Saturday, July 8, 2017

Implemented Without Delay: MP Rakeev Chandrasekhar Urges Defence Minister Arun Jaitley

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote to the Defence Minister regarding the Government’s order dated 29 June 2017 on implementation of orders of Hon’ble Courts/AFT’s in Neither Attributable to Nor Aggravated (NANA) by service cases.

In his letter to the Defence Minister he welcomed the move and the landmark step taken by the Narendra Modi Government that will benefit thousands of soldiers who have suffered disability died because of a disability while in service.

“The Committee of Experts submitted its report in November 2015 with 75 recommendations and despite the then Raksha Mantri giving his go ahead for implementing the recommendations in August 2016, there has been no action taken on its implementation till date.” MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.

Recalling the DESW Memo of 02 January 2014, which stated the department would appeal automatically in six categories of disability , Chandrasekhar said he had taken up the matter strongly with then Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri A K Antony and after his interventions, the Minister had withdrawn the instructions.

Despite the former Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri. Manohar Parrikar decision in January 2015, not to pursue nearly 4,000 disability pension cases pending against the Ministry of Defence in courts, in April 2016 new instructions were issued by the DESW to again automatically file appeals in all cases pertaining to disability pensions and benefits, Chandrasekhar wrote in his letter to the Defence Minister.

“I had urged the then Raksha Mantri to put in place a system of audits to ensure genuine cases of disabled soldiers and their families do not suffer long painful legal battles” Rajeev said.

PM Modi in the past had expressed the need to minimise litigation, stop frivolous appeals and to strengthen the Armed Forces Tribunals which had led to the constitution of the Raksha Mantri’s Committee of Experts for reduction of litigation in the Ministry of Defence and strengthening of mechanisms of redressal of grievances in July 2015.

What is CopyCat Malware? How It Spreads and ways to Protect Themselves in India?

CopyCat is an adware (a malware that injects ads on victims device to generate revenue) that affected over 14 million Android users in the span of 2 months. It raked over $1.5 million via fraudulent app installations and advertising with peak activity during April & May 2016.

How did CopyCat malware spread?
Unlike older adwares, CopyCat spread via 3rd party app stores and standard phishing attacks. With increased security checks in the Google Play, the architects of CopyCat chose not to host it on the official market. 

How does CopyCat work?
CopyCat once installed from a 3rd party app store or a phishing campaign. injected advertisements in the browsers and other applications of a victim's device and when the victim clicked them, it earned money. 

Moreover, after installation, the malware fetched information about the device and used specific exploits to root (A process where an app gains highest available privileges allowing it to alter the core architecture of the device) the victim's device. This allowed CopyCat to further install rootkits to make itself persistent in the victim's phone.

After gaining root access, the malware could then install fraudulent apps, monitor app installations and app launches to display targeted ads and altered the refer-install mechanism to steal the installation revenue.

All this was done via infecting the Android Zygote Daemon(A service in Android devices that is responsible for launching apps on the device). This allowed the attacker complete access to the victim's device.

CopyCat used several exploits, including CVE-2013-6282 (VROOT), CVE-2015-3636 (PingPongRoot), and CVE-2014-3153 (Towelroot) to infect devices running Android 5.0 and lower, which is although very old but widely used.

What was the impact of CopyCat?
CopyCat infected over 14 million devices out of which, 8 million were rooted ie complete high privileged access. Out of these 8 million, 3.8 million devices were infected with adware and 4.4 million were used to steal credit card information.
In this span of 2 months, it earned over $1.5 million via fraud app installations & displaying over 100 million advertisements.

Which parts of the world did CopyCat hit the worst?
CopyCat primarily affected devices in the Southeast Asia, mainly spanning to India, Pakistan & Bangladesh.

Although in the Unites States over 280,000 devices were infected. Interestingly, Chinese users were not infected indicating the attack to be originated from China.

Who is behind CopyCat?
Though it lacks any direct evidence, researchers at CheckPoint suggested the responsible 
party being a Chinese advertising network MobiSummer.

