Showing posts from November, 2015

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…

Going Native on Social Media: Digital Advertising Evolves

Digital advertisers and ePublishers are having to deal with shorter attention spans and ad blocking software. It was reported recently that Yahoo blocked some email users from seeing their email where hey were using ad blocking software.
As a result digital advertisers now pursuing native advertising where they attach their brands with bloggers and web content creators. Native ads look similar to editorial content produced by traditional ePublishers but may say its sponsored by a particular brand.
Digital Advertisers are also turning more to social media advertising where spending will dramatically increase.
SJP @DigittalAsian

Cybersecurity Cat and Mouse: Better Encryption Needed

Arguments for stronger encryption are growing with increasingly growing concerns over privacy and cybersecurity.
Times of India reports that US retailers are hunting for evidence of new breaches leading into the holiday shopping season after a cyber intelligence firm privately warned them about payment-card-stealing malware that it said evades almost all security software. "This is by far the most sophisticated point-of-sale malware seen to date," said Maria Noboa, lead technical analyst for privately held iSight Partners, which uncovered the malware and was due to release a technical report about it.
The firm had shared information about the malware, dubbed ModPOS, with clients in October, and briefed dozens of companies, including retailers, hospitality companies and payment-card processors, about its dangers. Retailers began hunting for the malware in the approach to this week's unofficial launch of the holiday shopping season, the busiest time of the year for most m…

Undiplomatic Brand Ambassadors: More Digital Diplomacy required

When brand ambassadors, for e-commerce firms, are perceived to be undiplomatic, the firm can suffer very quickly online. Digital damage limitation.
Times of India reports that Snapdeal, the e-commerce giant engulfed in the controversy over actor Aamir Khan's remarks on rising intolerance in the country has issued a statement. In a press statement, the Gurgaon-based e-tailer said, "Snapdeal is neither connected nor plays a role in comments made by Aamir Khan in his personal capacity. Snapdeal is a proud Indian company built by passionate young Indians focused on building an inclusive digital India. Everyday we are positively impacting thousands of small businesses and millions of consumers in India. We will continue towards our mission of creating one million successful online entrepreneurs in India."
Ratings for Snapdeal's app on Google Play Store took a beating on Tuesday, as thousands of people took to social media to voice their discontent over Aamir Khan's r…

Battle against ad blocking continues

Clearly ad blocking is not deterring Nielsen from providing digital ad measuring system for advertisers and agencies.
Times of India reports that global marketing research firm Nielsen has launched India's first digital advertisement measurement system that will help marketers in the country find out the return on investment of their campaigns on the Internet and mobile platforms. The Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) system can measure all kinds of display and video ads across all digital platforms except Twitter and YouTube app on mobile phones and tablets, Nielsen India officials said, adding that these two platforms will soon be integrated with its digital tool. 
"The new system will help advertisers and agencies gauge return on investment for every rupee they spend online," said Prashant Singh, managing director at Nielsen India. The new system can measure online advertising audiences, reach and frequency of digital ad campaigns, and gross rating points (GRP) of the…

Fear of Disruption Driving Firms to Invest in Ideas

The fear of tech disruption is making firms from many industries invest in the search for ideas. There is also news that SEBI is finalising rules to allow e-commerce platforms, such as Flipkart, to sell financial products online.
Economic Times reports that financial services firm Edelweiss is tapping engineering students for innovative technologies and has created an internal board that is evaluating ideas such as peer-to-peer lending to avoid being disrupted.
The fear of technological disruption has reached the boards of large companies, which are now trying to join the startup boom, either through funding or collaborations. Edelweiss is open to trying both, the company's technology chief told ET, as not all innovative ideas can come from inside. 
"We have a programme called Edelweiss Springboard. We go to engineering colleges and ask students to come up with innovative ideas for our business using few technologies. If the idea has potential, we will mentor the shortlisted…

Idea India on Spectrum Shopping Spree

Idea India buys spectrum in readiness for 4G digital content services to compete with the likes of Jio.
Times of India reports that in the first spectrum trading deal of the country, Idea Cellular has signed a pact with Videocon Telecommunications to buy its airwaves in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh West for Rs 3,310 crore.
Idea said it intends to use this spectrum for the launch of 4G services in these areas next year. Along with the right to use spectrum, Idea will also be taking over the outstanding liability of Videocon, which it has to pay to government for these set of airwaves.
Idea Cellular in a statement said it has entered "into an agreement with Videocon Telecommunications Limited (Seller) for acquiring right to use spectrum, pursuant to the DoT 'Guidelines for Trading of Access Spectrum by Access Service Providers' (Guidelines) dated October 12, 2015, for the telecom service areas of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West)."
SJP @DigitalAsian

