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Showing posts from 2015

Time for smartphone user interface to change

Time for smartphone user interface to change? 
Times of India reports that Matias Duarte, the man behind Google's Material Design language, has called the UI used by Apple in its iOS mobile operating system "very heavy and burdensome." The comment was made by Duarte, the vice president of design at Google, as part of an interview with Wired.
Talking about the design languages used in smartphones and tablets, Duarte said "It's very easy for things to settle on standards that are sub-optimal." He added, "It's not a world where the best package wins." Duarte said that the success of the first iPhone in the market was a "fairly positive" moment, but "crystallised a lot of other things that were kind of stayed even by that point, like the rows of icons, which don't scale very well."
He also credited Apple's move as a combine of ideas that put all the features the industry leaders wanted in the right package. Duarte, how…

Facebook doing things the old-fashioned way

Facebook, the digital social media and communications company, is daily taking out a huge number of ads in the national Indian print media to try to convince people that its Free Basics is not against net neutrality. For example, The Indian Express of 30 December 2015 contains several whole page ads by Facebook. Lot of sceptical people in India obviously.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Ideas from India

World Bank and IMF have competition from China and India in the developing world.
Economic Times reports that with an eye on making Indian funding attractive amid massive Chinese funded projects in the developing world, the Modi government has approved the new Indian Development Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) to streamline Lines Of Credit (LOC) offered to various countries in South Asia, SE Asia, Africa and Central America emphasizing on timely completion of projects. 
Timely completion of projects under Line Of Credit scheme and other assistance programs across countries have been key complaint of the recipient countries. Several factors including delay in release of funds to audit system for projects abroad based on Indian rules contribute to projects missing deadlines. The recipient countries have been raising the delay factor with India in various bilateral meetings or in meetings on the sidelines of multilateral meets. 
However, hoping to reverse this trend the Modi government has up…

Google wants an Entry Point to your Smartphone

India being a mobile-first country where many people will get their first access to the Internet via a mobile device is leaving Google worried.
Times of India reports that despite having over 90% smartphone market share in India, Google is lacking a big consumer app in the country. Facebook has WhatsApp (and Messenger), both of which are massive in India, and Google is getting anxious that it could lose out. Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his first official trip to India in mid-December as the company looks to expand in the country. Pichai announced a partnership with the Indian government to bring more of India's 1.2 billion population online. Business Insider spoke to Keval Desai, an ex-Google employee turned investor, about the problems Google is having in one of the fastest growing markets on Earth. (He was keen to stress that his views are not based on inside knowledge, but an understanding of Google's culture and businesses.)
"Messaging apps have become the entry po…

Salman Khan: Whose trial is it anyway? by Sheriyar Patel, Criminal Defence Advocate

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Salman Khan: Whose Trial is it Anyway?  (or How to Apply the Presumption of Innocence in Practice)  (Criminal Law for Non-Lawyers) 
by 
Sheriyar Patel  Criminal Defence Advocate


Salman Khan, one of India’s most famous Bollywood actors, was charged with various criminal offences over a car accident in 2002, which the media have dubbed as the 'hit-and-run' case, where one person died and others were injured. This case has been eagerly followed by lawyers in India. The Sessions Court trial judgment and the Bombay High Court appeal judgment, both of which are posted online, have been read by many. In the judgment dated 6th May 2015 in Sessions Case No.240 of 2013 (Salman Khan’s case), the Hon’ble Judge begins with “Accused Salman Salim Khan, famous cine actor, faced trial …..”.
But is it really the Defendant who is on trial in a criminal case? When a ‘Defendant goes on trial’ for an alleged criminal offence it is to decide his guilt or innocence, right? Wrong ... to read further click …

Straight to Digital Content: Bollywood Brand Development Online

With recent news that Netflix is planning to start services in India, perhaps through a partnership with a local telecom player, can Bollywood get consumers to pay for digital content online?

