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Infosys opens new office in Switzerland

Global software major, Infosys, said it has opened a new office at Baden in Switzerland to help service its clients in the energy and aerospace industries. “The new office at Baden will strengthen our capabilities in turbo-machinery and propulsion in Europe and help serve clients in the energy and aviation industries,” the city-based IT behemoth said in a statement. The office will also help clients navigate their digital transformation journey and play an integral role in innovations in the renewable energy markets and aerospace vertical. Located near Zurich and 55 miles from Swiss capital Bern, Baden has been home to the engineering industry, building on the legacy of Brown Boveri, a pioneer in the turbo-machinery industry. “By setting up Baden as a key centre for turbo-machinery and propulsion business, we will enhance our capability to deliver services through a network of engineering centres at Mysuru in Karnataka, Moscow in Russia and Karlovac in Croatia,” said the statement. The services include design of core components and accessories, system integration, testing and validation, controls and automation, customer service, manufacturing and field support and digital technologies. “The Baden office is an important step in our strategy to strengthen our capabilities to deliver solutions to our customers in the turbo-machinery and propulsion industry,” said Infosys Vice President and global head of manufacturing, Jasmeet Singh, in the statement. In partnership with the US-based General Electric (GE), the company has enhanced its competencies with talent from its engineering business. As the company’s many clients in these niche industries are based in Europe, the Baden office is strategically located to meet their needs in the region. “We are committed to help our clients leverage the potential of engineering services to transform their businesses. The office will accelerate that effort by providing the clients access to our talent in this niche domain,” said Infosys Senior Executive Nitesh Bansal. According to Urs Hofmann, Economic and Interior Minister in the Cantonal government, Baden has been an important economic region and knowledge centre for long. “We are honoured that Infosys is investing in the region to support and advance this business location with new technologies and services and jobs,” Hofmann said.

Nasscom hires Keshav Murugesh as Chairman, Rishad Premji steps down

The Indian IT industry’s apex body, Nasscom, announced that WNS Global Services’ Chief Executive, Keshav Murugesh will be its new Chairman for fiscal 2019-20. “Murugesh takes the executive post from his previous role as the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies,” said the representative body in a statement. Global software services’ Chief Operating Officer, U.B. Pravin Rao will be the new Vice Chairman of Nasscom for FY20. Murugesh succeeded Wipro board member and Chief Strategy Officer Rishad Premji, who was the apex body’s Chairman for fiscal 2018-19. Rishad is the eldest son of Wipro Chairman and billionaire Azim H. Premji. “It is an honour to be Nasscom Chairman when the software industry is at the cusp of a digitally transformed industry with opportunities to leverage,” said Murugesh in a statement on the occasion. The new Chairman said he would work with the industry verticals and pursue endeavors to foster development in national and international arenas.

Cyient signs Mou with Telangana, Telangana State Aviation Academy

Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, digital, and operations management solutions to global industry leaders, signed a Tripartite MoU with the Government of Telangana and Telangana State Aviation Academy (TSAA) to develop and conduct Remote Pilot (Drone Pilot) Training and Certification Programs. Under the alliance, Cyient will provide the training tools while TSAA will provide the training services and infrastructure to conduct the programmes. The courses for the training will be developed as per DGCA curriculum guidelines. This is the first of its kind initiative in Telangana, aimed at developing a pool of skilled drone pilots equipped to meet industry needs. Speaking on the occasion, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, IT, Electronics & Communications, Government of Telangana said, “This partnership is an exciting step toward imparting emerging skills with tremendous potential to shape the future of our youth. It’s heartening to see industry leaders such as Cyient working closely with the government to promote innovation and skill development around futuristic technologies such as drones.” Present at the signing ceremony, Krishna Bodanapu, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Cyient, said, “Cyient is committed to promote innovation using technology and contribute to the skill enhancement of the youth. Drone technology provides new avenues to strengthen governments in areas of public safety and security, surveillance, and disaster management amongst several others. This MoU gives us an opportunity to utilize our technological expertise to assist TSAA in designing and delivering drone pilot training courses as per DGCA curriculum guidelines and create a skilled talent pool for the industry.” Commenting on the association, GB Reddy, Officiating CEO of TSAA said, “We are happy to partner with Cyient to offer DGCA approved remote pilot training courses and certification for the first time in Telangana. This cooperation will combine Cyient’s knowledge of drone technology and application with our professional flying capabilities and infrastructure to create the most advanced training courses customized for different industries.”

