Himachal Pradesh seems to be India’s happiest state this year as per HR firm HappyPlus Consulting. They conducted a happiness survey and found the northern Indian state topping the chart two years in a row.
And why not?
Every place you want to escape to, to beat the summer heat is here ― whether it’s Kullu, Manali, Shimla or Dalhousie. And the residents there live a slow, simple and unadulterated life amongst lush green landscapes and the scent of apples in their backyards. Okay, it’s a bit exaggerated.
Not to forget that Himachal has one of the most underrated and yummiest cuisines. If you ever visit the state then you have to try their aktori (a kind of pancake made with buckwheat leaves), bhey (a lotus stem delicacy), kaale chane ka khatta (black chickpeas in a spiced gravy). And Tibetan thukpa (a Himachali soup with the touch of Tibet), chha gosht (lamb) and Kullu trout fish.
Did this already make you want to open a holiday booking app and make plans? Well, we’re not sorry for nudging you. 😁
But hey, that’s not why Himachel Pradesh emerged on top actually. The survey also considered some serious parameters like freedom of choice, generosity, perception of corruption, price, poverty and health indices, literacy rate, life expectancy, etc.
Now that’s a serious set of metrics to judge happiness, isn’t it?
Here’s a soundtrack to put you in the mood 🎵
Tum 2.0 by Anurag Vashisht
Thanks for the wonderful recommendation, Neelam Nath.
With this, it’s time to get cracking.
What our readers are saying 📢
So one reason why we launched the Sunday edition of the Finshots newsletter was to engage with our community. Hence, the music and book/movie recommendations sourced from you folks. But we also get a lot of insightful comments on our stories from our wonderful readers. And we thought it’d be nice to share some of these thoughts in Sunny Side Up too.
One of our readers (who wishes to remain anonymous) runs a restaurant listed on Thrive, the foodtech firm we wrote about earlier this week. Now Thrive has recently launched a new app called Thrive Consumer to help with discoverability for restaurants. It’s in Mumbai for now. And people can search and scroll for restaurant — similar to what Swiggy and Zomato does.
But, the interesting thing is that they’re increasing their commissions for orders on this app — anywhere between 8–14%. This depends on order frequency and whether the restaurant joins a scheme called Thrive Promise. A higher commission for the privilege of being ‘discovered’?
The commissions on the existing Thrive Direct restaurant microsites will remain at at their much touted 3% for now.
Quite an interesting development, don’t you think?
Another Finshots community member Anjuna shared her observations on the difference in average order values (AOV).
“Regarding the point on people spending more on direct orders (from restaurants), don’t you think people use the direct and indirect channels for different occasions? For example, if I want to order something for myself, I’ll go to Swiggy because it is convenient and carries no risk. If I am ordering for a team lunch or a house party, the risks on that bulk order are higher and I would prefer ordering it directly to the restaurant to ensure that the items are available and will reach on time. People are not spending more because they order directly, rather they are using that channel for bigger purchases.”
What do you think about this? Write to us and let us know!
What caught our eye this week 👀
If you’re a Bengali, raise your hand.
And if you’re a hilsa loving Bengali then raise both. I’m sure I wouldn’t find even one Bengali who doesn’t have a romantic relationship with this versatile sea creature. Now, even if you aren’t Bengali, but have tasted this juicy, lip smacking fish, you know why I’m seasoning the hilsa with so much praise.
For those of you who have no idea of what I’m talking about, Bengalis both from India and Bangladesh adore the hilsa. Or the ‘ilish’ as they call it. It’s a marine fish species, mostly found along the waters of the Bay of Bengal that only swims to the fresh water when its ready to lay eggs.
And the reason the hilsa has found a place in our newsletter today is because West Bengal celebrated its new year last week. And a Tripura government-run entity called Tripura Apex Fisheries announced that it will sell about 5,000 kilos of hilsa at reasonable prices. About ₹700 to ₹1,000 per kg.
