India’s biggest data centre to come up in Hyderabad

Jun 15, 2016 0

Hyderabad– India’s biggest data centre will come up in Hyderabad, Telangana Information Technology Minister K. T. Rama Rao announced on Wednesday.

He told reporters that the state government is trying to find an anchor for the data centre campus.

The state will also unveil in next three months four supportive sectoral policies – cyber security, data analytics, data centre and open data.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said the centre was planned in view of the global trend of countries keeping data generated in their respective territories with themselves.

The minister said he already held talks with few companies in the US. A meeting will be held soon in Delhi. “We are hopeful of finding an anchor soon,” he added.

He said if the data centre comes up, vertical and horizontal integration will throw up many opportunities.

“The centre will require hardware manufacturing like servers. It will also contribute to sectors cyber security and data analytics,” he said.

KTR also announced that VLSI design centre would also be set up in Hyderabad this year. This will be first such facility in the country.

AMD has agreed to be a partner in VLSI design centre. He said they were holding talks with various companies. All major companies are expected to be part of this unique centre.

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Infosys projects double digit growth in 2016-17

Apr 15, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Buoyed by resilient revenue growth of over nine percent in fiscal 2015-16, software major Infosys Ltd on Friday projected a higher growth of 12.8 percent (average) in dollar terms for 2016-17, as 97 percent of its earnings is from exports.

“Our consolidated annual revenue outlook for 2016-17 is 11.8-13.8 percent (12.8 percent average) growth in dollar terms on the exchange rate (Rs.66.26 per dollar) of March 2016 and 11.5-13.5 percent in constant currency,” the IT bellwether said in a statement here.

In rupee terms, revenue growth for this fiscal (FY 2017) is, however, projected to be lower at 12.7-14.7 percent on March exchange rate of Rs.66.26 per dollar, as against 17 percent growth achieved in FY 2016.

“Our growth trajectory improved in FY 2016 and we navigated the external business environment well. We will focus on leveraging operational efficiency levers for profitable growth,” said Infosys’ Chief Financial Officer M.D. Ranganath in the statement.

Earlier, the outsourcing firm reported Rs.3,597 crore consolidated net profit for fourth quarter (January-March) of fiscal under review (FY 2016), registering 16.2 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth and 3.8 percent quarterly in rupee terms.

In a regulatory filing to the stock exchange BSE, the IT bellwether said its consolidated revenue grew 23.4 percent YoY and 4.1 percent quarterly to Rs.16,550 crore in the quarter (Q4) under review.

Under the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), net profit was up seven percent YoY and 1.7 percent quarterly to $533 million and revenue increased 13.3 percent YoY and 1.6 percent quarterly to $2,446 million ($2.5 billion).

For entire fiscal 2016, consolidated net profit grew 9.4 percent YoY to 13,491 crore and consolidated revenue 17.1 percent YoY to Rs.62,441 crore in rupee terms.

Under IFRS, net income was up 1.9 percent YoY to $2,052 million ($2.1 billion) and revenue increased 9.1 percent YoY to $9,501 million ($9.5 billion).

“I am proud of our company’s achievements in my first fiscal year as CEO. At the same time, I am humbled by the task that is still in front of us. We started the year just two quarters into a strategy to completely reimagine the notion of services and to transform the company,” Infosys’ Chief Executive Vishal Sikka said in the statement.

Operating profit for fourth quarter was 22.4 percent YoY and 6.6 percent quarterly in rupee terms and 12.6 percent YoY and 4.3 percent quarterly in dollar terms.

Similarly, operating margin for FY 2016 grew 12.9 percent in rupee terms and 5.2 percent in dollar terms under IFRS.

“Over the course of this year, we saw this strategy, of bringing automation and innovation to our clients, on a foundation of learning and education, start to show results in the organic growth of our client relationships, in our win rates in large deals, and in the types of projects we are seeing in strategic areas where we never participated before,” Sikka asserted.

The company and its subsidiaries worldwide added 89 clients in fourth quarter and 325 in the fiscal, taking their total number to 1,092 from 950 year ago.

“I am proud of what our teams have achieved this quarter and in the year,” Sikka added.

The company also declared a final dividend of Rs.14.25 per share of Rs.5 at par or a whopping 285 percent for fiscal under review.

With an interim dividend of Rs.10 per share or 200 percent for each share of Rs.5 at par for first six months (April-September), the total dividend for fiscal under review (FY 2016) is Rs.24.25 per share or a whopping 485 percent.

“We continue to reimagine our internal processes to increase organisational agility. The momentum of large deal wins continued this quarter and bookings were strong,” said Chief Operating Officer U.B. Pravin Rao.

