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Showing posts from September, 2015

Neural Automation for British Financial Services

British financial institutions automating their operations and processes. Britain's major industry, the financial services industry, is automating which will result in fewer employees being required in this industry.
Times of India reports IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced a new partnership with a British mutual financial institution for providing a neural automation system which automates and optimizes IT operations and processes of an enterprise. Nationwide Building Society selected its services-as-software platform Ignio -- the world's first neural automation system for enterprise IT -- as part of its continued transformation of its technology and operations, the TCS said in a statement. 
As the world's largest building society, Nationwide Building Society delivers a wide range of products to its customers and recognizes the importance of deploying new services rapidly and increasing the resilience of its digital solutions, it said. Mike Pighills, …

Tech CEOs as World Leaders

Indian media showed Modi's recent visit to America and focused on Silicon Valley. The Indian media showed Modi meeting with all the major Tech CEOs but not with American politicians. There was one meeting shown in the Indian media with one of the Tech CEOs, where Modi and the Tech CEO were sitting in front of an Indian flag as though this were a meeting of world leaders. Even international media showed the Pope's visit and the Chinese President's visit with American politicians. But the Indian media concentrated on Silicon Valley.
Indian media is over-awed by the Tech CEOs who are becoming the new world leaders.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Second Class Citizens: Mobile Pre-Paid Billing

Billing per second for pre-paid customers is making them 'second' class citizens? After facing the regulator over call dropping, the telecom operators are now name dropping.
Times of India reports that Idea Cellular has shifted its 1.5 million pre-paid customers who were on per minute billing (PMB) plan to per second billing (PSB), thus ensuring all its pre-paid users pay only for the time they use the network. 
Apart from the 1.5 million, who will be shifted over the next 30 days, the rest of its pre-paid users are already on per second billing. The company said that out of its total customer base of over 166 million, nearly 157 million are pre-paid. Bharti Airtel too announced earlier this week that all its pre-paid customers will be put on per second billing. 
The move by mobile operators comes amid regulator TRAI's scrutiny whether there are any tariff plans by service providers wherein call drops actually incentivise or benefit the companies. 

SJP @DigitalAsian

Game Theory for Indian Banking: RBI Rajan's Game Plan

RBI Governor Rajan seems to be allowing tech companies to enter the payment bank space to see how the market develops.
Economic Times reports that anyone wondering what the 11 payments banks and 10 small banks will do, need not go far. All one has to do is read what the chairman of the biggest lender, State Bank of India, and the Reserve Bank of India governor had to say on them. 
"Do you think the Indian banking system has matured enough to take on the onslaught from payment banks? Does the RBI see this as a first step towards some of the payments banks evolving into universal banks?" is what SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya asked the RBI governor the day after payments banks licences were given out. 
On what is in store, governor Rajan had this to say, "The (RBI) board took the view that it was hard to forecast what would happen in the payment space." He added, "Given the fact that we did not know what could succeed, the board chose to license a variety …

Selfie Ready: Makeup Science for Selfies

Times of India reports that for years CoverGirl has checked the performance of its foundations in different lighting — in bright sun or under the fluorescent bulbs of an office, for example. Recently, the company added another test for its makeup — the iPhone challenge. "We've got one type of consumer who is constantly taking pictures, and what really matters to her and her social group is how she looks in a selfie," said Sarah Vickery, CoverGirl's principal scientist. "It's something we really have to pay attention to."
Most makeup companies have products that play with light, offering photo finishes or airbrush effects that claim to make wearers camera-ready. But a handful of brands are beginning to design and tweak their wares to stand up to the specific challenges of phone photography -among them, that a flash can make foundation look white, or that in daylight selfies, cool colours can look warmer.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Cashless Education: Learning to go Cashless and Mobile

