Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Team Up

Facebook faces pressure from smaller rivals such as Nextdoor and Meetup, whose online networks bring together neighbours and people in the same area with shared interests. As a result, Facebook has changed its mission statement to show support for hobby clubs and other community groups.
Zuckerberg states that FB's mission is to "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." Previously it was "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." 
Google, Nextdoor and Meetup host community groups. Apps like ShareYaar also support groups or 'teams' to arrange meetings and events as part of their enterprise solutions.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

P2P Mentoring for Startup Founders

Entrepreneurs seem to be turning to their peers for advice and mentoring. Founders of startups are turning to other startup founders for mentorship. Peer-­to-­peer (P2P) mentoring is a sort of maturing of the startup ecosystem in India.

Founders connect with each other not on common strengths but for mentoring on common weaknesses. They share synergies and bounce ideas off each other. Areas like hiring, ESOPS, legal issues, office space, customer acquisition are subjects of discussion.
Turning to seniors for advice is necessary but so is turning to your peers. This is where co-working spaces aid entrepreneurs in that they come into contact with their peers.Also alumni associations provide a valuable platform to interact with your peers.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Co-operation in Fintech Regulation

Competitiveness among Asia's major financial centres, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, is undermining fintech development. Regulatory complexity in the region is creating uncertainty for investors. Whilst governments in Asia have launched a number of initiatives to lure fintech investors, major investors are calling for more government co-operation in fintech regulation in Asia.
Investors put about $19 billion worldwide into fintech, including P2P lenders, blockchain (distributed ledger technology) and crowdfunding platforms, in 2016. E.g. cryptocurrency exchanges have different regulations in various Asian countries which makes fintech licenses and development difficult.
Monetary Authority of Singapore has signed fintech cooperation agreements with 10 others, including in Australia, India, Japan and South Korea.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Outsourcing your Startups

South Korea is looking to India to grow its startup ecosystem. Indian startups will see more attention from South Korean companies in terms of investment and acquisitions.
The South Korean government has announced 'K - Startup' global challenge. This will see the winners get investments from the South Korean government, along with accelerator support and contracts with South Korean companies. 


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Fund Craze

With the likes of Rahul Chandra, Gunit Chadha, Jaspal Bindra, Bhupinder Singh, now its Prashant Khemka, CIO and lead portfolio manager of Goldman Sachs India equity and Global Emerging Markets equity, who will be starting on his own fund.
This will be good for India's startup ecosystem to have more funds being set up. But it has sort of become a craze, in recent times, to set up your own fund. This in itself might create a market bubble in startup funding as it may create a shortage of good startups to invest in.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

The Fund of Funds

SoftBank is in talks with potential Canadian pension funds, sovereign wealth funds in Kuwait and Qatar and tech firms to raise a further $7 billion in capital for its $100 billion Vision fund. According to news reports, SoftBank's Vision Fund will charge a performance fee of 20% and a management fee of 0.5% to 1% as opposed to private equity firms that typically charge 2% of the assets they oversee and 20% of profits. 
The first round of capital commitments for the Vision fund was agreed last month. With a huge fund for tech investments, Masayoshi Son's Softbank has enough capital to accelerate investments in cutting-edge tech and startups. This will probably mean huge investments in a small number of tech startups but possibly also some smaller investments in other startups that show potential. Tech in the hands of a few VC fund managers.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Improving employability of the workforce with corporate co-operation

Improving employability of the workforce with corporate co-operation.
Samsung India is going to expand its technical training schools in India, which are run in conjunction with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), to more places as part of the Skill India programme. Currently, 10 centres have been set up and 2 further centres will be set up in Bengaluru and Jamshedpur.
Samsung Technical School, started in 2013 as part of Samsung's citizenship initiative, to support the government's initiative to make India a global manufacturing hub by developing training programmes to create talented manpower with practical skills and appropriate industry experience. Samsung says around 2,000 have been trained so far, of which 70 per cent have been absorbed in jobs, the rest are self-employed.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Women Entrepreneurship in India

Social media is creating new avenues for generating revenue.

