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QBiz: Craft Beer Loses Fizz; Tata Sons to Commercialise ‘Feluda’

·7-min read

1. Craft Beer Loses Its Fizz as Lockdown Disrupts Supply Chain

Those who are eagerly waiting for a swig of craft beer may have to wait longer with the nationwide lockdown disrupting entire supply chains from manufacturing to retail.

After more than a month of lockdown, standalone liquor stores were finally permitted to reopen in some parts of the country on Monday, but stocks are limited.

To make matters worse, it may take nearly a month, and in some cases more, before the shops get fresh supplies.

“It takes 20 days to move things. About 14 days to brew the beer, and the rest of the time in packaging and dispatch," said Abhinav Jindal, founder and chief executive officer of Kimaya Himalayan Beverages. The company sells two craft beer brands, Bee Young and Yavira.

(Source: Livemint)

Also Read: The Case for Reopening Beer Trade in India, In Five Statistics

2. Tata Sons to Commercialise Indigenously Developed Testing Kit 'Feluda'

As India prepares to relax curbs around movement and manufacturing and ease the COVID-19 lockown, Tata Sons is gearing up to commercially produce an indigenously developed rapid testing kit using a cutting edge technology that can be useful for mass testing. Developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) scientists and named after the famous Bengali fictional sleuth 'Feluda', the kit is going to be ready for use on ground by the end of this month.

The Feluda test strip, basically a paper-based test strip, has been developed by a team led by two Bengali scientists. Souvik Maiti and Dr Debojyoti Chakraborty, at the CSIR's Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) in New Delhi.

(Source: The Business Standard)

Also Read: 7 Must-Read Feluda Chronicles

3. FMCG Companies Open Links With Retailers to Ensure Supply

Several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have stepped up deliveries of their products to neighbourhood grocery stores that are struggling with supplies of essential goods.

Marico has launched telephone services for retailers and even rolled out a dedicated app that lets shopkeepers place orders. Dabur, too is reaching directly to retailers. The companies said this will help ensure supplies do not run out at a time when distributors and wholesalers, key suppliers of packaged goods to retailers, have been immobile because of lockdown restrictions.

(Source: Livemint)

Also Read: Shortage of Workers, Trucks a Huge Challenge for FMCG Companies

4. SBI Looking to Extend Moratorium to NBFCs and Microlenders

State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to offer a three-month loan moratorium to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microlenders, two officials at the bank said. The SBI board may discuss the matter at its meeting on Wednesday.

On 27 March, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted lenders to give a three-month moratorium for all borrowers, but SBI decided not to provide the relief to NBFCs. If India’s largest bank changes its stance, it may prompt most other commercial banks to follow suit.

(Source: Livemint)

Also Read: How SBI Account Holders Can Submit Form 15G and 15H Online

5. With 4G Tender Facing Hurdles, BSNL Decides to Upgrade Existing 2G, 3G Sites

With BSNL facing hurdles in its 4G tender for deployment of 50,000 new sites, the state-run firm has decided to upgrade existing 2G/3G sites, so that 4G services can be offered to customers in the coming four-six months.According to sources, the board of BSNL has approved a proposal to upgrade around 50,000 2G and 3G sites and the incumbent vendors — Nokia and ZTE — will be called soon to negotiate regarding the purchase order. After the placement of order, the company plans to rollout 4G services in the next few months. The upgradation is likely to cost anywhere between Rs 3,500 crore and Rs 4,000 crore.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked for explanation from BSNL regarding the 4G tender after the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) complained that public procurement norms for giving preference to Make in India products were not followed by BSNL while framing the eligibility criteria. The commerce ministry too has taken note of the complaint and has put the tender on hold till the grievance is disposed.

(Source: The Financial Express)

Also Read: BSNL Launches Plan Worth Rs 2,000 With Amazon Prime Subscription

6. Lockdown Relaxation: E-Commerce Firms See Demand For Non-Essentials Rise Manifold

Consumer demand for non-essential products with e-commerce firms has increased manifold after the government last Friday lifted the ban on sale of such products by e-tailers. Anil Goteti, senior vice-president at Flipkart, told FE that the firm is seeing an increase in searches for products such as laptops, consumer electronics, mobiles, air-conditioners, coolers and T-shirts. “We are working with lakhs of sellers and MSMEs across India and helping them prepare their businesses to make products available for consumers,” Goteti said.

Online services marketplace Urban Company (formerly UrbanClap) said home services (cleaning, maintenance and repair facilities) accounted for nearly 60% of the orders while beauty services (for both men and women) made up the remainder. To cater to the surge in demand, Urban Company is hiring professionals for men’s haircut and grooming. Problems related to getting passes and requisite permissions for movement, nonetheless, persist, the firm said.

(Source: The Financial Express)

Also Read: E-Commerce Platforms Prohibited From Selling Non-Essential Items

7. COVID-19 Effect: No Wages for Gujarat Diamond Workers During Lockdown

Despite the Gujarat government’s order to pay salaries to workers during lockdown period, lakhs of diamond artisans in Surat have not been paid their wages by their employers, said Diamond Workers Union – Gujarat.

“We have filed complaints against 100-plus diamond units that haven’t paid salaries to artisans. The union has given a memorandum to the Deputy Labour Commissioner (DLO) of Surat to take action against errant units along with the copy of the FIR,” said Ramesh Jilariya, president of Diamond Workers Union – Gujarat.

(Source: The Financial Express)

Also Read: What Explains the Sudden Surge of COVID-19 Cases in Gujarat?

8. Commercial Vehicle Makers Report Zero Sales in April Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Commercial vehicle (CV) makers except VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) clocked zero sales in the domestic market during April, because of the lockdown.

In comparison, tractor OEMs such as Mahindra & Mahindra, and Escorts, registered domestic volumes of 4,716 units (-83 per cent year-on-year) and 613 units (-88 per cent), respectively, with dealers restarting operations from April 20.

Ashok Leyland reported zero sales of M&HCVs, against 8,918 last year. LCV sales were also zero, against 4,223 last year. Total sales for April were nil, against 13,141 units last year. Mahindra CV sales were also nil, versus 17,321 units last year.

(Source: The Business Standard)

9. Revenue Bites: IT Firms Go Aggressive on Cost-Cutting Amid COVID-19 Crisis

With growth slowing and demand environment uncertainty compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian information technology (IT) services majors are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their bottom lines remain least affected — at least in the short to medium term.

In the quarter just ended, top Indian IT firms, such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro, have signalled taking aggressive cost take-out measures, including reduction in sub-contracting costs, travel expenses, freeze in salary hikes, and holding back variable payments, among others. “We are looking at costs as if our lives depend on it. If one is witnessing revenue reduction, the only way to respond is to reduce costs,” said Jatin Dalal, chief financial officer (CFO), Wipro.

(Source: The Business Standard)

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