The researcher found following connections between CopyCat & MobiSummer:
1. CopyCat malware and MobiSummer operate on the same server 
2. Several lines of CopyCat's code is signed by MobiSummer 3.
CopyCat and MobiSummer use the same remote services 
4. CopyCat did not target Chinese users despite over half of the victims residing in Asia

What can users do to protect themselves?
According to the spokesperson at Bugsbounty, users should take the following precautions:
1. Install applications only from the Google Play Store and not use any 3rd party app stores
2. Make sure that the option for allowing app from unknown sources is unchecked in the Android settings
3. Avoid installing apps with < 50,000 downloads and enough reviews & ratings.
4. Check the app permissions before installing. The app should only take permissions that are relevant to it. If a flashlight app needs permission for SMS & contacts it is definitely malicious
5. Update to the latest version of Android if possible
6. Specifically disallowing apps specific permissions from the settings if your phones allow it.

Geberit Unveils One Million Concealed Cisterns Installed in India

European leader in the field of sanitary technology and bathroom ceramics, Geberit has announced at a meet that it has successfully installed One Million Concealed Cisterns across residential and commercial properties in India.

Talking on the occasion Abubaker Koya, Managing Director, India shared “Concealed Cisterns were a new concept to India when we entered the market.  From addressing the fear of how hidden cisterns would work, to practising the concept of water and space saving benefits, the team had to articulate and educate both the trade partners and end customers.”

 “We have come a long way since and are today proudly celebrating the one million installation of the same system across industries from IT parks, Malls to Manufacturing plants and of course hi end residential building. We enjoy the patronage of leading Indian corporates and developers across the country,” Koya added.

“Geberit in India (as a fully owned subsidiary) started in 2010 with its headquarters in Bangalore and a production facility for concealed cisterns in Pune.  The company has since followed the Constraint based Product Innovation - best of modern technology, design and India’s mind-set in designing products exclusively for Indian customers.” said Koya.

Geberit products are available across the length and breadth of India with over 1500 dealers and distributors in its network. While Geberit forayed into India with concealed cisterns and piping (behind the wall) products, the company has moved on to ‘in front of the wall’ products viz. Mera Shower Toilets, Urinals, Sensor Taps etc.

“The sanitaryware industry size in India is about Rs 15,000 crores and the space Geberit operates is in about half of it, very specifically at the premium end of the segment. Interestingly the Sanitary Industry in particular, has kept pace with the reality industry (real estate) growth in India at about 10-15% per annum. However, the premium segment within this, where companies like Geberit are major players, has grown at a higher rate >20% per annum.”

“Within the toilets segment, one is seeing a major shift to wall-hung toilets. Due to this change, the new flushing systems (concealed cisterns) market is evolving in a big way and Geberit is a major player in that area today,” said Koya.

Talking about their community outreach initiatives, Koya said “Geberit has helped establish India's first Plumbing Lab in Pune and works with institutions to create customized learning and knowledge sharing programmes.”

SMB’s Get Cloud Transformation Boost with India Oracle Digital Hub

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) will get access to the cloud solutions and resources they need to power digital transformation with the opening of Oracle’s first Digital Hub in Asia Pacific, which will be based in Bangalore.  The new facility, one of five Digital Hubs set to open in Asia Pacific, highlights Oracle’s commitment to better serving the midsize market in the new cloud economy.  India’s new Digital Hub, part of a global network of best practice centres for SMBs, will help small and midsize businesses leverage Oracle Cloud solutions to streamline operations, boost innovation and gain a platform for growth.

The hub will house Oracle’s new digital sales team and focus on helping more midsize organisations transition to the cloud quickly and easily.  With a distinctive Indian feel, and exuding the energy of a start-up, the team will provide timely, personalised and effective support to customers, using the latest collaboration tools, techniques and technologies to transform the buying experience. 

