Hey folks!

Ever imagined waking up to a cup of Coca-Cola?

Yes, we know you didn’t. But you might as well imagine it because Coke has taken a dip in the tea business. A couple of days ago it tied up Makaibari, Darjeeling’s iconic tea estate to launch a ready-to-drink iced green tea beverage under the brand Honest Tea.

But here’s a fun fact. This isn’t Coke’s first tryst with the Indian tea market. Over a decade ago it planned to partner with Nestle to sell bottled ready-to-drink iced tea under the Nestea brand. It was a time when its rival Pepsi was talking to Tata Tea about a similar endeavour. But the deal didn’t take off and abruptly stalled 2 years later because there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm among consumers for the product in the market. That was 2012.

But cut to today the same market is worth over $200 million and could grow at 13% annually by 2027. Besides consumers love experimenting with new products giving a lot of D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands an opportunity to give new ideas a shot. So maybe Coke should hope that second time’s the charm?

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

Le Chal by Himanshu Pareek

A couple of things caught our eye this week 👀

Civil Services Toppers have their faces on misleading ads?

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has sent out notices to nearly 20 civil services exam coaching centres and even slapped a ₹10 lakh penalty on Byju’s this week!

Ishita Kishore, Garima Lohia and Uma Harathi

Heard these names before?

Well, you may have especially if you’re a civil services aspirant. They topped the country in the civil services exams in 2022. And their photos have found a place in ads by coaching centres. But the CCPA believes that IAS coaching centres going on this “advertisement blitzkrieg” post the UPSC exam results every year can actually be misleading, resulting in a crackdown.

See, the UPSC coaching centre industry is pegged at a whopping ₹3,000 crores and they offer various courses that come at any price between ₹10,000 to ₹2 lakhs per student. But the success rate isn’t as big as these figures. Every year less than 0.5% of students who attempt these exams pass it. But when these centres print huge ads for the public they don’t tell you that.

They also don’t tell you that the toppers they’re claiming to be part of their institute may have made multiple attempts to clear the exam. Or even that they took different courses from different institutes. They just take all the credit for the toppers’ success. Prospective aspirants fall into the trap. And coaching centres rake in a lot of new admissions.

And guess what?

Toppers also earn from allowing their faces to be advertised throughout the year. But if they bag a job in the meantime, it could violate the Central Civil Services Rules which don’t permit government servants to earn from other businesses or jobs elsewhere.

The bottom line ― Coaching centres and toppers will have to drop these ad deals, affecting incomes of both quite a bit.

But coaching institutes don’t seem to be budging. They’ll probably take this matter to court. We’ll only have to wait and see if they can build a convincing case.

***

The great Indian aviation boom

“India is seeing a massive aviation boom” is what The Economist wrote a couple of days ago. And yup. There’s been quite a lot of chatter about it.

See, India is now the third-largest civil aviation market. And the government wants to make it a hub for international traffic by building more airports, easing transit and reducing passenger transfer times. During the budget for FY24, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman increased investments in the country's airports to ₹75,000 crore. This includes private investments too. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport now has 4 runways, making it the first Indian airport to achieve this.

Over the last decade, the number of airports as well as passengers travelling have doubled. And the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia also gives India hopes of doubling passenger numbers to 400 million+ over the next 5 years.

But here are a few challenges that can throw a spanner in the works.

India’s largest airlines are believed to be spending billions of dollars on buying over 1000 airlines which are expected to be delivered over the next 7-12 years. But parking capacity can be an issue. The Hindu reported that Air India and IndiGo which control over 80% of the market share, are able to avail only about half the intended parking capacity. And if flights can’t park at big aviation hubs, they’ll have to force fly to smaller airports. This may not be the most commercially viable option for them because odd schedules can make flying expensive, reducing how many passengers choose to fly those routes. So it’s important to increase parking capacity in tandem with these airplane orders.

India also wants to become an aviation hub at the cost of denying international flying rights for the time being. India hasn't revised its bilateral arrangements with countries that are aviation hubs since 2014. Because if foreign airlines expand their operations in India through more bilateral arrangements it’ll become difficult for Indian airlines to expand globally. Sure, it’s quite a protective policy. But could be considered unfair by other countries.

And finally, India has not one, but two strong airlines ― Air India and Indigo who are trying to up their market share in the international flying space. But engine defects have forced the latter to ground its planes at a time when India really needs to seamlessly manage its passenger traffic. Well, that could be temporary. But we know what a situation like this dragged Go First into right?

If the aviation sector can find ways to fix these hiccups, then India could be unstoppable from becoming an aviation hub. Agree or not?

Jargon of the day ✏️

Money tips 💰

Honesty can financially empower you

Back in my college days, it was hard not to give in to peer pressure. If someone said “Hey, let’s grab a coffee” I knew it would be a fancy coffee at a fancy cafe. And that would easily cost me my entire week’s pocket money. I thought things would change as an adult. But funnily, it didn’t. If my friends invited me to dine at grand new restaurant post work, especially while I was trying to save up for a goal, it would be hard to say no.

One day though, I said it. I told my friends that meeting at a pub wouldn’t fit my budget because I was trying to save up for a vacation. And suddenly the embarrassing feeling of not being able to afford it vanished. Rather, I felt empowered.

Often we put ourselves in situations where it’s hard to accept that we can’t afford a certain lifestyle or that we need to work extra hard to do things that easily come to others. You don’t always make friends with people who come from the same economic background, so everyone’s financial situation and journey is always different. But accepting that and staying committed to your journey is important. And that’s only possible when you’re straightforward.

And guess what my friends told me when I denied to meet them at a pub that evening? They said, “Cool, let’s crash at your place and spend the weekend together!”

Readers Recommend 🗒️

Financial Feminist by Tori Dunlap

This week, our reader Sujay recommends a podcast that guides women on how to make more money, spend less and feel more confident in a patriarchal financial world. So yup, we know it’s a skewed recommendation, but we hope you enjoy it. Thanks for the recommendation Sujay!

Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩

It’s time to announce the winner of our previous week's quiz. And the winner is…🥁

Sathish P! Congratulations. Keep an eye on your inbox and we’ll get in touch with you soon to send over your Finshots merch. And for the rest of you, we’ve moved the weekly quiz to our weekly wrapup. So make sure you answer all the questions correctly and tune in here next week to check if you got lucky.

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