• Теги
    • избранные теги
    • Компании1969
      • Показать ещё
      Разное716
      • Показать ещё
      Международные организации85
      • Показать ещё
      Страны / Регионы677
      • Показать ещё
      Показатели67
      • Показать ещё
      Формат42
      Люди119
      • Показать ещё
      Издания76
      • Показать ещё
29 марта, 15:56

Coca-Cola (KO) Diversifies with Unilever's AdeS Acquisition

The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and its largest Latin American bottler Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (KOF) finally closed the proposed acquisition of AdeS soy-based beverage business from consumer products giant Unilever Plc (UL).

21 марта, 22:16

Unilever Shares Up on Speculation of Food Brand Spinoff

According to the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph and as stated by Reuters, the London-based Unilever plc (UL) is planning to sell some of its food brands worth 6 billion pounds ($7.4 billion).

20 марта, 16:34

Unilever планирует продать ряд своих продуктовых брендов

По сведениям из осведомленных источников, производитель потребительских товаров Unilever готовится продать часть своих продуктовых брендов с целью реструктуризации бизнеса путем снижения расходов и заключения сделок в сфере M&A. Сообщается, что англо-голландская компания намерена продать бренды Flora и Stork, а сумма сделки может составить примерно 6 млрд фунтов стерлингов ($7,44 млрд). Источники, знакомые с ситуацией, заявляют, что среди потенциальных покупателей находятся частные инвестиционные компании Bain Capital, CVC и Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Представители Unilever данную информацию не прокомментировали.

20 марта, 14:44

Unilever планирует продать ряд своих продуктовых брендов

По сведениям из осведомленных источников, производитель потребительских товаров Unilever готовится продать часть своих продуктовых брендов с целью реструктуризации бизнеса путем снижения расходов и заключения сделок в сфере M&A. Сообщается, что англо-голландская компания намерена продать бренды Flora и Stork, а сумма сделки может составить примерно 6 млрд фунтов стерлингов ($7,44 млрд). Источники, знакомые с ситуацией, заявляют, что среди потенциальных покупателей находятся частные инвестиционные компании Bain Capital, CVC и Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Представители Unilever данную информацию не прокомментировали.

Выбор редакции
20 марта, 14:23

Unilever Bid Premium Fades, but Other Factors Support the Stock

The consumer giant’s stock has risen back to the level of Kraft Heinz’s bid, but that can be justified by the potential for margin gains and share buybacks.

Выбор редакции
20 марта, 10:59

Pound slips from three-week high after date fixed for Brexit to be triggered - as it happened

S&P positive on Irish banksGerman producer prices at five year highSterling higher ahead of this week’s inflation data and prime minister’s Brexit tour 2.56pm GMT The pound is off the worst levels it reached in the immediate aftermath of the news that Article 50 will be triggered on 29 March, but is still marginally down on the day after a bright start.It is currently down 0.06% at $1.2385 having fallen as low as $1.2368, and initially risen as high as $1.2435 on growing suggestions a UK rate rise could come sooner than expected. 2.41pm GMT Stock markets, particularly in the US, have been buoyed by hopes that Donald Trump’s proposed tax and spending plans will boost the economy.But if long term stable economic growth does not emerge, markets may fall back sharply again and confidence become severely dented, according to Mohamed A El-Erian,chief economic adviser at Allianz. Read more here: Related: Why a surge in positive US business thinking may not be a good thing Continue reading...

Выбор редакции
19 марта, 16:46

Unilever bids to heal shareholder rift amid 'garage sale' warnings

Sale of spreads business and one-off special dividend considered as government urged to protect UK’s ‘prize assets’ from takeoverUnilever is drawing up plans to heal a rift among shareholders triggered by its rejection of a $143bn (£115bn) bid from Kraft Heinz, amid a warning that Britain could become home to “a garage sale” unless there is protection for domestic companies from foreign takeovers.Next month the owner of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will announce the results of a review aimed at improving investor returns, with the sale of its spreads business and a one-off special dividend among the options being considered. Continue reading...

