Saturday, May 6, 2017

TCS Opens First Drones Research Lab in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

TCS has opened its first Drones Research Lab in the US, at its Seven Hills Park Innovation Centre located in Cincinnati, Ohio, to address the demand for unmanned aerial vehicles and business solutions across industries.
The lab — featuring indoor labs, showcase, warehouse and outdoor terrain footprints — provides a rapid experimentation and co-innovation environment for customers to build solutions for specific industry problems in accelerated 30-60-90-day delivery cycles, the company said in a statement.
FAA Part 107-certified TCS pilots based at the lab fly fully equipped drones to collect data for specific industry use-cases. Advanced computer vision, machine-learning and deep-learning algorithms enable fully automated processing of drone-captured images to reveal precise insights.
“Forward-thinking companies worldwide are at different stages of exploring drone technology to re-imagine existing operational processes and transform the way they do business,” said K Ananth Krishnan, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, TCS. “The Drones Research Lab combines the latest in drone technology with cutting-edge research from our labs, and enables our customers to rapidly build innovative solutions.”
The lab is an extension of the global TCS Research and Innovation ecosystem bringing the combined expertise of its labs, start-ups, academia and technology partners closer to customers. The fully operational lab demonstrates solutions for insurance, manufacturing, logistics and transportation industries, as well as specific environmental applications.
Agencies

PTC India signs Agreements for 1050 Mega Watts Wind Power

PTC India Limited, the leading provider of power trading solutions in India, has announced the execution of Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) with seven (07) state utilities for sale of wind energy for a total quantum of 1049.9 MW. The tariff for wind energy was discovered transparently through competitive bid at a historic low of 3.46 / Unit. PTC’s thrust on renewable energy is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022.

The Agreements were exchanged between PTC and Discoms in the presence of Hon’ble Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal at a Conference of Power, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Ministers of States & UTs held here. Distribution Utilities of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Odisha, Delhi and Noida have signed MoA with PTC. Uttar Pradesh is the largest beneficiary of the Scheme and has signed MoA for 440 MW.

Deepak Amitabh, Chairman and Managing Director said, “We are proud to be associated as a trading partner for renewable resources based power generation, which is the energy for the future. The scheme is very beneficial for power industry as a whole and wind industry in particular. It will attract more investments in the industry and lower tariff through competitive bidding, which will benefit the end consumers. This model will be very helpful for scaling up wind power generation in the overall renewable energy basket in the future. The Scheme is aimed at better utilization of wind resources that are available abundantly in windy states and supply green power to non-windy states, hence helping the nation as a whole in achieving the target. I would like to congratulate developers and Utilities for their contributions towards achieving the target set by Govt. of India.”

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had formulated the Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW ISTS connected wind power in India. In the Scheme, wind projects are to be set up in windy states for supply of power to non-windy states and UTs. PTC is the trading partner responsible for purchase and sale of wind power under the scheme. The government successfully completed the first ever auction of wind power and associated infrastructure for 1,000 MW in last week of February with a provision to increase in upto 1050 MW. Bidders were selected and Letter of Awards were given to successful bidders. PTC India Ltd has successfully tied up entire power with above discoms.

Altimetrik’s Tech Playground in Pune Comprises Design Studio and Innovation Lab

Altimetrik, a technology transformation and solutions partner to global enterprises, has expanded its presence in India through the opening of its newest immersive experience center, Playground, in Pune. Comprising a Design Studio and an Innovation Lab, Playground will lead Altimetrik’s growth strategy and become the ‘global mecca’ for industries like banking, healthcare, fintech and manufacturing. By blending technology and innovation with global talent and capabilities, Altimetrik will be able to reduce time to delivery by upto 30%. This is the second such center after Bangalore and will soon be an integral part of a network of Playgrounds once similar centers are launched in the United States, Uruguay and other strategic locations.

The Playground, an integral part of Altimetrik‘s strategy, will enable technology-led business transformation for clients globally. With Pune becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the area of digital banking, e-payments and modern-day financial services, the city houses immense opportunities for the industry. It forms a critical part of Altrimetrik’s talent acquisition strategy.

Raj Sundaresan, Chief Operating Officer, Altimetrik, said, “As the country is headed towards a digital economy, Pune has the potential to spearhead this movement. We believe that the disruptive combinations that the Playground offers will enable us to achieve non-linear growth in our deeper clientele strategy globally. Innovation has always been an intrinsic part of Altimetrik’s solution engineering to clients. Our simple 4-step engineering approach – Envision, Engineer, Assemble and Deploy – is anchored through the Design studio and iInnovation lab. Through the Playground we want to empower the tech-savvy workforce to meaningfully use technology with an engineering and business-outcome mindset.”

The Playground – in both its digital and physical manifestations – is a disruptive combination of 3 key elements:
1.     The Design-led Engineering Methodology
2.     Platforms & advanced technology Capabilities
3.     Full-stack talent empowered with end-to-end ownership.
A differentiated experiential zone – with a dedicated Design Studio, and centers for each Capability to house Altimetrik’s components, solutions, frameworks and platforms, this area is where one can simply walk in, ideate and start building solutions with agility, velocity and precision. 