Whereas millions of people in the USA regularly pay for digital content via subscriptions to the likes of Netflix and buy digital movies via iTunes, consumers in India are used to free digital content. Bollywood is having a tough time making consumers pay for its content online. A lot of straight to digital content gets uploaded onto YouTube for Consumers to view for free. Its going to be a struggle in India to convince consumers in India to pay for digital content where piracy is rife an Internet connection speeds are not great. A lot of content creators in India see straight to digital content as the future but will have a while to go to reap the benefits. Foreign players have also entered the Indian market.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Where can you find honesty in Mumbai? - Photos of Mumbai

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Copyright CooperJal Ltd 2014 All rights reserved
SJP @DigitalAsian

Digital Decentralisation: Blockchain Technology

More than the virtual currency of Bitcoin itself, its underlying blockchain technology is getting more attention.
Times of India reports that exactly two years after it issued a caution against use of virtual currency bitcoin, the Reserve Bank of India has come around to appreciate the strengths of the underlying 'blockchain' technology. Blockchain is a digital platform which records all bitcoin transactions in a way that cannot be altered.
In December 2013, the RBI had cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies (VCs), including bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security-related risks that they are exposing themselves to. This week, in its report on financial stability, the RBI said that even as opinion diverged on the virtual currency itself, the key technical concept of 'blockchain' which underpins such cryptocurrency systems is drawing more attention now.
"With its potential to fight counterfei…

Currency colonisation: Why Yuan Dollars?

Why Yuan Dollars? Currency colonisation in Africa?

Times of India reports that Zimbabwe has announced it will soon adopt the Chinese yuan as the main currency for use. Zimbabwe is the first country apart from China to use the yuan as its currency in the domestic market; it has been the legal tender along with the US dollar and South African Rand for the last couple of years.
Zimbabwe, where hyperinflation led to the ludicrous release of a single 100 trillion (Zimbabwean) dollar banknote in 2009, hopes to gain from the move; China in turn is offering to cancel a debt of $40 million, which Zimbabwe is unable to repay . Zimbabwe's finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the use of the yuan "will be a function of trade between China and Zimbabwe and acceptability with customers in Zimbabwe".
"They (the Chinese) said they are cancelling our debts that are maturing this year and we are in the process of finalizing the debt instruments and calculating the debts," Chin…

Fight for 4G in India

With Shah Rukh Khan named brand ambassador for Reliance Jio, Reliance also buying up huge amounts of digital content to provide customers, RCom's merger (read takeover) with Aircel, rollout of VoLTE and Telcos asking the Indian Government to auction of premium 4G spectrum, the fight for 4G dominance is on.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Despite Controversy, Bitcoin still has value

Despite all the controversy over its founder, Bitcoin is sill there.
Times of India reports that 2016 could prove to be the year that the price of bitcoin surges again. Not because of any dark-web drug-dealing or Russian ponzi scheme, but for an altogether less sensational reason -- slower growth in the money supply. Bitcoin is a web-based "cryptocurrency" used to move money around quickly and anonymously with no need for a central authority. But despite being championed by some as the digital money of the future, it is often dismissed as a currency that is too volatile to invest in.
The reason 2016 looks set to be different is that bitcoin's price is likely to be driven in large part by similar factors to a traditional fiat currency, following the age-old principles of supply and demand. Instead of being controlled by a central bank, bitcoin relies on so-called "mining" computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles …

Angel Investors needed for Startup India

India has an incredibly low proportion of angel investors in relation to its population size. India needs many more angel and early stage investors for the startup ecosystem to get into full swing to create jobs and value.
Times of India reports that the ministry of communications and information technology has proposed tax exemptions on stock options given to employees by startups and on capital gains made from investing in new ventures, moves that could have a catalytic effect on such companies in the event the measures are adopted. The proposals have been sent to the finance ministry as part of suggestions for next year's budget and are aimed at promoting the startup ecosystem, in line with the initiative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day speech.
Some "70-80% of startups in the country are tech related and we need to find a way to encourage private capital and long-term investment in Indian tech startups," said an official. The depar…

