The Atlantic
6 min read
Politics

Two Glimpses of a Grim Post-American Future

As the United States under President Trump recedes from world leadership, things are not looking so good elsewhere on earth. Two new books—with similarly morbid titles—have arrived to warn of big trouble ahead for both the European Union and the emerging economies of Asia. The End of the Asian Century by Michael Auslin offers a point-by-point debunking of the “Asiaphoria” that gripped so many imaginations a decade ago. James Kirchick’s The End of Europe tours a continent in which democratic and liberal forces are losing ground to Russia-infatuated extremists of right and left. The conclusion l
NPR
5 min read

Why Do So Few People Pay Income Tax In India?

Late last year, India sought to force people with large amounts of cash stashed away to deposit it in bank accounts. It was a tax-collecting exercise to get people to disclose unreported wealth and pay up. The government credits the move for a 12 percent increase in tax collections from the previous year. Enlarging that base in no small thing in a country where only a tiny percentage of people actually pays income tax. India ranks 13th of 18 among its democratic peers within the G-20 countries when it comes to paying tax, according to the country's 2017 Economic Survey. At a cavernous office
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read

India’s War Over Water—and Soft Drinks

P R Sanjai and Archana Chaudhary • Coke and Pepsi find themselves boycotted in Kerala and Tamil Nadu • “Shopkeepers are making a politically correct stance” A potent blend of pride, economic nationalism, and mounting concerns over water security has the world’s two biggest cola brands in a bind in southern India. On March 15 shopkeepers in drought-hit Kerala state said they will join their counterparts in neighboring Tamil Nadu in boycotting locally made beverages from Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. Retail associations blame the companies for siphoning off groundwater and selling products
The Atlantic
4 min read

How Holi Got Politicized

Water guns were poised, sniper-style, from rooftop terraces. Rivers of red slushy water streamed down the roads. Motorcyclists, wielding fistfuls of candy-colored powder, launched drive-by assaults. And on a packed street corner, throngs of men, caked in chalky pink dust, shimmied wildly. In Mathura, birthplace of the Hindu god Krishna, India’s springtime festival of colors was reaching fever pitch. Each March, the two-day Holi festival sees millions of revelers pour into the streets and pummel each other with bright-colored powders, home-concocted dyes, and water balloons to honor the courtsh
Ad Age
3 min read

In India, Samsung Wants to Feel More Like a Local Brand, CMO Says

In India, Samsung has many products and services developed locally with Indian consumers in mind: smart ovens that cook naan and tandoori rotis, and air conditioners designed for extreme weather and electricity issues. Now the South Korean electronics giant is making ads in India with a more authentic local feel, striving for emotion instead of just zooming in on product tech features. The strategy seems to be working: A four-minute video about a Samsung service van venturing into the Himalayas crossed 100 million views in seven weeks. The moving spot from Cheil India has a surprise ending, wh
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read

India Likes Its Roads Built On Time

Iain Marlow and Bibhudatta Pradhan A smooth, six-lane expressway has made Kailash Singh a rich man. The road runs from Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and politically important state. On the way, it passes straight through Singh’s farm. To complete the 302-kilometer (188-mile) road quickly, Uttar Pradesh’s government paid Singh 10 million rupees ($150,000)—way above market price—for an acre of land and an old house. He’s since built a two-story house with a marble floor and a veranda with ceiling fans. Similarly compensated, many o
Fast Company
1 min read

17 | Airbnb

The company that lured travelers from hotels to homes is now getting them off tour buses and into the real world. “What’s wrong with much of travel is that it’s so mass-produced and transactional,” says Joe Zadeh, VP of product for Airbnb. In November, CEO Brian Chesky introduced Experiences, local adventures that extend Airbnb’s host-based hospitality into tours and multiday itineraries. The service creates a potentially lucrative revenue stream and marks the next hop in Airbnb’s journey to reimagine travel. 1 Specialized tours Experiences taps Airbnb’s community to offer the kinds of highl
The Atlantic
14 min read

India's Movement to Help People Die Better

Thirty years ago a young anesthetist, newly appointed as head of department at Calicut Medical College Hospital in the Indian state of Kerala, encountered a case that would change his life. A college professor aged 42 with cancer of the tongue had been referred to him by an oncologist. The man was in severe pain, and the anesthetist, M.R. Rajagopal, asked if he could help. He injected the mandibular nerve in the jaw in a procedure known as a nerve block, and told the patient to return in 24 hours. Next day, the pain had almost completely gone and Dr. Raj, as he is known, was pleased with his w
The Atlantic
6 min read