Indian homes generate $8-9 billion in sales as re-sellers using WhatsApp and Facebook. The online retail market is growing in India and Indian women homemakers are increasingly using social media to take advantage of the e-commerce boom and reach customers. As many as two million women homemakers are reselling various lifestyle and clothing products using these two platforms, according to an article in Times of India.

Such re-selling is expected to increase. The total market for women re-sellers could grow by as much as 40-50% annually for the next five years and firms are offering help to start you re-selling goods. What's aiding the growth of these re-sellers is the increased usage and access of smartphones in tier I cities which make up 50-60% of the market while tier II and tier III cities contribute the rest. Due to such growth, WhatsApp is looking at starting its own payments platform.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar

Underused Talent

India’s ethical hackers, who earn huge sums protecting foreign MNCs and global tech firms from cyberattacks, are underused in India. India produces more ethical hackers (hackers who break into computer systems to expose, and not exploit, weaknesses) than anywhere else.
BugCrowd, a global hacking network, shows Indians earned the most bug bounties (rewards for exposing cybersecurity loopholes). Facebook is just one of the companies that uses India's ethical hacker talent. Indians outnumbered all other bug hunters on HackerOne, a registry of hackers. 
Most are techies in India’s IT sector whose skill set makes them qualified to crack cyber systems. But while MNCs and global tech firms increasingly use this world-class hacking talent, only a few Indian firms run bug bounty programs.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Producing your own Content

Event/entertainment ticketing firm BookMyShow is planning to bring down the share of movies to about a third of its revenues in the next 3-5 years, as it increases investments in live events and content business, which include platforms like Daily Social and Movie Nation. Movie ticket sales account for about 60-65% while the rest primarily comes from live events and digital advertisement.
BookMyShow is trying to move from just an ecommerce player to building a content play and compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime which are also investing heavily of content production. BookMyShow has launched a multi-channel network (MCN) on YouTube  These platforms help it to acquire a new customers as well as increase the stickiness among existing customers. 
Paytm has also recently identified movies as one of its next $1billion gross-sales category, as well as online travel. It is also reported that it is in talks to acquire a majority stake in event ticketing firm Insider.

SJP @Digita…

Upskill in the Downturn

The recent downsizing in IT has made software professionals upskill to ensure they have multiple skills to reduce the impact of layoffs. This has led to growth for E-learning companies in specialised areas like analytics and product management. Big employers in India like LeEco, Aircel, Snapdeal, YepMe, Craftsvilla, PayU, Tolexo, Girnar Software and Stayzilla all have cut back on IT staff.
Professionals with management profiles are shifting their focus to product management. 2017 started on a bad note for IT in India. With funding drying up and global political changes, many startups and tech companies in India have an uncertain future and are cutting costs. The uncertainty in the market is good for e-learning firms as Techies are taking up courses in UI/UX, machine learning, AI, cybersecurity and micro service architecture, in the hope that by upskilling they will remain in demand.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Investors looking for the right Venture Capitalist

Almost every day you read in the news about a new VC fund being set up. Investors are flocking to Venture Capitalists who can find the disruptive ideas and technology.

VC funds, from Softbank's new Vision fund of nearly US$100 billion to smaller funds, all looking for, first and foremost, the right industry experts who are able to find the entrepreneurs with the best ideas.

