Friday, February 24, 2017

Bharti Airtel’s Telenor Acquisition to Mark Telenor’s Exit from India

Signalling further consolidation in the telecom sector, Bharti Airtel has decided to acquire Telenor’s India assets for an undisclosed sum. The move comes at a time when Idea and Vodafone have confirmed that they are in talks for a potential merger, and also when Reliance Jio has been fast-gaining momentum in terms of subscriber acquisition. 

Telenor had a subscriber base of 4.4 crore users, and the deal will mark its exit from the Indian telecom market. Bharti Airtel had over 36.8 crore customers across its operations at the end of January 2017. Bharti Airtel has entered into a definitive agreement with Telenor South Asian Investments to acquire Telenor (India) Communications.

As part of the agreement, Airtel will acquireTelenor India’s running operations in seven circles —Andhra  Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. These circles represent a high population concentration, and therefore, offer a high potential for growth, the Delhi-based telecom company said. The proposed acquisition will include transfer of all of Telenor India’s assets and customers, further augmenting Airtel’s overall customer-base and network. It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band. Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction, Bharti Airtel added.

“On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced our already solid spectrum portfolio.

The proposed transaction will also create substantial long-term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies,” Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said. “We believe the agreement is in the best interest of our customers, employees and the Telenor group. 

Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us, and wear e pleased with our agreement with Airtel. The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly. After thorough consideration, it is our view that the significant investments needed to secure Telenor India’s future business on a standalone basis will not give an acceptable level of return,” Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Can Make Life Much Much More Easier

Rheumatoid arthritis can make even the simplest tasks difficult like opening the door or a jar, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from living a normal life. Use these tips to adapt to your lifestyle and enjoy each day.

While many people think of rheumatoid arthritis as something that only strikes people in mid-to-late life and with good reason given that the average age of diagnosis is around 60 years old, it can afflict people who are in their 20s, but that is not the norm. I’m 28 years old and I am still suffering from RA. Globally, it affects 1 to 2 per cent of the population.

Living with RA is quiet frustrating and debilitating, but keeping certain things in mind, life can become much easier. The activities or tips mentioned below can help a person’s ability to function independently and maintain a positive outlook. Read on.

Tips to keep in mind while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis to make life easier
·  Rest and exercise : People with rheumatoid arthritis need a good balance between rest and exercise, with more rest when the disease is active and more exercise when it is not. Rest helps to reduce active joint inflammation and pain and to fight fatigue. The length of time for rest will vary from person to person, but in general, shorter rest breaks every now and then are more helpful than long times spent in bed. Exercise is important for maintaining healthy and strong muscles, preserving joint mobility, and maintaining flexibility. Exercise can also help people sleep well, reduce pain, maintain a positive attitude, and manage weight. Exercise programs should take into account the person’s physical abilities, limitations, and changing needs.
·  Healthcare Team : In order to live well with RA, it's important to get the information and help you need. It is advised to take help of a homeopath to treat the ailment. The homeopathic treatment for RA aims at offering a symptomatic relief to patients and correcting altering immunity in order to control the progress of the disease. Besides offering you best Homeopathic Medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis, homeopaths at Dr Batra’s help you deal with the emotional, mental, and/or physical trauma. Your family, friends, colleagues, and employer may also see solutions where you don't.

·  Heat : Heat can help reduce your pain, relax muscles and increase blood flow. You can apply heat to painful areas in many ways. For instance, you can take a hot shower, or bath, or sit in a sauna. You can also use a hot pack, an electric heating pad, or a heat lamp.
·   Stress reduction : People with rheumatoid arthritis face emotional challenges as well as physical ones. The emotions they feel because of the disease—fear, anger, and frustration—combined with any pain and physical limitations can increase their stress level. Although there is no evidence that stress plays a role in causing rheumatoid arthritis, it can make living with the disease difficult at times. Stress also may affect the amount of pain a person feels. There are a number of successful techniques for coping with stress. Regular rest periods can help, as can relaxation, distraction, or visualization exercises. Exercise programs, participation in support groups, and good communication with the health care team are other ways to reduce stress.
·  Healthful diet : There is no scientific evidence that any specific food or nutrient helps or harms people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, an overall nutritious diet with enough—but not an excess of—calories, protein, and calcium is important. Some people may need to be careful about drinking alcoholic beverages because of the medications they take for rheumatoid arthritis.
·  Tool : There are so many wonderful products available today. If you work at a computer you may need a special chair or keyboard. Consider speech recognition software. If your job requires standing, have a soft surface under your feet. Use a cart if you need to move materials around. Your occupational therapist can help you make adjustments in your work environment.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pay Hike Drops, Average Increments in India at 9.5%: Aon Hewitt Survey

