U.S., India, China, Lead in Artificial Intelligence

Malcolm Frank, head of strategy at IT firm Cognizant, headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, told CNNMoney that the United States,  India, and China are far ahead of anyone else in artificial intelligence.

In America, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Tesla are investing billions of dollars to substitute for people in sectors such as agriculture, medicine, and driverless cars.

In China, Tencent and Baidu are competing with Silicon Valley to develop new uses for AI. Tech billionaire Jack Ma of Alibaba, has even said CEOs may eventually be obsolete. Unlike in the U.S., most of the push for AI in China comes from the government which has invested $150 billion, with the aim of making China the world’s “innovation center for AI” by 2030.

CNN Tech says: In India firms such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro, which provide technology services to big names including Deutsche Bank, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Microsoft and the U.S. Army, are increasingly relying on automation in their operations. In addition, India’s startup scene also makes him [Frank] “very optimistic” about the future of artificial intelligence there.

Artificial Intelligence

“In India, you look at this remarkable platform that is in place now… of incredibly sophisticated skills that are focused on the needs of [global] companies,” said Frank. “I think it’s three horses in the race, and that’s probably the wrong metaphor because they are all going to win,” he said. “They are just going to win differently.”

 

August 30, 2017   No Comments

Multinationals Bullish on Warehousing in India

Due to growth in both the consumer sector and e-commerce in India, overseas investors and real estate players are increasingly investing in warehousing and logistics.

Key players such as Singapore’s Ascendas-Singbridge, Assetz Property Group, Ohio-based Logos Realty, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Everstone Group, among others, have made major investments in this segment.

Some quotes from senior management:

“We are seeing extensive demand from our existing and new customers for institutional grade logistics facilities in the region,” said Trent Iliffe, joint managing director, Logos.

“We have been in India for over two decades, developing iconic business and IT Parks… Entering the industrial and logistics sector is a natural progression,” Miguel Ko, group CEO Ascendas-Singbridge said.

Srinivas N, managing director, Industrial Services, of Chicago-based JLL India, said, “Thanks to fresh investments, supply and interest in this sector, the Indian logistics industry is set to reach the next level.”

“It is a good time for developers/investors to evaluate this sector to add to quality organized warehousing infrastructure keeping in perspective the latent demand and consolidation/expansion expected post-GST roll out,” said Shyam Arumugam, associate director, Office Services, of Canada-based Colliers International India.

Amazon and DHL announced plans to expand their warehouses, reports BusinessLine.

warehouse

August 21, 2017   No Comments

Amazon’s India Innovations Adopted Globally

Seattle-based Amazon‘s innovations in India are being adopted by its teams from across the globe including its U.S. and European e-commerce arms, Terry Hanold, vice president of Amazon’s international consumer technology, said.

The Times of India reports that a successful innovation, called “seller flex,” allows a seller to make their location available for Amazon to store inventory and help them receive an additional stream of revenue. “We saw customers benefit and that idea has been scaled out to other Amazon marketplaces, allowing us to expand our footprint without having to invest a lot in physical infrastructure,” said Dale Vaz, director of software development at Amazon India.

Amazon’s seller app has tools and features to help sellers do their inventory management and logistics better. “These are India specific tools that we built for sellers to help manage the business more effectively. Now we are rolling this out to other markets including the U.S.,” said Hanold.

To win in India, Amazon shifted focus from Apple to Android mobile devices. “We looked at how we could support customers who are on smaller devices which have less computing power, and we looked backwards, we went into the app and stripped down large portions of it that we believed weren’t useful to the customers. We removed voice search and image search. From 17MB, it came down to 2MB,” Vaz said.
Amazon Logo
 To support the sale of used items, Amazon-owned affiliate, Junglee, built a system which enables Amazon to have a product picked up from the seller’s home, vet, pack, and ship it to the buyer using the Amazon India infrastructure. It also built an escrow account, which allowed the company to hold the money until the buyer could verify the product before the money was transferred to the seller’s account.
Now, this is being implemented in other markets of the e-commerce giant.

August 15, 2017   No Comments

India Approves Amazon’s $500 Million Investment in Food Retail

India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion approved e-commerce major Amazon‘s proposed $500 million investment in retailing of food products in the country. The company will launch a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to stock food products and sell online.

Last year the government allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment for trading, including through e-commerce, in food products manufactured and produced in India. In 2016-17 (December to April) the food processing sector in the country received FDIs of $663.23 million, reports the Economic Times.

Amazon Logo

July 13, 2017   No Comments

Amazon Considers Inorganic Growth in India

After buying Whole Foods in the United States, Amazon is targeting groceres in India. Bangalore, India-based BigBasket, a five-year-old e-grocer, has signed a 60 day exclusivity agreement with Amazon India  during which time Amazon will conduct a due diligence on the company’s assets with a view to acquisition

Valued at $450 million since its last round of funding, BigBasket’s asking price of  $700 million stalled the transaction, reports ET Retail. A final value will be decided once the inquiry is completed successfully. It is uncertain whether Amazon will go ahead with the final deal and so BigBasket is also on the lookout for fresh capital.

BigBasket Logo

Acquiring BigBasket, which has created a supply chain and back end infrastructure, will add to Amazon’s e-commerce growth; it will also enable Amazon’s entry into the hugely untapped grocery and food market in India. Technopak pegs the grocery and food market in India at $400 billion of which organized retail contributes $12 billion to the industry, while online e-grocers have a 4% share, its report said, outlining viable prospects for the players.

June 21, 2017   No Comments