Amazon Enters Into E-Pharmacy And E-Grocery In India

Amazon Enters Into E-Pharmacy And E-Grocery In India

Amazon has ventured into e-pharmacy and e-grocery business in India. During lockdown, both these sectors saw a massive increase in demand of services, and therefore many Indian players like Swiggy, Zomato, Reliance, etc also forayed into it. Let’s dive deeper.

Crux of the Matter

Amazon Enters Into E-Pharma
Amazon launched its first E-pharmacy business in India in Bangalore and soon will expand to other cities. Customers would be able to order online prescription-based medication, basic health devices, and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers.

NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy, and Medlife are local players operating in the Indian E-pharmacy segment. All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), representing more than 850,000 pharmacy outlets opposed the E-pharmacy business and demanded its ban.

Why E-Pharma Seems Promising?
Driving factors are increase in internet penetration, increase in the number of smartphone owners, ease in ordering medications through an e-commerce platform and app, increase in chronic diseases, rising per capita income, and resultant healthcare spending. Moreover, during the pandemic e-pharmacy business saw a massive spike in demand.

Amazon Enters E-Grocery
During the lockdown, companies like Zomato, Swiggy, JioMart, etc. ventured into the E-grocery business. Amazon also launched E-grocery – Amazon Fresh – and E-Food – Amazon Food – businesses in India. Currently, Amazon India has more than 25 Amazon Fresh centres.

Curiopedia
  • PharmEasy is an online platform that provides medicines delivery & diagnostic tests to patients. It was founded by Dharmil Sheth, Dr. Dhaval Shah in 2015.
  • Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BCPL) is India’s first pharmaceutical company. The management of the company was taken over by the Union government on 15 December 1977, and the company was nationalised on 15 December 1980. After 6 decades of losses, BCPL became profitable in the financial year 2016–17. It was founded by Prafulla Chandra Roy who is also known as the father of chemical science in India.
  • The domain ‘amazo.in’ has been bought by Flipkart. Thus, whenever you search ‘amazo.in’, you will be directed to Flipkart. Since relentless was one of the considered names for the company, ‘relentless.com’ is also bought by Amazon and will redirect you to Amazon.

FC Kohli: The Man Behind Indian IT Revolution

FC Kohli: The Man Behind Indian IT Revolution

You must have heard about J.R.D and Ratan Tata. But did you know Tata Consultancy Services’ co-founder, Faqir Chand Kohli, who breathed his last on 26 November this year, aged 96? From designing India’s first course on control systems to being in-charge of establishing IITs in Mumbai and Kanpur, FC Kohli has done it all. Let’s dive deeper into his pioneering role in TCS and the subsequent impact on the entire industry.

Crux of the Matter

Checkpoint 1: TIFR
FC Kohli introduced the use of digital computers for power system design and control, including the use of the CDC 3600 mainframe computer at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Checkpoint 2: TEC
In 1969, he helped Tata Electric Company install a computer system to control the power lines between Mumbai and Pune, making it the 3rd utility company in the world to install it.

This was done to manage the power supply from multiple hydroelectric and thermal plants, controlling losses, ensuring continuity of supply etc. He utilized all tools including the basic analogue computers.

Implementing A Reliable System
By 1968, TEC had all the operations computerized via the Westinghouse Digital computer, which controlled hydroelectric and thermal plants of the Tatas, to hydel plant at Koyna. This way, Kohli made TEC one of the first in the world, to run their systems on a digital machine!

Checkpoint 3: General Manager @ TCS

  • Bagged TCS’ first outside software project: the Inter-Branch Reconciliation System (IBRS) for the Central Bank of India.
  • India’s first digital printing of telephone directory (200,000 subscribers in Mumbai) in 1971.
  • First Digitization of the PAN card for the Income Tax department in 1976.

Tata-Burroughs Collab
In 1974, Kohli made Tata’s joint venture with the world’s No. 2 computer company, Burrough, a reality. They converted a hospital information package from mainframe COBOL to small systems COBOL.

First Indian IT Company To Go Global
TCS became the first to obtain permission to set up an overseas unit in New York, all thanks to Kohli. In 1991, it became an ISO 9000 company and crossed the ₹100 crore mark with just 3,000 employees.

TCS grew from 10 consultants to 14,000 by the time he stepped down in the late 1990s and remained India’s largest private-sector employer, with over 453,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants across 46 countries, for a long time.

Curiopedia
  1. As of 2020, India’s IT workforce accounts for 4.36 million employees. The United States accounts for two-thirds of India’s IT services exports.
  2. In April 2018, TCS became the first Indian IT company to reach $100 billion in market capitalisation, and the second Indian company ever after its market capitalization stood at ₹6,79,332.81 crores ($102.6 billion) on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
  3. The first software export zone, SEEPZ – the precursor to the modern-day IT park – was established in Mumbai in 1973. More than 80% of the country’s software exports were from SEEPZ in the 1980s.

What Do Latest GDP Numbers For India Say?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the July-September 2020 quarter for India were recently published by the RBI. As economies of world nations tumble due to Covid-19, India’s latest GDP numbers suggest that India made the best comeback among major economies from its worst-affected quarter. Let’s see what economic indicators are suggesting about India’s growth.

Crux of the Matter

GDP of India in the July-September 2020 quarter shrank by 7.5% (year-on-year) compared to a contraction of ~24% (year-on-year) in the April-June 2020 period.

