A cloud of skepticism hangs over the Infibeam

“They [Infibeam] are trying to compete with ShopClues, and that company is struggling because people in India want to buy new products at a discount, and all the e-commerce companies are struggling,” said Satish Meena, senior forecaster, forester, market research firm. And according to people in the ShopClues business, it costs upwards of 1,000 rupees ($ 14.5) to acquire each customer. Infibeam costs almost nothing. So, how does it get customers?

“We will contact all banks and ask them to send customers who have accumulated loyalty points and we will make sales that way,” Mehta said.

But this statement does not stand up to scrutiny. Loyalty Rewardz Bijay Jayaraj, founder and former CEO of India’s largest loyalty points firm, said: “Infibeam has never been involved in shooting any accumulated points.

Now the question to ask is: Do customers really visit Infibeam.com?

The average time spent by each customer is interesting. On Amazon, a customer spends between eight and nine minutes on a website. In Infibeam, it’s more than just three. This means that within three minutes, a customer has to find the product, pay for it, and close the tab.

Ask one long

Now, with this information, let’s take a closer look at the number of Infibim revenue. The company did not mention it in its annual return, but in an email query, Infibeam claimed that GMV was the only revenue earner in the e-commerce business. This is Rs 298 crore. So, the actual revenue the company earns in this business is much less than it looks.

“We do a lot more on the net because it’s the tail,” Mehta said. The company declined to disclose the actual number. Suppose this is 10%. That means revenues close to Rs 30 crore (~ 4.5 million). The actual image for its e-commerce business is very different from what it looks like.

Responding to an email query by The Kane in response to an email query from The Can: Founder and managing proxy advisory firm ias Airektar Amit Tandon said.

The stock market also behaves differently.


From its inventory, Infibeam’s share price is up north and has appreciated two and a half times since 8 April 2016. This was possible without significant fluctuations in trading volumes. But these trading volumes raise some questions.

2 Market 2 Capital PMS Managing Partner Amit Mantri said, “Every company with a significant market cap has significant fluctuations in volumes due to market and company level factors. “It’s rare for a company to have volumes like this for long periods of time, even when the rest of the market is in chaos.” The Minister highlighted this on Twitter in February 2017. Even in the case of demonetization, when the entire market is in panic, Infibim’s trading volumes remain unchanged.

“When a large company has very little volatility in volumes, the reason is that the stock is controlled by small investors who work together,” the minister said. According to Infibeam’s latest filing on BSE, only 63 entities (47 persons with a share capital of more than Rs 2 lakh (~ $ 3,000) and 16 shareholders in the promoter and promoter group) own nearly 74% of the company.

Also, for such an exceptional running stock, the daily delivery volume of Infibim shares is in the 10-20% range. For a listed company, in each trading session, the stocks contain the total traded volume and delivery volume. The delivery percentage of the total traded volume is actually shares that are sent to a person’s demat account. The remaining trading volume is intraday trades, which are squared in a single trading day.

“Although we do not see market data [trading volumes, etc.], low delivery is a reflection of high ulation risks and shortages of long-term buyers. This can cause scrips instability and wild swings are common in such stocks, ”says Tandon.

Growth in Infibim revenue

Spyker now has to do its own marketing in order to pull people to its website. With each transaction, Infibim earns a few basis points. On average, across the board, the company makes 0.3-0.4% of every transaction that goes through its ecosystem. Or charge a subscription fee, which costs more or less.

A merchant can select and use any part of Infibim Services. Accordingly a charge is made. Everything’s fine.

Infibeam provides this service not only to merchants but also to Amul and the government. To facilitate these transactions and own the entire universe of e-commerce shopping, Infibeam is making very smart purchases. It purchased CCAvenue and Unicommerce to enter its system. All this makes for a good story until Mehta complicates things up a bit. “We don’t sell the head, we sell the tail through these channels,” he says. When he says tail, he means unpopular products. This could mean anything from previous season wear to the phone that launched a few months ago, which many haven’t found. “There is a market for value in this country,” adds Mehta. And Mehta doesn’t bother with short sellers. “We want to deal with big brands and merchants.”

