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Concur-AirAsia partnership to help businesses reduce cost of travel

Singapore: In a significant development, Concur - an SAP company and one of the world’s leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions - has announced a collaboration with AirAsia Group that will help Concur Travel customers access regular and exclusive corporate content from AirAsia. The latter content is available only to customers who have a direct agreement with AirAsia. This is expected to help businesses reduce their corporate travel spend amidst the present challenging economic environment, where many businesses are closely monitoring and looking at better managing their travel costs.


With Asia being the largest market and epicenter for business travel in world, according to a McKinsey report commissioned by Singapore Tourism Board, low cost carriers (LCCs) have also gained popularity and market share of business travel in the region. In Asia, LCCs comprised 29 percent of all business travel expenditure on flights, making this the most penetrated region in the world. As a benchmark, penetration in North America is only at 16 percent. Growth has been the fastest in Asia as well–business travel expenditure on LCCs has grown 11 percent annually over the past three years, nearly double the rate of growth in North America (6 percent).


Nick Evered, Concur’s senior vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific, said, “Our collaboration with AirAsia Group, by far the largest LCC grouping in Asia, will provide our customers with a great cost saving window on their travel budgets. Concur's easy-to-use business travel and expense management software solution helps businesses save time, money and gain control. This is a timely collaboration as both Concur and AirAsia identify the needs of the digital customer today, and we’re excited to be able to extend more savings for our customers through this collaboration with AirAsia.”


Barry Klipp, group head of corporate sales, AirAsia said, "We are delighted to collaborate with Concur, who will play a key role in our corporate sales strategy. Through Concur Travel, we will offer both our regular content, as well as, our exclusive corporate content to those who have a direct corporate agreement with AirAsia.  As companies continue to manage their travel budgets in the challenging economic times, we look forward to supporting Concur's customers in budgeting their employee travel costs.”


AirAsia Group’s wide network, covering 120 destinations across 26 countries and 9 airlines, enables businesses to reach their customers anywhere and hence, opens up new markets and opportunities.


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OPPO Launches Entry level A57 with 16MP Front Camera in India

In a move that will see competition heating up in the entry-level smartphone segment, OPPO announced the A57 today in Bangalore, a new device that gives users a flagship-level 16 MP front camera, a lightning-fast solid-state fingerprint reader, a long-lasting battery, and OPPO’s meticulous design, all for the incredible price of Rs. 14,990.


“When we saw the demand for the great 16 MP selfie camera on the F1s, we set out to bring that experience to an even wider range of users,” said Sky Li, OPPO VP and Managing Director of International Mobile Business. “The A57 brings consumers premium photography and advanced features, like the industry-leading fingerprint reader, that goes well beyond the conventional boundaries for this price segment.”


The A57 sports a standout 16 MP front camera, a feature of OPPO’s hugely popular F1 Plus and F1s devices. The camera has acclaimed high praises for its ability to capture vividly detailed shots that expresses users at their best. With an f/2.0 aperture, Beautify 4.0 and OPPO’s Screen Flash feature, users will be sure to get bright, ready-to-share shots even in low-light conditions.                    


OPPO’s Beautify 4.0 technology has been fine-tuned through the study of hundreds of user cases, offering seven beautify levels, and ensuring users will get shots with clear skin, vivid eyes and striking features. The OPPO A57 has also been equipped with the Bokeh effect which can blur the background automatically so that you could get selfies with effortless distinction and breathtakingly detailed subject.


Apart from ensuring the effects, OPPO has worked hard on making the selfie-taking process an easy and fun affair, to give an overall great experience. The A57 has an upgraded palm shutter function to make it more agile. All you have to do to snap a selfie is open your hand, show five in front of the screen, leaving you free to get a stable, well-composed shot. This is a great feature for avoiding accidental shakes caused by manual pressing the shutter button, ensuring that you get a clear shot every time. 


At the back, the 13 MP rear camera uses a Sony IMX258 sensor paired with a large F2.2 apertures, providing high light sensitivity and superb clarity, even for night shooting. Meanwhile, Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) delivers an auto focus time as little as 0.1 seconds, and Ultra-HD mode allows users to capture stunningly detailed 50 MP images. 


Lightning-fast Solid-state Touch Access

The A57’s sports a flagship-level solid-state fingerprint reader, so that just resting your finger on the home button is enough to instantly unlock the phone. The reader uses a hydrophobic zirconium surface, which operates on the same principle as a naturally water-resistant lotus leaf, giving the fingerprint reader a boosted success rate even when fingers are moist. 


Strong, seamless, long-lasting performance

The A57 cruises on an octa-core processor and 3 GB RAM, ensuring snappy performance and seamless multi-tasking.


Meanwhile, a triple-slot card tray means that the A57’s 32 GB of onboard storage can be expanded by an additional 256 GB with an SD card, while users still enjoy the flexibility of using two SIM cards. 

The A57’s triple-slot card tray means users can enjoy the flexibility of two 4G SIM cards, while still expanding storage by up to an additional 256 GB


Even in its attractively slight 5.2-inch unibody, the A57 manages to pack a powerful 2900 mAh battery, giving the device just the right weight in the hand and offering excellent video playback time. Leveraging smart power optimizations in ColorOS 3.0 (based on Android 6.0), the A57 clocks in at 11 hours of continuous video watching, 23 hours on the phone, or about 13.5 hours in a scenario of varied continued use.


Stylish, premium design

The OPPO A57 shines with clean, flowing lines and superb build quality. It sports a 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 screen, four precisely rounded corners for a perfect grip, and a beautiful thin, light-weight frame that rests effortlessly in the hand. 


The A57 comes in gold version starting from Feb.3rd, it will be available on all OPPO stores across India. It’ll also be available in OPPO online stores on Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.



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Bangkok to host first-ever SEAsia - Israel Security Summit on Feb 21

The premier Cyber and Homeland Security Conference will witness industry leaders, decision makers, academicians and government officials exchange ideas on security trends and best practices.


Bangkok, January 18, 2017: The realisation of ASEAN Economic Community has thrown open  a significant opportunity for security systems integration business — be it Homeland or IT security. Systems integrators in the region are now looking to expand their business beyond their native markets to other countries within this region.


In order to bring all security stakeholders on a common platform, a first-ever one-day conference titled SEAsia - Israel Security Summit ( will be hosted in Bangkok, Thailand on February 21, 2017 at Arnoma Grand with parallel tracks on Cyber & Homeland Security. 


