India business news weekly roundup 18th to 23rd May 2020. News on Corporates, policies, budget, start-up world, funds, funding. Here’s a roundup of all the India business news that created the buzz in India this week:
- JSW Steel-cut down its FY21 production guidance from the previous fiscal and estimates that capacity utilization at its plants would remain at around 89% for the entire year.
- Amazon India said it will hire 50000 temporary employees for warehousing and delivery to meet the surge in online demand for products.
- The Oberoi Group issued an enhanced health and safety program for its Oberoi and Trident hotels in India to ensure the safety of guests.
- Maruti Suzuki India launched its BS-VI compliant S-CNG variant of Super Carry mini-truck. The company also announced a partnership with Cholamandalam Investment & Finance to provide customized auto retail financing solutions to retail buyers. This allows customers to pay car loan EMIs after two months of getting the loan.
- Infosys said that the class action lawsuit which was filed against the company and some of its employees in the US court was dismissed.
- Yashish Dahiya, co-founder and group CEO of the PolicyBazaar, in a recent interview, said that the group’s primary objective is to increase market share as spending on health in India is expected to increase manifold over the next decade.
- Reliance Industries has toppled IOCL to become the country’s biggest company by revenue. It reported a turnover of Rs.6.23 lakh crore in FY 18-19 compared to Rs.6.17 Lakh Crore by IOCL.
- Instagram is investigating the massive data leak by Chtrbox, a Mumbai based social media marketing firm. Reportedly data of over 49 million people have been leaked. The leaked data is reported to include personal data like email id and phone numbers. The company has, however, denied leak of any sensitive personal data.
- TPG Growth has signed a definitive agreement with Varian Medical Systems of the US to sell its chain of cancer treatment hospitals, Cancer Treatment Services International, for $283 million.
- Ola has suspended the food delivery business being delivered through Foodpanda. It has reportedly laid off around 40 mid- to entry-level employees as also terminated contracts of most of its 1,500 food delivery executives. Ola had acquired Foodpanda around 18 months back.
- Dewan Housing Finance stopped accepting fresh public deposits and renewals of existing deposits with immediate effect. It also halted pre-mature withdrawals of existing deposits. The move is said to be the impact of a recent revision of the credit rating of its FD program.
- Tech Mahindra has signed a defense contract to implement Radio Frequency Identification-based access control system across all naval bases and ships worth Rs.300 crores. This is the firm’s biggest defense contract to date.
- NCLAT has admitted a plea filed by the online vendors association challenging the clean chit given to Flipkart by Competition Commission of India over unfair trade practices allegations.
- NMC’s founder, B.R. Shetty and his companies owe over $250 million to Bank of Baroda.
- TCS issued a notice for its first virtual AGM. The company’s top management remuneration shrank 16.5% to Rs 13.3 crores.
- Ola fired 1400 employees as the nationwide lockdown led to a 95% fall in revenues.
- Suparshva Swabs announced it will scale up manufacturing of its TULIPS brand of polyester swabs from 2 million currently to 5 million units per week by the end of May. These swabs are used in testing COVID-19.
- Jubilant FoodWorks reported a 71.5% drop in net profit in Q4 at Rs 21 crores.
- Indiabulls sacked up 2000 employees as the company aims to contain the fallout of the disruption.
- Hyundai Motor India plans to continue with its planned investments despite the coronavirus outbreak.
- Hoping to provide an alternative exit option for investors who are currently locked out of their money, SEBI allowed Franklin Templeton India to list units of its shuttered schemes on stock exchanges.
- NPCI said UPI will see growth in the ‘phygital’ space in a post-COVID world.
- Paytm First Games has forayed internationally and the company expects to see expansion in the South Asian market. It has also partnered with Daraz to launch a new gaming app in Bangladesh – Daraz First Games.
- UltraTech Cement reported its Q4 profit at Rs 3239 crores.
- Kedar Upadhye CFO at Cipla said that even as Cipla fine-tunes its pact with Gilead Sciences Inc. on remdesivir, the company is planning to work on multiple drugs to find a cure for COVID-19.
- Swiggy said the company will lay off 1100 employees as lockdowns hit food delivery startups.
- Byju Raveendran, founder, and chief executive of Byju’s said edtech platforms are waking up to a market that has accelerated overnight as many shifts to digital to conduct regular classes.
- After suffering severe economic setbacks, Thai Airways is likely to file for Bankruptcy.
- NFRA began an audit of DHFL and has reached out to the company’s administrator for FY18 documents.
- The automobile sector is staring at an uncertain future as the lack of demand stimulus deflates auto biz and because the center may not be able to address the challenges faced by the sector adequately
- Hospitality and tourism companies are bleeding and industry associations are extremely disappointed with the absence of any relief package from the government.
India business news weekly roundup 18th to 23rd May 2020
- Uber announced that it will cut 3000 of its global workforce and trimming investment to survive the financial hit by the coronavirus.
- Tata Motors offered easy financing options and special benefits for Covid-19 warriors to help maintain social distancing norms amid the nationwide lockdown.
- TidalScale announced a re-seller agreement with Infosys.
- HCL Technologies launched a Virtual Distributed Agile framework to enable enterprises to boost up their digital transformation.
- Uber said it introduced a set of measures including mandatory use of face masks for riders and drivers to ensure safety amid COVID-19.
- Rahul Bhatia’s InterGlobe Enterprises bowed out of Virgin Australia bid.
