#AskMe - Fin-Tech NBFCs and Bubbles

@Amit Gulati asked me:
What do you think about the Loans that are being given away by the new age NBFC (especially the unsecured Loan giving Fintech start-ups) and do you think that there is a bubble in the making?!

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@Amit Gulati asked me: What do you think about the Loans that are being given away by the new age NBFC (especially the unsecured Loan giving Fintech

It was a pleasure meeting Carmelo Abela the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Promotion of Malta again. Wonderful to get a tour of his historic office which is where Napoleon Bonaparte stayed during his time in Malta. I am very impressed with his vision to deepen the relationship between our two countries, and I am looking forward to the wonderful outcomes for the trade delegation he had led to India last month.

India and Malta are both former British colonies, and both c...ountries have suffered through hard times in the past few decades and are now coming into their own. A proud member of the European Union, Malta in many ways is emerging as a key innovative economy for the region and is successfully promoting itself as the preferred entry point to Europe.

I was amazed to learn of the many business houses from India who are investing in Malta in a wide variety of activities from tourism to pharmaceuticals, from data centers to software development, and I look forward to deepening our group's relationship with the country through investment and trade.

In my trip here I have been extremely impressed with the Maltese people, their natural warmth, openness, kindness, generosity, and personal integrity, and I hope to return sooner rather than later.

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Very grateful to my grand-uncle Lord Paul for being the chief guest at the Apeejay Education Society Golden Jubilee celebrations. My grandfather Dr. Stya Paul set the vision for us years ago, and 50 years of non-profit work in education has truly been rewarding to my family and me personally.

I am always deeply grateful to my mother and spiritual guru Sushma Paul Berlia who as the non-profit promoter has led these initiatives for past few decades. The only child of my grandfa...ther, she inherited his legacy and has overtime gracefully and fully stepped into his shoes continuing and expanded his vision.

Her passion and personal commitment have inspired and guided the family members to devote at least 30% of our time to education and other non-profits.

We are very excited for the next 50 years ahead. We know there is much to be done, and a hard road ahead, but our commitment is unwavering and we will work with all our stakeholders to create a better future for everyone.

Over the years many have contributed to creating a culture of excellence and innovation. I want to thank the more than hundred thousand people (students, alumni, parents, educators, suppliers, and many others) who have been part of our journey, and who have made everything possible.

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Great meeting Shri Dharmendra Pradhan Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development again. As usual, impressed by the in-depth knowledge of his charge and his extremely humble nature. Was wonderful to understand first hand how in the past five years with the advent of renewables and change in global geopolitics India’s place as a large consumer has dramatically shifted. A week or so ago the first shipment of liquefied shale gas arrived from the United Sta...tes, and India is now considered a preferred and stable customer for sale of energy supplies.

In a few years, India’s energy insecurities have been transformed into opportunities, with the country being able to get better prices and more stable commitments. The position of one of the largest consumers is further allowing India to step into a partner role rather than merely a customer one.

I was also very impressed at his focus on listening and learning when it came to the skill development ministry and true understanding the on the ground issues and facts that are holding back large-scale industrial participation in the initiative.

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Just randomly rowed past Vijay Mallya’s yacht (The Indian Empress) this weekend which has been impounded in Malta for non-payment of salaries to staff. Locals are of course speculating broadly on who owns the 93 ...…/urn:li:activity:6389245212723597…

Just randomly rowed past Vijay Mallya’s yacht (The Indian Empress) this weekend which has been impounded in Malta for non-payment of salaries to staf…

Delighted to see one of India’s largest non-profits Flipkart, which has subsidized millions of consumers across the country for years, find a great valuation and competitive bidding by two large multi-nationals. I can only hope the company’s new owners continue to provide subsidized products to the middle-class instead of the government being able to do so. We need more foreign direct investors who are willing to supplant the government and provide these sort of dramatic subs...idies to the Indian people. Luckily we already have a number of interested parties in a variety of sectors. The people of India are deeply grateful for these philanthropic endeavors, and I hope more such investments and ideas continue to come to India. India, as repeatedly said, has a massive market of more than 1.3 billion people, along with a huge demographic dividend, and a majority young population waiting to become eager consumers. What cannot be paid in dividends can be easily returned in karma.…/urn:li:activity:638742224286680…/

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Delighted to see one of India’s largest non-profits Flipkart, which has subsidized millions of consumers across the country for years, find a great v…

It was a pleasure sitting and having lunch with Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon. Minister of Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and understanding from him first hand how he has been able to achieve great success in road and transport development. Behind the scenes, the issues are far more complicated than reported.