19 марта, 05:17

Unilever планирует продать продовольственные бренды Flora и Stork butter

Компания Unilever намерена продать несколько продовольственных брендов за £6 млрд. Об этом сообщает Reuters со ссылкой на британские газеты. На продажу планируется выставить бренды Flora и Stork butter. В Unilever пока не прокомментировали эту инорфмцию.В Феврале Unilever отменила предложение о слиянии с компанией Kraft Heinz. Эта сделка оценивалась в $143 млрд. В компании объяснили, что «не видят для акционеров никаких преимуществ, финансовых или стратегических». «Unilever и Kraft Heinz сохраняют друг к другу уважение. Kraft Heinz в высшей степени относится с почтением к культуре, стратегии и руководству Unilever», — говорилось в совместном заявлении компаний. Компания Unilever была основана в 1930 году после объединения нидерландской компании Uni и британской Lever. Она владеет порядка 400 брендами в 170 странах мира. Kraft Heinz была образована в 2015 году в результате…

Выбор редакции
19 марта, 01:17

Unilever prepares 6 billion pound sale of food brands: newspapers

LONDON (Reuters) - Unilever is preparing a 6 billion pound ($7.44 billion) sale of some of its food brands, British newspapers reported on Saturday.

Выбор редакции
18 марта, 15:57

Unilever is safe, but we need better defences against short-term capitalism

A £115bn bid from US predator Kraft Heinz was successfully fended off. But the prime minister must see that things could have gone very differentlyThe best defence against a bid is a high share price. So congratulations to Unilever, whose shares have improved by 20% since the day before Kraft Heinz turned up offering to buy the maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Magnum ice-creams.In the event, Unilever blew Kraft Heinz’s £115bn proposal out of the water within 48 hours. Fury from the boardroom, plus Kraft’s belated realisation that it was walking into a storm, did the trick. But Unilever has wasted little time in moving to protect itself better. It has pledged to “capture more quickly the value we see” – which usually means running the business harder and ensuring the backdoor is not left ajar for opportunistic bidders. Continue reading...

17 марта, 17:18

What is Driving Clorox's (CLX) Momentum Post Q2 Earnings?

The second quarter of fiscal 2017 marked a comeback for the consumer goods behemoth The Clorox Company (CLX) as there has been no looking back for the stock since then.

17 марта, 01:20

Unilever to Review Cost/Balance Sheet Post-KHC Offer

Unilever PLC (UL) is considering a comprehensive review in order to return more cash to shareholders and undertake medium-sized acquisitions as well as indulge in more aggressive cost cuts, as per Financial Times. Post the news, Unilever shares rallied 1.43% on Mar 15.

