Saturday, January 27, 2018

MNC Banks, Insurance Firms to Move into GIFT City; Targets 1 Million Employment by 2025

Gujarat International Finance Tech-City (GIFT), a joint venture of IL&FS and Government of Gujarat, conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come of age as it finds place not only among the top 15 emerging Global Financial Centres but lately also experiencing growth in terms of large numbers of MNC companies coming in and also increase in its employment to 1 million by 2025.
GIFT City is operational and various financial institutions and IT/ITeS companies are operating from the city. Around 11 banks have been allotted space for their IBUs in the current phase in GIFT IFSC. These include: Federal Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank have been operational. Going forward the management expect leading MNCs in the banking and insurance sector to take up space.

Talking to the media, Ajay Pandey, Managing Director and CEO of GIFT Ltd says, “Since operation began in 2017. GIFT has attracted over 160 major Indian banking and insurance companies and now 40 odd large MNCs have also expressed interest in the project. Coming months will see these banks starting their operations in GIFT.”

Even though, Pandey did not reveal the name of the new companies, Industry sources indicate that it not only pure banking and financial institution but also IT/ITeS companies focusing on the BFSI vertical who are likely to move in. In addition, many well-known IT/ITeS companies, both domestic and global, have set up their own units at GIFT City, these include MNC giants like Oracle, SIAC, befree, Pioneer Insurance Brokers, Maxim Integrated and many more.

Special Tax Rebates Offered at GIFT City
Tax rebates is another factor why MNCs are heading to GIFT city. The city is a designated SEZ area within its premises that houses India’s first International Financial Services Center (IFSC). The banks and insurance institutions operating in GIFT receive several tax benefits as announced by the Government of India in the previous budget. These include exemption from dividend distribution tax, securities transaction tax, long-term capital gain tax and commodity transaction tax. In addition, for the companies located in IFSC, Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) is reduced to 9%. This reduction in MAT, which currently is at 18.5%, provides a competitive tax regime to IFSC at GIFT-City. Besides the local Gujarat government of IT/ITeS policy waivers off stamp duty on share broking transactions in GIFT City. “We are the only second city after Jamshedpur to offer these tax reduces, says Pandey and adds that the tax incentives will further boost the development of India’s first IFSC at GIFT City.”

GIFT has also allotted space to institutions like SBI, LIC, BSE Broker’s Forum and Reliance Capital. Bangalore-based developers like Prestige Group, Brigade Group and also Hiranandani, World Trade Centre etc. are developing various facilities in GIFT City.

GIFT to Employ 1 Million Direct and Indirect Employment by 2025
GIFT over the years has not only attracted major companies but also got in a lot of employment in the region. These include large IT companies like TCS employing over 1,000 skilled and semi-skilled IT staff while Oracle employs 150 and so around 7500 people are working within GIFT City and it is expected that over the next few years the employment will reach around 30,000 people.

When GIFT City will be fully operational it will create 10 lakh i.e. 1 million direct and equal numbers of indirect jobs.

“India enjoys significantly lower operational and wage costs as compared to leading business centers like Dubai, Singapore, London and New York. It has a large pool of individuals with professional and technical skills owing to its demographic dividend. Moreover, we produce the finest brains in the finance sector. IFSCs at London, Dubai, New York, and Singapore incidentally have a large number of Indians managing complex transactions and leading financial innovations,” concludes Pandey.

SBI Green Marathon to be Held on Feb.18 in the KTPO Ground, Whitefiled

Highlights of the event:
·  The theme of the event is sustainability
·  Saplings to be given to each runner in each city
·  Bio degradable & recyclable material to be used for this event
·  Runner’s bib would consist of seeds which can be planted post the marathon
·  First 750 registrations to be given T-Shirt made from 100% recycled plastics 

SBI, the country’s largest bank’s commitment towards environmental health and energy conservation takes another leap with the announcement of SBI Green Marathon. The bank is organizing a 2K, 5K, 10K, 21K run on the 18th of February in the KTPO Ground, Whitefiled.

SBI Green Marathon is going to be a 6 city marathon event starting 4th of February in Mumbai followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and concluding in Chandigarh on March 4. The bank has embarked on this sustainability initiative of conducting a marathon run with an underlying concept of a greener Planet. The bank is looking forward to take SBI Green Marathon to all its 16 Local head Offices (LHOs) from the next financial year 2018-19.

