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Business News/ Weekend / Best of the Week | Fail to plan, plan to fail

Best of the Week | Fail to plan, plan to fail

Best of the Week, 17 February: Paytm's woeful week, YouGov-Mint-CPR survey results, and Tata Motors' hunt for #2 spot

Best of the WeekPremium
Best of the Week

Dear reader,

Last weekend, I went on a road trip. While I wouldn't do 400 kilometres in a Wagon R again, I did enjoy myself enjoying the scenic route between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Scene route, no potholes.
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Scene route, no potholes.

Despite a fair bit of planning (and practice!), my mother was quite concerned about the trip. High speed cars and trucks don't make for great traffic. Despite my attempts at assuaging her fears, she remained understandably worried about this journey.

In a way, that's quite similar to journalism. A reporter can be thorough in their work, but the editor will always be worried about mishaps. You always want to protect your writers, your sources, and your publication. But a reporter will still want to break some story that might make someone, somewhere unhappy β€”that's the nature of the job, I suppose.

On to this week's best stories:

🌡 Paytm has had a terrible start to this year. It has lost more than 47% of its market cap since the turn of the calendar. An RBI diktat that barred its Payments Bank vertical led to mass selling of its shares. Paytm has continued to hit the lower circuit on multiple trading days β€” investors sold their shares till they couldn't anymore. We had three key pieces about these developments this week:

It's been a rough ride so far for VSS.
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It's been a rough ride so far for VSS. (AFP)

βš–οΈ RBI governer Shaktikanta Das stated that there will be no review of action against the bank. This came as a huge blow to the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-owned entity, as it was hoping for an appeal process. Subhash Narayan writes about the governor's speech that underlined the RBI's decision.

πŸ”Ž Paytm's problems didn't just stop there. Subhash and Gireesh Chandra Prasad report that the Enforcement Directorate is also looking into the company. They are looking into claims of money laundering and foreign exchange fraud. The duo also reports that the central government will not be intervening into the matter, and let the ED conclude its own investigation.

πŸ₯΅ Small, retail investors have suffered the most because of Paytm's crash. Markets correspondent Ram Sahgal writes that during Q3FY24, investors had poured in money into the fintech. Most of these investors would have done well to sell their holdings by now. Ram also spoke to analysts β€” if you still have any Paytm stocks in your kitty, this is a good read.

πŸ“š If you want to read Mint's comprehensive coverage of Paytm's saga after the RBI's crackdown, we have curated a collection for you.

πŸ’ͺ🏽 Government-owned companies that are listed are having a great run on the public markets. In a year, Nifty's Public Sector Enterprises (PSE) index has shot up by more than 99%. Mint Money's Anil Poste spoke to various fund managers of what to make of this rally, and whether you too should be bullish on public sector companies – an interesting turnaround from a time when investing in public sector companies was seen as conservative.

🌞 Sectoral indices, like the PSE Index, can be great if you're confident about a set of companies. SBI's Energy Opportunities Fund is trying to do just that. The mutual fund invests only in energy stocks β€” both thermal and new energy. The Nifty Index has delivered 20% returns annually over the last 5 years, compared to 14.9% for the Nifty 50. Jash Kriplani writes about SBI MF's new offering, and whether it's worth investing in.

πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ Ask anyone if they are middle class, and the answer would probably be yes. It's a bit of a trick question: we don't really have a set definition for who falls under that group. But the government might soon have an answer. Under the β€˜housing for all’ scheme, the middle class gets affordable housing. If you qualify for the scheme, you're middle class. Pragya Srivastava writes a Primer on the scheme, and the broader implications of it β€” including dispelling who's really middle class, and who isn't.

πŸ—³οΈ Twice a year, Mint collaborates with polling agency YouGov and think-tank Centre for Policy Research to get the pulse of the nation on various issues. This time around, our research focuses on the upcoming General Elections.

We published two articles around this pertinent exercise β€” both as Plain Facts pieces with detailed graphics. More than 12,000 respondents answered questions from across 200 cities in India. Rahul Verma and Melvin Kunjumon wrote both these articles.

πŸͺ· The first part of the survey focused on the obvious question: which party do you identify with? Little surprise: 47% of urban Indians responded with BJP. Moreover, the opposition faction named INDIA isn't finding many takers either. BJP's support has risen to a high of four years. BJP now has a wider base across Indian cities too, which extends across caste boundaries.

πŸ˜’ However, not all is well for the ruling party. Urban India, it turns out, doesn't agree with the BJP on every single issue. Unemployment and inflation are some key issues that urban Indians are still not happy with. But they also remain divided on the Ram temple inauguration in Ayodhya. This was an interesting set of responses that showed the juxtaposition of the Indian political landscape.

🚘 If you know someone who has bought a car recently, chances are that it's a Tata. Moreover, it's also likely that it's a Tata SUV. Since 2020, Tata Motors' market share has shot up, thanks to its offerings in the segment. Indians love their SUVs, and Tata happened to be at the right place with the right catalogue. Currently, the second spot in the four-wheeler market is held down by Hyundai. But Tata is set to surpass it. It is launching a new model: the Curvv, to complete its SUV portfolio. Tiago and Nexon are already top sellers. How long can Hyundai and the Creta hold on to their position?

πŸ’„ Beauty and skin care have become a huge industry. So it's fair for the space to have multiple players. Myntra, traditionally a clothes and apparel seller, is joining the fray too. The Flipkart-owned company will go up against Tata Cliq, Reliance's Tira, and of course, Nykaa. Consumers reporter Suneera Tandon speaks to Nandita Sinha, CEO of Myntra, about this move. Will Myntra hold its own in an already-crowded market?

πŸ‘‹πŸ½ That's all for this week. I hope you all have a pleasant weekend!

If you have any thoughts, ideas, or feedback for us, please feel free to write to me ( or reply to this mail. We are a constantly evolving news product, so any input is much appreciated!


Shashwat Mohanty

Assistant Editor

Subscriber Experience Team

Please note: An earlier version of this article said that "47% of respondents said the BJP is coming back to power". This has been corrected to β€œ47% identify with the BJP". The error is regretted.

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Shashwat Mohanty
Shashwat works in the Subscriptions team, often thinking and executing ideas that could get people to pay for news. He is interested in editorial-led iniatives, as he believes that genuined journalism is still extremely valuable. He is a co-writer of Mint's flagship newsletter, Top of the Morning, and also writes the script of the podcast by the same name. Shashwat is also the producer and acontributer to the Best of the Week newsletter. When he's not missing deadlines, he likes attending live music gigs, discussing baseball, and complaining about the mileage of his car.
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Published: 17 Feb 2024, 12:03 AM IST
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