Saturday, May 17, 2014

Technocrats Fail To Crack Modi's Wave?

Entry of technocrats and industry torchbearers like Nandan Nilekani and V Balakrishnan into Indian politics was touted as a game changer but all of them tasted defeat at the hustings, swept away by the Modi wave.

Former Infosys executives Nilekani and Balakrishnan fought their maiden elections for different parties from the city which houses their former company's headquarters.

Nilekani, who was the richest candidate in fray for the 16th Lok Sabha, fought on Congress ticket from Bangalore South while Balakrishnan joined the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Banker Meera Sanyal, who had unsuccessfully fought the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as an independent, entered the fray this year on AAP ticket from South Mumbai constituency. She finished fourth behind Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant, Milind Deora of Congress and Bala Nandgaonkar of MNS.

In 2009, she had lost to Deora.

As the Modi juggernaut rolled, Nilekani lost to former Union Minister and BJP candidate Ananth Kumar.

From Bangalore Central constituency and former Infosys board member Balakrishnan finished a poor third behind BJP's P C Mohan and Congress' Rizwan Arshad.

Interestingly, both men conceded defeat even before the poll results were officially announced.

"I concede defeat and congratulate Ananth Kumar for his performance in this poll. I will continue to work more for the city and the Congress party," Nilekani told this news wire agency.

Asked when what went wrong for him, he said he was happy with the campaign he ran and the way his supporters and Congress leaders work along with him on the campaign.

"We have done our best and I remain happy with my decision to stand for election," he said.

Bala too said AAP had run an honest campaign and it was the people's decision, who voted for stability at the centre, "I will help them with upcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) elections, we are preparing Mission 2015 for that; there is one more year, will try to strengthen the party further by then," said Bala, as he is popularly known.

Source: Agencies

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ajilon & ITC Infotech Offer Offshore Technologies

Ajilon, one of Australia’s largest resourcing, business and technology companies, has partnered with ITC Infotech, a global IT services company, to jointly offer Australian clients deep domain and technology expertise coupled with a robust global delivery model in the oil and gas, mining and logistics, public sector, energy and commercial sectors.

Ajilon and ITC Infotech will collaborate to offer a number of business and IT services including Business Analytics, Mobility, Custom Application Development and Application Managed Services, as well as providing Business and IT Services with some of the world’s leading software providers such as SAP and Microsoft.

With over 6000 employees, ITC Infotech combines business consulting, deep technical expertise and offshore delivery capability to provide technology solutions to customers across US, Europe, Middle East and APAC.

The partnership has already secured a new project win due to commence in July.

Managing Director at Ajilon, Ger Doyle, said "We are delighted to commence our strategic offshore contract with ITC Infotech whose expertise and innovation offers our clients best of breed services, scalability, and access to world leading talent.

“We believe Ajilon’s outstanding local capability and delivery pedigree, combined with ITCInfotech’s excellent off shore capability will make an extremely attractive value proposition to the Australian market.We have already won our first client project in association with ITC Infotech and we look forward to delivering world-leading solutions to Australia with our new partner”.

Commenting on the partnership, Ajeeth Jagannath, Senior Vice President – APAC, ITC Infotech said, “We are very excited with this partnership. We see two complementary organizations with similar value systems coming together to provide a rich set of technology service capabilities combined with a global delivery model”.

