Babson’s First India Symposium Draws 250 People, Pitches India as Next Business Destination

Apr 22, 2016 0

WELLESLEY, MA– Babson College’s first ever Babson India Symposium drew about 250 people, four keynote speakers and over two dozen accomplished panelists. The event was held on April 16 at the Sorenson Theater of Babson College in Wellesley, MA.

Rohan Murty in a candid conversation with Prof. Bala Iyer

Rohan Murty in a candid conversation with Prof. Bala Iyer

This year’s symposium provided a great platform for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and academicians to share their experiences on starting up and investing in India.

The range and selection of topics were diverse and varied interests of the audience were catered, organizers said.

The opening key-note by Rohan Murty of Catamaran Ventures/Infosys spoke about the influence of technology on the world, while the closing key-note by V.G Siddartha, CEO of Café Coffee Day, spoke about varied opportunities to pursue business ideas and how important it is to dream big.

Family business panel with Prof. Sam Hariharan

Family business panel with Prof. Sam Hariharan

In his key-note address, Vallabh Bhansali, Founder of Enam Securities, explored the idea of India becoming the next economic superpower, which was aptly followed by a fiery keynote from Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of PepsiCo Latin America. He spoke about how to understand the billion consumers which India offers.

The panel discussions included engaging topics such as conducting business within family businesses and starting up in India. The importance of value-driven and conscious work culture was exemplified by Karambir Kang, the hero of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and a long-standing employee of the Taj Group of Hotels (TATA group). Stand-up comedian, Abish Mathews spoke about unconventional careers alluding to India truly being the land of opportunities.

The entire day was jam-packed with compellin

Intimate conversation between Mr. Karambir Kang, savior and survivor of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and presently Area Director of Taj Hotels, USA and Prof. Raj Sisodia

Intimate conversation between Mr. Karambir Kang, savior and survivor of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and presently Area Director of Taj Hotels, USA and Prof. Raj Sisodia

g topics and engaging discussions, and definitely drove the point that India is the next big destination, with immense potential and with a huge scope to scale up.

Challenges notwithstanding, India promises to provide enormous opportunities, and the student community at Babson promises to return next year with a bigger and a better edition of the India

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India’s technical textiles sector has tremendous potential

Apr 21, 2016 0

Mumbai– The technical textiles sector in the country has tremendous growth potential for generating employment opportunities and is consistently being looked upon for the future growth of the country, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday.

He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the fifth edition of India’s premier exhibition “TECHNOTEX-2016” on the theme “Technical Textiles: Towards Future”.

Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra CM

Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra CM

The three-day event, showcasing exhibitions, seminars and conference and being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon from April 21-23, is jointly organised by the ministry of textiles and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Fadnavis, along with state Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, released “i A-TUFS” software and guidelines, “Textiles Compendium 2014-15”, standards, “Knowledge Report and Technotex 2016 Exhibition Directory,” at the ceremony.

A gateway to the technical textile arena, the event bridges the gap between the buyer and seller by facilitating B2B (business to business) and G2B (government to business) meetings.

Addressing the gathering, Fadnavis said: “While the government has taken up concrete initiatives in the arena, the industry players also need to bring in large-scale innovations.”

“Maharashtra as a state had and will always actively participate in the initiatives taken up by the government for the further acceleration of the technical textiles in the country,” the chief minister added.

Sharing his vision on the future of technical textiles in India, Gangwar said: “The technical textile sector is still at its nascent stage but it has been recognised as the fastest growing segment of the textile sector by the government of India and industry stakeholders alike.”

The working group on technical textiles for 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) has projected the market size to Rs.1.58 lakh crore for the year 2016-17, with a growth rate of 20 percent during the 12th FYP.

“I am confident when the global technical textile industry revisits our shores in the next edition of “Technotex 2017″ from May 4-6, the Indian technical textile sector will be one of the most promising sector in the World,” Gangwar stated.

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India No.1 for Global In-house Centres: Nasscom

Apr 21, 2016 0

Hyderabad–India is the number one location for setting up Global In-house Centres (GIC), owing to value proposition extending beyond cost and efficiency to innovation and digital transformation, said industry body Nasscom on Thursday.

“GICs are an integral part of the Indian IT-BPM sector and have played a stellar role in contributing to the growth journey of this industry. The Nasscom GIC Council over the last few years has helped bring diverse GICs together across verticals and geographies and built an ecosystem for this sector,” said Nasscom chairman C. P. Gurnani at the opening day of the sixth edition of GIC Conclave, a statement said.

