Friday, April 11, 2014

Cognizant & HTH Drive Innovation in Mobile Healthcare

Cognizant has announced that it is working with HTH Worldwide, a global technology-based health services and information company, to enable its members to maximize the use of mobile technology for managing healthcare needs more effectively while traveling abroad. As part of the engagement, Cognizant is helping HTH Worldwide transform its mobile footprint through an enterprise mobile platform to support the company’s rapidly growing business and further strengthen its leadership position in mobile medical assistance services.

Optimizing HTH Worldwide’s mobile applications such as mPassport and GeoBlue will enable members using these applications to more conveniently understand, access, and pay for the best available healthcare services in any corner of the world. HTH members use their smart phones today to consult destination-specific global health and safety information, locate doctors, emergency services, hospitals and pharmacies, schedule appointments, and translate medication names and medical terms and phrases. This enterprise solution will also allow HTH Worldwide to roll out new products quickly to meet their business and user demands all around the world with greater efficiency and agility.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of our mission to help travelers deal with medical questions quickly, efficiently, and safely,” said Angelo Masciantonio, Chief Executive Officer of HTH Worldwide. “As mobile devices become the gateway to understanding, finding, and accessing care, the convenience and reliability of an optimized mobile experience are what our members need to manage existing and unanticipated health conditions in faraway places where finding a doctor and explaining symptoms cannot be left to chance. In Cognizant, we have found a partner that understands our enterprise mobile strategy and has the capabilities to help us enable our members to make the most of their travel, no matter where they are.”

“We are pleased to be working with HTH Worldwide,” said Krish Venkat, President of Cognizant’s Healthcare and Life Sciences practice. “We look forward to leveraging our deep expertise in SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies to help HTH Worldwide continue to transform how it delivers health services to its members across the globe and engages with them. With smartphones and tablets empowering users and fast transforming the delivery of care, assuring a cutting-edge mobile experience for world travelers will help HTH Worldwide unlock greater competitive advantage and raise the bar of customer engagement.”   

Entrepreneurs Can Now Dial Hotline For Tech Querries

Microsoft Ventures in India announced the launch of “JumpStart,” a hotline to provide startups and entrepreneurs with a resource to ask business and technical questions. Open during business hours Monday-Friday (9am to 5pm IST), a team of dedicated professionals will be available to answer questions at 1 (800) 200-2114, a toll free number across India.

“Microsoft Ventures supports startups at every stage of maturity by providing them with the tools, resources and expertise they need to succeed,” said Joseph Landes, General Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft India. “Our experience has shown that a major pain point for startups across the ecosystem in India, irrespective of their stage of maturity, is the lack of real-time support for various critical queries they face. JumpStart fills a major gap and ensures that startups get professional advice that enables them to make smart business decisions,” said Landes.

JumpStart will be staffed by dedicated professionals who have been trained by Microsoft to answer business and technical queries. Microsoft will apply the learnings from these calls to fine tune the Microsoft Ventures program, including the India Accelerator, to make it more impactful for its recipients.

JumpStart is widely welcomed by the government and industry leaders throughout India.  Congratulating Microsoft, Srivatsa Krishna, IAS, Secretary, IT, Biotechnology, Science & Technology and Secretary, E-Governance, Government of Karnataka, who was present at the launch, said: “So many great ideas are born every day. While some are nurtured by the industry, many face a short lifespan because they go unnoticed and end up making wrong decisions due to lack of proper guidance or information. By availing this critical support through JumpStart, startups will have the opportunity to be heard and have access to informed decision-making support, a critical component in their journey. We are delighted that this service will also be available shortly through the Karnataka MobileOne Platform, our new mobile governance system.”

Explaining the importance of this service, Kattayil Rajinish Menon, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India, who is responsible for community and ecosystem engagement, said: “Sometimes answering even simple questions about how to get started or which service provider to contact can really help startups avoid delays and cost overruns. While JumpStart cannot promise the success of a startup’s business, it can definitely help by educating entrepreneurs how to get started quickly by providing information on the vast resources available today.”

