Tuesday, June 18, 2024

CCI vs Google, Reliance has Money Ambitions, and Generosity

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Hey folks!

If you’re reading this before 1:30 pm IST on Sunday, you’re probably gearing up for the T2o (cricket) clash between India and Pakistan. Let’s hope it’s a cracker of a contest and the rain doesn’t play spoilsport in Melbourne. Fingers crossed!

Quick stat: The total prize money is $5.6 million for the T20 World Cup. The winners will receive a cheque for $1.6 million. And the runners-up will take home $800,000.

There’s cricket. There’s Diwali. There are sweets and family. We know! So let’s get started.

Here’s a soundtrack to get you in the mood 🎵

Breathe by Cryosis

We’re hooked to this track thanks to our reader Nikita Sanghvi!

A bunch of things caught our eye this week 👀

  1. Parle’s first acquisition?

The almost 100-year-old maker of the ubiquitous Parle G — the top-selling biscuit in the world — has apparently never acquired another company. All those Parle biscuit brands you see lining the shelves in your supermarket are homegrown in the truest sense.

But things could be changing. As per The Economic Times, Parle could be in early talks to buy out Poland’s second-largest biscuit maker called Dr Gerard.

Why now?

Well, as an investment banker quoted in the ET article says, “Biscuit makers are all trying to upgrade their offering through premiumisation. Parle is still predominantly a mass brand and an acquisition will help access a ready-made portfolio.”

Sure, Parle G could be the money spinner. But it does already have premium biscuits like Milano too. So — why now and why Dr Gerard?

2.  Google faces the ire of the Competition Commission of India

The CCI has a clear-cut role — protect the consumer from companies’ predatory practices. Today, it seems to be Google India that’s in its crosshairs. It’s come down hard against the company’s anti-competitive practices.

Now it’s going to take a while to read the 293-page investigative order in its entirety. But let’s just look at one bit from the report. About Google Chrome.

See, Android has a 95% market share. It’s a veritable monopoly and mobile manufacturers are dependent on the OS (operating system). So, when Google decides that its Chrome browser comes pre-installed on Android devices to get maximum distribution, that’s an unfair advantage. Chrome has a 67% market share on mobile phones. And no one else can really compete. You can’t even uninstall Chrome.

Also, Google doesn’t release certain feature support for other web browsers. For instance, on Gmail, users can search and read a message even if they don’t have an active internet connection. But that works only if you’re using Chrome. If you try that on Firefox, Edge or Opera, you’ll be left disappointed.

Finally, when developers create mobile websites, they mostly test if it’s running well on Chrome. They don’t care much about how it looks on Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox. That creates an inferior experience for the user.

So yeah, the outcome of all this? A ₹1,337.6  crores fine on the tech giant!

3. Reliance is going all guns blazing on finance

Reliance wants to spin out a financial services arm, call it Jio Financial Services Ltd. (JFSL) and list it on the stock exchanges.

Its plans? Everything money!

They want to dole out loans to you, sell you insurance, become a broker so that you can buy and sell shares, and maybe even launch mutual funds. Sounds like all the stuff that the younger brother Anil Ambani had his fingers in, no?

And apparently, they’ve already got the licences for key businesses. Everything seems to have happened under the radar.

In Mukesh Ambani’s words, “JFS will be a truly transformational, customer-centric and a digital-first financial services enterprise offering simple, affordable, innovative and intuitive financial services products to all Indians”

Is another industry about to get disrupted?

Infographic 📊

Money tips 💰

Feeling generous?

When we talk about money, we’re typically saying things like ‘save’ more and ‘invest’ more. Rarely do we say ‘give’ more. So we thought we’d change that today and talk about giving some of our monies away — to charity.

Now you don’t really need to have lakhs of rupees in your bank account to set up your personal philanthropy plan.

All you need to do is decide what percentage of your monthly income you want to set aside for this cause. It could be as low as 1% or even 10%. It’s completely up to you and it’s not really a competition. All we’re doing is establishing a habit of generosity.

