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The country's third largest software services firm Wipro is
learnt to have fired hundreds of employees as part of its annual
According to sources, Wipro has shown the door
to about 600 employees, while speculation was rife that the number could go as
high as 2,000.
At the end of December 2016, the Bengaluru-based
company had over 1.79 lakh employees.
When contacted, Wipro said it undertakes a
"rigorous performance appraisal process" on a regular basis to align
its workforce with business objectives, strategic priorities of the company,
and client requirements.
"The performance appraisal may also lead to
the separation of some employees from the company and these numbers vary from
year to year," it added.
The company, however, did not comment on the
number of employees that have been asked to leave.
Wipro said its comprehensive performance
evaluation process includes mentoring, re-training and upskilling of employees.
The company is scheduled to report its fourth quarter and full-year numbers on
The development comes at a time when Indian IT
companies are facing an uncertain environment given the curbs being proposed on
worker visa norms by various countries like the US, Singapore, Australia and
These companies use temporary work visas to send
employees to work on client sites.
With visa programmes in these countries becoming
more rigorous, Indian IT companies are likely to face challenges in movement of
labour as well as a spike in operational costs.
Indian IT companies get over 60 per cent of
their revenues from the North American market, about 20 per cent from Europe
and the remaining from other economies.
Besides, higher adoption of technologies like
automation and artificial in also reducing the need to have a large number of
employees at client site.
in the footsteps of Digital India mission, leading fashion retailer, Shoppers
Stop has partneredToneTag, a proximity communications firm, to integrate
and deploy ToneTag sound-based contactless payments at its stores. This
technology will use sound-waves from mobile phones to enable customers to make
‘cardless’, ‘cashless’ and ‘contactless’ payments at all 84 Shopper Stop stores
spread across the country.
“Our collaboration with ToneTag is yet another step in the
direction of digitising all our Shoppers Stop stores. Our paramount focus is to
offer our customers a convenient, fast and enhanced shopping experience. With
ToneTag’s sound-based technology, our customers will now have multiple payment
options for a smooth, fast and convenient shopping experience,”
said Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director,
Shoppers Stop Ltd.
With ToneTag’s sound pay technology, customers can make secure
payments within a matter of seconds and experience a faster check out.
“Shoppers Stop’s contribution towards digitisation has been
exemplary. I am a strong believer that Shoppers Stop and ToneTag will continue
to strive for best consumer experience.
“Shoppers Stop’s contribution
towards digitisation has been exemplary. I am a strong believer that Shoppers
Stop and ToneTag will continue to strive for best consumer experience by
bringing great retail technology with simple user interface,” said Kumar
Abhishek, CEO, ToneTag.
ToneTag’s technology uses audio
signals or ‘tone tags’ for data exchange between devices. Payment instructions
can be transmitted, using a sound signal, through a traditional phone line,
without any additional hardware or software requirements or dependencies. This
makes highly inter-operable and secure cashless payments possible from any
mobile phone to another phone or computing device.
the discussions materialise, the deal could value the One97 Communications
Ltd-owned company at $7-9 billion, thereport says, citing three people
aware of the matter.
per the deal, SoftBankwill
not only buy some shares from existing Paytm investor SAIF Partners and founder
Vijay Shekhar Sharma but would also be investing money in the company. The
payments company may also buy out Snapdeal-owned mobile wallet firm FreeCharge
in a “fire sale, though the fundraising is not contingent upon the proposed
buyout,” the report added.
SoftBank on board, Paytmcould
also be seeking a way to balance out the control of China’s Alibaba Group
Holding Ltd, currently its largest shareholder. Interestingly, the Japanese
company was an early backer of Alibaba and its initial investment of $20
million turned into a stake worth more than $60 billion when Alibaba listed its
shares in 2014.
SoftBank has been re-strategizing
its plans in India after its investments in the county failed to yield
encouraging returns. With a total investment of over $3 billion in the country,
SoftBank is now pushing mergers and acquisitions to consolidate its portfolio.
The Japanese major has reportedly been spearheading the talks for a possible
merger of Snapdeal with rival Flipkart.