The event will also feature an exhibition by the participating companies from Israel and other parts of South & South East Asia. The Summit will provide opportunity to understand the new technologies being implemented in these areas and also enable collaborations and long-term business partnerships for interested companies. 


The SEAsia – Israel Security Summit is a joint initiative of Singapore-based Business Excellence & Research Group Pte Ltd & Israel-based IBO Connection Group Ltd.


According to Mr. Vishwesh Iyer, Managing Partner of Business Excellence & Research Group Pte Ltd, “The threat of an attack disrupting public and private network and infrastructure has driven up the spend on security across the ASEAN region. Hence, the urgent need to mitigate threats have led to countries and industry integrating latest technologies for identification, security check, and access control to critical infrastructures.”


The premier Cyber and Homeland Security networking platform is an opportunity for industry leaders, corporate decision makers, academicians and government officials to exchange ideas on security trends and best practices. It will also showcase the latest developments in technologies, tools and techniques.


The day-long conference will see experts from Government and the industry discuss and debate issues for smart and effective Homeland and Cyber Security management. 


The Thai-Israel Chamber of Commerce, CITEC, Bangkok Ventures and Startup Bangkok have already come on board as Supporting Partners. Among the media partners supporting the event are, COPS Today International, The Counter Terrorist (Asia Pacific Edition), Source, Media Kindle and 


About BERG:


Business Excellence & Research Group Pte Ltd (BERG), is a Singapore-based entity committed to nurturing and promoting business excellence across diverse sectors. In this quest, BERG has gone on to establish thought leadership platforms over the past three years since its inception through various initiatives  in the form of summits, conferences, business networking sessions and recognition through awards.


About IBO Group:


I.B.O – International Business Opportunities is an Israeli corporation that promotes business and joint ventures among Israel and the Far East. IBO uses a vast array of knowledge, contacts and networking in the Israeli market to help foreign companies and investors accomplish their needs both successfully and with integrity.


For Further details:


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Future of Internet in India: Perfect!

The National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched “The Future of Internet in India” report in partnership with Akamai Technologies, a global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services. The study was researched and created by, a leading media platform for entrepreneurship, in collaboration with Nasscom and with supporting data from Akamai and other sources. The report, launched by Mr. R Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom and Dr. Tom Leighton, Co-founder, CEO Akamai Technologies, aims to understand the impact of the Internet on the way we live, learn, work, shop and connect; and focuses on the future trends that will change the landscape of India by 2020. 

Speaking at the launch, Mr. R Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom stated that, “India’s Internet consumption has already exceeded USA to become No. 2 globally. Keeping into consideration the massive impact that the Internet is creating across sectors, it has become the greatest disruptor of our age by changing the way we work, interact socially and live life in general. By 2020, the Internet is expected to penetrate deeper in the hinterlands of the country, helping to create more opportunities for everyone.” 

“The rapid growth of the Internet and its expansion into verticals including e-Commerce, Travel and Hospitality, Public Sector, Financial Technology and Media is a clear indication of the state of things to come,” said Mr. Chandrashekhar. 

According to the report, India’s Internet user base is the second largest after China. Globally, the number of Internet users is expected to touch 4170 million by 20201. The growth of the Internet has successfully created a strong ecosystem for new businesses to tap into growing markets and create solutions to address their demands. 

“The start-up ecosystem in India, coupled with the government’s initiatives make the Internet accessible to every citizen across the country, is helping India set the stage to enable large numbers of ‘netizens’ to reap the benefits of the Internet. With the rise of digital natives and the increased adoption of smartphones, Internet penetration in India will stretch beyond the large cities, as more services and devices come online. This is also a great opportunity for enterprises to harness the power of the Internet to innovate and scale operations,” said Mr. Sidharth Malik, Vice President and Managing Director, India, Akamai Technologies. 

Online shopping will account for two-thirds of the total e-Commerce market, edging out travel 

According to the report, the overall e-Commerce market in India was valued $17 billion in FY 2016, and by 2020, India will have an estimated 702 million smart phones in use and mobile phones will emerge as the preferred device for shopping, accounting for 70% of total online shopping. The fashion and lifestyle segment will emerge as the largest e-tailing category with a 35% contribution to e-Commerce GMV by 2020, overtaking the consumer electronics segment which dominates the sales of Indian e-Commerce industry at present. 

50% of travel transactions to be online by 2020 

Travel across India, for social visits, leisure, shopping and holidays is all set to increase and more people will be booking online, taking advantage of competitive pricing offered by online travel agents (OTAs) and aggregators. An increasing amount of user-generated content online (views on social media, reviews on websites, etc.) is driving aspirational travel, tipping the scales in favour of trips that were once only contemplated, never undertaken. 

Media and OTT –– All moving online, one app at a time 

The availability of affordable smartphones and tablets has encouraged the second screen phenomenon. With the rapid adoption of smartphones and next generation networks, content consumption patterns and consumer engagement channels are rapidly evolving. Even in its nascent phase, the video-on-demand (VOD) market is highly competitive in India. 

Financial technology –– Disrupting the way India pays online 

Fintech is disrupting financial services and is likely to have far more widespread impact on society and the Indian economy, both directly and indirectly. The fintech software market within this was pegged at $1.2 billion (13-15%2). The remaining 87% focus on services, primarily in payments (60% of the market, including ATM/Point of Sale [PoS]) and core banking services. Overall, according to the report, India’s fintech market is expected to grow 1.7x between 2015 and 2020. While cash-on-delivery may remain the preferred mode of payment for newer users, keep in mind that use of mobile banking and e-wallets is surging. 

In conclusion – The future is bright but there is a greater need to collaborate 

In times to come, while mobile will be a key access device, larger devices will continue to be important in areas like education and business. Multiple stakeholders will need to work in tandem to bring the next generation of Internet users (rural based, mobile centric, local language focused) online in India. Further, with digital connectivity, the risk of cyber-crimes also increases. With multitudes of people using e-Commerce and transacting online, there is a huge need for technologies that can prevent data theft. India is witnessing a huge demand for security professionals (technologists and analysts, alike). In line with these growing demands, security has become one of the key focus areas for Nasscom Sector Skills Council, working towards creating the right cybersecurity skill sets for Indian IT professionals. 


