OPINION, P10 FE LINES WELL BEING The battle lines are drawn Apps to the rescue for meal-planning woes IS FACE OIL A MYTH OR MIRACLE? Experts weigh the pros and cons of using different face oils as a tool to achieve healthy, glowing skin Page 7 Save time and energy while meeting your health goals Page 6 ACROSS THE AISLE, P CHIDAMBARAM Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL.NO.XIII SL.NO.41 SPOTLIGHT RISE AND RISE OF INFLUENCERS FINANCIAL EXPRESS ON SUNDAY CHENNAI/KOCHI SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2023, 14 Pages, `12 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 , VAISHALI DAR New Delhi, September 30 around the corner, online travel agents and food delivery platforms are witnessing a huge surge in bookings and consumption patterns. Ahmedabad,which is hosting the India-Pakistan battle royale and the final match, bothattheNarendraModiStadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on October 14 and November 19, respectively, has grabbed the lion’s share,with bookings ■ LEISURE, P5 ‘More IHG brands in India soon’ Sudeep Jain, MD–southwest Asia, IHG Hotels & Resorts, talks about the market and improved business scenario in India, brands that have worked, long-term prospects of the sector and more ■ WORDS WORTH, P4 We, the people, on a short leash INDIA WAS THE biggest gainer in terms of market capitalisation of listed companies in the first half of the financial year. (in $ trillion, Sept 29, 2023) ANEES HUSSAIN Bengaluru, September 30 EDTECH MAJOR BYJU'S on Sat- (RBI) has extended the deadline to deposit or exchange `2,000 bank notes till October 7,a press release from RBI said on Saturday. “As the period specified for the withdrawal process has come to an end,and based on a review, it has been decided to extend the current arrangement fordeposit / exchange of `2,000 bank notes until October 7,”the release said. In May, the Reserve Bank of India announced the withdrawal of `2,000 bank notes from circulation. In order to complete the exercise in a time-bound manner and to provide adequate time to members of the public,banks were advised to provide deposit and exchange facility for `2,000 bank notes till September 30. The exchange facility was also made available at the 19 regional offices of Reserve Bank of India having issue departments. Byju’s said. Byju’s auditor BDO and the management held a meeting on Saturday after which a notice was issued to the shareholders. ThefilingofByju’sfinancial results with the registrar of companies (RoC) has been a key concern among investors. 60% Battle royale Ind vs Pak Oct 14 777% Rise in bookings for OYO 200% 4,000% K O L K A T A , L U C K N O W , 1,702% Occupancy across host cities Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata at OYO Final Nov 19 Rise in bookings for MakeMyTrip Surge in searches at Airbnb 237% Rise in searches for host cities atAgoda Surge in searches atAgoda skyrocketing by as much as 777% for OYO and 200% for MakeMyTrip and a surge in searches going as high as a whopping 4,000% at Airbnb and 1,702% at Agoda. For online travel agency Agoda,thesportingspectaclein BetweenApril1andSeptember 29,themarketcapoflistedentitieszoomed22.2%from$3.14 trillionto$3.84trillion.Among the top 15 markets globally, only five saw an increase in the collective market value during the corresponding period—the Market capitalisation Byju’s board meeting for FY22 results in mid-Oct THE RESERVE BANK of India K O C H I , M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E general has led to a 237% increase in searches for host cities throughout India.While Ahmedabad has emerged as the obvious fan favourite, the host cities of Dharamshala (347%), Lucknow (225%), Hyderabad (199%) and Pune (169%) have also witnessed searchspikesaroundthematch dates.The search traffic for the host cities is also coming from abroad,as fans,especiallyfrom theUK,US,Singapore,Australia and Malaysia,gear up to watch the matches live. Krishna Rathi,Agoda countrydirector,India,SriLanka,and Maldives, said,“The event has always been one of the most sought-after in India, and it is greattoseeinterestfrominter- national travellers aswell.” The influx of Indian and international travellers during the Cricket World Cup, which will take place across 10 cities from October 5 to November 19, will offer a significant economic boost to local stays and hosts. OYO has witnessed a ‘more than usual’ surge in demand across host cities, specifically in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata, where