SILICON VILLAGE

Saturday, June 13, 2009

GP test market expected to reach Rs 6,692.5 million by 2011

The growing trend of the telecom market has paved way for the general purpose (GP) test equipment industry. According to the analysis from the Growth Partnership Company, Frost and Sullivan, the Indian GP test equipment market has earned revenues over Rs 4,346.50 million in 2007 and is expected to reach Rs 6,692.5 million by 2011.

The GP test equipment market is employed for a wide range of products including the research and development (R&D), manufacturing to installation and maintenance (I&M). The cost advantages and availability of skilled professionals have transformed India into a R&D hub for various industries. A vast number of companies from the entire world are investing in the country, which is aiding the market of GP test equipment.

"As security concerns assume the limelight in the wake of the terror threats and security concerns facing the country, an enormous amount has been budgeted for defense spending, which includes communication technologies," says Deepa Doraiswamy, Frost & Sullivan Program Manager. "A decent proportion of the spending goes into procuring test equipment, which mostly includes general purpose (GP) test equipment, and this is expected to create good opportunities in the ensuing years for the GP test equipment market."

Further, the customer support and the brand equity have become the determining factors for the success of the GP test Equipment market. Most of the test vendors have allocated 10 to 15 percent of their revenues to R&D, which result in the emergence of multi-functional instruments that integrate the functions of diverse equipments into one, marking the end of stand-alone products.

Moreover, the expansion of communication networks across the country is facilitating the GP test equipment such as the spectrum analyzers and the network analyzers. With the increasing penetration of mobile phones into the rural zones, the demand for the GP testers is on rise.

However, there are some concerns associated with the GP market, which need to be addressed. "Continuous product improvement with new features demonstrating cutting-edge technology remains the challenging aspiration for GP test vendors to gain market share," says Doraiswamy. "They must fine tune their products and make feature additions and modifications to outpace competition. Participants must also cater to the demand for customized products, identifying the specific end user needs across all end user segments," she adds.

SiliconIndia

Is LPOs set to yield $640 Million by 2011?

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is a growing business segment and is expected to generate an income of $640 million by the year 2011. The industry is also expected to be the fastest growing outsourcing business, according to a report released by the research agency.

The findings based on ValueNotes maintains that India is expected to have a major share in this forecasted revenue from LPO, which will also open huge employment opportunities in India.

"LPOs are seen as a more stable career option than opportunities in the mainstream IT and ITeS sector.

Unlike other segments in outsourcing, the LPO segment has seen a robust growth even during recessionary times, thus providing a stable career option," said Lokendra Tomar, Chief Operating Officer, Asia-Pacific, Integreon, a LPO firm.

The LPO industry will be generating employment opportunities for all the lawyersincluding lawyers, graduates, freshers and MBAs.

Agencies

Has HP retained No 1 position in the Indian PC market?

Hewlett-Packard (HP) improved its market share in the first quarter to continue its lead in the India PC personal computer (PC) space, according to technology research firm IDC.

HP captured 18.2% of the India PC market in terms of unit shipments in the January-March period, an IDC India report said. The PC maker had a 15.6% share in the previous (October-December) quarter. HP has been numero uno in the India PC market consistently every quarter over the past four years. With a market share of 9.8% in overall PC shipments, HCL Infosystems regained the second spot, after losing out to Dell in the October-December quarter. Dell slipped back to the third spot with a share of 9.7% in the first quarter this year, IDC said in a release.

The India PC market witnessed a 7% quarter-on-quarter growth in shipments in Q1 of 2009. A total of 16.79 lakh units of desktops and laptops were shipped during the January-March quarter of 2009.

Desktop PC shipments of 12.13 lakh registered a sequential growth of 9%, while laptop shipments of 4.66 lakh units grew 3% QoQ.

The research firm said the market share, over the next two quarters, would depend on how well PC vendors capitalise on opportunities in the consumer, education and government segments in India.

In Q1 2009, fourth-placed Acer’s market share dipped marginally to 7.3%. Fifth-ranked Lenovo showed a more pronounced drop — its share came down to 4.7% in Q1 2009 from 6.6% in the previous quarter.

“Moving forward, hardware in general, and PC shipments in particular, will continue to remain under pressure. Winners would gain market share and improve profitability through the right price/volume mix and optimal exploitation of supply chain efficiencies,” IDC India country manager Kapil Dev Singh said.

Economictimes

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why are IITians queuing up for PSU & defense jobs?

Call it an effect of sixth pay commission or recession. For the first time ever, 12 percent of the total recruitment at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has been from the topnotch IITs of India. Every year, DRDO recruits 500 scientists for all of its 52 labs. This year, 60 of them have been from IITs.

