collywood: People in the news

Hasmukh Adhia appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Bank of Baroda

The Centre appointed former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia as the Non-Executive Chairman of Bank of Baroda for a period of three years. Adhia would also be the part-time Non-Official Director of the public sector lender, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for the appointment of Hasmukh Adhia as part-time Non-Official Director as well as Non-Executive Chairman on the board of Bank of Baroda for a period of three years from the date of notification, or until further orders,” it said. Adhia, a Gujarat cadre IAS officer, retired on November 30, 2018 after an eventful stint as Finance Secretary during the days of demonetization and the ushering in of the Goods and Services Tax regime.

Nasscom to develop IT corridor in eastern China

Indian IT apex body, Nasscom, said it has entered into a partnership with Xuzhou city in Jiangsu province to develop an IT corridor in eastern China. “The partnership with Xuzhou is to help develop the software market and build the third IT corridor in Xuzhou after Dalian and Guiyang in the eastern China region,” the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), said in a statement.

Google’s Bolo Android app launched in India

Google unveiled its new Bolo Android app that is a speech-based reading-tutor app aimed at rural kids, who would otherwise may not have access to a good education support system. Being released in India first, the Bolo app is now available for free via Google Play and can work offline. “We believe technology has the power to help transform teaching and learning, and have been actively directing our products, programmes and philanthropy to ensure that all students are able to benefit from it,” Google said in a statement. Built for native Hindi-speakers in its current avatar, the Bolo app helps the children improve their Hindi and English reading skills by encouraging them to read aloud. It comes with a large number of engaging stories, which the company hopes, will help the children in improving their comprehension skills. The app has been designed to make sure that children don’t need any help in using it and can read all by themselves.

Naresh Goyal seeks Rs.750 crore lifeline from Etihad

Jet Airways Chairman, Naresh Goyal, has sought urgent funding of Rs.750 crore from its equity partner Etihad, citing “the very precarious” position of the airline following the lingering cash flow issues which got amplified after the forced grounding of over 50 of its planes. In a letter to the Gulf based carrier’s Group Chief Executive Tony Douglas, Goyal also said the airline has also secured the go-ahead from the aviation ministry to pledge its shares inJet Privilege for securing the interim funding. The airline holds 49.9 per cent stake in the loyalty programmer, while the majority is with Etihad.

PM asks private sector to help government’s housing scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the private sector to help his government meet the goal of providing proper housing for every citizen by 2022. Addressing the Construction Technology India Event 2019, Modi emphasized the government’s commitment ensuring that every family’s dream of a home becomes a reality. Referring to 1.3 crore houses built in the last four-and-a-half-year, Modi said the Central government was also making things easier for people to buy houses through tax and other incentives. “A lot of emphases has been placed on affordable housing, real estate sector, skill development and housing technology. My dream is that every Indian should have a proper house by 2022. I seek the support of the private sector. Let us work together to help the poorest of the poor.” He said that elements from several schemes like PM Awas Yojana, HRIDAY and AMRUT were also oriented towards transforming the housing sector. The Prime Minister said that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) had improved consumers’ confidence in developers and brought transparency in the real estate sector. Giving the example of construction technology used in tents at the Kumbh in Prayagraj, Modi stressed the need for housing technology in the light of rapid urbanization. “If makeshift arrangements (at Kumbh) can be made so good, permanent arrangement will be expectedly extremely much better.” The PM said a large pool of skilled human resource had been created, especially in the rural areas, and that there was a much greater focus on disaster-resilience, energy efficiency and local innovation in the construction sector. He also declared that the period from April 2019 to March 2020 will be observed as the Construction Technology Year.

Petr Novotny to drive Scania India operations

Swedish bus and truck maker Scania AB said Petr Novotny would be the new Managing Director of its India operations. “Czech-born Novotny has been with us for 11 years in key positions spanning sales, financial services, information systems, human resources and purchases,” said the city-based firm in a statement. The 127-year-old transport solutions major set up its India arm in 2011 with an automobile assembly facility at Narasapura in the Kolar district, about 50 km northeast of Bengaluru. “Petr will drive our growth strategy with a new vision and mission,” said the statement. Scania entered India in partnership with Larson & Toubro (L&T) in 2007 with its trucks in the mining and construction segments. “I feel privileged to lead the India business when the industry is undergoing a transformation. India is a key market for us in terms of growth and we are committed to bring sustainable products and solutions to fuel the automotive industry,” said Novotny on his appointment. Petr comes with international experience across geographies, including a decade- long stint in South Africa, Central Europe and Germany. Scania also makes industrial and marine engines.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise storage unit growth beats data centers in India

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) said it is seeing higher growth in data storage business in India than its overall data centre business on the back of higher demand. The US-headquartered IT services company said its storage business is growing at approximately 7% globally, whereas in India it saw a near 10% growth as it has seen wider penetration of hybrid data storage solution (both on-premise and cloud or remote server) among Indian enterprises. “One of the reasons is (that) the large telcos are big buyers of our server infrastructure,” said Som Satsangi, MD, HPE India. HPE’s data storage business growth data is based on average growth rates in four rolling quarters till third quarters of 2018 (calendar year) provided by IDC. The company, which maintained the top position in the Indian server market, said it is eyeing a significant pie of the opportunities with the rollout of 5G (fifth generation) telecom services and growth of IoT. The company said its research and development (R&D) labs in Bengaluru have been adding significant value globally and working on almost all development for software and infrastructure services. For instance, the majority of the backend technology work for HPE Info Sight tool, which enables data centers to deliver hybrid cloud environment and automates problem-solving, is done in these labs. “We are taking this Info Sight (tool) to our entire server platform,” pointed out Satsangi.

