1) Maturing Mark The never-going-to-happen cage match with Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg was one of the year's most unusual and hyped stories. While the world expects such theatrics from the Tesla CEO, it was something different for the Meta CEO, who has always battled with missteps and democracy-crippling scandals that have overshadowed his monumental achievements at a young age in the corporate world. For once, an opportunity presented itself for him to play the hero to Musk's petulant villain in the social media arena. For once, Mark Zuckerberg found support in the masses. It appears that Zuckerberg's image has started to flip. While he is mellowing with time, the 39-year-old poster boy of social media is also upending his company with staggering confidence. Is this the sign of his mature days that might make him a global benefactor and finally make him and his company a winner? Read more to find out.2) FII's reignited love for India India is an emerging market that appears ready to attract the new flux of foreign money in the coming days. Two things are happening. First, India's weightage in the MSCI Standard Index (also known as the Emerging Market Index) is increasing. This will bring about $1.5 billion in foreign institutional investors' money. The second thing is the US Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's decision to switch to a new MSCI index as its benchmark for its International Stock Index Investment Fund. This decision will bring another $3.8 billion to Indian stock markets since India is part of this MSCI index. After the massive sell-off by FIIs in September and October, this new infusion signals the change. Has the tide turned with migration from bonds to equities worldwide? Let's look at the analysis.3) Edtech masterclass In 2021, the edtech industry was flush with venture capital money. $5.82 billion was pumped into the ecosystem. The sector was boasting several unicorn startups and a very serious wannabe decacorn. News of aggressive acquisitions, disruptions, and killing the competition were reported on a war footing. Nothing was going to stop this breakneck run of the Indian edtech industry. Nobody wanted to pay attention to irrational valuation and unsustainable business models. But Sanjay Salunke, founder of Jaro Education, which focuses on upskilling working professionals, knew that the froth was getting out of hand and would disappear any time. His bitter experience as an IT hiring company founder when the dot-com bubble exploded had taught him well. He started his edtech company in 2009 and, in 14 years, has built a Rs100 crore outfit that is bootstrapped, profitable, and scaling rapidly. Here's how he is doing it.
1) Conviction matters In the latest chapter of Pathbreakers, Snapdeal and AceVector Group's co-founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, who were among the pioneers in the Indian e-commerce space, talk about how they made a comeback from the bottom of the abyss and chalk out the road ahead. “Our starting point has been Snapdeal, but we are not stopping there. We are going to keep building new businesses within the group which are successful and profitable,” they said. As co-founders of Titan Capital, Bahl and Bansal have a ringside view of some of the most promising start-ups, and they unpack what drives them as early-stage investors to back new entrepreneurs. In this conversation, the business partners and school friends, who've seen the startup ecosystem evolve from pessimism to euphoria, discuss critical learnings from their testing but rewarding journey. Watch now.2) Big Bollywood test It's been a roller coaster year for the cinema business. At one extreme, there were blockbusters such as Pathaan, Jawan, Leo, Jailer and the biggest grosser, Gadar 2. On the other hand, there was a dip in attendance at cinema halls thanks to the superb performance of Team India at the ICC World Cup (this does not include the display in the final match). This Friday is possibly the first big box office clash between Ranbir Kapoor's Animal and Vicky Kaushal's Sam Bahadur. Advance booking numbers have already announced the winner of this battle. But is it a sign that people are coming to film theatres again? Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, executive director of PVR-Inox, discusses the current scenario for the exhibition business in the latest episode of To The Point podcast. Listen here.3) Road safety hell India's road networks have grown notably in recent years. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have preferred private transport, which leads to more cars on the road. In addition to the increased pollution, this 'growth' is also responsible for the rise in road accidents in the country. A recent Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report reveals alarming numbers. With over 4.61 lakh accidents, we see about as many road accidents as we have since 2005. India is the most dangerous country to drive in, with more road fatalities than any other nation, with 9.5 out of 1 lakh people being killed in these incidents. Is it a lack of education, lax law enforcement or scarcity of resources that's causing these accidents? Here's a quick analysis of the government report to get an idea.4) Words of the Year As the year nears its end, folks at Merriam-Webster have revealed their list of words of the year that dominated the lookup volume on the dictionary's website. In a world troubled by AI, deepfakes and engineered facts, Merriam-Webster has picked 'authentic' as the word of the year for 2023 to acknowledge a chasing after authenticity in our words and deeds. "We see in 2023 a kind of crisis of authenticity," editor at large Peter Sokolowski told AP. "We sometimes don't believe our own eyes or our own ears. We are now recognising that authenticity is a performance itself." Here are the 13 words that made the list and the photos that made them.