In previous years, all the labs of the organization would manage to recruit one or two engineering graduates from the premier institutes. DRDO human resource officials told Times of India, "After the sixth Pay Commission, the pay, packages and promotion schemes were more streamlined and so was career growth. The scientists no longer have to wait for vacancies to get promotions. Plus, the allotment for awards for the scientists has increased to Rs 2 crore annually, double the allotment last year."

Sources said, "Seeing the economic scenario, IITians have flocked to the defence organization this year."

DRDO mainly recruits employees through a common scientist entry test and through campus recruitment across 40 campuses, IITs, central universities and others. The IITians were primarily recruited through the latter. The tag of IIT does not give any weightage in this recruitment process.

In another trend, 30 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) were also recruited in 2008, of the 150 applicants. Most were to scientist D and E categories, some to science fields and engineering areas of R&D.

The DRDO also has the ROSSA scheme in place now. About 40 scientists, fresh PhD holders, were taken in under the 'registration of students with scholastic aptitudeï' scheme.

Even those who left DRDO for private sector are coming back. About 20 scientists are in line to be placed back.

Agencies & TOI

Two Web startups interest AOL

Internet pioneer AOL, which Time Warner plans to spin off into an independent company later this year, announced on Thursday that it had bought two small Web startups focused on local content.

AOL, in a statement, said it had purchased Patch Media Corp., a local news and information platform for local communities, and Going Inc., a platform for sharing information about events in major cities.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"Local remains one of the most disaggregated experiences on the Web today -- there's a lot of information out there but simply no way for consumers to find it quickly and easily," said Tim Armstrong, who was hired away from Google this year to become AOL chairman and chief executive.

"It's a space that's prime for innovation and an area where AOL has a significant audience and a valuable mapping service in MapQuest," he said.

"Going forward, local will be a core area of focus and investment for AOL," Armstrong said. "The acquisitions of Patch and Going will help us build out our local network further."

Patch.com is currently available in five local communities in the United States and expects to be available in a dozen by the end of the year.

Going.com provides information for young people about what is going on in major US cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Boston.

"By joining with AOL, we have the opportunity to greatly expand the reach of our platform to more cities both in the US and around the world," said Going chief executive Evan Schumacher.

AOL is currently the number four gateway to the Web after Google, Microsoft sites and Yahoo! and has been trying to refashion itself recently as a popular one-stop portal.

Agencies

Google eyes smaller firms to acquire

Google Inc is looking to buy smaller technology companies to enhance its technology portfolio, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in an interview with the Fox Business network

Schmidt said Google plans to focus on the cloud, mobile, and open source distribution of software in the next year.

"We have been (looking to acquire)," Schmidt said. "We have been wandering around looking at all of the different companies.

With the big ones we haven't come across anything we've particularly liked. We are definitely talking to a number of smaller companies but we've done that routinely." "We primarily look for technology. It's a typical build versus buy.

How long does it take us to build it with our engineers, versus there are already engineers in this other company that have built this thing."

The chief executive's statements come as the Internet search giant's growth slows from double digit percentages amid global economic turmoil and a sharp, industry-wide decline in advertising.

On Tuesday Google's green energy czar Bill Weihl said the company is closing in on its goal of producing renewable energy at a price cheaper than coal.

Google, known for its Internet search engine, in late 2007 said it would invest in companies and do research of its own to produce affordable renewable energy -- at a price less than burning coal -- within a few years.

The often-quirky company cast the move as a philanthropic effort to address climate change, but the work is done by a unit of the for-profit corporation, Google.org, and Google investors will profit from any breakthroughs.

Google's investment has been modest, so far. The company has put less than $50 million into clean energy start-ups, while the efforts of Weihl's group are probably about $10 million or $20 million.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free anti-virus software from Microsoft

Microsoft Corp is getting ready to unveil a long-anticipated free anti-virus service for PCs that will compete with products sold by Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc. A Microsoft spokesman said on Wednesday that the world's biggest software maker is testing an early version of the product with its own employees.

Microsoft would "soon" make a trial version, or product beta, available via its website, he added, but declined to provide a specific date. Symantec shares fell 1.6 percent in afternoon trading and McAfee fell 1.8 percent, while Microsoft was up 1.1 per cent.

The Nasdaq composite index was down 1.2 per cent. Investors are closely monitoring the free service, code-named Morro after after Brazil's Morro de Sao Paolo beach, amid concern it could hurt sales of products from Symantec and McAfee, which generate billions of dollars of revenue a year protecting Windows PCs from attacks by hackers.

"It's a long-term competitive threat," said Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, though he added that the near-term impact was minimal. Microsoft has said that Morro will offer basic features for fighting a wide-range of viruses, which would likely make it comparable to low-end consumer products from Symantec and McAfee that cost about $40 per year.

