If AAP pegs its assembly election campaign on the issues raised by Udta Punjab, it would only be the
Facebook could do with some real competition but does not really have any. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in his return as CEO is making changes but they seem more like tweaks so far
India has an estimated 160 million cable and satellite TV subscribers, expected to reach 174 million by 2020. The top 10% of that would mean a neat 15 million high-end market for Apple TV.
When personal fame is used to manufacture brand reputation, it is a two-way street and there are cases that show that both the celebrity and the brand can suffer if the other fails .
Good startups are ready to change their business models, downsize where necessary and sell out or shut shop when the going is bad. “Failing fast” is now hip, and that is not bad at all
Android clones have decidedly taken off after iPhone ushered in a smartphone revolution. Facebook is a gainer from both as it is a social platform agnostic to software platforms.
It would be naïve to think the pundits in New Delhi were not aware of how the mandarins in Beijing would react. Clearly, there is a mess in the blow-hot-blow-cold visa diplomacy
Juggernaut plans books from Rs 49 and daily subscriptions at Rs 15 in a smartphone-centric universe where people will read more on small screens.
Overreaction has been a common feature in market and social media. We live in times where some important people, such as the RBI governor, should practise ambiguity
Cashless convenience is now a mass product. By conveniently connecting bank accounts with Aadhar, UPI puts Modi’s JAM (Jan-Aadhar-Mobile) scheme on steroids.
It is a good idea for India’s software barons to make the right noises to be seen as truly global – even as India remains a competitive base for both quality and cost-effective information technology
By putting up obstacles to creative disruption, the government makes startups to be some kind of pets, even as domestic giants get protection.
Within the venture-funding community, there is shadow boxing over what these companies are really worth. In this business, talking down a rival is one way of talking down a valuation.
Twitter is hit by abusers, trolls, gatecrashers and wannabes. It needs new tricks but remains humanity’s best-known single platform for politics and public affairs. It could do with cool new features -- and some way to keep out hate-mongers
Companies like Juniper help giants like Facebook and Google manage heavy duty data centres
A deft blend of simplicity and glamour in a spiritual package is favoured by an emerging social elite which has its influence in television channels and corporate circles
When a political leader of sorts is born in a students’ movement at a premier university in the national capital of the world’s largest democracy, we should not be surprised
From Rashtriya Bermudas to Taxcharitmanas, here’s what a patriotic budget speech by finance minister Arun Jaitley would be like.
It pays to acknowledge the darker side of the startup game.
What do you think of a feature-rich smartphone available for only Rs 251 championed by a previously unheard of commodities trader from small-town Uttar Pradesh?
There was a fire at the venue of the Make In India Week in Mumbai, and some news reports wondered if it was an inauspicious signal.
The competition is uneven but the opportunity is for Twitter to lose.
Mark Zuckerberg is like a head of state. Facebook, the company he founded and heads has 1.6 billion users across the planet. If it was a nation, it would be more populous than China.
The lessons from Yahoo, BlackBerry and Nokia companies is clear: A brand cannot survive in a position of leadership unless it changes the product underneath.
When discussing the rural-urban divide in India, scholars say there is a huge contrast between Bharat that lives in the villages and the India that lives in cities writes Narayanan Madhavan
Mark Zuckerberg got richer by nearly $5 billion (or R 34,000 crore) overnight. Facebook’s shares surged 15.5% last Thursday, overtaking Amazon in market valuation. At $308.6 billion, Facebook was ahead of Amazon’s $296 billion. Apple is worth $519 billion and Google’s parent Alphabet Inc $500 billion.
Here is a set of rules that might help. Some are being followed already, some not at all, and some vaguely.
The increased bundling of apps like Netflix as part of smart TVs would make it even more attractive from the content side for people to go for them.
All but one of the six governors that the Reserve Bank of India has had since economic reforms began in 1991 have PhDs, with a strong focus on economics. But Raghuram Rajan, the incumbent, pursued an MBA before his thesis on banking.