François Lançon, senior vice president, Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific, said: “The cloud is democratising IT; you just need a web browser or a mobile phone app to take advantage of it.  What’s more, it has incredible transformation potential for small businesses, enabling them to do things they have never been able to do before, at an affordable price, such as use technology to streamline business processes, gain access to an easy-to-use platform for innovation, and digitise their customer experience.  We are simplifying the buying process to help these smaller organisations, as well as branch offices and line of business departments, digitally transform their business.”

Customers that want to buy entirely online can utilise the click-to-buy Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience. In addition to the simplified buying experience, Oracle’s Digital Hubs will provide a complete suite of cloud applications, platform, and infrastructure services as both standalone services and as bundles.  The range of choices empowers small businesses to select solutions that directly address their goals or issues. 

Vivek Vinayak Purekar, vice president and global HR head, Simeio Solutions, said, “We’re constantly trying to reduce operational costs by automating our processes so that we can focus more on our core business, and Oracle understands this very well. The Oracle HCM cloud solution has completely transformed our HR engine to match our fast growth and has given us the freedom to do more with less. It has helped us achieve the right blend of process modernisation and increased efficiencies. The analytics that come embedded enabled us to gain the right insights to drive more contextual collaboration and engagement, and make faster and better operational decisions.”

Yathindra Banappa, managing director, Amego, said, “Amego is India’s first logistical assistance company for medical emergencies on the go. We wanted to implement a scalable, flexible cloud platform that can be accessed from anywhere across the country. With Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, we’ve enabled more than 50,000 people, with one click access, to automatically log medical emergency requests and get approvals on the go. Customers can avail our services whether online or offline, even from far-flung hospitals and pharmacies with no internet connectivity. Going forward, we intend to leverage Oracle’s Intelligent Chatbot offering to deliver greater ease of access and a superior, more intuitive experience to customers.”

The complete package
Shailender Kumar, vice president and regional managing director, Oracle India, said: “There are over 51 million SMBs in India, many of whom haven’t worked with Oracle or used cloud before.  They now have access to the most modern solutions in the market, available online, direct via the hub and through our expanded end-to-end ecosystem, working with the vast network in India.  The increased choice in cloud technology will help accelerate SMB’s ability to innovate and grow more quickly, paving the way for the next big SMB revolution in the country.  This solid investment reiterates our strong commitment to India.”

Praveen Bhadada, partner and practice head – Digital, Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd., said, “With nearly 40 percent contribution to India’s GDP, the SMB sector forms the backbone of the Indian economy. Technology enablement of SMBs is expected to further add $1.1 Tn to the GDP and over $250 Bn to exports from India. Technology advancements, particularly around cloud, are playing a key role in helping small businesses to upgrade their operations, launch innovative products and services and expand their reach. Tools that make it easier for these organisations to adopt cloud and are compatible with local business needs will certainly be welcomed.”

The Digital Hub’s work with SMBs complements the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Programme, which aims to fuel cloud-enabled innovation among startups around the globe. Following the success of the pilot program in Bangalore, Oracle recently expanded locations across the globe, including opening two new centres in Delhi–NCR and Mumbai to provide mentorship and technology resources to local startups.

Being Human E-Cycle Partners with to Exclusively Launch on Prime Day

Salman Khan’s Being Human E-Cycle has announced its partnership with to launch online exclusively on Prime Day. The products will be exclusively available to Prime members from 6 pm on Monday, July 10.

To be launched in two different models – BH12 and BH27, Being Human E Cycle is a hybrid between battery and manual human power. These cycles have a pedal assist and rechargeable batteries providing customers with the freedom to cycle or ride like a bike at their discretion. Priced at Rs 40,323 and Rs 57,577 respectively, BH12 and BH27 can reach a speed of max 25km/hr for a unique riding experience.

