An inside view of India’s pencil business and the four families that control it

An inside view of India’s pencil business and the four families that control it

The humble pencil was the simple solution that Three Idiots’ Rancho gave for the complex riddle of how to write in zero gravity. For about six centuries, the pencil has left its indelible mark as an all-weather writing instrument, after the accidental discovery of hard graphite at a nondescript Lake District village in England led to the commercial production of what would become the least inexpensive — yet must-have — item on modern desktops. Perhaps the instrument’s continuity as a stationery item was never in doubt. But when the mobile…

Read More

This Technology May Also Improve Hotel Staff Friendliness

This Technology May Also Improve Hotel Staff Friendliness

Coffee espressoGETTY Last month the organization YouGov polled 1,219 adults about their hotel stays. Results indicate that most hotel guests (62%) are not frustrated by a lack of fitness center, spa or a trendy bar as much as by the presence of unfriendly staff. More than a third of guests polled (38%) indicated that a source of frustration was the front desk taking too long to complete requests, while almost a third (31%) were irritated by delays in service. A cursory conclusion from these results could indicate that frustrations derive from two…

Read More

Business chiefs call for dramatic overhaul of rates to help high street

Business chiefs call for dramatic overhaul of rates to help high street

There’s no end in sight to the challenges faced by UK high street retailers. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian Ministers are facing renewed pressure to reform business rates to bolster the UK’s high streets, with calls for a “complete review” from the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands. Andy Street, who ran John Lewis before his election in 2017 as the mayor of the UK’s second-biggest urban economy, said the current system of business rates on commercial properties was no longer representative of modern Britain. Speaking at a conference in London, he said:…

Read More

‘They can sell anything’: how the Kardashians changed fashion

‘They can sell anything’: how the Kardashians changed fashion

Keep on keeping up: the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which has run for 15 seasons. Photograph: NBC Universal On 30 September 2018, Kylie Jenner – Kardashian scion, businesswoman and owner of a world-famous pout – uploaded a photo to Instagram. In it, she posed beside a blacked-out Range Rover in a pink Katharine Hamnett jacket, cinched at the waist with a grey Chanel bumbag. Underneath, she wore black cycling shorts, white socks and chunky Joshua Sanders trainers in a silvery metallic finish. More than four million people liked the…

Read More

Expedia Group: The World’s Travel Platform. Really?

Expedia Group: The World’s Travel Platform. Really?

Since Expedia changed its name from Expedia Inc. to Expedia Group in March, it has been touting itself as “The World’s Travel Platform.” At the company’s partner conference in December, executives took the stage in Las Vegas and variously described the company as already being “The World’s Travel Platform” or aspiring to reach that status. They even made plenty of comparisons to Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Join the 250,000 travel executives that already read our daily newsletter. The boast might come as a shock to millions of people from China to India,…

Read More

Healthy Food Makes You Happy: Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health

Healthy Food Makes You Happy: Research Shows A Healthy Diet Improves Your Mental Health

Young woman buying fresh red peppers at supermarket. She’s picking peppers from the shelf.GETTY Depression has many origins: genetic, triggered by a specific event or circumstance or lifestyle choices. But it is a disease of the brain, and researchers find that ensuring it receives the proper nutrients is a way to prevent and treat depression. In the future patients experiencing depression may not only be referenced to a therapist, but a nutritionist as well. It has long been understood that fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean, unprocessed proteins are the…

Read More

How the internet reshaped Market Street’s Art Deco monolith

How the internet reshaped Market Street’s Art Deco monolith

This is a story about adaptive reuse, unplanned obsolescence, and the way one building can straddle two centuries and come to embody the fickle nature of commerce in a modern American city. The hulking, Mayan-inspired, Art Deco monolith originally known as the Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart has stood on its Market Street block between Ninth and Tenth streets for 81 years now. Completed in the summer of 1937—the same year as the Golden Gate Bridge—at a cost of $3 million and after just one year of construction, the…

Read More

Why Business Leaders Are So Pessimistic About Growth In 2019

Why Business Leaders Are So Pessimistic About Growth In 2019

In PwC’s annual CEO survey, released today, 436 percent more CEOs said they expect global economic growth to ‘decline’ this year more than last. Twenty-nine percent of CEOs of companies around the world expect a decline in the global economy in 2019 versus just five percent last year. Another study, released yesterday, found just over one in 10 FTSE 350 company secretaries believed global economic conditions will improve over the next 12 months. When the Boardroom Bellwether survey – conducted twice a year by ICSA, a U.K. governance body, and the Financial Times – was conducted in August, that figure was…

Read More

Can AI Powered Education Close The Global Gender Gap?

Can AI Powered Education Close The Global Gender Gap?

Education is one of the most powerful predictors of future success that human society has at its disposal. How we gather, process, and disseminate knowledge to each successive generation impacts not just individual success, but a host of other related factors such as economic growth, political empowerment, and technological innovation. It is no secret that access to more effective education for individual students is a key factor in the overall betterment of society – and to women’s role in society. I’ve long been a proponent of better education for women…

Read More

Business Top 5: Corporate governance issue continues to drag Sun Pharma stocks down; Wipro announces 1:3 bonus

Business Top 5: Corporate governance issue continues to drag Sun Pharma stocks down; Wipro announces 1:3 bonus

Sun Pharma stock down 13.7 per cent in the last 2 days over fresh whistle-blower complaint losing almost Rs 14,000 cr in m-cap going to its lowest point in almost six years. Wipro’s board announced a bonus of 1:3 alongwith an interim dividend of Re 1/share.  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock 1. Sun Pharma – Corporate governance concerns continues to ail stock Stock down 13.7 per cent in the last 2 days over fresh whistle-blower complaint losing almost Rs 14,000 cr in m-cap going to its lowest point in almost six years. A…

Read More