All stories by Peerzada Abrar
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.
Amazon challenges CCI over suspension of 2019 Future dealRediff.com10 Jan 2022
Amazon has filed a legal challenge at the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) suspension of the US e-commerce giant's 2019 deal with Future Retail (FRL). Amazon has challenged the CCI order on at least five grounds, and the matter is likely to be listed this week, according to the sources. Parallelly, Amazon's Indian unit has approached the Supreme Court against a halt on an arbitration case against Future Retail's (FRL) asset sale to Reliance Industries (RIL).
The most ordered dish of 2021 is...Rediff.com29 Dec 2021
Biryani was the top dish on Zomato and Swiggy followed by dosa and samosa.
Fintech unicorn Razorpay's value jumps to $7.5 bn; up 7.5x in 15 monthsRediff.com20 Dec 2021
Fintech unicorn Razorpay has raised $375 million in the Series F round of funding at a $7.5-billion valuation, making it India's second-most valuable start-up in this space, after Paytm. The company valuation has surged over seven times in 15 months, helping it push Walmart-owned digital payments firm PhonePe to the third spot on the country's most-valuable fintech list. Razorpay's latest round of fundraising was led by Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital, and TCV.
SoftBank-backed Ola raises $500-mn term loanRediff.com17 Dec 2021
IPO-bound mobility platform Ola, said it has successfully raised $500 million via a Term Loan B (TLB) from marquee international institutional investors. This term loan has no impact on the valuation of Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola. The Bengaluru-based firm recently raised $139 million. This is part of a $1 billion funding round for which the company is in talks with investors, increasing its valuation to about $7.5 billion, according to the sources.
upGrad files Rs 3 cr trademark infringement suit against edtech firm ScalerRediff.com2 Dec 2021
Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech unicorn upGrad, has filed a suit for trademark infringement against another EdTech company called Scaler. The suit has been filed in the Delhi high court for violation of intellectual property relating to upGrad's trademark. It has also sought damages of more than Rs 3 crore. upGrad accused Scaler of using its brand name 'upGrad' through Google Ads to appear on top of search results on Google Search Engine and in turn gaining illicit benefit.
Future Retail guilty of financial irregularities, says AmazonRediff.com26 Nov 2021
US e-commerce giant Amazon has written to the independent directors of Future Retail Limited (FRL), including Gagan Singh, Ravindra Dhariwal and Jacob Mathew, and its audit committee, providing data and alleging that there have been significant financial irregularities to the prejudice of public shareholders, banks, creditors, and third-party suppliers. Amazon has said this warrants a thorough and independent examination of all relevant facts and related-party transactions, including of past financial years, by an independent agency. Separately, Amazon has written to Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman Ajay Tyagi, seeking the withdrawal of the regulator's conditional approval granted to FRL related to the merger deal between the Future group and Reliance.
Ola's COO and CFO to exit firm amid its plans to go publicRediff.com20 Oct 2021
Mobility company Ola's chief financial officer Swayam Saurabh and chief operating officer Gaurav Porwal are leaving the company. These developments come at a time when the SoftBank-backed company's core ride-hailing unit is planning to go public and for which it raised $500 million from Warburg Pincus and Temasek in July this year. These investment firms had partnered with the company founder Bhavish Aggarwal for this round.
Byju's is raising $300 mn, valuation may touch $18 bnRediff.com5 Oct 2021
Byju's is raising about Rs 2,200 crore ($300 million) as part of a larger round of new investment as the world's most valuable edtech company focuses on expanding its business in global markets and explores to do more acquisitions. According to industry sources, the new funding may value Bengaluru-based Byju's at $18 billion, up from a valuation of $16.5 billion in June this year. In June, Byju's became India's most valuable unicorn with a valuation of $16.5 billion, surpassing fintech company Paytm's $16 billion valuation.