What is the impact on earnings?

Now, with all this in mind, let’s look at Infibime numbers once again.

Of the Rs 839 crore earned in FY18, Infibeam has raised Rs. 541.4 crores (1,79.1 million) came from IWS. This includes the proceeds from CCAvenue and the rest from Build a Bazaar. In FY17, CCAvenue earned Rs 163 million (Rs 24 million), and in FY16 it earned Rs 113 crore (.5 16.5 million). 44% growth per year. For the sake of argument, CCAvenue has a flat year in FY18 and can add less than 30% to its topline. It provided just over 200 crores (.2 29.2 million) to Infibeam’s top line. This translates into Build Bazaar, which generates revenue of Rs 340 crore (. 49.7 million).

Now, for the sake of simplicity, Infibeam has made 0.30% for every transaction. This means that the total gross merchandise value (GMV) of Infibim’s partner websites is Rs. 100,000 crore (Rs. 14.5 billion). GMV is the total value of goods sold on a platform and not the actual revenue that an e-commerce company makes from that sale. All this while selling tail.

“That number is too high,” the former Flipkart executive said. He asks not to be named because his current company is not allowed to speak to the press. “There is a golden rule in all e-commerce companies, the same way you sold a fashion or flap phone last year for five cents to the dollar.” That is, she only wants to buy it if the customer sees tremendous value in it. “And if you cut to 80%, forget the margin, you can’t afford the cost of logistics. You can’t sell tail in India, ”he says.

There are two other problems with the proposal:

Manufacturers don’t like holding
inventory Unsold inventory goes back to recycled headquarters. It’s rare for retailers, distributors or manufacturers to catch a dead list


  • Now, go into the e-commerce business. Mehta uses the same principles.
  • Sell ​​the tail at Infibim.com, and this time, at no marketing cost.
  • There is no discount. In spite of all this, Infibeam generated revenue of Rs 298 crore (.5 43.5 million).

It’s a lot of income.

There are companies like ShopClues that sell tail in India. And it is struggling to live up to its original promise. After spending Rs188 crore (.5 27.5 million) on marketing and advertising, it was able to generate revenue of Rs 180 crore (.3 26.3 million).


Infibim has been able to increase its profits 10 times

By 11am, the cabins at Legal Bay were empty, with the bosses still not working. “The shift starts at 9:30 am,” an HR executive told me to show up around the office. Crews stared at their monitors. There are some floors below where the developers sit. Infibim has 450 employees, and Ken counts about 100-150 developers. Most of them are lounging around with their co-workers. One of them had a schedule that opened last year’s Oktoberfest on his monitor. Another woman is open to Facebook, tagging her pictures. A young man in his 20s is shopping on Amazon.

Back on the 28th floor, the maintenance department is empty. There are three large cabins with six-foot wide windows overlooking the barren expanse of Gift City. One to Mehta, one to his brother, the second to his father. Each cabin has its own waiting room. All are empty. There is nothing on shelves or desks. The drawer is empty. Normally, Mehta comes at 11:30 am, but this Monday morning, he was running late. Four hours late. “A family emergency,” his staff apologizes.

When Mehta finally arrives, there will be increased activity. Run the pans and clean the table with a rag. White shirt, blue denim, dark shoes. “Hold my calls for the next 45 minutes,” he tells his receptionist. There is no landline in his cabin. He carries two mobile phones, an iPhone and a Samsung on his person. After the Nights, Mehta stressed that he needed to change the image of Infibim. Not enough people know how Infibim works, he says. He is so excited that Ken is here to meet him. He would like to explain Infibiem’s ​​business model, and this is understandable to some.

But those who understand do not add it.


Infibim is currently a services company.

When it was listed, it was India’s first e-commerce company. Mehta says he has a story similar to Flipkart buns. Someone who left Amazon came to India to launch a model similar to his alma mater. Despite Mehta’s argument to the contrary, it is an e-commerce company when it is listed. “We believe that we are one of the leading e-commerce companies in India focused on developing an integrated and synergistic e-commerce business model,” says DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus), which documents the company’s business activities and financials.