Change in the Indian e-commerce business model

Change in the Indian e-commerce business model is coming.
Times of India reports that slamming huge discounts and cash-back offers from e-commerce players as "subsidies", chairman of Manipal Global Education TV Mohandas Pai has said the industry may see a shakeout in the next two years, or "even earlier." He faulted the business model adopted by e-tailers, which he said promotes growth without building customer loyalty. Biggies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal are just trying "to grow fast by giving subsidies, which is wrong because there is no customer loyalty."
"And in the last quarter we have seen... Amazon has overtaken them because it has superior technology and better processes. Snapdeal has fallen back," Pai, the former director of Infosys, told PTI. "I think, a very good shakeout... may come, maybe, in the next one or two years. Some of the weaker players will fall." On the startup growth scenario, Pai said: "Many of them wi…

Keeping the Internet Free and Neutral

Facebook is under fire for asking US users to support Free Basics in India. Facebook said it  had "mistakenly" turned on the notification to support its net neutrality-violating Free Basics programme in India.
Facebook's Free Basics is still having PR problems in India over net neutrality. Facebook is still not able to shake off fears about violating net neutrality. From Internet.Org to Free Basics, people still suspect Facebook.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Indian startups getting to grips with their A, B, C

Indian startups getting to grips with their A, B, C.
Economic Times reports that late-stage money for many startups in India are drying up, with Series B and C funding down about 25-30 per cent over last year, according to investment banking firm Merisis Advisors. Investors are now instead looking at more early-stage (seed and Series A) investments. "Many of the start-ups have a long gestation period and high burn rate. A shake-down has to happen and while fresh investments are coming in, they are fewer. 
Series B and C funding has come down about 25-30 per cent from last year," Merisis Advisors' co-founder Sumir Verma said. There are too many me-too start-ups in the market and unless there is something uniquely different, it is very difficult for startups to raise capital, especially at late stages, he added. IndiaMART Director Dinesh Gulati agreed. "It is a very real scenario. From a glut of funding across sizes some months ago, the ticket size is now going down,…

Tech Giants Pivot into Conglomerates

The Tech Pivot - Amazon not web company anymore but a consumer company. With news also that Amazon is negotiating with Boeing about leasing jets to start a cargo service, that's Fedex and UPS out of business soon then.
Times of India reports that amidst the debate over whether e-commerce companies should shift focus from websites to mobile apps, Amazon India head Amit Agarwal indicated to TOI that the debate was not very meaningful. "Amazon does not see itself as either an app or a web company, but rather as a consumer company," he said, suggesting that the e-commerce company would be present where the consumer is. The statement appeared to be a dig at rival Flipkart's persistent references to its focus on the mobile app, the need for a mobile-only strategy, and the need to get its employees away from a "desktop mindset."
In an exclusive interaction with TOI, Agarwal said that Amazon India's business volume had grown by 500% in the third quarter of this…

Digital ideas apps - giving people ideas on the go

Digital ideas apps - giving people ideas on the go.
Economic Times reports what do you do if you want to make a quick decision, but it should not be based on a hunch or intuition and rather on fairly dependable data? Indrayudh Ghoshal, the founder of Piki — a startup that expects to launch operations in January— promises answers within four hours of posting the 'three questions only' survey. "The idea with Piki is to target the rapid response sector. The client can get a focused answer in four hours from a targeted demographic audience," he said. Ghoshal is no stranger to the idea of survey, thanks to his previous experience with FourthLion Technologies, a firm that uses data analytics to help political parties manage an election campaign among other things. He built and managed their polling platform InstaVaani. 
The first stepping block in the process for Piki was to zero in on a relevant demographic base that his customers (any brand) would want to tap. Ghoshal fe…

Google's India-centric Strategy: Search Engine for Ideas

Google's Pichai reveals his idea sourcing strategy for India.
Economic Times reports that for Google, India is where the ideas are born, and their efficacy tested, before rolling it out to the world. This message was written large at the search giant's outing in the country on Wednesday. Google chief Sundar Pichai made a strong statement about the important role India will play in the overall strategy
Pichai and other visiting Google executives made it clear that India is at the heart of company's strategy not just as a burgeoning base of users but as a product development base. With this in mind, Google will expand its presence in India with "a new campus in Hyderabad," and increase hiring in other centres too. It is also tapping the strong developer community in the country since it is central to creating new products, said Pichai. It will launch a programme to train two million developers on its Android platform over the next three years through a partnersh…

