The death of Queen Elizabeth II has turned a new chapter in history, and India will also mark a day of mourning on September 11.
The UK’s economy has also taken a pause as the Bank of England postponed a key decision on interest rates. However, on the other side of the Atlantic, the US Federal Reserve indicated that it will continue to raise interest rates—something the Indian startup ecosystem will have to take with a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry came down hard on illegal loan apps targetting low-income groups, asking the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to prepare a whitelist containing all of the legal apps and monitor rented accounts that could potentially funnel money laundering.
ICYMI: Apple recently released iPhone 14, triggering a meme fest on the device’s similarities with the previous two versions. Even Steve Jobs’ daughter Eve Jobs joined in on the fun!
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- What’s next for Neuron Energy?
- Hotel check-ins made easy
- Uplifting women of the Musahar community
Here’s your trivia for today: On average, how far do a typist’s hands travel in a day?
Till about 2017, to most Indian consumers, EVs didn’t strike as a strong buy, says Pratik Kamdar, Co-founder of Mumbai-based Neuron Energy, which supplies lead-acid and lithium-ion powered batteries to EV manufacturers.
This sentiment has now changed. Growing awareness about environmental issues, availability of subsidies and tax rebates on buying EVs has peaked consumer interest.
On World EV Day, SMBStory spoke to Pratik to discuss Neuron’s role in the EV market.
EVs for good:
- Neuron sells LFP (lithium iron phosphate)/NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide) chemistry batteries for EV two-wheelers and three-wheelers.
- It is one of the few companies that uses a microprocessor-based battery management system for efficient and smart utilisation of batteries other than the generally used Mosfet.
- The company sells around 3,000 two-wheeler lithium-ion batteries a month. It aims to sell 20,000 battery packs for two-wheelers and 1,200 for three-wheelers per month by 2024.
When OYO was founded a decade ago, it introduced the concept of budget hotels and changed the way the hospitality industry operated. Now, microstays promise another such transformation in the sector, introducing the concepts of pay-per-hour and capsule stays.
Hopping on the trend, Noida-based Brevistay has been mastering the pay-per-hour model for a few years. Started in 2016, Brevistay was co-founded by Prateek Singh, Shubham Agarwal, Nikhil Kumar Pathak, Aditya Naithani, and Avnish Kumar.
What’s on offer:
- It has onboarded over 3,000 hotels in 70+ cities across India, including premium hotels like Hyatt Bengaluru, Hyatt Pune, Ramada by Wyndham Hotels in Bengaluru and Lucknow, and many more.
- The startup raised Rs 3 crore from Indian Angel Network (IAN) in a seed round in August 2022. It was led by IAN Lead investors Uday Chatterjee, Hari Balasubramanian, and Sri Prakash.
- Brevistay has completed eight lakh bookings on its platform. It has a daily active user (DAU) base of 25,000 and 300,000 monthly active users (MAU).
Sudha Varghese has devoted over 30 years of her life to empowering the Musahar community of Bihar.
It started in the early 1960s when she was still in her early teens. A magazine in her school library caught her attention. It had pictures of a land far away, pictures that were horrifying and showed the appalling living conditions of the Musahars, a community in Bihar. The word “musahar” literally translates to “rat eaters”.
- In 1986, Sudha decided to live in an old hut among the Musahars, educate them, and devote all her time and resources to improving their lives.
- Living with the Musahars opened a new window for Sudha. It made her realise that she was not only fighting poverty but centuries-old practices of casteism too.
- The following year, she founded Nari Gunjan (women’s voice) organisation to support thousands of women from socially outcast communities in their fight against long-standing injustices.
- Nari Gunjan works in different districts of Bihar and offers multiple livelihood projects for women.
News & updates
- Make in India: Tata Group is reportedly in talks with Taiwanese supplier Wistron Corp to establish a joint venture to assemble Apple’s iPhones in India. The Indian conglomerate is expected to tap into Wistron’s expertise in product development, supply chain and assembly.
- Auditing shake-up: Ernst & Young (EY) said it was planning to split its audit and consulting units into two companies, as the professional services firm looks to ease regulatory concerns over potential conflicts of interest.
- Meta overhaul: Meta Platforms Inc has disbanded its Responsible Innovation team, which addressed concerns about the potential downsides of its products. The company said it remained committed to the goals, and most of its former members would continue similar work elsewhere at Meta.
On average, how far do a typist’s hands travel in a day?
Answer: 12.6 miles
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