For Authentic Gossip
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Is The City Of Joy Trying To Revive Tram Travels In A Big Way?

An effort is being made to revive trams in Kolkata city in this era of climate change. Known for its heritage value, trams made their maiden journey way back in 1873, as horse drawn carriages. Today, Kolkata is the only city in the continent operating trams. The revival of trams is part of the action plan under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) for Kolkata. Several urban transportation experts and activists, along with NGOs, attended the discussion and made it clear that mindset and lack of political will have hindered sustaining trams in Kolkata and not the availability of funds. They pointed out how eco-friendly trams play a key role in transportation in most global cities. “If the government wants, it can explore the option of using NCAP funds and funds for electric vehicles, as the tram is the mother of electric vehicles,” explains Anumita Roy Choudhary, air pollution expert from the Centre for Science & Environment (CSE), Delhi. At present, only 10 trams ply on two routes in the city, as against 185 trams on 37 routes a decade back. Is the state government listening?
Collage Maker-29-Dec-2022-01

Uttarakhand Govt To Build An International Airport?

Uttarakhand may soon have an international airport. The state government is set to submit a proposal to the Union civil aviation ministry for setting up an international airport for which it has already identified two locations measuring 1,200 hectares and 1,100 hectares. A pre-feasibility for upgrading the Pantnagar airport, located near the Jim Corbett Park, to an international airport is also said to be ready. The BJP government is making a pitch that an international airport is needed in the state, considering its spiritual, historical and strategic importance. Better connectivity will boost tourism and bring in the revenue that the hill state needs.
Untitled design (14)

Krsnaa Diagnostics On Expansion Spree, Plans To Open 600 Centres Across India

Krsnaa Diagnostics Ltd, one of the fastest growing players in the diagnostics space, plans to launch 600 diagnostics centres across India. With this, the Pune headquartered diagnostics player, with a pan-India presence, will strengthen its footprint across Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, and Rajasthan, spreading across metros, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The centres will be equipped to offer specialised services in precision medicine, genetics, genomics, and molecular diagnostics, along with the routine investigations of biochemistry and serology. The Rs 500-crore company (listed on BSE and NSE) started its journey in 2011 with two radiology centres and is present today in 16 states with 2000-plus centres across India. It has differentiated itself not only by offering quality services in radiology and pathology, but has also focused on the public-private partnership (PPP) segment, where it serves underpenetrated and underserved areas by collaborating with private healthcare providers, including corporate hospitals and trust hospitals.

Welspun To Invest Around Rs 2500 Crore To Build Warehouses In Tamil Nadu

Welspun One Logistics Parks, a pan-India integrated fund, development and asset management platform, a part of the $3.5 billion Welspun Group, has signed an MoU with Guidance, the Government of Tamil Nadu’s nodal agency, for investment promotion and single window facilitation. This is towards setting up warehousing facilities across Tamil Nadu. The projects will be executed by Welspun One Logistics Parks and will bring direct investments of around Rs 2,500 crore to the State. Under this MoU, a total of six projects have been proposed in the prime warehousing micro-markets like Hosur, Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur; totalling a development potential of around 8 million sqft, to be built across a span of five years. Considering the tangible social and economic benefits that the investments entail, the state government has assured support in streamlining the approval processes and single-window clearances for Welspun-initiated projects to facilitate the overall ease of doing business. The Welspun group company, in turn, is determined to provide high-impact sustainable warehousing solutions by incorporating green infrastructure and an industry-led technology approach.

BP And Infosys To Help Businesses Unlock Infrastructure’s Energy Efficiency

BP, a global integrated energy company, and Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, have agreed to develop and pilot an energy as a service (EaaS) solution, which will aim to help businesses improve the energy efficiency of infrastructure, and help meet their decarbonisation goals. Infosys and BP intend to co-develop a digital platform that can collect data from multiple energy assets and use artificial intelligence to optimise the energy supply and demand for power, heat, cooling and EV charging. The companies will pilot the digital platform at the Infosys Pune Development Centre – in an environment that replicates a small city, where energy is generated, stored, and consumed at multiple points. Once the pilot is successful, they aim to roll this model out across other Infosys campuses in India, and with some clients, to help manage energy and help reduce emissions. In addition, the companies have agreed to collaborate on integrating solar energy production into the campus’ energy system. Energy that is generated through this integration, will be monitored and optimised by the digital platform and can be stored or redirected to the building power supply, heating and cooling systems, and also to an EV charging infrastructure.
adar poonawala

