Monday 31 January 2022

HPCL Q3 Results 2021-22

Mumbai – 31st January 2022                                                                                     

With the recovery gaining traction, Oct-Dec 2021 quarter saw the petroleum product consumption in India echoing the pre-COVID levels. The already volatile crude oil market witnessed sharp price fluctuations with the crude prices continuing to trade at 7-year high levels at end of January 2022 due to concerns over supply and ongoing geopolitical tensions.

One of the highlights of this quarter for HPCL is commissioning and stabilization of all the units under Mumbai Refinery Expansion Project, which was completed after a very complex revamp of some of the process units and addition of new process units and facilities. Mumbai Refinery is now operating at its enhanced design capacity of 9.5 MMTPA. The project will also ensure enhanced energy efficiency, reduced carbon intensity and improved distillate yield in the refinery operations.

The market sales for the period October – December 2021 (including exports) were 10.54 MMT as compared to 10.40 MMT for the same period of previous financial year. For the first time ever, HPCL exceeded Rs. One Lakh Crore mark in the quarterly sales figure. During the period October - December 2021 the Gross Sales is Rs. 103,080 crore as compared to Rs. 77,113 crore for the same period of previous financial year. Gross sales during the period Apr-Dec 2021 is Rs. 267,699 crore as compared to Rs. 184,338 crore for the same period of previous financial year.

During April-December 2021, the domestic sales of petroleum products of HPCL was 27.2 million metric tonnes against 25.4 million metric tonnes during the corresponding period of 2020-21 registering a growth of 7%.  The sale of MS increased by 14.6%, HSD 7.1% and LPG 2.9% respectively. The overall demand of petroleum products during the period Apr-Dec 21 was around 97% of pre-pandemic demand during Apr-Dec 2019.

During the period October – December 2021, HPCL refineries processed 4.24 million metric tonnes of crude as compared to 4.0 million metric tonnes during the corresponding period of previous financial year. Gross Refinery Margin is $ 6.39 / bbl for the period October – December 2021 as against $ 1.87 / bbl for the same period in the previous year. The Gross Refinery Margins for the period April – December 2021 is $ 4.50 / bbl as against $ 2.35 / bbl during the corresponding period of previous financial year.

For the period October - December 2021, HPCL recorded a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 869 crore compared to Rs 2,355 crore for the same period last year. The profit was affected primarily due to the price fluctuations in Q3 2021 leading to inventory losses compared to inventory gains in corresponding period last year. The stabilization phase of some of the units at Mumbai Refinery after the revamp shutdown also constrained, to some extent, the full value realization of the improving GRMs. However, with the units having fully stabilised now and operating to the design capacity, the positive impact of higher refinery thruput at Mumbai Refinery is expected next quarter onwards.

For the period April - December 2021, HPCL recorded a PAT of Rs. 4,587 crore as against Rs. 7,646 crore during the corresponding period of previous financial year. The consolidated PAT was Rs. 5,276 crore for period April-December 2021 as against Rs. 7,602 crore during the corresponding period of previous year.

During 3rd quarter of 2021-22, 386 new retail outlets were commissioned taking the total number of retail outlet network to 19,602 Nos. as of December 2021. HPCL also commissioned a new POL Depot at Hissar (Haryana) along with 10km dedicated tap-off pipeline from existing Ramanmandi - Bahadurgarh Pipeline (RBPL) at Barwala, which will facilitate further optimization of logistic costs & strengthening of the supply infrastructure.

Towards meeting the growing demand of LPG in the country, HPCL has strengthened its LPG supply infrastructure with commissioning of 3 new LPG bottling plants at Rayagada in Orissa, Goalpara in Assam and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh and augmented facilities at various other LPG plants. Construction of 80,000 MT LPG Cavern at Mangalore, which is in progress, will further help in optimization of cost.

To ensure availability of alternate fuels and offering more choices to customers, CNG dispensing facilities were commissioned at 91 retail outlets during October to December 2021, taking the total number of retail outlets with CNG facilities to 900. EV charging facility has been provided at 655 outlets as of December 2021 and we plan to extend it to 5,000 retail outlets in next 3-4 years.

After just concluded 11th CGD bidding round, HPCL along with its JVs now have City Gas Distribution authorization for 21 Geographical areas covering 38 districts in 9 states. HPCL intends to invest around Rs. 9,600 crore on development of the CGD network in these geographical areas in next few years. Construction activities at HPCL’s 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Regasification terminal at Chhara, Gujarat which is being executed under its wholly owned subsidiary named “HPCL LNG Ltd” is in full swing.

State of the Art HPCL’s R&D Centre at Bengaluru has received 116 patents for developing new products and technologies in a short period of 5 years since its commissioning in 2016.

HPCL is committed to conduct business with an objective of preserving the environment and contributing to sustainable development. In this context, HPCL is in the process of developing a validated roadmap with the help of a world-renowned consultant to achieve net zero Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2040, the details of which will be released in due course of time within this calendar year itself.

HPCL is the first Oil and Gas company in India to place an order for electrolyzer based green hydrogen plant of 370 Ton per annum capacity for its Visakh Refinery which is likely to be commissioned by Dec 2022. HPCL has plans to have Green hydrogen capacity of around 24,000 Ton per annum over a period of time. HPCL is also constructing a 100 KL per day capacity 2G Bio ethanol refinery at Bhatinda with agri-waste as a feedstock and a 14 Ton per day capacity Compressed Bio-Gas plant at Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. In addition, HPCL also owns and operates two ethanol plants in Bihar through its subsidiary company. HPCL has 101 MW capacity wind farms in Rajasthan and Maharashtra and 48.80 MW solar power capacity.

