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Indian brands tap into luxury; Fighting stigma to improve women's health

Many Indian brands are now increasingly embracing the premium space. Jnana Prabodhini is an institution working on education, research, rural development, women empowerment and health. NIIF has committed Rs 207 crore ($25 million) to Amicus Capital Fund II.

Indian brands tap into luxury; Fighting stigma to improve women's health

Tuesday February 20, 2024 , 5 min Read

Feb 20, 2024


SoftBank is doubling down on the chip game. 

The Masayoshi Son-led investment bank is seeking $100 billion to build a new venture that would compete with the likes of Nvidia in the area of AI chips.

Code-named Izanagi, the new venture would collaborate with Arm, the chip design company that SoftBank spun out as a public company last year. It still owns about 90% of the Arm’s stock as of this month.  

Following the announcement, shares in the Japan-based tech investor gained as much as 3.2% on Monday. 

Speaking of Japan, the government has submitted a revised bill to allow venture capital (VC) firms and other investment funds to hold digital assets directly.

The bill states that “measures will be taken to add crypto assets to the list of assets that can be acquired and held by investment limited partnerships,” referring to a vehicle used by VC firms to secure capital for investments.

Meanwhile, Paytm parent One97 Communications and Axis Bank reportedly plan to send a joint application for a Third-Party Application Provider license with the NPCI to allow UPI payments post-March 15. 

Lastly, Indonesia wants ‘Swiftonomics’ to boost its tourism sector! 

The Southeast Asian country is considering more incentives to bring in more music, sports, and cultural events that would attract travellers to spend more and stay longer.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Indian brands check into luxury space
  • Fighting stigma to improve women's health
  • Accessing India's private assets market

Here’s your trivia for today: Which racer holds the record for most Grand Prix wins?


Indian brands check into luxury space

While international luxury brands have always existed in the country, many Indian brands are now increasingly embracing the premium space. Retail sales of luxury goods in India increased by 3% in current value terms to reach Rs 553.8 billion in 2023, according to Euromonitor International Report.

“As the Indian economy continues to expand and the middle-class burgeons, the luxury market is expected to evolve with an even greater emphasis on personalised experiences,” notes Lasakan Cholayil, Co-founder of Sadhev.

Novel and exclusive:

  • Arvind Singhal, Chairman and Managing Director of Technopak, notes that luxury products are gaining greater acceptance due to the increase in disposable income, the prevalence of dual-income households, and individuals capitalising on their legacy wealth.
  • “For those with aspirations, the availability of straightforward monthly instalment plans proves to be a saving grace,” says Sakshi Malhotra, a resident of Bengaluru who is going all out to do up her new home.
  • Luxury brands in the country are operating with a long-term perspective, gradually establishing a presence in the minds of customers and potential customers. 

Funding Alert

Startup: PURE EV

Amount: $8M

Round: Series A1

Startup: QuiD

Amount: Rs 5 Cr

Round: Pre-Seed

Startup: Kanlet

Amount: $400,000

Round: Pre-Seed

Social Impact

Fighting stigma to improve women's health

Hundreds of women in and around Velhe tehsil of Pune district are aware of how low haemoglobin affects their body, thanks to a seven-year-long blood testing campaign conducted by Jnana Prabodhini, an institution working on education, research, rural development, women empowerment and health. 

Beating anaemia:

  • Low haemoglobin levels in women lead to insufficient oxygen, due to which their cells cannot convert glucose into energy, leading to poor cognitive and motor development and work capacity.
  • Jnana Prabodhini (translating to ‘awakener of knowledge’) team organised its first blood camp for women in 2018 after the team realised that a majority of them were too malnourished.
  • "We celebrate the women who do regular blood tests and improve their HB levels akin to the goddess herself, and gift them with sarees in front of the whole village," says Suvarna Gokhale, Executive Committee Member, Jnana Prabodhini.
Jnana Prabhodini


Accessing India's private assets market

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a collaborative investment platform anchored by the Indian government, has committed Rs 207 crore ($25 million) to Amicus Capital Fund II. The funds came from the NIIF Fund of Funds - I, the first fund under its Private Markets Business (PMF)-I.

Key takeaways:

  • The PMF-I programme aims to back established and emerging fund managers with a strong track record and institutional mindset, prioritising ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) practices.
  • Amicus Capital Fund II, with a target to raise $200 million for disbursements, supports tech businesses in sectors like speciality manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services.
  • With the latest commitment to Amicus Capital Fund II, PMF-I has used 100% of its aggregate capital commitments.
Funding money dollar

News & updates

  • Sale: Appliance maker Whirlpool is selling a 24% stake in its Indian unit this week for up to $451 million via stock market deals. Whirlpool plans to sell the stake at Rs 1,230, a 7% discount to its closing price on Monday and plans to complete the deal by Wednesday.
  • Decline: Around $10 billion of value was wiped off Sony’s stock last week after the Japanese tech giant cut its sales forecast for its flagship PlayStation 5 console for the fiscal year. Analysts told CNBC a bigger issue for the company is its declining margins in its key gaming business.
  • Buy: Adani Group is in advanced talks with West Asia-based sovereign funds to raise up to $2.6 billion for its airport expansion and green hydrogen projects. Its flagship firm Adani Enterprises may reduce its stake in either the airport-holding firm or the green hydrogen business, or both, for investment funds.

Which racer holds the record for most Grand Prix wins?

Answer: Lewis Hamilton. He has won 103 races.

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