A month after Future Group announced plans to shut down its B2C online retail venture Big Bazaar Direct, founder Kishore Biyani stated that most startups miss the bigger picture and work with a ‘smaller canvas’. Biyani also took a potshot at the huge number of startups doing aggregation, specifically those in the taxi aggregation space.

Important Developments Of The Week

AskMe Employee Threatens Suicide, Vendors Meet Commerce Minister

AskMe, which recently pulled its shutters down, has been threatened by an unnamed employee with suicide if it fails to pay salaries within the next five days. In a note written to the senior management it has been mentioned that nonpayment of salaries have left the employees and their families in a state of complete destruction and with no other choice.

In another development, Representatives of All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) met Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding the issue of pending payment from Askmebazaar.com. Since the issue raised by AIOVA pertained to the Ministry of Corporate affairs, Sitharaman then spoke to Corporate Affairs Secretary. Following the meeting, the Ministry assured Sitharaman of taking up the pending payment issue of AskMe on a priority basis.

After Reliance Jio, BSNL Announces 1GB data/INR 1

State-run telecom provider BSNL announced a low-cost promotional plan for hooking existing and new subscribers. The new plan will provide 1GB data/INR 1 for unlimited broadband data (upto 300 GB) and is called “Experience Unlimited BB 249.” It will be launched on September 9, 2016.

Regulatory Framework For Cab Aggregators To Be Announced

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, assured taxi aggregators that the government is working towards simplifying their problems. He also added that cab aggregators should find a way to integrate traditional black-and-yellow cabs within the purview of their operations.

Google To Launch Financial Planning Platform ‘Bharat Saves’

Google is planning to develop a website, Bharat Saves, to offer information on financial planning. The target consumers for this platform will be homemakers, small business owners, the newly employed, retired persons and farmers. The tech giant is aiming to align the website to the government’s financial inclusion Jan Dhan Yojana initiative.

Flipkart, Snapdeal Get Ahead In Ecommerce Race

Flipkart emerged as India’s most preferred ecommerce brand in a recent E-tailing Leadership Index (ELI) conducted by research firm RedSeer Consulting. Another study revealed that Snapdeal had the fastest delivery time for five out of the seven months of 2016.

Government Appoints A Team to Resolve Consumer Grievances

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs appointed a team to resolve consumer grievances related to ecommerce companies and others. The Indian Government has also warned ecommerce firms of stringent action for not responding to its queries on customer grievances. Nearly 46 companies, including Flipkart, Xiaomi, Olx, and Bookmyoffer.com, have not been responding to emails sent to them with regard to redressal of consumer grievances.

Other Developments Of The Week

IKEA Plans To Set Up Online Trade

Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA is planning to add online commerce to its mode of business. IKEA has plans to open 25 stores in India by 2025, which will offer a range of home furnishing products. The company will first set up its store in Hyderabad, followed by Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

Amazon India’s Cloudtail Stops Sale Of Mobiles

Amazon India’s biggest merchant Cloudtail stopped the sale of mobile phones via the online ecommerce platform. The decision was taken following India’s foreign investment policies that prevent a single seller from accounting for more than 25% of a marketplace’s total sales.

Birla Scion Launches Curo Carte

Ananya Birla, third-generation scion of the Birla family, announced the launch of her second venture Curo Carte. It is a global ecommerce platform that provides handmade and high-end luxury products, curated from nine countries.

InMobi Launches Advance Video Formats Suite

InMobi has launched a suite of advanced video formats such as vertical, interactive, 360-degree, opt-in, and in-stream. The aim is to help advertisers deliver highly engaging mobile marketing campaigns with a TV-like experience.

Federal Bank Launches Digital Personal Loans

Federal Bank has launched Digital Personal Loans which will allow customers to avail personal loans immediately without going through the hassles of paperwork. Customers can log on to its website and avail personal loans in a minute. Upon acceptance of the offer by the customer, the loan money will be credited to his account immediately.

HeyBob Halts Operations

Bengaluru-based bike taxi firm, Hey Bob suspended operations due to a shortage of funds. The working model of the company was similar to that of Ola and Uber wherein users could book their rides through the app.

Myntra Partners With Loginext

Myntra signed up with logistics technology platform LogiNext for real-time tracking of shipments and is piloting the platform’s location mapping product for improved intracity logistics. With these capabilities, Myntra hopes to improve customer experience and make its captive logistics arm, Myntra Logistics, more efficient.

