▼ 5 top companies form historic AI partnership! [09-30-16]
In a major boost for AI research, five top notch companies- Facebook, Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft joined hands to take part in a historic partnership on AI and machine learning.
- Companies will discuss advancements and conduct research in AI
- They develop best products and services powered by machine learning
- Initial financial help will come from these companies as other stakeholders join the group, heralding an increase in finances
- People impacted by AI will be involved as well
- As per the report, the organisational structure has been designed to permit non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side by side with massive tech companies
- Power of AI is in enterprise sector
- AI powered bots will become the next interface, shaping interactions with applications and devices relying on latest solutions of Microsoft and change the way interaction with customers and partners takes place
- AI powered chattiest will change how computing is experienced
▼ Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery that actually bends! [09-30-16]
A flexible gadget is not simply a matter of creating a malleable screen- one also has to think of internals and cram in processors and batteries
- Panasonic has taken toe step for a wearable that bends by perfecting a flexible lithium-ion battery
- Building upon the chemical properties of lithium ion batteries that are already there in the gadget, Panasonic cells can be twisted, bent and folded without losing their charge while remaining safe
- The new Panasonic battery is durable too and it maintains 99 percent of its charge after 100 flex through a 25mm radium
- Making use of proprietary laminating which helps to retain the juice each cell can hold onto while preventing leakage makes this a unique battery
- Panasonic envisions that tiny cells can be placed inside wearables kept close to the body and skin of the user
▼ Microsoft & Renault-Nissan to develop cloud connected cars! [09-29-16]
Technology firm Microsoft has partnered an alliance between Renault-Nissan to work on connected car technologies.
- Services will provide advanced navigation, remote monitoring of car features and up to date updates for cars connected to Microsoft cloud computing platform Azure
- Renault-Nissan aims to develop 10 such vehicles in 2020
- Automakers have been involved in this technology ranging from GM to Toyota
- Alliance also said it would purchase French software development company Sylpheo to offer new services including ride-hailing and car sharing.
- Automakers are investing in software firms and tech start-ups to position themselves for the rise of autonomous driving, ride-sharing and other connected services.
- This threatens the traditional vehicle ownership model that has dominated the past century.
▼ India’s first virtual merger: RCom and RJio Join Hands [09-28-16]
Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Jio (RJio) are working together through a “virtual merger” of their infrastructure such as spectrum and towers and the two companies are reaping the synergies, according to RCom president Anil Ambani.
- “What we have accomplished is a virtual merger between Rcom and RJio. Our spectrum is shared, our network is shared, our towers are shared, our fibre shared, our voice is shared and every effort to reap synergies, every effort to lower our costs, to be capital light has been achieved,”- he said in an official statement.
- RCom has a full 4G LTE long term evolution network on a pan Indian basis without capital expenditure on the balance sheet
- Assets shared and traded with Rjio have ensured RCom does not shell out entire capital expenditure
- RCom is also unlikely to bid at the upcoming spectrum auction given that RJio has deposited Rs.6,500 crore as earnest money deposit,
- The proposed merger with Aircel will create wealth for shareholders
- RCom expects a deal soon for its tower business, he said.
▼ Google turns 18, launches YouTube Go and Google Station [09-28-16]
As it turned 18 on 27th Sept, 2016, Google announced many products such as YouTube and Google Station specially designed for India.
- India is currently the world’s second largest internet market
- “Every second, three more Indians come online for the first time — that’s over 10,000 people every hour,” Google Vice-President (Next Billion Users) Caesar Sengupta said.
- Google is coming up with products and services that transcend networks, languages and devices for India
- The firm announced extending its initiative to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations in India in partnership with RailTel to include public places such as bus stops and malls.
- ‘Google Station’ would give partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.
- It will provide software and guidance on hardware to turn fibre connections into fast, reliable and safe Wi-Fi zones.
