HCL Infosystems will market and provide a distribution network for products under Hamilton Beach brand for five years.
Bangalore-based Sonata Software has acquired a controlling stake in California-based Rezopia for an undisclosed sum.This will help the company build Intellectual Property (IP) and get access to clients globally.
Analysts say no performance pressure on Sikka for at least two quarters
Even as big hopes have been pinned on Infosys’ new Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka, experts believe that the Street is in a patient wait-and-watch mood and there won’t be a pressure for performance on the first non-founding leader of the Bangalore-based company for at least a couple of quarters.
While investors have been waiting for a sharp turnaround in Infosys’ performance for several quarters now, analysts are of the view that it is widely accepted that Sikka would need a few quarters before being able to show any results in the company’s bottomline.
Reflecting this sentiment, shares of Infosys have outperformed the information technology sector index onBSE since the company announced the appointment of Sikka as its next CEO. While the S&P BSE IT index rose 5.6% during the period, shares of Infosys have risen 10.1%.
“We cannot judge Sikka based on one quarter performance; that would not be right. We need to give him at least two to three quarters to show some substantial results. Until then, we need to sit tight and wait,” said Manish Bahl, vice president at independent technology and market research company Forrester Research.
“There is no doubt that Infosys needs to get back on a high growth trajectory soon, but nobody is expecting Sikka to do that over night. There is a broad understanding among the investor community that Sikka’s efforts will take time to reap benefits, and thus everyone is patient,” said an analyst with a leading foreign brokerage house on condition of anonymity.
“Even if Infosys’ performance in the next two quarters is not very impressive, I don’t think investors will get flustered about the company’s prospects or doubt Sikka’s capabilities,” he added.
Sikka, who comes from a non-IT services background, has already made a few early moves at Infosys, which analysts believe are in the right direction.
Among other things, Sikka announced 5,000 promotions within the first week of his joining Infosys at the beginning of this month. Experts believe the move is likely to boost employees’ moral and also help in taming the all-time-high attrition level, which is one of the primary concerns for Infosys currently. For the quarter ended June 30, 2014, Infosys’ attrition rate was at 19.5 per cent, the highest ever at the company.
Additionally, according to an update by Sikka on micro-blogging website Twitter, he spent time with several of Infosys’ senior leaders in the US during an off-site over the previous few weeks. Experts are of the opinion that the activity will help the existing top-leaders of Infosys to understand and adapt to Sikka’s strategy more smoothly.
Analysts have time and again said that a smooth acceptance of Sikka by the existing senior leaders at Infosys is of prime importance, as this is the first time that the company has brought on board a CEO from outside. While it was widely anticipated that Infosys might see more senior-level exits after Sikka’s coming on board, none of that seems to have happened so far.
“In the short term, Sikka will need to build internal confidence. Getting a buy in from senior management, addressing investors, areas of improvement, becoming more hand on to the business are key focus areas that he will need to look at,” said Sanchit Gogia, chief analyst and CEO of Greyhound Research, an independent IT and telecom research and advisory firm.
“In the mid-term, Sikka will need to further partnerships and alliances particularly in emerging tech and markets. Attrition is one aspect that requires monitoring, setting of mid managers; investing in people is going to critical in midterm. Sikka will personally add immense wealth to alliances with product firms and to the hived off software firm.”
Source: The Business Standard
In September last year, the ministry of railways quietly announced an application for users of its e-ticket portal Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), but made it available only for Windows phone and Windows 8 device users, who account for less than 10 per cent in the Indian market.
The app, which is available free-of-cost on then Windows store, has been rated four stars by 2,199 users since September 2013, when it was launched. However, most users of the Windows operating system who have tried to use the app have been disappointed so far.
“The app requires you to generate a TPIN before logging in. It took me multiple tries and over 30 minutes before I gave up the attempt,” said city-based school teacher Prerna Maggu.
“I managed to generate the TPIN, but when I tried to book a ticket, the site was down for maintenance,” said Bangalore-based IT professional Mayur Naidu.