Cash and securities were up Rs.34,468 crore ($5.2 billion) by fiscal-end from Rs. 31,526 crore ($4.8 billion) quarter ago and Rs. 32,585 crore ($5.2 billion) year ago.

“During the quarter, cash generation was strong. We managed a volatile currency environment effectively,” Ranganath claimed.

The company’s scrip was trading at Rs.1,172.05 per share on the BSE in the afternoon, Rs.10.25 lower than Thursday’s closing rate of Rs.1,182.30 per share and Rs.1,194 per share at the opening session. (IANS)

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Indian SaaS sector set for quantum growth: Report

Mar 5, 2016 0

Bengaluru– The Indian Software as a Service (SaaS) sector, comprising small and medium businesses (SMB) is poised for a quantum growth by 2020, a joint report by Google & Accel Partners said on Friday.

“With demand for SaaS from SMBs in the US and Europe set to grow exponentially, Indian firms have the opportunity to earn eight percent ($6 billion) of the $76 billion by 2020,” it said.

The report, compiled by internet search engine Google and venture capital firm Accel, projects the global SaaS industry to double to $132 billion from $68 billion in 2015, accounting for 75 percent of the public cloud revenues.

SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider (vendor) and made available to customers over the internet and licensed on a subscription basis.

As on-demand software, customers avail the service using a thin client through a web browser for business applications spanning diverse verticals. The service helps enterprises to reduce IT support costs by outsourcing its software and hardware maintenance to its vendors.

“Indian startups have an edge, as mobility is also becoming a key requirement by SMBs for SaaS. Our startups are building world class solutions for the mobile first users,” Google India managing director Rajan Anandan told reporters after releasing the report here.

With cloud computing emerging as the new technology wave, it had attracted a whopping $18-billion venture funding for purpose-built SaaS solution over the past four years, he said.

The report also projects that with domain expertise in engineering, inside sales, product management and mobile skillsets, Indian SaaS businesses are at an advantage to be profitable and scale quickly.

“India’s competitive advantages will help its SaaS firms grow strongly to command $50 billion in value by 2025,” the statement noted.

According to Accel India partner Shekhar Kirani, about 500 Indian SaaS firms, which generated combined revenue of $600 million in 2015, are poised to clock $2.5 billion by 2020 and $10 billion by 2025, growing at 30-35 percent annually.

“Many Indian SaaS startups are creating world class products for global SMB market. With smart entrepreneurs, local talent, favourable unit economics and a vibrant venture capital community in this space, we anticipate many billion-dollar firms in the next decade,” he said.

The report is based on interviews with Indian SaaS firms across segments, investors, system integrators and institutes during October-December 2015.

It also includes data from Google India primary research for SMB consumers and its search trends data since 2013.

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Infosys rewards chief executive Sikka with 2-year extension

Feb 24, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Global software major Infosys Ltd on Wednesday extended the tenure of its first non-founder chief executive Vishal Sikka by two years to 2021 from 2019 as a reward for his initiatives and for restoring the IT firm to industry leadership.

In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) after trading, the city-based company said the board had re-appointed Sikka as managing director and chief executive from April 1, 2016 to March 31 2021 on the recommendation of its nomination and remuneration committee.

Vishal Sikka

Vishal Sikka

The re-appointment of the former SAP honcho follows the amendment to the executive employment agreement signed on June 12, 2014, appointing Sikka for five years from August 1, 2014 to June 13, 2019 as the company’s managing director and CEO and approved by investors at an EGM on July 30, 2014.

“The management, under Sikka’s leadership, has drawn up goals for revenue, margins and people productivity for fiscal 2020-2021, which are expected to be achieved in the next five years. The board believes Sikka’s leadership is essential to achieve the goals,” the regulatory notification asserted.

The amendment also reduced the June 12, 2014 agreement term to December 31, 2016 from June 13, 2019 as approved by investors on July 30, 2014.

“The new contract is fully aligned to the period and goals set (for 2021-22) and the shareholder value creation,” the statement pointed out.

Along with extension, Sikka’s compensation package is likely to be revised upwards though no mention of the terms in the filing from $7 million (Rs.50 crore), including $2-million in restricted stock units he gets per annum this fiscal.

The 49-year-old former SAP board member joined the $8.7-billion IT services firm on August 1, 2014 after its last co-founder S.D. Shibulal demitted office July 31.

At the time of joining, Sikka’s compensation package was $5.1-million annually, including $900,000 as base salary and a variable pay of $4.2 million though not on par with chief executives of global peers.

