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Acer Appoints Chandana Gupta As Associate Director Of Consumer Sales

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PC company Acer India today announced the appointment of Chandana Guptta as new Associate Director for its consumer sales division. She, along with her team, is entrusted with responsibility to strengthen and grow the consumer business in India.

Before joining the company, Chandana, with more than 23 years of experience in the IT industry, was working with Lenovo India as Head – Consumer Distribution Sales, where she was heading T1 and T2 distribution channel for Lenovo PC products in India.

“It gives me immense pleasure to welcome her to the team as our Associate Director for Sales. I am sure she is going to take Acer to new heights and prove to be a very dynamic leader in the organization,” said Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India.

Chandana Gupta, excited to be part of the team said “I am delighted to join Acer and start an exciting chapter in my career, it is only been few days and I could already see the vision, energy and determination of the team. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and lead the team to drive the consumer business to even greater success”

R. Jeganath, Chief Sales Officer, Acer India, also commented on the appointment said, “I believe Chandana has brought along a great deal of experience and learning, which is going to benefit the organization in the long run. I welcome Chandana to the Acer family and hope that her tenure with us is going to be a long and successful one”.

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NewsPeople Movement

Ola Appoints Badri Raghavan As Chief Data Scientist

ola-badri-raghavan

Cab service provider Ola on Thursday appointed Badri Raghavan as its chief data scientist who will integrate machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics to the firm’s cab-haling platform.

Ola said Badri, a data scientist with over 20 years of experience, will also lead a world class Data Science team with cutting edge training in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Decision Analysis, Pattern Recognition and related areas. This team will work across various business units and departments, to gain operational and business efficiencies, ranging from demand and supply prediction, driver behavior and performance management, location Intelligence, to name a few.

“As a company that holds vast database of drivers, customers and every single trip that takes place on its platform, Ola’s business is deeply rooted in data science and in drawing valuable insights to build innovative solutions, that resonate with the needs of Indian consumers and driver partners alike,” the company said in a statement.

Prior to Ola, Badri was the Chief Data Scientist and Founding CTO of FirstFuel Software, a leading energy and utilities analytics firm based out of Boston. Not only did Badri steer the development of the breakthrough energy analytics applications at FirstFuel, but he was also instrumental in establishing the overall technology vision and driving the firm’s growth in significant ways across three rounds of venture funding from leading VCs.

Badri was also working with IBM Research in New York as the Associate Director, Energy and Utility Analytics, where he helped set a framework for IBM’s analytics driven Smart Grid applications. Badri has worked in FICO for nearly a decade in leadership roles in analytics, product and operations. He was part of the founding team at FICO Bangalore, where he conceptualized, built and executed the strategy to develop Centre for Decision Analytics.

“Ola is moving on a much larger scale towards building technology based on deep insight into the Indian psyche, and for this, Big Data is a must. With a rich vein of expertise in data science and machine learning, Badri fits perfectly into Ola’s vision of building ground-up technology solution based on deep understanding of our customers, and build world-class innovative solutions,” said Ankit Bhati, CTO and co-founder at Ola.

“Badri’s experience in the field of Data Science across multiple domains will play a key role in driving Ola’s next phase of innovation based on richer and deeper understanding of Indian consumer behaviour and serve their mobility needs,” the company added.

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People Movement

Intex Appoints Arun Kumar As Advisor -HR

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In order to streamline its top leadership and bringing about a complete revival of the same Intex on Thursday appointed Arun Kumar as its HR Advisor.

Kumar comes with 35-plus years of exceptional experience in human resources, working from grass root to strategic level. He will be spearheading the gradual transformation in company’s policies aimed at enhancing employee engagement to deliver business goals. He will be working at the macro-level that will comprise of enhancing leadership capacity and building talent management of the company.

“Continuing to attract and retain the right people is essential as we consolidate our core skills and strengths across departments. Arun Kumar’s wealth of expertise in HR domain will be vital for Intex’s overall growth and perception by driving continuous improvement in HR policies and systems. I am confident under his guidance, the company will do whatever it takes to put the company in the right place with the right perspective,” said Intex CMD Narendra Bansal.

