Friday, May 29, 2009


Intel Corp. disclosed plans to take its Xeon chip line into bigger servers, posing stiffer competition for its own Itanium product line as well as technology offered by competitors.

The company provided details of coming Xeon models that pack more electronic brains onto each piece of silicon and can be used in servers that use more chips. Intel, whose chips dominate low-end servers, hopes to take a much bigger share of larger systems.

Intel’s new chips—expected to be available in servers early next year—are based on a design called Nehalem that it recently delivered for servers that use one or two chips. The new model, dubbed the Nehalem-EX, has up to eight processors, twice the number on existing Nehalem models.

Boyd Davis, general manager Intel’s server-platform of group, said the new Nehalem models also have advantages over the Xeon 7400, an existing model aimed at high-end machines.


The Asian Age

Cannibalisation of laptop computer sales by lower-priced netbooks is currently about 20 percent, "less than speculation", Intel’s European sales chief said.

Christian Morales said netbook sales were about 16 percent of all notebook sales globally, and a little higher in western Europe. In Britain and Italy they may account for as much as a quarter of all notebook sales, he said on Wednesday.

Intel has for now cornered the fast-growing market for inexpensive netbooks, made for simple functions such as surfing the Web, with its Atom processors. Many fear that that fast market growth may be at the expense of higher-priced laptops.

"We have seen some cannibalisation of Celeron by Atom," Morales said in a presentation to analysts in London, referring to Intel's processors for budget notebooks.


Cellular News

Alvarion has won a contract from Spain's Iberbanda to expand the current WiMAX network at 3.5GHz in Catalonia. The expansion results from a tender won by Iberbanda to supply WiMAX services to the Government of Catalonia.

As a result of this deployment, these provinces will double their broadband capacity, specifically in rural areas. Using Alvarion’s innovative technology, Iberbanda will double the offered throughput to its end users.

“This contract is another key milestone in our long standing partnership with Alvarion. Our team conducted several successful tests together with the Government of Catalonia for this specific implementation before awarding the expansion to Alvarion,” said Mr. Ricardo Gomez Villagran, CEO of Iberbanda. “This project reflects Iberbanda’s continuous commitment to bring its customers the latest advanced broadband services and applications. Alvarion’s unparalleled experience in WiMAX network deployments with end-to-end solution and support capabilities makes them the ideal partner for this deployment.”

Iberbanda covers near 30 percent of Spain with very singular projects: Andalucia, Castilla y Leon, Navarra, Cataluña with more than 800 WIMAX base stations that almost fully covers those territories.


New York/Los Angeles
The Times of India

Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture Ltd plans to change its place of incorporation to Ireland from Bermuda, following an exodus of large multinational companies to Europe as the US government plans to tighten tax rules.

Accenture said on Tuesday it does not expect any material change in its financial results or tax treatment, but said Ireland will provide economic benefits. Its board unanimously approved the move.

"A member of the European Union, Ireland offers a sophisticated, well-developed corporate, legal and regulatory environment," Accenture Chief Executive William Green said in a statement.

A company spokesman said Accenture is also moving because of continued criticism of companies incorporated in Bermuda.

Several large companies incorporated in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are eyeing a shift to Europe in search of more favorable tax treatment and other benefits. This comes ahead of US legislation aimed at tightening rules that allow firms to defer tax payments on overseas profits if earnings are plowed back into foreign subsidiaries.

Ireland is expected to benefit along with Switzerland as companies seek more hospital conditions in Europe.

Companies such as Tyco International Ltd and Tyco Electronics Ltd, Weatherford International Ltd and Foster Wheeler Ltd have also announced plans to move to incorporate in Europe.


Chitra Unnithan, Mumbai/Ahmedabad
Business Standard

The Information Technology (IT) sector in Gujarat has been witnessing a lot of green initiatives in the recent past. Green IT has become a major buzzword today with Gujarat-based companies working towards sustainable designs and processes in order to promote energy efficient services and products.

Green IT is no different from green initiatives elsewhere. For the IT sector, green is about using scarce resources wisely; in this case the hardware, software, and electricity needed to power IT. Many Gujarat based IT companies and others have taken such and more initiatives to go green.

Take for instance, eInfochips, IP leveraged design service company, which has taken various initiatives to create a green environment. "eInfochips has taken several small and big initiatives towards going Green. In today’s time, such initiatives are necessary for a corporate for cleaner environment. Our company has Green data centers with terminal servers which reduce heat emissions. We promote often usage of video conferencing across offices in India," said Nirav Shah, director of marketing, eInfochips.

Amid meltdown, it becomes imperative for businesses to manage energy supply for the future. Also, the world over, there is a growing concern over the need to remain eco-friendly and cost-effective. For IT companies, the concept of goin green provides the biggest advantage of shooting costs of business.

Gandhinagar-based Infocity, an IT park that headquarters many high technology companies, has taken up the initiative of recycling green waste. According to Snehal Desai, director, Infocity, "A research says, India might generate 3.5 to 4 lakhs tones of e-waste by 2010. At Infocity we are initiating video-conferencing, web-conferencing and heat detection sensors to save unnecessary use of energy and power.

The research also revealed the fact that an IT company with 25000 sq ft data centre should save 40-45 % on consumption of energy in order to prevent e-waste. As e-waste from IT companies will be a big threat to the environment in coming years we intend to recycle e-waste.

This will give the surroundings an eco-friendly infrastructure and green IT environment. As great things happen out of simple deeds, we keep sharing information and folders through intranet amongst management and employees. This prevents unnecessary usage of paper. Though it is common practice, we follow it on a much serious note."

Similarly, Ahmedabad-based (n) Code Solutions, a company that establishes data centres, has also adopted the green concept including power saving, power management, sustainable design, and use of recyclable materials for setting up data centres.

With some exceptions, green IT can be described as a cost-saving initiative with the advantage of attracting global clients. Companies believe that cost-saving initiatives and green IT can, in fact, go hand in hand and make sense from an economic point of view.


Sangeetha Chengappa, Bengaluru
The Asian Age

The onset of globalisation has resulted in multinational IT corporations embracing a culture of ‘inclusion’ where diversity is clearly valued. A workplace where employees understand and accept multiple cultures and perspectives.

While all this sounds good on paper, most corporations have made a beginning with ‘gender inclusion’. They are inducting more women into a male dominated workplace. Diversity is a much broader issue and includes issues of ethnicity, religion, disability, socio-economic class, to name a few.

"We started our diversity and inclusion programme with gender, which is the easiest to begin with. Only after we went through various phases of learning, knowledge, denial and then willingness to address multiple issues, did we embrace the concept of having to change the entire culture at work," said Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer of Cisco. He was speaking at the firm’s "Connected Women Leadership Forum" that celebrated "women as innovators".

