Posts

Showing posts from 2017

The Business of Content Creation is Evolving: Content Creation Centres and Events

The business of content creation is evolving.
YouTube launched its first pop-up space in Hyderabad, India to support a growing community of regional language and independent content creators. Set up at Ramoji Film City from October 5 -7, the pop-up format will enable an ever-growing number of local language YouTube content creators to provide better, engaging visual content across several genres. 
The likes of Amazon and Netflix are spending billions on content creation for local markets such as India, even setting up production studios in partnership with producers.
Tech giants want content and they are creating centres for content creators and also hosting events for users who attend to create content (photos and video) around those events.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Digital Mining as a Revenue Stream for Blockchain Technologies

Digital Mining as a Revenue Stream for Blockchain Technologies.

Cryptocurrency mining will be a viable growth market for Nvidia and AMD in the long term. Nvidia and AMD stock have been doing well recently. Bitcoin has also been doing well overall. 
Analysts are optimistic that cryptocurrency mining will boost demand for Nvidia and AMD chips.
Cryptocurrency miners use graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to "mine" new coins, which can then be sold or held for future growth.

But digital mining might also be used for Blockchain technologies other than cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is being used in supply chain management and more.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Share your Skills to Breakthrough in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is taking off with flight-sharing startup, Wingly app, that matches pilots with passengers looking for a cheaper way to fly in private aircraft. The app allows clients to contact pilots directly. 
The sharing economy is finding more and more services and skills that can be shared. Customer and service provider can connect directly through a digital platform/marketplace.

Even professionals, like lawyers, are slowly moving to digital platforms to connect with their clients. even individual lawyers have their own apps nowadays. Those with sought-after skills will benefit more in the mobile-first age. And allowing service providers to work when they want - a gig economy.

Connecting supplier to client online rather than offline is necessary with mobile devices becoming commonplace. Sharing your skills via apps is now the norm.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Lit-O-Fest IdeaIndia.Com Creative Writing Competition

Image
Lit-O-Fest and IdeaIndia.Com are Proud to Present The Creative Writing Competition

Take a Step Towards Becoming the Author You Always Wanted to Be!
LIT-O-FEST is Mumbai’s Premier Literature, Art & Music Festival. Held annually, Lit-O-Fest has grown into a platform that promotes and gives equal opportunity to writers with aspirations and talent to showcase their work.
IdeaIndia.Com publishes eBooks and other Digital Content on India.
This is a short story contest to bring out the author in you. Join us in showcasing your talent for story-telling. In keeping with the Independence theme, write a story (which can be fictional) on achieving some personal independence in your life.
Your work will be published on IdeaIndia.Com and will be rated online by the readers. The top 5 entries will go before the Judges who will decide the ultimate winner.
Go to: https://www.ideaindia.com/litofest-ideaindiacom-creative-writing-competition/writing-competition/3/for details
We are pleased to announce our Judge…

It Pays to Be in the Sharing Economy

What is it about ride-sharing apps that gets major VCs investing huge sums?
Technology startup investor, Softbank, is interested in investing in Uber or Lyft, having already invested in Grab in Southeast Asia and China's Didi Chuxing. 
Perhaps its the technology and services spin-offs, such as driverless cars, AI, logistics etc, that may materialise on the back of ride-sharing.

The Sharing Economy is creating new technologies and new ways of delivering services and a proliferation of startups. It is on the back of the Ubers and Airbnbs that new technologies and products are created. Investment in the sharing economy leads to the creation of new technologies and revenue streams for startups.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com



Content Capture and Services

Content is the name of the game. The Indian OTT market has seen major upheaval. While Netflix has deals with Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Aamir Khan, Amazon Prime Video has invested heavily in exclusive movies and TV shows and stand-up comedy content and has deals with Yash Raj Films, Excel Entertainment, Dharma Productions, Vishesh Films and TSeries and Salman Khan for all his existing and future films. Music content is also high on the agenda.
India's biggest movie producer, Eros, is in discussions with Apple, amazon and Netflix, to sell its entire content library of music, films and possibly their digital OTT platform for over US$1 Billion. The budgets for acquiring exclusive, original and creative content are massive and the tech giants are concentrating on their content services platforms.
The Tech giants are buying up exclusive, original content. If a deal goes ahead it would give the buyer access to over 3000 Indian films (Bollywood and regional films), f…

Creating Communities Increases Opportunity for Revenue Generation

Empowering individuals through simple use of apps (like ShareYaar) to create communities online of people with similar interests by giving them access to a distribution channel of one sort or another, so that the community can then interact in the real world, is a way to survive in the startup ecosystem.

Allowing communities to use and share their knowledge and resources to bring together global communities of like minded individuals. This is the goal of B2C, consumer orientated startups as this will keep users logged on for longer.