Investors are willing to invest in funds run by VCs who have the ability to spot the best ideas. Investors are willing to fund the right venture capitalists. Investors are now putting part of their investment portfolio into VC funds as well as things like mutual funds. VC funds are becoming a sort of asset class of their own.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Telcos VoLTE-Face

Idea, Airtel and Vodafone are likely to launch voice over LTE or VoLTE services this year in their efforts to compete with Jio. This will enable these telcos to keep their low-end subscribers from switching to Jio, which runs an all-VoLTE network and offers voice calls for free. 
VoLTE allows an operator to give both voice and data, with voice being just another application that rides on an LTE data network. VoLTE technology gives voice in data format and can be delivered at a lower cost per minute than traditional voice calls. VoLTE-ready devices are expected to hit critical mass in the Indian market which is probably why Idea, Airtel and Vodafone want to start VoLTE services.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

World of Funds in AI, ML and IoT

Corporates, development banks, sovereign wealth funds are all investing, one way or the other, in AI, ML and IoT. Funds, the world over, pour into these technologies.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), investment arm of the World Bank, is going to invest $3 million in pi Ventures' maiden fund. pi Ventures focuses on early-stage investments in startups in the area of applied AI, machine learning (ML) and IoT.
IFC's investment is through its IFC Startup Catalyst program that builds local ecosystems by investing in sustainable seed stage funding mechanisms, including accelerators and seed funds, to support early-stage entrepreneurship globally. IFC has both a direct investment practice and is also an LP to local PE and VC funds. IFC's venture capital investments in India include BigBasket, Portea and BlackBuck.
pi Ventures has also raised $13 million from SIDBI and major entrepreneurs in India.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Track Customer Spending Offline and Online

Google is going to track your offline and online spending in order to get more digital advertising revenue. The offline tracking of credit/debit card transactions will let Google automatically inform merchants when their digital ads translate into sales offline. The store sales measurement tool is being previewed in San Francisco at an annual conference for Google's advertisers.
Google already has the biggest online ad network, with $79 billion in revenue last year. Google expects the data to show a cause-and-effect relationship between online ads and offline sales. It could help persuade merchants to increase their digital marketing budgets.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Land of the Rising Son

Softbank's Masayoshi Son is expected to announce soon the close of the first fundraising round for his new Vision Fund, a $100 billion technology investment fund that will be the world's largest private equity fund. His investors, which include Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and Apple, expect technology investments that will match or beat the ROI that Son has delivered in the last almost 2 decades.
Softbank's Son is looking for dealmakers who can spot the most commercially disruptive technologies. Son is looking for industry wonks to find potentially game-changing investments in sectors such as genomics, AI, robotics and IoT.
SoftBank's investment committee currently includes Son, Deep Nishar, SoftBank CFO Alok Sama, SoftBank director Ronald Fisher and head of the Vision Fund, Rajeev Misra. SoftBank is yet to finalize the investment committee for the new Vision Fund.
SoftBank is looking for experts in sectors like enterprise software, AI, robotics, digital m…

Getting the Next Billion despite High Data Costs

Big tech firms are trying their best to deal with high data costs in markets like India. The high data costs are a hurdle in attracting the next billion.

In its recent I/O Developer Conference, Google announced Android Go by which it will pre-install in its operating system a number of new features including software to manage cellular data costs. These new features, due to appear in 2018, are aimed at the cheaper smartphone market to attract more users to the Google platform and its services.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

CyberAttacks, Outages and Disruption

WhatsApp has suffered its second major outage recently. Rumours, which spread fast and go viral, did more to damage businesses in Bengaluru than the ransomware attack itself, which is feared to have infected over two lakh computers across 150 countries. Wary of carrying out online bank transactions, customers  and businesses are postponing digital payments. Businesses, which were just recovering from demonetization, suffered again. Even banks are under pressure as customers are lining up to withdraw cash from the counter. 
This sort of disruption will become a major concern as more and more services go online.
SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Digital Influence on Purchasing

The way purchases of real estate and cars are done in India is changing. The digital influence of social media and digital marketing is changing consumer behaviour.