It is a well known fact that women can multi-task but still have to work twice as hard as men at the workplace to prove themselves, pointed out Vani Kola, MD of IndoUS Capital Advisors.

Vani has had a hard time dealing with traditional over-protective mindsets of parents who even negotiate for Venture Capital funding on behalf of their smart daughters. That’s not all, even at team meetings women who are culturally conditioned to let the men do all talking, hesitate to speak. Revealing a case of cultural conditioning, Rama N S, Development Centre Head, Infosys, said: "We have to ask women for their opinion at most meetings. Otherwise they are quite content to just listen and observe the proceedings."

Ashutosh Kumar, Saikat Neogi q
The Financial Express

Four Soft, which provides software solutions and IT consultancy services exclusively for the freight, transportation, logistics and supply-chain management market has announced that its web-based software solution 4S eCustomsTM SAGITTA has been certified by the Netherlands customs authorities.

All the modules of the software are designed to meet the national and local proactive regulatory customs filing, compliance and documentation requirements of freight forwarders, logistics providers, and customs brokerage companies.

“This is an important milestone for us and we hope to see beneficial effects in terms of increased customer traction, particularly in the Netherlands. We are focusing on getting the certification for our customs applications designed for other regions,” says Rajshekhar Roy, CEO, Four Soft.

Sagitta is an automated declaration platform for handling custom affairs for import and export shipments in the Netherlands.

Last year, European Union customs too certified Four Soft’s customs software

New Delhi
The Financial Express

Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announces Solid Edge software with Synchronous Technology 2.

This release is the second version of Solid Edge to incorporate Siemens PLM Software’s breakthrough synchronous technology, the first history-free, feature-based modeling capability that serves as a fundamental tool in helping customers react to the market faster.

“We were looking for something very flexible… but also something with the full power of 3D feature modeling for modifying machine components,” said Ben Fune, process engineering manager, American Renolit Corp. “We found the best of both worlds in Solid Edge with synchronous technology.”

Solid Edge is a core component of the Velocity Series portfolio and combines the speed and flexibility of direct modeling with the precise control of dimension-driven design. The latest release extends synchronous technology deeper in the product with improved part and assembly modeling as well as a new sheet metal application. With this release, Siemens PLM Software also announces a new built-in FEA tool and PDM integration leveraging the latest Microsoft SharePoint platforms.

“The Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology 2 release showcases the expansion of Siemens PLM Software’s groundbreaking synchronous technology into additional part and assembly modeling areas, including intelligent sheet metal design," said Dr. Ken Versprille, PLM Research Director, CPDA. "In our in-depth review done last year, we positioned synchronous technology as a major advance in solids modeling and predicted its positive impact on the industry. This latest release proves us correct based on the strength and robustness it demonstrates as a modeling approach. End user interviews attest to the benefits they have achieved in reducing their design cycle times. The modeling advancements found in Solid Edge, matched with the introduction of a new mid-range FEA application, Solid Edge Simulation, and continued implementation of Solid Edge’s Insight data management tool atop the latest in Microsoft’s SharePoint, offers a win-win scenario for both Solid Edge and its users.”



Hewlett-Packard Co on Wednesday said it was focusing on increasing market share in China as the world’s largest PC maker rolled out a new line of low-cost computers, including the global launch of a netbook.

HP is a latecomer to netbooks — stripped down notebooks optimised for the Internet — which it began to sell only last year after the global netbook market began to soar, even as the overall PC market remained flat or shrank.

But the low prices have also contributed to declining profit margins for the PC makers that are leading the charge into netbooks, such as Taiwan’s Acer Inc.

“We want to focus on our strategy to get more (market) share,” See Chin Teik, a senior vice-president for HP Asia Pacific & Japan, said at the new product launch.

HP noted that it would not chase market share at any cost and was mindful of the risk in the low-cost strategy.

“We are worried the end user will buy the product for the wrong reason,” said See, referring to the replacement effect.

HP hopes its new mini notebook computers — which carry recommended retail prices as low as $299 — will expand the overall computer market to include people who are not in the market for a full-priced laptop.

“We see it as a secondary device, not a replacement device,” said See.

Global PC makers are all struggling as households and businesses cut back on computer purchases to save cash, leading them to explore new revenue sources such as netbooks and smartphones.

“It is always a worry to make money in the PC market,” he said.

Earlier this month, HP gave a disappointing outlook for its full-year revenue and said it would lay off another 6,400 workers as consumers and businesses cut spending on computers, printers and services.

The new round of layoffs are on top of previously announced cuts from integrating the operations of IT services company EDS, which HP acquired last year.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Business Standard

A new supercomputer with the power of 50,000 home PCs -- the fastest in Europe and the third worldwide -- was unveiled today in Germany.

The "Jugene", capable of 1,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, ranks behind the "Roadrunner" and "Jaguar" computers in the United States, said Kosta Schinarakis from the Juelich research centre, where the computer is located.

Jugene will be used for a wide variety of operations, including research on fuel cells for electric cars, weather forecasting and the origins of the universe, the centre said.

The machine is no ordinary PC, requiring 295,000 processors located in 72 lockers each the size of a telephone box

New York
The Economic Times

Facebook has received a $200 million investment from a Russian Internet investment firm that values the social networking site billion, seeking a cash buffer as it grows rapidly through the recession.

Digital Sky Technologies, which has invested in leading Russian web properties like and, will take a 1.96 percent stake in Facebook in exchange for preferred stock, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Digital Sky also plans to buy at least $100 million of Facebook common stock from existing stockholders to provide liquidity for current and former employees with vested shares of Facebook stock.

In recent months, Facebook has held discussions with several groups interested in investing in the company, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call.

Digital Sky won because its founders Yuri Milner and Gregory Finger have strong experience running Internet properties in Eastern Europe and Russia, and "a deep, advanced understanding" of social networking technology, Zuckerberg said.

"Ultimately (it was) this deal and my comfort with Yuri and the team," said Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in a Harvard University dorm room five years ago.

In 2007, Microsoft Corp invested $240 million in Facebook, which valued the company at $15 billion at the time.

Growing comfortably

Founded in 2005, Digital Sky has raised and invested more than $1 billion in over 30 companies, according to the firm's website.

Milner, who attended Wharton Business School and was CEO of Russian web portal, said Digital Sky hopes to bring its expertise in making money off other web properties to Facebook.

It was "a very simple exercise of applying what we've learnt in other parts of the world to Facebook," he said, adding that he was comfortable with the $10 billion valuation.

Facebook, which now has more than 200 million members, will use the $200 million as a "cash buffer" to help it grow comfortably, Zuckerberg said.