Along with several startups, the event was attended by industry stalwarts, including Ravi Gururaj, Chair, Nasscom Product Council. Gururaj, who has been associated with Microsoft Ventures since its inception in India, said: “Product companies and startups are the next growth engines for the Indian industry and we at Nasscom are working on several initiatives to promote this sector. Microsoft Ventures has been a great supporter of our initiatives, and has partnered with us on several of them. I am very happy that Microsoft Ventures has identified this challenge that startups face, and taken concrete steps to address it, through JumpStart. It is an excellent initiative to get some support and start off quickly and efficiently. I urge everyone to take advantage of this facility.”

Now Buy Sony, Panasonic TVs From Flipkart

Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd, India’s leading e-commerce marketplace, today announced its entry into the large appliances segment with the launch of televisions. 

This category will initially be available to shoppers in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore – and will soon scale up to other cities. Some of the key brands available at launch are Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Toshiba and Videocon.

Customers can avail of options like Cash-on-Delivery, 30 day replacement policy and In-a-Day delivery guarantee. Also, specific to this category are a number of value-added services, to be made available over time:
·         Product exchange,
·         Scheduled Delivery
·         Exhaustive Buying Guide

Commenting on the development, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, SVP - Retail,, said, "Large appliances is a huge market in the country. With this launch, we look forward to delighting customers with a large selection, competitive prices and an exceptional post-order service experience. We will be adding many more products & verticals in the coming months.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

MATLAB, Simulink Expo In Bangalore & Pune

MathWorks' premier annual conference will be hosted this year in Bangalore and Pune. The conference will bring together engineers, scientists and partners to exchange ideas and explore the latest product capabilities in MATLAB and Simulink. The EXPO features presentations by MathWorks technical experts and customers in India and an exclusive exhibition area showcasing cutting-edge demonstrations.

Jason Ghidella, Technical Marketing manager, MathWorks, will present the keynote address entitled ‘Directions in Technical Computing and Model-Based Design.' He will discuss how MATLAB and Simulink are equipping engineers and scientists to respond to challenges and opportunities arising out of mega technology trends such as big data, cloud and mobile computing, Internet of Things, low-cost programmable micro-processors, online education and more.

In addition, a MathWorks India customer will deliver a keynote address at the conference.

STC Acquired Aditi Tech To Build Analytics-powered Cloud Apps

Symphony Teleca Corporation (STC) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Aditi Technologies (Aditi), a rapidly growing leader in cloud-led modern application development. With the acquisition, STC extends its leadership in innovation to drive clients’ revenue growth by being able to uniquely deliver Systems of Engagement (SoE). Aditi will serve as a strategic growth lever for STC through its design and cloud expertise, complementing STC’s engineering, mobile and analytics capabilities.

SoE are modern applications that businesses use to engage with their customers by utilizing the convergence of cloud, mobile and analytics. The SoE market is expected to grow from $33 billion in 2013 to $111 billion in 2020 (Source: Zinnov). The combined company will have unprecedented capabilities in delivering SoE based on analytics-powered modern apps and smart mobile devices. The company will serve a broad spectrum of customers spanning enterprises, independent software vendors and connected systems manufacturers. 

The combined team includes 7,500 employees spread across a network of 40 global offices with innovation hubs in North and South America, Europe and Asia. The company is expected to experience 20 percent growth by the close of 2014. Aditi will continue to operate as a new division of STC under the leadership of Pradeep Rathinam.

“Symphony Teleca and Aditi are both leaders in innovation and I welcome Aditi to the Symphony Teleca team,” said Romesh Wadhwani, chairman of Symphony Teleca Corporation and founder, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group. “We take pride in our commitment to help our customers realize the huge potential that cloud, mobile and analytics present. This acquisition is further evidence of our commitment and the combined team is the clear global leader in delivering product and solution development services that drive innovation-led growth for our clients.”

Commenting on the transaction, Brett Brinton, president and CEO of Zonar Systems, a customer of Aditi’s, adds, “At Zonar, staying out in front as an enterprise SaaS provider is a constant battle. Not only do you need to own the cloud with big data and analytics, but even more challenging is leveraging a complementary cutting edge mobile strategy. Aditi and Symphony Teleca bring together deep competency around these three strategic levers. For us, this is a dream come true.”

