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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY - November 2021

Nov 2021

May 25, 2022

SAIL Celebrates Fifty Years of Incorporation with a Special Logo

  • Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the maharatna steelmaking public sector unit, is celebrating the company's fifty years of incorporation in 2022. SAIL was incorporated on 24th January, 1973. SAIL's legacy of fifty years is being celebrated with the launch of a new commemorative logo and will be followed by several events to be held all across the company throughout the year. The design of the commemorative logo retains the essence of SAIL's company logo while bringing out the spirit of fifty years of journey of this company. The logo was launched by Smt. Soma Mondal, Chairman, SAIL in presence of the Company's directors.
  • This feat is a testimony of the company's sustained efforts and initiatives in ensuring better stakeholders' engagement and contribution in nation building over the years.

HDFC Bank Partners with B2B Pharma Marketplace Retailio to Launch Co-branded Credit Cards

  • HDFC Bank, India's largest private sector bank, launched a new range of co-branded credit cards with Retailio, aimed largely at chemists and pharmacies in the merchant market. Retailio is the largest B2B pharma marketplace in the country. It is a useful app that is having a significant digital impact on the Pharma supply chain management in India. Chemists, retailers, distributors, pharmacists, and hospitals can use the Retailio mobile application and web interface to place orders with their respective distributors.
  • With over 6 crore credit, debit, and prepaid cards covering every market sector, HDFC Bank is the market leader in the payments ecosystem. Retailio has a network of over 1000 health care and pharmaceutical enterprises, 3000 pharmaceutical distributors, 1 lakh pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes in over 1000 locations.

Tata Power, Tata Motors Collaborate to Develop a 7mwp Solar Rooftop Project

  • Tata Power and Tata Motors have collaborated to develop a 7 MWp solar rooftop project at the latter's passenger vehicle plant in Chikhali, Pune. This is the third phase of a joint 17 MWp on-site solar project developed by the two companies, of which 10 MWp has already been installed. The two companies have recently inked a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for this solar project. The rooftop installation is collectively expected to generate 23 million units of electricity, mitigating 5.23 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide. This will be equivalent to planting 8.36 lakh trees over a lifetime.
  • Tata Power has executed multiple large solar rooftop solutions including one of the world's largest rooftop (16MW) at a single location at Radhasoami Satsang Beas (RSSB), Amritsar.

May 24, 2022

RBI-Constituted Panel to Review Customer Service Standards in Banks, NBFCs

  • The RBI set up a committee to evaluate the efficacy, adequacy and quality of customer service in banks, NBFCs, and other entities regulated by it.
  • The six-member committee headed by former RBI deputy governor B. P. Kanungo was asked to submit a report within three months from the date of its first meeting.
  • The committee will also review the emerging and evolving needs of the customer service landscape, especially in the context of evolving digital/electronic financial products and distribution landscape and suggest suitable regulatory measures.
  • Besides, it has also been asked to identify the best practices, adopted globally and domestically, in customer service and grievance redressal, especially for improvement in services rendered to retail and small customers, including pensioners and senior citizens.

ONGC Becomes 1st Gas Producer to Trade on IGX

  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) became the first gas producer to trade domestic gas on the Indian Gas Exchange, trading unspecified volumes from its eastern offshore KG-DWN-98/2 block.
  • The gas traded is from ONGC Krishna Godavari 98/2 block, but ONGC did not specify the volumes that were sold.
  • After the deregulation in gas pricing ecosystem in 2000-21, ONGC has prepared itself to reap the benefits.

Exim Bank, JBIC Sign $100 mn Loan Agreement to Support Healthcare Sector

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) signed a USD 100 million loan agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), along with three Japanese private financial institutions -- MUFG Bank Ltd, Bank of Kyoto Ltd and Hachijuni Bank Ltd -- aimed at supporting the Indian healthcare sector for combating COVID-19.
  • The agreement was signed on Monday on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders' Summit.

May 23, 2022

RBL Bank Ties up with Amazon Pay to Offer UPI Payment Services

  • RBL Bank, Amazon Pay, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnered to deliver universal payments interface (UPI) payments, which will include peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant transactions. Amazon Pay would grant RBL Bank a UPI ID with the handle @rapl from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), resulting in a simplified payments experience using RBL Bank's cloud-based processing infrastructure. With its AWS-hosted payment processing technology, RBL strengthens its footprint in the UPI arena, allowing the bank to interact with Amazon Pay's growing client base and transaction volumes.
  • RBL Bank's ability to process on a cloud hosted platform, will provide greater agility and scale in processing UPI which has witnessed exponential growth in last three years to become the preferred mode of payment for individuals.

P. N. Vasudevan Resigns as MD & CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank

  • P. N. Vasudevan, MD and CEO of Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited resigned. He is the founder of the Chennai-headquartered bank.
  • The bank said that Vasudevan wanted to pursue a distinct set of goals, which he believes will help him contribute further back to society more than what he is doing now. The board in its meeting took the letter on record and wished to place on record its deep appreciation of the contribution made by Vasudevan over the years.
  • Vasudevan, notably, is the founder of Equitas and has been associated with its journey as a micro finance institution dating back to 2007. The entity was converted into a bank, under his leadership in 2016.