Commenting on the exclusive launch on Prime Day, Atul Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Being Human E-Cycle said “Being Human E-cycle illustrate a responsible choice for shaping our future, a quality that resonates with dynamic, tech-savvy and new-age Prime members. Prime Day is a special day created for these customers, making it a perfect platform for us to launch Being Human E-cycle. We look forward to a successful Prime Day on”

Akshay Sahi, Director & Head, Amazon Prime, India added, “Prime brings to members the best of Amazon with unlimited free fast delivery, ad-free video streaming, exclusive selection & deals, and much more. Prime Day gives Prime members 30 hours of exciting shopping with great deals & exclusive launches across a wide range of categories, with new deals being added all through the day. We are delighted to partner with the highly popular Being Human brand to exclusively offer their E-cycles to Prime members for India’s first Prime Day.”

BH 12 and BH27 are made from premium-quality, sturdy and lightweight steel frames that have been specifically developed for extra stability and rigidity. Both wheels of the Being Human E-Cycle are equipped with mechanical disc brakes and come with adjustable front suspension to ensure a smooth ride. The cycles are equipped with bright LED lights as the main focus remains on stability and safety along with the use of superior quality products.

To the cyclists and absolute newcomers, the E-Cycle represents an exciting adventure that expands horizons, both individually and as a group. For those who love their bikes, it represents a new form of sporting enjoyment and even for those pursuing a modern and open-minded lifestyle, the Being Human E-cycle represents the perfect means of transportation.

Patissez Sets Shop in India! Desi Foodies All Set To Get Freaky!

EljayInfratech has announced the entry of the mouth-watering brand of sheer pleasurable indulgence - Patissez, for the first time in India. After causing a massive worldwide sensation with its trademarked wonder - The Freak Shakes, Australia’s trendiest Bistro, Patissez, has formally joined hands with EljayInfratech, the Master Franchise, to expand its freaky universe in the Indian subcontinent. Patissez is eyeing to satisfy foodies in Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and other major cities of the country, in the months to come.

Patissez has now set its sights on the dynamic, multi-cuisine capital of the world- India. Indian Connoisseurs can expect Freak Shakes like the Pretzella, Muddy Pat, Bano Freak, Fruity Freak and so on, as well as savoury items like Freak Burgers, and Freakfast.

“The transformation of the new age retail landscape in India with the F&B industry sharing a third of the expected growth rate of US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020, has opened up a plethora of opportunities in the F&B space. With hanging out in Café joints &Restobars becoming the latest trend amongst the younger masses, there has been a sudden surge in the F&B industry not only in metros, but in first & second tier cities across the country. This healthy trend has positioned the F&B industry as one of the most sought-after investment spaces today, and has inspired Eljay to take the Patissez plunge”, says EljayInfratech’s partner and second generation entrepreneur, Shreyas Asthana.

Asthana also added “Eljay has been into food retailing for a decent number of years now. With the support of some internationally-acclaimed experienced hands in the F&B industry, we have taken a giant stride by bringing Patissez to India. Patissez has been the pioneer of the Freak Shakes. We are thrilled to be associated with the brand and are keen on covering the length and the breadth of the country very soon”.

“By the last quarter of 2018, Eljay aims to open Patissez outlets across major cities in the country”.EljayInfratech, being the Master Franchise is open to sub-franchisees who can be our trust points to establish Patissez’s legacy in the subcontinent” says A.Amit, EljayInfratech’s

VMworld 2017 Heads to Las Vegas and Barcelona to Explore the Endless Possibilities of Digital Transformation

VMware, Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, announced that the 14th annual VMworld 2017 U.S. will be held Aug. 27-31 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. A couple weeks later, the 10th annual VMworld 2017 Europe will return to Fira Barcelona Gran Via Sept. 11-14 in Barcelona.

Designed for the visionaries driving digital transformation in the workplace, VMworld 2017 will empower attendees to be the change makers of their organization by fostering unlimited possibilities to learn, connect and innovate in the world of IT and business. The four-day event will feature general session keynotes by industry thought leaders, hundreds of user-centric panels  and sessions, certification trainings and labs on industry hot topics such as Unified Endpoint Management, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Cloud Management and Services, Network Virtualization, and the Internet of Things.