SBI is expecting close to 25000 participants combining all 6 cities.  The “Run for green” theme recognizes every participating individual as agents of change for a greener globe. Each runner will be given saplings to promote clean and green city. Even the runner’s bib would consist of seeds which can be planted post the Marathon. Also bio degradable and recyclable material is to be used by the bank in most part of event execution.

Prashant Kumar, DMD (HR) & CDO, SBI said, “As a responsible Corporate Citizen, we at SBI have pursued the business philosophy of integrated sustainability which seeks to leverage the synergy between Social, Environment and economic aspects of Business. With SBI Green Marathon, the bank has reaffirmed and endorsed its continued commitment towards Sustainable Development. We hope with large number of participants, people would appreciate our efforts towards saving environment for a better future of the country”.

Environmental protection has come out to be a concern area which touches every life inhabiting this Planet. Efforts are made worldwide to work for a greener planet. Ensuring Sustainable development will always be a serious challenge. But today environmental sustainability is a need of the hour. Initiatives like these create awareness among people about the importance of safe environment for a healthy living.

SBI is currently observing a fair amount of participation for the Marathon in all the 6 cities.

Data Privacy Day 2018: Top 7 Services on Cloud that Help Ensure Data Privacy

As cloud computing transforms the way organizations use, store, and share data, applications and workloads, on Data Privacy Day 2018, Microsoft reiterates its commitment to ensure that your data remains only yours, without exception. Microsoft’s industry leadership in data privacy protection has been recognized for over a decade, beginning with the establishment of its trustworthy computing principles: security, privacy, compliance and transparency, and continuing into its ongoing endeavour to create secure services that are built-in rather than bolt-on.

Security and personal privacy threats are increasing in volume and sophistication every day; and more and more data and applications are moving to the cloud. This creates unique info-security challenges that need to be constantly addressed through the best security stack that protects data. Microsoft recommends that organizations ensure their cloud providers have the following seven services across all workloads:
1.     Centralized policy management
2.     Continuous security assessment and actionable recommendations
3.     Advanced cloud defences
4.     Prioritized alerts and incident reporting
5.     Unified security and privacy management
6.     Advanced threat protection
7.     Mechanisms for encryption, secrets administration, and access control that can be leveraged for managing sensitive data
These capabilities can combine to provide an unparalleled compliant foundation to help ensure control over the integrity, privacy, and security of your critical data.

Regardless of an organization’s size or the industry, Microsoft’s Azure Security Center threat detection capabilities, alerts, and recommended fixes helps protect your cloud resources from unwanted threats. With Azure Security Center, companies can apply security policies across entire workloads, limit exposure to threats, as well as detect and respond to attacks, thus protecting organisational and individual privacy.
Microsoft software development teams apply a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure, throughout the company’s development and operational practices which revolve around:

·  Privacy by Design - to enable informed decision-making
·  Privacy by Default - to protect by means such as access control lists in combination with identity authentication mechanisms
·  Privacy in Deployment - to establish appropriate privacy and security policies for users
·  Communications - by publishing privacy policies, white papers, and other documentation pertaining to privacy

Maintaining information security and privacy is a continuous process that spans both, on-premises datacenters and your cloud environment. In 2018, cyber-security enabled privacy will be of core importance to Microsoft as they enable digital transformation of Indian business.

Mphasis Net Profit and EPS Grew 8.7% QoQ in Q3 FY 2017-18

Mphasis Limited, an Information Technology (IT) solutions provider has announced its financial results for the third quarter ended December 312017.

Highlights of quarter ended December 31, 2017
·  Net revenue grew to Rs 16,607 million in Q3 FY18 by 3.5% QoQ and 8.1% YoY; 3.7% QoQ and 12.2% YoY in constant currency terms
·  Direct International revenue grew 3.6% QoQ and 5.5% YoY. On constant currency basis, growth was 3.7% QoQ and 9.6% YoY
·  Direct Core revenue grew 3.4% QoQ and 9.5% YoY. On constant currency basis, growth was 3.5% QoQ and 13.8% YoY
·  DXC/HP Revenue grew 3.1% QoQ and 15.8% YoY. In constant currency terms, growth was 3.6% QoQ and 20.5% YoY
·  Robust new deal wins of USD 130 million TCV in Direct International business of which 83% in focus areas of Digital, NextGen and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) services
·  Deal wins in the Direct International business stands at (YTD) USD 435 million as compared to USD 276 million in YTD FY17, higher by 58% YoY
·  Net profit grew 8.7% QoQ and 7.3% YoY. Net Margin improved 60 bps QoQ
·  Digital Risk signs up CitiMortgage as a marquee client for its digital mortgage platform, LoanFx
·  Guru Grewal joins as Head of Europe to drive Mphasis' growth strategy in the region

