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TRANSFIN. Intelligently Curates Best-in-Class India Business News, Podcasts, Finance News, Indian Economy and Market Insights.

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IT
As per Tracxn, funding activity in the startup ecosystem in India fell by nearly 29% to $4.2bn in the first six months of this year compared to $5.9bn in the same period last year, owing to the impact of the pandemic.Only 443 companies were funded in the January-June period this year against 725 in the corresponding period last year.According to a survey published by industry body Nasscom in late May, 70% of startups in India have less than three months of cash runway.Another 22% have enough to barely make it to the end of the year.Merely 8% said that they had enough money to survive for more than nine months.However, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) now granting priority sector lending (PSL) status to startups, these companies will perhaps have one less thing to worry about - swifter access to bank credit - or at least that's what the Central Bank envisages.Will the RBI granting startups priority lending sector status truly help?Here's a closer look :- https://bit.ly/33P1aHp
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UK
Omnichannel marketing is increasingly becoming the go-to tool for companies considering better engagement with prospective customers and switching to a customer-centric experience.But what exactly is "Omnichannel" and how is it the best answer to the eternal question: What is the best way to cater to the needs of a prospective consumer?Click link to read more: https://transfin.in/what-is-omnichannel-retail-strategy-for-ecommerce-companies
UK
What do you think of the commercial model for digital mobile payments?How do we make money?” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm asked Nandan Nilekani, one of the key architects of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) that created a digital payments revolution in the country.A revolution that disrupted the early movers in the digital payments industry.It’s a million-dollar question that numerous other startups are scrambling to answer as many of them aggressively shift their focus to serving merchants and building lending products and other financial services, having ceded power to UPI.Having ceded power to UPI, payment platforms and mobile wallets are now diversifying to stay afloat.
OM
The Government is trying to get Indians to part with their gold.India imports 800-900 tonnes of gold each year, making us the second-largest gold consumer globally after China.We are the largest jewellery manufacturing hub as well.Gold imports however plunged 94% to $688m during the first quarter of 2020-21 vs $11.5bn in the corresponding period last year, on the back of significant fall in demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.And amidst this crash, the Government is mulling ways to tap into the idle gold lying with Indian households, and turn this unused gold into an asset which jewellers, banks, NBFCs and other lending institutions could monetise.Private gold stock in India is estimated at 25,000 tonnes which is worth ₹110Lcr ($1.4trn).The Finance Ministry is reportedly working on a gold amnesty scheme for people with unaccounted holdings of the precious metal.Some other proposals, include tweaking the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) introduced in Budget 2015-16 to make it more attractive.Here’s a look at how the Government is trying to make gold deposit schemes more attractive.https://transfin.in/govt-to-boost-gold-monetisation-scheme-amidst-rising-gold-price-fall-in-imports
UK
Only 4% of the total number of patients admitted in hospitals for COVID-19 have health insurance.This shows the underwhelming state of public healthcare and access to treatment for the needy and vulnerable sections of the population in the midst of a raging pandemic.India's healthcare system was already underfundded and insufficient before COVID.The pandemic has stretched its resources and put it under even more strain.The ability of citizens to afford basic healthcare is pivotal in the fight against this pandemic.There is no substitute for affordable healthcare, seeing as it determines the rate of recovery from the illness at an individual level.So what can India do to shore up its health infrastructure?Click link to read: https://transfin.in/covid-19-pandemic-has-exposed-the-state-of-india-public-health-infrastructure
OM
Last week, Twitter reported its Q2 earnings.It was a mixed bag.While the number of daily users surged 34% YoY to 186m, revenue fell 19% to $683m.The latter was attributed mainly to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw tech giants’ ad revenues - a substantial portion of how many of them make money - plummet.This relationship with ad revenue is all the more crucial for social media companies like Twitter.A few days later, rumours emerged that the San Francisco-based company was working on "subscriptions and other approaches" as potential alternate revenue sources to decrease its reliance on advertisements.The news was met positively by investors - the speculation alone sent Twitter shares jumping 12%.To be fair, the social media giant has been playing with the idea of a subscription service for years now.But this time, considering the pandemic-sparked business disruptions, Twitter might actually seriously see the plan through.But what would a paid/subscription Twitter service look like?Click link to read more: https://transfin.in/twitter-might-roll-out-a-subscription-service-soon
OM
In March 2020, in a major relief to the common citizen amidst the slowing Indian economy, particularity hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed borrowers to not pay any equated monthly installments (EMIs) for any loans until May 31st, subject to individual bank policy.The Central Bank in May extended this moratorium period by another three months till August 31st.And as per reports, the RBI may extend the moratorium further for some stressed sectors such as aviation, automobiles and hospitality.However, in an online discussion organised by CII recently, HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh asked the RBI Governor to not extend the moratorium beyond August.He said extending the moratorium will hurt Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) as many customers who have the ability to repay are deferring payments.Within this backdrop, we have a look at the RBI's Financial Stability Report (FSR) published last week, which gives us insight into the moratorium scheme and lending in India.https://transfin.in/key-takeaways-from-rbi-financial-stability-report-fsr
UK
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have given rise to a new breed of investors - the "Robinhood traders".Who is a Robinhood trader?He is a newbie to the world of stock trading.The coronavirus lockdown forced him to stay at home for months.His savings rose as he cut spending on things like travel, entertainment, commute, shopping etc.Stuck at home and with some money to move around, he turned to the internet to learn about stock market investing to make a quick buck.A Google search, a few YouTube tutorials and perhaps reading “Trading for Dummies” equipped him with the basics about the world of investing.The long list of easy-to-operate brokerage apps meant that he was spoilt for choice.
