Jio to charge for services from April, rivals sit up

Reliance Jio has crossed the 100 million customers mark in 170 days, since its launch in September 2016, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said here on Tuesday. He said this while announcing that Jio will start charging tariff for its services from April, but will offer sharp disc­o­unts for a year to those who sign up by the end of March.
Reliance Jio will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming after April 1, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends.

Chandra’s to-do list as Tata chief: Revival & growth

Natarajan Chandrasekaran took over as chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, pledging to improve capital allocation and boost returns from the $100 billion salt-to-software conglomerate.
The challenge for Chandrasekaran, or Chandra as he’s known, will be to rekindle growth and revive Tata’s weaker units after almost four months of boardroom turmoil that followed the ouster of his predecessor Cyrus Mistry.

HTC unveils new U series smartphones

HTC on Tuesday unveiled its U series with two new smartphones -- HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play. Available in 64GB memory variant, HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play are priced at Rs 59,990 and Rs 39,990, respectively.
The smartphones come with adaptive HTC U sonic technology for personalised hearing and a unique combination of MegaPixel and UltraPixel camera technology.
“U series marks the beginning of our several exciting launches in India this year. We are looking at looking premium product range with a global appeal,” said Faisal Siddiqui, president-South Asia, HTC.

Mahindra launches three new Supro minitrucks

Mahindra and Mahindra, India’s third biggest commercial vehicle maker by sales, has taken the battle to increase its market share into the archrival Tata Motors’ turf with the launch of three new minitrucks under its Supro brand. Price starts at Rs 4.24 lakh for the Supro Minitruck and Rs 4.54 lakh for the Supro Minivan range at Pune showroom.

End of road in Uttarpara

If you are driving from Kolkata through Vidyasagar Setu-Kona Expressway-Bombay Road (Kolkata-Mumbai National Highway)-NH2, popularly known as the Delhi Road, barely half a kilometre after you cross Dankuni, you will come to a gigantic entrance to the Shriram Grand City on your right.
It was impossible to miss the massive construction activity in the area continuing even on the weekend. This was Saturday, February 18. Only eight days ago the company had announced that was selling off its iconic car brand-Ambassador to French auto major Peugeot.

To catch a falling star

Kaushik Sarkar, who works at a senior position with a leading global biopharmaceuticals company in the US, was vacationing at his parental place, when the news came in. Sarkar, a widely traveled man, always used to proudly identify his native place as one just next to the place that makes Ambassador cars. Hindustan Motors may have stopped production of Ambassador cars for the last two years or so, but the brand was still living. The news of French auto major Peugeot SA (PSA) acquiring the Ambassador brand for Rs 80 crore from the C.K.

Monexo bets big on India P2P market

Monexo, the peer-to-peer (P2P) banking market place, first floated in Hong Kong by a former Citibank honcho, is now betting big on the Indian market, particularly in the wake of the government’s digitisation initiatives and drive for ‘financial inclusion’ beyond bank account opening. Monexo, which already has over 3000 customers in India, seems well set to roll out collateral free SME loans in India by the Q2, next fiscal, said Mukesh Bubna, founder-CEO, Monexo.

GM plans to build, test self-driving Bolts

General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week.
It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in comparison, is currently testing about 60 self-driving prototypes in four states.

Alibaba, Rakuten look to tap Indian e-commerce mart

India’s e-commerce market has high-profile suitors. The time has never been so right for Alibaba to make an entry into the e-commerce space — to wrap up the spin-off of Paytm and merge it with Softbank’s investee company Snapdeal.
While the valuations of Snapdeal have become more realistic than what it was 18 months back, Japanese e-commerce major Rakuten too is conducting ground-level preparations to enter the Indian market.

Holidays this week could break market momentum

The market managed gains on the back of a strong performance by HDFC Bank on Friday. It has been moving up and would face its true test this week, truncated with two holidays and expiry of the February series.
The Sensex managed gains of 134.50 points, or 0.47 per cent to close at 28,468.75 points, while the Nifty gained 28.15 points, or 0.32 per cent to close at 8,821.70 points.
This week has two holidays — on Tuesday for local municipal polls in Mumbai and on Friday for Maha Shivratri. This would be preceded by expiry of February futures happening on Thursday.