In the past Kumar has served in leadership positions in corporates like K.K. Modi Group, Escorts JCB Ltd, Hindustan Lever etc, where he has successfully brought people agenda to the forefront of business decision making process, partnering with business leaders and helping them realise their goals that are in sync with employee expectations.

On joining Intex Technologies, Arun Kumar said “I am honoured to take the challenging role at Intex Technologies, a leader on the high growth trajectory. Being a professionally-run organisation, it is our role to identify challenges and overcome them. It will be a long road and a continuous process to build an environment where issues are dealt humanely and with professional ethics. I look forward to being involved and contributing towards the company’s growth vision by establishing and strengthening best practices related to all aspects of HR.”

Arun Kumar has done Advance Management Program (AMP 175) from Harvard Business School, US and has done his Post graduation from Xavier Institute of Social Service in Ranchi.

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People Movement

Airtel Appoints Raj Pudipeddi As CMO, Director – Consumer Business

airtel-raj-pudipeddi-cmo

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday appointed Raj Pudipeddi as Director – Consumer Business and Chief Marketing Officer for its India operations. He will take charge from February 6, 2017 and will be a part of the Airtel Management Board. Raj will report to Bharti Airtel MD & CEO (India) Gopal Vittal.

“In line with our philosophy to bring on board the best of talent from across the globe, I am delighted at the appointment of Raj to lead our Consumer Business. At Airtel, we are obsessed with our customers and I am confident that Raj’s wealth of experience will add fresh perspective to our initiatives to constantly innovate and delight customers. I wish him the very best for his new role and look forward to working him,” said  Mr. Vittal.

In his new role, Raj will be responsible for driving market share, strengthening the Airtel brand and driving customer centric innovations within the teams.

Raj has over 22 years of work experience with Procter & Gamble across various functions and geographies. In his last role as Vice-President – Oral Care (North America), he led a large team across functions and sites, including manufacturing plants with P&L responsibility for a multi-billion business.

Prior to this, he was the General Manager for Latin America and managed multiple categories across countries while dealing with challenges of competition, currencies and other turbulent factors. Earlier, as Country Manager in Philippines, he led the turnaround of operations through a successful deployment of a new go-to-market strategy.

Between 2000 and 2010, Raj worked in the USA on various category roles including Paper and Family Care. He also had a two year assignment as Associate Director in Procter & Gamble’s global Wal-Mart team, with responsibility for managing the relationship with their biggest customer with sales of over $7 bn.

Raj is an Engineering graduate from Andhra University and completed his MBA from Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow.

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Expert SpeakOpinion

The Power Of Whitespace Discovery

denave-data-analytics

An unchartered territory is concomitant with curiosity, this inquisitiveness is something which resonates with all the new-age enterprises and their functioning as well. Talking in the realms of sales and marketing, this unknown or untapped territory can be aptly related to the database since that is one area which has been a challenge since always in the sales domain. This untapped database holds the ability to significantly impact the sales objectives in a major way. This subject database, more famously known as “Whitespace”, empirically means unidentified gaps or spaces and in relation to the sales terminologies, it essentially reflects those gaps in the prospective customer database that have not been tapped earlier. Discovering the potential customer base utilizing whitespace database is like an entrance to enormous progression wherein the augmentation of the overall RoI ultimately leads to expansion of the sales organization.

It will be an understatement to say that organizations today are opening to this concept of Whitespace Database discovery. As an industry, we have surpassed that stage with businesses accepting the prophecy of Whitespace database in a big way. While constant breakthroughs are in process to polish the concept and methodology of whitespace discovery better, there have been significant progress as well in this direction. With rapid scale development, consolidation of gigantic amount of data which is profiled and tested for usability has become possible. Discarding the conventional methods of gathering data, technological platforms and insights’ analysis have been leveraged to cull out the massive useful and relevant set of information to enhance the market size and reach.

With so much riding on the database, in the present age, without whitespace discovery the sales sphere will be in a vestigial form for its industry partners. To comprehend a scenario wherein traditional database digging mechanisms are used for generating leads, limited information will result in limited scope of expanding thereby creating a state of utter chaos in business environment as every player will be gunning for the same market pie. With all the industry players aiming for the same finite set of customer database, there comes in unnecessary and limited-level competition in the market. Therefore, it becomes critical to dig the database all the more and expand by uncovering the potential consumer base for increasing future sales footprint.

