IndUS Business Journal

Norwegian bank to use Infosys software service

Dec 10, 2015 0

BENGALURU–IT major Infosys on Thursday announced its winning a five-year deal from DNB Bank of Norway to transform its end-to-end operations.

“We will transform the application landscape of the Norwegian bank by building its data cluster, including business intelligence, analytics, data warehousing services, regulatory reporting and ERP functions,” it said in a statement here.

As the bank’s sole partner for developing and maintaining 64 applications across 14 platforms, the city-based company will enhance its IT operations and data processing, set up offshore support services, including test management and service virtualization.

“We will also apply adesign thinkinga¿ to development initiatives in the bank’s data cluster for expanding and unlocking value from its new products and services,” Infosys global head for financial services Mohit Joshi said in the statement.

According to bank’s vice-president for IT and operations Liv Fiksdahl, the bank needed an IT partner with creative thinking to meet its demand for new technologies, which are innovative and problem-solving.

“Working with Infosys gives us access to cutting-edge services and technologies, which are innovative thinking and problem-solving. This will be a key to assisting us in meeting our objectives and keeping pace with the changing global financial services landscape, he said.

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Ghana: Indians can help Ghanaians become entrepreneurs

Dec 10, 2015 0

ACCRA– Indian assistance is required to help train younger Ghanaians to become entrepreneurs in the country’s quest to become industrialised, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Ghana’s minister of trade and industries, said here.

Addressing a meeting of the India-Ghana Business Forum organised by the Indian High Commission on Tuesday for a group of 20 visiting Indian businessmen, Spio-Garbrah said: “There is the need to fill the gap for the country’s next generation by helping to school them to become industrialist… and Indians could help in that direction.”

Ghana had high prospects that could be exploited for development through partnership with investors, he said.

“We must, however, be looking at how to make the country industrialise.”

Eugenia Okyere, a project officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said Indian investment currently totalled about $637.34 million, which made India the second largest source of foreign direct investment, covering 602 projects. China was the largest investor on the books of the GIPC.

Indian High Commissioner in Accra K. Jeeva Sagar said Indians in Ghana had received the kind of “welcome that defines the people in the country”.

Ghana was not just a country with goodwill towards Indians, but its state institutions also had the strength and dynamism to make the country stable and peaceful, Jeeva Sagar said.

“Ghana’s democratic credentials with respect to the 2012 election petition exhibited the country’s political stability and understanding of democracy.”

Jeeva Sagar said Ghana’s peace and stability, in addition to its human resource, explained why the Indian business delegation chose to visit the country.

Telecommunications Consultants of India (TCIL) is currently implementing the e-Network project in Africa spanning more than 57 countries in Africa and Asia.

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Uttar Pradesh to seek investment from Japanese PM

Dec 10, 2015 0

LUCKNOW–Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will seek Japanese investment during his meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will arrive in Varanasi on Saturday.

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav

Sources said the chief minister was keen to have a one-on-one with 61-year-old Abe and seek investment in infra and other sectors in Uttar Pradesh.

The chief minister and wife Dimple Yadav would be receiving Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri airport.

This would be perhaps for the first time that Dimple Yadav, a Lok Sabha member from Kannauj, would be by her husband’s side in a place other than state capital Lucknow to receive a visiting dignitary.

Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan is overseeing all preparations regarding to the high-profile visit.

More than 7,000 security personnel have been deployed for the visit, an official told IANS.

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India software market to earn $5.3 billion in 2016

Dec 9, 2015 0

MUMBAI–The robust Indian software market is on track and would reach $5.3 billion (Rs.35.429 crore) earning in 2016, growing 12.8 percent over 2015, global market research and advisory firm Gartner said this week.

“The enterprise software marketplace is dynamic and ever-changing. Its growth and structure are being shaped by factors and forces of decentralised purchasing, consumerization and mobility,” Gartner research director Bhavish Sood said in a statement.

Among the leading trends in the Indian software market are software as a service (SaaS) adoption and development, open source software (OSS) adoption, changing buying behaviour and purchasing styles associated with digital business and the Digital India initiative of the government.

“In 2015, the Indian economy has shown signs of resurgence, with increased efforts by the government toward ease of doing business, which has triggered an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows,” Sood said.

FDI inflows grew 27 percent to $30.9 billion from 2014, demonstrating the seriousness of the government in leveraging IT for effective governance.

