TiE Bangalore Product Showcase: meet 6 promising e-commerce startups

IndiaThe monthly TiE Bangalore Product Showcase held this week featured six startups in e-commerce and m-commerce. The monthly events are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to demonstrate and validate products to fellow startups and prospective investors – and face tough queries from an expert jury. See also my earlier coverage of the TiE Bangalore Mobile Product Showcase, IoT SIG, Eduthon,Business Hackathon, Retail Huddle, SMAC Day and South Asia Youth Entrepreneur Summit.


Amazon India sets up call centres for merchants

IndiaMUMBAI: Amazon India has set up a call centre with a difference. While most e-commerce companies have call centres to connect with customers, the Indian arm of the United States-based e-tailer has come up with one to deal exclusively with merchants, as increasing the number of sellers in a marketplace becomes the next battlefront in online retail business.  For Amazon, too, this is the first call centre of its kind anywhere in the world. The company has had to adopt the marketplace model to find its way around India’s regulations governing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.


Facebook vs YouTube: India is the new battlefield

IndiaBENGALURU: Social networking giant Facebook is making an aggressive bid to lure video creators, actors and top artists in India, striking exclusive deals to have first dibs at video content. The company, which is trying to edge out other services as the go-to destination for videos, has already taken the battle to YouTube in other key markets like the US, and India is its new battlefront. The social network has been offering free advertising credits to content creators in exchange for exclusivity, sources said. It asks for 48-72 hour exclusivity before it is uploaded on other platforms like YouTube.


Ex-Wipro executive Satishchandra Doreswamy joins TCS

IndiaBENGALURU: Wipro’s former chief business operations officer Satishchandra Doreswamy, who resigned from the company last month following a massive organizational reshuffle at India’s third largest software exporter that led to the appointment of a chief operating officer, has rejoined his former company Tata Consultancy Services, two people directly familiar with the development said. Doreswamy’s new role and portfolio at TCS is still in the process of being finalized and is expected to be known over the next few weeks, the people mentioned above said.


Snapdeal adds MartMobi to arsenal as India’s mobile commerce battle intensifies

IndiaEcommerce giant Snapdeal today announced that it has acquired Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup MartMobi for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, Snapdeal hopes to strengthen its position in the mobile commerce space. This move would help the company boost its mcommerce capabilities, especially for its merchant partners.


India’s Bachchan family invests $250k in Singapore startup Ziddu

SingaporeFounder Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli said, “Mr Amitabh Bachchan and his family have invested in Ziddu.com at a valuation of around $71 million.” Amitabh Bachchan has made prior business investments before, having acquired a 10 per cent stake in Just Dial in 2013 and maintaining a 3.4 percent equity stake in Stampede Capital, a financial technology firm specializing in cloud computing for financial markets.


Government to discuss national optical fibre network project with states, from IN

IndiaNEW DELHI: The Centre will discuss with the states on May 29 the national optical fibre network project as it seeks their greater participation in the ambitious plan that aims to provide broadband connectivity to all panchayats. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has called “a meeting of IT ministers and secretaries of all the states on May 29 to discuss the national optical fibre network (NOFN) project”, a source in the Department of Telecom said. Prasad had earlier said that the government expects more participation of the states in the project as it was important in the success of Digital India initiative.


India Mobile Middleware Market to Grow at a CAGR of 12% Through 2020 Says TechSci Research

IndiaAccording to recently released TechSci Research report, “India Mobile Middleware Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020”, mobile middleware market in India is projected to register a CAGR of over 12% during 2015-20. The country’s mobile middleware market is expected to witness tremendous growth on account of increasing use of mobile applications in enterprises, rising demand for data integration across mobile applications, growing demand for cloud computing based applications, need for universal data accessibility, rapid emergence of Internet Of Things (IOT) mobile applications, etc.


India software market grew 8% in 2014: Gartner

IndiaNEW DELHI: India software revenue totaled $4 billion in 2014, an 8.3% increase from 2013 revenue of $3.7 billion, according to IT research firm Gartner.  According to the report, Microsoft maintained the No. 1 position in software revenue in India, accounting for 25% of overall sales in 2014. The top three vendors in the market (Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM), represented 50% of total software sales in India.  Among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the India software market experienced the highest growth rate of 8.3%.


‘Airtel Zero, Internet.org against net neutrality’

IndiaNEW DELHI: Airtel’s Zero Rating platform and the Facebook-Reliance Communications combine’s internet.org plan have been found to be against the spirit of net neutrality by a preliminary inquiry conducted by the telecom ministry. The findings assume significance as they come at a time when a high-level committee of the ministry is finalizing a regulatory set-up for various issues related to net neutrality. Also, the committee will define how telecom operators are to deal with numerous internet websites, or over-the-top (OTT) players, who ride on their network.


