Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi continued their bitter war of words during their respective rallies in election-bound Telangana. Rahul alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samiti was acting as the B team of the BJP.
He referred to the recently concluded Karnataka elections where a similar allegation had been made by Rahul when he called Deve Gowda’s Janta Dal (S) the B team of the BJP. Later, Congress aligned with the JD (S) and formed the government with Deve Gowda’s son H D Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister.
Modi alleges that a similar game could be playing out in Telangana, where both Congress and the TRS are looking at possible ways to combine and prevent BJP from coming to power.
He also criticised the Congress and TRS for their promise of reservation from minorities, calling it an insult to B R Ambedhkar and wondering if they would fulfil this promise by compromising on the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs.
#Amazon wins a brief stint at the top of Wall Street
Market positions are rapidly changing between the most valuable companies on Wall Street.
Five days ago, Microsoft overtook Apple to the top position with a valuation of US$ 814 billion compared to US$ 805 billion for the latter. On Monday, Amazon took the honours for a brief period during intraday trading, with its market capitalisation rising by 4.7% to US$ 865 billion at one point.
Comparatively, Apple rose by 2.1% to reach US$ 864.8 billion and Microsoft’s stock increased by 0.9%, taking it to a market capitalisation of US$ 859.0 billion. By close of trading, however, Apple regained the top position with an m-cap of US$ 877 billion followed by Amazon at US$ 866.6 billion, and Microsoft, at US$ 860.4 billion.
Since the beginning of the year, Amazon’s stock has increased by 51% while Microsoft and Apple have appreciated by 31% and 9% respectively. Currently led by CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft had last overtaken Apple in 2010.
Microsoft had fallen behind when its PC dominance ceased to be a source of competitive advantage as markets moved from desktops to mobile devices. The company has managed to bounce back with its Azure cloud computing platform, where it is only second to Amazon, and which counts businesses and governments among its clients.
#Apple not fast enough for 5G technology?
The company had adopted a similar strategy with 3G and 4G technology as well. While this makes it easier for rivals like Samsung, Huawei and Oppo to take over the market when 5G is rolled out in 2019, Apple argues that network coverage issues hamper consumer adoption of new technology in the initial stages, which has proven to be true in the case of 3G and 4G.
Historically, aficionados have even lapped up on old-school Apple phones like 2G Edge and 4S. But critics argue that Apple may be making a strategic miscalculation this time considering the huge speed boost that 5G is expected to provide. Interestingly, the company is also involved in a dispute with Qualcomm, which is the leader in 5G chip technology, as Intel will not be able to provide 5G chips by 2019.
# India to reach top 10 ad markets in 2021; Elections, Cricket World Cup and IPL to drive ad growth in 2019
Research firm Zenith has predicted that global ad spends will rise by 4.5% yoy to reach US$ 581 billion in 2018.
Furthermore, ad spends are projected to witness a growth by US$ 75 billion between 2018 and 2021, with the major contributors to growth being US (29%), China (19%), India (6%) and Indonesia (4%).
India is expected to enter the top 10 global ad markets at number 8 in 2021, replacing Indonesia and pushing France and Australia down by one rank each. India’s total ad spending in 2018 is expected to reach Rs 62,699 crore and increase further by 15% to Rs 72,169 crore in 2019.
The year 2019 is expected to be a big ticket year for Indian advertisers, due to the impact of General Elections, Cricket World Cup and IPL.
India’s potential is driven by low ad spend at 0.3% of GDP (Asia Pacific averages 0.7%); strong GDP growth of over 7%; reforms across sectors like retail, infrastructure, manufacturing and services, high consumer confidence and a relatively young population.
Digital spends are also expected to accelerate in India as many parts of the country are witnessing a marked shift towards digital technology.
# Softbank offers US$ 1 billion, but insecure Bhavish Aggarwal plays hardball!
Japanese investor firm Softbank has offered to invest US$ 1 billion in Ola, where it already has a stake of 26%.
The taxi aggregator has raised US$ 3.3 billion so far in over 16 funding roundsand is looking to expand to new areas like e-pharmacy, while ramping up on its food delivery business.
There is a speculation, however, that Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwalwould like to opt for a lower investment to ensure that Softbank’s stakeholding does not go beyond his level of comfort.
In 2017, the company had also amended its articles of association to ensure that Softbank would not be able to buy more shares in Ola without approval from the founders and board of the company.
Even in 2016, Ola had refused a similar offer from Softbank worth US$ 1 billion. In the current financing round, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and Steadview Capital are expected to invest US$ 200–250 million, while Singapore-based Temasek is also expected to make an investment.
While Bansal and Temasek will hold 7–8% after this round, the founders have a stake of 10–11%. DST global has given its voting rights to Ola’s founders, and holds around 6%. This gives the founders effective control of around 25% stake in the company.
# Vishwanathan Anand’s success mantra — letting go when things get out of control
When Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli had controversially asked a cricket fan to leave India, chess Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand had said that people are known to be emotional and lose their control once in a while. In a blog on an Indian chess website, Anand has admitted that even he tends to lose control, like he did in 2010.
The story goes back to 2010, when Eyjafjallajokull (a mountain in Iceland with a tongue twister name) spread a huge ash cloud over Europe. Due to this, Vishwanathan Anand had to cancel his flight to Sofia, where he was scheduled to play his world championship match against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov on April 23.
The initial plan to check in on April 15 and start work the next day went haywire, and he had to take a 40-hour road trip with his wife. He requested a postponement by 3 days, but the organizers only agreed for one day. Anand ultimately managed to maintain his composure and won the match, an inspiring story for all of us who face adversities in our daily lives.
He says, “It’s like there are five days till an exam, and you don’t study because there’s a power cut. You feel guilty, but it’s not your fault, in which case you must learn to let go.”