Выбор редакции
16 марта, 20:46

Unilever investors favoured talks with Kraft Heinz

Survey shows shareholders welcomed negotiation with Warren Buffett-backed group

15 марта, 23:40

Thinx Controversy Proves You Can't Sell Feminism

Up until this week, former CEO and founder of Thinx period underwear Miki Agrawal was lauded as a “visionary” and a “badass,” who has helped change the way we talk about women’s health. The company’s controversial ads ― grapefruits that look like vaginas, for instance ― and “period-proof” underwear racked up significant and largely positive media coverage, including in this publication. And Argrawal’s been loud about her values and the way they fit into Thinx as a brand. “I have built a business that is centered around my beliefs in gender equality,” she declared in an essay last February.  But now Argrawal seems to be bumping up against the limits of her brand of product-based feminism. In a story published Tuesday, a handful of former and current employees at Thinx spoke to Racked’s Hilary George-Parkin about their less-than-feminist experiences within the company. Employees reported that their paid time off was abruptly decreased, and that the news was delivered over email. They also told Racked that the health care plans offered were “prohibitively expensive,” and that the maternity leave offered was “galling” ― just two weeks of paid leave and one week at half pay for a birthing parent. One source told George-Parkin that “the only employees who [they] ever knew to have successfully argued for additional money were two of the few white men who worked at the company.” Just hours after the piece went live, Tyler Ford, an LGBTQ advocate and non-binary trans model, tweeted about their own negative experience working with Thinx. In a series of 57 tweets, Ford explained that they were introduced to Thinx as a potential model, eager “to use this experience to help de-gender the period conversation.” Instead, they found themselves feeling like a “prop” and a “token” used to promote the idea that Thinx is “'cool’ & ‘intersectional’ & ‘feminist’ & ‘inclusive.’” i've never spoken about my experiences with thinx bc they were too humiliating/upsetting to talk about publicly https://t.co/toRa3gNQqi— Tyler Ford (@tywrent) March 14, 2017 i don't say this, but i feel like i'm being used so that thinx can say that they are "cool" & "intersectional" & "feminist" & "inclusive"— Tyler Ford (@tywrent) March 14, 2017 Thinx initially disputed the Racked report, without pointing to specific claims in the story. “There’s a lot of information here, we know much of it is inaccurate,” a Thinx spokesperson told Racked. “We can’t comment on speculation and rumor. We respect our employees, our corporate culture is of utmost importance to us and we endeavor to be competitive with benefits. We love what we do at THINX and the products we make to improve people’s lives.”  On Wednesday, a Thinx spokesperson told HuffPost that the company’s leadership team was looking into the report’s claims. “In light of the concerns raised in the Racked story: our leadership is getting to the bottom of these allegations, and, as ever, we are actively working to address and improve our corporate culture,” the spokesperson said over email. “We look forward to updating the community as new leaders and corporate processes are put into place.” There’s a long and storied history of companies using feminism to sell women stuff ― in 1968, tobacco giant Philip Morris essentially co-opted that decade’s women’s movement to sell Virginia Slims cigarettes, shamelessly telling women they’ve “come a long way, baby” ― and a more recent history of companies that purport to hold feminist values in some respect and want to sell women stuff. Often tension arises between these two missions.  Dove has created body-positive campaigns targeting women for more than a decade, and has partnered with non-profits like Girls Inc. to push a message of “real beauty.” But its parent company, Unilever, also owns skin-lightening cosmetic brand Fair & Lovely ― a product that is in direct opposition to the idea that women don’t need to change how they look to find success. Last month, automaker Audi ― a company with no women on its management board ― boldly proclaimed that it supports gender pay equality in a Superbowl ad. And in a similar vein of using feminist values to boost a company’s profile and credibility, a massive investment fund ― again with few women in leadership positions ― sponsored the “Fearless Girl” statue down on Wall Street, meant to signal female power in the financial industry. The problems with Thinx are somewhat different because there’s actually a woman in charge, unlike at Audi and Unilever. And there’s a cultural expectation that female leaders will somehow be different or more feminist than men. There are no female “bad boys” like, say, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who recently promised he’d “grow up,” after it was revealed his company is fostering a culture of sexual harassment and mistreatment. Women are expected to do better. You saw this when Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer ended telecommuting at the internet company a few years ago. She was savaged because, as a parent herself (and one with a nursery in her corporate office), Mayer was supposed to understand that telecommuting was an important issue to working mothers. But no one thought Yahoo itself was a feminist venture. The larger issue with Agrawal is that she said she was different. Her company is explicitly feminist, and its leadership team has made attempts to show that Thinx practices what it claims to preach. Thinx’s September fashion show was named “Intersection 2016,” and featured a diverse array of people discussing menstruation. On International Women’s Day, the company hosted a Menstrual Product Drive for the Women’s Shelter of NYC Rescue Mission.  In this sense, perhaps the best comparison is to Ivanka Trump, who has deftly used a corporate, polished brand of feminism to essentially sell dresses and jewelry. In 2014 Trump launched an initiative called #WomenWhoWork and sells herself as someone who cares passionately about working mothers. She has a book coming out soon on the topic. Yet at her own company she hasn’t walked the walk. A former employee, who helped create #WomenWhoWork, explained last year that she and her coworkers had to fight to get just 8 weeks of paid maternity leave. Trump also famously doesn’t even pay her interns, all women.   Feminism only deployed within the framework of capitalism ― i.e. espousing feminist values first and foremost to sell products and make profit, even if those products are good ― isn’t really feminism at all. Argawal, for her part, hadn’t actually embraced the term “feminist” until she started Thinx, telling The Cut last year that she wanted to make the movement more “accessible.” (Her comments engendered backlash at the time from people who felt she was simply using feminism as a sales gimmick.)  “I only started relating to being a feminist, literally, right when I started my company,” Agrawal told The Cut’s Noreen Malone. “Every time I thought about the word feminist, I thought about an angry, ranty … girl. When you hear those spoken-word poets and feminists...I just couldn’t relate to that. I was always on the ‘women are equal’ front and into empowerment and laughter and inspiration. But I learned so much in the past few years about the plight of women … What I tell my team every day is that we have to be accessible. We have to build a bridge to redefining what feminism is.” Accessibility is great ― and there’s no denying that the term “feminist” can be a loaded one, at times to the cause’s detriment. But feminism only deployed within the framework of capitalism ― i.e. espousing feminist values first and foremost to sell products and make profit, even if those products are good ― isn’t really feminism at all.  As Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch media and author of We Were Feminists Once, pointed out to AdAge last year in relation to the “femvertising” trend: “I think the question is, are brands and agencies who make overtures to female empowerment with their products and their creative also going to be accountable on a systemic level? Because the former without the latter isn’t really progress, it’s pandering.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