The elements of the Playground – Approach, Platforms and Full-stack Talent will accelerate faster delivery through component engineering while augmenting a profound customer experience. A globally scalable business innovation that fosters hyper-collaboration, unified teams, and an idea driven, open innovation ecosystem; it helps Altimetrik develop a differentiated and unique value proposition for Industry, Customers and Employees.

Missouri State University Announces Scholarships and Tailor-Made Courses for Indian Students

Missouri State University has announced special scholarships for Indian students. During his visit to India Colonel Stephen Robinette Associate Vice President, International Studies, MSU, USA, made a number of important announcements for Indian Students. Colonel Robinette also discussed some issues viz. US Immigration rules, safety and security of Indian students in Missouri State University.

The University has announced “International Excellence Scholarship” of $5000 each, per year for Indian Students. Students with animating skills and disciplined approach towards learning can avail this scholarship throughout their duration of study in Missouri State University. The “International Excellence Scholarship” will help students to overcome the financial strain while studying in the US. Explaining the same Col. Robinette, Associate Vice President, International Students, MSU said, “MSU has notlimited ‘International Excellence Scholarship’ to any numbers and offers the same scheme to all eligible candidates. We believe that it will be unjustified to restrict scholars in numbers. One, who has merit and is eligible, will keep getting it like earlier.”

Colonel Robinette while addressing the immigration issues of Indian students said, “We have welcomed Indian students for over ten years and will continue to do so with the same zeal and enthusiasm.” Our Sub continent office, based out of the National Capital Region, is continuously in touch with all aspiring students and their parents to give proper and thorough counselling, direct or via the approved education agents. The office provides guidance support in terms of applying for a visa and the interview, thereafter.

Missouri State University is a diverse university which has maintained a global focus for more than 25 years. Missouri State University is predominantly announcing courses which are tailor-made for Indian Students. For instance, MSU has introduced a new course, Master of Science in Computer Science for Indian Students. Post the paper of New Immigration Rule was signed by President Trump Indian students are apprehensive to study in US universities. Thus, the university has announced Computer Science course to ease out situation for Indian Students. Degree in Computer Science and STEM from US University allows students to work 3 years without work Visa in the USA. 

Talking about the safety and security of Indian Students Col. Robinette said,“Our campuses are patrolled 24/7 and there are support groups for students that require extra attention. In view of the recent unfortunate events, we have tightened our security even further. We have a zero tolerance policy for any sort of racism or discrimination. Our students can freely approach the International student services for any sort of support they may require.”

About Missouri State University: Missouri State University, Missouri, USA established in the year 1905, is the second-largest university in Missouri with over 23,000 students currently studying out of which 1,800 are international students representing over 85 countries. The Princeton University reviewed it as ‘The Best in the Midwest distinction’. MSU has a world-class faculty with over 90% faculty holding a terminal degree in their field of study. The university comprises a school of agriculture, a graduate college and six academic colleges namely, College of Arts & Letters, College of Business, College of Health & Human Services, College of Humanities & Public Affair, College of Natural and  Applied Sciences and College of Education. MSU provides state-of-the-art facility for its students which include on-campus residence halls and dining centres, a student union, a world-class library, a brand new recreational centre and dedicated academic facilities. Both on-campus and off-campus housing facilities are available at MSU.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Golden Handshake for Non-Performing Cognizant Employees

Cognizant, a leading software services company with most of its operations in Chennai, may fire 6,000-10,000 people, to reduce redundant and non-performing employees.
The reduction in employee base will be a part of the appraisal process, according to reports, as digitisation and automation are becoming the new normal with Indian IT firms, and Cognizant is not different from Infosys, Wipro and TCS.
The company has not issued any statement on the reduction of the headcount, but sources said that “it is a regular process for IT companies to go through this process, but the number of people are on the higher side.” The source did not want his name to be disclosed.
Cognizant was once the fastest growing IT company, and had overtaken Wipro in 2011. It was known for customer-centricity and would often undercut competition on client pricing, even if it was on the back of lower operating margins. As a result, it added more clients that its competition.
When Infosys had operating margins of 26%, Cognizant was happy with 20%.
That was also because of Cognizant’s upbringing. Cognizant started as a captive of ratings data giant Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), which was spun off in 1996, and got listed on the American bourses in two years later. In a meeting with this journalist a few years ago, Lakshmi Narayanan, then Cognizant’s vice chairman had said that since it had only one client (as a captive) it focussed on technology and providing impeccable service.
But, the way IT services are being delivered is changing. Add to that, America’s growing protectionism is making offshore business difficult. Clients want a higher degree of automation, and digital services have already started contributing to 20% of IT services’ revenue.
Cognizant is buying companies to build it digital business and consulting capabilities. In November it bought Mirabeau BV, a digital marketing and customer experience agency, and Japan’s Brilliant Service, which specialises in Android and iOS apps. Earlier, it had bought TriZetto, Frontica Business Solutions and Adaptra.
The decision to fire employees comes at a time, when Cognizant has announced that it will return $3 billion to its shareholders through buy back, and has said that it will focus on improving margins -- up from its traditional 20% to 22%.
Agencies

BitcoinGrowthFund Raises $ 2.5 Million in a Week; Targets $32 Million

BitcoinGrowthFund (BGF) world’s first blockchain based start-up fund for Venture Capital Industry has been successful in raising more than USD 2.5 million as a part of its initial Coin Offering (ICO).

