All stories by Peerzada Abrar
Uber riders can now share live location updates with copsRediff.com19 Jul 2022
Uber has come up with a technology integration feature called "emergency assistance" that aims to provide public safety authorities with real-time actionable data in case of an emergency during a ride. In the event of an emergency, riders or drivers will be able to share their live location, which shall be updated every four seconds, along with their name and contact details at the swipe of a button on the Uber app with the police. This will lead to saving critical time by providing potentially life-saving assistance by the police.
'Amazon In India For Next 100 Years'Rediff.com4 Jul 2022
'For all of us at Amazon, it is 'Bharat first'.' 'We are keeping the Indian customer at the centre of what we are doing.'
Byju's lays off 500 and may drop more in latest edtech crisisRediff.com30 Jun 2022
In continuation of the recent trend, another edtech major has issued pink slips to hundreds of employees. Bengaluru-based Byju's - valued at $22 billion - has laid off about 500 employees at its group companies -WhiteHat Jr and Toppr. It's a move to drive cost efficiency, according to the company. The number of layoffs, cutting across various department functions, may increase, sources said.
Udaan lays off about 180 employees in a move to drive cost-efficiencyRediff.com29 Jun 2022
Udaan - India's largest business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce company - has laid off about 180 employees, or 4-5 per cent of its workforce of 4,000, in a move to drive cost efficiency, revealed sources. They said the layoffs have happened across various department functions. The layoffs have happened at a time when the Bengaluru-based firm is trying to turn into a publicly listed entity in 18-24 months.
Edtech sector in crisis as Covid curbs ease; hybrid model offers hopeRediff.com10 Jun 2022
The reopening of schools and colleges has sparked a crisis in the edtech sector with falling valuations, slowing funding rounds and faltering investor sentiment. In a totally altered, post-pandemic landscape where students are back at school and colleges, companies are scrambling to revert to bricks-and-mortar tuition centres and adopting a hybrid model of offline and online education. Demand for online tuition has fallen, affecting the revenue of edtech companies in recent months. After two years of booming revenues, some experts say the sector is looking at a possible meltdown.
Flipkart promotes several leaders as it gears up for blockbuster IPORediff.com7 Jun 2022
Flipkart has promoted several of its leaders into newer roles at a time when the Walmart-owned e-commerce giant has internally raised its IPO (initial public offering) valuation target to about $60 billion and aims for a US listing in 2023, according to the sources. "I am delighted to announce the promotion of some of our exemplary leaders," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer, Flipkart Group, in an internal note, and which has been reviewed by Business Standard. "Each of them has been instrumental in delivering impact and creating long-term value for Flipkart.
Murthy's advice for start-ups: 'Be trustees of outsiders' money'Rediff.com4 Jun 2022
'Think of the poorest retail investor before you decide to go for an IPO'
Byju's COO Mrinal Mohit may head India ops as Raveendran focuses on globalRediff.com31 May 2022
Byju's is set to promote its chief operating officer (COO) Mrinal Mohit to a bigger role, including leading the India operations, according to people familiar with the matter. This is because Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the edtech giant - which is valued at $22 billion - is planning to focus on global expansion and acquisitions. Among the global regions, Raveendran may look at markets such as the US and the Middle East.
Start-up lay-offs accelerate on capital crunch worriesRediff.com27 May 2022
Falling valuations, slowing funding rounds and faltering investor sentiment seem to have prompted many start-ups to lay off employees in a bid to conserve cash. The latest to do so is SoftBank-backed Cars24, a leading e-commerce platform for pre-owned vehicles, which has laid off over 600 staff, according to sources in the know. The move, they said, is aimed at conserving cash amid cautious investor sentiment and a slowdown in funding.
Funding may dry up for next 12-18 months: Unacademy CEO tells employeesRediff.com27 May 2022
Unacademy may see a funding dry spell for at least next 12-18 months and even last till 24 months and will cut costs to weather the lean period, said the chief executive of the education technology unicorn that recently laid off more than 600 employees. "This is a test for all of us. We must learn to work under constraints and focus on profitability at all costs. We must survive the winter," said Unacademy's co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal in a letter to the employees. "Winter is here. We are looking at a time when the funding will dry up for at least 12-18 months.
Consumer protection agency sends notice to Ola, UberRediff.com21 May 2022
CCPA said the primary issues raised in the notices included 'deficiency in service'. This includes lack of proper response from customer support, driver refusing to take payment by online mode and insisting for cash only.
