Vodafone has launched Milaap service at the ongoing Kumbh Mela to ensure the safety of children and senior citizens, as well as provide location alerts and other digital solutions. The Milaap service involves providing RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to children and senior citizens, along with the details of parents or guardians. "These RFID tags (based on simple identification process) will allow local authorities or police to escort any unaccompanied child or senior citizen to the nearest Vodafone Milaap or Khoya Paya booth. On flashing these RFID tags on the RFID reader, the concerned parent's contact details will be accessed."
Social media platform Reddit revealed that the Indian government made four user account information requests during 2018. Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. India along with Germany made the second highest number of such requests by a foreign government. Only the UK ranked higher with five requests. Reddit is the sixth most-visited website in the US ahead of others including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Netflix, data from Alexa showed. In 2018, Reddit did not comply with any of the 28 requests for the production of user account information from foreign governmental authorities.
Shares of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) jumped 18% from the intra-day lows to Rs 123 apiece. The stock opened 6% lower at Rs 105 after DHFL’s Joint MD and CEO Harshil Mehta resigned on Wednesday with immediate effect. However, the company clarified that Harhil Mehta would continue to be associated with the company and shall hold the designation of Executive President- Retail Business with effect from 14th February 2019. The Wadhawans, promoters of DHFL are also planning to rope in a strategic investor to infuse fresh equity into the company.
Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Wednesday urged PM Narendra Modi in a series of tweets to direct banks to accept his payback offer to settle all dues. His comments came after the PM said in Lok Sabha last week that those who had fled the country were crying foul on Twitter. "The Prime Minister's last speech in Parliament was brought to my attention. He certainly is a very eloquent speaker. I noticed that he referred to an unnamed person who “ran away” with 9000 crores. Given the media narrative, I can infer that reference is to me," Mallya tweeted.
MoveInSync, a Bengaluru-based technology startup that develops and offers transportation software services to large companies, will foray into the ride-hailing segment, currently dominated by Ola and Uber. MoveInSync will offer services only to office-goers. Deepesh Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, said the service, to be launched in March, would offer fares at a discount of 25%-50% than those charged by Uber and Ola. MoveInSync would provide a scheduled transportation system for workers with fixed timings. Employees could directly pay for the service, instead of their employers. The company plans to launch the service with about 1,000 cabs on its platform.
Personal computer maker HP expects the premium laptop segment to drive sales in the Indian market. The company sees a surge in demand for devices with efficient features and better design. The company on Wednesday launched its premium Spectre range that comprises HP Spectre Folio and HP Spectre x360 in India. HP Spectre Folio costs around Rs 1.9 lakh. The company expects the growth in premium and gaming devices segment to outpace the traditional laptop segment. HP leads the Indian PC segment with a 30.7% market share. Dell, Lenovo, and Acer are ranked second, third and fourth respectively.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has invested $100 million in hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes. The investment, which continues to value Oyo at about $5 billion, has been made from Didi-controlled entity Star Virtue Investment, sources said. Oyo was looking to raise $1 billion in fresh round of fund raising which is now closed. It had raised $800 million from existing investor SoftBank, while Singapore-based transportation major Grab infused $100 million in December last year. The funding from Didi Chuxing will be used to scale up Oyo’s fast growing operations in China and the Indian business.
India’s biggest air-carrier by market share, IndiGo, plans to hire 100 expatriate pilots this year. A shortage of pilots and flight commanders has forced Indigo to cancel flights. The hiring is expected to increase staff costs for the airline. With a basic salary of $13,000 on average, expat pilots in India command salary premiums of up to 35%over their Indian peers. The carrier has more than 200 aircrafts and a pilot strength of over 3,000 including over 1,200 commanders. The airline cancelled 49 flights on Wednesday and will be cancelling 30 of its daily 1,300 flights everyday this month.
Consortium of banks led by SBI plan to lend an additional Rs 600 crore to the cash-strapped Jet Airways against shares pledged by founder chairman Naresh Goyal and partner Etihad Airways PJSC and backed by their guarantees. The disclosure is likely to be made after Jet Airways’ extraordinary shareholder meeting scheduled for February 21. The fund infusion would come as a lifeline for Jet Airways, Asia’s worst-performing airline stock, which has defaulted on interest payments, delayed salaries and payment to aircraft lessor. Jet’s share price has tanked more than 73% in the past 1 year.
The RBI imposed penalties of Rs 5 crore on four public sector banks including SBI and Corporation Bank for violation of various banking norms. The monetary penalty on the banks has been imposed for non-compliance with various directions issued by RBI on monitoring of end use of funds, exchange of information with other banks, classification and reporting of frauds, and on restructuring of accounts, RBI said in a statement. A penalty of Rs 2 crore has been imposed on Corporation Bank and Rs 1 crore each State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), through a consortium of banks led by the SBI, has informally informed Heineken NV, part-owner of United Breweries (UB) that it intends to allow banks to auction attached shares of the Indian beer maker once the court grants its approval to the agency. Heineken has shown interest in buying the shares at a premium. ED has attached 41.3 million equity shares of UB held by eight promoter firms, equivalent to a 15.63% stake. Heineken owns about 44% in UB. While Mallaya still holds 8%, a little over 23% of the promoter shares are pledged.
The Income tax department through its order dated February 13, 2019 has released the 74.90 lakh attached shares held by Coffee Day Enterprises (which runs the Cafe Coffee Day chain) and V G Siddhartha in IT firm Mindtree. While 22.20 lakh shares of Mindtree belonged to Coffee Day Enterprises, 52.70 lakh shares belonged to its promoter Siddhartha. However, it has attached Siddhartha's 46.01 lakh shares in Coffee Day Enterprises over potential tax demand. Siddhartha, owns about 21% stake in Mindtree, and is said to be in advanced discussions with various entities to sell his shares in the IT company.
The RBI has registered a total of 921 cases of fraud involving ATM/debit cards, credit cards and Internet banking, wherein the amount involved was Rs 1 lakh and above, during the first six months of 2018-19 (up to September 30, 2018). During the year 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, the number of such cases of fraud registered by the RBI stood at 1,191, 1,372 and 2,059 respectively, Minister of State for Electronics and IT S S Ahluwalia said.
In a first of its kind, India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, is offering a 24X7 service centre facility for its customers. This facility will be available across six cities in India. Maruti Suzuki has opened its 24X7 service centres in the cities of Gurugram, Noida, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Mangaluru and Sahibabad. Maruti had launched a pilot service in Gurugram last year. Maruti Suzuki says that the facility will be offered at service centres located near IT hubs where many of the employed population have night shifts. As of now, Maruti Suzuki services 25 cars a night on an average.
Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo’s Indian unit Volvo Car India wants to lead the electric vehicles (EV) portfolio in the country. Volvo, which is on track to launch its first locally assembled plug-in hybrid vehicles later this year, is now considering local assembly of electric vehicles in the country. The government last month decided to reduce customs duty on import of components for electric vehicles from a range of 15-30% to 10-15%. Volvo had earlier set up a facility near Bengaluru to assemble its vehicles locally in 2018 to compete aggressively in the highly competitive 40,000-unit luxury car market.