Tech Giant’s entry in the Indian Market?

While the COVID-19 curve of India is peaking, the economic curve has hit rock bottom. However, the IT and Telecommunication sectors of India have started to look better right now.

​Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries  (India’s most valued firm), has raised about $20.2 billion in the past four months from 13 investors by selling about 33% stake in the firm. In this press release, they declared that 2 of the biggest tech giants of the West, Google, and Facebook, have invested in the company and now own stakes in our “Atma-Nirbhar” Company. Other investors, including General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Qualcomm, Intel, and Vista, have paid a 12.5% premium for their Jio Platforms stake. ​

What’s in it for Reliance?​

With the economic disruption, the telecom giant has suffered huge losses, with a total debt of Rs 161,035 crore, as on March 31,2020. The flagship business, refining, and marketing (R&M) have faced severe margin fall as its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) dropped 15.2 percent to Rs 4,508 crore in the first quarter, despite increasing the throughput at its Jamnagar twin refineries to 17.5 million tons (MT) from 16.6 MT. As the petrochemical production volume fell, affecting the revenue, the exploration and production (E&P) business continued in red. So, these massive investments have helped Reliance pay off debts.​

 “Our net-debt was Rs 161,035 crore, as on March 31, 2020. With these investments, RIL has become net debt-free,” Reliance Industries NSE 3.71 % said in a release on Friday.

Facebook Investment​

But you must be thinking why would a big social media company like Facebook is all of a sudden interested in invest in an Indian company. So, read on to understand the tech giant has in mind for India!​

On April 22, Facebook said it will invest Rs 43,574 crore in Jio Platforms for a 9.99% stake in an all-cash deal that will help the oil-to-retail conglomerate.

What’s in it for Facebook?

With multiple personal data breach issues being tagged to FB, we all know they weren’t in a perfect place, and due to the #BLM movement issues, FB had been losing a lot of Ad revenues. In short, the payment channels of the company were drying up. Jio was the best window for investing money in India. Facebook’s history in India is complicated, as an effort to provide free Facebook access drew criticism from net neutrality activists and led to complaints of digital colonialism. So, investing in the RIL group meant going in a partnership with the richest man of the country, MR. Ambani, which came with his secure political connections.

So, now the real question is, What is FB’s plans in India?

E-Commerce has boomed in India under the 2 major players: Walmart and Amazon. When it comes to flourishing in Rural/ Tier III India, both have terribly failed to make E-Commerce available to them.

Now, why is that? The reason is that, despite India going through the Digital Revolution, more than 50% of the country’s population is still deprived of 4G Data. Hence, using Internet-based applications is still uncharted territory for them. Now, Jio aims to eradicate 2G and 3G from the country, bring everyone online, and finally make E-Commerce available through Jio Mart.

JioMart delivers grocery and daily essentials from nearby stores.
Now, you must be thinking, why am I lecturing on India’s Internet scenario?
Here’s the twist: You will be reached via our representative via call, message, or WhatsApp. And guess who owns WhatsApp? Facebook. Customers in China and Indonesia have shown a preference for super apps, which allow people to interact with an umbrella brand for everything from chatting with friends to booking cabs and managing money.

Ambani could be best-suited to try the model in India, especially if he gets to build it around the popular WhatsApp.

But this isn’t all. Facebook has a lot of “Indian Dreams” for us. With the availability of data at dirt-cheap costs, developments in Computer Science are all set to boom under the influence of these tech giants. Here are some of the plans by FB.

E-commerce will happen in a very localized way” in rural India, said Tarun Pathak, an analyst with research firm Counterpoint. It will happen not on PCs but on inexpensive smartphones and, “The familiarity is there for WhatsApp,” he said. “It makes sense.”

Google Investment

On Wednesday, Google announced it would invest $4.5 billion in India’s Jio Platforms, the unit of Reliance overseeing music, mIndustries ovie, and telecommunications ventures. The investment that buys Google a 7.7 percent stake in Jio and a seat on its board, is the latest in a spree of Western investments into Reliance’s digital company.

What’s in it for Google?

Google said that it plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years as the search giant looks to help accelerate the adoption of digital services in the key overseas market. Now, with Tech Giants avoiding China for the pandemic. India is a key foreign market for Google, where a range of its products and services, including Search, YouTube, and Android, has made inroads with much of the entire online population. The nation of 1.3 billion people has emerged as perhaps the last great untapped growth market for American and Chinese giants.

