now is the right time to use the momentum and open a new chapter for METRO India,” in light of India's trade industry facing disproportionate growth which requires sizeable investments to grow businesses. Numbers: Parent Reliance Industries’ stock rose as much as 0.9% during trading in Mumbai on Thursday, pushing this year’s gain to 9.4%. What next: As per the statement by Reliance, the transaction would mostly close by March 2023. Catch up quick: Mukesh Ambani expands reliance foothold in Indian business industry, acquires metro, translation to be completed by early 202

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