A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers.
PM’s vision behind dekho apna desh is powerful: Glenn Fogel
Glenn Fogel, the CEO of Booking Holdings, in an interview with The Economic Times, said that India has done an “incredible” job in terms of vaccination which helps people feel safer about travelling.
What he says: India will go back to where it really was — a growth area for travel — as it should be.
The company plans to sell airline tickets in India next year.
The company operates its Booking.com brand and the Agoda brand in India.
“The Prime Minister’s vision of Dekho Apna Desh, the idea that people should see their own country is really powerful. There is so much to see in India. It’s just an opportunity for anybody in the industry to really build a great business.”
Google may take ‘JioPhone model’ to other markets
Google, which in partnership with Reliance Jio, launched a low-cost smartphone for India earlier this year may replicate the concept in global markets, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The JioPhone Next, which runs on the Pragati OS — a custom-made Android operating system — and is targeted at first-time internet users.
Google will decide on the plan in the next four to eight quarters as the supply chain stabilises and the response in the market is clearer.
Sanjay Gupta, country head, Google India, said: “We are committed to working with Jio on it (JioPhone Next) and testing it out in India. But, if there is an opportunity to take it beyond India, the answer is yes.”
Crypto trade among bourses may be banned
The proposed Cryptocurrency Bill is expected to put a blanket ban on exchange-to-exchange transfers, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: It may also restrict certain types of wallets masking identities, and completely end dealing in cryptocurrencies through Google Chrome extensions that allow users to dabble in more than 4,000 cryptos.
The legislation would give New Delhi powers to monitor an exchange’s ledger for foreign exchange transfers.
The government will only allow Indian exchanges to operate, and investors will be told to move their crypto assets to Indian wallets for better monitoring and regulatory oversight.
Cryptocurrencies can only be used as an asset and not as a currency.
Tata Motors to invest over $ 1 billion in commercial vehicle business
Tata Motors has lined up an investment of more than Rs 7,500 crore in the coming 4-5 years to recraft its road map for the commercial vehicle business, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The main focus will be on electric vehicles at their core.
The company is transitioning to new-age platforms designed to deliver futuristic EVs in the commercial vehicle space as well.
These vehicle architectures will also be able to accommodate CNG, LNG and diesel powertrains.
EU tax prompts metal exporters to go green
Indian steel and aluminium makers are working to reduce their carbon footprint through measures such as moving away from coal and requisitioning more green power, Mint reported.
Why it’s important: JSW, Vedanta and SAIL are working to reduce their carbon footprint.
This follows the European Union coming up with the world’s first carbon tax.
The tax aims to ensure that non-EU firms exporting to the EU pay the same price for their carbon footprint in Europe as EU firms do.
Given the potential of low-cost minerals, low-cost renewables and low-cost storage, India can become the hub for low carbon commodities to the world, an expert said.
Ikea plans to open both small and large format stores in India’s bigger cities
Ikea plans to dominate the furniture and home furnishing market in India’s large cities by launching one or two large stores along with four to five small-format stores in each city, Mint reported.
Why it’s important: Ikea is opening its first small-format city store at Worli, Mumbai.
This format allows Ikea to open smaller stores in the limited spaces available in urban areas while making it convenient for shoppers to experience the brand.
The Worli store, for instance, is 80,000 sq. ft in contrast to Ikea’s typical big box store spread of 400,000-500,000 sq. ft.
By 2025, the retailer plans to have four small stores in Mumbai—this is in addition to its large-format store in Navi Mumbai that opened late last year.
It will also launch a small city store in Bengaluru.
Repayment to bondholders by Vodafone Idea is on track
Bondholders of Vodafone Idea will receive their interest in time on the due date of December 13 as the company managed to raise funds for the repayment, Business Standard reported.
Why it’s important: The company has to pay Rs 6,000 crore to its bondholders beginning December 13 till March next year.
It plans to use its cash flows and bank funds to repay its bondholders.
The company had also fixed the record date for the next tranche of 7.77 per cent unsecured redeemable nonconvertible debentures on December 20 and paid the interest on January 4 next year.
As part of their revival plan, the Vi promoters are also looking for an external investor who will invest funds into the company and to pick up a sizeable stake.
Fino Payments not planning to turn into small finance bank right now: CEO
Fino Payments, India’s only listed payment bank, is not keen on becoming a small finance bank immediately, Business Standard reported.
Why it’s important: Though it will be eligible to be one when it completes five years in June 2022.
Fino listed on the bourses last month.
Payments banks are not allowed to lend and earn a fee from remittances.
A small finance bank licence would allow Fino to lend and offer a range of deposit products.
Fino thinks there are a lot of growth opportunities in the current businesses itself and there is no credit risk.
“Right now, there are no plans for converting into a small finance bank. The plan is to push more on payments and liabilities, the business that we are currently doing,” said Rishi Gupta, MD & CEO of Fino Payments Bank.