Absolutely delighted to note his deep understanding of how businesses are run, decisions are, and how government interacts with international finance for development.

I am very excited about his broad vision and implementation of inland waterways, many projects due to come online this and next year that will transform the lives of millions.

Although I disagree with his stance on driverless cars (he has banned them) I do understand and empathize with his point on unemployment.

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It was a pleasure inaugurating the Build India Conclave by the India Today Group with Hon. Union Minister of Rural Development, Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar along with the excellent journalist Raj Chengappa. Deeply impressed at the elaborate pace of development in the rural sector, and looking forward to an even more accelerated pace with the 2019 elections coming up. Without continued rapid rural development India cannot hope to meet the dreams and aspirations of its population, while at the same time deliver on its economic growth promises.

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It is my pleasure to announce the next grant from the Svran-Apeejay Journalism Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to selectively intervene to support quality in the journalism ecosystem. The foundation gives giving strings-free grants (INR 3 Lakh per grant) to professional journalists to pursue long-form positive (enlightening) stories about India or its sub-regions in any medium. Two grants have already been given, and we are inviting applications for next two gran...ts starting from March 10th 2018 until April 25th 2018.

The Panelists and Advisors are:

Aditya Berlia - Founder / Convener SAJF
Abhijay Chopra - Punjab Kesari
Akshay Kothari - Head LinkedIn India, Co-Founder Pulse
Anant Goenka - Indian Express
Anant Nath - Delhi Press - Caravan Magazine
Ashok Ogra - AIMC, Ex-VP Discovery India
Bharat Gupta - Jagran New Media
Dhaval Gupta - CyberMedia
Mariam Mathew - Malayala Manorama
Maheshwar Peri - Careers 360, Ex-Outlook India
Nikhil Pahwa - MediaNama
Nikhil Kumar Kanekal - Deccan Herald
Ravi Agrawal - Author, Journalist & TV Producer, Ex-South Asia Bureau Chief, CNN International
Rishi Darda - LokMat Media
Shreyasi Goenka - Zee News Digital, DNA Newspaper
Shyatto Raha - InnoCirc Ventures, Ex-Global MD NDTV

I humbly request you to forward this grant opportunity to your journalist friends, colleagues, and contacts who you feel would be able to take advantage of it.

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Main site for the Svran-Apeejay Journalism Foundation. The foundation provides grants to journalists to pursue long form positive stories in any media form.

I am humbly requesting all of my connections and their friends to please stop using the term “black money.” Black money is not ruining our country - Corrupt Money is.

Clever political people are using the term black money and then going after small businesses and individuals for tax evasion and avoidance instead of going after corrupt individuals. Purposeful illegal tax evasion is reprehensible but is not an existential threat, corruption that seeps and destroys institutions

So please in your posts, conversations, in your daily lives use the term Corrupt Money and if someone talks about Black Money ask them to clarify what they really mean.

Please do like and share so this can reach the people who need to read it the most.

#BlackMoney #CorruptMoney #TaxEvadedMoney

If you want to read more about this:

In India Tax (and Regulatory) Terrorism Might Keep Black Money in Play

Indian People Discover Maximum Black Money in Their Own Pockets

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A pleasure being with the Hon. Minister of HRD (Education) Shri. Satyapal Singh at the inaugural of the ASSOCHAM Higher Education Summit 2018. Wonderful speech by him which included the thought “Humans cannot be viewed only as resources, they are so much more,” in the context of his ministry being called Human Resource Development rather than Education. My congratulations to the ASSOCHAM team for an excellent conference and award event.