BGF launched the ICO on April 27, 2017 in Bangkok and within 24 hours had received 1.6 million dollars of investment from retail investors globally. ICO is like an ‘IPO’ where investors get coins/tokens instead of shares in a company or fund.

BGF is a blockchain based venture capital fund where regular/small investors invest into the fund by buying tokens named “MCAPS” and the fund collected are invested in the mining of various cryptocurrencies like DASH, Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Z-cash, Bitcoin and others. Also, part of the fund is further invested in upcoming ICO’s of interesting blockchain projects based on analysis. Mcap owners are paid dividends monthly based on returns earned from investment in these activities.

Arvind Sehmay, Director – Communications, BitcoinGrowthFund says, “We received an overwhelming response to our ICO and we were able to raise 1.6 million dollars in the first 24 hours itself. BGF is a liquid fund targeting investments in Crypto-currency mining and startup ecosystem. We provide investors (regular/small) opportunity to invest in Crypto currency ecosystem through purchase of our Mcap tokens. Mcap owners are entitled to monthly payouts based on fund’s performance. Token owners can also trade and exchange these token amongst themselves and other users anytime.”

OPPO Unveils Selfie Expert F3 for Mid-Range Market

The camera phone brand OPPO, strengthened the ‘Group Selfie’ trend today by launching another Selfie Expert F3, priced at Rs 19,990 for the mid-range market. The F3 is the second in line dual front camera Selfie Expert targeted towards the Group Selfie generation after the recently launched F3 Plus.

The F3 features a dual front camera - a 16-megapixel Selfie camera for individual selfies and a wide-angle lens for group selfie.

The F3 First Sale begins from May 13th in 25 cities across India. The pre-order starts from today till May12th 2017. It will be available online on Flipkart exclusively. Consumers can also pre-order offline through OPPO stores.

On this occasion, OPPO also revealed the Team India jersey in the presence of OPPO India President and BCCI CEO. The brand has always focused on cricket as a platform in its endeavor to connect with the consumers especially the youth. While it is the official partner of ICC starting 2016, it has strengthened the relationship further with the sport by associating with BCCI and becoming the official sponsor of Team India.

“Cricket is a sport full of vigor and passion enjoyed by the youth of India. We believe that we share the same passion and spirit of pursuit of perfection as cricket that makes this association a perfect fit.” Said Mr. Sky Li, OPPO’s Global Vice President and President of OPPO India. “By partnering with the team, OPPO will not only further enhance its connection with the young consumers, but also engage with the country’s youth in its endeavor of providing them with the outstanding selfie-led photography experience.” He added.

Speaking on the partnership, Mr. Rahul Johri, CEO-BCCI said, “We are excited to have OPPO join the BCCI family. OPPO Mobiles is pursuing perfect photography technology and it shares a common vision with BCCI. I am confident that we will work together to further grow Indian cricket!”

Dual Selfie Camera

“One for Selfie, One for Group selfie “The Double View Group Selfie Camera gives a larger field-of-view, twice larger view than a normal selfie camera. The 6P lens maintains a high-level of professional image quality with minimal image distortion. This ensures that you click perfect Group Selfies!

For your individual selfies, switch to the other front camera which utilizes 16 MP resolution, 1/3-inch sensor and a large f/2.0 aperture. It sports high dynamic range, vivid depth and minimized noise. Comparing to previous F1s, OPPO made further improvements and optimization to its performance. Under a strongly-lit background, the selfie will not be over-exposed, and the overall image is more real. When shooting in a poorly-lit place or at night, the noise granularity is also significantly reduced to make the selfie more vivid and clearer.

With the built-in Smart Facial Recognition, the F3 will notify users to switch to ‘Group Selfie’ mode if there are more than three people in the frame. Users can snap their Group Selfie at ease, without compromising image stability when taking selfie with one hand.

The OPPO F3 is also equipped with a 13 MP rear camera that has a 1/3-inch sensor. It is able to maximize light sensitivity, making for wonderful night time performance. PDAF technology makes for a snappy and fluid shooting experience. Even with moving subjects, the F3 focuses without a hitch. Capturing great shots at key moments has never been easier.

“One for Selfie, One for Group selfie “The Double View Group Selfie Camera gives a larger field-of-view, twice larger view than a normal selfie camera. The 6P lens maintains a high-level of professional image quality with minimal image distortion. This ensures that you click perfect Group Selfies!

For your individual selfies, switch to the other front camera which utilizes 16 MP resolution, 1/3-inch sensor and a large f/2.0 aperture. It sports high dynamic range, vivid depth and minimized noise. Comparing to previous F1s, OPPO made further improvements and optimization to its performance. Under a strongly-lit background, the selfie will not be over-exposed, and the overall image is more real. When shooting in a poorly-lit place or at night, the noise granularity is also significantly reduced to make the selfie more vivid and clearer.

