Convergence Plus
Monday, December 18, 2017
Amazon claims 1.5 times faster growth than Flipkart in GST era

Amazon claims 1.5 times faster growth than Flipkart in GST era Flipkart and Amazon India both said their ecommerce businesses grew sharply in the three months ended September, registering a significant recovery from the months before the government introduced the goods and services tax. Flipkart said its ecommerce business grew at about 85% year-on-year in terms of gross merchandise volume (GMV) in the July-September quarter that included its flagship festive sales events, up from 65-70% growth in the preceding three months. Amazon India said it registered 72% year-on-year growth in terms of gross merchandise sold (GMS) for the September quarter, compared with 59% growth in April-June.

Flipkart investor Naspers, however, in a recent report has said the company grew at 43% year-on-year in the six months from April to September, giving ammunition to Amazon India to claim faster growth than its larger domestic rival at 66% for the six-month period.

“(Naspers’) report actually refers to the January-June period and… has a lag of three months, so the comparison isn’t like-for-like or relevant,” said Flipkart chief financial officer Sriram Venkataraman. “Flipkart continues to outpace the industry and our growth accelerated significantly during the July-September quarter on the back of a very strong festive season. We saw growth in mid-80% for (the September quarter) across all categories, with GST having a positive impact,” Venkataraman said.

An Amazon India executive, however, insisted that the global ecommerce giant’s India unit was “growing much faster than the market and grew 1.5 times more than Flipkart” between April and September.

The executive, who declined to be identified, also said Amazon acquired more customers this year than in the year before. “The per unit cost of (customer) acquisition is coming down. Our expansion charter continues in India and we will continue to be in the investment phase in India, be it creating new services or improving technology. We are focused on the same parameters that we were last year-—growth of customers and geographical distribution,” the Amazon India executive said.

Flipkart’s GMV metric is a proxy for gross sales and excludes discounts and product returns. Amazon’s GMS, too, excludes discounts but factors in product returns.

India’s ecommerce industry grew at 40-42% in the three months ended September and is expected to grow at 50% in the ongoing October-December quarter, according to Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research.

The July-September quarter saw the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) come into effect and ended on a high note for the ecommerce industry with Amazon’s flagship Great Indian Festival sales event and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days event coming early this year.

“The third quarter could have seen higher growth but for the fact that there were many pre-GST sales in June,” Meena said. “However, the growth in Q4 is expected to be very good compared to last year, since Q4 in 2016 was impacted from demonetisation.”
Amazon India, which hosted its first Prime Day sale in July, said its Great Indian Festival sale this year saw high-value items such as mobile phones and large appliances selling more. The smartphone category is pegged to grow at 42% this year, according to industry estimates. Analysts said that while Flipkart leads in terms of market share in the category, the gap with Amazon India was narrowing. In the June quarter, Flipkart’s share of the smartphone category dropped to 50% from 57% in the March quarter, while Amazon India’s share of the category rose to 33% from 27% in the same period, according to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research. (Source: Economic Times)

Wipro, Cisco collaborate for smart lightings

Wipro, Cisco collaborate for smart lightingsIt is aimed at delivering better user experience, save on energy and operating expenses as well as reap the benefit of Internet of Things (IoT) in workspaces, it added.
NEW DELHI: Wipro Lighting, part of Wipro Enterprises, said today that it will collaborate with networking major Cisco to be its Digital Building Solutions provider for connected lighting in India. The tie-up will bring together Wipro's art & Connected Lighting systems and Cisco's solutions that link various building services through a single, converged IP network together, it said in a statement.

It is aimed at delivering better user experience, save on energy and operating expenses as well as reap the benefit of Internet of Things (IoT) in workspaces, it added.

Wipro Lighting Vice President & Business Head Anuj Dhir said: "With the emergence of the IoT and big data, smart and connected digital lighting is the way forward as it will bring intelligence & functionality into lighting systems."

Daisy Chittilapilly, MD, Partner Organization, Cisco India and SAARC said both the companies aim to accelerate adoption of these solutions in the market and deliver increased comfort and efficiency.

"These new connected lighting solutions will greatly simplify the deployment experience, lower total cost of ownership, offer pre-validated architecture and ecosystem integration among players," the statement said. KRH SA (Source: PTI)

Amazon India Starts Selling SIM Cards; Get a New Airtel or Vodafone Postpaid Connection at Your Doorstep

Videocon Telecom to strengthen Wallcam distribution networkAmazon India is experimenting various new things in the Indian market. The e-commerce company has started selling SIM cards on its portal. For now, Amazon is selling only Airtel, Vodafone new postpaid SIM cards. In addition, customers travelling abroad can also purchase international SIM cards based on the area. Firstly, Amazon India is selling Airtel and Vodafone postpaid SIM cards, meaning you can get a new Airtel or Vodafone postpaid connection at your doorstep itself. Although Airtel is officially offering doorstep new postpaid connections, Vodafone is not yet offering any delivery of SIM cards.