“It is evident that the government is serious about leveraging IT for effective governance. The Digital India initiative, MyGov citizen portal, the Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) programme for startups and smart cities initiatives are a few some examples,” Sood added.

The Digital India initiative is centered around digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens.

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India fourth biggest exporter of illicit capital: Report

Dec 9, 2015 0

WASHINGTON–With an average annual outflow of $51.03 billion, India is the fourth biggest exporter of illicit capital over a decade with such financial flows surging to $1.1 trillion in 2013, according to a new report.

Dev Kar

Dev Kar

China, with $139.23 billion average annually ($1.39 trillion cumulative), was the biggest exporter of illicit financial flows from developing and emerging economies, according to a study released Wednesday by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research and advisory organization.

Russia with $104.98 billion average ($1.05trillion cumulative) and Mexico with $52.84 billion average ($528.44 billion cumulative) came next.

India with $51.03 billion average ($510.29 billion cumulative) was fourth followed by Malaysia with $41.85 billion average annually ($418.54 billion cumulative) ranked fifth.

Authored by GFI Chief Economist Dev Kar and GFI Junior Economist Joseph Spanjers, the report pegs cumulative illicit outflows from developing economies at $7.8 trillion between 2004 and 2013, the last year for which data are available.

Titled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013” the study reveals that illicit financial flows first surpassed $1 trillion in 2011, and have grown to $1.1 trillion in 2013.

This marks a dramatic increase from 2004, when illicit outflows totaled just $465.3 billion.

“This study clearly demonstrates that illicit financial flows are the most damaging economic problem faced by the world’s developing and emerging economies,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a longtime authority on financial crime.

“This year at the UN, the mantra of ‘trillions not billions’ was continuously used to indicate the amount of funds needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Significantly curtailing illicit flows is central to that effort.”

Illicit financial flows averaged a staggering four percent of the developing world’s GDP, the study noted.

In seven of the 10 years studied, global IFFs outpaced the total value of all foreign aid and foreign direct investment flowing into poor nations.

The IFF growth rate from 2004-2013 was 8.6 percent in Asia and 7 percent in Developing Europe as well as in the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions, the report found.

The report recommends that world leaders focus on curbing opacity in the global financial system, which facilitates these outflows.

Specifically, GFI suggested that governments establish public registries of verified beneficial ownership information on all legal entities, and all banks should know the true beneficial owner(s) of any account opened in their financial institution.

Government authorities should adopt and fully implement all of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) anti-money laundering recommendations; laws already in place should be strongly enforced.

Policymakers should require multinational companies to publicly disclose their revenues, profits, losses, sales, taxes paid, subsidiaries, and staff levels on a country-by-country basis.

All countries should actively participate in the worldwide movement towards the automatic exchange of tax information as endorsed by the OECD and the G20, the report suggested.

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Wear this ultra-compact Panasonic camera to capture seamless action

Dec 9, 2015 0

NEW DELHI–Wish to capture best moments of your life in a hassle-free, seamless way? Panasonic has heard you with a wearable, ultra-compact, lightweight and tough camera that will help you add a whole new dimension to your love for photography.

The HX-A1 wearable camera is available for the Indian consumers

The HX-A1 wearable camera is available for the Indian consumers

Launched for the Indian market in the capital on Wednesday, the rugged wearable camera called HX-A1 from Panasonic India offers a revolution in capturing night scenes you have never seen before.

Weighing approximately 45 grams and making shooting hands-free recording for longer periods in full HD, the Wi-Fi enabled camera is waterproof to the depth of 1.5 metre (almost 5 feet), shockproof to the height of 1.5 metre, dust-proof and even freeze-proof down to minus 10 degree Celsius.

“Panasonic India has made a sustained effort to grow in the market by offering our innovative and technologically advanced products to cater to the ever evolving customer needs in the camera segment,” said Gaurav Ghavri, product head (Panasonic India) in a statement.

“The introduction of HX-A1 wearable camera defines Panasonic’s unrelenting pursuit of providing unmatched experience creating excitement in the action camera market,” he added.

The user can enjoy more shooting options with a variety of accessories like twin mount, extended battery, strap adaptor, wind jammer, clip mount and suction clip mount.

The HX-A1 has a “0 Lux Night Mode” for recording no-light japes. The camera includes an IR filter (night mode) and can be used with an infrared light source to catch that pesky red-eyed tree frog.

There is a 1/3-inch effective 2.87-megapixel MOS sensor which is paired with a 2.6-mm F2.8 lens to give a view of around 19-mm equivalent.

