Venkat Srinivasan Writes a Book on the Intelligent Enterprise, Talks About Enterprise of the Future

Oct 2, 2016 0

DEDHAM, MA—In his first book, “The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data,” serial entrepreneur Venkat Srinivasan explores innovative developments in artificial intelligence and more importantly talks about how today’s and tomorrow’s enterprises should be organized.

In an exclusive video interview with INDIA New England News, Srinivasan, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dedham, MA-based RAGE Frameworks Inc., talks about the central message of his book and future business enterprise. Click here to watch the interview.

The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data presents a cutting-edge approach to how enterprises should organize and function. The book was published this month by Wiley.

the-intelligent-enterpriseRAGE Frameworks, which Srinivasan founded in 2004, supports the creation of intelligent business process automation solutions and cognitive intelligence solutions for global corporations. Prior to RAGE Frameworks, Srinivasan founded E-Credit, which he sold in 1999. Srinivasan is an entrepreneur and holds several patents in the area of knowledge-based technology architectures. He is the author of two edited volumes and over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as an associate professor in the College of Business Administration at Northeastern University.

“The enterprise of tomorrow has the opportunity to be intelligent in addition to being efficient,” Srinivasan writes in the preface of his book. “Flexible software frameworks and the ability to understand the meaning of unstructured documents will provide enormous power to enterprises in designing an entirely new architecture for doing business.”

Srinivasan’s book is already receiving great reviews from his peers and experts.

“Srinivasan gives us a practical and provocative guide for rethinking our business process … calling us all to action around rapid development of our old, hierarchical structures into flexible customer centric competitive force …. A must read for today’s business leader” says Mark Nunnelly, Executive Director, MassIT, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Managing Director, Bain Capital.

Adds Bharat Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School: “’Efficiency,’ ‘agile,’ and ‘analytics’ used to be the rage. Venkat Srinivasan explains in this provocative book why organizations can no longer afford to stop there. They need to move beyond – to be ‘intelligent.’ It isn’t just theory. He’s done it.”

Venkat Srinivasan

Venkat Srinivasan

Srinivasan touches on key challenges that enterprises face today, and systematically outlines modern enterprise architecture through a detailed discussion of the inseparable elements of such architecture: efficiency, flexibility, and intelligence. This architecture enables rapid responses to market needs by sensing important developments in internal and external environments in real time. Illustrating all of these elements in an integrated fashion, The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data also features:

  • A detailed discussion on issues of time-to-market and flexibility with respect to enterprise application technology,
  • Novel analyses illustrated through extensive real-world case studies to help readers better understand the applicability of the architecture and concepts,
  • Various applications of natural language processing to real-world business transactions, and
  • Practical approaches for designing and building intelligent enterprises.

“The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data is an appropriate reference for business executives, information technology professionals, data scientists, and management consultants,” says the publisher Wiley. “The book is also an excellent supplementary textbook for upper-undergraduate and graduate-level courses in business intelligence, data mining, big data, and business process automation.”

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Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan Visits US

Oct 1, 2016 0

Washington DC: Indian Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan attended the first ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington DC on September 28. He attended a reception event at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where he met the science and technology leadership of over 20 countries.

science-minsiter-1At the Arctic Science Ministerial, he signed the Joint Statement released by the White House. In his remarks, Vardhan emphasized the significance of environment and climate change in the Arctic region and its impact on Indian Monsoon and expressed India’s readiness to enhance cooperation on Arctic science and research.

On the sidelines of Arctic Science Ministerial, Vardhan had a meeting with Mr. Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, United Kingdom and discussed the bilateral programs. He also had a meeting with Mr. Roe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister for Education and Research and discussed the collaborations in areas of Arctic and Antarctic science and climate change. He also extended an invite to Norwegian Minister to visit India.