So, you can now get a new Airtel postpaid connection right from Amazon itself. Currently, four Airtel myPlan Infinity postpaid plans of Rs. 499, Rs. 799, Rs. 1199, and Rs. 1599 are listed online, and Vodafone’s RED postpaid plans of Rs. 499, Rs. 699, Rs. 999, Rs. 1699, Rs. 1999, and Rs. 2999. While purchasing Airtel postpaid connection, Amazon is asking Rs. 200 as a security deposit, while Vodafone new postpaid connection costs Rs. 15. Also, Amazon promises free delivery of SIM card and that too within 24 hours.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Purchase the SIM card from Amazon India
  2. In 24 hours, operator’s executive will arrive at your location to deliver the SIM card and collect documents.
  3. Next up, the executive will verify your address, after which the activation process will begin.
  4. Within two days, you new postpaid connection will get activated, and you can enjoy the services
Aforesaid, Amazon also listed a few international SIM cards on Lycamobile network. If you’re travelling to countries such as the United States, UK, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, and Belgium. The company might add few more countries as well in the near future.

The tariff plans to these countries vary. For the USA, Amazon has listed a plan of Rs. 4000 that offers unlimited voice calls, unlimited data (7GB of 4G) and unlimited data. Amazon is also offering 15% cashback if you purchase the SIM card using Amazon Pay balance. That said, the minimum amount to get the cashback is Rs. 500 and the maximum cashback is Rs. 300 per user. (Source: Telecom Talk)

Expanded WLAN Measurements under Realistic Operation Conditions

Expanded WLAN Measurements under Realistic Operation Conditions RF Quality Tests with Security On using Network Mode

Anritsu Corporation starts sales of its WLAN Security Function MX886200A-020 software for MT8862A, supporting evaluations of devices with built-in WLAN functions for the rapidly growing IoT market using the Network Mode even when WLAN security is on. The Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A uses the Network Mode measurement function to execute tests while the WLAN device is actually operating; adding this new security function supports evaluation while the WLAN device built-in WEP, WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal, etc., security is on.

With the future spread of IoT devices using built-in WLAN incorporating security functions, more devices are expected to be operated while security is on, and Anritsu hopes this new option for the MT8862A will help further improve the quality of WLAN devices.

[Development Background]

WLAN are appearing rapidly not only in mobile devices such as smartphones, but also in many other applications, including home electronics like TVs and cleaners, the connected car, industrial equipment, sensors, and more because of expanding IoT.
Makers of these equipment are receiving increasing end-user enquiries about wireless reception range and sensitivity, etc., and are expected to see increasing need for actual operating conditions testing as well as for WLAN measuring instruments.
To ensure WLAN security, many devices have functions for switching security settings on and off, but the need for data security is becoming increasingly important as applications diversify. Consequently, many WLAN devices are expected to operate under actual operating conditions with security functions set to on and many commercial models with WLAN functions will probably eliminate the ability to disable security settings.

Under these circumstances, in addition to supporting previous WLAN evaluation with security off, installing the WLAN Security Function MX886200A-020 software in the MT8862A now supports WLAN evaluations in the Network Mode under actual operating conditions with security set to on.

[Product Outline]

The MT8862A is a WLAN measuring instrument supporting IEEE802.11ac/n/g/b/a. It uses built-in communications protocols and performs tests of WLAN device RF TRx characteristics (Tx power, modulation accuracy, Rx sensitivity, etc.)in the Network Mode.

[Key Features]

  • Measurement with Security On
    Installing the WLAN Security Function MX886200A-020 in the MT8862A supports evaluation of WLAN devices while security functions are on, allowing WLAN device makers to evaluate their products under near-to-end-user usage conditions.
  • Supports Firmware and License Installation from Web Browser
    This security function option is used by performing MT8862A firmware updates and option license installation from a web browser, eliminating the need for factory upgrades.
[Target Markets and Applications]
  • Target Markets: Vendors of smart home appliances, automobiles, gateways, etc, with built-in WLAN functions
  • Target Applications: Testing of RF TRx characteristics of devices with built-in WLAN (Source: Convergence Plus)
Videocon Telecom to strengthen Wallcam distribution network

Videocon Telecom to strengthen Wallcam distribution networkThe company started dealing in surveillance and security products in July this year with a target to clock a revenue of Rs 1,115 crore by 2021 and Rs 175 crore this fiscal.