The Visakh refinery upgradation and expansion project is in advance stage. Residue Upgradation Facility (RUF), which will enable substantial improvement in refinery complexity and the GRMs of Visakh Refinery, is under construction. An important milestone for Residue Upgradation Facility was fabrication, transportation and erection of world’s heaviest DAO LC Max Reactor along with 2 other LC Max reactors which was completed during the Quarter. Construction at Rajasthan Refinery and Petrochemical complex is in full swing.

HPCL’s major pipeline projects - (i) Extension of Visakh Vijaywada Secunderabad pipeline (VVSPL) from Vijayawada to Dharmapuri (VDPL) Pipeline and construction of Marketing Terminal at Dharmapuri (ii) Hassan-Cherlapalli LPG Pipeline (iii) Mundra Delhi Pipeline (MDPL) Capacity Expansion & Palanpur Vadodara Pipeline (PVPL) Extension, Barmer Palanpur Pipeline are progressing ahead of schedule.


Expanding its footprints in non-fuel retailing, HPCL has recently opened two more convenience stores under its brand “HaPpyShop” at Bandra West in Mumbai and Millennium Outlet Visakhapatnam. HPCL had launched its first “HaPpyShop” convenience store in Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai in Sept 2021. Product range in each of the new stores has been meticulously planned to suit the tastes and preferences of the local neighborhoods. Customers also have the choice of online shopping with door delivery on “HP Pay App”. HPCL has also launched a pure online convenience store under the same brand HaPpyShop at Madurai.


HPCL has been conferred with many awards during the quarter in various areas of its business, which includes the coveted 'Oil Marketing Company of the Year' Award at FIPI Oil & Gas Industry Awards, 2021, recognizing our Performance Excellence in Oil & Gas Marketing. 

World Vision India Collaborates with Global Indian International School, Singapore to Conduct Community Virtual Class Learning


~ Approximately 200 vulnerable children from 10 schools across Chennai, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Kanpur and Agra benefitted and got opportunity to improve their competencies in English and Mathematics ~

Chennai, 31st January 2022 – As our country braces itself to navigate through the third wave of COVID, World Vision India (WV India), the country’s largest child-focused humanitarian organization, focuses on ensuring that the education of the vulnerable children do not suffer. As one of the way to facilitate this- WV India collaborated with Global Indian International School (GIIS)-Singapore and conducted Community Virtual Class Learning (CVCL) for approximately 200 students of grade 4 to 5 level aged between 8 to 13 years from 10 schools across Chennai, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Kanpur and Agra.  

CVCL is a virtual platform where the vulnerable students from lesser-privileged communities, are taught practical concepts that will have a learning impact in their lives. GIIS students from the 11th grade facilitated CVCL and tutored the students in English and Mathematics. English topics ranged from alphabets, nouns, tenses to poems, letter writing and even story telling. Mathematics topics ranged from simple addition, subtraction to profit & loss, area & perimeter, etc. As many as 2000 students from various school were analyzed during the baseline survey to select the most vulnerable who did not have age/grade appropriate learning outcomes. Then the best way to tutor and help them improve were outlined. Most sessions were in the children’s mother tongues to begin with until they were able to comprehend the study material in English.

“The Pilot of the CVCL project was undertaken in October to December 2020 and owing to its success we decided to scale it up to more schools in 2021. Many of the students from the vulnerable sections did not have access to the internet, digital training or amenities to try to improve their academic skills. We are thrilled to collaborate with an institution such as GIIS Singapore, who share our philosophy of results through sustained efforts rather than resorting to ad hoc measures. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the students from GIIS Singapore who took time off from their schedule and makes CVCL a great success. We are keen to further expand this program to more schools in India this year,” said, Mr. Sanjay Bhattacharya, Strategic Lead- Education, World Vision India.

“With the pandemic not going away, we definitely see the need for programs such as CVCL to provide opportunities for children from vulnerable sections, to equip themselves with skill sets which will hone their learning abilities. The students chosen for the program were those which needed help academically in their respective batches,” said Mr. Ashwin Gite, CAS Coordinator & Department Head, Humanities, Global Indian International School. “As per the baseline assessment, we received great results after CVCL, as about 70% of the students were able to read and comprehend English language, 35% of them were able to read newspapers and 70% also improved their competencies in simple arithmetic. This goes a long way to show how the right platforms and guidance can help these students improve their skills,” Mr Gite added.

Apart from improving their overall competencies in English and Mathematics, students also learned how to study through a virtual medium, which was a first for many. The exposure to the students from GIIS Singapore also acted as a platform for cross-fertilizations of ideas and an opportunity to engage with students from an International school and to pick up some of the best educational practices from them. On the other hand, the students from GIIS Singapore also got an opportunity to improve their preparatory and facilitation skills as well as have a cultural connect with India.

GIIS is a premier international school based in Singapore, whose mission is to nurture young minds into global leaders and innovators of tomorrow through a skills-based approach to education. The school emphasizes on entrepreneurship and character development as part of its holistic learning framework, which allows students to participate in programmes like CVCL.