CODESS Community To Propel Woman Coders In India

CODESS, a community for women coders established by Skype in March 2013 to explore ways to promote gender diversity in the engineering field, was brought to India today by Microsoft. Around 30 women with 2-8 years of experience in development, testing and project management from various companies attended the event at Microsoft’s development center in Bangalore.
CODESS India is one in a series of CODESS events worldwide. For a long time, engineering has been perceived as a male dominated industry, with women active in these areas often treated as exceptions. Things are slowly changing, with more and more women now choosing careers in engineering. The mission of CODESS is to provide a platform for women coders to  share personal and professional experiences, network, and learn from one another. The CODESS team delivers events and workshops for female software engineers from academia all the way through to the executive level. With previous events across Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and the US, CODESS is now making its way across the different engineering communities throughout the world, and its first India stop was at Bangalore today.
Themed The Future of Work and Play, CODESS India, which was organized by WinSpire, the women’s networking team at Microsoft India Development Center in Bangalore, provided the attendees the opportunity to learn about future technology trends from Microsoft leaders and external speakers, attend a special session on game development conducted by a Microsoft team from the UK and watch some cool demos. The by-invitation only event, which started at 11am and closed at 4pm today, also gave the attendees the opportunity to meet experienced and like-minded female engineers from within the software industry. 
“At Microsoft, diversity is at the core of our culture. Emphasis on diversity and inclusion enables us to build a workforce and create a work environment that fosters talent and creativity and welcomes different experiences, perspectives, and capabilities. Gender diversity is a key component of that, with several initiatives in place focused on advancing it. India is one of our largest R&D centers outside Redmond. The R&D workforce in India is 2200 plus, and we have taken up several D&I initiatives to achieve a balanced workforce. Leadership commitment and environment sensitization to D&I, networks for women, Springboard, Digigirlz are just some of these programs,” said Vikram Manocha, Head of HR, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd.  

Elaborating on CODESS, Manocha said: “CODESS is unique in that it focuses only on women coders. The objective is to create a forum for these women that provides them with mentoring, networking and any other support they need to further their technical careers. We want everyone to feel like they can reach out and have a candid conversation with other women in technology who may have interesting perspectives based on their experience. I am extremely fortunate to be here today, at the first ever CODESS event here today.”

In her session titled Reflections, Kalpana Margabandhu, Director, India CIO Lab and BT/IT Location Executive, IBM India, shared some learnings from her 32-year technology career. She stressed the importance of personal integrity and the ability to decide early on in life what is important to a woman, so that she can make appropriate choices and pace her career accordingly. Self-awareness and constant learning from experiences help a person grow in her desired direction, she said. Kalpana believes events like Codess are very important for women to be able to discuss, talk about their unique challenges and find solutions. Even in the case of innovation, there is always this inherent fear of not knowing what to do but when paired with someone else, increased confidence can help you do a much better job, she said.
Sharing her own learnings, Pragati Ogal Rai, Chief Technology Evangelist, Paypal, said that women must learn to be assertive and ask for what they want, as leadership appreciates and respects people who know what they want and have the confidence to ask for it. Open and direct communication is the right way to do this, she said. She also stressed the importance of being open to change and trying out new ideas as a woman progresses in her career.

Wireless 5G From National Instruments & Nokia

NI today announced that it’s working with Nokia’s Networks business to collaborate on advanced research related to fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies such as exploring peak data rates and cell-edge rates in excess of 10 Gbps and 100 Mbps, respectively.
By using NI’s integrated hardware and software baseband platform, Nokia plans to expedite its research and rapidly demonstrate the viability of high-frequency millimeter wave as an option for 5G radio access technology. “Our experimental 5G Proof-of-Concept system will be implemented using NI’s LabVIEW and PXI baseband modules, which is the state-of-art experimental system for rapid prototyping of 5G air interface available today,” said Lauri Oksanen, vice president of research and technology at Nokia.
“We are thrilled to work with Nokia on this project and others involving wireless research,” said Eric Starkloff, NI executive vice president of global sales and marketing. “Our software-defined platform based on LabVIEW and PXI is ideal for researching and prototyping standards such as 5G.” 

Cancer Genetics Acquires BioServe India For $1.9 Million

Cancer Genetics, Inc., a DNA-based diagnostics company focused on developing genomic-based oncology tests and services, today announced the agreement to acquire BioServe Biotechnologies (India) Pvt. Ltd. for approximately $1.9 million, primarily in CGIX stock and other deferred consideration. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions and government approvals in India.

Under the terms of the agreement, BioServe Biotechnologies (India) Pvt. Ltd. (“BioServe India”), headquartered in Hyderabad, India, will become a subsidiary of CGI, and will be renamed Cancer Genetics India Pvt. Ltd. CGI plans on retaining all 33 current employees of BioServe India, and further expanding and strengthening the sales and clinical teams in India. BioServe India currently operates out of a state-of-the-art 14,000-square-foot genomics facility in Hyderabad. BioServe India is backed by Ventureast, a pioneering venture capital institution based in India, which has enabled over 80 seed, early and growth stage businesses in a broad array of sectors including technology, life sciences and clean environment.

