What’s hot in IT (July 2018) – A perspective from India

August 1, 2018

 

  1. Technology and Policy

 

  • ISRO tests out crew ejection feature on July 5, 2018, in preparation for manned space flights in future
  • Justice Srikrishna Committee submits its report “A free and fair digital economy – protecting privacy, empowering Indians” to Government on July 26, 2018, a landmark development in India’s growth in the digital world
  • WhatsApp introduces Forward button and 5-user limit on immediate forward, to stop mindless fear creation leading to violence in India

 

  1. Education & Research
  • On July 9, 2018, Government of India announce the Institutes of Eminence list with thee in the Government sector – Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay and three in the Private sector – BITS Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Learning and the yet to be established Jio University

 

  1. Products
  • Microsoft announces Surface Go in July 2018 to compete with Apple iPad
  1. Markets
  • India’s stock market indices Sensex and NIFTY touch new peaks of 37,000 and 11,270 on July 26, 2018
  • Indian mid-size IT Services company of the RPG group Zensar acquired IndiGo Slate (US-based customer experience company founded by Sandy Sharma and Aaron Duggal) for $ 18 million on July 2018
  • HDFC AMC IPO in July 2018 oversubscribed 82 times!
  • Microsoft stock sky rockets on July 12, 2018 with stock price going past $ 100 and market capitalization going past $ 800 Billion, for the first time in history
  • Facebook sees a drop of $ 119 Billion in market capitalization on July 26, 2018, the largest ever single day drop for any company in the history of stock markets; even worse than Intel losing $ 90 Billion in market value in one day on Sep 22, 2000!
  • Xiaomi IPO on July 9, 2018 in Hong Kong sees mixed response
  • Broadcom (semiconductor company) acquiring CA (IT infrastructure and security services company) for $ 18.9 Billion on July 10, 2018 surprised everyone, particularly after its failed attempt to acquire Qualcomm for more than $ 100 Billion last year

 

  1. Indian IT Companies
  • HCL clocks a turnover of $ 2.05 Billion in April to June 2018 quarter; with this HCL threatens to take India’s No 3 position in the Indian IT services industry long occupied by Wipro
  • TCS announces quarterly results for April June 2018 quarter on July 10, 2018, with the highest growth in 15 quarters; Infosys announces muted results on July 13, 2018
  • Infosys announces $ 750 Crores investment in NOIDA facility with 5,000 seats in July 2018
  • French IT Services major Atos acquired Syntel (Bharat Desai founded Indian IT Services company founded, with 23,000 people and nearly $ 1 Billion annual turnover) for $ 2 Billion on July 23, 2018
  • PayTM goes to Japan thru Japanese PayPay in July 2018

 

  1. Global IT Companies in India
  • On July 9, 2018, Samsung commissions the world’s largest mobile phone assembly plant with capacity to produce 120 million mobile phones in NOIDA (near Delhi) with Rs 5,000 Crores investment
  • CSG to increase headcount in Bengaluru by 1000 more, as per July 2018 announcement
  • OnePlus announces its planned R&D Center in India in July 2018

 

  1. Telecom
  • Vodafone and Idea merger finally gets the Government approval on July 26, 2018
  • New Telecom Policy announced on July 11, 2018; Net Neutrality is upheld
  • BSNL starts offering Net Telephony (reaching any telephone from BSNL App Wings) on July 11, 2018 (said to be the first in India)
  • Reliance Jio announces the launches of Gigabit fiber service Jio GigaFiber from August 15, 2018 to customers in 1,100 towns in India

 

  1. People
  • South Korea’s President visits India in July and launches Samsung’s mobile manufacturing unit in NOIDA, said to be the largest facility in the world

 

