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Showing posts from 2014

NRIs, OCIs and PIOs: Ideas into India

The Indian Government should make it easier for NRIs, OCIs and PIOs, the Indian diaspora, to interact with India in terms of business and pleasure. They will bring ideas into India that will, in the long run, have a beneficial impact in the country. The Indian diaspora are already involved to some extent in driving India's booming e-commerce and m-commerce industry. The diaspora will bring in different ideas on governance in India which will hopefully, over time, change attitudes and practices in India which are not acceptable.

Times of India reports that the Indian government has quietly readied yet another ordinance — this one to merge the PIO and OCI cards — to make good a promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visits to the US and Australia when he vowed to make it easier for the Indian diaspora to connect with their homeland. The home ministry will soon bring an ordinance to amend the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 and a senior official said this was likely …

Mumbai's New Year Resolutions - Promises Promises - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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India in search of Ideas

Economic Times reports that speaking to a CEO of any consequence and the conversation will be woven around innovation. They are sitting up and taking note of ideas emerging from startups while they drive their corporate agenda around innovation. As traditional business houses discover that risky bets accelerate their competitive edge, conglomerates including the Tatas, Reliance, Mahindra, Bharti Airtel and IT biggies such as Infosys and Wipro are increasingly collaborating with the startup ecosystem in their quest to find the next big idea. GenNext Ventures, the venture capital arm of Reliance Industries, has partnered with Microsoft Ventures to launch the GenNext Innovation Hub, an accelerator to support entrepreneurs in areas like technology , user experience, design and go-to-market strategy. GenNext will incubate startups through a four-month programme and will fund select ventures graduating from the hub. Similarly, the Mahindra Group, earlier this year, launched the $1-million …

Image of Ganesh on a Tree in Mumbai - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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Christmas in Mumbai - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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Cut the Crap in Mumbai - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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On the Bandra-Worli Sealink, Mumbai - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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Confessions in Mumbai - Mumbai Murals - India Photo Library - IdeaIndia.Com

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India's Startup Ecosystem:Ideas India Needs

Entrepreneurs in tech startups still prefer Silicon Valley in California than India as the best ecosystem for their startups. Silicon Valley has the most advanced startup ecosystem that benefits startups which is probably why so many of them go global. Places like Mumbai and Bengaluru are having to play catch-up. India needs more and better options for financing startups and getting the talent needed. Overall India needs a better, easier environment for setting up businesses. The situation in India is changing but all too slowly. But a lot of Indian expats are returning to India or at least setting up some base in India which will provide a boost to India's startup ecosystem. Those entrepreneurs who maintain bases in India and abroad are helping to bring to India the ideas that it needs to develop its startup ecosystem.
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Mumbai on the Rocks - IdeaIndia.Com

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Asian E-commerce Boom: Consumers Favourite Pastime

Times of India reports that Asia is set to surpass North America to become the world's largest e-commerce market this year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). According to a report in Beijing by the EIU yesterday, an advisory company under the Economist magazine group, it is estimated that retail sales in Asia will grow by an average 4.6% on a volume basis to $7.6 trillion, compared with 2.5% in North America and 0.8% in Europe in 2015. Report editor Laurel West said the Asian consumer market was largely driven by the rising independence and economic power of Asia's women, and female consumers in Asia are showing an unprecedented enthusiasm for online shopping, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The report comes in the backdrop of huge demand for e-commerce generated in China by platforms like Alibaba which is picking up at a rapid pace in India. The two countries together account for about three billion people.
Asian eCommerce is booming and is becomi…

360 degrees back to life for Vandana Shah

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Open Government in India? Per-Apps, Per-Apps Not

