Convergence Plus
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Finding a successor for Sikka will be no walk in the park

Finding a successor for Sikka will be no walk in the park“I will not try to pretend that we will have the same kind of felicity in attracting overseas talent that the organisation had a while ago.

‘‘But it is that very task we have to address even more rigorously, by providing the right environment for people to come and innovate and create new products and services,” said R Seshasayee, Chairman, Infosys, now faced with the onerous task of finding a successor to Vishal Sikka, who abruptly quit the software major as CEO on Friday

HR heads and honchos at executive search firms feel that this is easier said than done.
“Infosys’ ability to attract senior management talent will be seriously impaired after Vishal Sikka’s exit, as his are not small shoes to fill. Potential candidates will be wary of joining Infosys at the CXO level after all that has happened and many more exits can be expected over the next few weeks, especially those that were hired in the US and worked closely with Sikka.

“This isbecause, after Vishal the centre of action will shift to Bengaluru, so the top-level hires in the US will understandably be uneasy about the direction of the company,” said Ronesh Puri, Managing Director, Executive Access India Pvt Ltd.

The challenge of finding the right man has been thrust on the five-member Nominations and Remunerations Committee (NRC), comprising, besides Seshasayee, Jeffrey S Lehman (chairperson), John W Etchemendy, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, and DN Prahlad.
The Infosys Board has made it clear to the NRC that Sikka’s successor must possess extraordinary people skills and must buy into the strategy and vision of the company, continuing on the path where the company has already started tasting success.

“It is important that a 200,000-strong global organisation like Infosys has a leader with great people skills, who understands the company’s culture, integrates into it and then changes it and moulds it as necessary. The NRC and the Board will have to see whether these requirements are best served by one of our leaders inside or whether the next part of the race will be better served by an outside candidate with no preconceived ideas at this point” said Ravi Venkatesan, co-chairman, Infosys.

In 2014, Infosys offered the CEO’s role for the first time to an external candidate.
Sikka, who was a member of the Executive Board of SAP, accepted the challenge of helping transform the company during a time of significant change in the services industry. However, this time around attracting global talent of Sikka’s stature is likely to be a near impossible task given that Infosys’ standing as an employer of choice has taken a nasty beating.

Anshoo Nandwaani, CHRO, Greyhound Knowledge Group, feels the Infosys management does not want a forward-looking CEO who will reinvent the wheel, but a COO who will imbibe the existing culture, execute on the existing strategy and bring back normalcy.
She agrees that it would be extremely difficult to hire senior global talent, with no takers for the hot seat at infosys, especially after Sikka’s exit. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

*astTECS to Showcase Collaborative Enterprise Communication Solution at Indo – Africa ICT Expo 2017

*astTECS to Showcase Collaborative Enterprise Communication Solution at Indo – Africa ICT Expo 2017*astTECS, a leading provider of enterprise telecom technology products and Asterisk based Open Source communication solution, today announced, that the company will be showcasing emerging and innovative portfolio of Enterprise Telecom and IP PBX solution at Indo – Africa ICT Expo 2017, scheduled to be held from Sept 6-7, at Lagos, Nigeria. *astTECS will be demonstrating cutting - edge enterprise communication solutions relevant to the African markets and engage with the ICT community.
With extensive deployment of communications infrastructure, growing digitalization and mobility the African countries offer amazing opportunities.

The Indo – Africa ICT expo provides a compelling platform to showcase robust and innovative communication solutions focusing on how African countries can implement them to bring in greater operational efficiency, enhance productivity for stronger growth, evolve and maintain a competitive edge.

“Africa has been one of the fastest growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption & communication technology and the African region offers tremendous opportunities,” said Dr. Devasia Kurian, CEO, *astTECS. The ICT expo provides a platform to draw up more synergies and create an ICT ecosystem that brings together stakeholders from across the communications industry spectrum, he added.

With strong focus on customer needs, *astTECS Made-In-India products & solutions serves users across the globe and the company continues to leverage its strong capabilities in product innovation, helping enterprises and SMEs capitalize on latest in technology and adapt to customer’s communications requirements and evolving market opportunities.

*astTECS offers the most comprehensive, integrated and compelling Telecom Infrastructure Solution based on Asterisk platform that are feature rich, helps improve consistency & performance and creates a scalable, stable and resilient network that optimizes value. (Source: Convergence Plus)

Xiaomi working with Google on a new Android One smartphone: Report

Xiaomi working with Google on a new Android One smartphone: ReportA new report coming from an Indonesian website Kripitech claims that Xiaomi and Google are working closely to bring an Android One smartphone to the market. If true, that means the smartphone will run software based on pure Android.

