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NPCI Suspends Use of eSign, Petrol and Diesel Prices Cut, Black Friday Shopping Spree et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Nov 24, 2018 1:33 PM 3 min read
Editorial

Good evening reader,

 

Last weekend, Twitter’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey met a group of journalists, writers and activists, to discuss their experiences on the social media platform. Little did he realise that the PR stunt could itself stir up a such a Twitter storm.

 

Mr. Dorsey got stuck between a rock and a hard place as soon as his picture posing with a placard reading: “Smash Brahminical patriarchy” went live.

 

While a few netizens supported its symbolism as a fair attack on caste hegemony, others found it inappropriate, ignorant, even hateful, especially in the hands of an outsider who doesn't understand what he's endorsing.

 

Twitter’s legal and policy head was quick to apologise, “It’s not reflective of our views…Twitter strives to be an impartial platform for all.”

 

Twitter’s nervousness around "hurting" any sentiments is evident. 

 

However, for a platform known for its libertarian alignment, and an almost aggressive stance in favour of free speech (even at expense of resisting government requests for information against terror operatives), it is interesting to see how quickly they buckled up under pressure. 

 

Perhaps the size, growth, and prospects of the Indian market, where Twitter has over 34m active monthly users, had a role to play. That brings us to the question. Do companies really have any ideological or philosophical stance? Or does it all depend on which way the wind is blowing?

 

Moving on to today’s Top 6 Business Stories through our End of Day Wrap Up:

 

NPCI suspends use of eSign for automated collection of loan payments from customers; Digital lenders hit. 


Perspective: This is likely to result in a rise in operational costs for digital lenders as they will no longer be able to use a completely paperless model.

 

Zoom Out: This development comes shortly after the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar judgement, which disallowed private companies from asking for Aadhaar authentication for eKYC from users.

 

The Bigger Picture: Defending NPCI’s action, CEO Dilip Asbe said, "The problem with continuing eSign on eNACH is it uses eKYC infrastructure to obtain authentication from the UIDAI database. This may result in contempt of the Supreme Court order if continued."

 

Pharma major Lupin plans expansion and product acquisition.

The pharmaceutical major’s growth and expansion plans include:

 

  • Eyeing product acquisitions in therapy areas such as dermatology, gastrointestinal, gynaecology and anti-infectives.
  • Focusing on drugs for ailments which are chronic in nature such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  • Consolidating three therapy areas, including diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular.

 

Live tutoring platform Vedantu raises $11 million in Series B funding led by Omidyar Network, with participation from existing investor venture capital firm Accel Partners.

Up Close: Vedantu is an interactive online tutoring platform, where teachers tutor students in groups and one-on-one sessions. The funds received will be used for technology expansion and deeper penetration in tier 2 and 3 cities.
 

Zoom Out: Currently, the Vedantu app is operational in 80 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru - with students from 36 countries and 1,200 cities.

 

Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) cut petrol and diesel prices by nearly INR9.

 
Zoom Out: Petrol and diesel prices had reached a peak on October 4 before declining following a cut in excise duty and lowering of sales tax or VAT in several states and fall in global crude oil prices due to increase in output.

 

US/INTERNATIONAL

 

China approves UTC-Rockwell Collins $23bn deal.
 

The What: United Technologies' purchase of aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins gets Chinese regulator's anti-trust approval, on agreement of divestiture of several businesses related to various aircraft systems by UTC.
 

Zoom Out: United Technologies currently owns Pratt & Whitney, which is a major supplier of engines and other plane parts to large aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.

Rockwell specializes in cockpit displays and communications systems for passenger jets and the military.

 

More than 164 million Americans are expected to shop over the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, as per the National Retail Federation.

 

As per a report by Adobe, online consumer spending during Nov-Dec is expected to be up c. 15% from last year, reaching $124.1bn.

 

However, Traditional brick-and-mortar store purchases will still account for about 83% of retail holiday spending with offline spending also expected to grow by 2.7%.

 

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