occupancy is more than 60%. Continued on Page 2 India tops m-cap ‘Aspirational blocks’ initiative set in motion gainers’ list in H1 SIDDHANT MISHRA & KISHOR KADAM Mumbai, September 30 An attack on a flawed system where human liberties suffer due to meddling of the State in people’s affairs AJAY RAMANATHAN Mumbai, September 30 H Y D E R A B A D , AHMEDABAD IN ACTION WITH THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED Cricket World Cup just RBI extends `2,000 note deadline till October 7 READ TO LEAD Hotel bookings, searches skyrocket as cricket fever on WHAT'S INSIDE urday said it will convene a board meeting in the second week of October for approval and adoption of accounts for FY22. Earlier, on June 24, its chieffinancialofficerAjayGoel had told shareholders that the audited financial results for FY22 will be declared by the end of September. The much-delayed FY22 results will also be presented to some of its key investors, like erstwhile board members, including Peak XV Partners and Prosus. The board of directors,along with the advisory council and certain invitees will meet to formally adopt the audited accounts, C H E N N A I , Influencers in India on how they are upping their game Pages 8-9 102.36 World 45.39 US 9.53 China 5.85 Japan Hong Kong 4.79 3.84 India Saudi Arabia 3.03 2.94 France 2.90 UK 2.66 Canada 2.18 Germany Switzerland 1.87 1.79 Taiwan South Korea 1.70 1.47 Australia 0.95 UAE US,Japan,Saudi Arabia and the UAE being the others. China and Hong Kong were the biggest losers, shedding 13% and 11.4%, respectively. However, the cumulative global market cap remained unchanged. Major global markets performance in H1-FY2024 Mar 31, 2023 % change* 0.0 5.2 -13.0 3.4 -11.4 22.2 14.2 -9.8 -3.3 -4.1 -9.8 -4.4 -2.5 -3.2 -6.1 7.1 Sept 29, 2023 % change 28,041 31,857 Japan Nikkei India US 12,222 13,343 Nasdaq UK 7,632 7,635 FTSE 100 2,477 2,465 South Korea Kospi DAX -0.5 -1.0 3,259 3,217 -1.3 7,322 7,177 4,315 4,196 -2.0 3,273 3,110 -5.0 France CAC 40 Eurozone STOXX 50 China PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Saturday set in motion the ‘Aspirational Blocks Programme’ on the lines ofasimilarone underway for districts. Addressing an event marking the start of week-long deliberations—‘Sankalp Saptaah’—foreffective implementation of the new Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP) in 500 blocks, he said in the next one year, at least 100 of these will become “inspirational blocks”, implying the rapid progresstheyarelikelytomake during the period. Modi urged officials of different ministries to pick the 100 blocks and bring those above the national average on various parameters. The Aspirational Districts Programme improvedthe qualityoflives of more than 250 million people in 112 districts,the PM noted. “I am sure in 2024 we will meetagaininOctober-November...andevaluatethesuccess.I willtalktoyouagainnextyear,” he told the audience, which consisted of people’s representatives from approximately 3,000 panchayats and blocks PM Narendra Modi at the launch of ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ in New Delhi on Saturday PTI `100 cr to be spent on incentives PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, September 30 and execute innovative ideas in each block. The government would also rank all the blocks under the ‘Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)’ every quarter based on their performance. THE CENTRE HAS allocated `100 crore in FY24 to provide awards and incentives for exemplary contributions for the attainment of ABP objectives Continued on Page 2 -2.8 Singapore Straits Times SHCOMP 1.4 0.0 15,629 15,466 Germany Source: Bloomberg 9.2 33,274 33,725 US Dow Jones *over March 31, 2023 58,992 65,828 11.6 Sensex 13.6 PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, September 30 20,400 17,810 Hong Kong Hang Seng and functionaries from across India.The Lok Sabha election is due inApril-May2024. As many as 100,000 individuals, including block- and panchayat-level functionaries, farmers and locals are said to havevirtuallyjoined the event. Continued on Page 2 ● INDIA’S GOLD RUSH ATASIAN GAMES -12.7 Source: Bloomberg Continued on Page 2 Hybrid, electric cars in close contest VIKRAM CHAUDHARY New Delhi, September 30 A RACE IS on between hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and batteryelectricvehicles (BEV),with theformerbeingledbyJapanese manufacturers Maruti Suzuki India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor and