Hey folks! We’re back with the Sunny Side Up again. And we hope you missed us. There’s so much to talk about. Like a robot being the recruiter for your next job.

Yup! You read that right.

Apparently 4 in 10 companies will use AI (artificial intelligence) to talk to candidates during interviews by the end of this year. And 15% of them would probably even base their hiring decisions on these calls without any input from a human!

Human resource departments have been using AI to scan candidates’ resumes and job applications for a while. But who’d think that it would take centre stage someday.

Crazy right?

Harvard Business Review estimates about 86% of all employers are now limiting or eliminating human involvement in the initial stages of the interview process and replacing the interviewer itself with AI.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Will the HR team at my workplace be completely replaced with bots soon?

Well, that may not be the case any time soon because AI is just helping HR teams save time consuming candidate sifting processes. So it actually may be enhancing your HR team’s capabilities so that they have time to do more important things.

But yeah, that’s as of 2024. We don’t know what’s going to happen when AI actually becomes sentient. Fingers crossed.

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

Bichanar Aloo by Suspended Ffth

Well, that's a Bengali song that sort of translates into 'couch potato'.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

A couple of things caught our eye this week 👀

What’s the problem with McDonald's cheese?

McDonald’s just got into a sticky situation a couple of weeks ago. The reason?

Maharashtra's Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for enforcing food, drug and cosmetics laws in the state, cracked down on it for stuffing burgers with fake cheese. Or rather cheese analogues. These are substitutes made out of cheaper sources of fat such as vegetable oil. And since they mimic the texture and flavour so well, it’s hard to tell them apart from cheese made out of milk fats.

The FDA even got McDonald’s to remove the word ‘cheese’ from its menu despite the fast food chain denying that it used any substitutes at all.

And it seems like McDonald’s was right after all. Because this week, it got a clean chit from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The authority confirmed that McDonald’s used 100% real cheese and not vegetable oil substituted replicas.

But what’s the problem with using vegetable fats in cheese, you ask?

Actually there isn’t.

The trouble only brews when brands mislabel their products as made out of real cheese or milk products.

Just think of the time when India’s advertising regulator ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) had asked Hindustan Unilever (HUL) to stop passing off its Kwality Walls frozen dessert as ice cream about a decade ago. Frozen dessert is also an imitation of ice cream that’s made with vegetable fats.

But not many people knew the difference between the two. And that’s exactly why ice creams made of vegetable fats had gained a 40% share in India’s organised ice cream market back then.

The thing is, replacing milk fats with vegetable fats can save companies at least 5x the costs, in effect increasing profit margins. And that’s probably what was happening with HUL too. But in the end HUL took responsibility and agreed to replace its misleading ads.

Another thing with vegetable fat food products is the use of hydrogenated oils. They're a type of fat that food manufacturers use to keep foods fresher for longer. And they contain unhealthy trans fats. So stuff like margarine, bakery shortenings and vanaspati oil commonly used in fried or baked foods and sweets can be bad for heart health. And the FSSAI has been trying to cap the trans fats that they contain. For instance, hydrogenated vegetable oils aren’t supposed to contain over 2% trans fats.

So yeah, the issue isn’t with replacing fat sources with vegetable oils but with misselling products as the real deal.

Luckily, McDonald’s was able to prove that it wasn’t one of these bad guys.

Fun fact: Amul never ceases to capitalise on such mislabelling issues. When the FSSAI pulled up HUL for its frozen desserts in 2012, Amul ran a campaign warning consumers to look out for other brands selling their frozen desserts in the name of ice cream. But it didn’t stop there. It made sure that it emphasised that Amul uses only real fresh milk to make its ice creams. And got itself into court trouble with other ice cream brands ganging up against it for condescending frozen desserts.

It used the same template in 2019, to promote its butter cookies. And guess what?

Last week it ran a new social media advertisement in which a mother reprimands companies who’ve been cheating her by selling cheese made out of vegetable oil. That’s shots fired at McDonald’s for sure. Time for Amul to get into trouble again?


The rise and rise of telecom frauds

This week I got a call from an unknown number. The speaker on the other side wasn’t human. But she said “Hello, this call is from the Telecom Department regarding blocking all numbers registered under your name within the next 2 hours. For more information, press 9”.

Trust me, it sounded genuine. And I fell for it. I pressed 9!

It took me to a real call centre where an executive repeated what the IVR had told me earlier. And when they weren’t able to answer my questions convincingly, I realised that I could have become a victim of telecom fraud, had I continued to talk any further.

First things first. Don’t be like me. When you get a call like this, don’t press any keys on your phone. Don’t panic either because the Telecom Authority never calls you to disconnect or block individual numbers.

But the rise of telecom frauds isn’t a new thing. See, India is the second largest smartphone user in the world after China. And our 5G subscriptions are expected to go up 7x by the end of 2028 as compared to 2022. So, there’s a lot of room for fraudsters to call you up posing to be from a mobile network company and to offer a 5G upgrade. Or even threaten to disconnect your number on the pretext that you or another number registered under your identity has committed a crime.

And despite the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) attempts, it has been hard to plug the hole.

This week though, it launched an online portal called Chakshu where victims can report WhatsApp, call or SMS frauds. Besides, it has also recommended something called the Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), a feature that would allow users who opt for the service to view the registered name of anybody calling them. That reduces privacy risks of data aggregators like Truecaller.

So yeah, hopefully these measures could make you and me less vulnerable to these scary frauds.

Infographic 📊

Money tips 💰

Your friends can become your personal finance foes! Wait… what?

A couple of years ago, my friend asked me for help. Her tax filer had claimed wrong income tax deductions to get back the taxes her employer had deducted from her pay in the form of TDS. And in the process, she ended up sharing her income tax return with me.

I couldn’t help but get into a comparison trap. Simply put, she was earning much more than I was at the time despite having the same educational qualifications. That gave me immense FOMO (fear of missing out).

Oftentimes we get into similar traps because situations can make it look like the grass is greener on the other side. And impulsively, we try to spend more to show people that we’re living as lavishly as they are. Or maybe even lie about how stable we are with our finances.

But here’s the thing. Getting into the comparison trap can only erode your savings and affect your mental health involuntarily. And that means that you deprive yourself the opportunity to live a better financial life in the future.

So, what do you do to remain unaffected?

Okay, let’s be honest. Maybe you can’t be completely unaffected. But here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Try to upskill in your field of work that could help you climb the pay or career ladder.
  2. Set aside a slightly higher portion of your income as savings, so you can rely on it in the future.
  3. And the most important thing, don’t forget to factor in the difference between the work experience that you and your friend have or even the industry in which you both operate. Some jobs pay differently, but that doesn’t mean what you’re doing is contributing any less. Learn to appreciate what you do.

And maybe that will help you push away the FOMO associated with the comparison trap? I really hope so.

Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩

Our weekly quiz is back! So, don’t forget to check out the quiz link in our weekly wrapup. Then make sure you answer all the questions correctly and tune in here next week to check if you got lucky. Winners will have some fun and exclusive Finshots merch coming their way.

That's it from us this week. But, don’t forget to tell us what you thought of today’s edition. And send us your book, music, business movies, documentaries or podcast recommendations so that we can revive our Readers Recommend section too! Just hit reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: morning@finshots.in).

See you next Sunday!


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