On September 29, he visited Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center (GVC), a center for research and innovation, and had meetings with Mr. Rodney A. Makoske, Senior Vice President and exchanged Letters to extend the India Innovation Growth Program (IIGP) involving DST, Lockheed Martin and TATA Trusts. The IIGP 2.0 will support “Make in India” and “Start-up India” initiatives with focus on social and technological innovations.

During the visit to NIH, Minister of S&T was also apprised on the activities of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) by eminent scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID. Advancement of candidate vaccines for TB, Dengue, RSV and Chickungunya under bilateral Vaccine Development Program were also discussed. He had fruitful interactions during his tour of Vaccine Research Center and Clinical Research Center.

On September 30, Minister of S&T co-chaired bilateral India-US S&T Joint Commission Meeting along with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science & Technology and reviewed the progress under five Joint Working Groups for S&T cooperation between two countries. The Commission agreed to add new areas of S&T collaboration like agriculture science, ocean wave modeling and advance manufacturing. Techno-entrepreneurship and innovation will be the center piece of future collaboration.

The Minister also had interactions with science and technology Diaspora of DC metropolitan area at Cosmos Club, organized by Embassy of India and Indo-US Brain Trust, where eminent scientists, engineers, innovators and academicians interacted with the Minster and exchanged views on how to strengthen the scientific cooperation between the two countries. He reiterated that deep rooted S&T cooperation between scientific community and research institutions of two countries is a pillar of vibrant India-US relationship.

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People on the Move: Arundhati Bhattacharya, Reliance Communication CEO Vinod Sawhny

Oct 1, 2016 0

Arundhati Bhattacharya-SBIArundhati Bhattacharya gets year-long extension as SBI chief

New Delhi–Arundhati Bhattacharya has secured a year’s extension as the chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI) to oversee the merger of six smaller commercial banks into the country’s largest lender, officials said.

Her tenure was to end on October 6.

The government last month gave its nod for the merger of six banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Maharashtra and Bharatiya Mahila Bank — into the State Bank of India.

Vinod Sawhny steps down as Reliance Communications CEO

Mumbai–Vinod Sawhny, CEO, Reliance Communications, has stepped down from his official capacity with effect from September 30, 2016, a regulatory filing by the company said here on Saturday.

“…the company has accepted request of Vinod Sawhny to step down as Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from September 30, 2016 to enable him and his family to relocate to New Delhi for personal reasons,” the BSE filing said.


“William (Bill) Barney and Gurdeep Singh, who are already working with the company, will function as acting co-CEOs of the company with immediate effect,” it added.

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Jaitley to leave for 7-day visit to Canada, US on Sunday

Oct 1, 2016 0

New Delhi–Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will leave on Sunday morning for a seven-day official visit to Canada and the US to attend the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and also hold talks with foreign investors.

“Arun Jaitley is leaving on a 7-day official visit to Canada and USA tomorrow early morning. He will return to national capital on October 10,” the Finance Ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

“On the first leg of his visit, Jaitley will arrive in Canada on Sunday evening where he will hold meeting with foreign investors,” another tweet said.

Jaitley will then attend the annual meetings of IMF and the World Bank which are slated to be held in Washington from October 7-9.

“During his US visit, FM will attend the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF,” it tweeted.

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Despite tension, India-Pakistan trade, bus service continues

Sep 30, 2016 0

Amritsar–Despite the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, trade and bus service between both countries continued through the Attari-Wagah joint check post (JCP) on Friday.

The ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ peace bus between Delhi and Lahore also plied on Friday with 15 passengers, all from Pakistan, travelled to Lahore.

The bus had its scheduled stop at the Punjab Tourism-run restaurant at Kartarpur, 15 km from Jalandhar city.

india-pakistan-flag-india-firstThe bus is accompanied by pilot and escort police vehicles with armed security right through its 500-km journey from Delhi to Attari border.

On Friday, nearly 185 truck-loads of trade took place through the Integrated Check-post (ICP) at Attari-Wagah, said customs officials.

