To moonlight or not?

Earlier this week, IT major Wipro’s Rishad Premji boss said they had terminated the services of 300 employees who were working for its competitors while still being on the company’s payroll. As the debate rages on whether to moonlight or not, minister of state electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday that IT companies trying to prevent employees from working on their own startups or consulting for other firms “is a doomed-to-fail exercise”.

Futile for IT firms to prevent moonlighting: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Companies that try to prevent employees from working on their own startups or consulting for other firms “is a doomed-to-fail exercise,” said Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, referring to the controversial issue of moonlighting.

At least 1% of IT workers have more than one job, recruiters estimate: Remote working during the pandemic may have increased the incidence of moonlighting, with at least one in 100 IT services workers likely to have more than one job, executives at several recruitment services companies told us.

Wipro fires 300 staff members found to be moonlighting for competitors: Wipro terminated the services of 300 staff members who it discovered were working for its competitors while still being on the company’s payroll, the firm’s executive chairman Rishad Premji said on Wednesday.

Employees should work for one firm to build employer’s trust: Infosys cofounder: Employees should work for one organisation only to gain their employer’s trust and fully commit to the task assigned, said Infosys cofounder Kris Gopalakrishnan, weighing in on the ongoing controversy over ‘moonlighting’, or dual employment.


Tech Policy Updates

UIDAI to check fingerprint ‘liveliness’ to curb Aadhaar payment fraud

Aadhaar

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a new security layer in the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AEPS). Called the “liveliness” of fingerprints, the feature is intended to prevent the use of fake fingerprints to fraudulently withdraw money through AePS, a senior government official told us.

Experts warn of overlap as centre redraws technology and telecom rules: The union government must clearly define regulators’ jurisdiction in a slew of fresh laws that are being drawn up to oversee India’s telecom and information technology sectors to avoid regulatory discord in future, several cyber policy experts told us.

WinZo opposes self-regulatory structure for online gaming: E-gaming startup WinZo has opposed the idea of joining a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for e-gaming firms, two sources briefed on the matter told us. The development comes amid efforts by the government to draft rules for online gaming companies.


Fintech News

Top global tech firms raise concerns on recurring payments from October 1

RBI

Netflix, Microsoft, Spotify and Disney+Hotstar are among the companies that have raised questions on the feasibility of making recurring payments through mandatory tokens from October 1.

NPCI consults govt, stakeholders on UPI market-share cap amid extension requests: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), is talking to the government and industry stakeholders on the implications of delaying its implementation of a market-share cap for UPI apps, people briefed on the matter told us.

Loan apps on Google Play Store must display link to partner bank or NBFC: Loan disbursal apps and credit aggregators on the Google Play Store in India must prominently display a link to the partner bank or non-banking finance company (NBFC).

Fintech industry must work relentlessly on safety to uphold people’s trust, says PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India’s fintech industry has earned goodwill by being an enabler of inclusion, and there is a need for continued focus to empower the poorest of the poor by taking quality financial services to them. He added the sector needs to work relentlessly on safety and reliability to uphold people’s trust.


Semiconductor Push

Cabinet approves flat 50% incentive for semiconductor firms

Semiconductor fabrication

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a uniform incentive of 50% of the project cost for setting up semiconductor, display and compound semiconductor fabrication units. Previously, the three schemes had an incentive range of 30-50%.

Foxconn chairman to meet PM Modi in November for semiconductor talks: Foxconn’s chairman Young Liu is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November as the Taiwanese giant looks to further its ambitious plans for semiconductor manufacturing in India, two people aware of Liu’s India plans told us.


Startup IPOs

Pepperfry to file draft IPO papers next quarter for 2023 listing

Pepperfry IPO

Omnichannel furniture seller Pepperfry is looking to file its draft initial public offering (IPO) papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) between October and December, and aims to list on the stock exchanges next year, a person aware of the matter told us.