At VMworld 2017, attendees will be able to:
·         Hear keynotes from industry thought leaders and VMware executives on what matters most in IT today, and what's coming next
·         Meet face-to-face with subject matter experts who bring new perspectives to pain points and opportunities
·         Network with VMware's partner ecosystem, industry leaders, and other IT movers and shakers -- a "who's who" in digital business
·         Discover new and emerging product breakthroughs, best practices, and case studies
·         Gain direct, take-to-the-bank experience in expert-guided Hands-on Labs and VMware Certification opportunities

Bosch’s Brings Speed Range of Washing Machines Now in India

Bosch Household Appliances, Europe’s largest home appliances brand renowned for their superior quality and German engineering launched a national media Campaign for their new range of washing machines. Bosch’s Speed Range washing machines have first-of-its-kind technology for a faster wash less than 60 minutes, available from 6 to 9 kg laundry products.

From extensive surveys and research conducted by Bosch team, one key insight developed was that most Indian consumers wished to reduce time doing laundry and instead focus on spending their time pursuing hobbies and recreational activities. Designed with varioDrum Technology, with unique wave droplet design, the new Speed Range from Bosch has special wash programs and wash options. It is specially customised keeping in mind the Indian customers’ unique needs.

Speaking on this occasion, Gunjan Srivastava, MD & CEO, BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd said, ‘We believe in addressing the customer feedback with innovation in technology. Our latest SpeedPlus and SpeedProfessional range of washing machines eliminates up to 65% of the washing time one invested without compromising on wash quality.

He added, “We have also ensured that the consumers get the best after sales service. The entire installation of the appliance would be done by trained professionals from Bosch.. We also offer competitive costs for extended warranty and spare parts. In case any part of the appliance is damaged accidently or malfunctions at a later stage of usage, it can be replaced as the spare parts are available for 10 years.”

Bosch is at present Europe’s leading household appliance brand that defines superior German technology which facilitates convenience. Bosch Home Appliances is committed to creating some of the world’s best household appliances that offer world class energy efficient and water saving features.

The above range of washing machines are validated by the ‘WFK Cleaning and Technology Research Institute’. 

Cloudera Empowers Yes Bank’s Digital Strategy to Deliver Enhanced Business Insights

Cloudera, Inc.,  the leading provider of the modern platform for machine learning and advanced analytics, announced that YES BANK, one of India’s largest private sector banks, has adopted Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub to develop customized campaigns for consumers throughout their customer journeys. Cloudera Enterprise empowers YES BANK to transform their growing volumes of transactional and customer data from their digital services into clear and actionable insights by using real-time analytics and machine learning.

Banking, Financial Service and Insurance (BFSIs) across the region are struggling to keep pace with the vast amount of customer data that they collect in today’s consumer-centric mobile economy.With Cloudera Enterprise, BFSIs like YES BANK can now mine large volumes of data from financial transactions and create machine learning algorithms to support information-driven business decisions and revenue growth.

Commenting on the development, Anup Purohit, Chief Information Officer at YES BANK, said, 
“Cloudera Enterprise is now the bedrock of our company’s digital strategy. With its successful track record of working with several other leading BFSIs across the globe, YES BANK decided to deploy a modern platform to provide a differentiated digital experience for our customers through intelligent, real time analytics.”

Today, YESBANK issuing big data and analytics to cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for the business, while providing a customized experience for consumers across the bank’s digital channels and identifying and rectifying any inconveniences during the customer journey.

With the growing risk of cyberattacks, BFSIs also recognize the importance of a safe and secure data management platform that is compliant with the latest industry regulations. Cloudera Enterprise enables YES BANK to reduce the cost of compliance in today’s digital age and transform existing processes through machine learning and predictive modelling, eliminating risk and detecting fraud faster and smarter by utilizing massive amounts of data to effectively train their systems.