For India, where money-laundering, corruption and shell companies are part of the folklore, it is important that startups are defined properly.
Technology is pushing itself in manners where the smartphone boom may be past its prime. Crazy gizmos are the ones that will shape the market in the coming years.
As a late entrant, Jio, parented by Reliance Industries Ltd, is at a disadvantage, but every sensible watcher of RIL knows to expect something else.
Looking back at 2015, I should think the high points for me this year were meeting with the young entrepreneurs who are shaking up the way business is done in India. So I may like to call this the Year of the Unicorn. But don’t drink your New Year’s toast to that yet. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip as these companies are yet to go pub
FreeBasics is to Facebook what Android is to Google. Both of them want advertising dollars buzzing in from smartphones. Google is betting on search. Facebook is betting on data analytics linked to user information.
The good news: India’s cabinet has cleared a much-delayed real estate regulation Bill that is expected to help consumers move towards an accountable, transparent and fair deals in a sector notorious for delays, shortchanging, overpricing and worse.
Despite searching questions being raised on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to give away 99% of his $45 billion wealth to charity, there is ground to celebrate the culture of giving that it boosts.
As floods ravaged Chennai last week, throwing the city of 4.9 million into turmoil, communications were among the worst hit.
If India wants its abilities to dovetail with the needs of the market, it will have to mould itself in line with the dynamic present, not the static past.
I have never heard British pop singer Adele, but am happy to celebrate her newest achievement as a major milestone in the music revolution on the Internet.
Government servants are facing increasing public scrutiny – through everything from public interest litigation (PIL) and right to information (RTI) to supervision by parliamentary panels and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (not to speak of rabid TV news channels).
Two faces of technology came to the surface on Saturday after Friday night’s bloody terrorist attacks in the French capital.
Nitish Kumar’s Twitter handle was being handled by the AAP team guided by Prashant Kishor, who was a key brain behind Modi’s campaign in 2014 before jumping ship.
When US-based, Nasdaq-listed Virtusa Corp said last week that it would acquire a controlling 53% stake in Chennai-based Polaris Consulting & Services in a deal valued at around $350 million.
The Reserve Bank of India recently allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to subscribe to the National Pension Scheme (NPS) governed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg charmed India last week, seeming to do and say all the right things.
As leaders from as many as 54 African countries descend on New Delhi this week for the India-Africa Forum Summit, it is time to recall an old Hindi film song that lingers on Indian minds: “Woh tere pyar ka gham/Ik bahana tha sanam”.
Last week Yahoo, the original Internet portal, announced a search advertising deal with Google’s new parent, Alphabet Inc, building on an existing search partnership with Microsoft. It reported a fourth quarter revenue well below analyst estimates, raising questions on the performance of Marissa Mayer, who was poached from Google as a savior. The previous CEO, Carol Bartz, was unceremoniously fired by a phone call in 2011.
The US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has accused Australian Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the controversial anti-secrecy venture, of “malicious crime” in the leak of hacked emails of its director John Brennan.
India has emerged as the fastest growing startup hub worldwide, and is among the top five in the world with 4,200 startups estimated by end of 2015, up 40% over the previous year. As many as 80,000 jobs have been created in startups. As much as 72% of the founders are less than 35 years of age writes N Madhavan
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court ruled that it cannot allow taxis to operate in the national capital if they did not run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
The only way the company can stand out in a tough atmosphere is innovation.
Was it not Mark Twain, who famously quipped: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”? I am reminded of that every time some pessimism surfaces on India’s information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry, which now employs close to 3.5 million people, and is India’s largest private sector employer.
In 1993 India passed a law that wanted demolition of all dry toilets. The law also banned manual scavenging. However, nearly 800,000 toilets in India were still cleaned manually, according to the 2011 census.We can now offer a 21st Century answer: robots.
Time was when employees with years of experience founded startups and got rich selling stakes in IPOs or buyouts.
