Posts Tagged ‘HCL’

Pharma major AstraZeneca launches IT facility in Chennai

September 17th, 2014

UK-based pharma and biopharmaceutical major AstraZeneca has launched its first Global Technology Centre (GTC) to develop its world-class IT capacity, in Chennai as part of its strategy to cut down its IT budget and improve operational efficiency and data safety. With this the company would reduce the outsourcing currently handled by eight vendors, increasing the inhouse IT capability in near future.outsourcing55

The facility has 75 people on ground at present and it would increase to over 300 by the end of the year. While the new facility is set up with an investment of around $9 million for the physical infrastructure, the second GTC would be set up in San Fransisco in 2015 and the third probably in Eastern Europe in a couple of years, said David Smoley, Chief Information Officer, Astra Zeneca.

The company is looking at reversing its IT outsourcing operations to inhouse, considering it would be more cost efficient, and would give operational and technology leadership, the control of the main IT operations. According to earlier reports, the vendors the company has been engaged with include HCL Technologies, Cognizant, Infosys and Accenture.

“There is a shift in the strategy with most of the outsourcing works will become inhouse operations. At present 70 per cent of the IT spend is with third parties and this would become 30 per cent in next three years,” said Smoley, adding that the facility will start with SAP and middleware integration.

The IT team in its GTS would help the company to grow its own IT technolgy and operational excellence and provide support survices to global IT services. It would also help the company to simplify its support structures and improve its responsiveness to business needs, he said.

While outsourcing is generally a process to decrease the inefficency in the system, over a period of time there would be issues in that model also while inhouse operations would help the company to better co-ordinate. He said that the reverse trend of expansion in inhouse IT capabilities from outsourcing operations has started changing in many companies.

He added that the model would help the company in customer focus, technology leadership, control on technical aspects and simplification of technology, among others. The company is also looking at implementing more cloud solutions in its operations.

The IT division of the company has around 9,000 employees including in its contract and outsourcing firms and the company is expecting this to reduce by half in next two years. “The IT spend of the company was aorund $1.3 billion last year and over a period of time, the company plans to reduce this. This would also help the company to reduce the time taken in developing and bringing a new drug to the market,” he added.

The biopharmaceutical company is focusing on discovery, development and commercialistion of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases.

Source:http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/pharma-major-astrazeneca-launches-it-facility-in-chennai-114091600617_1.html

TCS attains Rs 5 lakh crore market-capitalisation

September 4th, 2014

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s largest software services exporter, on Wednesday, attained a market valuation of over Rs 5 lakh crore after over a month. outsourcing35

At the end of today’s trade, the market-capitalisation (m-cap) of TCSBSE 0.75 % soared to Rs 5,09,523.91 crore, the highest for the company since its listing in 2004. Shares of the outsourcing giant ended the day at Rs 2,601.30, up 2.45% on the BSE. In intra-day trade, it rose by 2.9% to Rs 2,612.95.

In dollar terms, TCS’ market valuation rose to $84 billion.TCS, the first Indian company to achieve the feat, had earlier crossed Rs 5 lakh crore market-cap in July this year.

The IT bellwether is also currently the country’s most valued company in terms of market valuation. TCS is followed by state-run ONGCBSE -1.06 % whose m-cap stood at Rs 3,74,730.47 crore, Reliance IndustriesBSE -0.50 % (Rs 3,33,400.02 crore), ITC (Rs 2,78,020.71 crore) and Coal India (Rs2,37,495.30 crore).

The market valuation of other big IT players such as Infosys stood at Rs 2,14,454.24 crore, Wipro (Rs 1,42,478.12 crore), HCL Technologies (Rs 1,16,142.59 crore) and Tech Mahindra (Rs 57,293.10 crore).

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/stocks-in-news/tcs-attains-rs-5-lakh-crore-market-capitalisation/articleshow/41617909.cms

Python is still greek to India’s top IT firms

September 3rd, 2014

Recently, one of India’s top software companies was faced with quandary. It had won a $200 million (Rs 1,200 crore) contract to develop an app store for a large US bank, but did not have adequate numbers of programmers who could write outsourcing32code in Python, the language most suited for the job. Eventually, it paid thrice the billing rate to a group of freelance Python programmers in the US. And learned a valuable lesson about the importance of a language named after the British television comedy series Monty Python.

