QBiz: Layoffs in Wipro; IMF Director Bats for GST, Remonetisation

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Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal.  (Photo: Reuters)

1. Wipro Sacks Around 600 Employees Post Performance Appraisal

The country's third largest software services firm Wipro has sacked hundreds of employees following its annual "performance appraisal".

According to sources, Wipro has shown the door to about 600 employees, while speculation was rife that the number could go as high as 2,000.

At the end of December 2016, the Bengaluru-based company had over 1.79 lakh employees.

When contacted, Wipro said it undertakes a "rigorous performance appraisal process" on a regular basis to align its workforce with business objectives, strategic priorities of the company, and client requirements.

Read the full story on The Quint.

2. Ola May Raise $100 Million, Four Months After SoftBank’s $250 Million Investment

Ride hailing service Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) is likely to raise another 100 million dollars from investors, four months after the company raised about 250 million dollars from its largest shareholder, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, according to regulatory filings sourced from market research firm Tofler.

According to the documents, Ola’s board of directors approved a capital infusion of $100 million in March this year, four months after Ola raised $250 million from SoftBank in November, as part of a bigger funding round that lowered the company’s valuation to about $3 billion from $4.5 billion.

(Source: Livemint)

3. IPL 2017 Pushes Sony Max to Top Slot in Viewership

Riding on the popularity of the ongoing 10th season of the T20 cricket tournament Indian Premiere League (IPL), television broadcaster Sony Max (also the official broadcaster of IPL) became the most-watched television channel across genres during the second week of IPL.

Sony Max recorded 1,429.5 million impressions between 8 April and 14 April (week 15 of 2017), surpassing the Tamil-language general entertainment channel Sun TV which has ruled the television charts for the first 14 weeks of 2017, according to data released on Thursday by television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India.

(Source: Livemint)

4. eBay Plans to Close Sale to Flipkart in Second Half of Year

American e-commerce marketplace eBay looks to close sale of its India business to Flipkart early in the second half of this year and hopes its $500 million investment in and strategic partnership with the country’s top online marketplace will boost its India play.

I’m very excited about this new exclusive partnership, which enables us to increase our penetration in India by making eBay’s global inventory accessible to a significantly larger set of Indian consumers.
Devin Wenig. CEO, eBay

“We’re committed to winning in India through this partnership,” he said in an analyst call in the US following the company’s first quarter earnings results for 2017 on Wednesday.

eBay will stop reporting active sales in India and related financials once the sale is closed.

5. Remonetisation, GST Get IMF Chief Lagarde’s Thumbs Up

Recent policy reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration got some more endorsement from the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Christine Lagarde on Thursday said that she was “extremely impressed” by the work being done by Indian authorities towards policy reform. She was speaking at the Annual Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank being held at Washington DC.

Lagarde was referring to the government’s remonetisation efforts following the partial cash ban in November last year, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that it hopes to implement by July this year.

Our understanding is that demonetisation now has been remedied at about 75 percent, those are the latest March figures that we have. Clearly, the situation is now being amended.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF

(Source: BloombergQuint)

6. Unilever Says India Business Growth Has Recovered After Demonetisation

Unilever Plc said on Thursday that its Indian business has recovered from the hit it experienced following the government’s invalidation of high-value currency notes in November. This guidance, ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings of its unit Hindustan Unilever Ltd, comes as a shot in the arm for the whole consumer packaged goods sector, which has been reeling from demonetisation.

Analysts expected the lingering effects of demonetisation to hurt business for these companies in the March quarter as well.

“Growth in India recovered from the uncertainty experienced due to the removal of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November 2016, while Brazil continued to be adversely impacted by the economic crisis,” Unilever said in the statement uploaded on the website and filed with stock exchanges. Brazil and India are two of the multinational’s largest markets.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan Points to ‘Policy Uncertainty’ in World Economy

Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday warned of “policy uncertainty” for the world economy due to there being a “bunch of new leaders” who need to prove they are strong, even as he exuded confidence about all large economies doing well

Without specifically mentioning India, Rajan said:

This is the first time in a long while we have seen all the big engines firing at the same time, including the large emerging markets… We have seen trade picking up... We are seeing early signs of investment intentions. Of course there are always clouds. There are clouds this time also,

In an interview to CNBC, the Chicago Booth School professor and the outspoken economist also said the “good news is some of the fears about the (Trump) administration that it would move immediately to a more protectionist stance haven’t played out”.

(Source: PTI)

8. RBI’s Monetary Policy Minutes Show Inflation Primary Concern

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s monetary policy committee cited upside risks to inflation arising from price pressure excluding food and fuel as the main reason for keeping its policy rate unchanged, according to minutes of the April meeting released on Thursday.

The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) which had unanimously decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.25 percent in early April, had raised a secondary rate called the reverse repo rate, which is used to drain excess funds from banks.

The MPC, which aims to bring down inflation to 4 percent in the medium term, maintained its hawkish stance on inflation, with most members expressing concern over upside risks to core inflation.

9. TRAI Report Shows Reliance Jio Surpasses All Others in Terms of Download Speed

New telecom operator Reliance Jio's average download speed at 16.48 mbps was almost double of its rivals Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel's in March, a report by telecom regulator Trai has showed.

Average download speed on Reliance Jio network was 16.48 megabit per second (mbps) in March against 8.33 mbps on Idea Cellular's and 7.66 mbps on Bharti Airtel's network, the monthly report by Trai showed.

Vodafone registered average download speed of 5.66 mbps, Reliance Communications 2.64 mbps, Tata Docomo 2.52 mbps, state run BSNL 2.26 mbps and Aircel 2.01 mbps.

Trai collects and computes data download speed with the help of its MySpeed application on real-time basis.

(Source: PTI)

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