Pay hikes across industries are likely to average 9.5% in the upcoming appraisal cycle, a drop from 10.3% last year, according to Aon Hewitts Salary Increase Survey 2016-17 that covered 1000-plus companies across India.

While it’s a marginal decrease from the 2016 spends, it show that 
India Inc. has held its own amidst global and Indian economic and political events, including Brexit, recent changes in the US government and demonetisation.

“Political changes and economic headwinds have had an impact on business performance. However, the trend this year reflects a gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance – quite literally a ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India,” said Anandorup Ghose, Partner at Aon Hewitt India, in a statement.

The survey, he says, shows the coming of age of compensation management in India.

While majority of the industries projected a sub 10% increase – the business sentiment remains positive and optimistic. Sectors such as Life Sciences, Professional Services, Chemicals, Entertainment Media, Automotive and Consumer Products continue to project a double-digit salary increase for 2017. However they have taken a drop from their 2016 actual spends.

The trend of investing in key talent continues. Firms are carving out high potential and hot skills along with high performers as their key talent segment.

“The last year has shown organisations take a strong view towards performance differentiation and not only have bell curves become sharper, the pay differentiation between top and average performers has also increased,” added Ghose.

Microsoft Drives Digital Transformation in India - Skype Lite; Signs With SBI for Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft has showcased its cloud and mobile technologies that are driving digital transformation across large, medium and small enterprises and across government departments in India. State Bank of India, Flipkart, Tata Motors, and government departments across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are using Microsoft’s cloud and mobile technologies to empower employees, engage customers, optimize processes and transform products and services.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, spoke at the company’s Future Decoded event, and announced a new offering for mobile-first and mobile-only markets –Skype Lite. Skype Lite allows communication and collaboration over low-bandwidth networks and will bring Aadhaar integration to the app by June 2017. He further announced that India’s largest bank - State Bank of India, has chosen Office365 to drive communication and collaboration among its employees. He spoke of a blended learning platform that brings together Microsoft’s cloud technologies and LinkedIn’s job search capabilities. Referred to as Project Sangam it can create a life-long skilling platform for Indian workers.  Nadella also mentioned Kaizala, a productivity app that helps organizations connect with mobile only users to get work done on simple and secure chat interface.

“At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organization to achieve more,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “With the transformative power of the cloud, we are enabling Indian start-ups, businesses of all sizes, and government agencies to build new digital capability, find new growth and seize the opportunities ahead.”

Skype Lite, the fast and light integrated communications app, designed for India
Skype Lite is Microsoft’s fastest and smallest Skype app to date. It is built to help people in India stay connected in challenging network conditions, as it is lightweight and fast. Skype Lite contains features specifically designed for India, including help to manage SMS by intelligently removing clutter, mobile data and Wi-Fi usage monitoring, India-focused Skype Bots and power saving functionality. The app will be available in seven local languages: Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Skype will also bring Aadhaar integration to the app by June 2017. With this integration, Skype users will be able to authenticate the identity of unknown callers in a variety of situations where identification verification is required, including job interviews, goods and property sale.

Project Sangam, a life-long skill development and jobs platform for Indians
Project Sangam aims to bridge the widening skill gap in the country today. It will enable blended online and offline, teaching and learning. The project aims to connect the skills learning programs directly with relevant jobs, by leveraging the power of LinkedIn’s extensive job search platform. Project Sangam will allow users to register using their Aadhaar identity ensuring life-long access to the platform. Project Sangam can strengthen the skilling eco-system in India and has the potential to benefit millions of new skill seekers in the country.