But in the last few years it has changed. The e-commerce company is pivotal. Infibim has now become an IT services company. It does more from Build a Bazaar or Infibeam Web Services (IWS). And the mix between IWS and e-commerce is gradually changing. In 2016, when Infibeam was listed, the company earned Rs. In FY18, Infibeam earned nearly Rs 840 crore (3 123 million). Of these, 64% are from IWS, the rest from Infibim.com.

And Mehta is correct. Very few people understand how IWS actually works. So let’s break it down. Infibim is a one-stop shop for all merchant needs, which combines many businesses into one.

One of Infibeam’s big clients is the entry-level Apparel brand Spyker. Let’s use Spiker as a representative case study. It hit the top line of about Rs 305 crore (.544.5 million) in FY17. It sells in 200 stores nationwide. Now Spyker wants to increase its sales and increase India’s internet access. It was exciting. So, it goes to Infibeam and asks you to set up a website. This is where the company steps in. Infibim sells domains called .ooo. Infibeam’s contention that .com, .in and .net are running out. And people need different domain names and this provides something extraordinary. Now, once the Spyker has settled on the domain, it will build the website, merchandise, create a checkout tool, set up a payment gateway, Synchronizes Spyker’s systems to its own warehouse and retailers offline and online. Now, these two are waiting for customers to come and shop.


The house of smoke and mirrors of Infibim

“Nobody understands what we’re doing,” says Vishal Mehta, founder and CEO of Infibeam. He was a little stocky with full hair. “When people don’t understand, they say all kinds of things,” he raises his throat. It was like he was shutting himself down. “It’s all because they don’t trust us,” his voice raises another octave. Why should they? “Because they should be.”


Mehta or Vishal Bhai (as he is known in circles) is the CEO and founder of Infibeam. It is one of the largest e-commerce companies in India. It is one of the few Internet-led companies in the country listed on the stock exchange. This is Unicorn — a company worth more than $ 1 billion. At this point, the value is not determined by venture investors around the world. Currently, the company has a market cap of over $ 1 billion. Unlike its tech peers, this unicorn actually benefits.

Brace yourself for numbers. Infibeam went public in April 2016. It is listed at a profit of Rs 337 crore (Rs 49 million) and a profit of Rs 8.8 crore (3 1.3 million). One year earlier, in the fiscal year ended March 2015, it had incurred a loss of Rs. In the year ended March 2014, it suffered a loss of Rs 207 crore (.2 30.2 million) and Rs 26 crore (~ 4 million). Since it was listed, the tendency to infiltrate Infibim has been reversed. In FY17, the company reported revenues of Rs. It went even further in FY18. Income was Rs 839 crore (2 122 million) and profit was Rs 88 crore (9 12.9 million). This is an increase of 90% year over year and 102% in revenues and profits.

In the last two years, the company has won a large number of contracts including the creation of tourism websites, the e-commerce project for Amul, India’s largest dairy cooperative and the government’s e-marketplace (GM). And these are just some of the trophies on display. Senior executives at the company believe Infinbeam is a gem waiting to be discovered. Some are already on it. Shaw and Tucker prites tab, kearcokse Shares and Securities brokerage firm’s analysts have a buy recommendation on inphibim a price target of Rs .256 / share ($ 3.74); Currently, the stock is trading at Rs150 / share ($ 2.19). “Considering the growth from every bucket, the company is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 67.2% between FY19E and FY20E [Estimated Fiscal Year ending 2019 and 2020]. In addition,

If all this sounds too good to be true, here’s the clincher. You want Infibim to be from Bangalore in India’s Silicon Valley. But its roots are in Ahmedabad. A small city about seven hours away from Mumbai if you decide to drive. At present, the company occupies 16 floors of a 30-story building in Gift City, Gandhinagar. The twist of fate is that the two must share the same storyline.


Gift City is built in the middle of nowhere. It is an hour from Ahmedabad and 30 minutes from Gandhinagar. The Sabarmati River halved this artificial city. Roads have been paved and some people are trying to turn the desert into a habitable land. The nearby village of Ferozepur is trying to build restaurants and party halls to entice customers. But no one will stop. Nothing in Gift City. It is barren with two buildings around 30 floors. There are two parking spaces. The incomplete National Stock Exchange (NSE) building contains a live running script of day trades. There’s a truck-free fire station, that’s all. The gift city is nothing to see.