RuPay and Financial Inclusion in India

US lobby machine in full swing in India as MasterCard and Visa feel the heat of competition. Indian government's attempts at financial inclusion for its population are now drawing criticism from foreign firms who were presumably not so inclusive in their business model. Were Visa and MasterCard giving cards on the basis of trying to be more inclusive to the Indian population?
Economic Times reports that US card companies MasterCard and Visa have complained of an invisible mandate to keep them out of Jan Dhan Yojana, the government's financial inclusion programme, and demanded a level playing field with government-backed card issuer RuPay. 
Stung by a sharp rise in cards issued by RuPay, thanks to Jan Dhan, MasterCard and Visa say they have asked Reserve Bank and the government to consider their services, which are cheaper than that of the local card issuer. 
Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific, MasterCard, said his company wants to get an equal opportunity to participate i…

App Development Growth in India

App development market grows fast in India as both startups and established businesses scramble for a mobile presence.
Times of India reports that the startup boom in the country is propelling a parallel IT services industry. While established technology companies such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services largely cater to overseas customers, upcoming firms are focusing on India, quenching the domestic demand for mobile-era solutions.
"We started getting a lot of demand from Indian startups mid-last year," said Akash Takyar, who heads Gurgaon-based LeewayHertz Technologies. The seven-year-old company started as a US-focused business, but gets a fair share of business from India.
As India becomes the world's fastest growing mobile app market, traditional companies, banks, travel firms, and even startups are scrambling to get a make-over, channeling revenue into small and medium-sized app makers such as Space O, LeewayHertz and Australia's Appster.
"Of every 1…

Attracting Branded Sellers to Digital Marketplaces

Now the major digital marketplaces are trying to attract international brands to their platforms. Its not just about getting as many sellers as possible onto your platform but also about getting recognised brands which is the next step.
Economic Times reports that Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan in January will lead a team on a roadshow to various European and US cities to attract and enrol global fashion brands to sell their stuff on the ecommerce site to treble sales from international labels by mid-2017. The team will travel to New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco apart from cities in Europe.
"There are a few other spots that are generally not on the global fashion map (and they) are China and South Korea. They are interesting for us," said Narayanan, who became the first professional chief executive of the country's largest online fashion retailer after founder Mukesh Bansal moved to larger roles in parent company Flipkart. "We will also get some brands from…

BYOD Workforce

Organizations need policies for employees to bring their own devices, such as laptops and smartphones, to work and access corporate data. BYOD or BYOT is becoming more common in India and firms need to minimise the risk associated with this.
Economic Times reports that today's workforce is reliant on computers, laptops and smartphones as the infrastructural extensions of an organization. These devices, endowed with the power of the Internet, carry important documents and passwords that form a virtual identity for organizations, especially with BYOD policies becoming a trend. Therefore, it is essential organizations ensure that they have the best of Internet security to guarantee that their identity is not compromised or important data lost. 
The advent of the Internet opened up yet another platform for fraudsters, who not only hack computers, steal private passwords, documents and files, but are also identity thieves. Despite this, some SMEs and big enterprises are still very com…

Apps Aggregating Apps: App Interfaces

Major apps are now offering interfaces for developers to access and incorporate the app into other apps, thereby broadening their user base and brand.
Economic Times reports that checking multiple apps while scouting for a cab is a common grouse. That's what got Shalak Naik and Neha Bora thinking about a single app that could collate data on all cabs in the vicinity and they launched Loco Cabs in April this year. "We started with the app showing the cabs available close by and then a few months ago we approached Uber and Ola (and TaxiForSure) to allow us to be able to facilitate their bookings as well," said Naik, who has worked in the travel trade for 14 years. While Loco Cabs secured an 'aggregated programme interface' from the Uber US office, a few months ago Ola announced the public release of its interface, allowing major mobile applications as well as individual developers to integrate Ola's offering onto their platforms. 
Ankit Bhati, CTO and cofounde…