And just so you get it, the hilsa usually demands a market price of anything between ₹1,000 to ₹1,400 per kg. Sometimes the price per kg could skyrocket to a whopping ₹2,800 too.
So, that got me thinking ‘Why’s the not so humble hilsa so lavishly pricey?’
Despite Bengalis drooling over it, the fish has almost disappeared from the poor and middle class folks’ plates. And a lot of it is has got to do with their declining population, mostly because of overfishing or wrong fishing techniques.
For instance, fishers use mosquito gill nets treated with insecticide that are used to prevent malaria to catch fish. These nets scoop up everything in their way, meaning that fishers get more fishes per catch.
But in the process, tiny baby fish also get trapped in there, hurting their population growth. And despite being banned, a lot of fisherfolks continue to use them because they come cheap.
Besides, water pollution and damns blocking their movement between the sea and river are also taking a toll on the hilsa. Their habitat also isn’t such that they can be bred like most fish West Bengal consumes. That being said, their exports from Bangladesh to India have reduced considerably.
The demand for the hilsa is high regardless. But being nearly a rare find now, the prices only climb upward.
So unless fisheries take serious notes on threats to the hilsa and start conserving them, the day isn’t far when the hilsa might be distant dream in Bengali households.
Money tips 💰
It’s okay to be shameless with your money
Imagine you’re dining at a fancy restaurant with your buddies on a weekend. When it’s time to pay the bill, most of your friends take out their phones or cards to pay. But you just volunteer to pay with the intention of recovering everyone’s share from them later.
Often we shy away from making it clear at the table that you paying up doesn’t mean that dinner’s on you. And a lot of your friends might misunderstand this as “Hey, you don’t have to be formal. It’s okay if you don’t pay me.”
Now, even if most of them send across their share later there’s always one or two friends who forget. But does that mean that you hesitate to recoup your money?
Not really. I know it may sound rude on the face of it. But think of it this way. You may have neatly drawn up a monthly budget and this dinner may have weighed it down. So unless all your friends sincerely split the bill, it could be hard for you to get through the rest of the month.
That’s why it’s always wise to keep money and relationships in their own separate spaces. It’s okay to be clear about your bill splitting intentions or even send a “Split the bill” request on a common payment app that all of you use.
After all budgeting isn’t just about you alone. External factors could shake it up and it’s always important to learn how to shamelessly take control.
Bonus tip: Being clear about who spends on what is also useful when it comes to married folks. You and your spouse might sometimes want to share large expenses on home loan EMIs, new appliances or furniture for the house, etc. And communication is key here. So sit down together and decide who spends on what. That way both of you become more than just partners in crime (Oh! And war 😉).
Founder’s Corner 💭
Often a lot of our readers face one problem — they are unable to keep up with the amount of insights we pack into our pieces everyday.
Now, if you are someone who feels the same way, Bhanu Harish Gurram (Co-Founder — Finshots & Ditto Insurance) has got you covered! Head over to his LinkedIn for some really helpful tips and tricks!
And remember to hit like, share and follow for more insightful content about business, finance and the economy.
Readers Recommend 🗒️
No Stupid Questions | A podcast by Angela Duckworth and Steven Dubner
If you’re a fan of Freakonomics series, then you’ll love today’s recommendation from our reader Mansi Khandelwal. It’s a show by Freakonomics’ co-author Steve Dubner and research psychologist Angela Duckworth. And they’ve created it so that they can ask other as many stupid questions as they want. Like ‘How should you spend your birthday?’ or ‘Should you interview first or last?’ or even ‘Why we swear?’.
We hope you folks like it. Thanks for this one Mansi!
Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩
We’re back with our Weekly Quiz. This time without any glitches. Woo hoo! And it’s time to announce our winner… 🥁
Adyasha Hotta! Congratulations. We’ll get in touch with you soon to send over your Finshots merch.
And for the rest of you, here’s the link. You know the drill. Tune in next week to check if you got lucky with our Weekly Quiz.
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: email@example.com).
We’ll see you next Sunday!