“With the knowledge that 'every business is a digital business', we are proactively providing a roadmap to enable our enterprise clients to reimagine their digital future. The Mphasis X2C2TM and Front to Back TM (F2B) transformation are solid foundations aimed at delivering high-impact business outcomes of speed, innovation and cost-effectiveness. Our deal wins and strong pipeline this year is a proof of this strategy in action”, said Nitin Rakesh, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Mphasis.

FIABCI Members Puts Forth Pre-Budget Wish List for the FM

The implementation of RERA, bringing in GST against the backdrop of demonetisation and tightening of purse strings in the economy has extensively squeezed margins of the real estate industry in an already slowed down market scenario. While unsold stock piles up on one side, the tax squeeze continues with new areas marked for compliance. To effectively address this, the FIABCI International hosted a panel discussion on Pre-Budget expectations 2018-19, voicing the views of Bengaluru’s developer community along with other stake holders in the real estate sector for the forthcoming financial year.
The panellists included  Farook Mahmood, FIABCI World President and Chairman & Managing Director Silverline Group, Shankar Sastri, President CREDAI Karnataka and Joint Managing Director Sterling Developers, Raj Menda, Corporate Chairman, RMZ Corp along with Rajiv Khaitan, Partner, Khaitan & Co, K T Chandy, Partner Tax & Regulatory Services, Ernst & Young (India), Abhishek Goenka, Partner, PwC and Naresh Narasimhan, Principal Architect Venkataramanan Associates.
Moderated by Abhishek Goenka, the discussions veered around various issues that impacted the functioning of the real estate sector ranging from segments that invited double taxation to requirement of adequate incentives for first time home buyers. The panel deliberated on a range of specific tax elements that impacted the industry’s functioning in the current market scenario, requesting clarity on select legislations and taxes levied, single window clearance for receiving project approvals, availability of cheaper land for affordable housing, abolition of stamp duty on sale of flats, digitising land records besides a host of other issues.
Commenting on the discussions, Farook Mahmood, FIABCI World President and Chairman & Managing Director Silverline Group said, “There is vital need for changes in current levies and laws applied to the real estate sector. Many lead to double taxation besides pushing up cost. The current set of regulations also increase the holding cost of the industry especially in a scenario where developers are finding it difficult to offload stock. We recommend a more realistic approach in the forthcoming budget, making both cost and pricing market friendly, especially in the affordable segment and for first time home buyers.”
Stating that real estate sector serves as a key contributor to the GDP and is also the fourth largest employment generator in the country, Abhishek Goenka, Partner, PwC called for extending industry status to the real estate sector. “This will enable developers to raise funds at lower rates which will in turn reduce cost, push up demand and indirectly trigger labour absorption.”
Pointing that first time home buyers need to be given greater incentives as well as leverage, K T Chandy, Partner Tax & Regulatory Services, Ernst & Young (India), suggested increasing the limit of interest deduction for them. “Developers cannot be penalised for timely completion of projects.  Given various economic exigencies, sales velocity has been low and any deemed tax on completed projects would disincentivise attempts by developer to complete projects on time”
Currently, tax is levied on notional rental income on unsold stock that lies with developers after a year of receiving completion certificate. Given market conditions, it is not easy to offload inventories within one year and the tax puts pressure on builders to dispose flats at a loss. The time frame for levying this tax should be increased to two years.
Drawing attention to the time duration for projects such as industrial parks to become operational, which is anywhere between three to five years or more, Shankar Sastri, President CREDAI Karnataka and Joint Managing Director, Sterling Developers, said, “Surplus cash prevails when funds are not deployed during this duration and this is normally invested in liquid assets to earn returns. The returns are ploughed back into construction, eventually aiding in reducing cost of capital employed. Income earned from such investments should be exempt from tax.”
Calling for digitising land records, Naresh Narasimhan, Principal Architect Venkataramanan Associates stated, “Real estate sector is known for its high risk given the time taken for receiving the required approvals. It is time government promoted single window clearance and a smoother approval process within specific timelines. This will go a long way in reducing the high cost of capital as well as project delays, directly impacting project returns.”
Said Raj Menda, Corporate Chairman, RMZ Corp “Land acquisition is one of the single highest cost contributors in real estate; In affordable housing where margins are thin, government should make available land at a cheaper cost to promote affordable housing.”
Added Rajiv Khaitan, Partner, Khaitan & Co “The existing rate of GST is already high and has pushed up cost of buying. In a tight market scenario, government would do well to abolish stamp duty on sale of flats. This will reduce the cost and burden for buyers.”
The panel discussion ended on a positive note, the participants hoping that the key issues put forth would be addressed in the forthcoming budget, easing the tight marketing conditions currently faced by the developers.

