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Delhivery's Ajith Pai on Indian consumerism; IT companies’ growth expectations

Delhivery COO Ajith Pai sees the habits of middle India—big aspirations taking off through small purchases. The $245 billion Indian IT industry continues to face the challenge of an uncertain macroeconomic environment, especially in its key markets of North America and Europe.

Delhivery's Ajith Pai on Indian consumerism; IT companies’ growth expectations

Saturday April 13, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

This EV requires only 15 minutes of charging!

EV manufacturer Omega Seiki Mobility and battery-tech startup Exponent Energy have collaborated to launch an electric three-wheeler passenger vehicle, Stream City Qik, which charges from 0 to 100% in 15 minutes. 

Speaking of EVs, the US is now looking into banning the import of Chinese-made electric cars. In February, the White House had said it was opening an investigation into whether Chinese cars pose a national security risk.

In other news, BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover and Aseem Ghavri launched ZeroPe, a new fintech app focused on medical bill payments.

Meanwhile, TCS reported a 9% annual rise in net profit for Q4 FY24, aided by internal efficiencies even as revenue grew 3.5%. Its net profit in Q4 FY24 stood at Rs 12,434 crore while it registered Rs 61,237 crore in revenue.

Elsewhere, ChatGPT got a new upgrade, GPT-4 Turbo. OpenAI claims its “responses will be more direct, less verbose and use more conversational language”.

ICYMI: OpenAI and Google have a new challenger in Europe, French startup Mistral.  

Lastly, in a bizarre turn of events, the Miss Universe Organisation is disputing reports of Saudi Arabia’s participation in its 2024 pageant—news, that were it true, would have marked the Middle Eastern country’s debut. 

Saudi Arabian model Rumy al-Qahtani had earlier expressed that she was “honoured” to be competing in the Miss Universe pageant.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Are Indian consumers becoming aspirational?
  • IT companies’ growth expectations
  • Fintech funding tanks in the first quarter

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the frozen dessert made with fruit juice rather than cream called?


Interview

Are Indian consumers becoming aspirational?

Delhivery COO Ajith Pai sees the habits of middle India—big aspirations taking off through small purchases. The logistics company has a front-seat view of, and a healthy stake in, the country’s rising consumption patterns.

“One thing that has seen a resurgence is aspiration. For a while after the big (boom) of reforms in the ’90s, there was a period of lull, but in the last 8-10 years, with the way the government has been branding things, that aspiration has come back,” he shares in an interview with Shradha Sharma.

The big picture:

  • Indian consumers are always two steps ahead of everybody else, Pai says. A shopper will buy one category online, but for another category, the same shopper prefers buying 50-50 online and offline. 
  • Pai explains that digital commerce is seeing a revolutionary surge. Apart from having a strong ambition to buy, he notes that Indian consumers are also being flexible in their habits following the pandemic.
  • “There is a brand coming up for every need and at every price point. Not only will 1000s of products be born in India, but I also think they will be sustainable, profitable businesses,” he adds.
Ajith Pai


Top Funding Deals of the Week

Startup: Neysa

Amount: $20M

Round: Series B

Startup: Recykal

Amount: $13M

Round: Pre-Series B

Startup: Planys Technologies

Amount: Rs 43 Cr

Round: Equity


Corporate

How Indian IT companies will perform in Q4

The $245 billion Indian IT industry continues to face the challenge of an uncertain macroeconomic environment, especially in its key markets of North America and Europe. It has led to slowed demand, and companies are now largely growing in single digits.

Projections:

  • Brokerage house JM Financial, in its note, said, “4QFY24 will likely see a continuation of recent (soft) demand trends. Quarterly guidance by global peers already points to a weak start to the year.”
  • In mid-tier IT companies, the revenue growth is in the range of 0.3% to 4.2% QoQ, as per HDFC Securities. This indicates that the Indian IT industry will record annual revenue growth below 10% for FY24.
  • Leading Indian IT companies are expected to see some marginal improvement in the operating profit margins despite lower revenue growth largely due to better efficiencies.
quarterly results


Report

Fintech funding tanks in the first quarter

Governance issues and regulatory crackdown have impacted the flow of capital into the Indian fintech sector, with investments dropping 57% year-on-year for Q1 2024. According to Tracxn Geo Quarterly Report, the fintech segment raised total investments of $551 million in the first quarter of 2024.

Setback:

  • Seed-stage funding saw the most decline, with a drop of 75% to $9.9 million in Q1 2024 from $39.2 million raised in the previous quarter.
  • During Q1 2024, the Indian fintech sector saw only two funding rounds exceeding the $100 million threshold. Meanwhile, Perfios became a unicorn after raising $80 million.
  • Also, most investors limited themselves to a single funding round during the quarter. Only Y Combinator and Peak XV Partners invested in two startups each.
Fintech - Lending against securities


News & updates

  • Chatbot: Meta is testing Meta AI, its large language model-powered chatbot, with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa. The move signals how Meta plans to tap massive user bases across its various apps to scale its AI offerings.
  • Overhaul: Apple Inc, aiming to boost sluggish computer sales, is preparing to overhaul its entire Mac line with a new family of in-house processors designed to highlight AI. The company is already nearing production of the next generation—the M4 processor.
  • Sinking: China’s exports slumped in March, dealing a blow to hopes that booming sales abroad will offset weak demand at home and drive growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Exports shrank 7.5%, while imports fell 1.9%, the customs administration said Friday. 


What is the frozen dessert made with fruit juice rather than cream called?

Answer: Sorbet.


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