He reiterated that the social networking company was on track to increase 2009 revenue by 70 percent year-over-year, and would become cash flow positive by next year.


Writankar Mukherjee, Kolkata
The Economic Times (Kolkata edition)

In a bid to shore up its presence in IT services, Dell India is making a foray into infrastructure management services. The company is building a crack team and expects to launch the business in six months. Dell’s infrastructure management service will target both enterprise and small and medium businesses (SMBs).

The company plans to take the modular approach to sell its offering since it believes such a model will lend flexibility to clients amid the slowdown. The USP of Dell’s services offering will be based on the dual concept of cost optimisation and simplification of IT.

“Dell has acquired expertise in infrastructure management services through global acquisitions. There will be specific modules for SMBs in areas like anti-virus, patch management, data back-up and customised services. For large enterprises, there will be a bouquet of 16 to 17 modules,” Dell India country general manager Sameer Garde said.

The company feels this is the opportune moment to roll out infrastructure management services in India. “The current model of IT infrastructure management in India is highly labour intensive. However, as India looses its labour arbitrage, services like these will become the need of the hour,” said Garde.

Dell has already launched its services business in India with solutions around virtualisation and storage optimisation. “The infrastructure management services will complete our service offerings in India. A strong focus on services will also allow us to crosssell hardware like servers and computers — segment where we have a strong portfolio,” Garde said.


Atul Mathur, New Delhi
Hindustan Times (Delhi edition)

Carpools may not have succeeded in Delhi so far but their benefits can’t be disputed.

In an attempt to decongest city roads, the Delhi government plans to promote carpools in a big way. In a first of its kind attempt, the government wants to introduce smart card-based carpools in Delhi.

But before that, the government wants to know how receptive Delhiites are to the idea.

The transport department is posting a questionnaire on its website to find out if its concept would attract car owners.

“We are suggesting two variants — one is a hardware-based tracking system while the other is based on text messaging (SMS),” said Vishva Mohan, a joint commissioner in the transport department.

“We also want to gauge which of the two they would be comfortable with,” he added.

The questionnaire, said a senior transport department official, would be posted on the department’s website next week and be available for about three weeks. “We would want at least 500 people to respond,” he said.

“We have suggested a technology-based system which offers flexibility. A member can avail rides from any other member and return the ride to another member,” said Mohan.

In the first system, each member’s car would be fitted with a device comprising of a smart ID card reader, global positioning system (GPS) and general packet radio service (GPRS). Every member would be issued a smart card-based photo ID. A member availing a ride will flash his ID before the device at the beginning and the end of the journey. The details would be recorded in the central server via GPRS.


New Delhi
The Financial Express The Hindu Business Line The Indian Express

IBM unveiled its first of a kind indigenous Dynamic Infrastructure Lab in Pune - India set up using the skill-base from its India workforce. The lab, located at the IBM Software Lab in Pune, showcases state-of-the-art technologies to address clients’ business challenges and brings more intelligence, automation, integration, and efficiencies to the digital and physical worlds. As a result, it will enable businesses and governments better respond to and manage challenges presented by today's globally integrated planet.

The lab aims to help organizations deliver the visibility, control and automation needed to address quality service, manage risk and compliance besides maximizing return on investments, and accelerate business growth.

Dr. Ponani Gopalakrishnan, Vice President, IBM India Software Lab said “It's time to start thinking differently about infrastructure. In this smarter world, we need our assets to propel us forward, not hold us back. A dynamic infrastructure transforms physical and digital assets into higher valued services. It is highly optimized to achieve greater results with improved service management, and leverages new technologies and strategies to reduce costs, manage risk and deliver superior business and IT services with agility and speed. With the launch of this lab, we are today in a position to showcase some of our own best practices with our clients in India/South Asia region”.

IBM Software Labs in India supports a heterogeneous environment and hence is very similar to a typical growing organization’s IT infrastructure. Using energy monitoring systems along with advanced Virtualization and automated management, IBM is looking to increase operational efficiency by over 20% and in turn increase its green footprint.

“In today’s challenging business environments, customers see the value that IBM brings to the table. The Dynamic Infrastructure Lab will help clients reuse existing capital and increase optimization of their assets by better monitoring their infrastructure and increase operational efficiency” – said Rekha D Garapati – Director – IBM India Software Labs.


New Delhi
The Asian Age

The software industry could take a lead over hardware industry in India, as being a new sector it didn’t have to deal with old policies like those in manufacturing sector, according to Neil Gregory, senior executive, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Gregory is one of the co-authors of the book New Industries From New Places: The Emergence of the Hardware and Software Industries in China and India, which was released here on Tuesday. "Software was a new industry so polices were starting from a new clean sheet paper," said Gregory. Whereas in case of hardware sector, there were old manufacturing polices which restricted licences.

The book said that India’s software-sector policies and China’s promotion of special economic zones for manufacturing suggest that well-designed sector-specific government policies can overcome weaknesses in the investment climate and allow developing countries to compete globally in new industries.

The book offers important lessons for other countries hoping to emulate the success of India and China. It asserts that the two countries pursued policies to alleviate key bottlenecks such as access to power for manufacturing and broadband access for software companies, thus enabling globally competitive new industries to develop in spite of deficiencies in the national investment climate.


Pravin Mehta
The Economic Times

As an emerging force in the global IT and telecom field, India produces and uses a huge volume of electronic equipment. And, the subsequent technological obsolescence, degradation and failure generate large quantities of waste. It has been estimated that manufacturers and assemblers of electronic equipment in India alone generate about 1200 tonnes of electronic waste per year. India’s burgeoning scrap business also attracts substantial amount of degraded components from the developed countries, which adds to the alarming volume of e-waste. In the current scenario, proper disposal of e-waste is a critical issue.

However, this problem has been addressed to a certain extent through the initiation of environmental protection and pollution control measures across the globe. According to Kurian Joseph, Associate Professor, Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, “Though e-waste is a source of different metals and plastic, it comprises hazardous substances also, effective separation of which is an issue. In India, most of these components are being separated through informal methods, causing environmental problems.”

Towards SME growth

The Government of India has made amendments in Hazardous Waste Management & Handling Rules, 1989 for regulating the generation, accumulation, storage, treatment, disposal, export and import of hazardous wastes. “A legal framework is being developed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to regulate proper disposal and recycling of e-waste products. Currently, a legislation is on its way with certain guidelines, which will hand out a mandate to the major generators of e-waste in India along with the SME firms. These SMEs will tie up with various formal waste recyclers and licensed waste disposal firms to overcome the situation,” stated Prof Joseph.