A total of 63 trucks from India crossed the land border route carrying vegetables, mainly tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices, while over 120 trucks from Pakistan entered India carrying dry dates, gypsum, cement and salt.

Out of the $2.6 bn trade between India and Pakistan, out of which Indian exports are worth nearly $2.2 bn, only a small percentage of trade takes place through the Attari-Wagah land route. The rest of the trade takes place through the sea route via Dubai.

Tension between both countries escalated on Thursday after Indian Army carried out surgical strikes near the Line of Control (LoC) to neutralise terrorist launch-pads in the Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

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US-based Cognizant probes graft charges as senior executive quits

Sep 30, 2016 0

Bengaluru– US-based software major Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation on Friday announced an internal investigation under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act into certain payments made to facilities in India.

The probe led the company to appoint its IT Services Chief Executive Rajeev Mehta on September 28 as its President, a day after incumbent Gordon Coburn resigned on September 27.

Rajeev Mehta

Rajeev Mehta

“The investigation is being conducted under the oversight of the audit committee and is focused on a small number of company-owned facilities,” Cognizant said in a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company has notified the Justice Department and the SEC and is cooperating with both agencies.

“The internal investigation is in its early stages, and the company is not able to predict what, if any, action may be taken by the Justice Department, SEC or any governmental authority in connection with the investigation or the effect of the matter on the company’s results, cash flows or financial position,” it said in the filing.

Mehta, 49, who has been with the company since 1997, was Chief Executive of its IT Services since December 2013.

“For the past decade, Mehta has been responsible for leading our market-facing teams in delivering industry-leading growth. He has a deep understanding of new technologies and new delivery models and their potential to transform businesses,” said Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Francisco D’Souza in a statement.

As Chief Executive of IT Services, Mehta was responsible for market-facing activities across the company. His prior roles include Group Chief Executive, Industries & Markets, where he led its industry vertical and geographic market operations on a global basis.

“I am honoured to assume this new role at an exciting time in Cognizant’s history. Over the past year, we have designed and introduced a new operating model to support our strategic vision and growth,” said Mehta in the statement.

Co-founded by Indian-origin Kumar Mahadeva and D’Souza two decades ago, the Nasdaq listed $12.4-billion IT major has its largest software development centres in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

In its previous avatar, the company was an IT arm of Dun & Bradstreet Satyam Software in Chennai and was spun off as Cognizant Corporation in 1996 after it bought 24 per cent equity stake of Satyam for $3.4 million. Its headquarters was shifted to the US in 1997.

With about 100 development and delivery centres worldwide and 244,300 employees, Cognizant is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing firms globally.

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Biggest spectrum auction in India starts on Saturday, with a reserve price of $85 billion

Sep 30, 2016 0

New Delhi–India’s biggest auction of telecom spectrum kicks off on Saturday with seven operators in fray for a total of 2,354.55 MHz across seven bands, towards which a reserve price of Rs 5.66 lakh crore ($85 billion) has been fixed by the government.

The companies that have qualified for the auction are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata Tele, who have furnished total earnest money of Rs.14,653 crore.

Given that earnest money deposit is roughly 10 per cent of what a telecom operator can bid for, experts said the expectations of Rs.5.66 lakh crore ($8.5 billion) was already far-fetched.

Top investment banker Goldman Sachs has predicted that total proceeds from the auction will be around $7 billion — less than half of $16 billion that was fetched in the 2015 auction, and sharply below $85 billion if all spectrum was sold at the reserve price.

Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak

Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak

Ahead of the auctions, Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak has said the process would be transparent and the award of airwaves quick. “One new bidding-friendly measure we have adopted this year is that spectrum won will be assigned within 30 days from the date of upfront payment.”

Interest on deferred payment will be 9.3 per cent this year against 10 per cent in 2015.

For the auctions — which will be an Internet-based, online process — the government has hired the services of ‘mjunction services’. The government said the mock auctions conducted earlier this week went off well.

