OPINION, P2 LEISURE The Mandu Festival announces the arrival of Madhya Pradesh as a wellness destination for a pandemic-hit society Page 7 Numbers do not lie FE LINES Is a ministry of fashion the need of the hour to regulate carbon emissions from the fashion industry? Page 6 CELEBRATING LIFE ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM A ministry of fashion? IDEAEXCHANGE Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL XV NO. 37 AJAYBHUSHAN PANDEY B E N G A L U R U , WHAT'S INSIDE ■ SPOTLIGHT, P5 The rise of the agripreneur Even as the country is in the throes of a farmers’ protest, a clutch of young entrepreneurs are actively trying to fix some of the major issues faced by the agriculture sector. From the use of newage tech to innovative business models, these agripreneurs are trying to make agriculture lucrative and sustainable ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 Taking stock A group of luminaries examine the pandemic’s economic and social impact ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , CALL TO STATES ‘Use PLI scheme to attract investment’ ● PM tells states to work closely with Centre to boost growth KEYTAKEAWAYS The total incentives under the PLI schemes is at `1.97 lakh crore over five years Sectors covered under PLI scheme include telecom, electronics, auto parts, pharma, chemical cells and textiles States together spent `33.33 lakh crore in FY20 through their budget while the Centre spent `26.86 lakh crore About `65,000 crore spent annually in the import of edible oils should go to farmers States must reap the benefits of reduced corporate tax rates exports. The total incentives underthePLIschemes,covering sectors including telecom,electronics, auto parts, pharma, chemicalcellsandtextiles,stood at `1.97 lakh crore over a fiveyear period.Various ministries arefirmingupproposalsrelative to the sectors theyoversee. “As a government, we also have to honour this (private sector) enthusiasm,the energy of the private sectorand give it as much opportunity in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign,”he said. Continued on Page 11 CLASS OF STARS Film celebrities mark their attendance in ed-tech sector QuickPicks India records 13,993 new Covid cases, highest in 22 days DAILY COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to about 14,000 after nearly 22 days taking India's tally to 1,09,77,387, while the recoveries surged to 1,06,78,048, according to health ministry data updated on Saturday, reports PTI. A total of 13,993 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours. The death toll increased to 101 daily new fatalities. PAGE 14 `1 lakh cr GST compensation given to states since Oct 2020 THE CENTRE has released `1 lakh crore to states and UTs in four months since October 2020, to meet GST compensation shortfall, the finance ministry said on Saturday, reports PTI. The ministry on Friday released the 17th weekly instalment of `5,000 crore to 23 states and 3 Union Territories (Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir & Puducherry). L U C K N O W , Shahrukh Khan Mohanlal Aamir Khan Virat Kohli Ayushmann Khurrana DEVIKA SINGH New Delhi, February 20 LAST YEAR, WHEN brands slashed their marketing budgets and celebrities took pay cuts, education-technology (ed-tech) emerged as a sunshine segment for endorsements. Backed by massive VC investments, overall, six edtech platforms roped in celebrities for endorsements last year. Some of the notable deals in the segment were Vedantu with Aamir Khan,WhiteHat Jr with Hrithik Roshan, Great Learning with Virat Kohli and Eduauraa with Ranveer Singh. Mahesh Babu Sudeep Sanjeev FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 20 FINANCE MINISTER NIRMALA Sitharaman on Saturday called on corporate India to awaken its ‘animal spirits’ and step up investmentsnowthatbusinesses areinaresetmodeafteraperiod ofCovid-induceddisruptions. The government, she said, has already initiated steps, includingasharpcutinthecorporate tax rate,and companies can take advantage of these. “We need capacities to be ramped up, we need expansion,we needmore production of very many such products, which are so required for the economy,” Sitharaman said at an event of All India Management Association.