Vedantu lays off 424 employees as it expects a scarcity of capitalRediff.com20 May 2022
Edtech unicorn Vedantu has laid off 424 employees, about 7 per cent of its workforce, according to a blog post shared by the Bengaluru-based firm. This comes as the focus in the edtech space has shifted to profitability, according to experts. The lay-off comes days after the company fired 200 contractual and full-time employees, at a time when offline schools and colleges are opening up and learning is evolving into a more nuanced blended delivery model with a mix of online and offline.
Uber to hire 500 engineers for its India tech centresRediff.com13 May 2022
Uber Technologies said it is doing a fresh round of recruitment for its India tech centres and is planning to hire 500 more tech employees by December. The app-based mobility and delivery company has a 1,000-member tech team across its centres in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The firm said the hiring plan is a testament to Uber's commitment to India, and its recognition of the engineering talent in the country. Uber hired 250 engineers to its India teams in 2021.
45% growth in active internet users in rural India since 2019Rediff.com6 May 2022
There has been a 45 per cent growth in 'active internet users' in rural India since 2019, according a study by Nielsen, a global company for audience measurement, data and analytics. The Bharat 2.0 Internet report said that female active internet users grew by 61 per cent since 2019. The report said that India has 646 million active Internet users aged 2 years and above as of December 2021. Rural India has 352 million internet users--almost 20 per cent higher than urban.
Strong rebound in India's job market post pandemicRediff.com20 Apr 2022
The job market saw an uptrend in the March quarter (Q1), with job interviews increasing 13.71 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to over 30 million, according to Apna.co, India's largest jobs and professional networking platform. It recorded a 42 per cent QoQ growth in its employer base. As a result of the second wave of Covid-19 last year, sectors such as healthcare, delivery, and e-commerce were booming while others had fairly low employment.
India will have over 250 unicorns by 2025Rediff.com19 Apr 2022
Since then, 129 startups have joined this star status, of which 100 were added from January 2019, generating a total value of $535 billion. Entrepreneurs are building bigger enterprises at a faster rate -- 50 per cent of the 130 companies reached unicorn status in the first five years after their initial institutional fundraising.
Not big players, but small brands catering to the needs of India: CAITRediff.com18 Apr 2022
Thousands of small brands are ruling the consumer market despite the predatory pricing and deep discounting by foreign e-commerce companies and efforts of certain FMCG companies to sideline the distributor network, said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents about 70 million traders in the country. "If the government gives support policies to non-corporate sector and tighten the e-commerce companies to obey the policy and the law both in letter and spirit, the retail trade of the country is bound to blossom in pursuance of the vision of PM Narendra Modi for Make in India and Atmnirbhar Bharat," said CAIT national president BC Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal.
Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal to focus more on long-term strategyRediff.com13 Apr 2022
Ola founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Bhavish Aggarwal will step back from day-to-day operations to focus more on engineering functions, team building, and products, apart from focusing on long-term strategic projects, such as two-wheelers, cars, and innovations in quick commerce and international expansion. "I'll be spending more time with all engineering functions, team building, and on products," said Aggarwal in an internal note, adding, "I'll also be increasing my focus on our longer-term strategic projects, including new two-wheeler products, our car project, innovations in quick commerce, electrifying ride-hailing, our cell research and development (R&D), international expansion, building our Pune technology (tech) centre, and Futurefoundry UK." To drive scale, speed, and quality, Aggarwal said he is expanding Ola Group's chief financial officer (CFO) G R Arun Kumar's role to help him steer 'day-to-day operations' across the group.
SoftBank-backed Meesho lays off 150 employees from grocery verticalRediff.com12 Apr 2022
SoftBank-backed internet commerce firm Meesho has downsized its grocery vertical Meesho SuperStore (formerly Farmiso) in an attempt to drive efficiency. The Bengaluru-based firm did not reveal the number of laid-off employees. However, the company officials said that about 150 employees have been laid off.
How IBM's Bengaluru unit is priming companies for cyberattacksRediff.com27 Mar 2022
Located in a small township in the eastern part of Bengaluru is IBM's new Security Command Centre, which is surrounded by offices of multinational tech companies. This unit is the centrepiece of IBM's multi-million dollar investment to help businesses prepare for the growing threat of cyberattacks across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This facility is the first of its kind in the region. It helps train in cybersecurity response techniques through highly realistic and simulated cyberattacks.