Age-tech startups take baby steps
Mumbai-based GoodFellows is among a small but increasingly visible group of elderly-focussed startups drawing investor attention.
Tata Consultancy Services is in no mood to let go of its employees and is, in fact, looking to hire startup employees who have lost their jobs, its chief Human Resources officer Milind Lakkad has said.
In other positive news, former Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar believes India is likely to clock 6% growth in the next fiscal year. This is at a time when major risks going forward will emerge from a synchronised downturn in the North American and European economies.
ICYMI: Last week, 80 minutes of uncut footage of the Titanic shipwreck was released to the public. The video was shot in 1986 by a joint team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the French Institute for Research and Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) during the first detailed study of the wreck.
And, in a human victory over AI, Kellin Pelrin comprehensively defeated a top-ranked AI system at the board game Go. The win was a surprise reversal of the 2016 computer victory that was seen as a milestone in the rise of artificial intelligence. Pelrin, however, did use a strategy devised by another computer program.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Age-tech startups take baby steps
- Mars Wrigley’s India dreams
- Recycling sanitary pads
Here’s your trivia for today: What is the name of the British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web in 1989?
Mumbai-basedis among a small but increasingly visible group of elderly-focussed startups drawing investor attention. The market for startups developing solutions for senior care is vast and ranges from senior residential communities, geriatric care, elder-friendly products, jobs for retirees, and travel, to counselling and companionship services.
- India’s elderly population is projected to increase to 320 million by 2050 from about 138 million in 2021, per a report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Prominent among the Tier-II cities for senior residential facilities are Coimbatore, Puducherry, Vadodara, Bhopal, Jaipur, Mysuru, Dehradun, Kasauli and Kanchipuram. Tier-I cities include Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Noida.
- In January, Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure, via its North Haven India Infrastructure Partners fund, backed Chennai-headquartered Athulya Senior Care with a Rs 77-crore cheque.
Snickers-makerWrigley has invested over Rs 1,000 crore in its manufacturing units in India over the last seven years. The company is now aiming to deploy additional funds to ramp up capacity in its Pune and Baddi units in an attempt to widen its distribution in smaller towns, cities, and rural areas.
A sweet treat:
- Mars Wrigley recently launched a heat-robust formulation of Snickers targeted toward rural areas, keeping the temperature, logistics, and types of retail outlets in mind.
- In 2019, it launched almond Snickers, especially for the Indian market. Recently, a new dark chocolate variant, Galaxy Fusion, was launched to appeal to the growing dark chocolate-loving community.
- Along with localising variants, Mars Wrigley also tailored price points to become more appealing and affordable to Indian consumers. The offerings span price points between Re 1 and Rs 150.
Seeing ragpickers pick used sanitary napkins with their bare hands moved Ajinkya Dhariya to set up, an ecosystem that provides an end-to-end solution for sanitary waste disposal.
Apart from expanding its reach in India, PadCare aims to explore markets in Canada, Singapore, and the UK.
A new start:
- India generates around 3.37 lakh tonnes of waste from sanitary napkins and baby diapers, where not even 50% of women use sanitary napkins. A sanitary pad may take up to 500-800 years to decompose.
- Along with sanitary napkin vending machines, the company developed PadCare bins to be installed in washrooms, where used sanitary waste can be collected and stored for up to 30 days and still remain free of odour and bacterial growth.
- In 2020, PadCare Labs raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-seed funding round from the technology startup incubator Venture Center under BIRAC’s LEAP Fund.
News & updates
- True digital nomad: Starlink’s testing a new satellite internet service it says will let users “connect from almost anywhere on land in the world,” according to a message some Starlink users have received. The SpaceX-owned company calls it “Global Roaming Service” and says it’ll cost $200 per month in addition to the base $599 Starlink Kit.
- Say hi: Google Meet’s launching new 360-degree virtual backgrounds for video calls on mobile. While Google first announced the new feature last month, now it’s rolling out on both iOS and Android and uses your device’s gyroscope to move with you.
- Oops: A collector visiting a contemporary art fair accidentally knocked over a small glass sculpture by the renowned artist Jeff Koons, shattering it to pieces. The shiny blue sculpture, one of Koons’ famous “balloon dog” series, was valued at $42,000 (£35,000).
What is the name of the British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web in 1989?
Answer: Tim Berners-Lee
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