Rakesh Kumar is not like most of the street vendors in Old Delhi. The hand-painted sign on his wooden counter, “exchange damaged, old notes,” reveals a different story. He sells money.
For the past 40 years, Kumar has offered customers new banknotes for soiled or damaged ones for a fee that earns him about 100,000 rupees ($1,600) a year. It has also helped him pay for the marriages of his three children.
Srinivas Porika tried for months to get a loan of 250,000 rupees ($4,000) to pay for his sister’s wedding, but every bank he tried turned him down. The problem: Porika’s employer, a tech start-up company, was not on the banks’ lists of pre-approved companies.
“They were ready to give me a credit card, but were not ready to give me a loan,” said the 28-year-old from Hyderabad, who met several bank managers and officials to plead his case.
India’s diversified equity funds bucked the trend in the broader markets to eke out gains in November, as a strong performance by mid- and small-cap shares and sectors such as capital goods supported unit values.
India will hold state elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi, starting November 11. The polls are seen as a warm-up for next year’s national elections.
Three of these five states – Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi — are governed by the Congress party, while the Bharatiya Janata Party rules in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. These state elections will serve as a popularity test for Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 national elections.
India’s diversified equity funds posted their best monthly performance since Jan 2012 as the benchmark Sensex scaled record highs in October, with bets on sectors such as banking and capital goods boosting mutual fund returns.
Such schemes, which form the largest category of equity funds in India by number and assets, rose 9.2 percent on average, mirroring returns on the 30-share BSE Sensex, data from fund tracker Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company, showed.
When Dhruv Khandelwal started working as an equity research analyst after finishing his MBA in the United States, he wanted to start an Indian financial services website. That changed when Khandelwal and his friends ran out of beer on a Sunday afternoon.
Letsbuydrink.com, a website launched by Khandelwal six months ago, offers imported alcoholic beverages for sale in India. The website has 2,000 registered members and averages monthly sales of 150,000 rupees ($2,460).
Politicians are becoming the Super Mario Brothers equivalent for Indian video gamers as 2014 election fever starts to settle over the country.
Software developers have been developing all kinds of new games and apps in recent years as Indians increasingly shift to smartphones of companies such as Samsung, Apple, Micromax and Karbonn. Now politics has crept into the mix.
Rising costs and a slowing economy haven’t darkened the mood of wedding photographers in India. More couples than ever are willing to spend thousands of rupees on photo albums, pre-wedding shoots and videos, allowing photographers to take a bigger slice of India’s $30 billion weddings business.
“People are willing to spend more money now compared to what they were spending three years back,” said Delhi-based photographer Vijay Tonk, who charges around 100,000 rupees for clicking pictures at a two-day function, 10 times more than what he charged in 2010. “It’s a status symbol now to spend money and have good (pictures).”
When Prakash Tilokani started taking pictures at the age of 16, he had no clue that one day he would be the man behind the lens at India Inc’s weddings.
From selling pictures at 20 rupees (32 cents) each in 1984 to charging at least 300,000 rupees ($4,800) for a day now, it’s been an eventful journey for 47-year-old Tilokani, one of India’s most famous wedding photographers.
Assurances from the police and a new anti-rape law have done little to make the streets of New Delhi safer for women, especially for those using public transport, interviews conducted by the Reuters India Insight team show.
The December incident, in which a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist died two weeks after she was gang-raped in a moving bus, raised questions over women’s safety in India and sparked debate over how men treat women all over the country.