Citizens' Issues
PayPal fires executive after offensive Tweets

An Indian-origin executive of online payment processing firm PayPal has been fired for allegedly posting derogatory and offensive tweets

Online payment services provider PayPal has fired an Indian origin executive for allegedly posting derogatory and offensive tweets, including a few targeting a senior company official.


Rakesh Agrawal was hired by PayPal about two months ago as its director of strategy.


In a Twitter post on Saturday, PayPal said Agrawal is no longer with the company, which has zero tolerance towards offensive language and behaviour.


"Rakesh Agrawal is no longer with the company. Treat everyone with respect. No excuses. PayPal has zero tolerance," it tweeted.


Agrawal sent a series of offensive and sometimes incoherent Twitter messages while he was at a jazz festival in New Orleans.


Some of the tweets were directed at PayPal's vice president of communications Christina Smedley, with Agrawal calling her a "useless middle manager" and using an expletive for her.


Another tweet, which was incoherent, read, "People who should be fire from paypal Don Christmas a pool a kick (sic)."


He went on to tweet that he could make Foursquare a 50 billion dollar company.


"I can turn foursquare into a USD 50 bill OK n company let's chat," he tweeted.


After several incoherent and grammatically incorrect posts, Agrawal tweeted that he had quit the firm.


"Oh. I quit pay a tonight because of self at son and aortic and ah our and hill e a s th (sic)," he tweeted.


He then quickly deleted the offending tweets and publicly apologised to PayPal president David Marcus and vice president of growth and global strategy Stan Chudnovsky.


Agrawal claimed he was trying to send the messages to a colleague as he was trying out his new phone and that he did not realise the messages were being tweeted instead of being sent to his colleague.


"Last night I was using a new phone that I bought because I wanted to test experiences on android. Those messages were meant for a colleague," he said in a later tweet.


Capital First raises Rs178 crore from Warburg Pincus, HDFC Life

Warburg Pincus-backed Capital First raised Rs178 crore from its promoter as well as from HDFC Standard Life through preferential shares at Rs153.80 per share, a premium of Rs143.8 per share

Capital First Ltd, a non-banking finance company (NBFC), said it raised Rs 178 crore by issuing shares on a preferential basis to its promoter Warburg Pincus through Cloverdell Investment Ltd and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co Ltd.

As per the preferential issue plan, Walburg Pincus bought 83.6 lakh shares worth Rs128 crore through its affiliate Cloverdell while retaining its existing stake at 72% in Capital First. HDFC Standard Life bought 32.5 lakh shares worth Rs50 crore. These shares were issued at a price of Rs153.80 per share at a premium of Rs143.80 and about 13% over Capital First's last one month's price at the time of closing of the issue.

V Vaidyanathan, chairman and managing director of Capital First, said, “The proceeds from teh issue will be used to increase capital adequacy and future growth plans of the company. Post this transactions, the company's total capital will be Rs1,791 crore and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) would increase to 24%, a 2.65% hike, from 21.35% as of December 2013.”

Capital First provides loans to MSMEs, consumer durables and two wheeler financing. As on 31 December 2013, its assets under management (AUM) increased 29% to Rs9,070 crore, majority of which are in retail business.


Indo-Iran trade: China may create new obstacles!

China, flushed with funds, does not want to let go the opportunity to permit India taking advantage in Chabahar port development and related projects of railroads in Iran

Couple of years ago the idea of developing Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman with an initial investment of $100 million was discussed by India with Iran when this matter came up for bilateral discussions. Though a formal agreement was not signed, India agreed to make this investment and assist Iran in developing this port and also help in setting up rail roads in their country.

In order to develop India's trade with the Central Asian Republics (CIS countries), plans have been discussed about the rail roads that would connect Chabahar to the north, and also, internally to other principal cities in Iran. At the same time, India spent $100 million or more in building up a 220kms road in the Western Afghanisatan to link up with the Chabhar port. Since the Iranian government came up with the idea of making a free zone around this new port development, both India and Afghanistan took the initiative to seek their assistance and permission to set up control centres to facilitate goods traffic.

At present, Chabahar port can handle 2.5 million tonnes of cargo, and, when it is fully developed, this can go upto 12.5 million tonnes. This will greatly bring relief to Khoramshr, the main port for Iran. It appears Chabahar mostly handles cargo to and from neighbouring gulf ports.

Competition, if any, is likely to come from Gwader, a port in Pakistan fully financed and being developed by China. This is just 70 kms away from Chabahar.

Recent developments in Iran would be of interest. After waiting for a long time, as no action was being taken by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Iran is reported to have terminated their contract to develop Azdegan oil fields, some 800 kms south west of Teheran. CNPC had signed with Iran to develop the gas and oil fields but once the sanctions were imposed, and western countries pulled out, China too did not take much interest, as their needs were also being obtained, without difficulty, from Iraq, besides other sources of supplies.

Though sanctions have been conditionally withdrawn, the developments in Iran have been hit hard, a country with huge oil and gas reserves. It is unable to develop these on their own due to high cost of investments and the imperative need for more advanced technology that is available in the West. Now, it appears that the Iranian, though still not out of the woods, are making new plans to make the fresh investment opportunities attractive.

Here is one area that India can take advantage, by seeking to set up urea plant in that country as a joint venture. India can consider making the investment in that country and get paid back in urea!

China, which is flushed with funds, is more keen to develop its relations with the west but at the same time, does not want to let go the opportunity to permit India taking advantage in Chabahar port development and related projects of railroads in Iran. We must remember China is well entrenched in Gwader, and having lost the opportunity to develop Azdegan fields also does not want India to enter in this oilfield development. They will try to put as many obstacles as possible.

While governments may come and go, but our relations with our neighbours should not be lost. It does not matter if the present government is in power only for two weeks or so. Having initiated the involvement in Chabahar port development, it is time the memorandum of understanding (MOU) is signed with Iran and discussions started for setting up an urea plant as a joint venture with that country.

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)




3 years ago

India provided China with the only bright spot in its Military History, ceding Tibet, Ladakh, Arunachal and so on with the scars of 1962 memory still being felt like a miasma over Khangress i.e. Indian thinking. China will be in no hurry to give up this sole punching bag that bolsters it confidence vis a vis the rest of the world!

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