Friday, July 11, 2014
Post budget reactions from Mandeep Lamba, Managing Director – India, JLL Hotels & Hospitality.
For the first time in recent history, the government in power had announced tourism as one of its four pillars for growth. Consequently, the hospitality was looking forward to significant new provisions in Budget 2014. However, quite like in most previous years, the government failed to give hospitality any notable relief and stimulus for growth. Despite its 6.6% contribution to the GDP and the fact that it created close to 40 million jobs in 2012-13, the Indian hospitality sector continues to be a story of neglect from our policy makers.
Even today, India receives only about 0.5% of the global tourist arrivals despite being a country rich in history, culture, natural splendour and diversity. The fact that it has still not been equipped to receive a better share of global tourism receipts is puzzling and frustrating.
What Was Delivered
* The budget gave tourism some mention and indicated plans for long-term growth by way of developing India’s pilgrimage and heritage tourism circuits (PRASAD & HRIDAY schemes) and also provided for the development of a world-class convention centre in Goa via the PPP route. While these are welcome initiatives, these provisions will take between five to ten years to impact the growth of domestic and international tourist travel.
* The introduction of electronic visas and visas-on-arrival initiated earlier this year can be a major game-changer for Indian tourism with respect to foreign travel into India.
* The time-bound directive to implement e-visas at nine major airports within six months is perhaps the best news that this budget has delivered. This can have far-reaching consequences once implemented.
* The improvement and modernisation of railways, proposed new airports of international standards and the thrust on improved road connectivity augur well for the hospitality industry. These along with other policy announcements regarding increased FDI in several sectors and clarity on setting up of REITS, are catalysts for growth.
What Was Ignored
* The sector is desperately in need of incentives in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to make hotel investments there reasonably attractive
* The sector also needs better borrowing terms through the infrastructure lending route, and relaxed ECB norms
* The sector needs to be spared from double taxation through service and luxury tax/VAT at the state and centre levels. Indian hospitality was looking forward to rationalisation of taxes and ease of raising capital.
No economy can hope to achieve and maintain any degree of sustainable growth and buoyancy without its tourism and hospitality sector being given the necessary importance and corresponding stimuli. As of now, the Indian hospitality sector is still trying to shake off the lingering effects of the serious downturn it has been experiencing for almost six years.
In short, from the perspective of the Indian tourism hospitality sector, Budget 2014 failed to deliver. The industry must continue to survive primarily on the basis of die-hard optimism that it will eventually be given its rightful importance at the policy level.
Data Security Council of India (DSCI) today announced that it has signed a two-year MoU with the National Law School of India University (NLSIU). Under this agreement both institutions will undertake collaborative research and conduct public advocacy in the areas of cyber laws and data protection.
This strategic alliance will support closer industry-academia interactions through joint research and hosting of national and international conferences on Information Technology law and policy. It also aims at enhancing the knowledge of law graduates though professional skill development programs. Accordingly, DSCI will contribute to the development of course materials on cyber security and cyber law by NLSIU. In turn, DSCI will draw on the legal expertise of NLSIU faculty members on the areas of IT Law to support its ongoing policy initiatives.
Dr. R. Venkata Rao, Vice Chancellor, National Law School of India University said that “this is a very important step in NLSIU’s focus on law, science and technology.”
Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj, CEO, DSCI said “DSCI is taking comprehensive efforts at various levels to enhance the industry’s awareness on cyber security and data protection. This collaboration will open several avenues to nurture the talent of our nation.”
Thursday, July 10, 2014
NASSCOM today welcomed the focus on the ICT sector in the Union Budget proposals 2014-15 and termed it as a pragmatic and directional budget.
R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said, “The announcements on a pan India digital initiative, funding for start-ups, district level incubator network and leveraging technology for good governance are welcome steps. These measures along with the initiatives on skilling, smart cities and ease of business, reflect the thrust on role of technology in Budget 2014”.
The proposal to set-up a Rs. 10,000 crore fund for start-ups and entrepreneurs will act as a great booster for the growing start-up landscape and will help drive innovation and solutions for the global as well as the domestic markets. At the same time, a pan-India "Digital India" programme will promote digital inclusion with broadband connectivity up to the village level, thereby enabling improved access to services through IT enabled platforms.
Leveraging technology for access and governance was another key highlight of the budget. The Ebiz initiative, E-kranti, Virtual classroom, E-visas, Financial Inclusion Mission and many others will help to enhance technology usage in the India market. The industry will look to partner with the government on these initiatives and would urge the government to address key challenges in the current procurement processes so that the industry can contribute optimally in this national agenda.