  1. General
  • India becomes the 6th global economy as per IMF, based on 2017 GDP of $ 2.59 Billion (USA with 19.4 B, China with 12.2 B, Japan with 4.87 B, Germany with $ 3.67 B and UK with $ 2.62 B are ahead). France with $ 2.58 B is the 7th; Brazil (8th), Italy (9th) and Canada (10th) are the other Top Ten economies of the world.
  • GST completes one year on July 1, 2018, with more benefits and less problems, so far
  • 18-year old Hima Das of Assam creates history by winning Gold in the women’s 400 M gold at the world’s under-20 athletic championship on July 12, 2018, the first ever win in track events for an Indian
  • Modi government wins “no confidence motion” on July 20, 2018
  • European Union slaps a $ 5 Billion fine on Google on July 12, 2018
  • France wins the FIFA World Cup football game winning over Croatia on July 15, 2018
  • Twelve Thai boys and their football coach miraculously rescued by a global team on July 11, 2018 with amazing use of technology (that includes special pumps from Kirloskar in Pune)

 

 

IT in April – June 2018

July 1, 2018

General

Major general developments in April June 2018 quarter include

  • European data privacy law GDPR kicks in on May 25, 2018
  • Brexit Bill (that allows Britain to leave European Union) becomes a Law on June 26, 2018
  • International Yoga Day on June 21, 2018 celebrated globally for four years adds to India’s soft power
  • India achieves 100% electrification on May 1, 2018 with all villages connected to the grid; getting electricity to 100% households would be the next challenge
  • India’s Defence public sector unit BEL starts operation in Vietnam in June 2018
  • April 2018 saw North and South Korea brooking peace and Indian PM and Chinese Premier talk of cordial relations; US President Trump annuals Iran nuclear deal on May 9, 2018 and meet North Korean President in June on June 12, 2018 and North Korea is reportedly giving up “go nuclear” path
  • Several Government of India websites including Defence Ministry website saw a cyber-attack on April 6, 2018

 

Technology

Major technology developments in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Indian Space organization ISRO launched IRNS 1I on April 12, 2018
  • Flying car Kitty Hawk Flyer from Google with 20 mph speed, 20 min flying time and up to 10 feet high (needing no license) was demonstrated on June 4, 2018
  • India has 5 super computers among the Top 500 list released on June 23, 2018
  • Google I/O (May 8 -10, 2018), Microsoft Build (May 7 – 9, 2018) and Apple WWDC (June 4 – 8, 2018) demonstrated amazing technologies / products in the making; AI is at the center-stage
  • Microsoft announces $ 5 Billion investment in IoT
  • Delhi vehicles run on BS VI fuel from April 1, 2018, two years ahead of plan to move by 2020

Markets

Major market developments in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Microsoft surprises everyone by buying GitHub for $ 7.5 Billion on June 4, 2018
  • Wal-Mart acquires 77% stake in Indian e-commerce start-up FlipKart on May 9, 2018 for $ 16 Billion taking FlipKart value to $ 20 Billion, making it the world’s largest acquisition in e-commerce space
  • Stockholm-based Truecaller acquires Indian payment start-up Chillr in India enabling Truecaller payment integration in India on June 13, 2018
  • Schneider acquires Indian automation major L&T Automation division for $ 2 Billion on May 1, 2018
  • PayTM Bank gets ₹ 3,000 Cr. ($ 445 Million) from Softbank on April 2, 2018
  • Aneel Bhusri founded Workday buys Adaptive Insights for $ 1.55 Billion on June 10, 2018
  • French IT services company Teleperformance buys Intelenet for $ 1 Billion in India in June 2018
  • HCL Tech (India’s No 4 IT Services company) buys German firm H&D on June 27, 2018

 

Products

Major product releases in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Apple announces iOS 12, Watch OS 5 and MAC OS Mojave on June 4, 2018
  • Google upgrades its flagship e-mail Gmail in April 2018, said to be a major upgrade since 2011; launches Neighborly, a hyperlocal app in India on June 25, 2018
  • OnePlus 6 launched in May 2018 in India crosses 1 Million sales within 22 days!
  • Nokia released Nokia 5.1, Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 2.1 in Moscow on May 29, 2018
  • Huawei (Huawei’s most ambitious phone) and Asus ZenFone Max Pro (best value for money phone) were launched in India in April 2018

