The giant sucking sound of jobs going away 👷

56,000

What is it? The number of layoffs expected in seven IT firms this year in India.

Why is it important? The retrenchment pressure at IT firms including Infosys, Wipro, and multinational firms, is likely to mount, as they look to hire local employees in markets such as the US. Automation and a digital service economy have further removed the need for human labour.

Tell me more: Other companies include Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Cognizant, CapGemini, who together will be letting go of 4.5% of their 1.24 million-strong workforce.

 

$1 billion

What is it? The value of the informal offer from Flipkart to buy rival Snapdeal, currently backed by SoftBank and others.

Why is it important? It shows the sale of Snapdeal, which has been creating a buzz for a few months now, is close to completion. The newsof the informal purchase offer came a few hours after the news of Snapdeal’s chief investor, SoftBank, agreeing to pay off other key investors — its two founders and Nexus. SoftBank has been trying to sell Snapdeal to India’s largest e-commerce platform, Flipkart, but was slowed down by the need to compensate other investors such as Kalaari Capital, Nexus Ventures besides the founders.

Tell me more: SoftBank has agreed to pay $15 million each to founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and $50-60 million to Nexus, according to reports.

 

Rs 574 crore

What is it? The value of fixed deposits of the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Why is it important? The aid given from the fund in the last five years to 22,633 people is Rs 242.53, around 42% of the value of the fund’s fixed deposits. The FDs also earn Rs 41.63 crore in interest, reveals an RTI query. With monsoon predictions still hanging in the balance, a drought would see farmers seeking aid from funds such as these.

Tell me more: The biggest beneficiaries have been people in need of medical aid and account for 97% of recipients between June, 2012 and March, 2017.

 

9.1 million

What is it? The number of additional tax payers in India in 2016-17.

Why is it important? The rise in the number of taxpayers might be the single largest benefit of demonetisation, even as the November move attracted criticism that many of its stated goals – removing fake currency, unearthing black money, boosting cashless economy – didn’t fructify.

Tell me more: India had 55.9 million individual taxpayers in 2015-16, of whom 37 million filed tax returns.

 

Rs 43,292 crore

What is it? The cost of project to connect Char Dham – four key pilgrim sites, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath – by rail.

Why is it important? Indian railways will start the final location survey for the project this week. The total route length will be 327 km passing through 61 tunnels and going over 59 bridges according to a report submitted in 2015. The commencement of the location survey is one of the key steps in the ambitious project.

Tell me more: The route will run through some of the toughest terrains with key spots at different elevations – Gangotri (3,408 metre above sea level), Yamunotri (3,293m), Badrinath (3,133m) and Kedarnath (3,583m).

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Rudeness as a marketing strategy

$50 million – $90 million

What is it? The amount Paytm might pay to acquire rival Freecharge from Snapdeal, according to reports.

Why is it important? E-commerce firm Snapdeal had acquired Freecharge for $400 million in 2015. Freecharge is e-wallets business, widely considered to be vulnerable to other payment options such as UPI, where it faces intense competition from rivals. Besides, even at the time of acquisition, there were concerns that Snapdeal might have overvalued Freecharge.

Tell me more: Paytm is in talks with Softbank to raise $1.9 billion at a valuation of $8 billion to $9 billion. Softbank owns 33% in Snapdeal. In its latest earnings report, Softbank said it has written down the value of its investments in Snapdeal and Ola by $1.4 billion.

 

1500

What is it? The number of employees Tech Mahindra, the country’s fifth largest IT company, might fire.

Why is it important? Three of its four bigger rivals are already said to cut headcount, suggesting that this could be a season of layoffs in the sector. News about layoffs at Cognizant, Infosys and Wipro have hit the headlines in the last few days. TCS, India’s largest IT firm, is in the process of conducting performance appraisals – and hasn’t given any indication that it would follow suit.

Tell me more: As the news of layoffs spread, it’s gaining a political colour as an industry body sought government intervention in Tamil Nadu, one of the key hubs of IT majors. Telangana labour department is to meet Cognizant officials today over layoffs.