Teaching students to go cashless with mobile payments maybe one way to get people used to paying with their smartphones early on.
Times of India reports that mobile commerce platform Paytm has introduced cashless payments in educational institutions. Users can now pay school fees and dues, cafeteria bills as well as buy uniforms, books and merchandise through the Paytm Wallet. 
Paytm has tied up with several premium educational institutions in the country from pre-schools to colleges, including prestigious names such as IIT Mandi, Universal Education Trust, KN Modi University, Vidyamandir Classes, Made Easy, Career Launcher, Jamboree, Primus Public School, Bangalore, Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyalaya and a few DPS to name some. 
Paytm is in advanced stage discussions with all leading IITs, IIMs, central and state universities and will be completing the formal tie-ups soon. 
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder & CEO, Paytm said, "We are committed to bringing all services that require …

Expensive Ecommerce: Online Commissions for E-tailers

The fashion in India to get an online presence appears to be an expensive business with the ecommerce platforms.
Economic Times reports that there's bad news for fashion retailers hoping to cut real estate expenses by venturing into ecommerce — running an apparel business online is almost just as expensive as running a brick-and-mortar store in any mall. In fact, with ecommerce in the country pushing fashion brands to give more than 15-20% discounts, it could also eat into profit. 
Some fashion brands that entered the online space in the past five years claim to be paying 30-40% commission to ecommerce platforms such as Jabong, Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra and Koovs for sales and product delivery. Last year, Myntra is said to have increased the margin it sought from brands to 36-40% from 28-32% — higher than the 30-35% margins that several apparel, footwear, fashion and lifestyle vendors were giving to brick-and-mortar franchises then. 
This is almost as much as they would pay to run…

Deciphering India's Encryption Policy: India's Digital God Works in Mysterious Ways

Deciphering India's Encryption Policy. India's Digital God Works in Mysterious Ways
India's Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has published a draft of the National Encryption Policy. This policy aims to "enable (an) information security environment and secure transactions in cyberspace for individuals, businesses and government including nationally critical information systems and networks." The growth of Internet-based service delivery is making it necessary to have standards to protect privacy and security of the Internet and associated information systems. The DeitY has posted the draft on its website inviting mailed comments from the public on its mission, strategies, objectives, and regulatory framework.
But Times of India reports that shortly after a controversy erupted over government's proposal to investigate on every message that an individual will send via WhatsApp, SMS, or Google Hangouts, the DeitY clarified in a draft …

Idea Value: E-commerce Bubbles

Everyone in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are looking for that game-changing idea.
Times of India reports that Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla — whose net worth is estimated to be around $1.7 billion — has always stayed away from "the herd mentality" of investors backing popular startup ideas. In an exclusive interview with Economic Times this weekend, Khosla, cofounder of Sun Microsystems, said the startup valuation bubble is being caused by bad ideas and copycats chasing money-making opportunities. 
"In Silicon Valley, valuations are by analogy and that's always dangerous...there are some fundamentally new ideas coming out and all of those will result in valuable companies," he said. "But mixed in there are the copycats that will feel overvalued in few years. If you ask me if there are another dozen fundamental ideas in the next 10 years, the answer is almost certainly yes. But because of that dozen, there will be five dozen really bad ideas that ge…

Digital Currencies as Commodities: Trying to Regulate the Unknown

Governments want to regulate digital or virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. US regulators have found their way to do this by classifying digital currencies as commodities. But it is not fully clear yet what impact such currencies will have in the financial markets. Treating such currencies as digital commodities may be such a way so that governments are able to control the way in which they are used and proliferate.
CNBC reports "Bitcoin will now be classed as a commodity in the U.S. along with gold and oil, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which has started to clamp down on unregistered firms that trade derivatives of the cryptocurrency. The CFTC stated Thursday that it had ordered bitcoin options trading platform Coinflip, and its CEO Francisco Riordan, to cease trading due to it not registering and complying with its regulations. It added that it had also filed, and simultaneously settled, charges against the San Francisco-based firm. This might m…

