Zomato, the leading food tech company today in India with 80 million monthly active users, was once just a start-up like many others. When Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, who are both IIT Delhi graduates from the years 2005 and 2007 respectively, were working as professional analysts for Bain and Company, they had to scrounge for food restaurant menus while they suddenly discovered an idea catering to their need. So they started with this simple idea of having a restaurant menu internet directory. Deepinder started with this idea which was known as ‘FoodLet’ with one of his friends, Prasoon, who soon left unknowingly of the fortune path lying ahead. Due to poor business and HR concerns, now, Pankaj stepped in and they started Foodiebay. Since then the graph has only gone up. After 2 years they were renamed as what we now call “Zomato’’ and in 2008 it became the biggest restaurant directory in Delhi-NCR.
Zomato kept receiving funding from companies like InfoEdge India etc.with total funding reaching 223.8 million dollars since its founding. Zomato has kept expanding beginning throughout across cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, etc. eventually expanding its business across 24 countries and even acquired foreign brands like Gstronauki, Cibando, and NexTable. With time it has made many competitive additions to itself like Zomato Delivery for rival Swiggy, and also Zomato Gold.
There are many contributing factors and reasons for Zomato’s success. However, the founder Deepinder Goyal attributes it to the following key aspects:
- Always keep strategizing
- Keep expanding
- Trust in your employees
The way Zomato primarily earns is through restaurant advertising. It once had a zero- commission policy and as a result, it had 81% growth collectively in all 24 countries. Now it also earns well with Zomato food delivery, event hosting, restaurant consulting, etc. Now being valued overall at over $1 billion, Zomato is currently named as Asia’s largest restaurant guide.
The 2019 Indian General Elections had just held with a landslide victory of a single party. Amidst the hot agendas floated for vote gains the educational sector and education for the underprivileged have always been there. Discussions ranging from reservation of seats for the backwards, kind of education to be provided to them, fees to be charged and what not. But has there been any concrete improvement or reforms? Are the schemes and policies just on paper or in place?
According to the report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) published in 2014, 32 million Indian children up to age 13 years have never attended any school and the majority of them belonging to the socially backward classes. This number tells us the population that is unaware of basic education.
Whereas, apart from the uneducated, the other important issue is that whether the quality education is being provided or not? The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and several other studies reveal that more than 50 percent of class 5 students cannot even read basic textbooks or solve basic mathematical problems.
The various issues in rural education system are
- Inadequate number of schools
Roads and transportation is something India is working towards. But still the rural condition hasn’t improved to the required state. This poses a huge threat to the education system as there already aren’t enough affordable schools in the vicinity and those located at distance compels rural parents not to send their kids due to various safety and economical reasons.
- Lack of affordable institutions
The fundamental right guarantees the free education for children between 6 to 14 age but are there enough free or per se government schools provided to the rural population? Also the maximum portion of the little income sources are consumed in basic survival of the lives of family.
- Dearth of teachers and Infrastructure
Poor infrastructure along with lack of number of teachers disturbs the student-teacher ratio. There aren’t enough teachers for the population of children. Also, there aren’t well trained teachers leading to forsake or poor quality education hardly fulfilling the need of it.
These are the few reasons identifiable at the surface, there are much more reasons at ground level and especially in rural and backward areas.
Apart from the mostly talked population, there are many children from slums, orphans, abandoned HIV positives, physically disabled and what not. These problems along with poverty again takes them away from even basic education.
Although free education is the fundamental right of a child between the ages of 6 to 14, how this free education is being imparted makes the difference. Mere free education isn’t going to educate the children. We need to have quality teachers in these claimed free government schools. We need to cater to all sort of children and try working for them according to their needs and issues. Education should not be judged on marks earned but rather knowledge based.
Indian government is spending just 3% of its GDP on education. India needs to work harder in the education sector. Mere formation of policies isn’t resulting into fruits. Implementation needs to be made strong at the grass root level, needs to take along the rural and underprivileged population. Only then India would be on the path of development.
The term Leadership can be viewed by many perspectives. In today’s world, the leadership which shows authority over system is not appreciated and simply thrown out of the system. On the other hand, the leadership which is considerate and inclusive is highly accepted in the system. Today’s workforce believes in having a leader rather than a boss and even the top notch people of the company believes in working together, including the perspective of every employee , appreciating their point of view and growing the company together. The latest trend that we can see in leadership is of a leader who directs and not commands to do a task.