In a State of Learning: Cooperative Competitive Federalism

Naarendra Modi's idea of States learning from each in terms of e-governance initiatives in what he calls cooperative, competitive federalism, should be given more prominence.
Economic Times reports that 8 Indian states have heeded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for "cooperative and competitive federalism" and expressed willingness to replicate some of the award-winning e-governance initiatives implemented in other parts India. 
Prime Minister's home state Gujarat and Congress-ruled Karnataka head the list of states whose projects are most popular, details accessed by ET show. While four states want to replicate Karnataka's 'Effective Vehicles Database Management System', three states want to copy Gujarat's 'Suraksha Setu Project' aimed at crime prevention. Gujarat, which has won two dozen national e-governance awards since 2008, has found takers for its other projects too. 
The PM had given the call in February and on the Civil Servi…

Customizing digital devices for the Indian consumer

Manufacturers customizing digital devices for the Indian consumer.
Times of India reports that Internet conglomerate LeTV is devoting considerable effort and resources to repeated testing of its 'superphones' in India, as the company is keen to introduce the devices in complete alignment with Indian consumers' requirements, according to a company official. LeTV accords top priority to ensuring flawless performance of its phones for Indian consumers and, therefore, the company is keen to customize its devices to suit the Indian users, the official said on Friday, requesting that he not be named.
The company has been in the news lately for its decision to enter the Indian market. In a significant move in its India entry strategy, LeTV has launched its official e-commerce platform Lemall.com, and its smartphone unit 'Le Mobile' is set to enter the Indian market with a record $530 million funding. LeTV's 'superphones' are equipped with the latest technolog…

Trying to Transform to a Digital Economy

Trying to make the transformation to digital? Here are some useful tips:
Economic Times reports in an article by Suryadeep Agrawal: I was recently talking to CMO of a large white goods brand where he expressed his frustration about not being able to move fast enough on digital transformation initiatives. He talked about the omni-channel digital vision and the kind of customer experience he wanted to create. This is something I have heard so many times from top decision makers in different companies not only in India but across countries like US and Europe. It is clear that senior executives realize the importance of going digital, but execution remains a challenge due to a number of reasons, which is quite worrisome. 
Thanks to rapid penetration of internet and smartphones, the change of consumer behavior is happening at lightening fast speed. According to the latest study by KPMG and IAMAI, India is going to have about 350 million internet users and 200 million mobile internet users…

Digital Content India @ IdeaIndia.Com

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IdeaIndia.Com ePublishing eBooks, Photos, eArticles and other Digital Content on India and South Asia

AGRICULTURE, ART and ART HISTORY, ASTROLOGY, BIOGRAPHY, BUSINESS, CINEMA, CURRENT AFFAIRS, ECONOMICS, ENVIRONMENT,   FICTION and LITERATURE, HISTORY, MYTHOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, POETRY, POLITICS, RELIGION, SCIENCE, SOCIETY and CULTURE, SPORT, YOGA  and more….

Seller Online Ecosystems to keep them Hooked

Being in debt to your online digital marketplace is one way to prevent etailers leaving - see Selling your Soul Online
Times of India reports that easy working capital loans — that's the carrot Flipkart is holding out to its 80,000 merchants to stay loyal and stay active. With the peak festival season behind it, Flipkart is switching attention back on strengthening its seller network, crucial for ensuring robust sales. The company is expanding its loan scheme to all its merchants five months after it began a pilot with 250 sellers and disbursed loans worth Rs 50 crore in collaboration with top banks and financial institutions.
Merchant loyalty and engagement have become key factors in India's cut-throat e-commerce industry. Snapdeal and Amazon, too, have launched similar loan schemes for their merchants, seeking to lock in key sellers and encourage them to sell more. Flipkart, India's largest online marketplace by sales, said its loan scheme will give its vendors easier a…

Tax in a Digital Economy

Times of India reports that Akhilesh Ranjan, joint secretary (foreign tax), who led India's initiative in the BEPS project, candidly shared his views on India's plans for its implementation and what lies in the future. The fundamental principle of the BEPS project, is that income of MNCs should be taxed in that country where economic activities are performed and where value is created. India, as a major outsourcing hub, may stand to garner higher share of taxes, as countries transition towards a BEPS-compliant regime. Looking ahead, taxation in a digital economy has its challenges, but India with a large consumer base (e.g.: 108 million Facebook users, second only to US) needs to find fair tax solutions.
"There is a concern that business operations, in a digital economy, can be run in another country without a physical business presence. The value of digital companies is skyrocketing, often with no rational basis. Such value is created largely by the market. We believe t…

