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Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food?

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Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 1
Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022
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Indian startups are at an all-time high, mostly because the funding taps opened last year. They raised about $39 billion, three times more compared to 2020. Now, there could be more good news in this year’s budget, particularly for services startups. The government, we learn, is considering a proposal to allow carry forward of losses and accumulated depreciation when there’s a merger. The realization: consolidation will bring scale, make the small big and potentially, globally competitive.

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India’s services sector, over the years, has emerged as an exports champion. Fewer trade barriers in large markets can only help exporters. Scroll down. Also, don’t miss our stories on the GIFT City, Paytm’s third quarter, and natural farming. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry is transitioning beyond the age-and looks-centric template it has relied on so far. Find out more.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 7 60,395.63 (+1.09%)

NIFTY

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 7 18,003.30 (+1.07%)

Dollar/Rupee

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 9 ₹74.04 (-0.36%)

Gold

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 9 ₹47,417 (-0.07%)

Crude oil

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 9 ₹5,801 (-0.77%)

Bitcoin

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 9 ₹33,07,424.88 (-1.49%)

*As of 9 PM 10 January; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

NSE-Singapore Exchange GIFT link to go live on 1 April

The trading link to be established between the National Stock Exchange and Singapore Exchange (SGX) at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) to divert the flows into Indian securities away from Singapore and to India’s so-called foreign jurisdiction is expected to go live on 1 April. However, SGX has stated that their clients based in Hong Kong may not be able to invest through the NSE-SGX link because of regulatory curbs. Jayshree P. Upadhyay has the details. Read more.

Paytm’s loan disbursal jumps 365% to ₹2,180 cr in Q3

Paytm operator One97 Communications said it recorded “stellar growth” in the December quarter, on the back of its lending business. Loan disbursal volumes during the quarter shot up 401% over the year-ago period to 4.4 million and value jumped 365% to ₹2,180 crore, the company stated in a stock market disclosure. The announcement came on a day broking firm Macquarie slashed Paytm’s target price by 25% to ₹900 per share from ₹1,200, reports Joseph Rai. Read more.

Is natural farming the future of food? (Premium)

In December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all state governments to introduce natural farming, a practice based on new-age soil microbiology—one that avoids replenishing the soil by chemical nutrients. Small and marginal farmers who spend a lot on chemical inputs are expected to benefit. By severely slashing cultivation costs, natural farming can ensure higher net income for farmers. The government can also keep fertilizer subsidies in check. The scientific establishment, meanwhile, remains unconvinced, writes Sayantan Bera. Read more.

Businesses must watch what their leaders say

The argument that fintech unicorn BharatPe’s co-founder Ashneer Grover had with Kotak Mahindra Bank made many of us squirm. The language allegedly used by Grover should make us reflect on India’s startup culture and its reputation management. As the court of public opinion matters and the personal actions of leaders are commonly taken to reflect upon the businesses they lead, all companies should insist on strict adherence to a code of behavioural norms aligned with civil expectations, we argue in an edit. Read more.

Things to watch out for as India, UK launch FTA talks

India and the UK will start active consultation this week to finalize a free trade  agreement (FTA). What do the two countries want? India will negotiate for enhanced mobility for its professionals and reduced fee for work and tourism visas, safeguards for agriculture, duty cuts on vaccines, basmati rice, wool, yarn, instant coffee, and tea pre-mix. The UK, on the other hand, wants the ease of doing business, removal of tariffs of up to 150% on whisky and 125% on British-made cars among others. Read more.

Age no bar for female actors in India’s video-streaming shows

The age factor is gradually melting away in India’s show business. Once known for rejecting actresses past their mid-30s for being “too old”, India’s entertainment industry, especially new-age video-streaming platforms, is now embracing them. They are increasingly exploring storylines that feature senior actresses as protagonists. Some of these shows did well. For instance, Raveena Tandon-starrer Aranyak and Pooja Bhatt’s Bombay Begums on Netflix were instant hits. So were Amazon Prime Video’s Panchayat, featuring Neena Gupta, and Disney Hotstar’s Aarya, starring Sushmita Sen. Lata Jha writes. Read more.

Elsewhere…

Global business news

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 21
Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 22

The fast-spreading Omicron variant has made us increasingly reliant on at-home rapid antigen tests to tell us whether we have covid-19. Yet recent studies raise questions about the tests’ effectiveness at detecting Omicron. The tests might be yielding more false negatives, especially in the early days of infection.

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 22

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc., one of the largest after-school tutoring companies in China, let go of 60,000 staff in 2021 after a drastic regulatory crackdown on the sector.The company also incurred nearly 20 billion yuan, the equivalent of $3.1 billion, of expenses, company founder and Chairman Michael Yu said.

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Intel Corp. removed references to the Chinese region of Xinjiang from an open letter it sent suppliers last month, after the contents of the note sparked a social-media uproar in China. In mid-December, Intel published a letter calling on its business partners to avoid sourcing from the northwestern Chinese region, where the government has conducted a campaign of forcible assimilation against ethnic Muslim minorities.

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 25
Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 22

Microsoft Corp.’s augmented-reality team has lost around 100 people in the past year, many of them to Meta Platforms Inc., said former employees. Competitors have been snapping up people with experience developing Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality headsets, sometimes offering to double their salaries.

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 22

The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing to force more transparency from big private companies, as regulators grow concerned about the lack of oversight of the private fundraising that has fueled their rise. Private capital markets have become an increasingly popular way for companies to raise money in the US in recent decades.

e-paper
News in numbers
802

The number of people who died in Singapore in 2021 due to covid-19. 247 of them were fully vaccinated.

2.2 million sq ft

Office space leased by startups in the national capital region, Mumbai and Bengaluru in 2021, up 56% from a year ago.

16 gigawatt
Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 29

India’s projected renewable energy capacity addition in 2022-23, according to ratings agency Icra. About 63 GW of renewable energy capacity is under various stages of construction.

150

The number of spectators who are allowed at the venue of Jallikattu, a traditional bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu, amid a steep rise in its covid-19 cases.

2

The number of MLAs who resigned from the BJP in Goa on Monday taking the total resignations to four in recent weeks, ahead of Assembly Elections 2022.

howindialives.com
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Chart of the day
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Once, Bengaluru used to be India’s startup capital. Not anymore. Between 2019 and 2021, Delhi added 1.7 times more startups than Bengaluru, as per research from Tracxn. In fact, the national capital region saw more new companies being formed in the last three years than Bengaluru and Mumbai put together.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

Atrangi Re

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“I’m a psychiatrist. I know women.” Aanand L. Rai’s film pivots on these two patently false statements. Atrangi Re understands neither women nor mental illness, and its grasp of Jungian psychology is shaky at best. The film does take some brave storytelling chances but starts to unravel around halfway through. Atrangi Re is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Keep reading.

Top of the Morning ☕: Is natural farming the future of food? 33
WHAT THE FACT

How Hawkins started

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Cost and material calculations on scraps of paper by HD Vasudeva. (Company website)

HD Vasudeva started Hawkins Cookers Limited at the age of 54 in 1959 with a capital of ₹20,000. But this wasn’t his first business. After migrating to India as a refugee after partition, he tried his hand at many businesses—insurance, cold storages, white goods distribution. He finally settled on the kitchenware business and initially, the technical know-how came from Lawrence George Hawkins whose company made small consumer appliances in England. Hawkins today has sold over 105 million pressure cookers and cookware worldwide.

Contributed by katanaThebizdom

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Written and edited by Goutam Das. Produced by Nirmalya Dutta. Send in your feedback to newsletterskatanalivemint.com.

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