The Indian government last week hastily withdrew the draft of a proposed encryption law that would have made citizens keep records of their encrypted messages for 90 days. But there is every indication that the quick response to privacy-loving activists on the Internet may just be a temporary reprieve .
Last week marked the completion of a year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his ambitious “Make in India” initiative to boost manufacturing in India -- and by most accounts, its success so far is at best mixed.
It is not easy figuring out where pervasive internet is taking the world — even for those drowning in it. We live in such times.
For the hundreds of startups mushrooming in India, there is a valuable lesson: Enjoy the ride, but do keep an eye on the scoreboard. They do start counting at some point.
It was nice to see Sundar Pichai being named as the CEO of Google, the core unit of the reformed Alphabet Inc powered by tons of cash from the search engine.
India-born Sundar Pichai has been named CEO of Google as part of a surprise corporate overhaul that saw the search giant forming a new parent company called Alphabet Inc.
Delhi-based company has found a Notesgen.com on its own within months. This is not just an OLX or Quikr for discarded notes but a whole new way to perceive how students learn and grow.
Now, in the age of the internet and e-commerce, having too many apps on your handtop is the equivalent of going through a long, cramped main street rather than a shopping mall.
The controversial taxi service, Uber, has been in the news for safety-related issues, but there is no doubt that it has revolutionised the business by bringing in "ride sharing" - the business of linking unused taxi capacity with passengers through a mobile app that becomes an online marketplace.
Putting two and two together, I can only say that the potential for growth is immense, but the app economy will likely grow in fits and starts. This is because unlike the IT services industry that saw the rise of giants such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro, apps are increasingly developed by smaller “boutiques”
Time and again I recall the garment industry to get a better perspective on India’s IT industry because there are tectonic shifts in the industry that makes some pessimists look askance at the future of the industry.
The big question is whether India's media or govt should accuse the US of "visa terrorism".
In this Era of Smartphone Confusion, with multiple brands, impressive features, competitive price-tags and innovative branding, what to keep in mind, N Madhavan explains through three simple laws.
Satya Nadella seems set for his next big purchase -- and Microsoft has about $95 billion in cash. That is about Rs 600,000 crore! Reports came at the weekend that the software giant pulled back from acquiring Salesforce.com, arguably the biggest small-business software company located in the cloud (or the internet).
Events over the past week show how Big Brother may watch you more and more as you shop online in India. And whether that is a good thing or not depends on you.
IT SHOULD not surprise long-time watchers that India’s software service companies are facing multiple challenges. No honeymoon lasts forever.
I sat at my computer on Saturday and felt my chair shaking. Within a minute, I was logged on to Twitter and sharing my experience, like dozens of others across India. Over the next few minutes, I had checked and shared a link from the Indian Met Department that tracks seismic events (it still had no information yet). Many others chipped in. Over the next few minutes, we got news of the epicentre being in Nepal.
You could call it luck or a coincidence. Either way, the BJP-led NDA seems to have strange encounters with monsoon rains and oil prices — with the former giving it a tough time and the latter showering some blessings. Oil prices and the pattern of rainfalls over the past two decades suggest that Congress-led UPA seems to have enjoyed an opposite mix.
While India saw heated protests and a debate last week over Net Neutrality -- the call to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for strictly separating content (apps) and carriage (data plans), the European Union’s Competition Commissioner took a step forward in another side of the business by charging Google with defying what is called “search neutrality”.
A furore has erupted over the Airtel Zero plan from Bharti Airtel – which aims to take the Internet to the masses by making it affordable.
Last week, IBM announced it would invest as much as $3 billion (Rs. 18,000 crore) over the next four years to set up a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit. Please remember that the giant is no longer a product company, although it makes some, and is essentially a consulting and services company that is market leader in the IT services industry.
The spectrum scandal that shook Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s UPA government may be over, but the successful end of auctions to sell airwaves may have just triggered a fresh round of acrimony involving the telecom sector.