Kaizala, for collaboration between desktop and mobile computing users
Kaizala is available on all leading mobile platforms. Kaizala offers seamless convergence of an instant messenger and a productivity enhancer for those always on the move. Kaizala has been successfully tested by the Government of Andhra Pradesh at a 12-day mega event involving 20 million people. The Government of Andhra Pradesh now plans to replicate it across many departments to implement real-time governance across the state.

 Availability: Skype Lite is available now for free download from the Google Play store. The Aadhaar in-app authentication feature will be available by June 2017.

Cyient, ANSYS Partners to Accelerate Innovation and PoC Designs across Industries

Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, networks and operations services, and analytics solutions, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ANSYS to set up a Simulation Lab at Cyient’s Experience Center in Hyderabad, India.  The lab brings together Cyient’s expertise in service design, delivery, and operational excellence with ANSYS’s market-leading engineering simulation solutions and services to drive the development of innovative proof-of-concepts for Cyient and its clients.

The partnership with ANSYS is aligned with Cyient’s long-term vision of establishing itself as a Design-Build-Maintain partner to its clients worldwide. The goal is to co-innovate and develop proof-of-concept (PoC) and new solutions across multiple industries such as Aerospace & Defense, Rail Transportation, Energy, Utilities, Off-Highway and Industrial, Oil and Gas, Communications, Medical Technology, and Semiconductor. ANSYS will provide access to various training materials, curricula, and eLearning systems for latest versions of their product platforms to help achieve this objective.

The Cyient-ANSYS Simulation Lab will also contribute towards innovative design thinking to drive POC in areas like Internet of Things, Mechatronics, and Additive Manufacturing—areas identified by Cyient as growth engines for the future.

Rafiq Somani, Country Manager - South Asia Pacific and Middle East, ANSYS said, “We are excited about the potential impact of the Cyient-ANSYS Simulation Lab. By joining forces with Cyient–a long-time customer of ANSYS– we hope to further our existing partnership and deliver ground-breaking innovation across industries, enabling customers like Cyient to gain competitive advantage.”

Commenting on the partnership, Krishna Bodanapu, CEO, Cyient, said "The Simulation Lab in collaboration with ANSYS, a market leader in this area, is indeed a testimony towards our relentless commitment to nurture a culture of innovation at Cyient. This is the next step towards encouraging associates to not only address product design and engineering challenges across industries but also to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the marketplace. I am very optimistic about the learning and innovation possibilities this lab will open up”.

Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market to Grow 18 Percent in 2017

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 18 percent in 2017 to total $246.8 billion, up from $209.2 billion in 2016, according to Gartner, Inc. The highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 36.8 percent in 2017 to reach $34.6 billion. Cloud application services (software as a service [SaaS]) is expected to grow 20.1 percent to reach $46.3 billion.

"The overall global public cloud market is entering a period of stabilization, with its growth rate peaking at 18 percent in 2017 and then tapering off over the next few years," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. "While some organizations are still figuring out where cloud actually fits in their overall IT strategy, an effort to cost optimize and bring forth the path to transformation holds strong promise and results for IT outsourcing (ITO) buyers. Gartner predicts that through 2020, cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50 percent of IT outsourcing deals."

"Organizations are pursuing strategies because of the multidimensional value of cloud services, including values such as agility, scalability, cost benefits, innovation and business growth," said Nag. "While all external-sourcing decisions will not result in a virtually automatic move to the cloud, buyers are looking to the 'cloud first' in their decisions, in support of time-to-value impact via speed of implementation."

The SaaS market is expected to see a slightly slower growth over the next few years with increasing maturity of SaaS offerings, namely human capital management (HCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) and the acceleration in the buying of financial applications. Nevertheless, SaaS will remain the second largest segment in the global cloud services market.

"As enterprise application buyers are moving toward a cloud-first mentality, we estimate that more than 50 percent of new 2017 large-enterprise North American application adoptions will be composed of SaaS or other forms of cloud-based solutions," said Nag. "Midmarket and small enterprises are even further along the adoption curve. By 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors' new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only."