FDI Inflow at All-time High of $83.57 bn in 2021-22

  • Total foreign direct investment (FDI) into India rose two per cent to the "highest ever" $83.57 billion in 2021-22 due to various measures like policy reforms and ease of doing business taken by the government. The inflow in 2020-21 stood at $ 81.97 billion. It was $ 74.39 billion in 2019-20 and $ 62 billion in 2018-19. Foreign inflows are increasing despite challenges like the military hostilities in Ukraine and Covid. The inflows have increased 20-fold since 2003-04 when the inflows were USD 4.3 billion only.
  • Singapore was at the top with a share of 27 per cent followed by the US (18 per cent) and Mauritius (16 per cent). Karnataka was the top recipient state with 38 per cent share followed by Maharashtra (26 per cent) and Delhi (14 per cent). FDI equity inflow in manufacturing sectors increased by 76 per cent at $ 21.34 billion compared to $ 12.09 billion in 2020-21. Computer software and hardware attracted maximum inflows followed by the services sector and automobile industry.

Pieter Elbers is New CEO of IndiGo

  • The Board of Directors of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo) appointed Pieter Elbers as Chief Executive Officer. He will join IndiGo on or before 1 Oct 2022. He succeeds Ronojoy Dutta who has decided to retire on September 30, 2022. Elbers has served as the President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch since 2014 and is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France-KLM Group.
  • Elbers has served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France – KLM Group.
  • He started his career at KLM in 1992 at their Schiphol hub and over time, held several managerial positions in both The Netherlands and overseas in Japan, Greece and Italy.
  • He received a Bachelor's degree in Logistics Management and a Master's Degree in Business Economics.

Infosys Reappoints Salil Parekh as CEO and MD for the Next 5 Years

  • IT services major Infosys in a regulatory filing announced the reappointment of Salil Parekh as the CEO and MD of the company for the period of five years. Parekh will be the only non-founder CEO to have managed to be at the helm of the company for a second term.
  • Since Parekh came on board in 2018, the company has been growing steadily. For FY22, the company reported revenue of $16.3 billion, which grew 19.7 per cent year-on-year, one of its highest growth rate in a decade. In Indian rupee the company's revenue for the fiscal came in at Rs. 121,641 crore up 21.1 per cent yoy.
  • Parekh's reappointment is significant as this gives the much needed continuity at the top level. Especially if one looks at his predecessor, Vishal Sikka, who was considered to be a tech visionary, and had to resign on corporate governance and other issues. He also had fallen out of the founder's good books.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma Reappointed as MD & CEO of Paytm

  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma was reappointed as MD & CEO of digital financial services firm Paytm. The reappointment will last till December 18, 2027. Paytm CFO Madhur Deora was reappointed by the company's board as a whole-time director till May 19, 2027. One97 Communications, which operates under Paytm brand, said that it has formed a joint venture general insurance company in which it has committed to invest Rs. 950 crore over a period of 10 years.
  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma, from the Indian town of Aligarh, founded One97 about two decades ago and won acclaim nationwide as a small-town-boy-made-big. But analysts including those at Macquarie Capital Securities (India) Pvt. had questioned his ability to turn Paytm into a profitable business.

May 22, 2022

RBI Allows Settlement of Trade Transactions with Sri Lanka in Indian Rupee

  • In view of difficulties being faced by exporters in getting payments from crisis-hit Sri Lanka, the RBI allowed settlement of trade transactions in Indian rupee outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism. In March, 2022, the government had guaranteed a term loan of USD 1 billion extended by the State Bank of India (SBI) to Sri Lanka for financing purchase of essential goods by the island nation from India.
  • Under the arrangement, financing of export of eligible goods and services from India would be allowed subject conditions and whose purchase may be agreed to be financed by SBI under the agreement. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis has been caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which means the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

MakeMyTrip Partners with Banks, NBFCs for 'Book Now Pay Later' Option

  • Online travel firm MakeMyTrip on partnered with 15 banks, NBFCs and fintech players, including HDFC Bank, IDFC Bank, Capital float and Zest Money, for its 'book now pay later' option while booking flight or hotels.
  • The company's fintech arm TripMoney has established a marketplace attracting 15 banks, NBFCs and fintech players, which also include Kissht, Lazypay and Simpl, among others, to offer easy travel credit to travellers.
  • The book now pay later (BNPL) payment has been introduced on bookings for travel, flight or hotels, on MakeMyTrip as well as on the Goibibo app.
  • Travellers who opt to travel without making any payment at the time of booking are provided short-term credit by the partner NBFCs and banks through an underwriting platform that evaluates customers' creditworthiness using data science models.

May 21, 2022

India, Fastest-growing Major Economy, Projected to Grow 6.4% in 2022: UN

  • As the Ukraine conflict impacts the global GDP, India is projected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2022, slower than the last year's 8.8 per cent but still the fastest-growing major economy, with higher inflationary pressures and uneven recovery of the labour market curbing private consumption and investment, according to a UN report.
  • The global economy is now projected to grow by only 3.1 per cent in 2022, down from the 4.0 per cent growth forecast released in January 2022. Global inflation is projected to increase to 6.7 per cent in 2022, twice the average of 2.9 per cent during 20102020, with sharp rises in food and energy prices.
  • For the fiscal year 2023, India's growth is forecast to be 6 per cent.

C-DOT and Vodafone Idea Sign MoU for Cooperation in Area of IoT/M2M

  • Centre for Development of Telematics(C-DOT), the premier R&D centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India and Vodafone Idea Limited, one of the major telecom operators of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion of "World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)".
  • The signing of MOU will help both the organizations leverage each other's expertise in their respective domains to develop and deploy IoT/M2M solutions in India. IoT adoption has become critical for any organization's digital transformation journey. However, certain operational challenges such as device network compatibility, over the air firmware upgrade, remote device configuration, security vulnerabilities and implementation in siloes with proprietary protocols are preventing businesses from reaping the scale benefits of IoT.
  • To address these challenges in IoT implementation, both C-DOT and Vodafone Idea Limited have agreed to collaborate and work jointly on non-exclusive basis, to evaluate applications and devices from various solution providers against oneM2M specifications and offer joint certificates.
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