Why we are obsessed with money

What a way to exist!

For most of us, practically the whole day all we are thinking is about money and more specifically how to have more money!

As if money was the only thing in life. Unfortunately for most of us, circumstances just do not permit any other thought!

We are running behind money most of the time which is almost akin to have become obsessed with money. Everything that we are doing in life is centred around money.

Unfortunately, this is because we need money for anything and everything that we do. There’s nothing wrong and what are you doing, however the problem is that over time, it becomes a compulsive habit to keep earning more.

That’s where the danger is. The problem is that there is a point where from we chase money as an addiction, we chase money because we like to do so. If we did not chase money we would not know what to chase now because we get out identity from money and the amount of money we have.

Another thing is that right from childhood we are always taught and our minds are conditioned that everything that we are doing is going to be for the sake of earning money.

There is no one who told you that money is just a means, and then there is something greater in life to achieve. Some examples are legacy; building something, charity; to giving something / helping someone, passion; pursuing something and living; simply to enjoy life and your money

We have got addicted to this and how!

There are three reasons for this:

First, we are what we do. It is the human behaviour. I know I should exercise and I don’t. I know I should eat healthy and I don’t. I know I should spend time with my kids and I don’t. I know that, yes, money isn’t going to make me happy and I still keep trying to make money.

We live by the laws of inertia, in a pattern which is hard to break. But we have to break it. For ourselves and for the sake of people and reasons for which we are chasing money.

Secondly, we need signals of progress. Money is a measure of how far you have progressed in life. The more the money you have the more you can make sure your progress. It’s simply the logic of evolution. People need validation of their success. Bigger house, bigger car, branded goods and list goes on.

Thirdly, it’s the easy way out. It’s only human to avoid difficult things. Important things are very difficult to measure.  Have I been a good father or husband? Have I groomed my child well?  Such things take years to measure and we still don’t have answers.

So, should we not be focused on creating money for ourselves?

I’m not saying that. Definitely create. Take care of yourself for sure!! Use it to the maximum to make yourself happy!!! You need a certain amount and beyond that is extra.

The definition of their certain amount is naturally different from one person to another. If that extra is going to happen easily, without stress and without your involvement, then its fine. Basically don’t kill yourself for that extra. Be Smart.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a certified financial planner, wealth manager and financial freedom coach.

How the RBI actually helps you

RBI

Most of us in Mumbai, see this huge structure called the Reserve Bank of India and wonder what it really does. It’s also a tourist attraction!! It has so many other offices and again one wonders why they need to have so many offices. I’m going to try and highlight a very interesting part of RBI’s work and how it helps us directly on a day-to-day basis.

The RBI does a review of the monetary policy of the country at frequent intervals during the year. So how does the monetary policy help us investors to take smart decisions?

Monetary policy is a tool by which the RBI decides to raise interest rates or reduce interest rates or keep them steady.

In our country, as we’re an oil importing nation, this decision is very closely linked to Oil. Oil to a large extent contributes to inflation. We all know what happens when inflation keeps rising. We in India unfortunately do not see too much of inflation falling and things becoming cheaper.

Oil is Not Well

So when oil prices rise i.e. we see a rise in crude oil prices almost instantly we can expect rising food prices. This is because there is going to be a rising cost pressure for manufacturing & services. This rise obviously gets passed onto the retail consumers.

When this happens RBI adopts a hawkish stance, tries to pull money out of the system by raising interest rates. Now when interest rates rise no one seems to be interested in borrowing. This immediately puts a brakes on money circulation.  Less money chasing goods decreases the demand for money. This way it controls inflation.

There is yet another tool that the RBI has and that is known as the CRR or the cash reserve ratio.  This ratio in simple words means the amount of cash that the bank must maintain with the RBI as the percentage of the total assets. So when this increases banks are forced to park more with the RBI and this is also a way to control inflation.

On the other hand when things look dull, when there is a recession of sorts, the RBI comes to the rescue and gets into action to kickstart growth in the country. It does this by lowering the interest rates. This we all will understand quite easily because we see a direct benefit of this happening. We see a fall of interest outgo in our EMI’s for the home loan that we are carrying. New loans become cheaper.

Individuals are motivated to go out and make purchases, whether it is for a washing machine or a piece of real estate. Businesses are motivated to go out and borrow to buy more machinery, to expand capacity, to hire more staff and manpower and basically do everything that will add to the growth of business.

Economic growth results as a result of all this. It is also during this time that stock market rises, we see a rally in stock prices and mutual fund NAV’s jumping higher and higher each day. There is prosperity all around.

Critical Role

As you can see that the central bank of the country has a very very important role to play.  If it makes a mistake, things can go really wrong.  Imagine like the USA or Japan if our interest rates were very low; everyone would run to borrow, they would borrow more than they require because it would be cheap and easy to borrow. And that is very individuals would run into what is known as the debt trap, because someday you’ll have to pay back.

