Hello there!

You can never write anything about Elon Musk. Just last week, we told you about how his deal to buy Twitter went kaput and shared the inside deets of Musk’s DMs.

But guess what?

It turns out he’s ready to buy Twitter again. He’s had a change of heart and thinks that Twitter could be the start of another crazy dream he has — X, the everything app. Essentially, it’s a super app. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of mobile apps — you can message folks, make payments, play games, order food, shop to your heart’s content…everything in one place.

Or maybe it’s all just another prank.

But on the off chance that it isn’t, the question is — Will Musk’s plan work?

Not many seem to think so. See, US regulators are already trying to break up Big Tech. And a super app could set the alarm bells ringing. Also, a lot of folks in authority don’t trust Musk because he’s a loose cannonball.  

But anyway…

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

Mayflower by Easy Wanderlings ft. Nikhil D’Souza

Comfy? Beverage in hand? Headphones plugged in?

Let’s get started then!

What caught our eye this week 👀

Betting companies and surrogate advertising

If you’ve been watching the India vs South Africa T20s and ODIs, you might have noticed one particular advertisement featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Mithali Raj, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal and a couple of other folks. They’re promoting Fairplay News, a sports news website.

But here’s the real deal. What you’ve just seen on your telly is good old-fashioned surrogate advertising. These ‘news’ websites have actually been created by betting companies to get their name into the world.

It’s just like how alcobev companies like Kingfisher or Royal Stag promote their brands by advertising packaged drinking water or music CDs.

If you Google Fairplay News to see if it’s better than ESPNCricinfo or Cricbuzz for your daily cricket news, you’ll see the results screaming at you about “FairPlay - Best online betting site in India.”

Now the Indian government is not happy at all with these ads. And a few days ago, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued its second advisory in the past four months. Here’s what it said in the memo:

  1. Betting and gambling is an illegal activity in most parts of India.
  2. It may be mentioned that the logos of the concerned news websites are strikingly similar to the betting platform.
  3. The online offshore betting platforms appear to be promoting betting and gambling under the garb of news as surrogate advertising.
  4. Private satellite television channels are strongly advised to refrain from broadcasting advertisements of online offshore betting platforms and/or their surrogate news websites or any such product/service depicting these platforms in a surrogate manner.
  5. Contravention/violation of the above may invite penal action under the applicable laws.

To further prove their point, they even included 8 screenshots of such ads appearing on the telly.

But here’s the thing. The MIB only issued this advisory to TV channels. Say Sony Six. But it doesn’t refer to OTT platforms like Sony Liv.

So, who’s going to send the OTT folks a memo?

Infographic 📊

Another thing that caught our eye this week 👀

If you’re in Karnataka and looking to book an Ola, Uber or Rapido auto next week, you might be disappointed. The Karnataka government has banned them.

And there are two reasons for this:

  1. It says that these apps don't have permission to aggregate autos in the state.
  2. Apparently, people have complained that the apps are flouting the base fare rules and charging ₹100 for 2km. The actual base fare in Karnataka is pegged at ₹30.

I’m sure the first question you have in mind now is — if they never had permission to aggregate autos, why were they allowed to ply on the roads for so long then? Did the authorities turn a blind eye just because it was convenient for them to do so?

But ignore that for now. If you’re in Bengaluru, you’re probably dreading the days of haggling with auto drivers on the street. Or maybe all is not lost. Because it seems like the Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU) is taking matters into its own hands and launching an auto-hailing app of its own on 1st November (Karnataka’s formation day). It’ll be called ‘Namma Yatri’.

But before you get too excited, here’s a fair warning.

You see, in 2017, a government-backed app for taxi hailing was launched amidst much fanfare. It was called Namma TYGR. But it failed. Apparently, it never even applied for a taxi permit.

And even Namma Yatri could be looking at a potential speed bump. That’s because the folks at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) say that the app cannot be granted a licence either, because they don't have clarity on how to register an aggregator.


Money tips 💰

Relationship status with Money: It’s complicated

When it comes to money management, there’s one thing we don’t talk about enough — Our relationship with money.

Why are you a spendthrift? Or on the contrary, what explains your frugality?

Taking a moment to introspect will help you develop a better relationship with your money. So take out your notebook or journal and spend some time with yourself today. We’ve got some questions to help you get started on this journey. So try and answer as many as you can and take all the time you need:

  • What was your relationship with money as a kid?
  • Did your parents discuss money at home and how has that led you to think about money?
  • Has your relationship with money changed as you’ve gotten older?
  • What/Who has influenced any change in your money habits?
  • What does financial independence or financial freedom mean to you?

If it’s too overwhelming, don’t forget to take breaks in between. Maybe order some dessert too.

Okay? Then let’s move on to the next.

  • Do your friends think you spend too much or too little? How does that affect you?
  • What do you absolutely love spending money on? And what do you hate spending it on?
  • Have you tried your hand at budgeting before? If you have and you’ve failed, why do you think that happened?
  • If you’re going to make a big purchase, what are the emotions you feel when you’re at the checkout counter? Do those emotions change after a few days?
  • Do you think there are money-related habits that you wish you didn’t have? Have your goals been affected by money troubles?
  • Does money play a big part in how you define success in life?

Once you’re done, don’t just shut the book and bury it in a dark corner of your drawer. Take some time to actually reflect on your answers. And while this may not lead to a better relationship with money overnight it will hopefully get you thinking and reveal some patterns soon enough!

Readers Recommend 🗒️


It’s a miniseries that’s based on a book by the same name.

This comes from our reader Manish Daryani who says, “It's a real life story based on this addictive drug called OxyContin that is marketed by Purdue Pharma. It beautifully captures how Big Pharma companies undermine the well-being of people in order to make money and bypass regulators through unscrupulous means.”

Sounds like a gripping tale, no?

Anyway, that’s it from us today. If you’ve got a great podcast/documentary/movie/TV series about the business world on your mind, reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: morning@finshots.in) and let us know.

Or if you just want to tell us how much you loved this edition or hated it, shoot us that email too!

Sunny Side Up will see you next Sunday!s