Saturday, February 21, 2009

Answers - India Information Technology Quiz - Edition 3

Answers to the 3rd Edition of India Information Technology
  1. Which Independent Software Vendor is working on the India Digital Heritage product that involves creating virtual recreations of famous Indian heritages that will allow people to take virtual tours? - Microsoft
  2. Which software company arranged for a Internet Bus to tour about 19 towns in cities in the state of Tamil Nadu to educate people on the power of the World Wide Web? - Google
  3. Which Indian recently beat Barack Obama to top the Google's most searched list of phrases, albeit for a dubious reason? - Ramalinga Raju
  4. Which Indian company made a large acquisition of Axon, the UK based SAP services company which was billed as the largest overseas acquisition by an Indian outsourcing firm pegged at $811 million. - HCL Technologies
  5. Creating This kind of content has been illegal in India. Now a new version of IT laws has even made browsing of this kind of content punishable. What type of content is being referred to? - Child Pornography
  6. What new application from Google allows people to let all their friends and family know about their current whereabouts? - Lattitude
  7. What Indian technology experiment completed 100 days of successful execution on 29th January 2009? - Chandrayaan - India's Moon Mission
  8. The 3 giants of Internet, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft came together recently to collaborate on an unique project. What was it? - Provide web designers a single standard to indicate a duplicate URL and point out to the search enginer the "princinpal" or "cannonical" URL. This is expected to clean up the search index by upto 25%
  9. Expand WITCH, a media defined acronym to collectively refer to Indian IT companies. -
    WITCH - Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, HCL
  10. Which book from Pankaj Ghemawat, a global guru on strategy, challenges Thomas Friedman's statements in "The World is Flat" book by stating that "protectionist walls will go up in developed economies affected by the global downturn and warns Indian information technology (IT) firms against taking false comfort in arguments that they would reap a demographic dividend or adopting a “we have seen crises before” attitude."? - Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Borders in a World Where Differences Still Matter
  11. Who has been appointed the chairman of the beleaguered Satyam board by the Government of India? - Kiran Karnik
  12. Which Indian IT company was ranked the 8th best in the world for its training program by Training Magazine that picks up the top 125 among 1000 companies annually? - Satyam

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Google India SearchMasters 09 Conference

Google India is conducting a 1 day conference for Internet website builders community at Bengalooru on 28th Feb 09. The conference titled "SearchMasters 09" intends to be the one stop for all developers to learn about Google's Webmasters suite of tools

Google has over the years built a wonderful repertoire of tools useful to website developers and individuals who are looking at monetizing their websites or blogs. This conference should be a definite to them.

Do sign up at their official site for a invitation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

India Information Technology Quiz - Edition 3

It's QUIZ time again. Here's a fresh list of 12 questions to jog your gray matter !
  1. Which Independent Software Vendor is working on the India Digital Heritage product that involves creating virtual recreations of famous Indian heritages that will allow people to take virtual tours?
  2. Which software company arranged for a Internet Bus to tour about 19 towns in cities in the state of Tamil Nadu to educate people on the power of the World Wide Web?
  3. Which Indian recently beat Barack Obama to top the Google's most searched list of phrases, albeit for a dubious reason?
  4. Which Indian company made a large acquisition of the UK based SAP services company which was billed as the largest overseas acquisition by an Indian outsourcing firm pegged at $811 million.
  5. Creating This kind of content has been illegal in India. Now a new version of IT laws has even made browsing of this kind of content punishable. What type of content is being referred to?
  6. What new application from Google allows people to let all their friends and family know about their current whereabouts?
  7. What Indian technology experiment completed 100 days of successful execution on 29th January 2009?
  8. The 3 giants of Internet, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft came together recently to collaborate on an unique project. What was it?
  9. Expand WITCH, a media defined acronym to collectively refer to Indian IT companies.
  10. Which book from Pankaj Ghemawat, a global guru on strategy, challenges Thomas Friedman's statements in "The World is Flat" book by stating that "protectionist walls will go up in developed economies affected by the global downturn and warns Indian information technology (IT) firms against taking false comfort in arguments that they would reap a demographic dividend or adopting a “we have seen crises before” attitude."?
  11. Who has been appointed the chairman of the beleaguered Satyam board by the Government of India?
  12. Which Indian IT company was ranked the 8th best in the world for its training program by Training Magazine that picks up the top 125 among 1000 companies annually?
Last date to send in your answers: 20 Feb 2009

3 entries with the most number of correct answers will find a mention on the blog.

Send in your entries to wowvijay@in.com with your name and blog link (if any)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Technology sans tech-etiquette proving costly

While the invasion of technology into every fold of our life is not stoppable, the importance and time we give to them is defintely in our control. However, that calls for a measure of restraint from everyone who can't do without technology assisting them in every walk of their life. 
Indians are technology penchants. They have no qualms shouting into their mobiles when travelling on a public mode of transport or in a quiet little restaurant. They care not if the bus is crammed - they need to still use their laptop. They like their ringtones loud and love it when their iPods scream right through their earphones into the neigbour's ear too. The motorcyclist gets the urge to check and reply SMSes only when he is zipping through the busiest road in town. The list goes on and on. While we have embraced technology, the etiquette that comes along has been trashed. No wonder now that things seem to be going on a further downslide. Its our relationships that have started feeling the pinch... Radhika Bhirani has this story on Yahoo India.

Lets do some thing about it today........ Click here to lear about technology manners

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why don't Indian IT vendors target Indian market in a big way

"Why can't India be the alternative market that the ailing Indian IT industry can look up to?"

