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  • Nirav Modi's Gems to Sell for $1.5 Billion

    The jewelry auction will take place on March 25 as per the court-appointed liquidator to handle the bankruptcy proceedings. What is happening: Clearing a claim of nearly $1.5 billion, a court-appointed liquidator in India will start auctioning precious metals and gemstones belonging to Firestar Diamond International Pvt., owned by former tycoon Nirav Modi. Why it matters: Nirav Modi has been absconding from the country since way back in 2018 while major offices, factories, and all other major assets of the corporate debtor had been attached by the Enforcement Directorate. This move comes in light of Modi appealing his extradition. Backdrop: Indian government accused Modi of defrauding the country’s second-largest bank, Punjab National Bank, of around $2 billion using credit guarantees for his diamond business. The big picture: The liquidator has engaged the Gemological Institute of India, an industry group that provides certification services, to gauge the correct value of the gold and diamond items once owned by Modi. The sale of gold, platinum, and diamond jewelry will take place through e-auction on March 25, as per the notice issued. What the numbers say: The reserve price of the items to be auctioned will be declared on the auction date. Pulling off one of the biggest bank frauds in the country, Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi created a complex web of deception through fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) to siphon off ₹14,000 crores from state-owned Punjab National Bank in connivance with some bank officials. What is being said: "This will be the first auction of precious metals and stones” released by the government agency, which probes white-collar crimes. Read in short: Former Diamantaire Nirav Modi’s gems go on sale for approx $1.5 billion.

  • What happened to Reliance Capital

    The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Tuesday concluded its hearings over the petition filed by lenders of Reliance Capital presently going through the insolvency resolution process. What is happening: NCLAT was hearing a petition filed by Vistra ITCL (India), one of the lenders of Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Capital, challenging an order of the NCLT which restricted further auction of the bankrupt firm. Backdrop: Torrent Investments had filed a plea on January 9, requesting the tribunal to quash the lenders' plan to hold a fresh auction for the takeover of RCap. Later, the Hinduja group firm also filed the petition challenging the NCLT order. The big picture: In the Reliance Capital matter, the challenge mechanism was concluded by the lenders on December 21, 2022, with Torrent's bid of Rs 8,640 crore being declared as the highest bid. What else: Senior advocate Rohatgi contended that IBC is not a debt recovery platform and the Committee of Creditors should look beyond their individual recovery. The numbers: Reliance Capital has a consolidated debt of about Rs 40,000 crore. Read in short: Reliance Capital going through multiple bids and challenges was finalised to be acquired by Torrent which was questioned in the court to which the NCLT replied in support of Torrent.

  • How India Increased its Toy Manufacturing?

