If you live in Chennai and haven’t heard of the new ATM that dispenses biryani, you’re probably living under a rock.
Bai Veetu Kalyanam or BVK, a popular Chennai biryani chain has launched India’s first contactless biryani takeaway that operates like an ATM. All you’ve got to do is place your order on the screen, swipe your card or scan a QR code to pay and wait. In about 4 minutes, you’ll have your hot biryani takeaway packed and ready.
Apparently, Bengaluru’s “idlibot” from Freshot inspired BVK to come up with this novel idea. For those of you who have no clue what we’re talking about, Bilekahalli’s idli ATM can dish out hot idlis 24X7. It can make 72 idlis in just 12 minutes. And you can also relish millet, palak or carrot idlis and sides like podi and chutney with your order.
And now, mimicking Freshot’s tech, BVK’s biryani ATM has become an overnight sensation. Although we’re living in a time where people love ordering in, BVK’s new attraction has given foodies a reason to head out and try the new wonder. Customers are also calling it ATB ― Any Time Biryani!
Biryani is undoubtedly India’s GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) dish, with 186 biryanis ordered every minute in 2022 as per Zomato. So, if you are a biryani fanatic too, then don’t miss out on grabbing your grub from Red Hills Road if you’re at Kolathur, Chennai.
If you aren’t a biryani bro (biryani macha if you’re a Chennaiite), then well, that’s your loss! 😁
And no this segment is not sponsored. We just think it’s a cool idea.
Here’s a soundtrack to put you in the mood 🎵
Baaton Baaton Main by Shashwat Sachdev.
Thanks for the lovely rec Muskaan Goyal.
Let’s dive in now?
What caught our eye this week 👀
Distributors are weeping cola tears
Campa Cola has been in the news ever since the Ambanis bought it for a hefty sum of ₹22 crores in August last year. And it has grabbed headlines again this week.
Reliance is re-launching Campa in its 200 ml avatar for just ₹10. They’ve only reworked the packaging and are rolling them out in PET bottles instead of the typical 200 ml glass bottles. Pepsi or Coca Cola don’t sell 200 ml PET bottles but have 250 ml bottles for ₹20 instead.
And here’s the thing. This dirt-cheap price point is worrying cola distributors across India.
You see, Coca-Cola has been selling its 200 ml glass bottles at ₹15 in some states like Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. But with Campa Cola gatecrashing the market at lower price points, Coca-Cola has pulled down its price to ₹10.
This means that if a Coca-Cola distributor took a 10% cut, they’d now pocket ₹1 instead of ₹1.5 that they did earlier. So technically Campa has dampened their earning prospects by sparking competition or what the media terms ‘a cola war’.
The All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF) has also called out this competition and termed it ‘unethical’.
But is this really a price war a la Reliance style, or just an instance of bad timing?
See, Coca-Cola has been following this price-lowering strategy for quite some time. For instance, in 2021 Coke rolled out its 200 ml Coca-Cola, Thums Up and Sprite (glass) bottles at ₹10 in a few selected states, simply because it helped reduce overall costs. Glass bottles are returnable and reused, which means it significantly reduces packaging material costs.
Earlier these bottles cost ₹12–14. And overall they accounted for less than 10% of Coke’s business. Bringing down prices can push up their demand. PET bottles on the other hand require plastic resin, whose costs have been soaring with every fuel price rise.
And that’s why Coke is coaxing its distributors to sell more glass bottles over PET. In fact, it’s even waiving off crate deposits that retailers have to pay to store glass bottles.
But this strategy seems to have co-incidentally clashed with Campa’s comeback. And distributors are now weeping cola tears.
What do you think of the cola wars? Have they really begun?
Folks, it’s Women’s History Month and we’re celebrating some of India’s top women leaders and personalities. Keep an eye out on our social media feed for more such infographics. In the meantime, check out our viral post on the indomitable Ms Sudha Murty.
This didn’t make the cut ✂️
How Switzerland became the gold standard for watches
On Tuesday we told you how Toblerone lost its Swissness because of Switzerland’s new Swissness Legislation. And we mentioned that the earlier versions of the regulation applied to all Swiss products but also had a specific focus on watches.
And most of the luxury watches you know of, be it Rolex, Swatch or Tissot are all Swiss made. So how did Switzerland’s quality standards become a benchmark for global watchmakers?
The story goes that John Calvin, a French pastor broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the 16th century. Owing to religious tensions during the time, he fled to Switzerland to become an active part of the Protestant Reformation. And while he preached, he discouraged French Protestant refugees from wearing jewellery.
That’s how jewellery makers in Geneva created mechanical timepieces that could be worn as accessories. And over time with its mechanical innovations, Switzerland earned a name for its fine watches. And despite fierce competition from American and Japanese manufacturers, Switzerland held ground.
Their top notch quality standards meant that Swiss products command higher prices too. 20–50% higher sometimes, like we mentioned in our story.
Money tips 💰
Can money buy happiness?
A few days ago, a research paper published in the National Academy of Sciences journal settled the ultimate debate ― can money really buy happiness?
And although you’ve heard otherwise, this study proves that it indeed can.
Apparently, 30% of respondents experienced accelerating levels of happiness as their annual earnings climbed above $100,000. The happiness level also seemed to keep rising up to a $500,000 limit. But, there wasn’t enough data to determine whether people felt the same rise in happiness if they earned anything over that.
So, you can comfortably conclude that money could keep people happy up to a certain threshold.
But let’s just keep data and science aside for a bit and ask ourselves this question again. Would you agree or disagree that more money could make you happier?
Sure, money can buy things that make you happy. Maybe a new pair of shoes, an expensive watch and click-worthy vacations. But do you realise that all of this is temporary?
You always need a refill. It’s like finishing a drink and wanting more. Or finishing a book or a TV show and feeling gloomy about not having something to binge on. Despite that, we’re constantly looking to accumulate more wealth because of the misconception that money can buy us lasting happiness.
That’s not to say that you don’t need to increase your wealth. Sustaining or upgrading your lifestyle requires it. But is it worth staking your peace of mind or relationships (via the famous family property disputes)?
Because more money has and can never fix a miserable human. And just to let you know, the research admits this too!
Readers Recommend 🗒️
The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
Our reader Mayank Sekhani has recommended this book. “It talks about relationships that we share with people and how we fool ourselves by contemplating ― If only I had tried this, I could have done this…” he writes.
Thanks for writing in Mayank. We know this recommendation was long due. Hope our readers like it.
Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩
It’s time to announce the winner of last Sunday’s Weekly Quiz. And the winner is… 🥁drumroll… Prasanna S. Congratulations! We’ll reach out to you soon to send that sweet merch we promised. 🙂
To everyone else — Answer all 5 questions in today’s quiz correctly and you could be our next winner.
Click here to access the Google form and take the quiz. Tune in next week to see if you won.
And with this, it’s time for us to temporarily take your leave.
Until then, don’t forget to tell us what you thought of today’s newsletter. And send us your book, music, business movies, documentaries or podcast recommendations. We’ll feature them in the newsletter! Just hit reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: firstname.lastname@example.org).