Your Gateway to India's Investment & Policy Landscape
Welcome to the India Partnership Forum's weekly newsletter hub! Here, you'll find incisive insights and expert analysis on the issues shaping India's investment, trade, policy, geopolitical landscape, and more.
Feb 19 - 25, 2024
Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg has a theory about recent tech layoffs: It’s not AI
Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook parent Meta, said he believes major companies are trimming their workforce because they’re realizing the advantages of operating a more streamlined organization. “I think across the economy, a lot of companies just kind of overbuilt. And then when things went back to pretty close exactly the way they were before it, I think a lot of companies realized, hey, we’re kind of not in a good financial place.”
Google reported that it made a $20.7 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2023, an increase of 52% compared to the previous year, yet its workforce shrunk by 4%. Google's Sundar Pichai also said 'We're not restructuring because AI is taking away roles, that's important here'.
Cisco is laying off 4,250 people—around 5% of its global workforce. Nike cut around 1,700 jobs. It is about 2% of its workforce. Paramount is also laying off 800 people—around 2% of its workforce. Snapchat has cut around 500 jobs, which is about 10% of the workforce. Grammarly has laid off 230 people.
Feb 12 - 18, 2024
Nvidia Is Now More Valuable Than Amazon And Google - here's what you need to know
Nvidia, the powerhouse behind AI-powered processors, officially surpassed Amazon in market value to become the 4th most valuable American company. But what does this mean, and why is Nvidia on such a tear?
What Nvidia Does:
Designs and manufactures graphics processing units (GPUs), traditionally used for gaming but now crucial for:
--> Artificial intelligence (AI): Training and running complex algorithms used in everything from self-driving cars to personalized recommendations.
--> Data centres: Accelerating demanding tasks like scientific computing and financial modelling.
-->The metaverse: Powering virtual worlds and immersive experiences.
Why Their Stock is Soaring:
--> AI Boom: The demand for AI chips is exploding, and Nvidia stands as a leader in this rapidly growing market.
--> Gaming Prowess: They still dominate the high-end graphics card market, catering to passionate gamers worldwide.
--> Metaverse Potential: Early positioning in the metaverse, a sector estimated to reach $800 billion by 2025, fuels investor excitement.
Strong Financials: Consistent revenue growth and profitability further bolster confidence in their future.
Feb 5 - 11, 2024
Paytm Payments Bank Blocked by RBI Probe: Unpacking the Situation
The recent block on Paytm Payments Bank by the RBI following a probe has sent shockwaves through the Indian fintech industry.
The RBI found "material supervisory concerns" and "persistent non-compliances" at Paytm Payments Bank during an audit.
This led to the suspension of onboarding new customers and most other activities and blocked any credit or top-up to the accounts after Feb 29.
Fund transfers (irrespective of name and nature of services like AEPS, IMPS, etc.), BBPOU and UPI facility will continue and customers may withdraw and transfer their balance without restriction
Reports suggest concerns around money laundering and data flow between Paytm and its payments bank arm.
What does it mean?
This is a significant blow to Paytm, potentially impacting its growth and financial standing.
The RBI's action highlights its focus on ensuring regulatory compliance and financial stability in the fintech sector. It raises questions about Paytm's internal controls, transparency and governance practices.
The company's market value dropped by $2.5 billion, with stocks falling to their daily limit.
Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2024
Will the war in Gaza become a breaking point for the rules-based international order?
The scale of death and destruction in Gaza is increasingly viewed as an indictment of a system facing perhaps its most daunting and most stubborn challenge – global perceptions of hypocrisy.
The Western response in Ukraine is a clear example of this. The US, UK and EU mobilized global rules, institutions and norms to resist Russian aggression. Hillary Clinton, for instance, warned ‘if Russian leadership would rather not be accused of committing war crimes, they should stop bombing hospitals’. Russia claimed these hospitals were used by the Azov Battalion and other radicals for military purposes.
But the US and UK governments, who believe in Israel’s right to self-defence and classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, are now among only a small handful of countries refusing to call for a ceasefire at the UN
Jan 22 - 28, 2024
India Stock Market Outlook 2024:
India overtakes Hong Kong, becomes 4th largest stock market
The total value of shares in India equalled $4.33 trillion at Monday's close, over Hong Kong's $4.29 trillion.
While India's retail investor base has grown, Hong Kong has been weighed down by a slumping Chinese economy.
In the backdrop of geopolitical tensions and subdued global economic growth, the Indian stock market showcased remarkable resilience throughout 2023. Throughout the year, investors witnessed a remarkable ascent, with the Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex scaling new heights and marking their second-best performance since 2017.
Jan 15 - 21, 2024
Turning Wasted Wind into Clean Hydrogen
The growing fiscal and economic opportunity cost of the growing power grid congestion holding back the UK’s world-class wind fleet
In the absence of sufficient transmission capacity, the UK is losing one billion pounds a year because of system constraints. By the time planned solutions are implemented next decade, the cost of curtailment will have increased to an annual £3.5bn. In 2022 the volume of wasted wind generation was sufficient to produce over 118,000 tonnes of green hydrogen, rising to 455,000 tonnes by 2029.
The report calls on Westminster to encourage electrolyser adoption in heavily curtailed areas to leverage this wasted energy and supercharge our nascent hydrogen economy.
Jan 8 - 14, 2024
India Is Chasing China’s Economy. But Something Is Holding It Back.
Long-term investment in India by businesses is stagnant, and foreign money is falling, even as the government is driving growth with infrastructure spending. China’s geopolitical tensions with the West present an opening for India, by motivating foreign companies to move production in China to other countries.
Last year, the bank said it anticipated an imminent crowding-in, as it has forecast for almost three years running. At some point soon, the government will need to reduce its extraordinary spending, which could weigh on the economy if private sector money doesn’t pick up.