A new report coming from an Indonesian website Kripitech claims that Xiaomi and Google are working closely to bring an Android One smartphone to the market. If true, that means the smartphone will run software based on pure Android. The report claims the phone will be closer to the company’s Mi 5X, which recently made its debut in China.

The phone features a 5.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, dual cameras, and a 3,080mAh battery. Kripitech believes the phone will be called Xiaomi A1 and the company might re-brand the Mi 5X for the global consumers. This would be the first time Xiaomi plans to release a smartphone without MIUI, the company’s own UI that’s built on Android. While Xiaomi has traditionally been known for its strength in the budget segment, it’s collaboration with Google to bring an Android One smartphone could help the brand to propel deeper into the Indian smartphone market. Xiaomi continues to be a popular phone vendor in India. Its Redmi Note 4 proved to be a major success – after all, the company sold over 5 million units of the phone in India since the last six months.

For Google also, the relationship with Xiaomi will only benefit the search giant. When you look at Android One, the response from consumers and vendors haven’t been hugely welcoming. Google has a fair idea, and because of this the search engine giant would like to have a strong hardware partner on board. The presence of Xiaomi can create the right hype and excitement in the Android One program. Of course, it’s worth noting that the report should be taken with a grain of salt. At the moment, both the companies have not provided any evidence that such a device is even coming. ( Source: The Indian Express)

MT8821C as the industry's first platform for 6CA max throughput test with Samsung System LSI Business

MT8821C as the industry's first platform for 6CA max throughput test with Samsung System LSI BusinessAnritsu and Samsung Electronics have been collaborating on LTE / LTE-A heretofore. We jointly conducted a connection verification using Samsung’s LTE modem and MT8821C Radio Communication Analyzer. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in advanced semiconductor technologies has confirmed achieving DL 6CA (256QAM) max T-put (1.2Gbps) for its next-generation LTE modem successfully with Anritsu’s MT8821C Radio Communication Analyzer as industry’s first test platform.

Carrier aggregation is a technology that secures a wide bandwidth and improves the communication rate, and service has already started in countries all over the world. Due to the number of users of smartphones / tablet terminals and the rise of rich content services, the spread of LTE-Advanced is continuously expanding. As non-standalone type 5G service to be operated in cooperation with the cellular system is scheduled to be launched in 2019, introduction of 1 Gbps service which further accelerates the current LTE-Advanced is being planned, and Samsung is proactively proceeding the LTE-Advanced function DL 6CC CA during the process of their development.

MT8821C Radio Communication Analyzer is designed for R&D of mobile devices / user equipment (UE), such as smartphones, tablets and M2M modules. It builds on the technologies of its popular predecessor MT8820C, widely adopted by UE and chipset vendors worldwide and supports multiple wireless technologies ranging from LTE-Advanced features like DL CA up to 6CC, to 3G/2G systems as well as LTE-U/LAA, with its easy-to-use measurement functions for efficient RF parametric and physical layer throughput testing.
“Anritsu is delighted that Samsung, a leader in ASIC and solutions, has confirmed MT8821C as a key tool in their development process”, stated Mr. Tsutomu Tokuke, Head of Mobile Solutions Division at Anritsu. “This progress shows how Anritsu’s MT8821C helps LTE device makers ensure their product quality in an intensely competitive market while reducing the product launch cycle time”. (Source: Convergence Plus)

Snapdeal-Flipkart deal falling apart after six months of hard negotiations

Snapdeal-Flipkart deal falling apart after six months of hard negotiations A crucial meeting to settle the proposed merger of beleaguered online marketplace Snapdeal with market leader Flipkart, due to take place in Bengaluru over Monday and Tuesday, has been called off, said three people aware of the developments. The deal now appears to be falling apart after six months of hard negotiations. Law firm J Sagar Associates and banker Credit Suisse, which are representing Snapdeal in the negotiations, were to meet with their counterparts representing Flipkart — Khaitan & Co and Goldman Sachs — in a bid to close the transaction. But the talks have now been cancelled, according to the people cited above.

A call between the key stakeholders is expected on Sunday night, and a potential public announcement on the fate of the deal could be made as early as Monday.

The deal that could have altered the Indian startup landscape and had the blessings of Japan's SoftBank — the largest investor in the Gurgaon-based Snapdeal — is now on shaky ground in the absence of backing from Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, said the sources. (Source: Economic Times)

RCom, Aircel merger deal on sticky ground

RCom, Aircel merger deal on sticky ground The proposed merger of Reliance CommunicationsBSE -0.76 %' wireless business and Aircel is clouded with more uncertainty with the Department of Telecommunications setting the Supreme Court's go-ahead a condition for it to approve the deal. The department, though, is close to clearing the merger of Sistema's Indian business with RCom, people aware of the process said. The SC had earlier this year threatened to cancel Aircel's licences if the top executives of its Malaysian parent, Maxis Berhad, continued to evade Indian courts over a case where they were accused of bribing politicians and officials. Cancellation of the licences could block the deal. DoT doesn't want to risk it clearing the merger and then the court making an adverse order.

