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Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: Match fixing, finance head becomes fall guy, back with a bang, deal strategy overhaul, and more

Last Updated: November 23, 2022 / 10:18 AM IST

PR machinery at its absolute best!

Recently at an event, the founder of this much hyped startup was invited as one of the speakers. The format of the event was such that the audience would get a chance to ask questions of speakers immediately after their respective panels. Apparently, this founder, as a backstop, asked people from his PR team to sit in the audience and raise their hands first to ask questions. To top it all, one of the PR persons was given a job to shout ‘you are my hero’ in front of the audience right after the founder’s address. Talk about a fixed match!

Scapegoating the finance boss

Scapegoating the finance boss

The resignation of a CFO of a major online retail company came as a shocker at a time when the company has come under attack over corporate governance issues following its decision to manage stock price movement ahead of the end of lock-in period for pre-IPO investors. While the move gave rise to concerns over possible nasty surprises in financial statements at a time when the company is trying to get to profitability, market grapevine has it that he has been made the fall guy as the management’s maverick but detrimental move to manoeuvre the stock price has attracted the ire of both angry institutional investors and capital market regulators.

The wolf is back

The wolf is back

Investors are abuzz with the reentry of this entrepreneur who made a killing with the sale of his previous startup and then went off the radar. While people expected him to enjoy the sabbatical for a while longer, investors were surprised to receive invitations for meetings, with the promise of a "big, game changing idea". We are guessing some investors will bite as this founder gave them a great exit last time around, even if the product he palmed off to another startup turned out to be a lemon.

Firming up the deal strategy

Firming up the deal strategy

As the year comes to a close, deal street is pretty much active with M&A action across sectors like healthcare, infrastructure, and industrials. In the industrials segment, a little birdie tells us a top market investor who is sitting on handsome returns may be eyeing an exit from a firm down south. In the past, there have been reports of the said investor looking to raise stake in the firm, but looks like the deal strategy has changed along with the dynamics of the sector.

Block me if you can!

Block me if you can!

Block deals are the flavour of the season and we are picking up that yet another one may be lined up in the coming days as a private equity fund looks to sell around 10 percent stake in a consumer firm. QIPs too might be slowly and steadily making a return, not to forget a few IPO kickoffs. After a long lull, ECM transactions seem to be ending 2022 on a healthy note.

Pulling curtains on India investments

Pulling curtains on India investments

I-banking circles are abuzz with rumours of a European bank working overtime to come out of the investments it has made in the country. One of the top banks in the country of its origin, the bank did not taste much success it expected on the investments it made here. As per the data available in public domain, it currently has a share in nearly 10 Indian companies in sectors ranging from tech to leisure. A case of grapes turning sour or is it investments turning sour? The other question is - will it stay put here in its current avatar or bid adieu? Let's wait and watch...

Poker bets on product launches?

Poker bets on product launches?

Mid-level product managers, designers and engineers at this unicorn bet on new product launches of the startup, almost every week. Employees use poker chips to bet on the product launches and play with actual money. Their bets revolve around when the startup is going to launch the new product, what the product will be, will the company do a media release of the launch among other things. The unicorn’s core business model itself has been questioned widely as many fail to understand the problem it solves and has launched a lot of new products since inception, giving employees lots of chances to bet on product launches and earn money!

Counting on followers

Counting on followers

A home-grown startup recently went on a firing spree. The founder took to social media to make the announcement. The employees didn't see it coming. In fact, many saw the social media post before they were given their pink slips. Insiders tell us, employees who were asked to leave started unfollowing the founder on social media. The founder took notice and DMed asking if everything was okay with them. That's a unique way of asking, "why did you unfollow me?" after a sudden breakup.

Mind your language

Mind your language

There was a time when advertising was split between English and Hindi, till the latter took precedence. But the era of one or two languages dominating advertising is long gone. At least on the client side. We hear a few FMCG companies and tech brands are calling for pitches specifically with a regional brief. Ad agencies are now on the hunt for more multilingual talent who can crack these region-focused briefs. One big agency even launched a separate unit to handle regional briefs and work. Firms are roping in cultural specialists, writers, directors, who understand the nuances of local cultures and consumers. Mere translations just won't do for these clients.

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