SoftBank cuts valuation of IPO-bound Oyo to $2.7 billion: SoftBank Group has slashed the valuation of Oyo Hotels on its books by more than 20% as the once high-flying Indian startup prepares for an initial public offering (IPO).

Oyo restates FY22 losses to Rs 2,140 crore, files fresh IPO docs: Hospitality firm Oyo has reported revenue from operations of Rs 1,459.3 crore in first quarter of the financial year 2023 as per an addendum filed with Sebi. Its restated loss for the quarter from continuing operations was at Rs 414 crore, even as the company claimed it was its maiden EBITDA-positive quarter.


IT Corner

IT firms have absorbed 1.2 lakh gig workers since Covid began

Hiring_Jobs

Facing a talent shortage, Indian IT services companies have tapped alumni networks, women taking career breaks, and the Big Four accounting firms, to provide full-time equivalent/employment (FTE) opportunities to gig workers.

Europe’s energy crisis weighing on IT firms’ outlook, analysts say: The energy crisis in Europe and macroeconomic headwinds are weighing on the outlook for IT service segments like retail, manufacturing and automotives, analysts told us.

Demand for industry-ready techies remains robust despite hiring slowdown: Demand for industry-ready IT professionals, essential for business continuity, remains robust, bucking evident sluggishness in job additions in the technology industry, which is the biggest laggard on the stock markets this year – both in the US and India.

TCS struggles to get millennials back to offices: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is grappling with the continued unwillingness of the majority of its millennial employees to return to the workplace. The company is keen to end the work-from-home arrangement which was put in place in the wake of the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020.


Urban Mobility

Uber pilots in-car tablets in Delhi and Mumbai to boost ad revenue

Uber is piloting in-car tablets

Ride-hailing firm Uber is piloting in-car tablets to show ads to riders in Delhi and Mumbai as part of a global rollout. These tablets will be fixed behind the front seat facing the rider and is a way of monetising and creating additional revenue streams.

No plan to exit India or merge, says top Uber executive: Uber is neither selling its business in India nor is in talks to merge its operations with another mobility solutions company here, Andrew Macdonald, head of global mobility and business operations at Uber, told us.

Ola Electric will open “experience centres” across the country amid falling sales of its flagship Ola S1 Pro electric scooter.


ET Ecommerce Index

We’ve launched three indices – ET Ecommerce, ET Ecommerce Profitable, and ET Ecommerce Non-Profitable – to track the performance of recently listed tech firms. Here’s how they’ve fared so far.

ET Ecommerce Tracker

ETtech Done Deals

startup_funding

■ Gifting solutions company Join Ventures has raised $23.5 million (Rs 187 crore) in a funding round led by MO Alternate Investment Advisors

■ Speech technology startup Murf AI said it has raised $10 million in funding led by Matrix Partners India.

■ Audio streaming startup Kuku FM said it has raised $21.8 million in funding led by Nandan Nilekani’s venture fund Fundamentum Partnership.

■ Solvy Tech Solutions, which runs insurtech platform Zopper, has raised $75 million from investors led by Creaegis to fund its expansion plan.

Deals Digest_Graphic_19-23 september, 2022_2022_ETTEC

In Other News

Tata Group to pump in another Rs 3,462 crore in Tata Digital

Tata Digital

Tata Group’s ecommerce flagship Tata Digital is increasing its authorised share capital from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore, according to a regulatory filing last week, setting the stage for fresh capital infusion by its parent Tata Sons.

UPI, AA and ONDC will reorder Indian supply chain: Nilekani: The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Account Aggregator (AA) framework and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) will combine to revolutionise the Indian supply chain ecosystem, said Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani.

Lido Learning sends final settlement offer to employees: Edtech firm Lido Learning has sent final settlement offers to its employees, multiple sources told us. According to the offer, employees will be paid 50-75% of their dues, which will be settled in two weeks. About 75% of its employees have accepted the final settlement offer.