Millennials are of the opinion that if there is a direct connection with the leaders of the organisation, the system will be more efficient. If every person has a strong network with every other person in the organisation, he/she can quickly be accessible to them and can consult any issue and solve it in a very less amount of time. They don’t appreciate the hierarchies. The system of hierarchy involves giving different positions (titles) as per the seniority and thus leading to difficulties in accessing the authorities. Again, millennials don’t appreciate the term ‘Authorities’ in an organisation. It leads to a belief that they have some authority over the rest. It eliminates the sense of belongingness towards an organisation or makes one feel less important as compared to the ‘Authorities’. Millennials believe that everyone in an organisation should have access to every other person irrespective of their title or designation. This non-heirarchial kind of leadership helps in building up trust, belongingness and faith in an organisation.
There are five principles pertaining to inclusive leadership.
1.Lead with equality : The organisation should always look for keeping equality on top of every aspect of the organisation. This will lead to integration and employees will feel a sense of importance in an organisation.
2.To have brave and authentic conversations : It will lead to develop faith and confidence in an organisation and the problem of disloyalty reduce drastically.
3.Practice inclusive meetings : This helps in many ways but the most important being able to get different perspectives and then being able to choose the best out of it.
4.Be fair : The biggest reason of an employee to leave an organisation is due to the biased behaviour he/she notices in it. Being fair in every aspect starting from the task allocated to promotions will help to build the trust of an employee in an organisation.
5.Work hard and party harder : Let the hard work be appreciated at right time.
We had an opportunity to host our Alumnus from the batch of 1992, Mr. Ishmeet Singh, Chief Executive Officer at Fonterra Future Dairy Pvt. Ltd. for a guest Lecture at our campus. He has corporate experience of 25 years ranging across different sectors like FMCG, tele-communication, where he started his career journey from management trainee at Colgate Palmolive and to being a CEO at Fonterra Future dairy.
As Mr. Ishmeet had worked in diverse team throughout his career, he told us about the significance of working in a team and the genuine importance of team. He explained how actions performed according to plan helps in achieving the desired goal. Also, he has a very practical approach towards life and he believes that one should pursue excellence rather than running behind success. Mr Ishmeet puts a simplistic view of life by stating ‘Legs down to earth and eyes beyond the sky’. He shared that ‘when the winds of change blow some people build walls and others build windmill’ which cites that a problem for someone can be an opportunity to others.
In addition to that, Mr. Ishmeet told us about having purpose in life to guide ourselves, vision to bring focus, a goal to make our vision tangible, strategic priorities to empower us to achieve our goal, to win battles to drive our strategic priorities which finally enables us to achieve the desired goal. Also, he gave his priceless corporate life experience by stating three corporate lessons:
1. Every good conversation starts with good listening
2. Brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is – it is what consumers tell each other
3. When going gets tough, tough gets going.
Mr. Ishmeet engaged the students with a thought-provoking discussion about a real-life business problem faced at various industries during his professional career and how his team was successful in solving it strategically. He also spoke about career options ahead for fresh MBA graduates and shared some valuable insights from his personal experiences in the industry.
We thank Mr. Ishmeet Singh for an enthralling and insightful session, enjoyed by all.
-By Sanket Parinchekar
What are Unicorns?
Apart from being a mythical animal, Unicorns are the privately held startup companies valued at
over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee since the chances
of a startup turning into a Unicorn is rare. The term Decacorn is used for companies valued over
$10 billion whereas hectocorn is used for the companies valued over $100 billion.
How it is valued?
The valuations that lead these startups to become unicorns are unique compared to more
The valuation for an established company is based on past performance whereas, for a startup
company, valuation is derived from its growth opportunities and its development in the long term
from its potential market.
Uber, formerly known as UberCab, is a car sharing, transportation network company. Five years
ago it was limited to San Francisco. Today it offers rides in more than 65 countries and
currently, it is valued at more than $50 billion. Along the way, the company has raised an
impressive $8 billion from private investors. A silicon valley based Consultancy firm tried to find
the right time for a startup to go public. Results showed that a company when goes for an IPO
after 6 to 10 years after launch saw a greater increase in the market cap following the IPO. It
also found that the firms founded from 2012 to 2015 had time to market cap more than twice
that of firms founded from 2000 to 2003. In other words, today’s start-ups are growing about
twice as fast as those founded a decade ago.