Vijaya Bank Q3 Net Profit Declines 65.45% to Rs 79.56 Crore

State-owned Vijaya Bank reported a 65.45% decline in net profit at Rs79.56 crore for the third quarter ended on 31 December 2017, due to rise in provisions. The bank had posted a net profit of Rs 230.28 crore in the same quarter a year ago.
The bank’s total income also declined 7.09% to Rs 3,450.81 crore in the quarter from Rs 3,714.37 crore a year ago, Vijaya Bank said at a press conference in Bengaluru.
During the quarter, Vijaya Bank’s provision (other than tax) and contingencies grew by 62.35% to Rs 676.92 crore as against Rs 416.95 crore in the year-ago period.
The bank’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) improved marginally to 6.17% as against 6.98% in the same quarter last fiscal. Net NPA’s also came down to 3.99% in the quarter under review compared to 4.74% a year ago.

Canara Bank Q3 Net Profit Plunged 61% Due to Bad Loans in 2017

Canara Bank Ltd said on Wednesday its third-quarter net profit plunged 61 percent, missing analysts' estimates, pulled down by higher provisions for bad loans.

Net profit came in at 1.26 billion rupees ($19.78 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with 3.22 billion rupees a year ago, the country's fifth-biggest state-run lender by assets said. 

Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans stood at 10.38 percent at end-December, compared with 10.51 percent in the previous quarter, and 9.97 percent a year ago.

Provisions for bad loans rose about 28 percent to 19 billion rupees. Canara Bank net profit plunged in its third quarter due to higher provisions for Non Performing Assets (NPAs).

“The net profit has declined to 61%, mainly because of ageing provision on the treasury. Hence we had to make Rs74 crore provision on treasury bonds which affected decline in profits,” Canara Bank Limited managing director and CEO Rakesh Sharma said at the press meet in Bengaluru.
“However, it is only a provision. Let us see how the yields move in the next quarter. Accordingly, we will take a view to make adjustments,” he said.
Sharma said the gross NPA ratio stood at 10.38%, down sequentially from 10.51% as on September 2017, while net NPA stood at 6.78%, down sequentially from 7.02% as at September 2017.
The net interest margin improved to 2.64% domestically and 2.39% globally, he added. The cost of deposits came down by a healthy 72 bps to 5.59% from 6.31%, Sharma said.
He also said net interest income growth of 52.4% and 11.29% growth in non-interest income, excluding trading profits significantly shielded them from ã unexpected quarter-end surge in bond yields and resultant market-to-market provisions.
The banks strenuous efforts for recovery has resulted in improved recovery under stressed assets, especially written off assets, thereby improving the bank’s non-interest income, he said.

Over 39,000 Developers Finds Technical Hiring Managers Struggle to Assess Skill

Software developers are in high demand. Programming is one of the fastest growing professions today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-science related jobs available with only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill those roles.

As a result, software developers can be selective about where they work, fueling bidding wars and a shortage of developers with computer science degrees. HackerRank, a platform that helps companies evaluate technical talent based on skill, today released its annual 2018 Developer Skills Report, which surveyed over 39,000 software developers around the world to get a pulse on the state of developer skills: what they’re learning, what they care about, how to best way to assess their skills.

The findings provide a roadmap for companies and hiring managers to improve the way they hire developers,, and reveals the biggest hurdles companies face when growing their developer teams. While 77 percent of hiring managers in India primarily rely on resumes to evaluate developers at the first stage of the recruiting process, nearly all report that actually measuring skill is the hardest part of the technical hiring funnel, above talent shortage and time-consuming interviews. Meanwhile, about half of developers say that resumes are not a good reflection of their abilities. 