“(After the tax cut) I have been waiting to see expansion happening, I’ve been waiting to see greater investments from private sector in India,”she said. The government in Sep- Kartik Aaryan Ranveer Singh Source: Duff & Phelps Byju’s, which has been associated with Shahrukh Khan since 2018, signed on south Indian film actors Mohanlal, MaheshBabuandSudeepSanjeev to launch their television ad campaigns in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka,respectively. Although ed-tech has been onagrowthtrajectoryforsome years now, the pandemic gave the segment a shot in the arms as schools, colleges and physical coaching classes remained shut. According to Madhur Singhal,managingpartnerand CEO,PraxisGlobalAlliance,the user traffic on these platforms lastyearincreased byfour-five times, while their paid users grew by over two times. As a result, ed-tech saw massive fundraising last year. Continued on Page 11 ❝ We need capacities to be ramped up, we need expansion, we need more production required for the economy D E L H I , P U N E COVID VACCINATION ‘PPP needed for rollout on large scale’ AIIMS director Randeep Guleria FE BUREAU/PTI Pune/New Delhi, Feb 20 TERMING THE RECENT drop in tember2019drasticallycutthe corporate tax rate to just 15% for setting up new manufacturingunitsinabidtospurelusive private investments. But the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic dashed its plans. Investments remain critical to the country’s resurgence story, as private consumption has been badly bruised by incomelossesintheaftermath of the pandemic. Covid-19casesinthecountrya ‘smallwindowof opportunity’, AIIMS director Randeep GuleriaonSaturdaycalledforapublic-private partnership (PPP) for rollout of the vaccination programme at a large scale. Speaking at anAIMAevent, Guleriasaidtherewasaneedto put healthcare at the centrestage and not consider it only as a service sector.“As far as vaccination is concerned there is still a lot to do and I think there has to be more private-public partnership,” the All India Institute of Medical Sciences director said.There is a need to graduallystart opening up in order to cover large number of people,he noted. “Vaccinating healthcare workersandfrontlineworkersis probably the easy part as far as Phase1isconcernedasyouknow who needs to bevaccinated.The numberisnotthatlarge,”hesaid. Continued on Page 11 Continued on Page 11 —NIRMALA SITHARAMAN, FINANCE MINISTER GAINING GROUND Noida strong competitor to Gurgaon in commercial realty ● Races ahead of Gurgaon in office space leasing in 2020 RISHI RANJAN KALA New Delhi, February 20 Hrithik Roshan N E W Unleash animal spirits for growth, FM tells India Inc Ed-tech emerges as hotbed for endorsements ● Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan face of online coaching centres M U M B A I , CALL TO INDUSTRY ● Asks for fresh investment to make India one of the fastest growing economies FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 20 CALLING FOR BETTER coordination and policy framework between the Center and the states,PrimeMinisterNarendra Modi on Saturday asked states to synchronise their budgets withthatoftheCentreandtake fulladvantageoftheproduction linked incentive (PLI) schemes to boost manufacturing bytapping the private sector. Addressing the Governing Council of the NitiAayog,Modi said the Centre has introduced PLIschemesforvarioussectors providing an excellent opportunitytoincreasemanufacturinginthecountry.Heurgedthe states to take full advantage of this scheme as well as reap the benefits of reduced corporate tax rates. Among others, the meeting was attended by chief ministers of states. The Centre has announced 13 PLI schemes in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Theideawastoluremainlylarge companies to ramp up manufacturing base and boost K O L K A T A , MOVE OVER GURGAON. In the last calendar year, Noida emerged as Delhi NCR’s prime commercial real estate (CRE) destination in net office space absorption, outpacing its biggerrival.Expertspredictthatin 2021 and beyond, the competition between the two micro markets will only intensify. Noida is fast shedding its image as Gurgaon’s poor cousin in terms of attracting corporates. With its efficient road and metro connectivity, affordable housing, abundant Delhi NCR commercial real estate scenario 2020 Net office space absorption (sq. ft.) 2020 calendar year Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Central Secondary business business district district power, availability of Grade-A office space, competitive rentalsandupcominginternationalairportandlogisticshub, it's becoming more attractive bytheday.Itisalsoemergingas a prime location for setting up data centres in north India. According to JLL India, Noida outpaced Gurgaon for three consecutive quarters since Q2 2020. In 2020, it accountedforaround1.78mil- Gurgaon 7,34,530 2,28,022 1,67,723 6,48,257 