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Global IT Security Spend To Grow 7.9% to Reach $81.6 bn in 2016: Gartner

Worldwide spending on information security products and services will reach $81.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 7.9 percent over 2015, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. Consulting and IT outsourcing are currently the largest categories of spending on information security. Until the end of 2020, the highest growth is expected to come from security testing, IT outsourcing and data loss prevention (DLP).  

Preventive security will continue to show strong growth, as many security practitioners continue to have a buying preference for preventive measures. However, solutions such as security information and event management (SIEM) and secure web gateways (SWGs) are evolving to support detection-and-response approaches. Gartner expects the SWG market will maintain its growth of 5 to 10 percent through 2020 as organizations focus on detection and response.


"Organizations are increasingly focusing on detection and response, because taking a preventive approach has not been successful in blocking malicious attacks," said Elizabeth Kim, senior research analyst at Gartner. "We strongly advise businesses to balance their spending to include both."


Ms. Kim said that security spending will become increasingly service-driven as organizations continue to face staffing and talent shortages. Managed detection and response (MDR) is emerging, with demand coming from organizations struggling to deploy, manage and use an effective combination of expertise and tools to detect threats, and then bring their environment back to a known good state. This is particularly true for targeted advanced threats and insider threats. With more MDR providers emerging targeting the midmarket, Gartner foresees these services being an additional driver for security spending for both large and smaller organizations.


According to Gartner, spending in security markets such as consumer security software, secure email gateways (SEGs) and endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) continues to show constrained growth due to commoditization.


Other assumptions in the information security market behind Gartner's latest forecast include:


The average selling price for firewalls is expected to increase by at least 2 or 3 percent year over year until the end of 2018.

This is driven by the market benefiting from higher demand for high-end equipment among cloud providers and other service providers, due to larger bandwidth needs and an increasing number of devices. While vendor competition continues to put pressure on pricing, enterprises, service providers and web-scale organizations are moving toward deploying bigger and more expensive firewalls. As a result, the deployment of large firewalls by cloud service providers will remain an important source of revenue growth for vendors.


By 2018, 90 percent of organizations will implement at least one form of integrated DLP, up from 50 percent today.

Organizations have been deploying DLP to address regulatory compliance, intellectual property (IP) protection and data visibility and monitoring. Newer solutions that include user entity and behavior analytics, image analysis, machine learning, and data-matching techniques are being used to augment existing solutions.


Public cloud adoption will impact firewall spending by less than 10 percent until the end of 2019 but will have an impact after that.

While software as a service (SaaS) adoption is growing, the effect on firewall spending will be limited for the next three years. SaaS is the first choice for only 16 percent of CIOs surveyed by Gartner in 2015. Transitions also take time, during which vendors of cloud access security brokers (CASBs) will not only continue to evolve to cover more than just SaaS, but also perform similar roles for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). In addition, firewall vendors will also have to deal with one of their main challenges for the next few years: decrypting Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) at scale.


Half of midsize and large organizations will add bigger, more advanced inspection-oriented features to their network firewalls by 2019.

Bandwidth has been increasing, requiring larger-scale, higher-performing and more expensive firewalls. In addition, organizations are looking to firewalls to consolidate other features, such as web filtering and intrusion prevention capabilities. Some are enhancing their firewalls with new content inspection features, such as malware sandboxing.


More detailed analysis is available to Gartner clients in the report "Forecast Analysis: Information Security, Worldwide, 1Q16 Update."


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Israel’s leading business promotion group to visit India in July to jointly explore business opportunities

Bengaluru, June 20, 2016: Israel’s leading business promotion organization and technology transfer — I.B.O Group — and one of India’s leading media solutions company — Media Kindle — have joined hands together to identify opportunities to help Indian businesses benefit from partnering with Israeli companies.

International Business Opportunities (I.B.O) Group is an Israeli corporation that promotes business and joint ventures among Israel and the Far East. IBO Group founder Itay Tawili will be visiting Bengaluru during July 19-20, 2016 to meet up with Indian businesses and help them identify business opportunities.

Itay firmly believes, “Our mission is to take care of our business partners interests and needs, while representing them in dealing with Israeli companies, factories and authorities. We use a vast array of knowledge, contacts and networking in the Israeli market to help foreign companies and investors accomplish their needs both successfully and with integrity.”

Itay, an Israeli entrepreneur, has more than 10 years of experience and knowledge in the Israeli market. Prior to establishing IBO, Itay held key roles at the Israeli High-Tech sector companies and as a result was exposed to a wide range of Israeli technology companies and startups.

The Bengaluru-based Media Kindle is helmed by a dedicated and an experienced Editorial & Communications professional — Verghese V Joseph. Verghese has over 20 years of Editorial, Communications, PR and Marketing experience and has been part of the editorial team in various capacities in organizations such as The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Financial Express and IBM. He also headed the Industrial Economist, a fortnightly magazine, as its Executive Editor. He was also the Director – Editorial at United Business Media (UBM), a LSE-listed company.

Verghese strongly feels that “Together, we can use our wide knowledge and networking for the benefits of both — Indian & Israeli business groups. Our goal is to provide our business partners with a wide array of business-focused information and advisory services to gain profit and success when conducting business in Israel. In addition, we aim to assist them with their business development.”

According to the Reserve Bank of India reports, exports to Israel in India increased to 18.39 INR Billion in October from 15.40 INR Billion in September of 2015. Exports to Israel in India averaged 16.53 INR Billion from 2014 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 23.78 INR Billion in July of 2014 and a record low of 10.56 INR Billion in May of 2015.

Interested in meeting up with Itay? Please get in touch with Verghese at: or on his mobile: +91 9343568887.