As SMEs are becoming more aware, they are opting for eco-friendly, e-waste management technologies for lowering the volume of waste, along with effective recycling and disposal of hazardous materials. “Along the supply chain, we need to ensure proper handling of waste components in an eco-friendly way, while recycling and disposal should be done only by licensed formal recyclers”, opines K Vijaya Lakshmi, Vice President, Development Alternatives.

Initially, SMEs in India could not adopt energy efficient green technologies due to lack of funds and limited operability in R&D for acquiring the expertise. However, in recent times, several collaborations have been made between Indian SMEs and various global firms to develop green technologies for minimising e-waste generation and environment friendly recycling and disposal.

Concepts like green data centres can be of potential aid to the SMEs in reducing the volume of e-waste generated, while optimising the use of space and power in IT and electronics industries. Software and hardware virtualisation is another green technology, which can be leveraged upon for effective e-waste management. Dr Lakshmi suggests, “It is the responsibility of both the manufacturers who should minimise the use of hazardous substances and that of the users who should dump their waste only with formal recyclers.”


New Delhi
The Financial Express

Belkin India, the leading global provider of interconnectivity solutions across computing and consumer electronic devices, launched its latest laptop cooling hub and cooling pad in India.

The laptop Cooling products will enable consumers to prevent laptops from overheating.

Belkin Laptop cooling pad enable use of laptops while sitting anywhere at home or office.

Belkin laptop cooling hub is elevated by a flip-out stand in the back, and slip-resistant rubber pads that cover the laptop contact points to keep notebook elevated at a prime viewing angle. The platforms are equipped with an embedded fan that helps cool down a hot laptop and features four USB ports that can be used to connect USB enabled devices like an external hard drive or mouse.

The cooling hub can accommodate up to a 17" laptop and it's available with a rubber padding and runs on external AC adapter or laptop battery power via attached USB cable.

“In scorching summer conditions, working with a hot laptop can be quite uncomfortable,” said Mohit Anand, country manager, Belkin India. "Designed to offer maximum cooling comfort and easy connectivity for USB enabled external devices, the cooling hubs make it more convenient and comfortable to use laptops anywhere in a home or office."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Financial Chronicle

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, said more than three million customers are currently trying out its Windows 7 operating system software.

Customers who downloaded the pre-release version of the operating system or installed it from a compact disc have provided a list of 175 points for the company to review, Eddie Wu, general manager for Microsoft’s Original Equipment Manufacturing division in Asia, said in Taipei on Monday.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, said May 11 it will release Windows 7, its newest operating system, before the year-end holidays. Sales in its Windows division may get a boost from the new platform after revenue suffered as consumers delayed updating to Windows Vista, which was released to consumers in 2007.

Users have a near-final version of the platform, known as a release candidate, free of charge and will have to pay for the software before the trial cut-off date of June 30 next year, Wu said.

Taiwan’s Acer and Asustek Computer are among vendors who’ve backed Windows 7 and say they’ll release products supporting the new platform.

The Economic Times

Google has identified social networking sites like Facebook as growing competitors in search, a company spokesman said on Monday.

Internet users are increasingly looking for answers to their search questions, not just a list of sites in response to a query.

They also expect something personal from the Internet _ and they're increasingly turning to it to answer more personal questions, which daycare to choose and what restaurant to go to, said Google Group Product Manager Ken Tokusei.

Social networking sites have a big advantage in this shift because information gleaned from them comes from friends, acquaintances, or at least an individual, and Tokusei said users tend to trust that information more.

``We haven't gotten to the point where results are seen as if they come from someone you know,'' said Tokusei.

The search giant has begun to offer tools for users to rate results and delete unrelated links, but it still has work to do, he said.

Google is also trying to better home in on the information requested in a search. Sites such as WolframAlpha, launched earlier this month, comb the Internet for data, analyze it and then provide specific answers to queries, rather than a list of sites.

Google can do something similar for some searches, providing price quotes for ``Sony stock'' or an answer to ``Tunisia capital.'' But these are followed by the familiar list of sites on which to dig further.


The Financial Express

With the bilateral trade between Brazil and India poised to touch $ 35 billion in 3 to 4 years from now, the South American country presents a huge IT opportunity to Indian infotech companies in sectors like banking and financial technology, said Rakesh Vaidyanathan, management consultant, Jai group in his address on increasing bilateral trade possibility between India and Brazil at a recent seminar here.

Speaking more on unfolding opportunities in IT, he said when banking system of Brazil was battered by inflation-led crisis, the country took the tech-savvy path by setting up ATMs that now stand at handsome number of 1.7 lakh earning a third place in the global ranking of countries having maximum of ATMs. Brazil’s void in low-cost IT intervention in transforming legacy banking applications into IT enabled banking could be filled by Indian infotech companies, he said.

Reeling out the business opportunities for BPO segment, he said offshoring services focusing on non-anglo saxon population speaking Portugal and Spanish is a low hanging fruit opening vistas to Latin American market. Speaking about the agro market opportunities, he said robust formation of farm processing and food processing industries in Brazil could be leveraged by Indian counterpart companies as the two countries enjoy the same tropical climate.

Elaborating India’s small industry competitiveness vis-à-vis Brazil, Vaidyanathan said in India around 9,000 companies are listed in 23 stock exchanges against Brazil’s number of 500 companies. He opined that majority of mid-sized companies raise capital through internal accruals in the Latin American country where India can foster its capital finance model for business expansion and growth.

Regarding expansion and investment in various sectors, he said bilateral partners should expedite the possibility of creative collaboration in building consortiums for investments in areas like selective infrastructure, global logistics and white goods industry.


Jaideep Mishra
The Economic Times

There’s much mention these days of the need to revamp education, training and skill upgradation in the opinion pages. A recent IIM Ahmedabad working paper looks at higher education and the high-tech industries in India.

The study finds that when it comes to the linkages between tertiary education and the high tech sector, the connections outside the labour market are seen as “weak.” Such a state of affairs is attributed to an outdated regulatory structure that effectively places research and fact-finding from beyond the domain of the university, and so discourages “good faculty” from joining.

The study notes three qualities of a world-class university. These are (1) a high concentration of talent, composed of faculty, students and researches from across the world; (2) abundant resources, from endowments, public resources, tuition and competitive research funding to enhance pedagogy and boost advanced research; and (3) favourable governance structures that rev up innovation, foster academic freedom and provide strategic vision and flexibility to allow the university to make decisions autonomously and manage resources without bureaucratic interference, say for instance on the issue of faculty compensation.

All three attributes are necessary to shore up quality. The study finds that the prevailing domestic situation is such that there are some attributes of (1), primarily when it comes to student excellence, some elements of (2) at some institutes of national importance likes the IITs, IISc and IIMs, but “rarely” any element of (3). Hence the unfortunate consequence is that India manages to produce a certain number of outstanding graduates, but is quite unable to achieve either of the other two complementary outcomes.

