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Just like the Europeans realized the importance of the humble potato investors and savers need to realize the importance of gold and always have it in their portfolio (Photo: Alamy)
Just like the Europeans realized the importance of the humble potato investors and savers need to realize the importance of gold and always have it in their portfolio (Photo: Alamy)

50K reasons to stay invested in gold

  • With India entering a difficult economic period, chances of the rupee continuing to lose value against the dollar remain very high and gold is likely to benefit from that
  • By investing in gold, investors will end up betting against the system. In such uncertain times, it might make sense to own a substantial portion of gold in the physical form

An employee at a Chandigarh mall prepares to welcome customers after the lockdown (Photo: Hindustan Times )
An employee at a Chandigarh mall prepares to welcome customers after the lockdown (Photo: Hindustan Times )

Five ways real estate will change forever

  • Covid-19 may alter how we live, work, learn and play. What will it do to the buildings that house those activities?
  • The nature of the home, the office and the retail zone is likely to see some dramatic change. Decentralization, redistribution and restructuring will be the key themes of this transformation

Baba Ramdev (right, in a file photo), in a press conference, launched Coronil and Swasari Vati as a ‘cure’ for coronavirus. The claim has opened up a Pandora’s box in little time.  (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)
Baba Ramdev (right, in a file photo), in a press conference, launched Coronil and Swasari Vati as a ‘cure’ for coronavirus. The claim has opened up a Pandora’s box in little time. (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

How Patanjali’s magic didn’t work on covid

  • Besides overblown claims, the firm’s conduct has raised medico-legal issues. What was behind its tearing hurry?
  • It is struggling with market share losses in many FMCG categories and a cure for covid was just the panacea it needed. Now, this fiasco will impact the Ayurvedic medicines sector

An online education video being edited at an office in Bengaluru (Photo: Bloomberg)
An online education video being edited at an office in Bengaluru (Photo: Bloomberg)

The hope and hype driving online education

  • The boom in online education might yield profitability, rare in the startup space. But for how long will this last?
  • The flood of new capital is leading to a spending binge. And while the pandemic has brought millions of news users online, it’s impossible to predict how many of them will stick over time

The biggest challenge facing Chennai would be to reimagine the city itself, in a way that induces or promotes certain lifestyle changes. (Photo: Reuters)
The biggest challenge facing Chennai would be to reimagine the city itself, in a way that induces or promotes certain lifestyle changes. (Photo: Reuters)

Chennai searches for life beyond lockdown

  • India’s fourth-largest metropolis gropes for the way ahead as covid cases surge. When will its economy recover?
  • How the next few months unfold may matter not only due to the city’s links with India’s economy, but also because it may offer lessons on the task of opening up a city economy amid a pandemic

(From left) Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the 11th Brics Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2019.
(From left) Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the 11th Brics Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2019.

India seeks friends in turbulent times

  • Despite the Ladakh face-off, India’s foreign policy interests are better served by the Russia-India-China combine
  • Despite nationalistic fervour, ties with China cannot be severed without hurting India’s economic interests. The RIC combine enables each partner to retain a fair degree of national autonomy

A farmer ploughs a paddy field in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. India’s farm sector, which sustains over half of its population of 1.3 billion, is expected to clock a growth rate upwards of 2.5% in 2020-21. ( Photo: PTI)
A farmer ploughs a paddy field in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. India’s farm sector, which sustains over half of its population of 1.3 billion, is expected to clock a growth rate upwards of 2.5% in 2020-21. ( Photo: PTI)

India Inc's big bet on Bharat saving the day

  • Rural spending is the only ray of hope for a ravaged economy. But will consumers rise to the occasion?
  • The income loss due to 30 million migrant workers returning home is a significant hit to household finances. Moreover, covid-19 has deeply affected an already bruised consumer psyche

People stand in a queue to be interviewed for the position of ward boys by the Thane Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra. (Photo: Hindustan Times)
People stand in a queue to be interviewed for the position of ward boys by the Thane Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra. (Photo: Hindustan Times)

In a season of layoffs, here’s where jobs can be found

  • Slowly, but surely, there’s hiring in logistics, BPOs, healthcare, fintech, collections and more. Can it be sustained?
  • Nevertheless, the volumes of open positions across different industries are very low still. Some staffing firms said the demand is a third of what is usually seen in the same period in a normal year

Patna Municipal Corporation employees at a strike demanding the payment of delayed salaries. In the coming months, states are likely to receive significantly lower central revenues than what they budgeted for. (Photo: Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Patna Municipal Corporation employees at a strike demanding the payment of delayed salaries. In the coming months, states are likely to receive significantly lower central revenues than what they budgeted for. (Photo: Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

How India’s states are nearly broke

  • The shock to revenues from the pandemic will compel states to either borrow more or curtail public expenditure
  • It may be far from sufficient as states are at the forefront of battling the pandemic. Right now, even base expenditure is threatened, the effect of which will eventually be felt by citizens

Notices were hung near empty shelves after the removal of China-made products in an electronic shop in Guwahati on Thursday.  (Photo: AP)
Notices were hung near empty shelves after the removal of China-made products in an electronic shop in Guwahati on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

The art of war and Sino-Indian business

  • As differences escalate, firms on both sides are bracing for the level of uncertainty they faced a decade ago
  • Both govts have kept a door open to ease tensions. Industry insiders expect Sino-Indian ties to gradually readjust and recover, and bad business sentiments to subside

A banquet hall that has been converted into an isolation facility for covid-19 patients, in New Delhi.  (Photo: PTI)
A banquet hall that has been converted into an isolation facility for covid-19 patients, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Beyond Mumbai and Delhi, the new hotspots in India’s corona map

  • Smaller towns like Nashik and Chengalpattu are already emerging as new trouble spots. Are we prepared?
  • The lockdown has pushed back the window of peak cases. But India has merely delayed what’s coming. It’s time to count covid deaths meticulously and create mobile health response teams

Reliance’s Jio is often being termed as the Tencent of India; but the success of the company’s strategy is not a given.
Reliance’s Jio is often being termed as the Tencent of India; but the success of the company’s strategy is not a given.

