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One quick thing: In a blow to ride-hailing platforms Ola, Uber, and Rapido, the Karnataka Transport Department has ordered them to apply for separate three-wheeler auto licences.

  • Calling auto services 'illegal,' the department has asked companies to stop until licences are approved.

In today's newsletter:

  • Top-level exit at Infosys
  • India to race past US in online retail
  • India looks to hasten 5G adoption

Top 3 stories

Top-level exit at Infosys

Top-level exit at Infosys

Ravi Kumar S, an Infosys veteran of 20 years, has resigned, the company announced on Tuesday evening. There was no explanation given for his departure. 

As President, he was in charge of the Infosys Global Services Organization across all industry segments. He was the driving force behind digital transformation, consulting, traditional technology, engineering, data and analytics, cloud and infrastructure services.

  • He was previously the company's Deputy COO and was expected to be the company's COO, but Infosys eliminated the position altogether. He has since served as President.

During his tenure, he held a number of positions, including Group Head for the Insurance, Healthcare, and Cards & Payments units, as well as overseeing Infosys Business Process Management and the company's operations in Latin America, Japan, and China.

The timing

This comes just ahead of Infosys’ second-quarter earnings on October 13 and will likely raise questions about the company's stability at the top, given that Infosys is yet to announce a replacement.

  • The Infosys Board will also consider a buyback at its meeting that day.

India to race past US in online retail

India to race past US in online retail

India's e-retail shopper base grew to between 180-190 million in 2021, with 40-50 million new shoppers added just in the last year. In terms of e-commerce users, the country is expected to surpass the US in two years and become the second largest.

  • Meanwhile, the country’s e-commerce market is galloping at an annual growth rate of 25 percent – and is expected to hit $150 billion by 2027.

Diverse consumer cohorts

While three out of every five shoppers live in tier-2 or smaller cities, one in every three is from the low-to-middle income bracket, and one in every three is a Gen Z (younger than age 25).

Each of these micro-segments has distinct purchasing habits. For example, shoppers in tier 2 or smaller cities prefer voice and vernacular search, whereas low-to-middle-income households prefer image-based search.

New business models emerge

From 2021 to 2025, social-led commerce is expected to grow by approximately 50% per year, given the fact that social media players are increasingly looking to leverage platform traffic to drive online sales.

  • Live commerce to get a fillip from 600 million short-form video users in India by 2025
  • However, the live commerce model is yet to gain traction outside of China and Southeast Asia (video/live commerce accounts for 10% of Chinese e-commerce revenue)
  • Quick commerce, a recent disruption globally, has also gained interest in India, with players having raised more than $3 billion in funding up to June 2022

India looks to hasten 5G adoption

India looks to hasten 5G adoption

Although India launched 5G services with much fanfare earlier this month, many users have yet to experience them because their smartphones require a software update to connect to the network. The government is now taking steps to accelerate 5G adoption.

What's happening?

India's telecom and IT ministries are holding a closed-door meeting with top executives from smartphone firms like Apple, Samsung, Vivo and Xiaomi as well as domestic telecom operators Reliance, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, to prioritize software updates so that consumers can access 5G services on their smartphones, according to a Reuters report.

Rollout plans

Bharti Airtel has launched 5G services in eight cities, including Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, with plans to expand to the rest of India by March 2024.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio is beta-testing 5G services in four cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Varanasi, with plans to complete pan-India rollout by December 2023.

The big picture

5G is expected to usher in use cases in areas such as agriculture, education, health, transport, traffic management, smart cities, smart homes, and multiple applications of Internet of Things (IoT). 

It also has the potential to enable several enterprise-level solutions such as machine-to-machine communications, connected vehicles, and more immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, among others.

  • 5G is expected to exponentially grow the country's digital economy in the coming years. Its cumulative impact on the Indian economy is expected to reach $450 billion by 2035.

Disclosure: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.

MC Special: Why fintech tie-ups help banks make tech strides

MC Special: Why fintech tie-ups help banks make tech strides

For a long time, India's fintechs have been at the forefront of the digital payments and financial services revolution, as well as the financial inclusion saga. The ease with which fintechs have made it possible for customers to transact is a major reason why banks are constantly revolutionising and upgrading their digital services.

Banks, on the other hand, have superior funding franchises, arguably more underwriting expertise, and a widespread distribution or collection network that is also becoming a lot more digital. 

The fourth and final instalment of our Fintech Files series delves into the tug of war between fintechs and banks. Have banks and fintechs learned that they must work together to compete in the market?

Read more.

Tweet of the day

CRYPTO CORNER

Today in crypto

  • Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, said that it has been granted permission by Singapore's central bank to provide payment services in the city-state. Among those who have received licences are Coinbase, Crypto.com, and DBS Vickers, the brokerage run by Singapore's largest bank DBS.

  • CNN's 'Vault,' a crypto and Web 3.0 project that aimed to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of news stories, has been shut down. Users claimed that CNN had pulled a "rug pull," a slang term used when crypto developers abandon a project and run away with investors' funds.

ONE LAST THING

Captain Cool embraces plant-based meat

Captain Cool embraces plant-based meat

Former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni has invested in plant protein startup Shaka Harry as the Indian market for meat alternatives gains traction.

  • Despite admitting his love for butter chicken, Dhoni said that he was looking for a more balanced diet, which is why he is now backing a plant-based meat startup.

This space is gaining traction, with a number of celebrities supporting it. Licious, an online meat seller, has also entered the market with a new product called UnCrave. Greenest, Evo Foods, and Mister Veg are among the other startups in this space.