Digital Content in India gets all Jio-Political

Reliance is spending huge amounts on buying up digital content to bundle with its Jio services. Reliance has the financial clout to do this and to make Jio not just a communications company but a digital services firm to try to push out the competition.
Economic Times reports that Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Jio Infocomm plans to position itself as a digital content company to make it distinct from other mobile phone operators in an intensely competitive market. Content-streaming packages will be the key element of this strategy, people familiar with the matter told ET. 
The Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) unit plans to bundle this with bandwidth and talk time, in contrast with rivals that offer data and voice packs. Some companies offer bundled access to social networks such as WhatsApp and Facebook for a fixed sum and period, the only products that come close to what Jio is said to be planning. 
A Jio package will allow a subscriber to watch, for instance, five movies a month or watch…

BAT for India: Chinese Firms looking at more Indian Startup Investments

Foreign interest in India's startup economy is growing. With other investment destinations becoming less viable, India's startup ecosystem is looking like a better option.
Economic Times reports that a new group of investors — Chinese in origin — is poised to step in as investors of choice for Indian startups, taking the place of some of the country's biggest venture capital firms that are becoming more cautious about writing large cheques. 
Baidu, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, collectively known as BAT, have been scouting in India for a year for startups to invest in, to take advantage of potential opportunities in the world's third-largest smartphone market, several investors and entrepreneurs ET spoke to said. 
While Alibaba and Tencent have already ploughed in millions, questions, however, have stacked up about their focus and investment strategies for Asia's second-largest economy.

"India is the last big frontier for the global mobile Internet,&quo…

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Digital Bollywood: The Value of Digital Content

Digitising Bollywood. Bollywood has the content that digital platforms need to attract customers.
Economic Times reports that prominent Bollywood big names are lining up to sprinkle stardust on startups by trading their creative prowess for equity stakes in up and coming companies. An amalgam of actors, writers and directors has come up with an unprecedented plan to join the startup action by creating top quality advertising content in exchange for stakes of up to 3-4%. 
The prime mover on behalf of Bollywood is Sunil Bohra, the producer of award-winning films such as Shahid and Gangs of Wasseypur. The maiden project will start next month with an undisclosed startup. "(We will be) high on content, low on cost," said Bohra, 43, who makes films under the Bohra Bros banner. 
Startups have raised billions of dollars and are among the biggest spenders on marketing and advertising, making them an attractive hunting ground for those looking to cash in on the opportunity. 
So far t…

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SJP @DigitalAsian

CXOs Increase Content Marketing for eCommerce

Content is King in eCommerce?
Economic Times publishes an article which reports that over the last five years, eCommerce has exploded in India primarily due to the rise in mobile Internet access and improvements across payment and delivery infrastructures. A study by Deloitte earlier this year pegged the value of the eCommerce market in India at $16 billion for 2015 - that's a staggering 300% increase from $4 billion in 2010. 
This revolution, initially driven by eCommerce pure plays like SnapDeal, FlipKart and Myntra, has fundamentally changed the way many Indian consumers behave, providing more traditional, offline focused businesses with a wake-up call, and further driving them to build strategies that ensure they are able to engage with consumers wherever they are. 
At the same time Content Marketing has become an increasingly important part of the marketer's toolkit and, when CXO Today interviewed 380 Indian CMO's, 84% of them said they would be increasing their cont…

Billion Breakthrough: India's Opportunity

The next major milestone for India Inc is the inclusion of what author C. K. Prahalad refers to as the 'Bottom of the Pyramid' - the largest and poorest of the socio-economic group. Tech startups in particular have a massive opportunity to market to a huge audience in India. The Indian government's aim of financial inclusion creates opportunities for nimble fintech startups to take a lead in this field. This market is India's biggest opportunity.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Competition on the Cards for India

India has growing startups in the field of alternative payment method - digital wallets etc. And with the Indian government's drive for financial inclusion for the unbanked, this will increase giving the large international firms some competition in India.
Economic Times reports that Government efforts to promote financial inclusion have made RuPay stand out among its international peers. The payment gateway has surely helped the government achieve its social objective, and it may even end up being a profitable one, competing with global giants.
No other segment in the financial services industry, which impacts the masses in such large numbers, is as secretive as the cards business. Given the nature of the business —which is a near duopoly dominated by Visa and MasterCard — there is hardly anyone who has been able to get data from these two, nor have the regulators bothered to disclose. But when PM Narendra Modi spoke about the emergence of RuPay cards as an alternative to the ot…

