Microsoft India Innovates for Social, Tech Segments

Bangalore-based Microsoft Research India investigates machine learning, natural language processing, algorithms, cryptography and data sciences for the company. It also explores creating technology for emerging markets. Successful projects are scaled up, and sometimes they are also taken to other markets.

Microsoft Research India Office

CNBC reports on some current projects from the research lab:

Melange: is trying to study multilingual speech that can help to humanize virtual assistants in the future, and make them more accessible to the developing world.

HAMS or Harnessing Automobiles for Safety : uses sensors such as a smartphone’s front-camera, a phone’s GPS and a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics scanner to detect and alert if a driver is distracted or sleepy while driving.

99DOTS: looked at low-cost ways to ensure tuberculosis patients regularly take their medication.

Sangam:   trains blue collar workers.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do in Microsoft Research is to predict and invent the future,” Sriram Rajamani, managing director of Microsoft Research India, told CNBC.

 

August 21, 2017   No Comments

Demand for Retail Space in India Surges

According to Los Angeles headquartered CBRE’s India Retail MarketView Report – H1, 2017, during the first 6 months of the year, there were 70 new entries/expansions by global and domestic brands across the cities of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bangalore. Seven new global brands entered the country and investments into the segment by PE firms/wealth funds touched $200 million.

 Anshuman Magazine, chairman, India & South East Asia, CBRE said, “Our ranking on the 2017 Global Retail Index for developing countries as well as continued investment by private equity players is a demonstration of the sustained preference of international brands to set up, or expand their operations in India. With several legislation and policies in implementation mode, we are already seeing an increase in consumer and investor confidence. This will have a cascading effect on the retail segment. Overall, retail real estate will continue to grow and witness healthy demand across tier I and II cities.”

City Highlights

NCR

  • Approx. 200,000 square feet of fresh supply entered the market
  • Low vacancy levels led to select micro-markets in the city witnessing rental appreciation for prime retail developments

Mumbai

  • Leasing activity was driven by domestic F&B operators and foreign retailers from various segments
  • Over 1 million swuare feet of supply was added with opening of the  Seawoods Grand Central Mall
  • Rentals on Linking Road recorded a minor correction while rental values across other high streets and organized retail developments remained largely stable

Bangalore

  • Approximately 300,000 square feet of fresh retail supply entered the market
  • Rental values across high streets and shopping centers remained stable
  • In the coming quarters, sustained traction from both global and domestic brands may lead to rental appreciation in organized developments in the Central, Eastern and Western locations

CBRE says: Going forward, to effectively operate under the new GST regime, retailers will need to review their product pricing based on market expectations, align their supply chain and procurement strategy, rework their distribution channels, and ensure greater compliance to laws to be more cost-effective.

A Mall

August 19, 2017   No Comments

e-Bay India Merges with Flipkart

Online selling platform eBay India, and Bangalore, India-based e-commerce firm Flipkart Group formally concluded their merger process.

Flipkart will own and operate eBay, while the latter will function as an independent entity even as the two firms explore opportunities in cross-border trade. Customers from Flipkart and eBay will get access to both of the firm’s inventories. Additionally, the partnership will provide an opportunity for Flipkart’s sellers to expand their sales globally.

Flipkart Logo

VCCircle reports that eBay had an early-mover advantage in India, but was unable to capitalize on it and lost to younger rivals Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon India.

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Some of IBM’s Biggest Successes Developed in India

New York-based IBM, runs four parallel research organizations: IBM Software Labs, IBM Research Labs, IBM Global Technology Services Labs and IBM Hardware Labs. All the four are present in Bangalore, India.

The Global Technology Services (GTS), the most recent of these labs, was set up in November 2016, and is headed by Gopal Pingali. Within nine months of its formation, the lab, which includes 1,000 researchers spread across 20 countries and all reporting to Pingali, filed for 150 patents and launched 10 products for global markets. “GTS Labs is a worldwide lab with [its] center of gravity in India, which is the services delivery capital of the world. We also have the largest developer (programmer) ecosystem in the world. Therefore, especially for services, it makes sense driving GTS labs from here,” Pingali said.

IBM Logo

Watson — a cognitive software platform that can mimic human brain and help solve problems which the traditional computers have so far been unable to — is driven from India. Scientists from IBM’s research lab in India were part of a core team that did the early ground work on blockchain, the technology behind digital currency bitcoin, for enterprises and business networks. India is a key global center of excellence in this space within the company, reports BusinessLine.

Vanitha Narayanan, chairman, IBM India Private Limited, said, “Our labs in India have been at the forefront in developing solutions like IoT for agriculture, and cognitive fashion which are being leveraged not only by local but global clients as well. In India, we have created a pool of innovations that can be applied both globally and in the domestic market.”

August 12, 2017   No Comments

Accenture Launches Innovation Hub in India

With over 140,000, of Accenture‘s 411,000 employees in India, and a transition to the requirements of new digital technologies, the company launched an innovation hub in Bangalore, India.

The 10-story, 400,000 square feet facility, has wall-sized interactive screens, and large, open work areas. 4,000 people work here using tools for artificial intelligence, blockchain, security, automation, and cloud, in industry areas such as banking, telecom, and healthcare.

Accenture's Cyber Fusion Center

The facility is the first such for the $33-billion IT consulting and outsourcing company. “We set it up in Bangalore because this is where we see the maximum number of client visits in Accenture’s global operations,” Mohan Sekhar, senior managing director of Accenture Technology Services, told the Times of India.

At the occasion, Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive of technology services said that the nature of people, process and technology required have changed. “We need automation masters, ethical hackers, neural scientists, data scientists, more PhDs, people with deep industry and technology skills.” The company re-skilled a large proportion of its employees, and made 37 acquisitions since the beginning of 2016 to strengthen its capabilities in the new digital areas. Today, about 50% of its revenues come from the new digital, cloud, and security services spaces, and this space is growing at strong double digits.

August 9, 2017   No Comments