All Things to All People: E-Commerce Omni Channel Distribution

Established bricks-and-mortar firms and startups are experimenting with omni channel selling - selling online and having a physical presence also. Online e-tailers are opening shops and bricks-and-mortar retailers are going online as well. Even digital content providers are trying different distribution channels.
Retailers and digital content publishers are looking for that right mix of channels in the market dealing with growth, profitability and customer stickiness.
Times of India reports that in an effort to tap the growing market of mobile readers, New York Times has made its debut on the messaging app WeChat to deliver news digests and features in English and Chinese. According to a report by NiemanLab, the New York Times international WeChat account will be aimed at readers in Asia, but will not be available in China. The publication aims to reach 100 million monthly active users across 200 countries with this account.
The Tencent-backed WeChat has over 500 million active users…

Controlling Publishers: Apple's Mobile Content Blocking

The decision by Apple to enable mobile content blocking in the latest version of it mobile operating system will cause great concern among digital content publishers. Digital content control is becoming more pervasive.
The Guardian reports "Less than a day after the launch of iOS 9, Apple’s latest operating system, content blocking software is at the top of the app charts worldwide. In the UK, two content blockers have hit the top 20 paid apps, with Purify at number 11 and Peace at number 12. In the US, the take-up has been even starker: Purify is at number 5 in the charts, and Peace is the top paid app in the whole country. The popularity of the apps suggests that mobile adblocking - which has been enabled in Apple’s default Safari browser for users who have upgraded to iOS 9 - could become even more widespread than it is on desktop. A 2014 report suggested that on desktop almost 150 million browsers were using some form of adblocker. The rise of adblocking has proved concernin…

Everything in India: Modi's Slogans

Modi is great at at slogans. The latest: 'Create in India'. Modi wants idea creation not just factories - Ideas in India is what Modi wants. Modi's slogans include Make in India, Startup India, Stake in India. If Modi wanted to increase the population of India, what would his slogan be? **** in India?
Economic Times reports the idea, not the iPhone. Create in India, not just 'Make in India'. If getting low-cost hardware factories to India becomes the focus of PM Narendra Modi's widely anticipated Silicon Valley visit later this month, the trip risks becoming a missed opportunity, technology experts reckon. 
Technology players and industry watchers feel the PM should focus on how India can adopt and adapt the Valley's best practices — the flow of ideas, disruptive innovations, a university lab-to-market chain, great marketing. Making iPhones in India is not the first best solution vis a vis Apple — setting up an Apple innovation and design campus in India i…

Digital Space: The Final Frontier

Digital tech giants, which are cash rich, are venturing into businesses that seem to have little to do with how they started out. Entering into fields such as driverless cars, buying satellite companies, getting into artificial intelligence and now space. This is the start of the corporate commercialisation of space. Amazon is now venturing into space. The next step would be becoming a defence contractor.
Times of India reports that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled plans to build a rocket manufacturing plant and launch site in Florida to better compete with fellow billionaires using their fortunes and tech prowess to open a new frontier in human space travel and exploration. 
Bezos' space startup, Blue Origin, intends to invest more than $200 million to build the rocket-making facility adjacent to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The vehicles will blast off from a refurbished launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, located just south of NASA's seaside spaceport. 
&q…

Shareholder Activism on the Rise in India

Shareholders in India are gradually becoming more activist and and not rubber stamping management decisions and actions.
Economic Times reports that after remaining passive and benign for years, shareholders, institutions and mutual funds are now aggressively challenging company managements and voting against many resolutions. 
Institutional shareholders have opposed and voted against resolutions in 18 out of 58 annual general meetings (AGMs) of leading companies so far this year. They voted against resolutions of only 9 out of 65 companies last year, according to data from proxy advisor firm Stakeholder Empowerment Services (SES). 
Only the instances where institutional votes against resolutions accounted for over 20 per cent of the company shareholding were considered for this study. Gentle nudges by regulators and e-voting are among the factors responsible for this change in attitude. 

SJP @DigitalAsian

UK E-commerce Slowing Down?