C. P. Gurnani

C. P. Gurnani

Themed ‘Multinational companies demonstrate high inclination to setup GICs in India’, the two-day conclave is focusing on ‘Transforming the Global Enterprise’ with an aim to sharing perspectives on the role of GICs in the transformational journey of enterprises.

Nasscom GIC Council chair Navneet Kapoor said: “A key theme for the Nasscom GIC Council is to enable the Neo GIC that can help build new sources of value for enterprise digital transformation.”

He added that today’s GICs are focused on catalysing innovation and are actively building programs for partnerships with start-ups, apart from enhancing internal capabilities.

According to the statement, GICs in India, numbering more than 1,050 in 2016, contribute a 20 percent share to the IT-BPM industry exports and account for a revenue of $22 billion.

As many as 7.90 lakh people work in the in-house centres while nearly 20 percent of all the new GICs in 2016 were established in India, the statement said.

Known earlier as Global Captives, the GICs operate across all service lines of IT, BPM, engineering services and product development. (IANS)

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India’s first “Karigar University” on cards

Apr 20, 2016 0

By Nirendra Dev

New Delhi– The country’s first “Karigar University” to impart professional skills’ training to artisans like potters, carpenters and ironsmiths may soon come up in Wardha in Maharashtra, the erstwhile ‘karmabhoomi’ (workplace) of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Maharashtra government and the Narendra Modi government at the centre could soon initiate steps to set up the proposed ‘karigar university’ to give a boost to the prime minister’s skill-development mission.

Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra CM

Devendra Fadnavis Maharashtra CM

“It will not be skill development per se as we understand by the term in the modern education sense. It is beyond white collared jobs and computers. A village potter or neighbourhood ironsmith in a small town and kasba are also skills. It is high time such work is encouraged and given respect,” a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told IANS here.

A delegation of BJP leaders and representatives from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated organisations made the suggestion to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during a recent meeting in Mumbai.

“In fact, a detailed project report with study background has been submitted to the chief minister who showed keen interest. The matter is likely to be taken up formally by the state government with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” a source said.

The proposed university to promote such crucial but low-profile professions is likely to come up at Wardha’s Sevagram.

The project is being linked to Wardha and Mahatma Gandhi. Sevagram and Wardha had been important milestones of Gandhiji’s life. Many decisions on important national matters and movements were taken at Sevagram. In April 1936, Gandhiji established his residence in a village on the outskirts of Wardha, which he renamed as Sevagram — meaning a ‘village of service’. This year it will be the 80th year of establishment of Sevagram.

“In the agricultural age, unlike the industrial age, focus shifted to land and landowners reigned. In the contemporary setting, knowledge is the asset and those who have the best of tools will rule. The skill development essentially should address this,” the BJP leader added.

“The idea of such a university for traditional non-conventional skilled people has perhaps become all the more important as agriculture alone cannot sustain rural people. In villages, for a family of four brothers, a realisation is dawning that there is a need for alternative job avenues. The craze for white collar jobs is taking us nowhere,” the leader said.

He added that the Maharashtra government and the central government in Delhi understand that the present low level of rural employment is essentially due to the absence of market-driven employment generation in the Indian agriculture sector.

The union ministry of skill development is also working on a road map to shift the entire job scenario from ‘qualification based’ to ‘skill based’.

Echoing the same spirit, a senior BJP office-bearer from Maharashtra said: “The new generation skill development should be based on the process of more than mere learning. It should involve a key process of re-learning and enhancing an individual’s skills.”

India’s job creation ability has been very dismal, and all blame cannot be shifted to the door steps of the central government, and that too on the present dispensation, another BJP leader said.

In the last three decades, studies claim the country has created only about seven million jobs every year, whereas the need is for over 22 million jobs annually.

Compared to China, only two percent of Indian workers — about 10 million — are formally skilled, according to reports.

In vocational courses too, India has only about 5.5 million individuals enrolled every year, compared to many more in China, it is noted. (IANS)

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10 percent rise in foreign tourist arrivals in India

Apr 20, 2016 0

New Delhi– Twenty-five lakh foreign tourists arrived in India between January and March, pushing up by 10 percent the total number of foreign tourists, the government said on Wednesday.

