Nadella, Cook, Zuckerberg slam Charlottesville violence

Aug 17, 2017 0

San Francisco–Breaking their silence over the violence at a white supremacist rally in the US, Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella, Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have condemned the incident as “horrific” and “a disgrace” to the nation.

In an email to his leadership team which was obtained by Quartz, Nadella said the tragedy at Charlottesville in Virginia on August 12 — where a 32-year-old woman was killed — was “horrific”.

“There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed in Virginia provoked by white nationalists. Our hearts go out to the families and everyone impacted by the Charlottesville tragedy,” Nadella said.

Zuckerberg said the company is “watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm”.

Satya Nadella

“There is no place for hate in our community. That’s why we’ve always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville,” the Facebook CEO posted on his page on Thursday.

“With the potential for more rallies, we’re watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. We won’t always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we’ll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe,” he added.

US President Donald Trump had blamed “both sides” for the deadly violence at the white supremacist rally.

In a show of defiance, Trump told reporters in Manhattan that there were “two sides to a story” just a day after he had belatedly condemned racist hate groups for the mayhem at the “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia, the Washington Post reported.

He equated the white supremacists on one side with the “alt-left” on the other side and said that “alt-left” groups were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville.

According to Cook, the events of the past several days have been “deeply troubling” for him.

“I disagree with the President and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans,” Cook said in an email sent to employees and accessed by ReCode.

“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and again, both in the US and countries around the world,” Cook added.

“I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone,” he noted.

Apple would make contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Centre and the Anti-Defamation League.

“We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30,” Cook wrote.

“Across Microsoft, we will stand together with those who are standing for positive change in the communities where we live, work and serve,” Nadella wrote. (IANS)

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Dow closes above 22,000 for first time

Aug 2, 2017 0

New York–The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke the 22,000 milestone for the first time as shares of Apple soared following strong quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday was up 52.32 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 22,016.24, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 rose 1.22 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 2,477.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked down 0.29 points, or less than 0.01 per cent, to 6,362.65.

After Tuesday’s closing bell, Apple announced quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.67.

Shares of the tech giant rallied 4.73 per cent on Wednesday, and drove the Dow above 22,000 for the first time ever.

This earning season has been strong so far and has broadly been supportive of stock market recently.

Some analysts, however, said the tech sector might continue to face pressure from profit-taking following upbeat earnings.

Meanwhile, investors also turned their eyes to a slew of economic data, as they tried to find clues on when the Federal Reserve might start the balance sheet reduction.

US private sector employment increased by 178,000 jobs from June to July, well below market consensus of 185,000, said the July ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday.

The ADP report is often seen as a preview for the closely-watched US nonfarm payrolls data due out on Friday. (IANS)

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Actifio Names Networld Corporation Japan Partner of the Year

Jul 26, 2017 0
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4 Reasons You Should NOT Seek The Media Spotlight

May 12, 2017 0

By Marsha Friedman

On most days it’s my goal to explain to people the benefits of PR and how landing an interview in print, on the radio or on TV can add to their credibility and help establish them as sought-after authorities in their fields of expertise.

But as I know it to be true that there’s an opposing view to practically everything, I thought it might be an interesting exercise to see what the opposing view could possibly be when it comes to public relations.

Marsha Friedman

So, here are four reasons – absurd as they sound – that might make someone want to run like the dickens should the media spotlight shine their way. (And even more absurd is that in our 27 years of being in business we’ve actually experienced clients who seem to view things this way!)

  • Those pesky reporters and their pesky deadlines! You’re making good progress on the day’s to-do list when you learn some bothersome New York Times reporter wants to talk to you. Naturally, she has a tight deadline for getting her article and your name in front of her 30 million combined print and online readers. Is she serious? Why should her deadline stress become yours?
  • The media follow the media that was following you! I mean this is practically a form of stalking! Let’s say you write an article for the New York Daily News. The article is done and you’re done. Or so you think. But no! Someone at MSNBC sees that article and now they’re trying to hit you up for an interview and foist some free air time on you! The nerve!
  • Your brand keeps coming up in online searches! I’m sad to report that potential clients or customers have access to the internet. Do you really want to take the chance that they’ll Google your name and find out that Fox Business or some other major media outlet decided your expertise is worth listening to? I mean, who knows where that kind of thing could lead?
  • Sharing media success stories can be tiresome! Face it. Whenever the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or any other media hotshot interviews you, you’re going to feel obligated to share the results with clients and potential clients through social media or email. What a bother! More work!  What a burden!