The Guardian reports that "The online shopping revolution in Britain is showing signs of reaching a peak after internet sales in August grew at the slowest rate on record. Online sales increased by 5% in August compared with sales in the same month last year, the lowest increment since online sales data started being collected in 2000. The rise of online shopping has forced shops to close, transforming British high streets, and led to internet retailers, such as Amazon, Asos and Ocado, becoming household names. However, sales growth has been sluggish throughout 2015, suggesting it might be approaching a plateau. Online sales account for a fifth of non-food retail sales in Britain, but for some individual retailers, such as Argos, it is approaching half. The development of mobile internet technology through smartphones and tablets has given online sales an extra boost in the past five years, while Black Friday last November created a further surge in internet orders as retailers …

Life After Death: Digital Re-incarnation

BBC News reports "A 3D moving image of the late singer Whitney Houston is being developed by a US entertainment firm. It is working with the Houston estate and hopes to tour the product in 2016. Hologram USA has patented what it calls a "high-tech version" of a 16th century illusion called Pepper's Ghost. It can cost "millions of dollars" to develop an image of a deceased star. The company told the BBC that members of the public often enquire about being turned into a 3D moving image too."
With this technology, there is nothing to stop a living person being made into a hologram and shown on TV, such as a current politician, president or prime minister.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Shoppers not ready for pure digital: Hybrid E-commerce

It seems that shoppers are not yet ready to go purely digital but still want the old fashioned shopping experience.
Times of India reports that Many e-commerce players have started foraying into physical retail space and the trend is going to become more prominent in future as it provides an opportunity to reinforce the online brand and gauge the market, experts say. In order to differentiate their brand from the clutter of online brands, some e-tailers are setting up shops offline. 
According to property consultant JLL India, Pepperfry is the latest to go 'hybrid.' The furniture portal recently leased a 1,800 sq ft space at Linking Road, Santacruz. Moreover, Lenskart, an Indian eyewear brand that started online, has lately opened up stores in retail malls.  Besides, online travel firm MakeMyTrip has opened over a dozen stores.
"The biggest nightmare for every online seller is to deal with a shopping cart abandonment rate of 70-80%. The sweet spot is to be in a middle zo…

Tech Firms Taking Over Banking?

Now tech companies starting banks.
Times of India reports that Paytm wants to launch the country's first payments bank by the end of this financial year and is counting on its mobile wallet experience to give it a clear advantage over established business houses that will be its main rivals. 
"We have sorted payment on wallet and we want to leverage that. We will drive and scale up payments business even today, while others have to build payments business," co-founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told ET. Paytm expects to touch Rs 10,000 crore in deposits in the next three years, building on existing consumer base and technological and cost-efficient set up, Sharma said. 
Paytm has more than 104 million mobile wallets and expects that to touch 150 million by March 2016. "We have an edge on timeline. The next year or a year and half, when these companies get started, we will still be playing the business," Sharma added. 
Paytm, the youngest licensee, Reliance Industrie…

Seconds Matter in the Battle for Digital Content Customers

Google and Twitter joining together to compete with Facebook's Instant Articles. They hope to allow publishers to promote “instant articles” to consumers that use their services on smartphones.
Google and Twitter will launch initially with a small group of publishers this year. This is a plan to reduce time consumers spend downloading articles in order to make it easier for publishers to distribute their digital content on mobile devices. 
It recognises that in this digital age, seconds matter when downloading content and consumers can be easily distracted if downloading takes too long. The idea being that when Twitter or Google search users click on a link while using their smartphones, they will see the full articles appear on their screens almost instantaneously, instead of waiting many seconds.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Startup Business Models Under Threat?

