Every week, catch up on the best long form stories from Forbes India. Often peppered with our binge-worthy podcasts, videos or infographics too.
1) Hidden treasure
The universe of cryptocurrency appears to be going through a meltdown, owing to external factors such as inflation and geo-political upheaval. Bitcoin fell to $17,628 over the weekend—its lowest since November 2021. This downward spiral is more than enough to force traders and investors to take a step back and re-evaluate their next moves. But if we look closer to home, the broad sell-off of digital assets has not affected the enthusiasm of crypto and Web3 startups in India that are still attracting funding. In the six months of 2022, they have raised more than $1 billion in funding across 43 deals. What's fuelling this long-term bullishness of investors? Answers are in this Take One story. Read more
2) Bridge the gap
Since 2017, the UK has mandated public disclosures of average gender pay gaps for companies with 250 or more employees. Disclosures made by other Indian tech companies present in the UK indicate that on a median hourly basis, female employees in Infosys earn 0.7 percent less than their male counterparts, while the pay gap is 7.5 percent in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and 9 percent in Wipro. Before Covid-19, the world had put wage penalties on the life choices made by women. Pandemic added another layer to the uphill battle for gender equality. Income disparity is a result of systemic biases, socio-cultural norms, and low representation of women in the workplace. Companies can address this by being more intentional about equity, and the government can bring it about through policy change. Read more
3) India: Apple's new orchard
In April this year, Apple announced that Foxconn, its contract manufacturer, would begin manufacturing the company’s latest offering, the iPhone 13, out of India. Until 2017, the Cupertino-based tech giant was only focused on the retail market in India—cornering a paltry one percent of the smartphone market in the country. That year, Apple’s other contract manufacturer, Wistron, began manufacturing the iPhone SE out of its factory near Bengaluru. In 2021, Apple shipped out nearly 6 million phones out of India. Here's a curious case of Apple's new flourishing, desi orchard. Read more
1) Griffin amidst unicorns"How much does the US contribute to your sales?"
"SaaS companies can’t go big in India."
"You don’t seem to have a global vision."
These are some of the statements the founders of LeadSquared, a Bengaluru-based sales automation SaaS platform, had to provide explanations for as they looked to attract venture capitalists in 2019. Reason? The company had a robust presence in India but didn't have a trace of US operations until 2018. Fast forward to June 2022, WestBridge Capital—a PE biggie—pumped in $153 million in the Series C round of funding, valuing LeadSquared at $1 billion. LeadSquared has entered the coveted unicorn club without any VC funding. Here's the riveting story. Read more
2) Bandicoot to the rescue
At first, Arun George, Nikhil NP, Rashid K, and Vimal Govind MK designed a wearable mobile machine called the Iron Man suit for their college project. It could lift weights and facilitate military supplies in remote areas. A fine-tuned version was put together to help amputees walk, and a paper on it won the best concept award at the International Conference on Mechatronics and Manufacturing held in Singapore. After completing their studies, the quartet chose corporate jobs and their foray into robotics took a hiatus. In 2016, they met then IT secretary M Sivasankar and were introduced to the problem of manual scavenging. In June 2017, Genrobotics was born. And in June 2022, their product Bandicoot made life easy for Govind Bherve, a sanitation worker for the Indore Municipal Corporation, and many others. Between these bookends is the story of Genrobotics, a startup that began with machines to clean sewers, and is now growing in size and scope while doing social good. Read more3) The smashing flagbearer of squash
Dipika Pallikal is one of the best squash players in the world. Her resume boasts two gold medals at the recently concluded World Squash Doubles Championship, two silvers at Commonwealth Games, and being the first Indian woman squash player to receive the much-coveted Arjuna Award. Her perseverance shines through when she talks about the lessons she learned on the court and how she staged a smashing comeback after a three-year break. In this episode of Forbes India From the Field, meet Dipika Pallikal—world champion, mother, and entrepreneur, ready to conquer the world. For more
4) Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300d: Car with a soul
The new 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300d could pass on as a baby Mercedes-Benz S-Class for all practical purposes. It is ultra-competitive, really luxurious and very good-looking. With the 2.0-litre diesel comes a respectable 265hp and 550Nm. The C300d is the introvert with a point to prove. Under that cool, calm facade, there's rage brewing, ready to start kicking, to get around. In the latest episode of Forbes India Momentum, you will find out how the baby S-Class is different and much better than Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200. For more