Times of India reports that the Narendra Modi government has tapped Amit Ranjan, a technology entrepreneur who sold his startup, Slideshare, to LinkedIn in 2012, to lead a project for opening all government technology systems as it looks to speed up creation of apps that can be deployed across the country, while avoiding expensive proprietary packages. This comes five years after the previous UPA government got Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani to head an ambitious project to give every Indian a unique identity to ensure subsidies were better targeted and bring financial inclusion closer. The programme Nilekani began has been adopted by the Modi government as well. Ranjan has accepted the offer "in principle", according to one of the several people familiar with the plan. He may start as early as February next year, reporting to the joint secretary (IT) Rajinder Kumar. The role involves leading a soon-to-be-created opensource organisation for government projects as its CEO.…

Game Over for Mumbai? Not Just Yet - IdeaIndia.Com

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Mumbai Street Art - IdeaIndia.Com

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States of Play: Digital India and National Broadband

Economic Times reports that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government is to urge all State governments to help fasttrack the India national broadband project and suggest business models for delivering citizen-centric e-services under the Digital India initiative in their respective regions. "The immediate mission is making all State governments active partners in speeding up the national broadband venture and exploring ways to leverage the highspeed Internet network to deliver government e-services to the common man," a top Telecom Department official told ET. Accordingly, all States will be urged to assign responsibilities to senior bureaucrats to oversee the broadband rollouts in their regions, remove bottlenecks and come up with workable network utilisation models for delivering eServices in areas such as health, education and banking. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is tipped to chair a meeting this week with senior DoT officials to thrash out a strategy to make Stat…

Destination India for Investment: Modi Building Brand India

Economic Times reports that India is now the best-placed economy among global investment destinations as it emerges from a decade low slump to ride a wave of enthusiasm generated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image as a leader focused on execution, said Brian Moynihan, chairman & chief executive of Bank of America, the second-biggest US lender. "The story in India is a relatively stronger story," Moynihan told ET in an interview.
Moynihan joins other top executives putting India on their investment list. Brand India is currently looking up after Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister. Business in India, especially Indian e-commerce and m-commerce, is beginning to see signs of investment. Modi now has to deliver as expectations are high and people will get impatient for improvement in India.
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Being Responsible in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Reflections of a Rising Sun in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Flora Fountain Mumbai at Night - IdeaIndia.Com

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Land of the Digitally Free: Internet Freedom in India

Internet freedom has improved in India reports the Times of India. Relaxation of restrictions on Internet access and content has helped India register the biggest improvement in Internet freedom this year compared to its global counterparts, a report said today. According to the report 'Freedom on the Net 2014', very few countries registered any gain in Internet freedom compared to the previous year. "The year's biggest improvement occurred in India  where authorities relaxed restrictions on access and content that had been imposed in 2013 to help quell rioting in north eastern states," the report said. Internet freedom around the world, however, has declined for the fourth consecutive year. This is on account of a growing number of countries introducing online censorship and monitoring practices that are simultaneously more aggressive and more sophisticated in their targeting of individual users, it said.
This report from Freedom House is unexpected given the nu…

e-Curry: Digital India Gone Too Far?

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Hanging Garden Party in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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eBooks in every sense of the word: Computer Generated Fiction

eBooks are now being written by computers reports the Times of India. Computers are writing novels and getting better at it. It probably won't help your 'robots are stealing our jobs' fear. And it casts doubt on the idea that creative professions are safer than the administrative or processing professions. Right now, in a play on a human literary contest, around a hundred people are writing computer programs that will write texts for them, The Verge says. It's a response to November's National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge that gets people to finish a 50,000-word book on a deadline. The Verge explains the futuristic version was started by developer and artist Darius Kazemi, who encouraged creations made entirely by code. These computerized eBook novels are becoming more sophisticated.
From Mills & Boon novels to Microsoft & IBM novels  At this rate there won't be much left that computers can't do. The idea that computers can write eBook n…

eCommerce Shopping: Getting India's Population Online

e-Commerce e-tailers are gearing up for a surge in business with a fortnight of discounts during the ongoing Google-led online shopping festival followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday next week. The affiliate sites are creating 'how-to' guides for best deals in different categories, anticipating a four-fold rise in traffic and a similar jump in revenue. Sites that offer price comparisons, couponing and best deals may come up on top by creating 'how-to' guides during the GOSF (Google Online Shopping Festival). Smaller e-commerce merchants also gain from the rising traffic, given that they offer niche products and comparable discounts. 
The idea in India is to get more people interested in online shopping by attracting first time e-shoppers. Getting India's population online is a mammoth task. The Indian Government also has a plan to connect all of India's villages with a national fibre-optic network to create a truly Digital India.
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Mumbai Graffiti - IdeaIndia.Com