The auction timings are from 9 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

The 2,300-plus MHz of airwaves on the block for telecom operators are in seven bands — 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz. In the previous auction 470.75 MHz was on offer, which was set to fetch the exchequer $17 billion during its tenure.

The government has decided to allot the right to the spectrum won through auction for 20 years.

The operators will have the choice of both upfront and instalments payment options. The service providers who win airwaves below 1 GHz bandwidth will have to pay 25 per cent upfront, and for those winning above that, the upfront payment will be 50 per cent.

For the successful bidder, the lock-in period of equity in the company has been reduced to one year instead of the earlier stipulation of a minimum period of three years or completion of roll out obligation, whichever is later.

In a meeting of the cabinet in June, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official nod was given for the reserve price and the auction norms. The spectrum usage charge was subsequently fixed at 3 per cent of the adjusted gross revenues of an operator.

Coming to the finer points of the auction, and going by the earnest money deposited, four players appear to be serious — Reliance Industries (Rs 6,500 crore), Vodafone (Rs 2,740 crore), Idea (Rs 2,000 crore) and Airtel (Rs 1,980 crore).

“We expect the auction to be very important for Vodafone and Idea as they have their 3G plus 4G footprint in just nine and seven circles, respectively,” said the Goldman Sachs analysis.

“Bharti and Jio have much wider network coverage for wireless broadband versus Vodafone and Idea and we believe operators will use the upcoming auction to plug 3G/4G gaps. We also expect Bharti and Jio to buy additional 3G and 4G spectrum to augment data capacity on their networks.” (IANS)

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Liquor baron Mallya bets on judiciary for relief from criminal cases

Sep 29, 2016 0

Bengaluru– A defiant liquor baron Vijaya Mallya on Thursday asserted that he would get judicial relief soon from criminal charges filed against him by a consortium of banks for defaulting on loans his defunct airline raised.

“I have a great faith in the Indian judicial system and I am sure judicial relief will come our way sooner than later,” Mallya said in a transcript read out in absentia at the 100th annual general meeting (AGM) here of the United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd as he is in London since March 2 when he left India.

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya

Terming the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines as a business failure, Mallya said actions by various government departments against his were unprecedented in the Indian corporate history.

“What started as a genuine business failure of Kingfisher Airlines has turned out to be a nightmare despite the fact that the business had failed due to high fuel prices, adverse govern policies, high taxation and the failure of IAE V2500 engines,” claimed Mallya addressing the shareholders as the company’s chairman.

V2500 engines of the International Aero Engines (IAE) power the Airbus A320 family of passenger aircraft.

The flamboyant tycoon is facing multiple cases, including criminal for defaulting on repaying loans raised to fund the bleeding airline from a consortium of banks led by the state-run State Bank of India, estimated to be about Rs 9,000 crore, including compound interest.

Apart from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate, income tax department and banks have filed various cases against him and his airline for recovering the bad loans or dues from his loss-making airline.

In Mallya’s conspicuous absence for the first time at the flagship company’s AGM, non-executive independent director N. Srinivasan chaired the proceedings.

Noting that business was all about success and failure, Mallya said the government agencies chose to ignore the very basic fact only in a few select cases.

“Instead, I am being accused of having stolen or siphoned out Rs 6,000 crore out of Kingfisher Airlines without any legal basis whatsoever,” reiterated Mallya.

Accusing the government of making him a poster boy of bad loans and financial crime, attaching his properties and threatening other forms of action, the tycoon said he would contest the charges against him in the courts of law.

“I can assure you (that) we can account for every paise of borrowings of Kingfisher Airlines and every paise of expenditure incurred by the airline through the trust retention account of the company managed by SBI as leader of the consortium, which filed criminal charges against me and the company,” claimed Mallya.

