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Volume IconTMS Ep413: Non-exec chairman, retail zones, IT stocks, safe harbour rules

Time to ease up on non-exec chairman and directors? Can brands create exclusive retail zones in India? Can IT stocks trigger a market correction? What are safe harbour rules? Answers here

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Keshub Mahindra, the former chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra, passed away last week at the age of 99 years. Under his stewardship, Mahindra & Mahindra Group diversified in automobile, IT, real estate and several other sectors. But his illustrious career was also marked by a rough patch. Keshub Mahindra was sentenced to two years in jail in his 80s. The reason? He was the non-executive chairman of Union Carbide India when a gas leak from its Bhopal plant left thousands dead in 1984. But should a non-executive chairman-- who is not privy to the company’s day-to-day affairs -- be held responsible for any lapse? 

Let us now shift focus to a piece of good news. Apple, the maker of iPhones and Macbooks, is set to open its first ever stores in India. They will be in Mumbai and New Delhi. However, there is a catch. Apple has signed a non-compete clause which means that up to 22 competing brands cannot open their stores in the vicinity. Non-compete clauses are regularly used by brands to advance their business. But, are they good for consumers? And what are the compliance challenges? 

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Shares of IT bellwether Infosys crashed 9% on Monday, after the company lowered its revenue growth guidance for FY24, given the uncertain global demand environment. As IT shares remain on a slippery slope, at least in the near-term, can they trigger the next leg of market correction, or are they a contrarian bet from a 12-24 month horizon? Let's try to find answers to these questions.

The government, meanwhile, is working on the Digital India Bill which will replace the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. According to reports, it will introduce changes to the “safe harbour” provision. The government has been of the opinion that social media companies should not get a free pass when it comes to content moderation. But what is a safe harbour? We decode it for you in this episode of the podcast. 

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First Published: Apr 18 2023 | 8:00 AM IST

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