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From Amazon's big plans in India to debate on ODI cricket's longevity, here are our most-read stories of the week

Troubles at Vedanta Group, Vishy Anand's take on the future of chess, PE investors' love affair with small and mid-sized banks, MediaTek's India journey are some of the stories that piqued the interest of our readers this week

Published: Oct 7, 2023 09:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Oct 6, 2023 05:27:24 PM IST

Image: ShutterstockImage: Shutterstock

1) Amazon's game plan for India

The festive season is when Indians loosen up their purse strings. This year, 81 percent of them intend to shop online, according to a recent study conducted by Nielsen Media. And one in two consumers are willing to increase their spending compared to last year. No wonder sellers want to expand their digital presence. More than 12 lakh sellers have set up their shop on the platform provided by Amazon in India. The ecommerce giant has secured over 100 million customers across India across verticals. Manish Tiwary, country manager of India Consumer Business, only intends to stay obsessed with the customer and meet their expectations as consumers raise the bar with each order. Tiwary speaks to Forbes India about the bullish approach of the company and investments for further expansion. Read more

2) Time to grow up

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently released data about how corporate social responsibility funds are spent in India. Traditionally the most funded social cause for corporations, the education sector has steadily lost support. A new report by Sattva Consulting reveals that the CSR outlay toward education fell from Rs 7,450 crore in FY20 to Rs 6,683 crore in FY21 and Rs 6,351 crore in FY22. On the other hand, outlays towards the environment increased by 130 percent in FY22. Why is one cause getting preference over the other when both need equal support? Companies infuse capital into the social sector but are still following trends rather than taking a more holistic, long-term view. Is it time to grow up? Let's find out.

3) MediaTek's India game

MediaTek is the world's 5th largest global fabless semiconductor company, and it powers more than two billion devices a year worldwide. One in every three mobile phones worldwide runs on a MediaTek chip. Its global revenue in 2022 was NT$548.8 billion. According to the India managing director of the Taiwanese chipmaker, MediaTek enables every second smartphone in India. MediaTek overtook Qualcomm in India in 2020. These numbers loudly narrate MediaTek's story, yet the brand has just started becoming visible. Here's all you need to know about the Taiwanese heavyweight and how it has silently flexed its muscles in India. Read more


1) PE's love for Indian banks

Foreign institutional investors have loved India's growth story in the past two to three decades and preferred investing in Indian banks. The sector also enamours private equity ventures, but they often have to find ways to gain substantial stakes. Now seems to be the right time. US-based GQG Partners did two separate deals to increase its stake in IDFC First Bank. Yes Bank received $1.1 billion from funds affiliated with Carlyle and Advent International. Maple II, part of the BPEA Equity, now has a 9.98 percent stake in RBL Bank. These banks needed recapitalisation to address some or the other form of distress, and PEs grabbed the opportunity. How is this love affair working out? Here's a detailed overview.

2) Signs of trouble

Bihar-born Anil Agarwal built an empire spanning metals and mining over half a century after starting as a trader in scrap metal in Mumbai. Today, his diversified conglomerate makes everything from steel and iron ore to aluminium and oil, among others, at the $18-billion Vedanta Group. That’s why Agarwal’s remarkable story finds many takers who admire his risk appetite and grit in building up an empire from the bottom. But that phenomenal growth had also come at a cost, something that’s come to haunt him as he turns septuagenarian, leaving him to slug it out now. Read more

3) Viswanathan Anand and the future of chess

On the third episode of the second season of Forbes India Pathbreakers, chess legend Viswanathan Anand was the guest. In a free-wheeling chat, the five-time world chess champion recounts his famous encounters with some of the most formidable opponents and his historic rise as one of the world's greatest chess players. Anand, India's first grandmaster and the country's top player for 37 years, demystifies the finer nuances of strategy and tactics for success. The chess icon says, "I am quite happy where I have ended up," as he traces his extraordinary journey on and off the chessboard. One of the world's greatest chess players talks about creating history, how artificial intelligence is shaping the sport, and why he is upbeat about the future of chess in India. Watch now.

4) Concerns about ODI format

The 2023 ICC Men ODI Cricket World Cup began on Thursday as New Zealand made its intentions clear by beating England by nine wickets. They avenged the loss in the final of the 2019 World Cup and announced to other rivals that they were going for gold. Just beside the spectacular performance on the field, the empty seats of Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for a World Cup opener were not a welcome sight. Gary Kirsten, a former South African batter who also coached the Indian cricket team to its last ICC ODI World Cup, believes that franchise leagues and T20s threaten the ODI format. Will the ODI format survive over the next four years? Experts discuss on one of the latest episodes of the To The Point podcast. Listen now