About 70% of automobile sales in India will be "digitally influenced" by 2020, a report by Facebook and Bain and Co. says. The report looked at the impact of digital technologies like social media and Internet of Things (IoT) on the automotive industry. Social media is expected to become an important influencer, driving auto sales by 2020.
Most people now do a large part of their research online before purchasing a car. Therefore, auto makers need digital media as an important part of their marketing strategy. And a lot of post-purchase activities are now online.
By 2020, it is expected that up to 40 per cent of consumers are expected to book repair and maintenance services online and about 30 per cent will go online to purchase vehicle accessories.
Most Indian auto makers are not spending enough on digital inve…

Transformative Training and Skills

The demand for expertise in AI (artificial intelligence) is rising. US-based manufacturer of graphics processor technologies, NVIDIA says it will train 100,000 developers this year at the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, which provides training to developers, data scientists, researchers on the use of the latest AI tools and technology.
"AI is the defining technology of our generation. To meet overwhelming demand from enterprises, government agencies and universities, we are dramatically expanding the breadth and depth of our offerings, so developers worldwide can learn how to leverage this transformative technology," says NVIDIA. NVIDIA has trained developers in AI around the world including at IIT Bombay.
International Data Corporation estimates that 80 percent of all applications will have an AI component by 2020. NVIDIA is broadening its curriculum to include the applied use of deep learning for self-driving cars, healthcare, web services, robotics, video analytics and f…

Creating a Communications and Services Ecosystem

Airtel, India's major telco, has partnered with Ola, an Indian cab hailing app, to offer new digital services to customers. Airtel and Ola will bring together their respective platforms and reach to co-create an ecosystem to enhance India's growing communication and mobility needs. Ola will leverage Airtel's integrated suite of enterprise services to power its operations while Airtel will leverage Ola's network of drivers.
Airtel Payments Banks, part of Bharti Airtel, will integrate with Ola app, while Ola Money, a mobile wallet, will integrate with MyAirtel App.
Airtel retail kiosks will assist customers looking to book an Ola ride. While Airtel will be able to leverage Ola's network of drivers, who will act as mobile retail points for recharging Airtel prepaid numbers.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Not Neutral on the Net

Oracle is supporting US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to reverse net neutrality rules. Oracle says net neutrality rules are "removed from technical, economic, and consumer reality .... The stifling open internet regulations and broadband classification that the FCC put in place in 2015 - for just one aspect of the internet ecosystem - threw out both the technological consensus and the certainty needed for jobs and investment".
AT and T and Verizon also support Pai's plan and argue that the net neutrality rules stifle investment in the telecommunications sector, specifically in broadband infrastructure.  Pai has proposed to undo the rules, which subjected broadband companies to tougher regulation from the FCC. According to Oracle, Pai's plan to remove broadband providers from the FCC's regulatory jurisdiction "will eliminate unnecessary burdens on, and competitive imbalances for, ISPs internet service providers whil…

Creative Opportunity in the Digital Space

More and more artists, producers and content creators from Bollywood, stand-up comedy and TV are going over to digital, over-the-top content (OTT) platforms. They are being given free reign to create content for the digital platforms to grab a bigger audience. With the presence of global players like Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as domestic ones like ALTBalaji, Hotstar, Voot - writers, actors and filmmakers now have a space that's more experimental.
Controversial subjects will have more opportunities in the digital space, which is less regulated, with its niche audience. Therefore, streaming platforms are optimistic about the Indian market. KPMG says video currently accounts for 60% of mobile data traffic in India, and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 63% between 2016 and 2021.
For an audience, streaming platforms hold the promise of more interesting content and better production values. Digital platforms may have higher production budgets to experim…