 

Indian IT Companies

Major developments in Indian IT Companies’ actions in April June 2018 quarter include

  • TCS posts good results for 3Q18; annual revenue for FY 2017-18 crosses $ 19 Billion; market capitalization crosses $ 100 Billion on April 23, 2018 and ₹ 7 Lakh Crores on May 25, 2018; announces buyback of Rs 15,000 Crores worth shares on June 15, 2018
  • Wal-Mart acquires 77% stake in Indian e-commerce start-up FlipKart on May 9, 2018 for $ 16 Billion taking FlipKart value to $ 20 Billion, making it the world’s largest acquisition in e-commerce space; FlipKart moves to its new campus in Bangalore with 8.75 Million square feet space to accommodate 7,600 staff
  • L&T InfoTech joins Billion Dollar club in 2018 after crossing $ 1 Billion turnover on March 31, 2018; opens Johannesburg facility with 250 seats in June 2018
  • Ritesh Agarwal founded Indian room aggregator Oyo starts Chinese operations in May 2018 (earlier in Dubai, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia)
  • HCL acquires c3i for $ 60 Million on April 5, 2018; forms JV to acquire US-based Actian (with the world’s fastest columnar database product Actian Vector) for $ 330 Million in April 12, 2018
  • NASDAQ-listed Indian IT Services biggie Cognizant enters the prestigious Fortune 200 club (at 195th position) on May 21, 2018; acquires Belgian Analytics & Advisory company Hadera on May 3, 2018

 

MNC Companies in India

Major developments in MNC IT Companies’ actions in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Analog Devices expands India operations in April 2018 taking headcount from 450 to 1,000 in its new 1,75,00 sq. ft. facility in Bangalore; its Founder and Chairman, 83-year old EDA veteran Ray Stata visits Bangalore to launch the new facility, the third largest for the parent company
  • Benz India rolls out 1,00,000th luxury car manufactured in India on May 28, 2018 while Suzuki rolls out 20,000,000th car on July 4, 2018!
  • Chinese mobile major Xiaomi has 3 plants – Sri City, Sriperumbudur and NOIDA – in India with a capacity to produce 2 phones every second!
  • Apple starts assembling iPhone 6S in India in Bangalore Wistron facility in April 2018
  • Automation Anywhere (RPA biggie) to double India count and add 700 in Bangalore
  • Amazon expands operations in India; warehouse headcount goes to 67 in April 2018
  • Uber Lite (less than 5 MB) App with local Indian language support introduced in India in June 2018
  • Cisco acquires July Systems in India in June 2018

 

Education & Research

Major developments Education & Research in April June 2018 quarter include

  • NIRF (National Institutional Rankings Framework) 2018 list of top ranking Institutions announced on April 2, 2018; IISc, IITM and IITB are the Top 3 Institutes. IITB (162), IITD (172) and IISc (190) make it to the Top 200 Global Universities in QS World University Ranking 2019 released on June 2, 2018
  • This is the quarter for a range of Admission Test results; the “big daddy” amongst them, JEE Mains examination saw 11,48,000 students taking the exam in May with nearly 1,30,000 qualify to take JEE Advanced Exam held on June 4, 2018 with expanded list of 31,980 short-listed on June 12, 2018 (the list was 18,138 on June 4, 2018) for 10,988 seats across all 23 IIT’s! NEET, the Admission Test for all medical colleges was held for the first time in all Indian States in May 2018 with 13,26,725 students competing for nearly 90,000 MBBS / BDS seats!

