To sin or not to sin?

Compensation premium in sin-industries What makes doe-eyed graduates work for a firm that exploits human weaknesses?  Young graduates often make emphatic declarations that they will not work for companies that engage in morally dubious activities. They profess to work for companies that they can be proud of. As someone who has just graduated, I can … Continue reading To sin or not to sin?

Bata: shoemaker to the world

Bata is synonymous with school shoes and Bata pricing (Rs. 99 pricing)  in India. However, not many know that company’s roots actually lie in Eastern Europe – in fact, the Indian operations were actually set up by chance. Czech pioneers arrived in India in the 1920s to source raw materials but decided to stay because … Continue reading Bata: shoemaker to the world

ITC: Less of a puff

ITC’s roots go back a century. It was incorporated as Imperial Tobacco Company of India in 1910 and for the first 6 decades of its existence, it was devoted to growing and consolidating its cigarette and leaf tobacco business.  From cigarettes to hotels & what not  The winds changed direction in 1975. Since then, ITC’s … Continue reading ITC: Less of a puff

Dropping the middleman

No community marketplace is immune to the threat of disintermediation. No matter what the service, if it costs money to use a platform, there is always going to be people looking for ways to cut it out of the loop. Platforms employ several methods to deter disintermediation, such as creating terms of service that prohibit … Continue reading Dropping the middleman

Is India the next manufacturing champion?

China is lightyears ahead of India, or any other nation, in manufacturing. China’s manufacturing sector is 10x that of India and total exports are 7.5x.  The current COVID-19 crisis has sparked debate about global corporations moving their manufacturing base away from China. The most obvious benefitter for this would be India, so much so that … Continue reading Is India the next manufacturing champion?

Cheap stocks for grabs (Indian stock market)

The stock markets have been shaken up by the COVID-19 outbreak. While the crisis is devastating, it does present some excellent investing opportunities. Here are 3 stocks on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India that in my opinion are well priced for the value they offer: Raymond (NSE: RAYMOND) Raymond is a quintessential Indian … Continue reading Cheap stocks for grabs (Indian stock market)

COVID-19 Chronicles: Survival of the fittest

The COVID-19 crisis is the biggest health crisis in over a century. The world is under lockdown, taking away the one thing that no business can live without – clients. While most companies are trying to make ends meet and hoping this passes away soon, some have pivoted their business models to embrace the change. … Continue reading COVID-19 Chronicles: Survival of the fittest

COVID-19 Chronicles: Oil prices in the red. Get paid to fill up our car tanks?

We woke up to a shocker today – the COVID-19 crisis has led to negative oil prices for the 1st time in history. Yes, that is right, producers are paying buyers to buy their oil. Here’s a quick primer on what’s going on for people who are new to the oil world. WTI crude futures … Continue reading COVID-19 Chronicles: Oil prices in the red. Get paid to fill up our car tanks?

Ocado: from delivering groceries to selling technology

There’s no dearth of companies trying to exploit technology to provide leaner, more personalised solutions for their customers. Thousands have gone down the automation path, but few have found enlightenment. Each year, millions of dollars are spent on developing AI and ML capabilities, but much of it is in vain. In a sea of moderately-successful … Continue reading Ocado: from delivering groceries to selling technology

McDonald’s: flipping burgers or buildings?

In 2019 your favourite (or not) fast-food chain McDonald’s reported a whopping $ 21 billion revenue. The order of magnitude is definitely not surprising for a company that’s literally omnipresent, but a further breakdown of its reported revenue and income will make you see that McDonald's does more than just flipping burgers. McDonald’s might be … Continue reading McDonald’s: flipping burgers or buildings?