This was the question that popped up during lunch time between us at office. A deluge of answers followed.
  1. Indian market nascent still
  2. Not enough big players to outsource big work
  3. Indian IT vendors charge US dollar rates to Indian customers
All true...but they brought up new questions.... 
  1. Why nascent?
  2. Why not more big players?  
  3. Why USD rates for Indian customers?
As the discussions ensued two points came out that sort of answered the primary and secondary questions.

1. Most sectors in India are unorganised: Retail Sector, Utilities sector, Transport sector, Hospitality sector and more. Almost all sectors are still a fragmented lot. Lot of mom and pop stores all around the country. They lack the economies of scale to go in for big IT orrders that can be justified against the profits they make. That also tells you why they cannot afford US dollar rates that IT vendors charge. the argument holds true on why it does not make sense for Indian IT vendors to go after the Indian market. Too many tries - too few hits - and even fewer to make a mark would be the result. 

2. Indian IT vendors play to the American stock markets: The ADRs and the NYSE listings are what drive the Indian IT companies primarily. I am not saying this is wrong but a strong growth in these stock exchanges must be reflected through a dollar growth. Growth in rupee earnings must be 50 times as much as dollar earnings to match similar feats. Keeping the market and the shareholders happy with your earnings forecasts and your quarter on quarter growth is a real need that public companies get exposed to. No prizes for quessing that the balance tilts in favor of the stronger currency. You can't expect to show earnings in the weaker currency and keep impressing the market that runs on the stronger currency.

Certainly points that can't be dismissed cheaply, eh?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Internet Bus - Another googly from Google !!

Who can possibly be contemplating getting the millions of rural Indians on to the Internet as fast as possible. Who possibly stands to gain from such a garangutan task? We all would for sure ....directly or indirectly. But there is one company out there which has everything to gain and would be the first beneficiary in this connection.

No doubt that the company has a professed mission of "making all available information to all people at all times through any channel possible" They will be doing the world a great service in chasing this dream and making it a reality. In the process they stand to gain too. 

Listen to the latest attempt by Google to spread disseminate the power of Internet across the world - The Internet Bus.




Travelling across 19 cities of the state of Tamil Nadu in India, the bus aims to raise awareness among people of the power of the Internet. The official site even has a Google map indicating the travel route of the bus, the timetable and even a Picasa album link that would host photos of the stops the bus makes along its journey during the course of 6 weeks.

The bus is equipped with a dish that links to the satellite directly to provide internet services.

While the whole concept might have borrowed from similar ideas in the past, what lends credence to it is the clout of Google behind the project. For all you know it could even be a precursor to a new experiment that found genesis in the famed Google Labs.

I will keep guessing...


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

India set to dominate offshore outsourcing for a long time

In this age of "Top 10 rankings", I came across  an interesting one that CyberMedia’s Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons has labeled "Top Global Outsourcing cities"

The list runs like this
  1. Bangalore
  2. Chennai
  3. Delhi National Capital Region
  4. Hyderabad
  5. Mumbai
  6. Pune
  7. Dublin (Ireland)
  8. Makati City (The Philippines)
6 of the top 8 cities are Indian cities. While rankings will change over time, the current list should leave no one in doubt about the position India has etched for itself as the synonym for outsourcing.

What remains to be see in how long can India sustain her impressive showing. The answer to this, I partly got, from a new book on offshoring that has hit the market. Authored by Robert Kennedy and titled "The Services Shift", a key message brought out in the book is the continued dominance of India for a long time to come as the leader in absorbing offshored outsourcing jobs. Robert in his interview with Forbes says

"China is pretty far behind India and even places like the Philippines and Eastern Europe. It's largely due to a language problem. There are real challenges. Services exports from China will grow, but they won't overtake India anytime soon."
I lay the matter to rest for now. :-)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Remote Rural Village Communities - Benefiting from the power of WWW

Bringing Internet to remote villages is a humongous task. Google is among the fore runners along with several other NGOs who are striving across the globe to bring the power of the World Wide Web to the masses.

I was reading this insightful article on NYTimes which talked about how Google installed a small satellite dish powered by a solar panel in a remote village in Kenya named Entasopia to link it up to the rest of the world. The work was undertaken by 3 students from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Costing $700 a month for bandwidth charges, the dish may not cost Google much. What is moving though is the amount of flutter it causes in the community where the power of Intenret gets disseminated.

The article cites a couple of well elucidated stories as proof points.

  • A crippled Masai tribesman who has been using the power of the Net to rise awareness among the old fashioned Masai tribe where crippled kid is abandoned to die and the mother is put through a ritual cleansing to banish the evil spirits that were said to have caused the disability in the child.
  • A government worker in the agricultural department who uses the Internet connection to send information to district headquarters, instead of spending days traveling there and back to deliver monthly reports. These reports help him advise farmers on the environment, crop husbandry and soil conservation.
Worth a read !!! Read it here

Sunday, February 01, 2009

India announces $10 Laptop

Laptops are getting cheaper. However the race to bring laptops to the masses at the lowest cost is getting crazier. I had earlier blogged about Negroponte who was trying to get a $100 laptop aimed at school kids in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

Now, its the Indian government that has announced a $10 laptop.

Specifications
  1. 2 GB RAM
  2. Linux powered OS
  3. WiFi
  4. Expandable memory
  5. Works on 2W of power
How so cheap?
  1. Current prototype can be produced for $20
  2. Large scale production should cut the price in half
  3. No R&D Costs - Developed by students from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Tamil Nadu jointly with Indian Institute of Science,(IISc) Bangalore and a partially-public entity called the Semiconductor
  4. Government has tied up with 4 educational providers - Macmillan, Tata McGraw Hill, Prentice-Hall and Vikas Publishing to provide digital content for these notebooks.
Got to see what happens if the government's program succeeds when the rollout begins in July 2009. Sorry OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program, you have competition.

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