15 марта, 23:40

Thinx Controversy Proves You Can't Sell Feminism

Up until this week, former CEO and founder of Thinx period underwear Miki Agrawal was lauded as a “visionary” and a “badass,” who has helped change the way we talk about women’s health. The company’s controversial ads ― grapefruits that look like vaginas, for instance ― and “period-proof” underwear racked up significant and largely positive media coverage, including in this publication. And Argrawal’s been loud about her values and the way they fit into Thinx as a brand. “I have built a business that is centered around my beliefs in gender equality,” she declared in an essay last February.  But now Argrawal seems to be bumping up against the limits of her brand of product-based feminism. In a story published Tuesday, a handful of former and current employees at Thinx spoke to Racked’s Hilary George-Parkin about their less-than-feminist experiences within the company. Employees reported that their paid time off was abruptly decreased, and that the news was delivered over email. They also told Racked that the health care plans offered were “prohibitively expensive,” and that the maternity leave offered was “galling” ― just two weeks of paid leave and one week at half pay for a birthing parent. One source told George-Parkin that “the only employees who [they] ever knew to have successfully argued for additional money were two of the few white men who worked at the company.” Just hours after the piece went live, Tyler Ford, an LGBTQ advocate and non-binary trans model, tweeted about their own negative experience working with Thinx. In a series of 57 tweets, Ford explained that they were introduced to Thinx as a potential model, eager “to use this experience to help de-gender the period conversation.” Instead, they found themselves feeling like a “prop” and a “token” used to promote the idea that Thinx is “'cool’ & ‘intersectional’ & ‘feminist’ & ‘inclusive.’” i've never spoken about my experiences with thinx bc they were too humiliating/upsetting to talk about publicly https://t.co/toRa3gNQqi— Tyler Ford (@tywrent) March 14, 2017 i don't say this, but i feel like i'm being used so that thinx can say that they are "cool" & "intersectional" & "feminist" & "inclusive"— Tyler Ford (@tywrent) March 14, 2017 Thinx initially disputed the Racked report, without pointing to specific claims in the story. “There’s a lot of information here, we know much of it is inaccurate,” a Thinx spokesperson told Racked. “We can’t comment on speculation and rumor. We respect our employees, our corporate culture is of utmost importance to us and we endeavor to be competitive with benefits. We love what we do at THINX and the products we make to improve people’s lives.”  On Wednesday, a Thinx spokesperson told HuffPost that the company’s leadership team was looking into the report’s claims. “In light of the concerns raised in the Racked story: our leadership is getting to the bottom of these allegations, and, as ever, we are actively working to address and improve our corporate culture,” the spokesperson said over email. “We look forward to updating the community as new leaders and corporate processes are put into place.” There’s a long and storied history of companies using feminism to sell women stuff ― in 1968, tobacco giant Philip Morris essentially co-opted that decade’s women’s movement to sell Virginia Slims cigarettes, shamelessly telling women they’ve “come a long way, baby” ― and a more recent history of companies that purport to hold feminist values in some respect and want to sell women stuff. Often tension arises between these two missions.  Dove has created body-positive campaigns targeting women for more than a decade, and has partnered with non-profits like Girls Inc. to push a message of “real beauty.” But its parent company, Unilever, also owns skin-lightening cosmetic brand Fair & Lovely ― a product that is in direct opposition to the idea that women don’t need to change how they look to find success. Last month, automaker Audi ― a company with no women on its management board ― boldly proclaimed that it supports gender pay equality in a Superbowl ad. And in a similar vein of using feminist values to boost a company’s profile and credibility, a massive investment fund ― again with few women in leadership positions ― sponsored the “Fearless Girl” statue down on Wall Street, meant to signal female power in the financial industry. The problems with Thinx are somewhat different because