Manipal to Medanta: Will Ranjan Pai finally break the no-deal jinx?

A hospital-private equity deal is always in the works in India. Entrepreneurs prefer to buy, not build. For obvious reasons. Borrowing is limited for acquisitions, owners need equity financing. Why not. A mid-to-large size hospital is a 15-20 year business, yet it’s being grown with funds on 5 to 8-year exit plans. It’s a necessary … Read more Manipal to Medanta: Will Ranjan Pai finally break the no-deal jinx?

India’s digital bet paid off: Charting the payments story

Imagine a travel or food-ordering site’s checkout page circa 2010-14. Credit cards. Debit cards. Netbanking. Cash on delivery. That’s about it. Then came the wallets. Mobikwik, and Paytm, and FreeCharge. Airtel Money. Amazon Pay. Phonepe. More wallets from everyone and their uncle. Then came the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI—the holy grail of instantaneous payments … Read more India’s digital bet paid off: Charting the payments story

Lessons for India from three women taking on Google, Facebook and Amazon

Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg—meet Margrethe Vestager, Lina Khan and Dina Srinivasan. Vestager is the European Union’s (EU) competition commissioner; Khan, a law student in her late twenties; and Srinivasan, a veteran ad-tech entrepreneur. Three women, one goal: dismantle the dominance of Big Tech. Vestager, Khan and Srinivasan have decoded Pichai’s Google, Bezos’s Amazon … Read more Lessons for India from three women taking on Google, Facebook and Amazon

All pain, no gain: India’s own opioid crisis

When it comes to opium production, India is one of the largest producers and exporters of opium. But while India supplies the world with opioids—the cheapest, most effective painkillers out there—the story back home is very different. We are only equipped to provide opioids for 40,000 patients—less than 1% of the national requirement. At the … Read more All pain, no gain: India’s own opioid crisis

Future of meat: The meat-ing point for non-veg lovers and vegans

On a white-hot skillet in a kitchen populated by burger buns, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes sit two patties made by a company that just left cab company Uber in the dust. If we eat with all our senses, then the patties’ meaty char, intense sizzle, and saliva-inducing aroma are banquets unto themselves. And it’s primarily … Read more Future of meat: The meat-ing point for non-veg lovers and vegans

B2B: The only change India’s dying wallets could use

Digital wallets are teetering on the brink of obsolescence. I returned to India shortly before the advent of demonetisation in October 2016. Digital payments were all the rage, but nothing prepared me for the frenetic excitement that followed the government’s decision to wipe out 86% of cash in circulation the following month. Digital wallet startups … Read more B2B: The only change India’s dying wallets could use

How Indian B-schools could score an A

Around two months ago, as India’s top business schools sent their latest batch of students out into the corporate world, The Ken decided to dig deeper into their placement mechanism. While the usual boasts of near-100% placement and record salary packages still dotted the pages of newspapers, close to two dozen respondents—past students, faculties, recruiters … Read more How Indian B-schools could score an A

Byju’s and the art of the deal: Inside a one hour pitch

The room has five people. One salesperson from Byju’s. One junior trainee. Two parents. One little girl. On the audio recording, you can hear the salesperson asking her a question: “What’s your name, beta?” “Anushka*” “Very good, Anushka. What class are you in?” “6th Standard. D Section.” “What do you want to become when you … Read more Byju’s and the art of the deal: Inside a one hour pitch