Without much hullabaloo,
Google has launched a new food delivery and home services aggregator called
Areo for the Indian market. The Android application for hyperlocal
delivery and home services provides users with one-touch access to
restaurants, beauty salons, and other home maintenance or cleaning services.
app that was first spotted byThe Android Soul, is available as a free download
on the Google Play store and is currently operational in Bangalore and Mumbai.
the food delivery service, Google presently has three startups on board to
allow Indian masses to order food — Freshmenu, Scootsy, and HolaChef. Any
of these will be available to serve you based on your location. As for the
beauty, personal care, fitness, and home maintenance services, Google has got
on board Urban Clap to lend a helping hand.
One can either search for any
specific dish or choose any specific partner to browse through dishes and
schedule deliveries by paying online or use cash on delivery. Notably, Google
has partnered with TimesofMoney’s DirecPay for online payments on Areo rather
than using its own payment solution.
The USP of the app is that its
fast and the experience is a lot simpler than having to go through multiple
apps in one’s smartphone. Well, this could also be some bad news for
other local delivery startups who have some new competition from tech titan
Google has launched a couple
of India-centric app in recent weeks. First, it debuted beta version
of YouTube Go app in India and then of course the music streaming
subscription packs on Google Play Music for as low as Rs 89/month.
Supreme Court has ordered auction of Sahara's Rs 34,000 crore
Aamby Valley properties over the business conglomerate's failure to deposit
money for refunding to its investors.
The Supreme Court bench also directed that Sahara Group's
Subrata Roy be personally present in the next date of hearing on April 28th in
"Enough is enough. You cannot say something today and
resile tomorrow," a bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi
and A K Sikri, said, taking strong note of non- submission of over Rs 5,000
crore by the Sahara group.
The bench also cautioned Roy from playing with the court's order
and said non-compliance of its order would invite the wrath of the law and
ultimately he will be at his own peril. If you can't pay, go to jail, the
top court said.
The Supreme Court had earlier warned the Sahara Group that it
would auction its prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune
if Rs 5092.6 crore is not paid by the company by April 17 as promised.
Last month, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra directed the
international real estate firm, which had shown willingness to buy Sahara's
stake in New York- based Plaza Hotel for $550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore
in the SEBI-Sahara refund account instead of the apex court registry to show
"We will auction your (Sahara) Aamby Valley project if the
money is not deposited within the stipulated time period as promised," the
bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, observed.
The apex court had also asked Sahara Group to provide it within
two weeks the list of "unencumbered properties" which can be put for
public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the principal
amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara
account for refunding money to the investors.
SC on May 6, 2016 granted a four-week parole to Roy to attend
the funeral of his mother. His parole has been extended by the court ever
since. Roy was sent to Tihar jail on March 4, 2014.
Besides Roy, two other directors -- Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok
Roy Choudhary -- were arrested for the failure of the group's two companies --
Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment
Corp Ltd (SHICL) -- to comply with the court's August 31, 2012 order to return
Rs 24,000 crore to their investors. However, director Vandana Bhargava was not
taken into custody.
Accenture and Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest
NGO-run Mid-Day Meal Program, collaborated on an innovative project that used
disruptive technologies to exponentially increase the number of meals served to
children in schools in India that are run and aided by the government. The
“Million Meals” project revolutionized Akshaya Patra’s supply chain and
operations, resulting in improved food quality and expanded service reach.
Rooted in a vision to eliminate child hunger,
the “Million Meals” project demonstrated how disruptive technologies such as
artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain can
help address significant challenges in mass meal production and
delivery. Accenture Labs, the research and development arm of Accenture,
executed the project over a period of six months in Akshaya Patra’s Bengaluru
kitchen. An analysis of the project indicated a potential to improve efficiency
by 20 percent, which could boost the number of meals served by millions.
Akshaya Patra’s goal is to continue to optimize and streamline the program.