there’s actually a woman in charge, unlike at Audi and Unilever. And there’s a cultural expectation that female leaders will somehow be different or more feminist than men. There are no female “bad boys” like, say, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who recently promised he’d “grow up,” after it was revealed his company is fostering a culture of sexual harassment and mistreatment. Women are expected to do better. You saw this when Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer ended telecommuting at the internet company a few years ago. She was savaged because, as a parent herself (and one with a nursery in her corporate office), Mayer was supposed to understand that telecommuting was an important issue to working mothers. But no one thought Yahoo itself was a feminist venture. The larger issue with Agrawal is that she said she was different. Her company is explicitly feminist, and its leadership team has made attempts to show that Thinx practices what it claims to preach. Thinx’s September fashion show was named “Intersection 2016,” and featured a diverse array of people discussing menstruation. On International Women’s Day, the company hosted a Menstrual Product Drive for the Women’s Shelter of NYC Rescue Mission.  In this sense, perhaps the best comparison is to Ivanka Trump, who has deftly used a corporate, polished brand of feminism to essentially sell dresses and jewelry. In 2014 Trump launched an initiative called #WomenWhoWork and sells herself as someone who cares passionately about working mothers. She has a book coming out soon on the topic. Yet at her own company she hasn’t walked the walk. A former employee, who helped create #WomenWhoWork, explained last year that she and her coworkers had to fight to get just 8 weeks of paid maternity leave. Trump also famously doesn’t even pay her interns, all women.   Feminism only deployed within the framework of capitalism ― i.e. espousing feminist values first and foremost to sell products and make profit, even if those products are good ― isn’t really feminism at all. Argawal, for her part, hadn’t actually embraced the term “feminist” until she started Thinx, telling The Cut last year that she wanted to make the movement more “accessible.” (Her comments engendered backlash at the time from people who felt she was simply using feminism as a sales gimmick.)  “I only started relating to being a feminist, literally, right when I started my company,” Agrawal told The Cut’s Noreen Malone. “Every time I thought about the word feminist, I thought about an angry, ranty … girl. When you hear those spoken-word poets and feminists...I just couldn’t relate to that. I was always on the ‘women are equal’ front and into empowerment and laughter and inspiration. But I learned so much in the past few years about the plight of women … What I tell my team every day is that we have to be accessible. We have to build a bridge to redefining what feminism is.” Accessibility is great ― and there’s no denying that the term “feminist” can be a loaded one, at times to the cause’s detriment. But feminism only deployed within the framework of capitalism ― i.e. espousing feminist values first and foremost to sell products and make profit, even if those products are good ― isn’t really feminism at all.  As Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch media and author of We Were Feminists Once, pointed out to AdAge last year in relation to the “femvertising” trend: “I think the question is, are brands and agencies who make overtures to female empowerment with their products and their creative also going to be accountable on a systemic level? Because the former without the latter isn’t really progress, it’s pandering.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

15 марта, 19:36

Unilever And The Failure Of Corporate Social Responsibility

The trend of activists CEOs, who replace shareholder interests with their own personal political views, persists; often to the detriment of corporate performance. Shareholders must ensure that such CEOs are accountable for their value-destructive actions.

Выбор редакции
15 марта, 18:06

Culture Clash: Conflicting Visions Killed the Kraft Heinz/Unilever Deal

A division of corporate cultures appears to be the cause of the rapid unravelling of Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion bid to acquire larger rival Unilever—a deal that would have created the world’s second largest consumer products conglomerate behind Nestlé.