All joking aside, those reasons for avoiding the media spotlight work even better as reasons for seeking it out.

In fact, I could point to specific clients who experienced just these sorts of media encounters and successes and made the most of them. Yes, just recently the New York Times called us seeking an expert and our client leapt at the opportunity to talk.

MSNBC really did reach out to a client after he wrote a New York Daily News opinion piece because they wanted to interview him in-studio on his topic.

A financial professional we worked with was trying to woo a potential client, but couldn’t quite close the sale. As they sat in her office she suggested he Google her name when he pressed her about why he should choose her.

When a Fox Business article we got her quoted in popped up, he was immediately sold and she closed the deal.

Yes, sometimes those media deadlines might be stressful (that part wasn’t entirely a joke), but the momentary hassle is well worth the rewards when you’re quoted as an expert in major publications, heard on the radio or seen on TV!

Frankly, it’s surprising to me that more people and businesses that hope to promote their brands don’t take advantage of these sorts of opportunities – “pesky” reporters and all!

(Marsha Friedman is a public relations expert with 26 years experience developing publicity strategies for financial professionals, corporations and media newcomers alike. Using the proprietary system she created as founder and CEO of EMSI Public Relations , an award-winning national agency, she secures thousands of top-tier media placements annually for her clients.)

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Social Enterprise “Second Chance” Wins TiE Boston’s TYE Business Competition

May 12, 2017 0

CAMBRIDGE, MA – TiE Boston, the second-biggest and oldest chapter of the TiE-Global, announced that Second Chance, a social enterprise that helps train the currently incarcerated to successfully enter the workforce, is the winner of the 2017 TYE Business Competition.  The second and third place went to Brite Barrel and Checkups4All, respectively.

Second Chance will represent TiE Boston at the TYE Finals later this year. Teams from up to 26 chapters across the globe will go to California to compete in the 2017 TYE Global Final. Over 20 teams are expected to participate and present at the Applied Innovation Center at UC-Irvine. Last year, the winning teams walked away with seed awards totaling $11,000 at the 2016 Global Finals.

First place winner Second Chance team (Photo: TiE Boston)

This year saw the rise of social entrepreneurship with the three winning teams each startup having a clear social mission. Along with “Second Chance,” the second place winner,“Brite Barrel,” and third place winner, “Checkups4All,” each set out to leverage their talent and resources to make the world a more equitable place for all, TiE Boston said in a statement. TYE announces three winning teams each year and they are awarded a cash grant to either be used as seed funding to launch their startup or to fund their college education.

2nd Place Winner Brite Barrel (Photo: TiE Boston)

TiE Boston will hold an TYE Open House for interested parents and students at 6:00 pm on June 5th at the headquarters of Constant Contact, located at 1601 Trapelo Road in Waltham, MA.

TiE Boston statement said that with the sobering statistic of 77.6 percent of those released from prison will serve a second prison sentence, “Second Chance” is a social enterprise that helps train the currently incarcerated to successfully enter the workforce.

Third Place CheckUps for All (Photo: TiE Boston)

“First, current inmates are matched with a skilled or semi-skilled position through a ‘Second Chance’ partnership with a large company. As inmates now have a job waiting for them upon release, they can engage through the ‘Second Chance’ e-learning platform to prepare for the position,” the statement said. “Leaving prison, individuals are well-trained and prepared to enter these positions, thus eliminating the need to commit a crime to cover basic needs.”

TYE (TiE Young Entrepreneurs) is a youth entrepreneurship program for high school age students develop their business skills, confidence, leadership, problem solving, public speaking and ability to multitask through the creation of a startup. In its 13th year, this award-winning program for high school students was created to prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs for success.

Pallavi Singh

“It has been incredible to see how young adults who have grown up watching ‘Shark Tank’ can use that exposure and our curriculum to come up with some awesome business ideas!  I’m blown away each year when I watch final pitches,” said Pallavi Singh, TYE Program Chair and champion for entrepreneurial youth. “The problem solving skills we teach our students will help them through college and beyond.”