For a nation regarded as a software programming powerhouse, the episode has salutary lessons. While skills in traditional computer languages meant for stitching software applications and maintaining large mainframe computers are a strength, ignoring Python could prove to be a costly mistake.

“Because companies like Infosys and TCS prefer proprietary languages like Java or dot NET most students think of these as an option in college. That is the reason you don’t get good quality talent in the industry to work with us in Python,” said Jofin Joseph, cofounder and chief operating officer of Profoundis, a Kochi-based technology startup which has been struggling for about a year to hire young Python programmers.

Python is by no means a new language — it was developed in the late 1980s by a Dutchman Guido van Rossum. It is open source, easy to write and can be used for a variety of applications such as development, testing and scripting. Because of its simplicity and elegance, Python has been embraced by top technology companies such as Google, Dropbox, Mozilla, Quora, Intel, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Seagate, Qualcomm and IBM.

In spite of its popularity among developers, Python is yet to find a place in the teaching curriculum of schools or universities, most of which continue to teach the conventional languages such as C, C++ and Java, unlike countries like the United States and United Kingdom where universities and schools now impart Python training.

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, which tracks programming languages by popularity, Python is the second most popular programming language this year for development on the web after Java. According to HackerRank, which provides a competitive platform for coders, out of a total of 38 programming languages worldwide, 13.95% of all code submitted was in Python, while 19.92% submissions were in Java, and 15.72% in C.

The maximum number of solutions were submitted in C++ with 37.7%. For Python to have such a large share in the submissions compared to legacy languages suggests that coders have started adopting it in a big way, said Anirvan Mandal, product developer at HackerRank.

Indian IT outsourcers like Infosys, TCS, Wipro began by building software when Python was not as popular, and most code was built in languages such as C, C++, Java or .NET. “To rewrite something from C to Python would take a long time, so these companies find it easier to maintain existing code in those languages,” said Mandal. On the other hand, Ajit Kumar, a president at HCL Technologies, said that for IT outsourcing companies, proficiency in Python is now considered as an additional skill for developers.

In May, Google India announced the second edition of its “Code to Learn” contest, where students from classes 7 to 10 have the option to code in Python. “Our intention of including Python in the Code to Learn contest was to introduce a new language to interested students. A lot of professional software developers use Python these days and a number of universities are teaching it as the first programming language but it has less adoption in academia in India,” said Ashwani Sharma, India head for university relations at Google.

However, hiring agencies said that Python is a hot skill that is commanding a premium over traditional languages. For Python programmers with about six years’ experience, the salary could be up to 30% higher than for those with skills in traditional languages. “Of the most commonly required programming languages, Python was the only one to see a year-over-year increase,” said Alka Dhingra of recruiting firm TeamLease.

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/jobs/Python-is-still-greek-to-Indias-top-IT-firms/articleshow/41535783.cms

IT stocks gain after positive US economic data

August 28th, 2014

Firmness continued on the bourses in mid-morning trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was currently up 115.76 points or 0.5% at 26,573.79. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. The market sentiment was booutsourcing26osted by provisional data showing that foreign funds were net buyers of Indian during the previous trading session. ONGC gained on hopes of announcement of reforms by the government on subsidies and gas prices ahead of its share sale. IT stocks rose on positive economic data in US, the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms. HCL Technologies hit record high.

Key indices have remained in green after a strong opening triggered by higher Asian stocks and a first closing for S&P 500 in the US above 2,000 overnight.

Asian stocks rose after US data on durable goods and consumer confidence boosted optimism in the strength of the world’s largest economy. Meanwhile, there are expectations for quantitative easing and other steps by the European Central Bank. Crude oil prices rose ahead of the weekly US oil inventory data from the US government.

At 11:16 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 115.76 points or 0.5% at 26,573.79. The index jumped 156.31 points at the day’s high of 26,599.12 in early trade, its highest level since 25 August 2014. The index rose 101.63 points at the day’s low of 26,544.44 in mid-morning trade.