Other examples are ANT Financial, the payment company of Alibaba Group, DiDi, a
transportation network company based in China, San Francisco based company called Airbnb
and many more.
Some Indian unicorns are ed-tech startup Byju’s, Food tech company Zomato, Food delivery
startup Swiggy and many more.
This year has seen downturns in many Unicorn companies. Many of the Unicorn companies
received valuation they did not deserve from overzealous investors. These companies are
getting slaughtered at the gates. The valuation target of WeWork was being cut by $20 billion
because of weak demand. Its valuation fell more than 80% pre-IPO. Peleton, Lyft, and Uber
have also failed to achieve public markets. All these companies saw their stock prices fell on the
day of public offerings. There are many reasons why these Unicorn companies are either set to
run out of steam or simply fail.
● Unstable Companies
Most of the Unicorn Companies do a lot of theoretical research which leads them to unproven
assumptions and hopes. The real test begins when they start working on a project if their
assumption works, then it is a fairy tale story but if it fails which usually happens in 90% of the
cases, then it faces severe consequences.
In a startup, there are many expenses like salaries of the founder, company employees.
Monthly costs including meeting with clients, travel and food expenses. Due to the lack of
guidance or experience, the founder of a company usually misses many expenses which the
According to Danielle Morrill, the companies that are most at risk of dying are the
consumer-facing and low margin that need to get people online and using the services without
spending too much on customer acquisition. So even the slight change in the amount the
company’s cost to acquire customers leads to a lack of profitability and makes the company
● Increased Workload
While trying to expand the business, companies make a lot of decisions and workload on
everyone in the company increases which creates pressure. Each market and customer base of
the company is different and if the company expands too quickly they have to take too many
decisions and need to analyze too much data in a short span of time it results in an unplanned
growth and also affects the services/products over a period of time. Customers notice the
change in a service/product offered by the company and stop using it. This is one of the reasons
why Unicorn companies receive great initial response followed by the operations being shut
down completely within a month.
● Initial Public Offerings (IPO)
There have been a number of failed IPOs among Unicorn companies. Most of the Unicorn
companies choose to stay private because of the additional cost, regulatory requirements and
administration hassles listing on the stock market are immense. This situation is good for
Unicorn company but is potentially bad for investors. The above trend is changing, now venture
capitalists are ready to take the risk but the employees, customer suppliers, investors, and other
stockholders mainly normal people in a stock market does not. This a problem with many
Unicorn companies including established brands like Uber and Lyft. So we can safely say that
too many Unicorn companies have proven they have growing stable business but it is slowing
down as investors take a second look at what they put their money into.
In the view to make India a 5 trillion-dollar economy, the country’s finance minister (FM), Nirmala Sitharaman, announced several reforms to boost the economy. One of the major announcements, was the consolidation of 10 public sector banks, with the aim of enhanced capacity of the banks to increase credit, have a strong presence and a global reach.
List of public sector banks
The aim is “to lay strong foundation for the financial sector in which not just strengthening the banks with equity inclusion but also making sure that we (the government) give them a complete good governance module” said the FM. With this context in place, the following mergers were announced.
Need for mergers
Factors into consideration for the big bank merger
To fulfil the demand for large capacity PSBs, the merger paid special attention to the business sizes of all the banks involved in the merger. This will strengthen the small banks increasing the returns for them, thereby increasing their profitability and returns on investments.
Banks having a similar culture, network overlap, complementary network are given due consideration while consolidating them. The rationalization of branches (as in case of Bank of Baroda merger) leads to reduced cost of operation.
CBS platform/Technology capacity
Core banking solutions are digital platforms on which the online banking services like cash transfer, online transactions etc. take place. Common platforms of the merging banks lead to stronger IT infrastructure thus easing the amalgamation process.
