Amazon Launches Fire TV in India

Amazon launched its Fire TV stick in India  with Amazon’s Prime Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani and Amazon Fire TV vice president Marc Whitten at the launch. India is the fifth country where the device becomes available after the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.

Priced at $62, the Fire Stick stick comes pre-loaded with  Amazon Prime Video and rival platforms, such as Netflix, Fox India’s Star network-owned Hotstar, Viacom18’s Voot and Indian film major Eros International’s ErosNow, among others. Additionally, the device offers access to YouTube, various gaming apps and more, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote

Whitten said, “Fire TV Stick also offers data monitoring and other features to help customers in India get the most from their data plan and stream more content using less bandwidth.”

 

 

April 26, 2017   No Comments

In 2016, India Held $118.2 Billion U.S. Government Securities

Data available with the U.S. Treasury Department showed that India was the 12th largest holder of U.S. government securities at the end of 2016, with exposure worth $118.2 billion in December.  Among the BRIC countries, India stood at 3rd place after China and Brazil in terms of exposure.
US Currency
Japan – $1.09 trillion
China – $1.06 trillion
Ireland – $288.2 billion
Cayman Islands – $263.5 billion
Brazil – $259.2 billion
Switzerland – $229.3 billion
Luxembourg – $223.4 billion
United Kingdom – $217.1 billion
Hong Kong – $191.4 billion
Taiwan – $189.3 billion
Belgium – $120.4 billion
India – $118.2 billion

April 13, 2017   No Comments

Panasonic Localizes Washing Machines for India

After two years of testing experiments, Japanese multinational electronics corporation Panasonic, headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka, has launched a washing machine especially for India’s consumers.

Panasonic said the introduction of a ‘curry’ button followed complaints from customers struggling to fully get curry stains off their clothes. Panasonic researchers analyzed what went into a typical Indian household’s curry dish, and then tried to establish the optimal time and water temperature required to remove the stains.The machine has five other cycles aimed at the Indian consumer, including one to remove traces of hair oil, reports BBC News.

Panasonic Washing Machine

5,000 ‘StainMaster’ machines priced at $330 were sold so far.  The company is planning similar machines for other Asian markets too, tackling stains specific to those countries.

March 20, 2017   No Comments

WIPO Head: India Will Be Major Hub of Innovation

In an interview with the Economic Times, World Intellectual Property Organization director general Francis Gurry discussed issues of Intellectual Property and Innovation with respect to India.

Francis Gurry

Francis Gurry

Snippets of Gurry’s opinions during the conversation:

There has been a shift in innovation in the last 20 years, from a total domination by North America and Europe, to Asia (in terms of magnitude) in countries including Japan, China, Korea, India and others.

India is a leader in demand-driven and frugal innovation — taking innovation elsewhere and adapting it to local conditions, so you are able to address a problem at a lower cost.

India is compliant with its international obligations. It has not been involved in any dispute resolution process for an intellectual property. The challenge for India is the vastness of the country and the unevenness that exists. It is typical of any big country.

India is going to be a major hub of innovation and IP. You have the human resources, the educational system, high number of scientists and engineers and a vibrant rate of economic growth, which is producing new areas of opportunity.

It is exciting working with the authorities on the state index for innovation in India. It is a friendly competition between the states in the field of innovation. The moment you leave India’s borders the competition is enormous.

Not the least area of concern is the displacement of employment by robotics, artificial intelligence. That means we have to address this starting with the education system. You cannot stop innovation.

Employment is an integral part of human dignity. The massive elimination of work possibilities will be catastrophic, but I do not think that is happening. A more worrying phenomenon is the heavy concentration of wealth that occurs quite rapidly as a consequence of innovation in certain areas.

March 8, 2017   No Comments

India Best Country for Wall Street Says Forbes

New York-based Wisdom Tree, that pioneered the concept of fundamentally weighted Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and active ETFs, says  that its India Earnings (EPI) Fund is up 12.8% year-to-date and is ahead of China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

Gaurav Sinha, strategist for Wisdom Tree said, “If you look across the countries the IMF tracks worldwide, how many can you name that are growing over 7%? Iraq, Myanmar and India, and India is the only large economy that has those numbers and that you can buy in the equity markets.”

Indian Currency

Forbes reports: “Prime Minister Modi continues his plans to cut red tape, root out corruption, upgrade infrastructure, improve the fiscal position. No trade drama. No political crisis. No wars and rumors of wars. Reliable central bank. Stable government. A little expensive, but these days, who cares?”

India’s recent demonetization caused a temporary economic slowdown; however, recent company visits confirm that the economy is beginning to normalize.  Gerardo Zamorano, director of the investment group for Brandes in San Diego says, “From my perspective, that policy [demonitization] did not change the long term outlook on India that much. If you’re the owner of a car dealer or a restaurant business, this might affect you next week or so, but not for a decade. That’s how we think of India. It’s a long term investment for Brandes.”

Robin Parbrook, head of Asia ex-Japan equities at Schroders, says India remains the best domestic story in Asia at the moment. “The base is low in India, so the building of roads, provision of mobile telecom networks, formal banking to the masses, and rooting out of middlemen and corruption can all make a big difference, ” he feels.

 

 

 

March 5, 2017   No Comments