Ola Electric Mobility announced that Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in the company as part of its Series A round of funding. This investment is in Ratan Tata’s personal capacity in the newly formed Electric Mobility company.

Tata is also an early investor in ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ola’s parent company. Tata’s investment in Ola Electric is a significant endorsement of the company’s approach to developing an electric mobility ecosystem, including innovations in charging infrastructure, swapping models, and market-appropriate products.

Ola Electric is currently running several pilots involving charging solutions, battery swapping stations, and deploying vehicles across two, three and four-wheeler segments. Investment details are still under wraps.

Ratan Tata, said, “The electric vehicle ecosystem is evolving dramatically every day, and I believe Ola Electric will play a key role in its growth and development. I have always admired the vision of Bhavish Aggarwal and I’m confident that this will be part of yet another important strategic move into this new business area.”

K.Subramanian in Finance Advisory Council

Chief Economic Advisor, Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian has been included as a member of the Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission (India). Last April, the Fifteenth Finance Commission had constituted an Advisory Council with the members including K. Srivastava, Indira Rajaraman, Arvind Virmani, Surjit S. Bhalla, Sanjeev Gupta among others. Subramanian will be the twelfth member of the Council. The role of the Council is to advise the Commission on any issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission and to assist in the preparation of any paper or research which would enhance the Commission’s understanding on the issue.

Walmart senior executive lauds Flipkart team

Retail giant Walmart International Chief Executive Judith McKenna lauded its Indian e-tail subsidiary Flipkart team for getting more customers to shop online and make their lives better. “The leadership of the Flipkart team for its commitment to bringing e-commerce to more Indian consumers is commendable,” Judith told the employees at an interaction during her visit to the company and its e-tail fashion arm Myntra.

Marking the first year of Walmart acquiring a majority equity stake in the e-tailer for a whopping $16 billion on May 9, 2018, Judith hailed the creativity and passion of the team to leverage innovation and technology for bringing the next 200 million Indian shoppers online. Launching Myntra’s first kiosk for pick up, returns, instant trial and alteration, Judith said she was impressed with how the team was using technology and making a difference to the ecosystem, including sellers and manufacturers across the country.

Flipkart Chief Executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the e-tailer’s partnership with Walmart was helping the group to serve customers better and accelerate its growth with products and solutions.

My firm has bought 1st Amazon shares, says Buffett

Berkshire founder and CEO Warren Buffett has said that his firm just bought its first Amazon shares. The news led to Amazon shares surge 2.3 per cent in the pre-market trade on 3rd May. According to a CNBC report, Buffett said that someone at Berkshire’s asset management desk just invested in some Amazon shares, but “it wasn’t me.”

“One of the fellows in the office that manage money ... bought some Amazon,” Buffett as quoted as saying. The stake in Amazon is a first for the investment conglomerate. Buffett has repeatedly praised Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos in the past. “The truth is that I’ve watched Amazon from the start and what Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle, and the problem is if I think something is going to be a miracle I tend not to bet on it,” Buffett said. Last year, Berkshire, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase unveiled a joint venture to improve healthcare for their employees. Berkshire Hathaway owns about 250 million shares of tech giant Apple.

Mukesh Ambani buys iconic British toy chain, Hamleys, for Rs.620 crore

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries announced it will acquire iconic British toy-maker Hamleys for 67.96 million pounds (around Rs.620 crore) from C.banner International Holdings, a company in Hong Kong which had bought the toy chain in 2015. Hamleys, a 259-year-old toy-maker, has struggled to generate profits in recent times. It reported a profit after tax of 2.44 million pounds in 2018 after suffering a loss of 11.24 million pounds in 2017.

Bringing Hamleys into Ambani’s industries has put Reliance on the global map for the first time, as an overseas retailer. Ambani has now gained full control of the British toy store, after already owning the rights to its 88 franchise outlets in India

Reliance Brands Chief Executive, Darshan Mehta said, “The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail”. The acquisition is the latest in a string of purchases as Ambani combines bricks and mortar stores with online investments to counter the US giants. The billionaire is stitching together a network through stake purchases or outright acquisitions in India’s online shopping market, which Morgan Stanley estimates will be worth $200bn by 2028. Adding Hamleys gives Reliance 167 stores in 18 countries. Hamley’s first store at Regent Street, London is the largest store in the world having seven floors.

Food orders scored big on Swiggy through IPL season

Post-IPL, online food delivery platform, Swiggy, said food orders shot up 30% during match timings compared to non-cricket days. Smaller cities such as Vapi, Pilani, Kanyakumari, Rewa, Nizamabad and Kadapa emerged victorious, as they saw over 117-fold increase in orders since the beginning of the IPL, the food delivery platform said in a statement. Smaller cities not only ordered more often but also spent more. “Places like Shillong, North Goa, Shimla and Ooty left many of the metros behind to make high-value orders,” the company said. “Foodies in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi placed the maximum orders every time there was a sixer,” the company added. Not far behind were foodies in Kota, Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur who made it to the top 10 cities. Every time a batsman hit a six, Indians celebrated by ordering these dishes — Chicken Biryani, Paneer Butter Masala, Chicken Fried Rice, Kadhai Paneer, Masala Dosa, Vegetable Biryani and Tandoori Chicken, according to the company. North Indian and Chinese were the most-ordered cuisines this IPL. “Chennai and Kolkata stuck to Chicken Biryani, while Delhi bowled for Dal Makhni and Bengaluru batted for Masala Dosa,” Swiggy noted. Bengaluru ordered the most Chicken Wings, while Delhi ordered the most Pizzas and Samosas, Mumbai ordered the most Nachos, while Chennai ordered the most French Fries”, said company.