But while most of the research is conducted at public institutions, there is “little regard for market demands.” Further, the paper finds that of the top 10 public and private firms excluding CSIR accounting for over half the patents, only one is in the semiconductor/IT space. The rest is concentrated in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Even in basic research, the capacity of our universities is clearly limited and skewed. About 80 percent of doctorates in engineering were from 20 universities, and about two-thirds of science doctorates from no more than 30 universities.

It is true that in recent years, rising competitive pressures in Indian industry has led to a growing number of alliances among corporates and research institutes especially in sectors like pharma and bio-technology. But on university autonomy there “appears to be little progress.”

The study does add that the growing size of the high tech sector in India–particularly the IT industry–has opened new possibilities for the corporate sector to transcend umpteen regulatory hindrances. But the potential is huge when it comes to firmer university-industry linkages. The bottom line is that research in industry and university is complementary and mutually synergic. Hence the need for proactive policy.

(An Arrested Virtuous Circle? Higher Education and High-Tech Industries in India, R Basant and P Mukhopadhyay, working paper IIMA, May 2009)


Business Standard

ElectraCard Services today launched an electra loyalty management system for Barclays Bank.

ElectraCard Services (ECS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opus Software Solutions.

With this new service, Barclays customers can now benefit from various unique loyalty programs and get rewards across multiple banking channels, a statement issued here said.

"In a dynamic business environment like todays, customer expectations are to be met before they realise it themselves. Barclays loyalty management program is designed to ensure that," ElectraCard Services and Opus Software Solutions CEO, Ramesh Mengawade, said.

The Enterprise Wide Account-based loyalty management solution enables Barclays Bank to link the differential reward programs to multiple banking channels—ATM services, debit cards, Internet banking and mobile banking services.

Barclays reward points program is a unique loyalty plan where customers are incentivised to use alternate channels of the bank.

These loyalty points are earned for transactions done on Barclays debit card, mobile banking, Internet banking and ATMs and for registration and activation on various banking channels.


The Hindu Business Line

Smart Infocomm has entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Hyundai Corporation to bringing in an array of 3-D surround sound speakers for IT and electronics segment for selling Hi-Fi home theatre, computer speakers and headphones under the brand Hyundai.

The products would be manufactured under the supervision of both the companies and imported to India. According to the agreement, branding, sales and marketing, after-sales and manpower will be the handled by Smart Infocomm in India. Hyundai is planning to launch a wide range of models in the next one year, a press release said.

Smart Infocomm has been in the forefront of futuristic technology products, and in the last few years has introduced to the market a range of highly innovative and incredibly stylish IT peripherals and digital audio and video accessories for the growing computing and digital world.

Sherif Usman, Head, Strategic Business, said the range offers a comprehensive array of specialty products. Smart Infocomm was the first to introduce hi-end 12 mega pixel web cams with unique face track technology, noise cancellation headphones, flexi keyboards, wireless mouse, writing tablets and speakers, and today enjoys a market share of 25 percent, he said.

The company has offices in India, the Middle East and Europe. Smart Infocomm the brand is registered in 80 countries and is planning to roll out its range across SAAC countries this year, he said.

The Hyundai products would be marketed by Smart Hyundai, a division of Smart Infocomm Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the brand name SMART. Krishnan Ramaswamy, Head, Operations, said the total projected revenue is Rs 250 crore, of which Hyundai products will contribute approximately Rs 100 crore.

Hyundai products will be available in all leading retail IT, electronic and music outlets across the country. The company is also planning to launch 25 exclusive experience zones in major malls and has already got nine service centres in major cities.

There are also plans to open another seven service centres before the end of this year, he added.


Dilip Maitra, Bangalore
Deccan Herald

Intel has recently unleashed its advertising campaign that rates its processors from 5-star (at the top end) to 1-star (at the bottom). These ratings, however, exclude Intel’s cheapest processor Atom used in notebooks, a device mainly used for Internet browsing. The Intel processor ratings are designed to help customers decide which processor is best for his or her needs. The consumer need may vary from high-end graphics processing, heavy gaming capability or simple data processing with multi tasking ability. In the promotional communications on ‘processor ratings’ one has to just look for stars next to the processor badges to determine their different levels of processing power.

The matrix
In the rating matrix, broadly divided between desktop and laptop, each processor is assigned rating between one and five stars depending on a combination of features, including cores, GHz, cache and other technologies. More stars indicate greater features and increased capabilities compared to other Intel processors. Talking to Deccan Herald, Prakash Bagri, Director-Marketing, South Asia, Intel Technology India said “The primary objective is to help consumers with simple communication on processing power of various chips.” Intel’s new move is expected to help individual computer buyers who, most of the time, get bogged down by the technical jargons. Traditionally, most chip makers, including Intel, used megahertz to describe their microprocessors’ relative performance and to show their different features. But for most consumers they did not mean much, beyond numbers

Monday, May 25, 2009



The Hindu Business Line

The ultimate computer game that banishes handheld controls and allows players' gestures to dictate the action on screen is to be launched by Microsoft. The Microsoft Xbox 360 uses 3-D camera technology, and is aimed at challenging the dominance of the Nintendo Wii, reports The Times. Allowing users to kick a virtual football, drive a car or practise dance moves with a computer-generated partner simply by monitoring an individual's movements, the entertainment system will become a must-have for any child or even a youngster. The Microsoft camera, which is the first to be able to sense 3-D motion, is based on technology developed by 3DV Systems, an Israeli company recently acquired by Microsoft. Microsoft declined to comment.


New York
The Hindu Business Line

Luxury watchmaker Cartier International has sued Apple Inc., saying the electronics giant is offering software that infringes on its designs without authorisation. The trademark lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in Manhattan. It sought a stop to the practice and unspecified damages. Cartier said in the lawsuit that Apple is offering for sale, via its iTunes store, products that use the Cartier trademarks. It said the applications enable customers to display time on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The watch manufacturer said it never authorised Apple to use images that look like its watches on the software. A message left with Apple for comment was not immediately returned.


New York

The Economic Times

Internet search giant Google has emerged as the world's top employer for MBA graduates for the third year in row, according to the Fortune magazine.

Google has been ranked at the first place in the list of top 100 employers for B-school graduates, with over 20 percent MBA graduates wishing to work at the firm for its stellar reputation and innovative work environment.

The Top 100 MBA employers' list, comprising of firms where B-school students most want to work, was compiled by based on an exclusive survey by research firm Universum.