    India has been trying to increase its toy manufacturing industry for several years now, aiming to become a serious competitor to China, which is the world's largest producer of toys. In 2020, PM Modi was sad that Indian markets are flooded with Chinese toys. So, he set out to destroy China's monopoly in toy manufacturing and Today India's toy exports have gone from 300 crore to 2600 crore in just 2 years. Here's how he's making India a toy superpower: 1. New Government Incentives In March 2020, the Indian government announced PLI scheme for various sectors, including toys. The scheme aims to provide incentives to manufacturers to produce more locally and increase the country's manufacturing capabilities. The government allocated INR 100 crores (approximately $13 million) for the toy sector under this scheme. The PLI scheme is expected to attract new investment in the toy industry and create more job opportunities. PLI scheme, launched in March 2021, is expected to attract investments of over INR 10,000 crore over the next five years and is projected to create over 2.5 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the toy manufacturing industry. To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, the government also launched a challenge called 'Toycathon.' This challenge invited participants to submit ideas and designs for toys, which could be manufactured in India. The challenge aimed to encourage creativity and innovation in the toy industry, and the winners would receive funding and support to turn their ideas into reality. The Toycathon challenge, launched in January 2021, received over 17,000 entries from students, teachers, and start-ups across the country. 2. Increasing Custom Duty In February 2020, the government hiked customs duty on toys from 20% to 60%, with an aim to promote ‘Make in India’ and boost domestic manufacturing. However, this has also affected the toy business in India, as many importers and retailers have faced challenges due to higher costs and lower demand. 3. Promoting Toy Clusters To promote toy manufacturing in India, the government has identified 8 toy clusters at a cost of Rs 2,300 crore to boost India’s traditional toys industry. These clusters will manufacture toys made of wood, lac, palm leaves, bamboo, and fabric. Two toy clusters are currently being implemented in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh under the Sfurti scheme, which offers incentives such as skill development, capacity building, creation of facilities such as common facility centres, rehousing facilities and marketing and e-commerce assistance to local industries. The government has planned to provide infrastructure and other facilities to these clusters to help them grow and compete with Chinese imports. The government has also set up a toy task force to provide support to these clusters and encourage local manufacturing. Increase in Foreign Investment Companies like Mattel, Hasbro, and Lego have set up manufacturing units in India. Mattel, for example, has set up a manufacturing unit in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, with an investment of INR 100 crore. Lego has also announced plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India, which will become the company's largest manufacturing facility outside of Mexico. Despite these initiatives, India still has a long way to go to become a serious competitor to China in the toy industry. According to the Indian Toy Manufacturers' Association, India's toy market is worth about $1.5 billion, while China's toy market is worth over $40 billion. China's dominance in the industry is due to several factors, including its large domestic market, efficient supply chains, and low production costs. India has several advantages that it can leverage to compete with China. India has a large and growing middle class, which presents a significant market for toys. According to a report by Research and Markets, India's middle class is expected to double to 600 million by 2025. India also has a young population, with about 40% of its population under the age of 18, making it a potentially significant consumer base for toys. India's toy industry has the potential to become a global supplier of toys. The country has a rich heritage of traditional toy-making, which is now being combined with modern manufacturing techniques.

  • Uniphore's Turnaround Story

    Automation platform Uniphore turned unicorn after raising $400 million at a valuation of $2.5 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2021-2022. What is happening: Founded in 2008 with offices in the U.S., India, and Singapore, Uniphore is a global conversational AI technology company that offers a customer service platform that is powered by AI and automation technologies. Recently it surpassed the fiscal goal it set for itself for the previous financial year. Why it matters: The company started in 2008 aimed at a target of $100 million for FY 22 which it has failed to reach but has still managed to stay afloat in the Indian economy considering that it gets 95% of its funding from the US. Backdrop: The world right now is ablaze with the latest new Artificial Intelligence tool - Chat Gpt-3 by Open AI. In this context, Uniphore seems to be in a good space with its AI-driven offerings. The big picture: The firm is also reaping the benefits of a product-driven offering, with incremental revenues coming at relatively lower costs as compared to its early inroads into the market for its offerings. In an industry heavily dependent on its clients, there seems to be no stopping for Uniphore as it has managed to lay its finger on the pulse of the moment. The numbers: Uniphore’s operating revenue ballooned 9.4X to Rs 674.6 crore in FY22 from Rs 71.25 crore in FY21, according to its consolidated financial statements with the Registrar of Companies. What else: The firm had a stretch target of  $100 million in recurring revenues by 2022, which it has missed. However, it has clearly done enough to get there and more in FY2023 Read in short: In a good sign for startups and firms, recently turned unicorn Uniphore hits the $2.5 billion mark recently paving way for a brighter future.

  • Why is Burger King's campaign so good?