Выбор редакции
14 марта, 22:34

UK government should help companies targeted by foreign bids, says Unilever

Marmite maker, recently targeted by Kraft Heinz, says there should be a level playing field to protect British companiesThe boss of Unilever has urged the government to provide more help for Britain’s largest companies when they are targeted by foreign takeovers.Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever – the maker of Marmite, Magnum ice cream and Dove soap – said there should be a level playing field for British companies so they could enjoy the stronger levels of protection that businesses received in other countries. Continue reading...

Выбор редакции
14 марта, 22:14

Unilever chief calls for tougher takeover safeguards

Unilever chief Paul Polman says takeover rules must be strengthened to help UK businesses

14 марта, 21:20

Early Lessons from India’s Demonetization Experiment

Did India just pull off a monetary and political miracle? Consider the sequence of events in its demonetization saga. In November the government made a high-risk, high-stakes economic intervention in the world’s largest democracy, with an objective to reduce corruption. Overnight, 86% of cash in circulation was voided. In a country almost 90% cash reliant, chaos ensued. As I said at the time, it was a case study in poor policy and even poorer execution. Four months passed. The country emerged with few obvious scars. Although the impact on corruption remains to be seen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was rewarded with victory in midterm state-level elections, seen as a referendum on its unprecedented action. Short of any singing, dancing, and costume changes, this sequence could have been taken from Bollywood, a movie industry widely known for its fantastical flights of fancy. India’s demonetization experiment has generated some important thinking about cash, corruption, data, and the digital economy. Let’s consider some new takeaways: Demonetization Is Not the Best Tool to Root Out Corruption  The original reason given for the drastic demonetization action was to expose the so-called “black” market, fueled by money that is illegally gained and undeclared for tax purposes. The existence of this parallel economy is a substantial drag on the Indian economy: According to recently released data, only about 1% of Indians paid taxes on their earnings in 2013. When the policy change was announced, people were given until December 30, 2016, to return 500- and 1,000-rupee notes to banks, or else risk losing the value of them. According to a Bloomberg report, banks were estimated to have received 14.97 trillion rupees (around $220 billion) by the December 30 deadline, or 97% of the 15.4 trillion rupees’ worth of currency demonetized. While the actual value of the currency deposited is still to be formally accounted for, there is little doubt that most of the invalidated currency was returned. Sorting through the money deposited and figuring out its legitimacy will take time. These rates of deposits defied expectations that vast troves of undeclared wealth would not find their way back to the banks and that black marketeers would lose this money since they would not be able to deposit their undeclared cash without being found out. This didn’t happen, presumably in part because of people’s ingenuity: They found many ways to get their money back into banks, whether it was legitimate or not. It would have been better to demonetize less-commonly-used large-denomination bank notes (Larry Summers wrote about the idea here). India invalidated the 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee banknotes (worth approximately $7.50 and $15, respectively), which represented 86% of all currency in use. These widely used currencies affected a very large swath of people, from all parts of the socioeconomic spectrum, including the poor. Besides, when corrupt people need places to park their ill-gotten gains, cash normally is not at the top of their list. Only a tiny proportion of undeclared wealth is held in cash. In an analysis of income-tax probes, the highest level of illegal money detection in India was found to be in 2015–2016, and the cash component was only about 6%. The remaining was invested in business, stocks, real estate, jewelry, or “benami” assets, which are bought in someone else’s name. Some legal experts have argued that demonetization violates the law. They say the sudden extinguishing of the public debt owed by the government to the holder of the bank note results in the government taking an individual’s “movable property” away without easy access to a replacement or compensation. Public policy for rooting out corruption calls for a systemic approach, with carrots and sticks to motivate cultural, institutional, and behavioral change in the long term. Silver bullets, such as drastic demonetization, don’t work. Innovation and Creativity Emerged Around Digital Payments The unqualified winners of the demonetization period were the mobile wallet players, with the market leader, Paytm, claiming 170 million users, with a traffic increase of 435%, and a 250% increase in overall transactions and transaction value. Arguably, the surge in business for mobile wallets was natural, at least for the 17% of the population that owned a smartphone in