The tallest of the two buildings is Infibium.

We were on the 28th floor. Infibeam occupies 15 stories below it. Currently, seven floors are occupied, four are under construction, one is a data center, and Infibim cannot decide what to do with the others. The 28th floor is divided into two, one for legal and customer support, the other for management offices.

Eyewitnesses or disturbances: Haryana’s attempt to earn millions

Parineeta Thakur spent many days. She tries her best to be patient, as the nurse on the phone takes her time to explain how a baby weighs 26 kilograms. The nurse is new to the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system at a primary health center in a village in Haryana. The nurse explains that she missed the decimal between 2 and 6.

The day started at the State Health Resources Center (SHRC) in Panchkula, Haryana. Soon, the 35-year-old Thakur, a domain expert at SHRC, went through the thick binder as a telephone directory and asked the officials from the district hospital in Ambala whether there were really “800 people hospitalized with 200 beds.” . “Does the patient have an average of two years?”

In such areas

Thakur is facing a common tooth problem as the government chooses to collect health records electronically. The decision was taken in 2013 by Haryana. It signed an agreement with United Health Group (UHG), the American health giant that developed the e-aperture software solution in 2014. Today, district hospitals in areas like Panchkula, Palwal and Hisar are collecting records from their 60%, with most patients reporting about 40%. Thakur is happy to see this percentage increase from 5% in 2016. Thick binders were piling up on her desk.

She wasn’t satisfied yet. “We have to push all the time to get data. Ideally, we need to capture data from 100% of patients,” she said. Average length and out-of-pocket cost-public statistic Only when it is calculated that the leg can become efficient and transparent.

At least, that’s what the Haryana government wants. And other state governments and the central government are waiting to see if Haryana can succeed as it accelerates its momentum in the hamster cycle. Last month, the Ministry of Health ranked Haryana second among the highest quality assurance-accredited health care facilities in the country. “We are moving forward,” says Thakur, as Maharashtra is the largest, but also the largest state, in terms of quality-assured health care percentages. One of the main factors contributing to this achievement is the implementation of the EHR system in approximately 50 facilities, including primary, secondary and tertiary care.

But this is not a smooth sailing. Haryana is considering canceling its contract with UHG as it is not satisfied with the software solution. However, Thakur notes that no one can easily implement the EHR. Haryana has selected UHG to develop the software with a budget of about Rs 90 crore ($ 13.3 million) against Wipro and others who have faced challenges in implementing EHR to the Ministry of Labor under the government contract. This is a necessary change.

EHR for

Implementing a nationwide EHR to build a modern health care system is the backbone of the central government’s great insurance plan for 500 million people, called Modicare, which is transparent, effective and checks against fraud. The sector is bustling with products. Digital health startups such as Practo and Liberate are attracting doctors to buy EHR solutions for private practice in India. In May, Flipkart’s former chief product officer Punit Soni founded Sukini, which has raised over $ 20 million to help doctors build voice assistants and update EHRs. At the same time, state governments are seeking technology providers to build EHR systems. Haryana is a testing laboratory, as EHRs are difficult to implement as they are required.

Unlike Tamil Nadu, which captures EHR from Gujarat, which focuses only on primary and secondary care centers and hospital information systems, Haryana is consolidating its data collection. From all types of government funded health care facilities. Haryana’s Rs 90 crore, four years, UHG has taken many occasions. However, it was able to collect the EHR for just 10 million of the 25 million population (2011 census). Data may be in a bad state but its benefits are obvious.


Educated Betting: Courses that Converge from Art to Science in India

“The horse race was brought by the British and has been legal ever since, but the poker that is easily proven to be a skill game with mathematical equations is still not legal,” lamented professional poker player Raghav Bansal.

His sufferings are not baseless, but India is slowly opening up to a gambling-linked card game. The Calcutta High Court, in October 2019, also reaffirmed its earlier stance that poker is a game of skill. It’s not just plain ol ‘gambling.