GIM's annual Healthcare Management Conference reinforced that technology is revolutionising the Indian healthcare sector and is fast proving to be a gamechanger

Mumbai, February 2022: 

Premier B-school Goa Institute of Management (GIM) hosted its annual healthcare management conference on the theme 'Futures Thinking in Indian Healthcare' where domain experts, industry veterans and academicians came together to deliberate on how healthcare delivery in the Indian subcontinent can improve. The common thought which emerged is that the Indian healthcare structure is being revolutionised with the involvement of technology which is fast proving to be a gamechanger.

“In India’s healthcare industry, much has changed in the last decade. We will have a younger population in the future, reducing the strain on the industry. Nowadays, technology is an enabler for the healthcare sector which is phenomenal”, said Ajit Parulekar, Director of GIM.

Well-known political scientist and futurist, Prof. Sohail Inayatullah shared an exposition in his keynote address on how healthcare managers can forecast alternative futures and create a strategy to achieve the preferred future by solving problems. Imagine something impossible today that becomes your vision of tomorrow", adds Inayatullah.

The panel discussion on "Future of Indian Healthcare - Quo Vadis?" was expertly moderated by Anjan Bose, former President of Philips Healthcare. The discussion touched upon how the involvement of private healthcare providers can partner with the public sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also focussed on how the healthcare industry was moving towards a more preventive and predictive way of looking at health and how the diagnosis was also getting stretched on the therapeutic side, where personalised medicine would become an important aspect. The senior leaders from the healthcare domain emphasised that India is already underway in adopting digital health and that with the unique health ID of every citizen, healthcare delivery would undergo a revolution. 

To a question asked by GIM student Shuvam Garabadu on what was the future road-map for creating affordability over access in rural areas, one of the panellist, Mr Sandeep Makka,  Managing Director Johnson and Johnson Medical India replied that the high volatility, shortage of skilled human resources, and underdeveloped infrastructure are some of the prevalent issues in the rural markets of India. 

"This structure is now being revolutionised by the involvement of technology, which is fast proving to be a gamechanger. Many companies in India developed indigenous products under COVID-19 powered by AI, which has saved costs, time and maximised access. To accelerate skill development, digital technologies are being leveraged through collaborative virtual reality experiences to provide front-line workers with hybrid co-learning with experts from metro cities. The Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure mission aims to co-create more rural health and wellness centres, integrated public health labs, and diagnostic centres through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, resulting in a visionary plan for improving access to affordable, high-quality healthcare for all explained," added  Mr Sandeep Makkar. 

The discussion on ‘Making Indian Healthcare Resilient: Health Start-ups & Innovations’ provided insights into how the start-up ecosystem in the country is tackling problems at the grassroots. The discussion was ably moderated by the Director of GIM, Dr. Ajit Parulekar. The discussion focused on how now is the best time to enter the market that startups could bridge the gaps caused by COVID-19 and how the affordability and accessibility of healthcare could be increased along with home-based delivery. The experts on the panel agreed that India has the potential to be a global hub of start-ups. One of the panellists, Amit Mookim, Managing Director, IQVIA South Asia agreed and stated "Today, there is not only an increase in demand but also in supply. Entrepreneurs and corporates are helping jumpstart the healthcare infrastructure market. Growth is happening today in markets that were untapped before."

The discussion on "Futures Approach in Indian Health Research and Action: Role of Knowledge Networks" garnered deep discussions on how knowledge organisations such as Oxford Policy Management, J-PAL, Access Health International, and GIM are helping healthcare governance in evidence-based policy-making and implementation. The panel emphasised the importance of the private sector in building the healthcare infrastructure and how to build capacity for research. It also stressed the importance to test every policy at small before scaling up to prevent wastage of resources. 

The moderator of the session, Dr Kheya Furtado, Associate Professor Goa Institute of Management said, "The trust deficit between the public and the private healthcare system needs to be reduced and they need to collaborate to develop a resilient healthcare system."

Added Dr Rana Mehta, Healthcare Industry Leader, Partner, PWC - India, "When we had a healthcare problem, we tried to solve it with an economic help book. Had we tried using a healthcare help book, we might have been able to overcome the circumstances of the healthcare sector earlier. 

The conference witnessed over 150 participants who participated in the exchange of ideas between the student community, stakeholders in the industry, academicians and thought leaders. 

8th International Young Chef Olympiad, the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs, kick-starts virtually with great fanfare

Culinary students from more than 40 countries to compete for YCO 2022 Champion Title and $5,000 at an intense battle to be held virtually from 30th January to 5th February


New Delhi, January 31st, 2022: The 8th edition of the International Young Chef Olympiad, which is the world’s biggest culinary battle for student chefs, has kick-started with a Grand Opening Ceremony, held virtually on Sunday i.e 30th January 2022. Organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), in partnership with the International Hospitality Council (IHC) London, YCO 2022 will host student chefs from more than 40 countries, including Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, Scotland, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, UAE and Sweden, among others. 176 Cameras placed in over 40 Countries across 24 Time Zones connecting over 143 Chef Judges from all over the World across the next 7 days to one feed, recording every move makes YCO one of the most complex systems of web crafted management for this incredible competition.