Each day the central bank attempts to make sure that everything in our country remains stable and financially there’s nothing that goes wrong dramatically.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

The year of the bond, once again!

We are not talking of James Bond, we are talking of investment bonds.

We are in a situation where the fixed deposit rates are at a general low and there is a lot of discontent among depositors of fixed deposits.

Whenever we see a situation like this, one way or the other, the bond markets come to the rescue. It comes to the rescue of smart depositors, who are agile to move their money from fixed deposits to bond funds.

Let’s understand what is happening and why.

What Exactly is Happening in the Bond Markets?

It is likely that in this year, investors of bond funds will make handsome gains. Bond prices may rise and there may be capital gains. Investors of bond funds not only earn the rate of interest, but also earn capital gains. So that way, they make more than the return they would make on fixed deposits. The returns could be a high single digit or sometimes as high as double digits.

Over three years, this will become practically tax free or the tax would be a very small amount. So, basically, I am thinking that a rally will happen in the bond market. There are three main reasons for this — reduction in government borrowing (which is favourable), recovery of trading losses (which is favourable) and no change in monetary policy (which is neutral).

A word of caution, however, that such bond market investments are also subject to bond-market volatility and should be considered ideally with the help of a financial expert.

Before proceeding further, let us, therefore, quickly explain a bond, bond fund and bond market. We need to do this because few people understand the bond markets and even fewer invest in the bond markets.

Bond is nothing, but a commercial transaction where the borrower is issuing a bond to the lender and the lender will earn a certain rate of interest. When interest rates fall, everyone becomes interested in owning that bond.

As a result, the demand for the bond increases, the price of the bond increases and the bondholder makes capital gains.

A bond fund is a fund where ordinary investors pool in their money and a fund manager buys them a portfolio of bonds.

Moving onto the Reasons For a Rally in Bond Funds…

Now, the fundamental reason for a rally is reduction in interest rates as it stimulates economy and growth.

Firstly, the government is a massive borrower of funds. So a reduction in government borrowing reduces the demand for money in the economy. As a result, prices of bonds rise and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that the commercial banks and RBI, which are the largest lenders to the government, will have another year to offset losses they have incurred on account of buying government bonds in the past. This action will lead to a rise in the price of bonds and this contributes to capital gains for bond holders.

Lastly, on one side due to the rise in oil prices, there is more inflation and thus more money is needed for circulation in the economy. On the other side, many government bonds are maturing, which will provide money supply. So, it is likely that we see a neutralising effect and thus RBI will take no action. This inaction here will support capital gains as explained above. Hence, this year might be a year of good gains for the bond investors.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Five new financial goals for you this summer

I am going to try and explain to you why the summer holidays of April and May are great months to get a lot of things started, financially speaking.

This time period in a way resets the financial clock. You also have the option to hit the reset button on everything you have done so far; financially speaking of course and hope to do better things better than you did last year.

Let’s look at some of the new and unusual things to do in April.

  • Make a learning budget

Learn something about money or anything you like. The best way to make money is to learn something about money. Just like if you wanted to learn cooking you will get into the cooking class. If you wanted to learn swimming you would enrol in the swimming class. If you find learning about money is too daunting task than learn something which is close at to your heart or related to your work. If you learn something new, there’s a possibility that you will use your new ideas to generate new income and in turn that will generate new wealth for you.  So make a budget, enrol somewhere and spend that budget. How about a % of your annual income? Spend it for sure!

  • Plan a unique holiday 

When you’re by yourself and without your mobile phone you will have the opportunity to think! When you have time to think, suddenly good ideas will come to your mind.  You may think this is silly but you can be sure that you will be amazed if your drivers experiment just once. So it might be a good idea to go for a holiday just by yourself. If you find that too intimidating, join a group of strangers. You can combine that with the adventures experience if you like.  Be extra careful if you’re going with your special buddies. Do this only if they are going to be in a position to help you discuss your idea and make it bigger. They must play the role of complimenting your thoughts. So make a schedule to do this holiday and obviously make a budget to make it happen. Think & create new ways of making wealth.

  • Make a prediction and make it happen

Be brave. Let’s aim to grow and multiply net worth by 50% by the time you come to the end of this financial year. This is not a joke and it is easier than you can imagine.  I’m speaking about NETWORTH and I’m not talking about return on investment. If your networth is Rs. 100 today, all I’m saying is that let’s aim to make this a 150 by the end of this year. This networth comprises of all your savings till date. This can be achieved by simply saving aggressively every month for the next twelve months. Just put this into a recurring deposit or liquid fund so you don’t spend it.  We just have to prove to ourselves that this is possible. Where and how we will invest this money will think about that later.

  • Eliminate a negative belief 

I want to give you an exercise here. Write down all your negative beliefs you have about money and wealth. Most people are not able to achieve the desired level of wealth because they think about wealth negatively. So even if you are earning a good amount of income you will never see yourself becoming wealthy. Examples are money causes problems, money causes a fight, managing money is complicated etc. Then for each negative thought, you have written down the positives i.e. the opposite for a few months. Soon negatively biased feelings will evaporate.