- The firm introduced a more efficient version of YouTube Go, that will enable both viewing and sharing videos offline.
▼ Reliance and Aircel to form fourth largest telecom operator together [09-16-16]
Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communication and Maxis Communications Berhad/MCB promoters of Aircel on 14th September 2016 agreed to merge their wireless business.
- They will form the fourth largest telecom operator in the country
- Merger is termed the biggest consolidation deal in Indian telecom sector
- R-Com will demerge its wireless business and transfer it to the new entity
- Standlone business will focus on enterprise segment and data centre businesses
- Sistema will hold 10 percent in standalone R-Com
- Both R-Com and Maxis will hold 50 percent each in the new entity
- Merged company will be one of India’s largest private sector companies with an asset base of INR 65,000 crore rupees and net worth of INR 35000 crore rupees
- Entity will enjoy benefits of scale driving revenue growth and capex as well as open synergies with net present value of INR 20,000 crore rupees
- Company will be managed by an independent professional team under the board’s supervision
- Following completion of the merger in 2017, R-Com’s overall debt will reduce by INR 20000 or over 40 percent of its debt
- Aircel’s debt will reduce by INR 4000 crore
- Entity will have the second largest spectrum holding among all operators, aggregating 448 Mhz across 850, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands
- It will benefit from enhanced business continuity through an extended validity of spectrum holdings till 2033-2035
▼ HP to buy Samsung printer business [09-15-16]
American tech company HP Inc has agreed to purchase Samsung’s Printer Business for USD 1.05 billion to disrupt the USD 55 billion photocopying industry.
- HP will acquire 6500 patents pertaining to printing and Samsung’s team of 1500 researchers and engineers
- Deal is the first major move since it split into Hewlett Packard and HP Inc
- The printer business will permit the company to take control of lucrative professional and office printing market
- HP is the market leader in desktop printing
- It also announced 16 new multifunction printers for the A3 printer-copier market.
- HP’s move to buy Samsung’s printer business also sees it pick up the firm’s printing engines, something it previously relied on external suppliers for.
- The A3 market is currently dominated by Xerox and Canon.
▼ Singapore Stock Exchange to sell BSE shares in IPO [09-12-16]
Singapore Exchange along with top BSE shareholders Caldwell India Holdings Inc, Acacia Banyan Partners and GKFF Ventures will sell BSE shares in forthcoming IPO of the exchange.
- While Singapore Exchange, Quantum M Limited and Atticus Mauritius Ltd will sell their entire stake in the bourse, other entities would partly dilute their holdings
- Singapore Exchange holds a 4.7 percent stake in BSE while Quantum M Ltd and Atticus Mauritius have 3.7 percent stake each
- Domestic institutional investors like LIC and SBI have chosen not to sell shares as part of the public issue
- Both entities hold 4.7 percent in BSE
- BSE is the oldest stock exchange in Asia
- It was established in 1875
- Public issue comprises INR 2.99 crores shares on offer.
- Exchange becomes the second in India to be listed after Multi Commodity Exchange of India
- For the financial year closing 31st March 2016, BSE reported a net profit of INR 159.15 crore
- Its biggest rival is the National Stock Exchange which has also initiated the process to get listed
▼ Alphabet’s Google acquiring software developer Apigee [09-9-16]
Alphabet’s Google is purchasing software developer Apigee in a deal valued at USD 625 million as it strengthens the cloud business.
- San Jose’s Apigee software helps a company’s backend services interact with mobile and web based apps used by customers and partners
- Companies are moving beyond traditional ways of communicating like phone calls and visits and instead are communicating programmatically through API or Application Programming Interface according to Dianne Greene who runs Google’s cloud computing division
- Google will pay Apigee shareholders USD 17.40 for each share held, a 6.5 percent premium to latest closing values of the stock
- Company’s customers include AT&T, Burberry Group Pic, Vodafone Group Pic and World Bank went public in April 2015
- Apigee deal comes after Google and online storage company Box Inc said they would partner to enable corporate customers to integrate Google’s suite of word processing, spreadsheets and other productivity tools known as Google Docs.