NASSCOM and the industry thanked the government for addressing many key concerns raised by it on transfer pricing issues. The APA rollback, usage of multi-year data for benchmarking and other announcements should help to improve the business environment in the country. The budget proposal on proactively brining a closure to the retrospective tax issue and setting-up a high-level CBDT committee should address industry concerns. There remain certain areas of concern, which could perhaps be addressed through subsequent guidelines and/or clarifications such as those related to royalty definition, Place of Provision of Service Rules, etc.
Skills development, infrastructure, innovation and social development were other welcome highlights in the budget that would enhance India’s long-term competitiveness.
Lastly, the statements on providing a stable tax regime, reducing litigation related to tax and providing a conducive regulatory environment for start-ups and companies to establish, operate and where necessary, close businesses would help improve the business environment in the country.
Budget reactions from Shekhar Sanyal, Director & Country Head, the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
The new government’s Union budget for the year 2014-15 is a welcome move with a more strategic focus, concentrating on mid-long term implications towards sustainable growth. The commitment to achieve 7-8% economic growth in the next 3-4 years anchoring on the core sectors is much needed to revive the sluggish economy. We, at The IET, are very positive about the fiscal prudence reflected in this budget. It is a validation of the Government’s promise to leverage technology for India’s next phase of growth. There is a holistic view of riding on technology right from creating a foundation for talent to an ecosystem for entrepreneurial projects and intelligent tech implementation such as for farmers, remote communication, renewable energy, manufacturing and smart cities.
The government’s move to establish more IITs and IIMs is great to strengthen the pool of quality technical talent that will enable India’s journey to be a scientific power. The IET’s vision is also to build a strong engineering ecosystem in India that contributes to the society in resolving critical societal challenges. We are happy to note that the budget is aligned with our vision and we see immediate opportunity from each section of the society – government, corporate and academia to collaborate for economic development.
The budget’s special emphasis on encouraging entrepreneurs by providing funds and establishing business incubators in each district will provide a platform to build the next big global companies from India, many of which will leverage technology for growth. Significant fund allocation to the solar and power sector is a positive step towards a result oriented transition to a more sustainable energy independent country. Government’s focus on domestic manufacturing sector which has not seen progress is set to evolve with the fillip in investment allowance. This will generate more employment opportunities and attract young talent.
Lastly, the budget’s focus on urban development and smart cities will open a plethora of opportunities for technology implementation that benefit citizens. The creation of new urban centers on the principles of sustainable urbanization is at the core of any developing country’s success.
To sum up, the budget is certainly a first step towards the government’s vision to transform India. With some new initiatives in each sector, it will definitely bring together a revolution and the IET, being a professional body to streamline engineering and technology can partner with the government to play a critical role in bringing the change
Attending executives will learn about digital convergence and delivering unified digital experiences across software, cloud, mobility and analytics
Symphony Teleca Corporation, the global innovation and development services company, today announced that it will showcase strategies for accelerated innovation from India Centers to hundreds of executives expected to attend the Zinnov Confluence in Bangalore, India on July 16-17, 2014.
Symphony Teleca has over 7,500 business and technology experts who understand the challenges organizations face around people, process and technology while embarking on the new digital frontier. At Confluence 2014, company experts will help attendees understand the numerous ways in which Symphony Teleca can help in enabling a holistic digital transformation.
* Get a sneak peek at some of the company’s innovative and engaging apps across verticals
* Speak to digital experts to understand Symphony Teleca’s capabilities across the Internet Value-chain from Content to Consumption
* Understand the various areas in which Symphony Teleca can help clients:
o Anything, anywhere: Enhanced agility and scalability through accelerated innovation
o Mobile and Connected Devices: Demonstrated expertise and partnerships across the embedded ecosystem that result in reduced time to market
o Predictive Analytics: Proven leaders in operationalizing analytics, and experts in integrating predictive models to drive positive business outcome.
o Seamless digital experience: Proven track record in delivering unified digital experience across channels
Sandeep Kalra, EVP & GM, SPP Division of Symphony Teleca, will talk at a keynote panel discussion at the Confluence entitled “Money Never Sleeps: Influencing Global Revenue" on July 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Olivier Batherosse, R&D Shared Services Director, Symphony EYC, will shed light on how his team has realized the true value from collaborating with Symphony Teleca by participating in a panel discussion entitled "'Inception: Hacking the Customer's Mind" on July 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Juniper Networks, the industry leader in network innovation, today announced a series of senior appointments in Asia-Pacific (APAC). The new appointments, which span sales, systems engineering, marketing and partners, help position the company to capitalize on the highest growth opportunities in APAC as customers migrate to High-IQ Networks and best-in-class cloud environments.