    So, Burger King’s new campaign, “You Rule”, is a modern twist on its classic “Have it Your Way” slogan from the 1970s. The campaign, created by OKRP, features a catchy jingle that blends rap and singing with the original melody. If you’re an NFL fan, you definitely have heard Burger King’s brand-new commercials. It seems like, after every drive, the infamous “Whopper, Whopper, Whopper, Whopper” song plays non-stop. It’s been played so much this season, that it became the biggest viral meme of 2023. In Tiktok, the trend received over 5 Billion views, you can even listen to it on Spotify. The jingle showcases Burger King’s menu variety, quality ingredients, and customization options while celebrating diversity and individuality. The campaign includes TV, digital, social media, and radio ads, as well as outdoor billboards and murals. It is part of a $400 million, two-year brand overhaul that aims to revamp Burger King’s restaurants, packaging, uniforms, and logo. “We were talking, like, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if people just sang about Burger King, super simple, with a catchy jingle?”a creative director at OKRP, the agency behind the campaign, told Ad Age. The campaign has received positive feedback from customers and media outlets, who praised its nostalgia factor, humor, and inclusiveness. According to OKRP’s chief creative officer Matt Reinhard, the campaign is designed to “reconnect with people emotionally” and “reignite their love for Burger King”. He said that “You Rule” is more than a tagline; it is a brand positioning that reflects Burger King’s values of empowerment, choice, and fun. Successful Rebranding of Burger King The $400 million brand overhaul is a plan that Burger King announced in September 2022, dubbed “Reclaim the Flame”. It is designed to accelerate sales growth and drive franchisee profitability. It includes marketing, menu, and restaurant upgrades. Some of the key elements of the plan are: A $150 million marketing program called “Fuel the Flame” will last through 2024 and allocate $120 million for advertising and $30 million for menu innovation. A $250 million investment in restaurant upgrades and remodels, will cover about 5,000 locations by 2024. A new logo, packaging, uniforms, and signage that reflect Burger King’s flame-grilled heritage and modern identity. A focus on digital transformation, delivery expansion, loyalty programs, and sustainability initiatives Modernizing Restaurants The restaurant upgrades and remodels are part of Burger King’s plan to improve its customer experience, operational efficiency, and brand image. Some of the features of the new restaurant design are: Dedicated mobile order and curbside pickup areas, drive-in and walk-up order areas, enhanced drive-thrus, and exterior dining space. Sustainable design elements, such as solar panels, LED lighting, natural ventilation, and landscaping. A modern look that reflects Burger King’s flame-grilled heritage and logo, with warm colors, wood textures, and metal accents. New technology, such as digital menu boards, self-order kiosks, contactless payment options, and loyalty programs. Burger King plans to cover about 5,000 locations by 2024 with this new design, which will cost between $300,000 and $600,000 per restaurant. Burger King will provide $250 million to support franchisees with this investment. How will the remodel affect the franchisees? The remodels will affect the franchisees in several ways 1234. Some of the effects are: Franchisees will have to come up with some of the cash for the remodels, which will cost between $300,000 and $600,000 per restaurant. Burger King will provide $250 million to support franchisees with this investment, but franchisees are contractually obligated to participate in the plan. Franchisees will benefit from improved customer experience, operational efficiency, and brand image, which are expected to boost sales growth and profitability 123. Burger King claims that remodeled restaurants have seen an average sales lift of 15% after reopening. Franchisees will have access to new technology, digital platforms, loyalty programs, and menu innovation, which will help them attract and retain customers, increase delivery orders, and reduce costs. Listen to the new catchy commercial:

  • Why Google is paying $20 billion to Apple?

    Google paying $20 billion to Apple to stay as a default search engine in the Safari browser has been one of the most talked about business deals in recent times. Why it matters: Apple devices are widely used around the world, with millions of people relying on them for their daily activities. Having Google as the default search engine on these devices is essential for Google's reach and revenue. By having a prominent presence on Apple devices, Google gains access to a vast user base, thereby increasing its advertising revenue. The big picture: This deal highlights the growing significance of the technology sector, with Google and Apple vying for dominance in the market. The two companies have a symbiotic relationship, with Google providing Apple with a significant source of revenue, while Apple provides Google with a valuable platform to reach users. Between the lines: The $20 billion deal between Google and Apple is a clear indication of the importance of search engines and the role they play in the tech industry. The deal also shows how companies can work together to achieve mutual benefits, with Apple receiving a significant source of revenue, and Google gaining access to a vast user base. Flashback: Apple and Google have had a long-standing partnership, with Google's search engine being the default on Apple devices since 2007. The relationship between the two companies has been a subject of speculation and rumors for years, with the exact details of their agreement remaining undisclosed. By the numbers: Google's payment to Apple for its default search engine position is estimated to be around $20 billion, a significant increase from the previous year. The exact amount of this deal has not been confirmed by either company. What they're saying: "This deal is a testament to the importance of search engines and the role they play in the technology industry," said an analyst. "Google and Apple have a symbiotic relationship, with each company providing the other with a valuable platform and source of revenue." Catch up quick: Google has agreed to pay Apple $20 billion to maintain its position as the default search engine on Safari browser. This deal highlights the significance of search engines and the role they play in the technology industry, as well as the symbiotic relationship between Google and Apple. The exact details of the deal remain undisclosed, but it is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