Sanjay Podder, managing director, Accenture
Labs, Bengaluru, said,
"The Accenture Labs ‘Tech for Good’ program specializes in solving complex
social problems through the use of innovative technologies. Accenture Labs was
excited to take up the challenge that every paisa saved in producing a single
meal can result in additional meals being served to children. We thought this
was an ideal proving ground to put the combined power of AI, IoT and blockchain
"It is indeed heartening to see big players
in technology like Accenture come forward to lend their expertise and help to
address societal challenges like hunger through the innovative use of technology,”
saidShridhar Venkat, CEO, The
Akshaya Patra Foundation. “This initiative not only enhanced efficiency
while giving a boost to our operations, but ensured that quality standards are
met while increasing the number of meals served. We aim to expand our reach to
millions of more children with the help of such technologies. This is just the
beginning; we look forward to more collaborations with Accenture.”
Accenture Labs began the project with a
strategic assessment and design thinking, then developed a prototype for
improving kitchen operations and outcomes. Technologies were then applied to
four critical processes: collecting school feedback, tracking food delivery,
measuring the quantity of food and supplies to be purchased, and monitoring meal
As a result of these process enhancements,
Akshaya Patra improved their audit capabilities, attendance recording, invoice
processing and payment, order and data collection, and food preparation
operations, allowing for expanded production capabilities and establishing a
blueprint for operating other kitchens.
An example of Akshaya Patra’s transformation was
its move from manual collection of feedback from children and schools to a more
efficient technology-based solution. Using blockchain and sensor-enabled
devices, the technical team gathered feedback digitally, leveraging AI
technologies to predict the next day’s meal requirements. The team tracked the
timeliness of food delivered to each school involved in the initiative and
collected the data using mobile devices and an Accenture-built system.
The team also used IoT sensors to monitor and
sequence the cooking process to ensure optimum energy consumption and
consistent food quality. This system not only aided in tracking kitchen
performance but also provided accurate, real-time data to identify trends, make
better informed decisions and save valuable time and effort.
Bosch plans to take its skilling programme BRIDGE (Bosch’s
Response to India’s Development and Growth through Employability Enhancement)
from the present 125 centres across the country to 200 centres soon.
The short-term job-oriented training is targeted at employing
the youth in the service industry. “Nearly 7,500 people have graduated from
this (BRIDGE) skilling programme over four years, and we are planning to take
these centres to 200 soon,” MD of Bosch and Bosch Group India President
Soumitra Bhattacharya told reporters
Bosch also wants to take the number to 10,000 from the
present 7,500 people.
While the programme intended at the manufacturing industry
comes from a more long-term, hard-skills development perspective, it is more short-term
soft-skills oriented for the service industry.
“Our long-term career-oriented training offered at the Bosch
Vocational Center (BVC) has been Indianised over the years, and as of December
2016, around 3,500 individuals have passed out over these years,” he said,
adding, “Bosch is committed to skilling well before Prime Minister started
Skill India. We will continue doing it...we do it not just for us; we do it for
society,” he said.
Also, over the past two years, the company has developed a
new training programme that focuses on producing high-quality skilled artisans,
such as carpentry and electrician, in India.
Bhattacharya said, “There are two training facilities in
India — one in Bengaluru focused on carpentry, the other one in Nashik focused on
electrician. We are planning to open one more in Pune, focusing on plumbing. We
are also looking at good partners to create multipliers.”
When it comes to Internet readiness, Karnataka ranks second, and
it is also one of the top three states with the highest number of digital
startups, according to a report, ‘Index of Internet Readiness of Indian
States’, released by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and
Delhi has emerged as the top ranked state in terms of overall
Internet readiness, overtaking last year’s winner Maharashtra.
Internet readiness index is a composite benchmark of four
components — e-infrastructure index, e-participation index, IT-environment and
government e-services index, with all four components claiming equal weightage.
The index excludes North-Eastern states, which ranked low in
terms of overall Internet readiness. Among the North-Eastern states, Nagaland
tops the list, closely followed by Manipur and Tripura.
Cellular Ltd and VodafoneIndiaannounced a merger on March 20 to form
the largest telecommunication company inIndia. The behemoth will come as the latest company to enter the telecommunication sector after Jio, which is fast increasing its subscriber base.
The entity, after the merger, will not only have 43 per cent
revenue but also have more than 25 per cent of allocated spectrum. The merged
company would have collective revenues of more than Rs 80,000 crore and help
Vodafone in de-consolidating VodafoneIndia.