Photo : Twitter

Serum Institute’s Poonawalla On An Acquisitions Spree

Adar Poonawalla, the MD of Serum Institute Of India, is on a takeover spree. It recently took over Magma Fincop (AUM as on June 30 was Rs 14,250 crore) for an undisclosed amount. The company has been renamed Poonawalla Fincorp. It is already infusing capital and repricing loans. It has drawn up plans to grow between 25-30% annually. Recently, it acquired a 50% stake in Schott Kaisa, a JV with the German company from its former owners Kairu Dadachanji and Shapoor Mistry. Schott is into pharma packaging goods including vials which are used in the distribution of vaccines. Insiders believe this is just the beginning and more inorganic growth avenues are being pursued to enable Poonawalla to diversify from vaccine makers to a multifaceted group with interests in finance, manufacturing across sectors and healthcare.

SEBI Finalising Guidelines To Allow Private Equity To Invest In Mutual Funds

SEBI is said to be finalizing revised guidelines to pave the entry of private equity firms in the AMC business. Currently there are two to three mutual funds which are reportedly looking to get out at a decent price. L&T Mutual Fund is one of them. The 12th largest fund by the AUM size, L&T Mutual Fund manages Rs 58,000 crore worth of assets. IDFC Mutual Fund is another fund which is being eyed by the entrants wanting to get into the mutual fund space. They reckon with ESG schemes picking up, investors will be keen to look at avenues to park funds in these schemes. One of the potential private equity companies looking keenly at getting into the Indian mutual industry is Blackstone. It is believed that once regulators permit, they will be moving quickly to take a stake in the AMC of L&T and IDFC.

Tata Sky Plans IPO To Give Disney An Exit

In this season of tech-driven IPOs, an older tech firm from the Tata stable is also readying for an IPO. Tata Sky, the DTH provider (which also has broadband service ambitions), has been around for over a decade and has been beaming bouquets of TV channels into homes across the country. Set up as a joint venture with Sky TV of the UK, then controlled by Rupert Murdoch, it has steadily expanded its coverage. And while competitor Dish TV may cater to more homes, Tata Sky, focusing away from the bottom end of the market, is way ahead in terms of revenues. It is now a mature business and ready for an IPO. After Murdoch sold Fox TV (but not Fox News) to Disney, the Sky holding had passed on to Disney. But India was the only country where Disney had a stake in broadcast distribution, and it did not fit in with Disney’s business. So, the IPO is an exit route for Disney. It will raise some money for the company and also give Tata Sons a liquid listed asset. The investment bankers are just being appointed to prepare the draft prospectus. This will be one more share issue likely to be lapped up by the public.

Indian Immunologicals Joins Bharat Biotech’s Vaccine Efforts

While Covid-19 gathers momentum and lockdowns stretch across the country, the vaccines are depleting as the production has not kept up pace with the demand. According to a source, the Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) is working on a vaccine. Animal trials are underway and the new vaccine is expected to be ready for human use by next year. IIL makes over 150 products and runs one of the largest plants in the world for veterinary vaccines. Soon it is expected to make drug substance for Bharat Biotech, which makes Covaxin, say sources. IIL will make the substance for 2-3 million doses and scale it up to 6-7 million per month later in the year. Meanwhile, Panacea Biotech has commenced production of the Russian Sputnik vaccine.
anil ambani_001


Anil Ambani Has Reasons To Smile: RPower Turning Around Slowly

Today, the main problem with RPower is the name of Anil Ambani, in whom the markets unfortunately have lost confidence. According to one source, if one looks beyond the name, all signs of a turnaround can be seen. The company is reducing debt by up to Rs 3 lakh crore this year, which means reduction in interest burden by Rs 300 crore per annum. People have missed the fact that now RPower has an operating portfolio of 5,960 MW (about 6 GW). It has, since the last two precious quarters, been able to come into consecutive profits. The total liabilities of RPower come to about Rs 22 lakh crore. The total assets of RPower, going by replacement cost theory of power sector (1 MW of Rs 10 crore) works out to Rs 60,000 crore worth of assets. Meanwhile, RPower, which was having issues in servicing debt in the past, has now been able to do so in the last three quarters, albeit slowly. It was wilfully defaulting on debt, so that debt restructuring can be done. Now, the company is doing everything to cut debt. 
sanjiv goenka