Right now, more than half of India’s population does not own a smartphone. With the target of making smartphones available to all, Jio launched its low budget phones, but most of the apps were not available on the Kai OS on that phone. So, now Google and Jio would work together to develop an OS that is both scalable and cheap, which can be used for Jio Phones.

“There’s still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians…from improving voice input and computing for all of India’s languages, to inspiring and supporting a whole new generation of entrepreneurs” – Sundar Pichai

Four areas of Google’s focus:

  • First, enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, or any other.
  • Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs.
  • Third, empowering businesses as they continue to embark on their digital transformation.
  • Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good in areas like health, education, and agriculture.

Without the threats of data theft, Google’s plans for India sound pretty good to any citizen as this means higher internet accessibility means the greater reach of education and digital equality.

Well, we can only thank RIL for moving forward the country’s dream of “Digital India.”

It goes without saying that Jio definitely created that window for the Western Tech Giants to enter and actually see the prospect in Indian Market. Also, the way Reliance Jio plans on touching lives and revolutionizing digital services, education, healthcare, and entertainment that can support economic growth and social inclusion at a critical time in the country’s history.

It would be accurate to say that this Pandemic didn’t stop this man of immense business mettle from standing up against the odds and take us a step closer to a “Chinese-Investment free” India.

It’s safe to say that the last month was just the tip of the iceberg, and India’s future in digitization is definitely looking promising.

“CCI approval helps both the companies to put their energies around the digital commerce initiatives, and it may also encourage other *FAANG names to look at Indian telcos,” said Rajiv Sharma, head of research at SBICap Securities. Facebook pegged Jio Platforms at Rs 4.62 lakh crore pre-money enterprise value.

*FAANG is an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and (Google parent) Alphabet.

So, with this, I would like to conclude on a positive note that one can make the most out of an adverse scenario. All they need is hard work, vision, and a heart that never gives up. RIL has successfully brought the future to the country, but now it’s in the youths’ hands to show them that we are worth investing in.

This article is contributed by Ria Biswas.

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Bewakoofi to Kamyabi

How many times have you been so obsessed with some dialogue from a movie that you wanted to flaunt it literally everywhere, maybe even wear it.

Talking about such dialogues which ones pop in your mind first?
Lemme guess: “ How’s the josh” from URI or “Kitne aadmi the ?” from Sholay.

Well, the only difference between these 2 is that you have seen people wearing URI dialogue clothes all over the campus. Not only URI, but you must have also seen such catchy dialogues from Gully Boy, GOT, Marvel and what not!

Guess the brand which make your favourite dialogues “WEARABLE”. ??

Yup you guessed it right!!

So, without further ado let’s jump into the success story of this new fad of every campus!

Founded in 2012, Bewakoof is a lifestyle fashion brand that makes creative, distinctive fashion for the trendy, contemporary Indian. Bewakoof was created on the principle of creating impact through innovation, honesty, and thoughtfulness – with a team of 400 members, and 2 million products sold till date.

An idea is born!

Society perceives Bewakoof as stupid.But what does society call Bewakoof? Often, it’s anything different or anything that’s done differently.

Founding fathers of Bewakoof !

While in college you must have thought what was different with Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg that they found their own company while you’re still printing out Fibonacci series in C!
Well here are 2 students who actually took inspiration to launch their own startup with a turnover of more than 80crore in 2019.

Prabhkiran Singh & Siddharth Munot were still in college in 2010 when they were looking forward to buying a domain name under Bewakoof. However, they weren’t sure about the idea and it got delayed. In the meantime, after passing out from college in 2011 they started their own beverage gig named, Kharke Glassy which wasn’t a success. Hence, they closed it down.

Desperately searching for ideas the next thing that came to their mind was the idea that has gone cold from their college days. So by 2011, they started working on the website and it was officially launched on Jan end, 2012.

A million dollar mission

All these two young pass-outs wanted was to create something that was so witty, eye-catching and is easily called “ Bewakoofi”. They had this zeal to add some spices of humor in the “plain college T shirts” that these young lads could adorn and be proud of.