Digital Distribution of Broadcasters' Content

Economic Times reports that SonyLIV, the digital platform of broadcast network Multi Screen Media (MSM), has adopted paid distribution model for its movie genre as broadcasters wake up to the revenue potential of digital distribution when people across the world increasingly access television content on smartphones and Internet. 
"A bulk of our revenues come from advertising on the back of our content on SonyLIV and going forward we see a lot of potential in the subscription-based model," said Uday Sodhi, executive vice president and head of digital businesses at Multi Screen Media. 
"In the next two years 70% of the revenues will come from advertising and 30% from subscription," he said. While at least half a dozen Indian broadcasters have put up digital platforms, some of them such as Star Network's Hotstar and the recently launched Viacom 18's Voot remain completely free platforms. 
SJP @DigitalAsian

Small Town India Leads Way in Mobile Payments

Small Town India is going cashless faster than metro city India.
Times of India reports that with the proliferation of mobile payment apps, the Indian smartphone user has increasingly begun to go cashless and, surprisingly, many using these apps are from small towns. Even though the penetration of mobile payment apps among smartphone users is nearly similar across towns of all sizes (57% in large towns and 52% in small towns), usage on these apps is higher among small town consumers, who spend 82 minutes a month. Mobile wallet transactions mirror the trend, having gone up 35% (in volume terms) from 40 million in May to 54 million in July this year, with around 40-50% transactions coming from Tier-II and Tier-III towns now as against barely anything a year ago.
Not only that, the popularity of such apps has risen to one in every two users this year, from one in five active users last year, data culled from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights says. Even as e-commerce companies debate whethe…

Headphone Smartphone

With the rise of headphones as a fashion item, there is probably opportunity for a smartphone maker.
Times of India reports that wearing a pair of headphones outdoors was no longer the preserve of people trying to find Roman coins in fields while waving metal detectors. It suddenly stopped being a bit weird. Portable music had arrived, and headphones were the medium by which we accessed it. For 30 years or so, that's the way it stayed. Headphones were merely functional items; you popped them on (or in) your ears and they piped in music from a 3.5mm mini-jack socket. Then, almost without warning, they became big business. Dr Dre's hunch that headphones might become a sought-after luxury item paid off in spectacular fashion: his company Beats was sold to Apple for $3bn (£2bn) in May 2014, by which time our whole attitude towards headphones had changed.
The texture of earpads and the colour of cables had become as critical to people's "look" as the cut of their tro…

O2O Commerce: Local Services Market Opportunities

The local services market is expanding in India with big players like Paytm. O2O commerce provides big opportunities, even in Tier III cities, with scale. Consolidation and big investments are there for the right players.
Times of India reports that Online payments and commerce player Paytm has acquired Near.in as consolidation sets in the crowded local and home services market. The acquisition of the Gurgaon-based Near.in is in line with Paytm's strategy to strengthen its O2O (online-to-offline) play, a company executive told TOI. The move comes at a time when a number of startups in the local services market have been unable to raise fresh capital as investors pull back.
Near.in had raised seed funding of around Rs 2 crore from serial entrepreneurs like Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, Manish Vij of adtech firm SVG Media, Prashant Tandon (CEO) and Gaurav Agarwal (CTO) of Healthkart.com, and Akash Agarwal, global vice-president of the mobile division of enterprise software maker SAP…

Digital Payments Economy Key for India's Growth

Becoming a digital payments economy may be key for financial inclusion in India.
Times of India report that technology titan and co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates sees India leapfrog into a digital payments economy, with almost half the population using such platforms to transact and transfer money in three years. "I am very pleased with what I see. The basic pieces are there to drive money transfers and eventually payments," said Gates. He was speaking at Nasscom hosted panel discussion on `Transforming India through digital financial inclusion' in Delhi. Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance, who was among the panelists with Gates said, "we are putting together a unique social security platform. We have solved the inclusion and access problem. Even 1,55,000 post office branches will be payment banks. The killer app for this platform is direct benefits transfer." Sinha was referring Aadhaar cards for solving the access problem …

