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  • BloombergQuint and Republic: A tale of two news companiesHarveen Ahluwalia
    BloombergQuint and Republic: A tale of two news companiesIn April 2016, Bloomberg Media and Quintillion Media got together with the ambition of launching a business news television channel in India, built on the foundation of a digital media newsroom. In November that year, Republic TV was announced. Within weeks of its application to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Republic (run by ARG Outlier Media Asianet News Pvt. Ltd) got the go-ahead for a TV channel. The partnership of popular news anchor Arnab Ranjan Goswami (ARG) and politician Rajeev Chandrashekhar, eventually launched in May 2017 and found an audience easier than how Jesus found his disciples. BloombergQuint, on the other hand, never made it to television screens.
  • A litmus test for marketingRoshni P. Nair
    A litmus test for marketingWhat isn’t business-critical is a lamb to the slaughter, even in the world’s biggest companies. Coca-Cola − a textbook example of brand transcending product, and a company that spends upwards of $4 billion a year on marketing – has paused non-digital promotions. “We have determined that in this initial phase, there is limited effectiveness in broad-based brand marketing,” CEO James Quincey said in an April 21 investor call. “With this in mind, we have reduced direct consumer communication, paused sizeable marketing campaigns through the early stages of the crisis and will re-engage when the timing is right.” The cola giant reported a 25% fall in global volumes in the first quarter. Its second quarter doesn’t look great either, because half its revenue is hit by sponsorship and event cancellations, and closures of restaurants, theatres, stadiums, and other public venues.
  • Reliance Jio and FacebookAshish K. Mishra
    Reliance Jio and FacebookLate last year, Reliance Industries Ltd invited over analysts covering the company’s telecom business, Reliance Jio Infocomm. The idea was to help them understand how to look at the venture, and hence value the company and its future prospects. In a presentation that didn’t receive as much public attention as it should have, Reliance said it was unfair to look at Jio as a telecom venture.
  • The holes in JioMart’s pitchSaif Iqbal
    The holes in JioMart’s pitch There are many aspects to Facebook Inc.’s $5.7 billion minority investment into Jio Platforms, the parent company of India’s biggest telecom operator. In our note on the day the transaction went public, we noted that the partnership “needs to complete the elusive triad of community, commerce and payments”. With an unmatched number of users compared to anywhere else in the world, it makes sense for both Facebook and Reliance/Jio to bet on e-commerce. For Facebook it can serve as a proof of concept that WhatsApp can be monetized; for Reliance it is a natural progression as its retail arm is already the biggest in India and it continues to move from the high-margin refining and petrochemicals business to lower-margin, high-valuation consumer tech businesses. To understand what is at stake and the immediate and long-term implications, we need to follow first principles of supply and demand. These two complementary and complex forces need to fire together for JioMart (we will assume Facebook/WhatsApp to be part of the same ecosystem) to make a significant dent in the Amazon-Flipkart e-commerce duopoly or even doom smaller players like BigBasket, which could be the first casualties as Reliance flexes its considerable financial muscle.
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