Crowdfunding Currency without Borders

Crowdfunding is evolving with the use of blockchain. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales are growing in popularity. Almost $250m has been invested in ICOs. This year, Gnosis, one such ICO, got more than $12m, valuing it at about $300m.
ICO 'coins' are like digital coupons/tokens issued on an indelible distributed ledger/blockchain of Bitcoin fame. Therefore, they can easily be traded, although they don't confer ownership rights. Instead, they serve as the currency for the project they finance; to pay users for a correct prediction; or for the content users contribute. Investors hope that successful projects will cause ICO value to rise.
Today most issuers simply write a “smart contract” on Ethereum, a rival blockchain. This piece of code then automatically creates tokens when it receives “ether”, the coin of the Ethereum blockchain. 'Back to Earth' launched an ICO in April and wants to raise 750 bitcoin (almost $1m) by selling StarCredits. Investors who b…

Digital Extinction

Upgrading skills is essential to avoid digital extinction. Data scientists, software architects, data engineers, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are most in demand. Demand exceeds supply. "Any role which requires drawing intelligence from data is hard to hire for. UI, UX have been there for some time, but because they are needed across sectors like retail and manufacturing, the demand goes up. Any company not hiring in these roles will become a dinosaur after five to seven years," HackerRank's Harishankar Karunanidhi said. 
HR experts say companies are struggling to find quality candidates for these roles, while current employees are getting redundant.  Job positions in AI, machine learning (ML), robotics and digital marketing are other positions where demand exceeds supply. One reason for this may be that these jobs are relatively new compared to older skills e.g. Java.
Colleges need to add courses quickly to fill the gap and employers need to fund trainin…

Whose Call is it Anyway?

As M-commerce becomes the norm, verifying whose calling you becomes more necessary. Fashion e-tailer Voonik has partnered with Truecaller to improve its customer buying experience. Voonik is using Truecaller's TrueSDK and Truecaller Priority services. The Truecaller Priority sign up will allow users to identify delivery verification calls while shopping on Voonik. Calls from Voonik will be identified as 'Voonik's Order Team' for buyers with Truecaller app on their phones. Sequoia Capital, Atomico and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers backed Truecaller, which has tied up with a number of Indian businesses to help customers filter out unwanted communication.
"Consumers face a lot of friction when verifying their identity in apps and other digital services in daily life and we want to minimize that friction. TrueSDK and Truecaller Priority solutions will not only offer a frictionless signup process and help filter genuine calls to end users, but will also ensure that V…

Going Live for Users and Ad Dollars

Twitter is joining with Bloomberg Media for a 24/7 streaming TV news channel on the social networking platform. The channel is expected to begin later this year. To boost its user base, it has updated its products which include live video broadcasts from its app and launched new features to attract users. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said that he wants Twitter to be the "people's news network". Twitter has made a push into news and sports on mobile devices. It hopes that adding more live content will attract more ad dollars.
SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Ideas and Innovation Platforms

Big tech companies and startups are partnering to market the startup's innovations. Large tech firms get the innovations and the startups get the financing and marketing clout. Big tech firms are creating ideas marketplaces/platforms which startups can use to bring their ideas and innovations and create products and services required by big tech. To partner with a big tech firm, startups must have proven their worth first. 
Microsoft Accelerator's Bala Girisaballa says that while big tech firms have good connections with Fortune 500 firms, "A joint bidding for a deal with startups provides the startups invaluable access". He notes that the services component in deals is shrinking, and that makes products and platforms from startups invaluable in the digital transformation that customers demand. Microsoft has its cloud platform Azure while IBM has its cognitive platform Watson. "Working with a hundred startups simultaneously means that companies like Microsoft c…

Spreading the Word

Google India has launched its startup hand-holding program called "Solve for India" in Pune focusing on tier-II cities (Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Nashik, Madurai, Kanpur and Chennai) in India and on entrepreneurs who cater mainly to regional language speaking customers. This is the next part of Google's program for entrepreneurs having concentrated on Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore so far. 
"In the past 8-10 months, we have seen an increasing trend of entrepreneurship activity in tier-II cities...The penetration of Internet (due to low cost) has accelerated the pace of Internet usage on smartphone," says Karthik Padmanabhan, Google India. When he was questioned why Google is getting involved in India's startup ecosystem, Padmanabhan said that there has been huge growth in Internet usage, local language apps are needed to engage the audience. Google India will focus on sectors like Agri-tech, Healthcare, Transportation, Education…