  • Make a new investment; something you have not done before

Again here you do not have to be a financial expert. The idea is to learn something new. There are hundreds of investment options. Our objective here is to learn something new. Talk to your advisor and seek his or her guidance. Just a word of caution here; don’t do anything which is speculative or is something that you just can’t understand. Do what do find easy you understand and do that then.

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager & Financial Freedom Coach.

Seeking financial freedom? The time is NOW!

John Lewis famously remarked, “If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” This is so appropriate in the current financial world that we live in.

That statement will leave to rest every other argument that is conservative and against the idea of wealth creation. We are often faced with the situation where there is no option but to create wealth. Read on to know why!

Interest rates are painfully low. For all those diehard fans of guaranteed investment returns, there’s hardly any place to go to. Thinking of fixed deposits? Feeling happy with 7%? And fully taxable? That period is over. Period.

That doctrine of investing into pure fixed deposits and similar instruments is unfortunately standing challenged. There is no option but to sprinkle it with a combination of a little something that will add to the returns earned from fixed income type of securities. In fact this category of investors are in a way, best placed in terms of the current tax laws.

They can earn about 9-10% with minimal or near zero tax over about five years and more. Starting to generate rate of return above the inflation level of 7% is starting to create wealth. So there it is; there is no option but to move in the direction of creating wealth.

For more evolved investors, who invest in equities and who and still sitting on the sidelines tend to run out of patience every now and then. They are sometimes waiting for the right time, sometimes waiting for correction, sometimes waiting for valuation and sometimes waiting for just nothing. Sometimes, just too busy to take action!

I totally understand not wanting to lose hard-earned money. But if the money does not move it will stagnate. That’s the problem with money.

Hit the Ground Running

Inaction and inactivity kills it. Makes it costly to hold. Makes us lose opportunities, sometimes small and sometimes significant. I know of many people including my dad, who just kept investing into equities and holding forever. No doubt they were hugely (big HUGELY) better off then the people in the same time zone. I think they could have done far better with some smart lessons on asset allocation. This is because if they compare the growth rate of their holding over a period of 20 or maybe 30 years the compounded rate of return earned is often not impressive.

It is just marginally better or a few percentage points above the fixed deposit rate. Hence the need for asset allocation, which simply put is not to have all eggs in one basket at any given point in time. These sections of investors anyways create wealth, and, asset allocation is the tool that ensures that the process of wealth creation continues uninterrupted. So again there it is; even for this section there is not option but to start enhancing their wealth creation activities, else returns will continue to remain forever mediocre.

Then there are skeptics and there is nothing much for skeptics of everything, except that they need a serious dose of financial education. Perhaps what if needed is a proof of concept and for that, which better country to live in other than India where financial transparency in investments is so high that I sometimes feel, it comes from another planet.

 Your Money Needs Action

Today, there is a whole lot of variety to choose from and we have never been more spoilt for choice. But the most important thing in all this is to understand that your money needs action. It needs activity and for that the time is now!

And furthermore, if you asked me this question 10 years ago; I would have said that, the Time is NOW. If you ask this question 10 years hence, I will still say the Time is NOW. Any time is the right time to start the process of creating wealth. All that is important is that you take your first step; then continue it all the way with zeal and determination… till you have the level of wealth that you desire. And if you accumulate more than you need, still do it and share it with the world.

If you want your financial freedom; then the Time is NOW!

Kartik Jhaveri is an expert at planning money, life and aspirations. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Wealth Manager and Financial Freedom Coach.

Young Turks: Here’s the success story of venture fund Aspada

Venture fund Aspada was co-founded by Kartik Srivatsa and Thomas Hyland in 2012 and has made 17 investments so far across Fin-tech, agriculture, health and edu-tech startups.

Young Turks takes a look at their investment thesis, their differentiated VC model and meet three of their portfolio companies – Capital Float that underwrites unsecured loans to startups and SMEs; Dunzo, a hyper local concierge and delivery player that is also Google’s first direct startup investment in India; WayCool, a Chennai-based agriculture-tech startup.

WEF 2022: Climate, mental health among top 10 risks humanity faces in next 10 years 

Top 10 risks world faces today and in next 10 years

The annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) showed climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as the top global risks the world is likely to face over the next 10 years. Infectious diseases came in as the sixth risk under the societal risks umbrella.

Not a pandemic, but climate change and other environmental issues are likely to pose long-term global risks in the future, revealed this year’s World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report.

Also read: World Economic Forum says nations responsible for 50% of global emissions pin hopes on hydrogen to cut carbon footprint

The annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) showed climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as top global risks the world is likely to face over the next 10 years.

Respondents to the GRPS ranked “climate action failure” as the number one long-term threat to the world. They said this is the risk with potentially the most severe impact over the next decade.