Stuck in an American Retail Job With a Foreign MBA

Coming to the U.S. can knock immigrants’ careers off track for years. For new arrivals, integration is often an important part of achieving financial stability, as studies of upward and downward economic mobility have documented. Deepak Singh grew up in northern India. He had a bachelor’s degree in commerce, an MBA, and a job with the BBC World Service in his hometown of Lucknow. Unexpectedly, he met a young woman visiting from western Pennsylvania at a local library; the two fell in love, got married, and decided that Singh would move to Virginia, where she was attending graduate school. In h
Ad Age
2 min read

Marketing Makeover for Ralph Lauren: Brand Hires First CMO

More change is afoot at Ralph Lauren Corp. The 50-year-old fashion brand has hired its first chief marketing officer as the company strives to create a more cohesive brand voice and marketing strategy. Jonathan Bottomley will start as the top marketer at the New York-based retailer on April 3. Mr. Bottomley was briefly a strategy officer at Virtue, Vice Media's ad agency. Before that, he served at top London shops including BBH and TBWA. "As we write our next chapter, we continue to add exceptionally strong leaders with passion, energy and talent to lead our company into the future," said Mr.
Ad Age
4 min read

How Fake News Could Make Advertising More Believable

Will advertisers take the opportunity to become more believable in this latest era of fake news and "alternative facts," or will they blow the chance by continuing to hook up with any website that they can buy dirt cheap? Fake news, of course, is not a new phenomenon. It was called "disinformation" during the world wars and "freak journalism" when powerfu newspaper publishers turned up the heat to promote war with Spain. Stanley Walker, city editor of the old New York Herald Tribune, noted in his 1934 book, "City Editor," that one of the oldest laws of the Fourth Estate was the one forbidding
Ad Age
4 min read

The Demise of the Department Store Experience

Department stores can't compete against internet shopping because they are bland and predictable. Unexpected and quirky is a better formula. The economic model for national department stores doesn't work anymore. What's the fun of going to stores that are just the same as all the others in the chain? Consumers can and do jump from one shopping siteincluding websites for department storesto another, hitting the refresh button as they go. Doesn't that beat the prospect of trekking to a local chain store whose floor plan you know by heart? The problem is that local versions of national chains lik
Fortune
2 min read

How Hotels Are Starting To Imitate Airbnb

OVER THE YEARS, Airbnb and the hotel industry have largely maintained a nonaggression pact. The incumbents tended to pooh-pooh the potential threat posed by the upstart, and the upstart insisted it has absolutely no desire to take business from the incumbents. “For us to win,” Chesky is fond of saying even today, “hotels don’t have to lose.” Until now, that’s been largely true, with Airbnb enjoying astonishing growth and the hotel industry reaching record occupancy in 2015. But, increasingly, each side is making incursions in the other’s terrain (not to mention more contentious efforts, as th
New York Magazine
2 min read

No. 45 Because This Cabstand Still Serves The City’s Best Chai, Even After The Cabbies Went Away.

KARAN MAHAJAN THIS TIME, I CAME back to New York and thought: It couldn’t possibly still be there. Soho, where my favorite Pakistani deli, Lahore, is located, has been menacing the little guy for at least 30 years. The second-to-last gas station in lower Manhattan, across from the deli, had been its lifeblood, supplying it with famished cabbie customers. It had been demolished earlier that year. But Lahore—Lahore had survived! (In my memory, I had elevated it to the second floor; actually, it was on the first.) I went in before a reading at Housing Works, next door, and sipped a splendid $1.5
Bloomberg Businessweek
4 min read
Politics

China Challenges The Giants With Low Fares

Angus Whitley and Kyunghee Park, with Michael Sasso, Mary Schlangenstein, and Dong Lyu Most travelers wouldn’t choose to kill four empty hours at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport waiting for a China Southern Airlines connection to Sydney. But for Gina Capella, it was a no-brainer. The Boston resident and her friend saved hundreds of dollars last year taking China Southern instead of a nonstop flight from Seoul with Korean Air Lines or Asiana Airlines. “We didn’t mind the layover because it was so much cheaper,” she says. “Like, almost half the price.” Chinese airlines are flooding the
Fortune
2 min read