Key dignitaries from more than 40 countries attended the opening ceremony virtually. The attendees included Dr Suborno Bose (CEO-IHC and Founder YCO), Professor David Foskett (MBE) (Chairman, IHC and YCO 2021) as well as world-renowned chefs who form the panel of judges for YCO 2022, including Brain Turner CBE, Andreas Muller, Chris Galvin, John Wood, Stefan Hogan, Stuart Littlejohn, Henri Brosi,  and Enzo Oliveri. YCO also brings 124 Expert Guest Sessions on varied topics for Students joining from all over the World to listen on dedicated 3 Channels beaming knowledge over the full Week.

The opening ceremony commenced with a video of the YCO journey from 2015 to 2022 and a live session welcoming the participating countries. The evening also witnessed live speeches by Dr Bose, Prof Foskett and Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The oath-taking ceremony of the participants, mentors and judges preceded the unveiling of the YCO 2022 Champion Trophy and the torch.

YCO 2022 has adopted the theme of Global Goals to encourage the culinary world to work together for a greater cause of environmental protection with a positive call to action towards sustainability. The theme lays impetus on the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Suborno Bose said, “After hosting and executing first-ever virtual YCO in 2021, even the ongoing pandemic could not stagger the spirit of Young Chef Olympiad. We thought we couldn’t do it but the enthusiasm of all the participant countries encouraged us to host the 8th edition of the event.  This year we are celebrating sustainability and global goals by emphasizing the 17 Sustainability Development Goals of the UN which has inspired global culinary research. In 2022, we have an even more diverse representation and we are highly delighted to see the young talent. We celebrate the culinary talents but also we celebrate the positivity of the young people around the world because the vision of the YCO was always to bring the young people to establish friendship, solidarity and brotherhood."

Following the Opening Ceremony, a 5-day-long culinary battle will begin from today i.e 31st January through video conferencing. The top 10 contestants as per the scores of the previous round will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2022 on 3rd and 4th February split into 2 groups of 5 countries in each group, in different time zones to accommodate all. The Plate Trophy will also be held on the 3rd and 4th February wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete.

The Olympiad will conclude on 5th February with a Closing Ceremony, where the YCO 2022 Champion, runners-up and other awardees will be announced. This year, the participants will be competing for awards such as ‘Plate Trophy’, ‘Best Knife Skills’, ‘Best Vegetarian Dish’, ‘Best Creme Caramel’, ‘Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice’, ‘6 Ambassador’s Awards’ ‘6 Mentor Awards’, ‘Best Use of Kitchen Cut Management Award’ and ‘Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award’, ‘International Diamond Research Award’.

Professor David Foskett said, “YCO 2021 has shown us that we can conquer the unpredicted. With the same spirit of unity, we are gathered here to celebrate hospitality through young chefs. These young chefs are the youth of tomorrow who will change the world with the spirit of YCO. My vision is to unite the world of hospitality and culinary arts, build bridges, promote understanding, celebrate diversity and culture as well as recognize the talent young people have and the power they have to change the world for the better in the future. This year inspired by the Diamond Research Project, our theme focuses on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate change which has a wide influence on the youth of today. I believe in the saying, let there be light. Hospitality shows that light to the world. I hope the next year we could be together in India to celebrate the light hospitality emanates”

The Principal Judge of the competition, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor said, “As the principal judge of YCO 2022, I welcome all participating countries to the world’s biggest virtual culinary Olympiad for the young chefs. Last year we saw a newer version of YCO, but this year the 8th edition of YCO has raised the benchmark altogether with around 176 cameras across more than 40 countries. The world of hospitality is changing and soon the contributions of hospitality will be globally acknowledged through our young chefs”

Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar also spoke at the occasion and congratulated all the participant countries. He also said “YCO brings light to the hospitality industry and the culinary world. The spirit and the sophistication of the event have always amazed us. Whereas the last year showed us the ardent spirit of all the participants, this year the spirit has brightened. This year YCO has levelled up to support the cause of the UN through 17 Sustainable Development Goals which has deeply inspired hospitality worldwide”.

Sourav Valentine Gomes from IIHM Kolkata, who is representing India at this global event with mentor Clemant D Cruze, while sharing his excitement, said, “This is a big opportunity for me to represent my country in the prestigious Young Chef Olympiad. I would like to thank my faculty members, my college for giving me such a big platform. I am looking forward to winning the trophy, I will give my 100% to bring laurels to my country. With that, I am looking forward to gaining a lot of knowledge and skills from world-renowned culinary experts

The YCO and Kitchen Management 2022 is joining with the IIHM Global Centre for Hospitality and Tourism Research in a new initiative this year. To help research skills development it has been decided to expand opportunities for culinary students and teachers/lecturers to demonstrate research skills in the global hospitality and tourism industry. Colleges and Universities are being asked to submit a research paper of no more than 5000 words the theme is ‘The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’.

The winners of the past editions of YCO were Ashwin Nicholas Oon from Malaysia (2015), Daniella Germond from Canada (2016), Tham Jiajun Mathew from Singapore (2017), Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia (2018), Cyrene Randrianasolo from France (2019) Chen Khai Loong from Malaysia (2020) and Lee Maan Ki from Hong Kong (2021).