But the real validation of the game in India can come from beyond the walls of the courts. From universities. Today, colleges and legitimate online courses can legally study poker as part of their curriculum.


Bansal had no choice in his time. Bansal was the first Indian to reach the ‘Final Table’, winning the final 39,508 – the ninth place in the ‘Event 47’ of the 2015 International Poker Tournament World Series of Poker (WSOP). (The amount won in the WSOP depends on the number of players registered for a tournament and their wager.) Bansal, who was taught by a friend, started playing a small 2-5 pound stake at the university while studying in the UK in 2006 – playing bandwagon in online poker and playing his bankroll. Winning and nurturing, honoring his poker skills Did.

Shortly thereafter, Bansal broke into an interview for the position of analyst at professional services firm Ernst & Young. He never stepped into the office and, instead, took up the poker professionally.

21 years old is a brave choice. But for today’s student, gambling is a less expensive option.

Deepak Dhyanithi, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, runs an elective course called ‘Competitive Strategy – The Game of Poker’ (CSP). CSP, which has taught second-year MBA students at top B-schools in India, certainly brings some legitimacy to the game. The course was launched in 2013-2014 with the aim of enhancing decision-making and risk management skills for students.

The course of meditation has become a true game changer. In the last decade, poker education has become mainstream, with lifestyle brand Big Stock also launching India’s first online poker university in October 2019. In 2020, Spartan, the leading poker operator, is ready to teach poker tactical players at the District Sports Club in Mumbai. All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) helps manage operators and players in India.

Witnessing this growth in poker education, Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF, says, “As the number of online poker players grows, there are tremendous opportunities for poker education and training. Gamers are choosing a career as an online professional poker player, so there is a need for courses that meet this user demand.


According to a report by professional services firm KPMG, the online gaming industry in India for the year ended March 2018 is estimated at Rs 4,380 crore (17 617 million). It is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 22.1%. 11,880 crore (7 1.7 billion) for the year ended March 2023. Currently, the AIGF estimates the total number of registered online poker players at 5 million, with over 40,000 professional players in India.

There are numbers. But India is not an easy beast. Beyond the obvious changes of potential gambling addiction, there is a fundamental problem with the game — poker continues to be a taboo game, even in a clean, controlled environment. Whether it is a game of chance or a skill aside (gambling laws in India give an exception to skilled games), professional poker still has to make a case for recognition.


Many lenders are moving to P2P lending platforms

Firms, for their part, make money from both the lender and the borrower when the debt is distributed. This income comes in various forms. About 100-500 rupees ($ 1.5-7.5) as registration fee from borrower and lender. As charges to facilitate the loan (approximately 4% for borrowers and 1% for lenders). In some cases, the borrower also takes a late payment fee to the lender (40% of what the lender has to pay). All in all, the platforms can earn 7% off each. Factor in the cost of disbursing debt – underwriting, certification, digital acquisition costs, etc. – and they still have a net interest margin of 3-5%.

Most importantly, companies make all their money when the loan is self-distributed. This makes it the only business model in the current market where the company does not have skin in the game. “We are giving money without any capital risk,” said Bhavan Patel, co-founder of Lenden Club.

However, it defaults to the system.

Risky business

A bad debt means that it has not been repaid for at least 90 days. The 32 lenders we spoke to know all this well. They are all part of the WhatsApp group. Unlike other WhatsApp groups, which are cesspools of “good morning” messages, the only goal of this group is to find out how someone paid or misrepresented borrowers that month.

When repayments do not appear long, the RBI has decided that companies should “assist” lenders in debt recovery. This includes avoiding offenders by giving them calls, visits and legal notices. However, orders are designed to put the risk on the shoulders of individual lenders rather than firms.

However, P2P lending institutions are in a Catch 22 situation. Even if the liability is not on them, lenders will not be able to trust the system unless they can guarantee that it will help them recover money from defaulters. This will result in the verification of creditors.

Former RBI deputy governor R. Gandhi said: “P2P (companies) are not financial intermediaries and cannot guarantee the behavior of the borrower or the lender. He said he was involved in the initial stage of making orders.

