Category: Business

Virat, Anushka bag new brand endorsement

Star couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma have been roped in as the first official brand ambassadors of Flipkart-owned ecommerce platform, Myntra.

Its campaign ‘Go Myntra-la-la’ brings alive the joyful experience of shopping and kicks-off with an ad film starring the star couple, read a statement.

Virat and Anushka share a lot of common passions, and shopping is one of them.

Amar Nagaram, Head at Myntra-Jabong, said: “The association of Bollywood and sports with fashion needs no introduction and hence having Virat and Anushka as the face of this new campaign will enable us to build strong brand salience and establish the joy and convenience of shopping on Myntra.”

The musical film opens with viewers witnessing Anushka pushing a shopping cart with Virat sitting in it. It then goes to Anushka, walking in style as she comes next to a fashion billboard, she whips out her smart phone and taps the brand icon and scans the floral dress on the billboard.

The app throws up the same dress, ready to be shopped.

In the film, however, the editor takes us straight to Anushka continuing her walk with the new dress. It then cuts to Virat browsing through various sneaker options to choose from before he settles on his perfect pair.

The film goes back to the couple enjoying a moment of fun with a shopping cart.

The couple, fondly called Virushka, have endorsed brands like Head and Shoulders and Manyavar.

Microsoft tops $1 trillion

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Microsoft Corp on April 24 briefly topped $1 trillion in value for the first time after executives predicted continued growth for its cloud computing business.

The Redmond, Washington-based company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, powered by an unexpected boost in Windows revenue and brisk growth in its cloud business which has reached tens of billions of dollars in sales.

 

Microsoft shares rose 4.4% to $130.54 in late trading after the forecast issued on a conference call with investors, pushing the company ahead of Apple Inc’s $980 billion market capitalization. The companies and Amazon.com Inc have taken turns in recent months to rank as the world’s most valuable US-listed company.

Microsoft’s stock has gained about 23% gain so far this year, after hitting a record high of $125.85 during regular trading hours.

Under Chief Executive Satya Nadella, the company has spent the past five years shifting from reliance on its once-dominant Windows operating system to selling cloud-based services.

Azure, Microsoft’s flagship cloud product, competes with market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide computing power to businesses.

Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told investors that Microsoft expects to see growth in the fiscal fourth quarter in the business divisions in charge of Azure and Office 365, an online version of its longtime productivity software.

For the third quarter ended March 31, Azure’s growth slowed slightly to 73%, down from 76% in the second quarter. Mike Spencer, Microsoft’s head of investor relations, said the decline was roughly in line with the company’s estimate.

Christopher Eberle, a senior equity analyst with Nomura, said that with Azure, “one should assume a slower rate of growth as we move forward, simply due to the law of large numbers.” Still, Azure will bring in $13.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2019 with an overall growth rate of 75%, he estimated. “I can’t name another company of that scale growing at these rates.”

Microsoft tops tech rivals such as Amazon in market capitalization on some days despite having less revenue, partly because most of its sales go to businesses, which tend to be steadier customers than consumers. A growing proportion of Microsoft’s software sales are billed as recurring subscription purchases, which are more reliable than one-time purchases.

Microsoft’s earnings per share of $1.14 beat expectations of $1, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Windows licensing revenue from computer makers grew 9% year over year, beating expectations after a 5% decline in the previous quarter. Spencer said a shortage of Intel Corp processor chips for PCs that many analysts expected to last into this summer had been resolved earlier than expected, allowing PC makers to ship more machines.

Microsoft’s “commercial cloud” revenue – which includes business use of Azure, Office 365 and LinkedIn – was $9.6 billion this quarter, up 41% from the previous year but down slightly from the 48% growth rate the previous quarter.

Microsoft’s so-called “intelligent cloud” unit, which contains its Azure services, posted revenue of $9.65 billion, above Wall Street estimates of $9.28 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Microsoft’s Hood said that unit could reach $11.05 billion in revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter.

The “productivity and business process” unit that includes both Office as well as social network LinkedIn had $10.2 billion revenue versus expectations of $10.05 billion. Hood forecast up to $10.75 billion in revenue for the unit for the fourth quarter.

Microsoft’s latest results contained two weak spots.