It also features loop recording so you do not need to worry about running out of storage.

When recording for longer than an hour, the camera keeps recording seamlessly by managing video in two-minute segments.

The camera can be mounted to a multi mount onto goggles, shoulder bags or helmets or onto a tripod using a tripod mount.

It also captures footage up to Full HD and has a slow-motion mode capable of shooting 60 frames per second (fps) at 720p or 120 fps at 480p.

The HX-A1 wearable camera is available for the Indian consumers at Rs.19,990.

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Emerging markets, except India, face slow growth in near-term: World Bank

Dec 9, 2015 0

WASHINGTON–Emerging markets, with the exception of India, are facing the fifth consecutive year of slow growth, a latest World Bank report has said.

According to report, the slowdown is expected to continue for some time.

Kaushik Basu

Kaushik Basu

“After enjoying years of enviable economic performance, emerging markets are coming under strain, with a marked divergence in growth among them,” Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s chief economist and senior vice-president said in the report.

In a new policy research note titled “Slowdown in Emerging Markets: Rough Patch or Prolonged Weakness?”, the World Bank said emerging market growth, since 2010, has been buffeted by factors like weak international trade, slowing capital flows and slumping commodity prices, which have compounded domestic problems such as blunted productivity and periods of political uncertainty.

“As some of these economies slow down, the goal of eradicating extreme poverty will become harder as it burrows in and becomes more concentrated in regions most affected by conflict,” Basu said.

“Growth in BRICS, with the exception of India, has been slowing significantly after 2010. These slowdowns are expected to continue over the near term,” the World Bank report said.

Since 2010, emerging market growth has been falling and has slid from an average 7.6 percent in 2010 to less than 4 percent projected for the current year.

China, the Russian Federation and South Africa have all posted three consecutive years of slowing growth, the report said.

It said while many emerging markets have implemented reforms in specific areas, a few have announced comprehensive structural reform plans, including China, India, and Mexico.

Though the pace of reform implementation remains a concern, these initiatives have been well received by investors, it added.

India has formally adopted inflation targeting in 2015, strengthening the credibility of the Reserve Bank of India, eliminated diesel subsidies while raising excise duties on transport fuels, has further eased rules for foreign investment in insurance, telecommunications and railway, and committed to increasing public investment, the report said.

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Indian PM Modi on top of charts on Facebook

Dec 9, 2015 0

NEW DELHI–Social media enthusiast Prime Minister Narendra Modi topped the charts of Facebook under the most-viewed topic in India this year, while at the global level, he is among the top 10, where US President Barack Obama leads the pack.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi, who earlier this week figured as the sole non-Bollywood celebrity who made the cut to the top 10 slots of most-followed Indians on Twitter, was ranked No.9 on Facebook globally, under the category of topics.

Only three other people are on the top 10 list for India — late former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, actors Salman Khan and Deepika Padukone — which is otherwise dominated by events.

The No.2 topic from India is e-commerce boom, followed by Kalam, “Baahubali: The Beginning” and Nepal Earthquake.

Apart from Twiter and Facebook, Modi not only has a Youtube channel but also has a mobile app that helps people get his messages directly on their phones.

He also has own websites — personal and under the Prime Minister’s Office — to connect with the people.

Under the topic ‘places’, the Taj Mahal occupies the second place and India Gate in the national capital ranks first. It was followed by Marine Drive in Mumbai, Nandi Hills in Bengaluru and Gateway of India in Mumbai.

The most used new sticker packs in India were Biscuit in Love, Bigli Migli, Love, Bigli Migli, Dance Party and Minions.

In the global topics category in 2015, US Presidential Election was the most discussed one followed by the November 13 attacks in Paris.

The other topics which figured out in the top five category were Syrian Civil War and Refugee Crisis, Nepal Earthquakes and Greek Debt Crisis.

Year in Review top 10 lists were measured by how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January and December 2015.

To put this list together, Facebook posts were analysed in an aggregated, anonymised way, and then ranked to create a snapshot of the year on Facebook.

In the global category of politicians who were most talked about were US President Barack Obama, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, American politician Hillary Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate in the US Bernie Sanders.

The most talked about global entertainers in Facebook in 2015 were Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Nicky Jam and Wiz Khalifa.

Among the most discussed global TV shows were “Game of Thrones”, “The Walking Dead”, “The Daily Show”, “Saturday Night Live” and “WWE Raw”.