  • Byju's burn $600 Million in FY21

    Byjus's revenue grew 5% to Rs 2,280 crore ($287 million), of which 80% of revenue came from Edutech products. But the losses were 15X to about Rs 4,500 crore ($566 million). Latest: After its auditor Deloitte reveals financial statements for 2021 which caused delayed recognition, Byjus made some changes to its revenue recognition from this year 2022. Inclusion of “course fee” which made up 14% of Byju’s revenue in FY 2021. Implementation of the yearly break up of ''Teacher's Fee'' which amounts to Rs 300 crore ($37.5 million)—approximately 3% of its overall expenses. Why it matters: Changes in the streaming revenue and interest payments wiped 8% off Byju’s consolidated revenue of Rs 2,380 crore ($300 million) in 2020. Byju’s could not register half of its reported revenue of Rs 1,156 crore (~$145 million) during the FY 2021 as this revenue comes from deferred payments, and that didn't qualify for registering in 2021. Whereas revenue that got excluded but the expenses were already accounted for in the period and increased its overall losses. Moreover, the financial statements excluded expenses of Rs 109 crore (~$13.7 million), which in turn made overall losses to Rs 4,564 crore ($574 million) If you like this kind of short format articles, Then please subscribe to our newsletter to support. Details: Byju Raveendran (CEO & Founder) stated "Around 40% of the revenue got deferred. Otherwise, the growth would have been 60-65%.” Byju's acquisition of Aakash Institute, showed fewer centers have been opened this year indicating reluctance to expand. Also, WhiteHat Jr's losses contributed to around a third of Byju’s losses. Deloitte charged an audit fee of Rs 3.5 crore (US$440,000) to account for some additional effort they incurred in the audit consequent to material incapacities. Winding up: Byjus FY21 missed a lot in its overall revenue- Now it is hoping to change its overall growth in the financials for 2022 through recent changes in revenue recognition.

  • Disney+ Hotstar To Lose HBO Shows

    Disney-owned streaming service, Disney+ Hotstar, is set to lose HBO content, including the popular series Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, and more in India. What happened: The move is part of a restructuring and cost-cutting strategy at Disney following the departure of former CEO Bob Iger. While HBO content initially helped build Disney+ Hotstar's subscriber base, the platform is under pressure to reverse its subscriptions decline with more mass-market content. Why it matters: Disney+ Hotstar is currently the largest streaming service in India, but its subscription base has dropped by 6% to 57.5 million, partly due to the loss of the IPL cricket tournament rights, which was acquired by Viacom18 last year in a $2.6bn deal. Losing popular HBO content could further impact subscriber numbers, and it could also give a competitive edge to rival streaming services. The big picture: With English-language content still considered a niche market in India, Disney+ Hotstar is seeking more mass-market content to compete in the crowded streaming market. However, this move could open opportunities for rival streaming services to acquire HBO content, with analysts speculating that Amazon Prime Video could be a natural fit. If you like this kind of short format articles, Then please subscribe to our newsletter to support. Between the lines: The move highlights the competitive nature of the streaming industry in India, with companies vying for subscribers and exclusive content deals. As Disney+ Hotstar seeks more mass-market content, it risks alienating niche audiences and giving a competitive edge to rivals who focus on specific genres. Flashback: Disney acquired Hotstar, India's largest streaming service, in 2019 and rebranded it as Disney+ Hotstar in 2020. The platform has had success in India, particularly with its live sports offerings, but has faced challenges due to the crowded and competitive market. What they're saying: Indian industry analysts are speculating that Amazon Prime Video could be a natural fit for HBO content in India, either as part of its SVoD service or with the launch of HBO Max as part of the Prime Video Channels offering. Catch up quick: Disney+ Hotstar is set to lose HBO content, including Game of Thrones, in India as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting strategy. With the platform seeking more mass market content, it risks alienating niche audiences and giving a competitive edge to rivals. Indian industry analysts speculate that Amazon Prime Video could acquire HBO content in India. What's leaving: HBO Shows that are going off the radar if/when HBO leaves Hotstar: Chernobyl Game of Thrones House of the Dragon Watchmen Succession The Leftovers Big Little Lies True Detective Barry The Night Of I May Destroy You Euphoria Veep The Wire The Sopranos Silicon Valley Entourage Mare of Easttown The White Lotus The Last Of Us

