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XXXVI 132, 20 PAGES, `12.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , 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 , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E *SENSEX: 67,596.88 ▼ 241.75 *NIFTY: 20,133.30 ▼ 59.05 NIKKEI 225: 33,242.59 ▼ 290.5 HANG SENG: 17,997.17 ▲ 66.62 *`/$: 83.27 ▼ 0.09 *`/€: 88.87 ▼ 0.17 BRENT: $95.32 ▲ $0.89 *GOLD: `59,095 ▲ `305 *Prv close Hindujas seek partners for e-bus services subsidiary IN THE NEWS JAGDISHAN TO BE HDFC BANK MD, CEO FOR 3 MORE YEARS SWARAJ BAGGONKAR Mumbai, September 19 RESERVE BANK OF India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as MD & CEO of HDFC Bank for a period of three years effective October 27, reports Piyush Shukla. ■ PAGE 5 INDIA-CANADATIES HIT NEW LOW OVER NIJJAR KILLING A DIPLOMATIC STANDOFF erupted between India and Canada on Tuesday as Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged a “potential link” between the Indian government and the killing of a pro-Khalistan leader. India termed the allegations “absurd”. ■ PAGE 2 TWEAKS SOON TO DRONES, PHARMA AND TEXTILE PLIs THE GOVERNMENT IS looking to tweak the PLI schemes for drones, pharma and technical textiles, and a Cabinet note is being prepared in this regard, reports Mukesh Jagota. The changes are based on a review of the 14 PLI schemes conducted last month. ■ PAGE 2 LOOK INTO LOWER FARM LOANS BY CO-OP BANKS: FM FINANCE MINISTER NIRMALA Sitharaman on Tuesday asked finance ministry officials to find out in a month the reasons for lower farm share in loan sanctions by cooperative banks, despite a larger share in Kisan Credit Card accounts, reports fe Bureau. ■ PAGE 2 FE S P E C I A L ‘Cafés are now an extension of home and the workplace’ CEO ofTim Hortons India is certain the company can speed up its expansion ■ BRANDWAGON, P7 completion of the delimitation exercise based on the first Census that will be conducted after the passage of the Bill.This puts off its date to around 2029. The Bill mandates women’s reservation for a period of 15 years from the commencement of the Act, with Parliament empowered to extend it further. Rotation of seats reserved for women will happen only after subsequent delimitation exercises,to be determined by Parliament by law. HINDUJA GROUP FLAGSHIP firm Ashok Leyland is scouting for partners for OHM Global Mobility, a subsidiary that provides mobility services for its electric buses, a top company official said. Most electric bus makers have formed subsidiaries to run the buses themselves, though services that involve employing drivers, scheduling of services andcharging of vehicles are not core business areas for them. Speaking to FE, Dheeraj Hinduja, executive chairman, Ashok Leyland, said, “We see this as a completely new business avenue for us. For OHM Mobility, it is a new area, but we will partner with people who are already in the business. But considering that we are making these vehicles for a subsidiary to be operating, it seems quite an optimal way.” Last month, Ashok Leyland announced the infusion of `300 crore into OHM,whichitsaidwould likely result in enhancing operationalefficiencyandsynergy.Incorporated in March 2021,OHM isyet to start operations, the Chennaibased companysaid in a statement. “In the long run,OHM will have thisasitscorebusinesseventhough it may not be core for Ashok Leyland,”Hinduja added. Continued on Page 9 Continued on Page 9 (From left) Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Congress MPs Sonia Gandhi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Mallikarjun Kharge at the old Parliament before moving to the new Parliament building on Tuesday. PTI ● FIRST DAY, FIRST SHOW IN NEW HOUSE Women’s Bill tabled LIZ MATHEW, VIKAS PATHAK & APURVA VISHWANATH New Delhi, September 19 EXPLAINER IN A MOVE set to have a wide impact on Indian electoral politics, the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday introduced the 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2023, to bring in 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and all state Legislative Assemblies. The Bill extends the quota to seats that are reserved for SC/STs. Calling himself “the chosen one for empowering and strength- India’s long wait for the Women’s Reservation Bill ■ PAGE 7 ening women”, Prime Minister Modi urged the five-day special session of Parliament — that met in the new building on Tuesday — to pass the Bill,dubbed by the government as the‘NarishaktiVandan Adhiniyam’, unanimously. The reservation for women, however,will kick in only after the Jio now takes on Airtel on home broadband turf Launches AirFiber with entry tariffs lower than rival’s JATIN GROVER New Delhi, September 19 THE STAGE IS set for another tariff war in the communications sector — this time in the home broadband segment. Reliance Jio on Tuesday launched its 5G wireless Wi-Fi AirFiber , at a base tariff of `599 per month,in eight cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune). Thecompanyisofferingplansranging from `599 to `3,999 a month with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. BhartiAirtel mayhave made