After understanding the importance of Whitespace data discovery and virtually foreseeing a scenario minus whitespace data discovery, it is important to also understand the methodology which goes into putting together this database. Discovering this whitespace database is a niche skill which necessitates a methodological and sequential approach. It commences with data mining and big data consolidation from various prospective sources through an extensive market research, using both online as well as offline mediums. This is followed by the leveraging a technological platform in order to assimilate the large amount of information, removing the irrelevant details and lastly, enriching this final data by removing the noise, i.e. irrelevant/ duplicated set of entries. The penultimate action is to draw logical inference through analytics and defining the prospective output which will have an impact on the overall organizational progression. Such a kind of predictive modeling is given due cognizance to anticipate the future data trends, defining the lead nurturing bucket and ensuring a dynamic decision-making process.

The present-age sales enablement practices makes use of this element of whitespace database discovery to enable its partners to increase their revenue margins. Since big data analytics acts as a backbone for provisioning this whitespace database, there have been large scale evolution which has taken place in the realm of analytics, big data management and even predictive analytics also. When such evolved technology/ methodology is combined with smarter enactment, such analytically deduced data can bring remarkable benefits to an organization by empowering its sales team. It can be called as a foremost tool for making intelligible decisions and discovering prospects to improve and make sales processes more efficient. The best sales teams not only assimilate data, but also act on it by deriving useful inference out of it for achieving long term consumer growth and success.

Post gaining access to the untapped prospective customer database, whitespace discovery enhances sales force productivity, gives greater average sales price and in due course leads to maximized revenue generation. It also expedites deductions from the demographic data, research and current trends whether they are for initial strategy formulation or customer relation management, thereby assisting the sales teams in meeting their targets. Ultimately, the impeccable execution which is enabled by whitespace database discovery provides a solid base to execute management plans; making it vital to drive the future sales enablement model.

By : Geeta Khurana, Global Head, Transformation, Denave

 Geeta Khurana_Denave

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IndustryNewsPeople Movement

Gorilla Glass Maker Corning Appoints Amit Bansal As India MD

Amit Bansal Corning

Corning Incorporated, the makers of Gorilla Glass, that physically protects your smartphone,  has appointed Amit Bansal as its new managing director for its operations in India. Bansal will be based in Gurugram, Haryana and spearhead the US $10-billion company’s growth and operations while contributing to strategic planning for Corning in India.

“Amit has been an integral part of the organization and has contributed to the company’s growth in the country over the past several years,” said Thomas Appelt, president of Corning International Emerging Markets. “India is one of our priority markets and we aim to expand our business and deepen our business engagement in the core sector. Amit brings in immense experience and I am confident that he will drive company’s growth plans for India.”

Bansal will drive synergy across the various commercial organizations to grow Corning’s business in the country. Additionally, he will oversee Corning’s manufacturing operations in the country, business development efforts with the science and technology organization, and pursue new global supply management opportunities. Bansal has also been appointed to the Corning Finolex Board of Directors.

“I am excited to be a part of Corning’s journey in India and witness numerous growth avenues explored by the organization,” Bansal said. “Corning is an iconic global brand and the projected plans for growth in India seem very promising. I am committed to take the company’s vision forward and utilize all of my skills to ensure an accelerated growth trajectory for the company across verticals.”

Bansal brings almost two decades of extensive business experience both internationally and in India. Before joining Corning, Bansal played a key role in leading various commercial, merger, and acquisition initiatives at Axygen, a California-based life science company acquired by Corning in 2009. Additionally, Bansal is a qualified chartered accountant and holds degrees in finance and accounting.

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NewsPeople Movement

Airtel Appoints Badal Bagri As CFO

Airtel Badal Bagri

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday appointed Badal Bagri as Chief Financial Officer for its India & South Asia operations with effect from January 16, 2017.

This will be Badal’s second stint with Airtel. He had previously worked with Airtel from 2010 to 2014 and was the Chief Controller for the Consumer Business as well as the Global Financial Controller. In his last role, Badal was the Chief Financial Officer at Aircel. Prior to this, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Micromax.