  • What happened this week in business?

    Here is short summary of what happened this week in business in India 1. GST compensation is delayed in some states. GST compensation is a provision in the GST law that guarantees states a 14% growth in their GST revenue for the first five years of GST implementation, until 202212. It is paid out of a cess levied on sin and luxury goods13. However, due to the economic slowdown and the pandemic, GST and cess collections have fallen short of the required amount34, resulting in delayed payments to some states 2. India will need 2,210 new planes over 2 decades Boeing said that India will require around 2,210 new planes in the next two decades, mainly driven by the rising domestic air traffic. Out of them, 1,983 units will be single-aisle jets while 227 units will be wide-body airplanes12. Boeing also projected a nearly 7 percent annual domestic air traffic growth through 2041. One of the reasons why India needs so many new planes is because of its economic growth, evolving business models, and the dynamics in the marketplace. Another reason is because of the rapid growth of its domestic traffic, which accounts for 90 percent of new airplane deliveries to India. 3. Adani Group firms fall for 2nd day running Shares of Adani Group firms fell for the second day on Tuesday amid negative events surrounding the companies. Adani Enterprises dropped 4.89% to Rs 1,633.55 on the BSE. Some of the group firms also touched their lower circuit levels, such as Adani Power, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy, and Adani Total Gas. The reasons for the fall include a probe by SEBI into alleged foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) holding stakes in Adani Group firms, a report by The Guardian that claimed that Adani Group has links to Myanmar’s military junta, and a legal challenge by environmental groups against Adani’s coal mine project in Australia. 4. Union Budget 2023 changes to benefit startups Union Budget 2023 proposed a change to Section 79 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, that will benefit startups. The change extends the period for eligible startups to carry forward and set off losses incurred in the first 10 years of their incorporation, instead of 7 years as before. The change also extends the period of incorporation of startups eligible to avail of tax incentives by one more year, up to March 31, 2023. The tax incentives include a deduction of 100% of profits for three consecutive assessment years out of ten years. 5. Funding news-roundup Indian startups raised $1.2 billion in January 2023, with PhonePe and KreditBee leading the funding rounds, here is a quick summary: PhonePe, a digital payments platform, raised $350 million from existing investors at a valuation of $5.5 billion23. KreditBee, a fintech startup that offers personal loans to young professionals, raised $120 million from investors including Premji Invest and Mirae Asset Naver Asia Growth Fund23. These two funding rounds accounted for nearly 40% of the overall financing in January 13. E-commerce (including D2C startups) segment saw more deals and fintech continued to dominate with $587 million in total funding Thank You, See you next week!

