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Shaadi.com CEO Anupam Mittal Deems Google As ‘Digital East India Company,’ Here’s Why

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Shaadi.com CEO Anupam Mittal Deems Google As 'Digital East India Company,' Here's Why

Anupam Mittal, the CEO of Shaadi.com, criticized Google, comparing its practices to the historical East India Company. Mittal claimed that Google’s dominance in the digital marketplace shows modern colonialism, with startups paying a hefty “Google Tax” of 20-50% for distribution and brand protection.

During CNBC interview, the CEO highlighted a significant concern referred to as the “Google Tax,” describing it as a fee imposed on startups ranging from 20% to a significant 50%. According to him, this fee isn’t solely for distribution but is intended to protect the brands of these startups from competitive forces. The CEO expressed the view that Google downplays this issue, likening their approach to that of monopolists who follow a predictable playbook akin to a leadership shift from advocating for the people to working against them.

“This is a big issue, and Google may downplay it, as monopolists often do,” he noted. “The strategy is straightforward; it’s akin to dictatorial leadership, where you initially advocate for the people, then acquire everything possible, and eventually work against the same people who contributed to your success.

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Also Read: India set to become 3rd largest economy by 2030 – S&P

The CEO detailed Google’s approach, pointing out the company’s efforts to levy fees ranging from 15% to 30% on the revenue of any app downloaded from their Play Store. This comes in addition to the significant income generated through advertising, where Google reportedly claims 20% to 50% of the earnings of most digital companies in India due to their dominant position.

He criticized Google’s methods, highlighting how the company manipulates search results to display competitors’ brands when users search for specific companies. This manipulation leads these entities to bid against their own brands for visibility.

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Expressing reservations about Google’s recent move, the Google Play Billing System (GPB) or UCB (Users Choice Billing), the CEO stated that the changes appear cosmetic and may be an attempt to avoid legal scrutiny. Under these modifications, apps downloaded from the Play Store could face additional charges ranging from 11% to 29% of their revenue, depending on categories and services used.

He called this approach as an attempt by Google to force app developers to use their services, giving them an unfair advantage by imposing fees significantly higher than the actual cost of the services provided.

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94 pc of Indian firms plan to boost workers' skills, abilities this year: Report

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94 pc of Indian firms plan to boost workers' skills, abilities this year: Report

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) – A new report revealed that 94 per cent of Indian companies plan to enhance their employees’ skills in 2024, with 53 per cent looking to provide online training programs. According to LinkedIn, upskilling, aligning learning with business goals, and promoting a culture of learning are top priorities for learning & development (L&D) professionals in India this year.

Ruchee Anand, Senior Director at LinkedIn India, stated, “With skills for jobs expected to change 68 per cent by 2030 globally, there is a greater emphasis on learning both technical and soft skills.” The report surveyed over 4,000 hiring managers across various countries, including India, to understand the changing skill requirements due to advancements in AI and automation.

The report noted that 98 per cent of Indian employers have observed significant shifts in the skills they prioritize for job candidates. Companies are now seeking candidates with AI expertise, soft skills, and a willingness to learn. Additionally, 91 per cent of L&D professionals in India believe that human skills are increasingly competitive in the economy.

Furthermore, 48 per cent of hiring managers in India are offering career progression opportunities to their current employees. They are focused on helping employees acquire the skills needed for the future of work and providing competitive salaries and benefits to retain top talent, according to the report.

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With unsecured personal loans under lens, growth momentum in the segment to derail in coming quarters

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With unsecured personal loans under lens, growth momentum in the segment to derail in coming quarters

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) ICICI Securities has warned of a potential derailment of growth momentum in unsecured personal loans due to recent regulatory actions. The report highlights concerns over accelerated growth in unsecured loans and the impact on NBFCs.

The regulatory measures by the RBI include an increase in risk weights on unsecured consumer credit and banks’ funding to NBFCs. This is aimed at prompting lenders to reassess their growth strategies in light of the heightened credit growth in unsecured personal loans since the onset of the Covid pandemic.

The surge in credit demand for personal and consumer loans was driven by factors such as disruption in cashflow for small SMEs, temporary unemployment during the Covid phase, and a focus on lifestyle upliftment. Additionally, tech upgrades during Covid simplified credit delivery and expanded the reach for NBFCs.

Many NBFCs have adapted to the demand by revamping their processes and partnering with fintechs to leverage their balance sheet. Consequently, credit growth in personal and consumer loans has exceeded 100 per cent CAGR for most NBFCs, far surpassing the sub-20 per cent blended growth between FY21 and December 2023.

The cumulative AUM of NBFCs analyzed in the report amounts to Rs 10 trillion, with unsecured loans exhibiting even faster growth rates. Some players have reported unsecured loan CAGRs exceeding 100 per cent between FY21 and December 2023. This trend underscores the significant impact of unsecured personal loans on the overall credit landscape for NBFCs.

–IANS

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India seeks greater say for developing countries at WTO meet

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India seeks greater say for developing countries at WTO meet

India advocates for flexibility in existing WTO agreements for developing countries at 13th Ministerial Conference

Abu Dhabi, Feb 26 (IANS) India emphasized at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Abu Dhabi that developing countries need flexibility in current agreements to address constraints in industrialization. Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal led the Indian delegation, highlighting the need for appropriate policy space to tackle longstanding issues.

India raised concerns about combining development issues with new topics like “Trade and Industrial Policy” and objected to integrating Gender and MSMEs discussions within WTO, stating they are already addressed in other international forums.

In discussions on sustainable development and policy space for industrialization, India stressed the importance of maintaining focus in the multilateral trading system and avoiding mixing non-trade issues with the WTO agenda. The country also promoted a sustainable lifestyle approach, including the LiFE movement for environmental conservation.

Furthermore, India expressed apprehension about the rise of trade protectionist measures under the guise of environmental protection, calling for a balanced approach. The nation urged for a sustainable way of living based on traditions and conservation values to combat climate change effectively.

Journalist: IANS
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