MX Player knocks the ball out of the park with Campus Diaries and Bhaukaal 2 crossing 100Mn views each

After three back-to-back superhit shows - Samantar 2, Ek Thi Begum and Matsya Kaand, the youth drama and the crime thriller are the next big hits among the audiences

Mumbai, 31st January 2022: India’s entertainment super app, MX Player is delivering on its promise of entertaining the audiences with back-to-back hit shows. After highly appreciated and loved shows like Samantar 2, Ek Thi Begum 2 and Matsya Kaand, its recently launched original series, Campus Diaries and Bhaukaal 2, are roaring successes. The youth drama Campus Diaries, which was released earlier this month has crossed 100 Mn views on MX Player in two weeks of its launch. Additionally, after the huge success of its last season, the crime thriller Bhaukaal 2 which released last week has received an overwhelming response and has also crossed 100 Mn views on the platform. 

Elaborating on the success of back-to-back content wins for the platform, Gautam Talwar, Chief Content Officer at MX Player said, “We, at MX Player spend a lot of time mining insights from our core consumers that reveal their content preferences. This is an ongoing process and both data as well as qualitative analysis feeds into that consumer centricity. This enables us to engage and collaborate with passionate, authentic story tellers to cater to this massive audience base that we have at MX which penetrates the smallest of towns/villages in this country. Shows like Samantar 2, Ek Thi Begum 2 and Bhaukaal 2 which have multiple seasons along with Matsya Kaand and Campus Diaries which also now are progressing to successive seasons are testament that we have effectively managed to bring viewers fresh narratives that are lesser explored in the Indian OTT ecosystem.”

Campus Diaries is a 12-episodic web series which explores the roller coaster ride of five friends played by Harsh Beniwal, Ritvik Sahore, Srishti Ganguli Rindani, Salonie Patel and Abhinav Sharma along with Saloni Gaur as they navigate life on campus, going on various misadventures together.

Speaking about the success of the series, actor Harsh Beniwal further added saying, “Be it leaving the audience in splits as a comedian or breaking the internet as a digital star, I always give my 100 percent to everything I do. But Campus Diaries has won me so much love and adulation from fans; it’s humbling to see the response our show has received and as an actor, nothing compares to this feeling. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.”

Actor Ritvik Sahore further added saying, “From the first day of the shoot till the day the show was launched, it has been a rather memorable journey with the entire cast and the MX team. I’m glad our hard work has reached millions and I hope the love keeps pouring in.”

Inspired by the life of IPS officer Navniet Sekera, Bhaukaal 2 sees Mohit Raina reprise his role as the heroic S.S.P Naveen Sikhera, who puts service before self and brings alive the story of Muzaffarnagar, UP and its saga of lawlessness in 2003. The intriguing police drama is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest shows in this genre on Indian OTT platforms. The series also stars Bidita Bag, Siddhanth Kapoor, Pradeep Nagar, Gulki Joshi, Ajay Chaudhary, Rashmi Rajput and Late Major Bikramjeet Kanwarpal in pivotal roles.

Actor Mohit Raina said, “I am overjoyed to see the amazing response Bhaukaal 2 has garnered within a week of its launch. I am truly grateful to be a part of a series which salutes the selfless duty of our brave heart police officers and has resonated with the Indian audiences. The journey of the last couple of years has proved fruitful and I am thankful to all our viewers for making the show a huge success.”

The success of consecutive MX Original Series’ is testimony to the fact that MX Player understands the pulse of its audiences and their discerning needs. Its unique and high quality, digital first content is being appreciated by viewers across India and that’s what makes it a leading mass brand at a time when content consumption is on a meteoric rise and there is an emergence of new entities in the OTT space.

For those who have missed these shows, you can watch them for FREE exclusively on MX Player:  

Bhaukaal 2:  

About MX Player

MX Player is an entertainment super app that caters to over 280 million Monthly Active users in India, integrating all forms of entertainment on one platform – including video playback, streaming video, music and gaming. Defining “everytainment” for viewers with entertainment that suits every mood, it currently operates on an ad supported model and hosts a wide library of over 2,00,000 hrs. of premium content across 10 languages, including a critically acclaimed slate of MX Original/ Exclusives, movies, web series, TV shows, news and audio music. The app is available across Android, iOS, Web, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV and OnePlus TV amongst others.

Having launched its gaming feature in February 2020, Games on MX Player has grown exponentially, and this tournament style slew of hyper casual mobile games is now available across its Android and iOS apps. MX Player has now spread its footprints across 13 markets including UAE, US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nigeria and Bhutan. MX has further expanded its business with the launch of its short format video app MX TakaTak - a home-grown platform that offers a wide variety of short form content and creation tools across genres that is home to the largest number of 48Mn+ unique content creators as well as MX ShareKaro that is an easy-to-use file sharing app with rapid transfer speed.

In a first, Square Yards brings price transparency in real estate with actual recorded history of transaction prices

Jan 31st, Mumbai: Square Yards, one of the India’s largest integrated real estate platform today launched an industry-first, comprehensive Data Intelligence capabilities on its portal Now users can check the last transacted property prices in any project or locality in top 10 cities of India as per the actual Government Registration Records. Square Yards has made this data available for 1.4 lacs buildings/projects covering 8.6mn transactions in top 10 cities of India.

Tanuj Shori, Founder & CEO, Square Yards said, “We have brought the Gold Standard of transparency in Indian Real Estate. For decades, real estate consumers in India have suffered from lack of standardized pricing mechanism and had to argue and negotiate about prices in the dark, based on what market movers told them. By making these records public, we aim to remove the information asymmetry and build the most comprehensive “Housing Dictionary” for the Indian real estate ecosystem.”

