Dunzo rocked by five board exits; Anirban Mukherjee appointed PayU CEO

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Beleaguered quick commerce startup Dunzo, which has been scrambling to lock in some desperately-needed funding, has seen five exits from its board of directors over the past two months. This and more in today’s ETtech Top 5.

Also in this letter:

■ IT companies nudge staff to work from office
■ Infographic Insight: A year on, 5G speeds, signups accelerate
■ Antitrust battle: Google, Amazon, Apple face heat


Dunzo sees five board exits amid legal notices, pending dues

In what could add to the troubles at crisis-hit Dunzo, five of its board of directors have deserted the quick commerce startup over the past two months.

Who quit and when? Ashwin Khasgiwala, group chief of business operations at Reliance Retail, and Rajendra Kamath, finance head at Reliance Retail, left the Dunzo board on August 3. Reliance Retail is the largest shareholder in Dunzo with a stake of nearly 26%.

Vaidehi Ravindran, a partner at Lightrock India, moved out on August 21. Lightrock owns 8.6% of Dunzo, according to Tracxn, a data platform that tracks privately held startups.

Cofounder Dalvir Suri left the board on August 29, to be followed a couple of days later by cofounder and chief technology officer Mukund Jha.

Also read | ETtech Recap: Decoding Dunzo’s deepening crisis in five stories

Dunzos recent troubles

Catch up quick: ET reported on September 25 that Dunzo is looking to raise $30-35 million from existing investors to alleviate its deep cash flow troubles.

dunzo funding GFX.

The fundraise will have onerous liquidity preference terms favouring existing investors, and will likely see participation from the likes of Reliance Retail, as well as Google, Lightrock and DS Group.


Anirban Mukherjee appointed PayU CEO as Le Moal steps back

Anirban Mukherjee, CEO, PayU

Anirban Mukherjee, CEO, PayU

PayU India head Anirban Mukherjee has been appointed
chief executive officer (CEO) of the global parent PayU, as the Prosus-backed fintech charts an India-centric strategy.

Details: With the elevation of Mukherjee, his predecessor Laurent Le Moal, who has been the global CEO of PayU since 2016, will step back from day-to-day operations of the business, but will remain with Prosus and PayU in an advisory capacity.

What next? Mukherjee will now directly report to Ervin Tu, who was appointed as the interim CEO of Dutch-listed technology investment firm Prosus and South African group Naspers after Bob van Dijk abruptly stepped down last month. “As part of the transition to an Indian-focused strategy for PayU, now is the right time for Anirban to run the PayU business,” said Tu, who is also the group’s chief investment officer.

Recent exits: ET was the first to report, on August 25 that with PayU selling its global operations to Israel-based fintech Rapyd, Le Moal and global chief financial officer Aakash Moondhra would be moving out of the organisation. Last month, Moondhra took to LinkedIn to announce his departure from the fintech firm.

PayU GFX

Quote, unquote: “PayU is built in India for India and beyond, and today we run a successful payments and credit business riding on a locally rooted technology stack. Our ambition is to outpace the market with strong profitability,” said Mukherjee.

IPO plans: ET had also reported in August that PayU had begun preparations for the public listing of PayU India. Meanwhile, the RBI has asked PayU to reapply for its payment aggregator licence, which it needs to start onboarding merchants in India again.


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No more work-from-home: IT companies want staff back at the office

Return to work

Wipro, Capgemini and LTIMindtree are among the leading IT companies in India that have begun nudging employees to be in office on all or at least 50% of the working days in a week, sources told ET. This could signal the end of the work-from-home era in the country’s tech sector.

Driving the news: The push is being implemented by IT/BPM and other technology companies through verbal and informal communication channels, sources said. This comes at a time when the industry is facing a client demand crunch due to the global macroeconomic crisis which is squeezing tech spending.

WFOfinal

Details: Earlier, Tata Consultancy Services had sent a similar message to its employees, though informally. Multiple companies in the country’s main IT hubs of Pune and Bengaluru have also issued similar mandates to their employees.

IT companies delay campus hiring: Indian pure-play outsourcing firms are going slow on campus hires. Wipro, Capgemini, HCLTech and Tech Mahindra said they are taking a phased approach to hiring.

oddsstacked

Also read | ‘Washout year for IT’: Infosys, Wipro, TCS and others to hire 40% less in FY24


Infographic Insight: A year on, 5G speeds, sign ups accelerate
5G spectrum

A year has zipped by since Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio launched 5G services. India’s top two telcos have over 110 million 5G subscribers. Since the rollout of 5G, India is now ranked 47th globally on mobile download speeds, up from 119th position just over a year back.

Full-blown 5G mobile tariffs are still some time away, though Jio and Airtel have taken early steps at 5G monetisation by recently launching 5G-based fixed wireless access (FWA) services in key markets. ET tracks the progress of 5G in India.

Infographic Insight A year on, 5G speeds, signups accelerate

Antitrust battle: Google, Amazon, Apple face heat amid growing market domination
New law on digital competition likely to regulate Big Tech

Regulators around the world have intensified their drive to rein in the power and reach of Big Tech companies.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Amazon, arguing it broke antitrust laws by squeezing merchants on its site, while another antitrust lawsuit against Meta claimed that it snuffed out nascent rivals. The US Justice Department has sued Google in a second case over its control of online advertising.

Also read | Lina Khan vs Jeff Bezos: This is Big Tech’s real cage match

US vs Google: Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has testified that Google’s power in online search was so ubiquitous that even Microsoft found it difficult to compete on the internet. Nadella became the government’s highest-profile witness in its landmark antitrust trial against the search giant. The internet is really the “Google web,” Nadella said.

FTC vs Amazon: The FTC has alleged in an antitrust lawsuit that Amazon overcharged customers and independent sellers on its platforms to illegally maintain monopoly power.

Here’s a look at other important antitrust cases in recent times.

Today’s Top 5 newsletter was curated by Megha Mishra in Mumbai and Erick Massey in New Delhi.



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