Virgin Atlantic drops Flying Lady logo for diverse new look

Virgin Atlantic is ditching its famous emblem after 35 years. The British airline has announced it’s retiring the Flying Lady in favor of five diverse “flying icons” that more accurately “represent its customers and workforce.” A black woman and a gay man in rainbow lycra are among the new faces making their debut on four of its new Airbus A350-1000 fleet, due to be unveiled later this year. According to Virgin Atlantic, this is the first time an airline has ever used male figureheads on its fleet. Scantily draped in a red bodysuit that unfurls into a Union Jack, the Flying Lady was inspired by the kitsch “pinup girls” style of artists such as the 1940s Peruvian painter Alberto Vargas. The decision to revamp the emblem comes after the UK-based company’s recent pledge to reach a 50/50 gender balance in leadership roles as well as a 12% black, Asian and minority ethnic group representation across the company by 2022. Virgin Atlantic has also updated its uniform and makeup policy.

Flipkart’s second data centre opens in Hyderabad

Online marketplace, Flipkart, has opened a data centre in Hyderabad, its second, to support the technology infrastructure. The firm built the data centre in partnership with CtrlS, a major player in this field. The firm had set up its first data centre in Chennai.

“The data centre is captive for our needs. It is going to be the core for our operations,” Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Flipkart, told media persons. He said the facility has been designed to be a tier-4 rated facility with the bulk of the energy coming from a renewable source. The company has 80 warehouses across the country with more than one lakh sellers registered on the e-commerce platform. It has eight warehouses in Telangana. Kumar, however, refused to talk on the capacity of the data centre and on the investments that went into it. “The data centre will improve our ability to bring in more sellers and marginal, small and medium enterprises to our e-commerce and cater to more consumers in the country,” he said.“We will create a viable ecosystem for MSMEs, local manufacturers and in the process create quality local jobs,” he said. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (IT and Commerce, Telangana), who inaugurated the facility said Telangana was the first State to have an exclusive policy for data centres.

McDonald’s to embrace ML in tech deal worth $300 mn

US-based fast food chain giant McDonald’s has announced plans to acquire a startup named Dynamic Yield for $300 million as it steps up to embrace Machine Learning (ML) in a super-sized way, the media reported.The deal is the biggest that McDonald’s would strike with the Tel-Aviv based startup which provides retailers with algorithmically driven “decision logic” technology. This is the fast food chain’s largest acquisition in 20 years. “The fast food giant said it has agreed to buy Dynamic Yield, which specializes in personalization and decision logic technology. Dynamic Yield’s technology will allow McDonald’s digital drive-thru menus to change based on different factors, such as the weather and current restaurant traffic. “The deal is valued at more than $300 million, making it the largest McDonald’s deal in two decades, people familiar with the matter said,” the CNBC reported. McDonald’s reportedly said it has already tested this in several US locations last year. The plan is to start rolling this out across the US in 2019 and then to gradually move into international markets. “With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customer”, McDonald’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. The fast food chain major also plans to integrate this technology into other digital products, like self-serve kiosks and the McDonald’s mobile app.

Adidas extends partnership with Rohit Sharma

Sportswear giant, Adidas, announced to extend its partnership with Indian cricketer and Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma. Rohit has been associated with Adidas since 2013 and has since been the face of the brand in India. Commenting on the development, Rohit said, “I feel Adidas is the best brand for athletes - I truly believe in their products and the comfort and benefit they offer me in my sport. Further, they have continuously stepped in to provide customized solutions to athletes, including me, thereby helping us overcome many injuries. “In my association with the brand over the last six years, I have witnessed Adidas has been a major catalyst in making a positive difference to people’s lives on the sporting field and off it. “It is the leading sports brand and has played a key role in promoting sports at grassroots, which includes providing world-class platforms and experiences accessible to amateurs and pro-athletes,” he added. Sharad Singla, Director Brand Marketing, Adidas India said, “Rohit is an ambassador of change, continuously propagating a message that helps the world to become a better place to live in. We are extremely happy to continue on this journey of bringing a positive change along with Rohit.” In India, Rohit is joined by Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hima Das, Manpreet Singh, Dipika Pallikal, Zeel Desai, Nikhat Zareen, Siddhanth Banthia, Manjot Kalra and the recently signed Swapna Barman. They are also a key partner for Real Kashmir FC which has been one of the most inspiring sports stories to have come out of India in recent years.