Gartner predicts more cloud growth in the infrastructure compute service space as adoption becomes increasingly mainstream. Additional demand from the migration of infrastructure to the cloud and increased demand from increasingly compute-intensive workloads (such as artificial intelligence [AI], analytics and Internet of Things [IoT]) — both in the enterprise and startup spaces — are driving this growth. Furthermore, the growth of platform as a service (PaaS) is also driving the growth in adoption of IaaS.

From a regional perspective, China's IaaS cloud market forecast has been increased to account for anticipated higher buyer demand over the forecast period. In particular, the larger pure-play IaaS providers in China, as well as other telecom-related cloud providers driving this market, are reporting significant growth. While China's cloud service market is nascent and several years behind the U.S. and European markets, it is expected to maintain high levels of growth as digital transformation becomes more mainstream over the next five years.

Tata Communications Enters Mobile Data Connectivity and IoT Markets

Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, has announces its entry into the global US$ 4 billion mobile data connectivity and cross-border Internet of Things (IoT) market. The company is unveiling the Tata Communications MOVE platform that will enable people and things to become seamlessly connected on a global scale.

“With more than 3 billion Internet users globally and billions more connected ‘things’ from activity trackers and smart home hubs to connected cars and street lights, we live in a truly digital world,” said Anthony Bartolo, President, Mobility, IoT and Collaboration Solutions, Tata Communications. “We believe that the future of this digital world lies in how all of these ‘things’ connect – and that everything should be born connected. So, imagine a world where there could be embedded connectivity within everything – straight out of the box, with instant and seamless access to the Internet, anywhere in the world. That’s our aim with Tata Communications MOVE. It is a platform that enables companies to embed global connectivity in anything, improving the user experience, creating completely new revenue streams, and fulfilling the promise of a truly digital world.”

Tata Communications MOVE is part of the company’s long-term strategy for its mobility services portfolio and its vision of creating an access and usage agnostic, cross-border mobile experience for people and things. The platform is underpinned by Tata Communications’ global network, partnerships with 900 mobile communications service providers globally, and recent investment in Teleena. Teleena is an IoT connectivity specialist and mobile virtual network enabler, whose technology manages the operational complexity and reduces the cost of IoT deployments for businesses. Tata Communications’ investment has made it the single largest shareholder in Teleena with a 35% stake. 

The combination of Teleena’s IoT technology and Tata Communications’ global network – which today connects 4 out of 5 mobile subscribers – lowers the barriers for brands to introduce new IoT-enabled services for engaging with consumers in new ways. Underpinned by enterprise-grade secure connectivity across 240 countries and territories, Tata Communications MOVE also paves the way for new industrial IoT applications to generate operational efficiencies in sectors such as manufacturing and logistics.

In the first phase of the roll-out of Tata Communications MOVE, the platform encompasses global cellular IoT and SIM connectivity, with further enterprise and mobile network operator capabilities to follow later in 2017, enabled by the world’s largest and most advanced wholly-owned network. Over 25% of the world’s Internet routes travel over Tata Communications’ network, and the company is the only Tier-1 network provider that is in the top 5 by routes in 5 continents.

“The market needs large-scale operators such as Tata Communications that are able to scale up activity in a market so far populated by small commercial aggregators and mobile virtual network operators,” said Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst and Practice Leader, Europe, Ovum.

Vinod Kumar, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Communications, said: “With global, ubiquitous connectivity comes the power to unleash unimaginable possibilities in how brands serve and engage with their customers and partners, redefining business models across industries. As a company that has built unparalleled global network reach and platforms that simplify and accelerate cloud and data-powered innovation over the last 15 years, today marks an inflection point for our business with the introduction of Tata Communications MOVE, which will serve to unlock the next phase of connectivity for humans and machines.”

Sony Utilizes Juniper’s Open Tech for IP-Based Production Platform

Juniper Networks, an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, has collaborated with Sony Professional Solutions Europe to deliver its switching technology to support Sony’s IP Live production solution. This enables broadcasters to capture and distribute live coverage of major sporting, cultural and political events globally. By leveraging Internet Protocol (IP) networks, IP Live is designed to solve the challenge of transporting massive volumes of rich-content data in real-time between outside broadcast locations and production studios in a cost-effective and reliable manner. Juniper’s open, interoperable technology aligns with Sony’s requirement to tailor open solutions to the exact needs of each customer.