Startups that can create communities online that then carry forward into the real world will prosper as they will have the opportunity of both online and offline channels to market to users. Creating communities through your startup increases the opportunities for revenue streams. Opportunities are then there to partner with other service providers to increase your offerings to your customers.

ShareYaar App not only gives you info on events happening near …

The Technology of Trust

In today’s digital economy, with business, transactions and social interactions going online and mobile,  users want safety and privacy. With IoT and FinTech becoming a part of human life, people want to be sure about who they are dealing with and how their data and interactions are handled.
With cybersecurity attacks, online fraud and fake news, startups are using technology to try to create trust in the online, digital world to attract more users and to make them transact more in the digital economy. Lack of trust, or trust deficit, will hold back growth in the digital economy.
In India, with the government pushing a cashless economy with demonetisation and further user of Aadhaar and UPI, unless more people are comfortable transacting online, the government’s tryst with technology, Digital India will not come to fruition.
From caller ID, ID verification, cryptocurrencies using blockchain, encryption, anti-virus software and embedding due diligence into digital platforms, startups …

Data in your DNA

Image
Data in your DNA


Imagine carrying out transactions without a wallet or smartphone?
New storage technologies need to be developed due to the ever increasing amounts of data we are producing. Nature has evolved DNA which stores genetic information for making proteins. DNA might also be used for other purposes.
The idea of storing digital data in DNA is not new but recent research from Harvard, European Bioinformatics Institute, ETH Zurich, University of Illinois  and Columbia University shows that progress in modern DNA manipulation methods could make DNA data storage possible.
There are significant challenges ahead but DNA could be the storage mechanism for the digital economy.
SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

Sharing Economy: Life without Ownership

Image
Disruptive tech has changed the concept of sharing, renting and ownership, Netflix, Uber and Airbnb have shown the way. 
A large sharing economy has grown on apps and mobile sites that allow users to rent/share a whole range of goods and services, e.g. designer wear, furniture, TVs and more. The sharing economy is expected grow multiple times in the future.
Millennials are driving the sharing economy. Sharing for them makes more sense than owning. Compared to China, India has a long way to go yet.
The market for growth is drawing entrepreneurs to India. Sharing startups work on the basis that an asset can be used many times. In clothes, for instance, consumers naturally prefer to own their daily wear. They may prefer renting party wear as they would not like to repeat party wear, which makes renting a better idea.
Startups have to ensure quality of product and reverse logistics as well. Startups need partnerships with logistics and other service firms and those that succeed will have…

IPR Exchange in India

Image
India may get its own IP (Intellectual Property) Exchange that the likes of Hong Kong and UK already have, where individuals and companies, in India and overseas, will be able to buy and sell IPR across various sectors like a stock market. India witnessed around 30% increase in the filing of IP applications compared to previous years.
The exchange will be developed by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC). The idea of setting up an IPR exchange was proposed earlier this year and will give India a greater potential for commercialization.
Intellectual property is the product of imagination, creativity and inventiveness and comprises inventions, designs, brands and artistic works. IPR, intellectual property rights, allow a person or company to have exclusive rights to use their own plans, ideas, or other intangible assets exclusively, at least for a specific period of time. These rights include copyright, patents and trademarks.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Co…

Acquiring Talent in Content Creation

Netflix and Amazon Prime, content streaming platforms, are competing furiously to get the best content online. Recently, Amazon Prime has started advertising and marketing new content in India using some major Bollywood stars and producers. These 2 players are trying to acquire all the major talent in Bollywood and Indian TV and content creation. Amazon and Netflix will soon become the major content producers in the Indian market.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

User Engagement via Personal App: World Without Websites

It was reported recently that Indian Cricketer, Ravindra Jadeja has launched his own personal app - see Your Personal App
Also renowned Mumbai Advocate and Author, Vandana Shah has also launched her own app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tapzippy.go.app5751458ba0d6b
It is a growing trend for celebrities and professionals to turn to apps rather than websites to interact and engage with people. This form of user engagement has its advantages. A mobile first strategy is useful in India where most new internet users are via mobile and mobile internet usage is increasing at phenomenal rate.


SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar - IdeaIndia.Com

VC to Founder: Change in Mindset

Some VCs, after giving advice and funding to startups, decide themselves to become founders of their own startups and find its not all that easy. Actually executing and delivering the job is totally different from being a VC looking at strategy.

As a VC investor, you connect entrepreneurs with potential hires but as your own entrepreneur you need to make sure you get the right talent. VC-turned-entrepreneurs tend to be more cautious with cash. Being a VC doesn't guarantee a success when you switch to being an entrepreneur. Success as an entrepreneur is a combination of market, timing and funding. While an entrepreneur has to deal with customers on a daily basis, VCs get their reports from investees at set intervals.
But the advantages of having been on the other side of the table as investor are there — long-term vision, fiscal prudence, experience of having guided other startups through their mistakes, and obviously, access to the funding network through your contacts. VC experi…

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…