Weekend reads from India - April 14, 2018

  • Deal Or Ordeal? About Snapdeal’s fall (Outlook Business)

  • BJP’s economic blueprint for 2019 Lok Sabha elections (Livemint)

  • The coming UPI battle in mobile payments (Factor Daily)

    All non-cash transactions (retail electronic clearing like IMPS, ECS and NEFT, credit and debit cards, usage at point-of-sale, all prepaid instruments, m-wallets and mobile banking) that December grew by 28% from the October figures – sharply higher than the 10% in the preceding months.

    UPI-supported payment platforms are fast emerging the gold standard in mobile payments. UPI, short for the Unified Payments Interface, is a new payment system backed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that obviates the need for a mobile wallet and directly connects to a bank account. In other words, any one among the 525-550 million bank accounts in India could easily get on board UPI.

    “China is a $5 trillion mobile payments market, the US is at $150 billion, and India is scratching the surface with $5 billion,” Rau says. In 2018 that number to double, he predicts. The war of mobile payments is just beginning.

  • Note To Bank Boards: Protect The Banks, Not The Bankers(Bloomberg Quint)

  • Silicon Valley Long Dominated Startup Funding—Now It Has a Challenger

    Madhur Deora, chief financial officer for Paytm, one of India’s biggest e-payments firms, says the company approached Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial instead of U.S. backers for funding in 2015 because Chinese mobile-internet innovations are “way far ahead of anything that’s happened in the U.S.”

    Chinese money is also playing a big role in India, which, with a population of 1.2 billion, has been described as the next big internet market. Chinese and Japanese investors each led nearly $3 billion in venture finance in India last year, ahead of the nearly $2 billion in deals led by U.S. investors, which have been the top source of India’s VC money in recent years.

    Tencent and SoftBank also each led billion-plus rounds into Flipkart, India’s biggest local e-commerce company, earning them board seats as well. Flipkart has also recently discussed selling a stake in itself to Walmart Inc., people familiar with the discussions say, and is facing a challenge from Amazon.com Inc., which has announced plans to pour $5 billion into its India operations and is gaining market share. Walmart and Flipkart declined to comment.

  • Inside DailyHunt’s bid to become India’s content King

  • Is Reliance Jio set to take over the digital lives of Indians?

    “Reliance Jio is clearly not positioned as a mere telco. Its business model has a wireless piece, which we now see; then there are the non-wireless businesses such as home broadband and enterprise, and finally digital services that overlay the connectivity pieces. Who’s to say Jio will not be successful in becoming an integrated telco and digital services company five years from now?” says Sinha.

    They now dream that if all goes according to plan, customers will talk, shop, bank, read, write, eat, watch digital content and book a holiday using a Jio app provided on a Reliance Jio connection

  • History on Trade fight - China Today Differs From 1980s Japan(WSJ)

    Along with targeting Japan, the U.S. used section 301 to pressure India. Washington threatened tariffs unless Delhi liberalized its protected insurance market. India was so incensed, it refused to negotiate. “It is not for [the U.S.] to decide the Indian policy matters,” said India’s finance minister at the time. The U.S. backed off.

    China today is more like India of that era than Japan. Like India, China is a huge, nationalist country. Its leaders believe they are destined to reclaim China’s place as a world leader and are building a world-class military in the process. Japan was a relatively small nation, whose global aspirations were snuffed out during World War II. It depended on Washington for its security.

  • The HDI index: where does one of the fastest growing economies stand?(Qrius)