The magazine stated that Google is still hiring amid the downturn and its job postings seek MBAs for marketing, people operations, finance, advertising, sales, general management, partnership development and other openings.

The search giant is followed by consulting firm McKinsey & Company (2nd), Bain & Co (third), financial services major Goldman Sachs Group (fourth), and tech giant Apple (fifth). About McKinsey & Co, it said: "The management consulting firm has produced more chief executives than any other company worldwide and that's partly why it's ranked No. 1 or No. 2 among MBAs' most desirable employers every year since 1996."

Despite the financial crisis fallout, Goldman Sachs has kept a golden reputation and continues to rank very high among MBA graduates ready to launch a career in banking, Forbes said.

"B-school grads are also attracted to the opportunity to get even more education at Goldman Sachs University, an extensive training programme for incoming associates," Fortune said.

Further, Apple has been ranked in the top 10 on the 100 Top MBA Employers list for four years running, while this year it slipped a spot to fifth rank.

Interestingly, MBA students' expect to earn an annual base salary USD of 98,403 in 2009, up 9 percent from 90,232 dollar in 2008, the magazine revealed.

Other companies in the top 10 are - The Boston Consulting Group (sixth), Walt Disney (7th), Nike (8th), JP Morgan (9th) and Johnson & Johnson (10th).

Further, tech giant Microsoft as been ranked at 12th place and it is even hiring amid the downturn with has positions for MBAs in marketing, finance, corporate strategy, development, sales and supply chain.

Soft drinks majors Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been placed at the 19th and 20th spots in the list of 100 top employers for MBAs.

Novatium targets 2L customers

Financial Chronicle

Managed computing services provider Novatium Solutions has expanded its presence to 12 cities in the country. It has tied up with Tata Teleservices apart from its existing partners BSNL and MTNL. Novatium is targeting two lakh customers by the end of this financial year.

The company has pioneered the concept of pay-per-use home computing service. With a broadband connection and an access device called Nova Navigator, users can access operating systems and work on applications such as MS Office on a monthly rental basis. Consumers need to own only a monitor and a broadband connection for home computing. The access device comes with a keyboard and a mouse. The company introduced the computing-as-a-service concept for homes in September 2007.

Alok Singh, chief executive officer of Novatium said: “India is on the verge of witnessing a computing revolution and we hope to be its engine. Our products NetPC and Navigator coupled with our unique business model have the potential to revolutionalise the computing market.”

Novatium initially launched its Navigator in Chennai and later expanded to Delhi in partnership with MTNL. The services are now available across 12 circles including Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Ambala.

The company offers zero-maintenance computing services starting at Rs 2,999 for the NetPC with monthly charges start from Rs 175. The services include comprehensive computing experience with emphasis on internet, gaming, online education and telephony.

Spice plans Rs 500 cr education initiative

Kirtika Suneja / New Delhi

Business Standard

The BK Modi-promoted Spice Group is planning to launch a Rs 500-crore e-education initiative for lower middle and middle-class sections of the country.

As part of the initiative, the group will launch around 100 courses, both professional and vocational, to cater to people in small cities. The company hopes that the initiative, which is at the planning stage currently, would begin by the year-end.

The group has identified a centre in Noida where content for the courses and softwares would be developed. However, the company also expects government support in the form of less expensive broadband and wireless connections. “We will also set-up the infrastructure for those who can’t afford to work from home. But in this, we expect the government to cooperate by not taxing the infrastructure for educational purposes,” said Modi.


Nilanjana Ghosh Choudhury

DNA (Pune edition)

Mumbai-based Akruti City Ltd on Thursday announced that the company would invest Rs 900 crore in different commercial, residential and IT park projects in Pune.

Akruti City Ltd business unit (sales) chief Mayur Shah said that its proximity to Mumbai and being an integral part of the knowledge corridor, Pune was a vibrant place to be in. "Akruti's unique design elements and its eye for detail has found wide acceptance among the discerning people of Pune," he said.

In the residential category, one of their first projects in the city was 'Akruti Countrywoods', which was launched in April this year. Located on Katraj- Kondhwa link road, this is a township project spread over 60 acres.

"Our next project is Akruti Chambers near Swargate. The work on the project has begun in June 2008. It is equipped with all the modern amenities. The next in line is Akruti Sankul, on Tilak Road, the work on which commenced in February last year. With a mechanized car parking, it has shops, office spaces and residential apartments with a total saleable area of 19,304 sq ft. The second phase of the Hinjewadi IT park will be ready by 2011.

Growth will come from internet on mobile

Aseem Thapliyal

The Financial Express

Adobe seems to be banking on creativity to sail out of recession and stand out from the crowd. Revenue targets might prove to be a struggle, but the company is working hard to identify new growth markets. And India offers a land of opportunities, according to Abode Asia Pacific head of Creative Professions platform, Michael Stoddart. In an interaction, Stoddart narrates the company’s long-term strategies and gives an insight into the Web market, which is moving deeper into mobile phones.


How have Web 2.0 and blogs affected product profile of Adobe?

The rise of blogs, Web 2.0 and services like Twitter gets us the immediate feedback of the customers. It is another medium for our clients to communicate with their customers.

Content for Facebook is created by using our tools. We have a website called where our customers can go and download the software we have been working on and which has not been released. We are a much more open company due to the effect of social media.

How do you plan to tackle the problem of piracy?

We have always had a long-term approach to piracy. We have an entire team which has been working with local bodies to carry out enforcement actions. In India, during the last six months, we have done about 25 enforcement actions on various companies across segments. Though our objective is to educate people and encourage them to buy legal software, we adopt a strict approach against anyone who indulges in piracy of our products.

In 2005, you acquired a company called Macromedia. How far has the integration of Adobe’s products been successful with that of the company?

Many people in the beginning thought that the two companies coming together will not work. A lot of large mergers tend to fail. The two companies worked very hard at it. Adobe is a much better company as a result of that. For example, the Flash technology that is the Macromedia technology is now in all of our products. We put Flash into our products and our products went out to Flash and others. Macromedia opened up Adobe. It also helped us to become an open-minded and a forward-thinking company and we have become a major player in leading Web 2.0 technology. So it has been very successful both at the strategic and technological level.

How do you rate Adobe’s position when Microsoft is entering your turf?

They have realised what we have always said that experience is most important. You may have the best website backend on the planet, but if the website is not engaging and interesting to look at, the customers will move away.

Our customers will never think to put video on the website as they have now seen how easy it is to do. It has moved beyond YouTube, which has always used our technology. Every website does not only have HTML. It has a Flash interface, which is really attractive and interesting to look at. So Microsoft, which has a great developer community, saw that.