India's E-commerce Sector goes International

Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm get ready for an international battle in India's e-commerce sector. Paytm Ecommerce, which operates Paytm Mall, the online marketplace which emerged from Paytm owner One 97 Communications, has appointed Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners and Alibaba Group's senior director of finance Jason Pak Tung Yip; secretary and general counsel at Alibaba Group Holding Timothy A Steinert; former director of Alibaba.com Europe and present executive director at Alibaba Entrepreneurs Hong Kong Mei Ki Cindy Chow Lok and CEO of Alibaba's payments subsidiary Ant Financials Jing Xiandong on its board of directors. They are joining Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma and vice-president Amit Sinha on the board. The platform has just raised $177 million from Alibaba and also has Ant Financial as an investor.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com



SIDBI Growth in Indian VC Funding

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has grown as a domestic investor in VC funds. India's VC industry has increasingly found SIDBI to be on the ball with funding and understanding VC needs and this is a good step forward for India's domestic venture capital industry, which has mostly been dependent on overseas investment.
"With external money, there is always a fluid situation. Sometimes, it is in one economy, and sometimes it is funding another destination. Also, overseas investors end up bearing the currency risk as much of their returns get eaten away due to currency depreciation. Additionally, the flavour of investments keeps dangling between the early and late stages, and across favourite sectors," says Ajay Kumar Kapur, deputy managing director at SIDBI.
The rising interest in SIDBI as a source of capital is clear as there is an increase in the number of sanctions and capital commitments to fund managers in the last couple of years.  "The o…

The Rising Son

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is getting a further billions for its war chest. SoftBank has probably led the deal. SoftBank, founded by Masayoshi Son, has been at the forefront of many publicised startup deals. SoftBank is also expected to lead $1.5 billion funding for Grab, Singapore's ride-hailing service.
Didi Chuxing is getting ready for battle with Uber. And Masayoshi Son will be there just as he is with India's e-commerce battle between Flipkart and Amazon.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Desi Content to Fuel Growth in India

Indian languages are slowly dominating English in internet usage. Hindi and vernacular languages will dominate as more Indians go online, with growing regional language content, falling data prices and cheaper smartphones. "English is over. There are only 200 million Indians who are proficient in English and they are already on the internet," according to Rajan Anandan, VP for Google's India and South-East Asian operations. "Almost every new user that is coming online-roughly nine out of ten — are not proficient in English. So, it is fair to say that almost all the growth of usage is coming from non-English users." he says.
By 2021, content consumption in Hindi will be bigger than consumption in English, according to Google estimates. A study conducted by Google, in partnership with KPMG, highlights this trend. "India today has 234 million Indian language users online, compared to 175 million English users ... Our study reveals that 99% of local-language …

Gateways to Digital Content

Amazon is trying to become an app store like  Apple or Google. Amazon and has created one point for users to get digital subscriptions from companies like the LA Times and Dropbox. Google and Apple app stores are major gateways for the sale of online music, newspapers and magazines, digital video packages, food delivery subscriptions and software making service providers dependent on Google and Apple. Amazon is now trying to grab a piece of the action. Google and Apple both take a big chunk of the subscriptions paid by customers. Digital Content providers are left with few options to market their content. These tech giants are the digital gateways to digital content.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

HR Technology Strategy

Companies are spending more on HR technology with 56% of all Asia-Pacific firms planning to increase their budgets in this area, according to a report by Sierra Cedar HR Tech Landscape Study for Asia - "More than 40% of all Asia-Pacific organisations and 50% of India-based organisations are looking at improving or developing a new enterprise HR Systems Strategy this year,".
The Asia-Pacific market is witnessing a maturing of overall HR technology adoption which is moving beyond initial investments in payroll talent management, workforce management and even business intelligence applications. Organisations are moving towards Cloud-based HRMS.
Organisations are seeking to adopt new Cloud-based HR technology which gives the ability to make use of emerging technologies which are in Cloud environments, e.g. embedded analytics, Mobile capabilities, and integration with Social platforms.
SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar