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Oracle Welcomes First Group of Startup Finalists from India

BENGALURU: Oracle today announced the first group of startup finalists for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program. The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program was launched in April 2016 at Oracle CloudWorld Mumbai to help catalyse India's startup ecosystem and to provide support to the country’s Digital India initiatives.
In a span of four weeks, the program received a tremendous response from early-stage technology and technology-enabled startups. The panel of judges (which included the advisors and mentors of the program, as well as senior executives from Oracle) reviewed each application to evaluate the business concept, level of innovation, scalability and potential to solve real-life problems for their customers, as well as to make an impact on the segment of society on which they focussed. After this rigorous evaluation, panelists chose these five start-ups:

ExpertRec: a plug-n-play search and recommendation engine for online market places in an easy to use SaaS integration. Customers need to add a single line of code to enable these advanced features on their website.
Niyo Solutions: a Fin-Tech startup focussed on alternate payment mechanisms.
Ray iCare: a sleep monitoring device, for Epilepsy, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Cardiac Attacks. It can be installed on a wall and uses Artificial Intelligence to notify attacks to care-givers through a mobile app.
Tydy: a mobile-first, automated employee on-boarding platform. It gives executives a clear view on the performance of the on-boarding process - a process that was never before quantifiable.
Vear: an AR/VR technology platform which is device agnostic. It can be used by brands to distribute their content, campaigns and more to end users through augmented/virtual reality.
As part of the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program, the finalists will receive:

  • Over 125 hours of combined mentorship from Oracle and industry experts, some of whom include CTOs and CIOs of established startups and other peer organisations.
  • 24x7 access to a co-working space within Oracle’s premises, with internet connectivity. This will give startups the ability and flexibility to work around-the-clock. The space also includes an activity centre, a café and a creative, fun, healthy working environment.
  • Access to Oracle’s vast ecosystem of customers and partners as they are encouraged to reach out to relevant businesses and markets.
  • Ongoing interactions and sessions with the investor community to give them the right platform for growth and success.
  • Access to Oracle Cloud including training, at no charge. After completing the six-month program, the startups that have leveraged the Oracle Cloud for their business may be eligible to continue using it for an extended period.

On the last day of the program, startups will be given the opportunity to pitch their idea and showcase a demo to prominent technology investors and leaders. Graduating startups will also be enrolled in the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator’s alumni program. The alumni program will provide extended support to these startups, including on-going access to the mentor network and networking platform. Qualifying startups will also gain fast-track membership into Oracle Partner Network, which now includes about 25,000 consultants, integrators, value-added resellers, and other similar firms worldwide that have earned special access to Oracle demonstration environments, Oracle expertise, and joint marketing and sales programs.

“The entrepreneurial spirit in our country is going through a complete revolution. We see cloud technology playing a crucial role in enabling this change,” said Sanket Atal, Group Vice President of Development, Oracle India. “I would like to welcome these startups and look forward to working with them to build their business ideas for a better tomorrow.”

The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind global startup accelerator initiative by Oracle. Oracle India is leading the initiative for the company. The initiative targets midsize firms, including MSMEs   (micro, small, medium sized enterprises) and startups, which are recognised as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy that contributes more than 37 per cent to India’s GDP.

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TechHub & Google expand collaboration to India

In order to bring about more opportunities to TechHub’s 700+ tech startups around the world, Google and TechHub on Wednesday announced their global partnership that will also benefit startups from India.


Under the partnership, Google will support TechHub’s work to help hundreds of tech companies scale up their businesses. Now TechHub members in Bangalore, other TechHub locations of Riga and Bucharest, plus Madrid, Warsaw and London will have access to programmes and assistance from Google, including Google mentors, the Google for Entrepreneurs international demo days, GFE Exchange and Google Cloud Platform credits for qualifying startups.


Elizabeth Varley, TechHub’s global Co-founder and CEO said, “We are excited to bring this partnership to India to increase TechHub’s support to Indian startups. In Bangalore we see a huge variety of startups creating innovative products, and we want to help them succeed both in India and all around the world. TechHub and Google for Entrepreneurs is a strong partnership that will empower Indian entrepreneurs to go global from the very beginning.”


David Grunwald, Google for Entrepreneurs’ Head of EMEA Partnerships said “We are excited to expand our work with TechHub beyond Google for Entrepreneurs's Campus network, where we have collaborated successfully over a number of years. TechHub's 'community first' values and their focus on supporting founders and startups with education and programs align perfectly with the goals of Google for Entrepreneurs."


TechHub’s community is global: members hail from 60+ countries aand every member can access Googlers in six international cities. TechHub membership gives each entrepreneur access to every TechHub in the world and all the programmes and opportunities available there including flagship events like Startup Funeral, and the monthly TechHubTuesday Demo Night.

Around a third of members’ base their teams full time in one of TechHub’s spaces, with the majority of members accessing the benefits of TechHub through its rich programme designed to help startups face the challenges of building and growing a global tech company.


Varley added, “TechHub continuously works to improve the way we support entrepreneurs through every part of the startup lifecycle - idea to exit. Our programme helps founders deal with challenges at the different stages of developing their company and product, whether it’s their first time or fifth time starting a company. TechHub and Google for Entrepreneurs have the same approach - using both relationships and data to truly understand startups.”


Talking about the TechHub and Google #GoGlobal message, TechHub Madrid member Miguel Elizondo, Co-founder and CEO of Festrip said: “From the very beginnings of Festrip, we have firmly believed that the only way to succeed is to go global. As soon as we learnt of TechHub Madrid, we wanted to be one of the first Spanish companies to join their community... and we made it! Our expectations have been surpassed. TechHub has provided us with a great, inspiring space full of potential partners and advisors, and have put the knowhow of their network to work for us. Thanks to this, we have closed deals in Madrid and London, with more in the coming months.”



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10k Start-Ups: Fifth Phase of Konnect Launched

In a significant move to identify, support, incubat, and accelerate innovative technology start-ups in India, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has launched the Fifth phase of Nasscom 10,000 Startups ‘Konnect’ which will impact applications from technology startups across the country.


Elaborating on the Fifth phase, Rajat Tandon, Vice President, Nasscom 10K Startups said, “India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world with immense talent and innovative startups flourishing each day. With the strong support from mentors, industry experts, investors and VCs, we have successfully created a significant impact on the startup ecosystem of the country. Phase 5 is going to be our biggest Konnect to date as we are aiming to create a greater impact across the early stage startup ecosystem.”


For the fifth phase, Nasscom has shortlisted 200+ domain centric applications from startups, which will provide a detailed overview of their business idea and the market opportunity. Startups who have applied in the last 4 months are now being considered for Phase 5 shortlisting and for the 10K Nurture program. The shortlisted startups will be pitching to over 100 investors in 6 locations and will have the access to participate in the intensive accelerator pitch and mentoring Konnect sessions. The program has strong support from 50+ industry experts (NIPP) and close to 100 incubator partners. The sessions will start in the first week of March across Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kochi and Hyderabad.