With this initiative, buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords will have unbridled access to standardized and reliable real estate data that was previously unavailable. Homebuyers can see the past transactions of a building or locality of their interest before negotiating with a broker, renters can get the accurate value of recent lease deeds of the building or society they are planning to rent. Property owners on the other hand, can see their building’s sale and lease transaction history to get a realistic valuation of their property.

Square Yards is investing heavily in Its data intelligence platform that has 8.6Mn+ data points on 15+ unique denominators to analyze transaction data (sale/lease), mortgage, govt value, land ownership, land information, zoning, reservation, road-width, building permissions and RERA details – on a GIS-enabled interface to support pre & post transaction diligence. The platform has extensive mapped data metrics of Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad, Thane and Navi Mumbai. The company is also piloting India’s first Digital Title Search and Property e-Valuation platforms with some of the leading banks in India.

About Square Yards

Square Yards is India’s largest integrated platform for Real Estate and Mortgages and one of the fastest growing Proptech platform in UAE, Rest of Middle East, Australia & Canada. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real estate journey from search and discovery, transactions, home loans, rentals, property management, and post-sales services-fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, 150,000+ Agents, and 100+ banks and NBFCs.

The company has acquired platform capabilities in rentals/property management, data intelligence, VR services with the acquisition of Azuro, PropsAMC and PropVR. Recently, it launched its home furnishing and interior services arm Interior Company, to complete its full-stack real estate journey from search & discovery, transactions, mortgage, home interiors, rentals, property management and post-sales services.   

Debt Market Observer by Pankaj Pathak, Fund Manager-Fixed Income, Quantum Mutual Fund


The Fed Ultimatum

The bond market started the new year on shaky ground. US Federal Reserve’s dramatic shift from “inflation is transitory” talk of September 2021 to “inflation is the biggest threat to employment” in December 2021 rocked the market sentiment.

Forced by its own change in the inflation characterisation, the Fed sent out an ultimatum to the bond markets to prepare for tighter financial conditions – lesser liquidity and higher interest rates (The Great Divergence).

Minutes of the December FOMC meeting noted – “…current conditions included a stronger economic outlook, higher inflation, and a larger balance sheet and thus could warrant a potentially faster pace of policy rate normalization.”

It also highlighted - “Almost all participants agreed that it would likely be appropriate to initiate balance sheet runoff at some point after the first increase in the target range for the federal funds rate…Many participants judged that the appropriate pace of balance sheet runoff would likely be faster than it was during the previous normalization episode.”

It is now widely expected that the Fed will hike the Fed Funds rate 4 times in 2022 and 4 times in 2023. This implies a total rate increase of 200 basis points over the next 2 years from the current zero bound.

Chart – I: Bond Markets Pricing Faster Rate Hike

Source – Bloomberg, Data as of January 18, 2022

Fed may also begin reducing its balance sheet by the middle of 2022 – by not reinvesting maturing securities and even selling securities from its balance sheet (Quantitative Tightening). It reduces liquidity in the financial markets and puts downward pressure on asset prices.      

Chart – II: Fed fund rate at life low and FED balance sheet highest ever

Source – Bloomberg, Quantum Research, Data up to December 31, 2021

Bond Rout

Bond markets did expect a policy normalisation to start in 2022. But, a possibility of four rate hikes and quantitative tightening was far from the imagination of even the most hawkish of market participants.

Bonds sold off – bond yields rose and bond prices fell. The US 10-year treasury yield surged more than 32 basis points (0.32%) since the FOMC statement on December 15, 2021.  Currently, it is hovering around 1.79%.

In India, the 10-year G-sec yields jumped 29 basis points from 6.36% on December 15, 2021, to 6.65% on January 24, 2022. 

Chart – III: Bond Yields Jumped after FED’s Hawkish Shift

Source: Refinitiv, Quantum Research, Data as of January 24, 2022

How far will the Fed go to tackle inflation?   

This is a difficult question to even take a guess at this stage - when the consumer inflation in the US is at 7% (vs Fed’s target of 2% inflation), yet the federal funds rate is at zero and the Fed will be printing an additional USD 60 billion to buy bonds in January 2022.

This doesn’t go along with the Fed’s commentary on inflation risk and its guidance on the policy roadmap.

The only explanation could be that the Federal reserve is still very touchy about financial markets is not ready to withdraw the ‘Fed PUT’ as yet (refer to The Das PUT).

Based on a simple extrapolation we can assume that any notable volatility in the financial markets will force the Fed to backpedal on policy normalisation.  Furthermore, given the increased size of the debt, global growth has become even more sensitive to interest rate changes. Thus, the FED may not be able to hike rates and tighten liquidity at a faster pace without breaking something in the markets and the economy.

To sum up, the Fed will continue to use the market feedback to adjust the pace of rate hikes and balance sheet reduction and will not be able to tighten the financial conditions too much.    

What lies ahead?

With few exceptions, Central banks around the world are moving towards policy normalisation. This entails lesser liquidity support, higher short term funding rates and tighter financial conditions going ahead.

Against this backdrop, it would be difficult for the RBI to maintain the current accommodative stance. We should expect the RBI to hike rates and reduce the liquidity support in 2022.

However, India’s growth inflation dynamics are very different from that in the US. A large part of the domestic economy is still below its pre-pandemic levels. This can be seen in the sluggish private consumption expenditure, lagging services sector performance and lower employment levels compared to pre-pandemic trends.