Symphony Teleca’s acquisition of Aditi will accelerate its mission to be the innovation partner of choice for customers, helping to drive their growth agendas through SoE. SoE enable businesses to engage with customers in a more compelling way, analyze customer behavior and create personalized experiences, while increasing customer loyalty and revenue across multiple channels. SoE are built for scale, cloud-based and consumed on smart mobile devices as the point of engagement with customers. They connect back-end enterprise software with front-end mobile software and are supercharged with big data analytics. SoE require a radically new high speed, agile approach to development at the convergence of enterprise software, mobile software, user experience design and big data analytics.

Both parties are working to obtain certain procedural regulatory approvals to formally close the transaction. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Avendus Capital was the lead financial advisor for Aditi for this transaction.

Symphony Teleca President and CEO Sanjay Dhawan said, “The acquisition creates a unique force that will help today’s businesses drive their growth agendas and improve business agility by harnessing the power of analytics, modern applications and smart devices.”

“The confluence of intelligent devices, cloud and analytics is the next breakthrough business opportunity for our customers. Joining forces with STC positions us as an innovation catalyst for our customers by helping them engage and understand their customers," said Pradeep Rathinam, CEO of Aditi.

Polycom Promotes Scott McCool as New CIO

A twenty five years of IT leadership experience to help continue company's focus on improving operating performance Polycom, Inc. today announced that Scott McCool was promoted to the role of Group Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. He is now responsible for Polycom’s global Information Technology (IT) organisation and prioritising the company’s IT spend to investments that deliver the greatest value. 

McCool reports to Chief Accounting Officer and interim Chief Financial Officer, Laura Durr, who is responsible for managing all financial, accounting and IT functions at Polycom, and is focused on driving efficiency as Polycom looks to accelerate its momentum in the market.

McCool has more than 25 years of experience in building and managing IT organisations. McCool joined Polycom in July 2013 as the company’s Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Security Officer.

“We are excited about this expansion of our leadership team,” said Durr. “Scott brings significant experience in technical leadership roles, having managed technology solutions addressing complex business problems for a broad range of organisations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies, large private companies and more. Scott is a great leader who is helping to drive Polycom’s future forward as we refine customer solutions designed to improve operating performance and profitably grow the company.”

“Polycom’s global team of IT professionals is comprised of the industry’s leading collaboration experts. They are passionate about developing new and innovative ways to leverage video, voice and content collaboration solutions, alongside our other IT investments and business processes, to make Polycom more competitive in the market, more efficiently operated, and a more engaging place to work,” said McCool. “It is a thrill to have the opportunity to lead that team and to help deliver that expertise and experience to our customers as they seek to build their own collaborative environments.”

Prior to joining Polycom, McCool directed global infrastructure engineering at Brocade, launching innovative designs and leveraging Brocade IP, storage networking and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions. Scott holds a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, a Master in Business Administration, and numerous IT certifications.

Win US$100,000 For Best Ideas At Mytrah’s Competition

Saluting the entrepreneurial spirit, Mytrah, one of the largest Independent Power Producers will host Inspiring Solution Business Plan Competition. The competition calls for the best minds across the globe to present their entrepreneurial idea. The best idea will be provided with a seed fund of US$100,000 to set up their dream enterprise.

Participants can enter one of three categories - individual, start up and team. The competition is open to people above the age of 18 from any vocation or nationality. All one needs to do is harness their lateral thinking, creativity and channelize energies into drafting a business plan around their idea. In line with Mytrah’s philosophy, entries to Inspiring Solution should exude the following qualities visionary, change catalysts, perceptive to the needs of others, open, innovative and giving.

“We’re looking for thinkers, people who have courage, drive, passion, creativity and belief in themselves,” said Vikram Kailas, Managing Director, Mytrah. He further added, “Inspiring Solution competition provides an opportunity to make an elusive dream a concrete reality, which will create a ripple effect of positive change.”

The criteria for judging a business plan are threefold - The practicality of the solution being offered, the potential for running a business based on the solution, detailing and attention to financial projections, key metrics, marketing & sales strategies and understanding of market environment.

The finals of Inspiring Solution will be held on May 17, 2014 in Hyderabad. The top three nominees will be provided with mentorship and guidance to set up their enterprise.

India Inc Poised For Change: Hiring Up 3%: RecruiteX Report

With political uncertainty coming to a conclusion, Hiring went up by 3 per cent during the month of March ‘14, according to the latest RecruiteX, indicating that India Inc is optimistic about the future.