Traditionally, to achieve the required reliability and low latency necessary for production-quality broadcasts, broadcasters have relied on serial digital interface (SDI) and coaxial cabling technology to transport live content from outside broadcasts to production studios. However, faster frame rates, dynamic ranges and higher resolutions of today’s rich content often make the cost of conventional cabling and hardware prohibitively expensive and cumbersome for many broadcasters. Sony is delivering a simple, smart and open architecture for building an automated and high-availability network compatible with Juniper’s technology. IP Live supports the transportation of quality high-definition (HD) and 4K (ultra HD) video, audio, synchronization signals and control-data across an IP network through a single network cable.

Co-Branded Training Courses Help Drive IP Education into Broadcasting Industry

Sony and Juniper also have a unique partnership to provide IP Live production and training courses for the broadcast industry. The collaborative courses show participants how to build a viable IP network, control and manage settings for optimum performance throughout the network, and mitigate errors.

News Highlights:
 The training is composed of eight hours of online courses and four days of face-to-face, in-depth training with hands-on sessions.
  • Sony collaborates with its partners to apply open standards efficiently for live production over IP and offers new and affordable ways of capturing and routing content. Sony has selected Juniper as an IP networking partner, using Juniper Networks QFX5100 switches, a highly flexible switching platform with open architectures that serve as a universal building block for automated, programmable fabric architectures.
  • Juniper’s Ethernet switches provide a high-performance network solution built on an open framework to give the maximum level of network programmability and automation. This framework allows Sony to provide consistency and simplicity to its operations, and to scale and adopt new applications and technologies to keep pace with innovation in the broadcast space.
  • Sony needed to build an agile and automated network to minimize the downtime between live programs and pre-produced content. With Juniper’s network solution, Sony’s IP Live production system can easily adapt to changing program requirements by reconfiguring the line-up of production devices automatically.
  • A network of production devices that is managed by the “Live System Manager” solution, which creates a software-defined network, forms the IP Live production system. This solution delivers great modularity and stability where resources can either be combined or split, depending on the requirements.  

HSIL Adds Snowcrest Air Coolers, Moonbow Water Purifyers Solutions

HSIL Limited, promoters of brand hindware - the leader in sanitaryware market in India, has announced the launch of their latest line of air coolers with changeable colorful front panels under their brand Hindware Snowcrest. The latest line of air coolers unveiled will bolster the versatile and comprehensive Consumer Products Division of HSIL. The growing market of air coolers of INR 3,650 crores currently has a low penetration of 10%, however it is witnessing a volume CAGR of 16% from FY14-FY17. With the organized market contributing to only 1/3rd of the market, the range of air coolers will help HSIL propel its presence.

The new range of air coolers launched under – Desert, Personal and Window categories are available in fourteen models ranging from 18 liters to 100 liters. The changeable color panels available in select models come in three colors as of now – premium purple, brick red & icy grey. With a high air delivery rate of up to 3800 m3/hr., the series is engineered to consume less power and produce exceptional cooling comfort. The trendy coolers range starts from INR 8,990/- and goes up to Rs 17,990.

Speaking at the launch, Sandip Somany, VCMD, HSIL Ltd. said, “Superlative design, innovation and unbeatable quality form the core of HSIL business philosophy. With an aim to grow Consumer Business manifolds and to be a leader in the category, we will continue offering top-of-the-line products to our consumers. The products under consumer products division have generated volumes for us, and have helped us to reach out to a newer target audience, and we are excited to see that our strategy is on the right track and paying results.”

He further added, “It remains our endeavor to continuously drive value by adding new products and adding new variants to retain customer interest in the brand. We plan to introduce more variants this year under the water & air purification categories and kitchen appliances category apart from consolidating our strength in water heaters segment. With the positive sentiment owing to recent budget announcement and a resurgence of customer sentiment, we have a positive outlook for the remainder of the year.”