 

People

Major developments in People front in April June 2018 quarter include

  • On June 26,2018 12-year old R Praggnanandhaa from Chennai becomes the world’s second youngest Chess Grandmaster
  • Debjani Ghosh takes charge as NASSCOM President from R Chandrashekar on April 2, 2018
  • Biocon Founder & Chair Kiran Mazumdar Shaw invited to join the Governing Body of MIT for a 5-year term starting July 2018
  • Social activist and Sulabh International founder Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, gets Japan’s prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize June 6, 2018
  • Chennai-born Dhivya Suryadevara anointed as CFO of General Motors on June 11, 2018; interestingly, GM has a woman CEO! Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Cola is another Chennai-born CEO of Fortune 500 corporation!
  • Four self-made Indians – Ola Founder Bhavesh Agarwal, actress Deepika Padukone, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Cricket Captain Virat Kohli – make it to Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People list of April 2018

 

Telecom

Major developments Telecom in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Vodafone-IDEA (the merged entity of Birla owned IDEA with Vodafone India) is close to a reality on June 18, 2018 with DoT clearance almost there; it will be the largest telecom service provider in India with 427 million customers
  • Bharti Infratel merging with Indus Towers on April 25, 2018 making it one of the largest tower companies in the world, with 163,000 towers

 

Startup scene

Major developments Start-up space in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Indian hotel room aggregator Oyo has 100,000 rooms in its inventory by June 2018; Taj group has just 17,000, the power of technology!
  • Siemens acquires Los Angeles based IOT / Building Automation Start-up J2 Innovations in May 2018
  • Hero Electronix (Part of Delhi-based auto major Hero group) acquires Gurgaon-based IOT start-up Zematix in May 2018
  • ABB Technology Ventures acquires Bangalore-based IOT-based Dairy Automation startup Stellapps on June 1, 2018
  • PayTM buys Cube26 in June 2018
  • Scandinavian company Truecaller acquires Indian payment Chillr in India in June 2018
  • India’s online travel aggregator ClearTrip acquires Saudi startup FlyIn in June 2018

 

Interesting applications

Key interesting applications in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Dibrugarh in Assam becomes the 400th Railway Station on June 7, 2018 to get free W-Fi as announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai way back in in 2016; executed in partnership with the public sector RailTel the service has 8 million unique users every month, a “lighthouse” project indeed
  • E-Way bill for inter-State movement of goods under GST launched in Karnataka on April 2, 2018, the first State to do so; by June most States have implemented the same, including for intra-state goods movement.
  • HPCL commissions FastLane – automation of fuel pumps with payment systems – using AGS Transact technology at 35 petrol pumps in June 2018 in Mumbai to start with; cost of pumped fuel will directly debit bank accounts and minimize fuel diversion

 

Interesting numbers

Interesting numbers in April June 2018 quarter include

  • Government of India achieves fiscal deficit target of 3.5% for financial year 2017-18
  • Automotive major Maruti Suzuki cumulative production in India of cars crosses 200 million in May 2018!
  • India’s forex reserves touch $ 425 Billion for the first time in April 2018
  • Mobile wallet company PhonePe gets 100 million subscribers by May 2018
  • Reliance Jio’s customer base touches 200 Million in June 2018

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________Professor Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan is the Director of IIIT-Bangalore. He has been writing these columns since 90’s with a focus in IT from an India perspective. These are his personal views. He can be reached at ss@iiitb.ac.in.

These monthly / quarterly / yearly columns had appeared in Times of India, Financial Express for many years. IEEE India Newsletter also carries these articles regularly in the past few years.

Mac OS X El Capitan installed today – What a breeze

October 1, 2015

I installed Mac OS X El Capitan today (released globally on September 30, 2015) October 1, 2015 (IST 8 PM)

It was such a breeze

The Spotlight feature and the San Francisco font are the ones tat strike me (First impressions)

More as I get to play around

Future of IT in India

September 28, 2015

Future of IT

 

The question “What is the future of IT?” has assumed significance today; this is particularly pertinent in India; as IT industry has arguably created the largest number of jobs in the organized sector in the past fifteen years. With the slowing down of job creation in this sector, there is even more curiosity. Let me first assure the readers that the future of IT continues to remain bright and job creation will continue in this sector for at least another decade. This is due to the following four key factors