“2018 will mark the end of the resume for developers. As more and more companies across all industries are hiring software engineers, it's more important than ever to truly take the time to understand who developers are, what they’re interested in, what drives them, and what they look for in a job. Without this, hiring managers will always struggle to find the best technical people,” said Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder & CEO of HackerRank. “With this report, we’re helping companies become more developer-focused. Very few companies are doing tech hiring well because there's a gap in developer knowledge.” 

The 2018 Developer Skills Report provides insights into the programming languages and frameworks developers are learning, love and dislike; the emerging technologies they’re most interested in building, how they’re learning and what they look for in a job. Key India findings include:

One-third (33%) of Indian Developers are exclusively self-taught, proving that the ability to self-teach – not just a college degree – is the best path to becoming a skilled software developer. While 76 percent of Indian developers have a computer science degree, roughly 37 percent say they are at least partially self-taught. In fact, 6 out of 10 Indian developers learn to code when they are 16 to 20 years old.

Developers are constantly learning, even after graduating. 97% of Indian developers have a college degree or plan on obtaining one. On average, majority of Indian developers know C, Java and C++ with 43% developers saying that Python will be the next language they wish to learn. Python is universally the most popular language and is most loved by Indian developers while Node.js is the most loved framework. There is, however, a generational divide around newer languages and frameworks. While millennials generally like JavaScript and dislike Go, the opposite is true among 45-54 year olds. What’s more, younger developers prefer newer frameworks like AngularJS and React, while older developers prefer Vue.js.

YouTube is more popular than books for learning. The very nature by which they learn is evolving, and can’t be quantified by a resume. Eighty-six percent of developers report that they head to Stack Overflow when they need to learn a new skill or tool. As a second source of knowledge, Indian developers head to YouTube (77 percent).

What developer candidates value in a job defies current wisdom. In the hopes of attracting top talent, companies have usually leaned in on perks and stock options. However, when asked what they care most about in a job, developers rank those among the least important priorities. Rather, in India, professional growth and learning opportunities (65 percent) and good work life balance (58 percent) are their true deal-breakers. Companies looking to build a developer-first brand should keep these values in mind.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dailyhunt Launches Newzly, a News-in-Brief App, in Nine Indian Languages

Dailyhunt, India’s #1, News and local language content application, today announced the launch of Newzly, a news-in-brief app for Android users. The app offers a summary of trending news articles across multiple genres such as regional, international, entertainment, business, sports and technology. The content is available in nine languages -  English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati. 

Newzly presents a summary of stories in a simple minimalistic design, in the form of cards that can be swiped horizontally to seamlessly sift through subsequent news. The app allows users to read the full article by simply swiping vertically. With Newzly, consumers can also customize their feed basis topics of interest. Users can bookmark cards and share stories on social media including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  

Commenting on the launch of Newzly, Virendra Gupta, Founder and CEO, Dailyhunt, said, India has a large local language population with diverse needs and the launch of Newzly is part of our expansion of the product portfolio to serve those needs. Newzly app is designed to serve the needs of users who have less time on hand and wants to stay updated with the summary of major breaking & trending news. This app is currently available in 9 languages and we are likely to expand it into more languages in the coming months.”

Newzly is a significant addition to Dailyhunt’s product portfolio, which also launched Dailyhunt Lite, its PWA in November last year and partnered with Vuclip and YuppTV to offer original videos and Live TV on its platform.

AI AI-Driven Growth Shall Boost Revenues by 38%, Employment by 10% by 2022

Businesses risk missing major growth opportunities unless CEOs take immediate steps to pivot their workforces and equip their people to work with intelligent technologies, according to new research by Accenture.

The Accenture Strategy report, Reworking the Revolution: Are you ready to compete as intelligent technology meets human ingenuity to create the future workforce?estimates that if businesses invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top performing companies, they could boost revenues by 38 percent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 percent. Collectively, this would lift profits by US$4.8 trillion globally over the same period. For the average S&P500 company, this equates to US$7.5 billion of revenues and a US$880 million lift to profitability.

Impact of greater AI spending on revenue and employment growth, 2018-2022

Both leaders and workers are optimistic about the potential of AI on business results and on work experiences, according to the study. Seventy-two percent of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed said that intelligent technology will be critical to their organization’s market differentiation and 61 percent think the share of roles requiring collaboration with AI will rise in the next three years.  More than two thirds (69 percent) of the 14,000 workers surveyed said that it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines. 