Climate action failure is also considered the most critical threat to the world in both the medium term [2-5 years] and long term [5-10 years], with the highest potential to severely damage societies, economies and the planet,” the report said.

Meanwhile, “extreme weather” and “climate action failure” were listed among the top five short-term risks to the world.

The insights from the report draws relevance as the globe already faces the brunt of climate change with several parts of the world experiencing extreme heatwaves, droughts, fires, floods, resource scarcity and species loss.

Top 10 risks world faces today and in next 10 years (Courtesy: World Economic Forum)

Societal risks

Infectious diseases — which were categorised under the umbrella category of ‘societal risks’ — ranked sixth on the chart showing the top 10 severe global risks over the next 10 years.

Societal risks, overall, made up a third of the global top 10, with societal cohesion erosion and livelihood crises featuring among the top five.

“‘Social cohesion erosion’, ‘livelihood crises’ and ‘mental health deterioration’ are three of the five risks that have deteriorated the most globally through the crisis,” the GRPS revealed.

Also read: WEF Davos summit: 300 govt leaders expected; Sitharaman, three CMs to attend from India

Looming debt crises

The GRPS showed “debt crises” as an imminent threat to the world for the next two years. However, the respondents believed that they will reach their most critical point in 3-5 years.

The report suggested that a “disorderly climate transition, characterised by divergent trajectories worldwide and across sectors, will further drive apart countries and bifurcate societies, creating barriers to cooperation.”

The report said, “The risk horizon changes over the coming years, as the full implications of the pandemic become clearer.”

It said that by 2024, developing economies — except China — will have fallen 5.5 percent below their pre-pandemic expected GDP growth, while advanced economies will have surpassed it by 0.9 percent.

Also read: India is the fastest-growing major economy in 2022 with projected growth of 6.4%: UN

Risk experts said in the next two years, they “see the erosion of social cohesion, the deterioration of mental health, infectious diseases and livelihood crises as being equal to environmental threats.”

According to the report, all these factors are constant across the short to long term.

In the next five years, debt crises and geo-economic confrontations are likely to emerge as governments struggle to balance fiscal priorities.

Experts worried

This WEF survey was conducted among nearly 1,000 risk experts and global leaders in business, government and civil society.

When asked about their outlook towards the world order and global crisis, the majority of the respondents said they were “worried” or “concerned” over the situation.

Around 84.2 percent of the participants said they were “concerned” or “worried,” while less than 16 percent of the respondents said they have an “optimistic” or “positive” outlook.

Also read: Over 50 heads of government to attend World Economic Forum’s annual meeting

Backstory: When Nirula’s hot chocolate fudge was the flavour of Delhi 

Before the big foreign fast food chains came calling, India had Nirula’s. Or at least, Delhi and a few other cities did. Started in 1934 as a small 12-room hotel in Connaught Place in New Delhi by two brothers — Lakshmi Chand Nirula and Madan Gopal Nirula — the startup met with early success.

Buoyed, the brothers who had been running a photography shop in Connaught Place then set up a restaurant called Nirula’s Corner House in 1942. With its bands, cabarets, magic shows and flamenco dancers, it soon became the go-to place for Delhiites.

By the early 1950s, Nirula’s was running three popular theme restaurants in the capital —‘La Boheme’, an Austro-Hungarian restaurant; ‘Gufa’, an Indian restaurant, and the ‘Chinese Room’.

The family had its pulse on the evolving market for eating out and with Lalit — son of Lakshmi Chand — back from an educational stint in the US, in 1977, the first of their quick-service restaurants was opened, supplemented soon by their trademark ice cream parlours.

Also Read | Backstory: The battle royal between Asian Paints and ICI

While Delhiites flocked to the outlet for burgers, pizzas, and submarine sandwiches, it was really the 21 flavours of ice creams in cones, cups and glasses that became the major attraction. Suddenly, going out for a “21 Love” or a “Hot Chocolate Fudge” or a “Zafrani Badam Pista” was the hip and happening thing to do.

Soon they also opened ‘Potpourri’, possibly the first such salad bar in the country. Over the next decade, many more outlets came up, including those at popular destinations like the one next to the Chanakya cinema.

The crowds flocked to these for their affordability and the wide choice on the menu. Where else could you grab a big boy burger with mustard sauce while your parents enjoyed butter chicken, dal makhani and naan accompanied by some chillies in vinegar and followed by lime ice or a shake? As an added bonus, the youngest member of the family could bag an extra scoop of ice cream if she carried her report card with good results. It was the classic family restaurant, but incredibly, its positioning was such that it drew the teenage crowd as well.

Also Read | Backstory: In India the coffee cup that cheers is always Bru or Nescafe

Liberalisation brought in multinationals, including McDonald’s and KFC, but the popularity of Nirula’s only grew. While the Indian chain added more items to its menu, the MNCs had to Indianise theirs in an effort to pull some of the crowds away from Nirula’s, which by now was serving some 40,000 customers daily at its 60 outlets, including two in Kathmandu.