UK
Over the past two weeks, the term “Google Tax” has picked up mainstream relevance in India.For a long time, big foreign companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Starbucks etc.managed to pay less corporate taxes in some geographies by pursuing the controversial tax-avoidance trick of diverting their profits or royalties to other, low-tax jurisdictions (aka tax havens).It is this discrepancy that a Google Tax seeks to compensate.As of today, more than two dozen countries have implemented or announced intentions to implement a digital tax on big tech companies.But doing so is easier said than done.Being the HQ of the biggest tech companies, the US has responded to moves to impose such digital levies with heavy-handed threats to impose retaliatory measures.Click link to read more about the Google Tax: https://transfin.in/what-is-the-google-tax-in-india
AT
Edtech startups are on a roll.Due to the pandemic, schools and colleges are going online to continue classes and teaching.And e-learning companies are rising to the occasion.The edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 52% to become a $2bn industry by 2021.Moreover, at a time when so many companies are being forced to lay off staff, e-learning firms are robustly expanding their operations across the country and hiring more employees.Here's a look at the current status of the sector, the challenges it faces, and what awaits it post-COVID.https://transfin.in/edtech-startups-in-india-during-covid-19-pandemic
OM
Edtech startups are on a roll.Due to the pandemic, schools and colleges are going online to continue classes and teaching.And e-learning companies are rising to the occasion.The edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 52% to become a $2bn industry by 2021.Moreover, at a time when so many companies are being forced to lay off staff, e-learning firms are robustly expanding their operations across the country and hiring more employees.Here's a look at the current status of the sector, the challenges it faces, and what awaits it post-COVID.https://transfin.in/edtech-startups-in-india-during-covid-19-pandemic
OM
As per a report published by USA Today, about half of US Employees worked from home during the COVID-19 lockdowns, according to the Brookings Institution.And many companies – including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Morgan Stanley – plan to continue allowing at least some staffers to telework at least some of the time even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available and the health crisis is over.In India, seven in 10 employees say their companies have allowed complete work from home till the current situation normalises.That could mean a substantial downsizing of the office market in India and the vibrant urban centers that have flourished around them.This in turn will batter the business of restaurants and high-end retailers that rely on the white-collar workers’ office lunch, dining out and after-work spending.Will office spaces disappear as more and more employees work from home during the coronavirus pandemic?
OM
Look up Sharif Shameem (@sharifshameem) on Twitter, Founder of Debuild, a platform that helps build web apps faster, and you will see his feed flooded with videos testing out the latest internet buzz - GPT-3.Not just Shameem, but over the past few days, samples testing out OpenAI's new machine learning language algorithm have been circulating widely on social media.And GPT-3’s language capabilities are truly spectacular.It can compose creative fiction, generate functioning code, write thoughtful business memos and much more.You can check for yourself; we are truly blown and we dig further.We discuss what is GPT-3, how does it work and more.https://transfin.in/future-of-artificial-intelligence-elon-musk-openai-language-generator-gpt-3
IT
Market fluctuations or volatility is a term used for change in stock prices suddenly without any trend.A good investor finds ways to benefit from these fluctuations.During these cycles, an investor must be mentally and psychologically prepared to battle in the field of market.While battling, they would incur profits as well as losses and they must be prepared for that.Are you confused about which stocks to invest in?Investing in markets right now seems risky?Want to learn the art of the trade?Here are some tips and advice on how to invest during periods of market volatility - like right now, during the coronavirus pandemic.Click link to read: https://transfin.in/how-to-invest-during-market-fluctuations
UK
Netflix India has announced an aggressive content push with 17 new titles for the “coming months”, including six new movies and two new TV series.However, production is yet to restart full-steam.The company has many already-shot features in its kitty and is in the process of post-production for these titles.But many productions were paused abruptly due to lockdowns and infection fears.This is particularly true for India, which is now the third-worst affected country by number of confirmed positive cases.With the number of new infections reaching new highs each day and the worst-affected state being Maharashtra, whose capital Mumbai houses the entertainment industry.The pandemic has benefited Netflix in terms of traction: it has already added as many new subscribers in the first six months of 2020 as it did in all of 2019.But it's also a double-edged sword.Head to this link to read why: https://transfin.in/netflix-india-announces-major-content-push-with-17-new-titles
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UK
