Wipro opens Data Discovery Platform for businesses on Microsoft Azure

Industry analysts say Wipro will need appropriate selling methods for such a solution

Wipro, India’s third-largest IT services firm, said it has made its cloud-based Data Discovery Platform available for customers on Microsoft Azure through a “pay-per-insight” model.

To be hosted on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure, the Data Discovery Platform is a big data analytics-as-a-service solution that can enhance the ability of businesses in sectors such as banking and financial services, retail, energy, education, and manufacturing to make better decisions using pre-built applications.

Company News : The platform can be used by businesses through an outcome-based model. “Data Discovery Platform leverages Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite, which includes HDInsight, Stream Analytics, Data Lake Analytics, machine learning, and Power BI to build analytical applications,” said the company in a statement, adding that both Microsoft and Wipro have collaborated in areas such as engineering, solution enhancement, and joint-go-to-market strategy.

“Today, the platform is a significant enabler of analytics-led digital transformation delivering analytics-as-a-service to organisations. We believe that this is a reflection of the Wipro Data Discovery Platform’s maturity and Microsoft’s confidence in the prowess of this platform,” said Pallab Deb, vice-president and global head (Analytics) at Wipro.

Industry analysts say such a solution will need appropriate selling methods, be it data and services packaged or otherwise, as the platform is digital in nature.

“This is going to be a different offering from that of traditional software services. Wipro needs a new-age approach to sell such a platform. Even though there is enough demand for such data analytics-based solutions, this cannot be sold like any traditional technology service,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder and chief executive, Greyhound Research.

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M&M Q1 profit down 20% as car sales slowed ahead of GST

Excluding the impact of GST that kicked in from July 1, the company earned a profit of Rs 8.60 bn

Company News : Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today reported 19.79 per cent decline in its standalone profit after tax (PAT) to Rs 765.96 crore for the first quarter of the current financial year as sales were hit by GST transition.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd posted an about 20 per cent fall in quarterly profit on Friday, missing estimates, as sales growth in passenger vehicles slowed ahead of the transition to a new nationwide tax.

The company had posted a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 954.95 crore during April-June period of last financial year.

Excluding the impact of the Goods and Services Tax that kicked in from July 1, the company earned a profit of Rs 8.60 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 8.93 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Revenue from operations during the first quarter of 2017 -18 stood at Rs 12,335.56 crore, up 3.29 per cent from Rs 11,942.9 crore the year-ago period, M&M said in a regulatory filing.

The company’s vehicle sales were at 1,12,293 units during the first quarter. It sold 81,270 tractor units during the period under review.

Elaborating on the quarterly performance, M&M said the automotive industry was impacted due to impending transition to Goods and Service Tax in the first quarter of 2017-18.

Passenger vehicles sales were adversely impacted in anticipation of a price reduction in the new tax regime and reported a nominal growth of 4.4 per cent, it said. Read more

Coming soon: Patanjali’s ‘swadeshi’ jeans and ‘snob value’ apparel

Patanjali’s apparel line will be available for consumers from April 2018

Company News : Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved Ltd plans to launch its ‘swadeshi’ line of apparel, including denims, for men, women, and children by April next year, Live Mint reported on Thursday.

Citing Ramdev’s spokesperson SK Tijarawala, the report said that the company is targeting Rs 5,000 crore in sales for the first year.

The herbal medicine-to-packaged foods company plans to target various segments, Tijarawala told the financial daily. According to the report, there will be value-for-money apparel for budget buyers and clothes that will have “snob value”. The product line will include woven clothes, knitwear, and machine-made apparel, including denims, the spokesperson said.

Citing Tijarawala, the report said that by April next year, customers will be able to buy Patanjali’s clothes across 250 exclusive retail outlets. You will also be able to buy a pair of Ramdev’s ‘swadeshi’ jeans at Kishore Biyani-led Future Group’s Big Bazaar outlets, among other apparel retail outlets, the report added. The company, according to what Tijarawala told the financial daily, may also look at reaching customers through outlets managed by the state-run Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

Appetite for expansion

In the recent past, Patanjali, which has gained a major foothold in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market and Ayurvedic products business, has shown an appetite for diversifying into various unrelated sectors. As reported in July, the Patanjali Group has decided to enter the private security business.

According to agency reports, with the punch line “Parakram Suraksha, Aapki Raksha”, Patanjali’s security wing would be known as Ramdev’s Parakram Suraksha Private Limited. (more)

Tim Cook explains why India could be the next China for Apple

Apple’s game plan is to turn India into the next China, not only in terms of sales but also manufacturing and exports

As sales of Apple’s flagship iPhone slow globally, the company’s bullishness that India will emerge as a major driver of volumes is causing an acceleration in its investments here.

In the last quarter alone, Apple’s iOS app accelerator, as well as its manufacturing unit run by contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru, went online. These investments are in addition to the company’s overall investment in growing its sales channel and marketing more to consumers in India.

“We began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quzjbzarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in a call with investors on Tuesday.