The turn of the century, however, saw a decline in the Nirulas’ fortunes, and in 2006 Lalit and Deepak sold the brand to Navis Capital Partners, which soon roped in their nephew Samir Kuckreja to help run it.

Despite the new owners’ best efforts, Nirula’s would never reclaim its past glory, and after struggling for a few years, it again changed hands, with Navis selling off its stake to A2Z Excursions in 2012.

Today, some outlets survive as a reminder of its past glory, but a new generation will never know the sheer joy of a chilli chicken pizza and mango with fresh cream.

Also Read: Backstory | Double Seven: The Indian cola born in politics and buried by it

—Sundeep Khanna is a former editor and the co-author of the recently released Azim Premji: The Man Beyond the Billions. Views are personal

Coach Soch | The importance of a succession plan

To question is to think. To think is to introspect. To introspect is to seek. To seek is to be aware. To be aware is when the journey begins.

No founder can be a successful CEO forever; it’s human to struggle between the greed of holding onto influence and position, and wanting the maximum efficiency from the same role. No wonder, then, that companies struggle to have in place the right succession plan for their founders.

Replacing a Founder-CEO is one of the toughest acts, not only for that company’s board and key investors, but more so for the founder too.

Founders are the pillar of almost everything in a startup venture. They wield their influence across the length and breadth of the organisation. They have built the venture with emotion, loyalty, and competency. They have built the core relationships across the venture and in the external world.

A successful transition from a founder to the company’s next leader is a tough ask from everyone. If not done well, years of hard work get undone quickly. At the same time, it’s alarming to miss the succession idea altogether and not meet the need-of-the-hour, that of a different leader.

What’s on founders’ worry-list?

Should I get a clone of myself or a different style of leadership?

What will I do post-transition?

What if the transition fails?

Will my investors agree? What if they like my successor so much and nudge me out fully?

How do I reduce the issue of bad candidate choice?

What type of cultural fitment should I seek for the incoming leader?

How much should I delegate upfront?

How do I trust the new leader?

What if the new leader hijacks my venture?

How soon is soon enough to allow the incomingleader to take complete charge?

Will my current CXOs have any concerns with the new leader? What if some of them leave?

What happens if the succession plan fails? What should be my Plan B?

Why succession is difficult

To maximise the probability of a successful transition, it is essential to understand the mindset of a dounder and what drives them. Unless the ‘next’ role for the Founder is defined well and, more importantly, internalised and accepted by the founder, there could be periods of deep pain that the organisation will face in terms of the founder interfering. Such interference could hurt the transition process and also undermine the authority of the new leader.

Successful founders are value creators. They dream big, and execute well. They constantly take feedback and shape their dreams into achievable outcomes. They constantly seek to identify problems and solve them. They are passionate and can convince others to join them in their “mission”. They can be persistent and convincing. They can be trying others’ patience, and yet, command such a strong sense of loyalty.

Also Read | Coach-Soch: Is a founder’s quest for perfection overrated?

Founders are subsumed by their venture, and oftentimes don’t have anything else to do. If they leave the venture, they may face a time-void shock, if not knowing what else to do, or feel a sense of being lost without their venture and its insane energy and the people around on a daily basis.

If the founder moves from day-to-day role into a governance or stewardship role, they need mentoring help in ensuring their change management. Often, the challenge is to allow the new leader to learn by their own method and style, while balancing the culture of the venture. The founders need to step back, and yet allow for their own learnings, skills and experience being available through a governance role, or by simply being a mentor.

Since very few ventures can succeed without the passion and the insane hours that founders invest into them, it is a tough ask for the founder to figure out what to do next. No doubt, most ventures’ founders actually resist the issue of succession. For, in the world of ventures, succession is not dependent on wealth created so far or the age of the founder — it is dependent on what right for the venture.

Also Read: Coach Soch | Co-founders and their Conflicts

Smooth leadership transitions require meticulous planning, transparency, and patience — before, during, and after the handover. If you are thinking about your succession plan, now is the time to think it well.

– The author, Srinath Sridharan is a Corporate Adviser and Independent Markets Commentator. For other articles in the Coach Soch series, click here.

World Economic Forum 2022 kicks off at Davos tomorrow, here’s who’s not invited and all other details

A police security guard patrols on the roof of a hotel ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The chief ministers of three states along with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are expected to participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Swiss ski resort Davos from May 22-26 this year.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Karnataka CM Basavaraj S. Bommai and their Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy will accompany high-level delegations to Davos to showcase the country’s economic strength.

Also read: Over 50 heads of government to attend World Economic Forum’s annual meeting

The summit is “not just about attracting investments” but also a platform to present India’s environment and ecosystem, The Hindu quoted Bommai as saying ahead of the summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed the WEF Davos Agenda summit held online in January this year.

WEF returns after two years

The World Economic Forum 2022 will be held after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the WEF was held at the alpine retreat was in January 2020.

