News in Numbers, Aug 18, 2016: Ola shuts down TaxiForSure, India’s first medal at Rio…

Sakshi Malik creates history at the Rio Olympics 2016. She won the bronze medal in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday. With this, India gets its 25th medal at the Olympic Games. It first participated in the Games in 1900.

Read more about Malik’s win and the firsts that have come along with her victory. This, and four other numbers, make up today’s edition.

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What is it? The number of jobs cab-hailing aggregator Ola will lay off as a result of shutting down TaxiForSure (TFS) it acquired 18 months ago.

Why is it important? The layoffs can cut costs by nearly Rs 30 crore a month, according to reports. Ola has been trying to raise funds and battle with cash-rich Uber, which can now devote more time and resources to India after having sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing. Over the last few months, Ola was said to be integrating some of TFS teams such as human resources and tech while keeping the drivers and call centre teams separate.

Tell me more: Ola had acquired TFS for $200 million last year to fend off competition and up its strength against Uber. It had initially said it would manage TFS as a separate brand. Nearly 90% of the employees being laid off belong to operations such as call centres, driver relations and business development units.


730 million

What is it? The estimated number of Internet users in India by 2020, according to a report.

Why is it important? Three-fourth of the new user growth is expected to be from rural areas and a similar percentage of people is expected to consume data in local languages. These estimates, if true, is a pointer for the government and businesses to focus their digital initiatives or expansions more towards the countryside and also, will help provide opportunities for those in the rural areas. There were 350 million Internet users at the end of 2015.

Tell me more: The report by Nasscom in association with Akamai Technologies also predicts that online shopping would account for two-thirds of the e-commerce market by 2020 (with fashion and lifestyle to overtake the consumer electronics segment) and half of the travel transactions would be done online.



What is it? The number of Indian women athletes who have clinched a medal at the Olympics with the latest being Sakshi Malik who won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday.

Why is it important? She is the first woman wrestler from India to have won a medal at the Olympics and overall, hers is the country’s fifth wrestling medal. Malik’s win also ended India’s 11-day wait to win a medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. In all, India has now won 25 medals at the Olympic Games over the years.

Tell me more: The other Indian women athletes to have won a medal are: weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari in 2000, boxer MC Mary Kom and shuttler Saina Nehwal in 2012.


Rs 4,566.6 crore

What is it? The total amount pharmaceutical companies owe the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) for charging higher prices than those prescribed by the government.

Why is it important? Over 80% of the amount is under litigation and just around 8% of the total amount demanded (for overcharging) has been recovered by the NPPA so far (since August 1997). This highlights the difficulty of price control, and the need for better methods to ensure pharma companies follow regulations.

Tell me more: The prices of essential medicines are fixed by the NPPA from time to time and the manufacturers who are found to be overcharging are to pay the overcharged amount along with interest under the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.


1.96 crore

What is it? The number of private vehicles registered in 2015. That’s nearly 53,720 per day.

Why is it important? It touched an all-time high last year and is a huge jump from over two decades ago (less than 10 lakh until 1993). With an increase in population and disposable incomes and inefficient public transport systems, this trend is likely to continue. Underlines the importance of devising strategies for infrastructure and public transport to avoid further congestion in the urban areas.

Tell me more: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka top the charts in terms of vehicle registrations, which together account for nearly a third of the total private vehicle registrations in the country.

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News in Numbers, June 3, 2016: Uber’s raises $3.5 billion, India’s internet users…


What is it? The number of people convicted of murder and other charges in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre by a special designated court on Thursday.

Why is it important? This brings justice to one of the series of riots that broke out in Gujarat in 2002. In this attack, which came a day after 60 Hindu pilgrims were killed in a train-burning incident, 69 Muslims were murdered.

Tell me more: Of those convicted, 11 were found to be guilty of murder while the rest for lesser charges. The court acquitted 36 defendants while four of the accused died while on trial.


$3.5 billion

What is it? The amount taxi hailing app Uber has raised from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

 Why is it important? This is the company’s single biggest investment and the largest single investment in a startup. The San Francisco-based company now has $11 billion on its balance sheet to take on its rivals- Lyft in the US, Ola in India and Didi Kuaidi in China (it is also close to raising $3.5 billion). Meanwhile, Ola has raised $1.18 billion so far with the latest funding of $500 million in November 2015. Uber, which could have raised a similar amount via a public listing, has been criticised for raising money from a wealth fund of a politically repressive regime.

Tell me more: With this, Uber has raised $13.5 billion (including convertible debt) so far and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund gets a 5% stake in the company. This also indicates how Saudi Arabia plans to reduce its dependence on oil for revenues.