In its last four phases, a total of 11,000 startups applied, 1,100 shortlisted and 500 have been impacted by way of funding , acceleration and mentoring. Some of their impacted startups include SmartVizX, Lazylad, EnglishDost, Flutura, SeekSherpa, Faircent, Hiree, Sliderule, Vidgyor, CustomerXPS to name a few.


Nasscom 10,000 Startups, is a startup incubation program whose objective is to create 10,000 domain specific startups in the country by 2020. Phase Four of the Nasscom 10K Start-ups Konnect had 150+ startup shortlists that went through pitch and mentoring sessions.


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Nasscom 10K Startups Announces Winners of ‘Code for the Next Billion Program’

Nasscom 10,000 Start-ups today announced the selection of 10 start-ups for the ‘Code for Next Billion Program’. These Startups are Wallet Guru, Light Vision, Perpignon, Kid Nurture, We-Share, I-We,, Technovent, Padmavati Agro, and Redoctype. This is an inclusive program that aims to promote social good and will provide a platform for start-ups to showcase innovations that can help solve some of the problems in the society and can be recognized on a national level.


Startups will be given an immersive six month program to inspire, encourage and fulfill internet innovation among the developer community in India. ‘Code for the Next Billion’ is running two programs targeting developers and students to build applications in the Health, Economic Empowerment (finance, capacity building, etc.), Education/Skill Development, Public Utility (water, power, transport). The program involves access to cutting edge technology, social impact and business mentors; workshops and webinars to receive hands-on training; investors and enterprises to help validate and scale the selected start-ups.


Mr. Vidhya Shankar, Head of Funding Partnerships & Alliances at Nasscom 10,000 start-ups, Bangalore, said, “This is a positive step towards our objective to empower the developer community and motivate large scale innovation impacting bottom of the pyramid. Through the program, we aim to accelerate the development and adoption of mobile internet applications across India. We would like to thank all our partners for their valuable support and trust and hope to work with a lot more people in the future”.


Facebook has partnered with Nasscom 10,000 start-ups and is the first partner of the ‘Code for Next Billion Program’. Other partners are Nasscom Foundation, Unitus Seed Fund, CNBC TV 18 and IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE. Nasscom 10,000 Startups is a platform for technology startups to get connected to all the players in the ecosystem from angel networks to venture capital firms, accelerators, enterprises and industry bodies. 10,000 start-ups initiative helps startups with funding, incubation, acceleration, mentoring, enterprise connects, and showcase opportunities.


Mr. Ime Archibong, Director-Partnerships, Facebook, said, "We are proud to partner with Nasscom, CNBC, and others to invest in the leadership of developers who are building innovative solutions tailored to the historically unconnected and underserved. Building applications to solve education, financial, health and public utility challenges requires a different kind of imagination, risk appetite and skills. We are excited to support the journeys of these ten developers and hope that their journeys inspire the next generation of developers to apply their talents to solving these problems."


The first boot-camp for start-ups was organized with Parag Trivedi, Global Design Studio Leader, GE Healthcare on Design Thinking, Naiyya Saggi, Co-founder, Baby chakra on Scaling up for Social Impact, Anindita Guha, Head-Product and Marketing, Gupshup and Teamchat on Product Management the India way. Further to this, start-ups will be provided with technical, marketing, and financial support as well as leadership skills, to build their applications and businesses. They will get opportunity to be featured on a CNBCTV18 through a TV series to showcase their achievements. Further, they will get access to US$80,000 worth of Facebook credits and support through Facebook's FbStart program to build their business. They will get networking opportunities with industry leaders (CEOs, thought leaders, VCs, ecosystem evangelists, social change leaders), funders and the media to bring public awareness to their commitment, solutions and impact.


Nasscom 10,000 Startups is a vision, which is committed to incubate, fund and provide support to impact 10,000 technology startups in India, by 2023. The aim is to nurture the promising startups into full-fledged technology stalwart companies, by giving them support via access to startup incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists, startup support groups, mentors, and technology corporations.



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First 20 Smart Cities From 11 States and Delhi Announced

The Government announced the 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge competition for financing during this financial year. Announcing the cities on Thursday, Minister of Urban Development Mr. M.Venkaiah Naidu said that the winners were from 11 States and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was totally objective and transparent based on standardized processes.


Mr. Naidu further said that Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on ‘bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the Urban Local Bodies and State Governments piloting the mission with little say for the Ministry of Urban Development. He also observed that it was for the first time in the country and even in the world that investments in urban sector are being made based on competition based selection of cities.


Informing that 1.52 crore citizens participated in shaping smart city plans of 97 cities and towns in the first round of competition, Shri Naidu said that this enthusiastic participation of people is a major positive outcome.


Three cities from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five made it to the winning list.


The Minister informed that 23 States and UTs who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’. Each top ranking city form these left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15, this year for inclusion in the mission.


Mr. Naidu informed that the 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of Rs.50,802 crore over five years with all the cities proposing Public-Private-Partnership as a major vehicle of resource mobilization. 10 of the 20 cities have proposed to mobilise Rs.8,521 crore under PPP model while others have also indicated this option. A total area of 26,735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions.


Elaborating on the advantages of Smart City Mission, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said that this leads to integrated urban planning by addressing the issue of infrastructure, land use planning, transport, urban design and architecture in a holistic manner unlike in the past. Stating that building a smart city is not a destination but a series of small steps in that direction, Shri Naidu said that the country has taken one such step today.


The Minister said that urban local bodies are taking a quantum jump to improve their capabilities and have resorted to SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of each city for coming out with city vision.


Of these 20 cities accounting for a total population of 3.54 crore, 5 have  population below 5 lakhs each, 4 in the range of 5-10 lakhs, 6 in between 10-25 lakhs, 4 between 25 and 50 lakhs and only Ahmedabad has above 50 lakhs.


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Businesses’ Use of Personal Data at Risk, Warns Accenture

A new report from Accenture warns that businesses’ use of personal data from consumers is at risk and recommends key strategies and principles to properly protect consumer data, build trust and simultaneously grow their businesses.

The report, “Guarding and Growing Personal Data Value,” acknowledges the benefits of using personal data to support innovation in customer service, product development and market development. However, it also identifies the growing challenges that businesses face when using personal data, as a result of changing sentiments among stakeholders such as customers, regulatory bodies and watchdogs.