BBC News reports "App-based taxi service Uber has been dealt another blow in a legal row that questions the status of its drivers and threatens its business model. It has emerged that a government body has already ruled that Uber drivers are employees not independent contractors. The distinction is crucial because employees are entitled to a raft of benefits. It could strengthen the case for Uber drivers currently taking legal action against the company. The ruling emerged in court documents published by a lawyer representing the drivers - all based in San Francisco."
If this ruling is upheld, could it extend to other suppliers of services working through an app such as Uber? This could threaten not just Uber but other startups allowing customers to find services through an app.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Designs on a Digital India

Times of India reports that For an IT industry that is used to hiring thousands of engineers a month, the move to digital technology has thrown up a new challenge — hiring artists and designers. Building the talent base is important as experts say that lacking design and creative skills could mean that they could be shut out of lucrative digital contracts. From tweaking HR practices, to setting up dedicated design practices, to acquiring global design firms, to mandating internal marketing design teams to work with clients — IT firms are trying just about everything.
"More digital work could move to India, but there is a gap is in the design capabilities. That is still being done mostly onshore. So we are building out a design and user capability practice in India," Paul Nannetti, Global Sales and Portfolio Director at Capgemini Group, told ET in an interview. Nannetti, who is also a member of Capgemini's group executive committee, said that while he could not disclose …

Head Hunters Left Headless in E-commerce

Economic Times reports that the next time you say 'no' to a job offer from an ecommerce company, you may never hear from the firm again. A deluge of offers from cash-flush ecommerce companies wanting to scale up has seen a proportionate rise in the number of offers being turned down by senior level candidates in the past three to six months, leaving companies stumped and head hunters red faced. 
To avoid a repeat embarrassment, several job search firms have started blacklisting executives who have said 'no' to employment offers in the ecommerce space while job shopping during their notice period. According to estimates from four leading search firms, the offer dropout rates for the last three months have shot up by 30-40%. For the 12-month period, it has risen by 60-80%. 
Senior-level candidates turning down offers in the ecommerce space is around 40% now, double of what it is for any other sector, with the maximum offer drops being in the product management space, fo…

Living Without Owning in the Digital World

Imagine owning nothing. All your needs are just an app away. Have app, will live.

Economic Times reports that Anand Mahindra has warned the auto industry against rising competition from taxi-hailing apps such as Uber and Ola, saying it could push some people into giving up on ownership of cars and pose a threat to auto industry volumes.
"The age of access is here. There is going to be increasing number of people who would want access to transportation and not own object of transportation. So what are the opportunities?" Mahindra, the chairman & MD of Mahindra & Mahindra rhetorically asked the audience at the launch of its compact sports utility vehicle TUV 300. 
"Today, one lives in a world where the Olas and Ubers of the world are stating that a person doesn't need to own a car, for them transportation is commodity," he added. "It changes the way one sells," said Mahindra, whose products compete with those of Tata Motors, Hyundai and Japan&#…

Sharing the Digital Market?

BBC News reports "Online retailer Amazon has stopped selling its Fire smartphone, just 15 months after the handset was launched. According to its website, both the 32GB and 64GB models are "currently unavailable", and Amazon says it has no plans to replenish its inventory. It follows reports of lay-offs at the US company, after the phone failed to resonate with consumers. Amazon has not responded to requests from the BBC for comment about its plans for the phone. Launched with much fanfare in June 2014, the Fire Phone was Amazon's first foray into the smartphone market."
Is this an acknowledgement by the major tech firm, Amazon to let Apple maintain its share in the smartphone market rather than compete where it does not have strengths? How are the US major tech firms such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook competing with each other? Are they making decisions not to enter into markets where the others have strengths?

SJP @DigitalAsian

Getting Physical in the Digital Age: E-book Strategies

Concentrating on retailing physical goods will leave the way open for Amazon to retain its dominance in the Indian eBook market. eBook uptake in India has been slow but it is probably where things are headed. Whatever goods or services can be converted into digital format and distributed to consumers will be the way forward.