 

500 million

What is it? The number of machines that are running Windows 10 operating system.

Why is it important?  While the number is impressive, it’s lower than what Microsoft expected to achieve. The behemoth which controls about 85% of market share in desktop operating system was aiming to reach 1 billion active installations by 2018. Even by last year, it was clear it would fall short.

Tell me more:  According to one estimate, Windows, across various versions, has 84.14% market share followed by Mac OX (11.6%) and Linux (1.53%)

 

7.6%

What is it? The percentage growth in the number of passengers United Airlines flew in April 2017 compared to April last year.

Why is it important? A widely reported PR disaster – which followed after a passenger was violently deplaned – seems to have had no impact on its business. Its share price which took a beating in the following days is higher than what it was the day before the incident.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, there is a constant flow of reports on complaints by United passengers on various issues.

 

Rs 451.75 crore

What is it? The amount central government owes to Air India, the state owned carrier, as on March 31, 2017.

Why is it important? The amount mostly relates to use of its chartered planes by the prime minister, president and vice president for their official visits. The biggest chunk of unpaid dues is Rs 206.19 crore towards 22 visits made by vice president in the years 2008 to 2017.

Tell me more: Recently, Air India came under fire after Comptroller and Auditor General revealed that the carrier understated its operating losses by nearly $1 billion over financial years 2012-13 to 2014-15.

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Mother of all bombs? 💣

7.4%

What is it? The rate at which Infosys revenues grew in the fiscal year 2016-17.  It closed the year with $10.21 billion in revenue.

Why is it important? The growth rate disappointed the market and its stock price fell by over 3% in trading on Thursday. Volume growth for the quarter was 7.7%, down from 15.39% in the same period last year, essentially bringing it closer to the growth rates when Vishal Sikka took over as CEO.

Tell me more: Infosys, which was in the news recently after the company founder NR Narayana Murthy publicly expressed his displeasure over compensation given to top managers, has also appointed Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman along with R Seshasayee. The company also said it will payout Rs 13,000 crore via share buyback or as dividends.

 

67%

What is it? The increase in the number of corruption complaints against government departments by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Why is it important? The bulk of the complaints, 11,200 out of a total of 49,847, were against the Railways, one of the largest-consumer facing government institutions. Other departments which attracted large number of corruption complaints were mostly consumer-facing such as banking and the IT department, or overseeing highly-regulated sectors such as the Ministry of Petroleum, Telecommunications. But data shows the CVC has been passing on less cases against senior government officials to the CBI or Central Vigilance Officers for investigation, referring only 0.16% in 2014 and 0.001% in 2017 of all such cases, down from 1.88% in 2014.

Tell me more: In the year 2015, complaints had declined by 50% than in 2014, at 29,838. The news about the rise in complaints comes after just a few weeks of the CVC’s portal’s crash when data against corrupt officials were reportedly deleted.

 

9,797 kg

What is it? The weight of the GBU-43 bomb dropped by US on a cave and tunnel complex used by Islamic State  in Afghanistan.

Why is it important? It is one of the largest non-nuclear bombs in the US military arsenal, officially called Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or Moab, and unofficially referred to as “the mother of all bombs”.  US President Donald Trump, who had vowed to wipe out Isis in his election campaign, called it “a very successful mission”. The US didn’t didn’t disclose the number of deaths caused by the bomb – militants or civilian. Some experts have said the bombing was symbolic, rather than tactical, and might not alter the course of the war, now in its 16th year.

Tell me more: Originally developed for the invasion of  Iraq in 2003, Moab is 30-feet long, and was dropped from a cargo plane. This is the first time the bomb was used.

 

$10.4 billion

What is it? The foreign trade deficit of India in March, 2017.

Why is it important? The trade deficit, after decreasing, to less than $10 billion, for two consecutive months in Jan-Feb, on strong exports, sprang back to a wider gap than Oct-Dec, in March. Even though exports continued to strengthen, growing at 27.59% year-on-year, the rise in crude oil (101.43% rise) and gold imports widened the deficit.

Tell me more: The trade deficit for the whole of FY17, however, narrowed by 11% from a year ago, to $105.7 billion.