The figure for January-March last year stood at 22.81 lakh.

In March this year, 8.17 lakh tourists came to India, resulting in foreign exchange earnings of Rs.13,115 crore, the tourism ministry said.

Taj Mahal is one the most visited spots by foreign tourists

Taj Mahal is one the most visited spots by foreign tourists

The ministry compiles monthly estimates of foreign tourist arrivals.

The countries which sent most tourists to India in the first quarter of this year were Bangladesh (14.07 percent), Britain (13.16 percent), the US (11.84 percent), Germany (3.74 percent), Canada (3.57 percent), Sri Lanka (3.48 percent) and Malaysia (3.45 percent).

Then came Russia (3.19 percent), China (2.92 percent), France (2.92 percent), Australia (2.83 percent), Japan (2.43 percent), Nepal (1.72 percent), Singapore (1.67 percent) and Thailand (1.60).  (IANS)


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India to launch navigation satellite on April 28, complete full system

Apr 19, 2016 0

Chennai– India is slated to put into orbit its seventh and final navigation satellite on April 28, thereby having its full satellite navigation system up in the sky, said a senior space agency official.

“The launch of India’s seventh and the final in the series of satellites will be on April 28 afternoon. The IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1G) will be put into orbit by our rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV),” K. Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS over phone on Tuesday.

K. Sivan

K. Sivan

The PSLV rocket will blast off after 12 noon on April 28 from India’s spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.

Till date, India has launched six regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID, 1E and 1F) as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

Though the full system comprises nine satellites — seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by, the navigation services could be made operational with four satellites, ISRO officials had said earlier.

Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs about Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would entail an outlay of about Rs.910 crore.

The first satellite, IRNSS-1A, was launched in July 2013, the second in April 2014, the third on October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth and sixth on January 20 and March 10 this year.

Once the regional navigation system is in place, India need not be dependent on other platforms.

The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia, and Galileo of Europe as well as China’s Beidou.

While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems are offering regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.

The IRNSS will provide two types of services — standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and the latter is an encrypted service for authorised users.

Meanwhile ISRO is in the process of developing the front-end radio frequency chips for the satellite navigation system. The initial version is expected to be ready this year, ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar told IANS earlier.

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India bright spot in weakening global recovery: IMF

Apr 14, 2016 0

Washington–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said India remains a bright spot, even as global economic revovery has weakened and risks to global financial stability have increased, all of which call for a combination of monetary, fiscal, and structural actions.

“India remains a particular bright spot with rising real incomes and confidence boosting domestic demand,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in her global policy agenda, just ahead of the Spring Meeting of the Fund and the World Bank.

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde

“Global economy is expanding moderately, but the outlook has weakened further since October and risks have increased,” she said, adding this may well prove to be a deterrent to higher living standards, fresh employment levels and controlling debt of nations.

The IMF chief said there could emerge some indirect ramifications from factors like geopolitical shocks from conflicts, terrorism, refugee flows, a potential exit of Britain from the European Union and global epidemics.

At the same time, there were some positives also, she stressed.

“Some recent improvement in data releases, somewhat firmer oil prices, reduced pressures on outflows from China, and actions by major central banks have all contributed to improving sentiment,” said Lagarde, but felt these needed to be built upon.

“A three-pronged approach with monetary, fiscal, and structural actions can work as a virtuous trinity, lifting actual and potential growth, averting recession risks, and enhancing financial stability.”

Among the various policy prescriptions, Lagarde said more needs to be done to support efficient infrastructure investment in all countries and that a new infrastructure policy initiative will be piloted this year to scale up spending in this area and improve institutional capacity.

This apart, she said, the Fund will also assess the size and implications of the problem, and examine options to reduce the risk of adverse balance sheet effects from the rising private sector indebtedness, and unresolved crisis legacies in banks. (IANS)

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Want to make India global media, entertainment hub: Ministry

Apr 1, 2016 0

New Delhi–Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Sunil Arora on Friday said that the ministry’s objective is to make India the hub of media and entertainment industry in the world.

“One of our primary objectives is to bring down the number of visitors to Shastri Bhavan and move towards less regulation and facilitate India to become the hub of media and entertainment industry,” Arora said during Ficci-Frames 2016, held in Mumbai.

