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Acko’s Varun Dua on brand building; The secrets of good storytelling

Brand building, according to Dua, is an art that is fading, with startups often prioritising capital expenditure over genuine brand development.

Acko’s Varun Dua on brand building; The secrets of good storytelling

Saturday March 30, 2024 , 5 min Read


The tug of war continues between BYJU'S and its investors. 

At the March 29 extraordinary general meeting, BYJU’S shareholders did not object to the resolution to increase the edtech company’s authorised share capital for the $200 million rights issue. 

However, none of the miffed investors, who proposed to oust BYJU'S founder and family from the management seat, took part in the meeting.

Earlier in an email to shareholders, Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran notified that the edtech firm garnered over 50% votes, and invited some of its "valued existing shareholders" to join the rights issue to safeguard their ownership stake from dilution.

In other news, PhonePe users can now make payments in the UAE via UPI at Mashreq NEOPAY Terminals. 

Meanwhile, it’s the end of an era for Force Motors tractors. 

The automobile company is closing its agricultural tractors business and related activities from March 31 to focus on shared mobility transportation, last-mile mobility, and making special vehicles for civil and defence applications.

ICYMI: All you need to know about how Elon Musk’s Grok chatbot works.

BTW, the AI chatbot by xAI is soon getting an upgrade—Grok 1.5

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Acko’s Varun Dua on brand building
  • The secrets of good storytelling
  • Bringing better life to MP’s tribal children

Here’s your trivia for today: Who is the youngest heavyweight champion in history?


Acko’s Varun Dua on brand building


The success of any business relies on how well it connects with its customers over time. While many startups rush to capture attention through flashy ad campaigns and marketing, Varun Dua, Founder of ACKO Insurance, believes that startups today have lost their way by becoming too promotional in their approach.  

In an open dialogue with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, Dua talks about Acko’s journey and its impact on India's insurance landscape at the India Innovation Summit, hosted by Arkam Ventures.

Deep dive:

  • Brand building, according to Dua, is an art that is fading, with startups often prioritising capital expenditure over genuine brand development.
  • Before starting up, he worked at Tata AIG Life Insurance right after the Indian insurance sector opened up to private companies.
  • Acko currently offers insurance for various needs, including travel, gadgets, and health, catering to over 80 to 100 million customers, said the founder.


The secrets of good storytelling

techsparks mumbai 2024

Good storytelling is becoming increasingly critical across domains, whether it is for producing written or visual content, creating data-driven narratives, or marketing a brand, Indian Hindi author Divya Prakash Dubey said at TechSparks Mumbai 2024, as he decoded what it takes to create a memorable story.


  • Dubey has written six books—two story collections and four short novels, as well as Hindi dialogues for the movies Ponniyin Selvan: I and Ponniyin Selvan: II.
  • "A good story has to present a problem—such as someone wanting something they don't have. And their struggle to get this thing should touch our own struggles in some way," Dubey explained.
  • He has been publishing his work since 2013 when he began writing alongside his full-time job as a marketing executive.


Bringing better life to MP’s tribal children

Riverside Nature School

In a remote village in the district of Mandla in Madhya Pradesh—about three hours away from Jabalpur—stands Riverside Natural School. The residential school, started by Priya Nadkarni and Digvijay Singh in 2016, is home to over 300 tribal students. It offers education, shelter, and nutrition and trains the students in football, farming, and technology.


  • In terms of technology education, the school has partnered with platforms like Coursera and other online and offline training providers to teach basic programming, Python, Java, and AI tools.
  • Starting with 30 students, the school now has over 300 students, and the hostel houses nearly 147 students. 
  • A majority of students who come from underserved communities wish to start earning as soon as possible. The school helps them fetch internship opportunities in Zoho, etc.

News & updates

  • Unveil: Apple plans to kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10, when it is expected to unveil its long-anticipated AI strategy. Also, the company’s overseas suppliers have ramped up production of its long-anticipated new iPads, and a launch is planned for early May.
  • Double: Huawei said on Friday its net profit for 2023 more than doubled, thanks to better product offerings. The company also attributed the profit gains to revenue growth of 9.6% year-on-year (YoY) to 704.2 billion yuan ($99.18 billion). Net profit grew by 144.5% YoY to $12 billion.
  • Slowdown: US inflation rose in line with expectations in February, likely keeping the US Federal Reserve on hold before it can start considering interest rate cuts. The personal consumption expenditures price index, excluding food and energy, increased 2.8% on a 12-month basis and was up 0.3% from a month ago.

Who is the youngest heavyweight champion in history?

Answer: Mike Tyson. Tyson became a heavyweight at the age of 20, defeating Trevor Berbick in 1986.

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