Samsung begins mass production of 5G chips, modem

Samsung Electronics announced its 5G modem and chips are in mass production for the latest premium mobile devices. The 5G chipsets include “Exynos Modem 5100” as well as a new singlechip radio frequency transceiver “the Exynos RF 5500”, and supply modulator solution, “the Exynos SM 5800”- supporting technologies that provide mobile manufacturers with optimum network communication solutions for the 5G era. “Samsung has been an innovator in mobile communication technologies with a strong portfolio of marketproven solutions, and we are well-prepared to extend our leadership into 5G,” said Inyup Kang, President of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics. Earlier, Samsung announced its Galaxy S10 5G will hit the market in South Korea in April.

“We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished to bring our first 5G smartphone to market and look forward to bringing it to everyone around the world in the coming year,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. Though Samsung did not disclose the price, it is expected to cost around KRW 1.5 million ($1,332) in the domestic market, according to industry sources. As one of the only companies with an end-to-end 5G solution from chipsets, network core, radio solutions and user devices, Samsung is uniquely positioned to deliver a next-generation smartphone and network. In South Korea, the 5G commercial network has been on air since December by all mobile operators using Samsung’s 5G network core and radio solutions.

Microsoft to facilitate healthcare for railway staff

The Indian Railways said it will use Microsoft Kaizala to connect its employees across the country with quality healthcare facilities. Microsoft Kaizala is a mobile-only product that makes it simple for organizations to seamlessly communicate, collaborate and complete tasks, bringing together desktop users and mobile-only users. The Kaizala app will enable serving and retired railway employees to avail healthcare services of 125 railway and 133 private recognized hospitals. On registering for the healthcare services, Indian Railway employees will be able to search on Microsoft Kaizala, the nearest hospitals and doctors and the list of impanelled diagnostic centres and health units. “As one of the largest employers in India, we are committed towards providing rich experience to our employees,” Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman Railway Board, Indian Railways, said in a statement. Employees can book doctor appointments, share diagnostic lab reports directly with their doctors and save digital records in ‘Me Chat’ of Microsoft Kaizala. They will also be able to access key announcements and share their feedback to improve the quality of medical services with built in action cards. Microsoft Kaizala offers large organizations like the railways, an easy and simple way to share data for insightful decision making and an easy-to-use efficient solution. “Powered by Microsoft’s trusted cloud platform, mobility and enterprise security, Microsoft Kaizala is a perfect fit for the unique needs of one of India’s largest job creators,” said Rajiv Kumar, Corporate VP, Experiences & Devices Group, Microsoft.

Western Railway mints record Rs.517 crore from scrap

Setting a new record for the Indian Railways, the Western Railway (WR) has minted a whopping Rs.517.41 crore by selling scrap material, an official said. The WR chief spokesperson, Ravinder Bhakar, said that this surpasses the previous highest ever of Rs.403 crore earned from the sale of scrap, achieved by Northern Railway in 2011-2012. He added that under the supervision of WR General Manager A.K. Gupta and Principal Chief Materials Manager J.P. Pandey, the WR had launched a massive drive for identifying scrap lying as waste in different railway premises, and its sale. The campaign was initiated under the Mission Zero Scrap which was overseen by a high-level task force which met regularly to inspect and devise innovative methods of scrap disposal. In March, the Director General of Railway Store, V.P. Pathak, held a brainstorming session with top officials and finalized a strategy for achieving zero scrap on the WR, said Bhakar. He also lauded the efforts of the WR officials in surpassing the threshold of Rs.500 crore in scrap disposal this year which has raised the bar of performance for all.

by Orchie Bandopadhyay