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Ministry of Tribal Affairs partners with Meta to digitally skill 10 lakh tribal youth in India

META has launched this project under the second phase of ‘Going Online As Leaders’ (GOAL) programme.”Digitally empowering India’s tribal communities would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country and is an important step towards creating a flourishing community of tribal leaders,” said Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda.”In the second phase, we will reach out to 10 lakh women and youth entrepreneurs and create a platform for more than 50,000 self-help groups and 10 lakh families associated with ‘TRIFED’ to take their products global,” he added. Live Facebook sessions in nine languages on anti-scamming education, staying safe online, how to combat misinformation and being a good digital citizen will be provided under the programme. Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India (Meta) said, “India’s massive digital transformation will complete when the most vulnerable communities of our society are digitally empowered.”Tribal population constitutes about 8.6% of the total population in India.

Indian D2C sales could reach $60 bn by FY27

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are estimated to become a $60 billion industry by FY27, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of about 40 per cent, according to a new report. The study was conducted by e-commerce enablement platform Shiprocket in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Praxis Global Alliance, a global management consulting and advisory services firm. According to the report, D2C is a $12 billion market currently and is growing rapidly. The report states that several D2C brands in India have crossed Rs 100 crore in revenue within 3-5 years after their launch. “Today, brands aren’t limited to marketing their products through online marketplaces or offline channels,” said Saahil Goel, co-founder and CEO of Shiprocket. “Many are developing their own e-commerce stores or apps with the aim of capturing orders and delivering them with the help of e-commerce enablers straight to the customer.” Aiding these trends is the brands’ agility and Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy, alongside strong digital capabilities that have helped their businesses gain a competitive edge. The report shows that brand packaging has also been a key factor in attracting buyers. The average order value (AOV) on each product and a hefty gain in gross margins are the fundamental tailwinds that further foster this trend.“We’ve seen that almost all pin codes in India are using e-commerce,” said Mohit Mittal, Partner of Praxis Global Alliance. “Many of these transactions and orders come from tier-2 cities and smaller towns. By FY30, India will also have over 1.3 billion smartphone users and over 500 million online shoppers.”Mittal said to reduce their reliance on marketplaces, even traditional brands are increasingly developing their direct-to-customer channels such as websites, apps and social media handles to reach out and sell to their customers.The report considered seven categories in order to estimate the size of the D2C market in India. These include personal care, clothing and footwear, groceries and refined foods, jewellery, electronics, health care, home furnishings, and garden.

Cyber insurance next big opportunity in industry

Policybazaar conducted an online survey to closely analyze consumer awareness levels and uptake of emerging protection products in India to observe the National Insurance Awareness Day 2022. The brand surveyed over 4500 of its customers and app/website visitors regarding relatively lesser-known products including cyber insurance, mental health insurance, home insurance and pet insurance. The overall findings of the survey depicted a huge scope for awareness and purchase consideration for these products, with cyber insurance being an exception. The results revealed a great market opportunity for a new-age product like cyber insurance, especially in tier- 2 & 3 cities. Notably, the findings reflected that around 23% of respondents had a cyber insurance policy in place. This represents a significant proportion of cybersecurity coverage in a country like India where the penetration of fundamental products like life and health insurance is still low. Another remarkable trend observed here was that nearly 48% of respondents in tier 2 & 3 cities had bought or showed the willingness to buy insurance, as opposed to 36% in tier-1 cities. The results clearly draw a parallel between growing internet consumption in smaller cities of India and starkly similar awareness levels to safeguard that consumption. Though still in nascent stages, cyber insurance seems to be the next big opportunity for the insurance industry, as per the survey findings. At 31% and 29%, the highest number of respondents from tier-2 and 3 cities respectively indicated the propensity to buy cyber insurance as opposed to 16% in tier-1 cities. However, out of those who had actually purchased a policy, 20% of respondents belonged to tier-1 cities, while 17% belonged to tier-2 & 3 cities. The figures represent a growing level of awareness towards effectively combatting intangible threats to crucial digital assets across India. The survey projects a lower level of awareness and purchase propensity when it comes to home insurance.The fourth segment was pet insurance, where a stark disparity was evident between purchase consideration and actual purchase. Even though as many as 70% of the pet owners considered buying a policy, only 10% of them actually bought one.

Byju’s cuts 600 jobs across Toppr and WhiteHat Jr as Indian edtech space shrinks

In a big overhaul as the Indian edtech space shrinks considerably, online learning giant BYJU’s has cut at least 600 jobs — asking 300 employees at its Toppr learning platform and another 300 at coding platform WhiteHat Jr to go. For the layoff at Toppr which it acquired last year for $150 million, BYJU’s confirmed the development, saying it has completed “the integration of Toppr and has absorbed almost 80 per cent of its talented workforce into the BYJU’S ecosystem”. Earlier, online coding provider WhiteHat Jr, the beleaguered platform under edtech giant BYJU’s umbrella that it acquired for $300 million, laid off around 300 employees, after more than 1,000 of its employees resigned after being asked to return to office in April-May. The layoffs at BYJU’s arrived amid reports that it has delayed payments to the stakeholders as part of its $1 billion acquisition of Aakash Educational Services, to which the company said that the acquisition process “is on track and is expected to be completed by August”. Led by the edtech platforms like Unacademy, WhiteHat Jr, Vedantu, FrontRow, Udayy, Lido Learning and others, over 10,000 start-up employees have been laid off in the country.