BioServe India is a state-of-the-art genomics services provider and molecular kit manufacturer serving both the research and clinical markets. By utilizing BioServe India's molecular services, researchers can identify genetic markers, validate drug targets and correlate clinical and molecular data to accelerate the development of new and effective drugs. Additionally, BioServe India’s growing clinical diagnostics capabilities in oncology and next-generation sequencing are well-positioned to serve the needs of improving oncology diagnostics care and management throughout India.

Global cancer costs are expected to reach $458 billion in 2030 according to the American Cancer Society.  By allowing the Company to scale up operations for genetic analysis, bioinformatics, and manufacturing, this acquisition will provide opportunities to create greater cost efficiencies and increase productivity while bringing clinically validated and actionable genomic content into community hospitals and cancer care centers in India and the US.

“With Bioserve, CGI will become better positioned to increase our global presence in personalized cancer care and further improve outcomes and lower costs for cancer patients,” said Panna Sharma, CEO of Cancer Genetics, Inc. “The BioServe India team adds immediate positive impact, high-quality revenue, and provides a clear path to an accretive deal for shareholders. The infrastructure and enhanced capacities in next generation sequencing for oncology accelerate our development plans while positioning us to make more effective use of our capital.”

BioServe India has the infrastructure and scientific expertise required to integrate CGI’s DNA probe manufacturing and proprietary FHACT test into a market that accounts for more than 25 percent of the global deaths attributed to cervical cancer. FHACT™ is a non-invasive genomic test that can be work as a reflex test from a Pap smear and that can identify cancer and pre-cancer lesions caused by persistent HPV infection. The test can provide physicians with crucial information in making treatment decisions in cervical and HPV-related cancers.
BioServe India is known for providing its clients with cutting-edge genomic services, including next-generation sequencing genotyping and DNA synthesis. Some of their notable customers include Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science Education & Research and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. BioServe India is certified by ISO-9001:2008, the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), which is the Indian equivalent to CLIA, and the Department of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR). CGI plans to make the Hyderabad based lab CLIA certified in the coming quarters. 
Sharma noted: “Another important driver for the transaction with BioServe India was the world-class management and R&D team that’s currently in place, as well as a company culture that fits in well with CGI. We believe that this type of deal can serve as a blueprint for future acquisitions and accelerate the delivery of shareholder value.”
“We are happy to see that a biotechnology company we nurtured from its early stages is graduating to the next level. We share the belief that genomic services, next-generation sequencing and personalized diagnostics have tremendous potential in the country and can grow multi-fold in the coming years,” said Venkatadri Bobba, General Partner at Ventureast.
“It’s a proud moment for us at BioServe as we join forces with one of the leading cancer diagnostics providers. There are great synergies which we expect to unlock by combining our visions and teams together,” said Rama Modali, Founder of BioServe India.
Strategic and Financial Benefits
·         Cancer Genetics, India will have the ability to help global clinical trial clients with trials in India or Asia.
·         Cancer Genetics will be well-positioned to provide oncology-focused next-generation sequencing and CGI’s proprietary cancer portfolio as a strategic driver of growth in the high-growth Indian market.
·         The transaction is expected to be accretive in 2015.