- Companies including Google, Amazon com, Microsoft Corp and IBM Corp are competing for a share in the rapidly growing cloud computing business
▼ M&M rebrands electric mobility portfolio [09-8-16]
Mahindra & Mahindra has rebranded its electric mobility portfolio as Mahindra Electric aiming for more focus on technology and electric models besides supplying powertrains to other manufacturers.
- Under the umbrella brand, Mahindra Electric, the company will manufacture electric cars, license out electric vehicle technologies, electrify new and existing platforms and help deliver integrated zero emission mobility solutions
- Company which currently sells electric models such as e20 and Verito also plans to launch electric version of minivan Supro in the next 2-3 months
- Mahindra Supro is a 7 seater used in cargo and passenger vehicle space
- Mahindra is expected to power new and existing vehicles with electric drivetrain technology from Mahindra Electric.
- With the FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India scheme, a conducive environment for companies making electric vehicles is on the anvil.
▼ Mexico, top destination for Indian automobile exports [09-7-16]
According to EEPC, apex body of engineering exporters, Mexico has emerged as the top destination for Indian automobile exports.
- It is followed by Nepal and the UK
- India’s auto exports include automobiles, auto components, two and three wheelers and motor vehicles.
- Overall engineering exports for April-July 2016 period slipped by 5.2 percent to USD 20.27 billion from USD 21.52 billion
- Automobile exports have increased by 4 percent
- Of the total automobile exports of USD 2.78 billion between April and July 2016, about USD 501 million was shipped to Mexico. Another 157 million was shipped to Nepal while UK for 130 million
▼ Movidius acquired by Intel [09-7-16]
To play a leading role in providing human like sight to 50 billion connected devices projected by 2020, Intel has acquired San Mateo based Movidius.
- With this acquisition, Intel gains low power, high performance System on a Chip platform for acceleration of computer vision applications
- It is working with customers like Google and Lenovo to provide sight to smart devices including AR or VR headsets.
- Their Vision Processing Unit platform for on device vision processing combined with Intel Industry's Intel Real Sense Technology is a winning combination for autonomous machines seen in 3D
- Computer vision enables the machine to visually process and understand surroundings
- Using integration computer vision enables navigation, mapping, collision avoidance, tracking, object recognition inspection analytics and more
- Ability to track, navigate, map and recognise both scenes and objects using Movidius low power and top performance SOCs opens chances in areas where heat, form factors and battery life are the key
▼ Fuji Electric forms JV with Gemco [09-7-16]
The Japanese company formed a 51:49 JV with Gemco, a Faridabad based leading manufacturer of industrial automation and power control systems as part of the plan to expand business operations in India.
- JV established a new entity in India Fuji Gemco which had investments from both companies
- Fuji Electric has invested approximately USD 200 million to expand outside Japan business from 2013-2015
- India is a significant market for the company
- It is estimating that industrial power electronics market in India (including industrial infrastructure and power electronic devices) is set to grow at 9 percent between 2016 and 2018.
- India will contribute to 30 percent of the overseas sales of the Asian markets by 2018
- In FY 2014-2015, Fuji has overseas net sales of USD 2.17 billion and is expecting 27 percent rise to USD 2.81 billion by 2018
▼ Flipkart’s exclusive licensing agreement with leading brands [09-6-16]
Flipkart has entered into exclusive licensing agreement with brands like Provogue, Swiss Military, Carlton London and Chemistry.
Flipkart owns Myntra and Jabong. It is seeking to displace Amazon as the number 1 retailer in India in the field of e-commerce.
- Partnerships will ensure broader range of products under Flipkart Assured, a newly launched programme that promises better quality and consumer experience
- The Bengaluru based company recently made news for acquiring fashion portal Jabong for USD 70 million.