The world economy is at a standstill.Thanks to ensuing periods of quarantine and lockdown, economic growth has been arrested to a point of seizure.In the midst of an ongoing trade war, global pandemic and slumping economic growth of China, the world’s desire to shift its engines of manufacturing and development away from China can’t be overstated.Consequently, India is one of the few countries who hold the most credence to drive this shift into its own territory, provided it does things the right way.We discuss what the Government can do to make India a truly Atmanirbhar Bharat.read more:- https://bit.ly/3eR1gjC
AT
As economies and businesses restart following months of lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, debates about the reopening of Indian schools, colleges and other academic institutions have gathered steam.The cost of keeping children out of classrooms may not be as pronounced as the cost of keeping businesses shut, but it is nevertheless unquestionably high.Both educationally and socially.However, reopening educational institutions might not be as simple as laying down a set of guidelines around social distancing, hygiene and sanitation.A number of questions pop up - Are students going to be safe?How practical is it to follow social distancing and hygiene norms in a classroom?What are the risks of not reopening?And perhaps the most important one...What should we do?We try to answer some of these: https://transfin.in/hrd-minister-on-issue-of-reopening-schools-in-india-during-covid-19-pandemic
IN
Entrepreneurial and business stories can be interesting, inspiring...and fun!Behind every company or idea is an intriguing story.And sometimes even a mind-blowing trivia.Like the Indian refined oil-selling company that evolved to become an IT behemoth.Or the search engine that changed its name from BackRub.Or the company motto that was inspired by the last words of a serial killer (no, really).Are your business trivia skills top-notch?Or are they need in need of some sharpening?
UK
Exactly two months ago, the Government announced relief measures for the COVID-hit MSME sector, the economy’s proverbial “backbone”.So it’s the opportune time to check if the sector is faring any better following the Atma Nirbhar Bharat announcements and, if they aren’t, what more could be done to support them.Click link to read more: https://transfin.in/msmes-reluctant-to-avail-the-atma-nirbhar-bharat-loan-guarantee-scheme
AT
As the number of coronavirus cases rises, countries around the world - including India - are resorting to "local lockdowns" to curb the spread of infections.As the name suggests, “localised” or “local” lockdowns involve imposing restrictions on movement and business activity on a particular region, town or city that has a cluster or outbreak of cases.In order to avoid these cases being transmitted far and wide, the cluster is cut off from the outside world until the number of cases comes down and the outbreak is controlled.Localised lockdowns are no doubt not as destructive as their nationwide counterparts.But that doesn’t mean they are painless.If one city is put under lockdown for a weekend or a week, it would invariably have serious repercussions for manufacturing and supply chains.Click link for an understanding of how local lockdowns work, where they're imposed right now, and what their economic implications are: https://transfin.in/as-number-of-coronavirus-cases-rises-india-resorts-to-local-lockdowns
IN
Starbucks announced it will close up to 400 stores over the next 18 months.H will shut 170 of its stores across its global estate.Victoria’s Secret will permanently close about 250 stores in the US and Canada this year.Inditex, the parent company of Zara, announced plans to close up to 1,200 stores worldwide by the end of 2021.Microsoft is permanently closing all Microsoft Store locations in the US and around the world, except for four locations that will be “reimagined” as experience centers that no longer sell products.Recent data from McKinsey says consumers are likely to maintain behaviours adopted during lockdown such as more stay-at-home shopping.While they adjust to this “new normal”, it is imperative that retailers adapt, and quickly enough.We have a look at how the pandemic is altering the buying experience.https://transfin.in/coronavirus-impact-on-indian-retail-sector
KR
The COVID-19 pandemic in India is wreaking considerable strain on tax revenues.This is leading to calls for more disinvestments.In fact, the Government’s disinvestment target for FY2021 is its highest ever since 1991.But meeting this target is easier said than done.Disinvestments began as a policy objective in India following the economic liberalisation reforms of 1991.Since then, every Government has set annual disinvestment targets and tried to beat them.But disinvestments are a controversial exercise, even today.And they are fraught with challenges and obstacles.Head to this link for a brief history of disinvestments to bring much needed context to the disappointing state of progression in this matter.As well as for an understanding of why disinvestments are challenging - and why they are important: https://transfin.in/report-on-disinvestment-of-public-sector-enterprises-in-india
UK
Founded by US entrepreneur Greg Wyle in 2012, OneWeb, then known as WorldVu was incorporated with the vision of  providing “internet everywhere for everyone” via low Earth orbit satellites.But why are we suddenly talking about it?Well because Bharti Enterprises (the parent of Airtel), along with the British government last week said that it would invest  c. $1bn in OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy after its biggest backer, SoftBank Group, declined to provide fresh funding.We have a look at this company, which seeks to provide “internet everywhere for everyone” via low Earth orbit satellites.https://transfin.in/airtel-parent-bids-for-spacex-startlink-competitor-oneweb-future-of-internet