E-com sales may cross $9-bn GMV this seasonRediff.com24 Sep 2021
E-commerce firms Amazon, Flipkart, and others are expected to witness blockbuster festival season sales of around $9 billion this year, surpassing pre-pandemic sales of $5 billion in 2019. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to e-commerce, with more consumers shopping online at a higher frequency than last year, observed analysts. This year's festival sales (gross merchandise value or GMV) are expected to grow 30 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to $4.8 billion during the first week of the season and potentially clock over $9-billion GMV during the whole festival month, revealed consulting firm RedSeer's e-commerce festival season report.
Swiggy sets up development centre in Gurugram, home turf of rival ZomatoRediff.com10 Sep 2021
Swiggy is rapidly scaling up its technology (tech) teams as the food delivery giant is witnessing strong recovery and growth over the past few months. The SoftBank-backed company is hiring across engineering, product, design, analytics, and data science functions in the next two quarters. Building this team, Swiggy is setting up a new development centre in Gurugram. Its rival Zomato, which had a stellar debut on the Indian stock exchanges in July, is also headquartered in Gurugram.
Ola Electric defers e-scooter sale to Sep 15 due to website glitchRediff.com10 Sep 2021
Ola Electric's technology team is working hard to iron out the technical kinks that marred the electric vehicle company's hyped online sale of its electric scooters (e-scooters) - the S1 and the S1 Pro - on Wednesday, said company sources. The SoftBank-backed firm is facing technical difficulties in making the website live for the purchase of its e-scooters. According to company sources, the website couldn't go live as there were integration issues.
Byju-Aakash's Plans for Test LearningRediff.com9 Sep 2021
'Hybrid learning is the future, and test prep is a big segment within the entire education space in India.'
Amazon asks Sebi to comply with SC orderRediff.com31 Aug 2021
US e-commerce giant Amazon has written to Ajay Tyagi, chairman of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), to take action as is necessary to comply with the Supreme Court Judgment, related to the $3.4-billion merger deal between Future Group and Reliance. Amazon has requested Sebi to direct the Indian stock exchanges to withdraw the Observation Letters related to this deal with immediate effect. In January this year, Sebi had given a go-ahead onto Future Group's scheme of arrangement and sale of assets to Reliance, based on which the Bombay Stock Exchange also granted its "no adverse observation" report to the Rs 24,713-crore ($3.4 billion) deal.
Anita Kishore, Brain behind Byju's AcquisitionsRediff.com31 Aug 2021
Byju's, says Anita Kishore, has given the founders of the businesses it has acquired the independence to operate separately and maintain their core culture.
Will end of Bezos-Murthy's e-com JV hit Amazon's biz?Rediff.com27 Aug 2021
Last year in January at Amazon's flagship event Smbhav, Infosys Co-founder N R Narayana Murthy had to shorten his keynote speech from 20 minutes to about five because the event was delayed by 1.5 hours. "I will try to finish it in five minutes, because I am not used to delays," said Murthy, while addressing hundreds of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) about building businesses that last. In the audience was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Murthy referred to Bezos' prediction that the 21st century will be the Indian century. "That confidence enhances our enthusiasm," said Murthy. The relationship between Murthy and Bezos dates to 2014, when Prione, a 49:51 joint venture (JV) between Amazon and Murthy's venture capital company Catamaran, was formed.
How Walmart plans to triple sourcing from IndiaRediff.com27 Aug 2021
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is tripling its sourcing from India to about $10 billion a year by 2027, said Judith McKenna, president, and chief executive officer of Walmart International, the segment which includes the company's operations outside the US. "To achieve this, we are growing our sourcing team in India," said McKenna, during a fireside chat with YourStory founder Shradha Sharma at Converge@Walmart, the flagship event of Walmart Global Tech India. "Walmart has a 20-year history of sourcing from India and already exports more than $3 billion worth of Made-in-India goods each year to 14 markets worldwide." McKenna said the company has expertise in processes such as international standards and demand forecasting that businesses need to get ready to export.