277 million

What is it? The number of internet users in India in 2015, a 40% growth from the previous year, according to Mary Meeker 2016 Internet Trends report.

Why is it important? India overtaken the US to become the second largest country in the world in terms of internet users (after China) and it is the only country where the growth rate of the number of internet users was higher than the previous year (33%). However, tech startups are still struggling to make money, indicating that the users are still not ready to spend much money on the web.

Tell me more: Online retail sales in April were lower than that in December 2015, a first-time occurrence in many years. New rules by the Indian government prohibiting online marketplaces from influencing the prices of products online could have had an effect on e-commerce companies.


$2.4 billion

What is it? Revenue of terror group ISIS in 2015 – a drop of $500 million from the previous year’s estimate, according to the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism.

Why is it important? ISIS retains the tag of being the richest terrorist organisation in the world, despite US bombing of its oil fields. The group compensated for the loss in revenue from oil by increasing tax rates for the 8 million people it controls. The share of oil revenue fell from 38% to 25% in 2015 while that of taxes went up from 12% to 33% last year.

Tell me more: Terrorism expert Jean Charles-Brisard, one of the authors of the report, has expressed surprise at the fact that the UN Security Council has not laid a formal embargo that would punish countries that continue to buy goods including cement, oil and wheat from ISIS territory.



What is it? Percentage of e.coli-infected ice cubes in Mumbai hotels, eateries and juice centres found in the samples examined by Mumbai’s governing civic body.

Why is it important? The bacteria can cause health problems including severe gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract), diarrhoea, vomiting and food poisoning.

Tell me more: The survey included 552 shops and 2,995 street vendors. Around 7,500 people died from consuming contaminated food in 2014.



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News in numbers, Nov 18, 2015: Tiger Global raises stake in Amazon, people living with HIV…


What is it? The percentage of fines imposed by India’s competition regulator of India that it managed to collect, as per its annual report of 2013-14. In absolute terms, the Competition Commission of India imposed fines of Rs 9,886 crore, of which it recovered Rs 72 crore. The remainder is either stuck in appeals or has been stayed.

Why is it important? The regulator, in its six years of existence, has initiated action against prominent names in several sectors. In its latest action on Tuesday, the CCI fined three airlines — Jet, IndiGo and SpiceJet — for colluding to fix fuel surcharge in cargo transport. But seeing the cases through and collecting the amount fined has proven to be elusive.

Tell me more: Some of the other major CCI fines have been against real estate company DLF (Rs 630 crore), against 14 car manufacturers (Rs 2,545 crore) and 11 cement majors (Rs 6,200 crore).




36.9 million

What is it? The number of people worldwide who were living with HIV, of which, 2.6 million were children below the age of 15 years. India had 2.1 million cases in 2013.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, American actor Charlie Sheen, best known for his roles in Wall Street and Two and a Half Men, said in a television interview to NBC that he had been diagnosed HIV-positive four years ago. He also said he had been sexually active after the diagnosis, while maintaining he had disclosed his condition to his partners.

Tell me more: At least 33 states in the US have laws that mandate people infected with HIV to disclose that fact to their sexual partners.



What is it? The approximate stake bought by US investment fund Tiger Global in global online retailer Amazon in the September quarter.

Why is it important? Tiger Global, one of the most aggressive investors in Internet businesses in India, is the largest investor in Indian retailer Flipkart. In India, Amazon and Flipkart are rivals, and the common presence of Tiger Global will be a source of conversation, possibly consternation. Back in 2014, Myntra was merged into Flipkart at the behest of common investors, one of them being Tiger Global.

Tell me more: As many as 1,284 institutions and mutual funds hold 68% of the shares of Jeff Bezos-controlled Amazon.



What is it? Share of mobile phone in the Internet traffic of India, which is thrice the corresponding figure for the US, according to a May 2015 report by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Why is it important? It is a measure of where the growth in Internet adoption and usage is coming from in India, and reaffirms why a high Internet penetration number in this decade might be in the realm of the possible. Another report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International, released on Tuesday, tipped India to hit 402 million Internet users by December and leapfrog the US as the country with the second-largest Internet user base, after China.

Tell me more: According to the second report, men account for 71% of Internet users in India and women 29%, and that 69% of users were using  



What is it? The number of sugar stocks that hit the upper price band in trading on Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange, suggesting some sort of a turnaround for a sector reeling under a cash crisis and dues to farmers.

Why is it important? The wide expectation is that sugar production in 2015-16 will be lower than in 2014-15, which will hold prices of this essential commodity, even fuel them. Credit ratings agency ICRA has projected a 4.6% drop in production to 26.8 million tonnes in 2014-15.

Tell me more: In October, the Central government announced a string of measures to help companies and release arrears to farmers.

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