F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , 7,68,928 2,23,308 61,785 3,49,009 P U B L I S H E D READ TO LEAD 76,891 64,239 18,858 20,807 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2021, 14 Pages, `10 31,500 12,400 12,863 2,756 FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY AHMEDABAD ‘Should govt be in the business of business? It should be a catalyst... Budget indicative of this’ Page 9 Noida Source: JLL India lion sq ft (MSF) of net office space absorption,against Gurgaon’s 1.40 MSF. Net absorption is fresh leasing in existing buildings, plus pre-commitmentsinbuildingsthataregettingoperationalintheparticular quarter and deducting exits/terminations.Itexcludes churn deals,renewals and precommitmentsinfuturesupply. Continued on Page 11 Big rise in business positive pandemic takeaway for food delivery apps ● With people ordering in, volumes as well as funding expected to surge even more FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 20 ONLINE FOOD DELIVERY isone of the few businesses that has benefited from the Covid-led disruption. Devoid of recreationalactivitiesandrestricted within the confines of their homes, consumers gorged on their way to happiness. More people became compatible with the idea of placing online food orders, which otherwise was largely popular among corporates and millennials. Not surprisingly, analysts are betting on the sector. The segment that has about 15 million transacting users at present is estimated to widen its customerbase to asmanyas 80 million going ahead, analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities said in a recent report. The frequency of placing orders is also expected to go up to nearly five times a month from about three to fourtimes currently.Nearly110-120million Indians shop online,while over 300 million people use the internetformessaging and watching videos.“We believe theimmediateopportunityfor food delivery companies is the 110-120 million online shop- WHAT'S COOKING Online food delivery segment, which has about 15 m users, is estimated to widen its customer base to 80 m Nearly 110-120 m Indians shop online, while over Last year, Zomato closed a $660-m financing round backed by 10 new investors The gross merchandise value of the industry is expected to increase to 300 m $9 bn use the internet for messaging and watching videos per base; these customers are already aware of transacting online and making online payments,”the analysts said. A steady increase in the numberof users and orderfre- Investors put in about $156 million in Swiggy in two funding rounds last year in FY25 and further to $27 bn by FY30 quencies would mean that there is a significant opportunity for the industry GMV (gross merchandise value) to grow manifold. From an estimated $3 billion in FY20, the industry GMV is expected to increase to $9 billion in FY25 and further to $27 billion by FY2030,the analysts said. Zomato, for instance, claims to have clocked nearly 60%higherGMVyear-on-year this New Year’s eve. It translates into a GMV of `75 crore in a single day. “If we had unconstrained supply, we could have hit `100 crore of GMV,”founder & CEO DeepinderGoyal had said.Peak orders per minute rate (OPM) for Zomato and Swiggy touched over 4,000 and 5,000, respectively,on NewYear’s eve. In an interview with local media in November last year, Vivek Sunder,chief operating officer at Swiggy, had said that a large customer base has significantly reduced the need to spend heavily on discounting to drive more users. That, Sunder said, “is an important lever of improving our unit economics”. Forone,Covidhasimproved take rates and revenues per order.Also,higher order densities and lower delivery personnelexpensesdrovedowndelivery costs, analysts said in the report. “Further, competitive intensity is far lower than ear- lier with weaker players like Foodpanda folding up, UberEats being acquired by Zomato and Scootsy being acquired by Swiggy,” they added.In a report published in July last year, Zomato had said it estimated its monthly burn rate (in July 2020) to “land under $1 million”. Driven byarising userbase, investors heavily backed Zomato and Swiggy last year. Zomato closed a $660-million financing round backed by 10 newinvestors at a post-money valuation of $3.9 billion,while rival Swiggy raked in about $156 million in two tranches. “I strongly believe that Indian startups do not need to look out to other countries for growth.There is a tremendous amount of market depth in India,”Goyal had said. Ahmedabad
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