However, unlike the traditional winter timing of the Davos World Economic Forum Summit, this year’s edition will be held amid spring-like temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius.

Theme and topics

The theme for the 2022 World Economic Forum is ‘History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies.’

The leaders will talk about humanitarian and security challenges in the backdrop of the geopolitical tensions and the once-in-a-century pandemic. Climate change will also feature in the talks.

Also read: World Economic Forum says nations responsible for 50% of global emissions pin hopes on hydrogen to cut carbon footprint

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be discussed by business leaders and politicians given the giant leap in global food prices as a consequence of the war.

Who all are participating?

According to the organisers, nearly 2,500 people, including political leaders, business heads, champions of the civil society and the media, will be in Davos next week to debate and find solutions for the most urgent global issues like the ongoing pandemic and the war in Ukraine. In 2020, there were 3,000 participants.

Over 50 heads of governments and organisations, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Union Chief Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Head Jens Stoltenberg and US climate Envoy John Kerry will be present at Davos next week.

Also read: Watch: 5 startups that blend entrepreneurship with technology to tackle global problems

Who’s not invited?

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the meeting this year as the organisers have excluded the Russian contingent in view of the sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

“We do hope, though, that Russia will follow a different path … in the years to come to start to stick to the UN charter and to their obligations,” AFP quoted WEF president Borge Brende as saying.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will, however, address the summit online while a few officials from the country will attend the meeting in person.

CNG price hiked again within 6 days, fuel now costs Rs 2 more

The price of compressed natural gas (CNG) was increased for the second time in six days by Rs 2 on Saturday, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) said in a notification on its website. The firm retails CNG and piped cooking gas in the national capital and adjoining cities.

This is the 12th CNG price hike in a little over two months. The fuel’s price has been raised by Rs 17.6 per kg during this period. This includes a Rs 7.50 per kg hike in April alone.

With the latest increase, CNG in Delhi now costs Rs 73.61 per kg, up from Rs 71.61 per kg.

Check new CNG rates in your city here

Cities CNG price (in Rs/kg)
Delhi 75.61
Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad 78.17
Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Shamli 82.84
Gurugram 83.94
Rewari 86.07
Karnal, Kaithal 84.27
Kanpur, Hamirpur, Fatehpur 87.4
Ajmer, Pali, Rajsamand 85.88

According to data cited by the news agency PTI, CNG prices have increased by Rs 30.21 per kg or 60 percent in the one-year period. However, rates of gas piped to household kitchens, called piped natural gas (PNG), remain unchanged at Rs 45.86 per scm.

CNG prices are being periodically hiked since October 2021, alongside a rise in domestic as well as international gas prices as economies across the globe world started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slowdown.

Prices rose by Rs 8.74 per kg in the last three months of 2021, and from January there was a steady increase of about 50 paise a kg almost every week, PTI reported.

The cost of the fuel varies from city to city depending on local taxes such as VAT.
CNG rates have gone up after the government more than doubled the price of natural gas to $6.1 per million British thermal unit from April 1.

Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) too increased prices recently and is selling CNG at Rs 76 per kg in Mumbai.

Rajesh Patel, Chief Financial Officer at Mahanagar Gas Limited told CNBC-TV18, “We have taken some part of hit looking at the customer affordability, keeping in mind the kind of volume growth and vehicles which are coming on to CNG. Currently, we are at around Rs 76 per kg with respect to CNG and we have passed through a similar increase in case of domestic as well.”

The company last hiked its prices in April and passed on some of it to the consumers.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, a government committee tasked with fare revision of auto-rickshaws and taxis is likely to recommend a proportionate increase in fares with respect to the rise in CNG prices in the national capital, sources told PTI earlier this week.

IPL 2022, RR vs CSK Report: Jaiswal, Ashwin help Rajasthan seal second spot on Points Table with victory against Chennai

Ravichandran Ashwin walked out to bat at no. 5 and served up another reminder of his all-round skills to help Rajasthan Royals (RR) seal second spot on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 Points Table with a 5-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on Friday, May 20.

The win ensures RR will have two bites at the cherry in the knockout rounds to make the IPL 2022 Finals as they finish in the second spot with 18 points, just above Lucknow Super Giants courtesy a better Net Run Rate.

Royals will now face IPL 2022 table-toppers Gujarat Titans in the Qualifier-I of the playoffs.

Defending champions CSK remain second-from-bottom on the table in the ninth spot with 8 points after suffering their 10th defeat of the season.

Catch the latest updates from Tata IPL 2022 here

CSK got off to a stunning start as Moeen Ali (93 off 57 balls) brought up the second-fastest fifty of the season to help them post 75/1 in the powerplay.

However, they lost steam once the field restrictions were lifted as other batters failed to support the Englishman and RR bowled well to restrict CSK to a total of 150/6.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (59 off 44 balls) then provided RR with a solid base before Ashwin (40 not-out off 23 balls) wrapped up the win with a Player of the Match Performance seal second spot on the Points Table.