NEW DELHI: Videocon Telecom, the telecom arm of the Videocon group, looks to double the number of distributors selling its surveillance and security products under the brand Wallcam by March 2018."We have 100 distributors selling our (Videocon Wallcam) products across the country. By the end of this financial year, we are planning to double our distribution network," Videocon Telecom CEO Arvind Bali told .

The company started dealing in surveillance and security products in July this year with a target to clock a revenue of Rs 1,115 crore by 2021 and Rs 175 crore this fiscal.

Bali said all the products Videocon Wallcam is selling are being made in India and the company is also in talks with some foreign firms to start manufacturing their surveillance products at its plant and sell them with Videocon Wallcam.

"Softwares are playing a key role in the surveillance and security segment. We have our IT company Infodart Technologies where we are developing softwares for CCTV surveillance. We are aiming to develop almost entire suite of surveillance and security product indigenously," Bali said.

He said the company will target all segments of the market.

The company has recently launched entry-level Internet- based CCTV camera solutions segment with a target to capture around 21 per cent market share by 2021.

"There is a huge demand for CCTV solutions in retail segment, which includes households, shops and offices. Organised CCTV segment is expected to grow by over three times in organised trade. Our 'Eco Series' priced at Rs 4,990 will help us gain good traction in the entry-level segment," Bali added.

Videocon estimates the overall CCTV market at around Rs 3,650 crore in the organised segment, which is expected to grow to Rs 9,500 crore by 2021. (Source: PTI)

Vodafone to strengthen enterprise portfolio with broadband: Co's MD and CEO Sunil Sood

Vodafone to strengthen enterprise portfolio with broadband: Co's MD and CEO Sunil SoodThe operator had posted double digit growth in the enterprise business and will bank on its acquisition of fibre-to-home company YOU Broadband.

MUMBAI: Vodafone India is looking at the broadbandspace to strengthen its enterprise portfolio, said the telco's MD and CEO Sunil Sood. The operator had posted double digit growth in the enterprise business and will bank on its acquisition of fibre-to-home company YOU Broadband to enter homes, reach out to small medium enterprises (SMEs), and startups.

“We want to be an enterprise solutions powerhouse, and not just sell SIM cards. We have entered the home broadband space via acquisition of YOU Broadband," said Sood. "We can now sell fixed line and content along with broadband to SMEs and startups as well," he said. The enterprise segment contributed about 17% to the telco’s India revenues in FY16-17.

Vodafone India had acquired YOU Broadband, which has operations across 16 cities, in June. It is also in the middle of its merger process with Idea Cellular which is expected to be completed next year.

Price war in the mobile space has now spilled over to the broadband segment of telecom companies. Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecom operator, on Tuesday extended its data rollover facility to its home broadband customers, under which its customers will be able to accumulate up to 1,000 GB data.

Airtel's move comes amidst Reliance Jio's efforts to roll out its free JioFiber Preview offer for its broadband service in select areas of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat and Vadodara. Jio's service is widely expected to commercially hit the market around early next year.

According to reports, Vodafone is also amongst telcos and PE players that are eyeing Reliance Communications (Rcom's) assets that are up for sale.

Sood declined to comment, but said that following the merger announcement (with Idea), the company has decided not to apply for the payments banks licence since Idea Cellular had already received one. Vodafone India, which has 209 million subscribers as of September end, had previously received an in-principal licence for its payments bank.

The MD said it aims to become a telecom solutions provider and has companies, startups and various government bodies as its clients.

The telco had rolled out a Start-up Kit this September that included complimentary access to Vodafone’s internet of things (IoT), managed connectivity platform, dedicated support team and rental free package for 6 months for about 50 IoT SIMs to develop and deploy their solution.

It has worked with Tata Steel, online hotel room aggregator Oyo Rooms, educational technology firm Byju's as an enterprise partner offering them solutions to scale up business. Sood said that the operator has two lakh SME customers and 5,000-6,000 companies as its enterprise clients. (Source: ET Bureau)

Zicom in talks with PE to raise ₹200 crore

Zicom in talks with PE to raise ₹200 croreZicom Electronic Security Systems Ltd is in talks with private equity firms to raise ₹ 200 crore.

Zicom plans to raise the funds through sale of equity stake of its subsidiary created to offer security as a service. Zicom is launching four platforms under this subsidiary aimed at offering a combination of security services through a mix of mobile apps, internet of things and connected machines.