 

Rs 1,675 crore

What is it? The latest funding raised by Ola, the Indian cab-booking app, from SoftBank, the Japanese telecom and Internet company.

Why is it important? While all eyes are on Softbank’s next move with its other major Indian investment, Snapdeal, its fresh funds worth $250 million for Ola, closed last year, has now been made public. However, Ola, like other Indian unicorns, reportedly raised the money at a valuation lower than the last round of funding, from $4.5 billion to $3 billion.

Tell me more: SoftBank’s subsidiary SIMI Pacific made the investment in Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies, before it had floated its new investment vehicle in India, Vision Fund.

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Snap-done-deal?

Rs 36,359 crore

What is it? The value of the farm loans waived in Uttar Pradesh.

Why is it important? The waiver would be 10.6% of UP’s revised estimates of revenue. The new BJP government, coming through with one of its major election promises, waived loans for roughly 21.5 million small and marginal farmers (or 92.5% of UP’s farmers) in the state.

Tell me more: The state government which decided the waiver at its first cabinet meeting, will raise Kisan Rahat (farmers’ relief) Bonds to raise money for the waiver, and propose it in its upcoming budget. Loans upto Rs 1 lakh will be waived and will include NPAs and crop loans, both applicable for 2016-17.

 

$100 million

What is it? The amount each of Snapdeal’s two large investors — Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners — and its founders have asked of SoftBank Group, the third large investor.

Why is it important? The money is to facilitate their exit so SoftBank can go on to sell the homegrown e-commerce company, whose parent company is Jasper Infotech. The decision was reportedly reached at the latter’s board meeting. While Kalaari and Nexus wants compensation for their stake, after resisting a sale earlier for fear of devaluation, the two founders — Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal — want the payout for them and their management team.

Tell me more: The reports of crisis at Snapdeal have emerged due to a lack of cash for the business, though the company, in another report, clarifies that it is seeking to raise $100 million from existing and new investors. In February, 2016, Snapdeal was last funded and valued at $6.5 billion. A sale would not realise as much according to observers.

 

Rs 17.10 lakh crore

What is it? The provisional estimate of tax collected by the Union government in FY17.

Why is it important? The sum is 18% more than what was collected in FY16. It is also more than the last revised estimate of tax collection at Rs 16.97 lakh crore. Indirect taxes, growing at 22% at Rs 8.63 lakh crore, propelled collections. Starting from July 1, the goods and services tax will further mobilise an expected rise in indirect taxes. Corporate tax collections went up 13.1% personal income tax collections went up by 18.4% – even though adjusting for refunds would bring their growth down. Tax refunds went up by 32.6% to Rs 1.62 lakh crore in 2016-17.

Tell me more: Direct taxes were more than indirect taxes in absolute terms at Rs 8.47 lakh crore but grew at 14.2%.

 

20%

What is it? The percentage by which Gillette plans to cut prices of some of its razor products.

Why is it important? It’s an impact of its shrinking market share even as Procter & Gamble owned brand fights competition from new players such as Dollar Shave Club (now a part of Unilever) and Harry’s. From more than 70% in 2010, Gillette’s market share in men’s-razors business fell to 54% in 2016.

Tell me more: Gillette, besides cutting the prices by upto 20%, will also focus on cheaper products. Traditionally, it had charged high prices by adding more (but mostly useless) features/blades, drawing criticism that it’s ripping off customers.

 

242,938

What is it? Number of children reported missing in India in the last five years.

Why is it important? Of this only 1,70,173 children, or about 70%, were found. In Delhi, this ratio was dramatically worse – only 36% of missing children could be traced. Human trafficking in general rose byabout 25% in 2016, most victims being women and children. In case of child trafficking, besides kidnapping, abduction, illegal adoption, there are also cases of runaway children and dislocation during natural calamities.

Tell me more: Government programmes to tackle this issue include Integrated Child Protection Scheme and a national tracking system for missing children. It is also getting children in orphanages and childcare enrolled for Aadhaar, India’s biometric identification programme, to help fight against illegal adoptions and child trafficking.

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