India’s Zee pulls out of $1.4b cricket rights pact with Disney
Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran plays a shot during the match against Netherlands in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Friday, November 3, 2023. (ANI Photo)
HERE are new in brief on Indian economy and business for Thursday, January 25, 2024:
India’s Zee Entertainment has reportedly informed Walt Disney that it will not proceed with a $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) deal for cricket TV rights acquired from the latter, Reuters reported citing two sources. Zee had previously announced a strategic license agreement with Disney, covering International Cricket Council TV broadcast rights for four years from 2024. However, Zee missed the initial $200 million payment to Disney in recent weeks, leading to the cancellation of the deal, the sources were cited as saying. Neither Zee nor Disney provided comments on the matter.
Indian food delivery platform Swiggy is reportedly planning to trim six per cent of its workforce in a bid to slash costs and enhance profitability ahead of its upcoming initial public offering (IPO), as per the Economic Times. The layoffs, affecting around 350-400 employees in various departments such as technology, call centre, and corporate roles, will be implemented gradually over the next few weeks, the report added. Backed by Softbank Group, the company aims for an IPO between July and September, resuming the process paused last year due to market challenges. It slashed about 380 jobs early last year, citing challenging macroeconomic conditions.
India’s leading multinational conglomerate JSW Group on Thursday said it has forayed into the defence sector and has acquired a majority stake in an extreme off-road vehicle company Gecko Motors Pvt Ltd. Its vertical — JSW Defence and Aerospace — has bought the stake in the company that has been renamed as JSW Gecko Motors Pvt Ltd (JSW Gecko). JSW Gecko, promoted by its founders led by Jaskirat Singh Nagra, has secured an order worth Rs 250 crore (£23.7 million) from the Indian defence ministry for the manufacture and supply of 96 Specialist Mobility Vehicles branded as ATOR N1200, according to a release. The vehicles are being manufactured at JSW Gecko’s newly set-up manufacturing unit in Chandigarh, Punjab and will be supplied to the Armed Forces by June this year.
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it raided companies of the Essel Group in Mumbai and recovered “incriminating” documents as part of its ongoing money investigation linked to alleged diversion of funds worth over Rs 2,000 crore (£189.4 million) from Religare Finvest Limited (RFL). The federal agency said in a statement that three premises linked to Konti Infrapower and Multiventures Pvt Ltd, Edison Infrapower and Multiventures Pvt Ltd, Asian Satellite Broadcast Ltd, Widescreen Holdings Pvt Ltd, Jayneer Capital Pvt Ltd, Spirit Infrapower and Multiventures Pvt Ltd and the residential premises of a former senior official of the Essel Group (who was not named) were raided on Wednesday (24). The Essel Group is promoted by media baron Subhash Chandra and owns stake in leading media and entertainment companies which includes Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, Zee Media Corporation and Dish TV.
Indian telecom giant Reliance Jio and Chinese smartphone firm OnePlus have collaborated to establish a 5G innovation lab in India, news agency PTI reported. The partnership aims to offer distinctive features and an unparalleled network experience for True 5G users of OnePlus and Jio. The state-of-the-art lab will serve as a hub for testing and developing new technologies. Reliance Jio leads the Indian market in 5G coverage, having deployed 85 per cent of the entire 5G infrastructure in the country. Both companies anticipate redefining the 5G landscape in India, providing users with a preview of the limitless possibilities ahead.
Equiniti India, the global capacity centre of the UK’s Equiniti Group, has started its new and second office in the southern Indian city of Chennai, Times of India reported. It also has plans to recruit around 800 people for its offices in Chennai and Bengaluru in the days ahead. Paul Lynam, Equiniti Group CEO, told the Times of India that India has a young, educated and highly ambitious workforce and they are trying to set up a critical mass for the group in the South Asian country. He said the company had around 950 employees in 2021 which went up to 1,500 by the end of 2023 and they expect to have around 2,200 people servicing all their global operations that happen from India.
Indian road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has championed the cause of comprehensive exploration of biofuels and alternative fuels to drive unprecedented growth in the energy and power sector. Speaking at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry summit on the Role of Bio Energy for Atmanirbhar Bharat in Energy Security and Climate Change Mitigation in New Delhi, Gadkari outlined a strategic shift from being a fuel importer, which constitutes 85 per cent of the fuels equivalent to becoming an exporter. The minister also underscored the potential of utilising surplus products like broken rice and sugarcane for ethanol production, reducing the government’s need to purchase these products at minimum support prices.