To catch a falling star

Kaushik Sarkar, who works at a senior position with a leading global biopharmaceuticals company in the US, was vacationing at his parental place, when the news came in. Sarkar, a widely traveled man, always used to proudly identify his native place as one just next to the place that makes Ambassador cars. Hindustan Motors may have stopped production of Ambassador cars for the last two years or so, but the brand was still living. The news of French auto major Peugeot SA (PSA) acquiring the Ambassador brand for Rs 80 crore from the C.K.

Monexo bets big on India P2P market

Monexo, the peer-to-peer (P2P) banking market place, first floated in Hong Kong by a former Citibank honcho, is now betting big on the Indian market, particularly in the wake of the government’s digitisation initiatives and drive for ‘financial inclusion’ beyond bank account opening. Monexo, which already has over 3000 customers in India, seems well set to roll out collateral free SME loans in India by the Q2, next fiscal, said Mukesh Bubna, founder-CEO, Monexo.

GM plans to build, test self-driving Bolts

General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week.
It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in comparison, is currently testing about 60 self-driving prototypes in four states.

Alibaba, Rakuten look to tap Indian e-commerce mart

India’s e-commerce market has high-profile suitors. The time has never been so right for Alibaba to make an entry into the e-commerce space — to wrap up the spin-off of Paytm and merge it with Softbank’s investee company Snapdeal.
While the valuations of Snapdeal have become more realistic than what it was 18 months back, Japanese e-commerce major Rakuten too is conducting ground-level preparations to enter the Indian market.

Holidays this week could break market momentum

The market managed gains on the back of a strong performance by HDFC Bank on Friday. It has been moving up and would face its true test this week, truncated with two holidays and expiry of the February series.
The Sensex managed gains of 134.50 points, or 0.47 per cent to close at 28,468.75 points, while the Nifty gained 28.15 points, or 0.32 per cent to close at 8,821.70 points.
This week has two holidays — on Tuesday for local municipal polls in Mumbai and on Friday for Maha Shivratri. This would be preceded by expiry of February futures happening on Thursday.

Anger over a changing model

With over 50 per cent cab drivers back on the road, harried commuters in the Delhi-NCR belt have found some respite, even as the striking trade union, Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi (SDAD), claimed the strike was very much on.
After eight days of uncertainty and suffering, commuters in the Delhi-NCR region could book cabs on their Ola and Uber apps on Saturday, but fares were relatively higher in peak hours. The waiting time for hiring cabs was also longer.

Himalya enters pet nutrition market

The Himalaya Drug Company, one of the country’s leading home-grown wellness brand, seems well set to make inroads into the fast growing pet nutrition category. As starter, the company will roll out India’s first herbal, nutritious snack for dogs under the brand name: Healthytreats. The snack, according to top company officials, has specific variants for puppies, adults and senior dogs, to address their health needs.

Airtel rolls out state-of-the-art 4G servies

Bharti Airtel, Indian biggest telecom operator, has rolled an upgraded state-of-the-art 4G services across 400 towns in Maharashtra and Goa circle to aggressively tap more subscribers and increase its topline, as telcos – indulged in intense price war among themselves – eye more market share in India’s $50-billion telecommunication industry.

Wearing a Strong Cologne

What does a Ducati Monster have to do with smelling like a man? Nothing. But also everything. Hear me out on this one.
One recent evening in Manhattan, at an event space on the sleepy western reaches of midtown, Ralph Lauren threw a party to launch its latest men’s fragrance, Polo Red Extreme. The scent, which comes to market in March, is a "flanker," as they say in the $40-billion global fragrance business, which means it’s a spinoff built to bolster the brand’s ranks on the shelves. It will stand adjacent to the original 2013 Polo Red and 2015’s Polo Red Intense.

Spencer's rolls out new apparel brand

The Rs. 19,000 crore RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, through its retail arm-Spencer’s Retail Ltd, is now foraying into apparels business, rolling out apparels for men, women and children under the brand-‘2Bme’. The company expects to notch up Rs 300 crore revenue from this brand over the next four years, top company officials said.