IBM planning to set up second data centre in India

IndiaPANAJI: Technology giant IBM is planning to set up its second data centre in India to cater to the demand from various sectors including financial services and government. The US-based firm already has a data centre in Mumbai. “We are looking at setting up another public cloud data centre. As you know, sectors like government and financial services prefer their data residing within the country,” IBM India managing director Vanitha Narayanan told PTI.


49% Indian women see no reason to use internet: Survey

IndiaNEW DELHI: Only one-third of the total Indian population with access to the internet are women, says a survey conducted by Google. The survey revealed that 49% of women do not see any reason to access the internet. “While there is low awareness about the benefits of internet amongst women in India, there are many who want to get online to succeed in life,” said Sandeep Menon, country head marketing for Google India.


Alibaba is our biggest inspiration: Snapdeal CEO

IndiaMUMBAI: Indian e-commerce firms are offering funding help and tech support to woo small retailers, emulating a strategy used by Chinese online retail giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to expand into the towns and villages home to the majority of consumers.  India’s biggest e-tailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and the local arm of Amazon.com Inc are online marketplaces, with commission from sellers accounting for the bulk of their revenue.


Modi gains 12 million Facebook followers in first year as PM

IndiaKOLKATA: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gained as many as 12 million followers on Facebook in his first year in office, according to data released by the world’s biggest social networking website. With a total of 28 million followers on Facebook, Modi maintains his position as the second most-followed world leader, behind US president Barack Obama, who has 43 million followers. Modi is way ahead of third-placed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, who has 7 million followers. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian president, has 4.5 million and Mexican President Pena Nieto has 4.2 million followers.


SBI ties up with Amazon India

IndiaNEW DELHI: The State Bank of India (SBI) and Amazon.in have signed a pact to identify areas of cooperation to build a digital India which meets the aspirations of the next generation of customers and small businesses. SBI and Amazon.in will develop trusted and frictionless payments and commerce solutions for customers and small businesses, capitalizing on the exponential growth in internet penetration to drive the adoption of e-commerce and m-commerce in India, a statement said.


Facebook’s Zuckerberg wants India Inc to ‘like’ Internet.org

IndiaNEW DELHI: Facebook’s billionaire co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is pulling all stops to swing opinion in India in favour of Internet.org, even as he explores alternatives to subsidize access to certain internet services including Facebook. Zuckerberg in recent weeks initiated dialogues with key people in India’s startup and technology world to convince them of the virtue of Internet.org, a partnership stitched by the social networking giant that allows certain services including Facebook to be provided free of data charge to users.


How Indian telcos monitor brand image on social media

IndiaKOLKATA: Mobile carriers have silently turned to cool web-crawling technologies and analytics to instantly latch on to any negative customer buzz regarding their services and brand reputation across social media circles, and take corrective action. India’s No. 3 mobile carrier, Idea Cellular, said it uses analytics and web-crawling tools, to monitor and listen to customers on a 24×7 basis and provide quick resolution to their service needs.


Number of mobile app companies doubled to 444 in 2014 from 240 in 2013

IndiaBENGALURU: Rahul Chandra is managing director of Helion Ventures, the venture capital firm that’s perhaps the most bullish on mobile-first companies in India today — a partner once commented that he would not consider any startup that did not have a mobile app. However, Chandra himself has only 18 apps on his phone. “It is prime real estate,” the investor who has backed companies such as Make-MyTrip, TaxiForSure and Ezetap said about the space on this phone. “The people who have been incentivised with discounts may install something, but keep it for as little as a few hours.”


Modi is a social media wizard, says US study

IndiaWASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is turning out to be a savvy social media superstar whose online postings, banal on the face of it, are reshaping his public image as a technology-capable leader aligned with the aspirations of a new Indian modernity, a US study has said. In a paper titled “Banalities Turned Viral: Narendra Modi and the Political Tweet,” University of Michigan scholar Joyojeet Pal says Modi – whose social media following is next only to Barack Obama’s (but a distant second) among world politicians – has used a pro-technological discourse to reframe his political image and overcome the fusty baggage of the sangh parivar.


India Mobile Middleware Market to Grow at a CAGR of 12% Through 2020 Says TechSci Research

IndiaAccording to recently released TechSci Research report, “India Mobile Middleware Market Forecast& Opportunities, 2020″, mobile middleware market inIndia is projected to register a CAGR of over 12% during 2015-20. The country’s mobile middleware market is expected to witness tremendous growth on account of increasing use of mobile applications in enterprises, rising demand for data integration across mobile applications, growing demand for cloud computing based applications, need for universal data accessibility, rapid emergence of Internet Of Things (IOT) mobile applications, etc. Being a major developing economy in Asia-Pacific, India is emerging as a leading mobile middleware market.