Then, identify a charity you want to donate to. And one of the simplest ways to do that is to find something very close to your heart. Something that you’re passionate about. It could be animal welfare. It could be children’s education. It could be helping the elderly. There are plenty of organizations out there doing some phenomenal work and it’ll just take a little digging around to find the one that you connect with.

Yes, some of these charitable donations even qualify for a tax deduction. But don’t let that be your motive of course.

Or maybe you don’t want to donate to a charity. And you simply want to help people around you who deserve a little help. That’s brilliant too.

That Swiggy or Zomato delivery person who delivered your piping hot pizza in the rain? They could do it with a big smile and a big tip from you.

Your househelp who has their child’s school fees due next week? Offer to help them and see their face light up.

After all, if you’re lucky enough to get to a place where money isn’t a nagging worry, it’ll be quite satisfying to use your good fortune to help others, no?

And who knows, maybe one day these people who you helped will pass along the kindness to someone else.

Isn’t that the kind of world we all want to live in?

The Other Side

A couple of weeks back we did a story on Truecaller. It summarized and simplified items from a report by Viceroy Research — a short seller based out of the UK. Now since then, we have had the opportunity to speak to people at Truecaller who continue to deny most allegations made in the report. And to offer a more balanced view on the matter, we will list down a few things Truecaller has highlighted in their rebuttal.

The first bit is the most straightforward. Viceroy is a short seller. They make money when the stock price takes a beating. And what better way to do it than publish a report that could negatively impact a company’s prospects, eh? Also, considering Viceroy has been fined in the past for publishing false information about a South African Retail Banking company, you can’t exactly expect them to be impartial. So this bit kind of makes sense.

Truecaller also states that they have been GDPR compliant since the day of enforcement. So they believe it’s unlikely to affect them negatively in the years to come. They also argue that they are not subject to any tax fraud investigation in India. However, the company’s prospectus from 2021 notes that “Truecaller’s Indian subsidiary is subject to tax proceedings in India related to 2017- 2018 with total potential exposures of up to SEK 11.4 million.”

We don’t know if those tax proceedings are still underway.

Finally, Truecaller’s main contention is that they are still consent-driven. It’s something that they highlight multiple times in the corporate statement that they put out earlier this month and you can read the whole draft here.

So yeah, Truecaller continues to deny most allegations and we’d like to know what you think about the whole matter.

Readers Recommend 🗒️

Culture Map by Erin Meyers

As an article in HBR puts it, “Today success depends on the ability to navigate the wild variations in the ways people from different societies think, lead, and get things done. By sidestepping common stereotypes and learning to decode the behaviour of other cultures along all the scales, we can avoid giving (and taking!) offence and better capitalize on the strengths of increased diversity.”

If you’re managing people who come from different cultures and backgrounds, this book is a must-read.

Thanks for such a great recommendation, Rohit Jejani!


Anyway, that’s it from us today. We wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Diwali and hope this festive season brings a lot of warmth and cheer to your life! 🪔

Oh, there’s just one more thing before you go…

You know those cool relatives who give you gifts you actually like on Diwali? That one special gift among the limitless Soan Papdi boxes?

This Diwali, give us a chance to be that cool relative and thank you for your never-ending love & support to get us to nearly 600,000 subscribers…

We are giving away exciting Diwali gift hampers to 3 lucky winners!

Each hamper contains an Amazon Echo with Built-in Alexa, a special collection of Diwali sweets, and of course, a gift hamper isn’t complete without our exclusive Finshots mug.

To enter the giveaway and stand a chance to win, head to right now to participate. All you need to do is follow 4 easy steps!

Do it now!

Beryl TV 9TKku53Ykl4dWh3AZfc3Wq8Bwf7fMPRknhv_xg2Apwj9NRWB5hlbBgghOuNgqvhezImngcEN9kw-RIVfLTQxPC3PdIM-M9RcvW6uq72OpHRoagOsdcoQv_xmrTsdwJqRlmFxbUPd9Fu2J8dO3KC9U_10AtWR9U1l-lJG8Imfem5oJZAAlFOFjYOjnw CCI vs Google, Reliance has Money Ambitions, and Generosity Google

Happy Diwali again!

Sunny Side Up will see you next Sunday.

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