Rajasthan’s run-chase got off to an impressive start as Jaiswal smashed back-to-back fours off the first two deliveries from Mukesh Choudhary in the first over.

However, Simarjeet Singh (1/18) struck in the second over as this season’s highest-scorer, Jos Buttler’s, (2) lean patch continued.

Click here for Orange Cap list from Tata IPL 2022

Jaiswal and Sanju Samson shared a steady 51-run partnership to help RR recover from that blow. But the strategic timeout worked in CSK’s favour as Mitchell Santner (1/15) took an excellent return catch after Samson (15 off 20 balls) smashed a tossed up delivery right back towards him in the 9th over.

Devdutt Padikkal (3 off 9 balls) struggled to get going and was castled by Moeen Ali (1/21) when looking to play the slogsweep as RR were reduced to 76/3 in the 12th over.

20-year-old Jaiswal showed good maturity in the middle as he only stuck to ground shots, hitting 8 fours during his innings to bring up his half-century off 39 balls in the 14th over.

The youngster then decided to up the ante as he thumped Prashant Solanki for a six in the next over but it was the bowler who had the last laugh as he then got Jaiswal (59 off 44 balls) caught at deep square leg to pick up his maiden IPL wicket.

Solanki (2/20) then doubled his tally as he got Shimron Hetmyer (6) caught at deep midwicket to reduce RR to 112/5. However, Riyan Parag (10 not-out off 10 balls) walked out and shared an unbeaten 39-run partnership with Ashwin to ensure there weren’t any hiccups.

Click here for Purple Cap list from Tata IPL 2022

Earlier at the Toss, MS Dhoni opted to bat as CSK made one change with Ambati Rayudu replacing Shivam Dube. Rajasthan made one change too as Hetmyer returned to the squad to replace James Neesham.

Trent Boult got RR off to a great start as he gave away just 2 runs in the first over while also getting Ruturaj Gaikwad (2) caught behind on the final delivery. Moeen Ali then walked out and failed to get off the mark on the first 4 balls he faced as Prasidh Krishna gave away just 1 run in the 2nd over.

The floodgates were partially opened as Devon Conway smashed a six and four against Boult in the 3rd over. But it was Moeen who went hammer and tongs after the RR bowlers as he smashed 3 fours and a six against Prasidh in the 4th over.

Moeen continued his onslaught, hammering 2 fours and a six against Ashwin in the 5th over but reserved his best for Boult in the final over of the powerplay. Moeen pummelled Boult for 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, taking 26 runs in the over to help CSK reach 75/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Moeen even brought up the second fastest fifty of the season, from 19 deliveries, in that onslaught against Boult (1/44). However, Rajasthan slowly clawed their way back after the strategic timeout as Ashwin (1/28) trapped Conway (16 off 14 balls) LBW in the 8th over.

Obed McCoy then struck in his first over as he got N Jagadeesan (1) caught at mid-off with a slower off-cutter. Yuzvendra Chahal then opened his account with Rayudu (3) caught at slip as CSK were reduced to 95/4.

Dhoni and Moeen then stitched a steady 51-run partnership off 52 balls to help CSK recover. The pair were finally split in the penultimate over as Chahal (2/26) got Dhoni (26 off 28 balls) caught at long-off with a loopy slower delivery.

McCoy (2/20) then ensured there was no century for Moeen (93 off 57 balls) as he got the CSK all-rounder caught out with another slower delivery in the final over as CSK could only post 150/6 despite that blazing start.

German retailer Metro AG scouts for a partner for India business, to sell stake

German retailer Metro AG is scouting for a partner to sell its stake in its Indian subsidiary Metro Cash & Carry India, according to a source.

The parent company after reviewing the progress of its Indian unit is now looking for strategic external alliances for profitable growth of the business, said the industry source.

“This is at the discussion stage which has happened,” he said, adding some discussion with the bankers has happened regarding it.

Also Read: Amazon, Flipkart in talks to buy stake in $1.1 billion Metropolis Healthcare

According to a media report, several leading companies operating in the online and offline business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) retail space have been approached, including Amazon, Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, Reliance Retail, Avenue Supermarts (D-Mart), Tata Group, Lulu Group, and PE fund Samara Capital.

The Indian business needs more investments to expand and add more stores in its network and attain a scale, he added.

When contacted a Metro AG spokesperson said the company is reviewing the strategic options. “Metro India is a growing business in a market with enormous potential for wholesale.

We are reviewing strategic options with potential partners to enhance Metro’s existing wholesale capabilities and accelerate the business development in India. Please understand we will not comment on rumours or speculations in the media, said Metro AG Senior Vice President Corporate Communications Gerd Koslowski.”

Also Read: Government clears all hurdles for Hindustan Zinc divestment

Metro AG operates in 34 countries and generated sales of 25.6 billion euros in the financial year 2019-20. It entered the Indian market in 2003. Metro Cash & Carry India currently operates 31 stores in the country under the brand Metro Wholesale.