Developed and launched by TiE Boston in 2005, TYE has grown to be a global youth empowerment and education curriculum taught in 26 chapters throughout the globe.

“As someone who has been involved with the TYE program for 7 years as a program coordinator, I have seen over 300 students come through the program, including two of my own children. I can say that this program provides an in-depth view of a entrepreneurial life cycle along with some critical life skills,” said Suneha Kamdiwan, a long-time volunteer and a parent of the winning team. “It is an exhilarating experience to watch each batch of students go through the program. Entering unsure and inquisitive, to transforming into an individual ready to take on new challenges, it has been my greatest pleasure to see TYE alumni move on to start their own companies, organizations and taken initiatives that have made a real and positive difference.”

At the TYE Open House on June 5, TYE Program Manager Simone LaPray will walk through the program, answer questions and lead interested participants through a TYE leadership activity. Students are strongly encouraged to attend with their parents to find out more! To RSVP to the Open House, please send an email with a number of those attending to Refreshments will be provided.

Applications are open now at

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92% Indian business leaders advocate digital transformation

Mar 28, 2017 0

New Delhi–A whopping 92 per cent of business leaders in India believe that every organisation needs a digital transformation to grow their business, a study has revealed.

The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study 2016 has revealed that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are viewed by Indians as important and relevant to digital transformation strategies.

“Today, cloud-powered technologies such as IoT, AI and advanced data analytics are creating limitless possibilities in transforming the way people work, live and play. This is ushering in societal and economic changes at an unprecedented pace and organisations need to embrace this transformation to stay relevant,” Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said in a statement on Tuesday.

Further, 88 per cent Indians believe that cloud computing and decreasing cost of devices make it more affordable for companies of all sizes to access modern technology and help them gain a competitive advantage.

Indians also saw virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality as technology relevant to digital transformation among organisations than the rest of Asia.

Fifty-three per cent Indians indicated that their organisation had specific digital transformation strategies in place and were progressing in their journey to add digital elements, as against 49 per cent Asians.

However, security, lack of digitally skilled workforce, lack of supportive government policies and IT infrastructure, uncertain economic environment and lack of leadership were ranked as the top five barriers to an organisation’s digital transformation journey in India.

The study polled business leaders working in mid-sized and large organisations from 13 Asia Pacific countries.

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Babson Professor and Best-Selling Author Raj Sisodia Shares His Journey From BITS Pilani to Conscious Capitalism on Chai With Manju

Mar 21, 2017 0

WALTHAM, MA—Conscious Capitalism, which was co-founded by best-selling author and Babson College Professor Raj Sisodia, is fast becoming a global movement.

In an exclusive video interview with Dr. Manju Sheth on Chai With Manju celebrity series, Sisodia talks about how his Indian heritage of spiritualism and hotbed of American capitalism shaped his philosophy and a new way of doing business where primary motive is more than just profit. His upbringing also created a perfect ambience for his new idea.

Sisodia, the F.W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College, is co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Conscious Capitalism, with John P. Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family with Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller.

Sisodia was born in India and spent parts of his childhood in Barbados, California and Canada. He was educated as an electrical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS, Pilani) in India. He pursued an MBA in Marketing from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai after which he earned a Ph.D. in Marketing and Business Policy from Columbia University.

Until 1998, he served as the Director of Executive Programs and Associate Professor of Marketing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. From 1985 to 1988, he was Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston University.

He also spent 15 years at Bentley University as Trustee Professor of Marketing, Department Chair and founder/director of the Center for Marketing Technology.

Today, Sisodia is a trustee of Conscious Capitalism Inc. and a member of the board of directors of The Container Store. He has consulted with and taught executive programs for numerous companies, including AT&T, Nokia, LG, DPDHL, POSCO, Kraft Foods, Whole Foods Market, Tata, Siemens, Sprint, Volvo, IBM, Walmart, Rabobank, McDonalds and Southern California Edison.

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No disinvestment in Air India: Goyal

Mar 18, 2017 0

Mumbai– Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the Centre’s plan on strategic disinvestment in loss-making public sector units will not apply to national carrier Air India.

