Jan 6: Amazon to sack 1,000 people in India; Air India faces action over ‘pee-gate’

Jan 6: Amazon to sack 1,000 people in India; Air India faces action over ‘pee-gate’

Amazon’s firings, Surat’s 20,000 job losses, aviation regulator notice to Air India, Voda-Idea’s troubles, and Ola’s EV plans

Impact: Amazon said it had hired too many people during the pandemic as online orders increased while physical stores remained closed for an extended period. Around 1 per cent of the total workforce of 1 lakh has been shown the door in India, and there are indications that more of them may be asked to go as AI is automating several roles across segments. 

Also read: India among top 10 in tech-spend ratio, says Nadella

However, Satya Nadella, CEO and Chairman of Microsoft, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, whose visits to India are now more frequent than before, have steered clear of creating more jobs in India and are emphasising how the power of modern technology can improve the lives of people to bring economic growth. 

Around 20,000 jobs were lost in Surat as millennials shun diamond 

Impact: Fewer people are buying cut and polished diamonds in the West and China, according to a report in the Economic Times

This could be because the millennials, who form a large part of the population now, are no longer buying diamonds or gold jewellery compared to the earlier generations. They are approaching marriage and money differently and focussing more on having real-time experiences than hoarding gold and diamonds. 

DGCA calls Air India ‘unprofessional’; issues notice to airline

Impact: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sought a report from Tata Group-owned Air India about a drunk passenger allegedly urinating on the blanket of a female passenger on its Paris-New Delhi flight last month, which it did not report to the regulator. 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, has woken up late to the recent frequent incidents of abnormal behaviour of flight passengers. 

Also read: Peeing, teasing, drinking…the growing list of Indian passengers in flight scuffles

But it is a deeper problem that both the regulator and the airlines have to solve and could be related to post-COVID trauma experienced by the passengers. Plus inability on the part of the cabin crew to handle such situations. 

Vodafone needs capital, not a conversion of dues into equity: Centre

Impact: Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), a joint venture between Vodafone Group plc and Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd, is still not out of the woods despite the Centre imposing a freeze (until 2025) on the repayment on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), the retrospective taxation issue over the 2007 acquisition of a majority position in Hutchison Essar’s Indian assets on a global scale. 

The telco’s cumulative losses are over ₹44,000 crore. The government is trying to help the telecom sector by releasing bank guarantees for around ₹2,500 crore deposited as licence fees and spectrum usage charges by Vodafone. 

However, it should do more to help the capital-intensive telecom sector by having more market players. Otherwise, it will slip into a duopoly, which could result in tariff-rigging, hurting consumers’ interest to a large extent. Vodafone is trying to raise capital to clear dues to Indus Towers, a mobile tower installation company. But investors are hesitant to sign the cheques so far. 

Ola to buy 1,500 acres more for its EV plant: Reports 

Impact: Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal’s ambition to make Ola the world’s largest electric scooter company is going on steroids. While the nearest competitors of Ola are trying to consolidate their position by making their EVs more robust, Ola is on an expansion drive pouring huge investments into it. 

It has also announced its launch of an electric car in India next year. However, analysts tracking the company say that Ola’s aggressive expansion needs to be tempered with much more pragmatism on the ground, focusing on making its existing products more efficient. 

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