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Airtel Payments Bank To Invest Rs 3000 Cr To Expand Banking Network

airtel payments bank logo

Airtel Payments Bank, the banking services arm of Bharti Airtel, today said it will invest Rs 3000 crore to develop a pan India banking and digital payments ecosystem.

This was announced during the nation wide launch of the payments bank. Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley launched the banking service along with Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

“Bharti has always undertaken transformational initiatives that have the potential to make a positive impact on the society and contribute to the development of India. Airtel has been at the forefront of India’s digital transformation and has empowered over 260 million customers with affordable telecom services. With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey, with the potential to truly transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in the country. Just like mobile telephony leapfrogged traditional telecom networks to take affordable telecom services deep into the country, Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones in a quick and efficient manner. Millions of Indians in rural areas will get their first formal banking experience with Airtel Payments Bank,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal.

The Rs 3000 crore investment, the company said, will be used to develop a network of 250,000 banking points across the country from the day one. Airtel Payments Bank will also develop a nation-wide digital payments ecosystem with over five million merchants. At present the company have already added over 1 million such merchants.

For the payments bank Airtel has partnered with MasterCard to offer payments bank card to its customers who can use the card as like any debit or ATM card. The company already has over a million savings account holders.

What You Can Do With Airtel Payments Bank

  • Like a traditional bank, one can open a savings account in a payments bank.
  • Your Airtel mobile number is your account number
  • You may get a debit/ATM card
  • You will not get a credit card
  • You can earn interest of 7.25% p.a on your deposit
  • You can deposit upto Rs 1,00,000
  • You can transfer money to any bank account
  • You can do online shopping, ticket booking, transactions etc
  • You can withdraw cash
  • You get Rs 1 lakh personal accident insurance with a new savings account

 

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NationalNews

LeEco Asks COO Atul Jain To Leave

leeco-atul-jain

Flamboyant Chinese smartphone maker LeEco has asked its India Chief Operating Officer Atul Jain to leave citing poor performance of the company. Jain is counting his last few days with the company as his contract is not being renewed beyond the initial contracted period of one year.

Jain’s contract gets over on 31 January 2017. LeEco has also been asked Jain to resign from the company’s board, sources inside the company informed. He was appointed as a ‘wholetime director’ on 8 March, 2016.

Calls and text messages to Jain remain unanswered by the time we went public.

Sources also said that all the tasks and responsibilities have been removed from Jain and handed over to Alex Li who has been appointed as the new COO. However, the company has never gone public with this appointment.

While the company has blamed Jain for LeEco’s performance in India, insiders say, a lot is linked with the way the company is being run and the poor performance of the company is because of the issues with its headquarter in China.

The Chinese firm that came to India just a year back is going through a bad phase and analysts predict the worse is just round the corner.

Besides Jain, LeEco has also asked close to half of its entire workforce to put in their papers, and if sources are to be believed, 40% of the sales team including the sales head have already left the company.

Besides the manpower issue, the company is believed to have slashed its budgets in India, shelved its expansion plans that included opening of new stores. Worse than that, sources say, there has been no shipment of products to the Indian shore for last 3 months.

The company has been going through a severe financial crunch and its global CEO had admitted recently that it has bitten off more than it could chew. In its early days of entering in to any new market, the company created a buzz by investing huge money on brand promotion and advertising but back home it started loosing ground. It has not paid off many debts, both at home in China as well as in India.

Recently TeleAnalysis had reported a China based component manufacturer had approached a local trade court seeking recovery of its unpaid debts. Prior to that a Hong Kong based newspaper had sued LeEco for unpaid bills on account of advertising.

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NationalNews

Arun Jaitley To Launch Airtel Payments Bank In Delhi Tomorrow

arun-jaitly-airtel-payments-bank

Airtel Payments Bank, the banking services arm of Bharti Airtel, will be launched in Delhi on 12 January. This will be launched in the presence of Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley and Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Though a total of 11 companies have received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to offer payments bank services, so far, only Airtel has launched it.