India Inc Now Looks To Modi To Create New Jobs

When Narendra Modi talks about creating jobs in labour-intensive manufacturing, textile entrepreneur Sudhir Dhingra hopes the Indian opposition leader means business.
Dhingra, who employs 30,000 workers in more than 20 factories around the capital New Delhi, says that politicians - for all their promises - have shown no interest in acting to avert a looming employment crisis.
"The government doesn't care," says the outspoken 66-year-old, who got his first break when he sold a batch of cheesecloth shirts to Britain in 1972.
Early on, Dhingra survived a change of fashion that saddled him with a pile of unsold stock. Learning his lessons - to keep close tabs on the market and control costs - he built Orient Craft into a $250 million business making 200,000 garments daily.
That success has come despite, and not thanks to, India's politicians, who Dhingra says are obsessed by the size of investments but have given "no serious thought" to how jobs are actually created.
In the 63-year-old Modi, who polls show could become the next prime minister, Dhingra at last sees a leader who offers a better recipe: labour reforms, cheap land, steady power supplies and better infrastructure.
"Modi understands how to promote industry. He has a track record," said Dhingra, a tall man who cut a patriarchal figure as he strode the floor of his busy factory.
Backers highlight Modi's economic success over more than a decade as chief minister of Gujarat, which boasts one of the highest growth rates among Indian states thanks to the type of business-friendly policies that Dhingra favours.
In a recent research report, U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs estimated that if other Indian states boosted manufacturing employment to levels achieved in Gujarat, India could create 40 million industrial jobs in the next decade.
Yet sceptics counter that Modi's vaunted 'Gujarat model' favours capital-intensive industries and has failed to generate better jobs, while his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had little success on labour reforms when it last ruled in 1998-2004.
Asia's third-largest economy needs 12 million new jobs every year to absorb a growing workforce and urban migrants - a task made harder by the longest spell of growth below 5 percent since the 1980s.
The stakes are high: either India gets its youth working – more than half of its 1.2 billion people are under 25 – or it will fall further behind Asian leaders like China or South Korea that long ago embraced jobs-driven growth.
That is where firms like Dhingra's come in: the 4,000 workers at its factory in Gurgaon, a satellite city of Delhi, each make around $150 a month supplying retailers like GAP Inc and Marks & Spencer.
The pay, just above the minimum wage, is low. But there is no shortage of takers - many cloth cutters or sewing machine operators working at the crowded but orderly plant are migrants from hard-up northern states like Bihar.
"Before, I wasn't earning, but now I can save enough money to support my family," Anita, a sewing machine operator, told Reuters. Her son is with her family, but she has been able to go home on leave to visit.
Orient Craft could expand further, but rigid hire-and-fire laws mean Dhingra cannot employ seasonal workers to meet peak summer demand for cottonwear. Overtime is tightly controlled.
"It slows you down - it's too much bureaucracy," said Dhingra, who still controls the business after handing 'sweat equity' to two longtime partners.
The signature jobs initiative of the present Congress-led government, a guarantee of 100 days' paid work a year for the rural poor, has been faulted for choking the supply of labour to more productive urban jobs like those in Gurgaon.
With Congress heading for a drubbing at the polls, employers hope that the BJP, if elected, can make good on its manifesto pledges to fix India's complex and rigid labour laws.
Subramanian Swamy, a party strategist, said that a BJP-led government would review the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, which requires the state to approve layoffs in firms with more than 100 workers.
But how far Modi could go would depend on possible parliamentary alliances and whether he can win over sceptics in his own party.
"Labour reform is a sensitive subject," said BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman. "Steps would be taken in consultation with all stakeholders."
Even if Modi wins a strong mandate, India's constitutional setup may rule out radical change, as responsibility for labour policy is shared between the central government and the states.
"Modi's likely instinct would be to amend labour laws to facilitate greater competition among the states," said Milan Vaishnav, at the South Asia programme of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
"However, this would require contentious legislative change and, thus, may not be an early priority."
One prominent commentator, Omkar Goswami, argues that India's labour laws "are politically impossible to repeal", and Modi should focus instead on growth-promoting investment.
"That - and not the case for frictionless firing - is the basis of labour market reforms," Goswami writes in “Getting India Back on Track”, a book due to be published by Carnegie in June.
Indira Hirway, of the Gujarat-based Centre for Development Alternatives, disagrees. She said Modi's system had deprived workers of the benefits of gains in their productivity, making it the wrong model for India.
For textile boss Dhingra, a smart - if self-interested - solution would be for the state to subsidise his full-time staff rather than pay the rural poor to do 100 days work a year.
"Why don't you consider connecting these 100 days to labour-intensive industries?" he told Reuters, volunteering to pay the wage bill for the other 265 days of the year.
"Our labour costs come down and we provide permanent work for the people. It's a win-win situation."
Source: Reuters India

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What are the Final Hurdles to Modi's PM Quest?

