Category — India Market Expansion

Accenture Launches Innovation Hub in India

With over 140,000, of Accenture‘s 411,000 employees in India, and a transition to the requirements of new digital technologies, the company launched an innovation hub in Bangalore, India.

The 10-story, 400,000 square feet facility, has wall-sized interactive screens, and large, open work areas. 4,000 people work here using tools for artificial intelligence, blockchain, security, automation, and cloud, in industry areas such as banking, telecom, and healthcare.

Accenture's Cyber Fusion Center

The facility is the first such for the $33-billion IT consulting and outsourcing company. “We set it up in Bangalore because this is where we see the maximum number of client visits in Accenture’s global operations,” Mohan Sekhar, senior managing director of Accenture Technology Services, told the Times of India.

At the occasion, Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive of technology services said that the nature of people, process and technology required have changed. “We need automation masters, ethical hackers, neural scientists, data scientists, more PhDs, people with deep industry and technology skills.” The company re-skilled a large proportion of its employees, and made 37 acquisitions since the beginning of 2016 to strengthen its capabilities in the new digital areas. Today, about 50% of its revenues come from the new digital, cloud, and security services spaces, and this space is growing at strong double digits.

August 9, 2017   No Comments

Walmart India Appoints New COO

Walmart appointed Devendra Chawla as its chief operating officer in charge of merchandising, marketing, and the company’s omnichannel function in India. He will report to Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer.

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Earlier, Chawla worked at Reliance Retail, Coca-Cola, Asian Paints, and the Future Group and has experience in retailer development. Walmart India owns and operates 21  “Best Price” modern wholesale stores in nine states across India. The company is seeking to leverage Chawla’s expertise in food retail since it plans to set up 50 new stores across India over the next three to four years, reports Livemint.

August 9, 2017   No Comments

‘Made in India’ LinkedIn Lite Extends to 60 Countries

 Sunnyvale, CA-based LinkedIn announced the roll out of its LinkedIn Lite app to Android users in India. Akshay Kothari, Head, LinkedIn India, said, “We have now been able to take all the LinkedIn experience and package it into an app that is less than 1 megabyte. This app will soon be extended to more than 60 countries.”

LinkedIn Lite, a mobile website for faster connectivity in weak network areas, was launched during CEO Jeff Weiner‘s visit to Bangalore in September last year, and is entirely developed by the company’s R&D unit in Bangalore. “We are seeing a lot of growth coming from tier-2 and tier-3 towns due to this initiative. In the past six months, unique visitors to our mobile site has doubled while the engagement on our site has gone up threefold,” Kothari added. The Economic Times reports that students have also been a key growth area for LinkedIn India, due to another India-made product, LinkedIn Placements, that has helped the company improve signups among students in the country, Kothari said.

LinkedIn is investing a lot of time in the learning space, developing more student-oriented content on its platform and on its online learning company Lynda.

LinkedIn Logo

August 9, 2017   No Comments

Apple India Records 18% Growth in Second Quarter

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a happy man. The company saw its emerging markets’ unit sales outside of China reaching Dow past the 22,000 mark, a record growth of 18% year-on-year during the second quarter of the year when India became only the third country to assemble iPhones. The company reported over $45 billion in revenue and $8.7 billion in profit for the second quarter.

The Times of India reports that Cook said, “I’m very, very bullish and very, very optimistic about India.”

iphone

 

August 8, 2017   No Comments

Investor Outlines Macro Trends in India

Macro thinker and author of the institutional newsletter, Global Macro Investor, Raoul Pal, identifies big trends ahead of time and has 24,000 Twitter followers. He enunciates that the next big macro idea is India.

Pal says, “India has built the world’s first national digital infrastructure, leaping at least two generations of financial technologies and has built something as important as the railroad was to the U.K. or the interstate highways were to the U.S. India is now the most attractive major investment opportunity in the world.

Pal outlines 7 phases that has made India the biggest emerging market macro story in the world. Lightly edited excerpts follow:

Phase 1 – The Aadhaar Act

In 2009, India launched a project called Aadhaar, and began creating a biometric database based on a 12-digit digital identity, authenticated by finger prints and retina scans, to identify and document its population. As of 2016, 1.1 billion people  or 95% of the population now has a digital proof of identity.

Phase 2 – Banking Adoption

The Government of India  allowed the creation of eleven Payment Banks, which can hold money but don’t do any lending. To motivate people to open accounts, the government offered free life insurance, and linked bank accounts to social welfare benefits. Within three years, more than 270 million bank accounts were opened and $10bn in deposits flooded in. People who registered under the Aadhaar Act could open a bank account using just their Aadhaar number.

Phase 3 – Building Out a Mobile Infrastructure

Since people were able to instantly open a mobile phone account using their Aadhaar identification,  mobile phone penetration surged and went from 40% of the population to 79% within a few years.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, which administers Aadhaar, met with executives from Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Qualcomm, among others, to develop Aadhar-compliant devices which can integrate features such as secure cameras and iris authentication. Microsoft launched a lite version of Skype designed to work on an unstable 2G connection, and which is integrated with the Aadhaar database, so video calling can be used for authenticated calls.

Phase 4 – UPI – A New Transaction System

On December 30, 2016, the government launched Bharat Interface for Money, a digital payments platform using a Unified Payments Interface by which payments can be made by those with Unified Payments Interface accounts to those that do not have such accounts. Additionally, people can check their bank balances, and use QR codes for instant payments on this digital payments interface. Payments can now be made without using mobile phones — just using fingerprints and an Aadhaar number is required. This system works on a 2G network so it reaches even the most remote parts of India. It will revolutionize the agricultural economy, which employs 60% of the workforce and contributes 17% of GDP. Farmers will now have access to bank accounts and credit, along with crop insurance.

Phase 5 – India Stack – A Digital Life

India Stack is a framework that will make the new digital economy work seamlessly. It’s a set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilize a unique digital infrastructure via a presence-less, paperless and cashless service delivery.

Essentially, it is a secure Dropbox for a person’s entire official life and creates what is known as eKYC: Electronic Know Your Customer.

Using India Stack APIs, all that is required is a fingerprint or retina scan to open a bank account, mobile phone account, brokerage account, buy a mutual fund or share medical records at any hospital or clinic in India. It also creates the opportunity for getting instant loans and brings insurance to the masses, particularly life insurance.

India Stack is the largest open API in the world and will allow for massive fintech opportunities to be built around it. India is already the third largest fintech center but it will jump into first place in a few years. The country is already organizing hackathons to develop applications for the APIs.

Phase 6 – A Cash Ban

The cash ban of November 2016 forced everyone into the new digital economy. It has the hugely beneficial side-effect of reducing everyday corruption, recapitalizing the banking sector and increasing government tax take, thus allowing India to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure.

India was a cash society but once the dust settles, cash will account for less than 40% of total transactions in the next five years. It may eliminate cash altogether in the next ten years.

Phase 7 – The Investment Opportunity

The future for India is massive technological advancement, a higher trend rate of GDP and more tax revenues. Tax revenues will fund infrastructure – ports, roads, rail and healthcare. Technology will increase agricultural productivity, online services and manufacturing productivity.

Telecom, banking, insurance and online retailing will boom, as will the tech sector. FDI is already exploding and will rise massively in the years ahead as technology giants and others pour into India to take advantage of the opportunity.

Nothing in India will be the same again.

 

August 1, 2017   No Comments