“BFSIs today are competing to create enhanced products in a world where consumers are demanding the most convenient and customized journeys. As such, business leaders are pressured to keep up with the latest technology solutions to deliver unparalleled experiences for their customers,” said Mark Micallef, vice president, Asia Pacific and Japan at Cloudera. “Cloudera empowers BFSIs like YES BANK with a scalable and secure data analytics and machine learning platform to use data in ways not possible before and enables organizations to derive business insights for revenue growth, all while maintaining a high standard of security and ensuring compliance to industry regulations.”

India Fourth Largest App Economy; B’lore Among World’s Top Digital Hubs, Says IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge at GMASA 2017

“Bengaluru is one of the world’s biggest digital hubs and the state of Karnataka is the destination for innovation and technology. An event like the Global Mobile Apps Summit and Awards (GMASA) being held in the city reaffirms this truth,” said Priyank Kharge, Karnataka Minister for IT-BT and Tourism.

In his inaugural address at opening of the two-day Global Mobile Apps Summit and Awards 2017 (GMASA2017), the fifth edition of the global event, at Hotel Sheraton Grand in the city on Thursday, he said the state government is taking concrete steps to strengthen the ecosystem for nurturing technology startups including mobile app companies.

He said the government has the startup policy to stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship. The government has set up Rs 400-crore fund to accelerate 100 startups from each sector. “The only objective is to help startups succeed. We provide all support including idea validation, legal help, access to funds and mentorship. Karnataka is the only state to set up an exclusive fund to support companies that are into animation and gaming,” Kharge said.

“Over the next three years, the global app economy with be worth US$3.1 trillion and India is the fourth largest app economy. The country has overtaken the US in terms of the highest downloads of mobile apps from the Play Store. The Government of Karnataka is at the forefront of this revolution by adopting mobile technology to deliver services to the people.” the minister said, underling his government’s mobile-first policy.

Giving an example, he said the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) is building a comprehensive travel app to showcase all tourist destinations in the state. People can book guided tours simply by using the KSTDC app, and the service would be delivered at their doorstep.

Welcoming Priyank Kharge on to the stage, C R Venkatesh, Chairman, GMASA, thanked all the sponsors and partners for extending great support for the success of the grand event. He said this edition of GMASA is receiving 1,600 participants including mobile app developers, marketers, managers and executive from some of the best companies around the world. The event is being supported by 19 corporate partners and 12 sponsors.

With the keynote address, the two-day GMASA began on a grand note. The event comprises a number of panel discussions and keynote addresses from industry experts and professionals, besides an exhibition by app developers and companies. It will conclude on Friday evening with a musical event featuring artists Adrea Jeremiah and Vedanth Bharadwaj.

 The previous edition of GMASA 2017 was successfully held in January this year in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Online Automobile Market Player GirnarSoft Successfully Completes 10 Years In India

GirnarSoft, leaders in the online automobile market in India and parent company of leading portals CarDekho, Gaadi, and Zigwheels has successfully completed 10 years of operations. The company has grown to reach consolidated revenue of US$17.5 million in FY2017.

Beginning its journey in 2007, GirnarSoft is the brainchild of two IIT grads Amit and Anurag Jain, brothers who realized the need for an evolved user experience in the auto search space thus giving birth to India’s leading auto focused portal, CarDekho. Since then, has been credited with revolutionizing the auto search space by providing end-to-end solutions. The company has not only created a niche positioning for itself as an industry expert but has also established itself as a complete ecosystem for consumers, car manufacturers, dealers and related businesses across the country.

Over the years, GirnarSoft, under Amit and Anurag’s guidance and with the support of a well experienced team has built itself as a brand synonymous with superior quality in automobile search and lead generation business in the country. The company successfully ventured into new businesses like BikeDekho, PriceDekho, TrucksDekho, TyreDekho, CollegeDekho, with investments from veterans like Mr. Ratan Tata, Google Capital and Sequoia Capital.  Post the acquisition of and; from Naspers and Times Internet in the year 2014 and 2015 respectively, the company also acquired 6 more start-ups in 2016, making it the number one player in the segment.

