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…

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Smog Lifts, But Companies’ View of Polluted Delhi Skies is Dim

Smog Lifts, But Companies’ View of Polluted Delhi Skies is Dim

As New Delhi grappled with its worst smog in 17 years, the head of India’s largest mobile payment firm got on a plane and left, one of thousands of professionals escaping pollution that could cost the capital and the broader economy dear. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of PayTM payment start-up, left last Sunday for a temporary stay in Mumbai, worried about the impact of hazardous clouds of dust, smoke and fumes that hang over Delhi during the winter months. “It became very visibly clear that it is going to be…

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66% Indian Smokers View E-Cigarettes as ‘Positive Alternative’

66% Indian Smokers View E-Cigarettes as ‘Positive Alternative’

Nearly 66 per cent of Indian smokers see e-cigarettes as a “positive alternative” to tobacco products, a new survey said on Thursday. In a first-of-its-kind survey of adult smokers in India conducted by non-profit organisation factasia.org, the researchers found that 69 per cent of Indian smokers would consider switching to e-cigarettes “if they were legal, met quality and safety standards, and were conveniently available”. The survey showed that a few smokers in India have tried them although more than a third — 36 per cent — express some level of…

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Google Photos for iOS Gets Support for Live Photos, Split View, and More

Google Photos for iOS Gets Support for Live Photos, Split View, and More

Google has consistently been rolling out updates and new features for its Google Photos application to increase its user base. It hasn’t only been focusing on its Android platform, but also on a rival mobile operating system – iOS. The company has this time rolled out an update for Google Photos for iOS with a feature exclusive to Apple iPhone models only. The search giant on Monday rolled out Google Photos on iOS with support for backing up and viewing Live Photos, a feature exclusive to iPhone 6s and the…

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