How to kill cash

There is a general sense of reluctance when it comes to electronic payments in the plains of offline retail in India. Merchants aren’t interested in accepting them, banks aren’t interested in convincing any other than the biggest merchants to accept card payments and most users are not interested in using digital payments for most things. … Read more

Missed deadlines and half-measures: India’s telecom equipment has a security problem

Despite being the second-largest smartphone market in the world—not to mention the fastest growing—India has very few checks and balances in place to control telecom equipment quality. This has resulted in everything from mobile phone batteries heating up or outright exploding. Radiation emissions being above prescribed limits. And the very real threat of data theft … Read more

Moving the needle: MIA for 20 years, Parkinson’s drug Apomorphine still evades Indians

P hasn’t been able to walk properly and has suffered from tremors for over 12 years. He is shown getting a shot, and seconds later, he’s seen doing push-ups. Mumbai-based Nanavati Hospital’s video on its antidote to Parkinson’s Disease, uploaded earlier this month, seems too good to be true. In fact, neurologists all over the … Read more

Payments banks struggle to move beyond payments

The first time around, payments banks—the country’s central bank’s biggest experiment in creating a half-bank half-payment entity—bombed. In the short two-year history of payments banks, everything that could possibly go wrong for them did. Crippling rules from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Check. Companies backing out. Check. Regulatory flip-flops on know-your-customer (KYC) norms. Check. … Read more

Healthy, Wellthy & Cipla: a digital therapy reminder for Indian pharma

It’s now or never. Indian pharma has watched from the sidelines as e-pharmacies like 1mg and Medlife have swooped in, tossed distribution channels out, and increasingly become the direct link between pharma companies and patients. They hold patient data and monetise for behaviour; which, in pharma terms, is a bit of a superpower. It’s now … Read more

Antrix stuck with $1-billion payout, but India’s busy building a Newspace

Elections rouse emotions. Especially one where 900 million people will vote to elect their leaders this month. That, to an extent, explains the timing and the ensuing chest-thumping after India demonstrated its ability to destroy targets in space by shooting down one of its own satellites late last month. It, however, doesn’t explain this under-the-radar … Read more