Commenting on the milestone, Amit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Girnar Soft Pvt. Ltd. said, “Ever since its inception, we have strived to establish CarDekho as a one-stop-destination for everyone interested in purchasing a car. It is our pleasure to announce that within a decade of its operations, CarDekho has managed to not just become a trusted name amongst consumers but also an acknowledged industry expert. We are focused on providing superior customer experience and availing them comprehensive solutions for their needs. The growth of our brand is a testimony of our quality and hard work, and we are confident that in the years to come CarDekho will be able scale much greater heights.”

Today, CarDekho is one of the most sought after sites for latest news and views in the world of automobiles, receiving 40 million unique monthly visitors and 225 million monthly page-views. is a flagship portal of Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd. founded in March 2008. is today India’s most popular and leading auto portal catering to the aspiring buyers, the proud owners, the auto enthusiasts and die-hard fans and dealers of cars across the country. The company acquired,, Buying IQ and Drishya360s. The auto portals together draw close to 40 million visits per month. The company concluded its Series B funding in Jan 2015, picking up US$50 million from two Hong Kong-based investors Hillhouse and Tybourne besides existing investor Sequoia. Google Capital invested in the company in March 2016. It also bagged funding from Mr. Ratan Tata and one of the largest banks HDFC. GirnarSoft is now valued at US$400 million. The group’s vision is to be a multi-billion dollar company by 2021 with global footprint.

Pitney Bowes Is In Top 10 on Best Companies to Work For List in India

Pitney Bowes, a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, has once again been honored as one of India’s Best Companies to Work For 2017 by The Economic Times. This is the seventh time in the past ten years Pitney Bowes has been recognized by the Best Companies to Work For Survey, India’s largest and most comprehensive survey of workplace culture. In India, the global technology company has offices in Noida, Pune, Gurgaon and Bangalore.

“Our culture of innovation is based on our values which are simply that we do the right thing, the right way,” said Johnna Torsone, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Pitney Bowes. “We are honored to be named by the Economic Times to this prestigious list. We know that our ability to attract and retain talent in India’s competitive technology environment is a credit to our winning culture.”

Manish Choudhary, Senior Vice President, Global Innovation and Managing Director of India Operations, Pitney Bowes Inc. said, “This honor by the Great Place to Work List for a seventh year marks yet another milestone of our digital transformation. Our people are our greatest asset and it is rewarding to see our culture recognized once again in this prestigious survey. ” 

RERA, Demonetisation Gloom and Unsold Stock Cripple Launches in Bengaluru: Knight Frank India

Knight Frank India has launched the seventh edition of its flagship half yearly report - India Real Estate. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the residential and office market performance of Bengaluru for the period January – June 2017 (H1 2017).

Residential Takeaways:

·         Bengaluru residential market continued to be restrained in H1 2017 and witnessed a marginal increase of 5% in new launches and 4% in sales over the figures in H2 2016
·         Despite the slight improvement, the  number of new launches  in H1 2017 lagged behind H1 2016 by 42%and sales lagged by 19% during the same period
·         Factors such as RERA, demonetisation hangover and considerable unsold stock played a major role in constricting the market
·         A significant chunk of new launches in H1 2017 lies in the INR 25-50 lakh range, a welcome development given the government’s focus on the affordable housing sector
·         South Bengaluru continues to lead in both new launches and sales, courtesy its healthy congregation of large IT hubs, and is preferred by both the local populace and expatriate population.