"The Supreme Court will have to give a final say, only then can we give a go-ahead," said a senior DoT official aware of the matter.

DoT stated its position in an affidavit filed before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which is considering the merger proposal.

Both companies have already received approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), stock exchanges and shareholders.

The companies plan to combine their wireless businesses into an equally owned joint venture that will create a stronger No. 4 operator in India's intensely competitive telecom market. This is also one of the key deals that debt-laden RCom is sewing together in an effort to stop creditors from classifying its loans as nonperforming.

The merger will help it transfer Rs 14,000 crore, or close to a third, of its liabilities to the books of the JV. "It is humbly submitted that petitioners may be directed to take suitable permissions from the Hon-'ble Supreme Court before submission of the proposed scheme of arrangement," DoT said in the affidavit, dated April 28, before the Mumbai bench of the tribunal. ET has seen a copy of the affidavit.

"In the circumstances it is prayed that the Hon'ble Tribunal (NCLT) may be pleased to pass such other/further orders/ directions as this Hon'ble Tribunal may deem fit and appropriate in the facts and circumstances of the present case," the affidavit read.

Approval of NCLT could be contingent upon the apex court's next move if it were to happen before NCLT's verdict, especially with DoT suggesting that the tribunal ask the companies to get the SC's clearance. DoT's position can't change even if NCLT clears the deal, the official said. The department has informed RCom and Aircel of the conditions they need to meet to get its clearance, people aware of the details added. RCom and Aircel declined to comment for this report.

The Supreme Court in its last hearing in the corruption case on February 3 had called for an appropriate action to get Maxis owner and Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan and director Augustus Ralph Marshall appear in court to face trial. Maxis owns 74% of Aircel.

The two companies, though, appeared to have received some relief when the main accused in the corruption case in which the two Maxis executives are accused of — former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and media tycoon Kalanithi Maran — were acquitted by the trial court. The court, however, didn't discharge the Maxis executives, who had not appeared before it.

The Central Bureau of Investigation alleged that Dayanidhi Maran had coerced then Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel to Maxis in 2006 as part of a quid pro quo in the form of bribes.

CBI and Enforcement Directorate have now challenged the acquittals in the Delhi High Court.

RCom is sitting on nearly `45,000 crore of debt and getting the merger cleared at the earliest is critical for its debt recast efforts. It has time till December to sell assets and repay around 10 lenders under a standstill pact — the company doesn't need to meet repayment obligations in that time. If it fails to do so, the loans could turn into NPA (non-performing asset).

The RCom-Aircel deal faces other roadblocks as well. China Development Bank and some other creditors to RCom have objected the deal in NCLT, seeking clarity on the loan-settlement terms. Bharti Infratel has also moved NCLT saying the deal shouldn't be cleared till RCom pays its dues. RCom, which is talking to CDB to address its concerns, told the tribunal last week that it was "running against time" to close the merger.

RCom is also in the process of selling its tower business to Canada's Brookfield, which is also contingent on the Aircel deal. The Aircel and tower transactions are together expected to lower its debt by around 60%. RCom had expressed hope to complete both by September.

RCom's deal with Sistema Shyam Teleservices LtdBSE 1.17 % (SSTL), the local unit of Sistema, is, however, on the verge of getting DoT's approval, with the former having recently paid a bank guarantee of Rs.390 crore to DoT for acquiring the Indo-Russian joint venture's airwaves in the 850 MHz band in eight circles that it purchased in auctions held in 2013. An additional around Rs.10 crore was paid for excess spectrum in the Rajasthan circle.

SSTL is merging its wireless business into RCom in a Rs.4,500-crore deal which will see the promoters of SSTL getting around a 10% stake in RCom. This deal has got the approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, CCI, tax authorities as well as shareholders and creditors of both companies. (Source: Economic Times)

India vulnerable to cyber crime, must upgrade defence: Study

India vulnerable to cyber crime, must upgrade defence: StudyDemonetisation and the subsequent push for digitisation has escalated risks relating to cyber crime and India needs to urgently upgrade its defences by setting up a cyber security commission on the lines of the Atomic Energy and Space Commissions, according to an IIT Kanpur study shared with Parliament's committee on finance. Noting that the government has initiated a number of programmes to enhance the participation of citizens in the fully digitalised economy, the study said cyber security centres set up by the Reserve Bank of India would be insufficient. "While RBI centres often come to IITs such as IIT-K for expert opinion, IITs do not engage in relevant research on cyber security," the study said.