Social Media Command Centres for Brand Marketing

Social media command centres, dedicated facility used by brands for monitoring conversations, customer service, tracking marketing efficiency, market research, etc., are becoming the norm.
Big multi-national brands have used command centres for some years now. The trend is catching up in India. Many large brands in India are now using command centres. Brands cannot afford to ignore the social media chatter around their brand.
According to research in India, 47 per cent of the people who access social media post reviews of product and services. Social media has become a way to communicate with a brand. Brands can gain a better understanding of their customers this way.
The command centres provide diverse services to brands - customer care, social listening, market intelligence, market research, competition analysis and online reputation management using data analytics and real-time creative support.
The more popular tools in India are Radian 6, Hootsuite, Adobe Social and Socialbakers…

Digital Personality Marketing

Research from USA (Penn State) and UK (King's College London) reveals that people adopt different personalities for different social networking sites. The study shows that users subconsciously present a different personality of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., so that they can fit in with the distinctive culture of each of these sites. 2 features, that vary almost completely across profiles on networks are biographies and profile pictures of users. Researchers compiled information on more than 100,000 social media users. The research also reveals how demographics influence social media profiles.

This is useful research on digital marketing on social media networks

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar

Retail East

Retailing heads East for the Asia pivot. CEO of Walmart says India is a key growth market for the company, along with China, and it will focus on allocating capital to these markets in a bid to grow business profitably. "In order to grow our business profitably, we're making strategic choices to simplify our portfolio and be more focused. For example, we've sold non-core assets like shopping malls in Chile and the Suburbia clothing chain in Mexico. Our emphasis for capital allocation is on our core North American markets (Mexico and Canada) and key growth markets (China and India). We are intentionally focused on investing in markets, channels, and formats that position us to win," he says.
Walmart India operates 20 stores in the cash-and-carry wholesale space under the Best Price banner across the country and plans to increase this number. The Indian subsidiary is evaluating foreign direct investment (FDI) guidelines for the food retail space in India as the govern…

Digital Service Stations Across India

Mofussil India could be on the verge of a digital makeover, reports Times of India. The railways have identified over 7,000 sleepy towns in the country for converting their railway stations into digital hotspots, which will not just offer Wi-Fi services to the local population but will also serve as hubs for ordering and receiving goods from ecommerce portals. These proposed centres will provide digital services including digital banking, Aadhaar generation, issuing government certificates and filing taxes. The plan, under the 'Railwire Saathi' project, will soon be rolled out across 7,000 stations, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told ET. None of these stations will be in big cities and will be mostly in rural and remote areas, he said. "Railways already have an unparalleled optical fibre network across the country through which we can set up these centres in the premises of station," said Prabhu. It will be a one-stop solution for government's digital inclusion…

Indian Global In-House Centres

Moving from back-office to research and development, more large MNCs are using Indian global in-house centres (GICs), according to a report by Bain and Company. It's a testament to how these GICs are proving their worth. Bain, which surveyed a number of Fortune 1,000 companies and Indian GIC leaders, found that these companies and leaders forecast the type of work managed by GICs to increase along with the enterprise's reliance on the GIC. "This outlines the bigger role that Indian GICs can aspire to play within the global enterprise if they invest in becoming GICs of the future," it said in a report.
The report highlights 6 main areas for Indian GICs to invest in. They include analytics, traditional IT, digital-age IT, domain expertise, leadership and cost savings. "While GIC leaders are aligned on these priorities, traditional IT stands out as something that GIC leaders aren't prioritizing as much as global CXOs demand," it said.

