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Business News/ Weekend / Best of the Week | The Men's Cricket World Cup Finals, festivities, and obituaries
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Best of the Week | The Men's Cricket World Cup Finals, festivities, and obituaries

Best of the Week, 18 November: festive trading myths and scams galore.

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Best of the Week

Getting back to work after a 3-day weekend is quite difficult. For many people, this past week turned out to be a 5-day weekend: the holiday on Tuesday allowed many to take an off on Monday, and turn it into a really extended weekend.

Apart from the festivities, cricket enthusiasts and casual fans have had the World Cup to stay tuned into. A very reliable source told me that the country's productivity fell massively in the second half of Wednesday. While I was unable to get an official confirmation on that, anecdotal evidence and extremely long delivery time on food delivery apps showed that Indians were a little distracted.

Much to the relief of reporting managers everywhere, India's next match is on Sunday. Monday onwards, it'll be BAU. For Mint's newsroom, finals or festivities, it is always BAU. Here are our top stories from the past week:

Our reporters broke a couple of big sustainable transport-related stories this week.

πŸ”Œ In a critical policy shift, the Indian government is looking to have electric vehicle makers use more locally made parts in order to become beneficiaries of its manufacturing programme, reported Shubhash Narayan and Rituraj Baruah. The production-linked manufacturing (PLI) scheme so far has been a hit among both two- and four-wheeler automakers.

πŸš™ In order to reduce their dependance on China, Tesla is relying more on Indian auto parts makers, reported Alisha Sachdev. This might happen despite Indian prices being higher than their Chinese counterparts.

⏳ For those tired of billionaires' tirades about 70-hour work weeks, Madhavan Narayan wrote about India's low productivity across sectors, and how to improve them. Indians already work more than their western counterparts; it is efficiency that is lacking. Narayan singles out the manufacturing sector needing upskilling and investments to bolster India's productivity.

πŸ”₯ The festive season also brought on the cloud of smoke across the Indo-Gangetic plains. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been a constant punching bag for this hot-button issue. But why do farmers still indulge in stubble burning? Shortage of machines that manage crop residues compel these farmers to burn the stubble, leading to further pollution, explains Sayantan Bera.

πŸ“Š Diwali comes with renewed optimism for investors. After a brutal October, markets have been trending upwards in November. Muhurat trading, an event that is considered auspicious for traders, is partly why. Akshat Rohatgi's research showed that markets have ended in green 87% of the time leading up to Diwali. But should you wait till this period to invest your money? Read his piece to find out more.

πŸ“ˆ The festive season is always touted to bring a lot of momentum for the Indian economy. But official data doesn't reflect that sentiment. Our partners are How India Lives looked at data from Reserve Bank of India, quarterly results from listed companies, and auto sales. A broader view shows that this festive effect isn't as big as previously thought.

πŸ˜“ Are there any truly "safe" investments? Unless you believe finfluencers, no. But generally, assets like gold and government bonds are considered stable, and in turn, fairly safe. But given the global geopolitical conditions, even these assets are a little shaken up right now. Deepa Vasudevan illustrates the change in these trends.

πŸ“² Bank of Baroda's new app, 'bob world', was launched with a hefty marketing campaign. As a result, officials were under pressure to increase the registration numbers on their new app. But they resorted to an array of fraudulent methods to gather more users of the app. Shayan Ghosh lays bare the onboarding malpractices for this app in this deep dive.

🚨 Such scams worry the Reserve Bank of India. It has spent the last few months warning banks against the current lending spree. This week, it finally took a pivotal decision by increasing the risk weightage of consumer loans and credit card borrowing to 25%. This will result in higher lending costs for banks, which in turn are likely to make loans and other borrowing expensive for consumers. Shayan Ghosh and Gopika Gopakumar explain the ramifications of this decision.

🧾 The saga of malpractice that took place at BharatPe, the fintech startup unicorn that was run by Ashneer Grover, continues to unravel. An investigation by the Economic Offences Wing, a federal agency that investigates white-collar crimes, into the company revealed backdated invoices were used by firms linked to Ashneer Grover and his family to siphon off funds from BharatPe, writes Arti Singh.

This week, two esteemed businessmen passed away. But the way they will be remembered couldn't be any more different.

🏨 We invited our columnist Sundeep Khanna to write an obituary about Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, the former executive chairman of EIH Ltd that runs Oberoi Hotels. Biki Oberoi, as he was fondly known, turned Oberoi into a home-grown world class luxury hotel chain. Oberoi's efforts at the helm of the business resulted in becoming India's second most valued hospitality company, behind the Tata-owned Taj Group of hotels, at market cap of over INR 14,500 Cr. Khanna writes with great insight about Oberoi's life, his entrepreneurial challenges (including a near hostile acquisition fiasco) and his deep passion to reach such great heights.

πŸ‘¨πŸ» Meanwhile, Subrata Roy, of Sahara India Pariwar-fame, also passed away this week, after a long bout with cancer. The former chairperson of the Sahara group cultivated a larger-than-life image of himself and his companies, before it collapsed like a house of cards, leading to a Supreme Court monitored investigation. Roy, who was known to give generous gifts to celebrities, eventually owed β‚Ή25,000 crore to 30 million small investors, from whom his companies accepted optional convertible debentures using illegal methods.

That's all for this week. I hope you all have a pleasant weekend!

If you have any thoughts, credit card-related discussions, ideas, or feedback on our journalism (or subscription), please feel free to write to me (shashwat.mohanty@htdigital.in). We're a perpetually evolving news product, so any and every input is appreciated!

Best,

Shashwat Mohanty

Assistant Editor

Subscriber Experience Team

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 Nov 2023, 09:11 PM IST
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