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India to lead global techade: Ashwini Vaishnaw; PhonePe launches Indus Appstore

Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw sat down with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma to weigh in on the three technology pillars that will drive India towards its ‘Vikasit Bharat@2047’ goal.

India to lead global techade: Ashwini Vaishnaw; PhonePe launches Indus Appstore

Thursday February 22, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

The jobs market in India is steady but average salary increases may be slowing down.

According to a survey by global professional services firm Aon, despite projected salary growth in the Indian jobs market slowing from 9.7% in 2023 to 9.5% in 2024, the country will have the highest salary increases among major economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Elsewhere, the total number of audio streaming listeners in India is expected to grow from 350 million users in 2023 to 540 million users by 2027, according to a report by Redseer Strategy Consultants. 

“Key factors like compelling storytelling with immersive user experience on the go are seen to be the driving factors for its rapid adoption,” said Mukesh Kumar, Associate Partner at Redseer.

Also, the stock market ended its 6-day winning run. Sensex was down 434 points, or 0.59%, while Nifty was down 142 points. However, Paytm's shares hit the upper 5% circuit again for the fourth straight trading session.

ICYMI: While Taylor Swift may be having a dream run, fans have a problem with her merch.

And finally, the countdown to TechSparks Mumbai 2024 has begun! 

With just a week left to go, India's most influential startup-tech summit is set to champion The Great Indian Techade and welcome the country’s finest business leaders, policymakers, technocrats, and entrepreneurs on February 29 and March 1.

Watch out for the star-studded speaker line-up.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • India to lead global techade: Ashwini Vaishnav
  • PhonePe launches Indus Appstore
  • BYJU’S $200M rights issue fully subscribed

Here’s your trivia for today: While The Simpsons is the longest-running cartoon in television history, what cartoon is the second-longest-running?


Interview

India to lead global techade: Ashwini Vaishnaw

At the launch of PhonePe’s Indus Appstore in New Delhi, Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw sat down with YourStory’s Shradha Sharma to weigh in on the three technology pillars that will drive India towards its ‘Vikasit Bharat@2047’ goal.

According to the Minister, India’s march towards a thriving ‘techade’ will hinge upon telecom exports and 6G, indigenous handsets, and semiconductors. 

Agendas:

  • The Minister revealed that India is gearing up to export “complex telecom equipment” worth billions of dollars to the US and Europe by 2025. 
  • India is also looking to take the lead in the global 6G rollout over the next five years. The government expects 6G tech to go mainstream by 2029, with India well-positioned to manufacture and export both software and hardware for the new technology. 
  • “Our target is to have 3-4 high-volume semiconductor fabrication plants, and create a niche and a leadership in at least one category,” he added.
Indus AppStore launch


Funding Alert

Startup: Rentomojo

Amount: Rs 210 Cr 

Round: Series D-D1

Startup: Walko Food

Amount: $20M

Round: Growth

Startup: Settl

Amount: Rs 10 Cr

Round: Pre-Series A


Fintech

PhonePe launches Indus Appstore

PhonePe has launched the Indus Appstore to challenge Google's stronghold in India's Android mobile apps ecosystem. 

“The mission statement is quite simple. We want to build India's favourite app store. We want it to be loved by developers and customers alike,” PhonePe Co-founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said at the launch.

New territories:

  • The platform plans to differentiate itself through extensive support for local languages; a video-led app discovery approach; login through a verified mobile number instead of email; statutory approval for a broad array of games, including real-money gaming; and support for third-party payment providers.
  • The Indus Appstore aims to build a comprehensive gaming suite, enabling access to a wide range of games from both domestic and global aggregators. 
  • “We're launching about 200,000 mobile apps on the app store...and several tens of thousands of games," Nigam said.
Indus


Edtech

BYJU’S $200M rights issue fully subscribed

Nearly a month after launching the $200 million rights issue and a couple of days before an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), BYJU'S Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran has said that the edtech firm’s rights issue is fully subscribed, and the company will appoint a third-party agency to monitor fund usage. 

Some respite:

  • The rights issue, at a 99% lower valuation, is a much-needed lifeline for the cash-strapped edtech firm, providing BYJU’S with capital to address pressing liabilities.
  • The CEO also plans to restructure the board after closing the audit of the financial year 2022-23.
  • According to media reports, the Karnataka High Court has passed an interim order that any resolution on Friday EGM shall not be given effect to till the next date of hearing.
BYJU'S


News & updates

  • AI competition: Google has released Gemma 2B and 7B, a pair of open-source AI models that let developers use the research of its flagship Gemini more freely. While Gemini is a big closed AI model that directly competes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the lightweight Gemma will likely be suitable for smaller tasks.
  • Performance: Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, has posted an almost 80% jump in its pre-tax profit which rose to $30.3 billion in 2023, fuelled by high interest rates. However, it was impacted by a slowdown in China's economy and a hefty $3 billion charge from its stake in China's Bank of Communications.
  • Changing times: Amazon is set to replace Walgreens Boots Alliance in the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average. S&P Dow Jones Indices, which manages the index, said that the change is intended to reflect “the evolving nature of the American economy” by increasing the Dow’s consumer retail exposure.


While The Simpsons is the longest-running cartoon in television history, what cartoon is the second-longest-running?

Answer: South Park. First aired in 1997, it has run for 26 seasons yet.


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