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Uber Policy Chief For India And South Asia Quits

Ramya GovindRaj

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Uber’s Chief of Policy for India and South Asia, Shweta Rajpal Kohli, quit the taxi hailing company a little over a year after joining the firm. This is the latest departure of a high level executive from the San Francisco based company.  

Kohli was charged with the responsibility to build Uber’s relations with the regulators and the government officials of India, in an attempt to expand its business. According to one source, Kohli was leading government engagements in the influential circles. Her resignation from the company might be a step back for Uber in the Indian market. Neither Uber India nor Kohli have spoken out about the resignation.

Shweta Rajpal Kohli is a former journalist who joined the taxi hailing startup last year. According to her LinkedIn profile, she was responsible for enhancing the understanding of Uber and its business with multiple stakeholders and creating a favorable regulatory and policy environment for the future of urban mobility. She also worked with the Delhi based news channel NDTV as the economic affairs editor for 11 years.

Reuters reported Kohli would be joining the cloud based software maker Salesforce.com Inc., next month. Uber’s European Policy Chief Christopher Burghardt also quit the company in October this year to join the electric vehicle charging network company Chargepoint. In India, which is the second biggest market for Uber, the company has regularly faced several regulatory and reputational hurdles. Currently, Uber has a presence in 30 cities but faces a fierce competition from homegrown cab aggregator Ola.

On Monday the company confirmed Japan based venture capital firm SoftBank, would be investing close to $ 10 billion in the company in concert with other investors. This investment might help the company recover from all the scandals and legal battles of the past year. Touted to be the biggest round of secondary transaction, this investment will also pave way for a series of sweeping changes in the governance of the company. According to sources, these changes will also include measures to reduce the influence of former CEO, Travis Kalanick, among other leadership changes.

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Jeff Bezos: Amazon’s Boss Is the Richest Man In Modern History With A Net Worth $150 Billion!

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Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history, are you listening people?

This fascinating news comes right after the e commerce giant Amazon’s stock price surged after its Prime Day sale. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Amazon.com Inc., founder’s net worth crossed $ 150 billion in New York, recently. Jeff Bezos who is 54 years old, surpassed Bill Gates in inflation adjusted terms. The $ 100 billion mark that Gates hit briefly in 1999 at the peak of the dot com boom in the US, would be now worth about $ 149 billion in today’s currency rate. Henceforth, making the Amazon chief executive officer richer than anyone else on earth since, how cool is that! The American CEO amassed more wealth than anyone, since 1982. That was the year in which Forbes started publishing its top 20 billionaires of 1982 list. Currently, the tech giant Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates stands second in the list followed by Warren Buffet, Bernard Arnault, Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Bezos’ net worth has soared by $ 52 billion this year, which is more than the entire fortune of Mukesh Ambani, the newly crowned richest person in Asia. It also climbs Bezos’ personal fortune within spitting distance of the Walton family’s $ 151.5 billion. The Waltons are the world’s richest dynasty.

Amazon was founded by Bezos in the year 1994 as an online book store. Later it went ahead to expand its operations to sell a variety of products. Bezos first appeared on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people in 1998, with a net worth of $ 1.6 billion, a year after Amazon made its debut in the public market. After years of struggle and hard work, this e commerce giant announced its 304 million active member accounts toward the end of 2015. Moving on, Amazon’s stock soared by 60 % and its market values more than $ 890 billion.

Apart from Amazon, Jeff Bezos owns the American newspaper company Washington Post and the aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin.

 

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Netflix To Upgrade Its Platform For The Indian Market

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The Over The Top (OTT) platform market in India is booming and the competitors are gearing up for new strategies to keep their audience hooked. Netflix Inc., an American over the top media service provider, headquartered in Los Gatos, California, is among the top OTT platforms of all times. Ruling the overseas video streaming market, Netflix launched its platform in India in the year 2016. However, the competition only got intense with time. So, the streaming giant is now spending an enormous amount to the tune of $ 8 billion on content in India as a part of its expansion plans. According to a source, the company may enter lower priced segments to attract new subscribers in India. The Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said we are way behind YouTube, Hotstar. Those are really the leaders on internet. We are really pleased with our progress or tracking we are making since we launched two and a half years ago.

Netflix’s quarterly revenue and subscriber numbers fell short of expectations in Monday’s earnings call, resulting in the tumbling down of Netflix stock 10 %. Theodore Anthony Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer for Netflix said reaching out to 125 million members in 190 countries around the world, Netflix keeps its viewing data private, so all we are offered is a relative picture. If you compare [the Indian business] to our early business in Latin America, we are ahead of what we were when we started [there]. It’s growing faster.

Netflix started off by purchasing ownership rights to two seasons of the famous series House of Cards for $ 100 million. Today, it is making more television series than any network in history! In order to gear up for the Indian OTT market, Netflix launched its first ever original Indian series Sacred Games, this month. The regional content strategy of Netflix seemed to work tremendously, so far! Not only that but its Original Hindi movie Lust Stories is also doing really well! Netflix has seven more Indian shows in the pipeline, with original content which should also strengthen its global position.

Mr. Sarandos said we have been producing shows that are incredibly relevant in their home territories and the nice windfall is they get viewed all over the world.

Elated by their success Netflix, the Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said, we are really getting some nice momentum in our India growth. We are still a niche product and have got a long way to go to expand languages and many other aspects to able to cover to be a broad Indian product. But in terms of our beachhead, I am very pleased with what we have been doing.

Speaking about the growth of OTT in India, according to PwC, India will enter the top 10 largest global OTT video markets by 2022 with a whopping revenue of over Rs. 5,500 crores.

 

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Amazon Prime Day Sale Takes A Glitchy Start!

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“Sorry something went wrong on our end.”

This message popped up on most people’s website who were heading over to Amazon websites on Prime Day. All the shopaholics were eagerly waiting for the countdown to the Prime Day Sale but their expectations were shattered. 

The e commerce giant Amazon went through a glitch at the start of its very famous 36 hour online sales bonanza. People were immensely infuriated by this glitch and many users even switched to other websites, in anger. The issues are centred on the US based website but are occurring in other continents too. Some users faced an error page featuring the “dogs of Amazon” and were unable to load the site, while others could not enter specific product pages.

People were not able to complete purchases at checkout, while others reported that the “deals” page and “Shop all deals” button had disappeared from the site. A lot of glitches were faced by users across the countries! Amazon took to its official Twitter handle to say with regard to the sale day. Here is what they tweeted! 

 

Apart from the US, the issues with Amazon’s sites are faced in Europe, Africa, South America, Russia, Asia and Australia.

Amazon launched its Prime Sale Day in 2015 and by the end of 2017, it was its second biggest shopping day all over the world. According to an analysis by Coresight Research, last year’s Prime Day sale was estimated to have generated about $ 2.4 billion in sales and this year’s 36 hours sale was predicted to reach $ 3.4 billion. As of now, it appears the company’s website is now functioning normally for some users while Amazon works to resolve the issue. Many are still reporting issues with adding items to their carts, checkout and just getting into the deals portal from Amazon’s homepage.

Amazon, you really need to buckle up and fix the issues for your beloved customers!

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