The CNX Nifty was up 29.85 points or 0.38% to 7,934.60. The index hit a high of 7,946.85 in intraday trade, its highest level since 25 August 2014. The index hit a low of 7,929.50 in intraday trade.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,404 shares gained and 946 shares fell. A total of 78 shares were unchanged.

The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 43.05 points or 0.46% at 9,301.87, underperforming the Sensex. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 83.45 points or 0.82% at 10,256.83, outperforming the Sensex.

ONGC gained 1.99% on hopes of announcement of reforms by the government on subsidies and gas prices ahead of its share sale. The government plans to sell a stake in ONGC later this year. State run upstream companies share a part of the under recoveries of state-run oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) by allowing discount in the prices of crude oil, PDS kerosene, and domestic LPG based on the rates of discount communicated by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

Oil India gained 2.08%.

GAIL (India) fell 1.27% as the stock turned ex-dividend today, 27 August 2014, for final dividend of Rs 5.90 per share for the year ended 31 March 2014.

IT stocks rose on positive economic data in US, the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms. Wipro (up 0.65%), and TCS (up 0.43%) edged higher. Tech Mahindra fell 0.01%.

HCL Technologies rose 3.21% to Rs 1,648.60 after hitting record high of Rs 1,649 in intraday trade.

Infosys rose 0.09%. At an investor conference yesterday, 26 August 2014, Infosys’ chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao reportedly reiterated the company’s 7% to 9% US dollar revenue growth guidance for the current financial year. Rao also reportedly said that Infosys would look to maintain operating profit margins at 24-25% for the current year.

Hindustan Media Ventures advanced 3.32% to Rs 165 after 0.47% equity changed hands in a bulk deal on BSE today, 27 August 2014. A bulk deal of 3.50 lakh shares was executed on the Hindustan Media Ventures counter at Rs 163 per share in opening trade on BSE today, 27 August 2014.

The market sentiment was boosted by provisional data showing that foreign funds were net buyers of Indian during the previous trading session. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 364.72 crore on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

The market may remain volatile in the near future as traders roll over positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near month August 2014 series to September 2014 series. The near-month August 2014 F&O contracts expire tomorrow, 28 August 2014.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 60.49, compared with its close of 60.44 on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

Source:http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/it-stocks-gain-after-positive-us-economic-data-114082700252_1.html
Crude oil prices rose ahead of the weekly US oil inventory data from the US government. Brent for October settlement was up 22 cents at $102.72 a barrel. The contract fell 15 cents to settle at $102.50 a barrel yesterday, 26 August 2014, after reaching $103.40 during the session. The US is the world’s biggest oil consumer.

At a meeting yesterday, 26 August 2014, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) decided against investing in equities and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The finance ministry had suggested EPFO to invest in equities to enhance returns for subscribers.

Asian stocks rose today, 27 August 2014, after data signaled a stronger US economy and Russia’s president hailed as “positive” talks over Ukraine. Key benchmark indices in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea were up 0.06% to 0.78%.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could gain 11 points at the opening bell on Wednesday, 27 August 2014. US stocks edged higher on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, to lift the S&P 500 index just a hair above the 2,000 mark, its first close above that milestone, after data that pointed to a brighter future for the US economy.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years climbed by a record 22.6% in July after a 2.7% gain in June that was bigger than previously reported, data from the Commerce Department in Washington showed. The Conference Board’s US consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 in August, the highest since October 2007, the New York-based private research group said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, 26 August 2014, said talks with his Ukrainian counterpart over separatist fighting that’s killed more than 2,000 people were “positive.”

Meanwhile, there are expectations for quantitative easing and other steps by the European Central Bank. Ever since ECB President Mario Draghi’s comments at US Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in the United States on 22 August 2014, there have been expectations of quantitative easing and other steps by the ECB. Draghi said expectations of future inflation in Europe exhibited significant declines at all horizons this month.

Sensex, Nifty hit record closing high

August 28th, 2014

Key benchmark indices edged higher amid expectations that further monetary stimulus in the euro zone could trigger more foreigoutsourcing25n fund flows to emerging markets. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, and the 50-unit CNX Nifty, both, attained record closing high. High volatility was witnessed in late trade as key indices recovered from lower level soon after trimming intraday gains. The Sensex gained 117.34 points or 0.44% to settle at 26,560.15. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. The market sentiment was boosted by provisional data showing that foreign funds were net buyers of Indian during the previous trading session.