Responsibility of Protecting IPR on Digital Marketplaces

Are digital marketplaces merely platforms for sellers to sell what they like or do they have some responsibility to protect IPR?
Times of India reports that Siddhi Vinayak Knots & Prints, a Surat-based saree manufacturer and retailer, has filed cases against Amazon, Flipkart and several of their sellers in the Bombay High Court for allegedly selling sarees that are copies of its copyrighted designs. In some cases, it has dragged Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal as a party. "My allegations are that these companies are infringing upon my copyright and design," said Siddhi Vinayak's lawyer Bhushan Mahadik. He said sellers on Amazon and Flipkart even used Siddhi Vinayak photographs that the company had shot using model Shreya Sabharwal.
Amazon and Flipkart are "shrugging" off the matter, saying they are marketplaces that merely offer a platform for sellers, he alleged. Siddhi Vinayak sells sarees under the flagship Laxmipati brand through compa…

Quantum Leap for Digital Disruption

The digital world will get left behind eventually once quantum computing comes of age. Imagine having smartphones powered by quantum computing.
The Guardian reports "Australian researchers have demonstrated that a quantum version of computer code can be written on a silicon microchip with the highest level of accuracy ever recorded. A quantum computer uses atoms rather than transistors as its processing unit, allowing it to conduct multiple complex calculations at once and at high speed. In the race to build the first functional quantum computer scientists around the world have been trying to write quantum code in a range of materials such as caesium, aluminium, niobium titanium nitride and diamond. But researchers at the University of NSW have long been basing their research around silicon, because silicon is the building block of all modern electronic devices, which would make quantum code in a silicon microchip easier, more cost-effective and highly scalable. For the first ti…

Infosys captivates its clients with a shift in strategy

Infosys captivates its clients with a shift in strategy. Disruptive strategy on the cards for Indian IT industry.
Economic Times reports that Infosys has started helping some of its top customers set up captive technology centres in low-cost locations such as India, a bold departure from its traditional strategy and a testament to the changing business model and priorities at the nation's $146-billion information technology industry. 
Executives aware of the new strategy, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Infosys has recently helped US financial services company Visa set up a brand-new technology centre and held talks with Daimler AG on building a technology facility for the German automotive giant. 
For a sector that has traditionally looked at captive centres as disruptive and competitive threats to its businesses, Infosys' move indicates a huge shift. In an interview, chief operating officer Pravin Rao refused to share client-specific information, but said Infos…

Defining Moment for E-commerce in India

This is a defining moment for e-commerce in India.
Times of India reports that the Indian government is working on the definition of e-commerce to clear the air over key issues such as taxation and foreign investment in the burgeoning sector. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said her ministry has received inputs from almost all the states on the issues related with FDI in e-commerce segment. When asked whether the states are favouring FDI in the sector, she said: "Lets see. We will at least come out with some definition of what e-commerce is." "We have got the inputs from the states. We are in the process of putting it all together," Sitharaman told PTI.

SJP @DigitalAsian

No Marketplace for New Startups

There are a lot of startups setting up payment wallets but it looks like the big digital marketplaces may not provide a market for their services. Will consumers suffer in the long run without the competition being available?
Times of India reports that some payment wallet firms say they are getting locked out of the booming e-commerce sector as the companies that run marketplaces prefer their own subsidiaries or are intent on making sure that customers spend any cash-back money on their own sites.
Oxigen said it's no longer available on one of India's biggest shopping sites. "We were present on Snapdeal before it acquired Freecharge and decided to take us down," said Ankur Saxena, CEO, Oxigen.
"At one point in time they did accept wallets but now all of them want to come up with their own wallets." Freecharge is the only wallet option on Snapdeal, which has also launched cash-back offers that direct customers to the unit's offerings. Snapdeal acquired…

