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Business News/ Weekend / Mint's best works from the week gone by
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Mint's best works from the week gone by

Best of the Week, 26 August: corporate fights, retired aircraft, and CEO's salaries

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Best of the Week

Dear reader,

There's a joke going around in Bangalore that if you stay at a cafe for more than a couple of hours, you'll probably overhear someone pitching their startup to someone else. As I write this week's edition of Best of the Week, I haven't found that to be necessarily true β€” although, I did overhear someone complain about being laid off.

Cafes in Bangalore are usually populated by younger folks who are looking for some respite from the heat, a bad electricity connection at home, or someone like me who wants to work in a different space πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»

From courtrooms to cafes, much of Mint's newsroom also file and edit their stories from multiple locations. Journalism is a dynamic profession; you never know when and how you'll get your next break.

Here's some of our best work, from the week gone by:

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’Ό Dr. Valli Arunachalam settled her differences with her relatives at the Murugappa Group. Arunachalam had accused the group of gender-based discrimination, as her appointment to their board of directors wasn't approved after her father, the family patriarch's, death. The settlement concludes a saga that has lasted years. It augurs well for the future of the 123-year-old Chennai-headquartered conglomerate that runs 10 listed businesses with a market capitalisation of over INR 2 lakh crores.

If you want understand the dispute from Valli Arunachalam's perspective read this profile of her, a nuclear scientist by trade, that we published in February, when the dispute was still simmering at the courts.

😰 The 2008 financial crisis was so long ago, and yet, the economies of the world are still feeling its effects. Vivek Kaul takes a macroeconomic view into central banks, policymaking, and the boom-and-bust cycle that leads to extreme highs and lows across the globe's financial systems.

πŸͺ™ Unhappy with your annual pay? You must not be a CEO of a publicly listed company. Our data team took a deep dive into the compensation structures of India Inc., finding that the median salary for the top job grew to a five-year high of β‚Ή17 crore for FY23, amidst a global slowdown and high inflation. It pays to be at the top β€” and how!

♻️ The central government is set to miss out on more than β‚Ή15,000 crore from green bonds which were to be sold in FY2024. Rhik Kundu and Subhash Narayan report that relatively poor yields and no tax breaks led to poor demand, and ultimately, the bond offer being scrapped. Investors have made one thing clear: sustainability is just another buzzword, at least until the sops come in.

πŸ’Ž There are many people who leave their traditional family business in the pursuit of adventure and ambition. Few succeed. Last week, we found a diamond in the rough: a breakaway founder who likely made the cleanest startup exit in India. Mithun Sancheti, the founder of CaratLane, built, scaled and sold the online jewellery brand to the Tata Group's Titan Company at a valuation of INR 17,000 Cr! Ranjani Raghavan and Suneera Tandon bring us the story of how he did it, while building a fortune for all those that built the business alongside him.

πŸ“± A few years ago, Xiaomi phones were in everyone's pockets. Cheap and fairly reliable, the Chinese smartphone maker brought accessible touchscreen devices to the masses of India. But in the years since, governance issues and clashes with the authorities have caused Xiaomi to slip behind Samsung and Vivo in sales. With 5G phones seen as the next big thing, Xiaomi hopes to claw back its lost market share and reclaim its crown. Sumant Banerji and Gulveen Aulakh write about the struggling mobile phone maker.

✈️ Did you know that aircraft have retirement ages as well? A 'mid-life' plane's age is about five to eight years β€” usually around then, they are phased out of commercial flying. But lack of new orders coming in means that Indian airlines have extended the leases of aircraft already in their fleet, often at exorbitant rates. This trend is consistent worldwide, industry experts told Anu Sharma.

(Also: Did you know that the plural of aircraft is also aircraft? Hat tip to Rajesh Jose, senior editor on our desk, for this grammar fix, which I desperately needed.)

Between personal finance and mutual funds, our Mint Money team stayed busy this week πŸ™‡

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Jash Kriplani wrote an article on the cost of raising a child in urban India. We saw some healthy discussion around this topic on social media, with some parents pointing out that a child's love can't be measured in money terms. We don't entirely disagree β€” but between diapers, doctors, and a decent education, parents spend lakhs of rupees on their kids every year. We're merely trying to help keep parents financially prepared.

πŸ“Š Last year, a front-running scandal rocked Axis Mutual Fund. Slowly but surely, they are back. Neil Borate and Sashind Ningthoukhongjam write about the new and revamped Axis MF, full of a new leadership and a new strategy to make up for lost stakeholder value.

πŸ”Ž Neil also wrote about how the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi) investigated decision making at L&T Mutual Fund (now a part of HSBC MF). Sebi first raised questions on L&T's competency, but eventually chose not to levy any penalties. The case revealed how investing decisions are made at asset management companies. Read this story for an analysis of shoddy decisions at the fund house.

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

If you have any thoughts, 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: 25 Aug 2023, 07:48 PM IST
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