India@75: A nation in the making

Our top reads of the week

From Hindustan Unilever's plans for the next decade to Audi A4's status as the go-to luxury sedan, here are our top read stories of the week

Published: Sep 3, 2022 09:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Sep 2, 2022 08:45:35 PM IST

Our top reads of the weekThese are Forbes India's most popular stories of the week. Image: Shutterstock

1) Eyes on the prize

Our top reads of the weekSanjiv Mehta is known in the industry as someone who, while managing the quarter-on-quarter numbers, is always on the lookout for the next big idea. In every job, Mehta left signature victories as he moved on to bigger roles. Under the leadership of their MD and CEO Mehta, Hindustan Unilever registered margins at 23 to 24.5 percent higher than Unilever’s 18 percent (Ebit) and has expanded by 100 bps every year. While the US remains the top Unilever market from a revenue perspective, India is the largest on the volume front. So how is rainmaker Sanjiv Mehta building up HUL for the next decade? Find out in this long read.

2) Smart moves

Our top reads of the weekFor some, initial lockdowns of the pandemic were about Dalgona coffees, banana bread, dividing household chores, and playing online Ludo with friends and family who were also following the same ritual. But it was a rather busy time for Afsar Ahmad and Govind Agarwal, the cofounders at Gameberry Labs. They had rolled the dice in 2017 with Ludo Star, in 2020, they were reaping the benefits. Five years since its inception, Gameberry Labs now boasts over 200 million downloads for its offerings and more than 5 million daily active users. The makers of Ludo Star crossed $100 million in lifetime revenue last November and this is just the beginning for the duo. Read more

3) Admission, acceptance, adoption

Our top reads of the weekThere is a common thread between two small villages in India—Umrala, Gujarat and Vadgaon Sahani, Maharashtra. They both house farmers that are not only experimenting with but also thriving after upgrading their traditional farming methods with the help of technology. Jivaraj Vasani from Gujarat gets help from Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar while Ashish Bhor of Maharashtra has been working with the products provided by Pune-based agritech and deep-tech company Ecozen Solutions. While technology is improving produce and farmer income, there are still many deep-rooted problems in the agricultural industry awaiting solutions from agritech startups. Read more

Discover

1) Tycoons in the waiting

Our top reads of the weekThe ‘Forbes Asia 100 to Watch’ list is about acknowledging companies that are addressing real-world challenges with fresh thinking and innovative products and services. It talks of hope. The 2022 list includes companies that have worked on delivering faster blood tests, more accessible elderly care services, and well-being apps to help those struggling with isolation or burnout. There are 11 categories: Ecommerce & retail, enterprise technology, finance, logistics & transportation, food & hospitality, construction & engineering, agriculture, education & recruitment, entertainment & media, consumer technology, and biotechnology & healthcare. This year, 11 Indian companies have caught the attention of makers of this esteemed list. Now's the time you knew who they are. Read more
 
2) Priyanka Chopra's investment philosophy

Our top reads of the weekPriyanka Chopra has been working as an actor, singer, and producer for a long time. Her time spent in the entertainment business has given her an understanding of what the audience wants. As an entrepreneur, this knowledge comes in handy. She understands the importance of filling a market gap. Her investments in online dating app Bumble, computer science school Holberton School, real estate company Apartment List, and luxury skiwear brand Perfect Moment have been about catering to the gap. Now, her hair care brand Anamoly isn't going to be an exception. Read more
 
3) Race to the top

Our top reads of the weekLow-cost manufacturing, coupled with a distinct advantage of understanding the Indian consumer, has helped Maruti offer vehicles that are affordable, low on maintenance costs, and with superior fuel efficiency. It also boasts an impeccable sales and service network, apart from good resale value, all of which have contributed to the carmaker’s success. But the Indian giant was snoozing when its consumers were being enticed by the SUVs and EVs from the likes of Kia, Hyundai, Tata, and Mahindra. RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, has put across some interesting reasons behind the delay. But the carmaker's plans to invest Rs 10,400 crore into making cells for EVs and ramping up capacity to make EVs shows that it is coming back to dominate. Read more

4) Audi A4: Your friendly, neighbourhood luxury sedan

Our top reads of the weekAudi A4 is the German carmaker's most popular luxury sedan. It's designed to get you to point B in the calmest, most relaxed, and most poised manner possible. The A4 isn't trying to be something it's not. And Audi's understood that and amplified its strengths. With its peers trying every trick in the book to get an upper hand, it almost feels like the A4 has the clearest vision of its end goal. In this episode of Forbes India Momentum, we look at if the Audi A4 passes the vibe check. Watch here

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