The behemoth will come as the latest company to enter the
telecommunication sector after Jio, which is fast increasing its subscriber
After their merger, the firms announced Kumar Mangalam Birla as
the chairperson of the new telecom entity.
TheBombay Stock Exchangewas also informed that Vodafone Group
and Idea Cellular have agreed to combine their operations inIndia.
Meanwhile, largest mobile provider, Bharti Airtel, told the
stock exchanges recently that it was all set to take over Norwegian telecom
India, with a young skilled work force, high growth rate and
deregulation being undertaken by the government, is set to become an important
destination for foreign investment, a former top US trade official has said.
young skilled work force, its growth rate that is going to surpass China for
the coming years as well as the market opening and deregulation undertaken by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make this a really important destination for
foreign investment," Wendy Cutler, who was the Acting Deputy US Trade Representative
under Obama administration told a Washington audience yesterday.
Speaking at a panel
discussion on the occasion of launch of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Confidence Index, Cutler said, India under Modi has emerged as among the
favourite destinations for foreign investors. For the second consecutive year,
India appears in top 10 of the index. This year, it was placed at eighth spot
as against ninth last year.
China has slipped
to the third spot. Germany has now become the second top destination in the FDI
Confidence Index after the US, which takes the fifth spot for the fifth year in
a row. "Five of the top 10 countries are from Asia. There is a lot of
optimism about investment opportunities in Asia, not only among Asian but also
global investors as well. Clearly China and India seems to be the cause of this
lot of optimism. India moved eighth on the index," she said.
Cutler said the
optimism about investment in China "does not seem to be in line from what
we are hearing" from not only the US business community but also the
European business community as well. In her previous stint in the United States
Trade Representative, she was responsible for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
agreement (TPP), US China trade relations and US India Trade Policy Forum.
investment climate is getting worse in China. Companies are facing a lot of
restrictions in China, whether it be licensing or approval process or
favourable treatment of domestic competitors or requirements to share
technology. We are hearing from our companies that their optimism is
declining," Cutler said.
Noting that the
Chinese FDI in the US and vice versa should be watched closely, she said there
is a growing concern that while the US and foreign companies are facing
restrictions in China, there is a feeling that Chinese companies face few
restrictions here in the US. "India on the other hand is moving towards
becoming a favourite FDI destination," she said.
"When you loom
at India, it is moving from a close market to an open market. The reforms that
are being undertaken are perhaps not as ambitious as one would hope for. But
under Prime Minister Modi, India is really under track towards opening,"
she said. Contrasting India, a little bit with China, Cutler said that China
was really open to foreign direct investment.
"But we are
seeing that trend going in a different direction," Cutler said. "The
other thing that makes me think very favourably about India is that it does not
face the same demographic challenges that many Asian countries face. India with
most of its population under 40 offers a very attractive destination, coupled
with the high skilled nature of the work force," she said. However, she
said India is "one of the difficult countries" to negotiate. "So
while all these developments are positive, they have a way to go here, but they
are moving in the right direction," Cutler said.
Policy Council chairman Paul Laudicina said that India's youth population gives
India wage price advantage over China. In China, average manufacturing wages
have tripled between 2006 and 2015. "This is part of the reason that
coupled with a robust growth, a huge internal market, Modi government's attempt
to promote investment, the intention to abolish the foreign investment promotion
board, access to the retail sector is being made more accessible. All of this
makes India a robust environment," he said.
announced that it has been awarded the LEED EBOM (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design - Existing Building Operation & Maintenance) Platinum
certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for its
entire Infosys Pune Phase-2 campus. LEED Platinum is the highest level of green
rating for buildings and with this recognition, the Infosys Pune campus becomes
the largest in the world to achieve this distinction.
The Infosys Pune campus started operations in 2004 and is
spread across 114 acres in Hinjewadi Phase-2. The campus consists of office
buildings, residential training facilities, food courts, health and fitness
facilities, multi-level parking and can accommodate 34,000 people. In an
attempt to make the campus sustainable and resource efficient, Infosys has been
following a two pronged strategy since 2008 - designing new buildings to meet
the highest efficiency standards, and implementing deep retrofits in old
buildings to make them efficient.