“Customer data is a digital ‘crown jewel’ for any business but an organization’s ability to collect, analyze and monetize that asset in the future is under threat due to shifting perceptions, preferences, regulations and attacks,” said Ryan LaSalle, managing director, Accenture Security. “Above all, stewardship and effective safeguarding of personal data is paramount to establishing digital trust. The implications of failing to do so extend into a business’s operating model – meaning businesses must be organized and have the capabilities to protect the data that is entrusted to them.”

The report is based on research conducted by the Accenture Institute for High Performance that included a survey of nearly 600 global business professionals across eight industry groups, interviews with academic experts, and other secondary research. Ninety percent of respondents said digital stewardship is the most important principle in terms of improving their business reputation and being responsible managers of personal data, and 74 percent said that their businesses are taking action on this principle.
The report identifies several trends affecting the outlook of businesses using personal data including:    

  • A crisis of trust in data security: Customers won’t do business with companies they don’t trust with their data – and customers’ trust in data security is lacking.
  • Customers are acting on their privacy concerns: Customer actions to protect their data could compromise the amount and quality of personal data that businesses can use.
  • Customers are demanding a data dividend: Nearly 60 percent of respondents from products and manufacturing companies reported their customers are actively monetizing their own data – for instance, by selling it to data intermediaries.
  • New technologies and startups are helping people go “off grid”: Growth in new privacy-enhancing technologies could impact the quality of customer data available to businesses.
  • Regulation is changing the rules of data collection: Governments are increasing their regulatory response to concerns over data privacy.
  • Watchdogs are increasing the scrutiny of business data practices: Groups like Fair Data (U.K.) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (U.S.) are scrutinizing the way businesses manage personal data.

“Rather than fight these trends, businesses should pursue proactive strategies that will help them adapt to the changes ahead,” said Matthew Robinson, managing director, Accenture Institute for High Performance. “This includes investing in the right talent and technologies to bolster their security capabilities and provide greater data protection, defining an operational model centered on risk management goals to better predict, detect, respond and recover from security threats, and taking action on the principles we’ve identified that can promote greater digital trust.”
The five principles outlined in the report include:            

  • Digital stewardship: Ensuring that management of personal data is consistent with the expectations of those providing it. Demonstrating personal data stewardship can help businesses differentiate themselves from the competition. Deutsche Telekom worked with email providers, T-Online and GMX to launch a secure end-to-end email communication service that stores user data within Germany, responding to fears of external surveillance of emails. The company saw a six-figure increase in new subscribers during the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013.
  • Digital transparency: Demonstrating openness in how businesses use personal data.  Companies can foster transparency by proactively showing customers and others how they are using and storing data. Nectar, a loyalty program that offers its 18 million customers full visibility of data collection and use, was singled out as an exemplar of transparency by the U.K. government.
  • Digital empowerment: Giving customers greater control over their data. By mastering the two components of digital empowerment – enabling customers to update data held about them and using data analytics to help customers make better decisions – companies can improve customer satisfaction and unlock new sources of revenue.
  • Digital equity: Clarifying and potentially increasing the benefits customers receive in exchange for sharing their data. Companies can strengthen digital equity by providing greater monetary or service-in-kind benefits to customers in return for their data. Kreditech – a German start-up that assesses credit risks – has issued more than 1.5 million small loans since its launch in 2012 on the basis of personal data from social networks or e-commerce retail accounts.
  • Digital inclusion: Using personal data to multiply positive societal outcomes. Personal data that is shared appropriately can create significant value for society. In 2013, French telecoms company Orange worked with a think tank to map economic activity in Côte d’Ivoire using customer mobile phone data. Though designed to align urban development efforts with economic needs, the project also enables Orange to refine its business operations in Côte d’Ivoire.

The report is based on (1) an online survey of 578 business professionals across seven economies – Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, U.K. and U.S. – and across eight industry groups; (2) interviews with academic experts in the U.K.; and (3) secondary research including literature reviews, case studies and industry-leading practices undertaken by Accenture specialists.  The online survey was conducted by Kadence International between July and August 2015.


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Start-up India Action Plan Unveiled

The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, on Saturday launched the Start-up India initiative in New Delhi. The launch by the Prime Minister on Saturday, was preceded by a day-long workshop on various aspects of entrepreneurship.

The Prime Minister visited a virtual exhibition and interacted with Start-up entrepreneurs. 10 outstanding Start-up innovators shared their thoughts and experiences before the Prime Minister delivered his address. He said that when he had launched the Start-up India Initiative on 15th August, the announcement had virtually gone unnoticed, but today it had registered with people. He said successful start-ups are usually created by those who are driven by an idea, or an urge to solve a problem that people face. He said making money is not the primary objective, but is often a by-product. He said Start-up innovators are often driven by a sense of compassion for others.

The Prime Minister said he wishes to turn the youth of India from job-seekers to job-creators. He said if a Start-up can offer employment to even five people, it would be doing a great service to the nation. He mentioned some areas where youth innovators should focus, including crop wastage, and cyber security. The Prime Minister unveiled the highlights of the Start-up Action Plan. He said a dedicated Start-up fund worth Rs. 10,000 crore will be created for funding of Start-ups. He said Start-ups will be exempted from paying income tax on their profit for the first three years.

He said the Government is working on a simple exit policy for Start-ups. He also said the Government is working towards fast-tracking of Start-up patent applications. He announced an eighty percent exemption in patent fee for Start-up businesses, and said a self-certification based compliance system for Start-ups would be introduced for 9 labour and environment laws. He said the Atal Innovation Mission will be launched to give a boost to innovation.


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India Electronics Week Draws Good Traction

India Electronics Week got off to a great start on January 11 at Bengaluru. With the Karnataka government increasing its focus on nurturing startups, the 2016 edition of the India Electronics Week (IEW 2016) had a great start on January. The three-day event  put new-age technologies such as the Internet of Things at the centre stage.


The event had a variety of sessions on topics ranging from learning how to build a keyless start system for cars to learning how to 3D print objects.


Top electronics industry honchos delivered talks to help entrepreneurs and startups in the space build viable and sustainable business models, with a special focus on the Internet of Things (IoT)."Having worked with ideas at prototype stage to getting them venture funded we have seen that if we are able to bring the right people & tools at the right time coupled with the passion & perseverance of the entrepreneurs we are able to build sustainable & profitable ventures," said Rajiv Mukherjee, Founder of, in a statement.


IEW for the first time included sideshows on LED technology, the Internet of Things and Defence streams.