The company launched its first payments bank in Rajasthan in November 2016 and then has rolled out the same in four other states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. With the Delhi launch, the company would aim at spreading the services in three nearby states of Delhi, UP and Haryana. It would also look at a pan-India roll out.

A typical payments bank is a fully digital and paperless bank and offers all basic banking facilities like account opening services and cash deposit & withdrawal facilities. Savings accounts are opened using Aadhaar based e-KYC. This requires no documents at all, only the customer’s Aadhaar number is needed.

Airtel Payments Bank offers all these services and just like any traditional bank, it also offers its customers interest on their deposits. However, Airtel offers 7.25% interest compared to 3 or 4% offered by conventional banks. Besides the lucrative interest rate, the bank also offers personal accidental insurance of Rs. 1 Lac with every savings account and free talktime equaling the amount deposited in the payments bank saving account.

What You Can Do With Airtel Payments Bank

  • Like a traditional bank, one can open a savings account in a payments bank.
  • Your Airtel mobile number is your account number
  • You may get a debit/ATM card
  • You will not get a credit card
  • You can earn interest of 7.25% p.a on your deposit
  • You can deposit upto Rs 1,00,000
  • You can transfer money to any bank account
  • You can do online shopping, ticket booking, transactions etc
  • You can withdraw cash
  • You get Rs 1 lakh personal accident insurance with a new savings account
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NationalNews

Reliance Jio To Offer 100% 4G Coverage In Gujarat By Diwali

vibrant-gujarat-reliance-jio

Reliance Jio, the newest 4G operator in the country, is working hard on its expansion plans and is planning to provide 100% coverage in the state of Gujarat by October this year. At present the 4G operator covers 90% of the state’s population through its network.

“Today more than 90% of the state’s (Gujarat) population is covered by Jio’s 4G LTE network and by Diwali 100% of this state will be covered,” Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambanii said on Tuesday while addressing the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar.

Taking a dig at other operators Ambani said only 35% the state’s population was covered by 3G network till 2014-15.

Gujarat is the first state where Reliance Jio acquired its first 5 million subscribers in less than 90 days, he added.

The company is also planning to connect lakhs of merchants and shops to create the commerce and the payment network to support our Prime Minister’s cash-less digital vision in coming years.

Talking about investments, Ambani said Gujarat is a sacred land for him as his father was born there and the company started its business from the state. And in the process Reliance had invested more than Rs2,40,000 crore or over $45 billion so dfar.

“It is the biggest investment made by an Indian corporate in a single state. Out of this in the past four years, we have invested more than Rs 1,25,000 crores in Gujarat and I am happy to report that we have invested Rs. 10,000 crores more than what we had committed or signed as MoUs and all these investments will be complete by March 2017,” he said.

These investments, he said, provide sustained employment both direct and indirect to over 2,00,000 people and contribute to Gujarat’s export competitiveness.

“Jio will connect all colleges and schools in Gujarat so that our future generation students have access to information in the coming year and Jio will connect all hospitals and medical facilities to create the next generation health and medical infrastructure in our state,” he added.

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NationalNews

Mobile App On Haj Pilgrimage Launched

haj-committee-of-india-mobile-app

The Indian government Monday launched a mobile app on Haj which would help people of India seeking to visit the holy place by providing detailed information on how to apply, news, e-payments and relevant ministry and related support system.

The Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched Haj Committee of India Mobile App at Haj House in Mumbai today.

“It is for the first time that Haj application process is going to be digital. This mobile app will available on Google Playstore from today (2nd January 2017). Next Haj has already been announced and application will be accepted from today,” said the minister.

The app gives detail information regarding Ministry of Minority Affairs, Haj Department, pilgrimage, rules and regulations, Haj Committee of India and private tour operators. The website also has “Do’s and Don’ts” during the pilgrimage and also a film informing about various aspects of the pilgrimage.

