Snapchat sees India as a priority market
The Co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc, Evan Spiegel, in an interview with The Economic Times said that India is a priority market.
Why it’s important: Its messaging app Snapchat has just breached the 100 million monthly user base in India.
Snap’s focus was largely confined to the US, a predominantly iPhone market.
India is now Snap’s second-largest market, in terms of the user base, after the US.
Spiegel said rebuilding the Android version of the app for India made a big difference in scaling its presence.
It also gave a local touch to the product and put together a team on the ground.
India seeks info on processes used by Facebook to prevent hate speech, fake news
India has asked for details about the algorithms being used by Facebook, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The investigation is after some revelations that Facebook’s systems can fuel hate speech and fake news.
The ministry of electronics and IT sent a letter to Facebook India’s MD Ajit Mohan regarding this.
The ministry wants to know the processes FB used to moderate content on its platform and the methods employed to prevent harm to online users.
Frances Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook, alleged that FB allocates only 13% of its budget to curb misinformation on its platform outside of the US, including in India.
Adani Enterprises in talks for $2-bn mega fundraise
Adani Enterprises is in discussion with half a dozen sovereign and global pension funds and energy majors to raise up to $2 billion in equity sales, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The proposed equity sale could be in the range of 5-10%.
The fundraising move is part of the Adani Group’s broader plan to make Adani Enterprises a ‘sustainable’ energy major.
It also wants to decarbonise transportation and industrial sectors and help achieve India’s green objectives.
The group mulls a mega-investment plan of up to $70 billion in the next 10 years to build and acquire renewable assets.
The company is in talks with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Qatar Investment Authority, a BNP Paribas arm, and TotalEnergies.
Adani is also looking at international energy infra operator SNAM, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Apollo Global.
Sundar Pichai sees a smartphone wave in India
There is a wave of demand for smartphones in India with millions looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones, Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai said, The Economic Times said.
What Pichai says:
“What excites me about the upcoming partnership with Jio in building a phone is really investing beyond just English and getting languages and the local needs right in a way that many more people can take advantage of a smartphone.”
Why it’s important: Google is preparing for a Diwali launch of JioPhone Next, the entry-level handset that it is building in partnership with Reliance Industries.
The JioPhone Next is powered by Pragati OS and is widely expected to expand the user base for Google’s OS in India.
Swiss Re to buy a 23% stake in Paytm arm
Switzerland-based reinsurance company Swiss Re will invest Rs 920 crore in Paytm’s general insurance business for a 23% stake on a fully diluted basis, Mint reported.
Why it’s important: Swiss Re will invest Rs 397.3 crore upfront in Paytm Insuretech Pvt. Ltd and the remaining in tranches.
Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma is also expected to invest in the entity.
The investment comes more than a year after Paytm entered the general insurance business after the acquisition of Raheja QBE for Rs 568 crore.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chairman, MD and CEO of One 97 Communications Ltd, said: “We look forward to gaining from Swiss Re’s global insurance capabilities and building innovative products to tap into the Indian market.”
Chip majors say shortage may last up to 2 years
Leading microchip providers Qualcomm and Intel say the chip shortage might last even up to two years, Business Standard reported.
Why it’s important: The shortage varies depending on the various product categories such as mobile devices, ICE, electric vehicles, appliances, data centres.
Prakash Mallya, MD, Intel India said the spike in demand was huge, cutting across segments.
Mallya believes there will be a gap in most segments over the next 12-18 months.
Qualcomm India President Rajen Vagadia some industries might be plagued a little bit longer, like automobiles as the capacity moved to lighter node chips for electric vehicles and autonomous cars.
NBFCs gets ready with Rs 2 trillion to fund IPOs
Non-banking financial companies to make available around Rs 2 trillion to lend to high networth individuals for IPOs, Business Standard reported.
Why it’s important: A huge demand for capital amid an IPO rush has led to a rise in interest rate to as much as 13 per cent from less than 10 per cent levels.
Five companies are looking to mop up over Rs 31,000 crore cumulatively between October 28 and November 10.
There is a shortage of funds due to huge IPOs.
HNIs borrow at 8 to 10 per cent from NBFCs for IPOs.
Acquisitions will continue to be part of our strategy: CP Gurnani
CP Gurnani, CEO & MD, Tech Mahindra, in an interview with Business Standard, said that Tech Mahindra has four vectors of growth or four ‘Cs’.
What CP Gurnani says: Focus is on four Cs -- Connected solutions, customer experience management, cloud and compute power.
It’s been an all-around performance in terms of deal signing.
Most of the deals are in the area of legacy digital conservation.
The company will continue to use acquisition as a part of our strategy.
The acquisitions are for capability as well as for management bandwidth.
Will retain Suburban brand identity: OM Manchanda
Dr Lal Pathlabs Managing Director OM Manchanda in an interview with Business Standard talks about the company’s need to build a foothold in the South.
What he says:
Dr Lal Pathlabs will keep the Suburban brand and will have a multi-brand strategy.
In the process of developing a reference laboratory in Mumbai.
Dr Lal Pathlabs will continue to function in Mumbai, and this reference lab will cater to the entire western region.
The Suburban acquisition gives the entry into a market that would have otherwise been tough for in terms of building scale.
The Suburban brand enjoys a very good consumer franchise.
This is a good quality asset, backed by Sequoia.“What we have done in the western market also holds true for the South, which is another market where we need to build our foothold.”