Digital pink slips

~1000

What is it? The number of senior/mid level Infosys employees who might be asked to leave the company.

Why is it important? It comes on the back of news about layoffs at Wipro and Cognizant, and together they underline the pressure IT majors are facing on business and regulatory fronts. Wipro recently said that if the demand doesn’t improve it might let go of 10% of its employees. Last week, Cognizant announced a voluntary separation programme for directors.

Tell me more: A recent pressure for IT companies came from the visa restrictions imposed by the United States, the sector’s largest source of revenue. Infosys recently announced it would hire about 10,000 employees in the US in the next two years.

181

What is it? The number of wickets taken by cricketer Jhulan Goswami in one day international tournaments.

Why is it important? It makes Goswami the top wicket taker in women’s one day internationals. The position was previously held by Australian bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who held the record for nearly 10 years.

Tell me more: Goswami played a total of 153 matches and bowled 1238.4 overs, against Fitzpatrick’s 109 matches and 1002.5 overs. Goswami claimed the wicket of South Africa’s Raisibe Ntozakhe to break Fitzpatrick’s record. Goswami made her debut in 2002.

 

$40 million

What is it? The amount Vijay Mallya is said to have received from Diageo in February last year.

Why is it important?  In violation of Supreme Court directions to use the money to repay loans, Mallya allegedly transferred the amount to his children. The court now holds him guilty of contempt and has directed him to appear before it on July 10. Mallya is facing cases for default of about Rs 9000 crore in loans to various banks, and is in United Kingdom at present.

Tell me more: Efforts are on to extradite Mallya from UK. Enforcement Directorate is making an additional case for extradition on the evidence of money laundering.

 

277,000

What is it? The number of passenger vehicles sold in April in India, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Why is it important? This is up 15% from 242,000 vehicles sold in April 2016, indicating that the impact of demonesation is wearing off. Analysts believe that the pent up demand could push automobile sales further during rest of the year.

Tell me more: Passenger cars (excluding SUVs and vans) sales went up 17.36% to 190,000 units April, largely driven by compact cars. Buyers picked up 7.34% more two wheelers in April compared to year ago period. However, commercial vehicles and three wheeler sales dropped.

 

$1,747.89

What is it? The close price of cryptocurrency Bitcoin on BitStamp platform on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Crossing the $1700 mark is an important milestone for Bitcoin, which continues to face skepticism from several quarters. The currency hit its all time high by surging over 80% in value since the beginning of this year. Starting April, Bitcoins became a legal tender in Japan, where it is trading at $1835 a coin.

Tell me more: As Bitcoin’s price surge in the market, businesses increasingly see more value in blockchain, the currency’s underlying technology.

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News in Numbers, Oct 28, 2016: Powerful yet weakening…

58%

What is it? The decline in global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles between 1970 and 2012, according to a report by the WWF and the Zoological Society of London.

Why is it important? If the trend continues, global wildlife population could see a potential decline could reach two-thirds by 2020. And, the top threats to species are linked to human activities, which include habitat loss, degradation and overexploitation of wildlife. Biodiversity is the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans and with a decline in wildlife, this is likely to result in ecosystems collapsing – this includes clean water, air, food and climate services.

Tell me more: In India, about 41% of mammals, 46% of reptiles, 57% of amphibians, 7% of birds and 70% of freshwater fish are threatened with extinction while four of the 386 species of mammals analysed are already extinct.

 

61

What is it? The number of individuals and entities in India charged by the US Justice Department for their alleged involvement in a scam where at least five Indian call centres based in Ahmedabad are suspected to be involved.

Why is it important? In this massive scam, which has been in operation since 2013, 15,000 people have been cheated of more than $250 million. Callers from India posed as Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security officials and asked victims in the US to pay up to clear up tax dues or debt and threatened them with imprisonment, arrest, deportation or fines if they failed to do so. Their co-conspirators would then collect the funds from the victims, launder and transfer them to India.

Tell me more: The three-year-investigation by the US authorities is reportedly the largest law enforcement action ever against a telephone scam. US would be seeking extradition of those based in India.

 

$3.1 billion

What is it? The total value of private equity exits in the quarter ended September, up 29% from a year-ago period, according to a report.

Why is it important? Indicates the attractiveness of India as an investment destination. However, in the last quarter, deal value of private equity and venture capital investments declined by 45% to $8.2 billion on a year-on-year basis while deal volume fell by 24% to 287 transactions. Private equity firms preferred to exit through public market sales and strategic sales.

Tell me more: Sectors including telecom, information technology and healthcare witnessed an increase in strategic sales that drove the increase in number of PE exits in the quarter, according to the report by consulting firm Bain and Co.

 

18%

What is it? The stake held by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SPG) in Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group of companies.