With the built-in Smart Facial Recognition, the F3 will notify users to switch to ‘Group Selfie’ mode if there are more than three people in the frame. Users can snap their Group Selfie at ease, without compromising image stability when taking selfie with one hand.

OPPO’s pioneering beautification editing software, Beautify 4.0 is available for both - two selfie front cameras and rear camera. It will allow users to choose from various beautification modes, ensuring images are captured with favorable effects.

There are several other fun features to make your Selfie taking experience enhanced like Palm shutter allows you to take shake free photos by activating an automatic selfie countdown when you wave your hand in front of the camera.

Perfect for All the Functionality You Need

The F3 is equipped with an octa-core processor, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM backed by the ColorOS 3.0, assuring a seamless and snappy performance. The embedded triple-slot card tray allows two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card to work simultaneously.

The F3 gets a higher energy density 3200mAh battery which gives your even longer endurance. In our real use simulation test, it lasted for more than 15 hours! That means, it can save you the inconvenience of bringing the heavy power-bank or look for chargers again and again on your trip. 

Privacy protection and security is also a top priority. The F3 uses an advanced solid-state fingerprint reader, so that only a slight touch is enough to unlock the device. Equipped with a hydrophobic membrane the fingerprint reader has an enhanced success rate even when a user’s fingers are moist. 

Stunning Design and Exquisite Craftsmanship

With a lighter and thinner 5.5-inch body, the F3 contributes to a matchlessly comfortable grip. The smooth texture of the lustrous metal back panel repels dust and is a pleasure to hold. Every detail of the F3 comes together to give an impression of mercurial grace and beauty. Equipped with in-cell technology, the FHD in-cell display of F3 decreases 1/4 of the normal screen thickness, thus giving the whole screen a high rate of penetration and a bright image. So, what you see will be noticeably more brilliant and vibrant even in the sunlight.

Amazing Colors & Competitive Pricing

The F3 comes in Gold and Rose Gold. Priced at Rs 19,990, the Gold variant of the F3 will be available from May 13, 2017 both online and offline. The pre-order of F3 Gold version starts from today till May 12, 2017. It will be available online on Flipkart exclusively. Consumers can also pre-order offline through OPPO stores. The brand will also have a lucky draw through the pre-order entries, and three lucky winners will get a chance to see the ICC finals live in London.

Cab Passengers Can Now Update Pick Up Location after Booking a Ride on Uber

Uber, the ridesharing app that connects riders with drivers to provide convenient, reliable and affordable rides at the push of a button, today announced that riders can now update their pick up location after they’ve requested a ride, if they happened to request from the wrong place. With this cool new feature, riders can now conveniently redirect their driver partner to correct location through the app, even when the driver is en-route.

 Pick-ups are one of the hardest parts of the experience to get right, and they’re especially difficult when riders accidentally request a pickup from the wrong place. It often begins with a phone call and ends with a cancelled ride. A small miscue can lead to a frustrating situation where riders aren’t riding, and drivers aren’t earning,” said Ryan Yu, Software Engineer and Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, US and Canada at Uber in a blog post.

Starting today, riders in India, on iOS and android, can update their pickup location after they’ve booked a ride. This feature has been piloted in a handful of cities and it was found that it led to less stress and fewer cancellations -- saving time and headaches for everyone involved. This feature will be made available to all riders across the India in the coming weeks.

Here’s how it works:
        Once your driver is en route, tap “edit” next to your pickup location
        Enter your new pickup address, and tap “confirm”
Once a rider updates their pickup location, drivers will:
         Be notified of the new location and have their route updated, though the experience will vary slightly for in-app and out-of-app navigation.

The pickup is a core part of the Uber experience and we’re always thinking about ways for it to be as painless as possible for both riders and drivers. This simple fix gives riders more control over their pickup experience, and saves everyone time and avoidable headaches.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

'Underpenetrated' in India But Optimistic About Future', Says Apple CEO

Acknowledging that Apple is "underpenetrated" in India, CEO Tim Cook has said the US tech giant is strengthening its local presence in the country and is optimistic about its future given the fast-growing economy and improving 4G network infrastructure in the country. "We set a new March quarter record for India, where revenue grew by strong double digits. We continue to strengthen our local presence across the entire ecosystem, and we're very optimistic about our future in this remarkable country with its very large, young, and tech-savvy population, fast-growing economy, and improving 4G network infrastructure," Cook said in the second quarter results earnings call yesterday.

Cook was asked that the California-based company is underpenetrated in India and whether the company will need to work with the country's government to have Apple-owned stores or production given the great opportunity in the country. "We think it's a great opportunity too, and so we're bringing all the things that we brought to bear in other markets that we've eventually done well in, and that's from channel to stores to our ecosystem and so forth,” Cook said. Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller was in India opening a developer centre last quarter.

"And so there are a ton of things going on there (India). And we agree that we are underpenetrated there. Our growth rates are good, really good by most people's expectations, maybe not mine as much,” Cook said. He said the iPhone maker is putting a "lot of energy" in India, just like Apple has in other geographies that eventually wound up producing more. "So I'm very excited about it,” he said.