Apple’s game plan is to turn India into the next China, not only in terms of sales but also manufacturing and exports. The company has been engaged with the Indian government to receive sops for setting up full fledged manufacturing and not just iPhone assembly for over a year now.

The going is a bit slow due to India’s unwillingness to grant subsidies specific to Apple and the former is looking at a policy that can attract all smartphone makers to manufacture

their devices here.

Company News : While sales of the iPhone have been growing at a blistering pace in India, analysts said the growth Apple is seeing is nothing out of the ordinary. With a base of just 2-3 per cent of India’s overall smartphone market, Apple still has a long way to go, especially in convincing Indians to buy its latest iPhone each year.

However, everyone seems to agree with Cook’s reading that the India market will provide a significant opportunity for Apple to sell millions of its high-end devices.

Apple has for long maintained that as network infrastructure in India gets better, more customers will begin to see the benefits of owning an iPhone. This combined with a young population that is aspirational by nature is what could turn India into Apple’s next China.

JioPhone effect: Idea to launch 4G-enabled feature phone at Rs 2,500

We have no intention to subsidise handsets, said Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director Idea Cellular

 

Faced with the latest challenge of ultra-cheap 4G feature phone from Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular on July 28 said it is working with handset makers to bring down the cost of handsets.

However, the Aditya Birla Group company, set to be merged with bigger rival Vodafone, made it clear that it will not subsidise handsets.

Indian Companies News : “The practical solution that we are working on is to work with the handset industry and work with them to be able to bring down cost of handsets by bringing down the bill of material, so that the gap of the announced price of Jio feature phone versus a smart-phone can be brought down to reasonable levels,” its Managing Director Himanshu Kapania told analysts.

Kapania said the ideal price point for a handset will be Rs 2,500.

In the past, the telecom operators had worked with handset makers when they were challenged by the then Reliance Infocomm’s cheaper handsets, he noted.

“Given the fact that this (Jio announcement) has happened, and it is going to be distributed in large volumes, our belief is that we need to work with the handset industry and introduce similar phones in the marketplace,” he said.

This will be an “affordable phone” which will allow customers the choice of dual SIM, selection of 2G and 4G networks, signing up with telecom operators of choice and to use applications of choice, he said.

There will be extensive market research on the number of features that can be brought down, operating system and whether it should have touchscreen, among others, he said. Read more

Flipkart-eBay India merger done; sellers can now take products global

Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace said it will begin offering the global inventory of eBay to Indian consumers while taking the products of thousands of sellers in the country to eBay’s customers globally.

 

This comes after Flipkart completed the takeover of the India operations of eBay.

In a deal announced in April, Flipkart raised $1.4 billion from global technology majors eBay, Tencent and Microsoft. In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay had made a cash investment and sold its eBay.in business to Flipkart.

 

Flipkart will now own and operate eBay.in, which however will remain an independent entity.Additionally, both companies are also partnering to leverage opportunities in cross-border trade. As a result, Flipkart customers will get expanded product choices with the wide array of global inventory available on eBay, while eBay customers will have access to more unique Indian inventory from Flipkart sellers. The partnership will thus provide a new opportunity for Flipkart sellers to expand their sales globally, the firm said in a statement.

 

“Being an early mover, eBay.in has a unique standing in the Indian e-commerce market, which is a great addition to Flipkart’s leadership position. Our coming together directly benefits Indian customers and sellers for whom we want to provide the best possible e-commerce experience. This is a step in that direction,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in the statement.

Valuation to too many demands: Why Snapdeal-Flipkart merger is dragging

The Snapdeal-Flipkart merger has turned into the most complex acquisition negotiation

Indian Companies News : In the universe of Snapdeal and Flipkart everyone is hopeful, but of different things. Japanese telecom giant SoftBank and US hedge fund major Tiger Global are hopeful of merging the two e-commerce players. Snapdeal’s board members, such as Nexus Venture Capital, and smaller shareholders are hopeful of a better-valued exit, and the co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal are hopeful of holding on to their company.

The clash of hopes is what has kept the ‘biggest consolidation in Indian e-commerce history’ from becoming a reality. After five months of discussions, the Snapdeal-Flipkart merger has turned into the most complex acquisition negotiation.

Stonewalling deal

In his last email to FreeCharge employees as the top boss, Bahl, buoyed by the sale of the mobile wallet to Axis Bank, said the deal provides them the necessary boost in resources to continue the journey towards building an e-commerce platform.

Axis Bank last week announced it had bought the mobile payments wallet provider from Snapdeal for Rs 385 crore ($60 million).

According to sources close to Snapdeal, the co-founders are actively working towards a ‘Plan B’ and have taken into confidence most of their senior management. According to sources, the two have been fighting SoftBank, the biggest investor in the company, ‘tooth and nail’ to prevent the deal from happening.

“They are going to fight the deal till they can. The kind of U-turn SoftBank took last year has left them flabbergasted. First SoftBank asked them to rebrand, spend money on marketing, promising all along that more investments are on way and then they suddenly left them high and dry.(more)