Chart – IV: Large Part of Economy is Still below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Source: CMIE Database, Quantum Research, Data up to September 30, 2021

Data is rebased to 100 on 31 Dec 2019

A faster normalisation of monetary policy could hamper the ongoing economic recovery. We expect the RBI to be gradual in reducing liquidity and hiking interest rates. 

We also expect the terminal repo rate to remain below its pre-pandemic normal and overall liquidity conditions to remain in comfortable surplus in foreseeable future (Investing in The New Normal).

From the market’s standpoint, this outcome is widely expected and is already factored in the current bond prices. However, the external environment remains highly uncertain and will continue to induce significant volatility in the bond and currency markets.  

The biggest risk for the market is a faster balance sheet reduction via bond sales by the US Federal Reserve. Markets will test the Fed’s resolve for controlling inflation by tightening the financial conditions. 

Bonds Outlook

Since the start of 2021, bond yields have risen a lot in expectation of liquidity tightening and eventual rate hikes. Thus, gradual rate increases which are well communicated will be absorbed comfortably. However, we may continue to see a gradual increase in short term yields as central banks increase rates and reduce liquidity.

Chart – V: Rate Hike Expectation Pushed Bond Yields Highe

 Source – Bloomberg, Quantum Research, Data up to January 24, 2022          

Past Performance may or may not sustain in future

Long term bond yields may remain range-bound around current levels or move up only marginally as we expect this rate hiking cycle to be much shallower with the RBI trying to keep the terminal repo rate closer to 5.0%-5.5% (Refer Investing in The New Normal ). This assessment was based on the fact that much of domestic inflation is coming from supply chain disruptions and one-off price adjustments which should fade away over the period.

Long-term bond yields, though, face risks from the abrupt change in stance from central banks. India faces this risk from an increase in global crude oil prices. This would force the RBI to hike interest rates sharply and markets could face higher volatility.

With the RBI hiking the policy repo rates and withdrawing its liquidity support to the market, money market rates should rise.

            Chart – VI: Short term interest rates to move higher 

Source: Refinitiv, Quantum Research, Data as of January 24, 2021

Past Performance may or may not sustain in future

2020 and early parts of 2021 saw returns on medium to long-term bonds/bond funds soaring as interest rates fell. At the same time, returns on overnight, liquid, money market funds fell.

The best way to play the rate hiking cycle is to focus on the short maturity segments of the market. Investors in liquid funds and money markets funds should see their returns improve as compared to bank savings accounts. Low market risk, cash equivalents seem to be the best option from a risk/return perspective.

Portfolio Allocation - Defensive and Dynamic

Although the macro backdrop is unfavourable (high inflation, monetary tightening), valuation in 2-6 years government bonds looks comfortable. In our opinion, this segment is already pricing much of the liquidity normalization (lowering of liquidity surplus) and a gradual rate hiking cycle.

Given the steep bond yield curve, 2-6 years bonds also offer the best roll-down potential and thus a reasonable margin of safety from rising bond yields. For instance, currently, the yield on the 5 years government bond is around 6.07% and that on the 4 years bond is at 5.80%. After one year, the current 5-year bond will have a residual maturity of 4 years. Assuming no change in market interest rates, the yield on the current 5-year bond should roll down by 22 basis points to 5.80%. (Data as of January 24, 2022)

The bulk of our holding in the Quantum Dynamic Bond Fund is in the 2-6 years maturity segment.

We recognize that the monetary policy is in a transition phase in India and across the world. If history is any guide, these transitions from easing to tightening monetary policy tend to become chaotic with a lot of sentimental and divergent market movements on both sides. Thus, we should be prepared for increased volatility in the bond market over the next few months.

We are closely monitoring the developments around the Omicron variant and its impact on the monetary and fiscal policies. We stand vigilant to react and change the portfolio positioning in case our view on the market changes. 

From investors’ perspective, we believe a combination of liquid to money market funds to benefit from the increase in interest rates in the coming months; along with an allocation to short term debt funds and/or dynamic bond funds with low credit, risks should remain as the core fixed income allocation.

We suggest bond fund investors have a longer holding period to ride through any intermittent turbulence in the market.

Disclaimer, Statutory Details & Risk Factors:
The views expressed here in this article / video are for general information and reading purpose only and do not constitute any guidelines and recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Quantum AMC / Quantum Mutual Fund is not guaranteeing / offering / communicating any indicative yield on investments made in the scheme(s). The views are not meant to serve as a professional guide / investment advice / intended to be an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial product or instrument or mutual fund units for the reader. The article has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other sources believed to be reliable. Whilst no action has been solicited based upon the information provided herein, due care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and views given are fair and reasonable as on date. Readers of this article should rely on information/data arising out of their own investigations and advised to seek independent professional advice and arrive at an informed decision before making any investments. 
Risk Factors: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

8th International Young Chef Olympiad, the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs, to be hosted virtually from January 30th to February 5th, 2022

-          The winner will receive the coveted YCO 2022 title and a cash prize of USD 5,000

New Delhi, January 29th, 2022: The world’s biggest Olympiad for culinary students – the IIHM International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) – is back with a bang to celebrate the multicultural diversity of food from across the world. After the success of YCO 2021, the eighth edition of the event will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from 30th January to 5th February. YCO 2022 will witness the participation of student chefs from more than 40 countries, including Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, Sweden, among others. The competition will unite the young talents of the culinary world to champion this virtual culinary battle through their positive action.