Supporting “no disinvestment” of Air India, he said: “Every major country runs a national carrier. The Swiss government revived their national carrier. What we need to do is to improve efficiency of Air India. Last year, it has made operating profit.”

“Going forward, we are looking at financial engineering and effective deployment of Air India routes,” Goyal said at the India Today Conclave here.

He named Hindustan Photo Films and a Pune-based pharmaceutical company and many others which would be put through disinvestment.

Goyal said the government has talked to employee unions and other stakeholders for an “amicable settlement”.

Speaking on the success of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) meant for reforms in power distribution companies in the country, he said Tamil Nadu got the benefit of the scheme after one year of joining and its distribution company was able to reduce losses by 60 per cent.

Goyal said people of India supported demonetisation because they understood the objective.

“The original objective of demonetisation has been achieved. We did not have a linear objective; rather, we have a holistic plan.”

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US Fed likely to hike interest rate

Mar 15, 2017 0

New York — Market expectations of an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve later on Wednesday have heightened sharply following strong employment data released last week.

US Labor Department data on Friday showed that total non-farm payroll employment in the country increased by 235,000 in February. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 per cent.

Earlier this month, US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen had signalled that an interest rate hike in this month’s monetary policy will likely be appropriate, if the economy progresses in line with official expectations.

“With the job market strengthening and inflation rising toward our target, the median assessment of FOMC participants as of last December was that a cumulative 3/4 percentage point increase in the target range for the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate over the course of this year,” Yellen said in a speech at the Executives’ Club of Chicago.

She also warned that waiting too long to raise interest rates could force the American central bank to act quickly in response to economic risks, which in turn could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession.

At its January meeting, the US central bank had left the benchmark interest rates unchanged, while offering a relatively upbeat picture for the economy.

“Labour market continued to strengthen and… economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace,” a Fed statement said after the policy meeting.

It also acknowledged the improved consumer and business sentiment following the election of Donald Trump as US President.

Last December, the Fed increased its key interest rate by 25 basis points in the first rate hike in 2016 and just the second in a decade. The first was in December 2015.

According to analysts, a Fed rate hike could set off capital outflows from emerging market economies like India with large external funding needs and macro-economic imbalances, thereby increasing their vulnerability.

“While the impact of the rate increase on the US economy will be negligible, emerging market economies with large external funding needs and macro-economic imbalances could be vulnerable to capital outflows,” Moody’s Investors Service has said in a report.

“The most direct impact will be felt in those economies that have high external financing needs relative to their foreign exchange earnings and reserves,” the report said.

The American agency said the spillover effect of the rate hike may manifest itself in different ways.

“For instance, in some cases a pronounced currency depreciation could lead to higher inflation, which, along with the threat of sustained capital outflows, could force central banks to raise interest rates,” it said.

“The Fed’s tightening could have negative spillovers for those with large external funding needs, high leverage, macroeconomic imbalances, or uncertainties around politics and policies,” it added.

The Federal Reserve slashed rates to zero in 2008 in the wake the financial crisis and kept it at that level throughout the period of major economic slowdown that followed.

In this connection, when previous Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan took charge at the RBI in 2013, at a time the US Federal Reserve had declared its intent to wind down its stimulus programme, the rupee plunged in value in respect of the US dollar on fears about a spiralling current account deficit.

In a series of measures, Rajan managed to stabilise the currency that also brought back investors.

India is currently seen as being better equipped than other emerging markets to ride the impact of higher US interest rates because of its stronger economic growth and impressive foreign exchange reserves of more than $300 billion.

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India’s February exports up 17%

Mar 15, 2017 0

New Delhi — India’s exports revived for the sixth straight month, as the country’s merchandise shipments overseas reported a double-digit growth during February, official data showed on Wednesday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the exports grew by 17.48 per cent to $24.49 billion from $20.84 billion worth of merchandise shipped out during February 2016.

However, the country’s imports during the month under review increased by 21.76 per cent to $33.38 billion from $27.41 billion worth of merchandise which were shipped out in during the corresponding month of last year.

Consequently, the trade deficit during February reduced to $8.89 billion from $9.84 billion reported for the month before. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the trade deficit stood at $6.57 billion during same month of 2016.

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