It operates six stores in Bangalore, four in Hyderabad, two each in Mumbai and Delhi, and one each in Kolkata, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Zirakpur, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Lucknow, Meerut, Nasik, Ghaziabad, Tumakuru, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Hubballi.

When asked about the development Metro India’s spokesperson said the India business is doing very well and has been profitable since 2018.

“Metro India business is doing very well and has been profitable since 2018; now continuously four years in a row. We have seen a big jump of 57 percent in our EBITDA for FY21 vs FY20. Our e-commerce business in FY21 grew by 5.7x vs the previous year and we have successfully opened three new stores in India in the last 9 months,” he added.

Also Read: Adani to buy Holcim’s India assets for $10bn, spend $3-3.5 bn to buy shares from public investors

Traditional retail brands have woken up to e-commerce post pandemic, says Shopify India director Bharati Balakrishnan

shopping, saving

There is a lot of buzz in the retail sector with many new developments including India’s plans to create an Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform.

The pandemic years have seen a massive shift to e-commerce and while a bulk of that has been via marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart, many retailers have pivoted to their own online storefronts. Making this possible are companies like Shopify that offer tools to create the e-commerce infrastructure and interface that is required.

In India merchants using Shopify include high street brands like Lakme, Colorbar, Le15, Blue Tokai, John Jacobs, Hidesign and many smaller outfits and brands as well.

To get a better idea of the trends and potential in the retail sector, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Bharati Balakrishnan, Country Head and Director of Shopify India.

Watch video for more.

Ultimate goal is to create history in Paris Olympics, says Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen, who became the fifth Indian woman to win a gold medal in the World Boxing Championships, vows to punch harder with an eye on the Olympics.

Zareen won a gold medal after defeating Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the 52-kg category final of the 12th edition of the IBA Woman’s World Boxing Championship in Turkey, Istanbul.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Zareen said, “Very happy to win the medal for the country. When my hand was raised in the final bout, I was happy as well as emotional to win the gold medal for the country.”

“My journey was very tough, almost like a rollercoaster with ups and downs. However I have never given up, I kept working hard and all that hard work has finally paid off,” she said.

“My ultimate goal is Paris Olympics but I am focusing on each and every competition step by step. So now I am looking forward to Common Wealth Games,” Zareen added.

Before Zareen, Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006), Lekha KC (2006), and Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2018) have won the World Boxing Championships.

This victory, however, came after a crushing defeat for Zareen — a loss that reshaped her.

The Mary Kom episode 

In 2019, Nikhat Zareen was among the most vocal boxers who opposed Mary Kom’s automatic selection for the World Championships. She said that no boxer, whether a rookie or a superstar, should be chosen without a contest.

Reacting to Zareen’s comments, Kom rhetorically said, “Who is Nikhat Zareen? I don’t know who she is.” While Nikhat’s demand was overlooked back then as Mary had already qualified for the India Open Championships, the two boxers faced each other for the Olympic qualifiers.

Mary Kom won an easy victory over Zareen, defeating the latter by 9-1.

Following her defeat at the hands of Mary Kom, Ronald Simms, former coach of the US Air Force team, supported her. She trained at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijaynagar with Simms. Those close to Zareen say that losing against Kom ignited a fire within her, said a Sportstar report.

Later, in 2019, she won a silver medal at the Thailand Open. In the same year, she won a bronze at the Asian Championships, another bronze at the India Open, and gold at the Strandja Memorial.

Street expects Divi’s Lab to post revenue growth of 29%

[wealthdesk shortname=”Divis Labs” isinid=”INE361B01024″ bseid=”532488″ nseid=”DIVISLAB” sector=”Pharmaceuticals” exchange=”nse”]

Divi’s Laboratories will report its quarterly numbers on Monday. In terms of revenue growth, the last quarter was really a blockbuster quarter for them. In quarter three, the company had reported one of the strongest ever quarters. Revenue was up 47 percent, margins 44 percent, and profit up 92 percent year-on-year.

This quarter, it is expected to scale down, so this quarter, the CNBC-TV18 poll is expecting revenue growth of 29 percent, margins of 42 percent, and profit of around Rs 713 crore.

Numbers will also be on a high base because same time last year, revenue was up 29 percent and EBITDA was up around 61 percent odd.

The street will watch out for two factors. One is how much of COVID-19 drug supply is actually fuelling the numbers. The supply of API such as Molnupiravir was really aiding the numbers and whether or not that has actually continued.

The overall supply of COVID-19 drugs is not as much or demand is not as much and this was clear from Zydus numbers where they did make an inventory provision on account of that as well. So how it plays out for Divi’s will be closely watched.

China plus one whether or not that is an opportunity, which has played out sustainably for them in terms of revenue and demand will also be closely watched.

Commentary with regards to their capex will be something that the street is going to listen out for and overall guidance as well.