  1. IT will continue to transform industry after industry
  2. Apps will be the main delivery vehicle for IT application delivery
  3. IT will organize the unorganized sectors, particularly in India
  4. Indians are starting to solve India’s problems

Let me elaborate the four factors

  1. IT will continue to transform industry after industry

We have already witnessed the way multi-function printers transformed the office automation industry; digital cameras changed the face of photography; e-mail, Web and mobile phones changed airline ticketing; and, the World Wide Web transforming the way banking and publishing industry function today. At the core of all these transformation is “digitization”. While the foregoing examples illustrate the transformation of an industry, the next stage is the transformation of entire business processes across several industries and the resultant benefits to consumers. Naturally, IT application development will continue to be in demand leading to top-line growth of IT companies and the resultant job creation opportunities.

Example: With more than 100,000 employees undertaking 2.5+ Lakhs travels in a year leading to 75 Lakhs bills, the in-house travel department in Wipro was an “efficient” organization of 700 professionals. With an in-house App that captures all the bills across transportation (airline, train, taxi), hospitality (hotels, restaurants) and services (Visa, toll) industries, the resultant “digitization” could lead to a super-efficient travel department with just twenty employees!

  1. Apps will be the main delivery vehicle for IT application delivery

Application delivery, maintenance and upgrades have remained the mainstay of the outsourced IT services industry that benefits countries like India. Such services are built around Web-based client (typically running on Desktop / Laptop PC). With the widespread availability of smartphones and mobile networks and the location-based services that utilize GPS and GIS, Apps can identify the user and the location leading to a far-better application delivery than what a simple Web-based application can provide. Coupled with superior interfaces including touch, local scripts and voice that are possible with today’s powerful smartphones that are always connected and mostly “personal” devices, services can be targeted to specific consumers leading to a superior user interaction. Also, Apps-based delivery can be regularly improved with “over the air” update that makes such improvements hassle-free to the end customer. Since Apps development is accessible to people with varied skills (not needing an CS Undergraduate degree or MCA), there is a potential for much-larger job creation; much of the new jobs creation might happen in the next generation nimble start-ups and not limited to the biggie IT services companies.

Example: FlipKart is generating 75% of its traffic from Mobile App; MakeMyTrip and GoIndigo find 50% of their travel booking happens over their App. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank find that much of their online banking transactions happen over Mobile Apps. Myntra shifts completely to Mobile App in May 2015; FlipKart is planning a similar move.

  1. IT will organize the unorganized sectors, particularly in India

The first generation of e-commerce companies like Amazon focussed on the “first mile” – consumers finding goods and services providers and ordering them on 24×7 basis with the convenience of their homes. Over the years, the backend supply chains improved dramatically. Users could get convenience of ordering, enormous of choice of goods and services, better prices and even near immediate supply, thanks to improvements across the supply chain. Along the way, companies like Amazon in USA and FlipKart in India could get the benefit of such dramatic improvements to even SME sector; in the process, organizing the unorganized sectors. It is impacting retail, travel, hospitality, healthcare and many other sectors.

Example: Uber started in San Francisco, USA and over the years disrupting the taxi-haling experience across the world. Ola and TaxiForSure in India are extending it to Auto-rickshaws too. In the process, personal transport industry is getting organized from individual divers to small-sized taxi operators (with 1 to 100 taxis) to mammoth-size operation involving tens of thousands of taxis spread across 100+ cities. With mobile payment maturing, AADHAR getting more acceptance and biometric authentication built into entry-level smartphones, companies like Ola with fundamentally change the way next generation will view car ownership.