Pramoud V Rao, Managing Director of Zicom, told BusinessLine, “We moved to offering security as a service few years ago. This business now accounts for ₹50 crore revenue. We are looking to raise funds to expand our platform.” Zicom expects to grow the services business to ₹200 crore in the next few years. Overall Zicom’s revenue is at ₹800 crore which is expected to cross over ₹1,000 crore once the services platform gains scale.

Zicom ventured into the IoT space in 2013. Since then, the company has undertaken several innovations including ATM surveillance systems and a mobile application called Ziman. Ziman allows the user to instantly verify outsourced assistants such as maids, drivers and security guards using the Aadhaar. It also has handset-to-handset tracking feature allows external tracking for up to three handsets. Additionally, the application also comes with a geo-fencing facility that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries like school attendance zones or neighborhood boundaries. This element helps parents ensure that their children are always in safety zones

Zicom also monitors security at over 7,000 bank ATMs with security cameras that posses two-way communication technology and sensors monitored by personnel to help prevent theft and burglary. “When our personnel sitting at our command centre sees a theft happening in the ATM, he presses a panic button that sounds an alarm,” Rao said adding that this model has been cost effective in maintaining the bank ATMs. “They used to spend ₹ 40,000 now they spend ₹4,000,” he said. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Bengaluru-based mobile payment solutions co Obopay raises $10 m

Bengaluru-based mobile payment solutions co Obopay raises $10 mBengaluru-based mobile payment solutions firm Obopay has bagged a $10-million deal from Atlantic Bank, a West African financial services conglomerate, to provide digital banking and mobile money services technology for their customers. “Banks are figuring out ways to cost effectively service their customers whose incomes are irregular such as daily wage earners,” said Shailendra Naidu, CEO, Obopay. In effect, companies like Obopay are helping financial institutions to service customers at cheaper costs as they do not meet a bank's lending or deposits criteria.

The deal would be primarily in the area of setting up a digital infrastructure for these kinds of customers and provide them mobile money transfer and other services, added Naidu. Atlantic Bank, which was set up in 1978 and based in Togo had total assets in excess of $1.5 billion.

Obopay, at present, powers 11 per cent of the global mobile money transactions, or three billion in total. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Paytm Mall claims 20% of total e-commerce festive sales

Paytm Mall claims 20% of total e-commerce festive sales It is not just the top ecommerce players, Flipkart and Amazon India, who reaped rich sales in the just-concluded festive season. Minnows like Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall claim to have cornered a relatively significant slice of the market pie as well.

Paytm Mall, which was launched as a separate platform six months ago, claims to have garnered a market share of 15-20% during the sales. The company, which has been betting big on its online-to-offline (O2O) model, said 40% of its festive sales were contributed by this model and claims to have achieved an annualised GMV run-rate of approximately $4 billion, a target that was set for March 2018.

This brings their festive sale month (from September 20 till mid-October) GMV to an estimated $300 million. While this number has been extrapolated based on the uptick witnessed during the festive season, it remains to be seen how the performance would vary when it is business as usual.

“People shop less post-Diwali season, but that will not impact our business since it is a horizontal platform selling products with repeat purchases as well,” Paytm Mall’s chief operating officer Amit Sinha told ET.

“Moreover, our O2O model will lead to a month-on-month increase in retailers on board, thereby causing an increase in acquisition of customers.” While majority of the ecommerce platform customers were existing Paytm users, the company claims to have witnessed a six-fold increase in new consumers.

Analysts, who said that 80% of the overall festive sales worth $2.8-2.9 billion (beginning with Flipkart and Amazon’s flagship sales in September) were cornered by Flipkart and Amazon India, are sceptical about Paytm Mall’s performance. They have pegged the company’s overall festive sales at no more than $200 million, primarily powered by cashback offers.

“The two categories customers were comfortable buying on Paytm Mall were smartphones and laptops and only if there were good enough cashback offers,” said an analyst, requesting anonymity. “You don’t see customers opting for Paytm Mall if the cashback option isn’t available.” Majority of the company’s GMV during the festive season has been contributed by home appliances, smartphones, laptops, and two-wheeler, while most units sold have been from the FMCG section, a category which has been Amazon India’s focus as well.

“Paytm Mall does not yet have the large variety of products and a high range of sellers that other marketplaces have,” said a seller, who is present across all ecommerce platforms. While Paytm Mall presently has 30,000 sellers, Flipkart and Amazon India have over 1.6 lakh and 2 lakh sellers, respectively (Source: Economic Times)

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