In new construction category, three buildings in the
Infosys Pune Phase–2 campus are certified with LEED Platinum rating. For
existing buildings, efficiency improvements were achieved through large-scale
retrofit projects in 10 office buildings, three food courts, the employee
training center, the guest house and sports complexes across the campus. Deep
retrofits were undertaken in many energy intensive areas, including complete
reengineering of chiller plants, air handling units, building management system
(BMS) retrofit, UPS retrofit, lighting retrofit, to name a few, and were
completed within a short duration. These initiatives have helped significantly
lower operating costs, enhanced equipment life, created healthier indoor air
quality, and improved occupant comfort and satisfaction.
The LEED EBOM certification by USGBC is a globally
accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance existing
green buildings. This is one of the stringent green rating tools for existing
buildings which verifies that the building is performing sustainably.
Key features of Infosys Pune Phase-2 campus are:
·Energy efficiency: 47% reduction in per capita energy
consumption in the last eight years
·Water conservation: 38% reduction in per capita water
consumption in the last eight years
·77% green power used to
meet electricity needs of the entire campus this year
launched a re-imagined version of its free Earth mapping service, weaving in
storytelling and artificial intelligence and freeing it from apps.
is our gift to the world,” Google Earth director Rebecca Moore said while
giving AFP an early look at the new version of the programme that lets people
range the planet from the comfort of their computers, smartphones or tablets.
product that speaks to our deepest values around education and making
information available to people.”
‘Voyager’ feature enables people digitally exploring the planet to be guided on
interactive stories told by experts, boasting partners including BBC Earth,
NASA, Sesame Street, and the Jane Goodall Institute.
artificial intelligence will be put to work for Earth users in the form of
“knowledge cards” that let them dive deeper into online information about
mountains, countries, landmarks or other places being virtually visited.
also make suggestions on other locations armchair explorers might be interested
in exploring based on what they have searched in the past.
is the first time we have done this deep integration with the Google Knowledge
Graph,” Earth engineering manager Sean Askay said.
Google knows about the world, you can know about the world.”
is also a newly installed “Feeling Lucky?” feature for people who want to let
the software suggest hidden gems such as Pemba Island off the Swahili coast or
the Oodaira Hot Spring in Yamagata, Japan.
can choose to fly around the world in Earth, using a 3—D button to see the
Grand Canyon, Chateau Loire Valley and other stunning spots from any angles
the new Earth, we want to open up different lenses for you to see the world and
learn a bit about how it all fits together; to open your mind with new stories
while giving you a new perspective on the locations and experiences you
cherish,” Earth product manager Gopal Shah said in a blog post.
explorers cruising the mobile version of Earth can also capture pictures on
their travels, sending friends digital postcards.
Earth was launched on Google’s Chrome and Android software, with versions
tailored for Apple devices and other internet browsing software promised soon.
the first time that Earth can be reached on a web browser instead of through
applications installed on devices.
move allows Google to tap into more powerful computing power at data centers in
the internet “cloud” instead of relying on the capabilities of smartphones and
At a well-attended award
ceremony held in Mumbai for the Hotel Investment Conference-South Asia (HICSA),
two Hyatt hotels have been recognized as best in their segment. Hyatt Place
Goa/Candolim, emerged as the Best New Hotel of the Year in the upper mid-market
hotels segment and Hyatt Regency Chandigarh won the Best Upscale Hotel award.
The 13th edition of HICSA honored some of the most exemplary hotel brands in
the South Asian region.
Commenting on the achievement, Kurt Straub, Vice President of
Operations for India, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts India said, “We began our India
journey in 1983 and have endeavored to be one of the most preferred hospitality
brands in the country. We have always moved forward with this intent. It is an
honor for Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim, and Hyatt Regency Chandigarh to have been
recognized by HICSA this year. We take this opportunity to thank everyone who
worked to make this happen. This achievement not only makes us proud, but also
fuels our passion to work harder, and continue to care for our people and
guests. Powered by the purpose of care, Hyatt works to create an environment
for people, including its employees, where care and understanding go a long way
in building great relationships.”