 

  1. Indians are starting to solve India’s problems

 

The generation of Indians who went to United States and other countries in the West for higher studies in the 60’s and 70’s contributed to the development of Science & Technology that largely solved problems of the West. The generation of IT entrepreneurs of the 80’s and the last two decades created Indian IT Services companies, which largely benefited the corporations and consumers in the West. In the past five years, a whole new generation of companies are using IT to solve India’s problems – urban transport (RedBus for organizing bus transit, Ola and TaxiForSure for organizing taxi / auto-rickshaws), retail (Myntra, FlipKart), Healthcare (Portea, DoctorC, Practo), hospitality (Oyo Rooms, HolidayIQ), payment systems (PayTM), food delivery in train (TravelKhana, ) etc., and even India-specific opportunities (OnlinePanditji, OnlinePrasad, Bharat Matrimony).

To me this is perhaps the best part of IT; the future of IT is to transform India; and in that sense, IT is fulfilling the promise Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapayee talked of in 1999 – IT being “India’s Tomorrow”!

Professor Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan is the Director of IIIT-Bangalore. These are his personal views. He can be reached at ss@iiitb.ac.in

Appeared in September 28, 2015 Special Issue of New Indian Express

Apple event on September 9, 2015 – the most important take away

September 12, 2015

On September 9, 2015 Apple held its special event. Many product announcements were made, the notable being, iPad Pro and newer versions of iPhone 6S (and 6 Plus S), and Apple TV. But to me the most important one is the fact that the very first Demo in the event was made by Microsoft, showing off its MS Office made for iPad Pro; it was followed by Adobe Demo.

Microsoft and Adobe had their finest software products running on Apple hardware for ages. In between things were different; iPhone being a huge success while Microsoft Mobile being a huge failure and Adobe Flash getting bad mouthing by Apple rather publicly.

With Microsoft and Adobe embracing Apple hardware in the open, the users are much better off.

For the past one year the best experience I have is the e-mail reading experience; Gmail from Google on iPhone from Apple using Microsoft Outlook (Accompli).

What users finally want is such brilliant combinations; hopefully we are getting there!

 

Analytics – a personal perspective

January 17, 2015

To me analytics has been around for long

In the 70’s

Airlines were “computerised” way back; I flew in 1976 from Madras to Chicago using a “computerised” ticket!

Out of the Airline computerisation came “planned overbooking” – Airlines found a “pattern” – last minute cancellation peaking on weekends but near zero on Monday morning

Simply the weekend effect and Monday morning catch up; thanks to data stored on tapes they could estimate with near 100% confidence, possible “cancellations” and introduced “planned overbooking”

It helped Airlines and passengers – but not scaleable – at best 20 Airlines in USA and may be 200 in the globe (at least then)

in the 80’s

Any Data mining book would give the example of another “pattern” – men in 20’s & 30’s picking up Diapers AND Beer cans on Friday evenings; by putting them together they could increase sales

Something that can be scaled to thousands of stores

In the 90’s

ATM switches could see a pattern of “unlawful” ATM withdrawals; by people who “stole” ATM PINs from unsuspecting customers

This was scaleable to millions as ATM base was nearly a million

 

Starting 90’s

data mining software could “discover” pattern; for example,

using software “IIMB student store data” could throw out a pattern; 89% of purchases happened in 2 days!

Everyone knew that most students purchased their items (tooth paste or pencils) for the full 3 month term;

the discovery was the extent 89% it is better to ask some stores to put a “window” twice a year rather than running a store all thru the year!

That is “discovery” and the area was called Knowledge Discovery; even today KDDI is the Conference for data mining!

 

What is possible today is to use Analytics to “disrupt” an industry c

For example, an industry called taxi hailing is getting disrupted right before our eyes; our own TaxiForSure is doing in for Autos in Bangalore since yesterday!

Uber started it in SFO 5,6 years back

Thanks to GPS, Smart phones, Google Maps, you can bridge the “information asymmetry

For example 90% of the time a cab / auto driver has a customer within 100 feet, but the driver does not know;

Similarly, 90% of the time there is a taxi / auto within 100 feet but the customer does not know!