Yet, a disconnect between workers’ embrace of AI and their employers’ efforts to prepare workers puts potential growth at risk.  While a majority (54 percent) of business leaders say that human-machine collaboration is important to their strategic priorities, only three percent say their organization plans to significantly increase its investment in reskilling their workers in the next three years. 

“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence - the ability to rapidly implementintelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.”

The research suggests that there is a strong foundation on which to boost AI skills investment. Sixty-three percent of senior executives think that their company will create net job gains in the next three years through AI. Meanwhile, the majority of workers (62 percent) believe AI will have a positive impact on their work.

The report shows how pioneers are using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to drive growth through new customer experiences. An online clothing retailer’s AI helps its stylists learn more about customers’ preferences so that they can offer a unique and highly personalized service. And a sports shoe brand set a new bar in customization and speed-to-market by aligning highly skilled tailors and process engineers with intelligent robots to design and manufacture in local markets.

“Business leaders must take immediate steps to pivot their workforce to enter an entirely new world where human ingenuity meets intelligent technology to unlock new forms of growth,” said Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture. “Workers are impatient to collaborate with AI, giving leaders the opportunity to demonstrate true Applied Intelligence within their organization.”
To help leaders shape the future workforce in the age of AI, Accenture makes the following recommendations:

1.    Reimagine Work by reconfiguring work from the bottom up. Assess tasks, not jobs; then allocate tasks to machines and people, balancing the need to automate work and to elevate people’s capabilities. Nearly half (46 percent) of business leaders agree that job descriptions are already obsolete; 29 percent say they have redesigned jobs extensively.

2.    Pivot the Workforce to areas that unlock new forms of value. Go beyond process efficiencies and prepare the workforce to create new customer experiences. Fuel new growth models by reinvesting the savings derived from automation into the future workforce. Foster a new leadership DNA that underpins the mindset, acumen and agility required to seize longer-term, transformational opportunities.

3.       Scale up ‘New Skilling.’ Measure the workforce’s level of skills and willingness to learn to work with AI. Using digital platforms, target programs at these different segments of the workforce and personalize them to improve new skills adoption. Accenture has developed a ‘new skilling’ framework based on a progression of skill level and using a suite of innovative digital learning methods that maximizes training investment at speed and scale.

Accenture combined quantitative and qualitative research techniques in order to analyze the attitudes and readiness of workers and business leaders with regards to collaborating with intelligent technologies. The research program included a survey of 14,078 workers across skill levels and generations and a survey of 1,201 senior executives. These were carried out between September and November 2017 in 11 countries and (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and the USA) and the following industry sectors:  Automotive, Consumer Goods & Services; Health & Life Sciences; Infrastructure & Transportation; Energy; Media & Entertainment; Software & Platforms; Banking (Retail & Investment); Insurance; Retail; Telecommunications; Utilities.

The research also included economic modelling to determine the correlation between AI investment and financial performance, in depth interviews with 30 C-suite executives and ethnographic interviews with 30 individuals who have been working with AI.

NXP India Organises TechStreams Panel Discussion on 5G Tech and Future of Secure Connectivity