However, when compared with previous quarters (qoq), India’s Jul-Sep GDP grew by ~23%. Let’s see how India performed compared to other nations.

Apr-Jun 2020 is considered China’s bounceback quarter after its worst-affected quarter (due to Covid-19) of Jan-Mar 2020 – China’s quarter-on-quarter growth in Apr-Jul 2020 was 21.1%. Among major economies, the July-Sept 2020 quarter is considered a bounceback quarter after the worst-affected quarter (due to Covid-19) of Apr-Jun 2020.

India’s bounceback quarter recorded higher growth than major economies at 23.24% (quarter-on-quarter).

Technically, 2 back to back quarters of Year-on-Year GDP slump indicates recession. The Quarter-on-Quarter trend of actual GDP numbers gives hope for a V shaped recovery in India.

India In Technical Recession
For the first time in history, India has entered into a ‘technical recession’. A country enters into a technical recession when it reports ‘two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth’. India reported negative GDP growth in the Apr-Jun 2020 quarter with -24%, and in the Jul-Sep 2020 quarter with -7.5%. Note that these quarterly figures are compared with the same quarterly figures in the preceding year.

What Are Other Indicators Suggesting?
Gross Value Added (GVA) was -7% (year-on-year) in Jul-Sep quarter as compared to -22.8% (year-on-year) in the Apr-Jun quarter. GVA is simply the result of GDP minus Net Product Taxes. Although India is ‘technically’ in a recession, other indicators suggest an uptick in economic activity. Have a look at the infographic below:

Other indicators that are potential green shoots for the economy are:
Monthly GST collections are in level or exceeding year-on-year figures
Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 58.9 – decade high – in October 2020
Toll collection was up in September 2020 – higher than pre-Covid levels
Exports increased by 5.99% in September 2020 after declining for 6 months.

Do you think India’s economy is set for a V-shaped recovery? Do write us your views on namaskar@summachar.in.

Curiopedia
  • Energy intensity is a measure of the energy inefficiency of an economy. It is calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP. High energy intensity means high industrial output as a portion of GDP. Countries with low energy intensity signifies a labor intensive economy.
  • A final good or consumer good is a commodity that is used by the consumer to satisfy current wants or needs, rather than to produce another good. GDP is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period.
  • Purchasing power parity is an economic term for measuring prices at different locations. It is based on the law of one price, which says that, if there are no transaction costs nor trade barriers for a particular good, then the price for that good should be the same at every location. Ideally, a computer in New York and in Hong Kong should have the same price. If its price is 500 US dollars in New York and the same computer costs 2000 HK dollars in Hong Kong, PPP theory says the exchange rate should be 4 HK dollars for every 1 US dollar.

Bajaj’s WhiteHat Jr. V/S Pradeep’s WhiteHat Snr.

Bajaj's WhiteHat Jr. V/S Pradeep's WhiteHat Snr.

The Indian EdTech Platform, WhiteHat Jr, has been in the news ever since CEO Karan Bajaj filed a defamation lawsuit against WhiteHat Snr.’s Pradeep Poonia, who has been a constant critic of the company for its alleged misleading advertisements and malpractices. Let’s see the timeline of the entire case.

Crux of the Matter

Who Is Pradeep Poonia?
Pradeep emerged as one of the main whistleblowers, taking on the marketing gimmicks of Jr.’s with videos of their inexperienced teachers. A total of 15 complaints were filed with ASCI for 7 such ads and 5 ads were pulled down.

Is He Behind WhiteHat Snr.?
Yes, Pradeep is an ex-product manager at ed-tech firm NextEducation. He runs WhiteHat Snr., a YouTube channel that claims to offer a curriculum similar to WhiteHat Jr. for free.

Case of Disappearing Negative Reviews
Apparently, many of Pradeep’s videos and social media accounts (on YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Quora, and LinkedIn) were taken down, after he started sharing screenshots and videos of the company’s toxic work culture and questionable practices, via their slack channel.

He also claimed to show how employees used personal and fake accounts to get negative reviews – including videos showing the inexperience of teachers – removed as well as harass their critics like Anirudha Malpani, an angel investor.

Did This Happen To Others Too?
A rival kid’s coding platform, Tekie, also accused Jr of posing as a student in their classes to understand and copy their model of teaching. A 12-year-old YouTuber Jihan Haria, who roasted an advert, had his video taken down, too.

Battle Shifted Offline
Last week, Jr filed a ₹20 crore defamation case against Poonia, accusing him of defaming the coding startup, accessing internal communications, and violating its name copyrights. A ‘copy-paste’ lawsuit of ~₹14 crores was filed against Malpani too.

What Did HC Say?
At the Delhi HC hearing on Nov. 23, Justice Mukta Gupta granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of WhiteHat Jr. Poonia has been barred from accessing their internal communications and using the name WhiteHat Sr online, until the next hearing on January 6, 2021.

Likewise, Malpani was also restrained from making defamatory commentary against WhiteHat Jr and next hearing for him would be January 14, 2021.

Curiopedia
  • Byju’s was Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s first investment in Asia. Currently, it was the world’s most valued EdTech company with a valuation of $11.1 billion.
  • Coursera is an American massive open online course (MOOC) provider that has online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects. edX.org is another well-known MOOC.
  • Founder of Khan Academy, Salman ‘Sal’ Amin Khan attended MIT and Harvard Business School. Khan was named one of the 11 inaugural members of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship by Barack Obama in 2014.