Ratchet Job: Investors Diluting Startup Entrepreneur and Employee Equity

Want to get a billion-plus startup valuation? Do a Ratchet Job.
See Investors leave startup entrepreneurs and employees with little skin in the game.
CNBC reports "Square's mega-financing round late last year at a $6 billion valuation looked  impressive on paper. It was up 20 percent from earlier in the year and almost double from 2012. But there was more to the story. In order to achieve that valuation, the payments company had to promise investors in the round — including Rizvi Traverse and JPMorgan — that its eventual initial public offering would price at $18.56 a share, 20 percent above the $15.46 they were paying. Failing that, Rizvi and JPMorgan would be rewarded additional stock to make up for the difference. To summarize, Square, which is currently on the road pitching its IPO to prospective shareholders, guaranteed its latest investors a minimum 20 percent return on their investment....
In Silicon Valley, this sort of measure has been labeled a "ratchet." The…

AmazoNation - Disruption in UK Retail

Amazon is now competing with UK supermarkets with it s Pantry service which provides next day grocery deliveries by the box to its Prime customers. The digital marketplaces such as Amazon will disrupt the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys and slowly change the face of retail in the UK and elsewhere.
SJP @DigitalAsian

If you can't buy them, beat them: Facebook's challenge to Snapchat

After Facebook was snubbed by Snapchat, Facebook is fighting back.
Times of India reports that Facebook users in France were able to send vanishing missives with its smartphone Messenger application on Thursday, ramping up the challenge to Snapchat. "We're conducting a small test in France of a feature that allows people to send messages that disappear an hour after they're sent," Facebook told AFP. "Disappearing messages gives people another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger." Tapping an hourglass icon on the top right of the screen in Messenger will allow users to send messages designed to vanish an hour after they are sent. The feature is being tested on versions of the Messenger application for mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software. If it proves successful, the feature would likely be made available in other countries.
Making ephemeral messages an option in Messenger is a direct challenge to smartphone-messaging…

USP for Ad Tech in India

Digital ad tech firms in India still trying to find their USP and niche. The smaller ad tech firms are perhaps struggling.
Times of India reports that like the food tech industry, the ad tech segment is also facing its moment of truth in India. Last week, digital marketing firm Vizury laid off a chunk of its employees, leaving just a core 50 member team behind. Ad Magnet, an ad network, shut down operations as well. For a country whose digital ad spends have gone up 27% to $938.8 million in 2015, the state of ad tech firms seems to indicate otherwise. "As our collective efforts are directed towards... our vision of becoming the world's first performance marketing hub, some aspects of our retargeting business had to be transitioned," said Vizury in a statement.
The company claims 50 people were laid off, although sources mention that about 80% of their 300-odd staff were laid off. Vizury did not respond to comments on this. So what ails firms in India in the sector? Auto…

Speeding Up AI Development: Going Open-Source with AI Software

Going open-source with AI software will speed up development of AI related products and services - especially for smartphones. Google opening up it's AI software to developers will probably mean more AI apps on its playstore. Apple will probably also follow suit.
Times of India reports that Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be getting hotter in Silicon Valley. Just every company from Facebook to Google and Apple to Microsoft appear to be betting big on the technology. Close on the heels of Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer sharing the company's latest efforts on AI front, comes Google announcement that it is open-sourcing its machine learning software. This means just like Android, Google's machine learning software too will be available freely to outside developers.
The new machine learning system called 'TensorFlow' can run on a single smartphone or across thousands of computers in data centers. Google claims, 'TensorFlow' is faster, smarter, and more fle…

Un-Remitting Quota Problems for India

Cost of sending remittances home is like paying an international tax. It also seems India has quota issues at home and abroad with the IMF.
Times of India reports that India will press the G20 to reduce the cost of transaction of remittances as well as reiterate its calls for quota reforms at the International Monetary Fund, the country's Sherpa for the G20 summit said on Tuesday. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Indian delegation to the G20 leaders' summit in Antalya in Turkey later this week where New Delhi will also push for a mechanism under which G20 countries can assist each other to boost global growth. 
Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, who is the Sherpa for G20 talks, said transaction cost for remittances have come down due to efforts made by India but the aim would be to bring it to 3% by 2030. India is the largest recipient of remittances and received $70 billion in 2014. 