Soon they started out on their mission of searching and printing the latest trends, lifestyles and quotes so there’s something for every college student!
Soon they collaborated with Disney, Marvel and many other companies to produce a collection which suits people across Marvel and DC fans to the desi meme lovers.

Now, after 8 years, any student’s shopping destination is Bewakoof because (let’s accept it, it has the best collection.

Path to success

Just when you thought that Bewakoof must be just another clothing company, let me tell you, this brand thrives to make an impact on the Indian culture through Innovative and thoughtful ideas!
Bewakoof stands for going against the trend and the spirit of looking at things differently. They challenged the contemporary Indian Style and gave a witty, humorous twist on how every Indian teen dresses.
With their target audience ageing between, 16-34, categories are starting from Bollywood catchphrases to PUBG quotes (Yeah, I know you loved for those “ Aao Kabhi Pochinki Mein” T shirts!).
What gave Bewakoof it’s the magnanimous success was definitely, their efficient customer targetting. Understanding the problem of unavailability of quality products but high demand in tier 2 cities, they focused their sales in this particular area. Even tier 1 cities produced a huge response. One of the biggest reason being the availability of COD facility on their website.
They didn’t leave a stone unturned while expanding their brand and here are their secrets to winning!

1st Create a Brand Value

By now, you might be wondering, there are so many companies that have come and gone but only a few flourish the way this company has. So what’s their secret spell?
Well, unlike other companies, Bewakoof was creating products for the people which gives them a sense of pride/satisfaction. They created a brand value so streamlined and original that the fad was simply too strong to deny.

It’s Viral !

Well, right now, ‘viral’ is a word that we are all dreading, but it’s this viral marketing strategy that makes Bewakoof one of the leading manufacturing brands in the T-shirt industry. We are all familiar with how Coca-Cola advertises it’s products right? It’s simple crowd work and community activities that make the advertising strategy of this beverage giant stand out. As the founders quote,“ If a man likes a product he tells it to 2 people, but if a lady likes a brand, she tells it to at least 20 people about it. “
Taking inspiration from this, Bewakoof set out to use the strongest tool of marketing :
Organic marketing!
The company also created some extensive college campaigns where students are supposed to spread Beewakoofy around the college campus and provide free Tees to them from the company.

Taking inspiration from this, Bewakoof set out to use the strongest tool of marketing :
Organic marketing!

The company also created some extensive college campaigns where students are supposed to spread Beewakoofy around the college campus and free Tees provides them from the company.

The company started using social media as the marketing channel from 2012. Hence, the two platforms, Justdial and Facebook proved to be a great buzz creator.

The company also promoted its products, through a tie-up with many top brand e-commerce sites to sell their products including Snapdeal, Indiatimes Shopping and Seventy. To keep their loyal Bewakoofs busy and to generate more traffic they even launched a meme page named “2 Min Aaya Yaar Raste Mei Hoon” which was a great success in promoting the website.

Catching on every emerging trend, TV Series, Movie, or even a punch line and transforming into a T shirt makes their brand too attractive to ignore.

Since 2012, they have used social media to the fullest but the real secret spell to their success came along when they used YouTube ads as their major tool in 2019. Soon their ROI was near about 4x. The reach that the company could achieve with YouTube ads was phenomenal. The agency was able to achieve up to 9000 conversions over a short span of 30 days.

“6 years ago, we set off on a new journey, not really knowing what’s in store for us. We can confidently say today that we’ve come a long way. Our journey has been a milestone in the narrative of homegrown fashion brands.”

Never Settle!

With this rise in success in the last round of seed funding, they have raised over 800M as of October 2019. Even in this lockdown and economic crisis they haven’t let their business slip away. Adapting to the crisis, they launched their own sanitizers and protective gears.

Someway, Bewakoof is just never out of trend. With the #WFH looming over our lives, Bewakoof sets out to spice up our WFH attires too. With cool pyjamas and semi-formal Tshirts, they are never out of their game.

As Bewakoof artists would correctly say, “ picture abhi baki hai mere dost!” Bewakoof stands out among all the other clothing brands and their endeavors are so unique and authentic that no other brand can challenge their customer base. With just 8 years old, keeping up with the trend Bewakoof believes in- “Never Settle”-ing for something bland and old! And to always stand out with “Bewakoof”.

This article is contributed by Ria Biswas,

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