I am very excited about the major the government has announced in higher education accreditation, and while more must be done, these are a bold step forward.

In my keynote address, I called for a comprehensive relook at the education system from the ground up since the existing systems and labels were designed for a 19th-century society and not for our 21st-century challenges. We need a complete paradigm shift in the way we think of and deliver education if we want to live up to the notion of continued education from birth to death.

#higherED #education #forward

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A pleasure to give a session on “What every education technology entrepreneur should know in India” at the EdTech Review 2018 conference. A brilliant audience, with great maturity, and fantastic questions. In 2018 it is humbling to see that while my points have not changed much since my long article on the topic in 2016, the level of understanding of the issues by entrepreneurs has grown leaps and bounds. If you are even mildly interested in the Ed-Tech, please do read my article on the topic.

#EdTech #BeingReal #Entrepreneurship

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In my opinion, there are two types of people. One - Who boast about the great party they attended or threw, the bling they have, the names they can drop, the size of their houses, and the cars they drive. And then there are people who make stuff like this happen: (Which are you?) #TeslaInSpace

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I hope you all watched the live SpaceX launch of the Falcon 9 Heavy. It was absolutely beautiful and should restore the faith of anyone in despair about the ability of humanity to accomplish great and impossible things. Many moments looked straight out of a science fiction movie. My favorite, of course, is choreographed landing of the two booster rockets, that makes multiple missions economical and closer to reality. #SpaceX #RocketMan

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Almost five years ago when I wrote my first article on net neutrality (motivated by certain actions by Uninor), major newspaper editors told me it was not newsworthy. Things have changed quickly since then, and even my views need to evolve further.

Apart from the “utility” perspective of internet service providers, there is an argument for any commercial monopolistic platform to come under the norms of net neutrality - platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and

I, of course, refer in specific to the recent letter cheekily penned by the CEO of AT&T Randall Stephenson which asks for an “Internet Bill of Rights” that implies that all platforms on the internet should be held to the same standard.

“Congressional action is needed to establish an 'Internet Bill of Rights' that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users,”

I (correctly apparently) predicted that in the latest net neutrality fight in the US the Internet giants would prefer a bit of silence.

If you followed AT&T and net neutrality - Cheeky letter indeed! There is blood in the water, and I wonder what happens next.

#telecom #newNeutrality #NetNeutrality
Follow for interesting updates.

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Walmart is being sued for locking up products (to prevent theft) in a particular store aimed at the African-American community. While the debate and the case may go on, one thing is very clear that given the high amount of data analytics being deployed in retail across the world, many more politically charged cases like this shall emerge.

While many African-American store employees have come to the defense of Walmart, it is a public embarrassment I am sure the company would h...ave liked to avoid.

Big data has the unfortunate ability to raise uncomfortable truths that while might be correct on the facts, will have to be moderated and interpreted when it comes to policy. This is especially going to be true when it comes to issues of racial profiling which is a very slippery slope.

While all of us start investing in big data, we should also start looking carefully at the ethical ramifications of it for all our stakeholders, and how inadvertent policies and actions, as a result, reflect on the brand.

#bigdata #braveNewWorld
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With the general quality of calls dropping across all mobile networks and prices falling to ridiculously happy levels, there is an opportunity for mobile networks to offer superior “business” or “enterprise” quality of service on mobile phones. Most professionals would be happy to pay 2x, 3x of their local mobile bills (which are now approaching zero) if they were guaranteed a high-quality connection when talking to their clients, business partners and teams (hopefully even i...f the other party had not signed up for the service).

We kept a number of landlines and WLL phones across the country for crucial meetings, but even there the voice quality is now dropping due to the use of backend IP networks, and interconnectivity issues.

For all the telecom companies complaining of a price war, I hope a few of them remember that competing on price is not everything, and there are always people out there who are willing to pay a little bit extra for a guaranteed quality of service.

#CanYouHearMe? #SorryCouldYouRepeat? #telecom
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