Bhavin Patel agrees with this view. “When mutual funds are not responsible for the risk they take on behalf of investors, why should P2P platforms be held responsible for excessive defaults or algorithm failure? This is the risk the lender takes against such high returns,” he said.

Ashish Bansal has learned this the hard way. Bansal is not an easy mark. A savvy angel investor, he is CIO of Travel Tech Company. He understands the power of tech, so he decided to bet on P2P loans. He was impressed with the data-led approach the markets had to analyze credit-worthy borrowers.

He has been a lender since 2015 and has pledged not to return to these platforms ever since. Bansal has issued 52 lakhs ($ 76,117) to 125 borrowers through four of India’s top P2P lending institutions. More than half of his borrowers defaulted. However, none of the companies he offered filed zero legal cases. He filed four legal cases for himself in August 2017. They do not show signs of resolution.

The default settings

The first piece of advice for lenders is to mock their portfolios by diversifying their loans into different categories of borrowers.

Bansal, however, charged an average interest rate of 28%. This exposed him to high-risk borrowers. “If you lend more than 30% to the highest interest group, the defaults are 10%. But because you are charging 30% interest rates, you have to make your money back with 18% risk-adjusted returns, ”said LexBox CEO Ekmeet Singh. Bansal’s return of $ 66.5 lakh ($ 97,343), including interest, was only $ 23 million ($ 34,150).

But the problem is not limited to the high-risk category. A lender, sarcastically the moneylender, he lent at a moderate interest rate of 18%, also enjoying high default rates. He told Ken that he had loaned Rs 80 lakh (7 117,104) to 200 borrowers. 35% of them never paid him back.

Peer-to-peer lending has claimed its first victims

A review read “Investors Beware…” on the Facebook page of peer-to-peer lending company Faircent. Instead, the comment has a one-star rating.

Another review shouted, “You can’t get your money back if you invest through these people.”

This was followed by positive comments with Five Star ratings.

Pattern is clearly among Faircent’s 196 reviewers. Those who love the service are borrowers who have had no trouble getting a loan. Disgruntled One-Star reviewers wait for lenders to get their money back.

These reviews signal not only Faircent, but also India’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending scene. The companies involved – Faircent, LendBox, Lenden Club, i-Lend and i2Finding – are online platforms that connect borrowers with lenders. The idea behind the P2P debt concept is to invest in gold, property, fixed deposits, equity and mutual funds and create a new savings instrument. But within three years, cracks in the business had already begun to show.

Ken identified a group of 32 lenders – mostly businessmen and savvy investors – who were attracted by these companies with 25% plus returns that could be unlocked by lending. Today, they are not happy. They do not commit themselves to defaults. Of the 32, 18 lenders disclosed their portfolio details to The Can; Things are not pretty. Between them nearly 2,500 people owed Rs.4.3 crores (31 631,656). 26% of borrowers defaulted. With this in mind, consider personal loans, which are issued without collateral, just like P2P loans. According to bankers, these are an average default rate of 4% and maximum defaults are still only 10%.

Over the past three years, the market space has shrunk as the needs of the borrower have become more important than the lender’s. As a result, 32 lenders have talked about Ken withdrawing from these marketplaces in the past year. But unlike new-age lenders who lend money from depositors’ money, or co-lend with non-banking finance company (NBFC) or banks that raise money for lending, this model must ensure that it has a consistent supply of lenders on the platform. But with the lenders’ situation far from ideal, what is the future for India’s P2P lending institutions?

Why should banks enjoy all

At the moment, P2P loans are still small in size, with only Rs343 crore ($ 50 million) being distributed annually, industry insiders said. With the market growing at a rate of 20% per month, the Reserve Bank of India has recognized the industry. It created regulations for it in October 2017, creating a special class of licenses for non-banking financial peer to peer lending (NBFC-P2P) for P2P lenders. Currently, only Faircent has an NBFC-P2P license. Other companies said they had applied for licenses and were waiting to get one.

It’s easy to believe in these companies – when banks make credit decisions based on information such as sibil scores, bank statements, payslips and past defaults, why can’t anyone else do it?