Seeking the support of his shareholders in his legal battles, the former Rajya Sabha lawmaker asked them to stay focused with a resolve to seek judicial intervention for relief so that he could come out of the unfortunate situation quickly.

Regretting his inability to be with shareholders on the company’s100th AGM, Mallya told them when a batsman score a century in cricket everybody applauds.

“And for a company to celebrate its 100th AGM is a sign of sustainability and maturity and continued success. It pains me that I am not there personally to share this wonderful occasion with shareholders,” added Mallya.

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Sitharaman attends India-Canada Annual Ministerial Dialogue

Sep 29, 2016 0

Toronto–A high level delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is attending the 3rd Annual Ministerial Dialogue here on Thursday to enhance bilateral business and commercial linkages between the two countries, an official statement said.

Considering the potential and growth of bilateral trade at a decent pace, the trade ministers of both the countries are likely to explore ways of expeditious conclusion of Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), as a basis for expanding two-way trade and investment, a statement from the Commerce Ministry said.

Sitharaman“During the dialogue, India will also address the Temporary Foreign Workers Programmes (TWEP) of Canada which is affecting the Indian IT Industry, equivalance by Canadian Food Inspection Agency for Indian organic product exports and woo investment in different sectors of India,” the statement said.

Sitharaman is also scheduled to meet some top business leaders of Canada on Friday to discuss the reforms undertaken in India and prospects for investment in various sectors.

“In addition, both the leaders are expected to discuss regarding recent commercial achievements between both countries, bilateral foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, issues relating to intellectual property, in addition to other issues relating to trade and investment,” it said.

It is recognised that India and Canada have enormous scope for enhanced bilateral trade relations but the bilateral trade between the two countries has not been up to the potential.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Canada in April 2015, stressed the importance of bilateral business and commercial linkages as key drivers of India-Canada partnership.

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Infosys unveils modular e-commerce platform

Sep 28, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Software major Infosys Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a mobile first and modular platform to drive e-commerce programmes across retail channels.

The platform has been developed by Skava, a Silicon Valley-based e-commerce start-up that the IT major acquired in June 2015 for $120 million, to enable businesses leverage cloud-based micro-services and white label applications to launch new offerings and improve conversion rates of digital channels.

“The platform can integrate into present technologies, while providing a future-ready architecture for next-generation shopping experiences leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, natural language processing and virtual reality (VR),” the IT major said.

The platform also has a mobile-first responsive web store and native mobile shopping applications that can be managed by non-technical business users through its Studio, an intuitive web-based experience management tool.

“The architecture of Skava platform helps simplify and accelerate the deployment of e-commerce services cost effectively and without large up-front investments,” a company statement said.

With its global consulting and integration capabilities, gained through partnerships with companies such as Aimia, Darden, and Vodafone, the outsourcing firm will pitch the platform to its global client base of retailers and CPG (consumer packaged goods) firms who need a modular approach to maximise the value of digital customer engagement.

Vishal Sikka

Vishal Sikka

Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka observed many businesses face complex, legacy IT systems that result in fragmented consumer experience across channels and limit retailers’ ability to rapidly prototype, test and launch new digital offerings.

“By taking a platform-centric approach, leveraging Skava Commerce, retail clients can develop and roll out new offerings on an ongoing basis, enable a consistent brand experience across channels and deliver unique experiences within,” said Sikka on the occasion.

Peter Sheldon, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, wrote in a recent report that much of the growth over the next five years will be driven by re-platforming activities as online retailers look to fortify the scalability of their technology and branded manufacturers increase focus on direct-to-consumer digital channels.

Skava platform provides a suite of e-commerce micro-services that can be used stand alone or in conjunction with others, and implemented without downtime. Its modern architecture scales as traffic increases to provide a consistent experience across all channels.

“Skava has a history of innovation, driving the mobile-first approach to e-commerce ahead of the rest of the industry. The work we have done with some of the largest retail brands stands testimony to that,” said Skava Chief Executive Arish Ali.

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