The last date for submitting applications is 24th January.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs has joined digital India campaign in a big way, he added. Several processes have been made in this regard. The Centre has been encouraging online applications to ensure fair opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort.

Applying for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment are main features of this mobile app. People can apply for the pilgrimage directly from the app and five adults and two infants can apply together as a group. A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant’s email. After affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the state haj committees. Registration fees can also be made through this app.

He said that the Central Government and Haj Committee of India have already started preparations to ensure that the next pilgrimage is completely smooth and convenient for the pilgrims.

The minister also said that several important suggestions have been received on the pilgrimage. The minority affairs ministry has had discussions with officials of Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure aircrafts with modern facilities for the pilgrims.

During 2016, about 45,843 people had applied for Haj online which was about 11 per cent of total applications received from across the nation. The minister said efforts are on to make the process of online application simple and easy so that more and more people can apply online for next pilgrimage. Maharashtra topped in online applications for 2016 with a total of 10,960 people applying online followed by Kerala with 9257 online applications and Uttar Pradesh with 5407; 2983 from Telangana; 2426 from Jammu and Kashmir and 2425 online applications had been received from Gujarat.

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NationalNews

Cisco Partners CERT-In, Big Boost To Cybersecurity

cisco-cert-in-partnership

India’s cybersecurity dynamics got a big boost on Thursday as Cisco, an expert in matters related to technology, security and digitization, announced to partner with CERT-In (Computer emergency response team of India) and to set up three new cyber security centers in the country.

An MoU was signed between the two firms in the presence of the Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Government of India, and Dinesh Malkani, President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC. Under this MoU, Cisco and CERT-In will establish a threat intelligence sharing program wherein personnel from Cisco and CERT-In will work cooperatively together to address cybersecurity threats and incidents, identify and shape emerging security market trends, share leading practices, and learn new approaches to enhance cybersecurity.

Cisco has said it will set up three new centers to strengthen India’s cybersecurity  capabilities. These centers will be opened in Pune and Gurgaon.

It will open a new Security Operations Center (SOC) in Pune to provide a broad range of services, from monitoring and management to comprehensive threat solutions and hosted security that can be customized to meet customer needs. Cisco has three Security Operations Centers worldwide, located in strategic geographies: Poland, the U.S. and Japan. With India as the fourth location, this structure allows the company to provide a 24-hour service for customers, regardless of time zone, using a “follow the sun” model.

As cybersecurity threats have become more complex, targeted and persistent, they pose a serious ongoing challenge. Apart from security hardware and software products, modern cyber defences require proactive security operations run by highly trained staff with the experience and expertise to detect and disrupt sophisticated threats. Aiming to address this issue, Cisco announced the launch of the Cisco Cyber Range Lab in its Gurgaon facility, which will provide specialized technical training workshops to help security staff build the skills and experience necessary to combat new-age cyber threats. Cyber Range Lab will simulate an environment that allows staff to play the role of both attacker and defender to learn the latest methods of vulnerability exploitation and the use of advanced tools and techniques to mitigate and remove threats.

Recognizing that cybersecurity is critical to India’s drive to digitize its economy, Cisco’s global Security & Trust Organization (S&TO) and Cisco India announced the formation of Cisco S&TO – India. The Security & Trust Organization is accountable for ensuring trustworthy product development, value chain security, customer data protection, and transparency that earns the verifiable trust of Cisco’s customers, partners, shareholders and employees. In furtherance of that mission, the S&TO – India will advise on and help the government shape the national cybersecurity strategy and initiatives. Cisco is committed to ongoing innovation and leadership to address a rapidly evolving cybersecurity threat landscape. Cisco S&TO – India will work with public and private sector customers to help analyze their infrastructure, understand cyber risk, identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, and ensure that their networks are built on a foundation of secure, resilient, and trustworthy products.

