Companies & Sectors
Ratan Tata invests in Ola

Formerly known as Olacabs, the company currently serves millions of customers in over a 100 cities across India through 150,000 vehicles registered on its platform

 

App-based transportation aggregator Ola on Wednesday said Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has invested in the company in his personal capacity.
 
"It is our honour to have Ratan Tata onboard as an investor. This is a huge endorsement from one of the most respected business leaders of our times. We look forward to learning from Tata's experience," the company's CEO and founder Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement.
 
Ola said Tata's "strong inclination towards transportation as a segment" and the philosophy of creating widespread social impact through business creates a strong connection to this investment.
 
Formerly known as Olacabs, the company currently serves millions of customers in over a 100 cities across India through 150,000 vehicles registered on its platform.
 
Tata has made personal investments in e-commerce companies like Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone and Cardekho.com in the recent past. Last month, he had picked up a stake in Kaaryah, a women's wear fashion portal and in April this month, he has invested in Chinese cellphone maker Xiaomi.
 

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Dayanidhi Maran grilled for over seven hours over phone lines misuse
Maran, who was communications minister in the first UPA government (2004-07), reached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters at about 10 a.m. and was questioned by the Special Task Force (STF) between 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.
 
The CBI on Wednesday grilled former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran for over seven hours in a case against him for installing over 700 phone lines, including 300 high data capacity BSNL lines, at his Chennai residence, asking him more than 200 questions, agency officials said. He will be questioned again on Thursday.
 
Maran, who was communications minister in the first UPA government (2004-07), reached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters at about 10 a.m. and was questioned by the Special Task Force (STF) between 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., an official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS.
 
However, an official privy to the investigation asked how much money from the state exchequer was lost because of the scam, pegged the figure at Rs.1.80 crore - much lower than the earlier Rs.440 crore.
 
Another CBI official told IANS that the total number of phones at his Boat Club residence in Chennai were actually 770, including of private operators, not over 300 as mentioned in the FIR.
 
The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on July 23, 2013. Till date, however, only three people have been arrested in the matter, while the DMK leader's name is not mentioned in the FIR as an accused.
 
The STF team in its seven-and-a-half-hour interrogation of Maran asked him if the high data capacity BSNL telecom lines were used to benefit the Sun TV group, owned by his elder brother, Kalanithi Maran.
 
"We have asked Maran to explain the misuse of 770 lines, including the 323 high-data capacity BSNL telecom lines being used at his Boat House residence in Chennai, and the mobile phone lines being used by him in Chennai and Delhi," said a CBI official, who did not want to be named.
 
The former minister had been called for questioning on Monday, but but did not turn up. On Tuesday, he approached the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail which was granted.
 
Maran was also asked whether these high capacity lines, in which a stealth cable was used, were used illicitly by Sun TV channel to transfer huge amounts of data without paying for the service.
 
The agency's investigation also centres on the fact that the system was devised in such a way that except for the "authorised BSNL staff", no one in the state-owned telecom company was aware of it.
 
The interrogators also asked Maran if he had used his network when he was a minister to install the high-speed ISDN phone lines, and why he facilitated these illegal lines despite knowing that it would cause a huge loss to the BSNL.
 
Maran, who faced several rounds of questioning, was was also asked to explain the answers given by his aides - former additional private secretary V. Gowthaman, Sun TV's chief technical officer S. Kannan and electrician L.S. Ravi who were earlier arrested by the agency in the case. The Madras High Court has granted bail to them.
 
CBI officials, part of the STF, also said Maran was asked if he had pressured BSNL officials to install these lines.
 
An STF member told IANS that Maran will be questioned again on Thursday, and has to reach the CBI office at 10.30 a.m.
 
Maran was questioned in January this year and October 2014, while Kalanithi was also questioned by the STF in September 2014.
 
 
The CBI had started its investigation in 2011 - nearly four years after the matter surfaced. In 2007, the agency had recommended action to the then telecom secretary but nothing happened.

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Housing.com fires CEO Rahul Yadav
The board of Housing.com fired its co-founder and CEO Rahul Yadav because of his conduct over the past few months, say media reports
 
Rahul Yadav, the 26-year old chief executive (CEO) of Housing.com, who earlier had resigned from the company has been fired by the Board of Directors, say media reports.
 
"The board of Housing.com fired its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Rahul Yadav because of his conduct over the past few months," a report from Business Standard says.
 
Yadav has been in the news for the past six months because of his often-abrasive communication with investors and media.
 
In May this year, during an interaction on Reddit, the 26-year old CEO had stirred up fresh controversy calling names of various people, while admitting that quitting Housing.com was a well-calculated tactical move.
 
Earlier, Yadav broke news of his resignation on social media. "I don't think you guys are intellectually capable enough to have any sensible discussion anymore," Yadav had written to the Board of Directors at Housing.com in his resignation email. However, later he apologised and withdrew his resignation.
 
"It is a sad moment for us. Housing was his idea, his company. But he has been ousted. I don't know how we will deal with this loss," said an official from Housing.com.
 
Housing.com was set up in 2012 by 12 IIT Bombay graduates, and it emerged as one of the most promising start-ups.

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