early 2016. Here, the government’s innovative capacity shone through. The government-backed payment app, BHIM, facilitated electronic transfers between bank accounts; users could enter their unique, 12-digit Aadhaar ID number to make payments. The easy-to-use system works on an ordinary flip phone — no internet-enabled smartphone required. In other words, it was an inclusive solution, and, if the service continues to improve, it stands a chance of scaling up to India’s large market. Plus, there are plans to mandate digital payments at gas stations, hospitals, and universities, with cash transactions over $4,500 banned altogether. Indian Railways will no longer levy a service charge on tickets booked online, and the government is removing duties on point-of-sale devices and fingerprint readers. Putting aside the policy missteps, these moves are a shot in the arm to the ecosystem around digital payments and consumer-and-context-friendly technology. Data Quality and Context Still Matter — a Lot Official estimates from India’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on GDP growth have shown that the economy grew at 7% in the quarter ending December 2016. This was exactly what was predicted in the CSO’s advance estimate, before demonetization. That means demonetization had no impact whatsoever on the economy, which is surprising, given the widely reported experiences of the closings of small factories and businesses, workers losing their wages, and projects being postponed. There are several problems with the CSO’s figures. First, there is a lag between the time when estimates are made and when actual data comes in. Much of this estimation is done on the basis of models relying on past data, which is much less reliable when an event such as demonetization occurs. Second, the informal sector plays a disproportionate role in the country’s economy; by one estimate it produces 45% of the output and employs 94% of the workforce. It is the sector on which it is hard to get reliable direct data. The informal sector is also primarily cash-reliant and bore the brunt of demonetization. Finally, India does not have reliable national retail sales data, so statisticians have to use production figures to estimate consumer spending. To compound the estimation challenges, these production figures include data only for listed companies, thereby underrepresenting the unregistered companies and informal manufacturing producers — the ones that are directly affected by the cash ban. Consider some additional data for the last quarter of 2016. Commercial vehicle output, rail freight, service tax receipts, and home appliance sales showed a slowdown, causing some economists to set the GDP growth forecast at 6.4% instead of 7%. Also: The fast-moving consumer goods industry reported around 1%–2% reduction in volumes. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Nestlé, two of the biggest names in the industry, reported drastic declines in profits and revenues. HUL experienced a 4% decline in sales volumes. Tractor sales to farmers flush with cash after a healthy rainy season were weaker: Volume rose only 18% in October–December, down from 28% gain the prior quarter. Passenger car sales grew 1% on the year for October–December, down from 18% growth a quarter earlier. Maruti, India’s largest car manufacturer, had a 3.5% increase in car sale volumes, down from 18.4% growth in the previous quarter. In the case of two-wheelers (think scooters), sales declined 22% in December 2016, compared to the prior December, marking the highest monthly contraction since 1997. The official economy-wide data struggled to reflect the reality on the ground precisely because cash transactions are fragmented and defy accurate data capture. The Rise of the “Big Narrative” Continues Ultimately, the public did not judge the Modi government’s actions on the basis of arcane issues, such as the percentage of money deposited in banks, what percent of illegal assets are held in cash, or the intricacies of how GDP growth is calculated. Every person living in India had to experience some form of dislocation or inconvenience. Despite that, the message that carried the greatest weight was that the government was acting, and acting decisively, on behalf of ordinary people to fight corruption. As for those questioning the wisdom of the policy, the prime minister’s comments at an election rally in the state of Uttar Pradesh said it all: “On the one hand are those [critics of the note ban], who talk of what people at Harvard say, and on the other is a poor man’s son, who through his hard work is trying to improve the economy.” On March 11 Uttar Pradesh gave the prime minister’s party a landslide election victory. While we celebrate the age of big data, it may be “big narrative” that drives the most-profound decisions: We’ve witnessed it in the UK, in the U.S., and now in India. When people feel that you’re fighting for them, it seems even the most concrete evidence, be it data or history, wields less and less influence. The world will face another test of this theory soon with the French elections next month and the Dutch elections tomorrow. Ultimately, the victory of narrative over data may be the takeaway from India’s demonetization saga. And that may qualify as a plot for a Bollywood blockbuster after all.