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Consumer Tech Mkt Hit by Security Fears & Falling Smartphone Demand

Heightened data security concerns, falling demand for smartphones and tablet PCs, and stagnant growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) market are stymieing the consumer electronics industry and will continue to do so over the next year, a new Accenture survey reveals.


A polling of 28,000 consumers across 28 countries, the Igniting Growth in Consumer Technology survey finds that for nearly half (47 percent) of respondents, security concerns and privacy risks rank among the top three barriers to buying an IoT device and service. IoT devices include smartwatches, wearable fitness monitors, and smart home thermostats, among others.


Of the survey respondents who indicated they either own or plan to buy an IoT device this year, nearly three-quarters (69 percent) said they know that these products are capable of being hacked and therefore can result in stolen data or device malfunctions.


Within the groups of IoT device owners or those planning to buy one in the next year, more than one-third (37 percent) decided to be more cautious when using these devices and services; 24 percent chose to postpone buying an IoT device or subscribing to an IoT service; and 18 percent quit using their IoT devices or terminated their IoT services until they can get safer guarantees.


Declining demand for smartphones and tablets


The survey also highlights sluggish demand for traditional consumer technology devices. For example, less than half (48 percent) of respondents said they intend to buy a smartphone this year, down six points from the 54 percent who said they planned to buy one last year. 


Consistent with this, the number of people who said they plan to buy a new TV or a tablet PC this year -- 30 percent and 29 percent, respectively -- also dropped from 38 percent last year for both device types. 


“The slowdown in the consumer technology market is irrefutable, serious and global,” said Sami Luukkonen, global managing director for Accenture’s Electronics and High Tech group. “The market is not about the glitzy gadgets anymore—rather, it’s about providing secure, innovative and practical digital services and more open collaboration.  As device demand tapers off, the industry needs to make a sharp turn toward providing innovative, value-added services that consumers are able to use with confidence.”


Flat market for IoT devices


The survey also reveals lackluster demand for IoT device markets, which the industry has been counting on to drive growth as other device markets such as smartphones mature. 


Only 13 percent of respondents, for example, said they plan to purchase a smartwatch in the next year, up only 1 percentage point from last year. The survey found similar stagnation in demand for a range of devices, including fitness monitors, wearable health devices, smart thermostats and connected home-surveillance cameras—with each only cited as a planned purchase by 9 percent of respondents, about the same percentage as last year. Smartwatch sales have been particularly challenging for manufacturers and retailers because the products are failing to meet consumers’ battery-life, ease-of-use, and design expectations.


“Despite all its promise, the Internet of Things market has revealed itself to be a double-edged sword,” Luukkonen said. “The market opportunity is enormous, but security and ease-of-use concerns are hindering its near- and long-term potential. To ignite this market, consumer technology companies should consider getting serious about ecosystems, sharing data, and creating integrated services across multiple companies, such as building a connected home through an integrated home security camera, thermostat, and door lock.


“Furthermore, these companies need to consider investing more in innovative services and make consumers’ online lives more secure, convenient and enriching,” Luukkonen added. “Until the promise of IoT meets consumers’ expectations, the IoT market will remain more promise than profit and do little to reinvigorate the overall digital consumer market.”


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Nasscom Bets Big on 10K Startups; Sets Up 2nd Unit In Bengaluru

Bengaluru: After tasting success in setting up start-up warehouse in Bengaluru, the National Association of Software & Services (Nasscom) on Wednesday announced the inauguration of its second warehouse in the city in the presence of Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. Siddaramaiah; Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning, Mr. K.J. George; President, Nasscom, Mr. R Chandrashekhar, and Vice President, Nasscom 10,000 startups, Mr Rajat Tandon.


Over the years, Bangalore has developed as the start-up capital of India. The city has nearly 3,100 to 4,900 dynamic tech start-ups and has attained the second highest growth rate for exit volume and VC investment among the top 20. The warehouse currently has 20 start-ups and with the new space, the warehouse will consist of 100 start-ups. There will be 5 seats allotted to one start-up. The start-ups will operate for six months. The entrepreneurs will have a list of benefits which could help polish their entrepreneurial skills as well as polish their marketing ability including; Connect sessions, early stage mentoring, access to resources from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM cloud, Kotak banking etc. The selection would be finalized by a selection committee comprising of stakeholders from the government as well as the industry, namely Government of Karnataka and Nasscom. They will be required to sign a lease agreement with the Start-up Warehouse.


The NASSCOM warehouse is a four folds expansion from 10,000 Sq. ft. to 40,000 Sq. ft. area. The warehouse will be equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) Labs, Design Labs &  Mobile Experience Labs.


Internet of things Labs: A space for incubating IoT/hardware-play start-ups as they build, test and validate concepts and prototypes. It’ll be a meeting place for industry practitioners to share best practices, case studies with these start-ups and for peer founders to learn and assist each other. These will be feeder to the NASSCOM-Diety IoT Labs.


Design Labs: The Design Labs will be a co-working, co-learning space for ideation and creation of user centric design products. It will house multi-function spaces, innovative tools, usability studios and digital whiteboards for cutting edge design collaborations and ideation sessions. It will also serve as a center for excellence for design practitioners to gather and share best practices.


Mobile Experience Labs: The Mobile Experience Lab will allow developers, designers and startups access to a wide range of mobile devices from multiple major vendors across all major platforms for testing and building of next generation mobile products and technologies. Testing mobile applications across different platforms and devices helps ensure apps are accessible and fully functional.


Mr. Siddaramaiah, said, “Karnataka has traditionally been an entrepreneurially rich ecosystem. Over the years, the city has seen an unprecedented growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are committed to scaling this even further and are pleased to co-opt with NASSCOM to make this dream a reality. NASSCOM start-up warehouse will further provide a platform for the talented entrepreneurs and give them the space they require. The Government is happy to cooperate and support such programs in order to boost the entrepreneurial culture of the city.”


Mr. Rajat Tandon, Vice President, NASSCOM 10,000 Start-ups, said, “Karnataka is an entrepreneurial hub. Bangalore is easily the best place to start-up in India right now. There is easy access to capital and a relative abundance of talented youth who are passionate about working for start-ups. The expansion will help nurture over 500 entrepreneurs under one roof, thereby, driving growth and foster innovation under one roof, where start-ups can share knowledge and help build an inclusive yet vibrant economy”.