- Fashion currently registers USD 1.5 billion in GMV or gross merchandise value for the e-tailers
- Flipkart aims to cross USD 5 billion GMV mark by the close of the year
▼ Microsoft, Google and Salesforce adopt EU-US Privacy Shield framework [09-6-16]
American tech giants Microsoft, Google and Salesforce have adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework enabling them to receive personal data from the EU in compliance with fresh standards
- They are among 103 companies out of 5536 signatories that have signed up to replace the defunct Safe Harbour framework
- Facebook, Apple and Twitter are yet to adopt the Privacy Shield according to Britain based Ars Technica website
- European Commission adopted the Privacy Shield in July to facilitate the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US
- Privacy Shield is a voluntary scheme whereby companies promise to treat EU citizens data in compliance with European Union data rules-pledges are then enforced by the US Department of Commerce
- As per the EU, the arrangement was necessary because the US does not meet the data protection standards required by Europe.
- European Court of Justice annulled the previous law in October 2015
- Following the introduction in 2000, the previous agreement was relied on by 4400 businesses including internet giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook
- It was annulled following the declaration of the agreement as invalid according to the European Court of Justice
▼ Sony Pictures Networks to buy TEN Sports Network [09-2-16]
Sony Pictures Networks India has entered into an agreement to acquire TEN Sports Network from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and subsidiaries for USD 385 million subject to regulatory approval.
- Acquisition will add South Asia’s leading sports network to SPN’s portfolio of channels
- TEN Sports holds cricket rights in South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe
- Holding rights for major wrestling, football, tennis, gold, athletics and motor and cycling including Tour De France, it will diversify SPN’s interests
- Sony Entertainment Television and SAB TV are the main brands of SPNI although it owns many other brands and companies under the umbrella Sony brand.
- On 3 November 2015, MSM was renamed Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited after 21 years.
▼ MSN China sold to local partner XT [09-1-16]
US tech giant Microsoft has sold MSN China- a Chinese edition of its global web portal- to local partner Xichuang Technology founded by the top executive of the portal
- Microsoft said on its official blog that it has signed an agreement to sell MSN China
- Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed
- Xichuang Technology was cofounded in 2015 by Liu Zhenyu, MSN China’s former general manager
- According to the report, Microsoft’s MSN China portal did not take off due to government regulation and competition from local rivals
- It has strong rivals like Sina and Tencent
- China is still one of its strategic markets
- After selling off the unit, Microsoft will continue to invest in China in other businesses including computing and cloud services
|Chronology of events
Union transport ministry will notify introduction of BS VI emission norms for all vehicles from April 2020 overriding demand from auto companies to push the rollout by 5 years
New import policy for marble and travertine blocks and marble and granite slabs will come into effect from October 2016 ending the quantitative restriction on the import of marble and travertine blocks as well as the cumbersome and restrictive import licensing system.
Paytm will power IRCTC payment gateway
India ranked world’s top exporter of information communication technology by WIPO in partnership with CII
Ajay Kaul resigned as CEO of Jubilant FoodWorks Limited w.e.f 20th Sept 2016
Facebook acquires Nascent Objects to build Wi-Fi drones, data servers and virtual reality goggles faster.
BCCI ties up with Financial Services firm, Jayalakshmi Financial Services
Transportation App Ola ties up for cab booking interface integration with yatra.com
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for initiating the process of winding up of Hindustan Diamond Company Private Limited (HDCPL), which is a 50:50 joint venture of the Union Government and De Beers Centenary Mauritius Limited (DBCML)
Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped Forbes’ annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons for 2016. With a net worth of $22.7 billion .
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) lands a 99.7-million dollar contract from Vietnam Border Guard to design, construct and supply high-speed patrol vessels
Annual cap for coal for sale through state nominated agencies has been raised from 4200 tonnes per annum to 10,000 tonnes per annum