In his new role, Badal will lead the Finance teams across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to drive Airtel’s growth strategy. He will report to Nilanjan Roy, Global Chief Financial Officer, Bharti Airtel.

“We are delighted to have Badal back on board with us. I wish him the very best for his new role and look forward to work closely with him. His leadership, deep knowledge and rich experience will significantly contribute towards further strengthening our finance team as we steer ahead in our growth journey,” said Commenting on the appointment, Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Badal has over 22 years of work experience across telecom, FMCG, services and manufacturing having worked with leading conglomerates such as Genpact, GE, Coke and ICI. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Commerce Graduate from Calcutta University.

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NewsPeople Movement

Qualcomm Appoints Larry Paulson As India Head

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Qualcomm today appointed Larry Paulson as its India chief. This position had been vacant since October 2016 when the then India head Sunil Lalvani quit the company to explore other opportunities. Qualcomm India’s VP for Government Affairs Parag Kar was then appointed as its interim chief.

Larry Paulson has joined as vice president and president of Qualcomm India and he ill report directly to Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific and India.

Paulson has more than 20 years of experience in strategy, R&D, customer development, product marketing and technology creation. He joined the Company in 2013 as vice president of product management for Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD), a product of the semiconductor business, QCT. Most recently, Paulson led the QCT Platforms organization and has expanded the Qualcomm Reference Design platform from the low tier to all MSM chipset tiers and into new categories, such as virtual reality. Paulson and his team also established the Qualcomm Global Pass program, which has been launched successfully in Latin America, North America, Europe, India and South East Asia.

Prior to Qualcomm, Paulson was the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at BrightPoint. Before that, he held numerous positions at Nokia during his 20+ year career, including global senior vice president and general manager of Nokia’s worldwide CDMA device business with full P&L responsibility for all product and technology creation. He also oversaw Nokia’s ODM process with partners in China, Taiwan and Korea with responsibility for strategy, R&D, customer development and product marketing. Prior to that, Larry served as senior vice president, North America Business Development and president of Technophone (a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia).

“Larry has a long history in the wireless industry and experience in building cellular phones and running large businesses, all of which will be instrumental in his new role,” Cathey said. “He will provide leadership and drive business growth for Qualcomm in the region, and will oversee the sales and business organization in India with responsibility for all QCT and QTL go-to-market activities.”

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People Movement

BICSI India Appoints Ninad Desai As District Chair

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Industry association BICSI has elevated Ninad Desai as District Chair of BICSI India. Earlier he served the premier ICT association as its secretary.

The organization, in a statement, said Desai will spearhead BICSI India in catalyzing the growth of the ICT industry and strengthening the professional community, while enabling the fulfilment of its future goals and aspirations. Desai will further drive BICSI’s strategic programs and related key initiatives to empower ICT professionals to excel in their field of operation by placing key emphasis on education & training for ICT industry professionals.

“I feel extremely humbled and delighted to be given this opportunity, especially at a time when the industry is on the threshold of an exciting new journey wherein next generation networks and collaborative disruption together have created exciting times for our community and there’s a greater demand to ensure consistency in enterprise & communications network standards and need for stricter adherence to Quality of Service (QoS) requirements,” said Desai.

“We at BICSI India remain committed to offer the highest quality of education and training to ICT professionals and help them build relevant knowledge, skills & experiences to continuously adapt to the current industry requirements.” Being at the helm of BICSI India, I will continue to drive greater engagement with the industry, government and academia to foster the growth & advancement of the ICT community through training, collaboration and information sharing,” he added.

Some of the key priority areas that Desai is expected to look at include :

Focused programmes to strengthen the ICT community in India and empower the industry experts and leaders adopt global standards, industry best practices & methodologies.

Draw up more synergies and create an ICT ecosystem that brings together stakeholders from across the communications industry spectrum.

Foster tie-ups with government, academic institutions, leading associations & industry bodies in developing relevant ICT skill sets by delivering programmes on ICT design & installation and generate more such opportunities. Such partnerships would help enable the industry map existing and future skills requirements and help plug its skills demand-supply gap.

Build industry specific programmes to enhance engagement in developed and emerging markets across the ICT ecosystem and showcase technology adoption, insights & knowledge about the latest industry standards & practices.