Saregama: Riding The Digital Wave

The fast-growing digitisation, buoyed by the present Covid situation, has been the key driver for surge in content consumption in recent months. This trend is expected to continue in the longer time-frame as well. In this changing scenario, Saregama India, India’s oldest music label owned by RP-Sanjiv Goenka group of companies, has aligned its content strategy quite well to ride on this digital wave. During 2020-21, while the revenue was down by about 15% to, say, Rs 435 crore, the company’s net profit surged by over 160% to Rs 113 crore plus. The company, formerly known as The Gramophone Company of India, which owns the largest music archives in India (one of the biggest in the world), has consistently increased the monetisation of its IP (music, films, TV serials) over the last 13 quarters or so. Saregama, which has also expanded into other branches of entertainment – publishing, film production and digital content – has seen its music licensing revenue in 2020-21 going up by 20%. Digitisation and low cost of data in India remains the primary growth drivers of content consumption. This is further fuelled by the increase in smart phones, the rising popularity of OTT and social media apps.
Dr YK Hamied

Cipla’s Big Move, Ties-Up With US Company

The Yusuf Hamied-led Cipla has been busy tying up with a US company. The non-executive chairman of $2.3 billion (revenue) generics maker Cipla’s US subsidiary Cipla Therapeutics and SIGA Technologies, Inc (SIGA), a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focussed on the health security market, have entered into a strategic partnership to deliver sustained innovation and access to novel anti-bacterial drugs, particularly against bio-threats. On the development front, recently, the company had tied up with MSD (a trade name of Merck & Co Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA) to make, distribute investigational drug molnupiravir in India. MSD is developing molnupiravir in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and this agreement is a part of Cipla’s efforts to enhance global access to the treatment for patients affected by the pandemic. Meanwhile, Cipla, a global pharmaceutical company focussed on complex generics, is deepening its portfolio in the markets of India, South Africa, North America and key regulated and emerging markets. Globally, North America business grew by 6% year on year, led by continued expansion in market share of Albuterol and other assets along with growth in the institutional channel.

Rising Steel Price Sees SAIL On Expansion Drive

The steel industry is looking up and the domestic HRC prices rising by Rs 7,000 per tonne in April 2021 (they are trading at Rs 12,500 per tonne discounted to Japan landed prices) implies more head-room for price hikes. And, the PSU-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is in for a giant leap. According to a source, it has planned an aggressive expansion plan. The company’s plans were delayed by more than 10 years now, and were hurting its balance sheet. Not surprisingly, its net gearing increased from 0.04 times in 2010-11 to 1.35 times in 2019-20. With SAIL allowed to sell iron ore and, with most of its capex set to commission in 2021-22E, the source expects operating leverage to drive operating profit (EBIDTA) growth. One would recall that, way back in 2003-04, SAIL had launched its corporate plan for expansion and modernisation of existing facilities, aiming to increase its hot metal capacity from 12.7 tpa in 2003-04 to 20 tpa in 2011-12. In 2006-07, the plan was modified to target hot metal production of 25 tpa by 2009-10. As of now, SAIL has a capacity of 21 million tpa and its expansion cum modernisation plan is still ongoing. Also, in the past 10 years, projects have seen moving timelines. And, all this has affected SAIL’s balance sheet negatively.
ratan tata_001

Nano To Be Rebirthed As Electric Vehicle

Tata Nano had put firmly Tata Motors on the map as a passenger vehicle manufacturer. While initially received with rapture, it got sadly saddled with the label of a cheap car, which led to the slowdown and final phasing out of the model. But the perky little Nano may yet live another day. Within Tata Motors, there is talk –more than just speculation –that Nano may be rebirthed as a fully electric vehicle (EV). As a car of the future this will be sweet vindication of Ratan Tata’s vision.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.