Digital Communications and Content Capture

Facebook has started allowing users to stream live video and has recently announced enhanced functionality for business users. With its takeover of WhatsApp, Facebook is now a sort of digital communication company that allows it to capture huge amounts of users digital data from their communications through Facebook itself, WhatsApp etc. This allows Facebook to compete with mobile phone operators.
Several other tech firms are setting up their own digital mobile communications websites and apps such as Reliance's Jio Chat.
Users are communicating through various websites and apps and thereby creating a huge amount of data which the tech firms can access and use to market ideas, products and services to give users a more personal experience.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Uber Ubiquitous: Digital Integration

Digital integration is one way for firms like Uber to have their apps seen more often.
Times of India reports that online taxi-hailing service Uber said it would allow third-party app developers to add a 'Ride Request' button within their apps for free. Developers would need to register their apps on Uber's website to get access to the code to add the button, which users can tap to request a ride.
To entice developers to use the feature, Uber said it would pay $5 for every new US-based customer that uses the button from the developer's app. Earlier this year, Uber had partnered with Zomato, an India-based restaurant finder, to add a "Ride there with Uber" button on the restaurant page. Last year, Google Maps also integrated Uber within its app to allow users to book a ride.
SJP @DigitalAsian

East India Company: Tata looks East for Finance

Eastern money now fuelling Asia's growth. Asian firms now looking within Asia to financial services.
Economic Times reports In the summer of 2013, Ratan Tata took along his successor Cyrus Mistry to Beijing to introduce him to senior bankers and government officials in the Chinese establishment. High on the agenda were one-on-one meetings with Hu Huaibang, chairman of China Development Bank, the country's largest offshore lender and the world's largest 'policy bank', and Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest lender by market capitalisation and assets. This was the first serious business engagement that Mistry had with Chinese banking heavyweights after taking over as Tata Group chairman. Nearly two-and-a-half years later, on Wednesday, Tata Sons and ICBC announced a long-term alliance. 
Chinese lender will emerge as a strategic banking partner to the $108-billion salt-to-software conglomerate and help…

Staying Relevant in the Digital Age

Fear of not learning new skills to make sure that you are employable has always been a feature of life in the IT industry.
Times of India reports that with Indian IT firms focusing on surfing the digital wave, a growing number of employees are gripped by fears of being washed-up by rapidly evolving technologies. Although 80% of the industry's business continues to come from older or legacy technologies, experts say this share is set to shrink and workers need to upgrade their skills to stay relevant. But a section of the workforce may not be up to the job. "There will be a small bunch of people who will either not have the adaptability or learn ability to make that change," said Prithvi Shergill, head of human resources at HCL Technologies.
These people will have to look for options within their companies or outside, where the proportion of legacy skills work is higher, said Shergill. An anonymous confession on an unofficial Facebook page of an IT company recently lay b…

Digital Platforms go into Advertising Business for Sellers

Flipkart is turning into an ad agency with its ad platform for sellers to make use of their user traffic.
Times of India reports that Flipkart has introduced native advertising for companies to engage better with customers on its mobile platform, including for brands that do not sell through it, as India's largest online marketplace seeks to monetise its sizable user traffic. Through Flipkart's new 'brand story ad format', companies will be able to target specific customers browsing through products related to their own on the online marketplace — similar to what Snapdeal has just rolled out. Companies will also be able to use data from Flipkart for generating sales leads or run pre-product launch surveys.
"Unlike a Google, which is search and display-focussed, or Facebook, which is more social, we are very transaction-focussed with a strong purchase intent," said Ravi Garikipati, whom Flipkart hired in June as entrepreneur-in-residence to grow the online ad…