Shares of defence equipment makers rose after the government notified increase in foreign direct investment limit to 49% from 26% in the defence sector. Most bank stocks advanced. FMCG stocks gained. Shares of companies with significant sales to Europe gained as expectations grew for further monetary stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. Shares of PSU OMCs and state-run upstream oil and gas stocks companied edged higher on hopes of announcement of reforms by the government on subsidies. IT stocks rose on positive economic data in US, the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms. HCL Technologies hit record high. Auto stocks were mixed. Maruti Suzuki India fell as the stock turned ex-dividend. Shares of two-wheeler makers gained.

Key indices remained in green throughout the trading session after a firm opening triggered by higher Asian stocks and a first closing for S&P 500 index in the US above 2,000 on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

European shares edged lower after worse-than-projected German confidence data. Asian stocks rose after US data on durable goods and consumer confidence boosted optimism in the strength of the world’s largest economy. Crude oil prices rose ahead of the weekly US oil inventory data from the US government.

The Sensex garnered 117.34 points or 1.44% to settle at 26,560.15, a record closing high. The index jumped 156.31 points at the day’s high of 26,599.12 in early trade. The index rose 49.69 points at the day’s low of 26,492.50 in late trade.

The CNX Nifty advanced 31.30 points or 0.4% to settle at 7,936.05, a record closing high. The index hit a high of 7,946.85 in intraday trade. The index hit a low of 7,916.55 in intraday trade.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,606 shares gained and 1,379 shares fell. A total of 122 shares were unchanged.

The BSE Mid-Cap index advanced 67.77 points or 0.73% to settle at 9,326.59. The BSE Small-Cap index gained 80.49 points or 0.79% to settle at 10,253.87. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

Among the Sensex pack, 21 stocks advanced while remaining shares declined.

IT stocks rose on positive economic data in US, the biggest outsourcing market for the Indian IT firms. Wipro (up 1.19%), MphasiS (up 4.1%), MindTree (up 4.72%), and TCS (up 0.47%) gained. But, Tech Mahindra fell 0.83%.

HCL Technologies rose 3.02% to Rs 1,645.45 after hitting record high of Rs 1,651.50 in intraday trade.

Infosys rose 0.34%. At an investor conference yesterday, 26 August 2014, Infosys’ chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao reportedly reiterated the company’s 7% to 9% dollar revenue growth guidance for the current financial year. Rao also reportedly said that Infosys would look to maintain operating profit margins at 24-25% for the current year.

Shares of defence equipment makers rose after the government notified increase in foreign direct investment limit to 49% from 26% in the defence sector. Astra Microwave Products (up 8.55%), Bharat Forge (up 1.17%), Tata Power Company (up 0.91%), Dynamatic Technologies (up 3.31%), Walchandnagar Industries (up 9.91%) and Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company (up 0.99%) edged higher. Shares of L&T lost 0.1%.

Bharat Electronics rose by the maximum permissible level of the day of 20%. BEML rose by the maximum permissible level of the day of 5%.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) yesterday, 26 August 2014, notified increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) limit to 49% from 26% in the defence sector. The FDI limit of 49% is a composite ceiling. It includes all kinds of foreign investments such as FDI, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs), Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCI) and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs). Portfolio investment by FPIs, FIIs, NRIs, QFIs and investments by FVCIs has been capped at 24% of the total equity of the investee or joint venture company.

The applicant company seeking permission of the government for FDI up to 49% in defence sector should be an Indian company owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens. The management of the applicant company should be in Indian hands.

Foreign direct investment proposals in the defence sector above 49% will have to seek the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and state of the art technology in the country, according to the press note of DIPP.

Auto stocks were mixed. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) fell 0.26%, with the stock reversing gains after hitting record high of Rs 1,413.90. M&M proposes to appeal against the Competition Commission of India’s recent order before the appropriate forum. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 25 August 2014 levied a total penalty of Rs 2544.64 crore on 14 car makers at the rate of 2% of the average turnover after it found them to be in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002. The amount of penalty imposed on M&M is Rs 292.25 crore.