With their smart craftsmanship and design, the Hindware Snowcrest air coolers promise to set a new benchmark in the segment with its technological and aesthetical advancement. The first of its kind, graceful and changeable color panels, not only provide the consumers an opportunity to showcase their individual style, but also blends seamlessly with the interiors. The air coolers are imbibed with a unique Anti-Skid Top Cover which provides additional grip and storage for placing objects, and a distinctive ice chamber which helps in faster cooling of the room.  The coolers launched under Desert, Personal and Window categories, also come with 4-way air deflection and digital display panel with remote operation for fan, speed and timer control. In personal cooler model, a pocket is provided for placing the remote and stylish handle at top helps in easy placement of the cooler. Many other smart features like shut louvers, dust filter, etc. make the product stand class apart. 

Rakesh Kaul, President, Consumer Business, HSIL Ltd. said, “We did a soft launch of air coolers in March 2016 which gave us encouraging results. With the launch of the state-of–the–art air coolers range today; we expect even better results. These unique and stylish air coolers with changeable color panels, interpret a new benchmark in air coolers segment and its contemporary design idiom showcases the passion we have towards providing our customers with the best in class products.”

Utilizing their vast distributor network pan India, HSIL intends to go all out in maximizing consumer touch points for Hindware Snowcrest Air Coolers across 4000 retail outlets. The cooler will also be sold through e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. as well as brick-n-mortar outlets like Reliance Digital, Wallmart, Spencers, Metro, etc.

With strategic expansion into the consumer products, HSIL forayed into kitchen appliances category under the brand Hindware Kitchen Ensemble. Further expanding the consumer products portfolio, HSIL entered into association with Groupe Atlantic of France bringing Hindware Atlantic water heaters into the Indian market. With both of these categories performing remarkably, HSIL entered air coolers market with the brand – Hindware Snowcrest and into purifying solutions with brand Moonbow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Indian Government Allots More funds for Indian Electronic Sector

Government has approved Rs 681 crore as seed capital for building a total corpus of Rs over Rs 6,800 crore under the electronic development fund meant to support entrepreneurship and innovation in electronics and IT. 

"My Ministry has approved Rs 6,831 venture fund for electronics development. We have given seed money of Rs 681 crore on the basis of which more venture capital will be raised," Rajiv Bansal, 
MeitY GOI Joint Secretary told reporters here at the on going IESA Vision Summit 2017. 

The electronic development fund is the monther fund that will contribute to various funds under it for those who invest the money in companies for creation of intellectual property rights in the field of electronics and IT. 

He said that investments in electronic manufacturing, which was just Rs 11,000 crore in June 2014, has increased to Rs 1,27,880 crore and from 6 crore mobile handsets in 2014-15, India's mobile manufacturing capacity has increased to 11 crore in 2015-16. 

"With 72 new mobile handset and component manufacturing units set up in last two years, India has emerged as a mobile manufacturing hub. This includes 42 mobile manufacturing units and 30 component makers in the mobile phone segment," he adds. 

The electronics production in the country has increased across segment with value of LED products registering an increase of 65 per cent to Rs 3,590 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 2,172 crore in 2014-15.

"Value of mobile handsets produced in India has increased by 185 per cent to Rs 54,000 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15. Next year, it is going to cross Rs 90,000 crore," he said. 

Four MoUs Signed to Bridge ESDM Talent Gap at IESA Vision 2017

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the trade body representing the Indian ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) industry today said it has signed four MoUs aimed at bridging talent gap.

The MoU s have been announced with ESSCI (Electronics Sector Skills Council of India), SID (Society for Information Display), IIT Kharagpur (Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur) and Infineon to build a robust talent pipeline in the ESDM space, by strengthening industry-academia relations, IESA said.

The MoUs have been announced at IESA’s annual flagship event ‘Vision Summit’ here. While IESA is collaborating with Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) to create ESDM entrepreneurial ecosystem in campuses by launching NETRA – National ESDM Technology Research Academy; it is partnering with IIT Kharagpur to foster a collaborative, research and development initiative aimed at creating a comprehensive platform for pursuing advanced research works jointly.

Through an agreement with Infineon Technologies India, IESA aims to support Electropreneur Park, giving a major boost to ‘Make in India’ and Start-up India initiatives; and the MoU with Society for Information Display will collaboratively focus on creation of a display industry eco system in India and open up new global business opportunities in adjacent fields that leverage competencies of the organisations here.