Their top-selling products are security suites that come with features including encryption, firewalls, password protection, parental controls and data backup. Three years ago, Microsoft entered that market with Live OneCare, which turned out to be a commercial flop.

It announced plans in November to kill that product suite, saying it would launch the free Morro service by the end of 2009. Analysts said they are looking forward to examining Morro's beta to see exactly how its features compare to those in products from competitors. Microsoft has said it will provide protection from several types of malicious software including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans.

Officials with Symantec and McAfee have said they do not see Morro as a threat. Joris Evers, a spokesman for No 2 security software maker McAfee, said his company is already enjoying strong growth despite competition from free anti-virus products that are on the market.

"On a level playing field, we are confident in our ability to compete with anyone who might enter the marketplace," he said. A spokesman for Symantec, the biggest security software maker, could not be reached for comment. Trend Micro Inc, the No 3 player, declined comment.

Agencies

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Indian Internet startups fail to meet VCs expectations?

Internet Services companies in India are one of the largest venture capital [VC] funded companies in India. However, these firms have not delivered as per the expectations of the VCs. "With broadband penetration and PC affordability still an issue, internet companies have not met the expectations we had set two years back," said Sachin Maheshwari, Principal at Draper Fisher Jurvetson [DFJ] India. DFJ has funded many Internet startups like naseeb.com and seventymm.com. VCs had earlier expected the number of internet users in country to grow to 80 million by 2012. But so far it has just reached 40 million and therefore the traffic is too low to generate good revenue.

Many internet companies rely on online advertisement for revenue. They might find it difficult to survive due to low internet users. The internet advertisement revenue in country is $200 million, but majority of it is generated by Google. Few VCs feel that internet companies have not found the correct business model. "The business models that work abroad do not necessarily work in India," says Ritesh Banglani, Senior Investment Advisor, IDG Ventures India.

According to Alok Mittal, General Partner, Canaan Partners, the most successful internet companies in India are subscription based or lead generating like Naukri.com. But despite not meeting expected results, internet companies are still amongst the most favored by VCs. "We expect these companies to do better as when the internet penetration picks up and monetization models are clearer," said DFJ's Maheshwari.

According to Venture Intelligence, 21 percent of the VC deals struck between July 2008 and June 2009 were in internet services. The value of these deals was around $120 million.

Is Google on a hiring spree in India?

Google has big plans for India in next three to five years. It plans to hire more people from India for its brand advertising business and considers India as an impactful market.

"Our focus in India is growth. India is going to be one of the 10 most impactful markets for Google in three to five years. There will be minimal impact on India in terms of job cuts announced globally," said Google India MD Shailesh Rao.

Google currently has four offices in India, located in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai. After U.S., Google has the highest headcount in India. Even after having such a strong presence at the moment, India does not drive global revenue, Rao added.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ten Indian companies make it to FT Top 500

Ten Indian companies are listed among Financial Time's top 500 global companies for 2009, in terms of market capitalization. The list was led by American energy giant ExxonMobil, followed by the oil major PetroChina and U.S. retailer Wal-Mart at the second and third positions respectively.


Reliance Industries is the only Indian company which has been listed among the top 100, taking the 75th place with a market capitalization of $47.25 billion. Last year, the company occupied the 80th position in the list. The companies were ranked by market capitalization, the greater the stock market value of a company, the higher it's ranking. Market capitalization is the share price as on March 31, 2009 multiplied by the number of shares issued.

Other Indian firms featuring in the list are Oil & Natural Gas (ONGC) (120th rank), National Thermal Power (NTPC) (138), Bharti Airtel (188), Infosys (330), Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) (345), ITC (362), State Bank of India (372), Tata Consultancy Services (483) and Hindustan Unilever (495).

Can alerts of search engines help you?

Having problems with a search engine, then change the search terms to get the information you need. But what if the search engine did it for you?

A Penn State researcher analysed nearly one million web searches to detect patterns of query reformulation and create models to predict them -- models that may help create more advanced search engines.

"The key finding in the research is that we are moving from descriptive aspects to predictive models in web searching," said Jim Jansen, associate professor of information sciences and technology and study co-author.

Researchers found that the search terms in 22 percent of queries were reformulated or changed to more precisely convey the information for which the user was searching.

"They typically moved to narrow their query at the start of the session, moving to reformulation in the mid and latter portions of the sessions," Jansen said.

"It appears that the assistance to narrow the query and alternate query terms would be most beneficial immediately after the initial query submission."

Researchers also found low rates of users asking for system assistance in helping to find the desired information -- perhaps because they are too focused on using their own search terms to find information.

"The implication is that system assistance should be most specifically targeted when the user is making a cognitive shift because it appears users are open to system intervention," Jansen said.

Jansen said this research is a critical step in helping to design more advanced search engines, said a Penn State release.

These findings have been published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Agencies

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