Tata Motors gained 1.7%. The company after market hours on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, said that it would be filing an appeal against the CCI order before the appropriate authorities. The penalty levied on Tata Motors is Rs 1346.46 crore.

Maruti Suzuki India fell 0.21% as the stock turned ex-dividend today, 27 August 2014, for final dividend of Rs 12 per share for the year ended 31 March 2014. The CCI’s penalty on Maruti is Rs 471.14 crore.

The CCI said it found that the conduct of the car companies was in violation of the provisions of section 3(4) of the Competition Act, 2002 with respect to its agreements with local Original Equipment Suppliers (OESs) and agreements with authorized dealers whereby it imposed absolute restrictive covenants and completely foreclosed the aftermarket for supply of spare parts and other diagnostic tools.

Ashok Leyland gained 2.08% at Rs 36.75.

Shares of two wheeler makers gained. Hero MotoCorp (up 1.61%), TVS Motor Company (up 1.19%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.49%) advanced.

DLF tumbled 4.44% on reports the Supreme Court today, 27 August 2014, penalised the company Rs 630 crore for exploiting its dominant position to the disadvantage of its customers in three projects in Gurgaon. The court said that DLF will deposit Rs.50 crore of the Rs 630 crore within three weeks and the balance of Rs 580 crore within three months from today. The court directed the registry to put this amount in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank.

MCX jumped 5.08% after the company during market hours said that the commodities market regulator Forward Market Commission (FMC) has approved Kotak Mahindra Bank’s (KMBL) proposed acquisition of upto 15% of equity share capital of MCX. In July 2014, Financial Technologies (India) (FTIL) entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) to sell 15% stake in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank for a total consideration of Rs 459 crore.

Shares of KMBL were down 1.59% at Rs 1,039.90 on reports that a foreign brokerage has downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “outperform. The brokerage has cited the stock’s massive outperformance and stiff valuation for the downgrade.

FMCG stocks advanced. Dabur India (up 2.31%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 2.63%), Nestle India (up 0.58%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (up 1.76%), and Hindustan Unilever (up 1.02%) gained. Shares of Marico shed 0.3%.

Most bank stocks gained. Federal Bank (up 3.4%), IndusInd Bank (up 2.59%), ICICI Bank (up 2.05), Punjab National Bank (up 1.56%), Yes Bank (up 1.08%), State Bank of India (up 0.4%), Axis Bank (up 0.23%), Bank of India (up 0.09%) gained. Bank of Baroda (down 0.35%), HDFC Bank (down 0.7%), and Canara Bank (down 1.12%) declined.

Deepak Nitrite rose 2.73% at Rs 77.05 after the company during market hours said that the commercial paper of Rs 20 crore issued on 28 May 2014 has been repaid on 26 August 2014.

Cox & Kings jumped 4.2% at Rs 304.85 after the company during market hours in a clarification with regard to news item titled Cox & Kings to operate Deccan Odyssey” said that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) appointed the company as its outsourced partner to operate the luxury train, Deccan Odyssey from October 2014. This partnership will cover full management of on-board and off-board services, sales, marketing and operational activities. The agreement is for a period of 5 years with scope for extension for another 5 years, Cox & Kings said.

Venus Remedies surged 14.77% after the company said it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Israel-based generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for selling an anti-cancer drug in the Canadian market. The announcement was made after market hours on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

GVK Power & Infrastructure was locked at 5% upper circuit at Rs 13.02 on BSE after the company led consortium leased a land parcel in Mumbai for commercial development to Oasis Realty for Rs 580 crore.

Shares of PSU OMCs and state-run upstream oil and gas companies advanced on hopes of announcement of reforms by the government on subsidies. BPCL (up 2.59%), HPCL (up 1.6%), Indian Oil Corporation (up 0.77%) and Oil India (up 2.73%) edged higher.

ONGC gained 2.31% at Rs 427.75 on hopes of announcement of reforms by the government on subsidies and gas prices ahead of its share sale. The government plans to sell a stake in ONGC later this year.