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Wipro digital to hire more techies for its London pod

Dec 9, 2015 0

BENGALURU–Global software major Wipro announced on Wednesday that it would hire more engineers in addition to the 600 hired this year for its new digital pod in London to offer transformation services to British and European clients.

“We intend to take more engineers in addition to the 600 we had hired over the last 12 months, taking the total to 4,000 in Britain,” the IT bellwether said in a statement here.

The new pod is custom-built for the company’s digital strategy, design and engineering teams to work in a collaborative and adaptive workspace with clients.

“Our knowledge of the local market, global experience and operational excellence allows us to help our clients achieve their desired outcomes,” Wipro chief executive T.K. Kurien said in the statement.

The pod will benefit clients and employees from the open, free-flowing design, enabling formation of multi-disciplinary and agile groups to help businesses transform on their digital journeys.

“As British firms, clients and employees have benefited from Wipro’s investment in this country since 1995, we appreciate its decision to locate its digital pod in London,” British Trade and Investment M
Wipro digital global head Rajan Kohli said opening the pod was a milestone in its journey to build multi-disciplinary teams to unveil new products and service experiences that keep pace with changing customer behaviour and expectations.

“London’s reputation for creativity and confluence of cultures provide a springboard for ideas, making it an ideal hub to meet digital needs of our customers,” Kohli added.

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India, Pakistan to resume dialogue, Modi to visit Islamabad

Dec 9, 2015 0

India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue while Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Islamabad next year to attend the Saarc summit.

Susma Swaraj

Susma Swaraj

Both sides agreed to a comprehensive bilateral dialogue and directed the foreign secretaries to work out the modalities of the meetings, a joint statement issued after talks between Sushma Swaraj and the Pakistani prime minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz here said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Indian minister, who arrived here on Tuesday to attend the Heart of Asia Conference, told the media here that Modi would visit Pakistan next year to participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit. Under the rotational chairmanship policy of Saarc, Pakistan will chair the grouping next year.

This will be the first prime ministerial visit from India to Pakistan since Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited the South Asian neighbour in January 2004 to attend that year’s Saarc summit.

Sushma Swaraj said she would accompany Modi during his visit, Geo TV reported.

Wednesday’s joint statement said Sushma Swaraj and Aziz “condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it”.

“They noted the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues in Bangkok (on December 6) between the two NSAs (national security advisors) and decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism,” it stated.

According to the statement, Pakistan assured India that all steps are being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks trial.

“Both sides, accordingly, agreed to a comprehensive bilateral dialogue and directed the the foreign secretaries to work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue, including peace and security, CBMs (confidence buildins measures), Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control, humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges and religious tourism,” the statement said.

Prior to her talks with Aziz, Sushma Swaraj also called on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the multilateral conference.

According to external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup, during the meeting with Sharif, Sushma Swaraj conveyed “India’s commitment to good neighbourly relations”.

Ahead of the meeting with Sharif, Sushma Swaraj extended India’s hand of friendship to Pakistan at the Heart of Asia Conference.

“It is time that we display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation,” she said in her address at the conference.

“For its part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with,” she added.

The Heart of Asia Conference engages “heart of Asia” countries in sincere and result-oriented cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Sushma Swaraj said that the multilateral conference provided “an important platform for friends of Afghanistan from its immediate and extended neighbourhood to promote political consultations and regional cooperation for a united, democratic, independent, strong and prosperous Afghanistan”.

“My presence here underlines India’s strong commitment to that cause,” she stated.

She also called for full and direct overland access by Afghanistan to India’s markets to enable it to take advantage of the zero duty regime available to its exports to India.

On Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the margins of the conference, during which the two leaders discussed the terror threat in Afghanistan.

She also held bilateral meetings with her Kygyzstani and Iranian counterparts Erlan Abdyldaev and Javad Zarif respectively too.

She also attended a lunch hosted by Sharif for the Heart of Asia Conference delegates.

Sushma Swaraj’s engagements with the Pakistani leadership came after a successful meeting between NSAs Ajit Doval of India and Naseer Khan Janjua of Pakistan in Bangkok on December 6 which was also attended by Foreign Secretaries S.Jaishanker and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

A joint statement issued after that meeting said that the discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues including tranquility along the LoC (Line of Control).

“It was agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement,” said the December 6 statement.

The NSA-level meeting was held after Modi and Sharif had an impromptu meeting on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30.

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