During the 6-day long intense competition, which is being organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) in partnership with the International Hospitality Council London, the contestants will undertake 2 rounds of culinary challenges in their quest to win the coveted YCO 2022 title with Gold for a cash prize of USD 5,000; Silver for USD 3,000 and Bronze for USD 2,000 with digital certificates would be awarded to the winners.

Talking about YCO 2022, Dr Suborno Bose, the CEO of International Hospitality Council (IHC) and Founder YCO said, “With the overwhelming success of YCO 2021, more than 40 countries are coming together virtually consecutively for the second year, to celebrate the diversity of food from across the borders, YCO 2022 is not just the biggest culinary competition in the world but also a global platform fostering the spirit of youth, friendship, diversity and inclusiveness. Moreover, it brings all the young and talented future stars of the international culinary scene on a single platform where they connect with each other and share insights out of their experiences. YCO 2021 saw an unprecedented level of talents in young chefs, YCO 2022 is levelling up by inviting participants from more countries to compete for the title.”

YCO 2022 will commence on 30th January with a grand opening ceremony at 06:30 PM IST and the competition rounds will start from 1st February on Zoom video conferencing. The Opening Ceremony can be viewed at The top 10 contestants as per the scores of the previous round will compete in the Grand Finale of YCO 2022 on 4th and 5th February split into 2 groups of 5 countries in each, across 2 days in different time zones to accommodate all. The Plate Trophy will also be held on 4th and 5th February wherein the contestants holding positions 11 to 20 in the first round will compete. The Olympiad will conclude on 5th February with a closing ceremony, where the YCO 2022 Champion, runners-up and other awardees will be announced. This year, the participants will be competing for awards such as ‘Plate Trophy’, ‘Best Knife Skills’, ‘Best Vegetarian Dish’, ‘Best Crème Caramel’, ‘Best Hygiene and Kitchen Practice’, ‘6 Ambassador’s Awards’ ‘6 Mentor Awards’, ‘Best Use of Kitchen Cut Management Award’ and ‘Spirit of Young Chef Olympiad International Award’, ‘International Diamond Research Award’.

It is anticipated that more countries will participate in YCO 2022 online on Zoom, each participant will be recorded live in his or her kitchen carrying out a skill test and preparing each of the 2 dishes within the prescribed time and a team of judges will be able to view the work of each participant throughout the entire competition period. Due to the time zones, competing countries will be divided into groups according to their local time’s proximity. Virtual competition rooms will be created for each group of judges allowing for the judges to interact throughout the full period of the competition, to discuss each competitor and to mark accordingly.

In the competition’s first round, the contestants will be required to prepare three dishes – the first competition knife skill test, where the candidates have to cut various vegetables in different chopping styles, 4 portions of Creme Caramel served with an innovative fruit sauce to complement the caramel using their choice of ingredients and 4 portions of a Vegetarian stuffed pasta dish. The contestants will be judged on their basic skills, nutrition, health, safety and hygiene, taste and creativity in this round.

The Grand Finale and Plate Trophy Finals of YCO 2022 will test the contestant’s creativity, innovation, cooking skills and professional good practice in a time-bound environment. For the grand finale, the contestants will be given 2 and a half hours to create 4 portions of chicken from 1.5 kg prepared chicken and a new 4 portion chocolate dessert with prescribed ingredients. For the Plate Trophy Finals, the contestants will be required to prepare a chicken dish from 1.5 kg chicken, but in 2 hours.

The YCO and Kitchen Management 2022 is joining with the IIHM Global Centre for Hospitality and Tourism Research in a new initiative this year. To help research skills development it has been decided to expand opportunities for culinary students and teachers/lecturers to demonstrate research skills in the global hospitality and tourism industry. Colleges and Universities are being asked to submit a research paper of no more than 5,000 words the theme is ‘The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’

Prof David Foskett (MBE) will be the Chairman of the Jury while Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the Principal Judge and Mentor for YCO 2022. The panel of judges will include internationally acclaimed judges and celebrity chefs including Chef Brain Turner CBE, the President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Andreas Muller from Hong Kong, Chef Enzo Oliveri (Italy), Chef Chris Galvin (UK), Chef John Wood (UK), Chef Garth Stroebel (South Africa), Chef Gary Maclean, Chef Stuart Littlejohn, Chef George Smith, Chef Karl Guggenmos and many more.  The judges will evaluate the contestants on their ability to efficiently manage a food production area keeping in mind factors like health and safety, good hygiene, practice, ability to follow a recipe, culinary skills, creativity, etc.

Launched in the year 2015, YCO aims to give young student chefs from around the world a platform to showcase their skills and compete at the global level. Through the last seven editions of the Olympiad, the world has seen culinary stars being born and dreams being celebrated on the global culinary stage. The winners of the past editions of YCO were Ashwin Nicholas Oon from Malaysia (2015), Daniella Germond from Canada (2016), Tham Jiajun Mathew from Singapore (2017), Lai Jia Yi from Malaysia (2018), Cyrene Randrianasolo from France (2019), Chen Khai Loong from Malaysia (2020) and Lee Manki from Hong Kong (2021).

More details of the Young Chef Olympiad can be seen at