Times of India reports that online retailer Flipkart is likely to exit the e-books business as it tries to sharpen focus on retailing physical goods, according to a senior executive in the industry. The company said in a statement that it is evaluating its e-books strategy and is working toward redefining its digital offerings to customers. The announcement comes close on the heels of the company's tie up with self-publishing platform Smashwords coming to an end. 
Flipkart had tied up with Smashwords in 2013 to sell more than 200,000 e-books through an app under the Flyte brand. Smashwords had noted in a blog last month that it had "received word from Fl…

Singapore Solving the World's Disputes

Times of India reports that India ranks second in the number of cross-border disputes reaching the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, a jump from the third place in 2013, Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Singapore, revealed on Wednesday. Speaking to TOI in Mumbai ahead of the SIAC conference here, Justice Menon said that institutionalized mediation and arbitration is the way ahead as the region sees a spike in trans-national commerce and international trade. 
"We are situated at a very interesting point in world economic history which is moving eastward. The growth of cross-border trade within and intra-Asia is immense. Not only are transactions complicated, they involve an interplay of domestic and international legal complexities. We in Singapore built on our world-class judiciary known for its efficiency and best practices to promote International arbitration starting 25 years ago, but which came into its own in the last decade surpassing all expectat…

High Stakes in Mobile Payments

Times of India reports that in a new Samsung Electronics ad, a mysterious monk strides through a supermarket to a hip-hop beat using his staff to wizard groceries into a cart. At the checkout, an acolyte whips out a smartphone to settle up using Samsung's new mobile payment system, as if by magic. The tongue-in-cheek nod to martial arts movies is a plug for Samsung Pay, a technology to be rolled out in the United States later this month that allows customers to pay for goods by simply placing their handsets on or next to a point-of-sale terminal.
Since its August 20 launch in South Korea, Samsung says the service is beating internal expectations by averaging 25,000 new users and more than $620,000 in transactions per day. 
The world's top smartphone maker is trying to push into mobile payments, a sector seen by researcher IDC as being worth $1 trillion in 2017, as part of a drive to stem market share losses to Apple, Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi.

SJP @DigitalAsian

The Business of Consumer Behaviour: E-tailing

Economic Time reports that India's largest e-tailer Flipkart is in talks to acquire a stake in MapmyIndia, a digital mapping company, whose venture capital investors are looking for an exit. The deal, which could help Flipkart strengthen its logistics and customer analytics, is likely to see the Bengaluru-based company acquire a significant stake in the company, according to two people close to the development. 
Industry trackers believe that location is becoming increasingly important to understand consumer behaviour and with MapmyIndia's database across big metros and small towns could be an asset to e-tailers.
"With mapping information one can ensure that deliveries are done more effectively, besides guiding them on how a company can set up a hyper-local distribution and warehouses," said a VC investor who knows the firm. "It can create a huge competitive advantage to have a system like this which is proprietary," the person added. said a venture capita…

The Brand, Content and the Distribution: The Digital Holy Trinity

The big tech and content brands are making sure consumers are getting their digital release.
Times of India reports that Walt Disney Co's studio unit said customers of Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp's video services will get access to the collection on its cloud-based movie storage service from Tuesday. Studios like Disney, which has made blockbuster films like "Frozen" and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," have been attempting to steer movie fans towards digital purchases as sales of DVDs decline. 
Walt Disney Studios added that it would launch the app on video streaming-device maker Roku Inc and Google Inc's Android TV on September 15, coinciding with the DVD release of "Cinderella." The collection in Disney Movies Anywhere can be accessed through its new app for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and for Amazon's Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. 
The media company launched Disney Movies Anywhere in February 2014 with Apple Inc'…

Obstacles to Innovation in India: Software Patents

Will new patent guidelines on software have an adverse impact on Indian startups and innovation? Such software patents may have an impact in software innovation in the age of the Internet of Things.
Times of India reports that the Indian Patent Office's recent guidelines, declaring that software and business methods are patentable in India, has set off alarm bells across the software product industry.
The patent office for the first time made a clear interpretation of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002 to mean that if a software has novelty, is inventive or tangible, and has proper technical effect or industrial application, it can be patented. The guidelines serve as a reference for officers in granting patents. Software product industry experts are against modifying the law to make computer programs easily patentable, arguing that innovation in the area is often incremental and programs are built on top of other programs.
They cautioned that if the guidelines are made into law, …