Hinduja brothers top rankings for third time

The billionaire Hinduja brothers have been named as the wealthiest people in the UK for a third time, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their fortune increase by £1.356bn in the last year to £22bn, the paper estimates. Meanwhile, chemicals firm founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who topped last year’s list, has slipped to third place. And Valerie Moran becomes the first black female entrepreneur ever to make the paper’s Rich List. The Hinduja Group was founded in Mumbai in 1914, and now has interests around the world including in oil and gas, banking, IT and property. British citizens Sri, 83, and Gopi, 79, who are based in London, are two of the four brothers controlling the empire. Among the properties they own is the Old War Office in Whitehall, which they hope to reopen as a luxury hotel. The two brothers topped the newspaper list in 2014 and 2017.


Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence has been chosen among 20 organizations that would share $25 million in grants from Google for winning an AI impact contest. Mumbai-based Wadhwani AI will receive $2 million grant to create technologies that will help reduce crop losses in cotton farming through integrated pest management. “Wadhwani AI’s mission is to use AI to help improve the lives of the billions of poor and underserved communities throughout the world. Agriculture is one of the critical domains in which we apply our efforts,” P Anandan, CEO, Wadhwani AI, said in a statement.

The “Google AI Impact Challenge” was an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises and research institutions from around the world to submit their ideas to use AI to help address societal challenges. Over 2,600 organizations from 119 countries had applied. The selected projects address issues in the areas of health, economic opportunity and empowerment, environmental protection and conservation, education, misinformation and crisis and emergency response, Google said while announcing the winners at its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California.

“We are grateful to Google and delighted to have their support and the benefit of their deep expertise and experience in developing AI solutions at scale,” Anandan added.

In Wadhwani AI’s project, AI technology which runs on a basic smart phone, classifies and counts pests based on photos of pest traps taken by farmers and agriculture programme workers. This solution can be used to provide millions of farmers with timely, localized advice, thus reducing crop loss and overuse of pesticides by improving the timing of usage.

RK Studios to bow out for residential, shopping complex

The iconic 71-year-old RK Studios will now make way for a swank residential complex-cum-shopping plaza through its new owner, realty major Godrej Properties Ltd., an official said in Mumbai

The GPL has purchased the 2.20 acres (roughly,100,000 sq. feet) RK Studios premises in Chembur, north-east Mumbai-founded in 1948, which were gutted in a major fire that engulfed it on September16, 2017

GPL, which has inked the deal for an undisclosed amount with the Bollywood’s Kapoor clan, plans to now convert it into a modern residential apartments complex and a luxury retail centre spread over a saleable area of around 350,000 sq. feet.

Leading realty players though point out that the current commercial property rates in and around Chembur are in the range of Rs 24,000-Rs 28,000 per sq. feet depending on the locality

Executive Chairman of GPL, Pirojsha Godrej, Unlimit opens centre in Bengaluru for innovations in IoT COLLYWOOD said the deal fits with the company’s strategy of deepening its presence in key locations across India’s leading cities.

“We will seek to ensure we celebrate the remarkable legacy of this site with the goal of delivering an outstanding lifestyle for its residents,” Godrej said.

Veteran Bollywood actor Randhir Kapoor, son of the founder of RK Studios, the legendary Raj Kapoor, said: “This property in Chembur, has been of tremendous significance to my family over the many decades that RK Studios has operated from there. We are excited to have chosen GPL to script a new chapter for this location and build upon its rich history.”

According to sources, work on the designs for the mega-project will start shortly and after obtaining the necessary approvals, the construction of the housing-cum-shopping complex could begin by early 2020.

Unlimit opens centre in Bengaluru for innovations in IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) service provider, Unlimit, part of the Reliance ADA Group opened its research and development (R&D) centre in Bengaluru for innovations in the IoT domain.

“The R&D centre will focus on customized projects, supply chain, connected vehicles and industry 4.0,” said the Mumbai-based company in a statement.

The three-year-old subsidiary has about 500 certified partners across the country to provide IoT offerings from managed connectivity to device management and application platform to any form of analytics.

“The centre will play a key role in our expansion strategy to generate $200 million (Rs 1,380 crore) revenue by 2020,” said the statement.

The company has partnered with IoT stakeholders such as BSNL, Cisco Jasper, PTC, Software AGCumulocity IoT, and IBM Watson IoT to provide IoT solutions in automotive, industry 4.0 and supply chain.

“As it is imperative to be at the forefront of innovation in IoT services, the centre will help us to be part of a larger ecosystem and bring us closer to customers, vendors and employees,” said Juergen Hase, CEO, Unlimit, in the statement.

The company’s mission is to digitally transform its customers’ business models and drive value by offering a comprehensive IoT platform.

Biocon drug Hulio gets commercial rights to global markets

Biotech major Biocon drug Hulio’s commercialization rights have been extended to global markets from Europe, said the biotech major. “Under the terms of a global partnership with Mylan for monoclonal antibodies (like Hulio), we retain our economic interest in the expanded in-licensing arrangement to a share of profits from global markets,” said the city-based company in a statement in Bengaluru. Biocon’s drug partner Mylan N.V. is a global generic and speciality pharmaceuticals firm registered in the Netherlands, with offices in Britain and a global research centre in the US.

Hulio, which is used to treat ulcerative colitis in adults, has been in-licensed to Biocon by Mylan on approval from the Japan-based Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics. Mylan launched Hulio in Europe in October 2018 after the European Commission approved it in September 2018. “We are committed to enable patient access to affordable biosimilars and the partnership accelerates that process,” said Biocon spokesperson in the statement.

By Orchie Bandopadhyay