Incidents of cyber crime in India are rising sharply, recording an increase of over 100% in 2015 from 2014. The number grew from 71,780 in 2013 to 1.49 lakh in 2014 to 3 lakh in 2015.

The study said attacks from the 'Equation group' — which WikiLeaks reports said was a clandestine CIA and NSA programme — infected India's telecom and military sectors and research institutes.

The committee was briefed by Profs Manindra Agrawal and Sandeep Shukla from IIT Kanpur.

The study pointed out that since the government was pushing Aadhaar-based financial transactions, securing the Aadhaar database against unauthorised usage must be looked at carefully.

It has come to light that certain banks were making hundreds of transactions on the Aadhaar numbers of unsuspecting citizens.

Recent revelations about leakage of Aadhaar data and corresponding transaction data are serious concerns as the government is integrating Aadhaar number to various services," the study said.

Post-demonetisation, digital wallets such as PayTM and BHIM gained prominence.

However, with increase in online transactions, last year also saw cyber attacks that compromised more than 3 million ATM and debit cards through Hitachi-engineered ATM machine hacking.

The experts said a wider net needed to be cast by the Indian banking system and the government to engage cyber security experts from top institutes as an advanced layer of protection was missing in most financial institutions.

Quoting a report, IIT-K experts said India may need $4 billion investment in the private-public model. In their recommendations, experts said companies must have a chief cyber security officer and data systems should function on a need-to-know basis.

The experts felt that existing cyber security frameworks like CERT-IN was inadequate as there were insufficient inter-disciplinary connections and the government-private sector partnership was neither deep enough nor did it provide the required expertise. (Source: Times of India)

Wipro has invested heavily in data: CEO Neemuchwala

Wipro has invested heavily in data: CEO NeemuchwalaData is going to be the currency of the future and the company has invested heavily in it, Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala has said. “We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in the data space, and we feel very upbeat about this because as you rightly said data is going to be the currency of the future and we are very heavily invested in this area,” he told PTI here. Asked if Wipro had engaged startups to monetise data, which will create jobs and automatically check layoffs, he said, “The company has made strategic investments in about 12 startups and some kind of strategic alliance with another 20—22 startups, and out of them all at least 20 per cent of them are in data and data—related areas.”

Neemuchwala also said the company has invested in some very specific IPs which are internal company IPs, and also bagged a very significant deal with a customer couple of quarters back.

“They are in data business and we are using Wipro technology to help them support Chief Marketing Officers of Fortune 500 companies to utilise their data better and monetise their data better... So, we have leadership position in our analytic practice and our significant part of revenues comes from there.. We are seeing a significant ability to transform customers in data space,” he said. Wipro President and Chief Operating Officer B M Bhanu Murthy said Wipro’s analytical business has grown significantly well this quarter.

To a query on the size of investment in data, Bhanu said the company’s investment in big data has been on a day—to—day discovery platform (DDP) which has gained significant traction in the last two quarters. Bhanu further said the company is able to leverage DDP with couple of its investments to help lot of organisations mine huge data they collect and big data available externally, and hence it is seeing good traction and its investments are paying off through analytical. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Social media weaning away time spent on newspapers,TV: Assocham

Social media weaning away time spent on newspapers,TV: AssochamSocial media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others are rapidly changing the reading and viewing habits of an increasing number of people, mostly youngsters, according to Assocham. Based on an analysis of responses from just 235 families, the industry body claimed that Indians residing in big cities are now spending less than half the time reading newspapers and watching television as compared to 3-4 years ago. “While it is true that the Indian newspaper industry remains robust with a print order of about 62 million and the common households continue to remain loyal to their morning newspapers, the time spent on reading among the family members is witnessing a sharp inclination in favour of social media,” Assocham said in a statement.

The chamber conducted an analysis based on responses of 235 families in major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru, with nearly 80 per cent of the respondents saying their morning routine of newspaper(s) with tea has undergone a sea change.

“Ironically, some of the unverified stuff passes as truth (on social media platforms) which remains an area of concern. However, as the new media evolves into maturity, hopefully, the users would become much more discerning in the way they would consume the information from the internet,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Marketing strategists are also changing their tracks in line with the changing trends in media consumption and focusing on digital advertising and marketing, with the help of some useful analytics which guide their message to the target groups, Assocham said.
Moreover, the chamber observed that realising the importance and reach of the internet platforms, a majority of newspapers have gone digital while individual articles and stories are being circulated on social media. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

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