Cook emphasised that the 4G network investment began rolling in in a significant way toward the last quarter of last year in India, which is the third largest smartphone market in the world today behind China and the US. "But they are moving fast. They're moving at a speed that I have not seen in any other country in the world once they were started, and it is truly impressive,” he said. Apple has been "investing quite a bit" in India and has a "ton of energy" going into the country on a number of fronts. Cook sounded a bullish tone for the future of Apple in India as the 4G network infrastructure grows in the country.

"And so we believe, particularly now that the 4G infrastructure is going in the country and is continuing to be expanded, that there is a huge opportunity for Apple there. And so that and the demographics of the country is why we're putting so much energy there," he said. Apple's Senior Vice president and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the company achieved double-digit growth in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Russia and Mexico.

Apple’s growth rates were even higher, over 20 per cent in many other markets, including Brazil, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Korea and Thailand,Maestrisaid. Apple posted revenue of USD 52.9 billion for its fiscal 2017 second quarter ended April 1, 2017, up from USD 50.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.

International sales accounted for 65 per cent of the quarter’s revenue. It reported net income of USD 11 billion for the second quarter as compared to USD 10 billion a year ago. The company said that the number of iPhones sold globally fell 1 per cent in the first calendar quarter, compared with the same period a year ago. It sold 50.76 million iPhones in its fiscal second quarter ended April 1, down from 51.19 million a year earlier.
Agencies          

Tata Teleservices Sacks 600 Workers to Tide Over Difficult Times

Tata Teleservices has fired between 500 and 600 employees to tide over difficult times in the hyper-competitive telecom market.

As many as 500-600 employees have been impacted by the lay offs in sales and other related functions, two people familiar with the matter said.

The lay-offs are across locations, they said, adding that the severance package being offered to the employees impacted by the decision is one month’s salary for every year of service.

An e-mail sent to Tata Teleservices did not elicit a response. Sources in the company said that these are challenging times for the telecom industry.

“What most of the operators including Tata Teleservices are doing is workforce rationalisation, to stay competitive in line with the needs of the market,” they added. The lay-offs comes at a time when the telecom industry has been witnessing an intense tariff war triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio, whose disruptive positioning in the market has left most of the telcos bleeding. The telecom operators are facing tremendous pressure on revenue and profitability even as the industry’s debt has soared to nearly Rs 4.6 lakh crore.

Tata Teleservices spearheads Tata Group’s presence in the Indian telecom market. The company, along with the listed arm Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) has presence in 19 telecom circles in the country. It offers integrated telecom solutions to its customers across wireline and wireless networks on platforms like GSM, CDMA and 3G.

As per the data of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Tata’s mobile subscriber base stood at 51.2 million as on February 28, 2017. The company has nearly 4.4% market share in the country’s total mobile subscriber base of more than 1.16 billion.

Tata Power to buy 11.82 cr shares in TTSL

Meanwhile, Tata Power is set to acquire 11.82 crore shares in Tata Teleservices following the approval by the Delhi High Court to the consent terms between Tata Sons and NTT Docomo, with respect to the London Court of International Arbitration Award (LCIA) dated June 22, 2016, DHNS reports from Mumbai.

In terms of the inter-se agreement dated March 25, 2009, Tata Power is to acquire 11,82,22,767 equity shares of Tata Teleservices (TTSL). As on date of the arbitration award, which is June 22, 2016, $1.17 billion was payable by Tata Power for the same, Tata Power said.

Tata Power has remitted Rs 790 crore to Tata Sons on August 9, 2016, and this will be appropriately adjusted against the amount that will be governed by the terms and conditions similar to those stipulated by the Delhi High Court of April 28, 2017, the company said.

As per the order, Tata Sons shall take necessary permissions from the Competition Commission of India and tax authorities to remit the amount in lieu of shares to be transferred to Tata Sons as per the consent terms, the company added.

Japan’s NTT DOCOMO had acquired a 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices for nearly Rs 12,700 crore (nearly $2.5 billion) in 2009. As per the agreement, DOCOMO was to be paid 50% of the acquisition price if it exits within five years. DOCOMO exercised on July 7, 2014, its right (option) to request that a suitable buyer be found to purchase its TTSL shares for 50% of the acquired price, amounting to Rs 7,250 crore, or a fair market price, whichever is higher. But the Tatas offered DOCOMO only Rs 23.34 per share according to Reserve Bank guidelines, following which the Japanese telecom major invoked arbitration.

The Japanese telecom major won the arbitration proceedings, following which the Tatas deposited $1.17 billion with the Delhi High Court. Tata Sons had agreed to pay $1.18 billion in damages to NTT DOCOMO on February 28, 2017, paving the way for the settlement between the two parties. The Delhi High Court, on April 28, 2017, allowed Tata Sons to pay NTT DOCOMO the amount paving the way for the battle between the two companies to end.