With the Parliamentary Elections promising to quell the economic and political instability in India. Corporates showed signs of recovery and confidence as hiring recovered across key sectors, job hubs and functions. The Indian jobs market which was largely inactive during Jan-Feb ‘14 is getting back on track as RecruiteX demand index climbed up to 93 points in March from 90 points recorded in February ‘14.

Petrochemicals & Project/Infrastructure lead: The Project/Infrastructure sector emerged as the top employment generator in March ’14 with a 12 per cent rise in demand, the Petrochemicals industry reported a 9 per cent rise.
As anticipated by industry experts in the bi-annual RecruiteX report, Petrochemicals and Project/Infrastructure were the first two major industries to show signs of revival in a struggling economy. While both these industries started the year on a somber note, witnessing negative hiring sentiments during January ‘14, things started looking up from February. 

Other significant changes were:
·       IT/Telecom sector reported 6 per cent increase in hiring
·       Hiring up by 5 per cent in the Healthcare/ Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing & Engineering industry
·       Construction/Cement/Metal/Steel/Iron industry registered a 9 per cent increase in hiring

Engineer(ing) its way to growth: There has been a huge demand for engineers in India Inc and experts predict that this will increase manifold in times ahead. This profile reported a 12 per cent rise in demand during March ‘14. It was the only top profession to witness a double-digit rise in demand during the month. The rise in demand for engineers is a result of revival of hiring in core sectors including Project/Infrastructure, Petrochemicals, Manufacturing and Real Estate. IT/telecom and logistics professionals also reported 8-9 per cent increase in demand.
·       Logistics/supply chain management/procurement professionals witnessed 9 per cent increase
·       Biotechnology/pharmaceutical/R&D/scientist (22%) and quality/process control professionals (13%) also reported increase in demand
·       Oil and gas professionals witnessed an increase of 11 per cent

India Inc rely on experience: Corporate India is pining huge hopes on its experienced workforce to sail through the tough times ahead. RecruiteX data shows that in March ‘14 demand for over 20 years of experience professionals increased by more than 30 per cent. The 10-20 years and over 20 years of experience category together accounted for 65 per cent of the total demand for candidates across experience categories.
·       Candidates with 5-10 years of experience witnessed 2 per cent rise in demand
·       Demand for candidates with 2-5 years of experience reported stable (0%) hiring
·       Freshers (less than 2 years experience) reported 6 per cent drop in demand
Hyderabad rules as metros battle political unrest
Hyderabad emerged as the top job hub during March ‘14. The city reported a 30 per cent rise in demand for talent during the month. Since Jan-Mar ‘14 the region has witnessed an average rise of 2 per cent in hiring. Among metros, Chennai witnessed 20 per cent increase in demand during the month.
·       Delhi NCR witnessed 6 per cent rise in demand for talent
·       Pune registered 3 per cent increase in hiring
·       Among states, Andhra Pradesh (except Hyderabad) witnessed maximum increase (20%) in demand.

Verizon’s SCI Connects Multiple Devices In Cloud Environments

Verizon is addressing the growing need for organizations to connect more than one cloud seamlessly and securely, with the launch of its Secure Cloud Interconnect service (SCI). Enterprise organizations will be able to use Verizon’s Private IP service to connect to multiple cloud services including the Verizon cloud and Microsoft Azure, with an additional half-dozen other major cloud services expected to come online later this year. 

In addition, enterprises that have located their private cloud infrastructure in Equinix data centers can directly access Verizon’s Private IP service in 15 Equinix data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific; (Northern Virginia., Newark, N.J., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Silicon Valley; London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris; Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore). 

“With Secure Cloud Interconnect, Verizon is removing the barriers for enterprise cloud adoption,” said Michael Palmer, vice president of product development for Verizon. “The reality is that many organizations today use multiple clouds to meet their business and technical objectives, but there was no easy way to manage this environment until now.
“Our new offering uniquely gives enterprises everything they require in a multi-cloud environment– security, private connectivity, performance, simplicity and efficiency. SCI will enable a wide range of applications and use cases for organizations,” stated Palmer.

Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect service will offer a combination of features to enterprises, including dynamic bandwidth allocation with fully redundant connections, application performance throughput and quality of service, usage-based billing, and simple provisioning and management via a centralized portal.