The new appointments include:
* Wendy Koh has been promoted to senior vice president (SVP) of APAC Sales. Based in Singapore, Koh will be responsible for Juniper Networks’ sales and operations across the region including customer engagement, sales development, training and enablement, strategic planning and revenue growth. An 11-year Juniper veteran, Koh has held several senior leadership roles across the company including VP of APAC Service Provider and, immediately prior to this role, VP of Asia Sales. Koh reports to Vince Molinaro, Juniper Networks’ chief customer officer.
* Mitch Lewis, previously VP of Strategic Alliances, has relocated to Singapore to assume the role of VP of APAC Partners reporting to Wendy Koh. Lewis brings over 25 years’ industry experience working in sales, marketing and technology roles for companies that include AT&T, Dilithium Networks and Microsoft. He also served as VP of APAC Sales and Marketing and President of Indonesia for Ericsson.
* Russell Skingsley has been promoted to VP of APAC Systems Engineering and Center of Excellence, focused on product evangelization, field enablement and overall technology stewardship. Skingsley has 25 years’ experience in the industry, including seven years living in Vietnam as Chief Technology Officer for FPT Telecom. He joined Juniper in 2009 and has served in a number of senior APAC and global technology roles based out of Singapore. He reports to Wendy Koh.
* Helda Lopes, previously senior director of Worldwide Partner Marketing, has been promoted to VP of APAC Field and Partner Marketing. Reporting to Matt Hurley, VP of Worldwide Field and Partner Marketing, Lopes is based in Singapore and responsible for advancing Juniper’s brand, pipeline generation, partner co-marketing and sales enablement. Lopes is a seasoned and creative marketing leader who has held senior marketing positions at Juniper and Cisco.
* Mark Ablett has been appointed vice president of Juniper’s newly created South Asia region, which encompasses Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN. Reporting to Wendy Koh, Ablett is focused on leveraging Juniper’s talent and experience across the South Asia area to accelerate growth for Juniper, its customers and partners. Ablett has held a variety of APAC and ANZ roles at Juniper since he joined in 2008 and has more than 18 years’ experience in the IT industry.
“Home to the world’s largest mobile and Internet population and a diverse mix of emerging and mature markets, Asia Pacific presents significant opportunity for Juniper. The deep industry, customer, partner and Juniper knowledge and passion that exists across our newly formed APAC management team will help the company capitalize on this opportunity and address the rapidly evolving networking needs of our APAC customers. The combined 30-year Juniper tenure of this team is also testament to the talent we have developed from within,” said Vince Molinaro, Chief Customer Officer, Juniper Networks.
At the launch of their tenth store in Mumbai, UniverCell, the leader in tablet retail space, announce the Univercell Tablet Gaming Championship powered by Intel, a unique in-store consumer engagement initiative that will give gaming buffs the ultimate adrenaline rush. The event will run across 25 UniverCell SYNC stores in Mumbai and Bangalore, where players will compete for winning two popular games – the Asphalt 8 Airborne, and FIFA 14 by EA Sports.*
Designed to run over a span of two weeks, the contest will identify top scorers each day, across all participating stores who will be given a co-branded t-shirt. Powered by Intel, this championship will kick-off on July 14, and conclude at the end of the fortnight, where Univercell will award two winners each, from both the metros, an Intel processor based tablet. Detailed rules and regulations of the championship will be available on the Univercell website.
Kicking off the tablet gaming championship, Sathish Babu, Founder, Univercell Telecommunications said “We are extremely happy to launch our tenth store in Maharashtra. As a strategic move, we have launched this store in a prominent location like Colaba to play a dominating role in Mumbai, Maharashtra and eventually across India. Being the pioneers in mobile retail, we are confident that customers will prefer us for our superior services and proactive value added services.”
At the event, UniverCell outlined its strong foothold in tablet market and belief in delivering a rich consumer experience across all its stores.Speaking about Univercell’s collaboration with Intel, Sathish Babu, Founder, Univercell Telecommunications said “For us at Univercell, providing a rich consumer experience just as important as showcasing a range of best-in-class products. We are excited to collaborate with Intel this year for showcasing a range of Intel based devices across our stores because our ethos of providing an unparalleled consumer experience matches with the range of products from Intel that deliver a superior computing experience to users.”