AT
The government is optimistic about the Indian economy’s trajectory of recovery and expects a V-shaped recovery, said TV Somanathan, Expenditure Secretary, during a recent online conference. “I must tell you that we are somewhat optimistic that among the various shapes of recovery....we are expecting something like a V-shaped recovery. This year being at the bottom of the V and the next year being closer to the top of the V,” Somanathan said. The statement came amid initial improvements in various indicators from rising goods and services tax collections to falling unemployment, showing a gradual pick-up in economic activity since May. However, Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cautioned that an initial spike may not lead to a 'V' shaped recovery. “My fear is that the beginning of the recovery will show a spike initially, and then going forward, I think we could end up with something much more flat.”We have a look at what India's economic recovery post COVID-19 outbreak might possibly look like:
IN
Last week, the Government, initiated the process to allow private companies to operate passenger trains on the Indian Railways network, dubbed as the lifeline of the nation.It released Request for Qualifications (RFQ) proposals - for scrutiny of vendor capabilities - inviting private players to run 151 modern passenger trains on 109 origin-destination routes.The proposal has drawn interest from some top players, including the Tata Group, Adani Group, Alstom, and Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line, the world’s third-largest cruise line in terms of the number of passengers.As per reports, India’s largest private carrier, IndiGo, and online travel major MakeMyTrip have also sent in inquiries.We discuss how the privatisation of Indian Railways might play itself out, and have a look at the benefits and potential headwinds.
UK
In the past few days, there's been a lot of activity vis-a-vis COVID-19 vaccines.Two coronavirus vaccine candidates in India got the regulatory approval to move ahead to human trials.And in a letter to hospitals, the Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reportedly said that he envisaged the “launch” of a novel coronavirus vaccine for “public health use latest by August 15th”.While the tight timeline drew sharp criticism from the scientific community, who called it unrealistic and reckless, let’s use this opportunity to touch back on where we stand right now when it comes to developing a coronavirus vaccine.(Also helpful would be to have a look at what exactly the vaccine development process entails.)Click link to read: https://transfin.in/top-novel-coronavirus-vaccine-candidates-around-the-world  
UK
The monthly US Jobs Report for June was released on Thursday, and it indicated that the country’s COVID-hit economy was recovering faster than expected.“Nonfarm payrolls” increased by an impressive 4.8m in the last month and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, both numbers beating economists’ estimates.America’s Jobs Report (or the Employment Report) is much-anticipated in many economies, given the economic clout of the US.It’s also a commendable exercise - to deliver data on the status of the economy on a regular basis for policymakers, investors, traders and the general public.Which begs the question - does the Indian Government publish such reports?)Click link to know what are the ways in which the unemployment rate is measured in India, and how this process can be improved: https://transfin.in/us-june-jobs-report-says-unemployment-rate-fell
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AT
The coronavirus pandemic has brought forth boilerplate clauses once deeply hidden in legalese to life.One of them has now become a lightning bolt of sorts for conglomerates and organisations.We discuss what a force majeure clause is, when can it be invoked and how it can mitigate against losses and bankruptcy during the pandemic:
AT
The ongoing pandemic has vastly affected our personal and professional lives - essentially the way we live, learn, work and entertain ourselves.It has also had a deep impact on the various sectors of the economy, including some of the obvious ones like the automobile industry, FMCG and the retail sector, and some not so obvious ones like the sports and news industry.We have a look at a sector, which perhaps touches all of the above mentioned i.e.
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AT
In recent days, the Indian pharma industry's over-reliance on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) has come under the scanner.India’s premier position in the pharma market is restricted to finished drugs.When it comes to the process of manufacturing these drugs, India is heavily reliant on other countries for ingredients.And this is where China comes into the picture.In the near future, if India and China were to launch a full-scale trade war, the Chinese government could very well increase API costs or even cut their exports, and this would be devastating for Indian pharma.Click link for an insight into what APIs are, how India came to depend on China for these critical products, and what is being done to boost domestic API manufacturing: https://transfin.in/government-to-curb-pharma-imports-from-china
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