By Sebastian PT
A ‘Modi sarkar’—as the BJP puts it—is only a matter of formality on May 16, if one believes opinion polls. The last NDTV-Hansa Research poll gives a clear majority to the BJP and its pre-poll partners. That is, its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will not even have to scout and scramble for new allies. The damper, however, is that opinion polls have been notoriously off-the-mark on the last two general elections.
In 2004, most predicted another BJP return on the ‘Shining India’ platform; and, in 2009, the argument that a Third Front could come to power was so convincing that even dusted and grimed politicos such as Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan fell bait to it and dumped the Congress.
This time around, there is little doubt that the Congress faces severe anti-incumbency while the BJP is on a roll with Modi as its face. Still, two questions emerge: Is it going to be a cakewalk for the BJP? And, if the numbers don’t add up will Modi still remain the prime ministerial candidate?
Grounded reality?
Modi says the BJP’s tally would be close to what the record numbers Congress got in 1984. However, this could be just election rhetoric. On a realistic note, for Modi to become the Prime Minister, the BJP should be comfortably placed with a personal score of 200 seats and above. Assuming that the current allies score a minimum of 30, with some help from AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa—who shares a personal rapport with Modi—and perhaps the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the magic figure of 272 may just get closer. That is, more the BJP gets over the 200-mark, the better it is for Modi.
One of the strongest hypotheses, however, going for the BJP is that the ‘Modi factor’ could help bag around 75 of the 120 seats in the crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. But is that the true picture? In UP, the polarisation due to Muzaffarnagar riots has certainly helped the BJP in the western parts. The BJP seemed to have gained the Jat votes and even partly the Dalits in the mostly four-cornered fight with the Bahajun Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Congress. The Muslim votes though were expected to go split among the later three.
However, things have been changing. Perhaps due to the inflammatory remarks by BJP leader Giriraj Singh and VHP leader Praveen Togadia, Muslims seem going in for tactical voting in central and eastern UP. That is, to back a certain party in a particular constituency that has the best chances of beating the BJP. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s ‘honeymoon’ remark also has forced a rethink on those Dalits who were gravitating towards the BJP. All these could drastically change the outcome in many seats.
BSP chief Mayawati has been unusually silent and perhaps a reason why her party is being underestimated. BSP is the only party there that has seen its vote base stay put or even increase, and in 2009 though it bagged only 20 seats was runner-up in more than 45 seats. Even Modi’s Man Friday Amit Shah admits that the fight in UP is mainly with the BSP. Mayawati could well spoil Modi’s party.
A similar scenario seems to be emerging in Bihar with the Lalu Prasad led RJD-Congress combine surging with the Muslim-Yadav vote consolidating. Janata Dal (United) apparently is losing out. In other states, even a small surge in the remaining phases by the Congress and other parties could chip away a few seats from the BJP’s tally.
New allies may veto
AB Vajpayee, in both 1998 and 1999, could successfully lead the National Democratic Alliance government consisting of more than twenty allies when the BJP got 182 seats. However, if the BJP’s tally is about 180 or less in the 16th Lok Sabha, things could be different. Though the possibility of a Third Front could be ruled out, it may be difficult for Modi to charm new, big allies before sending the list of supporters to the President. His recent barbs, for instance, against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee don’t help.
Who then would become the prime minister in that scenario would largely depend on the new allies who would either join the NDA or support it from outside. Remember, Modi has been projected as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, not NDA’s. BJD chief Naveen Patnaik and even a Mamata Banerjee and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar—who between them may get about 50 seats—may not be averse to support an alternative BJP candidate with the tag “to stop Modi”.
That is, if Modi fails to deliver a substantial number for the BJP, his dream of becoming Prime Minister could vanish even if the NDA has a shot at power.
The twilight hope
Things could change within the BJP too. It’s no secret many BJP leaders are scared of being stomped by ‘Prime Minister Modi’. A low tally could embolden them to chant what senior leader MM Joshi said earlier: ‘No Modi wave, only BJP wave’. Realpolitiks could then prevail. In 1989, for instance, though VP Singh was unquestioningly projected as the prime ministerial candidate of the anti-Congress combine, Chandra Shekhar threw his hat in the ring after election results. A similar scenario could happen in the BJP too.
Any change would, of course, need the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s approval. While the Sangh ostensibly endorses Modi for the PM post, this may not be the complete picture. Sources indicate that the Sangh has been a bit cautious if not wary of Modi in the past.
The Gujarat chief minister had kept the Sangh at arm’s length there for nearly a decade and warmed up to it only recently towards realising his national dream. Given his authoritarian past, there are fears that once he becomes the PM he would overshadow the Sangh, again. What is also being lost in the din of electioneering is of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat opposing the chanting of ‘NaMo’, and more importantly his remarks: “The question is not who should form the next government. The bigger question is who should not form the next government.” Much can be read into that.
Let’s then look at some possible contenders. BJP chief Rajnath Singh, who has been conspicuously positioning himself as inheritor of Vajpayee’s legacy; Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who is considered close to Modi, have proved themselves as Opposition leaders in the outgoing Parliament; even chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Manohar Parikkar are the names doing the rounds. But, the octogenarian LK Advani, who till recently was opposing Modi, may emerge the frontrunner. Advani is not just a respected figure among most political parties, but as any reporter covering BJP in 2005/06 would recall Mohan Bhagwat was the one who came to his rescue in his stand-offs with then RSS chief KS Sudarshan.
Be that as it may be, all the above will be invalid if Modi delivers on the hype built around him. Or, he would just become a stepping-stone for someone else’s march to 7, Race Course Road.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Local Kids Seek Laurels At Intel ISEF 2014

