Ram Mandir: Opportunity for MSMEs; Building India from the bottom-up

Small businesses are enthused by the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. India’s smaller towns and cities have been at the centre of a digital revolution. Edtech unicorn Eruditus has narrowed its losses by more than half, and sharply increased its revenue in FY 2022-23.

Ram Mandir: Opportunity for MSMEs; Building India from the bottom-up

Tuesday January 23, 2024,

5 min Read

Hello,

Opportunities galore. 

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has the potential to attract over 50 million tourists every year and can create a multiplier effect on the Indian economy, brokerage firm Jefferies said. 

In its report, titled ‘India Strategy: Ayodhya – Unlocking India’s tourism potential,’ Jefferies said the opening of Ram Mandir can also set a template for growth in tourism by boosting infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the CBDT has said donations made by individuals to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust—to be used for renovation or repair work of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir—are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961, provided that person chooses the old tax regime, The Economic Times reported.

In other news, Udaan’s Group CFO Aditya Pande has resigned amid high-ranking executives leaving the B2B ecommerce company in the past few months. Kiran Thadimarri, Group Finance Controller, and Vishnu Menon, Head of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations, will now share the CFO’s responsibilities.

Elsewhere, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas—over 1,000 feet long and weighing in around 250,000 gross registered tonnes—will embark on its first official voyage on January 27.

It boasts 20 different decks, 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, seven pools, six waterslides, and a 55-foot waterfall. 

Lastly, blockchain could now have a different use case: prevent bias in the data that AI models are trained on. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Ram Mandir boosts MSME growth
  • Building India from the bottom-up
  • Eruditus narrows loss; revenue surges

Here’s your trivia for today: While often confused with llamas, which camelid breed is used for fleece production?


Impact

Ram Mandir boosts MSME growth

Small businesses are enthused by the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which has opened up significant opportunities and promises growth in the foreseeable future.

“Over Rs 1 lakh crore trade has happened from January 1 till today—all in the small business sector,” Praveen Khandelwal, Founder and General Secretary of CAIT, tells SMBStory.

Multiplier effect:

  • Ayodhya-based Pakka Ltd, a manufacturer of compostable packaging solutions, saw its share price jump over 150% in the past two months. The company has collaborated with Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to promote eco-friendly practices.
  • Zepto Co-founder and CEO Aadit Palicha posted on X that the number of pooja flower orders on the quick commerce app grew 6X on January 22.
  • Khandelwal says that investment into Ayodhya will directly or indirectly benefit small businesses, whether in manufacturing, service, or supply chain segments.
Ram Mandir


Interview

Building India from the bottom-up

India’s smaller towns and cities have been at the centre of a digital revolution. Karkhana, an on-demand manufacturer-focused platform, and BharatAgri, a farming technology and advisory platform, are working with solution seekers in Bharat to enable a digital transformation.

“Building for Middle India is difficult but exciting," says Siddharth Dialani, Co-founder of BharatAgri, in a conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma.

Digital Bharat:

  • Karkhana works with OEMs in various sectors, such as electric vehicles, medical equipment, consumer electronics, and aerospace, to offer sourcing and contract manufacturing solutions.
  • BharatAgri offers an array of technology-led solutions for farmers to help them understand the farms’ productivity shortfalls and access seeds, fertilisers, and insecticides to improve crop output.
  • Karkhana.io recently raised $6.3 million in a round led by Arkam Ventures, while BharatAgri raised $4.3 million in Series A funding from Arkam in October 2023.
Karkhana.io and BharatAgri


Edtech

Eruditus narrows loss; revenue surges

Edtech unicorn Eruditus has narrowed its losses by more than half, and sharply increased its revenue in FY 2022-23 compared to the previous fiscal year, driven by growth in enterprise business. Its net loss was Rs 1,049 crore, 66.1% down from Rs 3,094 crore in FY22.

Earnings:

  • Eruditus clocked Rs 3,322 crore in revenue in FY23, a 75% increase from the Rs 1,900 crore earned in FY22.
  • The firm managed to curtail expenses—with total expenditure (excluding finance costs and taxes) down 17% compared to the previous fiscal year. 
  • It said its adjusted EBITDA loss was Rs 422 crore in FY23, down from a loss of Rs 1,288 crore in the year-ago period. 
Eruditus Ashwin Damera


News & updates

  • Fall out: Sony Group scrapped plans for a $10 billion merger of its Indian unit with Zee Entertainment, ending a deal that could have created one of the country's biggest TV broadcasters. Zee told stock exchanges Sony was seeking $90 million in termination fees for alleged breaches of their merger agreement and emergency interim relief by "invoking arbitration".
  • Downfall: Singapore-based Terraform Labs, the company behind digital assets TerraUSD and Luna, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware following the collapse of its cryptocurrencies in 2022. The outfit said it would “meet all financial obligations to employees and vendors during the Chapter 11 case” without requiring additional financing.
  • New funds: Captain Fresh, a B2B harvest-to-retail marketplace for animal protein, is engaging with investors, including Nekkanti Sea Foods, SBI Investment, Evolvence, Tiger Global, and Prosus Ventures, to raise up to $50 million in fresh funding.


While often confused with llamas, which camelid breed is used for fleece production?

Answer: Alpacas.


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