“We see the year ahead as a year where the ESDM industry will scale up in value addition and value proposition.” “With the ongoing digital revolution in the country and the thrust from the government to use technology to improve governance delivery to the people, the requirement for developing new and better innovative products and solutions are growing by the day,” said IESA Chairman K Krishna Moorthy.

“This has opened up a number of opportunities to promote both product and solutions development and manufacturing them in our country,” he said

Monday, February 20, 2017

Microsoft, Flipkart Partner for Cloud Services to Boost e-Commerce in India

Microsoft has announced its partnership with Flipkart, wherein the latter will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform. The strategic partnership is aimed at providing consumers in India with the best online shopping service in India. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal announced the partnership at an event in Bangalore.

“At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organization with technology and key to this is forging strategic partnerships with innovative companies like Flipkart,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. Flipkart could use Microsoft’s cloud platform as well AI capabilities to provide its users with new experiences. It will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce, added Nadella.

“At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organisation with technology through strategic partnerships with innovative firms like Flipkart,” said Nadella on the occasion.

As a public cloud computing platform, Azure provides a range of services, including analytics, storage and networking on network of computers (cloud). “By combining our public cloud platform and AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities with Flipkart’s services and data assets, we will enable the e-tailor to accelerate its digital transformation and deliver new customer experiences,” said Nadella. 

"In the last 12 months, 2,000 startups have started using our cloud, and now we are launching a strategic partnership with Flipkart," said Nadella. "I have always admired Flipkart for the work it's done in e-commerce, and is now doing in payments and logistics, and combining Microsoft's cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart's existing services and data assets will enable Flipkart to accelerate it's digital transformation in e-commerce."

"Given Microsoft's strong reputation in cloud computing, coupled with scale and reliability, this partnership allows us to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers," Bansal added.
"Using AI and platform technology from Microsoft, we can improve the experience for customers," Bansal said, adding, "with things like better recommendations. There are other very interesting applications. Take fashion. At Myntra, we have a label called Moda Rapido which is run by engineers. It was created without fashion designers."
"Instead, it is data analysis based design, it looks at what people are interested in and based on that comes up with a line that people would buy," he explained.
Apart from this, he says, AImachine learning, and big data are also of relevance for business intelligence.
"We have 20,000 to 25,000 people on our supply chain daily, and they are making decisions on the logistics with far reaching impact," said Bansal. "How can we enable them to make better decisions, and better optimise? That's where AI can play a role already."


FarEye Logistics Platform To Help Improve Visibility of Deliveries of Amway India

FarEye, a logistics technology solutions firm, has signed a contract with Amway India to help increase the visibility of deliveries of customer orders for the direct selling company.

To begin with, FarEye will provide Amway India with visibility into the order delivery process right from the time products move out of the fulfilment centres until they reach the customer or direct seller with the help of third-party logistics partners (3PL).

As soon as the customer or direct seller places an order for a product, the warehouse team prepares a ready-to-ship package and using FarEye’s platform digitally notifies one of the multiple 3PL partners. Based on the customer's location and an assigned drop-code, the 3PL partner organises delivery to the customer or direct seller location

The FarEye logistics platform helps 3PL partners with the most efficient routing plan and delivery process. Simultaneously, the delivery teams keep the customer or direct seller engaged by text messaging the status of the shipment through their handheld devices. The device which works well even in 2G environment delivers preset messages indicating shipment location and expected time of delivery.

“We deal with multiple third-party logistics partners and understand that getting real time visibility on the product delivery can be cumbersome. FarEye's technology helps us on this account,” says Diptarag Bhattacharjee, Chief Operating Officer, Amway India.

FarEye's platform lets Amway cut down the delivery cycle time as well as evaluate 3PL partners based on their on-the-ground performance--separating the star performers from the laggards.

“Engaging customer journeys while maintaining costs are crucial for both retailers and e-tailers. To ensure consistent customer experience most retailers are outsourcing logistics. With mobility solutions, retailers can ensure that their 3PL partners are providing the desired experience,” says Kushal Nahata, Co-founder and CEO, FarEye.