Check In

HAWAIIAN’S NEW BUSINESS CLASS CARRIER INSTALLS LIE-FLAT SEATS, ADDS FIRST-CLASS BIDDING TOOL Hawaiian Airlines has debuted a new business class with lie-flat seats for most long-haul routes. The seats were initially available on flights from Honolulu to Tokyo Narita, and this month are available on flights to Brisbane, Auckland and Sydney, Australia. The seat folds flat into a 76-inch-long bed, with a 2-2-2 seating configuration, and features a “large format tablet” rather than a built-in entertainment system. The airline’s A330 aircraft are being retrofitted with 18 new business-class seats
Newsweek
6 min read

How India's Cashless Economy Gambit Backfired

On November 8, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a surprise recall of more than 80 percent of the country’s cash in circulation, his supporters hailed the measure as an ingenious “surgical strike” against corruption and tax evasion. Everyone else was too busy running to the ATM. Before the move, Modi had made little progress in fulfilling his campaign promise to bring back billions in untaxed “black money” stashed abroad so he could deposit it in the bank accounts of India’s poor. Washington, D.C.–based corruption watchdog Global Financial Integrity recently estimated that a
Bloomberg Businessweek
4 min read

A Cash Crackdown Hits Gold Pawners

Bruce Einhorn and Anto Antony Abin Baby, an unemployed teacher from the town of Thodupuzha in the southern Indian state of Kerala, was in a bind. He needed money to cover some emergency expenses, but since he was out of work, he couldn’t easily get a loan from a bank. So in August he took a 14-gram gold bangle and used it as collateral for a six-month loan of 27,500 rupees ($402) from Muthoot Finance, one of the leading providers of gold-based loans in India. Such loans are a primary way to borrow money in rural India, where gold is an especially popular gift at festivals and weddings and mi
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read

The Prenup That Didn’t Stick

Bruce Einhorn, Iain Marlow, and Grace Huang It seemed like the perfect marriage: the dominant mobile operator in Japan and the premier conglomerate in India operating a cellular service in one of the world’s hottest markets. In 2009, NTT Docomo and the holding company of Tata Group formed Tata Teleservices, with the Japanese company paying 260 billion yen ($2.5 billion) for 26.5 percent of the carrier. Docomo arranged a prenup providing the option of selling its shares back to Tata for at least half the purchase price, in case things didn’t work out. As it turned out, the business struggled
Fortune
2 min read

10-Hour Layover? Lucky You

ICELANDAIR IS THE LARGEST public company in Iceland—and one of the country’s biggest boosters. The airline has differentiated itself by making the layover, a scourge of international travelers everywhere, into a perk. The pitch: You’re flying from New York to London and you have to stop somewhere, so why not spend some time in the land of primordial hot springs, rushing waterfalls, and otherworldly blue glaciers? Starting this year, Icelandair has sweetened the deal, offering travelers a “stopover buddy,” an airline employee to accompany you around the country during your layover. On a recen
People
1 min read

Building a Better America

DAVID ADJAYE PROFESSION Architect BORN Tanzania LIVES New York City and London YEARS IN THE MAKING President Obama will officially open the museum on Sept. 24. “I was shocked there wasn’t already one dedicated to African-American history on a significant scale,” says Adjaye. Three Parts to Every Story The building has three tiers, because we wanted to focus on three aspects of African-American history: the history itself, the community—by that, we mean the introduction of African-Americans to the middle class—and then culture, which is a celebration of the arts. It’s been eight years
TIME
5 min read

A Museum Embraces the Triumph and Struggle of Black America

ANY HISTORY MUSEUM IS A storytelling machine. But the newest one in Washington, D.C., starts telling its story before you even enter. The very silhouette of the National Museum of African American History and Culture has embedded meanings. Above a glass-enclosed lobby, the building rises in three inverted trapezoids. That multitiered exterior is borrowed from a crown motif of the Yoruba, the West African people who established one of the most important civilizations in sub-Saharan Africa and who also made up a sizable part of the U.S. slave population. So in its outlines, the building remember
TIME
1 min read
Politics