Remote Control Digital Content

Having the ability to decide when your messages will be deleted on the recipient's smartphone adds a new layer digital communications.
Time of India reports that if you often wish that you could delete messages sent from recipients smartphones? The latest Viber update from Android and iOS will allow you to do just that. According to Viber, "Well you can now delete that message from your own phone and it will be deleted from the devices of everyone you sent it to immediately. It works with both 1-on-1 or group messages. You'll be given an option to 'Delete for myself', removing it only from your device; or 'Delete for everyone', which removes it from your own phone as well as all the recipients' devices." However, in case you want to delete a message that someone else has sent to you, it will only be removed from your own device.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Creating IPR in India

There is a need for India to invest far more in its own research and development in various technologies. In a globalised world, IPR is what matters.
Times of India reports that millions of Indians talking on their cell phones are oblivious of a silent war that is brewing -- a high-stake tussle that could drive up prices of handsets and change the landscape of the business in the coming days. Every cell phone is a virtual black box of hundreds of patented technologies, whose owners -- some of the world's leading technology companies -- are now beginning to demand their pound of flesh in the second largest mobile market.
In the past few months, international companies such as Nokia, SiproLab, Sisvel and Core, have claimed royalty from Indian handset companies like Micromax, Lava, Intex, Karbonn and iBall -- a trend that could either price out the local firms and inundate the market with Chinese brands, or force Indian consumers to fork out a lot more for a handset. Chances are tha…

Digital Content Ideas and Partnerships

Getting the digital content and the business partnerships early on is important for the e-commerce. Quikr is following in the footsteps of Reliance Jio which is spending huge amounts on buying digital content. Quikr appears to be pivoting, as all major tech firms are, into platforms for all sorts of digital content and services. While Infibeam is on the hunt for startups with good ideas and partner with them for long term business partnerships.
Times of India reports that  online classifieds portal Quikr has announced its foray into the entertainment industry by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with renowned film industry veterans. As per the MoU, a joined entity will build first-of its-kind platform for actors, casting professionals, directors, producers and other segments of India's large film industry.
Partnering with third-generation film maker Vivek Bohra and casting director Aadore Mukherjee, who has films like Happy New Year and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to her credit,…

Li-Fi Lightspots for Smarter Cities

Li-Fi light-spots as opposed to wi-fi hotspots in smart cities?
BBC News reports "A new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves, has been tested in a working office. Li-fi can deliver internet access 100 times faster than traditional wi-fi, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second). It requires a light source, such as a standard LED bulb, an internet connection and a photo detector. It was tested this week by Estonian start-up Velmenni, in Tallinn. Velmenni used a li-fi-enabled light bulb to transmit data at speeds of 1Gbps. Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of up to 224Gbps. It was tested in an office, to allow workers to access the internet and in an industrial space, where it provided a smart lighting solution."
SJP @DigitalAsian

E-commerce Progressing Through Partnerships

Partnerships mater in e-commerce - Paytm seems to be progressing on the basis of the partnerships it is forging.

Times of India reports that LendingKart, a credit evaluation and loan platform, has tied up with Paytm, to offer collateral free loans to SMEs and sellers through the mobile payments wallet. This step aims at working towards bringing ease of financial assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants across the country, Lendingkart said in a statement. The company aims at simplifying the credit evaluation process, through efficient use of technology, making loan disbursement in three days at fair interest rates, it said. "The benefits we provide at Lendingkart allow the entrepreneurs to focus on building their businesses instead of worrying about gaps in their cash-flows," Lendingkart chief executive Harshvardhan Lunia said.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Digital India needs more cybersecurity

Digital India needs more cybersecurity. India appears to be an easy target for cyber attacks.
Times of India reports that India is increasingly on the radar of cyber-criminals from countries like China, Russia and the US, who are using advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks to steal data from consumers and enterprises, security software firm Kaspersky has said. APT refers to a format where the attacker gains access to a network/device and stays there undetected for a long period of time. The motive of the attack is to steal data and there is a longer term damage to the organization/user.
"APT attacks are on the rise globally and those affecting India are also growing. These attacks are originating from China, the US and Russia among other countries. A major chunk of the attacks like Equation, Turla, Darkhotel, Regin, Cloud Atlas infected India as well," Kaspersky Lab deputy director of global research and analysis team, Sergey Novikov told reporters. He added that while ther…