Behind the rush to invest in Reliance’s Jio

  • The company has positioned itself as a tech major, but has to deliver on promises through effective monetization
  • Success is not a given. Worthy competition still exists in many of the verticals Jio Platforms is targeting. Also, the ability to monetize Jio is yet to be displayed.

For employee stock ownership plans to work, exits—either through an IPO or a sale—are key. And the fundamental problem for Indian startups with regard to ESOPs is that there just haven’t been enough exits. (Photo: Mint)
For employee stock ownership plans to work, exits—either through an IPO or a sale—are key. And the fundamental problem for Indian startups with regard to ESOPs is that there just haven’t been enough exits. (Photo: Mint)

The pitfalls of ESOP lifelines at startups

  • Many startups have thrust ESOPs upon employees whose salaries have been cut. Why are they not excited?
  • Some companies that orally tell their employees about options fail to actually give them the requisite ESOP documents. Startups also include clauses that allow them to withhold vesting

Grafting a law devised in communist China upon what has been hitherto the most liberal city in Asia is a journey into the unknown; no one will really know how things will work till the courts and police in Hong Kong start administering the new law.  (Photo: Reuters)
Grafting a law devised in communist China upon what has been hitherto the most liberal city in Asia is a journey into the unknown; no one will really know how things will work till the courts and police in Hong Kong start administering the new law. (Photo: Reuters)

Caught between China and the US, Hong Kong shrugs off yet another obituary

  • Despite a new Chinese security law and the inevitable US pushback, it seems set to make money in the middle
  • The unfolding saga may also have implications for India. Hong Kong has long been suspected to be a safer conduit for Chinese investment into India, which recently has come under scrutiny

In the auto industry, many OEMs don’t know how their tier-III suppliers are doing. The inability of smaller suppliers to do business, mostly because they’re starved of cash and labour at the moment, could delay the recovery. (Photo: Bloomberg)
In the auto industry, many OEMs don’t know how their tier-III suppliers are doing. The inability of smaller suppliers to do business, mostly because they’re starved of cash and labour at the moment, could delay the recovery. (Photo: Bloomberg)

How supply chain shocks can derail green shoots of recovery

  • There are doubts about smaller component makers’ ability to ramp up production. What’s holding them back?
  • Over the next few months, labour shortages in the component ecosystem are likely to pinch. Getting back the labour, hiring and training new workers can take around four-six months

Hydroponic farming at Nature’s Miracle, a farming company in Greater Noida, UP.  (Photo: Mint)
Hydroponic farming at Nature’s Miracle, a farming company in Greater Noida, UP. (Photo: Mint)

Hope and a prayer as reform rains down on India's farms

  • Prior to the monsoon, agri reforms have begun to shower down on India’s farms. Will it improve rural lives?
  • Most farmers were anticipating immediate relief, instead of long-term reforms. The prospects for new private investments to improve market access is also bleak in the midst of a recession

According to a post-covid scenario, collective bank and NBFC gross NPA could rise as high as 19.5% of advances, compared to 11-12% of advances as of September 2019. (Photo: Dheeraj Dhawan/ Hindustan Times)
According to a post-covid scenario, collective bank and NBFC gross NPA could rise as high as 19.5% of advances, compared to 11-12% of advances as of September 2019. (Photo: Dheeraj Dhawan/ Hindustan Times)

Beware the approaching financial train wreck

  • Post covid-19, bad loans will rise sharply across the system. We must acknowledge the truth and act
  • If NPA projections post covid-19 are indeed as dire as a scenario indicates, that makes a case for a stronger set of pre-emptive relief measures to be weighed against the fiscal space available

Bhavish Aggarwal, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ola, has strengthened his hold over the firm, partly through legal manoeuvres. (Photo: Reuters)
Bhavish Aggarwal, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ola, has strengthened his hold over the firm, partly through legal manoeuvres. (Photo: Reuters)

How Ola is hunkering down to ride out the storm

  • Bhavish Aggarwal will have to downgrade Ola’s plans to build an Indian internet conglomerate
  • As the domestic business declines, Ola could get a reprieve in its international markets. The single market that could change Ola’s fortunes is London, where it launched in February

Franklin Templeton India’s decision to shutter six of its debt schemes has raised concerns that perhaps debt mutual funds are not immune to the economic slowdown that has followed in the wake of the pandemic.  (Photo: S Kumar/Mint)
Franklin Templeton India’s decision to shutter six of its debt schemes has raised concerns that perhaps debt mutual funds are not immune to the economic slowdown that has followed in the wake of the pandemic. (Photo: S Kumar/Mint)

After Franklin earthquake, inside the race to fix debt funds

  • Investors in Franklin’s shuttered schemes are in for a 2-5-year wait to recoup their money. Will it spur change?
  • There are more regulatory checks and disclosures in the offing. These would focus on where money is being invested, who the large investors are and their redemption patterns

A mannequin wearing a face shield on top of a Salvador Dali mask at a store in Khan Market, New Delhi. (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
A mannequin wearing a face shield on top of a Salvador Dali mask at a store in Khan Market, New Delhi. (Photo: Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

As India unlocks, here are six ways our lives have changed forever

  • From firewalls to cutting back on expenses, a clutch of scenario-planning experts unveil how New India will look
  • Given that the world is staring at a massive recession, consumers will shed the consumerist approach of the BC era, and scrutinize what value each purchase delivers

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