Public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) suffer under-recoveries on domestic sale of diesel, LPG and kerosene at a controlled price. The government has adopted the policy of gradually increasing diesel prices to eliminate under recovery and deregulate the diesel prices. The government has already freed pricing of petrol.

State run upstream companies share a part of the under recoveries of state-run oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) by allowing discount in the prices of crude oil, PDS kerosene, and domestic LPG based on the rates of discount communicated by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

GAIL (India) rose 0.35% at Rs 435.25. The stock was volatile. The stock hit a high of Rs 437.45 and a low of Rs 426.30. The stock turned ex-dividend today, 27 August 2014, for final dividend of Rs 5.90 per share for the year ended 31 March 2014.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) rose 0.16% at Rs 60.85 after the company said that Petro Fluidized Catalytie Cracking unit has been successfully commissioned today, 27 August 2014 in Phase-III project of the company and products are being routed to respective destinations. This will increase LPG, light distillates and production of Propylene which is a feed for Polypropylene unit, MRPL said.

Shares of companies with significant sales to Europe gained as expectations grew for further monetary stimulus measures from the European Central Bank. Havells India surged 8.27% at Rs 295.30. Motherson Sumi Systems rose 4.37% at Rs 372.40. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories rose 1.26% at Rs 2,927.

The market sentiment was boosted by provisional data showing that foreign funds were net buyers of Indian during the previous trading session. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 364.72 crore on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

The market may remain volatile tomorrow, 28 August 2014, as traders roll over positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near month August 2014 series to September 2014 series. The near-month August 2014 F&O contracts expire tomorrow, 28 August 2014.

The Sensex edged higher for the fifth day in a row today, 27 August 2014. The barometer index has risen 245.86 points or 0.93% in five trading sessions from a recent low of 26,314.29 on 20 August 2014. The Sensex has gained 665.18 points or 2.56% in this month so far (till 27 August 2014). The Sensex has gained 5,389.47 points or 25.45% in calendar year 2014 so far (till 27 August 2014). From a 52-week low of 17,448.71 on 28 August 2013, the Sensex has risen 9,111.44 points or 52.21%.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 60.46, compared with its close of 60.44 on Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

Crude oil prices rose ahead of the weekly US oil inventory data from the US government. Brent for October settlement was up 19 cents at $102.69 a barrel. The contract fell 15 cents to settle at $102.50 a barrel yesterday, 26 August 2014, after reaching $103.40 during the session. The US is the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Geopolitical developments were in focus. Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents yesterday, 26 August 2014, were inconclusive, and the conflict in eastern Ukraine continued with Kiev releasing videos of captured Russian soldiers.

At a meeting yesterday, 26 August 2014, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) decided against investing in equities and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The finance ministry had suggested EPFO to invest in equities to enhance returns for subscribers.

The government yesterday, 26 August 2014, notified increase in foreign direct investment limit to 49% from 26% in the defence sector. The hike in FDI ceiling could encourage domestic manufacture of defence goods which are imported.

European shares edged lower after worse-than-projected German confidence data. Key indices in Germany and France were off 0.1% to 0.12%. In UK, the FTSE 100 index was up 0.1%.

A consumer confidence index in Germany will fall to 8.6 in September from a revised 8.9 in August, GfK AG forecast in a report today, 27 August 2014.

There are expectations of quantitative easing and other steps by the European Central Bank (ECB) to bolster growth and counter downward pressures on prices in the euro zone. At US Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in the United States on 22 August 2014, ECB President Mario Draghi said that expectations of future inflation in Europe exhibited significant declines at all horizons this month.

Asian stocks rose today, 27 August 2014, after data signaled a stronger US economy and Russia’s president hailed as “positive” talks over Ukraine. Key benchmark indices in Indonesia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea were up 0.11% to 0.98%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.62%.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could gain 14 points at the opening bell on Wednesday, 27 August 2014. US stocks edged higher on Tuesday, 26 August 2014, to lift the S&P 500 index just a hair above the 2,000 mark, its first close above that milestone, after data that pointed to a brighter future for the US economy.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years climbed by a record 22.6% in July after a 2.7% gain in June that was bigger than previously reported, data from the Commerce Department in Washington showed. The Conference Board’s US consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 in August, the highest since October 2007, the New York-based private research group said.