Key indicators of the performance
Comparison of CRAR and NPAs of merging banks
- PSB boards are empowered
- They can appraise the performance of general manager and above positions including the managing director
- Appointment of chief risk manager and chief general manager from the market at market linked prices to attract best talent
- Board committee strengthened
- The boards are given the mandate to reduce or rationalize the members of board committee in accordance to functioning of the bank
- Training of Non-Official Directors (NoDs) for induction and specialized purposes
- Leadership development
- The number of Executive Directors’ in larger banks is increased to 4, for proper functioning and monitoring of the bank
The government has announced a capital infusion of ₹55,250 crore in the PSBs in the coming month.
Demerits of the merger
Impact on the banks
- Consolidation of banks, with a business size so big, on such a mega scale, requires an experienced leadership and administration. In the absence of either, the entire purpose of the merger goes for a toss.
- Working personnel, from different work culture background, come together under one umbrella by the virtue of the merger. Thus, the norms for the functioning of the merging banks might change. This creates short term chaos and HR-related issues.
- Consolidated balance sheets and businesses, lead to an increased burden on healthy banks since there is a drop in their CRAR ratio and an increase in their net NPA. Thus, the larger healthy banks, not only go through administrative chaos but also have a dip in their overall performance for the short term.
- The smaller banks may lose their identity, and their local and regional presence might not be prominent. Some of the smaller banks cater to only specific regions of the country. A merger like this fails its purpose.
Impact on the customer
- Change in the cheque books, credit and debit cards issued by the merging banks. Thus, unless the change is done efficiently, it will lead to the disruption of services.
- Many customers have availed the facility of auto credit and auto-debit, which function using the banks IFSC code. The merger of banks might change the IFSC codes, on the account of rationalization of branches. Thus, unless the accounts are merged without any glitch, customers will have a problem to avail this facility.
Experts speak on the Mega-Merger
“All the requirements of the bank, including the minimum regulatory requirement as well as the growth requirements have been completed while working out the Capital infusion.”
-PNB’s MD and CEO, Sunil Mehta
“I have always said that India needs bigger banks…many PSBs were subpar in size and this merger will help them…The kind of investments one needs to make in compliance and technology is enormous and…the return on investment is not enough (for smaller banks). The bigger the entity, the stronger you become.”
–Former Chairman, State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya
“Coupled with the ongoing moderation in growth for private banks led by auto sector slowdown and increased cautiousness, credit growth, thus, is unlikely to be revived by PSB mergers.”
-Report by Credit Suisse
“The consolidation would limit downside to stressed public-sector bank balance sheets and not lead to any meaningful upside for credit growth in the near term.”
-Senior Analyst, BNP Paribas, India, Avneesh Sukhija
“In the near term, the integration issues such as realignment of organisation structure, redeployment of staff members across various branches and verticals among the merging banks may occupy the management bandwidth. This may impact decision-making and credit flow.”
-Vice President, Financial Sector Head, ICRA, Anil Gupta
-By Kruti Naik
A Reverse Pitch is like a normal investors pitch, but with the roles reversed. That means the startup doesn’t present its businesses to investors but investors and companies pitch their business concept, challenges and the like to startups.
Here’s an example: 91springboard, a growing community organized an innovative event at its newly opened hub in Vikhroli on 24th July 2019, Mumbai. It flipped the script, by bringing aboard investors like Unicorn India ventures, Orios Venture Partners, Aavishar, IndiaQuotient and many more to pitch their portfolios and value propositions to an array of young entrepreneurs and startups.
Companies pitch you on ways to solve their problems and improve their business growth. An environmental cleanup group might discuss ways of creating sustainability-focused content. A political lobbying firm might pitch you on using your digital marketing skills to increase social media presence of politicians.
Venture Capitalists Pitching to Startups
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you might have a groundbreaking vision but lack the capital to bring it to execution. Venture capitalists have lots of capital but only splurge it out to those they deem most worthy and so startups often try to pitch venture capitalists on investing with them.
But in a reverse pitch, the roles are reversed. Venture capitalists sell their funding capabilities to you. Why would they do that? Because venture capitalists are always seeking lucrative investments. And also because they believe they can help your business take shape and grow. It’s a win-win situation. You get the funding your business needs to develop its vision and the venture capitalist gets a share in the profits that the vision brings.
Financial Institutions Pitching to Startups
You might think big banks and other financial institutions run the world, controlling the global economy from their skyscrapers in cities like New York, London, and Tokyo. But in the 21st century, financial institutions depend on startups as much as startups rely on them. That’s because the Fintech world is exploding, small businesses developing apps and other technologies used by big banks to grow their profits.