Why is it important? The Tata family trusts are reportedly reaching out to sovereign wealth funds and other long-term investors to buy out the stake held by the SPG in the Tata group’s holding company if it became available for purchase. This is the result of a fallout between the Tatas and Cyrus Mistry (son of Pallonji Mistry, chairman of SPG) when the latter was ousted at a board meeting of Tata Sons on Monday. The spat turned uglier after Mistry listed a number of allegations against the group, which hinted at possible breach of corporate governance norms. The Tata group has hit back at Mistry saying his allegations are malicious and his claims unsubstantiated.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, a committee has been constituted to look for the next chairman and reportedly, the shortlisted candidates are N Chandrasekaran (CEO of Tata Consultancy Services), Ralf Speth (chief of Jaguar Land Rover) and Noel Tata (chairman of Trent Ltd who is also a member of the founding family and Mistry’s brother-in-law).

 

350

What is it? The approximate number of employees Twitter will layoff, representing about 9% of its staff strength.

Why is it important? The social networking firm had laid off a similar number of employees (up to 336) last year, which was about 8.2% of its workforce. This is part of its efforts to cut costs (and post profits in 2017) even as its recent attempts at selling the company failed. The firm expects to book $10-20 million in workforce restructuring charges. Having struggled to keep pace with the likes of Facebook and Snapchat, Twitter also announced it would shut down Vine video app, which it acquired for $30 million in 2012.

Tell me more: Twitter’s revenue rose 8.2% to $616 million while its user base increased by 3% to 317 million average monthly users during its fiscal 2016 third quarter ended September 30.

 

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News in Numbers, June 30, 2016: Terror attacks in India foiled, Grofers lays off 10% of staff…

5

What is it? The number of men who were arrested on suspicion of plotting a series of attacks across the country on behalf of the ISIS on Wednesday.

Why is it important? The team had reportedly planned bomb blasts in areas such as Charminar, an important government building and markets and malls. This is the third such action on ISIS collaborators since last year; in the first two instances, a total of 43 were arrested. One of the most dangerous terrorist organisations in the world, the ISIS had threatened to send fighters to conduct guerilla attacks in India a couple of months ago.

Tell me more: In the raids, the National Investigation Agency and the local police seized weapons, nitrate-based explosives, 40 mobile phones, a laptop, a pen drive, 32 sim cards and Rs 15 lakh in cash.

Rs 1.02 trillion

What is it? The amount that would be given as pay and pension increases to 10 million central government employees and pensioners after the Cabinet approved the Seventh Pay Commission on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This, along with the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme for ex-servicemen, is likely to boost savings and stimulate urban spending, especially in sectors such as automobiles, consumer durables and fast-moving consumer goods. The cumulative impact is estimated to be 0.63% of the GDP, according to Fitch’s India Ratings and Research chief economist. However, this may have an upward impact on inflation – retail inflation hit a 21-month high in May driven by food prices.

Tell me more: A report by the State Bank of India says this may impact the country’s fiscal deficit target in 2017-18. The employees and the pensioners would receive the hikes along with their August salaries and be paid with effect from January 1, 2016. The government will pay Rs 12,133 crore in arrears in the current financial year itself.

 

~45%

What is it? The share of monthly personal budget for consumer durables that’s spent on vehicles in India for domestic (as against enterprise) use, according to the latest government data.

Why is it important? Underlines the importance of automobiles and car ownership for urban and rural consumers, and therefore for the car companies, in India. Vehicles command the highest share even for enterprise use in both the urban and rural areas, accounting for an average of 80% of the monthly per capita expenditure.

Tell me more: The second highest expenditure was on jewellery across rural and urban India. Other items that Indians like to spend on are mobile phones, laptops, tablets, air-conditioners, geysers and coolers. In terms of services (excludes health and education), Indians spend the most on eating out followed by travelling.

 

150 – 200

What is it? The number of employees grocery-delivery startup Grofers has laid off. It’s about 10% of its total employees.

Why is it important? With this, Grofers joins a list of other hyperlocal startups such as Peppertap, Localbanya, Townrush, which have either downsized or shut down their operations earlier. Unicorns such as Flipkart and Paytm had tried their hand in this segment but pulled back, indicating that the business model for such hyperlocal startups has been tough to establish and sustain.

Tell me more: Grofers, which has raised about $165 million so far from investors such as Softbank, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, also revoked offers given to 67 students who were to join the startup in July. In January, Grofers had announced shutting down operations in nine cities and only four months before that, had expanded to 27 cities.

 

Rs 4,251

What is it? The average airfare to travel from Delhi to Chennai between June 29 and July 4 when booked on June 28, according to an analysis by Yatra.com for ET. Last year, the average airfare for the same route in the corresponding period was Rs 6,218.

Why is it important? Last minute booking is proving to be cheaper by up to 52% on various routes this year when compared to 2015. A 20% year-on-year decline in oil prices and an increase of 7-8% in passenger capacity are being attributed for the drop in fares, according to Yatra.com. The discounting could also be to achieve high passenger load factors.

Tell me more: In recent times, airlines, especially budget carriers, were seen decreasing air ticket prices but hiked cancellation charges by 50-100%.

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