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Expert SpeakInterview

Interview With Nitin Bansal, VP & Head, Network Products, Ericsson India

nitin-bansal_ericsson

Q. Why has network optimization become a critical need for telcos now?

Near-ubiquitous coverage and a fast and reliable connection are the most important drivers of smartphone user satisfaction, and therefore must haves for superior networks that stand out from competition. Given that there are substantial number of users who are not very satisfied with their operator’s network, there is substantial potential to generate competitive advantage through enhancement of network performance.

Operators can significantly enhance customer perception on network quality by addressing the top three problems: internet connection issues, app and service crashes, and slow network speeds. Providing an excellent network with great coverage and fast data speeds where apps run smoothly is absolutely essential in order to achieve high customer satisfaction and increased revenues.

Q. How optimizing networks would affect the telcos, from a capex and opex perspective?

The worldwide surge in smartphones and smart mobile devices has placed new and ever-changing demands on mobile networks and systems. To deliver true in-service performance, network design should be viewed by operators as a constantly evolving process. An optimum network design will ensure that typical bottlenecks which limit smartphone performance such as backhaul under-dimensioning and unnecessary inter-technology handovers that push smartphone users to slower networks are kept under control.

Operators can secure optimum network performance and end-user experience by continuously tuning their networks to ensure adequate capacity and coverage to meet customer needs.

It is here that Ericsson’s Network Optimization services help customers get the most out of their network investment, with the focus on network performance and end-user experience.
We are working with numerous operators across the globe on network optimization and have brought our learnings and experience to share with our customers in India. We are supporting leading Indian telcos in optimizing their mobile broadband network by helping them deliver enhanced quality of service, reduce churn and earn additional revenue.

Q. How Ericsson is helping out its customers in resolving issues around network optimization? What are the new solutions it has developed and how future-ready they are?

Ericsson’s network optimization solutions not only help improve network performance but also measure and analyze end-user experience to maximize asset utilization. Ericsson offers an end-to-end network optimization solution consisting of people, tools and processes that covers all elements of a mobile operator’s network. Our offering includes an E2E delivery platform, automation and offshoring, industrialized best practices and consultative scoping.

We offer optimization of the performance of existing or new services, for example, voice, data throughput, mobile TV, TV broadcast in the existing network (Via the Access, Core, Transport and Service Layers), and the optimization of the performance of the existing infrastructure resources (such as Base Stations, RNC s. Enode B etc.) in a multi-technology and multi-vendor (Circuit Switched, Packet Switched, wireline, wireless) network infrastructure. In addition to that, we also help in the introduction of Global competence levels and best practice processes to the operators’ network to maintain optimal technical and service performance levels.

Q. Is optimization of network different from voice to data? How?

The new reality that the networks need to cater for is not just data, but the apps that consumers’ use. To that effect Ericsson’s App Experience Optimization is a new service offering which brings the users’ app experience into focus in the process of improving network performance.

In addition to the conventional network-related KPIs, App Experience Optimization establishes service KPIs which are tailored to the apps and services used in the local market. These metrics are generally linked to four key criteria: availability, accessibility, integrity, and retainability. Armed with information correlating network KPIs with local service KPI objectives, performance opportunities in the network are identified. Ericsson’s network design and optimization experts can then optimize to meet specific local objectives and specify future investments which will matter most to the end-users.

Q. As 4G/LTE gaining traction here, telcos will shift to an all-IP network. How it is going to affect the voice as well as data traffic, consequently, the customers?

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) allows an operator to offer both voice and data to customers without switching between bands, with voice being just another application that rides on an LTE data network. Telecom companies are currently adopting VoLTE either for high spectral efficiency, which means more voice users can be provided service with the same amount of spectrum, or for enhanced service offerings such as high definition voice.

Q. Besides lack of ample spectrum, what are the other factors in Indian telecom industry that demands prompt optimization of its networks?

Mobile broadband users rely on a good connection to the internet, and this dependency is becoming even more critical now with the rapid uptake of smartphones, where connection to the cloud and access to apps are demanded anytime and anywhere. Users are also becoming increasingly sophisticated, with stronger opinions on what – in their own view – are the causes of their user experience issues, prompting operators to place a greater focus on improving factors that affect user experience.

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