Earlier this year, Intel outlined its strategy to accelerate its growth in India, driven by an increased focus on new mobile form factors like 2 in 1s and Tablets. The collaboration with UniverCell, is a part of Intel’ strategy to accelerate its growth in India, driven by an increased focus on new mobile form factors, such as 2 in 1s and tablets. Speaking at the event, Sandeep Aurora, Director Marketing and Market Development said ‘There are over 200 million middle-class potential customers in India alone for different screen sizes across different price points. We are seeing a lot of traction in the 7 to 9 inch space here^ and we are excited to be working with Univercell this year delivering an exciting hands-on experience to consumers on our Intel processor based devices particularly in these screen sizes. The Univercell tablet gaming championship powered by Intel will give those consumers walking into the stores to experience Intel based tablets which provide an ideal balance of performance, battery life and graphics.”
Post Budget 2014 reactions from Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India
The Union Budget 2014-15 was presented in the parliament under economic circumstances that required tax revenues to keep pace with targets. Considering the state of government finances and the current situation – below-normal monsoons, Middle East tension leading oil price volatility, the weakness of the India rupee etc., there was not much room for populism.
However, considering the high inflation and curtailed savings that they have had to contend with for some years now, taxpayers still expected a fair shake from the new government, such as enhanced deductions, reduction in tax rates, interest subvention on home loans and tax incentives to affordable housing.
The Finance Minister took a cautious, yet courageous path with his budget announcement:
In terms of relief to the housing sector, the budget has allocated Rs. 4000 crore for low-cost housing schemes. Apart from this, he has also indicated that there will soon be a relaxation of FDI norms for the affordable housing sector. Though the government has announced such incentives for low-cost housing in the past, the real task lies in the fast execution of the fast execution of these initiatives. It is very positive that the government has taken due note of the demand-supply mismatch in the LIG and EWS housing segments, and it remains to be seen how fast these initiatives hit the ground in real time.
Significantly, the budget has increased the income tax deduction limits under 80C, of which the repayment of principal on housing loans is a component. This limit has been raised from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Additionally, the budget has also increased the deduction limit on interest payment for housing loans from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. These two factors alone will lead to a vastly improved sentiment on the housing markets.
The budget gave further indirect benefits for the residential sector by increasing the individual income tax exemption limit from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh. This will increase disposable income of individuals and would have further implications on their ability to service home loans.
Ø Construction Sector
Construction costs have been rising at the rate of 17% over the last three to four years, and this budget has not provided enough measures to bring down these costs. Contrary to expectations, material costs involved in real estate construction will remain high over the near-to-medium term, which is bound to put pressure on developers’ margins.
The infrastructure and manufacturing sectors have been given paramount importance in this budget, since these are job creating verticals. Banks will now be encouraged to extend long-term loans for infrastructure projects without any regulatory pre-emptions such as CRR, SLR and priority sector lending norms. This additional enforcement of banks to support the creation of infrastructure will result in faster infrastructure creation and the consequent benefits to the real estate sector.
The budget has allocated a total of Rs. 37880 crore towards the NHAI for the construction of highways, and additional Rs. 3000 crore to boost road connectivity in the North-East regions. For the current year, it has targeted the completion of 8500 kilometres of national highways, which are a known real estate catalyst and will have long-reaching implications on the markets of the cities they connect.
Ahmedabad and Lucknow have been singled out as special beneficiaries of this budget with the allocation of Rs. 100 crore towards the deployment of Metro rail systems in these cities. The increased connectivity will raise the scope of real estate development there and also have an impact of property valuations over the mid to long term
The development of 16 new ports has been proposed at an outlay of Rs. 11,000 crore. Additionally, an allocation of Rs. 11,600 crore has been made for the development of outer harbour port projects. The combined effect of these provisions will be that there will be an increase in demand for commercial office space from the manufacturing sector in India’s major port cities.
Ø Smart Cities
As promised in the new government’s manifesto, it has proposed the creation of 100 smart cities across India. The budget has allocated Rs. 7060 crore towards this end, thereby giving a financial sign-off for this concept. This will have very positive implications for real estate across all segments, namely residential commercial, retail and hospitality. Smart cities, by definition, imply considerable demand for technology-enabled services, and this is a big positive for IT/ITeS companies in India. Significantly, as much as one-third of the country’s demand for office space emanates from this sector.