Hyatt Place Goa/Candolim is the third Hyatt-branded hotel to
officially open in Goa, India. The hotel brings the Hyatt Place brand’s
intuitive design, casual atmosphere and practical amenities to the Goa area.
This is one of the five Hyatt Place hotels to open in India, others being Hyatt
Place Hampi, Hyatt Place Pune/Hinjewadi, Hyatt Place Gurgaon/Udyog Vihar and
the recently opened Hyatt Place Rameswaram. With 147 spacious guestrooms, Hyatt
Place Goa/Candolim is ideally located in the heart of North Goa, and is near to
Candolim Beach, Calangute Beach and Fort Aguada. It is also in close proximity
of popular entertainment and nightlife destinations.
Hyatt Regency Chandigarh opened its doors for the guests in
part of the Hyatt Regency brand, it has been conceived to foster connections
and serve as a dynamic, energizing space where guests can collaborate, share
and find inspiration. The hotel is central to the city’s business hub and is
part of a premium development that includes the Elante Mall and an office
complex that houses key multi-national companies and diplomatic missions. The guests can choose from 211 rooms and rejuvenate
at the year-round outdoor pool and fitness centre.
Hyatt’s presence in India is represented by Park Hyatt, Grand
Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Hyatt Place and Andaz. Each of the six brands
provide a distinct experience for different traveler mindsets across 16 key
cities in the country.
Indiaadded 5,525 MW solar power
generation capacity last fiscal, taking the total from this clean source to
The country has abundant solar power potential which has been estimated to be
748 GW, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal stated in a written
reply toRajya Sabha.
It had achieved total cumulative solar power generation capacity of 6,763 MW in
2015-16. The capacity was 1,686 MW in 2012-13 which increased to 2,632 MW in
2013-14 and to 3,744 MW in 2014-15.
In a separate reply, Goyal said thegovernmenthas envisaged 4,800 MW from rooftop solar and 7,200 MW from
large scale solar power projects in the country.
Indiahas plans to add 5,000 MW of rooftop solar and 10,000 MW from
large scale solar power projects in the current fiscal, he said.
Among states,Andhra Pradeshtops the chart with largest cumulative solar generation
capacity of 1,867 MW as on March 31, 2017 followed byRajasthanandTamil Naduat 1,812 MW and 1,691 MW respectively.
Goyal said that in its submission to the United Nations Frame
Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined
Contribution (INDC), thegovernmenthas said thatIndiawill achieve 40 per cent cumulative Electric power capacity
from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.
It will be done with the help of transfer of technology and
low cost International Finance which includes Green Climate Fund, he said.
Unfazed by the possible changes to the H1-B visa regime, CEO of India’s IT
major TCS Rajesh Gopinathan has said the current discourse on the issue in the
US is driven by emotions rather than economy and the best way to tackle it is
through greater engagement.
favoured a policy of engagement with various stake holders on the issue of H-1B
visas in the US. He noted that the discourse is currently driven by emotions
rather than economy. “The best way to tackle that is greater engagement.
Because the way, sometimes, companies like us get characterised is very
different from the reality of what we bring to the table,” Gopinathan said.
of these engagements actually help get that message out also. People will
understand us better for who we are, and I think engagement, communication and
collaboration is the best way to deal with the political lack of understanding
which comes. Democracy ought to deal with the emotional response that you see
and you have to get over it and engage positively,” Gopinathan said.
the US has been a “very welcoming market” for the IT major and has provided it
with a fair, open and competitive environment. “All said and done, the US has
been a very welcoming market for us. So you keep aside the immediate issues,
it’s been a market that has been fair, it has been an open, competitive
environment,” Gopinathan told the agencies, exuding confidence that
TCS would be able to successfully compete in any environment.
said TCS has competed and has won against the best in the country. “We have
competed and we have won against the global best in this country, on equal
footing. So, it has been a market that has helped us grow in confidence as we
have gone,” he said but repeatedly refrained from having any complaint from the
present system or the possibility of a new executive order that would adversely
have an impact on his company’s performance due to any action by the Trump Administration
on H-1B visas.