the first move in this segment by launching its services under the Xstream AirFiber brand in two cities. But Jio aims to tap a larger market through different tariff rates and bundled offerings with OTT apps, television channels, and smart home services. Jio’s base tariff offers 30 Mbps speed,14OTTappsandover550TV channels.Airtel hasonlyoneplanof `799 per month in two cities with speeds of up to 100 Mbps and no additional offering. Jio will not charge customers a NEW BATTLEGROUND Airtel Xstream AirFiber Jio AirFiber `5993,999 `799 a month for up to 100 Mbps a month for up to 1 Gbps Bundlingwith OTT,TVchannels No security deposit No OTT apps, TV channels Refundable deposit of`2,500 Available in 8 cities Available in two cities Cheapest wireline broadband plans `399/month up to 30 Mbps for Jio `499/month for up to 40 Mbps for Airtel security deposit, but will have an installation cost of `1,000 which will be waived for users opting for a yearly subscription. For Airtel’s Xstream AirFiber, consumers have to pay a refundable security deposit of `2,500. Continued on Page 9 Cipla bid: Torrent looks to tap Apollo for $1 bn M SRIRAM & ADITYA KALRA Mumbai/New Delhi, September 19 DEAL DETAILS TORRENT PHARMACEUTICAL IS in preliminary talks with Apollo Global Management to secure a loan of up to $1 billion to help fund a planned bid for Cipla, two people briefed on the discussions said. Torrent is hoping to secure roughly $3 billion to $4 billion in financing for the bid for its muchbiggerrival,theysaid. Bernsteinanalysts have estimated that a deal for about 60% of India’sNo.3drugmakercouldbeworthasmuch as $7 billion — potentially India’s largest pharma deal to date. TorrenthasalsobeenintalkswithCVCCapital Partners and Bain Capital, who might become equity partners in a consortium and contribute as much as a combined $1.5 billion to the deal,sources have said. Cipla’s founding family is keen to sell its 33.4% holding, sources say, and a bid for that amount would also trigger an open offer for another 26%. Blackstone is also interested in bidding forCipla,sources have said. Apolloisconsideringpurchasingasmallpart of the Cipla founding family’s stake but a final decisionwilldependonhowtalksprogresswith Torrent,saidoneofthetwopeoplewhodeclined to be identified as the talkswere private.Apollo $3-4 bn FinancingTorrent is hoping to secure for the Cipla bid $7 bn: Likely value of deal for 60% stake in Cipla, as per Bernstein 33.4% Stake that Cipla’s founding family said to be keen to sell $1.5 bn Likely contribution from CVC Capital Partners & Bain Capital, in talks with Torrent to be equity partners is“quitebullishontheirAsiastrategy,andIndia in particular… both Cipla and Torrent have strong balance sheets,”the person said. ApolloandTorrent,whichhasyettoconfirm its interest in Cipla, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Their discussions are being reported forthe first time. Continued on Page 9 FUNDING DOUBLES FROM 2022, AGAINST EDTECH DECLINE Study-abroad startups defy slump AYANTI BERA Bengaluru, September19 BUCKING THE TREND of shrinking funding,slowingrevenueandlarge-scalelayoffs in the edtech sector, startups in the overseas education space are reporting strong sales and investor interest, amid rising demand for studying abroad. Leverage Edu, Leap Scholar, AdmitKard,Adventum Student Living and Azent Overseas Education,among others, are riding on the increasing number of students aspiring to study in countries like US, Canada, Australia, Qatar, Oman and Germany. As perthe latest data from the ministry of external affairs, about 1.5 million Indian students are pursuing education abroad as of January.Consulting firm Redseer expects this number to increase to 1.8 million by next year. While the broader edtech segment has not fully recovered from the funding winter of last year, study-abroad startups are seeing healthy growth in investments. According to data compiled by Tracxn STRONG SCORE Revenue growth (` cr) Total funding ($ mn) No. of rounds ASL 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2021 2022 2023* 1.90 0.99 0.31 1.50 11.50 42.60 25.10 49.00 3 2 1 3 5 4 4 3 45 CY22 CY23** 100 AdmitKard FY23 16 FY24** 40-50 Source: Company data *till Sept 15; **forecast, Source: Tracxn (includes data of 70 companies providing overseas education services) for FE, study-abroad startups have raised $49 million in funding so far in 2023, nearlydouble the $25.1 million raised last year.The data compiled byTracxn includes 70 overseas education firms. Forcomparison,funding in the broader edtech sectorhasdeclined bytwo-thirdsso far this year,compared to the same period in 2022, as per Crunchbase data. Large edtech players, which had seen a boom in business during the pandemic, have been facing valuation concerns with the shift back to in-person schooling slowing sales. Vikas Phadnis, founder and CEO of Auctus Capital, which has invested in study-abroad start-up Adventum Student Living (ASL), said the sector is in its early growth stage and clear of ambiguity in business structure,making it attractive for investors. Continued on Page 9 BENGALURU
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