The country’s warehousing sector has received a boost with an allocation of Rs. 5000 crores. In this, we see positive implications for the retail real estate sector on account of a strengthened supply chain, which has been a serious requirement of this sector for a very long time. Apart from this, the budget has not provided any further benefits to the retail sector, which is a disappointment.
The budget also brought cheer to the hospitality sector in two major ways. One, it has stipulated that electronic visa services will be introduced in nine international airports in India over the next six months. This will increase the magnitude of tourist arrivals in the country. Secondly, it has indicated that major provisions will be made for the creation of world-class convention centres to be developed through the PPP model. Once these centres are created, they will bring about an increase in corporate tourism into the country. Ailing hotel chains are looking at a significant revival in their fortunes, and we expect that the absorption of hotel-related real estate will rise in the bargain.
All In All...
The real estate sector’s expectations have definitely not been met completely in this budget. However, given the economic situation prevailing in the country, this is not really surprising as the government needs to balance myriad issues while addressing growth. We are satisfied at the real estate sector is once again headed in the right direction.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech announced the setting up of a Rs 10,000 crore fund to boost capital flow to startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
During his Budget speech in the Parliament, Jaitley acknowledged that funding for such companies is a problem.
Moreover, there will be a framework for bankruptcy, which will be worked out. This will make it easier for start-ups to fold up even if an idea doesn't work out.
Currently, this is a major hassle for upcoming companies. The UPA had also announced a $100 billion fund to boost innovation -- a venture that couldn't take off during its tenure.
Apart from the Rs.10,000 crore fund, he has also allocated Rs.100 crore for a start-up village for village youth. Jaitley has also liberally allocated Rs.500 crore towards setting up a pan India technology mission in the country, which will address the "digital divide" in the country. The mission will enable broadband connectivity to the villages, boost IT enabled services, bring transparency in government operations and work towards increased indigenous production. The National rural Internet Technology Mission will address these issues along with the project e-Kranti, that will help digitise the government.
There are 200 companies which contribute 80% of the industry's revenues, but another 15,000 that account for the rest 20%. A significant portion of the 15,000 are highly entrepreneurial and require the right push to become the enterprises of the future.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
On the eve of the forth coming India Budget 2014, Indian Inc across industries have voiced their opinions. Among them include: Natarajan, CEO & MD, Mindtree Limited and Nikhil Pathak, Vice President, Business & Strategy- IT Business India & SAARC, Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd.
KK Natarajan, CEO & MD, Mindtree Limited says, "We are optimistic that the union budget will make room for changes on the policy level to enable greater participation and contribution from the industry. Making provisions for greater IT adoption in the government, manufacturing and private sector through incentivization, and streamlining the procurement process for technology products and services will be crucial.”
He gone on to say that changes in income tax laws like discarding MAT on SEZ income, minimizing litigation on export turnover, and addressing royalty implication on software, both retrospective and on services, are also important. We expect that the budget will support the growth of entrepreneurship & innovation amongst Indian technology companies. The government should support the repositioning of India as an Innovation Hub and plan investment in rebranding and repositioning.
“Incentivizing expansion to Tier 2/3 cities, and supporting market development initiatives abroad for Indian technology products & services will help drive opportunities for balanced growth, employment, and improving overall competitiveness,” Natarajan adds.
Nikhil Pathak, Vice President, Business & Strategy- IT Business India & SAARC, Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd says, “The Union Budget is an important indicator of government’s intent to fuel economic growth. We have a robust IT industry which is working on cutting edge technology and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. The Budget should thus open up more sectors to IT and push aggressively for IT adoption across these industries. FDI opening up in different sectors is already good news and the IT sector needs to significantly leverage this. The Budget will also need to address the Indian infrastructure market that can witness investments primarily fuelled by key IT initiatives that include mobility, cloud and big data. ”
Data Security Council of India (DSCI) announced that its 6th DSCI Best Practices Meet (BPM) will be held on July 9-10, 2014 at, The Leela Palace, Bangalore. DSCI organizes the BPM, annually, to bring together senior information security and privacy professionals, business leaders and government officials to deliberate on latest developments, existing and contemporary issues in security and privacy and emerging cybersecurity trends. The theme for this year’s meet is ‘SMAC: new paradigm for Security?’
The convergence between Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud or collectively referred to as SMAC are the reason for the new age information explosion. Organizations, both large and SME’s, across sectors such as IT, BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, e-commerce are investing heavily in these technologies and leveraging the proliferation of the internet by launching new-age enterprise capabilities, for their business growth and to gain competitive advantage.