Students from the “IT Hub of India” - Karnataka are all set to compete with their global peers and make the country proud at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Abhishek Mitra of  National Public School, Prajwal Shivanand of Vagdevi Vilas School, Saad Nasser of Clarence High School,  Ram Mannath Aishwarya & Vinod Nambiar Sishugriha Montessori & High School in Bangalore and Arjun Rao Hurulihal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Dharwad are part of Team India. The students will represent the country at the fair and compete with 1600 finalists from over 70 countries across the globe in Los Angeles, California from May 11-16, 2014.

This year, the highest numbers of entries are being sent from India in the history of the competition; with 12 projects competing at the event as compared to 6 projects that were shortlisted last year. This was made possible courtesy a partnership with the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum, an autonomous organization jointly established and funded by the Indian and US Government. Under this collaboration, Team India will continue on a Science Learning Tour where they will visit the Maker Faire in the Bay area, various research laboratories, meet with key scientists and explore various science museums in the United States of America.
Team India also met Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, the former President of India and a renowned Indian scientist who wished them luck before departing for Los Angeles for the Intel ISEF fair.
Commenting on the increased number of projects from India in ISEF this year, Ashutosh Chadha, Director - Corporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia said, “Both IRIS and Intel ISEF are influential in highlighting the unique pool of creativity and innovation that exists in the country. This year, with 12 projects being selected for ISEF we have a greater opportunity to showcase the talent existing within the youngsters of the country, encouraging them to create realistic solutions, through research practices, to scientific challenges that are vital for tomorrow’s progress.”
Intel ISEF is a program run by the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) in partnership with Intel Corporation. The premier global science competition provides an annual forum to pre-college students across the world to display their independent research.
Intel ISEF winners are chosen from 17 categories including behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, computer science, and engineering: materials & bioengineering, environmental sciences, medicine and health sciences, microbiology and many others. Projects are evaluated by judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or equivalent (six years of related professional experience) in one of the scientific disciplines, and include Nobel laureates and Intel fellows.

International Railway IRIS Certification For Rangsons

Rangsons Electronics is one of the leading Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing companies in India. It is a preferred partner to global leaders in industries such as Medical, Industrial, Railways, Defense and Aerospace. Its strategic positioning in the Railways segment is further boosted with the receipt of IRIS certification, an international railway industry standard. 
Having upheld the highest standards of quality management for over 20 years, Rangsons’ recent accreditation reinforces its commitment to quality, sustained long-term focus, ability to manage obsolescence and continuously improve. This certification gives recognition to Rangsons as a quality supplier to Railway industry and also provides Rangsons’ customers with the benefits of the best in class solutions.

