Hey everyone!

Qatar spent $300 billion dollars to host the ongoing football world cup! But guess who’s also winning the hearts of tourists without spending a dime…


People seem to love the city’s lively nightlife. And with 60 daily shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha, it’s easy peasy for football fans to make the jump. Such is the tourist influx into Dubai that the airport even ran out of McDonald’s and Heineken beer! Crazy!


Here’s a soundtrack to get you in the mood 🎵

Tumhare Aane Se by Ashu Shukla

Thanks to Ankit Keswani for the lovely recommendation.

Okay, here’s something we’ve never done before! When Ankit sent us an email, he also had a special request. He wanted to dedicate this song to “a special someone” who’s celebrating her birthday tomorrow.

So from all of us at Finshots, we wish this ‘special someone’ a very happy birthday too. We hope you have a wonderful day! 🎂😊

P.S. If someone else is reading this and thinking, I should ask Finshots to shout someone out too. Well, sorry, not happening anymore. We feel bad but it's just the way it is :(

What caught our eye this week

How Rasna made it to every household kitchen in the good ol’ days

A lot of TV ads and jingles evoke nostalgia especially if you’re a millennial. One of them had a little girl gleefully saying ‘I love you Rasna’. That iconic ad stayed in your head rent-free.

This week, Rasna’s founder ― Areez Khambatta passed away leaving behind the legacy of an indelible brand that made its way into almost every middle-class Indian household. So, we thought we’ll take you down memory lane and talk about how Khambatta worked magic with Rasna.

In the 1980s, brands tried to entice middle-income families with pocket-friendly products. Think names like Nirma and Uncle Chipps. The soft drinks market was also getting fizzier with Thums Up, Gold Spot, Citra and Limca. Hosting parties was easier with quick-to-consume fizzy drinks, as stirring up sherbets from squashes was cumbersome and expensive.

Enter Rasna, in its refreshing orange avatar which took on the fizzy drinks market in its own unique way — packs of fruit concentrates that gave you 32 glasses of soft drink at just ₹5! People loved it. The flavours were exciting and new. They also had another brainwave — they didn’t add sugar to the packs. That way, consumers could decide exactly how much sugar they wanted in their juice. As a bonus, Rasna saved costs!

And then came the ‘I love you Rasna’ ad campaign by Ogilvy and Mather. Rasna took the market by storm.

Soon Soft Drink Concentrate (SDC) became an independently recognised industry with Rasna reigning over 85% of it. And today, they cover more than 1.6 million outlets pan India. And is one of the largest SDC manufacturers globally, selling in over 60 countries.

But it’s also had its fair share of troubles. Over the years, competition from folks like Mala’s Fruit Products, Mapro Foods and Tang apart from Rooh Afza and Kissan, weakened Rasna’s market share. It fell to 23% by 2021.

People also turned away from these SDCs in the 1990s as competitors such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo crashed the party. Carbonated drinks and fruit juices flooded the market and came in affordable, take-home plastic bottles and tetra packs. And today, as per Moneycontrol, while the market for soft drinks (including carbonated drinks) is at ₹26,000 crores, SDCs make up a measly ₹ 1,260 crores.

Growth has been slow.

But Rasna’s looking at a revival now. It has diversified into an ‘indie’ cola, it’s pushing its liquid concentrates to the mocktail market (maybe even cocktails?), and it’s even marketing soups.

Oh, and guess who’s its brand ambassador now?

Chhota Bheem, one of India’s most loved cartoon characters!

Can it provide a fresh fillip to the brand? For nostalgia’s sake, let us hope so.

Anyway, were you one of those kids who contributed to Rasna’s success by badgering your parents to buy Rasna? Let us know.

Infographic 📊

This didn’t make the cut ✂️

The trolley dilemma

Here’s a morally vexing experiment.

Imagine you’re beside the railway track. You see a train coming at a quick clip and suddenly, you realize that there are 5 people working on the track. They won’t have time to jump out of the way.

Suddenly, you see a lever. You realize that if you pull it, the train will be diverted to another track and you can easily save the 5 workers.

But wait…you see that there’s someone on this track too. One lone person is working hard and picking up trash along the track. You realize that if you pull the lever, this person’s life will be in danger.

What will you do? Do you pull the lever that’ll save 5 but cause the death of one person? Or will you do nothing and let the 5 people die?

This is the thought experiment known as the trolley dilemma that was developed by philosopher Philippa Foot in 1967.

Anyway, think about it…

And remember the story we wrote about ‘Effective Altruists’ on Friday? The folks who use math, rationality, and logic to determine how one’s money should be put to use?

Well, let us tell you what they’d think about this Trolley dilemma.

In the minds of EAs, there is no dilemma. You simply save the 5 people. You sacrifice the one. Even if it’s your best friend on the tracks. After all, that’s what the maths behind it says — 5 Alive + 1 Dead > 1 Alive + 5 Dead

But here’s a quandary posed on the Harvard College Effective Altruism Student Group.

What if you pull the lever and save the 5 people? And then, when you wake up the next morning, you see the paper and a headline screams:

“Nobel Prize-Winning Dog-Lover and Mother of Three On Her Way to Donate $500,000,000 Diamond to Charity Killed by Trolley After Being Robbed by Five Serial Killers Who Listen to Nickelback, Allowing Them to Get Away!”


So yeah, if all 6 six lives had an identical ‘utility’, it may have been fine. But that’s never usually the case, no? Everyone’s lives are so complex. And that means, just going by ‘utility’ may not be enough. The information you used to get there matters.

Something for effective altruists who look at ‘utility’ to think about?

Money tips 💰

The hedonic treadmill

A shiny new car. The latest flagship phone in the market. An expensive rug for your living room.

It’s only natural to desire new things when our incomes rise. We find ways to improve our lifestyle because no one wants to remain at the status quo, right? And we assume that these things will make us happier.

Now think back for a moment. Did buying new things actually make you happier? Sure, you felt joyful. But how long did that happiness last? I’ll be willing to bet that in most cases it was fleeting. A brief moment in time when you felt everything was all right with that world.

But gradually, the things you splashed money on with so much excitement have become a part of your everyday life and the ‘newness’ has disappeared. Your level of happiness drops to normal. And it’s this cycle that’s called the hedonic treadmill. We’re all trapped in it.

That famous phrase that goes “money can’t buy you happiness”? It has its origins in this concept. Because your expectations and desires keep changing constantly. And you’re just trying to keep up. If you’d dreamed about buying a new Volkswagen sedan a few years ago, the dream might now feature a new BMW sedan now.

And there’s nothing wrong with it. As long as we’re living within our means. And with each bump in income, we progressively save a bigger chunk of it.

The only thing I’d ask is that the next time you’re spending your money on a ‘big buy’, think about it for a moment. Ask yourself why and think about the happiness you got the last time you bought something new.

It might help you to find things that you truly care about that you can spend your money on.

Readers Recommend 🗒️

In 2016, Boeing launched an upgrade to their 737 series of planes — they called it the 737 MAX. Barely two years later, a Lion Air jet crashed into the Java Sea. Boeing brushed off the incident. But just a few months after that, an Ethiopian Airlines jet also suffered a similar fate. Boeing came under scrutiny and whistleblowers pointed out problems at the company.

That’s what Flight/Risk is about. It covers the story of Boeing “through the perspective of affected family members, their legal teams, and whistleblowers.”

H/T to our reader Ankita Gupta for the recommendation.


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Sunny Side Up will see you next Sunday! 🌞

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