Source:http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/sensex-nifty-hit-record-closing-high-114082700807_1.html

HCL Tech awarded life sciences outsourcing leader

August 22nd, 2014

HCL Technologies has been recognised as a life sciences IT outsourcing leader and a star performer by advisory and research firm Everest Group in its 2014 report on “IT Outsourcing in Life Sciences Industry.”Outsourcing1

The report measures market success by the number, scale and growth of large life sciences’ ITO contracts, and ranks delivery capabilities by scale of operations, scope, enabling domain investments, and delivery footprint, according to a company statement.

“We’ve seen an uptick in the adoption of next-generation IT as companies struggle to combat multi-faceted challenges such as stifling research and design inefficiencies,” said Jimit Arora, Vice President, Everest Group.

In this evolving industry scenario, HCL’s mix of technology, domain and client servicing capabilities are translating well into significant market success and industry recognition, he added.

Source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/smartbuy/hcl-tech-accorded-life-sciences-outsourcing-leader/article6338967.ece

HCL Technologies: How company beat slowdown

August 14th, 2014

When 46-year-old Anant Gupta took over as CEO of HCL Technologies from Vineet Nayar, he inherited a high-flying company. Eighteen months on, Gupta has built on that momentum. Operating margin has improved from 22.1% since he took over in January 2013 to 26.3% for the year ended June 2014.

Together, Gupta and Nayar have presided over a margin gain of 9 percentage points since 2008. This is a period that saw IT industry association Nasscom lower annual growth projections for the IT services business from around 16% to 12%.

In this period, Indian leader TCS improved this metric from 25.8% to 30.7%, while the number two player, Infosys, fell from 33.2% to 27.2%. HCL is narrowing the gap, leveraging its improving capabilities and bigger customers.

Back in 2010, HCL had only one $100-million customer; now it has six. In the same period, its count of $50-million clients has gone up from six to 15. “Old contracts started maturing (HCL was able to bag more business from a client) and that led to higher profitability,” says Dipen Shah, senior vice president & IT analyst, Kotak Securities.

At the worst of the 2008 slowdown, HCL paid $658 million to beat Infosys and buy Axon, a UK-based business software consulting major. This buyout helped HCL grow its business consulting practice (services that use IT for specific business outcomes). Says Anant Gupta, “Strong focus on IT transformation deals over the past several years helped the company grow faster than the competition as growth in traditional application development and maintenance contracts withered due to pressure on client IT budgets.”

Even as HCL entered new domains with Axon, it kept an eye on its cash cow: The infrastructure management services (IMS) business. As part of this, HCL provides computer support, software upgrades, anti-virus protection, and manages data centres and networks.

For Freescale Semiconductor, for example, it does this in 20 countries. IMS has grown from a $196-million business in 2007 to a powerful $1 billion revenue engine now, accounting for 30% of HCL’s revenues and growing at the same rate.

An increase in sales and marketing spends, from $386 million in 2010 to $662 million in 2012, helped HCL win deals in the tough period. In 2011, HCL replaced IBM as British pharma major AstraZeneca’s outsourcing partner for data centre services in 60 locations globally.

As the partnership matured, HCL was able to bag additional services.

HCL is also using its employees more. Employee utilisation has averaged 84.5% in the last four quarters, against 75% three years ago. “Productivity improvements helped margins expand,” says Sarabjit Kour Nangra, VP research, Angel Broking.

HCL tackled its lagging BPO business as well. It reduced voice work from a peak of 45% in 2009 to below 30% now; it exited low-end services like customer care. After three years of losses, the BPO business, which accounts for around 8% of the company’s $5 billion revenues, turned profitable in 2012-13.

To sustain performance, HCL will have to accelerate its lagging software services business, which accounts for less than 5% of revenues. “Sustaining margins will be a challenge as there’s not much room to extract more juice from initiatives like employee utilisation,” says Shah. Adds Ankita Somani, IT analyst at MSFL, a brokerage, “While HCL has done well in the past, there’s too much dependence on IMS. It will need to broadbase its growth.”

Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/40196190.cms

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