What is the value for the money curse?

On the first floor of Sonam Quartz’s estate sits a control room with seven screens and two women monitoring the different stages of the clock-making process. “Unlike men, women are more disciplined, productive, and don’t chew mawa (a mix of slaked lime, tobacco and areca nut rubbed on the palm before consumption),” laughs Jayesh Shah, … Read more

All F&F houses have airtight NDAs with major FMCG brands

For complex profiles—think ‘masala’, ‘peri-peri’ and just about any taste that’s a composition of individual flavors—the goal is to minimize subjectivity gaps. F&F houses not only have sensory departments for different food groups (sweets, beverages, savory/snacks, dairy, confectionery), but also rely on consumer insights. Part of an external panel For new product development (more so … Read more

What are the Catalogued options?

Livspace was earlier relying on contractors in the market, but it’s now moving towards working with contractors who will be more dedicated to its projects. Currently, 30% of Livspace’s projects are done by “in-house” or captive contractors, but it wants to take this figure up. There are 1,000 servicemen—plumbers, electricians, and carpenters—who work with the … Read more

Efficiency over anything, any day

Besides charting a path to profitability, PEs also catalyze the journey by putting in place the right structures. There is a focus on market research, return on investment, supply chain management, and efficiency. According to sources, this is what played out between Alibaba and Big basket. After leading a $200 million funding round in Big … Read more

TikTok on the advertisers’ clock, but brand worries don’t stop

On 13 September, online classifieds firm OLX launched its first-ever advertising campaign on TikTok, the wildly popular short-video app that has a 200-million strong user-base in India. OLX roped in top TikTok influencers like Awez Darbar, Arishfa Khan, and Avneet Kaur to perform a 15-second skit encouraging young users to use OLX. The three-day hashtag … Read more

ANI is neither aligned to the left nor the right

Rao, who passed away last year, facilitated meetings and interviews with government officials for his daughter and, by association, for ANI. This gave the fledgling news agency a huge boost. In particular, the veteran bureaucrat’s close ties with the Congress, which has led the government for most of independent India’s history, ensured that ANI never … Read more

Inside the grey zone of tipping in India

The table’s been wiped clean. The glasses refilled one last time. You’re sitting back in satisfaction. Just then, from the corner of your eye, you see the waiter bring out a slim, leather-bound folder. You sit up in attention. Because you know he’s brought out the bill. But it’s not paying the bill that’s making … Read more

Learning new everyday, and making life better

This summer, Advaeita Mathur was busy getting married in Mussoorie. Among all the congratulatory greetings, there was one that stood out: she had been accused of wearing a saree that fashion designer Nafisa Rachel William claimed was her original design. It was 6.5 yards of powder pink fabric with a gold gota border—it could have … Read more

When you pay someone below living wage

Things weren’t always this bad. They’ve become so with every passing year. People in the advertising agency business talk about their history in two parts. The days before Reckitt Benckiser, and the days after. So the story goes that in the year 2010, Reckitt (the second-highest media spender in India back then) invited a pitch … Read more

From those who have quit

We’d vaguely heard Gautam John had quit. Facebook. Twitter. And also Instagram (owned by Facebook). John is the director of the strategy at Nilekani Philanthropies, the not-for-profit foundation instituted by Rohini Nilekani. So, we reached out to him, with a simple ‘why?’ What happened? “I quit Facebook first—I think I deleted my account just before … Read more