SJP @DigitalAsian

Ecommerce in China and India: Different Keystrokes for Different Folks

A recent report by Bain & Company and Alibaba suggests that online retail sales in China will reach US$ 1.6 Trillion by 2020. 
A recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that online sales in India will reach US$200 Billion by 2025.
India has a little bit of catching up to do.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Digital Taxes in India for E-commerce

It seems the Indian government wants to help ecommerce and the digital platforms that are rapidly growing. Having states set their own taxes on ecommerce will make life very difficult for the digital platforms. Central and state taxes need to be coordinated and uniform.
Economic Times reports that the Indian government is likely to issue a clarification to end the confusion over ecommerce companies that operate marketplaces, so that states do not impose taxes on them. Companies that operate such platforms—these include Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal--should not face the same taxes as brick and mortar retailers, a senior government official told ET. "Only the buyer and the seller have to be taxed," he said. "The ecommerce company is not required to pay as such since it is only providing a platform for the transaction." 
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has received inputs on framing ecommerce guidelines from nearly all states and is dra…

Ideas in India matter more than startup valuations

Ideas in India matter more than startup valuations according to Nadella.
Economic Times reports that making a passionate case for innovation, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella argued that quality of ideas matter more than startup valuations in the long run. "I don't look at valuations," he told a group of editors in Mumbai. "What matters is the quality of ideas." 
Responding to a question on high valuations of startups, Nadella leaned on researcher and consultant Carlota Perez's work in exploring the relationship between technology across several economic cycles. 'Overfunding' during times of change will make it possible for a whole lot of ideas to flourish, he said. 
Nadella took the high ground in the fierce debate now underway on high valuations of startups. Without getting drawn into specifics, he limited his comments to the larger role financial capital can play in birthing innovation. "There is a lot of startup and entrepreneurial energy in In…

Value of Ideas in India: Rajan's Ideas on Intolerance in India

From the recent speech given by Raghuram Rajan (RBI's Governor), he clearly values ideas. He uses the word 'ideas' several times in his speech. India needs ideas that disrupt the bad side of Indian society such as communalism. Perhaps culturally disruptive ideas.
Indian Express reports that amid the growing protests against intolerance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan on Saturday emphasised the need “to improve the environment for ideas through tolerance and mutual respect”. He also warned that “excessive political correctness stifles progress”, and “a quick resort to bans will chill all debate”. Addressing students at the convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, Rajan said protection should be given not to “specific ideas and traditions” but to the “right to question and challenge” and the “right to behave differently so long as it does not hurt others seriously”. 
“India’s tradition of debate and an open spirit of enquiry is critical …

In a State of Competition: Startup Hubs and Ecosystems

Indian states are now competing with each other to create their own startup hubs and ecosystems. Chief Ministers don't want to be left out and want to prove themselves to be better than the others.
Economic Times reports that even as the Centre is working on its own national-level policy to boost the startup ecosystem, over half-a-dozen state governments are scrambling to come up with their own sets of incentives to lure these new businesses into making regional centres their hubs. While Karnataka - the hub of technology and new-age businesses - is about to release its policy over the next month or so; and Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have been the first states to unveil their policy statements, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are the latest to join the bandwagon. According to officials in the know, states have reached out to stakeholders for inputs and have started conversations to draft policies. 
While the intent may be noble, experts argue that just dolin…

Mobile Roaming Charges in India

It would be good if mobile phone operators had no roaming charges pan-India rather than varying rates across  various regions. 'One Rate, One India' would be better.
Times of India reports that telecom service provider Vodafone has launched 'One Rate, One South' pack targeting the prepaid customers in five south Indian states. The pack is available at Rs 57 at any of the company's 13,600 outlets, 57 exclusive outlets and 268 mini-stores, the company said in statement.
"This new pack facilitates all outgoing mobile calls -- local, STD and while roaming at 1 paise per second anywhere in South India. Besides, there would be no roaming charges across the region," a company statement said. Vodafone has about 35 million prepaid customers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka. "Having closely studied these customer usage patterns, Vodafone has designed the One rate, One South pack for the benefit of 35 million prepaid customers in …

On Edge over Tracking Consumer Browsing Habits: Edge Providers

On Edge over Tracking Consumer Browsing Habits: Edge Providers getting preferential treatment?
Times of India reports that US regulators rejected an effort to force Google, Facebook and other popular websites to honor 'Do Not Track' requests from users, in a setback for digital privacy advocates.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed a petition that would have required Internet giants to let consumers opt out of having their online activity tracked. The decision secured a win for Silicon Valley businesses that rely on monetizing reams of personal data.
The FCC said it "has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers," or companies that provide content and services over the Internet. Digital privacy advocates argue consumers should be allowed to submit 'Do Not Track' requests to tell a website not to collect information about their online browsing habits.
"It's outrageous that users of Google and …

