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HomeGADGETSELECTRONICSApple iPhones lift electronics exports; Udaan CFO exits

Apple iPhones lift electronics exports; Udaan CFO exits

India’s electronics exports saw a significant upsurge led by Apple iPhones. This and more in today’s ETtech Top 5.

Also in the letter:■ Social safety for gig workers■ Virtual pilgrimages with influencers■ Apple Mac in numbers

India-made iPhones push electronics exports up 22%

Apple’s iPhone led the charge in India’s booming smartphone exports,contributing significantly to a record 22.2% growthin overall electronics exports, which surpassed $20 billion in the first nine months of FY24.

Data decoded: Mobile phone exports hit $10.5 billion in April-December 2023, accounting for 52% of total electronics exports, as per data from the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

Mobile phones fueled India’s FY23 electronics exports, contributing 43% ($11.1 billion) to the total $23.6 billion haul. This growth marks a nearly sevenfold increase from a mere $1.6 billion in FY19.

iPhone boost: Data showed that Apple’s iPhones were the single largest contributor to the surge in both electronics and mobile exports this fiscal. Exports of iPhones, which crossed $7 billion in December 2023, constituted 35% of total electronics exports and a whopping 70% of the country’s total mobile exports in the nine months to December.

The electronics factor: Electronics exports, once a distant ninth in India’s roster, have seen a remarkable turnaround since the introduction of the smartphone production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in 2021.

As per government data, electronics exports grew at the fastest pace among the top 10 categories of exports so far this fiscal, lifting the segment to the fifth position from sixth place last year.

Also read | Apple’s India crop gets a boost in 2023, produces Rs 1 lakh crore worth iPhones

Udaan CFO Aditya Pande resigns; firm announces senior-level changes

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce firm Udaan said its chief financial officer, Aditya Pande,is leaving after a three-year stint. Pande has been appointed as group CEO of Interglobe Enterprises, which holds 37% stake in IndiGo. He was previously the CFO of IndiGo, India’s largest airline.

Top deck changes: Udaan also announced other senior-level organisational changes. Kiran Thadimarri, group finance controller, will be elevated to the executive management team. Reporting to the chief executive officer, he will have additional responsibility for treasury operations, corporate finance and corporate audit.

Vishnu Menon, head, corporate strategy and investor relations, has been given additional charge of business finance.

CEO’s take: “These organisational changes are to promote future leaders from our strong talent pipeline while laying the foundation for the next phase of the growth journey. We believe that empowering our internal leaders will not only strengthen our operational capabilities but also drive sustainable growth,” cofounder and CEO Vaibhav Gupta said.

Also read | Udaan lays off over 100 employees shortly after $340 million fundraise

Catch up quick: ET reported on January 16 that Udaan’s valuation has fallen by nearly half to around $1.8 billion in a down round, marking one of the most precipitous drops for a startup that has raised over $1 billion. The company closed a $340 million financing last December by largely converting debt notes into equity. The round also included a fresh equity infusion.

Budget 2024: Social security fund likely for informal sector, gig workers

The upcoming interim budget for FY25 couldintroduce a social security fund for the unorganised sector, and gig and platform workers.

Driving the news: The broad plan is to subsume the existing social security schemes—old age, pension, provident fund, health, housing and education—under one umbrella and reroute the benefits through the fund, a senior government official told ET.

Verbatim: “This will mean there will be no additional fiscal burden on the government at the beginning,” the official said. “However, all future social welfare schemes will be routed through the fund which will see additional allocation by the Centre.”

Funding plan: Schemes for these workers could either be entirely funded by the Centre, partly funded by the Centre and the states, or have contributions from employees as well as employers or partly funded by the aggregators, in case of gig and platform workers.

The government has already collated data of over 293.3 million unorganised workers through the e-Shram portal, launched in August 2021, which is verified and seeded with Aadhaar.

Details: The Social Security Code, 2020, provides for establishing and maintaining a separate account for financing benefits through the Social Security Fund. The code hasn’t been rolled out so far as states are yet to frame the rules.

Also read | Ola, Porter, Uber, Dunzo among worst platforms for gig workers: Fairwork India report

Ram temple fervour: Influencers take followers on virtual pilgrimage

In the run-up to the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, hundreds of travel vloggers flocked to the cityto document their journeys and share themwith their millions of followers on Instagram.

Follow me: Nineteen-year-old Debajit Das took his 1.4 million followers on a virtual tour of religious sites across India, from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu to the Ram Mandir itself. Keerthika Govindhasamy, a 27-year-old creator with 506,000 followers, also documented the event. Another creator, Naveen Singh, with 2.2 million followers, traveled from his hometown in Bihar to Ayodhya by road.

Instagram takeover: These creators are making Instagram reels peppered with behind-the-scenes footage from the temple construction and anecdotes about its religious importance. The popularity of these videos is evident in the numbers. A quick search of audio with the keyword “Ram” on Instagram reveals that millions of reels have been created.

Big picture: The Ram temple fervour has left no sector untouched. ET reported on Monday that India’s burgeoning segment of religious and spiritual apps, backed by the likes of Peak XV Partners, Elevation Capital, Titan Capital and India Quotient, is also expecting a boost from the Ram Mandir inauguration. Amidst the sea of devotees seen in Ayodhya on Monday, several spiritual and astrology platforms actively participated in the event.

Also read | Ram temple inauguration: Quick-commerce platforms push items for religious ceremonies

Infographic Insight | Fit at 40: Apple Mac in numbers

In 1984, Steve Jobs cracked open the personal computer world with the iconic Macintosh, its mouse and graphical user interface making tech accessible like never before.

Here is a look back at Apple’s revolutionary machine in numbers.

40-year journey: The computer, called a Mac, impressed fans with its user-friendly features. The device became the preferred choice for Apple fans, also counting artists, film makers and other creative professionals among its loyal userbase. Apple has sold millions of Macs over the years, with sales reaching nearly 22 million units in 2023.

Toward AI: As the Mac turns 40, the PC market has slumped in a smartphone-driven world. Yet, remote work and the hunger for AI-powered machines present an unexpected revival, potentially propelling Apple to new heights — or oblivion, analysts warn.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Vaibhavi Khanwalkar in Bengaluru.

 

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