E-commerce players are suddenly not as cool as they used to be. It has been a tough week for some leading lights. Softbank’s Nikesh Arora faced tough questions from investors on his decision to invest in two leading Indian e-commerce players, Snapdeal and Housing. Then, desi Internet shopping giant Flipkart was skewered by Founding Fuel’s Haresh Chawla, who said it was in danger of losing the race to Amazon. No wonder, you now see entrepreneurs shaking their heads disapprovingly while talking about the indiscipline—money spent on discounts, TV commercials etc—that came with the exuberance a year ago. The premium is apparently now on being level-headed.
The Modi government’s decision to purge the healthcare sector of foreign-funded consultants has been in the works for a while. Many are drawing parallels with this government’s earlier clampdown on NGOs. But government sources insist the latest salvo from the very top is driven by a conscious decision to control the cartel of policy-wonks and MNC pharmaceutical players. Speaking anonymously, a top healthcare consultant pooh-poohed this “conspiracy theory”, but agreed that the tribe tends to dictate terms and influence policies. Of course, this will lead to its own set of challenges, given the demand for specialists.
Dabur scion Amit Burman, India’s biggest restaurateur with 60-plus fast-food and casual dining outlets, is in expansion mode. End-May, he will be at New York's Grand Central Station for the launch of the Great Northern Food Hall to showcase culinary concepts from Nordic countries. He is a partner in the new venture, conceived by Claus Meyer, one of the two co-founders of the original Noma in Copenhagen, which redefined Nordic cuisine. Last year, Burman’s company, Lite Bite Foods, partnered with Neeraj Kanwar of Apollo Tyres to acquire London-based Italian fine dining restaurant Scalini in tony Chelsea.
iPhone 6s and onions!
In a week Apple reported its first drop in sales since 2003, its latest ad spot aims to show that shooting a 4K video on the iPhone 6s makes anything look beautiful—even someone just chopping an onion.
Contributed by Ajay Sukumaran, Arushi Bedi, Sunit Arora And Dilip Bobb
The piece has been edited to incorporate some changes.