Its gaming revenue was up only 5% versus 8% the quarter before, which Spencer attributed to less revenue from third-party game developers and the fact that many gamers are delaying purchases of Microsoft’s Xbox console because a new model is expected soon.

Sales of the company’s Surface hardware grew 21% versus 39% the quarter before, also because customers waited for updated hardware they expected to be released soon.

Total revenue rose 14% to $30.57 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $29.84 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income rose to $8.81 billion, or $1.15 per share, from $7.42 billion, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Paytm Payments Bank appoints Sairee Chahal to board of directors

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Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPB) on Saturday said it has appointed entrepreneur Sairee Chahal to its board of directors.

Chahal is the founder and CEO of SHEROES — a community platform for women.

“We are delighted to have Ms Sairee Chahal on our board. She has comprehensive experience of customer service ecosystem. We will benefit from her knowledge and expertise,” PPB Managing Director and CEO Satish Gupta said in a statement. PPB, which was incorporated in August 2016, formally began its operations in 2017.

Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma holds 51 per cent stake in PPB, while the rest is held by One97 Communications.

Gupta had recently stated that PPB has 4.4 crore savings bank accounts with deposits of over Rs 400 crore as well as 26 crore wallet accounts.

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Nayanthara cast with Rajinikanth in Murugadoss film

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Actress Nayanthara, who was last seen on-screen playing a double role in horror-thriller “Airaa”, has been signed as the leading lady opposite superstar Rajinikanth in his next yet-untitled film with filmmaker A.R. Murugadoss.

On Monday, Rajinikanth’s publicist Riaz Ahmed took to Twitter to confirm Nayanthara is on board. He also denied other casting reports that have been doing the rounds.

“The rumours being speculated about the cast of ‘Thalaivar 167’ is not authentic. As of now, only Nayanthara has been roped in the film. Kindly do not spread the news until you get an official press release about the entire confirmed cast,” he tweeted.

After working with Rajinikanth in “Chandramukhi” and also briefly in “Kuselan”, this is the third time Nayanthara will be teaming up with the 68-year-old star.

Last seen on-screen playing a hostel warden with a violent past in “Petta”, Rajinikanth is believed to be playing a police officer in this project.

Popular lensman Santosh Sivan will crank the camera while Anirudh Ravichander will compose the music.

The rest of the cast and crew is yet to be revealed. The industry grapevine is that the project goes on the floors later this week in Mumbai.

Daisy Edgar Jones opts out of Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’

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International actress Daisy Edgar Jones, who has starred in films such as “Pond Life” and “War of the Worlds”, has opted out of filmmaker S.S. Rajamoulis upcoming action multi-starrer “RRR” citing family reasons.

Daisy took to her Instagram page to share the news of opting out of the film, which stars Ram Charan and Jr. NTR.

“‘RRR’, unfortunately due to family circumstances I am unable to participate in filming for this wonderful film. The script is truly brilliant and it’s such a great character. I hope whomever they cast, receives as warm a welcome as I have and I wish the production all the best,” Daisy posted on her Instagram page.

In the film, Daisy was supposed to be paired with Jr. NTR.

A tweet from the official account of “RRR” read: “Due to unavoidable circumstances, Daisy Edgar Jones is no longer part of our film. We hope she has a brilliant future.”

Last month, speaking to reporters, Rajamouli said that “RRR”, which is being made on a lavish scale, will be a fictional story based on two real-life heroes and freedom fighters – Alluri Seetharama Raju and Komaram Bheem.

“This is a fictional story set in 1920s pre-independence era. Most of us are well aware of the stories of Alluri Seetharama Raju and Komaram Bheem. We know they are popular freedom fighters and were fearless. What most of us don’t know is that there are gaps in the lives of these revolutionaries that we don’t know about. We don’t know what happened in their lives in these years,” Rajamouli said.

“‘RRR’ will be a fictional story of what could have happened in the lives of Alluri Seetharama Raju and Komaram Bheem in those years when they had disappeared. What if they had met and trained themselves to fight for the same cause,” he said.

While Jr. NTR, otherwise known as Tarak, will be seen as Komaram Bheem, Ram Charan will be playing Alluri Seetharama Raju.

“RRR” also stars Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt and Samuthirakani in key roles.

The film will hit the screens worldwide on July 30, 2020 in 10 Indian languages.