Agencies

Wipro Unveils New Brand Identity to Drive Future Digital Opportunities

Wipro has unveiled its new brand identity. A press release says it “signifies a higher level of engagement and brand permission that helps clients leverage Wipro’s expertise to address their business requirements and drive future opportunities in this digital era”.
Wipro has also unveiled a new logo. It represents the way the company “connects the dots” for its clients, its technology heritage and capabilities for the future. The individual elements in the logo represent ideas, technologies, industries and geographies, and the expanding pattern symbolises a boundless Wipro. The four circles represent the Wipro Values, Employees, Clients and partners, and Communities. The blue of the word mark creates a sense of reliability and authority.Wipro has also re-articulated the Spirit of Wipro, its core values: Be passionate about clients’ success, Treat each person with respect, Be global and responsible, and Unyielding integrity in everything we do, the press release said.
Agencies

ASUS Inaugurates First Exclusive Service Centres in Bhubaneshwar and Assam


After receiving an overwhelming response for its products in the country, ASUS, the Taiwanese leader in mobile technology, has inaugurated its first Exclusive Service Centres (ESC) in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, and Ulubari, Guwahati, Assam. The ESCs reflect ASUS’ consumer-first approach and aim to give consumers a hassle-free after-sales experience.

Odisha and Assam are amongst the strongest markets for ASUS and Zenfone has received a good response with consumers. The recently launched Zenfone 3 Max series has gained maximum traction in the markets. With the view to enhance user experience and drive consumer delight, ASUS has launched the Exclusive Service Centers.

Located in Shaheed Nagar, Bhubaneshwar, and Ulubari, Assam, the ESCs are easily accessible and will provide timely and efficient services to consumers, allowing them to experience ASUS products for longer durations. The Bhubaneshwar and Ulubari centres will have manpower of 7 and 5-7 employees respectively to assist customers, thus, ensuring quality support and individual attention to each user. 

The ASUS ESCs will cater to a wide range of ASUS products ranging from smartphones, Notebook, TAB, Desktop, All-in-one, Motherboards and VGA, ensuring that consumers using products from different portfolios are engaged with. The Bhubaneshwar and Ulubari centres span over 800 Sq ft. and 1000 Sq. ft. in area respectively, providing sufficient space to the visiting customers and giving them the opportunity to resolve their service queries in a convenient fashion.  

ASUS has been steadily expanding the presence of its service centres in metropolitan cities and Tier 2 & 3 markets alike. We have 200 active service centers and 12 (including Bhubaneshwar and Assam) exclusive service centers all over India. Also, we offer easily PUR (pickup and return) services for customer’s convenience by contact on the toll free number - 18002090365.

The ASUS Exclusive Service Centre in Bhubaneshwar is located at the following address:

F1 Info Solutions & Services PVT Ltd., Plot No. 556, Ground Floor, Shaheed Nagar, Bhubaneshwar- 751007. Contact No: +91 9437272232

Research Firm Includes CSS Corp in Cloud Migration Services Report

CSS Corp, a new age IT services and technology support company, has been included in the March 28, 2017 report by Forrester: “Vendor Landscape: Cloud Migration Services, which covers a robust market for services that has evolved to suit all preferences. We think this analysis should benefit both customers and partners who increasingly need to choose cloud experts to partner with, in their journey ahead.

Forrester’s report provides a view of 30+ vendors and recognizes key players with advanced cloud expertise that help enterprises in seamless transitioning to the cloud. It talks about how high-profile companies have large scale plans for migration, and how important it is to choose the right service provider with the right set of capabilities.

Report author Bill Martorelli, Principal Analyst at Forrester writes, “CSS Corp, for example, is attempting to transform cloud migration from a project opportunity to continuous delivery with automated/assisted migration. CloudMAP is CSS Corp’s cloud migration, assessment, and planning methodology.”

“We are delighted at being recognized by Forrester for our capabilities in the cloud migration segment. Our cloud experts work extremely hard to provide world-class cloud migration and management solutions to our customers as they embark on their digital transformation journey. We work with several companies that are disruptors in their respective industries, and believe innovation is key to digital transformation” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“We believe this recognition is also a great news for our customers who now have yet another reassurance that they have chosen the right partner to help them with their cloud adoption journey” said Sunil Mittal, EVP and Head of Sales and Marketing at CSS Corp.

CloudMAP is the latest innovative solution from CSS Corp’s indigenous Innovation Labs which act as an entry point for clients to access new age capabilities of the organization. CSS Corp has developed a complete suite of solutions to shift from a “program” to “continuous delivery” model for cloud adoption.  Key cloud solutions are:

* CloudMAP – Automated cloud migration assessment and planning for a specific business process or enterprise workload. Reduces migration planning time by at least 40%.
* CloudPATH - Simplified, industrialized and predictable method of migrating enterprise workload through re-factoring, re-platforming and live workload migration. Improves success rate of migration by 30-60%.
* CloudDRIVE – Operational readiness from day 1 in the cloud using Next-gen predictive operations and automation platform for continuous optimization. Saves cloud spend by 20-25%.

