From 7 a.m. until late at night, seven days a week, N. Sudhakar sits behind the counter of a walled grocery store in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Packed floor-to-ceiling with everything from a 20-kilogram bag of rice to a one-rupee pack of shampoo ($0.01), this one-stop shop provides most of the daily needs of many in the area. . It’s a carbon copy of some 12 million family-run “kiranas” found on almost every street corner in India.
The store is located on a busy street in the Whitefield district, formerly a quiet suburb but now the main hub for the city’s booming IT industry. Condominiums loom behind his shop, home to hundreds of workers who work in the tech zones that dominate the surrounding area.
Today, the same technology that has helped Sudhakar’s business thrive is giving stores like his own a new challenge. Across the street, a steady stream of delivery drivers lined up to buy groceries from a “dark store”—a small warehouse located downtown and built to allow for ultra-fast deliveries. run by Dunzo, a Bangalore-based startup. .
In India’s megacities, years of aggressive marketing, massive discounts from e-commerce players like Amazon and the local maker’s Flipkart, and a huge amount of store lockdowns has driven the urban middle class to indulge in online shopping. These shoppers make up a small portion of the population, but their spending power is substantial, and in the larger, more affluent cities, the battle for India’s street corner is well underway. . Read full story.
Things to read
I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.
1 US child under 5 years old is eligible to receive the covid vaccine starting today
That means nearly all Americans will be vaccinated. (NYT $)
+ Here are some potential mild side effects they may experience. (CNN)
+ Why toddlers who already have covid still need vaccines. (Time)
2 Canada bans single-use plastic
Start in six months. (Guardians)
+ Similarly, Wales is considering banning single-use wet wipes and bags. (BBC)
+ Spray-on vegetable coating can be an alternative to plastic food wrap. (Engadget)
+ A French company is using enzymes to recycle one of the most common single-use plastics. (MIT Technology Review)
3 China is collecting more personal data than we thought
Including the ‘voice print’ from the public, to reinforce the authoritarian rule of the government. (NYT $)
4 Google Search is not what it used to be
Skimming through ads and fewer blogs makes it feel sterile and less human. (Atlantic $)
+ Currently, a lot of people are looking at ‘Bitcoin is dead’ on Google. (Cointelegraph)
5 We need to be smarter about how we use AI to tackle climate change
Renewable energy is one area that could benefit from simpler systems. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Renewable Energy Certifications may be exaggerating a business’ environmental efforts. (NBC)
+ Renewable energy set to high gain. (MIT Technology Review)
Meta’s 6 virtual reality headsets are quite beautiful
But the company is trying very hard to make a possible headset a reality. (The Verge)
+ The Metaverse is looking pretty unrealistic right now. (WP $)
+ It also has a groping problem. (MIT Technology Review)
+ This is why it is important that we all use the same terms when talking about it. (Fast company $)
8 We still don’t know why the sea water glows a milky blue
But going into space could unravel the mystery. (Hakai Magazine)
9 Internet Explorer is gone, but not forgotten
Some parts of the web still depend on it. (Wired $)
Here’s what tech workers do with their swagger from failed startups
Top tip: don’t get your company logo tattooed. (Information $)
Quote of the day