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Archana Chaudhary and Saritha Rai, ‘Why Jeff Bezos’ billion-dollar pledge hasn’t impressed anyone in India’, Economic Times
India is turning increasingly hostile to the monopolistic practices of foreign e-commerce players that dominate the burgeoning market. Responding to widespread complaints, India restricted foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and this has forced Amazon and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart, the two biggest e-commerce players in India, to overhaul business models to comply with new rules introduced in December 2018. In 2016, New Delhi had said foreign-owned e-commerce platforms could operate as marketplaces – facilitating transactions between sellers and consumers – but not sell directly. Flipkart and Amazon had established wholesale networks to reach their customers. But the more recent regulations target this workaround, banning foreign e-commerce sites from selling goods from companies in which they own a stake or have commercial arrangements with.
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Archana Chaudhary and Saritha Rai, ‘Why Jeff Bezos’ billion-dollar pledge hasn’t impressed anyone in India’, Economic Times Inc. founder Jeff Bezos attracted significant opposition during a tour of India intended to underscore its importance as a growth driver for Amazon. The country’s antitrust regulator initiated a formal investigation hours before his arrival, and retailers affiliated with the Confederation of All India Traders organized sit-ins and public rallies in multiple cities to protest Amazon’s traditional cut-price approach and exclusive-selling practices. Outside the venue of Amazon India’s annual event for small retailers, demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Amazon, go back!” and with Bezos’ face crossed-out. The CEO sought a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi but that didn’t come through.
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Saritha Rai, ‘Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates try opposite paths to education tech in India’, Mint
Byju Raveendran isn’t kidding when he says he wants to bring Disney to the classroom. The app features a mix of video, animation and interactive tools to bring clarity to subjects such as fundamentals of geometry and Indian history. Tutors bring the real world into the act—using pizza to explain fractions, a birthday cake to teach circles and segments, a basketball game to demonstrate projectile motion. Science experiments are overlaid with animation. In cubicle after cubicle in Bangalore, hundreds of twenty-something filmmakers, musicians, animators and graphic designers create the lessons. It’s not Walt Disney studio scale, but content, media and tech teams make up half of BYJU’s 1,150 employees, personalizing each student’s learning and allowing him or her to track progress. Two in-house bands compose and perform background scores.
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