The board also approved the postal ballot notice, entailing stock incentive compensation plan and stock incentives to eligible employees of the company and its subsidiaries, reappointment of independent directors Jeffery S. Lehman and Punita Kumar Sinha.

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Software exports highest in 2015: President

Feb 23, 2016 0

New Delhi–President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that the country recorded the highest ever software exports during 2015.

Addressing the joint session of both houses of parliament, he said that 29 electronic manufacturing clusters were under development.

“The country recorded the highest ever software exports during 2015,” the president said.

“Setting up world-class infrastructure for electronics manufacturing across the country remains a priority for my government,” he said.

He said the government’s endeavour is to scale new heights in space building upon the success over the past year.

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HCL Tech acquires Volvo Group’s external IT business

Feb 16, 2016 0

New Delhi– Software services provider HCL Technologies (HCL) said on Tuesday that it has acquired the external IT business of commercial vehicles manufacturers, Volvo Group.

“HCL has also acquired Volvo’s external IT business, adding 40 new customers from the Nordics and France to its portfolio, further enhancing its market leading position in these regions,” the company said in a statement here on Tuesday.

HCL has also signed an IT outsourcing deal with the Volvo Group.

The company, however, declined to comment on the size of the deal.

“We welcome over 40 new Volvo IT customers to the HCL client base. This addition enables HCL to achieve an even stronger presence in the Nordics and the wider European region, and accelerates our journey in these markets,” said HCL president and CEO Anant Gupta.

Around 2,500 people working for the Volvo Group will transfer to HCL across 11 countries.

“Combining the strengths of HCL with those of the transferred parts of Volvo IT will result in an organisation with formidable capabilities and an intimate understanding of Volvo Group needs and opportunities,” said Volvo Group’s chief information officer and Volvo IT president Olle Högblom.

Volvo IT customers will now have the advantage of access to a broad range of differentiated global capabilities, tools and processes that integrate with technology environments at a global level, the statement added.

The tieup will help HCL in creating an automotive centre of excellence in Gothenburg based on the domain expertise of the Volvo team, to serve HCL’s global automotive and manufacturing customers.

“HCL will deliver on a technology transformation roadmap that spans over 3,500 applications, 20 plus data centres, over 11,000 servers, 12 petabytes of storage, 20,000 plus MIPS of mainframe capacity and over 15,000 network devices,” the statement said.

“As part of this roadmap, HCL will also provide over 65,000 Volvo end users with access to productivity and user enablement solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365,” it added.

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IT continues to be India’s highest paying sector

Feb 15, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Leading online job portal on Monday said the information technology (IT) sector continues to be the highest paying in India among Banking Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) and manufacturing sectors.

According to ‘Monster Salary Index’ (MSI), IT employees are being paid the highest at Rs.346.42 per hour, 24 percent higher than the median salary of the entire Indian economy taken together.

Next comes BFSI with a median gross salary of Rs.300.23 per hour while manufacturing sector pays the lowest among the three with a median gross salary of Rs.254.04 per hour.

Despite IT being the highest paying sector, only 57 percent of the surveyed employees are content with their remuneration. Similarly, only 52 percent BFSI employees are satisfied with their pay cheques.

Unlike IT and BFSI employees, as many as 60 percent of manufacturing sector employees are happy with their compensation.

“Manufacturing sector despite being paid low has 60 percent employees satisfied. This takes us back to the debate if salary is the most compelling tool for employee satisfaction,” said managing director Sanjay Modi.

Interestingly, wholly foreign owned companies pay even higher salaries.

Wholly foreign owned manufacturing companies pay a median gross hourly salary of Rs.319.5, BFSI Rs.451.63 and IT Rs.536.6.

According to MSI, strong talent pool is crucial for the Indian government’s ambitious Digital India mission and others.

Modi added, “It is important for companies to closely analyse the correlation between salaries and employee satisfaction. The role of key talent becomes crucial.”

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Vishal Chawla Joins Grant Thornton as Managing Principal

Jan 28, 2016 0

McLEAN, Va.–Vishal Chawla has joined Grant Thornton LLP as managing principal in its Cyber Risk Advisory Services practice. The cybersecurity and cyber risk specialist will be based in the firm’s McLean, Va. office and will serve clients throughout the country.

Vishal Chawla

Vishal Chawla

“Vishal is a recognized industry leader and we believe clients will benefit from his knowledge,” said Srikant Sastry, national managing principal of Grant Thornton’s Advisory practice. “Cybersecurity threats are growing, the industry is ever-changing, and Vishal joins a team that aims to keep our clients a step ahead of these bottom-line issues.”

