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Shashwat Mohanty

Staff Writer • India Edition

Shashwat covers cleantech and internet. An alum of St. Xavier's College (Bombay), SCMC, and ACJ, Shashwat has previously worked at The Economic Times and Meesho. When he isn't missing deadlines, Shashwat likes attending live music gigs, discussing baseball, and watching Parks and Rec with his partner 🏳️‍🌈

7 Articles published

Top Comments by Shashwat Mohanty

Green push or greenwash: sustainable funds don’t buy Zomato’s ESG narrative

Thanks for reading, Balaji! Unfortunately the 'S' and 'G' parts of ESG are often left out from the mainstream discussion far too often. While Zomato does have some initiatives towards the health and safety of the riders on its platform, they aren't as well highlighted or marketed as their green efforts. For now, the current efforts are on par with what other platforms provide. Some of these initiatives have been pointed out in their ESG update published earlier this year: https://www.zomato.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ESG-Update-_-June-2022.pdf

Shashwat Mohanty

Green push or greenwash: sustainable funds don’t buy Zomato’s ESG narrative

Hey Amanpreet, I mentioned this in another comment: I’ve taken the base calculation on the number of restaurants (1.8 lakh), rather than the deliveries because the number of deliveries per restaurant varies greatly from restaurant to restaurant. For example, the other restaurants mentioned in the story do at least 300 deliveries a day per store, if not more. So I didn't think doing a number of orders ÷ number of restaurants would be a fair calculation. But admittedly, it is a very rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation on my part. The "correct" math here would only be available to Zomato — however they chose to calculate it.

Shashwat Mohanty

Green push or greenwash: sustainable funds don’t buy Zomato’s ESG narrative

Hey Sandeep, I heard this idea a lot during my reporting for this story. Unfortunately, I think the logistics would be too difficult to pull off, even without adding the financial incentive into the picture. Moreover, plastic containers can come from anywhere, including individual parcels/takeaways and from its competitor, Swiggy. There is no way to identify the source of the plastic yet, so that would spoil the company's plans too (assuming of course that they would only want to recycle the same plastic they produce). I suppose this is a startup idea waiting to be executed.

Shashwat Mohanty

Green push or greenwash: sustainable funds don’t buy Zomato’s ESG narrative

Hey Abdidnya, I've taken the base calculation on the number of restaurants (1.8 lakh), rather than the deliveries because the number of deliveries per restaurant varies greatly from restaurant to restaurant. For example, the other restaurants mentioned in the story do at least 300 deliveries a day, if not more. Also, I've factored in the median weight of every container as well, not just the number of containers. But admittedly, it is a very rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation on my part. I hope this answers your query!

Shashwat Mohanty

Green push or greenwash: sustainable funds don’t buy Zomato’s ESG narrative

Hey Ashwin, thanks for reading! My own views are more sustainability focussed, so I would personally want there to be a greater weightage on sustainable initiatives that are showing results on ground. However, from researching on this article, it's very evident that fund managers care more about stock performance than these initiatives. And why shouldn't they — they are responsible to grow their investors' wealth. No matter how clean and green, if the company has bad fundamentals, it doesn't make any business sense to invest in such companies. So that is always given the precedence, and perhaps rightfully so. Hope that answers your question!

Shashwat Mohanty

Indian fintechs’ regulatory anxiety is the Big Four’s next lucrative bet

Thanks for reading Kavita! Some of the laws relating to PPI and BNP I've already mentioned are in the story. Other things, such as data and information storage, cybersecurity, and other norms keep getting updated from time to time. It's not just RBI though — the stock exchanges and the Companies Act itself has multiple measures that they need to constantly keep up with (in case of BSE and NSE, it's only if they want to go public anytime soon). As a rule of thumb, any new press conference the RBI holds will provide a new instance for these services to be used. And RBI has gotten more hands-on with its announcements and directives over the past few years.

Shashwat Mohanty

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