  • Adani Total Gas shares plunge 75%

    Furthering the downfall of Adani, their Adani Total Gas in partnership with TotalEnergies suffers thr brunt of the Hindenburg report. What is happening: The joint venture between Adani companies and TotalEnergies- Adani Total Gas has seen a plunge in its gas shares with a fall of 75%. Why it matters: The fall in shares is troublesome to say the least because when TotalEnergies acquired 37% of the firm back in 2019, it set the template for the group to rope in global investors which now seems precarious at best. Backdrop: Adani Total Gas is the largest customer of the joint venture between an Adani Ports subsidiary and TotalEnergies, accounting for over half of its revenue. This fall not only affects Adani but TotalEnergies just as much. The big picture: The Adani Gas-TotalEnergies deal set the template for bringing in other global strategic investors which would have been a key enabler of the group’s capital-heavy expansion. It gets more muddled given the context that TotalEnergies has already put its plan to buy 25% of Adani Enterprises’ green-hydrogen venture that was announced back in June last year on hold. The numbers: A little longer than a month back, Adani Total Gas was worth almost $52 billion, making it the most valuable Adani company. But now post the Hindenburg report, Adani total Gas market cap is less than one-third of the initial $52 billion. What else: Despite the drastically falling stocks, Adani Total Gas continues to be TotalEnergies’ largest and most lucrative bet in the current times. TotalEnergies’ stake in the company is now worth approximately $5 billion which is 7 times a return on its investment. Read in short: Adani Total Gas, just like every other adani venture at this point too faces a huge fall in its shares but hope still exists given that the venture has shown a 7x return on investment to TotalEnergies which is not a small feat.

  • PhonePe's UPI goes International

    PhonePe, the digital payments giant, has taken a major step towards becoming a global player with the launch of its 'UPI international' payments. What's new: This new feature allows users to make payments to foreign merchants using the unified payments interface (UPI) infrastructure. The launch is being supported in countries where UPI has been introduced, including Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. The significance of this launch is that it allows Indian travelers to pay for goods and services abroad using the same UPI infrastructure that they use in India. This eliminates the need for multiple payment options and eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash. It will also allow Indian merchants to receive payments from customers abroad, eliminating the need for multiple payment systems. The big picture: PhonePe is at the forefront of the digital payments revolution. The company is making it easier for people to transact globally and is poised to become a global leader in the digital payments space. With the launch of UPI international, PhonePe is making a big statement and positioning itself as a global player. Between the lines: It is clear that PhonePe is looking to expand its market share and create a global footprint. With the increasing demand for digital payments, it is likely that PhonePe will continue to innovate and expand its offerings. The launch of UPI international is just the beginning of the company's journey to becoming a global player in the digital payments space. Rahul Chari, the co-founder and CTO of PhonePe, said, "UPI International is the first major step in letting the rest of the world experience UPI too. I am sure this launch will prove to be a game-changer and will completely transform the way Indians traveling overseas pay at merchant outlets abroad." In conclusion: PhonePe has taken a big step towards becoming a global player with the launch of UPI international. The company is making it easier for people to transact globally and is poised to become a leader in the digital payments space. With this launch, PhonePe has set the tone for its future and has demonstrated its commitment to being a global player in the digital payments space.

  • Kotak Bank To Acquire Microlender Sonata Finance For Rs 537 Cr

    Kotak Mahindra Bank, one of the leading private sector banks in India, has agreed to acquire microfinance lender Sonata Finance for Rs 537 crore. Why it matters: The acquisition will expand Kotak Mahindra Bank's reach into the microfinance sector and provide the lender with access to Sonata Finance's customer base and distribution network. Microfinance institutions, like Sonata Finance, play an important role in India's financial sector by providing small loans and banking services to low-income households and small businesses. The big picture: The acquisition of Sonata Finance is part of Kotak Mahindra Bank's efforts to grow its business and increase its customer base. The bank has been expanding its presence in various segments of the financial sector and has been looking for ways to expand its reach into new markets. The acquisition of Sonata Finance is expected to help Kotak Mahindra Bank reach new customers in the microfinance sector and provide it with the opportunity to offer a wider range of financial services. Between the lines: The acquisition is likely to be seen as a positive move for both Kotak Mahindra Bank and Sonata Finance. Kotak Mahindra Bank will benefit from the increased reach into the microfinance sector, while Sonata Finance will benefit from the resources and support of a larger financial institution. Catch up quick: Kotak Mahindra Bank has agreed to acquire microfinance lender Sonata Finance for Rs 537 crore. The all-cash deal is subject to regulatory approvals and will make Sonata Finance a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank. The acquisition is expected to benefit both companies and expand Kotak Mahindra Bank's reach into the microfinance sector.

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