President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order that would tighten the
process of issuing the H-1B visas and seek a review of the system for creating
an “entirely new structure” for awarding these visas.
was appointed as the new CEO of TCS this January after his predecessor N
Chandrasekaran was elevated to the post of Chairman of Tata Sons.
to questions on a potential executive order or legislations being talked about
lawmakers, Gopinathan asserted that there is no law currently in the US that is
discriminatory. “There are many that are being discussed, which if they were to
get passed, in their extreme form would be discriminatory. So we should
actually give credence to the system here, that is, as I said, it is fair. It
has been fair in the past, there is no reason for us to assume that it will not
be fair in the future. So, let’s deal with what’s on the ground and let’s go
step by step,” he said.
importantly, we have very active STEM education engagement in the US. We work
with colleges, high school students, we reach out, we have touched close to
20,000 plus students already, and significantly we are accelerate that into
what we call Ignite My Future Campaign. We just target to touch one million
students all in the next five years,” he said.
that the technology market is actually under supplied, he said the sheer demand
of technical skills far outstrips the supply. “What we’ve been successful in
India is to actually increase the world supply, often generating graduates way
beyond what the governing systems actually provided. So we capitalised the
emergence of a private sector education complex that served to provide us the
talent required for our growth,” he said.
India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), has announced Ashwini
K Aggarwal, Director, Applied Materials, India as Chairman of the
Board of Director and Executive Committee effective immediately.
Ashwini succeeds K Krishna Moorthy, who will continue as an advisor to the
board. Anilkumar Muniswamy is the new Vice Chairman with Rajesh
Krishnan, VP, Memory Solutions, Samsung Semiconductor India Research serving as
the new Treasurer.
Ashwini joined IESA’s board in 2015. Prior to being named
Chairman, he served as member of the board of Electronics Sector Skills Council
and member/chair of various industry Special Interest Groups.
A veteran of the electronics industry for more than three
decades, Aggarwal, is known for his global business, industry and operational
expertise. He spent eighteen years as an executive at Hewlett- Packard Company,
in various capacities including Country Sales, Country Marketing and Product
Management. Aggarwal currently is the Director-Government Affairs at Applied
Materials India and has been working on various industry enabling projects.
Speaking about his current role at IESA, Ashwini
Aggarwal, Chairman, IESA said, “As a member of the IESA board, I have
been inspired by the association’s ability to push the boundaries of industry
networking, create enabling innovations and policies that drive the Indian
Electronics Systems and Design ecosystem forward.” He further added, “I am
honored to serve as Chairman and would like to thank Krishna Moorthy for his
many contributions to IESA and the Indian ESDM industry during a benchmark
“Ashwini brings deep knowledge of the high value electronics
industry, as well as strong industry and governance experience, to lead the
board during one of the most exciting periods of innovation and growth in our
industry’s history”, said M N Vidyashankar, President, IESA.
“Our priorities this year will be to consolidate the increasing
traction on Make in India, nurture the emerging green shoots of the startups
and entrepreneurs and build on ground activation for talent development and
innovation,” shared Ashwini. “We look forward to working with the Central and
State governments, our industry members, entrepreneurs and other relevant
stakeholders in India and abroad- to bring India on the radar of being a
manufacturing hub at a global level,” added Ashwini Aggarwal.
The IESA Executive Council will also see the appointment of
three new members; Vivek Sharma, Managing Director, STMicroelectronics;
Jitendra Chaddah, Director, Operations and Strategic Relations, Intel India and
Rajeev Khushu, Director, Corporate Affairs of Texas Instruments. A team
of 12 senior Industry leaders will collectively work to deliver on-ground
activation for enabling innovation, investment and industry.
IESA has been
instrumental in working with the central and state governments to bring out
favorable policies to enable Indian electronics and semiconductor sector by
driving numerous initiatives to bring awareness in the policy makers and
working closely with them to help the industry overcome impediments for growth.
