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Pine needles offer livelihood support; Why must founders invest in IP rights?

The Bhavish Agarwal-led ride-hailing company aims to raise $500 million at a valuation of about $5 billion.

Pine needles offer livelihood support; Why must founders invest in IP rights?

Monday April 22, 2024 , 4 min Read


India banned TikTok in 2021. Now, the US is doing the same. 

The US House of Representatives passed a bill that would require TikTok-owner ByteDance to sell the popular social media app or see it banned in the country.

According to reports, the US Senate could take it up this week, and President Joe Biden has said he supports the bill and will sign it. If that happens, TikTok is expected to challenge the bill in court.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the social media app is preparing to remove Erich Andersen, the US-based general counsel for TikTok and its parent, ByteDance, responsible for convincing the US government that the company was doing enough to stave off national security concerns about its connections to China.

ICYMI: Ola Cabs is planning an IPO! 

The Bhavish Agarwal-led ride-hailing company aims to raise $500 million at a valuation of about $5 billion.

In other news, Apple is expected to employ over 5 lakh people in India through its vendors over the next three years. The iPhone maker’s vendors and suppliers employ 1.5 lakh people in India.

Lastly, check out the 40-ft flower, “Queen Of The Andes”, which blooms only once a century!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Pine needles for livelihood support
  • Why must founders invest in IP rights?

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the world's oldest theatre site in continuous use?


Pine needles for livelihood support

Pirul Handicrafts

Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have an abundance of pine trees that shed their resin-rich, highly flammable needles onto the forest floor. They also decompose slowly in the environment and are responsible for increasing the surface run-off of water and decreasing the groundwater table.

PIRUL Handicrafts, founded by Nupur Poharkar in 2021, makes artefacts from these pine needles. In the local dialect of Uttarakhand, 'Pirul' means using pine needles to make products. To date, the startup has sold about 8,000 products.


  • The startup works with women from Khetikhan and other remote villages near the Nepal border and Almora district. 
  • PIRUL Handicrafts offers planters, earrings, serving trays, and store boxes, among many other products. It has upcycled 20,000 kg of pine needles to date.
  • Its home decor products are priced between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000, lifestyle products between Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,800, while fashion items start from Rs 250. 


Why must founders invest in IP rights?

meenakshi lekhi

The market for Indian products is huge globally, as they are priced competitively and have high innovation standards, said Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture. She pointed out that Indian businesses did not have enough patents, urging startup founders to register for patents and trademarks more actively.

Key takeaways:

  • Stressing the need for better intellectual property rights (IPR), she said the government was doing its bit, but founders also needed to invest in IPR.
  • Lekhi said India registers 55 patents and 600 trademarks every day. She also pointed out that the country was moving up the innovation index.
  • India ranked 40th out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2023 rankings, published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, up from 81st position in 2015.

News & updates

  • Investments: The Inter-American Development Bank said 10 multilateral development banks have committed to taking action in five critical areas, including additional lending headroom, totalling $300-400 billion over the next decade. The effort comes amid growing calls to boost financing with favourable conditions to developing countries.
  • Price cut: Tesla has cut prices by nearly $2,000 across its models in China, after price cuts in the US, as it grapples with falling sales and an intensifying price war for EVs, especially against cheaper Chinese EVs.
  • TTPD: Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, has broken the record for Spotify’s most-streamed in a day. The pop singer also became the most-streamed artist in a single day in Spotify history.

What you should watch out for

  • Elections: Voting in the second phase of India’s General Election 2024 will happen on April 26 across 89 constituencies in 13 states, including in Bengaluru city.
  • Q4 results: Reliance Industries, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra, Nestle India, HCL Technologies, and Maruti Suzuki, among others, will report quarterly earnings. 
  • Tech results: Next week’s earnings reports from Tesla, Meta Platforms, Alphabet, and Microsoft could prove an important test for the US stock rally.

What is the world's oldest theatre site in continuous use?

Answer: The Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It has been a site for entertainment since 1663.

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