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Fashion Street, Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Life on the Streets in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Indians get Mobile with their Money

The nascent mobile wallet market in India is estimated to grow over threefold to Rs 1,210 crore in the next five years, buoyed by rising smartphone users and entry of newer players into the sector reports the Times of India. According to a study by research and consultancy firm RNCOS, the current Indian market size for mobile wallet (m-wallet) stands at about Rs 350 crore and is estimated to rise to Rs 1,210 crore by 2019. "M-wallet market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 30% in the next five years from 2015-2019. This is mainly due to increase in the demand for smartphones, which is estimated to grow at a higher pace, and rising mobile Internet users, which has grown at 92% in 2013," RNCOS said in the report. Any smartphone user can install m-wallet application in the handset and can create own log in account. They will get a permanent pin number for utilizing m-wallet services. RNCOS said: "M-wallet has a high capacity as an alternative to traditional and cur…

eCommerce in India - Delivering the Goods

eCommerce and mCommerce in India is growing at breakneck speed as more and more users go online to shop for goods and services. But it is at the stage of the last mile that some users get a poor service. While Indian e-tailers are getting huge amounts in investment, they are falling behind in keeping their delivery systems up to speed with the growing customer base and their expectations about e-commerce. Indian eCommerce is in a state of flux at present but the e-tailers will probably eventually get their act together. Some e-tailers are in discussions with India Post to improve delivery services to smaller towns in India. e-India or m-India still has some way to go to get the kind of reliability of delivery service you get in Europe.
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Lights on Haji Ali, Mumbai - Photos of Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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eBooks: Apple keeps the Lawyers Away

Times of India reports that a US judge has given final approval to Apple Inc's agreement to pay $450 million to resolve claims it harmed consumers by conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices. During a hearing in Manhattan, US District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called a "highly unusual" accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company is unsuccessful in appealing a ruling that found it liable for antitrust violations. The $400 million comes on top of earlier settlements with five publishers in the case, which provided $166 million for e-book purchasers. Apple agreed to the settlement in June, ahead of a damages trial set for two months later in which attorneys general in 33 states and territories and lawyers for a class of consumers were expected to seek up to $840 million. During hearing, Cote said it was an "unusually structured settlement, especially for one arrived at on the eve of trial.&qu…

Tunnel Vision in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Hang on Sirji, I've got a great idea

Idea theft is rife in the advertising industry according to an article today in the Economic Times. The article suggests that corporates and their ad agencies go idea 'shopping' to get the best ideas which are then used while the people who originally came up with the idea lose out. Getting clients to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements may be one way for the ad agencies to protects their ideas. Ideas can be difficult and expensive intellectual property to protect. From Italian Job's "Hang on lads, I've got a great idea" to Indian job - "What an idea, Sirji".

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Nana Chowk Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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Modi Taking India Mobile for M-Commerce

Mobile commerce or M-commerce is set to grow rapidly in the next couple of years according to a report by Juniper Research. The report estimates that more than 2 billion mobile phone or tablet users will make some form of M-commerce transaction by 2017.Mobile consumption of services such as banking, money transfer and purchases of goods and services is surging as consumers are either migrating from desktop usage or becoming first-time e-commerce users through their smartphones or tablets. 
There was news earlier that under its Digital India programme, the Indian government, very ambitiously, wants everyone in India to have a smartphone by 2019. It seems Prime Minister Modi wants everyone to go mobile for M-commerce for a Mobile India.

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Tightrope Walker in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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WANTED: A Bride for Rohit - eBook Novel by Promilla Malhotra - IdeaIndia.Com

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Crawford Market Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

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