Curtain Raiser: NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2009

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The 17th edition of NASSCOM India Leadership Forum, the flagship event of NASSCOM, is being held at a very critical juncture in the short yet exciting history of Indian IT/BPO industry.

Recession in US and downturn in India is exerting lot of pressure on Indian IT/BPO industry, to devise a calibrated strategy to come out of the uncertain times unscathed.

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Headstrong acquires US based BPO firm

Lydian Data Services is now Headstrong Business Services

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Global financial services consulting firm, Headstrong has acquired the Lydian Data services, a privately owned diversified financial services firm.

Lydian Data Services provides Business Process Outsourcing, business connectivity and transaction management solutions to mortgage originators, secondary market conduits and investors. The company specialises in mortgage data connectivity solutions, mortgage data management, core banking data integration and loan transfer systems. Continue reading

BT rules out job cuts in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: British Telecom is excited about Indian market opportunity and is targeting twenty percent of networked IT market in India, which BT expect to be around 24 billion Euro in 2010-11.

The company has also ruled out any lay offs in India in response to the global slow down and expects to continue its positive momentum in the country. British Telecom had recently announced that it would cut 10,000 jobs by March 2009, following an 11 per cent dip in its profit after tax for the first half of the current financial year.

The company had laid off 4000 employees directly recruited by BT and remaining 6000 which were on the job rolls of contractors, consultants and agency staff working for BT.

Speaking to CIOL, Allen Ma, President, BT Asia Pacific, said British Telecom is excited about Indian market opportunity and  expects to continue its positive momentum in the country. Continue reading

Canon India targets 35-40 percent growth for ICP division

Expects Canon D-SLR to be big hit among Indian consumers by 2009

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Canon India is targeting a growth of 35-40% for its Imaging Communication Products division (ICP) for 2009. The company is also betting big on Indian market for its latest range of new digital imaging products particularly Canon D-SLR, which company expects to be big hit among Indian consumers by 2009.

Speaking to CIOL, Shunichi Senda, Director, ICP, Canon India, said Canon India expected to continue its positive momentum in the country.

“We are targeting the ICP division to grow by 35-40% and we expect Canon new range of cameras to fuel this growth”, said Shenda.

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Nothing gloomy about Indian IT: Nasscom chief

Som Mittal rubbishes claims of impending layoffs in IT industry; believes Barrack Obama will find industry as part of solution not a problem

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The impact of global recession on Indian IT industry will be short term and industry will not be laying off people in huge numbers, promises president Nasscom, Som Mittal.

In an interaction with CIOL, the Nasscom president, however termed the present global economic situation as a serious one for the IT industry but not one to be construed with gloom and doom.

“Don’t relate everything that we have been doing for years to say it is downturn. We could talk ourselves in gloom and doom when there is none. There is serious situation but not gloom and doom,” Mittal said.

“It will short term impact. The growth will be on track this year and next year. What we do is integral part of people operations. This is not like consumption of products where if you consume less you stop producing. Surely there will be dip in volumes and transactions but fundamentals remain very strong,” Mittal added.

No layoffs in IT industry for now

Mittal also rubbished claims that IT industry will be laying off large number of employees in coming months as part of industry plans to cut costs to tackle recession. Continue reading

Recession will continue for more than six months: Bill Gates

However the impact of slow down on global economy will be is temporary

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, expects US economy to reel under global financial slow down for more than six months.

However, Gates hopes, the rapid economic advancements made by emerging economies like China and India in last decade will see to it that slow down impact is temporary.

“There is no doubt that there is going to be economic crisis in the US. There are imbalances in the US and economy will have weakness,” said Gates.

Micorsoft Founder adressing IIT students“I can not predict whether the financial crisis will be two years or three years, but it will be more than six month and then the economy will get back on track” forecasted Gates.

Gates is currently on a visit to India to promote anti-polio and other healthcare efforts, undertaken by his charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in the country.

Addressing a packed gathering here at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gates however sounded confident in his assessment that global economy has changed enough to ward of crisis resulting from meltdown in the housing market and heavy consumer debt. Continue reading

Not Airtel, but Apple decides iPhone prices

iPhone sold at reasonable price in India; Would be sold at same price in any other country in the world, says Airtel

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Airtel has clarified that it has no say in the pricing of Apple’s iPhone 3G in the country.

Responding to query regarding that the iPhone 3G was excessively priced in India, Sanjay Kapoor, President, mobile services, Airtel, said that the operator was only involved to bringing the iPhone 3G to its customers in India and Apple made all the decisions regarding the pricing of the iPhone 3G in the country.

“Airtel doesn’t make any money from Apple iPhone sales in the country. We are only involved in providing the iPhone and its rich experience to our customers,” Kapoor told CIOL.

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iPhone is ‘over priced’ in India

While iPhone is priced at $199 (Rs 8,358) in the US, in India it will be priced at Rs. 31000 to Rs. 36000, much to the displeasure of eagerly waiting mobile enthusiasts

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The decision by Vodafone to price the Apple iPhone 3G at Rs 31,000 and Rs 36,100, for 8GB and 16GB respectively has disappointed thousands of eagerly awaiting mobile users in the country.

Expected to be priced in the range of Rs.16,000 to Rs 20,000, which is Rs 10,000 more than price iPhone is selling in US, users feel let down by exorbitant pricing of the much hyped handset in India.

Says Mehak Chawla, “I expected it to be priced at around Rs. 16000 much less than the current exorbitant price.”

“If it’s available for only 12000 in US, why is it so crazily being priced here,” adds Mehak, an iPhone fan who has now shelved the idea of buying the phone.

Apple iPhone 3G is available for $199 (Rs 8,358) in the US, plus $99 (Rs 4,158) as an annual contract with the single mobile operator AT&T, unlike India where the handset is linked to both Vodafone and Airtel.

The handset will be launched on August 22 across India. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Airtel is also mulling the same pricing plan for Apple iPhone in India.

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HTC’s Android phone to take on iPhone

iPhone’s unchallenged leadership in the high end smart phone market could end on November 10
Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Finally, the iPhone has real tough competition on hand. Buoyed by its strong technology, freedom to individualize functions and astounding user interface, iPhone has been an unchallenged leader in the high end smart phone market. That is about to end on November 10!

HTC’s Dream phone DREA100, widely rumored in the industry to be first Android-based powered smart phone, has passed the requisite tests and has been given green signal by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in US, to be rolled out in US.

This means the phone will be commercially available in US markets by November.

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Pitney Bowes open to Indian acquisitions

Looks to scale operations in India, dismisses threat from Xerox, looks at internet advertising as an enabler, rather than threat to its core business

Idhries Ahmad

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Provider of mail stream hardware and software solutions, Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) is open to acquisition in India. Provided the potential company’s business is complementary to Pitney Bowes business plans.

US based Pitney Bowes, founded in 1920, clocked $6.1 billion in revenue for the 2007. The company has currently has more than 35,000 employees in 130 countries.

“We are open to an acquisition if the company business is complementary to our business needs, helps us get talent on board and has substantial customer base ” said,  Eric-Yves Mahe President, Asia Pacific and Middle East, Pitney Bowes in an exclusive interaction with CIOL.

Pitney Bowes has been on acquisition trail in the last six years acquiring close to 70 companies in the last six years. The company is branching beyond the postage meter business and has invested $2.5 billion in acquisitions since 2000 to make inroads into the document services market.
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