Bollywood-Image-Actress Kareena KapoorFicci-Frames is the annual conclave of media and entertainment industry attracting policy makers, producers, distributors, media and entertainment industry professionals in large numbers. The theme for 2016 is “Year of the Digital: Change or Perish”.

Speaking to Star CEO Uday Shankar and filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, Arora said that the ministry has expedited the clearance for new TV channels over the last six months.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to most of the suggestions made by the I&B Ministry about liberalising several conditions,” he said.

Arora also said the ministry was guided by the ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ philosophy and remained committed to promoting ease of doing business in the media and entertainment sector.

“The government and ministry was completely committed to digitisation programme, but expressed concern over less than 10 per cent share of Indian-made Set Top Boxes (STB). We want the industry to look at this as an opportunity under the Make In India initiative and produce more STBs.”

He also disclosed that the government will set up the National Centre of Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Visual Effects in Mumbai, for which the Maharashtra government is providing 25 acres of land near Film City in Goregaon, Mumbai.

The government has also approved Rs.598 crore National Film Heritage Mission to preserve and promote India’s rich film and cultural heritage.

“National Museum of Indian Cinema is coming up in Films Division complex on Pedder Road (Mumbai) with several interactive exhibits. The prime minister has taken a keen interest in this museum, which is being curated by the National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata”, he added.

Arora said that a Film Facilitation Office has also opened in the National Film Development Corporation to function as a single window service for film related clearances.

“An award has been instituted as part of the National Film Awards to honour the states that are most film friendly. In 2016, Gujarat has been adjudged the most film friendly state, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Kerala,” Arora said.(IANS)

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India’s media, entertainment revenues seen at $33 billion by 2020

Mar 30, 2016 0

Mumbai–The media and entertainment industry will grow at 14.3 percent annually to touch earnings of Rs.2.26 trillion ($33 billion) by 2020 led by a fast growth in advertising revenues, said a study released here on Wednesday.

The report prepared by Ficci and KPMG says advertising revenue is expected to grow by a 15.9 percent annually to Rs.994 billion ($14.8 billion), with digital advertising expected to retain its strong run, having grown by 38.2 percent in 2015 over the previous year.

A. Didar Singh

A. Didar Singh

“We are going through a phase of rapid, sustained technological innovation that will permanently change the way consumers will access and consume content,” said Ficci director general A. Didar Singh, releasing the report at the Ficci-Frames conclave on media and entertainment here.

“Changing user habits will disrupt existing business models as content providers and brands will need to match consumer expectations. While this will pose multiple challenges, we believe there are significant opportunities for media, entertainment firms to leverage the digital ecosystem.”

Jehil Thakkar, partner and head of media and entertainment with KPMG India, said the films sector also returned to growth in 2015 led by Hollywood and regional cinema, rather than Bollywood.

According to the report: “Studios are also experimenting with fresh talent, which comes onboard for a lower fee. For instance, talent costs at Yash Raj Films are approximately 25 percent lower than the industry average because bulk deals are signed with new actors.”

“Print saw a slower growth in the past year but TV and digital advertising have exceeded expectations.”

As per the report, at 7.6 percent, the print industry witnessed a marginal slowdown in 2015 compared to 2014 — an election year. For English language publications, e-commerce stood out as a category in a year of muted growth.

It said the television sector witnessed strong advertising-led growth at 17 percent with increase in e-commerce spends. Growth in subscription revenue was slower at 12.8 percent due to the delay in Phase III digitisation and further delays in securing on-ground benefits of Phase I and II.

Thakkar said that with the wide rollout of 4G finally underway, coupled with the “Digital India” initiative, the future of digital advertising is very bright.

“The year 2015 saw a number of OTT services being launched, and we expect this trend to continue in 2016 as well. However, this industry is yet to find a sustainable business model in India, which is likely to emerge in the next 12 to 24 months,” Thakkar added.

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Group studying transition to 100 percent electrical vehicles in India

Mar 25, 2016 0

New Delhi– The government has formed a working group under union minister Nitin Gadkari to study the possibility of the country transitioning to 100 percent electrical vehicles by 2030, union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Speaking at the session “Making India a Global Economic Superpower” during the Conference on Young Indians, Minister of state (Independent charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Goyal said that the working group under Minister for Highways and Road Rransport Nitin Gadkari “is evaluating the possibility of India making the transition to 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030”.

“This programme is going to be on a self financing model and will look at monetising savings that consumers have on petroleum products,” he added.

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