FarEye, the logistics technology platform, serves customers in Asia Pacific, Northern Africa, Oceania, South Asia, Western Asia and Europe through its offices in Singapore, Dubai and India.

FarEye’s mobile platform transforms enterprise operations by providing real-time visibility on the field workforce. FarEye’s intuitive dashboard delivers transparency into operations to CXOs who can then better serve their customers. This empowers the enterprises to build a competitive advantage by improving agility.

A user-friendly delivery interface allows a client’s mobile workforce to upload task completion reports, escalate issues and order service parts instantly through
one-touch handheld devices.

FarEye’s route optimization feature coupled with its Business Process Management capability significantly improves the responsiveness of its client companies.

FarEye counts aCommerce, leading e-com service provider in South East Asia;, e-com player from Middle East (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE); Maraxpress, a West Asian e-com firm; Zalora, online fashion retailer spread across Asia Pacific; Australia’s National Product Fulfilment and Belgian postal service TBC Post among others as its customers.

FarEye’s global customers in India--BlueDart-DHL and Walmart among others--helped strengthen its leadership position in express logistics segment with over a million shipments a day.

First Cashless Swayamvar Across Five Cities Using FreeCharge

FreeCharge, in association with Fever 104 FM, hosted India’s first ever cashless Swayamvar as part of ‘Band Bajaa Fever’ Season 3. This is an unique initiative that attempts to make marriages unforgettable, extra-special and cashless with an unparalleled entertainment quotient.

The company also organized a star-studded evening in Namma Bengaluru where the bride to be Pranvesha Kundu chose ‘Sahil Sen’ as her Mr. Right amidst a fun filled night of music, entertainment and competitions.  Suitors were invited to register through online portal or WhatsApp for Band Baaja Fever and at the gala night, the final three contestants battled their way to be the ‘Mr. Right.’

As part of this initiative, cashless weddings were also conducted across Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. In these cities, prospective brides and grooms were invited to participate in Band Bajaa Fever to make the weddings memorable and cashless with FreeCharge. All wedding rites and rituals from Joota Churana to Moohn Dikhayi were all cashless; payments were made and gifts were exchanged through FreeCharge wallet in this unique avatar.

Speaking on the occasion, Kanika Kalra, Vice President – Marketing, FreeCharge said, “At FreeCharge, we are constantly looking at promoting the government of India’s vision of a cashless economy and realized the best way to promote the habit of using digital payments is through ‘weddings’ and in our country weddings involve a heavy amount of money transactions whether it is gifting the couple or paying the vendors, payments are an integral part of marriages. Through Band Bajaa Fever, we wanted to show the possibilities of conducting these transactions through mobile wallets and digital payments at weddings and are very happy to partner with Fever 104 FM for making it a success.”

The event on Saturday night saw an overwhelming participation from the guests, who came to witness the finale and be a part of this innovative initiative by FreeCharge and Fever 104 FM. Celebrities like Shruti Hasan were also in attendance to lend support to the cause of financial digitization and bring awareness to using mobile wallets like FreeCharge.

“Marriages are high indulgence family occasions in India and Fever has always attempted to make them extra special. With our partner FreeCharge, season 3 of Band Baaja Fever takes innovation to another level. Swayamvar on radio is the first ever in the category and with this Fever FM establishes a new milestone in the radio category,” said Harshad Jain, CEO Radio and Entertainment – HT Media Ltd.

Sharing her experience Pranwesha Kundu, “It's been a month-long journey with Band Baaja Fever. I have had so much fun right from the selections to the interactions with the RJs, the nervousness and excitement on the dates, selecting the top 3 out of 5, to the fun games on air, to see the top 3 fighting it out on stage to making the final choice. I am thankful to the organizers for giving me this opportunity to be a part of such an exciting idea like a ‘Swayamvar on air’ and for making this journey so special and memorable for me.”

The winning suitor Sahil Sen said “I loved bonding with the Fever team, fellow suitors and Pranwesha while answering awkward questions, dressing sharp and filmy dialogue rants formed an exciting and fun-filled experience I will not forget.”

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