- Maruti Suzuki announced that the company sold 5,000 cars during the lockdown. 1350 showrooms of Maruti are now operational.
- Muse Wearables said it is developing a wrist-based tracker with skin temperature, heart rate, and SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) sensing for early detection of COVID-19.
- Flipkart cut down the use of plastic packaging by 50% and is shifting to paper-based packaging from this month onwards.
- Airtel is offering a special work-from-home plan for its B2B customers.
- Accenture acquired Byte Prophecy to enhance the growing demand for AI and digital analytics capabilities.
- Shriram Transport is planning to raise Rs 3000-4000 crores via share sale to augment liquidity.
- PM e-VIDYA initiative is likely to bring more opportunities for ed-tech startups, given the extended at-home learning requirements that the industry is catering to.
- Diageo might delist United Spirits, its Indian arm, by buying out minority shareholders.
- The RBI directed HDFC to reduce stake in HDFC Ergo, HDFC Life Insurance to 50% or below.
- According to research by Marcellus Investment Managers, the 20 most profitable firms in India generate 70% of the country’s profits.
- According to industry experts, routine jobs that require fewer human skills are already witnessing a takeover by machines, with artificial intelligence (AI), industrial robots, service robots, and robotic process automation.
- After the center announced a nationwide extension in lockdown till 31 May, companies now await directions from states to kick-start operations.
- As part of the new guidelines issued, the ministry of home affairs allowed e-commerce firms to deliver non-essential products in red zones.
- Business leaders urged the Centre to ease restrictions on industrial activity despite the extension of the lockdown. They added that if the government didn’t do so, the economic stimulus measures might lose its impact.
- The government, to further enhance the ease of doing business, allowed direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions.
- Industrialist Anand Mahindra has opened hiring for civilians who join the Army under a three-year scheme.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will privatize public sector units or public sector enterprises (PSEs) in non-strategic sectors.
- Jefferies, a brokerage firm, said Reliance Retail’s success in JioMart could change industry dynamics.
- Leading paint companies in India foray into manufacturing hand sanitizers and focus on antibacterial coatings in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Radhakishan S Damani’s family increased shareholding in India Cements by 15.16% to 19.89% as of March 2020.
- Reliance Industries said it will open its Rs 53215 crores rights issue for subscription on 20 May.
- India’s antitrust watchdog is looking into allegations that WhatsApp is abusing its position by offering payment services to a vast base of its users in India.
- Tech Mahindra leveraged artificial intelligence to find potential therapeutic drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
Start-up world, funds, funding and investments
- Anil Ambani was ordered to pay $700 million by a London judge following disputes with Chinese banks over defaulted loans.
- RITES said it signed a pact to acquire a 24% stake in Indian Railway Station Development.
- Reliance Industries said General Atlantic will invest Rs 6598 crores for 1.34% in Jio Platforms.
- Tata Consumer said it will acquire PepsiCo’s stake in NourishCo Beverages.
- Bosch reported a decline of 18% in Q4 FY20 consolidated net profit to Rs 2237 crores.
- Spinny, a used car online retailing platform, has raised $13.2 million in a Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.
- As demands remain muted due to the coronavirus outbreak, small start-ups and well-funded unicorns in various sectors including online food delivery, hospitality and tourism, and mobility, are downsizing or streamlining operations to cut costs.
- KKR said it will invest Rs 11367 crores to buy a 2.32% stake in Reliance’s Jio Platforms.
- Authlink, a blockchain startup, raised $300,000 to launch its Product Provenance and Ownership Management Platform in their first round of seed funding led by Bharath Corp House.
- LetsTransport, an intra-city logistics marketplace, raised Rs 13 crores as a part of a new debt round from venture debt provider, InnoVen Capital.
- Kishore Biyani’s Future Consumer said its board approved to raise up to Rs 300 crores via a rights issue.
- Snapdeal has reportedly started the due diligence process to acquire ShopClues. Snapdeal is also looking to raise fresh funding at a valuation of around $2 billion.
- Indiabulls Housing Finance said it raised Rs 1030 crores via issuing bonds on private placement basis.
- Iron Pillar, Venture capital firm, added $45 million top-ups to its first fund.
India business news weekly roundup 18th to 23rd May 2020
- Bajaj Auto reported an 8.15% drop in consolidated Q4 FY20 revenue at Rs 6816 crores.
- NRAI has partnered with Dotpe to launch a digital ordering solution for restaurants to ensure minimal human touch while ordering and settling the bill.
- Bharti Airtel posted a loss of Rs 5237 crores in Q4 as the company had to take a one-time charge of Rs 7004 crores on account of a Supreme Court judgement.
- The World Bank appointed former Bear Stearns executive, Carmen Reinhart as its new chief economist and vice president.
- ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok app, has announced the appointment of Sameer Singh as VP-monetisation (India). Singh was recently CEO South Asia Operations of GroupM.
- Bimal Dayal and Hemant Ruia, currently CEO and CFO of Indus Towers respectively will be appointed as CEO and CFO of the merged entity of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel.
- Air India opened bookings for domestic flights.
- Domestic Airlines in India will resume operations from May 25 as the government allows local flights to resume.
- Indian airlines said the Centre’s stimulus measures will give little relief to enthuse grounded Indian carriers, considering the fleets are grounded and daily losses are increasing due to the extensions in lockdown.