After a painful scandal that paralysed India's parliament for years, involved the Supreme Court and catapaulted a new prime minister into power, the spectrum saga reached a Bollywood-style happy ending last week when the NDA government announced it would net Rs 110,000 crore from the auction of airwaves.
He is the world’s newest media baron — and in a way among its biggest. He doesn’t think he is one. But Dick Costolo’s words and actions seem to suggest otherwise.
There is a fresh round of reinvention ahead for Wipro, India’s third largest software exporter – and fourth largest if you count US-based Cognizant that is practically Indian.
E-commerce companies in league with mobile-money or online coupon companies are effectively “printing” some kind of new-age cash — because anything of value between two parties or entities can be made to look like cash.
The year 2016 may belong to e-money, with many of these fancy discount and recharge companies taking your cash and playing it with the way banks do. E-commerce players will become something like "fast-moving technology trick" companies to generate high volumes using consumer research and software.
When is work? When is play? A week after the Union budget I was wondering when my home laptop developed a significant problem that set me back by a decent amount.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget for 2015-16 has allocated Rs 1,000 crore to help information technology startups. I am sceptical about the government as an investor in private companies, particularly in cutting-edge technology.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s speech can go only so far in guessing factors that might stem from the realms of politics, sociology, ecology and technology.
Last week came the news that WhatsApp, the popular group messaging service acquired by Facebook, is testing a voice-calling feature for Android users and is set to widen its scope to others.
Apparently a drone was flying over 1,600 delegates at the annual India Leadership Forum of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) last week.
I think back on the heady days of 1998 and 1999, when India’s internet penetration was very low and yet there were mushrooming companies aiming to go public or get acquired like their counterparts journeying from the Silicon Valley to Wall Street.
When Xiaomi, called the Apple of China, launches its Redmi 4G phone in India at a price of Rs 9,999, you have to pause and take note.
When Xiaomi, called the Apple of China, launches its Redmi 4G phone in India at a price of R 9,999, you have to pause and take note.
Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka may end the IT giants' famously risk-aversive trait with his bold gambit. Even if it is a gamble, it is a worthy one, writes N Madhavan.
The labour churn at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) signifies a new phase in the evolution of India's IT industry - and something that is of profund significance if India is not to mess up its showpiece sector, writes N Madhavan.
All indications are that the India Story is ready to regain momentum and the GDP growth rate may head towards doubling itself from the dismal 4.7% in 2013/14 over the next few years. But will there be a Black Swan that comes in the way of the elusive Golden Sparrow?
I met Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella within a few weeks in India – which is symbolic of the nation’s importance for these gentlemen as India is poised for a boom in smartphones.
Hollywood, the glamorous film industry of the world’s biggest votary of free speech, the US, has withheld the release of 'The Interview' after threats linked to North Korean hackers upset over the comedy built around the assassination of its leader, Kim Jong-un.
It is clear that India needs to be proactive about a new online global culture and evolve a new legal framework that guards free speech while ensuring security and responsibility, writes N Madhavan.
Can Uber take ownership for the safety of its passengers? Be it financial or physical safety, how far can -- or should -- Uber go? There are no easy answers, writes N Madhavan.
Social media and user generated content are a complex subject. Since the content in question can be used/abused in many ways (think cut-and-paste theft, tagging, cyberstalking, intrusive advertising research), paranoia will be a frequently occurring thing.
India’s IT sector faces new challenges. It is clear that quality skills are not easily available any more in India. It is time for Indian IT players to think Sri Lanka —and possibly, the beautiful eastern port city of Trincomalee, writes N Madhavan.
I saw on Sunday 'Rang Rasiya' and that somehow that brought back memories of last week, when I was visiting software product firm Zoho in Chennai. Zoho is unlike any IT company I have seen in the past two decades or so, writes N Madhavan.
In a global economy where technological change is constant, re-skilling is critical. E-tutoring may be of help, but there is also a need for tax breaks to help individuals to evolve with the times.