Native video ads boost brand awareness by 26 pc as part of marketing mix

Adding native video ads to the marketing mix can boost the overall impact of multi-channel online advertising campaigns, finds a new study. The study done by data analytics and brand consulting firm Kantar and commissioned by US-based advertising firm Taboola, has confirmed that brand awareness improved by 26% when adding native video ads in the open web to a marketing mix. While video marketing has proved to be an impressive brand promotion strategy in recent years, one area that brands tend to overlook until recently was native video advertising, where video content is uploaded directly to (or created on) a social network and played in-feed on that platform. For example, on Facebook, a native video would be a video that is uploaded directly to Facebook, rather than a link shared from YouTube or Vimeo. Native video ads in the open web have a stronger impact on brand favourability and consideration than social or video platforms, said the study. According to the study, 59% of respondents that received a native video ad exposure expressed brand favourability, compared to 50% for social platform exposures and 51% for video platform exposures.When study participants were shown native video ads, 33% displayed top-of-mind awareness – compared to just 14% of the control group. When native video ads were combined with social platform video ads, top-of-mind awareness rose to 49%.

Twitter India given ‘last chance’ to follow IT rules: It finally complied

The government had given Twitter India “one one last opportunity” to follow the new IT Rules in the country. The new deadline to comply with the IT Rules was July 4, 2022. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) highlighted that Twitter India “repeatedly failed to act on the content take-down notices sent under Section 69 A of the IT Act”. Also, Twitter India did not act on “non-compliance notices issued for not taking the content down.” The government sent a notice on June 27 pointing out that Twitter failed to follow directions on notices sent to them on June 6 and 9.  According to latest reports Twitter has complied with the final notice issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT on June 27, an official source said on 4th July. “Twitter has complied with the notice,” an official informed. The government in May had asked Twitter to act on content related to Khalistan and accounts eulogising terrorists in Kashmir. Later in June, the government asked Twitter to act on around 60 accounts. On June 26, the microblogging site submitted a separate list of over 80 Twitter accounts and tweets that it has blocked based on a request from the government in 2021.

What are the expectations and demands that consumers have of retailers post-pandemic 

Social media investment in e-commerce and the increasing influence of retail marketplaces continue to drive consumer spending online with those surveyed globally saying that 57 percent of their spend is currently online. The research from Wunderman Thompson commerce’s Future Shopper Report 2022 shows that the influence can be predominantly seen in the Asia-Pacific markets, as China leads the way in online spending sitting at 66 percent, followed by Indonesia and India at 64 percent, Thailand at 60 percent, Australia at 55 percent and Japan at 48 percent. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of global consumers now expect delivery in two hours. The Asia-Pacific region leads the charge in these demands with 46 percent of consumers in India expecting delivery in under two hours, Indonesia at 27 percent and China and Thailand at 25 percent, stated the report. The report also highlighted that these delivery expectations present a conundrum to retailers with 48 percent of global consumers demanding faster delivery, while 68 percent said that they wished that brands and retailers offered better environmental practices. When consumers were asked if they ‘actively choose brands that are more environmentally responsible‘, the Asia-Pacific region sits well beyond the global average. According to the report, Thailand consumers sit at number one globally at 83 percent, followed by Indonesia at number two (82 percent), India at number three (81 percent) and China at number five (71 percent). Australia and Japan were the least active in sustainable choices in the region, sitting at 46 percent and 38 percent respectively.

RBI’s crypto ban talks give the shivers to small investors

Tough talk by senior Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials on cryptocurrencies is making the Indian crypto community nervous. RBI deputy governor T Rabi Sankar called for an outright ban on cryptocurrencies. Previously, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said in a monetary policy press conference that private cryptocurrencies were a threat to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country, and investors should keep risks in mind as such assets have no underlying value whatsoever, “not even a tulip”. The recent statements have added to the worries of Indian crypto investors, who were already reeling from the tax rules for digital assets announced in the budget, losses in the past two months, rising Russia-Ukraine border tensions, the US Fed’s hawkish stance, and a meltdown in technology stocks (which have a high correlation with crypto). “The government is sending out a lot of conflicting signals. On the one hand, the FM has said that they want to foster innovation in blockchain in India,”  Gupta, a Noida-based investor said. RBI’s Sankar said that cryptocurrencies could wreck the currency system, the monetary authority, the banking system, and the government’s ability to control the economy. “All these factors lead to the conclusion that banning cryptocurrency is perhaps the most advisable choice available to India,” he said. Aditya Singh, co-founder of CryptoIndia and the creator of the popular Twitter hashtag #reducecryptotax, believes the regulator’s stance hasn’t changed much, since 2020, when it made the same arguments before the Supreme Court. “Small investors are disappointed that the officials call crypto a Ponzi scheme. The government needs to realize that crypto is much more than just Bitcoin and altcoins. It’s about blockchain, metaverse, NFTs and building the next generation of bleeding-edge web properties,” he said.

Mirchi launches audio OTT app

Music and entertainment company Mirchi has rolled out its mobile app – Mirchi Plus. Continuing its digital journey in becoming a phone-first brand, the Mirchi Plus app offers a huge library of original audio stories, podcasts, Mirchi’s videos, entertainment news among others. “Mirchi has always been the audience’s go-to choice for all things music; with the launch of ‘Mirchi Plus’ we now enter the exciting and evolving space of story-telling and original content. This transforms Mirchi into its full digital avatar, allowing us to pick, analyze and act on consumer signals in real time,” Vineet Jain, managing director, BCCL said. As per the company, Mirchi Plus allows fans and listeners to access Mirchi’s content library anytime, anywhere. Mirchi Plus will be available on Apple and Android smartphones, as well as the Android Auto and Apple Car play systems. Mirchi Plus offers a bouquet of content across 10 different languages – English, Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada – and also provides audio stories across genres like drama, comedy, romance, horror, thriller and many more. Mirchi Plus will launch new marquee audio shows every month, providing an expansive selection of content to users.  According to Prashant Panday, MD and CEO, ENIL, Mirchi has dominated the radio industry for over two decades with its best-in-class audio entertainment.

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