“As enterprises look to cloud computing for speed, flexibility and efficiency, they also require a platform that offers enterprise-proven performance and reliability,” said Yousef Khalidi, distinguished engineer, Microsoft Azure for Microsoft. “With many Fortune 500 companies already using Microsoft Azure, we look forward to extending our cloud services to Verizon’s extensive network of clients through its security-enabled enterprise platform.”

With SCI, enterprises gain full visibility into which applications are being consumed, by whom, and where and how they are performing. In addition, for added protection, clients can also add managed security services on top of their solutions.

Experts estimate that the enterprise cloud storage and computing market is growing at 50 percent annually, with enterprise cloud spending expected to increase by 45 percent annually.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Indian Clean Energy Projects For Green Oscars

Infosys leads five Indian clean energy projects that have been shortlisted for the annual Ashden Awards, referred to as the Green Oscars, here Wednesday. The awards recognise worldwide contributions towards green energy initiatives and a move away from fossil fuels.

Infosys has been nominated in the ‘Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings’ category for the Bangalore-based company’s cutting edge design of new buildings which helps keep offices cooler and maximises natural light.

“Since 2008, global IT giant Infosys has cut more than US$80 million from its energy bills and reduced electricity consumption per staff member by 44 per cent. Its success lies in seizing every opportunity to reduce energy consumption in its existing buildings — from reducing the size of chiller plants for air conditioning, to painting roofs white so they reflect the heat,” reads the award nomination statement.

The other finalists include two projects from Maharashtra — Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise (SURE) and Greenway Grameen — which have been nominated in the ‘Ashden Clean Energy for Women and Girls Award’ category.

SURE is a not-for-profit social enterprise in central Maharashtra that has selected, trained and supported more than 600 women micro-entrepreneurs to sell clean energy products like solar lanterns and cleaner cookstoves to other women.

Mumbai-based Greenway Grameen’s mission is to provide an affordable, desirable cookstove to improve quality of life for Indian women.

The Rajasthan Horticulture Development Society has been shortlisted for the ‘USAID Ashden Energy for Agriculture Award’ for its solar-powered water pump project and Mera Gao Power from Uttar Pradesh has been nominated in the ‘Citi Ashden Award for Innovation in Finance’ category for pioneering the use of unsubsidised commercial micro grids, which have so far connected more than 20,000 families to clean, affordable power.

“India is a hotbed of innovation in sustainable energy: from social enterprises that are meeting the energy needs of some of the poorest people in the country, to an IT giant that’s achieving staggering energy savings across all its business campuses.

“Together all five organisations are leading examples of what can be achieved. The rest of the world should take note,” said Ashden Awards founder Sarah Butler-Sloss.
A total of 14 Ashden Award winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on May 22.

Winners will receive up to 40,000 pounds and global recognition as one of 2014’s green energy leaders.

Chandrasekaran & Reddy Occupy Hot Seats In Nasscom

National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today announced that the Executive Council has appointed R Chandrasekaran, Executive Vice Chairman of Cognizant India, as the Chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2014-15. R Chandrasekaran has been a member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and will take on the new role from April 09th, 2014. He succeeds Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and MD of Mindtree Ltd., who served as Chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2013-14. The Executive Council also announced the appointment of BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Infotech Enterprises as the Vice Chairman of NASSCOM for 2013-14.

Speaking on the occasion, R Chandrasekaran, Chairman, NASSCOM, and Executive Vice Chairman of Cognizant India, said, “In 2013, the Indian IT-BPM industry witnessed structural changes across industries and technology architectures, coupled with robust entrepreneurial activity. The coming together of these trends will unleash significant business opportunities for the industry, boosting innovation, driving higher levels of collaboration, and making a significant impact on the competitiveness and growth of global corporations and economies. It is a moment of great pride for me to assume charge as the Chairman of NASSCOM in a year when NASSCOM is celebrating its 25th anniversary. I look forward to working with our members and senior leaders in the Executive Council to help shape the industry for the next level of growth and sustain our leadership position globally.”

For the last 25 years, NASSCOM has played an instrumental role in propelling the Indian IT-BPM industry to a leadership position in the global sourcing arena as well as the domestic market. I am honored to be given the opportunity to take up this role and look forward to leading NASSCOM in its next phase of growth. Our industry has had a phenomenal journey in the past two decades growing from less than US$100 million to a US$100 billion plus sector and NASSCOM will continue to garner opportunities to further catalyze the 2020 vision for the industry.” said BVR Mohan Reddy, Vice-Chairman, NASSCOM.