IESA has also been aggressively working towards new government initiatives like
‘Make in India’, ‘Start-up India’ and ‘Digital India’ and has given valuable
consultations to international companies who have shown interest to set-up
electronics facilities in India. The executive council will continue working
towards achieving the vision laid down collectively by the association member
Axis Bank has touched 1 million micro-borrowers
mark and is not keen on acquiring stake in any microlender.
years after getting into the segment, the bank hs touched 1 million borrowers
mark recently and all of them are women who have availed themselves of credit
through the joint lending group model, Axis Bank’s retail banking head Rajiv
Anand told the agencies.
that the lending book stands atRs.1,100 crore now, he hinted that the
bank will focus on expanding the business organically rather than buying into a
of now, we don’t believe there is any need for us to take on any equity stake
in an MFI,” Anand said.
can be noted that other lenders like Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDFC Bank have
acquired stakes in MFIs, while IndusInd Bank is in talks with Bharat Financial
(formerly SKS) for what can be one of the biggest acquisitions in the space.
many as 90 per cent of Axis Bank’s borrowers have been tapped by the bank’s
dedicated team of 1,600 people, while the rest have come from intermediaries,
average ticket size of its micro loans isRs.18,000 and there is a three-tier
rate structure with interest ranging from 12 to 22 per cent, he said, asserting
that this is a “profitable” business for the bank.
Bank is present in 18 states with its microlending offerings and aims to reach
22 states by 2020.
as the bank faces regulatory action for alleged irregularities during the
note-ban period, Anand said he is “proud” of the work done by his retail
said the average transactions jumped four times that of the usual during the
period, and the bank also had to work with the rules getting changed almost
every day .
that Axis Bank is not the only one to have been found of indulging in
irregularities, Anand admitted that “there have been a few stray incidents and
we have a zero tolerance on such issues. Strictest action has been taken
against all those indulged in irregularities.”
also said that speculation of the bank merging with another one does not have
any bearing on its expansion strategies, underlining that such talk has been
as the advent of digital banking raises concerns on the relevance of the
network-led model, Anand said 90 per cent of customers for the banking system
do not use digital alternatives.
said physical networks are important from a brand trust perspective and that
the nature of the work undertaken at the branches can undergo a change
The move to grant AOP or NOC comes in the wake of the ministry and the
DGCA considering allowing non-scheduled air operators and air charter firms to
convert to scheduled operators to fly on routes not touched by the existing
airlines are likely to fly in theIndiansky in the coming months with the
government giving flying licence to four of six companies which had sought
permits for launching scheduled, private or charter air operations.
Ligare Aviation Limited, Quickjet Cargo Airlines and LEPL Projects Limited have
been granted the Air Operator’s Permit (AOP) or the flying licence, the two pending
cases are those of Tata-SIA Airlines Limited and Air Pegasus Limited, Minister
of State for Civil Aviation G M Siddeshwara has said.
While AirAsiaIndiahas started its operations, Tata-SIA
Airlines, a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has
announced plans to launch flights by September-end or October.
Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),
which is in the process of examining Tata-SIA’s application for grant of AOP to
launch a full-service carrier, recently dismissed objections from the
Federation ofIndianAirlines against it.
The approval for an AOP, when granted, would be subject to the
orders of the Delhi High Court in a case challenging foreign direct investment
Two other airlines, Air Carnival and Zav Airways, have been
granted the initial No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Civil Aviation
Ministry to start scheduled regional services.
While Air Carnival proposes to operate in the Southern region, Zav Airways
would fly in the Northeastern and Eastern regions, officials said.
Earlier, Ministry officials said NOC has also been granted to
AirOne Aviation, Zexus Air Limited, Premier Air and Turbo Megha.
Non-scheduled operator AirOne, headed by a CEO of the erstwhile
Air Sahara, is understood to have plans to launch a scheduled airline.
Getting an NOC is the first step towards launching flight
operations. The airline companies have to then apply toDGCAfor the AOP, complete all necessary
requirements and formalities and satisfy the aviation regulator of their
capability to launch flight operations.
The move to grant AOP or NOC comes in the wake of the ministry
and theDGCAconsidering allowing non-scheduled air
operators and air charter firms to convert to scheduled operators to fly on
routes not touched by the existing scheduled airlines.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju recently said such
moves were aimed at promoting air travel to unconnected destinations. He also
said that regional airline services needed to be supported by state governments
also as these promoted regional connectivity.