“The successful achievement of IRIS represents a major milestone for Rangsons and reflects our endeavour to cater to Railways segment. Quality of products, reliability of deliveries and obsolescence management is the key to succeed in being a supplier in Railway industry. Rangsons provides customers the flexibility to choose their level of engagement, build to print, build to spec or product level,” states Pavan Ranga, CEO of Rangsons Electronics.

Railways being one of the strategic industry verticals, this certification will facilitate Rangsons in becoming a preferred partner for Electronic systems design and manufacturing.

BT Extends Global Network Contract With Syngenta

BT today announced a seven year extension to its global networked IT services contract with Syngenta, one of the world’s leading agribusiness companies.

BT has worked with Syngenta since 2000, managing all aspects of communications including an integrated IP infrastructure to reduce costs and enable expanded collaboration services.  BT will provide new services to Syngenta under this contract such as wide area network (WAN) optimization, wireless local area network expansion, unified communications support and application performance monitoring.

BT helps Syngenta employees, partners and customers to better communicate and collaborate through secure access for third-parties, remote access for employees, international IP voice services, audio and video conferencing and managed mobility.  BT continues to deliver converged communication services to all of Syngenta’s 28,000 employees in more than 90 countries. 

Martin Walker, Head of Syngenta Business Services, said: “Few companies can offer such world-class, global, innovative and sustainable solutions to help us achieve our ambitious objectives and, in this context, we are pleased to be able to continue our partnership with BT.  The continued use of new technology is helping us increase productivity by making our employees more connected.”

Luis Alvarez, Chief Executive Officer, BT Global Services, said: “Syngenta has ambitious growth plans in key regions that are aligned to BT’s areas of investment such as Latin America, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. We work hard to help our customers orchestrate their networked IT services across multiple platforms and very diverse geographies. We are extremely proud when a global leader such as Syngenta trusts us for such a wide range of services. Together we creatively use technology, helping deliver stunning business outcomes.”

Since 2000, BT has helped transform Syngenta’s infrastructure into one of the most modern corporate networks in the world.

Volvo Appoints Sriprasad as New MD Buses India

Volvo Bus Corporation has appointed VRV Sriprasad as the new Managing Director of Volvo Buses India. Sriprasad has 28 years of experience in the commercial vehicle industry. He takes over from Manish Sahi.

Sriprasad is a highly recognised professional in the Indian Automotive Industry with 28 years in various positions, including direct and retail sales, setting up of green field projects, new brand & product introductions and manufacturing. His recent assignment for six years was with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. He has also worked for the Eicher Group.

“Sriprasad brings him with an all-round and in-depth understanding of the commercial vehicle market. His passion to contribute to change in the commercial vehicle industry, his commitment to create value for customers as well as for passengers fits very well with Volvo Buses’ mission in India. I look forward to seeing Volvo Buses expand its role in the Indian bus industry in the years to come,” said Akash Passey, Senior Vice-President, Business Region International, Volvo Bus Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Volvo Buses in India.

VRV Sriprasad will report to Akash Passey. He takes over from Manish Sahi, who has taken the position as Director – International Business, Volvo Buses India. Besides current export opportunities in Region International, Manish will also focus on export possibilities to Region Europe and Region Americas. The division aims to contribute 25% of volume into India industrial system and thereby enhancing the profitability of the India cluster. He will operate from both India and Sweden.

Volvo Buses in India today is a market cluster covering the South Asian countries of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives. At present, exports from the production facility in Bangalore take place to South Africa and future plans include increased spreads to new markets. Recently, Volvo announced introduction of UD Buses for the growth markets, starting first with India in the value segment of the bus market here.

In India, Volvo Buses has a leading share of the high-performance inter-city luxury coaches that connect major cities, and low-floor air-conditioned city buses, which are operating in 15 cities.

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