Krishnakumar Natarajan, Former Chairman, NASSCOM said, “It has been a great opportunity to lead the industry as Chairman of NASSCOM. NASSCOM has and will continue to lead the Indian IT-BPM consistently in the current dynamic environment. The sector has impacted India through job creation, foreign exchange, exports and positioned India as an ideal global IT-BPM destination. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on many issues faced by the industry and be of help in facilitating sustained growth. The year 2014 has brought with it optimism for the industry with drastic improvement in the economic climate and expected rise in technology spending, despite global uncertainty. The way forward looks exciting and NASSCOM will continue to play a critical role in evangelizing and leveraging newer opportunities for the sector.”

Chairman R. Chandrasekaran along with Vice-Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy and President, R Chandrashekhar will lead NASSCOM to carry out its diverse array of priorities to enable NASSCOM in achieving the 2020 vision for the industry:
·         Enable radical transformation of key sectors in India through use of ICT to reduce costs, increase access, enhance efficiency and enable innovation in the sector
·         Going forward the industry will Collaborate, Connect, Co-Create – specifically tailored model for each specialized domain in the IT-BPM sector
·         Changing models will bring compelling business innovations with greater breadth and specialisation across key verticals- BFSI, telecom, healthcare, social entrepreneurship etc.
·         The need of the hour is to prioritize domains based on potential size possible impact readiness of leadership and role of government
·         Industry is coming together to work towards nurturing the start-up ecosystem with NASSCOM spearheading the cause by providing them various platforms to help Indian start-ups break new ground.

New Windows Phone shopping App From Flipkart

After launching the highly successful native Android and iOS apps,, the leading e-commerce marketplace in India, launched its Windows Phone shopping app today.

The Windows Phone app aims to make the shopping experience on faster, smoother and easier for all Nokia Lumia and other Windows Phone users – allowing them to shop from a massive selection of 100% original products including mobile phones, laptops, books, shoes, watches and apparel. The app's design and user interactions have been optimized for a Windows Phone user.

“With smartphones becoming more affordable and a steady rise in internet enabled devices, the number of people who are using their mobile phones to shop is increasing dramatically. Windows Phone smart devices have a large, engaged user base in India and the app lets us reach out to this substantial audience. Today’s launch will make shopping on available to all Windows mobile users and let them experience the convenience of shopping on the go.” said Saran Chatterjee, VP – Products and Mobile Strategy at Flipkart.

Some of the  features of the Windows Phone app are:
·         Easy navigation through different departments to find products
·         Search for products, categories or brands
·         Quickly narrow down search results using Sort and Filter functions
·         View product images up close with the zoom feature
·         Read reviews that other users have written about different products
·         Pay by Cash on Delivery, Credit/Debit Cards, EMI, NetBanking, Flipkart Wallet and Flipkart eGVs
·         Track status of your order
·         View recently browsed products and their details
·         Access your saved cart and user details by logging in through Flipkart, Facebook or Google login

Google Portal Helps Know Your LS Candidate Better

Google has set up a dedicated portal to help Indian voters know about their Lok Sabha election candidates, the global search engine said in a statement.

“Our new portal – – will help netizen voters to access information about their candidates and the Lok Sabha constituency from where they are contesting and the outgoing lawmaker,” Google India said.

Designed and developed with rich content from the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), PRS Legislative Research and Liberty Institute India, the portal provides data on contestants such as their education, financial details and social media presence.

“Netizens can click on Google maps and zoom on their locality to access latest information on candidates, constituency profile and the voting day, as the portal will be updated regularly from authentic sources,” the statement said.

The portal has been developed to assist over 800 million voters to stay informed with features like news videos, search trends, G+ Hangout series and an interactive “Pledge to Vote” campaign.

“The portal will help the electorate to make an informed choice during voting. As citizens, it is our duty to choose candidates who are clean, honest and committed to progress, security and development of the country,” ADR founding member Trilochan Sastry said on the occasion.

