XL Group Opens Offices at a Second Location in India

XL Group, the global insurer and reinsurer opened offices at Bangalore, India, where a team of 300 employees will provide underwriting support, claims administration, actuarial services, finance and accounting, according to the company Website.

Myron Hendry, executive vice president and chief platform officer at XL Group stated that this expansion “marks our ongoing commitment to hiring talent and developing expertise for our operations in India.”

XL Group’s country head for India, Derek Nazareth, said, “India plays a huge part in supporting XL Group’s global business and in delivering its growth targets. Our ambition is for our operations here to become centers of excellence for the Group.”

XL Group’s operations in India date back to 2004 when the company opened in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Today the Group’s International Leadership Team recognizes the valuable contribution and capabilities XL Group’s operations in India is making and has made the opening of a second office a strategic priority.

 

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December 12, 2014   No Comments

Mercedes-Benz Inaugurates Second R&D Facility in India

Mercedes-Benz, the German automobile manufacturer opened its second research and development in Bangalore to expand R&D and IT activities in India for its parent firm Daimler AG.

“The India R&D center plays a crucial role in our global R&D organization, with 200 patents filed for innovation in automotive development since our entry into India 18 years ago,” Mercedes-Benz R&D India officiating chairman Thomas Merker said in a statement. “As India is a high potential market for us, the center will ensure that development initiatives are in accordance to customer needs,” he added.

Daimler’s chief information officer Michael Gorriz said that the new R&D center was in line with the company’s IT strategy to further expand and have diverse skills, know-how and foreign cultures.

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December 12, 2014   No Comments

VISA to Set Up Technology Center of Excellence in India

In a bid to strengthen its resources, global payments provider Visa has chosen Bangalore as the site for its new technology center slated to open early next year, and fully staffed by early 2017.

“India is fast becoming a global technology epicenter with an incredible pool of technology talent,” said Nitin Chandel, senior vice-president of Visa’s Developer Platform based in India.

Teams at the new center will focus on the development of key application programming interfaces  and software development kits  in order to help an expanding group of global partners more easily access VisaNet,  the technology backbone to support Visa’s payment innovations and services when creating new commerce and payment experiences.

The announcement is one of many initiatives that Visa has undertaken to strengthen its global technology resources.

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December 12, 2014   No Comments

American Tourists to India Can Now Get Visas More Easily

Most American tourists can soon obtain visas to travel to India much more easily. The new plan does not help business travelers.

According to media reports, this single-entry tourist visa is valid for 30 days, and a traveler may apply twice in a year. You submit an online application, pay $60, and upload an electronic copy of your passport and a photograph. A screening process follows, and within 72 hours, you will know if your visa application has been approved. Once that’s done, print a copy of the “electronic travel authorization” you receive via email, and take it with you to present when you land at one of nine international airports across India. At the airport, an immigration official will take your fingerprint and, everything being in order, you’ll be cleared to enter the country.

To the India Expert, this won’t smell like a visa on arrival, of the kind offered to American tourists by most countries, where the traveler just shows up at any border checkpoint with their passport and is let in within a few minutes and some onsite paperwork.

But it will still go a long way in boosting tourist travel to the country.  Besides the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, much of Northern and Eastern Europe, most of South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea are also part of the expanded plan for the new e-visa process. The United Kingdom, France and Canada are not included at this point.

Only nine of India’s 20 airports will offer visas on arrival, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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November 29, 2014   No Comments

Insurer Allstate Announces $1 Billion Expansion in India

Allstate Corporation, the largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the U.S., plans to spend $1 billion in India within the next  four years, to strengthen its offering in technology and operations.

Having started India operations in 2012, Allstate Solutions Private Ltd. currently has over 4,500 technical experts in Bangalore and Pune, working either directly or indirectly through various service companies such as Infosys. “I want our products to stand out. From an innovations standpoint, there is a convergence of telematics, data analytics, [and] mobile technology. Those are the three areas of focus going forward,” says Suren Gupta, executive vice-president of technology and operations at ASPL.

The company added that it may open an accelerator in the near future and that it had met with a few start-ups that look at analyzing driving behavior, training, and insurance analytics. If it does go through, the accelerator program will be a first for Allstate in the world.

Allstate has also announced that the Internet of Things will be one of its core focus areas as it brings in tremendous disruption in the insurance space, and that its vast investment portfolio of about $85 billion, which is currently directed at real estate and other asset classes, could be directed at India’s start-up ecosystem too.

“It could be setting up an accelerator, taking a stake in a company, partnering with the company, it could take different forms — we can also become part of a fund that looks at start-ups,” said Gupta, a graduate of Harvard Business School, who was on the advisory board of InTech50, a start-up event organized by software product think-tank iSpirt.

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November 26, 2014   No Comments