The art of the interview, festive demand and new multilateral groupings | #daitngscams | #lovescams

Two days ago, I was on a stage, judging the rounds of a corporate strategy competition at a college auditorium. The participants all tried their best to pitch their ideas with impassioned presentations and quick thinking on their feet.

Some of them were really good. But in those fleeting moments on stage, under the limelight, beneath that pressure, it is really hard to know the full extent of the idea being conveyed. It is even harder to truly evaluate the quality of thought that went into it. Regardless, we marked the scoresheets and the winners were decided.

Some participants seemed listless after their turn. In a bid to reassure them, one of my co-judges said to the participants during feedback, ‘Don’t worry about the result. The fact that you’re part of this event over these past 9-10 days is the enduring memory you will carry ahead.’ For the sake of the participants and all their well-wishers, I hope they learned a lot, got good feedback and made memorable memories.

However, I hope that the delegates at the BRICS Summit, the B20 Forum and the upcoming G20 Summit are focussed on concrete learnings and outcomes. There’s too much at stake for professional delegates in the real world to be merely making memories.

Nevertheless, memories were made.

For our part, Mint‘s journalists tried to take all their interactions very seriously. Many of our correspondents unsheathed the interview technique to bring us exclusive reports and analytical pieces. They’re yours to judge.

Here’s the best of our journalism from this week:

The 15th BRICS summit in South Africa’s Johannesburg resulted in fresh members being added to the bloc of nations that seemed to challenge the G7 and other major global groupings when it was first created. However there’s been much discussion with little result from the time Brazil, Russia, India, China and eventually South Africa, came together to try and take a better place in globalised world economy that saw them as the future engines of growth. Shashank Mattoo reported on the developments in Jo’berg and also explained the summit’s outcome. We got a bevy of columnists weighing in on various aspects, including whether Russia and China are trying to turn into a patently anti-West group (Harsh V. Pant), unpacking the expansion of the group with geopolitical scenarios (Rajrishi Singhal) and drawing false historical comparisons with the Non-Aligned Movement (Pankaj Mishra).

New Delhi is gearing up to host the most powerful political leaders in the world at the G20 (Group of Twenty) Summit starting September 9. In its wake, the B20 Forum, a gathering of top leaders from the global business community, got underway. Mint journalists interviewed many of them:

Varun Sood and Satish John spoke to Michael Miebach, chief executive officer of Mastercard, the global payments technology behemoth. Miebach weighed in on the future of payments, India’s digital stack and how Mastercard is using AI.

Also to be interviewed by the same pair was Mark Carney, the chair of Brookfield Asset Management and the head of transition investing and UN special envoy for climate action and finance. Brookfield has $850 billion of assets under management globally, with $25 billion in India. Carney talked about India’s macroeconomic framework and what he feels about conglomerates investing in clean energy.

Sood, Shouvik Das and Gulveen Aulakh spoke to Microsoft’s vice chairman and president, Brad Smith, who also attended the B20 Forum. Smith discussed AI and public agencies, cyber security and India’s importance as a market for Microsoft.

Shashank Mattoo and Gireesh Chandra Prasad interviewed Jorg Kukies, Germany’s G20 sherpa, who said that his country would not sign a resolution that compromises on language relating to the Ukraine war – a position that China has sought by arguing that discussion of the war does not belong in an economic grouping like the G20. Read on for plenty of clues on what lies ahead at the G20 Summit.

Can a unicorn have blood on its hands? Ranjani Raghavan investigates Pristyn Care, a venture-backed healthcare company that provides elective surgeries, that raised $177 million at a valuation of $1.4 billion till Dec 2021. Recent activities at the company are a cause for concern. This includes the death of a patient in May, skyrocketing employee attrition and delayed filing of financial statements. Don’t miss this free to read Long Story.

Mint Money’s Neil Borate and Sashind Ningthoukhonjam also produced a work of investigative journalism, focussed on finfluencers running scams on gullible investors. This is an important story, coming on the back of a recent SEBI draft regulation that proposes to keep regulated securities and platforms from associating with finfluencers.

For more on this, read our recent coverage as well as these pieces by Vivek Kaul:

1. Dispelling the finfluencer myth: Be wary of misleading advice

2. Opportunistic exploitation has marked the rise of finfluencers

As the 83-day festive season kicks off across India, Alisha Sachdev looks under the hood of the automotive sector to understand their plans for growth. Read this article to understand how auto companies are forecasting demand for passenger vehicles and whether sales could reach an all-time high.

Ranjani Raghavan and Sneha Shah snagged an interview with Sumer Juneja, the managing partner of Japanese investor SoftBank Investment Advisors’ Indian operations. Juneja said SoftBank has made over $5.5 billion in exits from India over the past 5 years. “Our view is that every year, we should have one, if not two exits,” he said.

Nidheesh MK brought us an enthralling tale about how this legacy gold loan company (India’s largest at 66,039 crore AUM) is trying to diversify its revenues. Read the story of Muthoot Finance’s glorious past and its recent struggles as the NBFC tries to navigate the new world of finance and stiff competition; packed with business insights and trivia.

Naman Suri and Mihir Mishra report that JSW Cement is likely to have a public offering next year, after interviewing Parth Jindal, managing director of the company, which is subsidiary of the $23 billion JSW Group. Jindal said JSW Cement will look to raise about 4,000 from its IPO.

Earlier in the week, Mishra and Pavan Burugula reported that Sajjan Jindal, Parth’s father and Chairman of the JSW Group, could be close to buying Ford’s Chennai plant to make electric vehicles. The 350-acre plant was shut last July. The JSW Group is exploring many options, including purchasing the brown-field asset to enter the EV space.


That’s all for this week folks.

Please write to us with your thoughts, ideas and feedback. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for your time and have a great weekend!

Nikhil Kanekal

Head of Subscriber Experience

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