“Data is what makes banks lending, but data is now democratized. The bank has all the information available to the lender,” said Faircent CEO Rajat Gandhi. Companies like FairCenter are working with their algorithms By analyzing why Sybil low score of the borrowers, the banks find that they were confident that the chances of missed debt.

The people are Indian

According to a 2018 report by credit information company TransUnion Sybil, there are over 150 million Indian consumers who are eligible for credit but are not eligible by banks. This is a pool where P2P lenders can find borrowers for their platform.

These borrowers belong to the salaried class. But salaried people who are turned over by banks because they are working in a small company or are still in their first job. They may have a lower credit score from a credit rating bureau like Sibyl. But where banks look at duds, P2P lenders see the potential.

After this, the process is simple — borrower applications are examined to select credit-worthy ones from the entire pool. Approved borrowers are classified as low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. The worse a borrower’s ranking is, the higher the interest on the loan. These rates are 12-15% for low-risk, 16-20% for medium-risk and 25% for those in the high-risk category. Lenders, on the basis of their risk appetite, are paired with borrowers.

Here are the Indian animators for your children

Residents of the fictional Goa town of Mirchi Nagar are very concerned. The little town that everyone knows is constantly under attack. By whom Like everyone else. Local thieves, evil scientists, wild animals. The demons, too.

Fortunately, Mirchi Nagar is the new police in a hero-town. He fights like a lion. Roaring like a lion. A punch here, a kick there. Not completely scared. Although all these are just seven. His name is Little Singham.

The idea of ​​television broadcaster discovery networks is one of the few Indian cartoon characters that has taken the Asia-Pacific and Little Singham children’s animation market by storm. And it did in just two months.

Based on the popular Hindi film Singham, the show debuted in April 2018. As of the first week of June, channel ratings were up 300% from the year before. The number of subscribers on Discovery’s YouTube channel, which airs short clips of the show, increased from 20,000 to 1,14,000 at the same time. “Little Singham borrowed from Bollywood. The focus is on creating a heroic character that children can see,” said Karan Bajaj, senior vice president and general manager at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, a US-based Discovery Communications division.

It is also

Little Singham’s popularity is good news for Discovery. It’s also a shot for the entire children’s animation industry, which has been trying to evolve for decades. Traditionally, children’s animation in India has been dominated by foreign (dubbed) content-duck tales, Mickey Mouse and Flintstones. Meanwhile, Indian content is not getting into television, limiting the growth of the local animation industry.

Things are changing. As Little Singham has shown, media outlets now want to invest more in local children’s content. In the last 12-18 months, some new entrants to the Indian children’s content segment, most notably video streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and AltBology. Among traditional broadcasters, Sony Pictures Networks joined the party and launched a dedicated children’s TV channel in April 2017. The Government of India is also trying to get the upper hand.

With so many players chasing a two- to 14-year-old demographic, children’s entertainment rules are being rewritten. But the way forward is not simple. Creating original animated content is expensive, time consuming and laborious. And there is no guarantee of success. So, is this wave of desi animated offerings sustainable? Or does it come out in the face of challenges and competition?

Go local or go home

Little Singham has an interesting story. Discovery Kids debuted in 2012 and, like everyone else, mainly streamed foreign content.

Discovery Kids ranks tenth in its viewership ranking of 16 children’s channels in India till the beginning of this year. Discovery went all out to find an Indian character to revive the channel and draw ratings. The channel internally tested eight different characters. After they settled in Little Singham, they worked with production houses Reliance Animation and Rohit Shetty Pictures to bring the cartoon to life.

Unlike most companies that initially only commissioned 30-40 episodes to test the market, Discovery went out on a limb. The show employs over 200 people a year, producing 300 15-minute episodes and five 90-minute films. For a new, untested cartoon character, this is a huge leap of faith.

But with great risk comes great reward. At least this time. Discovery Kids jumped in the rankings. Although it was stabilized in the sixth rank, it has climbed to third for the first time since its inception in 2012. “We were successful before the show started. We did not expect it to be a hit soon. We have never worked on an Indian role at this level, ”Bajaj said.

Since then Discovery Kids has completely ignored foreign content.