Government departments are also increasingly adopting technologies in the SMAC stack for increasing the efficiency of their e-Governance projects and to aid policy and decision making. The growing adoption of these technologies along with the collaborative and cumulative effect of all of these technologies working in unison essentially magnifies the efforts of the organizations that are able to wield them effectively. This evolution is challenging the ability of existing security paradigms and current security capabilities to address business critical risks.
The data explosion on mobile devices, application on cloud environment, big data and advance analytics and social media are leading to heterogeneous security and privacy concerns for enterprises. Hence, enterprises are scouting for new techniques and demanding high data protection standards, which may help retain their customers’ loyalty and trust.
DSCI, through its various programs, engagements and events, focusses on Public Advocacy, Thought Leadership, Outreach and Awareness, in addition to capacity building. DSCI engages with the government and the industry to help aid policy making, conduct studies and surveys reports, develop frameworks, organize capacity building programs and organise events focussed on specific yet diverse challenges facing the Indian Industry. For this work DSCI engages all stakeholders to interact and deliberate for establishing a strong data protection regime in India.
The previous BPM, held in Chennai, witnessed participation from over 200 senior level professionals from industries including IT-BPM, BFSI, telecom, healthcare and government entities, along with distinguished speakers in panel discussions. This year, The 6th DSCI Best Practices Meet will focus on the theme “SMAC – new paradigm for security” and create opportunity to interact with the leaders in security and privacy, to understand and learn the contemporary practices which are evolving to address specific challenges and threats. The meet will witness over 300 industry professionals, 40+ speakers, 20+ sessions, multiple parallel track discussions, breakfast meets and multiple keynote addresses. Some of the important topics include SMAC Adoption, Big Data, Internet of Things & Everything, Standards & Frameworks of SMAC, Privacy Social Computing, Mobility, Cloud Forensics, Bitcoins and Virtual Currency and more.
For the first time, the BPM is spread over two days, during which workshops and roundtables around specific themes such as IT Act and Amendments, Data Localization and Advanced Persistent Threats will be held to promote security approaches and solutions. Commenting on the importance of BPM, Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj, CEO, DSCI said “DSCI Best Practices Meet, as an annual event, focuses on the threat landscape, security solutions to counter and mitigate risks that an organization faces.
This year’s meet will bring the security and privacy approaches and best practices that have not been shared with the industry so far; specifically to meet the challenges that have emerged with the evolution and convergence of social, mobility, analytics and clod computing. It will specifically focus on discussing the implication of SMAC stack adoption on businesses and its security and privacy impediments.” He further added “this year BPM aims at engaging the security community and other stakeholders - user organizations, service providers and policy makers to focus on trends, issues and challenges in order to evolve best practices to deal with the same.”
Polycom, Inc. has announced that Geoff Thomas has joined the company as President, Polycom Asia Pacific. In this role, Thomas is responsible for leading the company’s regional sales strategy and execution to drive customer success, brand affinity and profitable growth.
Thomas joins Polycom from Juniper Networks, where he was Vice President Enterprise Sales Asia Pacific. He also has a long career history with Microsoft Corporation, where he served in several leadership roles, which included business development in emerging markets.
“Geoff’s leadership and strong background in sales, emerging markets, and business development will steer Polycom’s business in the right direction in the critical Asia Pacific region,” said Peter Leav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Polycom. “Every market in this region has unique opportunities as more organisations discover the benefits of video, voice and content collaboration. Geoff will place renewed emphasis on strengthening our partnerships and providing our customers with the industry’s best experience.”
A dynamic sales and business leader, Thomas has successfully led large teams spanning several geographies, including Australia, the United States, and Greater China. His expertise lies in strategic partnerships, channels, solutions selling, and go-to-market strategy across multiple business verticals.
“I am delighted to join Polycom and lead the company’s team and growth plans in Asia Pacific,” said Thomas. “Polycom helps businesses of all sizes, in virtually every industry, defy distance and improve productivity through authentic collaboration experiences. I look forward to working closely with our partners and sales team to deliver the industry’s best solutions to our customers and driving their success.”
At Juniper Networks, Geoff led the company’s enterprise business across all markets in Asia Pacific, namely Australia and New Zealand, Greater China, India, South East Asia, Japan, and Korea. This role came with the responsibility of achieving over $300 million revenue, and the successful implementation of the company’s enterprise strategy across all APAC markets. Prior to his role at Juniper Networks, he had a successful 15-year career at Microsoft, where he held several executive leadership positions.