Indian numerals: A drained dam, startups slump, and a woolly parliament

A weekly wrap of the Indian economy, by the numbers

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India dam reservoir iPhone
Waterless, brainless (image for representation only)
Photo: Lakshmiprasad S (Getty Images)

4.1 million litres: Dam water drained to retrieve a phone

An Indian official last week got a reservoir drained so that he could retrieve his cell phone, which had fallen in. Rajesh Vishwas, a food inspector with the government of the state of Chhattisgarh, dropped his $1,213 Samsung phone into the Kherkatta reservoir while clicking a selfie. Vishwas claimed the phone held sensitive government data. He has now been fined $642 for misusing his position, according to the BBC.

$100 billion: The overall value of India’s top 50 brands

The total value of India’s 50 most valuable brands has surpassed $100 billion, according to a Business Standard report. This marks a 167% increase over the past decade, according to Interbrand, a global brand consultancy firm quoted by the newspaper. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the software giant, was the first Indian brand to cross the Rs 1 trillion ($12 billion) mark in value, up 153% over the past decade.


72%: Fall in foreign investment in India’s startups

Foreign investment in Indian startups has plummeted 72% in the year thus far, crashing from $16.2 billion during the same period last year to $4.58 billion as of May 27. The number of deals fell from 852 to 241, Business Standard reported. “Of the $26.8 billion that Indian startups raised in 2022, as much as $26 billion came from rounds where foreign investors participated,” the newspaper reported.


20,000 kg: Wool imported to carpet India’s new parliament 

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s government imported around 20,000 kg of wool from New Zealand to make the carpets adorning the floors of India’s new parliament building, Hindustan Times has reported. Around 314 looms and more than 900 weavers were engaged to weave the carpets. Built at a cost of around $120 million, India’s new parliament was inaugurated on May 28.

$12 billion: ONGC’s green energy investment

The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to sink more than $12 billion into its green energy portfolio by 2030, to balance its oil and gas production, the Economic Times reported. ONGC wants to grow its renewables portfolio from 189 megawatts to 10 gigawatts by 2030. The company has already signed a deal to set up 5 Gw of renewable power and “is scouting for opportunities” to set up another 5 Gw.