Kashmir Attack Pushes India and Pakistan to the Brink

RISHI IYENGAR ON THE MORNING OF SEPT. 18, FOUR HEAVILY armed men attacked an Indian army base near the town of Uri in the disputed territory of Kashmir. The attack left at least 18 soldiers dead and over two dozen wounded, and it threatens to disrupt the perennially fragile détente between India and Pakistan in the contentious mountain region: WAR OF WORDS The attack has sparked a heated confrontation between the two adversarial neighbors. New Delhi has claimed the attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Islamist terror group that some in India have accused Pakistan of supporting. Hom
TIME
2 min read

Carla Hayden

SARAH BEGLEY What’s significant about your new appointment? Being the first female and the first African American means that the legacy of the 14 Librarians of Congress will include diversity—and also a female in a female-dominated profession. What’s your favorite item in the collections? One is the life mask of Abraham Lincoln. My family’s from Illinois, and in fact most of my relatives are buried in the same cemetery as Abraham Lincoln. It’s just part of our legacy. As a child I spent every summer in Springfield, Ill. So to actually see the life mask of Abraham Lincoln, it resonated. You
TIME
2 min read

Fall Arts Preview Art

Richard Lacayo KERRY JAMES MARSHALL In works invested with a kind of madcap virtuosity, Marshall, 60, brings African-American lives vividly into the discourses of art history. One of the many things that make his paintings so smart is that Marshall knows that our shared history routinely runs through inauspicious places, including beauty parlors and housing projects. Thus his 1993 barbershop extravaganza De Style (above), where the witty deployment of historical references extends to the title, a pun on the Dutch modernist movement De Stijl. On Oct. 25, the Met Breuer in New York City welcom
New York Magazine
5 min read

253 Minutes With … David Salle

THESE ARE UNREHEARSED comments,” David Salle warns me, or maybe himself, as we pause in front of one of his paintings, Fooling With Your Hair, from 31 years ago. We’re walking through a show of his early work, along with that of two contemporaries and fellow Hamptonians, Ross Bleckner and Eric Fischl, called “Unfinished Business,” at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. Salle is attempting, for my benefit, to push himself into a kind of reverie about his old work, but his cautiousness over the performance keeps getting in the way. (He’s better at ginning up appreciation for Bleckner and Fisc
New York Magazine
24 min read

This Is New York in the Not-so-Distant Future

KLAUS JACOB, a German professor affiliated with Columbia’s University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is a geophysicist by profession and a doomsayer by disposition. I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years, as I’ve sought to understand the greatest threat to life in New York as we know it. Jacob has a white beard and a ponderous accent: Imagine if Werner Herzog happened to be a renowned expert on disaster risk. Jacob believes most people live in an irrational state of “risk denial,” and he takes delight in dispelling their blissful ignorance. “If you want to survive an earthquake,
New York Magazine
2 min read

There’s a Starchitect Police Station

8 121st Precinct A building by Rafael Viñoly, whose new 432 Park Avenue tower teeters above Manhattan’s midtown skyline, seems like an odd sighting in Staten Island. And his long, levitating police station juts out toward Richmond Avenue as if caught mid-takeoff. But asked about its functionality, one desk officer gave it the cop’s equivalent of a four-star rave: “I’ve got a lot of complaints, but not about this building.” 9 Staten Island Courthouse Sitting on a hill above the ferry terminal, the courthouse waits all day for sunset to ignite its four copper-clad towers like a quartet of tor
TIME
2 min read

India’s Economic Engine Has a Rocky Road Ahead

SINCE 2014, INDIA HAS BEEN THE emerging-market world’s most positive story. That’s mainly because Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have cut red tape to make it easier to do business in this historically closed country. Modi’s government has lowered barriers to foreign investment and dramatically simplified the tax system. India’s economy has taken off, with growth forecast at 7.8% this year. Yet this is probably the last major piece of positive reform news we’ll hear from India for the next couple of years. There are two crucial proposals that aren’t going any
New York Magazine
1 min read

Our Art Critic’s 5 Most Anticipated

RASHID JOHNSON SEPT. 8, HAUSER & WIRTH Johnson brings a beautiful brutality to materials; a hatchet man’s sense of cutting to the core of what he’s after. Paintings, performance, drawing, and sculpture will be featured in this gigantic show. If Johnson really brings it performance-wise, great things could happen. AGNES MARTIN OCT. 7, GUGGENHEIM Born in desolate rural Saskatchewan and a longtime denizen of desolate rural New Mexico, Martin (1912-2004) was the amazing maker of mysterious, minimal, meditative pale paintings. Coma-inducing, hallucinatory turns of subtle touch in sweet geometr