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NationalNews

Telstra Selects Ericsson Solution To Enhance 4G Coverage

ericsson-telstra-5g-deal

Will deploy Ericsson’s indoor and outdoor small cell solutions including Ericsson Radio Dot system for its 5G network

Telstra has entered into a partnership with Ericsson. It will deploy Ericsson’s indoor and outdoor small cells in the Telstra’s 4G LTE network, including the Ericsson Radio Dot System and Pico Cell RBS 6402. This move will help increase coverage and enhance user experience in Telstra’s 4G LTE network, enabling Telstra to continue providing a high quality and reliable mobile broadband service to its customers.

Calling this as its latest step in its ongoing strategic partnership with Ericsson, Mike Wright, Group Managing Director of Networks in Telstra Operations, shared, “Telstra has already deployed small cells in 50 rural towns across Australia. The result has been greater coverage and improved broadband experience for residents and business in these towns. With this new agreement, Telstra can increase the small cell rollout across Australia. In urban areas we are looking forward to delivering better indoor coverage not only for individual customers in office buildings, but also to our enterprise customers in shopping centers and large indoor venues.”

One must note, small cells are complementary to macro sites and a great way to solve capacity and coverage problems in hotspots such as busy city squares, commercial streets, railway stations, hotels, shopping malls, offices and airports.

“By integrating small cells as part of the macro mobile network, operators can cost-effectively provide improved coverage,” shared Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson.

He further added, ” Coordinated, embedded small cells improve performance through frequency reuse, increasing both network data capacity and throughput without the need to split the available spectrum. Small cells also provide full-service transparency in the network, ensuring that Voice over LTE, Voice over WiFi and video calls work seamlessly in the network for a consistent user experience.”

By leveraging both Ericsson’s macro and small cell solutions, Telstra will be able to achieve a highly coordinated elastic radio access network architecture, providing significant additional carrier aggregation and coordinated multi point gains.

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Ola To Invest Rs 100 Crore To Train One Lakh Drivers

ola-nsdc-mou

To be spent over three years, the mobile app based cab-hailing company signs an memorandum of understanding with NSDC in this regard

To do its bit to promote Skill India and Digital initiatives of the Indian government, Ola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). As part of this MoU, Ola will invest Rs 100 crores towards training, skill development and empowerment of 100,000 driver partners in India.

For this, Ola and NSDC will jointly identify people from various section of the society who can be trained to become driver entrepreneurs. This is part of Ola’s larger vision of adding 50 lakh drivers over the next 5 years. The MoU was signed by Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO & Co-founder, Ola and Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC in the presence of the Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Murli Manohar Joshi, Member of Parliament, Kanpur, UP, Shri Ram Naik, Governor, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Devendra Singh, Member of Parliament, Akbarpur, UP.

Commenting on this MoU, Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and Co-Founder, Ola said, “Ola is proud to be part of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s ‘Skill India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives. We believe skilling is critical to create sustainable livelihood in India. The mobility sector in the country is witnessing phenomenal growth and has the potential to empower aspiring individuals from all walks of life to become entrepreneurs. We are extremely excited to partner with NSDC to invest in the training and skilling of drivers as this would help us in realizing our larger goal to skill 50 lakh drivers in the next 5 years while contributing towards our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.”
Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC said, “We are extremely happy to work alongside Ola, driving this campaign that has the potential to significantly improve livelihoods and contribute to the economic growth of lakhs of Indians. Such initiatives will go a long way in promoting skill development and creating an environment of entrepreneurship for the people of the country.”

Skilling and promoting entrepreneurship has been at the centre of Ola’s business strategy since inception. Ola is also working closely with multiple state governments to create a skilled workforce that has access to lakhs of job opportunities. Moreover, Ola has partnered with leading Indian financial institutions and car manufacturers to give the driver partner community easy access to capital, insurance and vehicles at discounted prices. Over the last 5 years, Ola has been successful in on-boarding over 5.5 lakh skilled driver-partners onto its platform. Ola recently launched India’s first state-of-the-art dedicated training center for drivers in partnership with Rise India and NSDC at Chapra, Bihar.

