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Thursday,04-March-2021

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Uber CEO says India core to our growth strategy for next 5-10 yrs

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Uber-CEO-Dara-Khosrowshahi

India is at the core of Uber’s growth strategy for the next five to ten years, the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said here on Tuesday.

“India is a fundamental part of Uber’s growth going forward… India is among top 10 markets for us and we continue to believe in and invest in India,” Khosrowshahi told reporters after launching Uber’s new journey planning feature “Public Transport” in New Delhi.

“India also serves as an innovations gateway for Uber,” Khosrowshahi said, adding that the company’s business in the country has seen improvement.

The Uber CEO said that the company is investing in talent in India to develop products that can be launched in other markets as well.

Uber also announced that it has won a competitive bid to expand its operations across 210 Delhi Metro stations.

Under the partnership which aims to improve first and last-mile connectivity for users, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will provide Uber dedicated pick up and drop points.

The DMRC will charge a fee from Uber for the space it is providing to the company.

Uber, which cut 350 employees across several teams in its latest round of layoffs this year, said it plans to double its headcount in India to 1,000 people.

DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh told reporters that it plans to redesign its Metro smart cards so that users can make payments for the Uber rides with the same card.

“It will take two to three years to bring the new technology,” Singh told IANS on the sidelines of the event.

Manik Gupta, Chief Product Officer, Uber, said that the company is currently on an aggressive hiring spree in India.

“Our hope is that we will go to about 1,000 people. We will almost double the size of our Uber investment both in the engineering and product side over the coming years,” Gupta told IANS.

With the launch of Uber’s new feature in New Delhi, riders will see “Public Transport” as an option alongside UberGo, Premier and Pool after opening the Uber app and entering a destination.

Upon selecting the public transport feature, riders will be able to see the fastest and cheapest routes, real-time schedules, as well as departure time for public transportation, including Metro and buses and walking directions, to and from nearby Metro stations and bus stops.

“We want to be the operating system of your everyday life… We want to replace your car with your phone,” Khosrowshahi said.

Business

No change in petrol and diesel prices for 5th day

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Consumers have been spared of another increase in fuel prices with oil marketing companies deciding to keep petrol and diesel rates static for fifth consecutive day on the back of stability seen in international oil markets.

Accordingly, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 91.17 a litre and diesel Rs 81.47 a litre in the capital on Thursday. Across the country as well both fuel price remain unchanged.

After a spike in global oil prices seen over last two weeks with crude price jumping close to $67 a barrel, prices have now fallen to around $64 a barrel over indications that production cuts would be eased by oil producers from next month. This, along with continuing pandemic and demand disruptions in few major markets has reduced the pace of oil price rise.

Steady fuel prices comes as a major relief to consumers who have seen a sea rise in their transportation expenses quickly over the past couple of months. Even the trade is feeling the pinch as higher oil prices have impacted pricing of several goods and services.

Petrol and diesel prices have been rising continuously since February 9. In the 14 increases since then, price have gone up by Rs 4.22 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.34 a litre in Delhi.

The increase in the previous weeks has taken petrol to cross historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.

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India wearables market grows 144.3% in 2020: IDC

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Driven by record shipments of hearables and watches, the India wearables market posted 144.3 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth in 2020, exiting the year with 36.4 million unit shipments, industry tracker International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Thursday.

India was the only country in the top 20 to see triple-digit growth in wearables in 2020 and continues to be the third-largest wearables market globally, showed IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

“2020 was a year of transition in the audio segment from wired to wireless devices,” said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

“In 2021, this category will further migrate to more sophisticated devices with enhanced audio experience being the central theme for all vendors,” he added.

Earwear device shipments grew more than threefold in 2020 compared to the previous year, mainly driven by the affordable launches, and expanding use cases beyond entertainment like virtual meetings and e-learning requirements.

Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices were the top gainer seeing a tenfold increase with shipments totaling 11.3 million units in 2020.

“Hearables became one of the most sought-after electronic categories in 2020. The newer version of hearables are much better in managing the increased audio usages and improved aesthetic and design also made them the trendsetter,” Anisha Dumbre, Market Analyst, IDC India, said in a statement.

The October-December 2020 recorded the biggest quarter for wearables in India, maintaining triple-digit growth.

Overall, vendors shipped 15.2 million units in Q4 2020, growing 198.2 per cent YoY.

This was the first quarter when shipments of watches crossed the one million mark as vendors shipped 1.3 million units during the quarter.

Noise’s Colorfit pro-2, Realme watch, Apple’s watch series 6, and new launches from Amazfit provided this strong growth for watches in 4Q20.

Wristbands declined by 34.3 per cent YoY in 2020 since peaking in 2019 as the year ended with 3.3 million unit shipments.

After the introduction of wrist bands into the Indian market, 2020 has been the first year when the category reported a decline.

The increasing popularity of watches at similar price points to that of wristbands is the main factor of the decline of wristbands.

With 46.7 per cent of the share, Xiaomi continued to lead the category in 2020. realme, which entered the segment in 2020 finished second with a 12.3 per cent category share.

Watches grew significantly as demand for wrist bands declined during the year.

Watches saw a 139.3 per cent YoY growth with 2.6 million unit shipments in 2020.

Smartwatches, which can run third-party applications on the device itself, accounted for a 24.5per cent share in the watch category, and Apple continues to lead the smartwatch category with a 51.0% share in 2020.

Samsung with its portfolio including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity finished second with a 14.5 per cent share in 2020.

BoAt led the TWS segment with a 24.6 per cent share, followed by realme with a 13.5 per cent share in 2020.

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Business

IndiGo to commence ops to Bareilly from April

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IndiGo-Airways

To strengthen its regional reach airline major IndiGo will commence operations to Bareilly from April.

Accordingly, the city will become the 67th domestic destination in its network.

The airline said it will connect Bareilly to Mumbai and Bengaluru through direct flights, effective April 29, 2021.

According to Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, IndiGo: “Identified in the Prime Minister’s ambitious 100 smart city plan, Bareilly has a huge potential for setting up industries in the city. This vision will be amply supported by enhanced connectivity, thereby promoting tourism, trade, and commerce in the region.”

In addition, the airline said post securing all regulatory approvals and specific flight schedules for Bareilly, IndiGo will soon take the overall number of domestic destinations in the 6E network to 68 by opening its last destination, Rajkot, in the coming months.

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