The Indian GIC has g…

VCs looking for exits in India

VCs looking for exits in India will bring about further consolidation in Indian tech and consumer startup investments. Sequoia Capital, according to Times of India, is said to have concluded a $180-million secondary stake sale in eight of its portfolio companies to Madison Capital, as the venture fund consolidates its holdings. Sequoia has sold its 1.5% ownership in Snapdeal along with stakes in payments platform Pine Labs, health insurer Star Health and India Shelter Finance Corporation, Micromax and UnitedLex.
Having been around in India since 2006, for Sequoia Capital, which manages almost $3 billion in assets across hundreds of companies like Oyo Rooms, Practo, and Bira, clocking returns on its earlier investments has become increasingly imperative, just like other VCs, Sequoia has been one of the most prolific backers of tech and consumer ventures in India, and is among a few investors which is able to write larger cheques in growth-stage rounds as well.

Secondary portfolio sale…

Crossroads for Indian Tech Talent

Australia, Singapore, UK and America are changing their skilled migrant visa programmes which will adversely affect Indian techies planning on working abroad. Obviously Indian IT industry will also face this popular protectionist backlash. The exports of Indian tech skills will be impacted
Outsourcing contracts in which IT services providers have been trying to send low-cost resources to foreign markets will be impacted. How are Indian techies are perceived overseas? There maybe a shift in terms of profiles of IT workers that are likely to be deployed in those countries. 
Returning Indian techies will create oversupply of talent in India. This may give a boost to India's tech industry at home and its startup ecosystem.
SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar

Content Discrimination

Content providers such as Netflix and mobile phone operators backed net neutrality — a concept that guarantees equal and unbiased access to the web — while allowing for reasonable traffic management practices in exceptional cases as laid down by the authorities, reports Times of India. They and groups such as the Internet Freedom Foundation, Internet and Mobile Association of India and Nasscom want a regulatory framework primarily to stop and penalise traffic management practices (TMPs) such as blocking, throttling, prioritisation of traffic or altering of specific content, application or services, with the exception of processes to handle network congestion.
They were responding to a consultation paper on net neutrality floated by the regulator. "We believe it is crucial for Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to put in place a bright-line regulation that explicitly prohibits TSPs (telecom service providers) from restricting access to content available on the internet …

Digital Benefits

Digital benefits and perks are slowly removing the paper trail in India. Digital coupons and vouchers could have a big impact in India. Paytm, the mobile payments and ecommerce platform, is entering the meal voucher market. Being referred to as the food wallet, Paytm has tied up with firms that can top up wallets of their employees. 
"Paytm food wallet will benefit all stakeholders - employers, employees and food retailers. Corporate employees can now pay for their food and beverages using their mobile on the go and keep a track of all payments made on the app. This will offer convenience compared to the traditional instruments like paper vouchers and will have tax benefits too." says Paytm.
Paytm will now be in direct competition with Sodexo, Ticket Restaurant, Zeta and others. RBI has recently said that all meal-voucher companies must switch over to electronic formats by the end of the year. With investors like Alibaba, Paytm has the opportunity to disrupt the market. Acc…

Regional Language OS and Software

Indus OS, a regional language operating system, is to speed up marketing in India. Indus OS is planning the next version of the operating system which will have more local features and better translation and transliteration features. they are also planning to open an office in China this year. The aim behind setting up an office in China is to explore tie-ups with leading Chinese phone makers such as Xiaomi. Indus OS, which already has tie-ups with Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, is now looking to expand further by bundling with Chinese players which have a significant market share in India. 
Recently Indus OS obtained round A funding from VenturEast, JSW Ventures and Omidyar Network. Indus OS has been angel funded by the likes of Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal from Snapdeal, Amit Gupta and Naveen Tiwari from Inmobi and Pranay Chulet from Quikr, according to the company. Indus OS, which claims second place in terms of market share in the Android dominated Indian market, even ahead of Apple iO…