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Intex Domestic Manufacturing Operations Undergoing Expansion

Intex-manufacturing

The company is ramping up is domestic assembly and manufacturing of mobile phones amid the “Make in India” Push

Intex-manufacturingWhen the Government of India had announced the Made in India initiative, several companies became a part of it. There were several smartphone makers who announced their manufacturing plants in the country; and one among them was Intex. Now, Intex is going a step further and looking forward to expanding its domestic manufacturing operations of mobile devices in the country.

According to the latest Counterpoint Technology Research report, Intex will soon be opening another bigger manufacturing unit in Greater Noida. The unit would be spread over eight hectares with a mobile handset manufacturing capacity of 35 million units per annum.

Counterpoint Research analysts visited Intex’s Noida mobile phone manufacturing operations, which is one of its five manufacturing plants in the country. Three out of five manufacturing facilities by Intex are located in Noida which commenced their operations in 2015 while the other two are located in Baddi (HP) and Jammu (J&K) with operations dating back to 2010 and 2004 respectively.

The report by Counterpoint Technology Research noted that Intex has been manufacturing in India different products since over a decade now and been among the very few brands to start domestic assembly of phones in India. This has allowed Intex to take advantage of certain benefits amid the Indian government’s “Make in India” push. However, the level of current value add to the country’s GDP can be improved with greater investments in R&D, in-house design and shift to higher level automation driven manufacturing process. Intex is aiming to address this gap through its upcoming facility where it is planning to manufacture some of the components like speakers, PCBs, casings other than batteries and chargers.

Intex is associated with manufacturing in India since 2001 and the company is manufacturing about 2 million phones per month presently. Currently it has manufacturing units in India – one in Jammu, one in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh and three in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The company is now planning a sixth manufacturing unit in Kasna, Greater Noida. To further consolidate, Intex has already begun the process for manufacturing the components used in mobile phones and developing an entire ecosystem of ancillary units feeding the main unit. While confirming Intex’s big plans, Amitabh Khurana, Head-Manufacturing, Intex Technologies said, “By mid of 2016, up to 30-40% of components used in the production of mobile phones will be manufactured in India via Technical JVs. The target is to manufacture the complete unit of mobile phone including components in India in a year’s time.”

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RecoSense Felicitated For Innovative OTT Video Product

recosense

Frost & Sullivan has recognized RecoSense as an innovator in the OTT Video New Product Innovation space. The company, which is known for its data intelligent SaaS enabled platforms, was recently awarded with the Índia OTT Video New Product Innovation Award at the recently held 2016 Frost & Sullivan India Best Practices Awards function. It has won the award for its SaaS-enabled platform built on complex Graph Computing, Analytics, and Machine Learning frameworks that can facilitate efficient personalization and customer engagement for rich media content.

OTT video delivery has become imperative for media companies, and thus, it is essential for them to understand the importance of customer engagement with insightful recommendations and content delivery. RecoSense’s platform solves all the problems that media companies face.

Congratulating RecoSense on winning the 2016 ‘India OTT Video New Product Innovation Award’,Vidya S. Nath, Research Director, Global Innovation Center and Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said, “There are three inherent problems that exist for an OTT service provider — offering an attractive video library, which is easily searchable; understanding the behavior and likes of their target audience; and keeping them engaged on their site or application as long as possible. RecoSense’s service helps solve some of these challenges as it offers a customizable platform that helps in effective discovery, personalization of recommendations, and user analytics.”

The award recipients were judged on a variety of parameters that included financial performance rate, addressed unmet needs, key achievements, implementation of best practices, customer service experience, and brand equity. It involved in-depth primary interviews of various industry participants and secondary research conducted by Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Innovation & Leadership Awards identify companies that exhibit exemplary growth potential, attributed to high quality solutions and superior service capabilities.

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