Reviews like these abound on the Windows Store. Problems range from not being able to book or cancel tickets, to slow connection issues and the app not syncing with the online application.
The app can be used to “plan a trip, make railway reservations, check the PNR status and perform all the tasks already available on the IRCTC website,” the press note from the railways ministry had said last year.
Last week, the ministry had announced a Train Enquiry Mobile App on the Windows platform, which will be followed by an Android version soon.
In the second quarter last year, the Android operating system accounted for 91 per cent of the Indian market, according to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) data. Only 5.4 per cent of Indian users preferred Windows OS. According to CyberMedia Research, Windows platform accounted for 3 per cent and 1.5 per cent of the India smartphone market in the first and second quarter, respectively, this year.
“It is a very misplaced strategy for India. IRCTC has not done its due diligence,” said Greyhound Research CEO Sanchit Vir Gogia. “An app that serves a large section of the public should not be limited to one vendor,” he added.
Similar to IRCTC, Jet Airways had also launched an app exclusively for Windows in May last year. It later followed it up with apps for Android and Apple’s iOS to cater to a wider user base. The IRCTC has not announced plans to develop its app on any other OS so far.
Several attempts to reach IRCTC officials did not elicit a response. “Microsoft helps entities such as IRCTC develop an app, but once it is up and running, it is the responsibility of the publisher to maintain it and ensure smooth functioning,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Source: The Economic Times
What is the event all about?
Cloud is changing the way work is done, and how IT and business services are utilized.
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August 21, 2014, Gurgaon (India)
Taking advantage of huge discounts available on online retail portals
Products, especially those that are not available in these cities, are a major draw. The businessmen buy these products from various e-commerce sites and sell it to consumers through physical shops.
“Whether it is a carton of shampoo or facial cream, these customers are ordering in bulk to set up their shops. So we are creating a market place for those vendors for products that are not available in those cities or towns and also with better offers (discounts),” Sanjay Sethi, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, ShopClues, told BusinessLine.
Another advantage is that they do not have to travel to wholesale markets like Chandni Chowk or Nehru Place in Delhi to buy the required products as they are available at the click of a button. “We have more than 70,000 merchants listing for their products on our site and by end of this year we will probably reach around 1.50 lakh merchants. We are selling more than one million products (excluding books) and we will do around 1.50 million products by the year-end,” Sethi said.
Similarly, HomeShop18 said that the emerging cities in India are on a high growth trajectory and the future demand drivers for virtual retail in India.
With increasing adoption of TV and Internet, the small towns and cities are collectively consuming more than the metros when it comes to virtual shopping, the company said.
“These are exciting times and we are seeing the industry evolve rapidly. Most of our audiences live in tier-II and tier-III cities. HomeShop18 has seen a boom in demand for a wide range of brands that might be unavailable in these cities due to a lack of physical retail presence,” Sundeep Malhotra, Founder and CEO, HomeShop18, said.
To cater to this demand, traders and merchants in small towns place bulk orders for products across categories, he said, adding that some of the most popular categories in terms of bulk purchase are mobiles and tablets, apparel, and home and kitchen.
HomeShop18 is seeing demand from small towns in Guwahati, Jammu, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Surat, Nagpur, Darbanga, Agartala and Chandrapur.
“Customers from tier-II and -III cities form 40-45 per cent of our total customer base,” Malhotra added.
According to analysts, this is a trend that has a lot of potential and e-commerce companies should milk the opportunity.
“Everything is available on their (e-commerce) portals for the same price in any given location in India. The advantage in buying products in bulk for shops in smaller towns and cities is quick delivery and availability of the product for tier-2 and -3 cities,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research, said.
However, he also said that it is a given fact that a major chunk of targeted customer base for e-commerce industry is still not equipped to purchase online.
According to a recent joint study done by Assocham and PWC, the Indian e-commerce industry is expected to spend an additional $500-1000 million on infrastructure, logistics and warehousing, leading to a cumulative spend of $950-1900 million till 2017-20.
The e-commerce is expected to reach anywhere $10-20 billion by 2017-20.
Source: The Hindu Business Line