Indra Nooyi joins Amazon Board of Directors

India-born Indra Nooyi joined the Amazon’s board of directors, after her 12 years of stint leading the food and beverage company, PepsiCo, as a Chief Executive Officer. Amazon while revealing its SEC filing said Nooyi will serve on the board’s audit committee. Nooyi, who stepped down as CEO of PepsiCo in October last year, is the second woman of colour to be added on the Amazon’s Board of Directors.“We’re thrilled to have elected two new members to our Board of Directors. Welcome, Roz Brewer and Indra Nooyi,” Amazon said in its announcement. Nooyi, 63, would be a member of the audit committee. Nooyi, who hails from Chennai, India, joined PepsiCo in 1996 and served as its CEO from October 2006 to October 2018. During her tenure at the company, Nooyi in her capacity served various leadership roles — board of directors, became its president and also served as Chief Financial Officer. Under her leadership role, PepsiCo had acquired the orange juice company Tropicana, and also lead oatmeal maker Quaker Oats merger. She was responsible for PepsiCo’s worldwide strategic planning function, including developing and coordinating business plans for its operating divisions.

Go Daddy official sponsor for ICC World Cup 2019

Internet names and registrations management major Go Daddy Inc announced its partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the official sponsor of the 12th ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 that begins in May. “We hope to reach the 700 million folks of India and beyond through the partnership. Two-thirds of the world, including India, watch cricket and through this collaboration, we’d get huge visibility,” said Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, Go Daddy India. Notably, this is the company’s first sponsorship deal with the global sports event, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales between May and July. “Cricket in India is a favourite sport. It is viewed in every nook and corner of our country, thus, giving Go Daddy an opportunity to reach our audiences, including in the tier-II and tier-III cities, while also helping entrepreneurs and small business owners bring their ideas to life online,” Arora said. The web hosting provider would have an on-ground presence that includes the perimeter of the ground, side-screen and LEDs at the stadium under the partnership. “We are excited to partner with Go Daddy for the Cricket World Cup 2019. Go Daddy has, for a long time, been an active supporter of sports in India and has successfully leveraged the influence of sports to empower and inspire entrepreneurs,” said Campbell Jamieson, General Manager, Commercial, at the International Cricket Council.

Visa, PayMate tie up for operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa

Global payments major, Visa, and Indian business- to-business (B2B) payments facilitator, PayMate , announced their partnership for corporate payment operations in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA). The move would mark PayMate ’s entry into international operations. “Visa and PayMate announced an expanded collaboration to provide Visa’s issuing financial institution clients in the CEMEA region with access to PayMate ’s proprietary payment platform for their corporate customers’ payments needs,” a joint statement by both companies said. Commenting on the partnership, Rakesh Khanna, Vice President, Head of Visa Business Solutions, CEMEA Visa said, “Our initial foray with PayMate in India resulted in a large number of enterprises and SMBs (small and medium businesses) making payments using Visa commercial cards across industry verticals, contributing to significant B2B payment volume growth in the country.” The companies tied up for operations in India in 2017. “We are keen to extend this alliance to enable our financial institution clients in CEMEA to streamline the B2B payments process for their corporate customers,” he added. Ajay Adiseshann, CEO, PayMate said, “There is an ever-increasing demand for automation and digitization of the entire procurement to payment cycle to help save cost, time and effort. We have a comprehensive payments platform that reduces expenses and time for processing payments, thus helping buyers pay earlier and helping sellers receive payments faster.”

Infosys launches solutions focused on 5G

Infosys said it has brought in new service offerings focused on 5G (fifth generation) technology for communication service providers. The company said these services would help enterprises imagine and create new economies with 5G technology and at the same time help communication service providers accelerate and monetize their 5G network deployment. Infosys’s newly established 5G Living Labs in five global locations – Bengaluru, Richardson, Indianapolis, Frankfurt and Melbourne will facilitate in the execution of these services. “The global network of Infosys 5G Living Labs are designed to help enterprises imagine and curate game-changing ideas driven by 5G, and rapidly prototype them to life. The labs combine the best of Infosys emerging technologies expertise in areas like (IoT), AR, VR and AI, design thinking driven approaches and a diverse partner ecosystem that is deeply invested in 5G technologies,” said the company in a press release. The telecom industry foresees 5G adoption as a driving factor to monetize networks for communication services providers. Industry analysts said 5G should transform network capabilities bringing in significant opportunities for network virtualisation, AI and Automation, and network-based services while bringing down costs.

by Orchie Bandopadhyay