ICICI Bank Deploys Software Robotics

ICICI Bank introduced robotic process automation for 200 business processes across various functions of the bank. These processes will automate, regulate and perform tasks of high-density and volume that need to be carried out over multiple applications while increasing productivity.

OYO Rooms Opens New Training Campus

OYO Rooms opened a new training campus in Gurugram, Haryana. It plans to train 1 Lakh people in order to create a pipeline of skilled workforce for the hospitality industry. OYO is also likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Haryana Government for the same.

TruPay Launches Mobile Payment App

TruPay has launched a mobile payment app, based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI). It claims to be India’s first private sector company in India to do so. The UPI follows the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) structure of payments. IMPS transactions allow real-time 24×7 transfer of money between parties with the use of IFSC codes and MMID.

Zigy Plans To Halt Operations

Phaneesh Murthy’s online pharmacy venture Zigy plans to halt operations in the next three months. Last month, the company had scaled down operations in four cities, restricting its business to its home base, Bengaluru, citing regulatory hurdles. In the past few weeks, it has been in talks with other online pharmacy chains for a possible merger.

IndustryBuying Partners With Capital Float

IndustryBuying joined hands with Capital Float to offer a unique credit solution called ‘Pay Later’ to businesses across India. This will enable SMEs to procure industrial products using a pre-defined credit line that gets reset upon repayment.

Capital Float partners With OfBusiness

Capital Float also partnered with OfBusiness to help small-scale Indian manufacturers and traders avail easy funding for expanding their business. Through this partnership, buyers on the OfBusiness platform can leverage Capital Float’s ‘Pay Later’ product to avail instant funds for procuring industrial materials.

BizPluss Launches iOS And Android App

Eservice platform Bizpluss.in launches its mobile app for iOS and Android. It will will allow retailers to easily browse and do bulk buying for various categories of products.

JustLikeNew Partners With Delhivery

Premier smartphone repair service JustLikeNew has partnered with Delhivery. It will allow for free pickup of the device to be repaired from the user’s home or office. After the device is shipped to the nearest JustLikeNew.in workshop, it will be repaired and delivered back to the desired location, eliminating any effort on the part of customers. The partnership will ensure availability of repair services  across 6,400 pin codes in various states and Union Territories of the country.

Flock2.0 Is Here

Communication and collaboration app Flock released its update Flock 2.0 which introduced the feature, ‘Teams on Flock’. With this, any user can create and join multiple teams on Flock using company or free domain email. Teams can be created for the entire organisation, an external community or even a project. Every team gets its personalised Team URL, which makes it easy for users to invite, discover and join the particular team.

Burrp! Partners With WowTables

Mumbai-based food discovery portal Burrp! has partnered with  WowTables, a culinary platform offering curated experience to diners. Through this association Burrp! users will now be able to reserve a unique dining experience at 300 restaurants across Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Pune. The facility will be available for restaurants common between both the platforms and is available on both Android & iOS. The integration is available on both the Burrp! app and website.

DigitalOcean Introduces Hatch

Hatch offers startups cloud infrastructure credits for a year and provides free technical training, mentorship, priority support, and a community to connect with other startups, accelerators, and investors.

HeyBiz offers Digital Platform For SMB’s

Delhi-based technology platform HeyBiz has launched technology support services for SMBs through customised offerings. SMBs can get their website, mobile app, business pages, payment gateway, and online store designed and developed by HeyBiz Experts. Once on the HeyBiz platform, businesses can avail its customised services to further grow their digital presence.

Mahindra Joins Hands With Ola

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., part of the US$ 17.8 Bn Mahindra Group, signed an MOU to enter into a strategic alliance with cab aggregator Ola to empower 40,000 driver partners across India by 2018. Ola’s driver partners can now avail of an integrated ‘Mahindra-Ola’ package which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidised insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform.

AasaanJobs to launch in Bengaluru

Online recruitment firm AasaanJobs will soon launch its services in Bengaluru, after gaining prominence among young job aspirants in both Mumbai and Pune. This will facilitate first time job aspirants with an organised platform to find any kind of employment opportunities they seek, and help them connect with relevant employers in multiple industries.

Uber Launches New Features On The Driver App

Uber, announced a series of new safety features on the driver’s app, aimed at predicting, preventing and reducing the number of crashes on the road. By providing drivers with more choices, Uber aims to help them make better decisions and improve safety for everyone on the road. These features will be rolled out for drivers in Bengaluru over the next few weeks, with more cities coming soon.

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