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Chawla served in the cyber risk practice of another accounting firm for nearly twelve years, with time spent in that firm’s Risk Advisory practice in India and its U.S.-based Cyber Risk Services practice. Before that, he was a senior manager in consulting services for Oblix, an organization that is now part of Oracle.

Chawla has also worked at public companies, including Kellogg’s, IBM, and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Chawla holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, electronics and communication from the Delhi College of Engineering.

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Andhra to sign MoU with Microsoft on Monday

Dec 27, 2015 0

HYDERABAD– The Andhra Pradesh government will sign a MoU with software giant Microsoft on Monday to work towards establishing a technologically advanced and knowledge-based economy.

The MoU will be signed when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella meets Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu here on Monday over breakfast.

Under the MoU, Microsoft will support Andhra Pradesh in building of up to three proof-of-concept (POC) solutions in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services. The government will utilize Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization lab technology for predictive analytics. This technology will act as a major catalyst for achieving sustainable doubt-digit growth and better public services, said a statement from the chief minister’s office.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also offered assistance in cloud technology and will provide training to the government officials for the better functioning in agriculture, education and citizen services.

Nadella, who is visiting the home town to attend a family function, will also visit T-Hub, billed as India’s largest technology incubator developed by the Telangana government.

He will be taken around the facility, where he will also addressed budding entrepreneurs. Telangana’s IT Minister K. Tarakarama Rao and other officials will brief him about the T-Hub, launched last month.

At the request of Microsoft CEO, the state government is organising the event at low key. The government has also dropped its earlier plans to release the IT policy on the occasion.

The IT minister had earlier said that Nadella will unveil IT, innovation, gaming and animation and hardware policies.

This will be Nadella’s second visit to the city where he grew up, after taking over as the head of the global software giant last year.

The 47-year-old, during his first visit in September last year, had met Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Tarakarama Rao had also called on Nadella during his own visit to the US in May this year.

Microsoft has its India Development Centre here since 1998. It is the largest facility of Microsoft outside its headquarters in Redmond, US.

But there was no word if Nadella will be visiting the development centre.

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Google to train two million Android developers: Pichai

Dec 17, 2015 0

NEW DELHI–Global internet search engine giant Google will train two million new Android developers in the next three years, its chief executive Sundar Pichai said here on Thursday.

“As per the new plan (by Google), we will train two million Android developers in partnership with 30 universities. This will be done over the time period of next three years.

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai

“For me, getting many developers in the workforce are going to solve many new things,” the Indian-origin CEO, who is on a three-day visit to India – his first after becoming the CEO of the restructured Google, said at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC).

He later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said he had “a very good meeting” with Pichai.

“Had a very good meeting with Google CEO,” Modi tweeted.

In the evening, Pichai attended a roundtable discussion on “Technology, Innovation and Education” hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Pranab Mukherjee.

At his SRCC interaction, Pichaio, asked how Google evolves to stay relevant, said: “In the technology world, everything changes in such a fast pace. In 1980s the personal computers were just getting underway and then in 1990s the internet came into existence in US and 10 years after that the smart phones started getting popular.A

“This shows you how things change. So lot of what we do is to figure out what the next phase is. You have to reinvent yourself.”

Speaking his mind, the 43-year old CEO said: “If I wouldn’t have become the CEO of Google, I would still be building software products.”

Talking about the recent startup wave in the country, an upbeat Pichai said: “I have always been waiting for this change in India. Last year when I visited India, I really felt that startup culture had really taken hold here.

“Its incredible to see for the scale of India overtime, you do need enterprenuers to tackle and build things for India and globally and I think its a unique opportunity that India has. All the elements you need (for startups) are already here (in India).”

On Wednesday, Pichai met Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said the global search engine company has reached in-principle agreement with the Indian government for its research and development project, Loon, which is aimed at providing internet connectivity in rural India.

“I have proposed Google to partner with the state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for the pilot project,” Prasad said.

Talking about the public Wi-Fi project which he announced on Wednesday, Pichai said he was very excited about it as it is the largest such project in the world wherein 400 railway stations will get Wi-Fi internet.

“The reason we are doing it is that in India when you bring access to internet it changes lives of people,” he said.

On a lighter note, he also told the students at SRCC that he dreamt of becoming a cricketer! He said he is a big fan of Barcelona and Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.

He also mentioned that he is a fan of legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. “I did dream of being a cricketer. I used to be a fan of Gavaskar and later on Sachin (Tendulkar). I always loved technology. So I used to read about Silicon Valley.”

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