1. Facebook plans to acquire 10% stakes in Jio
As per reports, the tech giant Facebook is likely to make a “multi-billion dollar” investment in the reliance jio for 10 percent stakes in the telecom giant. The news of the deal between Mukesh Ambani and Mark Zuckerberg was supposed to be announced to the media this month but has been halted due to the widespread corona scare.
This special deal will uplift facebook’s prospects in India. In a report by Kantar Millward Brown, Reliance Jio, which is already the largest network career in India, and after this deal could also become one of the top 100 most valuable brands in the world. This would make Jio join the group of global brands such as Amazon, Flipkart, Apple, and Google.
2. Flipkart announces the suspension of all services during the 21-day lockdown
After the Prime Minister’s late evening announcement on March 24, the online retail giant Flipkart has decided to shut down all operations until the 21 day lockdown period is over. This announcement was made on Flipkart’s official site –
“These are difficult times, times like no other. Never before, have communities stayed apart to stay safe! Never before, has been at home meant helping the nations!”
This was followed by the decision to resume its grocery services in 4 cities Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi. Amazon, too, decided to continue operating just the essential grocery segment to meet up customers’ demands. These items include household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene personal care items, while the rest of the products which are not essential and of low priority will be canceled.
3. Big basket, Grofers to continue services after PMO meet
After being stopped by law enforcement agencies due to the nationwide lockdown, online grocery stores like big basket and Grocers are seeking support from the Prime Minister’s office and several state governments. The top officials of online grocery stores have requested PMO for more explicit orders. In this matter so that they could resume their services.
Previously delivery staff of these companies was being harassed by law enforcement agencies and this lead to the cancellation of several lakhs of orders. In addition to this, the police in some states had also locked down warehouses of these online stores. Grofers had 6 of their warehouse locked down while big basket had its warehouses locked down in cities such as Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune, and Kochi. This affected around 260k orders of Grofers and nearly 100k orders of the big basket.
Amidst all this, the Delhi government launched electronic curfew or e- passes to enable delivery partners of companies like the big basket and Grofers to do their job without any glitches.
4. Zomato and Grofers decision to support daily wagers
Work from home is not for everyone. The most severely affected during the whole Covid-19 crisis are the daily wage workers. After the PM’s announcement enabling a 21 day nationwide lockdown, their condition has worsened. Zomato has decided to come forward and show its support to this section of society. Its Feeding India program, which was started in 2019, has come up with a campaign called- feed the daily wager. Under this campaign, Zomato will be distributing ration kits to those in need. This kit would constitute wheat flour, rice, two types of pulses, and soap.
Deepinder Goyal, founder, and CEO of Zomato, announced through his Twitter account that special loans would be provided to certain food delivery partners and a fund dedicated to make up for the loss of earnings for many hundreds of delivery partners. The company succeeded in collecting Rs. 1.5 crores within a quick span of 17 hours and have another aim to raise Rs—25 crores for the fund.
Zomato will deliver these special ration kits to around 26 cities across India. And for this, it has decided to partner with Grofers and some NGOs. The company ensured that all safety precautions would be followed while distributing these kits.
Those customers who are willing to support this initiative and wish to make some monetary contribution can visit the official website of Zomato. Zomato will be putting forth a complete list of where all the fund was utilized to enable transparency.
Other companies like swiggy, Grofers, Uber, Ola, and Flipkart have also come forward to help their delivery partners, drivers, and employees working on the ground level.
5. MakeMyTrip reports slowdown in travel bookings
Travel service companies like MakeMyTrip or MMT have been hit due to the Corona pandemic. The share price of MMT fell from $29.95 on February 12 to a low of $10.8 on Thursday, March 18.
Deep Kalra, the founder and chairman of MMT, went on to share a revival plan with their employees on March 24.
The measures involve diminishing variable costs such as advertising and payment gateway costs, and optimizing their expenditure. They will also look into minimizing all expenses aimed at brand building. Kalra and Magow- the CEO- will not be taking their salaries from April 2020.
6. Youtube, Netflix, and Facebook lower bit rate
This is being done to ease broadband network congestion as the consumer base has widened due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reducing the bit rates means that the quality of the video will be lowered.
Netflix has decided to reduce traffic by 25 percent for its Indian users, while Facebook will temporarily reduce the bit rates for videos on both Facebook and Instagram. While youtube, too, will make all videos to the standard definition only for a short period.
Other than these three, amazon prime has also lowered the bit rates in India. a Facebook spokesperson said-
“To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in India.”