Software Services for the Internet of Things: Blackberry changing focus

3-4 years ago in Mumbai, Blackberry phones were a common sight. now its more common to see a Samsung or iPhone. But Blackberry still seems to be going perhaps changing into a software services provider for corporates - perhaps getting more into the software for the Internet of Things.
Times of India reports that Canada's BlackBerry Ltd will buy rival mobile software provider Good Technology for $425 million, to boost its ability to help corporate clients manage smartphones running on different operating systems. The cash deal may help BlackBerry, a one-time smartphone pioneer, win new customers for its services business, a priority as it shifts focus to device management software for enterprise customers. More than half the devices running on Good's systems are Apple products such as the iPhone. 
BlackBerry said it expects to realize about $160 million in revenue from the acquisition in the first year after the deal closes, expected by late November. Its Toronto listed shares…

E-commerce Driving the Logistics Industry in India

India will become one mobile app with a logistics hub :)
Entrepreneurs are creating a whole new logistics industry in India something that the Indian government has been unable to do itself. E-commerce startups in India are driving the logistics industry forward trying to deliver anything from groceries, medicines and services to consumers as quick and efficiently as possible. Investment in startups are going into getting the logistics right across India creating repeat customers. 
There will eventually be a mobile app for any goods or services you want in India and the logistics to get them delivered to you. 

SJP @DigitalAsian

Angels in Search of Startup Souls: Angel Investors in India

Many people from different backgrounds with some spare cash they are willing to risk are becoming angel investors in Indian startups. People from Bollywood, business, executives ... anyone willing to risk some capital wants to get in on a startup. E-commerce craze has caught the imagination of investors in India. This will fuel the high valuations even while more professional startup investors become more selective.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Hyper-Local Horizontal Delivery: HyperLocal Startups go Pan-India

Hyper-local startups in India are facing intense competition. These startups deliver anything from food, medicines, groceries and services like electricians etc. Margins are very low as they compete on price. They will face consolidation as funding becomes more selective and they try to scale up to increase order volumes so they can maximise there investment in their logisitcs. There is a certain amount of trial and error to see which business models are most suited to the Indian market. 
With consolidation, the startups that succeed won't be hyper-local so much as pan-India, covering many cities.

SJP @DigitalAsian

Overcrowded Funding: Startups Feel the Heat in India

Times of India reports that as the funding cycle for Indian Internet companies starts to slide off its peak, investors and entrepreneurs anticipate a wave of mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the crowded and highly competitive hyper-local delivery and online classifieds segments. Startups in these sectors have emerged as must-haves for venture capital firms.
However, securing follow-on financing could become tougher as investors turn selective about which companies to bet on. Experts say this is a fallout of back-to-back capital infusions, overheated valuations and a thrust on growth over profitability, which investors fear could come back to haunt them. A round of consolidation could bring focus back on building a business and improving unit economics, or the key components of a consumer Internet business, according to venture capital investors ET spoke with.
"The funding climate is drying out. In all these sectors (food-tech, home services, logistics) there is a lot of…

Start Up and Out of India: Red Tape in India

It seems startups are starting out of India.

Times of India reports that successful startups are moving out of India due to unfriendly regulatory framework for such ventures, according to Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, who has been devoting a third of his time to the startup ecosystem since leaving the company and is working on spreading the startup culture beyond centres such as Bengaluru and Gurgaon. "India's rural people have strong execution skills. We want to give them tools that people in cities are familiar with, and take entrepreneurship beyond Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Mumbai," Gopalakrishnan, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) entrepreneurship council told ET. 
Gopalakrishnan is leading a CII initiative to set up a National Startup Centre that will handhold aspiring rural entrepreneurs through the entire process — from business idea generation and raising seed capital to post-incubation mentoring and guidance, be it for business strat…