Office Takeaways:
·         Bengaluru records 5.8 mnsqft of office space transactions in H1 2017, depicting moderate activity,as compared to previous years. New completions at 3.7 mnsqfttake a hit.
·         Tepid growth in the IT/ITes sector, stiff competition from other cities and a dearth of ready office spaces are some of the major factors leading to the dip in transactions
·         While IT/ITeSsector continued to drive Bengaluru office market in H1 2017, a prominent development observed during this period is the quantum of office space taken up by co-working space operators
·         Vacancy rates, which had been declining steadily over the years owing to consistent transactions and restrained new completions, continued on its downward movement and are presently at 4%
·         The ORR office market, which has been struggling in the past few quarters on account of dearth of ready to occupy space, saw its share increase in H1 2017 owing to a slew of big ticket transactions

Speaking about the findings,Shantanu Mazumder, Director – Bengaluru said,“Until recently recognized as one of the most resilient residential markets in the country, today the market is reeling under pressure. However, things have started looking up slightly in 2017 and although the figures are still restrained, marginal improvements were observed in the number of new launches and sales at 5% and 4% respectively in H1 2017 on a YoY basis. A significant chunk of new launches in H1 2017 lies in the INR 25-50 lakh range, a welcome development given the government’s focus on the affordable housing sector. Moreover, the inclusion of Bengaluru in the Smart City list is expected to have a far reaching impact on the residential market in the forthcoming years, as that would lead to improved infrastructure in the city. This would, in turn, add to the overall attractiveness and brand image of Bengaluru as a residential market.

On the office market front, 5.8 mnsqft of transactions depict a slight dip, signalling moderate activity compared to previous years. This decline could mainly be attributed to dearth of ready office spaces that forestalled potential occupiers looking to expand. Another factor is the tepid growth the IT/ITeS sector - the key demand driver of the office market in Bengaluru. Having matured over the years the sector stands on a bigger base today thereby limiting the scope for remarkable expansion that was witnessed earlier. On the new completions front, the city witnessed the infusion of 3.7 mnsqft of office space in H1 2017, whichis slightly better than the quantum of new completions in H2 2016. However, this figure is considerably less in proportion to the demand observed in the recent periods. While the IT/ITeS share is gradually reducing due to the advent of newer service sectors, take up of space by co-working companies is a trend to watch out for.”

Cyient and KII Corp Partner for Smart City Deployments Across India

Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, network and operations management solutions, announced that it has signed a non-exclusive business alliance agreement with Kii Corporation, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) solutions enablement platform provider, to explore, bid and address business opportunities around smart city deployments.

Through this agreement, Cyient and Kii have decided to jointly pursue business opportunities globally, by leveraging their complementing skills and strengths. The partnership will combine Cyient’s domain expertise and geospatial capabilities with Kii’sIoT platform to develop connected solutions through smart devices and applications. Under the terms of the agreement, Cyient will also provide Kii with project delivery and implementation services.

Expressing confidence in the partnership, Sanjay Sahay, Vice President, Cyient said,“I am delighted that we have partnered with Kii Corporation.  Kii’s IoT platform will enable Cyient to create innovative solutions and better address smart city requirements for our clients. I look forward to a long and mutually rewarding association with Kii.”

Paul Barron, Associate Vice President - Partners & Alliances of Cyient said,“Together, Kii and Cyient will provide a unique offering to optimize smart city asset management systems. I am excited at the opportunities this brings to our customers.”

On signing the agreement, Masanari Arai, CEO, Kii Corporation, said, “The combination of our IoT solutions enablement platform and solution accelerators with Cyient's mature engineering design and delivery process presents new opportunities for both companies globally, within smart cities and other IoT segments, such as manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and beyond.”

Cyient provides engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, network and operations management services to global industry leaders. Cyient leverages the power of digital technology and advanced analytics capabilities, along with domain knowledge and technical expertise, to solve complex business problems. As a Design, Build and Maintain partner, Cyient takes solution ownership across the value chain to help clients focus on their core, innovate, and stay ahead of the curve.

Relationships form the core of how Cyient works. With nearly 14,000 employees in 21 countries, Cyient partners with clients to operate as part of their extended team, in ways that best suit their organization’s culture and requirements. Cyient’s industry focus includes aerospace and defense, medical, telecommunications, rail transportation, semiconductor, utilities, industrial, energy and natural resources.

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