But I don’t think they understand the designing aspect. What matters to a designer is very different from what matters to a developer. As far as the idea of bringing the designers and developers together is concerned, I think Adobe is going to be much better than Microsoft, because we feel we have a long-term relationship with designers.

We understand what drives the designer and what they want to express. The designers always want to make a website look cool. They want one of their friends to have a look at it. That I think is much more critical than a lot at the backend. Another reason, we will be more successful than Microsoft is that we go from print to Web. Microsoft doesn’t do print. But our designers do both print and Web. We are the only one who have end-to-end and top-to-bottom workflow. That is print to Web and designer to developer. So I think in the long term, we will be successful. We are very different from Microsoft. We conquer the Microsoft effect by working hard. This is our space and Microsoft plays in lot of other spaces.

Among Web, print and mobile media, which segment do you expect to contribute most to the company’s growth in the future?

Print generates a lot of revenue, but growth is not very much there. The Web and mobile media will probably come together. You will view content on your mobile, which you have on your computer. Internet on mobile is where the growth is. Nowadays, a lot of people get information on their cellphone, which they used to get from computer


K Rajani Kanth, Chennai, Hyderabad

Business Standard

Intense Technologies Limited, a Hyderabad based enterprise agility software products company, projects revenues for the current financial year to be at over Rs 30 crore and an uptick of about 40 percent in net profit in the current financial year. This will primarily be driven by repeat demand from existing customers in the telecom space and incoming demand from new customers from newer geographies that it intends to tap into through strategic partners.

Making a turnaround, the 12-year-old company reported a net profit of Rs 38.48 lakh for the fiscal ended March 31, 2009, as against a net loss of Rs 9.22 crore in the previous year. Revenues grew 51.12 percent to Rs 17.41 crore, as compared to Rs 11.52 crore a year ago. The scrip of the company, which hit a 52-week high of Rs 38.65 in June 2008, is currently hovering around Rs 14.

“We had taken a large team to grow our external business (Asia-Pacific) and opened an office in Singapore, which resulted in heavy losses. However, we had scaled down our employee costs in the fourth quarter of FY09 to Rs 2.07 crore, from Rs 3.60 crore in the corresponding period last year, besides reducing the top heaviness,” CK Shastri, managing director of Intense, said.

Shastri said the company was reorganising more and more in telecom that currently contributes 70 percent to its revenues, and AMC (account maintenance contracts) business.

“We had launched our communications solution – iECCM (intelligent Enterprise Customer Communication Management) – and had partnered systems integration providers like IBM and Wipro for its implementation last year. We are now talking to two US-based billing vendors which will give us a global footprint. Discussions with one of these firms are in advanced stage and we expect to close the deal this quarter,” he said.

The company is looking at breaking into the banking sector with iECCM this year, which at present is going through a cost-cutting phase. It is aiming at achieving about five clients in banking and an equal number in the telecom space in FY10, he added.

Meanwhile, the promoter and promoter group, which currently holds 9.03 percent in Intense Technologies, has increased its shareholding to 11.4 percent, while director Tikam Sujan increased his stake from 9.12 percent to 12.05 percent through purchase of 800,000 warrants each at Rs 12.

Shastri said the company was planning to launch BRAAS (billing revenue assurance and audit system) – which increases accuracy in billing while adhering to regulatory compliance – for prepaid customers globally next month. “At present, we are piloting BRAAS with a large telecom operator in India and are planning to cross-sell the product to our existing customers besides offering it to new clients. Broadly, we expect our products division to see about 50 percent increase in margins this year,” he said.


Ujjval Jauharri, Mumbai

Geodesic Ltd, formerly Geodesic Information Systems Ltd, has been an innovator in software products focused on information, communication, and entertainment for mobile phones and desktop computers.

It offers applications under the brand name 'Mundu' for retail segment and is also the owner of Chandamama, the library of 15,000 exclusive stories. The company has offices in Mumbai and Bangalore in India, Silicon Valley in the US, Sweden, Germany and UK in Europe besides Hong Kong. It also has presence in South American and African markets through new acquisitions.

Business: Geodesic offers communication and collaboration solutions. It provides innovative front-end applications, the Mundu suites of products. Mundu instant messaging (IM), (voice-over-internet protocol) Mundu speak, Mundu Radio, Montage, etc. Mundu Radio technology is used by Idea Cellular's 'Idea Radio' and Geodesic also has technology allowing live TV on mobile handsets.

Investment rationale: Geodesic provides communication and information platform for retail and enterprise segment. The hardware platform gained by the takeover of Picopeta has been used to develop a product called Geo Amida, which is being marketed to government and private sectors and revenues from the hardware platform will start accruing this year.

Geodesic successfully launched the world's first interoperable IM application on the Android mobile platform as a personal IM tool. This allows people not available on Yahoo, MSN, Google, etc, to send SMS through Mundu IM at 15 paisa per message.

Concerns: The retail subscription revenues depend on mobile phone internet access and data plan subscriptions and also the ability of Geodesic to reach users. Any inability to do so can impact revenues.

Valuations: Geodesic reported a consolidated topline of Rs 642.94 crore in FY09, a whopping 103.18% jump over Rs 316.44 crore in FY08. Net profit at Rs 282.84 crore grew a handsome 90% from Rs 148.63 crore last year.

However, growing marketing costs (315%) and other expenditures (195%) dented operating margins by 681 bps and profit margins too suffered 298 bps. The company should be able to sustain growth of 35-40%. Geodesic has a strong balance sheet with Rs 380 crore of cash, part of which was used to buy back $8.5 million outstanding FCCBs

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New York
The Economic Times

Technology giant Apple has warned of possible small and quick electrical shocks from the headphones while using iPods and iPhones.

According to the company, people could experience the electrical shock when they are using headphones to listen to these devices in areas where the air is very dry.

"It's possible to receive a small and quick electrical (static) shock from your ear buds while listening to iPod or iPhone," Apple said in a statement posted on its website.

The possible static shock could be experienced in iPod, iPhone and their accessories.

"When using headphones in areas where the air is very dry, it is easy to build up static electricity and possible for your ear to receive a small electrostatic discharge from the headphones.

"Receiving a static shock from a pair of ear buds does not necessarily indicate an issue with the iPod, iPhone, or ear buds," the statement noted.

iPod is a high-end music player while iPhone is a touch screen phone with advanced features.

Apple pointed out that this condition is not limited to Apple hardware and static can potentially build up on almost any hardware and could be discharged using any brand of ear buds.


The Economic Times

Internet search engine major Google may be looking at a partnership with micro-blogging site Twitter, says a media report.

The Telegraph quoting Google's Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt has reported that a partnership of Google with Twitter could be on the cards.