These industry-leading technology capabilities have resulted in accelerated digital transformation for CSS Corp’s clients. Enterprise customers who look for business application-focused migration are especially benefitted through CSS Corp’s continuous planning, industrialized migration and integrated operations.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

B20 Summit - Shaping an Interconnected World Takesoff in Berlin

At the B20 Summit on May 2-3, 2017 the Business20 (B20) presents its recommendations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is presiding over the G20 in 2017. Over the past seven months, more than 700 representatives from companies and business associations from all G20 countries and sectors have developed recommendations, which strive to make the global economy more sustainable and future-oriented. The themes of this year’s G20 presidency are: Building Resilience, Improving Sustainability, and Assuming Responsibility. These are essential pillars for growth that is not only dynamic, but also inclusive and sustainable. The B20 supports these ambitions.

“If the G20 did not exist today, we would need to create it. Through trade, investment, financial integration, data flows, and migration, our economies are growing more and more interdependent. This interdependence is a driver of economic growth and prosperity“, B20 Chair Juergen Heraeus emphasized. However, it also means that crises can spread more easily, from country to country and region to region, and that existing opportunities can only be fully leveraged through joint efforts. “In our interconnected world, international cooperation is key – to realize the benefits but also to tackle the challenges”, Heraeus stressed.

The global business community is convinced that globalization offers tremendous opportunities. However, common rules, strong institutions, and international cooperation are necessary to shape the outcomes of globalization and ensure that everyone has the chance to benefit from it. “The G20 must meet the objective of not only fostering growth, but growth that is sustainable and inclusive. Everyone should be able to benefit from globalization,” Heraeus stated. Business is ready to carry its share of responsibility, through job creation, education and vocational training, responsible business conduct, and innovation.

The B20 is convinced that a future-oriented, sustainable, and competitive world economy can only be guaranteed if businesses keep finding innovative solutions to curtail climate change, foster the energy transition, and decrease resource intensity. The G20 can achieve this by implementing the Paris Agreement, accelerating the market readiness and deployment of low-carbon technologies, and by establishing a Resource Efficiency Platform.

G20 members should also promote open, dynamic and inclusive labor markets by removing structural and legal barriers, promoting diverse forms of work and female employment, and by bringing labor migration policies in line with labor market needs. “Rather than echoing the populist discourse that makes globalization the scapegoat for all kinds of problems – from economic downturn to security risks – we need to focus on offering real solutions to real problems”, Heraeus called on the G20.

"The B20 is the most authoritative setting for facing the challenges of the future, also for aerospace. "B20 Member and Protom Founder  Fabio De Felice stated.  "The world economy is becoming increasingly uncertain. In this environment it is more important than ever that we work towards an environment which fosters innovation, economic growth, and job creation.”

Protom is a Global Player for the designing and the development of innovative solutions both for SME’s and multinational corporations of aerospace. The company is leader in global consulting and system integration, specialized in KIBS (Knowledge Intensive Business Services) development. Through Research and Innovation, the main pillars of its approach, Protom constantly aims at delivering high-quality top-end services, and thus it is able to continuously attract new partners to pursue business objectives. Protom’s strengths include the ability of its departments to cooperate in order to deliver advanced services in accordance with the tailor-made approach of the company, which allows a customized and optimal execution of each project.

Nestlé India’s Unveils Amritsari Achari, Mumbaiya Chatak, Super Chennai and Bengali Jhaal New Range of Noodles In India

Nestlé India announced the launch of its MAGGI Masalas of India Noodles range. The new range of MAGGI noodles consists of four new flavors - Amritsari Achari, Mumbaiya Chatak, Super Chennai and Bengali Jhaal. All four variants have been crafted using signature herbs and spices used in various regional cuisines of India to create mouthwatering Indian flavors with a delicious MAGGI twist. A unique MAGGI Masalas of India Noodle box has been launched, that contains 3 units each, of all the 4 flavors and is available exclusively at PayTM Mall at a price of Rs 240.

Pepped with the quintessential spices of the homemade achaar, the Amritsari Achari Masala Noodles flavor has been inspired by Amritsari cuisine and is a delight for the people seeking a tangy- pickled-twist to their MAGGI noodles.

The Mumbaiya Chatak Masala is on ode to Mumbai’s chatakdaar sensibilities. Star anise, Clove, Cinnamon and Kasuri methi come together to form a delightful flavor and is an embodiment of everything Mumbaiya.

South India’s story is steeped around spices, leading to the region’s modern day pallet preferences. The Super Chennai Masala Noodles combines the flavors and aroma curry leaves, red chilies, tamarind and traditional sambar masala, spices which are native to South India.

The fourth flavor in the line-up has been influenced by West Bengal. Renowned for its tradition, culture and food, West Bengal has its own set of signature spices which gives food from the region a distinct taste. The panch-foran is a signature blend of five spices which come together to flavor the Bengali Jhaal Masala Noodles.
                                                                                    
Talking about the launch,  Maarten Geraets, General Manager, Foods said, “At Nestlé India, our brand philosophy is to offer our discerning consumers with unique brand experiences. With the launch of the MAGGI Masalas of India Noodles, we will be offering MAGGI lovers even more ways to enjoy their favorite noodles. We are happy to introduce this new range and are confident that it will be appreciated by our loyal customers, who expect nothing but the best from Nestlé India.”