Google pioneered the election tool seven years ago when its software code writers noticed a surge in search traffic during the 2008 US presidential poll when Democratic candidate Barack Obama contested against John McCain of the Republican Party.

“The Google election portal is a one-stop destination to access information on the 2014 parliamentary elections and contestants in the fray for public office. The tool will enable voters to make an informed decision on the choice of their candidate, his/her party and its symbol,” Google India managing director Rajan Anandan said.

About 20 countries the world over, including Malaysia and Thailand in southeast Asia, have election pages, which encourage people to engage with their contestants.

* Source: Agencies

Despite BJP’s Bar; Wal-Mart India To Add 50 Outlets

Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday announced plans to open 50 more wholesale outlets in India and start online operations to sell to small shopkeepers, several months after it decided against opening its own retail stores there.

The world's largest retailer said it would open the stores over four to five years.
The company already has 20 Indian wholesale outlets. They sell goods to small shopkeepers, who dominate the nation's $500 billion retail market, rather than directly to consumers. Wal-Mart has no retail stores in India.

Wal-Mart's growth in India has been stunted by an internal bribery probe, uncertainty over regulations on foreign investment in the country, and in October, the severing of a partnership with New Delhi-based Bharti Enterprises aimed at opening retail stores.
Full foreign ownership of wholesale, or "cash-and-carry", stores is allowed in India and has not generated any political opposition. Wal-Mart has been operating under the wholesale format in India since 2006.

Globally, Wal-Mart operates 359 wholesale stores, compared with 5,633 retail outlets, according to its most recent annual report.

In 2013, Wal-Mart did not open a single wholesale outlet in India despite plans to open eight during the year.

"We are evaluating and reinforcing procedures and programs relating to all compliance areas, including licensing and permits, food safety, and responsible sourcing, among others," Scott Price, Wal-Mart's Asia chief executive, said in a statement announcing the rollout.

A company executive in India said the first new outlets among the 50 would open soon in western and southern India, including the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The executive, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Wal-Mart would start the online business on a wholesale basis and sell goods to traders on a "very small" scale.

India does not allow foreign retailers to sell goods online directly to consumers.
Wal-Mart named a new India head in December and said then that its focus in the country would be on opening wholesale stores and building its supply chain.

The company's desire to enter India with supermarkets has been met with fierce opposition from small shopkeepers and political parties.

Sources at Wal-Mart have said they are waiting until after national elections in May before applying to operate retail stores in India in case a new government overturns a rule allowing direct investment in supermarkets.

On Monday, the political party expected to lead India's next government said it would bar foreign supermarkets.

* Source: Agencies

Tweet To Remember Encourages Indian Users To Vote, India's global digital news destination, and Twitter, world's leading microblogging social network, have joined hands to delight users with a unique integration named "Tweet to remember". This joint social initiative will encourage users to exercise their core right as a citizen of world's largest democracy, India: to remember to vote.

The integration empowers the voters, by reminding them on the day it matters most. When a user tweets "@timesofindia [city name]" (like "@timesofindia Delhi", they will be guided through a process that easily enables them to add the date for their vote to their calendar on their phone or desktop.

In addition, has developed a Social News Hub, in partnership with Twitter & Frrole. It leverages trend analysis and sentiment analysis via algorithmically filtered tweets to display the latest trends and sentiments around candidates and parties, according to users, with real-time data and millions of data points. The data is beautifully presented with dynamic visualizations, sorted by day or week. You can check this out on the 2014 Lok Sabha election special page of TOI Online. The platform offers a new lens to understand the Lok Sabha elections, bringing community feedback as a source of news.

Speaking on these partnerships, Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet, said, "The social conversation is a new component in today's news cycle. As a news outlet, is always looking for ways to bring new information and new value to its users. With Social Hub, we're bringing a new perspective that hasn't been readily visible before, and with Tweet To Remember, we hope to better enable the thriving democracy that powers India."

Rishi Jaitly, India Market Director, Twitter, commenting on the initiative said, "Twitter is the world's leading mobile, real-time information network where users follow, share and experience content that is live, public and conversational. During this election season, the Twitter platform has become a vital source of daily information, conversation and communication for citizens and political leaders alike. We applaud Times Internet for innovating on our platform with "Tweet to Remember" and ensuring its audience can use Twitter to add its polling date and additional details to their calendars."

* Source: Agencies

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