 

If this asymmetry can be “managed”, we can reduce the number of taxi / auto on the road by 30%

 

We can do similar exercise for buses, ambulances, fire engines,… as well as doctors and hospitals, patients and nurses, … the list can go on

 

That I think is the real power of Analytics

 

(My Pep talk on the Inauguration of 3rd “Analytics Program” (Continuing Education Program) @ IIIT-Bangalore on January 17, 2015)

Information systems have the potential to “transform” business

March 9, 2014

It is important for B School students focussing on IT (Computing & Information Systems) to think “out of box” and go beyond minor improvements  (Though they are important); here are three cases where IT changed the very face of the industry!

 

1 OTIS Elevators thru its OTIS ONLINE in mid 80’s, could predict elevator failure and alert the mechanic in time before the failure was noticed by the end customer; in the process, creating “elevators that never fail”

2 Southwest Airlines could look at the very core of every business process, and, realize that the Airline ticket post full computerisation was just online copy of the record; and, with wide connectivity to end customers, thanks to Internet. by mid 90’s, one can go “ticket-less” and save money; by offering to share the benefit of cost savings, Southwest enabled majority flyers flying “ticket-less” with online tickets instead of paper tickets. By 2010, ALL Airlines moved this way and 100% electronic ticket became a reality

3 Core Banking in India changed the very notion of banking (going to a Bank Branch); in the process, Indian Banks could grow phenomenally in the period 2000-2014; all banks could offer “any branch” banking, multiple channels (Branch, Phone, Net, ATM and Mobile banking), once again changing the very face of Banking in India

(Inaugural Talk at BizEx (Business Excellence) Conference of Christ University (Mysore Road Campus) on March 8, 2014)

WhatsApp getting acquired by Facebook for a huge sum

February 21, 2014

What does it reflect?

There is a place for Simple Messaging (SMS till Whats App came on the scene)

People hate Ads, rather, love “no ads”

55 people can run a service with 450 million uses, the power of cloud!

5 years, 55 staff company can command $ 19 billion value!

HP Slate VoiceTab – First impressions

February 14, 2014

HP was kind enough to get me a new Phablet (Phone cum Tablet) – HP Slate VoiceTab. Unlike Tablets like iPad Mini, Amazon Kindle, the unit has 3G calling, making it a very useful product.

This was announced recently. It is getting launched in India today, and initially for sale in India only. When I opened the box and turned it on, I was very pleased; the phone welcomes you with Suswagatam (Welcome) in Devanagari!

The phablet is really light, though it does in no way appear flimsy. It is a really a large phone (6″ diagonally) with two SIM cards, something that the Indian users are keen. Also the phone opens very easily, for changing the battery and inserting / removing SIM cards, another important need in India. It takes ordinary and micro SIM card. I could connect to Wi-Fi, sign in with Google account and my GMail, Google Calendar and Google contacts were there, real fast. I am yet to install more Apps, but my first impression is really good.

HP is a global leader in consumer PC. I had used generations of HP Personal devices; Windows 3 Tablet in 1998; and,  Jornada  & iPaq Personal Information Manager (PIM) devices from HP in the last decade. Getting into Phablet initially, I do hope HP will start manufacturing both smart phones and Tablets in the near future. HP engineering is legendary; HP has a great service footprint across the length & breadth of the country (thanks to HP printers). If they succeed in this market, they will be hugely successful, which I hope they will be, soon. As a long time HP fan, I want HP to succeed!

Mangalyaan (India’s maiden Mars Mission) all set

December 1, 2013

Today (December 1, 2013) around 1 AM the final manoeuvre was successfully accomplished by ISRO scientists so that the space station can move off the route of circling Earth and sent on its very long (680 million km) journey to be concluded in the next 300 days

It is a moment of joy all engineers in India. ISRO with shoe-string budget (compared to NASA budget) is able to achieve a lot

It once again shows the power of focus; one hopes the powers that be (Governments) allow Scientific departments with sufficient freedom to pursue excellence. Space and Nuclear power have shown; the rest should follow (Electronics, Steel, Power, Water, Airports / Airlines, Oil & Gas, Rail, Road, Mines, Construction, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Food processing engineers, if given freedom will create wonders right here!)