The start-ups can bring in up to four team members into the incubation program. All start-ups will get showcased at select NASSCOM events and other events of partner organizations. The Start-up warehouse will also host meetings and workshops with innovators and leaders from the technology and business community. With this expansion, NASSCOM aspires to impact 200+ startups by the next quarter from Bangalore adding to the overall 10K impact number.

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HPE Synergy: Boon for the DevOps

The DevOps community can celebrate. Heard of Composable Infrastructure? Well, you may better get used to this term. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) on Tuesday announced HPE Synergy, the first platform designed to run both traditional and cloud native applications for organizations seeking the benefits of running a hybrid infrastructure. 


Based on groundbreaking new architecture developed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HPE Synergy leverages fluid resource pools, software defined intelligence and a unified API to provide the foundation for organizations to continually optimize the right mix of traditional and private cloud resources.


HPE Synergy physically brings together compute, storage and networking fabric, and through a single interface powered by HPE OneView, composes physical and virtual resources into any configuration for any application. As an extensible platform, it easily enables a broad range of applications and is ideal for customers looking to deploy a scalable hybrid cloud environment and enable continuous DevOps. 


Organizations today have more opportunities than ever before to quickly deliver new applications and services, embrace new business models and enter new markets. Much of the pressure to deliver on these ambitions falls on the IT department, which must simultaneously extract more efficiencies and cost savings out of the traditional systems and applications that run their business, as well as provide a foundation for the rapid creation and delivery of new services through the use of mobile, big data and cloud native technologies. 


Supporting these two very different operating models requires rethinking the way IT infrastructure is built. HPE Synergy addresses this challenge by leveraging a new architecture called Composable Infrastructure which consists of three key design principles:

  1. Fluid Resource Pools
    1. Compute, storage and fabric networking that can be composed and recomposed to the exact need of the application
    2. Boots up ready to deploy workloads
    3. Supports all workloads - Physical, Virtual and Containerized.
  2. Software Defined Intelligence
    1. Self-discovers and self-assembles the infrastructure you need
    2. Repeatable, frictionless updates
  3. A Unified API
    1. Single line of code to abstract every element of infrastructure
    2. 100% infrastructure programmability
    3. Bare-metal interface for Infrastructure as a Service

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Google, Udaicity & Tata scholarships

With a vision to transform India into a hub of high-quality mobile developers for global and local apps, Google on Monday announced the launch of a program to offer Android Nanodegrees in India in partnership with Udacity. TheAndroid Nanodegree is an education credential that is designed to help developers learn new skills and advance their careers in a few months from anywhere on any devices their own pace. As a part of the program Google and Tata Trusts will offer 1,000 scholarships for the Android Nanodegree to deserving students across the country.

With India being the second largest developer population in the world with 3 million software developers, India has the potential to become the #1 developer population by 2018, with 4 million developers. By providing easy and affordable access to a world-class skill and educational program to Indian developers, Google aims to help India become a global leader in mobile app development.

The Udacity Android Nanodegree program comprises of courses developed and taught by expert Google instructors from the Google Developer Relations team and will include project reviews, mentorship and career services from Udacity. The curriculum will be updated regularly with new releases and will provide developers with a certificate that will help them to become a more marketable Android developer.


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Indian Luxury Sales to Reach $5.6 bn

The luxury goods market in India in the wake of a strong growth in 2015. So far in 2015, the Indian luxury sales have risen 25 percent, according to a markets study.

The number of millionaire households worth 250 million rupees, about $3.8 million, has increased by 17 per cent in India since 2014. The increased income has resulted in demand for more luxury brands such as Canali Furla, Burberry, and Jimmy Choo. If the market continues to grow, the Indian luxury market is expected to double and reach $5.6 billion by 2019.

In 2014, the urban youth in India were more inclined to indulge and spend on luxury goods and accessories. The desire to stand out amongst the crowd has now become more common among adults too. Now, 44 percent of shoppers contributing to the Indian luxury goods economy are outside the megacities in India. Most of the wealthy are located in smaller cities where big industries have been built.

In 2014, luxury goods in India continued to outperform the growth witnessed in the previous year as consumers showed a willingness to spend. Growth registered by luxury goods in 2014 was in line with the CAGR witnessed over the review period. As the economy has shown signs of recovery, consumers have started indulging themselves by spending on luxury goods. Economic growth leading to urbanisation and higher disposable incomes has helped propel growth of luxury goods.

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Google launches new products

Google today opened its  doors to the “Google House” — showcasing its latest product innovations for India’s ‘mobile first’ world.  The event featured demonstrations of Google’s Search, Maps, Photos, Translate and YouTube apps, as well as appearances from celebrity chef Kunal Kapur, fashion photographer Dabboo Ratnani, YouTube comedic sensation Kanan Gill and emerging photographer Anushka Menon. The celebrities discussed how Google’s mobile products make their lives a little easier.


Sandeep Menon, Google Country Marketing Director stated that “Indians are coming online from mobile devices at an incredibly rapid rate — six to seven million new mobile internet users every month. Today’s event is about showcasing how we’re working to make our products relevant and useful for India, and how smartphones have evolved to become the best personal assistant you’ve never had. Whether you need to get directions 10 minutes before your next meeting, a step by step recipe to make an impression, or a way to never be late to the airport again, Google can help keep you connected to the people and information that you care about.”


Mobile-focused demonstrations at the Google House included:


  • A hands-on showcase of the new instant translation feature in Google Translate. Recently launched in Hindi, instant translate helps you break through language barriers by instantly translating printed text, like street signs or ingredient lists by opening the app on your phone and pointing your camera at the text.
  • A look at the new Google Photos app which automatically backs up photos and videos across all your devices. With people around the world uploading 1.8 billion photos every day, taking 93 million selfies and more photos being taken every two minutes than the whole of humanity took in the 1800s, it’s just as well that Google Photo offers unlimited, free storage.
  • An overview of recent Search innovations like faster and lighter search results for people accessing the web from a mobile device with a slow connection like 2G. Voice Search updates to the Google app which has been optimised for English in the Indian accent and in Hindi to make finding answers to your questions faster, easier and more local. As well as some of the latest Google Now updates, which bring you information when and where you want it, before you even have to ask — like a personal assistant.
  • As well as an overview of recent offline features, like the ability to save Maps for times when you might not have a connection. Or YouTube Offline, which gives you a way to watch videos without chewing through all your data — even when you don’t have a connection.

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