Raising Chinese Consumer Confidence from Counterfeiting Online

India could take a cue from China about tackling counterfeiting and bring more consumer confidence to online retail.
Times of India reports that China plans to crackdown on the sale of fake goods online by using cloud computing, big data and tighter rules on user identity in its latest moves to quash counterfeiting. China has been trying to reign in its counterfeiters, who have copied everything from Apple iPhones to Louis Vuitton handbags, since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and was required to adhere to global standards on intellectual property rights.
The country plans to eradicate intellectual property rights infringement on the Internet within 3 years, it said in a posting by China's cabinet on its official website on Saturday. China will promote the use of a "real-name system" on the Internet and electronic tags to make it easier to track goods and the identities of offenders, the statement said. Inter-regional law enforcement will also be improve…

Foreign Pension Funds expand their portfolios into India's Consumer Internet Sector

Foreign Pension Funds expand their portfolios into India's Consumer Internet Sector.
Times of India reports that soon after Snapdeal closed a $500-million (about Rs 3,300 crore) fundraising round led by Foxconn, Alibaba Group and SoftBank, another unlikely investor was making moves to acquire stakes in the e-commerce company.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers), Canada's largest single-profession pension plan with an investment portfolio of over $152 billion, avoided the scramble to get on board Snapdeal's rapidly expanding cap table. Instead, it acquired shares in Snapdeal from some of its investors, providing Saama Capital, Ebay and Sequoia Capital with complete or partial exits, a rare occurrence in the country's consumer Internet sector.
SJP @DigitalAsian

From Social Media to Digital Content Distribution

Now Facebook is planning to give a cut to video makers. FB plans to share some revenue with video content providers - moving from social media to providing digital content. 
This is the general trend with the tech firms now - to become digital content distributors. 
It is no longer about being a social media website but about providing digital content to users. Twitter may be playing catch-up with the other big players and finding its own USP.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Private equity thriving at the back-end of e-commerce

Private equity thriving at the back-end of e-commerce.
Times of India reports that private equity investors, who have stayed away from investing in online retail companies, have instead quietly reaped a windfall by backing logistics companies providing back-end support in the e-commerce rush. In the latest deal, Peepul Capital recorded an over six-fold return on its investment in Ecom Express according to people aware of the transaction. Earlier this year Multiples Alternate Asset Management also made a partial exit from Delhivery, when the company raised fresh capital led by Tiger Global Management.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Disruption Backlash: Getting Propositioned in San Fran

After Uber facing lot of opposition to its digital services, now Airbnb is facing a backlash. San Francisco is voting on a new law (known as Proposition F) that could put a serious dent in Airbnb operations in the city.
SJP @DigitalAsian

Twitter has a change of heart: Twitter goes FB

Just today, I noticed that Twitter has now replaced their favourite tweet symbol with a heart and its now called like. Is Twitter slowly changing into Facebook?

SJP @DigitalAsian

What Will the Operating Systems be Operating in the Future?

They could build the right operating system if only they knew which way the hardware market was going. Google, Microsoft and Apple are not not sure what their operating systems will be operating in the future - will it be smartphones, tablets or supertablets - or all 3?
Times of India reports that Google, Microsoft, and Apple are all slamming full-speed into the same wall at the same time: The future they've built is so pleasant (or at least lucrative) that nobody wants to leave for the next thing. Reports have been circulating that Google is working on a hybrid operating system that combines the best of Android and Chrome OS, while simultaneously promising to keep supporting the two independently.
It's the perfect example of this dilemma in miniature. Google, a company famously and perpetually focused on the next big thing, is already thinking about what comes after Android and the current smartphone market. And yet, Android is the most popular operating system in the world.…

India's Leap Forward: 2G to 4G Network

India's Leap Forward. Creating the new Internet generation in India.
Times of India reports that India is expected to have 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones by 2018 and Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular will gain from this growth if Reliance Jio Infocomm delays the launch of its 4G services, says a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA ML).
"We expect 4G smartphone base to jump from 5 million in FY 2015 to 180 million (18 crore) by FY 2018, leading to 4G subscribers accelerating from almost zero in FY 2016 to 90 million (9 crore) by FY 2018," a report by BofA ML research analysts Sachin Salgaonkar, Karan Parmanandka and Simon Dong-je Woo said.
In next few years, there will be marginal difference between 3G and 4G tariffs as well as there will be decline in smartphone prices that may lead 2G subscribers leapfrog to 4G services and skip 3G, analysts expect.
"We expect 4G net adds to be faster than 3G net adds by FY 2019 and estimate 3G sub…