Rapid Metro Gurgaon Phase II Is 6.6 km Corridor from Golf Course Road to Sector 55/56

The second phase of Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon was launched today by the Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar. With Siemens acting as a lead contractor, the second phase of Gurgaon metro has been successfully completed. The minimum headway will be 270 seconds which will give a line capacity to carry about 30,000 passengers. Siemens has supplied seven three-car trains for the extension. Each train can accommodate up to 800 passengers. Siemens has also supplied its Sicas ECC type electronic interlocking, LZB 700M automatic train control with ATP/ATO, and its Vicos OC 501 ATS system.

Phase I of the Rapid Metro Gurgaon has been in operation since November 2013 and connects Gurugram Cyber City with Sikanderpur and has a proven record of more than 99.88% punctuality. With the launch of Phase II, the connectivity has increased with additional 5 stops between Sikandarpur and DoubleTree Hotel in Sector 55/56. The southward extension of the Rapid Metro Rail will ease the commute to Golf Course and Golf Course Extension, greatly improving the poor connectivity in this rapidly growing commercial hub of the National Capital Region.

“We at Siemens are happy to be an integral part of the improvement in Gurugram’s public transportation system through the second phase of the Rapid Metro. Mobility is an area of expertise for us and Siemens will continue to partner with infrastructure providers to help improve connectivity,” said Tilak Raj Seth, Executive Vice-President and Head, Mobility, Siemens Ltd.

Startup Funding Drops 46% with No of Deals Falling 31% Q-o-Q in 2017


News Corp VCCEdge,  India’s leading publisher of alternative investment, deals and startup news, data and information and part of globally diversified media, education and information services group, News Corp, has today released its Startup Deal Report Q1 CY2017.

Capturing funding deal activities encompassing private equity, venture capital, angel/seed investment transactions for the seventeen quarters ending March 2017, the report also offers information on mergers and acquisitions with sector and region-wise analysis.

Highlights of Startup Deals report
Startup funding sees grim times
·         Startup funding activity slowed down drastically with deal-making slipping 47.45% vis-à-vis Q1 CY2016
·         Cumulative deal values dipped by 45.76% Q-o-Q

Consolidation soon after a record year of startup funding in the year 2015
·         M&A deals in the startup space witnessed a 75% jump Q-o-Q
·         Acquisition of Citrus Payments Solutions ($130mn), One Mobikwik ($41mn), ZipDial Mobile Solutions ($31mn) and Local Cube Commerce ($16mn) are amongst the top M&A deals

Investors show preference for late stage funding
·         Angel and seed investments fell both in volume and value terms with deal volumes reduced to half with 120 deals in Q1 CY2017 in comparison to 245 deals in the same period last year
·         Series A funding declined 65% in deal value on a Y-o-Y basis
·         Series B funding value improved 22% in the FY Q1 compared to the same period last year, despite deal numbers being lower by 16%.
Fin-tech in; Food-tech, Travel-tech on the way out
·         Fintech with 11 deals worth $18.5 mn, Food Tech with 8 deals worth $11.1 mn, Travel Tech with $11.3 mn from 4 deals, Health Tech with $8.43 mn from 10 deals and Real Estate Tech with 2 deals worth $10 mn were the top sectors that attracted investor interest
·         Health Tech remains a strong bet in terms of deals bagged

Bengaluru Outshines Delhi in Growth of Startup Funding Deals
·         24% of start-up deals were cracked in Bangalore at a total deal value of $96 mn with 67.5% being at the seed stage
·         Second is Delhi-NCR in terms of deal volume with 38 deals worth $44 mn
·         60% of deals in Mumbai were in the angel stage with cumulative deal values touching $34 mn
·         Hyderabad with 15 deals to the tune of $4mn and Chennai with 5 deals amounting to $12 mn made it to the top 5 investment destinations of India.
·         Investment pattern: Angel and seed investments seem to be the dominant theme across cities without exception

Key 5 Startup deals in Q1CY2017
·         Bengaluru-based ID Fresh Food India Pvt. Ltd (Packaged Foods & Meats category) raised $25mn 
·         Bengaluru-based Cue Learn Pvt. Ltd (Education Services category) raised $15mn
·         Gurgaon-based Square Yards Consulting Pvt. Ltd (Internet Software & Services category), Noida-based Holiday Triangle Travel Pvt. Ltd (Real Estate-Tech category) and Mumbai-basedUlink Agritech Pvt. Ltd. (Fertilizers & Agricultural Chemicals category) raised $10mn

Sharing her views on the News Corp VCCEdge Startup Deal analysis Q1 CY2017, Gaurav Roy, Business Head, VCCEdge, News Corp VCCirclesaid, “A rise in Series-B funding even as seed and Series-A funding trends show a decline reflects investor cautiousness in early and mid-stage funding and the increasing focus on market-readiness for funding. The relief however is that M&A deals have picked up momentum post-2015 coinciding with the drop in funding activity in the startup space, turning into an exit route for some promoters and a major source of funding for others. Enterprises which can work on a combination of strong revenue models and continuously updated technological knowhow which ensures a great consumer experience will continue to attract investors”.