Schmidt hinted that a "partnership with Twitter could be close, although he dampened speculation that he is planning to buy the micro-blogging phenomenon," the daily said in a report published online.

Attributing to Schmidt, the report noted that the Internet giant "can work" with Twitter without having to buy the social network site, hinting that Twitter feeds could be indexed on Google.

The daily said Schmidt had held conversations with the Twitter founders about a strategic partnership. He was also quoted as saying, "We do not have to buy everyone to work with them". Twitter offers micro-blogging, which allows users to send short text messages, among others, on various multimedia platforms.

According to the publication, Google is rumoured to be interested in acquiring the micro-blogging site Twitter because of its valuable real-time search engine.


The Economic Times Bangalore

Microsoft Corp is likely to show a new version of its Internet search engine publicly for the first time next week, a news paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The software giant has been testing a new version of the service internally under the name of and it may become part of the firm's attempt to catch up with Internet search leaders Google Inc and Yahoo Inc.

Microsoft has hired JWT, a unit of WPP Plc, to develop an advertising campaign for the product, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The search engine is expected to be unveiled at the "D: All Things Digital" conference. Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.


Cellular News

Mobile WiMAX networks are being rolled out more slowly than expected, meaning that service revenues will grow more slowly than forecast a year ago, a new study from Juniper Research concluded.

The WiMAX broadband report found that revenues from WiMAX 802.16e broadband subscribers will exceed $15 billion globally by 2014. WiMAX will provide an improved experience for broadband customers who are receiving low speed DSL or cable modem services, or at the limit of DSL coverage.

However, WiMAX is faced by spectrum auction postponements in several countries, funding problems from the credit crunch, and slow network implementations, all combining to handicap network operators signing up subscribers.


Business Standard DNA The Economic Times Hindustan Times Financial Chronicle The Times of India (Bangalore edition) The Hindu Business Line

The Rs 3,000-crore Yash Birla Group (YBG) marked its foray into the IT sector with the acquisition of Mumbai-based Melstar Information Technologies. Listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange, Melstar is a service provider of professional consulting and project services and solutions.

“The Melstar acquisition fits into the Group’s ongoing thrust on growth and exploring new-age sectors like education, healthcare and IT. We see a strategic fit between the Yash Birla Group and Melstar vis-à-vis the directions that the Group has set for itself,” said Yash Birla, chairman.

The group has interests in auto, textiles, engineering, chemical and power sectors, among others. “We think this is a good time to enter the IT sector. Melstar also has a US subsidiary, which gives us entry into this market as well,” said PVR Murthy, CFO of YBG. The group is looking at further growth through acquisition, with the current focus on West Asian and South East Asian firms.

Subsequent to this acquisition, the board of directors of Melstar has been reconstituted with Yash Birla as chairman, Murthy and Anoj Menon as directors and SM Arora as managing director. Richard D’Souza has been appointed as the chief executive officer.

“We are in the process of making a detailed business plan. At this moment, I cannot comment on the details. But we are looking into areas like ERP, enterprise content, building practice in the telecom space and creating a position in the legal process outsourcing segment,” said CEO D’Souza.

For the December quarter, Melstar’s revenue was Rs 5.3 crore and net profit was Rs 11 lakh. For the year ended March 31, 2008, the company’s revenue was Rs 15.8 crore, but had a net loss of Rs 1.3 crore. Melstar has about 400 people in India and 20 customers.

Aditya Birla Nuvo, headed by Yash’s cousin, Kumar Mangalam Birla, entered IT in 2001 with the acquisition of PSI Data Systems. Later, the group’s BPO arm, TransWorks — now known as Aditya Birla Minacs — acquired Canadian BPO firm Minacs in 2006.


Jaipur, May 20
The Hindu Business Line The Times of India

Rajasthan is promoting six IT projects worth over Rs 200 crore at the Rajasthan Industrial and Investment Corporation's (RIICO) industrial park here, which would generate employment opportunities for nearly 1,600 persons. The corporation would promote six IT projects worth Rs 207.20 crore. These projects are being established in the RICCO's Export Promotion Industrial Park in the Sitapura industrial area here


Sankar Radhakrishnan, Thiruvananthapuram
The Hindu Business Line

Despite the strained economic environment, the opportunities for IT service companies are immense, said Robert A. Dutile, General Manager — Strategy and Services — UST Global.

Many large companies that have done only limited outsourcing in the past are now scaling up outsourcing, he said. These companies, many of which are based in the US and Europe, are looking for cost savings and global expansion, he said.

Given its global reach and hybrid outsourcing model, UST Global, a US-based IT services company, is well positioned to cater to this market, he claimed.

In the current environment, chief information officers in companies are trying to save on overall IT spends while also deriving more business value. So, for instance, UST is working with its customers to help them save money through measures such as technology consolidation, he said. Similarly, the company is working to enable its customers build expertise in emerging and niche technologies.

At the same time, companies are reducing overall IT spends and giving out smaller-size deals, Dutile said. “So instead of $100-million outsourcing deals, there are a lot of more of $5-10-million deals out there right now.” Even large players are adopting this strategy, he added.

As part of its efforts to provide more value to its customers, UST Global will add another development centre this year, he said. The company, owned by the Comcraft Group, has large development centres in India, Malaysia and the Philippines. It will set up a development centre in South America later this year, he said, but declined to reveal more details.

The company, which has around 6,000 employees across the world, plans to look at more local hires in several markets. In the US, for instance, it is looking at “college hires for business analyst type positions.”


The Hindu Business Line

Technopark-Thiruvananthapuram and Infopark-Kochi have approved annual expansion plans envisaging budgets of Rs 650 crore and Rs 250 crore respectively for 2009-10.

This was decided at general body meetings of the State’s two principal technology parks, the Chief Minister, V. S. Achuthanandan, announced here on Wednesday.

Briefing newspersons on the decisions taken at the meetings, he said the Technopark would immediately start construction activities that would cost around Rs 100 crore.

Construction activities at the new IT parks at Ambalappuzha, Cherthala, Koratti and Kundara too would begin during the course of this financial year. At Koratti, the works will begin in October.

Achuthanandan said the growth of IT industry in the State was above the average growth at the national level. Against an all-India growth of 17 percent, the IT industry grew by 45 percent in Kerala in 2008-09.

“When this government came to power three years ago, the Infopark in Kochi had around 3,000 employees. Now the employee-strength has gone up to 8,000,” Achuthanandan said.

The government’s expectation is that this number will go up to 40,000 in the next five years, he added.

Responding to a question, Achuthanandan said that it appeared that the promoters of the delayed Smart City project in Kochi were experiencing the pinch of the economic crisis afflicting the world as a whole. He said this was his inference from certain “undeserving demands” they were now making on the State Government.