NXP India, a world leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, recently organized a Panel Discussion as a part of its TechStreams initiative to encourage knowledge sharing and the spirit of innovation. In its essence, TechStreams is an amalgamation of four technological streams – Security, New Semiconductor Process Technologies, Emerging Domains and High Performance Analog Signals and RF Designs. The TechStream initiative was led by Sarat Vetcha, Director, Digital Networking Software Development, NXP India.
The recent Panel discussion was a part of the Emerging Domains stream and focused on ‘5G Technology: What to expect and the challenges’. Some of India’s most valued dignitaries attended the discussion that aimed at deliberating on 5G Technology and its key challenges. The Panel Discussion, chaired by Kumaran Venkatesh, Senior Director, ARM, witnessed participation from industry experts, such as Alok Bardiya, Sr. Executive, IOT, Tata Communications, Subodh Gajare, Sr. Solutions Architect, Cisco R&D, Krishna Sirohi, President, Technology Innovations and Standardization, i2TB, and Dr. Navin Kumar, Associate Professor, Amrita University.
Further, the panel discussed how 5G technology carries high expectations with its potential benefits and capabilities. Basic expectations include better battery life, high network reliability as well as guaranteed quality. To accentuate the capability of 5G, the discussion bore out 5G’s capacity of providing everything real time, reducing latency, having a larger bandwidth enabling support on heavy days and enabling massive machine-to-machine communication.
Speaking of the initiative, Sanjay Gupta, Vice President & India Country Manager, NXP India said, “India has large technological talent pool and NXP India has perpetually worked towards connecting this pool with similar skills and expertise. TechStreams is one such initiative that has helped broaden NXP India’s horizons of industry knowledge and synergise with fierce thoughts and minds toemerge as a motivator of next generation innovation.”
Adding to the discussion, Gupta said, “This decade will prove to be yet another turning point for engineers as Artificial Intelligence and big data bring in the next wave of innovation. The advent of 5G technologies and ICT networks signify this next wave of a globally connected Digital Society. To create such digital giants of intelligence in India, operators need to address the issues surrounding 5G infrastructure readiness and deployment, regulatory policies and investments. Once these issues are addressed, India is going to witness a massive increase in data consumption, increasing digitalized life and services, growth of smart cities and the need to have a network infrastructure that can utilize all the available spectrum band rather than replace the existing networks.”
Discussing about the expectations from 5G, Subodh Gajare, said, “5G systems will have Network Slicing as a key innovative technique to embrace the programmable era. Network Slicing will carve out a single physical infrastructure into multiple virtual networks that would allow service providers to customize services for customers, drawing from a pool of virtual and physical resources. 5G systems are tailor made for slicing model, enabling operators to offer XaaS (anything – as a Service) and meet the demands of the various used cases. Automation Provisioning and interworking of physical and virtual resources will be the new normal for 5G networks and services for mass adoption.”
Talking about the challenges and solutions of the 5G Technology, Krishna Sirohi, said, “Infrastructure and services are the major challenges in achieving a 5G enabled India in its entirety. National goals of digital India can only be achieved by establishing sustainable 4G and 5G access networks. Millimetre Wave technology (5G) based terrestrial and satellite backhaul solutions are needed to extend the spread of high data rate network to every village and agricultural land and achieve a digitised agricultural and rural life.”

Anurag Garg, Founder & CEO, Received Rs 2 Crore Funding at New Superstar Startup 2018 Contest

Franchise India, Asia's largest integrated franchise and retail solution company in conjunction with upcoming bollywood film ‘Padman’ starring veteran actor Akshay Kumar have come together to empower aspiring Startups in the country. ‘Padman’ along with the company has given prize money worth Rs 2Cr to Anurag Garg, Founder & CEO,

As a runway to Startup 2018 the company organized a 10 city Startup Superhero hunt to meet and hear from leading startup founders about their business ideas and potential to make it a big business case. The auditions for the same kicked off from Kolkata on January 6th and will go up to January 21st encompassing cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad & Chandigarh covering all zones. The grand finale have held at IIT Delhi on January 22, 2018 in front of Investors & Actor Akshay Kumar along with Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister MSME; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder, Info edge; Rahul Sharma, Micromax co-founder as chief guests. They have asked to share a short pitch about their startup on the Main Stage and it have followed by Q&A with a panel of judges.

“I feel happy to be with the Startup 2018 contest by Franchise India. Similar to my upcoming film ‘Padman’ we are providing an opportunity to aspiring startups to showcase their products and ideas. This has an opportunity for them to demonstrate the innovative solutions that they can bring to the table.  ‘Superstar Startup Hunt’ have provide an opportunity for all small entrepreneurs across India to make their dreams come true. This contest has encouraged the innovative ideas that will bring change with unique pathway in India,” said Veteran Actor, Akshay Kumar, from ‘Padman’ fame.

“At Franchise India, it has been our endeavor to enable and support budding entrepreneurs and startups with great ideas and solutions. We foresee that Startup 2018 will be the biggest startup carnival in India that have attended by over 1500 young entrepreneurs, innovators, designers, professionals, investors, media and collegiate community looking to take up entrepreneurship as a career mission.  This contest hunt have revolutionize the Indian business sector by giving the people the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneur qualities especially business women who wish to make their mark in industry,” said Chairman, Franchise India, Gaurav Marya.

He further added, “We are delighted to bring in Akshay Kumar who is an Icon known for movies carrying social messages as part of this contest. We are positive that young entrepreneurs have encouraged with his presence.”

Startup Awards have recognized the brilliant work done by 40 top Startups, Individual Entrepreneurs who have impacted Indian entrepreneurship through exemplary activities and their leadership of their startup companies.

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