Japan External Trade Organization held a reverse pitch event in 2017. Several huge financial institutions including SoftBank and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group showed up to reverse pitch Fintech entrepreneurs on developing business plans for improving mobile financial technology.
The Events Committee of our college proudly host to a number of events held across the year, and one such event that is no less that pride our committee is the House Cup.
The House Cup includes a number of sporting events, and one such event is “Athletics”. Athletics as a sport has been on the rise since a little over the last decade since the emergence of Usain Bolt, who took the track and field community and its global viewers by storm. It all began with him equaling the 100 m record of 9.72 seconds which was previously held by his countryman Asafa Powell. The thunderstorm struck when Bolt clinched the 100 m gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and continued with lightning speed by clinching another individual gold in 100 m at the Berlin World Championship held in 2011 by racing against the wind to clock an unimaginable 9.58 seconds.
The sport has leapt by leaps and bounds and to add to this claim is the success of the recently concluded IAAF World Championship held in Doha, Qatar. And the event was a massive success, with many upcoming talents and India also claiming a pie of the cake with Hima Das racing to a historic gold and claiming the 1st position finish at the 400 m.
We as a committee eagerly wait to host the event and unearth hidden sporting talents of our fellow students and hope to provide a platform to this current batch and the batches to follow, a platform to pursue the sport and rekindle their passion for the same. Who knows, somewhere, someone of us was a superstar Athlete during their school or college days, and could not pursue the sport due to unavoidable circumstances. We never know, we might have a Bolt in the making; waiting to take the world by storm and entertain crowd in the same way as some of our sporting hero’s did in the past.
As blood flows through our veins, humanity runs through our souls. Blood is the fluid that keeps our bodies functioning. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the blood requirement of one person of a country’s population be used as a ballpark estimate of its blood needs. By this measure, in 2018, India faced a paucity of 1.9 million units of blood. To thwart this challenge and to keep the heart of India beating, the Student Social Responsibility (SSR) committee of SIMSREE in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital organized a blood donation drive on 12th of October, 2019 in the campus itself. It was the eighth year of a successful legacy of giving to humanity what we owe to it.
At SIMSREE we believe in preparing students to not only don top managerial positions but also be worthy citizens, conscious of their social responsibilities. Our team with the galvanizing support of our director Dr. Manoj Bhide and the invaluable guidance of Dr. Sangeeta Pandit and Prof. Ashish Pawaskar, ensured the smooth functioning of the drive. A health check-up was done by the medical professionals from the hospital prior to blood donation. Alongside that, provision for refreshments was also made for all the donors. Certificates of appreciation were given to all the donors and donor cards were given to first time donors. We received an overwhelming response from students not just from our own campus but also from other colleges. The first-time donors felt immense joy and contentment post donation. This was a positive omen for us because it ignited the hope of augmenting the number of donors in future.
We are oblivious to how many lives we managed to save but we definitely know how satisfying it was for everyone associated with the drive. While there still exist problems in the world, we hope to come together time and again to show that the blood that runs through our veins and the humanity that flows through our soul is the same.
In an increasingly energy and environment conscious world, it was inevitable that EVs are the future of automobile industry. Gogoro is a Taiwan based company that manufactures electric scooters. Horace Luke, the founder truly believed that technology is the only thing that can protect the environment and save our future. He exploited the fact that developed and developing cities will always be densely populated and they need to be connected via smart tech. The company manufactures two-wheeled electric smart-scooter, which features cloud connectivity and electric powetrain that utilizes swappable battery infrastructure known as Gogoro energy network.
The Gogoro Energy and Transportation Platform is an evolutionary and evolving system that combines the Gogoro Energy Network and Gogoro Smart scooter. Gogoro Smart scooter users do not own and charge their batteries. They access Gogoro Energy Network and swap batteries in 6 seconds. There are battery hubs strategically placed throughout the country that host fully charged cells. Whenever someone needs a battery, they just go to the nearest hub and swap their batteries. The presence of battery hubs at the designated places ensure the riders they will not have to worry about running out of charge every time they decide to ride their smart scooter. India which has a huge number of bike users, which is still on the rise amidst the economic slump, could probably look at Gogoro and try to implement a similar model here to pave the way for feasible EVs!