W Power 2024

From Lok Sabha elections 2024 to generative AI disrupting edtech, here are our top stories of the week

Rekha Jhunjhunwala's transformation, Reserve Bank of India's latest crackdown, need to build lasting inclusion at workplaces are some of the stories that piqued the interest of our readers this week

Published: Apr 27, 2024 10:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Apr 26, 2024 02:57:44 PM IST

Image: ShutterstockImage: Shutterstock

1) Inside the 2024 elections

The second phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections, a pivotal event in India's political landscape, has concluded. Political parties and candidates left no stone unturned to woo the voters and get them to the polling booth. With 969 million eligible voters, these elections will shape the next central government and influence stock markets, corporate strategies, and the economy for the next five years. Are the current opinion polls too optimistic about a larger BJP win that will maintain policy continuity, or is there still room for surprise? Or is there a risk of policy complacency? Let's delve into the stock market's mood and examine the potential impact of manifestos.

2) Small details for a big win

PP Singhal started the PI Industry as a small edible oil business 77 years ago. When Mayank Singhal returned from university to enter the family business in 1996, he saw a company with about ₹50 crore in sales. Margins were low, and the business had an extended credit cycle. But the young and aggressive third-generation owner knew that all was not lost. He began taking baby steps into the custom synthesis and manufacturing business (CSM). Today, PI Industries has a market cap of ₹58,000 crores, and investors think it is still good for 18 to 20 percent growth every year. Here's a look at how the company has carved a niche for itself and grown faster than the competition.

3) 'Mrs Jhunjhunwala' to 'Rekha Jhunjhunwala'

In an interview in October 2021, billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said he doesn't want to count the value of his portfolio. “Who wants to count?” continued the ace stock market investor, trader, and film producer. “I just have one partner and one client: Rekha Jhunjhunwala,” he underlined, adding that his wife is not interested in the wealth. “She is not bothered if she is a billionaire or worth $200 million or $400 million,” he said. The big bull passed away in August 2022 and Rekha Jhunjhunwala had to make a reluctant transition. Once a homemaker, she has now become the new custodian of wealth. Let's examine how it is not easy being Rekha Jhunjhunwala.


1) Whiplash

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been cracking the whip on banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) to get their business in order—be it risky credit binge or the recent orders issued to Kotak Mahindra Bank to cease and desist, with immediate effect, from onboarding new customers through its online and mobile banking channels and issuing fresh credit cards. The move has signaled that no one will be spared when protecting consumer's interests. Is it time for bank management to introspect on the way they do business instead of focusing on balance sheet growth? Does RBI need to engage more deeply with banks before taking such actions? Analysts weigh in.

2) Meet the global CEO of Tide

Oliver Prill spent over 20 years in global leadership roles across financial services, including banking and insurance, had worked with regulators across countries, and joined Tide, a UK-based fintech platform for SMEs, in 2018. The global CEO of Tide was in India early this week to take stock of the operations of his startup, which announced its India launch in 2021, and rolled out operations a year later. He is a rare CEO who admits that a section of finance players, old or new, worldwide and India, didn't play by the rules. He is rooting for the regulators and the work done by RBI and believes the days of 'break fast, fail fast, and scale fast' are over. Meet the foreigner who confesses that 'Indian Chinese' is way better than authentic Chinese food.

3) For lasting inclusion

Poornima Luthra, associate professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is a recognised author, keynote speaker, business consultant, and leading practitioner-academic in talent management and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is the author of Diversifying Diversity: Your Guide to Being an Active Ally of Inclusion in the Workplace, The Art of Active Allyship: 7 Behaviours to Empower You to Push The Pendulum Towards Inclusion At Work. In an interview with Forbes India, she argues organisations need to intentionally nurture a culture of inclusion alongside expanding the dimensions of diversity. Luthra also talks about ways to build lasting inclusion at workplaces and the need for each individual to be a key enabler in the journey.

4) Next edtech evolution

By now, the world has realised there is no escaping from generative AI. The debate still rages about its effect on creativity, how these machines learn, and the ethics of the new technology, but none of it has slowed down its adaptation. Edtech is another industry facing disruption because of the rising demands of courses teaching many facets of this technology. Generative AI holds immense promise as a transformative force in education, paving the way for a more personalised and inclusive learning experience for all. Maybe this is why tools such as revision bots, design-your-own-course companions, and even mock interview coaches are popping up. Here's a look at the new revolution of edtech that is helping the learners.