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1st April 2022
Good Morning! 

Happy Friyayyyyyy and a very happy new Financial year to all of you. Hope you all achieve everything you have planned, financially and otherwise, this year.
We'd also like to wish all those of you who celebrate Ugadi/Gudi Padwa a happy new year. 

Oh and it also is April fools Day so please be careful about what you believe online today.  Alright, I think we covered all the days, we are sorry if we missed anything but hey enjoy the weekend.
  MARKETS
 

SENSEX

58,568.51

- 0.20%

NIFTY

17,464.75

- 0.19%

US$

76.18

- 0.31%

GOLD

51,560

+ 1.19%

10-YR

6.84%

+ 5.9 bps

OIL

7,808

- 3.78%

*As of market close

  • Markets: Yesterday was a choppy trading day that ended with minor losses on the headline indexes. Gains in some index heavyweights like Axis Bank, HUL and Bharti Airtel were more or less balanced out by losses in IT and pharma stocks.

Economy

Stranded O̶n̶ ̶A̶n̶  Island
Stranded on an island

There is a major economic crisis just south of our borders in Sri Lanka. You might've seen videos of massive protests outside the president's house in Colombo.  But how did things get so bad?

Sri Lanka's main problem seems to be dependence on imports and the need for foreign currency.
A major source of forex is tourism, which came to a standstill because of Covid in 2020, and a terrorist attack in 2019 targeting major hotels in and around Colombo.

But even before this, they were running a large trade deficit (imports were greater than exports), and had to use reserves to pay import bills.

As a result, forex reserves reached a low point in November 2021 when they only had enough to pay for 1 month's imports. 

This year the Russia-Ukraine war has led to a sharp increase in fuel prices, which is also imported. Inflation skyrocketed and was last reported at over 17%, in February.

The country is now struggling to provide electricity, fuel, and basic essentials to citizens, leading to massive unrest. They even had to cancel school exams due to a shortage of paper and a lack of cash to buy essentials.

The military has had to be deployed at petrol stations to "discourage any unrest" as thousands of people are having to wait hours in line to get fuel.

In the past few days things have taken turn for the worse - the whole country is almost out of diesel, needed for transport and power generation. Even reservoirs at the hydropower plants are running low, and the Colombo Stock Exchange had to reduce its trading hours because of the power cuts. Yesterday they had to shut off street lights to save power.

There are 2.2 crore people in Sri Lanka, and their gov is now looking at the IMF for a bailout package, and is also hoping to borrow some money from India and China. 

We really hope they're able to get some help quickly because it's really sad to see the common man suffer the consequences of poor policymaking.

Corporate

And Another One
You sneaky thing

Sadly this time we're not talking about another Unicorn startup, but another case of governance lapses at one of India's most respected brand names - Hero MotoCorp is under the scanner of the Income Tax Department.

Apparently, Rs 800 crores have been siphoned off from the company's balance sheet and been possibly used as personal money.

The IT dept conducted searches on premises owned by MD&CEO Pawan Munjal and has seized some cash and jewellery, along with a bunch of incriminating documents and digital evidence.

An expense of Rs 800 crores on the books of Hero Moto was not for business purposes but was used to pay an event management company, which allegedly siphoned off the amount.

A piece of farmland in Delhi was also bought using a network of paper companies, and the real beneficiary is not the company itself, but a senior person at Hero Moto. A number of bogus expenses and other irregularities were also found.

Tech

Friyayy Fundings
Money gun

Freight Raise

It is amazing to see startups try and go after all aspects of life. A startup trying to digitize the supply chain has just raised some money.

Wiz Freight just raised $36 million.

Wiz Freight is building a full-stack digital supply chain startup. Their product makes cross border shipments for businesses super easy.
They provide all the options a business would need - Ocean shipping, air and road freight. On top of that, they provide value-added services such as door pick-up and delivery, customs clearance, road logistics and warehousing.
Now, this is something normal offline freight forwarders also do, it's the tech part that is their secret sauce.
Their product offers instant capacity discovery, dynamic pricing, optimised routing, door to door tracking, documentation support, shipment finance and easy customer support.
So basically one can say software is eating the freight forwarding world here as well.

Wiz Freight predominantly operates in Asia so far but is planning to expand globally post this round of funding.

They also claim to be profitable from day 1 btw. We are seeing this with a lot more Indian startups, which is great to see.


Financial Inclusion Across India

The Meesho for financial products – OneCode just raised $13 million.

OneCode is hoping to improve financial inclusiveness in tier 2,3 and 4 cities. What they realised is people in these cities don't just trust random websites and apps for financial products. Recommendations from people they know really count.

So what OneCode has done is they've partnered with some of our bigger financial brands like HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank, Upstox etc to help them with the distribution of their products.

Now as a user anyone can sign up, complete their KYC and then go through comprehensive training from experts and start selling financial products from these brands. They mostly end up selling to people they know and can make a nice commission from each sale.
The best part is that stuff like this can be done while sitting at home so it is a viable option for people of all ages and genders.

OneCode claims to have seen 40x growth in agent base and generated more than Rs 100 Cr in earnings for the agents since it was founded.

On a Lighter Note

Campus Ambassador Program

If you are a college student do check out our campus ambassador program. 
For more deets follow this link.

If you have more time ...

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