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TechSparks arrives in Mumbai!

YourStory gears up for the first-ever Mumbai edition of its flagship event. Are you ready for TechSparks 2023 Mumbai edition?

TechSparks arrives in Mumbai!

Wednesday March 22, 2023 , 5 min Read


The food wars in India have taken an interesting turn.

Zomato has started reclaiming some of its market share from rival Swiggy—all thanks to the popular Gold membership programme seeing an uptick in signups. An HSBC report stated Zomato was the market leader with 54% share in Q3 FY23—which is set to rise to 56% in the current quarter.

Meanwhile the banking crisis—increasingly looking global—is making many in the workforce nervous. Credit Suisse employees have inundated recruiters across the world with calls to find a new job after UBS' $3.25 billion buyout. 

On a positive note, the Swiss effort to stabilise the banking system has cheered up the US stock markets, with the battered First Republic Bank rebounding by over 40%. Also, S&P Global Ratings said Indian lenders can endure any potential contagion emanating from the crisis.

Also, don't miss out on all the action tomorrow as YourStory's flagship startup-tech summit TechSparks is reaching the City of Dreams—Mumbai! HCL founding member Ajai Chowdhry, The Good Glamm Group Founder and CEO Darpan Sanghvi, actor-turned-strategic investor Malaika Arora, innovators and mentors will offer insights and inspiration to all stakeholders in India's startup ecosystem.  

Catch the complete agenda and our star-studded speaker line-up on our website.

ICYMI: A Dubai-based businessman and philanthropist has gifted a football-shaped house to a farmer in Kerala. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • boAt’s Aman Gupta on brands that click
  • Toy company Stone Sapphire’s future plans
  • Celebrating Arab Mother’s Day

Here’s your trivia for today: What was India’s first biosphere reserve? 


boAt’s Aman Gupta on building brands

Is there hope for new startups to find a space in India’s crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) market? 

Yes, there is. 

At least, according to Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at consumer electronics brand boAt Lifestyle, Aman Gupta. The SharkTank India judge was speaking with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma in a fireside chat at the recently concluded TiECon 2023 in Delhi.

Start now:

  • boAt was able to compete with 200 brands, including those from Germany and Japan, when it launched its products, the co-founder said. 
  • The company, founded in 2016 by Gupta and Sameer Mehta, shelved its plans of going public by October 2022, citing turbulent times.
  • It raised $60 million in October to grow its smartwatch segment and has also made two acquisitions in the space—TAGG and KaHa Pte Ltd.  
Tiecon Delhi

Shradha Sharma and Aman Gupta at TiECon Delhi

Funding Alert

Startup: IndusGo 

Amount: Rs 100 Cr

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: Fretbox 

Amount: $10M

Round: Pre-Seed

Startup: Doqfy

Amount: Rs 7.5 Cr

Round: Pre-Series A


Toy company Stone Sapphire’s future plans

Launched as an export unit for Red Ridge Global in 2006, Stone Sapphire has made its mark in the toys and stationery category. Next on its agenda is entering the homeware category with the rollout of its brand, Peggy Oliver.

With the addition of new business verticals, the company expects a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next fiscal year.

The journey:

  • Stone Sapphire’s first break came when Hasbro, a leading American toy company, offered the Vadodara-based business a chance to distribute its stationery in India.
  • With a strong distribution network, Stone Sapphire caters to 55,000 retail stores with its toy and stationery brand Skoodle.
  • The company works with 21 manufacturers in different parts of India to make its products.
Stone Sapphire looking at new horizons, armed with 200 SKUs


Celebrating Arab Mother’s Day

In most countries in the Middle East, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the region's northern hemisphere. YS Gulf spoke with three women entrepreneurs to find out how they balance home and career. 


  • Born to an Emirati father and a Lebanese mother, Tala Badri, Founder and CEO of the Centre for Musical Arts, worked for companies such as Barclays Bank and chocolate maker Mars before returning to her true passion–music.
  • Houda Naji is the owner of Younoh Media—one of Dubai’s oldest digital agencies.
  • A mother of two, Dima Maroun, Founder of Thriving Solutions, studied environmental sciences in 2000 and worked as an environmental scientist with engineering consulting companies in Jordon. 
Arab Mother's Day

News & updates

  • AI wars: Google rolled out its AI chatbot Bard available only to users over the age of 18. Unlike its rival ChatGPT, it can access up-to-date information from the internet and has a "Google it" button. It also namechecks its sources for facts.
  • Bailout: The International Monetary Fund has approved a $3 billion bailout for Sri Lanka. It will immediately disburse a $333 million loan over four years to the country hit hard by economic and humanitarian crises.
  • Scandal: Nickel contracts owned by JP Morgan Chase at the London Metal Exchange (LME) turned out to be backed by bags of stones rather than the metal. Last week, LME cancelled nine nickel contracts worth about $1.3 million after discovering “irregularities”.

What was India’s first biosphere reserve?

Answer: The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, established in 1986. It’s spread across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.

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