the latter by homegrown auto majorTata Motors. However,it’s a close contest with the BEVs leading but HEVs catching up fast. The numbers tell the story.During the April-August period of the currentfiscal,ofthe16,12,210 passengervehicles (PVs) sold in India, about 30,000 were HEVs, while close to 37,000 were BEVs. In terms of market share, this translates to 1.8% and 2.3%,respectively. “While the 2.3% market share for BEVs is on expected lines,the1.8%sharethatHEVs have garnered was possible onlybythesalespushprovided byMaruti andToyota,”an auto analyst told FE. In September 2022,Toyota Kirloskar launched the Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Maruti Suzuki drove in the co-badged Grand Vitara—both with HEV variants. In November that year, Toyota launched the Innova Hycross and this year Maruti launched the cobadged Invicto—both again with HEV vari- ants. These four models have contributedto morethan 95% of HEV sales. Other HEVs in India are Toyota’s Vellfire and Camry, Honda City e:HEV, and luxury cars sold by Lexus. ShashankSrivastava,senior executive officer, marketing and sales,Maruti Suzuki India, told FE that despite having fewer models than BEVs and a late entry into the market, HEVsarestronglymakingtheir presence felt. ■ Men's team squash India upstaged rival Pakistan in sensational duel to bag gold (above) ■ Tennis mixed doubles Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale scripted a spectacular come-frombehind win to clinch gold (left) ■ Women’s individual golf Aditi Ashok played a sensational third round of 11-under 61 to place herself in a commanding position to win a historic individual gold medal Continued on Page 2 Monsoon ‘below normal’, concerns over kharif yield persist SANDIP DAS New Delhi, September 30 THE MONSOON SEASON (June-September) this year endedwith the countryreceiving rainfall moderately below the “normal” range, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday. While 96-104% of the benchmark long period average (LPA) is considerednormal,theprecipitation was 94.4%. The IMD had predicted rainfall in the just concluded season at 96%, with an error range of +/-4%. Rainfall from the annual phenomenon, which typically causes over 75% of the rainfall in the country this year, is the weakest since 2018, when rainfall was 91% of LPA. The rainfall deficit could have an impact on the yield of kharif crops such as paddy, pulses and oilseeds, as eastern India,particularlyBihar,Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh and parts of West Bengal saw rain deficiency in the range of 10-20% from LPA. The deficit could have been WEAKEST SINCE 2018 Monsoon performance % deviation against benchmark – LPA Monthly Overall 91 91 113 105 June July 64 91 August 113 94.4 September Long period average (LPA) is average annual rainfall (89 cm) recorded between 1951 and 2000; 96%-104% of LPA is considered ‘normal’ range; 90%-95% of LPA is ‘below normal’; below 90% is ‘deficient’; 104%-110% is ‘above normal’ Source: IMD higherunlesspositive Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) counteredthe adverse effectof El Nino conditions. In fact, kharif sowing has been a tad above the last year level at 110.7 million hectare, Monsoon rainfall in districts this season Normal, excess & large excess 493 (69%) Deficit, large deficit & no rains 220 (31%) Data: June 1–Sept 30, 2023; total districts: 717; 4 districts no data Source: IMD but scanty rainfall in August and uneven distribution could impact the yield in some regions, sources said. This may force the government to continue with curbs on exports of rice varieties and wheat and sugar in the coming months. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general,IMD,said the northeast monsoon, which brings rains in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra, Rayalseema, Kerala and south interior Karnataka from October-December, will be “normal” in the range of 88-112% of LPA. There has been a hugevariation in monthly rainfall over the country across four monthswith overall rainfall in June 91% of LPAfollowed by a hugely surplus rainfall in July at 113% of the benchmark. In August, the rainfall was lowest since 1902 at only64% of LPA,while in September,the rainfallwassurplusat113%of normal benchmark. Overall,out of 717 districts 69% of them received normal orexcess rainfallwhile the rest of 220-odd districts received deficienttoscantyrainfallduring monsoon season. Continued on Page 2
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